Even if I do share a lot of things online about myself – I’m sure there are a variety of things that you had no idea about. Let’s face it, while I love to share with all of you, my entire life is not completely an open book. Every so many years I do a post similar to this one and I’ve always enjoyed it. This time around I figured, why not have a little fun and share with you 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me. Some of these things may have been mentioned before while others, probably not… but today – I’m sharing with you a few fun tidbits about who I am. Hope you enjoy it.
1. I am not a fan of mayonnaise. I say “not a fan” but before I had my children – I hated it somewhat. You could probably put it in a sandwich and so long as it was light, I would eat it… but there was a time when I couldn’t look at it, smell it or even touch it. I can stand it now and put it in sandwiches or even make potato salad with it, but before I had children – the look of it made my stomach upset and often times the smell made me want to hurl. I could smell it a mile away and it made me absolutely nauseated. This is not a recent dislike… my entire life I remember not liking it and my mom said I didn’t like mayonnaise since I was about 3 years old.
2. I can’t wink or whistle to save my life. Well – I might be able to fake a whistle somewhat – but anyone who can, would probably laugh at me. Winking? Nope – it looks more like closing my eyes completely. My Chinese blood kicks in and I fail miserably at it. Thank goodness my husband is a great winker… because I suck at it. lol
3. Growing up I had a stuttering problem. Hah, I bet you wouldn’t have known from watching my YouTube videos or maybe you had no clue – but it’s true. With the help of my teachers and my parents I was able to learn to get past my insecurities and anxiety that caused it. Sometimes when I’m really nervous (usually when I’m afraid) or my anxiety kicks in, you can hear it in my voice. Thankfully, I’ve been able to get passed it some what and it’s a rare occasion when it slips, but it does happen from time to time.
4. I’ve had the awesome opportunity to meet the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. I felt it was something I wanted to share today since we are literally 24 hours from the Inauguration of our 45th President. Mr. & Mrs. Obama are not only loving individuals, but they are great with children. I had a conversation with their secret service the same day and they told me that the Obamas love kids and children are always welcomed. Since the twins were toddlers when we visited the White House, I was worried that they would not be welcomed. But my eldest & the twins were greeted with open arms and my sons loved the company of the Obamas. We will surely treasure that moment for the rest of our lives.
5. I was almost kidnapped at the age of 4. I was playing in our yard which was fenced and locked in when a taxi driver pulled up next to the fence and persuaded me to follow him for some candy. Now mind you, this was back in 1984 when it was fairly safe to play in your own yard. My dad and mom had walked into the house to grab something and as my dad was coming out of the house, the man was putting me into the back seat of his taxi. My dad approached him, got me out of the car and well… let’s just say the guy was injured somewhat after that. Unfortunately no charges were brought against him because he didn’t actually “drive away” and told the police that he was just trying to protect me… yeah, right! Needless to say, it made my parents outlook on life as well as mine a bit different that day and that’s why I’m quite protective of my children.
6. My senior year in high school I was selected to represent Hawaii in the Miss Teen USA Pageant. Sadly, after going through all of the paperwork and getting things together, I had to decline my overall participation due to financial circumstances. I was a bit bummed, but realized that no matter how much fundraising I did, I wouldn’t make the deadline to attend. Because no one else was selected to take my place, the Hawaiian islands were not represented that year in the pageant. I wish that they had offered more opportunities for scholarship or sponsorship back then, but I’m just thankful that I had the experience.
7. I am a believer in Happily Ever After and Forever and I’m a hopeless romantic. In a time when divorce seems to be normal chit chat in a conversation, here I am trying to show everyone that true love and ever after are more than just fairy tale talk. This coming September, my husband and I will be together as a couple for 20 years and this April we’ll be married for 16 years. I started dating him when I was a Senior in high school. We’ve been through thick and thin and just about everything under the sun, including near death on many occasions, but I wouldn’t want to experience anything without him. Many people think I’m weird, but I find that true love is not weird and it does exist! No need for diamonds, pearls or material things… I am happy and thankful with a rose or flower picked from a garden or thoughtful cards and gestures. I just love being in love <3
8. I absolutely love photography. Prior to working on my blog more on a full-time schedule, I did wedding, nature and portrait photography for about 8 years. I enjoyed the job, but like being a makeup artist, being on your feet all day is probably one of the most difficult stresses you can put on the back. I do miss it, but since I no longer have my equipment, I don’t take on new clients. All of my blog posts and videos are shot with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and I certainly couldn’t show up to a wedding just carrying my phone – lol.
9. I have five different nationalities, but besides guessing that I’m Hawaiian, no one really guesses it right. I am Hawaiian, Portuguese, Filipino, Chinese and German. While traveling across the United States I’ve been asked if I am a mix of African American and Puerto Rican or African American and Korean. I’m neither, but think it’s really cool that because of my features I’m often mistaken for something else. I grew up in a melting pot of nationalities so I think a mix of races is always a cool thing.
10. Speaking of nationalities, many people think that because I’m Hawaiian, then Hawaiian food like kalua pig, poi and fish are my favorite foods. Well – don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fish and seafood, but believe it or not… my favorite food is Italian. I LOVE pasta and absolutely can’t get enough of it. It’s probably one of my downfalls to losing my weight because I’m all about that pasta life. Pizza is probably one of my all-time favorite foods and I don’t think my love for Italian food will ever change. It’s been my favorite since I was a little girl and I believe it always will be.
So there you have it, 10 things you probably didn’t know about me, or maybe you did… but I elaborated on them a little more. I tend to be an open book most of the time, but I always love sharing new and exciting things or old things about myself. I love posts like these because I find that I not only learn more about a person, but you get a feel for who it is you are reading about. I hope you enjoyed this little share and I look forward to sharing more of me with all of you.
Wishing you all a wonderful day.
Disclaimer: Affiliate Links may be posted through out. This is not sponsored and I am simply sharing my life with all of you. Please note that affiliate links are how my site is run as I make a small percentage off your purchase if you decide to click on the links. You are under no obligation to click on any of the links through out this post.
I have always started a new year with positive thoughts and goals and this year is definitely no different. I shared with all of you my 2017 Goals last week and wanted to take the time to really elaborate a bit on a personal level while sharing with you my thoughts and direction for Honeygirl’s World. You know, when I started this blog 10 years ago, I started it as my creative outlet, sharing a piece of me while documenting my life as a busy mom maneuvering my way through the Corporate America world and now, 10 years later, I have made so many changes to my personal and professional life, that the outlook of this site has changed gears over the years as well.
Here’s the deal – Honeygirl’s World is going back to what I love… documenting my life’s journey. I love reviewing products whether purchased with my own hard-earned money from my own pocket or sent from PR companies for consideration, but I miss what this site used to be. Does that mean that I’ll be providing a lot less reviews in the future? Well, I’m not sure… but my goal is to develop the range of posts you see here and incorporate more of what this site originally was aimed towards – My Life! Whether you are a company reading this post to decide if I am the right fit for your product or brand or someone who stumbled upon my site looking for a mother’s or wife’s perspective… let me break it down for you and share with you what you can expect here.
Let’s talk product reviews… I love love doing them. Over the last 10 years I have been given the opportunity to try a plethora of products I probably wouldn’t have tried to begin with. My family – husband, sons and fur baby – have also been given great opportunity to try products for themselves. I don’t think I’ll be eliminating those types of posts here, but I do have a strong opinion on those types of write-ups and want to be honest here so you know what to expect. Whether the post is sponsored or the products are sent for consideration know that my view point will never change here. I am 100% unbiased and truthful in my thoughts for any product you read about here… if I don’t like it, you’ll know about that, if I do – well, you’ll know about that too. No sponsored post will be biased in anyway – that has been my thought process for this site since the beginning and it will continue to be. If I do not like a product and cannot say so in my post – I will not take on the task of writing about it. Yes, my blog pays my bills or forks out spending money for me… but that will NEVER change my opinion and I will never obscure my integrity, my word and reputation for a product that I feel is not up to my personal standard. This can be a downfall in who I may work with, but that will never change who I am. I grew up being taught that your word is golden in life and I teach my children the same thing so I would never go against that for a quick monetary pay. Know that when you read a review here, it is truly my own word and that will not change. Not all products will receive a 100% pass from me and some may work for me while not for others.
