Toddlers are so fun to shop for! I’m a big fan of exploratory toys that incorporate learning into play and for this reason, I scoped out some pretty fun, creative, inventive and innovative offerings for your little one in this guide!
To purchase any item on this list click the links (affiliate links included) or use it as inspiration as you’re putting together your list.
100 First Words for Little Geeks – Since they’re way beyond “milk” and “ball,” teach them words they really need to know: dragon, android, cyborg, wormhole, and other vocab you need to get them into sci-fi and fantasy. ($10)
Baby Alive speaks to her mini mommy or daddy in either Spanish or English. Baby Alive‘s realistic, adorable phrases include childhood classics like “Time to go potty!” and “Yay, I did it!” ($36)
Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom Playset -This feels like wet sand and won’t dry out, even if you leave it out on the table overnight. (But yes, you might have to vacuum it out of the carpet, so invoke your home’s Play-Doh protocol and only allow it on the table.) ($20)
The minute you deliver your baby, you’re going to have to create some plans for her or him if you unfortunately and unexpectedly meet an early demise.
It’s a hard topic but no one is promised tomorrow, as the cliched quote goes, and frankly, it is irresponsible of any parent to avoid setting up a will or some other directive for their children while on earth.
To see an example of the importance of jumping on this morning task early one only need to look at the highly publicized instances of family in fighting when a celebrity passes away without a will.
On my biz blog, Jenebaspeaks.com, I shared a blog post about a limited time free service and I’m sharing here for my parenting audience.
Generating a will is time-consuming and financially draining. The founder of Giving Docs,Brantley Boyett, knows this because he’s a lawyer. (And he approves this message.)
But with Giving Docs, you can create a will in just 10 minutes and avoid expensive lawyer fees!
How does Giving Docs help you create such an important document so quickly? With yes or no questions and short text entry.
There are five simple steps:
Add your loved ones and organizations important in your life
Define any specific gifts, such as cash amounts or possessions like family heirlooms
Assign your distributions to people and organizations (::cough:: educational organization ::cough::)
Choose your personal representative who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes for your estate
Print off your will, visit a notary, and sign your will with two witnesses present
When you’re done, your will will be Ed Hochuli official and legally-binding in all 50 states. (Giving Docs does recommend showing what you’ve created to your lawyer.)
International Sumo-ling hack: Use these documents as a template, bring them to an attorney, and save yourself a few billable hours!
Ok, but what if you want to make changes, like remove a school you just discovered serves pineapple pizza? Not a problem. You can alter your will at any time. Just remember to get it notarized again.
Listen, I know talking about death gives you the heebie-jeebies, but by being proactive, you can make sure the people and causes you care about are taken care of.
Usually, lifetime access to this estate planning tool is $295.
But, because Giving Docs practices what they preach about paying it forward, they are giving Sumo-lings lifetime access for free!
Look at that. You are saving hundreds of dollars that would normally be going to a lawyer.
So let’s start dividing up those assets and gifting your favorite educational institution today.
With Summer out for my middle kid and his friend and one week to go until youngest and her friend got out for the year, we snuck out for a school night family movie night, compliments of our friends at Universal Studios to see Ilumination’s tenth feature, The Secret Life of Pets 2.
It had been 3 years since the last comedic animated blockbuster was released, so it was high time to catch up with Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt), his now married with toddler owner Ellie Kemper and their other dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet).
Animals have a life of their own when their owners are away which is the overall theme of this franchise.
There are three mini tales in one in this movie.
The family head out on a road trip with toddler, Liam, who Max guards with his life to visit family at a farm in the country.
There they meet up with an Alpha Dog named Rooster (Harrison Ford) who keeps the farm in line and eventually, teaches Max about being brave and taking risks for the ones you love.
While away from the apartment in the city, Max’s girlfriend, an adorable white furball Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell). It’s slapstick good time and the ultimate rescue is adorable and clever. I won’t spoil it for you.
On the other side of town, the first iteration of the series villain-turned adorable domestic bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) now believes he is a superhero and accompanies a brave new dog on the block, a Shih Tzu named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) on an adventure to rescue a circus tiger from a an evil owner of a traveling show who keeps his animals in line by being cruel to them.
