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    Many Hands Make Light Work

    Many Hands Make Light Work

    free sew at home mask kits

    We have carefully been asking ourselves what we can do to help…. And our answer comes this week as we hand out free sew-at-home mask kits to our community.

    Each kit will include fabric and elastic to make 12 masks along with sewing instructions and suggested places locally to donate them. We know that these may not be a perfect solution and definitely are not in replacement of PPE for those on the front lines of covid19, but we hope that they can work good in this battle to help our community and especially to free up supplies for the health system.

    Please help us get the word out!

    We will be handing out pre-packed kits on Saturday March 28th from 12-2pm at Bumbelou - 405 N Riverfront drive. Please stay in your vehicle and just park in front of the store along riverfront drive in Old Town. We will approach your vehicle as soon as we can and hand you a kit through the window.

    We anticipate having approximately 100 kits and will limit it to one kit per vehicle as to try to share this work load with as many people as possible! Many hands make light work.

    ** Edit 3/27/2020 - We have ordered enough elastic for about another 700 masks. When that arrives we will be looking for 100% cotton fabric donations to assemble another group of kits. Please call us at 507-779-7000 if you have fabric on the bolt that you are willing to donate. 

    5 Tips To Prepare For The Day Of Travel

    5 Tips To Prepare For The Day Of Travel

    I know many school's spring breaks are starting to pop up, and maybe you're one of the lucky ones who is planning to get away! My kids' spring break isn't until April...and...we're liking going to be spending it moving and/or unpacking in our new home! I wish I was heading somewhere warm, but a slow week might be just what we need to settle into our new home together.

    Even if a getaway isn't in the cards for my family this year, we have experienced our fair share of travels together, and today i'm going to share my top 5 tips to make your Travel Day run smootly. Some of these need to be done in advance, so take note!

    Tip #1: Get TSA Pre-Check

    This fall my oldest daughter and I took a trip to New York City, just the two of us. I was a little nervous about traveling alone, let alone to a huge city I’d never been to before. Months in advance, I searched out getting TSA Pre-Check, to help make our travel day(s) go smoothly. I was nervous about NYC airports being extra busy and didn't want to get caught up in security.

    The process of getting TSA Pre-Check was super easy! I basically signed up for a time to have an in-person interview, where I had to bring a few legal documents, get my fingerprints done and have my photo taken. The man who did my interview was super nice and even helped me renew my passport while I was there (I have no plans to travel outside the US, but I guess it's much easier to renew your passport within a year of it expiring than it is to let it lapse.) Within a few weeks you receive a document with a number assigned to you that you input when purchasing your flight tickets.

    Having TSA Pre-Check allows you to go through a much shorter line at security, you don't need to remove anything from your bags, or even take off your shoes! The best part? It's good for 5 years, and your children under 16 are allowed to go through with you! Once they turn 16, they will need to go through the interview process and get their own personal ID number. 

    Tip #2: Do Some Light Housecleaning

    A day or two before your trip, do some light housecleaning. I'm not talking a full out deep scrub, cause we all know no one has time for that while packing a family too, but it's so nice to come home to a semi-clean house instead of one that looks like it was robbed while you were gone. I also like to make sure we have a take-n-bake pizza or some other premade meal in the frezer, for the day we get home. I certainly don't want to have to run to the store after getting back from a trip! Knowing I have a meal in the freezer buys me some extra time to unpack and relax once we're back home. 

    Tip #3: Pack Snacks In Clear Bags

    If you don't have TSA Pre-Check (see Tip #1 above), you will be asked to take out any liquids AND any SNACKS in your bags. What mom doesn't have snacks stashed in every bag and pocket possible?!? My goal at the airport is to get through security as easily as possible, because as a family of six it could easily turn into a circus!

    So, I prepare ahead of time by packing each kid their own snacks in a clear plastic bag. Then I put ALL the bags in my carry on, with anything else that will need to be pulled out for security. That way, my bag is the only bag that needs to be fussed with and I know exactly where everything is. Once we're on the other side, then I can distribute snack bags to the kids' backpacks if I choose. 

