Holiday Chill: Fun Style for Cool Kids

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This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for reading.

Our Christmas tree is decorated, our baking efforts are still going strong, and New York City is gleaming with holiday goodness.  It truly is a special time of year. Next weekend I’ll surprise my big girl with an early school pick-up to see the Nutcracker. And I can’t help but be excited to still have a say in planning holiday outfits for the kids!

We recently encountered a “nothing fits!” stage with my almost ten-year-old.  And while it was hard for her to come to terms with donating the majority of her favorite clothing pieces (growing is a good thing!); her excitement for replacing and replenishing her wardrobe with cool-kid-styles, just in time for the holidays, won.

I turned to a favorite, OshKosh B’gosh, for fun, trend-right, age-appropriate styles – that exude festive kids’ fashion without the fuss.

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My girl will go from school to play dates to holiday parties in these comfortable boots paired with cozy fleece leggings for extra warmth. Can I get them in my size, please?

Over the years, I’ve learned that I can count on OshKosh to deliver outfits that celebrate kids being kids, from head to toe. I can tell why my daughter fell for the cute heart pattern on this cozy pewter jacket. It’s something that I would have loved too, when I was her age.

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And I can’t help but think my how you’ve grown when I look back on certain photographs.

When it comes to shopping for my kids, I try to think of that closet full of clothing (in mostly excellent condition) that will soon be donated.  And while I love more than anything to pass things on, I set specific budgets and stick with our steadfast favorite brands.  When shopping with OshKosh, my daughter knows that I’ll say yes to fun accessories like heart-shaped glasses, holiday barrettes and a fun hat.  Along with a festive top or dress, leggings, shoes and a new jacket – she’ll mix and remix these pieces all season long.

At prices that never break the bank, I had to go back with all the great sales to score for my little guy too!  Jeans with suspenders, a crisp white shirt, plus a festive bow tie will forever melt my heart. And this sweet sibling bond will always get me too!

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Find a store near you and don’t forget to use this great coupon!

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Happy Holidays my friends!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017 + Giveaway!

We’re excited to bring you our annual holiday gift guide – thoughtfully curated for the kid or girl + guy in your life.  From science and STEM toys to electronic toys and gifts for adults too – we’ve tested a bunch of items to help make gift giving a breeze.  Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter to win a $100 American Express gift card to shop for someone special on your list. Happy gifting!

Kids-Holiday-gift-guide-2017-giveawayWorkman Publishing Calendars will help kids stay on top of their days.  We adore the positive images and messages in the Strong Is the New Pretty Wall Calendar for 2018 – reminding her that she’s awesome every single day.

National Geographic Crystals, Rocks and Minerals Science Kit will fascinate kids ages ten and up while teaching them how to test and identify minerals with their very own collection of real specimens.  So much more than just a crystal growing kit, kids will learn about the chemistry of growing crystals and the geologic science behind rock formation and more.

Chippies by WowWee are super fun interactive, playful robotic puppies that will interact with your child and even show off tricks! Available in four different colors, these are perfect gifts for kids ages 5 and up hoping for a puppy this holiday season. Chippies will bark, sniff, blow puppy kisses and even sneeze.

Smooshy Mushy soft, squishy collectible toys continue to be all the rage with kids who love the cute designs and pleasingly tactile, ultra-soft material designed to be squished and mushed over and over again.  You can’t go wrong with any of the adorable collectibles from this line.

Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Hair Care will come in handy as a stocking stuffer – especially as those lice infestation notices continue to go home in kids’ backpacks! Let kids take ownership of their prevention efforts with their very own hair care line free of harmful chemicals. You’ll thank me later for this one.

National Geographic Break Open 10 Geodes will entertain the entire family and give everyone the chance to learn about the natural wonder of crystals and how hollow rocks are formed by volcanic eruptions.  Grab this gift for kids ages eight and up.

Playbrites are a fun way to add magic to a little kid’s room with a super cool light show packed inside an adorable animal design. These as-seen-on-TV gifts are also great for kiddos who are afraid of the dark.

Stikbots are cool, imaginative gifts that will get kiddos into creating their own stop-motion videos and more. With Stikbot pets, studios and figures – the creative possibilities are endless.

2017-Holiday-Gift-Guide-Marino-BambinosA LINHART subscription box will bring the gift of a healthy smile with custom oral care products scientifically formulated by two top NYC dentists.  Have the girl or guy in your life unwrap the dentist developed line of products that the beauty editors are raving about, with the ease of recurring shipments straight to your loved one’s door.

Nerium International’s exclusive line of age-defying skincare and wellness products with patented ingredients will help the special person in your life look and feel their best in 2018 and beyond. With anti-aging fighters that actually work – you’ll see and feel the difference in your skin and body.

