The Mommyhood Life

Holiday Gift Guide

The Christmas Pickle Tradition!

We have started a new Christmas tradition.  The Christmas Pickle Tradition!  I am so excited about this, I am always looking for fun ways to make more memories during the holidays with kids and The Pickle Tradition does just that.
I had heard my family joke with my father about hiding a pickle at Christmas over the years , because he is German and I guess they had heard about a German version of this tradition.  However we never took part in it and I never understood how anyone would hide a pickle.  For some reason I was imagining an actual pickle and couldn’t comprehend making my house smell like dill pickles for Christmas day.  
Well the jokes on me, The Christmas Pickle Tradition set showed up on my doorstep and I am in love with this adorable tradition and so excited to be starting it with my children.  They are excited about the potential to win an extra gift.
Here is how The Christmas Pickle Tradition works:
Enclosed in the kit is;
Pickle Ornament
A Note from Santa Claus
Annual Pickle Finder Tracker
The Pickle Tradition Book
A Note From Santa,
Leave me the Pickle.  To hang on your tree. By the milk and cookies. Is where it should be. When the morning time comes. No sneaking, be smart! You must wait for your family. For the search to start. On the count of three. Little feet start to run.  The search for the pickle.  Has finally begun! The lucky child. Who spots it on the tree.  Will receive the first present. A gift just from me.
The book tells the story of one of Santa’s mischievous elves, Pickle, and how he learns about the magic of giving over the Christmas season.
The Christmas Pickle Tradition retails for $29.99 and is available at ChristmasPickleTradition.com 
This is such a fun set and the kids cant get enough of the book and hearing Pickle the elf’s story.  This will be our first year hiding the pickle and we cant wait to start this great tradition that will surely last for generations!

Awesome New Games to Put Under The Tree This Year!

Product samples were submitted for review, all opinions are my own.
I love buying games for the kids.  Whether I’m getting games for family game night, games they can play alone, or games that will keep them entertained together so that I can get some things done.  With electronics and the kids always wanting more screen time, buying them a game that makes them want to put down the device and work their brain while bonding with each other and me seems like a perfect gift.
This holiday season I have come across some fun new games that I am excited to be playing with my munchkins.  Take a look, these will be great additions under your tree too!
This is a very exciting game that is perfect for keeping the everyone laughing.  Just add some whipped cream onto the hand of the game unit and start turning the handles. It can go off at any time so each player turns the handle in suspense hoping their not the one to get hit in the face!
The Riddle Edition Treasure Hunt game is a seek and find literacy game that combines thinking skills and physical activity.  Children read the clues and solve the riddles to find the next location for the next clue.  This is a fun and educational game that keeps the kids thinking and moving.
A fun science kit that lets you conduct multiple colorful experiments by just adding milk.
A trivia game that helps you learn the flags of all the countries of the world plus different facts about each country.  Anthony loves this game and it really has helped teach him so much about the geography of the world.
A perfect travel game that can be played alone or against an opponent.  There are several different games that can be played using different rules and pressing the bubbles on the grid game board. 

Players roll the Beanie Boo’s die to move along the game board. Be the first player to collect all your cute character’s shapes to win the game.  A fun game that helps memorization skills while learning colors, numbers, and shapes.
Another easy travel game, players take turns pressing down mouses in a single row.  The player who presses down the last mouse loses. 

Linknotize is a card game that asks you to use a device to click your way between two unrelated topics until you connect them.  Roll the dice, select two topics, set the timer for three minutes, click through Wikipedia and get Linknotized!

War Room DVD Review and Giveaway!

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
I am so excited to share this War Room review and giveaway with you.  From the first time I saw the preview, I couldn’t wait to see this movie and was counting down the days till it was released on DVD.
If you havent seen the preview take a look:
About War Room:
From the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageous comes WAR ROOMa compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships, and every other area of our lives.  
Tony and Elizabeth Jordan seemingly have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house.  But appearances can be deceiving.  Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage.  While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth’s bitterness only increases. 
But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth’s newest client, Miss Clara, challenges Elizabeth to a prayer “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family.  As Elizabeth begins to fight for her family, Tony must decide if he will make amends.
As Miss Clara wisely says, “Victories don’t come by accident!” A #1 movie in theaters, WAR ROOM is filled with more of the authentic characters loved by millions in previous Kendrick Brothers’ films and a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon.  

