Tommee Tippee Fiesta Fun Time Collection Now Available on Amazon

Leave it to Tommee Tippee to change it up and add some vibrant colors to the otherwise pastel-hued baby gear aisles.  Tommee Tippee has introduced the Fiesta Fun Time collection, which is now available on Amazon.  This limited edition collection features Tommee Tippee’s Closer to Nature bottles in six jewel-toned colors including Green Glory, Turquoise Treat, Party Purple, Rascal Red, Grass Green and Sea Breeze Blue.  The Fiesta Fun Time Collections comes packaged with all the aforementioned colors in the 9 oz. Closer to Nature TT bottles.

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These BPA-free bottles feature the Easi-Vent valve which aims to eliminate excessive air flow. Breastfeeding mamas on the go will appreciate the breast-like nipples that mimic bfing.  As an exclusive bfing mama, TT bottles were among the only bottles that worked for us.  There was never nipple confusion, and TT bottles just made sense for us.  And as someone who LOVES color, I absolutely love this variety pack of the Fiesta Fun Time TT bottles.  My personal favorite color in the collection is the Party Purple, not just because we love to party, but purple for epilepsy awareness.

The Tommee Tippee Fiesta Fun Time Collection includes six boldly colored 9 ounce bottles and is available now at Amazon.com

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.  Affiliate links are included in this post.  

Review: Little Kids TMNT Splash Out Ball

During the summer, we can’t get enough of outdoor play.  Some days, we’re outside and in the water from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed.

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On that end, outdoor toys get much play time.  We love sports, bubbles, biking and truly, anything that has to do with water.  I loved learning that Little Kids’ has a fun selection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys, but I was immediately drawn to their cool water toy, the Splash Out Ball.

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Just as it sounds, the Splash Out Ball is a ball that can be used with water play.  Just fill the ball with water, either manually or by submerging, and then close the cap.  Toss the ball back and forth, like you would in a game of hot potato.  When time runs out, someone gets splashed when the chamber pops open.  

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The Splash Out Ball is so easy and perfect for the pool or beach.  It’s like playing with a water balloon without the mess of balloon remnants.  A caveat of this game is that it can be hard for the younger ones to fill so that it’s full enough to pop open…and of course, when it pops open too early and all over you!

Parragon Books Makes Summer Reading Fun

It’s an exciting time in our house these days.  Not only are we having fun being outdoors all day, but we’re enjoying our downtime with reading.  My older son is reading fluently now, in time for First Grade in a few weeks.  He’s at that cool/funny phase where he’s spelling everything—his answers to questions, all the signs he reads and even the things he’s thinking about out loud.  It’s both hilarious and borderline a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g.

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Just in time for this special time of further cultivating my book lovers, we were asked to join a fun program with Parragon Books.  Parragon Books has a cool Book Buddies program where a select group of bloggers read and review their titles. 

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For June, we had a great time checking out Stickersaurus and Discovery Kids 1000 Strange but True Animal Facts.

Stickersaurus is a quirky novelty book that has hundreds of dinosaur stickers and pullout pages. With the stickers and word bubbles, it has a comic book feel.  I especially love the thick pages, which makes the application and re-application of stickers easy and fun.  Stickersaurus not only encourages imagination and creativity, but it reinforces story creation and story sequence.  It’s ideal for ages five and up.

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Discovery Kids 1000 Strange but True Animal Facts is perfect for curious animal lovers.  As a kid, I loved books with lists and fragmented thoughts, so books like these would keep me occupied for hours.  I love how the book is full of education and eye-catching lists. Most of the facts are weird facts that I never knew, but ones the big kid and I enjoyed poring over on a rainy day.

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We loved checking out these great books and can’t wait to read even more fun titles from Parragon!

Cost Plus World Market Opens in Livingston, NJ

The day has finally arrived:  New Jersey just got a little more stylish and a bit more delicious—and it has absolutely nothing to do with a RHoNJ or a Jersey Shore “star.”

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North Jersey is shining a bit brighter today with a store grand opening of a beloved home furnishing retail chain.  The grand opening of Cost Plus World Market in Livingston, NJ marks the first store in the Northeast for the chain that got its start on the west coast.  With 259 stores, World Market is well known for their collection of bold and eclectic home decor, as well as their gourmet and international food selection.

