“Earth, My Dearest” #NewBook #EarthDayEveryDay

Earth, my dearest, I will. Oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

earth day book

A new book, Earth, My Dearest, is an inspirational compilation of over 200 quotes around conservation and sustainability. Hopefully it will inspire people to treat the planet a little more respectfully, and further give inspiration to those who fight to keep the planet livable and healthy for all species.

Highlighting the wonders of our planet and ways on how best we can save it, Earth, My Dearest includes quotes ranging from poet Henry David Thoreau to activist Greta Thunberg. This quote collection will help show all of us how to cherish the environment and key ways to protect our fragile planet moving ahead to an uncertain future.

There is no time like the present to begin your environmentalism or kick it up a notch. We are on borrowed time, with species vanishing literally every day, and much more rainforest is destroyed then is left remaining. If we hope to have a planet, we better start working together and not just SAYING we care, but actually doing things that show that we care.

We need to show our children how much we love them and save their futures.

What have you done today to love your planet?

For inspiration, check the book out here or wherever you buy your books. Have a good day, love to all.

Looking for a Gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day? Photo Gifts and Decor for 2021 from Mpix

Looking for a great and personal gift to give your partner, parents, or loved one? How about checking out Mpix to see what they offer? They offer professional photo prints, books, gifts and prefabricated gallery walls all under the umbrella of the number one professional photo lab in the country – Miller’s.  I had my son’s newborn photos done by Millers (just coincidentally) and I loved them. They did such a great job and were so patient with him (and me, the new and nervous/anxious mom).

photos via Mpix.com

We recently had the opportunity to try out Mpix, and while my order hasn’t arrived yet, I will certainly update the post once it has arrived. I didn’t want to wait to post until  received it, because right now you can save %25 just by opening the website! As soon as you open the page, they give you a great deal for %25 off as well as free shipping over $49.

Not something to wait and pass up. The site was easier to use on the PC- I had a problem trying to log in and/or create a username and password while on my phone. It didn’t work from my husband’s phone either, so either the site is glitching out when it comes to android phones, our phones specifically, or maybe it doesn’t like phones that use autofill? We didn’t have the change to to to type, it would just shut down the keyboard each time. However, as soon as I got on the PC, it ran smoothly and without any issues.

Besides traditional canvas or photo prints, you can order lots of cool things such as collage art, pictures on wood, photos on metal, acrylic, and a number of other choices. We had a hard time choosing, but ultimately chose to try the wood because I don’t have anything like that in the house and it seems both pretty and whimsical.

havesippywilltravel

We chose a photo of myself and my husband with two of our dogs on a recent day out at a park. Normally, everything is all about the kids, the kids, the kids- but it was nice to have myself in a photo for once, honestly, haha. Also, I’m trying to get all the dogs AND recent pics of all the kids on the wall- no small feat considering they are at “that age”- you know what I mean. So, a move in the right direction for that small goal.

Head over to the site, check it out and see what you think your person would like best- or maybe pick something up for yourself as well, why not? The prices are good, may as well. Visit https://www.mpix.com and save yourself some money while still getting the gift mom, dad, your wife (etc) will like best.

How Our Government Really Works—What Every Teenager Should Know

After such a wild election season, kids and teens might find themselves more interested or curious in politics. And if so- good on them. Let them read all they can, and not just about one side of things. Forming well read and  properly researched opinions will only make them better, smarter, and more empathetic people.

One book that has recently come out is a book that describes itself as “compelling, bipartisan insights about our country’s democracy. You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People from author, speaker and public policy expert Elizabeth Rusch examines in simple terms our democracy’s missteps and how we can work together to create “a more perfect union.”

Some of the topics discussed are-

1. Why the race for president might distract us from the most important story of this election — ballot measures that affect our democracy

2. How COVID provides a surprising opportunity to finally do something about this country’s abysmal voter turnout

3. Important election topics people can discuss with family, friends and colleagues without starting a partisan brawl

4. What every American needs to know about how elections are run in their state

How Our Government Really Works—What Every Teenager Should Know

Whether you’re a student, parent, educator or engaged citizen seeking the truth, You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People from public policy expert Elizabeth Rusch paves the way for every citizen to not only understand the flaws in our current democracy but to also fix them.

