Don’t forget to check eBay for the hottest toys of the season!

shop ebay for hottest toys of holiday seasonThe holidays are upon us! Have you started your holiday shopping yet? The kick-off to the shopping season is officially on Friday, or rather, Black Friday.  I’m a Black Friday shopper, but more for the fun of it.  The bulk of my shopping is done already.  I want to know more about what’s on everyone’s list, and what’s left to buy.  What tricks or tips do you have for shopping during the busiest time of the year?

Something I just learned is that eBay has the hottest toys your kids want this holiday season. Shop the Toys-R-Us store on eBay and get access to the same great toy selection and service from Toys-R-Us without ever leaving eBay. Talk about stress-free shopping!  Yes, Toys-R-Us has a store on eBay.  I would NEVER have thought to check eBay for Toys-R-Us storefront!  I was so excited to find this! 

Here are 10 toys my kids would love to receive this holiday season…all sold on eBay (and not for outrageous pricing, either) and in no particular order:

doc mcstuffins wood puzzle toysrus ebay

Doc McStuffins Wood Puzzle (My three year old loves Doc McStuffins and she loves puzzles.  This is simply perfect for her).


Meep! Kids Tablet (I don’t want to share my iPad anymore. Is that so bad?)

power rangers pop and race game

Power Rangers Pop and Race Game (this one is just like how I remember Trouble was as a kid!)


Tapefiti (I didn’t know this existed before right now, but let me tell you this may be the best product ever.  Kids + tape= happy in my house.  My kids can go through tape like nobody’s business.  But designs on the tape? They’ll be over the moon). 30 rolls of tape would keep them occupied for at least a full hour.  Maybe two.

totally me zigzag sewing machine kit

Totally Me! Zigzag Sewing Machine Kit (My 7 year old has been begging to learn to knit or sew for months).

transformers masterpiece action figure optimus prime

My son would be over the moon for the Transformers Masterpiece Action Figure- Optimus Prime (although he calls him “Octopus Prime or Octimus Prime)

charlie brown mini figure set with fold out christmas stage

*I* would love to get the Charlie Brown Mini Figure set with fold out Christmas stage. I am such a Peanuts fan- thankfully the kids like watching our old holiday specials with us!

My oldest really, really wants the Molly doll from American Girl.  This is not in the budget this year, but I’m finding tons of Molly dolls even new in the box on eBay for sale!

My little one would love the Doc McStuffins Magic Check Up Center, and I’m hopeful I can find it at a reasonable price!

The last thing on the wish list that I *just* bid on is a “retro” toy – some Magic Kingdom tiny Polly Pocket sets.  That’s part of the surprise to tell the kids we’re going to Disney.

I love eBay shopping. We’ve had some of our very best gift finds from there over the years.  They even have a gift guide to help guide your shopping process! I have already got the eBay app for my phone- and when my new phone arrives this week….it’ll be one of the first things I add to it.

 What are you looking for this holiday season? Have you found “the wish” on your child’s list? 

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of eBay. I received a product sample to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese Recipe from In the Kitchen with David

in the kitchen with david cookbook

I LOVE comfort food.  I mean, what’s not to love?  Food that comforts the soul.  Clearly I love it, or I’d not be so…well, round.  One of my favorite comfort foods is macaroni and cheese.  It’s also one of my favorite things to cook. I make a mean mac’n’cheese, if I do say so myself, and yes, yes I am saying it.  But earlier I tried the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese recipe from “In the Kitchen with David,” David Venable‘s new cookbook that’s ALL about the comfort foods.

I had to modify the macaroni and cheese recipe just a tiny bit- we had a different kind of pasta and forgot to thaw bacon (seriously? who forgets BACON details? only me!) but we had a ham dinner the previous night and I decided that some ham would be just as delicious on the side.

ultimate macaroni and cheese recipe

But oh, my goodness. I made mine in my cast iron pan (always trying to get that iron in!) and dinner was divine.

macaroni and cheese

All three kids had three helpings.  I had two.  Even my husband who is not a fan of pasta dishes in general, enjoyed this.  I think it may be the mustard but I don’t care. I love the Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese.

