Review: How Jenzy Makes Shoe Shopping Easier

Let’s face it, shopping for shoes for your kids can be downright painful. From finding shoes that fit to ones they actually like, it’s more like an Olympic sport than a fun afternoon out!

When you use one of those funky shoe measuring devices in the shoe store, you may often wonder if you’re even doing it right. Sure it seems like you’re measuring right, but then you go to put a pair of shoes in that size on your child’s foot and it doesn’t fit.

But, didn’t you just measure it?

By now your child has starting moaning and groaning and you’re just about ready to leave the shoe store without any shoes.

This little scenario has happened to me more than I like to admit. That’s why I was excited to try out the new Jenzy app.

What’s Jenzy?

Jenzy is a new app that will help size your child’s foot right at home. Once it gets the size, it will then recommend several shoes in that size. The shoes that are recommended are all well-made, high-quality shoes so you won’t be getting a pair of shoes that are bad for your child’s feet.

There are no funky measuring tools, no dragging your kids from store to store to find the right shoe in the right size. Just size, shop, and wait for the shoes to ship and arrive at your door.

I used the app to measure my daughter’s foot. I simply followed the instructions on the app that required me to snap a photo and use a credit card to help measure her foot. A few minutes later and with a few adjustments, the Jenzy app told me my daughter’s shoe size and then recommended several shoes in her size.

It was amazing that the app sized it perfectly to her current shoe size. Now, it was time to shop. We simply browsed through the choices until she found a pair that she liked, which really didn’t take long. With a few clicks, the shoes were ordered and were soon on their way.

Once the shoes arrived, she tried them on and they fit perfectly. She actually liked them too and said they were comfortable! Score for mom!  We now had a new pair of shoes, sized perfectly without any arguments or drama. When was the last time this happened? Oh yeah, never!

The Jenzy app took the stress and aggravation out of shoe shopping with my kids. You can’t put a price tag on that! I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Jenzy app again, especially when it comes to back to school shoe shopping! Anything that makes my life easier and avoids child drama means a good day all-around.

*I was compensated with a pair of shoes to complete this review. All opinions are my own. 

 

You Know It’s the End of the School Year When…

If you’re a mom you don’t need to look at the calendar to know it’s the end of the school year. There are many signs, some obvious, others more subtle, to let you know your children are about to be home for the next two months or more. In case you didn’t realize, that’s 56 days, perhaps more depending on when your kids are getting out and when they go back.

That’s a lot of trips to the liquor store!

Take a look at these signs and how to deal with them to survive this crazy time of year.

Your child tells you his shirt is too short when he raises his hand in class. If your child says this you can simply tell him to just stop raising his hand. It’s an easy fix.

Your child tells you her pants are getting too short. There’s a simple answer to this one too. They’re not too short. They’re actually these really cool new type of pants that get shorter as it gets warmer so you can wear them as capris.

Your child tells you there are no more potato chips to take to school with his sandwich. Show him where the potatoes are and tell him to improvise. Wait, I still have to make sandwiches??

Your child brings home tests and papers from October. It’s unclear whether they were in their desk for this long or if the teacher just got around to giving them back now. Either way you no longer need a table cloth for your kitchen table because it is now covered with dittos and tests. Somehow you need to get rid of these when your child is not looking because you’re expected to keep every piece of paper they ever put their name on. #impossible

Oh look, another field trip permission slip is shoved in front of your face. So basically kids are not doing any more school work these last two weeks, is that right? Great.

Your child wants to wear a poop emoji shirt to school and you don’t even flinch. As long as it’s the rainbow poop emoji and not the original it’s all good. The original would be bad.

A birthday invitation for a classmate’s party in August comes home in June. You don’t even know this child. Your child “thinks” it’s the kid who sits in front of her. She’s not even sure! Did I mention the party is not until August?

Your child doesn’t want to get up for school and you don’t drag them out of bed. They won’t even notice if he’s late. Are they even taking attendance any more?

Your child’s book bag has a hole in it and he wants a new one for the last two weeks of school. No. Simply, no.

