Do Car Seats Overwhelm You? There Is Help! (And It's Free!!)

Most parents don't realize that their child is in the wrong car seat till it is too late. I've heard that as many as 9 out of 10 are actually installed wrong- crazy high number.  The manuals that come with most car seats are extensive and jam packed with tons of information, but not many people take the time to read them. 

If you are unsure if the car seat you are using is right for your child, or aren't sure if it is installed right Child Passenger Safety Week (September 17-23, 2017) is a great time to figure things out.

 During Child Passenger Safety Week, more than 1000 events are expected in 45 states across the country to raise awareness for proper car seat installation and usage. The week culminates in “Seat Check Saturday,” where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will help parents and caregivers make sure their car seats are installed correctly. In most cases, this service is FREE.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, or just want a second set of eyes to check out your child's car seat set up, now is the perfect time. After all. the right car seat can make all the difference in a crash. Every 33 seconds* a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of death or injury. But over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly, and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes in 2015 was not in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt at the time of the crash.

To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat, or find a Child Passenger Safety Week event in your area. During Child Passenger Safety Week, many communities will have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on-hand to provide education on how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts for children. To find events near you, including free car seat checks, visit bit.ly/CPSTech.

*According to 2015 data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Back To School Organizational Tips

For us back to school is a bit different than most, seeing as how we home school the kids. Stress levels are always at a minimum, however it didn't always used to be that way.

When the kids went to public school, the beginning of a new school year was filled with so many emotions. It was especially challenging because a few of our kids needed extra support in the class room.

Back to school can be a very challenging time for families with children who struggle with reading, writing, math, organization or focus. Ine in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia and those issues make learning harder.

The Ad Council and Understood.org are collaborating this year to help your child be First-Day Ready with some amazing organizational tips.

Understood.org is also offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help prepare parents and kids even more.

Spring Cleaning With A Purpose

Spring is in full swing in my house. Which means I am responsible for purging all the stuff out of the garage that we don't use anymore. It's hard to believe we accumulate so much stuff- but we really do. Spring is like a giant reset button for us and everyone feels less stressed when there is less junk in the house.

Typically I work on getting rid of old stuff and my wife works on deep cleaning, but this year we are both sorting through things to donate. Why? Well because we are trying to see how many hours of on the job training we can help Goodwill provide.
Did you know that Goodwill provides that service? Last year, nearly 2 million people engaged in face-to-face Goodwill services to advance in their careers. More than 35 million people accessed education, training, mentoring and online learning tools offered by Goodwill virtually to strengthen their skills and gain industry-recognized credentials.

Goodwill’s career centers, training programs and staffing operations give people the resources, skills and confidence that changes thousands of lives each year.

Thanks to the programs and support services made possible by donations of clothes and household items, Goodwill helped place more than 312,000 people in jobs in the United States and Canada in 2015 – that’s one person finding a job every 23 seconds of every business day.

If you are not sure where your local Goodwill is, you can use the Goodwill Locator App available for Android and iOS devices and at http://www.goodwill.org/ (click “Explore Our Map” on the homepage). Simply input the items you’re donating to calculate the number of hours of career counseling, on-the-job training, résumé preparation, financial planning classes, and other services you’ve helped provide people facing challenges finding employment. When jobs thrive, communities thrive.

We cleaned out just the garage and the pile of stuff we brought to Goodwill will help with over 10 hours. How crazy is that?

Unique Cards From Basic Invite

Disclosure: This post brought to you by Basic Invite.
Your wife worked hard to get a perfect holiday picture of the entire family. Now impress her and turn it into a Christmas card with Basic Invite.
Basic Invite has 250+ beautifully designed holiday cards to fit any style for this Holiday season. Designing your holiday photo card is easier than ever with easy to use templates. Once you have found the design you love you can then instantly personalize your design with your color choices, font style, and even photo for a real-time preview of exactly what your card will look like once it is printed.
You can choose from five different paper types to give your card the perfect feel as well as the perfect look. You can add some shimmer and shine (for no additional cost) by adding some foil to your card.You even can choose your color envelope, from 30 different colors and let Basic invite do the work on addressing all of your envelopes. All you have to do is stick a stamp on them!
Find more information here- BasicInvite.com.

How To Get An Olive Oil Stain Off Your Granite Countertop

Disclosure: This post brought to you by Granite Gold.

They say not to cry over split milk, and they are right. Split milk is easy to clean, just wipe it up. Do you know what is worth crying over? Olive oil. Olive oil all over my stone counter.

It happened last week. I was mid dinner. Grilled tomato and cilantro chicken, sugar snap peas and garlic infused potatoes. My wife was going to be so proud. Then it happened. It happened so quickly. I turned around to help Carlee with a math problem and it spilled. And not even just a small spill. It was everywhere...
(Ok.. ok...it wasn't this bad.. But it was bad...)

I panicked. Not only was every thing covered in a greasy gross mess, but the olive oil was staining my counter! Apparently oil stains are the most common types of stains in kitchen areas, and they usually come from spills (like mine) or food preparation related to vegetable, olive and other types of cooking oils.

How To Get An Olive Oil Stain Off Your Granite Countertop

To lift the stain, mix baking soda with acetone into a paste at the consistency of pancake batter and place onto the stained area. Allow the paste to sit for 24 hours, then remove and rinse with water. Repeat if necessary; some stains may require two or three attempts. 

Reseal the stone surface once this is completed. After removing the stain, clean the surface with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®; wait 20 minutes or dry to the touch and re-seal with Granite Gold Sealer® (wait 20 minutes or dry to the touch between applications); let the seal cure for 24 hours and then polish with Granite Gold Polish®.

Don't Just Clean It, Make It Shine

 And for all you lazy dads out there, impress the Mrs with Granite Gold Clean & Shine. It cleans and polishes in one simple step (just don’t use before sealing). Available at Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart. Check out Granite Gold®’s store locator: https://www.granitegold.com/store-locator/