Category - School Kids

Disney’s Lady and the Tramp DVD Blu-Ray

Lady and the Tramp

Happy Valentine’s Day!! A day for love, romance, and having fun with those closest to you. I tried to think of, “the greatest love story of all” to share with you. I thought of writing about my own love story with DaddyB but figured it may be too epic, then I thought of sharing my love with my children and while I love them immensely it’s not quite the same love I was thinking of writing about. Then, it hit me, why not write about a couple with love that bridged the divide, a classic love; Lady and the Tramp. 

I know that’s probably not what you were thinking, but for me, this Disney movie is timeless. I’ll admit it’s been quite a few years around a decade at least  since I’ve seen the movie. I remembered the general plot, but for some reason couldn’t remember the “villian.” Until I saw the box open up with the Siamese cats and then remembered the red-eyed rat that may scare some children.

Miss A is now almost 5, but she’s always been very sensitive to violence and “scary things” and was a little frightened by the movie, but I can see her enjoying it when she is older. I know many of her friends who are the same age also enjoy this, and other, more intense Disney movies. I think it really just depends on your own child.

Overall, I love this movie because I think it’s a sweet love story that shows it’s good to open up to new experiences and people. And the movie can teach about love, but it’s an innocent love that can translate to friendship as well. It’s the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day and already out on the store shelves. If you’re looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or just something fun to do with the kids, make a big bowl of pasta for dinner, grab your copy of Lady and the Tramp and enjoy watching with a bowl of popcorn for family movie night. There’s something for everyone. Be sure to visit my post with great printables, recipes, and activities here: http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/friday-fun-with-lady-and-the-tramp/

Also check out one of my favorite movie review sites for ratings and how appropriate it is for your family: Common Sense Media’s Lady and the Tramp Review.

Are you watching any movies with your family for Valentine’s Day? Which one??

I received a review copy of this DVD, and have not been paid for my opinions. The opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary.

Friday Fun with Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Unbeknownst to most of you I was ill with the flu on Sunday. Full-on-flu. I was in bed right after church at 1:30pm and stayed in bed till 6:30am the next morning, mostly because my body wouldn’t let me move. I was achy all over, joints, head, back. Flip-Flopped all day and night long between being super cold and having chills and needing the fan on. No fun at all.

Lady and the Tramp

Needless to say I’m still recovering, each day I’m feeling better and was so blessed to have hubby home on Sunday so that I could stay in bed and not have to take care of the girls in my poor condition. I figured today would be a nice opportunity to post something fun, that the family could enjoy, yours and mine.

And if any of you aren’t feeling well, need a break, or even want to color and have fun with your kiddos here are some great activity pages from the movie Lady and the Tramp. This great, classic movie hit store shelves this Tuesday on DVD/Blu-Ray! I love that all the great movies are starting to do this because I enjoy watching films that hold special meaning and memories to me and the fact that I can now share that with my girls is priceless.

So here you go, feel free to print, and if you want to take a picture and add it on my Facebook page that would be incredible and totally make my day. It may just make my sickies go away all-together!!

Here’s a little preview of one of the coloring sheets (there are several, but this one is super cute!!) Click on the links to the right for the PDF versions and print out for hours of fun!

Lady and the Tramp Color

 

LADY AND THE TRAMP – COLORING SHEET

LADY AND THE TRAMP – CONNECT THE DOTS

LADY AND THE TRAMP – SPAGHETTI & MEATBALL RECIPE

Do you have memories from Lady and the Tramp or other classic Disney movies? Please share them here, in the comment section, I would love to hear them!

 

 

How do you Celebrate Black History Month?

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. For those you who you don’t know, here’s a little background info:

In 1926 historian, Carter G. Woodson and some other influentials created, “Negro History Week”, however the beginnings of what is now, “Black History Month,” began years before. His goal was to educate people about African-American history, their cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. In 1976, February was proclaimed “Black History Month” and continues to be observed each calendar year.

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

As you know DaddyB and I have two beautiful girls, who are almost 2 and 5. He is African American and a smidge Native American and I am Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon) and that makes our girls AMAZING!! Oh yeah, and they’re multi-racial. We are very blessed to be living in the world today, as opposed to several years ago, and while we’ve seen our share of racism displayed in many ways, we are thankful to those who paved the path for where we now stand.

