2015 “Fab 15” Toys available at Kmart – The hottest toys of the season



Toys are a huge part of the holiday season. Many children around the globe are hoping that Santa brings them their favorite toys for the holiday. For some children that might include video games and bikes, and for others plush animals or dolls.

When I was a young girl I used to have a wish list a mile long. I knew that Santa wouldn’t bring me all the toys on my list, but it was fun to dream about them.

One toy I always wanted was a Star Wars “At-At.” I never did get one. I did get the Ballerina Barbie that I wanted one year. It was the first year I opened a present on Christmas Eve. It’s a long story. It had to do with my mom being in the hospital.

I still remember the Cabbage Patch Kid craze. If you around my age (forty-something) you probably remember it well. Cabbage Patch Dolls were “THE” toy of the holiday season. EVERYONE wanted one. It was next to impossible to find them. Some people were selling theirs for hundreds of dollars (for a $25 doll) – and people were paying those crazy prices for them.

I didn’t want one of those dolls when they were all the rage (thankfully), but my sister did. If I’m not mistaken she was able to get one from our cousins who live in the United Kingdom. I guess it was easier for them to be found “across the big pond.”

Our daughter always has a huge wish list. Our son is just the opposite – getting him to give us a wish list is like pulling teeth. He never really wants much. My kids are polar opposites.

All parents want to see the look on their child’s face when they open up presents on Christmas morning – most especially when they open up the toy that was on the top of their holiday wish list.

Our daughter opening up the camera that she wanted for Christmas.

Our daughter opening up the camera that she wanted for Christmas.

Every years that are toys that are considered “hot” and “must haves” for the holiday season. They are sometimes known as the “Fab 15” – the 15 “hottest” toys of the holiday season.

Kmart offers consumers ridiculously awesome toys and games for kids of all ages and stages. The list, which comprises Kmart-exclusive toys and hot brands like Disney’s Frozen, Star Wars, LEGO®, Barbie™ and NERF,® is carefully curated based on industry trends, input from parents and kids, and more than 50 years of experience in knowing what toys kids love to play with and find under their Christmas trees.

Kmart-Fab-15-Infographic_V3p-e1443036651375 (2)

You don’t have to go from store to store to find the Fab 15 either. You can find them all at your neighborhood Kmart. You can also purchase the toys online at Kmart.com/Toys.

Kmart sent me the Fab 15 to check them out for myself. You had to see the two HUGE boxes that showed up last week.

Toy boxes

Stacked up on top of one another the boxes were taller than our one of our bookcases.

I was surprised by all the wonderful toys that we found inside as we opened the boxes.

Toys 1

Toys 2

These are the toys that I received.

Ages 1-2 



Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo by Hasbro

I saw this Elmo on television and it looked adorable. I was actually thinking about getting the toy for a family friend. After being able to see and touch it in person, I am totally in love with him.

This Elmo is very large in size. He says a lot of different phrases. Unlike other toys that say only a handful of things, this Elmo toy will keep kids busy for a long time. He also makes a snugly, cuddly friend.

The toy is made for children 1-2 years old, but I think older children will enjoy this toy just as much.

Ages 3-5

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels® Ultimate Auto Garage by Mattel®

This toy is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!! First and foremost it’s HUGE. I was shocked at just how big it is.

This set comes with a lot of “bells and whistles” including sound effects, a shark that tried to gobble up the cars, a helicopter and even plenty of Hot Wheels cars. This is the ULTIMATE gift for children who love playing with Hot Wheels-like cars.

Both my son and my husband were in awe of this toy. They both said that this is a dream toy for car lovers. I would have to agree with them.


Imaginext Ultra T-Rex by Fisher-Price®

This is another large toy (2 1/2 feet tall!). I haven’t had the chance to try it out (yet) but I have seen a video for it on the Kmart website and it looks like a lot of fun.

Click on the product link to check out the video to learn more about this cool toy.


Paw Patroller by Spin Master™

I know from working at my previous job that Paw Patrol is a popular television series. If your child or grandchild loves Paw Patrol they will have a lot of fun with this set. It come with vehicles and character figures too.


