Matt’s Favorite Picks for Amazon Prime Day!

Amazon Prime Day is here, and it’s like Cyber Monday without the pressure to buy gifts for others.  All to say: great deals to buy the stuff you want for yourself.  Matt picked all of these and they are all on his wish list!

This post contains affiliate links.

Here are our picks… and we are keeping it low tech:

MiiR Stainless Steel Insulated Growler Bottle

A great growler is a gift that keeps on giving.  Sharing is optional, but with growler filling stations popping up everywhere from breweries to convenience stores, having a growler at the ready is an invitation to enjoy great brew whenever and wherever.  With Prime Day, this tipsy tipper will only set you back about $20.

By the way, keep it cool with this insulated cover:

Timex Quartz Brass Brown & Blue Weekender Watch

 

An Apple Watch is great, but there are times when analog is the way to go.  This simple, classic Timex watch is reasonably water-resistant and easy to wear.  Appropriately called the “Weekender,” this is a great way to unplug, if even for a moment.  Replacement straps are cheap, easy ways to change it up.  $42 on Prime Day.

Jack Spade Industrial Messenger

Jack Spade is truly my bag, and if I had to pick one, this industrial messenger ($108 for Prime Day) is the perfect combo of industrial and tailored, professional and casual.  Honestly, there are dozens of great choices with tremendous deals for Prime Day.

PizzaQue Deluxe Kettle Grill Pizza Kit

Did I tell you about the year I spent working next door to one of New Haven’s great pizza places? Perfectly charred crust from a brick oven filled the air.  While I cannot pretend that I will reach the standards of Sally’s, but with the PizzaQue, I’m going to try! $54 on Prime Day.

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Ok… there’s some pretty amazing high-tech deals, too.  Here are my top five:

Electric, foldable bike (because it’s uphill both ways!)

WiFi Video Doorbell: Who’s that at the door? and lock/unlock it remotely: with this!

Add a revolving art gallery to your living room wall:

A robot that draws pancakes… the future is here and it’s delicious!

Time to hit the road… take your tune with you with the best portable speaker

———– and there ya have it! Matt’s List for Prime Day!

There are also some amazing deals to be had for baby products... like boring stuff… diapers and wipes! But you can also find some pretty awesome toys and baby gear!

Swing by AMAZON for deals rolling out all day today!

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Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens

Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens
It’s almost time to have all your presents neatly wrapped under the tree. Are you done with all your shopping?? We aren’t! Thomas is super easy to shop for. As a newly minted 4-year-old, he loves anything and everything! Dinosaurs, Superheros, trains, trucks and paints.
Lily being a tween is tougher to shop for. As kids get older the choices dwindle down and gifting is a challenge.
I have found a few crafting lines that are perfect for the tween and teen set. They offer really unique craft kits like – foosball table kits or dream catchers and even a DIY speakers kit.
Here is a great list of 6 Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens.

This is a great gift for older kids. When finished this is one fully functioning foosball table!! Super fun!

Ukulele Kit Kid Made Modern
kidmademodern.com
For the music lover in your home, The Ukulele Kit from Kid Made Modern is a MUST. This kit comes with glitter stickers, paint and everything you need to make and decorate your Ukulele.

This dream catcher kit is easy to follow and comes with feathers, beads and the pom poms. This makes for very cool room decor.

Jam out to your music with speakers you made yourself! This kit comes with foldable speakers, paints stickers and basically everything for you to create you jammin boom box!

Journal Kit Kid Made Modern
kidmademodern.com
If you have a tween or teen you know that journaling is total THING! This journal kit includes a 250 page book paints, stickers, glitter tape and more. It’s a one stop journaling shop!

I have been a loyal follower of Handmade Charlotte and not their craft kits are available at Michaels Arts and Crafts. These unique crafts include everything from chandeliers, to framed art.
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5 Weeks Until Christmas and 5 Toys You Need Now!

 

We have a little over 5 weeks before Jolly Old Saint Nicholas is going to come sliding down the chimney to drop off lots of toys for your kids! I’ve come across some really fantastic toys for this season that will appeal to kids of all ages and maybe even adults… can you say… LEGO DISNEY CASTLE! It’s stunning!

These are few of the favorites that are Thomas and Lily approved. As you know, most if not all of these toys have been tested by me and my crew… AKA Thomas and Lily… and usually Jonah gets a hold of something  and after clawing it out of his jaw… we write about it.

Disney Castle LEGO

Disney Castle Playset – LEGO – $349.00 I don’t know about the kids, but I WANT THIS. The Disney Castle play set has 4080 pieces and builds an amazingly detailed Disney Castle. This is a MUST for Disney Fans. Get it while you can… it’s selling quick!

