Thursday, February 9, 2017

Birthday Present - Build A Bear Workshop

Someone has recently had a birthday! She had a Minute to Win It themed party and a sleepover. Kids all had a ton of fun. She got a lunch date with Mom & Dad and a Build A Bear for her gift. Which something she claimed that she will never EVER get, only OTHER, really LUCKY kids get them, and she's not one of them, because she's got the meanest parents in the whole universe. UN-til her birthday, then we were suddenly the greatest parents in the whole universe. 

bday with balloons

Also was her first time in a real life big mall. She was in a very small one with most of the stores closed down in it before, so it didn't really count. A little shell shocked by how many stores and how busy it is in there. Justice was right next to it and she doesn't even know what that store is, good thing for us ! I know, ok, so she's a little deprived, but hey she'll still grow up just fine not having the luxuries of a mall.

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And so we arrive. The moment she's been waiting for. Given the large selection, she made her decision rather quickly.

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The pink leopard that smells soooo good ! She's choosing her sound chip thingy here. She got the "Get Back Up Again" song from Trolls. No, that's not stuck in our head and we've not been singing it daily for 3 weeks now, no huh-uh.

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Then you get to push the pedal to stuff your own animal. How cool is THAT ! I really wanted to push that pedal myself. Then you get to choose your heart, plain or beating, and put it inside your bear. She chose both hearts, ya know, in case one quits, it's good to have a back up. You also insert your sound clip if you got one. After it's stuffed, you get to give it a squeeze and hug before it's sewn up to make sure it's stuffed perfectly to your liking.

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Then you get to give it a bath and blow dry it. No real water, but a real blow dryer out of that yellow thing.

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This is a really cool place.

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When choosing accessories, you get to fully check them all out first. Trying them on your bear since each bear can turn out a little differently or be slightly different shaped.

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Several little Dressing Room changing tables throughout the store. She was very serious about every step of the way.

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The chosen jammies. She got jammies, a couple outfits, panties and bunny slippers. Which is how her and the animal dress most often, panties and slippers. She got a little chair/bed for it, a carrier, a brush and a jacket.

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At the end, you name it and print it's birth certificate. So it was born 1 day after her birthday and she named it Jellybean.

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I think this was the best birthday present yet. She was ecstatic over her Build a Bear and experience there.

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She's now saving up her chore money to go back for more accessories.

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The employee's here were fantastic. So friendly, helpful and nice to the kids. Which just makes their experience all the better.

Anyone else have a Build A Bear Workshop experience?

Which animal did your child choose?

Duff's Tie Dye Cake Mix for Cupcakes

This year for Ashlyn's birthday, she chose a homemade Oreo Ice Cream cake for her party and Duff Goldman's Tie Dye Cake Mix that we used for cupcakes for her classroom treat. 

We were excited to try this since we love Duff. You know, the Pastry Chef guy, the Cake Boss and we love him most on the Kids Baking Competition as the judge with Valarie Bertinelli. 

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The mix comes with yellow, red and blue coloring. It tells you how to mix them exactly to get 6 colors for the cake. Since cupcakes are so much smaller than a cake, we thought the 3 colors without mixing them would be enough.

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The cake mix is just as easy as any other box cake mix to whip up. The coloring mixed in really well.

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The outcome was definitely bright. We loved how vibrant the colors ended up being after baking. We poured a few solid colored cupcakes, but really preferred the swirl for the whole tie dye effect.

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The practice batch was for us at home, but did the swirl for all cupcakes for the class treat.  

You just mix your cake mix first according to the box instructions. We separated it evenly between 3 bowls. Mixed the dye in each and stirred until pperfectly blended. Then just dropped a little bit of each color in each cupcake holder. 

Normally I would not have used the cupcake liners, so you could see the colors on the side as well. But since they were for school, we thought it would be not as messy but also more sanitary for passing them out as to not touch the cupcake itself. 

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The yellow frosting with sprinkles were for our practice batch and looked great.