Miss A RACE exhibitThis time of year last year I got to visit an amazing exhibit called, “RACE: Are We So Different,” and it was amazing, I learned so much and really enjoyed it, definitely wish I could have bottled all of that information to show the girls as they grow since some of the material was way over their heads. Miss A did get to play with some puppets from different races and check out some other aspects and Baby C was thrilled to sit in her stroller and people watch.

We may be naïve, but we see each person as they are and love our family just how we are too. Because I do not know as much as I would like about Black Culture both in the states and around the world, I have spend some hours online educating myself and trying to figure out how to best celebrate this month, Black History Month with my family. Since my girls are still quite young we want to make sure we engage in activities and practices that are age appropriate and family appropriate.

I have always said, and will always say that as a parent or caregiver, you have to do what you think is best for your own family, so while we may not choose to celebrate how another family celebrates that’s what makes us unique and our very own family of four. We don’t want race to be the only determining factor in their life, however we do want them to embrace and celebrate their background. I know many African-American people who do not celebrate and also some who are very diligent about it, would love help figuring out the best fits for our family to introduce our daughters to this side of their heritage.

We want our girls to have a balanced life and most of all to love and honor God, each other and others.

If you have any tips, blog posts or ideas on how you and your family celebrate, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance for the support.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: User dbking

The Next Big Leap in my Life – She turns 5

MIss A turning 5

MIss A turning 5

 This little er, big girl is breaking my heart. This year Miss A turns….5. Ack, I get agida when I event think about that number. For me, being a stay-at-home mom and extremely hands-on with my girls from birth, “5 years-old” means she’s growing up. The older she gets the less she needs mommy, she’ll be in Kindergarten in the Fall and inevitably I’ll see her less during the week, and that means that some day, she’ll be grown, hopefully go to college and have her own family.

Now before I get too far ahead of myself, because I often tend to do that, {I’m a worrywart you see} I know this is the normal progression of parenthood, however it seems like a big leap to me. Before she turns five, and goes off to Kindergarten I want to enjoy the rest of this school year and summer celebrating four!

We have decided make a checklist of 4 big/new things to do before she goes to Kindergarten.

  1. Get her hair straightened {temporarily} for her birthday party.
  2. Take a family trip to SeaWorld, she loves exploring new things.
  3. Sign her up for a semi-competitive sport.
  4. Invite one of her friends over for a sleepover.
I think these “goals” will not only help us transition from preschooler to big girl, but make the rest of our time before Kindergarten starts even that more memorable.

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What’s your next, “Big Leap” in life? What do you want to accomplish before that leap?

Compensation was provided by Honda via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Honda.

Welcome Back to the Wiggles – How to Help Your Child Deal with Character Changes

The Wiggles Welcome Back Greg

The Wiggles Welcome Back GregRecently Greg Page, one of the founding members of The Wiggles children’s music group,  announced he’d be returning to his original spot. If you’re in the, “new class” of parenting and only know The Wiggles as; Anthony, Jeff, Murray, and Sam, then perhaps you didn’t know that Greg Page took leave from The Wiggles in 2006 due to an unexpected illness.

Leaving the “yellow shirt” slot open, Sam Moran stepped in. Sam had been a part of The Wiggles show since 1998 and was a great addition when he stepped up to take the lead singer position for The Wiggles. Now that Greg is rejoining The Wiggles, Sam will be taking time to continue working on his own personal music ventures, (he released The Colour of Love in 2010) and also to spend time with his family.

Thankfully, there was a great person who was able to step in for a time and also step back from this position. Sam has been praised for continuing the success of The Wiggles during Greg’s leave. Yet when the day comes for Greg to rejoin the group and appear in his yellow shirt this year, there may be some confused or upset children.

With any television show there is a chance that characters will need to be replaced. I featured this story on The Fresh Beat Band replacing their, “Marina” character: What Happened to the Fresh Beat’s Marina? And with all of the traffic and comments it has had you can tell the change certainly struck a nerve in viewing homes. Recently other children’s television shows that have replaced characters or voices have been Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, and one who did it well, Blues Clues.

