ActiveWear for being Outdoors/Winter Elements #ActiveWear #GetActive

If you are an active family who likes to get outdoors no matter what the weather, we have some great options for you to check out this season.

Brooks Running, a favorite of ours, has recently put out the “Dash Hoodie”, which I am completely in love with. It has become a go to for me, one of those tops you reach for every time it is out of the washing machine. So soft (much softer then I’m used to in running gear and feather light) it is also warm and wicks moisture quickly. The material is breathable, and machine washable and dryer safe. It has a loose but flattering fit. I personally prefer to hand it to dry, I think it will last longer that way, but personal preference. It has thumb holes on the cuffs, and there is a storage pocket over the left hand that can hold your key, cash, or whatever your prefer. The hood is perfect for cooler weather, so you can use it until you get too warm on your run, then toss it off. Prices vary depending on what color you order (some of them are on sale), get yours at

running gear

Trek specializes in biking, bikes, and bike gear, and also has apparel for all sorts of active lifestyles. I’m currently loving the “Bontrager Vella Women’s Long Sleeve Thermal Cycling Jersey”, which is quite a mouthful. It’s a half zip, long sleeve collared top that is soft, lightweight, (are you seeing a theme here? Yes, really love soft workout gear) wicking, ventilated and offers the warmth you need with the comfort you want. It is very form fitting, really hugging your body. If you like streamlined gear, this is the top you will wear again and again. It also has reflective elements so that you can wear it day or night with added safety. Washing machine safe, and again, I’d hang to dry, but it dries very quickly.  $89.99

active wear

Keep the hair out of your face and your ears warm with the “Bontrager Vella Women’s Thermal Headband”, which you can get to match your jersey in color if you’d like. It’s warm (but not suffocating) and stays put when you head out.  It’s thin, so it can be worn under your helmet comfortably on a ride. Wash and wear. (I hang to dry.) $16.99

Get the gear at

active wear

SAS shoes (this stands for San Antonio Shoemakers) looks to bridge the gap between comfort and style. These are orthopedic shoes, but not the ones that you are thinking of. When I think orthopedic shoes, I admit I think of those giant, black, clunky and awful things your grandparents would wear. SAS make shoes that are comfortable to wear, that offer support, but that are fun and funky as well. They make shoes for both men and women, from everyday sneakers to sandals and shoes for elegant occasions. Options are not few in number, and there is every color of the rainbow to choose from.  We took these out to two 5K’s, as well as regular, random everyday use (like hanging a swing, messing around with the kids, etc) and can tell you honestly that they hold up extremely well, and do offer fantastic support and comfort.

orthopedic shoes

Most of these shoes come with patented” SAS Comfort Outsole™, SteadyTrac Midsole, and Arcfit™ heel stabilizer work together to provide you maximum firm but gentle support (as well as the)  Tripad® comfort system (which) adds additional support to the three main pressure points of the foot, while SAS CoolSTEP™ foot bed and a leather and mesh upper make for a light design with no heat build up underfoot”. (*As per the company)

Head to to choose the shoes that speak to you.

comfortable sneakers



Holiday GIft Guide- Hot Toys For kids

With only about a week to go, you will be on the lookout for the hottest toys for the little ones in your life. These are a few we think will make those kiddos shriek with delight as they tear off the wrapping paper.

Last year’s hit toy, Hatchimals, are back with an ever bigger surprise inside. The all new Hatchimals Surprise have let you hatch two sweet and cuddly Hatchimals out of the same egg- that’s right, you get twins. As you play with and hold your colorful egg, the Hatchimals inside make all sorts of sounds to let you know they are trying to hatch. When they are about ready, you will see their rainbow eyes and they will begin to “push” their way out of the egg. Even though they are twins, they are unique in personalities. As you interact with them, they learn new tricks and habits, like how to talk, dance, sing, tell jokes, play games, repeat what you say, and more. They also interact with each other, both being sweet and occasionally arguing, like any siblings will. Get yours for around $60 in stores and online.

