Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Valentine’s Day Survival Kit

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In celebration of today’s (2/10) Blu-ray, Disney Movies Anywhere and Digital HD release of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day we have this fun Valentine’s Day Survival Kit just in time for the holiday. Enjoy a healthy dinner recipe, Valentine’s Day cards and much more. 

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Free Printable Clarence Valentine’s Day Cards

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With the newest character in the Cartoon Network block – Clarence! Clarence: Mystery Piñata is now on DVD and we have these cute Valentine’s Day cut-out cards for your kids to share with their classmates.

Here’s a clip of Clarence showing some love to his playground peers below.

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My Snuggle Bunny Personalized Book Review

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Disclosure- I received the item mentioned below to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation and all opinions are 100% my own.

snuggle-bunny

I’m so in love with the company “I See Me“. We have a few books from them and they never disappoint. I See Me makes all kinds of fun and engaging personalized children’s books and gifts. Just in time for Easter, we were lucky enough to get to review the beautifully written book called “My Snuggle Bunny”. Because it is a personalized book, it was actually changed to “Josephine’s Snuggle Bunny”.

bunny-book

How cute is that?! So not only was this book made just for her, but it also came with the softest most cutest (if that’s really a thing) bunny ever! Really. She hasn’t put it down since it came in the mail. It’s precious!

book

I love the I see Me books because they never skip the details. The books are made of amazing quality and I don’t have to worry about her tearing the paper. Look at this adorable page with her picture on it. Seeing herself in her books gets her so excited to read. I just love it. I will never forget the look on her face the first time she laid eyes on it. Made my heart melt!

josephine

Just about every single page there is an adorable reminder that this is HER book. Kids like to feel special. These books do exactly that.

Product Specifications:

  • Written by award winning author Maia Haag
  • Illustrated by John Butler
  • 20 pages
  • Suitable for ages 0-10
  • Comes with a stuffed 12 inch plush bunny
  • Bunny safe for ages 0+
  • Book is 8.5 x 8.5 inches

I See Me books have a HUGE selection to choose from. I truly believe there is something for every kid on their site. Take a look for yourself and let me know what you find. How cute would the Snuggle Bunny book be for an Easter Basket?

 

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Cooking For Kids: Easy Healthy Eating Tips

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For many busy parents, family mealtimes need to be quick and easy. This can mean rustling something up at the last minute or throwing a ready made meal in the microwave. However, it is important to put some thought into the food you are feeding your children. A nutritious diet will help your kids grow up healthy and will promote a healthy relationship with food. This needn’t be difficult or time-consuming. These tips are easy to apply, even with a hectic schedule, and will ensure your kids are receiving the nutrients they need.

Meal planning

You may have ready this advice several times before, but it is worth reiterating that planning your family meals ahead will help you to deliver a healthy, balanced diet. Ad hoc cooking makes it harder to keep track of what foods your kids are eating from one day to the next. By planning ahead, you will see the weekly meals at a glance giving you a better chance to ensure varied and healthy ingredients are provided throughout the week. Search for family meal planning templates and suggested healthy recipes online to make this task much quicker and easier.

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Give them their five a day

One of the best things you can do for your children’s health is ensure they are eating the recommended amount of fruit and veg each day. This doesn’t have to be difficult. A glass of fresh fruit juice with breakfast, two different pieces of fruit as snacks during the day and two varieties of vegetables with dinner and you’ve hit the quota. Use five a day shortcuts such as cooking veggies in the microwave and providing snack-sized packs of dried fruit.

Always ensure a healthy breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your family. Ensure they stock up on plenty of carbs to give them energy for the day. Wholegrain breads and muesli with milk or yoghurt make an an easy and healthy breakfast and will ensure they are ready for the day ahead.

Educate yourself on the nutritional value of foods

Most foods must include nutritional information on their packaging alongside the recommended daily intake. A good habit is to read this information carefully, so you are aware of how much sugar, salt, fat and calories are in different products. This is an easy way to determine portion sizes and how often to serve particular ingredients to your children. When it comes to eating out, some restaurant websites and menus will provide consumers with nutritional info. For example, you can find information on fast food restaurant nutrition information at Fastfoodmenuprice.com.

