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Holiday Gift Guide

Just Dance 2016 Review

Every year we look to find something for the holidays to entertain my kids!  This year is no different!  We have all the other Just Dance games-why not make this one the holiday break exercise routine!  Burn baby burn. If ONLY you knew what I've been eating since.. ohhh.. THANKSGIVING.  

What's very cool about this game NEW is the app that you can download to make your phone a controller!  Awesome, right? Just Dance 2016 has some of the most fun songs EVER on it this time around!  Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, Uptown Funk, Bruno Mars.. Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson and many more of your favorite artists attack the lineup of Just Dance 2016.  What is your favorite song on the game?

 


#RealMomGiftGuide BEST Personalized Gift Idea

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#RealMomGiftGuide

BEST Personalized Gift Idea

TOTAL freaking awesomeness!  

Looking for a great gift that is filled to the brim with personalization?  Check out Collage.com!!!  

MOM & HUBBY DO NOT LOOK: lol

They have a ton of really cool products.  What I love about them is their STORY!  Check out Collage.com to make EVERYTHING personal!  Photobooks, calendars, phone cases, mugs, you freaking name it!  

They did not pay me to love them - but they did however offer me product to review.  Needless to say - ALL our family gifts are coming from there this year.  Wish I had an affiliate code to give you! haha

 

Grab the LG G4 Smartphone at Best Buy

Best Phone for Cute Kid Pictures

Becoming a mom made me one crazy phone-photography lady for sure.  I have had the exact same phone brand since it first came out in 2007. In the past few months, I realized that it's TOTALLY time to shop for a new obsession!  So when the LGG4 Smartphone came out - It was like a crazy force field drawing me to it!  I honestly hit up the stores like 4 times just to play with it.  And this past week, I made buddies with the sales rep at Best Buy to the point where he knows me by name. HA.  

Sad, I know.  But I'm a DIGITAL INFLUENCER, people.  I gotta have the gadgets to do my job.  

I know.  I totally know what you're thinking. I do have every gadget known to man laying around my house and I def do have an obsession with gadgets... So after doing the Best Buy Trade In Program - mama got a brand new phone!  

I'm actually really embarrassed about my experience at Best Buy.  I snapped an awesome shot with my OLD PHONE of the LG G4, then started fooling around with the LG G4 - THEN bought their phone with trade in on my phone & an ipad - and I DON'T HAVE THE PICTURE BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MY OLD PHONE!

So here are 5 thing about the LG G4 I LOVE:

1) The camera.  It's THE.BOMB.  The Mega Pixels on this thing is 16 MP on the forward cam and 8 MP on the back camera.  The auto focus is the best one I've seen on any phone. For.Sure.

2) The Design.  I love the leather design!!  It's very helpful with a toddler that likes to throw phones.  Ahem.  #JustSayin

3) Display.  Finally!!!  It's brighter, clearer and easier to see.  And as a novice photographer it's really great to SEE the images I take in the dark! ha

4) Get MONEY BACK if you buy it from Best Buy!  Guaranteed $100 Best Buy Gift Card!! $100 is a fab return on your investment, don't you think?

5) Size.  It fits in the palm of my hand.  My husband has one of the crazy huge phones and I can't even stand it.  No way can I handle one of those big phones.  But this one fits perfectly.  It's like the glass slipper! haha

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The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

CATCH THEM ON SOCIAL: @LGUSAMobile  @BestBuy #LGG4

PICTURE THIS: Father's Day

Father's Day is RIGHT around the corner!!  (Um, hi.  Yeah, it's SUNDAY!!!)

I'm so behind on sharing my fun finds lately - so sorry.  I mean, I am kind of planning a CRAZY AWESOME CONFERENCE!!  Blogger Bash is taking hold of my brain - but I can't let work get in the way of real life - and real life is filled with things stealing our time and thoughts - so why not share with you some of the best things I've found on the web for dad!

(By the way - these awesome items were sent for review.  But I wouldn't share their greatness if I didn't think they were 'COOL DAD WORTHY!')

