The Busy Giffs: April 2016

April 28, 2016

The NEW Acushnet Public Library!

We love covering travel and adventures on the blog and tonight we took a very local adventure.  Our town library used to be very inconvenient to go to.  There were only 4 off street parking spots, you had to walk up a flight of steps to get in and the children's area was no bigger than 10 feet by 10 feet. It just wasn't enjoyable to visit.  Even dropping off books was difficult because of where parking was.  If I wanted to just run and drop them off on my own, I wasn't able to see the kids in the car because of where the drop box was.

Over the past couple years, the Acushnet Library was in the process of moving to a new location. What's really cool to me is that many of my students helped with the construction of it through our school's vocational program. We stopped by last night to check it out!

April 27, 2016

Provincetown Recap: Eastwood at Provincetown

April vacation is one of our two annual trips to Provincetown, Ma. We stay at the Eastwood at Provincetown and we love going!

Eastwood at Provincetown

Eastwood at Provincetown

The whole place is only 30ish units and it's so family friendly.  In addition to the gorgeous pool, with a hot tub, the building with the sail boat on it is a game room, complete with a fooseball table, ping pong table, and pool table.  There is also a bocce set, a fire place, a tv, and an ice machine. We spend a good amount of time in there every time we visit! There's also a second hot tub on property, which is awesome, as well as a fenced in tennis court, a shuffleboard, a fitness area, laundry set up,a playground, and multiple grills set up if you feel like making dinner one night!

Across the street (and down like 500 feet) is the beach so it's a perfect spot to wake up and see the sunrise.  If you head down the street the otherway, you are only a short distance away from Commercial St, which is the main shopping area of Provincetown.

The Purple Feather
We love to head to Herring Cove and Race Point Beach as well, since they are just stunning beaches.

Can we talk about how those pictures are filter-free from my cell phone?! Literally Heaven. The most gorgeous place ever.

I put together a quick video for you so you can see what the rooms look like as well as a quick overview of some of the facilities.  Go easy on me as I'm still new with this video thing buuuuut here goes....

It's the most relaxing vacation we take and this vacation was no different.  They are currently renting through so check them out and see if there's a night you can escape to the Cape!

April 25, 2016

Taking Toys on Vacation: The Lion Guard and Shopkin Kinstructions

I'm grumpy today.  Mostly because I'm back at work after my amazing week long vacation. Once again, we spent April vacation down the Cape in Provincetown. We've been going for years and it is seriously, one of the most relaxing weeks of my whole year. Beaches. Gelato. Time with my family. It's perfection.

I will admit, I was a bit nervous about this year's vacation.  Tyler is super mobile and a rambunctious almost two year old, and Emmalee is a moody, almost five year old going on seventeen.  They love each other but bug each other so much. Tyler will bop Emma with a toy, she'll start crying. She'll yell at him, he'll start crying. It's a vicious cycle broken up by laughs, kisses, and snuggles.

I knew I would want to be able to relax at some point with my husband so we packed up a couple surprise toys for the kids.  Pro tip: this wards off all sorts of toy requests because there is already something waiting for them back at the hotel room! :)

For Tyler we packed up a couple Lion Guard toys.  Have you seen The Lion Guard? It's about Simba and Nala's son, Kion and his friends learning to use their unique talents to solve problems.  What mom doesn't love that message?

The kids are obsessed with blind bag toys (see here, here, and here) so we grabbed a couple for them to open, as well as a talking Kion stuffed animal.

They kids were super excited to open their blind bags and find Kion, Ty's favorite, and Fuli, Emma's favorite! They immediately began running around the room, making their animals roar and "go on a hunt". I love imaginative play toys!

The Kion plush is especially cool because he talks! When you press the "Mark of the Guard" print on his arm, he lights up and makes sounds, including 4 signature catch phrases from the show! Since Tyler doesn't speak much, he would press the button and just start laughing while chasing his sister around.

At almost 5 years old, Emmalee is much better at some quiet time toys, really spending lots of time drawing, coloring, using playdoh, making bead jewelry, all sit down quiet type activities, so when we saw these Shopkins Kinstructions, we knew they would be perfect for her to sit quietly and use while Tyler was taking a nap.

