Brilliant Sky Toys & Books Specialty Toy Store ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Thursday, October 31, 2013

**The products for this review were provided by Brilliant Sky Toys & Books to help facilitate my review of their specialty toy store offerings. All opinions are my own.

I've always thought it would be nice to have a local toy store near us. Being able find great service, quality products and support a local store would be wonderful! Although we don't have that option where we live, I am very thankful we can still learn about specialty toy stores like Brilliant Sky Toys & Books.

Offering a concierge service in 15 Brilliant Sky Toys & Books specialty stores across the nation, shoppers can take advantage of excellent customer service, free gift wrap and a wide range of fabulous items! What's even better is that customers can be sure to pick the perfect toy as the 4th annual Brilliance awards, chosen by the toy store franchise chain, featuring a dozen perfect playthings...and just in time for holiday shopping! YAY!

With prices from $12.99 to $84.99, the top 12 Brilliance Award winners offer outstanding variety that run on brain power, wonder and imagination! The type of special toys and games sold by Brilliant Sky Toys & Books are right up my alley! I love to find high quality products that spark my kids' imaginations. That's why I couldn't have been happier to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review a few.

The products we were sent were Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board by Melissa & Doug, Little Chubbies by International Playthings, and How Big is the Lion? My first Book of Measuring by Workman.
The Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board caught both my boys' eyes right away! Something about the bright colors and unique look had them eager to try it out. Recommended for ages 2+, this is perfect for my 2 and 4 year old. 

This unique spin on magnetic toys lets kids build their own toy! Once again, I love when they are able to be creative and use their imaginations so this toy is perfect. It's open-ended and allows them to use it however they wish. 

It's easy to use also! Simply choose a picture template from 10 unique designs and place it in the wooden frame. Then add the gears in the colorcoded spaces and it turns the picture into an amazing kid-powered machine! Both Caysen and Kaden were so proud when they made it for the first time. 

They love all the templates, but even enjoy using it with just the white magnetic surface too. It's been great for exploration of simple mechanics, counting, problem solving and more. 

The Little Chubbies were also a hit with my boys! Both of them absolutely love anything and everything to do with cars, so having these brightly colored, sturdy vehicles arrive on our doorstep was a dream come true for them!

These vehicles are durable and great for little hands. I can tell they'll hold up well to a lot of use which is much appreciated! They're even dishwasher safe which is great for cleaning!! 

The boys love that there are real working pieces on these cars, trucks, and planes. They even hook on to each other which is neat too! It is a simple toy, but has provided so many hours of play already...they love them!

We also received the How Big is the Lion? My first Book. This fun, educational and interactive book is perfect for my 6 year old! She loves learning new things, and the fact that this book included an everyday grown-up object like a ruler really had her excited to check it out. 

This is a great first book of measuring that has given Kaelyn a hands-on opportunity to measure things using a ruler...all on her own. She loves it! The book has catchy rhymes that tell children what to use the ruler for. It really makes Kaelyn think as we go through each of the questions...I can tell it's encouraging higher level thinking skills which is great for her since she enjoys a challenge.

I love how sturdy this book is, not to mention how unique the illustrations are. They are made from colorful shapes of felt, buttons, and pieces of lace and string! 

Overall we've been very happy with all three products sold from Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. The kids love them! I see them learning, exploring and using their imaginations which is the absolutely best as a parent! I would urge everyone to support local toy stores like Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, and if you live near one of their stores (check here) it would definitely be worth a visit...especially for holiday shopping! These are just a few of the many great products they offer!

A Generational Look at Student Loans ~ Guest Post

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sending your child to college is a dream for many parents. However, with the rising costs of higher education many are foregoing that dream. For some families attending college is just too much of a costly investment and in today's job market does not necessarily guarantee job security the way it used to. While college graduates still earn significantly more than those without a college degree, college costs can follow students for years and most graduates do not pay off their student loans until well into their 30s or 40s. In 2012, the average student debt was about $26,000 and that was just for those that earned a bachelor's degree.