We enjoyed the film tremendously which is entertaining to children (our group included two 14 year olds and two 11-year olds) and adults. The woman next to me couldn’t help laugh out loud all through the movie.
At the end, my daughter’s pal, Clio, had decided she wanted to return to see it again! I agree! It’s so adorable, and fun that it’s worth a second trip.
I love this remix of one of my fave songs, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers for the soundtrack. Puerto Rican Latin trap singer, Ozuna, best known for his hits “La Modelo” and “Síguelo Bailando” sings it.
Check out the Lyrical video for it!
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is produced by the same team behind behind Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and the Despicable Me and Minions franchise, and is written by returning Pets screenwriter Brian Lynch.
The film is directed by returning filmmaker Chris Renaud, who also directed Illumination’s Despicable Me series and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
Overall, the kids LOVED it!! A good mix of comedy and life lessons. It’s a wonderful family date night movie!
It Comes out this Friday, June 7 to theaters nationwide!!! Go see it!
Instacart Grocery Delivery app was a heaven sent convenient way for me to deliver nutritious food instead of pizza to the kids through their sitter while I was out of town
About 5-years ago, my sisters were babysitting my kids when the doorbell rang and there was a pizza delivery man on the other end!
Wow! One told the other, Jeneba delivered pizza to us all the way from Miami!
My husband and I were vacationing and called in the order. It wasn’t really anything special but back then, I suppose, the idea of remote ordering was foreign.
It was nothing like it is today. Since those days, a lot of apps and services have launched that allows parents, caregivers and others who are away to have all sorts of things delivered to their kids at home.
Last Summer, while my mom was watching the kids while the hubby and I were across country, we tried grocery delivery service Instacart for the first time.
After downloading the app, I got to check out several of the dozens of area stores, grocers and shops and after picking one, go virtual grocery shopping.
Within two to three clicks, groceries were ordered! It was super fast, surprisingly easy and quick!
Once our order was placed, an Instacart associate received our list, then traveled down to my local market close to home, shopped and dropped off the groceries to my waiting and hungry brood!
It was so much more cost effective and healthier than ordering pizza and wings for dinner!
My husband and I were quite pleased. There is a small and very nominal service charge and monthly fee but it is totally worth it.
Since then, I have become a fan and ardent user of Instacart and other grocery delivery services.
NEW ASICS GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun Honors Japanese Culture
With all the talk of cultural appropriation with fashion brands of late, it may be refreshing to see that athletic footwear company ASICS partner with an actual Japanese company when it came up with its new brand of sneakers that honor Japanese culture
KICKS LAB collaborates with ASICS for the new GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun footwear. One of the hottest trending ASICS deals for 2019, the stylish GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun sneakers combine the most modern innovative technology with classic Japanese inspired design. Just one in a line that promises to leave an indelible imprint on the fashion world, the new “KL Shogun” is a must-have for every serious ASICS fan.
Unique Japan Inspired Design
ASICS continues to break the fashion mold with its unique footwear design and inspiration. Not just content to be the best tennis shoes with the highest sports performance, ASICS has a commitment to high fashion and innovation. This year’s GEL-Lyte V KL Shogun shoes continues the tradition set last year with the GEL-Lyte III. The “KL Shogun” and “KL Samurai” are all part of this very unique union between ASICS and the KICKS Lab in Japan.
The premium sneaker boutique collaborated with ASICS to create a popular sneaker series inspired by traditional Japanese culture and history. Taking inspiration from warrior Samurai, ninjas, and even Japanese writing, the ASICS sneaker collection balance carefully the power of rich tradition and the promise of innovation. ASICS fans look forward to many more collaborations between ASICS and innovators like the KICKS Lab.
The GEL-Lyte III in bold white and black resulted from a collaboration between ASICS and the sneakers disrupter KICKS LAB. The GEL-Lyte III is a lightweight shoe in premium leatherand suede. The custom insoles housed Japanese characters. KICKS lab touted that the footwear was ideal for ninjas. The ASICS GEL Lyte III answers the whimsical question, “What if a Ninja wears a pair of sneakers?” Answer? A light shoe that enables the ultimate in sports performance.
