Must Have Farm Toys from HABA

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

We are from rural America and even live on a farm. I must tell you that finding cute and fun farm toys can be very tricky. I must say that these are the perfect addition to our household as the winter months will be keeping us inside more. Check out these great farm toys from HABA.

About HABA:

At HABA, kids rule. You won’t see a lot of them running around the factory, but their needs and wants are foremost in the company’s mission. HABA is owned and operated by the Habermaass family for more than 80 years. The HABA USA division is located in Skaneateles, NY, a quaint town in the Finger Lakes area. HABA prides itself on the fact that children love playing with their toys.

About Peter and Pauline’s Farm Magnetic Game:

Little farmers are sure to love this animal-themed magnetic arranging game!  This great game does feature a variety of background scenes and a plethora of farm inhabitants, animals and plants allowing them to create and recreate life on the farm.

This great game inspires creativity and imagination.

You get 1 box, 4 background scenes, 122 magnetic puzzle pieces.

About Baby Book Farm Friends:

This great book with bring even your smallest child right to the farm. There are colorful, layered wooden pages are threaded on a sturdy cord and are easily grasped and flipped over.

My Thoughts:

I am absolutely in love with each of these toys. My daughters, ages 2, 6, and 8 each are in love with these two new toys. I have purchased an additional one of each of these games for a friends children for Christmas. This is a great addition to any family!

Purchase:

If you would like to purchase these or any of the other amazing toys from HABA, head on over to their website.

 

Sudara Clothing – ethically made and helps women #GiftGuide

If you are anything like me, you like to shop as ethically as possible. Most companies and stores don’t give a fig about you, me, the environment, or anything other then profit. So, when you know brands that give a darn, they are ones you tend to do your shopping with.

give back

I’ve recently discovered Sudara. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India.  12 years ago, Sudara partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants. The previous year,  founder, Shannon Keith, had returned from a trip to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at a high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to, truly, have a choice.

She returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. They have since made 10 sewing centers and hundreds of women have found both freedom and living wage employment.

The pants are awesome. Comfortable, easy to wash and wear, pretty, and unique. The are no sacrifice to wear, and it’s great knowing that my purchase is helping other women and supporting a company that does good in the world.

They also are ethically and sustainability made for the good of the environment as well. They are a Certified B Corps, which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. So- you know. A good company to buy from. The good guys.

ethically made clothing

Sudara Brand Description:

  • Sudara is a lifestyle brand that creates jobs for women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of human trafficking. They pay living wages and provide access to counseling, medical care and resources that empower women to create their own self-sustaining future.

  • Every pair of these Sudara Punjammies are made through living-wage employment by women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of sex trafficking. Every purchase is an investment in Sudara’s freedom-filled work and empowers women who are working to forge a new life for themselves and their children.

  • Sudara offers beautiful and comfortable clothing with a freedom-filled purpose. Their women’s pajama pants, loungewear and robes are ethically-made in India through living-wage employment programs. Every purchase is helping empower women in India with the resources and skills they need to create a better life for themselves and their family.

Keep up with Sudara on social media as well- sudara.org  facebook  twitter  instagram

The Flex Brush – Perfect Stocking Stuffer for Anyone with Hair #GiftGuide

If you have tangles in your hair, if you think your hair is impossible, hard to manage, or just makes you crazy, you will want to know about the Flex Brush. It sounds too good to be true, but it really works. I used it on my partner’s wild and curly hair, and it not only sailed right on through his tangles and knots, but didn’t hurt him in the process.

If you have a child who HATES hair brushing time, this will save both of you. Your sanity, their tears, and a whole lot of time. The detangling spray is also fantastic. For that extra added “easy glide”, it really makes things that much easier.  For one of the first times, I was able to run my fingers through his hair.

detangling brush

World-renowned celebrity hair stylist Angelo David Pisacreta, owner of the elite Angelo David Salon in New York City, and hair-tool veteran Jacob Guttman, founder and CEO of Creative Pro Hair Tools, introduce The Flex Brush—an all-purpose tool that safely detangles hair, massages the scalp and promotes health and hair growth. The brush’s versatility, combined with its flex technology, make it the most forgiving hair brush on the market.

