My crew went back to school a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to take a minute to let you guys know about some of my favorite items we're using this year - from great kids shoes to bento box to washable labels, all from brands included in my $600 value jackpot Fall Favorites for the Family Giveaway running through September 19, 2018 - enter to win here!!
Click below to watch the haul on our YouTube channel, or read on for the blog version!
Stuck On You has the best personalized items for kids and families. I previously reviewed the Stuck On You Bento Box and Backpack my son is using, and we've just gotten their washable labels and fabric stamp to try out - must haves for school, day care, and camp! The labels come in all sizes to choose from, and as with all of the Stuck On You items, you can personalize the text, font, color, and even add a cute little logo or character! (Do take a moment to read my PSA on child safety at the bottom of this post regarding labeling items with your child's name). We haven't had these labels long enough to see how they do long term, but I'll check back in and update this post in a few weeks to let you know how our items have been doing with heavy use and being thrown in the dishwasher. My DIY sharpie labeling didn't survive a day at school on my twins' water bottles, not to mention the dishwasher! So, fingers crossed these labels live up to their promise (I'm pretty sure they will!!).
Another must-have to make sure your kids' items are all labeled before heading off to school is the Clothing Name Stamp Pack by Stuck On You. It comes with a personalized stamp, fabric ink, and blank iron-on labels. So you can choose to stamp directly onto the clothes or clothing label, or onto the iron-on label. SUPER easy, waterproof, and permanent!!
We've been a huge fan of pediped for years now, check out my past reviews of shoes here (2017), here (2016) and here (2015)! They are an award-winning children's shoe company known for supporting the healthy growth of children's feet, and their fabulous selection of adorable and stylish shoes for babies through big kids!
My girls were sent pediped's Grip 'n Go Nikki Pink/Orange Sandals, featuring a genuine leather upper, breathable leather lining, all natural rubber sole, and super comfy memory foam insole. Approved by American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development and available in sizes 19 - 23 (4.5 - 7), they're currently on sale for $30!! The velcro strap is easy for kids to do themselves, it's not a loop through (which mine frequently struggle with if they pull it too far out of the loop by accident), and they were my girls were literally flipping over the fun colors! The memory foam insole is very squishy and the sole is super flexible - check out the image above and get a better feel for it in my demo video here!
My son was sent these super cool Flex Logan boots in Chestnut, which are, get this - VEGAN!! They're also machine washable, have a natural rubber sole, breathable canvas lining, are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development, and feature the "Flex Fit System" - they come with an extra insert per foot so you can make sure they fit your child perfectly. I love that they LOOK like a laced up shoe but they are in fact, not. The laces are non-tie elastic and stretch to allow your child to get his or her foot in there easily, with a velcro strap up top. Under pants or on show with shorts, these boots are fabulous for the Fall through winter and spring!
Don't forget you can win a pair of pediped children's shoes and a $50 store credit to Stuck On You in my $600 value jackpot giveaway on the blog now!!! Enter to win here!!
How will vibrant hair dyes show up on virgin brown hair? Read on & watch my videos below to see how different brands and colors have worked on me before you try on your own hair!!
In high school I went through some crazy hair phases - from platinum blonde to dark red, you name it! I spent much of my 20's with long blonde highlighted hair, spending tons of money at salons in Tokyo and NYC. After meeting my now husband, I settled into my "mousy light brown" hair and have not changed it color-wise for over a decade! But... I got bored. So, I recently started my adventure with vibrant semi-permanent hair dyes, ones that wash out in 4-15 washes and don't have bleach, ammonia, or any really damaging chemicals. They're cheap, they're fun, but do they work??
In a nutshell, you can't expect to look like Mal from Descendants without bleaching your hair first, but you can still have fun without lightening it. I'll add my youtube videos below as I try new colors - comment below with what you think, what colors you've played around with, etc!!
L'Oreal Colorista (Burgundy)
This was my first delve into the vibrant semi-permanent hair dyes (in January 2018). I bought 2 boxes at Rite Aid for about $20, and spent about $50 at the salon having them apply it because I was too scared to try it and ruin my hair and bathroom haha!! It was beautiful, purplish reddish dark brown, but it did wash out very quickly, about 50% the first wash and by 5 washes was pretty much gone. I did shampoo with warm/hot water and regular shampoo with sulfate, so I'm not sure how much this had to do with the quick fade out. It was fun and I liked it, but with the salon expense, totally not worth it.