COMFORT FOODS THAT TAKE YOU HOMEIN THE KITCHEN WITH DAVIDDavid Venable will be the first to tell you: He loves his food. And, as the beloved QVC® program host of In the Kitchen with David®, he’s put that passion on mouthwatering display, welcoming some of the greatest names in the food world. But Venable’s own culinary skills—honed in the Carolina kitchens of his mother and grandmothers—are nothing short of remarkable and tantalizing.

Now, in his anticipated debut cookbook, Venable shares 150 delicious recipes of hearty, easy-to-make, comforting dishes. In the Kitchen with David covers everything from appetizers and breads to soups and salads to main courses and sides, as well as his lifelong love of bacon (The Divine Swine!). You’ll get ideas for quick Monday-to-Friday dinners, let-it-cook-all-weekend suppers, savory breakfasts and brunches, cocktail party fun, game-day eats, and family reunion feasts. And of course, no Southern-influenced cookbook is complete without a little something sweet.

Here are just a few of his delicious recipes:
• Party Starters: Cheeseburger Dumplings with steak sauce (p. 21)
• Big Bowls of Happiness: Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese croutons (p. 69)
• Dinner in One Dish: David’s Ultimate Mac and Cheese (p.143)
• Main Events: Pork Pot Roast with veggies (p. 134)
• Sweet, Sweet Gratification: Pineapple Upside-down cake (p.221) and Three-Layer Chocolate Cake (p. 227)

BIO: DAVID VENABLE joined QVC as a program host in 1993 and has since helped establish and build the multimedia retailer’s gourmet food business. His hit show, In the Kitchen with David®, offers a unique interactive viewership experience and features the latest in gourmet foods, cookware, kitchen gadgets, and cookbooks. While not a chef, Venable, well-known as “QVC’s Resident Foodie,” loves to cook, and his passion revolves around all things food. Prior to joining QVC, Venable was an anchor/reporter for WOAY-TV in Oak Hill, W. Va., and CBS-affiliate WTAJ-TV in Altoona, Pa. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and lives in Pennsylvania.

holiday gift guide

FIVE winners will each receive a copy of David Venable’s In the Kitchen with David!

To enter, tell me YOUR favorite comfort food in a comment below.

Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)




*Follow Me on Pinterest

*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

This giveaway will end on December 7, 2012 at 11:59PM EST. Winners have 48 hours to respond. US only.  One entry per household.


Sweet Home Alabama on BluRay

So here's something you probably don't know.  My husband has a thing for Reese Witherspoon and I seem to always have a thing for her costars in movies.  So when I heard that Sweet Home Alabama was coming out on BluRay, I had to jump at the chance to get it.  I'm still scratching my head that this is the 10th anniversary of the movie!  There's even 8 deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.  You may be thinking it's Patrick Dempsey that I had a thing for but it's not.  Apologies.  It's the delightfully handsome Josh Lucas.  It's a great movie for us to watch, because we can both enjoy our “screen crushes.”

sweet home alabama

PLUS, this is where one of my favorite movie insults came from:

“Look at you… you have a baby… in a bar.”

Classic. I love it. (AND I have a clip so you can watch it)

Plus, I love the happy ending stories, when boy meets girl and boy loves girl and boy loses girl and girl comes to her senses and goes back to the boy.  AND the soundtrack is great.

Melanie Carmichael, an up and rising fashion designer in New York, has gotten almost everything she wished for since she was little. She has a great career and the JFK-like fiancée of New York City. But when he proposes to her, she doesn'tforget about her family back down South. More importantly, her husband backthere, who refuses to divorce her ever since she sent divorce papers seven years ago. To set matters straight, she decides to go to the south quick and make him sign the papers. When things don't turn out the way she planned them, she realizes that what she had before in the south was far more perfect than the life she had in New York City.


Sweet Home Alabama
is available in stores and online!
I received a copy of this product in exchange for my post. Opinions are my own.

