- Rakuten: a free extension for your web browser, you'll get cash back when shopping at TONS of online stores! Sign up now with my affiliate link :)
- Capital One Shopping: another great free extension, it'll let you know if another site has that item for cheaper or has a cash back offer with them, and will automatically scan potential coupon codes for you!
- Amazon Prime: if you're not a member yet, sign up now with my affiliate link and get 1 month free! You'll get quicker deliveries, special sales, and have tons of exclusive perks such as free movies, tv shows, music, and Prime Wardrobe (choose 6 items and only pay for what you keep, send the rest back in a pre-labeled box; add on a personal stylist for only $4.99/month!)
- Fakespot: As an influencer, I pride myself on giving honest and thorough reviews. But some people are a little less honest... Fakespot is a free extension that will show you ratings and help you know when websites might be scams or reviews may be dishonest.
Disclaimer: As a Share a Sale & Amazon Affiliate, I receive commission from purchases made after clicking affiliate links below.
I've put together a really fun list of the best Christmas decor shipped to your door this year!! But, before you head into the Christmas season with LOTS of online shopping, I wanted to share a few money saving hacks I've been using:
OK! Now that you know some of my shopping tips, let's get on with prepping our homes for the festive holiday season!!!
Artificial Christmas Trees:
Trending trees this year include flocked, pencil, and colored Christmas trees! Do you have one yet? Check out these!!
Christmas Lights & Decor:
Kid-Friendly Christmas Decor & Toys:
I mean, come on, how ADORABLE is this standing Christmas deer doll!? The legs retract so you can make the deer taller or shorter - love it!!
And you can't forget about TreeMendous Christmas Ornament Decorator!! Pop in the plastic ball ornament, turn it on, and hold markers on it while it spins! We use ours every year everyone in our family can make a new one to put on the tree with all of the past ones! They have a new decorator too, The Gift Box Ornament Decorator - so you can do ornaments with different shapes!
Christmas Fashion & Family Matching Christmas Pajamas:
Shop matching couples and family holiday outfits at Shinesty (affiliate link).
In The Kitchen!
Other Festive Fun!
House hunting and TOWN hunting is hard. HARD hard hard. Especially for young families who understand their wants and needs now, but have a hard time knowing what they'll need from their town 5, 10, 15 years down the road. A cute walkable downtown can add quite a bit of money to the price tag of a home, so is it worth it? Well, that depends how much you want to rely on a car. Do you want your middle and high school aged kids to be able to get to school, sports, activities, dates, and jobs on their own? Would it be nice to walk to the drug store, the movie theater, and the municipal pool? If your answer is YES to these, as it is for me, then a walkable town with decent public transportation should be high on your town requirements list.
Lucky for you I'm neck deep in research for our own hunt, so I thought why not put together a blog post that makes it easier for myself and others in the search! This will actually be the first in a series of town shopping posts... this is the New Jersey Bergen & Essex Counties edition! I hope you find this helpful, and please PLEASE leave a comment below if you have any insight to offer! Did I get a statistic wrong? Do you have a town I missed that is worth considering? Sharing is caring guys!!
RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY
WESTWOOD, NEW JERSEY
GLEN ROCK, NEW JERSEY
RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY
CALDWELL, NEW JERSEY
VERONA, NEW JERSEY
OTHER Cute Walkable Family-Friendly Towns in New Jersey (which I deemed too far out of our desired area, but you may love):
So what do you think?! Do you live in one of these towns? Do you recommend it or have another that should be on the list!? Leave a comment below and I'll update the post!!
This post was sponsored by Kidas and contains affiliate links where I may earn commission from purchases made after clicking.
If your kids are like mine, they LOVE gaming. They'd game all day (and night) if we let them.
Of course we know screen time should to be limited. They need fresh air and exercise. They have school and homework. They need to be kids and run around and play with siblings and friends in real life!
When it's gaming time, I'm happy to indulge because I know it's a true passion for them. But I don't especially want to sit there watching them play, monitoring every moment of their screen time. Do you??