ASICS advertising for the footwear collection is as memorable as the shoes, using Japanese music in bold but precise strokes. The simple GEL-Lyte III ad shows images of the sneakers moving to a soundtrack of Japanese Taiko Drums. The ASICS Tiger “KL Shogun” ad is similar. The dark red and black shoe floats in space while Daiko drums hit dramatically behind. Simple and stunning, the “KL Shogun” from Kicks Lab continues to be the ultimate footwear of Japanese street fashion.
Red and Black Design
This line of shoes combines a bold reflective red with dark black. Designs boast of warrior silhouetted against a sea of red, Japanese lettering, and other iconic symbols. The collaboration promises to combine the latest in sneaker technology with a unique style that can only come from Japan.
The GEL-Lyte KL Shogun sneakers feature red and black, with gray materials to balance the bold color choice. Reflectormaterial adds to the red color. The “Shogun” imagery in black and red pop out from the shoe. While a sports performance shoe, the “KL Shogun” compliments every scenario. Perfect for the courts, the track, or the dance floor. Enjoy these striking shoes and add them to your essential
This post is sponsored by CanvasChampbut the content and views are independent and reflect my opinion on the quality and service.
When my now 14-year old son won an honor regarding one of his paintings, I was anxious to frame it and put it on a wall in our home.
Fortunately, I got an opportunity just in time to convert his artwork into a custom premium canvas that I could surprise him with on his birthday this year.
The ordering process on CanvasChampwas simple. We simply clicked a few buttons to upload a digital version of his work and selected the size and hit send and it was off!
In a few short weeks, I think two, the gorgeous canvas arrived carefully wrapped in the mail.
I could not wait to tear off the coverings to reveal his masterpiece brought to life.
My husband and I decided to hang the piece in our bedroom above our headboard and call my son into the room under the guise of collecting a pair of socks he left in there.
When he looked up, his eyes lit up in wonderment and surprise. A big wide grin took over his face and he giggled and asked us, “what? how did you do that.”
Magic, I replied back. I knew we had hit a home run with this precious gift.
CanvasChamp offers a wide array of products that you can have your photos or art converted into including table tops, pillows, wall frames, mugs, blankets, notebooks, mugs, ornaments, phone cases, calendar, water bottles, calendars and more.
My fave are the custom notebooks!
They offer 100% money back guarantee and right now, as of this blog post, a free 8×8 canvas print for your first order and 10% Off all pillows.
Overall, I am satisfied with the quality and quantity of offerings, selections and options, the ease of ordering, the speed of delivery and the quality of product delivered.
Personally, I plan to order more custom products from Canvas Champ! Prices start at $4.95 for some products and it is definitely one of the more reasonably priced options out there for quality custom furnishings and wall coverings!
When baby gets too big to be bathed in a kitchen or bathroom sink and it’s time to transition to the bath tub, new parents quickly become acquainted with the back and neck strain associated with bending over a tub and trying to keep a firm cradle on baby while sudsing and rinsing her off.
It’s just something we dealt with. The cold hard bathroom tiles under our knees. The eventual crick in the neck that develops. The pain from being hunched over in the most uncomfortable position while trying not to get the bathroom too wet or slippery.
It can be a daunting and in some cases, dangerous task. I mean we’re just talking bath time here! But yeah…
Fortunately for modern moms, manufacturers and product designers have stepped up to the plate to come up with solutions. For example, Modern by Designs makes a Bath Kneeler and Elbow Rest that is guaranteed to provide max relief to parents and their achy joints.
The kneeler is made of a durable neoprene material that is water-friendly and dries pretty fast. There is a memory foam padding on the top that cushions the knees and eliminates the discomfort of the hard floor and a non-slip rubber bottom keeps mom or dad or caregiver from slipping and sliding in case the floor gets wet.
To add function, the kneeler has an elbow rest that is also equipped with a net that can conveniently store bath toys, shampoo and bath wash.
There are 4 extra large polyester mesh pockets that can be organized and customized. The material is such to repel the growth of mold as the kneeler dries in between uses. In addition, the elbow rest set comes equipped with 6 strong suction cups, safely securing the elbow rest to the side of the tub for maximal stability.
After each use, you can just leave it right there to dry or hang it on a hook. Toss it in the machine to wash when it gets too funk and hang to dry.
Simple. Easy Breezy and convenient!
The makers even throw in an extra bath organizer attached to 2 extra strong suction cups to eliminate the time searching for bath essentials. It also helps to keep the bathroom tidy and organized. Best of all, you can store the wet bath toys in the organizer to dry, so no more moldy bath toys!