The directions were a bit tricky, but the company has released all new directions on their website that are free to download! Emma's favorite part is that each Shopkin is actually two pieces so she can mix and match the little pieces! She must have sat at the table for a full hour, making the Shopkins go shopping for each other!

I really loved the idea of having a couple new surprise toys in the room for the kids.  It gave them something new and exciting which gave me time to actually sit and relax! Bonus was that since they just got the new toys, they weren't asking for anything while we were out! I love them both and think I need more blind bags, the other talking characters, and more Shopkins toys! Which do you plan on grabbing?

April 14, 2016

More Surprise Toys! MashEms, FashEms, and Surprizamals.

Disclosure: Some of these toys were provided at no cost to my family to help facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

My kids are seriously bit by the "surprise egg" bug.  Every time we head to Target, Emma asks for a "blinded bag". She loves the Num Noms, Tsum Tsums, and Funko Blind Boxes; she even made her own unboxing video once! Between Youtube videos and blind bags everywhere we go, they were super excited to get their hands on more surprise toys!

1. Tech4Kids Mash Ems and Fash Ems
I feel in love with these things almost 2 years ago at Blogger Bash.  They are licensed across so many lines including Disney Princesses and DC Characters,  Each capsule holds one different squishy figure.  Emmalee immediately claimed the My Little Ponies, and Tyler ran away with the Paw Patrol ones! I love the surprise with each! They seem to be under $5 on most sites, including Amazon {aff}.

2. Surprizamals!
Just like the Mash Ems and Fash Ems, Surprizamals are surprise toys! There are 12 different stuffed animals hidden, ranging from common to ultra rare.  Emma picked out three: a cat, bunny, and dog, but she is crossing her fingers to find Gemma the Unicorn! Each surprise includes a character chart, stickers, and the plush! This fall they'll be releasing 60 new animals in series 2!

I love how affordable these little toys are! Emma is becoming quite the collector.  What other surprise toys should we be on the look out for?

April 11, 2016

Dressing Up for Fenway Opening Day! #RedSox

Happy Fenway Opening Day!

Even though the Red Sox are already rocking a 3-2 record, which makes them second in the AL East, let's be honest, it isn't really baseball season until Fenway Park opens. This is also the first year, in a long time, that I don't already have multiple games worth of tickets. 

Instead, I'll be at work today, counting down the minutes until 2:05 when the first pitch is thrown at the most beloved park. I may even secretly be wearing a sox shirt... 

I own way too many hats, shirts, and pants emblazoned with the logo, mostly from Victoria's Secret, but am kind of in love with these new items from Levi and Vineyard Vines. 

I need everything from Victoria Secret but I'm loving the Levi pullover too! If I look this good, I have to have a winning season, right?

April 8, 2016

Marimekko for Target

It's almost April which means it's almost time for another collaboration between Target and a famous designer!

Based on the few pictures that Marimekko has shared on its Facebook page, this year's collaboration will not disappoint! The collection is set to debut April 17th and will only be in stores until May 8th, but if it's anything like last year's Lilly Pulitzer collab, it won't last 24 hours. Prices will range from $7.99 to $499.99, but it appears that the majority of items will be under $50!

I am dying over this tent! The colors and prints are just perfection.

Are you a huge collab lover? Will you be at target bright and early on April 17th?

April 4, 2016

Dreaming of Outdoor Playtime

It's snowing today.  It's April 4th, Opening Day for the Red Sox, and it's snowing in New England. This is not okay. I want to be outside with my kids, gardening, doing yard work, swinging on our swing set, and having picnics. While my kids and I will most likely be playing in the snow this afternoon, The Genius of Play, a national movement with a mission to give families the information and inspiration needed to make play an important part of every child’s life, is sharing their top 5 play ideas to get out and play regardless of the weather!

It’s important to remember that play is so much more than fun and games- it provides children with the essential tools needed to interact positively with others, manage emotions, make sense of the world around them, and grow up to be happy and successful adults!

