Jun 22, 2016

Kinsa Smart Thermometer Review


I cannot tell you how many thermometers I have purchased.  It boggles the mind, and I feel like next to the sock monster in the dryer, there must be some little sprite who likes to break and hide thermometers.  What is that about?  One day recently I was reading online and POOF!  This magical thermometer appeared.  Its called the Kinsa.

I felt like I needed to find out how well it works (you know, for research and all). And YOU GUYS ITS AMAZING.


1. It is fast

Results in 10 seconds


2. There is a waiting bubble game

Sounds odd?  But it is kiddo goodness.  While they are waiting for the ten seconds to end, there is a bubble popping game that appears on the screen.  I played it, you know, for technical reasons.


3. Every family member has a profile

After you input your family data, each member has a color and their name.


4. The profile keeps track of temperatures

Yup.  You heard that right.  It remembers each person's temperature reading.  No more trying to remember what kid number ones temp was at 3 am.  Never mind when you have more than one with a fever that you are trying to keep track of!  I can't tell you how many times I have tried to record data on my phone in the middle of the night.  #gamechanger


5. There's an app for that

Apple and Android.  Super easy.


6. Installation is easy. Christy proof even.

They have step by step instructions, with videos on how to install it.  For those, like me, who have trouble getting things to work, it is pure genius.


7. Track symptoms and medications

I don't even have to think about it.  Obviously the littler one will not be able to articulate what she is feeling, but the obvious symptoms I can keep track of!


8.  Using your location, it can tell you what things are going around the school.  

As much as I don't look forward to cold and flu season returning, it is awesome to have a tool that will actually help me during the dreaded sick days!  The best part, is it isn't very expensive.  I found it on Amazon!







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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Stained with Style's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Stained with Style is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  Stained with Style is also a participant in the Ting and Instant Pot affiliates programs

Jun 15, 2016

Pasadena California, a Fun Family Destination!



There a million reasons why Pasadena, California is  a great family destination.  From the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, to the fun restaurants, and the ability to enjoy the mild, California weather and outdoor recreation all year-it is a fabulous place to visit!

Where to go:


Head to a Museum!  There are so many to choose from:

*The Norton Simon- A fantastic private collection with everything from Monet and Rodin to the more current works of Bonnard.  My oldest daughter was very excited to see Monet, as they have been learning about him at school. To make visits with the kids a bit easier, they offer a kid friendly audio tour for $3. Admission costs $12 for adults and is free for active duty military and children.

*Kidspace- Kidspace is a fantastic day of fun for the kids.  They have newly renovated, and you can TELL by the quality and the fun! With everything from climbing structures that span the height of the building to outdoor water play areas and rock climbing walls, there is something for every age group.  Kidspace can get very crowded, so it might be best to plan an afternoon visit when the school groups leave. Admission is $11.00 for everyone ages one and older.


*The Wrigley House- The Wrigley Mansion is the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Owned by the chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr, it was donated to the city in 1958.  Tours are free of charge and offered each Thursday at 2 pm and 3 pm.

Wander in a Park!  

But not just any park...The Huntington.

*The Huntington Museum and Gardens were my unexpected favorites and our Pasadena MUST DO!  The Gardens have everything from a Children's Garden with water features and kid sized plant hideaways, to indoor tropical gardens, and a Japanese Garden that was simply breathtaking. The gardens offer something for everyone.  Plan to spend most of the day and enjoy lunch in one of the cafes.

Shopping! 

Head over to Old Pasadena for a great outdoor shopping experience.  There are many choices from the hard to find and fun like Madewell, to the ever popular H&M, and even some pop up clothing shops.  You can browse in one of the biggest Anthopologie stores I have ever seen!

Eating!

Just a couple of blocks away from the shopping mecca in Old Pasadena, you will find one of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena- La Grande Orange. Set in a train station built in 1934, this charming cafe is extremely family friendly.  If you eat in the cafe, I highly recommend the shrimp ceviche.  Along with the cafe, LGO also boasts an excellent olive wood fired pizza kitchen.  You must try it!

Another must do in Pasadena is Carmela Ice Cream Company.  Featuring handmade ice cream, organic dairy and farmers' market produce, it is a delicious feel-good treat.  


I hope you enjoy some of our Pasadena, California favorites and I would love to hear more about yours!

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Stained with Style's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Stained with Style is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  Stained with Style is also a participant in the Ting and Instant Pot affiliates programs.

Jun 7, 2016

Halo Big Kids SleepSack, Need it or Leave it?



