The Busy Giffs: 2017

September 14, 2017

Using the Dining Plans and Ordering Amazon Prime Now at Disney World

One of the most asked questions I see on the Disney Fan Facebook pages, after what is the best time to go, is "Is the dining plan worth it?" For us, it has been. I like the convenience having it all paid off ahead of time and since we do the mid level dining plan, we always have enough food without having way too much left over.


The mid level plan offers 1 Table Service Meal, 1 Quick Service Meal, 2 snacks and 1 refillable mug per person. On the dining plan, we set up one Table Service character meal per day, often lunch, which usually services as our recharge time. We love doing our table service meals as character meals because my kids get to see the characters they want without the in-park wait times! On our last visit it was 40+ minutes to wait and see Ariel and over 90 minutes to see Rapunzel in Magic Kingdom! At our Bon Voyage Breakfast, we enjoyed our meal in a normal hour time frame and BOTH came to our table!

Quick Service meals give us some flexibility to grab something as we're walking around the park. A chicken fingers and fries was enough for both kids to eat from so we were able to maneuver our meals around a bit so that we weren't paying out of pocket for any of our food during the trip.

While the dining plan is great for us, it isn't for everyone.  I personally like using my snack credits for indulgences that I wouldn't have grabbed otherwise, so we also utilize Amazon Now to have things like yogurt, granola bars, and fruit cups for our hotel room.

Amazon Prime Now is a service included in your Amazon prime account, and if your area is available, they'll deliver fresh groceries to you within 2 hours, or 1 hour for an extra charge. Knowing we were arriving in Orlando around 11 am on a Sunday, I ordered on Saturday (you can order same day or one day in advance) for noon time delivery.  I used the hotels address and our groceries were in our room waiting for us when we arrived! I loved knowing that we had juice boxes for the kids and fresh produce to much on in addition to the not so healthy Disney treats we used our snack options on.


It's so interesting to me that food can play such a huge role in a trip to Disney but between the Dining plan and Amazon prime Now, we ate like kings during our trip! Have you utilized the Dining Plan or Amazon Prime Now on a Disney vacation?

xo, Heather

September 11, 2017

Back at Disney with Kingdom Strollers

We were provided a stroller in exchange for our thoughts. All opinions are my own. 

What an amazing trip we had at Disney! It was the perfect way to end the summer and or kids have talked about it nonstop since we got back!

One of the biggest decisions we had to make this time around was regarding a stroller.  Emmalee was adamantly against it.  As a 42 lb 6 year old, she absolutely still fits in it but in her mind, she's a big girl who doesn't need the stroller.  I know that with miles and miles of walking, I wanted one for her.


On our last visit to Disney World, we utilized Kingdom Strollers and it was amazing, so there was no hesitation when contacting them again for this trip. Kingdom Strollers has a ridiculously easy webiste that made booking our stroller simple. Even though Emmalee said she didn't want one, I trusted my gut and booked the double stroller.

Kingdom Strollers offer a few version of double strollers and I opted for the City Mini.  Unlike the park strollers, each kid has their own space, in a comfortable, reclining seat, rather than a plastic bench shared by both kids. When both kids are tired and breathing by someone else bothers them, this different space is so appreciated.


Additionally, Kingdom Strollers will provide a free cooler and rain cover.  We used our cooler every day in the parks, stuffing it full with juice boxes, fruit cups, and granola bars. I was surprised we only got hit with rain once this trip as our last trip, it rained at 1 pm like clock work every day. I was happy to have the rain cover, even if we only used it once.

Unlike Disney stroller rentals, which are only available in the park, Kingdom Strollers delivers your stroller, with a cute name tag, directly to your resort.  We were able to climb off of the Magic Express and grab our stroller immediately, which made check in and getting to the room much easier with the kids wrangled.


Although you have to fold up the stroller on the Disney provided buses, it was worth it to us to have a place to let the kids sit and wait while waiting for the buses after fireworks and as we walked across the resort at 11 pm.  Even Emmalee who didn't want the stroller spent a good amount of time in it, "resting her legs".