I just turned 37 a few days ago and I’m reminded with each waking moment that blogging and YouTube are so much more different than when I started posting videos and write-ups 10 years ago. When I started YouTube, many of us filmed in a closet or at our desks, using a webcam or rickety point and shoot camera and just going with the flow. You know, while I do have my favorites that I still watch – I find myself back to basics, watching and enjoying YouTubers that offer simplistic videos. Call me cheesy, but I find myself watching YouTubers that provide videos like I do… chit chat and talk story type diaries that are laid back and personable. YouTube has turned into a cookie cutter type of platform and I’ve lost interest in so many I’ve watched over the years. Same with blogging… at 37 years old I find that I do not fit in the stereotypical blogger, that 18 – 25 year old range. Hey, nothing wrong with that, right; but because of this, I find that the beauty industry I have loved for so long is no longer where I want to be and I want out. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE beauty, makeup, nails, skin care… but I’m not going to sacrifice my own identity to please those around me. I realized in 2016 that I miss the type of videos and posts I used to do when I was in my late 20s and I want to go back to that place again.
Ugh… I’m so tired of the stigma of “Oh – she does YouTube videos and does it for free shit” or “Oh, she’s a blogger so she can get free stuff.” Um, no and no! I never started my blog or YouTube channel that way – but it’s been so nice that these companies have been so gracious to share their products with me and my family. It’s wonderful to be able to be paid for something I enjoy doing too. But rest assured, all of that – the free stuff and money, it has NEVER changed me… so you can continue to expect the same type of content whether organic or evergreen or whatever term you would like to use, all while I share a little piece of me. Honeygirl’s World is my indeed – my World, wrapped up into all the pieces that I am proud of.
What can you expect here? Well – more lifestyle posts, of course. Back in the day I used to write a series on my site called: Dear Diary or Sunday Letters, all of which were popular and fun and documented my life in a different aspect than what you see online. Documentation of my weight loss and “back to healthy” journey which will allow me to hold myself accountable for success. I want to share my Thirsty Thursday episodes and elaborate more on the subjects here on the blog then I do on YouTube and plan to have more Q&A and FAQ posts for those who are always asking me questions. Since I have an “Ask Honey” segment on my channel, I would like to definitely incorporate that here as well and my overall goal is to post more on my outfits (I’m not your typical fashion lover) and of course share my recipes, food choices and ideas here. There is so much more I have to list… but this post would be much longer than it should be.
Changing up my role in the blogging and YouTube community is never a bad thing. I think that while I’m making changes in my presence in the online world, I’m actually enhancing who I really am and what I’m about. Hey, let’s be real here for a second… does that mean I will no longer talk about Beauty here or on my channel??? Um, have you been listening? Of course I am, but it will not define what Honeygirl’s World is all about. If you are looking for product reviews, yes – you shall still see them here and find them here, but you will certainly see much more of who I truly am moving forward. Those that have followed my blogging and YouTube journey since the beginning – you will see a lot more of the “old Honey” that you were probably accustomed to. I’ll still continue to put the same amount of time and effort into any of my posts and I’ll still offer you the variety of content you have been seeing over the years – but now, it will include so much more. I plan to up my game with more lifestyle posts and share a little peek into my world. So – if you’re willing to stick around for this ride, then hang on tight and have some fun with me.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2017 and years beyond. It’s going to be a great year and I’m looking forward to sharing it with all of you!
Check out my 2017 Goals if you haven’t already read it.
Yay, I’m finally ALIVE! No, seriously – I’ve been in bed and seriously nursing the flu and then a cold for the last week, ringing in the new year in bed. I finally feel like I can get it together and get on the grind to start 2017. Hey, I’m only 7 or 8 days late – right? lol. Since I’m finally moving around and starting the year, I figured I would share my 2017 goals. These goals consist of those that are personal, blogging or anything in between. What I love about sharing them here on the blog, is that it kind of holds me accountable and that way I have no excuse but to keep on top of them. Let’s get started shall we?
1.) Lose Weight. This may seem like a given for anyone, especially those like me in my particular circumstance. But, the fact is – I’m slowly getting my health back in order and plan to not only continue eating healthier, but also really work on improving my self image and health overall – both physically and mentally.
Sub-goals: Make sure that I a) include more vegetables in my daily meal intake. b) try to eliminate the carbs and starches that plague me badly – i.e. reduce my rice, noodles and bread intake. c) reduce meal portion sizes while making sure I am eating through the day (my biggest issue is that I don’t have time to eat, so I must make time to eat). And, d) continue to increase my exercise daily.
2.) Be smart with purchases. Only buy new products when I’m running low or when I’ve actually run out of them. As a makeup addict, I often times find myself ooing and ahhing over the newest thing. In 2016, I did really well with purchases and didn’t purchase everything and anything that was newly released. This year, in 2017, I want to incorporate the same but really stick to it. After destashing and donating a lot of cosmetic items for 2016, I realized that I need to truly use what I already have. Money hard earned should be money well spent and buying makeup items only to have them sit since I only have one face, well – I have better things to do with my finances. I want to continue minimal self spending and splurging and continue to buy less – no matter what it may be… makeup, skin care, planners, pens, whatever.
3.) Get organized. This may seem like an easy task for someone like me who likes structure, but the fact of the matter is… I could do so much better. My desk – while I can find whatever it is I’m looking for, is a mess. While my time scheduling is organized and structured, my paperwork is a mess and I would love to bring more organization to my household overall. This may seem like an easy task for one person, but I balance the organization for a whole household of 5 members and I would love to be able to really kick it in gear and get it together.
Sub-goals: a) I would like to organize the paperwork on my desk and in my files. Trying to reduce paper clutter and keep it at a minimum, keeping only the papers that are needed. I would like to come up with a proper filing system so that I have an easier time with paperwork. b) I really need to organize our household better. Each month we take donations and try to keep clutter at a minimum, but I think there is so much more I could do. And, c) I need to organize my time better. This is important since I work from home. I need to be able to organize my work and home schedule to try and make sure I have enough time in the day to accomplish all the things I need to do.
4.) Wear my hair down more. This may seem like something that is already being done in my life… but the fact of the matter is, I still consistently wear my hair up in a bun or pulled back. I need to embrace my natural curls and my hair and really need to find the time and effort to get it under control so that I can wash and wear it easily – without constantly pulling it up. Since I wear my hair up so often, I am quite accustomed to not having anything in my face and that in it’s own is a difficult thing to get used to. My goal is to commit to wearing my hair down at least 2x a week so I can get used to it without sacrificing the “on-the-go” lifestyle I live.
5.) Wear more dresses or dress up more. Come on now, I have really never been a dress wearing girl. I’m a tomboy and will wear a pair of jeans or shorts with a t-shirt as much as possible if allowed. I would like to dress up a little more or wear more dresses so that I’m not so casual. There’s nothing wrong with dressing casually – it’s just that I do it so much, I forget what it is like to dress up sometimes. By putting on a dress or just adding a little more flair to my outfits, I think it would make a world of a difference.
6.) Eliminate the negativity and keep positive, striving for joy. This particular goal may seem like an easy one, but trust me when I say it has been anything but easy the last few years. I would like to do everything in my power to eliminate the negativity and strive for joy. By keeping the negative nancys out of my personal bubble and keeping positive aspirations, goals and overall happiness in my life – I think I can accomplish this goal. Spreading joy and happiness where I go while not feeding into others negative thoughts will make a huge difference in my life.
7.) Back to Lifestyle posts. Honeygirl’s World is technically a lifestyle blog and boy do I miss it. I feel like I’ve focused so much on product reviews or beauty and skin care over the last year, that I have lost sight of where my passion lies. I love sharing new products or reviews with all of you – but I also want to really incorporate more of my life on the blog. That is how I started blogging to begin with – to document my life’s story. So, my goal this year is to incorporate at least one lifestyle post a week. Whether it be to share my weight loss and health journey each week, post Sunday letters or just sum up life with my family each week – it’s my goal to go back to it and keep at it. Honeygirl’s World is my life, my world and I need to get back to my roots and remember where I started and how I got here.
