bottle-container-daylight

7 Easy Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste

The amount of plastic pollution in our oceans and landfills is enough to make me want to change the way I think about what I buy (and throw away). Here are seven easy ways you can greatly reduce the amount of plastic waste in our world.

1. Reusable bags –Holyluck

These are easy to carry with you so you can always say no to plastic store bags.

holyluck

2. Reusable water bottles –Healthy Human

STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER!

healthy_humans_tumbler

3. Just Say No! To straws –SipWell

Stainless steel straws are easy to carry with you and actually keep your drinks colder.

straws

4. Shampoo/Conditioner bars

Check out Lush. Their shampoo and conditioner bars are amazing. Grab one of their bath bombs while you’re at it.  You won’t be disappointed.

bar_shampoo

5. Reusable Utensils –Bamboo Essentials

Carry your own. Wash them. Put them back in your bag.

utensils

6. Bar soap

Let’s go back to the 80’s when we had bar soap that came in a cardboard box. It’s retro.

bar_soap

7. Bamboo Toothbrushes –Isshah 

You won’t even notice a difference, but the earth will ūüôā

toothbrush

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

Baby Feet

10 Mom Approved Infant Care Books

Don’t get overwhelmed with the number of infant care books out there. There are so many different books, because there are so many different ways to parent your newborn.¬† The right one is the one you choose.

1. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

2. Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam

Baby Wise

3. The Happiest Baby On The Block by Harvey Karp

The Happiest Baby on the Block

4. What To Expect The First Year by Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazel

What to Expect the First Year

5. Babycenter.com

6. The Baby Book by Dr. Sears

The Baby Book

7. Save Our Sleep: Helping Your Baby Sleep Through the Night From Birth to Two Years by Tizzie Hall

Save Our Sleep

8. The Rights of Infants by Margaret A. Ribble

Don’t let the publishing date discourage you.¬† It come highly recommended and has five star reviews on Amazon.

The Rights of Infants

9. Children: The Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs with Vicki Soltz

Don’t let the publishing date discourage you.¬† It come highly recommended and has five star reviews on Amazon.

Children: The Challenge

10. Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

Parenting with Love & Logic

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

 

 

Washington Monument

18 Things to Do in Washington D.C With Kids

There are weeks worth of sites to see and history to learn in this amazing city. Here is a taste of the city we explored with three kids ages 8, 10 and 12.

1. National Museum of Natural History

From narwhals to Neanderthals, this museum has it all.  An African elephant, a mummified cat, and the Hope Diamond.

10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20560

2. National Air and Space Museum

This one is located on the National Mall. We did not visit this one because we heard the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (still a Smithsonian, further away) was bigger.  Both are free admission, so it depends on your ability to travel farther and how much time you have.

Independence Ave at 6th St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20560

3. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Space Shuttle

So worth riding to the end of the Metro line and taking an Uber the rest of the way to Chantilly. It was AMAZING! We saw the space shuttle Discovery, the Concord and the Enola Gay. If you are an audio tour nerd like me, you will LOVE this one.

14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Virginia 20151

4. The National Museum of American History

Must sees here are the Star Spangled Banner (it is absolutely amazing), Lincolns hat (I kid you not! His actual famous hat!), a display of the Inaugural gowns of the First Ladies (breathtakingly beautiful), Julia Childs kitchen, George Washingtons uniform, and Edisons lightbulb. So much history in this museum.

Constitution Ave. NW [between 12th & 14th St.], Washington, D.C. 20560

5. Bureau of Engraving and Printing

See how bills are printed. This is a guided tour that last about 40 minutes. Admission is free but you must have a ticket, which are first come first serve.

14th and C St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20228

6. Bike and Roll

Bike and Roll

Rent a Bike and tour the Monuments and Memorials. Bike and Roll can set you and your kids up with bikes and helmets and get you on your way.¬† They rent by the hour and it took us, on a busy Friday, four hours at a leisurely pace.¬† Hands down, my favorite part of the trip. Here’s a map¬†to guide you to all the memorials and monuments.

7. The National Archives Museum

This was the longest line we waited in, and the grumpiest guards, but you have to go. Highlights are definitely, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, and the Magna Carta.

