2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum and Back to School

IMG_20180830_170721_441

Last week was back to school.  It’s always a mix of emotions for parents and kids alike, anxious and happy all at the same time.

My kids and I wanted to have a last hoorah before going back to school and we had the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum to go along for the journey.

The zoo was calling our names since we hadn’t been all year and the is one only a little over an hour at that we’ve never visited. Check out my coverage on it here.

The hybrid is A-Mazing on gas mileage. Half electric and half gasoline engine this darn thing charges itself! Yes, you read right.. no plugging it it although I believe you technically could. Any time you go below 30mph, the engine switches to electric and doesn’t suck up any gas.

I had a full tank of gas when I started my week, and a full week later after driving to and from work, the zoo which is an hour+ away, and to and from school pick ups and drop offs, I still had just under a quarter tank of gas left.

Not to mention $10 put it back up over a half tank!

20180907_070852

Not only is the hybrid awesome on gas, it boasts a fabulous interior if you can find the Limited Platinum edition. This photo has no filter, just amazing interior lighting and interior leather seats. My kids really enjoyed how big and open the it was with the captain’s chairs.  The center chairs move forward, backwards, recline and collapse forward foot extra space needs.

20180906_200006

The rear row of seats fit 3 and also recline and collapse. Look at all this space.  Its almost like a minivan fell without the “mom-van” stigma.

20180906_190443

The limited edition comes with these rims and open country tires.  The AWD feature makes for a smooth ride regardless of the weather.

20180907_070858

Safety is a big concern for everyone but especially top of mind for parents.  All new vehicles now must have a backup camera but I’ve seen some that work poorly at night.

Night time is probably one of the most important times to have clear vision on your back out camera, especially in a larger SUV. Kids are always in and out, and even when you think they’re in, they’re back out. The light on the back of this camera comes in handy for illuminating the space behind you like in a dark parking lot.

20180906_200239

20180906_19593320180906_200028

Check out that trunk! HUGE space with the 3rd row folded down.  You can fold just one seat, or just the 2 on the right if you want.  Someone can still fit comfortably back there with one side down.

The Highlander fit easily into my daily routine. My mornings start of with an early bootcamp classes and the leather cooled seats help to not feel so sweaty! I car pool with a friend and she absolutely loved that little fact haha!

20180831_07114920180831_07092020180830_17403520180830_132434

I’m already missing the huge spacious inside of the Toyota Highlander and especially the heated and cooled leather seats.

The only downside (aside from my oldest son getting car sick from the new car smell) is the lack of ability of the push to talk navigation feature.  I thought by now they’d figure it out for all vehicles.  My 2016 vehicle does the same thing, it rarely understands me and I just get frustrated.  Maybe it’s just me?

If you want a laugh, check out my fighting with the navigation push to talk system LOL! Even with the “teach your voice” feature I still couldn’t get it to work for me properly.

I hope everyone had a great first week back to school! My kids certainly did but they’re already counting down the days until Summer break and so am I!

20180906_074217.jpg

Lehigh Valley Zoo Fun

20180903_142806

If you’re looking for some local fun, the Lehigh Valley zoo is just an hour away from central New Jersey.

It’s a great “staycation” idea, fun for all ages which is why we visited this Labor Day weekend before school starts up. Myself, my two children and my mother enjoyed the day checking out the cool animal exhibits in this on the smaller size zoo.

20180901_153129.jpg

A perfect size for anyone who might not like zoo’s due to all of the walking involved. We’ve been to very large zoo’s and the smallest zoo’s. This one is right in the middle. This makes for extra special zoo talk activities scheduled throughout the zoo, check the online schedule before your visit to make sure to hit them all!

They have special events such as Brew at the zoo & Grandparents Day coming up as well as the Fall family fun walk.

20180903_145449

The LVZ features some large zoo amenities though like Giraffe feedings where you get to be up close and personal with adorable humungous giraffes (they even had a black giraffe when we went!) It’s very affordable at just $4 for up to 3 people. You get 3 pieces of lettuce to feed them and can get some cool pictures!

20180901_143359.jpg


Not only can you feed Giraffes, but you can buy zoo encounters if you’re in a group. It’s a but more pricey, in the triple digits, but check out their website for more details (I know you can hang out with a sloth!)

