Study Shows Parents Are Stressing Over Lunches. Here’s Why


Study Shows Parents Are Stressing Over Lunches. Here’s Why

photo: Elizabeth via Flickr

Back-to-school mornings can be hectic when you’re trying to wake, dress, feed and move-out-the-door a bunch of little ones. So it’s not really a surprise that a recent study found that parents reported “packing lunches” to be a stressful addition to the morning schedule.

The study, conducted by the lunch delivery company Wise Apple, found that 85 percent of parents were “stressed” when preparing and packing lunches for their kids, according to ABC News affiliate KSPR. And it’s not just because they’re struggling to find healthy options to stash inside bento boxes; many parents worry about allergies — either with their children or other kids in the classroom.

And there’s reason to worry. According to the Food Allergy Research & Education Inc., approximately one in 13 children — or roughly two kids in every classroom — have a food allergy. And, about 30 percent of kids with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.

“[My] oldest is allergic to dairy, peanuts, corn, soy and eggs,” Cheryl Li, a mother of two girls, told KSPR. “The youngest is allergic to corn, soy, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, any nightshades, any food dyes or artificial sweeteners, and both of them are allergic to gluten. I spent a couple of hours yesterday preparing food to go with us today.”

But even if you’re not fretting over food allergies, sending kids off to school with a balanced diet packed in their lunch boxes can be tricky.

“About half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, maybe a fourth whole grains, and fourth good lean, healthy proteins,” Mercy Hospital Registered Dietitian, Auvia Miller, said in the report.

Need some good ideas for lunches? Check out Red Tricycles Beyond the Boring Sandwich lunch ideas. And, check out these awesome bento boxes to make packing lunch a little less stressful!

Do you have any secrets for making lunch-packing easier? Tell us in the comments below. 



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Where You Can Still Attempt to Buy Eclipse Glasses or Make Your Own Safely


photo: Peter Corbett via Flickr

If you haven’t gotten your eclipse glasses yet, you’re not entirely out of luck. From a few last-minute places to check this weekend, to making your own DIY eclipse viewer, there are still ways you can safely view the event.

While it’s probably too late to score glasses online, there are a few spots you might want to check while you’re out and about over the weekend. According to the American Astronomical Society’s website, several national retailers you might not expect have been selling eclipse glasses in store. The AAS lists 7-11, Best Buy, Kirklands, Kroger, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart among several retail locations that have been selling the glasses. While there’s no guarantee which locations are stocking them or whether they have any left, it’s definitely worth checking when you make that Slurpee run.

Libraries across the country have also been giving away free glasses through the STAR Net program. While many have already run out, it’s a good idea to check with your local library in case they are hosting an event the day of the eclipse, in which case they may have some available for attendees.

If you’ve exhausted all your options, there are still a few ways you can safely check out the eclipse with nothing more that a cereal box and some other household items. Check out the video below from the NASA Goddard Space Center to learn how to make your own pinhole projector out of an empty cereal box.

What are your plans for watching the eclipse on Monday? Were you lucky enough to score a pair of glasses? Tell us in the comments below.



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Here’s Why a Beach Trip Makes You Happier, According to Science


photo: Pixabay

School may be back in session, but you’ll want to make the most of those last warm summer rays with a weekend trip to the beach. According to studies, the ocean can actually have an effect on your mind and your mood.

What better way to combat the stress of the back-to-school hustle and bustle, than a calm relaxing day at the beach? As NBC News Better explains, there’s a good reason you feel so at peace after a day of splashing on the shore. Data analyzed in a study published in Health Place found that people who live near the ocean reported having better mental and physical health than those who didn’t.

As a recent Gallup poll survey of the happiest states in the country highlights, being in close proximity to the outdoors makes you happier, so it follows that living near the ocean would also be a great mood-booster. Not everyone can afford a beach house, however, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ocean’s calming effects. As Richard Shuster, PsyD, clinical psychologist, tells NBC News, practicing mindfulness while you’re on a short visit to the beach can make the effects last after you’ve left the sand behind.

“Focus on how your body feels warm from the rays of the sun, focus on what it feels like to have your feet in the sand, breathe deep and smell the ocean air.” Most importantly, you need to disconnect. Avoid Instagramming every sand castle and seashell and just be present.

Do you feel more relaxed after a day at the beach? Tell us in the comments below.



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This New LEGO Reality Series Will Determine the Greatest Master Builders of All


photo: Channel 4 via Twitter

If your kids (or you) have ever ogled the handiwork of some impressive LEGO sculptures and wondered just how they got built, then LEGO Masters is the new reality show for you.

