Ultimate Easy Bake Oven #Giveaway #Rafflecopter

Last week, I opened a gift I’d secretly wished for many years ago, but never told my parents- nor Santa.  The little kids were napping and my oldest was at school, and there was a big white box on my doorstep holding the new Ultimate Easy Bake Oven inside!!  I used to get so excited when I’d go to a friend’s house and they had the Easy Bake.  I tried to act all cool and nonchalant, but inside I was all “wheeeeeeeeeeeeee I get to bake and I’m a kid” at their houses.  So.much.fun.

Times have changed for the Easy Bake- the new design is far more sleek, more hip, more modern than before, and there’s no more cooking with a light bulb.  They even make whoopie pie mix for the Easy Bake.  Little tiny whoopie pies.  Teeny tiny cookies, cupcakes, and cakes.  The whole thing just screams fun for everyone.  Who wants to cook dinner like a grownup when there’s an Easy Bake oven around? NOT ME! (Oh wait. I don’t usually want to cook dinner anyway…)

The Ultimate Easy Bake gets to a toasty 375 degrees inside. Outside, its cool to the touch.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t be exercising caution, because I firmly believe you always should when cooking…but its a nice feature that gives a littel peace of mind.  You should always have your child using this under adult supervision.  The recommended age for this toy is 8+ so if and when my oldest uses this, it will be with my very close supervision and likely only me using the oven itself (and not just because I don’t want to share my new toy…) [click to continue…]

VTech InnoTab Review

Tablet computers seem to be all the rage this holiday season, for adults and kids alike. I know that there are a lot of options out there and it can be difficult to choose. The InnoTab from VTech is new on this market this year and is a great device. I was able to test out this tablet style computer for kids age 4-9 and was really pleased with the features and options. Some of the features include:

The InnoTab is equipped with a 5″ color touchscreen and an outer durable plastic case. I like that this computer can take some rough and tumble handling from kids. The screen is suitably large and the buttons are simple. There is a home button that brings you to the main page and volume control buttons. Upon turning on the device (you will need to add 4 AA batteries, they are not included), the InnoTab walks you through the sign in process. It is easy to get started with the preloaded apps and games. Simply touch the app and play. [click to continue…]

Fish Tanks

Let’s face it, fish are not pets in the way that dogs, cats, birds, or hamsters are. For one thing, you actually can’t pet a fish. At the same time, there’s something both uniquely fascinating and relaxing about fish aquariums — and kids are even more captivated than grown-ups.

There are some great deals out there in aquariums but what I really love is that there’s no room in the house where one won’t work. Fish are obviously quiet and the sound of the filter can be extremely relaxing, if we hear it at all, so the living room or the den is fine and so is the kids’ room or even the kitchen. Why stop there, though? Apparently bathrooms are becoming the new “in” place for fish aquariums and some clever folks are even coming up with toilet-based models. You’re skeptical? Well, seeing is believing. [click to continue…]

TruKid Natural Skincare (Giveaway)

TruKid is a company that makes safe, natural, non toxic skincare products for kids. They also work well.  As a mom, I like knowing that when I put this brand on my kids, or let them use it on themselves, it’s a worry free deal for me.   It may not be the least expensive product but to be honest, my kids have all broken out in rashes and or hives at one point or another from mainstream skincare products, so if I have to spend a little bit more and rest assured their skin won’t have a reaction, that’s worth it to me.  Plus buying remedies for reactions adds up VERY quickly!!)  We’ve used TruKid before and will continue to use it for the years to come.   They sent us a few of their products to try out- all of which we adore.

Helping Hand Wash: Aside from smelling great, and being easy to use for even my 2 year old, I love having this dispenser in my bathroom. I love the fun design, albeit simple, and the cues for non readers to know this is to use on your hands withe orange hand outline on it.  Works great, and I like knowing that there are no harmful chemicals as ingredients when my kids wash their hands, especially with the little one potty training and washing hands 30 times a day it seems! 

The kids like the fun design (they noticed the green on the pump immediately- which means that they are less resistant to washing.  Whatever makes that part of life be less of a battle, sign me up.  They like the smell too! [click to continue…]

Airwear Lenses’ “Breit Eyes” contest (Autographed Mary Englebreit 2012 Calendar Giveaway)

Airwear lenses, Essilor’s lighter, safer and greener brand of polycarbonate lenses,declared Sept. 5-11, 2011,“Four Eyes Pride Week,” to encourage consumers to wear their glasses with pride! To kick off the celebration, Essilor and Airwear  partnered with iconic artist and healthy vision advocate Mary Engelbreit asked fans to change their Facebook profile picture during the week to one of themselves wearing glasses. 

