In addition to the yahoo group, I've created a blog to go with it. We are posting our challenges and our great finds on it. So, even if you have no interest in signing up for our yahoo challenge group, you might LOVE our blog. Please stop by and leave some nice comments or cool ideas you might want to share. (as usual, NO FLAMES please.) See blog below - link or click on photo to be taken to blog!
What the heck am I talking about...
"Before everyone had digital cameras, we all used film. And X-rays, being a type of light, could destroy undeveloped film, ruining once-in-a-lifetime vacation photos. And even as the X-ray machines at airport security grew safer for all
but the fastest-speed films, travelers continued keep their cameras and film safely out of range. It was understandable.
This habit has followed us into the digital age. Many travelers, especially those who don't fly regularly, are wary about running electronic items like laptops and iPods through the X-ray machine for fear it will screw up their hard drives.
Fear not. My laptop, which contains my checkbook, stored digital photos and previous issues of this newsletter, has survived scores of trips through the X-ray gantlet with no ill effects.
But before you sigh with relief, make sure you’re not too close to the security station metal detector. Metal detectors operate with electromagnetic energy, with CAN affect the data on your hard drive. Make sure your digital devices go AROUND the beeping portal, not through it. And keep that hand-held metal detector from waving too close to them.
My advice is to put them in the bin that runs through the X-ray machine. "
I really, really like this one. I think? Thoughts?
Made of soft yet sturdy foam, it has a tapered bottom that fits into the cup holder of most cars to keep your cell phone, pens, pager, keys or other small items easily accessible. The cell phone compartment even has an opening in the base for connecting your charger cord. Tapers from 4½ x 4" to 4½ x 2½". (3 oz)
Airport Gate Check Stroller Bag:
A J.L. Childress Co. item
Gate check air travel bag protects strollers from dirt and germs
Bright color and large graphics assist in quick return to gate
Compact; stuffs easily into attached pouch
Fits most umbrella-style strollers
Covers entire stroller and secures quickly with drawstring lock
Easy-care nylon with webbed handle
Wipes clean with mild soap and damp cloth
Not recommended for airline luggage check
Dimensions: 43" x 12" x 12"
Purchase Online only
This is TOTALLY perfect. But aren't they all. They just keep getting better...but I think this one is the best. Crap. I guess I'll pick up a couple more hours at work so I can buy this one!! (click photos to enlarge)
The Happy Traveler Family Gear Travel Bag:
A J.L. Childress Co. item
Travel bag for organizing baby and parents' items
Includes insulated three-bottle pocket and food jar pocket
Includes 11" x 28" changing pad, wet-sac and EZ-View pocket in diapering section
Includes two padded pockets with five CD pockets to hold DVD or CD player
Includes magazine pocket
Includes additional pockets for cell phone, money, pens, keys and more
Features padded carry handles and adjustable shoulder strap
Meets airline carry-on requirements
Dimensions: 12"H x 19"W x 8"D
Wheeled Pilot Case (23" x 13.5" x 7.5") includes Printed Microfiber Exterior, Printed Tafetta Interior, Large Front Zipper Pocket, Luggage ID Tag, Mesh Storage Area and Removable Plastic Pouch
GT101 Express. Does anyone have this little gadget? It's so cool. I guess if you have a family of more than two it's not as cool as it can be for a family of 2. It does everything it says it's supposed to on the infomercial. (just don't buy it on tv) They kill you with shipping charges. I think I got mine at Boscov's and let me tell you. It's so convenient. These are Stuffed Chicken Breasts. I also make lots of Pizza Pockets, Omlets and desserts.
7.1MP Digital ELPH Camera - Silver
Model: SD1000 SKU: 8266164
3x optical/4x digital zoom; 2.5" TFT-LCD; DIGIC III processor; slim design; direct-print capability, 9-point autofocus with face detect and single autofocus point; digital macro mode focuses as close as 1.2"; Built-in auto flash with red-eye reduction, flash-on and flash-off modes, Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-4L), Memory SD.
Sony - Cyber-shot
Model: DSC-W80 SKU: 8233681
3x optical/2x digital zoom; 2.5" color LCD monitor; Super Steady Shot picture stabilization; Face-detection technology, direct-print capability, Built-in auto flash with flash on, flash off, Lithium-ion battery NP-BG1 (included), Memory Stick DuoMemory Stick PRO Duo.
To take a thermos to China or not! That is the question...
