Reindeer In Here book and plush #GiftGuide

Not everyone is a huge fan of “Elf of the Shelf”, for various reasons. Some people don’t like the elf’s antics, some feel that the kids should not have bad behavior reported to Santa. While I have no such qualms (and our Elf does NOT get into mischief that takes hours of prep time and then more to cleanup, thank you) there is a cute alternative or addition to the Christmas Elf.

elf on the shelf

According to RIH, “Since its 2005 release, Elf on the Shelf has proven to be both a Christmas tradition and commercial success, leading holiday sales charts each year. As time wore on and its popularity grew, the story began to receive criticism from both parents and experts on child psychology.

Owner and creator of Reindeer in Here was looking for a Christmas tradition to start with his own family after the birth of his daughter and quickly discovered that he too became one of the parents questioning the elf’s effectiveness. REINDEER IN HERE is his attempt at providing a friendlier, more positive tool for parents and children to get into the holiday spirit.  As the children bond with their Christmas friend the entire family creates a lasting Christmas tradition as everyone looks forward to REINDEER IN HERE coming back year after year.
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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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Whirlpool Sunset Bronze Gas Convection Range at @BestBuy @WhirlpoolUSA #ad

Whirlpool® smart home appliances are purposely designed for the way you live. Features like Control from anywhere connect you when you need it, wherever you are. Our appliances keep up with you, so you can keep up with the ones you love.   Enjoy mealtime flexibility and control your appliances from any room in your home, managing mealtime with the click of a button to make holiday cooking and entertaining smarter, and easier. Whether using the touchscreen or controlling your range or microwave from your phone, Whirlpool’s connected appliances help keep mealtime hassle-free on your busiest days.
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Fall Flavors

New fall flavors from some of our favorite brands are here. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a sucker for “seasonal flavors”- I’m not sure if it’s because I know I can only have them once a year, or that it’s because it enhances the season for me in some way, but I really look forward to and enjoy the flavor changes that come seasonally.

If you are in the mood for chocoloate, Godiva has some fun options, including the NEW GODIVA Limited-Edition Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice G CUBE.  These square boxes are full of individually wrapped GODIVA truffles, in the festive “pumpkin spice” flavor that so many people look forward to- or look forward to making fun of, while they consume it in secret. Haters. Want to get a few boxes? Besides pumpkin spice (which is delightful) you can also get  Dark Chocolate Vanilla, White Chocolate Coffee, Dark Chocolate Mint, and other options. $11.95 for a 22 piece box.  You can also get a Signature GODIVA Pumpkin Spice Truffle Flight which is super cute- truffles wrapped to look like little pumpkins. $15.00 for a 5 piece set.

pumpkin spice

For an indulgent yogurt, good enough to be a dessert, try NEW noosa Pumpkin Spice MatesThese new (made in limited batch) pumpkin spice noosa mates are made with noosa’s signature rich and creamy yoghurt, with real pumpkin and spices, then topped with Purely Elizabeth brand granola, white chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds. It’s noosa’s take on a fall classic, and it’s fantastic. The kids love it, and so do mom and dad. The textures are a delight, and the flavors are perfect. You will find yourself scraping the cup for the last bits. $2.49 retail price, product finder on noosayoghurt.com.
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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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Fun Toys That Let You and Your Children be Creative

It can be hard to find something to do as a family, or something that will entertain the kids that doesn’t need to be charged. Getting kids away from screens can be challenging, but with toys like these, you won’t have to try too hard.

Have a little car lover? (Or maybe a big one, as well- Father’s Day is just around the corner) You can select from a handful of new mini-vehicles from Automoblox®, an award-winning line of high-quality collectible wooden car toy vehicles. Included the pick-up truck Grizzly, the X10 Timber Pack SUV with a trailer, and the very first Automoblox motorcycle. These cars have a body made of European beech wood, and can be manipulated multiple ways to create different designs.  Both kids (recommended for ages 4 and up) and adults love playing with the mix and max, fun to put together cars that don’t require tools to create. New minis are priced at $11.99 – $23.99. The larger  BR100 Hercules 16.5″ hauler (that can also be recreated into a dump truck) is $59.99.  It is not only larger, but also comes with two back ends, a ramp, two mini vehicles, and has room to hold five mini vehicles. Get yours on Amazon.

puzzles autism

If you are a fan of puzzles, TCG has an excellent line that you will want to get your hands on. They have s many options of different photos, scenes, and piece counts, there is something for everyone (and every family ability). These are really beautiful, well crafted puzzles you will be tempted to frame (and in fact, we are framing one of ours). In addition, TCG has a campaign that benefits both Autism Speaks and Autism Speaks Canada since 2016. As puzzles help calm and stimulate some children and adults with Autism, it is a wonderful fit and a great cause to support. Every box has Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo on it. “TCG’s Autism Speaks assortment includes puzzles designed for a wide range of puzzlers, from the whimsical and gorgeous renderings of fantasy artist Miharu to original TCG designs, and more.” (as per TCG) Prices range from $3.99 for a 200 piece puzzle to $7.99 for a 1,000 piece puzzle.
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Keel Your Ride Clean with Diono

Disclosure: The below was provided to me to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” and “Terms of Use” tabs for more information.

Everyone knows that when you have kids, it is almost impossible to keep your vehicle tidy, especially if you are constantly on the go. These great products from Diono are must haves to make sure that you are nice and organized for all those summer road trips!

About Pop Up Trash Bin

This Trash Bin is so simple, but incedibly effective. The Pop-Up Trash Bin is a versatile, mutliuse smart and clever 3-ni-1. The essential additional storae you never knew you needed, for those days on the go. Thoughtfully constructed to be compact and flat-collapsing, the drawstring top keeps belongings or trash secure from falling out on the journey.

About Travel Pal:

The Diono Travel Pal is the friendly in-car storage solution. For traveling toys, bring-a-long books, snacks or cool drinks, the Travel Pal has plenty of space to make the journey fly by. There are multi-pockets for all your needs, and with super hand insulated drink pockets for keeping drinks cool for longer.
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ZITS! The New Obsession for Kids and Disgust for Moms.

“We love picking. Make no mistake about it. We love that disgusting little habit nobody likes to talk about. Yup, it is our unique obsession.” – Billy and Summer Pierce

Billy and Summer have designed a product specifically for your family’s popping pleasure. Our family loves them, and we think you will too. Providing you with plenty of pimple popping fun, ZITS are flesh-like toys that are filled with fake pus that spews out when you successfully pop the fake ZIT. These have become quite a hit and have been selling rapidly online.

ZITS

Popping pimples is a habit for some and just silly fun for others. This bizarre, but brilliant idea is designed to mimic the unique obsession of popping pimples. With all the entertainment the pimple poppers provide, it is easy to see why it has become such a hot product.
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