Bedtime Made Easier Thanks To Snuggle Monsters, Sleepylights, & Emoji-Notes #GiftGuide

Do your kids give you trouble when it comes to bedtime? So many parents dread bedtime, as it is fights, tears, and kids not wanting anything to do with going to sleep. Sometimes, they are afraid of the dark, of monsters under the bed, or other childhood fears related to bedtime, and it can be a trying time for both parents and children.

To make bedtime a bit more palatable, we have a few suggestions you might want to try. These are great gifts for the holiday, check them out and see what you think will work best for your family .

Continuum Games introduces four Emoji-Notes Color & Shine craft kits at $19.99 each. These kits allow you to color your nightlight as you’d like and write your own messages.  When your child is ready for a change, they can wipe it clean and color it again.  This is a light up message board, night light and craft kit all in one.  The kits join distributor Continuum Games’ line of Lumenico SleepyLights ($29.99) that offer soft lighting for a goodnight and sleep-tight bedroom atmosphere.

If the kids are looking for something so snuggle up with, or perhaps need a monster to help them fight off the baddies under the bed, check out Snuggle Monster Hide & Seek Bedtime available at $29.99 each. They come in Purple, Pink or Blue Monster shades, and have a storybook as well as fun night time activity designed to help parents get their kids to bed at night.  Introduce your child to their very own snuggle monster and read them the story about how snuggle monsters are super silly creatures that hide in the closet or under your bed during the day because their eyes are made for nighttime and sunlight is like dark to them. At night, it is your child’s job to find them and let them know it is okay to come out and play.  Each night, mom and dad hide the monster somewhere in their child’s room. Yes, very “Elf on the Shelf” like, and you know how the kids love those. When it is time to go to bed, parents let their child know it is time to find their snuggle monster.  That’s where the child can search for and find their nighttime pal Snuggle Monster before going to bed.  Parents have a transition tool (one fun activity before bedtime) they can use to help get their child to bed with no fuss.

The boxed set features a nighttime storybook, lovable plush monster as a sleep companion and a hide-and-seek game. Watch the nighttime ritual turn the nighttime struggles into snuggles. Fun and easy, and worth it to get the kiddos to bed without tears.

Spreading Holiday Cheer with Calico Critters #GiftGuide

Do your kids love Calico Critters as much as mine do? They are the perfect toys for kids, and since they use animals instead of traditional dolls, both boys and girls can enjoy them without getting the side eye from those judgmental or less progressive members of the family. (Not that boys should ever be ashamed of playing with dolls- I just love that there is another option for kids, as well as for the boys who want to nurture, but might not love dolls.)

Calico Critters is already decking the halls with lots of family merriment and cheer, with both their traditional collection as well as brand new additions.  This holiday season, consider Calico Critters as the perfect gift-giving items for your little holiday helpers. They last as well, so they will stay in great condition from your oldest to your youngest (and likely then some- I still have the Calico Critter I had when I was a kid, and it looks great. My son added it to his collection.)

CALICO CRITTERS VILLAGE RED ROOF SERIES HOME

 

Sweet Raspberry Home

kids gifts

The Sweet Raspberry Home is the newest addition to the Village, perfectly matching the detail and design of the Red Roof Cozy Cottage and Red Roof Country Home. Kids will enjoy the outdoors with the Hopscotch Rabbit family in the comfort of their home porch. The home comes furnished with baby furniture and Nursery Series Grace Hopscotch Rabbit who’s ready to play. Children can also connect the Sweet Raspberry Home with the Red Roof Cozy Cottage and Country Home for more fun.  Ages 3+/ $24.95/ Available Now

 

Red Roof Country Home

dollhouse

playset

Nestled in the Village is the beautiful and spacious Red Roof Country Home.  With four rooms, a terrace, staircase and lights, Critter families can enjoy the beauty of the village in the comfort of their home.  Children can create various layouts in a 90˚angle, 180˚angle or closed setting. Connect the Country Home to the Sweet Raspberry Home and Cozy Cottage for an even grander household. The Red Roof Country Home Gift set includes detailed furniture, accessories and lights, as well as Heidi & Bell Hopscotch Rabbits. Ages 3+, $69.95/ Gift Set $99.95/ Available Now

 

Red Roof Cozy Cottage

cheap dollhouse

Comfortable, cozy and close to the Village! The Red Roof Cozy Cottage is the perfect starter home for children to build their world of imagination.  Bell Hopscotch is ready to play house in her quaint home, furnished with a bed, kitchen sink, stove/oven, food, tables, chairs and more! Kids can connect the Cozy Cottage to the Sweet Raspberry Home and Country Home for even more creativity and fun. Ages 3+/ $29.95/ Available Now

