This Is 40 (and 7 months…)

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I wrote this in April, turned 40 in May, and am publishing it December 31st, 2018… all I can say is this – 40 doesn’t feel any different than 39… minus needing my glasses a bit more… I had hoped to publish this before my birthday on the Huffington Post but they switched their format and I missed it, and so is life. At least now I have pictures to use from all my celebrations! As the year closes out and I reflect on my blessings, my mind came back to this piece. So farewell 2018, farewell to the last year I will be in my 30’s. I guess it still counts if I post this before midnight!

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In May I’m turning 40. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the last decade and a half.

I spent most of my 30s saying I was 25 and either wanting to get pregnant, pregnant, or recovering from being pregnant.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

I was growing a baby, nursing a baby, holding the hand of a toddler, pushing a swing, or helping with homework.

I experienced natural birth, a C-section, and a VBAC.

We moved twice. Bought a house. Bought a car. Bought a car that was bigger. Complained about trunk space.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

I had multiple mammograms, my wisdom teeth removed, an endoscopy, a D & C. I went to the dentist every 6 months. Almost.

I had ten physicals.  I went to Trader Joe’s approximately 7 million times. Social media became a thing, I started a blog.

For my 30th birthday I went out with my friends to a 80s/90s club. My husband & I finally scored a reservation at Blue Hill at Stone Barn (and it was even better than we expected!). We treated ourselves to a five star vacation and I stayed at the hotel of my dreams.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I also went to California, Paris, Spain, Washington DC (to watch President Obama get inaugurated), Atlanta, Greece, London, Italy, Aruba and Turks & Caicos. Delray Beach, Philadelphia, the Poconos, Disney World, Sesame Place, the Crayola Factory, Diggerland, Dutch Wonderland, and Hershey Park. I became a member of the zoo. By the way, I freaking love the zoo.

I spent New Years in the heart of Times Square and also took 27 semesters of Music Together.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I partied with U2, the Counting Crows and Prince and also rocked out to the Dirty Sock Funtime Band (I plead the fifth on whose lyrics I knew better).

I took the M5 Limited bus down 5th Avenue approximately 257 times. I bought a Subaru.

I saw many Broadway shows.

I saw a lot of regional children’s theatre.

I slept in castles.

I slept on a cot… in a tent… at Girl Scout camp.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

We applied to nursery school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

I enrolled my daughter in free public school on Long Island.

 

I went to movie premiers with celebrities.

I watched Princess movie DVDs that I rented from the library.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

By the way, I freaking love the library.

 

I mocked people who went to drive-thrus.

I praised the lord for drive-thrus.

 

I screamed at cars going 40 on the highway.

I was that car going 40 praying for my child to nap so I could have five minutes of peace.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I have the same bank account, the same Birkenstocks, and still only one television.

I had several Blackberries, until I was forced into an iPhone, and still speak of my Palm Pilot Vx in the present tense. I often threaten to re-connect my Star-tac.

 

I learned playing explicit 90s Hip Hop is best with a preverbal child.

I tried to meditate but had to stop every five minutes to write something on my to do list.

I took 500 yoga classes and still can’t do a head stand.

I planned my 20th high school reunion and attended 8 1/2 months pregnant. At least my hair looked good.

I planned 35 birthday parties. I attended about 430.

I took a cooking class overlooking the Mediterranean.

I ate a lot of granola bars.

I walked 5,110 miles on Manhattan pavement.

I taught my daughter how to ride a two wheeler bike on our suburban driveway.

My jewelry taste went from diamonds to painted macaroni.

I embraced anger gardening.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I changed 47 million diapers.

I gave 2,920 baths.

I finally watched Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl.

I went from thinking the main character in a show is cute to liking the Dad.

I celebrated over a decade of marriage.

I donated my hair twice.

I got an Instant Pot.

I found joy in peeling hard boiled eggs and clementines.

I learned mean girls are mean girls and sadly some never mentally leave middle school – even after child birth.

I drank a lot of wine.

I ate a lot of feta cheese.

I ate avocado squashed on bread before millennials branded it with a hashtag.

I bought a power washer.