Did you ever want your own droid? I know I have. Now you can, which is very cool and interactive- Droid BB-8 . It is pretty lifelike in scale, at 16 inches tall (19 inches with antenna) so it will feel like you are a true Jedi or padawan. BB-8 glides about just like his movie counterpart and can have pretty realistic interactions, as well as lights and sounds. Put on the “Follow Me” mode and have him roll next to you. You can use voice recognition (which is pretty sticky sometimes) and it has remote control capabilities as well. Hero Droid BB-8 is a great gift for any Star Wars fan, young or old, new to the films or long time aficionado.  Grab yours quickly (these run out at times) for about $150 in stores or online.


Family Game Night a big deal in your house? Have you ever tried Headbandz? This fun game is great for all ages- though for non readers, you will have to whisper their “who” in their ear for them. At the start, every player gets three chips and a card with a personality on it to stick in a headband. When it is your turn, turn the timer and ask “Yes” or “No” questions to guess who you are. If you are right, hand in a chip and go again. If you are wrong, you lose your turn. The winner is the first person to hand in all their chips. It is a fun, not too challenging game that will have everyone laughing and trying to figure out who is who. Get yours in stores or online for about $12.

Another fun Family Game Night option is Escape Room The Game from Spin Master. This fun game brings all the fun of the physical “escape the room” craze into your living room, and you and your family can play together and as often as you would like.  You all work together to solve each puzzle and to find hidden clues before your time runs out. The “Chrono Decoder” counts down from 60 minutes as you play your choice of four different adventures.  Pick yours up in stores or online for about $35.


If you want to play your kid one on one, or teach them some fun strategy, check out Othello. It is a two-player game that has you outsmart your opponent to win. Your goal is to trap and capture your opponent’s pieces in a game that is decided so play by play, the winner often isn’t decided until some of the last pieces are left on the board. This is available in stores or online for about $15.

If you and your children like hands on projects, building, or robotics, this toy will be your fast favorite. The latest Meccano robot, M.A.X., has both Artificial Intelligence and customizable programming so that you get to build a pretty one-of-a-kind robot.  Little hands build upon or start their knowledge of programming and robotics as they give their robots flair and personality. M.A.X can be controlled using voice commands, buttons in his MeccaBrain, or via free included app.

M.A.X., a S.T.E.M. robot, has expressive facial graphics that are designed to engage kids. He is both a learning tool and tons of fun. Some of the other items M.A. X. comes with are a gaming platform, he can tell jokes, has built-in infrared sensors thatcan avoid obstacles , and so much more. If your child loves to learn, and has hands that like to be kept busy, she will love M.A. X. You can grab yours for about $99 in stores or online.


Head Back To School in Style

With back to school season upon us, we are seeking out the best and most fun back to school items. Here are a few of our current favorites.

Do you have a child entering Pre-K or Kindergarten this year? Check out Bixbee.  These cute bags have animal faces, butterfly wings, rockets, and other great patterns and styles.  The size of the backpacks are also smaller for little kids.  For bigger kids, tamer color palettes and more typical styles of backpack are available.  Bixbee is that they comes in three sizes, so you can pick what best suits your child’s stature.  This will keep your child pain free in the back and shoulder area, since the size and fit will be right. It’s recommended that the backpack rest in the lower back, and no more then four inches below the waist to avoid causing chronic pain, which is important to Bixbee.  These backpacks are also sturdy, PVC, BPA, phthalate, and lead free, and have many pockets for your child’s ever growing menagerie of belongings.  Bixbee cares about kids- when you buy a backpack, they donate one to a child in need somewhere in the world.  You can get yours at

kids backpack

For tween girls, Toys R Us (exclusively) offers two different styles of Power Puff backpacks this year- Power Puff Girls Rock and Power Puff Girls All Over print.  With a new animated series on Cartoon Network, all the kids are loving the doe-eyed sisters more then ever.  Adjustable straps, and silky, sturdy materials make this backpack one that is both kid friendly, fun, and eye catching, as well as one mom will approve of. Matching lunchboxes are also available. Backpacks retail for about $16.99 each.

Don’t forget the lunchbox!