- Purchase L'oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color on Amazon (affiliate link)
Clairol Color Crave (Orchid)
This was my 2nd "crazy" color, and my first ever time dyeing my own hair (or anyone's, for that matter). Watch the video, it's helpful but mostly funny - I take you through my paranoid prep of my head (Burt's Bees ointment all over my hairline, ears, and neck) and bathroom (garbage bags all over), dyeing my hair, washing it out, and how it looks dyed. It was very dark, blueish purple in sunlight, almost black in regular indoor lighting. There was ZERO SMELL from the dye itself or on my head afterward, which was awesome, but makes sense since there aren't really any harsh chemicals in there. The vaseline worked well at protecting my skin, and I ended up getting some dye on my hands and arms when I forgot gloves washing it off, but it came off with a quick rub with hand sanitizer! I'll update this page when I find out how quickly it fades, I'm a bit nervous it'll go grey during the fadeout, since it is quite a blueish hue of purple. It's supposed to last 15 washes and this time I'll be trying to use colder water and special sulfate-free color safe shampoo and conditioner (Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo & L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture Conditioner - affiliate links).
- Purchase Clairol Color Crave Semi-Permanent Hair Color (amazon affiliate link)
OK, that's all I've done so far, but now that I know I can DIY at home for so cheaply, I plan to keep doing a new color every 3 months or so (once the last color is 100% out)! Leave a comment below if you have a brand / color to suggest for me, give me tips on coloring at home, or share any hilarious DIY stories of your own!!
**Enter to win the $600 value Toddler Fall Faves Giveaway at bottom of post**
If you love dressing your little ones in the most adorable boutique clothing and accessories, but don't have time to run to the store, you're in luck! I'd like to introduce you to a really great new online shop for baby and toddler wear, Bella Rae Baby Boutique, and BONUS, at the end of this post you can enter to win an outfit from them in my $600 value jackpot Toddler Fall Faves Giveaway!!
Created and curated by a former student of fashion schools in NYC and LA, Bella Rae was named after founder Maegan Rae's daughter and fashionista-in-training. Maegan fills her shop with the best for babies and toddlers, and you can be sure they are high quality and truly fabulous.
Whether searching for an adorable outfit for bringing baby home from the hospital, a Pinterest-perfect first birthday photo session ensemble, holiday / Christmas dress clothes, or simply items that will have your kiddo named trend setter of his or her play group, Bella Rae Baby Boutique has gotcha covered!
Special occasion coming up? Party, photo shoot, or birthday? Get fancy with Bella Rae!! Here are some fun options, ranging in price from $14 - $40:
You certainly don't need a special occasion to dress your little one in the cutest clothes. Here are some adorable daily wear from Bella Rae, ranging in price from $15 - $30:
Accessories can make or break an outfit, they can also keep baby warm and protect little knees when crawling!! Check out some of Bella Rae's cute options here, ranging in price from $10 - $15:
You can find even a fabulous Christmas outfit for your baby or toddler, check out some of the great options below, ranging in price from $18 - $30:
And of course, don't forget you can an outfit from Bella Rae Baby Boutique in the $600 value jackpot of the Toddler Fall Faves Giveaway I have running through November 8, 2017!!!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bella Rae Baby Boutique. I was compensated for writing this article, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased. Cuz hey, I'm no sell out!
I'm back with another fabulous group giveaway, this time comin' atcha with my favorite things for toddlers this Fall!! Some items are seasonal, some are great year round, but all are totally fabulous! From clothes and shoes to food and feeding gear to potty training and nose sucking, whoever wins this $600 value jackpot is going to be over the moon!! Read on for more info about each of the products in the giveaway, and enter to win in the Rafflecopter app at the bottom! Good luck!!
Bella Rae Baby Boutique is a new online shop with the most adorable children's accessories and clothes, in sizes from 0-3 months through 9-10. From adorable bow hats and leg warmers to baby tuxes and suspenders to knee highs and rompers, this mama has got a great selection! Our grand prize winner will receive his or her choice of the Girls' "Cookie Day" Dress ($25 value, sizes 0-6 / 6-12 / 12-18 months) and Boys' "Suspender Bebe" ($20 value, sizes 0-3 / 3-6 / 6-12 / 12-18 months). You can browse her entire store here, and stay tuned as I'll be writing a full promotional blog post soon!
Thinkbaby has some of the best (and safest) products on the market for babies, kids, and adults (just check EWG's Skin Deep Database)!! Our lucky grand prize winner will receive this great Thinkbaby bundle valued at $63, including their tear-free Shampoo & Body Wash (free of phthalates, parabens, 1,4 dioxane, sodium lauryl sulfate, and harmful chemicals), water resistant non-nano zinc oxide based SPF 50+ Sunscreen, and BPA free Orange Feeding Set (with bento box, soup bowl, baby bowl, and kids cup). You can shop all Thinkbaby and Thinksport products (from sippy cups to deodorant to yoga mats) on their website and Amazon (affiliate link).
With a half serving of veggies in each 8oz box of flavored milk, Sneakz helps us sneak some extra nutrition into our kids! Coming in 3 delicious flavors (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry) and certified USDA organic, Sneakz is a great drink to throw in the lunch box, bring on a picnic, or suck down in the car after school! They even have a brand new vegan powder version available for pre-order - it's chock full of 14 grams of protein, 10 essential amino acids, 1/3 serving of veggies, and probiotics!! Our grand prize winner will receive one 12-pack of traditional Sneakz milkshakes in each flavor (that's 36 milk boxes - a $64 value)! You can shop for Sneakz on their website (and even sign up for a discounted subscription service) and Amazon (affiliate link). You can also read my personal review here (spoiler alert: we LOVE them!!) and check out my recipe for Sneakz Neapolitan Chia Pudding!
