Category Archives: Review

I went to Build A Bear for #PayYourAge Day

I just got home after a busy day with the kids and friends.  Our main focus was to go to Build A Bear for the Pay Your Age promotion.  I really didn’t think it would be that busy and I thought it would be a fun time for the little ones that had not had the opportunity to Build A Bear yet.  We got done and I opened up my phone to a ton of negativity about the event and that is really just not cool because honestly, it was a fun day.

About the deal:  Any child was able to go to Build A Bear and pay their age in years for any bear of their choice.  So if your child is 1, you pay $1!  If you are older than 29, you were 29 for the day and could pay just $29 for any bear.  BAB Pay your Age


They definitely marketed the sale well.  I heard about the sale from many sources and was intrigued and wanted to bring my kids.  Well apparently other parents also had the same idea.  After hearing from several people that they were going to go, I figured I would arrive early to get in line so we could be the first ones in the store.

Reality:  I arrived at the mall around 8:30.  The mall doors had not even opened up yet so my friend and I hopped in the line to get into the mall.  I chatted with some other moms in line and I arrived about an hour too late if I wanted to truly be one of the first people in the store.  A friend of mine arrived at 7:30 AM and she was in the first group of 10 to get in the store.   That was smart on her part because for my kids it was really the wait to get the bears stuffed that was the killer.  Watching the other kids get their bears and not being able to help is hard for a three year old LOL.

Build A Bear Line

They had a full staff at Build A Bear, they had help from Mall Security, and managed things really well at our store.  First you waited in line to get your bear.  For US it took about 2 hours to get to the bears.  This really did not seem to take very long at all.  Dad walked around the little ones, my friend’s 6 year old daughter is exceptionally behaved and enjoyed snacks and playing while we waited.

The store had a system.  Once you reached a certain point, you received a name tag with your age on it.  Then you continued up to the from of that line.  Once you moved up there your were grouped and moved to another line where you were the next group to pick your bear.  They even had an empty store next to Build A Bear where they encouraged you to leave your stroller so it would be out of the way in the store.

Build A Bear Caleb Fluffing

After you picked out your bear, you could either pay for it empty and come back another time to stuff it, or you moved over to the stuffing line.  The only restriction was that if you selected a Pokemon Bear, you HAD to get it stuffed there, you were not allowed to bring those home and then back to stuff later.

The stuffing line was the hardest stretch for us.  THAT line alone was another 2 hours.  NOW… the reason it was another 2 hours was because the wonderful staff was doing such a great job.  Yes… your kids had to wait.  BUT once their turn came, they got the royal treatment and got to stuff their bear and fill it with love.  Again, snacks, walks, pointing out letters on the walls, playing games.. etc… and we made it through!  It was FINALLY our turn!  Caleb helped stuff little brother’s bear and fluffed them, we paid and we left with three happy kids!

Build A Bear Caleb Stuffing

Now.  If you did not arrive early, I am sure your experience was not the same as what I am describing because you may not have had the opportunity to make a bear.  My location “closed the line” somewhere around 11:00.  I didn’t think to ask why- but the staff member I chatted with told me that they had enough bears in stock for everyone that is in line to get a bear.  So instead of making children stand in line to not get a bear, if they wanted to get in line, they were given a voucher for $15 off any bear on their next visit.  They had a security person standing at the end of the line signing out the vouchers.  I am pretty sure if I had not arrived early, I would have been happy to accept the coupon and save my kids from waiting in line for 8 hours to pay a few dollars more for the bear.

Since arriving home, Build A Bear posted on their Facebook that due to the crowds and many stores closing, or fire marshals closing lines, etc., they issued a coupon that Bonus Club Members can download for $15 off any bear on their next visit.  So even if you did not brave the crowds, you can still get a deal with this coupon.  You have to print it or screen shot it by July 15th and stop into any Build a Bear store before August 31st, 2018 to redeem your coupon.  The coupon reads one coupon per account, so if you have two kids you will need your spouse to sign up for an account.