Your Santa Story Review and Giveaway

I LOVE Christmas. The holiday decorations, the shopping, the snow and the traditions. Now that I have kids, the traditions are even more special. Talking about Santa and setting up cookies on the fireplace Christmas Eve are memories that I cherish and I know that my children do as well. There is just nothing like the squeal of delight when the kids run down the stairs on Christmas morning and realize that Santa visited them! I couldn’t wait to share Your Santa Story with them!

So, you can imagine my dismay when my 6 year old starting asking questions.  “Do YOU believe in Santa Claus, Mom?”  Of course, I do.  If you ask me, 6 is just too young.  Let's keep the magic alive for a few more years please.  I wanted to do something really special for my little guy this year.  Just to ease that niggle of a doubt at the edges of his inquistive nature.  Something that would make him REALLY believe.

This is where Your Santa Story saved the day.  With a little bit of information from me, they will develop a personalized disc that is sent to your house, with a message from santa.   I simply went to their website and filled out my information.  My name, children's name and ages, and what personalized message I wanted santa to send to them.  I was even able to add a secret message at the end.  Santa will reveal the secret hiding place of one last gift for your kids to discover!  How fun!

My disc arrived shortly and I was so excited to see it!  Upon opening the package, there was a fun surprise.  The included Santa's License.  It looks just like a real license, but it has Santa's picture and all of his info.  Whoops, look like it must have fallen out of his pocket while he was delivering presents.  I will place this near the fireplace so the kids will be sure to see it.

I popped the disc into my player (in secret, of  course).  A cute intro, showing scenes from the North Pole and the Reindeer begins the story.  Then the big guy appears. He is seated in front of a fireplace in full garb.  He is really realistic looking and reads the message to my kids as I had written it, and with great expression.  He does a great job, and mentions each child and their accomplishments this year.  The folks at Your Santa Story do a GREAT job personalizing your story.  I am so excited to share this with my kids on Christmas morning!

I realize that every child realizes at some age that Santa isn't necessarily the storybook figure that we grow up believing in.  But, let's just enjoy this time with our kids for a little while, and make this Christmas MAGIC!

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

Vipre Antivirus Gives Me Peace of Mind

This post brought to you by GFI. All opinions are 100% mine.

I recently inherited my dad’s laptop.  It was actually my mom’s, custom ordered to her specifications, a few weeks before she died.  My dad’s barely used it since, but between the two of them they managed to put a lot of “stuff” on the laptop that was inhibiting the performance.  Last week, I had my nephew help me get it back to factory settings, and I knew the FIRST thing I need to get onto the computer was virus protection.  I turned to Vipre antivirus, since I’ve used them previously and had a good experience with them.  The first 30 days are free, so I figured this was a safe way to test the waters and make sure this will be the right antivirus protection for me.

Getting the software onto my laptop was super simple.  Visit the site, click a few buttons, and within 5 minutes, I had the program running and ready to go. The process is quite simple and I know that if and when I purchase the program, that process will be simple as well.  I had the first “full” scan running within 10 minutes of sitting down at my laptop, and that includes answering a phone call and helping one of the kids in the bathroom.  Not  bad, considering once my nephew was done with my laptop, I had zero protection until I got Vipre downloaded and ready to go.

Thankfully, the scans have shown nothing but tracking cookies thus far.  I think I’m safe.  I needed to be sure before I started adding our family photos, etc. to the new laptop! I also want to be sure to protect our identities and ensure that our home internet usage is secured. I can rest easy knowing we’re good to go- and in a few weeks, I can decide if I want to purchase the package or not.  Right now, I’m leaning towards purchasing.  I do like having a 30 day trial before making a decision though!

Be sure to “like” so that you can keep up to date with updates and new products that Vipre may come out with- or to get support!

