- DETOX: sencha, matcha, oolong
- SLIM: green tea, rosehip, orange peel
- GOOD HEALTH: ashwagandha, pomegranate, mallow flower
- PMS: rose, rooibos, spearmint
- DE-STRESS: valerian, cinnamon, chamomile
- FOCUS: gingko, black currant, rosemary
- BEST DAY EVER: orange, goji berry, peppermint
- DREAMLAND: lavender, peppermint, licorice
- AT PEACE: chamomile, jasmine, lavender
- SUPER IMMUNITY: echinacea, peppermint, cardamom
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!!
I usually do big group giveaways focusing on the kids, but THIS ONE is for the GROWNUPS and will have one VERY lucky winner snatching up the ENTIRE $1,000+ value jackpot!!! Read on for more info on each of the fabulous prizes, and enter to win at the bottom of this post!!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the brands below and includes affiliate links - you don't pay more but we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
CANVASPOP ($250 Gift Card)
As a mom, I'm taking photo after photo of our children's every moment and milestone, our family travels, you name it! You, too?? Sure, we share on social but when is the last time you stopped to consider memorializing one of these moments as well decor?? For me... it was our twins' newborn photo... 5.5 years ago!! AGH!! But don't worry, Canvaspop makes it super easy! Just upload your photo to create a canvas print, from 8x10 to 30x40. You select the edge finish and depth, add a filter (or not), and even get a free digital print proof! Want to put someone else's amazing design on your wall? No worries, they have a HUGE MASSIVE AMAZING selection of artwork to choose from! Our grand prize winner will receive a $250 credit to Canvaspop!!
Vacuum and steam clean with one device! That's right!! The Black + Decker Corded Vacuum + Steam Mop (Model #BDXSMV190G) gets it all done with 2-in-1 versatility and is super cute to boot! The steam function can be used on a variety of hard sealed surfaces (including sealed hardwood, tile, stone, grout, wood, laminate and granite) and kills 99% of germs without any chemicals. What's more?? You can use the steam mop and 500-watt vacuum separately or AT THE SAME TIME!! Talk about time saving!! Featuring a HEPA washable filter, washable stainless steel filter, 11.5" cleaning path, 1.2L dust & 0.38L water capacities. It weighs 10 pounds and is corded i.e. unlimited run time and no waiting around for charging! Our grand prize winner will receive one Black + Decker Steam 'N Vac, a $200 value!
DiscountGlasses.Com ($100 Credit)
Whether looking for sunglasses (with or without prescription) or regular glasses, DiscountGlasses.com has an amazing selection of styles for toddlers through adults, at great prices!! With glasses from just $20, DG is a fun and budget-friendly way to spice up your eyewear collection regularly! They have great and affordable upgrades as well, such as blue light filter, transitions, and ultra thin lightweight lenses.
If you're nervous about ordering glasses online, don't be! They have 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! Our grand prize winner will receive a $100 credit to DiscountGlasses.com.
oNecklace ($60 Credit)
Whether gifting a loved one or yourself, personalized jewelry is always a win! oNecklace has beautiful options for men, women, and children! Customize their gorgeous necklaces, rings, bracelets, and anklets with names, birthstones, and plating (silver, gold, white gold, and rose gold). Our grand prize winner will receive a $60 gift card to oNecklace.
Seenda has a great assortment of tech products for your home and office - from mouse and keyboard to charging stations and laptop stands! Our grand prize winner will receive their 5-port USB Charging Station with Wireless Charger Pad, a $40 value! Featuring 3 charging modes (10w, 7.5w, and 5w), you can charge 6 devices simultaneously with 5 USB ports and 1 charging pad (up to 2.4A per port)! It's a great way to keep your devices and cords more organized!
GoSili Gift Set
Ditch the disposable single-use cups, straws, and bags and get you some GoSili!! Their 100% silicone tableware products for kids and adults are non-toxic, dishwasher & microwave safe, and ready to reuse for years to come! We love that their silicone straws bend easily to fit in a handy travel case, giving you ZERO excuses to grab a wasteful plastic straw! Our grand prize winner will receive a variety pack from GoSili, valued at $50!! Read more about GoSili in this dedicated blog post.
Certified Manuka honey UMF™ is used to boost wellness, and for its natural anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. 100% certified, authentic, and traceable Three Peaks Manuka Honey, sourced from from a UNESCO Heritage Site (The Tongariro National Park), uses New Zealand Manuka honey, which contains 200 compounds not found in other types of honey. The higher the UMF™ ("unique Manuka factor") rating, the higher the proportion of unique signature compounds found in that honey, the better it is for you. Read more about the health benefits of this natural super food here! Our grand prize winner will receive a 500 gram container of Three Peaks 10+UMF Manuka Honey, a $46 value.