Disney Frozen Sing Along Elsa Doll by Jakks Pacific®

Unless you have been living under a rock the past two years, you probably already know that anything and everything that has to do with Diseny’s Frozen is a “hot” toy. This one is no exception.

When you press on a jewel found on Elsa’s necklace she talks and sings in the same voice as the movie. Little girls who are fan of the movie will go crazy for this fun toy.

We’ve pressed the buttons so many time I’m surprised we didn’t wear out the batteries. Ha Ha.


VTech® Kidizoom® Action Cam

This is a fun video camera for children. Think “Go Pro” for the 12 and under crowd. You child can video tape their adventures anytime, anywhere, using this portable camera.

Star Wars

Star Wars Signature Lightsaber by Hasbro®

Thanks to the new Star Wars film coming to theaters in December, Star Wars toys are all the rage this holiday season. Everyone is jumping on the Star Wars “bandwagon.” As a lover of the Star Wars franchise I am thrilled by all the awesome toys that are readily available.

Kmart carries this interesting Lightsaber set that allows a child to create their own unique Lightsaber using a variety of accessories. The main saber lights up and makes the Lightsaber sounds (just like in the movie). This is another toy we pressed the button so often that I think we wore out the batteries.

Zoomer Kitty

Zoomer Kitty with Toy Mouse by Spin Master™ (Kmart exclusive)

After seeing a video for this toy (a Kmart exclusive) on the Kmart website, I just had to try it.

Zoomer Kitty is super cute.

You have to charge it before you can play with it. I was surprised that it came with a USB charger – not a wall charger. You have to charge it from your computer. You can easily remedy this buy inserting the USB side of the plug into a wall charger with a USB port.

It took a few hours for it to be fully charged. If you give this as a gift you might want to charge it the night before so that it’s ready to be played with and enjoyed Christmas morning.

I TRIED to take a video of Zoomer Kitty but our cat Anakin kept getting in my way and eating Zoomer Kitty’s toy. LOL!


Zoomer Kitty follows what is in front of it’s face. When I was sitting on the kitchen floor playing with it our dog came running in the kitchen and ran right up to it. The toy rolled backwards than rushed towards him (as if it was going to ponce on our dog). Our dog was so surprised and scared by it that he jumped on top of me and nearly jumped out of his skin. I almost died laughing. I mean, it wasn’t funny that our dog was that scared – but in a way the way it happened was funny.

The toy is cute. It’s limited to what it can do, but it can still provide hours of fun.

Monster High

Monster High® Boo York Floatation Station™ with Astronova™ Doll by Mattel®

I work with kids that are 9-11 years old. I hear that Monster High is a popular series among the girls.

I don’t know anything about the show. I haven’t really looked into this toy yet, but it looks weird. LOL!

There is a video on the Kmart site that gives you more information about this toy.

Ages 6-8

Holiday Barbie

Holiday Auburn Barbie™ 2015 Doll by Mattel® (Kmart exclusive)

Growing up I always wanted the Holiday Barbie doll, but Santa never brought me one. As per my mom they were collectible dolls – no ones that you play with.

I can see why mom said that. This Barbie doesn’t have the same body movements as other Barbie dolls do. You cannot bend the knees or arms. They are locked in their current position.

You CAN play with her, she’s just limited. I also tried to comb out her hair but I think I messed it up a bit. When I took her out of the box the hair was all scrunched up. I combed it and it looks a bit frizzy. I should have left it alone.

She’s a beautiful doll. I love her hair color. I like that she’s not a blonde like many other Barbie dolls are. Her dress and jewelry are beautiful too.


FurReal Friends Star Lilly the Unicorn by Hasbro®

I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE this toy! She is absolutely beautiful and adorable (at the same time).

Starlily makes the sweetest sounds and I adore the way she bats her eyes and flaps her wings. She even stomps her front foot up and down from time to time.

This toy is very realistic. My husband joked that he didn’t want to leave her out at night time because he was afraid he’d wake up in the middle of the night and find her staring at him. Ha Ha. Even my daughter said that the horse kept staring at her.