Of course, a new year comes with new goals and I’m sure I’ll have a plethora more to add to this list as the year progresses. While many of these goals may seem a bit simplistic – it may not be that case for many because it’s all a matter of changing the way one thinks and how they proceed to do things. Since Honeygirl’s World is a lifestyle site, I plan to come back in the coming months and share how I’m accomplishing these goals and if I have had an positive change.
I wish all of you reading this a wonderful New Year. Whether you are making goals for yourself to accomplish or just plan on living life to its fullest, or both – may your year be filled with joy and happiness.
Disclaimer: This post may feature affiliate links or referral links. For more details and outline of my product review disclosures and policies, affiliate links, etc. please visit myDisclosures page.
We are literally a couple of days away from the new year and ringing in 2017, so I thought this would be the perfect time to go ahead and share my thoughts on the 2017 KITLife Planner with all of you. I’m a huge lover of KITLife Planners, this particular planner being my fourth that I own. Each year I have found a new way to use the planner and I’m so overjoyed with the changes that KITLife has made to the planner that I’m excited to share it with all of you. The KITLife planner is a daily planner layout that allows you to literally grab life by the hands and make it wonderful. The KITLife planner is more than just a planner, but a community – encouraging women to be productive, grateful, healthy, giving and live a life full of intention. This Planner has made such a difference in how I do things daily and yearly and I’m going to share it with all of you.
The KITLife Planner retails for $58.00. I know, I know… many have told me in years past that that is such a hefty cost for something that you may throw out at the end of each year. But here’s what I have to say about it… “Life is an Investment and to make it fruitful, we need to invest in the proper tools to help it grow.” (Yes, I wrote that… lol) A Planner is just that, a tool to help keep you organized. The KITLife Planner is a daily planner that consists of a monthly and daily layout. I find that a daily layout is my favorite for the lister in me, I love writing out my daily to-do’s and track my progress as I complete each task.
There are three different types of planner covers available for 2017 – The Classic Edition (which is what I am sharing with you), the Crown Edition ($72.00 – the Gorgeous White with Gold Foil cover) and The Festival Edition ($65.00 a fun cover with pink, blue and purple triangles). Each Planner also offers you the opportunity to add in additional pages to customize your planner (at an additional cost). The pages include: Note Add-In, Graph Add-In, Budget Add-In, Direct Sales Add-In, Direct Sales Team Add-In and Teach Add-In. These add-ins must be ordered at the time you order your planner. Each plan is estimated to ship in 5-7 business days after placing your order.
So, let’s get into all the fun details. The 2017 KITLife Planner has a new hardcover which feels much like suede. The Team at KITLife call it the Velvet Technique in printing the cover. It has a really cool and smooth texture that make this planner feel so luxe. I absolutely love it and I LOVE that the planner cover is now a hardcover instead of their laminated cover like they have had in previous years. This new hardcover makes the planner much more durable and protects the pages within. The KITLife Planner also comes with a movable dashboard as it did last year. I really enjoyed this option last year, but sadly, my dashboard didn’t last me past the 2 month mark. I’m pretty brutal. But, KITLife made some revisions and now has a very sturdy design that’s perfect for the 2017 planner. I love that it is still easy to move and flexible without being too flimsy. It’s a great addition and I love it.
The planner is smaller in size in comparison to past years. Honestly, I LOVE this because it was a bit cumbersome to take my KIT with me on the go. While I still do not take it with me usually, I love that I have that option should I decide to do so. While it is a bit smaller in size – you still get the same amount of writing space as you did in previous years. The monthly calendar spread also offers the same amount of space for writing which is great.
I love Christmas shopping, especially for my children. When it comes to Christmas, my boys are so laid back and easy to shop for, that it makes surprising them each year that much easier. I think children should have a wide range of gifts from clothes and toys to books and games and I’m always excited to write up my list of treats for my boys each year. Shopping for kids can be a challenge, at any age… so I have compiled a list of presents that are reasonably priced for any child. No matter the age, I’m sure you will find something in my list that your children may enjoy. Let’s get started, shall we?
Trekz Titanium Mini Wireless Headphones ($129.95) – These headphones from AfterShokz are the ideal gift for my teenager. Kevin Ka’eo is at the age where he works on projects for school on his iPad and Tablet and needs a quality headphones that can take the beating that teens dish out. He also runs and jogs so I really want to ensure I have a product that will work for him and provide him with quality sound.
The Trekz Titanium Mini Wireless Headphones are lightweight and comfortable. The are stereo headphones which are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. With bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features, the Trekz headphones deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without any compromise. This headphone is designed with athletes in mind and are sweatproof and secure – making them ideal for my son. They will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.
4id Power Spurz Light Up Heels ($19.95) – If you have little ones or even teenagers (heck, I even use them), Power Spurz are a great gift. They keep you safe and visible through your outdoor training, walking, running or everything in between where you need to be lit up so you are visible. The lightweight heel spur has two available settings – pulse and continuous light. The piece slides conveniently on the back of your shoe and glows in a vibrant LED light. Since my family and I often do night time walking around our block, or are out and about at the local festivals, these work perfect for the boys and they were a hit at Halloween. They come in five different colors and I definitely suggest it. They fit on my shoes as well as the boys so you have many options to utilize these.
LUX – The Principled Block Lux Blox ($29.99 +) – All three of my sons LOVE Legos or anything that will allow them to build creations to their heart’s desire. I love encouraging their imagination and the fun without the screen, so Lux Blocks are definitely a fun toy for anyone to play with – kids and adults too.
Lux is Made in the USA and was created by artist/inventor Michael Acerra because he and his wife Healther wanted to give the world a block that could bring everything as nature does. These construction blocks allow you build and make structures that curve, bend and move. The come with a unique, patent-pending snap and lock hinge system that allows you to build a structure that flexes, twists and turns.
There are different sets available and like I mentioned before, it doesn’t matter your age or your child’s age – they will love Lux as much as we do. While we still LOVE Legos in our house, Lux has easily become a building block we enjoy and I have it on my list to purchase several sets for my nieces and nephews.
Magic Sketch Art Tablet For Kids ($29.95) – I love As Seen on TV finds and the Magic Sketch is definitely one of them. This fun and new way for k8ids to draw, play and learn is flexible with an LCD screen that is transparent. The Magic Sketch allows kids to trace with the provided stencils or from their own images and creating all kinds of amazing art is fun for all ages. Unlike most tablets, the Magic Sketch is super kid proof. Kids can drop it, toss it, even step on it and it won’t break. It’s completely water resistant, so if they have a spill, it will wipe off and they can keep going. It’s got advanced internal electronics so you can clear the screen with just a push of a button.
Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:
- Magic Sketch
- Protector Guard
- 1 Roller
- 3 Stamps
- 20 Learning Stencils
- 20 Games Stencils
- 20 Art Stencils
I especially love this as a gift because it’s perfect for travel, mess free and I don’t have to worry about replacing an expensive device if it breaks or gets lost or stolen. It’s an ideal gift for all ages and I can’t wait to doodle on it myself.
Books & E Readers Make Great Gifts ($10 +) – My sons all love to read, so a great book (or two or three) or an E Reader like the Amazon Fire Tablet make great gifts. These items make fabulous stocking stuffers or fun gifts for unwrapping. Each year, I select at least two books for each of my boys and wrap them up. This year – I’ll be purchasing an Amazon Fire Tablet for the three of them to download some of their favorite Kindle books (that way there is more room for my books on mine… lol) and with Amazon Prime and Amazon Underground – many books are free to read and download. A basic Amazon Fire Tablet will make a great gift because it provides a plethora of apps and internet capability at reasonable costs. You can easily get a Tablet for $50 now a days and it’s worth it.
A few books that the boys have been loving lately – The Adventures of Camp Nana Papa and The Spinfords are great classics that I think any child would like. My eldest is currently reading The Kingdom Oceana (not currently pictured) and highly suggests that one.
Stompeez Slippers ($19.99) – Slippers with Personality. These slippers are absolutely adorable and perfect for my twins. They are fun, soft and comfy. Walk, stomp or jump and Stompeez will pop to life.
I thought these would be the perfect gift for Luke & Isaiah because they love soft and cuddly things. They come in different sizes and a variety of different designs – 9 total. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Batman, Nemo, Dori, Shopkins, Happy Puppy, TRex Dinosaur and so much more.