 

CALICO CRITTERS NURSERY COLLECTION 

The new Nursery collection features sweet new Baby Critters and specially designed environments – all packed with play for the little ones. 

calico critters babies

Blind Bags – Baby Party Series

Blind bags add the element of surprise to Calico Critters play!  Hidden in each bag is a new Baby Party critter that children can add to their nursery collection. They won’t know which critter is inside until they open the bag. Each bag includes a Baby Critter and uniquely designed party accessories. The collection includes nine new collectable babies to complete the party:  Maple Cat baby with a bouquet of flowers, Sweetpea Rabbit baby with party hat and tambourine, Toy Poodle baby playing the piano, Persian Cat baby with a birthday cake, Sandy Cat baby with bowling set, Cuddle Bear baby with horseshoes, Woolly Alpaca baby with a gift, Fluffy Hamster baby with confetti shooter, and last but not least, the exclusive secret style Baby Critter to add more fun to the festivities!   Ages 3+/ $4.95 each

Blind Bags – Baby Shopping Series

toy baby animals

Blind bags add the element of surprise to Calico Critters play!  Hidden in each bag is a new Baby Shopping critter that children can add to their nursery collection. They won’t know which critter is inside until they open the bag. Each bag includes a Baby Critter and uniquely designed grocery and shopping accessories. To add to the surprise, the series includes one extra secret style critter. The collection includes nine new collectable babies to tag along the shopping trip:  Hopscotch Rabbit Baby with Bread, Buckley Deer Baby with Shopping Cart, Wilder Panda Baby with Popcorn, Outback Koala Baby with Shopping Bag, Polar Bear Baby with Ice Cream, Sweetpea Rabbit Baby with Eggs and Juice, Tuxedo Cat Baby with Shopping Cart, Silk Cat Baby with Cash Register, and an exclusive secret style baby to join the fun at the Grocery Market! Ages 3+/ $4.95 each

Blind Bags – Baby Band Series 

Blind bags add the element of surprise to Calico Critters play!  Hidden in each bag is a new Baby Band critter that children can add to their nursery collection. They won’t know which critter is inside until they open the bag. Each bag includes a Baby critter and a uniquely designed musical instrument.  The collection includes eight new collectable babies to complete the band: Shiloh Yellow Labrador on xylophone, Daisy Maple Cat playing the Trumpet, Jason Cuddle Bear with cymbals, Henry Sweetpea Rabbit on the drums, Milo Toy Poodle with accordion, Grace Hopscotch Rabbit playing the violin, Joseph Tuxedo Cat on the piano, and last but not least, Luke Hazelnut Chipmunk playing the tambourine. Ages 3+/ $4.95 each

Gifts That Give To Those Who Need It Most #GiftGuide

As you buy gifts for loved ones this year, consider what you could do to help impoverished children throughout the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well. Gifts are made through Cross Catholic Outreach, a 501c3 Catholic relief and development ministry that provides food, shelter, medical care, water, education, self-help programs, care for orphans and emergency relief. These are a few of the options people can choose from as gift ideas (more ideas are here):

  • Food for the hungry – Send lifesaving supplies of Vitafood to starving children and their families. $27 can feed a family for a whole month.
  • Toys and gifts for a needy child – Let Cross Catholic Outreach pack your Box of Joy with toys and gifts and send it to a child. For $34, Cross Catholic Outreach will pack your Box of Joy and send it to a needy child overseas.
  • Mosquito nets – Send a gift that will effectively help prevent malaria in Zambia. A gift of $26 will provide 3 mosquito nets and help prevent malaria.
  • Bicycles – Send one of the most useful gifts for the poor that you could ever send. $66 provides the gift of a bicycle.

Want to give back to the environment? Check out The Sierra Club. 

These Holiday Gift Guides have Gifts That Give Back, they are the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization. This holiday season, Sierra Club is asking families to put the environment first by purchasing gifts that help protect our communities and our future.

Adopt A Wild Animal: From a grizzly bear or polar bear, to a gray wolf or humpback whale, your symbolic adoption will help protect wild animals and the wild places they call home. “Adopt” today and receive an adorable plush animal to love.

7th Heaven’s cruelty-free, vegan and EASY peel-off masks #GiftGuide #Skincare

7th Heaven’s cruelty-free, vegan and EASY peel-off masks. Available in several ‘flavors,’ such as Coconut & Clay, Tea Tree and Dead Sea, these de-stressing masks use luxurious natural ingredients to reveal glowing, fresher, cleaner skin.

skin care

The “Dead Sea” Mask… I wish I had made a video of. It was interesting peeling off, and unlike some masks, actually did peel. It was clear, and very sticky going on. I got some in my eyebrows, which panicked me, but I had no trouble getting it off without taking off any hair. It got super tight as it dried, and looked like I was  taking off swaths of sunburnt skin as I peeled it off.