Here is a video that I made. It’s not the best, but hopefully it gives you an idea what to expect with this adorable toy.


If I was a little girl I would have this toy on the top of my wish list. I absolutely adore this toy. Even when she’s turned off she is still beautiful to look at.

This plush horse/unicorn/Pegasus is very soft and lovely to pet. She has sparkly eyes and other sparkles on her body. Even the way her hooves are made it almost gives them a bit of a sparkly appearance too.


NERF® Zombie Strike Doominator by Hasbro®

You can never go wrong with a Nerf gun. These are a lot of fun. My only word of advice would be to not play with it around dogs. Dogs love to play “fetch” with the arrows and end up using them as a chew toy. At least that is what our dog does.

This gun also shoots very far away so you might want to play with it outside or in a large room so as not to accidentally hit something and break it.

The sponge arrows are soft and don’t really hurt if you get hit with one of them – unless it’s in the face.


Hulk Smash RC Vehicle by Jakks Pacific®

This is a really weird toy. It’s not my “cup of tea,” but for a super hero lover or Hulk fan this toy would be a lot of fun.

Check out the video on the Kmart site to see how this remote control vehicle works (Hulk’s arms swing around!).


MONOPOLY Here & Now by Hasbro®

Monopoly is a fun game for the entire family. This game comes with some unique playing pieces including a Statue of Liberty, Cowboy Hat, Baseball Glove and White House.

Ages 9+


LEGO® Friends Pop Star Show Stage

LEGO toys are typically associated with boys. That should not be the case. Girls love to build with LEGO blocks as much as boys do. That is why I appreciate sets like LEGO Friends Pop Star which are geared more towards girls (boys can play with them too).

I haven’t opened this set but it does look like a lot of fun.

These are Kmart’s Fab 15 toys of the 2015 holiday season. What do you think about them?

These toys were tested by Kmart’s first-ever Kid Toy Advisory Board which consisted of a select group of kids of Kmart employees who served as toy experts and holiday toy consultants.

You can shop for these toys at your local Kmart store or online anytime at Kmart.com/Toys.

See what others are saying about these must have toys of the 2015 holiday season by searching for the hashtag #Fab15Toys on social media.

kmart logo


*I received free product samples 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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Beautiful and affordable Springfield dolls available at Jo-Ann Fabric Stores



If you have a young daughter, or granddaughter, chances are they have a doll or two on their holiday wish list.

Most young girls love playing with dolls. I did. My daughter did and at my previous job the dolls were the most favorite toys to play with when it came to littler girls. Even some little boys enjoyed playing with the dolls too.

Dolls need to be played with an enjoyed. Some dolls are for collecting, but most little girls rather have dolls they can tote with them where ever they go, have tea parties with, style their hair and change their outfits frequently.

There is a brand of dolls that are hugely popular with young girls (I won’t mention the brand name). Sadly they are a bit on the pricey side. Even their outfits and accessories can cost a small fortune.

My family has always had a tight budget. As much as I wanted to get one of those dolls for my daughter when she was younger it was simply not possible.

There is a brand of similar dolls that look just as beautiful and come with equally as lovely outfits as the higher priced brand. They are called Springfield Dolls. The dolls and their outfits are sold exclusively at Jo-Ann Fabric Stores across the country.

Springfield Dolls have actually been around since 1996. Springfield Dolls are a division of Fibre-Craft®, LLC, the beloved company that is celebrating 60+ years of making children’s craft products.

The dolls have sparkling lifelike eyes that open and close and boast silky, long, rooted hair that can be brushed and styled. Each doll is soft and huggable with moveable arms and legs, making dressing and undressing easy.


Currently there are several dolls in the collection;

  • Ella – a beautiful Latina doll with brown eyes dressed in an apple-green nightgown.
  • Paige – a sweet doll with brown eyes and long brown hair comes wearing a hot pink nightgown.
  • Alexis – an enchanting blue eyed, blonde haired doll wearing a bright blue nightgown that matches her eyes.
  • Madison – a gorgeous African-American doll with brown eyes, curly black hair in a yellow nightgown.
  • Savannah – a striking green eyed, red haired doll arrives wearing a purple nightgown.