Constitution Ave. NW [between 7th & 9th St.], Washington, D.C. 20408

8. Library of Congress

Library of Congress

My book-loving kids and I could have stayed here all day, and would still want to come back. First of all, it’s my favorite building in Washington D.C.¬† It is so beautiful.¬† Second, books! Need I say more?¬† But, I will anyway.¬† On the ground floor, tucked in the back is the Young Readers Center, they have braille copies of Harry Potter. On the first floor you’ll find the Gutenberg Bible, and on the second floor, Jeffersons library.

Thomas Jefferson Building 10 First St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540

9. Arlington National Cemetery

The changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is something that every American should experience. Words cannot describe this ceremony.¬† If it’s not on your bucket list, go put it on now.

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA 22211

10. National Gallery of Art 

National Gallery of Art

I felt like angels were singing down on us the whole time we were there.¬† Well, except for when my daughter tripped and almost wiped out a Calder display. We spent most of our time in the East building and in the Sculpture Garden. There is an underground walkway from the east to the west building that is super cool. Don’t miss the blue rooster on the roof!

6th & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20565

11. International Spy Museum

This is not a Smithsonian, so admission is NOT free, but the kids loved it and I felt like it was worth the cost. Just stay away from the gift shop.

800 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

12. Union Station

Union Station

Even if you’re not catching a train, come to check out the architecture, eat some lunch and shop a little.¬† It’s a spectacular building.

50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

13. Big Bus Tour

I’m a huge fan of double decker bus tours and Big Bus Tours is my favorite one. I like to spend the first day in a new city on a bus tour and then add to my list of places to go.¬† Make sure to bundle up. It gets chilly up top, but it’s got the best view.

14.¬†Ford’s Theatre

Just being in this theatre was surreal.¬† It’s an intimate theatre with a rich history and we were blown away by the production, The Wiz. Such a magical night.

511 10th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

15. National Portrait Gallery

Michelle Obama Portrait

Another building of magnificent art. The portraits of the Presidents was a stroll through art history. I loved seeing the relaxed, humanistic traits appearing as time has evolved.  Michelle Obamas portrait was inspiring as well as many others.

8th and F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

16. U.S. Capital

Contact your local representative and request a tour in advance.  We were able to get a tour with interns from our home state.  They did a fantastic job.

East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

17. White House

Tours have to be scheduled with your congressmen in advance. We were denied a tour (which is common). However, you can still walk around outside the gates and get the obligatory picture in front.

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

18. The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

9/11 Pentagon Memorial

For best view, visit at night. Download the audio tour from this link or call (202)741-1004 at the entrance and the audio will lead you through various points of interest.

1 Rotary Road, Arlington, VA 22202

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

Read To Your Baby

16+ Must Have Board Books for your Baby’s Library

So, you’re expecting. Congratulations! Now let’s talk about what you need for your baby’s literary success. It’s never to soon to start reading to your baby.

1. Sandra Boynton Books-Get them all! Here are my favorites though.

– Belly Button Book

Belly Button Book

-The GOING TO BED BOOK

The Going To Bed Book

– Moo, Baa, La La La!

Moo, Baa, La La La!

– Pajama Time!

Pajama Time!

– A to Z

A To Z

– Opposites

Opposites

– Horns to Toes and in Between

Horns To Toes And In Between

– Doggies

Doggies

– BUT Not the Hippopotamus

But Not The Hippopotamus

– Blue Hat, Green Hat

Blue Hat, Green Hat

2. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon

3. Put Me In The Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Put Me In The Zoo

4. Are you My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Are You My Mother?

5. Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

Do, Dog. Go!

6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

7. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck

8. Mommy Hugs by Anne Gutman and George Hallensleben

Mommy Hugs

9. The Napping House by Audrey Wood

The Napping House

10. Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

Silly Sally

11. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Good Night, Gorilla

12. That’s Not My Kitten¬†Usborne Books

There is a large series of these books and they are all great.

That's Not My Kitten

13. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

14. BabyLit

BabyLIt

15. Mini Masters

Mini Masters

16. There’s A Wocket In My Pocket! by Dr. Suess

There's A Wocket In My Pocket!

