Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking. We haven't tried any of these products personally... yet...
Over the past year and a half, we've had to adapt our daily lives and how we do things - hello remote working and learning!! Regarding tourism, while many were afraid to fly or use hotels, RV sales and rentals shot through the roof! Things are starting to head back to normal, but if camping hadn't been on your radar before, it probably is now!
I know I've been itching to give camping a try, but I'm so nervous if we'll actually like it! Not really sure "roughing it" is really for me, and there seems to be quite a long list of things to buy for your first camping trip, especially if you want to go more for "glamping" which I think I do LOL!
Keep reading for our "Check List for First Time Family Camping" and be sure to comment if you're an experienced camper with any tips! Lucky for us, online shopping is easier than ever - you can find most of these quickly on Amazon!
Obviously sky's the limit with camping activities - anything meant to do outdoors, especially with no gear or small portable travel-sized options work great! But you can think out of the box too. Look at some of these fun ideas!
BOOKING YOUR TRIP:
Once you have all the gear, you're ready to go!! Obviously we haven't been camping yet but I've heard families RAVING about KOA campgrounds & Campsites. With pools, bounce pads, and tons of kid-friendly amenities, they make a really fun camping experience for families! Bring your tent or RV or book one of their cabins.
Not ready to load up on all the camping gear? Give glamping a go at a campsite already set up with the necessities! You can find great unique options here such as tents, teepees, tiny houses, RVs, barns, and more:
This post was sponsored by oNecklace but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When shopping for a gift for a loved one (or yourself), you can't go wrong with something that is both meaningful and beautiful. Look no further than oNecklace, with a wide selection of stunning personalized jewelry and name necklaces!
For Mother's Day a couple of years ago, I gifted myself a name necklace I'd been wanting for a while, oNecklace's Three Tone Ring Engraved Mother Necklace with all 3 of my children's names engraved in it. I love it so much, and my kids love knowing I'm keeping them close to my heart (quite literally) when I wear it! This year I decided to treat myself again, going for their Rose Gold Classic Name Necklace. I think these necklaces look so beautiful, both apart and together!
My husband isn't big on jewelry but I wanted to get him something different and equally meaningful for his Father's Day gift this year. By different I mean something other than a handmade card by the kids LOL! Shhh don't tell him, but he's going to be getting this personalized braided leather bracelet. You can customize it with between 1 - 5 names, so I had our three kids' names and mine added to it (in order of age). Isn't it beautiful!? Err... I mean manly! And sexy! Ha!!
Speaking of Father's Day... it's coming up SOON!! Check out oNecklace's "Men's Collection" for some great ideas!! Some other collections of great personalized jewelry they have are:
oNecklace uses sterling silver with purity levels of up to 92.5% (no nickel), 24 karat gold plating over sterling silver, rose gold, and 14k gold. Additional customizations are available for necklaces with box or rolo chains in lengths of 14 - 22" and spring-ring or lobster clasp. You can even add a gift box & bag and personalized tag at clasp! And last but not least - FREE SHIPPING!
So go on, get shopping! Let me know what you buy!!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by BSHTI but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Affiliate links included below, you won't pay more but we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
I grew up with sofa beds that weighed a ton (i.e. difficult and expensive to move) and were a lot of work to convert to bed and back to sofa (i.e. a bunch of cushions to be removed, hauling the heavy metal frame out from within the sofa, etc). The traditional futon sofa can be a simpler option, but generally quite an eye sore. Which is why I'm excited to introduce you to the best of both worlds - the BSHTI Tilden Twin 75" Wide Tight Back Convertible Sofa is a hella sexy couch that converts to a bed just by pulling the back rest forward to unlock and letting it flop down backwards! Literally ZERO EFFORT! Even my 5 year old twins can do it! Can I get a hell yeah!? Watch our unboxing, assembly, and review video here and read on for more details:
Because of how attractive this sofa is (it's modern and sleek - it doesn't look like a traditional futon or sofa bed!), it's a really fabulous piece of furniture for any room you'd like to turn into an occasional guest room (office, nursery, rec room, basement, etc), or anywhere you may take an impromptu nap. I can't think of a better living room sofa for a studio apartment either! Or even to add an additional sleeping option in an AirBNB / VRBO rental home!
Now that we've established how much it rocks, let's get into the details, shall we??
This sofa, coming in navy, dark grey, light grey, or yellow, features a split back meaning you can have both backs up as a sofa, both down as a bed, or allow one guest to sit up and one to lean back or lay down. It has an engineered wood frame, solid wood legs, 4.78" thick foam/polyester mattress, and is upholstered in 100% polyester linen-look fabric. The sofa weighs about 62 pounds, has a weight capacity of 600 pounds, and is 76" long but the mattress part is 67.3" long, so if you're taller than 5'8" you'll have to lay diagonally or sleep a bit curled up.
