Following up with my Netflix binging…I have now also ventured into Hulu and Amazon. These will come in handy now that the summer is approaching, the network shows have all ended for the season and the quarantine continues. Here are a few series that I have really enjoyed:
Catastrophe – Prime Video
This series is really funny and you will love both of the main characters, but mainly Rob. During a business trip in London, an American named Rob meets Sharon, an Irish teacher with whom he shares incredible chemistry. While the two plan to have some fun with no strings attached, things go awry when Sharon learns she is pregnant. The unexpected news inspires the recent acquaintances to try and make it as a couple, despite nonstop complications that include hailing from different countries and a pregnancy that is not without risks.
Little Fires Everywhere – Hulu
I am completely hooked on this show, as I love both Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. Hulu started releasing the episodes weekly on Wednesdays, starting with episode 4, but it is definitely worth the wait. Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood — and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Four Weddings and a Funeral – Hulu
Maya, the young communications director for a New York senatorial campaign, receives a wedding invitation from her college schoolmate now living in London. She leaves her professional and personal life behind, in favor of traveling to England and reconnecting with old friends and ends up in the midst of their personal crises. Relationships are forged and broken, political scandals exposed, London social life lampooned, love affairs ignited and doused, and of course, there are four weddings…and a funeral.
Have you watched any of these series? I would love to know your thoughts…
My baby niece and goddaughter just turned one a few weeks ago…wow, time sure does fly! She is of course super adorable and I wanted to make sure I got her some cute, age appropriate gifts for her birthday. It’s so hard to pick and choose, because there are so many cool toys out there, however, they are not always good for babies. After some research and remembering some of my daughter’s favorites when she was a tiny tot, I narrowed my list down to these top picks (just in time for Christmas too!):
- Princess Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Edition by Little Tikes $55; sold at various places like ToyRUs, Target, Walmart or the Little Tikes website. This adorable ride along is also available in various other colors as well. The website says it’s for 18 months-5 years, but my niece is very tall for her age, so I included this item on my list because I think many one year olds could use it with the correct supervision.
- Baby Stella Brunette Soft Nurturing First Baby Doll by Manhattan Toy $27; Amazon.com. This first nurturing baby doll is ultra-soft, has cute, embroidered toes and belly button, and loves to cuddle. Dressed in a soft onesie that is easy to change, with a removable cloth diaper and pacifier that attaches magnetically, it inspires creative role play for a young child.
- My First Purse Playset by Gund $12; geniusbabies.com. My first purse, makes a precious gift, for little girls who love to play dress-up just like Mommy. My daughter had this toy and absolutely loved it when she was little. It was one of her favorite things to play with.
- Walk-A-Long Puppy by Hape $23; Amazon.com. This adorable puppy is ready for playtime, encourages coordination skills, balance, and active play. Toddlers will love taking this silly pup on walks. Non-toxic finishes and child safe materials.
- Anywhere Chair by Pottery Barn Kids $100; potterybarnkids.com. These cozy and comfy chairs come in a variety of slipcovers both for boys and girls and can be personalized or monogrammed. Also, the chairs are lightweight and have a handle for easy toting from room to room. Oh and machine-washable slipcovers zip off for cleaning. My daughter had a few of these in her playroom when she was young and she loved them. Another nice chair of this type is the Nod Chair, offered by the Land of Nod.
- Caterpillar Spiller by Munchkin $6; fatbraintoys.com. These Caterpillar Spillers are seven cups that link like a caterpillar, stack like a pillar and pour like a spiller. So much fun they’re sure to be a thriller! All toddlers love these types of stackable toys!
- Push N Go Car by Tomy $12; fatbraintoys.com. Speed off into sensory learning with a bulky red car and smooth-rolling wheels. Push down on the cool driver dude’s head, release, and ZOOM! The car goes speeding fast on gripping rubber tires! Bright brilliant colors excite the eyes while smooth contours and sleek stylings get the senses exploring. Encourages gross motor skills, cause-and-effect learning and imaginative play. All kids love toys that move.
- Wonder Walker by Hape $90; fatbraintoys.com. Little ones find confidence. Babies happily stand. Toddlers learn to walk. Appropriately named, the Wonder Walker is top-notch excitement on wheels. Set back wheels are steady and strong as your baby pulls themselves up to stand. Solid wooden construction, this rolling masterpiece is built for generations of developmental learning. As if pushing and pulling wasn’t enough, the Wonder Walker is decked out in stimulating hands-on fun. A wooden peg maze is such a delight to operate. Move the tree, house and car up and down the spiral path. Great toy for both boys and girls!
- King of the Shape Sorters Toy by Kiddopotamus $25; Amazon.com. Shape sorters are always a big hit with the little ones and this one is no exception with its large shapes that are easy for baby to hold and fit into the shape sorter and large reusable bowl that can be repurposed for many other fun ideas. And of course the squeaker nose and cute lion face are adorable.
- Chunky Wooden Puzzles by Green Start $15; fatbraintoys.com. Perfectly darling puzzles for teaching early skills. Puzzles are fantastic for targeting developmental skills. These are bright and colorful and come in 5 darling selections – Silly Squares, Circle Garden, Swish Fish, Big & Little, Shape Parade. My daughter definitely went through her puzzle stage and loved working on puzzles through the age of 5! I highly recommend these.
I hope my list facilitates your toddler toy shopping whether for birthdays or holidays. What are some of your favorite toddler toys? I’d love to hear…
Today I have a treat…my very first guest blog post and it’s from my 14-year-old daughter, who is starting high school today….enjoy!