Keep them right there for easy access each bath time!
They also offer a 100% money back guarantee for anyone who is not satisfied with the product. That’s a plus! You can return it within 30 days of purchase for any reason with no hassles, the company guarantees.
And at a $39.95price point on Amazon.com, you cannot go wrong anyway, especially if you can return it if it doesn’t meet up to your expectations but I think it will given all the positive feedback I’ve read on the Amazon page for this product!
Actually, Modern by Designs is offering Bellyitch readers 10% off their purchase.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams covers last month’s edition ofRolling OutMagazine.
On the cover and in inside pics, the gorgeous and buxom mom-to-be poses on the patio near a scenic locale and is shrouded in a beautiful yellow lace embroidered and sequined designed off-the-shoulder bump-hugging yellow gown with flowy bohemian sleeves and fringe skirt
The reality TV star dishes about her connection to Atlanta, her Civil Rights roots as the granddaughter to noted icon Hosea Williams, who marched alongside luminaries like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, and Andrew Young; and gives advice to other mom entrepreneurs.
“I knew Atlanta was special from a very young age, just through charity work,” Williams told the magazine. “My grandfather, Hosea Williams, created the charity Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. I worked in it, and it was right in the heart of Atlanta. All of my life I’ve been very close to the community and have known the people. We like to work together, we like to build each other up, we like to network; it’s a very [forward-looking city].”
Williams, who is a host on the nightly syndicated gossip radio talk show Dish Nation and has several ecommerce brands gave advice to other moms who are in business for themselves.
“Mommy entrepreneurs must be sure to have a great support system,” she offers. “You have to make sure that the type of business that you want to start will be good for you and your family. I wouldn’t get into just anything. If you don’t have someone to keep your kids and the best support, you may want to start a business that’s online, where you could be working from home. Start a business that’ll be practical for your real lifestyle. Research it and just go for it. Dream big and put in the hard work. Always use your kids as the focus and the purpose and the drive for what you’re going to do.”
And entrepreneurship was in her blood and family.
“My father was an entrepreneur,” the Bravolebrity shares. “He owns his own chemical company. My mother is also an entrepreneur, owning numerous childcare centers throughout Atlanta. I started out working in the family business, which was childcare. I ended up starting my own childcare center [at] 24 years old. Being an entrepreneur gives me the power to come up with a product that is close to my heart, and [a chance to] offer something to inspire other women and help them express themselves.
“I wouldn’t get into just anything. If you don’t have someone to keep your kids and the best support, you may want to start a business that’s online, where you could be working from home. Start a business that’ll be practical for your real lifestyle. Research it and just go for it. Dream big and put in the hard work. Always use your kids as the focus and the purpose and the drive for what you’re going to do.”
A great time was had by all the little boys and girls, big and small, who made it out to the opening day of the MONSTER JAM show at the Capitol One Arena in Chinatown in Washington, DC.
Before the show launched, a few fortunate ticketholders got a chance to have a truck touch at a ___ party.
We arrived about a half an hour before the show and were greeted with line that snaked around the block, literally, but I get it! Security first!
Nothing, not cold temps, or long lines, could stop the anxious attendees from experiencing first hand the death defying tricks, spins, and amazing driving of these supreme automobiles.
Thanks to our gracious host, Feld Entertainment, we settled in 4th row, Section 1 seats, smack dab in the middle of all the action and took in the phenomenal show! The audience around us were simply amazed and rose to their feet several times to applause these skillful drivers who did things with mega trucks I have never seen in my life.
This was my second time attending one of these shows and boy has it been upgraded since I last attended with one of my sons over a decade ago.
It’s really hard to put it in words and to be honest, it’s an experience I think You HAVE to get up close and personal and on your own!
To borrow the words of the promo materials:
Monster Jam takes center stage in the world’s most iconic venues, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered, ever-evolving trucks to the limit.
These world-class driers, some generational rivals, are athletes at the core and experts in four-wheeled, controlled agression. Ang just when you think we’re done racing, jumping, flipping and doing things with trucks you’ve never seen before, the brand extends in to the home through must-watch content and merchandise that keeps the fun alive year-round.