Buddy Balls ($19.99) – Zip it, Flip it, Love it! The boys and I have talked about Buddy Balls here on the blog before and it was a rave for a product. We love Buddy Balls and definitely thought it would make a great Holiday Gift to include in our gift guide. Buddy Balls are soft, cuddly and so sweet. They are little bears that you can zip up and flip into a ball to play with. The boys love them and I love them so much, I’ve purchased several of these as gifts for the holiday.
You can read about Buddy Balls and our review on these sweeties here.
I realize that most of the gifts I listed in this post are really for boys, but hey – I grew up a tomboy and I loved to play with all the boy things when I was younger, so I guess many of these things really gravitate in my mind as fun gifts. The fact of the matter is – they are all unisex and the gifts like Stompeez and Buddy Balls are sweet presents for little girls as well as any of the items I’ve chosen here. Each of these were selected because we have tested them ourselves and the boys and I really went through and found the ones that we would love to get or enjoy. At the end of the day, gift giving is about love and the thought is always what counts in our house.
I do have something fun for all of you. The boys and I are working in collaboration with AfterShokz and giving away a Trekz Titanium Mini for someone this holiday season. Check out the Giveaway Widget below to enter.
Looking for more ideas for your holiday shopping? Be sure to check out the following links for my guides and inspiration: (this list will be updated periodically as new guides become available)
So, what about you? Are any of these items a part of your children’s wish list this holiday?
Disclosure: Some of the products featured in this post were sent for editorial consideration, while others were purchased by Honeygirlsworld.com. This post may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details and outline of my product review disclosures and policies, affiliate links, etc. please visit my Disclosures page.
Fall is here! Hawaii doesn’t get much change in weather – well, it’s colder, but not by much… but it’s still my favorite season… woohoo! With Fall and colder weather come a change in clothing and accessories and today I’m going to be sharing with you an unconventional one. Who says a water bottle can’t be the newest fall accessory trend? I think it’s a great idea. So, today I’m going to share with you some Fall goods that I think would be a great accessory and make fun and festive holiday gifts too. While we are all changing out our closets and prepping for the newest beauty and fashion trends, I want you to complete your outfit with the latest and greatest accessory from Contigo.
Purses, shoes and jewelry are all fabulous things any time of year – but especially during Fall when dressing up is fun for colder weather. But, Contigo has added a new addition to their line of hydration products and I want to share it with you because I think it’s important to stay hydrated during colder months. The Purity Petal Glass Water Bottle is a glass bottle that is plastic free and adorned with a flower petal silicone sleeve in bright, vibrant colors.
Retailing for $14.99 this reusable glass water bottle offers style with your hydration. The BPA-free Purity Glass Water Bottle has a stylish silicone sleeve which really makes this glass bottle so chic and perfect for on the go. It comes with an attached silicone lid to make this convenient along with a carry loop to ensure that Purity will be ready for you and on your side for on the go. I love the wide mouth which also makes it easy to add ice to keep your water cold when you’re ready to hydrate.
The Purity Petal Glass Water Bottle by Contigo features:
- Made completely of glass, steel and food grade silicone; no plastic parts
- Contoured wide-mouth design
- Attached silicone tethered lid
- Comfortable, stylish non-slip silicone sleeve to help with durability
- 100% BPA-free
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
- 20 oz. capacity
- SRP $14.99
- Available in: Very Berry, Scuba, and Grapevine
If you are someone who loves to drink tea or coffee (that’s me), then the Contigo AUTOSEAL Transit Stainless Steel Travel Mug may be one for you too. Available in Stainless, Polar White and Matte Black – the AUTOSEAL knows when to close. It is the ultimate commuter companion and so sleek and chic that it will go with any outfit. It’s basically the Holy Grail of travel mugs and I love it. It’s Spill Proof, easy to clean and stays hot for hours on end. It was thoughtfully engineered with a CleanGuard lid to keep out dirt and germs and is perfect for transit and for a ride.
The AUTOSEAL Transit Stainless Steel Travel Mug retails for $24.99.
So, are you on the lookout for a fun Holiday Gift Idea or just want to add to your list of fashion and stylish accessories this Fall? If so – I highly suggest checking out these finds from Contigo. My plan is to pick up a purple one to have on hand of the Purity Bottles because I just love how simple but stylish they are.
You can check out all the info and more on Contigo and their complete line of products here: http://www.gocontigo.com/ And, if you have a coffee or tea drinker or water lover on your holiday gift list, I definitely suggest you get them one of these – it will be a great gift.
Disclaimer: The products featured in this post were sent for review consideration. All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased. Affiliate links are posted through out.
The boys and I have reviewed toys here in the past and today is no exception. With the holidays just a few short weeks away, I wanted to make sure to share a fun toy concept with all of our readers. Today – we introduce you to Max and Landry, the Buddy Balls.
Buddy Balls was created by a little guy named Max. One day, he came home with a school project and had to create the “best toy ever”. He decided to combine two of his favorite toys – his love for sports and his beloved plush sleep buddy. With a little help from his parents, Buddy Balls were born. MaxLand Toys was inspired by Max’s creation with a goal of producing a high-quality plush toy that would become a childhood favorite. And, in our household – it certainly has.
The original collection of Buddy Balls includes four stuffed friends – Max, Landry, Sam and Eva and MaxLand Toys has since added four more additional buddies in the Sports Collection. With a few twists and flips and a push and pull – Max and Landry transform into a bright colored plush ball.
The twins absolutely love their new furry friends. Each of the buddies are so plush and soft and they use their friends’ zipper area as storage for their favorite toys – cars, legos, etc. The bears come in four different colors and the pattern on their paws show what color the ball is.
“Zip it, Flip it, Love it!”
The twins have found a new cuddly buddy and love sleeping with Max and Landry because their fur is so soft and smooth. Each bear we received is very plush and would make the perfect gift for any child or child at heart. And, did I mention that Buddy Balls offers accessories for their buddies? Sports uniforms & jerseys are available for purchase to give your buddies clothes and extra love and care.
Buddy Balls are Award Winning and have been honored with a Parent’s Choice Foundation Award. Buddy Balls also helps to support Child Life Services Hospitals and chronically ill children. Do you have someone in your life that would love a Buddy Ball? This would make a great gift for anyone.
You can learn more about Max, Landry and MaxLand Toys as well as purchase your own Buddy Ball as a gift or for yourself here: http://www.buddyballs.com/
Disclaimer: The products featured in this post were sent for review consideration and feature. All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased. Affiliate links are posted through out.
When you’re looking for something to keep your kiddos busy or to help with learning their alphabets or reading, there are apps that can help. Interested in getting a bit more organized or need something to unwind and relax your brain for the day – hey, Amazon Underground Always Free apps got you covered. You never have to worry about your kids downloading apps and games that will cost you money and you can get access to over 3,000 apps and games that are 100% FREE. Simply download them from Amazon Underground to your Amazon Fire tablet or Android smartphone and you are good to go.
There are so many apps available in the Amazon Underground catalog that there is something there for anyone – my whole family is enjoying the selection. 100% free apps & games are a part of the Amazon Appstore with access to great content that you would normally have to pay for in “other” App and Playstores, but they are at zero cost through Amazon Underground. I am loving that some of my favorite games are available through access to premium apps and my family and I get to take advantage of the fun and convenience while we take a break from our busy day.
As a mother the Amazon Underground apps allow me to take my coloring on the go – letting me take a few minutes to focus on me while coloring – utilizing an easy app I love called Adult Coloring or Zen: Adult Coloring Book. When my family and I like to work our brains and have some fun together, we enjoy playing Brain It On! or some of our favorite games called Cut the Rope, Sonic Dash and Zootopia also make for some family enjoyment. For drawing, sketching and note taking, the app Notepad+ is also a great selection for fun as well as productivity.
On night that I need to unwind and relax and fall asleep soundly and easily, I love using the White Noise Sleep Aid – the Forest Noise is ideal for falling right asleep and feeling rested the next morning when I awake. You see, the options are endless and the Amazon Underground app store offers you a variety of selections for the busy mom and dad, student and school performance and studying and even the college bound teen that needs a little help making the transition.
