Disney Frozen Magical Winter Journery Wild Walls from Uncle Milton

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.
Who doesn't like Disney's Frozen?!  If you have a little girl in your home, you probably have a huge Frozen fan like we do.  My daughter just turned three and she has been singing Frozen's hit song "Let It Go" from since before she could speak a full proper sentence, so the Disney Frozen Wild Walls - Magical Winter Journey from Uncle Milton was a hit!  This is a great gift for that princess in your life.  Children will love the light and song addition to their personal space after creating their own scene with these easy to apply decals.  The electronic activator casts a light up to 20 square feet up your wall with the song "Let It Go."
Included in the set comes a sheet with decals to create your own scene, the FX Activator, and 1 set of wall mounting hardware.  It uses 3 x 1.5V AA/LR6 batteries, and it's included.  The FX Activator has two settings full light & sound, and light only.  My daughter plays it over and over until she falls asleep, the light has automatic shut off - perfect for bedtime.
Before being able to create a scene with the fun decals, you lie the decal sheet flat so it flattens out from being in the box. 
In the meantime my daughter loved using the light and sound box as a carry around toy she sang along to.  She even slept with it on it's own before we hung it on the wall, the sound box really doubles as a take along toy.

My kids had so much fun placing the decals, it has many snowflakes, one large piece with Anna and Elsa, a smaller piece with Anna's leg, our beloved Olaf came in pieces where we go to place his arms and hair on separately, the ice castle, and finally Sven with his reindeer.  Over 36 pieces to create your scene.  The decals are totally repositionable that you can peel and stick.  It's just as much of a fun dΓ©cor for kids to have during the day and so much sweeter with the lights and sound addition at night.  This really is a perfect gift to give to a Frozen fan this holiday season, it's not something they will just play with once but something they will enjoy many times over as they pass by daily, and activate every night before bedtime.

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GuruNanda 100% Essential Oils with Diffuser - Aromatherapy Starter Kit

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
We all have that one person on our list that we leave for last, because we just don't know what to get them for the holidays.  I think the GuruNanda 100% Essentials Oils with Diffuser is the perfect affordable gift that'll please so many people on your list.  It is an aromatherapy starter kit that makes a great addition to any home, so therefore a perfect gift for almost anyone.

The kit includes two different oils; lavender and peppermint.  An ultrasonic diffuser that disperses them into the air, where they release their wonderful natural fragrance and the healing aromatherapy benefits.  The diffuser also features a color changing LED light to add to the atmosphere.
plug in...
fill to line with water and few drops of essential oil and enjoy!
All you have to do is fill the tank with water and add a few drops of one of your favorite GuruNanda Essential Oils.  Once plugged in, it uses ultrasonic vibration to transform water into mist.  I think it is a great addition to the nightstand by your bed, and also works well in the living room space.  It all depends on the essential oil used.  I'm usually not into artificial fragrances for indoors, so this is a great alternative to really enjoy the fragrance it creates in the air with natural essential oil. 
"Aromatherapy is also known as Essential Oil Therapy.  It utilizes naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of the body, mind and spirit.  It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes.
The lavender essential oil has a calming influence and is great for insomnia, muscle relaxation - soothing & calming.  The peppermint essential oil is invigorating and is thought to help with respiratory issues, headaches and nausea - energizing & refreshing." 

It is available for purchase in Walmart stores.
MSRP $19.95

PLAYMOBIL 5574 Modern Luxury Mansion - Building Set, Imaginative Play & More!

