One Toy, One Smile – Donate and Receive Free CBX Tickets!

unnamed.jpgIn honor of Día del Niño (Children’s Day), Cross Border Xpress (CBX) – the bi-national bridge connecting San Diego to the Tijuana International Airport – will be collecting toy donations for children in need as part of their “One Toy, One Smile” initiative.

To participate, users of the bridge can simply bring a new toy to the CBX San Diego ticket counter and, in exchange for their donation, receive one FREE southbound CBX ticket ($16 value). Donations will be accepted through April 28.

unnamed-1.jpgThis year CBX pledged to donate 100 toys to Hospital Infantil de las Californias, a children’s hospital in Mexico, which will, in turn, give children a toy prior to medical procedures. Through the generous guest and staff donations last year, CBX was able to donate to multiple organizations in Tijuana, including Orphanage Emmanuel and Casa Morada del Niño Jesus. CBX aims to increase donations and expand to even more organizations this year.

Cross Border Xpress is located at 2745 Otay Pacific Drive, San Diego, CA 92154 (map).

Kiddolab Toys and Win a Trip to DisneyWorld!

Recently the cool people over at Kiddo Labs asked me to review a product from their website. Uh, yeah! I love reviewing toys!

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KiddoLab is a new brand which supports the initiative to provide babies with a solid foundation for the development of early skills during play. I love that all of the toys are made in vibrant colors with interesting textures and lights and/or sounds.

Screen Shot 2018-12-22 at 5.44.31 PM.pngI chose the 2-in-1 Activity Center, which features:

  • AN OCEAN OF FUN CHARACTERS: This interactive activity center is decorated with adorable sea creatures including a fish, turtle, clam, crab, and starfish.
  • A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES: More than just a toy piano, all of the fun ocean creatures double as activities of their own; a click-clack fish, a rattle spinner, a sliding star, a push-down squeaker and a baby-safe mirror.
  • LIGHT-UP PIANO KEYS: Three big, brightly colored light-up piano keys are easy to press for little fingers. Intended for ages nine months plus.
  • TWO MUSICAL MODES: Loaded with cheerful music to entertain babies and toddlers, you can choose between free play and tunes to play along with.
  • ATTACHES TO YOUR CRIB: This activity table boasts detachable legs and can then be easily attached to your infant’s crib.

I set it up, added batteries and let Margaret go to town. She played with it for about 20 minutes. She had a great time.  What I like it that it’s easy to set up and change to attach to a crib. The sounds aren’t high-pitched or tinny, so listening to the sounds wasn’t like most baby/kid toys (parents- you know what I’m talking about!). I love that it’s a toy that can grow with your child. The crib straps and the legs are both easy to install and remove.

Right now, Kiddo Labs is offering my readers a a 25% discount with coupon code: TTPM25  To get started, visit Kiddolab here.

Oh, and it gets better. Not only does Kiddo Labs have great, fun toys for your littles, right now they are giving away a vacation to Disney World. Visit their website to learn more.

 

Thanks so much to Kiddo Labs for the fun toy! All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for my review. Please see my Disclosure Page for more information about reviews.

2018 Holiday Resources For Those in Need

2018 has been a hard year for so many families. Thankfully there are many local groups that are offering help to neighbors in need.

The holiday are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!

Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.

unnamed (1).jpgMeet the Need at Faith Chapel is giving away 100 6-7 foot Christmas trees this Sunday, December 2, 2018 to the first 100 people who register.

If you desire a tree, plan on coming to Faith Chapel to register as early as 8:30am. Trees are limited to the first 100 registrants. Bring tie downs or whatever else you need to take a tree home with you.  From their email, “Meet The Need will be held at the Faith Chapel Activity Center at the top of the church property beginning at 1:00pm. There will be lots of fun activities and a wonderful Mexican Themed meal!

Registration for Meet The Need will be held in the church lobby at the top of the campus in the main foyer. Registration will begin as early as 8:30am and will be open till 10:30am. We only have 100 Christmas Tree’s, available for the first 100 registrants that want a Christmas Tree. So if you want to guarantee yourself a tree, show up as early as possible.

Registration will be from 8:30-1:00pm Feel free to register at this link now. It’ll help the line move faster but please know this does not count as saving your place in line for a tree. Doors open for Meet The Need at 1:00pm.”