20180901_153243.jpg

Their hours are limited from 10am-4pm, but it is more than enough time to see everything and take your time. They change for the season in November to 11-3pm and back to 10-4pm in April. Parking is free and there is alot of parking space close to the entrance so no need to worry.  One thing I must note is that the road to get to the zoo is small, winding and and never-ending. I almost thought we passed it or something because we saw the zoo sign and then kept driving and driving. Eventually we caught a glimpse of the entrance in the distance, but really this is what it looks like from the end of the winding road:

20180901_132810.jpg

Can you spot it?

We had a blast exploring the exhibits starting with the adorable penguins.  They were very active and were swimming and walking, making calling noises and all. I even caught this guy mimicking the poster sign haha!

20180901_134844.jpg

Next up we went over to look at the Mexican gray wolves.  Thet came so close it was amazing! They must have been playing a game with eachother because they kept going up and down the hill one after another back and forth. They apparently now have live feedings though according to signs and the carcus you can see inside of their exhibit so if you don’t want your children to witness this, go ahead to check its clear.

My little wolves were amazed at how close they were and enjoyed seeing how much they resemble our dogs at home.

20180901_141051.jpg

They have a small but cool amphibian section with the cutest little crocodile.

Arachnophobia Warning!

So.. funny story… we were at the playground area and there is a restroom right near it, so I figured I should go since I didn’t know where the next one was and didn’t want to chance it. The lady in the stall next to me asked if I could hand her toilet paper, so I did and then said I would give her a whole roll for that stall since there was one behind and above me. When I went to look again to get it, I realized I was SURROUNDED by Daddy long legs spiders! Oh my God, talk about horrified! Everywhere I turned I noticed they were there and I hadn’t noticed before. It felt like something from a horror film! Literally 25+ in my bathroom stall alone! 😲😱

I told my mom when I got out and she laughed at me, she noted we are in Pennsylvania, in a wooded area, and it’s humid out what did I expect.  I think she was under estimating the amount if spiders in that bathroom though since she didn’t see it herself!

Word to the wise, check for spiders in the stall before popping a squat!

But the playground was fun!

20180901_150630.jpg

Next we stopped for some dip n dots which were so refreshing on the hot and muggy day and checked on the patio deck for ring tailed lemurs in the trees.  We didn’t find any😥

20180901_145101.jpg

20180901_135543.jpg

This was such a nice bonding experience for my mom and my sons though. The atmosphere is so nice as well, it really felt perfect.

20180901_144209.jpg

The snowy owl had just been added to the zoo in April of this year.  How adorable is this guy!?!

20180901_151946.jpg

The are many other exhibits, including the adorable otters, but i don’t want to ruin it all for you.  I highly recommend you visit the Lehigh Valley Zoo if you’re looking for a great family day out that won’t break the bank and can be just a few hours long if you want.

For tickets in advance visit Lehigh Valley Zoo online or purchase at the gate any day or time.

They offer birthday party packages too!

20180901_153236.jpg

National Baby Safety Month

September is National Baby Safety Month. Baby safety is always of importance all year, but having a month where it can be broadcasted to the World and put at the top of everyones mind is needed. I have compiled a list of items that will help to keep your precious baby safe. Check them out below!
Eco-friendly toy line

Shake, rattle and explore with the My First Green Toys™ Twist Teether. Tiny hands can easily grasp this lightweight, three dimensional, ultra-safe teether. Each uniquely shaped and colorful charm has a distinct texture to stimulate visual and tactile senses. Color combinations may vary. Ages 0 and up, $12.99