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

 

zions

Must Do Hikes In Zions National Park

If you’ve never been to Zions National Park, don’t let the crowds keep you away. There is a reason it’s crowded. It’s AMAZING!

Peak times are: Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Easter week (date varies Рusually in April), Labor Day (first Monday in September), and Utah Education Association break (October).

Weeping Rock

This is a short easy hike that is paved with stairs to a deck area to check out the rock that is weeping.

Angels Landing

This is a must do! Don’t let the chained area keep you away.¬† Even if you get to the top and decide the chained area isn’t for you, the hike up to that point is still amazing. The best part is Walters Wiggles which is a section of switch backs that are a site to see.

Emerald Pools

Lower Emerald Pools and Upper Emerald Pools are listed as two separate hikes, but I recommend doing it as one hike.  This is such a fun hike.  You will see pools, a wall of water (watch your step, it can be slippery), stepping stones and winding trails.  You will not be disappointed.

Canyon Overlook

This hike is found on the east side of the tunnel (you have to drive through the tunnel during your visit). Parking lot is on the right side of the road and usually crowded, so come early.¬† Cross the street to the trail head and don’t forget your camera.¬† The view is spectacular!

The Narrows (Bottom Up)

Take the Zions shuttle to the last stop, Temple of Sinawava. Hike in as far as you like and turn around at any time. You will be hiking through water, and over slick rocks so wear appropriate shoes.  In spring the water will be colder from the snow melt.  This is a great hike in the hot summer months and definitely less crowded in the fall, when water is lower.

Par’us Trail

A nice evening stroll along the Virgin River. Bike, dog, and wheelchair friendly.

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

snowy day

9 Items You Need to Keep Warm

It’s hard to enjoy the winter when you’re cold. Follow these steps to stay warm and enjoy being outside this winter.

1. Good Base Layer – These are my two favorites.

SmartWool Thermal Long Underwear-Merino 250 Base Layer-tops and bottoms

Hot Chillys Base Layer РHot Chillys Peppers Bi-Ply Base Layer-tops and bottoms

2. Mid Layer Top – A sweatshirt or fleece top like these:

The North Face Powder Guide Midlayer

32 Degrees – FAUX CASHMERE PULLOVER WITH SHERPA LINING

3. Mid Layer Bottoms – Either snow pants or lined windproof pants.

Klim Transition Pant

Swix Lillehammer Pants

The North Face – Powder Guide Pants

4. Socks – SmartWool hands done are my favorite socks. All styles.

SmartWool PhD Ski Light Socks

SmartWool PhD Ski Medium Socks

5. Shoes

Bogs –¬†Classic Ultra High Insulated Boots

Sorels – Women’s Winter Carnival or Women’s Caribou Boot

6. Hat РAny hat is better than no hat.  I have many, but here are the two warmest.

The North Face – Women’s Fuzzy Earflap Beanie

Carhartt – Acrylic Watch Hat

7. Gloves

The North Face-Denali Thermal Etip Glove

Dakine – Sequoia Insulated Mittens – Don’t underestimate the warmth of mittens. I swear they keep your hands warmer, especially when you drop a Hot Hands hand warmer in them.

8. Scarf – The multi use miracle warmer ūüôā Cover your neck, face, or ears. Don’t leave home without one.

Pistil-Frenchi Infinity Scarf (check out their hats as well)

9. Hot Hands – Hand and foot warmers. These stay warm for up to 8 hours and are a lifesaver.

Hot Hands

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

Sledding

5 Sledding Hills in the Salt Lake Valley

Make some memories and enjoy the snow at these 5 sledding hills in the Salt Lake Valley

 

 1. Sugarhouse Park-

The sledding hill is located on the south, west corner of the park. Enter on 2100 south and follow the loop around. You won’t miss seeing the hill. There are hay bails at the bottom of the hill for sledders safety.

2. Flat Iron Mesa Park-

This is not a large park. The hill is on the north side and very visible.

3. Eastridge Park-12151 S 1000 E, Sandy, UT 84020

Park on 1000 east. The hill is on the south end of the park and is easily seen from the street.

