30 Aug

New Little People

Last year, I had the change to meet the Little People in real life.  I met Eddie and SonyaLee, they have been part of the Little People family since the 1960’s.  I remember playing with these characters since I was a wee one (anyone else remember the school bus?).  Well, Fisher Price has decided to add five more Little People characters.  Since each child is an individual and special (I tell my own daughter this everyday), the new characters all have different personalities.

Would you like to meet them?

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Cute aren’t they?  I can see a bit of my own Little Person in all of these characters.  My Princess is a fashionista, that loves to dance, play with animals, is sensitive and is ALWAYS asking Why… and she also likes to play soccer and is incredibly funny.  I’m sure each of you can pin point certain personalities in these Little People and pair them up with your own children.  Here she is, just being her….

cows

These little characters are of course are also tangible, so your kids can enjoy playing with them “at the farm”, “at school”, and the classic “on the bus”.

new little people3

Stay tuned for the fall when Treehouse will be launching a Little People contest and new game on their website.

*DISCLOSURE:  I AM A FISHER-PRICE MOM AND I RECEIVE SPECIAL PERKS AS PART OF MY AFFILIATION WITH THIS GROUP. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.
  

29 Aug

Calling all Octonauts

The Octonauts have literally come out of nowhere and are a huge success.  These little sea saving creatures have easily become one of my daughters favourite shows, and I have to admit, I like them too!  They’re songs are catchy and they teach children (and sometimes adults) facts about sea creatures.  My daughter recently told me that male seahorses give birth to babies.  When I inquired as to where she learned this info, it was of course the The Octonauts. (D’uh Mom)

Octopod

Fisher Price sent my daughter the Octonaut Octopad play set.  I don’t think I’ve seen her so excited to open up a toy as when this one arrived in the mail.  She knew exactly what it was and along with her friends, Barnacles, Kwazii (and her dad), they were off helping sea animals.  I think the most common phrase in our home was “Creature Report, Creature Report”.  The Octopad itself has many Octonaut phrases and sounds, creatures in need and a rescue kit to help save the animals in need.

octopod2

 

The show is so “basic”, it’s really easy for kids to recreate episodes and make their own episodes up.  A creature is in need and it’s up to the Octonauts to save them.  It’s easily hours of fun and adorable listening to the kids play.  When I asked my own princess what she loved about the Octopod, she said “Saving animals”.  Maybe she will be a marine biologist or veterinarian when she grows up.

Jake and the Neverland pirates Tiki

Another really popular show in our home is Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  This Peter Pan spin off is really popular with both boys and girls. Fisher Price sent my little pirate the Jake and the Neverland pirates Tiki Hideout.  At a recent playdate, I noticed the boys gravitate to this ship.  While playing Jake and the Neverland Pirates is without a doubt a blast, it’s the magical “tiki” that is a star of this show.  It’s a small “wooden” cylinder barrel with a push button that rotates.  When this barrel is placed on different parts of the ship, doors open and “things happen”.  For example, Jake get hoisted up to the very top of the ship. This was by far the most favourite toy, even if it wasn’t hooked onto the ship.  The kids just loved having the little barrel in their hands and spinning it around.  It was so beloved, that the kids (ones that didn’t live here), wanted to take it home, and nearly refused to leave my house if it wasn’t going with them.  Let’s just say, they REALLY loved that toy.

Jake and the Neverland pirates Tiki

Overall, these are a few toys that the kids can use their imagination with, get creative and reenact some of their favourite shows.

*DISCLOSURE:  I AM A FISHER-PRICE MOM AND I RECEIVE SPECIAL PERKS AS PART OF MY AFFILIATION WITH THIS GROUP. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.
  

29 Aug

Stain Removing Tips

Resolve Tip Exchange Button

If you have kids, you know a thing or two about stains.  Between the messy feedings, pens, and grass stains (and of course we can’t forget vomit and poop) we’ve pretty much seen everything that can get smushed into clothing, carpets, blankets and couches.

I’m in two stain stages right now.  Princess Baby makes a mess with food.  I’m not sure why we think it’s a good idea to hand her watermelon, raspberries and strawberries and let her eat without a bib, but we do it all too frequently.  It’s like we think she will magically eat like an adult.  But instead she eats like a baby, imagine that?  The result is freshly squeezed juice with chunks of fruit all over herself and embedded into her adorable clothing.

