Planning the Perfect Disney-Themed Party – Review of The Ultimate Disney Party Book

Everyone loves a pTHM-Ultimate-Disney-Party-Book-Birthday-Party-Timearty and there’s nothing more exciting for a kid than the one celebrating their own birthday!

For them, it’s all about the cake, the friends, the games and, of course, the presents!
For the parents though, planning a successful party can be a challenge. Keeping things fun, delicious, active and easy without breaking the bank – can be tricky, and even more so if you want to throw a themed birthday party.

It’s not hard to go both overboard and over-budget on your quest to buy the right decorations, eat the best food, have entertainment and fun favors.

However, with a little creativity and do-it-yourself spirit, it is possible to plan a spectacular kids’ themed birthday celebration without spending big bucks.

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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. 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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The Harried Mom’s “Perfect” #SundaySauce

One of the moms from my book club recently had twins.  Between recovering from giving birth, taking care of two newborns, tending to her older daughter and oh yeah, don’t forget her husband and the house, I know it’s been an exhausting and overwhelming few weeks…and it’s just starting!

To help our mommy pal out our book club organized a meal train.  I had never heard of a meal train before, but I love its purpose.

A meal train is organized meal giving.  For example if someone is ill, elderly or has a new baby (or two!), caring friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or pretty much anyone who wants to show their excitement or compassion prepares and brings a meal to the family in need on an assigned day.   These are “drop off” ready meals – ones that the family can either pop in the oven to reheat or just stick in a fork in and start eating.

Taking into consideration my friend’s family dietary restrictions/preferences, I settled on making a spinach lasagna since I know it can freeze well if they decide they don’t want to eat it that day.  It’s also easy to prepare so I could double up on ingredients and stash a lasagna in my own freezer for a tasty homemade meal to reheat in less than an hour on a crazy weeknight.


I think the secret to making a great pasta meal — whether its spaghetti, lasagna or ravioli — is that is has to have a great sauce.  Being Italian I’ll admit that I’m pretty good at making #SundaySauce.  It’s so good that it’s been known to be called “perfect” by my close friends and family.

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In the Cross Hairs – SoCozy Children’s Haircare Product Review

Thank you to SoCozy for sending us these children’s haircare products for review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, based on personal experiences with the product. #SoCozyBTS

It’s no secret that I can’t do hair. I’ve had the same bob-style haircut for over a decade because it is simple to do and I can’t mess it up. When it comes to my daughter’s “do” – it really is a hair-raising experience.

It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of pTHM-SoCozy-Daughters-Hairractice, but I have gotten better with my daughter’s hair. At least I can tame her locks enough that she doesn’t look like she’s got a rat’s nest on top of her head!

I’m also working on stepping up my very limited styling game, especially now that school has started again. All the rage in my daughter’s preschool class is to have braids like Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and she constantly begs me to do her hair that way. I always try my best, but my braids usually turn out lopsided with lots of wisps of hair that just don’t seem to make it into the braid while I’m plaiting.

But I’m not giving up!

I’ve quickly learned that a key element to styling my daughter’s hair – and for that matter my son’s – is that it all starts in the bath, with their haircare products.

We just started using SoCozy products and I have to say, I’m impressed. SoCozy is a salon level quality of hair care products that don’t contain any “nasties,”– you know harmful chemicals, toxins and parabens. Their products are made using extracts and natural ingredients such as hops, rosemary, arnica flower and aloe. They’re also gluten, wheat and nut free – which is super important to many families with sensitive skin or food allergies.Continue reading ⇒

Shopping In My PJs – A Walmart/P&G Giftcard Giveaway

The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G. All opinions though are my very own.

Ah summer. It’s definitely my favorite season of the year. I love to be outdoors, enjoying the warm weather and spending as much time with my family as possible. So why would I want to interrupt my fun in the sun to run errands at the grocery store to pick up household staples when I can have them conveniently delivered right to my doorstep?