Many parents and students forget that college is a huge financial investment that needs to be prepared for well in advance. This infographic on the history of student loan debt by Consolidated Credit can help you get an idea of how student debt has grown through the years. College is not a bad investment for your children but is one that needs to be thought through carefully especially in a time where college costs are increasing but financial aid is decreasing. Parents and students should always look to grants and scholarships as their first form of financial aid but with dwindling funds it can be difficult to secure these funds. Many students will eventually have to turn to student loans to help pay for their education. However, with careful planning and smart budgeting families can find cost effective ways to pay for college.

I'm a Pledge Ambassador!

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, October 29, 2013

**I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf ofMom Central Consulting for Pledge. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

As the weather gets colder, our family spends more time indoors together. The living room is a central location to play and relax. From football parties to the kids dancing around in their socks we have a lot of fun, but our wood floors also take a lot more wear and tear leaving scuffs, dirt and grime. 

I am always looking for ways to make cleaning our wood floors easier, which is why I was happy when introduced to Pledge FloorCare Wood products! They have expanded their line of FloorCare Wood solutions to help ease clean up efforts this season and I couldn't be happier. Helping tackle the daily messes that get tracked across the floors, they offer four product options are made to help busy moms like me handle everything from spot cleaning and upkeep, to conditioning and polishing.

This is the type of product line I've been looking for which is why I was thrilled when asked to be a Pledge Ambassador! As part of the program, I have been sent the Pledge Floor Care Wood line of products to test out and I'll be sharing my before and after experience with you!

The current "before" condition of my wood floors is ok, but not great. I try to keep them clean, but they never seem clean enough. They could definitely use a little TLC and polish. I'm really looking forward to seeing how these products work on them! It's something I'm especially excited about because our wood floors are in the main living areas/walking areas of our home and a place everyone sees. We also have carpet and tile, but the wood floors are mainly what we have on the main level of our home.

Of course, it's not only nice to have the floors clean for guests...but also our own family too. With three little ones, they're crawling around on the floors a lot and I like to make sure they're clean and free of dirt and grime. I don't consider myself a neat-freak, but definitely like to have my floors looking great! I've been known to do a quick cleaning before guests come over a time or two (or ten!). 

I'm so excited to start using these products as part of the Pledge-to-Pledge Challenge over the next month and share with you our "before and after" experiences! Here's a little info about the Pledge FloorCare products so you have an idea of how they can be used. 

  • Pledge FloorCare Wood Concentrated Cleaner gently removes dirt and grime while restoring floor's natural shine. It's made with almond oil to moisturize wood and restore its natural beauty, and it leaves a fresh scent behind. The concentrated formula makes up to 16 gallons of cleaning solution.
  • Pledge FloorCare Wood Squirt & Mop is a ready to use formula requiring no dilution before use. Its advanced formula removes dirt and grime that builds up over time to maintain a floor's natural finish with no dull residue. It reveals wood's natural beauty and leaves a fresh citrus scent behind. Also available in gallon size.
  • Pledge FloorCare Wood Trigger is a ready to use formula designed specifically for spot cleaning. It's advanced formula cleans, shines, restores and protects - with no dulling, oily residue - leaving a fresh citrus scent behind.
  • Pledge FloorCare Wood Finish goes beyond what you get from other floor cleaning products - this premium finish provides a beautiful, transparent long-lasting shine and stands up to the wear of heavy traffic without yellowing. It can protect hardwood floors and helps prevent dirt from getting trapped in floor grooves and indentations, making cleaning much easier.
You can learn more about the Pledge FloorCare Wood product line at They can be found in the cleaning aisle of Walmart as well as food and drug stores!

DIY Projects and Gift Ideas!

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, October 29, 2013

With the world of Pinterest at our fingertips, it's no wonder DIY projects can be found on almost every blog and social media site! I will admit, I have found some ideas that are keepers, and already have a nice lengthy "honey-do" list for my hubby to tackle at some point. With everything from DIY furniture to gift's often more fun and reasonable to simply make things yourself if you have the time and the patience.

