switch & go dinosaur toys

This post brought to you by VTechKids. All opinions are 100% mine.

We’re a house of dinosaur lovers. We read books about dinosaurs, we’ve had a dinosaur birthday party (seen in Parents magazine… still tickled about that), we have tons of dinosaur toys and most recently picked out dinosaur decor for the little guys bedroom.

So when Vtech asked if I’d like to try out their new Switch & Go Dinos, I was all in and the boys were super excited telling me that I have the best job in the world. {grin}

The boys ripped open the packages immediately and quickly transformed the dinos back and forth between dinos and their alter ego car versions. They loved how super easy the toys are to transform (we have some that take forever and never quite look the same after the first transition…).

Then they took to the tall Jurassic ferns of my flower beds and the grasslands. And of course boys will be boys so they also had to ram them against each other a few times. I can say that both dinosaurs survived very well!

And I found them in some odd places… atop the tree house banister for one. {love this one}

Then they moved to racing them as cars on our chalk drawn super highway.

I can honestly say I wasn’t sure how my 7 year old, soon to be 8, would take to this toy. The proud momma in me isn’t a bit ashamed to say he’s advanced for his age (science, particularly physics, is his thing) but at the end of the day he’s still a kid and he played right along side his little brother, age 5, for almost two hours. Even through his dad gutting our downstairs bathroom and all the interesting things that come along with that. I can say I was a bit amazed.

Then, the next day, they played with them again all morning! Here’s why I think these toys kept their attention so long and continue to:

  • combines two boy favorites – dinosaurs and vehicles 
  • each toy has a LCD screen that allows the child to customize the animation, changing drivers when in vehicle mode and eyes when in dinosaur mode
  • dramatic dino and vehicle sounds that bring the toys to life with over 30 expressions when in dinosaur mode

My boys played with Sliver the T-Rex and Horns the Triceratops. These guys plus T-Don the Pteranodon and Tonn the Stegosaurus you can buy today on Amazon and Vtechkids.com for a suggested retail price of $15.99.

And this fall, three more Switch & Go Dinos will be available: Attila the Ankylosaurus (SRP: $24.99), Span the Spinosaurus (SRP: $29.99) and Brok the Brachiosaurus (SRP: $49.99). My youngest has already added T-Don the Pteranodon to his birthday list and both boys are eyeing Attila for their Christmas list!

Visit Amazon.com and VTechKids.com to start shopping Switch & Go Dinos now! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Sponsored blog post. All opinions are my own.

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win $500 Jo-Ann gift card!

I’m thrilled to share that Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is hosting a baby nursery inspiration contest! They want to see your creative baby nursery ideas.

To enter is simple! Just grab your video camera, or your smart phone, and take a quick video tour of your baby nursery sharing your crafts and ideas, upload the video to youtube and enter on the  Jo-Ann blog. They’ll share your entry on their pinterest board for all their readers to see! Deadline is June 30, 2012. Need a few video tips and want to learn more about the contest? Hop over to the Jo-Ann blog for all the details.

Jo-Anns will select their favorite and present a $500 Jo-Ann gift card plus a baby prize package! Woo Hoo! I wish my baby nursery was still intact. Sadly my littles are way past that stage and we’ve moved on to big boy rooms. {sniffle}

And if you don’t have ideas to share, but are looking for tons of inspiration for your own nursery, hop over to the Jo-Ann pinterest board to see all the lovely entries!

You can also follow Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores on Facebook and Twitter!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy Wednesday everyone!

Join The Celebration Shoppe on facebook, sign-up for the daily ideas to come right to your inbox (a box in the right-side navigation bar), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe

Sponsored blog post. All opinions are my own.

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patriotic cake + FREE printables

With Memorial Day only a few days away and summer about to kick into high gear, I wanted to create a super simple red, white and blue patriotic cake that you can put together in a snap! The first thing you need to do is:

DOWNLOAD my FREE Patriotic Party Printables

The set includes cupcake rounds (the circles embellishing this cake), a four pattern pennant banner and dessert tags (seen here with other holiday recipesthat you can edit within the file before you print!

Next, bake a cake and flat ice it with buttercream. (Tip: If you’re in a hurry, or just not confident of your icing skills, order one from your favorite bakery.)

Now, punch out the cupcake rounds with a 2.5″ circle punch. Hot glue the circle to the end of a lollipop stick (cut in half) and insert the stick into the cake. (Tip: See pictures of how easy this is in my Robot Birthday Party Cake post.)

Finally, edge your cake with red sixlets found at most any candy shop. I picked these up at Party City. (Tip: If you love the cake plate, it’s from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy’s.)

