• You know it’s almost Christmas when supermarket pumpkins and mums are being swapped out in favor of wreaths, miniature trees and bags of red and green candies. Seeing those holiday Hershey kisses reminds me that, once again, I packed away our advent calendar in a box that I can’t get my hands on in time for December 1st! It’s one of those kinds with pockets for each day that you can fill with small toys, candy or other trinkets…but it seems to have lost its original allure (in my house, at least). If your family is in the market for a new way to countdown to Christmas, consider one of the latest trends in collectible toys to mark the season. The Disney Tsum Tsum Advent [&hellip

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    As I watched a cascade of wet leaves swirling around outside my window earlier this morning, it dawned on me: Thanksgiving is next week. If you find yourself staring mindlessly at grocery store displays of cranberry sauce and canned pumpkins, you’re not alone. It seems like so many people are walking around in a daze, feeling like they’d much rather fast-forward past the holidays this year. A strange time though it may be, I can’t imagine skipping the one day of the year when families and friends come together to celebrate and give thanks for all they already have. Pardon the expression, but forgoing Thanksgiving would seem to be un-American…and that’s definitely not the message I want to share with my kids. For those of [&hellip

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    I remember that Christmas like it was yesterday. I had asked Santa for the Barbie Dream House, but instead received a Barbie Townhouse. I wasn’t entirely disappointed that I didn’t get exactly what I had written in my letter to him, but more because the house didn’t seem to work as I thought it should. The elevator didn’t go up without banging from side to side, and my dolls kept falling out. Some of the furnishings weren’t three-dimensional, but instead were printed onto the walls (seriously, how’s a girl supposed to hang up her sparkly evening gown without a real closet?). That might have been the very year that I began to lose interest in playing dolls, but looking back, I don’t begrudge Barbie for [&hellip

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    It’s almost Friday, and that means we’re getting ready for the weekend. If your family is like mine, we’re always tuned into what movies are coming out and this time, it’s Trolls. I’m still trying to convince my 8-year-old to go see it–I mean, how can you not like these crazy, colorful little rascals?–so we’ll see what happens there. In the meantime, my 12-year-old is totally on board, and that might just have something to do with the cool new beauty products we just received. Hard Candy’s Trolls Collection has plenty of playful choices to let you experiment with a look that’s as fun as the movie promises to be. From the Mood Lip Balm and Marbelized Lipstick, to the Hair Chalk Tin and Poppin’ Pigments, each product [&hellip

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    Twas the day after Halloween and there was much candy to spare…could this mom get her kids to brush their teeth on a dare? If it feels like dental hygiene falls by the wayside on those busy, harried school mornings, you are not alone. My kids often concoct any excuse in the book to avoid brushing. (Lucky for me, I’ve finally caught up on the ol’ run-the-brush-under-the-water trick.) Of course, if your kids are younger than mine, you probably have more control over their brushing…or do you? For reluctant newbie brushers comes The Brushies, a line of finger puppet tooth brushes for ages 4 weeks-4 years that are as clever as they are cute. Simply put, they take the sting out of using a standard [&hellip

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    I seem to find myself in Old Navy more and more often these days. Whether one kid needs a black shirt for a costume, or another kid has gone up a shoe size (again….), I have become a regular customer. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder: What’s in for me? If you feel like you are forever catering to your kids’ needs, join the club…or maybe just treat yourself to a little something while you’re there (other than a new pair of socks). Old Navy’s Kindred Goods new personal care line is not only sweet-smelling and gentle on sensitive skin, but a sweet deal at the register. The collection includes Hand Cream, Hair & Body Mist, Foaming Body Scrub, Body Lotion and Eau de Parfum, [&hellip

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    If you have a theater kid, then you must know all about Hamilton. In our house, it’s the perennial soundtrack that my 12-year-old lives and breathes–and she hasn’t even seen the show…yet. While it can be a bit much sometimes, it’s great to see how this musical theater obsession can easily pique a child’s interest in U.S. history. Such is the thinking over at Cobblestone magazine which is hosting the Rap Into History Challenge. To determine what other figures in American history might inspire future Broadway lyricists, Cobblestone is inviting kids ages 9-12 to create and submit original raps that intrigue them. Selections will be judged by a panel of Broadway producers and Cobblestone editors, and winning selections will be featured online and in print. [&hellip

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    I miss the days when I didn’t have to bribe my kids to go outdoors. As a toddler, my younger daughter used to bang on the back door, her ‘subtle’ signal that she wanted to play in the backyard. It didn’t matter if it was pouring buckets or sleeting on a cold, spring-ish day; this kid needed to breathe the fresh air and feel the wind on her skin. It was partly because I knew she had developed a true affinity for all the creatures who lived outdoors permanently. To her, it wasn’t fair that they could be outside whenever they wanted. Sometimes, I wondered to myself if she might be part animal. Perhaps that is why the new picture book Halfway Wild speaks to me [&hellip

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    With the start of a new school year comes the promise of making new friends. Depending on your child, that may–or may not–come easily. (If you happen to have a daughter, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) Because friendships tend to ebb and flow, kids may not always feel that their BFF of today will hold that same spot tomorrow. Remember when an impromptu tea party with a teddy bear could reverse the effects of a playdate gone bad? If your kid has outgrown her beloved bear, but longs for a new companion, check out Gift’ems. These collectible mini dolls, aimed at girls ages 5-10, are all the rage this season. Packaged in their own gift box, each doll hails from a different city [&hellip

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    Ah, it’s the most wonderful time of the year…for parents, that is! The start of a new school year may not be your kid’s greatest wish come true, but we parents treasure it. And that’s not necessarily for the reason you might think. Truthfully, I’ve always envied my girls’ ability to start fresh each September; the beginning of a new school year holds so much promise that it’s almost like shedding off your old skin and making room to don a reinvigorated person. And what better excuse is there to mark the occasion than with some new clothes! We’ve been keeping a lookout for new styles this season and came across a line that is perfect for that first day. If this happens to be [&hellip

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