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Also, if you did not know, Build A Bear has a promotion that during your child’s birthday month they can go and build the Birthday Treat Bear for their age.  They also have coupons all the time to help make the Build A Bear experience more affordable when you sign up for the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club.

Check out Netflix’s True and The Rainbow Kingdom NEW EPISODES!

True and The Rainbow Kingdom now has two more stand-alone titles that are being released TODAY:  TRUE: MAGICAL FRIENDS and TRUE: WONDERFUL WISHES each with 5 episodes…for a total of 10 NEW EPISODES!



If you haven’t seen the first season of True and the Rainbow Kingdom, this preschool series follows 8-year-old True and her best friend, a cat, Bartleby, as they help the whimsical citizens of the Rainbow Kingdom, a really cool universe that is colorful, bright, and happy, filled with delightful and fantastical friends.

In the new season, True goes deeper and learns about the people and creatures living in the Rainbow Kingdom. True’s adventures show kids how to deal with the unexpected, be emotionally resilient and to care for others.  This Netflix series has a very positive vibe, True is happy and always looking to the best outcome!

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If your kids like True and the Rainbow Kingdom, you may also want to download the True Wishes App so your child can play games with True too!  The True Wishes app is available on Google Play or Apple Apps Store for just $1.99.

True and the Rainbow Kingdom is produced by Guru Studio, in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER, world-renowned artist collective, FriendsWithYou and Home Plate Entertainment.  They are the same animation team that also brought you Paw Patrol, Backyardigan and Ever After!     They are no longer just an animation studio though, but also an entertainment company; they have evolved from animation projects into creating their own stories, which is super awesome!

Follow the hashtag #trueandtherainbowkingdom on social media to see what everyone is saying about the new True episodes!


It is a great day for all the Portal Masters!  Skylanders Imaginators starter packs on store shelves now AND the Skylanders Creator app is available for Android and iOS devices, so you can now create the Skylander of your wildest dreams!

The beloved kids video game franchise is trailblazing the Toys to Life category yet again with Skylanders Imaginators:

  • Create your very own Skylanders  – choose their body parts, size, catch phrase, powers, colors, theme music and so much more- with Creation Crystals and play through new storyline and gameplay.
  • New Skylanders Senseis – 20 new characters and 11 villains including Kaos (FREE with starter pack purchase until October 21 or while supplies last!), and special guest stars Crash Bandicoot and Dr. Neo Cortex.

  • Starter pack ($74.99USD) includes two Sensei characters, one Creation Crystal, Portal of Power and game disc available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 1, Xbox 360 and WiiU.

Skylanders CropScotch

  • Special Halloween Candy-Coated Chopscotch + Skylanders Halloween costumes– forego the candy and give fans a Halloween themed version of the new Sensei character- a perfect addition to trick-or-treat bags! Portal Masters can dress up like their favorite Skylanders characters with costumes available at retailers nationwide!


Even more fun with the Skylanders Creator App which includes the ability to:

  • Create your Skylanders Imaginator on the go with the same functionality in the game
  • Turn your Skylander Imaginator into a 3-D printed, fully playable toy (enter the #CreatorContest for a chance to win a FREE 3D character- details below) or a 2-D Imaginator card which is fully playable on the portal of power
  • Print your Skylander Imaginator on to an t-shirt
  • Earn new character parts with timed Imaginite Chests and share your new character via social media.

Skylanders has so many fun things going on right now!!  I really can not wait to try out the new game with Colton!!

Check out the Lalaloopsy Baking Oven

The Lalaloopsy Baking Oven is a fun toy for everything this summer!  As a mom- I know you are looking for things to do to keep your little one busy.  The Lalaloopsy Baking Oven is a great way to keep little ones busy AND have them make their own snacks (with help from mom or dad of course).

LALALoopsy Baking Oven

The oven is a fully functional easy bake oven.  Suggested age is 8 and up, but with help Colton was able to do it at 6.  It comes with mostly everything you need to make cookies and a cake with frosting.  Cookie Molds, A baking Pan, Measuring Spoons, a spatula, and of course- the mixes!

Colton and Lalaloopsy Baking Oven


Colton and I first made the cookies.  They were really yummy and really easy to make.

