Tag - gift ideas

New LeapFrog Product – Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App

This post brought to you by MomSelect and LeapFrog.

Lately Lil’ C who is officially 3 and 1/2 {don’t forget the half}, has been VERY interested in writing her letters, and learning how to spell everything on the planet. She’s even been starting to create her own words and asking me, “Mommy, what does EFLG spell?” So I’m super excited that LeapFrog has come up with the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App.

Lil’ C loves playing on my iPad whenever she can get her hands on it, 90% of the apps are kids apps and 80% of the games on it have some capacity of educational value, but the more learning apps I can add or use to replace others, the better.

The girls loved “stepping into the world of Mr. Pencil and the citizens of Doodleberg”, and I like that she’s able to practice her writing and drawing skills. The Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ app come with a really cool, Mr. Pencil stylus that’s kid-friendly and is designed to be gentle on your iPad. {Double duty!}

Lil’ C loves practicing her letters, and unlocking shops and venues in Doodleberg and how much interaction the app allows. Even though Miss A {6} has been writing letters for years, the app had some fun activities that she enjoyed as well.

LeapFrog Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil App.jpg

The app is easy to download and even has a free version if you want to check it out before you purchase the full version of Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App. This product currently retails for $14.99 but is on sale right now at LeapFrog.com for $11.99 {price subject to change}

How do/did you teach your child how to write their letters? Which LeapFrog toy will you be purchasing next? Learn To Write with Mr. Pencil LeapFrog App Toy

Check out the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App on LeapFrog’s website, and follow the hashtag #leapfrogapptoys for more reviews, discounts and updates.

 

We received this product as a review sample in order to give our honest opinions on this product. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

The Perfect “Mixed” Couple #TargetWedding

Thank you Target for sponsoring this post.

Last month we were blessed to be able to attend the wedding of one of DaddyB’s cousins.

We were so excited to see this awesome couple get married. They both have really fun personalities and splashes of their whimsy trickled into their wedding too. This photo says it all:

Photo by M.Zehner Photography http://mzehnerphotography.smugmug.com/

Photo by M.Zehner Photography http://mzehnerphotography.smugmug.com/

This couple definitely represents the motto, “Be Yourself, Together“. The bride works at a school surrounded by children all day, loves her friends and family, and from the looks of their Target Wedding Registry enjoys baking too! The groom on the other hand, works with luxury cars, enjoys poetry, and can be found making music mixes.

While they’re not completely different {or exactly the same for that matter}, they are a GREAT compliment to each other and their love is apparent through the way they interact with one another.

One thing I KNOW they have in common is that they like to mix. One mixes ingredients for cupcakes and baked goods and the other mixes music for entertainment purposes.

If I were to choose the perfect Target Wedding Registry gifts for, “The Perfect Mixed Couple” it would be this awesome pairing:

The Perfect #TargetWedding Gifts

This KitchenAid Mixer is one of my favorite must-have kitchen appliances and will help these newlyweds whip up dessert in no time. The iTunes gift card can be purchased in the Target electronics section or at the checkout aisles in lots of different dollar amounts.

Make sure you check out #targetwedding for other pairing ideas!

Have you bought the perfect wedding gift for friends or family? What was it??

 

Target Logo

Looking for the perfect gift for the perfect couple?? Start shopping with the Target Wedding Catalog.

The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own honest words. Your opinions may vary, but if you don’t like Target…we may need to chat. justsayin’

Care Package & Gift Basket Ideas for Moving {Giveaway}

Thank you CVS/pharmacy for donating the gift basket items for the Yon family.

 

Whether you know a family who is moving to a different house, neighborhood, city, state (or maybe even country) or there’s a new family in your neighborhood, it’s always thoughtful to create a care package or gift basket with useful items. Personally, I love shopping at CVS/pharmacy for all kinds of things besides just refilling prescriptions for my family. When I heard a family from my daughter’s school was moving to Africa to become missionaries, I thought to myself, “How can I help in my own personal way.” I decided to approach CVS/pharmacy with a list of items that this family had on their needs list for their trip. CVS/pharmacy quickly gathered items (more than I could fit in the gift basket), for my family to donate on their behalf.

