PlayMonster Games and Toys for Kids and Families #ToyFair17

We’re all looking for fun, family-friendly activities for kids and families. I hit the jackpot at the PlayMonster booth at Toy Fair 2017. Check out my reviews of three family-friendly card games, plus My Fairy Garden, and Wonder Crew toys. PlayMonster products are available on Amazon and major retailers.

Three easy-to-learn card games: Grabolo, 7 ate 9 and Qwitch. Available on Amazon and at major retailers.

My Fairy Garden: Create a fairy garden that grows! Children ages 4 and up, available on Amazon.

Wonder Crew, a new line of toys for boys, are available on Amazon. These superhero toys combine the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of a stuffed animal to give children a best friend.

More Toy Fair videos on the way! Watch more videos on my YouTube Channel:

Hot, New STEM Toy from Marbleocity at #ToyFair17

You’ll love this really cool STEM toy for kids 9+. Made in the US by Also available on Amazon. Tinkineer’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) kits introduce children and adults to engineering principles and physics concepts through dynamic model kits that are made of wood in America. Each “marble machine” kit is an engaging lesson that is told through the eyes of a cast of characters (the “Tinkineers”) in graphic novella format. A terrific toy for hours of STEM play, a great gift for any occasion!

Pets + Cosplay = Pawzplay at #ToyFair17

If people can dress up as superheros, why not pets? I discovered a new line of collectible and cuddly critters who love cosplay. Pets + Cosplay = Pawzplay™! Just like people, these cute pets love to show their DC fandom and want to be involved in the exciting culture of cosplay. Get the scoop from my interview with Barry from Factory Entertainment about the debut of PawzPlay.

The world of Pawzplay™ launches in the Summer of 2017 with an assortment of kittens and puppies dressed as their favorite DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains.


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My Tree Pod, A New Favorite! #ToyFair17

I found one of the most amazing products at Toy Fair last week: Tree Pod! This hanging treehouse requires no wood, hammer, nails or construction. The TreePod brings the magic of a treehouse fort to backyards and campsites everywhere. Made with UV and water-resistant nylon, aluminum frame and steel quicklink, the Tree Pod comes in several cool colors and styles. Check out the Tree Pod; I’m buying one for my vacation home! Available on Amazon, other online and retail locations.

More Toy Fair videos on the way.

6 Things Adults Will Enjoy on A Disney Cruise

I recently discovered the magic of a Disney Cruise during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2017. We think of Disney Cruises, and all things Disney, as family experiences. I didn’t expect to find so much magic on this trip. After all, I was an adult traveling alone on a Disney Cruise. I regretted not having children with me and really wished I had brought my nieces as I looked at all the families creating amazing memories. There’s so much for families with children, from character meet and greets to pools with slides, movies, and endless buffets. Without children, I discovered that there are also plenty of activities for adult sailors as well. Here are six amazing things adults can do on a Disney Cruise:
1. Dinner at Palo: This fine dining experience is the best food I’ve eaten in a long time. Palo‘s menu is Northern Italian cuisine in a gorgeous setting with amazing views of the ocean around you. I ordered delicious scallops and an amazing chocolate souffle. The wine list is extensive and the service is excellent. The waiter even brought us extra entrees for us to taste.  There is a dress code and reservations are required. So worth it!

2. Serenity Bay: At Disney’s Castaway Cay, this port of call is full of activities for the family, but the busy moms I know will love what I found at Serenity Bay. A hammock on the beach, a fruity drink and a good book! There are plenty of places to roam relax. A delicious barbecue lunch completed this amazing day.
3. Castaway 5 K Run: Saturday morning, I ran the 5 K Run, complete with water stations and a nice run around the island. It was a great way to explore the island while enjoying a great workout. I earned a medal, too!


4. The Fitness Center: Have you ever wanted to run on water? The treadmill in the fitness center overlooks the front of the ship. I ran on the treadmill and it was like running on water. Literally. There are state-of-the-art machines as well as yoga, pilates and stretching classes for a variety of workouts.

5. Senses Spa: I’ve had my fair share of massages. But the massage I booked at Senses was the best I’ve ever had! It was 50 minutes of pure ecstasy, followed by time in the complimentary sauna and a wonderful steam shower. The full locker room amenities allowed me to get ready for dinner without rushing and ruining a truly relaxing spa experience. Senses also offers body sculpting boot camps, personal trainers and much more.

6. Broadway Style Shows: Watch Broadway-caliber productions the Walt Disney Theatre.  It is home to some of the finest entertainment in the cruise industry—from Disney original musicals to fun-filled variety acts.

