Back to School with The Children’s Place (Giveaway)

It’s here.  BACK TO SCHOOL!  Some celebrate, others are sad, but no matter which way you feel, you’re probably going to need to do some back to school shopping.  It’s one of my favorite things to do, shopping is.  I mean, back to school shopping.  (Or let’s be really honest, I love shopping.  I said it).  I used to shop for me, and now that I have kids, I shop for them.  I like to find clothes that are well fitting, built to last, and comfortable for the kids.  I’m a big fan of matching thing, or coordinating, so they can mix and match.  The kids have so far been fairly agreeable to my suggestions. The Children’s Place is always one of the first stops on the list.
This year, I’ve tried something new.  I let the kids just choose.  I didn’t guide them, or only show them things I liked. I let them choose.  This was a big step for me and I wasn’t sure what the results would be.  I assumed someone would be crying in the corner (me) that no one wanted matchy stuff.

My little guy loves the athletic pants, and would wear his beloved ‘noisy pants’ every day, if he was allowed.  Paired with a bright orange long sleeved tshirt, I think the outfit kind of works for him, don’t you?  Please excuse his expression, there’s not much he hates less than having to model clothes for pictures.  I love this outfit because he looks great, and he’ll be comfortable in it- so no fidgeting (at least from clothes) during school!

childrens place fall fashions 2012 boys

As you can see, my littlest one is all ready for preschool in her cute little top and skirt.  The ruffly purse applique on the top looks just darling with the ruffled skirt, and she’s as happy as can be that it’s all in shades of her beloved purple.

childrens place fall fashion 2012 baby girl

Big sister is starting to look like a “big kid” and not a little girl anymore, and is all about shiny things and apparently, any color BUT pink.

childrens place fall fashions 2012 girls

I think we have 4 pairs now of these brightly colored jeggings- all with these adorable elbow-length sleeves and a vibrant shiny design on the front.  Yes, we’ve hit big kid styles, but I think she works it, don’t you?

childrens place fall fashions 2012 sparkle

My girls can’t wait to show off their new style at school!

childrens place fall fashions 2012

The Children’s Place offers so many great styles, quality construction, and affordable prices.  I’ve been so happy with our purchases over the years!  The latest looks, the hottest styles, the basics…all affordable and can make parents AND kids happy.

childrens place boys fall 2012 outfits

One reader will win a $50 gift card to The Children’s Place!


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We received some fall fashion items in to facilitate the review.  Opinions are my own.



Planet Box Review and Giveaway!!!

One of my favorite things about the end of summer is back to school shopping. There is something so nostalgic about shopping for lunch boxes, back packs, folders and pencils. I love it!!! This year, one of the items I was desperate to find was a reusable lunch box for my first grader. I wanted one that would last several years, wasn’t too bulky and was efficient. This was more difficult to find than you might imagine. I’m not a fan of themed lunch boxes. These get old after a couple of months (and I just don’t like superheroes and “bad guys”). After searching around on pinterest for some new and unique ideas, I ran across the Planet Box.

“Looking for an eco and easy way to pack healthy lunches? With right sized compartments made out of high quality stainless steel, PlanetBox is the smart lunchbox that guides you in packing a well-balanced meal quickly and easily. Part bento box, part TV dinner tray, our segmented containers are the best way to pack delicious, no waste lunches for school or work. Not your old fashioned metal lunch box, PlanetBox is truly lunch transportation for the green generation. ” The Planet Box comes in 2 sizes: The Rover is great for younger children, and the Launch is great for bigger kids and adults. Rover

  • SMALLER serving sizes
  • Wide variety of foods
  • 5 compartments, 2 Dippers for wet foods
  • Designated space for a little treat
  • Measures 10 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Kits range from $39.95- $59.95


  • LARGER serving sizes
  • 30% larger than the Rover by volume
  • 3 compartments, 1 Dipper for wet foods
  • Glass Satellite Dish for reheating foods
  • Measures 10.25 x 7.75 x 2 inches
  • Kits range from $49.95 – $79.95

A variety of kits are available for purchase. Just look at these products!

