Category - featured

Gabriela McBride, American Girl’s First African American Doll of the Year 2017

Exciting news folks! One month ago American Girl announced and started selling their Girl of the Year for 2017. Meet Gabriela McBride, American Girl’s first African American Doll of the Year.

Gabriela is a true talent who uses her passion for the arts—specifically spoken word poetry—to overcome personal obstacles and create positive change for her community. Gabriela launches with a beautiful 18-inch doll, plus several performance-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys. We’re also happy to share that, unlike past Girl of the Year characters, Gabriela will be available throughout 2017 and beyond.

And, to connect students with Gabriela’s inspiring message and to bring awareness to spoken word poetry, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic to create and distribute Express Yourself, a program for classrooms that empowers students to use the arts as a tool for self-expression. Available in March 2017, the classroom resources give teachers the tools to encourage students to find their creative voices, just in time for National Poetry Month in April.

As a multi-cultural family we love celebrating the uniqueness in the world and in our own home. We are so excited about Gabriela and love everything about her.

 

  • Her passion to inspire others and fight against the adversity of her stutter.
  • Her beautiful skin tone and soft curly hair
  • Her adorable athletic wear and fun style

 

It’s always great for your children to be able to see role models that can remind them of themselves. I am thankful for the virtues woven throughout Gabriela’s story that will inspire my girls to want to stand up for what is right and push through hard times.

Can you see the smile on this girl’s face???

 

We encourage you to take a look at American Girl’s first African American Girl of the Year, celebrate diversity, and inspire others around you. Head to American Girl’s Website for more details on Gabriela McBride, other great dolls and accessories.

 

We received Gabriela McBride as a product review. All opinions in this post belong to MommyB and her sweet, sweet children.

American Girl: WellieWishers – Learning Important Values

I’d like to introduce you to WellieWishers. American Girl’s newest content & doll lifestyle brand.

The lively group of WellieWishers friends–Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson, and Camille–imagine and play in an enchanted neighborhood garden supervised by Aunt Miranda. Through their heartwarming and humorous adventures, the WellieWishers help a girl to learn how to “stand in another person’s wellies” to discover the skills of empathy, kindness, and compassion that will help her be a good friend.

WellieWishers World Doll Set-HR

 

Available through American Girl channels, the line includes their first-ever animated series based on the WellieWishers characters, plus digital play experiences, early chapter books, and a line of adorable 14 1/2-inch dolls (retail $60) and garden-themed accessories that help bring the characters and their stories to life for young girls.

Like a lot of friends and girls around A and C’s age, we like the American Girl brand. Admittedly, we don’t have many American Girl products, not for lack of a great brand, it’s just not something we’ve been really into. We have a doll we purchased from a friend, some accessories from the Grand Opening at SouthPark, and have bought some books for our girls that came highly recommended from other bloggers and parents (I love, “The Care and Keeping of You” younger girls version). What we are HUGE fans of however are great values shared in a way that our kids can relate to. This is exactly what the newest addition to the American Girl family represents.

I let Lil’ C choose which of the WellieWishers she wanted and she chose Camille. C, our aspiring fashion designer (for people and pets) said, “I like her sense of fashion.” Camille is indeed dressed adorably, she, like her fellow WellieWishers each love different things and Camille’s favorite thing is the ocean. Of course her ensemble reflects that with her ocean colored top and skirt coordinate and her Wellie boots stand out as cute fish.

 

Camille-HR

The girls were ecstatic to see Camille in her box and couldn’t wait to open her up. I love how neatly the doll was packaged and back story of the WellieWishers that is included.

 

Wellie Wishers MommyB

 

As a mom of biracial girls I love that the dolls are different ethnicities and can totally see the WellieWishers expanding even more because of how inclusive American Girl seems to be with their other products. I think in general it’s great for kids to play with lots of different dolls to highlight how different our world is.

