All posts in Parenting

Vtech nnotab 3S Kid connect tablet.

VTech Tablet for Kids

I am proud to be writing about VTech toys today as part of a sponsored campaign with Social Moms. I was always a wooden toy kind of mom but when my kids were young, I would buy a few times a year, very carefully, a “bells and whistles” electronic toy for them. It might be for Christmas or a birthday. It had to have an educational angle to it or be a toy that had longevity. And it was ALWAYS a VTech toy.

There was the Alphabet Apple. I think that was the first VTech toy I bought. The new one comes with numbers; ours didn’t. My kids liked lugging it around by the handle though they didn’t play with this as much I would have liked.

The VTech Driving Toy was gold for me. This looked fun so I bought it and it entertained my kids for a very long time. My kids loved shifting gears while steering the driver’s wheel and I liked that there was an educational element hidden as they happily drove.

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hair chalk

PickyKidPix Wants This: Hair Chalk (and a discount coupon)

PickyKidPix is obsessed with hair styling which she is learning via YouTube videos, mostly through Cute Hair Styles. She’s watched all 200+ of them. I can actually recognize the videos from the audio alone!!

She gotten quite good at complex braids and have moved on to hot styling products including curling irons and flat irons. When I told her I had an offer to try out Hair Chalk, she was all over it! “YES!”, she said. And her disdain for my blogging has moved incrementally but slightly in a more favorable position.

hair chalkRead more…

wonder Twitter Party

Twitter Party Tonight to Win Signed Copies of Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I am excited to be co-hosting a Twitter party of behalf of Wonder by R. J. Palacio! This is one of my favorite books of all time. I met author R. J. Palacio at an Understanding Our Differences event last year and truly think this is wonderful book to give any child, ages 9 and up. You can win a signed copy tonight too!

There is a special guest attending tonight … and mum’s the word who it is. I hope it is author R. J. Palacio! She is such a nice person that I’d love for you to meet her too!

R J Palacio and Mia Wenjen PragmaticMom Wonder

To win signed copies of Wonder and twenty $20 gift card prizes, please go here to Social Moms to RSVP for the Twitter party. You must RSVP to win!

Date: Dec 12, 2013
Time: 4-5pm PST (7-8 EST)
Hashtag: #TheWonderOfWonder
Hosts: @socialmoms
Co-Host: @pragmaticmom
Sponsor: @randomhousekids

We are giving away signed copies of Wonder as the grand prizes and twenty additional $20 gift card prizes!

  • Five $20 gift cards will be randomly awarded to participants tweeting an invitation to their followers before the party using the  #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag.

Tweet this: RSVP to #thewonderofwonder party, 12/12, 4-5pm PST!! Don’t miss this profile of the author:

  • Fifteen $20 gift cards will be randomly awarded to participants tweeting with the  #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag during the party.
  • Two grand prize winners will receive a signed copy of  Wonder. They will be randomly awarded to a party participant tweeting with the #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag during the party.

(Please see pre-party official rules & Twitter party official rules)

Random drawing winners will be notified within 24 hours of the event on the @socialmoms Twitter page and via DM or @ reply on Twitter. Please make sure you are following @socialmoms so SocialMoms can contact you!

We hope you can join us as we talk about the importance of being kind to others! You’ll be entered for a chance to win prizes just by participating during the party. Also, we will have a special guest attending, so you don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Please make sure you follow @socialmoms, @pragmaticmom and @randomhousekids on Twitter before the party!


wonder Twitter Party

The Night Before Christmas picture book giveaway Holly Hobbie

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza

Youth Literature Reviews and Mother Daughter Books Reviews are back with another Kid Lit Giveaway Hop! This time around is our Holiday Extravaganza. I’m excited to be participating!

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza

My giveaway is picture book The Night Before Christmas by Holly Hobby, poem by Clement C. Moore. I love the watercolor illustrations of this wonderful holiday classic.

The Night Before Christmas picture book giveaway Holly Hobbie

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12 Days of Shopping

Gift Guides If You Need Ideas

If you are in the thick of holiday shopping and need ideas, I’m pulling up my gift guides from my archives in hopes they will be helpful to you.

Capability:Mom and I did two years of The 12 Days of Shopping which covered all our gift categories from kids making gifts to tutor gifts.

12 Days of Shopping

The 12 Days of Shopping

Saturday, December 1:  Make Your Own Gifts with granola two ways. Hers and Mine.

Sunday, December 2:  Kids Make Gifts Craft, Clove Fruit and Crafts.

Monday, December 3: Personalized Gifts, Hers and Mine.

Tuesday, December 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom Read more…

Angry Birds Space Hogs on Mars K'NEX giveaway

Angry Birds Space Hogs on Mars K’NEX GIVEAWAY

K’NEX toys have worked wonderfully to keep my son off screens, if only for a short time. I found this in the living room, after hearing my son and his middle sister, PickyKidPix, playing together for a few hours. They don’t get along that well, so this K’NEX roller coaster is a miracle of collaborative play! This is what they built:

roller coaster K'NEX building toyRead more…

driving an toy car, epic parent. power wheels

Sponsored Video: Be The Most Epic Parent Ever

This post is sponsored by Power Wheels.

My kids have never had those large electic vehicles and they would agree emphatically that I am not an epic parent. More of a nagging, annoying kind of parent. We just don’t have the space either in our back yard to ride it nor in our garage which strongly is packed to the gills with bicycles, sleds, snow shovels and other gardening junk.

A few of their friends have these ride on epic toys. PickyKidPix spent a happy afternoon a few years ago riding her friend Caroline’s large electric jeep toy. Caroline’s parents said that the toy car actually got a lot of use though mostly from playdates.

There are downsides to large electric vehicle toys:

  • expensive
  • takes up space to store
  • not used frequently

… but here’s an unexpected upside. I think these large car toys help teach kids driving skills. A life skill that kids will need. Read more…

5 social media mistakes to avoid

5 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

One of my readers asked me to blog what I did to grow my blog thus far so this post if for that person. I will use boxing as an analogy because 1) the road to mastery is not so different and 2) an analogy always helps, doesn’t it? It does for me at least.

Here are 5 social media mistakes to avoid that I made but you don’t have to!


1. It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

We’ve all heard about bloggers who seem to be huge overnight (ok, perhaps not overnight but within one year of blogging) and the inevitable reaction is, “I must be doing something wrong!”

There are no shortcuts my friends, in boxing, or in growing your social media or blogging audience. At least for mere mortals.

For boxing, the building block is jump roping with a goal of 15 minutes for a warm up. That seems like a lofty goal. Jumping for two minutes with frequent entanglements was a huffing and puffing challenge for me. But now, I set a clock and just try  for 15 minutes. I can’t do it continuously. But it’s amazing how much you can improve if you just log in 15 minutes three times a week. Read more…

ebay collections

New eBay Collections Make Holiday Shopping Easy!

Do you have people in your life that are difficult to shop for? My husband fits that category. He’s a minimalist but luckily he collects a few items relating to golf. He’s particular but he collects certain golf books (I have to run them by him to make sure they make the cut) and Scotty Cameron head covers and putters.

eBay golf collectables

The Life Magazine featuring Ben Hogan is highly collectable. I found one in a used bookshop years ago for a Father’s Day gift. He’d love a few more to gift to his golf friends. Read more…