Tag Archives: Toddlers

“My Magical Unicorn” Board Book Giveaway

Who says your days can’t be all unicorns and rainbows? Well, even if life throws you curveballs, you can escape with your child for a little while to a place that is beautiful with sparkles, and of course, a unicorn.

In this interactive unicorn novelty book, readers spin a wheel to animate the character on the front cover. Sparkly holographic foil creates a truly impressive effect as the unicorn’s horn, mane, and tail seem to flow with magical energy!

More interactive mechanisms are featured inside the book. Push, pull, spin, and slide your way through the unicorn’s enchanted land as she helps other magical creatures, clears away a rainy day, and plays with her unicorn friends. With gentle rhymes, bright colors, and a bit of sparkle and shine, this magical unicorn is sure to delight!

My Magical Unicorn will be available on February 12th but you can pre-order it now.

  • With their mystical appeal, unicorns continue to enchant and captivate young readers
  • Includes a special novelty and interactive element on every page, and sparkly holographic foil on the cover
  • Use of tactile elements not only invites the reader to participate in the stories, it also refines fine motor skills: readers can push, pull, spin, and slide their way through the unicorn’s enchanted land
  • My Magical Mermaid and My Magical Dragon will also be published as part of this adorable series for toddlers

Giveaway:

Abrams Appleseed is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own, My Magical Unicorn Book! Thank you to Abrams Appleseed for the review book and for sponsoring this magical giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US Readers.

My Magical Unicorn Board Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!

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Pick up Some Spook-Tastic Halloween Fun From PBS Kids on DVD!

Halloween is just around the corner and there is still time to pick up some Halloween Thrills you can share with your kids on DVD from PBS Kids!

THREE NEW PBS KIDS DVDS OFFER SPOOK-TASTIC HALLOWEEN FUN  

 Halloween-PBS

 

Each of these DVDs features a PBS KIDS series – CAILLOUPEG + CAT, and WORDWORLD. From carving a jack-o’-lantern with Caillou to going on a trick-or-treating adventure with Peg and Cat, these DVDs include fun-filled laugh-out-loud stories full of Halloween excitement.

 

 

CAILLOU: CAILLOU’S HALLOWEEN

Calillou Halloween Dvd

CAILLOU’S HALLOWEEN” features 13 stories including “Caillou Loves Halloween,” “Pumpkin Patch Kid,” and “Caillou’s Halloween Costume.” In “Caillou’s Halloween Costume,” Caillou and Rosie are trying to pick out costumes as Halloween quickly approaches – but Caillou can’t decide what he wants to be. With help from Mommy and Daddy, a furry blue monster costume is created for Caillou so he can join Leo, a cowboy, and Clementine, a bumblebee, for trick-or-treating!

 

PEG + CAT: A TOTALLY AWESOME HALLOWEEN

Peg Hallowween dvd

Combine Halloween excitement with mathematical fun and you’ve got “PEG + CAT: A TOTALLY AWESOME HALLOWEEN.” This DVD features four adventures, two of which are Halloween themed – “The Parade Problem” and “The Halloween Problem.” In “The Parade Problem,” kids will learn about sorting and estimating as they watch Peg and Cat clean up a park to ensure the nursery school’s Halloween parade takes place. After watching Peg and Cat solve this problem, kids can join Peg, who dresses up as a mailbox, and Cat, who decides to be a fire hydrant, on a trick-or-treating adventure that features the duo using their math skills to divide up Halloween treats so that everyone gets a fair share.

The PEG + CAT series is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education through the Ready To Learn Initiative, a program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

 

WORDWORLD: HALLOWEEN FUN

wonderworld halloween dvd

In the frightfully fun DVD “WORDWORLD: HALLOWEEN FUN,” join the WordFriends on adventures that demonstrate the connections between letters, sounds, words, and meaning. This DVD features five stories including “A Kooky Spooky Halloween” and “Sheep’s Halloween Costume.” In “A Kooky Spooky Halloween,” Pig is so worried about finishing his Halloween bags, because he’s missing the letter B, that he ends up sleepwalking. As he sleepwalks, collecting Bs along the way, everyone thinks he’s a ghost!