Contestants in the new U.K. television series LEGO Masters will compete in weekly LEGO building challenges to determine exactly who is the best Master Builder of all. The eight team pairs of all ages, including 9-year-old best friends, a mom and son, a dad and son, young female cousins, and university engineering students, will be competing in the debut reality series. Each week the teams face a different themed-building challenge, like nature, movement, and a LEGO feast. The final head-to-head battle of the top two remaining teams will require them to build a master-work measuring 6.5 feet by 6.5 feet and using 500,000 LEGO bricks.

The concept is so ingenious it’s hard to understand why it took this long to hit airwaves. Unfortunately for US fans the wait might be even longer, as the series is currently set to air on Channel 4 in the U.K. with no word on an American broadcast. With so many successful British adaptations for US television, however, it’s only a matter of time before it gets reworked and debuted here, so keep your remotes ready.

Would your own mini master builders love this show? Share your thoughts in the comments.



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This Netflix-Style Subscription Plan Let’s You Watch Unlimited Movies in the Theater for $10 a Momth


This Netflix-Style Subscription Plan Let’s You Watch Unlimited Movies in the Theater for $10 a Momth

photo: Raymond Shobe via Flickr

Netflix has been a game changer for watching movies and television shows at home, so it makes sense that one company wants to apply that same model to the movie theater business. With a minimal subscription fee, you can see as many movies as you want in the theaters every month.

With the cost of movie tickets skyrocketing, it can be a real gamble whether to take the family to the see the latest blockbuster in the theater or wait it out for the Netflix debut. MoviePass, which has actually been around for a few years, just announced that they are dropping the price of their monthly subscription fee to $9.99. Meaning, you can watch a movie in the theater every day for a month without spending more than $10. The way that MoviePass works is, you use their app to search for movie tickets at any theater for any movie and make your selection the same way you would on MovieTickets.com or Fandango, but instead of paying, MoviePass buys the ticket for you.

If it sounds too good to be true, it just might be. After yesterday’s announcement, AMC Theaters released a statement that they are trying everything in their power to stop MoviePass from being able to purchase tickets for showings at their chains, explaining that it’s a bad business model that’s doomed to fail. To be fair, it’s hard to see how MoviePass wouldn’t lose money on this deal, considering that watching just two movies in one month would cost more than $10.

However, MoviePass is hoping that people who sign up for the subscription and don’t use it every month will help balance the costs. You know, kind of like that gym membership you signed up for last January and ignored after March.

Would you sign up for a subscription with MoviePass? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



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It’s Official, Starbucks Has Just Launched Pumpkin Spice Season in Your Grocery Store


It’s Official, Starbucks Has Just Launched Pumpkin Spice Season in Your Grocery Store

photo: Starbucks

Back-to-school time is in full effect, which only means one thing: pumpkin spice season is just around the corner. If you just can’t wait to indulge in that latte, however, drop the kids off and head to your grocery store, where Starbucks has kicked off the fun a little early this year.

photo: Starbucks

It might not even be September yet, but Starbucks has just launched its Pumpkin Spice product line in grocery stores across the country. Shoppers can choose from two new pumpkin offerings in addition to the items they’ve already featured in past years, like Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte K-Cup Pods and Iced Espresso Classics Pumpkin Spice Latte. The two new selections are a Pumpkin Spice Flavored Ground Coffee and a ready-to-drink Pumpkin Spice Latte, which comes in a screw top bottle and can be found in the refrigerated section.

photo: Starbucks

These items are seasonal and only available for a limited time, so if you’re a big pumpkin spice fan, ignore the summer heat and head to your grocery store stat. Starbucks promises that there will be more seasonal drink items on the way in the ready-to-drink Iced Latte line. We can only assume that means Peppermint Mochas will arrive just in time to deck the halls.

Are you excited for Pumpkin Spice season? Tell us in the comments below. 



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Pottery Barn’s Halloween Costumes Are out and Totally Adorable


photo: Pixabay

If you’re looking for a top-notch costume for your tiny trick-or-treater, Pottery Barn Kids has released this year’s collection of kids’ costumes — and they’re cute enough to (maybe?) warrant their higher price tags.

Check out some of our faves:

Baby Squirrel Woodland Costume, 0-12 months. We don’t know which is cuter: the kid or the costume. $69. View online.

Monique Lhuillier Baby Fairy Costume, 6-24 months. Make your baby look even more angelic with this gorgeous dress and wing set. $69. View online.