The dolls are 18″ in size and can wear outfits from similar sized dolls too.

doll 1

I received one of the dolls to review. I received Savannah with big green eyes and lovely red hair. I have a bit of Irish in me and she reminded me of an Irish girl.

First and foremost I must say that I love her hair. It’s long and silky. It’s fun to brush and style. I am a big fan of braiding dolls hair. I tried to put Savannah’s hair in a bun but it didn’t stay at well as I had liked. I think it’s because her hair is so silky that it made the bun difficult to stay together (the hair kept sliding out).

Each doll comes with a plain looking night gown. Savannah arrived with a purple nightgown with a huge heart embellished on it.

doll 2

In addtion to the doll I also received one outfit. I chose the ball gown. The gown came with gloves and dress shoes too.

The brand put a lot of thought into not only the dolls, but also the tiny details on the outfits.

Check out the pretty star-like design on the ball gown.

Check out the pretty star-like design on the ball gown.

I love that the dolls and the clothes are budget friendly. To be honest I don’t see much of a difference between the higher priced brand compared to the Springfield Dolls. They are comparable.

This holiday season if your daughter or granddaughter is asking Santa for a doll, why not visit your local Jo-Ann Fabric Store and check out the Springfield Doll Boutique. You will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and affordability.

For more information about Springfield Dolls please visit www.SpringfieldDolls.com.

You can also check out Springfield Dolls on social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

To find a Jo-Ann Fabric Store near you visit JoAnn.com.

What do you think about these dolls? Does it look like something your daughter or grandchild would love?



*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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Give a Bears for Humanity Teddy for Christmas – the Gift That Gives Twice!


close up of woman in sweater with christmas ball

It’s the holiday season – time for good will towards others, finding the perfect gift for that special someone and enjoying quality time with family and friends.

I love that people are more charitable this time of year. I only wish that the good will towards others extended well past the holiday season – even better – year round.

We do what we can throughout the year when it comes to making charitable donations. We donate food (both food for people and food to our local animal shelter), cash and products. When the holiday season swings around my family and I increase our efforts to do good for others. We donate more food and buy gifts for children.

Two years ago my family and I were visiting a local plant nursery, checking out their holiday decorations (they have a section that sells holiday decor). The nursery also sold real Christmas trees. That year we paid for a Christmas tree and told the young lady at checkout that the next person who comes in to purchase a Christmas tree, use the money we gave them to pay for it.

As luck would have it the next family came in shortly after we left. We were able to see them at the cash register from our car through the windows. As we were pulling away the man came running out into the parking lot, waving at us with a huge smile on his face.

We live in an affluent area, but there are plenty of people who struggle to get by. We’d like to hope that the family that benefited from the tree we purchase needed a little holiday magic.

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

We meant to do that again last year but we couldn’t afford it. This year we’re a little better off so we plan on doing that again.

What if there was a way you could purchase a holiday gift for someone on your shopping list and give to charity at the same time? It would be a win-win situation all around.

When you purchase a teddy bear from Bears For Humanity™, not only do you (or the gift recipient) receive a beautifully made teddy bear, the purchase also instantly doubles as a gift for a child in need.

When you purchase from Bears for Humanity you can select from one of the listed charities for your donation bear to be delivered to. The donated bears are personally delivered to a needy veteran’s house, a children’s hospital or an underprivileged household.

What a wonderful idea! I wish more companies would consider doing something like this. As a person with a big heart who believes in supporting charities, I would purchase from companies that did something like this over a company that doesn’t.


Currently the charities benefiting from the donated bears are;

The bears come in two different sizes and several colors.

The 16″ Premium Bear is $39.99 and the 7″ Baby Bear is $19.99. They come in colors such as white, light brown, dark brown, blue and pink.

Check out this brief video that explains more about Bears for Humanity.

About 10 years ago I helped out a young lady with her Gold Eagle project for Girl Scouts. It was called The Bear Fair. Funds collected from the event were used to purchase teddy bears to donate to local rescue organizations (Police Department, Fire Department and Ambulance companies).

