The best finds during Amazon’s big #primeday sale today and tomorrow

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Amazon, and Prime Day is a great mid-year opportunity to get some great deals. I’m going to be watching what’s going on over there and updating all day today and tomorrow, as they roll out new deals every hour. Here’s what I’m digging so far:

The Echo Dot is only $29 today. I now have one in every room. My kids use these as alarm clocks, speakers, and to listen to books. I can intercom them from the living room, and also listen in on them while not home. These are normally $49 but around Christmas and on Prime Day they go down to $29 so if you’ve ever wanted one, now is the time. It can now work in tandem with your Sonos system, so you can activate your whole home speakers with your voice. (Speaking of, the Sonos system is amazing and their speakers are $50 off today.)

The instapot: it’s worth the hype. And the 6 quart version (plenty big for my family) is almost half off.

The kids’ edition of the Kindle is $69 down from $99 today. Or you can get a simple Kindle paperwhite (my favorite for it’s lack of other distracting apps) for just $50.

The Ring doorbell. I have one and love it SO MUCH. You can see what’s happening at your door from afar and you can even answer it and intercom in and talk to them. It’s an introvert’s dream but it’s also great for security. You can access videos or live views from your phone and download them as well.

Still haven’t locked down your home internet? Every parent needs a Circle. It can lock down adult content, set time limits, and track what your kids are doing on their devices. It’s only $74 today.

TRUST ME ON THIS BRA. (or don’t and go read the reviews.) It’s under $12 today.

Cards Against Humanities is $5 off if you wanted to buy it for your mom and make your next game night with her really awkward.

Star projector nightlight – We got this for the kids at Christmas and it was the biggest hit. It casts stars and moons all over the ceiling. Even the older kids like it.

Vegetable spiral slicer – I love spiralizing veggies. This isn’t the one I have, but 9000 people are in love with it.

This Logitech Boom 2 Waterproof AND Shockproof Bluetooth speaker is$94 versus $199. It isn’t cheap, but we’ve had three of these for years, and even my Spotify addicted teenagers haven’t managed to find a way to break it. Fantastic sound quality and perfectly kid/teen proof

The FitBit Alta fitness tracker is only $89 today, versus $150. Best, and now the cheapest, way to track your steps and keep your health regime on track.

The TileTracker is $45 today, normally $60. I lose my keys or purse, daily. Snap these on your keychain and throw one in your purse. PROBLEM SOLVED

This Blue Yeti professional podcast microphone is now $89 versus $130. I’ve tried a number of microphones and this was the best by far.

An interview with a CHOC doctor on how to talk to kids about addiction

This post is sponsored by CHOC Children’s

I’ve talked quite a bit about how important I think it is for parents to talk openly with their kids about hard topics. A few months ago I had a chance to chat with a doctor and adolescent specialist from CHOC Children’s to hear an expert opinion on how to talk with our kids about sex and sexuality. You can read that here. This month, I’m chatting with another CHOC doctor about talking to kids about addiction. Dr. Mery Taylor is a pediatric psychologist and is a great source of wisdom for having conversations around avoiding addiction.

Dr. Taylor’s first word of advice is that these conversations should be ongoing, and tailored to the developmental level of the child. For younger kids, the conversation might focus around explaining that some things are for adults and some things are for kids. “Setting boundaries about drinking alcohol is important. Kids need to know: this is for adults. This is a mommy drink, or a daddy drink. This is not for kids,” she says. Dr. Taylor also encourages us to look for opportunities to talk to younger kids, and to ask what they already know about these topics. She shares a story from her own life, with her 9-year-old daughter.“My daughter was just kidding around and pretending a candy that she got was a cigarette. We don’t smoke in our house. I don’t know if she knows anybody who smokes, but she’s certainly getting it from somewhere and she knew, even though we haven’t necessarily had that conversation. She’s nine years old, but she knew that that was wrong and that I wouldn’t like it. But it was an opportunity to say, “Why do mommy and daddy not want you to smoke?” I think it’s always good for children to ask them questions, so “Why do you think it’s bad? How do you know it’s bad?” so you can get a sense of where they’re coming from because they’re going to get information from a lot of different sources.”
Dr. Taylor suggests that for younger kids we might talk about the things that aren’t allowed for kids, covering the basic rules. They don’t necessarily need to know all the medical consequences or the potential for addiction at this age, while this will be important later. This is why it needs to be an ongoing conversation.