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Gave her a chance to see how well she'd frost them. She did great !

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Loved how they turned out. No blending of the colors at all. Sorry for the nasty fingernails next to the beautiful cupcake. Jamie is a little overdue for his manicure.

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For the final classroom treat, she picked white frosting with the pearly sixlets on top.

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The Duff cake mixes are so fun to make. Always lots of compliments and they taste awesome too !

Anyone else tried one of the Duff mixes?

Or have you tried it yourself at home with no mix?


Roller Derby Roller Skates - Reivew

Checking out Roller Derby Roller Skates that Ashlyn wanted so badly for Christmas. We went with a lower price point since we weren't sure how much she'd really use them. So far, she's barely taken them off her feet.

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There was a few remarks in other reviews about the wheels not moving or rolling well. We have not encountered that. Everything rolls, spins, turns and moves just as it should.

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  • She says they are comfortable. 
  • There is a cushy part at the top so your leg doesn't rub and it does not. 
  • She wears a size 1.5 tennis shoe, these are a size 2 and they fit great.
  • The only thing she wishes were different was that they'd have a velcro strap instead of tie. Just to be quicker and easier, and not to have laces get tangled if they would come untied. 
  • Overall, she loves everything about them.  
 From the Amazon Site:
  • Freestyle comfort fit boot with padded lining, reinforced heel support and lace closure.
  • Torsion Beam Chassis
  • 54mm Urethane Wheels
  • Excellerator 608ZB Bearings
  • High top boot for extra stability.

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They work well inside (inside the house, have not been to a rink), the garage and road. Although little rocks may toss you off kilter a little but not bad. After she outgrows these, we may see about an upgrade to the kind that switch from quad wheels like this for inside, to the roller blades for outside. I might even get a pair of roller blades too !

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Overall they are an excellent inexpensive beginner roller skate.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Foam Block Kitchen - Review Update

I previously did a review awhile back on these Play Foam Mat Pieces and just wanted to update that she still loves and plays with them very frequently. And it's amazing to me that she still finds new things to build with them. 

The favorite has got to be little houses to play, such as tent type stuff. 

Today though, we have a kitchen ! And Spencer is her best customer since she's using real food. 

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It would make it easier to share picture's if she'd wear clothes though. I don't think Spencer bothered to read the menu, he did ring the bell though.

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Another idea we love is to tape brown packaging paper to the floor. It's hours and hours of drawing and coloring fun.

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What ideas do your kids come up with for fun?

Do you have foam blocks like ours?

If your kids are couped up today, what did they do to keep busy?

Rolling Pin Guides - Review

Finally picked up a set of rolling pin guides. I've been wanting to try them for years.

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They came as 4 sets of 4 sizes. I don't use them for everything, but it nice to have perfectly even dough sometimes. Looks better. Bakes better.

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These are the sizes according to color.

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My rolling pin is a little thicker than many of them. Which made the green and blue just a touch hard to get on there.

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But once they were on there, it worked like a charm.

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We went with the biggest one for the Christmas sugar cookies we made back in December. We like 'em big ! No dainty princess bites with our cookies.

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Then I found myself a cute little helper. With lots of attitude, but cute.

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Rollin' like a boss. It did work great. We encountered no problems with them.

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It's just that you couldn't go any wider than the guides, or you'd go through your dough with it. I usually make a much larger piece of dough, larger than the pin, and roll the hole thing out. Seems to go quicker than using small amounts.  I would say that's the only drawback I had.

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I believe you can get them most anywhere, but I happen to pick these up at Walmart for a few bucks.

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This was the final outcome from the days work.

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We will forever be bakers with even dough from now on. 

Do you use rolling pin guides?

What all do you use them for?

What is your favorite thing to bake?

Kids Snack Box Craft

Just a quick gizmo she whipped up when she wanted a snack but didn't want to carry it so she could free up her hands and do other things.

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snack box for kids (2)

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Pretty creative, yet weird all at the same time.

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