  • Utensils

  • ColdKit

  • Dippers and Satellite Dish


  • Magnets


  • Carry Bags


This system is so amazing. I knew I needed one ASAP. I chose the Rover system for my little guy. I tend to overpack food and this system is divided into just the right portion sizes. He will be able to use this for a few years before upgrading to a larger box. By then I can pass it along to my next little guy! How does the Planet Box System work: 1. Choose your size: Rover or … 2. Choose dipping bowl sets 3. Ice Packs 4. Magnet sets. Yes, you can personalize and change up the look of your box with magnets! Genious!!!! (We chose the Rockets of course) You can purchase the items individually or as a set. The Rover box fits perfectly into the case. It is about the size of a notebook and is slimmer than a regular lunch box. The website has several lunch packing ideas for both the Rover and the Launch system (complete with grocery lists!!!). I found a lot of inspiration for lunches while perusing this site. I know that Bento boxes are all the rage lately. These individualized compartments are perfect for bento box type meals. The tray can be washed out with soap and water or placed in your dishwasher at the end of the day. Easy and reusable!!! This is my favorite lunchbox of all time and my little guy just can’t wait to use it at school this year! One of our readers will win their own Planet Box Rover Basic Set!!!! (Winner chooses magnet set)

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 “A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

Top 5 Hello Kitty Items for Back to School

Got a little Hello Kitty lover in your family?  We do.  Actually, two of them.  Or maybe three. Do I count, if I’m not going back to school?

Anyway, BOTH of my girls are enamored with HK.  I found 5 super cute items for YOUR Hello Kitty fan that are perfect for back to school!


Hello Kitty Backpack from FabNY

She’ll need something- a backpack  to carry her school supplies in- even if its a simple folder and change of clothes for preschool!

And probably a bag for snack and /or lunch…

It’s lemon scented!

A folder for her papers and stuff…

Some super cute shoes so she can profess her HK love in style…and sparkle…

And something to wear, of course. What a cute dress for the first day of school!


I’m not one to go over-the-top with character stuff, but a few key items are enough to make it work!


What are your fave back to school items?


(Some of the items mentioned above were received for review.  Opinions are my own.)





Fairy Tales Hair Care Rosemary Repel Lice Prevention Giveaway

It’s here, friends. Back to school time. Back to germs…and the increased risk of LICE. I kid you not, just typing those words makes my skin crawl and my scalp itch. I had lice once, in 2nd grade. I remember my mom putting all my stuff through the washer over and over again, bagging my toys in dark trash bags and putting them in the freezer if they fit.  Such a yucky feeling.  I hated it.  I also remember the product she put on my hair and scalp, and that super fine toothed comb that took hours to go through…it was not fun for anyone in the house.  I dread the day it comes into my house…although hopefully with regular use of Fairy Tales Hair Care’s Rosemary Repel line of products, which consist of natural ingredients known to repel lice…hopefully we won’t have lice in the house.

We’ve been using Rosemary Repel products  for almost a year now- and I’m especially glad we have it in the house now, before school starts. I have three in elementary school this year and that to me means triple the risk.  I love to be able to use natural products to try to prevent things like lice from entering our home- it helps me feel like I’m protecting my children but also preventing a huge mess.

Pencils and erasers aren’t the only thing students are bringing back to school this season; head lice outbreaks are rampant during the school year.  In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, there are between 6-12 million cases of head lice cases annually.

“Preventing lice is much easier than managing an outbreak, which can be a stressful, time consuming and an expensive experience for both parents and children,” said Risa Barash, founder of Fairy Tales Hair Care.  “Outbreaks can impact entire schools, play groups, athletic/dance facilities and daycare centers.” Fortunately, following a few simple guidelines can help deter the problem.  “Don’t share hats, helmets, brushes and combs and do weekly head checks; use it as a nice time to talk to your child,” recommends Barash.

Since 1999,  has been the source for education and tips on head lice prevention and removal.  The site provides educational material and how to videos to help educate parents, school nurses and teachers on all things head lice related. The Rosemary Repel® line of hair care is designed to repel lice using organic ingredients such as rosemary, tea tree, citronella, peppermint and lavender oils. Rosemary Repel Hair Care is clinically proven to be over 95% effective when combined.   Gentle and safe for everyday use, each product is infused with aloe, jojoba and vitamins that leave hair soft, smooth and shiny.