“We think we live in a democracy. One person, one vote. But how democratic is our government really?” Rusch asks. “The hard truth is that political power is not shared equally among all citizens. It shouldn’t matter if you are rich, poor, urban, rural, Democrat, Republican, old or young when you mark your ballot. Your race and gender shouldn’t matter either. But they all do.”

You Call This Democracy? gives an honest view of how our democracy truly functionswho really has the power and why (and how that power impacts politicians and policies) and how we can work together to make our democracy more responsive to the will of the people.

Consider the following:

1. Presidents can take office without winning the popular vote. 

2. Voting districts are drawn by politicians for their own benefit.

3. Millions of citizens—young, old, poor, people of color, women—are blocked from voting.

4. Money wields much more influence than the wishes of ordinary Americans.

You Call This Democracy? offers insightful solutions to undemocratic elements plaguing our government, with inspirational examples of citizens already working to make change. International comparisons, extensive sources and resources prompt readers to dig deeper ― and take action.

Supplementary materials to the book include Rusch’s “50 State Democracy Report Card” (https://www.youcallthis.com/your-state), where people can check to see how democracy fares in their state overall and on specific metrics, and how they can strengthen democracy in their state; and a series of short, fun, informative videos on the issues covered in the book, called Flash Course on Democracy, available free at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUOGZlteO6dRY7aQV1uqpddW1C1maGLxP.

Additionally, discussion guides and debate questions are available at www.youcallthis.com.

Elizabeth Rusch is the author of 20 award-winning books, and more than 100 magazine and newspaper articles. She is also the creator of the “50 State Democracy Report Card” and the video series Flash Course on DemocracyYou Call This Democracy?, an Amazon Bestseller, was featured in the New York Times Book Review and received a starred review from Kirkus, which called it “a riveting must-read.” Rusch and her work have also been featured in The Discovery Channel, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out LoudThe Wall Street JournalTeacher magazine, Parenting Magazine and Working Mother, among many others. Rusch has a master’s in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and has served as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the U.S. Senate. Visit her at www.elizabethrusch.comwww.youcallthis.com and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUOGZlteO6dRY7aQV1uqpddW1C1maGLxP.

You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN-10: 0358176921

ISBN-13: 978-0358176923

Available from Amazon.com and wherever books and audiobooks are sold

For more information: www.youcallthis.com. Thank you.

ECO-FRIENDLY STEEPED COFFEE GIVES BACK – 20% OF SALES DONATED TO FEEDING AMERICA

For thoughtful gift ideas that check all the boxes, look no further than Steeped Coffee (www.SteepedCoffee.com). The innovative startup is committed to premium coffee, convenience, and environmental stewardship in equal measure. So, when you introduce the coffee lovers in your life to Steeped, it’s a win-win for them and the planet. And, in an effort to fight hunger in America, the coffee company has launched its Packs for Good program, committing 20% of all sales to Feeding America for hunger relief (steepedcoffee.com/packsforgood).

What sets Steeped Coffee apart is its proprietary brewing method that does not require machines or brewing equipment, made much like tea. The coffee comes in single-serve bags that are nitro-sealed to ensure absolute freshness. It’s a uniquely “unplugged” coffee experience, from the award-winning packaging made using compostable and renewable materials to the non-GMO filters. All it takes to brew a perfect cup is hot water and a few minutes, and at the end of the day, there are no wasteful plastic pods accumulating in waterways or landfills.

Best of all, each Steeped Pack contains hand-roasted, ethically sourced, Direct Trade coffee that’s precision ground to showcase the distinctive flavor profile of every crafted blend. Whether you’re looking for light, medium, dark, French roast, or even decaf, there’s something for you.

So instead of racking your brain for the perfect gift, visit the Steeped website and make someone’s day while also being eco-conscious! With plenty of one-of-a-kind items, it’s the simplest way to give the gift of Coffee without Compromise this holiday season. Here are 5 gift ideas for the coffee lovers.

The Mug and More

Start with a vessel they’ll love and fill it with packs of Steeped Coffee. Selections include the ceramic Steeped Diner Mug (perfect for homebodies) or the Steeped Miir Insulated Camp Mug (for the adventurous type).

The Steeped Lineup Sampler

A great way for newcomers to discover the roast that suits them best, the Steeped Lineup includes five alluring blends ranging from Light, Medium, Dark, and French Roasts to the Swiss Water Processed Decaf.