We recently discovered Bentology, a lunchbox that comes with it’s own compartmentalized tupperware-type container inside.  These insulated lunch bags come in a variety of colors and have thier own fork and spoon as well. If your child prefers lunches that don’t always consist of a sandwich, this is for you. These bento box sets let you use the portioned containers to pack your child’s favorite foods for lunch without a million little containers to wash later. Check out the website for cute lunch ideas and creative tips, as well.

lunch box

Bentology lunch bags come in seven different prints and styles and are equipped with multiple  compartments and a water bottle holder on the outside of the bag.  You can get thermos, cool packs, rice molds, and more to go with your kits and add to the cute and fun lunch experiance.  All Bentology products are available for purchase at,, and specialty retailers nationwide.

We also love  Dabbawalla bags. These adorable, easy to clean, and attractive lunchboxes and backpacks are specially designed for preschoolers and the young elementary students in mind.  The designs were meant to be free of commercial influence (cartoons or action figures, movie characters, etc) yet still colorful and fun for children.  They display bright and wholesome designs and images, such as puppies, apples, rocket ships, etc.  The Lunch Totes are really large, and have enough space to fit everything you need for a whole day at Pre-School, with no leftovers. You can also fit everything for a really big eater into it- it has a lot of room, which this mom loves.  It is really hard to find a bag that will do that. They are also easy to clean and machine washable, line dry- and they actually come clean.  This is a rarity.

If you have a big eater, a long day, or a messy kid, you will love Dabbawalla. Visit and find your bag.

backpack cliips

Now, for the most important (to any kid) part- the backpack clips. The more, the merrier- these are a big deal right now.  My son’s current favorites are the new Emojiez and Whiffer Sniffers.

Whiffer Sniffers remind me of those markers we had in grade school, the ones where each color had a smell? We loved those. These scented plush characters are adorable, and really smell like they are supposed to.  My son’s cookie and doughnut Whiffer Sniffers have his room smelling sweet- and that’s not a joke. His room really smells like confections, and it’s been several weeks that he’s had them. Not overwhelming- but better then an average boy room, I’ll tell you that. There are several sizes and styles available for each character-  snuggley super size, a backpack clip, and scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers. You can also find exclusive characters only found inside specially marked mystery packs- but watch out, there are a LOT of blueberry in those packs as well. Ah, the fun is in the hunt, right? Grab yours at a toy store near you or at .

poop toy

He is also loving Emijiez- especially, of course, the poop. What is with the poop? I guess we can only be thankful that these are NOT the scented toys.  He and all his friends are going crazy for Emojiez, and the poop is definitely the most coveted. These come in stuffed toy, blind packs, pencil toppers, erasers, backpack pals, and more. The Emojiez “Plushiez”, “Buddiez”, “Squishiez”, “SlapBandz”, “Eraserz” and “All Starz” (get the theme here?) characters are based on existing emoji’s that you use for text and PMs. Because if there’s not an app for that, certainly there is an Emoji.

These are hot items, kids are going crazy for them.  You can get them in stores like Toys R Us, Amazon, and at .

New Summer Toys

Looking for some fun new toys this summer?  Here are a few new items we think your kids will love.


Hamsters In A House by ZURU might bring to mind another toy craze from a few years ago, and we admit there are likenesses.  These little hamsters are small (though not so small your kids can swallow them) and and soft and furry. They buzz and scoot around any smooth, flat surface, as well as in their own little “ecosystems”.  There are several houses, like the luxurious “Ultimate Hamster House”, that has a bed, slide, and even a toilet that makes flushing sounds.  Every kid loves that best, potty humor goes a long way. Put the hamsters on any hotspot, and the phrases are activated. ($30) There are also Hamster and Accessory Packs that range from styling studios, to cars, and more parts for their runs (think train tracks for the hamsters). The cars are cute, and come in blue and pink. 9$ and up.
Available exclusively at Toys”R”Us. /

Micro Boats are so much fun for summer (and will be great year round as well).  They are water-
activated (put them in water and they go) and once dry they stop. These self-steering, fully motorized speed boats are lots of fun in tiny size. There are six individual boats available. $10

There is also the Micro Boats Shark Attack Challenge Playset that lets you put the boats into a set with a water filled track, and race to stay away from each other and a shark.  There is also a real working crane. One boat comes with the set.  $25 /

