Built For Your Growing Family

Thinking about adding on to your family? That can be a fun, even if somewhat stressful time. Trying to choose what essential everyday items you will need for your growing brood can be difficult, as you need to think about cost, size, durability, safety, ease of use, and more. We are hoping to help you with some of our favorites, as well why we like them and think you will find them useful.

One of the first and most important things to decide on is a car seat. Once your baby outgrows his or her carrier “snap and go” type car seat, the DualFit Harness-2-Booster seat by Britax is a good choice that is both safe and less expensive then some. It easily transitions from a three point harness seat to a booster that is best for older and larger children. As your child grows, the seat will grow with them.

Designed to fit children from 25 pounds to 65 lbs in harness mode, then in booster mode for children up to 100 lbs. Britax’s “patented system of safety components work together to transfer energy away from your child and 2 layers of Side Impact Protection shield your child in the event of a crash” (as per brand). It is easy to install, and has easy-on and easy off lower connectors that lock into place with a click and are released with the push of a button- however this mom always lets the fire station install with me the first time. It’s a service offered for free by many towns, and one I like to take advantage of to make sure I’m doing things right.

You can find this seat (as well as others) at https://us.britax.com for $169.99

Britax also makes the B-Lively Double stroller, which is a smooth, easy ride for two children. It has a lightweight aluminum frame (which is a necessity for packing up and getting into the car) as well as a quick fold. It takes storage seriously as well, knowing how much moms and dads have to lug about. With six storage pockets as well as a large under-storage basket, there is quite a lot of space for what you need to bring along. The stroller itself is easy to push, and not clumsy or cumbersome. No one likes to feel like a pack mule, or like they are taking up all the space in the aisle. It corners easily, and doesn’t “stick” on you, which is something I find ever annoying about larger strollers. Something else that makes the B-Lively Double Stroller extra handy is that it is compatible with your infant car seat should you need to do so. (*When paired with a infant car seat adapter kit, sold separately.) If your baby is still in a “snap and go” type seat, that makes it that much easier. It sells for $399.99 on https://us.britax.com
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Hoppey Easter! Filling Those Bunny Baskets

It’s already April, and of course that means that for many, the Easter Bunny will soon be hopping his or her way into their houses with a basket of treats.  Here are a few ideas to consider for your kids- or kids at heart.

Tired of hearing your kid’s video games or other noisy electronics? Tell them to put on a pair of headphones, we deserve some peace and quiet once and a while. I don’t need to hear every time your character get a coin, LOL.  BuddyPhones are volume-limiting kids headphones, which are perfect since kids cannot ruin their hearing by playing the volume too loud.  These fun looking and good quality headphones keep the ears of little listeners safe by providing them with the safest, toughest headphones for a decent price. Really- they don’t cost an arm an a leg. They are available in popular colors and designs, including the uber trendy unicorn. Your kids are quiet and  entertained (perfect for car and air travel as well!) and parents are not subjected to the same movies, games, or shows over and over again. Thank you, I’ll have that.

Water resistant and durable with as much as 24 hour battery life, these also sport wireless connection capability. More then one kid? BuddyPhones offers their patented shared BuddyCable, which is a great option for families with multiple kids and only one device, or when one of them inevitably loses one of theirs at the worst moment. Good backup plan.
Available now at www.buddyphones.com or Amazon ($69.90-$79.99).
yoshi's crafted world
Speaking about games, do you have a little Yoshi fan in your life? Yoshi has a new game just out, Yoshi’s Crafted World. This is Yoshi’s first starring adventure on Nintendo Switch, so it’s a big deal for fans. Yoshi will venture through his crafted world, collecting costumes and gems, battling ShyGuys (the most familiar faces in the series) along with thieving mice, and other enemies who await. There is a level that flips stages, and you must do them backwards. Yoshi must help Poochi her puppies back, as they ran off (as bratty pups will do from time to time).  Baby Bowser is back, causing a ruckus, as are an all star team of favorite characters your child will love to interact with.

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Cute and Cuddly, Prefect for Easter or Passover

Soft and snuggly is what bedtime (and even just cuddle up time) is all about. There are some new cute critters that we thought you would enjoy for your den, check these out- they are perfect for Easter or Passover.

petsies stuffed animals

If you have pets at home, your family will be thrilled by Petsies. where you and your kids can custom design a stuffed animal to look just like your furry family member. Choose from a wide selection of colors, combinations, ear types, tails, even tongues. The plush version of your pet will arrive at your door in a few weeks, but there is actually more. While you wait, you will get emails on the progress it is making-  what point it’s at, asking you to check photos of progress to see what you think, and more. Here is an example-

“CONGRATS! Our lead designer has just reviewed and approved your picture for Petsification. This designer also transferred your photo into our special Petsies plush coding machine, so that we can create the best plush representation of your pet. Next steps: Two more designers will work on picking fabrics and crafting the shape of each individual piece of plush that goes into your design.