Step 1, mix the ingredients.


Step 2: Spray the baking pan and Cookie Mold with Cooking spray and mold your dough using the cookie mold.  WARNING… ONLY PUT 3 Cookies on the tray at a time.  Otherwise, you will end up with a still very tasty, cookie cake.



I am sure you can guess what we did… yup we put all 6 cookies on the baking pan (mom fail for not reading the directions completely).  So instead of 6 cookies, we had a cookie cake :-)


And then we added frosting for a yummy treat!  

We also made the yummy strawberry cake too!



This toy gets a 5 out 5 from this mom!  Here is why:

1. Functions just as it says it will!
2. Easy Set Up and Easy to use!
3. Teaches Cooking in a fun way.  Colton enjoyed learning to measure, mix, and make things in a way that he was able to safely do so.
4. Food was tasty and edible!
5. Gave us something fun to do and kept Colton busy for a good hour.

You can buy the Lalaloopsy Baking Oven on Amazon regular price for $59.99 and it comes with everything you need to make cookies and a strawberry cake!  You can also purchase additional baking mixes like the confetti cake, and chocolate chip cookie mixes.

FTC Disclosure:  I received product or other compensation in exchange for sharing and writing this review.  The receipt of compensation did not sway my review in any way.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  


Never Iron on Vacation again Thanks to Downy Wrinkle Release

Nothing is more annoying than packing your suitcase for vacation and arriving only to have to iron all your wrinkled clothes.  Trust me- as someone who travels a lot- I know all about that.  Well thanks to Downy Wrinkle Release you never have to break out that iron again!

Downy Wrinkle Releaser

Just add a travel sized bottle to your suit case- when you get to your destination, spray down all your wrinkled clothes and viola!  Wrinkle Free Clothes, and a hassle free vacation!

Step 1:  Spray your garment


Downying Spraying

Step 2:  After 15 minutes, smooth our garment.  And Boom!  Wrinkle Free.Downy ComparisionI love this stuff and I definitely bring it along when I am traveling.  I also use it on my clothes that have a tendency to wrinkle- lets face it, with two kids things don’t make it from the dryer to closet as fast as they used to. :-)

Disclosure:  I received free product to test out for the purpose of writing this post.  

Benefits of Swaddling brought to you by the new SwaddleSure by HALO Adjustable Sleep Pouch + Giveaway

As a new mom, I can tell you those first few weeks with your newborn are nerve racking.  You are constantly wondering if you are doing things right, and hoping you are making your new little one comfortable.

From the moment Caleb was born, he was just the sweetest little thing.  I will not lie when I say we instantly bonded and I am loving every minute of it.

I brought my SwaddleSure by HALO sleep pouch to hospital with me along with my bag of :everything I really want to use from day one: so Caleb was put in the SwaddleSure by HALO Sleep Pouch from day one.  And from day one, he slept SO well and was hardly fussy.  If he was fussy, I would swaddle him and it seemed like he instantly calmed.  Caleb Halo Sleep Sack

The SwaddleSure by HALO Sleep Pouch is my favorite swaddle wrap because it is SO easy.  In 3 quick steps, he is swaddled, comforted, and happy :-)

Swaddle Sure How To

Some benefits to Swaddling are:

  • Swaddling is a great way to soothe and calm a fussy baby by giving him a feeling of security, similar to being in the womb.
  • A newborn cannot regulate his temperature as well as an adult, so swaddling keeps his body warm. (Just make sure that he doesn’t become overheated.)
  • Swaddling often helps a baby sleep longer because it prevents the sudden movements (startle reflex) that can cause him to wake up.
  • Swaddling can help a baby focus on breastfeeding, helping to keep his arms and legs out of the way
  • Swaddling prevents a newborn baby from scratching himself with his nails.
SwaddleSure became available in January 2015, and can be found at and for a suggested retail price of $14.99.
Also- one VERY important thing about the swaddle sure is the Hip Healthy design.  One os the common worries of Swaddling is hip dysplasia from wrapping the legs.  With the design of this sleep  pouch the legs are loose, so Hip Dysplasia is not a concern :-)
I am a huge fan of swaddling and the Halo SwaddleSure is my top pick of all the swaddle wraps I have tried.  If you are expecting… definitely add this one to your registry :-)
And now for the giveaway!  I am giving away ONE SwaddleSure by HALO Adjustable Sleep Pouch to ONE lucky Mommy Has A Life winner.
Giveaway Ends July 19, 2015 at 11:59 PM
To Enter (One Comment per Entry):
(One Entry) Tell me your favorite thing about Swaddling.
(One Entry) Like Mommy Has A Life on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Instagram.
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Twitter

