Best Gifts for Tween and Teen Boys

Best Gifts for Tween and Teen Boys

After sharing my Tween Gift Guide for Girls, I received a lot of feedback from my readers about a gift guide for boys. So I consulted with the experts, my friends and readers, came up with this list of Best Gifts for Tween and Teen Boys. These toys can cross over for girls too because we have a good selection of these at home for my tween daughter and me! So dig in!

// This post has Amazon Affiliate Links //

It’s a great list with a mix of techy fun, outdoor play and more. We have a few of these products and others have been tested by my colleagues and friends. So all products are reviewed, played with and legit recommended. Have fun shopping! I also have a Tween/Teen gift list on Amazon that has a lot more ideas. So hop over to the Gift Guide for Tweens and Teens! 

Go Pro. I have a Go Pro and Love it. I literally throw it in my pocket when we travel for capturing video and images on the go! You can download an app to your smart phone and import images immediately to your phone for social sharing. The accessories for the Go Pro are also pretty amazing and kids will love creating new grids and ways to rig their go pros!

Under Armour is THE brand for the tween and teen set and these joggers are a classic must-have. Parents will score serious cool points if these pants show up under the tree this season. Additional colors are available but I love classic black!

Lily, my 12YO, has this Razor Hoverboard and it’s SUCH a hit in the neighborhood. So here is the deal about Hoverboards. You have to pay money for the real ones. The cheaper Hoverboards, the can potentially blow up, are made with a cheaper battery. The Razor is the highest quality and made with a strong lithium battery that costs money. So pay or it, get a great product and have fun! This hoverboard is not just for kids… adults can rock it out too. soooo fun!

Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is a MUST this season. This is a super high-quality race track with built-in techy goodness that will not let the car fly off the track. You are going to love this set and again… another one for parents and child to enjoy together.

A Bumper Bubble Ball... YOU NEED THIS! This is a great outdoor toy that brings the sense of silly play to “too cool for everything tweens and teens”. These balls come in various sizes and can fit adults as well. Family Game Night just got uber awesome!

Longboards are a must for outdoor play. We are a skating family and even the newly 5-year-old knows how to skate. There are tons of options for skateboards with various price points. You don’t have to spend a lot on a beginner board. We love the graphics on this longboard and the smooth wheels make for easy learning.

LEGO Technic. Have you discovered LEGO Technic yet? You are missing out. These huge sets are a great challenge for older kids with moving parts. It’s building and circuitry in on awesome LEGO toy.

Crazy Socks. A simple fun dose of whimsy, crazy socks are all the rage with the tween/teen set! You can find tons of variations of these socks online and in stores everywhere A great stocking stuffer.

XBOX One. The hottest gaming accessory this season! If this finds it’s way under the tree… you win!

Laser X Laser Tag Game. Take your Laser Tag game anywhere! This two-person Laser Tag game has realistic sounds and a receiver vest that you can blast up to 150 feet away. This can be for outdoor or indoor use and your kids are going to looove it.

Nintendo Switch. Another great gaming system that was rolled out earlier this year. We love the switch and it allows you to play on the game console included or unattach the controls to play on your home console. You get all the power of Nintendo for a take-along experience!

Sky Viper Drones. This is one of my favorite drone brands. The Sky Vipers are durable, lightweight and come at various price points with lots of extras you can opt for. You can get them for under $100 and up depending on what fancy drones needs you have. That’s‘ it kids! My big Gift Guide for tween and teen boys… have fun! 

 

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Best Gifts for Tweens

Best Gifts for Tweens

Tweens are one of the toughest age groups to shop for. But not to worry, I have my own resident tween who is not afraid to tell us what she wants. And this year, I think we have hit the jackpot with these gifts. I secretly want these for myself! Don’t tell her because then it won’t be cool. Lily helped me with this list and she hand-picked all of these gifts. I think these are definitely the Best Gifts for Tweens this year.

