Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine

Funny stories. Crafts we’ll never do. Recipes I’ll never make.

10 tricks to prevent motion sickness in cars

Do you suffer from motion sickness when you go on long road trips?

I used to.

Not the kind that made my parents stop every 10 minutes so I could bare my guts to the entire world (thank goodness), but the kind that left me feeling greener than green until we finally reached our destination.

The good news is that I’ve gotten much better with traveling as I’ve gotten older, especially now that I’m a mom, and I rarely (if ever?) experience motion sickness when we travel. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve grown out of it, I’ve gotten good at preventing it, or because motherhood simply doesn’t leave me much time to think about myself anymore, but since I know so many people (particularly small children) suffer so terribly from the queasies when they travel, I decided to share 10 of my best tips for preventing motion sickness in cars.

If the mere mention of the word 'road trip' makes you (or your kids) gag, check out these 10 simple tricks that help prevent motion sickness in cars. And make sure to give # 8 a try - it saved my life during a particularly rough boat ride once!

1. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT

If long car rides make you feel sick, you probably already know the importance of keeping a little bit of food in your system to keep stomach acids to a minimum, and that eating something heavy right before your departure is a recipe for disaster, but did you know that the kind of food you eat can make a difference, too?

It’s true!

Try to avoid foods that can cause bloating, cramps, and/or heartburn, and that leave a strong aftertaste in your mouth (think: garlic and onions), and limit dairy as much as possible as you never know how it’s going to sit in your stomach.

2. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES

While it’s not always practical to change into your pajamas before a long car ride, try to avoid wearing clothing that is restrictive, especially around the neck, tummy, and abdomen. And if you are known to up-chuck while traveling, make sure to pack a change (or three!) of clothes just in case.

3.  SIT IN THE FRONT

I rarely (if ever) sit in the back of a car, but on occasions where sitting in the front isn’t an option, I always make sure to sit in the middle so I can still see out the front of the car. And if I’m in a van or on a big bus, I try to position myself as close to the front as possible.

4. STARE STRAIGHT AHEAD…

…and focus on something OUTSIDE of the car. That means no reading, no movies, no texting on your iPhone, and, at the risk of seeming rude, no turning to talk to the person sitting beside you or behind you.

The less you move your head, the better.

5. STAY COOL

This drives my husband nuts, but whenever we’re on a long car ride and he refuses to let me drive (which always seems to happen, for some reason…), I keep our car at subzero temperatures, particularly when the sun is beating through the windows. I have no idea what it is, but I find the colder I am, the less queasy I feel.

6. GET SOME AIR

My mum got severely car sick when she was a kid, and the ONLY thing that made her feel better was when my grandfather pulled the car over and let her get out to walk around. She’s not sure if it was because she was away from the movement, or in the fresh air, but it worked every single time.

(It must’ve taken them ages to drive anywhere…)

7. PACK THE RIGHT SNACKS

Admittedly, I never spent a lot of time researching foods that are easy on a queasy stomach until I was pregnant with my daughter, but after getting myself through the first 16+ weeks of constant nausea, I’ve learned that lemon drops, peppermints, saltine crackers, water, and anything with ginger in it (preferably ginger snap cookies and ginger ale, but that’s just me…) go a long way in settling an upset tummy.

8. SING!

When I was 12-years-old, my mum and I spent a weekend on one of the thousand islands of Indonesia, and on the boat ride back to Jakarta after our 3-day getaway, the water was really rough. In fact, EVERYONE on the boat felt sick, and after about an hour of all of us trying not to throw up as we stared ahead at the horizon, someone suggested we sing. She’d heard it helped with motion sickness, and we all felt so terrible by that point that we were willing to try anything. And guess what? It TOTALLY worked. I’m not kidding. So crank your favorite tunes and sing along!

