Presents they will never forget at Memorable Gifts

Is everyone you know having babies, too? It seems like the past year has brought more babies than the past 5 years combined. And that, of course, means a whole lot of shopping for baby stuff.

But, where do you look when you want something more than the generic baby blanket, booties that the kid will never wear, or rattle? You start shopping at Memorable Gifts to check out their selection of personalized products that make finding the perfect new baby gift easy and fun.

With wooden name plaques, engraved jewelry boxes, piggy banks, plates, birth certificate holders and more, you are sure to find that perfect keepsake for any baby at Memorable Gifts.

Memorable Gifts collage
When I was offered the chance to review something from Memorable Gifts, I knew right where I would start searching. Since I love getting babies piggy banks, I was thrilled to find that Memorable Gifts carried more than the standard pig design and even had some I had never seen before.

Like this gorgeous pirate ship piggy bank I fell for with one simple glance.

Pewter pirate ship bank

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Got a math tip for young kids? You could win big with Zorbit’s Math Adventure! {contest}

Disclosure Zorbits
Teaching my kids to spell and read might just be my downfall as a mom, but both kids picked up basic math from me at a very young age.  Ironically, math wasn’t my strong subject in school, so I thought English and reading were going to be where I excelled at teaching, but I guess it goes to show you that you never really know how you are going to be as a mom until you actually have kids. 

For me, it was easy to infuse early math with simple games we would play from even the toddler stage.  It started with counting to three before we ran, playing counting games with numbers, and adding small objects like toys and foods to make math fun and easy to learn.

With summer here, the last thing we want to do is spend our days indoors with flash cards and workbooks, so I love that I can even take the lessons outdoors. With simple games like hopscotch that teach ones and twos to chalk problems on the trampoline where the kids jump to the right answer, we’ve found all sorts of math games to do outdoors that are so fun that the kids don’t even realize they are learning. 

Making math fun is the goal of Zorbit’s Math Adventure, a new iOS app from Best Boy Entertainment for kids ages 3-5 that will be launching in mid-August.  Early childhood learning is so important for school success, and giving your child a fun and exciting way to learn the basics is the perfect way to help your child.  

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Beating the heat with a Bomb Pop party!

Disclosure for Bomb Pop
Bomb Pop Party Logo
Is there anything more American than ball parks and ice pops on a hot summer day? Since our summer is feeling like it’s been flying by in a series of vacations, I thought it would be good to have some good old American fun with the help of Mom Central and Bomb Pop.

Bomb Pop is an official sponsor of Little League® Baseball and Softball and this summer they have even more to cheer about with the introduction of two new flavors. With Hawaiian Punch Bomb Pop and Sour Wower Bomb Pop joining the fold, there’s now 10 varieties of Bomb Pop frozen treats available in grocer’s freezers.

We decided to pull them out at a multi-generation family graduation party this past weekend to share some of the new flavors as well as some fun Bomb Pop toys and games with all the guests, both young and old.  With high temperatures and lots of sun, the frozen treats and baseball games were perfect after the long day and a great meal.

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Need a new phone? Try the Best Buy Mobile Specialty Stores trade-in program

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Best Buy mobile specialty stores
In this day of electronic upgrades every other week, tech gadgets are dating themselves faster than ever before. This means that most of us have piles of old electronics filling our junk drawers and offices. I will admit that hubby and I have a sizable collection of old cell phones, PDAs, and more that are really just taking up space in our house.

Some of these gadgets are now glorified paperweights with 1997 technology and no ability to charge and I’ve needed to get rid of them for quite a while now. If you read my Best Buy post about their awesome recycling program, you know how much I love that they help you recycle old electronics responsibly for free, and I’ve been meaning to take them to the recycling station for quite some time.

But, what you may not know is that they have a great trade-in and buy-back program that you can utilize if you have old electronics that might be worth a little money. Best Buy Mobile Specialty Stores are popping up all over {typically at malls or shopping centers} and I happen to have one near me at the Northgate Mall, so I stopped in last weekend to see what they could do with my 15lbs of excess technology.

Trading in old phones

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Summer vacation shopping tips {BlogHer shopping at Northgate Mall}

It is summer vacation time, and everyone knows what that means: shopping. Whether you are ditching the rain and heading somewhere tropical or you are beating the heat and heading for cooler weather, chances are you need some new clothing and gear for whatever climate you’re headed to.

I like to view this as an invitation to splurge a little bit on myself to make vacation packing easier. Since I love vacation shopping more than any other kind of mall trip, I tend to plan one a few weeks before any big trips to refresh my wardrobe before fully deciding on what I will be packing. So, amed with a complimentary gift card, my daughter and I headed to Northgate Mall in Seattle to prepare for my upcoming Chicago trip for BlogHer.