Did you know 50% of kids who play video games have encountered online predators or cyberbullying? Shocking right?! More than 19 million American children have suffered from bullying or harassment in online multiplayer games. Terrified yet??
So how do we keep kids safer while gaming?
Kidas. That's how!
Kidas is an amazing software that helps monitor and analyze your child's in-game activity with 24/7 in-game voice and text scanning. They e-mail you a weekly report alerting you to any potential red-flags, from cyberbullying and hate speech to scams and predatory behavior. Or in my case, thankfully, letting you know all looks good and you have nothing to worry about (yet). I love that it's not only looking out for dangers, but also helping me get a better idea of the hours spent gaming and what times of day my kiddo is playing. I mean, how else would I know if he was secretly waking at 3am to play Roblox? HA! Thankfully, he's not... yet... Here's the most recent report we got from Kidas:
Very basically put, Kidas' proprietary technology has been trained on thousands of cases of real life cyberbullying and online predation, so it knows what words and phrases are cause for alarm. It helps parents monitor their kids' gaming activity in a non-hovering way. Don't worry - you're not spying. No need to be secretive about it. Let them know you installed it and what it will (and won't) be doing.
Kidas has a great FAQ section on their website - the top section is geared toward parents, and the next section is geared toward kids, answering questions they might have about it such as "Will my parents hear or see my conversations??" (Spoiler alert: no, we won't, and we don't need to - Kidas will be watching out for red-flag words and phrases for us).
It's a super quick download and installation (Windows-run computers only, even works on my son's ancient Windows 7 PC; not available for Chromebook or tablets). Seriously, just a couple of minutes. It currently works monitoring 75+ of the most popular games, including Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, The Sms 4, and Adopt Me. They add games to their list frequently, and you're encouraged to message them with a request if your child is playing a game not currently on their radar.
They have a free 30-day trial and after that it's just $6/month or $60/year, with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I mean, we've paid more for a coffee, am I right!? This is a DEAL!
So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and don't forget to use code USJAPANFAM10 to get 10% off!!
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I receive commission from purchases made after clicking affiliate links below (and I appreciate it SO much, thank you!!)
Tis the season... to do LOTS of shopping!! So how about some AMAZING DEALS!?!?
Black Friday is coming, but I'm going to be continuously updating this page with EARLY Black Friday Deals, some which have already started!! So bookmark this page and come back daily!! I'll put newer deals at the top!
First, if you aren't already an Amazon Prime member, sign up here for a FREE 30 day trial!
On Sale November 15 - 22:
On Sale November 22 - 29.
LIGHTNING DEALS (1-2 Days Only)
On Sale through November 15.
Disclaimer: We received shoes in exchange for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are our own. In addition, affiliate links are included below - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
The best shoes for your baby's, toddler's, and kid's feet? pediped. Hands down! Our kids have been rocking their kicks for years and I'm so excited to be working with them again on another review and... GIVEAWAY!! That's right!! Read on for more info about pediped and the sneakers and boots we just got our twins, then enter to win one pair of pediped children's shoes at the bottom of this post - open to residents of US & Canada, ages 18+!
Why do we love pediped? First and foremost, they're good for kids' feet!! They have actually been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development! Most of their shoes have an incredibly flexible sole and are vegan, many are water-safe or machine washable, and they come TONS of designs and sizes, from baby's crib shoe through 6Y (about 10 years old). What's more? They care! Since its establishment in 2005, pediped has given more than $2,800,000 in product and monetary support to children in need.
All 5 of the pairs I'm reviewing today have the Flex system - they come with an additional insert you can put in so they fit snugger (by almost half a size) and then remove when the feet grow. This way they can wear the shoes longer - how's that for a greater bang for your buck!? In my experience, even with the toughest wear, pediped shoes usually last through at least 2 kids. Their durability makes for great hand me downs!
The first shoe in our Fall Haul to review is the Flex Gehrig Pink Navy velcro sneaker. Available in sizes EU 24 - 33 / US 7.5 - 2Y, these adorable shoes feature "Durabuck" and canvas upper, breathable mesh lining, flexible rubber sole, and 2 hook & loop velcro straps. They're machine washable (YES!!!!) and are vegan.