Walmart.comWith a just a few quick clicks of my mouse on or taps on my phone with the Walmart Smartphone app, I can get great deals on all my household essentials and have them shipped to me for free, when I spend $50 or more.

You may not know it, but I’m a total neat and clean freak when it comes to my home.  “A place for everything and everything in its place” is my motto.  I hate dishes left in the sink at night, laundry in the hamper and the worst is dirty floors.

So when I logged onto I was looking to stock up on cleaning supplies.  I found loads of Proctor & Gamble (P&G) products at great, low prices.  Suddenly, I was transported to my happy neat & clean place.

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The Jury Is Out…. day, thousands of Americans just like you and me are summoned to take part in our nation’s judicial process by serving as jurors. The 6th Amendment of the Constitution provides that all US citizens have the right to a trial and to be judged by a jury of our peers.

There’s no doubt that jury duty is an important civic responsibility and is one of the highest duties a citizen can perform in a democracy next to serving in our military or voting.

Okay, now that we’re done with the civics lesson, is it just me or does it seem that you always get called for jury duty when it’s majorly inconvenient?   No doubt if there is a major life, family or work event coming up a jury summons magically appears in my mailbox.

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Don’t Forget Mom – How I Want To Celebrate Mother’s Day

Mom’s big day is coming up this weekend or at least that’s what advertisers have been telling me in TV commercials, print & pop-up advertisements and marketing emails for the past two weeks. ENOUGH ALREADY!â-s-day-image29429023

I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed by the barrage of “what to get mom?” ads or why we only get one lousy, stinking day out of the year to honor all the millions of things we do for our families. I’m thinking moms should be celebrated every day, but hey, I’d even settle for the second Sunday of every month!  My thinking here is that if there was more than one day out of the entire year to “celebrate” mom, husbands and kids could avoid all the pressure and stress of finding the perfect gift for the woman who takes care of them all year round!

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Knot Interested…

The Hubs and I recently took our son out to buy some new sneakers and he protested the entire way. It’s not that he didn’t want new kicks, but rather he was unhappy with the type we told him he was going to get. For the first time in his six years of shoe-wearing, he would have laces instead of Velcro.

THM_KnotInterestedWhy was he protesting?  See, my kid is a whiz at figuring out video games and building intricate structures out of tiny LEGO pieces.  He can also operate complex technology like our home computer, my iPhone and iPad better than his dad or I, but for some reason he thinks that tying his own shoes is a skill that is way too complicated and impossible for him to master.

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Keep Calm And Get Blogging!

Happy New Year!  It was great to unplug the past two weeks to enjoy the holiday with friends and family.  As much as I love being connected, it was relaxing not to be a slave to social media or a post schedule.  It was a time for me to re-charge and get ready for a brand new year of blogging excitement!

But getting started again is hard!

I sat down at the computer in my home office no less than a dozen this past weekend with the intention of getting my editorial calendar in order and even getting a jump-start on some blog posts for this week.  Somehow though, staring at an empty year calendar and even worse, a blank Word document, was daunting.  The post ideas and words just wouldn’t (or couldn’t?) come to me.  Had I taken too long of a writing/blogging/social media break?

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Earning Good Behavior – Awesome Deck of Awesome Cards

A few months back I blogged about our House Rules and what we do in our home to encourage our kids to behave, be polite and considerate of others.  At the end of each day, depending upon how well they followed said House Rules, our kidlets earned what we called “R Bucks” which they could save up and redeem in our makeshift redemption center. It was a good idea, until it wasn’t…..

While the “R Bucks” technically held the kidlets accountable for their behavior, The Hubs and I quickly realized they weren’t actually behaving because of the rules, but because of the prizes they’d get in return.  It completely defeated the original purpose of the rules.  It was clear that The Hubs and I needed to regroup and think of something else!


And just like Kismet, the Awesome Deck of Awesome reached out to see if I wanted Continue reading ⇒