Care Package and Gift Basket Ideas for Moving MommyB

This gave me great ideas for gifting to people who are moving anywhere in the world. Here are some care package and gift basket ideas for different ages and moves using products that can all be purchased at CVS/pharmacy.

College or Back-to-School Care Package

  • CVS/pharmacy carries a long list of Back-to-School supplies from Crayola crayons, to composition notebooks, and more that would be great to add to this care package.
  • Consider adding CVS brand over the counter medicine, {did you know most CVS brand medicines has the same active ingredients as the name brand??}
  • Gold Emblem snacks for late night studying, affordable and yummy too
  • Laundry supplies {unless of course they’re bringing all their “dirties” back home to you}

Moving Gift Basket Care Package MommyB

Overseas Move Care Package (of course this package may vary depending on restrictions of airlines or country law/limits)

  • Sunscreen – we love any of the CVS clear mist versions, it’s easy to apply.
  • Pack some snacks for the recipient to munch on during their flight, Unreal Candy is a healthier alternative, but is still a nice, sweet treat.
  • In some countries multi-vitamins are very hard to find, these are easy to stock up on and send in your care package
  • Send some entertainment, purchase some card games or small board games, featured in CVS/pharmacy’s toy aisle

Hallmark Blooming FlowerFriend Moving Away Care Package

  • Personalize notes for a set timeframe and include inspirational quotes, memories, favorite sayings, or Bible verses
  • Choose a theme for the gift basket like all items one color, that person’s favorite scent, or items that will remind them of your friendship
  • CVS/pharmacy carries a full line of greeting cards and also sells great Hallmark products including the popular blooming flower greetings, perfect for friendship or someone you love
  • Purchase a gift card or two to somewhere you both can visit when you see each other next. This gives you a date to look forward to and not having to worry about where to go or who will pay.

Welcome to the Neighborhood Gift Basket

  • Create a list (with permission) of the names and phone numbers of neighbors in your area to give to your new neighbor so they may reach out or have someone to call in a time of need.
  • Since you may not know food preferences or if there are food allergies, you may want to stay away from food based gifts and stick to household products instead.
  • A CVS/pharmacy gift card is a great addition to this gift basket so the recipient can buy some items they may have left behind or need for their new home.
  •  Grab some standard cleaning products like baking powder, sponges, disinfecting wipes so they have cleaning items handy.

CVS/pharmacy is great for all kinds of needs whether you create a gift card tree or buy a bunch of great items to fill a care package or gift basket to the brim.

 

CVS/pharmacy provided me with one $25 gift certificate for one lucky reader. Enter here to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

I received products from CVS/pharmacy who I often partner with in order to provide some needs of the Yon Family. My family and I have used CVS products and shopped there well before I began working with the brand because we trust and appreciate their amazing service. All opinions and thoughts in the above post are my own, however yours may vary.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Get Spoiled by Fragments.com

This is a sponsored post by Fragments.com, any opinions given in this post are my own, honest thoughts. 

Every once and a while it’s nice to get spoiled, whether it’s a day at the spa, love letters from our favorite people, or shiny, pretty things. What “entitles” us to being spoiled? That may vary depending on the gift giver but luckily, Fragments.com showcases amazing pieces that will fit every occasion.

Fragments.com is a “finely curated gallery of fine and fashion jewelry, known for discovering and launching the careers of today’s most celebrated designers.” For a complete list of designers click here: www.fragments.com/designers

Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Get Spoiled by Fragments.com {in no particular order}:

Spoiled Celebration – Birthdays, Anniversaries, or congratulations in order?? Browse the Fine Jewelry Collection of Fragments.com and pick out a piece or two that will be just as special as your gift recipient.

Spoiled Mommy – Being a mother myself, I’ll admit I’m biased, however I think all moms, whether they are mother’s by way of birthing a child, adoption, fostering, or any other means, deserves a little bling to commemorate the blessing of being called, “Mom.”

