Oriental Trading: Halloween Headquarters!

Oriental Trading has a great selection of Halloween decorations, treats, party supplies, and more.  It is the perfect place to shop when preparing for trick or treaters.  Wether you are decorating your home or the trunk of your car for a trick or treat event, Oriental Trading has Halloween supplies to meet a variety of needs.  You will find religious Halloween treats, party theme décor and goodies, and of course a long list of Halloween décor and treats that can be either sweet or scary!  Oriental Trading even offers many affordable supplies for DIY projects for adults and crafts for kids.


Oriental Trading has a great selection of fall harvest décor that incorporates great with Halloween décor yet can also be used for Thanksgiving!  The white ceramic pumpkin, autumn leaves string lights, and gourd assortment are my latest additions to my fall décor.  These items from Oriental Trading are so pretty I have already moved them to multiple rooms of my home. I simply can’t decide where I like them best because they look great everywhere!  The white ceramic pumpkin was much larger than I anticipated.  The detail on this ceramic pumpkin is gorgeous and I have already received many compliments on it.  It works great on accent tables as well as a centerpiece.

Every year I offer a non-candy treat to the kids along with a candy option.  This year I decided to hand out the Oriental Trading Sticky Jack-O’-Lanterns for my non-candy treat.  I gave each of my kids one of these sticky toys to test out and all three of them love these sticky pumpkins!  They have been playing with them for weeks now and still can’t keep their hands off them.  Not only are these Sticky Jack-O’-Lanterns festive and fun, but they are also very affordable.  For less than $8.50 you get 72 of these toys!  Each one is individually wrapped in a clear plastic package so the kids can even see the fun toy waiting for them inside!

If you make special goody bags for family or a close set of neighbors, I highly recommend adding fidget spinners to your bags this year.  Kids are obsessed with them and can’t resist trying a new color or design.  I ordered a package of the metallic fidgets spinners from Oriental Trading to fill a few special goody bags and surprise each of my kids with a Halloween goody as well.  The colorful metallic fidget spinner set comes with a total of 6 fidgets spinners individually wrapped in plastic. I received two green, two gold, and two purple.  These colors are perfect for Halloween and the metallic finish adds extra appeal and shine!  My kids love these.  They spin great and have held up well after a few accidental drops.

Oriental Trading has a fun selection of unique Halloween candy as well as some traditional candy name brands.  I love to make lollipop trees so I decided to order Dum Dums Lollipops from Oriental Trading this year so I could make a Halloween themed tree.  The kids love it and its easier for them to find their favorite flavor!

The set of black cauldrons from Oriental Trading may be one of the most useful purchases I have made yet.  All three cauldrons are different sizes.  They are light weight and easy to move around.  You can honestly use these in so many different ways that they will seem like a new décor item every year!  I am still debating between filling the large cauldron with straw and adding some décor on top or simply filling it with witches legs stick out of it!  This year I will be using the medium size cauldron as a decorative pot for one of my mum plants.  I plan on putting a bowl inside the smallest cauldron and using it to serve my kids popcorn when we watch Halloween movies and shows this fall.  On Halloween night I will use it to serve up my trick or treaters the fun sticky jack-o’-lanterns!

Buy It!

Check out the great selection at Oriental Trading during the Halloween sale!  You will find the Halloween items featured here as well as much more online at Oriental Trading.

I received the featured items from Oriental Trading for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.


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Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips: Snacks with Benefits!

Looking for a tasty snack that actually has a few heath benefits?  Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips are non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan.  Beanfields Bean & Rice chips are available in a variety of flavors and are packed with protein and high in fiber!  Beanfields is family owned and made in the USA.


The snack size bags are great for lunches or snacks on the go.  They are also easy for the kids to grab on their own!  The sea salt, black bean, and Nacho may just be my top 3 flavor choices but I honestly loved all of them except the barbeque.  However, that is simply because I absolutely dislike all things barbeque flavored so I am not a fair judge of that flavor.  Which flavor would you try first or love already? The Sea Salt, Black Bean, and White Bean flavors are yummy on their own but also go great with dips.  Pairing Sea Salt Beanfields with salsa has become one of my favorite snacks!

Buy It!

