Sweet Suite 14

Geeking Out with Sweet Suite and Thames and Kosmos

IMG_9590Geeking Out with Sweet Suite and Thames and Kosmos

Sweet Suite 14 and Blogger Bash NYC was only twenty days ago but between the boxes of toys arriving here and all of my follow-up emails and posts, it feels like it was yesterday. What a great time and wonderful way to meet brands, other bloggers, and get inspired!

I am blessed with a large extended family, and while that’s great in general,  it’s especially wonderful now because I have so many toys in my house. I know, such a problem, right? What to do? Well, some toys will go to the nieces and nephews (ensuring my place as best aunt ever), there will be some giveaways (coming soon), and I’ll donate the rest to a local organization, Cradles to Crayons.

The only item we have opened is a growing crystals kit from Thames and Kosmos (a little #ThrowbackThursday here) from their SPARK – Science in A Flash series.  We’ve always loved kits from the most basic to the more involved and generally had some project in process (butterfly kits, anyone?), and they were most likely from the Museum of Science  where for years we had a family membership (it was one of the best gifts we have ever received – Thanks, Mom and Dad). We would go to the play space every week (really, winters are long here), and my kids still know and love that museum.

This award winning company has fantastic science kits for all ages and abilities and can be found locally at two of my favorite toy stores, Henry Bear’s Park and Learning Express.

Like Thames and Kosmos on Facebook here.

Here is a bit more about them from their site:

Company Bio

Thames & Kosmos (T&K) was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving informal science education by publishing high-quality science and technology related educational products for children of all ages. T&K places an emphasis on teaching concepts and skills through hands-on modeling of real-world devices and processes, and by offering comprehensive, meaningful reading materials for a rich learning experience. T&K is headquartered in Providence, RI.

Partnership with Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos operates as the North American subsidiary of Kosmos — the 189-year-old, German-based publishing house, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH. Kosmos has an existing line of high-quality science kits that T&K translates, rewrites, and distributes in the English language.

Current Products
Thames & Kosmos currently offers more than 120 science and experiment kits in thirteen categories: Chemistry, Physics, Alternative Energy & Environmental Science, Technology & Electronics, Biology, Earth Science & Natural History, Fun & Fundamentals, Astronomy, Classic Science, Little Labs, Ignition Series, Sophisticated Science, and Construction Series.

Thames & Kosmos products are highly regarded in the specialty toy and education market. Since the beginning, T&K products have received dozens of awards from the most reputable organizations that review products for children.

Thames & Kosmos sells its products worldwide in retail stores, toy and gift catalogs, specialty toy and hobby stores, museum stores, educational distributors, home-school suppliers, and online stores. For a list of retailers, see the Where to Buy page.

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires #SmokeyBDay

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires #SmokeyBDay

Did you know that Smokey Bear, along with his trademark, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” has helped reduce the number of acres lost annually to wildfires from 22 million to an average of 6.5 million annually today? Nine out of ten wildfires are started by humans, and Smokey Bear still plays a key role in educating the public about how to prevent wildfires.

Smokey Bear was at Blogger Bash at the #EAEVENTS party a few weeks ago and turns 70 on Saturday and is still getting the word out. No retirement in sight for Smokey! Here’s the hashtag so you can follow the fun #SmokeyBDay

There’s a Twitter Chat:

  • Wednesday, August 6
  • 2-3 PM Eastern
  • #SmokeyBDay 

And wish Smokey Bear Happy Birthday here and

Take the Pledge to prevent wildfires.

Only you can make a difference. Sign the pledge to help stop the spread of wildfires.

VIEW AND MAKE THE PLEDGE  Why? It doesn’t cost anything, it raises awareness and don’t you want to do some good today? I thought so.



Here’s the pledge for those of you who like all the information up front:

I pledge to:


  • To use caution and common sense before lighting any fire.
  • To understand that any fire I or my friends create could become a wildfire.
  • To understand and practice proper guidelines whenever I or my friends create a fire outdoors.
  • To never, ever leave any fire unattended.
  • To make sure any fire that I or my friends create is properly and completely extinguished before moving on.
  • To properly extinguish and discard of smoking materials.
  • To be aware of my surroundings and be careful when operating equipment during periods of dry or hot weather.
  • To speak up and step in when I see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.


There are great games and activities for kids on this site, and remember Smokey’s ABC’s: “Always Be Careful with fire. If you start a fire, put it out when you are done.”


