Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coconut Poke Cake { The Non Traditional Birthday Cake}

It's my handsome husband's birthday today and he requested this Coconut Poke Cake to celebrate.  He's not a huge cake lover, but he loves coconut cake.  A friend at work made him this cake last year for his birthday and he LOVED it, so I got the recipe and I'm pretty sure this will become his yearly request.  I'm glad because it is so easy to make and super moist, coconutty, and delicious!

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large can of Coco Lopez (you can find this in the margarita section of your grocery store)
1 can sweeten condensed milk
1 large container of Cool Whip
shredded coconut

Directions:

Make the cake mix according to the box in a 9x13 cake pan.

After the cake is done baking, poke holes all over it with a fork.


Mix together the Coco Lopez and the sweetened condensed milk and pour it all over the cake.  I do this when the cake is still warm, but I'm sure you could let it cool completely and it wouldn't make a difference.

Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Here's what it looks like after it's chilled overnight in the fridge.


A bit before you need to serve the cake, add the Cool Whip and top with shredded coconut.  I toasted the coconut before I put it on, but you don't have to do this.


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Monday, August 26, 2013

KidKraft Noah's Ark Shape Sorter Review


KidKraft is one of the leading creators, manufacturer, and distributor of children's toys and furniture. Having been around since 1968, they take great pride in making superior quality wooden toys. Their goal is to inspire kids to use their imaginations with their creative wooden toys and play furnishings. They have everything from kitchen sets to Harley Davidson motorcycle rockers!  Here's a look at a few of the products from KidKraft:

All photos via KidKraft
We were sent the Noah's Ark Shape Sorter for review.

Photo via KidKraft
Most toddlers will start to develop the hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills they need to be able to sort around 15-18 months. Little Guy doesn't have any kind of shape sorter toy, so I thought this would be a great 1st birthday celebration present that he could enjoy for some time to come!  This solid wood shape sorter is really pretty and colorful!  It includes the Ark, Noah and his wife, and two of each of the following animals: lion, panda, turtle, dove, monkey, giraffe, and elephant.  The moment I pulled this toy out Little Guy was VERY interested.  He crawled right over and immediately took the top off the ark and started pulling out all of the animals. The animals are the absolute perfect size for little hands!


Obviously, this shape sorter doesn't use the traditional shapes for children to practice so it provides even more of a fun challenge for toddlers.  Little Guy is a little young to use this to try and sort the shapes to fit in the correct place, but he has enjoyed using it to practice taking out all of the shapes and putting them back in again.   Because it is solid wood the shapes make a good clinking noise when he puts them back into the ark.  He likes that a lot and it's not too loud for mom and dad compared to some of the other noisy toys out there.  This has actually kept him busy playing independently for 10-15 minutes at a time before, which has been great for me to get a little something done around the house while still keeping an eye on him.


Overall, we really love our KidKraft Noah's Ark Shape Sorter!  After experiencing the high quality of KidKraft toys I want to get so many other KidKraft toys for Little Guy too.  I think the Fire Station Set might be calling his name for a future birthday!

Follow & Connect:  You can like KidKraft on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Buy It:  Click here to find out where you can buy the Noah's Ark Shape Sorter.


Win It: Come back in September to enter to win your own KidKraft Noah's Ark Shape Sorter during the "One-derful" Birthday Bash!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

My First Disney Prince {A Tollytots Review}

I loved Disney when I was little. In fact, I still love it now and I can't wait for Little Guy to love it too! Luckily, Tollytots works with brands like Disney® and now our little ones can make some memories with the characters that we loved as children!

Tollytots sparks imagination, creativity and helps children to create countless playtime memories with their extensive line of dolls, accessories and preschool collections.  They have partnered with some of the most trusted and recognized brands in the world – including Fisher Price®, Graco® and, of course, Disney®.   Children as young as 6 months develop pretend play skills by nurturing and interacting with their toys from Tollytots. 