Sourced from organic 100 year old plantations on the pristine Northern Islands in Fiji, Loloma pure virgin coconut oil moisturizer is unbleached and completely chemical free, without parabens, sulphites, or any harmful chemicals. With natural vitamin E, healthy fats, and anti-oxidant properties, it's an ideal cleanser and moisturizer for the face and body of babies, children, and adults! It can also be used as a deep conditioner or hair mask, bath oil, or for healing wounds, diaper rash, eczema, dry skin, and stretch marks. Our grand prize winner will receive a 100mL (3.4oz) container of Loloma, valued at $32.
Are you taking good care of your teeth and gums? The best care possible? If you're flossing daily, that's good. But if you want to do better, you might consider switching to a water flosser like this cordless waterproof one by Flosmore, featuring customizable water pressure from 20PSI to 140PSI, 3 deep clean modes, a non-slip handle, 4 multifunctional 360° rotatable jet nozzles, and a 300ml large water tank. It has a high-intensity pulse water column that cleans away 99.99% of teeth stain, limescale & dental plaque that traditional brushing and flossing can’t reach, and is suitable for those with braces, implants, or periodontal pockets! What's more? The 2000mAh powerful lithium battery charges in 2.5 hours and lasts up to 30 days on a single charge! Our grand prize winner will receive one Flosmore Water Flosser, a $40 value.
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. Our grand prize winner will receive the Poiēma Pocket Pack, retailing for $40, including 5 unique blends and mixes to be used for relief from stress, anxiety, and tension and to promote relaxation and balance. Premium ingredients include Lavender, Chamomile, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Orange, Lime, Eucalyptus, and Myrtle. To use, simply pick your blend, roll on the palm of your hand, rub palms together, then cup hands over nose and mouth and breathe deeply.
Using ingredients carefully sourced and blended with the finest ingredients on Earth, Prosperatea provides delicious tea blends that benefit your mind, body, and spirit. Our grand prize winner will receive their choice of tea blend, choosing from 10 amazing options including Slim, Detox, Good Health, PMS, De-Stress, Focus, Best Day Ever, Dreamland, At Peace, and Super Immunity, a $30 value. Check out my full blog review and youtube unboxing here!
Not your average candle, these 3-wick Aubert & Amandine candles are filled with an extra dose of fragrance to fill larger rooms with therapeutic aromas, lasting 30-45 hours! Using pure soy vegetable wax and wicks made of cotton and paper fiber that never burn out, Aubert & Amandine candles are 100% natural and environmentally sustainable. Our grand prize winner will receive the Awaken sandalwood lotus scent aromatherapy candle, a $30 value.
UooEA LED Lamp
Looking for mood lighting or a fun night light? Check out these UooEA's LED Lamps! Our grand prize winner will receive their choice of either the 6.4" Saturn Lamp or 5.9" Moon Lamp, a $30 value. Both feature 16 colors, 4 modes, 7 levels of brightness, 3-hour charge time via USB providing 8 hours of use, and control via remote and touch.
Who doesn't need daily inspiration? How about having it in the form of beautiful hope-inspired art, designed by my dear friend and amazing mother of 4, Rhianon! I'm so excited to introduce you to her newly launched business, The Hope & The Heart, featuring the following 3 collections:
I've just launched a line of mom merch with wearables that'll let the world know what a bada$$ Mom Boss you really are, cuz Mommin' Ain't Easy, am I right!? We've even got some dedicated for our crew in Bay Ridge Brooklyn aka Ba(b)y Ridge, and for twin parents ("trouble maker" and "double" / "trouble")!! Head over to TeePublic to see all the designs, available in a ton of colors and styles - from tees, tanks, hoodies, and onesies to cell phone cases, totes, magnets, and pillows!! Our grand prize winner will receive their choice of any of my designs in tee or tank in any size for adult, child, or baby, a $26 value. Don't forget to tag @usjapanfam on social showing us your merch!
ENTER TO WIN HERE!!
Is that a great giveaway or what!? Enter to win in the Rafflecopter box below! Only a comment on this blog post is needed to enter (don't forget to tell the app you did so), but any extra actions you take will earn you more entry points and a greater chance to win! Some points can be earned daily so bookmark this page and set a reminder to keep coming back!! Giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older, and ends October 5 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
(if there is a glitch and the app doesn't open below, you can enter here)
Disclaimer: We were provided free stay in exchange for our honest review - all thoughts and opinions are our own and 100% unbiased, as always :) Affiliate links may be included below, you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Whether you prefer off-the-grid tent camping, have an RV, or are looking for more of a "glamping" experience with AC and an actual bed, New York City North / Newburgh KOA Holiday has it all! Kid-friendly campgrounds with tons of activities from outdoor swimming pool and a bounce pillow to bike rentals and fishing, set in the heart of New York's Hudson Valley, just 80 miles north of NYC! Watch our highlights video below for a tour of Newburgh KOA campgrounds (including a peak at their communal showers and bathrooms, in case you'll be at a tent or non-deluxe cabin), a tour of our KOA deluxe cabin, see many of the activities, and read on for more details!!
