Products For Your Home You Will Love

With winter on the way, and fall finally here (thank goodness for the end of that scorching summer heat!), we are going to be spending more time indoors. Keeping that in mind, here are some interesting and useful new items that you can use year round.

Calamityware serving-ware brings whimsy and art to the dinner table. These fantastical porcelain-plates will also serve as conversation starters, with hidden pictures created by Calamityware and artist Don Moyer. These clever takes on flatware are both pretty and unique, while using a traditional blue and white color scheme. Unexpectedly decorated plates, mugs, and more are covered with depictions of sea monster creatures, giant robots, frogs, and more creatures from sci-fi.  Dishwasher and microwave safe, they are as functional as they are interesting. While they aren’t cheap- $42 for each plate, for example, they make your table a more fun place to dine. Check out all the options at  https://calamityware.com

dinner plates

Save money and single-use-plastic waste by filling and refilling water glasses and  bottles at home. Safe Home Drinking Water Test Kits help provide peace of mind, letting you know what’s in your water. Learn about your tap water with these helpful and easy to use home test kits. Test your water, and make sure that your family’s health is protected.  There is a lot of nonsense in most town’s water nowadays, find out if there is trouble with yours. 80% of the body is water, and you use it for everything- cooking, bathing, drinking, washing, and more. It’s vital to have safe water.  According to the brand, “Safe Home® and Safe Home® Pro EnviroTestKits from Environmental Laboratories, Inc. (ELI), one of North America’s largest EPA Certified Laboratories for testing drinking water, provides several testing options in three easy steps.  Upon receiving the results, you’re empowered to make appropriate decisions – for instance, installing a water treatment or filtration system or disinfecting your well system, among other solutions.”  They are easy to use, the directions take only about a minute to complete and are all but foolproof. There are options for test at home as well as sending a sample out for more detailed information. For more information, visit http://envirotestkits.com/drinking-water-test-kits/
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Tech To Bring Music to Your Ears and Light Up Your Life

As we spend more time outdoors, we look for ways to bring some creature comforts with us.  Check out some of the gear that makes outside a little more modern.

Do you love a good run? Maybe hike, kayak, or even just some time in the gym. Finding good earphones that can deal with sweat is not always the easiest task, but most of us like to bring music (or some form of audio) with us for our workouts. The new PaMu TWS wireless earphones are easy to wear, truly have no wires (really, Pinocchio) until you have to charge them, of course, and are sweat-proof and water resistant. They have some must have features, including Hi-Fi Sound, Auto-connects,Touch Control, Auto Pairing that lets you make calls and listen to music while your phone is in your pocket (or beyond), an In-Ear Mic, they come with a portable Charging Pod that neatly fits your buds and doubles as a travel case, and more. They are reasonably comfortable for ear buds. To me, while wearing them, they reminded me of a Dr. Who episode of Cybermen- that’s how it all started. Giant ear buds, then you become a Robot working for your new alien overlords. Ah, maybe not- but it makes me laugh. You can grab yours before they even hit shelves on indiegogo.

Always on the go?  AdventureJumpStart is a great option for those of us who are constantly on the move- it can not only recharge your tablets and smartphones, but it also has the ability to jump start most cars, trucks, boats and ATVS. Really. And? It’s small. Best. Gift. Ever.
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In a New York State of Mind

Looking to spend some time in The Big Apple with the family? Here are some great places to visit while you are there.

LEGO’s are fun for kids of all ages, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in NY is a great place to spend the day for LEGO lovers of all ages.  The adventure begins by learning how Lego bricks are made and a kiddie-version of the history of  little plastic bricks. After this interesting introduction, its time to ride some rides and visit some attractions. The first ride (one that brings you into the main area) is a sit down guided laser shooting tour, where you save the castle by defeating tons of baddies. After your victory, you head into a mini-brick version of New York City and the LEGOLAND area. Push buttons for lights and sounds, and well as mini-animations. The details are pretty amazing, and the spoofs will keep everyone giggling. Fans will find quite a few “Easter Eggs” as they walk around the town.

There are also a bunch of other attractions to check out, like the racing course where you build your own racecar to pit against everyone else- there are several tracks to choose from. There is also a magic couch ride where you jaunt around on a flying couch. Really.  You move it up and down by pedaling, and it goes around in a circle. Make sure you check out the 4D movie, a must for all LEGO Movie fans. Of course, there are tons of LEGO to build, Masterclasses to take (and you can take your creations with you for a fee), and obstacle courses to try out. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is located at 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710
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Candy Free Easter Baskets

It’s that time of year again, when Peter Cottontail and all his bunny helpers hop into homes with baskets filled with treats and toys for good little boys and girls. Here are some of our favorite non-food items to fill your kiddo’s baskets with.

