Category: Gear

Personalized Chargers Make Great Gifts for Gadget Lovers

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 by No Comments

If you’re looking for a fun personalized gift for the tech lover in your life, Shutterfly has a great new option just in time for the holiday season: a portable charger adorned with your favorite photos.

Shutterfly’s new portable chargers are compatible with most mobile phones, tablets, MP3 players, MP4 players, handheld gaming systems, GPS, Bluetooth devices, and other electronic devices.

The charger has 2 USB ports and 1 micro USB port and includes a 3-in-1 USB cable. You can charge up to two devices simultaneously.

What I like most about this product is that the photos are printed on a faceplate that can be removed and changed as desired. I think this would be a wonderful accessory for anyone who travels a lot and wants a convenient way to keep family photos close at hand. (If you’re looking for a gift for your husband, this is certainly a lot more masculine than many of Shutterfly’s other offerings.)

The portable gadget charger and one faceplate sells for $59.99. Additional faceplates sell for $14.99. Visit the Shutterfly website to check out the full range of designs.

Shutterfly has several sales and coupon offers running now in preparation for the holiday season. If you received their holiday catalog in the mail, there are a few great coupon codes in there. Retail Me Not also keeps a fairly detailed list of money saving offers.

Photo credit: Shutterfly

Link Round-up: Christmas Wreath, Floral Drawer Sachets, a Snowflake Light-up Marquee, and More

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has a covered button Christmas wreath, an easy no-sew floral drawer sachets, a giant snowflake light-up marquee, and more.

Olivia Cleans Green shared a tutorial for an easy no-sew floral drawer sachet.

Kids’ Activities Blog showed us some ideas for DIY toys.

How Does She shared a Thanksgiving Mad Lib exclusive free printable.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a giant snowflake light-up marquee.

Pizzazzerie shared some ideas for Christmas hostess gifts.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us a way to make a button ornament.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make a covered button Christmas wreath.

Photo credit: Olivia Cleans Green and A Beautiful Mess

The Old Navy Girls Glitter-Pocket Fleece Dress Is Cozy and Cute

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 by No Comments

My daughter loves wearing dresses, but it’s sometimes difficult to find dresses that are warm, good for playing, and cute enough to meet her approval.

This one’s a winner. I want one for myself.

This one’s got the warmth and coziness of fleece, a decent length (it hits right around knee level), and the glittery front pocket and drop-waist details get the girly-girl seal of approval. It’s fitted, but not tight, and there’s plenty of room for her to move around and enjoy recess.

The only downside to the design is the sleeve length. For a dress that seems designed for warmth, a full-length sleeve would make more sense than the three-quarter length sleeve this one has. They’re dolman style, which adds to the roominess and comfort, but could be uncomfortable under some jackets.

My daughter wore her jean jacket over hers this morning without complaint, but it’s worth mentioning as a potential drawback.

All in all, the dress is still a cute option for cool weather, but it may not be perfect when the temperatures drop too low. Paired with leggings and some boots, it’s good for fall and spring (and even winter in some areas).

This dress is available in black and gray in sizes XS to XXL, and it’s 60 percent cotton, 40 percent polyester. The regular price is $22.94, but it’s currently marked down to $16.00. If you have any additional coupons for the holidays, this could be a steal, but even at the regular price, it’s not a bad deal.

Photo credit: Old Navy

Need a New Winter Hobby? Try This Knitting Loom Kit.

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 by No Comments

I’ve been on a knitting kick lately, but I’m not very good at it. I’ve been loving the idea of slouchy knit hats, so I picked up a set of looms to make it easier on myself. This kit from Michael’s was only $14.99 for four circular looms.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with the two smaller ones (maybe one would be good for making a hat for newborns), but the two bigger ones have and will see a lot of use.

I love that this kit has everything you need—other than yarn—to knit hats of any size. You get the four looms, which seem incredibly sturdy, a metal hook for flipping the loops over, a plastic needle for stitching the ends in when the project is complete, and a carrying case to keep it all together.

You need to use medium to bulky yarns with this loom because the pegs aren’t very close together, but that just means you’ll have cozier hats for the winter.

I love that the looms are so easy to use—much easier than fumbling around with needles and knitting guidelines I’m not even aware of yet (I can make scarves with knitting needles, but that’s about it so far, so these are appropriate for beginners!).

If you ever played with the square looms that made potholders back in the 80s or 90s, this is similar. Instead of weaving, though, you’re just doing that final step—flipping bottom looms over top loops—for most of the project. There are so many simple projects out there that require little to no counting of stitches.

I’m looking forward to working on these all winter.

Photo credit: Michael’s

Native Boots May Be Your Solution to Winter Weather

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 by No Comments

When the weather’s cool, something other than flip-flops and sneakers may be just what your little one needs.

These Native Jimmy kids’ boots in green and blue, complete with a fox, may be the answer. They stand up to rainy weather because their waterproof, and their flexibility may make them more comfortable than other styles of boots.

These are easy to get on and off because, though you can see laces in the pictures, they actually have zippers on the sides. They’re not as heavy and clunky as other boots may be, so if your kid loves a good puddle or running around in the snow, they won’t exactly deter that kind of behavior (just so you know what you’d be getting yourself into!).

The upper is made of canvas, and it has fleece on the inside for extra warmth, making them even more appropriate for the colder months of the year. The pattern is fun because it’s unusual and branches away from the typical colors—black, brown, navy, and maybe olive green. And who doesn’t love the little fox on the side?

