January Chatter

Testing the products so you don’t have to; pointing out places and things we find of interest. 

gender prediction test

Our curiosity was piqued just enough to give this product a go, sending it to someone who already had her sonogram and knew she was having a girl. IntelliGender’s Gender Prediction Test is a simple-to-use urine test that provides immediate results. In minutes, the test indicates the gender result based on an easy to read color match. Green indicates boy and orange indicates girl. Well … unless our test subject is in for a surprise in a few short months, the test predicted a boy. To be fair, accuracy rates will vary depending upon how closely the package directions are followed, among other variables. Three trials conducts by the company have shown a 90% success rate. $34.95 at major drugstore chains.


bed of (relaxing) nails

A new product called the Halsa Wellness Mat looks like a yoga mat covered in hundreds of round spike patterns. A modern take on the beds of nails yogis used thousands of years ago to naturally stimulate the release of endorphins and oxytocin, the body’s own pain relief hormone, the mat consists of 8,820 spikes that stimulate your body’s acupressure points. Simply lying on the mat for 10 minutes yields the benefits of increased blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and nutrient delivery throughout the body. Some users have found that using the mat has helped to reduce the appearance of cellulite, increase energy levels, and reduce muscle tension, headaches, and back pain. halsamat.com, about $50


finding borneo

Susie Shubert, aka Metal Mommy, blogs “Finding Borneo: my son has Asperger’s and all I got was this lousy handbook…” with humor and compassion as she copes with her child having a diagnosis that “makes him different from your average child.” 


With her blog, Shubert isn’t looking for sympathy — her goal is to share her experiences and feelings with anyone who might be going through the same thing. “One thing I’ve learned,” says Shubert, “is that no two children on the spectrum are alike. [And] it’s much easier to go through such a thing when you feel you are not alone.” 


Sample entry: Scout’s big sis had her 14 year-old birthday slumber party last night. A parent came to the door this morning to pick up one of the girls. It was pretty early, and Scout was still in his boxer-briefs. That’s how he likes to sleep … he starts out in jammies but typically ends up taking them off at some point in the night. ...


I chatted with the dad at the front door while the girl was getting her stuff together. All of a sudden Scout appears in all his skivvie-glory and announces, “Don’t mind me in my underwear, this is how I sleep!” and then goes back to what he was doing in the other room. Ahhh, unabashed youth. Or shall I say, Asperger youth…??! 

Check it out: findingborneo.wordpress.com 

protect your arms

Invented by a mom who was tired of the handle of the car seat carrier digging into her forearm, Lily Winnail invented Padalily, a stylish car seat handle pad that uses Velcro to attach. Colors and patterns abound. Reversible, too. Our parent tester approved of this product wholeheartedly! padalily.com, about $26

gallery openings

Want a nice evening of people watching, coupled with conversation-provoking art, and maybe even some free food and wine thrown in for good measure? Need to get away as a couple but don’t have a lot of time or money? Is your babysitter 15 minutes late? Well, that’s not an issue if you are heading to an opening at a local art gallery. This month’s choice is Gallery360, at the intersection of Xerxes and 50th Street in southwest Minneapolis. From 7 to 10 p.m. on certain Saturday nights, Gallery360 hosts an opening that is always packed with great people watching — and great art. Say hello to owner Merry Beck and her attentive employees as they pour you a complimentary glass of wine or beer, then head to the back to ponder the featured artists’ work. Linger over the many interesting items for sale, sample appetizers usually supplied by Birchwood Café, and take as little or as much time as you’d like. Visit gallery360mpls.com for information on upcoming shows. 

lice busters

RNs Lisa Rudquist (Savage) and Rachel Knutson (Prior Lake) have opened Ladibugs Incorporated, the first Minnesota head lice removal service certified to use the “LouseBuster” device, a FDA-cleared medical device to treat head lice and louse eggs (nits).


The device, similar to a blow dryer with a diffuser-like tip, generates enough heat to kill the pests, all while operating on a lower temperature than a blow dryer. A natural and organic hair care product is applied afterward; then the scalp is combed to rid it of the pests. Ladibugs makes housecalls but also is opening its first salon this month. Visit ladibugsinc.com for more information.


Calming tool: MeMoves interactive body puzzles

MeMoves™ is a multimedia product that transforms the mind and body through interactive “body puzzles,” — a program that simultaneously engages a person’s auditory, visual, motor planning and sequencing, and limbic parts of the brain. Each sequence is a combination of music, movement, and images, utilizing simple, geometric shapes. Organized into three categories, users select one of the 13 sequences on the DVD and imitate the actions on the screen. It can be used as an early childhood program for those as young as three, although it appeals to a wide range of ages and abilities. It is helpful for individuals living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s, Sensory Integration Disorder, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and/or depression. Regardless of age, using it for just a few minutes each day decreases stress, improves mood, and enhances one’s ability to focus.


Says founder Roberta Scherf, who created the first iteration of this program for her young daughter, “In a month’s time, she went from not being able to read single letters to reading words and then chapter books. She began to make eye contact and spoke more fluently and easily. Her life changed.”


In less than a year of operation, the product has reached over 100 school districts (including in the Twin Cities) in over 45 states. Visit thinkingmoves.com for testimonials and purchase information.


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