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 1.53.34 PM.pngToys 4 Joy has 3 San Diego area events on December 8th. Toys for Joy is open to all children and families and no registration is required. One free toy will be given to all children attending the event ages 0 – 11. Free lunch will be provided in addition to free entertainment, kids activities and giveaways. All three locations have free groceries and one location has free gently used clothing available.
Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.24.34 AM.pngThe Cameron YMCA is hosting a free Cookies and Milk with Santa on Saturday, December 15th.
Bring the entire family and join us for our annual Cookies with Santa!
Enjoy Cookie decorating, ornament making, letters to Santa, pin the
heart on the Grinch and photos with Santa!
Pre-Registration Required. Thanks to PetSmart of El Cajon, all children registered will receive a plush toy at the event while supplies last.
This event is not limited to YMCA members! To register, please call the Cameron YMCA in Santee at 619-449-9622.
46483028_285394222087178_1187343279482470400_o.jpgEast County kids are invited to meet Santa, enjoy crafts and snacks with the Santee-Lakeside Elks Lodge on December 15th.
Here is the event page with details and the address

In order for your kids to receive a gift, please sign up your kids up to 12 years old via email to Jerrilynn: Kids_Christmas_Party@cox.net by December 7th please include name, age & gender and gift idea under $20.00

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.08.55 AM.pngNew Christian Fellowship in Hillcrest is having an fun, free event on December 22nd. There will be toys for kids 12 and under, as well as food, games, and fn. You can find more information on their Facebook page here.
And if you are in a position to help out, please consider donating to your local food or toy drive. Many grocery stores have red donation barrels, schools are doing canned food drives for their local food banks this time of year too.
46917582_1434957259969602_6344294160849174528_n.jpgIn Santee, Santee Santas and our local Chick-Fil-A have teamed up to “Stuff the truck” this Saturday, December 1st.
Bring a toy or non-perishable food item and receive a free menu item (see the flier). You can learn more here.
Firefly Wellness Day Spa is also holding a food drive.
When you donate, not only will you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping others, but you will also get a thank you coupon from Firefly Wellness Day Spa. Each person who donates ten (10) or more items will receive a coupon for a FREE brow wax or a $20 coupon to use at Firefly Wellness Day Spa which can either be used as a holiday gift or use it for yourself on your next visit. (Limit one coupon per person.)
You can get details and learn more here.
Talk Back: What is your favorite way to help others? 

Freebie and Deal Time!

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I meant to post this on Friday, but I was distracted by Thanksgiving prep. There are a lot of really great freebies and deals right now.  I’ve compiled a bunch to share!

Let’s start with the Freebies:

Free Sample of belVita Biscuits at Walmart
Free Jimmy Dean Holiday Gift
Free Pepsi Zero Sugar or Diet Pepsi at 7-Eleven
Claim Your Free Sample Box for November
Free Sample of Universal Nutrition Shock Therapy & Storm Mass
Free Forto Coffee Shot at Walmart After Ibotta Rebate
Free Sample of Olay Regenerist Whips
Free Duracell Batteries at Office Depot & Office Max (perfect if you are buying holiday gifts that require batteries)
Free Organics Family Grass Kids Whey Powder
Free Sample of PooPeePads Dog Pads
Free Teadora Skincare & Hair Care Products
Free Sample of Canidae Pet Food
Checkout 51 – Free UltraFeel 2-in-1 Condom
Free Prevail Briefs, Pads or Liners Sample Pack
Free Candle-Lite Jar Candle at Kroger (I’m excited about this, I love candles!)

Deals- I’ve chosen Deals that would make great gifts:

Save 50% on Playmobil Rescue Ladder Unit ONLY $12.99 (Reg. $25)
Save 62% on Playmobil Doll House ONLY $25.95 (Reg. $63)
FREE Harrys Razor, Shaving Cream and Cover (pay $3 shopping- would make a great stocking stuffer)
Save 50% on Playmobil Hospital Play Box ONLY $9.99 (Reg. $20)
Versace Men’s Mini Cologne $5.50 Shipped – Stocking Stuffer
A Christmas Story Blu-ray DVD ONLY $7.99 (Reg. $19.98)
Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones ONLY $199 (Reg $350)
Disney Princess Sparkling Dolls ONLY $39.99 (Reg. $65) Shipped

Kid K’Nex- Creative Play for Smaller Hands!

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 5.33.36 PMWOW! We were lucky enough to be selected for a Tryazon Kids K’Nex Play Time Party, and today was the day!

The kids had a blast! It was hot already at 10 am at the park, but there were a few kids out, in addition to our guests who came over to check out these awesome toys and play.

38804508_10106054182526514_4093103128713363456_nAnd for those who couldn’t attend, but want to check out all the fun of Kid K’nex, here is a sweet coupon code TRYAZONKK. It will allow your friends to purchase the Budding Builders Tub for 70% off here.

 

About K’Nex: Founded in 1992, K’NEX, part of the Basic Fun! Family of brands, wanted to show kids that the only limit to building was the size of their imagination! 25 years later, K’NEX prides itself on connecting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math with imagination. STEAMagination can be found in every K’NEX set and with it building dreams become a fun-powered, 3-D reality! Winner of over 390 awards and recognitions, the K’NEX product line has building toys specially designed for every age group and skill level.

In addition all this fun play, the kids and I gave away two of the KID K’NEX Zoo Friends Construction Toy Sets.  Recommended for Ages 3-5 , each set includes eyes, ears, paws, and more! It comes with 30 building ideas in a cool handout, and includes 55 colorful parts!

Here are a few of our creations:

If, you’ve never heard of Tryazon (pronounced Try-uh-zon ☺), Tryazon is a service dedicated to getting innovative products into people’s hands and mouths, in fun settings like the party we had today. They offer excellent product samples and savings for all who participate.

