Monday, November 28, 2016

Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments Review & Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received these ornaments for my family from Hallmark to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own and honest. 

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love everything about the season, especially the music and the decorations. I am one of those people that would put up the Christmas tree right after Halloween, but my husband is a Thanksgiving purist so I grudgingly wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up all of our decorations. Grace and Connor love decorating just as much as I do and they are always excited to add an ornament to our collection every year. Taking them to Hallmark to pick out their favorite ornament has turned into one of our favorite traditions. They always have a tough time picking just one because there are so many amazing choices but this year they were thrilled when Hallmark sent us a selection of Keepsake ornaments that includes some of our favorite characters!

Connor is pretty much obsessed with all things Star Wars and he was excited to find the Hans Solo The Force Awakens ornament.  This ornament is a must have for Star Wars fans! Unlike many character ornaments, this Keepsake Ornament is sturdy, Connor has used it many times as a toy. It's still looking great after many "fights" with his Darth Vader and Stormtrooper Itty Bittys.

Both kids were excited to see Dory swim onto our tree. From one of our favorite movies this year, Finding Dory, this Dory Keepsake Ornament is bright and cheery! With the push of a button, you can hear some of the famous lines from the film. The kids love pushing the button over and over to hear some of their favorite Finding Dory quotes. I love that Hallmark includes the batteries for this ornament in the box, just make sure to keep these batteries away from small children.

Grace squealed when I pulled this ornament out of the box and I honestly can't blame her. This Disney Frozen Anna and Elsa Build a Snowman Musical Ornament is precious. With beautifully crafted figures and gorgeous sparkles, this ornament is sure to be a hit with every girl (like Grace) who has been singing "Let It Go" non stop. Again, the batteries are included for this ornament and as soon as I pushed the button, Grace started singing and dancing along with the song "Do You Want To Build a Snowman?" The sound quality is great and I can't count the number of times the kids have pushed the button to dance along. Fair warning to parents, if you get this ornament, you will hear this song over and over. Grace adores it and it is a cute addition to our tree.

Hallmark offers so many beautiful and fun Keepsake Ornaments that everyone in your family is sure to find one that they love. Connor wants to get more to add to his Star Wars collection, Grace thinks she needs all of the Disney Princesses, and I obviously have to have the Harry Potter collection! There are over 400 new Keepsakes available this year at your local Hallmark Gold Crown store or Hallmark.com.

Giveaway
Hallmark has generously offered to give one lucky Moments That Take My Breath Away Reader a set of these Keepsake Ornaments (Hans Solo, Finding Dory, and Frozen). 

How to Enter: This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter. The giveaway runs through Friday, December 9th at 11:59 PM CST! Open to US residents only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. The first entry is mandatory, leave a comment on this post letting me know which keepsake ornament is your favorite. Once you complete this entry, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Connor's 4 Year Interview

Connor turned 4 last week and I can't believe it! He's transformed from rowdy toddler to hilarious, rambunctious little boy. He is always moving and keeping us on our toes. He loves to joke and make people laugh. He is about the pickiest eater ever but loves anything that includes bacon. Mike got him to eat a hamburger for the first time last month by having him help put tons of bacon pieces into it. He devoured the entire thing. He loves superheroes, Star Wars, LEGOs and sports. Soccer is a huge hit and he really wants to take "Ninja Lessons" as he calls them so we will be starting martial arts soon. He adores preschool and easily makes friends. He and Grace and amazing friends and love to play with each other. But he is speaking his mind more now so there are more fights than ever.  He went from barely talking at all this year to speaking in full sentences easily. His parents as teachers educator was amazed by his transformation, he has changed so much this year!
I love reading the answers to previous years birthday interviews and I'm excited to report that he answered every one of these questions with no assistance. I added a few notes in the parenthesis but otherwise this is all him. He's obviously obsessed with LEGOs, his cousin Kaden, and bacon. 
How old are you? Four


What makes you happy? I don't know, my cousins, toys


What is your favorite toy? LEGOs


What is your favorite stuffed animal? Max from Secret Life of Pets


What is your favorite real animal? Dogs


What is your favorite thing to sleep with? Max


What is your favorite color? Lots of them. Blue


What is your favorite fruit? Babycakes (word for pancakes, he doesn't like fruit) I don't like carrots or apples, I only like different food