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TONKI

When I first tried to understand this brand - I had NO CLUE that they were cardboard!  The name made me chuckle & when I got it and realized how so very cool it was - I am NOW obsessed with the name, product, everything!  Just ordered some for my own dad.  They are about $15 each and come in really cool packaging.  Not to mention - TONKI is an awesome name!

PICTURE IT CANVAS

Anything on canvas is cool - but a picture of you and your family is worth a 1,000 words, right?  This is a great gift.  This company can really do a lot of different things for your pictures too!  Print on canvas, metal and More!!  Picture it on Canvas is a company that has creativity and memories on the mind!  ((I'd share the image of what I got made - but if my hubby is looking at this - I stink at gifting!!! lol))

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EYN PRODUCTS

Sometimes carrying a purse is a royal pain.  And of course GUYS don't carry purses.  (If they do, they're murses, right? ha!)  But just having something to put your id, cash, credit cards in would be such an easy thing, right? Everything You Need right there - in the palm of your hand.  EYN is a perfect case to use when you just don't want to carry a wallet or purse!  

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Casetify

This is such a cool imaging company!  We all love to have a little 'snapshot' to remind us of the blessings in life - so why not put them on our favorite devices?  This site is great because it was simple to upload, edit & see what your final product would look like.  The only problem I had was that I kept making the product for ME and forgot that it was suppose to be for my husband! lol 

 

 

 

So Dad's Day is a big day in our house. We're heading to Wildwood, NJ to enjoy what Morey's Pier has!  What are you up to and what did you get your special dad? 

 

5 Great Subscription Services to Spend Your Holiday Cash On

5 Great Subscription Services to Spend Your Holiday Cash On

Did you survive the holiday?

I can assure you I'm quite thankful that they are over.  I'm ready to rock the new year for sure!  As someone who loves to give gifts that give way more than just the holidays.....I went on a mission to find some great gifts that you can give all year long.  Plus, mama has GOT to gift herself from the hard work being home with kids the entire winter break, right? #RealMomProblems

Subscription gift boxes are all the rage right now.  In fact - I've found my new fave website to fuel that addiction!  (And seriously-the site is called 'MY SUBSCRIPTION ADDICTION'!  TRUTH.)  

Each month, a box is shipped to your front door filled with new products.  They can be anything from sample sizes of clothing & shoes to renting runway fashions & even RENTING TOYS!  Everyone loves to get packages in the mail. There is always something great about getting something new & fun at your doorstep!

 


ECOCENTRIC MOM BOX

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Ecocentric is one of my faves too!  I am not 'granola' if you will. lol I love to support the Earth when I can though and with this box of 5-9 hand selected products you'll discover great new finds!

I love that they send you larger than the usual sample sizes.  They even include full sizes!  Each box has a $24-$50 retail value to them.  You will discover new types of natural, sustainable, organic, and ethical products with each box.


BRICK LOOT

For the LEGO fans, you can’t go wrong with Brick Loot . Brick fanatics!  Subscribers get receive a monthly box filled with unique, custom and never-before-seen items that work with LEGO bricks and custom building. Each month your Brick Loot box is filled with 4-8 items that were hand picked by Brick specialists who scour the world for the newest and coolest products for you to collect.

What I LOVE about Brick Loot is the UNIQUENESS that comes along with their products.  There isn't a giant LOGO (or should I say LEGO logo) screaming at you.  It's unique, cute, convenient and a HUGE gift for any building fans in your house!

Brickloot_Review

BIRCH BOX

BirchBox.  I actually have seen quite a few different bloggers & vloggers doing unboxing videos of BirchBox.  It's a fun diddy of unique products.  They sent me one for review and I immediately signed up my husband for the dude deliveries!!  He is very into smelling and looking good.  (That is of course a GOOD THING that he's like that.  He is a pretty boy and I love that about him!)  He really liked the idea and that he was getting three more boxes.  The one thing that I'll say is that the boxers in the box they sent for review were a size M.  What guy is a medium??? lol I'm not sure if they personalize that better.  I hope so cause he loved the boxers - but ahem.  Said his 'bits won't fit'.  Ok & alrighty then. lol TMI, right?