So. It peels off, and didn’t rip any hair. Great, yeah? Maybe. It didn’t take off any blackheads, either, as many peel masks will do. I didn’t notice much in the mask itself after it was off, and since it was translucent, I would think it would be easy to see anything that was pulled away, “ick” wise.

My skin, however, was super soft and felt fantastic, so there was that. It dried clear and shiny- below is how it looked just before I pulled it off.

dead sea skin care

Each mask comes in a generous single-serve sachet and retails for $1.99 . Perfect for stocking stuffers.

CHUPS Socks For Cozy Holiday Giving

Wrap Your Feet in Warmth and Luxury with the Ultimate in Sock Craftsmanship. Whether they’ve walked miles of hiking trails or toured for hours over cobblestone streets, show your feet some love after all their summer adventures with the limited edition socks from CHUP Socks.
Keep your toes cozy this fall and winter with CHUPS Socks! Sold online and also in stores like J.Crew, these uni-sex, craftsmanship socks sell out FAST!

Only two new collections of these gorgeous socks are released each year, showcasing a commitment to quality and a keen eye for design that has given them a cult following and a reputation for selling out fast in stores like J. Crew.

winter socks

What’s not to love?
Original designs are inspired by the patterns of indigenous tribes from around the world

  • Crafted with vibrantly colored yarn
  • Uber soft and hypo-allergenic
  • Quick drying, odor-resistant, and easy to clean
  • Each pair is inspected upon completion for the utmost quality control
  • />Small batch production means only 20-25 pairs are made a day on average
  • Unisex (available in 3 sizes, Small, Medium, and Large)!
  • Fall/Winter collection features some wool styles.

With the holidays right around the corner, grab a pair of CHUP Socks while they last for a thoughtful and purposeful gift or stocking stuffer to be enjoyed all year long.

Pricing is $35 a pair – see more options at chupsocks.com

And check them out on Instagram: @chupsocks

winter socks

WIN Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Video Game #GiftGuide

 

best video games

Now available, the new Mario and Sonicat the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Here is my son’s review of the game-

Have you ever wanted to see Mario vs. Dr. Eggman? Or Sonic vs. Bowser? As of November 5, you can pit all of Mario’s and Sonic’s iconic characters against each other in the biggest video game mash-up of 2019, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020! Take rivalries to the skate park, diving board, archery range, and more with an incredible suite of 3D and 2D events, imaginative Dream events (who hasn’t wanted to see Sonic on a hoverboard AGAIN?) and an expansive Story Mode.

What you need to know about Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020:

  • Brand New Story: Help Mario & Sonic escape from a 2D-themed console, the “Tokyo ’64,” hatched as part of Dr. Eggman’s and Bowser’s nefarious plans to trap the colorful and capable power pair.
  • A Bountiful Medley of Events: Skateboard, surf, and race your way to the top of the podium! With more than 30 events to master in this fun-filled Olympic Games showdown, there are plenty of ways to prove your skills to your friends in local and online multiplayer.
  • Push the Boundaries: Dream Events deliver a layer of fantastical chaos. Zip through a downhill obstacle course on your hoverboard, throwdown for territorial control with lightning-fast karate action, or smash the most targets inside a traditional Japanese manor!
  • So Many Ways to Play*: Exclusively on Nintendo Switch, determine who the real champion is while using the fun and flexibility of Joy-Con controllers to your advantage.
  • Play with a Cast of Fan-Favorite Characters: The gang’s all here! Play as Mario, Sonic, and a star-studded cast of your favorite SEGA and Nintendo characters!

Mario and Sonic Are Back in the Perfect Party Game on November 5.

Enjoy all the different classic 2D events, perfect for friends and family:

  • 100m
  • 10m Platform (Diving)
  • 400m Hurdles
  • Gymnastics – Vault
  • Judo
  • Kayak Single (K-1) 1000m
  • Long Jump
  • Marathon
  • Shooting – Trap
  • Volleyball

You will also dash, climb, jump, surf and more in these fast-paced 3D events:

  • 100m
  • 110m Hurdles
  • 4 x 100m Relay
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Boxing
  • Canoe Double (C-2) 1000m
  • Discus Throw
  • Equestrian – Jumping
  • Fencing
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Gymnastics – Floor Exercise
  • Javelin Throw
  • Karate – Kumite
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Skateboarding – Park
  • Sport Climbing
  • Surfing – Shortboard
  • Swimming – 100m Freestyle
  • Table Tennis
  • Triple Jump

The fun even goes beyond the limits of reality with all-new Dream Events:

  • Dream Karate
  • Dream Racing
  • Dream Shooting

Release Date

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will take to the starting blocks exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on November 5 in the Americas for $59.99 USD and November 8 in Europe with commensurate pricing. For more information, including where ordering the game, be sure to visit the official website, and watch our latest trailer.