As kids get older, that conversation needs to broaden to include decision-making. We can explain the legalities to our kids, and that drinking before age 21 is illegal, but they also receive a little more information at this age as to WHY they shouldn’t drink. Again, this conversation can start with simply asking our kids what they already know. “With teenagers, you can be more direct and more explicit about what’s going on. Maybe a particular person in the family does have a drinking problem or a drug problem and you can have more of a frank conversation about that with your child because their cognitive abilities at that point allow them to understand and process that information,” Dr. Taylor says.

She also cautions that teenagers don’t want to be lectured at, so it’s on us to find the right moment. Sometimes that moment is when they have something to gain from listening. For example, if they want to go to a party, they’ve got to have a conversation with us first. Dr. Taylor advises, “I think the message that you want to convey probably is more about values than about rules. We can remind them that when they are out there in society, they are still a member of our family, and to think about how they are going to represent that. And that might feel a little bit more genuine to them than, “You shouldn’t do this because it’s against the rules.”

It’s also prudent to talk about the potential risks and negative outcomes of drinking, like getting into a car with someone not fit to drive, or being taken advantage of. She encourages us to come up with potential scenarios and work through them with our kids, so that they’ve thought about how they will respond in advance of a crisis. Another tip: always emphasize that you will come and get them if they find themselves intoxicated and in a bad situation.

Kids also need to know that there will be consequences for breaches of trust. If they miss curfew, if they come home drunk, if you find drug paraphernalia . . . all of these behaviors will lead to a reduction in privileges and more supervision and monitoring. Help kids understand the connection between trust and freedoms.

Dr. Taylor also shared some warning signs that parents should be looking for if they are concerned about the potential for addiction. “A change in peer groups, hanging out with different kids, getting notices that they’re skipping classes or not going to school at all, declining grades, increased arguing. And it may be even just more sneaky behavior. They’re trying to conceal things. They’re a little bit more isolated and defensive. These are all warning signs,” she says.

Dr. Taylor’s main takeaway: try to make this conversation natural, organic, age-appropriate, and ongoing. “Look out for opportunities to make a little life lesson. It doesn’t have to be something where you sit down for an hour and lecture your child. But, as little things come up, take an opportunity to just plant seeds of behaviors and values that you want your child to grow up with. ”

Learn more about alcohol and drug use in teens

My mother-daughter business trip with India

This post is sponsored by the Dove Self-Esteem Project

I went to Mom 2.0 Summit last month, which is a conference for influencers in the parenting space. It’s my favorite conference every year and this year I decided to take India with me. She’s always been curious about the conferences I attend, and as she’s getting older I thought it could be inspiring for her to see so many female entrepreneurs. So she attended as an “intern” and helped out where she could. She attended some of the sessions but also just enjoyed tooling around the hotel on her own.

Dove was once again the key sponsor, and it’s a brand India is familiar with because earlier this year, we took part in the #HourWithHer, a toolkit for talking about confidence and self-esteem with young women. India and I spent an hour using their resources and helping India to flip the script on a situation where she had lacked confidence. They had these resources available at Mom 2.0 as well as a beauty bar, which India took full advantage of. 

While there we got to watch the latest film from Dove‘s Real Beauty Productions, produced by Shonda Rhimes. It’s called “An Hour With Her and it features Chelsea Harris, who was mentored through the Dove Self-Esteem Project ten years ago. She carries foward what she learned, and the impact it had on her life, as she mentor s16-year-old aspiring actress Caralyn Singleterry. Caralyn is struggling to overcome negative feelings around her appearance. It’s a really powerful story about the impact of mentorship with young women and Caralyn’s struggle is so resonant.

India and I also had the chance to attend the Iris Awads together. It was fun to get dressed up and go to a fancy event with her. I was up for an award and didn’t win, and I actually was really grateful for an opportunity to let her see me lose gracefully and to have her witness how we were all sincerely cheering each other on. I’m so grateful for the support and encouragement of my friends in the blogging community and I loved having India there to bear witness to this kind of female friendship.
I think she left empowered, excited, and ready to be her own boss-lady.