Giveaways Ending Soon!

I can’t believe summer is over already!  However, I must admit I am so excited for fall.  It is my favorite season.  The weather is beautiful, the trees are changing colors, new fashion is everywhere, and my kids are most excited about all of the new toys coming out just in time for holiday shopping.  We just happen to have a couple great giveaways ending tonight and tomorrow, and they would both make excellent holiday gifts!  If you have not had a chance to enter, be sure to do so and may just be lucky enough to score one of these excellent prizes!


The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Playset giveaway ends tonight!


The Elephant & Piggie: My New Friend is So Fun! book giveaway ends tomorrow night!  This new Mo Willems book is so cute and fun.  If you already entered be sure to stop over and get your free daily entry as well.  Thanks and good luck!

Posted in Giveaways | Leave a comment

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program


Goblins, ghosts, and candy, oh my! The most ghoulish day of year, Halloween, is about to arrive. Why not save your children’s teeth and help a good cause? As a parent, teaching a child to give back is essential, and this Halloween will be a perfect opportunity to do so!  Trade your candy in for money and prizes to support our troops.

The annual Halloween Candy Buy Back program is back to shine for another year. In 2005, the organization was founded as a way to get kids’ excess Halloween candy “off the streets.” The program has since teamed up with Spry and Operation Gratitude; together they will partner with dentist offices nationwide to collect children’s Halloween candy to send to the troops overseas along with toothbrushes and necessary oral care items. This simple act of kindness not only gives soldiers a “Halloween away from home,” but it enables children to exchange their Halloween candy and receive a token in return, whether it be a new toothbrush, a dollar per pound of candy exchanged, or other small prizes provided by participating dental practices.


For the first time this year, the Halloween Candy Buy Back program will be sponsored by Spry Dental Defense System.  Spry products, which include gums, mints and other oral care products, utilize the ingredient xylitol, which is a naturally-occurring sugar alternative that has amazing dental health benefits. This year, Spry will be teaming up with participating dental practices to offer their healthy Halloween treats and other oral care products to give children as an incentive in exchange for their extra Halloween candy.  I love this program.  Every year my kids get way more candy than they could possibly eat but they simply enjoy the process of trick or treating too much to stop after only a few houses!  This is the perfect solution for overflowing trick or treat pails.  My kids can have the fun of running from house to house in their costumes and we can trade a large portion of those goodies in for some new oral care products!  It is also a great way to remind us and our children that there are a lot of brave soldiers working far away from home and they deserve some sweet treats!  There is a local dentist only a couple miles from my house that participates in the Candy Buy Back Program.  Visit the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program website and enter your zip code to find a participating dentist near you!  Will you be participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program this year?

You can also follow the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program on Facebook.  A lot of dentists are sharing their buy back dates and what goodies and/or how much money they will be offering for your candy!

I received Spry products and program information in exchange for sharing the Candy Buy Back Program with my readers.  All opinions are mine alone.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

NurturMe Yum-A-Roo’s Toddler Snacks and FREE App


Once baby graduates to toddler status, snacks become a big part of the daily routine and diet.  Toddlers need to eat often throughout the day so healthy convenient snacks are essential when on the go or simply at home on a busy day!  I try to find snacks that incorporate veggies into my kids diets so I love to keep NurturMe Yum-A-Roo’s on hand in our pantry and in my diaper bag.  My daughter started eating Yum-A-Roo’s when she turned one and I was thrilled to find out she loved them.  Now my baby girl is 17 months olds (don’t ask me how that happened) and she still loves Yum-A-Roo’s.  However, my little princess recently quit eating peas both fresh and dried so now she picks the peas out of her Yum-A-Roo’s and feeds them to me.

September 2014 097

NurturMe Yum-A-Roo’s are 100% organic fruits and veggies that are harvested and quick dried to lock in essential nutrients.  They are available in four different varieties that consist of 1.5 servings of organic fruits and veggies per pouch.  If your little one is not loving dried veggies, the Tropical Twist Pouch is a great choice because it is the one pouch with only dried fruit.  This is my daughter’s favorite Yum-A-Roo’s pouch but I still switch it up with other varieties to keep her eating those veggies!

September 2014 099

If you have a curious toddler who loves to explore on your smartphone, then check out the FREE Yum-A-Roo learning app available for download on iTunes!  Your little one can learn about Roo’s favorite fruits and veggies.  I have the Yum-A-Roo app on my phone and my little one likes to play it anytime she is allowed my phone.  It holds her attention for short periods of time when I need to distract her or redirect her attention from something.  Plus, it never hurts to make eating your fruits and veggies fun!