 

 

 

 

About PBS KIDS

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs.  Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

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Top Must Visit Family Attraction in Atlanta, Georgia

The wonderful folks at Georgia Aquarium brought us in for a full day of fun while we were recently in Atlanta.  Our day started with  “Growing Guppies,”  which is a program for 2 -5 year olds.  Luke and Ethan got the VIP treatment, they were the only ones and had a private session that included behind the scenes tour where they got to go to the top of the tanks in the back.  That was super cool for both the kiddies and Jimi and I.  We were inches from the Whale Shark they were learning about that day.  They got to wear lab coats and carry clipboards and make a Whale Shark hat.  It was really fun and we had wonderful knowledgeable staff with us that tailored the experience to Ethan and Luke.

Ethan drawing a Whale Shark

Our Little Scientists!!!

Luke holding tight to his blanket at the top of the tanks.

A Magnificent Whale Shark swimming right by us.

The culmination of the “Growing Guppies” program was meeting the friendly and cuddly Whale Shark!!!

After that we were set to explore the world’s largest aquarium.  We had a lot to cover, but it was so exciting and the exhibits were so captivating we were in awe the whole time.  The hands on exhibits were a highpoint of Ethan’s day.  He loved touching and petting the rays, that was great fun.  Walking through the see through tunnels in the tanks was just awesome, we got to view these magnificent creatures from all angles.

Daddy and Luke checking out the Shrimp.

Petting the Rays!!!

Beluga Whales!!!

Very captivated by the fish with his little pearly whites!!!

So much to see!!!

Lemonade Break!!!

So many colors!!!

Can you find Nemo?

We were in for a real treat later in the day at the “AT&T Dolphin Tales Show.”    This fantastic show just premiered at the Georgia Aquarium on April 2, 2011.  The show was 2 years in the making and is dedicated to creating memorable connections between humans and animals and helping guests better understand one of mankind’s favorite aquatic animals, the majestic dolphin.   Since no flash photography or video is allowed, I cannot share images with you but trust me the show is a must see when visiting the aquarium.   An original score was performed and recorded by a 61-piece orchestra at Sony Studios in Hollywood. Emmy-winning producers and directors, along with a team of talented individuals from TV, film and Broadway, developed the show. Some of the world’s most accomplished animal trainers were recruited. Together, they have created an experience which motivates and inspires guests.

One of the stars, posing before the show!!!

We had lunch at the aquarium which was enjoyable and offered a wide selection of food and drinks to suit everyone’s individual taste.  Once we were refueled we were ready to take on the rest of the day.

With two toddlers, it is sometimes hard to find activities and venues that can capture their attention for a day  but the Georgia Aquarium succeeded with flying colors or should I say flying fish!!!

If you are looking for a great aquarium to visit then be sure to plan a trip to the Georgia Aquarium, you will not be disappointed.

After a trip to the gift shop for two cuddly friends and some T-shirts we were on our way back to the hotel but we had memories to last a lifetime.  Thank you Georgia Aquarium for all you did to ensure we had a wonderful visit.  We truly appreciate all your time and effort.

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Getting ready to hit the road!!!

Well, we have a few weeks before we leave but there is so much that needs to be done before a big road trip and vacation.  I have been putting things we need to bring in one of those big tubs that has the rope handles.  It is overflowing.  Sunscreen for kids, sunscreen for adults, sunglasses for everyone, water shoes, beach toys, cleaning supplies, hats and more.  I bought a collapsible insulated cooler for the ride down and at the beach to keep drinks cold.  We are going to have to purchase one of those cargo carriers you put on the top of your van for everything we need.  My husband likes to say, “Don’t worry we will buy whatever we need when we get there.”  He does not understand that I need to know we have what we need for the most part.  I am all for running to the store for essentials and little things but I want to know that I am pretty much set when we get there.   We are traveling with our two little 6 month old puppies, so we have a lot of their stuff as well to cart along with us.   Next I have to get our clothes together and figure out what to bring.  The little guys have a lot of new summer clothes so they are easy to pack for.  I have to go through my things and get to my summer stuff and see what I want to bring.  I pack too much but that is the way I am.  Oh and have I mentioned my husband is bringing a guitar or two because he is going to jam with family down there.  We will be tightly packed I am sure and I will be bringing quite the DVD assortment for the kids.    I would love to hear any tips that you have found helpful in road trips and vacations with toddlers and pets.

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Some Cake Pop After-Thoughts!!!