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
Do you own any PLAYMOBIL toys?  If you don't, you need to.  You should make it happen this holiday season.  If you already do, you should definitely check out the latest play sets...  As a family we love building sets, it is a great way to get creative, learn, play and spend quality time.  Although we have a great collection of sets, we have never owned a PLAYMOBIL set, never thought to until recently when we finally took notice.  So glad we did!
PLAYMOBIL is one of the top global toy manufacturers and recognized as trailblazers in imaginative play - we were surely one of the few missing out all this time!  They have a large variety of play sets from thrilling theme parks, luxurious mansions, epic castles and more.  This 5574 Modern Luxury Mansion is the perfect set for my 7 year old to build and my 3 year old daughter to join in on the imaginative play after it was all built. 
Front of mansion..watch out there's a security camera watching...
Ever want to buy a doll house for your child?  Have an older child that's into building?  These are the perfect sets for them both.  Even with a younger child, you as the parent can build the toy set for your child, and watch as your child lights up with joy.  With this specific set 5574 - Modern Luxury Mansion, my kids both loved it, they played with it endlessly the day we first built it.  And the imaginative play continues each day since.  Awesome features make playing that much more fun! 
They include 375 pieces; many large windows, a coffee machine, drinking glasses (characters are able to hold onto), lockable safe hidden behind a painting for storing little valuables (like the accessories the 2 characters comes with), trees, planters, chairs, table, laptop, security camera, and more!  One of the sweetest features has to be the working doorbell adding just the perfect inspiration for imaginative play.     
Pieces inside the box...
Mostly held together with little red pieces, which you use the special PLAYMOBIL tool to click on...
Extra accessories, and extensions are available for purchase so the excitement never ends.  In my mind without much thought, I compared PLAYMOBIL with Legos - but I learned that other than both being a building toy - they are very different.
Table, chairs, drinking glass, flowers in a vase and laptops...
Framed painting on wall is also a secret compartment for keeping valuables like characters jewelry...
Two characters included in the set...
Real working doorbell, mailbox slot..small features that make the set so much fun!
The size of the characters, and pieces are much larger, which is great because it allows for children to continue to play after building, much more than it is possible with other brands.  Also it wont' fall apart like other building toys, allowing kids to play and even move from room to room without risk of it falling apart.  My son described it as a 2-in1 and that's pretty accurate!  It isn't just about the building part, but the play part too.  Build and play.  We have now become huge fans of the PLAYMOBIL sets, and can't wait to expand our Luxury Mansion into a grader property than it already is.  I guarantee kids will love to have this as a gift this holiday season.  Colorful, sturdy, full of details, and just so much fun.       

2 x AAA batteries required.
Dimensions: 22 x 19.3 x 13.8 in (LxWxH)
Suggested retail price: $109

*video review coming soon*

Puppy In My Pocket Series 2 - Blind Bag Collectibles

*I received the item/s for the purpose of this post.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
Most of us all know about blind bags collectible toys, either by your child's major need to collect them all, or you've seen it in person/online.  Many of our children and some parents alike want them.  Something about cute collectibles and the added mystery of not knowing which one you might get each time keeps us all wanting just one more and maybe one more after that, and another after that...  My daughter loves them all, if she sees anything in a "blind bag" she wants them, and most of the time it's with my support.  Our absolute favorite one that we have had a hard time getting our hands on are the "Puppy In My Pocket" blind bags. 
These will make even adults want to collect them all.  Absolutely adorable they are.  In many different breeds with names, and characters - some even come with little accessories attached to them.  So parents if you are looking for a blind bag collectible that will please both you and your child - these are it!  Great ideas as a stocking stuffer, or even gifts themselves.  I loved giving my daughter a variety of blind bags in a box under packing peanuts for her birthday this week, she enjoyed those more than the bigger presents she got on her birthday.  Just like the name..my daughter loves to have puppies in her pocket to take with her everywhere she goes.  I've been caught with puppies in my pocket myself, great little toy to hand to children when they need something to keep them busy at places like a waiting area, or even a car ride.  There is a show, charm bracelets associated with Puppy In My Pocket too!  There are available at Walmart, Toys R US, Target and other toy retailers.


Items from Crayola On Budget and On Your Child's Wishlist

photo credit to The Toy Insider
We all know and love Crayola for our go-to crayons and colorful needs but have you seen the latest in their toy line?  You might have seen them in stores already but some of my favorites from Crayola are the Crayon Carver, and the Thread Wrapper.  I got to see the demonstration at the Toy Insider's HoliDAY of Play event last month.  Much like the highly requested Marker Maker toy in the past holiday years, I predict it is definitely going to be a highly requested item on children's wish-lists.  From experience over the years, I've found that toys or kits where children are able to modify and play creatively have always been a hit.  These items allow children to do just that, and it's understandably so why they're bound to be on top of children's wish lists this holiday season.
The Crayola Thread Wrapper lets you add a custom touch to your accessories and anything wrap-able by the thread.  The motorized threading machine spins thread around whatever you choose to design.  You can create a custom color by coloring with the fabric marker while it spins and wraps your item.  It requires three AA batteries, and retails for $24.99.  It's actually great for adults as much as it is for kids, makes for such a great gift.  This would make for a great gift or children can use it to create custom gifts for friends by threading an item. 
There's been days where I found my son carving away at a crayon, and that's why I think he will love the Crayon Carver.  It allows children to carve words and designs onto crayons.  My toddler daughter actually loves taking the paper wrap off the crayons, so between my two kids they'll be the perfect duo to get carving.  It is an easy to clean machine that I think kids will love, it comes with 40 tiles including all the letters of the alphabet and fourteen icons that kids can use to carve messages and designs onto their crayons.  How fun it would be to hand a friend in class a crayon with their name on it?  It requires four AA batteries, and retails for $29.99
I'm always looking for a unique gift for my children and many nieces and nephews, specially when it seems like children are getting harder and harder to please, whilst toys are getting pricier.  These Crayola toys are perfect to please ones budget and the recipient.

