July 1, 2024

Family Road Trip Checklist

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week

For this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the nine-day period from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 7. This number represents people who will travel 50 miles or more from home during that time.

Family Road Trip Checklist    

With road trips expected to set a new record this July 4th week, AAA teamed up with Chicco to share safety tips for families with small children.  

  • Check car seat fit. Before you hit the road, check your child’s weight and height to ensure they’re in the right seat and mode of use – especially when it comes to transitioning from rear to forward-facing. Children should remain rear-facing as long as possible for better protection of their head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash. If you are unsure which car seat is best for your child, Chicco offers a car seat comparison guide.  
  • Double check car seat installation. Even if your car seat is already installed in the car, it’s worth checking everything is safe and secure. An easy at-home way to do this is with the “inch test.” Simply grab the seat at the car seat belt path and pull side to side and front to back. If it moves more than one inch in any direction, uninstall and start over until a secure fit is achieved. For any questions, utilize the car seat manual, QR codes. or online resources, like those offered by Chicco.
  • Secure loose items in the car. Take time to organize and clean up your car before hitting the road. Storage organizers that secure to the back of the driver and passenger seats are simple solutions to make sure everything has a spot, especially loose items that can become projectiles in case of a sudden stop.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Pack an emergency kit with first-aid supplies, water, snacks, blankets, jumper cables, and flares. Make sure your phone is fully charged - and keep a charger in the car – to call AAA or request roadside assistance digitally if your battery dies, you lock yourself out, or you need a tow. 
  • Map your route. Families with young children should plan for frequent and longer stops along the way. Map out your route ahead of time with AAA Triptipk  and browse hotels, restaurants, and other activities along the way on AAA Trip Canvas.
  • Bring entertainment. Make sure to place toys and books within reach to keep children entertained. If your kids use tablets or other electronics, make sure the devices are fully charged and pre-downloaded before leaving home. Another fun way to get the whole family excited for the road trip is to create a family playlist of everyone’s favorite songs!  
March 20, 2024

New Hi-Tech Pumps Empowers Nursing Moms

All breast pumps are not created equal! Modern motherhood demands more from women today, and Zomee ( truly understands and meets the real-world needs of busy nursing moms. Covered by most insurance and founded by a mother of four, Zomee breast pumps bring freedom to pumping with high-tech, hospital-grade, lightweight, super portable, powerful yet quiet pumps featuring numerous personalized settings and advanced technology, including alternative mode technology designed to promote synergy between each breast while pumping.

Top-sellers include the Z2 Double Electric Breast Pump with three pumping styles -  Massage, Expression, and 2-Phase mode (expression and massage) - as well as the Zomee Fit Wearable Hands-Free Breast Pump for pumping anytime/anywhere discreetly and comfortably (an exciting new version of the Zomee Fit will debut on Valentine's Day with even more thoughtful features!). At, expecting and new moms can also find fantastic nursing bras, belly support bands, maternity compression socks and more.

All Zomee pumps offer BPA-free silicone breast shields for maximum comfort and anti-backflow protection to prevent leaks and ensure that every drop of milk is pumped and not wasted. Zomee is portable and comes with a USB port for convenient on-the-go charging.  The company helps customers get measured properly and offers a one-time courtesy return if customers need a different size. All pumps come with a two year warranty.

Available at and on Amazon.

September 13, 2023

Baby Safety Month Car Seat Refresher

September marks Baby Safety Month and Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 17 – 23) and Chicco has collaborated with AAA to release new research analysis about the importance of car seat safety and passenger restraints. The data revealed nearly half (48%) of children aged 10 and under who were injured and half (51%) who were killed in car crashes were either using a vehicle seatbelt prematurely or no restraint instead of a car seat.

As a Child Passenger Safety Technician with Chicco, my goal is to help parents feel educated and confident in the latest car seat guidelines to best keep their children safe on the road. From choosing the right seat to additional resources – the following is my advice to ensure that parents are using the correct child restraint method for every phase of growth.

