Lovable Labels The Ultimate Camp Pack #Giveaway

THM-Lovable-Labels-Ultimate-Camp-Pack-Kids-CanoeMy son’s been going to summer day camp for the past few years and it’s something he looks forward to. I mean, who can blame him, he’s not in school and his days are filled with carefree fun!

Every night during the months of July and August he comes home and excitedly tells us all about his adventures in swimming, sports, cookouts, woodworking, ceramics, photography and go carts. His little sister is always a captive audience. She listens intently, with wide eyes and then sadly laments, “I wish I was old enough for camp!”

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How To Get Kids To Talk

Does this conversation I recently had with my son sound familiar to you?

Me: Hi honey!  How was your day today?
Son: Fine.

Me: What happened at school today?
Son: Nothing.

Me: Did you know that  there’s a new Skylanders Trap Team character coming out?
Son: Yeah, his name is Love Potion Pop Fizz and he’s this wild and crazy mad scientist! He loves making potions and he got caught up in a raspberry soda blast that turned him pink and made him smell all pretty.

How come my son can describe to me in great detail a Skylanders character that hadn’t even come out yet, but when I ask him about his day/school he suddenly becomes an introvert?

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Fantastical Fun @BigAppleCircus ‘Metamorphosis’ Coming to NJ Feb 26 – {Ticket #Giveaway}

Did you ever want to join the circus when you were a kid? Many times when I ask my kidlets to finish their homework, do their chores, or eat something yucky (like broccoli!), they tell me they want to run away to the circus because it’s always fun and carefree.

THM-Big-Apple-Circus-Metamorphis-RingmasterWait until I tell them that next month, their dreams can come to when we go see the Big Apple Circus and their all-show Metamorphosis, filled with astonishing acts and startling transformations that transport circus-goers to a realm of enchantment under the Big Top!

The Big Apple Circus brings its intimate, classical one-ring circus to TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ from Thursday, February 26 through Sunday, March 15.

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What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

Happy New Year!  Wow, what a nice break. I was lucky to have the past two weeks off from both work and blogging — which is the longest amount of consecutive time off I’ve had since I was on maternity leave with my daughter!

THM-How-I-Spent-Christmas-Vacation-NewYear-2015So yesterday was my first day back at work and the kidlets first day back at school, so I figured I’d share what we did during our break. Isn’t that what kids typically get as an  assignment when they return after the holiday break?

Anyway, we had a lovely holiday – filled with lots of family, food, fun and presents.

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How To Host A Successful Playdate #DisneyKids

I received free products in order to host the #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate.
The opinions expressed here are my own.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-playdate-blocks-image23559451As the mom of two kidlets under the age of 8, playdates are a big part of my life.

Playdates are great opportunities for children to interact with other children in small settings. Aside from being fun, playdates help a child the chance to develop their social skills, build their self-esteem and broaden their views on how people are different and alike.

I also find that playdates are a great opportunity for parents, especially working moms like myself who aren’t as visible at local activities or school events, to build relationships with other parents of similar aged children. It’s always helpful and reassuring to have friends who can share and commiserate in both the challenges and joys of raising children.

There are no hard and fast rules to hosting a playdate. All you have to do is remember that a kid playdate is not a star-studded gala. You don’t have to go all out to impress, all that work and detail would just be lost on the kiddie crowd anyway.  All you really have to do is make sure your playdate is packed with lots of fun!

Here are my tips and trips to hosting a successful playdate:

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Special Guest for The Chirping Moms 12 Days of Toys: Day 11 CHARM IT! Charm Bracelet & Disney Frozen Olaf’s In Trouble Game {GIVEAWAY}

In the spirit of the holiday season – which to me means sharing and giving – today The Harried Mom is teaming up with The Chirping Mom’s 12 Days of Toys Giveaway! Along with my “Show and Tell with Deb & Lisa” cohort Lisa Pisano, from Mom a la Mode, we’re thrilled to be Day 11 of this giveaway extravaganza. I want to thank to those new folks who found their way over here today and to my regular readers, there’s some holiday cheer in store for you all!