Not all shows give such great transition to a new character as Blues Clues with their switch from Steve to Joe, so as parents we need to learn the best ways to deal with these changes, because like it or not, they will happen. You may adapt these tips for your own child depending on their age and maturity.

  1. Watch TV with your child – this gives your child an opportunity to discuss with you and you and opportunity to ask them questions, gauge their comfort with the changes and opens lines of communication.
  2. Do your homework – if your child has a favorite show, why not set it up for a Google Alert or receive newsletters from that show so you can be abreast of changes before they even appear on the tube.
  3. Explain TV vs Reality – of course this depends on the show and your child’s age, but in an age appropriate manner discuss what they think differences between television and real-life are and have fun with it.
  4. Keep a positive attitude – so many of us parents are upset when characters change even when often, our children move on easily. When we aren’t disturbed by things, occasionally it will help our kids deal as well.
  5. Choose different programming – if your child is very upset and no amount of discussion will ease their minds choose to watch something else on TV, but keep in mind characters in some shows may change. You can always opt to watch recorded versions of that show as well to keep with the consistency however boredom is a factor there.
  6. Turn off the TV – when all else fails, or if TV seems to be more of an issue in your household, perhaps it’s time for a break from shows and the television in general. Get your kids interested in puzzles, coloring books, imaginative play, and if it’s nice weather head outside for some fresh air.

Do you have any tips to add?

Have any children’s television character switches effected your home?

A Taste of Kidfresh Quick and Healthy Meals

Kidfresh Mac + Cheese

Have you resolved to eat better this year? That’s awesome!! What about the kiddos? I know each household is different, some families adhere to the “the kids eat what we eat,” motto, and others there are parents making one dish per person. Whether or not you agree with any form of feeding the kiddos, I hope we can all agree we want to try to give our kids the healthiest food possible. Sometimes it’s not possible to eat healthy. Here are a few reasons we as parents opt for the unhealthy:

[badlist]

  • it’s quicker to grab fast food or pop something into the microwave
  • it’s cheaper
  • we don’t want to make a whole separate meal if we’re not having the same thing they are

[/badlist]

Now the list goes on, as we all know reasons pile up, but Kidfresh, a foodline designed for kids ages 2 to 8 years has developed meals that are affordable, microwaveable, and 100% natural. At about $3.49, Kidfresh meals tout that they are made with all-natural ingredients, trans-fat/corn syrup/ filler/ artificial coloring/ free. But do they taste good??

Kidfresh Mac + CheeseMiss A doesn’t like pasta {I know!! What kid doesn’t like pasta?!?!},  so we didn’t even try them with her because we knew what the verdict would be. Baby C, on the other hand, eats almost everything we put in front of her, especially carbs. The first try I gave Baby C Kidfresh’s Spaghetti Loops Bolognese, unfortunately she didn’t care for these so I ended up discarding most of the meal, but as we all know just because a kid doesn’t eat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. The next time I tried their Wagon Wheels Mac + Cheese {these are the only two options my grocer carries,}. As soon as I took these noodles out of the microwave I could smell the real cheese {you know how it smells different than the processed stuff,} and it was delightful, and even though I wanted to munch on it I restrained myself. Baby C gobbled it up until she was full and I saved the leftovers for the next day. She wasn’t loving the leftovers, however when I gave her the Mac + Cheese again a couple of weeks later she ate almost the entire dish, I attribute her finickiness to being a toddler.

My favorite thing about Kidfresh aside from how awesomely healthy the meals are is that they are good portions, the Mac + Cheese didn’t come drenched in cheese, it was just the right amount, encouraging my kids to eat but not stuff themselves.

Personally I’d love to try the 4 other flavors that Kidfresh makes, so I hope that EarthFare Huntersville stocks them up {hint, hint}. However I love that I have a quick, healthy option for Baby C when I need something fast and I don’t have to go with the alternative, or at least it gives me another meal for the food queue.

Hidden VeggiesP.S. They sneak in extra veggies too!! Shhhh, don’t tell the kids!