Kingdom Strollers has provided us a great product in years past and I loved using them again on this trip!

September 7, 2017

Getting Creative with Antsy Pants

Way back during Blogger Bash, I got to check out the Antsy Pants line.  It's seriously adorable and fosters so much creativity.  If you know me, you know I love toys that inspire my kids to play and use their own creative minds. Antsy Pants is one of those amazing toys!


Antsy Pants creates limitless play and fun because it's a system of poles, connectors, and covers to create whatever your kids can imagine.

We were lucky enough to receive a small kit which build a whole bunch of different things from a tent to a stand and with the extra accessories, you can build a ball pit, a lemonade stand, a Farmer's Market, or a tee pee! In addition to our Small Kit, we received the Donut Shop cover and a package of felt donuts, perfect for our kids!


It's no secret we love donuts and with multiple donut stores near by, we never have a hard time grabbing some on the weekends.  We decided this weekend, in honor of the new Antsy Pants line launch at Target, we'd let the kids set up their own donut stand in the living room!


The Small Kit comes with an instruction book if you're looking to make the ball pit, a tent, a tee pee, or one of the stands so it was super easy to build our Donut Shop! Even after building the Donut Shop, there were extra poles and connectors so we could customize as we wanted!


The Kit Cover is super adorable.  The pink and white stripes cover the poles and the awning and front Donut Shop sign really set the scene.


What good is a Donut Shop without donuts? Antsy Pants even provided felt donuts so my kids could really get creative in their store. I love felt food for my kids. So much so that we got rid of all their fake plastic food last year and replaced it with wooden or felt play foods so these donuts are perfect with the rest of what we have! Emmalee asked for real donuts too so we ran to Dunkin and grabbed a few for the morning.


Emmalee loved collecting money and working on her math skills while we played with our new kit, and as a mom, I love anything that makes learning fun for her!


We've already started a Christmas wishlist to add to our Antsy Pants stock pile: I would love the organizer to keep all the pieces organized, Emmalee wants the Medium Kit and the Playhouse Kit Cover, and Tyler is hoping for the ball pit and balls or the Pirate Ship Cover. The kits range from $29.99-$79.99 while the accessories, including the fabric covers range start as low as $9.99, which makes them affordable for this holiday season!

Which is your favorite system from Antsy Pants?

xo, Heather

September 1, 2017

Simple Margaritas

Monday was my first day back at work for the new school year, but really, summer doesn't end until Labor Day weekend ends in my mind. I love my job and my students so I don't mind going back to work, but I'll never miss the chance to cheers the summer before saying good bye.

Summer is synonymous with margaritas in my mind. Not much is better than a summer night by the fire with a margarita in hand. Too often, margaritas get muddled by people trying to turn it into too much. I personally love the crisp, tart flavor of a barely sweetened margarita.
My homemade ones use only a few ingredients and are as good, if not better than than ones I order when I go out.


Ingredients

1 nip of Grand Marnier
2 nips of tequila (I prefer Patron)
Juice of 4 limes
2 oz lemonade (I like Simply Lemonade)
salt for the rim
cut limes for garnish

In 2 cup liquid measuring, stir together the the Grand Marnier, tequila, lime juice, and lemonade.
Pour salt onto a shallow plate. Rim the edge of each glass with a lime wedge, and dip in salt. Fill the glass with ice. Pour margarita mixture into each glass. Garnish with a lime slice and Enjoy!

Many people prefer to use a simple syrup instead of lemonade but I prefer the tangy tartness of the lemonade.

Bottoms up!


xo, Heather


August 29, 2017

Early Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom - Disney World

Cramming all four parks into a two trip to Disney World was no easy feat. We knew it would mean long days and that there was a good chance we would not get to do everything we wanted. I asked everyone what they really wanted to do so we could plan around that.