With the holidays around the corner, I've already been busy looking for fun gift ideas I can make for the ones I love. Not only will it be easier on my pocketbook, but in the end they will receive a gift that is more personal than anything I could have bought in the store. The following is one idea I made for my mom for Mother's Day. It's simple, yet one-of-a-kind. She loved it!

And, although gifts are on my mind with Christmas nearing, I've also got my wishlist of things I'd like to make for around the house too! Afterall, DIY projects go beyond just gift ideas. The possibilities are endless! One larger project my husband and I worked on together was making a functional locker space for our kids to keep their coats, school bags, shoes, etc. It has worked out perfectly and was also a lot of fun to make.

It has me excited to work on more DIY projects, especially after seeing totally awesome bunk beds a friend of mine made for her daughters! With baby #3 on the way, she and her husband built the neatest bunk beds that would be any child's dream. They each have their own personal space with a curtain that can even be closed on each of their beds! There are a lot of bunk beds out there, but I had never seen anything like this before! Such a neat idea, especially since kids love bunk beds!

Although each of our kids have their own rooms, my husband and I have always talked about having a bunk bed in a spare room for guests or the kids' friends who stay the night. After seeing that building one-of-a-kind bunk beds is doable, I'm excited to come up with plans for our own!

Do you consider yourself a DIY'er? If so, what are some of the projects you've enjoyed most? Any good DIY gift ideas to share with us?

Comfortable and Cute Shoes for Busy Moms

Posted by Jenna | Monday, October 28, 2013

With three kids, I keep busy during the day. Whether it's at home with the kids or on-the-go, I'm on my feet a lot! I'm sure there are many other moms that can relate. It has gotten to the point that I have sure been feeling the aches and pains in my feet day after day. For instance, my husband and I were out shopping recently and I had to take several breaks due to the heal pain...and even felt it days later! 

I am in need of a better pair of shoes that I can wear at home and when running errands and out and about....something that's both stylish and supportive. Is there such a shoe?!

Do you ever find yourself in need of similar well-being footwear for moms? Something that's fashionable and functional? In my search, I have found that there are a number of popular designs out there that are made to help alleviate common foot conditions without compromising style. That's exactly the type of shoe I'm looking for and had no idea existed.

There are some great Vionic footwear offers actually, that are supposed to provide a shoe that will be comfortable for my busy lifestyle all while looking cute at the same time! The fact that they look like any other day-to-day shoe while still offering the support and comfort I need is something that really appeals to me. I'm definitely going to be looking into getting a pair and have already told my husband to add it to my Christmas list, as well as his mom's list who also works on her feet all day!

Whether it's for you, or someone you know, finding a comfortable and cute shoe that works with any busy lifestyle is a must! What are some of your favorite everyday shoes?

Scentsy's Monster Monday Sale ~ Today Only!

Posted by Jenna | Monday, October 28, 2013

I love Scentsy! I am not just saying that because I am a consultant, but because I truly love it! It allows me to have wonderful scents throughout my home without the fear of a fire or someone getting hurt!

Each Monday in October, Scentsy has been offering Monster Monday and today is the LAST day to take advantage of it! The sale includes discounts up to 75% on select Scentsy Fragrance products. These deals are AMAZING and only last while supplies last! They are going fast.

Warmers for as low as $7.50, Plug-ins for $5, Buddies for $5 and lots more! What a fantastic way to stock up on Christmas gifts, birthday gifts and maybe a little something for YOU too! :)

Here's a link to the sale on my site...Happy Shopping!

Keeping Warm this Winter with a Gas Fireplace!

Posted by Jenna | Monday, October 28, 2013

As hard as it is to believe, the weather is turning colder and soon winter will be here. It feels like we just got done with summer and now we have temps in the 30s and snow falling already. Where does the time go?!

With as quickly as the season is sneaking up on us, my husband and I have been discussing our options as to how we can better warm our house during the cold months. Last winter we had many problems with our furnace, and now...even with a new furnace, there are days when the temps are below 0ยบ and our house is hard to keep warm.

We have a fireplace, which many people enjoy...however the smell of a burning fire tends to give me a headache pretty quickly. Not only that, but the way ours is set up, it's very accessible to our kids which makes this mama extremely nervous. I worry about them getting too close to the fire and getting hurt... so using the fireplace has proven to be more of a hassle than it's worth.