Thermos - YES
1. Because you have to boil water anyway, the thermos was a nice, sterile place to keep water. I would heat bottled water in the hot pot until boiling, pour it into the thermos, and cap it. I had hot water for bottles the rest of the day (mixing it w/room temp bottled water). It was also great for the stressful/screaming late night wake up - didn't have to fumble around with the hot pot while I was half asleep and freaking out. I used it after we got home - very convenient!
2. I relied heavily on my thermos. I used a stainless steal one and it was wonderful. I could boil water for the bottles and use it all day to give my daughter a warm bottle. It didn't take much room up either as we filled it with socks, etc on the way to China and then I kept it in my backpack after receiving our daughter. I just think it made life a lot easier.
3. They don't all contain glass like they used to...and the one family in our group who did not bring one could not find one in China. They were fortunate that the rest of us brought them, and one of us was usually able to share with them. Despite this, many people will probably post, stating how easy they are to purchase in China...
4. If your baby ends up wanting hot bottles, and you want to be able to go on longer excursions while still being able to make bottles on the fly, a thermos is very useful.
5. When we were bused into Shaimen island each morning, and were stuck there until the bus picked us up in the afternoon. It was really nice having a thermos of hot water to make bottles wherever we happened to be.
6. The usefulness of a thermos varies with the baby, parent, and location.
Thermos - NO
1. If your baby doesn't demand hot or really warm bottles, you don't need a thermos.
2. If you will never be far from your hotel room, a restaurant, or other source of hot water, you don't need a thermos.
3. I never used the Thermos, but that was mainly because my daughter was no longer on formula. It was my understanding that a Thermos was intended for use in keeping formula warm (although it can obviously be used to keep milk or juice cool too.)
Okay, so, I am totally into the bento boxes lunch thing. I think it's so cool and why do I always have to go to Korean BBQ to get my lunch like this. I want some bento boxes for meals at home! Can't seem to find them on the internet...plus, I want white ones! If anyone finds any online, please let me know.
With that being said, I found the next best thing! I must get one of these and try it out...
I just think these are sooo cool. Click on any photo to go to their site. If Laptop Lunches is reading this, send me a couple/discount so I can afford to buy one! :) Pretty please!
Study finds a significant number of children's products are resold online years after being pulled off the shelves.
By Stephanie Gottschlich
Sunday, August 19, 2007
DAYTON — With the recent recall of more than 10 million toys made in China, parents may feel the threat posed by those toys is over.
What parents don't know is that recalled children's products are often resold in the world's largest yard sale — eBay — and winding up back in kids' hands.
A new study by a University of Dayton child psychologist found a significant number of recalled toys, safety devices, bassinets and baby walkers at online auction sites years after those products had been recalled, putting other kids at risk of injuries or death.
"These things resurface in secondhand markets or are recycled" as hand-me-downs, said Keri Brown Kirschman, assistant professor of child psychology specializing in pediatric injury prevention. "When we go to buy, or sell, or donate, we're not thinking of recalls that happened two or three years ago," she said.
Kirschman's research didn't deal with the 2007 recalls, but illustrates how responding to those recalls now will keep the Mattel and Fischer-Price toys out of circulation in the future.
While eBay has a policy prohibiting the sale of recalled products, enforcement is lax and products are still getting through that safety net, according to Kirschman.
Parents — as buyer or seller — need to be more diligent in verifying that those products weren't previously recalled, Kirschman said.
"If you think there's a potential for a recall, if you're in doubt — leave it out," Kirschman said.
This month alone we’ve seen… toys made with lead, baby bibs and rattles made with lead, toothpaste containing poison, phone batteries, defective tires, pet food tainted with fillers that killed many pets, contaminated ginger and seafood…all from China. China seems to always be about saving face and do not like to be disgraced. But there are some unscrupulous businessmen out there. The manager of the toy factory hung himself the other day yet supposedly it was his best friend that sold him the led based paint. How tragic.
Now many of you might want to stop reading here. We will surely disagree and I’m in no mood for rude or ignorant comments. This is my personal thoughts on the matter.
Anyway, it is a scary thing that is happening. Really scary. Different countries have different standards of production. China has xxxcheap labor, they don’t have the same pollution regulations as us and the factory conditions, from what I’ve heard can be horrific. The only way to truly control the output of a product is for the US to produce it or have a US inspection upon the arrival of the outsourced products. The US out sources because they can get cheap labor. Last night on the news they were saying that for one barbie style doll, not the brand name Barbie, but it cost $1 for Chinese production of that doll and here in the US it would be $8 per doll. I know that business’ are in the game to make a profit…I get that. Me, as a consumer, I’m in the market to make my dollar stretch as far as it can. So, I am guilty for supporting all of the products that come from China. I am flat out GRATEFUL for Walmart. By outsourcing, I can minimize my financial worries.
