Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!

Groovy Lab in a Box

**The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission from Groovy Lab in a Box.

I love a GROOVY giveaway – how about you?

My friends at Groovy Lab in a Box are hosting a sweepstakes where you can win a one-year subscription! All you have to do is type in your email address, and you are entered.

Click here to enter to win a one-year subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!Groovy Lab in a Box

Groovy Lab in a Box, the award-winning educational kits about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), is presented in partnership with POPULAR MECHANICS for KIDS. Their STEM subscription box is interactive, hands-on and incorporates scientific inquiry and the engineering design process. Science made FUN for kids ages 8+.

Each month, they send out a themed box filled with investigations that are fun and hands on. The investigations culminate into an Engineering Design Challenge, where your STEMists must apply what they’ve learned from the investigations (and use their critical thinking skills) to complete the challenge. The boxes contain everything you need to complete all of the activities, including a groovy retro-themed lab notebook. The box activities are supplemented with their Beyond…in a Box web portal where your children will find videos, interactives and additional activities. Head over to Groovy Lab in a Box’s website to learn more about this great service!

Good luck! I hope you win!

A Simple Cup of Tea

Article provided by my friends at Art of Tea. I am one of their affiliates, diagnosis so if you make a purchase through one of my links, troche I will make a small commission. Your price, heart however, remains the same.

It’s been just over 240 years since the Sons of Liberty destroyed an entire shipment of tea, tossing it defiantly into the Boston harbor. So began the Revolutionary War. In John Adams’ letters to his wife following the Boston Tea Party, he professed his love of tea, but admitted he would be switching to coffee. Tea had become unpatriotic and coffee began it’s reign.

Needless to say, we have a complicated relationship with tea in the states.

Regardless of where it’s being consumed, tea stands apart from coffee for a variety of reasons. One of the most interesting, perhaps, is the idea of “ritual” that seems to follow tea around like a prerequisite. It may be an echo of rituals across the globe. It might also be the very nature of tea – the time it takes to brew and the variety of flavor that lends itself to a different appreciation than a cup of coffee.

We could write an entire book on all of the ancient rituals surrounding tea. Instead, we’d like to explore the rituals that exist today, everyday, that are usually left overlooked.

  1. The Children’s Tea Party: You’d be hard pressed to find a six year old who doesn’t at least know what a tea party is. It’s almost a phenomenon – what other social event do kids regularly orchestrate on their own? Childhood tea parties are not only incredibly adorable, they are also incredibly well thought out. The table is set, “guests” are gathered around, (usually pretend) tea is poured and sometimes cookies even make an appearance. Thank you Olde English Children’s Books for keeping tea parties alive.
  2. The Morning Cup of Tea: Let us be clear – tea in the morning is a different beast than coffee. A (good) morning cup of tea requires that you heat water, steep your leaves, and wait. And wait…It’s kind of a zen experience, having to wait for your caffeine. Even if you decide to go to a cafe rather than brew at home, you never quite escape the patience that tea insists.
  3. The Iced Black Tea and Lemonade: Or, as most people call them, an Arnold Palmer. (We have our own spin on that from National Lemonade Day.) This drink has knocked it out of the park over the last several years. It started with a golf hero, but it’s fair to assume that few of the 20-something’s that regularly order an “Arnold Palmer” have a clue who the man actually is. The ritual lives in routine, and it’s always refreshing to know tea can seamlessly transition into warmer months.
  4. The Sick Day Tea: “You should drink some tea.” How many people shared that sage advice the last time you had a cough or runny nose? It’s such common sense at this point, and yet you can’t get away from the suggestion. There is a conception, and a valid one, that tea has healing properties. We aren’t doctors, but the doctors we know tell us this is more or less true. Imagine that moment after a long day of work and a nasty head cold, when you take your first sip of piping hot chamomile tea with lemon, breathing in the steam. It’s truly like a breathe of fresh air.
  5. The Pot of Tea: This always feels like a big one. A full pot of tea seems to separate the casual drinkers from the die hard. Tea, typically, is a sipping drink. A pot of tea is an hour of your life that you have dedicated to tea (and usually something else, we’re not crazy, we realize you’re probably reading a book or working on a paper.) In that moment, when you fill your pot or order a full pot at the neighborhood cafe, you’ve established yourself as a “tea drinker.” In our books, that’s a pretty awesome commitment.

We invite you to join us. We invite you to share your ritual – what does it look like? How does it inform your day? Is it sweet or astringent? Are you comforted or inspired? Is it a private moment in your day, or a shared experience around a warm pot?