For this reason, we've started looking into gas fireplaces and gas fire inserts and recently got a quote for one. Not only would I not have to deal with the smell of smoke, but it would also be much more safe for our little ones. In my opinions, gas fires are ideal for families with young children especially, which is why we're leaning that way over our traditional fireplace. We spend most of our time in the room where our future gas fire will be, so I know it would help to keep that room, and the rest of our home toasty warm so we can be comfortable this winter.

Just thinking about having a better way to warm our home has me less anxious for winter this year. I know it will be an investment, but definitely worth I think.

Do you have a gas fireplace? If so, how do you like it? 

Thuka Beds ~ A fun addition to any child's bedroom!

Posted by Jenna | Saturday, October 26, 2013

When we moved into our new home a couple of years ago, we were thrilled that each of our kids would have their own bedroom. With each of them having different personalities and interests, I wanted them to have a place that would be fun for them to not only sleep, but also play! 

As each of my kids get older, I notice that they enjoy playing in their bedrooms more than anywhere else. Whether it's alone, or together, their bedrooms are one of the places they can play and use their imaginations. I want to encourage this creative play in any way I can, which is why I like to put a lot of thought into how we decorate and design each of their bedrooms. 

Although their bedrooms are all average size, there's not a lot of room for "play" after the bedroom necessities like a bed, dresser, nightstand, etc are in place. I've been looking for a solution which would still give them a great place to sleep, but also more room to play and came across Thuka beds!

After looking into them further, I came to the simple conclusion that Thuka beds are so much fun and just the thing I've been looking for! There are many different types of Thuka beds, but my favorites (and I'm sure my kids would agree) are the ones that include fun accessories like a slide and underbed play tent!

I can't even begin to imagine the amount of fun these beds would provide! Offered in a variety of exciting color tents and accessories, these beds create a fun place for kids to play and be creative. I could see it being a great addition to each of my kids' rooms and something they would enjoy for many years to come. What do you think? Is this something your kiddos would enjoy as well?!

Halloween Costume Shopping

Posted by Jenna | Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween is just around the corner, can you believe it's that time of year already?! As a child this was always an exciting time for me, I loved the excitement of trick or treating drawing near and getting the chance to get all dressed up. It was always a lot of fun to get a new costume every year and of course, getting to go trick or treating with my brothers! Now, as a parent, I have the same excitement for my kids! I like finding them costumes and taking them out to trick or treat. 

My husband and I also think it's fun to dress up some years, even as adults. The kids think it's pretty fun when we do, too! There are so many Halloween fancy dress costumes out there to choose from, especially when shopping online! 

Whether it's a Halloween party for us, or out trick-or-treating for the kids, I make sure to check out costumes online to find the perfect accessories and costumes each year. It makes costume hunting so easy! Many sites I come across seem to have the same costumes available, however, after some browsing I am usually able to find something more unique and one-of-a-kind! 

For instance, there are specialty costume shops like Elliott's Fancy Dress which offers a variety of costumes for children and adults alike. What I love is while some of their costumes are similar to those I find elsewhere, many of them are little bit different and more unique than the typical costumes I come across...Like this fun Bananaman Costume...

No matter the Halloween occasion your shopping for, whether it be an adult costume party for you or trick or treating for your little ones...costume shopping can be a lot of fun! There are many accessories and choices out there that are sure to give you the look and theme you're going for year after year. 

**The products for this review and giveaway were provided by SafeKids and FedEx, however all opinions are my own.

Kids love trick-or-treating on Halloween, including mine! Although it's a fun time, the day does pose some real scary risks, with twice as many children likely to be killed by vehicles on Halloween night than any other night throughout the year! That was quite startling for me to read, but serves as a good reminder to myself and other parents about ways we can help keep our kids safe when trick-or-treating!

I was happy to learn that FedEx and Safe Kids have teamed up once again to keep kids safe on Halloween, by educating children and their parents about safe behaviors. They have shared research that sheds light on the issue and also give out safe "gear" to kids to help them be seen at night. 

