Bringing a Child’s Artwork to Life With Their Own Custom Made Stuffed Animal – Budsies Review

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up that you carried everywhere with you? What about your kids? Do they have a favorite that they can’t seem to put down?

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Check out these stuffed animals, they’re my kidlet’s newest favs. Not only are these dolls cute, cuddly and colorful, but my kidlets actually designed them.  Yes, these two dolls were created from artwork that my kidlets made and turned into a reality through a wonderfully whimsical company called Budsies.

Budsies brings artwork to life created by children (or adults!), by creating one-of-a-kind stuffed dolls.

The Budsies process to make your own doll is super simple. Your child creates a color drawing using crayons, markers or even paint. It can be of anything your child desires…an animal, a person or even an object. Then you take a picture of it and upload from your computer or smartphone to Budsies website to order. In five weeks or less a custom-made stuffed animal inspired by your child’s drawing arrives at your home.

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Finding Pixie Dust & Getting To Go “On The Road” With Disney Social Media Moms

I’ve got a confession to make. I never stepped foot inside a Disney Park until I was an adult. My father wasn’t much into amusement parks, so growing up it was never a destination my family ever considered for vacation. It wasn’t until I was 22 years old and on a business trip to Southern California. With some down time, a colleague suggested we head on over to Anaheim and check out Disneyland.

THM_DisneyOTRPhilly_2aI was mesmerized and fell in love the moment I entered!

Walking thru Sleeping Beauty’s castle, wearing my very first pair of Mouse Ears, riding on the Railroad, getting drenched on Splash Mountain and having my picture taken with Winnie the Pooh was like taking all those Disney movies and TV shows I watched growing up come to life right in front of my eyes!

It took me another two more years before I made it to all the parks in Orlando, but since then I’ve been back many times.  My most recent trip was last spring when The Hubs and I took the kids on their first visit to Walt Disney World Resorts.

Seeing Disney through their first time eyes was amazing. It’s something I’ll always treasure as a parent and as a Disney fanatic. It truly is the “happiest place on Earth!”Continue reading ⇒

Liberty Science Center – #ScienceSummerFun Giveaway

What do you do with your kids on summer days when you’re tired of going to the park, beach, library or movies? What about on rainy days? While the Hubs and I might want to go to a museum, the kidlets prefer places where they can have lots of fun and get “hands on.”

PrintThe Liberty Science Center is just the place to meld our parental & kidlet preferences. It’s a 300,000 square foot fun learning center located on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park.  You should make the trip over there just to see the spectacular and unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower.

Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center (LSC for short!) features 12 museum halls featuring ongoing exhibitions such as Skyscraper!, Infection Connection, Energy Quest and Communication. They also host a live animal collection with 110 species and giant aquariums where you can actually touch sea creatures. The Center also houses a 3D theater, the nation’s largest IMAX Dome theater and tornado/hurricane-force wind simulators.

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Family Friendly Video Game Preview: LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ & Game Giveaway

After our plans for a day at the beach were thwarted by combination of horrific traffic and drizzly weather this past weekend, the family wound up stopping at a local mall to eat lunch and do some window shopping.  We eventually wandered into a GameStop store, since my seven-year old son has turned into quite the gamer.

LNN Poster Charging RGB 1as Preview When he’s in a competitive mode, he plays Xbox with either his dad or friends. More often though, he likes playing solo, and turns to his  Nintendo 3DSXL, which he got for his birthday last year instead of having a party.

He’s got quite the growing roster of 3DS games in his collection, but his favorite ones by far are LEGO®-related games. So when he saw an in-store ad for LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ he went crazy and can’t wait to get the game to try it out for himself.

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Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-boy-girl-reading-books-image19977713However, as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

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Getting Crafty – Spellbinders Celebra’tions Collection Review & Giveaway

It’s no secret that I love crafts. Aside from showcasing one’s artistic ability,  to me, handmade crafted items also show someone’s time and effort that went into creating something special that will bring joy to another person.

Whether it’s working on projects with my kidlets or sitting down all by myself to knit – PS I’m a master scarf maker! – crafting is a fun world to escape into from time to time!

THM_SpellSo it was a treat to find a package from Spellbinders® in my mailbox to try.  For the uninitiated crafter, Spellbinders is a papercrafts company that offers beautiful collections of dies & stamps sets, papers and inks.

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Dinosaurs Roam The Earth Again! Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular Comes to NJ’s Prudential Center July 23-27

Now we all know that dinosaurs are extinct, but it seems to me like Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular might make you do a double take!

WWD-featured-1The family is excited to go and see this live show next week courtesy of Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

My kidlets are fascinated by dinosaurs.  This show sounds like a perfect way to not only entertain them, but educate them about the role dinosaurs played in our world’s history.

Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular is based on the award-winning BBC Television series that aired on Discovery Channel here in the US. From the commercials I’ve seen on TV to the video below, the show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism.Continue reading ⇒

A Day At The Beach – Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Family Fun Place Pass Giveaway

JenksAmbassadorButton-250x250To me, there’s no better way to spend a summer day than at the beach. I love nothing more than having my toes in the sand, splashing around in the waves and sitting on the beach for some, what I call, “golden goddess” time – but covered in 40+ sun block and wearing a big floppy hat & sunglasses, of course!

I’ve been a faithful patron of the Jersey shore since I spent my first summer there when I was six. So if you do the math (and I beg you please not to!), I’ve been frolicking in the sand and surf there for some 36 years. In fact, the family did an overnight trip to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Pt. Pleasant Beach last week to celebrate my birthday.

Whether you’re a day-tripper or planning an extended stay, Jenkinson’s is a great family friendly beach and boardwalk destination. You will definitely find something here to excite each member of your family.

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One Brick At A Time – LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester Review

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Back in the early 80s, when I was about nine years old, I had a friend who was totally obsessed with LEGO®.  I loved to have play dates at her house because on the floor of her bedroom she had built an entire LEGO town.

It was completeTHM_LEGOLANDDISCOVERYCENTER_LegoTown2 with houses, police & fire stations, apartment buildings, a hospital, a gas station, an airport and the streets were even dotted with trees, flowers, bushes and light posts.

There were lots of LEGO men doing things throughout the town, pumping gas, flying planes and doing construction.  I don’t seem to remember there being too many LEGO women around, but my favorite ones were the ones who worked at the hospital.  They had crazy 60s-style beehive hairdos that curled up at the ends!

Flash forward to today and you can still find me playing and building with LEGO, but this time it’s with my kidlets.

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Splish-Splash! Visiting Schlitterbahn & Family Tips for Visiting Waterparks This Summer

Summertime is here and that means lots of fun times are ahead with family and friends! We just got back from our first big trip of the summer – Texas!  I know, who goes to scorching hot Texas in the middle of summer – but we do.  We visited with family and took a road trip from Houston to San Antonio.  Along the way we checked out the Alamo, walked through Natural Bridge Caverns, tubed down the Comal River and spent an awesome day at Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort.

THM_WaterParkTips_Schlitterbahn_4The family after a long and fun day at Schlitterbahn – outside the main entrance.

Located in New Braunfels, TX — which is just outside of San Antonio — Schlitterbahn is a family friendly waterpark.  In addition to New Braunfels, they have a few other locations scattered around Texas — in South Padre Island, Galveston, Corpus Christi — and one located out-of-state, “up north,” in Kansas City, KS.

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