Along with Camille, we also received three books for review, Ashlyn’s Unsurprise Party, The Riddle of the Robin, and The Muddily-Puddily Show.

 

Wellie Wishers Books MommyB
My favorite aspect of the books is that it’s inspiring our kids to not only play with these adorable dolls, but that it’s okay to love nature and getting dirty, it’s not always a bad thing to change plans to include a friend, and also how to get along with friends when situations don’t turn out as planned. To me, these lessons are so valuable for our children to learn at a young age and I love that American Girl recognizes this need and is addressing it in a fun way.

The illustrations and storyline in the books are easy to follow and really engage the reader. I also love the Parent section at the end of the book with words of advice, a quick note about the story, and activities and crafts to expand on what your child has read.

Lil C who is 6 really loved these books and was easily able to explain to me what happened in the books and how the WellieWishers solved the problems they were faced with.

 

Overall, we really love the WellieWishers brand and love that the line has a lower price point. It definitely helps when you are encouraging your children to pay half or full-price for the things they want as well. Not to mention the positive messaging and age appropriateness that I think American Girl always instills.

 

How about you? Who is your child’s favorite character? Do you have a WellieWisher? Which one??

 

We received review product in order to give our honest thoughts and opinions, this is not a paid or sponsored post.

Five Whole Years and a Change for the Better

5 years ago today I wrote my first blog post on MommyBKnowsBest.com. My goals were to:

1. Review products by giving my opinions and have “cool stuff” that Miss A could play with.

2. Do a job outside of being a mom {which was awesome, don’t get me wrong}, but blogging was something that would fulfill a different part of my life.

 

Here was my very first blog post on this website:

 

MBKB First Post

 

Since 2009 I have worked with a ton of amazing people, had some experiences that I would have never had if it wasn’t for blogging, and felt the fulfilment that I was looking for when I first began blogging.

As each year of blogging passes I’ve tried to assess my goals and I believe the site has grown and developed in a way that was what I had imagined in my head. With your help, I’ve gained readers, and friends on this journey and I am very excited about the next part of this adventure with you.

In my 6th year of blogging change is coming.

My goals for myself as a mom and a blogger have changed. I’ve gained insight into what is fulfilling and on the other hand “empty” for me as I spend late nights working. I’ve been able to start saying no to things that are not a good fit and realizing that my time is valuable.

I love sharing my experiences with you and that part will not change, however my experiences, my life, will be shared with more intention behind them. More meaning and less “stuff”. ”

You see somewhere along the way I feel like the “stuff” has gotten in the way. My goals are to be more authentic {though I always put a part of myself in any post I’ve done}, mindful of the things I’m sharing with you, and I hope you’ll find this to be a breath of fresh air, as I know it will be for me.

I will be finishing up some projects and prior commitments throughout my relaunch,  but in the coming months will be excited to showcase my blog not only with fresh content, a new name, and a different mission, but with a great new look that DaddyB is helping me with as well.

I know not all change is welcomed, but I hope that you’ll continue to support the site in your own way, should you feel led.

 

Thank you, I appreciate you and love you and wouldn’t be where I am 5 years later without you.

 

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Blessings!!

Mitsubishi Motors’ “First Ride” Event Video

This is a sponsored post in an effort to showcase car seat safety initiatives highlighted in the video below.

Three New York City newborns will be making their first ride home in one of America’s safest cars as part of Mitsubishi Motors’ “First Ride” event. The program focuses on creating awareness and educating parents on child safety.

Instead of making the journey home through the streets of New York City in a taxi – an experience that does not legally require a car seat – the parents participating in Mitsubishi Motors’ “First Ride” event opted for a ride home from the hospital with their new bundles of joy in a fully-equipped 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander – an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highest-rated “Top Safety Pick+” vehicle piloted by professional drivers. Their touching personal stories have become a series of short web films that contrast the craziness of the streets of the big city, with the calm, precious moments shared between three newborns and their parents.

Check out the video:

This is a sponsored post in partnership with car seat safety initiative.

