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12 Unique and Helpful Products for Children With Autism

12 unique products for children with autism

Parking Pal was excited to be included in an article about products that are useful for children with autism.  Leave a comment below if you know of other products that would be useful.


12 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe This Holiday

By Kim Estes


The Holidays are here. OK, I said it. Hard to believe but true! The holiday season is often hectic and can be incredibly stressful to many parents. This year, global changes and uncertainty are also factoring into our holiday mood. There are so many things going on around us and often personal safety gets overlooked during this hectic time. However, now is the best time to brush up on safety with your family. There will be lots of interaction with family and friends and new experiences and new places. Now is a great time to practice “what if” scenarios with your kids. Believe it or not, taking time to talk safety with your kids will take some of the anxiety out of your holiday season and theirs.

Here are some great tips on how to stay safe during the holidays.

Safety while shopping:

• Have a designated spot (like a sales counter) to meet at if you get separated.

• Make sure younger kids practice their name, your name and cell phone number

• Remind kids never to leave the store, no matter what!

• Practice identifying “safe grown ups” while you are out and about

• Older kids should always take a friend when going to the mall without and adult

• Remind kids to always check first with you before going anywhere or accepting gifts

• Never leave children unattended in stores, arcades, or playgrounds

Safety at holiday parties:

• Let your child chose who they wish to show affection to. Do not force them to kiss or hug someone. Even if it means hurting Grandma or Uncle Joes feelings. Your child needs to know they have power over their own bodies.

• Check in on your kids when you are at a large gathering or function. Make sure they are doing OK.

• Kids need to check first with a parent before going off with someone at the party (eg. To play video games or watch a movie in the bedroom or leaving the house to go play in the front yard)

• Have each adult at the party take 20 minute “shifts” to cruise around and check on the kids to make sure they are all doing OK.

• If someone is making your child uncomfortable (excessive tickling, hugging, wrestling) intervene on your child’s behalf to end the behavior. You child needs to know they have your support and that you are there to protect them, no matter what.

Most of all have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
About the Author: Kim Estes is the owner of Savvy Parents Safe Kids and has worked with parents for over 15 years, educating them on various parenting topics. Kim is a certified prevention educator through the National Security Alliance, the Kid Safe Network and is a Darkness 2 Light facilitator. As a Child Safety Expert, Kim has appeared on local and national TV and Radio shows, helping to raise awareness on the importance of prevention education. For more information about her work or to schedule a workshops go to: www.savvyparentsafekids

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is just around the corner….55 days to be exact.  Parking Pal is so thrilled to be included in this awesome Holiday Gift Guide. You will find some really unique gifts that will put a smile on someones face!  It’s never to early to start your shopping!  Click on the image to the left.  Oh, and look for the discount codes! Happy Shopping!

Products included from the following brands: Bobbee, Hello Beach, NOBLO, Twooth Timer, Swimzip, Sand Gone, Babee Covee, Diaper Clutch, Parking Pal Magnet, Kiddo Tags, Refresh-a-Baby, Baby Jack Blankets Sensory Tag Blankets, Simply Charmed, Lilly Bit Uptown Diaper Clutch, Lovey’s Tushi Stick, Buddha Bunz, Lalabye Baby, I Like Book, Le Bibble, Accessory Connectz, SmartSeat Chair Protectors, Psi Bands, Tivoli Couture, Couture Clip, Scratch & Grain Baking Co, The Quick Split, CuddleCloth

I Put a Spell on You

By Guest Blogger Leslie Helsius

The witching hour is almost upon us. The one day of the year in which ghouls and goblins walk halloween-haunted-houseabout on the hunt for…..candy. Yes folks, it is Halloween time. I am a lover of Halloween. I always have been, I always will be. I remember as a child the hours of thinking of what “to be” for Halloween, the anticipation, getting dressed up and roaming the streets filling my bag with goodies. I remember coming home cold and exhausted and wet. Dumping my bag out on the floor and banishing my costume to a corner of the room so that I could properly sort though my tasty treasures. Making neat and tidy piles of candy…suckers, gum, hard candies, licorice and candy bars, only to put it all back in the bag. Taking it out again, sorting it and carefully selecting the sweet, sweet morsel I wanted to consume. Putting it all back in the bag. Taking it all out again, sorting it, scrutinizing every delectable foil wrapped treat, making the calculated, cautious choice…yes…there it is… next little piece of Halloween joy. Ah yes, it was a wonderful night.