You can find Kidfresh meals by heading to their website here: http://www.kidfresh.com. Enter your zip code where it says “Find a store” and voila! If there’s not a store near you that carries it, speak with your grocer, they may look into it.

Check Kidfresh out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Kidfreshfoods and Twitter: http://twitter.com/KidfreshFoods for more info and for a $1 off coupon good through July 31, 2012 be one of the first 10 people to leave a comment here on which would be your favorite flavor meal, and I’ll email you for your address.

We received meals from Kidfresh in order to complete our honest review. All of the opinions above are my own honest opinions, however yours may vary.

Fun Stocking Stuffers – Christmas Coupons

Christmas

ChristmasDaddyB and I don’t normally buy a lot for each other when Christmas comes around. In fact, we will usually pick one item both of us could use and buy a joint gift for each other. We were considering a car-top carrier because of all of our trips, in the past we’ve bought theme park season passes, and this year we decided on a Keurig brand coffee maker.

I do like to get him presents from the girls though, it not only is exciting for our girls to shop for daddy, but again teaches them that we are supposed to give to others on Christmas. They love their daddy so much that asking them to help was a guaranteed, “YES!!”

I have bought a few things here and there, trying to be creative. I wanted to add one more stocking stuffer for him {hoping that he doesn’t read this, or if he does that he pretends that he didn’t.} When I was a child I remember making coupon books as gifts for my mom. I loved doing this and I think my mom liked it too, I’m sure some of you have also done this and it’s super simple. Lucky for me since my, “proverbial plate” is full.

Miss A and I sat down and brainstormed what would be fun to coupon to daddy. We mostly thought of “things that you can’t hold in your hands,” – this was the easiest way I could describe intangible gifts to her. Then, I used Picnik.com {my favorite photo editing program} and “jazzed” up the girls Christmas pictures, and switched over to paint.net {a free “paint” program.} I added some text in a fun font and put our unique gift ideas on the tags, and here’s what we came up with:

coup5

coup8

With a few easy, free programs, some cute photos, and a little bit of time on the computer you can make these for your favorite recipient this Christmas. They can “cash-in” the coupons whenever they want, or keep for sentimental reasons. Enjoy!!!

Have you made coupon books before? What is your favorite coupon for?

Bonding with Board Games

Board Game

Board Game

I grew up in a household where we regularly played board games, if I listed them all we would be here forever, but my favorites were classic games, I even was in a chess class through the YMCA.  When I left home to go to college, nanny, meet my future husband and get married, I took “game night” with me and we would regularly host fun games on nights with our friends and spend countless hours enjoying each other’s company, competing, and catching up on what was going on in our daily lives.

Now that I have my own little play mates, {let’s face it, one of the primary reasons I had kids was to have someone to play with all day long,} I get to play board games with them too. Miss A LOVES playing board games. Most of the time we play when Baby C is napping because of smaller pieces, so it gives us some good, quality, bonding time. We could play for hours, we get silly, have fun, and she’s really a good sport when I’m constantly losing {and when I’m winning too}. 

I am a huge believer of starting children young at anything you hope they will continue in the future. I have been “doing” their hair from a young age because with all the curls of their biracial hair I knew that I would have to continue this practice. DaddyB and I are instilling in them the importance of giving to others, whether it is physical items, money, or time and hard work we want them to grow up having a servant heart. Valuing family time and quality time with the people who you love is also another trait that we want to encourage. Through game nights, sitting down with the whole family with no distractions, we feel that we are teaching them how important it is to grow as a family and spend time together. God has given us these little girls as our responsibility to train up and teaching them key values in life in a big part of that. 

Do you feel the same way? 

If board games are a part of your family bonding experience here’s your chance to win some goodies. Did you know that the LEGO® company makes games? If not, you do now! LEGO® is going to give away 5 prize packs featuring: 3 LEGO Games, a $30 iTunes gift card and a copy of Gourmet Game Night for responding to this post. So make sure you leave a comment for your chance to win.

 

How are board games a bonding experience for your family? Reply for a chance to win one of five ultimate LEGO® Games prize packs!!