    Tip #4: Have Kids Sleep In Their Travel Clothes

    More often than not, we end up catching an early flight out in the morning. It can be a pain, but arriving at our destination with daylight hours to spare is worth it. We have our kids sleep in their travel clothes, so it's just one less thing to do in the morning. For my girls, this is usually leggings and a sweatshirt, or a comfy dress that they can toss a jean jacket over. For my boys, it's usually a pair of joggers and cozy tee. When they were babies, we just kept them in their jammies!

    Tip #5: Wake The Kids Up Last!

    My husband and I get up before the kids, and our routine looks like this:

    Get ourselves ready, make breakfast (something we can eat in the car like egg bagel sandwiches), load all luggage in the car, secure the house, THEN wake the kids and head out. Not having the kids underfoot while we're scurrying about helps save our sanity, and the more sleep the kids get, the better!

    How do you prepare for a smooth travel day? I always love to learn new tips and tricks!

    xo,

    Amy

    Travel Tip: pack a first aid bag

    Travel Tip: pack a first aid bag

    With all the illness circulating around lately, it seemed appropriate to share this travel tip with you today: Packing a first aid kit!

    Nobody plans to get sick while on vacation, but life happens and we can't always prevent it! I like to have a little bit of everything with me so that I am somewhat prepared for several different scenarios.

    Here's what's in my bag:

    Wet Ones: I am the crazy lady on the plane who wipes down our seats and trays. 

    Hand Sanitizer: always and forever!

    Motion Sickness Oil Roller: My oldest is very prone to motion sickness, rubbing this on her neck and wrists helps her a lot!

    Thermometer: In case a fever creeps in.

    Oscillococcinum: I don't even know how to pronounce this one, but it saved my family when we all got hit with Influenza A a few years ago. I keep it stocked always, just in case. It helps shorten the duration of the illness. Yes please!

    Electrolyte Packets: I like that I can easily mix these with a bottle of water if one of my kids should become sick. They are also great to stay hydrated while spending a day in the sun!

    Ear Relief Drops: Nothing is worse than having clogged ears, whether it be from air plane pressure of after a day of swimming.

    Histaminum Hydrochloricum: Another big one I can't pronounce easily (its made by the same company as Oscillococcinum, Boiron) but its basically a natural allergy relief. One of my kids struggles with seasonal allergies, so this is nice to have on hand for when something triggers her. 

    Chapstick: I can never get enough!

    Band aids: What can't be solved with a band aid? I love the patterns on these Welly brand ones from Target. 

    Bug Bite Essential Oil Roller: I'll never forget one year when we were attacked by "no see ums" in Florida. We itched ourselves until our legs were bruised and bleeding, ouch! This roller helps take the sting out of bug bites. 

    Cough Drops: the change in air pressure always leaves me with a dry throat.

    Tylenol and /or Ibuprofen (children's and adults): I don't always reach for this first, but I carry it with me in my car, my purse, and while traveling. 

    Nail Clipper: I've needed one more often than not, so I finally just tossed one in my kit!

    This kit might not save me from every ailment imaginable, but it definitely eases my mind to be prepared, and buys me some time until I can get to a pharmacy should I need something more. What am I forgetting? What's in your first aid kit?

    xo,

    Amy

    Leaving On A Jet Plane

    Leaving On A Jet Plane

    When I was brainstorming topics to blog about for the next few weeks, I got way too excited when I had the idea to share about traveling with kids! Especially with Spring Break right around the corner, this is the perfect time to stash some tricks up your sleeve! Traveling with kids doesn't have to be hard OR stressful! With the right preparations, it can actually go quite smoothly! Over the next few weeks, I'm going to address different areas of traveling on the blog here, including smooth sailing through security, what to pack in carry-ons, day of travel tips, keeping kids entertained in flight, and I'll even adapt these ideas for road trips! Let's get started!

    My family consists of myself, my husband, and our 4 children. That's a lot of people and lot of stuff to consider when we plan a trip. We've done it enough times though to have dialed it in to what works best for us. 

    TIP #1: Book an Air bnb

    This has been a game changer for us. We have stayed in hotels before, and that experience can be fun too, but for nearly the same price, we can rent an entire house which gives us more bedrooms and more space to spread out.This is especially helpful when putting the kids to bed and still having a space to hang out with my husband without distributing their slumber. And having a kitchen to prepare meals in is a huge life saver for us.