Now my wonder lives on through my children. Well, it did. My oldest (Kid A) is in her first year of high school and is no fun at all now when it comes to Halloween (yes, I let my 13 year old go trick-or-treating). She does not like any of my costume ideas and thinks that Halloween is all about what she wants to dress up as. That is okay, because I have a two year old (Kid B) that doesn’t know any better and has no choice. My costume idea for them last year was a box of Kleenex for Kid A and a booger for Kid B.  Sheer Awesomeness!! Unfortunately (for me), Kid A vetoed that. You have no idea how disappointed I was. I am sure some years down the road Kid B will be thanking her that no one dressed her as a booger. There will be no incriminating photos or “the year you were a booger” stories. It is truly a Halloween nightmare! This year Kid A wants to be a cat. A cat? How original (eye roll…mine, not hers). Not that there is anything wrong with a cat, it is the way she wants to do it…some ears and a tail. Seriously…have I taught you nothing child? If you are going to be a cat, be a cat! Or a cat burglar or a cat in a hat or road-kill-cat. Sadly, she just isn’t on that level. I take comfort in knowing that where I failed with Kid A and the love of Halloween, I still have years to work on Kid B. So here are some of my Tricks to make Halloween a spooktacular Treat!(hahahhaaaa…yes I am that lame).

Please dress your child up. People (probably your neighbors) are spending (insane amounts of) money on candy to hand out to kids who knock on their doors. Why? Because at some point you do get too old to trick-or-treat, so the next best thing is to hand out the candy and see all the costumes. Dollar stores, thrift stores, garage sales, your garage, basement or even your own closets are good places to come up with creative costumes that won’t break the bank. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a box, markers and duct tape. Remarkable things can happen, like a Match Box car.

– Kids are creative and draw inspiration from the strangest places. Your little boy wants to be a stapler. Awesome. How to make a costume like that….I have no idea, but he may have a thought or two on how to make that a go. Listen to him and try to figure out how to make that walking office supply dream a reality.

– Keep climate in mind when picking a costume. I’m in Michigan. You never know what kind of weather you are actually going to have at the end of October. You can guess…..but never assume. And the weather people can’t really tell you either. It could be 70 or it could be snowing. Does that mean that when kid A wanted to be a princess I said no…of course not. Just make sure whatever costume you make or buy has enough room for warm layers underneath. Possibly even snow gear, like the kind you go skiing in. Or why not just be an Olympic Skier!

– Try to create or buy a costume that does not have a mask. Here is the thing. They are hard to see out of and they are hard to breathe in. They get sweaty and gross and visibility goes down to nearly nothing. The result will be removal of said mask, which goes back to the first point. Face paint and cheap make-up are great alternatives to the blinding, gag inducing confines of a mask.

– If they are wearing anything long – dress, cape, tentacles – make sure they can walk without tripping or getting their dress, cape, tentacles stepped on causing them to wipe out. Probably dropping their candy and crying. And it seems the older they are, the harder they cry when the drop their candy.

– Comfortable shoes. Need I say more? Seriously. It is bad enough when you have to carry the candy bag, you don’t want to carry the kid too.

– Glow sticks and flashlights are your friends. There are kids bolting every which way in a sugar induced frenzy. They do not care if they run you, your kids, grandma or the dog down. If you are in their way, you are fair game. They. Will. Not. Be. Stopped. If they are visible to you, you can get out of their way. They also don’t seem to heed the “look both ways before you cross the street” advice that has been drilled into their heads since they could walk. In fact, they have pretty much forgotten how to just…walk. They have one pace. Crazed. Making sure that kids (and you) are visible is a necessity.

halloween pumpkin– Always require payment for everything you do (beyond normal parenting things) in candy. Unless you hate candy (which I can’t imagine). Starting with payment for services rendered as a costume maker and candy bag carrier. Under no circumstances should you settle for the cast off candy. You know, the stuff your kids don’t want. Like the candy corns, or the mini bag of pretzels. No thanks. That should be given to you anyway upon the dumping and sorting of the candy bag. This is bonus candy. It belongs to you by default. You want a ride to your little friend’s house because its too cold? That will be a Snickers bar. You don’t pay, you can hoof it the couple of blocks that it is. You want me to get you to the next level on Mario Brothers, that will be two Butterfingers. Don’t want to divvy up….spend the next two weeks getting through it yourself. And no, I won’t help you later either….when your candy is gone. There will be no negotiations. No loans. And no freebies. If your kid has Halloween candy, you get payment. End of Story.