I am a big fan of the SleepSack.  I have been using them for years.  When the Honeybadger was an infant, we used the ones with the built in swaddler!   I really like them for the baby toddler transition, let me tell you why.

THEY CAN'T GET THEIR LEGS WIDE ENOUGH TO STRADDLE THE CRIB RAIL!  That's right folks, they have to figure out another Houdini way to get out of the crib, and believe me the sleep sack delays it. This is what she was wearing as seen on Amazon:



The next phase is the full on running/climbing toddler.  What the heck do you do with them?  I was worried about Belle falling on slippery surfaces if she was still in her traditional SleepSack, and so it made its use around the house limited.

When we were putting together our giveaway of baby must have's, I was chatting with the Halo representative, and she asked if I would like to try (and review) the toddler version (they call it a Halo SleepSack Big Kids).  What is THIS?  I was intrigued and of course said yes.

The long and short version is that it is the same thing but with feet.  For sleep you can safely tuck little feet inside the sack, but if they are running around the house brushing teeth (or wrecking havoc), they won't slip and fall!


Sold.  Love it.

You can get it on Amazon, in a variety of fabric and colors.  I just love shopping that I can do on my couch.



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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Stained with Style's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Stained with Style is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Jun 3, 2016

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

HI everyone!  While I am busy flying and working in California, I enlisted my friend Jen Bosen to help keep the good times rolling.  She came up with this very simple, and delicious muffin recipe that is sure to keep even the pickiest eater happy.

Do me a favor and send her some love, you can find her on her blog, Jen Bosen: Beauty in imperfection. Humor in chaos. Real life, on purpose.   She is awesome, you won't be disappointed.


These oatmeal applesauce muffins have been a staple at our house for ages now. They are easy and forgiving, I always have the ingredients on hand, they freeze really well, and my kids will devour them. Plus doesn't "oatmeal applesauce" sound hearty and healthy?





Be sure to read the recipe all the way through before starting;  since the oats need to soak and the egg needs to be room temperature, you have to plan ahead just a little.  I usually mix up the oats and buttermilk and get out the egg, then take a shower or do some laundry or even run a short errand while I wait for them to soak and warm up.  I've even forgotten I was making muffins for a few hours and come back to finish them much later than I intended with no problems.






One bowl. One spoon. Twelve tasty oatmeal applesauce muffins. And now you're all set for a wholesome, filling breakfast and snack tomorrow!





Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins adapted from Simple Bites


Ingredients:

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup oats
1 egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup applesauce*
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
nutmeg and cinnamon to taste*
1 cup flour
EITHER 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds OR 1 additional tablespoon of flour
1 cup cinnamon chips (optional)*

*I use my mom's homemade applesauce, which is fairly sweet and already spiced, so I use just 1 Tbsp of sugar and add less than 1/2 tsp each of nutmeg and cinnamon. When I include cinnamon chips, as shown in the pictures, I leave out the extra cinnamon and just use nutmeg. You may have to try a few times with your favorite applesauce before you figure out how much sugar and spice you like.

In a medium bowl, stir together buttermilk and oats. Let soak for at least one hour. If you keep your eggs in the fridge, this is also a good time to get out an egg so it can warm up.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin papers.

Add egg, applesauce, and brown sugar to oats and stir until combined. Add salt, baking soda,  baking powder, and spices and stir well. Gently fold in flour until just moistened. Fold in cinnamon chips, if using.

Scoop evenly into prepared muffin tin. Bake 11-12 minutes, or until muffin tops spring back lightly when touched. Cool slightly and serve. Store extras in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. (Or you can freeze the leftovers! Reheat by microwaving for about 20 seconds.)



If you want to find more of Jen, you can also find her here:
Instagram: @jenbosen
Twitter: @jenbosen






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May 18, 2016

Keep Your Kids Happy & Cool in the Car Seat



I was recently asked this question from a Mommy board in Hawaii!  "How do I keep my baby cool in the car seat?"  That isn't an easy question to answer, & it's the same for the winter.  First I want to say...

Aloha ladies!


Second, most of those after market parts made for car seats are just not safe.  Anything that gets between your child and the seat & or the straps is a NO.  Just don't do it.  Any after market parts made by your car seat manufacturer *may* be ok, but some CPST's don't even recommend them.  They do crash test those that they make with the seats they manufacture, so you can feel fairly confident about that.

Bummer news, over.


Here comes the better news, there are a few things that might help: (Just to be sure, I checked with the car seat guru, to make sure they were safe.)  You can click on the pictures to go to every Mom's favorite store, Amazon.

