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Download the Weird: Giveaway!

P (10 years old) is here today with a book review and giveaway for you! I'm going to start allowing the boys to do a review here and there so you can hear about products directly from them! 

The awesome people at Ripley's Books sent us a copy of Ripley's Believe it or Not! Download the Weird to review. Ripley's books are very high on the list of my boys' favorites. Weird/shocking facts and photos are right up their alley. The fun thing about Download the Weird is that you can interact with the book on their free iPhone or Google play app. I'll let P tell you all about it:

Download the Weird is the best annual Ripley's book yet. I really enjoyed the weird facts (as usual). Most of the stuff was new and weirder than usual. I like the app because it showed cool videos and pictures. My favorite thing in the book so far is the lizard man.

I think kids my age and older would really like this book because it has unusual feats and facts. I think Moms and Dads would like it too. Thank you Ripley's for letting me review this book I give it 5 stars. (out of 5)

Ripley's (and P) want to give away a copy to one of you!


Visit Ripleybooks.com  and have a look around. Let us know (in the comments below) which publication of Ripley's is one you've never seen before.

That's it! I'll leave the comments open until next Wednesday November 28th, 2012 11:59pm CST 

 Disclosure: we received a copy of the book for free but were not compensated in any other way. All opinions are our own!


LEGO Garland

Warm Hot Chocolate has a holiday garland kids are sure to like!

Head on over to Warm Hot Chocolate to see how she did it!


Unique Stocking Stuffers with World Market

You all know that one of my favorite stores is World Market and it might just be my favorite around the Holidays! The boys love it too - purely for the fun and unique toy section. They could get lost in that little section for the longest time. The thing I love about shopping at World Market during the holidays is that they have so many unique gifts that you don't really see anywhere else or that you'd have to go to several different stores to find anything similar.

Stockings are probably my favorite part of Christmas. I think it's fun to give stocking stuffed with fun toys as a gift to a friend or family member. I found SO many fun stocking stuffer ideas there this weekend for friends, kids, or dads (moms too). You can't help but pick them up and play with them! I like that stocking stuffers are things Mom and Dad might not ever buy you.  I think that makes them even more fun!

  1. Basket Case 
  2. Die Cast Cap Rocket 
  3. Magnetic Hangman (great for the car)
  4. Rubber-band powered boat 
  5. Potato Gun (much safer than the one my brother used to play with!)
  6. Self Inflating Whoopee Cusion (because what's better than a whoopee cushion? a self inflating one!)
  7. Vintage Puzzles (set of 4)
Speaking of World Market when we were in last the boys noticed they are having an awesome Life of PiSweepstakes. Have you seen the trailer for this movie? It's the story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper’s son, who survives a disaster at sea and is thrown into an epic journey. While adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another a fearsome Bengal tiger. The movie opens November 21, 2012. (we always see a movie on Thanksgiving and I think this will be the one for this year!) You can watch the trailer for Life of Pi here: http://www.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/watch-trailer
Here's the info on the Sweepstakes:
  • Grand Prize package includes: a dream trip for 2 to India and a $1,000 World Market Gift card.
  • There will also be 3 runner up prize winners that will each receive a $500 World Market gift card!
  • The Life of Pi Sweepstakes runs from 11/17 - 12/28.
  • If you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via FB share or email) you can receive 5 additional bonus entries. This is part of the registration process when entering. Users can also enter daily for more chances to win.
  • Enter online at http://worldmarketsweepstakes.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/worldmarket?fref=ts

If you happen to go in the store this weekend the first 100 customers to shop in-store on 11/23(Black Friday) will receive a FREE Limited Edition Life of Pi ornament and a FREE Life of Pi movie ticket. The first 100 customers to shop in-store on Saturday, 11/24 & Sunday, 11/25 will receive a FREE Limited Edition Life of Pi Tote Bag and a movie ticket.

I'm definitely going to try and make it out!

If you love World Market as much as I do, you can keep up with them on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own.http://cmp.ly/3/KqtZiE.


Activity Advent Calendar

Whether you like it or not the holidays are sneaking up on us. Time to start thinking about advent activities around here. It's our favorite time of year!

Last year we started a fun advent activity calendar and the boys have already asked if we are doing it again this year.

It's really pretty simple - I hung paper bags on a string with some clips. In each paper bag is a note of something we can do, read, watch, play, or a little gift if we're having a particularly busy day.

I like this design because I could hang up all the bags but could choose to fill them later. Sometimes plans change so this leaves me the ability to change or add a card the night before. 

