Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fun Fall Snacks and Activities with Alpha-Bits {#alphabits}

Disclosure: In conjunction with Mom It Forward, Alpha-Bits sent compensation and product, but they haven’t reviewed or approved what I wrote below.

When it comes to selecting just the right foods to put on our tables, us moms have to take a lot into account. Calories, sugar, vitamins, organic, all-natural, great-tasting... the list goes on and on!

Fortunately, there is one cereal that has brought nutritious fun to the breakfast table and continues to be a great way for growing children to start their day since 1958 — Alpha-Bits!

 Alpha-bits logo

That's right! This alphabet-shaped cereal includes...
  • 20g of whole grain and 12 essential vitamins and nutrients per 30g serving
  • Only 6 grams of sugar per serving
  • No artificial flavors
  • Nutrients to support healthy brain development, including iron and zinc
  • An excellent source of vitamin D and iron
  • Great taste that kids love
But that's not all!

These great little alphabet pieces also can truly help little ones become more familiar with their letters, which makes this makes this delicious cereal a lightly sweetened way to help give your kids the nutrition they need while also sparking their imagination and helping them learn pre-reading skills in a fun way!

Here's an idea of some great snacks and activities to incorporate Alpha-Bits into educational (and tasty) fun this fall:

Make a Family Tree
Draw a big tree with lots of branches on construction paper. After the tree is drawn, write out each family member’s name on the branches with colorful markers. Encourage your little ones to match the letters you have written with letters from the Alpha-Bits box. Let them glue the cereal pieces to the tree and display their works of art!

Place cards
Occupy the kids while you cook Thanksgiving dinner by inviting them to decorate place cards for the table. Have them spell out Thanksgiving words like "Thankful" and "Happy" and "Turkey" and glue them to place cards for a welcoming feast.

Vowel Play
Give your little one a one-cup serving of Alpha-Bits and ask them to eat all of the consonants and leave only the vowels. They'll learn their letters a little better and get 20g of whole grains!

Make a fun, hands-on snack, like the Hand Turkey Gobble Mix below, so your little one can play with his letters, while enjoying a nutritious treat.

Thanksgiving snack
Click image for larger view

The possibilities are endless with these cute little letters! Have your child make patterns, write their name, use a ruler to see how many Alpha-Bits it takes to measure 1 foot, count the letters by 2's, 3's, 5's, etc...

While I knew that Little Sister B would love just about any method of playing and learning (and eating) with her Alpha-Bits, I came across a great printable for Thanksgiving Alphabet Turkeys and decided to integrate these cute turkeys into our fun!

turkey letter match

Once we had all of the turkeys cut out and glued in order...

alphabet turkey match was time to start sorting (Little Sister B was especially happy about the rule that she was to eat all of the broken ones)!

Thanksgiving alphabet letter match

We all know that kids love playing with their food and, with the addition of Alpha-Bits to your table, now breakfast and snack time can be educational as well as nutritious! Try out any of these activities or recipes and be sure to involve your child in making them — the bonding experience will also be a learning moment.

Find out much more about all of the ways that Alpha-Bits can turn your fall meals into educational and fun experiences, as well as its nutrition and where to purchase a box near by you visiting the Alpha-Bits website.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Toy Stores Unlike Any Others: Brilliant Sky Toys & Books

Brilliant Sky logo
As the holidays edge closer day by day, the squeeze to find just the right gifts gets tighter and tighter.

Not to mention that shopping ends up more and more stressful, frustrating and disappointing as the lines are long, the crowds are ornery, and the somewhat-generic gifts that I'm looking for are often out of stock. And when I do need help? I cross my fingers that I'll find an employee that is interested in helping, not to mention that they'll know more than only how to scan an item to find its price.

Instead, when it comes to shopping for just the right gifts for the children in my life, I dream of the perfect toy store that doesn't just carry the fads or the "in" things. I want a store that offers high quality, entertaining, educational, unique items that are sure to be a favorite in just about any household for years to come, sold with concierge-style superior customer service and free gift wrap.

Which is why this holiday season, I am happy to know about a specialty store on a mission to not just assist but delight the shopper (and the little recipient): Brilliant Sky Toys & Books.

