Kohl’s Cares – Great Gifts and a Great Cause


Kohls Cares Logo



Are you familiar with the Kohl’s Cares program? If you are a regular Kohl’s shopper you have probably seen the product displays around the check out area.

Kohl’s cares is a program where Kohl’s sells kid-friendly merchandise, such as books and toys. 100% of the net profit is donated to Kohl’s Cares charities that support kid’s health and education programs nationwide. Since 2000 Kohl’s Cares has raised and impressive $257 million dollars.

I first learned about Kohl’s Cares many years ago when I first started blogging. I entered a giveaway on another blog to win some Dr. Seuss books and matching plush toys. Being a big kid at heart, and having fond memories of Dr. Seuss, I had to enter. I was thrilled to find out that I won.

From that point on I always make sure to check out what Kohl’s is selling as part of their Kohl’s Cares program whenever I am at our local Kohl’s store or shopping online. They offer new products throughout the year. They are also available while supplies last so if you see something you like I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase it.

I have a soft spot in my heart for my favorite children’s books. I actually still own more of my favorite books from when I was a child. Whenever possible I like to pick up a new version since many of my favorite books are falling apart.

One of my favorites growing up was Put Me in the Zoo. I must have read that book a million times. So you can only imagine how THRILLED I was when I saw that Kohl’s Cares offered the critter from one of my favorite childhood books as well as the book.

Put Me In The Zoo

He sits on the bookcase near my desk.

What I love about the products Kohl’s Cares offers is that they are quality products. You can see from the photo that the plush toy is exceptionally well made (and very soft and snugly too!). He’s also large.

I have several Kohl’s Cares plush toys and I have never had an issue with any of them. They are all wonderful.

Kohl’s Cares products are also “budget friendly”. Each product they offer is only $5.00.

I received a few of the current Kohl’s Cares products which happen to be Disney books and plush. The plush are made just as well as the identical plush toys you can find at other retail stores for $20+.


Currently Kohl’s Cares is offering Disney plush such as Dumbo, Lady (Lady and the Tramp), a Dalmatian (101 Dalmatians), Baloo (Jungle Book) and a few others. They are also selling Disney books (the same as the plush characters). They are also offering wonderful Disney puzzles, Disney tote bag, Look & Find book and more.

Kohl’s Cares often offers products for adults too as the same $5.00 price point.

I donated a bunch of Kohl’s Cares plush toys, books and puzzles to the classroom where I work. We work with children who come to court for a variety of reasons (order of protection, divorce, paternity, neglect…). We do our best to provide a warm, friendly and inviting place for children to come while their parents are in Family Court. Sometimes all these little ones want is something to cuddle with like a snugly plush toy.

Sadly a lot of these children don’t even have books at home (many are low income). We always make sure to send the children home with a book. The books are donated to us so they are in various conditions (some are new, others are really old and ragged). We also keep some books in our room to read to the children. We have a rocking chair and blankets for the kids to curl up into. I am enjoying reading some of my favorite Disney books to the children. They make a wonderful addition to our room.


Kohls Cares

As you can see the books and plush are very well made.

We also have a couple of the 300 piece puzzles. We keep those in the cabinet for the older children to enjoy (little ones just dump the pieces all over the place).

With the holiday season fast approaching the products available as part of the Kohl’s Cares program would make great, affordable gift options. Imagine the delight of a young Disney fan to receive a brand new book and matching plush they can cuddle with for only $10 ($5 for the book and $5 for the plush). It’s not often you can find great gifts for that price.

If you enjoy participating in programs where you purchase gifts for children in need the Kohl’s Care products would be a great gift idea. Plus they are great to keep on hand for last minute birthday gifts. There have been a few times when my kids were little where they were invited to a classmates birthday party so I always made sure to have unisex “kid-friendly” gifts available.


The products from Kohl’s Cares changes throughout out the year. I have Koh’s bookmarked on my computer and I try and check back often to see what new goodies they have to offer. Sometimes they offer cookbooks (I love cookbooks) too.