 flex brush

The Flex Brush, designed for both wet and dry hair, bends to follow the contours of your head, massaging your scalp and stimulating the production of natural oils. The brush has vents that allow heat to pass through it, so blow drying won’t damage the brush. For ultimate detangling, pair it with FlexDetangle Spraya revolutionary leave-in conditioner that increases flexibility to minimize damage during styling and detangling. Here is what sets The FlexBrush apart from other brushes on the market:

 

  • It is the most versatile brush on the market, so whether your hair is curly, fine, delicate or thick—or if you have extensions or a sensitive scalp—The Flex Brush is your go-to hair tool.
  • The Flex Brush is made from all-natural rubber, and the coating has a soft-touch finish that’s comfortable and easy to grip.
  • The Flex Brush is vented and super lightweight, so it can be used while blow drying. Air can pass freely through the integrated vents, resulting in much faster drying times.
  • Thanks to its flexibility, The Flex Brush gives your scalp a soothing massage that increases the blood supply to your hair’s follicles. Increased circulation helps increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients that are essential for growing strong, healthy hair.
  • The Flex Brush is especially great for detangling children’s hair. Unlike traditional brushes, it flexes to avoid snagging on tough knots, so there’s no pain. Plus, you get damage-free detangling on all hair types, whether hair is wet or dry.

 best brush for kids

About The Flex Brush

The Flex Brush is the creation of two of the most innovative minds in beauty: Angelo David, owner and creative director of the elite Angelo David Salon in New York City, and Jacob Guttman, founder and CEO of Creative Pro Hair Tools. While on the beach in Aruba, Angelo was disturbed watching people destroy their hair, as they yanked rigidbrushes through knots, tearing ends and destroying roots. He contacted Jacob and together they designed The Flex Brush—an all-purpose tool that detangles safely, massages the scalp and promotes hair health and growth. It is designed for both wet and dry hair.

 

The Flex Brush comes in three variations:

The Flex Brush Petite Mixed Bristle for SRP $19.95

The Flex Brush XL Nylon Bristle for SRP $19.95

The Flex Brush XL Mixed Bristle for SRP $25.95

The Flex Detangle Spray is available in two sizes:

the 2 oz bottle for SRP $6.95

the 8 oz bottle for SRP $17.95

Stocking Stuffers for Teen and Tween Boys #GiftGuide

 Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for pre-teen and teenage boys? Since (lets just be real here) boys are pretty gross in general, a personal care kit won’t go astray.  There are several kits to choose from by Prep U that help that “smelly boy” syndrome.

boys deodorant

It’s a fact of life that boys eventually start to smell. No matter how cute or precious they are, they begin to mature, their hormones change and odor caused by sweat and dirt naturally begins to appear with varying degrees of intensity. The idea for Prep U came from a frustrated mom of two active, smelly sons who couldn’t find a suitable solution for her boys. The only products currently on the market were designed for babies or left her kids smelling like a couple of frat boys. She created Prep U, a line of personal care products that are the perfect antidote to smells of boyhood, offering parents natural, quality products they can trust and kids a line of products that celebrates their growing independence.

I like that these are all natural products. There are plenty of options out there, but not many natural products that actually work well.

Prep U has 7 NATURAL products to choose from, with a different assortment of kits to suit the needs of different boys. There are also 3 kits to choose from;

boys bath and body

Travel Kit ($29) – Travel-size Body Spray, Active Dry Powder, Soap, and Natural Deodorant, all packaged in a compact Dopp kit bag offered in two colors

Starter Kit ($34) – A few of our most popular items including the Body Wash, Natural Deodorant, and Body Spray

Sport Kit ($32.50) – Ideal for the super active boy: Sport Soak, Natural Deodorant, and Active Dry Powder

We’ve tried several of these products, and my sons like them. My youngest, 11, tried the deodorant and body wash. My oldest, 19, tried the body spray and body wash. I prefer the smell of that body spray so much more then most others he has used- I really hate most body spray smells, truth be told. We all like the scents, and they both like the results. Check them out yourself and see what your boys think.

Happy Holidays!