If you are looking for something fun to do, get productive or organized or just have a little “me” time, I highly suggest checking out Amazon Underground. It’s easy to use and many apps and games are available at your fingertips.
#AmznUnderground via the @amazonappstore is one of the assets to keeping my family and I organized and focused while having some fun. Head on over to the blog to read about the apps we’re loving at the moment as well as how we make Amazon Underground work for us. #ad
A video posted by Honey 🌺Honeygirlsworld.com (@honeygirlk) on
If you’re interested in checking out the Amazon Appstore and learn more about what it has to offer, click here and check out the Amazon Underground catalog of 100% free apps and games. You can also access the Amazon Underground on your Android smartphone by visiting here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
I have to admit, my husband and I have been using this unit from iTens for quite a few months, maybe 6 months or so… and I’m finally devoting some time to sit down and write about it. You see, pain is never something I enjoy writing about (who does, anyway?) so putting the effort into writing about something that makes me miserable (PAIN) is not a thing I enjoy doing. But, I really wanted to share this with you and my thoughts on the iTENS wearable electrotherapy tens unit device.
The iTENS unit retails for $99.00 and you can select between the Large Wings (pictured above) or the Small Wings. My husband and I opted for the Large Wings because it gives the maximum coverage for your pain sites and are designed to provide bigger coverage area of pain relief for the back, shoulder and other large treatment areas… all of which are locations that my husband and I experience tremendous and continuous pain.
The iTENS unit will give you up to 24 hours of use per charge for continuous pain relief and the gel pads that come with it are good for 10-12 applications. Each unit includes the following items:
- iTENS Device with rechargeable lithium-ion battery (installed)
- Large Wings with Laser printed silver conductive surface
- Charging dock with USB charging cable
- One set of reusable Gel Pads
- Large Wing Span of 2.5″ x 6.5″
What makes the iTENS so unique is that it brings together wearable technology that meets digital health. This thin, lightweight and compact unit can be worn discreetly under your clothing and there are no wires to get in the way or get tangled with like a traditional tens unit. The fun part, is that the device can be easily controlled from the convenience of an app on your smart phone.
The state of the art APP and an energy efficient lithium-ion battery provide you with exceptional battery life for on the go and daily use while incorporating the advanced technology of TENS electronics. And, what we enjoy is that the tool and app actually help with managing your pain allowing you to have documentation at your finger tips for how long you used the unit, a way to track your pain results and where your pain is as well as where you applied your iTENS to your body. The settings for this device is so easy and you can easily apply different types of settings to your device based on your specific pain condition and location.
The iTENS is an FDA cleared, drug-free alternative for treatment of a variety of pain conditions. It’s shape is unique in that it allows for flexible and contoured fit around most joints and body parts. My husband and I especially enjoy that it fits perfectly on our back and in the curves where we need the pain relief. Like I mentioned previously, it’s very lightweight, thin and comfortable and you get medical grade strength without the prescription.
Now, I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but my husband and I own several tens unit devices as prescribed by our doctors. Between the two of us, we probably have 6 total (not included the iTENS) so we have definitely tried many on the market, both medical grade and over the counter. I love that the accessories to keep up with the iTENS and replacement is affordable. If you’ve ever had to buy replacement pads for a tens unit, you know that they can get costly and many times only last 2-3 times before the sticky is gone. The Peel-n-stick Gel pads for iTENS are available in all sizes for the iTENS device wings. The reusable gel pads are good for 10 applications (as I stated above) and each package contains 3 sets of these gel pads for just $6.99 – which is a good bargain considering you are getting 30+ uses in one gel pad refill box.
The iTENS offers muscle massage and muscle rehabilitation modes so you get the maximum in pain relief for joints and muscles as well as recovery after you have really stressed your muscles from sports, working out, etc. You also get a variety of accessories for your device so you can decide to get teh Long Strip Accessory which is designed for sciatic nerve, IT band, tendons and other long treatment areas or the small wing, all of which are interchangeable with the original device you have purchased.
I realize I have given you an overwhelming amount of information, but I honestly don’t know where to begin or where to start. I’m absolutely enjoy my iTENS device and my husband and I love the convenience of all the options available to us. I especially enjoy that the Bluetooth app enables me to use this product without being stopped up by wires or a bulky base that can keep me from really relaxing and enjoying the massage it offers. Replacement pads and accessories are reasonably priced and offer my husband and I a range of products at our finger tips and most importantly, it works. After using different tens units over the years, I know that they work well and I enjoy the fact that this one may look discreet and small but it surely packs a punch. If my husband can get a good massage and pain relief from a device that’s so small and tiny, through his muscles and all – I know anyone could benefit from the iTENS.
Now, yes – I was sent this product for review consideration and yes, I realize that it could seem that my opinion is biased… but let’s be honest here, if you’ve been on my site for a while, you know I have no problem talking about whether or not a product worked for me, whether it was sent for review or not. I can honestly say I am enjoying this product and so is my husband and we have bought replacement pads twice already. It’s worth looking into if you experience chronic pain like we do. And, if you’re over those bulky tens units you have been prescribed, I highly suggest checking this out. The investment is reasonable and actually quite affordable considering the relief you’ll get in the long run.
You can get more information or purchase an iTENS unit at: http://itens.com/
Thanks iTENS for sending this over to my husband and I. We love it and look forward to picking up all of the accessories and more. You have customers for life here.
Disclaimer: As stated in the post, I was sent this unit for review consideration and feature. All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased. Affiliate links are posted through out.
With all the kiddos heading back to school for the 2016-2017 school year, Target has you covered. The “Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target” product collection includes leading natural, organic and sustainable brands for you to choose from. At the heart of Made to Matter is an assortment of great products made with simple, recognizable ingredients that are designed to be higher quality for everyone and accessible to anyone. Are you a Target shopper? If so, read on and check out some of these brands that you can add to your list the next time you’re out shopping.
Target is one of my favorite stores to shop at and I’m excited to share a few fun brands for you to check out as a part of the “Made to Matter Handpicked by Target” collection. These brands and products offer an assortment of great products and today I’m going to share them with all of you.
Pacifica is a brand that I know and love and I’m very thankful to be a Pacifica Beauty Ambassador. The Made to Matter product from Pacifica is the DreamBIG Lash Extending 7 in 1 Mascara ($15.99) which I wrote a review on previously (you can find that here). This mascara provides instant amplification with natural plant fibers that build and build plus fortify your lashes with an innovative peptide serum. It also includes a magic wand that changes up your mascara game with a twist. Fake it till you make it with this awesome mascara.
Shea Moisture Made to Matter Products – Peace Rose Oil Complex Nourish & Silken Shampoo and Conditioner ($10.99 each). I’m a huge fan of the Shea Moisture products but have not tried this particular line from the brand until now. These nourishing recipes are made with natural and certified organic ingredients and are designed to hydrate and soften dry, brittle hair. Key Ingredients include: Peace Rose Oil Complex (Alpine, Damask and Must Rose Oils) to help soften and silken dry hair. Date Pam Extract to provide protective moisture barrier with sensitivity pathway blockers and Camellia Leaf Extract contains antioxidant properties, soothing minor skin and scalp irritation. I have been LOVING these hair products and plan to have a full review up on the blog in the coming weeks.
Method Rebecca Atwood + Method Pumpkin Clove Gel Handwash ($3.49) is a design-driven, planet-friendly home and personal care product that was designed in collaboration with Brooklyn-based designer Rebecca Atwood. The line includeds four custom painterly patterns and fragrances that span a variety of method products in this limited edition collection for fall – bringing sophisticated style to everyday products. The bottle is gorgeous with a chic design that is show stopping and the scent of the soap is awesome. Method met the clean label challenge for the Made to Matter program by sharing all product ingredients with Target’s Sustainability Index team so that they could verify the safety and sustainability.