There are many things you can do and some don't have to be related to the holidays. Here are some ideas:


  • pick out a tree
  • decorate your tree
  • decorate the house
  • make cookies
  • have a picnic in the living room for dinner
  • pick out your favorite holiday books to read
  • family game night
  • holiday movie night
  • make an ornament
  • pick out a new ornament
  • secretly leave goodies at the neighbors door
  • drive around to look at lights
  • make up a new Christmas song
  • practice a random act of kindness
  • backwards day (dinner for breakfast, breakfast for dinner)
  • build a fort with Christmas lights
  • dinner date with mom/dad
  • visit a park you've never been to
  • see a holiday play/musical
  • donate old toys to a women's shelter
  • make a gift for someone
  • dance party
  • make paper snowflakes
  • go ice skating
  • make a gingerbread house
  • have a pajama party

 A lot of the things you put in could be things you would be doing that day anyway but getting it as a surprise in a bag or envelope makes it that much more fun.

We found lots of great ideas last year too you can find those on this post. This year I'm changing it up just a bit by making a book of envelopes to put the activities in (will share that when it's finished). If the advent for that day is a small gift (like a new book or movie) I'll put clues in the envelope for them to figure out where it's hidden.


Fort Friday!

Happy Fort Friday! It's cooling down here and starting to feel like the holidays (well for Phoenix anyway) I hope you are all enjoying the Gift Guide this year. More to come with that!

I love seeing all of your forts so please send them to me if you create one and would like to share!

This little man is excited for Christmas and since his parents weren't ready to decorate the house yet, he thought he'd decorate his fort. Smart boy!

Over at Silly = Sane they make and find forts all around their house!

A colorful cubby house seen at home improvement pages

This space looks SO much fun - on Dwell

This site Monstrum is so amazing for fort inspiration and I'll have to share more on Fort Fridays but this one definitely caught my eye!


Gift Guide Part 3

Today's guide has an outdoor/active theme for a variety of ages!

  1. A snow/sand brick maker. So simple, yet so genius. A mold to make snow or sand bricks! - from Amazon
  2. Strider PREbike - a balance bike for toddlers/early riders. My youngest LOVED his balance bike and it's so good for their balance, coordination, and confidence. There are several types of balance bikes to fit a range of budgets but this one is my favorite (there are different colors) for it's design and ability to adjust - from Amazon
  3. Kryptonics Torpedo Skateboard - this is on one of my boys' wish list this year. He plays with it in the store every time we go. I like that it's a bit more stable than a standard skateboard and he seems pretty at ease on it without ever having one before. (Plus it seems a little more sturdy so maybe my husband won't break it as quickly as he has others ;) - from Target
  4. OgoDisk RAQ - it's a little trampoline that you hold and bounce balls/water balloons off of. Another one of those toys the adults can't help but pick up! - from OgoSport
  5. Yo Baby Kick Flipper - It's basically a flat piece of plastic with the edges turned up (it does have grooves on the bottom) lol! My kids played with theirs for a few years! You can practice cool skateboard moves and make up your own. Teaches balance and coordination and you can use it on carpet, grass, sand, snow etc. - from Amazon


See the entire Gift Guide 

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.”  I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or  believe in. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



We shared Stick-lets on a Fort Friday post almost one year ago and I am SO excited that they are now readily available! Stick-lets are stretchy little connectors that allow kids to create amazing forts and play spaces using sticks and other found objects.

I loved this idea when I first saw the prototype so jumped on the chance to play when Christina asked if she could send us some.

Apparently we have a shortage of good sticks here in this part of the desert but my boys found some store bought ones we had for another project and got to work. Sometimes I'll show them how something works but these I let them have the bag without saying anything. 

They played outside for hours and I popped out here and there when they asked me to take a picture

The great thing about these is that there is no real wrong or right way to use them. You manipulate and maneuver them until it works for you.

They made multiple configurations and I heard them talking about making sure we had them with us next time we go camping. 

Such a fun, inexpensive way to get the kids outside and using their imagination! 

Metropolismag.com has a fantastic article about Christina and Stick-lets that explains it so much better than I ever could (I'm good at showing but not explaining) 

You can buy your own Stick-lets on their site.

Disclosure: I was given a set of Stick-lets for free but all opinions are strictly my own and was not compensated in any other way. I never post a review of a product I wouldn't buy myself. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


DIY LEGO Parachute!

Love this DIY from Natalie at Schaeresteipapier. If you read German you're in luck, if you don't thank goodness Natalie took great step by step images (and their is Google translate too).

A DIY LEGO Parachute!

Love how she uses the bag handle as a reinforcment and shows you how to use it with different minifigs.

You can go check it out on her blog for the step by step instructions and make it work for you!