Gift Ideas, Holiday Shopping, Kids, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

Toy Buying Guide and 5 Tips to Consider

Whether it is for Christmas, donations, a kids birthday invite or relatives celebration it can be hard to decide the right gift when buying toys for kids of other families. You can always put an ask out, but that always ends up with a general answer and you still remain clueless. There are toys that have a lot of pieces and would it be too advanced or toys that are loud and would their parents be highly unappreciative. Their are lists of top toys of the year available and if you’re lucky you can locate one, but what if you can’t?

toy buying toys
Source: Pixabay

I have reached out to a few experts who share some toy buying tips for you:

1.Sandra Magura of Simply Pinspired and Author of HippoDuck says:

We take the kids to local toy stores and toy areas and when they see things they like/want we put them on the amazon list. We then share our lists with our family and they can purchase what they want. That way we don’t get doubles, they don’t get things that are

2. Stevanne Auerback a.k.a. Dr Toy’s FREE printable List of Questions to Consider When Toy Buying <<click HERE>>

3. To see an Age-by-Age Toy Buying Guide from Genius of Play <<Click Here>> 

4. Tanya Mitchell of Learning RX on choosing toys for children with learning struggles:

Look for toys that build cognitive skills, the foundational tools that help us think, learn, read and remember,” advises Tanya Mitchell, VP of Research & Development for LearningRx (www.LearningRx.com), the world’s largest one-on-one brain training company. “For example, the game Simon, which uses tones and lights to create a pattern, builds visual processing, short-term memory, attention and processing speed. Battleship requires logic & reasoning, working memory, planning and problem solving. If you have a grandchild with attention struggles, look for toys that work on attention. If your nephew struggles with math, look for toys that develop mental math, numerical concepts and math computations. We have a free three-page Games for Skills chart of well-known games, which can be downloaded at www.unlocktheeinsteininside.com to help determine which toys might work best for particular skill building.

ParentingHealthy.com has your Toy Buying Guide with tips and toy suggestions Click To Tweet

My list of favorite toys by age (contains affiliate links):

Baby: VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck

Toddler: Little Tikes Bath Drums

Preschool: Alex Jr. Tots Art Start

Elementary: Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Tween: Poop Emoji Plush Pillow

Teen: Holy Stone Drone with Live WiFi Camera

College Student: Hot Water Electric Kettle

Tell me, what are your children asking for the Holidays? What are there ages?

Holiday Shopping, Home

Home Decor with HalloweenCostumes.com

Samples sent for feature

HalloweenCostumes logo

I was recently taking inventory of my home decor for all seasons so I can organize my totes. I was a bit sad to see I had about 1/2 tote worth of fall decor. I love the fall and the colors and need more fun decor for my home this time of year.

  halloweencostumes-witch-door

I was browsing HalloweenCostumes.com to find a costume for my son when I noticed their selection of Halloween home decor. Suddenly, I wasn’t shopping for costumes anymore. I started putting fun decor in my shopping cart. The Witch Crashing door cover was too adorable to pass up and at under $5, how could I resist. I wanted to order a few pieces and as long as I spent $50 I would get deals on priority shipping so I found more.

halloweencostumes-pumkins

My son walked by as I was scanning their home decor items and spotted the Storm Trooper light-up pumpkin display and went nuts so I looked to see what other Star Wars themes items they had and chose the matching Darth Vader pumpkin.

halloweencostumes-pumpkin

Because I chose some decor that will be viewed from the outside at my front porch, I wanted something to look at inside the home. This black, glitter pumpkin was only $2.99 on special. These are just a few of the decor items you can find at HalloweenCostumes.com. Browse the costumes for the entire family, including the pets and grad some decor too.