During “Four Eyes Pride Week” and throughout the entire month of September, Airwear and Mary Engelbreit are also asking parents to visit Airwear Lenses to enter the “Breit Eyes” contest. By submitting a photo of their child being “lighter, safer or greener” while wearing glasses, parents have a chance to win one-of-a-kind prizes from Mary Engelbreit. One lucky grand prize winner will receive an original sketch by Engelbreit in the likeness of the child in the winning photo, plus a trip to tour Engelbreit’s St. Louis studio. One runner up will receive a collection of children’s books authored and signed by Engelbreit. [click to continue…]

Scotch Restickable Shapes & Strips

Scotch Restickable Shapes & Strips are a great new way to keep yourself, your family and your kids’ artwork and projects organized.  We’ve been using them to hang up the kids’ artwork, my nephew’s wedding invitation & rehearsal dinner invite, birthday party invitations, the kids’ countdown to the first day of school, and lots of photos on our fridge.  My favorite thing about the both of these products is that you can use them again, and again, and again- up to 10 times.  They are really easy and fun to use, and a million times less annoying to remove than tape (I have nothing against tape, except that my 6 year old is semi obsessed with it and I’m finding it everywhere in my house.)  I think one of my favorite future uses for the restickable products from Scotch will be for photos shared with school- I can send them in with the shape already on the photo back so no worry about any damage to my images even if it needs to be part of, say, a family tree project or something.   They shapes are photo safe so no worry about damaging the photograph that way, either.  In the age of digital cameras, this may seem odd- but I have very, very few pictures of my mom in any form so preserving them is a high priority for me.

The kids LOVE the shapes- they each “chose” a color (lucky for me I have 3 kids and there are 3 colors) so they can each use their shapes to hang their artwork or pictures from magazines, etc. in our breezeway or their walls.  I am bound and determined to get some posters up in their room that Disney sent us from Cars2 but haven’t yet found the right restickable product combination to get those posters to stay up on the walls in their rooms.  I will, I just need more time!   The kids think its really neat that you can actually wash the shapes and reuse them.  I like that they arent using tape on my walls and increasing the risk of ruining the paint, or leaving residue- and this also means less thumbtacks used, so no holes in my walls or trim.   [click to continue…]

FREE Activities this weekend

There are many fun, free activities this weekend happening nationwide.

JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store: Saturday August 13th from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm – FREE Crayola Model Magic Event
3:00 pm until 5:00 pm – Fabric Crafting with Wrights & Jacquard (you buy the vase, they supply the embelishments)

Kidtoons Films: Various times throughout the weekend
Watch Candyland: The Great Lollipop Adventure – a family friendly movie with a family friendly price!

Lakeshore Learning: Saturday August 13th from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm
Children will make dinosaur puppets. [click to continue…]

Free Activities this weekend

Every weekend there are free activities to do as a family coast to coast. Here is what you will find this weekend.

AC Moore: Saturday July 2nd from 1:00 pm until 3:00
Free Make and Take – Pom Pom Monsters

Bank of America: Saturday July 2nd and Sunday July 3rd
It’s the first full weekend of the month. If you have a Bank of America card be sure to check the calendar to see what museums have free admission near you.

Home Depot: Saturday August 6th from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm
Children will create a wooden pencil case. [click to continue…]

Ring the Bell Electronic Goal Tracker (Giveaway)

 Ring the Bell Electronic Goal Tracker from Educational Insights offers a way to track a goal for an individual or an entire class, or any number of kids in between.

Fun sounds and an exciting carnival theme take the goal chart to a whole new level! Teacher writes the goal and reward at the top and the milestones along the side of this freestanding electronic tracker. Each time a milestone is achieved, the “puck” slides up closer to the goal, activating fun sounds and blinking lights. When the goal is achieved, students are rewarded with a sound and light show.

Track anything:

Original Sprout Baby Hair & Skin Care ($50 Gift Card Giveaway)

With summer and nice weather comes dirty kids.  Its inevitable- they play outside, they get messy.  I like bathing my kids and using products on their hair and skin that are safe for them and without harmful ingredients, whenever possible.  Original Sprout is a family-owned company that offers products that are gentle to the kids’ hair and skin and (not surprisingly) created by a mom.

First off, the packaging is great.  Simplistic and clean, just like the product- although don’t let the look deceive you because these products perform very very well.  I actually used the detangler on my own hair a few times after the kids played “do mommys hair” and I was very happy with how it worked even on my thick hair!!

Next- the ingredients- or rather, the lack of…you won’t find formaldehyde in Original Sprout products.  Nor will you find lye.

I love this brand. I love that its a mom- started product line, and that they are so cautious with their ingredients, but also equally as conscious of the performance of the product.  Definitely a hit in mybook.  Or tub, as the case may be. [click to continue…]