Salt dough thumbprint hearts

CaptureYour little sweetheart can design and paint their own thumbprint heart. All you need are some supplies from around your kitchen and house and you are all set. It’s a fun craft that your little one will love because it is all their own design. Go to the full article HERE for pictures and complete ingredients and instructions.

Re-Pin this craft here.

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Encourage your child’s creativity without any preparation

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Sometimes it’s very difficult to plan a craft. It takes time to get an idea, gather the materials, prepare the work area, get the kids together, explain what to do, have them make the craft, allow for drying time and complete any other steps you need to take.

You know you want your child to complete a craft. You want your child to be creative. You want your child to feel accomplished. Maybe you just want your child to do something different compared to their usual daily routine…

Read the entire article HERE.

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Kids will be surprised by a letter from Santa!

leaderboard_SWW728x90v2Start a new Holiday Tradition that will quickly be your child’s favorite! Santa is ready to send a beautiful package fully personalized just for your special loved ones.

Simply select the package you would like and watch your child’s absolute JOY when he or she receives a letter straight from the North Pole that talks all about them personally – what they want for Christmas and what they have done to be good. Watch your child’s eyes light up when they see their names on the Nice List!

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We recently had the opportunity to review this product and the kids loved it! It was very easy to order. I simply went to the website, chose the package I wanted and filled out my kids’ names and interests. In only a few days, we received the package!

Check out the cute labels and packaging!

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When the kids opened it, they were surprised to see a letter to them from Santa AND Rudolph, including an official Nice List certificate with their names on it. They played with the enclosed games, stickers and tattoos and talked about it for hours.

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They took the letters seriously and I heard them talking about it for days afterwards. It was such a fun and magical way to get them even more excited for Christmas.

Bring the magic of Christmas into your child’s life with santawillwrite.com.

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Fun at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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Looking for a fun day out with the kids? The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a great place to go for all ages (including adults). We recently had the opportunity to go for the very first time with some friends of ours. We spent hours there and enjoyed every minute of it!

We began in the water room where they played with buckets, rain, painted with water and even played with snow!

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Next,they dried off and changed, yes, we definitely recommend taking bathing suits so that your child’s clothing doesn’t stay wet the rest of the day. Even though they have smocks and dryers, you never know how much water your child will get into while they are having fun.

They headed straight to the ant hill and climbed and climbed and climbed for at least 20 minutes. Up and down, down and up. They loved it!

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Then we visited the tiled room! WOW! That’s all I can say. It was so much fun, even for me. You literally have to tilt yourself 20 degrees in order to walk straight and not fall into the black wall. We kept going back to try out our tilted walking talents.

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In the bounce room they designed their own bouncy balls!

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They even took a break and listened to a story or two.

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This made my day. I found the puppet of urSol the Enchanter from the movie, “The Dark Crystal.” I LOVED that movie as a kid!

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Check out this short 11 second video of the virtual puppets we played with. It sensed our movement and we viewed our movements on the screen through puppets.

Even though we were leaving, the kids still posed for a final picture outside after their wonderful day of fun.

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15% your package from Santa Will Write

leaderboard_SWW728x90v2Start a new Holiday Tradition that will quickly be your child’s favorite! Santa is ready to send a beautiful package fully personalized just for your special loved ones.

Simply select the package you would like and watch your child’s absolute JOY when he or she receives a letter straight from the North Pole that talks all about them personally – what they want for Christmas and what they have done to be good. Watch your child’s eyes light up when they see their names on the Nice List!

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Bring the magic of Christmas into your child’s life with santawillwrite.com.

15% off any purchase – Use promo code: FG15
Click here for your coupon

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Ends 12/17/14

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Save on Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates

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Time was when Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting.

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“It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe,” Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. “I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'”

Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

…In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch.

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“It was a difficult decision, especially for George,” Mrs. Cavanaugh said. “He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy – and could compete with – those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates.”

Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh’s candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence….
Ask chocolate aficionados. They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies.

We had the opportunity to try some of these chocolates and all I can say is “Mmmm. They were wonderful.” 20141121_22311120141121_223254Every piece of chocolate I ate was delightful. I savored each bite. Cream filled, caramel filled, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. The chocolate coating was very creamy too! Love!

I want you to enjoy these wonderful chocolates too. My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates use promo code: usfamily2014 http://www.mrscavanaughs.com/

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Dream Pets are an innovated kid’s sleep aid

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Dream Team Pets is much more than a bedtime toy-it’s an innovative kid’s sleep aid that helps end the bedtime battles of trying to keep your child in bed.

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Developed with the help of a pediatrician, Dream Team Pets bedtime routine empowers kids as they reward their Pet with stickers and a certificate for a good night’s sleep.

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If the child wakes up from a nightmare, there are no hard feelings because the responsibility is on their Pet, but when they successfully sleep in their own bed, the kids feel a sense of accomplishment as they reward their Dream Team Pet.

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What makes this unique is that the kids think they are training their Pet, but really they are sleep training themselves!

We had the opportunity to try out the Dream Pet. My son was ecstatic when he saw the doggy. We read the book and we talked about how his job is to teach his new doggy how to sleep well at night. 20141205_182610 He named him “Wish.” What a cute name. At the end of the training, Wish was trained and slept in his own bed all night. We definitely recommend the Dream Team Pet for your child to help them be confident and feel safe at night in their own bed.