Dress Before and After

Princess Messy on the other hand, manages to get her knees dirtier than anything I ever remember as a kid.  She is always on the floor getting her knees into absolutely everything.  She is always wearing dresses, which isn’t the best outfit for cartwheels, bike ridding and baseball. While I’m sure it would be easier just to scrub her knees in the tub at the end of the day, she would most likely be flashing everyone while she has fun being a kid, so the pants are a must have.

Pants Before and After

 

I recently had the opportunity to test out Resolve, they just launched a new website called the Resolve Tip Exchange.  We can all use a few tips when it comes to taking out those pesky stains.  As for myself, I tried Resolve a few different ways.  I soaked some dirty clothes in a cup full of resolve in water for nearly an hour and also used a cup full in the front loader.  I found that if the stain was new, Resolve was able to get the stains out.  If the stain was 20 washes old, it was able to lessen the stain, but not completely remove it.  I’ll give it a few more shots however and hope the embedded knees stained with pretty much everything will come out.  Princess Messy did have a pair of white that over time had turned brown/grayish and are now white again with the help of Resolve (not the pants pictured above, I of course didn’t think it would make that much of a difference and didn’t take a pic of the white pants).

Here are a few tips I have for removing stains:

  • As soon as you notice a stain is not removed when it comes out of the dryer, directly apply detergent in that area and let it sit until you do the next load of laundry.
  • If you have some really soiled clothing, use hot water.  While we usually wash in cold water to help save the planet, it’s ok to do a hot wash, otherwise our stained clothes may end up in landfills.
  • Soak, Soak, Soak! As soon as you realize you have a stain on your clothing, remove it and let it soak.  The quicker you catch stain, the better chances you have of removing it.
  • Try old remedies like Peroxide, hair spray, Club Soda and toothpaste.
  • If you have a pair of pants with soiled knees that just will not get clean, don’t be afraid to use cute patches to cover them up.  Knee patches are cute too!

Shorts Before and After

Do you have your own Stain Removing Tips?  Share them on the new Resolve Tip Exchange Site and you can win one of 12 weekly prizes of $250 and the grand prize of $5000!  Sounds easy doesn’t it?

Disclosure: I am part of the Resolve® Tip Exchange Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own

24 Aug

DIY Reusable Sandwich Bags

Make your Own Reusable Sandwich Bags

Throughout my school years, I remember feeling extra motivated around the end of August to be organized and prepared for the year to come.  There would be no procrastinating, every project would be completed weeks in advance, my locker and agenda would be neat and tidy and I was going to get all A’s.

Here I am once again, but it’s not me going to school this time, it’s my first time sending my daughter to school. I however have reverted back to old habits – prepared, organized and going to be the best school parent ever (realistically, this means ’till October).  So to get ready for the first school year, I went ahead and made reusable sandwich and snack bags.

I’m by no means creative, I like things simple, quick and easy.  If I can do this, you can too.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Cute cotton fabric for the outside
  • Waterish resistant fabric for the inside (white/plain – no ones going to see it).
  • Velcro – NON adhesive (Very very very important).
  • Matching Thread

Instructions:

  • Make a template. In my tutorial, I made a snack size reusable bag, which is about 1/2 the size of a regular sandwich bag.  Since the fabric will be folded in 1/2, I have to cut around an entire sandwich bag, to make a snack pack.  Place your template over both fabrics and cut (leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides for the seams).  If you’re making a full sized Sandwich bag, cut the sides of your plastic sandwich bag template, open it up, place ontop of the fabric and cut around. (your fabric will be twice as long as a single sandwich bag)

DIY Sandwich Bag template

  • You should have 2 pieces of material that are the same size (give or take).  We will work on each one individually, then sew them together.

DIY Sandwich Bag

  • Take your cute cotton fabric, fold in 1/2 putting the good sides facing together.  Sew along the two sides that are open (do not sew across the top/opposite side of the fold).   Repeat with the inside material as well (fold in 1/2, good sides together, sew 2 sides leaving top open).

DIY Sandwich Bag1

  • Turn your cute cotton square ride side out. and leave the boring square as is.  Stuff the cute square into the boring square (both “good sides” of the fabric should be facing one another).

DIY Sandwich Bag2

  • Sew the two fabrics together along the top, but stop about 2 inches before you get to the beginning.  It’s almost like sewing in a big circle.

DIY Sandwich Bag3

  • Turn the entire thing inside out, stuff the boring fabric into the cute fabric.

DIY Sandwich Bag4

  • Turn your work inside out, stitch on the velcro along the top of the boring fabric on each side and there you have it, a reusable bag, you can also sew over the space you left to turn the fabric inside out – hurray, 2 things done at once.  Do not use velcro with adhesive, it will ruin your machine (Trust me, I’ve done it more than once – oops).