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Celebrate National Reading Day With The Book of Life

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Disclosure- We received The Book of Life storybook kits in exchange for this post as part of Fox Home Entertainment’s blogger program.  All opinions are 100% our own.

Happy National Reading Day!
#BookofLifeReading

book of life reading dayI’m a lucky mom.  Both of my girls love to read.  I think their love of reading started when they were both little and we’d snuggle in bed as I read them their favorite stories.  We were excited to learn about National Reading Day.  National Reading Day (January 23, 2015) encourages children all over the country to read.  In honor of National Reading Day and upcoming release of The Book of Life movie on Blu-ray and DVD we received backpacks with lots of The Book of Life school supplies.
book of life backpack2One of the first things my girls did with the school supply sets was to make lists of the books they would like to read this year.  It is a great way to set reading goals for the year and see how many books they have read by the end of the year.  I love the lists because I can look on their lists and use them as wish lists to know what books they’d like me to purchase or borrow from our local library.  What are some of your children’s favorite books?

FREE Printable Reading List

bookoflife_downloads_2015booklistP1230748They may be 9 and 11 years old but they still love to color so they enjoyed coloring a Book of Life picture, too. P1230753P1230751  And showing their love for The Book of Life with the stencils in the kit.
love book of lifeThe theme of family traditions and family history is important in The Book of Life. In our kits we also received certificates to Pinhole Press to create our own The Book of Life themed family storybooks.  At Pinhole Press you can create high quality, personalized photo gifts such as memory games and storybooks.
book of life book of life5
My girls thought they were a little too old to make picture books of our family members but this would be such an amazing book for younger kids, especially to remember relatives that life far away.  Pinhole Press also has other great The Book of Life personalized photo gifts such as a matching game, notebook, and magnetic portrait sheet so my girls decided that they wanted to make some other personalize photo gifts for themselves instead.  They just love that they are The Book of Life themed as it is one of their favorite movies.  They can’t wait for it to come on Blu-ray and DVD on January 27th.

Want to get your own photo gifts from Pinhole Press?  They’d make great Valentine’s Day gifts!

Get 10% off all Pinhole Press products with code BOOKOFLIFE.

(Expires on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2015)

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K’NEX® Amusement Parks Star Shooter Roller Coaster Review #ChoosenByKids

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Disclosure- This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Sverve, K’NEX®, and Walmart but all opinions are my own.

toy testerYou probably saw in my post about my family’s holiday traditions that I was attending the Chosen by Kids (#ChoosenByKids) event at Walmart to check out all the hottest new toys for this holiday season.  They had toys for all different ages for children to test out.Chosen by KidsThe ones that struck my eye were the K’NEX®  Roller Coaster Building Sets.  At the store they had a Super Sonic Swirl Coaster Set.   It wasn’t assembled but I did get to see the parts it included and the instructions.
KnexI knew my girls (and my 39 year old child aka my husband) would love to build any one of the 3 K’NEX®  roller coaster building sets.  They didn’t have any for purchase in the first store that I went to but thankfully I found the Star Shooter Roller Coaster at another Walmart a few days later.
K'NEX® Amusement Parks Star Shooter Roller Coaster ReviewThe K’NEX®  Star Shooter Coaster is a roller coaster set that children age 7 and up can assemble themselves.  It is motorized and includes a battery powered car that goes around the track.  When full constructed it reaches over 3 feet high!  There are 3 roller coaster building sets to assemble in this collection- Star Shooter Roller Coaster, Super Sonic Swirl, and Amazin 8 Roller Coaster.  All 3 sets look like so much fun and I was excited to find a Star Shooter Roller Coaster Set! 

