Category Archives: Reviews

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holiday2013bannerI have almost finished by holiday shopping list, except for one tiny detail…the stockings. Stuffing stockings is one of my favorite pastimes. My mom used to fill mine with simple trinkets along with fruit, nuts and candy.  While I love filling stockings for the kids, they tend to get a bit expensive if I am not careful.  I also like to keep them simple, much like my own stockings from childhood.  To me, this means the kids are not going to find stockings full of iPod’s and cell phones but fun back-to-basic toys like playing cards and molding clay.  These basic toys are one of many reason we love Manhattan Toy.


Manhattan Toy has one unique product line that keeps things simple and creative, without breaking my budget.  The Imagine I CAN line of toys start at just six dollars and feature dozens of activity kits and toys for kids as young as three.  Many of the kits come packaged in colorfully designed tins that are portable and reusable making them perfect for holiday travel.

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When I look in the mirror I see myself aging faster than I would like; my skin is not as healthy looking as it once was; my hair is not as thick as I would like it to be and my nails are lacking strength and a healthy look to them as well.  As you look into the mirror what do you see? Do you see healthy skin, hair and nails?  I was excited to try the collagen supplements from NeoCell to see if their products could make a difference for my skin, hair and nails, from the inside out. As I had not heard of the NeoCell company before; I was interested in learning more about them and their products.

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NeoCell’s Story

Collagen‘s therapeutic benefits have been widely recognized in Europe and Asia for decades. NeoCell introduced collagen to the Americas in 1998, by founder Al Quadri.

Following a heart attack, Al had a triple- bypass surgery and his recovery was slow and difficult. His muscles atrophied, and his usual energy disappeared.  For recovery, Al understood that he had to re-engage his body’s  own potential for healing and rejuvenation.  It was during his investigation of holistic therapies that he happened upon the unlikely remedy of collagen.  Al learned of the integral role collagen plays in strengthening and rebuilding lost muscle mass and connective tissue. Within a few weeks, Al began to rapidly recover and regain his lost vitality.

Once fully recovered, a reinvigorated Al set out to understand how collagen had stimulated his own regenerative systems, thus enabling his rapid recovery. For Al, this wasn’t just a miracle. It was his life’s calling- to make the same health and vitality Al experienced in his recovery accessible to everyone.


 What Does Collagen Do for the Body?

I had the wonderful opportunity to try NeoCell’s Beauty Bursts (in super fruit punch); the Keratin Hair Volumizer capsules and the Collagen Beauty Builder tablets. 

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I was a bit skeptical at first because supplements making any claim to improve my health or well being, well,  that’s just how I am….skeptical.  I did want to give it a try though because of the way my nails look, their lack of strength and my hair needs major help as well. Here is a picture of my fingernails before using NeoCell:

DSC03697 Fingernails before NeoCell 600 pixels

These are my nails after using the Keratin and Collagen products from 9-3-13 to 10-12-13.  Look at the difference in my nails?!? Though you can’t tell the strength of my nails; the growth of my nails in such a short time span was amazing! I didn’t take any vitamins or change my eating habits in any way through this review.  I used the maximum suggested servings (4 chews) for the Beauty Bursts, so they didn’t last as long as the capsules and tablets, but I faithfully took all 3 products until they were gone and was really impressed by the results. 

DSC03806 Fingernails after NeoCell 600 pixels

The unique thing that happened to me was, when I was out of the products and moving, scattered and just a mess; well, my nails went totally downhill in every way. I was and am so disappointed in how my nails look now without the products, that I will be ordering all 3 products online or picking them up at my local GNC in December. One lucky Kate n’ Kaboodle reader will get to try these products, courtesy of NeoCell



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I received the products for review. No compensation was received. Opinions are my own.

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holiday2013bannerChristmas is just a month away and if you are still looking for the perfect gift for the little girl on your list, then look no more!  Pinypon’s are sure to win the hearts of any child on your list!
pinyponlogoPinypon’s are a pint-size doll line, outfits and accessories.  There are many play sets to choose from (see our Pinypon Weekend Getaway review here) for hours of fun and entertainment!

We recently had the opportunity to check out the Pinypon Snow Ski Lodge and the Snow Adventure Car & Tow set. 

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holiday2013bannerKinsley loves playing with dolls, big or small.  It’s one of her favorite pastimes and so I am always keeping a look out for fun dolls to add to her collection.  When I was asked to review the Pinypon line of play sets, I knew she would adore them!


Pinypons are interactive play sets that feature cute little characters on various adventures!  European toymaker Famosa, maker of popular brand Pinypon, has launched its latest item, the Weekend Getaway Hotel! Can you say cute?

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1184918_497158817045458_2093876663_nIn world of tablets, smartphones and video games, I feel it is important that my children get back to the basics once in a while with some good old fashioned imaginative play.  Kinsley loves playing pretend with her dolls.  She creates elaborate stories where they go to see the Statue of Liberty and other adventures.  It’s adorable and I knew, without a doubt, she would be downright giddy when I introduced her to the Nenuco Sleep with Me Cradle Baby Doll.

Nenuco is a doll line developed by leading Eurporian Toy Company, Famosa.  These baby dolls have been around for over 50 years and the newest addition to the beloved line is the Sleep with Me Cradle.

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holiday2013bannerAs a mother of six daughters, there is one thing I just adore and that is little shoes!  I want my girls to have good, quality, supportive shoes but it is also an added bonus to find ones that are adorable beyond measure.  One of Kinsley’s favorite shoes were her Fuzz the Kitty Mary Jane’s from Zooligans.  I am giddy with excitement to see that Zooligans has expanded their shoe line to include boots and clogs this season!