When I learned that only a third of parents talk to their children every year about Halloween safety, i wanted to be sure and share the following safety tips from Safe Kids and FedEx to ensure that everyone has a fun, safe night on Halloween! 

Top safety tips Safe Kids and FedEx recommend for parents:

  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don't run, across the street. 
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Slow down and stay alert - watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct a child's vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
Top safety tips Safe kids and FedEx recommend for drivers:
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30pm. 
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
A little bit more about Safe Kids Walk This Way...

In 1999, SafeKids Worldwide and FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way program in the US to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities through education, awareness, research and actual physical improvements to the spaces where children are most at risk. 

As part of the FedEx commitment to learning about the issues that impact road safety, advancing safe driving practices and improving safety conditions in the communities in which FedEx operates, the Walk This Way program has made significant progress in accelerating child safety, particularly among young children. Over the past 13 years, the Walk This Way program has expanded to include Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines where it has educated more than 4 million children. 

For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the year, visit and visit their Facebook page

As part of this initiative, Safe Kids and FedEx are providing kids with reflective materials to promote visibility as well as important safety information for children, parents and drivers. 

Win It: Safe Kids and FedEx would like to offer TWO A Mom's Balancing Act readers safe "Trick-or-Treating" bags which will have some cool tools to help kids be seen (flashlight, reflective tags, stickers for kids to add to their costumes and a safety tip sheet). The bags themsevles are reflective and perfect for collecting goodies too! This is a very short giveaway, so be sure to get entered right away! 

This giveaway is open to US Only and will end October 27th. 

Costume Express Halloween Costumes ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, October 23, 2013

**The products for this review were provided by Costume Express to facilitate the review. All opinions are mine and were not influenced in any way.

Can you believe it's just about time for Halloween already? Although we did not celebrate the holiday much as a child, I do remember still getting to go out and trick or treat each year. I loved getting all dressed up and so do my kids! I keep an eye out for fun, high quality costumes and am always impressed with those offered by Costume Express!

With the desire to help busy people celebrate life's special moments, Celebrate Express offers party supplies and costumes all in one convenient location. They currently operate four brands you may be familiar with: Celebrate Express, Birthday Express, 1st Wishes, and Costume Express. Costume Express is so much more than just a costume site. Aside from their 4,000 costumes to choose from, they also have costume party supplies, a large selection of accessories, and Halloween decorations!

I've had the opportunity to review costumes from Costume Express in the past and have always been happy with the selection and quality. Their site makes it easy to browse the large variety of costumes. I love the categories which make finding the exact style and gender I'm looking for a piece of cake.

I was excited to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review a few costumes from Costume Express this year and couldn't wait for them to arrive this month. We were sent the Disney Snow White Deluxe Sparkle Toddler Costume, Duck Dynasty Adult Willie Costume, and Batman Brave and Bold Costume

When the costumes arrived everyone was excited to check them out. The Disney Snow White Deluxe Sparkle Costume was the first out of the package and boy is it beautiful! 

I was happy with the fact that it came with the dress, petticoat and headband. Other than the shoes, this costume is complete and really stands out when it's all put together. 

The quality is fantastic and it's simple to get off and on. Kaelyn LOVES it! She beams when she wears it and I know that not only will it be a hit on halloween, but she will also enjoy this for dress-up as well!

Next came Batman Brave and Bold. Kaden was SO excited to get this costume on. Like many little boys, he's all about superheros and this is one of the nicest superhero costumes I've seen. 

The quality is great and it really has a lot to it. There's the blue muscle chest jumpsuit with attached boot covers, a cape with an attached headpiece and a plastic belt!                                  

There are so many features I love about this costume. The muscle chest is great. It's well-made and Kaden's favorite part. I also appreciate that the cape is attached to the headpiece, this makes it easy to keep on and not lose any pieces. Finally the belt, which in my opinion really brings the whole costume together. Love it!

The third costume we received was for my hubby. Like many families out there, we are big Duck Dynasty fans, so when he learned he was going to have the opportunity to review the Adult Willie Costume, he was thrilled!