The Steeped Coffee Subscription

What could be more convenient? They can choose their favorite roast and have it delivered straight to their doorstep as often as they like with the ultimate flexibility to switch roasts or pause their subscription at any time.

Steeped Home Kits

This indulgent gift has everything they need to make the perfect cup: a “smart” electric kettle or elegant stove-top kettle, a Steeped Coffee Subscription, and two high-end mugs.

Two Double Wall Tasting Glasses

Experience coffee like never before with this set of two double wall tasting glasses. The flared lip delivers coffee to your entire palate in order to taste the full spectrum of coffee flavors.

These Fellow double wall tasting glasses are cool to look at and cool to the touch, even while you’re drinking your hot cup of Steeped Coffee.

Features of Steeped Coffee include:

  • Hand Roasted Specialty Coffee: no instant powders, just delicious coffee
  • No Machines Required: unplugged single-serve convenience
  • Guilt-Free Packaging: made using fully compostable and renewable materials
  • Nitro-Sealed: removes oxygen, stopping the clock on freshly ground beans
  • Full Immersion Filter: renewable plant-based non-GMO compostable filters that regulate ideal water-in and maximum flavor-out
  • Ultrasonically Sealed: no glues, staples, or wasted materials for max steeping
  • Precision Ground: consistent water-cooled grinding to the micron
  • Pre-Portioned: optimal SCA recommended water-to-coffee ratios
  • Barista Approved: continuously tested by multiple independent specialty coffee Q-graders for freshness, quality, and taste
  • Just + Water: a simple cup

About Steeped Coffee

Steeped, Inc. based in Santa Cruz, California, is a Certified B Corp and Benefit Corporation focused on every detail from farm-to-cup and beyond, to bring people the most convenient, high quality, ethically sourced, and sustainably packaged products available. Steeped Coffee is the new single-serve coffee standard helping to make quality coffee accessible within Guilt-Free Packaging. The proprietary Steeped Brewing Method delivers 100% freshly roasted, precision ground, and nitro-sealed specialty coffee pre-portioned within Steeped Full Immersion Filters. Steeped Coffee is the simplest way to make a perfect cup of coffee by just adding water, with no machine needed.

Steeped Coffee is available on Amazon with Prime Free Delivery, at premium supermarkets, luxury hotels, and offices with craft coffee and at-home services. Through licensed partnerships, Steeped, Inc. works with over 200 specialty coffee roasters to share its technology and brewing method around the globe. For more information, visit steepedcoffee.com

24/7 Protection Against Harmful Blue Light with Viteyes Blue Light Defender Kids

Did you know that exposure to blue light before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns as it affects when our bodies create melatonin? With screentime for kids having increased by 500% during the pandemic, an inside out approach with Viteyes® Blue Light Defender™Kids can be an effective method to help protect their eyes 24/7.

Viteyes® has created Blue Light Defender™ Kids, a nutritional supplement formulated with lutein and zeaxanthin, the only natural defense eyes have to protect the macula from the harmful effects of blue light that stem from digital screens such as smart phones, tablets, TVs, computers and even sunlight.

Also, because Blue Light Defender™ Kids is not only formulated with lutein and zeaxanthin but also Astaxanthin, it’s packed with antioxidants that kids may be lacking in their diets. And with its delicious chocolate berry soft chew kids won’t even realize that it’s filled with stuff that’s good for them.

My son (and honestly, my husband as well) both liked these. My husband said they tasted vaguely of chocolate- I didn’t get that, but hey. Neither of them ever complained about taking these chews, and both like to complain, LOL. Especially the husband-  my son makes considerably less fuss. It’s always the big ones, isn’t it? Does it work? I can’t tell you that. I have no idea, and there is no way I can tell personally. The science says it does, and I know that Blue Light is a big problem, so I’m hopeful- and I’m glad they both like the taste.

kids supplement

Only 1 in 11 American kids are getting the necessary amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet, which include food sources such as eggs, broccoli, and dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach. Both ingredients act as powerful antioxidants to filter out blue light and also play a crucial role in visual development in the retina of the eye. Lutein is also found in the brain, depositing in the areas known for visual processing, comprehension, learning and memory. Staring at digital screens can also overwork the eyes causing digital eye strain. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant clinically proven to help eyes recover from eye strain and fatigue. It also helps keep eyes healthy by increasing blood flow to the eye. Astaxanthin is found in select seafood like shrimp and lobster, however the best source in food is salmon.

