Are Agnes & Dora Clothes Good for Travel?

When my friend Nicole F. asked if I was interested in reviewing Agnes & Dora apparel for her, I was definitely curious. I had already seen a lot of women talking about these clothes on mommy boards and Instagram. Rewind to a few weeks before when my youngest daughter was helping me shop for clothes. She kept bringing me things I would never, never pick on my own, but that looked great once I tried them on. Though we didn’t buy anything that day, I made a mental note that I needed to be more open to my daughter’s suggestions. Everyone who knows her knows that she has a wicked sense of style rivaling that of Iris Apfel. So when Nicole asked me if I would pick something to try from her store, I asked her if I could let Kati pick something for me.

Look how cute it was packaged.

You see, I’m one of those people that is always in jeans and a geek themed t-shirt. Today I was getting ready for Comic Con International and I sewed/glued a batgirl cowl. I’m not really girly. But my daughter is. And she picked one of the more feminine options Nicole offered. I complied, eager to test my theory that my daughter can dress me better than I dress myself. You can see the results for yourself.

The big reveal!

Besides looking fabulous, I felt fabulous, too. One of my favorite things about this outfit is that the skirt is actually a cool and stretchy, perfect for a warm day like today, even though it looks like denim. Also, the skirt has pockets! Who doesn’t love pockets? The ruffles on the shirt are cute and also feel like the perfect length. If you’re wondering if Agnes & Dora is for you, I would definitely give them a try. Just make sure to follow the washing and drying instructions so you don’t ruin your cute new clothes.

Perfect for Travel

Have you ever left the airport feeling like a giant, dirty sock? I can totally relate. One of the things I love about these clothes is that they are comfortable, versatile, and they don’t get all wrinkled. If you want to feel wonderful while still looking fresh after jet setting, these are great travel clothes. I have heard that they are great for nursing and postpartum as well because they are stretchy and fit several sizes at once. Nice. Also the stretch helps them not to get wrecked when your child inevitably pulls on them (it’s not just my kids, right?).

To find out what Nicole F. Has in stock, please check out her ADorablessed Facebook group. She is super kind and helpful and she works so hard to make sure her customers have the best experience. Also she’s a mother of two very adorable kiddos, so spread the mommy love!

Happy Travels!

Kristin

Attach Your Child’s Carseat to Your Carry On Bag – Update

In my first post about this awesome back saving travel solution, Hitchin’ A Ride: Travel With A Car Seat On Your Carry On Bag, we talked about how to attach your child’s carseat to your bag if your carseat had a latch system. I know that most carseats have those systems these days, but I recently discovered that Go-Go Babyz now makes a strap that doesn’t require the latch system (though you can also use it if you do have a latch carseat). Allow me to introduce you to the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap, retailing on Amazon at 19.99.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 10.09.53 AM

Which Carseat to Carry On Solution is Best?

The only thing negative thing I have to say about this product is that the reviews are less enthusiastic than that of the Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory (which I own and have used on many occasions with great success).

car seat luggage

I just wanted to post about the new option, and let you know it exists… I also think it is worth mentioning that the comments on the Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory is a great place to get ideas of how to travel without purchasing an expensive strap. There are over 200 comments, and the I thought the discussion was very interesting.

Happy travels,

Kristin

The Best Way to Get Rid of Lice 

A while ago I dedicated a post to dealing with your kids getting lice when you’re on vacation. You could also discover the creepy crawlies when you’re already on vacation, though now we check before leave for any place. Since then, I have made some awesome discoveries about getting rid of lice, because the olive oil & blow drying approach wasn’t working. The kids kept passing it to each other, and after three months of struggling against the disgusting creatures, we decided there had to be a better solution. But where did my kid catch lice during summer, you may ask. They caught it at Ikea in the kids’ area *insert sigh*. Through this whole process, I discovered two tools that will make killing lice a mere inconvenience instead of a horrendous nightmare.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Lice

Terminator Nit Comb

The Shampoo

In my previous post I said that lice shampoos do not work. I am not changing my opinion, the pesticide laden shampoo you can find at drug stores across the world do not work. But my husband did some research and found that there is a specific enzyme that dissolves lice and nits, while being totally safe for humans. In fact, pregnant and breastfeeding moms can use this enzyme shampoo, and you don’t have to wait a certain number of days between uses on your kids. You can use it every day if you want to, although I think that would be overkill. Pun intended. This shampoo only needs to be in your child’s hair for 15-20 minutes (each brand has slightly different instructions), and unlike the enzyme foam, there will be no live lice after use. In the US this brand seems to be the best value for the amount:

Schooltime Shampoo for Lice & Nit Removal

and here is the European equivalent which I had to order from the UK… we couldn’t find any enzyme shampoo in our country. We tried the enzyme foam, but it didn’t completely kill the live bugs and did nothing to the eggs.