What I Thought:
I watched War Room over the weekend with my husband and we both loved it.  It is such an empowering and moving movie that spoke to us in so many ways.
The power of prayer is incredible and this movie brings that to life and puts it in front of us in an entertaining way.  As the movie ended, I thought to myself “man my prayer like is luke warm too” and this movie gave me a boost to get my passion for the Lord back on fire.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this movie yet, I definitely recommend seeing it!
Connect with War Room
Now for some fun, a Giveaway!
Enter to win a copy of the DVD War Room
Giveaway ends December 28, 2015
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification

American Girl Bitty Baby Doll: The Best Christmas Gift for Your Little Girl

Product sample was submitted for review, all opinions are my own.
As I have mentioned before, Lilly is a huge American Girl fan!  She loves everything about this brand and visiting the American Girl Doll store is one of her favorite activities.  The first doll she ever received from American Girl was a Bitty Baby, on her 1st birthday my cousin introduced us to this wonderful world of dolls and we have been loyal customers ever since.

Do you have a little girl that’s 1-5 years old?  Then the American Girl Bitty Baby doll is a perfect gift for this holiday season. 

American Girl Bitty Baby Dolls are known for their high quality and are the perfect size for 3 and 4 years old girls. The body is made of cuddly cloth with smooth vinyl head and limbs.

The Bitty Baby dolls are also available in several different skin tones, eye colors and hair colors.  This way every little girl can find a doll that looks like them. 
The Bitty Baby Doll collection has everything for little mommies, including furniture, strollers, diaper bags, and carriers.  The accessory Lilly loved the most was the coordinating outfits for the dolls and girls.  She used to love dressing up to match her baby and now she still can’t get enough of dressing up like her other American Girl Dolls.
These dolls retail at $60 and are quality dolls that are made to last.  Even if your doll has an accident, there is the Doll Hospital that can bring her back to life.
Lilly once left her beloved doll in the living room, later that night my husband unknowingly let our puppy downstairs for the evening.  We woke up to a crying toddler and a half stuffed doll with a chew mark in her body.  With an everyday doll from a local department story, the doll would have been trashed.  However with American Girl, Lilly was able to pack up her precious baby and send it in to the Doll Hospital.  She was all fixed up and sent back in a hospital gown with a doctors note.
Lilly still loves her Bitty Baby and it has been her go to doll when playing mommy for over 5 years now.  If your looking for an extra special present this year, make sure you head to the American Girl Doll Store.
Connect with American Girl

Guitar Hero Live for XBox 360! #HolidayGiftGuide

Product sample was submitted for review, all opinions are my own.

 About Guitar Hero Live:
GuitarHero Live is a fun game that’s not only fun for the entire family, it can place
everyone into a live concert. Your friends and family become the band, and
experience a live first person view of the audience as you perform on real
guitars. You become the rock star as you interact with the audience. But you’d
better play your best, as that can affect the audience feedback.

Guitar
Hero Live is the new release on XBox360, increasing the musical experience from
the first Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero Live allows you to try playing the smaller
clubs first, to get experience. Then when you’re ready, you get to rock it out
at two major outdoor music festivals. 

Experience
Rock the Block in Boulder City, and SoundDial in the UK. Rock the Block is
beginning to take center stage as the most popular outdoor music fest in the
USA. Each year it becomes larger, and encourages the audience to join in.
SoundDial is the largest outdoor music event in the UK, with about 300,000
visitors each year. The audience can experience music in the lovely English
countryside, and people of all ages and walks of life attend.

Guitar
Hero Live allows two different ways to play. You can play as a band with a real
crowd and live interaction. Or you can play GHTV, with its music video network.
While you can play Guitar Hero Live without an internet connection, if you
choose to play on GHTV you will require one.
The
library of music videos is constantly growing, so players will never grow
bored. GHTV allows for a continual broadcast of music videos. This enables you
to play your guitar controller and be the main star. There are hundreds of
music videos available, and the manufacturer is constantly adding new ones.
GHTV has two different channels that work twenty-four hours a day. There is
also additional game play where you can unlock premium shows, brand new videos,
live concert footage of your favorite bands, and many other prizes.
Players
will have access to hundreds of songs on Guitar Hero Live, and more are being
added constantly. Guitar Hero Live also offers the option to play it live on
your smart phone, tablet, or other select devices. There are a variety of
different music genres, so the music lover will find plenty to enjoy.
In
the box you’ll receive a Guitar Hero controller. It features six different
buttons, that are presented into a two row design. Each set of buttons takes
you up to a higher level. Beginners can easily start learning with three button
play. For masters, they can use all six buttons for more challenging play.
GuitarHero Live for XBox 360 retails for around $90, making it an affordable
addition to your game play.
 