What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Babycakes and bacon


What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Bacon


What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? Chick-fil-a and Teds and Ginger Sues


What is your favorite drink? Milk and Apple Juice


What is your favorite dessert? Chocolate Cake


What is a food that makes you want to puke? Vegetables yuck


What is your favorite thing to do? Build LEGOs and play soccer


What is your favorite TV show? Ninjago and Superheroes and LEGO Star Wars 


What is your favorite movie? Mulan and Toy Story


What are you really good at? Soccer


What is your favorite song? Ninja Turtles Song


Who is the Coolest Person on Earth? Jesus (love that answer)


What do you and your mom do together? Snuggle and build LEGOs 


What do you and your dad do together? Build LEGOs and fight and joust (they got new foam swords at the Renaissance festival)

When you were little, what did you do? Cry


If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Kaden's house


What do you think your parents are too strict about? Going to Kaden's house by myself (can you tell he loves Kaden?)


Who is your best friend? Kaden


What are some of your favorite words to say? Pwnd and Boom Shakalaka (I don't know, I blame Mike)


What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play ball


What is your favorite book? LEGOs and Superheroes

What do you want to be when you grow up? Falcon (most of the time he tells me a fireman)


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What I've Made: American Girl Doll Clothes and Accessories

What do you give as a gift for one of your daughter's best friend's American Girl themed birthday party? Doll clothes of course! While buying them might have been easier, I got motivated to sew some clothes for her doll and while it was not as easy as I expected, I'm thrilled with the results.

Her friend recently joined the Girl Scouts as a Daisy so I decided her doll needed a matching Daisy uniform. The skirt is reversible and is made from the easiest pattern ever. It only takes a couple of minutes to make one of these skirts, so fun and easy! The vest was a bit more difficult- I used this pattern from Bear, Dolly, and Moi but quickly gave up on using binding after fighting with it for way too long on the shoulder openings. Finally, the t shirt was made with white jersey from the free pattern at Liberty Jane Patterns. The pattern was awesome but I did have trouble working with the jersey fabric on such a small shirt. Next time I would probably choose to use cotton instead of jersey.
18 inch doll Girl Scout Daisy Uniform pattern
18 inch doll Girl Scout Daisy Uniform pattern

Grace loves pajamas for her doll so I decided to make a PJ set as a gift and found this cute pajama pattern in a collection I got from my grandma. Simplicity Pattern 5276 gave me lots of options on what pieces to make and I chose a robe with PJ pants and top. I had a difficult time with this pattern and found it very confusing. The pants and robe turned out adorable but the top was a total disaster and I ended up throwing it out in favor of a simple tank top made of white jersey. It ended up looking super cute and Grace had to model it on her Samantha doll that obviously needs a new hairdo. I guess it looks like she just woke up!
18 inch doll pajamas and robe pattern
Finally, since they just started kindergarten, Grace decided their dolls needed backpacks. I thought this purple flower fabric was adorable and when I found the glitter flower buttons, I knew they would be perfect for this bag. This tutorial from Many Small Friends was amazing and super easy to follow. It was by far my favorite piece that I made and I need to make one for Grace.
18 inch doll backpack pattern

I need to get sewing to make some clothes for Grace's dolls for Christmas! There are so many fun patterns to choose from. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Halloween Costumes from Oriental Trading: Star Wars Coordinating Costumes Review!

Disclosure: I received product samples from Oriental Trading in exchange for an honest review. This post may contain affiliate links.

Choosing Halloween costumes is a very time consuming but fun event in our house. The kids debate for months on what they will be and I can't count the number of times they change their mind. When they were younger, I coordinated their costumes but I gave up on that last year. I expected them to pick totally different things again this year, but much to my surprise, when Oriental Trading offered to send us costumes, they chose coordinating Star Wars themed characters! 
Coordinating sibling costumes
Connor's Star Wars obsession started several months ago and the force is still going strong in our house. He loves the bad guys and specifically requested to be a Storm Trooper. His dedication to this has not wavered in months, so I was thrilled to find a Storm Trooper costume for him on Oriental Trading's site.
When it arrived, he put it on immediately and didn't want to take it off. He begs to wear it every morning. I can already tell you it's very well made and easy to get on and off. I ordered the small size as he is a large almost 4 year old and it fits him very well. He loves using his past Halloween costumes for dress up so I'm glad there's a little room for him to grow. The mask seems to fit him well. He absolutely loves this costume.