Hop over to Snackpicks.com to see more Memorial Day recipes! As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join The Celebration Shoppe on facebook, sign-up for the daily ideas to come right to your inbox (a box in the right-side navigation bar), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe

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Memorial Day recipes with Kellogg’s

For my latest project with Snackpicks.com, Kellogg’s and Tastefully Simple teamed up for the perfect combination of Town House Sea Salt and Olive Oil Flatbread Crisps and a Smokey Cheddar Cheese Ball, among other fabulous summer recipes.

With Memorial Day coming and summer BBQs on my calendar, I decided to serve them in mini cups (clear plastic found at most grocery stores) for outdoor events and easy cleanup.

I also chose to bring some color to an otherwise rather dull plate, by trimming and inserting a fun patriotic polka dot pattern under my cups. This sheet and the dessert label in the first image, are both part of my latest FREE printable, along with cupcake rounds and a four pattern banner.

Download my FREE Patriotic Printables now!

And as a bonus, you’ll find my FREE Teacher Appreciation candy bar wrapper printables at the end of the file too. Each can be edited directly in the document with Adobe Reader. No special application or version necessary!

More to come on my easy, ready in five minutes, red white and blue patriotic cake in my next post! In the meantime, hop over to Snackpicks.com for several more fabulous  and “simple” Memorial Day recipes that will have your guests coming back for more! 

Enjoy the FREE patriotic printables and as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join The Celebration Shoppe on facebook, sign-up for the  daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe

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dark chocolate coconut banana bites

I whipped these dark chocolate coconut banana pudding bites up for my latest post with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com. And let me tell you, it all sounded yummy in my head and then I made it. Oh my!

This might be the best “sophisticated” dessert I’ve ever created. You did know that putting any dessert in a small tasting glass makes it sophisticated, right? Just wanted to make sure. {wink}

This super simple recipe highlights the new Keebler Chips Deluxe Dark Chocolate Chunk cookie. {YUM!}

And it would be perfect for a bumble bee baby shower or bridal shower (see my full printable party collection), or any kind of tasting party for that matter.

I promise… you won’t be disappointed! It is so delish! You can hop over to Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com for the recipe and how tos. As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join me on facebook, sign-up for my daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow me on twitter and pinterest.

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honey mustard chicken bites

My two boys are the pickiest eaters ever. EVER! Okay, my youngest will at least try new things from time to time, but my oldest only eats five things. Nope, I’m not teasing. He eats peanut butter, cheese, honey and bread/crackers/cereal and apples. Thank goodness for the apples!

Don’t yell at me yet. I DO try. I swear I do, but my oldest is stubborn. I can’t imagine where he gets that from. {grinning smirk}

So recently I hosted a small dinner party and I took the Hellmann’s® Chicken Change-Up picky eaters challenge! Hellmann’s® “Chicken Change-Up” aims to help parents manage dinner dilemmas in kitchens across America – and they’d love to know what’s happening at your house!

For the kids menu I had my boys help. I started off by showing them all of the ingredients before mixing/preparing. They were on board with the cornflakes, the chicken, the Hellmann’s® Light Mayonnaise, but then I got a “nuh-uh” look when I brought out the Hellmann’s® Honey Mustard. Then my oldest saw the word “Honey,” and we were back on again. {wink}

I find that letting them help, makes them more likely to try new things too. So I let them crush the cornflakes. That’s the most fun anyway! Right?!

It’s really super simple. Just mix 6 tbsp of Hellmann’s® Light Mayonnaise to 1 tbsp of Hellmann’s® Honey Mustard. Split your mixture into two bowls using  half to coat your chicken and saving the other half for dipping later. Once coated in mixture, bread in crushed cornflakes and then bake. Its as simple as 1-2-3. For full ingredients for this recipe, steps and cooking instructions, visit Hellmann’s.com. 

They were a huge hit! And not only did we make these fabulous Hellmann’s® Honey Mustard Chicken Bites,  

I served cake (decorated with printables that you will soon be able to download for free!),