We had a great time and can’t wait to party again soon with Tryazon! We received free items to facilitate this event, however we were not financial compensated to hold this event. All opinions are mine solely. Please review our Disclosure Page for more information.

Playing and Learning with Safari LTD.

2B6678AB-B924-49B9-81D9-A9E4F2510AAE.jpgEver since Henry was itty bitty, one of his favorite kinds of toys were what he calls “Mean Animals”, you know those plastic animals that you can buy everywhere? Some of them are realistic, and some not so much.

We have a pretty hefty collection/menagerie of mean animals, but we are always open to increasing our herd. Last week we received a package from Safari LTD that contained our three newest friends: Frogfish, Hermit Crab, and Sea Turtle. As you can see from the picture above, Margaret has taken a shine to Sea Turtle.

IMG_8450.jpgThese new friends are not the usual tiny animals that come in a plastic bag or tube, these guys are BIG! I mean, look how big the Sea Turtle is in Margaret’s hands! And they look realistic too! That’s what I love about the toys from Safari LTD. Regardless of the size, all of their toys look real. No purple rhinos or bright green whales. Everything looks like it could come from a nature magazine. In fact the hermit crab scared the cat!

Safari LTD. has a great selection on Amazon, but you’ve probably seen their “Toobs” at Michael’s and some of the Good Luck Minis and Fun Packs at museums and aquariums. You can also buy them on the Safari LTD. Website too. Henry loves animals. Some of our favorite family animal based shows include: Wild Kratts, Octonauts, Blue Planet, Dinosaur Train, Zoboomafoo, and Coyote Peterson on Youtube (it is one of the few things I am ok with the kids watching on YouTube), so I was stoked to discover the SafariPedia on the Safari LTD. website. The SafariPedia has a full, amazing wiki with tons of information about all of the animals and creatures of the toys they make.

IMG_8457.jpgWe play really rough with out toys, and our ocean gang has held up to some pretty rough play. They are no worse for the wear.

I asked Henry if he would recommend the Safari LTD. toys to his friends, and he said, “Yeah, these guys are awesome. They are cool and look real. I think we should buy some Mean Animals for (insert the name of two of his friends) for their birthdays!” So there you have it- Mom and kiddo approved!

Thanks to Safari LTD. and Mommy Con for the three new animals. All opinions are my own, and I received no financial compensation for this post. Some of the links posted may be affiliate links that may generate a commission or revenue. Please refer to my disclosure policy.

 

 

The Annual Toy Purge: Clean up & Help Others!

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Each year after Christmas and when the big kiddo is back to school, we go through the house and get rid of the toys that are no longer played with (Duplos), or are broken (So many things), or were taken away and never asked for back (I’m looking at you Nerf Gun). We also weed out the multiples. That way we only have 1 of each kind of train (no one needs 5 Thomas trains!), one of each kind of toy dino/animal in each size, and enough accessories for each Potato Head (but not tons).

IMG_7862We call this the Great Annual Toy Purge.  I enlist the help of my mom (who lives less than a mile away) to come and help me sort through all the toys.  We have toys in bins that are labeled, but sometimes, the toys migrate.

At the same time, we go through the toys. There are three piles:

  • Broken or missing pieces (discard/recycle)
  • In ok/good shape (donate to local thrift store)
  • Great/like new shape (There isn’t a lot in this category- Donate to some places in our local area that needs toys, or give to friends)

Then there is the Big Ol’ Black Trash bag- The trash goes straight in there.

I didn’t get a before picture, but, it was awful. Toys everywhere, junk, empty boxes… You know, kid stuff.

Here is a photo of the after:

IMG_7849IMG_7848 There are still a few more boxes of toys that need to go down to the garage (Stuff that we are saving for the when the Littler One gets bigger), and I vacuumed and we made his bed.

Unwanted toys were moved out of the house yesterday before school pick up. It’s raining right now, so our project is on hold until the rain stops. Next up is Bitty Bird’s room. It’s much smaller and she has less toys, but there are son many small pieces (doll clothes, toy food)- I’ll be stocking up on more 20 quart Sterilite tubs with lids.

Now, there are some toys that live in the living room because they get a lot more play. Mean Animals/Toy Dinos, Guy Men (action figures), and a small tub of Legos. We have them in a 2×2 Kallax Bookshelf from Ikea.

I’m participating in #declutterlikeamother, which is something fellow blogger Allie Casazzara does. A few of my friends are doing it too. While I wouldn’t jump off a cliff if others were doing it, I will definitely get rid of so much clutter and confusion with my friends!

I’ve already cleaned out the hall closet, the kitchen and hall junk drawers, and cleaned out my desk (which was basically just two junk drawers).

We’ve also cleaned out our wardrobes. We donated, recycled, shared hand-me-downs, and prepped bags to take to an upcoming clothing swap.

I encourage everyone to #declutterlikeamother. It’s incredibly liberating not to not feel suffocated by so.much.stuff. It feels so good to let go.