Ripple Safety Device

Disclaimer: I received product/service in exchange for this post about the Ripple safety device. All opinions are 100% my own.

When I first was told about the Ripple Safety Device, my mind went straight to where most of my focus has been lately – to running. I even blogged about it over on mrsgregwillis the other day with that exact focus. But in thinking more about it, Ripple isn’t just for keeping runners safe, it’s great for anyone who needs to feel safe and could be a great device to give your kids as you start letting them “have some wings”.

Ripple Safety Device

Here’s what Ripple Safety shared with me that made me say yes, this is something I want with me:

Ripple is not another panic button safety device. It is personal safety for the modern world – solving both emergencies and uncomfortable situations. Unlike all other personal safety devices on the market, Ripple is a tiny (size of a dime), discreet button linked to the user’s smartphone, which can be accessed without anyone noticing. The device connects users to a live, personal backup team so, instead of calling for help, the help calls you.

Trained Ripple professionals handle alerts 24/7. Click the wearable device, and the user will immediately receive a call from the Ripple monitoring team to his or her smartphone. They know who and where the user is, and have resources to immediately dispatch emergency services if the user needs it. If a user requires emergency help, but can’t talk on the phone, he or she can click three times and the monitoring team will  send first responders directly to their location.

How Might Parents Use the Ripple Safety Device?

As a parent of kids who are starting to ask to walk to their friends’ homes, I see so many good things about the Ripple Safety device. While in my experience testing out the product they did accidentally call the service once, it was quick and easy to explain what happened. What I don’t know, because I’m not ready to completely give them freedom, is what happens if Ripple support gets a click from a child and they are not right with their parent? My guess is that they’ll be able to help the parent locate the child. (Or maybe the parents who do this are even more freeing than me and their kid has a phone that Ripple Support would call then escalate to mom and dad if needed?) Lots of thinking, but really loving the option!

Intriguied? You can get Ripple Safety device with one-month of support for less than $20 with Amazon Prime. Click here to add to your cart!

Don’t just take my word for it! Here is a personal testimony about Ripple from another mom.

About Ripple
Ripple Network Technologies, Inc. was co-founded in 2015 by Rees Gillespie, the creator of Ripple, and his lifelong friend, Jaime Gomez. Rees was inspired to create Ripple after his mother, a real estate agent, continuously asked him to call and check on her while attending showings with unknown clients. Inspired by wanting to ensure that everyone had instant access to a support network that can be utilized anytime, anywhere, Rees set out to create a trusted safety solution service that empowers users to live their lives knowing someone always has their back. To learn more about Ripple, visit Ripple Support or follow on Facebook and Instagram.

You can purchase Ripple Safety on Amazon!

A Best Friends Collaboration: Hopster and Sesame Street

In exchange for my honest opinions, the Twins were gifted a subscription to Hopster, a preschool learning and entertainment app. All opinions are 100% our own, as always.

Admittedly, when I first downloaded Hopster onto our iPad, I did so without the kids around and definitely spent some time diving into the games, shows, and songs. It was for research purposes, but it was also oh so fun! I felt comfortable adding this app to our home screen, a place where the Twins know to go for fun learning activities. 

A Best Friends Collaboration: Hopster and Sesame Street

Growing up in the 80’s, I was totally a fan of Sesame Street. Now that it has been showing for over 40 seasons, I’m passing on that love to the ‘lil Burghers. When I heard that there was a learning app that also included Sesame Street, I knew it had to be worth giving a try. We’ve been using Hopster in our house for a little over two months and are happy with the added learning the Twins have been getting. Even the Bigs don’t mind giving up a little bit of ‘building’ on the iPad to spend some time helping their sisters learn.

In January, Hopster (a preschool learning and entertainment app) announced that they were partnering with Sesame Street to bring short episodes of the beloved show to their app:

Available now, the collection includes short-form Sesame Street segments called Global Grover, Count TV and Best Friends.

Relying on its Discovery Learning Map that Hopster developed aligned with a number of early childhood curriculums from around the world, the platform takes pride in featuring shows that are not only fun but have clear educational value. With its focus on research-based early learning, Sesame Street – the longest-running American children’s television series – adds a notable asset to Hopster’s line-up, with new segments that support its mission to help kids learn through the shows they love.

The newly-added Sesame Streetsegments teach children about the world around them, numbers, basic academics and looking after themselves.Global Grover shows kids the diversity of the world we live in, teaching them to respect different languages, cultures and religions; Count TV teaches simple mathematical concepts and counting; Best of Friends offers important lessons presented by Elmo and Abby Cadabby about dealing with emotions, taking turns while playing, bicycle and road safety and more.