Hello Kitty Karaoke Machine (Giveaway) #HGG

Sparklebee sent us their Hello Kitty Karaoke machine recently and we have been having so much fun with it!

sparklebee hello kitty karaoke

This karaoke machine is probably the cutest karaoke machine I’ve ever seen.  It’s also the only one I’ve had at home.  Both my girls have inherited their mama’s love for Hello Kitty so we’ve loved having “her” here.  She’ll be living in the girls room, because this machine can double as a CD player so the girls can have their dance parties in their rooms. It also makes their room more “Hello Kitty” which is what they keep asking for!

hello kitty karaoke camera

This little unit has a very clever design- Hello Kitty’s face hides the CD’s.  The top of the bow is where you open the CD The back of her head is where the camera self stores – so when you aren’t using it for karaoke, the camera is tucked away and protected.

hello kitty karaoke rock star

The karaoke features are really fun for this machine, but to be honest, my kids prefer to spend their time singing their own songs and dancing along with the microphone in hand.  Apparently I have three children who are just wanting to be stars on the stage (with or without pants! The kids really want to have a big dance party and I think the karaoke machine is going to be just perfect for entertainment. (If anyone has any recommendations for me for kids’ karaoke cd’s please let me know!)

Connect the Hello Kitty CDG Karaoke System to a Video Monitor / HD TV for Three Different On-screen Sing-Along Viewing Choices!
Not only beautiful, it’s designed to plug into your TV so you can see yourself sing in HD, see the words, or see the words as well as yourself. The speakers on your TV, of course, are far superior to anything we can put in a small unit, so you also enjoy the upgraded sound of your voice as you prepare for your American Idol debut.

  • CDG Graphics
  • Images, Including Yourself in Action, Captured by the Built-In HD Video Camera
  • Both the CDG Graphics and the Images
  • Vertical Loading CDG/CD Player with Skip Forward / Back, Program and Repeat Controls
  • Two 6.3mm Microphone Jacks with Holders (One Microphone Included)
  • Master Volume, Mic Volume, Echo, Balance, and Auto Voice On/Off Controls
  • Twin, 2.5″ Audio Speakers (output power 1.5W RMS x 2)
  • One 3.5mm Line In Jack to Connect iPod®, MP3, or Digital Audio Devices
  • One 4′ RCA Cable
  • AC Adapter Included
  • 9.3″(W) x 8.6″(D) x 13″(H)

Sparklebee’s Hello Kitty Karaoke is available at ToysRUs for a retail of $99.95.  Be sure to visit and check out their whole selection of Hello Kitty (and Paul Frank) products- with over 80 items, you are sure to find something for your Hello Kitty fan in your budget!

holiday gift guide One reader will win Sparklebee’s Hello Kitty Karaoke of your choice! To enter, simply leave a comment and tell me which product from Sparklebee is your favorite!
Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)





*Follow Me on Pinterest

*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

 Samples of this product were received to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own. This giveaway will end on November 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. US only. Winner to be chosen randomly. One entry per household.

Give a Dam App (Review)

chupa chups

Want to take a little trip to Nostalgia Lane with me?  Do you remember Chupa Chups lollipops?  Chupa Chups lives by the “Life Less Serious” philosophy to sit back, relax and take time to enjoy all the quirky and funny things in life while enjoying a Chupa Chups.  Now you  can head to Camp Chupa Chups (with or without your own Chupa Chups lollipop) along with Chupa Chuck aka “Chuck” the mascot to play “Give a Dam” on your iPod, iPhone or iPod Touch!

give a dam chupa chups

In Give a Dam, you have to save the Chupa Chups with mascot Chuck by guiding them down a dangerous river full of treacherous obstacles!  This games combines physics and fun but watch out, because make one wrong move and the little lollis will plunge down the waterfall…there are 120 levels so you are sure to get a lot of enjoyment and brain exercise with this game!

chocolate give a dam

Game Features:
 120 ultra-awesome levels to be unlocked!
 Specially animated Chupa Chups flavors with long rotating limbs!
 Challenge your creativity as you help flavors to keep afloat in a million
possible ways!
 Nice brain teaser with hours of fun!
 With no definite way of solving each challenge you can test your skills
by tweaking, exploring and replay levels!
 Be rewarded with lollipop sticks to complete the whole dam so that the
flavors can swim freely!
 Kid friendly and enjoyable for adults as well.
 Very cool and funny music that was specially composed to accompany
the game.
 Free updates!
 Available on IOS – iphone, ipod touch and ipad.
 Game is available for free on the Appstore – with some locked levels
that could be unlocked by sharing the game on facebook, writing a
review and by simply liking the fanpage.