Girl time at Northgate Mall
Packing for BlogHer is a bit different than any other vacation for me, because I need to be professional and put together in addition to staying cool and comfortable, so it’s not like I can pack a few shirts, a pair of jeans and some shorts and skirts and call it good. I need fancy dresses for at night, put-together outfits for day, and coordinating pieces that can do double-duty so I don’t end up with three suitcases.

Naturally, I was really excited to get my shopping started at Northgate Mall, but before I started shopping, I did a little pre-vacation prep. Having become a pro at shopping for trips in the past, this time I knew exactly what I was doing and I followed these guidelines:

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Getting a PowerUpgrade with Philips Sonicare PowerUp Toothbrushes


PowerUp Toothbrushes
You know what you can’t do while brushing your teeth? Talk, clean, answer toddler questions, cook, do your taxes or pay bills. Is it any wonder that I love brushing my teeth? I look forward to shrugging and giving the “I can’t answer you right now” look for a few minutes each morning and night so I can escape into my own thoughts. It’s the small things, really.

So, how could I possibly make my “me time” even better? With a PowerUpgrade, of course. This month, I got to ditch my old manual toothbrush in favor of something more powerful, more effective, and much more beautiful: a Philips Sonicare PowerUp electric toothbrush.

Is it okay that I admit I was unreasonably excited about going to Walmart to pick up my new toothbrush? While I wasn’t this excited, I was close:

Fun with Sonicare Toothbrushes

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Birthdays, holidays and more: growing up a Gymboree kid

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Grow with me Gymboree

You know how sometimes you just look at your kids and they seem so grownup all of a sudden?  Never is that more true that during the summer months when I dig out all their warmer weather clothing from the previous year only to find that everything is a few inches too short and we’re due for yet another clothing run.

With so many birthday parties for friends and family this time of year, I find I’m constantly searching for something nice for the kids to wear that still looks festive and fun.  And, with events ranging from pool parties to pony ride parties, my daughter thinks there’s always a good reason to get dolled up.

In my search for kid-approved clothing that can go from event to event, I always turn to Gymboree as their clothing tends to be the kids’ favorite in terms of fit, style, and flair.  This year was no exception, and I found so many awesome styles that are the first clothing pieces that the kids grab each day.

Items like the Glitter Star Cowgirl boots, which my daughter would wear every single day if she could {and she pretty much does, even in record high temperatures or when we’re going to the beach}. 

Mother Daughter pics

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Gymboree Play & Music classes are a hit {free class thru 8/31!}

Gymboree play and music class
Everyone who has ever said “throw like a girl” was probably referring to me.  I’ve never actually seen myself throw a ball, but I imagine it looks somewhat like this Volkswagen commercial that makes me laugh hysterically every time it comes on. 

Since my lack of athletic prowess is something I hope to not pass on to my kids, I took the first preventative step this summer and signed them up for sports classes at our local Gymboree Play and Music center with a complimentary month-long membership.  While they aren’t in the big leagues, or even in Little League for that matter, I love that they are learning the basics of different sports in a cooperative and fun environment with other little kids. 

Gymboree classes room
The class is a little over 45 minutes one day a week, but even in that short amount of time I have seen a huge improvements over the past three weeks.  Not just with athletic ability, but also with confidence and a desire to be more active. 

Gymboree fun

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See An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky this Saturday 7/13 on NBC

I remember when I used to cry during love stories, carried away with whatever misunderstanding brought the lovers apart and on the edge of my seat to see if they would eventually get back together.  Now, I cry during kid’s movies – specifically ones that I can see my own children in.  These days, the … Read more

Get your Fruit & Veggie fix at Jamba Juice the summer

Jamba Juice header
Are YOU getting enough fruits and vegetables each day?  If you’re my daughter, the answer is definitely yes.  But, if you’re my son, the answer is probably no.  Since he only eats a few fruits and veggies in their raw state, we have to sneak nutrition into his meals just to get him to eat them. 

Thank goodness I found out the kid looooooves smoothies.  And, not just the fake fruit smoothies you can get at most restaurants, he likes the good stuff, like Jamba Juice.  We recently headed to our local Jamba Juice with a $10 gift card from Moms Meet to try out the kid’s smoothies, and both kids were very excited.

Jamba Juice visit
Having not been into a full size Jamba Juice store for a while now since we typically visit it at the mall, I was surprised by the fact that they had food as well as smoothies.  Since we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and our next stop was the grocery store for something to snack on until I could make an early dinner, I ended up getting a pretzel with cheese Jamba Kids Meal and the two kids split it along with a Jamba Juice Fruit & Veggie smoothie. 

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