Category - Toys & Games

Backyard Safari Outfitters Review

Backyard Safari OutfittersWhen I told one of my blogger friends that I was reviewing Backyard Safari Outfitters products she said, “Why? You don’t have boys do you?”

This is the exact reason I need to review products like these. I want to show the world that girls like adventure and camping just as much as the boys do. In fact, I think my girls loved these toys even more than some boys might.

The girls had so much fun playing in the Backyard Safari Outfitters Expidition Three Base Camp Shelter, giggling, and rolling all around. Much to my amazement this open shelter was much larger than I originally anticipated. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to “pitch” it in our living room, until I realized just how big the shelter actually was. We have a pretty small house so personally it worked much better outside and gave us more space, plus the outdoorsy feel was much more fun anyway.

Backyard Safari Outfitters Cargo VestMy other favorite touches of the Backyard Sarari Outfitters line are that they come with a great Essential Field Gear Cargo Vest {which is only 19.99 and the construction is top-notch} and your child can earn patches to place directly on the vest. The vest lets your child store so many items, including your pop-up field guide, a flash light and so much more that way they can have their hands free to explore. It fits Miss A who is now 4 years old just right and there’s lots of room to grow.

I also love the Backyard Safari Lazer Light Bug Vacuum. {Also featured in the June 2011 issue of Parents magazine “The Summer’s Hottest Toys” section!} Not only can you “suck” up the bugs, but you can also light them up and take an upclose look with the built-in magnifying glass. Miss A is deatlhy afraid of bugs, but loved using the vacuum to “get rid of them” and “shoe them away”. It was also a nice way for her to examine the bugs without being too scared that they would touch her.

Overall, we really like Backyard Safari Outfitters products, they are great a great value. You get quality toys and products for affordable prices. As I mentioned earlier the toys are great for boys or girls and are GREAT for the summer and playing in your own backyard or the wild outdoors.

Get your Bakcyard Safari Outfitters gear on their website: or find them at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Barnes and Noble,, and Target. Be sure to fan them on Facebook too:

What’s your favorite outdoor activity for the summer?

Does your child LOVE or HATE bugs?

As a member of Team Mom I received Backyard Safari Outfitters products in order to complete this review. My opinions are in no way influenced by Team Mom or the products I received. My opinions are my own, however yours may vary.

Birthday Bash – Charlotte Bounce Party

Charlotte Bounce Party LogoWhat do Tigger, hydraulic cars, and basketballs all have in common? They all like to bounce, and they’re not alone. Most every child that I know is a huge fan of bouncing, whether it be off the walls, on a trampoline, or better yet inside a fun, inflatable bounce house.

Bring the fun of your local bounce house location to your own party venue with Charlotte Bounce Party. Charlotte Bounce Party features The Magic Castle 15 that is a 15′ Wide x 20.25′ Deep x 11.4′ High Inflatable Bounce house and holds 10 bouncers.

They are insured and keep their equipment clean because they are parents just like us and they care about the safety and well being of other children.

Their services are available from 3 hours to 8 hours and have pretty reasonable pricing packages as well.

If you are within 30 miles of the Davidson area there are no delivery charges, however for an additional fee they will deliver to further locations.

Check out Charlotte Bounce Party at their website: and be sure to tell them you’re a MommyB Knows Best reader!

Birthday Bash – Oriental Trading Company

Some people live and die by Oriental Trading Company and while I don’t go all out for every occasion, they have been my, “go-to” for a lot of events that I’ve hosted, and why wouldn’t they be? With the millions of different themes, the great prices on all of their items, and their amazing customer service {not to mention quick shipping.} I have yet to hear someone speak ill of Oriental Trading Company. {And if you have a different opinion, please feel free to leave a comment, I love to hear from everyone.}

I love the catalogs that I get in the mail because it gives me so many ideas for parties. With the girls parties we had already planned the themes prior to looking at Oriental Trading Company’s items, however after we had the theme we found that both owls and rainbows were featured, I was a little surprised that they had something for such diverse parties, but much to my delight we found some cute items for each girl’s party.

For our owl themed party we found these great Owl Finger Puppets. The Owl Finger Puppets come in four colors, our only issue is that the paint comes off pretty easily, so they may not be great for children who want to put them in their mouth.