Brilliant Sky toy stores

The first Brilliant Sky Toys & Books was founded by a husband and wife team in 2002 in Lansing, Michigan with the singular goal of being the finest upscale specialty toy store in America. In today's day and age where customer service is often a computerized telephone voice, Brilliant Sky began with the goal of bringing back service with a smile.

Inside every retail store (there are currently 15 and counting), customers find an enchanting place where shoppers, toy manufacturers and franchise owners wake up every day ready to play. From the inviting, interactive atmosphere to the high quality products that give children a gateway to physical, emotional and cognitive development, Brilliant Sky provides a unique, warm, friendly, engaging shopping experience.

toy train

Unfortunately we don't have a Brilliant Sky Toys & Books in our area just yet, as I have a feeling that the girls and I would spend a great deal of time there. With more than 10,000 high-quality specialty products, I could lose myself in browsing the special, educational, interesting and innovative toys for sale, while my kids would be thrilled with the toys, art supplies, books and more that are on display to sample.

I'm not sure which would be better, knowing that my children are happily engaged while I shop or experiencing Brilliant Sky's genuine, friendly customer service from staff that is passionate, caring and really knows what it means to believe in their products.

Because truly, this is one store that doesn't just sell toys, they really do believe in them. They know that the right playthings can teach, inform, enlighten, reinforce and enrich and that they have the ability to foster self-esteem, non-violence, patience, sensitivity, diversity, and tenacity.

And Brilliant Sky doesn't want to just live and breathe it for themselves, they want nothing more than to share it with the rest of us.

toy store

In their effort to be the best and select just what items make the cut, Brilliant Sky works with hundreds of toy manufacturers. And, although an item has to be pretty amazing to make it into one of their stores or onto their website, they have also coined their own annual best of show, the Brilliance Awards, where a handful of specialty toys and toy makers are applauded for rising above all others.

The award-winners represent the very ideals that Brilliant Sky Toys & Books was founded upon — the importance of quality, the value of open-ended play and the simple beauty of a child's fascination and delight. This year, 12 distinct toys, ideal for preschoolers to tweens, made the 2013 Brilliance Award list with prices ranging from $12.99 to $84.99.

award winner

Whether your child prefers art, geography, games, science or more, this diverse list of products has something for everyone. From Lego City Brickmaster, fun for the future engineer, to Gobblet Gobblers, an early strategy game, to the Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board for a unique twist on magnetic toys, the Brilliance Award winners are excellent suggestions for kids of all ages.

While my kids would adore playing with an easel, darts, a toy treehouse, chubby vehicles,a circuit board, a world map puzzle and more, there was one particular toy that sparks imagination that I knew would be an especially big hit.

Considering how much Big Sister E has been interested in magic ever since seeing a magician's act a few months ago, I knew her eyes would light up at the ability to put on a performance of her own with the Deluxe Magic Set by Melissa & Doug.

deluxe magic set

There are no batteries required with this innovative set, as magic works on brain power, wonder and imagination, of course!

The amusing illusions and crafty slight-of-hand tricks are just right for my young magician to practice and perform and she has adored that these easy-to-learn tricks are the same ones used by professional magicians.

The 10 classic tricks provided include: Disappearing Ball, Magic Coin Box, Secret Silks, Great Escape, Magic Number Prediction, Money Maker, Egyptian Prediction, Vanishing Zone, Cylinder Squeeze and Vanishing Coin... and I love seeing my daughter's confidence soar when she performs one or more of them correctly!

Retailing for $34.99 and designed for ages 8+, the Deluxe Magic Set by Melissa & Doug is a beautifully made, durable toy that holds up to rehearsal after rehearsal and provides creativity, laughter and imagination each time — exactly what Brilliant Sky stands for!

kids magic set

Overall, it's difficult to find something not to love about Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. Their unique, beautiful gifts allow kids to express themselves through imaginative play and their passion for customer service can't be beat. If I could change one thing, it would be to open one of their retail locations in my city so that we could enjoy the complete experience ourselves!

For now, it's easy to visit Brilliant Sky on their website for all of my gift-giving needs and check out their free app to quickly find maps, events, savings and more if I'm in the area of one of their brick and mortar stores.

Brilliant Sky Toys & Books has a passion for play, a commitment to fun, and a dedication to helping every visitor find their way to play, so this holiday season and beyond, take their advice and discover, experience, explore, interact, and enjoy. That's the Brilliant Sky way!