Go On a Picnic
When Spring brings gorgeous sunny days, enjoy them with your family by planning an afternoon picnic! Have you kids join in on the fun by helping to create and pack up the meal with you (think easy treats like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apples!). If spring showers come your way, hold a picnic inside! Just spread a blanket on the floor and enjoy a family meal in your own living room.

Doodle with the Leaves 
Collect and use the various leaf species in your neighborhood to create one-of-a-kind leaf "doodles.” Look up the leaf varieties you find, in a book or on line, and figure out whether your leaves' parents are oaks, maples, ash, etc. Lightly glue your leaves down on a blank piece of craft paper and using pencils, markers, or even chalk, see what you can transform your tree leaves into.

Go Puddle Jumping!
Rain, rain go away? We don’t think so! Soak up the the spring showers, put on your rain boots and go jump in those muddy puddles! You can even create a puddle jumping game at your local park or in your own backyard! See how many puddles you can jump in to, to get to the slide, to the bench, to the path, etc.

Start a Spring Garden
Spring is the perfect time for gardening- the soil warms up and the days grow longer. Take advantage of these perfect conditions by planting some beatiful flowers in your backyard, and watch your garden grow! If you do not have access to a backyard, you can create your own planter in a small container and decorate (use a soup can, pencil holder, etc.). Pick flowers and plants that are in season such sunflowers, wildflowers, strawberries and sugar snap peas.

Camp Out! 
Pitch a tent in your backyard, set-up you sleeping bags, and get ready to spend the night under the stars! Once you have settled in for the night, read ghost stories, make s’mores (the microwave version is OK!), bring a flashlight and create shapes on the tent walls, or event play charades against your fellow campers. And don’t forget to bring a midnight treat to keep the fun going!

I seriously can't wiat for it to be nicer out, read: not snowing, so we can get out and have fun some fun, but I think tonight we'll end up having a dinner picnic fort or a "camping night" in our living room!

April 1, 2016

An Easy and Perfect Baby Shower Gift

Disclosure: My family was provided free product in exchange for this post; however all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, I may be compensated for purchases made through these links. For more information, click here.

Baby fever everywhere! Just kidding. No baby fever here for me but I am knee deep in baby shower invitations.  I could not be more excited for my friends bringing babies into their families and being me, want to buy them every amazing gift they could possibly need.  Sadly, that's not financially possible. Ha!

My go to gift is a Lillebaby carrier.  I am so obsessed with all of mine, yep, I have four! The last baby shower I was invited to, my coworker told me that her mother had already purchased her a buckle carrier but was really interested in trying out a wrap. Sadly, Lillebaby does not offer a wrap but I found an amazingly well reviewed wrap on Amazon to try out! The Baby Sling Carrier Wrapy is the perfect wrap for a new mom. It's rated a 4.9 out of 5 with over 150 reviews!

Plus it's extra comfy, made of 95% cotton and 5% Spandex, one size fits all, and it's machine washable and a dryer safe. 

To be honest, I usually budget around $75 for baby shower gifts because if I'm sitting through a shower, I must really like you. Even though this wrap is valued at close to $140, it's on super sale (as of the posting date) and was less than $30 so I had more money to build up a basket of my favorite things for the new baby!

My Favorite Baby Items : Shower Gift

I always include:
1. a breastfeeding scarf, like this one from Itzy Ritzy.
2. Bottles, we especially love Joovy, Avent and Dr. Brown.
3. Gripe water or gas drops.
4. Avent pacifiers - I literally owned 30 of these with each kid.
5. A Tug Tune toy from Bright Starts.
6. A good book. A stand by like Good Night Moon or Pajama Time are always good.
7. Pajamas.  The best are made by Carters.  Feeties or sleep gowns are my favorites.

I grabbed a small bucket at Target, some tissue paper, and also used Picmonkey to make a couple labels for my favorites and was ready to go!

My Favorite Baby Items : Shower Gift

I love giving moms gifts I know that I loved and can't wait to welcome even more babies this spring and summer!

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