(One Entry) Like Halo Sleep Sack on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow @HaloSleepSack on Twitter
(One Entry) Follow Halo Sleep Sack on Pinterest
(One Entry) Follow HaloSleepSack on Instagram
One Entry) Follow Halo Sleep Sack on Google+
(One Entry) Follow the Halo Sleep Sack YouTube Channel
(One Entry) Check out my Essentials for Baby Guide and comment on that post.

Disclosure: I received free product to review for purposes of this post.  

Baby Boot Camp App by First Years

The First Years brand knows parenting can be exciting, messy, overwhelming and unpredictable.  Their new totally FREE Baby Boot Camp game takes some of your typical parenting activities – feeding, cleaning, soothing and potty training – and lets you have a little fun with them.

first years 1
Download The First Years Baby Boot Camp game now for FREE from the Apple App Store or Google Play.  

Baby Boot Camp

You’ll cycle through 4 short games – “Hungry Baby,” “Catch This,” “Sweet Silence” and “Potty Drop” – that will have you swiping, tilting and tapping to keep the babies happy. You can challenge other parents by sharing your score on Facebook, too!  What is cool is that the games progressively get harder as you cycle through on the game, for example, more colors of pacifiers on Sweet Silence and the baby falls faster on Potty Drop.

I was actually thinking this would be a fun game for an upcoming baby shower.  Bring your iPad with the game preloaded and have guests play eiher on their phones or on the iPad and see who gets the highest score.  It is like an instant baby shower game that doesn’t waste a ton of paper :-)

first years Check it out and have fun, but don’t get too addicted 😉

Disclosure: I received free products for promoting this App from First Years.

Check out Minions in General Mills Cereal AND GIVEAWAY!

Minions is going to be hitting the theaters July 10th!  I know- you have your calendar marked and your kids are counting down the days!  Well they can get some extra Minion fun inside Genral Mills Cereals.  For a limited time you can find a super cute Minion Buddy inside specially marked General Mills Cereals and Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks.

General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Minions and cereal fans alike can collect all six Buddies in each participating brand of General Mills cereals, including: Honey Nut Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, Trix and Golden Grahams.  General Mills has additionally released specially marked packing of participating Betty Crocker fruit flavored snacks, including: Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot and Gushers.  The specially marked boxes of Big G cereals hit store shelves this month, for a limited time only.

For a little tease, check out this trailer from the Minions movie

How would you like to win a General Mills Prize Pack, including a $25 Fandango Gift Card so you can take your kiddo to see the Minions movie!
One luck Mommy Has A Life reader will win One Specially Marked Box of General Mills Cereal, One box of specially marked Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, and a $25 Fandango Gift Card.


Giveaway ends June 30th at 11:59 PM.  Comment below for each entry.

To Enter:
(One Entry) Comment and tell me which General Mills Cereal is your favorite.
(One Entry) Tell me which Minion is your favorite.
(One Entry) Like Mommy Has A Life on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Instagram.
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Twitter


Check out the new @Dyson V6 Absolute Cordless Vacuum at @BestBuy

If you are looking for a new, light weight cordless vacuum, you HAVE to check out the new Dyson V6 Absolute Cordless Vacuum, available March 1st at Best Buy.  I had the opportunity to test out this new vacuum and I wanted to share my experience with you.