I think the whole idea of this game is fun, whimsical and cute. It’s definitely a game you can play over and over again, because you can try new things and not get bored.  It isn’t a game where you complete a level and don’t feel a need to go back.   The graphics are great, very clear, the music goes really well with the background and the gaming itself.  The images are very retro and really do feel like you are back 20-30 years-but while the game looks like it’s 20-30 years old by style, it’s definitely modern and fits right into the modern app era.

My 7 year old is really loving the logistics of this game and trying to figure out the best ways to get the lollis down the river without harm.  Its a fun, challenging game for her to play that is 100% worry free for me- no content concerns at all!

I really, REALLY like that you can unlock new levels without paying cash.  So many times I have found “free” apps that are free, but what you are able to do is actually quite limited and then you are kind of tricked into buying it anyway so you can enjoy more of it.  It’s nice to see that by interacting with the app developers on Facebook or by sharing, reviewing the game, etc. that you can unlock more levels.  Refreshing, really.

You’ll want to connect with the Give A Dam Facebook Fanpage so that you can share know how you feel about the
game, what you and your kids would like to see in the game, any of your suggestions, tips and tricks, etc.  Perhaps you’ll also find a way to get past something that’s got you stuck in the game too! The fanpage is planning to have quizzes with people getting  a Give A Dam character or other kind of fun treats! (The forum for discussion is in a tab on the fanpage for Give a Dam).

The Give a Dam game became available at the app store on November 5th.  Download it today!

iPieces Games for iPad by Pressman (Giveaway) #GiftGuide

ipieces gamesI have a FUN stocking stuffer idea for all of you who own iPads!  Pressman Toy has these fun new games that bring old school board games into the world of technology- the new line of iPieces!  These games are fun- the digital boards mean things can move, you can have sound effects, etc.  That’s a new twist on an old fav0rite in itself.  The game pieces are just like the “real” ones, although scaled to fit within an iPad screen.  There are also fewer pieces since much of the game is within the free app- so less to lose (This is kind of important in my house because my kids are constantly losing track of game pieces and it drives me bonkers!). While I will always prefer traditional board games, I am glad to have these games, and I know there will be times I use them- especially when we travel, or have medical appointments.  Bringing 5 board games on a family trip will take up a considerable amount of space, but bringing 5 iPieces games on a family trip will maybe fill up a space the size of a lunchbox!  The smaller size means they are very easy to transport and a great thing to keep in your bag for just in case.  I like to have one of my devices on hand if we go to a doctors appointment, or another appointment where we may be waiting a long time- and I’d much prefer to play a game with my kids than have them play solo if possible. I think it will be more fun to play Snakes and Ladders while waiting for the nurse to come in than not having a game to play!  (Plus, there are snake sounds, and tumbleweeds that roll across the screen. The sound effects are great fun!) ipieces snakes and ladders The pieces for each of these games is made with a material meant to not scratch your iPad screen.  There are notes on each game that if you you do have a protective screen on your device, the pieces may leave some marks. MY favorite of these games is Air Hockey.  The teeniest version of Air Hockey you ever did see, but just as fun.  It makes me think of the “old” days when we’d play things like tabletop football while waiting for our orders at a restaurant.

iPieces Goose Game brings the classic goose game to life! Move across the board and see how your interactive iPieces unlock fantastic animations of flying geese. iPieces Snakes & Ladders Game brings the classic game of Snakes & Ladders to life! Move across the game board and place your ladders strategically to reach the top. Experience how the snakes rise and hiss. iPieces Air Hockey Game allows you to experience the thrill of hitting the puck with real iPieces strikers on your iPad. Various game possibilities. iPieces Fishing Game brings the classic fishing game to life! Catch a fish with your fishing rod and drag it to your bucket to score points. But watch out for the Heron or Pike! This fishing game provides hours of fun! iPieces Pool Game (This one is going in my husband’s stocking- he actually played pool in a league when I first met him and while he’s not playing anymore, it’ll be fun to play with him now!) Just when you thought you have mastered Pool comes a great new way to play. Take your cue and rack up the balls. Play right on the iPad. 1 – 2 players.  Compatible with all iPads