We were sent My First Disney Price Eric for review.
Photo via Tollytots
 “Before he grew up and swept Princess Ariel off her fins, Prince Eric was an adventurous boy with a love of the sea! A royally fun companion for girls and boys alike, this young Prince Eric doll is so handsome in his finest outfit. He and Ariel will make all your magical playtime dreams come true."

So, Little Mermaid was one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Disney movies as a little girl.  I absolutely LOVED this movie.  I remember watching it over and over with my sister every day for at least a month!  Actually, just the other day in the car we were listening to Pandora's Toddler Station and "Under the Sea" came on.  Now, that song is a classic!  Little Guy started giggling and laughing in his car seat, so I know he'll love Little Mermaid too when he gets old enough to watch it!  Needless to say, I was very happy that this would be Little Guy's first doll- it was perfect!  


The My First Disney Prince Eric is an all plastic doll with movable limbs.  It is approximately 15 inches high, and he comes wearing his signature prince outfit.  The only small part he came with that may pose a problem for infants is the cardboard Sebastian crab prop, but it is easily removed.  Little Guy liked playing with his Prince.  He's just starting to figure out what dolls and stuffed animals are, giving them hugs and things, so he will grow into liking this toy even more as he gets older.


My First Disney Prince Dolls come in Cinderella's Prince Charming, Little Mermaid's Prince Eric, and Rapunzel's Flynn Ryder.  These My First Disney Prince dolls are the perfect companion to the My First Disney Princess dolls seen below. They make for a great playtime friend! They’re also a wonderful alternative to buying a My First Disney Princess doll if your little one wants to play with a Prince!


Photos via Tollytots
TollyTots also sent Little Guy this super fun Safety First Cubikal Truck which he LOVES! They are the perfect first truck and the cubikals are all interchangeable with others in the line.

 Follow & Connect:  You can Like Tollytots on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Buy It:  You can buy the My First Disney Prince on Toysrus.com for $26.99



Win It: Come back in September to enter to win your own My First Disney Prince Eric from Tollytots during the "One-derful" Birthday Bash!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Help your toddler sleep comfortably with Bobbleroos! #1stBdayBash



BobbleRoos is a mom-owned and run business by Renee Sirulnik.  She always loved sewing and creating things.   Renee started off sewing baby blankets as gifts for her friends that were new moms and they loved them!   They loved the generous size, the soft fabrics, and the cuddle factor.  After starting a family, she decided to take the plunge to leave her job in the computer field and focus on her family and her Bobbleroos business.

Bobbleroos now has customers in all 50 states and many countries.  Their products are also used in several daycare facilities across the U.S., as well as the in-room cribs at a Hyatt Regency hotel in the Washington D.C. area.  Bobbleroos doesn’t just make baby blankets now.  They have also added toddler pillows, playard sheets, washcloths, bips, burp cloths, nap mat sheets, and larger supersize blankets for older kids!

I thought Bobbleroos would be perfect for a first birthday since Baby Boy will soon be able to  safely sleep with a little pillow and/or blanket now!  (As with many things related to parenting, the question of when to give your child a pillow is one with many different answers, and it is best to use your own best judgment based on the needs of your child.  It is not recommended before the age of 1 1/2.) Renee generously sent me the Toddler Pillow and Blanket Set in Playful Monkeys for review. 

This set features one toddler pillow with a matching standard size (35" x 44") baby blanket that is larger than most blankets and will last your child all the way into toddlerhood.  Our blanket was a great size.  Folded in half it was big enough to cover up Baby Boy and unfolded all the way it was a very generous size.  You child could definitely cuddle up nicely in this blanket!  The fleece fabric was not only cute, but ultra soft.  Bobbleroos even included a special card that told you the best way to wash and care for your new flannel blanket and pillow case to keep it in the best condition.


