Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Christmas Giveaway Featuring Monster Needs a Christmas Tree by Paul Czajak

You may have seen some of our previous reviews of the Monster and Me series from Scarletta Press by Paul Czajak. Well, just in time for the holidays comes the newest book: Monster Needs a Christmas Tree. Like its predecessors, this book sis beautifully illustrated and full of witty rhymes. The official description reads:

It’s almost Christmas time, and Monster needs a tree. But the holidays are filled with joy and so many fun things to do! After snowballs, sleds, and Santa Claus, will he find a tree in time?In this festive, rhyming story, Monster shows young readers that with a little creativity, a tree can be perfect any way you look at it. Parents and kids will laugh and cheer for Monster in Monster Needs a Christmas Tree.

The Monster series is a hit with my little monsters and Santa wants to come early for yours too. We have one copy of the book for a lucky reader, so enter below by answering our holiday poll and if not, pick up your own copy here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hot Holiday Gifts for the Dancer in your Life: Lexi-Luu Designs

As you all know, the girls have both been in dance since they were two years-old. Lea is constantly going in the dance drawer of her bureau (yes, we need a whole drawer for it) and dressing herself like a ballerina. This Christmas, I thought it would be nice to get them some funky new dancewear, and I will definitely be shopping at Lexi-Luu for it. Lexi-Luu is dancewear perfect for your little diva; the prints and styles are super girly and chic and unlike anything you can get in a retail store. Here are some of the things I am eyeing:

Such cute skull detailing
Love the ruffles on this set
Zoe loves peace signs so this is perfect
Classic ballerina glam

This is just perfect for lil' diva, Lea

Great stuff, no? I have searched far and wide for dancewear, and Lexi-Luu has not only a great selection, but it is absolutely will find nothing else like this! Want some for your little ballerina? Check below for a special deal just for my readers....happy shopping!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hot Holiday Gifts: Amazing Zhus Magical Meetup!

We received these products as part of "The Amazing Zhus Magical Meet-up" MommyParty Program, sponsored by Cepia LLC, all opinions are our own.

Have you heard of The Amazing Zhus yet? Chances are if you have a kiddo, you have, since mine have been begging for these guys since seeing the commercials. These little motorized pets perform various death defying stunts and magical feats all to the delight of your child. We were selected to host a magical party featuring these new toys and the Monsters and their friends loved them!

So much fun in one box
We received various party supplies and lots of products to test out including:

The Amazing Zhus™ Magician Pets
The Amazing Zhus™ Magician Pets are motorized pets that will amaze your friends as they perform magic tricks and gravity-defying stunts. The Amazing Zhus™ Magician Pets can correctly guess the answers to the Magician's Cards - without even looking, follow the Magic Wand wherever you lead them, or predict the pea's location in the Shell Game trick - every time. They even magically find their own way home to the Magician Houses! These talented pets can also perform stunts - including the High Dive and High Wire acts as well as the disappearing box!

The Amazing Zhus™ Stunt Pets
The Amazing Zhus™ Stunt Pets perform astounding acrobatics and gravity defying stunts! They can plunge over 3 feet from the High Dive into a bucket below, brave a Tightrope, run around on Circus Balls, and vanish in a Disappearing Box
The Amazing Zhus™ High Dive
Watch as the Amazing Zhus™ free fall a spine-tingling 30 inches from the High Dive into a tiny bucket of water below! They may act scared at first but eventually they will work up the courage and make the brave leap of faith!

Amazing Zhus™ Magician Shell Game
Hide the Pea under a Shell, shuffle them around, and let your Amazing Zhus™ Magician Pets work their magic! They will guess which (Walnut) Shell the Pea is hidden under, no matter how fast the sleight of hand. 

We got some friends together, donned our best top hats and got the magic going. My favorite of all the items was the magic shell game. The Zhu smells the card and correctly identifies which one it is. The kids were pretty amazed by this one! Since the party, the girls have been playing with the pets a lot. They weren't huge fans of the high dive, which surprised me, but they never really like bigger toys like that I suppose. These pets are the perfect Christmas gift and are exclusively available at Walmart. Check it out before they....disappear!