BAECW1203413_1400xtwist_teether_095.jpg
Snuza Hero
Baby wearable abdominal movement monitor
The Snuza Hero is a portable and easy-to-use movement monitor, which clips onto baby’s diaper to ensure that normal movement is maintained. Hero detects even the slightest abdominal movement and will alert you if your baby’s movements are very weak or fall to less than 8 movements per minute. If no abdominal movement is detected for a period of 15 seconds, Hero will gently vibrate. Often this vibration is enough to rouse the baby, and Hero will revert to monitoring mode. After three vibration/rouse incidents, the Rouse Warning will alert you when you’re baby’s abdominal movements have stopped for 15 seconds on three occasions. If no further movement is detected for another 5 seconds, an alarm will sound to alert you. MSRP: $109.99
download.jpg

toddlermonitor
Worry less & sleep more
Parents, get ready for a good night’s sleep! With the new toddlermonitor™, parents will be alerted if their toddler is on the move. This is how it works: Hang the toddlermonitor™ on the inside or outside of your toddler’s bedroom door and SET it from your smartphone using the app. If your toddler tries to leave their bedroom, the toddlermonitor™ will sense the motion of the door and send a Bluetooth signal to your smartphone. The toddlermonitor™ also allows you to tailor alerts including vibration, volume, and sounds, so even the deepest sleeper will wake up. The toddlermonitor™ is a smart monitor that is fully controlled by the free toddlermonitor™ app. By using the latest Bluetooth technology, it pairs to Androids, IOS phones, or tablets in seconds.

*For a limited time only, get 10% off your purchase when you use promo code “MYHERO”

Capture.png
Ryko Monique Diaper Bag
Durable Yet Fashionable for the Parent (Mom or Dad) on the Go!

RYCO nursery bags fill a niche in the market, designing, developing and manufacturing nursery bags that are impeccable quality, stylish and incredible value – below the $100 mark! RYCO Nursery Bags are designed and developed in Australia and manufactured using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship and is currently sold in 50 countries around the world. RYCO Nursery Bags are made of durable lightweight materials that offer fashion and are functionally designed with mothers in mind – at a price that families can afford. The Ryko Monique Diaper Bag features a sleek cutting edge design with bold features, including striking gold bar and turn key opening. Easy access main compartment. New internal removable bottle holder and pacifier polyethylene pocket. Large carry handles. Built-in change mat with closed cell foam for extra comfort and handle.

pTRUCA1-28072083_alternate2_dt.jpg

Baba Sling
Versatile, Fashionable and Easy-To-Use
The Baba Sling is designed by a Mother, with focus on simplicity and flexibility, a Baba Sling will allow you to carry in 5 different positions. It’s easy to put on and take off, comfortable for you and your child and adaptable to yours and baby’s needs. Your little one will stay snug throughout the day as they are cradled softly in the cotton hammock of the sling. Changing positions will assist with healthy development of their hips and spine. Thanks to the ability to swap shoulders and positions you will stay comfortable too. Fully adjustable, one size fits all!  MSRP: $85+.

Untitled.png

 

Syki Bath Support
Designed for Comfort
With the Syki Baby Bath Support, bath time is filled with bubbles of sweetness! With its European design, which puts an emphasis on comfort, the Syki baby bath support shape is adapted for a newborn baby up to six months old. The unique ergonomic design maintains softly baby’s body and head while allowing free movements of both arms and legs, creating the perfect soothing environment for baby to really enjoy bath time. Featuring a soft and supple hygienic material, which is gentle on baby’s fragile skin and easy to clean with a wet sponge, the bath support also easily drains water through its small holes and dries quickly. For ages birth up to 6 months, Max 17 lbs/28 inches tall. MSRP: $24.99

maxresdefault.jpg

Digital wellbeing. The new normal health checkup you must do on yourself

20180828_194819

Digital wellbeing. The new normal health checkup you must do on yourself and your children.

Being a blogger, I have some close contacts with youtube, and have been enlightened by their ability to say, “hey, we love you, but you need a break from us!”

YouTube is introducing new tools that help people better understand their tech usage, focus on what matter most and disconnect when needed.  Starting today, anyone can find all of these new tools in one place, alongside more info about how much time they’re actually spending on YouTube.

You can access this easily on your youtube account by clicking to home.  There is a new “time watched” button.

Phew.

I thought I watched much more than this, but I guess it’s been a busy week and I haven’t been as engulfed in my phone.

20180828_193849.jpg

It’s almost scary to hit the button and see the reality in black and white.

I suggest everyone takes a moment to check this new feature out and especially check in on your children’s youtube binging and see if you need to adjust anything to fit your family needs better.

This is better explained in a blog release from Youtube themselves.

