Snugglebug

The past few weeks, this is what I have been waking up to. A snuggly, half-awake, cuddly, sweet little four-year-old, who insists on sharing my pillow and being next to me until it’s time to get up. Sometimes she’ll rub my arm. Sometimes she’ll go back to sleep. She always brings all of the toys she took to bed with her the night before — books, stuffed animals, a sippy cup of water, you name it and she manages to bring it all in one trip. She comes in right about sunrise and just wants to be close.

She’s not the snuggly type at any other point in the day. Just first thing in the morning.

I love these morning wake-up calls and wouldn’t trade them for anything

Backpacks, Binders, and Boogie Wipes Contest — Giveaway!!

It’s that time of year again — sniffles, colds, allergies, and the flu — and with all of that comes seriously irritated noses! In our house, when cold season hits, we turn to Boogie Wipes saline wipes to keep Miss A’s nose clean without irritating or drying it out. We’ve been using Boogie wipes for about two years now. While they’re great for kids — even I love them. We generally buy the grape scent, which smells so much like the grape scented markers we used when I was a kid, but they also come in other scents, as well as unscented.

I also love that Boogie Wipes is a big supporter of teachers, and right now, they’re running a Backpacks, Binders, and Boogie Wipes Facebook contest! You can nominate your school to win one of three great prizes:

1st place – $500, 1 year supply of Boogie Wipes, and a pizza and ice cream party for the entire class!

2nd place – $500, 6 month supply of Boogie Wipes, a cool prizes for your entire class.

3rd place – $200, 3 month supply of Boogie Wipes, and cool prizes for your entire class.

This contest ends September 30th, so get those entries in!

 

Disclaimer: I received no product or compensation for this post, and opinions expressed above are mine only and not influenced by any compensation. Big thanks to Boogie Wipes for offering the giveaway!

Halloween Costumes from HalloweenCostumes.com {Review}

Halloween Costumes.com Logo

It’s almost time for Halloween again! I love the holidays, and Halloween kicks off the season right, with kids dressing up like their favorite characters or in other creative outfits and trick or treating. It’s been even more fun since Miss A was born, since we get to dress her up and take her out!

Miss A has been very particular about her Halloween costumes since she was two years old. She’s been a pirate, Minnie Mouse, and a purple cat, and this year, she wanted to be a My Little Pony. Lucky for her (and me), I was given the opportunity to review halloween costumes from HalloweenCostumes.com, and they had a My Little Pony Halloween costume in her size!

My Little Pony Halloween Costume
Wearing the My Little Pony Halloween Costume
Back of My Little Pony Halloween Costume

As far as quality goes, this may be one of the best Halloween costumes we’ve ever owned! A lot of times, Halloween costumes will be made of flimsy material that gets torn the first time it’s worn, so if you’ve got a lot of events to go to (or a particularly clumsy toddler), the costume won’t hold up. That is NOT the case with this My Little Pony costume! It’s really well made and comfortable, and exceptionally cute. I love the extra detail that went into this…the arm and leg warmers, the wings, the tail, and the “mask” that doesn’t go over her face (so she can see where she’s going — safety first!) Miss A has worn this costume a few times already to play in and it’s still in perfect shape.

As far as sizing goes, I think this may run a bit on the small side. We got the XS for Miss A, and she normally wears a 4T, and I think maybe I should have gone a size up because the skirt is a bit short. I expect it will be cold here in Boston on Halloween, though, so she’ll be wearing tights and a long sleeved shirt with it, so it won’t be a big deal.

This costume is $43.99 through HalloweenCostumes.com, which may seem a bit pricey, but since it seems durable, I think we’ll get a lot of use out of it for dress up play after trick or treat time is over. HalloweenCostumes.com is also running a promotion right now where you can save $5 off of $50, $10 off of $75 and $15 off of $100, so if you’re looking to buy costumes for the whole family, that could save you some money.

Disclaimer: I was provided a Halloween costume for review from HalloweenCostumes.com, and all content in this post is my opinion and has not been influenced by the receipt of the free product. A big thank you to the sponsor for supplying the review product!

 

American Doll Room Dollhouses For American Girl Dolls

Miss A has been going through a bit of a baby doll phase lately. She just loves to get out her dolls and dress them up, feed and rock them, and put them in a stroller and push them around. I love seeing her imagination come to life, so when I saw American Doll Room, I knew I had to give one a try.