9. APPLY PRESSURE

Did you know you can alleviate nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness by applying pressure to the ‘Nei Kuan’ acupressure point that is located 3 finger widths below your wrist on the inside of your arm? It’s true! And thanks to an awesome wrist-band called Sea-Band, you can keep constant pressure on this pressure point to help make your travels more bearable without the side effects of medications. Oh, and they come in 2 sizes – one for children and one for adults!

10. BUST OUT THE MEDS

I personally don’t like taking motion sickness meds because I find they make me drowsy and unable to sleep at the same time, which ends up making me feel worse. But sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, so if you (or your child) are unlucky enough to suffer really badly from motion sickness, talk to your doctor about different medication options. Because traveling shouldn’t be that horrible, you know?

If you have any additional tips and tricks to help prevent motion sickness in cars, PLEASE leave them in the comments section below!

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5 tutorials to teach you how to make your face look thinner

When I shared 5 beauty tips to make your face look thinner back in February, I knew I probably wasn’t the only person out there who wanted to drop a few pounds without actually going to the gym (or giving up wine and ice cream), but I was surprised to see how many people actually read that post.

Of course, I was a newbie in the beauty department back then and didn’t know a lot about the wonderful world of contouring and highlighting, but after spending 5 months watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, I’ve learned a thing or two about making my face look thinner than it really is.

(Which is fantastic since I’ve spent most of my summer eating ice cream at the park while trying to pretend not to be the helicopter parent you and I both know I am.)

And while the tips I shared in my original post are still helpful (in my opinion, anyway), highlighting and contouring has gone a long way in making me look like I workout 3 times a day and avoid alcohol, sugar, and anything else that tastes delicious (spoiler alert: I don’t do any of those things), so I thought I would share 5 tutorials that will teach YOU how to make your face look thinner as well.

You’re welcome!

Whether you were born with a round, full face, or simply cannot lay off the donuts and wine (like me!), these tutorials will teach you 2 basic makeup techniques that will make your face look thinner without dieting or breaking a sweat at the gym. You're welcome!

1. Basic Contouring by Makeup Geek

If you don’t have a lot of time to devout to watching tutorials or applying makeup to your face, this is a really quick and awesome guide on how to make your face look thinner using cream or powder contour makeup. I use the cream contour technique when I’m in a rush to get ready in the morning, or when I’m not wearing a lot of makeup, and it works really well.

2. How to Contour and Highlight Your Face by gossmakeupartist

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know how much I love Wayne Goss, and in this tutorial, he does a fabulous job of breaking down the world of highlighting and contouring while still maintaining the natural look I love.

3. Contour and Highlight Face, Cheeks, Nose & Eyes by TheMakeupChair

I love all of Sinead’s tutorials because she breaks everything down into easy steps and produces very natural results, and this one is no exception. I particularly love that she only uses powders in this tutorial rather than thick highlighting creams, as I prefer to use powder during the summer months!

4. How I Contour and Highlight by Carli Bybel

What I love about this tutorial is that Carli provides drug store alternatives to all of expensive makeup she uses. The finished product is a bit more dramatic than I’m used to, but it’s perfect for a night out with the girls!

5. Contour and Highlight Like Kim Kardashian by gossmakeupartist

I can’t imagine doing this every single day, but if you have a big night out ahead of you and really want to wow people, give this tutorial a watch. You will be amazed at what you can do with makeup, and I totally plan on using this tutorial for my 20-year high school reunion next summer!

If you have any highlighting and contouring tips (or any other tricks for a thinner face), please leave them in the comments section below.

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10 number activities to get your preschooler excited about counting

I started teaching my daughter about letters at an early age, and while I never had a problem finding alphabet-themed toys to help develop on these skills, I found it hard to find number-related toys once my daughter was ready to start counting. And when I did find stuff, I always found it was electronic in nature, which made it hard to interact with her while she was learning.

Of course, a little educational quiet time can be great when I need a few minutes to scrub the toilets and respond to emails, but with only a year until my daughter starts Kindergarten (sniff), I want to find some fun number activities we can do TOGETHER.