With Viteyes® Blue Light Defender™ Kids (ages 4+) as well as their existing Viteyes® Blue Light Defender gummies (ages 12- adult) and Viteyes® Blue Light Defender™ Plus capsules (ages 12 – adult), they’re able to offer a natural defense against harmful blue light for almost all ages.

Learn more at https://youtu.be/A0K1ZhMjo-I.

Baking with Baketivity – Fun For Kids

If you are like me, you love to bake. It is one of the things my youngest son and I do together often. He’s become quite the hand in the kitchen, although he’s still such a mess I’m always surprised. (When does that stop? Ever?)

We’ve recently tried out these fun kits from Baketivity. We did two at once, because sadly we were pretty sick when the “Back to School” one arrived (we had Covid, and I got very, very sick from it). No matter, it was fun doing them both together.

baking with kids

Each kit comes with everything you need, already measured out, labeled, and pre-packaged. It also comes with cute “kid sized” chef gear (hat and apron) as well as a cute little spatula- also kid-sized.  Apologies he’s not wearing them- they are a little too “kid sized” for him, LOL. This boy has been in men’s sizes for a few years now. What can I say- he’s just a giant.

baketivity

One kit was “back to school” themed, and was sugar cookies sliced into the shape of pencils, with colored sprinkles decorating them to look like them, as well. They were delicious, and disappeared immediately. Like, gone within a day.

fun kids activity

The second kit was cinnamon buns, and my son did these nearly entirely on his own, very limited help from me. He really enjoyed doing them. We make cinnamon buns all the time, but usually from either one of my books or from memory (my memory, so he needs me to tell him everything at this point). My books are obviously geared towards adults, so sometimes he gets confused on what to do next, or by a specific measurement. This kit really simplified things, and the directions are so easy for children to follow.

cinnamon bunds

If you have an aspiring baker, a kitchen helper, or you just want your child to be confidant and competent in the kitchen- I highly recommend getting a Baketivity kit. They are fun, easy to follow, and give kids the confidence to try bigger and more difficult things. And hey- don’t worry about the mess. That’s why we have mops and brooms and cleaning supplies, right? They can help us clean up, and it will be one more thing they get better at, right? There we go. Truly- really fun time. You will be so glad that you did.

Enjoy your day, and stay safe out there!

Looking for Non-Candy Valentines Gifts for the Kids? #Ideas

Looking for fun Valentines Day toys and games for the kiddos? Since we are stuck indoors (too cold to be outside for long, and the pandemic is keeping us from being out and about), you’ll want to have boredom busters. Not to mention, no way you’d want to fill the kids up with candy when they can’t burn off all the sugar, haha. CHeck out these fun finds, you are sure to find something you will love.

ARTS & CRAFTS

iLY Pura Loom Bracelet Maker from WeCool Toys

Making beautiful friendship bracelets doesn’t have to be difficult! The new iLY Pura Loom Bracelet Maker by Activity Kings is the easiest way to make the most beautiful and trendy friendship bracelets! Learn different techniques to make a variety of textured and colorful bracelets for you and your friends! Create colorful twisted designs with beads, charms & more! It’s easy to create, wear, and share with your BFF! The combinations are endless, the only limit is your imagination! Ages 6+, MSRP $19.99.

STEM/SCREEN FREE EDUCATION

Smarty PAD™

The new Smarty PAD™ interactive LED tablet gives preschoolers and kindergarteners a new way to play and learn with 12 smart games and age-appropriate curriculum. Motion sensors give the lightweight tablet an innovative spin, encouraging unique sensory play. Smarty PAD™ speaks in both English and Spanish as kids play with colors, patterns, ABCs, and numbers up to 25. Smarty PAD™ teaches phonics, language, early math, and beginning coding, nurturing small motor development and critical thinking. Positive reinforcement, helpful encouragement, and over 100 different responses keep kids engaged every time they play. Ideal for kids 3 to 6 years old. MSRP: $34.99.

Smarty JOJO™

The Smarty JOJO™ is a super-charged interactive airplane that gets high-energy preschoolers learning on the go. Motion sensors encourage physical activity while JOJO teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites. JOJO’s kidspeak conversation also nurtures emotional intelligence, calling out feelings and helping kids recognize their own emotions. Bi-lingual JOJO speaks in English or Spanish. The newest SMART technology enables JOJO to identify colors. “Can you find something blue?” “Yes, you can!” Over 150 random actions and reactions make the experience different every time a child plays!  Ideal for kids 2 to 4 years old and $24.99.