Beanfields are available for purchase online and in stores nationwide.  To find a Beanfields retailer near you, visit beanfieldssnacks.com/store-locator.  The store locator lists all of the grocery stores near me that carries Beanfields products.  However, I have also found them for sale at TJ Max and Shopko Expresss, so keep your eyes open for these tastey chips!

I received samples of Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of the product I reviewed.

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9/11 Film & Prize Pack Giveaway


The tragedy of 9/11 is something every person in the United States remembers.  As a kid I remember my grandmother telling me she remembers exactly where she was the moment JFK was shot and killed.  Today we all remember where we were on 9/11 while this tragedy unfolded.  I remember being in my college apartment while the cable guy rushed to hook up my cable and internet.  That morning, two complete strangers stood side by side sharing a moment in time that I will never forget.  Seeing the footage across my television that neither of us could believe was happening in our own country.  We prayed for strangers all over the nation that day.  Where were you when you heard of the attacks on 9/11?

On September 8th, a new awe-inspiring film, 9/11 will be in theaters.  The film 9/11 is based on a true story and chronicles the lives of five average, everyday people who find themselves trapped in an elevator during the events of 9/11 in the World Trade Center.  Check out the 9/11 movie blog app for a chance to watch behind-the-scenes interviews with Charlie Sheen, Gina Gershon, and Luis Guzman!  Also, read and share 9/11 facts.

About 9/11:

In the World Trade Center, a billionaire sits in his attorney’s office awaiting a divorce hearing against his wife. In a west side apartment, a bike messenger kisses his 5-year old daughter and sings her “Happy Birthday” before leaving for work. A maintenance man gets dispatched to help a tenant with his lock. In an upper east side apartment, a young model musters the courage to break up with her sugar daddy. As random as random can be, these individuals step into a crowded World Trade Center elevator.

Wrapped up in their own world, they all ride silently hearing only the sound of the elevator giving notice of each floor. When the elevator stops on the 34th floor, it empties leaving only these five behind. Moments later … their world changes as the collision of a jet into the North Tower incapacitates the elevator.

With no understanding of what has happened and is happening around them, these fives are forced to band together and fight against all odds to escape from the impending horrific collapse. During these critical minutes, a story of courage, faith, and the will to live unfolds.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a 9/11 film themed prize pack.  The prize pack will include:

1- 9/11 poster Hand Signed Autographed by star Charlie Sheen

1 – “Hope” Pendant with necklace

1 – Guide to Talking To Your Children About 9/11 thanks to Tuesday’s Children

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on September 22, 2017.  This giveaway is open to U.S residents only.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

The sponsor will be providing the winner of the giveaway the prize pack.  The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

Posted in Giveaways | 39 Comments

Unleashed Review & Giveaway


Today we are celebrating National Dog Day watching the fun new film, Unleashed!  This film features not just one but two four-legged pets that are the leading lady’s perfect pets.  However, when Emma’s pets get transformed into two perfect companions, her non-existent love life gets complicated.  With two grown men behaving like lovable cats and dogs, this story is sweet and funny.


About the movie:

Emma, a brilliant but awkward app designer, moves to San Francisco
after a massive betrayal by her boyfriend with only her beloved
pets, an adorable cat and an energetic mutt, in tow. One night,
drawn by the light of a Supermoon, Emma’s pets escape into the
night and are transformed into full-grown men, forcing Emma to
reconsider her outlook on dating and hilariously work out her trust

Visit the Unleashed website to view the trailer and learn more about the cast and movie!  Are you team cat or dog?!

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win either a digital or hard copy screener of the Unleashed movie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on September 8, 2017.  This giveaway is open to U.S residents only.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

The sponsor will be providing the winner of the giveaway with a screener digital or hard copy.  The prize will be sent via email, FedEx ,or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 14 Comments

SmartPlanet Portion Perfect 4 Piece Puffer Bag Set Review & Giveaway


Portion Perfect 4 piece meal bag set includes an ice pack, meal kit, and puffer bag.  The puffer bag is insulated and is available in three different color choices.  The meal kit will be the same color as the outside of the puffer bag to complete the matching set.  The meal kit has 4 divided compartments.  The portion size is listed inside each compartment making it extremely easy to measure out food portions.  The smart design does not stop there!  The lid to the meal kit has a long easy to use handle which allows for my kids to easily open this container.  The meal kit is also easy to clean since it is dishwasher safe.


