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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Personalized Valentine's Day Cards on sale TODAY!!!

Hallmark is running a great special for today only!   Buy 1 Card get 1 free & they will even ship it for you at no extra charge.  So pick out some great pictures of your Kiddos & make someones Valentine's Day even more special this year!!!

Happy Carding!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Books that the Kiddo's and you can Enjoy!!

Now my Kiddo's love to curl up at the end of the day & hear a good story. I love that it is the one time that the 3 of them can always sit patiently together waiting to see what adventures are picked for the nights line up! I love to read stories to the Kiddos that have a lesson to tell and that can do it with humor. I love all the giggles and smiles that a book written with wit and excellent illustration draws out of my 3. 

Now the classics are always good reads with the Kiddos, but here are some that you may not be as familiar with, so if you re looking for a good family read, try these fantastic stories...and I will warn you that your Kiddos may not be the only ones giggling in the room!

Mo Willems in a Fantastic children's author.  My Kiddo's 2 favorite series that he writes are the "Don't let the Pigeon ..." and the "Elephant and Piggie Books". Both series are written with few words but there meaning and emotion is conveyed by the size and font they are writtten in.  If you have a new reader in your home the "Elephant and Piggie Books" are fantastic as you can each play a character and enjoy the story together.

A book that is as fun to look at as it is to read is Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  With simple yet amazing illustration this book clearly depicts how 2 people could look at the same object and see 2 completely different images.  If you have an early reader this is another book that works great in each taking a character to read.  We found ourselves going back just to look through the book to see how amazing it is that 1 picture can be seen as 2 different animals.

Another fantastic adventure to go on at story time is to sail the seven seas...  Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke is a witty story about a little girl named Molly who is captured at seas by a gang of pirates.  However the story takes a turn as that all you female pirates out there will love as the pirates who have captured Molly quakes in their boots to discover how Molly knows Barbarous Bertha and her scurvy pirate women crew. 

If you are looking for a chapter series that provides entertainment to the reader who has just begun to master the craft of reading then my oldest Kiddo and I would recommend: The Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. These books follow the very spunky Junie B. Jones as she starts her adventures in kindergarten she is going to a new school with a new little brother at home and you and your Kiddo's will enjoy all the laughs along the way.  Currently there are 25 books in the series.  They are a great read aloud book with your Kiddo who is making their way as a new reader.

Keeping with the reader who is beginning chapter books another set of humorous chapter books is by Dan Gutman.  He writes the My Weird School Series in which a group of second grade students encounter goofy teachers in their school and the silly antacis that follow. Again this series is a great read aloud with the Kiddo's in your home who are mastering their reading skills!
Now most if not all of these books can probably by found at your local libray, or   So if you are looking for a new book for your Kiddos to enjoy try some of our favorites and let me know what you think.   If you have a book that you love plese let me know as I am always looking for new authors, new series and new ways to take my Kiddos into the magical land opened though a good book!
Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Baking with the Kiddos

Looking to warm the house this winter or fill it with the aroma of wonderful memories?  Here are a couple of easy Kiddo friendly recipes that we love to  make especially in the winter . The ingredients may already be in your cabinets so take a peek and maybe you and your Kiddos can whip up one of these tasty treats for this weekend!!

Now we always end up with those last 3 bananas that get just a little too ripe for eating so here is one great way to use them...

Prep time – 10 min. approx.    Baking time – 70 minutes
3 overripe bananas
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 egg
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
¼ cup of chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mash bananas in a large bowl (I let the kiddos squeeze them in a ziploc bag till they are nice & mushy, they love squeezing the bananas, then put them in the bowl). Add, flour baking soda, salt and egg.

  2. Melt butter in microwave, add it to the mix until just blended. (My kiddos like chocolate chips in the bread so you can add a handful or 2 of chips to the mix now if you'd like)

  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake for 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Have you ever looked a box of cake mix and said but I really don't need 24 cupcakes....well Betty Crocker has us covered. Here is a great recipe for your little Chefs that is easy to make & that has endless possibilities, you could add chocolate chips, peanut butter chip, toffee pieces, dried cranberries or just have them as the delicious chocolate cookies they are.

Five ingredients are all you need for quick homemade chocolate cookies.

Prep Time: 45 min    Total Time: 1 hour 25 min      Makes: About 4 dozen cookies
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, vanilla and eggs with spoon until dough forms.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.

We have made them and froze them for upto 3 months & they were still delicious.

Cookie keeping tip: When you make home made cookies keep them in an air tight container and place a piece of white bread wrapped in a napkin or paper towel at the bottom. The bread will absorb the air & keep your cookies fresh and soft!

There are so many great recipes that have simple ingredients that help the older Kiddos with practicing their fractions, reading, measuring and most importantly it build great memories.

If you have a favorite kiddo friendly recipe please share it, my picky little eaters will always try a new recipe that they get to help create. Hope you & your Kiddos enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Game Night!

Want to a turn a regular night, afternoon or maybe a slow moving Sunday morning into a Fantastic memory with your Kiddos?  Then break out the Board Games!!!!! 

Now I have 3 Kiddos at very different board game levels so I'm going to share some favorites that work for all the Kiddos together & some that maybe better when the littlest Kiddo goes off to bed.

