And Advent Begins #HolidayGiftGuide

This past Sunday, Advent began.  Have you gotten you child their Advent Calendar yet? Most don’t follow Advent exactly, instead counting down the 23 days leading to Christmas Eve.  These two adorable options from Playmobil are no exceptions.

advent calender

For those children who love animals, the set #6624 could be perfect (I know, they call their sets by numbers rather then by names, which can be rather interesting when you are trying to find one).  This one is farm themed, and is very cute. Once a day, your child can punch out the numbered door and find a fun surprise inside, such as a kitty, cow, goat, or even a tractor. Weather you are country born, or just got a country soul, this is sure to please. About $25 at stores like Toys R Us and Amazon.

hockey set

For the sporty kids, the Playmobil NHL Hockey set #9017 will score big. This set comes with everything your hockey fan would like, such as Once all the pieces are revealed,hockey figures, two child figures, flags, goal, Stanley Cup, puck bag, and who better then to break up disagreements then a Santa referee? There are other accessories included as well (including reindeer), one for each day until Christmas eve.  Around $27.

hockey toy

If you are looking for more hockey fun, check out the PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Arena. This one is full of interactive fun and has a movable goalie. Just as in real games, use the player’s sticks to block or to hit the puck into the goal. Use the joystick to slide the goalie back and forth to protect the goal. You can customize your team and rink with any NHL team stickers (included). The PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Arena retails for about $59.99.

star wars lego

For more character sets, check out the Star Wars Carbon Freezing Chamber Set. This one is not only one of our favorites, but it also made the KMart Fab15 Toy List. This set is great not only for kids, but for Star Wars fans of all ages.  Go on a quest to rescue Han Solo from Boba Fett. This LEGO scene comes with minifigs of Boba Fett, Han Solo and an Ugnaught native. Not only does it come with the Carbon Freezing center, but also a moving elevator, detailed central control and of course, all freezing functions. Warning- only freezes LEGOs, your little brother is safe. Available at KMart for $25, prices vary elsewhere.

big toys

Can’t get enough Star Wars? You will love Jakks Pacific new Star Wars Big Figs. These are all the fun of your Star Wars action figures, only much, much bigger. You can get the Big Fig 18-19″,  the “Massive” roughly 31″, and the “Colossal” 48″. Yes, that might actually be bigger then your child. Options range from Storm Troopers to the man in black himself, Darth Vader, and everything in between. They have articulated joints, so they are not just statue-like and hanging out. These are very, very cool- any kid will tell you these are a must, and on any Star Wars fan’s holiday wish list.  As the sizes and characters vary, so do the prices, from around $20 to about $99.  Visit for more.


From the very big, to the very small- have you heard of TsumTsum? This Japanese craze has hit American shores, and kids are flipping out for these adorable animals which translated, mean “stack stack”. Fitting name, since that’s exactly what you do with them. The Disney Tsum Tsum Series One 9-pk is another one of KMart’s Fab15 list, and it’s easy to see why. This is the perfect starter pack, since it comes with 3 each of the small, medium, and large Disney themed TsumTsum. Also included is a collecter’s guide, and one of the medium toys is a “mystery character”. This pack is $16.99 at or in stores, prices vary by retailer.

zoomer marshall

One last animal for our list is one of the latest in the Zoomer robotic pet line, Zoomer Marshall. PAW Patrol’s dalmatian fire dog is ready to roll, with more then 80 interactive rescue missions and tricks, 150 sounds and phrases, he plays the “PAW Patrol” theme song (and dances to it), has water cannons to shoot (not real water) and more. Just charge him up, pat his head, and get ready to save the day. AA batteries not included. Available from KMart’s Fab15 list from about $70, other retailer prices will vary.

