This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com, but all opinions are my own.

The HOLIDAYS are here and even though I, as well as many of you, love them there’s always the uncertainty of what to get our loved ones. I have partnered with Babbleboxx.com to give you some really awesome ideas. All of these items I’m about to talk about are gifts I personally would love to get and I really like that they are not your typical gift like a scarf or gloves. These will be a big hit this Holiday!

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 1. Waterpik: Complete Care 5.0 Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush

Ok, I know what you are thinking – a toothbrush… as a gift???? YES! Because this isn’t your average toothbrush – this Complete Care Water Flosser offers brushing and flossing in one device with a Water Flosser and Triple Sonic Toothbrush. I never used one of these prior to receiving this and it’s a game changer. My teeth feel so much cleaner and I can’t believe I didn’t get one of these sooner. Click HERE for more information – maybe you will pick one up for yourself too.

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2. Artic Cool – Instant Cooling Shirt 

The Arctic Cool Instant Cooling Shirt uses HydroFreeze X, a fiberbased, cooling management system, to move moisture away from the skin and lower the temperature of the fabric so you can keep active and keep cool. Their apparel line has everything from tees to tanks to multiple accessories for both men and women. This would be the perfect gift for anyone in your family who loves to workout or is into activewear and gym wear. Click HERE for more information on their products.

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3. Le Tote Fashion Subscription Box / Gift Cards

This is the gift that keeps on giving for the fashion lover in your life. I’m a fan of subscription boxes in general but a Fashion subscription box?? Count me in. Basically how their program works is Members can choose to swap items ahead of delivery and keep them as long as they like. Once they are done enjoying their tote, they simply return it to receive another. Members also have an option to purchase items for 20-50 percent off retail. The box starts at $59.99 and since they work with some great brands, such as Vince Camuto, BCBGeneration and Kate Spade, you know you will receive some really chic items. I have had nothing but a great experience using their service and even purchased  a Jessica Simpson purse that was sent. Click HERE for more information.

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4. 23andMe: DNA Ancestry Kit

This might be my favorite item on this list! I think being able to find out more information about your ancestory and the genetic connection you share is beyond awesome. 23andMe believes the best gift you can give (or get!) is the chance to understand what makes someone who they are. I did this and it was super quick to send the information back out to them. It takes 6-8 weeks to get the results and I cannot wait to see! 23andMe has special holiday offers now through Dec 26th. Click HERE to see offers and order kits for yourself or your family today!

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5. Sabon: Cheers to Rose Tea Kit

One sniff and you will fall in love with this set from Sabon. This is their best-selling Body Scrub and Body Lotion packaged in a limited edition Holiday gift box. I love bath & shower products and the scent of this one makes it the ultimate gift for the beauty lover in your life. The size also makes it perfect for when on the go. Check them out HERE.

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6. Sandisk: iXpand Base

Looking for the perfect gift for the tech lover in your life – here it is! SanDisk iXpand Base is a unique, hassle-free solution that lets iPhone users automatically save photos, videos and contacts, all while charging their device. Designed with a compact form factor, iXpand Base can easily sit on a nightstand or desk, which keeps it readily available for users when their iPhone is running low on battery. I am all about an external storage and backup at the palm of my hands and that is travel friendly. I recently brought this with me to Quebec City and it was super convenient and gave me peace of mind that my pictures were stored. Click HERE for more information.

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7. FUJIFILM instax® SHARE SP-3 SQ printer

 FUJIFILM instax® SHARE SP-3 SQ printer allows you to print any photo taken with your smartphone on FUJIFILM instax® SQUARE film via the instax SHARE app. You can also print directly from some of your favorite social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. I really love this printer and think whoever receives it can do a lot of cool things with the prints. I printed out a bunch of my favorite Paris pictures and have them hanging in my office. Creating a cool photo book is a great idea too. Click HERE for more information.

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On November 8, 2017 ‘A Night for Puerto Rico’ was held at the beautiful Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ.