FOR THE MAKERS

Many moons ago when my 6 year old was a baby I use to get a monthly subscription of scrapbooking stuff.  I loved it until I stopped scrapbooking and my house filled with STUFF.  lol.  The great thing about these kinds of crafting boxes is that they can be gifted too.  And they teach you a serious step by step learning of simple and cute crafts.  

So, I came across a very cool crafting subscription service called For The Makers.   This isn't just your average "here's a bunch of beads now go build something service"!  They have some serious art projects!  At For the Makers they give you all the materials to make 4 DIY projects for $29 a box. What's really fun about this service is that you can shop the collection pending your personality!  The boxes range from products like making lip balm to shoe clips.  What's interesting to me with this service was that they actually sell the finished products on the website and for a LOT more than the $29 investment you made to handmake them.  And if you are someone who loves to do handmade gifts - you'll LOVE this!


BLUUM

This is a box that I tried out a couple years ago.  It is the PERFECT box for any new mom, mom to babies, baby shower, etc.  VERY motherly with BLUUM.  =)  They have gotten a lot better over the years.  I did enjoy this particular box when I was pregnant with Hudson - because there was a lot of great natural products in there. 

Now they send from pregnancy to preschool including some very fun games!  Bluum also is a great service that lets you try before you buy.  You know as a new mom - the products you buy trying to find the right one is soooo expensive! lol

Games are the New Stocking Stuffer with Funnybone Toys

Have you ever had a dinner party or just a casual group of friends over, and midway through the evening you find yourself wondering, "Now what?" The conversation is in a lull, and people begin to look at their watches. Spice up time with friends with a Game Night!

Funny bone Products has a ton of great games for kids and adults alike. Here are a few that might revolutionize your next cocktail party!

DISRUPTUS

Disruptus asks players to look at objects and ideas and use different approaches — as determined by the roll of a die — to innovate. Disruptus™ draws inspiration from the very important practice of ‘disruptive thinking’. Disruptive thinking is one of the most powerful ways to innovate. It has been used to create ideas and objects like digital music, camera phones, and car sharing programs. Disruptive thinking is looking at an object or idea and coming up with an entirely different way to achieve the same end.

So, in the case of car sharing, the innovators looked at the car rental industry and came up with a new approach that ‘disrupted’ the old conventional method.

ARRAZZLES

Arrazzles lets you explore abstract geometrical configurations. Each card has one of five different patterns of slots allowing for countless abstract building and design opportunities. Arrazzles cards are covered in five beautiful, reflective metallic colors, with a different color on each side of the card. As you build and connect the cards, the metallic colors reflect off each other. The hole in the middle of each card allows for further form exploration – it’s sized to perfectly hold a standard plastic straw, so you can connect the cards that way, or string them together with yarn or pipe cleaner, allowing you to build a completely unique abstraction every time you play!

IMAGINE Peek at the sky at night and see the different arrays of stars. Can you recreate one of them?
Look at the patterns of leaves on trees. Can you build the same?
Appreciate the flower arrangements in your garden and how the colors play off of each other. Try that with the Arrazzles cards!
Start with just one card and attach more cards without a plan in mind!

CONNECT Make interesting arrangements where colors branch off from one another by placing cards side by side on a flat surface.
Connect all of the cards with 4 slots and then do the same for 6 and 8 slotted cards and see how the position of the slots changes the three-dimensional geometry.
Connect the cards in specific color sequences.

BUILD Variations in slot position allow you multiple ways to shape your creation.
Flip a card from one side to another for a completely different color perspective and overall look.
Thread colorful objects through the holes like straws, strings, yarn or pipe cleaners.Use all of the cards or a select few – it’s up to you!