// this post contains Amazon affiliate links //

Best Holiday Gifts for Tweens
 

 Unicorn Onesie What tween does not like this right now? This unicorn obsession has gone from stationary to clothing and there is no shortage of super cute Unicorn Onesies for kids. ( and adults – I may or may not have bought myself a pair)

Tassles on your iPhone! This too is a super cute trend that I am secretly – not so secretly– coveting. You can find tons of variations on this fun accessory with variations on colors and hanging goodies.

Cat Ear Headphone I mean! Who doesn’t need gold cat headphones! Suuuper fun accessory for the tween who is always listening to the hottest tunes.

iPhone PopSocket Another great accessory for your phone. The Pop Socket allows you to hold onto the phone without the chance of dropping and is pretty great for getting that ‘just right’ selfie angle.

Bath Bomb Gift Sets We love bath bombs around this house. Lily has been making them and it’s such a little luxury in the bath. Total MUST and again… I’m getting some for me too.

Nailmatic  Nail Polish & Rollette Lip Gloss SetI love Nailmatic products. This French brand has custom colors and is water-based. The kids nail polish can easily be washed off with soap and water but if you want something that stays on longer, Nailmatic makes an adult line of polishes that stay on longer.

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm
Remember a couple years ago when Baby Lips launched and it was sold out everywhere! While the craze is not THAT crazy, it is still a pretty popular option for a lip balm with the tween set. Maybe it’s the kitschy packaging or the soft scents or that it actually works, either way, it’s wallet-friendly and a cute something to add to stockings this year.

Fuji Instax Mini Camera
This is a classic gift for tweens and teens. The Fuji Instax takes photos and has a built-in selfie mirror. I recommend the bundle that is offered that includes a case, extra film with filters and more.

Minnetonka Junior Trapper Faux Fur Lined Moccasin
Super comfortable and can be worn indoors and out, The Minnetonka Moccasins are a great gift for the cold weather. These mocs come in various colors allowing you to choose from the classic browns or new pastels.The faux fur lined mocs are super cozy for the toes!

Google Home Mini – Chalk : Target
The Google Home Mini is a great gift for kids. There is SOOO much you can do with this gadget and it’s a great price point. Kids can have these in their rooms and parents can control the privacy setting of what they listen to or ask google.

 

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Favorite Small Stores for Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday! This is a fantastic initiative by American Express to support your indie retailers. Whether it’s at stores that line your local towns or online maker shops, I encourage you to shop small today and support your local communities. I’m sharing my Favorite Small Stores for Small Business Saturday.

If you are unable to get out to go shopping at your local shops today, I have made a list of some of my favorite shops online. The best part is that I know these owners personally and love their creative energy, their beautiful product, and their business ethics.

Please shop small today and as often as you can!

Yellow Oak Studio Nualls, the owner of Yellow Oak Studio, made us a set of hand-painted nursery room prints themed around New York City. we love these cute prints! I met Nualla a few years ago and have loved her artwork ever since. You can grab cards, framed prints and so much more. All handmade in New York.

Madame Mathilde Jen Niles is a friend and a busy mom of three who makes stunning jewelry pieces that dress up any occasion. These pieces are made from vintage pieces, rhinestones, gemstones and antique chandelier crystals. You can get 30% off today by using code GIVETHANKS.

PiccoliniNYC I could not love Alex and her little store in Manhattan more. This is one of my most favorite stores and now with online offerings, it’s accessible to everyone. Our favorite pieces are Alex’s original design with a special take on the classic I Love NY logo. This store is a MUST for all the coolest kids and parents! Use code THANKFUL for 20% off this weekend.

OldNewHouse – After online success and a cult following, Melissa and her husband recently opened their flagship store in our small town here in the suburbs of NYC. Since the opening, there has been a constant stream of shoppers, fans, and locals who frequent this cute store for vintage finds. While they started out in authentic vintage rugs, their store now carries rare finds for kids decor, home office, gifts, furniture and so much more. Their online store has tons of goodies ready for the taking!

Brooklynn Roese  Celebrating the creative essence of childhood and life is Brooklynn Roese designs. These gorgeous clothes for moms, kids, and baby do not shy away from color or creative design.

