Thursday, June 25, 2015

Travel Essentials for Your Next Vacation

I don't know about you, but after the winter we've had, I'm anxious to get away this summer.  Unfortunately, the three international trips we have planned are for later in the year, but that doesn't mean that I'm not preparing now for our trips - from searching for the best hotels, to looking for the things to do, and of course, places to eat.  But, what’s a vacation without travel essentials?  For me, it’s a nightmare, which is why I've curated this list of travel essentials to get you through your next trip.

We know that the essential travel essentials consist of things to keep up your hygiene so I will refrain from boring you with those things.  And if you're looking for things to take with you on long flights, just check this post. Otherwise, keep reading.

For the most part, my family and I travel to warm places no matter the time of year, which means sun exposure; therefore, toting along sunscreen whether it’s for us or for our little one is important. 

On our upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I’m bringing along a fashionable, versatile wrap from Coolibar, and a wide brim hat that provides UPF 50 protection that will protect me from the harsh desert sun for which the UAE is known.  Both will come in handy on those long flights to hide my sleeping face, and keep me warm during the sometimes cold flights.

Speaking of Abu Dhabi, that’s a long a- - flight! Mini me is coming along, which means we have to keep her entertained. We're bringing the ipad, and hopefully, by then, we will find some games that are suitable for inflight activities.

Although most memories are best locked in your head, it’s sometimes nice to have a photo or two to reference back to that reminds you of the good times you had during your vacation. A camera, aside from my camera phone, is a must-have travel essential.

On our trips, my husband captures the most amazing photographs of scenery using our Sony Alpha camera.  These photos can easily be blown up on a canvas, and placed around our home, used as postcards, etc.

We know that during travel almost anything can happen whether you're traveling with your kids or not. I find that a good travel essential is a plastic or Ziploc bag.  The bags can double as a laundry bag, wet clothes bag, muddy shoe bag, beach bag, shopping bag, snack bag, trash bag, etc. The uses are almost limitless.

Speaking of anything happening on trips, if you're accident-prone or your overactive kids are traveling with you, or maybe your stomach can't handle certain cuisines, it’s best to travel with a well-stocked first aid kit. The kit should include: gas-relief tablets, antacid, antidiarrheal medicine, antihistamine for allergies or bug bites, bandages, mild laxative, non-aspirin pain reliever, and a thermometer.

Lastly, any time we travel internationally, I not only register with the consulate/embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), let our relatives know our flight and info, but I always make several copies of our travel documents.  This includes itineraries, reservations, passports, and other identification.

Now that I've shared my travel essentials, I'd love to hear about your travel essentials. Please comment below with what are your must-have items to bring with you during travel.

Check out other travel essential posts from other members of the Brown Mom Bloggers Collective.  Be sure to share the love by leaving a comment on their posts, too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fight Your Spring/Summer Cold with Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy

Cold-Eeze was gracious enough to send me a package full of their Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy products to try out and review.

I don't know about you, but the worst time to come down with a cold is during the warmer months. It’s happened to me before, and I can tell you that it sucked.  I mean, anytime you’re sick isn't fun, but having a cold during the hottest months of the year is a bummer.   During the summer you're not supposed to be indoors and under covers, you're supposed to be out, having fun, and enjoying the weather.  So imagine how I felt recently when I started coming down with a cold.

I'm not sure if it was due to the change of weather or if my work environment contributed to my getting sick since it’s like Alaska, but I was coming down with something.  I was sneezing, felt fatigue, and had a sore throat, a headache, and slight cough.  It was definitely not allergies.  Thank goodness for the Cold-Eeze products I had on-hand to help rid me of my cold.

When I felt my symptoms coming on, I increased my water intake, and took a Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy Plus Natural Immune Support tablet in the Natural Orange Flavor.  To sooth my sore throat I used the Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy Sugar-free lozenges in the Wild Cherry flavor.  Surprisingly enough, just after the first and second doses of the tablets, I felt much better, and the next morning, my cold symptoms were gone.

Not all things that are good for us taste good, right?  That said, the taste of the Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy products were on the herbal side.  If you are into herbal flavors then the Cold-Eeze would be a great product for you.  But, I didn't mind it since it worked so well for me.  One thing I didn't like too much about the Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy Plus Natural Immune Support tablet was that it took too long to dissolve.  The directions advise you to not chew it, but I couldn't bear to let it dissolve completely on its own.  I just couldn't get passed the texture once it got smaller.

The next time you feel a cold coming on, check out Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy products to help nip your cold in the bud.

But, before you go, check out this neat little infographic that helps you determine whether or not your symptoms are cold or allergy-related.

What do you do when you suffer from a summer cold? 
Have you tried Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy Products?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Walmart & Pampers Team Up to Donate to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals {GIVEAWAY}

Disclosure: The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G.

Have you heard of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals?  They provide comfort, treatment and hope to millions of sick kids across the country.  To show support for the organization and the one in 10 kids in North America who are treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year, Walmart and Pampers have teamed up to donate $200,000 during the month of June.

Even though my mini me is out of diapers, I am happy to show my support by purchasing products like Pampers Swaddlers from my local Walmart for my nephew.  I can make my purchases knowing that portions of the proceeds will go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.   Contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals help children like Sophia from Westchester, NY. 

Sophia had trouble descending the school bus steps, and by the time she and her mom crossed the street and entered their home, Sophia’s face was drooping and she’d lost feeling and function on the left side of her body.

Sophia was brought to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins.  Her brain was hemorrhaging and she needed emergency neurosurgery to save her life.

Since that fateful autumn day in 2011, Sophia has undergone a second neurosurgery to care for another malformation.  Despite these challenges, today she is doing well.  She uses her own medical journey as inspiration for other children and families facing similar circumstances. The way Sophia sees the world, there’s always reason for hope and optimism.

Win a $25 Walmart Gift Card
From now until Thursday, June 25, 2015 11:59 p.m. EST enter to win a $25 Walmart Gift Card.
Must be 21+ (or have parent's permission to enter)

While your family may have had an experience with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or know a family who has, Beauty and the Bump would love to hear about the experience.
$25 Walmart Gift Card

Visit for more information and to make your own donation

Disclosure: The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G.