4. Creekside Park (Big Cottonwood Regional Park)-1664 E Murray Holladay Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84117

This park is easily accessed from Murray Holladay Rd. There is a great pavilion, so bring some hot chocolate and enjoy the hill.

5. Mountain View Park-

This is a newer park and is fantastic year around. Enter off of Fort Union Blvd. The sledding hill is on the south end of the park.

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

Lost Focus

14 Must Haves for a Fidget Kit

Create a Fidget Kit for a child/adult with ADHD, ADD, Autism, OCD, or Anxiety

silly putty

1. Silly Putty

fidget spinner

2. Fidget Spinner

fidget cube

3. Fidget Cube

binder clip

4. Binder Clip

Flippy chain fidget

5. Flippy Bike Chain

Bike Chain Roller Fidget

6. Roller Bike Chain

mesh squishy ball

7. Mesh Squishy Ball

soybean fidget keychain

8. Soybean Keychain

Tangle jr

9. Tangle Jr.

Mesh and Marble fidget

10. Marble and Mesh Fidgets

magic rainbow puzzle ball

11. Magic Rainbow Ball

slow rise squishies

12. Slow Rise Squishies

cube snake puzzle

13. Sensory Snake Cube Puzzle

spiky ring

14. Spiky Sensory Finger Ring

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

10 Family Board Games

10 Family Board Games

Spend some good quality family time, playing good quality games.

oh, snap!

1. Oh, Snap!

Try to remove a disc, without moving the bar. Made for 2-6 players, age 8+.

othello

2. Othello

A classic strategy game. Sandwich your opponent and dominate the board. Two player game, age 7+.

farkle

3. Farkle

Dice rolling, risk taking game. Two or more players, ages 8+ (However, my six year old beats me every time).

spontuneous

4. Spontuneous-The Song Game

Say a word and the first person to name a song with that word in it, takes the round. 4-10 players, ages 8+.

codenames

5. Code Names

Two rival spymasters try to make contact with 25 agents, knowing only their code names. 2-8+ players, ages 14+.

qwirkle

6. Qwirkle

Tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. 2-4 players, ages 6+.

triominos

7. Tri-Ominos

A triangular domino game combining strategy and luck. 2-6 players, ages 8+ (though there are different version of this game for kids).

cranium

8. Cranium

A game with word play, sketching, sleuthing, acting, and more. 4+ players, ages 16+ (Jr. versions available).

pandemic

9. Pandemic

Treat infected populations, discover a cure, or build a research station. The world NEEDS you! 2-4 players, ages 8+.

othello

10. Clue

Who done it? Miss Peacock, in the Kitchen, with a Rope? You be the detective. 3-6 players, ages 8+ (Jr. edition available).

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish

 

 

Passion Led Us Here

12 Date Night Activities

Date night is essential for couples, here are 12 great ideas.

1. Snowshoeing

Never been snowshoeing? A great place to start is Solitude Nordic Center.

2. Springville Museum of Art

Unique, cultural, and FREE! Visit SMOFA

3. Take a Hike

Use this site, pick a trail, and go. You will not be disappointed.

4. Bird Watching

You might raise your eyebrow at this one. But don’t knock it until you try it. HERE’S a good place to give it a try.

5. Mountain Biking

https://www.mtbproject.com/

6. Disc Golf

Watch this video to learn how to play, grab a couple discs, and have fun.

My favorite course is at Dry Creek Trail Park 100 West 1600 North, Lehi City

7. Kayaking

Highland Glen Park (4800 Knight Ave, Highland, UT) is my favorite.

8. Goga (yoga with goats!)

This will be an unforgettable date. Visit GOGA.

9. Rent a Tandem Bike

Midway Adventures is a great place to rent, and then take the Midway to Heber bike path located right outside of the store.

 

10. Governor’s Mansion Tour

Take a walk back in time and see superb craftsmanship at the Utah Governor’s Mansion.

11.  City Bus Tour

This city tour is highly recommended.

12. Concert in the Park

Pick a city near you and I’m sure you will find a fun (sometimes interesting) band to listen to.

 

Now, Go. See. Do.

~meemish