PLAYMOBIL has created even more figures to inspire imaginative play- Figure Series 13: Blind bags will continue to be a hit with the kids.  The latest series features 24 different figures that can be collected, assembled and are interchangable.  Each figure comes unassembled which adds to the fun- your kids can put them together or mix and match the interchangeable parts with other figures to create an entirely new and original character. $2.99 each

It’s Spring- ready for bubbles? These are cute, and can be less messy then a bubble wand. Glove-A-Bubbles Bunny (or 7 other animal options) puts the bubbles onto a little glove and lets them wave their hands around, creating waves of bubbles with each swipe. These ‘gloves’ come with two packs of bubble solution in each package. A parent can pour it into the pouch, dip the glove into the bubbles, and send the kids out to run wild. While there are 8 animals total, Bunny is egg-stra cute for Easter, we think.  $2.99 each.

We LOVE Smooshy Mushy, I’ve got to say. If your kids have not begged for a squish toy yet, we don’t know how you have escaped this craze. It’s not one I personally mind terribly- they are inexpensive, smell nice, and are adorable, so not a craze that this mom minds.  As we had mentioned in out Toy Fair columns, The Squish trend is continuing, for sure. These scented, “slow-rise,” squishable animal toys come in a variety fun food and pet themes, each packaged with an itty-bitty collectible squishy best friend, adding levels of surprise. The packaging itself is super cute, often an ice cream cone, soda bottle, milk carton, or the like. Very sweet. $9.99
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Holiday Gift Guide- For the Home

Getting ready for the family and/or friends to head over for some holiday celebrations? If you are like us, you are. Here are some items we are loving right about now as we deck the halls and cook too much.

The Ninja® Intelli-Sense™ System with Auto-Spiralizer is perfect for meal prep, and has a “smart” base with a touchscreen that lets you choose between four high-performance appliances. Intelli-Sense Technology lets you use a Smart Menu of choices for each appliance on it’s base, and it’s both easy to clean and durable enough for regular use and wear as well, so you don’t need to worry that because it’s high tech, it’s super delicate- it’s not.  It also comes with a recipe book with creations by chefs you can make at home using your new machine(s). Choose from items like home made pastas, margaritas, pizza dough, fresh salsa, and much more. You can pick yours up at retailers nationwide for about $269.99.

The Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™  is another fantastic four appliances built into one machine- you get the ever-useful slow cooker, a stove top, a steamer, and an oven you can use for baking. One of the cooler aspects of the Auto-iQ is that it lets you choose from more than 80 pre-programmed recipes (as well as whatever other recipe you choose). All you have to do is add the ingredients, select a recipe from the included cookbook, and the Auto-iQ will cook it.  Really. If making meals in one pot weren’t easy enough, doing it at the push of a single button makes it almost too easy- almost. Pick yours up wherever kitchen gear is sold for about $149.

Gatherings mean extra cleanup- and you will love The Shark® IONFlex™ 2X DuoClean™ Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but it also describes what it does. It’s  cord-free vacuum with DuoClean™ technology, that comes with two rechargeable ION batteries so that you can be charging one while using the other- never any downtime. It also has MultiFLEX Technology which gives it a flexible reach for under furniture but also easy for storage. The DuoClean Technology means that it has a bristle brush for a deeper clean in carpets as well as a soft brushroll to pull in bigger floor gunk- it covers all it’s bases. It also has a handheld vacuum so you can clean hard to reach spots, the couch, ceiling, take it out to the car, or wherever it’s needed.   It also comes with lots of extras, like an Anti-allergen dust brush, MultiFLEX under app wand, cradle, and more. Seems this model is loved by plenty of other people as well, having seen it on several best cordless vacuum roundups such as Smart Vacuums. It is available  at retailers online and brick and mortar stores for about $459.99

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Great Holiday Toys For Kids (And Kids at Heart)

Getting ready for the holidays can involve a fair amount of shopping for the kiddos. Here are a few items we know are sure to be on a lot of lists this year.