Other than the Magic Set that I received from Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this store and this product.

Meccano: Helpful Toys For Creativity {Guest Post}

This is a guest post on a popular topic right now - toys! I wasn't previously familiar with Meccano, but these sound like such fun construction sets!

Nowadays, it's difficult to connect with kids as an age of technology has left them blind to anything practical and hands-on. Society's orientation towards technology has lifted devices such as the iPod and iPad above play-toys which could be considered entertaining and educational, such as Meccano.

The model construction system, conceived over a century ago as a toy for kids, has gone from strength to strength and many consider it to be a massive help when it comes to adding an extra dimension to a child's creativity and productivity. Of course it's an activity that isn't defined by age, making it extra efficient.

Meccano construction sets

Creativity in children

Being a practical set of toys, Meccano construction sets give children a more hands-on approach to solving problems and working as a team. It's these aspects which really contribute towards their overall creativity, taking them away from an unhealthy dependency on the internet and virtual fun.

It encourages a sort of mental development, allowing children to mature and think for themselves, acting out what it is they need to do with their constructions as well as blossoming a path for improvisation and experimentation.


Another strong and relevant aspect linked with the toys is the fact that they significantly improve hand-to-eye coordination. Creating an assembly of buildings, cars and robots, using nothing but their hands and small blocks, gives the child more physical dexterity, opens their mind up at a younger age and really helps to kick-start their intellectual growth.


It's considered a hobby for most as well as an educational prop for children but it can also act as an effective exercise for both the body and the mind. It involves action, both physical and mental, which can get things moving, aiding to fend off the negative effects of depression, anxiety and procrastination, something best kept well away during the early years of a child's life.

As an individual, the child learns to work for themselves and set goals to achieve, striving harder to better themselves. From following instructions, it can encourage children to branch out and form something of their own. This way, a child learns how to follow rules and guidelines but the toys allow enough space for the child to make their own way, assemble their own designs and can develop significant skills which will be handy in later life during their careers.

This is a guest post brought to you in collaboration with one of our partners.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elevate Your Next Pizza Night with Classico {Review & Giveaway - 3 winners!}

Classico logo
Although most people think of fall and Halloween when they think of October, did you know that it is also National Pizza Month?

That's right!

First observed in the United States during 1984, October was designated as National Pizza Month by Gerry Durnell, the founder of Pizza Today magazine, who chose that month because the first issue of his magazine debuted in October of that year.

But, let's admit it, people don't really need a special month to celebrate pizza when it has been found that 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month anyway. In fact, evidence shows that Americans eat a whopping 100 acres of pizza per day, working out to 350 slices per second.

Now that's pizza love.

Considering that my family plays our part in adding to those numbers, we couldn't have been happier to pay tribute to pizza and honor National Pizza Month with Classico.

Classico sauces

Offering all of your favorite sauces for pizza, pasta and more, Classico can inspire your next meal creation and help take it to a level of delicious that your whole family will enjoy.

As experts in all things pizza, Classico has a selection of delicious pizza recipes that were making my mouth water... while also providing some inspiration.

After all, Classico not only wanted us to enjoy our pizza, but they had challenged me to "Elevate Pizza Night" by reinventing our regular recipes into something more. Now all that was left to do was select which of their tasty pizza sauces to use — Traditional, Fire Roasted or White (coming soon!) — and see where it might lead us.

Classico cooking

What to do, what to do?

Encouraged by Big Sister E's declaration that "my favorite foods are nachos, mac & cheese, and TOFU!" I decided that it was time to attempt to incorporate that last ingredient into pizza night. After all, we vegetarians had come up with ways to get around meat in other dishes, it was time to conquer pizza as well!

vegetarian hawaiian pizza

Hawaiian Pizza with Tofu "Canadian Bacon"

Pizza dough (handmade or store bought)
Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce
1½ to 2 cups grated/shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can pineapple rings or tidbits, drained

For Tofu "Canadian Bacon"
1 container tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt

Make the Tofu "Canadian bacon" – Add the tofu, soy sauce, maple syrup and oil to a bowl and toss to coat the tofu. Add to a pan on high heat and fry until all sides are crispy. Put tofu back into the bowl and add the salt. Toss to combine. Set aside.

Roll out dough and spread sauce evenly on crust.