I got my legs up on a trapeze bar.

I memorized Goodnight Moon.

I gave 4 hundred billion hugs and kisses on delicious little faces that somehow my body grew, and felt warm inside when they told me I was the “BEST Mom ever”.

I screamed like a mad woman at something that didn’t matter causing tears.

I can still rap Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop”.

I still bump into walls.

My wedding China is still wrapped in its box.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

As my friend pointed out – turning 30 was HUGE. For many – including myself – 30 brought attention to a certain clock and it’s ticking. But what does 40 mean? Besides clicking off a new demographic box (aye) how will my life be different? They say a number is just a number. But it is just weird to turn the page on a decade. To think we’re moving on to the next tens. Pretty much all I hear is you start caring less about stupid stuff, and honestly – I can totally get behind that.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

In a decade, g-d willing, I will have one kid enroute to Michigan (compulsory), one in HS and my baby – entering middle school.

I hope every day of my 40s are as blessed as my 30s and that I can continue to feel so overwhelmingly grateful to face each new day.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

As U2 says in their song “40”, “I will sing, sing a new song”.

Ech. I’m not ready… I’m standing by 25.

And still dancing to 80s/90s music.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

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Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn – Axe Throwing At It’s Best!

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There is nothing I like more than getting a group of good friends together and having a fun night out. But what does one do these days? Escape the Room is so 2016. Bowling is so third grade. Movies? You can’t talk to anyone. So? Axe throwing!

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

I’ve been dying to try axe throwing since I read about it a few months back. When Bury the Hatchet opened in Greenpoint, Brooklyn I immediately reached out to them and asked if I could come and try it. Lucky for me – they not only said yes, but invited me to bring a dozen equally lumberjack-y friends with me.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

Since Brooklyn is a bit of a drive for us, we decided to make a night of it. We went to an amazing restaurant, had some drinks, and then headed over to Bury the Hatchet. There was plenty of street parking and tons to do – both before and after – in the area.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

As we entered the lively waterfront environment we couldn’t help but get excited. We were greeted by a very friendly “axe master” who walked us to our “lane”.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

He went over safety rules and split us in to groups. He had each couple take a turn and coached us on how to throw the axe (it was not intuitive and it was not easy!). He then stayed there for moral support and coached us again. And again. And again. Each of us. He.was.VERY.Patient. It wasn’t hard, just all about form. Which none of us had. Ha! As axe throwing ingénues we simply needed a lot of help. But we were ok with this, because it was so much freaking fun.

While we each hit the wooden target several times, we were cracking up and amusing ourselves so much we didn’t really care. There was plenty of down time to hang out and socialize and the music was fantastic. I could not have done better if I created the playlist myself – 80s, 90s, my kind of hatchet hurling jams.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

Besides the axe throwing lanes, there were plenty of loungy couches, outlets galore to charge your phone, and a ton of fun picture taking opportunities.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

This was definitely an unorthodox night out – which made it so much more fun. Several of us discussed the “winter axe throwing league” email we received the following day with stars in our eyes… if only. I want to go back. Like – kind of right now…

Intrigued? Besides this location in Brooklyn, Bury the Hatchet has locations all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in Kansas and Georgia. You can easily reserve your lane online here.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

I loved everything about Bury the Hatchet. From the rustic atmosphere to the actual sport involved. Plus, I was in comfortable footwear AND out on a Saturday night! I didn’t mind the drive into Brooklyn either. In fact it was more of a unique adventure because it was out of our normal “going out” radius!

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

It really was a great way to spend a night. Because, if you’ve been paying attention, we got to HURL AXES! Yet again, all this time, I erroneously thought yoga was the answer…

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

If you’re looking for something different for your next date night, group activity, or corporate team building I highly suggest Bury the Hatchet. Then, after trying it, let me know if you also want a membership to WATL for the holidays, because… I kind of do…

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

Speaking of WATL – congratulations to the Bury the Hatchet team for coming in second and third place last weekend in the 2018 WATL World Axe Throwing Championship in Chicago! I’m coming next year!

