Friday, December 30, 2011

Melissa McCarthy Launches Ivory Brand’s New Social Community “The Soap Dish” + Ivory Soap GIVEAWAY

Taking a know what that means.  Fifteen minutes of peace and quite where you can escape from the daily grind.  That is, unless you forget to lock the door and your 2 year old comes busting in and instantly brings you back to reality with a rush of cold air.  Welcome to my world!
I have to admit that anytime I can shower uninterrupted is surely welcome in my day.  Apparently, I am not the only mom who feels this way.  According to a recent survey conducted by Ivory soap, 66% of moms surveyed confessed to hiding in the bathroom for some much-needed alone time.  And, when that happens, I know that I love to indulge and pamper myself with Ivory's relaxing and refreshing scents.  I personally love the hydrating aloe and calming lavender body washes.

My husband has used Ivory soap all his life.  He converted me 10 years ago when we met and I have been loyal ever since.  I love that Ivory soap is simple and pure, without unnecesary ingredients that dry out my skin.  I love that Ivory has recently contemporized their line of bar soaps, body washes, and liquid hand soaps.  You will now see a vibrant new color scheme and packaging redesign of the current Ivory product offerings of Lavender, Aloe, and Simply Ivory bar soaps and body washes.  This is perfect for all women out there who love the simplicity of Ivory products.

Ivory soap has started a new campaign, including their own modern day makeover, aimed at today's busy mom's.  Inspired from the insight of a national "mom" survey commissioned by Ivory, Ivory has launched "The Soap Dish", a light hearted social community that offers women an outlet to share in the everyday humor and honesty of their lives.  For instance, 80% of moms surveyed feel that motherhood is more complicated today than it was for their own mothers 20 years ago. However, more than half (54%) say they’re balancing life as a mother better than their own mom did.

The community lives on the Ivory Facebook page ( and is a place where today's modern mom can come and dish - share opinions, ideas and maybe a little attitude on what it is that makes her life so complicated.  As host of The Soap Dish, Emmy award-winner Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike & Molly) invites Ivory fans and followers to join her in dishing about everyday topics ranging from motherhood, marriage and meatloaf to much more.

You can be a part of Ivory’s new campaign too AND win some Ivory soap for yourself!  If you head over to Mama Cheaps, you can enter to win 18 bars of soap (in 6 packs of 3 bars each)!  There are many ways to enter for chances to win!  This giveaway is open to anyone from the United States who is 18 years or older. It will run from, 12/29/11, until Thursday, 1/5/12 at 8 PM EST. One winner will be chosen via the “And the Winner Is” WordPress Plugin.

Ivory is providing the prize for this giveaway. They provided us with the products reviewed above in order to facilitate the review. All opinions are 100% ours.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

FREE New Year's Printables

Here are some great free printables for the New Year!  The kids will really enjoy coloring and decorating these.

Click HERE for free NYE printables from

Click HERE for free coloring pages from

Click HERE for free coloring pages from

Click HERE for free coloring pages from

Click HERE Retro NTE printables from

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Orbeez Perfume Magic Review

Here is a really cool toy that girls and boys will love.  Orbeez are soft and squishy beads that you get to grow yourself!  They start off  hard and tiny, but when you add water to them, Orbeez will grow over 100 times their size,  Then, you get to "infuse" them and create a special fragrance that is all your own. 

The Orbeez Perfume Magic is perfect for little girls.  They will spend hours creating scents and perfume sachets that can be used to apply all over the body.  The beads feel amazing when you squish them around.  It is actually very relaxing and addictive!  I had so much fun playing with this set. 

The Orbeez Perfume Magic set contains:
  • 1 Perfume Magic Container
  • 1,500 Orbeez in 5 colors
  • 3 Perfume bottles with different scents
  • 3 Sachets to apply fragrance
  • 16-page full-color Activity Booklet

There are a number of other products that you can use Orbeez, like the Orbeez - Mood Lamp, Orbeez Light Up Star, Orbeez Soothing Spa - which I also highly recommend, talk about relaxing!, Orbeez Magic Light-Up Globe, and Orbeez Jewelry Maker, just to name a few.

Orbeez Perfume Magic retails for about $14.99 and is for ages 5 and up.  Since the beads start out tiny and even after they grow are still on the smaller size, I would definitely not recommend Orbeez for children under the age of 3. 