5 Summer Must Haves to Keep Kids Safe

Summer is here and June is actually National Child Safety Awareness Month. Summer is full of fun, travel, going to the beach and more – here are five summer must haves to keep kids safe this summer:

parking pal magnet safety kids product1. Parking Pal Magnet

This is a super safety product; unpacking the car at the beach can be challenging — beach chairs, coolers, beach umbrella, towels, toys, kids, ect. The Parking Pal Magnet is a magnet to place on a safe part of the automobile and a child places their hand on the magnet to stay in place safely while the car is unloaded. Parking Pal makes trips to the beach and anywhere else this summer easier and safer.



beach umbrella anchor summer safety product2. The Noblo Umbrella Buddy


Invented by two moms to stop fly away beach umbrellas (and the injuries that are caused), the Noblo is a simple to use beach umbrella anchor.

Three easy steps:

1) Fill noblo with sand

2) Velcro to beach umbrella

3) Relax at the beach. Noblo will take care of your beach umbrella.

Now parents can relax while at the beach knowing their children are safe from the potential flyaway beach umbrella.


cute giraffe baby air waddle safety for summer with mommy and toodler 3. Woombie Air Swaddle

This cutting-edge swaddle design requires no wrapping and regulates baby’s body temperature. Through patented technology, excess heat escapes to prevent overheating, a danger with the traditional swaddle blankets if wrapped too tightly or too thick. The Woombie Air is perfect for summer but can be used year round — just dress and undress baby as needed underneath.

Unique Features:
• 4-way stretchy fabric cocoons baby but allows for hip movement.
• The Woombie will not unravel like traditional swaddle blankets. Prevents issues such as startling, face scratching, overheating and dangerous loose unraveled blankets from covering baby’s face.
• Light and breathable — new Woombie Air technology allows for excess body heat to escape creating the first ventilated swaddle.
• Easy for mom to use: just put baby in and zip (2-way zipper for easy diaper changes); moms who swaddle their babies are less likely to put their babies to sleep on their stomachs when exhausted.

$26 with multiple colors/styles
teething toy for baby teethers4. Little Toader AppeTEETHERS

While adults and children have fun this summer, so can babies with AppeTEETHERS by Little Toader. Using a play on words with “appetizers” and “teethers”, AppeTEETHERS are fun, safe and effective teething toys that look like real food. While BBQing this summer, baby can enjoy a Chompin’ Chicken Wing or Baby-Q Ribs…coming soon this summer are Nopainapple (pineapple), Ice Cream U Scream (ice cream), Broccoli Bites (broccoli), and LOL! Sucker (lollipop). These patented silicone teething toys are free of BPA, Phthalate, PVC and lead providing the perfect amount of resistance to sooth babies’ sore gums and best of all they are fun.


baby blanket care seat cover5. Babee Covee 6-in-1 Baby Blanket & Cover

Babee Covee™ is perfect for protecting kids from germs on publicly shared items and is the ideal sun shade for babies! This award-winning versatile baby blanket and cover is actually SIX products in ONE! It makes daily life easy with baby by eliminating the need to buy, pack and carry bulky single-use items while helping to protect baby/toddler from germs where ever you go.

The trendy Babee Covee offers nine different styles and can be used as:

  • car seat “tent” cover
  • nursing cover
  • shopping cart cover
  • high chair cover
  • stroller cover/blanket
  • playtime blanket.

“[It’s] the product I wish I had when my twins were little” and “the wonder blanket” says Tory Johnson from Good Morning America. “I bring it everywhere I go!” – Actress Kate Clarke

$39.99 – $49.99

Have a great summer, enjoy, relax, and most importantly stay safe! Before you go…
Enter to win all five items here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interested in writing a guest blog for the Parking Pal? Send your topic idea to

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. D. Whitney LLC makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness,


Fourth of July is right around the corner and in celebration of Independence Day, these 8 Made in the USA products have come together to offer their products in a Pin it to Win it Contest.

Invented by moms for moms, these products solve common parenting dilemmas and make our lives a little easier. And now you can win each of the products you pin.


Two simple steps:

1. Pin each or any of the products you choose shown below to one of your Pinterest boards

2. Enter the board URL where you pinned to the Rafflecopter form below.

One lucky winner will receive all the products they pin!

Good luck!

Made in North Carolina - Dribble, meet Le bibble®. Designed by a mom fed up with messy feedings, Le bibble® is a 6-in-1 organic and designer cotton baby bottle bib that sops up leaks & dribbles.  Available at www.lebibble.comLe bibbleDribble, meet Le bibble®. Designed by a mom fed up with messy feedings, Le bibble® is a 6-in-1 organic and designer cotton baby bottle bib that sops up leaks & dribbles – while keeping baby focused on feeding! Available in over 20 bold and bright prints, each with an organic underlay for wiping dribble, Le bibble® takes bottle feeding to a new level. Perfect for the mom on the go! Proudly made in North Carolina. Patent Pending.