 

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LEGOSystems. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the LEGO Brand.  Official Contest Rules

Little Miss Matched – Fun Clothes for Girls

Little Miss Matched

Little Miss MatchedIn case you’re still looking for stocking stuffers, or really cute presents any time of year, and have a little girl, I highly recommend Little Miss Matched. I recently stumbled upon Little Miss Matched, although I have friends who have known about them for a while.

As I was looking through their website I found some really cute items and thought they would be great for Miss A. They have fun, quirky styles for girls of all ages. Through my searching I also found out that their sock line, which is probably their most popular item, carries socks for babies age 6 months and up, toddlers, girls, women, and even men! Now DaddyB is pretty conservative with his socks so I’m not sure that he’d wear them, but I know my younger sister who is 14 would LOVE some of their styles. I think their city-scape socks are pretty cool.

Whether you’re looking for fun accessories, sock bundles, or even cute clothes I suggest you check out Little Miss Matched, Miss A LOVES her socks, I think mostly because she can express herself even though she is required to wear a uniform to Preschool, and I love it because I don’t have to worry about matching socks when I’m folding laundry!

Little Miss Matched

How much fun right?!?! If you want to check them out head over to Little Miss Matched’s website: http://www.littlemissmatched.com/ and check out their last minute gift ideas and great shipping choices!!

I was able to try out some Little Miss Matched products in order to give my honest thoughts on their products. I was in no way swayed by the company and all the above words and opinions are my own. Your opinions may vary. 

The Elf on the Shelf – Creepy Spy or Santa’s Helper?

Elf on the Shelf Twine

Every year at Christmas Santa sends his elves to watch you,
and they go back and tell him who’s been bad and who’s been good.
The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, what you say, what you do.
The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, each and every Christmas.

Elf On the Shelf

Image courtesy of angryjuliemonday via Creative Commons

This little guy (or sometimes girl) is the culprit of much controversy this year. The Elf on the Shelf, in case you haven’t heard of him, is a elf themed doll that one can purchase in stores. It comes with a book and basically the story is that the elf is magical, he comes to your home each Christmas, watches how your children behave and reports to Santa his findings. If your child touches him the magic is lost and he won’t be able to go to the North Pole.

Since The Elf on the Shelf was created in 2005 parents have been buying them up like crazy and doing all sorts of things with their elves. Some parents set up elaborate staging, like this little guy named Albert, from Stacy of She’s {kinda} Crafty:

Elf on the Shelf Twine

While some parents forget or don’t bother to move their elves some parents go all out. They name their elf and take their job at moving these guys around very serious. And although these little North Poleians seem cute and harmless are they really?

Some parents like myself express concern when it comes to the newest holiday rage sweeping the country. Many are concerned about the creepiness of the whole story. Some don’t want to bother with, “yet another lie” we have to tell our children. Others don’t want to take the time since Christmas is already a busy enough holiday. And then there are those of us who would rather focus on the “reason for the season” sorry to be a little cliché. If your Christmas is Santa Light* like we consider ours then adding The Elf on the Shelf just wouldn’t make sense anyway.

When Miss A was about 3 years old I had heard about The Elf on the Shelf from one of my girlfriends and thought it was a cute idea at the time when we were still figuring out how we wanted to create our own traditions. I remember checking out the book at Barnes and Noble and thinking it was way too long of a story for Miss A to be interested so I opted out.

Personally I am not a fan of The Elf on the Shelf for many of the above reasons, mainly because it does not fit into our Advent/Faith focused Christmas. I like to explore all sides of the Elf on the Shelf thought bank and here is what some of my friends and readers have to say about this phenomenon. Would love to hear how you relate as well.

“I have mixed feelings about the Elf (our girls have named him Sparky). We don’t really resort to it to instill good behavior with the kids, because I believe they should be behaving just because that’s what they’re supposed to do, not for a reward (gifts from Santa, etc.). With us it’s more of a game of just seeing where he appears each morning, in what silly position, etc. We never used the “Sparky’s watching!” or anything…The girls simply have more fun imagining that he has moved slightly from one minute to the next.” – Leslie P. from Cheektowaga, NY

Those things are creepy and I don’t need an elf to spy for me. I do just fine on my own. And what happens the rest of the year when the elf goes home? – Kadi P.

