Peet’s Coffee wants to know — Do you give a cup?

Image and value provided by our partner, Peet’s

Disclaimer: Peet’s Coffee provided links and compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

I am a huge fan of single-serving coffee machines. I have a Tassimo here at home which has probably made thousands of cups of coffee for us over the past two years, and at work, we’re on our second Keurig machine. We are definitely a caffeinated company! And what working parents aren’t, right? We work hard all day, we play hard all night, and the mornings can be rough. What’s better than a freshly made cup of coffee to get your day going?

Peet’s Coffee is finally releasing a line of single cup coffee pods! They spent five long years perfecting the brew so that it would be just perfect for single serving cups, and to celebrate, they want to know: Do you give a cup? It’s a social sharing experiment — you vote on a topic on their website and it helps them determine where to send their sip truck give out cups of Peet’s Coffee! This week’s topic was on hot dog eating contests. I can say with certainty that I was in the minority because — I don’t give a cup! (Now, if it was a veggie hot dog eating contest? I’d be all over that!)

Feel free to swing by doyougiveacup.com today to weigh in on the weekly topic! You can also find out if the Peet’s Coffee sip truck is coming to a place near you sometime soon. They are coming to Boston in mid to late July and I will have to hunt one down, because free coffee? I am all about that!

Neighborhood Toy Store Day is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, November 10, 2012 is Neighborhood Toy Store Day! As we’re about to commence on the biggest time of year for retailers, please don’t forget about your local neighborhood toy stores. Sure, the big box stores may have big aisles, tons of products, and deep discounts, but your local toy shop owner is sure to be a lot more knowledgeable about his or her products, and you’ll be feeding your local economy by shopping there.

You can find your local Neighborhood Toy Store Day event at http://www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org.

Local toy stores have GREAT products that you may or may not find elsewhere. I recently received a selection of toys that can be found in independent toy stores, and both Miss A and I were super excited about them.

 

We received the My First Super Science Kit, Puppet on a Stick set, and Brio Classic Figure 8 Train set.

The Brio Classic Figure 8 Train set was by far her favorite. She played with it for about an hour! The great thing about the Brio train sets, I found after doing some searching around for Christmas ideas, is that it’s actually compatible with some other train sets too (Imaginarium, for example), so you can really mix and match for a creative experience.

 

 

 

We really enjoyed the Puppet on a Stick set too. We had been playing a game I invented called “Sock Puppet Theater” for awhile, but now we can play them with these stick puppets, and they’ve introduced even more creativity to our game!

She was not quite as interested in the My First Science Kit, but she did like the stick that lights up when  you touch both ends that was included in the package.

 

Here are the specs on the three toys we received:

BRIO Classic Figure 8 Train Set by Schylling Toys

  • Winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids 2012 award (Category: Classic Play/0-7).
  • The classic wooden railway set includes 15 track pieces, a sleek engine, two railway cars plus accessories to build the perfect “figure 8” train track.
  • For children 2+.
  • Suggested retail price: $49.99.
  • Can be found at independent toy stores nationwide.

Puppet-on-a-Stick by Educational Insights

  • Winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids 2012 award (Category: Pretend/Doll Play).
  • These adorable puppets on sticks can be used for puppet shows, pretend play, story time, YouTube theater and more!
  • Each puppet has an oversized head with wacky googly eyes, a movable mouth and a handle.
  • For kids 4+ years.
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99.
  • Can be found at independent toy stores nationwide.

My First Super Science Kit by Be Amazing Toy Company

  • Winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids 2012 award (Category: Science Play).
  • Junior scientists can explore, experiment and discover with the My First Super Science Kit. It includes materials for over 70 exciting science experiments.
  • For children 4+.
  • Suggested retail price: $39.99.
  • Can be found at independent toy stores nationwide.

Disclaimer: I received these toys free of charge to facilitate this review, but was not otherwise compensated. Receipt of review items has not influenced this review and the above expressed is my opinion only.

Nominations for the First Sports Illustrated Kids SportsParent of the Year Award

Sports Illustrated Kids SportParent of the Year Awards

If your family is like mine, sports are a big deal! Whether it’s baseball, football, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, or any other sport, Sports Illustrated Kids wants to recognize parents who are involved in kids sports. This year they will be holding their first ever SportsParent of the Year Award! If you know a parent who is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and incorporating sports into their community or family, you can nominate him or her, or you can even nominate yourself!

The top prize is a $1,000 Visa gift card to use for their child’s sports, and they may even be featured in a future issue of Sports Illustrated Kids!

To submit your nomination for SportParent of the year, visit http://www.sikids.com/sportsparent. Then, make sure to like SIKids on Facebook, and share your entry with your friends and family on Facebook! If you tweet, use hashtag #SPOTY2012

Sports Illustrated Kids SportParent of the Year Nomination Form

Deadline to enter is September 24, 2012. One entry per email address. Good luck!


Disclosure: Our blog received a year subscription, promotional merchandise and information from Sports Illustrated Kids in conjunction with this post.

Kids Bath Towels From Kidorable are Adorable — Review

We love all things Kidorable, and their kids bath towels can’t be beat! We recently got the Lucky Cat Kids Bath Towel we received earlier this week is no exception. It is soft, cuddly, durable, cute, and the designers didn’t skimp on the details. Just look at this thing:

From the adorable, smiling cat face, to the plush paws and tail, to the little pocket with the mouse on it, this towel is perfect down to the thread. We got the medium-sized one, and it was the perfect size for Miss A, who is a perfectly average sized four year old.

What you may also notice here is that the kitty paws are made so that your little kiddo’s hands can fit into them! What a cute little detail. Miss A absolutely loved this feature, and immediately after discovering this, began crawling around, meowing, and pretending to be a kitty. It’s a towel that doubles for dress-up!

This is our second Kidorable towel. About two years ago, we got the Ladybug kids bath towel, and I have to say, after two years of use and repeated washings, it has held up and continues to be Miss A’s favorite towel. Now it has a buddy!

These bath towels are available at kidorable.com for $38, but now through September 30, 2012, you can save 20% on your entire Kidorable purchase with the purchase of any towel by using the code DRYOFF33. Take it from me, these towels are TOTALLY worth it!

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this review in any way. Kidorable provided me with a review package. All content in this review is my opinion. A big thanks to Kidorable for supplying one of their awesome towels for review!

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!

 

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!