New and Improved Moon Dough

Moon Dough Logo

Moon Dough Logo Hip, hip hooray for a new Moon Dough formula. Truth be told I can COMPLETELY tell the difference. DaddyB bought some of the old formula Moon Dough at CVS because it was on sale and it was so hard to hold onto and mold because it was very crumbly, definitely not fun to play with from my perspective or Miss A’s.

This new Moon Dough however, I have to tell you, is a huge step in the right direction. It holds together so much better which makes molding it to the shapes you want, with or without the included mold much easier. Not to mention that Miss A noticed the weird smell of the old Moon Dough, whereas this new formula, completely odor-free.

New and Improved Moon Dough

We were able to try the really cute Push N’ Pop Breakfast Moon Dough kit. It comes with 2 different colored packs of Moon Dough, 3 really cool push molds, {super easy even for Baby C, who’s 18 months – although not recommended for children under 3}, a fun breakfast plate inspired play mat, and 1 traditional twist mold and it retails for $9.99 so it’s an awesome deal if you ask me, perfect for gift giving and small enough to travel with.

We even took this with us when we went to Nana’s house in New York over Labor Day weekend, and weren’t worried about it getting into the carpet or making a huge mess all over the table.

I loved playing with Miss A and making lots of pancakes with syrup and butter, french toast and waffles for breakfast, yum. At first I wished the colors were closer to the colors of the food, but then I realized that Baby C and other kids may be enticed to eat them even more, so I’m just fine with red pancakes, really.

Here are a few more pictures of us using the set, we get it out often and sometimes even more than our Play-doh because there’s a lot less clean up. And to be brutally honest, this may take over our Play-Doh collection once every canister of it drys up. Yet another cool fact about Moon Dough, it NEVER dries out, never. They just may be onto something.

Moon Dough New and Improved

Moon Dough Push 'N Pop Breakfast

Aside from our Moon Dough Push N’ Pop Breakfast kit, Moon Dough also has Push N’ Pop Ocean Pals, and Moon Dough Snack Shop and can be found at Toys ‘R Us, Target, Walmart, Kmart, Amazon.com, A.C. Moore, Michaels, and eToys. If you want to find out about their other products, {because with this new formula you’ll want to stock up on different molds and play sets} go to http://www.moondough.com

I received the Moon Dough Push N’ Pop Breakfast kit through my affiliation with Team Mom and Child’s Play Communications in order to give an honest review of this product. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, not influenced by any outside sources except by the input of my assistant tester Miss A, my 4 year-old daughter. 

Discovery Place Kids – Can Can’s Masquerade

Baby C Dress Up

Above ALL else, my girls favorite activity for play time is playing dress up. No matter if it’s trying on fancy dresses and shiny, plastic jewelry, or wearing their favorite character costumes, they could play dress up all day long. They have danced, ran errands with me, and even eaten in their dress up clothes, and if I would allow it I’m sure they would have slept in them, tiara and all, {ouch!}.

Miss A Dress Up

 

 

 

 

Lucky for us, my girls ultimate dream is coming true. The biggest dress up night of their lives {yes all 4 years for Miss A and 1.5 for Baby C,} is coming on October 21st, and you can come too!

 

 

Discovery Place KIDS' Can Can

Can Can, Discovery Place KIDS’ awesome mascot, invites you to her Masquerade Ball at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville. Put your fancy pants on, shine your dancing shoes, and get ready to celebrate the Museum’s one-year anniversary!

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served for the young and young at heart. Masks and costumes are welcome but not required, but of course you know my little ones will be dressed up for sure, and maybe mommy and daddy too!

Friday, October 21, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC 28078

Purchase tickets online http://www.discoveryplacekids.org/events/event/18/Can-Cans-Masquerade-Ball or call 704.348.1994 to purchase over the phone and for additional information.