Click here to choose your child’s Dream Team Pet

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Family game night got more fun. Plus FREE shipping until12/31/14

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WHAT?! You want me to spend time with my family?! That’s stressful and painful and long hours of talking about Grandpa’s latest ailment – how am I supposed to get through that?!

Hey, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Spending time with your family can be fun, especially if you have the right game to shake things up, get people laughing and enjoying themselves – and not talking about Grandpa’s foot fungus! The Haywire Group has just the games for you, this award-winning game company has a great collection of fun family games including DICEcapades! 2nd Edition and Bodydoodles The Tatoo Guessing Game .

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We had the opportunity to play Bodydoodles. The kids loved it! It was as easy as drawing a body card and a doodle card, picking the player you want to tattoo and drawing. Using the skin safe markers, a player draws the doodle on the chosen player while all the other players try to guess what is being drawn.

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Points are earned by the drawer and the guesser.

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Perfect for get-togethers with friend, sleepovers, birthday parties and anytime a child says, “Mom, I don’t have anything to do.”

Our only recommendation would be to have a wet washrag handy when playing this game. It came off most of us when we were done playing but a few of us had trouble getting all of the marker to wash off completely. We think because it had time to set, the color set in on our skin a bit more. It was still a lot of fun and we look forward to playing again and again.
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DICEcapades is a card game, a dice game, a trivia game, an action game and well, it’s just a game with about anything and everything in it, which is why it’s perfect for everyone. You may find yourself in a staring contest, answering obscure trivia or balancing dice on your hand while standing on one foot – you never know what your turn will bring (hint: you might want to start working on your hand charades skills!). This game will definitely have you looking forward to spending time with your family and if it doesn’t, give your friends a call for a game night, you can all escape your families together. DICEcapades! isn’t just the luck of the dice – it’s also the smarts of the roller.
For more exciting games from The Haywire Group – FREE Shipping through 12/31/2014, visit www.haywiregroup.com.

Use promo code: FREESHIPPING50

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Label Daddy offers amazing products!

labeldaddyLabel Daddy is the number one solution for labeling your belongings! Remember to label all clothing, sports equipment and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, and other places. Label Daddy labels keep them from getting lost or mixed up with others.

We recently had the opportunity to try these labels out. We ordered the zipper tags knowing they would come in handy to locate our items when we go on our first trip to Disney World next year. My kids LOVED them! Mickey is on the front and our name is on the back.  They put them on their purses and bags right away and they have been holding up ever since.

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There are so many products available. The labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels — they’re washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including Disney and Marvel characters, MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. Our exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for camp! These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Order yours at Label Daddy!

 

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The Elf is Back! (Insert opinion here….)

65236_572274586124064_608988500_nYes, Elf on the Shelf. Some heads shake in disgust and some bow in submission due to the impending responsibility. My head does both, along with being held high with a smile on my face.

Our elf, Ziggy, was named by my three children. They chose it. They own it. They love it. They look forward to it every year. Every. Year.

I hear the criticism about how it takes away from the meaning of Christmas. No it doesn’t. We still celebrate God’s love and the birth of Christ and enjoy the company of friends and family. I hear the criticism about how it’s only a way for parents to try to get their kids to behave. No it isn’t. It works. It doesn’t work. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.” Same idea.

I hear people complain about that stupid elf they see everywhere. I hear people complain about how it’s just another way for someone to earn money. I hear people criticize the mischievous elf. I hear people complaining that the kids will never remember the elf or appreciate the hard work the parents put into it each day. I hear it’s an unnecessary waste of time and effort. I hear blah blah blah blah blah. Opinions. We all have them.

I also hear the positive experiences with the elf. I SEE the joy on parent’s faces. I SEE the joy on kid’s faces. I SEE the joy on my own children’s faces. That makes it worth it.

That alone.

Today is the day after Thanksgiving. The day that the elf traditionally makes it’s re-appearance. My children have been asking about Ziggy for a few weeks now. They are excited. They look forward to it every year. They look forward to finding Ziggy every morning. It doesn’t matter if he is naughty or nice. It doesn’t matter if Ziggy is in the same place as he was the day before. That frequently happens for many reasons. It mostly happens because Ziggy just LOVES that particular spot. Not because Mommy or Daddy forgot to move him or are running out of ideas. No. That’s not it. He likes that spot.

The screams of excitement that came out of my son’s mouth when he saw Ziggy in the window this morning was pure joy. It was then followed by more screaming for his sisters to come downstairs to share in the excitement that he found Ziggy. I overheard them talking later about where they think he might show up next. (Thanks for the ideas kid)

Criticize all you want. Ask “how does she do it?” all you want. Ask “why do you bother?” all you want. Ask “where do you get all these ideas?” all you want.

I’m going to keep on doing it. When my oldest realizes how this all works, I’m going to keep on doing it. Even after my youngest realizes how this all works, I still might keep on doing it. Why?  I’m having fun. My husband is having fun. My kids are most definitely having fun. They still talk about things that Ziggy did 3 years ago. They re-visit these memories every year.

So what’s the point of this post? This post won’t change opinions. This post won’t be a pep-talk for you to go out and get an elf. This post is just a sincere way to show you why I do it. I will continue to share pictures of our elf. Enjoy it. My kids will.

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