It comes in two boxes, with everything wrapped up nicely protected. Don't be nervous (as we were at first) when you can't find the arm rests, pillows, feet and hardware - they're zippered up inside the bottom of the sofa (see above right image)!!
We found it fairly easy to assemble, one person assembly is no problem though a second person is handy when it comes to flip the entire couch upright. The wooden feet come with protective felt pads already on the bottom and screws already inserted so you just screw them right into the bottom of the sofa! The two middle feet have a long metal piece - this is what connects the left and right side of the sofa. Finally, you insert screws into the arm rests, insert them into the side of the sofa, and tighten from within (that zippered compartment where you pulled the arms out of originally). Flip the sofa and you're done!
To convert the sofa, you remove nothing, this is what's so easy about it! Just pull the back seats forward (you'll hear a couple of clicks releasing the lock) and let it fall backwards to the bed position. Just pull them back up and they'll click into the seated couch position. The "bed" part is about 67.3" long and 40" wide, so traditional sized twin bedding will work fine (skip the fitted sheet and go with a flat sheet on top and bottom).
It sits high off the floor meaning you can fit some storage boxes under there if needed, and quickly divides into left and right half (just 4 screws to undo), making moving it not a big hasstle.
Comfort wise, the material is nice and durable, and the cushions are firm. My husband loves it. I prefer more cloud-like sofas and beds that you totally sink into, but I know they're not good for you... This one is firm but quite comfortable and it seems to promotes much better posture than our main living room sofa (I think that one's bottom cushion is too long and the back is too short making us scoot forward and lounge back in an awkward position - it's so bad for our backs!!). This one is really supportive and encourages us to sit properly.
So what do you think? A beautiful addition to any home, in my opinion!! You can find all the specs and purchase the sofa here, don't forget to use code "XBV33KRXM3N2" at checkout for 10% off!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by SKL but all thoughts and opinions are our own and unbiased. There are some affiliate links below, you don't pay more but we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
There's no denying that kids grow like weeds. You blink and they have gone from infant to toddler. Blink again and they're going off to school! If you want to save time, money, and product waste for Mother Earth, consider items that grow with your child. We recently were introduced to SKL, who sells a great line of sports gear for kids and adults on Amazon, with one of those products being adjustable size inline skates and protective gear, which we are so excited to be reviewing for you! Watch our unboxing and demo video below then read on for more details!
These SKL Inline Skates come in two sizes, the Small adjusts from size 10 - 1 and the Medium adjusts from size 1 - 5, both are available in pink and blue. I was really impressed with how easily they adjust, it's literally just a button you push, then you pull the toe out or push in to adjust! Boom! Done!!
To further make sure they're nice and snug and supportive, they have laces at the bottom, a velcro strap in the middle, and a plastic ski-boot type strap at the top. All 3 of my kids needed help getting them on the first time (my 8 year old didn't do the top strap tight enough and as a result his ankles were turning in when skating - when I noticed, I tightened it for him which had him standing straighter, so just be sure to step in to help your kids understand how they should properly fit).
The rollerblades seem to be great quality, and really supportive! They took quite a beating on my kids' first time inline skating - you can see the above left photo from afterwards, they got a bit scuffed from being dragged around on the pavement but I think they'll do great as they grow over the next couple of years, and my oldest's pair will eventually be a hand-me-down to his sisters! And did I mention, light up LED wheels (no batteries required)!!
The SKL protective gear is great, as well!! The set comes with elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards (they also have a set that includes helmets, but we didn't need as we already had helmets we've been using for biking, scooters, and skateboarding).
They are easy for the kids to put on themselves, with quality velcro straps and very strong PVC shell plastic to protect their little knees, hands, and elbows from getting scraped (or worse). In my son's medium set (ages 7-13 years), the knee pads were larger than the elbow pads, however in the small sets (ages 2-6 years) they were the same size so perhaps interchangeable? I couldn't figure it out.
We found the elbow and knee pads rather snug, even though our kids are on the younger end for the sizes they got, but better snug than too big! And they have nice breathable liners between their skin and the velcro straps. They also come in a great storage bag and come in 4 color options: black/grey, light blue/green, blue, and pink/purple.
SKL has tons of sports gear for kids and adults on Amazon! From snow tubes and snorkels to water backpacks and agility training equipment! Be sure to check them out on social, as well: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Whether you have an itty bitty toddler, rambunctious kiddos constantly taking apart your sofa, a roly poly gymnast, or creative builders - I'm SO glad you've come across my (sponsored) Kozy Couch review cuz guys, this thing is AWESOME!!! Watch our super fun unboxing video below, featuring my hilarious and uber energetic kiddos coming up with some seriously inspiring Kozy Couch builds, and read on for more details about the couch and the parents who built it!