Bumblebee

Lanai N.'s Elf "Bumblebee" taking a bubble bath

I love the Elf on the Shelf because I get to see the excited on my kids face every morning when they go looking for him. – Lanai N. – Denver, NC.

When we cleaned out the garage, I found a big Christmas gift bag full of spider webs. In it was an Elf on a Shelf that I had gotten years ago from a friend. That thing scared me. I thought it was a piece of junk and never used it. It’s now donated. – Connie R.

I feel like I am the only one not doing it – they are all over pinterest and instagram. Philosophically, I’m not crazy about it. On many levels. No judgements for those who do it! Just not for me. – Kristen H.

They are vintage & kinda creepy looking, but the story behind the creation is a great one. The mother & daughter creators are great people & friends of one of our artists so that made me curious. My 9, 12 & 14 yo are much too old to believe, but my 9 yo is sure having fun surprising us with her elf’s antics every morning. We’ll be interviewing the creators in February & I’m truly excited to hear all about their success story. – Jennifer T.

At Christmastime, we make it very clear that Santa is a fun, pretend person (just like Ninja Turtles or Imagination Movers) so we allow our kids to “pretend’ Santa on a small scale while at the same time constantly talking about the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus. We spend time caring for others, giving gifts out of our abundance, caroling, celebrating Advent – the countdown toward Jesus’ birth, etc. Elf on the Shelf is tradition that we’ve started just for the fun of it. We don’t put a lot of stock in the idea that the Elf is reporting behavior back to Santa. But the boys LOVE searching for him every morning. (His name is Secret Agent Acorn Bubba-Louie…crazy name, I know, long story…) – Kiley F. Rochester, NY

My mother works in a Christmas Shop so our Elf is very seasoned. I was enthusiastic and thought it was a cute idea but as the years have passed my mind has changed. I enjoy pretending but I despise lying. I feel, even though Elf on the Shelf is festive, it is one more thing to worry about during and already busy season and one more reason to lie to my kids daily. – Elizabeth N.

I’m Jewish but we have an elf. Guess you could say I’m a bad jew. But it is a great way to remind the kids to behave during the holidays. And it’s fun to wake up each morning and watch them hunt for Earl. – Becca B. Charlotte, NC.

I don’t have one, just recently learned of the story. While I think in concept it seems innocent and quaint, I think Elf needs a makeover. His face simply reminds me more of a horror flick character than a sweet holiday tradition doll. I’d imagine seeing that face pop up in different spots of the house, esp. at night, might give us nightmares when Sugar plums should be dancing in our heads. – Rajean B.

In the past month this perfect complexion, highly fit über flexible and above all mute elf has brought peace to my household. Bedtime is never a challenge, bath time is like going to the playground and dinner is always like a basket of sweets for my daughter. I have never once thought of it as lying as just like millions of families all over the world my child believes in Santa Claus. If telling my daughter that some little doll has the ability to talk to Santa then i will need to find a way to write Rudolph Frosty the Easter bunny and the muppets out the script. – Christopher W. Charlotte, NC.

Barnaby Elf on the Shelf

Kelley C.'s Elf Barnaby giving a few pre-Christmas gifts for good behavior

We are just very “Santa Light” in our house focusing on advent and things that I don’t have to manipulate on a daily basis. – Valerie R.

I loved the idea of having to find him each day. But when I learned the story that the elf is a spy and ‘watching’ you it creeped me out. I also don’t care for the doll. We’ll focus on other traditions in my house.Andrea U.

I think we are going to be a Santa light family, so no elf for us. He totally gives me the heeby jeebies anyway. But I do have friend who has very spirited children and it works for them as far as helping with behavior. – Erin L. 

I heard that the elf watches whatever your child is doing. That would freak me out. Faith G.

This is the first year I tried it. The boys like looking for him (when I remember to move him) but it does jack squat on improving their behavior. – Emily V.

 

So there you have it, both sides of The Elf on the Shelf coin. What are your two cents?  

Thanks to everyone who gave me a quote, I loved your willingness to be referenced on my site.

Do you own an Elf on the Shelf?

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