Torch Blazin Dragon

Torch My Blazin Dragon – Hasbro $65 It’s not the Game of Thrones Khaleesi Dragons… but it’ll do for the kids. This dragon blinks and breathes fire and even “toasts’ marshmallows! Also a hot item this season… so grab it!

Thomas and Friends Mini Playset

Thomas and Friends Minis Twist and Turn Stunt Set $20  This entire line in on my Thomas’s wish list. He can’t get enough of these minis. They twist and turn and spiral back up. Thomas and Friends Minis Playset also have a whole new DC Superheros line… Thomas as Batman… believe it!

sky-viper-remote-control-hover-ptru1-23893606dt

Sky Viper Hover Racer $99.99 This hover craft is #1 on Lily’s list. It’s tough to find toys for kids as they get older so I was super excited to discover the Sky Viper. It’s a great, sturdy quality, that can handle rough play and a giant dog going after it!

Love-2-Learn-Elmo

Love2Learn Elmo HASBRO $59.99 – Just when you think you have outgrown the Elmo stage… they reel you back in. This is the new 2016 version that is bluetooth compatible. Imagine Thomas’ surprise when Elmo said his name! There is soooo much this new version of Elmo does that I could write a whole piece on it. It helps with learning alphabet, numbers, colors, silly phrases and songs… so much more! PJ Masks Headquarters Playset

PJ Masks Headquarters Playset – $69.99 Thomas is WISHING for this playset. We can’t find it anywhere!! PJ Masks – which is NOT TJ MAXX –  I thought he was saying this all along… anyway PJ MASKS is Thomas’ favorite show and if you have a toddler/preschooler then you know what I am talking about. This Headquarters Playset is all he wants and it’s sold out practically everywhere. It’s such a fun toy that has spinning parts a slide and whatever else magic that Thomas is into. No really though… if you have a PJ MASKS fan… this HAS to be under your tree. Along with every PJ MASKS toy made!

There is so much. SO PLEASE keep stopping by. I want to have short gift guides this year so as not to overwhelm anyone. We have DIY guides, Craft, indie… all sorts of guides coming up and soooo many toys!

One more thing… from my soapbox… PLEASE try to shop local… I know that some small toy shops don’t carry these toys ( but some might). If you do shop online, please link your shopping spending to a charity many places like Amazon and Target allow you to do that.

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5 things Moms really really want this Mother’s Day.

at the risk of losing every single one of my followers and getting a scolding from my mom…

i’m writing this “come to jesus” type piece about what Moms really really want this Mother’s Day and every Mother’s Day until the end of time. because as much as we love a bottomless brunch or a “my mom is the best” coffee mug… sometimes ya gotta dig a little deeper to give mama what she really wants.

massages and jewels are great… but lets skip the niceties and get to it shall we.

Best Mom Ever

I’m writing this at 1AM with one child in my bed on my right taking up “my side of the bed. The other child under my armpit which is fine because his head makes the ideal arm rest and a giant beast under my feet to offer some skeletal alignment while I type. 

Moms really REALLY want:

  1. a whole day to themselves to just sleep and watch Netflix and order chinese food that they don’t have to share and just stay in bed with no noise except the hum of the television and whatever binge watching madness goes on.
  2. a clean house. like a spotless house -like the kitchen is stunning with no dishes,counter has no stuck on cucumber peels… nothing… just out of a magazine, the bedroom is totally clean with not a single lonely strewn garment in sight, clean sheets and clutter free dresser,  the bathroom is clear of bathtoys, dirty clothes, no toothpaste spots on the walls, a nice smelling candle… and maybe a bubbling hot bath. without kids!Basically I want to be able to walk through my home without stepping on legos, choppiness, spilled yogurt…etc.
  3. a new closet full of brand new clothes! because your mom clothes have run their course and there are really only so many scarves you can wear to cover up that stain.
  4. the laundry is DONE… completely done. not a single garment in the laundry shoot or laundry basket. everything neatly in drawers or hangers… done.
  5. a dinner with my husband. last year Matt did this whole thing where we went to brunch to one of my fave swank restaurants. not even half way through – Thomas started throwing all the ceramic dishes across the room, then he moved on to the cutlery, then he started screaming… because brunch time is not toddler time. Lily was not having any of this either and Matt spent most of the meal outside with Thomas while I stayed inside scarfing down my brunch and chugging my mimosa with a 10-year-old who was negotiating screen time, candy and whatever else.

here’s what… i need time alone to truly enjoy Mother’s Day because guess what… i spend everyday with my little dragons!  and cleaning them up and throwing a bow tie on them does not make them any less dragony. i will also see them – the NEXT DAY…. and the day after, the day after…and. the. day. after.!  you get my drift. and besides they DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS… so any day … everyday is Mother’s Day to them!

on Mothers Day… i would like a day off. total day off. i want a day to sleep, i want to watch TV, i want to write, i want to think, i want an uninterrupted shower and i want to be alone.

i know what you are saying… “how dare you say you want to spend the day without your cherubs, your angels that have been bestowed upon you by the lord god herself… a good mom would never want to spend a day that’s meant to honor her and say I Want To Be Alone.”