The Star Shooter Coaster is motorized for exciting performance that sends the car up the chain lift and spiraling through the track! This set comes with 434 parts, primarily rods & connectors, to build a K’NEX® thrill ride!  It is recommended for builders ages 7+ and requires 2 “AA” batteries which are not included.  Make sure to grab a package of batteries while at Walmart so your child can play with this fun set right away.
knex 2The set says ages 7+ but I think it is better for older children.  My husband and 11 year old daughter started to put it together but my husband had to join in to help her a little which is great for some fun family time.  This set helps spatially because  you have to make sure each piece isn’t just connected to the correct other pieces but they have to be all going in the right direction, too.  It is a challenge but one that is fun to do together.
This is how far they got after about an hour:
KnexWe ran out of time before the deadline for this post but we’re planning on getting the set finished this weekend.  We can’t wait to see how it turns out.  It would make a great gift for any K’NEX® fan so check it out!
What is your favorite toy this holiday season?

Get social with K’NEX®:
K’NEX® on Facebook
K’NEX® on Twitter 
K’NEX® on Pinterest
K’NEX® on YouTube
K’NEX® on Instagram

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Eat Your Greens: How to Encourage the Kids to Eat More Healthily

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“Eat your greens!” is an adage that many parents live by. But, what to do when your kids refuse to eat the healthy foods on their plate? It can drive us to the brink of despair. After all, you want your children to grow up to strong and healthy. A diet of bread crumbs can play havoc with that.

Getting kids to eat their fruit and vegetables can be problematic. Tackling the problem of fussy eating is not something that can be done overnight. But, there are some great ways that you can encourage a healthier lifestyle all-round.

Give Fruit as a Pudding

We often reward kids with dessert for eating their dinner. But, many of us give sweet treats. We’re all guilty of it. Make sure that you are encouraging your kids to eat more fruit by giving them a fruit salad as a pudding or dessert. Make it colourful, so that it looks appealing. Grapes, strawberries and bananas are all rich in their colour. The bright look of fruit can be appealing for kids. So, ditch the chocolate and make sure that you are giving fruit as a pudding. This is a great way of encouraging them to eat more carefully and healthily.

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Credit: David Goehring

Make it Fun!

Fruit and vegetables don’t have to be boring. A great way of making sure that your kids eat their greens is all in the presentation. Make smiley faces on their plate using vegetables of different colours. Think about their favourite animals or hobbies, and use the vegetables to create the shapes on their plate. This can be time-consuming. But, the rewards can be beneficial. Kids often see vegetables as dull. So, jazz up dinner times and encourage them to eat their greens.

Grow Your Own Greens

Getting the kids involved with growing their own fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to encourage them to ditch their fussy eating habits. They will take an enormous amount of pride in their produce. Plus, they get to eat it afterwards! Growing fruit in your garden is easy. You don’t need a raft of expensive equipment. A small plot of land and grow lighting can ensure that you are on your way to having a house full of healthy eaters. They will love the messy element of this!

Expose Your Kids to Different Food Stuffs Early On

For many children, the texture of fruit and vegetables can be off-putting. The key is to ensure that you introduce them to various food stuffs at an early stage. You can puree the food to make sure that they are getting nutritional foods. But, you can also ensure that you are introducing different kinds of foods at an early age. The more accessible you find fruit and vegetables, the easier it will be to feed your kids.

The Reward Chart System

Reward charts can be beneficial for fussy eaters. Give out stickers and stars every time they eat their greens. Make sure that you follow up with praise. The key is to not lose your temper. This can have a negative impact on your child’s relationship with food.

 

 

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Help With Surviving The School Holiday

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Whether it’s the fast approaching Christmas holidays or another break from school, it can be hard going. As much as children might pretend they like school they generally benefit from the schedule and structure of a school day. Not only that but it gives them plenty to do and a chance to see their friends, so it really isn’t all bad. It is when the school  holidays come around that children can get easily distracted and excitable, which can make it hard to get through!

However, like it or not your children get plenty of school holiday each year, so you need to be prepared.