Next up we have the Flex Force Hot Pink, a beautiful sneaker for kiddos wanting to step out of their toddler days and into a more big kid or even adult looking shoe! Available in sizes EU 24 - 33 / US 7.5 - 2Y, these feature ultra light technology for maximum flexibility and sole cushioning while being light as air, and they're vegan and machine washable!
Another fun sneaker we got was the Flex Dani Silver Shimmer! Available in sizes EU 24 - 33 / US 7.5 - 2Y, featuring man-made and natural leather upper, all natural rubber sole, and mesh lining. These are super cute the way they shine, and have a really unique feel to them!
As my girls gallop from the toddler era toward tweendom, it's no surprise that they are jumping for joy over stylish boots!! First up we have the Flex Naomi Boot in Black. Available in sizes EU 22 - 36 / US 6 - 4.5Y, featuring leather and quilted nylon upper, breathable leather and fabric lining, rubber sole, and a zipper the entire length up the boot making it easy to get on and off.
Last but most certainly not least, we have the Flex Eclipse Deep Red Floral Boot, available in sizes EU 24 - 36 / US 7.5 - 4.5Y. Featuring a brownish red leather upper with floral design, soft textile lining, and a rubber sole. There's a long zipper on the inside, a stretchy elastic outside, and pull tab at the back, so they're easy to get on and off.
SOOOoooo cute, all of them, am I right!? You really can't go wrong with pediped, check out our past pediped reviews for more of the cuteness and to see how many other styles look "in real life"!!
RELATED: Like Emi & Mia's leggings above? We sure do!! Check them out in our latest Primary clothing haul + review! And learn about the dome climber they're on here!
Enter to win a pair of pediped children's shoes!!
Winner choses size and gender (color and design subject availability. Open to US and Canada residents ages 18 and over. Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 26 at 11:59PM ET - winner will be randomly selected and emailed, given 48 hours to confirm. Simply comment on this blog post and let the Rafflecopter app know you did so! Many extra actions can be taken for additional points and chances to win, some daily, so keep coming back!
Have you jumped onto the CBD band wagon yet? Are you curious? I've been a bit hesitant for the past couple of years but recently (finally!) dove right in with a couple of great CBD & hemp oil products from Uncle Bud's Hemp, who sponsored this post :)
What is CBD??
I think a lot of us are wary of CBD products because they're not evaluated by the FDA, we are hearing they are miraculous cures and treatments for countless ailments but haven't seen in depth scientific studies and evidence of this yet, and of course, their connection to marijuana... So I want to start by kind of debunking these concerns in relation to Uncle Bud's:
OK now that we have the basics under our belts, let's get to the review!
Uncle Bud's has a line of CBD Gummies including:
This one is labeled under Miss Bud's as opposed to Uncle Bud's, not sure what that's about cuz men certainly get wrinkles too LOL!! The box says "may help reduce the signs of aging for a smoother, brighter skin complexion", and I am HERE. FOR. IT! It goes on to say hemp skin care provides:
The box directs you to gently massage into face and neck every evening after cleansing, and the active ingredients include hemp seed oil, alfalfa seed extract, coconut oil, and rosehip oil. It's paraben free, cruelty free, and made in the USA.
If interested in kicking off your journey into the world of CBD and Hemp, Uncle Bud's has got you covered. They have a HUGE line of great products, focusing on muscles & joints, edibles, personal wellness, skin care, and even pet care! You can even find some of their hand lotions and soaps over on Amazon (affiliate link).
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Canvaspop but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased. Additionally, affiliate links are included - you don't pay more but we receive a commission from purchases made after clicking.
Wanting to spruce up a room with some new wall art? Or thinking it's time to update your wall (or your parents' wall) with a new family portrait? You've come to the right place! I'm unboxing and reviewing a new canvas print I just got from Canvaspop, who sponsored this post and has $250 credit in the $1,000 value jackpot giveaway we are running right now! Link at bottom of this post to enter to win, but first watch my fun unboxing video (with a mini dining room makeover), and read on for more details!