Cost per ticket is: $25 per child (ages 1-13 years) & $50 per adult (ages 14 and up).
*Children younger than one are free

All proceeds from this event will benefit the educational programming at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville.

So won’t you join me and my “dresser-uppers”, Can Can, and The Charlotte Moms {who are giving away 2 tickets through 9/25} for this fun night to celebrate Discovery Place KIDS’ first birthday?! We would love to see you come out and support the community and have fun with the kiddos too.

What are your child(ren)’s favorite characters to dress up as?

FlipFlop Wines Review

flipflop wines logo

flipflop wines logoI am not a wine snob. In fact, I am far from a connisseur of said beverage. But I do like to enjoy a glass or two every now and again. Never have I, {at least not to my knowledge,} have I ever drank wine that has such an amazing, charitable partnership as flipflop wines.

This fun spirited, {pun intended} company partners with Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that “collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-enterprise efforts to eradicate poverty”. They are helping to prevent the spread of parasitic diseases, especially in developing nations where having a pair of shoes is very rare. Read More

A Teddy Bear Picnic – Charlotte Giveaway {CLOSED}

Teddy Bear Picnic Bear Lineup

Teddy Bear PicnicEvery teddy bear, that’s been good
Is sure of a treat today
There’s lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic!

Hooray for summer, for play, and especially for picnics. I wanted to bring something fun to you, my amazing readers, and I decided what would be more fun than a Teddy Bear Picnic?!? What child, {and parent} wouldn’t love to attend a picnic with the cutest Teddy Bears, tasty snacks, and fun friends?

For this fun event, I have partnered with North American Bear Company, who I love and have worked with in the past. They have provided 8 of their most fun bears as dining pals to this event. Here is a sneak-peek at some of the bears that they’ve provided:

Teddy Bear Picnic Bear Lineup

Along with North American Bear Company there are a few other companies who are pitching in some great goodies for my guests. Musselmans has provided a cute picnic basket with fruity goodness, great printables by Charlotte superstars: Anders Ruff made specifically for this event, and amazing local photographer Jamie from Photography by Jamie Lea will be on-site to snap some fun pictures of the kiddos among some other great tasty surprises.

The official Teddy Bear Picnic will be held Saturday, August 6th, in the Charlotte, North Carolina area at brunch time and you are invited. I will be your hostess and my beautiful 4 year old, Miss A will be joining us so there are 7 spots up for grabs to this amazing Charlotte event your child {and you} won’t want to miss.

If you are not in the Charlotte area you may still be in luck. North American Bear Company is giving one lucky reader a bear of their very own so they can have their own Teddy Bear Picnic too. Entries will be pulled from the same general pool so any of the entrants are eligible to win this great prize.

Please note for the Teddy Bear Picnic:

  • 7 children (and 1 parent) will be selected to attend this event {feel a little Willy Wonka-esque to anyone else}.
  • Parent or primary caregiver must be able to attend the full event with the child selected.
  • Ages 3 and up (preferably under 10 years old).
  • 1 child per household please.
  • Location will be revealed to the winners 1 week prior to the event.

How to Win

Head on over to my {first ever} giveaway tab on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/MommyBKnowsBest and be sure to enter all of your information for a chance to win an invite to the Teddy Bear Picnic. If you are unable to attend because of location or your schedule please be sure to write UNABLE TO ATTEND in the entry section to be entered for the North American Bear Company Teddy Bear drawing only.

RulesGiveaway ends July 29th @12:00 am. The winners will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winners will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

Kid-Free Restaurants? You weigh in

Kid Free RestaurantRecently, a restaurant in western Pennsylvania announced that they are no longer allowing children under age 6 to dine in their facility.

McDain’s Restaurant and Golf Center in Monroeville, PA., says the new, “no-kid” policy will take effect July 16.

Restaurant owner Mike Vuick said there’s “nothing wrong with babies, but the fact is you can’t control their volume.” He said all that screaming and crying disturbs many of his customers, and also states that “children might be the center of their parents’ universe, as it should be. But he says they’re not the center of everyone else’s universe too.”