Spoiled Dedication – Do you know a woman who is completely giving of herself? One who is always thinking of others, and not focused on herself? Sometimes amazing women deserve to be recognized with love, kind words, thankfulness. Consider thanking her with a beautiful ring or pair of earrings.

Spoiled Remembrance – Often times in life there are people whom we would like to hold on to their memory. If gemstones, or jewels remind you of a certain loved one, purchasing a piece that accents that stone will help you take that person along with you as you live life and remember theirs.

Spoiled Love – Is her “Love Language” receiving gifts?? Sometimes we don’t need a special occasion or reason to spoil someone we love, sometimes we just want to say thank you with a gift. If you know her favorite Fragments.com pieces by those she’s pinned on Pinterest or liked on Facebook, consider choosing one to surprise her with.

Some of my favorite pieces come from both Fragments.com’s Fine Jewelry section, and also their Fashion Jewelry as well. Here are a few that I chose to share with you:

MommyB Knows Best Favorite Fragments Jewelry

Who do you know that deserves to be spoiled? Which Fragments.com piece is your favorite??

All opinions expressed in the above post are my own honest opinions. Yours may vary.

Unique Father’s Day Gift Guide {Giveaway}

This is a sponsored post, however all of the products in this post are products that I feel are great, unique, gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Unique Father's Day Gifts MommyB

 

Looking for gifts that aren’t your run-of-the-mill Father’s Day gifts? You’ve come to the right place. Here are a few, not-so-common Father’s Day gifts that you may consider getting the special dad in your life. Check it out…

Do you have a camouflage loving dad? How about a dad who loves to golf? No matter what dad’s interests are, Cafe Press has unique Father’s Day Gifts for any papa. You can also choose from a variety of mediums like beer mugs, t-shirts, golf balls, water bottles and more!

Here are some of my favorites:

Father's Day Gift Guide Cafe Press MommyB

 

I always love the wide variety of gifts you can purchase on CafePress, my problem is narrowing down the selection, but seriously you’re bound to find something you love on CafePress, check out their Father’s Day gift selection here: www.cafepress.com and pick out something extra just in case you win this giveaway for $25 gift card from CafePress!

Enter by commenting in a separate comment, which item(s) you would buy with the gift card.

*Must be 18 years or older and be a resident of the United States. Giveaway ends 6/10/2013

brilliantly-simple-post-image-500x255

As we get older, the things we eat and drink tend to stain our teeth, slowly changing from pearly white to…not so white {to say the least}. It’s important to take care of our smiles and focus on oral hygiene. Give dad the chance to make his smile brilliantly white with smile Brilliant!

This at-home teeth whitening system, not only has proven results, but is super easy to use. Using the LED Teeth Whitening System takes 20 minutes a day {or less depending on the desired results} and is more affordable than in-office whitening at $39.95 plus shipping and handling.

Purchase your smile Brilliant kit to give dad that gleaming smile here: www.smilebrilliant.com and win one for yourself or someone else you love. Comment on one thing that makes you smile for a chance to win a smile Brilliant! LED Teeth Whitening System of your own.

*Must be 18 years or older and be a resident of the United States. Giveaway ends 6/10/2013

flattenme logoLove making crafts or handmade gifts for Dad, but not so crafty?? I fell in love with these flattenme personalized gifts. You can choose to add your child’s face to any of their products, t-shirts, books, wall art, and dad will have a fun keepsake that’s extra special.

Two of my favorite products that make great Father’s Day gifts are the My SuperSomeone books, {of course every daddy wants to be their child’s favorite role model}, and the Owl Always Love You name book, {great for bedtime bonding}.

super Dad book

Pssst, there are only 4 more days to order your flattenme gifts for Father’s Day!!! So head over now and place your order: www.flattenme.com

And for those of you who want to get a t-shirt for your kiddo, flattenme is giving one lucky MommyBKnowsBest reader a chance to win one of their personalized photo t-shirts!! Enter to win by commenting letting me know which shirt you would choose if you won.

*Winner pays the flat rate fee of $3.99 shipping – Must be 18 years or older and be a resident of the United States. Giveaway ends 6/10/2013

Do you know that I love Uncommon Goods? They have some really cool gifts, some are a little on the pricey side, and others are perfect for smaller gifts. Here are three that I found and really loved:

Uncommon Goods Father's Day Gift Ideas MommyB

First is a beer chiller, you can drink and chill your beer at the same time, never drink a drop of warm beer again! To the right is a cool molecular gastronomy set, if he’s into Top Chef or Iron Chef this is the perfect gift for him! And lastly, bottom left, a cool map for the traveling man. He can scratch off places in the world that he’s travelled to, better than push-pins by far!!

Don’t forget if he’s a Sci-Fi fan, take him to see the new Star Trek movie or buy him a couple of movie tickets, DaddyB loved the movie in the theater and highly recommends seeing it!

 

Winners!!! Cafepress: Alaine, Smile Brilliant!: Krys Davis, FlattenMe: Michelle P.

 

Thank you to the companies who participated in this Father’s Day Gift Guide and contributed product for placement. 

Harvard Sweet Boutique – Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, 10 days to go to be exact. I love getting my husband and girls gifts for Valentine’s Day to show them that I care, and to be completely honest I like getting Valentine’s gifts and treats as well. It’s a fun holiday to celebrate whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or the entire family.

I enjoy getting at least one edible treat for this holiday and this year I got a taste {literally} of Valentine’s Day early. Harvard Sweet Boutique sent me some samples of their brownies and cookies so I could tell you what my honest thoughts are on their products. But first, let me tell you a little more about the company itself.

Harvard Sweet Boutique Logo

Harvard Sweet Boutique is a gourmet, all-natural dessert company that offers hand-made goodies for any occasion. The mouth-watering artisan brownies, decadent cookies and dissolve-in-your-mouth toffee can be easily bought online and shipped to friends, loved ones and business associates for any occasion. Even for those with specific dietary needs, Harvard Sweet Boutique offers low-carbohydrate and gluten-free treats! They have a huge customer following and have been featured in national magazines like Every Day with Rachael Ray and InStyle.

My first thoughts when I received my package was how great their presentation was. If I had been receiving this as a gift from hubby I definitely would have been beyond excited to open it. As I opened my package I saw a bunch of individually wrapped treats to enjoy. As far as the look of the treats they were okay, the Vanilla Sea Salt Carmel Brownie was a little gooey in the package, but the only item that was damaged was my, “Perfect” sugar cookie. See the irony?!?! I’m not too picky though when it comes to looks of the goodies, I’m more about the taste. Although I must say the Mint Chocolate Fudge Brownie did look pretty in it’s package.

Harvard Sweet Boutique MommyBKnowsBest

Now, to the taste, in my opinion, the most important factor, among presentation and price. I did taste each of the items in my basket and my favorites by far were the brownies. If you are a center-brownie person, and like the really fudgy ones these will make your mouth happy. I loved the Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Brownies, there were a few spots where the salt was concentrated, but all together this was the best brownie I have ever eaten. I also really enjoyed the Mint Chocolate Fudge and regular Fudge Brownies.

Harvard Sweet Boutique Brownies

As for the cookies in my box, to be completely honest, I wasn’t super thrilled about them. I like my cookies like I like my brownies, soft and a little gooey even. But for those of you who like crispy cookies you will totally enjoy these. My girls, however loved each of the cookies they got to try out. When it comes to cookies they’re not picky, but the conversation heart sugar cookie was their favorite I assume because of the way it was decorated.

One last thing that I can TOTALLY appreciate about Harvard Sweet Boutique is that they have gifts in several different price ranges. I like that they have some treats that are under $20 and even a fun Miniature Brownies & Bars box for only $11.00, that’s pretty decent.

Visit HarvardSweetBoutique.com for your gift orders whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or another occasion this year. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter too!

 

As I mentioned above I received samples of Harvard Sweet Boutique products in order to give you my honest opinions of their products. The opinions and thoughts expressed above are my own thoughts, yours may vary if you are a brownie corner connoisseur.  