Zooligans is a line of animal themed shoes that are designed to be both fun and functional.  The cute critter characters appeal to kids, while parents can feel good knowing that the shoes are crafted for fit, comfort and durability.  Zooligans shoes feature adorable animal characters including our new favorite, Penny the Penguin!

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holiday2013bannerZombies are quite popular right now with movies, TV and video games featuring animated corpses at every turn.  While I don’t advocate becoming one, it can be a bit entertaining to embrace this little bit of fantasy once in awhile.  So after watching my teenagers shoot up Zombies on their video game, I did what any mother would do. I turned them into Zombies.

Ok, not real Zombies, obviously. 

Thanks to Family Stickers, I was able to create car decals of my family as full fledged Zombies!


At Family Stickers, you can find a great assortment of customized family car stickers.  Family Stickers allows you to choose design, colors, themes and a whole slew of other options (like Zombies!!!).  Not only that, they feature other car stickers- like sports, words and ribbons- as well as wall stickers for inside the home. At Family Stickers you can also put your family on a mug, shirt, stationery or key ring…you can even add them to an ornament as a special family memento.zombiefamily
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It’s not that often that I find a toy that is fun for all my kids.  In fact, with my older children, the “toys” aren’t even toys at all, but expensive technology gadgets that don’t really spark any imagination or creativity.  I want my kids to use their brain to power their entertainment and not a battery pack.

Recently, one simple toy turned our household upside and created mass chaos in kitchen, in a good way.  The best part?  My kids, aged preschool to adult, fought over whose turn it was to play with this back-to-basics masterpiece.  How is fighting and chaos a good thing?  The kids weren’t head down in cell phones and tablets, they were interacting and having fun together!

So, just what is the toy that has me beaming at my children and yes, waiting patiently for my turn to play?  Well, let me introduce you to the WonderMaze, available at Museum Tour, home of seriously awesome educational toys and gifts.


Museum Tour is a website and catalog created by a former museum director and on the belief that a child will want to learn if presented with toys that have been created with both education and fun in mind.  Already known for its fall catalog, mailed to 2 million homes, Museum Tour’s online store boasts award-winning educational products that extend the museum experience into the home.   Whether it is a science whiz, artsy pre-teen or budding engineer, Musuem Tour is your one stop shop for the child (or adult!) on your holiday shopping list this year!

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Kinsley is at the age where she loves imaginative play.  She has a doll house and is quite creative with the story lines she dreams up for her and her little dolls.  I love that she is exploring her imagination during her doll play but I do have some reservations.

Most fashion dolls on the market are designed to represent an unrealistic image of women and do not reflect a healthy body image.  How am I going to let her grow up at her own pace, when I have to answer her questions about dolls that don’t look like her or mommy?  Well, we have recently discovered a line of dolls that doesn’t require me to answer hard questions and are, in fact, modeled after the little girls that are playing with them.


Meet Lottie!  Lottie Dolls are 7 1/2 inch fashion dolls aimed for girls aged 3-9.  Modeled after the dimensions of a real 9-year-old girl, Lottie Dolls embody the strength of women and focus on areas of science, math, technology and engineering.  

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Duracell. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


You probably don’t think about how many batteries you use each day until those batteries die on you, inevitably at the most inconvenient time.  From smoke detectors and cameras, to toys and remote controls, and let’s face it – even our lives – depend on batteries. As a large family, we are often on the go and our gadgets come with us but whether at home or away, we need batteries we can trust to get us through the day. 

Duracell recently introduced their new Duracell Quantum battery.  The Duracell Quantum is smart choice for all portable electronics, toys, computer accessories, remote controls, flashlights, clocks, radios and much more!


Quantum, recognized by it’s distinct red color, features longer lasting power than any other battery on the market.  With a Hi-Density Core that allows for more power storage, the Duracell Quantum also features PowerCheck technology that allows us to see on the battery itself the amount of life remaining. With DURALOCK Power Preserve technology that can lock in power in storage for up to 10 years, Duracell Quantum batteries can efficiently deliver power to both high-drain and low-drain devices.

We have using the Quantum batteries for a little over a week.  The first place I installed them was in Kinsley’s tablet.  This little tablet has been a thorn in my side since we purchased it over a year ago.  The amount of batteries it goes through is appalling and we were changing them every few days. 

IMG_8188With the Duracell Quantum batteries, we haven’t had to change out her batteries yet.  Even though we have only been using Quantum for a short amount of time, we are already at twice our normal battery expectancy.  With the Powercheck technology, I can monitor the time remaining until they need to be changed, avoiding many preschool tears in the process.  She has been using her tablet continually for 8 days and her Quantum batteries have around 33% remaining.  This is much better than the every 2-3 days we were at before Quantum.

Kinsley’s tablet is a saving grace for us on-the-go or when I am trying to get some work done at home.  Can you imagine the saving grace these batteries could be when a life depended on them to work?  Duracell can and that is why this year, Duracell has donated one million batteries to first responders across the country to help them power their life-saving equipment.  If your life was in jeopardy or your home at stake, you would want the longest lasting batteries on your side, right?


Duracell has also created Quantum Heroes, a documentary style video series that shines a spotlight on the incredible work of first responders and their stories of sacrifice and heroism.  My father is a former fire fighter and I know how dangerous their work can be on a daily basis.  You can check out on of the videos below and the whole series at

You may want to grab a box of tissues first. 


Connect with Duracell Online, Twitter and YouTube

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Duracell. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.