Hot Holiday Toys List

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Hot Holiday Toys on my Radar this Year

Every year, there seem to be more and more toys promoted, and each one is more and more expensive. It’s hard for me to think about piling on more toys into the already endless seeming piles of toys my boys already have.With that being said, Santa is still coming to town, and the boys are expecting to get toys…and electronics. So what are my top picks this 2016 season?

Let’s start with stocking stuffers. What is a stocking stuffer to me? I would say 80% of the stocking contents is candy, keychains, chapsticks, and in my family, there has usually been a scratch-off or 2 in there for fun.

This year, add a video game that the family can enjoy, like Just Dance 2017 that was just released this month. It is tons of fun for everyone and the fun keeps on coming with online songs to unlock, and battles against other players. My boys are so excited to get their Just Dance game for the Wii U every year!

The other family fun item that you may want to drop into your kids stocking this year is KidzBop 33.Yes, there are 33 of these fun little cd’s now, and they do not stop there! You can also add in KidzBop Holiday CD which we have had on repeat since November 1st! I love KidzBop because it ties in the music I like, with songs my kids learn to love, and then when the radio is on, we all find ourselves singing either way.

Movies are great to throw in there too. Some new great movies out are Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, and Zootopia. Check out my Disney Movie Club review to check out if it’s something that might work for your family. It would be great to be able to wrap up the classics as well this year.

Throwing in a stuffed animal on top to hang out always gives the final touch to our stockings. This year, for my boys it’s all about Five Nights at Freddy’s and Pokemon so I am sure they’ll find a home in stockings this year.

Now for under the tree..

Everyone knows the hardest things to find this year are Hatchimals and the new NES Classic Console. Unfortunately, I think majority of kids will not be waking up to these this Christmas morning, and my kids are probably among that group. It’s frustrating not being able to get things for your kids that they want, but remember, there are things they do not yet know they want, but will love it when they get it.

Two totally different price points, but equally face brightening on Christmas morning, these are the 2 that my boys will be excited to get this Christmas..

Samsung Galaxy Tablet – An inexpensive, great alternative to an apple Ipad. I know I am an Android person, and my kids are already playing games on my phone so the switch to their own tablet should be an easy one. At only $200 for a 10″ screen, it’s much more affordable then the $800+ price point of the Ipad.

Pie Face Showdown – How many of you had a blast with Hasbro’s Pie Face this year? Such a simple game and so much fun. The awesome thing is, the fun doesn’t stop there. Most kids are drooling at the commercial for Pie Face Showdown this season, and it’s only$19.99 at most stores. Toys R Us has a deal that you can get a Ā free Pie Face T-shirt if you purchase $30+ of Hasbro items.

A company that flies under the radar that I think deserves some eyes on them is educational insights. If you have a kid of any gender, any age, there is something for them. The “Build your own Helicopter” is so perfect for preschool aged kids. It lets kids use an almost real power tool, with no worry of them getting hurt. The bright colors leave them wanting to play with it over and over. My son got this a month ago and has still touched it every day since then at one point or another. Once he’s done with it, I am thinking about giving it to his preschool classroom because I know it’ll get a lot of attention an help fuel those little brains.

Another great item from educational insights worth looking into is the game “Ready-Set-Woof“. It is so simple that preschoolers can play it without needing to use instructions, but at the same time, it is hours of fun for older kids. My 8 year old said he didn’t want to play it since it was a baby game, but when I convinced him to try it out when his friends were over, they played it for at least an hour with loud laughs and fun competition.

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If you want to be the best gift giver this year, I suggest you go on and pick anything from their site. They’re such cool, unique toys that are actually still educational although the kids will never notice!

Getting back into the video game world, the new ones out that my older son wants is Mario Color Splash for the Wii U and The new Pokemon Sun and Moon games for 3DS. These are probably going to be at the top of most kids lists this year. Since we probably will not be able to score an NES Classic, we still need some of that Mario in our lives.

Sonic merchandise is coming back in with a boom too.I love seeing my old past time joys come back to life within my children.

Speaking of bringing the past back, kids this year will love anything from Trolls, including build a bear which has 3 different Trolls able to be made with love this season. We went and saw the movie, and had to go build the characters right after at the mall.

Those are just the items that are sticking out to me this year.What are your kids most hoping to see under the tree this year?

Fright Fest 2016

Let me start off by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. I have no affiliation with Six Flags and this is just my own experiences that I want to share with you.

