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Baby’s First Christmas Events at Babies “R” Us

 

Our daughter's first Christmas

Our daughter’s first Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is just a couple of months away? Wasn’t is just summer yesterday? It sure seems like it.

My kids are teenagers now and oddly enough they are not really asking for much for Christmas. I’m rather surprised by that.

I would love to take the family to New York City prior to Christmas to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, have dinner and check out the tree at Rockefeller Center one night in lieu of spending a small fortune on gifts. Too bad the Christmas Spectacular is more than we can afford. It would have been a fun idea to spend the holiday together as a family doing fun things. Our daughter will be in college this time next year and our son not too far after that. Our time with the kids is dwindling away.

It makes me laugh when I think about their “wish lists” from a couple of years ago. They were a mile long! Back then I wished they were still babies when they didn’t have wish lists and we could get them whatever fun toys we wanted to get them.

A baby’s first Christmas is a special time. It’s just one of many “firsts” you’ll get to experience with your baby or grandchild.

It’s not always easy to figure out what gifts to get for a baby’s first Christmas. You want to get the baby something fun and entertaining but at the same time you don’t want to get too many toys because at that age they don’t need a lot.

Our son's first Christmas along with our daughter.

Our son’s first Christmas along with our daughter.

If you are going to be shopping for a baby’s first Christmas this year please join Babies “R” Us at one of their Baby’s First Christmas events happening at stores nationwide throughout November.

On select Saturdays in November from 10-11am, new parents are encouraged to visit their local Babies“R”Us to celebrate their baby’s first Christmas, where they can meet and greet with other moms and dads whose little ones are the same age as well as take part of memorable activities, including storytime, adorable photo opps and a make-and-take craft to name a few. During the one-hour events, Parents can also enter in a raffle to win exciting prizes and receive exclusive holiday deals. The celebrations are geared toward babies of all stages in their first year, and below is a birthday outline to help parents plan:

(11/8 – 10am): Dec 2013/Jan/Feb/Mar 2014 Babies

(11/15- 10am ): Apr/May/Jun/Jul 2014 Babies

(11/22- 10am): Aug/Sep/Oct/Nov 2014 Babies

I wish they had events like this when our daughter was a baby. It would have been fun to meet other parents with a baby her same age. Plus who doesn’t want to win prizes?

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In addition to the in-store events Babies “R” Us is also hosting two Twitter chats where they will be sharing great tips about buying presents for Baby’s First Christmas as well as ways to celebrate this important milestone. The hashtag is #BRUChristmas and Babies “R” Us on Twitter is @BabiesRUs. I’ll find out the Twitter times and share the info. on my blog’s Facebook (Facebook.com/SheScribes) and Twitter (@She_Scribes) pages.

For more information about the in store events please visit www.Babiesrus.com/FirstChristmas.

Tell me about your baby or grand baby’s first Christmas? Is there a special memory you have from that day? What was your favorite gift the baby received? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with Babies R Us to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

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Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo iBook and App

 

Jesse the Jack's ABC Zoo

I love books. I always have. My love of books started when I was a child. In fact I still have many of my childhood favorite books – the same ones I enjoyed as a child. I have kept them all these years. I have even kept many of my children’s favorites too in hopes that some day they can pass on their love for those books to their children.

I would rather have an actual book then an e-book, but I do understand and appreciate the value of e-books (or “iBooks”). Rather than lug around books where ever you go you can keep an assortment of books on hand at anytime and enjoy them on your tablet or smartphone.

I think e-books/iBooks are great for children too. You can make them available to children whenever you want and where ever you are. You children can enjoy books on the go. Anything that helps to foster a love of reading I’m all for.

There is a new iBook and app that is launching today (October 22, 2014) that is not only super adorable, but it’s educational too.

The iBook and app are called Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo.

I have not heard of Jesse the Jack until now. He’s a real dog! He’s a super cute multi-color Jack Russell Terrier who is super talented. He can walk doing a handstand, pop balloons, skateboard, ride a rocking horse and even put dishes in the dishwasher. My teenage kids can’t even do that. LOL!