Third grade math has stumped your child and you are of no help, none whatsoever. Go in the bathroom and just Google the answer. She’ll never know and you won’t have to admit you can’t do third grade math. Five months ago you would have sat and down and tried to get the answer and explain it, but not now.

Your child wants to wear a wrinkled shirt to school. You let it slide. You have no interest in ironing. Your child could care less and at this point you’re right there with him.

End of the year activities are consuming you. Forget about keeping up with the Kardashians. You can’t keep up with the Kindergarteners.

Let’s do one more year-end fundraiser. Let’s not and say we did. #overit

Let’s face it, as much as the kids are going to get on your nerves over the summer, we’re all ready for a vacation from school and all the craziness that goes along with it. So when your kids are fighting over which Barbie gets the glitter dress, remember, it could be worse. You could be doing fractions and multiplication tables every night and making lunches…wait you will be in another 56 days! Happy summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ride ‘n Remind” to Prevent Tragic Car Deaths

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

As a parent, we all know how hectic life can get. When you have a baby you’re constantly on the go and in mommy mode 24/7.

Despite how attentive you are, there are times when life gets the best of us.

I remember trying to get out of the house with a baby. Who knew someone so small could need so much stuff and take so much time to get ready? The process can make your head go in a tailspin! I remember forgetting my keys and diaper bag so many times only to have to take the baby back inside to grab them!

Whether you’re distracted or in a rush, you sometimes do or forget things you never dreamed you would.

For some parents, that means forgetting that your child is in the backseat. It may sound crazy, but it happens all too often. You may say it would never happen to you, but that’s what so many other parents have echoed, only to find themselves in a dangerous situation.

Each year, an average of 37 children die from being left in hot cars or accidentally locking themselves in. Some parents tragically forgot their children were in the backseat. That can especially be true if a baby or toddler falls asleep.

I always questioned how that could happen, but after becoming a parent I understand. I can also see how parents look for any little help they can get to avoid these situations. No one wants to become a statistic.

The only way to really make sure you don’t forget your child is in the backseat is to have a reminder you can hear loud and clear. For me, that’s my kids. They’re old enough now to let me know if I ever forgot them in the backseat. But, for parents of babies and small children you still need that reminder because your kids may not be that vocal.

That’s why there’s Ride ‘n Remind. I honestly wish this product was around when my kids were babies. I don’t think I would ever worry that I would forget they were in the car with this system in place.

Ride ‘n Remind is great because it sends an extremely loud signal you and the whole neighborhood can hear so that you don’t forget your child is in the car. Every time you turn off your car, a chime goes off to remind you to check the back seat.

In order to shut off the chime, you need to press a button that is conveniently located near the rear door (installed as part of the system). If you ignore the chime, within less than 40 seconds your car horn will activate sending a very loud SOS signal.

Sure, it will wake-up your baby if he’s sleeping but that’s far better than leaving him in the car.

Even if you don’t hear this sound (which is highly unlikely), anyone in the vicinity will hear it and pay attention to your vehicle and any child that may still be inside.

You can also use Ride ‘n Remind if you have fur babies in the car. The goal is to make sure everyone and everything that needs to be out of the car is not ever forgotten.

With Ride ‘n Remind, the sad statistic of children who die because they’re left in cars can hopefully be erased once and for all.

To learn more about Ride ‘n Remind, check out the website!

 

You’re the best mom…sometimes

As we approach Mother’s Day, the one day of the year when our kids are obligated to be nice to us, clean, make us a card, and maybe even get us a present, I’m reminded of something my youngest daughter said to me this week.

“You’re the best mom.”

Awe…how sweet!

Wait for it…”sometimes.”

#awkwardsilence

I looked at her, and thought, what? wait…really? Sometimes? Talk about a backhanded compliment!

Then I thought about it and realized she was right.

I am the best mom…sometimes.

As much as I would like to think I’m on point everyday, there are days when I look in the mirror and know I’m far from it.

There are days when I cringe after hearing “mommy” for what seems like the 100th time. Can’t I change my name?

There are times when the sound of little feet running into my room before 7 a.m. on the weekend makes me wish I had a trap door under my bed that I could escape into.

