Playskool #ImagineWithElmo Playdate ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Friday, October 17, 2014

**I wrote this review while participating in a campaign forMom Central Consulting on behalf of Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

With the temps beginning to get colder, I am already preparing myself for winter and being cooped up in the house. As a mom of young, active kids, I am always looking for fun options to fill our day...especially this time of year! It's important to me to find things to keep my kids stimulated and learning, while being able to interact with other children as well. That's why I was excited when given the fun opportunity to host a playdate with some friends.

Our playdate's primary purpose was to introduce the new Let's Imagine Elmo toy, as well as give the kids at the party a chance to enjoy complimentary toys from Playskool like the Transformers Mixable, Mashable Heroes Optimus Prime and Grimlock and Stack 'N Spin Monkey Gears toy. 

We were sent these toys, along hats, "when I grow up I imagine I'll be..." stickers, etc. I was so excited to get the playdate planned out, so I went to store to pick up some goodies. Since Elmo was our focus, I wanted to get some red items (the red bag of chip/cracker mix), grapes, and of cups with Elmo faces!! 

When the kids arrived, they were super excited to see all of this displayed on the table...and couldn't wait to get their hands on Elmo! Right away they decided to each take turns with the fun hats too!

I thought I'd keep them on their toes, by eating a little snack/lunch first and then introducing Elmo and the other toys in more detail. Needless to say, I think the Elmo cups were their favorite part of the meal!!

Once everyone was done eating, we were all super excited to check out the Playskool toys. Displayed on the middle of the table, Elmo was especially intriguing and the kids (as well as their parents) absolutely loved him! 

Let's Imagine Elmo comes with three different hats that unlock different imaginary themes and play modes: Prince, Cowboy and Sea Captain. My kids really loved the Sea Captain, but many of our guests liked the Cowboy because if you bounce Elmo, it sounds like he's on a horse. So CUTE!!! Place the crown on Elmo to play a game of Prince Elmo Says, the Cowboy hat to learn numbers in the Countin' Cowboy game, and more!

As we put a different hat on Elmo, the kids enjoyed coming up with their own imaginative stories to tell. And even for those who can't talk yet...Elmo was a HUGE hit!! This little guy was all smiles when Elmo talked to him. I would definitely encourage you to learn more about him on the Playskool website!

Once we had spent a long time checking out Elmo and all of his fun features, the kids were tickled to learn that they were going to get the opportunity to check out the other interactive toys and take them home!!

The boys were especially drawn to the Transformers Mixable, Mashable Heroes Optimus Prime and Grimlock toys. They enjoyed taking them apart and putting them back together again. I think the mini Mr. Potato Head was their favorite part. They all commented on how 'cool' he is! They can even Squeeze the Grimlock figure's eyes and watch as his jaw chomps and launches a projectile! 

What's fun about this toy is that they could put them together really however they wanted. Not to mention, play with them however they wanted too. They created their own stories for what their toy was doing, and were able to play together at the same time. It was really fun to watch!

The girls, and the younger ones LOVED the Stack 'N Spin Monkey Gears toy! This is seriously such a cute, simple toy for little ones. I love that it encourages fine motor skills, colors and of course, cause and effect. Once the gears are in place, a button can be pushed to get them to rotate together and light up. It's a very fun toy, and one I plan to get for both of my nieces who turn one soon. Seeing how much our friends loved this toy, I know my nieces will love it just as much!

We had such a fun time at our playdate, and all of the kids and parents were thrilled to learn of these fun Playskool toys! Let's Imagine Elmo was a HUGE hit and a very welcomed guest at the party. Whether your little one is spinning, tumbling, or giggling, the Playskool core collection has something to make every little one smile! Perfect for little hands and specifically designed to enhance developmental skills through play, parents and children alike will love the 2014 Playskool collection featuring these fun and loveable characters. Having had the opportunity to try out a few, I know these and others will make wonderful gift ideas for other parents with little ones this year!

Buy It: The three toys we had the opportunity to review during our playdate can be purchased at

Little Tikes Tunnel 'N Dome Climber ~ Review

Posted by Erin K. | Tuesday, October 14, 2014

**The product for this review was provided by Little Tikes. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Two weeks ago I welcomed my second child into the world - a 6 lb 14 oz little bundle of sweet perfection; my first daughter, Cora Bethany.  So naturally, the past couple weeks have been full of changes for our whole family.

My two and a half year old son, Cameron, has taken it all slightly less gracefully than I anticipated.  His normal tantrums and whiny-ness have been amplified at the arrival of his first sibling so my husband and I have been doing our best to shower him with attention and love to help him feel as secure as possible.  Therefore, this past week was also the perfect time to try out a fun new toy for Cameron.

When the box containing the Little Tikes Tunnel 'N Dome Climber arrived prior to Cora's birth, we made Cameron wait until she was here to open his special toy.  So he had a good week or so of anticipation leading up to opening it up.