Funnybone Toys can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

#RealMomGiftGuide Family Play with Smart Games

A great New Year's Resolution? Committing one day a week to quality family time. Maybe it's a special family dinner. Maybe it's a family hike. Or maybe it's a fun and raucous night of games!  Family Game night is one of the best ways to hang out as a family.  

Add to your Family Game Night collection for the holidays! SmartGames has a great selection to add to your growing library of games!

Quadrillion

Start a new challenge in a snap, with no direction required! Just place the four magnetic grids together and start playing. Can you fit the 12 puzzle pieces on the game board you just created?

Quadrillion is the ultimate solitaire game for all ages, with big, sturdy puzzle pieces that are easy and fun to handle.

Can you be your own GPS? Can you navigate the city and guide two travelers to their destination? Place the double-sided puzzle pieces on the game board to create routes from start to finish. This game includes 2 booklets, each with 60 challenges from easy to expert. Booklet A (“On the Double”) has challenges with two different colored routes, booklet B (“Delivery Express) challenges with either red or blue routes.

Find SmartGames on Facebook and Twitter.

Deck the Halls with Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights

  Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights

 Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights

There is something fun and special about decorating for the holidays. We have our traditional holiday “home garb” that we deck our halls with: various knick-knacks collected over the years interspersed with new contemporary finds that we add. I love the cozy feeling of holiday-themed candle scents wafting through my house, and watching my boys, in wonder, as they decorate our Christmas tree.


S4 is taking holiday decorating to a new level. This year, they are launching Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights, a line of Bluetooth-enabled light strings that are controlled via Android and iOS smart devices. The app is free, and, along with Bluetooth connection, you can let your holiday creative go to town!


With the Lumenplay™  app, you can customize light string colors, effects and visualize music. There is no “set-up” required. With one touch, the app instantly recognizes the lights and you can immediately start playing and customizing. Imagine having a holiday light show in the comfort of your home!  

You can find Lumenplay™ App-Enabled LIghts at the folllowing retailers: s4lights.com, 58 Apple stores and apple.com, amazon.com, 250 Brookstone stores and brookstone.com, balsamhill.com, gertens.com and bestbuy.com.

For more information on the these awesome lights, visit the Lumenplay™ website!
 

#RealMomGiftGuide 9Novogratz Designs

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Husband and wife design duo, Cortney and Robert Novogratz are a well-known name in the interior design world. They have  "designed and developed many." If you are looking for fun gifts for the chic friends and family in your life, the Novogratz's have made their design prowess available to the masses with their Novogratz design lines.

Rams head pillow

Grab design by the proverbial horns with the Big Horn Decorative Pillow. You will be able to layer in both pattern and color with confidence when you bring this pillow home. The silver metallic ram's head is sure to add an instant pop of energy and style to any living space. Decorate with confidence!

Chevron Pillow

Decorating with multiple patterns can bring new energy to a space. Playing with patterns can be both fun and easy, especially with the 9 by Novogratz Pattern Play pillows. The face features a chevron pattern that adds an air of sophistication, while the reverse features a fun polka dot pattern that brings a sense of whimsy and fun. Available in three colors so you can layer on color and pattern with confidence and ease. Play with Pattern!

Full Bed in a Bag

9 by Novogratz is a fun, functional and eclectic collection designed exclusively for Walmart. We've created a versatile assortment that inspires mixing and matching pieces to suit your style and fit your budget. Featuring a bold and graphic print, Sweet Dreams is our most versatile bed. We love it for girls and boys from toddlers to teens.

Wheel Nesting Bowls

This vibrant set of nesting bowls from Novogratz Collection brings a unique touch to your rotation of dishware.

Novogratz Collection Mugs

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Rise and shine to these vibrant mugs from Novogratz featuring messages with a festive flair.

Diagonal Stripe Cereal Bowls

Give cereals and soups some added wow factor with this striped bowl from Novogratz Collection.

"Wonderful" Serving Tray

Brighten up your table with the colorful, cutting-edge Novogratz "Wonderful" serving tray. Renowned for their distinctive aesthetic, Cortney and Robert Novogratz mix elements of modern and vintage design for fashion-forward casual dining.