Smarty FLUTTER™

Flycatcher’s Smarty FLUTTER™ learning toy teaches preschoolers on-the-go as they fly through a room or a yard. Smart Technology identifies colors, and kidspeak conversation calls out feelings, helping kids recognize their own emotions. Fun missions teach right and left directions, shapes, and opposites. Motion sensors encourage active physical play. Over 150 random actions and reactions make the experience different every time a child plays. Smarty Flutter™ also speaks in both English and Spanish. Ideal for kids 2 to 4 years old and $24.99.

STRESS FREE TACTILE FUN

Insta Studio Hands-Free Video Station from WeCool Toys

The new Insta Studio by WeCool Toys has everything one needs to shoot their very own viral videos. Equipped with an adjustable base and rotating head to shoot at the best angle possible, this device allows kids of all ages to shoot viral videos hands free! Kids can use their Insta Studio to shoot all types of videos. From cooking, crafting, and sliming, children have the freedom to create fun videos. Includes fun and trendy backgrounds, mixing tools, various slimy compounds, and sparkly mix ins! The only limit is your imagination. $19.99, 4 and up.

Angry Putty from Crazy Aaron’s

Turn your frustration into fun! Angry Putty™ features a unique formula that builds resistance as you play. This amazing putty actually absorbs your tension— getting tenser and tenser with each stretch—to leave you feeling happy and relaxed. The line includes three skus’, Hot Head, Stress Ball, and Drama Queen.

scenty putty

Holiday SCENTsory from Crazy Aaron’s

Cozy up with these four delectable holiday scents featuring fun SCENTsory texture that will joy to anyone’s world. The line includes two skus’, 4” Jingle and 4” North Pole. MSRP $3.50

Vibes SCENTsory Putty from Crazy Aaron’s

Vibes SCENTsory® putty is great for gamers, all-night study sessions, and anyone who is craving a little more intensity from their SCENTsory® experience. This collection features bright colors and bold scents that are perfect for powering up. The line includes Jam Session, Flower Power, Crunch Time.

Mixed by Me kits from Crazy Aaron’s

Mix up your very own custom-colored Thinking Putty! Each kit includes 5 tins of clear putty, 3 color concentrates, 3 special effects, and an instructional mat—everything you’ll need to make cool colors that are all your own! You can even use the included colored pencils to decorate your tins to match. Two sets to choose from, Holographic and Glow in the Dark.

SUSTAINABILITY

shore buddies

Shore Buddies Plush Line

Shore Buddies stuffed animals collection are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are collected and sorted by recyclable collectors before cleaned and shredded into plastic flakes. Some of these flakes are used for the Shore Buddies’ stuffing, others get melted and turned into polyester yarn for the soft outside. It takes six plastic bottles to make one 12″ stuffed animal and the line features a fun array of characters including Sammy the Seal, Stephen Seagull, Shelly the Sea Turtle, Emma the Whale and Finn the Dolphin. Each of the five Shore Buddies also has its own unique authentic sound when pressed. All ages MSRP 19.95

Cargo Plane from Green Toys

All systems go! The Green Toys™ Cargo Plane is filled with freight and ready to take flight! This bright yellow and blue flier features a three-wheel design and handle on the body, so little pilots can easily go from taxiing on the ground to soaring in the sky on an eco-friendly adventure. Access the spacious cargo hold through a flip-down door that doubles as a ramp, perfect for loading up the included Green Toys™ Mini Car or anything else imaginations want to stow away. Great for indoor and outdoor play, the super-safe design has no metal axels or exterior paints or coatings. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with eco-friendly inks. For ages 3 and up. MSRP $19.99.

