Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

April 22, 2014

Hasbro Spring Toy 2014 Sneak Peek

The holidays can put us all on toy overload. But after being cooped up all Winter, playing with all the same toys, it's nice to breathe some new life into the ol' toy collection. Luckily, Hasbro releases new toy s all year long, and this Spring they have introduced some fantastic options for kids of all ages!  I had a chance to read about some of the new items and even try a few out myself!

If you are looking for a fun toy to give as a birthday or graduation gift, a milestone reward or a "just because you are awesome" present, here are some of the new Spring releases from Hasbro:


For the littlest of toy lovers, Playskool introduces the SHAPES ‘N COLORS TURTLE. This toy is awesome for little kids because it is interaction. Touch Mr. Turtle, and he will wobble, light up and speak learning phrases. Learn new songs and work on hand-eye coordination all at the same time! I'm all OVER this for my baby niece!

Did you know Playskool has a product line called Playskool Heroes?   These toys are based off of Transformers and Marvel characters, and designed to let younger kids get in on big kid play action! The TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS take classic robots and turn them into magnificent vehicles. Optimus Prime turn into a rescue monster truck. Bumblebee Bot turns into a motorcycle, and Heatwave  robot turns into fire-boat rescue. Thinking my almost 2-year old nephew will enjoy playing like a Big Boy with Playskool Heroes!

Littlest Pet Shop

Jump into the world of Blythe Baxter, a little Downtown City girl living above The Littlest Pet Shop! Kids can enjoy big adventures with these cute little animals and their playsets. My girls LOVED getting a chance to check out the Littleest Pet Shop Magic Motion Mini Playset. Play with Blythe's monkey, Minka Mark. Minka can paint in her studio, sleep in her hammock and play on her monkey bars and swing set! When she gets hungry, feed her a banana snack. My girls spent hours setting up elaborate tableaus with Minka Mark, marveling that she really closed her eyes for a nap!

FurReal Friends

There is nothing better than the loyal companionship of a pet. FurReal Friends are the toy pet best friends that love you back! These new fun toys from FurReal Friends are interactive, to the delight of "pet owner" kids. Stroke the back of My Bouncin' Kitty, and she jumps and meows in response. My Bouncin' Pup yips and runs circles when he gets a pat. We are a big allergy family, and right now real pets aren't an option. FurReal Friends are a great option for those who have to be pet-less families!


Now that being outdoors is a daily occurrence (can we say THANK GOODNESS Winter is over?!), there is no better way to enjoy the yard or park than with Nerf toys! This is a brand I loved as a kid. Even though my family was all girls, we loved throwing around Nerf footballs and frisbees. We even owned a couple of Nerf guns! It speaks volumes that Nerf is still a go-to toy brand for today's kids. And they have some AWESOME toys out this Spring! The Nerf N-Sports Soccer Ball is made of foam so it's easy to kick for your up-and-coming soccer stars. 

But is it bad I was most excited about the NERF N-STRIKE MEGA MAGNUS Blaster? This one-handed blaster can be quickly reloaded so your "target" (i.e.: Hubby) will have to stay on (his) toes to dodge the whistler darts. HELLO. This thing shoots foam darts up to 85 feet.  WATCH OUT HUBBY.

Who is ready to play? 

Which toys are YOU most excited about??

Disclosure: I received samples of some the products mentioned in this post for free to facilitate this post.  I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are mine. I really do just love toys.

April 20, 2014

BISSELL Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop now at Best Buy #BissellAtBestBuy

This is a sponsored post.


So I'm about to confess something bad here.

Like something awful, and I will immediately be stripped of any notions of the title domestic goddess immediately.


I've never mopped my floors.


I'm not untidy, believe me. I just never bought a mop. Or a bucket. And they always looked pretty decent. Now this is not to say I didn't clean my floors, people. I sweep daily and spot clean any mucked spots with a cleanser and rag on my hands and knees. 

Once or twice, Hubby (saintly man that he is) has wet-cleaned the kitchen and dining room floors (the only floors we would opt to mop) with a cleaning solution and rag. He removed all furniture and scrubbed on his hands and knees.

I know some of you are thinking, "But isn't mopping easier?"  Well, no. Mopping involves, first, a pre-sweep of the area. So, it always requires me to drag out my broom and get every piece of debris (beacause we all know how gross a floor gets that has been mopped without being swept).  Then it involves getting out a bucket and filling it with a cleaning solution. Then I'd have to get the mop and slosh it around from bucket to floor until everything was spic and span.