Let me preface this by saying our family has never been camping. My husband and I have been camping as kids, but it's been a good 2-3 decades! Before we invest hundreds of dollars in tents and gear, we figured we should dip our toes into the experience first by trying out a cabin at the KOA Holiday Newburgh, just a 30 minute drive from our home in Cornwall!
I've heard such great things about KOA (Kampgrounds of America) from moms in various Facebook groups - it's the world's largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds, with 525 KOA campgrounds throughout the US and Canada!
We got a KL1 "Deluxe Cabin" at KOA Holiday Newburgh, that included AC (a unit in the living room and bedroom), a bathroom with a shower, a bedroom with a queen bed (box spring and all!), a small kitchen (with fridge and stovetop but no oven), a queen sleeper sofa (which was horribly thin/springy & uncomfortable but our kids didn't seem to mind), twin bunks (very thin firm mattress on wood - I slept on it one night and found it surprisingly comfortable, definitely better than on the ground in a sleeping bag), and outside had a propane grill, picnic table, fire pit, and parking spot.
You do have to bring your own linens (towels, sheets, blankets, pillows) as well as toiletries and food. They did have toilet paper and some basic kitchen/cooking/grill supplies, and most of the basics can be bought at their General Store onsite, but we decided to head to the local Hannaford (5 minute drive) to get soap, food, booze, etc.
I was really impressed with the activities they had to offer at the campgrounds! Our kids (and us parents) enjoyed the following FREE activities:
Every morning from 8-11am they serve free pancakes which were huge and delicious!! You can buy coffee (something like $1.25) and extras such as bacon and sausage. From 12-5pm they serve basic but good and super affordably priced griddle food (we got a cheeseburger, hot dog, and ice cream - all delicious), as well as chips and bottled drinks. If you plan ahead for an early dinner you could have it there, otherwise you're on your own to cook. Though, there are some nearby restaurants that will deliver to the campgrounds, including a pizzeria. But come on, you're camping!! Time to barbecue - I believe the deluxe cabins have a propane grill and other sites have charcoal grills. And for dessert, s'mores over the fire, of course!! The manager actually recommended s'moreos - use the Oreo cookie instead of Graham crackers!! All can be found in their General Store, even reusable metal s'more sticks!
We really enjoyed walking around the campgrounds in the evening after dinner. Everyone is so friendly - sitting out by their fires or watching TV on the outside of their RV's (what!?!?! SO COOL!!). But it's the woods and there are mosquitos... we bought mosquito bracelets and I'm not sure if they helped or not but we got home yesterday and I'm still itching like crazy! So... consider ALL. THE. REPELLENTS - spray, bracelets, coils, you name it! We did twice a day tick checks and didn't find any - phew, but be sure to stay on top of that as well!
There is free wifi, so my husband got some work done on our picnic table one morning, and had a video conference from our kitchen table. We couldn't figure out our TV remote but it was Roku so we were able to control it with an app on my phone. Wifi and TV are pretty essential for my family, even on "off the grid" type of vacations like this. Sometimes you need to do a bit of work, or let the kids chill for a hot minute, am I right?
KOA Newburgh is open late March through October, with pool / snack bar open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Disclaimer: We were provided complimentary tickets to Dutch Wonderland and Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in exchange for our promotion, but all thoughts and opinions are our own - we LOVE them, have been going for years, and know you'll love them, too! This post also contains affiliate links, you won't pay more but we receive commission from purchases made after clicking.
We missed our annual trip to Lancaster last summer, we all missed ALOT of things last year, am I right?! But it made our trip this year that much more special! And to top it off, we also met my best friend (and her family) who I hadn't seen in 3 years!! See the WHOLE vacation in this super fun video here, and read on for more details!!
Lancaster is one of our favorite family vacation destinations, for 3 reasons:
1. The landscape
It's absolutely beautiful, so peaceful, with rolling hills and endless farmland! Also, I may be a tad fascinated with Amish culture and lifestyle...