There are days when the thought of making another school lunch drives me insane.

There are days when I’d rather poke my eyes with a spork then go to soccer practice, another birthday party, or the park. What happened to the days of going to yoga and watching “Lifetime” movies? Oh yeah, I had kids.

There are days when I just want to scream “leave me alone!” But I know I can’t.

There are days when I swear too much and hope my kids won’t repeat what they’ve heard at the most inopportune times.

These are the days when I don’t feel like the best mom…not even close! These are the days when I feel like a hot mess…days that I question how I’m going to make it through to the next.

Then there are the days when my kids snuggle up next to me and give me the best hugs ever.

There are the days when I multi-task like it’s no one’s business and nail it.

There are the days when my girls get upset and I come up with some witty and comforting words from God knows where and they tell me they feel better afterwards.

There are the days when strangers come up to me and tell me how well-behaved my kids are.

There are the days when my kids accomplish something so wonderful that I can’t believe how proud I am of them.

These are the days when I do feel like the best mom…like I must be doing something right to have such great little humans.

I think being the best mom is realizing that you don’t always have the answers and you’re going to make mistakes. There are countless times that my kids ask me a question and I will tell them I don’t know…that includes third grade math homework!

Letting your kids see you’re not perfect is good for their souls because they hopefully will realize that no one is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes.

So when my daughter tells me I’m the best mom…sometimes, she’s just keeping it real. And I’m okay with that.

 

Spring Spelling Skills

Check out this fun activity courtesy of education.com!

Spring is almost here! What a great time to brush up on spelling skills!

Let your kids practice their Spring spelling skills with this word search. When you’re done, head over to education.com for more spelling fun.

Print out the Search!

Search answers

 

 

I hate you…I love you…You’re my sister

Growing up as an only child, I missed out on the sibling spats that so many of my friends had the luxury of enjoying. As much as I wanted and truly thought my stuffed animals talked back to me, they didn’t.

Fast forward thirty years and as the mother of two girls, I can see how siblings fight and can change their moods in a matter of seconds. It’s like watching an animated film turn into a horror movie right in front of your eyes.

I’ve heard all the stories but really never believed them until I experienced them when my girls started to talk. Ever since, the pendulum has swung from hot to cold in a matter of seconds.

It doesn’t really matter if I’m in the room or not because they get their crazy on right in front of me. There’s no shame.

One minute they’re playing Barbies or a game and it’s so serene I swear I can hear “The Sound of Music” in the background. Barbies are going to a party; my girls are telling each other how much fun they’re having. Then before you know it, I think the Barbies are fighting over the corvette when in reality it’s my little Skippers who are engaged in a battle royale. I let it play out until push comes to shove…literally. Then I have to “momaree” the event and it’s never pretty.

It’s certainly not my finest moment and definitely not theirs.

There’s yelling, there’s crying, then it all stops with the signature ending of my girls saying they hate each other. Yep, another banner day of parenting!

They huff off into their separate corners while I retreat into another room to regain my own sanity.

As I replay this latest episode of “I hate my sister” in my head and try to think of ways for them to stop, I hear something else from the other room.

I peak in and see they’ve each come out of their separate corners. They look at each other and one asks the other if they want to play.

Wait! What?

Five minutes ago you wish you had different mothers, now you want to play? I’m still reeling from the headache you gave me and counting down the hours until you go to bed. Now you’re ready to play nice?

Then I hear three words that must signal I’ve entered the Twilight Zone; either that or I’ve actually slept long enough to have a dream.

“I love you,” says one child. “I love you too,” says the other.

For the love of Christmas! You girls are nuts! More importantly, you’re driving me nuts!

Don’t get me wrong I truly do enjoy the fact that they can make up that quickly, but why all the drama before? I was pretty sure Barbie was going to slap them upside the head because they were acting so crazy!

This is why I’m getting gray. Yep. Totally why.

I know, I know, it’s normal and it’s only going to get worse. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all before. But, if you go through this too you know how much it sucks in the moment.