Educational Science Kits from Thames & Kosmos

Thames & Kosmos is a publisher of science kits, board games, and craft kits that are a parent and child pleaser!  Now that my son is grade school age, brands like Thames & Kosmos that allow us to learn and play have become our favorite.  I find that toys for kids cost so much and since I can't fight that fact - I'm always looking to get the most out of the expense.  I got to check out some of their kits at the Toy Insider Mom's HoliDAY of Play event last month.  The kits are a homeschooling parent's best friend.  It isn't just a learning tool but something that doubles as a fun toy for children.  I think the products gives us the perfect way to spend quality time with our children, or simply let them explore and have fun, either way it'll be educational fun. 
I find that it is hard to find toys that kids will pick up and actually play with longer than a day these.  Unlike our generation where we were impressed with anything with lights and sound, not many products impress kids these days.  Thames & Kosmos Remote Control kits allows kids not only to simply play with a robot but to actually build one, or more with a purchase of one kit.  Just like when you allow your child to help you in the kitchen, they are more eager to eat and be less picky - kids love playing with a toy they had a hand in building.  Pictured above is Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines -Animals.  Children can build up to 8 animals with mechanical insides covered by plastic "skins," and move it with a two-button remote control.  The animals all move using different mechanisms, mimicking the movement of the real animals it represents.  It allows children to learn in more ways than one.

The many science kits available for purchase are organized into thirteen categories: Chemistry, Physics, Alternative Energy, Electrical Science, Biology, Earth Science & Natural History, Multi-Subject, Astronomy & Space, Historical Science, Construction & Engineering, Robotics, Crystals & Materials, and Arts & Crafts.

I recently learned that Thames & Kosmos was founded in 2001 by a science museum director and her son, who saw the need and demand for better science educational materials for parents and their children that are more engaging, more effective, more relevant, and more fun.  They did it a great job achieving their goal, but don't just take my word for it, dozens of reputable organizations that review children's products have awarded them over the years.  Check out www.thamesandkosmos.com to learn more about their science kits, new games, and their new Kids First line.

Have you checked out HEXBUG VEX Robotics?

Last month at the Toy Insider's HoliDAY of Play I got to see and play with some of the very latest and coolest toys.  Amongst them, one of our favorites was HEXBUG's VEX Robotics.  It was rightfully chosen as one of the STEM 10 toys, where kids will play and learn.  My favorite combination!  VEX Robotics come in different varieties that are very complex to not but all are so much fun.  Kids now can experience the fun of building their own robots that are fully functional.
My first favorite from the VEX Robotics collection, the Hexcalator Ball Machine.  Kids get to build their very own ball machine.  It was inspired by cutting edge medical devices and uses a hand crank to power 3 hexagonal indexing wheels to transport balls uphill where they are released onto the return ramp.  It is a roller coaster style ball machine, kids can explore gears turning, axels twist and balls roll as they turn the knob by hand or attach a motor kit to add power to this machine.  I love that batteries are not required for this machine. 
VEX IQ Robotics Construction Kit gives children the tools to build their very own robot.  The kit is equipped with over 750 pieces, four smart motors, a Robot Brain with 12 self-configuring input/output ports, video game style remote control and more!  Along with it comes VEX IQ Curriculum that is free for all users, a homeschooling mom's dream.  Six AA batteries are required for the robot brain, and it retails for $299.99 
VEX Robotics machines are compatible with one another.  "HEXBUG believes in using the fun of robotic toys to teach children important STEM principles through hands on learning."  As a parent it is the kind of toys I like to buy my kids.  When you purchase these HEXBUG VEX Robotics toys, you are giving your child a tool to learn and play..it's truly a win - win!  We have always been a fan of HEXBUG toys and these are on our wish list this year for sure.

Add BloodSTOP to Your First Aid Kit Today!