2. Dutch Wonderland
Possibly the best amusement park out there for toddlers and younger kids, with everything from chill rides to exciting diving shows, and even a small water park. There are many rides where you can hold babies and little ones in your lap. By around 2-3 years old, they're tall enough for most rides, at least going together with an adult. My oldest is 8 and finally tall enough to ride the wooden roller coaster with the highest height requirement. My 5 year olds are tall enough for the 2nd highest cutoff ride, Merlin's Mayhem, a super exciting SMOOTH metal roller coaster. Look at the below photo of our first trip in 2017 and our latest trip in 2021 - the kids have grown SO much!!
We're still not out of the pandemic, but I should note that most people at the park were NOT masked, and it did get crowded. The waterpark was too crowded for our comfort (you can see in our video) so didn't venture in there, but other than that we didn't feel uneasy, especially being outdoors. We got there right when they opened at 10am and were able to ride Merlin's Mayhem (our favorite roller coaster) twice in a row without any line and didn't have to wait more than 5 minutes until afternoon, when it got a bit more crowded but still not crazy, for a super nice Sunday in August I was pleasantly surprised!
We just love going back year after year! We haven't noticed any change in rides since we've been going, but it's fun seeing how the kids change each time - what they're excited to ride or see again, and what they're suddenly tall enough to do.
3. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
We've been going to Cherry Crest for years now and every time they have added new things and expanded and my mind is blown in the best way all over again!! It's basically 25 acres of outdoor adventuring "agri-entertainment" fun on the farm - we're talking HUGE fast potato sack slides (a 6-lane slide is new this year and amazing!!!), jump pillows for kids AND adults, petting zoo, tractor rides, shooting apples and paint balls, Sproutsville kids' town (expanded this year with many new buildings - see the video), and so so so much more!!
Their epic corn maze was voted #1 in the country last year!! Be sure to click here and vote so they win again this year. Above center is an aerial view, this year's 5-acre corn maze with 2.5 miles of trails has a theme of "Hometown Heroes", and throughout the maze you can learn about how local and national emergency services keep our communities safe!
Cherry Crest is open daily through the summer (closed Sundays/Mondays) in July & August, and open Thurs-Sat from September 11 - November 6. Check out their calendar here!
We've stayed at several different Lancaster hotels over the years, you can see them mentioned in our previous annual guides (our 2019 guide, our 2018 guide, our 2017 guide - you can see TONS of other activities and restaurants in those as well).
This year we chose the Wyndham Lancaster Resort and it's our new favorite!! Here's why we loved it:
1. Huge and newly renovated - modern, clean, super nice! We got a pool-view balcony room with 2 queen beds and I was surprised how big it was! Could fit an extra bed but we decided to keep it roomier and just had our 3 kids sleep sideways in one of the queen beds, easy peasy!
2. Great heated zero-entry outdoor pool with lounge chairs IN THE POOL. It was in the 90's when we arrived and the pool was actually a bit too warm, felt good but not refreshing. I've never said that about a pool in my life LOL, it was like a warm bath, would have felt really nice on a normal day in the 70s-80's but in a heat wave, I wanted icey water!
3. Nice indoor pool with 9' deep end, nice for jumping and diving!
**note: NO LIFEGUARDS! You have to sign a ton of waivers at check in.
4. TODDLER ROOM!! See photo below and in our video. My kids are 5, 5, 8 and loved it here. And it was amazing for our friend's 2 year old because he could just roam free with no worries. It's a great space to take your kids when they wake early, to let your partner enjoy a sleep in!
5. Super cute outdoor playground. Note: it's not gated in, so you'll have to stay close to your little ones if they're runners!
6. On-site restaurant, bar, and Starbucks. Pro Tip: the Starbucks has a microwave (our room didn't), it also has a little food pantry where you can buy cereal, snacks, etc.
7. Located across the street from Cartoon Network Hotel and Dutch Wonderland, walkable to many restaurants including Applebees. Very close to the outlets and TONS of stuff! That said, it's in a busy commercial area, not the quiet peaceful areas of Lancaster where we've stayed before.
We also dropped by Cartoon Network Hotel because I've been curious about it since it opened recently! It looks like it was an old motel that got bought up and gut renovated in a really fun and kitsch way. We peaked into an open room and it was small, no wonder they have a max 4 guests policy. The outdoor pool and splash area look great, and we ate dinner at the Cartoon Kitchen, which looks more like a cafeteria than a restaurant, but we got a private BenTen themed "pod" (3 walled room with a TV at the end of the table) and had fun. The food was good, drinks were strong and yummy, they have a FAB gift shop if you have CN loving people in your life, and they had meet and greet with a couple of characters, however there was a no-touch policy, covid related probably. I definitely recommend either a stay or a meal there!