Can you believe it?  I am writing about cake pops once again.  Over the hours I have had to reflect after making them yesterday, I have had a lot of thoughts.  First, since I wrote my review last night right after making them, I do not think I was far enough away from the process to truly form an evaluation.  We all know that recipes are trial and error and that we often come away with things we would do different next time to improve the process.  So now that I have had the proper time to contemplate everything, I can say that I will attempt to make cake pops again.  I have to give it at least one more shot.  I think I will try the mold inventors recipe of using 1 package of Oreo cookies and one brick of cream cheese.  I do not think I will ever make cake balls again with red velvet cake.  It is not that the cake did not taste good but being they were on traveling sticks and having 5 kids that include two toddlers,  it had its problems.  Since the cake balls can fall off the sticks and some little children may then accidentally step in the fallen cake balls or go to pick them  up and accidentally make contact with my walls, there are some issues.  See, my kitchen tile floor and the hallway look like they would in the aftermath of a mob hit.  There is even a red hand print on the window of my side door.  Looks like the person fought until the end.   So today as I have been scrubbing up the evidence of the cake ball massacre, I have come to the conclusion that said children will only be allowed to eat the cake balls in their appropriate chairs.  Beyond that, I have found that it would have been easier if I had thinned the dipping chocolate with Crisco.  I hate using Crisco so I don’t have it in the house but after researching the web it seems that it is the thinner of choice.  Also, I think I would use different dipping chocolate.  I spent twice the price getting some premium brand and it seems I would have been better off with one of the more inexpensive choices out there.  So I guess we live and learn and I am no exception.  Sometime this week I will get to the store to get some more supplies and try this adventure again.  As I look at some of the alternatives to how others get a cupcake shape on the stick using a series of cutters and molding, I can safely say the “My Little Cupcake POP Mold” is a much easier and friendlier option.  You can also use powdered sugar on your hands to make handling the mixture less sticky.  So with all this said, I will indeed embark down this road again with my newly gained knowledge.  I will of course let you all know with pictures and words how it goes.   So yes, there will be more posts about cake pops in the future.  I certainly hope the winner of the give-away mold will send me some pictures of their creations so I can post them for you all to see as well.  Hope you all are enjoying Superbowl Sunday.  Jimi made a huge spread of goodies, wings, spiedies, dips, veggies, and more.  I love being married to a man who can cook.

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Cake Pop Prep and Funfetti Brownies.

The first step to making the cake pops is to make a cake.  Actually, the recipe on this mold recommends using a bag of crushed oreos and a block of cream cheese but I want to make more traditional cake balls so I am going to use red velvet cake and make my own cream cheese frosting.  Anyhow, once Ethan heard I was baking a cake, it was all over.  I knew I better whip up some funfetti brownies at the same time because he could never wait through all the steps for the cake ball pops.  He sat right up next to the island in his high chair to watch every detail and to help clean away the evidence.

The brownies before baking.

The Red Velvet Batter

Pouring into the pans.  I did use a mix for the cake but I am making my own cream cheese icing.

Licking up the evidence.

 

 

 

Brownies are done!  Ethan was so anxious for them to be done that when they had about 5 minutes left he told me to go to the oven and push the button.  I am flattered that my son thinks I possess that kind of power, that I can miraculously just make brownies done by pushing a button.  I explained to him that they would be done when the time was up and that me pushing buttons would not make it any faster.  Silly kid.

There was no cooling that was going to happen.  I had some very impatient customers.

When I asked Ethan to smile, he told me he was eating.  Then he quickly shoved another bite in his mouth.

A mouth full of brownie and a truck, is there anything better?

Got Milk?

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Fun in the snow!!!

Saturday we bundled the little ones up and let them go out in the snow.    Luke was so happy the whole time as you can see in his pictures and Ethan was eating and excavating the snow.  We are due to have a much bigger snowstorm tomorrow that could bring as much as 18″ so they should have a lot of fun.    Jimi and I and the little ones went on a much-needed trip to Sams and Wegman’s last Thursday night in prep for the storm.  We stocked up on essentials and groceries and really have been enjoying being home together-all seven of us.

Alexandra is going to start volunteering with Aileen Gunther from the NYS Assembly.  She is quite excited about doing that 2 days a week.   Well, just a short update and some pics.  Hope you all have a wonderful week and stay warm and drive safe if you are in the path of the storm.  God Bless.