Whether you're looking for adorable crib shoes, stylish footwear for a new walker, or kicks for an older toddler, Freshly Picked moccasins are where it's at!! Made of durable 100% genuine cow hide leather with elastic that comfortably keeps them on little one's feet, our grand prize winner will receive one pair of soft soled moccs ($60 value) in his or her choice of design and size (from newborn to 3.5 years)! From traditional colors and designs to fun seasonal kicks to themes such as Care Bares and Nasa, their selection is incredible!! Check out all Freshly Picked products on their website, including soft soled Moccasins and Mary Janes, sandals, hard soles, and diaper bag!
Focusing on comfort, fit, and durability, Lucky & Me produces super-soft underwear and basics that promise "Comfy Ever After"! Available in sizes 2/3 to 9/10 you'll find everything from girls' dance shorts, underwear, tank tops, socks, and leggings to boys' briefs, boxers, boxer briefs, and tees! Oh, and their tagless backs mean itch-free kids - YES! When you say goodbye to diapers, say hello to Lucky & Me undies! Our lucky grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift card to be used on their website. Others can also find them on Amazon (affiliate link).
Producing today's top of the charts music by kids for kids, KIDZ BOP is a way for parents and children to enjoy the latest music, with kid-friendly lyrics! Our grand prize winner will receive the physical CD of KIDZ BOP Halloween Hits (including "Thriller" and "Ghostbusters") and their last 3 albums: KIDZ BOP 36 (including Camila Cabello's "Crying in the Club" and Moana's "How Far I'll Go), KIDZ BOP 35 (including Bruno Mars' "That's What I Like" and Shawn Mendes' "Mercy"), and KIDZ BOP 34 (including Sia's "The Greatest" and DJ Snake's "Let Me Love You") - a $48 value! You can find all of KIDZ BOP music on their website, Amazon (via CD, mp3, or unlimited streaming; affiliate link), and iTunes.
Whether you're cleaning out your newborn's congested nose or sucking out major gunk during your toddler's horrible cold, BabyVac will get the job done. I can say, from personal experience and without a doubt, this bad boy blows all other nasal aspirators out of the water (and I've tried a lot!!). It is powered by your own vacuum, which sounds scary, but it regulates the power so it doesn't hurt and does an AMAZING job at clearing everything from noses (even things our little ones might stick up there...). Our grand prize winner will receive one BabyVac, valued at $16 - $39.99 on their website or Amazon (affiliate link), and stay tuned because I'll be posting my full review soon!
With a non-elastic no-pinch no-dig signature waistband, HOTBUNZ offers fresh, premium 100% GOTS certified organic cotton pants for babies and toddlers. Machine washable, super comfy, and uber cute, HOTBUNZ drop crotch pants are a staple item in any little's wardrobe! Our grand prize winner will receive their red hot Twinkle in Chili Pants (pictured above center / top left / top right) in their choice of size, from 0-3 months to 18-24 months, a $39 value! You can browse all of their other fabulous designs and their lookbook on their website!
There are many snack cups out there that claim to be spill-proof, and there are a few that come pretty darn close. But Munchie Mug takes spill-proof to the next level - these are actually SHAKE PROOF! Yep, it's completely sealed! Munchie Mug features 2 overlapping pieces of fabric, which means not only is it spill-proof, it'll also be much nicer on the hands than traditional plastic snack cup tops! What's more? They are BPA / Phthalate / Lead / PVC free and proudly made in the USA. Our grand prize winner will receive 2 Munchie Mug cups (their choice of color and size, available in 12oz and 16oz), a $36 value. Others can browse cups on Munchie Mug's website or Amazon (affiliate link). You can also check out my personal review and demo video here!
Your kids love getting messy creating their arts and crafts masterpieces, but you hate the mess, cleanup, and ultimate destruction of your kitchen table... If this sounds familiar, then you gotta check out PlaSmart's MessMatz Creativity Mats. With raised edges, these 24" x 18" non-toxic silicone mats are built to contain the mess and protect surfaces. They wash and dry quickly, and roll up for easy storage. Our grand prize winner will receive one in their choice of color (green, pink, or blue), a $30 value, and others can buy them on PlaSmart's website or Amazon (affiliate link).
Potty training can be overwhelming, frustrating, and downright messy. There are a number of books and methods, even professionals you can hire to do the job for you!! But here's an innovative product we're really excited to help get the word out about: Pee-Kaboo reusable potty training stickers!! No more cajoling, no more timers, no more candy treats. Simply stick the pee-kaboo reusable potty training sticker™ into a portable potty and watch what happens. Each time your toddler has a potty success, "pee-kaboo" a magical image appears in their potty, visually rewarding them for their efforts and encouraging them to use the potty again and again all by themselves. After they finish, leave the sticker in the potty and clean as usual. Once it dries, it'll be ready for its next magical appearance! Each sticker lasts 4-6 weeks, and our winner will receive 2 kits (one for the winner and one for a friend, or both for the winner if they have twins), a $44 value! Each kit includes a portable child's potty and stickers! Others can shop Pee-Kaboo stickers on their website and Amazon (affiliate link).
