Back to School 2017 with Momtrends!

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Back to School 2017!The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

#MomtrendsSchool

I’m not sure how the summer is almost over already and we are talking about school again. The good news is – for us moms who live vicariously through our children – we can still share in the excitement of new products! As a blogger I’m so lucky to be invited to fun events like the Momtrends Back to School Bash that took place last week in Manhattan. Without further ado, I present to you – fun Back to School items for your 2017 school year!

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - MomtrendsI love when brands from overseas come to the US and still maintain their country’s look. Orchestra French Fashion for Kids does just this. With great quality and even better prices (omg! the sales they’re running right now!) you can dress your child like a little croissant, setting them apart from their friends. Chock full of tons of choices, my favorite was this super soft Junior shirt that knots in the front. I’m excited to use the $100 gift certificate I won to outfit my kids… and maybe myself too!

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

My kids happen to LOVE raisins. They also happen to love watermelon. When I saw these cute packaged Raisels I knew they’d be in heaven. Raisels are sour, fruit-flavored golden raisins grown in California and infused with 100% RDI of Vitamin C. They were so delicious I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I was excited to watch my daughter’s face the next day when she tried them. She loved them as much as I had expected! Individually packaged and so eye popping Raisels are a great addition to any lunch bag.

Of course you can’t talk about Back to School without actual school products. I LOVED these bluetooth emoji speakers and lipstick highlighters from Staples. I also love this shark backpack and matching folder. It’s the perfect size for my son entering pre-K.

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

The ever evolving American Girl world is moving on up with the ages with this new set of Smart Girl’s Guides including A Smart Girl’s Guide: Drama, Rumors & Secrets: Staying True to Yourself in Changing Times and A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself, Even on the Bad Days. These books seem appealing not only to the pre and pre, pre teens but should be mandatory reading for some of their mothers too (oops! did I say that?).

My baby loved these new snacks from Nosh and I LOVED the packaging. Look at these faces! How can you say no to those faces? All of their munchables are made with all natural, certified organic ingredients (like premium Japonica Rice) in fun, foodie flavors (like beet & strawberry). Their website has a great feature to find out the right product for your needs.

Another delicious brand, Kite Hill, was both new to me and an immediate favorite. All of their dairy free products were DELICIOUS with their cream cheese style spread being my favorite. Like I want to rub it on my face good. Even more exciting to the fans who flocked the table were the yogurt tubes (above) that were making their public debut! Coming to stores at the end of August, these almond milk yogurts are not to be missed.

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

We were lucky enough to have a patch bar waiting for us from Twelve Little – a great bag company with all kinds of beautiful coordinating items. I of course picked the pizza patch. This large, insulated lunch bag will be a great addition to our school bag army.

One of the most creative displays was from Name Bubbles. Set up like a large lost and found, they had items in a big bin that we had to look through to find which one was ours. Not only did I “lose” this great mint water bottle, I “found” this awesome unicorn name label! Clearly these tie-dye labels are my favorite, but I have to admit I LOVE these personalized wall decals even more!

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

If your mornings are anything like mine (read: hectic) you may also be excited to see these Morning Rounds from Ozery Bakery. With fun flavors like cranberry orange your french toast can get to the next level. Even better for my crew are the One Bun rounds for our pizza making nights. Pizza patch… pizza making… Do you see a pattern?

Hand washing and smelling nice are two things not to be missed when starting a new year. I was excited to get some new Bath & Body Works products to try. Their foaming soaps are some of my favorites. Extra credit here for the mint flavor!

I don’t actually know if this product was a fun add on to Raisels or something for us to learn about but I literally screamed when I saw it. As a HUGE fan of the often hard to find collapsible lunch container I freaked out to find this in my hands. Go Raisels!

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

As we all know school is demanding and it is so important that our kids take a break to play every now and then. These games from Hasbro – like Mouse Trap, Cranium Sculpt-it, or one of my all time favorites – Perfection – will give them the break they need. I love finding pockets of time to play games with my kids. Not always easy with crazy schedules, and you know – general exhaustion, but sitting and playing games is something we all love.

The Mint Chip Mama Back to School 2017 - Momtrends

And there you have it! Fun products, delicious food, new companies, what more could we as Moms want for the new school year? Except maybe a few more hours in our day…!

Happy Back to Schooling!

Top Picks from the 2017 New York Baby Show

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The New York Baby Show

@NewYorkBabyShow

One of the nice things about having a baby (my third) and going to the New York Baby Show is I get to look with the eyes of a new mom while being a seasoned mom. I’ve seen it all, and I know what works. I love to find new things that rock it up.

