Friday, November 25, 2011

Elf Watch

I am really excited this year that Mason is finally old enough to understand Turkeys, Santa, Christmas Cookies and all the traditions that we have in our family.  To me, this is the fun of the holidays and having children to enjoy them with. 

A new tradition we will start this year is the Elf Watch or The Elf on the Shelf.  This is a great tradition to start right after Thanksgiving!  The elf-like character  will become a permanent resident in your house from Thanksgiving until Christmas.   Place the Elf  somewhere high in the home to watch over the toddlers on behalf of Santa.  Each night the elf will disappear and report good or bad behavior to Santa, only to reappear somewhere new in the morning.  Make it more interesting by moving the elf from place to place and room to room and letting the kids hunt for the elf.  The Elf
can leave small treats, appear with a notepad and pencil nearby or leave a trail of glitter.  On Christmas Day he disappears, only to reappear the next year for another holiday season of watching kids to determine whether they have been naughty or nice.

I will be digging out the old Elf  from when I was a kid so that he can watch over Mason.  Watch this month to see where he will be showing up in our house!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Country Crock Giveaway for Just In Time for Thanksgiving (CLOSED)

We cook all day long in our house and I love to experiment and try new recipes.  Mason is my little helper and I try to involve him in as much as possible when it comes to cooking or baking.  I have been very lucky that Mason will eat just about anything we give him.  However, I know that is not the story in all houses.  But, did you know that kids who are involved in the making of a meal are more likely to eat what they have made?  Knowing that, now is the perfect time to get your kids involved with the planning and making of a traditional family dinner. 

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for families to gather around the table and create traditions that will last a lifetime. I still have memories of helping my Mom in the kitchen preparing the food, especially the stuffing (my favorite).  Now is also the time to try new healthy recipes that could become your child's favorite.

Country Crock understands the importance of getting kids involved and excited about this traditional family meal.  Easy veggie recipes are perfect for turning your little ones into sous chefs for the day. Whether mashing potatoes or seasoning squash, kids of all ages can get involved and discover that eating veggies is fun and enjoyable. With 70% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than butter, adding Country Crock to dishes is a perfect way to keep your Thanksgiving meal delicious, and loved by the entire family. 

Country Crock would like to help transform your kitchen into Crock Country and make Thanksgiving a fun family affair.  They would like to offer one reader a "Kids Thanksgiving" kit that includes: 
  • Kid friendly cooking utensils & apron
  • A Thanksgiving place mat for their seat at the table
  • Vegetable recipes
  • Coupon for $1.50 off Country Crock

We gave the potato masher a try this morning while I was making pumpkin bread.  Mason found it so easy to mash the ingredients with the Mr. Potato Masher.  It is so cute with a potato spud as the handle.  This makes it perfect for toddler hands to fit around too.

Head over to Mama Cheaps to enter for a chance to win your own "Kids Thanksgiving" kit.  Or, you can also head over to the Country Crock Facebook page where you can enter their Thanksgiving Sweepstakes, taking place November 7th to the 27th.
Good Luck!

Country Crock provided me with the items above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, November 21, 2011

PetCakes Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

Like most kids, Mason has a bunch of stuffed animals.  I am very careful to choose what new toys I introduce to Mason to, but when I saw PetCakes, I knew this was a must have for him to check out.

"PetCakes is a new collectible plush pet line that will be a sweet treat for children ages 3 and up. Each PetCake animal features a "frosting" hat, comes nestled in its own cupcake wrapper and has its own whimsical backstory. At first look, children will see a delicious cupcake but will then be surprised by the pet they find snuggled inside!"

The day the box of PetCakes arrived, I happened to open it while Mason was sleeping.  When I opened the box to check them out and this is what I found, Nutty Nicky and Roco Coco from Series 2 of the collection.

Not thinking, I put them aside to begin my review and initial thoughts of the toy.  An hour later, Mason woke up from his nap, PetCakes still on the table, and me now doing dishes.  I heard the pitter patter of his little feet coming down the steps and next thing I knew he is reaching with all his might to get to the PetCakes off the counter.  How cute, I thought, he must like them.  Like them???  That was an understatement!  Mason not only played with his new "friends" all day long, he brought them in the car with him when I had to run errands, he insisted on taking them out to the restaurant when we ate dinner that night, AND he insisted on taking them to bed with him that night.  I lost count of how many times Mason hugged his PetCakes and said, "Ma, I love them!" 

I was glad to see that PetCakes are a very well made product.  They are both sturdy and of a high quality that will last through toddler play.  There are endless possibities for imaginative play, expecially if you have more than one PetCake in your collection.  Mason's favorite thing to do was to squish the PetCake way down into the cupcake wrapper and pull on the frosting hat and yell, "SURPRISE!" each time he made the PetCake pop out. 

I also love that each PetCake also comes with a background story of what they like to do and who they are friends with.  This is a great way for kids to bond with their PetCake and get to know their personality.  Here are Roco Coco and Nutty Nick's bio:

"Hi! Nice to meet you! I'm Roco Coco™ the raccoon and I love Honey Suckle Woods™. I sleep all day and come out at night . My friends and I have parties and sit around licking sweet frosting off cupcakes left from family picnics. My best party friends are Honey Cakes, Nutty Nicky and Bamboo Berry."

"Nutty Nicky™ the squirrel is my name and running up trees is my game. I love chestnuts and walnuts, peanuts and almonds. I put them in the cupcake frostings when I snatch them off the picnic tables in Honey Suckle Woods™. I even have a place I hide cupcakes for the winter - You've got to meet my pals Bamboo Berry, Roco Coco and Honey Cakes."

PetCakes are great for gifts, stocking stuffers, or party favors and, at a price of about $12.99, that makes them affordable too.  Don't forget, you can find out more about PetCakes online, including viewing the entire collection of PetCakes.  Plus, right now Well Made Toys is running a special offer: Buy (4) or more PetCakes Collectibles plush toys and receive the PetCakes Collectibles Minis - 4 pack REE you only have to pay an additional $1.99 shipping/handling.  Also, when you place a multiple order for PetCakes plush toys you pay $6.99 shipping /handling for the first PetCake and each additional is only $1.99 shipping and handling.

The winner of the PetCakes Giveaway is Kayla S.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.  Congratulations!
Want to win a PetCake of your own for this holiday season?  Fill out the form below for a chance to win.  The Giveaway will run from 11/21/11 from 12:00pm EST until 11/30/11 12:00pm.

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More FREE Thanksgiving Printables, Games, and Activities!!!

Click HERE to head on over to Hewlett Packard's Creative Studio page  for even more Thanksgiving printables like coloring pages, mazes, word searches, scavenger hunts, recipe cards, turkey place cards, and more!  When you get there, make sure you choose free printing projects.  You can then choose Thanksgiving or other Holiday Projects.  Don't forget to "Filter" your choices so only free printables show as an option.  Happy Printing!