 

2018 NYBG Holiday Train Show!

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The tradition continues! Every year for the last decade I’ve kicked off the holiday season by visiting the New York Botanical Garden’s amazing Holiday Train Show. Even before I had kids, there was something just so intriguing about it, so romantic, so fun. It completely deserves all of the hype.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

Since having kids – especially train-obsessed kids – it’s become a favorite annual family custom. What I love now about visiting the show is not just the ever-changing creations made of natural elements, but the memories found on fixed things too. Like the bench where I nursed my daughter (who is now eight). Or the exit where my son (who is now five) stood for an hour and was completely shocked and surprised every time Thomas the Train passed by (pictured at the top). I smile as I pass these places and shake my head at how my children have grown.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

This year it was even more fun for us. Our youngest is two and by far the most train-obsessed of the bunch. We could not wait to take him. His reactions did not disappoint. Everything he saw he just gasped in awe. It was so cute. As we walked through the show his little head just whipped up, down and all around. He just didn’t know where to look. We had so much fun watching him.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

What’s nice for repeat visitors like us is how the show changes and evolves each year. I noticed a lot more bright colors and love the addition of the heavily baubled holiday trees. Every aspect of the show simply screamed “holidays”. I also noticed all signs were in both English and Spanish, and there were a lot more natural tunnels and waterfalls. I love when something perfect gets even better.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

Generally my plan of attack is to visit the show first thing in the morning on a weekend to avoid the crowds. But there is something to say about seeing the show at night with all the lights too. So really, anytime you go is perfect. Going at a leisurely pace you can see the whole show in an hour and a half. But in truth – and without the kids (you love dearly) bothering you – one could spend hours there. There are just so many tiny little details you can catch, it’s astonishing.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

If a kid-free viewing sounds good to you, check out their adults only Bar Car Nights featuring Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-up. Not only will you get an after dark viewing of the Show, but the NYBG transforms into a festive outdoor adventure.

If Thomas the Tank is your jam then I highly recommend checking out All Aboard with Thomas and Friends which begins December 29th. In addition to the Holiday Train Show, there is a show staring your favorite blue engine. We’ve seen this show several times, and it did not disappoint in the eyes of my kids.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

One of the nicest things you can do while at the Holiday Train Show is enjoy all that the New York Botanical Gardens has to offer. They have a fantastic 12 acre kids adventure garden, tons of family programming, the Evergreen Express, and gardens galore.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show’s 175 New York landmarks were the brain child of Paul Busse from Applied Imagination in Kentucky. Along with his team, he has been creating these annual jaw dropping “sculptures” out of bark, leaves, and other natural materials in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory since 1992. This year’s exhibition offers more G-scale trains and track (over half a mile!) than ever before and showcases the beloved monuments of Lower Manhattan.

img_2257The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show runs through Monday, January 21, 2019. You can purchase tickets here.

*Giveaway*

The nice people at The New York Botanical Garden want you to come too!

One lucky reader will win a family 4-pack!

To enter, please tell us in the comment section below:

What is your favorite train show or train related memory?

Winner chosen 12/10 at 7pm.

 

The Mint Chip Mama’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

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The Mint Chip Mama’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

It’s that time of year again! Let the fun begin to scramble and get it together for the holidays before all the cool toys sell out.  I’m sorry – I mean – it’s the most magical time of the year!

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Here at The Mint Chip Mama (Blog, Facebook Page, and Instagram – go ahead and follow all three if you haven’t yet, I’ll wait) we attend awesome influencer events all year long so we can present new items to YOU, our loyal readers (aka the inside scoop).

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Below are some of my favorites from this year, some repeat items (indicated with an “*”), and some quirky ones I’ve found along the way. As always, some of my favorite gifts are experiential, so don’t forget to check out that section.

Happy holidays!