If you would like to see what Kohl’s Cares has to offer just look for their display at your local Kohl’s store. You can also check Kohl’s online (do a search for Kohl’s Cares). Please remember that once the products sell out they are no longer available.

Visit Kohl’s online at Kohls.com. You can also find the brand on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Google+). The links are found at the bottom of their home page.

Have you ever purchased a Kohl’s Cares product? What did you buy? Feel free to share your thoughts.




*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.



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Care Bears Belly Badge Rock DVD & Plush Giveaway (ends 10/28/14)



I think its wonderful when things I grew up with are either still around, or have made a return. It’s great to see my favorite toys as a child come alive again.

One of my favorite things growing up where Care Bears. I collected stuffed animals (much to the dismay of my parents – I had A LOT of them). I loved the Care Bears because I thought they were adorable. I loved to collect them too because they came in different colors and with different belly badges.

I don’t remember their names but I had one with a moon and star on it’s belly, one with flowers and one with a rainbow. I wanted the one with a heart on it’s belly but I never received one.

Care Bears are still around today. In fact you can watch them on TV on The Hub channel (check your local TV Guide for channel).

Care Bears has a new DVD coming out on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and VOD on October 28, 2014 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. It’s called Care Bears: Belly Badge Rock. Featured on this DVD are four stories about friendship and harmony.

It’s all music and cheer until Harmony Bear loses her voice before the big show, and Kaylee, a Care-a-Lot visitor, stops playing her instrument because of a bully. Perhaps a bit of Care Bears courage will save the day? Then, when Funshine Bear and Grumpy Bear realize they have a wild child on the loose, and Wonderheart Bear tells a few little lies, the bears discover how important it is to have good manners and always tell the truth!

The episodes included in the DVD are;

  • Show of Shyness
  • Bully Exposed
  • Over-Bearing
  • Untruths and Consequences

In addition to the new DVD the brand will be re-launching Care Bears plush toys.

Now your family can sing along with the characters we all know and love with Care Bears: Belly Badge Rock!

The DVD has a suggested retail price of $14.98.

Care Bears Belly Badge Rock

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has generously offered to give FOUR (4) lucky readers a copy of the new DVD, Care Bears: Belly Badge Rock and an adorable and snugly plush Care Bear*! Thank you Lionsgate!

*Please note the Care Bear plush sent to the winners will be random. Each winner will received (1) DVD and (1) plush. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this giveaway and/or which is your favorite Care Bear?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was not compensated for this post. I am posting this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Lalaloopsy “First Steps” DVD & Doll Giveaway (ends 10/20/14)


Lalaloopsy First Steps

I remember the very first time I “met” Lalaloopsy. We were having dinner with family friends and their young daughter brought to the table several tiny rag doll looking dolls. I thought they were super adorable. When I asked what the dolls were called I was told Lalaloopsy. Ever since that first day I saw the dolls I have been a fan. Even though my kids are teenagers and are not into the show I still think they are super adorable characters.

I work with young children and I have heard the children mention Lalaloopsy on more than one occasion. We also have a Lalaloopsy coloring book at work which is very popular with the little ones.

What is not to love about the Lalaloopsy dolls. They also have an adorable and entertaining series on Nick Jr.

Since they were first released Lalaloopsy has been made available in a variety of products such as big dolls, tiny dolls, play sets, costumes, DVDs, books and more.

There is a new DVD that is available today (October 14, 2014) on DVD, Digital HD and VOD (Video on Demand) called Lalaloospsy Babies: First Steps. The DVD is from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The new movie explores the magical beginings of the Lalaloopsy friends.

Join the Lalaloopsy friends for this sweet movie about their first adventures together! After they discover an old scrapbook filled with photos and mementos from when they were babies, the friends reminisce about their nursery days where they found their special bond and first met their adorable pets. They realize how those early adventures helped to shape their personalities, and reminisce about becoming stitched together, friends forever in this delightful, fun-filled movie that Lalaloopsy fans will treasure!

Featured on “The Talk” host Julie Chen’s top toy list, the Lalaloopsy collection continues to be one of the fastest selling toy brands. The Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps! DVD features bonus material including two Lalaloopsy Mini Adventures and a Pet n’ Seek! Interactive Maze, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.