MORE FAMILY VACATION INSPIRATION:
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Primary but all thoughts and opinions are my own :)
Looking for CUTE and QUALITY clothes for babies through big kids? Look no further than Primary and shout it out loud with me y'all: EVERY COLOR FOR EVERY KID!!!!! YESSSSS!!!!! Primary does not have boys and girls listings and I couldn't love that more. You simply shop by size (from newborn through 14Y, and some coordinating tops for grownups, too), by color, or by clothing type (ex. underwear, tees, dresses, etc). On their FAQ page, they say, "Clothes and colors don’t have genders, so it never made sense to us to organize them as if they do. We make dresses for kids who wear dresses, pants for kids who wear pants, PJs for kids who wear PJs. We make the clothes, but kids make the choices."
We have a $75 gift card to Primary.com in my 2021 Back to School Giveaway, enter to win that at the bottom of the post, but FIRST, check out our family's ADORABLE unboxing and fashion show of some coordinating threads we just got from Primary!
We decided to go with the "Lollipop" coordinating colors, since they were nice and bright and a color kinda between red and hot pink that we all love! I was a bit disappointed the "Lollipop Henley Tee" we got for my son wasn't a 100% match to the reds in the rest of our clothes. It's "heathered" and actually says that in the product description which I didn't bother reading, whoooops! But it still works, let's him stand out a bit, and maybe good for us to not be so obnoxiously matchy matchy LOL!
On the left, Emi is wearing the Swing Tee (on sale now for $9.50) and Skinny Jeans ($29.50) in dark wash. She usually wears a size 5 so we went for the 6/7 and it's a bit big but fits nicely. The size 6 skinny jeans fit great! Emi is a great example of why kids clothing shouldn't be sorted by gender. She would choose big brother's baggy hand me down tee and soccer shorts over a dress any day. She can't explain why she likes what she likes, and doesn't like what she doesn't like. She just does! I wasn't sure if she'd go for the Swing Tee because she usually vetoes any kind of frill or poof, but she likes it, and LOOOOOOOOVES her new jeans! Phew!
In the middle, Mia is wearing the Recess Dress (on sale now for $12.50) and purple leggings part of the Raspberry Mix 3-pack of leggings ($36). She's quite petite and usually wears a 4/5; this dress is a 6/7 which is why it's kinda swimming on her, but hey, we'll get a few years' wear out of it!! She can't stop spinning and swirling in this. She's hilarious! She's team skirts and dresses for life I think!
As mentioned above, Kenzo on right is in the Lollipop Henley Tee (on sale for $12.50). He usually wears a size 8 and the size 8/9 and it fits perfectly. He's also wearing the slim jeans ($29.50), size 8. He usually fights me on jeans, choosing joggers instead because, obviously, they're more comfortable! (I hear ya kid, I live in my leggings!) But these have more stretch than jeans he's worn before, so I think he's sold. Which is awesome because he's going back to school in September after 1.5 years at home and I really don't want him at school in jogging pants every day. But, then again, probably not a battle should be worrying about!
Below I've got my son's slim jeans next to my daughter's skinny jeans. Obviously they're different sizes but you can see the skinny leg is slightly more tapered at the ankle. They both feature adjustable waists with elastic and buttons inside. AND they both feature real pockets, real belt loops, real zipper, and a FAKE OUTTER BUTTON - yes, they snap! EASY PEASY. They're both a great denim material with a good stretch to them (73% cotton, 25% recycled polyester, 2% spandex).
My husband is 5'7" and usually wears a Men's Small - the Small Classic Fit Tee ($18) fits him perfectly. I'm 5'8" and usually wear a women's Small or Medium - the Small Slim Fit V-Neck ($18) fits me perfectly. You can see in the below photo (I hope) how they are cut slightly differently, I would say they pretty much correspond to traditional sizes in Men's for Classic and Women's for slim fit, which has shorter and more narrow cut arms/shoulders, and a shorter cut length. Ours don't seem any different width wise, or not significantly. They're both super soft loose fitting tees, not skin hugging or anything.
We had fun picking out our coordinating family outfits, and look forward to doing more Back to School clothes shopping with Primary (they have washable cotton masks with removable filters for adults and kids, too)!!!
Don't forget, you can win $75 shop credit to Primary.com in our $500+ Value Jackpot Back to School Giveaway running through August 17, 2021!!
Enter to WIN Here!!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mabel's Labels but all thoughts are my own and unbiased. Affiliate links are included below - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking. Thank you for stopping by!! :)
It's August and that means it's BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING GO TIME!
But don't worry, it's just 3 easy steps:
STEP 1: Get your back to school supply list(s) from the teacher(s).
STEP 2: Buy all the things.