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First- The Suction!  You are getting all the perks of a lightweight, cordless vacuum, but you are still getting the suction of a traditional Dyson.  The first time I used it I couldn’t believe that the little vacuum was able to suck up as much dirt, dust and hair as it did.  I feel like it seals to floor to actually get a good deep clean when I vacuum.  I am VERY impressed with this!

Second, The Attachments.  The Dyson V6 Absolute Cordless Vacuum comes with an array of attachments, including two cleaner heads, so you have many options of how to use your vacuum.  I really like that if I really wanted to (and I have) I was able to scale down the vacuum to a handheld size so that I could get the corners and some tight spots easier than when you have the big cleaner heads on it.  Definitely a plus to have so much versatility with one vacuum.  Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.56.47 AM

About the 2 cleanerheads:

1. Dyson Fluffy:  A soft roller cleaner head engineered to suck up both large dirt and fine dust simultaneously on hard floors. Powerful cleaning without scratching.

2. 75% more brush power:  A second cleaner head features a direct-drive motor that creates 75% more brush bar power than DC59 Animal to better agitate carpet pile and tackle ground-in spills and stains.

I used both cleaner heads since we have both hardwood and carpet in our house.  I tend to use the carpet option most because my room is carpet and I vacuum a lot to keep things clean for the baby :-)

More information about the vacuum:

Easy to push:A large, soft roller and increased versatility from a re-designed neck enables smooth movement across floor types.

Dyson digital motor V6:The latest Dyson digital motor gives V6 Absolute the most powerful suction of any cordless vacuum in use.

2 Tier Radial™ Cyclone Technology: Flings dust out of the air and into the bin, separating out even the most microscopic particles.

What I would change about the vacuum:  The only thing I would change is I would like to see the charge last longer, it only lasts about 17 minutes with the vacuum running- and somedays, especially when the kids are “helping” me clean- it takes me more than 17 minutes to vacuum even one room.

This is a great vacuum, and you definitely get the bang for your buck with this cordless vacuum!  This is something I would definitely add to my wedding registry if I didn’t already have it 😛

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Help teach your child to swim with Swimways #SwimWays #IC #Ad

If you have a little one I am sure you know that they can either love or hate the water.   SwimWays aims to help make that transition to the water easier and helps babies enjoy pool time and love being in the water.  It is a great product to make that initial introduction to the water for baby.

colton swimways

National Learn to Swim Day is May 16th, and what better way to celebrate that than with Swimways :-) Swimways has a whole line of floats that help children become confident swimmers and lets face it- teaching your children to swim is a life saving lesson so the sooner they learn the better!  This is why they created Swim Steps- which is a variety of products to help kids learn to swim and become more confident swimmers.

Colton started swim lessons at just 4 months at our local YMCA. I thought it was important for him to love the water and enjoy swimming at a young age, so this is why I started him that young.  We kept up with swim lessons and now at age 5, he is a great swimmer (thanks to our favorite swim instructor, Miss Cheri).  I also give credit to Swimways because their Spring Float was what we used even back then for Colton in our own pool.  He just loved being in it in the pool :-)

I am very glad that Colton learned to swim at an age because when he gets excited he is definitely a bit fearless and sometimes that fearlessness turns into danger when he decides to do something like…. run ahead of mom and jump into the deep-end of the pool while we were at a water resort last summer.  He was only 4 at the time, and a small 4 so I am sure the lifeguards didn’t think he could swim, but he jumped in (gave mom a scare), and immediately swam to the surface and I pulled him out.  The lifeguard that was standing there was getting ready to jump in after him (as was I had he not swam to the surface so fast)– but luckily- he was able to swim and no life saving measures needed to be taken that day :-)

If you would like more information on teaching your children to swim or the importance of it, please check out  swimways

You can also check out the Swimways Spring Float or their other products on the SwimWays website and Swimways products can be purchased at ToyRUs.

Don’t forget May 16th is National Learn to Swim Day, so mark your calendar, get your kids in the water and work on swimming with them!!   Also, @Swimways is hosting a twitter Party May 15 from 1-2 PM ET so join them and @MomCentral for the #Swimways Twitter Party and possibly win some great prizes :-)

Disclosure: I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for SwimWays. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.