The New York Baby Show - Prince Lionheart Illuminating Changing Pad

One of the most ingenious products I found was the yet to be released Prince Lionheart Illuminating Changing Pad. It’s a changing pad (or a conversion kit if you already have one) that offers a light between the baby’s feet. You simply tap it and the light goes on, you can change your baby unobtrusively, and then tap it again to turn off. Absolutely genius.The New York Baby Show - Pello Comfy Cradle

Another brilliant item was the Pello Comfy Cradle pillow. Think a muff meets a water wing but for the nursing mom. It cushions your arm and raises the baby up closer to you. Know how an older baby is heavy when you nurse? Well this solves the problem as their little heard rests on the pillow on your arm. I’ve used it all week. Game changer. Also from Pello check out the Multi-use Luxe Baby-Toddler Floor Pillow/Play Mat/Lounger a multifunctional pillow mat.

The New York Baby Show - Rumina Seamless Pump&Nurse Nursing Bra

Another great nursing product was the Rumina Seamless Pump&Nurse Nursing Bra. It’s the only no-hole nursing bra that seamlessly goes from nursing to pumping.  Even without an underwire it was supportive and comfortable. I love the soft, removable pads, they felt so luxurious! Even better they’re partnering with Evenflo – my favorite pump.

The New York Baby Show - Safe Traffic System Ride Safer Travel Vest

The Safe Traffic System Ride Safer Travel Vest was another top pick. This product converts a regular seat belt into a three point harness. Absolutely genius – and an amazing find – for someone living without a car in a city or for someone with little trunk real estate for an extra carpool booster. I love it.

The New York Baby Show VertiPlay Oribel Goofy Moose PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Activity Center

Continuing the idea of good for small spaces, I loved the VertiPlay toys from Oribel, especially the Goofy Moose. They stick to your wall! No floor space needed! I also thought their PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Activity Center was a best in show. It starts as a jumping/activity center, then transforms into a table. But wait! The legs collapse making it virtually flat and you can easily store it in closet. You can buy matching stools and even make it into an art table with their art paper roll dispenser. Genius!

I was super impressed by the full line of products from UpSpring. But even better – some of their post natal products are covered by insurance (read: free!). Check out their Shrinkx Belly Bamboo Charcoal Post Pregnancy Belly Wrap and C-Panty High Waist C-Section Recovery & Slimming Underwear. But even more interesting to me was their Milkflow Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle Powder Berry Drink Mix. It’s the only powdered drink mix you can add to your beverage to help increase your milk supply. It even comes in chocolate flavor!

The New York Baby Show - Tray Haven

Have a baby who likes to laugh at you while dropping their dinner on the floor? Me too. Check out the High Chair and Stroller Adaptable Containment Barrier from Tray Haven. Think a soft mesh fence around your child. Take that, baby.

Sassy Locks is a new company to me and they had the most beautiful handmade custom clothes. I loved these pacifier holders. Check them out for beautiful dresses and fun, cheeky onesies.

The New York Baby Show - Luv Bug Sunscreen Blanket

Luv Bug Company UPF 50+ Sun Protection Blanket had beautiful thin blankets with sunscreen built in, great feeling waterproof crib sheets, and adorable reusable snack bags.

The New York Baby Show - Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer

I thought this Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer was so so smart. Not a new product, but new to me. It is a Dura-Soft changing pad with raised edges adding a wall for rollers.

The New York Baby Show - Chatbooks
I hope you’ve seen this hysterical commercial from Chatbooks – about a busy mom of three. If not, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now. You’re gonna laugh so hard you may snort. Chatbooks is an app that takes your phone’s pictures and quickly makes them into a high quality photo book.

The New York Baby Show - Bamboobies #BreastfeedingChallenge

Have to give a shout out to Bamboobies. Besides a great name and even better stickers, their products were soft and pretty and fun. I love that their Super Soft Washable Nursing Pads are hearts. I also loved their Chic Nursing Shawl.

As always it was great to see my friends from Mabel’s Labels. Excited for Ben to have his first labels and even more excited for labels with just our last name on them. Sometimes I need to label a multi-kid used item and suffer from label identity stress (it’s a thing… look it up.) Love the giraffes. Check out Mabel’s Labels for camp, daycare, school, allergy alerts or anything you need to fulfill your labeling desires.