Made in Wisconsin, USA – Baby Elephant Ears are unparalleled in style and function, a multi-use headrest providing spinal/neck alignment and comfort. Available at www.babyelephantears.comBaby Elephant Ears, Inc. – Made in Wisconsin, USA – Baby Elephant Ears are unparalleled in style and function, a multi-use headrest providing spinal/neck alignment and comfort – offered in diverse prints and organics, ethically manufactured and made with sustainable materials. Chiropractor-inspired and

mom-designed, Baby Elephant Ears can go wherever baby goes – stroller, swing, carseat, changing table, wherever and whenever support is needed. Baby Elephant Ears is fully washable and requires no attachments, straps or special skills – just simple, loving use.


Made in Indiana, USA - The original Mommy Genius Drying Rack is a convenient place in the kitchen to hang wet baby bibs up to dry between meals.  Available at Mommy Genius Drying RacksMade in Indiana, USA – The original Mommy Genius Drying Rack was invented by stay-at-home mother of 3, Annie Pryor, because she wanted a convenient place in the kitchen to hang wet baby bibs up to dry between meals. This tall drying rack is also perfect for dish towels, washcloths, food storage bags, rubber gloves, icing bags, mugs, mittens, and children’s boots. Then, in 2013, Annie developed a second, shorter drying rack that is ideal for sports water bottles, Soda Stream bottles, and baby bottles. In addition to bottles, this new drying rack is also perfect for food storage bags, towels, washcloths, and so much more. Judging by her inventions, it is obvious that Annie spends a lot of time at the kitchen sink doing dishes.

Made in the USA - The Parking Pal is an inexpensive, fun product to keep kids safe when they are near cars or in parking lots.  Available at www.parkingpalmagnet.comParking Pal MagnetThe Parking Pal is an inexpensive, fun product to keep kids safe when they are near cars or in parking lots. It’s a magnet with colorful designs that stick to your vehicle. Kids are entertained and taught responsibility at the same time. It can be frustrating and stressful to take young children along to do basic tasks such as going to the store because of the danger in parking lots. Sometimes we need just a few seconds to unlock the door or get the baby in. The Parking Pal is a simple, affordable solution to keep kids safe and right next to your car in a parking lot.

Made in Satellite Beach Florida, USA – Sand Gone Sand Remove is a dry powder that when applied to sandy parts of your body removes the sand leaving your skin soft and smooth. Available at www.sandgone.comSand GoneMade in

Satellite Beach Florida, USA – Sand Gone Sand Remove is a dry powder that when applied to sandy parts of your body removes the sand leaving your skin soft and smooth. Sand Gone comes in a 8 oz container with a powder puff for easy application, all natural ingredients with a coconut fragrance giving you that beachy smell. Sand Gone works on both wet and dry sand. It’s like a dry shower in a jar. Makes clean up easy when leaving the beach or after playing in sand box.

Made in North Carolina, USA – ThrifTee Gear LunchBags are fully lined, water repellant, food safe lunchbags. Available at www.thrifteegear.comThrifTee Gear Reusable LunchBags from Upcycled T-shirtsMade in Boone, North Carolina, USA – Eco-cool ThrifTee Gear LunchBags are fully lined, water repellant and food safe. Created from upcycled t-shirts of the customers choosing provides a limitless canvas of one of a kind personal expression. This mom-owned business began when this mom set out to find a reusable lunchbag her own children would agree to take to middle school and high school. ThrifTee Gear provides a cool, reusable lunchbag option that doesn’t mind disappearing into the backpack after lunch. ThrifTee Gear is available in the Original style or the Backpack style at

Made in New Jersey, USA – Invented by two moms to stop flyaway beach umbrellas (and the injuries that can result from this), the Noblo is a simple to use beach umbrella anchor. Available at www.thenoblo.comNobloMade in New Jersey, USA – Invented by two moms to stop flyaway beach umbrellas (and the injuries that can result from this), the Noblo is a simple to use beach umbrella anchor. Three easy steps: 1) Fill noblo with sand, 2) velcro to beach umbrella, and 3) relax at the beach. Noblo will take care of your beach umbrella.





Bobee-table-218x300Bobee™ Diaper & Wipe DispenserMade in Colorado, USA – Award winning and patent pending, the Bobee Diaper & Wipe Dispenser is a wall-mounted diaper stacker & wipe dispenser. It organizes the nursery from clutter with a caddy that allows for one-handed access so a mom can keep one hand safely on their baby. Changing table space is freed up for other important baby items, and the diapers and wipes are up and out of the way from curious little hands. The dispenser comes white and is customizable with included colorful decals to decorate and match the nursery room decor.