Green Toys™ Disney Baby® Mickey Mouse Stacker

The Green Toys™ Disney Baby® Mickey Mouse Stacker takes a classic toy and makes it safer and more playful, with no sharp edges, small parts, or interlocking pieces that can pinch fingers and an adorable Mickey Mouse-themed topper and base. The seven brightly colored red, blue, and yellow nesting pieces stack easily from large to small, while also allowing children to use their imagination and stack in any order. This eliminates frustration when they’re little, and leaves room for learning and improvement as they grow. The set is designed with no center post, making it a perfect first stacking toy for babies. With this toy, babies and toddlers can gain practice in important developmental areas, including but not limited to motor skills, coordination, categorization and sorting, problem solving, spatial reasoning, and color identification. Like all Green Toys™ Disney Baby® products, the Mickey Mouse Stacker meets FDA standards for food contact and is dishwasher safe, making it safe for teething babies to put in their mouths. It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic and free from external coatings, eliminating the fear of toxins and lead paint. No BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged using only recycled and recyclable materials printed with environmentally responsible inks. Recommended for ages 6 months and up.

ACTIVE PLAY

Mobo Explorer Balance Bike

With the Mobo Explorer Balance Bike kids can experience the thrill of riding California freestyle with the security of having two feet on the ground. As your child masters the use of the explorer you will see them go from small steps to riding with ease. With its multiple safety pads and extended frame your child will be extra safe while learning. The cushioned premium seat accommodates children 2-6 years old. The included two seat posts accommodate most kid sizes! As your child builds strength, balance and confidence they’ll have a blast using the integrated footrest to roll in style. With never-flat tires your child will have many years of maintenance free fun. The sturdy frame and optimized geometry makes it stable and easy to handle. A child’s first bike encourages their sense of freedom, curiosity and wonder. Let them experience that feeling in style and safety with the Mobo Explorer Balance Bike. MSRP $89.00.

BOOKS

Guion the Lion

Guion The Lion is a new children’s book that celebrates the differences in all children through a colorful and exciting journey. The book, which follows the adventures of an imaginative little lion who sees things a little differently from his friends, was penned by mother, entrepreneur and author Rebecca Wilson Macsovits and inspired by her three children including Guion, her oldest son who also has Down syndrome. Full of whimsical delights, discoveries and beautiful watercolor illustrations, this book teaches children that appreciating individual differences and embracing others’ ideas can lead to unimaginable adventures and endless fun. Guion The Lion is available now via Amazon and online at www.Guionthelion.com. MSRP $17.99.

diverse dolls

DOLLS

I’M A GIRLY

I’M A GIRLY fashion dolls encourage children to play creatively and help them find their very own style. All dolls are co-designed by the brand’s own kid design team, KIDS4KIDS. The design panel, made up of 8 to 14-year-old boys and girls, tells the brand exactly how the products should look. Kids can customize a doll just for them with more than 150 accessories, interchangeable wigs in many colors, and dolls with different skin tones. I’M A GIRLY fashion dolls are made of 100% high-quality vinyl. The hair can be styled and combed in various ways, thanks to the procurement of first-class Kanekalon. Kanekalon is a material used for the production of adult wigs. For the first time, one can even cut the doll’s hair and simply exchange the wig afterwards. The packaging is made of recyclable materials and can be used as well to store the fashion doll or for crafting.

RELATIONSHIP GAMES

Fog of Love – from Hush Hush Projects

Learn How To Play Here

Playing Fog of Love is like starring in a romantic comedy, it’s a rollercoaster ride of awkward situations, laugh out loud moments and difficult compromises you have to make. Two players will create and play two vivid characters who meet, fall in love and face the challenge of making an unusual relationship work. Just like in a real relationship, you each might want different things. Do you stay true to yourself, or do what your partner wants for the good of the relationship? You can even decide to break their heart. There’s no guarantee it will end happily ever after, but you will always get a story full of surprises that will make you smile. Available at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Barnes & Noble. Learn how to play Here. Suitable for players ages 18 and up, MSRP: $50.

INTERGENERATIONAL GAMES/RELATIONSHIP GAMES

What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups? – from Authentic Agility Games

Learn How To Play Here

How often have you wished that your teen would stop playing video games, sending friends videos you can only hope are appropriate, and going out, and instead, share what they’re thinking… with you? What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups?, a new intergenerational card game from Authentic Agility Games, can help. A fun way to engage kids of all ages, the 500-question card game creates an open two-way dialog that allows you to make new connections and deepen your bond. They may think you’re cool — for a few minutes. Authentic Agility Games donates a portion of proceeds from your purchase to organizations advancing education and entrepreneurship. Available now on Amazon. MSRP: $24.99, all ages.