Leila Ingram, Head of Learning at Hopster is excited about the educational value the new shows add to the app and comments: “Hopster’s core mission of helping children learn while they play is, in many ways, like so much preschool entertainment content, inspired by the incredibly high standards set by Sesame Street for nearly fifty years. We are honored and excited to collaborate with Sesame Street and to be able to offer its cherished content to our Hopster users.”

“Sesame Workshop is committed to delivering quality educational experiences wherever kids and families learn and play,” said Lili Lampasona, Senior Director of Media Business Development at Sesame Workshop.  “As families’ media habits continue to grow and change, we’re thrilled to partner withHopster, an innovative and child-centered provider of educational preschool entertainment.”

Hopster is offering a limited number of Sesame Street episodes to users free of charge. Additional episodes can be accessed via a free seven-day trial ofHopster’s subscription. Thereafter, for a low monthly fee of $4.99 Hopster subscribers will get access to all the newly-added Sesame Street segments as well as hundreds of further kids’ TV episodes, music, nursery rhymes and learning games.

How We’re Using Hopster

While we love the Sesame Street episodes, Hopster also offers some fun games and songs. Once we’ve downloaded games and songs, they stay on the iPad, so Hopster is something the Twins can play with when we’re on the go, too! Mama admits that the lullabies is the favorite – I sit the iPad outside the Twins’ bedroom door so that they won’t stay up all night playing their games or watching episodes and let it sing them to sleep.

We heart Hopster because they don’t believe in drawing a line between learning and entertainment, there are no ads, and the characters are ones we know and love.

About Hopster

Hopster is a beautifully designed app for the under-sixes, aiming to strike the perfect balance between learning and fun. For one low monthly subscription with no tie-ins, Hopster subscribers get access to one of the largest selections of kid’s TV shows in the UK with stimulating games, nursery rhymes, music and books from HarperCollins.

Hopster can be downloaded free from the App Store and Google Play and can be found on selected smart TVs such as Apple TV, EE TV, Freesat and Roku.

Find out more about Hopster on their website.

2018 EQT Children’s Theater Festival

This May, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival will celebrate 32 years of bringing kid-friendly theater performances from all over the world to our beloved city of Pittsburgh. We will be making our first official trip as a family of six – Mama and Evan got to take in some of the event in 2014 and loved what we experienced. We’re delighted to be partnering up with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to bring you the details on this year’s event!

2018 EQT Children’s Theater Festival

Our kiddos love getting to both watch and be part of the theater, usually impromptu in our living room! This spring, they’ll be getting the chance to experience theater in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and Mama is pretty sure they’re going to be amazed. (PSST! Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to find out how you can WIN tickets!)

Our friends at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust shared some details with us and we hope that you’re as excited as we are!

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces that the EQT Children’s Theater Festival will be held May 17-20, 2018 in the Cultural District in Downtown Pittsburgh. Fostering imagination through high-quality professional theater performances from around the world, attendees can enjoy six featured performances, hands-on activities, and a variety of family-friendly art and music at various indoor and outdoor venues. The cultural experiences offered throughout festival performances can be enjoyed by all ages.

“Every year, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival provides the setting for new and exciting featured artists from around the world to inspire creativity through the arts,” shared Pamela Komar, Director of Theater, Music and Youth Programming and Executive Director of the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Children’s Theater Festival at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The heart and soul of the festival is to encourage discussion and create an opportunity for families to have meaningful conversations. The entire line-up of ticketed performances is interactive—audiences will be delighted to have opportunities to participate during the shows like never before. Everyone’s senses will be delighted as they feel like they are a direct part of the festival magic. Rain or shine, with both indoor and outdoor events, the festival is an easily accessible and rewarding way to spend your time.”

The 32nd EQT Children’s Theater Festival features performances from Italy, Scotland, Canada, the United States, and Australia. The festival offers shows and activities for the youngest theater goers from six months of age to special shows and activities for kids and teens ages 7 and up.

-Information from Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

How to Experience the EQT Children’s Theater Festival

While there are plenty of free activities happening during the Festival, you’ll need tickets ($9 each or in a bundle as low as $6 per show) to attend the featured performances. (These include “Panda’s Home” – ages 4+, “Poggle” – ages 6 months – 4, “The Rainbow Fish” – ages 3-8, “The Young King” – ages 7+, “Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience” – all ages, and “Sunjata Kamalenya: The Story of the True Lion King of Africa” – all ages.) A sensory-friendly performance of “The Rainbow Fish” will be held on Saturday, May 19th at 2:45 PM.