Well let me remind you… that after the good lord our God created the world… on the 7th day… she rested!! I too need to rest! Mother’s day is my 7th day!

It’s ok to want a day to yourself… it really is. It does not make you any less of a mother… it might make you a better mother because you get to hit the ‘ refresh’ button. and since this is the one time of the year we are gifted with something… why not ask for what you really want!

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13 Rose Gold Gifts for Mother’s Day

Everything's coming up roses this Mother's Day!

Everything’s coming up roses this May! Rose Gold is having a total moment right now… did you know you could get a rose gold crock pot… it’s sold out everywhere.. but how cool.

Rose Gold can be mixed up with pretty much anything, it’s a subtle metallic that plays nice with all your jewelry and closet must haves. In the home, rose gold adds a bit of fresh glam and is a modern alternative for gold or silver. So this Mothers Day… give your mama roses… Rose Gold…es..s.

  1. Marc by Marc Jacobs rose gold watch can do no wrong… this is the perfect accessory for going casual or dressy. www.LordandTaylor.com
  2. The ZUO forecast ceiling lamp from HOME DEPOT is an easy way to switch up your home decor. HOMEDEPOT.COM
  3.  This Rose Gold Bling Jewelry chevron ring can be bought in multiples and stacked.   BLUEFLY.COM
  4.  You don’t sweat .. you shimmer. So you totally need the S’well metallic collection stainless steel water bottle in rose gold! NORDSTROM.COM
  5.  Treesje Asymmetry Clutch is perfect for an evening out with your honey! BLUEFLY.COM
  6. Work on your fitness in style with the Tori Burch fitbit bracelet. www.saksfifthavenue.com
  7.  Even your work life line is in on the action with the brand spankin new MacBook from Apple. Fashion … meet function!  APPLE.COM
  8.   Lets bring back sparkly bobby pins with the Henri Bendel Petal Crystal Bobby Pin Set. HENRIBENDEL.COM
  9.  Alex and Ani friendship bracelet in rosegold… for our mama friends! ALEXANDANI.COM
  10.  These strappy sandals are perfect for the summer months, throw on a dress and sun hat and you are ready to go. BILLABONG.COM
  11. Even the nails have it! Nars nails polish in pastorale rose gold. SEPHORA.COM
  12. Revlon pro collection curling iron in Rose Gold. I mean… why not! JCPENNEY.COM
  13.   Rose Gold slip-on. why yes! Dress up a simple pair of jeans and tee with this flash set of kicks. STEVEMADDEN.com
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5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Mothers Day Gifts
Mother’s Day will be here before you know it. So I’m starting my gift guides early this year. HINT HINT!! Here are some of my hand picked pieces for the mamas!
one// katespade watch in this mint green is perfect for spring and summer.
two// these Alexis Bittar rough cut crystal earrings are a statement piece while also being really subtle.
three// a coal flap clutch from Nordstrom is perfect for busy gals on the go.
four// function meets art in this gold Jonathan Adler Muse D’Or candle. Who needs anything else for the coffee table when you have this stunnah.
five// i am obsessed with Amrita Singh and her gorgeous collection of Indian themed jewels. I also love an arm full of bracelets so it’s a win!
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Favorite Easter Basket Picks

It’s time for filling up our Easter baskets and I wanted to share a few creative and NON-CANDY ideas for the perfectly balanced basket with my Favorite Easter Basket Picks.

Lily knows the truth about ole E.B and this year she gets to be in on the fun and has been helping me collect a few things for the baskets.  I am not one for candy filled baskets, I try to keep the sugary treats to a minimum to avoid a massive sugar crash later in the day.  So for parents who are torn on giving into the sugar hype of it all …. here are some Easter Basket picks I know you will like.

  1. Kites – Kites are the BEST gift and every year we sneak a themed kite into the basket!
  2. Bubbles – This is a year round outdoor toy. Even in the snow… you can find us blowing bubbles!
  3. Stickers – You can never have enough stickers especially with toddlers. Thomas is getting dinosaur stickers and Lily is getting Shopkins stickers.
  4. Puzzles – A small box of puzzles is also a MUST for a sweet basket.
  5. Chocolate Bunny – I don’t have to tell you that every Easter Basket needs a Chocolate hollow bunny… right!
  6. Jelly Beans – Jelly Beans are Easter Bunny poop… but you knew that! How could you NOT include these!
  7. Butterfly Net – It’s springtime after all and a butterfly net not only makes for charming pictures but kids will spend a good amount of time running around trying to catch a butterfly!
  8. Art Supplies – Every basket needs art supplies – Sidewalk chalk, crayons, watercolors anything to get the kids making art.
  9. Gardening Supplies – The kids are each getting their own shovel, rake and watering can. Lily gets a metal version and Thomas is a small kids plastic set.
  10. Plants – a small bag of seeds for kids to plant is always such a treat. My kids immediately plant them in the ground and within days we have sprouts! Here in NY the ground is still frozen so this year a small potted plant is part is included.