Tell us. Share with us. Join in and help paint the picture of tea.

Gourmet Tea and Gifts

I think it’s so fun to try different teas. A few of my favorites lately include:
Moroccan Mint Green Tea
Masala Chai Tea
Oolong Tea

What is your favorite type of tea?

Tea Gifts

Graduation & Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Disclosure: I received free products for review purposes, pfizer but all opinions here are my own.

I meant to post these gift ideas in May, help but a crazy-busy life took over with birthdays and prom and graduation, so here it is. Better late than never.

Kennedy graduated from high school last month, and we had an ice cream sundae party that afternoon following the graduation ceremony. It was fun and low-key and delicious. ice cream sundae bar

Since Kennedy will certainly need ALL THE THINGS for her dorm room in August, I just got her an inexpensive but thoughtful gift for now — a book called Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mother Would Give If She Thought You Were Listening by Becky Blades. I adore this little book and wish I had a copy all to myself. It’s a good reminder for me — even though I graduated high school 30 years ago. Do Your Laundry bookIt’s full of small nuggets of advice like PLAN A TRIP TO PARIS. Do Your Laundry bookMy world expanded leaps and bounds by traveling early in life. My hope for Kennedy is that she doesn’t let fear or friends or anything else keep her from seeing all the world has to offer. And Paris is a must! I mean, hello, crepes.

Do Your Laundry bookAnd to help avoid the freshman 15, FIND A HEALTHY FOOD YOU LIKE. I have to admit, Kennedy has really expanded her palate since we met just over 3 years ago. She now knows how to cook a few items including scrambled eggs and homemade waffles, and she will eat most of the vegetables that I serve — even if there is a bit of grumbling at times.

The perfect gift for the new high school or college graduate, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone is wise counsel for women of all ages, including:

Keep at least one stuffed animal.

Don’t trust the size on the clothing tag. Always try on before you buy.

A bad attitude makes your butt look big.

Life will not grade you, but it will test you.

With warmth, wit, and a hint of motherly sass, Blades blends short essays and her celebrated mixed-media art with advice on everything from love, life, money, friendship, etiquette, fashion—and yes, laundry. So order a copy for the graduating ladies in your life.

FATHER’S DAY

Next on the gift-giving calendar is Father’s Day. Instead of the same ole boring gifts for dad this Father’s Day, how about make him laugh and look cool instead with a fun t-shirt? Father's Day t-shirt Father's Day t-shirtThese t-shirts are by Load Failure are perfect to show off any dad bod.

Load Failure features: 

  • Shorter sleeves unlike those big boxy shirts
  • Super soft fabric
  • Body conscious fit
  • Affordably priced at $19.99
  • Women’s and children’s T-shirts coming soon

Founder Parth Sharma has a background in fashion and he also loves to see smiling dads all around the world. He knew it was time to turn funny shirts into fashion statements that anyone would be able to wear with pride. It’s one thing to be the life of the party, it’s another thing to look good while doing it. Parth takes pride in his brand that captures both humor and fashion.

Additional styles available at www.loadfailure.com.

You’ll see Anthony sporting his Mr. Awesome t-shirt very soon.

 

 

Warby Parker 2016 Summer Collection

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Since I started wearing glasses again about two years ago, this I’ve become a bit obsessed with all the beautiful and stylish choices available these days. Warby Parker has an awesome selection! The newest sunglasses in their Summer 2016 Collection include shapes for both women and men. Celebrating all that is fun about summer, these new frames come in colors such as Grapefruit Soda, Sand Castle, Ocean Mint, and Belize Blue.

Here are a few of my favorite ones:

Bensen in Belize Blue
Bensen in Belize Blue

Anders in Crystal

Anders in Crystal

Topper in River Stone Blue Fade
Topper in River Stone Blue Fade

 

These new options of shades are perfect candidates for Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program. Warby Parker allows you to pick out five frames from their collection, and Warby Parker will ship their selection to you for free so that you can try them on in the comfort of your home.

And, as always, for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. How sweet is that!?!Tilley in Grapefruit Soda

Did you know that you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars at Warby Parker? Well you can, so don’t let that money go to waste.

So don’t settle for boring glasses and get a pair of these hot frames today. You’ll be sizzling this summer!!!

See Summer Better

Furniture Style Re-Do

Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and start over? That’s where I am right now. I like my house and my furniture, decease but they look a bit dated. It’s probably more accurate to say that I’m just tired of looking at them day after day, year after year. I need a furniture style re-do.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will make a small commission. It does not affect your cost.)

