Children and Kids

How To Find the Best Baby Shampoo

best baby shampooMy latest writing project launched and I’m so excited to share with you today. I did tons, and I mean tons, of research on this baby: how to find the best baby shampoo and wash. I know it’s not a terribly exciting topic, but it’s an important one. I learned a lot while studying shampoos and what they contain and I’ve shared that knowledge in the article. Not only did I research shampoos and chemicals in products, but I tested several brands. We took a lot of baths in my house that week!

I talk about chemicals and what to look for when considering a safe product for your little one. This can be such a scary topic and while there is a ton of information online, I combed through it and broke it down into manageable chunks so you can make an informed decision.

TheNightlight.com is a new site dedicated to finding the best products for babies. The writers spend countless hours researching and testing products to determine what is the best, so be sure to check them out.

Read the article here.

 

 

About Alicia Murray: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Balance

Trying to Save Money on School Supplies

I’m in full on school shopping mode — there’s limited time remaining before school starts, so I need to get on it. One thing I always do is assess the current state of our supplies.

Clothes. Check. Done.

Backpack. Do they really need a new backpack? No.

Lunchbox. Do they really need new lunchboxes? No.

Then I came to the thermos. The thermos is perfectly usable and in excellent shape, except for the inner straw. It’s moldy. Do I really need to pay $20+ to get a new thermos just to have a new straw? So, I searched around and found a Funtainer replacement straw 2- Pack of replacement thermos straws that I can use to replace and make the thermos like new.

Here’s what I found:

Take a look at yours and see if you can save some money too. Just be sure to check to make sure it’s the correct straw for your version of thermos.

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a purchase from one of these links I will receive a tiny, iddy-biddy commission. Thanks for supporting BalancingMotherhood!

About Alicia Murray: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Travel

Summer Roadtrip: Rainy Days and Tough Decisions

campingThe sound of small kernels of popcorn being popped in a small saucepan on the stove hovers above my head as I work. The rain has been dripping from the sky with increased intensity since the day before. I have work to do so I’m not upset that we can’t be outside today.

The kids are in the movie theater that we created in the back “bedroom,” consisting of a queen-sized bed with a single bunk above. A princess sheet hangs over the bunk, creating a fort below. The kids sit propped on my old body pillow that I used when I was pregnant with each of them, and their own superhero pillows leaning against it – as theater cushions. My husband’s laptop serves as the movie screen and a DVD they’ve seen a million times becomes something new. I take a break from work to make popcorn in the microwave to complete the movie theater experience, and perhaps take my mind off the popping sounds on top of the camper.

This is the worst of our vacation so far. Last week we didn’t have hot water, but that was fixed with a stop to Camping World on our way to our new destination. So, we have hot water, but the rain has prevented us from doing anything fun. But fun is relative on a trip like this. Part of the journey is slowing down, doing different things. Even if it means being in a 200 square foot space for two days with three other people with nothing other than our books, a laptop, and some old DVDs.

The rain finally let up enough the next day to allow us to drive into Lake Placid, NY, home of the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics. Beautiful town with scenic mountain views as a backdrop to the lake. We only got one day here before heading on through Vermont and New Hampshire where we faced our toughest decision yet: Do we spend $75 to take the ferry (truck, trailer, and all) across picturesque Lake Champlain or do we stop at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory?

Read Part I and Part II of our family summer roadtrip series.

 

About Alicia Murray: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Books

Summer Reading Lists to Keep Your Kids Reading

summerreadinglistsSummer break has officially started for much of us, and will begin soon for the rest of you. With summer comes relaxation, vacation, camps, boredom, and lack of recall of everything our kids learned in school this year. We’re big on doing homework over the summer to keep our kids’ minds from turning to a bowl of mush. In doing some research I found several resources to help you find age-or grade-level appropriate book titles for your kids this summer.

Summer Reading List for Tweens
This is a very specific list for tweens, but is a good list of books that will engage your young reader and maybe even make them enjoy reading for fun. She’s got a really beautiful, printable PDF for convenience too.

Chapter Books to Read After Diary of a Wimpy Kid
This is my list of books that I compiled from asking my friend’s what my son would enjoy after reading the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. It’s a list of 20 books for ages 8-12.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading
This site breaks its list up by age range, but also offers a free book for children who read 8 book and keep a journal of what they read. Can’t beat that.

A Diverse Summer Reading List for Kids
This list starts with, “In children’s books, it can be easier to find talking pandas than characters of color. Only six percent of children’s book published in 2012 featured diverse characters.” The list contains 25 books.

Association of Library services to Children
Includes PDFs broken down by grade level.

Scholastic’s Summer Reading Lists
The site offers a summer reading challenge to schools who read the most, striving to set a new world record. It also has lists for each age range.

Education World
A collection of summer reading lists from all over.

And, be sure to check our local school and library to see if they publish a list.

Photo credit: danjaeger

About Alicia Murray: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Books

A Tale of The Other Sister — Anne Frank’s Sister

What if Anne Frank’s sister survived the holocaust? What if she lived to see her sister’ Diary become so famous? This is the setting of the first novel I’ve been able to read in two years.

Margot,” by Jillian Cantor, is told from the voice of Anne Frank’s sister who was able to flee Nazi-controlled Poland. She changes her name and tries to live a normal existence. Yet, how can she, when she has a number tattooed to her arm which she covers with a sweater even when it’s sweltering heat.

Two years is a long time to have skipped novels. In the past I always had a novel on my nightstand. Always. Even if it took a few months to complete, I was always reading a book. Non-fiction. I loved escaping into other worlds. It’s a great way to de-stress.

But two years ago I entered graduate school and my life was extremely unbalanced. I went to work, did drop off or pick up each day for my kids, came home and cooked, cleaned, got kids ready for bed, did my own homework, and collapsed only to do it over again. There was only time for Harvard Business Review articles or non-fiction related to class. And, I loved reading these. But I missed novels.

When I graduated last summer I thought it would be easy to jump back into watching mindless TV and reading novels, but that wasn’t the case. I found myself only able to read non-fiction. Books about social media, blogging, self improvement. That’s all I could read.

Last summer I visited Auschwitz during a school trip, which is why Margot probably stuck a cord with me. I’ve been to Anne Frank’s house. Read her diary and this story was intriguing. It’s fiction, but based on facts from Anne’s now famous little red diary.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

 

About Alicia Murray: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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