Buy It!

You can purchase NurturMe Yum-A-Roo’s in stores at many retailers as well as online.  Visit NurturMe to view the long list of retailers that carry NurturMe products.  If you like the convenience of shopping online, don’t miss out on the NurturMe deal at that ends 9/30. You can get up to 31% off your NurturMe order!

NurturMe provided me with product information as well as NurturMe Yum-A-Roo’s Snacks for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sally Hansen Nail Polishes Perfect for Fall!


Sally Hansen introduced several new nail polishes this summer that offer a variety of different features.  Each feature provides a fun and unique look to your nails.  Sally Hansen Color Foil leaves a gorgeous finish that simply gives your nails a glamorous look.  The color choices are rich and beautiful.  My favorite is the Purple Alloy color.  Two coats are recommended to get nice coverage but the good news is that the Color Foil dries very quickly.  I do a lot of dishes by hand on a daily basis as well other cleaning duties so I found that the Color Foil wore off easily if I did not put a protective coat over it.  My favorite way to protect the Color Foil is with Sally Hansen Color Frenzy textured nail color.

August 2014 301

Sally Hansen Color Frenzy provides a clear coating with pops of textured dots and/or confetti pieces.  Since the textured pieces are the only source of color, the Color Frenzy is extremely easy to apply.  However, the Color Frenzy is very slow to dry so allow yourself a little extra dry time between coats.  I have the Paint Party, Green Machine, and Fruit Frenzy shades and they all great.  The Fruit Spritz Color Frenzy has a variety of subtle colors that almost make it neutral so I love it on top of almost any color.  The dots tend to stick to the application wand so two coats are needed if you want a lot of texture on your nails.


I find the Sally Hansen Color Frenzy to be worth the wait.  It adds protection and fun detail to my nail color when I have painted nails.  However, my favorite way to wear Sally Hansen Color Frenzy is actually all by itself.  Adding this textured nail color to my naked nails adds a little fun while keeping my nails easy to maintain.  The confetti and dots are simple yet fun.  I absolutely love the combination!  This is the lowest maintenance polish I have ever used and I often get compliments on the look.

September 2014 016

This is my nails covered with the Purple Alloy Color Foil and only one coat of the Fruit Spritz Color Frenzy.  Another coat will add even more textured dots to the look.

Possibly the most exciting new polish to hit store shelves late this summer was the new Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.  Love the high shine, glossy look of a gel manicure but could do without the complexity of LED lights, time consuming removal, and expensive price tag? Now Sally Hansen is making manicure history with an entirely new way of thinking about long lasting nail color. Its new, patented Miracle Gel, is the first ever part lacquer, part gel manicure system that delivers up to 14 days of lasting color and shine in just 2 easy steps.  Simply apply two coats of the Miracle Gel Color Coat, followed by the Miracle Gel Top Coat, to achieve the most convenient manicure, ever.  The hardest part will be choosing a color.  Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is available in 47 shades!


What shades of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel would complete your new fall look? I am loving the Mad Women and Tidal Wave!

Buy It!

Sally Hansen Color Foil and Color Frenzy nail polishes are limited editions so once they sell out of stores, they may be hard to find.  I did find several shades of Color Frenzy online at Amazon.  Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is available for purchase at a wide variety of stores and websites.  You can find the list of retailers on the Sally Hansen website.

I received Sally Hansen Color Foil and Color Frenzy nail polish for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the products I reviewed.

Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Parents! Vote Now to Help Kids Have More Fun – One Playspace at a Time

As parents, we spend a lot of time discovering creative ways to nurture our children’s curiosity. Luckily, being outdoors provides the perfect landscape, fueling young imaginations and creating endless possibilities for exploration, discovery and creativity. Children’s Claritin hopes to inspire parents to create innovative play spaces in their backyards, and communities.

Children’s Claritin also believes in the benefits of outdoor activity for children, and wants to help children get the most out of every day! They’re teaming up with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit, to help bring innovative playspaces to communities in need and you can help! By voting, you can help them pick the four community organizations that will receive Imagination Playground™. What’s Imagination Playground™? See imagination at play – watch last year’s winner enjoying Imagination Playground™.

Be sure to visit where you can place your vote and gather playspace inspirations for creating your own backyard playspace.

