Holiday Gift Picks for Kids – Introducing “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” Video Series

I’m so excited to share today’s post with you!

Over the past year I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to check out great toys, books, electronics, gifts, clothes, events and activities at various blogging events which I’ve shared with you here at The Harried Mom. At these events I would always run into my friend Lisa Pisano from Mom A La Mode.

I love hanging out with Lisa. Why?  Because we’re two like-minded blogging moms who love to talk about products and our experiences. We figured if we liked talking about these things together, you might too and we’ve created a new series that we hope you’ll find both informative and entertaining.

So I’m proud to introduce you to “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” our new monthly vlog series that gives you the scoop on the latest in toys, trends and fun from two bloggers with an all access-pass to what’s hot and happening!

THM-Show-And-Tell-With-Deb-Lisa-Logo-Photos

For our inaugural episode we’re getting into the holiday spirit with a holiday gift guide for kids. Our picks are focused on items for both boys and girls and ranging in age from pre-K thru elementary school.

Continue reading ⇒

Have a Family #MovieNight4Less With Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn, M&M’s® & Warner Brothers

THM-Collective-Bias-Disclosure

I love watching movies. However, going out to the movie theater these days can be a pretty expensive proposition. Movie tickets range from $8-14 each depending upon where you live (where I live it’s about $12). Add in a soda and a snack you could be talking around than $30 for just one person! Bring the kids and you could be spending close to $100 to see the latest blockbuster.

There are ways though to indulge your love of film without emptying your wallet, such as hosting a family movie night at home.

THM-Movie-Night-4-Less-Popcorn-Candy-Cake-Plate

Continue reading ⇒

VTech InnoTab Max Review – A Tablet for the Kids!

Disclosure: I was provided with a VTech® InnoTab® MAX in order to facilitate this review.
All opinions are my very own.

My kidlets totally take after me and The Hubs when it comes to trying out new tech products. You should see how excited they get when a new tech toy arrives for them to actually try out! One of their recent favs has been the Kidzoom® Smartwatch from Vtech (which I wrote about here), the two of them have fought over since we got it this summer.

THM-InnoTab-Max-Vtech-Review-TabletSo when the InnoTab MAX showed up on our doorstep earlier this month, they were psyched to finally have their very own tablet device instead of having to borrow mom and dad’s to play on.  It might just be the perfect gift for the tech/gadget loving kid on your holiday list!

The InnoTab MAX by VTech is a multi-media learning tablet for children aged 3-9 that combines educational games and creative activities.

I like that it’s built to grow along with my child.  It combines VTech’s expert-supported library of cartridges, software and apps with carefully selected educational Android apps for fun and educational learning.

This tablet features a large (7 inch) high-resolution touch screen that allows kids to either use their fingers or the included stylus to navigate around.  It has a useful handle for kids to tote the tablet around and comes with a detachable cover/stand which helps makes it durable to tough wear and tear by kids.

Continue reading ⇒

‘Tis the Season – The Sweet Smell of Scents #FebrezeHoliday

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of SheSpeaks and Febreze.
All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

Though it wasn’t even Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving, it was already beginning to look a lot like Christmas last week when these showed up in my mailbox….

THM-Holiday-GiftGuide

But I don’t mind much because Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’m all about the spirit and feeling of the holiday –family, friends, love, laughter and happiness.

Every time this time of year rolls around, I’m transformed back into a little kid. I get so excited and I can’t wait for the celebration to begin!

Continue reading ⇒

Getting Into “The Habit” in NJ – The Habit Burger Review

Habit-burger-logoTo me burger joints are the new fro-yo or cupcake places. They’re a dime a dozen, focusing more on hype then how their food actually tastes. So to say I was a little skeptical to try The Habit Burger Grill would be a fair assessment. What could this burger place possibly offer that I haven’t eaten or seen a million times over?

In two words – great taste. In one more word – freshness.

The Habit (as its regulars call it) has been serving up its char-grilled burgers on the West Coast since 1969. It has close to 100 locations in California, Arizona and Utah and now they are hoping to spread their burger love across America. They recently opened their first East Coast location and it just so happens to be in my neck of the woods, Northern NJ.

The Habit’s philosophy for their food is pretty simple – fresh, quality ingredients offered at reasonable prices.

THM-Habit-Burger-Santa-Barbara-Char-Burger

Continue reading ⇒

Fall Fun At The Jersey Shore – #JenksAmbassador

Spending a day at the Jersey Shore is the ultimate summer experience. It’s home to hundreds of miles of wonderful beaches and boardwalks filled with amusement park rides, arcades, games, and, of course, yummy food!

I’m always a little sad when Labor Day rolls around and the summer at the shore ends. Honestly, I could live at the beach and I would still never feel as though I’ve spent enough time with my toes on the sand and walking the boards!