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
As a parent we worry about everything!  One of those worries would include your child getting hurt, and sometimes cuts & scrapes are inevitable with active kids.  BloodSTOP are hemostat gauzes for dealing with wounds that can be used to stop the bleeding if an accident occurs, it can even be used for nose bleeds.  Initially developed for use by surgeons in the operating room, BloodSTOP is proven to stop bleeding faster and promote healing far better than traditional bandages.  It is so effective and simple to use emergency room workers, police forces, medics as well as parents are using it.  In the case of an emergency it can actually aid in saving lives. 
I was sent lots of information and material showing examples of how effective BloodSTOP has been in many serious cases.  What is great about these, is that it is easy to use.  You can layer, fold and apply as needed.  It adheres to wound without discomfort of adhesive, water soluble, non-irritating, biocompatible, biodegradable, and of course minimizes blood loss.  It acts in less than a minute, and is safe for all age groups.  Also easy to remove with water.  These are available to purchase at all major drugstores nationwide like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart Amazon and more.   
Sample of how the gauze looks.  100% natural fiber cellulose.  The gauze turns into a gel to seal the wound.

Dr.Brown's Happy Teeth Dental Care Products #Review

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
Dr. Brown's Happy Teeth products include the new line infant-to-toddler toothbrush and natural baby toothpaste.  Did you know that pediatric tooth decay is the most common childhood illness?  The best way for us parents to help avoid that is help maintain their healthy teeth from the beginning before it starts.  Dr. Brown's provides natural dental care solutions that gives parents simple, effective ways to teach children good oral hygiene habits. 
Natural Baby Toothpaste is fluoride-free toothpaste, made with xylitol, softly cleans baby’s gums and teeth for natural cavity protection that’s safe to swallow. The real pear and apple flavors add to baby’s fun as they form these healthy habits.  If the toothbrush and toothpastes are comfortable and easy to use, children are most likely to look forward to brushing their teeth - it's been the case for my daughter.   
The Infant-to-Toddler training toothbrush features extra-soft bristles that are safe for baby’s first teeth. Its elephant shape automatically had my daughter interested, while the elephant “ears” prop up the “trunk” to prevent surface contact of the brush.  Its comfort-grip handle has been perfect for little hands. I love that it is BPA-free and dye-free, with a flexible body that is gentle on even the most sensitive baby gums.
Visit www.drbrownsbaby.com for more information, also follow them via their social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Sea Shimmers - Sea Sparkles 18" Mermaid Plush Doll by Aurora

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own. 
Meet Jewel from Sea Sparkles - Sea Shimmers Collection by Aurora.  This beautiful 18" soft plush mermaid is perfect for the princess, plush toy loving child in your life!  I mean who doesn't love mermaids, sparkles, and soft plush?!  It isn't just great for little girls, but would be great for collectors too.  My daughter absolutely loves her mermaid Jewel.
I'm always curious to see how much she will like a new toy when I give it to her because like I've mentioned in previous posts even though she loves her stuffed animals, she isn't into dolls..or so I thought.  It could be that we recently watched The Little Mermaid as a family but she was thrilled to receive a "princess mermaid," as she put it.  True to her name, Jewel has lots of sparkle and my daughter loves it.  Perfect simple and unique toy for a little girl this holiday season!  Jewel is part of the Sea Shimmers collection from Sea Sparkles.  Her bright blue eyes accompany other gorgeous details with mylar sparkle highlights in her long blonde hair, beautiful shimmery pink tail, outfit and crown.  Learn more about her and other Sea Sparkles dolls at the Aurora World Shop.

Check out our review of other Aurora World favorites below:
Cutie Curls Emma Doll
Miyoni Tots Pomeranian Plush
Yoohoo & Friends Naree the Narwhal

Painting with a Twist in Brooklyn New York! #pwat

*I attended the media event.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided. 
Last month I attended a special media event at the Brooklyn, NY location of Painting with a Twist.  To quickly sum up my experience, I'd say -everyone needs to check it out!  You basically attend a session where there is a instructor guiding through a painting step by step so you can follow along to create your artwork to take home and of course have fun.  An added twist, you get to sip on some wine while there.  It is something everyone should go and experience.  Plain white canvas, colorful paint palette, paintbrushes, and a glass of wine.  I found it to be exciting, relaxing, and fun all around. 
It is a mix of wine and painting - a relaxing concoction.  As a mom I found it to be the perfect evening out with friends.  I'm not interested in going out and joining the young & single crowd these days, I want a unique relaxing fun time with friends, and this was it.  I went alone and without time to socialize, focusing on my painting - I found it to be relaxing.  I have always wanted to do one of those paintings growing up and I finally did.  It was truly a great time.  The atmosphere is party-like!  Girls night out, special occasions of any kind, Painting with a Twist should be at the top of your list of places to go. 
Considering how much everything costs these days, a session at Painting with a Twist is absolutely worth the expense.  Explore the artist in you..or find that you aren't that good but have fun doing so...  The instructors guide you step by step making sure your painting comes out looking pro.  I was also informed that they do offer sessions for children as well, so also great for your child to explore their artistic side.  With the instruction they give you, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how great your painting will probably look in the end.  As for me, I have mommy duties and arrived late - so my painting suffered, but I had so much fun.
Painting with a Twist was officially started in 2009, there are over 255 franchise locations throughout the states, but this Brooklyn location is the first within the boroughs.   
The wonderful founders of the entire paint & sip industry Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney.  And the Brooklyn franchise owner.
Painting with a Twist Brooklyn - Cobble Hill  228 Smith St. 