Little Tikes has been manufacturing and marketing durable, safe and imaginative children's products since 1970.  Some of the classic, iconic children's toys, such as the Turtle Sandbox or Cozy Coupe, have come from this familiar brand.  Another plus, many of their toys are made right here in the USA.

The box arrived in good condition and contained nine durable plastic pieces, the tunnel and an instructional booklet.  After examining the contents for about ten seconds I was pleased to discover that assembling the Tunnel 'N Dome Climber was going to be very quick and easy.  Without even consulting the instructional booklet my husband and I were able to understand how the pieces fit together just from looking at the picture printed on the box - and we are no experts at toy assembly.

It took us about five minutes to assemble the Tunnel 'N Dome climber in our backyard and instantly my son was all over it.  After climbing up and down each side he proceeded to go in and out of the house, bringing all his favorite toys into his new "fort."  The nylon tunnel is a separate, detachable piece and can be used with the climber or separately if desired.

After playing with it outside for a while, my husband moved the Tunnel 'N Dome Climber into Cameron's room.  The plastic is sturdy, but lightweight enough that my husband could pick the whole thing up and carry it across the house.  It also fit through all the doorways.

This climber has turned out to be very versatile and a great way for my toddler to burn some of his boundless energy.  As a fort, it's a great way for Cameron to use his imagination to pretend he is sailing on a pirate ship, hiding in a cave or climbing to the top of a mountain.

  •  Crawl – through tunnel
  •  Large climbing surface
  •  Varied sized holes for climbing play that all kids love
  •  Plenty of room inside the dome for kids to explore their imaginations 
  •  Maximum number of kids: 3
  •  Weight limit up to 60lbs. per child
  •  Assembly Required

Overall, we have been pleased with the quality of this play structure.  It's a great addition to our backyard.

The Little Tikes Tunnel 'N Dome Climber retails for $149.99 and is recommended for children 3-6 years old.  This, or other Little Tikes favorites, would be a great choice for parents or grandparents to surprise their little ones with this holiday season.

Buy It: You can purchase the Tunnel 'N Dome Climber from a handful of major retailers by viewing this product on the Little Tikes website and clicking on "Where to Buy."

Jif #GetGoing photo competition ~ Enter by October 1st!!

Posted by Jenna | Monday, September 29, 2014

**I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

With winter just around the corner, our family tries to get out as much as we can! We know that soon we will be cooped up keeping warm for several months... so getting out and seeing and doing new things is something we enjoy! As part of our active lifestyle, we love to #GetGoing and go on adventures together. Whether it's a simple walk, a trip to the zoo or a fun family vacation...we keep moving a lot! That's why I was excited to learn about the current contest from Jif To Go. 

From August 20 through October 1, 2014, Jif To Go is celebrating life on the go by asking fans to share a picture of how they get going in the #GetGoing photo promotion. Fans can enter each week for a chance to win $1000 to use for their next adventure.

You can find all the details for the contest here. There are several ways to enter...Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Whichever you choose, be sure to do so soon as it ends in just a couple of days!

I know I plan on entering. Winning a $1000 dollars would be a great way to afford a fun trip with my family. If I won, I'd take my family to St. Louis. We drove through there this summer and the kids were in awe of the arch and all there was to do there. I'd love to take them for a vacation and enjoy it more, making memories together! What a fun time that would be.

What adventure would you spend $1000 on?! There are so many options. Don't miss this opportunity to enter the Jif #GetGoing photo competition!

Jif Website:

EatSmart Precision Elite Food Thermometer ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Monday, September 29, 2014

**The product for this review was provided by EatSmart. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

With Winter just a month or so away, we've been soaking up the beautiful weather, pleasant temps and time together with friends and family outdoors. That of course, means lots of grill outs, especially with football season here!
I love this time of year and being able grill out. With all the cooking, both indoors and outdoors that we do this time of year, I knew the EatSmart food thermometer would come in handy. I am the type that is always worried about making the meat gets done and this is the answer I've been looking for! It is made to give years of reliable service performing a wide variety of everyday tasks. 

When the EatSmart Precision Elite Food Thermometer arrived, I couldn't wait to check it out. Out of the box I could tell it was very well made and something that will last us a long time! I also love the red color! It even comes with an anti-microbial nylon case to keep it safe when it's not being used. I love this!! 

Of course, I couldn't wait to figure out how it works and test it out. Thankfully I've found it to be very easy to use. When the probe is folded out, the illuminated blue backlit screen comes on (after the batteries have been installed - which ARE included). I appreciate the backlit readout as it makes it easy to read in low light - which is necessary as the days get shorter this time of year. 

In using the food thermometer, I have been amazed with the quick response time. It offers a rapid temperature read in just 3 seconds or less and has a broad range of -40F to 572F. You can even switch the Fahrenheit and Celsius mode.  It also seems to work well in all types of meat, both tough, and those that are more tender. 

Overall we've been very impressed with this food thermometer. It has taken the guess work out of cooking, backing and of course, grilling! This gives me peace of mind that all of our meals are cooked to perfection. 

Buy It: You can purchase the Precision Elite Food Thermometer on for $39.95. 

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