STRATEGY GAMES

Sagrada – from Floodgate Games

Click Here

Learn How To Play Here

As a skilled artisan, you will use tools-of-the-trade and careful planning to construct a stained glass window masterpiece in the Sagrada Familia. Players will take turns drafting glass pieces, represented by dice; carefully choosing where to place each one in their window. Windows have unique color and shade requirements, and similar dice may never be adjacent so placing each die is more challenging than the last. Fortunately, you’ll have just the right tools to help you through. Gain prestige by adapting to the preferences of your fickle admirers, and of course, by adding your own artistic flair while completing your glass masterpiece in Sagrada. Available now at Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, Hobby Game Stores. Suitable for players ages 6 and up, MSRP $39.95

Holi: Festival of Colors – from Floodgate Games

Every spring, celebrants gather to spread color and cheer during one of India’s most vibrant festivals. Move around the festival grounds throwing colored “gulaal” powder onto your friends and the crowd. Aim higher and let your color fall from above on as many people as you can. For Holi is a time for playful mischief and a little friendly rivalry is just what the festival calls for… Playing Holi In Holi [hoh-lee], players gain joy by throwing color on the boards (higher levels are worth more points), getting color on others, and from collecting sweets. Play your color cards cleverly, climb up at the right time, and spread the most joy! Available, November 10, 2020 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hobby Game Stores. Suitable for players ages 13 and up. MSRP $39.95

Click Here

Prisma Arena – from Hub Games

Begin your training as a Guardian of Hope in this fun, tactical, all-ages game of over-the-top arena combat. Spar alongside Mo’kon – friendly creatures that embody emotions. As you train, customize your hero with unique powers and costumes that reflect YOUR unique personality and play-style. Suitable for players ages 10 and up. MSRP: $40.00

MEMORY GAMES

Flip Over Frog – from Hub Games

Help your brightly colored frogs take control of your tiny corner of the rainforest. Pay attention and cleverly place your frog tiles, causing those around you to flip face down OR face up. When all squares are occupied, the game ends and the player with the most face-up frogs is the winner. Suitable for all ages, Flip Over Frog packs a surprisingly tactical area control game into a small portable box. Suitable for players ages 6 and up. MSRP: $15.00 alentin

Adorable Holiday Fun for Kids

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- and with it, comes gift giving. Why give boring gifts when you can give something the kids will actually play with- without breaking the bank? It doesn’t ALL have to be screens (and lets face it, this year especially, they can use some screen distraction). My kids had fun with these, and my guess is that yours will as well.

kids activity

Gross Anatomy: Make Your Own Squishy Human Body – from Thames & Kosmos

Anatomy has never been so fun! Make a model of the human body by casting organs out of colorful slime and putty, and then arranging them in a clear plastic torso. Learn about the major organs as you mold each one: heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, and liver. You can even pretend to be a doctor by experimenting with a safe plastic scalpel. MSRP: $19.95; Ages 8+

fun toys for kids

Mini Tin’s Thinking Putty – from Crazy Aaron’s

Light up Halloween night with our glowing MINIs. Ectoplasm glows a speckled green: Jack O’ Lantern glows a bright orange; and Trick changes from purple to green and glows a solid green in the dark. There are also scented, magnetized, and so many other options. MSRP: $2.99 each; Ages 3+

best toys for kids

Camping Adventure Set – from Magformers

Magformers Camping adventure toy set allows your little builder to immerse themselves in the excitement of a summer camping experience. Use Magformers squares and triangles to build campfires and tents. Add Mason and Mutt to your scenes and create your own stories! MSRP: $39.99; Ages 3+.

fun games for families

EXIT – from Thames & Kosmos

EXIT: The Game is a series of party games for up to four players that offers a unique, unforgettable gaming experience. These games allow you to bring the excitement, intensity, and team spirit of an escape room to your living room. In each EXIT game, your team starts out locked in an imaginary room, or trapped somewhere. You must solve a series of riddles and puzzles in order to unlock doors and reveal new riddles. Each correct solution brings you to another riddle and eventually to freedom. EXIT is constantly expanding with new stories. MSRP: $14.95; Ages 10+

putty

Ghostwriters 4″ Hocus Pocus – from Crazy Aaron’s

Cast a spell with this fun Phantom! It turns from orange to magenta with the included Glow Charger(R) and glows an eerie green in the dark. MSRP: $14.99; Ages 8+