Helen Ficalora charms will delight the special lady in your life with lovely options to commemorate the birth of a child, a special pet, a favorite season and so much more.  Their pave diamond disks with my kids’ initials never leave my neck, and I’d be delighted to someday add more to my collection (wink, wink, husband).

Wolverine may be best known for their durable, comfortable, and stylish work boots, but this season they’ve brought their excellent craftsmanship to a limited edition Lodge Moc Slipper.  He’ll love the coziness of this shearling lined, hand sewn double whipstitched, mocassin detailed slipper with fully cushioned insoles handcrafted in Maine.

HİÇ Turkish Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a thoughtful holiday gift for the chef in your life.  Hiç presses olives exclusively from one source, the Hiç Farmland Estate, where only the most healthy, hearty and purest olives are grown to create nature’s miracle – the highest quality olive oil.  Hiç olives are 100% natural and free of additives and preservatives.

WIN IT: Enter to win a $100 American Express gift card to shop for the special someone in your life.  Entry is simple via the below widget. U.S. only and best of luck.  Wishing you a beautiful holiday!

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Thank you to our brand partners and TTPM.

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On Holiday Traditions with Hanes

Christmas-stocking-stuffers-Hanes-womenI’m so excited to partner with Hanes this holiday season (check me out on their homepage!).  This post is sponsored; however, all content and opinions, as always, are my own. 

The holidays are here, and I can’t help but be filled with the excitement of the season.  Over the weekend, we made our annual trip the tree farm, baked cookies and assembled donations.  It’s so much fun to experience quintessential holiday traditions with the kids, as we continue to sprinkle our home with the spirit of Christmastime in ways that feel meaningful – and even nostalgic of my childhood.

My mom was big on instilling the importance of giving to others.  And the holidays were also filled with the promise of unwrapping something that we hoped for, along with something that we needed.  I’ve carried on those traditions with my family too.  And now, along with my kids and husband, we all look forward to receiving and replenishing those everyday staples that carry us through our days.


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We’re totally a Hanes family.  We like the no-fuss ample packs of socks and undies that always seem to fit in just the right ways.  That’s why it’s so exciting to partner with Hanes this holiday season (with a neat feature on their website!), to share essentials like socks, undies, and T-shirts that have been steadfast favorites for all of us.

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Stockings ignite the first layer of excitement, as the kids rush to the fireplace, carefully inspect Santa’s cookie plate – and discover a stocking (hopefully!) filled to the brim. Along with some trinkets, my son will receive Hanes Boys FreshIQ No-Show Comfort Blend Socks. Can you guess why I LOVE this sport collection? At seven, let’s just say that the odor protection technology comes in handy! And I know that the durable grey soles and cushioned foot bottoms are ideal for winter months filled with outdoor snow play and exploration.

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Along with some scratch-off lottery tickets (hopefully winners!), my husband will score big with his top picks from Hanes.  Hans Ultimate FreshIQ Men’s Assorted Dress Socks are perfect for the festivities, with advanced odor protection technology in fun and trendy patterns. He’s also given a thumbs up to Hanes Ultimate Men’s FreshIQ X-Temp Air Boxer Briefs with breathable mesh fabric designed for serious comfort. Of course, I can’t forget the undershirts, the product that made him a Hanes loyalist! And he’s declared Hanes FreshIQ Men’s Comfort Blend Superior Softness Crewneck Undershirt 3-Pack the softest and best fitting tee ever.

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Our big girl seems to have inherited the sock pickiness that I had as a kid! It’s all about the seams not being bothersome and the material not too thick.  Hanes ComforBlendEZ-Sort Girls’ Ankle Socks thankfully pass the test, and come in packs of 11 pairs! You better believe she’ll get a new sock buddle along with Hanes Ultimate TAGLESS Cotton Stretch Girls’ Hipsters in her stocking this year.

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My favorite of all is getting to surprise my mama – just like she once did for me.  This year, she’ll receive the socks that I always pick up for myself; Hanes Women’s ComfortBlend No-Show Socks 6-Pack.  I know that these will bring comfort to her step and hopefully remind her of how much I value our traditions.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday!

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Your Kids Will Want These Hot Holiday Toys from Best Buy

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This post is sponsored by Best Buy. 

Although so much has changed since I was a kid waiting for Christmastime, my children constantly remind me of the many special things that remain the same.  Baking, decorating, giving to others – and carefully studying the coveted holiday toy catalog the day that it arrives in the mail.

I once thought that Best Buy was geared towards my own dream wish list (hello camera + tech products!) until my kiddos found everything they could possibly set their hearts on – for themselves, their cousins, the foster-families that we shop for and more. Best Buy has become the perfect place to find the hottest holiday toys while purchasing tech products for adults in the family too.

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From classic toys to tech toys, to learning toys and beyond – Best Buy has an amazing selection of toys that will leave every kiddo excited. Want to know what my kids circled first? WowWee Fingerlings Monkeys! I keep hearing about these cuties flying off the shelves everywhere! Best of all their, $14.99 sweet-spot price makes them a toy that we can pick up for all the littles on our lists. They are also dreaming of some sort of gaming system and have their collective hopes set on a Nintendo- Switch.