Tickets went on sale on February 15, but there is still time to get your family booked to attend performances! You can get tickets by any of the following:

For a full description of each featured ticketed performance, including performance times, please visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids

The festival grounds will include a variety of food options and vendors, visual art programming at local galleries, free hands-on activities, and free outdoor performances. Festival hours are 10:00 AM-2:00 PM on Thursday, May 17 and 10:00AM-5:00 PM on Friday, May 18 – Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Giveaway: 4 Tickets to Performance of your Choice

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has provided us with 4 vouchers to giveaway to a family. These vouchers are good for one performance during the EQT Children’s Theater Festival from May 17-20, 2018. The winner will get to select which show works best for their family. Our giveaway runs through March 11, 2018.

EQT CHILDREN’S THEATER FESTIVAL – Vouchers for 4 Tickets to a Show

8 Reasons To Celebrate World Pistachio Day

One of our Pappy’s favorite foods is a super healthy snack, the pistachio. We were excited to find out that there’s a day dedicated to them, February 26. In preparation for the day, we were sent information on pistachios as well as some bites to give a try. + *articles may contain affiliate links*

8 Reasons To Celebrate World Pistachio Day

Pistacthios are a delicious treat. We gave the Pistachio + Cranberry Chewy Bites a try this week and found them to be a sweet and (as Isla said) as somewhat spicy chew. Unfortunately, Mama wasn’t able to try, so she has to give the info she got from the Littles on this one! In the meantime, Mama is going to find some whole pistachios to enjoy for tomorrow’s holiday!

Here are reasons why the pistachio is worth celebrating:

 

·       Heart Health- with all the nutrients in pistachios, they are a heart healthy snack you can feel good about eating. Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces of pistachios as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may lower the risk of heart disease.

·       Prebiotics- I know you’ve heard of probiotics, but if you don’t consume a prebiotic before your probiotic, the probiotic is much less effective. Grab a handful of pistachios to keep your gut in tip top shape!

·       Vitamin B6- your body uses vitamin B6 to keep your brain and nervous system healthy, it also helps produce serotonin which will help regulate your sleep schedule.

·       Fiber- this helps you feel full for longer. Load up on fibrous foods like pistachios to help keep your hunger in check!

·       Protein- this helps your body build and repair tissues in addition to contributing to bone and muscle health.

·       Antioxidants- antioxidants help to protect the body from free radical molecules and can protect you from diseases.

·       They have the largest serving size- other snack nuts only have between 10-20 nuts per serving. Grab 49 pistachios for a powerful and satisfying snack!

·       They’re delicious! There are so many yummy ways to eat pistachios including Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites, Naturally Flavored Pistachios, and Roasted Salted Pistachios. Check out www.settonfarms.com for delicious ways to incorporate pistachios into your cooking!

About Pistachio + Cranberry Chewy Bites

Here’s what we were told about the bites:

With two main ingredients, Pistachio + Cranberry Chewy Bites provide healthy snack lovers the amazing benefits of pistachios and cranberries in a delicious and nutritious bite-size bar.  Pistachio Chewy Bites are heart-healthy, 100% all natural, gluten and dairy free, low in sodium, GMO free, vegan and a great on-the-go protein snack.  They also have no cholesterol, zero trans-fat and are a good source of dietary fiber.  These nutrient-rich snack bars provide a great balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for sustainable energy. With 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and healthy fat, the individually wrapped bars are the perfect one-stop shop.

Available in major grocery store chains across the country such as: Bristol Farms, Fairway, Shoprite, A&P, Roundy’s, HEB, Safeway, Ingles, Gelson’s, King Kullen, Earth Fare, Price Chopper, Wegmans, Save Mart, Lucky, Hy-Vee, Shop n’ Save, etc.  They are also available online at Amazon and Puritan.com.

Pricing: 6-Pack $5.99 and 16-Pack $12.50

Website: http://www.pistachiochewybites.com

About Setton Farms

Setton Farms is a family owned business based in California’s Central Valley and is the 2nd largest producer and processor of pistachios in the United States. The business started as a small bakery in Brooklyn in 1959 and expanded to growing pistachios in 1987. They are a vertically integrated company and are able to focus on every step of the pistachio process from harvesting, to processing, to shipping. The processing plant has a 1.7MW solar power system and their post-harvest operations are 100% solar powered. Their products range from plain pistachios to flavored pistachios to their iconic Pistachio Chewy Bites.

 

Giveaway: BabyDam Bathtub Divider

We are still struggling to get the twins to enjoy bathtime. Did you heve this issue with your ‘lil ones? After hearing about the BabyDam Bathtub Divider, we are wondering if it will make bathtime just a wee bit more fun. This is a pretty awesome baby product that keeps water from filling up the whole tub.