First and foremost, American Doll Room is a family owned business, operated by the owner and her daughters, which I think is wonderful! I love supporting small businesses, that’s what the American Dream is all about! So that automatically caught my attention, before seeing how cool these rooms are.

American Doll Rooms are great for any 18 inch doll, including American Girl Dolls, but can really be used with any doll of any size. We don’t have an American Girl doll, but one of Miss A’s favorites is her 18″ Tangled Doll, so when she was playing with her American Doll Room, that’s the one she used. We received the Tangerine room, which came with white curtains and white carpet.

It seems like Miss A really enjoyed playing with the room. She even found some “creative” ways to use the carpeting. It definitely held her attention.

She put up the curtains herself!

 

 

She tucked her doll into the carpet!

 

 

Then she took a nap with her doll.This should give you a good idea of the size of the room —
Miss A is an average sized 4 year old!

I was really impressed by the quality of the dollhouses. They’re quite large so it really simulates a scale-appropriate room for an 18″ doll. They’re super quick to put together and really easy to store. They do just what the website says — Flip, Play, Fold, Carry. There is zero assembly required — it just pops up and is ready for play!

Just look at how thin it folds down! As you can see in the images, Miss A’s room is cluttered enough as it is, so I love how it can slide in the corner beside her dresser.

 

The only thing I found confusing was that the website shows the rooms with furniture — they do not actually come with the furniture, however, they do come with real cloth curtains and real carpet (it seems like good quality carpet to me, also). The rooms sell for $89/each, and you can purchase separately or purchase collections of rooms for an additional cost to build your own modular dollhouse. You can also purchase additional carpet colors and other accessories.

For a limited time, if you order an American Doll Room, you will also get a free duffel bag! This would be great for carrying around her dolls and accessories, or for packing for a sleepover. American Doll Room really makes a great dollhouse that would be a great gift (think of Christmas!) for the special little girl in your life (and her dollies, too)!

Disclaimer: I received product for review free of charge from American Doll Room, however, the opinions in this post are mine and are not influenced by receipt of the free product. Thank you to American Doll Room for the opportunity to do this review!

Almost Naked Animals is Fun Kids Television Entertainment – Review

Miss A loves television. Maybe that makes me a bad mom, maybe not? But when she comes home from school, she’s been on the go all day, learning, playing, creating, thinking, socializing, and when she comes home she needs time to just unwind, so we put on the TV for a half hour or so and let her have that time to herself. Some of her favorite shows include Dora the Explorer, My Little Pony, and Spongebob Squarepants.

Since she’s seen the same episodes of these shows a million times, we were looking for something new for her to watch, and recently got a copy of the Almost Naked Animals It’s My Party DVD for Miss A to preview, along with a fun gift pack. Made by the same people who created Fish Hooks, it’s a really fun TV show about some animals who operate a hotel called the Banana Cabana and the adventures they encounter along the way.

At first, I wasn’t sure if the show would really capture Miss A attention, since it’s geared toward kids over the age of 6, but she has asked to watch the show several times! She especially loves that there is a character called Narwhal. She learned about narwhals at school so she thinks it’s super cool to see one in a cartoon!

The Almost Naked Animals: It’s My Party DVD will be released for purchase on September 25, 2012, so keep an eye out for it!

As a parent, I found the show as entertaining as someone 20+ years over the intended audience would, and although the humor could be a tiny bit crude at times (occasional mentions of potty talk and such), there wasn’t anything I found objectionable about the show.

Later this month, there will also be a fun interactive Almost Naked Animals game launching on their website, so if your kids are into the show, check it out!

Disclosure: I received a gift pack for review from Child’s Play Communications for purposes of this review. All commentary in this review is my opinion and has not been influenced by receipt of the free product. Thanks to Child’s Play Communications for this review opportunity!

 

What is love?

…Oh baby, don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me no more
Oh, baby don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me no more…

Way back in 1983, I became a big sister. And I loved my little sister. Her name is S. She’s 29 now. When she was still a baby, sometimes, before my mom and dad would wake up, I would sneak into her room and talk to her. I very clearly remember on one occasion, telling her the definitions of every word I said to her, because I figured, “She’s a baby, she doesn’t know what these words mean!”