Emma asked for the Peter Pan ride, Davis asked for Seven Dwarves Mine Train, and Tyler wanted to see Tinkerbell. All Magic Kingdom. We decided to break our days into Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios on one day (and we ended up adding in Epcot!) and Magic Kingdom the next, giving us plenty of time to get the three things we wanted in Magic Kingdom.


While looking at Magic Kingdom things and planning our day, I came across the Disney Early Morning Magic, which is different than the Extra Magic Hours available to resort guests. Early Magic Hours get you into a park 1 hour early on certain days and is free to hotel guests. Early Morning Magic is a ticketed event (that costs additional money) that gets you into Magic Kingdom at 7:45 am when the park opens at 9 am. You have access to Seven Dwarves Mine Train, the Winnie the Pooh Ride, the Peter Pan ride, and includes a buffet breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus. When I looked, there were no tickets available.  A couple weeks later, because I was checking religiously, it was available! I grabbed 4 tickets and because I was curious, I continued to check it and it never came back up as available.

On our Magic Kingdom day, we were up early and at the Pop Century Magic Kingdom bus stop at 6:35.  The bus came at 6:39 and brought us to Magic Kingdom.  AT 7:10, we were given our special Early Morning magic band, that allowed us on the rides, while people who had early meal reservations were only allowed to go to their meal. At 7:35 they opened the gates and let us in. It was very cool seeing so few people in front of the castle and we stopped to have a picture taken.


Then it was right off to Peter Pan.  Emma had been asking to ride it or weeks and since we werent able to ride it last time we went, it was a first for us. Imagine my disapointment when they said it was down but they'd open up small world for us... not exactly the same, so we went to Seven Dwarves Mine Train. It's Dave's favorite and since I'm afraid of rollercoasters, I offered to do the Winnie the Pooh ride with the kids.  Emma wanted to try the rollercoaster and since there was no long line to wait, we figured it was worth it.  Emma and Dave went to the ride and Tyler and I went on Pooh. When Tyler and I got off the ride, Emma informed me that she loved Seven Dwarves so much they did it twice and she really wanted me to ride.

I hate rollercoasters, like hate them. I can barely even ride the little kid caterpillar ones, or go on the flying swings without my stomach doing flips so no, I don't want to ride the Seven Dwarves, but Emma wanted me to, and there was no long line to wait in, so really, I had to try it right?


I'm not ashamed to say Emma held my arm the whole time but it wasn't terrible. I didn't exactly like it but I didn't hate it either.  And since now both Tyler and Emma loved it and wanted to keep riding, I didn't really have a choice since each row was only 2 people and the kids needed someone next to them. I ended up riding it 5 times total, which was nothing compared to the 8 times Emma rode and the 10 times David rode! With a wait time of over 2 hours during normal operating hours, that was crazy! It absolutely made the ticket price worth it!

We took a family ride on the Carousel and Winnie the Pooh before heading towards Peter Pan to see if it had opened. Sad face- it hadn't, so we went for breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus. The buffet was wonderful - eggs, french toast, bacon, sausage, and Mickey waffles! There was yogurt and fresh fruit alongside a juice bar. Because it was a buffet we were able to eat as much as we wanted, even if it was a plate of bacon for Tyler, and we had access to it until 10 am, even after the park opened.


While the initial price was a bit to stomach, I'm so glad we took advantage of it since t gave us the opportunity to ride Seven Dwarves so many times, which ended up being my kids favorite ride of the day!

We'll definitely plan our next Magic Kingdom day to have Early Morning Magic if we can! Would you spend the money to be able to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train 10 times?

xo, Heather

August 28, 2017

Hollywood Studios Star Wars Dessert Party - Disney World

We're home from our whirlwind trip to Disney World this week and it was absolutely amazing! We really wanted to make the most of our short trip so we added in a few extras to really up the magic!

Our second night there, we went to the Hollywood Studios Star Wars Dessert Party. Hollywood Studios has had a huge focus on Star Wars (while they build Star Wars - Galaxy's End, rumored to open in 2019) with stage shows, meet and greets, and even a special night time fireworks show. Knowing how much Tyler loves Star Wars, we were able to get 4 passes for the dessert party.