Jesse has appeared on many television shows including The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Nickelodeon, Animal Planet, The Rachael Ray Show, CBS, NBC, ABC, Disney and VH1 and more!

Jesse the Jack's ABC Zoo App

 

Now Jesse the Jack can put something else on his resume – teaching kids their ABC’s.

Jesse the Jack’s new iBooks and interactive app feature narration, animation and video to help children (ages 2-6) learn their alphabet in a fun and creative way. When it’s fun children don’t even realize they are learning. I also personally feel that children learn better when it’s fun for them.

Here is a little more information about the iBook and application.

Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo illustrates the full alphabet, pairing letters with animals and colors to help children learn through association. The storyline follows Jesse’s adventure through the zoo, which he discovers while he’s asleep. The app has two modes: story and play. As parents and children follow Jesse in story mode, they are taken on an interactive journey with real-life animal sounds and facts. Soothing yet upbeat music produced by popular street performer Dub FX keeps children focused and entertained.

Play mode teaches the alphabet and each animal’s name through a “fill in the shape” game. Animals and letters are randomized, and players must match each animal with the right letter. Correct answers are rewarded with Jesse tricks and treats, while wrong answers receive another try until the child selects the correct option. For every two Jesse treats earned, children will be directed to a link to watch Jesse perform tricks – from driving an ATV to riding a scooter.

“Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo brings excitement and interactivity to learning the alphabet. Through beautiful graphics, animation and illustrations, kids learn while having fun,” said Rob Keim, founder and CEO of Best Buddies Learning. “We wanted to create a game that teaches through positive reinforcement, the same way Jesse learns his tricks.”

Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo is an iBook and app that teaches children the alphabet in a new and creative way. Using eye-catching animation and well-known Jack Russell Terrier, Jesse the Jack, ABC Zoo illustrates the full alphabet and pairs letters with animals and colors to assist with association and learning. The storyline involves Jesse’s real world and the world of learning he creates when he falls asleep.

Best Buddies Learning teaches through positive reinforcement, the same way its star, Jesse the Jack, is rewarded!

I haven’t had a chance to check out the iBook or app yet, but it does sound super cute. Judging by the images I think children (and parents) will quickly fall in love with Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more iBooks and apps form Jesse the Jack in the future.

Jesse the Jack

Here are some more details about the iBook and app features;

Narration: The iBook has touch narration that allows children to replay any words or sentences they need help with reading or pronouncing. Narration is both soothing and positive and can be turned on/off.

Two modes: The app has two modes: story and play. Story mode involves various animations and illustrations, and has real animal sounds to allow children to learn and identify the correct sound of the animal. Play modes gives children a “fill in the shape” game where they have to match the animal and letter to its corresponding silhouette.

Positive reinforcement: Correct answers are rewarded with “Jesse treats.” For every two Jesse treats earned, children will be directed to a page of 12 different Jesse tricks – from Jesse driving an ATV to Jesse riding a scooter.

Music: Street performer Dub FX and his wife, Flower Fairy, produced soothing yet upbeat music for the app that is heard in both story and play modes.

Jesse Tricks: Video of Jesse performing tricks is showcased throughout.

Eye-catching graphics: Sharp colors are used in the animations and illustrations to assist with holding children’s attention and focus as well as inspiring creativity.

The iBook and app is available as of today for iOS. An Android version will be coming soon.

The iBook will be available for $.99 and the app for $1.99.

If you would like to learn more about this fun iBook and app visit Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo on iTunes.

Be sure to check out Jesse the Jack’s YouTube channel too!

What do you think about Jesse the Jack’s ABC Zoo? Does it sound like a fun interactive iBook and app that your child or grandchild would enjoy? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers. :-)

Jesse the Jack's ABC Zoo Game

Kimberly

*Although compensated the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Rock Out with the Beatrix Girls

 

Beatrix Girls Dolls

When I was a young girl we didn’t have the kind of doll assortments available to today’s young girls. We had baby dolls and Barbies for the most part. That was fine but it’s always nice to have more to choose from.