A family favorite here is Princess Charming by International Plaything. Each time you play the Kiddos can set up the boards in the order they want making every time you play a new adventure. It requires your youngest Kiddo only to spin a number wheel & the older Kiddos or parents can help with the counting. When Princess Charming reaches her castle, the player who has collected the most tokens wins! Find it at Amazon

For a fun family move around kind of game I highly recommended Hullabaloo by Cranium. It come with a prerecorded host that has hundreds of games already to go and game pads that you place around on the floor, they are very durable and last! You press the button & listen to the directions given you me could be looking for a game pad that is a shape, a color, a food, a musical instrument or even an animal. The game keeps everyone moving from pad to pad by with tons of movements including crawling, tip toeing and spinning. Once my kiddos get going they play this game for a long time. One of the greatest parts is if you are on the winning pad it will tell your Kiddo to complete a task as the winner; maybe a dance, taking a bow or a host of other things. In between all the laughing the kiddos listen to the very end to see what they get to do!

Another game that we find fun to play as a family is ZINGO by Think Fun.  Now the youngest Kiddo who is 2 is a little young for this one, but she has lots of fun just collecting the pieces we don't use on our boards.  We like to add a little to this game and we start off by having every Kiddo pick a board & then tell  a story about their pictures.  This game gets even better for Preschool aged year old kiddos because all of the pictures are also spelled out & that helps with the early recognition of words to objects! Once everyone tells their story we begin!  It is a much quicker version of BINGO because the board has only 9 images. The player to fill their card first wins & you will to with this great game!
Find it at:

Another Great Family game is Yahtzee Junior by Hasbro the kids only need to try to get 5 of a kind of the 5 different characters on the dice.  There is even a Wild side on the dice which adds to the Kiddos total.  It also comes with a scoreboard so no need for a pencil you keep track on the board.  Now it comes in a variety of characters so have fun & YAHTZEE!   Toy Story version -  Amazon -
Now we came across a card game that the kiddos really enjoyed over the Holidays, Pictureka Card Game by Hasbro.  It would be a great addition to your Kiddos card game collection like UNO by Mattell which now comes in various character cards.  Now to make all the card games more enjoy for your Kiddos I would suggest getting a set of Card Holders they make holding much easier for little hands!!
Now there are too many to list but just as a reminder don't forget Candy Land, Chutes and ladders, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Sorry, Operation, Jenga, Monopoly and Clue.  For more games that the Kiddos enjoy check out Guess Who? Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Rummikub, Lucky Ducks and Othello! or
Now don't forget that game night time is great with the classics too! So pop some pop-corn the old fashion way & get playing!! And when your game night is over post your favorites so we can all add to your favorites to Our Kiddos Game Night!
Happy Gaming!

Picture deal for Valentine's Day


The Picture people has a good deal for some great Valentine's Day portraits of your Kiddos.

Dinner out at a Deal!!!!

Want to try a new Restaurant in your area at a discount? This is a great site to try some place you may not have with the Kiddos (or maybe with out ;) ) Just enter your zip code & find a place near you!! You'll want to act fast at this discount the deals will go FAST!!!!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Birthday Season!

In our home we have a Birthday Season, all 3 kids Birthdays fall within 6 weeks of each other. So we decorate for the season & as well celebrate like it is a season ;)  I have found lots of fun extra treats, discounts and free meals that the Kiddos love to make their Birthdays feel even more special. 

So if you'd like a little help making your Kiddos Birthday Season even more special here are a list of some places that offer special goodies to your kiddo on their birthday: (Make sure to check out one of my favorite links listed at the bottom that will help you find even more goodies for your Kiddos by targeting where you live!)

Denny's will give kids 10 and under a free kids meal & sundae:

Bob Evans will give a free kids meal on their Birthday:

Burger King will give them a free kids meal on their Birthday:

California Pizza Kitchen a free kids meal in the month of their Birthday

Old Spaghetti Factory

Perkins will give the kiddos a free meal the week of their Birthday if you join their club:

Toys R Us will send your kiddo a Birthday card that includes a coupon for a free token item (usually around $3 value)

In addition to theses sites I also have used a more area specific site that I hope you will all have as much luck with as I have  simply click on the kids icon on the right hand side & then from the drop down menu select your state & see what kind of fun freebies & discounts you can get for your Kiddos during their Birthday. After you are done getting your Kiddos some goodies don't forget to check out the Adult section for free bowling, desserts & discounts in the area for you too!!

Another great link with lots of Birthday goodies is

Happy Celebrating!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Coupons & so much More!!!

Now you may be into coupons or maybe not...but there is a website that I can almost guarantee when you visit will have something at a bargain price that you would like to try. My kiddos have gotten some great gifts with the help of!

I have been a devoted follower for over 6 months now & get excited every time Collin at Hip2Save posts something new! This website is phenomenal if you are into using coupons to get deals, but on top of that she finds amazing deals at Target, Amazon, free magazine subscriptions and so much more!

I have been was able to get a Leap Frogs Alphabet Pal for only $0.52 at Target this past November, a Radio Flyer Big wheel for my 5 year old for under $25 and so much more.

So if you are looking for a great way to get goodies for the kiddos at a discount or to save a buck or two to take the kiddos on a trip, go on over to!

Happy Savings!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Fantastic Free Resource for your Kiddo's in your own Community!

As I begin this journey of sharing great places, crafts & sites to visit for those of us with children or "kiddos" as I like to call them, I would like to start off with an often underutilized & almost always FREE class.

In your very own town at your Public Library there is a great chance that they have programs that fit kiddos of all ages! I am extremely fortunate to live in a town that offers FREE classes for all of my kiddos ages 2, 5 an 8. They love the weekly trip to the library class as well as the time we spend picking out the new books to borrow for the week. In our high tech world there still is nothing that compares to the excitement they get from picking their own books to read with a loved one!

So if you haven't already take a look in your own community it is a great use of a FREE public resource. You will be giving your kiddos the chance to make friends with kiddos they may go to school with and open them up to a love of learning through books. To find programs at your local library visit

Have a Fantastic Day!