Edwards Shoes Edward starting making shoes a few years ago and has quickly become a favorite among shoe enthusiasts. His handmade shoes use materials made in the US and are all handcrafted by him. Clients get a hands-on experience with custom-made shoes that fit their specific feet.

FancySchmancyBaby – For the baby born with high couture in their blood, my neighbor and friend makes the cutest clothes. Lauren upcycles T-shirts into rompers and makes her own designs for the little. Her kids are always dressed in the cutest prints, rompers, and pants that don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion!

 

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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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Father’s Day Gift Guide

Gifts For Dad

Father’s Day is right around the corner and I want to share some of my favorite finds for Dad’s. For the Papa on the go, the jetsetter, the cook, and all around dapper gent, these gifts are sure to be classic staples for any man.

  1. Harry’s Men’s Grooming – Harrys is the latest kid on the block in men’s grooming and you can find this very affordable line anywhere from Target to Barneys NY. These high quality blades and creams are just simple with a clean design esthetic. Matt’s been using this brand for months ( since they launched) and he approves!
  2. Jack Spade Mens Travel Backpack is an easy carry-on bucket bag backpack that can hold a laptop and all the essentials. It has a top handle or can be worn as a backpack. We love this brand and the kids and I have gifted Matt several pieces from the mens collection. Highly recommend Jack Spade for simple, classic, sleek mens bags.
  3. Beats by Dr Dre Men’s Tech Accessory is the perfect gift for dad’s who travel a lot. These headphones drown out the noise so you can just wear them without any music piping in for a relaxing trip on the airplane. The sound quality, when you are playing music, is pretty amazing. I also like that these are wireless and the leather padded headband is very comfortable.
  4. Skagen Slim Mens Watch is a must for dads. Whether it’s a business trip across the world or a weekend at the playground with the littles, this watch looks sharp and put together no matter what the occasion.
  5. Burberry Cuff Link is a classic staple that dresses up any suit. I always think that cufflinks are a great gift, especially when you splurge just a bit. These are a pretty significant accessory for menswear and if you gift a fancy one like these from Burberry, it’s a staple piece!
  6. Top Chef Masterchef 15 piece Cutlery Set – I don’t know about you, but my husband loves to cook. He loves creating flavors and slicing the fresh veggies, meats and herbs just right. This 15 piece knife set is perfect for your Top Chef!
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6 Best Red Lipsticks for Valentine’s 2017


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’ve rounded up a few of my most favorite shades of red lipsticks for you to rock! A costume designer – from my days on stage- once told me… “Honey just throw on a red and the world is yours for the taking”. Truer words have never been spoken… these days, I thrown on a red lip when cleaning, when wanting to feel put together, or just for fun.

Having brown/olive skin, it’s really hard to find a good shade of red. But not to worry my little brown girl peeps… There is no shortage of reds in my makeup bag which means I have weeded out the ones that don’t work to hand-pick my select few.

Some of these … like the Stilla and NARS shades are cult classics and have a fierce following. So if you see them in stock… snatch ’em up and send me one! I had to go to 3 Sephoras in Manhattan to replenish the Cruella from Nars! Finally got it!

Best Red Lipsticks for Olive and Brown Skin.

These colors are great for all skin colors and are actually perfect shades of red, with just the right amount of orange but not too much of the pink.

  • Bobbie Brown – Burnt Red 9
  • MAC – Liptensity – Fireworks
  • Palladio – High Intensity Herbal Lip Balm – Red Rush
  • NARS – Cruella
  • Stilla – stay all day – Liquid Lipstick – Beso
  • Makeup Forever – Rouge Artist Intense – Mat 8

Kisses!!

 

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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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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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#GetCrackin with Wonderful Pistachios

Momtrends #getcrackinThis is it everyone.. the big countdown to large Christmas feasts and celebrating the New Year! A decadent dinner party is always a must during this time of year. Last week I attended a very swank event with Nicole and her team at MomTrends and the team from Wonderful Pistachio. What a treat it was to be surrounded by such great food bloggers and chefs making a full feast themed around pistachios.