And I told her I loved her.

And I remember struggling to try to define “love”. I was three years old then.

Fast forward 29 years: I was reading Miss A a Princess and the Frog book at bedtime last night. At one point, it talked about how Tiana and Naveen found “true love”. She stops me, and asks, “What is true love?”

I replied, ‘It’s love that’s real.”

“What is love?” she asked.

And I found myself in that same place I was in 29 years ago, talking to my baby sister. I had no words to describe the wonderful, powerful emotion that love is. I tried keeping it simple, explaining that it’s a feeling, and there are all different kinds of love — the love we have for our friends, the way we love our pets, the way Mommy and Daddy love her, and the way she loves us, and the way we love each other.

She looked confused, so I kept going. I explained that Tiana and Naveen’s love meant they wanted to get married. She then asked, “What does it mean to get married?”

At this point, I’m pretty sure my brain exploded and I performed some circular logic. “Well, they loved each other. They wanted to be together forever because they loved each other. So they got married.”

“What does that mean?”

I basically repeated what I’d just said using different words. She still looked confused.

“Okay, Mommy. I think it’s time to keep reading.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love her questions, I love her inquisitive nature, and I love having these conversations with her. But I have to admit…I was really, really glad to be off the hook.

 

Returning to normal…

After a couple of crazy fun weeks with vacationing and visitors, we’re finally back to a normal routine this week! And I’m glad for it. I loved our vacation, but I really love the comfort of the day-to-day schedule.

Yesterday, Mr. Dad told me that Miss A has had a rough couple of mornings, crying when he dropped her off at school, so I took her this morning so I could try and see what might have been causing the trouble.

As we’re walking to her classroom, she says to me, “I cried yesterday because I didn’t want Daddy to drop me off, I only want YOU to drop me off, and daddy can pick me up.” So I guess that explains it? Either way, she was happy as could be when I dropped her off today.

After I left the classroom, I lurked around the corner for a minute so I could see if she would ease into the day’s activities after I left. Sure enough, she took a minute to get her bearings and then sat down on the floor next to her friend W and said, “Hi W! I missed you!” How sweet!

I have a lot of friends whose kids are starting Kindergarten this week and next. How can that be? How did our babies get so big? How is it possible that this time next year, MY baby will be a kindergartener? I am so proud of her…but I sure do wish I could slow down time.

Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies Review and Giveaway

fiber one brownies

I am always looking for a low calorie treat that will satisfy my sweet tooth. Too often, I find myself reaching in the pantry for the big box of brownie mix, and, well, you and I both know that while it might taste good, it doesn’t end well for my waistline. I recently got the chance to review the chocolate chip cookie flavor of Fiber One’s 90 Calorie Brownies, and I have to say, I may have found the solution!

fiber one brownies package

First and foremost, the Fiber One brownies satisfy your sweet tooth while providing 20% of your daily fiber requirement, which is good, because it means this treat is a low calorie solution that will stick with you.

fiber one brownies nutrition facts
Fiber One Brownies Nutrition Facts, right from the package.

These brownies are really good! Because I like warm brownies, I stuck mine in the microwave for 10 seconds and had it with a glass of skim milk. I was surprised at how good it was. I usually stay away from “diet” foods because they usually don’t taste good enough to be worth the calories, but I really liked this one. I’ll definitely be buying these again!

fiber one brownies chocolate chip cookie
Just look at this brownie. Mmmmm….

And, because the folks at General Mills are so generous, in addition to the brownies, they sent this awesome gift pack to me, and now you can win one too!

fiber one brownies giveaway
You’ll get everything you see here!

If you want to win, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a gift pack for review, but did not receive any additional compensation. I was not required to write a favorable review, and the above post reflects my opinion. Thanks to My Blog Spark and Fiber One for offering review and giveaway prizes!

 

Kidorable Kids Rain Boots Are a Splashing Good Time! Review and #Giveaway

Last summer when we were still living in Florida, the fine folks at Kidorable sent Miss A a pair of kids rain boots for review, and let me tell you, they have come in handy! As you can tell from our review of Kidorable’s Kids Rain Boots in the lucky cat style, they were a huge hit around here!