Thank you again for letting us plushify your pet! The Petsies Design Team”

petsies toy

We looked forward to our updates, and when we got the email with shipping notification, the wait was on. My son stalked the delivery man, and was completely thrilled with the outcome of the plus twin of his pup, Teddy.

Get yours at https://www.mypetsies.com  Right now there is even a sale going on, so the time is good.
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Healthy Bodies, Inside and Out

This winter, as Spring is (hopefully) around the corner, you might be having a hard time holding onto those New Years Resolutions or even trying to stay healthy or active as a part of your regular lifestyle. I know for me, February is my “ugh” month, I often find myself with a case of the winter blues and really just “done” with the gray and the cold. I find it hardest to be motivated in February, and not just grab a bag of chips and pop on the Netflix. What to do? Try something new, a little change can often be just the thing you need, a little bump to get you moving.

DIY kits

Have you ever heard of Purple Carrot? You have probably  heard of similar ideas, pre-ordered meal kits delivered to your home that you cook yourself. This is the ONLY 100% plant-based meal kit company of the kind, where you can get pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking healthy, vegan meals at home. As we are learning, eating plant-based meals even if only one day or a few times a week, has a positive impact on people’s health, the environment, and animal welfare. The food is very good, but it definitely takes time to make, so prepare to spend some time in the kitchen. While not difficult, some of the items made were challenging and to me very unnecessarily time consuming, like making my own veggie burgers. But we learned new things, so that was something. I can honestly say, even as vegetarians, we had never made any of these recipes before, so they were interesting and new.  Find out more here-

ActiveWear for being Outdoors/Winter Elements #ActiveWear #GetActive

If you are an active family who likes to get outdoors no matter what the weather, we have some great options for you to check out this season.

Brooks Running, a favorite of ours, has recently put out the “Dash Hoodie”, which I am completely in love with. It has become a go to for me, one of those tops you reach for every time it is out of the washing machine. So soft (much softer then I’m used to in running gear and feather light) it is also warm and wicks moisture quickly. The material is breathable, and machine washable and dryer safe. It has a loose but flattering fit. I personally prefer to hand it to dry, I think it will last longer that way, but personal preference. It has thumb holes on the cuffs, and there is a storage pocket over the left hand that can hold your key, cash, or whatever your prefer. The hood is perfect for cooler weather, so you can use it until you get too warm on your run, then toss it off. Prices vary depending on what color you order (some of them are on sale), get yours at https://www.brooksrunning.com

running gear

Trek specializes in biking, bikes, and bike gear, and also has apparel for all sorts of active lifestyles. I’m currently loving the “Bontrager Vella Women’s Long Sleeve Thermal Cycling Jersey”, which is quite a mouthful. It’s a half zip, long sleeve collared top that is soft, lightweight, (are you seeing a theme here? Yes, really love soft workout gear) wicking, ventilated and offers the warmth you need with the comfort you want. It is very form fitting, really hugging your body. If you like streamlined gear, this is the top you will wear again and again. It also has reflective elements so that you can wear it day or night with added safety. Washing machine safe, and again, I’d hang to dry, but it dries very quickly.  $89.99
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Fun Toys for Creative Kids #GiftGuide

Looking for something fun to stimulate the mind of a creative child? These are a lot of fun, and we think your little Eisenstein will get a lot of play out of them.

imaginative play

One of our all time favorite toy companies, Schleich, has all sorts of new toys this year. That is in addition to the many amazing playsets and figures they already had- these don’t go out of style. For the child interested in dinosaurs, horses, farm life, sea life, Roman history, and so much more, these incredibly detailed figures are perfect for creative play and collecting.  The Schleich’s Wild Life range allows kids to walk through the wilds of the Savannah, take a safari, and see lions, zebras, and rhinoceros.  Individual animals are also available. Horse lovers will love Schleich’s Horse Club , which lets them take these majestic animals to tournaments and festivals, win best in show, feed and take care of them in stables, and more. Dinosaurs, sea life, Fairy wonderlands, and more are all available. Visit https://www.schleich-s.com/en/US/ to see what your child will enjoy.