Suja Pressed Probiotic Waters in Raspberry, Orange, Ginger Pineapple, Pineapple Lemon Cayenne & Ginger Lime ($2.99) are the perfect back to school drink. Suja has created the first enhanced water on teh market with no additives of any kind and no natural or artificial flavors. Suja’s Pressed Probiotic Waters are Organic, Non-GMO and Cold-Pressured. Suja’s waters are the first-ever enhanced water made with nothing but organic fruits, vegetables and vegan probiotics. 10 calories and one gram of sugar or less, the pressed probiotic waters offer a subtle sweetness and no additives of any kind. They also contain 2 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of vegan probiotics, these waters provide a clean dose of immune and digestive benefits.
Annie’s Snacks ($3.45/box) and Justin’s Peanut Butter + Banana Chip Snack Packs ($1.99) are delicious snacks that are perfect for back to school. These treats are conveniently packed to put into the lunchbox and are a nutritious snack for the whole family. They are tasty and fun and I love that they are perfect for on the go.
Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Paper Masks ($2.99) are single use Ultra Hydrating paper masks that naturally hydrate and provide the skin with and extra dose of tropical scented moisture.
Tom’s of Maine just launched their first natural antiperspirant for Men – Naturally Dry North Woods. Selected for the “2016 Made to Matter-Handpicked by Target” Program. 48 Hour odor and wetness protection with no petrochemicals or artificial fragrances. It’s also non-irritating and with every purchase Tom’s of Main donates 10% of profits back to helping people and the planet. Tom’s Main Naturally Dry Deodorant ($4.49) is reasonably priced and smells nice. But I especially like that it will not cause irritation to my husband who has sensitive skin like me.
Tom’s of Maine Luminous White Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste ($4.99) is their newest, most advanced natural whitening toothpaste designed exclusively for Target. Luminous White offers effective whitening with only naturally derived ingredients that work to remove surface stains. Most importantly, it’s safe on enamel and selected for the 2016 “Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target program because it contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or artificial sweeteners like saccharin. It’s also gluten free with no animal testing and clinically proven, dual silica whitening technology.
The Honest Company has been one my family has really grown to love. The Organic Healing Balm ($12.95) is a favorite mainly because it is very similar to those that I currently use from other brands. It’s an all purpose salve for dry, chafed or sensitive skin and a favorite in our household because I can easily carry it in my purse and take on the go for when I need it most. It’s all natural, soothing and hypoallergenic which make it all great for my sensitive skin and my family. Award winning, this balm is a must have, super versatile salve to help soothe my very dry and sensitive skin and so much more. With organic sunflower, olive and coconut oils along with shea butter to nourish and moisturize, my dry skin gets the relief it needs. It’s also made without petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances, dyes and most ingredients that cause common allergies.
The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray ($2.98) is also a favorite in our house. It smells so refreshing and bright with an orange citrus scent and moisturizes with aloe vera. Kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria, this antiseptic + moisturizer offers antimicrobial protection made with plant-based ingredients. Soothing botanicals help to reduce drying, redness and chapping and there are no harsh chemicals. I love that it is in a convenient (easy to travel and use on the go) packaging and it’s a favorite to always have on hand.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Vinegar Gel Cleaner ($3.99) is something new to our family and I have not used it prior to this. Heritage-inspired specialty cleaners that are bleach-free but still work hard on grease, grime and soap-residue. Mrs. Meye’s Vinegar Gel Cleaner in Lemon Verbena smells nice and is naturally thickened vinegar with the Lemon Verbena fragrance to help clean stainless steel to a bright, brilliant shine without needed to rinse. Use to clean countertops, the refrigerator, handles, knobs and all those little do-it-yourself vinegar jobs but with more of a pleasant scent. I love it… I am someone who keeps a bottle of vinegar on hand just for cleaning the house and this product is awesome.
Happy Family Organics Brand Happy Tot Super Smart Organic Pears, Peas & Mangos ($1.60) I have been seeing kiddos around our neighborhood and at football practice sipping on these pouches over the last couple of weeks and I was excited to be able to try one. Since a toddler’s brain doubles in size from birth to age 2, it’s essential to give them the proper support for a tot’s growth. These Super Smart pouches contain 20mg of DHA and 100mg of choline, both important nutrients to help support brain health in a growing toddler. But, while these are formulated mainly for toddlers, the boys tried them and really enjoy it. I know they have a variety of flavors for older kids too so we’ll be checking those out in the next week or so and stocking up.
Babyganics Moisturizing Lotion ($7.29 for 11oz bottle) is the only baby lotion designed specifically for baby’s developing skin, featuring NeoNourish Natural Seed Oil Blend and the 100% natural scent of chamomile verbena (also available fragrance free). It’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, dyes or synthetic fragrances and the boys enjoy it as well as I do. Non-allergenic, pediatrician & dermatologist tested and never tested on animals, this is a really nice brand that includes Shea butter, Aloe, Vitamin E, Olive and Avocado Oil and the Babyganics 100% natural NeoNourish Seed Oil Blend.
Bitsy’s Brainfood Smart Crackers ($3.99) has been a fun new treat for us. Clean Label, USDA Organic, Non-GMO, nothing artificial and low in sugar, high in nutrition with 1/2 serving of vegetables. Smart Crackers are baked in a zero waste die and no scrap dough and the boys love that there are puzzle games on the 1005 recycled paperboard. The crackers are made with real organic veggies and come in three yummy flavors: Cheddar Chia Veggie, Mapple Carrot Crisp and Sweet Potato Cinna-Graham. They are made with love in the USA in a peanut and tree nut-free bakery. My sons really enjoy them and I think they taste really good… YUM.
Nature’s Path Organic EnviroKidz Granola Bars ($4.99 / 6 bars) are made with gluten-free rolled oats, chocolate chips and chocolate drizzle. The first and only granola bar made totally organic, gluten free and peanut free so they’re the perfect allergy-friendly lunchbox snack. The boys love these and love the way they taste, plus – the cute monkey on the packaging is a total fun way to snack.
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs ($12.99) include Seventh Generations trusted Free & Clear laundry formula that is now available in EPA safer Choice certified all-temperature laundry packs. These bio-based laundry packs use quadruple-enzyme power to remove stains and leave your clothes looking good as new. The product includes 45 toss-and-wash single-dose pods to make laundry day simple and mess-free. Their EPA Safer Choice certification means that every ingredient in their laundry packs have been reviewed by the EPA to ensure it meets their stringent human health & environmental criteria. What I enjoy the most about these laundry packs is that they are perfect for sensitive skin and my family is full with sensitive skin bodies. I think this will become a favorite our ours in the future and you may see a full review on this in the months to come.
As I mentioned before, “Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target” is a collection of products of leading natural, organic and sustainable brands. At the heart of Made to Matter is an assortment of great products made with simple, recognizable ingredients that are designed to be higher quality for everyone and accessible to anyone. It is always a great thing to walk into my local Target store to see the “Made to Matter” logo and emblem on product displays because I know what they are about and am proud to support these brands. This year I was introduced to brands I have never tried before and some that I have loved over the years and my family and I have been enjoying them all.
It’s always great when a company offers such great quality but higher standards and I’m excited for my readers and friends to try some of these brands for themselves.
Make sure to shop all of these amazing #MadeToMatter favorites on Target/MadeToMatter website: http://www.target.com/c/made-to-matter or at your local Target Store.
Thank you Target and Pacifica Beauty for sending my family and I this awesome gift of goodies, we surely love them and look forward to trying more.
Disclaimer: The products discussed in this post were sent for review and feature consideration and as gifts. All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased. Affiliate links are posted through out.
As the season starts to change and the weather gets a tad bit chillier, the kiddos make their way back to school for the 2016-2017 year. I remember as a kid, going back to school was my favorite time of year because it meant that I would have the opportunity to impress a new set of teachers and meet new friends. My boys returned back to school at the beginning of August and while it has been a busy month so far, we are so excited and they have been absolutely loving school. Today I share with you a few of their favorite finds for Back to School from affordable selections that we love and a few Celebrity faves. Since back to school can be a fun time for kids or some may feel a bit uneasy, it’s the perfect time to pick up some new goods that will surely put a smile on your littles’ faces.
Going back to school after a fun summer break isn’t always easy for littles. But, finding cool Back to School gear and supplies always make for a great start. This year I wanted the boys to be able to develop their own sense of style (see the twins with their mohawks and sunglasses in the photo above? lol), but I also wanted them to select basics that would make their year fun and functional.