We won't tell if the person you gift with Novogratz is yourself! Novogratz products are available at Walmart and Macy's.

#RealMomGiftGuide Gifts for your Pets

Pets are one of the family and they shouldn’t be forgotten during the holidays! A happy pet is a happy family! 

The Soggy Doggy Doormat is not only something your dog will enjkoy but you’ll enjoy it too! The doormat is made from millions of textured, ultra-fine strands woven together, so the surface area of this doormat is much greater than meets the eye. It absorbs more water and dirt than a typical doormat, dries faster, and remains bacteria and odor-free too.

On your next walk, you are going to want to make sure you have these great products with you!

StarWalk  is an application-based activity tracking device for dogs. Simply attach the lightweight device to your dog’s collar and sync the device with the downloadable app. Using Bluetooth technology, StarWalk motivates owners to spend more time with their dogs to improve and monitor fitness and activity goals as well as set visible blinking alerts to remind owners of veterinarian visits, medication doses and grooming appointments. 

Safety First! Be seen while walking the dog at night or early in the morning with the Flex Vero LED Lighting. Attach the LED Lighting with velcro onto the Flex Vario leashes. Features a front and red back light which can be switched on and off individually. 

#RealMomGiftGuide Getting Fit with Gaiam

The holidays are here, and with that comes a multitude of events and activiites centered around food. It's hard not to say no to one Christmas cookie, let alone 5. And mashed potatoes taste extra good on Thanksgiving, so of course we go for a second helping.

As we head into the holiday season, it's a great time to be motivated to stay fit amidst the many unhealthy holiday habits!  First, make the commitment. Next, get the clothes. You can't work out in jeans and a button down. Part of the thing that holds us back from exercising is simply not having the right clothes to do the job.

That's where Gaiam comes in.

This holiday, deck yourself out in some of the latest athletic gear that Gaiam has to offer. This outfit would be perfect for yoga, a run or just hitting the gym:

FOLLOW MY LINE JACKET

This cute, structured jacket is lightweight but warm and is built with lots of little details you’ll be sure to love—including a snap collar cowl neck, hand-warmer pockets, two way adjustable zipper, a curve-enhancing pleated back, and extra long sleeves with petal cuffs.

PETAL TANK

Our super soft moisture-wicking tank has been designed with movement in mind. The ruched, wide, stay-put waistband stays in place with every bend and stretch. Thin straps and a keyhole back add eye-catching detail that makes this the perfect tank for any yoga class. 

BFF HEADBAND

When we’re in deep meditation or find ourselves in an inversion we can’t be bothered to wipe sweat from dripping in our eyes or fuss with stray strands. Keep it all in check with this super soft cotton headband. Easily create a cute and carefree up-do that you’ll love to wear to more than just class.

ECO FLOW STUDIO PANTS

Last year's favorite, redesigned. Now constructed out of our breathable ecoOM fabric in our new performance fit. Comfortable, straight-leg design in our breathable, soft organic cotton blend. With added spandex for recovery and stretch, plus flat seams and comfort gusset for improved fit. Wide comfort waistband with hidden pocket. Features our ecoOM technology, a unique blend of natural fibers and comfort stretch which allows for it to be soft to the touch and breathable with natural wicking. Black. Made in the USA.


Follow Gaiam on Facebook.

Lotty Dotty: Fun Fashion for Girls

Lotty Dotty: Fun Fashion for Girls

If my girls could wear pink, tulle, tutus and skirts every day, they would. They have both hit the stage, at ages 3 and 6, where they suddenly care about what they are wearing. Now, there are plenty of days that their hand-picked outfits don't match or are "uniquely paired." But 95% of the time, there is lots of pink, fluffy things, glitter and more.