It feels like someone kidnapped you and put you on a crazy train. I guess this is what I missed out on by not having a sibling! My Care Bear never told me he hated me. He never told me he loved me either, but I digress.

So what’s a momma to do? Buy ear plugs? I’ve seriously thought about it but realized I would still be able to hear them.

Nope, guess I’ll just grab a book and cozy up on the crazy train because it’s going to be a long ride…

 

 

 

Why Do I Love Them?

Okay, so it’s a given that we all love our kids. They drive us nuts but we love them to death. Hopefully you tell your kids you love them a couple of times a day. When they leave for school in the morning and when they go to bed are probably the two biggies.

Sure you say the words but do you know why?

Do you know why you love your kids besides the fact that they’re you’re kids and that’s what you’re supposed to do?

Crickets.

Think about it. We say the words all the time, but have you ever said to your child, “I love you because…” I know I don’t. That’s why I found a particular project interesting.

You’ve probably seen it (and maybe even done it before). It’s all over Pinterest and the web and often dubbed “Heart Attack” for the bedroom door. It looks like this:

Basically you cut out paper hearts and write something positive about your child for the first 14 days of February leading up to the big heart day…Valentine’s Day! There’s a number of ways to do this, but I chose the “I love you because…” and filled in a reason each day.

At first my kids thought I sniffed the glue gun too much and didn’t quite know what to make of mommy’s new project.

“What are you doing to our doors?” they asked at first with skeptical looks on their faces.

But, when I explained what the project was, they smiled.

“That’s cool. So everyday you’re going to put a heart with something on our door?” my oldest daughter asked.

When I told them yes, they actually let out a big “yeah!”

OMG! They actually liked it! I haven’t lost them yet! One point for Mom!

So, for the past 13 days, that’s just what I’ve been doing. The first couple were easy. But, honestly, it’s been getting hard to come up with 14 unique reasons why I love my kids. I know that may sound horrible but when someone asks you to actually think about it, it’s tough! Not find new “Elf on the Shelf” hiding places tough, but tough in its own regard.

Despite the challenge, I have to say I’ve really enjoyed doing it. It really made me think about what it is about my kids that’s so awesome. I think it’s a great confidence builder for them too. So many times they hear so much negativity in the world that it’s comforting to know they can find happiness and positivity in these little hearts. They can know what it is about themselves that makes them such wonderful kids. It’s something I think they truly internalize and remember.

Although this little “heart attack” is over tomorrow, I’m going to make more of an effort of telling my girls the little things that make them big stars in my heart everyday, not just the first 14 days of February.

 

Read by Example

If your child is in elementary school, chances are reading is part of their nightly homework. While my kids truly do enjoy reading, getting them to do it after a day of school and other homework isn’t easy, to put it mildly.

I can’t say I blame them really. After I write all day, the last thing I want to do is more writing at night! As much as I want to tell them I totally get where they’re coming from on the reading thing, adulting must happen which means I must encourage reading.

After realizing that telling them to read wasn’t really cutting it, I had an “a-ha” moment. You see, I always complain I don’t have time to read or that I’m too tired. One of my many resolutions this year is to try to read more. What better way than to do it with my kids? I get to read, they get to read, and there’s peace and quiet in the house, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

I wasn’t sure they were going to buy it at first, but I pitched it anyway.

“How about we all read for ten to fifteen minutes tonight together?”

Blank stares followed by, “What do you mean?”

“I mean we all pick a comfy spot, grab a book and just read…together…but by ourselves. You read your book, I read my book, but we’re all doing it at the same time.”

Silence.

“Okay, sure…and then we can tell each other what we read,” chimes in my oldest.

Praise Jesus! Maybe you are my kid after all!

“Yes, that sounds like a good idea,” I answer.

So, we read…together…but by ourselves for about 15 minutes. When we’re done, my kids actually do start talking about what they read. It’s working, it’s really working!

I follow the rules too and tell them about my book…which means no reading any “50 Shades” type of stuff with them.

The next day we didn’t have our reading time because we were doing other things. I know, I know, after only one day and I screw it up!

Before all hope is lost, my kids tell me at night, “Hey, we forgot to do our reading. Can we do it tomorrow?”

