Thursday, November 29, 2012

start off your holidays with a bit of sweetness: cali candy cane doll (review and giveaway)

edited to add:  congratulations, lili!  you won the christmas groovy girls doll!

in december, i will be posting a variety of holiday gift guides describing some of the toys and games that we have been learning about and asking for lately.  i thought it would be fun to start off the holiday gift guide writing with a fun, little giveaway.

isn't she sweet?

this doll is our family's first official groovy girl.  my older girls always liked the groovy girls, but never somehow, they never found one under the tree.  i'm thinking that lilianna needs a toy to call her own, something the girls haven't already played with and collected (and dirtied).  i think groovy girls is a good choice for her.

these dolls are great because they satisfy a girl's fashion consciousness (i'm sorry if that sounds "gendered" but i can already see this consciousness with two-year-old lilianna) without the sexiness of a barbie doll.  her skin is a nice, soft plush so she's nice and cuddly for sleeping with at night.  her hair is pretty and curly without getting too tangly or frizzy.  her dress comes off (with velcro) but not her hat (unless you want to snip the threads holding it in place).  she is listed for ages three and up.

cali candy cane is pretty holiday-focused, with her green and red outfit, so i'm trying to decide if we will keep her out year-round or if she will just make special appearances at christmastime.  i'm also considering using her as our "elf on a shelf."  i'm sure that offends the purists out there, but since we don't have an elf on a shelf, and i don't really want to pay for one, i thought she would make a fun alternative.

i have a cali candy cane to give away to one of you faithful readers.  hopefully you can find a sweet, little girl to share her with, or make her a part of your own holiday decorating.  just visit the manhattan toy website and tell me one other toy you would love to share with a special someone (i know someone who would also love a baby stella).  i will choose a winner using random.org on thursday, december 6. usa residents only; must be 18 years old or older to enter.

if you just can't wait to win the giveaway, you can purchase your own cali candy cane doll (or choose from a wide variety of other groovy girl dolls) at the manhattan toy website or from your local specialty store.

i received a cali candy cane doll from manhattan toy (plus one to give away) for the purpose of this review.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Monday, November 19, 2012

treat greeting cards have a treat for you! (free offer)

in an age when we "shoot" emails, facebook or tweet people, it can be nice to find a special something in the physical mailbox.

treat is shutterfly's new greeting card brand.  they want to make it easy for us all to create and send greeting cards.  they have cards for holidays, birthdays, congratulations, thank yous and just about any other occasion you can think of.
with the holiday season now upon us, treat wants to "treat" you to a free card to send to someone special.  do you want to say "thank you" for a great thanksgiving?  spread some holiday cheer?  celebrate the season's first snowfall?  now you can create and send a personalized greeting card for free.

this offer is only good for monday, november 19 and tuesday, november 20 so head on over and make someone's day extra special.  just use the code: TREATBLOGR when you check out.

happy thanksgiving, everyone!

i am receiving compensation for sharing this offer with you.  nevertheless, i love the card selection at treat and i believe you will too.  the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a pinypon party every day (review)

if there is one thing we love as a family, it is being able to share with others.

recently we were given the opportunity to share pinypon dolls with a whole group of our friends.  have you heard of pinypon dolls before?  we hadn't either, but now they are one of our new favorite things.

pinypon dolls come with a variety of accessories.  you can change everything about your doll:  hair, face, shirt, bottoms, along with a wide range of flowers, barrettes, "jewels" or bows.  of course, the more dolls you collect, the more choices you have.

i always appreciate toys that can keep all four kids engaged and occupied together.  while the pinypon dolls are marketed to girls, there is one little boy doll that consoled tate when he had to miss out on the party.  his little boy doll has had lots of fun adventures with his sisters' dolls.  not only can you collect the pinypon dolls, but the dolls can shop at the mall or take the caravan to the beach or invite all their friends to stay at the hotel.

the girls had so much fun at the party, trying out the different accessories and changing their dolls' faces.  at home, all four kids have had fun coming up with fun adventures for their dolls.

check out the pinypon website for special offers and coupons.


of course, we wouldn't want to leave out lilianna.  she had the opportunity to try out a nenuco doll, as well as share one with a friend.
the doll is cute and comes with a potty chair and bottle.  of course, any baby can make lilianna and her friends happy!

here are some other fun photos from the party:






you can also find pinypon on facebook and twitter and nenuco on facebook and twitter.

i received 12 pinypon dolls, 2 nenuco dolls, and 2 pinypon caravans to share with the girls for this party.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Friday, November 2, 2012

ringling bros and barnum and bailey presents: dragons! delivers thrills and skills

last night, found dragons "tatianna," "may belle" and "bianca" wrapped lovingly in children's arms.

this morning, swords were flying to defend our honor, our home and our happiness.

can you tell that we were at the circus?

the theme of this years ringling bros. and barnum and bailey circus presents: dragons has inspired a lot of creativity and imagination around here.  thankfully, so far nobody wants to set a circle of swords on fire and leap through it.

during the martial arts display of the shaolin troupe, i leaned over to tate and said, "please don't try that at home."

"i can do that," he assured me confidently.

hopefully he just meant jump around and wave a stick, not the wrapping steel rebar around his neck part, or the laying on top of a very pointy spear part.
we have been to the circus many times now, but every year, i find myself gasping in awe or holding my breath with fear as i watch the performers in the magnificent acts.

some favorites for us this year definitely included tatianna and the cossacks riding their horses around a 46 foot diameter ring at speeds more than 25 miles per hour, performing all kinds of amazing acrobatic skills and feats, including climbing under the horse's belly while he continues to gallop.  thankfully, everyone made it out of the ring safely!
for tate, the show just wouldn't be complete without the tigers.  while we missed taba, our favorite tiger tamer this year, alexander lacey amazed us all with his courage in the face of so many snarling tigers and lions.  i still say it is hard to think of anything more majestic than the king of the beasts, the mighty lion with his shaggy mane.
i was a little nervous about attending the show on a school night.  it does seem a bit long.  we ended up leaving during the intermission, in spite of the kids' cries and complaints.

i thought the best part of the show was during the "all access pre-show."  we were there early, we had a front row position at one of the rings.  we saw the performing poodles, including one hilarious (but very naughty) jackson.  i could completely identify with the trainer, trying to keep a happy face for the public while wanting to let that naughty and rebellious child, er. dog, know exactly who was boss.  we watched a goat practice riding on a pony, and, best of all, say kelly ann, the elephant, and newcomer, may belle, up close and personal.

the kids and i had a great time talking to some of the performers.  i learned that when viktoryia medeiros of the medeiros troupe hangs from the ceiling from her hair, it actually does hurt, "some days worse than others, just like with life."  knowing that made me appreciate her performance even more.  on the other hand, tessa asked a clown if it hurts when they slap each other and learned that they don't actually make contact at all.  i'm sure that helped her relax a little more during the clowns' performance (my personal favorite).

overall, once again, the circus was a highlight for the kids.  when asked what they were thankful for on the way home (as we get ready for halloween), the kids said two things:  1) i'm thankful my mom is a blogger, and 2) i'm thankful for the circus.

you can't go wrong with that!

my family and i received free tickets to the performance.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

you can also find me here

some other groups i've joined

 

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