On the flip side, at what cost do I trade my financial issues for the health of my daughter-to-be, my furry baby, family and friends. Of course, I choose my family and friends.
Because I choose family & friends, do I boycott out sourced products?
My answer, now, is NO. First of all, the US will never stop out sourcing. As long as there is demand for it…it won’t stop. As long as the economy is what it is…we will demand it. What I would like to see is some sort of new manufacturing agreements and a form of US inspection of products upon arrival if there isn’t any currently in place. I do believe the US companies that are outsourcing should bear the brunt of the responsibility. I hope that China realizes that basic human safety is at stake. I hope that the US continues to strive for safe products. I’ve signed up for google’s recall alert system and I went out to Lowe’s and bought a bunch of lead testing kits.
The free eNewsletter for the readers of BABY BARGAINS
Baby Bargains book withdraws recommendation for certain plastic baby bottles
(BOULDER, CO) The authors of BABY BARGAINS, the country’s best-selling guide to baby products (700,000 copies in print), today called for parents to stop using baby bottles and sippy cups made of polycarbonate plastic.
Polycarbonate bottles are made from a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). In an article in a peer-reviewed medical journal last week, a group of 38 scientists said BPA caused a significant health risk.
Specifically, parents should stop using Avent’s Natural Feeding Bottle and Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow (or any bottle made of polycarbonate plastic)---these products were previously recommended by BABY BARGAINS.
See why they are dangerous. Here is the full article.
Click here to see pictures of polycarbonate bottles:
Here are the alternatives that are BPA-free:
• Use glass bottles. Obviously, there is a risk of injury to baby or mom if the bottle is dropped, so glass isn’t a perfect alternative.
• Use bottles made of opaque plastic. These bottles (made of polyethylene or polypropylene) do not contain BPA.
• Consider a BPA-free plastic bottle. Born Free makes a BPA-free clear plastic bottle (Newbornfree.com) sold at Whole Foods. But these cost about $10 each, twice the price of Avent bottles.
• Use a drop-in system. For example the Playtex Drop-in System is BPA free (that is, the bottle liners do not contain BPA). Avent’s Tempo liners are another example.
Q. Is there a way to tell if a bottle has BPA?
A. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy. Here’s a general guide:
• Bottles that have a #7 on their recycling label most likely are made of polycarbonate (and contain BPA).
• Bottles that have a #2, #4 , #5 are made of polyethylene or polypropylene—these do NOT have BPA.
Q. What about sippy cups? Breast pump collection bottles?
A. Basically, the same advice applies: avoid those made of polycarbonate plastic. Sippy cups made of opaque plastic are fine. Again, check the bottom of the cup for its recycling number (#7 should be avoided). For breast pump collection bottles, consider BPA-free bottles (such as those from Medela).
We will continue to blog about this subject. Check out our blogs here and here:
This sounds interesting!!!
1 stick butter or margarine (or1/2c. peanut butter)
4 oz. cream cheese
2/3c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1lb. powdered sugar
Cover a paper plate with foil and set aside.
Here are some tips for using these little ziplock bags wisely:
Label your bags: Using a Sharpie marker, write the contents on the bag. My vitamin bags aren’t labeled. If they weren’t so brightly colored, I might mistake them for a different pill. So many pills look the same that it’s safest to label the bags.
Label the instructions: If it is a drug you’re not familiar with, it’s essential that you include the dosage and instructions (like I did on the Mylanta bag shown).
Do not use these for prescription drugs, especially if you travel on airplanes. The TSA is searching bags and if they find prescription drugs that are not in their original prescription bottle, it could delay you or worse, you could end up investigated for drug charges.
Replace them often: These bags are cheap and come 200 in a tiny box. If you start to have a little bit of wear on the bag, replace it. There’s no point in letting them wear out completely and having loose pills all over your purse or toiletry bag.
Since I have found this package of Bagettes, I haven’t had to buy another. I only used about 15 bags total, so a box of 200 is basically a lifetime’s supply. I think I spent four bucks for that box, so it’s a great deal. I wish Amazon.com sold them so I could link you to them, but I did find them online in a couple of places:
JoAnn Arts and Crafts - Bagettes Heavy Duty Reclosable Bags