Back to School season is my favorite time of the year. I am aware that for most people, going back to school isn’t something to look forward to. I have just always found something exciting about being in a new grade and meeting all my new teachers. My favorite thing of all though, is going to either Office Depot or Target and seeing all the same school supplies from the year before in the “Back to School” section. Because I love “Back to School” so much, I’ve made a list of essentials every girl needs to have:
- Vera Bradley Backpack Set:
- Campus Backpack- Katalina Pink Diamonds: $109.00, verabradley.com; this is personally my favorite backpack for school because it has a lot of space with thick straps and an opening for my earbuds so I can listen to music on my way to class.
- Lighten Up Lunch Cooler- Katalina Pink: $34.00, verabradley.com; Vera Bradley lunch bags are awesome because if they get stained they are all washable.
- Laptop Sleeve- Katalina Pink Diamonds: $38.00, verabradley.com; this laptop sleeve is perfect for backpacks without laptop protection.
- On a Roll Pencil Case- Katalina Pink: $18.00, verabradley.com; small pencil cases are the perfect size to carry pens and pencils.
- Yellow Blue & White Heart Binder: $21.95, zazzle.com; this binder is the perfect place to carry loose-leaf paper for note-taking. It’s also a great place for storing graded assignments and handouts.
- Yoobi 8 Tab Dividers: $2.99, target.com; dividers always come in handy when sorting notes and handouts for each subject. I personally love Yoobi brand because when you buy one, another binder goes to a classroom in need.
- Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils: $3.89, amazon.com; I love these pencils so much, mainly because the lead size is 1.3, making them way less likely to break while you’re writing.
- Paper Mate Felt Tip Pen: $10.00, amazon.com; these colorful marker pens are perfect for color coding my study cards.
- Watermelon Sharpener: $2.99, amazon.com; it’s always a good idea to carry around a super fabulous sharpener in case the teacher’s happens to be broken one day.
- Lilly Pulitzer, Tusk in Sun Planner: $28.00, papersource.com; having a cute planner is one of the best ways to stay organized.
- Pony Party Sticky Tabs: £2.50, paperchase.co.uk; I love marking important pages in my textbooks with these tabs.
- Yoobi 10ct Mini Highlighters: $4.99, target.com; in my opinion, highlighting in more than one color is always helpful when studying from my textbooks. These highlighters specifically are also from Yoobi brand.
- Red Apple Eraser: $0.85, asianfoodgrocer.com; Japanese erasers are really cute and an apple is perfect for school.
- Sharpie, Neon Pink Fine Point Marker: $1.50, jetpens.com; I mainly like to keep sharpies in my pencil case to label my textbooks and required reading books.
- Unicorn Notebook: $6.99, cottonon.com; unicorns are adorable, so why not have one on your notebook?
- Mini Floral Notebook: $10.00, shopbando.com; this mini notebook is perfect for writing down things I need to get done later on in the day.
And a well organized locker is also a must…these items will help keep you in check:
- Teal Locker Shelf: $14.45, amazon.com; having a locker shelf will really help in creating space for not only your textbooks, but your other locker essentials.
- Green Locker Rug: $11.98, amazon.com; I think having a locker rug is not only adorable, but I’ve found it helps keep your books from slipping sideways.
- Black and White Dry Erase Board: $11.05, amazon.com; having either a dry erase board or a blackboard in your locker is the best thing to remind yourself of basically anything you need to do later on in the week; especially if you have to remember to bring money for a bake sale.
- Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes: $4.85, target.com; if you’re feeling sweaty or you just want to wipe your face to refresh yourself, having a small packet of facial wipes will always come in handy. I personally love the “Yes To” brand.
- Eos Blackberry Nectar Lip Balm: $4.00, kohls.com; if your lips are ever chapped or you just like the flavor of it, lip balm is great to have in your locker.
- Tide-to-Go Pen: $5.50, walmart.com; if you know me, you know I’m clumsy, so this is definitely something I need to have in my locker to remove all my lunch stains.
- Light BB Cream: $22.95, chichicosmetics.com; having some backup bb cream in your locker is great in case you were in a rush that morning and you need to cover up some of those blemishes.
- Leopard Tangle Teezer: £12.00, selfridges.com; some people have amazing hair that stays intact all day even if it’s 100 degrees outside; and some people, like me, need to brush their hair in the middle of the day to keep it from becoming a lion’s mane.
- GeoFabulous Design Sticky Notes: $15.00, urbangirl.com; I mainly use these adorable sticky notes to slip notes in my best friend’s locker which is right next to mine.
- Daisy Solar Calculator: £6.95, dotcomgiftshop.com; most math teachers suggest having your own calculator and I like to keep mine in my locker mainly because I almost never need it.
- Lil’ Cutie Pie Hand Sanitizer: $7.99, amazon.com; personally, I am a germaphobe and school is full of germs so this is a MUST! (I also have one on my backpack)
- Lil-Lets Teen Tampons: £1.59, boots.com; if you have a (female) emergency, these are great to have stored in your locker in case you have one of those days.
- Ice Breakers Cool Mints: $1.99, target.com; most schools nowadays don’t allow gum, so I love having these mints in my locker to either freshen my breath or even as a little snack.
- Pink Scissors: $2.40, morninggloryus.com; you never know when you might have a loose string or maybe even a tag you forgot to cut…
- Index Cards and Case: $28.45, amazon.com; the main thing I use to study is index cards. I love keeping them in my locker so whenever I pass by, I can just review a bit before the next class.
I want to wish everyone a wonderful school year, and I hope that my tips will help you.
I hope you enjoyed my daughter’s post!