If you would like to give this nifty product a try, our friends over at MamatheFox are having a giveaway for one. Scroll down and check it out!

Enter for your chance to win (1) BabyDam Bathtub Divider!

A retail value of $45!

Sponsored by:

BabyDam USA

Available on Amazon!

——————————————-

Hosted by:

MamatheFox

 

Friday Favorites: February 23

*articles may contain affiliate links* It’s been awhile since we’ve shared a Friday Favorites post, but too many good things have crossed our paths and it’s time we start sharing them again!

Friday Favorites: February 23

Eclipse Curtains

November 2016 was pretty scary for us – our ‘lil Ava had an incident with blind cords. When it happened, we removed the blinds and opted to just have some blackout curtains in their room. Now that the spring weather is almost back and the sun is coming up earlier, we’re finding that it’s a real blessing.

blackout curtains The curtains in their room are currently just a boring gray – selected before we knew what the babies would be – so I’ve been thinking that having a set of fun curtains might be a better option for them. I stumbled on Eclipse Curtains’ kids line and sort of fell in love. They are blackout curtains with noise reducing capabilities and in super fun kid-friendly prints. 

That jungle print would have been perfect in their nursery, but now that they’re older, I’m digging the princess print even more! Admittedly, now I want to freshen all the kids’ curtains – wouldn’t you? Eclipse Curtains are available at Target and Kohl’s and come in various prints, styles, lengths, and colors. Panels start at $5.79. 

 

 

Disney on Ice: Reach for the Stars

Last night we went to opening night of Reach for the Stars from Disney on Ice. While Arianna might be a tad *old* for it, the other three kiddos LOVED IT. Evan got to see his favorite – Beast – and Isla’s favorite – Rapunzel – showed up, too! Ava is so in love with Mickey that none of the princesses really stuck out any differently than the others…and Arianna just might have cheered up and sung her way through all of Elsa and Anna’s skit.

You can still catch Disney on Ice here in Pittsburgh through Sunday. More details are available in our original post about the event.

Mom’s Running Stuff

Mom has been running (and sharing about over on mrsgregwillis.com) and making some amazing progress, but that doesn’t come without aches and pains. She’s been foam rolling and applying Deep Blue (om) and even took an Aqua Arthritis class at the Y this week. We are pretty sure that reading Peak Performance did the trick. =) Before we know it, it will be Marathon Weekend! The Bigs are doing the Kids Marathon, Mom is doing the 5k then Half, and Dad is doing the relay. Yay, running fam!

Backyard Chickens: 3 Best New Chicken Books for 2018

Fact or Poop – you can tell this mama lives with four kids, because when I saw this title of a book to help with raising backyard chickens, I couldn’t help but giggle! While we aren’t {{YET}} allowed to raise chickens, our good friends happen to have a popular chicken business, so I was excited to come across this giveaway hosted by Mom Blog Society. Good luck!

3 Best New Chicken Books for 2018: Giveaway

Welcome to this giveaway.  One winner will receive the 3 books mentioned below which are a $50 value.  If you haven’t read about them you can read the review here.

  • Epic Eggs: The Poultry Enthusiast’s Complete and Essential Guide to the Most Perfect Food.
  • The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens. 
  • Chicken Fact Or Chicken Poop: The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to the Facts and Fictions You Need To Know To Keep Your Flock Healthy and Happy. 

This giveaway will go from 2.2-15 11:59pm est.
You must be a resident of the US and 18 years or older to enter
The winner must respond to the winning email within 24 hours in order to qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:
We reserve the right to make revisions, to cancel, or suspend this contest for any reason. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. Mom Blog Society (and any other blog participating) is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio

*articles may contain affiliate links* Arianna was extremely excited to give CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio a try while the kids had some snow days this week. She is our creative kid, so giving her the opportunity to make her own jewelry was pretty cool.

CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio

If your child loves creating their own jewelry pieces, the CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio is a great set for them. The one we got to test out was “Sweet Treats” but there are other themes (like “Fashion Icons”). Each kit has over 100 pieces for making colorful sparkling charms.

The set is recommended for 6+. Arianna worked on her set far from the twins because these pieces are definitely tiny. Dad supervised, but the charms were easy enough for her to put together with some patience. (When you put the charms together, there is water-activated fusing materials on the charms that requires one-minute+ holding the charm together, then it must dry for about 20 minutes.)

Once the charms are created, they can be added to bracelets or necklaces (in the kit) or displayed on the drying stand.

Love it? Get your CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio here now! 

See the Studio in Action!