I have found an online furniture store that I am obsessed with called France & Son. Their furniture is Mid-Century Modern, Casual Chic and Modern Design, and I want it all. I mean just look at these Finn Juhl Danish modern design replicas. The lines are incredible. Finn Juhl

The Domino website is a fun resource also. Not only can you buy from there, they have a huge inspiration gallery. I can spend hours just pouring over all the beautiful eclectic rooms like this shared kids’ bedroom.  Domino bedroom
Dot & Bo has a nice selection of decor as well. I like these interesting throw pillows. throw pillows
So if you hear of an estate sale at my address, no, I haven’t died or gotten a divorce. I’m just cleaning house to start my style re-do.

Valentine’s Day Style to Get Your Heart Pumping

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, gynecologist your cost will be the same, sanitary but I will earn a small commission.

What’s your style for Valentine’s Day? Do you want to look classy, about it sassy, sophisticated or provocative? There’s no right answer, but whatever your answer, Rent the Runway is bound to have a look for you. Shop Rent the Runway’s selection of Valentine’s Day styles so you can capture a look that will get hearts pumping.

Red Hot Valentine’s Day looks from Rent the Runway

Rent the RunwayJay Godfrey Linc Jumpsuit Rent the Runwaynha khanh Red Lace Dahlia Dress Rent the RunwayGiamba Lips and Ladybug Shift

Don’t forget to also check out Rent the Runway’s accessories. You will find the perfect earrings, necklace and handbag to go with your Valentine’s Day ensemble. And did you know that they intimate apparel for sale? YES — just add a strapless bra or shapewear to your shopping cart.

Rent the Runway: Add a free backup size for the best fit.

New to Rent the Runway is their Unlimited collection. Chose from thousands of designer looks, including dresses, jackets, tops, accessories and more — all for one subscription price of $139/month. You get unlimited clothes and accessories and never have to worry about wearing the same clothes over and over again. What a fantastic concept!

Review of Halftee Layering Fashion

I received a free sample of Halftee for review purposes. All opinions here are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

halftee

The layering look is really in these days, sildenafil but sometimes the added bulk can be unflattering. Or maybe your favorite flowy top sometimes shows too much boob, abortion and you need to reign in the girls. HALFTEE to the rescue!

I got my sample of HALFTEE in the mail on Monday. I wore it yesterday under a too-big sweater to hide my bra straps. It was so comfortable that I am wearing it again today for added coverage under a loose t-shirt with a deep neckline. halfteeIt looks like I have on a full tank top, but it stops right under my boobs with a soft, non-binding but secure band. I have to admit that I’m impressed and want more of these.

They come in several versions: tank (what I have), short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, and long sleeve. Some even have a lace neckline. They have maternity and girl sizes too.

halftee

Here’s what Halftee says about this product: “The Halftee is unique because it ends just under the bust line, so fashionistas don’t have all the extra material around their waists. Each Halftee is rose-petal soft, breathable and extremely comfortable and it stays put because of the signature band. It’s the perfect base for those creative, unique layering styles whether it’s a rugged, sporty, bohemian or no-nonsense look. It’s also great to during or post-pregnancy for creating a savvy, yet hassle-free style.”

Halftee can be purchased online at www.halftee.com and prices range from $18.99 to $34.99.As featured on HSN Shopping Network.

Review of Mabel’s Labels

I received a sample of Mabel’s Labels for review purposes. All opinions here are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

Quinn’s daycare requires that EVERYTHING be labeled: her diaper bag, angina her clothes, her sippy cup, her diaper cream, her socks… everything. Thank goodness for Mabel’s Labels. I got a sample in last week, and they really do make labeling Quinn’s things much easier. Mabel's LabelsYou’ll love the look and versatility of these personalized labels — lots of fun designs to chose from. They are dishwasher and microwave safe, plus they are UV resistant. You can label everything from lunch boxes and water bottles, to toys and sports equipment. You name it!Mabel's LabelsThese are the personalized name stickers that I am using. I just peel and stick to a clean, dry, smooth surface. I am trying them out on clothes too (they make clothes labels, but I don’t have those yet), so I’ll see how that goes. Mabel's LabelsMabel’s Labels also has:

  • household organization labels (like for spice jars)
  • shoe labels
  • allergy alert labels
  • mini name stickers (like for pencils)
  • book labels
  • iron on labels
  • write on labels
  • personalized books
  • combo packs when you need a little of everythingMabel's Labels

So far, I am very pleased with Mabel’s Labels. Now I need to order some clothing labels for Maya’s jackets that she seems to leave on the playground almost weekly.

 Free shipping on all orders at Mabel‘s Labels