The puffer bag has a zipper closure and handles for easy hauling to and from school or work.  I love this 4 piece meal bag set for myself to use but my kids are honestly fighting over who can take it to school this year.  The fun color choices are appealing to all ages and the functionality of the set is honestly great for both kids as well as adults.


The meal kit is also great for picnics.  My kids love to have a separate compartment for different foods.  It also encourages to eat a well balanced meal because they never want to leave a compartment empty!

DSC_1489We have been using our Portion Perfect meal kit to enjoy meals outside on a regular basis.  Fall will be here before we know it.  Even the butterfly came out just in time for lunch!

Buy It!

The new Portion Perfect 4 Piece Puffer Bag Set is available for purchase online at Smart Planet Home.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a Portion Perfect 4 Piece Puffer Bag Set from Smart Planet!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on September 13, 2017.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received a Smart Planet Portion Perfect 4 Piece Puffer Bag Set for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 32 Comments

New MAM Perfect Designs and $40 Prize Pack Giveaway


Looking for a pacifier that is cute, functional, and accepted by 94% of babies?  The new MAM Perfect Night Pacifiers may be just what your baby needs!  MAM recently introduced some adorable animal and starry night pacifier designs for their amazing Perfect Pacifier line.  However, most note worthy is the new glow in the dark design.  Who here has crawled around in the dark in search of the elusive pacifier? I can’t even count how many times my hubby and I crawled on the ground, digging through furniture looking for our kids’ pacifiers.  This feature is a life changer for parents of pacifier loving babies!


MAM Perfect Pacifiers are the most flexible and thinnest pacifier on the market today.  In fact, the neck of the MAM Perfect Pacifier is 60% thinner and 4 times more flexible.  The ultra thin neck of the MAM Perfect allow more room for teeth to grow reducing the risk of misalignment.  The nipple of this pacifier with MAM’s Skinsoft silicone surface feels soft and more like mom.  The flexible neck makes soothing easier for baby as well. 

A recent independent study by Dr. Yvonne Wagner, a pediatric dentist at the Jena University Hospital (GER)* examined the effects of the MAM Perfect pacifiers on the development of the teeth and jaws. The study shows that switching from a conventional pacifier to the MAM Perfect minimized the risk of developing an open bite and an increased overbite. The University Clinic of Dentistry in Vienna, Austria carried out another series of independent tests** on the MAM Perfect and has reported similar results. “In my opinion, the MAM Perfect is the tooth-friendliest of all pacifiers tested”, remarked Professor Hans-Peter Bantleon, Head of the Department of University Clinic of Dentistry Vienna (Austria).

Buy It!

The MAM Perfect and MAM Perfect Night Pacifiers are both sold in single and double packs.  MAM Perfect Pacifiers are available for purchase exclusively in stores and online at Babies R Us.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is also going to win a $40 gift package of assorted MAM items!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on August 23, 2017.  This giveaway is open to residents in both the US and Canada.  The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received no compensation for this post. I simply wanted to share this promotion and host a giveaway for my readers.  Facts and prizes provided by MAM Baby.

Posted in Giveaways | 5 Comments

Groupon Coupons: Free and Easy Way to Save

grouponenvelopeJuly is almost over and back to school shopping is officially in full swing.  By now you have most likely noticed the school supplies taking over stores.  I like to make back to school shopping fun and exciting for my kids but this process can be quite painful for the bank account.  We tend to buy most of our school supplies at Target so I was thrilled to come across a back to school Target coupon on the Groupon website.  This back to school coupon is just 1 of 64 coupons that Groupon currently has available for Target alone.  Groupon coupons are free and available for nearly any store you can think of for back to school shopping and more!


Target has a great selection of both school supplies and clothing for back to school.  The selection ranges from preschool all the way up to college.  No matter what age your student is, Target conveniently has a great selection for each age group.  Target food sales right now are even focusing on the conveniently packaged foods that kids can toss in their backpacks, pack in their lunches, or keep in their dorm rooms.  Groupon coupons currently has a 10% off school supplies coupon, $5 of a $50 online purchase with free shipping, and much more.  They even have a coupon for creating a College Registry at Target that will allow college students to save even more on school supplies!