The party itself takes place in the launch bay and while it appears that it's shut down to outsiders, the character meet and greets were not, so unfortunately a 45 minute wait for Chewbacca during a 1 hour party didn't make much sense. BB-8 was only 10 minutes so we did get to meet him, however, if I had known that it was open to everyone, we would have made time during the day to meet Chewie and Kylo Ren. Thankfully, we saw them earlier at a stage show, so Tyler wasn't too upset when we redirected him to the treats that were offered.


Speaking of treats, there were so many! Delicious themed cupcakes, Emma especially loved the chocolate rocks on the BB-8 cupcakes, and sugar cookies. My favorites were the alcoholic themed drinks and the freeze dried nutella, but a close runner up with the Ice cream station with "Mickey dirt"- so delicious! They also had skewers of grapes, cheese, tomatoes, and hummus if you preferred savory items.


The kids loaded up plates and we found a spot in the launch bay to eat. They, with all the other kids, were running around crazy, but the cast members didn't seem to mind.  At 8:45, about 15 minutes before the fireworks, Tyler fell asleep. Just slumped over and went to bed. I carried him out to the stroller to let him lay down and when I turned around, a Storm Trooper was leading the whole party to our reserved fireworks viewing spot so I hopped into line and got right in the front of our special viewing area!

The show itself was very cool-- integrating images and audio from all of the Star Wars movies and coupling them with fireworks. Emma loved the show and Tyler woke up for the last 5 minutes.


After the lights came up, I noticed that everyone else in our dessert area was carrying a bag and I remembered that our tickets were supposed to come with a Chewbacca mug to take home. We asked an employee when they had been given and was told that they were passed out as people exited the Launch Bay (when I was already outside with a sleeping boy) but they found a few other employees who took our information and told us they would mail them to the house so we're anxiously watching the mail!

Overall, we enjoyed the party but I'd personally love it if Disney created a Fastpass type line for Character meets during the party so that we didn't have to choose between meeting the characters and enjoying the desserts.

Have you been? Or are you interested in attending?

xo, Heather

August 25, 2017

Beat Bugs and Hearts for Hearts Girl Dolls

I'm always excited for new toys-- sometimes even more so than my kids and Blip recently released two toy lines that I just LOVE!

1. The Beat Bugs toys!

Have you heard of the Beat Bugs yet? The Beat Bugs are these adorable little bugs that are inspired by the music of the Beatles. The animated cartoon is on Netflix and Tyler loves it! The music is redone by some of today's most popular artists (like Sia and P!nk!) and it's a great show to dance along to. I was super excited to find some of the bug toy figures at Target last week.  Since Emma loves doing her videos now, she insisted on setting up all the bugs in front of the show!

Pay no attention to the stickers that Ty put on our television....

Any toys or tv that inspires a love of music, and plays good music for mom to clean to while they watch an episode, is good in my book! The toys themselves are exclusive to Target stores, and the show is only on Netflix but you have to check them out if you haven't yet!

2. Hearts for Hearts Girl

Emmalee loves dolls. Doesn't matter if it's American Girl 18" dolls, Our Generation clothes, and accessories, or the new American Girl 14" Wellie Wishers, she loves dolls. We were introduced to the Heart for Hearts Girls through Blip toys after Blogger Bash and I fell in love too!

For every doll sold, Hearts For Hearts Girls makes a $1 donation to their charitable partner, World Vision, a global humanitarian organization that supports children through local programs. Whether it’s malaria nets in Africa, schoolbooks in Asia, or food supplies in the US, these programs help kids to thrive and succeed.

How great is it to find a toy that my child loves that also has an important backstory and supports a great cause. There are currently four girls: Rahel from Ethiopia, Dell from the USA, Consuelo from Mexico, and Nahji from India. Emmalee was lucky enough to be sent Rahel and she instantly joined Emma's other 14" dolls, as well as the 18" ones she has. 