girls toys

Kuroba, a new collectible that is a mix of Shopkins and BeyBlade, is newly available. Small and easy to put away, these toys are 16 different cube-shaped characters with funny, expressive faces and personalities. The toys are featured in a show on the Kuroba YouTube channel, where kids can watch the series of 1-4-minute shorts. The line includes a Training Pack to practice and enhance their skills, a Battle Pack for battle, and a Klash Arena playset to battle their Kuroba.  Find out more at https://playmatestoys.com/brands/kuroba/
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Gifts for the Active Men in Your Life #GiftGuide

If you are anything like us, you want to be active and outside as much as possible. Colder weather complicates things, but not to worry. You can get outdoors and enjoy your vitamin D year round, just bundle up a bit. Check out these functional and eco friendly cool-weather options we are loving right now- they would be perfect for the active men in your life this holiday season.

eco friendly clothing

Stopping off at Trader Joe’s on the way home- active wear that is great as any wear

The perfect slip on shoe for indoors or out, the Original Stegmann is not only comfortable, but also functional. They are great for camping, running errands, and everything in between. They have fantastic arch and toe support, so if you have aching feet, issues like Plantar Fasciitis, or a bad back, these might be worth considering. They have free shipping and exchanges, so nothing to lose. Made with a Tyrolian & Merino wool blend into a single piece, it is then paired with an anatomically contoured cork sole that is balanced for both arch and metatarsal support. These shoes have a gentle slope which helps reduce ankle and back pain as well. These shoes as a whole are designed for comfort, so if that’s your thing- and honestly, whose isn’t- check them out at https://www.stegmannusa.com . Prices vary.

A brand we have really fallen in love with over here is Mountain Khakis. Not only are the products soft and durable, but the environmentally friendly fabrics and practices have completely won us over.  Take for example the Rainmaker Jacket. It’s all sorts of wet-proof (rain, snow, mud, etc), and it’s strechy as well. It’s also warmer then some raincoats, without being swelteringly-sticky-hot like so many can be. A nice medium-to lightweight, and easily layered. It has a removable hood, with welded seams and snap-closed patch pockets.  It has a relaxed fit and hits about the hip area. Best part? The eco-friendliness of this jacket. Polyurethane is a greener alternative to the traditional raincoat’s vinyl. It’s also more durable and is better for the environment in long term care and use. Polyurethane does not require the chemicals used to soften vinyl in the manufacturing process, and is eventually biodegradable, where as PVC (vinyl) never breaks down, and is usually incinerated.  This leaches toxins into landfills and emits carcinogenic dioxin into the air. Any reason to choose PVC over PU? Not in my book. Check out https://www.mountainkhakis.com for your jacket, available in several colors, for $139.
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Love To Travel? You Will Love These Bags

If you love to travel as much as we do, then you will love these bags. Good for overnights and weekends at Grandma’s, they are just as useful for long trips.

have sippy will travel

The National Geographic luggage line by Eagle Creek is extremely durable, with weatherproof tarpaulin outer that makes the pack easy to wipe clean both inside and out. What’s not to love about that? Especially if you have kids- but anything you are dragging around is bound to get dirty, all the better if it’s easy to clean up. Since it’s easy to clean, it makes sense that the zippers are water resistant (and self repairing!). These lockable zippers have protection from thieves, wind, water, and more. It has a laptop compartment that can also be locked, as well as zippered mesh pockets and key fob. You can separate your dirty or wet items from clean items and main compartment with the front zipper compartment, and there is even a hidden space for your passport, wallet, phone- whatever items you want to keep close and safe.  Designed to be secure, it has compression straps, internal gear attachment, D rings, and it comes with an emergency whistle and spots that reflect light to help keep you visible.  Several types of bags available, prices vary, see https://www.eaglecreek.com/national-geographic for options.

The Wayfinder Waist Packs from Eagle Creek has been crazy useful, I’ve used it pretty much nonstop. It comes in two sizes, small and medium, and it’s great for going hands free. And shoulder free- I get so tired of dragging stuff around on my back sometimes, and it’s often inconvenient. Biking, climbing, kayaking, whatever. If you only have a few things to take with you, the Wayfinder is perfect. High capacity, quite a few compartments and zippers for organization, water resistant, and just all around easy. The water resistant coating? It’s made from recycling the PVB coating in windshields. Really. It also makes them stain resistant, which any parent or traveler will love. $30-$40 at https://www.eaglecreek.com
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