Most simply put, Kozy Couch is a play sofa for kids. For the littlest kiddos, it's a soft and safe place to lounge. For older kids, it becomes anything they can imagine - a fort, teepee, house, you name it! We've also found it great as a tumbling mat, a crash pad for under our gymnastics bar, and a comfortable bed for sleepovers!
One Kozy Couch set retails for $119 (shipping included!) and consists of 1 long mat (about 67" long, 33" wide, and 5" deep) that folds in half, and a 90 degree triangle wedge (i.e. it can sit flush against the wall!). We got 2 sets which gives you enough "building blocks" for endless creations! Currently they offer 2 colors: pebble (the nice and neutral grey we got) and rose (also nice and neutral), but will be releasing blush pink, mint green and sand in June!
They come vacuum packed but poof up quickly and are ready to use within a couple of minutes of unboxing (wrinkles work themselves out within the first day or so). They're Low VOC with no weird smells or off-gassing, hoorah!
Kozy Couch seems extremely durable, we've only had ours for a few days but our kids are jumping on them and being their usual rough selves, and I'm really impressed with the cushions! They're nice and soft material, which can be spot treated or you can simply unzip the covers and throw them in the wash (be sure to air dry to avoid possible shrinkage). They have handles making them easy to tote around (even our 5 year olds can manage getting them up and downstairs), and store super compactly due to the fold - great if you're a part time caregiver or grandparent who wants to whip them out when the kids come over. But ours get used all around the house throughout the day, no storing for us!
The cushions are made from CertiPUR-US certified foam, which means they are made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP ("iris") flame retardants, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, formaldehyde, or phthalates. Additionally, Kozy Couch pulls units from every production run to independently test materials for safety, quality, and compliance with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations.
I love watching my kids play with them, seeing how creative they can be, not to mention how much energy they get out when building and playing with them! On top of that, my husband has started using them for his PT floor work - he used to take cushions from our sofa which drove me bonkers LOL! And I've found they work great as an ottoman as well, which is something we'd been planning to buy but now don't need to!
They're honestly really comfy and have no weight limit, so I've been joining the kids in sofa mode on the floor and find them great for doing situps (the hard floor hurts my back bone!).
Kozy Couch is a brand new small business that just shipped their first orders this past week! Born during the pandemic when mom and dad Danielle and Brian were looking up the Nugget couch and joked that they could create and ship their own couch before the Nugget's 8 month long back order passed by. That joke turned into late night research and product development and tweaking what was already a great product into something they saw as even better, using a softer, more durable and comfortable fabric, using a 90 degree triangle wedge that allow it and the couch to lay flush against the wall to be used like a regular sofa, and selling it in single units that would be better for those with smaller homes or budgets. To top it off, customers receive their Kozy Couch about 5-8 DAYS after ordering it!
Be sure to go and show them some love on their growing Facebook and Instagram platforms where you may be lucky to catch a giveaway or special discount code!!
And here are our reviews of other great products featured in photos and video above):
Ultra lightweight, comfortable and supportive canvas shoes for men, women, and children that are quite literally like wearing works of art on your feet?? Yep!! Say hello to UIN Footwear, who sponsored this review and giveaway!!
Watch our fun uinfootwear unboxing video (of 5 beautiful designs including men's, women's, and kids shoes), read on for more info about their art paint shoes, and enter to win a pair of UIN shoes in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post (US residents 18+)... or just grab our discount code and start shopping!
UIN footwear has the most artistic shoes you have ever seen, I guarantee it. The only downside of shopping is how incredibly difficult it is to choose which ones to buy - each design is beautiful and so unique, you'll want them all!! You can shop by collections, with themes by countries and regions, art travel shoes, animals, fairy tale, modern / graffiti / abstract art, and more. You can shop by men's, women's, and kid's sizes. You can even shop by "couple" or "family shoes" if you want to get matchy matchy or coordinating pairs (as a mom of 3, this option always lures me in). Hello happy shoes!
We wanted to showcase as many designs as we could, so chose 5 different ones in their classic styles (slip on for adults, velcro strap for kids), but they also sell microfiber leather, knitted, ballet flats, backless/clogs, boots, flip flops, and socks! We found their website quite laggy, but hang in there, it's worth the wait, I promise!
The men's and women's classic canvas slip on is true to size. I typically wear a women's 9 - 10 depending on the brand and went with a 41, which fits perfectly with and without socks. My husband usually wears a men's size 9 and the 42 fits him well. They feature an elastic wedge and heel pully thingy (what is the actual term for that??) making them easy to pull on. The sole is super comfy - nice and thick and soft, with a decently sized instep artch for support.