Finding Dory Toys

Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory Robo Fish Collection is out just in time for the Finding Dory movie.  If your kids are Nemo fans, they will love this movie as well. Dory and Nemo (and all their friends, as well as some new ones) are back and having some summer fun.  The Disney•Pixar Finding Dory Coffee Pot Playset is my son’s favorite, because he can carry Dory around in a Coffee Pot Playset just like in the movie.  Of course, it works with any other character you’d like to put into it as well, but it only comes with Dory.  $19.99  The additional Disney•Pixar Finding Dory Small Characters are also available as
RoboFish, which move as soon as they are in the water. Your kids can recreate all the Dory fun from the movie, and make up new scenes all their own.  They can also “just keep swimming” with them in the bath, pool, wherever. Dory, Nemo, Marlin and more are available. There is a  “power save” mode that automatically switches off after one minute in the water. $11.99 each. Available in Walmart, Toys R Us, and more.

If your kids can’t get enough Angry Birds, you are in for a treat. Spin Master has released everything from playsets, to collectable figures, to zooming toys, and more are available. Launch your bird at the pigs to save your eggs in the Angry Birds Pig City Strike Playset, which comes with launcher, bird, pigs, and stackable city (just like in the app!).  Victory is yours as the city comes crashing down. Small collectable figures can add to sets, or be played with solo (my son does both).  The large vinyl figures are great for launching or using as a ball- they are just the right size.  Angry birds come to life as you throw them into your blocks, playsets, and more. They do bounce, so they can go off walls and such as well. Angry Birds Speedsters are fun as well, and ready to roll on any flat surface. Wind them back, and let them go- and they are off and ready to crash into whatever you launched them into. Prices vary- available at Toys R Us, Amazon, and more.

Hot Summer Toys For Travel and Fun

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facility reviews. All opinions are our own and honest. For more information, see “I Disclose”.


With many of us already into a long summer break from school with the kids at home, we think about what to do with all this time off.  Travel, outside play, day trips, and of course- what to do when you are stuck inside on blistering hot or rainy days.

Here are some of our current favorites.


The Nerf Action Camera  is perfect for documenting all your child’s favorite summer activities (while keeping their little hands off your own camera and phone).  With a colorful Nerf-inspired design, it is easy to spot and can take a tumble. While it is made for kids, it’s high quality (and nicer then my first few “grown up” cameras were).  Your kids can see what they shot or line it up with a 1.8 TFT preview screen, comes with 5.1 mega pixels for great photos, and 720p HD video capabilities so they can take recordings as well. That always keeps them occupied (and laughing). My favorite thing is that it is waterproof, so it is not only safe in mishaps, but also for pool, waterpark, and beach fun.  And the price is right as well- available at for $50.


Taking a long trip? Be it a plane, train, or automobile, your kids will love the new Kurio Xtreme 2.  The newest in the Kurio line, it is also the safest, most full-featured Android tablet built especially for kids (*according to website). Of course, it is great for use at home as well, and can keep kids off your tablet and occupied with their own. It comes with 60 apps  like Fruit Ninja and Subway Surfers, as well as more active body-controlled Kurio Motion games. Kids can also read e-books, take photos or shoot video, and watch movies.  It also connects to the Google Play Store, but requires parent permission. There are a TON of free parent controls, and the tablet comes with a free lifetime subscription to “Kurio’s best-in-class parental controls and their comprehensive Kurio Genius internet filtering system” (as per Kurio).  It can take a minute to set up- best to charge it and do while the kids are in bed so they don’t drive you insane.  This sturdy tablet is made tough, and has bumper and screen protector included, as well as a kickstand.  If you need help with setup, Kurio techs are available 24 hours a day, and can even take over the tablet for you to fix what ails it.   Grab yours for $100 at


Stuck inside?  If your kids are like mine, they love the newly released movie Zootopia.  The playsets have been a huge hit over here, and we have spent hours playing with them.  They also travel well (there are 3 characters in my purse right now) and are good for busting boredom at restaurants and the like while you wait. You can find plush, figure sets, vehicle sets, and more- let your child choose what they love best. There are several vehicle sets to choose from, from Nick and his convertible to Judy and her Police Cruiser (that has been a huge hit, it even has a little jail cell in the back). Character figure sets come in two packs, three packs, and larger- you will save money if you just get the large pack, honestly.  (If you are going to end up getting more then 2 sets, just get the big one!)  The plush come in talking and non talking, and two sizes.  There are choices for all your little fans- and you will end up playing as well.  It’s a cute movie, the toys don’t disappoint. Prices vary.


