Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: MAM Holiday Pacifiers

Disclosure: I received a sample of these products in exchange for this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own and honest. 

Do you have a little one on your Christmas list? If your baby takes a pacifier, check out these adorable Holiday Pacifiers from MAM. 

These festive pacifiers are BPA free and feature a Symmetrical nipple ideal for baby’s jaw development. Made for babies over 6 months, the shield is curved with a textured surface and multiple small openings allowing the pacifier to sit comfortably on baby's face and ensuring that your baby's skin is able to breath. The nipple is ultra soft and features an anti-slip texture to help it stay comfortably in the mouth. Grace never took a pacifier, but they were a total lifesaver with Connor and I think these are about the cutest I have seen! 
The case can be used to store them and can be put in the microwave to sterilize them. How convenient is that? MAM Holiday Pacifiers can be purchased at www.shopmambaby.com and will be available to purchase at Target soon. 

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support a baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first soother in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today MAM products are used by families in over 50 countries and on five continents. 

To learn more about MAM's great products, visit their website or check out their FacebookTwitterPinterestYouTube, and Instagram pages. 


MAM is giving one of my readers a 2 pack of their holiday pacifiers. Winner will not have a choice of colors/pattern. 

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 Tuesday, November 4th at 11:59 PM CST! The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to residents of the US.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 27, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Educational Insights

Disclosure: I received these toys from Educational Insights to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own and honest. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from any of the links I make a small amount.

Can you believe Christmas in in less than two months?? It's time to start thinking about your holiday shopping and I've partnered with some amazing companies to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone on your shopping list!

I'm excited to start my holiday gift guide off with one of my very favorite companies, Educational Insights. We previously got the chance to review some of their fun toys and the Dino Construction Company™ –T-Top the Triceratops Bulldozer is still one of Connor's favorite toys. We received the GeoSafari® Jr. My First Microscope and the Dinosaur Puppet-On-A-Stick™, Set of 3 recently and Grace had so much fun trying them out.

She is a very inquisitive child so I thought the My First Microscope would be a fun way to expose her science.

It is the perfect size for her and I appreciate that there are two eye holes instead of the normal one. I put 3 AAA batteries in and let her play.
We had been doing crafts with pine cones earlier in the day so I had a few sitting on the counter that she decided to examine. She turned the knob without me having to explain it to her and excitedly showed me all the details of the pine cone. The microscope magnifies things 8x and shows some pretty good detail.
Next she picked a crab apple. She ran around outside looking for various things to examine and had fun using the knob to get closer to the items.

The microscope is such a fun way to encourage her love of nature and exploration.

We also had the chance to try out a set of 3 Dinosaur Puppets on a Stick. She loves make believe so I was excited to use these in her imaginative play.

These little guys are so cute. They are bigger than I expected and are the perfect size for stocking stuffers!
There is a small lever on the back to make the mouth open.
Grace had a little bit of a difficult time using the levers on the back but she loved making them talk to each other.

She quickly discovered that she could pull the chunky knob on the bottom to open their mouths. This made it much easier on her and she happily made them talk to each other about going to the circus (she's obsessed with going to the circus.) The dinosaurs are easy to wipe clean and are extremely sturdy. They will definitely stand up to years of hard play.

I just noticed that Educational Insights offers unicorn versions of these puppets on a stick and I know Grace would go crazy over them! How cute are they??
Check out the Educational Insights WebsiteFacebook, and Twitter to find out more about all of their great products!

Thank you to Educational Insights for these great toys! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

So Much To Do, So Little Time

This little guy seems to think he's going to be two this week. I am still in denial. It feels like he was just born! Of course, nothing is done for his party and my house is a wreck. However, I have a large pile of stuff ready my holiday gift guide that will be starting this week. So keep visiting for some awesome product reviews and amazing giveaways and forgive me if I don't much other content posted for the next couple of weeks. I have so much fun stuff to share with you, but no time to write it! I will try to get a post done for Connor's birthday and Halloween of course!

What are your kids going to be for Halloween? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey Leaf Placemat Craft for Kids

I love fall. The weather is gorgeous, the trees are beautiful, and I love getting ready for all of the holidays. Mike isn't a huge fan of how our yard looks at the moment though!

We have a ton of trees in both our front and back yards so he has to spend a lot of time bagging them. Grace and I decided to help him out yesterday by doing some leaf crafts. Our favorite was the Turkey Thanksgiving Placemat.

She glued leaves to a piece of construction paper. I helped her arrange them to look like feathers. She added lots of leafy layers. While she glued leaves, I cut out a turkey body, eyes, a beak, and feet. She helped me glue them all together and I wrote Happy Thanksgiving at the bottom. We used contact paper to "laminate" her placemat. Leave your construction paper with the turkey on the table and place a sheet of contact paper over it. That way you can smooth air bubbles out and try to get the leaves as flat as possible. The contact paper made it hard to get a great picture but it is so cute. We put it under a very heavy book for a while to help flatten the leaves out to make it easier to use at the table. She now wants to make personalized ones so I might invest in some laminating packets to make the job easier.

She begged me to take a picture with it the next morning after she had smushed it in her backpack. She told me she wanted to take it to preschool. I guess that means she loves it!

For more fun fall crafts for kids, check out our Pumpkin Suncatchers and Thankful Pumpkins!

I'm slowly getting our house decorated for fall. What are your favorite fall decorations? 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Photography by Beth Session Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

Connor will be 2 in 8 days and I honestly can't believe it! I'm fairly certain that I'm in denial because I am no where near ready for his party. The next couple weeks are going to be extremely busy in our house.