This fall and winter, why not keep your baby or toddler's head warm with a hat that will be the envy of all!?? Check out these ah-may-zing handmade bonnets by Addison's Crafty Mommy on Etsy. Sherpa lined with high quality fabric in beautiful designs, and let's not forget those ears!!!!! Oh. My. GOSH! She's got a great assortment for boys and girls (check out all of her bonnets, blankets, bibs, and teethers on her website). Our grand prize winner will receive one bonnet in the size (0-3 to 18-24 months) and design of his or her choice, a $20 value.
When your littles are begging you to paint their nails, it's time to look into Piggy Paint. This non-toxic water-based nail polish is the kid-friendly nail polish every family needs! Their original line is odorless, and their new scented line comes in fun scents such as banana, cocoa, grape, watermelon, and more! They've even got low-odor non-acetone polish remover. Our grand prize winner will receive their new scented nail polish set, which includes 4 colors, a $20 value! Others can shop Piggy Paint's website (be sure to click around - they've branched out a ton with puppy paint, nail vinyls and stickers, kid-friendly hair products, and SOPHi - an odorless hypoallergenic line of nail products for adults. You can also find them on Amazon (affiliate link).
Whether for an infant or a toddler, EduShape's Happy Monkey brings sensory fun, discovery, and comfort to any child. Features include crinkle ears, a teether tail, vibrant contrasting colors, a rattle, silk ribbons, and interactive legs and arms (one shrinks when the opposite is pulled). Not just a toy or lovey, it will actually help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, auditory senses, logic and reasoning! Our grand prize winner will be happy to receive one Happy Monkey, a $20 value, and others can purchase him on Amazon (affiliate link), as well as all of their other amazing fun and educational toys!
ENTER TO WIN HERE:
Please enter in the Rafflecopter App below - note that only a blog comment is mandatory for entry, but you will gain more entry points for each action you take, and some actions can be completed daily! Good luck everyone and thank you for participating!!
This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and over, and will end at 11:59 PM EST on November 8, 2017. One winner will be randomly selected and notified via email, and will be given 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
I don't know about you, but I'm constantly looking for cute graphic tee sets for my kids. They tend to be quite pricey - I paid about $40 for a set of "I Rock / I Roll" newborn onesies for my twins - yowza!! But, I have exciting news because Target has just released a whole slew of graphic tee family sets that are 1) cute and 2) super affordable ($4.50-10 per tee for baby, toddler, big kid, men, and women)!! I actually bought a couple of the sets myself, but haven't received them yet... I'll update this post after they arrive with some pix and my thoughts on the quality!
You can browse through Target's family graphic tee sets here (you really have to scroll through since only the holiday shirts are conveniently grouped together as a set on their site, poor planning by Target). I've created images below of the sets all together to make it easier for you guys, if you like a set below that isn't linked, just click the general family set link here and browse through til you find each item.
Disclaimer: I'm not working with Target to promote these items, I just wanted to share for those interested! Links below are affiliate links (meaning I get a tiny % of the sales to help fund the blog, at no extra cost to you, can you say WIN-WIN!? LOL).
Best sets for TWINS!
What do you think? Which ones are your favorites? Did you order any? Have another place to recommend selling great twins, siblings, or family tee sets!? Leave a comment below!!!
I have been a huge fan of i play.'s swim diapers and kids swimwear for a few years now, basically since my first baby's first summer, so I couldn't be more excited to be working with them on this review! They're also including a great kids' swim set (rash guard, swim diapers, & sun hat) in my $360 value Summer Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway!! Keep reading for my review of a few i play. items, and enter to win through the link at the bottom of the post!
Being a city family without a washing machine, I'm just not up for cloth diapering my kiddos. But for the pool, beach and playground sprinklers, I never even considered disposable swim diapers. They just seem like such a waste to me! A better alternative? i play.'s reusable swim diapers are practical, adorable, and will actually save you money! They are so cute they're all you need - no swimsuit over them necessary (or you can buy an i play. one-piece swim suit or boys' swim trunks with built in swim diaper)!! Most have snaps on the side which make for easy changing (especially if there's a #2 incident, which thankfully none of my kids have ever done in their swim diapers, knock on wood!!!). Just take a look at some of the adorable designs they have to choose from!!