DIY Sandwich Bag5

I am not a crafty person,  I don’t use pins, or an iron, and I barely follow the side lines to make sure my stitches are straight, but I made a bunch of these.  They aren’t perfect, but they are cute, will work for school, are good for the environment and made with love.

The first one might take 30 minutes tops if you’re not a sewer.  If you are a sewer, you could bang out 7- 10 of these in an hour.

DIY Reusable Sandwich Bag

If you make any, I’d love to see what cute material you use.  You can do this!!!

 

21 Aug

Back to School Clothes with Sears

In just over 2 weeks, I will officially be the parent of a primary student (for those of you outside of Nova Scotia, it’s the first year of mandatory education).  This week was back to school shopping for us, and since the school has taken over the chore of buying supplies (for a small payment of $35) we were just left to get “the other stuff”.

Earlier this week, I took Princess PreSchooler shopping to get her ready for the big day.  While I’m excited to have her in class all day (hello – entire days to myself … well, minus the baby…. but still only 1/2 the kids at home), she’s a ball of nerves – which makes me feel sad, because I know she’s going to love it.  To help her get over those first day jitters, I thought she might like to get a new backpack and lunch box to be proud of as she ventures off and on the bus with her schoolmates.

I took her to Sears to pick out some new digs, they have a Back We Go event, and unfortunately, my brilliant plan failed.  She didn’t want a new backpack or lunch box, she loves her Penguin backpack and Strawberry Shortcake lunch box she already has.  So, plan 2 was quickly put into gear.  I didn’t really have a plan 2, but us Moms have to come up with things on the fly.  I let her pick out her own clothes, she’s only 5 remember.  I hadn’t planned on letting her pick out clothing, ’cause things can go down hill really quickly.  Her idea of what matches is much different than what Stacy London would suggest.  But, if it was going to get her excited for school, it was worth it, even if she did end up as a candidate for “What Not to Wear”.

The Sears store is laid out so matching items are all near by, mix and match tops and leggings are all paired together.  Phew, this made picking out clothes really easy.  She wanted some character tees, Hello Kitty, Smurfs and Strawberry Shortcake, and when I asked her about pants, the matching leggings were at her eye level to pick out.  I just helped with sizes and she went on her way picking out pants with little stars on them.  We also picked out some unmentionables, which I wont talk about cause you’re not suppose to mention them, but we thought it would be a good idea for back to school.

Mix and Match Sears

In the end, she picked out 4 pairs of leggings, 4 character tops, 7 unmentionables and 4 pairs of socks for $105.  Most items were on sale or one of the mix and match 2 for $17.97 deal.

We also went shopping with a few tweens, and they were excited to put on a fashion show for us, this was actually a great idea because it got Princess I Don’t Want To Go To School excited for her new clothes too.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t stand still to take a decent photo – have you tried to get a good still shot of someone break dancing?  Yea, hard stuff!  The good news is, she’s excited for her new clothes and she can’t wear them until school begins. The bad news? I forgot new shoes; I still need to get indoor and outdoor shoes.  Ok, so this is my first time back to school shopping and forgetting shoes is a bit of a Mom Fail, but I’m new at this.

Sears Back to School

So, here’s my favoruite part about the Sears clothing – the Kidvantage Lifetime wearout Warranty!  Yup, that’s right, as long as I save the receipt (don’t let hubster throw it out, don’t let hubster throw it out, don’t let hubster throw it out) if anything happens to the clothes while my kids (yes, I said kids – hand me down count too), they will replace them.  I would really like to put this to the test, so I’m saving that receipt!

Back we go contest

Sears currently has a “Back We Go” Facebook contest, where they are helping you get ready for the big day.  They are giving away $500 in weekly Gift Cards  and 35 daily $50 Sears Gift Cards.  Go enter and good luck!

DISCLOSURE: I AM PART OF THE SEARS CANADA THE BABY’S ROOM AMBASSADOR PROGRAM WITH MOM CENTRAL CANADA AND I RECEIVE SPECIAL PERKS AS PART OF MY AFFILIATION WITH THIS GROUP. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.