Carrying on the giraffe theme, it was great seeing Sage Spoonfuls – the maker of my favorite baby food storage jars – with their new line of Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags. Plus, the giraffe is eating broccoli, amazing. They also just introduced the only stand up 7oz Squeezie Reusable Food Pouch. Their products, including their Baby Food Maker – Immersion Hand Blender and Food Processor make being a baby food chef easy as pie (don’t give your baby pie).

Great seeing FridaBaby and their new Smile Frida Toddler Toothbrush. This three headed toothbrush (whaa?) hits kid’s teeth from all angles so they can’t miss a spot. Also loved their new medicine dispenser that’s part syringe, part pacifier (coming out soon) and their ergonomic nail file – the SnipperClipper – that sways with your child’s nail for easy filing.

The New York Baby Show - MomsRising.org

Love the message of MomsRising.org. Check out their site.

In conclusion – my goal for this post was to highlight my top three favorite things of the New York Baby Show. As you can see I went a little over three. With so many great products I couldn’t resist… I lost count at 18! I hope you enjoy some of these innovative new products too!

The New York Baby Show - Canon

Thanks Canon for the great picture!

To see my video review, click here!

Fire & Ice – Great Family Fun at Camelback Mountain!

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#MTCamelback @SkiCamelback

Skiing is a sport people love – unless you’re me – and your skill level is “drinking hot chocolate” (I’ve come to terms with it, I’m ok). I married a skier who doesn’t get to go very often (see above) who swore he’d raise our kids to be skiers. But when is the right time to bring a kid on their first ski trip? Luckily that question was answered when we were invited to the Momtrends Winter Break at Camelback Mountain last weekend. The time in now, people!

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Ironically I grew up going to the Camelback area annually, just never skiing, so it was a fitting location for my family’s first ski trip. The kids were beyond excited; it was barely containable in the car. Not only did we promise them a day of snow activities – like skiing and snow tubing, but a grand finale at Aquatopia – the largest indoor water park on the East Coast.

The Kids 90-Minute Beginner Lesson Package had everything we needed – including a full day lift ticket and equipment rental. We followed the easily marked, fool proof “step” system to get boots and skis, then headed right outside to the private Children’s Learning Area (aka minimal things to complain about for a first time ski boot wearer who wants to carry their own skis like a big shot).

Perfect for kids aged 4-12, they learned how to put on equipment, stand, balance, walk, get up and glide. This self contained area was drop off, so parents (read: my husband) could enjoy a few runs while the kids were in ski school. I was simply happy to sit and watch the big waves and smiles coming from the “magic carpet”.

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We not only lucked out with the weather (50 degrees!) but met the nicest staff, making our first ski experience a positive one.

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My daughter loved it and was good! As soon as the lesson ended she wanted to go on the bunny slope with my husband. He happily took her.

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My little guy – like his mom – decided the hot chocolate trail was the right one for him. I can respect that. We headed into the bright, window filled dining area of the main base lodge to rock our Après–ski.

The first half of our day came to a great close.

On to the second half – Aquatopia!

We headed to our car – parked in preferred parking (well worth the upcharge, the same price as a locker but you get proximity and storage) – and made our way over. Although Camelback offers a shuttle we opted to drive so the kids could take a quick nap.

Excitement grew as we approached Camelback Lodge and saw colorful slide tubes going in and out of the building.

We entered – wow.

Besides Aquatopia (the 125,000 square foot, two level, indoor water park), Camelback Lodge offers Arcadia Entertainment Center – filled with an indoor ropes/adventure park, “win a ticket” games galore, a paint your own pottery place, a huge candy store, mini-golf, laser tag, and bowling! Yes, all under ONE roof!

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As we headed to the family changing rooms, we past a swim up bar, private rental cabanas with TVs, a lazy river and 7 pools. We didn’t know where to begin!

At only three, I was curious how my son would do and WOW did he love it. Spending the majority of his time at Kartrite Quest, he zoomed down slides big enough for a thrill (and me – to nervously trail behind him!) but not too scary. We went approximately three million times before he conceded to a break in the Penguin Play Bay.

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My daredevil daughter, on the other hand, was ready to climb the stairs to the eight over 48” ride area with the kind of slides a water park enthusiast dreams of (including the Venus Slydetrap, the only slide of its kind in the world)! My personal favorite was the water roller coaster Storm Chaser. I would have gone on a hundred more times if my husband let me. I mean if there was more time…

As the day ended, we quickly showered the kids (so they were bed-transfer ready) and headed out. As we drove off, the little snores we heard – almost immediately – confirmed that we had one heck of a great day.