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Gingerbread Dreams, Sugarplum Wishes!!!

Well, as I type my fingers are still sticky with royal icing.  I just finished assembling  the cottage structure of the gingerbread house, so that tomorrow it will be nice and sturdy for little hands to decorate with a multitude of colored, sweet and tangy candies.  I am not going in with expectations of a perfectly decorated gingerbread cottage that would grace the pages of “Good Housekeeping.”  I am well aware that with having  1 and 3-year-old designers, perfection is not what we are going for.  We will be going for perfectly imperfect.  I imagine between the sugar rush and their little fingers that the finished product will be lucky to come away with all four walls and the roof still attached.  I want to create the memories my children will carry with them as they grow and one day have their own families.  I think those things are so much more important than material things.  So late at night I fumble with the piping bags of sticky icing and mutter under my breath as it takes me a few tries to get the structure standing.   Tomorrow I will be whipping up another batch of the sticky stuff  to use as glue for the decorations.

Visions of chubby little hands sneaking tastes of the sticky sweet stuff and thinking that it is the greatest thing in the world to be decorating with the vast array of treats.  I am sure they will be in Gum Drop Heaven, with all the colors and textures and tastes.   It will be a lot of messy fun and I am looking forward to capturing their little faces on camera.  Those are the memories I want to keep long after the cookie house has crumbled away.  I love seeing the joy of the season through little eyes just discovering  things for the first time.  To see the wonder and the amazement of the season in their faces is so incredible.  I am so blessed to be able to go through this again as my it just goes by in a blink as I know with my older kids.  God was so great to have blessed me with the opportunity to experience it again.  I am so very grateful.

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Please Don’t Eat The Daises…err Cornflowers!

We have been Bulldog owners since 2008 and we have learned a lot along the way.  We have learned they will eat almost anything.  This includes much more than food items.  It includes cedar porch spindles that I will add have to be hand milled now at $15.00 a piece because we have run through all the extras we had when we built the house.  It also encompasses the weather-stripping of storm doors and that would most likely result in a trip to the vet because the dog had trouble passing the strip, not that I speak from experience or anything.  Obviously the kid’s toys, balls, shoes, UPS packages, and whatever else you would like to add can be included.  When first dealing with this it was a bit frustrating but I guess that is why God made American Bulldogs so darn cute and lovable because even with all this we would not trade them.

Last September I was in the yard with Ethan and Mack our 1.5 year old American Bulldog.  Loyal and true are two great words to describe him   I was taking photographs of them in front of a huge patch of Black Eyed Susans.  Well after a few shots Mack decided to take a taste and I could not resist a few pics.  You see by now I was used to it.  So he does a little pruning here and there, it’s not a big deal.  It also made for some darn cute pictures but when a few short days later we lost our majestic buddy to a severe diaphragmatic hernia it really put everything in perspective.  One of the last things I told my husband as he spent the last few minutes of Mack’s life with him was that I forgave him for everything he had ever eaten which was spoken through my tears.  His death ripped our hearts out and we could not imagine our lives without him.

Since his death we have added two American Bulldogs to our lives and I have to say have had our share of eaten items.  So the other day when after planting most of my new perennials I could not find my purple Cornflowers, I was a bit perplexed until I saw the container and the identification strip leading me to conclude that one of my dears had indeed ingested my lovely Cornflowers.  I had a moment or two of anger, but when I realized it was Echinacea and probably good for their immune system and that I could replace the flowers but never the dogs it put it all in perspective.

So, let them eat the Cornflowers, having since went to the local nursery and buying two more.  I realize my flower beds will never be Martha Stewart worthy.  I realize  there will be trampled flowers and such but that’s why I love perennials because they come back stronger every year and exactly what we need here.  So my flower beds will never be perfect, they will never be photographed in some famous garden magazine.  You know what though, that’s fine with us as we are far from perfect nor are our lives.  We embrace the perfectly imperfect lives we live and try to go with the flow and where it takes us.  We would rather have the chaos our teenagers, toddlers, and pets bring to our lives then to live in a pristine world with no fun.  We are so thankful for the joy that  chaos brings into our lives.  So if you eat the Cornflowers could you try to leave a few?  If you can’t…well, we understand.

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