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Quality Time with My Girl and Mega Bloks Barbie™ Build ‘n Play #FabMansion

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy. While a product was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

The cold weather is rolling in and with it was come sinus problems for my youngest daughter.  Unfortunately, she had to stay home from school with my Dad (who graciously offered to babysit).  In an effort to find an activity that they would both enjoy doing together, I pulled out the Mega Bloks Barbie™ Build ‘n Play Fab Mansion. Perfect…it’s quiet, it’s stationary, it’s creative and it’s fun!

You’re the designer with the Build ’n Play Fab Mansion by Mega Bloks Barbie™. Snappy modular rooms make it easy to build and decorate the perfect mansion for your Barbie™ and Skipper™ mini fashion figures. Design your dream house and arrange the rooms any way you want. Build the bed with beautiful canopy, put the big screen in just the right spot, and set up the perfect vanity for lots of fashion fun! When you’re done building and arranging the mansion, relax under the big umbrella on the patio, take a bubbly bath, or kick back for a super fun movie party with Barbie™ and Skipper™ mini fashion figures!

My Dad, being a retired civil engineer, loves to build things and his granddaughter is definitely following in his footsteps.  I left them alone, headed to work and was stunned to see the entire mansion completed when I returned.  My Dad said the picture instructions made it very easy for my 6 year old daughter (a beginning reader) to take the lead on the project.  My daughter said she loved decorating with the included stickers and making Barbie cook hotdogs on the patio for lunch!

Both my Dad and my daughter loved spending quality time together away from the television and electronics.  In fact, my Dad said he thinks he had more fun than expected and now he knows exactly what to get my daughter for Christmas.  The Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Play Fab Mansion retails for $39.99, but one lucky reader will win one right here (U.S. only)! Enter below:

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We’re Having a Not So Scary Halloween with Netflix

With the scariest day of the year just around the corner, my daughters have been increasingly nervous about what things go bump in the night.  My two girls are a lot of things but one of them is not brave which makes Halloween the holiday least anticipated in our house. Don’t get me wrong, they LOVE trick-or-treating but after the pumpkins are full of candy, they will want to head straight home.

So, instead of heading to haunted houses, we plan on having a “not so scary” movie night at home to celebrate.  Thankfully, Netflix has a whole host of Halloween themed (but kid friendly) movies we can feature.  If your little ghost and goblins would rather snuggle under the safety of a blanket with Mom and Dad on Halloween check out these Netflix finds.

1. Wizards of Waverly Place

2. Spooky Buddies

3.  Vampire Dog

4.  Girl vs. Monster

5.  My Babysitter’s a Vampire

6.  Spooky Buddies

7.  Scared Shrekless

8. Barney’s Halloween Party

What will you be doing this Halloween?

DIY Halloween Crafts with Cricut Explore

When the wind changes and Fall rolls in to Southeast Louisiana, something comes over me.  Not only do I want to eat everything pumpkin and scent my home with Fall spices, but I want to be crafty.  The cooler weather awakens my brain (which is typically left dominant and loves everything math and science) and creativity flows.  The only problem is that I have grand ideas but no skills to execute.  Until now….

I recently received a Cricut Explore to test and it has quickly become my magic wand of crafting.  I finally have a way to get those ideas out of my brain and into my home.  So, I wanted to share with you a few things I made with Halloween just around the corner.

But first, and introduction to the Cricut Explore:

Cricut is an electronic cutting machine that lets you choose an image or online template (Make It Now Project) to click and cut in minutes.  With 50,000+ images to choose from and/or customize the possibilities are endless. Cut on vinyl, iron-on, paper, fabric, paper decor, signage, wall decals, lampshades and more – you dream up the surface and design.

After opening the box, I couldn’t wait to set up my new toy and honestly it took all of maybe 5 minutes.  Simply plug it in to the USB of your computer and follow the easy install directions. My daughters wanted to make pumpkins for our front porch, so I searched the images for pumpkin faces and we got to work picking our favorite.  After a lengthy discussion, we decided on a black cat.