Lalaloopsy Mini Adventures

  • Apple Pickle Pie
  • Timber

Lalaloopsy Babies: Pet n’ Seek! Interactive Maze

The DVD is super adorable. The Lalaloopsy friends are cute as they can be to begin with. Dare I say they are even more adorable as babies.

Check out the trailer for the new DVD.


“Sew” Cute!

In addition to the new DVD fans of the show can also purchase dolls from the Lalaloopsy Babies doll line including the Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls. The Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls are available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

We have one of the dolls (Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Blossom Flowerpot Doll). She’s a nice size doll (perfect for a toddler to hold and snuggle with) and she comes with three several diapers, a hat, bib, botltle, bowl, spoon and a charm bracelet for your little one to wear. Her head, legs and arms move

This doll has magical coloring changing diapers. When you feed the doll (water) and press it’s belly button she “poops” magical charms. The button releases water into the diaper which “frees” a little charm that is buried in the diaper. Personally I think it’s a very strange idea, but I guess some kids enjoy it. At least it’s better then the dolls I played with as a kid (40+ years ago) that ate “food” which got all moldy and rancid inside the dolls stomach. I’m sure my mom would have preferred giving me a doll that “poops” charms from drinking water then trying to figure out how to clean and disinfect a doll with mold in it’s gut.

You don’t have to make the doll drink water if you don’t want to. I am donating our doll to my job for the little ones to enjoy. I don’t plan on filling the bottle up with water. The kids can simply make believe there is liquid in the bottle.

Look for both the new video and a dolls at a retail store near you.

Diaper Surprise and DVD

I have a special giveaway for a lucky reader – a Lalaloopsy prize package! The prize package consists of TWO Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise dolls (Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Peanut Big Top Doll and Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Blossom Flowerpot Doll) and a copy of the new Lalaloopsy DVD Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps!, compliments of Lions Gate Home Entertainment. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 20, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received a free product sample and screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants Giveaway (ends 10/18/14)


Spongebob Product Image 1

Are you a fan of the little sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea?

When you think about it SpongeBob Squarepants is a very odd concept. A talking sponge who lives in a pineapple? How did the pineapple even get into the sea?

My family loves SpongeBob. It’s our “fall back” television show. When there is nothing good on TV we can always enjoy an episode or two of SpongeBob (it seems like its always on TV). We also have plenty of SpongeBob DVDs to choose from.

I met Tom Kenny once. He’s the voice of SpongeBob. That was certainly a fun evening. :-)

SpongeBob Squarepants has a new toy available from Mega Bloks which might be of interest to both SpongeBob and Mega Bloks fans. It’s the Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants Invisible Boatmobile Rescue set.

Plankton is at it again and it’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick to stop him with the Invisible Boatmobile Rescue by Mega Bloks SpongeBob SquarePants. Build the Invisible Boatmobile with cool translucent blocks and take off for a high-speed chase! Help, Plankton is launching jellyfish everywhere! It’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick – dressed as Mermaidman and Barnacleboy  – to save them with the Invisible Boatmobile’s not-so-invisible net!

The set features;

  • Cool Invisible Boatmobile to build with translucent blocks
  • Buildable bobCAT vehicle and a Jellyfish catapult
  • SpongeBob, Patrick and Plankton micro action figures
  • Four jellyfish
  • Combine with other Mega Bloks SpongeBob SquarePants playsets to build your own wacky world of fun in Bikini Bottom.

It’s a cute set. SpongeBob and Patrick have “mean” looks on their faces. My husband joked that they looked like Zombies (but not in a creepy way).

Spongebob Product Image 2

We have this set. I was sent it to review. I’m still in the process of trying to put it together. I asked my son to put it together for me but he’s been overwhelmed with a lot of homework (he has one teacher who I’m convinced is insane and gives them tons of homework every night – even for the weekends).