Pro Tip: If they mention a brand name, there's usually a reason, such as it being superior and longer lasting, or least likely to break their pencil sharpener. If it says 8-pack and you can only find a 10 pack, take a breath, it's OK, they're not gonna kick your kid to the curb over that. For me, with 3 kids and no car, ordering online is easier. I usually compare prices and availability and buy through Amazon's Back to School page, Target's Back to School page, and/or Walmart's Back to School page. The school supply lists can be long and it can get expensive. Take a break and have a laugh with my 2 favorite Back 2 School videos of all time:
STEP 3: Label all the things.
Pro Tip: Save time and sanity by ordering Mabel's Labels, which are customizable, washable, and super durable - they will last all year, and then some! Trust me, you're not gonna wanna be hand writing your child's name with a Sharpie on every one of the 40+ crayons, colored pencils, markers, and pencils, not to mention water bottle, lunch box, scissors, glue sticks, erasers, ruler, folders, tissues, disinfectant wipes, binders, headphones, masks, backup clothes/socks/undies... Mabel's got a label for EVERYTHING! Their Back to School Label sets are a great place to start!! Get 20% off their Back to School Labels with this link! Beyond traditional labels, they've also got silicone bottle bands, allergy alerts, emergency IDs, metal bag tags, and SO MUCH MORE!
You can win $50 shop credit to MabelsLabels.com in my $500+ value jackpot Back to School Giveaway running through August 17!! More on that below!!
But first... watch my fun unboxing video of a Back to School swag bag sent to me by Mabel's Labels! You can learn about some other really great brands and products, such as Bumkins' reusable snack bags and a biodegradable flower petal confetti party popper for celebrating the first day of school!! And you'll learn some more about Mabel's Labels and why as a parent or teacher, you need them in your life!!
ENTER TO WIN!!!
my $500+ value jackpot 2021 Back to School Giveaway (including $50 shop credit to MabelsLabels.com) running through August 17!! Click to enter to win! US residents 18+. Good luck!
Some Back to School essentials we think you'll love!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Seenda but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
If you're suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, or wrist and shoulder pain like I am, or just looking to upgrade your computer accessories, you've stumbled upon the blog post for you! I'm here to review the Seenda wireless vertical ergonomic mouse and bluetooth backlit keyboard, which are part of my HUGE 2021 Back to School Giveaway (link at bottom of post to enter to win the $500+ value jackpot, along with a 20% off discount code for Seenda products!)
Be sure to watch my unboxing and review video here, and read on for more details:
I've been struggling with increasing discomfort in my wrist and pointer finger due to spending more and more time at the computer editing videos, and have been looking into getting an ergonomic mouse so was really excited to get to review the Bluetooth Rechargeable Ergonomic Vertical Mouse from Seenda. So far I'm loving it, here are a few of the key features that really stood out to me:
Next up we have the Seenda wireless bluetooth backlit keyboard which I got for my son but honestly it's SO COOL I may have to keep it for myself... Here are the features I'm loving:
BUY IT on Amazon (affiliate link)
How cool are these? Best gaming mouse and keyboard for sure, but great for anyone - from youtubers like myself to daily use or at work, kids and adults alike!
Get 20% your first purchase on seenda.com with code "USJAPANFAM" (valid through August 17, 2021).
Don't forget, you can win this mouse, keyboard, AND a Seenda laptop stand as well as a TON of other great stuff in my $500+ value jackpot Back to School giveaway runnning HERE from August 3 - 17!! Enter to win today!!!
It is still very unclear how school will look this coming year: full time in person, hybrid, remote, or homeschool again for some of us, but one way or another Back to School is right around the corner and I've got another amazing Back to School giveaway for you all!! One very lucky winner will receive the ENTIRE $500+ value jackpot!! Read on for info on each of the prizes and sponsoring brands, and enter to win in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. Be sure to bookmark this page and keep coming back over the next 2 weeks because our dedicated reviews and youtube demos will be popping up daily, AND you can earn more giveaway entry points each day with various easy actions!
Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by the brands below, and affiliate links are included - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
SEENDA KEYBOARD, LAPTOP STAND & MOUSE
If last year taught us anything, it's that computers are becoming more essential for everyone from toddlers through seniors! We're excited to be working with Seenda to promote their electronic accessories that make computer and tablet use more comfortable and more fun! Our grand prize winner will receive the following THREE amazing items from Seenda that work with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android (a $106 value!):
BUY THEM HERE: Amazon (affiliate link) or seenda.com (get 20% off with code USJAPANFAM through August 17, 2021 on their website, Aot amazon)
Don't miss my full blog review here and video demo below!
BURST ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH
Oral health is so important for our overall health, and confidence. Kids and adults can get cleaner teeth with a great electric toothbrush, which is why we LOVE our Bursts and know you will, too! Their sonic toothbrushes feature a 2-minute timer with a pulse every 30 seconds to signal when to move to a new quadrant of teeth, and have an amazing battery life (3-4 weeks on a single charge)!