So I did what I always do when I’m looking for kids activities – I poured myself a glass (or 2) of wine and spent a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest.

(How did people parent before Pinterest came along, anyway??!)

Here are 10 great activities I found to help you (and me!) teach your preschooler about numbers.

Let me know what you think!

If you're looking for activities to get your preschooler excited about counting, but don't want to spend a fortune on toys and electronic gadgets, this collection of number activities is just what you need!

1. Print off these FREE (and awesome!) number cards from Tips From a Typical Mom, buy some clothespins from The Dollar Store, and teach your kids how to count while also developing their fine motor skills.

2. Keep those clothespins out and try this clothespin math game by Mess for Less.

3. Get out the toy cars and a cardboard box and making this car parking numbers game by Craftulate (featured on B-Inspired MAMA).

4. Do something different and try this stroller number fun game I found over on Toddler Approved. It looks like a real hoot!

5. Print off this FREE printable Fill The Dump Truck counting mat by The Measured Mom and have loads of fun with all kinds of household items!

6. Grab the pipe cleaners and beads and try this preschool math game from Kids Activities Blog. And if your little one is prone to putting stuff in her mouth like my child is, you can use Cheerios or Fruit Loops in place of beads!

7. Print off this free printable number wheel, get out the clothespins (again!), and let your kids try this number wheel busy bag idea from Money Saving Mom.

8. Let your kids have some fun with Duplo Lego while still learning with this fun math activity by Frugal Fun for Boys.

9. Keep the Lego out and let your kids have fun with this counting and measuring with Lego activity from The Imagination Tree.

10. Get out the salt and a cookie sheet, and give this number writing activity from Learn With Play at Home a go. You can make this as easy or as complex as you need to depending on your child’s age, and it’s a great activity to do together!

If you have any cool number activities to get preschoolers excited about counting, please leave a comment below!

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10 fantastic water activities for kids

I have a confession to make: I kind of want to sell our condo and buy a house.

Not because we’re planning on shaking up our lives with a new baby.

Or because I’m desperate to have people over for barbeques every weekend.

Or because I want to spend my winters shoveling snow.

Nope.

None of that really appeals to me.

But with only a month or so left of gorgeous weather, I secretly wish I had a backyard my 3-year-old and I could spend our days eating popsicles and enjoying all of the summer activities I’m dying to try in.

Of course, once the weather cools down and the glamor of sitting in the sun all day is replaced with raking leaves and shoveling snow, I will not want a house, so for the next 4+ weeks, I will just have to rely on some of you to invite us over so my daughter can enjoy these fantastic water activities for kids I found on Pinterest.

(Pssst… I’ll bring some adult popsicles to make it worth your while.)

From water blobs, to water walls, to water balloon pinatas, to sponge ball water fights, this list of 10 fantastic water activities for kids is just what you need to keep the fun going this summer!

1. Make one of these awesome Water Blobs I found over on Clumsy Crafter. It looks like so much fun!

2. Rescue some empty plastic water bottles from your recycling bin and give this DIY Water Wall by TINKERLAB a try.

3. Host a massive water balloon fight with all the neighborhood kids. Not sure how to prepare ahead of time and keep all those water balloons intact? Don’t worry! A Slob Comes Clean has it all figured out.

4. Set-up this Water Balloon Piñata by Paging Fun Mums in your backyard. My daughter would go CRAZY over it!

5. Make your own sprinkler. Not sure how? Housing a Forest has you covered!

6. Don’t have any balloons kicking around but need a fun activity for the afternoon? Then why not try this Sponge Ball Water Fight idea by Create Craft Love??!

