Thursday, March 18, 2021

Travel nursing with family and pets? It can work!

My family had been stuck in our Chicago apartment for six months when Little E's school system made the decision to start the school year with online learning. Papa E was already working remotely, and we were keeping our distance from friends and family due to my ongoing risk of COVID-19 exposure while working as a nurse. With the ability to take school and work on the road, we suddenly found ourselves with an odd bit of freedom despite the many restrictions in place. One week after the school announcement, I signed my first travel nursing contract. I am now on my third contract, and traveling has been an awesome choice for our family (even our two cats!). Keep reading for answers to a few of the most common questions I am asked.

  • How did you choose an agency to travel with?
    • I ended up selecting an agency that was recommended by a friend who currently travels. I also did a lot of online research and spoke with several recruiters before making a final decision. Making a list of questions and priorities was helpful for me.

  • How do you manage long drives with your cats?
    • Our cats get very anxious in the car and are more comfortable when they can be together. Rather than using the small individual carriers that we typically use for things like trips to the vet, we purchased a large travel kennel that would give them space to stay together while still being able to move around. The 32" size took up two seats in the back of our Ford Fusion and left enough room for my son to sit comfortably. We maximized his space by using this backseat organizer from Amazon. We likely could have gone a little bit smaller but wanted space to be able to fit a small litter box during stops.

  • Which hotels let you stay with cats?
    • There are actually many hotels that will allow you to bring cats or dogs along for an additional fee, but even within some of the major chains this can vary from location to location. Always call ahead to verify prior to making a reservation. Motel 6 is a standout because they allow up to two pets to stay totally free across all of their locations. This is a good no-frills option when you just need somewhere to spend the night while driving. Check out this article from Go Pet Friendly for a list of nine hotel chains that allow cats.
  • Is it difficult to find pet-friendly housing? What about housing with more than one bedroom?
    • Working with a housing stipend rather than agency-provided housing gave us a lot more flexibility. Finding housing that allows pets can be difficult, but it is not impossible. We had good luck finding a cat-friendly unit with two bedrooms on Furnished Finder. Expect to pay a pet deposit, or even monthly pet rent in some cases. 
    •  Availability can also vary quite a bit by location. If you're interested in traveling to a specific area, do a quick search on Furnished Finder or other housing sites with the appropriate filters (entire unit, allows pets, 2+ bedrooms, etc.) on to get an idea of how many options are available. Do this before submitting for contracts in an area to avoid a high-stress situation later on.
Let me know in the comments if there are any specific questions you would like answered!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Skincare Faves + Giveaway!

Long shifts, reusing PPE, increased hand sanitizing, and high stress levels have not been particularly kind to anyone's skin over the last year. Skin breakouts and dry hands continue to be common complaints from my friends and coworkers. Here are a few of the products that I use in my daily routine as a travel RN that have kept my skin healthy and clear. Check out the giveaway link at the end of the post for a chance to win your choice of one of the products listed or a $30 gift card to Ulta to select a favorite product of your own.

Favorite Cleanser

L'Occitane En Provence
$44.00 (4.2 oz)

I discovered this cleanser a few months ago and was completely hooked from the very first wash. It is now my primary cleanser, and I really can't say enough good things about it. My skin feels super soft and refreshed with every use. 

Runner Up

It Cosmetics 
$28.00 (5.0 oz)

Prior to discovering the immortelle cream, this was my daily cleanser. I still mix it into my routine a couple of times a week. It is very gentle and keeps my skin feeling clean without drying it out. 

Tip: This periodically goes on sale at Ulta. Wait for a sale or prestige brand eligible coupon and then stock up. 

 Favorite Moisturizer

$38.00 (1.68 oz) 

My skin is generally dry with a few combination areas, and I use this cream daily after cleansing. It is moisturizing but lightweight and keeps my skin looking bright and feeling great.

Tip: Belif usually has a featured set available that has the full size cream plus 2-3 sample size products for the same $38.00 price as the cream alone. Check out the Moisture Festival set at belif or the Aqua Favorites set at Ulta. 

 Favorite Hand Cream

L'Occitane en Provence 
$29.00 (5.2 oz)

This hand cream is thick and moisturizing but absorbs quickly and doesn't leave a greasy feeling after use. I keep a tube at home, in the car, and in my work bag. I have tried other hand cream products from L'Occitane with high hopes, but none of them work quite as well as the shea butter. 

Tip: If you use as much hand cream as I do, skip the travel size. At $12.00 for a 1 oz tube, you'll be paying more than twice the cost per oz of the full size.

Share in the comments what products have been helping you with skin care challenges this year, and don't forget to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your choice of one of my favorite products or a $30 Ulta gift card. Entries will close on 3/16/21 at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is not an ad or sponsored in any way.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Literati Club Sage Review (June 2020)

*Please note that the following post contains affiliate/referral links.

Since Green Days Blue Waves was originally a blog that revolved around reviews of subscription boxes, it seems fitting to revisit those roots in this second take. We have been going through books like crazy over the last few months due to all of the time at home. I came across Literati while shopping for books online, and Little E just received his second box last week.