Two simple steps:

1. Pin each or any of the products you choose shown above to one of your Pinterest boards. New to Pinterest, sign up at

2. Enter the board URL where you pinned to the Rafflecopter form below.

Winner chosen July 4th and notified via email. Open to USA.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mompreneur Monday- Annie Pryor


Mompreneur Monday — Annie Pryor

annie pryor

Annie Pryor is a stay-at-home mother of three and the inventor of the Mommy Genius Drying Racks. These kitchen countertop accessories are the perfect place to dry or display just about anything, including baby bibs, dish towels, food-storage bags and bottles. In addition to being incredibly useful, these drying racks are manufactured in the USA!

drying racks


About Annie

Before she had children, Annie earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Ohio State University. Annie attributes her ability to invent to all the years she spent problem-solving in the research lab. Instead of designing and solving problems with lab experiments, Annie now finds creative solutions to problems at home. Her children Jon (8), Katie Scarlett (5), and Michael (2) are a constant source of inspiration.

Annie’s “Aha” Moment
Annie’s “Aha” moment occurred five years ago when she had two young children who both wore bibs during meals. That meant that she had to deal with 6 to 8 food-covered bibs each day! Annie tried putting the bibs in the laundry after each meal, but they would get moldy sitting in the laundry basket. She liked rinse-off bibs, but there was never a good place to put them to dry. There were always wet bibs lying all over the countertop, and the lunch bibs were never dry by dinner. She decided that she needed a convenient place next to the kitchen sink to hang the bibs to dry. Since nothing on the market was right for hanging bibs up to dry, Annie decided to invent a drying rack. With no business, product development, or marketing experience whatsoever, it took her two years to bring her product from idea to reality. She worked during naptime and late at night when everyone was asleep. Annie finally started her company, Mommy Genius, in June 2010 with the launch of her “Bib Drying Rack”.

The Mommy Genius Drying Rack
After a year on the market, Annie tweaked the design of her “Bib Drying Rack” to make it more versatile. The “Mommy Genius Drying Rack” hit the market in December 2011. Not only is it great for drying baby bibs, it is also perfect for dish towels, washcloths, food storage bags, produce bags, icing bags, mugs, rubber gloves, herbs, mittens, and children’s boots. It is also a great display stand for Christmas ornaments and jewelry. The possibilities are endless! The Mommy Genius Drying Rack is available on amazon.

drying rack #2

The Mommy Genius Bottle and Bag Drying Rack
Although, customers loved the Mommy Genius Drying Rack, some people told Annie that they also needed a shorter drying rack for sports water bottles and bags. Taking this feedback very seriously, Annie designed a third drying rack. Her “Mommy Genius Bottle and Bag Drying Rack” just went up for sale in May 2013. It is ideal for just about any bottle including sports water bottles, SodaStream bottles, and baby bottles. It is also perfect for food storage bags, dish towels, washcloths, rubber gloves, mittens, and, yes, even baby bibs. It is also available on amazon.

drying rack #3

In addition to the drying racks, taking care of kids 24/7 has lead Annie to invent several other items that she uses to make her life easier. Annie hopes to bring a few more of her inventions to market in the future.


Interested in writing a guest blog on children safety topics or other family-friendly topics? If so, email your topic idea to

Safety Saturday-Bike Safety

Bike Safety-  Below are some tips from about bike safety.

bike helmet safety

•We have a simple saying: “Use your head, wear a helmet.” It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
•Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding, skating or scooting. Here are instructions on how to properly fit your child’s helmet.
•You’d be surprised how much kids learn from watching you so it’s extra important for parents to model proper behavior. Wear a helmet, even if you didn’t when you were a kid.
•Your children’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards. When it’s time to purchase a new helmet, let your children pick out their own; they’ll be more likely to wear it for every ride.

•Ensure proper bike fit by bringing the child along when shopping for a bike. Select one that is the right size for the child, not one he or she will grow into.
•Actively supervise your children when they are riding.
•Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10, so limit riding to sidewalks (although be careful for vehicles in driveways), parks or bike paths until age 10. No matter where you ride, teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks.
•Long or loose clothing can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes. Dress young kids appropriately to ensure a safe ride.

Here is a video about how to do a bike helmet fit test.

Interested in writing a guest blog on children safety topics or other family-friendly topics? If so, email your topic idea to