·         Don’t skip the booster phase. The data infers that parents may be transitioning their children out of car seats prematurely, based on a sharp decrease (59%) in car seat use from age 7 to age 8, an age that saw significant injuries reported. Many parents may not know that seat belt fit is more about their child’s height than age (many state laws focus on age only), but based on their size, children 10 years old or older may benefit from using a booster seat. Most booster seats accommodate children up to a height of 57 inches.

·         Children should always use a restraint when riding in vehicles. Shifting from a car seat to a vehicle seatbelt too early isn’t the only issue – nearly four in ten (38%) of children aged 7-10 killed in a car accident were completely unrestrained and, of the youngest children (aged 0-3), nearly one in four (24%) who were killed were unrestrained. The use of no restraints, which is defined by this dataset as not using a child car seat booster seat, seatbelt nor strapped into the vehicle in any manner, is alarming. Parents should be diligent in ensuring their child is properly restrained in the car before it is in motion, especially if the child is not old enough to secure themselves.

·         Use available resources. Whether you’re a new parent using a car seat for the first time or navigating the transitional stages as your child grows, proper restraining use of infant seats, booster and seat belts can effectively protect young passengers against injury or fatality. Chicco offers the latest car seat guidelines, installation tutorials and caregiver FAQs on Local fire departments often have a Child Passenger Safety Technician on hand who can check if your car seat is installed correctly. For more resources and to find a car seat check near you, visit for more.

*Data analyzed AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on the use of child restraints (car seats, vehicle seatbelts or none) in car crashes, based on 2017 - 2021 crash data sourced from the U.S. Department of Transportation


About the Writer

Joshua Dilts is a passionate advocate for child passenger safety, serving as a certified Child Safety Technician and a lead car seat product manager at Chicco. A father of three, Josh’s real-life experience provides continued inspiration and motivation for creating solutions that make it easier for families to travel safely with car seats.

August 29, 2023

The Balancing Act: Securing your kids’ future without sacrificing yours Dr. Kate Mielitz, AFC®

According to a T. Rowe Price survey, more than half of American parents are saving for their kids’ college before retirement, which can be concerning for a couple of reasons. 

Recognizing that higher education may not be the best fit for everyone is essential to understanding what side of this discussion you favor. Some people may opt not to pursue it or doubt their ability to succeed once they do. Furthermore, numerous jobs are available that pay a living wage and do not require a college degree. 

Whatever life path someone chooses, they can’t avoid aging into retirement. Time and compound interest are your best friends when saving for the future. If you delay contributing to your retirement, you are losing out on substantial growth opportunities and the potential for significant principal savings.

Maybe you’ve prioritized your savings but are now wondering how you will pay for college. There are available and affordable options for college, and the entire burden doesn’t have to fall on you. While grants and work-study opportunities may not be available to all students, a range of alternatives are available to almost everyone aspiring to obtain a degree. These options include:

Consider dual enrollment programs

Remarkably, 48 states and the District of Columbia have dual-enrollment programs. Even two classes per semester in the senior year of high school can impact the first-year costs of college.

Start in community or junior college

If you want your child to have the same four-year college memories you had, then you should know “the university experience” is no longer as affordable as it once was. There are alternatives. Community colleges in 33 states have free tuition. Although mandatory fees, books, and room and board expenses apply if the student moves or relocates, community colleges are considerably less expensive than starting at a four-year program.

Encourage early saving

Whether they take on a full- or part-time job, encourage your child to save those paychecks for college. If they aren’t gainfully employed, ask them to consider creative ways to make money, like selling clothes, games, books or other belongings they no longer use.

Apply for scholarships

Encourage your child to apply for scholarships. Don't consider free money "not worth the effort because the amount is so small.” Free money for college is free money for college, and many unclaimed scholarships are up for grabs.

There are a few ways to improve that search for scholarships:

Check out local and national service organizations.
Reach out to the registrar's office/financial aid office.
Talk with your student’s guidance counselor.
Use caution with loans

Even if payments are deferred until the student graduates, and you have an agreement with your student for them to pay the loan back, you are still liable for it. Before committing to the loan to cover education expenses, ask yourself if you can afford those payments now and in the future. 