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Baby

Highlights Hello Magazine

Zookiez Slappy Slap On Your Hand Super Fun Plush Elephant

Babyganics  –  Hand Sanitizing Wipes & Foaming Shampoo and Body Wash*

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

For Girls

Cutie Stix – Jewelry Maker

ALEX Spa Nails 2 Go

Twisty Petz

Little Live Wrapples

Next Style, Fashion Decorator Premium Stone & Stud Setting System

RSDubs Ribbons Hair Accessories

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

For Boys

Super Hero Adventures Playskool Heroes Marvel Iron Man Headquarters Playset

Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Track Master Trains

ZOOM TUBES Car Trax

Untamed T-Rex by Fingerlings

Boxer – Interactive A.I. Robot Toy

ArmoGear Infrared Laser Tag

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Unisex Gifts

PlayMonster Super Duper Spinner

Sticker Pictures: Animals

Razor Spark Ultra Kick Scooter

Cozy Phones

Grumblies

Reindeer In Here: A Christmas Friend (Book & Plush Gift Set)

Singing Machine Kids 2 in 1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Mic Guy Microphone

Mojimoto Taco Repeating Talk-Back Toy That Records & Repeats

Mabels Labels*

Days Holiday Experience Boxes

Mancala

VTech Kidizoom Spin and Smile Camera

mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Family Games

Not Parent Approved: A Hilarious Card Game 

Connect 4 Shots Game

AMIGO CLACK! Kids Magnetic Stacking Game

Cobra Paw*

Watermelon Smash Game

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

For the Harry Potter Obsessed Fan

WOW! Stuff Collection Harry Potter Mystery Flying Snitch

Fantastic Beasts – Newt’S Light Painting Wand

Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit – Build a Wand. Learn To Code

Puffs the Play 

 

Experiential

Floatopia in Dix Hills, NY

Casa De Spin in Massapequa, NY

Goat Yoga in Smithtown, NY

Diggerland in West Berlin, NJ*

Wildlife Conservation Society Membership in New York City*

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ

Bury the Hatchet Axe Throwing in Brooklyn, NY

The Ride Manhattan Tour*

NYBG Holiday Train Show in Bronx, NY*

Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA*

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster, PA*

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

For an Adult

Instant Pot

Ta-Ta Towel

Monet Phone Grip, Stand & Wallet

Üllo Wine Purifier 

Teabloom Teapot Gift Set

Shiny Stuff Creations 

Donate a Goat or Other Animal

Amazon Prime

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

For Yourself

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

Bug Bite Thing

Oilogic Essential Oil Roller Balls & Bath Products for the Family

Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine Book

Crayola Take Note! Erasable Highlighters

Duralex 8.75 oz Glass Tumbler, Blue

Crest 3D White Luxe Diamond Strong Anticavity Fluoride Mouth Rinse

 Happy shopping and as always – let me know what you think!

The Mint Chip Mama's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Many of these items above contain Amazon Associate links for you convenience. Many items were also received in exchange for an honest review. All items listed above on The Mint Chip Mama’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide are items I genuinely think are cool and that you would like too. A special thanks to TTPM, MomTrends, and The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite for many of these brand introductions.

Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

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As Long Islanders, we’re so lucky to have a great performing arts venue like the Tilles Center in our backyard.

Not only is the Tilles Center the only theater on Long Island that hosts nationally touring Broadway productions – like Rocktopia, Spamalot, Finding Neverland, and more – but they also host a wide variety of world-renowned artists in music – like Diana Ross – and dance – like DIAVOLO. Plus parking is free and my High School graduation was there!

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

But from my perspective, the BEST part of their 2018-2019 Season is their fantastic calendar of family programs including Family Fun! Performances and Family Workshops.

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Kicking off their family programming season tomorrow (September 15th) is Rosie Revere, Engineer, a fun new musical spotlighting STEM curriculum and based on the books Rosie Revere, EngineerIggy Peck, Architect and Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. Recommended for ages 5-10.

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

Next on the calendar (October 27th) is the stage adaptation of the beloved book The Rainbow Fish. With innovative puppetry, striking scenic effects, and evocative original music the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia perfectly evolves the book into live theater. Recommended for ages 3-7.

*Before the show, the Tilles Center invites families to explore the story through craft-making at a sensory friendly family workshop.*

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

Continuing into the new year (January 12th), the The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other E. Carle Favorites takes the stage. Using black light and fanciful puppets, the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia weaves the stories of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Little Cloud, and The Mixed Up Chameleon together to create a magical presentation on stage. Recommended for ages 3-7.