The Little Gym – A Family Experience

The Little Gym of Lake Norman/Huntersville

If you’re familiar with my site you’ve seen my posts on The Little Gym, whether I was talking about their core values, birthday parties, or reasons why both kids and parents alike love The Little Gym, and if you’re new to the site then, “Welcome!!!”

The Little Gym of Lake Norman/Huntersville

I am a HUGE supporter of The Little Gym (TLG), not only because the owners, Mr. Pete, and Mrs. Kim are such an amazing duo, not only because the staff at TLG has been extremely friendly, not only because my daughters get to learn the value of teamwork, being healthy, and listening to an adult, not only because they learn actual dance, sports, and gymnastic skills, but because The Little Gym is, in it’s entirety, a family experience.

The Little Gym Family

Each individual member of our family benefits from classes at TLG. My daughters get to enjoy their class and learn many skills, I get to know that I am providing a safe, fun experience for my children to learn {and meet some fun parents in the lobby}, and my husband is able to watch his girls excitement as they practice and show him moves at home and in their end of season shows. It’s really a sense of accomplishment for the whole family when your children are involved in something like The Little Gym. The Little Gym encourages parents to sit and watch our children, and gives us tips on what to work on at home and how to encourage our children, that’s definitely very unique and valuable when it comes to child-centered activities and classes.

Bullock Girls The Little Gym Collage

As The Little Gym of Huntersville/Lake Norman’s Mombassador, I am thrilled to share my family’s love for The Little Gym, and am always talking about how amazed I am with the benefits of their services. I encourage you to check out my other The Little Gym posts by clicking on the links in the first paragraph of this post or searching in my search box to the right of this post. Also visit TLG Huntersville/LKN’s website to find out more about classes for children 4 months to 12 years, birthday parties, and their Fall Festival coming up on Friday, October 19th 2012: thelittlegym.com/huntersvillelakenormannc and “Like” them on Facebook for fun facts and to see some great pictures!!

 

I am The Little Gym of Huntersville/Lake Norman Mombassador, and receive services in return for my work showcased here. The above opinions and thoughts expressed are mine and my family’s. 

Blurb – Instagram Photo Books {Guest Review}

blurb.com

blurb.comBelieve it or not, the Holiday season is right around the corner! Personally, I’m always looking for the most, “out of the box” gift I can find. Because I’m the mom that typically buys the gifts you can’t get in stores, I was thankful to come across Blurb.com. Thanks to Blurb.com I can create fun and affordable gifts for the whole family. Starting at just $10 you can create quality photo books for anyone on your list.

I’m a photographer and I’m also addicted to social media, so with those combined how cold I not love Instagram?!? When I found out for just $15 I could make a 20 page book of my favorite Instagram photos, I was all over it! I decided to pick my favorite shots from this summer and make a book of our “Instagrams of Summer” . It’s a small, bookstore quality book that I can fit into my purse and show off to others. The Blurb books are pretty durable too.

Blurb.com Collage

Here are some ways you can use Blurb.com’s services:

• Special events like vacations, reunions, birthdays, graduations, weddings

• Baby album

• Illustrated children’s storybook

• Heirloom family recipe cookbook

• Pets

• Sports/Team championship season

• Hobby showcase: architecture, birding, collectible cars, photography, fishing trips, poetry, family history, drawings, etc.

I can’t wait to order one of these for the grandparents this year. They aren’t as tech savvy and don’t know what Instagram is, but they will love to see all the silly photos I get of my little guy along the way.

So if you’re looking for something a little outside the norm, which is exactly what’s on trend this holiday season, be sure to check out Blurb.com!

I received products from Blurb.com in order to write this review. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own opinions, however yours may vary.

Kristen is the founder and writer behind The Playful Mom. She’s a mom to the world’s funniest 6 year old boy. She’s lived in Charlotte most of her life. She enjoys sharing the best parenting tips and fun products for families. You can find her blog, The Playful Mom, by clicking HERE!