Have fun making your baskets hope you found this helpful!

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Valentines Gift Guide for the Gents

It’s almost Valentines Day and I have the perfect Valentines Day Gift Guide for Gents! Men are tough to shop for and while they surely appreciate a good bow tie or a button down, we never seem to surprise the boys with anything exciting. Unless you are like my friend who made a 3D doll that looks like her husband. That’s just bonus points! 

I’ve been writing a few gazillion gift guides this season and thought I would share one of my faves that’s live right on PROVISIONS MAG. 

A fab gift guide for that dashing gent in your life. Hope on over to PROVISIONS MAG for the full scoop!

 

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015 – Favorite Toys

It’s the big weekend… the last weekend before the jolly ole fat man breaks into your house to eat your cookies and milk and  take credit for all the toys you bought the kids! Silly Santa! To help you navigate your toy list for all the littles this year… I’m here to help. I’ve rounded up my favorite toys for this season… toys that are great for all ages and will keep kids playing for years to come!   As with all my recommendations, these are all toys I have reviewed at home through this sweet blog or through my awesome job playing with toys all day… at TTPM.com. These toys are the a step above the rest and have some pretty amazing features.

I hope you find this list helpful. Merry Christmas!!!

Favorite Toys for Holiday 2015

 

Snoopy Railroad G-Gauge Set Lionel Train sets have been a favorite in our home since as long and I can remember. Thomas has the latest Snoopy Express and loves it. This is a G Gauge train that goes forward and back with a remote control unit. It also has some conductor phrases and a choo choo whistle. This is a large toy and has some pretty fantastic details!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015 – Best STEM Toys for Kids

The New York Mom Holiday Gift Guide - Best STEM Toys for Kids

Toys that inspire the science mind are really great for kids on many levels. This year there is no shortage of really awesome toys that look like toys but function on a MUCH higher level than STEM themed toys of last year.

Lily helped me put this list together and even helped design the layout. She said, “Mom let’s tell people about the good toys not just the ones everyone talks about”.

So here ya go… the GOOD toys. These toys are sitting around our house and the kids love them. Thomas and Lily both get a lot out of each of these pieces. And Matt and I are usually tinkering around with them as well!

Best STEM Toys for 2015! 
  1. ROOMINATE TownHouse – Roominate is a building toy geared toward girls (because of the colors) but once you over look the gender specific colors there is a lot more to this toy. These kits come with basic circuitry motor units that allow kids to build fans, doors that open..etc. Additionally there is a whole crafting component to this. Stickers, cutouts and colored stock paper are all included so you can decorate the walls and floors of your fab townhouse. There are tons of kits in various sizes.
  2. LITTLE BITS – OMG you guys. If ever I could sing the praises of a toy… this would be it! Again, it’s simple circuitry for kids with colorful pieces that allow kids to make flashlights, cars that move, buzzers, basically anything that moves. This toy teaches the order of circuitry and setting up a pattern and knowing what circuit makes what this go and the order of placement. It’s pretty neat and if you have a tinkering kid at home, this is for them!
  3. MAKEY MAKEY – this is the toy that could… and should… and the best thing i have seen all year! Can bananas make music… yes they can! can a tree make music… yes! ANYTHING can make music and  Makey Makey is going to teach you how to do that! You can make game boards, banana piano… there is a Makey Makey board, cables, connector wires, alligator clips… OMG you guys… the inventions are waiting! This is a REALLY COOL toy!
  4. BEGINNER SCIENCE LAB – This is Lily’s favorite! we’ve already gone through 2 of these kits and she’s getting another for Christmas. This kit has all the basic mad science gear you need, Test Tubes, volcano kits, potions and a book that teaches you all of it. Give your kids a corner of the bathroom or basement and let them have at it!
  5. WONDER WORKSHOP – This is the new kid on the block this year. Definitely swing by their website to see what piece work for you. Basically you have DOT and DASH … two robots that help kids with coding… yes.. coding. again, they won’t be developing apps when they play with this but it’s the basic order of -what comes after what -for coding that is being reinforced. These little robots have tons of accessories that include a xylophone for music, a camera mount and lots and lots more. read all about it on their site! 
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