When a child is scared they need something to provide them with comfort. That is what the Teddy Bears that were donated were used for. They were given to children involved in car accidents, house fires and other tragic situations.

I truly believe that a teddy bear can provide comfort for both young and old alike.

I have teddy bears. In fact, I sleep with one of them at night on occasion. If I have been having an especially stressful day I find that snuggling with “Mr. Bear” (which is what I call him) makes me feel a lot better.

All of the charities that Bears for Humanity work with work with children, adults and families in need. I am proud to support such wonderful charities. I have linked to each of them (above) so that you can learn more about them. Toys for Tots is one that we donate toys to every holiday season.

The bears sold at Bears for Humanity are not just ordinary bears. Bears for Humanity are made with only 100% Certified Organic Cotton/ Hemp. Plus, they are naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic which gives parents the peace of mind they don’t get from polyester plush toys.

Baby Bears

Large Bears

The bears are made here in the United States through CalWorks. CalWorks provides jobs to at-risk mothers, fathers and caregivers.

Even toy industry experts have also taken notice of this new company. Dr. Toy was first to award Bears for Humanity the Green Toy Company award followed by National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, Playonwords.com PAL
Award, Able Play Seal of Approval and most recently, Mom’s Choice Award—GOLD seal of approval.

The Parents’ Choice Foundation also awarded the company their Gold Award.

The Choice Foundation said, “Among the ways we learn is through imitation and practice – of tasks, process and behavior. Be it the importance of reading, or teaching children empathy and responsibility, parents set the stage. But busy lives can interfere; giving to and helping others takes time, thought and understanding. Making a contribution with a positive impact, even in its smallest form, feels good. Doing it again feels better.

Creating a pattern becomes habit and habits create change. Enter Bears for Humanity. From the materials sourced to the workforce employed, to the carefully screened “Buy One, Give One” program, this company is as much a teacher as it is a manufacturer. These lessons of philosophy and business practice are worth patterning and passing along.

My Sammi Bear

My Sammie Bear

When giving a bear to a child, be sure to share the bear’s story. Present it as an age appropriate introduction to empathy and responsibility: getting a hug feels great; giving one feels pretty good too. And by the way, “hugs” can take many forms.”

The Premium Bears have jointed limbs, making them a great addition for any childhood adventure or tea party.

Currently the available bears are;

  • Sammie—iconic beige
  • Sassie—pink
  • Snowie—white
  • Snugglie—chocolate brown
  • Sweetie—blue

Bears for Humanity

The company also makes the non-jointed 7” baby bears (mentioned above) and assortment of accessories for the Premium Bears.

I was sent one of the bears to review. I chose Sammie, the classic iconic beige bear.

I love that his arms and legs move. It’s not often that you come across a bear with movable limbs. You can position him (or her if you choose to make it a girl) sitting down, standing up and a variety of other positions.

This is a quality bear. You can tell from the very first time you hold it in you hands. You can tell that this bear was made with love and attention to detail. I don’t see any lose strings, holes or shedding.

These are not the type of bear you put on a shelf and just look at it (unless you want to). These bears were made to be played with, snuggled with an fully enjoyed.

My review bear also included the opportunity for me to donate the same bear. I chose Toys for Tots.

Teddy bears are not just for children. I’m an adult and I love teddy bears very much (most plush toys – I have a collection of them).

If you are looking for a special gift for the holiday season (or year round), I hope you’ll consider Bears for Humanity. These would also make great gifts for baby showers, new parents, birthday’s and more.

Be sure to let the gift recipient know that another bear will be donated to the charity of your choice.

For more information please visit BearsforHumanity.com. Look for the brand on social media too.



*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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Gifts for the whole family for $5.00 from Kohl’s Cares



If you follow my blog on a regular basis you probably have read some of my posts about the Kohl’s Cares program.

Kohl’s Cares sells books, toys and other items through out the year that benefit the Kohl’s Cares program. New products are introduced throughout the year and are available for a limited time both in stores and online at Kohls.com.