Although this costume doesn't come with much, it does have everything a person needs to look like Willie Robertson. It comes with a wig, beard, bandana and vest. 

Everything is easy to put on and for anyone who has seen him in it so far, they've been impressed with it. The quality is good and it's the perfect costume for Duck Dynasty fans. 

Costume Express did not disappoint. The selection of costumes offered is fantastic and the quality of the costumes we received were great! Of course these are just a couple of costumes offered. The selection is amazing and their prices are great. I'd highly recommend checking them out anytime of year for your costume and dress up clothes needs. 

Buy It: You can purchase these costumes at The Disney Snow White Deluxe Sparkle Toddler Costume for $34.99Duck Dynasty Adult Willie Costume for $23.99 and Batman Brave and Bold Costume for $36.99.

You can connect with Costume Express on Facebook and Twitter.

WAT-AAH! BOO Prize Pack Giveaway

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, October 23, 2013

**The product for this giveaway was provided by WAT-AAH! All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

In search for the reason why kids seem to reject water, a mom came up with the idea to go straight to the source...her own kids. She asked them how they could be convinced to drink more water and their answers were very straight forward and simple. They wanted it to be less boring and have a better name. They kept screaming "water" for inspiration, which sounded like "WAT-AAH!"...and AHA! a brand was born. They continued to help their mom by giving their input on the design of the bottle....something fun and appealing to children. Focus was also given to the important stuff like health, hydration, bone growth, better brain function and energy...and so each formula was created. WAT-AAH!, ultra pure water with no sugar, is the first premium water brand by kids for kids.

If you've been reading here for a while now, you may remember my review of WAT-AAH! We're big fans and were excited to learn that they have unveiled a new bottle. WAT-AAH! BOO is a limited edition bottle to celebrate Halloween and promote healthy hydration in support of the Partnership For A Healthier America's initiative. 

On the label, the brand's familiar character, the WAT-AAH! Boy is portrayed mysteriously in silhouette and screaming "BOO" to surprise its audience. He is surrounded by familiar Halloween imagery, each drawn with simple graphic lines. For more information, you can visit the WAT-AAH! blog. Also be sure to check out the Boo! Drink Up Spider Halloween video:

You can learn more by visiting the CEO's new blog at

WIN IT: One lucky reader is going to win a prize pack which will include WAT-AAH! bottles, t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers and more! This giveaway is short and will end in time for you to receive your prize in time for Halloween! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

This giveaway will end October 27 and is open to US Only

Advil SleepHelp App & Rest and Relaxation Giveaway Package

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, October 23, 2013

**The product for this giveaway was provided by Advil PM. All opinions are my own.

When my youngest turned a year old, he started sleeping through the night and has not woken up in the middle of the night since! I'm very thankful, as that was one year ago already! The only problem is, most nights I still do not sleep well. I don't have the best posture which causes muscles aches and pains in my neck, shoulders and upper back. It not only effects me during the day, but also at night. 

Needless to say, I was not surprised when I learned that in a 2012 sleep survey, aches and pains were the #1 reason people say they don't get a good night's sleep. Advil PM, the non-habit forming trusted pain reliever with the power of Advil and a gentle sleep aid to help you sleep better, wanted to help and launched a new free SleepHelp app featuring essential tips to help people like me through every stage of sleep - from winding down before bed to getting through the day after a difficult night's rest. 

Popular tips include:
  • What types of foods can help you sleep
  • Why you should sing if you snore
  • How to create a sleep oasis
  • The ideal temperature for sleeping
  • How to handle noisy partners

What I thought was neat, is that the SleepHelp app helps you understand your personal sleep patterns and sleep routines to help you sleep better and more out of your days. The app's Sleep Better alarm features recommended sleep times and Wind Down Alerts based on your desired wake up time. 

You can download the FREE SleepHelp sleep app from Advil PM now, and start getting the most out of every night. 