Now, if your kids are like mine, they do NOT like sitting through a sunblock smearing session. Of course, it's a necessary evil, and with an awesome sunblock such as Thinkbaby (also in the huge giveaway linked at bottom) it's not so bad, but still... the more skin you can get covered in UPF swimwear, the better!! That's why I love all of the adorable mix and match options by i play. - you got short sleeve and long sleeve rash guards, several types of sun hats (wide brim, bucket, and neck flap), elbow to knee body suits, and bathing suits and swim trunks with built in swim diapers!! They've also got two types of water-safe shoes! Check out some of the cute outfits I put together here:
Below you can see my twins rocking their coordinating sets from i play. while on vacation this past weekend! Emi (on left) is wearing the Butterfly Brim Sun Protection Hat, Butterfly Reusable Ruffle Snap Swimsuit Diaper and Hot Pink Short Sleeve Rashguard. Mia (on right) is wearing the Butterfly Brim Sun Protection Hat and Butterfly One-Piece Ruffle Swimsuit with built in swim diaper. Mia is our stinker, who will not keep her bottoms on and has to be in a snapped onesie at all times in order to keep her diaper on! So, it was an easy call to put her in the one-piece LOL!!
I find them true to size - my girls are 19 months wearing 18 months items and all fit perfectly! They might not last til the end of the summer though, if they have a growth spurt, so keep that in mind when shopping - you may want to buy the correct size or size up to get more use out of it. My girls loved the outfits - no complaints or red marks from irritation.
i play. is the original swim diaper manufacturer and has been perfecting the product for over 20 years!! Their snug fitting elastic leg and waist bands keep baby comfortable and keep the water and fellow swimmers safe. As I mentioned above, we've thankfully never been able to test out how well the swim diapers contain a poop, but supposedly they do well, and oh yeah, they're machine washable!!
The diapers are really thick and take a while to dry, and they say do not tumble dry, so if you're going on vacation where you'll be in the water multiple times a day you may consider at least 2 pairs. Also, it's fun to change the style up a bit, right!??
I love these brim hats - they're huge with great sun protection and they stay out of their faces! I did find them a bit hard to tie due to wriggly toddlers not wanting to sit still while giving me access to their ticklish necks, but I was able to get them tied without too much drama haha!! And then they stayed in place great, much better than the velcro strapped ones we've tried before, which never seem to fit quite right anyway.
You can shop all of i play.'s awesome kids sun and swimwear on their webiste, and don't forget, you can win a set in my $360 value jackpot Summer Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway, which includes sublock, water sandals, a beach tent, and more!!
Disclaimer: I'm no sellout guys! Though I was compensated and sent complimentary products for my honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Summer is here, folks!! Have you gotten your kids their warm weather and water-safe footwear yet? With a 4 year old and 1.5 year old twins, I look for closed-toe sandals that stay on securely and allow for all the climbing, jumping, and splashing around their little hearts can desire. After doing some research, I reached out to pediped to try out what appeared to me to be the perfect children's sandals. Luckily, I was right, they're awesome!! Keep reading for my review of the pediped Flex Sahara sandals (and enter to win a pair of pediped sandals in my $360 value Summer Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway linked at the bottom!)
We have been huge pediped fans for a couple of years now (you can see my previous reviews on their Originals Natasha Mary Janes, Grip 'n Go Max Sneakers, and Flex Norm Loafers). They always knock it out of the park on quality and cuteness, and put a parent's mind at ease having received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development.
The pediped Flex Sahara sandals are no exception, and are amazing summer shoes for a number of reasons, here are the features I'm loving most:
My kids have gotten a few wears out of them already at the park and sprinklers, and I was very happy to not see even the slightest bit of irritation on any of their feet, ankles, or toes (which is not the case when they wear some of their other shoes without socks), and no slipping even while running around in the sprinklers at the playground! I'm loving the performance of the shoes, they really are like sneakers in regard to how active the kids can be in them, and I also love how many colors they come in (see below!), though it makes it really hard to pick out just one pair...
pediped Flex Sahara sandals come in sizes EU 20 (US 5) - EU 33 (Y 1.5-2) and go for about $53 on their website or Amazon (affiliate link). But don't forget, you can enter to win a pair of ANY of pediped sandals (they have tons of other styles - water safe, dressy, you name it) in my Summer Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway, ending May 31!
Disclaimer: I'm no sellout guys! Though I was sent these products free of charge for my honest review, thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
I've been really into organizing these seasonal giveaways lately (check out my last Winter and Spring ones!) - such a fun way to work with some great brands to introduce you all to amazing products and of course, provide a HUGE JACKPOT OF GOODIES to one very lucky winner!!
With summer on the horizon, I'm at it again, bringing you $360 in products I think can help you have the best summer with your kids. Check out more info on each brand and their prizes below, and enter to win my SUMMER GOODIES FOR THE KIDDIES GIVEAWAY (#SGFTKGiveaway) in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom!! GOOD LUCK!!
Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter (affiliate link)
If you're going to be spending extended amounts of time outside, a beach tent is definitely something to consider. It can protect you from sun and rain while letting the breeze through so you don't all roast alive! The Sand & Surf Beach Shelter by Pacific Breeze is a great option - it's really easy to setup and take down (see me in action here), is large enough to fit 4 people (94.5" L x 94.5" D x 59" H), packs down into a great shoulder strap travel bag (39" L x 7" W x 7" H), and weighs 9 pounds. It includes storage pockets, 4 stakes, an extra shade, and 8 sand pockets (sand not included LOL). Our grand prize winner will receive this great shelter (in blue). They run for around $120 on Amazon (affiliate link). Check out my full review here!
Offering adorable and comfortable kids shoes with a variety of features such as being waterproof, machine washable, vegan, memory foam, slip resistant, and eco friendly, it's no wonder pediped is a leading brand in children's footwear, receiving a number of awards including the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development. Our grand prize winner will receive one pair in their choice of size, style (any summer sandals), and gender. They run for around $40-$60 on pediped's website and Amazon (affiliate link). Check out my review of their Flex Sahara Sandals, and my previous reviews on their Originals Natasha Mary Janes, Grip 'n Go Max Sneakers, and Flex Norm Loafers.
If you haven't heard of Fitted Tot, you can check out my previous review here, but basically it's a "Netflix-style subscription for little ones", and it's awesome!! For $44.99 a month, you get unlimited boxes of clothes (each box includes 3 play, 1 dress outfit, and 1 pajama) - every time you return the box you'll get a new one, and you can purchase pieces you simply can't part with for 40-50% off retail price! Our grand prize winner will receive a 1-month Fitted Tot Subscription for 1 child.
With adorable swim diapers, rash guards, sun hats, and UPF elbow to knee swim suits, i play. is a one stop shop to outfit your baby or toddler for the beach, pool, or sprinklers! As the original swim diaper manufacturer, they've been providing great quality swim and sun wear for children for 20 years! Our grand prize winner will receive the water-friendly adorable i play. outfit pictured above (aqua short sleeve rashguard, white solid brim sun protection hat, and light aqua sea friends swim diaper, a $40 value!) - winner chooses sizes, available in 6 months to 4T! Check out my personal review here!
Thinkbaby & Thinksport Sunscreen (3-pack)
Did you know you don't have to get a bad sunburn to have sun damage, yes, even mild tanning can come back to haunt you and your children years down the road. Children under 6 months of age shouldn't be wearing sunscreen (keep them in the shade and/or in breathable UPF protective clothing), but after that, lather them up - with the understanding that what goes on their skin will make its way into their bodies... so be careful about ingredients!! Personally, I love Thinkbaby and I'm not alone. They're always ranked as a top pick on EWG's best and safest sunscreens, meaning they work well and consist of harmless ingredients for you, your kids, and the environment - phew!! They're also nice and creamy (easy to apply) and smell YUMMY! HA! Our grand prize winner will receive a 3-pack of their sunscreens: Thinkbaby, Thinksport for Kids, and the new Thinksport Kids Sunscreen Stick! Check back in later for my full review! Thinkbaby sunscreens, baby bottles, sippies, insulated bottles, and other products can be found on their website and on Amazon (affiliate link).
Britax and BOB make some of the best strollers, car seats, and accessories on the market today! Our grand prize winner will receive the Britax Car Seat Sun Shield, which will protect your car seat from harmful UV rays and keep it cool at the same time, so your child isn't accidentally scalded on a hot day!! It's universal, slipping easily onto any brand car seat, and stores compactly. You can find them for about $25 on Britax's website and Amazon (affiliate link).
Using sustainable materials & processes, low impact dyes, organic & recycled materials, certified factories, and fair trade practices, Art & Eden aims to bring you children's clothing you'll love, that are better for your kids and the planet. I love them for taking a stand and rejecting "industry without conscience" (see more here about all the things they're doing right) and for doing so without sacrificing fashion, comfort, and an affordable price tag! Our grand prize winner will be able to pick one of the following designs and sizes: Mini Beatrix Dress (pictured above 2nd from left; 3-24 months), Mini Kandinsky Tee (pictured above far left; 3-24 months), Judith Skirt (pictured above far right; 2T - 6), or Julian Tee (pictured above 2nd from right; 2T - 10), each valued between $20-29!
A good stroller canopy can only do so much in regard to shading your little one, and hanging blankets over the stroller can lead to overheating. Diono's Sun Net is a great way to completely shade your baby from those hot and harmful UV rays and also keep pesky mosquitos and other insects away! Made of a breathable mesh weave, it's elastic trim stretches to fit over just about any baby carrier or stroller with a canopy. Our grand prize winner will receive a white Sun Net, just like the one pictured above. You can find them on Amazon for around $5!
Amazing giveaway, am I right!?!?! Coordinated by US Japan Fam, this giveaway is sponsored by participating brands and open to US residents ages 18 and over. No purchase required to enter. Giveaway ends Wednesday, May 31 at 11:59 PM EDT - one winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway page. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. US Japan Fam and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.