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Only a two hour-ish drive from Long Island made Camelback a great first stop to my kids becoming the next (enter name of a famous skier here). We will definitely return!

A few tips from The Mint Chip Mama for your fire and ice vacation!

Ski Tips:

  1. Get to the mountain an hour before your lesson to allow for a relaxed equipment rental experience.
  2. Be cool with your kid not liking skiing. Drinking hot chocolate is slated for the 2020 Olympics. Maybe they’ll like it next year.
  3. “Bad ski weather” aka warm, misting rain, etc., is an awesome time for beginners because it keeps the crowds away.
  4. Keep the tags on your new ski stuff so you can return if not used.

Water Park Tips:

  1. Bring 2 sample size bottles of body wash/shampoo so you and your spouse can divide and conquer your post water park wash down.
  2. No need to bring towels, they’re included (yay!).
  3. Bring a plastic bag for wet suits.
  4. Bring a puddle jumper if your kids can’t swim. Although life vests are available, kids can’t wear them on the slides and holding your breathe while your three year old goes down a slide into a shallow pool is a veeeeery long trip. PS – it was fine.

Overall Tips:

  1. Pack separate bags for skiing and the water park; just grab the one you need.
  2. Pack water bottles; refill them every time you have the option.
  3. Pack 10x the snacks you think you’ll need. No, make that 20x.
  4. Bring a chair, oh- just keep one in your trunk. It comes in handy more often than you’d expect.
  5. Never underestimate a powernap to keep your kid and/or husband melt-down free.
  6. Leave your baby home with your mom even if your husband says no. What? Did I say that?img_2790

Oh Baby! Show. My Top New York Baby Show picks!

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One of the reasons I like the The New York Baby Show so much is that they always draw a great combination of vendors – both large and small scale to their event. This year didn’t disappoint. I was happy to walk the floor and see some new and innovative products as well as some of my favorites. As a mom pregnant with my third child it is nice to see there are still maternity or baby products that can be created to fill a need. I present to you my findings!

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One of my favorite companies at the show was Little Partners. Completely new to me they offer only a few products and all brilliant. What started with their Learning Tower twenty years ago – a great product that allows your child to stand (safely contained) in a raised step stool in the kitchen promoting interactive play and learning while you cook, has expanded to include three other equally smart products.

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First, and launched in late 2015, the 8lb Little Partners Phoenix Baby GoTo is a raised infant car seat station which converts to a high chair (100lb limit) and collapses like a beach chair into a bag with a strap. I think this product is ingenious. When I saw it I immediately thought this was the perfect thing to bring to the beach. Since you don’t want your infant carrier sitting in the sand the Phoenix Baby GoTo would be perfect. Much like an umbrella stroller, this should be in every new mom’s trunk. The best part is it’s only $59.99! I was expecting a price tag of at least double. The Phoenix Baby GoTo is sold on Amazon. Second, and launched in April of 2016, is their height adjustable Tri-Side Art Easel (with magnetic whiteboard, rolled paper holder, felt board, and chalk board). This triple sided easel (art supplies included) allows three kids to create masterpieces at the same time using different mediums. The Tri-Side Art Easel is $159.99 and sold on Amazon. Third, was their “smart” Bassinet including a reclining canopy, electronic mobile, extra deep sleeping area, port to play your own music, large storage basket, room thermometer/humidity device,  music, a light, vibration, and a nursing timer (2, 3, or 4 hours). It even comes with two sheets! They literally thought of everything. They can even monogram it with your child’s initials. Launching in August, the Bassinet will be $159.99 and sold on Amazon.

The next item I lusted after was the Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow. Unlike other maternity pillows that are a bit confusing to use this one was simple. Think of an inflatable raft with a hole in the middle for your belly. Absolute bliss! Launched in April of 2016, the Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow offers a comfortable and safe position to lay in for as long as you’d like – and at nine months pregnant that would be all day for me.  It was designed by a husband (with a fitness background) and wife (who is a nurse) team to relieve lower back pain. The Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow is $55 and available on Amazon. A matching electric pump is also available for $15. What’s even cooler is it collapses into an included backpack the size of a newspaper!img_5148

As a person who muttered “no stroller impresses me anymore” walking into the show, I stand corrected. Check out the gb Pockit Stroller. Launched in the US in the spring of 2016, this Guinness Book of World’s Records holder for the smallest stroller in the world weighs in at only nine pounds. Able to hold your child from six months to fifty five pounds (my six year old fit perfectly in it and it was a breeze to push) I was amazed. There was a decent size rectangle sunshade made up of stretchy material and the entire stroller material is machine washable. The gb Pockit Stroller fits underneath an airplane seat & I think even better – would fit in your suitcase or trunk taking up the same room as a large text book. In fact at a folded dimension of 11.8’x13.8’x7″ – it could even fit in your handbag! My favorite part was the handles and buttons you use to collapse the gb Pockit Stroller look like Atari handsets. The gb Pockit Stroller is $249.95 and available on Amazon. So so cool.