What We Think:
If
your family loves live concerts they can take center stage and have fun placing
themselves into live concerts with the Guitar Hero Live for XBox 360 gaming
package.
This is a great game for the whole family, my kids loved it.  Lilly and Anthony my two music lovers thought the idea of playing a guitar on stage in a game was the most fascinating thing ever.  However the fun didn’t stop with the kids,  My husband can’t get enough of jamming out on Guitar Hero Live with his brother and nephews.  Plus my parents have watched the kids play and have said time and again that they cant wait to play it while spending Christmas with us.
This is definitely a great game for so many age ranges, and blast to play!  Make sure to add it to your holiday shopping list for the gamer in your life!
Get Social with Guitar Hero Live:

Anthony’s Favorite National Geographic Kids Books #HolidayGiftGuide

We received several books from National Geographic Kids and Anthony was thrilled!  Anthony loves science, it is his biggest passion.  Everything about science, from home kits and experiments to science class at school, he just thrives at it all.  He also wants to know as much information as possible about everything he see’s.

  Museums are his favorite place to visit and he doesn’t just run though looking at the items that excite him or use the hands on things,  Anthony wants to read every plaque of facts attached to every exhibit.  I love seeing his thirst for knowledge, knowing his struggles with a language delay he easily could have become frustrated and gave up.  However he has the opposite effect when he loves the subject.  As a science lover and a boy who always wants to know every fact about EVERYTHING, National Geographic books are the best!  They are always jam packed with information about all sorts of things and the information is presented in such a fun and cool way.  
This holiday season these are the 4 books he has been obsessed with: 

I loving how much he is enjoying these books, and how proud he feels when he tells others some facts he has learned.
These are definitely great books for children!

Holiday Gift Buying Made Easy with COTY Fragrance Gift Sets #GiftingAMemory

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiftingAMemory #CollectiveBias
Christmas is next week and if you haven’t crossed everyone off  your shopping list by now your probably stressing.  I know I am.  Seriously, this year seems to be going by a lot faster than past years.  I haven’t even gotten the kids to the mall to see Santa yet, never mind finished my shopping.

Luckily COTY Fragrance Gift Sets are an easy option that I can grab while doing my everyday shopping at Walmart.  
Unlike other quick gifting options, fragrance gift sets are not only convenient but also a thoughtful gift.  Do you have someone on your list that is particularly hard to shop for?  I do, this year it seems to be Anthony.
Anthony has been doing great with his transition into middle school.  He has signed up and participated in countless activities and sport, and is really coming out of his shell.  However he has become one of the most difficult kids to buy gifts for.
He says he is to old for most toys and that they are boring.  Plus he already has way to much of the things he is interested in such as building kits and sports equipment.  
His wish list this year only included a few electronics.  However because the little ones still believe in Santa I want to fill in under the tree a bit more with gifts for Anthony so that Santa does an even delivery.
I picked up the Nautica Voyage Fragrance Gift Set for Anthony and I can’t wait to gift it to him.  He is at the stage where he makes sure his outfits are cool, his sneakers are nice, and he has been asking about cologne.
He’s also reached the age that he is coming home with quite the stench from all the sports he loves.  So this is really a family gift!  In all seriousness though, I think a fragrance set is a perfect gift for anyone, but especially a tween/teen.
When you smell a certain fragrance it automatically conjures up memories.  I want to create as many great memories as I can before he is grown, and he is growing up fast.  What better memory to have attached to a scent than of Christmas morning.
  If I smell the perfume I was wearing on my wedding day, I suddenly remember that day down to the tiniest detail.  When I smell the cologne my husband was wearing when we met it brings a smile to my face, and if I smell the fragrance my grandmother used to wear it brings tears to my eyes. 
Our sense of smell has remarkable effects when creating memories and we usually don’t realize it until we smell the same scent again. Unlike other meaningless gift options, a gift of fragrance leaves a lasting impression.  I hope when Anthony smells the Nautica Voyage scent in the future that it always brings back memories of his family around the Christmas tree and how loved he is.
Ready to feel the satisfaction of finishing your holiday shopping?  Let COTY fragrance sets bring ease to your gift buying this year.  COTY offers a number of scents including gift sets from Stetson, Vera Wang, Katy Perry, Beyonce, and more.  With the vast selection you’re sure to find a scent to match all your loved ones.  Plus check out all these great ways to gift a memory this holiday season.