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‘A Night for Puerto Rico’ was an evening where we could get together to celebrate our love for an island that so many of us consider a second home as well as to raise money to help rebuild and help as many people as we could. 100% of the proceeds were donated to two local charities that are doing so much to help the people of Puerto Rico and have been since the day Hurricane Maria made landfall:

Hispanic Law Enforcement Society of Essex County & Tainas Undias

When the idea of hosting something to raise money for Puerto Rico popped into my mind, I wasn’t really sure what to expect or really how everything would come together… I just knew I had to help in some way. I am beyond proud of how everything came out but also THANKFUL.Thankful that so many people came out to support this event that Lissy and I put in countless hours to plan as well so many companies, brands and vendors that donated their time and merchandise to help us raise the most money possible.

Do you want to know how much we raised?!

$10,680!!!!

We were able to raise this amount because of the team that we had behind us supporting us in any way they could. I have to send a special thank you to the Janoff Family, who own and operate the Crystal Plaza, Marisol Alvarez (my mom) for the amazing decor, Robert Alvarez, owner of RAD Rhythms, for the great music, Mystical Entertainment for providing a photo booth for the evening with an incredible flower wall as the backdrop and a few of our family and friends who helped at the door. I also have to thank each and every person who donated monetarily or purchased a ticket to attend – because of you ‘A Night for Puerto Rico’ was possible.

I also owe endless thanks to all of the people and brands who donated an item to the tricky tray portion of the evening: (In no particular order) K. Macken Landscaping, The Lantern Fest, Lure Lash, Neiman Marcus Short Hills, Liberty Science Center, Montclair Museum, Melz Photography, Brooklyn Brewery, NY Red Bulls, Nubian Heritage, Munchkin, Aldo + Christina Sanchez, IT Cosmetics, Megan + Anthony Rivera, Nourished Meal Prep,  Jocelyn Russo Group, Ryan Udvarhely, Cafe Bustelo, Cyndee Rodriguez Johnson, Fitness 121, Amanda Charise Rivera, Michele Kozlow + Tommy Hilfiger Stores #230/ #188, BLO Lounge, Maria Alvarez Jamberry, Lucia Viola, Michelle Reyes, KARMA for a cure, Bloomingdales Short Hills, Craig Brady Jewelry, Away Luggage, Emily Ackerman and Maeve Grey.

We also had a great set of vendors that participated in the evening – The Favor Studio, Mary K by Christine, Mecca Medical, Dot Dot Smile by Patrice, LuLaRoe by Sabrina, Deux Amies USA, Candles by Jennifer, LuLaRoe by Surelle, and Stikz Cigar Lounge

Here are a few photos from the evening:

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As much as I love traveling abroad there is nothing like discovering local gems and that is why I love the concept of staycations. I personally am not one to take time off from work to stay home and so the idea of being able to take a short car ride for one or two nights away is perfect. I’ve been wanting to start a staycation series for some time now and hope my tristate readers [NJ, NY, PA + CT]  find it useful.

I want to begin this series with an overnight trip my family and I took last month.

Pocono Manor Resort & Spa

Pocono Manor is located in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania – about 1.5 hours from North Jersey and less than 2 hours from NYC. I’m not sure why it took us so long to venture up to the Poconos. This may have been out first visit but it won’t be our last.

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Pocono Manor is a historic hotel which opened in the 1900’s. There are a total of 240 guest rooms and a ton of amenities onsite – three restaurants, indoor and outdoor pool, golf course, spa and various recreational activities. They offer live music on the weekends and a ton of seasonal activities such as horseback riding, hiking, tennis and snowmobiling.

We were in town for the Lantern Festival so didn’t have much time to take advantage of all their amenities but were really happy with the accommodations. The room was very spacious with a pretty view, the game room was a great addition to the property and every staff member we spoke with were not only friendly but super helpful. At the end of the night we were able to grab a drink by the bar to bring up to our room and then enjoy a family breakfast (which was delicious!) before heading back home. It was the perfect little night away! A big thank you to Pocono Manor for hosting us and we look forward to another stay in the near future.

Here are some photos from our stay as well as some pictures of the property and their amenities/activities courtesy of the Pocono Manor website.