Our family took a spin around the Livingston location several weeks ago during the store’s soft opening for employees and others.  Having heard the praises of Cost Plus World Market’s statement pieces, my expectations were quite high.  

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by several employees who were anxious to help us and show off the new store.  I was too distracted by all the beautiful, shiny kitchen gadgets to have a conversation with anyone, never mind see straight.  

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On the eternal hunt for a statement chair for our living room, I was enamored by the selection of the upholstered chairs up front. I still see that turquoise chair in my dreams; it was love at first sight.

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From gorgeous window treatments to sleek dining tables to quirky cooking accouterments to copious flavors of cookie spreads: Cost Plus World Market is a foodie and design enthusiast’s dream store.  I could walk around for hours just checking out all the unique accessories and extensive gourmet food section, alone.

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After my first in-person visit, World Market truly exceeded my expectations.  I’ve perused the website many times over the years, but the brick and mortar experience didn’t disappoint.  There’s much to be said of the vivid colors and gorgeous displays throughout the store.  In terms of the customer service, I had a question about a flavored olive oil, and one of the employees who worked in a different department directed me to the exact location where I could find what I was looking for.

As with everything, there’s always a caveat.  While I love that the first Northeast location is in North Jersey, I’m curious as to why Livingston was the chosen town.  I would certainly shop World Market more often if it was closer to one of my favorite high traffic malls in my personal shopping circuit. But that’s just my opinion!

On the coupon front, be sure to join the World Market Explorer program, which gives you access to rewards and coupons!  And speaking of coupons, of course there are printable coupons available online.

As a kid product blogger, though, I absolutely loved the retro toys and gadget section in the middle of the store.  This section had all the nostalgic toys from our youth, including a pretty sweet Little Golden Books display.  My kid personally loved the candy, oh and that cushy papasan chair, too!

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And since it’s the store’s grand opening TODAY, they have quite a few fun events to celebrate.  Per Cost Plus World Market:

The first 100 shoppers through the door on Thursday, July 10 will receive a $10 Cost Plus World Market gift card. The store opens at 9:00am today. From Thursday, July 10 through Sunday, July 13, 2014, the first 100 customers will receive a free reusable World Market tote bag and will be able to enjoy live entertainment, food and beverage sampling and more.

To help celebrate the grand opening, World Market welcomes Jonathan and Drew Scott, hosts of HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” to the store on Saturday, July 12 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The first 200 shoppers to bring five non-perishable food items to donate to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey will have a chance to meet Jonathan and Drew and receive a signed photo.

  

Full disclosure:  this is NOT a sponsored post.  I was not individually compensated in any way.  However, because of my family’s affiliation with the parent company and my love for BBB, my thoughts are pretty biased, though my enthusiasm is truly genuine.

 

Wild Kratts on HuffPo Live Today

Any swamp animal and/or HuffPo fans out there? Today, some of our PBS Kids friends and animal experts, Chris and Martin Kratt of Wild Kratt fame, will be interviewed on HuffPo Live today.  

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They’ll be discussing their upcoming special on swamp animals, as well as sharing an upcoming clip. There will be a some kids video conferencing in for the interview, too!  If you tune in, be on the look out for my big guy, who will be asking a question or two!  Tune into HuffPo Live at 2 for the interview!

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The segment will be a quick one, so don’t blink!  If and when the video becomes available, I’ll be sure to share here!

 

You can catch Wild Kratts weekdays on PBS Kids or anytime on Apple Tv!  The PBS Kids Video App is now available on Android and Chromecast

Beachin’ it with Paul Frank Summer Essentials

Lazy summer days simply don’t exist in our house.  Since we live in an active lake community and an active town in general, we typically find ourselves trotting from one fun event to another. Most of our summer mornings are spent at our lake’s “beach,” so we are in beach mode for almost the entire summer.


 

For us, “beach mode” entails snacks and meals on the go or packaged to eat on the beach.  We also always have our beach essentials packed into our beach bag and wagon.  Beach essentials include staples for the kids such as sunscreen, towels, beach toys and, of course, snacks!

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On that end, our June Saban Brand-bassador box included some super cool Paul Frank beach staples to supplement our ample supply.  I love that our Paul Frank pride is on display with the Skurvy Beach Towel, Reusable Snack Pack and Tumblers.