The only drawback I can see with these is the price tag–$58. They aren’t cheap. However, if you go somewhere like Target, you may not get the same quality (I can’t make any promises since I haven’t been to check out the selection yet) for $25-35.

My daughter has a pair of boots in a similar style, but they’re not as flexible and we paid $30 for them at Target. They’re great boots, but they don’t have all the perks these boots do.

Photo credit: Black Wagon

Link Round-up: Treats, a DIY Planter, Relationship Tips, and More

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has lots of treats, a colored planter, and tips for relationships and parenting.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make an avocado chocolate cake.

Mind Body Green shared seven relationship tips that can do more harm than good.

Pint Sized Baker showed us how to make acorn brownie pops.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a colored planter from PVC pipe.

Hungry Happenings taught us how to make Halloween Oreo cookie pops.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make a two-ingredient chocolate hazelnut braid.

Play Dates on Fridays shared some wisdom picked up over a decade of parenting.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Amazon Introduces Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by No Comments

If your child has been begging for a Kindle, but you’ve been worried he or she isn’t responsible enough to handle a tablet without breaking it, Amazon’s latest offering is just what you need.

The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet retails for $149 with a six inch display or $189 with a seven inch display. It comes with a blue, green, or pink kid-proof case to guard against damage.

It’s a real tablet with all the power you’d expect from a Kindle, plus a two-year worry free guarantee. No matter what your child does to break it in a two-year time span, Amazon will replace it with no questions asked!

The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet also comes with a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which provides kids with unlimited access to over 5,000 kid-friendly books, games, movies, and educational apps. Built-in parental controls let you set screen time limits and ensure that your child is only accessing age-appropriate content.

I have one of the older Kindle Fire models and my son loves it. He’s finally at the age where I can trust him not to drop it, but I was really worried about letting him play with it when he was younger.

I can definitely see the appeal of a tablet with a kid-proof case and a two-year guarantee against breakage. If something were to happen to our current model, I’m fairly certain I’d replace it with one of these.

Visit Amazon for the complete technical details or to place your order.

What do you think of Amazon’s latest offering? Will you be splurging on one for your child?

Photo credit: Amazon

Thank Your Child’s Teacher with a Kit from Green ABCs

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by No Comments

Forbes recently reported that teachers spent an average of $513 of their own earnings on classroom materials and supplies during the 2013-2014 school year.

National Education Week is November 16-22. If you’re looking for a way to show your child’s teacher how much you appreciate all that he or she does during the year, a teacher’s kit from Green ABCs is an excellent choice.

Green ABCs specializes in kits filled with affordable and eco-friendly school supplies. All of the items in their teacher’s kits are made from recycled materials, renewable resources, and innovations in biodegradability.

The elementary teacher’s kit includes a variety of classroom supplies, as well as extra items to share with students who may not have access to the materials they need to learn.

It includes:

  • 5 Marble Composition Books, 100ct, wide-ruled, from recycled paper
  • 10 Folders, 2-pockets, oxo-biodegradable plastic, (assorted: red, blue, green, yellow, black)
  • 2 Boxes of #2 Pencils, 10 per box, from recycled material
  • 1 Ream of Copy Paper, 8.5″ x 11″, 500 sheets, from recycled paper
  • 12 Ballpoint Pens, Assorted Red, Blue, Black Ink, from recycled plastic
  • 2 Pairs of Scissors, 5″ round tip, corn plastic handles
  • 1 Pair of Scissors, 6.75″ pointed tip, corn plastic handles
  • 1 Roll of Tape, with dispenser, from plant-based materials
  • 2 Boxes of Crayons, Soy-based, 24-pack
  • 1 Pad of Construction Paper, 9″ x 12″, 48 sheets, from recycled paper
  • 2 3-ring Binders, 1″, with elastic closure, oxo-biodegradable plastic
  • 2 Bottles of White Glue, from natural ingredients
  • 5 Sticks of Glue, from natural ingredients
  • 1 Ruler 12″/30cm, from bamboo
  • 1 Calculator, 8 digit solar powered, from recycled plastic
  • 4 Highlighters, fine-tip, from recycled plastic
  • 2 Black Permanent Markers, from recycled plastic with non-toxic ink

Many of the items in the kit are made by Onyx + Green, a company dedicated to providing quality eco-friendly school, home, and office supplies.

I was greatly impressed by how durable these items seem. The Onyx + Green bamboo ruler is a huge step up from the cheap plastic rulers I normally buy for my son. The biodegradable plastic used for the binders and folders won’t bend or tear no matter how rough kids are with it. The scissors cut nicely and feel substantial in your hands.

Visit the Green ABCs website to learn more about their teacher’s kits, as well as their classroom kits and general student kits.

If your budget is minimal, please consider pooling together class donations to purchase a kit as a teacher gift. The average elementary class has about 20 students, so even a $5 donation from each parent would be enough to purchase a kit plus a Starbucks or Barnes & Noble gift card.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.  

Photo credit: Green ABCs

Link Round-up: Hydration, Halloween, Office Gear, and More

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has hydration tips, Halloween food, a monogrammed leather mouse pad DIY project, and more.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to create a Strawberry Shortcake bento lunch.

Makeup and Beauty Blog shared a review of The Balm’s Frat Boy blush.

Crafty Journal shared some apple buying tips to keep them from bruising.

Cupcakes and Cashmere taught us how to make a cute monogrammed leather mouse pad.

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Kenarry has fun Halloween food ideas to share.

A Beautiful Mess showed us a cute DIY project that involves a dry erase wall.

Tone It Up shared some recipes that will keep you hydrated (perfect if you’re getting bored with plain water!).

Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and Kenarry