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One year ago my family decided we would meet in Orlando and spend the weekend in Disney! Seriously… is there anything better than family reuniting at the most magical place on earth?? Nope.

Luckily for us we also happened to be visiting during the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! This was Victor’s first Disney trip and everyone else’s first time visiting for Halloween.

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This event runs until November 1st this year and is a separate ticket than the normal admission into Magic Kingdom. You will absolutely want to pre purchase your ticket and ASAP as this event can sell out. While the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is from 7pm-12am, holders of these tickets can enter the park at 4pm which is what we did and I highly recommend others doing as well so that you can maximize your time in the park.

Some of the highlights of this event are trick-or-treating throughout the park, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Show, Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and the character meet & greets. We also found the park to be a lot less crowded than it is during the day which was a plus since the kids got to go on quite a few rides.

Here’s a look back at our time at the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

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Traveling has been my number one passion for quite a number of years now and if you know me, you know I like to do it on a budget. I am totally one of those people that after I book I will check the flights over and over again to make sure I got the best deal. [FYI: Don’t follow my lead on that, it’ll drive you nuts] Budget airlines have been around since the 70’s and to be honest I never paid much attention to them… until now. Iceland has been on my radar for awhile but it just never happened. One random day in October of 2016 I was browsing flights for Iceland and came across a super low rate from an airlines called WOW air. When I told my husband the rate he insisted we book immediately and that is how our trip to Iceland for February 2017 came about.

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WOW air is an Icelandic low-cost carrier that is headquartered in Reykjavík and based at Keflavík International Airport. The airline was founded in November 2011 and serves 38 destinations across Europe, North America, and Asia.

Ok – so lets talk details.

Firstly, they offer direct flights to Iceland and that is also where you will connect to continue onto wherever your final destination is. You have to remember they are a budget airline so don’t expect the works but I promise you will get from point A to point B comfortably and at an incredible rate.

One personal item measuring 17x13x10″ is always included with your paid ticket as well as checking in either a stroller OR carseat for your little one but that is where the extras that are included end. There are additional fees and they will vary each flight based on time of travel and final destination. Here is a breakdown of the additional fees based on a random flight from Newark to Reykavik.

Departing Flight:

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Return Flight:

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For a Basic, no added extras, flight you would pay $250!

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Guys – $250 RT nonstop for 4 nights in Iceland??? That is a steal! Can not upgrading your luggage be tricky… of course, but get creative when it comes to packing. Attire for Iceland is all about layering so pick items that you can reuse to make different outfits each day and wear your coat and winter boots onto the plane.

Since I was traveling with my husband and a 17 month old when I went, upgrading the luggage was a MUST for us. Here are the additional luggage prices for this itinerary:

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If you decide to upgrade to a standard size carry on luggage you would then pay $330 per person for this flight.

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This rate is over $100 cheaper than another budget airline that flies this same route on these dates. Other airlines were over $600 for this same flight.

You also don’t get to pick your seat unless you pre purchase and here is a look at those costs.

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I’ve flown with WOW for 2 separate trips and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and roomy the standard legroom seats were so don’t feel like you have to go for that XXL seat…. unless you want to of course. My first flight with them we did not pre book seats and upon check in the agents were super accommodating in making sure our party sat together.

Another option for this flight is to book WOW Plus and that includes an assigned standard seat, a carry on bag AND checked bag for $400! That is a steal.

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If you are traveling with someone and you were able to share luggage they could purchase the Basic rate and it would come out to a total of $650 for 2 adults for a 4 night trip to Iceland.

All food and beverages on flight are also an added expense. I’ve had a few items from their menu and it was all tasty but if you want to save money, just make sure to pick up a bottle of water and something to eat prior to boarding.

Overall I have nothing but great things to say about WOW Airlines. My family and I have had great flights with them and always experience really good customer service. As a mom, one of my FAVORITE features they have is the lap baby seat belt. I have never been offered this on any other airline.

We look forward to our next flight with them!

Have you flown WOW Air before?

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