If you live in the DC area and missed the show this round, I recommend you try your best to make the next time the show comes to town. For those of you around the country who have upcoming shows, you can purchase tickets which often times start at a reasonably priced $20 per ticket at Ticketmaster or the local box office where the show will take place.
Stadium Tour 1– 2/2: Tampa, FL; 2/9-10: Indianapolis, IN; 2/16: Minneapolis, MN; 2/23: Arlington, TX; 3/2-3: St. Louis, MO; 3/9-10: Detroit, MI; 3/23: Las Vegas, NV; 4/5-7: Colorado Springs, CO; 4/13: Santa Clara, CA; 4/27: Denver, CO
Stadium Tour 2– 2/9-10: Oakland, CA; 2/16-17: Anaheim, CA; 3/2-2: El Paso, TX; 3/16: Seattle, WA; 3/30: Lexington, KY; 4/6: Syracuse, NY; 4/13: Hamilton, ON; 4/20: Philadelphia, PA
I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.
Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.
Jarred baby food recalls would scare you into making your own baby food, but then again, a lot of new moms are stopped in their tracks over the fear of the time it could take to pull it off. Also, the mess!
Thankfully, time and innovation have made it so that brands and manufacturers have perfected the process by releasing efficient, easy-to-clean appliances to make it happen! Woot!
Gourmia 8-in-1 Baby Food Processor is such an amazing product!
Gourmia is an established and well-respected cooking appliance manufacturer that designs products for cooks who want to make easy, healthy and delicious meals every week, not only on special occasions and holidays like pressure cookers, immersion blenders, air fryers and more. Recently, it got into the baby food processing business and launched a series or products, starting with a 5-in-1 processor which is has updated to add even more functionality so it is now an 8-in-1 appliance.
To be honest, I am truly amazed at the innovation that sprouts out from baby manufacturers and new mom products makers annually.
The Baby and Toy Show is coming up in NYC and I cannot wait to check out all that’s new and in store.
Now, for this product, I am aware of bottle sterilizers and baby food processors for those who make their own baby food but didn’t know there was a product that combines BOTH processes in one device!
The Gourmia Jr. 8-in-1 is a durable comprehensive baby system for baby prep food needs, baby food making and steamer.
Gourmia steams, warms, sanitizes, defrosts, reheats, purees, blends and processes food. it uses a QuikSteam and BabySafe technologies to make portions come out perfectly.
I put it together pretty easily out of the box. I struggled a bit to twist off the top which was on very firmly. I was almost frustrated but kept at it.
Then I assembled the steam baskets intuitively without even consulting the manual. I do recommend going through the steps in the quick start guide to make sure you do everything right.
Then I blended some carrots and apples for a nice puree for my soup I will make later. It was the texture of homemade baby food.
I added green powder mix and kombucha and juiced a nutritious drink for mom to get me through the day.
When you’re done, you can pour the leftovers or excess into one of two freezer bags that comes with the unit and store it. Mark what’s inside and the date before placing it in the freezer or fridge.
Gourmia 8-in-1 is also a steamer. It is very important when you have a new baby that you sterilize his bottles, nipples and bottle caps, pacifiers, teething rings and toys to keep them virus free and healthy.
You can use this processor for that dual purpose. And for moms who are breastfeeding, you can also drop in breast pump parts in there for steam cleaning as well. LOVE!
I also used the steamer to steam veggies for my soup and it took 20 minutes to do it while I worked.
What makes Gourmia 8-in-1 processor work is that it is truly multi-functional in every way and is perfect for a busy mom with little time is that you can actually process not one but TREE different textured foods at the same time (up to 1000 ml).
I like the large touch screen pad on the face of the processor. To make it super easy to use, each function has a tiny picture as well as the words for the process. I was able to punch it with my knuckles with my hands messy with food
For frozen foods, the “quicksteam” function defrosts before the food cooks. I am not aware of any other baby food processor that does this.
It makes 250ml servings but the cup can hold about 750ml on water.
The tiered basket make it super easy to clean in between uses. It also has an easy removable basket so you can quickly and easily clean the shavings from the processing.
The only con is that it is a bit loud but not louder than any other food processor, blender or other electronic device in my kitchen.
Overall, I really likes the system and highly recommend it for moms on the go because it can do so much and is super easy to use and clean!