First off, before I even start, go get a season pass to six flags! Right now, it’s the best deal I’ve ever seen so I had to scoop them up for my family of 4. But you have to be quick because you MUST ACTIVATE the passes before Oct 31st, just 9 more days, to get the deal.

It’s only $6 a month (auto-pay) per person for minimum of 12 months, for a COMBO GOLD pass that includes the rest of this year free including Fright Fest and Holiday in the park, Free Parking, and Hurricane Harbor for next year. That is only $72 per person for the whole YEAR and a one day ticket is $72 if you were to go just 1 day,so even if you only go one time the entire year (which is not very likely), then it already paid for itself! That’s why I think it is so worth it. They do shows throughout the year, bring a friend free of discounted, and so many other deals.

During the end of the year, starting October, they’re only open Friday’s after 5:30pm and then on Sat and Sun all day. If you go during the weekends, you can spend the whole morning there and enjoy the fall and Halloween decor without and spooks or scares. Once the sun sets though, it’s a whole other story.

So should you bring your young kids to fright fest? I say go for it. My boys had a great time despite the scary zombies roaming around. My 8 year old absolutely LOVED the zombies. I on the other hand tried my best not to make eye contact and used the kids as a shield LOL! I get creeped out with that stuff… It did make it easier having the kids with me because they didn’t bother us as much.1477141950851

My 4 year old didn’t mind the first time we went, I don’t think he noticed the zombies as much. The 2nd time, he was more aware of them and what was going on and he cried for a bit to go home. He kept looking over his shoulder and I felt so bad, but then I had a genius idea! I told him to switch jackets with his brother, and that it was so big on him, it was like a “blanket” and the zombies would think he was just a big blanket. It worked! He started to forget about it eventually and enjoyed himself the rest of the night.

I love carnivals, and theme parks, so of course I love Six Flags Great Adventure. I wish it was a little closer since it’s about an hour drive, but so was Sesame Place which we had a blast this past Summer and went a lot with our season passes there. It’s good to switch it up, so next Summer we’ll have these passes for the theme and water park at great adventure. Did I mention, if you love Pokemon Go, then you will be excited to know that there are many Pokemon hanging out here šŸ™‚

My favorite thing is seeing my boys enjoying themselves on the rides. They have a bunch of rides for young kids and a large area with stands and arcades. They really wound up having a great time despite the initial fear of the zombies.

GET YOUR PASSES SOON! You must go BEFORE 10/31 to activate the pass to get the Combo Deal even if you buy the passes, it will not be combo unless it’s activated before then.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

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Ok guys. This is such an easy recipe, even if you don’t have a baking bone in your body, you can definitely make this. In fact, this is a potluck type of dessert. You can bring it to any get together and it’ll be the biggest hit and no one will know you had to do the least work.

Make this for your kids, your friends, or people you want to be your friends, because after they try this, they’ll keep coming back for more!

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Here is the super simple recipe;

1 package of cool whip (thawed) or canned whip cream.

1 package JELLO Instant Vanilla Pudding.

1 box of Nilla Wafers

6 fresh strawberries, cleaned and thinly sliced.

In a dish, preferably tall and clear for esthetics, layer whole Nilla Wafers, Cool Whip, fresh strawberries, vanilla pudding, crushed nilla wafers, then repeat until it fills the entire dish leaving the last top layer for cool whip, fresh strawberries, and a dusting of crushed Nilla Wafers.

Chill 2 hours – overnight until the wafers turn soft. It’ll taste like a fall apart strawberry shortcake.

Serve in spoonfuls in smaller cups.

Did you make this? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Blogger Bash 2016

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Blogger Bash 2016 kicked off this this last week, Just 13th & 14th. What exactly is Blogger Bash? Basically just what it sounds like. An event where bloggers an vloggers. new and old, come together to see the new technology and products that brands have to offer. This is packed into 2 fun filled days, literally PACKED days with an Agenda filling pages not just 1 page.

As you may remember, I posted from last year, and we had a blast there! Last year it was at one of the NYC Piers, and it was in a large area inside. This year it was on a huge Yacht!

Being on the Yacht in NYC on the Hudson brought something special… besides motion sickness lol! It was beautiful to be able to navigate the levels of the ship (there were 4 if you include the top deck!) Each level was themed out each day, and day 1 was Sweet Suite.