Now for the rainbow theme we many more items we are using in the party including these mini rainbow crayons, that I adore:

Rainbow Crayons Oriental Trading CompanyRainbow Crayons Oriental Trading Company Side View







Don’t they look cool, and they actually work, you have to push on them a little hard though. I personally wish they were a little bigger but that’s my only real complaint, and really they are a great size for small hands.

We also got these large rainbow swirl lollipops that I’ll be putting tags on for favors:

Oriental Trading Company Swirl Lollipop

Sorry in advance parents for the sugar high that your children will be on once you’re at home.

and lastly we got these great favor boxes in rainbow colors, a perfect size for birthday party take-home gifts:

What have you bought from Oriental Trading Company that you LOVE or HATE. Have you had experiences with Oriental Trading Company, what are your thoughts?

This post was not a sponsored or paid post. I am just a fan of Oriental Trading Company and like to promote things I like. The opinions expressed above are mine, however yours may vary.


Frecklebox Review and Giveaway {CLOSED}

Frecklebox LogoIf you haven’t heard of Frecklebox you may just want to make it your go to for personalized gifts. After checking out their site I fell in love with Frecklebox’s personalized goodies. As a mom with two daughters who have untraditional names, (that’s what you get when you have a mom who’s name was #1 for like 10 plus years), personalized gifts are ever more of a big deal to us.

Frecklebox Sheriff LunchboxIf you peruse the website you’ll find old-school style lunch boxes, colorful storybooks, boys and girls style growth charts and so much more. My favorite item from Frecklebox are their place mats. Before I received the girls personalized placemats I assumed they would be nice, but I didn’t expect them to be as high quality as they were. The plastic material used is super thick and I’m not worried in the least that this placemat, (like some store bought placemats) will ever fall apart, even for the messiest eater. Read More

GummyLump Review and Giveaway {CLOSED}

GummyLumpWhen I first discovered GummyLump my first thought, may be yours as well, was “what is GummyLump?” What a silly name! I had to check them out and see what they were up to and I found out that they are an amazing toy company that cares about their customers.

GummyLump carries a lot of different brands of toys mostly Melissa & Doug, but you’ll also see toys from Alex Toys & Crafts, Edushape Toys, Haba and more great companies. The great thing about GummyLump is that they offer 20% off on all Melissa & Doug toys. I know I have a lot of great Melissa & Doug fans reading this right now!

I was able to review their Melissa & Doug Trunki Suitcase and Saddlebag, perfect for our summer vacations and trips! I love the fun look of the Trunki Kids Suitcase, it’s like a monster and a suitcase had a baby in great vibrant colors. Fun to ride on, fun to pull, and the girls loved sitting inside it too. Although I know that’s not what it’s used for it did show us how sturdy the Trunki actually is. Read More

BrightZoo {Guest Post}

BrightZoo LogoSpring is upon us with its trench coats, daffodils, fresh air and incredible urge to shop. How can you ignore your “beachy” instincts when vibrant colors, lighter fabrics and whimsical patterns greet you in-store? Visions of your son in a fresh champagne linen suit (Mr. Handsome before he plays soccer in it) or daughter in a pastel sear sucker dress (Little Miss before she drops a chocolate ice cream cone on it), no doubt conjure an exquisite family portrait.

Yes, a seasonal new beginning. But while Spring cleaning inspires you to redesign your home, your closet and your make-up bag, you can rarely afford to re-style all at once direct from the pages of the luxury fashion
magazines you adore. Thanks to our super power savvy mom smarts, we know these days it’s easier to shop quality and avoid paying full price. But the challenge remains: Who has the energy to race to the outlets with little ones in tow? Even when Spring IS calling?

It’s just these types of parenting lifestyle realities, along with style and affordability, that inspired our team to create BrightZoo – an online member mom marketplace where discounted designer and secondhand maternity and children’s products live side by side.

BrightZoo trunk shows feature high-end specialty items at insider prices, for both mom and her brood. And BrightZoo also offers parents the opportunity to buy or sell the essentials – fashionable maternity and children’s clothing, as well as key family items like gear, toys, books, electronics and more. A one-stop shopping arena for parents who are pressed for time and relieved to know they’re getting the best deals out there.