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Besides great products, The New York Baby Show had several comfort stations set up for families. I was so happy to see my friends from the New York City Dads Group there with one of the biggest and most well attended rest stations. Started in November of 2008 by two stay at home dads – Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider, the New York City Dads Group has grown to a community of over fifteen hundred active dads who meet up in Manhattan regularly. In fact, their model has been so well received that in only a few years they’ve expanded into twenty one cities with over six thousand active members. Amazing! I can personally speak to the New York City Dads Group successful meetups from when we lived in Manhattan and my husband was a stay at home dad for a short stint. He loved knowing there was a community of fun, well educated Dads that he could hang out with on a weekday. Kudos to the New York City Dads Group for creating and sustaining a welcoming & social place for dads to connect. But beware – the Dad jokes are pretty strong – just look at these (hilarious) BabyNes onesies they were giving out…

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As my delivery time is coming close and my excitement level is rising to once again nurse, I was happy to see my friends from Evenflo Feeding  and their amazing breast pump. Along the same lines, I was also so happy to see my friends from Moms Pump Here – a GPS like app for the nearest place to nurse (brilliant!).

Going along with nursing, I was excited to learn New York is getting our own Milk Bank! Check out their site for more information.

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I was also happy to see Kiddylicious and their fruit crispies that were a HUGE hit with my son last year and of course my favorite kids label company – Mabel’s Labels.

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Thank you Momtrends for having me in your Blogging Lounge! I’m always happy to hang out with you awesome ladies. You continue to bring amazing products into my world and I thank you for it.

The show was a great success. Can’t wait to see what new products will come out next year! What were some of the products you loved at the show?

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Thanks Canon for the great picture!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Chrismukah: Momtrends Holiday Soiree

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Momtrends #MTholiday

One of the reasons I love blogging is I get to go to some pretty cool events and learn about some pretty cool brands. One of my favorite events of the season is the Momtrends holiday party – which was last night in Manhattan.

So what’s the inside scoop of the hottest trends for the holiday season? Glad you asked!

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First I have to say how happy I was to see Pom Wonderful. There was a time in my life that I would have been hooked up to a pomegranate juice IV (if socially acceptable) so just seeing their curvy bottle made me smile. As with many obsessions I’ve had over the years, tasting it brought back memories from my youth (read: 20s before kids). However, I was more excited to learn about the leaps and bounds the brand has come in the last decade. I even got the eponymous fruit to bring home and attempt to gut. Challenge accepted.

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I was super excited to meet the team from Galison Mudpuppy, one of my favorite brands for years. I was excited to see all their high quality offerings including their awesome Double Draw collection. Think Victor Victoria for the erudite coloring enthusiast. But I LOVE the idea of their Make-A-Mask line even more. From puzzles to puppets, the Mudpuppy quality has always impressed me. Better yet the Make-A-Mask book I received occupied my kids for quite some time on our day off today!

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Forget Romeo and Juliet – no true love is stronger than between a pair of socks. Who hasn’t wept at the loss of a favorite one by the dreaded dryer monster? If you too think about this you’ll love SockTabs (spoiler alert – they’ll be featured on Shark Tank November 20th!) a quirky gift for the person who has everything.

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With all the cooking going on the new few weeks, I highly recommend trying one of Tessemae’s all natural dressings, marinades and spreads. If their delicious taste isn’t enough, know they are made by hunky Maryland lacrosse players. The recipe is their mom’s and the story only gets cuter from there… but the proof is in dressing – which sold out in Whole Foods on their first try in only four days. Add some veggie love to your dinner table with their easy fix – chopped romaine and some lemon garlic Tessemae’s dressing. I kind of need more right now.

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If your kids are big online surfers and you’re worried about all the grossness we as adults know exist out there, take a look at Net Nanny – the highly acclaimed, #1-rated parental controls software that protects your family by keeping them safe online. While we can’t be looking over our kid’s shoulder every time they go on the computer Net Nanny can.