The set was designed for ages 5 and up. I’m still debating on whether or not I want to donate it to our classroom. I know many kids will enjoy it. I just worry that someone will lose a piece or two and make the set incomplete. We’ll see…

While I work on setting the Invisible Boatmobile up I keep SpongeBob, Patrick, Plankton and one of the jellyfish on my desk.

Mega Bloks carries several SpongeBob Squarepants sets. I checked them out on the Official Site. They look like a lot of fun.

If you would like to learn more about this particular set you can visit the Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants Invisible Boatmobile Rescue set Product Page.

To check out more sets, or to learn about what is new with Mega Bloks, you can follow the brand on both Twitter and Facebook. Even SpongeBob is on Twitter (@SpongeBob).

Spongebob Front Packaging

One lucky reader will also win the Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants™ Invisible Boatmobile, courtesy of Mega Bloks. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 18, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants set?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MEGA Brands Announces Expansion of Nickelodeon Licenced Products


*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Tips for throwing the ultimate royal birthday bash and fun 1st birthday gift ideas



It’s hard to believe that Prince William and Princess Kate’s adorable little son, Prince George, is one year old already. It seems like only yesterday his proud parents introduced him to the world outside the hospital where he was born.

Prince George is such a cute baby. He looks a lot like his dad, Prince William.

I can still remember my daughter and son’s first birthdays. For our daughter we rented tents and had an outdoor party. For our son we had a party at his great-grandparent’s house.

Planning for a first birthday party is a lot of fun. Next to a Sweet 16 birthday party the first birthday party is a very special one. It’s just sad that the person of honor (the one year old) won’t remember any of it. That is why it’s very important to take a lot of pictures and videos from the special day.

If you are planning on throwing a first birthday party this summer here are some great DIY ideas from entertaining expert and event planner Jenn Sbranti to help you throw your little prince or princess the perfect first birthday party.

Jenn is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of popular event planning blog, Hostess with the Mostess where she provides hip and creative entertaining ideas to inspire events for all occasions. Jenn has been regularly contributes to many media outlets in addition to authoring her daily blog. Her modern and no-fuss approach to entertaining serves as an attainable resource for party planners everywhere.

Get Inspired and Pick a Theme: The first step in planning a first birthday party? Pick a theme! This will help make planning and decision making so much easier. For example, a “Royal” theme tailored to a first birthday can inspire creative, age-appropriate decorations—like “castle turrets” made from Fisher-Price® Rock-a-Stack toys topped with golden sugar cones and felt flags.

Activities are King!: Keeping the little ones happily entertained is the key to a good time for everyone! For toddlers, designate a large, kid-proofed play area to serve as their “Royal Play Zone” filled with age-appropriate toys such as bouncy balls, Baby’s First Blocks, Corn Poppers, and Rock-a-Stacks. Coordinated craft projects are another great way to continue your Royal theme.

Please Be Seated: Want the littlest guests to actually sit down and eat? Set an inviting table styled especially for them. Start with a kid-friendly table runner lined with colorful toy blocks from Baby’s First Blocks and top each (unbreakable) plate with a pint sized-birthday crown or party hat.

Let’s Eat (and Smash!) Cake: Every party needs a cake, but a first birthday calls for TWO. You’ll need one cake to serve your guests, and a smaller one for your baby to taste…and smash. Create an extra special (and safe) “throne” for the guest of honor to enjoy their smash cake. Add a scalloped felt garland to the back of the high chair seat, and transform the tray with a fringed tissue edge.

First Birthday

These are great ideas!

My cousin’s son had a royalty themed first birthday party. She found a beautiful golden crown for him to wear. I’d love to share a photo of him wearing it but I know she wouldn’t be too keen on me showing her son’s face on my blog.

Finding the perfect first birthday gift is also important. Did you know that little Prince George received a personalized coin? It’s hard to top a gift like that, but from a one year old’s point of view it’s not very practical. One year olds want fun toys they can play with.

Classic toys from Fisher-Price are always a great option.

I LOVE Fisher-Price toys. I grew up playing with Fisher-Price toys, as did my kids. Even in old photos of me as a child you can see all my Fisher-Price toys.