Let me tell you how durable Kidorable’s rain boots are! They’re made of natural rubber, they’re waterproof, and they will fit toddler feet as small as size 5, but go up to a toddler size 13 and sizes 1 and 2 for big kids.

These pictures were taken over a year ago, and to this day, Miss A still wears them! Apparently, her feet haven’t grown much, but these boots have taken more than their fair share of abuse and still work as well as the day we got them!

 

As usual, Kidorable doesn’t skimp on the adorable packaging!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like what you see (and why wouldn’t you??), you can save 20% on your order of Kidorable rain boots now through August 31st by using the code SCHOO888 at www.kidorable.com. These boots retail for $29, which is already a pretty good price, but saving a little money is always nice!

Now that you’ve seen how awesome these boots are, how would you like to win a pair? Good news…you can! Kidorable is offering a pair of these adorable kids rain boots to one of my readers! The winner will get to pick their choice of size and style of Kidorable rain boots.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received boots for review, but did not receive any additional compensation. I was not required to write a favorable review, and the above post reflects my opinion. Thanks to Kidorable for offering products for the review, giveaway, and coupon code!

Digital Scrapbooking Software – My Memories Review and Giveaway

As my long time readers may have noticed, I take a lot of photos. It’s a hobby of mine, and I love it. My camera is pretty much an extension of my arm. I’ve gotten into traditional scrapbooking in the past, but it’s terribly time consuming, and having a very active baby/toddler/preschooler to take care of over the past four years, I’ve let my scrapbooking hobby slide.

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to try and review the My Memories digital scrapbooking software. I’m happy to say that it has reignited my love of scrapbooking! I sat down and in one afternoon was able to make a digital scrapbook of Miss A’s fourth birthday, and with a click of a button, I was able to send it to the My Memories website and order a hard copy.

About the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software:

MyMemories Suite v3 software is a complete digital scrapbooking solution that provides a comprehensive powerful set of creative tools no other scrapbook software can offer. With its intuitive workspace and enhanced time-saving features, this application is perfect for a beginner to create a complete album in minutes, or to empower the design pro to build a scrapbook album masterpiece.

Making a Scrapbook
MyMemories Suite will help you create your beautiful pages from scratch or build an entire album using one of the many professionally-designed scrapbook templates provided within the scrapbook software. A large collection of papers and embellishments are also included and available at your fingertips to help you make each page uniquely your own.
If this were any other scrapbooking software, you might be finished. But with My Memories Suite, the real power-and fun-of this software is just beginning. There are so many ways to save and share your memories, you will wonder how you ever got along without it.

Affordable
With over 1,500 papers, over 1,000 page elements, and over 30 album templates (including 10 new for v3), MyMemories Suite lets you hit the ground running with your very own scrapbook or photo album in a matter of minutes. It’s easy-to-use and affordable—and compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. Don’t put off your important memories any longer, add MyMemories Suite to your shopping cart now.
You can make a beautiful scrapbook an interactive memory experience for anyone who sees it. Use simple one-click options to enhance your scrapbooks, with music, narration, video, and even the Internet. Go beyond pictures by showing off video of the birthday party, or record a narration to capture the memories that pictures alone cannot. With My Memories Suite you simply don’t look at a scrapbook-you experience it! 

The software is incredibly easy to use. It comes with some free templates, but you can also order additional photobook and page templates and elements from their website. I wound up ordering the “Let’s Celebrate” template from the website, which was only $5.99, and was able to use that to create the 15 page photobook of Miss A’s birthday. It only took a few clicks to install the template, and just a few additional clicks on each page to customize it with a photo and text, and I wound up with a totally fun and completely unique photobook, which I know Miss A will treasure for years to come.

In addition to being able to purchase a hard copy, the My Memories software also allows you to export your scrapbook as a video or interactive album.

The My Memories digital scrapbooking suite is available from mymemories.com for $39.97, but my readers can save $10 by using the promo code STMMMS89737.

The wonderful folks at My Memories are also offering a FREE copy of the software to one lucky reader of Single Working Mama!

The winner will receive a free copy of the software, which can be downloaded instantly — no waiting for the prize to come in the mail. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received software for review, but did not receive any additional compensation. I was not required to write a favorable review, and the above post reflects my opinion. Thanks to MyMemories for offering software for the review and giveaway, and the coupon code!