THM-JenksAmbassador-PtPleasantBeach-shoreline

But fall doesn’t mean that fun at the beach and boardwalk has to end. Jenkinson’s Boarwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ still has lots of fun family weekend events going on throughout both September and October, so it’s not too late to enjoy some fun in the sun at the Jersey Shore!

Continue reading ⇒

Autumn Is In the Air With #FebrezeFall

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of SheSpeaks and Febreze.
All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

Fall isn’t officially here for another week, but I’ve already started decorating our home for the autumn season. I put up a harvest wreath on the door, dotted the house with decorative pumpkins and even draped our fireplace mantle with a leaf garland. This weekend I’ll make a run to a local farm and get some mums, a hay bale and scarecrows to stick in the yard.

I was going to add some fall scented candles when this little gem arrived!

THM-FebrezeFall-HomeHarvestCollection-Barn

Nothing sets a mood or tone faster for me like scents and fall has so many delicious ones — pumpkin, vanilla, fruits and toasted nuts. Febreze has literally bottled (canned???) those scents to create their Home Harvest Collection.

Continue reading ⇒

In the Cross Hairs – SoCozy Children’s Haircare Product Review

Thank you to SoCozy for sending us these children’s haircare products for review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, based on personal experiences with the product. #SoCozyBTS

It’s no secret that I can’t do hair. I’ve had the same bob-style haircut for over a decade because it is simple to do and I can’t mess it up. When it comes to my daughter’s “do” – it really is a hair-raising experience.

It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of pTHM-SoCozy-Daughters-Hairractice, but I have gotten better with my daughter’s hair. At least I can tame her locks enough that she doesn’t look like she’s got a rat’s nest on top of her head!

I’m also working on stepping up my very limited styling game, especially now that school has started again. All the rage in my daughter’s preschool class is to have braids like Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and she constantly begs me to do her hair that way. I always try my best, but my braids usually turn out lopsided with lots of wisps of hair that just don’t seem to make it into the braid while I’m plaiting.

But I’m not giving up!

I’ve quickly learned that a key element to styling my daughter’s hair – and for that matter my son’s – is that it all starts in the bath, with their haircare products.

We just started using SoCozy products and I have to say, I’m impressed. SoCozy is a salon level quality of hair care products that don’t contain any “nasties,”– you know harmful chemicals, toxins and parabens. Their products are made using extracts and natural ingredients such as hops, rosemary, arnica flower and aloe. They’re also gluten, wheat and nut free – which is super important to many families with sensitive skin or food allergies.Continue reading ⇒

The Wall of Sound – HTC One Harman Kardon Smartphone & Sprint Sound Sessions Review #SprintMusic #SprintMom

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint Sound Sessions. I received a sample of the HTC One to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.” As always, all opinions expressed on this site are my very own.  Please be sure to do your own research, as your opinion may differ.

Have you ever heard the saying “music hath charms to soothe a savage beast?”  Not that I am comparing myself to a savage beast, but music certainly plays a role in setting both my temperament and emotions.

When I’m working in my office, I often listen to music played off my smartphone. I mostly listen to 80s music.  Lots of songs from that era feature fast tempos that help me get into a groove when I’m writing.  When I’m in the kitchen, I’ll play hits from the 70s including tunes. The sing-songy nature of that music gets me moving melodically as I make dinner.   If I want to chill, I listen to classic crooners from the 1950s.

However, just as important as the music selection is to setting my mood, so is the sound quality. Quite honestly, the sound quality from most smartphones is pretty horrible — whether it be for music, video or just plain talking on the phone. It always sound tinny and the music is muddy, never quite picking up bass or drum beats.

THM_HTCHarmanKardon_2That was until I got to personally experience the HTC One® Harman Kardon® edition – a Sprint exclusive smartphone with a premium sound experience. I first checked it out at a Sprint Sound Sessions event that was recently held in NYC.

Continue reading ⇒

Bringing a Child’s Artwork to Life With Their Own Custom Made Stuffed Animal – Budsies Review

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up that you carried everywhere with you? What about your kids? Do they have a favorite that they can’t seem to put down?

THM_Budsies_1
Check out these stuffed animals, they’re my kidlet’s newest favs. Not only are these dolls cute, cuddly and colorful, but my kidlets actually designed them.  Yes, these two dolls were created from artwork that my kidlets made and turned into a reality through a wonderfully whimsical company called Budsies.

Budsies brings artwork to life created by children (or adults!), by creating one-of-a-kind stuffed dolls.

The Budsies process to make your own doll is super simple. Your child creates a color drawing using crayons, markers or even paint. It can be of anything your child desires…an animal, a person or even an object. Then you take a picture of it and upload from your computer or smartphone to Budsies website to order. In five weeks or less a custom-made stuffed animal inspired by your child’s drawing arrives at your home.

Continue reading ⇒