19 Aug

Back to School Lunches

It’s obviously back to school time, there’s even a hash tag for it #BTS and I’m sure it’s been trending since July 1st.  For my family however, it’s not exactly BACK to school, it’s school for the first time.  Last year, Princess Little Girl was in preschool.  She went 3 days a week for 3 hours every time.  To get her used to the “real deal” we packed her a “lunch”, it was really just a bunch of snacks, because she ate like a horse before leaving at 11:30am and wasn’t exactly hungry when lunch rolled around.  By the time she made it home at 2:30pm, she was hungry once again.  This year however, we have to pack a real lunch, plus snacks.  I’ve heard lots of parents complain about this daily task, and I’m sure by the time October rolls around, I’ll be right there with them.  But it’s still a daily chore that needs to be done – like it or not.

I’ve been surfing the web for kid lunches and wanted to share some tips that I came across on the Chicken.ca website.  They have a wealth of knowledge, so why recreate the wheel?  Here are a few of the great lunch tips in a nut shell:

  • Dipping sauces: Kids love to dip things, fruits and veggies are great for dipping and using a low fat dip or yogurt are a great way to get them to eat their greens & fiber.
  • Kabobs: Kabobs are so much fun, cube some cheese, grapes, cucumbers and cooked chicken.  Rather then sticks, use pretzels or maybe even uncooked spaghetti if it’s strong enough.
  • Make Art: Give them a pit, spread (like hummas) along with raisins and banana and let them create a picture for them to devour.

Here’s a suggestion I would like to add:

  • Cut outs: Use cookie cutters to cut out cute designs in fruit, cheese and sandwiches and meat.  Who doesn’t like to eat crown shaped watermelon, or cheese sandwiches?  Cut out’s can also be used to design nifty creatures, if your kids love Big Bird, find a way to turn a sandwich into Big Bird, use all the healthy things you want them to eat, carrots, eggs, chicken, blue berries and turn a sandwich into Big Bird.  Stick it into a Bento Box and viola, your kids have a fun sandwich and I’m sure you had fun creating him.

In surfing the Chicken.ca website, I also came across this adorable mini Polenta Chicken Pizza Bites that would be perfect for little lunches:

Polenta Chicken Pizza Bites

Chicken Pizza Polenta Bites

Happy lunch making.

I may have over exaggerated by being frustrated with making lunches by October, listening to other Moms, the frustration starts by September 15th.  Make it fun, get creative…. (says the Mom who hasn’t had to make daily lunches yet). Let’s talk in a few weeks time, and maybe I’ll have a few extra tips then.

 “DISCLOSURE: I AM PARTICIPATING IN THE CHICKEN FARMERS OF CANADA PROGRAM BY SHESCONNECTED. I RECEIVED COMPENSATION IN EXCHANGE FOR MY PARTICIPATION IN THIS PROGRAM. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.”

02 Aug

Monsters U & Kinder

Monsters university and kinder

Earlier this summer my daughter and a few very special cousins went to the movie to see the hugely anticipated Disney film Monsters University.  At only 4, my daughter is completely clueless as to what movies are in theaters but the 12 & 8 year old girls were eagerly anticipating the movie.  After a night of treats and entertainment, I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or the adults.  We were all laughing. Disney always does things “right” and Monsters University is no exception.  Prequels (a movie made after the original that is before the original) are no easy task, but it shed light on the relationships of Randall, Mike and Sully … although I have to admit I really missed Boo (that adorable little girl in the original Monsters Inc.).

Monsters University Stickers

monsters university toys

I’m sure your kids are loving Monsters University too and now they can find their favourite Monster toys in Kinder Surprise.  I (and the kids) are really surprised with these toys.  It’s amazing what can be placed in a small egg and transformed into a toy the kids love.  Not only are there collectible toys like Mike, Sully and Squishy, there are also stickers and bag tags.  My daughter knew right away these toys were from the movie she had just watched a few weeks ago, and she was excited to share Kinder Eggs with everyone to see what toy they would open up.

As for the chocolate, I really want to make chocolate chunk monster cookies, but I can’t seem to bring myself to break open the eggs and steal the eggcitement from the kids.  Maybe if Kinder has a factory of broken chocolate morsels they could ship me, I wouldn’t feel as guilty.  I generally love the chocolate, but in the heat of the summer they can melt so make sure to keep them cool.

I anticipated that this movie may make Princess Scardy Cat a bit uneasy, but it didn’t at all.  It gave us lots of chances to talk about monsters not being real and that Mommy & Daddy are in the room next door if she is ever afraid of anything.  Lately, she’s been sleeping like a trooper and there’s been very few night time wake up calls. Amen!

And if you’re looking for ways to keep your own monster busy, sock monsters are easy to make and to keep the kidlets entertained, while making them with googly eyes, and then afterwards while playing.  Let their creativity flow.

 Sock monster

“Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”