Marketplace Africa – Eco Friendly Gifts That Give Back to the Community #GiftGuide

If you want to shop sustainably this year, support small business, or like to avoid big box stores, I’ve got a shop for you. If you just like unique and high quality products at a reasonable price- this is a shop you will love. Marketplace Africa has clothing, bath and body products (and I’m in love with some of these already), purses, bags,- really, gifts for everyone on your list. GREAT hostess gifting as well. Thoughtful gifts anyone would love to receive.

This online platform lets Africans can sell their one-of-a-kind handmade goods to the US, UK and entire global market.  Now customers seeking to purchase a unique gift this holiday season can feel good as they are buying directly from the source in Africa which in turn helps boost the economy. The site offers fabulous products in fashion, jewelry, handbags, body care, and select home décor items.

shop small

MarketPlaceAFRICA.com is an E-commerce platform created for African designers and entrepreneurs to tell their stories and sell their products directly to consumers everywhere, with no start-up costs. Business owners can stay focused on what they love to do most while expanding to international markets. They have a partnership with DHL, the leading global logistics experts in Africa,that lets these small businesses navigate international shipping regulations and meet the delivery time expectations of global customers. As you shop from African small businesses, you can select from familiar, safe payment methods, and have the products shipped to your home with confidence and security. It’s totally a win-win.

For more information on Marketplace Africa visit www.marketplaceafrica.com

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.

Your new go-to sweatshirt will be the Poker Flats Pullover, which is soft and cuddly, perfect for chilly nights.  Named for the inspiring Teton National Park, this namesake sweatshirt is also inspiring. With it’s certified recycled fleece (which is made using sustainable REPREVE® technology) fabric, each garment reuses about 25 plastic bottles in it’s creation. Half zip, relaxed fit  with a high collar that can be folded down, it also has a snap chest pocket and thumb thumb loops. It comes in two shades- one is several shades of blues and greens, the other is a deep red with shades of grey. Get yours at https://www.mountainkhakis.com for $85

The Old Faithful Pants are just that. The most comfortable winter all-around pants we’ve found in ages, we find ourselves living in these. As in, I’ve had to peel them off my partner to wash them, he doesn’t want to part with them that long (like when you have to wrestle that dress or much loved t-shirt off your toddler, and you need to promise to put it right into the wash, they can have it right back- promise!) I jest, but not much. Known also as the “campfire pant”, these  pants are made with recycled sweaters. They are both sweatpants and pants, with a drawstring waistband as well as a zippered fly. Yes, multiple pockets. The ribbed waistband and cuffs at the ankles keep the pants where you want them, and comfortably so. (Are you seeing that the themes here are comfort and function? Because seriously so.) Thicker then most sweatpants, but not sweaty-thick- just warm. The legs are slim fit, which surprised and weirded us out for a hot second, but only about one. Got used to them in no time, and they have become, as mentioned, our very favorites. These come in “oatmeal and black”, but seem really more like light grey and dark grey to the novice eye. $90 at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

Really Tall Man? Try TallOrder.com (And Enter to WIN! )

 

Got a really tall guy on your shopping list? TallOrder.com isan online fashion brand that caters to the big and tall market, provides socks for men with big feet, shoe sizes 12-20. It’s a category that has been severely underserviced – until now. Family, friends and significant others with tall men in their lives can gift them with an accessory that helps them express their personal style.

 These socks are soft and comfortable to wear, as well. Long enough to cover as much as you would want to, and fun themes and patterns to choose from. A portion of your purchases will also go to “Tuesday’s Children”, a nonprofit organization that helps children after traumatic events.

A little bit about the founders;

“Standing at 6’11” and 6’9”, twin entrepreneurs from Long Island, Mike and Dan Friedman, have been reaching new heights all their lives. Growing up, the brothers stood out for their size and were commonly referred to as the “Twin Towers.” Sadly, this nickname would take on a much different meaning when they were 11 years old and lost their father, Andrew Friedman, in the World Trade Center attacks.

The Friedmans were overwhelmed by the unwavering support and kindness they received from their community and several amazing charities, including “Tuesday’s Children,” an organization that played a vital role in their lives after 9/11 and supports youth, families, and communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. While caring for the families of nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11 was truly a “Tall Order,” people went out of their way to show The Friedmans their love and generosity.