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The Skurvy Beach Towel is a big, cozy towel that’s both suitable for guys and girls.  It has polka dots, complemented by the signature Paul Frank Skurvy.  Both of my guys love warming up in this towel after a swim or simply laying out on it under the sun.  This towel can be found on Amazon.com for $17.00.

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The Paul Frank Snack Pack is a cool eco-friendly reusable snack pouch.  It folds flat, yet opens up to an elongated triangular shape that seals with Velcro.  The Snack Pack holds fun snacks like pretzels and popcorn and is perfectly sized for smaller portions.  My only wish is that it was bigger!  The Snack Pack retails for $6.50 each on Zak.com

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The tumbler is a fun cup, perfectly suited for either of my guys.  It has Julius on the front, with a convenient rubber bottom.  Like the Snack Pack, the tumbler is BPA-free and dishwasher safe, so clean up is easy and convenient.

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All of these beach essentials are perfect for on-the-go summer outings or relaxing days at home!

 

Full disclosure:  samples were provided as part of the Saban Brand-Bassador program.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Marvel Universe Live Sneak Peek

And speaking of superheroes, we’re getting pumped up for the Marvel Universe Live.  Marvel Universe Live, a live-action area stunt show, kicks off at Barclay’s Center on August 13. Here’s a peek at the behind-the-scenes “white model” video, which gives us a glimpse into this show that promises to be action-packed with excitement through the roof.

I don’t know about you, but they caught my attention with the guy on fire. Yowza!

To find out more information about Marvel Universe and to see if they’re coming to your town, check them out here.

Review: Hasbro Captain America Battle Helmet and Dualshot Gauntlet

 

In a house of boys, it’s all about super heroes all the time.  My two guys love playing good guy vs. bad guy.  Sometimes, it’s even Marvel vs. DC. Ha!  

Nevertheless, we’re all big fans of Marvel heroes, especially Captain America.  Since David Wright, one of our favorite baseball players is actually nicknamed Captain America, our Captain America hero gear does a whole lot of double duty.

 

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This spring, my friends at Hasbro sent us over some of the latest in Captain America role play toys. We’ve had a great time checking out the Captain America Battle Helmet and Dualshot Gauntlet. My big guy absolutely loved the new details of these toys, especially the the light up features of the Dualshot Guantlet.

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The Battle Helmet features a button-activated light-up visor and a missile-firing projectile rocket launcher that can also be connected to three different points on the helmet via the innovative rail system feature.  You can customize the helmet by connecting more gear such as the Recon Rangefinder and Dualshot Guantlet. The helmet uses two AAA batteries and retails for $19.99

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The Dualshot Gauntlet is a cool gauntlet device that can worn on a hand and can also shoot missiles.  As mentioned, this device can be worn on a hand or can be used as an add-on to the Battle Helmet.  The gauntlet uses two AAA batteries and retails for $7.99.

If you’re into Captain America or super heroes like we are, this gear from Hasbro would be a perfect complement to your battle supplies.

 

Full closure: Samples were provided to facilitate this review. As always, opinions on NKT are my own.

 

Family Travel: New Destinations for Adventures by Disney

I’ve been thinking a lot about my bucket list lately.  And like many people, my bucket list includes quite a bit of travel; not just any travel, but traveling with my family.  Last month, I was invited to a Disney Adventures press event, where I had the chance to learn about their latest destinations and beyond.  

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The thing about Disney: everything is a story—a well told story with explicit details.  From their amusement parks to video games to books to shows to movies, every facet of this multi-media power house is magical, including their Disney Adventures travel destinations.

New on the Adventures by Disney lineup, not surprisingly, is inspired by the insta-classic that took the world by storm.  Disney by Adventure’s Frozen-inpired trips boasts two agendas to explore Norway, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic.

The Norway agenda allows for excursions that explore the landscape inspired by Frozen.  Families will visit the village of Bergen, hike through  terrains, explore a fjord, and see the Briksdal Glacier.


