Turn your kid’s drawing into a one-of-a-kind toy with Cryoow!

My daughter has had an imaginary friend since she was about 2 years old.  During the past three years, I have heard an unlimited number of stories about “Sheeky Baby” {who surprisingly isn’t an actual baby} and the many adventures her and my daughter have embarked on.  But, with as many stories as I have heard, I’ve never been exactly sure what she looks like.  That is, until now. 

My daughter drew this picture of Sheeky Baby for me this past month, and it all became so clear.  Of course Sheeky’s a princess.  And, of course she has a dress that matches my daughter; they are BFFs after all.  

Princess Drawing
As much as I adored the picture my daughter drew, I started thinking wouldn’t it be pretty awesome if my daughter had a mini Sheeky Baby she could play with?  Almost as if they had heard me wonder, I got an email from a company called Cryoow! asking if I wanted to turn my child’s art into a doll.

Naturally, I said yes. 

Cryoow! is short for Create Your Own, and their goal is to take your child’s art and turn it into customized stuffed animals, personalized dolls, and just about anything else your child can dream up.  It all starts with a beloved original picture by your child, which you can scan and send to Cryoow with any notes or messages about the design. 

Cryoow Drawing to Doll
From there the artists at Cryoow do their absolute best to follow your child’s drawing – complete with all the quirks and special touches – to make a truly one-of-a-kind doll.  Once they have completed all the detailing, including hand embroidery, yarning, and beading, the doll is ready to be sent back to the designer {AKA your child}.

Read more

Deuter Fox 30 kid’s pack fosters a love of the outdoors from tot to teen

My daughter likes nothing more than to match hubby and me.  While this is completely adorable, it makes shopping very difficult as I have found that it’s almost impossible to find matching items for us that we both really like.  In her size we find cartoon characters and excess amounts of pink, and adult sizes don’t go small enough to fit her. 

Thank goodness there are companies like Deuter that specialize in both adult and kid’s gear that is the real deal.  No frills, no cartoons.  But, that doesn’t mean they scrimp on features, in fact quite the opposite. 

We got to review the Deuter Fox 30 backpack for our little explorer this month and she was beyond thrilled.  She had been eyeing it at REI for quite a while and talking of all the reasons she needed it, so it wasn’t surprising that she was jumping up and down excited when she realized she got to try one out. 

Adventure awaits

While our next serious camping trip is still a few weeks away, we’ve already gotten a ton of use out of this amazing bag.  From weekend trips to days out, the Deuter Fox 30 has been a lifesaver carrying the kids gear, their toys, or just the large amount of stuff we seem to require for all-day excursion. 

Whenever we can, we let my daughter pack her own stuff in the bag and then she can help carry any gear we have, any souvenirs {AKA rocks, sticks and other treasures} she picks up, and can access her stuff whenever she wants.  We also went out and got her a Camelbak hydration pack that can fit right into the Deuter Fox 30 so she can drink through the straw secured at her shoulder all along the trail instead of having to stop for each sip.    

Little kid packpack from deuter

Read more

Welcome to the world of Mike the Knight

by Susan, editor and reviewer

I'm not going to lie; my kids love TV. Sure, we love playing outside together, and building with blocks, but they are also big fans of the TV.  When I was first pregnant, visions of sharing princess movies with my kids danced in my head. So far, I have boys. Boys who are not interested in princesses. Thank goodness for Mike the Knight! 

When we first discovered Mike and his friends in Glendragon, I was very happy. It's a very vibrant show that really teaches kids about problem solving, being a good friend, and doing the right thing! "Be a knight; do it right!" is always the end motto – and the one most repeated by my 3 year old.

As a parent, I really appreciate the positive message the show teaches, including some deeper things like equality, accepting all people (or trolls or Vikings) for who they are.  Mike, his horse Galahad, and his two dragon friends Sparkie and Squirt have many adventures, and work together to help Mike find the knightly way to handle every situation; including getting along with his little sister Evie!


Read more

VTech InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Tablet prevents “Summer Brain Drain”

Summer Brain Drain
Do you remember as a kid you would go back to school each fall feeling like you were in shape from staying active all summer only to find your legs and abs burning after one gym class because you were now using muscles you had neglected during the past few month?  Well, that is exactly what happens to your brain, too, and in a phenomenon commonly referred to as Summer Brain Drain. 

What is Summer Brain Drain, you ask?  According to research from the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, students typically lose one to two months of reading and math skills during the summer break because they are not regularly exercising their brains. 

So, how do you combat Summer Brain Drain?  You find fun ways to infuse learning into everyday activities to keep kids’ brains sharp even during the three long months of no formal schooling. 

But, how can you do that when most of the summer is spent on the go and you don’t want to spend your days cooped up inside reading or in front of screens?  You get a portable learning device that can grow with your child, offers age-appropriate content in a broad library of subjects and that keeps them learning no matter where they are.

Something like the awesome InnoTab 2S, the latest learning app tablet from V-Tech that is perfect for on the go as well as at home.  We got to review the VTech InnoTab 2S for the past few weeks and we absolutely love how much fun it is for various ages and how it keeps the kids begging to keep learning. 

Innotab 2S

Read more

Secure your TV with SANUS {tilting TV wall mount}

I’m sure everyone out there has read the horrifying stories about little kids climbing furniture and pulling it down on themselves, but I’ve got one more for you.  About ten years ago, my little niece climbed the drawers on a dresser in her older brother’s room to change the channel on his TV.  Since the … Read more

Oz The Great And Powerful out on Blu-ray and DVD today!

When I was young, I memorized every word in The Wizard of Oz movie.  And, to this day, every night before bed, my daughter and I sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” together as part of our bedtime routine.  Obviously, I’m busy cultivating a deep love for all things Oz at a young age. 

Oz picture
And, now is the best time to be introducing her to Oz with the release of Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful that comes out TODAY on Blu-ray and DVD.  While I saw Oz when it was in theatres {and loved it}, I really wanted to watch the film over and over again to see everything I might have missed the first time, so I knew this would be one film we would definitely have to own.  When a copy arrived for review, I was so incredibly excited that we planned an Oz night to watch it.     

Oz Box Art

Read more

Motorworks Customizable Cars and Tri-Level Super Garage

One night my daughter came to me, head down and forlorn, and she asked, “Why don’t I love cars like Brother does?”  I started by explaining that people like different things and it’s what makes us all special and unique.  Then I suggested that she not focus on the one thing the two of them … Read more

Make your own Custom View-Master reels from Image 3D!

I have found what is quite possibly the coolest personalized product you can buy, anywhere.  Thanks to PTPA, I got a chance to test out the Custom View-Master Style Reel and Viewer set and it is now in my top 10 products for the year. Remember those View Master reels you used to have as … Read more