HWTH Favorite Things: Jagger’s list

Ok guys I’m back again with a very quick post for today’s Favorite things, sponsored by my friends at Lake Shore Learning!

Jagger has fallen head over heels with the take along train set! I personally love how he is able to rearrange the tracks and set up different town features such as the bank, post office, rail road signs and bushes.

One of the coolest features of this set, is the train station also doubles as the carrying case! This feature is awesome because we never have any issues with clean up and that is a total MOMwin!

If you have any train fanatics be sure to add this to the list! Your little one with be in for hours of imaginative fun. Be sure to tune in tomorrow!

Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Educational toys you will LOVE!

The following post is a sponsored post for Lakeshore Learning, all opinions are my own.

With all of the toys our kids collect throughout the year I have been seriously contemplating more Montessori, Learning and STEM toys. Lately I’ve been focus on STEM toys and I’m so excited to partner with my friends at Lakeshore Learning to show you some of our favorite toys for learning and stem!

Since Maveric is attending kindergarten this year we have really been focused on math as well as his penmanship.

I really love this numbers and counting light up activity center this is a great way to encourage Maveric to use his thinking skills as well as number recognition. The light up box also doubles as extra fun when you pair it with the see inside magnetic blocks .

These blocks make up for hours of fun wit the boys! And since we don’t allow the kids to watch television during the week it’s a win win for us! I love watching the boys use their imagination and create amazing towers, dinosaurs, houses and more.

I love that Lakeshore has toys for all ages! Elle and Maveric put their brains together to complete a few STEM challenges with this Building Brick Challenge kit

Since Elle is already an avid reader she took over and lead the way and explained everything to Maveric, which made me so proud!

They had to create a maze that allowed their marble to travel across the board.

After trial and error they were able to successfully craft a maze that worked well with their marble.

I love that we chose to not allow screen time during the week, this really allowed the kids to stretch their minds! I hope you found some of the cool toys useful. Be sure to check out more from Lakeshore here. They truly have something for everyone. Until next time…

XO,

Meka

Girls Run The World

AG or American Girl Dolls as we all know are the “it” dolls for girls both young and old. Many of you know that our tradition for the past couple of years is to get Elle an American Girl doll for Christmas, so of course we were ecstatic when given the opportunity to partner with American Girl and tell you all about the new girl of the year Luciana.

We were so thrilled when we heard that Luciana encourages STEM and she’s an aspiring Astronaut. As black mom I am personally so excited when I see companies with diversity! Representation is so important to all brown girls and Luciana doesn’t disappoint. Elle loves reading the stories about all of her AG dolls. Each story is so unique and inspiring.

Luciana is just as stylish as Elle, from the purple streaks of hair to her cosmic dress and hologram doc marten inspired boots, as well as her cute choker and awesome fanny pack. I truly believe that Elle and Luciana are kindred spirits when it comes to style!

I asked Elle what was her favorite thing about her American Girls dolls and without a beat she said reading their stories and playing with them all day. Currently we live in a technology driven world where kids are glued to tv’s, iPads, video games and no longer being KIDS! I love that Elle still loves playing with her dolls for hours. Before Elle got her first AG doll at age 3, she played with her Aunties AG dolls. That’s when we knew she was ready.

Several dolls later she still has the same excitement she had 4 years ago. Be sure to check out all that American Girl has to offer, there is truly a doll for everyone. And cheers to Luciana the doll of the year! Elle is already plotting on getting the astronaut outfit.

Did you grow up with AG dolls? Do you buy them for your little one? If so share with us which dolls you have at home. Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Holiday Guide for HER

Welp here we are the first week of December has gone and if you’re anything like me you might be a last minute shopper.  So I’ve put together a shopping guide for that will make life easier! So here you go:

1. A watch from Jord

I have the Frankie in purple and it’s so cute! I love that it’s super original and whenever I have it on, it’s an instant conversation starter! Currently I’m giving all of my friends a 25% off coupon so snag one here choose from an amazing selection of men’s or women’s unique watches.

2. A Gucci Cross Body

While everyone else is swooning over the Gucci belts, I’m here for a crossbody! This classic black with gold hardware it a timeless piece that will last for generations. I’m not the biggest spender on designer bags, but I do believe in quality or price to some extent. And this bag is a YES for me. Snag yours before they sell out!

3. The Master Planner

How many times have you purchased a planner only to receive a pretty cover with BLAH pages?! Well this is NOT that planner, with the Master Planner you get more BANG for your buck and it’s made by a small business located in Charlotte! Monthly goals, A reusable menu/ grocery list and monthly affirmations are just a few of the amazing features of this journal I’m sure you’ll love!

4. Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife

When pop sensation Rihanna launched her beauty line, makeup junkies across the globe went WILD! I’ve heard nothing but great reviews from her products ranging in amazing foundation colors to this BOMB a$$ highlighter Trophy Wife! I went to Sephora and had a personal consultation, my coverage was awesome and this highlighter is a dream. Rihanna has totally changed the makeup industry for women of every shade.

5. Anne’s Apothecary Black Honey Facial Cleanser

If you follow my Instastory then you know how I feel about the recent use of this amazing product! Not only is it all natural and made local in Cary, NC it’s a small business and this cleanser is like Heaven in a bottle. I washed my face with this and it felt like new skin! I had a beautiful natural glow and my face was hydrated. This cleaners is a must have item for your daily regimen.

6. KeepSake Capsule

This compact capsule allows you to cherish memories in a stylish way! Recently I have been battling what I want to do with Mommy’s ashes. Most of you know I lost my mom at age 21 and here I am 36 and holding on to a black box. I’m so thankful that Keepsake reached out to me, that’s when I knew exactly what I wanted to do with Mommy’s ashes. With the help of my husband I’m going to turn my keepsake capsule into a memory necklace with mommy’s picture and ashes. This is the perfect way for me to let go and always have her with me. There are so many options for the keepsake this gift is perfect for parents, newlyweds and so much more!