Trrtlz Bracelets Share Your Adventure ~ Review and Giveaway!

This product was submitted for review, all opinions and stories are my own.
Have you seen these cool new animal stretch bracelets yet?  Colorful, meaningful, and fun, Trrtlz has taken the “friendship bracelet” concept to a whole new level!
Trrtlz bracelets are available in 12 different lines, each with different animal beads.
Trrtlz CLASSIC, Trrtlz FLUO, ELEPHANTZ
OWLZ, MONKEYZ, PENQUINZ
PIGZ, FROGZ, GIRAFFEZ
DRAGONZ, WHALEZ, SKULLZ
Each animal line is available in different 10 soft pretty colors.  Each color symbolize a different personality trait.
The concept is that you give them to friends and loved ones while sharing lives adventures.
As you wear them, the color fade and become truly unique to each bracelet.  Then as you find someone you want to give a bracelet to, your sharing your adventures with them.
These are have such a meaningful concept and a fun accessory.
Learn more about Trrtlz here!
Get Social with Trrtlz
Giveaway
Enter to win a set of Trrtlz Bracelets!
Giveaway ends: December 21st, 2015

A Day In The Shoes of a Busy Mom ~ Holiday Edition! Plus Fun Mommy and Me Styles!

The holiday season is upon us, Christmas is in 10 days! Can you believe it?  I can’t, I feel like it’s still fall, which means I am stressed, busy and stressed.
Like most women, I like shoes, I love shoes, they take my stress away!  So let’s talk shoes.

These December days I am running from stores to the gym, then to appointments, school events, family parties, and local traditions.  Then there is all the little things that make the holiday special like holiday movies with the kids, baking, and building gingerbread houses.  Add to that my everyday chores, this being the busiest time for blogging, and that stupid elf that I keep forgetting to move, let’s just say I’m not getting much sleep.  I bet most work at home mommy’s aren’t this month.  
However I have come-up with a wardrobe kit that has taken the stress out of getting ready for all this holiday fun, and of course each outfit is centered around shoes!
I am trying to consolidate my daily errands into one trip during this month.  That means if I’m going holiday shopping or to a doctors appointment, I am also going to the gym.  This means I have been breaking in my awesome new Flex Experience RN 4 Running Nike Sneakers.  I pair them with my yoga pants and workout top and I am off.  I am often speed walking through stores anyways so why not be comfortable in my gym clothes.  Plus it is so much nicer to get home without achy feet!
For all the school functions and blogger luncheons, yoga pants are not very appropriate so my favorite pair of jeans and a comfortable sweater or blouse match perfectly with these XOXO black Mace booties!  They are remarkable comfortable for heels and they pull every outfit together, making even my worn in jeans look vamped up.
I’m a work at home mom and my husband is self employed, so we don’t have any fancy parties to attend.  However we do have lots of family parties and outings all month long and two things are important for these.  One, an ugly sweater.  They are everywhere this year, and every party I’ve been invited to has had the word “Ugly Sweater” attached. Two, it’s chilly outside in New England.  Walking around looking at Christmas lights is not fun if your toes are frozen numb.  This is why Lilly and I are in love with our matching BearPaw Emma Short Black Winter Boots!  They are comfy, keep my feet toasty warm, and their cute.  Even better Famous Footwear has them for both women and kids, so we get to do the whole ‘Mommy and Me” thing with our matching sweaters of course!
Once all these outings, errands, and parties are over I get to do what I love most about the holidays.  Get in our Pj’s, turn lights on the tree, grab some hot chocolate, turn on the Christmas movies, and cuddle up with my babies.  However Famous Footwear has added an amazing cuteness factor to even that!  Coordinating Minnetonka Britt Trapper slippers for women and kids.
This holidays season will pass very fast, like past years.  The stress is there, but I’m just trying to steal a little peace to savor the Christmas memories while my children are still young.  Even if the big smiles are being delivered from shoes.  I love getting inspiration from #ohsofamous and having fun exploring what others are wearing, Check it out  and see the variety that Famous Footwear offers.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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