7. Get creative with your water table using this fantastic roundup of cool ideas by Fantastic Fun and Learning!

8. Grab the water guns and have a blast with this Cup Race game I found over on All For the Boys.

9. Get out the paint brushes and foam alphabet mats and try this Alphabet Water Tracing activity by Artsy Momma.

10. Fill your kiddie pool with water and try these Water Works Games by Spoonful.

If you have any waters activities for kids to add to this list, please leave them in the comments section below! Oh, and we’re free on Thursday afternoons for that invite to enjoy your backyard…

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10 easy (& glamorous!) updos for medium-length hair

While I was searching YouTube for sexy sexy summer updosstylish mom ponytails, and updos that hide your ears, I stumbled across a channel called The Small Things Blog, and I instantly fell in love. It is PACKED with simple hair tutorials for medium-length hair, and Kate has a way of breaking them down so they are really easy to do.

I spent about 2 hours going through every single one of her tutorials the other night (I have no life), and since I wanted a variety of different ideas to give to you, I selected 10 of my favorites to get you through any and every occasion you can imagine.

Weddings.

Date nights.

A night out with the girls.

Trips to the park.

Bikini waxing appointments.

There is an updo for every single one of them.

Let me know which ones are your favorite!

Whether you're looking for something casual, dressy, or ultra-formal, this collection of easy updo tutorials for medium-length hair has you covered!

1. Twisted Updo

2. Messy Bun With a Braided Wrap

3. The Messiest of Buns

4. French Twist

5. Elegant Half Up

6. Easier Than it Looks Updo

7. The Loop Updo Hair Tutorial

8. The Dutch Braid

9. Sideways French Twist

10. Casual Half Up

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8 tips for a smooth back-to-school transition

With just over 6 weeks left of the summer, I’m feeling really anxious.

I’m just not sure I can handle another 6+ months of snow, ice, and windchill warnings; the rigamarole of mitts, scarves, boots, and winter coats every morning; the fear of everyone coughing and sneezing on us whenever we’re in public; those painful little cracks that infest my hands from all the sanitizer I use during cold and flu season; the thought of it getting dark at 4:30 pm every day; hair static; winter weight gain…

You get the idea.

But one thing is plaguing me more than anything.

I only have one year left until my sweet girl starts Kindergarten and, even though she gave up her nap shortly after her second birthday and keeps me on my toes with The Trying Threes, I am not quite ready for full-day Kindergarten, you know?

She’s just so little!

So I’m making a promise to make the most of the next 13+ months so I’m not filled with any regrets when the time comes to drop her off on her first day of school, and I’ve started to put together a list of resources for a smooth back-to-school transition.

8 tips for a smooth transition to Kindergarten 8 tips for a smooth transition to Kindergarten 8 tips for a smooth back-to-school transition

1. MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS ARE READY TO START SCHOOL

Whenever I ask my friends what their biggest regrets were when they dropped their kids off at Kindergarten, they often tell me they wish they had taken the time to make sure their kids were actually PREPARED for school. Sure, they talked about school and tried to make the prospect exciting and fun, but very few actually took the time to teach their kids a lot of the skills that are needed for a smooth transition to Kindergarten. So I did some research and found this AWESOME list of 33 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten by I Can Teach my Child, and you better believe I’m hanging a copy on our fridge!!!

2. VISIT YOUR PEDIATRICIAN

My friends always tell me the first month of school is brutal when it comes to sicknesses, especially for younger kids who haven’t had a chance to build up their immunity, and everyone suggests I schedule a visit with our pediatrician BEFORE school starts to make sure my daughter’s inoculations are up-to-date. Why? Because you don’t want to take an otherwise healthy kid into a doctor’s office full of sick children if you don’t need to, and since kids often can’t get inoculations when they are under the weather anyway, it’s best to get that unpleasantness out of the way.

3. GET OUT THE FALL WARDROBE

Whether you’ve got a garage full of hand-me-downs, or you have to purchase an entire wardrobe to get your kids through to Winter break, make sure to take care of this sooner than later. You never know how quickly the weather will start to cool off, and having your kids help pick out a couple of new outfits for the first week of school is a great way to get them involved and make them excited about the new school year.