Spend Once - Give Twice with this Beautiful Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet from World Visions Catalog #Giveaway

*I received the item/s for the purpose of this post.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided. 
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.  Anyone can help many families in poverty and hard lives with a donation/purchase from the World Vision Catalog, no matter the amount - your money can help change the lives of many.  Your donation can be as little as $16.  The 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog gives shoppers over 100 ways to join in the giving and helping. 
The catalog gives shoppers a tangible way to improve the lives of children and families in a variety of areas such as clean water, food, education, sexual exploitation and job training - amongst many others.  This Mango wood beaded bracelet supports craftsmen's family art from the island of Java with a donation of $45 or more.  All part of "spend one, give twice" where you make a donation to where you want to and choose from a variety of handcrafted gifts such as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, coasters, and coffee.  In the end you spend once and give twice.  What an amazing way to purchase a unique gift for someone in your life all whilst helping others who need it too. 
In the fiscal year 2015 more than 122,00 donors gave more than 297,000 items from the catalog helping more than 650,000 people around the world.  To join in and help so many, order from World Vision's Gift Catalog at www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 855-WV-GIFTS.  Help spread the word and enter for your chance to win this beautiful Mango Wood Beeded Bracelet below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lightweight Powerful Cleaning Vacuum - The Shark Rocket Powerhead Vacuum #Review #Vacuum

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
One of the many things I do every day as a full time stay at home mom is clean, I mean it is endless - so it's actually not awful when I get a gift that helps my days get by easier, like a vacuum!  This would be the perfect gift for someone who does the house keeping at home, best if given without an occasion! ;)  The Shark Rocket Powerhead Vacuum delivers heavy-duty cleaning at only 9lbs, wonderful when I have to carry baby in one arm or in a carrier!  Yes, that actually does happen more often then not, so the vacuuming weight in hand is only 1lb helps.  It's exciting to see how well this vacuum cleans.  The Shark Rocket Powerhead really does a good job sucking up all the dust and loose debris.  It's absolutely crazy how dirty and messy our home gets with three kids at home.  Comparing the Shark Rocket Powerhead to other full size and compact vacuums, it not only measures up but it's totally impressive.
It comes with two interchangeable brush-rolls, to suit your carpet or hard floors.  A deep clean carpet brush-roll, and a gentle touch hard floor brush-roll that not only has great suction but directly engages dust and loose debris.  They also have a removable end caps so you can remove hair and debris from the brush-rolls much easier.  A holster that attaches to the adjustable handle is included to store and hold the other brush-roll when it isn't in use.  A  telescoping wand, and dynamic power steering helps make cleaning and moving around easier - it goes under beds and other furniture unlike any other vacuum I've owned. It also has a longer cord than any of the other vacuums I've owned.  Easy quick release to empty the dust cup makes cleaning so much easier.  The filter inside is washable, recommended to wash once a month.  Easy on/off switch with settings LO speed and HI speed right on top of the handle at your fingertips.     
All in all I love it, much more than I expected, affordable compared to the other name brands and with a 5 year warranty you really can't lose.  Now I find myself reaching for the Shark Rocket Powerhead vacuum instead of my full size vacuum.  The only time I use my bigger one is to use the narrow nozzle my other one has, but that would be the only con if I had to be really picky about it.  I love how it stands barely taking up space, how well it cleans, and my favorite amongst all the features is it's ability to clean under the furniture.
  • Overall weight: 9 lbs
  • Vacuuming weight in hand: less than 1lb
  • Easily maneuvers under, around, and between furniture.
  • All in the Head Innovation: the motor, the roller garage, the dust cup all in the head of the vacuum for exceptional cleaning.
  • Cleans carpets better vs a Full Size Shark Upright NV400
  • 2 interchangeable brush-rolls: Gentle touch hard floor brushroll, and deep clean carpet brushroll
  • Adjustable handler
  • 5  year warranty
  • Quick Release Dust Cup