August Daily Goodie Box

 

20180812_102420
If you haven’t checked out www.dailygoodiebox.com yet and like free stuff then what are you waiting for?
You can see my long history with them in my blog and how each box gets better and better. No strings attached and yes they’re really FREE.
Just take a little time to review the product in your profile at their site and that’s it. The manufacturers value their customers feedback, and having it all laid out simply on www.dailygoodiebox.com makes it a one stop source for them and for you to get cool stuff free.
They have the most amazing brand partners featuring new and healthy items for everyone!
August’s box was a fun one! Here is what it included;
Much like a redbull but without the massive sugar count, and packed with iron this little drink is a nice pick me up.
Veroni – Iron Energy

 

Although the flavor isn’t the best, it’s nice to have a healthy energy alternative
RunGum – Energy Gum

 

Ive gotten Napz a few times from my goodie boxes over the years and I have to say, they certainly help give you a relaxing night sleep by calming you.
Napz – All-Natural Sleep Solution

 

I haven’t had to use this yet, but I kind of can’t wait to! I need an excuse 🤣
BrightDay – Hangover Preventions
20180812_102523.jpg
This is such a cute brand.  The outstanding packaging it comes in is worth it alone, but the nail polish color is just so cute and trendy. This is good enough to give as a gift if you can part with it.
Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish
20180812_102449.jpg
These are cute little samples of Grandpa soaps. I love the witch hazel which naturally clarifies your hair folicals and scalp. It has the faintest smell, ordinarily I like a fragrant shampoo, but this was ok.
The Grandpa Soap Co – Witch Hazel Shampoo and Conditioner
20180812_102502.jpg
Protein bars are sort if my arch nemesis.  Ive only met one brand that I liked, and sadly this isn’t it.  I love me some peanut butter, but the consistency on this is hard to swallow.  It might just be me being picky!
WOLO WanderBar – Peanut Butter Protein Bar
20180812_102443.jpg
The best tea! And oh so cute!
Teapigs – Rhubarb & Ginger Tea
20180812_102528.jpg
First of all, yes, an entire BOX of these came in my goodie box. How exciting! Unfortunately I am not a fan of blueberries so I had to spit this out after ther first bite (a little too bitter since it’s all natural) but my husband sure loved these. He ate the entire box of the 5 left in just 2 days. These equal vHealthy and happy husbands!
That’s it – Apple + Blueberries Fruit Bar
20180812_102507
You can also head over to the daily goodie box Facebook to enter to win goodie boxes, prizes, and more!

Have a Holly July Christmas with Cricut!

20180725_162534.jpg

This week, Cricut is launching a Digital Mystery Box for Christmas in July! In addition to the Christmas in July Mystery Box, enjoy great deals such as buy two, get one free on mats, EasyPress starting at $149.99, and Explore bundles as low as $279.99.

Christmas in July

Cricut.com is offering Free shipping (US & Canada) on orders of $99+ with code: JULYSHIP.

Check out the following Christmas in July Deals;

Digital Mystery Box: Christmas in July! $26.99. Limited Availability. 

Mats Buy 2 Get 1 Free – this week only! Valid 7/25-7/31.

Cricut EasyPress starting at $149.99. Valid 7/25-7/31.

Cricut Explore machine bundles as low as $279.99. Valid 7/25-7.31.

Free shipping (US & Canada) on orders of $99+ using code: JULYSHIP
Shop new arrivals from Cricut!

Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker.

It handles fabrics, leather, paper, and balsa wood with effortless precision. Cuts sewing patterns in just a few clicks. And places more creative possibilities than ever at your fingertips. Meet Cricut Maker – the ultimate smart cutting machine.

Shop Cartridges & Images at Cricut!

Want to see what others are cooking up? Check out Cricut’s inspiration page.

The lightweight, low-profile BrightPad makes crafting easier while reducing eye strain.

* Disclosure; I am an affiliate for Cricut and may have received compensation for this post.

Extended Sneak Peek at Disney’s Christopher Robin

In Disney’s heartwarming live action adventure, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his stuffed animal friends in the Hundred Acre Wood has grown up and lost sight of what’s important in life. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of family life, the value of friendship and to appreciate the simple pleasure in life once again.

 

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr, with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN arrives in theatres everywhere next Friday, August 3rd!