Arianna did a quick video to show what you do with this set. She has made a few charms so far, but is very cautious to keep this away from her little sisters.

Doesn’t it seem like a fun toy? Definitely brings out the creative side.

The CharMinis are available on Amazon with an MSRP of $24.99. Add-on packs are also available.

What is your child creating? What do you think of the CharMinis?

Teach My Giveaway

*articles may contain affiliate links* As part of the Mom Blog Society, I’m excited to bring you this giveaway for Teach My – a way to bring fun learning activities into your home! Heidi, take it away!

Teach My Giveaway

Teach My Giveaway

This great giveaway is sponsored by Teach My and hosted by Life with Heidi.

A few years ago I introduced you to Teach My, a company dedicated to making fun activities for children to help them learn. Take a look at the previous review to learn about the Teach My Baby, Teach my Toddler and Teach My Preschooler sets. Now the sets are getting more detailed by talking about Baby Animals, The Solar System, Time and Continents and Animals. But now they have a new kit and it is designed perfectly for Kindergarten aged students, you can check it out here.

Education is one of the most important things in life and you can help your toddlers get a head start with these great kits! I love that they have a telling time kit because it is one of the hardest concepts for students to grasp especially in this digital age. You can never start early enough giving your child or children the love for learning and setting them up for success that will last a lifetime!

Teach My Giveaway

 

Teach My is a Women Owned company all about helping parents spend quality time with their children through educational play. Started by Christy Cook when her son was a toddler, she realized the need for an all-inclusive educational kit that parents could work on with their children. These products teach babies, toddlers and preschoolers the basic skills, things like; the alphabet, colors, shapes, numbers, reading and even math! These products can be found in nationwide retailers including Walmart, Toys R Us, Target.com and online on Amazon.

Did you know Teach My Kindergartner is the newest addition to the Teach My Learning Kits? Check out what is has inside:

Teach My Kindergartener is our newest all-in-one learning kit designed for ages 4+. The kit contains unique and coordinated tools to teach spelling, money, telling time and the year. Your kindergartener can master 100 spelling words, counting money, analog and digital time as well as days of the week, months of the year, dates, years, weather and seasons. Each set in the kit is fully coordinated to encourage matching and repetition. Teach My Kindergartener is designed to be screen-free, one-on-one learning time. The kit aims to promote school readiness and a head start for kindergarten, in just 20 minutes a day.

 

 

Go to Teach My site to learn more about this new kit. Use the Store Locator to find Teach My Kits near you!

ENTER TO WIN!

One lucky reader will win a $50 Gift Card to Teach My!

The giveaway is open to Continental US only, 18+

The giveaway ends 1/25 at 11:59p est

Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gym Wear for the Active Parent

*articles may contain affiliate links* In order to keep up with the ‘lil Burghers, the mama behind this site has to have gym wear that keeps up with her workouts. I was introduced to a solution through Arctic Cool.

Gym Wear for the Active Parent

Launched in 2016, Arctic Cool is a line of athletic wear. It is the fastest growing apparel company that incorporates cooling technology into its apparel. This clothing line is powered by HydroFreeze X, a fiber-based, cooling management system. HydroFreeze X moves moisture away from the skin and lowers the temperature of the fabric so you can keep active and keep cool.

Admittedly, I’m a science geek, so I loved learning more about how this technology from Arctic Cool works:

Arctic Cool developed Hydrofreeze X Cooling Technology for dynamic sweat wicking, dispersion, and supplemental evaporative cooling that occurs between the fabric and the skin. Hydrofreeze serves as the best of both fabric worlds while stepping onto a higher plane of apparel science.

The technology functions by using your body’s natural cooling process during high-energy activities. Sweat activates the fabric and is initially wicked away from your skin. Hydrofreeze then disperses the moisture throughout the clothing fibers, keeping all areas equally dry.

A cooling process occurs as a result of air moving across the surface of the fabric and interacting with the elements (such as wind) in motion. The physically heat-tempering result is tangibly felt across the surface of your skin and consequently regulates your body temperature.

This system keeps you hydrated by reducing sweat by keeping your body cooler. The moisture is expelled from the fabric during natural evaporation that occurs by interacting with the air.

My Thoughts on Arctic Cool

As a mom who runs and does CrossFit, I am no stranger to sweat. When I gave Arctic Cool a try, I was happy to find that my hot mess look wasn’t as bad as normal. Their gym wear is also stylish and not restrictive, which really helps with the self-confidence I’ve been building back up. For sizing, I did have to go with the XL – follow the size chart when you purchase!

gym wear

You can check out more about this techy gym wear (the apparel line includes T-shirts, tank tops, and accessories for men and women) on the company’s website.