Top with the pineapple pieces and the tofu "Canadian bacon."

Finally, scatter a generous layer of the grated mozzarella to pizza.

Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted.

tofu pizza

I know many of you carnivores are cringing at the thought of tofu on your pizza, but YUM!

I love the way that its crispy, salty flavor complements the sweet pineapple and the savory Classico sauce and ends up completely delicious!

Bite after bite, this was one pizza that I'm sure will make repeat appearances at our table, as it disappeared to rave reviews from all sides. Or, as my husband put it, Tofu on pizza, who would've thought?

vegetarian pizza

Isn't it time that you elevated your pizza night as well? Break out from the ordinary and try something new with Classico's variety of tasty sauces. Your family is sure to thank you!

This National Pizza Month and beyond, head over to to find out about their collection of products (and recipes) that can make a difference in your house as well.

Plus, thanks to their generosity, three people will be prepared to whip up something fresh and new for their menu, because...

(3) lucky people will win VIP coupons for
free jars of Classico pizza sauce!

Classico sauces

In the spirit of full disclosure, I've partnered with Classico and received product, coupons, premium items and reader giveaway coupons as part of my participation. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Trick or Treat with Trash Pack & Glitzi Globes!

Although I'm pretty sure that last week was June, somehow here we are with Halloween only days away.

That means that, by now, costumes have been chosen, pumpkins have been carved and bowls have been filled with candy in preparation for the nonstop doorbell ringing that will soon occur.

To be honest, as much as both of my children enjoy trick-or-treating, they are actually much more excited about non-candy items that end up in their bags... because they actually have the opportunity to enjoy them.

All of that candy? Aside from a piece for them every now and again and the items that my husband and I "inspect" ourselves, the rest ends up in a bin in the cupboard, only to become stale as time passes.

Which is why I'm excited about having found a fun Halloween alternative this year and am looking forward to seeing the reactions from kids at our door as well as my daughters' classmates when they see The Trash Pack and Glitzi Globes.

Trash Pack Glitzi Globes logo

Two of Moose Toys' most popular brands, hilariously disgusting Trash Pack collectibles and make-your-own mini snow globes from Glitzi Globes are sure to bring a smile to all of the ghosts, goblins, cowboys and princesses out on October 31st.

Not familiar with these fun (and gross) toy lines?

The Trash Pack is made up of a collection of 100+ of "the grossest guys that live in your garbage" that kids love to collect, trade and enjoy. With names like Sicken Chicken, Mouldy Milk, Stench Fries and Rancid Steak, how could the Trashies not be a hit?

Trash Pack

Although my girls haven't personally started collecting Trash Pack items, they have been extremely excited over Glitzi Globes from our recent review and giveaway.

These glittering, sparkling, customizable miniature snow globes are fun and easy for kids to make and end up being a colorful collectible that they can trade, wear and display.

Glitzi Globes

So sure, while candy is a Halloween tradition, this year I'm excited to be able to hand out Trash Pack and Glitzi Globe items to the ghoulish scary and adorably cute costumed characters that arrive at our door.

halloween toys

Plus, instead of sending my kids to school with candy to hand out to their friends, they'll be able to pass out these great little toys into Halloween bags instead!

halloween non candy

With Halloween is right around the corner, if you want to hand out a great alternative to candy this year, head to the store right away to pick up some Trash Pack and Glitzi Globe collectibles today!

Find out more about these miniature hot toys by visiting and as well as connecting with The Trash Pack on Facebook and Glitzi Globes on Facebook.

Other than the samples of Trash Pack and Glitzi Globes that I was provided, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This post is solely my honest opinions about these products.

Back to the Beginning: Monsters University Available Now! {Review}

What is it about sequels that everyone is always excited to hear that one was made, but it nearly always ends up being disappointing? Is the issue that the second is actually just never as good as the first... or is the comparison just too much to live up to?

This fall, however, Disney•Pixar has found a way  to set aside our preconceived notions about sequels by releasing the much anticipated prequel to Monsters, Inc.

Where did Mike Wazowski and Sulley meet? How did they team up to become a star scare team? What friends did they pal around with along the way? The answers are all found in the hilarious, fun, creative debut of Monsters University.

Monsters University bluray

Available today, October 29th, as a 4-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, a 3-Disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, a 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, on DVD and On-Demand, Monsters University takes viewers back to where it all began.