Pproceeds from the sale of products in the Kohl’s Care collection goes towards children’s charities. Kohl’s Cares donates 100% of the net profit 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.

Now is a great time to shop for Kohl’s Cares products. Not only can you get wonderful gifts for $5.00, you can also feel good knowing that the proceeds are going towards children’s charities. After all, the holiday season is about good will towards others. What a better way than to purchase wonderful gifts for those on your holiday shopping list AND help out children’s charities at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.


Currently Kohl’s Care is offering adorable, soft and snugly plush animals and matching books by Nancy Tillman. The stories are charming and the illustrations are beautiful.

I LOVE the book/plush combinations that Kohl’s Cares puts out year round. I have many “sets” in my family’s library collection. I like to display the book and plush together on the bookshelf. I rotate them every few months.

I’m just a bit kid at heart and I love displaying charming things around my home. I am also making a nice collection of children’s books for my future grandchildren. I’m looking forward to reading them the books while they cuddle with their furry friend.


The current available book titles are;

  • You’re Here for a Reason
  • On the Night You Were Born
  • Where Ever You Are My Love Will Find You
  • I’d Know You Anywhere My Love

The books are truly beautiful and each one expresses love in its purest form. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them.

The matching plush animals are adorable. The Panda is especially fuzzy. Every time I pick it up I utter the words “It’s so fluffy!,” just like Agnes did in the film Despicable Me.


Each item is only $5.00 (a book/plush combo will cost you $10.00). Where else can you get a beautiful hardcover book AND a quality made plush toy for $10.00? Most hardcover books will cost you that amount, and the plus animals would sell for MORE in other stores.

These “sets” would make for great holiday gifts as well as “grab bag” gifts for school. You can also buy them as sets or individually and donate to a local children’s charity such as Toys for Tots to give to underprivileged children and families in need. Not only will you be promoting literacy, you’ll also be provide a child in need with a new “friend” which will provide comfort and joy.



color me Christmas

Another fun children’s product from the current line of Kohl’s Cares products are Color Me Christmas Cards. Your child can color and decorate their own holiday cares and write their own personal messages inside. The set comes with 20 cards to color, envelopes and three markers. You can also color the cards with colored pencils. The lines are very thin, so crayons might now work as well.

Kohl’s Cares always has products from grown ups too. This time they are offering a holiday music CD by Blake Sheldon – Blake Sheldon Christmas. The holiday CD features the following songs;

  • Jingle Bell Rock – featuring Miranda Lambert
  • Oklahoma Christmas- featuring Reba
  • There’s a New Kid in Town- featuring Kelly Clarkson
  • Home featuring Michael Bublé
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Silent Night- featuring Sheryl Crow
  • The Christmas Song
  • Blue Christmas- featuring Pistol Annies
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Silver Bells- featuring Xenia


I’m not a fan of country music, but I do enjoy this CD. I especially like the duets with Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bublé.

Kohl’s Cares is also offering a holiday book called Holiday Delights featuring recipes, crafts and gift ideas from Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Country Living. Not only would this make a great gift it would also be nice for you to buy for yourself to help you with yummy recipes for your holiday meals and gifts you can make for family and friends.

The holiday book, Christmas CD and Christmas cards are also only $5.00 each and all the proceeds goes to the Kohl’s Cares program.

For more information or to find a Kohl’s location near you visit www.Kohls.com. You can also find Kohl’s on the various social media sites (all the links are found on the bottom of their website).

Have you ever purchased Kohl’s Cares products? What do you think about the new collection? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received some of the products free in order to do this review. The remaining products I purchased myself on my own. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fun holiday gift idea for both young and old – Revell Models


Me playing with some of my favorite toys.

Me playing with some of my favorite toys.

My husband and I love to reminisce about our childhood. We didn’t meet each other “officially” until we were in our late 20’s, however fate has been trying to bring us together since we were little kids (long story – I’ll share it one day).