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Grab Bag List of Gift Ideas

Did you know that the National Retail Federation estimates that the average holiday shopper will spend $800 on holiday gifts and goodies this year.  I hope you have enough wrapping paper and tape on hand for all those gifts!!

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-many-christmas-presents-image27647684If you’re like me, you’re in the midst of holiday shopping getting presents for family, friends and co-workers.  I always seem to be on the hunt for that “perfect” gift to give someone.  I like to take the person and their interests into consideration and try to find something unique to them.

With that in mind, here is my sort of grab bag list of some last-minute gift ideas – from holiday-inspired and budget finds to stocking stuffers.  Want to know the best part? You don’t have to trudge to the store or mall and wait on a line to get any of these items. They are all available online and delivered right to your or your gift recipient’s door (and in some cases, already wrapped)

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Kid Lit: Season’s Readings!

Are you ready to start celebrating the ho-ho-holidays?  This month’s Kid Lit post features books about December festivities including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for children aged 3-10.

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas
By Philip Yates, illustrated by Sebastia Serra (Sterling)

Young mateys will find plenty of holiday joy in this humorous, colorful and thoroughly piratical version of the “The Night Before Christmas.” On this ship, the mischievous brigands have visions of treasure chests, not sugar plums dancing in their heads.

This ship of pirates don’t expect a visit from old St. Nick, but rather from Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm!  Sir Peggedy cracks a whip and drives a team of eight giant seahorses — Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger and Jolly!

This book by far is my kidlets favorite out of the bunch.  It is filled with rollicking rhymes and sprightly, fun-filled pictures—featuring whimsically multicolored seahorses, stockings hung on the ship’s bowsprit with tar, child-friendly pirates, and, of course, comes complete with a treasure map!Continue reading ⇒

Holiday Gift Picks for Kids – Introducing “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” Video Series

I’m so excited to share today’s post with you!

Over the past year I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to check out great toys, books, electronics, gifts, clothes, events and activities at various blogging events which I’ve shared with you here at The Harried Mom. At these events I would always run into my friend Lisa Pisano from Mom A La Mode.

I love hanging out with Lisa. Why?  Because we’re two like-minded blogging moms who love to talk about products and our experiences. We figured if we liked talking about these things together, you might too and we’ve created a new series that we hope you’ll find both informative and entertaining.

So I’m proud to introduce you to “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” our new monthly vlog series that gives you the scoop on the latest in toys, trends and fun from two bloggers with an all access-pass to what’s hot and happening!

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For our inaugural episode we’re getting into the holiday spirit with a holiday gift guide for kids. Our picks are focused on items for both boys and girls and ranging in age from pre-K thru elementary school.

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – #NorthpoleFun {#shop}

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #NorthpoleFun

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through my house, both my kidlets were stirring wondering “when the heck will Santa be here?!”

I think the kidlets were ready for the holiday season to start the moment they took off their costumes and ate their last piece of candy! I’ll admit, I couldn’t wait for it either! Christmastime my favorite time of year and I am totally into the celebration!

I mail out my holiday cards early enough that it’s the first card most of my friends get for the season. I put up our tree and decorations the day after Thanksgiving and keep them out all the way thru New Year’s.  I buy crazy amounts of holiday wrapping paper and spend hours debating what bows, ribbons and tags I’ll use for each gift.   I even take the kidlets on weekly trips around our neighborhood to check out all the pretty lights and Christmas displays.

THM-Northpole-Hallmark-Communicator-Book-SnowflakeSo of course I wanted to get a jump-start on this holiday season, so I picked up some Northpole items for the kidlets. Northpole is a new line of keepsake toys, gifts and party items from Hallmark that are inspired by Santa’s magical home and are available now at Walmart.Continue reading ⇒