American Girl Wellie Wisher on the left and Rahel on the right. 

You can purchase the dolls at Target and other major retailers. I love that the Heart for Heart Girls have a great price point (currently $39.99 at Target) and do good for others when I buy them for my girl.  I can't wait to add a few more to her collection this holiday season!

Do you prefer the Beat Bugs or the Heart to Heart Dolls?

xo, Heather





August 21, 2017

Back to School with Scotties! #ReadySetSchool


Going back to school is always a difficult time for me.  Not because I don't want to go back, but because I'm torn about going back.  As a teacher, I love my job and my students.  I love the impact I can make on them, but as a mom, it's hard for me to go from spending all day with kids in the summer to only having about 4 hours with them each night. However, I know how important their education is, and how important of a role I play in my students, so there is always some excitement for me!

The thing that I dislike most about going back to school,. is the posts from other parents about going back to school on social media. On any given day, I see at least 2 parents say they cannot wait for their kids to go back so they have free time again, and twice that complain about how much it costs to go back to school, after buying all new school supplies at the beginning of the year.

According to Kids In Need Foundation, students who go without the school supplies they need struggle with self-esteem and perform worse in school than students with adequate supplies.

Scotties knows this and wants to make it better. Every child, no matter what their circumstances, should have the supplies they need to help them be engaged in learning. Pencils, crayons and paper may seem inconsequential to the learning process, but for a child in need, they can make a world of difference.

Scotties has made a 1 to 1 Promise to make sure kids have what they need this school year!

For every video created and shared on social media using the hashtag #ReadySetSchool, a backpack filled with school supplies will be donated to a kid in need (up to 1,400 backpacks total) by Scotties. Emma and I wanted to help in our little way, so check out her video:




You can check out lots of other #ReadySetSchool videos on Scotties Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and be sure to make your own while you're there!

What would you pack in a backpack for a kid who was having a tough day at school?

xo, Heather

August 11, 2017

Kudo Bandz Makes Parenting Easier

This product was provided to me in exchange for a review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Whoever said Terrible Twos is the worst, clearly didn't have a 3 year old. The past two months, my three year old seems to have a switch that turns him from the sweetest little lovebug, to a three year old boy smashing everything in his path. His love for his sister is a source of whining since he "never leaves me alone now mom". He thinks dishes belong on the floor and toys should be scattered around as much as possible.


I was lucky enough to meet the owners of KudoBanz at Blogger Bash and really hoped it would be something that helped out my little guy.  

Kudo Banz is similar to a sticker chart, where a child is rewarded for whatever you determine, but it stands out because unlike traditional sticker charts, it's worn on their wrist! It's a constant reminder of how they are doing!

The kit has a storybook that makes for great family reading time, but also explains how the Kudos work.  Some of the Kudos have a code on them that can be scanned into the (free!) digital app and creates a magical experience that young kids will love!



The Kudos are adorable and they offer many different sets like Dinosaurs, Princesses, Superheroes, and Pandas. The rubber wristbands are lightweight and flexible for little wrists and have spaces for 3 Kudos. I love that the starter book comes with enough for two kids, which is a huge money saver for me. I can grab one book and be set with both kids!


Since using KudoBanz, we've seen the better side of Tyler more often. He loves getting his Kudos and playing with the app when he receives his next Kudo. What I love is that we've been able to grow his habits.  When we first started with the bands, we gave him a Kudo every time he as being nice.  Now, we're able to give him one at lunch if he's had a great morning, at dinner if the afternoon was good, and just before bed if he maintained  his sweet personality.  It has allowed him to self-assess more often and anything that helps him be more independent is wonderful!


Be sure to head over to the KudoBanz website and grab your kit and Kudos today! Which extra Kudos will you be ordering?

xo, Heather

August 7, 2017

Getting Ready for Disney - Magic Ears

We were provided these ears in exchange fr our post, however, we searched them out because we loved them so much! All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Disney Ears, Mickey Ears, Etsy

Seriously, one of the best parts of a trip to Disney are the EARS!
I love the creative Disney ears that I see all over the parks and while Disney Store offers lots of great ones, I am always amazed at what I can find being handmade and on Etsy. I'm excited to highlight a few of my favorites!