There’s always a brand I’m curious about that I leave thrilled to have met. For me last night this brand was Bedgear. From the moment I felt their performance pillows I was hooked. But the thought of going to sleep on one of their performance mattress toppers had me begging for one. My mattress is on its way out yet we can’t decide on a size, so a quick fix like this might be the perfect answer. Please can I have one? Please?

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I was lucky enough to go home with many samples last night. Even more lucky to be given a HUGE Igloo Soft Side cooler tote in which to carry them home. As the leaves are falling off the trees this bag gave me hope that beach weather is right around the corner. Looking at their Party Bar made me long for just one more barbeque, yet the weather is cold and rainy.

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What holiday season would be complete without toys? My two favorite Hasbro games regardless of their age are Operation and Jenga. Both games I genuinely enjoy playing. Not to mention Jenga offers a University of Michigan version – so cleary it’s the coolest game EVER! My jaw dropped as I approached the booth and every game displayed (classics was the name of their game last night) brought back a memory. I was even lucky enough to go home with Battleship – a game I’ve wanted for literally 30 years.

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Better than toys (sometimes) are really great personalized books. You may know of my obsession for them if your child recently had a birthday or was born or had any other life event where one gives a gift. I think you could have a million books and that still wouldn’t be enough. They take up less room than toys and can be enjoyed for years. I love the ones from I See Me. My favorite is their My Farm Friends book but this holiday season will be bringing my kids their two new titles: My Very Own Trucks and It’s Fancy to Be Me. Such a nice gift idea.

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With the holiday season often comes thoughts of charity. Last night’s event introduced me to Bottomless Closet whose mission is to be the connection that inspires and guides disadvantaged New York City women to enter the workforce and achieve success. If you’re looking to donate lightly used or new work clothing, please consider Bottomless Closet.

I always like to look at things from different angles and find something new in the old. I feel like the common thread with all of the brands I spoke with last night was they all offered slightly unorthodox (read: creative) gift ideas that would be really useful to your family and friends. I hope you too can “meet” these brands by reading this post and that they find a place under your holiday totem of choice.

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Besides the brands above, I was lucky enough to chat with or receive samples from the following companies. Take a look, you too may find a new favorite thing!

Bedgear@bedgear

Epson@EpsonAmerica

Teleflora@Teleflora

Net Nanny@netnanny

The Nanny League@thenannyleague

Cabi@cabiclothing

Pom Wonderful@pomwonderful 

Hasbro@HasbroNews

American Girl@American_Girl

Galison Mudpuppy@GalisonMudpuppy

Glam Squad@GlamSquad

I See Me@ISeeMe_Books

Igloo@IglooProducts

Tieks@tieks

Susan Mallery@SusanMallery

Lego@LEGO_Group

SockTabs@socktabs

Dream on Me@DreamOnMeInc

Tessemae’s@Tessemaes

Bottomless Closet@BttmlessClstNYC

Will You Still Bug Meeee, Tomorrow…

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@GuardianRepels Facebook Twitter

I don’t like bugs. I won’t kill them because I’m nuts, but I don’t like them. I equally don’t like bug spray. Not the chemicals, not the feel, not the spray, not the smell, not how I – despite my best efforts – get it in my mouth EVERY time, nothing about it. In fact, generally speaking, I prefer the bug bites over the bug spray (which I usually get anyway even if I use the stinky sprays rendering my use of it moot). So when I was approached at the Momtrends Travel Event by Guardian about their plant-based, non-toxic pump-spray alternative to DEET bug repellant I was intrigued.

Lucky for me I scored a bunch of samples. I threw one in my car and kept one in my downstairs bathroom right next to our patio door. As the bugs started to come out, I started to use it. I must say, I loved it. It didn’t feel gross (the technical term for how most bug sprays feel), it didn’t smell like bug spray (aka human repellent), and thanks to the pump spray vs. the aerosol can, it didn’t get in my mouth (win for The Mint Chip Mama!). Best of all – I DIDN’T GET BUG BITES!

We live next to a water basin so bugs are a-plenty over here at Camp Wallenstein. I was super happy to play with my kids in my backyard and retire for the night without scratching. Even more impressive, when we went to visit our CSA farm and saw swarms and swarms of erudite, organic artisanal vegetable loving bugs, we did a quick spray and voila! No bites. Win one for the humans!