At all times and throughout the cruise, service was excellent as only Disney can do it. I enjoyed my adults-only time on this ship, and have a new appreciation for how many activities are available for guests traveling without children. One of the best choices I made? I stayed in one night, ordered in-room dining, and sat on my balcony to watch the sunset.

Top Holiday Gift: Laura Ingalls Doll and Play Sets

My toy tester absolutely loves the Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Doll and the realistic play accessories. The award-winning doll and play sets from The Queen’s Treasures are available at the website and at Enter right now for a giveaway of a complete playset, ends 11/24/16 at 11:59 PST. We assembled the covered wagon and added the pieces, and the doll is beautiful. The pieces are well-made and are certain to provide hours of open-ended, creative play!


If you remember the popular TV series, this will bring back great memories of Laura, Ma and Pa and their experiences on the prairie. This doll and accessories let your child experience what life was like in the big woods and on the prairie for Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Ingalls family. Start the days adventure by riding across the prairie in the covered wagon. Find the perfect camp spot to rest and help Ma prepare lunch over the fire pit or churn some butter for the night’s dinner rolls.


Win your own doll, play accessories, DVD and more in a giveaway valued at over $700. The giveaway ends on Thursday, November 24th at 11:59 PST so enter here right now!

The Laura Ingalls 18” Doll is available online at and for $99.99.  A full-line of accessories is available at

Find educational resources at the Little House on the Prairie website including a historical timeline and history articles.


We received a doll and play set for review, all opinions are authentic.

5 Hot Tech Gifts that are Cool and Affordable


It’s the holiday season again. Time to search for the perfect present and demonstrate your creativity in gift giving. We all have that person in our lives who is difficult to buy for, from the guy who has everything to the teenager who wants nothing, or at least nothing they will tell you. This list of the hottest new, affordable tech gifts will surprise put the happy in everyone’s holiday!

5 Hot Tech Gifts for 2016

 1. HP Sprocket:  This new pocket-sized portable printer from HP is guaranteed to be this year’s must-have gift just as the Soda Stream and Snuggie were a few holidays ago. Selfie-obsessed teenagers will really love the 2 x 3 photo booth-like pictures that are produced by the Sprocket. Sprocket’s sticky-backed photo paper makes it easy to display customized images on walls, lockers or in scrapbooks. The Sprocket case comes in two cool colors and requires no ink. This is the perfect gift for travelers, teens or party-goers at only $129.99. Available on

 2. The HP 15 Series Notebook:  Whether he’s a gamer or she’s a student who loves music videos, you will be a hero for gifting this powerful laptop. The HP Notebook comes with Windows 10 Home, high-definition display, AMD Radeon R5 graphics, 2TB of hard drive storage, HP TrueVision HD Camera, DTS Studio sound and much more. Best of all, HP has partnered with QVC to offer two exclusive colors; minty green and soft lilac and will feature this laptop at the lowest price of the season on Saturday, November 26th.  Save money and time by visiting to get this colorful gift with a lot of power. 

3. Amazon Echo Voice Control Assistant and Speaker:   Who doesn’t want a personal assistant?  Whether it’s used for getting the latest sports scores or turning on an alarm for baking times, Alexa, a cloud based voice system, is perfect for anyone on your list. It has 360-omnidirectional speakers and can sit anywhere conveniently. Find it on!

 4. HP Instant Ink:  Give the gift of time and money all year long with HP Instant Ink, the ink subscription program that delivers ink right to the front door. That special person on your list will never have to worry about running out of ink again. For as low as $36 or $2.99 a month, you can give a year’s worth of HP Instant Ink. Ink cartridge reorders are based on number of prints, so now there’s no worry about how many holiday pictures you print or when. HP offers affordable Instant Ink-friendly printers starting at $69 at most major retailers. Perfect for college students, busy moms, scrapbookers and small business owners, to name a few.

5. Code-a-Pillar™ by Fisher-Price:  For the youngest tech enthusiast on your list, the Code-a-Pillar inspires little learners to be big thinkers by encouraging preschoolers to arrange (and rearrange) the easy-to-connect segments in endless combinations, sending the techno-insect on its way.  There are countless ways to arrange the segments which includes one sound segment, three straights, two right turns and two left turns to send the learning fun in endless directions.  At less than $50 on , this is a great gift for kids, but don’t be surprise if parents don’t sneak a try as well.

Disclosure: Maria has a partnership with both HP and QVC and created this article as part of a marketing program. All opinions are her own. QVC is a service mark of ER Marks, Inc. The domain name is registered to QVC, Inc.