The Maya Group provided me with the item above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Knitting Stockings

Contributed by Milford Woods

I have been using my Clear wireless internet 4G to pursue my hobby. I have always been interested in knitting since my grandmother taught me how to knit years ago. I make everyone in my family something for Christmas every year that I knitted. I have gotten really creative lately because I have found a lot of great knitter’s websites. Many of the websites have free patterns that are easy to follow and really unusual. I have also been able to order new yarns that are really high and fine quality. The small sewing store in my area has always just carried the basics, nothing really special. This Christmas, I have decided that I am going to knit everyone in my family a great Christmas stocking. They are going to have each person’s name at the top and be pretty long. I have almost all of them finished. The only thing left to do is that I have to sew sequins and bells on them. I want them to be really fancy. I can’t wait to see everyone open them, I think that they are really going to love the stockings.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snow Dough

OK, so I know that we haven't had much snow where I live, but I can still enjoy all things snow and winter-like!  Here is a dough you can make with the kids that has a very nice appearance and texture.

Duration: 10 minutes

  • 2 parts flour
  • 1 part salt
  • water
  • white tempura paint
  • white glitter

  1. Mix all the flour and salt together
  2. Gradually add water until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Sprinkle in the white tempura powder and glitter for color and effect.
Get this and more ideas in the The Everything Toddler Activities Book: Games And Projects That Entertain And Educate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lemon Drop Cookies

One word: Delicious!  I made these cookies yesterday with my Mom and Mason for Christmas.  Not only were the super easy, but they taste amazing!  They are a light and cake-like cookie that goes down easy.  The best part is that you can use any variety of cake mix to make whatever kind of cookie you want.

Yields: about 5 Dozen

  1. 1 - 18oz box lemon cake mix (Duncan Hines)
  2. 1 - 8oz container of frozen Whipped Topping (thawed)
  3. 2 eggs, beaten
  4. 1 cup powdered sugar (set aside)
**Note: Cake mix can be of any flavor, depending on taste

  1. Mix cake mix, topping and beaten eggs together in a large bowl.
  2. Stir well until mixed.

     3.  Drop by teaspoon into powdered sugar and roll to coat into a ball.
     4.  Place dough balls 1 1/2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
     5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Coupon Deals

I don't post deals often, but I have been coming across some that are really good and will be posting them more often.  Here are some coupons that are hot right now.  You have to hurry if you want any of these because they could be gone at any time!

$0.50 off on any TWO (2) Pace products
$1.00 off ANY 1 Balmex Diaper Rash Product
$1.00 off Herpecin L
$3.00 off AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion
$3.00 off one BON APPETIT Steam-Baked meal
$1.00 off any one PediaCare product
$1.00 off on any 1 (ONE) Advil Congestion Relief

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cinnamon Clay Holiday Ornament

A Christmas tradition I started with Mason on his very first Christmas was making a homemade holiday ornament.  I just love looking back over the last two years of ornaments that are decorating our tree! Plus, these ornaments make adorable gifts to aunts, uncles, and grandparents from their favorite little one.  Yesterday, Mason and I continued this tradition by making Cinnamon Clay Ornaments.

Cinnamon Clay You Can Make - Perfect for Ornaments!
Yields: About 24 ornaments, depending on how thick you roll the dough

  • 1 /4 cup white glue
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup water

  1. Mix ingredients together until dough forms a ball.
  2. Knead for a few minutes, adding flour as needed.

     3.   Make into desired shapes or roll out and cut with cookie cutters.
     4.   Poke a hole at the top of the ornaments with a toothpick so you can
           hang them later.

     5.   Bake at 300 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

These ornaments turned out great.  They were so easy and nicely kept their shape while baking.  They also smell amazing!  I think you could substitute some cloves or nutmeg for some of the cinnamon to suit the fragrance you want to create. 

After I baked some on the cookie sheet, I decided to make a few more and let them air dry.  From the pictures below, you can see the difference between the baked and air-dried ornaments.  The baking process brought out the flour on the ornament.  The air-dried ornament retained more of a brownish color.  I think either option look great, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

I am going to let the ornaments for for an additional day or two, then make a little glue-water mixture to coat the ornaments and then sprinkle them with some iridescent glitter to a different effect.  There are so many possibilities for these ornaments, from painting to glitter.  Experiment and have fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Bake Chicken Bacon Pizza

I love to make this appetizer for parties.  I can't think of a time that there was more than one or two pieces, if any, left by the end of the party.  As you can see from the picture, I also make a vegetable version of this appetizer, so I will include those ingredients as well.  Choose and vary the toppings to suit your desires.