These days there are so many wonderful doll characters to choose from.

Have you ever head of the Beatrix Girls? I haven’t until recently when I was sent some dolls to review. Since my daughter is a teenager I donated the toys to the place where I work at Family Court. I can’t take pictures of the children, but I can see how the kids react to the dolls.

If you are unfamiliar with these cool dolls, here is a little more information.

The Beatrix Girls are an accomplished pop-star band with real music that young girls are sure to adore, and they just happen to be beautiful 12” dolls. They’re young, they’re real, they’re spunky, and they are relatable to young girls. These 12” dolls not only interact in the real life-sized human world, but they produce real music, real hits, and real sales!

The Beatrix Girls dolls are very highly stylized and uniquely designed to break the mold of 50 years of “me too” dolls. They are masterfully sculpted in a unique angular design style. Their proportions are very differentiated with huge heads, LOTS of beautiful flowing hair, and very large expressive eyes, adding up to dolls that are not only original but also very beautiful.

The Beatrix Girls is an extensive entertainment brand that encompasses traditional media, music, digital media, consumer products and branded IP ripe for licensing and merchandising.

I was sent to review five dolls. Four of them I took to work with me. The fifth one I am saving for a Christmas gift for a special little girl.

Meet the girls.

Ainsley

Ainsley

Lark

Lark

Brayden

Brayden

Chantel

Chantel 

I have to say these dolls do have a lot of hair. I think that is one of the things the little girls at work seem most attracted to. Even if they play with just one of the dolls it seems like it’s their hair that they enjoy the most. I see them combing their hair a lot. Most of the dolls no longer have their original hairstyles, which is fine.

I even enjoy styling their hairs (braids, ponytails, pig tails…).

Their outfits are funky and they can be swapped with other dolls. I’ve noticed that undressing and re-dressing the dolls is also a popular activity with the little girls. Sadly I often find a naked doll or two (many of the kids we care for are very young). I make sure to dress them before we open the door.

These are good size dolls, even for little hands to play with.

Ainsley (L) and Lark (R)

Ainsley (L) and Lark (R)

Dolls 2

Chantel (L) and Brayden (R)

The only caution I have is that some of the shoes and jewelry are very tiny and I would watch those pieces around little ones who still put things in their mouth. I have removed the jewelry and the shoes off the dolls at work. I will only give them to the children if there isn’t any little ones in the room who might put them in their mouths.

I also wasn’t too find of Lark’s hair. It was cut very weird in the back (very short in some spots) so it’s not as easy to style her hair as it is the other dolls in the group.

These dolls don’t come with instruments. Some of the dolls are available with instruments.

From what I’ve seen at work these dolls have been a big hit with our “guests”. They tend to go for these dolls rather then the baby dolls we have in the room.

The other doll I have (the one that is not opened yet) is one of their special edition London dolls. I have Brayden and she’s dressed in a really cool shiny outfit. I LOVE her retro hair style too! She also comes with a sparkly guitar.

Here is an image of the special edition London dolls as well as my doll.

Brayden

 

London

I REALLY love their hair styles. Even Lark’s hair looks a lot better. Chantal’s hair style is very nice too. They remind me of the film Austin Powers. LOL!

If you would like to learn more about the Beatrix Girls you should check out their very entertaining website, www.TheBeatrixGirls.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

You can even to the Beatrix Girls radio station on Pandora! You can also find their music on Spotify and iTunes. I’ve listened to some of their music and it’s not bad at all. It’s kind of catchy.

The dolls are available at Walmart, Amazon and Toys R Us.

What do you think about these dolls? Have you seen these dolls before or do you own any?

Here is one of their music videos for you enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

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

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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+.

Dumbo

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.

Books

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.

Puzzle

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.

Dalmation

 

Kimberly

*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)

 

cheer_bear

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

Kimberly

*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.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*

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

Kimberly

*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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