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Currently, 80% of insect repellents on the market are (the synthetic chemical) DEET–based. Yuck. Many parents, including myself, try to avoid DEET as it is not a nice product. Last year, as a more natural alternative, TyraTech (who also makes a great natural lice/lice prevention product) began offering Guardian – a safe, effective, non-toxic insect repellent that is 100% DEET-free. Guardian is the first major innovation in over 60 years in the fight against mosquitos and ticks. This means it will excite two generations of bug haters in your family.

So with the summer in full swing, I want to tell you, dear readers, about Guardian as you get yourselves ready to travel about, especially to areas where insects are active. Guardian’s patented technology, using the plant-based essential oil Geraniol (an active ingredient derived from plants like geraniums and roses), is scientifically proven to perform as well or better than DEET-based products. If you dislike the strong odor or feel of DEET, or find DEET products ineffective or irritating, Guardian is a great alternative for you!

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Guardian currently offers two types of insect repellent, the 4-hour Backyard – comparable to 15% DEET products – and designed for activities such as backyard BBQs, trips to the playground, and time spent enjoying outdoor sporting events and the 8-hour Wilderness – which outperforms 15% DEET products – designed for extended time outdoors in heavily infested areas. Camping, fishing, kayaking, backpacking, whatever adventure awaits, Guardian Wilderness delivers repellency without compromise and won’t harm your plastics and gear.

DEET-free Guardian insect repellents are currently available on Amazon.com.

Here’s to a bug-bite free fabulous Summer!

*GIVEAWAY*

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One lucky reader will win a DEET-Free Guardian Insect Repellent Pack that includes:

A full size (4oz) & travel size (1oz) Guardian Backyard

          A full size (4oz) & travel size (1oz)           Guardian Wilderness

To win – please post in the comment section below:

What’s the most creative way you’ve tried to keep mosquitoes out of your yard?

Winner chosen Saturday, July 18th, 2015.

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So excited for Blogger Bash!

Fun Findings at The New York Baby Show!

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Hello from the left, right under the balloon!
Photo Credit: New York Baby Show

One of the things I miss about living in Manhattan is the great events I used to go to. So when Momtrends invited me to their lounge (read pampering and a birdseye view) at The New York Baby Show I couldn’t drive into the city fast enough. In tow was my favorite gal because – as we know – the true critic of cool is a precocious child.

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I present to you my favorite finds. Some are old favorites, some are new products that got me excited (which after five years in this parenting game is becoming more and more of a challenge!). Click on the links for more information. Enjoy!

Mom Pampering

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As always, Glam Squad did not disappoint. Besides being completely obsessed with their great hair ties and headbands, I treated myself to a hair styling and new trendy manicure! Glam Squad can do this for you too, in the comfort of your own home. Yep, if you live in NYC, LA, or Miami they will come right to you for hair, nails and make-up. How fantastic is that?

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I was very impressed by Maven. You know how you don’t take care of yourself because for you to go to the doctor it is a whole procedure (pun intended). Well Maven brings the doctor to you – via their Maven Clinic app. You pick one of their highly qualified providers, book your face-to-face video appointment, pay the clearly stated fee, and away you go! No more time suck in a doctor’s waiting room. Brilliant.

Wash & Wear

If you are like me, cleaning your clothes and cleaning your kids take up a good portion of your time. I am always looking to make sure the products I use are non-toxic and healthy for my kids.  I was happy to see one of my favorite brands – Babyganics on Saturday. I love their new labels. They make me happy. Everything of theirs that I’ve tried over the years I’ve loved. Plus it is a brand that you can trust so you don’t have to put too much effort into trying a new product. Just grab and go. Extra points for being Long Island based!

One of the coolest companies I found was Eco Nuts. I’m still baffled by the science behind their Soap Nuts. These little Himalayan nuts naturally contain soap. You throw them in your washer and the soap cleans your clothes! What? I know. Check out their site for more info.

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When talking about kids and clothes, especially at this pre-camp time of year, labels always come up. Happy as always to give a shout out to my friends at Mabel’s Labels. Their Limited Edition Camp Label Pack has everything your little one needs to ensure what you put on the bus comes off the bus. As someone who never found things with her name properly spelled as a child I get a thrill every time they give me labels. No ghetto sharpie stac“E”y drawn in here!