Fisher-Price Roly Poly Bear


Fisher-Price Little People School Bus


The box to the left is Fisher-Price (not sure what toy). There is a Fisher-Price Push Chime toy in the background and I’m playing with a Fisher-Price xylophone.


Fisher-Price Little People Snowmobile and sled attachment.

I still have all my Fisher-Price Little People play sets from when I was a child (including my wooden Little People) and I collect Fisher-Price Little People too (the newer sets – especially the holiday sets).

When my children were little they played with a lot of Fisher-Price toys too.

Fisher-Price makes many wonderful age appropriate toys for boys and girls. Many of their toys would make wonderful gifts for a first birthday – they are the perfect option for your little prince or princess that won’t require funding from the Royal Mint.

Here are a few suggestions.

Fisher Price Popper

FP Popper

Brilliant Basics Corn Popper – I work in a childcare setting and this is by far a popular toy with the little ones. They love how the colorful balls bounce around inside the clear plastic dome like a popcorn maker. The “pop-pop-pop” sound that it makes when it’s being pushed or pulled is a lot of fun and the little ones giggle when they hear it.

FB Stacking Rings

Fisher-Price Stacker Rings

Rock-a-Stack – This is a wonderful toy for eye/hand coordination. Each colorful ring has it’s own place on the stacker. A child will have to learn which one goes on first, second, third and so forth. The only way to make them all fit is to put them on in the correct order. Babies enjoy holding the soft plastic rings, chewing on them and shaking them. The top ring has three colorful balls that turns it into a rattle which is also a lot of fun for little ones to shake.

Fisher Price Blocks

FP Blocks

Baby’s First Blocks – This is another wonderful toy that helps with not only eye/hand coordination but also with shape recognition. Children can pour the colorful plastic blocks out, put the lid back on then sort the blocks based on their shapes and dropping them inside the appropriate hole. This is a great toddler toy! It also has a handle which makes it easy for little ones to tote it around.

Each of these toys are around $10 (depending on the retailer) and will provide a child with hours of fun.

Fisher-Price toys are available at many retail locations. You can also find them online at www.Fisher-Price.com. You can also find the brand on all the social media sites (the links are found on the brand’s home page).

Are you planning on hosting a first birthday party? Or do you have any tips on how to throw a fun first birthday?

Are you a fan of Fisher-Price toys?

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.



*I received free products in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Attention Hess Toy Truck Fans


Hess Toy Truck 1

Are you or a family member a fan of the yearly Hess Toy Truck that is made available every year around the holidays?

My family are fans of the trucks and get one every year. The tradition started about 19 years ago when my dad purchased a Hess Toy Truck for my infant nephew for Christmas. Every year after that he would purchase the truck for my nephew. When my daughter was born he would purchase the truck for her as well. Over the years my dad ended up buying the trucks for all the grandchildren, even if they were not really into them anymore (Hess Toy Trucks are not overly popular with teenage girls LOL).

Sadly my dad passed away but that doesn’t mean the holiday tradition can’t continue. Each year we continue to buy the trucks. My son has several of them that he’s saved over the years (most are in storage). Others we have donated to daycare facilities and Head Start programs.

The Hess Toy Truck is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year.

Hess Toy Truck needs your help to get the national recognition it deserves for its milestone year: induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The National Toy Hall of Fame nomination period closes at the end of this month (July 31, 2014).

Families, friends and fans of the Hess Toy Truck are encouraged to submit a short online form telling the Hall of Fame’s nomination committee why they love the Hess Toy Truck. Nominations are also considered based on a list of criteria, which the Hess Toy Truck meets.

  • Icon-status: The toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered
  • Longevity: The toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations
  • Discovery: The toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play
  • Innovation: The toy profoundly changed play or toy design. A toy may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

Public support has been steady and strong, but they still need YOU help for this last push for nominations before the deadline closes July 31.

To nominate the Hess Toy Truck please visit http://www.toyhalloffame.org/nominate.

You can check out Hess Toy Truck on Facebook and online at HessToyTruck.com.

Hess Toy Truck 2


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this because we enjoy Hess Toy Trucks and think they deserve the honor. 

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