Our grand prize winner will receive one toothbrush of their choice of color in either the Adult or Kid's brush:
BUY THESE and more (including water flossers, teeth whitening, charcoal toothpaste, kids toothpaste, refillable floss, and oral probiotics) on burstoralcare.com. Current deals available include:
PRIMARY $75 SHOP CREDIT
Whether shopping for the basics or a full back to school wardrobe, Primary is THE place to go with everything from tees and underwear to jeans and dresses to washable face masks and winter coats, in sizes newborn through 14Y (and even with some coordinating shirts for grown-ups). Their slogan is "every color for every kid" and I couldn't love this more. No labels, no slogans, no "boys" or "girls" colors or styles or assumptions. Simply shop by size or color and let kids be kids and wear what they love! Super soft and sustainable fabric, cute high quality and affordable fashion for kids. Make Primary your primary shop for kids' clothing! Our grand prize winner will receive a $75 shop credit!! AMAZING!!!
Don't miss my full review here of some fun coordinating family outfits we got!
WUBBA JR IMMUNITY BOX
We've been promoting Wubba Water for years now as an organic and healthier alternative to Pedialyte, and now they've come out with a line of doctor formulated children's supplements that we are SO excited about! Our jackpot winner will receive the Wubba Jr. Immunity Box, which contains the following:
BUY IT HERE: $58.99 on Amazon (affiliate link), direct from wubbawater.com, walmart.com, and at select Whole Food stores.
MABEL'S LABELS $50 SHOP CREDIT
It can feel a tad overwhelming receiving school supply lists mandating labeling every item, even dozens of individual markers and pencils! Thankfully Mabel's Labels has got your back!! With customizable labels in every size, shape, color, design, and function you can imagine! From fabric stamps and labels that are washing machine proof to dishwasher-proof labels and silicone bands that go around bottles to shoe sole stickers that help the littlest ones know left from right foot to emergency ID & allergy tags, they have EVERYTHING! We've been using them for years on our water bottles (and more) and have yet to have one peel off!! Our jackpot winner will receive $50 shop credit to help make their back to school prep a lot easier this year!
See my full review here of our 2021 Back to School haul from Mabel's Labels and some other amazing brands!
BUY YOURS on mabelslabels.com - current promotional offers:
MIFOLD COMFORT GRAB & GO CAR BOOSTER SEAT
If you travel, carpool, or have a rotation of other adults driving your kids around, then a mifold comfort grab and go car booster seat is a must! Compact enough to go in your glove compartment or a child's backpack, with a thick enough cushion to be comfortable, mifold comfort works by positioning the car's seatbelt in the proper places across the child's lap and between their shoulder and neck. Directions are included in the strap on the mifold, and it's easy enough most kids can do it on their own after a couple of uses (my 8 year old is a pro!). At just $39.99, the price is right, too. (Designed for kids at least 4 years old, 40-100 pounds, 40-59 inches). See our 2 latest reviews embedded below, including a demo of my 8 year old installing it himself :)
BUY IT on Amazon (affiliate link) or mifold.com
Kids weren't built to "sit still" for hours on end, and Bouncyband has created products with that in mind. From the original Bouncyband which attaches to the feet of a chair so you can literally bounce your feet while sitting, to a whole line of amazing products loved by kids, parents, and teachers! These can help kids stay in their seats, relieve anxiety, and improve focus (pro tip: they work for adults, too!!) Our jackpot winner will receive one product, their choice from the following:
BUY THEM on Amazon (affiliate link) and bouncyband.com
Kids and kids at heart all love bubbles. And what's better than bubbles? Bubbles that taste good!! HA! Say hello to BubbleLick Premium Flavored Bubbles - made with FDA approved ingredients, bottled in a FDA registered CGMP certified and allergen-free facility, invented and developed by top pediatric allergists and food scientists! They work with bubble machines and toys, too! Our jackpot winner will receive a 4-pack of BubbleLick in the following YUMMY flavors:
BUY THEM on BubbleUniverse.com ($24.99 for a 4 pack, 2.5oz each)
COLOR FUSION NAIL POLISH MAKER
Trying to get those nails back-to-school-ready, or just wanting to have some fun playing nail salon? Then the Make It Real Color Fusion Nail Polish Maker is for you! Mix colors to create up to 200 nail polishes, or use the app to find a specific color to mach and provide complementary color suggestions. Bottles and brushes for storage included! Featuring unscented water-based nail polish in glossy and shimmer finishes.