If you prefer to shop online, you will love the Groupon coupons for Amazon.com as well as coupons and free shipping codes for many other retailers.  There are currently 158 Groupon coupons for Amazon.com which include back to school sales.


Back to school shopping always results in a large sum of my money going towards shoes.  My kids always need to new shoes to wear daily as well as gym shoes to leave at school.  The Groupon coupons for Famous Footwear are going to be a great saver for us this school year!

Have you tried Groupon yet?  Groupon is free and easy to use.  Groupon Coupons can help you save money on clothing and school supplies but is most definitely not limited to back to school.  Find discounts on restaurants, travel, movies, and much more with Groupon.


 I will receive compensation in exchange for sharing information about Groupon coupons.  All opinions are mine alone.



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Ice Excavation Experiment


Looking for a fun activity to entertain your kids on a hot summer day?  Toy ice excavation may be the easiest activity you could to do this summer!  Best of all….it is free!

What you will need:

Ice tray or baking dish

Toys that will fit in the dishes you choose to use.




Once you have decided on the dishes or ice trays you will be using, send your kids on a toy hunt.  This alone kept my kids busy for quite some time.  My kids seriously dug through all of their toys before deciding on what toys were the best fit for our ice tray and silicone baking dishes.  My kids enjoy the hunt for the perfect toys almost as much as excavating them later.


Let your kids poor water over all of their toys and they will quickly discover which of the toys they chose will sink and which ones will float.  My kids like to have a variety of toy sizes as well.  Once they are done looking at all of the toys in the water, place the trays in the freezer.  My kids purposely chose some toys that were too big for the tray because they thought it would be cool to see the toys poking partial out of the ice.


Once the water is frozen excavation can be done in many ways.  On a hot sunny day you may choose to watch some of the ice melt away from the toys.  The small ice tray created small enough ice cubes that my kids could simply throw them on the ground and they would break apart.  They had fun doing that for a few toys but I think watching them melt in water may haven been everyone’s favorite.  Toy tools and kid safe kitchen utensils such as tongs are great for chipping away at the ice as well.  The tools will most likely be a must if you use a larger pan to freeze all of the toys into one large ice block.


My kids ages ranging from 4 to 9 all love this activity so much that they immediately request to freeze more toys after the excavation is complete each and every time we do this activity.  It never gets boring for them because they are constantly thinking of ways to freeze different toys.  Ice excavation has been a great way to get my kids to be creative and have fun together.


The beads were especially fun to excavate!  What else would be fun to freeze?


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Smart Planet Pure Glass Bento Meal Container Review & Giveaway


SmartPlanet has been offering innovative ways for us to take and store our food for years.  This year they introduce the new Pure Glass Bento Meal Container.  The Pure Glass Bento Meal Container by Smart Planet is made of thermo temp glass.  Allowing you to take this food container directly from the fridge and right into the oven.   This container also boasts a food divider so you can conveniently keep two portions in the same container without them mixing together.  This feature is a huge selling point when preparing meals for my kids since no unrelated food items are allowed to touch or meal time is ruined.

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This glass container is very sturdy.  My kids love picnics and the new Pure Glass Bento Meal Container works great.  It is easy to travel with and the divider makes it perfect for serving up dishes for everyone to graze from during our picnics.


The Pure Glass Bento Meal Container has a lid that seals at four points.  Press down and close to get an air tight seal and keep your food fresh.

Buy It!

The Pure Glass Bento Meal Container is available for purchase online at Smart Planet Home.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a Pure Glass Bento Meal Container by Smart Planet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on July 26, 2017.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received a Smart Planet Home Pure Glass Bento Meal Container for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 11 Comments

Patriotic Party: Red, White, and Blue!

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Planning a patriotic themed gathering this summer?  Fill your party with fun, food, laughter, and a whole lot of red, white, and blue with a few of these Oriental Trading goodies!  Keep your guests both young and old busy with outdoor games and activities.   Patriotic decor and food will also have your guests celebrating along with you this July.  Glow in the dark accessories will at to your festivities as the sun goes down.

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Add a little fun and excitement to your barbeque with potato sack races!  These races are sure to have your guests falling down laughing.