*Before the show, the Tilles Center invites families to explore the story through puppet-making at a sensory friendly family workshop.*

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

Next up (March 2nd) is Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure – an immersive experience that invites you to jump in and explore unknown ocean depths where prehistoric marine reptiles lived eons ago. I have to admit – this show looks AMAZING. Erth uses actors, technology, puppets, science and imagination to create an amazing visual experience connecting young audiences to the real science of paleontology. I cannot wait for this show! Recommended for ages 5 and up. And by “up” they clearly mean 40.

*Before the show, the Tilles Center invites families to learn about Comb Jellies, Angler Fish, Kronosaurus and more in an interactive, fascinating family workshop. Families can also try out Bunraku puppetry the 400-year old Japanese art form used in the show!

But that’s not all! For a full schedule of the 2018-2019 Season of Family Fun! Performances visit the Tilles Center’s website. I don’t want to spoil all the fun and there are some BIG names I left out on purpose – because I love cliff-hangers!

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

To purchase tickets for Tilles Center performances, please visit here.

To register for Family Workshops ($5 per person), please visit here or call 516.299.3100. Family Workshops provide unique opportunities for families to play and explore the arts together.  Storytelling, puppet-making, music and role-playing are some of the activities offered, depending on the type of show being performed that day.

The Mint Chip Mama Family Fun! Performances at The Tilles Center!

I’ll see you at the theater!

Play Monster’s Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

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Our backyard is an extension of our home. It’s a place where I let my kids play, run free and go wild. When we moved to the suburbs from the city I was the most excited for my backyard. Pretty much four years later – I still get a thrill knowing it’s all mine (and well… the mosquitoes too).

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

Naturally our swing-set is a source of pride for me. After shopping around until I made myself nuts, I settled on one that has longevity and needed no maintenance. Plus, with the ability to buy new additions each year, it evolves as we do.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

This year, I set my sights on the  Super Spinner Swing. It spins, it swings, it holds up to 200 lbs (read: I can go on it), and it looked like so much fun! You can imagine my excitement when I was at an event and Play Monster was there to promote it – and gave us one to try! Talk about lucky timing!

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

As I often do, I set it up when my kids weren’t home so they could have a big surprise when they got off the bus. Their reaction didn’t disappoint!

But wait – there’s more! When I thanked the company and told them how much my kids loved it they said – wait for it – we have an even BIGGER spinner – the Super Duper Spinner Swing! I screamed. This spinning swing is 40” compared to 27” and holds up to 650 lbs (read: I can go on it after eating an entire chocolate cake!).

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

Both swings are amazing assets to our swing set. They each easily pop into the hooks with two screw locking carabiners and are ready to go in seconds. We keep reconfiguring them for different adventures.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

So far my daughter’s favorite is creating her very own Ninja Warrior course.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

It’s nice to have both sizes because of my kid’s varying ages. The baby at 2 likes to spin but not too fast. My other two (ages four and eight) like to spin and swing until they can’t walk straight.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

Having both gives us the variety of sibling switching or solo rides and endless, endless laughing.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

The kids are obsessed with these spinners.

My four year old likes me to twist it as much as it goes, then after it spins – and spins the other way – take him off so he can fall over. I’ve never seen him laugh as hard as when he face plants into our lawn.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

This would be an amazing gift for a late summer or fall birthday. It’s the kind of outside toy that can be used in all seasons and really for kids (and adults) of all ages. It can also be swapped out anywhere you have a tire swing for a different spinning experience.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

As an added bonus it doubles as a great seat if you need one!

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

Don’t have a swing set but are intrigued? These amazing spinning swings can still be part of your life if you have a tree!  Play Monster sells a Super Tree Swing Hanging Kit with Fully Adjustable Nylon Rope that can be installed on your favorite backyard tree in seconds.

The Mint Chip Mama: Play Monster's Super Spinner Swing & Super Duper Spinner Swing!