BUY IT on target.com (affiliate link) for $24.99
MUNCHIE MUG SNACK CUP
Munchie Mug snack cups are not only spill-proof, they’re also SHAKE PROOF! The unique lid features 2 overlapping pieces of fabric, that are extremely effective at keeping snacks in, and they’re much gentler on the hands than traditional plastic snack cup tops! What’s more? Free from BPA/Phthalate/Lead/PVC and proudly made in the USA, these are the only snack cups your kids will ever need – a staple in every car, stroller, and home! Our winner will receive one in their choice of size (12oz or 16oz) and color (subject to availability), a $18.50 value! Don't miss our fun demo videos below!
UNOFFICIAL HOGWARTS COOKBOOK FOR KIDS
Getting meals on the table is an extra challenge during the back to school rush, but how about getting your kids involved with some amazing Harry Potter themed dishes with The Unofficial Hogwarts Cookbook for Kids!!?? Featuring 50 easy-to-follow low-mess recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts, Potterheads and non-Potterheads alike will love this cookbook! Let this one inspire your family to cook together over the weekend to create freezer meals to eat during the week, your kids to make their own lunches for school and after-school snacks! YUM!
BUY IT for Kindle or Hardcover on Amazon (affiliate link) for $12.79
SQUEASY GEAR SNACK POUCH
Say hello to the world's best pouch! Squeasy Gear's Squeasy Snackers are seriously amazing - with a removable spill-proof insert (that totally works!!), these are great for pureed baby food, yogurt, applesauce, and even liquids!! They're dishwasher & freezer safe, made of 100% food-grade eco-friendly bacteria-resistant silicone self-standing for easy filling, and turn inside out (handy when for cleaning flax seed and other tricky items in your smoothies!). You can see my review here - yes, it's from 7 years ago and we are STILL using the same pouches, they seriously never die!! Our jackpot winner will receive 1 pouch, their choice of size (16oz, 6oz, 3.5oz) and color, a $16.99 value.
BUY THEM on Amazon (affiliate link)
Is that an amazing giveaway or what!? Enter to win it all in the Rafflecopter app below. You just need to comment on this blog post and tell the app you did so to enter. But each additional action you take is an extra entry point, and some you can come back and get more points daily so be sure to bookmark this post!! Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, August 17. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email and have 48 hours to confirm before another winner is chosen. US residents only, ages 18+.
ENTER TO WIN HERE:
Looking for a great kid-friendly getaway from NYC? What about traveling back in time!? Then you've gotta check out Wild West City in NJ where we went yesterday for the first time, just under an hour and a half drive from up here in Hudson Valley. For the full experience and all the details, check out our fun highlights reel here:
At Wild West City you are transported back in time to the 1800's Wild West! With live action every 15 minutes on the Main Street - we're talking shootouts (with powder blanks, don't worry - no danger here!!), cowboy horse riding competitions, stagecoach holdups with audience participation, can can dancers and more!)
The Main Street also acts as a living history museum where you can go into each building and explore - bank, jail, saloon, saddle shop, post office, barber shop, one room school house, chapel, and more!
There are a few dining options, including the Golden Nugget (with the usual fast food i.e. not historically accurate LOL, great live music, and booze options for the adults), a confectionary with cotton candy, ice cream and sno-cones, and a pizza parlor (they only space with AC).
Seeing animals in the barn and panning for gold are also included in the admission fee. Fun extras include $6/person stagecoach ride, $5/person train ride, $5/person mini golf, $5/person pony rides, and more.
We honestly had such a fun time!! They keep it "historically accurate", with words that are not PC in today's world ("Indians" for example), and yes, they do shoot, and kill, and the guns are loud (but fake - firing blanks), so consider if your kids will be ok with this. After gloriously and often hilariously dramatic shootouts and "deaths", the actors jump back up and wave, so your kids will quickly understand it's all just playing, of course you should discuss this before, during, and after to make sure they understand it was acting, and how dangerous real weapons are! Safety first!!
LOCATION: 50 Lackawanna Drive Stanhope, NJ
TICKETS: $29.50 for adults, $24.50 for kids, $22 for seniors.
Visit their website for more details.
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We were thrilled to attend our first ever Sweet Suite by The Toy Insider this year - typically held annually in person but this year virtually from home - it's a massive press & influencer event with hundreds of brands sharing their latest and greatest toys!! My kids and I had a blast playing games and exploring the virtual event online, and then we got our swag box in the mail and WOW!!!
So now I'm here to share WITH YOU our Sweet Suite Swag unboxing, with some of the best toys 2021 - seriously, get out your birthday & Christmas wish lists, cuz you're gonna wanna add many of these to them!!
Watch our super fun unboxing video here, with links to products below (though some aren't released yet!):
(Affiliate links below, you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking)
For more toy inspiration, see my highlights videos from past years at Toy Fair New York!
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!