It's a lot of steps and, to be honest, I don't have a place to store all of those items. 

So when I heard about the BISSELL Symphony all-in-one vacuum and steam mop, I was pretty sure all of my cleaning dreams had come true. 


Best steam mop EVER.

This machine gets the job done. Complete with a variety of mop pads, the Symphony was simple to put together and use right out of the box. For the fact that it is a multi purpose steam cleaner, it's not really heavy and it's very easy to maneuver. Also? If you are anything like me and lose instructions within 5 minutes of opening a product, you are in luck: the instructions are RIGHT ON THE SIDE OF THE VACUUM.

As the mom of two girls, I love that the steam cleaner not only gets the floor clean but it also sanitizes. As the main household cleaner, I love that it vacuums debris and steams hardwood floors SIMULTANEOUSLY.

The BISSELL Symphony is now available at Best Buy, which is great, because at Best Buy it comes with additional pack-ins including:

- 1 Symphony™ All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop

- 4 Microfiber mop pads (2 soft, 2 scrubby)

- 1 Water Filter

- 1 Water Cup

Here are some great FAQ's if you (like me) have never had the privelege of owning an all-in-one steam mop before:

How do I use a steam mop to sanitize my floor?

By holding the steam mop in place for 15–20 seconds, you can sanitize your floors by killing germs such as E. coli and salmonella.

Is it okay to use steam on my wood floors?

Yes, BISSELL steam mops are designed to clean sealed hard flooring such as ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, marble, stone, and hardwood floors. Steam is not recommended for use on unsealed wood floors. Before cleaning, test in an inconspicuous area and check the care instructions from your flooring manufacturer.

How long will it take my steam mop to heat up?

The steam mop is ready to clean in approximately 30 seconds. It is normal to hear a knocking sound as it heats up. When the indicator light on the front of the unit comes on, you’re ready to clean. During the first use it might take a little longer to begin steaming since the water needs to flow through the filter to the heater. This delay will occur only during the initial use or when using a new filter.

How can it vacuum and steam at the same time?

It's all thanks to an innovative design that utilizes a powerful cyclonic action vacuum to pick up small to large, dry debris off the floor before it comes into contact with our specially designed steam foot. Steam then cuts through grease and grime to clean sticky, stuck-on messes. It wasn't easy, but that's why it's the only product on the market that can vacuum and steam at the same time.

OK - who is ready to revolutionize their floor cleaning?? Head over to Best Buy now to learn more!

Special Offer: Get Free Mop Pads with Purchase of Bissell Symphony. This offer is valid

ONLINE only as the mop pads are not sold in store.

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

April 17, 2014

2014 CHARM IT! Crayola Design-A-Charm Contest Event AND Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to introduce you to CHARM IT! charm jewelry for girls. Well, I have some good news.

First, if you missed out on winning a custom charm bracelet during my last post, you are in luck (keep reading!).

Second, is your kiddo is an artist-in-training? Then they might be able to design the next CHARM IT! charm! Below is more information on this design-a-charm contest for kids up to age 14.

Third, in conjunction with the contest, there is a SUPER FUN  CHARM IT! event at the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA.I hope to make it to the Crayola Factory on May 3rd! 

Here's more info (be sure to read to the end for a chance to WIN a CHARM IT! custom charm bracelet!):

CHARM IT! Guest Designers WANTED! 

CHARM IT!, the creators of the original, detachable girls jewelry brand is on the hunt for the most creative, imaginative and unique charm designs!  From April 23rd - May 21st, kids up to age 14 who have ever dreamed of adding designer to their resume, have the chance to submit their original art work for a chance to see it become a charm in the CHARM IT!  Crayola Creativity DesignA–Charm Collection!

CHARM IT! is carried exclusively at specialty stores as well as GAP Kids and Nordstrom nationwide.  Just imagine walking into a CHARM IT! retailer and seeing your design on the display!  In addition to the title of Guest Designer, the 12 winning artists will each receive $100 gift certificate to use on as well as a donation made by Crayola to the amazing organization, Art Start, in their names. 

For official rules and to download the entry form visit!  


In celebration of the contest, one lucky reader will win a CHARM IT! Design-A-Charm gift set featuring 5 past winning charms of their choice! 

Just enter via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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