1. The noggle.  It attaches to the vent and allows the airflow to be directed to your child.  



2. A Sun Shade Cover for your seat (only when the seat is empty-duh)




3.  An Ice Pack- put it in the seat before you travel, remove when you are getting ready to go!





4.  Evaporative Towel



5.  A Water Misting Fan- this won't work for babies, but this would keep the older kiddos happy AND cool!






I forsee a lot of cool, happy kiddos. Let me know how it works!




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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Stained with Style's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Stained with Style is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  Stained with Style is also a participant in the Ting and Instant Pot affiliates programs

May 9, 2016

EZPZ Review!



If any of you remember back to a while ago, I was nerding it up for the annual ABC Kids Expo.  It is an annual trade show in Vegas where anyone who is anyone in the baby/kid world displays and finds new stuff.  I remembered seeing this little beauty, the EZPZ, there and watching some of my favorite (fangirl moment) baby gear peeps geek out about this product too.  I actually squealed like a little girl when FedEx delivered the box.  I dropped everything and raced for my camera.  The packaging was cute with a very nice note from the founder. I even loved the notecard, have I mentioned my obsession with beautiful paper products?  No?  Well, add it to the list


Onto the EZPZ attack!  I ripped it out of the container and flopped it onto the counter.  It sticks.  Really.  All of those videos that show people unable to pick it up are TRUE.  It is removed when you pick up the edges.  I had the four year old try it, and she couldn't pick it up. At this point the entire family was watching.  Next, I had the two year old try it.  Yes, after watching me he figured out how to lift it up.  That actually doesn't bother me too much, as he is learning to use utensils and manners, and the EZPZ is a really good non slip placemat with the bowl attached. 



She was so excited that she matched!  Lol.  


You can see that even though he knows how to pick it up, he ate very well out of it.  And by very well I mean the yogurt, not the collards.


For a learning baby, like Belle, this is great.  Unfortunately it isn't small enough for the high chair tray, but on any booster style high chair that pulls up to the table (or one with a tray that is 15 inches wide) it will work great!  It's a new company, and I would expect to see lots of new designs in the very near future.

At this point I decided I should probably read the literature provided on the pretty paper, instead of flinging it aside to get to the toy (I mean my children's new placemat).  My stealthily crunchy heart squealed again when I noticed that the EZPZ is made of silicone.  No plastic.  It's also phthalate and lead free, dishwasher and - SAY WHAT!?!? -  Microwave safe.  You heard me correctly: microwave and dishwasher safe.  It retails for $24.99, and they are accepting orders now at EZPZ and major retailers like amazon.

Go getcha one; it rocks.  Just in case you want to try one before you can buy one, I will be hosting a EZPZ GIVEAWAY in the near future (when I reach 1000 followers on Facebook).  Keep a look out on my Facebook page, follow me by email and any of my accounts, and I will give you plenty of notice.  Heck, if you live nearby, I may even bring it to you if you win!


xo,
Christy

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Stained with Style's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Stained with Style is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  Stained with Style is also a participant in the Ting and Instant Pot affiliates programs.

Ramblings of a Wanna-B Crafty Person



I want to be crafty and goodness knows I have tried.  I have made curtains (with a LOT of help), countless wreaths, and made some pretty cute birthday parties.The problem is that I am just not very crafty.

I try really hard and I follow excellent directions, mostly, but I basically describe myself as a #PinterestAlwaysFail.  That means I am always scouring Pinterest for the next idea that I will love, but it rarely comes up to snuff.

In my wanderings I have come across party planning themes that make no sense to me.



1. Bedroom furniture outdoors. 


 This party is gorgeous.  I love the colors, but I couldn't help wondering?  Who the hell wants to drag the chest of drawers into the yard?

2.  Backdrops.  


I think we can all agree that they look stunning for framing a party.  But really.  How and why in the name of all that's holy would I assemble a backdrop in my yard for a party?  Especially a free standing on like this?

3. Royal Icing Cookies


No one will argue that they are impressive.  The video tutorials alone make me sweat at the skill and time that each cookie takes. I can hardly get dinner on the table without at least one kid holding onto my ankles and crying.  When am I supposed to do this?

Tiny little bottles of milk that have sweet little labels, lovingly wrapped around each one.  Thank you, party planner blogger for the printable to do it, but I wonder, WHAT?  Will it fit on a plastic water bottle, because what would I do with glass milk bottles at a toddlers birthday party?!



I am only giving you four examples, but really there have to be more.  Has anyone run across another that is crazy gorgeous, but CRAZY?

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with Stained with Style's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Stained with Style is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  Stained with Style is also a participant in the Ting and Instant Pot affiliates programs.