As the holidays draw nearer, my husband and I often talk about our holidays as children and the things we loved to do with our families. We also talk about our favorite holiday gifts and items that were always on our holiday wish list but Santa never brought us. For example, for years I wanted an At At toy from the Star Wars collection. Yes, I know, its not very “girly” but I LOVED my Tonka trucks and I was really into Star Wars (non-girly things). I would have taken an At At over a Barbie any day. LOL!

BTW… I never did get an At At. Sigh…


My husband was really into toys when he was a young boy. One of his favorite things to do was to put together models. In fact, over the years he’s purchased models here and there to put together. Sadly he gave his collection to our son when he was little and he pretty much destroyed all the cars. Model cars normally are not meant to be played with. Especially rough – the way a young boy would play with them (you know how kids love to crash things together).

I think putting together models is a lost art. These days people rather put together buildings and vehicles made out of plastic brick-like pieces then do a real model.


When I was younger I remember that models were a popular thing to do. Sadly, somewhere along the way people stopped enjoying this relaxing and fun DIY idea.

I’m happy to say that models are alive and well. In fact, the company Revell has models that can be easily assembled by both young and old alike. They have different degrees of difficulty which makes it easy to select the right model for you or your child/grandchild. Some of their models even snap together – no glue required.

Revell introduced a new generation of model kits with three new skill levels that redefine the modeling experience for kids 6-12. Among the highlights: snap-together, “build and play” kits for kids 6-8 (starting two years younger than traditional products) that can be assembled in 30 minutes. They are called SnapTite.

All 26 products in the new collection – which will be continually expanded – were designed and tooled from scratch based on an exhaustive one-year market evaluation that included consumer surveys, focus groups, over 15,000 ‘Make ‘n Takes,’ and experiential in-store research.

Revell was kind enough to send my family a few models to try out. We received one with little difficulty (a model a young child could easily do on their own), one that was a wee bit harder (but not by much) and a classic model that requires glue.

We received to review the following kits.


Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (Level One)


Black Diamond Pirate Ship (Level Two)

Revell 2013 Camero

2013 Camero (Level Three)

The higher the level number the most difficult the model.

The Jeep was super easy to put together. In fact, my husband and son snapped it together in about five minutes. We were just finishing up dinner too. I had told them about the models during dinner and they wanted to see them. Knowing how easy the Jeep would be my son started doing it right there at the table the moment he was done eating. My husband helped too but not much.

I like the snap together models because you don’t have to worry about messy glue.

You could easily add stickers or paint the model to customize it and make it your own.

You could easily add stickers or paint the model to customize it and make it your own.

The next model the put together was the Black Diamond Pirate Ship. It’s also a snap together model. Unfortunately ours met with a bit of a tragedy (it was dropped) so some of the pieces snapped off and couldn’t be snapped back on (mostly it was just the sails). We need to glue the broken pieces back on so we can add the sails on to it.

The ship was dropped and parts of the sails broke off. It needs to be glued and fixed.

The ship was dropped and parts of the sails broke off. It needs to be glued and fixed.

The pirate ship is pretty cool. Pirates are so popular with today’s youth too.

We haven’t put together the Camero – yet. This is a glue together model (like a traditional model). While it’s not difficult, it’s just a bit more time consuming since you have to glue together the pieces and let them dry. My husband plans on doing this model himself one weekend when we have nothing to do (the past few weekends we have been on the go-go-go).

I love the idea of doing models. It’s a wonderful project that children can do on their own or with a parent/grandparent. Doing a model together would make for delightful memories that would last a lifetime.

If you are looking for a wonderful gift idea for the holidays, a model would make a perfect gift. Revell offers many different kinds of kits including models based on entertainment (they have plenty of Star Wars models), planes, trains, ships, cars and more.

Visit Revell.com to see what great models they have available to you.

Have you ever put together a model before? Would you give a model as a gift? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Revell Logo


*I received free product samples 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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Stuffed Animals that Teach Kids a Lesson


Pal and Bridget

I might be an adult, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate soft, snugly, adorable things. I have a nice collection of stuffed animals that are MINE. Not only do I love to look at them but occasionally I’ll snuggle with one in bed. I find it very soothing and comforting. I’m sure a lot of that stems from my childhood.