As expected some patrons support the policy and Vuick’s choices for his own business and others are offended by the policy.

There are many other places like housing (in some states) and job interviews however, where it is illegal to even ask about your family status, however it appears that Vuick is within the law as it’s his business.

What do you think? Click on the poll answers below to add your opinion.

What is your take on the "no children" policy in restaurants or other businesses?

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What Happened to The Fresh Beat’s Marina?

Nick Jr.'s The Fresh Beat Band

Nick Jr.'s The Fresh Beat BandMiss A loves The Fresh Beat Band on Nick Jr. and secretly so does Daddy B. {Shhh don’t tell him I told you.} Nick Jr. first shared this fun show with American families in August of 2009. Since then, the musical fun that Kiki, Twist, Shout and Marina bring have taught and continue to teach valuable lessons to preschool viewers, like getting along, not giving up, and solving problems as a team.

The Fresh Beat Band, was originally planned to be called, “The JumpArounds,” however before the show officially aired the name was changed. Following suit, in this past season, season two, some of The Junior Beats {the mini Fresh Beat kids} and the actor who played Reed, the owner of the Good Note Music Store were replaced. Is it me or does it seem like Nick Jr. is mixing things up with The Fresh Beat Band from season to season? Now that the third season of Fresh Beat band is upon us, things are no different.

Tara Perry The Fresh Beat Band MarinaRecent clips for the show’s next “new” season have sprung up on Nick Jr. touting lots of new things for the show, while also showing off a new cast member, Tara Perry. Perry will take on the role of Marina, who was originally played by Shayna Rose.

Allegidly, Shayna Rose is getting married and perusing other career options that are taking her away from The Fresh Beat Band. I know Miss A and maybe Daddy B too, will miss her dearly.

What do we know about the “new” Marina, Tara Perry though? Perry, age 25, has directed and stared in quite a few youtube videos, and had a tv appearance here and there, but her “claim to fame” is that she is The Movie Maven on Sci-Fi’s Mania.com. For more on Perry, check out her IMDB page she doesn’t have a wikipedia page yet, but now that she’s on Nick Jr. I assume that will be coming soon.

Although the “new” Marina still has red hair {noticeably darker}, and a turquoise and purple outfit, you can’t pull one over my kiddo. I’m not sure if it’s an effort to help Marina blend in or some new duds for season three, but all four of the Fresh Beats have new outfits, and on a side note hubby thinks that Shout has gained some muscle {that’s debatable, I think it was just covered by the collegiate sweater}.

While I’m not a huge fan of change, especially when it comes to television characters, she is a fellow Sagittarius so maybe I’ll cut her a little slack. Honestly though, I’m not really sure how a different Marina will affect the show, personally, I don’t think that it will, especially when it comes to the kids. I think they’ll be confused for a minute, get over it, and be dancing all over the room like with any other episode.

For NEW Season 3 Fresh Beat Band Episode Synopsis and to weigh in with your thoughts, check out http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/fresh-beat-band-season-3-episodes/.

I’d love to hear your opinions on the topic. What are your thoughts on the new Marina? Do you like the changes that are coming to Nick Jr.’s Fresh Beat Band? Is your child {or someone else in your household} excited for season three?

Who is your favorite Marina?

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*******Check out my interview with Shayna Rose and her partner Elizabeth Shea talking about her new direction in life.*********

Interview Shayna Rose Marina Elizabeth Shea

Go here for Part 1 of the interview: http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/interview-with-2carats-shayna-rose-elizabeth-shea-part-1/

and check out these other Nickelodeon posts:

Shayna Rose and Liz Shea – 2Carats Trailer by MommyBKnowsBest

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 Episodes

Dora’s Explorer Girls: Dora All Grown Up

The Fresh Beat Band Season 3 – New September Episodes 

NickJr Lied!

No More Moose and Zee – NickJr Changes