4. VISIT THE HAIRDRESSER

Before I had my daughter, I worked with a woman who left EVERYTHING until the last minute, especially back-to-school preparations for her daughters. She just has some kind of mental blockage when it comes to organization, I guess, but she’s great at a million other things (like rocking school bake sales!) that no one ever faults her for it. But she has always been ADAMANT that her daughters get a hair cut before the first day of school. She feels it goes a long way in helping them put their best foot forward and making an impression, and after speaking with some of my friends who are teachers, it seems that this small thing actually DOES go a long way. Who knew?

(Pssst… Make sure to read to the end of this post to find out how to get great back-to-school pricing for haircuts!)

5. GET OUT THE SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Shopping for school supplies was always my favorite part of the whole back-to-school nonsense when I was a kid, and I have every intention of making it just as fun for my daughter. I mean, what kid DOESN’T want to pick out a new backpack, lunch bag, and pencil case, and fill each of them with new school supplies? And if you do it far enough in advance and explain that none of the items can be touched until the first day of school, I’m willing to hazard a bet your kids will be itching for that school bus to pick them up so they can test out their new supplies!

6. BUY A BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIFT FOR YOUR CHILD’S TEACHERS

We always concentrate on end-of-school gifts for teachers, but how about making some back-to-school gifts with your kids as well? It’s a fun way to spark some excitement about the new school year, and it will go a long way in getting into a new teacher’s good books. Of course, I have NO CLUE about appropriate back-to-school gifts, but there are heaps of ideas on Pinterest. This FANTASTIC list of 20+ Back to School Teacher Gift Ideas by Artsy Fartsy Mama is a good start!

7. GET BACK INTO A ROUTINE

One of the most difficult parts of each new school year, for me anyway, was getting back into a regular sleeping routine. I was the queen of staying up late and spending most of my summer mornings in bed, and I always found it helpful to start setting an alarm for about a week before school started so I could gradually prepare myself. It worked like a charm.

Until I became a teenager…

8. TALK TO YOUR CHILD

Whether your child is entering Kindergarten, starting a new school, or entering her senior year of high school, the idea of new teachers and friends can be very scary, so make sure you TALK to your kids so they feel comfortable telling you about any concerns they are having.  Just knowing you are in their corner as they make the transition will go a long way.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: this requires a lot of work.

And money.

And you’re right.

But did you know that, on average, teachers spend $1,000 of their OWN money just to make sure their students have the resources they need to learn?

It’s true.

And that’s why I’m excited to be part of the #GREATLIST campaign, which is all about providing answers to back-to-school hassles for both families and teachers alike.

Great Clips is partnering with AdoptAClassroom.org to help provide teachers with the resources they need to buy school supplies for their students without spending their hard-earned money, and, to help illustrate the cause, they’ve created an amazing video that shows 2 surprise classroom makeovers for 2 deserving teachers. You can watch the video RIGHT HERE.

Great Clips is also making a donation to AdoptAClassroom.org every time someone downloads their free Online Check-In App up to $20,000. The Online Check-In App lets you add your name to the waiting list at your local Great Clips salon to help you save time, and can be downloaded RIGHT HERE.

Great Clips is pretty awesome, right?

But wait!

There’s MORE!

If you enter the #GREATLIST contest between July 15, 2014 and September 5, 2014 and upload your school supply list, you will qualify to have your list shipped to you for free (up to a $100 value). Winners are picked daily! You can enter the contest RIGHT HERE.

Oh, and did I tell you many Great Clips salons are offering back-to-school pricing for haircuts?! You can find out more by visiting your local salon for pricing details, and if you enter the #GREATLIST contest (which you can do RIGHT HERE), you will receive a $2-off Great Clips coupon with your confirmation email the first time you submit a school supply list. One coupon per customer.

Phew!

Did you catch all of that?

I hope so!

Don’t forget to WATCH THE VIDEO and ENTER THE #GREATCLIPS CONTEST today.

And enjoy the rest of your summer!

This post is sponsored by Great Clips, but all opinions are my own.