The free iPhone app, “The Facts of Lice” is the first of its kind to report and track lice outbreaks.  With over 250,000 downloads to date, parents and educators can anonymously report an outbreak and receive notifications when an outbreak is in a selected zip code.


Naturally caring for families since 1999, Fairy Tales Hair Care produces an assortment of premium-quality, non-toxic hair care products and bug repellents for children.  Dedicated to maintaining the health of every family member, the company’s formulas are made with the best organic herbs and essential oils and are nut-, soy, dairy- and gluten-free.  The brand’s Rosemary Repel collection is the U.S. leader in natural lice prevention products.  Headquartered in Passaic, New Jersey, Fairy Tales Hair Care products are available in fine salons, pharmacies, Ulta Stores, and specialty stores nationwide. For more information, visit


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Fellowes Saturn2 95 Laminator (plus a coupon!)

I’ve waited a really, really long time to say this. I have my very own Fellowes Saturn2 95 laminator. I can laminate whatever I want, whenever I want. Well, anything that fits into my Fellowes Laminator. Emergency cards? Laminated. Fun printable activities? Laminated. Name tags for the kids to wear the first few weeks of school? Laminated in seconds. If it’s the right size and fits, I’m probably going to at least attempt to laminate it. I even took some Astrobrights paper and made little wipe off calendars for each of the kids – if they are waiting anxiously for an event (like their birthday) they can use a dry erase marker to cross off the days while waiting- and they aren’t going to be asking me 100 times a day to write on my family calendar! (Of course, this won’t stop them from asking, but I can direct them to their own calendars).

Name tag going into the laminator


I’m a Brownie troop leader (well, to be. We’re moving up to Brownies this fall, my oldest and me). That offers more chances to laminate. The Girl Scout Law, the Girl Scout Promise- both have to be memorized, and now I can make my girls cute little laminated cards with the Law & Promise on them that won’t get wet or ripped!

Name tag coming out of the laminator

With the holidays almost always comes cookie swapping. I am not sure I’ve ever finished writing out a recipe card and NOT spilled on it at some point. Recipe cards are great for laminating too. Plus, if you have a special recipe card that maybe your favorite aunt wrote out for you, and you are afraid the ink may fade or wash away if it gets wet- laminating that card means preserving her handwriting and comments/notes…while still being able to use the card.

Laminating a wipe off calendar for my son

I laminated brightly colored triangles to make a “Back to School” banner for the kids.

This laminator is so much fun to have around.  Practical, yes, but also fun.  There are so many things I have plans to laminate- and so many friends who want to borrow it!
For some fun laminating ideas, click here

HeatGuard™ Technology: Double-walled insulation keeps heat inside so laminator is comfortable to touch, making it safe for homes with children (Safety is so important, especially given that you have to let your machine warm up before use- it’s hard to just sit next to a machine for 20 minutes when there are other things to do!)

Advanced Temperature Control: Hot and cold laminating capabilities ensure consistent, smooth results every time

Jam Release Lever: Permits easy removal or re-centering of stalled pouches. (Levers like this were made for people like me.  I don’t deny it).

From August 5th – August 25th friends of Mom Central can use exclusive coupon code 87298 to receive $30 off the regular price ($159.99) of a Fellowes Saturn2 95 at! (while supplies last; maximum two machines per person)

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Fellowes and received a product sample to facilitate my review.”


BJ’s for Back to School

Back to School for parents of older kids, like some of my siblings, means stocking up on everyday needs to last several months in one trip.  BJ’s is  a GREAT place to head for back to school shopping because you can stock your kid up on the things s/he will be needing until their first ‘break’ and not worry that they will run out of soap, deoderant…toilet tissue…or snacks!   My niece and sister have been shopping to get my niece ready for her freshman year of college I don’t know how many times and I know most of what they’ve purchased could be found at BJ’s in one trip- and likely at a huge savings for them!