If you’re a parent like me who doesn’t want another toy in your house, you have a swing set or tree in your backyard, and your kids like spinning, you have to check out the Super Spinner Swing and the Super Duper Spinner Swing. You won’t be disappointed! Just don’t eat before you go on it…

Back to School 2018

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Back to School 2018!

As the summer heats up in August, and we look forward to the Fall, what’s trending for Back to School is the hot topic.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

I was very lucky to have a sneak peek at last week’s Momtrends Back to School event. From fun clothes, to stylish labels, to easy ideas for lunch and snack, we’re ready for school to begin.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

First and foremost, one of my favorite brands – Mabel’s Labels – was there with a preview of their new icons and labels. Hot off the press was their new partnership with a childhood favorite of mine – the Little Miss/Mister Men Collection. In my opinion, name labels are one of the most fun things to order for the new school year. Who doesn’t love a custom pack of stickers with your own beautiful name looking right back at you? *Special offer from Mabels Labels below*!

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As any back to school shopping pro knows, it all comes down to cool notebooks, folders, and binders. This is the true “heart” of a student’s supply list. With Avery’s new Avery + Amy Tangerine Designer Collection of colorful and fun designs, you can let your style show. I especially loved the rainbow heart folders and dividers. *Special offer from Avery below*!

Of course one needs to print stuff to put in their binders. I couldn’t wait to see the new Epson EcoTank Expression printers. These super cool printers are cartridge-free and include enough ink to print for two years. Yes, I said two years!

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

Next, we previewed the new US inspired line from Tea Collection. This brand is unique because they travel the world looking to infuse different cultures into their clothing. Beautiful quality and designs are the result.

If you’re looking to hang on to those last few swims of summer or your school has a pool, check out the New Zealand brand Snapper Rock. Their UPF50+ Protection swimwear is beautiful and with their wide range of sizes the whole family can match in style.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

So your child’s backpack is full, they’re dressed and labeled, now we need to feed them.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

I’ve always been a huge fan of Jarlsberg Cheese. It’s good on a sandwich, good on a cheese plate, and good as a lonesome slice on the go. The nutty flavor is what gets me but also the texture. Plus, the holes are fun to look through. If you’ve never tried it, grab a bag of the pre-sliced cheese next time you’re at the store. It’s also naturally lactose and gluten free.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

Of course no lunch bag would be complete without yogurt. Generally speaking, even the most picky eater can find some version of this healthy, protein rich food to like. Luckily Stonyfield has a huge variety for any palate! From their baby yogurts to their pouches to their tubes to their drinkable yogurts – they can’t be beat. My favorite was their new snack pack with yogurt and either a graham cracker or pretzel spoon dipper. These became an instant favorite for all three of my kids.

A little sweetness in a lunch bag is also a welcomed addition. With Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company you can add some sweet without any junk. Their all natural juices are delicious. I couldn’t stop drinking the orange-pineapple flavor. Available in a variety of sizes, with some unique coupled flavors, you can have one in your fridge, and one on the go.

As a lady who always lices to be prepared, I was happy to see my friends from Vamousse Lice Products. Ha Ha, I mean likes… They offer both an “at risk” and “treatment” line so grab one here and just shove it in the back of your closet. You know the second you get that dreaded letter and throw your kid in the shower with their Daily Defense Shampoo, the next stop is a huge pat on your own back for being ready. Do you really want to go to the store in that moment? I have an arsenal of their Shampoo ready to go. Also check out their Daily Defense Spray and Home Treatment for Non-Washable Household Items.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

Not necessarily school related, but why do the kids get to have all of the fun? We were so lucky to once again be pampered by Maniorpedi.com  an on-demand manicure and pedicure service for your home and office. If you’re limited on time and need pretty nails, give them a call. They’re the best.

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

I hope you love Back to School shopping as much as I do!

My gift to you:

-15% off any Avery + Amy Tangerine Designer Collection products purchased on Amazon.com using promo code: 15AVERYNAMY.

-10% off your Mabels Labels purchase at www.mabelslabels.com using coupon code: MOMTRENDS10

The Mint Chip Mama - Momtrends Back to School 2018

Happy Back to School 2018!