I was really impressed with the quality and durability of the Pony Express potato sacks from Oriental Trading.  Our yard is pretty wet yet after a week of nonstop rain.  After the race the outside of the sacks were covered in mud but I simply hosed them down and hung them to dry in the sun and they are good to go for another race.  No tears or any damage of any kind happened to these sacks after multiple races.  Oriental Trading has a wide variety of potato sack styles.  The Pony Express are really fun and the red and white design works great for a patriotic themed party!


Paper Appetizer Plates are a great way to get a festive look and make clean up a breeze when the party ends. Red, white, and blue edible crayons and Rice Krispies Stars are fun treats for guests both young and old.  My kids absolutely love eating food off a stick so it is a must for me to make some type of treat kabob for any summer picnic, BBQ, or any other they can come up with!  Truthfully, I kind of get their love of kabob treats.  They look so fun!  This is also an easy way to get them to eat a lot of fruit.  My oldest simply loves the combo of cheese and strawberries on a stick.  The great thing about treat kabobs is that if you have unexpected guests you can simply use anything you have on hand.  I wanted to create a treat kabob using only red and white foods so I used strawberry, marshmallow, licorice to create this afternoon snack since they were all conveniently in my house already.  The blue patriotic fruit kabob sticks are part of set of 25 that also include red and white star sticks.  These sticks are really durable. In fact, I ordered this set from Oriental Trading a couple years ago and they are still a party favorite.

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The Captain’s hat from Oriental Trading may be one of the best purchases you will ever make.  This hat fits an adult but my kids can easily wear it as well.  Not only does the hat create fun photo opportunities but it is an accessory that both adults and kids will all want to give a try.  Since we only have one captain’s hat, we deemed the winner of each game we played was rewarded the right to wear the Captain’s hat.  Since no BBQ is complete without some fun yard games.  This reward was a big hit.


The Washer Toss Game from Oriental Trading is a great party game.  This game can be played with two or four players and is scored similar to the game of horseshoes.  This game is great for both adults and kids.  Simply move the boxes closer together for younger children and let the washer tossing begin!  The washers are made of a weighted plastic so you don’t have to worry about kids tossing them.  On a rainy day this game is even great indoors.


The washer toss game is not very big or heavy so it is easy to travel with as well.  Bring it to the park or your next party.  The red, white, and, blue coloring of this game also adds to the festive feel when hosting a patriotic party!


When a little down time is needed for the kids, I often pull out sticker scene sets.  Oriental Trading has these sets in a wide variety of themes and the Peanuts Patriotic Sticker Scenes set is perfect for the 4th of July!  This sticker scenes set are a fun way to encourage kids to sit down and get creative and they are always so proud of their creations!  The Peanuts Patriotic set comes with 12 flag pages for the background as well as 12 sticker sheets.  Each sticker page has a large selection of patriotic stickers featuring many Peanuts characters.


Sticker scenes are a fun party activity for kids that really provides little to no mess.  This makes them one of my go to party activities.  The younger kids simply love the act of peeling stickers off one sheet and sticking them to another.  The older kids really get into decorating their flags.  At the end of the day you will have a dozen patriotic flags proudly being displayed by your little party guests.  The sticker scenes sets are especially great in case of rain!

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Add to your festivities with patriotic gliders.  Oriental Trading offers a few different styles of patriotic themed gliders.  The Jumbo Patriotic Gliders have the head of an eagle and patriotic wings.  These freedom flyers are made of foam and are fun for kids and adults.


Glow in the Dark accessories are a must for any patriotic party that continues after sunset.  Oriental Trading has an amazing selection of glow products.  We order glow products every year for the 4th of July.  The patriotic tri-color premium glow sticks have been my go to choice for years.  We love the look and quality of those glow sticks but this year my little Star Wars fans begged to try the patriotic light-up flashing batons.  These plastic batons come in a set of 6 and provide a lot of entertainment for kids.  These batons have 3 different light up features and can be turned off as well so we have been able to use them more than once.  The light-up flashing batons are also a great way to keep track of your littles in the dark!



Buy It!

Shop the Patriotic Sale at Oriental Trading to score great deals on your decor and party supplies!

I received the patriotic items featured here for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

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