The image was only 99 cents to purchase and I placed it on my online canvas.  A bought some black waterproof vinyl since the pumpkins would be in the elements and placed it (still attached to it’s backing) on the provided green sticky Cricut mat.  Next, load the mat into the Cricut and press the arrow.  Select the material you will be cutting (in this case it was vinyl) and finally, press the flashing Cricut icon and watch your machine cut your masterpiece before your eyes.

Using the tool that looks suspiciously like a dental instrument, remove your decal from it’s backing and place on the surface you wish to decorate.  Because my pumpkin was not flat, I found it a bit tough to place the large cat decal onto a round surface but after searching for video tutorials, I found that using transfer tape may solve the issue next time.

Warning: this process is addictive. I may have immediately run to our local craft store and bought several items to decorate including the adorable purple mason jar craft seen above which is perfect to serve Witches Brew this Halloween.

I absolutely love the Cricut Explore. It was so easy to use and the results look completely professional.  I cannot wait to make my daughters’ teacher gifts during the holiday season. Cricut crafts for everyone! Follow me on Pinterest and check out my Cricut Inspiration Board to get some more ideas on what you can accomplish.

Follow Experimental Mommy/Bridgette Duplantis’s board Learning to Cricut on Pinterest.

Top 6 Halloween Safety Tips with Rayovac

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

With Halloween right around the corner, my daughters are about ready to bust with excitement.  The parties, costumes, and trick-or-treats are hard to resist but as a Mom, I need to make sure my girls are prepared for any potential hazards under the cover of night on Halloween.  Here are some tips to make sure your ghouls and goblins stay safe while they roam the streets in search of sweet treats.

1.  Have “the talk” with your kids.  I take this as an opportunity to review the Stranger Danger rules, how to dial 911, and make sure my girls know that running off alone is not an option.  As an added protective measure, I always write my phone number inside their treat bag in case we get separated.

2.  Avoid all black costumes.  I know this can be hard during Halloween but an all black costume can be very hard for cars traveling your neighborhood to see.  If a dark colored costume is a necessity, make sure to apply adhesive reflectors.

3.  Utilize crosswalks.  While it is tempting to run across the street to the decorated home giving out candy apples, make sure to cross only at crosswalks.

4.  Inspect the loot.  My girls know they may not eat from the candy bag until Mom approves.

5.  Wear age appropriate attire. While my daughters feel like all princesses should wear 3 inch heels, I know that is a recipe for broken ankle.

6. Light the way with glow in the dark accessories and flashlights.  Or conquer two birds with one stone by taking along the Rayovac Glow in the Dark Flashlight. With a beam distance of 59 feet, a super bright 14 LED light and a glow in the dark rubber grip, ghosts along your path will not be able to hide!  During the month of October, Rayovac is offer $1 off using code GLOWINTHEDARK and free shipping on orders over $25.

What are your tips for a happy, healthy and safe Halloween?

Fall into Fashion with RUUM Amercian Kid’s Wear

Some days, I think I have a runway in my home.  Oh yes, I have two fashionistas who are NOT shy about expressing their fashion style and strutting their stuff.  You can imagine the squeals when they had the opportunity to check out Fall looks from RUUM (pronounced room) American Kid’s Wear.

RUUM is built around style, trend and comfort and has been seen on the backs of mini celebs such as Suri Cruise, Harper Beckham, North West and the twins of Sarah Jessica Parker. But above all, RUUM strives to help boys and girls look their best by feeling their best.

Lily paired a RUUM floral raglan shirt with super soft skinny cords which was a perfect compliment to the first Fall day here in New Orleans.  The shirt and pants retail for $26.50 each but right now the entire site is 25% off!

 Because we don’t expect Fall to last too long here, Aubrie’s layered look is perfect when the temps rise again here in the South.  She loved the sequin heart tee which is on sale for less than $12. As the sun went down, she reached for the High Low Cardigan to fight the chills.

Don’t miss any of the latest fashion trends for kids by following RUUM on Twitter and Facebook.  What are your kids wearing this Fall?