HGTV’s Santa HQ at Freehold Raceway Mall #SantaHQ #loveHGTV

santa visit

It is that magical time of year again, where malls across the country are packed with shoppers, including kids and parents of all ages. One of the main draws of shopping at the mall, beyond the shopping, is to see the big man himself Santa. This year HG TV brings you a very special Santa’s HQ, where visitors travel to the North Pole and explore the big man’s abode. The visit starts interestingly enough, with an app download. There really is an app for everything. The app is called Elf-Ray vision, and should be downloaded before you get to the mall.

app for santa

This app gives the user a special insight into the working of the elves. Point your phone at the walls, and see what the elves have been up to. Once activated, the gears show elves working hard behind the scenes or getting ready for the big day. These scenes are dispersed at various places all along your trek, so keep an eye out. The first step is the “Elfie Selfie” in Santa‘s workshop where, after snapping your pic as an elf, you star in your own holiday video (that also features some HGTV favorite stars) that you can share with with your loved one as well- just email it to yourself on the tablet.

visit santa

Next up is the Naughty or Nice O’Meter. Users input their name, then they are measured on whether they have been naughty or nice. My son was just barely nice, according to the meter, but he made the cut… far. Then off to the observatory where your Elf Ray vision really kicks in, and you can see an incredible display with twinkling snow and presents. The end of your visit culminates in a family photo, and then a meeting with the big guy himself, Santa. Make sure your kids bring him a list- then you can avoid those post office lines 😉

mall santa

Guests of the mall are invited start to making reservations by visiting Guests also can enter to win $10,000 in cash online at or in mall at the Concierge Desk beginning November 14th.

Enjoy your visit!

Skylanders Black Friday Deals

black friday

If your children love Skylanders, you are going to want to know about these deals.

Black Friday Deals

  • Starter packs at $39.99 at all major retailers
  • Senseis at $9.99 at all major retailers
  • Portal Owners Pack at $25 at WalMart
    • Owners of Skylanders SuperChargers, Skylanders Trap Team, Skylanders Swap Force or Skylanders Giants do not have to buy the Skylanders Imaginators starter pack and can get the Portal Owners pack instead and use the portal from the other games!
    • Included in the Portal Owners Starter Pack:
      • Skylanders Imaginators Video Game
      • 2 Skylanders Sensei Figures –  Master King Pen and Golden Queen
      • 1 Imaginite Creation Crystal – Fire Creation Crystal
      • 1 Sticker Sheet
      • Collection Poster featuring the complete set of Skylanders Imaginator Figures


Starry Station for Internet Control

The internet is a huge big open place with lots of distractions, and some not so nice things for kids’ eyes and ears.  The best way to keep them from seeing these things is with a fine tooth comb where you can sift through their activity and deliver only what you deem fit.  School and information related web sites, appropriate entertainment, and also limiting their time online.  In an ideal world, this would be as easy as a few button swipes or pushes, but we live in a  less then ideal world where we use flashing blinking lights on a router to show the health of our internet connection, and then complicated connection settings dialed in via specific addresses to maybe get the control you are looking for.  There is another way.


The Starry Station is a wireless router which has a built in touch screen to let you not only see the health of your network, but also what devices are connected to it. You can give these devices certain access, including time limits, content limitations, and cutting content completely. This could be for things like going outside time or bed time, meal time (am I right? Get your phone off the table!) whatever works for you.  No more hiding a phone under the sheets and playing games until the wee hours of the morning.  What is most interesting about the Starry Station is how well it fits into the decor of any room, be it a living room, computer room or a dining room.  It looks like a mini work of art with lots of color and activity, but not so much that it is a distraction.


There is also an App to interface with the Starry Station to give even more control over your router and the devices connecting to your network.  With custom names, icons, and rules for each device it is a breeze getting started and even easier to add new devices when a friend comes by or a new device is added to the household.  Starry Station is available online at Amazon and retails for $299.95.

There is a Cyber Monday promotion for the Starry Station. From Thanksgiving (11/24) through the following Tuesday (11/29), the Starry Station will be available for $224.99 (25% the MSRP) on,, B& and Best as well as in store.

North Pole Kids Club

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own. For more information, see “I Disclose”.

The magic of Christmas time is very fun for the majority of people. It gets even more exciting when you have children. The North Pole Kids’ Club does nothing but get your family even more excited for the magic of the Christmas Season.