1. Show Me Your Ears

MIckey ears, floral, disney

Seriously, how gorgeous are these flower ears?! I'm obsessed. I had reached out to Morgan, the owner, asking for a Beauty and the Beast inspired floral set and I was in love with what she came back with! I might be biased since I love Morgan anyways-- she's a former student and now my son's teacher!-- but the attention to detail in these is just amazing. Emmalee has already asked if she can steal them from me but I have plans to wear these both days in the park- they'll match every theme I'm going for! And the best part, only $19.99 plus shipping.


2. Wicked Good Ears


Wicked Good Ears is run by Ally, a New England native turned Atlanta transplant, and lover of all things Disney. The shop just opened in July, but she is excited to bring a high quality and durable product to Disney fans with new styles coming every week! Ally made these gorgeous Lilly inspired ears when I told her how excited I was to check out Disney Spring's Lilly Pulitzer store. I'm making Emma a matching short to wear since I know she'll end up stealing my "Lilly Pumitzer" inspired ears! At only $25 with free shipping, you need to grab a pair of her handmade ears!


3. Happily Ever Ears By Tam


When I was on Etsy looking at ears, Emma came up behind and shouted (right in my ear!) "Mom, I neeeeeeeed those fruit ones when I go to Disney!" Her obsession of fruit and my love of Dole Whips equal the perfect set of ears for Aloha Isle, and every where else that's bright and fun! She also just started making matching pocket shirts to go with her ears, which is super helpful when outfit planning. Shirts start at just $13 and ears range from $20-$28. 
And I can I say I'm obsessed with her? Whe I told her how much Emmalee loved them, she included matching bow! Great customer service that goes above and beyond always gets my vote (or money). 


4. MagicalCreations1



We all know how obsessed I am with the Dooney and Bourke Sketch pattern, right? I mean, I even decked out my Magic Band with the pattern so I was beside myself when I saw this fabric that looks so similar! While I don't have the ears yet, I wanted to share this page because I'm obsessed with her as a seller and her customer service. I reached out to her just before her move and when things got crazy during her move, instead of ignoring me, she kept open, constant communication. That alone makes me want to scream her name from the rooftops. Good customer service is hard to come by. I can not wait until they arrive!

Which ones are your favorites?

xo,  Heather

July 24, 2017

More Disney Savings with Groupon Coupons

This post was written on behalf of Groupon, however all opinions are my own. 

I can't even put into words how excited I am for our Disney trip next month!
It's been just over 2 years since our last trip. Tyler and Emma are now 3 and 6 and both are HUGE Disney fans. I really can't wait to see their faces when they find out we are going!

I always look to get super (over) prepared when we go on vacation and going to Disney is no exception. I plan out outfits, order grocery delivery to the hotel, and stock up on less expensive Disney items that can be used as "souvenirs" which saves us money while we're there! Our Mousekeeping was amazing about leaving them in special places so it seemed magical to the kids when they got back to the room and something new was there!

Because I'm super cheap frugal, I'm always looking for the best deals and have found the best deals using Groupon Coupons! Obviously, a trip to Disney requires as much frugality as I can manage so I was thrilled to see Groupon Coupons for the Disney Store! From 10% off my order, to free shipping, to a super discounted Dooney and Bourke cosmetic case coupon, Groupon Coupons added a little bit more to my "fun money" account!


While I'm excited to save money at the Disney Store I'm equally excited about all the stores I can save money at as well.  Target , Macy’sWalmart, and Barnes and Noble all have great Disney merchandise that I can grab to prepare for our trip! No matter what your shopping need may be, Groupon has a deal for you! So, get saving and check on the deals for yourself! 