Each of these iPieces games retails for about $9.99-$12.99 and are definitely a great gift for any iPad user on your list! iPieces are available for purchase at Toys“R”Us, Barnes & Noble, K-mart, Radio Shack, Learning Express, and BJ’s Wholesale Club stores nationwide.  They are also available for purchase online at and holiday gift guide One reader will win an iPieces game of your choice! To enter, simply leave a comment and tell me which of the iPieces games you’ll choose if you win!
Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)

*Like Pressman Toy on Facebook 





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*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

 Samples of this product were received to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own. This giveaway will end on November 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. US only. Winner to be chosen randomly. One entry per household.

The Muppets Christmas Carol 20th Anniversary on BluRay 11/6

the muppets christmas carol 20th anniversaryThe Classic Christmas Tale. With A Muppets Twist.

It’s Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition

The Muppets Bring a Hilarious Twist to This Classic Christmas Tale,

For the Very First Time on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack – November 6, 2012

I’m a huge Muppets fan. I grew up with these furry friends.  My Saturday nights were spent watching The Muppet Show- and when Muppets movies came on?  It was a big treat to have popcorn while watching.  I’m more than delighted that these beloved childhood friends of mine are back and becoming famous again…and sharing these pieces of my own childhood with my kids is just a great experience.  They laugh when I do, and there’s just something *so cool* about the shared humor, the silly jokes- the innocence of the Muppets.  PLUS, the singing chickens are part of this BluRay.  It’s hard not to love the chickens. Or Fozzie.  Gonzo.  Kermie.  Piggy!

We had an early dismissal yesterday due to a Nor’Easter that came in.  We came home and after lunch, parked ourselves on the giant bean bag, the three kids and me, and we watched The Muppets Christmas Carol together.  We’re all excited for Christmas now, of course.  The kids thought maybe we should put up the tree…

Whatever you do, DON’T miss the bloopers!! They are almost as great as the whole movie!

On November 6, 2012, the Charles Dickens-inspired classic holiday story “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” will

ring in its 20th anniversary with the Blu-ray™ debut of this family favorite.

And now, a word from Gonzo: Greetings, holiday movie fans and lovers of culture, I am Gonzo … or perhaps better known to fans of this classic motion picture as literary legend Charles Dickens. Are you ready to laugh, cry, sing, frolic, cavort and enjoy yourself beyond belief!? Well, you’re in luck, because this 20th Anniversary Edition of Disney’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit that will stay with you forever—or at least until your Aunt Edna starts complaining that nobody is eating the fruitcake she brought … again!

Available for the first time ever on Blu-ray with high definition sound and picture, so you can enjoy even more of my blue-ness, not to mention the incredible spectacle of Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit, Academy Award® winner Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor, 1999, “The Cider House Rules”) as Scrooge, wonderful songs by Oscar® winner Paul Williams (Best Original Song, 1976, “Evergreen” from “A Star Is Born”) and, of course, my pal Rizzo the Rat as … well, Rizzo the Rat.

This is a heartwarming and hilarious holiday classic, told as never before by yours truly!  Yule love it!

Suggested Retail Price &                 2-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray and Digital Copy) = $26.50 U.S. and Canada


                                                                        1-Disc DVD = $19.99 U.S. and $24.99 Canada


Bonus Features:                       Disney Intermission—An all-new bonus feature. When the film is paused, fans can watch and “cluck-a-long” to five classic holiday-themed songs performed by the Muppets Chickens and chums.

Audio Commentary—All-new audio commentary with fan-favorite characters, Kermit, Rizzo, Gonzo, and more, all reflecting on their experience making “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”

Frogs, Pigs and Humbug: Unwrapping a New Holiday Classic. A Behind the Scenes Look
—Hosted by director Brian Henson, Gonzo and Rizzo fans go behind-the-scenes of the making of “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”


         Blooper Reel: “On the Set” Bloopers from the set of the film.