This is one even I cannot miss! Having young boys, and with Christmas less then 6 months away, I need to know the latest and greatest coming out. Funny to say, I actually enjoy it myself, playing with the toys and learning about the latest technology. Did you know they have 3D drawing tools for children? Me neither until sweet suite. Of course now I’m on a mission to add these to the list of toys Santa will be bringing this year so that I can play with it too LOL!

My sister and I got there a couple hours after it started, but we were pleasantly surprised that everything was still in full swing. It was much simpler then I thought getting there, we took the Train from NJ, and were able to walk from Penn Station to the Pier 81 Yacht in just a half our. We got a great workout too and ahem… were able to play Pokemon since it’s all the craze (hint, you HAVE to check out all of the Pokestops in Time Square!)

After Sweet Suite, we went back home, and were ready to get some sleep before making the trip all over again the next day. Day 2 we were in for a real treat! Each level, once again was themed out. There were timeĀ slots in which the rooms were switched, and they included Kate & Mim Mim hosted breakfast, complete with character setup and behind the scenes information. We didn’t make the breakfast, but it seemed fantastic!

There was Baby Palooza set up, which I am sad to have missed also, but since I don’t have any infants, I wasn’t in a rush to make it there. It looked like it was super brand packed this year thought with brands likes 4Moms at the top of the list. I opted to get right into talking to the brands since that’s the biggest bang for my buck. Having all of these brands in the same space, just tables apart was the icing on the cake (did I mention talking to them while I literally ate cake? hint hint, Sprinkles cupcakes were one of the brands and OMG that Red Velvet, I’m Drooling now). My Ā favorite brands that I got to chat with were Kohler, did you know that they have a toilet that basically runs itself? No touch, not nothing… Not even wiping if you don’t want to lol. Coming from a Ā Home Depot background, I thought the new innovative technology they have is just awesome. The price point is not unfortunatly… There was Little Bites, Entemanns, Picture Keepers, Sprinkles Cupcakes, of course Hasbro – YES this was a favorite with the new Pie Face Dual coming out this year! There were brands nothing to do with toys, just brands brands brands! It was so overwhelming that I couldn’t get to visit every stand, 3 levels of brands there had to be over 500! Taking cards and giving cards, making brand connections and friendships with PR’s.

Peanuts hosted the lunch like they did last year. They have a brand new cartoon series on Cartoon Network keeping Snoopy and the gangĀ relevant. They gave such cute SWAG bags that included Snoopy figurines that my 4 year old went nuts for when I got home. The lunch was amazing, Salmon, Chicken Marsala, an amazing sides. Mimosas on deck, literally!

To end things before I had to leave, Snooki and Jwow did an appearance and interview and I had front row seats. I’ve always watched them since the Jersey shore days (no judgement please!) an it was awesome to see them in person. Snooki is much smaller then I imagined!

If you have the chance to get a Blogger Bash 2017 ticket, my advice.. DO IT!

 

Campus Book Rental – College Textbook Alternative

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Are you a parent of a student entering college this year? Or maybe a student yourself? Have you seen the prices of the book store textbooks and the laundry list of books needed for the classes? Are you looking for an alternative to buying expensive college textbooks that you’ll never use again or maybe getĀ a fraction of the money you paid for it back if you sell it back? I know there are numerous sites to choose from now-a-days, but stick to the experts and look no further. Campus Book Rentals, the name says it all. It’s what they do, and they do it well.

CampusBookRentals.com is the one stop shop for College students who want the ease of reliable textbook renting.

  • Some of the benefits of using CBR as opposed to competitors are:
  • You save 40-90% off textbook prices
  • Qualify for FREE shipping both ways (with the option to get the book next day for an extra fee).
  • Unlike others that may send a PDF file, you get an actual textbook you can HIGHLIGHT in and make any needed notes.
  • Flexible renting periods with a 15 day grace period, which surely you’ll never need because no one procrastinates in college…right?

So how does it work? Check out the video below!:

What makes the whole deal even sweeter? When you kick in a donation. That’s right. They donate to Operation Smile with every rental purchase.

What is Operation Smile?

Operation Smile is a non-profit organization that provides rehabilitating, and sometimes life-saving surgeries to children born with cleft palates.

Check it out for yourself below!

http://www.operationsmile.org/about_us/who-we-are/

If you have had experience using CampusBookRental.com, or plan to try it out, please leave your feedback in a comment below! I’d love to hear it.