In this spirit and by recognizing a niche in the men’s market, Mike and Dan created TallOrder.com to offer their fellow “Tall-Stars” stylish socks for large-sized feet, while also giving back to “Tuesday’s Children,” an organization that has deeply impacted their lives. Ten percent of TallOrder.com’s profits will be donated to “Tuesday’s Children.”

You can view the entire collection here.

Customers who purchase Tall Order socks are also giving back – proceeds from TallOrder.com are donated to Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit that offered support to co-founders Mike and Dan Friedman after losing their father on 9/11.

You can also enter to win here- feel free to enter using the RC form below.  Ends Feb. 8, 2018. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday GIft Guide- Hot Toys For kids

With only about a week to go, you will be on the lookout for the hottest toys for the little ones in your life. These are a few we think will make those kiddos shriek with delight as they tear off the wrapping paper.

Last year’s hit toy, Hatchimals, are back with an ever bigger surprise inside. The all new Hatchimals Surprise have let you hatch two sweet and cuddly Hatchimals out of the same egg- that’s right, you get twins. As you play with and hold your colorful egg, the Hatchimals inside make all sorts of sounds to let you know they are trying to hatch. When they are about ready, you will see their rainbow eyes and they will begin to “push” their way out of the egg. Even though they are twins, they are unique in personalities. As you interact with them, they learn new tricks and habits, like how to talk, dance, sing, tell jokes, play games, repeat what you say, and more. They also interact with each other, both being sweet and occasionally arguing, like any siblings will. Get yours for around $60 in stores and online.

Did you ever want your own droid? I know I have. Now you can, which is very cool and interactive- Droid BB-8 . It is pretty lifelike in scale, at 16 inches tall (19 inches with antenna) so it will feel like you are a true Jedi or padawan. BB-8 glides about just like his movie counterpart and can have pretty realistic interactions, as well as lights and sounds. Put on the “Follow Me” mode and have him roll next to you. You can use voice recognition (which is pretty sticky sometimes) and it has remote control capabilities as well. Hero Droid BB-8 is a great gift for any Star Wars fan, young or old, new to the films or long time aficionado.  Grab yours quickly (these run out at times) for about $150 in stores or online.

 

Family Game Night a big deal in your house? Have you ever tried Headbandz? This fun game is great for all ages- though for non readers, you will have to whisper their “who” in their ear for them. At the start, every player gets three chips and a card with a personality on it to stick in a headband. When it is your turn, turn the timer and ask “Yes” or “No” questions to guess who you are. If you are right, hand in a chip and go again. If you are wrong, you lose your turn. The winner is the first person to hand in all their chips. It is a fun, not too challenging game that will have everyone laughing and trying to figure out who is who. Get yours in stores or online for about $12.

Another fun Family Game Night option is Escape Room The Game from Spin Master. This fun game brings all the fun of the physical “escape the room” craze into your living room, and you and your family can play together and as often as you would like.  You all work together to solve each puzzle and to find hidden clues before your time runs out. The “Chrono Decoder” counts down from 60 minutes as you play your choice of four different adventures.  Pick yours up in stores or online for about $35.

 

If you want to play your kid one on one, or teach them some fun strategy, check out Othello. It is a two-player game that has you outsmart your opponent to win. Your goal is to trap and capture your opponent’s pieces in a game that is decided so play by play, the winner often isn’t decided until some of the last pieces are left on the board. This is available in stores or online for about $15.

If you and your children like hands on projects, building, or robotics, this toy will be your fast favorite. The latest Meccano robot, M.A.X., has both Artificial Intelligence and customizable programming so that you get to build a pretty one-of-a-kind robot.  Little hands build upon or start their knowledge of programming and robotics as they give their robots flair and personality. M.A.X can be controlled using voice commands, buttons in his MeccaBrain, or via free included app.

M.A.X., a S.T.E.M. robot, has expressive facial graphics that are designed to engage kids. He is both a learning tool and tons of fun. Some of the other items M.A. X. comes with are a gaming platform, he can tell jokes, has built-in infrared sensors thatcan avoid obstacles , and so much more. If your child loves to learn, and has hands that like to be kept busy, she will love M.A. X. You can grab yours for about $99 in stores or online.