While visiting the Children’s Claritin & KaBOOM! Facebook page, you can also:

  • Learn more about the twelve organizations you can vote for receiving Imagination Playground™
  • Download coupon offers
  • Locate a playspace near you

Vote now and help us pick the four community organizations that will receive Imagination Playground™. You can vote one time per day through 9/26/14. Click here for voting rules.

As a member of the Children’s Claritin Mom Crew, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use.  No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset Review & Giveaway


In 2013, Vtech introduced Go! Go! Smart Wheels and they have been a huge hit with young children and to delight of my kids Vtech recently introduced Go! Go! Smart Animals!  There is a variety of wild Go! Go! Smart Animals that all light up, play music and fun phrases.  Vtech has also created several new playsets that coordinate perfectly with these new smart animals.  Best of all, Go! Go! Smart Animal playsets are compatible with the other Go! Go! Smart Wheels sets.  This allows for a lot of creative building!  We have the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset and it is loaded with fun features and comes with the cute Go! Go! Smart Rhino.  These animals all have wheels so they can Go! Go!  After putting together the Zoo Explorers Playset, it only took my boys a matter of seconds to run for their Go! Go! Smart Wheels Airport and start connecting the two playsets.  Our Go! Go! smart vehicles and animal were all soon in a parade of movement from one end of the playset to the next.

 September 2014 014

Like all Go! Go! Smart playsets, the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset has seven SmartPoints throughout the track.  When the Go! Go! Smart animals roll over any of these locations, the animal will light up, make noise, play music, or say something!  The rhino that came with the zoo playset teaches the kids its name, colors, and other fun facts.  The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset also includes a penguin figurine.  The penguin can sit in the igloo that comes along with the set so everyone can view it when visiting the “polar zone” of the zoo.  The zoo entrance has three buttons on the top of the arch that can be pressed to make music as well as teach the kids animal names, characteristics, and colors!  These colorful buttons are the shape and size of a small child’s toy piano.  Easy to press one at a time and they make the zoo entrance a fun place to play!

September 2014 049Labor Day Weekend 2014 031

The zoo explorers track pieces click together quite easily.  With the exception of a few large pieces, my kids can easily click the pieces together themselves and take them apart.  My hubby and I found the large orange pieces that make up the ramp on the zoo to be held together very well and we just leave those two pieces together even when we store it away.  I am actually happy these pieces are held tight together because my kids can play and bump into the ramp and it never falls apart.  My baby girl even sits right on parts of the track when playing and it has held up well to all types of creative play!

Labor Day Weekend 2014 036Labor Day Weekend 2014 038

Playing with the Go! Go! Smart Animals and playset help my little ones develop fine motorskills and language development.  Building and creating tracks and engaging in creative play gets all of my kids using their imaginations.  That is my favorite part!  Nothing makes this mom smile more than listening to creative dialogue between my kids while they are creating a pretend world and playing together.

September 2014 050 Labor Day Weekend 2014 021Labor Day Weekend 2014 034 Labor Day Weekend 2014 019

The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset is intended for ages 1-5 but my 6 year old still loves to play with it as well.  Since we don’t have any of the other Go! Go! Smart Animals yet (a wish list has already been created), my kids use a few other animal toys to fill their zoo for all of their Go! Go! Smart Wheels to visit.  I love that all three of my kids can play together with this playset.  I don’t have to worry about choking hazards for my baby girl and all three of them are engaged and having fun together!

Buy It!

Labor Day Weekend 2014 010

The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset is available for purchase online at the Vtech website as well as on Amazon.  If this is your first Go! Go! Smart Playset, I highly recommend purchasing an extra Go! Go! Smart Animal.  This will make your life easier if you have more than one child and/or for the times another little one is visiting your house.  Plus, no zoo can ever have too many animals!  The Go! Go! Smart Animals and playsets make great gifts. You won’t be able to open the box fast enough for your excited little one!

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset!  This is a $39.99 RV!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on September 30, 2014.  This giveaway is open to residents in the U.S. only.  The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Vtech provided me with the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset and product information for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 72 Comments

Fit Made Fun with LeapBand and CLIF Kid Zbar Protein

I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog and CLIF Kid sponsored MommyParty.  The opinions expressed here are mine alone.

August 2014 006

This past Saturday we celebrated Fit Made Fun Day.  We hosted a party with the help of LeapFrog and Clif Kid.  Our party included hours of fun play which was motivated by the new LeapBand.  During the party the kids enjoyed yummy snacks such as popcorn, fruit, cheese, and the NEW Clif Kid Zbar Protein bars!