Creative Baby i-Mat Review

Creative Baby i-Mat

Now that school is out I am pulling out the toys that both girls really enjoy playing with. One of these toys is the i-Mat made by Creative Baby. This foam mat is not only easy to piece together since it’s in the shape of a large puzzle, but it’s also simple to take care of and comes with a zippered carrying case {great for travelling!!!}

We have the, “My Animal World” mat that teaches my girls barnyard animals, desert animals, ocean animals and more! It has cool tasks like, “Click on an animal with stripes,” or “click on a bird that doesn’t fly.” Both my 2 year-old and my 5 year-old really get into playing the game, which is great because the i-Mat offers both basic and advanced levels of games.

Creative Baby i-Mat

{My PC is in the shop so my images of the girls playing with ours are on that computer. I will however upload on my Facebook page once I get it back}

This toy has a ton of other features too:

  • Teaches your child 3 languages – English, Spanish, and Chinese.
  • Features real animal sounds and music
  • Teaches vocabulary and comprehension
  • Features a voice recorder for capturing funny, silly moments

The i-Mat is recommended for babies 6 months and above, personally I think it’s best to have a child who is able to grip the “pen” better so I may say closer to a year, but if you want your baby to start hearing and recognizing sounds and pictures of animals you could always click the images for them too. Great for multiple children especially and encourages sharing.

I love that it’s just the right size to include a lot of animals but not take over the entire floor space and easy to store because it’s pretty compact. Definitely a “must purchase” in my summer toys list for sure!! Now, just FYI it retails for $79.99, which to some may seem a little steep. I will tell you in my opinion, this toy is worth it for us, it has a lot of features that the girls’ more expensive handheld games have {minus the screen}.  Get more information on Creative Baby’s website here: http://www.creativebabyinc.com/our-products/

I received a Creative Baby i-Mat in order to play with, er, have my girls play with it and give my honest opinions. All opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary, although this is a pretty rockin’ toy, so maybe not. 

Tiny Prints Holiday Party

Tiny Prints HolidayWith the holidays upon us there are so many different parties to attend. On my schedule we’ve had a Halloween play date, a couples Halloween party, a Jake and the Neverland Pirates birthday party, and coming up we have a Thanksgiving Feast, Holiday Cookie exchanges, and other parties I’ve either been invited to or hosted myself for work, not to mention my own birthday party in December and parties that haven’t even been planned yet.

Last weekend, on behalf of one of my most favorite companies, Tiny Prints, I hosted a blogger holiday party and with a few tips I used it was a success.

Invite the Right People for the Right Event – If you are having a play date don’t invite people who don’t like children, pretty obvious right? However I’ve seen interesting mixes at parties because often times people don’t want to leave anyone out, but by being selective, {at times}, it can pay off. I invited some amazing bloggers including {in alphabetical order, so as not to show favoritism *LOL*} Faith, Jamie, Jessica, Kelley, Lisa, Maricris, and Susan.

Tiny Prints Attendees

Find a unique place or theme for the party – Sometimes when you are in a smaller city it’s hard to find new venues to host events at, and even if you choose to host events in your home, one key tip is to get creative. Thinking outside the box when it comes to venues and themes are what can make or break a party. Choose locations you wouldn’t normally think of but work out logistically and look on places like pinterest {which I have vowed to stay away from,} for ideas. I chose Fran’s Filling Station because the menu selection sounded different, and it wasn’t a chain and I’m so glad I chose it because the food and staff were amazing, and I’m dying to go back for round 2.

Find some entertainment or a purpose – While sometimes it’s nice to just get together with friends, when there is a purpose or something fun scheduled for a party people get even more excited to attend. At the Tiny Prints event, Chris Garner, local photographer and owner of TPS Photography, spoke about tips for photography which will not only come in handy for our blogs, but also for our own photos during the holidays. Whatever your purpose or entertainment make it a good fit for your attendees.

Tiny Prints GoodiesMake sure the guests leave with something in hand – aka Goodies. We all love them, let’s face it, when you leave a party with a goodie bag you get a little excited. Recently, I went to a Mom’s Night In, where we made pies and the hostess made pie pops {like these from Bakerella} and although my girls didn’t get to go to the Mom’s Night In {for obvious reasons}, they were able to enjoy the goodies. And I must say for this Tiny Prints event the goodies were pretty awesome! Read More