Connor knew what he wanted to be fairly early this year but Grace couldn't make up her mind. So I chose lots of different girly, princess costumes from Oriental Trading for her to pick from and to my surprise, she chose Princess Leia. She has watched Star Wars but hasn't shown as much interest in it as Connor has. But she told me she wanted to be a strong princess and Princess Leia certainly fits the bill! I love that this costume will allow me to put layers under the dress as it's normally pretty cold here on Halloween. I do need to straighten the wig some but I'm impressed by the quality of it for the price.
We are ready for Trick or Treating and they can't wait to show off their Star Wars costumes. Oriental Trading has such a huge collection of costumes that you are sure to find the perfect one for your kids! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Super Hero Mask Craft Kit from Oriental Trading: Halloween Non-Candy Treat for School + Free Printable!

Disclosure: I received product samples from Oriental Trading in exchange for an honest review. This post may contain affiliate links.

October is here! That means costumes, apple picking, pumpkin patches, and of course, candy. So much candy. Our kids get so much that there's no way we can eat it all ourselves (at least we shouldn't)! We like to send treats with the kids for their classmates for their Halloween parties but I don't love sending candy. We are especially limited at Connor's preschool due to allergy restrictions so I have spent a lot of time searching for non candy alternatives that the young kids will love. One of my very favorite things to give are easy craft kits. Oriental Trading offers tons of Halloween related craft kits for all age levels. Connor is obsessed with all things super hero so I thought the Super Hero Masks Craft Kit would make perfect treats for his friends. Who doesn't love a fun mask to add to their Halloween costume?
School Halloween Ideas

Of course, Connor wanted to make his as soon as the box arrived. There are 3 different styles of masks included and each is individually packaged with all the necessary stickers, elastic, and instructions.
There are only a few stickers needed to create the mask and they are extremely easy to peel and stick on, making it a perfect craft for little hands! He did all of these stickers all by himself.
The elastic has a metal stick at the end to poke through the holes on the side to attach the elastic. It is super easy, sturdy, and quick!

Since each mask is individually packaged in a plastic bag, simply add a tag to the top for an easy Halloween favor for classmates. I created this "Have a Super Halloween" tag, folded it over the plastic and stapled both sides for Connor's class.
Click on the image below to download a FREE "Have a Super Halloween" printable tag for the Mask Craft Kit!


Be sure to check out all of Oriental Trading's great Halloween items and check back this week for a sneak peak of the kids' Halloween costumes! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Teaser Trailer!

Captain Jack Sparrow is back!

Check out this brand new teaser trailer from the newest addition to the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales. I will be counting down the days until it comes out in May of 2017! 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Warbirds in Flight Airshow Ticket Giveaway!

Kansas City readers, I am excited to share this cool event with you! This weekend, September 24th and 25th, head out to New Century AirCenter for the Warbirds in Flight Airshow. From 9-5 on Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday, the CAF Hangar will be full of family friendly activities and educational events perfect for the entire family. There will be an awesome air show each day beginning at 2 PM.

Guests have the chance to meet and thank WWII Veterans, learn about the Olathe Naval Air Station (Now New Century Airport), take fun photos, meet airshow pilots, and see WWII aircraft up close.  Children will even have the chance to earn free dog tags by completing several aviation-themed, history-focused activities.  

The event is hosted by the Commemorative Air Force Heart of America Wing.  We are a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.  Our mission is simply: Remember. Honor. Inspire! as we seek to honor veterans, educate our community, and inspire future generations. 

Visit the Commemorative Air Force Heart of America Wing site for more info! 

Giveaway
I have a family pass for up to 6 people to use on either day of the show (September 24th or 25th) to giveaway! Since this giveaway has a quick turnaround, the winner will have 24 hours to respond to the notification email or another winner will be chosen. The giveaway ends September 22nd at 9 PM CST. 

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what you are most excited to see at the Warbirds in Flight Airshow.

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