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Products that make Momsense

February 20, 2012 - Betsy Bethel
Every so often I post new or not-so-new products or services that have come to my attention as being innovative, family-friendly and/or time-saving. Today's installment of Products that make Momsense covers the gamut.

— Tie it up Q Knots are durable plastic, reusable, ratcheted ties perfect for tying up electrical cords. A bag of the self-locking rubber ties includes three sizes for multiple projects. I even used them to tie garland onto my fence gate at Christmastime. Additional uses include securing pacifiers together so they are easier to find in the diaper bag, tying your purse or diaper bag to the stroller, attaching a rattle or other toy to the swing or infant seat, staking plants in the garden, stringing twinkle lights, closing chip or cereal bags, bundling colored pencils or markers, and more. They're better than plastic zip ties because they're reusable, and they are safer and easier to manipulate than metal twist ties. Plus they stretch to fit. They come in packs of 12 for $5.99 or 25 for $8.99. A similar product called GearTies are also reusable and made of rubber-coated metal. They come in sizes ranging from 3 inches to 32 inches and multiple colors, but they are more expensive than Q Knots The smallest come in four-packs for $4.49; the largest in two-packs for $7.49.

— Send it out SendOutCards are a fun, easy way to organize your snail-mail correspondence with friends and relatives — and even clients or constituents. A friend whose birthday is today lamented this morning that "No one ever sends cards anymore." Online, animated greeting cards and a simple Facebook wall birthday wish have replaced the ultra-personal greeting card signed, addressed and mailed out by hand. People complain they don't have time for all that anymore. Cat Connors of St. Clairsville is a local SendOutCards distributor and explains that SendOutCards is like your very own online greeting card account that sends cards out for you. You can choose from thousands of cards or create your own cards, uploading your own pictures or using their artwork and templates, and then the company prints, stamps and mails the card for you — complete with your own signature, if you upload that, too. For a $9.80 monthly subscription, you can send 10 two-panel cards. (Cards are valued with points. You purchase points and use them to send cards. The two-panel card costs 2 points, or 98 cents. Add as many pictures as you want for another point.) Postage is extra. You can purchase more points to buy multi-panel cards, video cards, personalized business cards, gifts, photo books and more. There is no long-term commitment. For a video demonstration and to send a free card, visit Cat Connors' website at .

— Take your vitamins Kids are notorious for not wanting to take their vitamins. Let's face it, many adults don't like swallowing horse pills on a regular basis. I know I don't. I do take the gummy vitamins, though, and so does my daughter. My only problem with them is they stick to our teeth and we're usually taking them as we head out the door so there's no time to brush. Now, there's something new: alternaVites and alternaVites Kids is a multivitamin that comes in little packets of powder that you shake onto your tongue and let dissolve. AlternaVites Kids has 50 percent to 125 percent of the recommended daily values of a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B12, zinc and folic acid. It has 0 grams of sugar and no aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, animal products or by-products, artificial flavors or preservatives. (It is sweetened with the sugar alcohols mannitol and xylitol.) The single dose packs are void of any of the major food allergens, and they're even kosher pareve. The flavors are strawberry bubblegum and raspberry cotton candy, and can be sprinkled on the tongue or mixed into yogurt, pudding or smoothies. A one-month (30-dose) supply is $15.95.

— Fix your skin During a family vacation, a 12-year-old Omaha, Neb., boy with dry, cracked fingertips decided to try to relieve his skin using a stick of lip balm. Four years later, with his dermatologist father and grandfather, Daniel Schlessinger launched FixMySkin, a line of healing balms containing 1 percent hydrocortisone to relieve dry skin, chapped lips, psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, poison ivy and more. FixMySkin comes in three sizes -- a .50-ounce stick for the body, a .15-ounce stick for lips or smaller areas, and a .25-ounce pot. It comes in lightly scented vanilla or unscented/unflavored, is made in the USA and has a higher melting point than other lip balms, keeping it from melting in your pocket or a hot car. I have used the vanilla balms on my lips and hands here at the office and love the way it feels and smells. It's not too greasy, not too waxy and very soothing. Win!


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