Spend Time With Other Children

Children get bored easily so you need to make sure you do what you can t keep them happy. Try to arrange regular play date with children that they usually play with at school. That way they don’t miss their friends too much. On top of that they have plenty of fun and this makes the school holidays much more enjoyable for everyone. If you are visiting relatives then try to plan this for time when other young family members will be there. That way they can entertain themselves and the adults will have a much more stress-free time.

The Great Outdoors

Rather than being stuck inside the house all day, try to get children out and about. Even if the weather is bad – just wrap up warm and get out there. Children need fresh air to grow and to feel good. If you are all stuck out in the house under each other’s feet, everyone will soon get bored and fed up. Plan a day outside, even if just for a few hours. You can be sure that everyone will feel better for it.

A Little Education

Just because they are not in school doesn’t mean that you can forget education altogether. You can use the school holidays to complement their education. This will mean that they do much better when they do go back. There are loads of educational games you can download onto your laptop and smart phones so get some of these for you to all play. Not only will they keep your children entertained but they can teach them new skills too.

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Wikimedia

Getting Crafty

It is also a good idea to try and keep them busy with new ideas too. Try to look up things that you can make together. Children love getting crafty especially if they get something useful at the end of it. So you can perhaps cook dinner together or make Christmas presents for the family. There are loads of crafty projects suitable for young children so look these up online, and you’ll find plenty to keep everyone happy.

Have Fun

Remember though that this is the school holidays and therefore it is their chance to wind down. It is important to keep them busy and happy, but they need time to rest and relax too. Plan games that will keep them happy just for the sake of playing. You can also plan DVD days and fun sleepovers.

You can even download some games onto your laptop for them to play with. There are a whole host of games that you can be downloaded. This is great because it means that when they get bored you can simply delete it and put a new one on for them. So whether they’re looking for different racing games, roleplay games, puzzle solving or anything else you can be confident that they will be something for them. Just make sure you supervise their play and that you do them downloading and not them.

Day Trips

One thing that worries parents is the cost of activities during the holidays. However don’t assume that all you need to worry about is expensive trips out and spending lots of money. If you look up local museums and other attractions you’ll find that many of these cost less than you think and some are even free! You can easily plan an affordable day out around these, especially if you are organised and take packed lunches with you.

Keeping a Schedule

One thing that children relish from when it comes to school is the schedule that they keep while they are there. There is nothing wrong with a few late nights during the holidays but it is important to keep these as a treat. If you let children stay up too late every single night, then you’ll find it much harder to get them back into a decent sleep schedule when school starts up again. Not only that but if your child gets tired then, they are far more likely to get grouchy and bored during the day. The last thing you want is for them to spend their school holidays in a bad mood.

Burning Off Energy

Children get bored because they have energy to burn and no way to burn it. Give them something to do every day that is going to help them burn off their energy. This could be something as simple as an hour at the park or taking them swimming at the local leisure centre. It could also be a day out somewhere with loads of walking. Anything that gets them moving and burning energy is a definite bonus.

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Wikimedia


Keeping Things Varied

If you can come up with an activity that your children like then great, however you do have to make sure that you keep things varied. If you keep repeating the same activity over and over again then they’ll become quickly bored, and that is no good for anyone. Rather than let this happen, just try to keep things as interesting and varied as possible.

The school holidays are a great way to spend time as a family. Plan out your days in advance and speak to your children about the things they would most like to do. That way you all have fun and spend some valuable time together.

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Strawberry Shortcake Lemon Meringue Styling Doll Review

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Disclosure- I received the doll mentioned below to facilitate my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.
strawberry shortcake styling doll

Strawberry Shortcake Styling Dolls
All the girls in Berry Bitty City like to get her hair styled at Lemon’s salon, and now you can be the stylist!  Whether you’re getting ready for a fancy event or a fun-filled adventure, you can create new looks every time you play. Brush, braid and clip Strawberry or Lemon’s hair into tons of different styles for hours of fashionable fun!