Gift Ideas, Holiday Shopping

Emoji Masks for Halloween Fun

Samples sent for feature

Emoji-Masks-Logo

Every year my work wants us to all dress up for Halloween. I am not a costume person so I typically find a halloween top and wear that instead. We work at the High School in the kitchen so it is hard to wear some things and get the kids fed while staying clean. If I find the right mask I will wear one and with the emoji craze I may just have to sport my Cool emoji or Poop emoji mask. I may even need to send a mask or two up to our middle son who is living his freshman year in college at a dorm. I am sure the guys can have fun with these masks stuck in dorm rooms on Halloween. What a fun care package idea.

emoji-grin-and-laughing-with-phone

There are 15 emoji mask styles to choose from. It’s like having a mask for every mood. I can see offices having fun with these.

  1. Confounded
  2. Cool
  3. Crying
  4. Poop
  5. Evil Guy
  6. Grin
  7. Heart Eyes
  8. Laughing
  9. Laughing Tears
  10. Moon
  11. Rage
  12. Shocked
  13. Sleepy
  14. Sly
  15. Unamused

cool-emoji-parenting-healthyt

poop-emoji-parenting-healthy

You can order single masks or bulk. These make great group gifts that will bring a lot of fun for families or coworkers and friends. Visit http://emojimasks.com/ to see them all.

Gift Ideas, Holiday Shopping, Kids, Tips and Tricks

3 ways to have a Skylanders Valentine’s Day

I was not compensated fror this post

Attention Skylander fans! Like my son, many of your kids are probably huge Skylander fans. We are on our own hunt now to complete my son’s trap collection by trying everything to track down the Kaos Trap and Midnight Museum pack! Yes! I stop every time I pass a store that carries Skylander game pieces. I also was on a hunt for Skylanders Valentined Day cards as I knew there had to be some sold somewhere and my son insisted we find Skylanders. We found them at our local Walmart store so we have them bought and he is so excited and already broke into them to check out the fun stuff his classmates will get.
If you have a Skylanders fan like me, I want to share some fun things Skylanders has for your Valentine’s Day.
Skylander Valentines Packs

These Valentine packs will entertain 8 kids per box. At only near $3 a box, this is still cost worthy to buy enough for a typical class size. It cost me less than $10 for our 3 boxes so 22 kids can get more than just a Valentine cards, they get some stickers and a trading card as well. Each package has 8 valentine cards, 8 character trading cards and 35 stickers. We will be putting these in snack size bags and adding some candy for a fun package.

Limited Edition Skylander Character

When Love Potion Pop Fizz’ latest attempt to concoct the ultimate raspberry soda totally backfired, Pop Fizz was caught in a blast that turned him pink and gave him an alluring aroma.  At least that’s how he tells it.  But with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the Skylanders are all wondering if Pop Fizz is telling the truth – or if there is a special someone that he’s trying to impress! This character is available for a limited time at major retailers for $14.99.

Official Skylanders music videos

From “Yodeling Album of the Year” to “Best Werewolf in a Rock/Metal Performance,” check out Skylanders’ musical stylings in the videos below!

Invite your kids (or you) to click on each character below for fun musicals.

For more, visit your local retailer where you can find your Skylanders Valentines cards and character!

Gift Ideas, Holiday Shopping, Sponsored, Tips and Tricks

Comparing Wi-Fi cameras at Best Buy for holiday gift ideas #CamerasatBestBuy

This is a promotional post for Best Buy

Have you been looking to upgrade your camera? Do you have a camera you need to buy as a gift and don’t know where to start? The holidays are great times to upgrade as prices tend to be low and cameras are always popular gifts to give. As a Blogger, my camera is my life! I recently upgraded my own DSLR camera at Best Buy and I love it! The one feature I do not have and did not know about or I would have waited is built-in Wi-Fi! This would allow me to send photos instantly and share them from my camera. If this feature is a must-have for your new camera, I have made the purchase decision a little easier for you by comparing the top 3 Wi-Fi cameras available now at Best Buy.
Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens

  • Share your high quality photos instantly with built-in Wi-Fi & built in GPS
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens (great for sharp photos & videos)
  • Video-mode with 1080p HD 
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 24.2 megapixel with CMOS sensor-high resolution up to 6000×4000 pixels
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Autofocus with up to 39 focus points
  • Up to 5 fps action shots
  • 3.2″ varied monitor to view images/videos
  • Built-in flash
  • Special effects modes to get creative with your shots
  • Available in red or grey
  • Comes with battery charger, AV and USB cables, neck strap, body cap, accessory shoe cover and CD



