Back to School 2017, Gift Guides, Holiday Gift Guide 2017

3 Fun Fidget Toys

I was compensated with product for feature

3 Fun Fidget Toys

From back to school to holiday shopping, that time frame always seems more and more narrow each year. Have your kids been asking for fidget spinners? Whether for school or the stocking these fidget toys from Play Visions are already a hit in my home and I am sure they will be in yours too. The prices are great too.

  1. Tumble

The Tumbler Wonder (it is fun to say) is a bit tricky. I have yet to master it but my 9 year old does pretty well. This is a game of quickness and balance. I tend to flop mine all over. This is not the ideal fidget toy for the classroom because you need space and to be in motion. However, at home or in the yard with friends you can spend so much time fiddling with this toy. This would make a great stocking stuffer or the right size for mailing gifts to loved ones.

2. Fidget

The Gidget Widget is great for sensory. With this small cube you can click, spin, glide and more on all sides of the cube. Otherwise referred to as a ‘fidget cube’ these are great for concentration and to de stress. I actually prefer these myself over a spinner. Find the Gidget Widget in multiple colors. These make great stocking stuffers and classroom toys if cubes are accepted by the teacher.


These Spinnerz are a blast for those asking for an actual spinner. The beads within this spinner are an added level of fun allowing the child to create and master stunts while they spin. Alone it is quiet and makes a great classroom option but if your child wants to use it as a stunt spinner it is best at home. This makes another great stocking stuffer.

Back to School 2017, Education, Parenting

Are You First Day Ready For School?

There is no mistaking that if your kids aren’t headed back to school now, they will be soon – the stores are filled with supplies and sales and ads for back-to-school. The beginning of a new school year can be an especially challenging time for parents and children both, although for totally different reasons. For parents, making sure that kids are equipped with the supplies and everything they need to get organized and have a good year is usually the first challenge. Then meeting the teachers, checking out the classrooms, and assessing the curriculum for the year is next on the list.


We just completed our school shopping this week. We also moved to a new town this summer so yesterday I dropped off all papers to register my son in 4th grade at his brand new school. He is excited but also nervous too. The next step for us is to wait for the call on what teacher he gets and if it is the same of some new friends he has met in our neighborhood and on his soccer team.

For kids, the stress of the new school year can be a little different than what we experience as parents. Did you know that one in five children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues, like ADHD and dyslexia? Children with these types of challenges – many of whom have never been formally diagnosed – can feel especially stressed during the back-to-school season as they face new subjects, teachers and schools.

As the new school year approaches, we were excited to get personalized tips from the First-Day Ready Guide to help our kids make a great start. The Ad Council and have partnered to promote ways children and their families can be First-Day Ready. is offering a free First-Day Ready Guide to help parents with students at every age successfully manage back-to-school transitions. is a free, easy-to-use online resource and community designed to support parents and caregivers of children with learning and attention issues.

Having a guide is so helpful. My stepsons are 19 and 24 so it’s been some time since I have sent a fourth grader off to school.


These back-to-school tips from the website are an invaluable resource for getting on track and starting the year of on the right foot.  They helped my family; hopefully they can help yours too.


  • Planning early is important to help relieve stress.  Creating structure and routine around the start of the new school year—with checklists, calendars and other organization systems— helps prepare kids for class expectations. I loved browsing the Printable Back-to-School Downloads. I am a paper person so this helps me a lot. I also enjoyed the 9 Apps to Help Kids Manage Back-to-School Challenges so we can use them to have mini discussions at bedtime leading up to the first day of school.


You can also take your child on a school tour to help ease fears by showing them how to find their classroom, nearby bathrooms, the cafeteria and other important places the first week of school.  This can be a huge stress relief whether the child is new to the school or not. Just knowing where to go can help them feel more comfortable.  


  • Connecting with your child’s teacher early on benefits everyone and creates a great starting point for the new year.  This will give you an opportunity to share your child’s needs or learning style while expressing your support for the teacher and the challenges he/she may be facing with a new classroom full of students.  You will help create an atmosphere of cooperation while speaking up for your child and his or her challenges.


  • Finally, get support!  Many parents and students are going through the same experience. and Understood’s Facebook page connect parents across the country to share information and learn from each other. You can also ask around your community and school to find other parents you can connect with.

So, no matter your child’s age or needs, this Back-to-School season can be a seamless transition and positive experience for both you and your children!  

If you could use some help getting started on the right foot this school year, is a great place to start.  

All kids learn in different ways and at different paces. With the right support, all kids can thrive in school and in life.

Back to School 2017, College Bound, Food, Gift Guides, Parenting

3 College Care Package Ideas For Your Student

I am a Premier Protein Ambassador and all feature ideas are my own


Do you have a child or children in college? If you do you know that bittersweet drop off moment where they are ready to run and you can’t let them go. Trust me! They won’t go far. They want food, laundry done, conversations on how to cook rice and many other needs that they will always still need your care. To make them feel even more comforted (and to comfort ourselves) we can send care packages. But what should you send? Let’s get creative based on my own experiences with some suggestions I will give you.


Premier Protein

The first 2 weeks were a lot of back and forth by phone making sure he is settling into classes and dorm life. At one point I get a call from him asking for some grocery money in his account. He wanted some cans of soup and protein bars. He said that because his first am class is on the other side of campus and he walks he needs breakfast that he can take and walk with.

He wanted protein bars and in our home we buy Premier Protein so I hopped online and ordered him some to be shipped. Premier Protein bars have no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners and are gluten free. Other brands out there may contain artificial ingredients and synthetic nutrients so we really do our homework and choose wisely.


