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BabyLit books: You won't want to put your eye out!

BabyLit books: You won’t want to put your eye out!

I cannot promise that your toddler will not want to read these over and over until your ocular nerve gives out. Actually, they probably will, because they’re totally adorable, but we’re talking about YOU here. So, while I can’t promise you won’t be asked to read these way too much, I CAN promise you that we have finally found some board books that don’t insult our intelligence.

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Caught "tween" a rock and hard place...

Caught “tween” a rock and hard place…

I remember my own “tween” years as being extremely confusing, emotional, and overly dramatic. Everyone I know who is currently raising a “tween” girl has mentioned that this stage of life is filled with drama at least once. So when I was contacted and asked if I’d like a review copy of The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship by Annie Fox M. Ed., I said yes. Yes, I would like to read anything that is meant to help girls find their path socially, with less drama and confusion.

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Disney on Ice is more spectacular than ever with Frozen!

Disney on Ice is more spectacular than ever with Frozen!

Disney on Ice presents Frozen surprised me by being even MORE visually spectacular than other Disney on Ice presentations I’ve seen. From the incredibly detailed costumes to the incredibly vibrant color palette, the show was eye candy from start to finish. The iconic costumes were, obviously, interpreted for freedom of movement, so if you have an active princess on your hands, you might want to fuel her imagination with one of these versions, if you can.

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Why does food stick to the pan?

Why does food stick to the pan?

When I recently received the Ozeri 12″ Green Pan in exchange for my feedback, I realized that I actually do not know why food sticks to the pan. (And you’re probably thinking, “you didn’t care, either, did you?”) This turned out to be one of those little “I wonder” moments that turned into a revelation. Yes,

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We all wanna see the plan

We all wanna see the plan

Has anyone ever asked your son who he’s going to marry? Mine get asked what they’re going to be when they grow up, not about their marital prospects. I mean, I can see how I might benefit from arranging marriages for them right now, at ages 7 and 3. I have exactly zero goats on hand, and a couple of dowries would fix that right up- but no one has ever asked them what they thought of it.

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Teal Pumpkin GIVEAWAY: Let's make Halloween fun for all kids by offering food-free treats, too!

Teal Pumpkin GIVEAWAY: Let’s make Halloween fun for all kids by offering food-free treats, too!

FARE encourages us to consider painting a plastic pumpkin to re-use year after year. They also have a printable sign available. I personally prefer a little lighter and warmer style of decorating, so I have designed my own sign, which I’m sharing with you. Won’t you please pin it (or the one by FARE) to your Halloween board? Even if you don’t get ToTers at your place, you can spread the word! Thanks!

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Sweet Potato Chicken Chili Recipe & Dei Fratelli Ripened Recipe Contest

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili Recipe & Dei Fratelli Ripened Recipe Contest

This sweet potato chili is what I consider “Pretty spicy,” as in, “Serve with cornbread,” but not “don’t touch it with your skin because it’s chemical weapons spicy.” So grab an apron and let’s get our cook on.

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Honey Praline Bread Pudding Recipe

Honey Praline Bread Pudding Recipe

My little guy declared it “honey cake” (Why? I have no idea, as it’s nothing like cake, but if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.) and kept trying to steal mine. (You’re lucky I got a photo for you, as he’s perfectly capable of inserting his spoon right into my photo shoot!)

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Book 'em Kiddo: Draw-A-Saurus by James Silvani

Book ‘em Kiddo: Draw-A-Saurus by James Silvani

Even if you aren’t sure which end of the pencil to hold, as long as there’s a dino lover in your house, you’ll get a lot of bang out of this book. Without the instructions on how to create your own dinosaur illustrations, this book would be charming, funny, and informative. With them, it encourages the reader to build their artistic skills by thinking about the science and by drawing comparisons to modern animals.

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One, two, BOO! A spooky story time plan

One, two, BOO! A spooky story time plan

Despite the fact that my kiddo is deeply ambivalent about his costume, we are all looking forward to Halloween at my house! And there is no better way to celebrate any holiday, in my opinion, than with hands-on learning activities and a nice story time. This roundup has got messy play, recycling bin crafts, printable games, and fun Halloween snacks your kids will love to make. Maybe it will buy us all a little reprieve from answering “is it Halloween yet?”

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10 things that have changed since I had kids, and one that has not.

10 things that have changed since I had kids, and one that has not.

I read 10 reasons another blogger thinks we don’t want to be her friends now that she’s got kids. Here is my list of the 10 things that are different about me now that I have kids… I hope we can still be friends…

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#LegoKidsFest is a Full Immersion Lego Experience!