Toddler Disney Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen Costume, small/large. Your Cars fanatic is going to love getting into the driver’s seat of this costume. Note: Pottery Barn Kids also has Mater and Sally costumes! $69. View online.

Toddler Snoopy 3D Doghouse, 3T to 6 years. Kids get the dog and the doghouse with this clever Peanuts getup. $69. View online.


Toddler Star Wars Chewbacca Costume, 3T to 6 years. Your kiddo doesn’t have to be a Star Wars fan to love this furry costume. Note: Pottery Barn Kids has an entire Star Wars collection. $99. View online.

Pink Fairy Light-Up Costume, 3T to 8 years. This costume actually lights up, so not only will your little fairy look magical, but she’ll be super-visible crossing the street on Halloween night.
$119. View online.

Unicorn Tutu Costume, 3T to 8 years. We think this costume is fab because — minus the headband horn — your little girl can wear it on any day of the year! $89. View online.

Do your kids already know what they want to be for Halloween? Tell us in the comments below. 



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This Family Robot Will Capture Your Best Memories on Video for You


photo: heykuri.com

From Siri to Lexa, robots and artificial intelligence are officially part of our daily lives, and now a new domestic robot promises to take that technology to a greater level with mobility. Say hello to Kuri your personal family robot.

While Kuri isn’t exactly Rosie from the Jetsons, this adorable little robot, that could easily be Wall-E’s long-lost cousin, will revolutionize the smart home. Unlike tabletop systems, like Amazon Echo, Kuri can move throughout your home making it easier to communicate with. Besides maintaining smart home functions, Kuri is designed as a companion more than a mobile remote control. Kuri will keep you company, remind you of appointments and just simply be super cute to watch. Kuri doesn’t respond with words, but with its animated eyes, movements and robotic sounds, making it more like a pet.

photo: heykuri.com

Kuri is also outfitted with an HD camera behind one of its eyes. Besides acting as a sensor to capture information, it can also be used to capture off-the-cuff family movies. For all those precious moments when you look back and wished you had grabbed your phone or when you’re so in the moment that you don’t even think to do so, Kuri can be there to capture the memories. As TechCrunch explains, Kuri can be programmed to capture up to eight short videos per day that are sent directly to your mobile app.

Kuri is currently available for pre-order with a targeted ship date in early 2018. Kuri doesn’t come cheap, however, your new robotic personal assistant will cost you $799.

Would you use one of these robots in your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



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This Stroller Can Push Itself – Would You Try It?


photo: Igor Gabrielar via YouTube

In case your stroller is too much of a nuisance to push, a new “Smart Stroller” is offering to take over and do the pushing for you. The SmartBe stroller, which was fully funded by IndieGogo, lets you to walk or run, hands-free, while the stroller cruises all by itself.

“Introducing the Smartbe, the first intelligent stroller in the world which solves all your needs, as well as your babies’” says the commercial, (which, by the way, makes the contraption look totally creepy in a cool, high-tech way).

The stroller has a motion tracking sensor system that allows it to follow the user’s movements, whether he or she is going backward or forward, running or walking; it does this by communicating with a watch-sized device worn around the user’s wrist. From afar, it looks like the parent is just running a foot or two behind while the stroller zooms forward like a rolling robot.

We can’t decide whether it’s awesome or terrifying, but if you’re wary of letting a machine take your baby for a ride, you can just use the “assist propelled mode,” which, basically, moves the stroller forward for you, so all you have to do is hold the handle and steer (this would be great on steep hills). Even simpler, the “Manual Navigation” mode lets you push and control the stroller just like you would any other, without any help from the engine.

Aside from its self-driving and motorized capabilities, the Smartbe also has some pretty impressive features, including climate control, a bottle warmer, an onboard video camera, baby lullaby music and an automated canopy. These features can all be controlled by the Smartbe app.

photo: Igor Gabrielar via YouTube

“We have applied the greatest advances in technology and safety standards answering both parents and babies’ needs,” founder Guillermo Morro said in the Smartbe’s promotional video, which is posted to its website. “We are an advanced team of designers, engineers, and technologists offering a cutting-edge solution to our most-loved ones.”

If this all sounds pretty expensive — it is! The starting price for the stroller is $3,199.

Want one? You’re going to have to wait. While the Smartbe was fully funded by its backers in 2016, a recent update notified customers that manufacturing has been delayed.

For more information, check out the Smartbe website.

Would you try a self-driving stroller? Why or Why not? Tell us in the comments below. 



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