A quality made backpack is always an important part of back to school. My eldest Kevin has a full schedule of classes and a heavy workload and homework sometimes. It’s important that he has a backpack that can take him to and from school while still offering him the option to use for extra curricular activities and sports. His choice of gear for this year was the Mountainsmith Approach 25 backpack (retail: $89.95).
This multi-pocket backpack is perfect for on the go for work and office, school or sports, or for a hike to climb the highest summit. It features a dual-anel loader system which is idea for travel and trail), a front panel stretch-mesh pocket with daisy chain attachment loops, Anvil Airway ridged EVA back panel padding which make it comfortable on the back no matter what you carry in it, tool / trekking pole carry, side compression straps, dual side-panel mesh pockets, an internal hydration sleeve to hold 3 liters and an eleastic sternum strap and bit valve catch with a safety whistle.
This backpack is sturdy and unisex. He has it in burgundy with brick red trim and it looks stunning and manly. It’s comfortable on and Kevin can stuff this backpack with his school supplies and homework without worrying about it falling apart. It’s a great backpack to have for anyone of any age and is not only for school but anything. I plan to pick one up for myself as well since it will be great for my forest treks.
Luke opted for a fun and stylish backpack from Chooze. Chooze is a brand selected and loved by celebrities alike. Matthew McConaughey’s little girl is a huge fan of the versatile and affordable clothing and accessories Chooze offers. Luke wanted the reversible ChoozePack in Quest (retail $43.95).
These ingenious packs feature a reversible design that has two functional sides to give your kiddos the power to choose which print to display. It offers padded convertible straps (which Luke says are BOMB because they are so comfortable) and you can flip each strap from side-to-side to provide a different look.
Of course, no back to school list and gear would be complete without a way to carry your lunch and snack to and from school. Kevin opted for something he could use for school and sports and went with the Mountainsmith Takeout insulated lunch pack (retailing $17.95). It is the perfect sized carry-all for school, office and tailgating and has a look that any teen would enjoy.
To help carry his favorite mom’s delicious soups to school for lunch, he also selected the Hydro Flask Food Flasks. He has them in the 12 oz. (retails for $29.99) and the 18 oz. (retails for $34.99). These flasks are perfect to carry his favorite soups or a hot cocoa on those chilly mornings. They fit perfectly into any lunchbox and are the perfect way to give kids a balanced healthy meal. They offer improved temperature control technology and can keep hot food items made in the morning steamy until lunchtime. He also enjoys holding his milk in these and pours a small box of cereal inside for breakfast on the go.
Luke & Isaiah decided that getting a traditional lunchbox was the way they wanted to go this year. Each of them selected a Personalized Lunchbox from I See Me! (retailing for $29.99 each, currently on sale for $17.99. Isaiah chose the Kick, Score, Run Lunchbox and Luke chose the Outerspace Lunchbox. I See Me! is a brand and leader in personalized storyboks and gifts for kids, offering over 30 customizable book titles. They also offer lunch boxes, stickers, growth charts, puzzles and so much more. This fun company is a favorite of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Brooke Shields.
Did I ever mention how much I enjoy Quinoa? Well, I couldn’t resist putting some of these yummy snacks in the boys lunch boxes. I Heart Keenwah snacks are perfect for any kiddo on the go or to pack with their lunch. These Grab n Go (1.5 oz) snacks are great afterschool or lunch treats that taste great and are fun and nutritious. I Heart Keenwah quinoa Clusters and Puffs are a healthy alternative to chips, crackers or sweets. They are made of organic, Non-GMO ingredients. They are a protein-rich superfood snack and gluten-free with the perfect crunch to fill and fuel your little ones bodies. I love them myself and the boys think they taste great. We find them at our local Safeway and Wholefoods at a reasonable cost.
Setton Farms International Premium Quality Snacks are also a great buy. Our favorite are the Creme Brulee Blend that has cashews and toffee peanuts. The Creme Brulee Blend incorporates all the creamy sweetness and crunch of the traditional Creme Brulee without the spoon. It combines freshly roasted cashews and toffee peanuts with creamy butterscotch and white chips for an irresistible treat. They are available in 5 oz resealable bags and available in major grocery store chains across the country – Price Chopper, Market Basket, King Kullen and more. Setton Farms sent us a variety of treats to try but the Creme Brulee Blend is our favorite. I hope we can find more of these in our local stores, so far I’ve only found them at http://www.puritan.com/ and I’ll need to be purchasing more soon.
When it comes to back to school, the boys are simple shoppers which makes my job easiest. I remember as a child wanting to have all the pretty notebooks and pens for back to school supplies. This year, when I did the boys school supply shopping, I also took advantage of some discounts for myself too. Whether it’s Crayons or Pens, Notebooks and Planners or a tablet, the options are endless and come in a variety of price points. Some of our favorites included:
- Crayola Crayons 24 Pack – these are perfect on the go or to keep in the desk or at home. When shopping during the sales you can get these for about $0.25 each.
- Calendar or Planners – some of my favorites are the Blue Sky Planners from Target. Of course, you can’t go wrong with an Erin Condren Life Planner, Happy Planner or your traditional binder planners like Kikki K, Filofax or Dokibook.
- Pens – anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a huge pen collector. Some of my current favorites include the Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel 0.7mm Pens, Pilot Frixon Pens and Pilot G2.
- Pencils – Oh, how I love me some pencils. Currently my favorites at the moment are any type of Mechanical Pencil with 0.5mm lead, BIC Pencil 0.7mm (the metallic ones have won me over), Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils (have you seen the beautiful metallic ones?) The Ticonderoga pencils are perfect for sketching as well as writing and erase cleanly.
- Notebooks – Spiral, composition tablet… you name them and they are available in all kinds of paper style and cover design.
- Folder / Filler Paper – ah, hand me a ream of college ruled please! The twins use Wide Ruled, Kevin uses College Ruled. I love that they are available from a variety of brands and price points.
- Amazon Fire Tablet – for less than $50, you can get your hands on a Tablet that acts as a Reader or Internet hub. The Amazon Fire Tablet is affordable but gives your student (or you) the option to get online, use amazing apps or just play games. It’s definitely a great tool to have for the student or the mentor.
Now – you don’t need to pick up these particular items. Honestly, I just wanted to include some of my favorite school supplies (or mommy supplies) because I was feeling a bit left out. lol
Last but certainly not least in our Back to School finds are some great threads. Each child is an individual and I really love seeing them shop and select their own clothing, accessories and shoes – even their own hair cuts. All three of my boys are simple guys but they do enjoy fun pops of color to their outfits and clothing selections. Whether it be plaid shorts with a solid color shirt or fun hats and accessories, the boys take pride in finding something to wear that is not only comfortable and functional – but reveals their style. Isaiah is absolutely enjoying his Rocket in Listen modern sneaker boot style shoes from Chooze ($54.95) and he wanted to show them to our readers today.
This modern sneaker boot style shoe comes with a side elastic gore added for comfort. It has a signature dual design with easy access side zipper entry making the shoe easy to take off and put on. It has padded throat for extra comfort and soft canvas uppers. The flexible support offers comfort while the removable, padded, anti-stink insoles make these the perfect footwear for an active little guy. They wipe clean easily with a damp cloth or can be washed in cold water and air dried. Chooze offers a variety of footwear designs for both girls and boys and they are stylish and fun to allow your child to make a statement all their own.
Luke likes a shoe that can allow him to run and play with a little swagger and Kevin, well – if he’s not in his Nike Basketball shoes most of the time, you can find him in a pair of flip flops (rubbah slippahs as we call them here in Hawaii) and a cool pair of shades to finish off his look. The boys were quite ecstatic to return back to school because the new school year meant that they were all beginning their football season for Pop Warner but most importantly, they got to go back to school and
learn… I mean, hang out with their friends, just kidding lol. The boys love school and love learning new things so shopping for new gear for back to school is always a huge highlight.
No matter what you decide to get for your child (or yourself) this Back to School season, make it fun and colorful and let it represent your own individual style. Have your kiddos gone back to school yet? If so, do they sport a relaxed and casual style or do they really like to dress up and have some fun? Wishing all the students a wonderful 2016-2017 school year filled with lots of fun, friendships and learning. From our house to yours… Aloha!