The big hit of the season has been Budsies.  The absolute cutest stuffed things in the world (yes, just according to me).  Your child draws a photo of what they would like to crate, uploads it to the website, and then stuffed animal version is mailed home to you in a few weeks.  Along the way, you get emails telling you and your child about your little creation’s progress, giving you updates, and letting you know how your Budsies is progressing.  Those are adorable as well, little progress reports.  It’s so creative, and fun for the kids to see a real life version of what they imagined. My son was thrilled beyond my expectation when his Budsies arrived, a polar bear with a rainbow sweater he drew.  It takes a while before it arrives, but the anticipation likely makes it that much more fun. This is a wonderful gift, project, or memento for any child, and will be a toy you never give away or get rid of.  It’s a treasured keepsake for all times. You can also choose a “Selfie”, which is made in the likeness of anyone you choose, and is a great gift for people in the armed services.

Get yours here No one will ever forget this gift.

Filling Easter Baskets with Fun

Are you ready for the Easter Bunny to hop into your house?  Check out these fun spring toys to fill your little one’s baskets with.


For your smallest bunnies, take a look at these fun “Easter” eggs.  The HABA Shakin’ Eggs are perfect for baskets and they don’t ever go bad.  Little ones will love them- not only for their bright colors, but also for the fun sounds they make. Each box contains a set of five colored beech wood eggs- and yes the paint is safe and non-toxic (since we all know little ones are going to put them into their mouths).  Each egg makes a different sound- one jingles, another rattles, etc, so that your child can make some fun “music”.  It is recommended by the manufacturer for ages 2 and up, but in my opinion, smaller kids can play with these as well- they can’t fit into mouths and there are no small parts.   You can get them at or a store near you for around $20.


Great for nearly any age is the Aurora plush toy line.  You can choose from many adorable stuffed friends, some of our favorites being the Cheekeez Bunny and the oh-so-soft Lamb (this one seems to be in a “downward dog” yoga pose, which my son will just love, being that we do yoga together).  To me, no basket is complete without a sweet fluffy toy, and these Aurora makes some high quality toys without a ridiculous price tag.  They are soft, cuddly, and any child would love to cuddle up with one of these cuties. Cheekeez Bunny is $9, and the lamb is $15.50- you can pick them up (and more to choose from) at and gift stores like Hallmark.


For your gamer, Skylanders has released two limited edition, exclusive Easter themed toys for the Skylanders SuperChargers game.  Spring Ahead Dive Bomber ($14.99) is a new vehicle that the Skylanders have disguised as an Easter egg to protect their bounty! This is a fun new addition to the “vehicles” line of toys, which my son absolutely adores. The Skylanders figures can interact and ride inside them in the game, adding a new layer of fun. Also out for the holiday is Eggcited Thrillipede ($12.99) who, with an extra set of arms, is the reigning Dragon Egg Toss Champion.  Maybe they will substitute some Easter Eggs this year, who knows.  You can pick these up at Game Stop, Toys R Us, and other stores that carry video games.


If you are not in the mood to crate your own basket, you ran short on time, or perhaps your little chicks live far from you- not to worry!  You can order one to be delivered in time for Easter from . There are a large variety of pre-made baskets to choose from, no matter what the age, likes, or destination of the gift-ee. You can send them to your older children who live far away (there are options like the Gift Basket for Men, Premium Wine Spa Gift Basket, and more) as well as diabetics (Sugar Free Gift Basket), Happy Easter Brownie Cake, and more.  For families with more then one child, a great option would be the DOUBLE-BUNNY EASTER BASKET This basket has two of everything- candies, toys, chocolate bunnies- and of course, stuffed toys.  When you want to be there but just can’t be, you can send your hugs and chocolate kisses via mail. Head over and see what fits your fancy- prices vary.


