Monday, November 23, 2015

What's Red and Furry and Likely to Become Your Child's New Best Friend?

Thank you to Playskool and Socialstars for partnering with us for today's sponsored post. #PlayskoolCrew

If you guessed Elmo, you're correct! 

Does anyone remember Tickle Me Elmo and how he quickly became the hottest toy on the market circa the late 90's? That red furry Muppet was flying off the shelves left and right and while he retailed for less than $30 at the peak of the craze he was being resold for more than $1,000 on the Internet. While numerous versions of Tickle Me Elmo and friends have been released since then, nothing compares to this year's release of Play All Day Elmo.  

You're probably thinking "is this Elmo really all that great to warrant another post?" and while the answer is a resounding yes, I'm going to take a minute to give you a few more reasons why this toy should be at the top of your child's Christmas list, especially if he or she is between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old.


Play All Day Elmo is currently rated for children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old. Not only does that age range speak to the versatility of this product but it also supports the idea that Elmo is a toy that will be able to grow with your child rather than your child outgrowing Elmo which is the case with so many toys on the market today.

With two settings, Toddler and Preschool, Elmo provides engaging and interactive games for both my 19 month old and my 3 year old. There aren't a whole lot of toys out there that my toddler and my preschooler can both use appropriately and I love that Elmo satisfies each of their playtime needs. 

2. Elmo really can PLAY ALL DAY

Featuring eight games and more than 150 responses, children can not only interact with Elmo in basic cause-and-effect play but they can also sing songs with him, as well as practice their colors, animal sounds and numbers. 

When in "toddler mode" Elmo utilizes numerous sensors throughout his soft, cuddly body to engage even the littlest of friends. 

3. Elmo is an excellent traveler.

With the holiday travel right on our heels, Play All Day Elmo would make for an excellent travel companion. He can easily fit into a small suitcase or backpack or even buckle himself right into the seat next to your child. Whether by plane or by train, Play All Day Elmo brings fun on the road!

4. Elmo has a NAP time setting and an OFF button!

The Off Switch is quite possible the best feature of any toy when you are a parent but in addition to the off switch Elmo also comes with a nap time setting that features soothing lullabies and gentle instrumental tunes. Both my 19 month old and my 3 year old love snuggling up with Elmo when it's time to wind down. 

Any toy that can be shared among multiple children as well as grow with them and continue to engage them both physically and socially will always receive two thumbs up from me. Play All Day Elmo not only makes the perfect gift but also the perfect playmate for that special toddler or preschooler in your life!

You can find Play All Day Elmo where any Playskool products are sold! 

Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Host A Plaid Party (with A Party Box from Red Lettered Life!)

Are you ready for a fun fact? A day marked in red or a "Red Lettered Day" is a day of any special significance. Many of today's calendars use red ink instead of black for that very reason to indicate special dates!

Here in the M household, we don't need a holiday or a birthday to roll around in order to gather our family and friends to our home for a small celebration. When Taylor of Red Lettered Life reached out to us and offered to send us one of her  "parties in a box" we jumped at the chance to throw a casual Lumberjack Play Date for Carter, Maclane and their bestest neighborhood buddies.

Inside of the box was everything you see adorning the table- down to the fancy plastic silverware and awesome woodsy centerpiece. It was great not having to frantically visit multiple stores tracking down the decor I would need to complete a Pinterest-worthy vision or spend hours scouring the great Internets for theme-appropriate plates and cups. 

Red Lettered Life took much of the stress and hassle associated with event planning and hosting and replaced it with joy and simplicity, truly allowing me to focus on what mattered most, gathering our friends and their kids at our home for an afternoon filled with fun, snacks, crafts and more. 

Coupled with a pennant banner and a pom garland, both found in the dollar section of Target, the entire event came together in less than a week but appeared as if I had spent three times that amount of time planning it. 

From bridal events to baby showers, kid's birthday parties and holiday gatherings, there's not a single event that Taylor and Red Lettered Life can't help you throw. Some of my favorites include the Black Tie New Year's box as well as the Rustic Chic Bridal shower kit.

Once I decided on the lumberjack theme, it wasn't long before I decided that the kids would be making peanut butter birdseed feeders as well as coloring a sweet little Lumberjack printable that I found on Pinterest via TrashN2Tees and JoyfulRoots.

While peanut butter and a pound of loose birdseed mixed with 9 kids 5 and under sounds a bit iffy, it really was a controlled, albeit sticky, activity that everyone loved participating in. Even more fun was watching the kids hang their feeders outside, checking on them every so often waiting for some furry or feathered friends to come visit. I say furry because the feeders were a huge hit with the local squirrels! 

Several days after sending out the initial e-vite, it dawned on me to ask that everyone wear their finest plaid to party with us. Thank goodness for email updates! Seeing the kids (and their parents) show up ready to party with their fanciest flannel was icing on the proverbial cake! 

We had such a blast and with several events that require extensive planning in the upcoming months (a baby sprinkle and a NYE adults-only dinner, just to name two!) I will definitely be looking to Taylor and Red Lettered Life to help manage the stress of event planning!

Visit Red Lettered Life
Pinterest / Facebook / Instagram / StoreEnvy

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation, free product or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with our and that I believe would be of value to my readers.

Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Quick + Easy Holiday Cocktail: A Cranberry Pomegranate Champagne Fizz

This is quite possibly my most favorite time of the year. Everything takes on an extra special little glow to it around the holidays and now that we have a house full of little kidlets, the holidays are even more exciting and magical. 

This month and next I've teamed up with a fantastic group of bloggers from all walks of life to share with you some ideas for holiday entertaining, fashion, food, family fun and more! Be sure to visit each of the blogs below to see what they have to say! 

Now, I love any excuse to drink champagne and while most of my excuses are currently running around my house without pants on beating each other up, the holidays are an even better excuse to pop open a bottle of bubbly and catch up with family and friends. 

There's just something about the addition of champagne that immediately elevates the fancy-factor of just about any occasion. Even when I'm drinking champagne from a mason jar while wearing my yoga pants, I'm feeling pretty darn fancy.

Always on the hunt for a new champagne cocktail recipe, this is one recipe that never disappoints. Not only is the Cranberry Pomegranate Champagne Fizz (Cran-Pom Fizz for short) supremely easy to make but chances are you already have most, if not all of the ingredients on hand to whip one up. It helps that there is nary a day when there isn't a bottle of champagne or Prosecco in our house. 

Of course any juice can be added to champagne to make a cocktail (peach, orange, watermelon) but the addition of something less-fruity and more Fall Harvest-y like cranberry or pomegranate really makes this a Thanksgiving or Christmas-friendly cocktail.

This cocktail is best served during hors d'oeuvres or dessert. 

The Cranberry Pomegranate Champagne Fizz

You'll need champagne (I prefer my champagne sweet as opposed to dry, therefore personal favorites include Ruffino Prosecco ($12)Korbel Sweet Cuvee ($13) and Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec ($50), frozen cranberries, several limes, and sweetened cranberry juice (or pomegranate-cranberry blend).  

In each flute pour a small amount of juice. Add a squeeze of lime. Top with champagne and garnish with a slice or ribbon of lime and two or three cranberries. Not only is it absolutely delicious but it's rather festive-looking too! (You could also substitute pomegranate seeds instead of the cranberries!)

Cheers! And don't forget to hop around for more great holiday ideas! 

Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...