July 21, 2017

Best Things for Moms from Blogger Bash 2017

I already shared my favorite toys of Blogger Bash's Sweet Suite, but think I need a few minutes to talk about the amazing things that don't quite qualify as toys. There were a handful of things that I found super cool so they needed their own post. Rather than Sweet Suite, these mostly come from the earlier in the day Babypalooza and CE Week.


Again, in no particular order...



Kudo Banz
These things are amazing! Raise your hand if you have ever had a sticker chart for your kid? Now raise your hand if you were out in public and said sticker chart was no longer a good way to get your kids to behave? Yep. Kudo Banz works like a rewards chart except it's on their wrist so it's much more obvious way to keep them on track. Partnered with an app, it's a new lifesaver in this house.


Jojo Maman Bebe
Couple British accents with ridiculously adorable children's clothing and you basically have Jojo Maman Bebe. Basically, I'm obsessed. The charm of these clothes are amazing. I'm literally dreaming of Tyler running around in this fox hoodie all Fall.


Austlen
We all know I have a stroller obsession, but hold on to your hats-- this could very well be the absolute best stroller ever. You can buy it Day 1 and never need another stroller (as long as you only have 3 kids...). The Austlen Entourage is a stroller that grows with you, changing into 30 different configurations, that can hold up to 150 lbs total! Yikes! From a bassinet to a platform rider, it covers everything.  I barely even need a stroller but oh my gosh, do I want one!

Switchmate
Switchmate is going to revolutionize electricity bills in this house. The magnetic switchplates go over your already existing light switches and through a free app, you can control every light in your house. Gasp! Even better, in the coming months, they are releasing outlet plug covers so I canb control those plugs while I'm away too! This means no more coming home after work to fans that have been blowing on an empty room all day! I am ridiculously excited to get my house set up with this amazing technology!



Ticwatch
Another piece of amazing technology- the Ticwatch 2 http://amzn.to/2t9Fh02 is an affordable, gorgeous Smart watch that seamlessly integrates to your phone and as a piece of wearable fitness technology. So much more gorgeous than the square ones I see out now- I have seriously Santa hopes for this.


Re-Play Recycled
We actually already knew about Re-Play Recycled but it's worth sharing because they save the world and are adorable while doing so. Re-Play "rescues" milk jugs from landfills and turns them into these gorgeous plates, bowls, snack cups, and utensils (to name a few). The quality is insane and I can justify buying more, knowing how great the company is for the environment.


Armitron
Armitron is another company that I knew about previously but I didn't really pay attention to them last year, writing them off as a high end brand that wouldn't work for myself, my family, or my readers, but my mind has been completely changed. So many of these gorgeous watches are in the $50-$75 range and you can get 20% off your first order if you sign up for their emails. I mean, hello Christmas gifts! I maybe picked out a few that I loved and sent them to David already...


Tickle Water
We all know that I'm doing a lot more to be healthy (even if I can't lose any weight to save my damn life), and one of those big things was eliminating soda. I do still miss bubbles sometimes and instead have found myself drinking flavored seltzer water at times. I'm obsessed with Tickle Water because it has no added sugars and tastes good! I've already placed an order on Amazon and will be mixing some drinks up this summer!

I love getting to see so many brands and all their amazing products- which one are you most excited about?

xo, Heather

July 18, 2017

Top Toys at Blogger Bash 2017!!

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend Blogger Bash in New York City.  I've gone the past three years but the stars were just not aligning for me to go this year and I was seriously bummed. The women who put it on are, simply put, the absolute best and the interactions with brands is unmatched in any other blogging conference that I've been to.  I was beside myself when David came home and told me that he had rearranged his work schedule and I needed to grab a ticket since I was going! It really is amazing that I have a husband who is so supportive. Somehow, I was able to secure a ticket and a hotel in less than 10 minutes so it was official! I am so happy I ended up at Blogger Bash because I got to sneak peek so many amazing new toys that are hitting shelves now and will be hitting shelves in the coming weeks!