There are a million places you can turn to for on demand prints, but I'm completely blown away with the high quality service I received from Canvaspop, and think you will be, too! First of all, they have tons of products to choose from. You can upload your own design or choose from their endless wall art designs, which is what I did.
Then, you customize it regarding size (from 8x10" to 30x40", or a custom size), type of print (framed or canvas, even choosing wrapped print or not, how thick the edge should be, etc). You can even choose photo collage or 3 panel triptych print! Measuring the space I was going to use above our dining room table, I chose a 24x30" design and went for the 3/4" depth canvas print.
You'll receive a digital proof, so you can be sure they lined up your image correctly, especially important to check if you've chosen wrapped canvas with the image being stretched over the sides. Mine came boxed up very securely, not bubble wrapped, but protected and in pristine condition.
I'm not an artist or any kind of professional interior designer, but was very impressed with the quality! The canvas was tight and thick, with a wooden support in the back, wall protectors already on the bottom corners, canvas was neatly wrapped around corners and securely stapled a bazillion times around the back of the wooden frame, and a metal wire is pre-installed so it was ready to hang!
The print is GORGEOUS!!! Colors are so vibrant and the detail is astounding - it looks like a textured painting, but it's not! It's a flat canvas! But looking at it on the wall you would never know! It's hard to see in my pictures, you'll get a better idea in my video. But here's the before and after. I'm SO SO SO happy with how my mini makeover turned out. My only regret is not recording my kids and my husband walking in and seeing it for the first time. They all squealed and ooh'd and ahhhh'd over it! YAY!!!
I couldn't be happier! So what are you waiting for!?? Shop for your next wall art at Canvaspop RIGHT NOW!!
Don't forget, you can enter to win $250 credit to Canvaspop in my $1,000 value jackpot giveaway running through October 5 here (US residents only).
Essential oils are all the rage these days, but I have to admit I've never tried them before... until now that is! I'd been sitting on the sidelines with all kinds of FOMO but I finally am in the game y'all! Just got me the Pocket Pack from Poiēma, who sponsored this post and has included a Pocket Pack in the $1,000 value jackpot giveaway for grownups running right here on my blog through October 5 (link to enter to win at the bottom of this post)!!
First, watch my quick unboxing and demo, then read on for more details on this convenient pack (a great starter set for fellow essential oil noobs such as myself)!
What are essential oils??
Essential oils are essentially (LOL pun intended) essence of certain plants' natural smell and flavor that is extracted, mixed with oil, and used to achieve various health and mood benefits through application on the skin or inhalation (aromatherapy). There are over 90 types of essential oils (WOW!!), read more about the basics here. Here is the basic way Poiēma recommends using their Pocket Pack vials for inhalation: roll on palm, rub pals together, cup hands over face and inhale:
Crafted with 100% pure therapeutic-grade natural plant extracts, Poiēma essential oils are GC/MS laboratory tested in the United States for purity, with no additives, toxins or GMOs.
What's in the Pocket Pack??
The pocket pack is a cute zippered travel-size bag including five 10mL roll-on vials of the following essential oils:
ENTER TO WIN!!
1 Pocket Pack is included in our $1,000 value jackpot of 15 prizes in our #Giveaway4Grownups sweeps ending October 5, 2021. Enter to win here!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by DiscountGlasses.com and contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Blue light is a phrase we tend to hear a lot these days, and while you probably know it has a negative connotation, do you know why? Exactly what is blue light, how bad is it, and how can we block it?? Keep reading for answers to all of this, and to enter to win $100 credit from our DiscountGlasses.com (who sponsored this post) in our $1,000 value jackpot #Giveaway4Grownups!
NEGATIVE IMPACT ON SLEEP (and Health):
According to Harvard Health Blog, blue light (which may or may not be perceived as the color blue) is visible light with a wave length between 400 and 450 nanometers. It is a concern because it has more energy per photon of light than other colors in the visible spectrum. They say that blue light from screens such as your computer, tablet, and cell phone, is not strong enough to contribute to macular degeneration or blindness, but it can still have a negative impact on your health by stimulating your circadian clock and keeping you awake or disrupting your sleep.