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Food

Prior to mashed baby food and toddler food, there is milk. I want to highlight a new app I’m very excited about called Moms Pump Here. It locates the nearest place for you to nurse. We have all had that challenge of a baby crying, engorgement, and no clue where to sit that is both private and clean. Enter Moms Pump Here. Consider it a GPS for your boobs. Let’s help them grow their database in the name of liquid gold! If you know of a place to share click here. Brilliant!

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Both of my children love Mum-Mum crackers. They dissolve very quickly so parents don’t have to worry about big pieces and small mouths. Check out their new Mum-Mum Snax for school aged kids. They are both clearly marked as peanut free and gluten free.

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Kiddylicious snacks were new to me. My 19 month old son has gobbled up their Fruit Crispies like crazy! I loved their packaging and that their snacks are fruit filled and healthy.

I have been looking to get some new reusable snack bags for my son’s incessant snack habit (read: I can’t afford to keep buying prepackaged bags of his choice du jour). I loved these Green Sprouts Snack Bags. Exactly what I was looking for and beyond cute patterns.

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Another new item to me was the BiteSizers food scissors. With their little click-to-seal cover you can throw a pair in your bag and be ready to show a slice of pizza at a birthday party who’s boss. For me, the test was cutting a Clementine. I’m psyched to report the scissor opened wide enough to snip that baby in half. Plus there is a blade so you can cut vertically. Love!

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Things That Come Out of Our Babies

The adorable My Carry Potty – available in a bee, cow and ladybug pattern – was so cute. Such a great idea too. Who hasn’t been stuck on the go with a kid who needed to go right NOW. In addition to being leak and odor proof with a watertight seal, it also offers a great carry handle so your kid will be excited.

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I have been thinking of introducing cloth diapers into our world. My son naps on a good schedule at home and I can usually predict what I’ll find when I change him. Because of this I thought I could do a little green with this approach. I was so excited the first booth I came to was Tidy Tots Diapers! It was like they read my mind. There is so much research behind this diaper it is impressive. Plus they have a tie dye pattern, so you know me, sold!

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I was so happy to see one of my absolute favorite products – The NoseFrida. If you don’t know of this, or haven’t been given it as a gift by moi allow me to explain. This delightful product has a tube that goes in your baby’s nostril which you suck the snot out of using the other side. There is a filter, don’t worry. I cannot tell you how many times we used this allowing my daughter to breathe easier. Amazing Amazing Amazing. A+++++.

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There was also a new intriguing product in the nasal aspiration field coming out in July – The Baby Health Care Baby Smile Nasal Aspirator. I am very curious to try it!

Out & About

Sometimes I sit and dream about traveling to a (enter any adjective here) place with my kids. There are so many parts involved with something like this starting with safe travel. I loved the Sit ‘n’ Stroll Zoomer which converts any car seat into a Sit ‘n’ Stroll! When the day comes making this dream a reality I look forward to zipping my kids through the airport with this. I also love the idea of having my Britax car seats with me so I know they are both clean and the best.

Another super cool product new to me was the No Mo Nausea Band – the first acupressure and aromatherapy wrist band out there. While it looks very similar to an acupressure bracelet you’ve seen before, once you get closer you will smell the delicious peppermint oil emanating from the band naturally decreasing nausea and vomiting for adults and kids. Loved it. It immediately calmed me down. Maybe it would help with tantrums…theirs or mine.

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Clothes are a basic item we all need for our kids. It is so nice when there is a line that one can mix and match and everything goes so little thought is needed. Primary is exactly this. As they say “Brilliant basics for under $25”. Their website is clean and easy offering sizes 0 – 10. Basics mean you can fall in love with one of their styles and it will be there throughout the size run. Also a cute idea for a longitudinal picture montage!

Being out and about necessitates a good bag. Not to mention one that won’t make your stroller topple over. Hatch Things was created with exactly this in mind. That’s what you get when you add a RISD degree and a new mom together! Plus it folds into itself – which I love – and has multiple connection options. I like options.

Finally, with these little people growing up so fast it is imperative one has a great camera to snap all those fleeting moments. Canon, one of my favorite camera brands, was there with a fantastic product that’s easy to use. I still remember the excitement ordering my first digital camera from them in 2003!

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Thank You!

I would be remiss without a shout out to the lovely ladies of The Nanny League who kept my daughter entertained so I could do my initial lap around the show solo.  The Nanny League is an elite placement agency that matches high-profile families with professional, college educated nannies.

‘Til next year!

I hope you too have found some interesting things living vicariously through my experience at The New York Baby Show. If you are interested in any of the brands above reach out to me. I have several coupon codes I’d love to share!

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