Literati is a book subscription for children ages 0-12. Little E is signed up for Club Sage which features books curated for 7-9 year olds. Currently he receives a box monthly, but there is an option to decrease the frequency if desired. Each box contains five books along with an art print by a featured illustrator and fun extras such as "This book belongs to..." stickers. Boxes include a prepaid return label, and the recipient has seven days from delivery to explore the books and decide which to keep or return. Literati costs $9.99 per shipment in addition to the cost of any books you decide to keep. The theme for June was "The Brainiacs," and included the following books:

Literati Club Price: $6.79
Amazon Price: $6.89
Savings: $0.10

Literati Club Price: $7.70
Amazon Price: $7.95
Savings: $0.25

Literati Club Price: $13.49
Amazon Price: $16.98
Savings: $3.49

Literati Club Price: $11.59
Amazon Price: $11.99
Savings: $0.32

Literati Club Price: $13.99
Amazon Price: $24.99
Savings: $11.00

Total Literati Club Price: $53.65 - additional 5% off for keeping all books ($2.68) = $50.97
Total Amazon Price: $68.72
Total Savings: $17.75

After the $9.99 subscription fee, that still leaves us with $7.76 in savings. We decided to keep the whole box this time as all of the selections were of interest. We haven't had time to dive into every book yet, but Big Questions from Little People was an instant favorite. As Little E has transitioned from Early Reader style books to more advanced reading, our goal has been to gradually start expanding his home book collection. I really like that Literati provides a wide variety of books, introducing us to selections we may not have chosen on our own.

If you are interested in signing up for Literati using my referral link click here, and we will both receive $20 in book bucks to use.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Welcome Back

I created Green Days Blue Waves in 2013 as a brand new mom navigating the world of baby products. Seven years later, I hope to share a little bit of my current journey as I try to find my way back to a sense of balance. Today, I am exhausted... but tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Let's catch up! (July Boxes)

It has been busy, busy, busy at the Frog home! Here are a few highlights from the boxes that I didn't get a chance to review in July:

Stork Stack: We were impressed with this box, and Froggy has really enjoyed playing with the caterpillar toy. Unfortunately, we lost the hat in the park the first and only time he wore it!

Citrus Lane: Froggy was obsessed with the giraffe toy, but it ripped along one of the seams within a week. Most of the other items weren't a great fit for us.

MommiesFirst: They obviously read my mind this month.The spoon and bib were exactly what we needed! I was a little meh on the lavender spray at first, but as soon as I used it, I loved it! 

This bib is perfect for Froggy, especially since he recently decided that he wants to be the one who handles getting the food filled spoon to his mouth.

We got Naturebox and Graze in July as well, but those always eaten before I get a chance to take pictures. It's not my fault that they send such yummy snacks! I decided to cut back on baby boxes for August. We were starting to see a lot of repeat items each month. On the bright side, that means that I can hunt for some all new subscriptions to try! Does anyone have any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Local Spotlight: Green Envee Organics

We received Green Envee's Soothing Aloe & Calendula nut-free children's lotion in one of our Stork Stacks and fell in love with it right away. We are very selective about what products we use on Froggy. This lotion does a great job of keeping his skin moisturized using only natural ingredients. It is also nut-free, which is awesome. Why expose him to any unnecessary allergens at this age? When I went online recently to look into ordering more, I found out that Green Envee is based right here in Illinois! I couldn't wait to share them with you.

Froggy approved!

Green Envee Organics was started by two cousins named Tim and Bob, after Tim struggled to find a product that would work for his daughter's eczema and Bob's son was diagnosed with severe allergies. Their research into the subject revealed to them the many harmful chemicals found in most common products. Not wanting to use those products on themselves, let alone their children, Tim and Bob decided to try their hand at creating all natural body care products. The end result was Green Envee, a line of body care products that are handmade from only natural, organic ingredients. 

Green Envee's goal is to focus on promoting holistic wellness within the mind, body, and spirit. Their product line is free of chemical fillers, GMOs, sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. In order to keep the planet looking just as good as their customers do, Green Envee uses only recyclable packaging and prints their biodegradable lables with soy ink. All of their products break down within a 48 hour period. They have even received a Champion Award from the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. 

We love being able to support a local company with such a great mission. Head over to Green Envee's website to check them out for yourselves! 

Green Envee has an awesome giveaway for you! One lucky Green Days Blue Waves reader will win a French Lavender and Chamomile gift set of a lotion, wash, and body oil valued at $60. You can enter to win using Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

I'm linking up with Jennifer over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts!

- I really need to go picture frame shopping. Froggy will be getting his third set of pictures done in a few weeks, and the first two sets are still sitting untouched in their folders.

- Maybe I watched one too many episodes of Property Brothers, but the idea of buying a fixer-upper and renovating it ourselves is really starting to grow on me. I have been spending an unhealthy amount of time scouting potential options on Trulia. A break from HGTV is definitely in order!

- I am seriously considering reupholstering our couch. My fear is that I won't be able to find the time to finish it, and our living room will end up sporting a half-naked couch for months. 

- Am I the only one who has been watching Switched at Birth? I was in tears at least three different times during Monday's episode. John finally appreciates Regina!

- This summer is flying by. We haven't even made it to the beach yet! Usually I'm all about summer, but this year I'm actually looking forward to fall. Everything is just way too crowded right now. Outings with Froggy will be much more fun once the big kids are back in school and tourism isn't at its peak.

- I'm still hunting for The Best Convertible Car Seat Ever. Any suggestions are hugely appreciated!

That's it for me today! What are your Thursday Thoughts?