About North Pole Kids Club:

Since Santa is especially busy during the holiday season, the North Pole Kids’ Club is brought to you by Cooper’s Corner, a magic workshop just outside of Denver, Colorado. They create fun and festive products that promote family togetherness and the spirit of Christmas.

Colleen Nutter, Chief Operating Elf, of the North Pole Kids’ Club has direct orders from Santa Claus to certify as many Junior Elves as possible. For kids that want to stay off the naughty list, enlisting in the North Pole Kids’ Club secures a spot on Santa’s nice list. That’s because youngesters 4-years-old and up become Junior Elves by being polite, helpful and merry. It all starts with the Official Elf Kit.


About the Official Elf Kit:

The Official Elf Kit (Single Pack), from the North Pole Kids’ Club is a Christmas activity kit containing everything a kid needs to help out Santa, become a certified junior elf, and make a merrier Christmas!

Each kit includes:

  • Cozy elf hat with North Pole Kids’ Club insignia in green or pink
  • Magical key that helps Santa visit
  • Letter from Santa
  • 64-page Official Handbook, with an illustrated story explaining how the North Pole Kids’ Club began
  • 16-page elf activity book to write and color in
  • Official elf certificate
  • North Pole Kids’ Club membership card

Ages 4+



My Thoughts:

How wonderful and exciting. My girls were so very excited to become official elves. They loved getting their own neat little package with all the goodies that it entailed. They have had a great deal of fun looking through and reading the Official Handbook. They also greatly enjoyed the activity book. I think that this is a great company and product to take your holiday season to the next level. It is a great way to get your children even more involved in this special time of the year.


If you are interested in purchasing a single or double Kit, head on over to the website and get one headed your way right away.

Don’t forget to use this awesome discount code “BLOG20”, which gives 20% off your order at checkout on the company’s website and expiresDecember 5, 2016.

Starting Your Holiday Shopping? Check Out These Fun Items

If you, like me, like to get a head start on the holiday shopping, you will love these cute and fun toys. Your children (grandchildren, nieces or nephews, etc) will have a ball with these long after the festivities are done.

kids charm bracelet

Do you know a little girl who loves crafts? How about jewelry? She would enjoy Charm U®. Designed for kids aged five and up, they can create and then wear these cute toys that double as jewelry. There are more then 70 charms currently available, including fun foods, pets, princess, travel, sports, and more. These are very cute, and very trendy at the moment as well.  There are starer sets that come with the Charm U Bracelet and Eight Charms– everything a girl could need to begin her designing and creativity. This comes with a charm bracelet and eight different charms,as the name suggests- but you also get a “surprise charm” in a fun mini backpack, stickers, and more.  (about $12.99) If you ant to add some charm, there are additional charm packs with four charms or blind bags that each have two collectible charms. Looking for a little more? Try the Charm U Display & Playsets for about $19.99.

fighting robotsMy 9 year old son loves Big Robots, these were one of his “must have” toys this year, and it’s easy to see why. The 8” fighting robots are responsive and easy to set up. You use handheld controllers to “fight” (think motion controlled nun-chucks), moving your hands to move the robots.  They are easy to control, and fun- even for dad. They work best on a flat, smooth surface- floors are best, you don’t want them to fall off a table.  Also cool are the“damage tracking” LEDs that let you see the devastation you inflict. About $59.99 each, or $119.99 for a 2 Pack- and you are going to want the 2 pack, they are nowhere near as much fun alone.
travel stuffed toys
When you are ready to go to bed or snuggle up by the fire, grab your FlipaZoo. The coolest thing about FlipaZoo is that they are not only two animals in one toy, but also that it is two items in one. Not only a toy, it doubles at a pillow, something this traveling mom loves. They are so cute and the plush is very soft (and they are smooshy-cuddly, even if that’s not a real word).   There are 12 transforming characters available, just flip them from one to another. Safe for all ages, $19.99 on the website. When you buy, you get a free “Little Flipzee” mini FlipaZoo as a bonus.
Do you know Kate & Mim-Mim? If your kids are fans of this fairly new TV show, they will love the new toys available. One of the most fun is the Kate & Mim-Mim Magic Twirl  Mim-Mim, a large (and oh so soft) stuffed purple bunny from Mimiloo. Mim-Mim also likes to chat- he says 10 phrases from the show. You can turn off the sound if you are so inclined or for bedtime, if you’d like to.  About $19.99. If you want to complete your set, there is the Kate & Mim-Mim Adventures with Kate Doll. Standing at 8.5”, she comes dressed in in her adventure outfit and ready have some holiday fun with Mim-Mim.  About $12.99.
powerpuff girls toys
If you have a little helper on your hands, you can give them a playset that will encourage them to act on those instincts. They can help save the world- or at least Townsville- from any evil doers that would threaten it. (It’s also a good size for many standard size action figures, so “friends” can join in.)  The Deluxe Flip To Action Playset comes with 2″ Bubbles and Professor Utonium (other figures and playsets  sold separately) and with an easy flip, transforms from The Powerpuff Girls’ bedroom to their superhero lab. Who wouldn’t love that commute? The set looks just like the rooms on the TV show, and the “accessories” like dressers and backpacks, flip with the rooms and stay attached (no pieces to lose!) Available for about $24.99 at most major retailers, safe for kids 5 and up.