Growing up I had a lot – and I do mean A LOT – of stuffed animals. I had two favorites that went with me where ever I went (pictured above). Their names are Pal and Bridget. I believe Pal was either a bear or a dog at one point. After 40-something years – many of which included snuggling, cuddling and playing with – he lost his fur, eyes, nose and ears. That’s OK. I still love him.

When it came to stuffed animals I always went for the ones that had a flaw with them. It could be that it’s eyes were not centered properly, it had a permanent mark on it, an ear was missing or some other kind of imperfection. Most people would look for one that was flawless – I was the opposite. I was drawn to the “flawed” toys.

By nature I am a good person with a huge heart. Even as a young girl I wanted to give love to everyone and everything. I felt like the flawed ones were going to be considered too “ugly” to purchase and they would never know what it would feel like to be loved and snuggled my a child. For that reason I wanted the “ugly” ones so I could show them love.

I know stuffed animals don’t have feelings. It’s just how I am.

There is a new line of plush animals on the market that are intentionally made to look “ugly” (I hate using that word – nothing is truly ugly). They are called UglySnuglies. UglySnuglies were created to teach children that you don’t have to be beautiful to be loved or special. That is so true! It’s something I have taught my kids from a very young age.

Remember… beauty doesn’t last forever. It’s on the INSIDE that matters the most. Even the most unattractive person or animal can have the most amazing personality and be the most beautiful thing in the world on the inside. That is why you should never “judge a book by it’s cover” either.


UglySnuglies are large, plush animals – each one having it’s own unique “surprise” that makes them special. Their surprises also teach children special things too.

  • Pouty Pig – Includes a bank inside to help kids learn how to save their money.
  • Krazy Kitty – Includes a hidden light in his tail to kelp kids feel safe at night.
  • Bizarre Bear – Includes five secret zipper pockets to help kids clean up after themselves and find ways to store their favorite things.
  • Unusual Unicorn – Includes an alarm clock to help kids learn the value of time.
  • Rowdy Rabbit – Includes a radio inside to help kids learn to relax.
  • Porky Panda – Includes a hidden blanket inside to help keep kids warm.

To be honest I don’t see them as “ugly” – but they are unique and different looking.

We were sent to review Krazy Kitty and Pouty Pig.

I was surprised at how large the plus animals were. I think that is nice because it makes for a great bedside companion.

The toys are soft and snugly. Some of the fur for Krazy Kitty has fell off (just a string here and there). I guess it’s shedding. Ha Ha.

Krazy Kat

Krazy Kitty comes with a light in it’s tail. The toy comes with the AAA batteries already inserted into the battery pack. You just have to remove the plastic piece that keeps the battery from connecting. That took me about 20 SECONDS to do.

The light on the tail is easy to turn on/off. You just have to press on it.

The light is great for reading in bed, walking around a dark room, to provide comfort for things that go “bump in the night” and as a night light (I wouldn’t recommend leaving it on all night – it will eat up the batteries).


Pouty Pig is a bit odd looking. When I think of pigs I think skin and course fur – not pink and fluffy. LOL!

Inside Pouty Pig’s mouth is a slit where your child/grandchild can insert coins – just like they would in a piggy bank. On the bottom of the plush there is a door that can be opened to retrieve the coins. Think of it as a large, hairy piggy bank that your child/grandchild can play with, sleep with and take with them on the go.

I would recommend Pouty Pig to older children so that there is no risk of the coins getting swallowed. You know how kids love to put things in their mouths.

Pouty Pig

The photo of our Pouty Pig (above) makes him look mean. That is because ours doesn’t sit with his head up. His head flops forward, which covers his mouth. Our actually looks like the one pictured below. Sadly my photo doesn’t do him justice. He’s NOT a mean looking pig.

US Pouty Pig

I don’t see UglySnuglies as “ugly.” They are cute and lovable and I think children would enjoy them.

With the holiday season fast approaching I think UglySnuglies would make a delightful gift.

If you would like to learn more please visit UglySnuglies.com.

Check out the brief video (below) to see all of the UglySnuglies and to check out their fun features.



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

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