When you are ready to get cooking, and before you head to the supermarket to deal with long lines, visit Tastefully Simple.  If you are like me, and want to make sure everything comes out perfect (but maybe aren’t the whiz in the kitchen you wish you were) you can get an extra hand with some amazing recipes, menus, and packages that will help make your Easter dinner turn out right. While you will still need to pick up the ham (or whatever it is you prefer to cook up), you can order a time saving, easy to prepare yet delicious Easter Celebration Menu that has nearly everything you need in it.  You will need to pick up the fresh items, but it makes cooking and planning so much easier. There are even ideas and “how to’s” on how to make your food look amazing- things you are going to want to share on Instagram, even if you are no Martha Stewart. Easter Basket Cookies, Chick Deviled Eggs, Easter Brownie Truffles, and more.  You are going to love they way your food turns out.  Visit and see what I mean- then place your order.

Disclosure- We received the above in order to facilitate reviews.  All opinions are my own and honest.

New Healthy Foods and Fitness Products

If you are looking for new, healthy foods to incorporate into family meals, we have a few new items you might want to try out.

First- how much tofu do you eat? If you are like most Americans, the answer is “not much”. If you are like my husband, you think tofu is for “hippies”, or at best, vegetarians. You know- hippies? (Like his wife, by the way- calm down, hippies.) You can do a lot with tofu, it’s very versatile and takes on the flavor of nearly anything.  House Foods makes a large variety of tofu items, including several kinds of noodles. There are a ton of recipes as well on their website, for those less then familiar with cooking this traditional Asian food.   You can choose all sorts of world cuisines from (of course) Asian to Italian to American and more, as well as fun, kid friendly choices.  Another way you might entice your kids to try this new food is by showing them that the packages have Kung Fu Panda on them- they can eat like Po!  You and your children can prepare the food together, which will make them more likely to give tofu a try.  Inexpensive, kosher, gluten free, non GMO- there are a ton of reasons to try House Foods Tofu the next time you head to the grocery store.  Prices vary per item.



Another plant-based option is Vega Protein and Greens, a protein powder you can use as a breakfast shake or any snack throughout the day. The whole food ingredient proteins include hemp, peas, and sprouted whole grain brown rice. It also contains papaya enzymes which help you break down the foods you eat.  In every scoop (thus every shake) you will get two servings of  greens from kale, spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa.  It comes in a variety of flavors, from the basic chocolate and vanilla, to berry, coconut almond, mocha, and more.  The Protein & Greens is available in Vanilla, Chocolate, Berry, Tropical and Natural.The flavor and texture isn’t what you think it might be- it’s not like other “green” drinks I’ve tried, the flavor is not “biting” like many of them can be- but it’s not a milkshake, either. There are also snack bars available.   Head to to find out more and to place an order- prices vary.


For something perhaps more familiar to your palate, yet still something new, try Noosa Yoghurt.   The tastes and flavor combinations, along with the fact that it is made in small batches on a small family farm, make this unlike any other yogurt on the market today.  Made with all natural whole milk, fresh fruit purees, and honey, one bite will keep you coming back for more.  It’s also  all natural, gluten-free, and probiotic, so it’s good for the whole family.  It comes in a variety of sizes- some just perfect for lunchboxes in cases of four, some in larger, single containers. With brand new flavors like Key Lime, Salted Caramel (my favorite), Blood Orange, and Blackberry Serrano joining favorites like traditional Vanilla and Blueberry as well as seasonal favorites, you are sure to find something you love.  Find a store that sells Noosa near you at


Before you turn in, you want to get in a good workout.  This time of year, with temperatures still low in much of the country, many of us are looking for something to break up our routine.  Have you tried the recent trend of Hula Hooping?  I know- sounds strange.  It’s more fun then you might think, though (even if you feel a little silly at first).  Hey, with every other adult carrying around a coloring book, why not?  Nostalgia is in, run with it.  Or hoop with it, as it were. The Cardio Core & More Fitness Hoop by Empower is a  three-pound, weighted, multicolored hula hoop.  It targets your core to burn calories and build muscle while you are having fun hooping away.  You can grab your new hoop and DVD set for about $33 on Amazon, also available at stores like Target.  The same brand carries a line of women’s workout accessories (headbands, gloves, etc) featuring retro-reflective ink technology that glows in the dark but looks completely normal during the daylight, making this some pretty cool fitness safety gear.