    TIP #2: Seek out onsite laundry

    Whether you book an air bnb or stay at a hotel, make sure laundry facilities are onsite and available to you. The single most sanity saving tip I have uncovered is having the ability to do laundry while away. Why? Because it allows me to only pack HALF of what we need! Say we are going to be gone for a week... If I know I can wash clothes, I will only pack 3 outfits (plus what we wear on the plane) and 2 pair of pajamas per person. I can pack our family of 6 in two full size suitcases this way! And now that airlines charge for extra luggage, this ensures we have fewer costs along the way. (Added bonus: you don't have to travel home with soggy swimsuits or that outfit your baby had a blow out in!)

    TIP #3: Packing Cubes are life changing

    I don't know how or why they are so magical, but just trust me, they are. I have a different colored set for each person in our family, so not only does it save us space, but it helps us all find what we're looking for upon arriving! Everyone can grab their color cubes and stash them in the dresser drawers. You can find packing cubes pretty readily available at Target and Amazon. I just bought the cheapest ones and they've worked great for us! If you want to be even more organized, you can separate the cubes into clothing, pajamas, socks/underwear, swimwear, shoes, etc. You could also pack them for Day 1, Day 2, etc. They really are so helpful!

    TIP #4: Cross-Pack suitcases

    One of my biggest fears when traveling is that our luggage is going to get lost in route, and we'll all have to spend the week naked or wearing dirty clothes! Nobody wants to see either scenario! If you are flying with a direct flight, chances are pretty good that your belongings will be waiting for you when you make it down to baggage claim. But things get a little risky when you have connecting flights. Since I'm already packing my family in two suitcases, I sometimes will pack a little for each family member in each suitcase. That way, in the off chance a piece of luggage is delayed, we at least have some options and can make do for a bit. I'll share in another post how I pack our carry-ons, but here's an extra little tip: If you have room, pack a change of clothes and a swimsuit (if applicable) if each person's carry on. It just gives me extra piece of mind. I know with that plus the clothes on our backs, we'll be just fine. And, extra clothes always seem to come in handy when your kid spills their juice on themselves, or your baby spits up all over you. 

    TIP #5: Buy what you can at your destination

    It's hard not to want to pack everything plus the kitchen sink. I get it. I've been there! Most times the size of my suitcase will tell me what needs to be left behind. When that happens, I take a deep breath, and google the closest Target to our destination. We have purchased diapers, snacks, toiletries...you get the idea...upon arriving. It's so easy to shop ahead these days that it's really no big deal to pick up anything you might need. If you are staying with family, you could even send them a list and ask them to pick up those things for you before you arrive. If that seems like a hassle, you may even be able to ship a box ahead of time, as long as you have someone trust worthy to receive it! (Air bnb hosts are usually more than happy to do this!)

    I could go on and on about traveling with kids, but i'll wrap it up for today. But I promise you I have lots more ideas and I will share them over the next several blog posts with you! In the meantime, if you have a specific question or scenario, you can always leave it here in the comments or ask me in our Friends of Bumbelou Facebook group!

     

    Happy travels to you!

    xo,

    Amy

    Beating the winter blues

    Beating the winter blues

    I know the groundhog didn’t see his shadow this year, but I don’t know when that means spring is coming. I look outside and all I see is snow for days. I like winter, mostly, but it’s about this time in the season that I start getting squirmy and dream of Spring! 

    We’ve exhausted our board game + playdough + hide and seek rotation. I’m ready for some sun and fresh air! Unfortunately for me, a family getaway isn’t in the cards this year. But when you can’t beat ‘em, you’re supposed to join ‘em, right?  

    I really do dislike being cold, but I find when I join my kids outside my attitude and mood is so much better.  Going for a short walk, visiting a nearby park, and just some good old fashioned playing in the snow can do wonders this time of year.

    One of my kids’ current favorites is mixing up these “potions”. It’s super easy, and super fun! All you need is water + 1 drop of food coloring + a spray bottle (I found these in the travel section of our local grocery store) Make the snow your canvas and you’re guaranteed to have some creative fun!