In no particular order, some of my favorites:

The LeapFrog Epic
We've always been fans of Leap Frog's tablets, with each kid having their own Leap Pad 2, but I am seriously excited for the Epic. While the Epic is already out, Leap Frog will have some BIG news soon and trust me, you'll be excited too! I love that the Epic allows me to use both Android Apps and the huge library of Leap Frog games and books that we already own. This may be the kids big present this year come Christmas time.


Mattel Enchantimals
I was most excited for these because I know a 6 year old who would be obsessed with them! Let's be honest, I'm obsessed with them. They are way cuter than the average Barbie doll and come with their own little critter friend. The line also includes bikes, sleepover set, and a Tree House Playset! I think they are perfect for my girl- inspiring creative play while still being fashion forward!


Antsy Pants
If you're looking for something to inspire creativity, Antsy Pants is it! The toys come in click and connect connectors and poles, as well as fabric covers, play tunnels and play balls! They can be constructed in any way so it's endless fun. As someone who often loses her kitchen table to the fort of the day, this makes me so excited! For less than $100, the kids could have a huge play set that will offer them hours of fun for days and days!


DreamWorks Spirit and Lucky Toys
I was so excited to see a line of Spirit- Riding Free toys since my kids recently discovered the Netflix show! My daughter loves horses and the storyline is so relatable for a 6 year old. Between the dolls of Lucky and Spirit and the plush horses of Boomerang and Chica Linda, there are so many things we'll be adding to our collection! Emma was thrilled to open up a blind box in a recent video!


Puppy Dog Pals Play set
Puppy Dog Pals is another new show that my kids are in love with! Every episode is a new adventure and Tyler just loves it! Amazon already has a few plushes and books, but the play sets and blind bags (check them out in this video!) coming soon are amazing!

Pikmi Pops
Because anything and everything blind bag/box is super hot right now, Pikmi Pops are another one I expect to be huge! Made by the same company that makes Shopkins, Pikmi pops are blind "lollipops" with a stuffed surprise character inside! These were officially released last week and will be hitting shelves soon!


Bag O Dirt
I love Play Vision's squishy substances! We loved Floof last year and while they showed Bag O Dirt at Toy Fair, I was excited to see it's for sale now!! It's a super cute way to "let kids get dirty", without actually getting dirty.  Add in a few bugs and it's a boy's dream.


Playdoh
Everyone knows Playdoh but I love that they have some very educational sets this year! A full set of letters and Playdoh is a great way to work on letters and spelling with younger kids.


Num Noms
We first played with Num Noms last year, but they are rolling out even more toys, including an awesome nail polish maker! I love when toys my kids already love go bigger and develop more creative options for them!Add some pretties to an adorable toy and Emmalee will be in love!


Glitter Girl Accessories
Glitter Girls are another super exciting, not in stores yet toy! Glitter Girls are made just like the Our Generation girls (found at Target) but as 14" dolls, rather than 18" dolls.  Emma's first doll was an Our Generation doll before getting her American Girl dolls. American Girl rolled out Wellie Wisher last year (14" dolls) and I'm excited to see what sort of accessories will be offered so that we can grow our collection!


Super Wings
We've already talked about Super Wings, but again, Tyler is in love so I was excited to see them again! While they offer great play sets and action figures, I am most excited that Jet will be joining the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year! Even more exciting: I've been toying with the idea of going (it's a Bucket List item!) and this makes it that much more exciting!

Shopkin's Cutie Cars
These are so exciting to me because they aren't released yet! Shopkin's Cutie Cars are going to be a big hit! The beloved characters of Shopkins are now cars! Again, you'll be able to collect them all!


Mini Mojis
With over 100 to collect, Mini Mojis will be another hot collect them all! You can buy them now at Jo Ann Fabrics! The kids were lucky enough to open one up already! You can check them out here:


So there you have it! A few of my favorites from Sweet Suite! There are SO many more toys and I'll be covering a handful of them in future posts as well! I imagine many will end up under your Christmas tree this holiday-- which are you most excited for?

xo, Heather

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