*This is a sponsored post. Thanks for stopping by and hearing a little more about my sponsors. *

While I will be the FIRST to tell you that I am not the best cook, I do post my fair share of foodie finds throughout my travels. SO talking and eating food it right up my alley. I’ve never tried cooking with pistachios so I was in for a totally new experience. Adding a handful of chopped pistachios is such a seamless and easy addition!

We started off the evening with a quick knife demo to make sure we all knew the ins and outs of chopping onions.* fun fact * – did you know that the reason you cry when chopping onions is because the onion liquid is being released mainly due to your WRONG chopping technique! So a quick ‘ across the onion’ chop is what’s need to minimize the onion liquid. No more tears in the kitchen kids!

After the demo we all were invited to pick a cooking station we want to work on. The protein, the grains, the veg… or the one I choose.. the no cooking station. I made really delicious popcorn- chocolate- pistachio balls. for the win!

Momtrends #getcrackinWonderful Pistachio and Cherry Popcorn Balls

Old fashioned popcorn balls sparkle with the tart addition of dried cherries and tasty Wonderful Pistachios, while the brown sugar gives them a caramel-y flavor. These are sure to be a hit at any holiday gathering.

Prep: 8 minutes / Time to Table: 18 minutes / Makes: 20 balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter

  • 12 cups popcorn
  • 1 cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, lightly chopped
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large roasting pan combine popcorn, dried cherries and Wonderful Pistachios, mixing thoroughly.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine syrup, sugar, butter and salt. Over medium heat bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Be careful as mixture will bubble up.
  4. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and stir to coat well. Popcorn will still be warm from the syrup. To keep your hands clean slip them into two plastic bags and coat bags with cooking spray or butter.
  5. Working quickly, form popcorn mixture into balls about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet to cool. 

  Spicy Roasted Squash with Wonderful Pistachios

Delicata and butternut squash are roasted together with warm spices and a bit of cayenne to heat things up. Crunchy Wonderful Pistachios and maple syrup are just the right additions for texture and sweetness. Garnished with pomegranate arils this dish is a celebration of flavors.

Prep: 18 minutes / Time to Table: 38 minutes / Serves: 8 (about 10 pieces of squash/person; about a cup/person)

  • 1 ½ pounds butternut squash (4 ½ cups prepped)
  • 2 ½ pounds delicata squash
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup POM Wonderful pomegranate arils
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. Peel and seed butternut squash. Cut in half lengthwise and slice into ½ inch thick pieces. Cut in half again for quarters.
  3. Cut delicata in half lengthwise and seed. Cut into ½ inch thick slices. Combine all the squash in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and salt over the squash. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Melt the butter and stir into the olive oil. Drizzle over the spiced squash and mix thoroughly.
  6. Transfer the squash to the baking sheets, arranging in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir and flip squash. Sprinkle with Wonderful Pistachios and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake another 5 to 7 minutes until pistachios are just toasted. Remove from the oven.
  8. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle pomegranate arils over the squash. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Wonderful Pistachios, Peach and Barley Salad

A fresh summer salad with the crunch of Wonderful Pistachios and delicious peaches.

Prep: 15 minutes / Time to Table: 1 hour a 5 minutes / Serves: 4

  • ⅔ cup pearled barley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups trimmed green beans
  • ¼ cup pistachio oil, or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • ⅓ cup crumbled ricotta salata
  • ⅓ cup shelled Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted, roughly chopped
  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in barley, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook about 45 minutes, until barley is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and set aside 10 minutes. Add parsley, fluff barley with a fork and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in another saucepan; boil string beans about 5 minutes, until crisp and tender. Blanch in ice water and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk pistachio oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss with arugula, string beans, and half the sliced peaches.
  4. Place greens mixture on individual plates. Top with a scoop of barley, remaining peaches, ricotta salata and pistachios. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

 

Happy feasting everyone!!!

*This is a sponsored post. Thanks for stopping by and hearing a little more about my sponsors. *

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