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 (10-14oz) pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup real bacon bits
  • 10 oz cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
  • onion, cut into bite sized pieces
  • broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • cherry tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

  • Cook pizza crust according to package directions.
  • In a bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream until well blended.  I add a little taste of fresh, minced garlic to this step.  (Be sure to only use a little if you do, it goes a long way.)
  • Spread mixture over cooled pizza crust. 
  • Top with pizza toppings of your choice - vegetables, chicken, bacon, etc.

  • Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mega Bloks Tub Town: Farm Review

If you are looking for a gift that will be an instant hit with the 1 and up crowd, look no further than the Mega Bloks Tub Town Farm Set. We have been hugh Mega Bloks fans for a while now and each set just keeps getting better and better! And, Mason LOVES playing with these blocks. As he gets older, he is playing with each set more and can even builds his own creations now.

Like the other Mega Bloks sets, the Tub Town Farm Set is compatible with other Mega Bloks sets. This makes for hours and hours of fun! And, with the endless possibilities, there is always something new to create too.

This particulat set comes complete in its own, big, yellow plastic tub. The farm set included does not take up all the room in the tub, so I know exactly where we will be storing the rest of Mason's Mega Bloks collection! This not only makes for easy storage, but makes clean up a breeze. Mason loves throwing all the blocks into the big tub. We make a game out of it, so it is a win-win for everyone!

I also love that the lid makes for its own base for building. The blocks don't necessarily stay in place on the bumps on the lid, but it is good starting point to build just about anything.

What's included in this set? There are 95 pieces for everything you need to build a whole farm. It is complete with a farmer, tractor, and adorable barnyard animals like a cow, sheep and chicken. You also get a sticker sheet so you can decorate the blocks to complete your farm.

If you are looking for a great gift to partner with the Mega Bloks Tub Town Farm, check out the review we did on the Mega Bloks Play N Go Musical Train.  We will be playing with these toys hand in hand!

Mega Bloks provided me with the item above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just Hanging Out!

What a life!  Hanging out and taking notes for Santa on Mason's good and naughty behavior.  Mason was thrilled to see he made it to our recently decorated tree!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Glitter Pinecone to Decorate the Table for the Holidays

Here is a really cute activity that you can do with the kids in preparation for the holidays.  Make a sparkly pincone to put in baskets or displays for around the holidays.

  • pinecones
  • craft glue
  • plastic gallon sized bags filled with glitter (use traditional red, green, gold or silver glitter)

Have your toddler begin decorating the pinecones by applaying the glue over the ridges and ends of the pinecone.  Then have him drop the pinecone into the glitter, close the bag, and shake it.  Make several of these and display them around the house.

Get this and more ideas from the The Everything Toddler Book: Games and Projects That Entertain


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Look Who's Been Bad!

Looks like Mason isn't the only one who gets a Time Out!  I wonder what he did?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Heart for Hearts Girls Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

I think I have fallen in love with the Hearts For Heart Girl line of dolls!  Not only are they sweet, wholesome, and appropriate for girls of all ages, each Hearts For Hearts Girls doll represents a real girl from a real place around the world. Each has her own story to tell, with ideas about how to make life better for her family, community, country, and the world around her.  Also, included with the doll is a booklet that gives information about the dolls' family and culture.

There are six beatuiful girls to choose from.  There is Dell from the USA, Consuelo from Mexico, Nahji from India, Tipi from Laos, Lilian from Belarus, and Rahel from Ethiopia.

What makes this collection of dolls even better than a personal story?  When you buy a doll, Hearts For Hearts Girls donates part of the purchase price through their charitable partner, World Vision, to programs that support girls in that country. Whether it’s malaria nets in Africa, schoolbooks in Asia, or food supplies in the US, these programs help girls to thrive and succeed.

Hearts For Hearts dolls are beautifully packaged in a box that has a door you can open and see the doll and all of her accessories.  The details on the doll and her clothes are realistic and authentic.  The dolls have very pretty faces and beautifully detailed clothes and accessories to match.  The Girls' hair is rooted in the doll, nice and thick.  I imagine any little girl will love spending hours brushing and styling her hair.  Another nice feature of the Heart For Hearts dolls is that the arms, legs, and head are movable and allow for posing. 