I have to say right here and right now that I am jealous. What I see available for back to school now is so far from what was available to kids now.  We had egg crate pads for our mattresses, and they weren’t very comfortable, plus very easily fell apart. The mattress pads and memory toppers for beds that are available now are light years ahead of what we had- one might even be able to get a restful night’s sleep on those comfortable toppers!  Plus, the sheets and bedding options are a very far cry from the limited “twin XL” bed-in-a-bag options in the early nineties when I was shopping.  [click to continue…]

DK Eyewitness Series: Predator & Flight (Giveaway)

DK Eyewitness Series is a collection of amazingly beautifully photographed nonfiction series.  They offer readers a very thorough and comprehensive look at a huge array of subjects using words and images.  They are made for kids ages 8+ but really, they are a pleasure to look through and enjoy for even my 4 year old.   They are a wonderful addition to any reference set for any home, classroom or library!  I think its really cool that these books all include a CD and wall chart now. 

Eyewitness: Predator introduces readers to the world of lions, tigers, wolves, eagles, sharks, and more animals that prey on other animals to survive.

Previously published as Eyewitness: Flying Machine, Eyewitness: Flight is a spectacular and informative guide to the fascinating world of aircraft. Superb color photographs offer a unique “eyewitness” exploration of the history of flight, and provide a close-up view of the many different types of aircraft in use today, how to keep an airplane flying straight and level, and more.

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Back to School: BusyBodyBook Planner & Wall Calendar (Giveaway)

BusyBodyBook Weekly GRID planners are every mom’s go-to time management tool for controlling the chaos of her family’s multiple and hectic schedules.

I got to review this planner last year, and LOVED it, so when Joan offered me a new planner for this year, well, I jumped at the chance.  I LOVE these planners.  Space to write all of what you need to write and more space to write notes and stuff down!  The grid format makes it super easy even for the little kids who don’t read to know if they have something “special” on the planner or calendar because they know where their stuff is on the grid- or what color I write their things down on (I give each of us a color on the calendar and planner- started that when I was a live in nanny for 5 kids- had to organize somehow!!).  Its so easy to see and USE- I won’t go back to other planners again!! Plus, the designs on the outside are cool.  That’s an added bonus. [click to continue…]

Back to School with Targus: Protect your Electronics!

Targus sent me one of their 10.2″ Zamba Netbook Sleeves in purple(which is used for my Galaxy Tablet).  I needed to have something that I can carry my tablet in and not worry that it will be bumped or scratched when, inevitably, my bag is dropped, set down hard, bumped into, or whatever.  It is not made specifically for my tablet size so its a bit large (made for netbooks up to 10.2 inches!)  but it houses my tablet and keeps it safe and I’m really pleased with the construction and quality of materials.  Of course, I’ve had it dropped a few times while it was in the sleeve and it was well protected!

The sleeve is made of water resistant neoprene which is great for people on the go all the time- in inclement weather even if you have a long walk to your destination, your electronics will be protected.  The interior has a scratch resistant lining which, as we all know, is very important for electronic protection in the day and age of tablets and touchscreens!  [click to continue…]

Katie’s Charms Pandora Style Mother’s Bracelet (Giveaway)

Jennifer from Katie’s Charms sent me this gorgeous Mother’s Bracelet. I think I’m becoming semi-obsessed with mother’s jewelry.

Katie’s Charms makes beautiful Pandora-style beads, charms and starter pieces.  There is a huge variety on the site, the images are large enough that you can see what you are looking at, and really see the details of  a bead you are considering adding to your collection (or someone else’s).  Not sure what to get?  There are starter braceletes, necklaces, and even premade sets all on the site to help you get started.  There are lots of different styles of bracelets and necklaces to put your beads onto, so you’re quite likely to find pieces to suit just about anyone’s tastes.

I like that there are premade bracelets on this site- I think it makes gift giving a lot easier for many, and while adding a single bead on different occasions is definitely something I love and adore (and have a bracelet for) I also  love the ready-to-go idea.  The Nature Girl bracelet is amazing as well- that was my second choice!!    [click to continue…]