When it comes to kids' shoes, we have to consider health, safety, comfort, and of course, fashion! I recently ran across a brand that nails each of those categories right on the head - Tsukihoshi!! I'm thrilled to be working with them on this review, and they've been generous enough to contribute one pair of kids shoes to my $400 value Spring Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway (our jackpot winner will receive their choice of design and size - link at bottom of post to enter to win!!).
Designing children's shoes in Japan for over 140 years, Tsukihoshi's mission is to provide "comfortable, fun shoes that give children's toes the freedom to move"! From split-toe Tabi Tabi to sturdy sneakers, Tsukihoshi has great shoes for babies to big kids that feature generous toe boxes, heel stabilizers, and light and flexible soles.
Before we get into reviewing the 3 awesome designs my kiddos are now rocking, I think we first need to address the brand's name, which might be a bit intimidating for some! Tsukihoshi, pronounced "skee-ho-shee", means moon and star in Japanese. The name is a tribute to the moon and stars, which the company's founders, two shoemakers back in 1873, used to look up to for courage, strength, and inspiration when working late into the night trying to perfect the traditional Japanese split-toe Tabi shoe. Pretty cool, right? And now you know 2 more Japanese words (I bet you already know a few others... sushi, karate, and ninja, to name a few!
Speaking of ninja, that brings me to the first shoe we're reviewing today, Tsukihoshi's Tabi Tabi, split-toe home shoes. Using the same philosophy behind their Jika-Tabi ("ninja boots" still worn today by many in Japan), the split-toe allows kids' toes to wiggle around more freely, as if barefoot! The slippers also help lift the arch and bring foot bones, tendons, and muscles into a natural alignment.
Tabi Tabi are entirely machine washable, with a thick and soft removable insole. The slipper is made of thick, soft, breathable jersey cotton and the bottom is also fabric with a wee bit of embossed grip (grippier than a sock, less than a sneaker). You can find Tabi Tabi for sale on Badorf Kids - they have 4 color options (blue/grey, beige/camo, lavender dots, and fuchsia dots) in sizes Small (Toddler 8.5 - 11.0), Medium (Toddler 11.5 - Youth 1.0), Large (Youth 1.5 - 4.0) for $29.95. My son wears a toddler size 10 and we decided to go for the size Medium, it's quite large on him, as you can see, but they stay on just fine and he loves them, so I'm happy as it buys us extra time in them haha!!
They're really great for us because we are a "no outdoor shoes inside" household - not just because it's my Japanese husband's culture, but also because it is SO MUCH HEALTHIER - think of all the nasty things you can track in from outside in your shoes. No thanks!!
My son is too young to understand about the split-toes being healthy for his foot development, but he does understand that they look VERY different from anything he's ever had on his foot, and he's in love with them. The first time he put them on, he looked at me and said, "ROARRRRRRRR, I'm a T-Rex!!!!" and I couldn't contain my laughter. Yes, I guess they do look a bit like a dinosaur foot (or goat, pig, etc).
The other shoes we got for my son were the Tsukihoshi Marina sneakers in cobalt/orange and man, I'm in love with these, I wish they came in MY size!! They are super lightweight, are easy to get on and off (just one velcro strap, and the tongue is stitched into place on one side, so the kiddo doesn't struggle with that either)!
My son was in desperate need of some sneakers. He had just outgrown his last pair and was begging for some Spiderman light up shoes. I'm sorry, I just couldn't go there. But these Tsukihoshi sneakers are so so cute, and I'm thrilled because he LOVES them and hasn't been bothering me about those Spiderman shoes since getting these - ha!! He is 4 but can get these on and off himself with no problem, and says they're really comfy. They definitely look comfy!
Tsukihoshi's Marina sneakers are machine washable, are water-friendly (featuring quick dry textiles), and have a removable antibacterial insert infused with natural green tea extract to kill odor causing germs. How cool is that!? Other features include wide toe box, heel stabilizer, arch support, and a grippy flexible non-marking TPR sole. You can find them for $52.95 on Badorf Kids in 11 colors from toddler size 7 - 13.
Last but certainly not least, we got the Tsukihoshi Neko sneakers for our 18 month old twin girls. I love getting them coordinating stuff rather than totally matching, when possible, and this is easy to do with Tsukihoshi having many color options in each design. Neko had 8 colors to choose from (in toddler sizes 4-7), so we went with Purple/Berry and Fuchsia/LtBlue.
The Neko sneaks feature most of the same good stuff as the Marinas: machine washable, antibacterial removable insert, wide toe box, heel stabilizer, tongue stitched to one side, easy on-off with single velcro strap. These also feature a non-marking EVA outsole and cushioned arch support.
They're incredibly lightweight; not as flexible as I'd hoped but decent. I should add we're coming out of only wearing baby moccs until now, so the jump into sneakers is always a tough one. But I gotta say, they were literally off and running within seconds of strapping these on! Nothing stopping these girls!!
Alrighty, now all 3 kids are fitted up with amazing Tsukihoshi sneakers and ready to get out and enjoy the Spring!! Ready or not, here we come!!!