Piper Was Afraid – Kids Book and Plush Toy

kids book

What’s better then a cute kid’s book? One that comes complete with a stuffed animal of it’s hero, of course. Piper, an Irish Wolfhound, was afraid. Of other dogs, of storms- of pretty much everything. Big a dog as Piper was, he was just a scaredy cat. What will Piper do?

“Piper Was Afraid! Piper is the main character of the children’s book Piper was Afraid. He is a cute and cuddly companion that helps children be brave… especially at bed time. Piper comes with an adoption certificate as well as instructions on what to do if Piper gets scared! “Piper was Afraid” is based on a real Irish Wolfhound named “Inspirations Bagpiper of Blackwatch” or Piper for short. He is a rescue dog and was adopted by the owners of The Inn at Willow Grove in Orange, Va.”

Check out the Inn at and don’t forget to tag your photos of Piper with @piperwasafraid to get featured on his instagram page- and who doesn’t want that?  Interaction with the real Piper. Well….his people, anyway.

My son got a kick out of Piper, and my guess is your children will as well. Even the very youngest kids will not have a problem following along this simple book with an easy, and relateable theme. Most kids get scared now and again- if a big dog like Piper can get scared (and learn to be brave), then they can feel better about it, themselves. Maybe they will feel like trying something new as well, and having a “brave” moment, just like Piper. Plush Piper can go along on adventures with your child as well, or just snuggle in for a story and bedtime.


Adorable Handcrafted Plush Dog is available with it’s hardcover book. The Piper stuffed toy comes with an adoption certificate, the kids get a kick out of that.
Piper’s soft, shaggy fur feels like a real Irish Wolfhound.
Get your set today in time for the holidays! Order at

Treasure Necklaces From Chamilia Review


The new Treasure necklaces from Chamilia will be a timeless and priceless necklace every woman will want to adorn her neck. From a Swarovski company, the Treasure sterling silver necklaces are the perfect gift for this holiday season.

With this new Treasure necklace collection, which features six dainty classic sterling silver disc pendants each featuring an engraved sentiment on the front; with the words Love, Friend, Sister,Family, Mom, and Daughter to choose from with the Chamilia hummingbird logo on the back of each pedant.

Chamilia necklaces are beautiful sterling silver, open-filigree frames are electroplated in 14 karat gold and lay freely on top of the discs, which hang from 18″ sterling silver chains with a 2″ extender.

Treasure Necklaces

Chamilia line has beads, charms, necklaces, build your own to create your personal style and look. The charms that Chamilia has for every event, sports, city,animals, and so many more that you can create your own charm bracelet.There are tons of different jewelry and other items for $50 or less and create a holiday gift she will never forget.

This is a perfect holiday gift to express your love to that special woman in your life; give her a touch of classy elegance this year. Treasure your relationship this season with the new Treasure necklaces from Chamilia.

Swarovski jewelery