The kids' canvas shoes are designed slightly different, with a large velcro strap that opens up completely, making them incredibly easy to put on. I've dealt with plenty of kids shoes that didn't open enough to stuff my kiddo's wide feet inside, and thankfully you won't have to deal with this frustration with UIN!!
I should note another great feature...
These are MACHINE WASHABLE!!!!
You can shop on their website uinfootwear.com and get $5 off with code USJAPANUIN
And now it's time to...
enter to win a pair of UIN shoes!!
Only a comment is required to enter (be sure to let the Rafflecopter know you left one, that's your official entry) but every action you take within the app will earn you more entry points i.e. a better chance to win! Remember, you must be a US resident 18 or older. Our winner will be notified by e-mail (we will tag you on social if possible to give you a heads up) and will have 48 hours to confirm, then will be able to choose one pair of men's, women's, or kid's shoes - size and design of your choice (subject to availability).
Books make a great gift, but one way to level up that gift is to personalize it! I'm so excited to introduce you to In The Book, who sponsored this post, but I kid you not, they blew my expectations out of the water. Watch my unboxing below and you'll see what I mean - the quality of these, it's just above and beyond!! I love them, my kids love them, I simply cannot recommend them highly enough!! Watch this quick fun video and read on for more details!!
If you are a parent or spend time with children, you know how giddy kids get when they see themselves - in the mirror and in photos and videos on your phone, and with In the Book you can see how excited they get when they see their name and photo in a book!! Even I get a kick out of it!!
In the Book has tons of stories to choose from, including entire lines of Disney Princess books, Marvel superheroes, and more!
After you choose the book you want, you input the name you want to appear (it'll go on the cover and throughout the book - as part of the story!!), a personal message to go in the front, and even a photo of the child which will go at the end of the book. I'm saying "child" but you know what, this would make a great gift for an adult as well!! Great Father's Day gift for a superhero collecting dad, great Mother's Day gift for a Disney loving mom, you get the drift! They actually have tons of books geared toward grown-ups, such as recipe books, bibles, history, etc!
You can upgrade from paperback to hard cover and I recommend adding on the "luxury gift box" which takes it to the next level of gifting and collecting!!
The stories are wonderful, the illustrations are beautiful! You simply can't go wrong with In the Book, guys!! I can definitely see a collection growing in my house - what a fun tradition to get a new book for each birthday, and with an updated photo each year, a really cool keepsake for parent and child!!
Shop for a personalized In the Book Children's book here and books for grown-ups here!!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Beleev but all thoughts and opinions are my own and 100% unbiased. This post also contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Looking for the best 3-wheel scooters and balance bikes for a toddlers, the best foldable 2-wheel kick scooters for kids and adults, or the best skateboard for ages 8+?! Would you believe you can find them all with Beleev?! We sure did - we just got Beleev ride ons for our whole family!! Read on for more about the products we received (and LOVE), including our unboxing / demo videos!
Foldable Kick Scooter for Teens & Adults
This high quality durable kick scooter comes in several color options and is good for ages 8 through adult (rider max weight of 210 pounds). It features a super quick and easy fold, adjustable height handlebar, a kick stand, extra large PU wheels, and front suspension system for a smooth ride!!
My husband and I are both loving this so much I'm planning to buy a second one so we don't have to share LOL! Adjusting the handlebar is a snap, no tools required, so I can raise it high for me, then lower it for my 8 year old to ride it, taking literally 5 seconds!
Foldable Scooter for Kids
Check out our twins twinning on Beleev kids' foldable kick scooters!! These are good for ages 4 - 12 years, rider weight up to 141 pounds, are foldable, have adjustable height handlebars, light up LED wheels, foam handles, a grippy 4" wide deck, and weigh just under 6 pounds.
Skateboard for Kids, Teens, & Adults
Beleev sells 2 types of skateboards, the cruiser series (22" plastic board with large light up LED wheels), and the Classic Maple series, which is what we got. The latter is a 31" Canadian maple skateboard featuring a grippy 31” x 8” 7-Ply Canadian maple deck and heavy-duty 5” aluminum alloy truck! It weighs less than 5 pounds and has a max weight capacity of 220 - so it's good for ages 8+ (i.e. kids, teens, and adults)! What's more? It comes completely assembled! Just unbox, unwrap, and roll! My son and my husband are obsessed with this thing - it's not easy to learn to skateboard but so fun! Don't forget protective gear!!
Beleev also sells 3-wheel scooters and balance bikes for toddlers, stunt scooters, and protective gear! Check out their full lineup on beleev.com and Amazon (affiliate link).
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)