#LegoKidsFest is a Full Immersion Lego Experience!

If you’ve ever wanted to take your kid to a LEGO theme park and been disappointed that it was too far away, then cross your fingers that Lego KidsFest will be coming to a town near you. Apparently, being near this many LEGO bricks produces a contact high in small children and my kids are not immune. If LEGO KidsFest had not provided tickets to my family in exchange for our feedback, I might have been hesitant to go out of my way to attend this event- and I would have been wrong, wrong, wrong.

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20+ DIY gifts for geeks of all kinds

20+ DIY gifts for geeks of all kinds

I have here compiled a list of DIY, no-tech gifts and activities that will delight the geekiest of geeklings. Whether you want a last minute item to round out a stocking, or something for the quiet bag for a family car trip, one of these is sure to fill the bill.

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Sorry, honey, I'm busy exploding dinner.

Sorry, honey, I’m busy exploding dinner.

It turns out that I’ve been endangering my family in the kitchen. Don’t worry, though, I’m prepared to distract you from that confession with a recipe for Cranberry Barley Vegetarian Casserole that will go over great at Thanksgiving dinner, or any time.

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You get what you get, and you don't get upset.

You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.

In which I declare it open season and offer up a referendum on other people’s parenting in public. No really.

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Debt Free Holiday: Photo Gifts

Debt Free Holiday: Photo Gifts

Photo gifts are the epitome of creative, personalized giving. One of my favorite, budget friendly gift ideas came from my friend, JMM Mary S when I asked for ideas for my mom for Mothers’ Day, several years ago. She suggested I purchase my mother an 8×8 photo scrapbook, and create additional pages in installments. I

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#BigAppleCircus is a tent full of wild, crazy, and amazing... so, basically, it's a circus. An awesome circus!

#BigAppleCircus is a tent full of wild, crazy, and amazing… so, basically, it’s a circus. An awesome circus!

Inside the Big Apple Circus tent you’ll find a lot of things- a box of ferrets, a dancing camel, horse riding goats, and trained shelter dogs among them- but the single thing you’ll find most abundant is delight. The show is performed in a smaller than average tent, so you are never terribly far from the action. In fact, at times, the show actually comes out into the audience and you may find yourself becoming part of the show.

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30 minute "Faux" Mein Recipe

30 minute “Faux” Mein Recipe

This easy lo mein recipe is quicker than takeout, can be made with beef, chicken, or tofu, has vegetarian and vegan variations, and my husband said it was better than the restaurant version. The sauce only has four ingredients- five if you count water. Everybody has got time for that!

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RAHWR! Nope. RAHWR! Nope.

RAHWR! Nope. RAHWR! Nope.

I’m glad to tell you that this dragon (NO. DINOSAUR. okay, how about versatile?) costume is up to the job. The sturdy cape is fully lined and closes with a velcro tab. (Not a flimsy tie or a hard to work snap- just a nice, well sewn tab that holds it on, but will come undone easily if the cape gets caught on something.) The mits have a slit opening with a little pocket above it, so your kiddo can pick between operating the claws, or operating their hands. It’s cute with the fingers in or out, both.

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The body part game

The body part game

In which the little dude makes up a silly body part game and IT’S A TRAP.

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If you need me, I'll be in Detox.

If you need me, I’ll be in Detox.

The rules are simple. Get BINGO, have a glass of wine. Repeat until your child is potty independent, or until you’re under inpatient care and it’s no longer your problem.

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And sometimes, dogs hate the Amish.

And sometimes, dogs hate the Amish.

There was this one time, when I lived in Ohio, that I had this little black dog with a curly tail. Actually, it wasn’t one time, I had her for a long time, until she went to live with my ex. I tell you this so you don’t think she’s gone on to the Happy

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Girls just wanna be ninjas

Girls just wanna be ninjas

Are cartoons important? I think maybe sometimes they are. Maybe it’s a first world problem. But whatever we can use as a tool to teach our kids that trying to shut down a conversation by telling other people their opinions aren’t important seems kind of important to me. I think it’s worth talking about the messages our kids get from their entertainment. I think it’s worth telling the people who produce the things our kids like how they can get more support from us, the consumer. I think it’s worth sticking up for equality everywhere, whether it’s in our lives or in the microcosm we call entertainment.

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Potty training for dummies

Potty training for dummies

Let me give you the rundown on the Three Day Potty Training Method. (Apparently, I’m supposed to hit you up to buy my ebook or subscribe to my video training course here, which will run you anywhere from $29.99 to $50, but I seem to be as bad at milking people out of their money as I am at potty training. You can thank me later.)

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