Some studies have suggested a link between exposure to any bright lights at night with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, with blue light being the worst offender.
Proposed ways to counteract the effect of blue light on our sleep cycle and overall health include:
A report by AOA (American Optometric Association) explains that extended use of cell phones, tablets, and personal computers can lead to symptoms of dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches, and suggests the use of amber-tinted or blue light blocking lenses when using screens directly before bedtime can help limit their effect on sleep.
PLAY IT SAFE!!
We are just starting to venture into the study of blue light and personal screens' effects on both adults and children, and we have SO much to learn!! For now we are mostly hearing various "links" and "assumptions" rather than proven cause & effect... I don't know about you but in this type of situation I like to play the whole "better safe than sorry" card.
What's this mean?? Having my children and myself avoid personal screens 2 hours before bedtime. But let's face it... for myself, it's not all that practical. I usually have to get on at night after the kids go to bed to catch up on work and to send some quick emails. Not to mention to watch TV and scroll through social media. You know how it is... This is where blue light lenses come into play!
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
I've been an ambassador for DiscountGlasses.com (DG) for a few years now, since my youngest needed "indestructible" glasses at age 3 (see that ADORABLE unboxing review video at the bottom of this post). We LOVE DG for glasses and sunglasses for our entire family! It wasn't until very recently I realized the potential health benefits of adding a blue light blocking coating to the lenses (whether prescriptive or not), so I did just that with my most recent order!
Check out these Lunettos Clarkson frames I just got - how cute are these!? The basic frames with prescription are $39.95 (with free shipping) but I got the following add-ons:
This is my first ever glasses of any kind with blue light blocking lenses and honestly, there is zero difference in respect to how I see out of them and how they look, which is great! They're not colored. I really have no idea how they work but again, better safe than sorry!! I typically don't wear glasses for computer use, I only wear prescription sunglasses while out because I can't see distance (signs, etc) but now I plan to wear these blue light blockers at least when on screens in the evening... but maybe more? They SUPER cute, and so lightweight! I really love them!!
If you're nervous about ordering glasses online, don't be! DG hase free shipping, 365 day free returns, virtual try on for most frames, and you can even renew your prescription with their free online vision test!
The grand prize winner of our $1,000 value jackpot #Giveaway4Grownups will receive a $100 credit to DiscountGlasses.com!
Enter to win here!!
As a self-proclaimed coffee addict, I didn't expect myself to venture into the world of herbal teas. But I kept reading about how good tea is for you, not to mention the health benefits of skipping the dairy and sweetener that I need to get my coffee down... So here I am, super excited to be trying out Prosperatea, who sponsored this post and has included tea in our $1,000 value jackpot #Giveaway4Grownups (enter to win at the bottom of this post)! Be sure to watch my unboxing and review here and read on for more details and a discount code!
Now, I'm the kinda girl that needs ranch or hummus dip for my veggies, milk and sugar in my coffee, and prefers booze that tastes like juice. It is safe to say I have a picky palette. So I was a little nervous to try Prosperatea. Will they be bitter and gross?? In a nutshell, NOPE! They're flavorful but mild (I guess that depends on how you brew) and quite lovely to sip and breathe in that aromatic steam!!! On top of that, the ritual of brewing the cute little triangle tea bag is fun and reminds you that you're doing something good for your body and mind, not to mention the tubs of tea are beautiful - get several and have them on your counter as decoration!!
Prosperatea has 10 different natural botanical blends, so you can find one with any flavor or for any health benefit you're looking to achieve such as boosting energy or focus, activating the immune system, or helping you sleep!
Each retails for $29.97 and comes with 24 pyramid tea bags, so we're talking $1.25 per 1-2 cups! What a steal! Get 10% off your order today with code "HEATHER10" and don't forget to enter to win a box of Prosperatea in our $1,000 value jackpot giveaway here!!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NY mom blogger (formerly of Brooklyn), Influencer, YouTuber, & Entrepreneur living just north of NYC in Hudson River Valley's town of Cornwall with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! My blog is chock full of humor, honesty, family travel & product reviews, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, with weekly local kids' events roundups and annual guides for families here in South Brooklyn!