Amen and Alleluia! I didn’t screw it up…yet!

It’s always the little things that really turn into the big things when you’re a parent.

Why 2018 Should be the Year of You

As moms we tend to put everyone else’s needs in front of our own, and that includes Barbie who always gets her hair knotted in her elastic and needs help buttoning her pants.

Why do we do this? Is it just a case of our mothering nature? Maybe it’s a part of that unspoken oath we all took on the delivery table as we gave birth. Whatever the case, it can leave a momma downright exhausted and feeling empty.

That’s why it’s time to let 2018 be the year of you.

Isn’t it time to give yourself some of that energy you so quickly give to others? Sure, it’s easier said than done. I always say I’m going to do it and then something happens. Who’s fault is that? Is it my kids? Is it Barbie’s fault? No, it’s my own. I’m not saying we, myself included, need to start being narcissists and let our kids fend for themselves 24/7, but a little more self-care never hurt. After all don’t all the experts say you need to be happy and take care of yourself before you can make anyone else happy? I know I’ve heard that countless times before.

That’s where choice comes into play. I’m a firm believer in choice. We all make choices and those choices affect how we live our lives and how we feel about ourselves. If you choose to forego that workout because you’re afraid your kids will miss you too much and no one will be able to do Barbie’s hair like you do, that’s on you. We all know how guilty our kids can make us feel. Plus, Barbie can wait. She’s not going anywhere. But, think about how bad you’re going to feel if you miss that workout you so desperately want. You may become so resentful that you end up taking out your frustrations on your kids instead of zumbaing it out. Get to the gym!

What about skipping out on that date night with your significant other just because the thought of getting a babysitter is exhausting? Trust me, they’ll survive. That time away is a good thing. It gives everyone a much needed time out and time to refresh. I always feel like I’m a better parent once I’ve had some “time off”. Sometimes you need a break, even if it’s just a quick dinner out for a couple of hours. Go out!

When you become a parent your hobbies seem to get lost in the Legos if you know what I mean. I used to be an avid reader, and not of kid’s picture books…of books with actual chapters and paragraphs longer than two sentences. It used to relax me and give me a much needed escape. Why did I stop? I could blame it on my kids, but it really was my choice. I chose to do other things, like folding clothes, putting dishes away, etc. with whatever free time I had. If 2018 is going to be the year of me, it means more reading too. Get reading!

Another “mom thing” seems to be the incessant need to say “yes” to every invitation you and your kids receive. You wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, would you? What about your feelings? What about what you want? I’ve learned the hard way that it’s okay to say no. Quite frankly, no one really cares if you make it to their event as much as you think they do. Ouch! I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. Sometimes free time is more important than taking your child to a birthday party of a classmate she hardly knows just because she wants to be nice. Get used to saying no!

I think by doing these little things or whatever else you’ve been neglecting can truly help you make 2018 the year of you. What do you say?

 

 

 

Review: Cave Tools Burger Press Patty Maker

*I was supplied with the product by Cave Tools for this review. All opinions are mine.

When you’re making burgers from hand one of the most difficult things to do can be to shape the burgers so that they stay in tact. So many times when you make them by hand they come apart by the time they hit the grill or pan on the stove. That’s where the burger press patty maker from Cave Tools comes in.

This handy dandy tool not only makes making burgers easier, but also makes them all the same size. It’s a win-win when making burgers for the entire family. After you mix the meat in the bowl, simply put the meat in the bottom part of the press. Use the indicator line to make 1/2 pound burger or the big 1/3 pound burger.

You can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose. From there, it’s as easy as pressing the top down to form your burgers. Don’t forget to use the burger papers the press comes with so you can get the burgers out easier and separate them.

When you cook the burger, it cooks evenly because it’s shaped perfectly and doesn’t come apart. A juicy burger is the end result of using this little tool. The burger press patty maker is a great addition to your kitchen tool collection if you like to enjoy fresh burgers. If you want to try out a burger press patty maker, Cave Tools is offering 15% when you use the code BURGER15 with your purchase. Just enter the code at checkout and you’re on your way to having better burgers!