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) was a young monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer and getting his degree from the prestigious Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voiced by John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer.

Mike and Sulley

Even Mike's extreme studying can't help him as the pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program.

To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.

Monsters University KO

While there is a whole slew of ups and downs and all sorts of humorous, crazy antics, Monsters University also goes beyond just laughs.

I love the way that this movie bravely explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up. Beyond those, it addresses the fact that it is important to work hard, but that it is also okay to fail. Considering that most children's films center on the idea that you can achieve any dream if you're determined enough, real life shows us that sometimes that just isn't possible.

Instead, Monsters University takes this concept and shows that sometimes failing isn't completely bad and that realizing that some dreams are meant to stay dreams can still be great. The real moral of the story (and life) is to stay comfortable with yourself, your capabilities and your own unique inner strengths to end up the best you can be.

Monsters University movie

Whether you saw Monsters University in theaters or your first glimpse will be at home, you'll love the stunning high definition of the Blu-ray, hours of all-new bonus material, in-depth behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, the animated theatrical short The Blue Umbrella and much more.

Bonus offerings vary depending on the version of the disc you purchase, but they include:

Campus Life – What's it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the Monsters University crew through their own eyes.

Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike. This clip also looks at how gags are developed, from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.

Scare Games – At Pixar, they play hard while they work. The same people who keep the film production moving (producers, managers, coordinators and artists) are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of their extracurricular activities. Check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions!

MU Scare Games

Welcome to MU – Sets aren't just buildings, they are the worlds these characters live in and explore. This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves. .

Music Appreciation – Randy Newman's scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary gives a privileged look at his creative process. Follow the Monsters University scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session, including special college-themed recording sessions.

Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, it shows their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time.

Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? Take a look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film. Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.

Paths to Pixar - MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.

Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University.

Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – Rivalry, Recon, Movie Night, and Drama Class are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.

The Blue Umbrella – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of Monsters University. The Blue Umbrella tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.

Blue Umbrella short

Rated G and with a run time of approximately 103 minutes, Monsters University is available in stores now and from Amazon.

This is one sequel that you'll want in your video collection and will surely watch again and again! Our entire family has enjoyed it multiple times and it was even Little Sister B's first pick of movies to watch on our recent airplane ride, meaning she definitely gives it two thumbs up!

Monsters University review

Stay connected with the latest news and information about Monsters University on the Disney website and by connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Other than the copy of Monsters University that I was provided by Disney in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this film.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cold and Flu Season is on the Way, Prepare with Achoo by Kleenex!

Kleenex logo
As much as I love the fall, the knowledge that winter is nearly here makes me cringe every time I set foot outside the door and feel the chill in the air. Everything from the snow drifts to the icy windshields to shivering while wearing four layers of clothing just isn't my thing.

Even worse, though? The way that cold and flu season has always been (and will most likely always continue to be) unpredictable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although epidemics of cold and flu happen every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.

That means that the cold and flu can hit your family without warning, leaving you scrambling to take off time from work, catch up on missed homework, disinfect your home from the germs, and more. Not to mention that if you aren't prepared with cold and flu essentials like Kleenex Everyday Tissue, you'll find yourself playing catch up after sickness has entered your home even more.

This year, there's help. To help you prepare for cold and flu season and avoid chaos when you or your family get sick, Kleenex brand launched the achoo by Kleenex cold and flu predictor — the first and only tool that can actually predict when cold and flu will reach your area.

achoo logo

This handy tool couldn't be much easier!

Start by visiting to access a cold and flu forecast for your area. Simply enter your zip code or city and state...

Kleenex cold predictor

...and the achoo by Kleenex cold and flu predictor will show you your cold and flu risk for the next three weeks so that you can prepare for what's ahead.

achoo by Kleenex

Skeptical? The achoo by Kleenex cold and flu predictor is a proprietary and exclusive forecasting model based on the most relevant information from a range of sources, such as official CDC flu statistics, weather patterns, online search queries, social media discussion, OTC drug sales in various categories, bird migration patterns, air travel patterns, vaccination rates, vaccination campaigns and major public events that could increase transmission rates.