Lyclear Shampoo (this shampoo comes with a comb, but it was completely useless)

The Comb

Depending on whether you are ordering the comb from the US or Europe, the comb has two different names, but is exactly the same. I purchased them from different continents and compared them. The best lice comb in the US is called the:

LiceLogic Terminator Nit and Lice Comb 

On the other side of the pond, the comb is called the

Nitty Gritty Nit Comb 

This comb is unique in that is removes lice and nits. No other comb has come close to removing any nits, and this thing works! For our younger daughter, it got the eggs out even when her hair was dry. She has thick hair, as in, even the individual strands are thick. For our older daughter the comb did not remove eggs while her hair was dry, it needed to be wet. Both combs recommend wet hair with conditioner rubbed in. We got a plastic hair parter and some banana clips from our local hair supply place, and sectioned the hair into four to six sections. Once you run the comb through the hair, wipe it on a napkin or paper towel before moving to the next strands of hair. The Nitty Gritty comb comes with a lifetime warrantee. If the comb breaks, you can send it to them and they will send you a replacement.

Delousing the House

You still need to wash and dry their bedding and any clothes they wore while the lice infestation occurred, but once you treat them with the shampoo and comb, the clean sheets you put on don’t need to be changed again.

An Extra Step Because I’m Paranoid

My ongoing battles with lice have created a certain amount of paranoia. Because of this, I choose to flat iron the kids’ hair after all of the treatment to heat any existing eggs to death. I made sure to stay close to the scalp because they eggs are usually about 10 cm from their head. I don’t know if any nits existed after using the combs, but I wanted to be extra careful.

Next Time I Travel

I plan to create a “Lice Travel Kit” with one comb, a small amount of enzyme shampoo in my toiletry bag, a plastic parting comb, and six banana clips just in case. Being away from home and not having what you need to kill these little buggers is stressful and unnecessary. Becoming an expert on treating lice was never something I aspired to, but it happened. Learn from my mistakes and create your own “Lice Travel Kit” if you will be traveling for prolonged periods.

May your future travels be fun and lice free.

Happy travels,

Kristin

The Kindle Fire – My Favorite for Traveling Kids

I have been writing this article in my head for the last few months. When Kindle Fire 7” tablets went on sale for Cyber Monday in 2015, my FIL bought the girls each one. At $33 he said they were too cheap not to buy. He also got them the bouncy foam cases and clear screen covers that have made them almost kid proof (the only way they could break them at this point would be to drop them in a bucket of water). I was looking forward to my daughter getting more screen reading time, since we can’t find many books in English here and I wanted her to practice. Fast forward to July, when my FIL bought my son his own Kindle Fire, and sent memory upgrades for each of the three tablets. Here are the many reasons why Kindle Fire is the best tablet for the money, and my absolute favorite tablet for travel.

traveling-kids-with-kindle-fire

Portability

My kids are able to take their Kindles and use them when they want. They are light and easy to put in and out of a backpack. This is great, because when you go through airport security, they have to be taken out of the backpacks. I usually keep all three together in my bag before security, that way I grab all three in one motion (yes they are that light), and distribute them to the kids as we are gathering all of our bags once we’re through to the other side of the metal detector.

Battery Life & Quick Recharge Time

The battery life is up to 7 hours. I find that to be plenty of time, even if we are longer trips. The kids will play with their Kindle, take a break and color, eat, and then play on it a little more. And if you can find a place to plug in when you’re in the airport or wherever, you can get one of these with a usb plug so that you can charge all your devices at once. I like this option because I can use it in the US and Europe… all I have to do is switch the plug. Just make sure that the plug you have is able to convert the power in volts so you don’t ruin your devices. I use the iClever BoostCube and have never had any problems with it. The Fire Tablet 7” only takes 3.3 hours to fully charge, so if you can plug it in for 30 minutes you will get around 2 more hours of play time.

The Price

You cannot beat the price of this tablet. With the memory update for 64 GB at only $20, you can make your Kindle like an iPad for only $70. Add the case for $25 and the screen protector for $7, and you have a really awesome kids tablet for $102 before taxes.

Amazon Underground – Actually Free Apps

There are hundreds of apps that you can get for free through Amazon’s program “Amazon Underground,” which means you can amass a pretty great collection of games without spending any extra money. The games offered in this program change, but once you have purchased them through Amazon Underground, they stay free on your devices, even if they aren’t offered for free any longer. To find these games, search under the “Apps & Games” part of the Amazon drop down menu, and then select “Actually Free Apps” under “Amazon Underground” under “Refine by.”

amazon underground actually free apps

Amazon FreeTime

FreeTime is a program that lets you severely limit what your child is able to access on the Kindle. The only problem with FreeTime is that is difficult to exit, which makes sense since you don’t want your kids to be able to exit if they are small. You go through your apps, movies, and books and can add them to individual FreeTime profiles that you make for each child. The only reason I don’t use FreeTime for my younger kids is because I want them to be able to watch Netflix on their Kindles, and that doesn’t work with FreeTime. Again, that makes sense because with the Netflix App, you can’t limit access to adult Netflix profiles.