When I was working as a professor, I included that question as an assignment for my students to discuss personal finance with their parents. Most parents responded with a “No!” Although it caused panic in some homes, many were relieved I raised the question during freshman year rather than before graduation.

Don’t borrow from the future

This can’t be said more directly: Do not borrow against your retirement accounts to foot the bill for school. Instead of delaying—or potentially destroying—your retirement, it’s important to weigh that burden and consider how it will affect your future finances. Only you can be counted on to take care of yourself in retirement.

Social Security will exist, but the benefit will likely be much smaller than it is today. The amount already isn't enough for someone to survive without a drastic change in their standard of living. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly retirement benefit for Social Security recipients is $1,781.63, which is a little over $21,000 a year.

Prioritize retirement first and then college. Fully fund your retirement every year. If you have money outside of that, you have free rein to save for your child's college education. We’ve all heard the airline directive of putting your oxygen mask on first and then your kids. Prioritizing your well-being first will save you, your family and your finances in the long run.


Dr. Kate Mielitz, AFC®, is a seasoned financial expert and compassionate counselor at Beyond Finance, where she leads their comprehensive financial counseling program. With over 20 years of experience in financial services, she has helped countless individuals navigate money issues and decisions to achieve a more secure financial future. She can be reached at

August 9, 2023

Baby shower ideas! - Etta Loves

Animal Print Muslin Blanket - $65

Etta Loves organic cotton triple layer blanket provides perfect sensory stimulation on the go, having a cuddle or for happier tummy time, and the striking stylish prints will be loved by everyone. Reversible dalmatian (newborn-4 month print) and leopard print (5+ months) in super-soft organic cotton.

Etta Loves patterns are expertly scaled and colored by their consultant orthoptist specifically to support babies' visual and cognitive development throughout their first year.

Animal Print Playmat - $95

Etta Loves organic cotton playmat provides perfect stimulation for tummy time and playtime. Reversible dalmatian (newborn-4 month print) and leopard print (5+ months) in soft organic cotton with a comfy padded fill.

Zebra Lovey - $24

Super soft, super cute lovey in Etta Loves striking zebra print that your baby will want to keep in their hands and near their eyes. Babies not only love the clever pattern but will also fiddle with the adorable floppy ears with their soft strokable plush fabric, providing an additional sensory experience.

Etta Loves zebra print has been designed to support babies visual and cognitive development from birth to around 4 months.

June 15, 2023

The Boy with Faster Brain Named 2023 National Parenting Product Award Winner

The Boy with the Faster Brain, Peter Shankman’s new book that helps parents and children navigate the scary and confusing world of ADHD, has been named winner of the National Parenting Products Award for 2023.  Integrity and honesty are at the core of NAPPA Awards' mission. For over 33 years, the National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA) has been ensuring that parents purchase the highest quality products that help them connect and enjoy time with their families.

 Peter Shankman realized a long time ago that his ADHD was responsible for most, if not all his success. After starting and selling three companies and writing five best-selling books (including Faster Than Normal, which in five years has become the bible of ADHD and productivity), Peter decided it was time to write a book that focused on children—one that would teach them that ADHD, and all forms of neurodiversity, can be gifts, and not a curse—as long as they understand how to use them.

 That’s what The Boy with the Faster Brain is about. Meet Peter, his mom and dad, and Dr. Lisa, who together help Peter navigate the confusing and scary world of ADHD.  Working together, Peter comes to understand that he has a faster brain than other kids and why having that can be the best thing a child could ask for.  The story helps parents explain to children with any type of neurodiversity issues that there is nothing wrong with them in a way they can understand. The story explains that Peter’s faster brain is like a race car.  With the help of his parents and Dr. Lisa, Peter learns how to effectively “drive” his brain.  The important message in the book is that children with ADHD and other forms of neurodiversity are not broken, they are brilliant and learning how to harness their faster brains opens up a world of possibilities.



Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you find the best traits of ADHD and work really hard to make them benefit you. By the time Peter was diagnosed as ADHD he had started and sold two companies and realized that all the differences that formerly labeled him as a troublemaker were actually his greatest assets. After Peter sold his third company, (Help a Reporter Out,) he decided to focus on really understanding this “faster brain” of his, and learning exactly what it could do. From that, the "Faster Than Normal" podcast and bestselling book of the same name were born. Since then, Peter has written numerous best-selling books and “Faster than Normal” is the Internet's #1 podcast on ADHD.  Peter believes that everyone has gifts, potential, and abilities far beyond what society has deemed “normal,” and strives to help bring those gifts to life in as many people as he can.  He lives in New York City with his 10-year-old daughter. For more information about Peter, visit his website,

June 8, 2023

Huhu Diaper Backpack

Huhu diaper backpack is a new kind of unisex, hyper-functional gear for adventures with your baby or toddler, and features practical, never-before-seen designs that would make any dad feel as if they have it all together. 

Product Background:

After being frustrated by the limitations of traditional diaper bags with her two little ones, designer Meng Li was inspired by the best hiking and commuting gear to meticulously-design a bag for caregivers who value style, function and adventure. Huhu is easy to carry, find and organize all the things you need on the go. It also has great features such as a game-changing, one-handed opening, moveable dividers and removable pouches, internal and external quick-access pockets plus wide cushy backpack straps designed for all body types.

Purchase Link:

Price: $195

Huhu is affiliate-friendly on Share a Sale and Skimlinks.

May 30, 2023

Uber Appliance Sorbet and Frozen yogurt maker machine Automatic frozen soft serve fruit dessert healthy homemade sherbet machine

  • FAST & FRESH: Pop in your fresh frozen fruit, and watch it magically transform into deliciously creamy soft serve- in just minutes.
  • DELICIOUS & HEALTHY: Slash away those fats, sugars, and artificial flavorings- while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
  • ONE TOUCH: Just hit the single power switch for automatically perfect, smooth sorbet.
  • EASY CLEAN: All parts removable for safe and simple wash-up.
    Dishwasher Safe Uber Appliance Sorbet and Frozen yogurt maker machine Automatic frozen soft serve fruit dessert healthy homemade sherbet machine - 4 pc Popsicle molds and recipe book included (Red): Home & Kitchen 

May 24, 2023

The smallest Karaoke set on the market

Karaoke is now available to bring on the road or a cruise, with the smallest Karaoke set on the

Sway Audio, a leading innovator in premium audio products, today announced they’ve added the Minioke LED Go Portable Karaoke Set, to its diverse collection of portable speakers and audio products.

Whether you’re four or 94, the TWS (true wireless stereo) Capable Minioke LED Go allows you to bring the entertainment and fun anywhere - from a kid’s birthday party and the beach to hosting friends for a summer BBQ, in a college dorm and tailgating at the game. It's a small device with a big sound!  It's also small enough to pack in a carry-on and bring on your cruise, vacation or road trip!

Featuring a five-watt, multi-ambient LED speaker, an upgraded Bluetooth 5.3 chipset and premium components, the speaker produces crystal clear audio with deep, rich sound to fill any room or outdoor location and keep the tunes pumping for six hours.

And to round out the experience, did someone say Karaoke? A state-of-the-art wireless microphone, using the latest 2.4G connection technology is also included.

The Minioke LED Go Portable Karaoke Set retails for $69.99 and is available on the Sway website at and on Amazon at SWAY Minioke LED Go Mini-Karaoke 5 Watt Portable Multi Ambient LED Music Speaker with Wireless Microphone : Electronics


May 8, 2023

Chicco’s Feeding & Soothing line has everything you need to make a first time mother’s celebration with her baby monumental.

Duo Bottle: This first-of-its-kind hybrid baby bottle delivers the purity and safety of glass on the inside and the convenience and lightweight durability of plastic on the outside. Please find more information on this revolutionary product below my signature!

PhysioForma 100% Soft Silicone One Piece Pacifier for Babies: This pacifier features an extra-soft silicone nipple with satin-textured finish to help keep paci in baby's mouth for uninterrupted soothing while the soft shield is comfortable and breathable on baby's skin.

Pocket Buddies: Made of plush and silky materials, Pocket Buddies are happy to hold baby’s pacifier in their paw or pop it in their belly pocket to keep clean and handy.v

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