         Pepe Profiles Gonzo:  “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Weirdo”—A

         Special look at the man, the myth, the legend the Great Gonzo, hosted by

the one and only Pepe the King Prawn.


         Christmas Around the World—Gonzo and Rizzo take a look at how

Christmas is celebrated all over the planet.



Bonus Features:                         Audio Commentary with Brian Henson

         Blooper Reel

         Pepe Profiles Presents “Gonzo: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young


         Christmas Around the World


Neighborhood Toy Store Day is November 10 #toystoreday

neighborhood toy store day

The holidays are rapidly approaching– here we are in November, and its time to start thinking about holiday shopping.  I’m a huge fan of shopping- I love it, to be honest.  Fun, relaxing…and I like to be smart with my money, in more ways than one.  I do like to get the best bang for my buck, but I also like supporting local businesses.  Shopping your neighborhood toy store is always a great way to find some fun, unique gifts for kids of all ages– plus, you’ll be supporting a local business.That’s a win for everyone, right?

I’ve always found that the staff in local, neighborhood toy stores to be not only helpful but quite knowledgable.  If they aren’t sure about something, they’ll reach out to someone who does.  I’ve certainly had occasions where I wasn’t sure what to buy, or if a toy was an appropriate one for the reipient’s age group- often times, if I happen to be at a chain or “big box” store, there’s no one to help me.

Another thing I’ve found of the local toy stores is the selection isn’t always the same thing that you see over and over in larger stores. You may not find the items advertised on TV, but you’re likely to find toys and games that foster creativity and imaginative play- for hours on end.

loopdeedoo spinning tool friendship bracelet kit

You can find fun creative kits like the Loopdeedoo friendship bracelet kit– which is clearly not limited to bracelets.  We’ve done keychains, and the kids have made some for their backpacks…my husband actually thought these would be a great thing to attach to our luggage when we fly to Florida to help distinguish our suitcases from others’ on the baggage claim!  I loved making friendship bracelets as a kid- for years and years I did it.  These have a new twist- literally- on that concept, but also offer a great way for kids to express creativity and create things!

Design your own friendship bracelets then make them in minutes with the new Loopdedoo™ spinning tool. It’s fast, easy and fun. Just wrap your threads around the Loopdedoo device, turn the knob, guide the thread and minutes later you’re done! You can even make necklaces, anklets, belts and more. There’s no pattern to follow so each accessory is completely different and unique, just like you and your friends. You can use as many threads and color combinations as you like and you can make them thick, thin or anywhere in between. The design possibilities are endless, so let your creativity be your guide.

Make fab and funky twisted bracelets in minutes. Or make them with friends for hours.

  • The perfect gift for tweens and teens (ages 8+).
  • Comes with 1 Loopdedoo spinning tool (complete with push-out drawer for storing your gear), 18 different colored skeins of embroidery thread and detailed instructions.
  • US Patents 8234850B1, 8234851B2 and other US and International Patents Pending

tenzi dice game

There are also games like  Tenzi– which is a dice gamefor ages 7+ but we’ve all been having fun playing it together!   If your child knows how to match like objects, they can play this.  It means we can all play together- and I can’t wait to have this game out at family gatherings. 2-4 people can play- when my family plays together, my little one sits with me and is my helper.  Works out very well.


Be the first player to get all ten of your dice to show the same number.


(2-4 players.) Each player chooses a set of dice. Players hold all ten dice in their hands. Someone says “Go” and everyone rolls at the same time. Quickly look at your roll and decide which number you are going to go for. (For example, if you have more 3’s than any other number, that’s what you want to go for.) Put all your dice with that number aside, collect the remaining dice and quickly roll again. (You do not have to wait for others to roll again. Everyone rolls together only on the first roll.) Keep rolling until all ten of your dice show the same number.


The first player to get all ten of their dice to match (ten 3’s, for example) shouts out “TENZI” and wins the game!

And there are lots more ways to play!

Neighborhood Toy Store day is November 10th.  Won’t you join me in shopping local and supporting a neighbor?

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focus on the 3rd annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day(Saturday, November 10th), the benefits of shopping local and the quality merchandise that can be found at your local toy store.