The LeapFrog LeapBand gets kids moving and having fun independently as well as together.  During the party I would often find a couple kids with their heads huddled around the LeapBand as they listen to what their next challenge will be.  If the LeapBand tells them to walk a straight line they quickly spread out and start walking.  Once they complete the task, they earn joules that allow them to unlock rewards.  The kids eat this right up.  Every earned joule is welcomed with excitement and motivates the kids to try yet another activity challenge.

August 2014 010August 2014 011

The stopwatch feature is a huge hit with kids of all ages.  I had no idea how much kids loved to be timed doing any skill or task!  During our party the kids were timing each other on the obstacle course my son created.  The kids were using the stop watch to see how many times they could run a lap and kick or throw a ball in 30 seconds.  Throughout the party the obstacle course was changed by the kids and we even ended up having a water balloon fight!

September 2014 253 September 2014 238

Since the moment we opened the LeapBand, the stopwatch feature has been used daily by my kids.  My son timed himself hoola hooping at the Farmer’s Market.  He even created a workout of push ups, sit ups, stretches, and running that I had to do with him.  Each task had to be performed for the 30 seconds and he conveniently used his LeapBand stopwatch to time us during the workout!  The LeapBand even reminds you to take a drink of water after completing one or two activities.  I love this feature since most kids don’t want to take a break from having fun even if it is only for a few seconds to take a drink of water!

September 2014 249  September 2014 003  September 2014 002

Each of the kids had a chance to try out one of the LeapBands and get familiar with each of its features.  It is super easy to use and the kids ages 3 and up needed no help figuring out how to use the LeapBand.  My 16 month old daughter even loves the LeapBand.  She tends to get a bit button happy but loves to look at the colorful images on the screen and to get the LeapBand to talk to her.  She has also put the durability of the LeapBand to the test by dropping it on hard flooring several times and I am happy to report that the LeapBand had handled the abuse like a champ.

From an educational standpoint the LeapBand helps kids learn how to tell time on an analog watch.  My 3 year old loves to report the time to me ever since he got a LeapBand.  The Leap Frog LeapBand also does a great job of teaching kids about healthy choices with each task the kids engage in to help keep their pets happy.  Your child gets to choose one pet to care for and customize when you first get the LeapBand.  As your child unlocks more rewards, he or she will get to choose another pet.  My boys love this feature.  My oldest has 3 pets so far and my younger son has two pets.  They each chose different animals for their pets and customized them differently.  They even get to name their pets!

September 2014 037September 2014 041September 2014 008September 2014 038 September 2014 039September 2014 006

If there is one thing all parents know, it is that there is an enormous amount of unhealthy snacks available on store shelves being marketed to our kids.  The Clif Kid Zbar has been one of my go-to snack bars for my kids because they are created with the needs of active growing kids in mind and are free of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, trans fats, and synthetic preservatives.  It can be challenging to get my kids to eat enough protein on some days, so I was very excited to have my kids try the new Clif Kid Zbar Protein.  These new bars are free of the No-No’s that I listed and are loaded with vitmains and minerals while being disguized as a treat with yummy flavors such as Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip,  and Mint Chocolate.  The bottom of all of the Zbar Protein bars is coated in chocolate.  Yum.  Each Zbar Protein has 5 grams of protein and is made with organic whole grains.

September 2014 005 September 2014 007 September 2014 011

The Chocolate Chip Zbar Protein seemed to be the crowd favorite at our party but the older kids seemed to all love the Mint Chocolate Zbar Protein.  I personally love anything with mint, chocolate, or peanut butter, so I am loving these flavor choices!  As a busy mom, I am guilty of not always eating right and in need of more protein and fiber, so I find myself sneaking the kids Zbar Protein more times than I should share!  Time to restock our pantry with Clif bars for mom and dad and Zbar Protein for the kids!

Buy It!

The Leap Frog LeapBand and Clif Kid Zbar Protein are both available for purchase in stores and online.  The LeapBand can be purchased with the green wristband like the one featured here or it is also available in blue or pink.  The LeapBand is fun to use both outside and indoors, so this would make a great holiday gift to keep the kids active during the colder months of the year!

In exchange for hosting a Fit Made Fun party and sharing my experience online, I received Leap Frog LeapBands and Clif Kid Zbar Protein bars.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the products featured in this post.

Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid Review & Giveaway


As a parent, it can be tough watching your child suffer from any pain associated with an earache.  Not only does an earache cause discomfort for your child, but the symptoms usually get worse at night often resulting in many sleepless nights. Luckily, Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid is the perfect solution for any child trying to conquer ear pain, ear pressure, inflammation, fever, and sinus or head pain.


Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid has a great grape flavor yet is free of both dye and sugar!  This safe homeopathic formula works as fast-acting relief for infants and children ages 0-9 years, with no risk of overdose or drug interaction.  I love that I only need to keep one bottle in my cupboard since it can be given to all three of my kids.  This eases my mind since my kids usually are in need of pain relief in the middle of the night and we are half asleep and fumbling around for a source of pain relief!   Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid is also very easy to administer; simply give your child .75 ml orally and repeat every 8 hours.  It is advised to reduce the dosage with improvement or as directed by a healthcare professional.

Buy It!

Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid retails for $6.99 and can be purchased at CVS locations nationwide.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a package of Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end on October 3, 2014.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  The winners will be selected by and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received the Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid and product information for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 12 Comments

My New Friend is So Fun! Review & Giveaway


Another school year has begun!  New friendships will be made, more books will be read, more lessons will be learned, and our children will embark on new adventures with both new and old friends.   First grade has already been new and exciting for my little man.  It is his first year with his own desk and he has a new teacher that apparently enjoys one of our favorite authors here at The Children’s Nook, Mo Willems.  Over the years my kids and I have enjoyed reading about the adventures of several Mo Willems characters.  My oldest son learned to read with the help of the Elephant & Piggie early-reader series.  He has learn the art of the exclamation point thanks to Mo Willems.  My son adores these characters and since I find them very entertaining myself, I must admit I get just as excited for Elephant & Piggie time as he does.  We cannot step foot in a book store without my son thoroughly looking through each and every Elephant & Piggie book.  He has even illustrated and written his own Elephant & Piggie stories.  Needless to say, he was thrilled to discover his first grade classroom had an entire section dedicated to Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie books!  We have a serious love of these books.  They are easy to read and the characters are down right likable.  These stories are entertaining for all ages.  At the end of each story, Elephant & Piggie always leave us smiling.

September 2014 030

I am excited to share Mo Willem’s new Elephant & Piggie book, My New Friend is So Fun!.  This is the 21st book in this award-winning best-selling series!  In My New Friends is So Fun!, Piggie has found a new friend!  Will Gerald be ready to share his best friend?  Most friendships endure the challenge of welcoming a new friend into the mix and this story allows you to experience the many emotions these friends go through while trying to understand what this means for their relationship.  My New Friend is So Fun! is both sweet and funny.  The new characters are just as fun and likable as Elephant & Piggie and Willem’s has managed to leave a smiling yet again with this story.  What a relief to learn that finding a new friend does not mean you have to lose your old friend!

September 2014 013September 2014 026

Reader tip:  If you are new to Elephant & Piggie books, be sure to explore the illustrations on the inside front and back covers.  My kids love to find the Pigeon!

Buy It!

My New Friend is So Fun!, is available for purchase at retailers nationwide as well as online at several websites.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a copy of Mo Willems’ new Elephant & Piggie book, My New Friend is So Fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on October 1, 2014.  This giveaway is open to residents in both the U.S and Canada.  The winner will be selected by and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  The prize will be shipped via the sponsor.

I received a copy of My New Friend is So Fun! for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed. 

Posted in Featured Children's Books, Giveaways, Reviews | 44 Comments

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color


I can never resist trying new NYC products because they are so much fun and affordable!  New York Color Twistable Lip Color has a fun pen shape design.  My daughter is very intrigued by the design and often begs for an up close look at mommy’s crayons!  This design not only gives this lip color a fun look but it is also easy to use.  I am so impressed by how smoothly this lip color glides across the lips.  One quick swipe of NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color and my lips have a fresh new look.

September 2014 013

I love that NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color leaves my lips with both color and shine.  I have two very different shades of Twistable lip color.  The Canal Street Coral lip color works great for my summer look.  For some reason this has been the summer of coral for me.  I just can’t get enough of that color!  The Roosevelt Island Red lip color is a pretty shade of red that is not over the top and leaves my lips looking less unnatural than most red lip colors.  This color will be great for fall and winter.  NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color is available in a wide range of colors and the packaging for this lip color puts a fun twist on applying lip color with ease!

September 2014 019

Follow New York Color on Twitter and Facebook to keep informed of sales, promotions, and new products introduced by NYC.

Buy It!

You can purchase NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color at mass merchandisers and chain drugstores nationwide.  The Family Dollar in my city even carries NYC products!  Go here to find a list of retailers near you that carry NYC Lip Stain.

I was provided NYC Lip Stain free of charge for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment