A Little Help

I often say that childcare has been the numero uno most stressful part of my parenting experience. (Which, when I think about it, makes me very, very lucky.) We are closing in on the end of that portion of our lives, as Kate can stay home by herself for short periods of time, but there are still occasions on which we need a little help.

Last week I had the opportunity to check out an app designed to make childcare arrangements a little easier, and I wanted to tell you about it. The app is called Little Helper, and it enables you to create a community of people you know and trust, and to ask (and give!) help when you need it. So, if you’re in a bind, you can send a message to your network that says “Can anyone keep my kids on Friday while I go to the dentist?” Those in your network will see it and can decide (without pressure) whether or not they can help. It takes a little of the stress off of both sides of that equation.

It’s easy. You create an event (which takes less than 30 seconds)…

little helper app

Notify your helpers…

little helper app2

And find and give help.

little helper app3

A key element to Little Helper is trust. It’s a closed environment where you know exactly who can see your request, whereas you might be a little hesitant to say “Hey, can anyone watch my kids while I leave my house empty and available for break ins next weekend?” That’s a bit dramatic, but I think you know what I mean! Even though I have privacy settings on my Facebook page, I don’t have a close relationship with each person I am friends with to say the least, and I don’t necessarily know that every single one of them is super trustworthy. Little Helper is safer in that capacity.

Some other ways Little Helper can be used:
– Co-parenting situations
– Pet care, lawn care, etc.
– Barter/credit system to trade time – people who have time rather than money and are willing to give it as payment, and vice versa.
– GPS-connected car pooling
– See more ideas on their blog

Little Helper is in the testing phase right now, which means there is currently not a fee for using it. If you check it out, leave a comment here and let me know what you think about it – I am interested to hear if it could be a solution for you!

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I recently had the opportunity to drive a Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T with all-wheel drive, and I loved it! It was super fun to have a brand new (incredibly clean) car delivered to my driveway… even though it was only for a week, I felt very fancy! It’s a contender for 2016 North American Car & Truck of the Year for a week, and I can see why.

The Sorento has a very technologically-advanced feel to me. Andy and I kept talking about just how much information is available on the dashboard.


As you can see, it’s got a great display for a GPS (why yes, I do drive to the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe frequently. I told you I was fancy. Okay fine, I stole that photo) and it’s set up for Pandora, among other things. It was really easy for me to pair my phone with the bluetooth system. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but considering I haven’t gotten around to digging out the manual to figure out how to do it in my own van, I was excited about that. I could even use Siri through the voice recognition in the car.

And get this – it shows the speed limit of wherever you happen to be. We are living in the future, I’m telling you.

However. I haven’t told you the best part yet.

The camera.

Check this out.


There are 360 cameras that show the entire area surrounding the car when you’re trying to park. So not only can you see what’s behind you, you can see what’s all around. Which means you don’t have to cross your fingers and hope you’re not going to sideswipe the car next to you. (What? It can’t be just me.) You can see the lines of the parking space. It is amazing.

To be quite honest, that camera/display system could be set up in a tin can and I would still love it, but the rest of the car was great too! My kids loved riding in it – they really, really wanted to keep it, actually. Andy and I enjoyed driving it as well. It drives kind of in between a car and a minivan. It is low enough that it was easy for my 90 year old grandma to get in and out of, but it is high enough to not break your back putting babies in a car seat. I’m a little past that stage of life, but I remember it well!


Learn more about the Kia Sorento here, and follow Kia on Twitter!

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“He Named Me Malala” in Theaters October 9

What do you have going on this weekend? For us, it’s one of those rare times that we don’t have too much on the calendar. Soccer game tomorrow morning and dinner out with friends tomorrow night… but other than that, we’re not scheduled.

If you have some time this weekend as well, I have a good idea for how you can spend it – go to the movies!

Specifically, go see “He Named Me Malala.”

Doesn’t that look amazing?!?

It’s the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakastani teenager who was shot in the head for speaking out about the radical idea that girls should be able to go to school. As I’m sure you know, Malala recovered from her life-threatening injuries and has gone on to have an incredible impact on the world and was even granted the Nobel Peace Prize.

I read her book several years ago, and I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call recently where she answered questions posed to her by mom bloggers. I was impressed with her kindness and humor, and the amazing way she articulates her vision. Did you know that providing 12 years of high-quality education for every child in the world would cost what we collectively spend on military power in just eight days?

Let that sink in for just a minute.

I really want to take Kate to see the movie! It’s a complex topic, though, and there’s a parents guide available here that will help facilitate discussion with our kids.

“He Named Me Malala” is showing in a couple theaters near us (Dayton peeps – it’s at the Fairfield Commons theater, as well as at The Greene), and I’m sure it’s showing near you as well. Check here to find out!

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