Check out some of our other favorites:

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Anika Cozmo: This cool robot comes with a personality that evolves via interaction! He’s even able to recognize his owner with facial recognition. Your kiddo will have a blast challenging him to games, and using Code Lab to learn the basics of coding.  Grab this for kids ages 8+.

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Spin Master Hatchimal Surprise: How fun are these cute Hatchimal Surprise toys?  Kids will adore hatching their own little pet and will be in for a surprise when they hatch twins! Get these for kiddos ages 5+

 

 

Hasbro DROPMIX Music Gaming System: Teens will have a blast blending their favorite pop songs! Delight tens with this cool toy for ages 16+.

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FAO Plush Anniversary Bear: You can’t go wrong with classic toys and we adore the nostalgic feel of Best Buy’s selection of toys from FAO Schwarz. This Plush Anniversary Bear is suitable for all ages and super cuddly and cute too.

 

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Casual + Cool Kids’ Style for the Holidays and Beyond

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Thanks to our partner Crazy 8 for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

When my kids were little, I enjoyed spending time picking out somewhat ridiculous and impractical Holiday outfits.  My sweeties may have looked adorable all wrapped up like carefully adorned Christmas trees – but the poufy dresses and tailored tuxedos were typically worn once and never touched again.

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I suppose that I’ve come to my senses as the kids have grown out of toddler-hood, and now shop for functional yet fun kids’ clothing and accessories that are suitable for traipsing around the city, blasting down subway steps, and more.  I want pieces that will work for our special holiday events and beyond.

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With a store in town, my kids were already fans of Crazy 8.  The kids like their causal-cool styles and variety (I do too!) – and I also appreciate their consistently affordable prices  – along with the fact they carry sizes 6-months all the way up to kids’ 14.

We had so much fun searching through their holiday collections. Leggings for the girl and stylish sweats for the boy are a must have during the colder months. And a fun dress or button down shirt can elevate the overall look to party-ready status!  I let the kids select their favorite clothes, cool accessories, kicks, and a new jacket and coat to complete their outfits.  They’ll mix and remix these pieces to fit any seasonal occasion.

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I can’t wait to take my little guy out on a special date next week!

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And if you’re the dress-up type, Crazy 8 has you covered with lovely dresses, flats and matching tights – along with adorable suit option for boys too.

Check out the Holiday options Crazy 8 has to offer and to let me know what you have your eye on for your kiddos in the comments below!

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Meaningful Gifts That Give Back

We can’t think of a better way to approach the holidays and the end of 2016 than in a socially conscious way.  Many of us have a new perspective this holiday season and hope to make our gifting more meaningful than ever.  We have suggestions for ways to touch the hearts of friends and loved ones with charitable gifts that give back and carry lasting impact.

Instead of material gifts that may soon be forgotten – invest in making a difference by supporting the volunteer rescue workers in Syria rushing to the scenes of bombings to pull people out from under the rubble and carry them to safety by donating in a loved one’s name to The White Helmets. Contribute to the International Rescue Committee to help save refugee families in crisis. Give the gift of helping struggling families lift themselves out of hunger and poverty – and send a girl to school through Heifer International.  Help CARE continue to save lives with food and emergency assistance, education and economic opportunity in places that need it most – and your funds will be MATCHED if you donate by December 31st – doubling your gifted impact.

If you’re looking to wrap up a gift invested in making a difference – check out these great options that give back below:

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Help light the path out of poverty for adolescent mothers in Chicago by purchasing a handcrafted candle from Bright Endeavors – a paid job training program providing critical guidance to help young moms secure quality employment.

Assist in ensuring a safe pregnancy and safe birth to every mother, everywhere, by making a donation to Every Mother Counts in a loved one’s name – or purchase a gift from their shop.  100% of net proceeds from this lovely Flat Clutch will be donated to Every Mother Counts.

Purchase an adorable ethically produced hand-knit doll crafted by Peruvian artisans from Cuddle + Kind, and ten meals will be provided to food insecure children, through the World Food Program USA.

Give the gift of cozy socks from Bombas knowing that for every pair purchased a pair will be donated to a homeless person in need. Best of all, the donated socks are engineered to meet the specific needs of people who don’t have the luxury of a clean pair of socks every day.

Consider gifting from Mercado Global and helping indigenous Guatemalan women to overcome poverty and become agents of change in their communities. Check out this beautiful Amanecer Pillow that draws inspiration from traditional handwoven techniques that originate from Comalapa, an artisan village in the Central Highlands of Guatemala.

Gift a Mini Kane STATE Bag and let your teeny-recipient know that their gift also provides a hand-delivered STATE bag loaded with essential tools for success to a child in need in the U.S.

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