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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VTech InnoTab Max Review – A Tablet for the Kids!

Disclosure: I was provided with a VTech® InnoTab® MAX in order to facilitate this review.
All opinions are my very own.

My kidlets totally take after me and The Hubs when it comes to trying out new tech products. You should see how excited they get when a new tech toy arrives for them to actually try out! One of their recent favs has been the Kidzoom® Smartwatch from Vtech (which I wrote about here), the two of them have fought over since we got it this summer.

THM-InnoTab-Max-Vtech-Review-TabletSo when the InnoTab MAX showed up on our doorstep earlier this month, they were psyched to finally have their very own tablet device instead of having to borrow mom and dad’s to play on.  It might just be the perfect gift for the tech/gadget loving kid on your holiday list!

The InnoTab MAX by VTech is a multi-media learning tablet for children aged 3-9 that combines educational games and creative activities.

I like that it’s built to grow along with my child.  It combines VTech’s expert-supported library of cartridges, software and apps with carefully selected educational Android apps for fun and educational learning.

This tablet features a large (7 inch) high-resolution touch screen that allows kids to either use their fingers or the included stylus to navigate around.  It has a useful handle for kids to tote the tablet around and comes with a detachable cover/stand which helps makes it durable to tough wear and tear by kids.

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What Marriage Is….

THM-WeddingOSBlog6-10-13Today The Hubs and I are celebrating a milestone. It’s our 10th wedding anniversary.

YAY for us!!

Before I got married I used to romanticized about it.

My marriage was going to be just like a fairy tale. Our love would be effortless and our lives would always be filled with romance, chirping birds and never any unhappy endings.

But here’s the reality….

Marriage is not a fairy tale. Marriage is hard word. Having a good marriage is even harder work.

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Kid Lit: Scaring Up Stories for Halloween

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-happy-halloween-image26517292Halloween is just around the spooky corner, are you ready?

Our house is decorated with pumpkins, scarecrows and skeletons.  This past weekend I picked up an industrial size bag of candy from our local warehouse club for all the trick-o-treaters that’ll be stopping by.

My kidlets are ready too, they’ve been planning their costumes since summer!

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Snacking On The Go with Jif To Go® Dippers & Giveaway #MC

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Influence Central for Jif To Go Dippers.
I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating. #MC #GetGoing

 

Is your family lTHM-Jif-To-Go-Dippers-Review-Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Stackike mine? It seems like we’re always on the go.

Weekdays are focused on work, school, meetings and getting the kidlets to and from all their extra-circular activities on time! Weekends are all about getting our errands done quickly so we can have some fun family time together, such as going pumpkin picking, seeing a movie or visiting the zoo.

Whenever we’re out and about I like to make sure that I have snacks on hand for the kidlets for when they get a case of the munchies. I like to give them something that will actually satisfy their hunger and not just give them a temporary sugar high.

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Keeping Kids Healthy – Tips To Prevent Getting & Spreading Cold, Flu and Enterovirus This Season

Did you know that the average school-age child contracts four or more colds per year, with each cold potentially lasting from 5 to 14 days?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sick-kid-resting-vector-illustration-boy-bed-image38728161In our household – if one person gets sick the chances are pretty likely that it will eventually make the rounds hitting all of us. It’s like a domino effect – one kidlet gets sick, gets better and then the other one gets it, gets better and it moves on to us parents. Once one of us gets sick it’s literally weeks before the “sickies” are out of our home. That means lots of missed school, activities, work and fun for the whole lot of us.

With the respiratory virus Enterovirus D68 wreaking havoc and the start of cold and flu season just around the corner it is important now more than ever to reinforce good hygiene and germ prevention to our kids.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the impact of Enterovirus D68 is having across the country. Babies and young children up to about 13 are at the greatest risk of contracting the illness, and it is especially dangerous for those who have a history of asthma.

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