WIN It: Advil PM has offered one lucky reader an Advil PM SleepHelp giveaway package to encourage rest and relaxation. It will include:
  • Samples of Advil PM
  • Memory Foam Neck Pillow
  • Fleece Blanket
  • Hot/Cold Gel Eye Mask

A Girl For All Time Historically Inspired British Dolls ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, October 23, 2013

**I was provided with A Girl For All Time Doll to help facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Growing up, I was very girly and loved playing with dolls. I enjoyed doing their hair, getting them dressed and taking them with me wherever I went. It's been fun to see Kaelyn at the same stage, taking care of her dolls and being so nurturing with them. Even with the technology and gadgets, dolls are still something Kaelyn prefers over anything else. They spark creativity and imaginative play which is something I am always looking to encourage anyway I can. That's why I was excited to learn more about A Girl For All Time Dolls!

Dolls Magazine has nominated Matilda, Amelia and Clementine, the first in a new line of historically inspired British dolls known as A Girl for All Time for a Playdoll of the Year 2013. These 16" characters, based on 500 years of the fictional Marchmont Family, take American girls on a history lesson through imaginative play, accompanying novels and accessories.

Individually, the three dolls also captured three rare Platinum rankings within the prestigious Oppenheim Best Toy Award!

I love the idea behind these dolls and was excited to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review Amelia
There are so many unsuitable toys and clothing marketed to young girls. I'm so happy to have been introduced to these dolls, which are age appropriate and allow girls to celebrate their childhood in an intelligent and feminine way. I had a feeling Kaelyn would be excited when Amelia arrived, and I was right!

She was smiling from ear to ear when she laid eyes on her. I don't blame her! I was very impressed with how these dolls come packaged in signature boxes. So much care went into displaying the doll and making sure she arrived safely and is something I really appreciate.

Out of the box, Kaelyn and I were in awe of Amelia's beautiful face. She has the look of a porcelain doll and is so feminine and classic looking. Love it! 

I was also impressed with the quality! Amelia is made from high quality, durable vinyl. She is very easy to clean and her quality gives me peace of mind that this is a doll that will hold up well and be something Kaelyn can enjoy for many years to come.
Kaelyn appreciates her size. At 16" inches tall she's large enough to play with and dress, yet small enough to easily carry around and take with her wherever we go.  

When Amelia was still in the box, I didn't know if she would be able to sit and move around...however, we found that she actually has articulated elbows and knees. This makes her flexible and easier for Kaelyn to use her imagination while playing with her...having her sit in a chair, wave, etc. 

One thing I really love about this doll is her classic, modest look. She comes dressed in a historically inspired Victorian school dress of blue cotton, with striped collar and cuffs, ruffled pantalets and undershirt, sturdy school boots and a straw boater hat to complete the outfit. As we checked out all of her clothes, Kaelyn and I were both amazed with how much she came with. It really makes her feel more realistic to Kaelyn and she loves dressing her.

She also loves her hair! It came pulled back, but Kaelyn really likes having it down and being able to style it how she wants. 

Beyond the doll, there's also the history. Amelia is descended from a long line of Marchmont women who live through some of the most exciting times in English history from Tudor times to the present day and wear the most beautiful clothes. 

We were sent Amelia's Inheritance book, which tells of the thrilling adventures into which Amelia is plunged on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. This novel is based on British history and follow the curriculum taught in the schools in the UK. We have not read it yet, as it is recommended for children ages 9-10 and up because of reading- and material-readiness of the books, while the dolls themselves are recommended for ages 7 and up. 

I am happy to have the novel and look forward to reading it with Kaelyn when she's a little bit older. The background story will really take imaginative play to a whole new level when the time comes! I'm also looking forward to checking out the costumes and accessories found on the website as well. 

 Overall we've been really happy with Amelia. She has provided many hours of play already, and I know she is a doll Kaelyn will be able to enjoy for many more years to come. The quality is amazing, and the details on the face and the clothing are one-of-a-kind.
Buy It: You can purchase Amelia and other A Girl For All Time Dolls at for $134.99 each. There you will also find novels, beautiful costumes and accessories for the dolls as well!

You can also connect with A Girl For All Time on Facebook where they show patterns, homemade clothes, give tea party tips and more.

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