7. The Weekender by Birdling Bags

You guys know my love for this awesome bag! I have literally packed my clothes as well as the kids for an overnight staycation. As well as a our Fourth of July road trip to Baltimore and I’m using it next weekend as we head off to the mountains. This bag is EVERYTHING and more! It has pockets galore and the compartments inside allow for easy packing for families. Be sure to grab one before they sell out and they just launched a new color as well! Go here to find out more.

Well there you have it! I’m sure there is something on this list that you mom, sister, Wife, daughter, girl friend, Auntie, grandma, or bestie will LOVE! Now everyone be sure to tell JoColby I’m need number 2 when you see him!

Stay tuned for Kids Guide tomorrow! Until next time…….

XO,

Meka

Raising Readers

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We’ve teamed up with IncrediBundles  to share our love for raising readers!  As a child I can honestly say, that I never had anyone sit down and encourage me to READ!  Reading has never been one of my favorite subjects, I was thankful enough that my high school had mandatory summer reading list, thank God for Cliff’s Notes (no judgment).  I’ve always known that I would make sure my kids loved reading and that I encouraged my little ones to become avid readers.  When we had our baby shower for Elle I remember asking for gently used books instead of cards so that I could start her library.  That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s created reading monsters in the Harrell house!

Speaking of baby showers or gifts for babies in general, Incredibundles offers some pretty cool gift bundles for any occasion.  We were able to choose a bundle that best fit our family and since we’ve been collecting books for over 8 years, I decided to create a bundle for the kids.

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They offer a variety of bundles, anything from toys, books, diapers, bath products, and organic items.  My goal was to get as many new books as possible and I was able to throw in a teether and stacking cups for Axel.  I love that you can truly create cool custom gifts at any budget.  Free shipping is given for all bundles that are $49 or more so for me, it only makes since to start my budget at $50.   Check out all of the awesome bundles here .

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One thing I love about my mother in law is that she is a retired educator as well as an advocate of early childhood literature!  So of course she was thrilled when our new books from IncrediBundles arrived.

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Here are some tips that we feel are very necessary to help jump start your child to becoming reading machines:

  1. Start as early as in the womb.  Sing, read, talk to your baby!! This also helps with early language development.
  2. Make it a family endeavor, take time out for family reading together. 
  3. Utilize your public library, there are so many amazing toddler and preschool programs.  This is such a special trip for our kids with their Nana.  They also meet so many new friends at our local library. 
  4. Keep books available at a kids level! We like to keep them in the car, in baskets throughout the house and on their bookshelves.
  5. Utilize the art of story telling.  Talk about your childhood adventures, our kids get a kick out of this!  They always want to hear more stories of their Nana, Papa and Dad’s childhood memories.
  6. Talk to your child at dinner, yes TALK!! No distractions, ask open-ended questions and truly engage with them.

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Thanks to Incredibundles for allowing us to share our reading rediness tips!  Share the gift of reading with someone you love. Check out this awesome giveaway and enter to win by clicking the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading and until next time…

XO

Meka

 

 

 

7 gifts I’m loving in JUNE

Tomorrow officially starts the month of JUNE!!! I can not believe we are ALMOST  halfway through the year 2017 has been moving.  There are so many amazing memories that I have created but the most memorable by far was giving birth to the newest member of the #HWTH crew Axel Roman.  June is my favorite month because I get to celebrate with my first born ElleMari and with Mommy ( may she rest in peace).

This year I’m celebrating the big 3-6 and I’ve decided to compile a list of gifts I’m loving, this is not normal for me.  I love surprises but this year I am thinking it’s easier to just let people know what you really want so that I can get things I will use.  As moms we are so used to buying for our kids,  or seeing what they “need” or should I say WANT?! This time, I’m thinking about myself andI’m not ashamed to say it!!! Dear Momma’s LOVE YOURSELF because when you love yourself you can LOVE your family as much as they deserve!

Now that my spill is over show me the GOOIDES!!!!! :

  1. image1 (4) What can I say, this is pretty easy and it fits everyones budget!  You absolutely can’t go wrong with Target, MAC, Panera,  Chic Fil A, TJ Maxx or Chipotle!
  2. IMG_8637Because I’ve been trying to read more, and I LOVED the first book check out my book list here , I have to get my hands on this new book by Jen Sincero!  Snag your own copy here and let me know how you like it.
  3. IMG_8633I’m a sucker for cool pink things so I just have to have this glass water bottle by BKR I’ve also been digging white.  Shop here  you’ll love it!
  4. IMG_8645 Since starting my blog, I’ve really need to keep my camera on me so having a cool camera bag that also doubles as a purse is on my list!  I love this cute number by Jo Totes
  5. IMG_8636 It’s sumer and you have to have a nice pair of white shoes, my choice for myself and my family are Chuck Taylors!  White goes with everything and it’s a staple for summer.
  6. IMG_8634I have been wanting a record player since forever!!! So I figured I’d give it one more shot before I just purchase it myself HA!  Crosley has a ton of affordable ones and Amazon has amazing prices!
  7. IMG_8635Last but not least, I want a new band for my Iwatch!  I have the rose gold so anything that compliments it will do, also I hear Groupon has awesome deal.

Well that about sums up my list, I figured it’s pretty affordable and I can eliminate the guessing game! So what do you think? Do you have any of the products above? Are you loving them?!  Oh and in case you’re wondering, my birthday is June 17th. Until next time…

XO,

Meka