SSC_Prd_style_lemonIncludes: Sweet scented doll with outfit, styling comb, hair clips, barrettes and hair extension clips.
Available in Strawberry and Lemon – Each sold separately.
For Ages 3+, $19.99

SSC_Styles_hairHow will you style your doll’s hair?

strawberry shortcake styling dolls
I loved all things Strawberry Shortcake when I was a little girl so I especially love that my girls are also Strawberry Shortcake fans.  Just one sniff of Strawberry Shortcake dolls or her friends brings me right back to my childhood and this Strawberry Shortcake Lemon Meringue Styling Doll is no different.  Lemon Meringue smells lemony delicious!  She comes with several accessories such as clip in hair and barrettes that are sure to delight any Strawberry Shortcake fan.  My girls especially love dolls with long hair so they were delighted to get Lemon Meringue out of the box and take turns combing her golden locks, putting her hair up with the barrettes, and just taking her around with them.  She is about 11 inches tall but she is much bigger than a regular fashion type doll.  My girls really love that about her.
Both Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue Styling Dolls are great for any Strawberry Shortcake fan on your holiday gift list.

Who is your favorite Strawberry Shortcake Character?

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Adventure Time: Finn the Human on DVD 11/25

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Cartoon Network’s ADVENTURE TIME: FINN THE HUMAN arrived on DVD, today- Tuesday, November 25th! The DVD includes an exclusive backpack and is value packed with 16 fan-favorite episodes!
ATFinntheHuman2DThis Christmas, Santa’s got a brand new bag—courtesy of Cartoon Network! Following the huge success of the Jake vs. Me-Mow and Jake the Dad DVDs and accompanying Finn and Jake hats, fans of Cartoon Network’s smash hit series, Adventure Time, can now complete their Finn look with an authentic backpack, which is valued at around 20 bucks on its own, packaged with the DVD! Packed with 16 hilarious episodes from fan-favorite seasons, Adventure Time: Finn the Human is a must-have gift for any Adventure Time lover. Beginning November 25, 2014, for only $24.98, fans will be able to get their hands on nearly three hours of content and a sweet exclusive backpack, perfect for any adventure this holiday season.The episodes included on the Adventure Time: Finn the Human DVD are:

  1. The New Frontier
  2. The Lich
  3. Finn the Human
  4. Jake The Dog
  5. We Fixed a Truck
  6. Blade of Grass
  7. The Red Throne
  8. The Great Bird Man
  9. One Last Job
  10. Little Dude
  11. City of Thieves
  12. Conquest of Cuteness
  13. Who Would Win
  14. Ignition Point
  15. Furniture & Meat
  16. Sad Face

Adventure Time: Finn the Human is the latest DVD release from Cartoon Network, and joins the best-selling—not to mention bonus-filled—Adventure Time seasons 1-4, as well as episodic releases, Adventure Time: Jake the Dad, Adventure Time: Jake vs. Me-Mow, Adventure Time: My Two Favorite People and Adventure Time: It Came From the Nightosphere, all of which are currently available at retail. These DVDs join a robust line of consumer products, including toys, apparel, accessories, comic books, costumes, posters, youth electronics, posters, publishing and much more.

 

Created by Pendleton Ward, the Adventure Time television series is an original animated comedy from Cartoon Network that follows the everyday adventures of unlikely heroes Finn the Human and his best friend, the shape-shifting dog Jake, as they travel across the Land of Ooo and encounter its unique inhabitants. Whether it’s saving Princess Bubblegum, defeating zombie candy, mocking the “oxy-moronic” Ice King, or rocking out with undead music wiz Marceline the Vampire Queen, with Finn & Jake it’s always Adventure Time! New episodes of the Emmy® Award-nominated series debut on Cartoon Network on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), with replays throughout the week.

What we thought:

Little Blogger- I really liked this DVD because it had some of my favorite episodes like We Fixed a Truck, Blade of Grass, City of Thieves, and many more.  I was really excited that it came with Finn’s backpack.  I love Adventure Time because it has funny characters and funny adventures that Finn and Jake go on in each episode.  Adventure Time is very entertaining to watch.

adventure time dvdHere are two clips from the DVD-

Film Clip: Conquest of Cuteness
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Film Clip: Red Throne
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