Fun Toys For Cabin Fever

With much of the USA spending lots of time indoors right about now, what are the kids doing to entertain themselves? Here are a few of our current favorite toys to wile away the winter.


Some of my son’s favorite toys of all time are the Hero Mashers line from Hasbro. These toys have included Marvel heros like Spiderman, Jurrasic World dinosaurs, Transformers, and now include the Star Wars line of characters- well, the males, anyway. There have yet to be any females introduced to the Hero Mashers line, which leaves my little collector (and his mother) wondering where the women are.


These toys are amazingly fun and give children hours of play- they can act out favorite episodes, comics, and make up their own adventures. Not only are these heroes articulated, but fully interchangeable. You can swap heads, arms, weapons- you name it- to create your ultimate hero (or villain). Hero Mashers are easily in my son’s top 5 toys. The only thing that would make them better? Bring on Rey, Black Widow, and the other leading ladies of heroism. Women matter (without Rey, how does the Force awaken, anyway?)- and our kids want these toys! Prices vary, find out more at


While we are strong with the Force, have you and your children played the new Disney Infinity 3.0 yet? If you don’t own it, grab one for your console of choice- it’s a fun and interactive game. There have been new releases of characters for the game, most recently including Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren among others. You and your kids can awaken the force, become a Rebel, or play levels with your favorite Disney characters. Where else can Boba Fett and Princess Jasmine hang out, after all?

Not sure what characters your kids have already or want most? It can be hard to keep track of. You can use the website to let the kids create lists, which make collecting easier- and will let Grandma know what character your kiddos want most for upcoming occasions. I don’t usually advocate “get me this stuff” list sites, but for things like this (when they are collecting) it really makes keeping track easier for everyone. Find out more at


Nintendo has recently crossed over the insanely popular game Minecraft from app to video game. Now available on the WiiU and on the eShop. This open game is somewhat like LEGO but as a video game experience. Kids are insanely addicted to this game, and now it is available in more arenas. You can use survivor mode or creator mode- according to the kid tester of the house, creator mode is “way more fun”. In this mode, you create what you’d like, including characters (who even fall in love and have babies), but the game adds things like sheep or trees sometimes. In survivor mode, you have to survive the game. Get food, have enough sleep, keep healthy, things of that nature. You can also have a pet (like a wolf) you can train to help and guard you. The video game and the app have a differences, but my son likes to play them both. He is hoping for a 3DS version soon. You can get it at for $29.99 .


DigiBirds from Spinmaster are adorable. They come in different varieties of birds, colors, and packages. You can get owls, penguins, chicks, and more. Available in singles, multiple packs, and sets that include birdcage, igloo, or other habitat, there are enough options that your child can have a whole chorus of tweeting friends. These pets also dance and bop around as they sing, and can sing by themselves or interact with each other. Your child can blow into the (included) whistle ring which can get the party started, or place two birds close together and they will sync up and sing together. There is an app for that, if you wondered- you can download the free Digibirds app for more songs and interactions. Prices start at about $10.99 at stores like Kmart- visit for more information.


If you are looking for a hero, look no further then Marvel Legends Infinite Series toys by Hasbro. And guess what? You can find female action figures right where they should be- sitting on shelves along side their male counterparts. Action figures like Wasp, Spidergirl, and more are ready and waiting to join your child in adventures with Ant Man, Spiderman, Iron Man, Venom, and more. These are cool for quite a few reasons- they really look like their characters (are more intricate looking then some toys), they have characters that are harder to find yet are play quality/ very articulated vs collector only (because kids want to play, not stare at the toys on shelves) and when you buy a toy, you get a bonus piece- an arm, a head, etc- that can be used to build a whole new toy once your collection is complete. I think this is a fun idea, and my son really enjoys it as well. We keep all the “extras” in a box so we don’t lose anything, and can’t wait until it is all ready to go. They are usually about $20 each at stores like Toys R Us.