Real Mom Tech: Kodak PIXPRO 16 MP Smart Lens

Being a video blogger and a mom means a lot of my videos are done on the fly. Whenever the mood hits me, I just bust out my phone and shoot away. This is good because I have a lot of videos (but you already knew that, ahem). But the downside is that a lot of my videos are done on my phone. There's nothing wrong with that (my phone takes great video) but I am limited in the things I can do.  I have amazing video equipment for all my big-professional work I do.  But hey, this is 2014!  The iPhone is a great way to vlog and 90% of my vids are through there.

One of the things I love to do is test out the latest gadgets.  And of course as a mom we ALL try to be a 'professional photographer', right? ha  So, my latest Real Mom Tech is the Kodak PIXPRO 16 MP Smart Lens

Featuring 16.35MP sensor, it can record full-resolution still imagery in bursts up to 6 fps as well as full HD 1080p movies at 30 fps. Sensitivity to ISO 3200 makes it awesome in difficult lighting conditions. 

The Kodak PIXPRO 16MP Smart Lens clips onto your smartphone! Smart phone compatibility:

  • iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c, and 5s (iOS 6.0 and up)
  • iPad 1st - 4th generations (iOS 6.0 and up)
  • Android phones (version 2.3 and up)
  • Android tablets (version 3.0 and up)

Although it may be small, it's mighty! 

Real Mom Tech Gadgets: iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard

Meetings are a big part of my life. And at most of my I need to be prepared to have take notes, share documents and have access to the internet. And while my smartphone is top-notch, it just doesn't cut it for a business meeting. The only problem? I often need something compact and travel-friendly, so my laptop isn't ideal. I can be pretty fumbley with the iPad touchscreen, but its the best choice for those meetings on-the-go. And I've found the perfect item to bridge the usability gap!

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The iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard has become a saving grace for this working momma! This keyboard lightweight and folds up for easy portability. Thanks to bluetooth technology, it is compatible with most tablets and smartphones.The battery on the iWerkz keyboard is up to 44 hours - that's 2 or 3 days of work! Wahoo! The protective case also doubles as a stand. Some more information on the  iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard:

  • Includes 44652 Bluetooth keyboard, protective case/stand, and charging cable
  • Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled tablets and smartphones; Android, iOS, and Windows devices
  • Docks device while in use
  • Up to?44-hour run/30-day standby time on full charge
  • Foldable design
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Measures approximately 7" x 5-3/8" x 1-1/16"
  • 90-day Limited Manufacturer's Warranty


The iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard retails for $39.96 on QVC - that's a great deal! You'll also find this item on the 2014Real Mom Holiday Gift Guide - so start thinking of your tech-loving friends who would totally to find this in their stockings this holiday season!  

Real Mom Tech Gadgets: Power Wallet

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I'm a mom on the go, and in this technological world we now live in, my devices go with me.  I can't tell you how many times I've been at an important meeting or an event, and my much-needed devices fail me. My phone is a necessary item for these meetings and events, and it leaves me powerless (literally) when their batteries die on me!

But not any more!

I'm totally crushing on the Power Wallet. This stylish item fits easily into your purse looks super cute. But the best part? It has a rechargeable built-in battery that powers up most smartphones. How amazing is that? That means no more being left stranded with a dead, useless phone. How many moms could benefit from this? Here are the specs: 

  • Includes Power Wallet with built-in 3000mAh battery, micro USB cable, 30-pin adapter, and USB charging cable
  • Compatible with most micro USB and 30-pin smartphones
  • Side battery indicator
  • Interior card/cash pockets
  • Holds most smartphones
  • Polyurethane/cotton construction
  • Approximate measurements: Closed 4-1/2"L x 7-5/8"L x 3"D; Open 8-1/2"W x 7-3/4"L x 1-1/2"D

Bonus feature: it can be worn as a wristlet!

This item retails for $66 on QVC (but currently on sale for $49.86. The Power Wallet will also be featured in the 2014 Real Mom Holiday Gift Guide (so grab it now while it's on sale for those tech-savvy women in your life!)

Zooligans Review

Zooligans Review

The company is fronted by a husband wife team!  Anyone who knows my site - knows my life of small companies.