On our son’s first few days in his dorm room we noticed a small issue. The outlets are never placed in the right spots. This means that by the time they plug in laptops, lights, a mini fridge, alarm clocks that leaves little left for all the chargers as well. Another thing I learned is how much their cell phones do get used. If they have a full day of classes all over campus and need to try and hit the cafe a few times that cell phone battery is done. We love using the MyCharge HubXtra. What is unique about this is that you don’t also have to remember to grab your charging cord like most power banks require. The charging cords are built in and contain a lightning and micro chargers. I carry one myself for travel. This will get used!


One of my favorite options are gift baskets and GourmetGiftBaskets has many care packages to choose from. Some are candy filled, some healthier. This is the Health Nut Care Package above. What is great is that you can choose a basket, enter there shipping address and attach a message that is typed in a card. It is a lot of fun when that gift box arrives and they know it is a collection of foods or beverages before they even open it.

You will be sending packages and they will be requesting (food) mostly so send them the goodies they will proudly pick up when the hall desk sends them that message that they have a package waiting. I assure you these ideas will go over real well.

Let’s get you started! I am giving away Premier Protein samples. If you win you can send your child’s dorm address and Premier Protein will send it their way. Or you can use your own address and try them for yourself. Enter below. Open to US and ends on 9/5. Good luck!

Premier Protein Giveaway

Back to School 2017, Healthy Living, Parenting

Fast and Safe Lice and Super Lice Removal with Nix Ultra Lice Removal Kit

I have partnered with Nix for this feature




Knock on wood! With 3 boys we have never had lice visit our home. I remember having it as a kid and I had very long hair. It was the worst having that sharp metal comb raking my scalp. I never wanted to deal with that again let alone have our boys endure that. Even with short hair it is a mess. With pediatrician-recommended brands like Nix we can take a bit of a breath if lice ever decides to visit your child’s head.

In 3 steps you can use the NIX® ULTRA LICE REMOVAL KIT to get rid of the lice and super lice so your child (or you) can get back outside with friends and continue their daily lives. I can’t even remember exactly how long a child is to stay away from others once lice is found but I know it is an annoying amount of time. Here is how you use that newest lice kit from Nix:

  1. Apply the Nix Ultra Solution to to dry hair and make sure you cover the entire scalp and really saturate the hair. Leave on 10 minutes. Wash hair thoroughly with shampoo (avoid any conditioner). Towel dry the hair.
  2. Use the Nix Ultra lice removal comb that comes in the box to remove the lice and it’s eggs (nits). This is the gross part, I am not going to lie. You will literally see them coming off the hair in the comb and then wipe before each combing to on a paper towel you will wad up, secure in a bag and put out in the trash. Part the hair so you are working a total of 4 sections to ensure you don’t miss an area.
  3. Check hair in 7 days and repeat if you need to.

You also get a Nix Lice Control Spray in the kit that you can use on bedding, furniture and rugs that you know have been in contact with their hair or body. This spray is fantastic. I can imagine feeling the icky jitters leaving me as I were to use the spray around the home. It is safe and non-toxic so use it where you need to get rid of those little suckers. Even with long and ticker hair you can get 2 uses out of one bottle of solution. Shorter hair like my son has can yield me about 4 uses. Look for the kit at retailers and on Amazon as well.


Back to School 2017, Deals, Fashion, Kids, Reviews by Anthony

Back to School Deals When Shopping with

I have partnered with for this feature


It’s tough when it comes to back to school shopping. We are just close enough to start thinking about saving for the Holidays and we just got over the vacations and overspending of summer. Now the kids needs new clothes for fall, shoes and supplies. I start in the summer when I see clearance and deals on supplies and stock up and look for food savings if the expiration dates will last so that when August hits I at least have a head start on those items.


When it comes to clothes, I never overlook second hand. I have scored some great items and even new ones with tags for cheap. I try to scour consignment first checking for those great finds then I am left with not such a huge list when I hit the bigger box stores. It really helps the budget and my boys head off in style and with items they love.


Back to School Deals When Shopping with

Back to School Deals When Shopping with

Back to School Deals When Shopping with

This year we are back to school shopping with and you won’t believe what we scored for so little. When our box came of items my son sat on the couch and proudly picked out, we averaged about $6 an item shipped. this includes soccer style jersey, Adidas wear, basketball shorts, NBA tanks and even a sleep robe he wanted. You can’t beat that. he has been wanting to find a Shaq Lakers jersey for a long time and they are priced anywhere from $20 used to $100. He is so excited for it. We even found clothes that are still new with the tags. Check it all out in the video below:


Take some time to browse for the kids and you! You can even toy shop as well. Looking for a place to donate the outgrown clothes in your home? can take those for you. Find out more at and your first order is free shipping over only $10 so make sure you stock up on that first order! After that

Back to School 2017, Education, Gift Guides

Build Your Own Marbleocity Mini Skate Park

I have partnered with Play Monster for this feature


Ready to build? Who doesn’t love tinkering, gluing and creating? These Marbleocity sets one is for the older kids, age 9 (with some help) and older will have fun building their own marble run in the theme of a mini skate park. The standard Skate Park set is a step up from this one. You can also find the Marbleocity Dragon Coaster and Mini Coaster. Whether mini or the standard size sets you are actually building with wood and glue.


Build Your Own Marbleocity Mini Skate Park

Inside the box are all the pre-cut pieces and instruction booklet with a fun comic story to motivate your child to begin the build. Like the wheels of the skateboards in the story, their marbles will do jumps, lifts and slides through the set once complete.


He is 9 1/2 and needed some help but the instructions were common sense. We did our own mods like gluing in extra spots and using small clamps to really make sure glue dries well overnight where the gears are placed.


You can find these building sets at Toys “R” Us stores and are a great STEM-based play and build set.