Each Hearts For Hearts doll also comes with a special product code. Once you enter that code and create a user name on the website, you can enjoy all of the online content and activities—for free! If you don’t own a doll or don’t want to register, you can still visit and enjoy parts of our website—but you will be missing out on some of the fun.

Overall, this is a high quality product that gives back.  It is educational in that it teaches children about other cultures and how we can help others.

Heart For Hearts doll retail for about $24.99 and are recommended for ages 6 to 9 years old.  You can also buy additional accessories and outfitsfor the Hearts For Hearts Girls.  

You can also read each doll's diary, play fun games, a myHeart page, activities, and view inspiring stories of real girls on the Hearts For Hearts Girls colorful, kid-safe website:

Do you loves these dolls as much as I do? DO you want to wind one of your own?  Fill out the form below to enter to win.  The Giveaway begins on 12/7/11 at 8:00pm and will end on 12/14/11 at 8:00pm.

Congratulations to Nancy M, winner of Hearts For Hearts Girls Giveaway.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or another winner will be chosen.

Playmate Toys provided me with the items above in order to facilitate this review and giveaway.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Silly Elf!

Looks like our Elf wants some of Mason's St. Nick Day treat!

St. Nicholas Day...What treat did your kids get?

It is said you should learn one new thing everyday.  Today's lesson:
Today, Tuesday, December 6, 2011,  is St. Nicholas Day.  Although St. Nicholas is mainly celebrated  by Catholic and Orthodox Christians, he is also honored by various Anglican and Lutheran churches.  Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children, and students.
What and who is St. Nicholas?
He is known as St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas and Santa Claus among many other names.  St. Nicholas Day celebrates the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a fourth-century bishop best known today as the real-life model for Santa Claus
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara.  Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.   He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra.  The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th.

How is St. Nicholas Day celebrated?
As St. Nicholas was known for his love of children, various children festivals are held in his honor. Moreover, children who have been behaving well are given small gifts and candies by people who pretend to be St. Nicholas. This is in keeping with a tradition that was purportedly started by the saint himself.  Legend also has it that children put carrots, turnips, or hay in their shoes for St. Nicholas' horse or donkey and St. Nicholas would replace them with treats. So shoes filled with treats for children or feed for horses and donkeys are also symbols of St. Nicholas.

As a child I would put my shoes outside of my bedroom door with the hopes that I would receive a small treat in the morning.  And, as promised, I would receive a large candy cane stick.  This is a tradition I will be starting with Mason this year.  Even though he does not understand who St. Nick is yet, it is a tradition I hope to carry on and that it will be something he will remember and maybe pass along to his children some day.

Want some activities for St. Nicholas Day?  Click HERE for activities to print and color from

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fisher Price Doodle Bear Review

Here is the perfect present for the little girl or boy in your life who might also be the resident artist of the house.  The Fisher Price Doodle Bear is the perfect combination of stuffed animal and art activity.  Instead of drawing on walls or sofas, your budding artist can draw, doodle, trace or stamp whatever their heart desires on the bear.  The best part about this toy is that when your child is done creating their latest masterpiece, you can throw it in the washer to start all over again.

I love that the Doodle Bear helps to promote creativity while using your child's imagination.  Your child will have an educational and artistic experience that can provide for hours of fun.  Mason couldn't wait to draw all over his bear.  He had so much fin experimenting with each color and made sure he used all of them, even the stampers!

When your child is done drawing, all you have to do us put your Doodle Bear in a pillow case and throw it in the washer.  It can even be tumbled dry when the wash cycle is over.

The Fisher Price Doodle Bear is available in three colors: PinkPurple, and Blue, making it perfect for a boy or a girl.  The bear comes with two dual-tipped washable markers that have a drawing tip at one end and a stamper at the other for you to stamp on special designs. A stencil with three shapes is also included so you can trace hearts, flowers or tiaras all over your bear.  It retails for about $22.00 and is recommended for ages 3 and up.  And, if you run out of markers, you can get a refills of Fisher-Price Doodle Bear Marker Pack, Doodle Bear Washable Fruit Scented Marker Pack  or the Fisher-Price Doodle Bear Stamper, all for a reasonable price too!

To find out more about the Doodle Bear or other great Fisher Price products, go to Fisher Price online.

Fisher Price provided me with the item above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.