The result is a one-of-a-kind cold and flu tool that predicts where it will hit next up to three weeks in advance with an average accuracy rate of more than 90%, going well beyond the "current status" that other sources provide and giving consumers an opportunity to prepare for cold and flu before it hits their area.

My area currently has a "medium" status...

cold flu preparations

...but knowing when a cold or flu will hit is only half the battle.

Which is why I appreciate that Kleenex also offers helpful tips and advice to prepare my home for what's ahead, and useful information to help me avoid the last minute trips to the store so that I will be ready to care for my family if/when someone gets sick.

I've taken note of the Signs That You're Getting Sick, have read over the Tip of the Day, bookmarked the closest locations to find vaccines and have been amazed that the Kleenex Tissue Calculator estimates that my family will use around 20 boxes of tissues between fall and spring!

Kleenex coupon

It looks like I need a trip to the store to stock up on Kleenex brand's new thicker and more absorbent everyday tissue (which provides exceptional hand protection by helping to keep hands clean and dry)!

After all, not only do I want to be prepared for the cold and flu, but I don't want to be caught in an "embarrassing moment" like the people in this video share with Ali Wentworth!

To learn more about the achoo by Kleenex cold and flu predictor and Kleenex brand's new thicker and more absorbent everyday tissue, visit And be sure to head over to to find out what the cold and flu situation looks like in your area!

As a Kleenex Brand Ambassador, I was compensated by Kleenex for my time in sharing this information with you. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


The lucky winner of an InnoTab 3S is...

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Thank you to everyone who entered these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

As Seen On TV: Bright Light Pillow {Review}

Bright Light Pillow logo
Although there are various trends in children's products, one that has never lost an ounce of its popularity is light.

Take a regular pair of tennis shoes or a standard #2 pencil and make them light up? Suddenly they're incredible!

Which is why as soon as I heard about the unique Bright Light Pillow, I had no doubt that it would be a product that would amaze my children (ahem, and me) with the simple addition of rainbow lights to a plush, fun pillow!

Bright Light Pillow square

The concept is simple!

Bright Light Pillows are the ultra plush, ultra fun pillows that light up in a rainbow of colors with a simple touch of a button. Bright enough that they are extremely easy to see in the dark but not too bright that they won't be soothing enough for kids to fall asleep, Bright Light Pillows have just the right amount of soft, magical glow.

Was there a chance that Big Sister E wouldn't love to snuggle and rest her head with an illuminated pillow? I highly doubted that possibility and couldn't wait to see her reaction to these unique pillows in person!

Bright Light Pillow box

Available in various different shapes and colors, when the Twinkling Star Bright Light Pillow arrived, I removed it from the box in order to keep its fun colors a secret.

By itself, it was already a cute, extremely soft, fuzzy, plush star-shaped white pillow!

star light pillow

However, with the addition of a screwdriver and three AA batteries (not included), I found that it took less than a minute before I had this pillow ready to light up the night.

Bright Light Pillow batteries

After inserting the batteries and tucking the pack deep into the pillow (it even has a mini pillow covering to stuff inside afterward so that it is not felt when the pillow is in use), it took a single press of the power button — easily located on one of the star points — for the multi-colored LED lights to come to life.

Bright Light Pillow review

I have to admit that it's quite easy to get a little mesmerized watching the colors slowly morph from one to the next across the pillow!

Bright Light Pillows review

As I suspected, whether on her bed as visually cool room decor or used to cuddle and sleep at night, Big Sister E has been a big fan of her Bright Light Pillow since its arrival.

I love that the power switch is so easy for her to press to turn the whole thing on/off and especially appreciate that each Bright Light Pillow includes an automatic shut-off after 15 minutes so as to not waste batteries if the user falls asleep.

Bright Light Pillow As Seen on TV

All in all, the arrival of the Twinkling Star Bright Light Pillow around here has been great! There hasn't been a single problem with the quality, softness (you can't feel the lights in any way!) or durability of the pillow itself and the lights have stayed cool and worked perfectly every time the power button has been pressed. It's such a fun, colorful addition to a child's room!

Bright Light Pillows are recommended for ages 8+ (although I can't figure out at all why a younger child couldn't have one of these, so I would change that age range to 4+) and are available from for $19.99 plus shipping + handling. To add a cuddly, soft, magical glow to your child's bedroom, check them out today!

Other than the Bright Light Pillow that I was provided in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion about this product.