Luckily, I have checked one thing off of my list, his 2 year pictures. This past weekend, we spent over an hour with my favorite local photographer, Beth from Photography by Beth, chasing Connor around Unity Village. If you've had a 2 year old, you know that is almost impossible to get them to sit still and Connor was in rare form that morning. He would stop for 2 seconds and run the moment she tried to snap a photo. He collected every rock and stick he could find and refused to drop them. He screamed the moment we tried to pick him up for a family shot. Luckily, Beth has the patience of a saint and chased him, played with him, and even drove to a different area of Unity Village to try to get the best shots. In the end, I think she managed to get a shot of us all looking at the fountains together and I know she got a few good ones of both of the kids. I am not so patiently waiting to see the final results! She's gotten amazing pictures of both of the kids in the past. Here are some of my favorites:

She took Grace's 9 month pictures in 2011 and got some adorable ones for our Christmas cards despite Grace's extremely grumpy mood.

In January, we got lucky and were able to take Grace's 3 year photos outside.

Connor was more cooperative at Grace's session than he was at his own.

I love looking back at these pictures and I know that we will be using Beth again in the future. She offers extremely reasonable rates for her sessions and she is scheduling Trick or Treat mini sessions for this Saturday, October 25th starting at 10:30 AM. For $50, you get 30 minutes of family, kids, and/or costume portraits. You will get a CD with up to 30 images and the release. There are only a few spots available, so message her now for more info. Also, check her Facebook page soon for dates for the Give Thanks and Happy Holiday mini sessions! I told Mike I was done with photos for the year but I might just have to book a mini session spot for pictures of the kids in their Christmas outfits.


Kansas City readers, if you are wanting to get family pictures for your Christmas cards or just want some updated photos of your kids, I have an amazing giveaway for you! Beth is offering one of my readers a free session! The winner will get a full session which includes the CD with edited images and a print release (I love that I can print my photos anywhere I want!) You must be in the KC area or willing to travel here for your session.

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 Tuesday, November 4th at 11:59 PM CST! The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to residents of the US.

Good luck!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dress Like a Veggie at Family Christian Stores!

Disclosure: I received an appreciation certificate from Family Christian in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.  

"If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile..."

If you are now singing the VeggieTales song, this post is for you! My kids love Bob, Larry and all of the Veggies. I appreciate the cute characters and fun songs, but I really love the focus on Biblical teachings and Christian values. Grace tells us all the time that she needs to share "like Larry and Bob." I guess all that time watching Veggies in Space: The Fennel Frontieris paying off!

On October 31st, Family Christian Stores will be hosting a Dress Like a Veggie event in their stores nationwide! Dress your kiddo(s) up like a Veggie (doesn't have to be a VeggieTales veggie) and visit the store to receive some small goodies. The goodies will be non-edible so there's no need to worry if your child has food allergies.

Don't forget to take your little Veggie's picture in your local Family Christian store and share it on Twitter and Instagram. Tag @FamilyChristian and use the hastag #FCVeggies to enter to win some great prizes! The grand prize winner will receive a $250 gift card for Family Christian and five runner ups will each receive a $50 appreciation certificate to spend at the store. You could get so many amazing VeggieTales toys and DVDs with $250!

Thank you Family Christian Stores for allowing us to participate in this fun contest and share our love of VeggieTales! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Netflix #StreamTeam: Halloween Shows for Toddlers

Disclosure: As part of the Netflix Stream Team, I received a welcome gift and a free monthly subscription. However, all opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

When we had Grace back in 2011, we knew that we needed to find ways to save money so that I could stay at home with her. Looking back, the smartest decision we made was dropping cable and joining Netflix. We have been members for close to 4 years now and absolutely love their streaming service. So I'm excited to announce that I am now a member of the Netflix Stream Team!

I will be sharing some of our streaming favorites each month and I hope you share your favorites with me. I would love to find some new shows to add to my watch list.

This month, the kids and I have been enjoying some of the Halloween themed kids shows. This is the first year that Grace has any idea what is going on with Trick-or-Treating so I've been trying to find ways to show her what she will get to do. Luckily, some of her favorite series offer Halloween episodes. Here are some of my top Halloween shows for toddlers.

Curious George: A Halloween Boo FestHang on to your hats and get ready for a spook-tacular good time, with Curious George. Autumn is here, bringing colorful leaves, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and the annual Boo Festival. My kids have been begging to watch this one non-stop. Curious George is always a favorite in our house and this movie is an adorable introduction to Halloween. The "spooky" story isn't too scary for my little ones (3 and 1) and the costume contest scenes are tons of fun. Even I smile when I see George's costume. This is a must watch with your toddlers!

Super Why! Season 1 Episode 18: Twas the Night Before Christmas & Other Stories: The Ghost Who Was Afraid Of HalloweenIt's Halloween in Storybrook Village, and Pig is so frightened that he won't go trick-or-treating with his friends! Grace loves Super Why! and as a former librarian, I can't resist this show's focus on reading and classic stories.

DreamWorks Shrek's Swamp Stories- Shrek celebrates Halloween, Puss in Boots is captured by soldiers, and the gang participates in a kingdom-wide singing competition. My kids both adore Shrek so this is a hit in our house. I recommend that you preview this before your kids watch it as some of the scenes are a little spooky. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Season 2 Episode 15: Tricks, Treats and Treasure!- Captain Hook joins Jake and his crew as they "trick or treasure" across Never Land. Jake is one of Grace's favorite Disney Jr. characters. This is a fun one for your pirate fans!

What are you streaming this month on Netflix? Any new favorites? 

Thank you Netflix for inviting me to be part of the Stream Team! 


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