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Adventure Highlights 8 days/7 nights

  • Welcome dinner and reception in a historic room overlooking the picturesque Bryggen wharf
  • Glide along a river in Voss that offers stunning vistas of the region’s mountains
  • Explore the natural beauty, cultural heritage of the Fjord country, and meet local storytellers on the Fjord safari in Flam
  • Visit the Borgund Stave Church, the best preserved stave church in Norway
  • Walk in the footsteps of a fisherman by participating in rainbow trout fishing on Lake Loen
  • Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites: Bergen Wharf, Nærøyfjord (Naeroyfjord), and Geirangerfjord
  • Visit the Briksdal Glacier and be surrounded by cascading waterfalls and high mountain peaks 

The Austria, Germany and Czech Republic

On this Central European adventure, families can explore the hidden jewels of the Bavarian Alps, visit a medieval castle and walk the same streets that Mozart once did.



Adventure Highlights 9 days/8 nights

  • Explore the art of marionette-making with a local artisan at the Art Deco Marionette Theater Club, including a backstage tour of the theater and a mini-performance
  • Explore the salt mine and ice cave in Berchtesgaden and finish the day by making traditional pretzels and tasting their famous schnapps
  • Visit Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and explore the whimsical Hellbrunn Castle, including a visit to the “trick fountains”
  • Fly high with a falconry demonstration at Hohenwerfen Castle
  • Learn the art of Schnapps making at Germany’s oldest standing distillery, Enzianbrennerei Grassl
  • Enjoy dinner with entertainment by a duo of Mozart violinists at St. Peter’s Stiftskeller, the oldest restaurant in Europe
  • Go backstage at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna which has been in practice for over 440 years

Wrap up this royal adventure by learning the waltz and having a splendid dinner at Emperor’s Pavillion at the oldest zoo in Vienna




In 2015, Adventures by Disney will explore even more exotic locales, including the Amazon and Galapagos Islands.  On that worldly adventure, families will expire bio-diverse areas of the world

Ecuador: Amazon & Galapagos Islands

The new 12-day, 11-night Ecuadorian adventure, featuring the Amazon and Galapagos Islands, journeys through the most untouched, bio-diverse areas of the world and experience local culture and learn about wildlife first hand.Adventure highlights

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  • four-night river cruise on the Anakonda riverboat to explore the tropical rainforest
  • three night stay at the beachfront Finch Bay Hotel in Galapagos
  • exploration of Quito, with vistas to local markets, studios and Spanish cathedrals
  • cooking class with an Ecuadorian chocolate tasting
 

And an adventure near and dear to my heart:

Long weekend to NYC

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This detailed trip to NYC includes adventures worthy of stories themselves, including:

  • Behind-the-scenes visit to Good Morning America
  • Hands-on Broadway musical dance workshop
  • Visit to New Amsterdam Theatre and a backstage tour
  • Enjoy a performance of Alladin
  • Private guided tour of Harlem
  • Learn about in-depth stories of what it was like to be an American immigrant during a visit to the Tenemant Museum

 

Adventures by Disney highlights the importance of sacred family time and the stories that are told during family travel.  Trips like these, in my book, are once in a lifetime bucket list adventures, and as such, are priced as luxury trips.  They include guides and VIP experiences, and in Disney fashion, I’m imagining are top notch.  For more information, check out the beautiful photos and other information on Adventures by Disney’s site.

 

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Power Rangers Super Mega Power Rangers Toys

My big guy has been into paper airplanes, as well as construction toys as of late, so one of the most recent Saban-Brandbassador boxes we received was quite timely.  In our box we found some cool Super Mega Power Ranger toys and some coloring sheets. Needless to say, we enjoyed putting together the Red Ranger Air Glider and Ultimate Legendary Megazord from Mega Bloks.

 

Super Megaforce Red Ranger Air Glider 

The Super Megaforce Red Ranger Air Glider is a simple construction toy that took less than five minutes to construct.  After putting together the Red Ranger, we clicked him onto the glider and then practiced launching the glider.

 

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And here’s a vine of Biggie putting together the Red Ranger Air Glider:

 

At $4.99, the Super Megaforce Red Ranger Air Glider is a sweet and simple construction toy that’s also suitable for outdoor play.

 

Ultimate Legendary Megazord

The Ultimate Legendary Megazord is a completely build able Megazord that’s based on the final combination of the Legendary Megazord and the Q-Rex Megazord.  This set, aged for five and up, was a great set to build with my big guy.  It was a little time consuming, yet well worth the time spent building since we ended up the the Ultimate Legendary Megazord.

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These sets are available at retailers such as Amazon, Toys ‘R Us, and Walmart.