To get some Tsukihoshi sneakers or Tabi Tabi for your kids, head on over to Badorf Kids or Amazon (affiliate link), and don't forget, one pair is included in the $400 jackpot of my Spring Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway running through April 19!!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
While they can be overwhelming and exhausting, I honestly love going to baby expos and trade shows to discover the latest and greatest maternity / baby / kids' products and introduce them to all of you!! Last Sunday I wandered the halls of the vast Playtime New York trade show, which featured over 200 up and coming American and international brands in children's fashion (and other related products). It is truely difficult to narrow it down to a reasonable number of "top picks", but here are 10 products and brands that really blew me away!
Disclosure: Amazon links below are affiliate links - you don't pay more if you click or purchase, but I will grab a teeny tiny cut away from Amazon, win-win!
#1. Rookie Humans: artistic crib sheets
I'm a sucker for a good photo opp, and these imaginative crib sheets hand-drawn by artists are that and then some! Great for photographing your child, and for simply watching them sleep on beautiful bedding. Made of 100% cotton sateen, each sheet costs $34.99 on their website or Amazon. Personally, I'm really rooting for them to partner up for a line with QuickZip - give them both a shoutout on social if you'd love to see this, too!!
#2. Lil' Pyar: hot air balloon mobiles
I don't know what it was about these hot air balloon mobiles, but they really caught my eye. I think they're such a fun but not babyish way to decorate a nursery! Not just cute and stylish, but also functional - you can store items in the balloon's basket (hang it next to the changing station and fill with diaper cream and loation?). They have tons of different designs, and even a blank one, which if you ask me, would make an amazing baby shower item - guests could all leave a little message or drawing for the little one!!! These mobiles retail for $60 - $64 on their website.
3. Goose Grease: fair trade wooden peg dolls
Not just cute toys and collectibles, these fair trade wooden peg dolls are hand-crafted in Colombia. They have an amazing variety of collections, from custom families to artists to superheroes to cake toppers (the only set currently available on Amazon), even pets and DIY blank dolls. A set of 4 runs for about $28 on their website, and they even have accessories such as doll houses and chess sets!
4. Chérubin: leather baby shoes hand crafted in America
Baby moccasins are huge these days. I sure love them - they're cute, easy to get on and off, comfy for the kiddos, and wonderfully flexible for new walkers! What I especially love about these shoes by Chérubin is that they're handmade by leather artisans right here in America. And oh yeah, they're also hella cute and come in tons of designs, not just the moccasins but also boots, mary janes, and matching pacifier clips! You can buy them for about $60 a pop on their website or Amazon.
5. OMY: coloring projects
From wall paper to backpacks to puzzles to pocket maps, OMY creates products with fun designs that your kids (and you!) can color! You can purchase on their website and Amazon.
6. KaiKai & Ash: toy storage boxes
These adorable 13" canvas toy storage boxes by KaiKai & Ash really caught my eye. Functional, playful, colorful, a great way to customize any child's bedroom or playroom! You can buy them for about $17-19 each on Amazon.
7. Moon + Beck: gender neutral cute & comfy clothing
Seriously cute, soft, and comfy ("moombex" bamboo + spandex blend) gender neutral clothes for babies and toddlers, designed by a mom in Tennessee. Prices range from about $16 (head wrap) to $42 (hoodie) and you can find her entire collection on her website.
8. Oeuf - creative children's hats
I knew they had amazing cribs, but I didn't know Oeuf also made great children's clothing!! I fell in love with their hats at the show, namely the floppy eared rabbit and unicorn (see above photo)!! You can shop their entire collection on their website and Amazon.
9. Ikue by Maruju - coordinating swaddles, bibs, & more
While Maruju has been a staple in Japan for over 90 years, Ikue, meaning "layered fabric" in Japanese, is new to the American market (and actually looking for a distributer, if anyone is interested!). They have gorgeous 100% cotton muslin fabric that gets softer with each wash, in a variety of products, from swaddles to bandana bibs to stroller strap covers. Buy all in the same print, or mix and match! I especially love the brightly colored animal camouflage line. You can find them on Amazon, and stay tuned as they'll be taking part in an upcoming giveaway right here on US Japan Fam!!
10. Tsukihoshi - Japanese split-toe shoes
Whether you have a lil' Ninja at home or simply dig unique international style, you've got to check out Tsukihoshi's Tabi Tabi split-toed shoes! Designed to allow ultimate flexibility of the feet as if barefoot, Tsukihoshi has been designing these traditional Japanese split-toe shoe socks since 1873. You can shop the Tabi Tabi line on Badorf Kids ($34.95 a pair) and you can also find their "regular" sneakers on Amazon ($29 - $68 per pair).
So what do you think? Loving any of my picks? Already own some? Have a product you'd like me to review?? Share in a comment below!!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC mom blogger, Influencer, YouTuber, & Entrepreneur living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! My blog is chock full of humor, honesty, family travel, product reviews & giveaways, galore!