Get Happy With a New Furry Friend – The Happy’s Review & Giveaway

As a mom, I love seeing my kidlets use their imagination to have fun.  I’m always on the lookout for engaging toys for them that are not only entertaining but also interactive.  So when The Happy’s showed up on our doorstep they instantly found a home here.

THM_TheHappys_3The Happy’s are the newest sensation from Cepia, the makers of ZhuZhu Pets.  They are an adorable line of interactive motorized plush pets. From doing tricks to racing after a ball, The Happy’s really play with you.  These toys feature the playful charm of real puppies and kittens, The Happy’s love to spin, sit, pounce and play.

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Welcome Back to Piggy Island! “Angry Birds Toons” Giveaway

My kidlets are big fans of anything Angry Birds, those crazy round wingless birds with furrowed brows who are flung all over by slingshots in order to rid the world of the Bad Piggies.  It all started with the smartphone game, but those Angry Birds have expanded into plush dolls, board games, merchandise and, of course, their own animated series.

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Kid Lit: Good Question!

On any given day my kidlets ask me hundreds of questions. “Who is picking me up from school today?” “What are we having for dinner?” “Where are my sneakers?” “Why do I have to brush my teeth every day?” “When will you stop telling me what to do?” These questions are pretty simple for me to answer.   I don’t even have to think twice about my reply because there is no doubt that I have the correct answer.http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-multicolor-question-marks-connecting-image13130710It’s when my kidlets ask me questions such as: “Why is the sky blue?” “Where does the wind come from?” “Where do plants come from?” and “What are clouds made of?” that I feel like I’m on the hot seat.  Not only do I want to be able to give them the correct answer, but I also want to answer them in an age-appropriate way for them to understand.

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Eggs-Tra Special Kid Craft – Onion Skin Dyed Easter Eggs

For most of my childhood coloring eggs, wearing fancy hats and chocolate bunnies were an integral part to my family’s annual celebration of Easter.  I’ve been carrying on the tradition with my own kidlets, but I’ve officially had it with those Easter egg coloring/dye kits.  They’re so messy and my eggs never turn out as vibrant, fancy or pretty as the ones  featured on the kit’s packaging.

So when I read in our church bulletin a few weeks back that a woman from our parish was going to host a workshop demonstrating how to dye eggs with onion skins, I was intrigued. I had never heard of this technique before, but from what I could find out it looks like its roots are in the Greek culture. As you seem, the results are beautiful and unique looking Easter eggs!

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There’s A Reason It’s Called “The Greatest Show On Earth” – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus LEGENDS Review

My daughter and I had a great time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus LEGENDS performance opening night at the IZOD Center in northern New Jersey.  There’s a reason it’s called “The Greatest Show On Earth” and that’s because year after year this circus does not disappoint!  The show is filled with thrills, chills and laughs and jam-packed with elephants, tigers, horses, amazing acrobatic troupes, daredevils and, of course, clowns.

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Kit Lit – Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

When my kidlets were really little there were two books that they begged me and The Hubs to read to them at bedtime each night.  One was Goodnight Moon and the other was Big Red Barn, which both happen to be written by Margaret Wise Brown.  Brown is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time.  Her use of rhymed verse coupled with beautiful illustrations of realistic characters and objects have lulled children, including my own, to sleep for generations.

Though Brown died in 1952, she has a new book of out now called Goodnight Songs from Sterling Children’s Books.  The book isa collection of previously unpublished lullabies that is gorgeously illustrated by 12 award-winning artists.

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How I Show My #DisneySide

Last April The Hubs and I took the kidlets for their very first trip to Walt Disney World! We were lucky that my BIL & SIL, who are Disney park veterans, were joining us and helped us navigate not only through booking our trip, but the park and the all-important Disney character meal reservations! My BIL even worked out a whole Fast Pass strategy so we NEVER had to wait on line for the popular rides and any of the parks so we would just walk up to Big Thunder Railroad, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Peter Pan’s Flight, Kali River Rapids and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, waltz right in and enjoy the ride!

THM_#DisneySide_1Me & the kidlets after our first day at Magic Kingdom, 10+ hours of fun had them wiped out.  Rest assured, they were ready early the next morning to go back!

It was a trip that created a lifetime of magical memories and the chance to experience Disney through the eyes of my kidlets was absolutely priceless. Continue reading ⇒

Run Away With The Big Apple Circus – “Luminocity” Show Review

When I was in 4th grade my elementary school held a talent show.  In addition to the students who actually possessed some sort of vocal, dancing or other performance talent, each class had to come up with their own “act.”  Since my class luckily had a few kids who could actually carry a tune, my teacher decided that we should sing a song, but what would we sing?  Around this time there was a relatively new musical on Broadway and its theme song “Join the Circus” was a catchy, upbeat and whimsical tune which was perfect for a bunch of nine and ten-year-olds to sing to an audience filled with parents, grandparents and siblings!

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For weeks we practiced the song and paired it with a little routine.  One boy in class was chosen to be the ringleader and he got to wear a glitzy red coat and black top hat.  The rest of us dressed up in old-school clown costumes with big shoes, funny ties and big red noses!  My mom was a whiz at sewing and she hand-made my clown costume.   It was baggy aqua blue number with a pink netting collar, edged with pink sequence and the look was completed with a tall cone hat that had a pink fuzzy ball on top (gee, I wish I still had a picture of it to show you)!

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Kid Lit: A Real Page Turner – What’s On Our Reading List This Month

Yesterday I got an email about the results of a new study, compiled by PBS Kids and youth and family research firm Smarty Pants, on parents with young children aged 2-6 which found that American families are struggling to prepare their children for kindergarten with five out of 10 parents worrying that their child won’t have the basic skills they need when they start elementary school.

I shared this info on The Harried Mom’s Facebook page and asked readers along with some of my IRL (“In Real Life”) mommy friends to share with me their top tip to get kids onto the path to school readiness.  The most common response I got was reading to/with children on a daily basis and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree! 3D Render of Kids Surrounded by Books

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Sofia The First: Songs From Enchancia – CD Giveaway

disclaimerHave you ever found yourself watching cartoons with your kids and suddenly find yourself singing or humming along to the songs on the show? In my house that happens to me all the time when we watch the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Right now one of my four-year-old daughter’s favorites is watching “Sofia the First” which follows the adventures of a little girl who becomes royalty literally overnight when her mom marries the king.  “Sofia” is the first Disney princess to have her tale told through the eyes of a little girl.  I like that in each episode she is learning empowering lessons about kindness, forgiveness, generosity and self-respect which are conveyed through both music and song.

THM_Sofia-thefirstCD_GiveawayNow my daughter and I are  able to sing along to our favorite Sofia songs with “Sofia The First: Songs from Enchancia.” This new CD soundtrack from Walt Disney Records features 15 tracks including “Good Little Witch” and “The Ride of Your Life” (which also features Princess Jasmine from “Aladdin”) plus four karaoke instrumentals so princesses of all ages (including me!) can sing their favorite Sofia song in their own vocal style.Continue reading ⇒