*Joy-Con functionality does not extend to all events.

**Internet connection required during online play. To use online services, you must create a Nintendo Account and accept the related agreement. The Nintendo Account Privacy Policy applies. Some online services may not be available in all countries. Online play requires paid online membership.

One of you can win a video game of your own as well. Please feel free to enter to win using the RC code below. Good luck! Ends Dec. 4, 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Luigi’s Mansion 3 by Nintendo #GiftGuide

Looking for a fun game to get for the kids this holiday season? Nintendo has just come out with the 3rd in a their series, Luigi’s Mansion 3, just in time for this gift giving season. Luigi just wanted to get away, a little vacation- but that just never seems to work out for him, does it?

My son’s review of Luigi’s Mansion;

Poor Luigi. He has a knack for stumbling into the most precarious predicaments. His biggest adventure yet, Luigi’s Mansion 3¸ arrives on Nintendo Switch. When Luigi shows up at the Last Resort hotel, he discovers the entire building is teeming with ghosts. You’ll need your trusty Poltergust G-00, the help of Gooigi and all your wits to survive. Visit This Site for even more fun family activities. You’ll find instructions for making your own Gooigi mask, as well as special ghost-o’-lantern stencils for carving pumpkins with friendly phantoms from Luigi’s Mansion 3, including Polterpup! Don’t forget to print out a Boo-themed paper chain garland to haunt your home with aplomb.

This hotel is equipped with some of the finest and most diverse amenities across our multiple floors. While other hotels only provide a simple continental breakfast, we offer a disco, a greenhouse, a giant pyramid and even a massive pirate ship! You will never leave! Er… I mean, you will never want to leave. You will be having too much fun!

gift guide

While the hotel is vast, you will never feel lonely. Gooigi is never far away if you need his help… and you can even play with a friend to have Gooigi by your side at all times. For more multiplayer fun, you can race the timer to clear objectives with up to seven other guests in ScareScraper mode*, or try your luck at a variety of mini-games in ScreamPark mode. Be sure to try them both when you have a chance.

*Nintendo Switch Online subscription required to play ScareScraper mode online.

Stocking Stuffers for Teen and Tween Boys #GiftGuide

Looking to stuff your son’s stocking with items he will actually use? Check out Prep U Products (available on Amazon) for teens or boys.

natural soap for kids

Made for boys aged eight and up, Prep U is committed to providing all-natural body care products that are a clean-smelling, chemical-free and effective.  There is a full line of personal care products aimed at the males of the species- though I admit, I really, really like the deodorant and got one for myself. The body washes are also nice for everyone, even if they are aimed at boys. The smell is soothing and refreshing, and I like them as much as they do. I am the “rose amongst thorns” in the house and a bit outnumbered, so perhaps I lean toward things male, but hey. At least you know the smell is pleasant to both sexes. Here are some items to consider;

Back-to-Basics (Price: $32.00) 

Includes all of the signature products: Body Spray, Body Wash and Natural Deodorant.

TRVL Kit (Price: $29.00) 

Prep U’s travel sizes are great for any on-the-go needs from weekend trips to summer camps. The kit includes: 2oz Active Dry Powder, 2oz Body Spray, 2oz Body Wash, canvas travel kit.

Charcoal Face + Body Set (Price: $24.00) 

Prep U’s Charcoal Scrub and Charcoal Bar detoxifies and gently exfoliates skin.

charcoal body wash

I like the charcoal items for my youngest son, age 12, who has a skin condition which causes his skin to erupt in itchy red bumps and rashes. He has so many creams and soaps, but the charcoal also soothes his skin and reduces these breakouts. We use charcoal items often, and both he and I like these and give them our stamp of approval. They also smell nice- it says unscented, but to me it has a bit of a lemon-y smell.  The fact that they are chemical free and all natural makes them a no brainier.

If you have a smelly teen or tween boy in your life (and if he’s older then 5, you likely do, LOL) these will be quite useful gifts indeed. Try them out and shoot us a tweet or a comment, let us know what you think. We hope you like them as much as we do. Happy holidays, and enjoy. If these don’t strike you, try out some solid shampoo or zero waste cosmetics. We know you will find what you are looking for!