Sony Alpha α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
  • Built-in Wi-Fi & NFC to share instantly
  • Compact camera with Worlds Fastest Autofocus
  • 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor (for stunning clarity)
  • 16-50mm power zoom
  • Video mode with 1080p HD
  • ISO100-25,600 plus ISO 100-12,800 for video
  • Up to 11fps action shots
  • 3″ color monitor to view photos/videos
  • BIONZ X image processing (speed and quality)
  • Otical image stabilization
  • Available in white or silver
  • Comes with neck strap & micro USB cable

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for instant sharing
  • Use andriod apps with this camera
  • 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor (for clarity)
  • 4.8″ touchscreen monitor
  • 21x Optical zoom
  • Video mode with 1080p
  • Scene modes and face detection
  • White balance modes
  • Auto focus and flash
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Comes with power cable

I hope the comparisons help! To sum it up-the Nikon is your larger, but great all-around camera for any shots indoors or out, the Sony is a great camera for action shots as the speed and accuracy is stunning and the Samsung is a great tech camera since you have touchscreen monitor and can pair it with Android apps. It would be the small camera for the tech lover who uses android.

Visit the Best Buy Gift Center for all the great deals and camera accessories to pair with your camera upgrade! Se another DLSR review from Best Buy: Canon EOS Rebel

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
Holiday Shopping, Money Saver

Cyber Monday Sale List

Are you waking up to an inbox full of Cyber Monday sale alerts? Me too! So, I compiled a list of what is in my inbox to share with all of you!

Many of these are today only!

Happy savings!

Staples-save up to 85% & Buy 1 Get 1 deals- http://www.staples.com/

Maxwells Attic (like a Groupon site)-Huge savings on kids tablets, North Face and more- http://www.maxwellsattic.com/

Hautelook (Nordstrom Rack site)-Free shipping http://www.hautelook.com/invite/ESluka091

Sears Shop Your Way members-get $15 for every $50 in reward points on qualifying purchases https://www.shopyourway.com/secured/people/erinn-sluka/3752048/settings/invite

Living Social Use code: CYBERSALE to save extra 25% on most deals http://r.livingsoci.al/gwtv1q1/04

Groupon: up to 30% off deals-https://www.groupon.com/visitor_referral/h/d34fa051-5c18-4f64-a02e-249a050c9a88

New West Knifeworks:deals on chef knives http://www.newwestknifeworks.com/

Minted.com (party supplies, holiday cards, home decor): 25% off & 15% off with free shipping on holiday cards http://www.minted.com/referral/landing/4r6i2m

Pro Compression (socks): 40% off when you use coupon code: SNOW on THIS page: http://procompression.com/SOM/

Burts Bees: Free shipping http://www.burtsbees.com/

My Habit (like a Groupon for merchandise): Use code: HOLIDAYS for extra 20% off http://www.myhabit.com/ref=qd_mr_per_l_t?refcust=SB3QQHZXSBN6NTHEBZWZQUYWA4

i See Me personalized children books: Many savings http://sharedwithlove.com/e/4em5rji2u3

Silkn (beauty products): Use code silkncyber to save 25% http://sharedwithlove.com/e/4j1eenwqiu3

Playtime Felts: Combo and free shipping deals http://sharedwithlove.com/e/3xcj99feu3

Zazzle: Use code zazcyber2014 to save up to 75% off http://www.zazzle.com/?rf=238773114399679416

Vistaprint: up to 60% off storewide http://vistaprint.tellapal.com/a/clk/2M0v2d

Bulu Box (health products): Use code GETCYBER to save 25% off sitewide https://www.bulubox.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/5284/

PickEase: Use code CyberMonday to save 25% https://www.pick-ease.com/

Target: Cyber Week with deals all week long http://www.target.com/c/cyber-monday/-/N-5q0f1