 

If your children love cars, or shows like Pokemon or Battlebots, they will enjoy the Power Rippers™ 2-IN-1 Competition Set. This set is very complete, and makes a great gift that comes with everything you’d want or need. It includes a Track Set and Battle Arena, dual loops that you can reconfigure for side-by-side racingas one long track, a crash zone and “epic jump” when your toys reach the end of their track. They can use the Battle Arena to- you guessed it, battle each other (or mom and dad).   The set comes in its own case, which makes for easy storage, clean up, and take along as well. Grab yours anywhere that sells toys for about $29.99.

Justice League BIG-FIGS™ take action figures and super size them for giant fun and BIG play. These are great for both the kids and collectors in your life- ok, and the “big kids”, too. ( I can think of more then one adult who would love them.)  Choose from Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and my son’s favorite, Cyborg.  They are detailed, though not fully articulated, and include items like soft capes and removable accessories.  These BIG-FIGS™ are priced right at $19.99, so they are a “big” value as well, considering the regular sized figures usually start at about $11.99.

Have a Nintendo fan? Have they played Splatoon? (If not, you guys are missing out, as we have mentioned previously, it is a lot of fun!) This toy is based on the hit videogame by Nintendo, the Splatoon™ Splattershot Blaster brings into real life all the fun, mess (not really!), and strategy the game is all about.  You and your kids can play all day with these blasters that fire water-based compound up to 30 feet.  Each Splattershot Blaster comes with a pair of Inkling Goggles and two compound canisters that are good for up to 50 shots each.  You can get yours on stores like Amazon for about $29.99. I’d pick up at least 2, so you can play together.
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Dressing For Fall Travel

No matter where your travels take you this season, we have some great options to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

Now that it’s Autumn (and it’s finally cooled off), you want to make sure you have some layers available. One of my current go-to’s has been Dare 2b‘s Women’s Loveline II Core Stretch, a pull over the head, half zip sweatshirt. It’s not your mom’s sweatshirt, however- soft, warm, lined inside with a quick drying/water repelling outside, it’s pretty tough as well as functional. It comes in several color options, and is easy to care for as well. The price is right at $22, and it’s easy to pair with your running gear or toss on with jeans etc. The more options, the better, and it’s just the right weight for the fall season or to layer under your clothing as it gets colder.

Craghoppers has comfortable clothing for the entire family that protects against UV rays, insect bites, and even digital theft. No matter if you are out in the woods, in a national park, or on the city streets, these clothes are easy to wear, match, and keep you protected on all sorts of levels.  The Nosilife Pro Trousers for women havd a slim fit, but not too slim, with several pockets that zip closed to keep your valuables safe. The fabric is soft and quick drying, so quick showers or muddy patches won’t be an issue. They are also generously cut around the ankle for boots should you want to wear them.  The long sleeve NosliLife Erin Long Sleeve Shirt is breathable and quick drying as well, and the entire NosiLife collection is also insect bite repellent. Who needs all the bites that so often accompany time in the great outdoors? Not you, that’s for sure. Prices vary, visit https://www.craghoppers.com/us/
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Valley of the Dolls

From the soft and cuddly, to things a little more exotic, there are dolls for everyone to love this summer. Check out what’s new and exciting in all things doll related.

bath toys

For a doll that does double duty (you can snuggle it as well as take it into the bathtub or pool) you can check out Mon Premier Bébé Bath(or Bath Baby) from Corolle.  These dolls are specially designed for playing in the tub, and are so light they float. They are filled with polystyrene beads that dry quickly, just hang to air dry or lay on a towel. These soft, posable 12 inch baby dolls have adorable faces, vanilla scented skin (Corolle’s signature), and eyes that open and close. Every doll comes with an outfit and bath toy of it’s own.  Both boy and girl dolls available, as well as several skin tone options, for about $28 each. Get yours at http://us.corolle.com

barbie RC car

Maybe your dolls love it when you’re cruisin’ together. If you do as well, the Barbie Crusin Convertible Corvette Radio Control is right up your alley.Long name, fun toy. This is a fully functioning radio control car- and it’s aimed at the girls for once. Not that you shouldn’t give your brother a turn, hey now, but it’s nice to see the ladies get a radio control vehicle now and then. Huzzah. This Barbie Hot Pink car holds any Barbie doll- or any doll around the same size. The car requires quite a few batteries- two AAA for the remote and five AA for the car itself, so make sure you have some on hand. Prices vary, but most seem to be listing for about $50.  Check around before you buy.
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