and s’more brownie bites! YUM! I hope you’ll plan some of these fabulous recipes for your next family gathering! 

 ~~~ SHARE your ideas & ENTER to win $5,000!~~~

By the way, from now until April 30, 2012, parents across the country can participate in the Hellmann’s® Chicken Change-up by trying one of the featured Hellmann’s® chicken recipes, sharing their recipe reviews and providing their own advice for managing dinnertime obstacles. After participating, consumers can enter into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a $5000 grocery store gift card and other daily prizes.[1]

Visit and like Hellmann’s® on facebook to see what other moms are doing and to enter your reviews and advice!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join me on facebook, sign-up for my daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow me on twitter and pinterest.

[1] NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Hellmann’s Chicken Change-Up is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Begins 12:00 PM ET on 03/01/12 & ends 11:59 AM ET on 04/30/12. For official rules, visit the ‘Chicken Change-Up’ tab on the Hellmann’s Facebook page at  http://on.fb.me/ChixChngUp

I received compensation from Hellmann’s for this post. But you ladies know me, all opinions stated are my own. I would have it no other way!

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bugs & butterfly birthday cake

For my most recent post with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com, I created an easy to decorate bugs & butterfly birthday cake, bumble bee cookies and a colorful favor idea that will have all your guests buzzing!

Hop over to Snackpicks for all the how to details, tips on applying your decorations and lots of photos!

And hop over to my shoppe to see more of my bugs & butterflies printable birthday party collection!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join me on facebook, sign-up for my daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow me on twitter and pinterest.

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stadium of Cheez-It fans

For my most recent project with Kellogg’s Snackpicks, I created a fun and simple idea for the upcoming Super Bowl party season. I know what you’re thinking, these aren’t going to be the Super Bowl colors! That’s because this project was created months ago. But now with the game only a few weeks away and with the teams being finalized soon, I’m thinking it might be fun to update these as a little free printable?! {smile} UPDATE: FREE 2012 printables are posted! AND 2013 Super Bowl party templates are posted!

For the stadium, I just picked up a wire spice rack, filled cupcake liners with my favorite Cheez-Its, there are tons of flavors, wrapped them in these little cups, gave them some pennants and done!

These could be great for all kinds of snacks too. Kellogg’s has these fabulous 100 calorie pack mini cookies that would be a perfect fit. They even have white chocolate covered pretzel hitting the shelves this month and they are super yummy! Confession: I had a bag last night with my evening cup of coffee… and I didn’t even feel guilty about it! {smirk}

Hop over to Kellogg’s Snackpicks for tons of Super Bowl recipes ideas too, like mini chipotle hamberger sliders, bruschetta bites, brownie rainbow pie and more! And no worries, I’ll link the free printables back to this post as soon as they’re ready! UPDATE: FREE 2012 printables are posted! And 2013 Super Bowl party templates are posted!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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Sierra Mist giveaway winner!

Thanks to all who entered our Sierra Mist giveaway and congrats to Jenny of Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line for winning a Sierra Mist Natural gift pack (shaker, drink garnish/sugars, party glasses) & a $50 AMEX Gift Card!

Jenny said “We made Ka-POW PUNCH for my son’s super hero birthday party by mixing Sierra Mist, Hawaiian Punch, and frozen Blue Raspberry Kool Aid star shaped ice cubes. It was a huge hit!”

You can find more recipes on Sierra Mist’s facebook page and make sure to checkout my Valentine party punch too!

Winners are selected via random.org. Thanks to all who entered!

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Valentine party punch + giveaway

My Christmas decorations aren’t all put away yet and my brain has already moved on to Valentine’s. I know… it’s just who I am. {snicker}

Over the holidays my sister-in-law made this incredible punch and she had kids and adults alike clammmoring for it. It was fabulous. I took her idea, tweaked it just a bit (thanks Norma!) and came up with this Valentine party punch!  

Here’s what you’ll need per flute serving (punch bowl):

    • 1/3 Sierra Mist Natural (2 liter)
    • 1/3 tropical punch (2 liter)
    • 1/3 scoop pineapple sherbet (1/2 gallon)

Oh, and there’s a GIVEAWAY! {Yay! Free Stuff!} ~ win a Sierra Mist Natural gift pack (shaker, drink garnish/sugars, party glasses) & a $50 AMEX Gift Card

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this page telling me your most creative cocktail/mocktail recipe idea. You never know, it might just wind up on Sierra Mist’s facebook page! Hint. Hint.

Deadline: January 5, 2012 at 11:59pm Eastern Time

Extra Entries (leave a comment for EACH extra entry!):

  • Like Sierra Mist on facebook
  • Like The Celebration Shoppe on facebook (existing and new counts!)
  • Follow Sierra Mist (@SierraMist) and The Celebration Shoppe (@celebshoppe) on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Something like: Head over to win a $50 AMEX card and entertaining pack from @SierraMist & @celebshoppe ~ goo.gl/fb/knJH9
  • Sign up for The Celebration Shoppe updates through my RSS feed (upper right sidebar); if already signed up just leave a note letting me know.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join us on facebook, sign-up for our daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow us on twitter and pinterest.

{NOTE: This post was sponsored by Sierra Mist Natural, however, all opinions are my own. You guys know I don’t write about things I don’t like. That would be too much like work!}

No purchase necessary to enter. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States. Winner will be selected at random using Random.org. All entries received after the giveaway closing day and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winners will be notified via email. 
 

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