Watch some hilarity as we try to get a trick on tape!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hot Holiday Gifts: Orb Factory Art Sets

As you may have seen last year, we are big fans of Orb Factory and all the cool art sets they make for kids. Any budding artist would love to have any of their sets under the tree this year. We recently got a chance to try out a couple of their latest products and we had a great crafting afternoon. We received the Forever Friends necklace set and the Teddy Bear Pillow.

We had a great time making "fairy necklaces" as the girls were calling them. After this post goes up and the littlest monster goes to bed, we'll make the teddy bear pillow which features....NO SEWING (a kid crafting victory!)

Orb Factory does not disappoint, that's why they are on my holiday list. Want them on yours too? One lucky reader will win BOTH sets that we tried out. Enter below and keep an eye on my Facebook for our finished Teddy Bear Pillow!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Monster Mystery Boxes

My hubby kinda rocks at the whole arts and crafts thing. Besides being an accomplished painter, he can pretty much out Martha me any day. I had to share these amazing sensory boxes he made for Halloween, and I'll probably have him do a full tutorial for readers next Halloween. These came out amazing and all the little ghouls and goblins that tried them out loved them!

Our full breakdown of the box's spooky ingredients was:

Witch Warts (Raisins)
Werewolf Teeth (Popcorn kernels)
Zombie Brains (Cooked pasta)
Eerie Eyeballs (Peeled grapes)
Monster FingerNails (Pistachio shells)
Goblin Ears (Dried apples)
Lizard Tongue (Sliced banana...the grossest by far!)
Bucket Of Beetles (Cooked beans)

These added a ton of spooky fun to our Halloween and I just had to share them with all of you too!

Hot Holiday Gifts 2014: Elektrokids by WowWee

It's November 1st, so you know what that means....time to start planning your holiday shopping. This post is the first in a series we have on hot new holiday toys.

WowWee makes some great interactive toys for kids and their company is sure to have some of the must haves this season. Among those are the Elektrokids. These little dolls dance along to whatever music you are listening to; their fluffy hair sways to any beat whether it be dubstep or classical.

The girls loved their new friend and I'm sure your kids will too, and for less than $20, they fit any Christmas budget. You can get your own Elektrokid here, and check out ours dancing to Zoe's original song below.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New England's Perfect Halloween Destination: Salem

This past Columbus Day weekend, the monsters and I jetted off for a fall New England getaway. I knew immediately one stop I wanted to make: Salem, MA. Salem is one of my favorite places in the world. I used to teach an American Lit. course and teaching all about the Salem Witch Trials was my favorite thing to do as we read Miller's The Crucible. I figured the girls were a good age to join in the fun, so off we went to Salem to experience their Haunted Happenings.

If you haven't been to Salem in October, you are missing out! Costumes are a-ok to wear any day of the month, and the entire town feels like a giant open air market devoted to all things Halloween and witches. The funny thing about the Salem Witch Trials is that none of the witches were actually witches at all, so none of the educational attractions are too scary for little ones (the haunted houses, however, may terrify them.)

We started out our day at the Witch History Museum. Our tour guide was super funny and made the experience a blast. We travelled downstairs with him to check out some reenactments of famous scenes from the trials. I had never went to this particular museum before, but I definitely recommend it.

Next up was another new attraction for me, Salem Time Machine. This is a really cool attraction: a fully 3D haunted house. There are various scare levels and the woman working was very helpful and told the ghouls to go on coffee break so we could walk through without any scares at all. My scaredy cats were still a little scared though, so they closed their eyes. Daddy Monster and I really enjoyed walking through though, and I can honestly say I have never seen a haunted house this unique. I imagine it can be truly terrifying with the jumping out scares, and I look forward to visiting again sans kiddos soon.

Finally, we went to an old favorite, The New England Pirate Museum. Zoe loves the pirate tales, and we even bought the girls some pirate hooks while we were there. While the museum does have some violent scenes of pirate debauchery, this is a great place to take the kids if the scares are getting to be to intense for them.

I cannot wait to get back to Salem and check out some more attractions, and you should too, Check out the Haunted Happenings page for links to all the great events Salem has to offer and have a spooktacular time!