Parental Controls

The parental controls on the Kindle Fire are robust. You can limit your kids on almost everything. My one major complaint is that the home screen on my kids’ kindles automatically loads images of my most recently acquired books. Most of the books are not for my kids, nor do I want them to have access to them. I have to manually go through each of their kindles and delete the books from their home screens. I have researched a way to avoid this, but so far everyone agrees that there is no way to get rid of this annoyance. You can also a curfew and choose which days it works. It allows you to set the earliest time they are able to use the device, and when the device will automatically stop their access. There is also the ability to provide a unique code for the kindle that is separate from the parental code. I love that, because it keeps my 4-year-old from messing up my 9-year-old’s reading and game progress.

Downloadable Content

You have the option to download movies and television shows onto your device after you have purchased them. I love this option because it means the kids still have access to their video content when the internet is not available.

So there you have it, my argument as to why I love the Kindle Fire 7” for my kids. I feel like it has all of the appeal of an iPad, but at 1/4 the price, and the price I gave you includes accessories.

JVC Kidphones

My Headphones Pick

We found these JVC Kidsphones at the airport in Gatwick. The large plastic headband and cushioned ear area make these durable and comfortable. Coincidentally, they come in colors that match the Kindle Kids Cases, which makes my kids happy.

Do you have any experience traveling with a Kindle Fire 7″ for your kids? What does your pro & con list look like?

Happy travels,

Kristin

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This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

Using a Menstrual Cup on Vacation

The title says everything, doesn’t it? If you don’t want to read about how successful I was in using a menstrual cup on vacation, feel free to skip over this article. If you are intrigued, however, read on.

using menstrual cup on vacation

Almost a year ago now, a dear friend messaged me on Facebook and said something like, “Sorry if this is TMI, but have you ever tried a menstrual cup?” It was just the thing I needed to hear. I am allergic to every kind of disposable pad here, and I pass out from tampons (since the very first time I wore one, and yes I have tried again at least twice a year since that first, fateful day when I was 13). So about two years ago, I made the decision to switch to cloth pads. Cloth pads are not bad. They were ok but I still got a rash. I think it was from the detergent, even though I tried every kind. Apparently I have extremely sensitive nether regions. The doctor gave me a cream, but it always took at least seven days to work, and I was really depressed every time my period arrived, knowing it would take two weeks to complete this tedious routine I somehow found myself in. As you can imagine, my friend’s message was an answer to prayer.

A Diva Cup for Christmas

When my father-in-law came to visit in December, he brought me my first Diva Cup. It might seem weird that I asked my FIL to bring me something so, well, private, but I was desperate! I honestly didn’t care if he thought it was weird or not. The timing worked out that he headed back to the States just before my period started.

Diva Cup Dilemmas

Every crazy thing you read about Diva Cups happened to me, minus it getting “lost.” I pinched my cervix trying to put it in too many times to count. About once a period I accidentally pressed on my bladder and felt like I had to pee for an hour. There were innumerable leaks. The first month was the worst, but I noticed that each month, things seemed to be getting better, and the leaks were almost nonexistent. Just for the record, I use the “C” method, where you fold the cup in half so it resembles the shape of the letter this method is named for.

Then it came time to plan for our family vacation. I knew my period would occupy one of the two weeks we were away. I had used the cup for four periods, but was that enough practice? What about washing it in between emptying it out? What would it look like to use it in various bathroom in different countries?

Going For It

I decided not to pack any cloth pads because then I would have to carry them around with me dirty as we backpacked. Gross. I thought, “Hey, if I fail halfway through, I can buy disposables and use my trusty seven-day cream.” I packed several small packs of pads, figuring I could just wipe the cup out when I was in a strange bathroom where the sink wasn’t close, and then wash it thoroughly with warm water and soap when we got back to our Airbnb.

Success!

I didn’t even need wipes. Toilet paper worked great for wiping out the cup, and wiping off the outside, after I emptied it into the toilet. The only problem was that I was often accompanying my girls to the restroom, so a few times I had to take them in, walk them back to my husband when they were finished, and go back into the bathroom alone. Trust me when I say, you do NOT want your kids to see you emptying your menstrual cup. They will think you are dying or something. However, in all of the countries we visited, you could flush toilet paper, so it wasn’t a big deal. If I had tried to that in Greece, the trash bin in the stall would have looked like a murder scene. Just saying. When my period was over, I put the cup into it’s handy draw string bag, and threw it into our toiletry bag, ready to be cleaned with hot water and hydrogen peroxide when I got home. Ta-da!

Ok, I won’t go into any more detail, but if you have questions, please feel free to ask.

Happy travels,

Kristin