 I haven't let Baby Boy sleep at night with his pillow or blanket yet, but he loves to cuddle up on it when he's awake!  He loves pillows and thinks is so fun to lay his head down on them when we are playing.  (He's a funny kid!)   I think these will be perfect for him as he grows!  The pillow and blanket set are also great to take with you while you're traveling or even to daycare or grandma's house for nap time.  This toddler pillow/blanket set would also be a great gift item!  It can be personalized with your child's name to make it extra special. 

Follow & Connect: Like Bobbleroos on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Buy It: You can purchase your own toddler pillow and blanket set on the Bobbleroos website.


Win It: Come back in September to enter to win your own toddler pillow and blanket set in your choice of fabric (based on availability) during the "One-derful" Birthday Bash!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thick & Chewy M&M Bar Cookies


These are super yum and easy to whip up too!  If you're an M&M lover check out my M&M Bark for another salty, caramely, chocolately treat!  This recipe was adapted from Fantastic Family Favorites.

Ingredients:
2 1/8 cups flour (I used white wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 TBSPs butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 12oz bag M&M's


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Now you can either line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil or use a pan made for cookies.  If you line your pan make sure to let the excess foil  hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the bars from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.  I actually used my Pampered Chef Cookie Bar Stoneware.  I LOVE this pan!  It cooks cookies perfectly and never has to be lined or sprayed. 

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl and set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined.  Make sure you do not over mix the batter.

I had to taste test the corner!
Fold in 1 cup of M&M's and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Sprinkle remaining M&M's on top and press in slightly.  (My stoneware pan is actually bigger than the 9X13 recommended for use, so I just made sure to spread the dough accordingly and it baked just fine.)

Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown and slightly firm to the touch,  about 24-28 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.


If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amazing Lifelike Animals from Safari Ltd. {Review}

 

Safari Ltd. is a wonderful company who makes amazingly authentic, scale-model figures of so many different animals, dinosaurs, and even fantasy figures.  They come in a variety of sizes from the miniatures (found in the Toob collections) to their Jumbo Replicas.  Safari Ltd. replicas are intricately hand painted with amazing detail- they look identical to the real animals!


I was so excited to review some animals from Safari Ltd.!  We were sent the Wild Safari Giraffe Baby, Wild Safari Oragutan with Baby, Wild Safari Hippo Baby, Wild Safari African Elephant Baby, and the Wild Safari Alligator for review.
Safari Ltd. figurines are technically recommended for ages 3 and older.  I know that my little guy is still a little young to truly play with these, but every month he gets older I think he'll enjoy them even more.  Currently, he loves holding them as they are the perfect size for little hands.  As he gets older I know we'll enjoy these animals for all kinds of educational play, from sorting them by color or habitat to describing the features that make them unique.  All kids love animals though and these are perfect to add to any animal collection.


My nephew, who is almost two, absolutely loved playing with these animal figures when he was over visiting.  He knows most animals from books and trips to the zoo, so he was very interested in these replicas since they are so very lifelike and intricately designed and painted.  I even enjoyed "playing" animals with him. That's what so great about these- kids from 1 to 100 will be able to enjoy models from Safari Ltd. in some way, shape, or form.

Safari Ltd. doesn't just have animals though.  They also offer replicas of dragons, dinosaurs, pirates, fairies, knights, and more!  Children love the lively colors and textures, making these toys ideal for imaginative play.  No matter what your child is interested in, Safari Ltd. has the perfect educational toy for your child!  Your little one will love to play with these replicas for many years to come.  If your little one enjoys coloring and painting check out these Color to Discover pages from Safari Ltd.

Follow & Connect:  You can Like Safari Ltd. on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Buy It:  You can shop on your website or find a store near you.

Win It:  One lucky person is going to have a chance to win $30 in products of their choice from Safari Ltd. during my "One-derful" Birthday Bash Giveaway Event in September to help celebrate my son's 1st birthday! 


If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

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