Four Incredible Family Helpers


**Disclaimer: By this list of what our family considered family helpers, you’ll see that most of our  struggles are hair-centric. And we  like to eat. We also really love water bottles, but this  doesn’t make our family unique. Have you seen the water bottle aisle at Target? Excuse me, water bottle aisles at Target?  We have most of those bottles falling out of our kitchen cabinets. Also, no one paid me  to write about these products. But, again, that would be awesome.

The Hair Bean


On a good day, our kids’ hair looks like the before picture on the brush’s package.

My kids have thin, white hair that is prone to humidity. We also live on the coast, surrounded by 99% humidity. Their frizzy, thin, white hair easily tangles itself into silken knots that are impossible to get out. Until we found The Hair Bean, which is a silly name for a fantastic product.

Unlike most As-Seen-On-TV products, this one does do what it says it will. Without pulling your child’s tender scalp, The Hair Bean separates their hair and then smoothes it into something like the After picture.

To recap: if your neighbors have ever called CPS while you were trying to brush your through your daughter’s hair, this brush is for your family.

Wick Fowler’s False Alarm Chili Fixins


During the summer, we have lots of extra TOGETHER time in the family schedule. Pool time, beach time, travel time, reading time, etc. Actually, we end up spending just about all our time together. Which is fun, until I need to accomplish something, like, say, cook a meal. The kids, who are attached to me, want to help. This always seems like a good idea….

…unless the meal prep is anything beyond, “tear up this lettuce” or “peel this orange.” The kids usually need so much supervision, the cooking takes ten times as long. By the time we’re deep into meal prep, everyone’s blood sugar has dropped to the Temper Tantrum Zone.

Our family has a fantastic go-to meal the kids can  help to make. Wick Fowler’s Chili Kit. It’s not a processed-food “chili starter” type of kit that’s full of MSG and chemicals. Instead Wick Fowler includes eight essential spices that you add to ground beef and tomatoes.

While I’m browning the ground beef, the kids snip open the packets and mix together all those pre-measured spices. After I drain the beef and add tomatoes, the kids add their bowl of seasonings. It’s as healthy as from-scratch chili, but the kids aren’t shaking the salt over the bowl, asking me if there’s any difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon and if they can add some Fun Dip. It’s a summer cooking win.

Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo


You know that urban legend that your hair will turn green from too much chlorine? Last summer our kids lived that urban legend. Too many pool hours from swim team left our kids’ hair looking like they shared beauty products with the Wicked Witch of the West. My hairdresser told me we could either cut all their hair off, or try Sunday Shampoo.

The girls were not excited about looking like their brothers, so we went the Sunday Shampoo route. It worked so well to strip the chemicals out of their hair, the shampoo has become a regular in our kids’ shower. The girls try to remember it on Sunday, to help their hair rest on the Sabbath, but that’s way too scheduled and consistent for our kids.

Instead, they remember it when they can and their hair looks so much nicer. Swimming pool, here we come!

Camelbak Groove Water Bottle


Like I said, our family is firmly part of the Reusable Water Bottle Culture. The kids carry water bottles to school, sports practices, outside to play, and even into their beds. Our level of hydration may seem excessive, but we have made progress past those landfilling Disposable Plastic Bottles, so that’s a win.

Even with our collection of water bottles (water bottles that misted, unbreakable glass water bottles, monogrammed water bottles, and water bottles featuring Disney Princesses), we had a problem. The bottles were only as good as what was in them. Houston’s water is full of minerals we’d rather not drink and it tastes funny.

If we weren’t home to fill the bottle with filtered water from the fridge, the kids wouldn’t drink it. You see the problem. Even though we were using reusable water bottles, we had to pack a lot of them full of filtered water from home.

Then I found the Camelbak Groove, which has a filter in the straw. The filter actually works to make water that’s full of iron and calcium taste like it’s not. The kids fill up their water bottles at every drinking fountain and faucet they see. And they only need one water bottle to last them the day. I mean, yeah, they have to pee a lot, but with our society’s love of water bottles, that seems to be the case for everyone.



  1. Amanda says

    1. I so love reading what you write–it’s almost bizarre at this point how similar we are.
    2. I had no idea I NEED this tangle brush thing for my tender scalped Shel. Although she has my thick hair-like freakishly way more hair than one person has–are you sure you know how many hairs WE have God??? But she does not have my thick scalp and cries when she brushes her hair.
    3. The end.

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