BrightZoo PictureVisit Brightzoo this Tuesday when our Featured Trunk Shows include a fresh mix of collections up to 75% off, including designers Lunette (precious girl clothing), Soft (organic cotton toddler wear), Tree by Kerri Lee (nursery and gift items), Petit Couture (modern luxury basics for girls), Mai Flores (jewelry for Mom) and Adore la Vie (for the elegant little girl). This limited time trunk show ends Friday, so be sure to browse quickly for yourself and your family.

Visit us and register at:
Visit this week’s trunk show at:

With Love,
Kelly and Jessica – BrightZoo Founders

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Floor Easel Giveaway {CLOSED}

Melissa & Doug Art EaselLittle Miss A has always been a very artistic girl. Even from the time she started to draw she was creating faces with cheeks, ears, eyebrows, something you rarely see in young children, and she really has had a passion for it ever since.

We were lucky enough to try out the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel as pictured left. There are so many great things about Melissa & Doug that I love so I figured I would probably adore this “art center” as we like to call it.

First off, it was very simple to put together by myself, both kids were resting though so that helped for sure. The only small issue I had was that some of the pegs screw thread was covered by plastic, for the most part I could screw through but Melissa & Doug did send me a couple of replacement pegs right away.

The best thing about the Melissa & Doug Easel is that it’s so versatile. One side of the Easel features a white board with an open tray for crayons, markers, any art supplies you can think of, and the opposite side has an old-school green chalkboard with spots for paint jars and painting supplies. I also LOVED that I was able to adjust the height of the boards so that the easel can grow with my girls, not something that all toys do, but very important in my book. Read More

The Rose Princess and the Special Gift

The Rose Princess and The Special GiftThe Rose Princess and the Special Gift written by Mike de Vetter with illustrations by Travis Orams is an amazing story of a beautiful princess who shares a message of selflessness with the readers in a fun and beautiful way.

From the fun, cartoon-y animations to the message of giving to those in need, Little Miss A and I LOVED this book from start to finish. I must say that I even cried because of the amazing kindness of the Princess and her Father, the King, and of course the meaning behind it all.

Even at 3.5 years old Miss A gathered a lot from this book’s message and asked questions throughout the entire story. I love talking to her about the people in need and am glad that it opened up conversation about how we can help people and give gifts to those in need and what God would want us to do in situations like these.  Read More

Mega Bloks Domino Build Game

Mega Bloks LogoWe have loved Mega Bloks since Little Miss A was a year old and received her first, pink, block set from Mega Bloks. Daddy and Miss A have spent countless hours building their robot named, “Boxie” and love making pens for all of her zoo animals. It’s great to see them play together and it’s one of their times together, mommy rarely gets in on the Mega Blok action, until now!!

Mega Brands, creator of Mega Bloks has made a Mega Blocks Domino Build Game. Mega Bloks Domino Build Game is made for kids ages 3-6, and the purpose of the game is for children to learn about colors, numbers, matching and motor skills. This game comes in a super cute box with lovable animals on it. The giraffe, elephant, polar bear and lion playing Bloks make this game even more fun.

The point of the game is a lot like dominoes, you take turns trying to make domino matches pairing different animals or colors. Once you get a match you record your score with your animal’s Blok pieces. Once you put all of your animal Blok pieces together you win. Read More

North American Bear Co. Review and Giveaway {CLOSED}

NABC LogoYou may think as a writer/blogger PR companies would treated me the same as any other business contacts, but surprisingly it’s not every day that I have companies that are very personable and attentive, however the great people at North American Bear Co. have really surprised me with their amazing customer service and great products.

As I looked through their catalog I didn’t know where to start first. North American Bear Co. has an huge selection of quality products for both boys and girls. Not only that, but their products are affordable too, I didn’t feel like I was shopping in a super high-end boutique where the prices are expensive just because.

The B girls and I got to try out some very fun, stuffed toys. Miss A had her recital for Little Gym Dance and Gymnastics the same day we received the North American Bear Co. Rosy Cheeks™ Big Sister Ballerina Brunette. This doll is much larger in life that I had expected and Miss A fell in love with her. Check out this sweet pic of the two of them after Miss A’s recital. Read More