Disclaimer: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent for review and feature consideration. All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to feature these products. Some products were also purchased with my own money. Affiliate links are posted through out.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge water drinker… but as much as I love water, I’m not a fan of it warm or hot unless it’s in coffee or tea. Years ago my husband and I started carrying our water bottles with us everywhere, but because your typical plastic bottle usually contains some form of BPA, they were not able to be left in the car while shopping and they would get really hot from the sun. Who wants to drink hot water to rehydrate themselves? Certainly not me! Over the last year, my husband and I have invested in the Hydro Flask and it is now a household name. It is the #1 staple in our house and since all of our boys play sports and my husband and I are avid walkers, we enjoy our bottles. Today I share with you how I keep cool this summer and why I think this is such an essential item to have.
You’ve seen it featured in my Thirsty Thursday videos time and time again. The Hydro Flask has been my number one drinking companion since I first started using it a year ago. It goes where you go, whether out and about or working out, it will keep your drink ice cold or piping hot for hours. I am sharing with you the 40 oz bottle but they come in a variety of sizes. The Hydro Flask is an award-winning global leader in high performance, insulated stainless steel flasks. They were founded in 2009 in beautiful Bend, Oregon and the company’s mission is to save the world from lukewarm.
Hydro Flask uses the highest quality 18/8 stainless steel and the Hydro Flask food and beverage flasks are stylish while still offering all the necessities like BPA-free, recyclable and backed by a lifetime warranty. Hydro Flask believes strongly that great flasks and great causes go hand-in-hand. Because of this, through its charitable arm 5% back, consumers can allocate a portion of the net profit of their purchase to a charity they choose. (Learn more about Hydro Flask’s charitable giving here).
Hydro Flask offers a variety of different products that include:
- Bottles (Ranging from 12 oz to 40 oz)
- Beer Growlers (64 oz and 32 oz)
- True Pint (16 oz beer pint)
- Coffee (12 oz, 16 oz & 20 oz coffee flasks)
- Food (12 oz and 18 oz food flasks)
My family and I are huge supporters of the Hydro Flask brand. Each person in my family owns a 40 oz. bottle. While each one is an investment (depending on where you buy them they can retail for about $40 for a 40 oz. flask), they are well worth the cost. During Sports, my sons need to hydrate and keep cool, especially in the warm weather that you get here in Hawaii.
Hydro Flask has Universal Benefits that are great for daily use as well as for anyone:
- TempShieldTM Protected
- Keeps hot up to 6 hours
- Keeps cold up to 24 hours
- 18/8 Pro Grade Stainless Steel
- BPA-Free and Phalate-Free
- Durable, sweat-free powder coat finish
- Lifetime Warranty
Hydro Flask is known for their Temperature, Taste and Transport. (temperature) TempShield is used in 100% of Hydro Flask products, which is a unique double wall insulation that protects temperature for up to 24 hours cold and 6 hours hot. (taste) The 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel won’t retain or transfer flavors, ensuring the pure taste of your beverage. (transport) Proprietary powder coat offers an easy-grip, sweat-free and extra-durable bottle that you can take anywhere.
Unlike other stainless steel bottles my family and I have had in the past, the Hydro Flask bottle is sturdy. Other bottles have dented quite easily but these have retained its shape for quite a bit. Of course, if it drops on a hard surface, it can get dinged, but overall it has lasted us quite some time. I have had my original flask for over a year with minimal damage to it.
I love that Hydro Flask offers a variety of different accessories for your flask. A Wide Mouth Straw attachment is a favorite of ours and it allows us to carry our water with ice in it all day. What is so awesome is that even on a hot day, with my bottle in the car, my flask is still ice cold and most of the time my ice is still wiggling around inside the flask. The bottle never sweats which makes it perfect to store anywhere without worrying that it will ruin any of my electronics or furnishings and I love how convenient it is to take with us on the go.
When it comes to staying cool and hydrated this summer or anytime of the year, I know I can rely on my Hydro Flask to keep me cool. It’s the best summer necessity to have and an essential in my book. We are completely hooked – my husband takes his to work daily and the boys take theirs to school and practice. It’s definitely something I think you should check out.
It’s an investment for a water bottle – but many times in the past I have left my flask in the sun while out at the beach or in the car and the ice is still there and my water is still very cold hours later. There are not too many of those types of stainless steel bottles on the market today that can offer you that kind of awesomeness. Who wants to drink warm water anyway, if not for coffee or tea? lol
You can purchase Hydro Flask products at: http://www.hydroflask.com/
Disclaimer: The product featured in this post was sent for review consideration, however – I already owned similar products previously so I’m speaking with experience as someone who has also spent their own money on the products. All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased. Affiliate links are posted through out.
I can’t believe the boys are heading back to school in a week or so. It seems like their summer months completely flew by and we didn’t get as much play time as we would like. But, as we prep for back to school, I’m reminded to share with you a product that has been essential for my son as a teenager. Do you have kids that play sports? If so, a good bag or duffel that can take them from school to sports is important. Our Kevin finished up his Basketball season a month ago and carried with him a duffel from Lewis N. Clark. And, as we prep him and the twins for a season of Pop Warner Football, my eldest is ready to take his duffel bag with him.
When it comes to carrying your sports gear, you really need something that is durable and that can withstand any heavy gear as well as daily use. Over the years my son has gone through a variety of different bags and usually at season end, he’s retiring one and we need to pick up another for his next sport that starts shortly after. Kevin has been using the Lewis N. Clark duffel as his daily bag, taking his basketball gear with him and then even took it with him when he was off to camp at the beginning of July. It’s held up well and still looks like it’s brand new. For a teenager that tosses his things when he’s on the go – I was amazed that it lasted as well as it did and how great it looks after months of heavy use.
Now that Kevin’s off to football season, this Lewis N. Clark duffel bag will be carrying his football gear – helmet, pads, cleats and extra clothes. He’s excited to be able to use a bag that he likes through football season because it was so durable it held up all through basketball season and summer camp. I will definitely come back & update the wear and tear on the duffel bag once it makes it’s way through football season.
This Lewis N. Clark Duffel Bag retails for $56.49. It’s dimensions are 18 in. x 36 in. x 18 in. and this duffel fits A LOT of stuff. My son packed a week’s worth of clothes, towels and gear for summer camp and was able to fit it all inside the bag. This bag features multiple interior and exterior pockets which make it great for separating items and storage. It has a padded shoulder strap, which my son LOVES because his gear can often be so heavy, that it really helps and aids in him carrying it. He did mention that he wished the straps could be adjusted a little more than it current can, because it’s still a little long for him at its shortest length – but it was still doable and able to be used.
You get carry handles with hook and loop fasteners to give you options on carrying your bag and the shoulder strap is detachable in case you want to just use the traditional side grab handles to hold your bag. The grab handles are padded which make it comfortable to hold. The inner zippered pocket allows you to also carry your essentials out of site to help with storage but also deter theft since it’s out of sight, out of mind.
The zippers are heavy duty nylon and have lasted through stuffing this bag and daily use. But, what I love the most about this is that it has the ability to be folded down into a small square and packed away easily while it’s not in use. The storage pouch that holds the bag when it’s folded doubles as an inner pocket as well. The bag is constructed of weatherproof 900D polyester which makes it a great companion for holding your hiking gear or for outdoor activities like rafting down a river or skiiing in the mountains.
If you are an outdoor lover, enjoy traveling or just want a new duffel bag to have in your life, I highly suggest this one. If any bag can take the beating my sons dish out to it and still look like it’s brand new – I think it deserves an award all on its own. This bag is awesome and I know it comes in other sizes as well. Considering the price point and the quality you are getting, it can’t be beat. My sons are active boys and keep busy and they need products that can withstand the abuse they will put them through. After having this bag for 6 months and using it daily, I have noticed how well it has held up and I like it. I’ll be picking up two more so the twins can each have their own as well.
Have you tried anything from Lewis N. Clark before? This is one of several different products that we have had the opportunity to try out and have enjoyed it. You can check out what Lewis N. Clark has to offer on their website: http://lewisnclark.com/
Disclaimer: The product mentioned and featured in this post was sent to me for review consideration. All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and this is not a sponsored post.