I’m so old that I remember when it was Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires


Smokey Bear, the icon featured in the longest running public service campaign in U.S. history, turns 70 years old this Saturday, August 9, 2014. Created in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council, Smokey Bear, along with his trademark, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” has helped reduce the number of acres lost annually to wildfires from 22 million to an average of 6.5 million annually today.

To commemorate Smokey Bear’s seven decades of impact, the U.S. Forest Service will be hosting a birthday party in Washington, D.C. at the USDA Whitten Patio from 1pm- 3pm ET on August 8. USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Ad Council President and CEO Peggy Conlon, New Jersey State Forester, Lynn Fleming and Smokey Bear himself will be in attendance for the festivities.

Did you know Sam Elliot is the voice of Smokey Bear and has been since 2008? They also share the same birthday so go say Happy Birthday to Sam Elliot on Twitter.

Smokey Bear was at #EAEvents during Blogger Bash 2014 (BBNYC) thanks to Element Associates.

In addition to his website, http://www.smokeybear.com, Smokey also has a large following on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter for more information about wildfire prevention.

Sweet Suite was Toot Sweets and #BBNYC was a Blast

Sweet Suite was Toot Sweets (That’s old school for “Totes Adorbs” which I am not allowed per an agreement with my children to say anyway) and #BBNYC was a Blast!

Toot Sweets with Dick Van Dyke from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Yes, excuse me, my age is showing, but when I heard about Sweet Suite I also heard the echo of Toot Sweets. Really, I can’t help it, and yes, sometimes my brain is an interesting ride. And did you know that Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming have writing credits for this movie? Neither did I! Love Roald Dahl and the movie was based on a book of Ian Fleming’s. Really? Go figure. So for you boys who like Bond, you might want to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, too. Just a thought.

Also, I had a sweet clip but it crashed my blog. Find it on YouTube here.

Anyway, back to the sweet stuff about Sweet Suite – really there is too much to write about in just one post but I’ll try. Sweet Suite was a fun-filled confection of a night with more candy offered that even I could eat. Yes, that much. The location (Location 05) was open, clean, fresh and such an enjoyable place to be and the toys – oh, the toys! The organizers are so darn organized, thoughtful and smart that they have a box of goodies shipped to you. That is a beautiful thing because lugging stuff all day and then home is challenging.

Sweet Suite and Blogger Bash NYC was a two day event filled with education, inspiration and connections. Yes, and IRL (In Real Life) too, and although we all buried our noses in our phones to tweet, favorite, instagram and like, we still managed to look up, shake hands and connect, and it was a blast! Yes, from getting to hang out with old and new friends, learning new things, hearing about fantastic bloggers using their social klout for social good, checking out the latest and greatest toys  (who doesn’t love that?),   plus I am going to be super popular based on all the treats in my Sweet Suite 14 box! I like chatting with new people (so many new BFF opportunities!) and connecting with brands is always fun. It’s a lovely way to see what is new in a relaxed setting.

There is no way to name all of the wonderful sponsors of Sweet Suite and Blogger Bash NYC (and the many great break out events within the #BBNYC day) without it being one huge list or (gasp!) run-on sentence. But you can find them here.  It was great to see favorites like Crayola, Faber Castell (we do love our art supplies), Lego and Hasbro, and to be introduced to new folks (well, new to us, anyway) like Thames & Kronos, Kurio, MiP from WowWee, Boogie Board and Goldieblox. Before this event, I was pretty unclear about what my nephews (fans of Skylanders) were talking about but since having been in an entire room of Skylanders (including Skylander themed yummy cupcakes), I think I have an idea. And I learned the names of the characters like Blades and Erupter, (instead of calling them Stabby Guy and Lava Dude, so, yeah, I’m cool).


This wonderful event was a crush at times but a polite crush, really, and so many people sharing, it was invigorating! Plus I got to travel to NYC (one of my favorite places), and explore the city in-between all of the conference happiness. Thus the MZ Wallace store find (one of the sponsors – great handbags and totes), and maybe I found some food places, too, and on Saturday walked to the main branch of the New York Public Library and a wonderful exhibit – The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.



Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to spend such quality time with such a terrific group of people. Thank you to Charlene Deloach, Joey Fortman, Laurie Schacht, Stephanie Glover and Ali Mierzejewski, and Marissa Dibartolo.


There were wonderful illustrations in the Library’s ABC exhibit including one from Roald Dahl which keeps crashing my blog so go see it here. See, I do tie things together eventually.

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