September 17, 2014

School Fundraisers with Little Passports

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Planning a fundraiser at your child's school?  If you need a fundraising idea, Little Passports is the perfect partner, with an award-winning educational product that kids and parents love.  The bonus is that you're not selling cookies, candies, or other unhealthy products which may make more people happier to participate in your fundraiser!

little passports school fundraiser

September 15, 2014

Review: Clued in Kids Pirate Treasure Hunt

clued in kids pirate treasure hunt #review

Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19, 2014.  If you want to bring the fun of Pirates and treasure hunting to your kids with little expense and effort, be sure to check out my review of Clued in Kids Pirate Treasure Hunt.  I was provided the treasure hunt in exchange for my honest review and opinions.

For starters, the kit comes assembled as a booklet of tear out pages (each page is a new clue).  Each page includes instructions as to where to hide the next page/clue.  My recommendation is to take a few minutes to read each of the instructions to familiarize yourself with the hunt.  When your child is napping, sleeping, or out being entertained, spend the recommended 8 minutes hiding the clue pages in the locations noted on each page.  Be sure to decide what treasure you want your child to find ... your kit does not provide a treasure, so it suggests a few treasure ideas for you.

September 10, 2014

Finishing Touches of a Bathroom Remodel With Framed Art: Fulcrum Gallery Art Review

Shortly after moving into our home, we had some problems relating to our master bathroom that required almost an entire bathroom remodel.  Either that, or we could have let it cave in on the kitchen/dining area downstairs.  The remodel wasn't expected or planned, which was troubling.  Since we had just moved into the home and had the intent to be here a while, we decided to have it entirely remodeled so that we had the bathroom we would have eventually wanted anyway.  

Once it was over, I was really glad we chose the entire remodel, but our toilet stall (for lack of a better word) was bare and boring.  I hadn't exactly thought the entire thing out given it wasn't planned for.  The ultimate goal I'd had for the bathroom was to feel classic but modern. For the most part, that had been achieved, but the toilet stall just wasn't working for me.  There's nothing but bare gray walls, a toilet paper holder and a white toilet.

Thankfully, I was approached by to complete a review of a piece of art.  I was ecstatic, knowing adding a framed piece of art to the bathroom would finish off the remodel if I chose wisely.  Since my  goal was to be both classic and modern with rich cherry colored wood and gray walls, I began diligently searching for the most appropriate black and white print I could find.  I stumbled on this and fell in love instantly!

Judith mcmillan Lotus and Grasses
Art: Judith Mcmillan Lotus and Grasses from

September 08, 2014

Halloween Pumpkin Felt Activity

Halloween Pumpkin Felt Activity #ivysvariety

I can hardly believe it's almost Halloween and nearly time to start decorating for fall (when do you do that anyway?).  Last year, and rather last minute, I created a fun felt board activity for my daughter, who really began to like pumpkins.  Hubby carved a small pumpkin and my daughter was intrigued.  To save us the hassle and mess of carving numerous real pumpkins, I decided to give her the endless ability to make her own pumpkin faces using felt.  Because I didn't give myself a head start, I didn't cut out nearly as many face options as I would have liked, so I'll be working on it again this year!  And, I wanted to share the activity with you now, so that you have some time to prepare this year too!  Ready to learn how to make your own adorable Halloween Pumpkin Felt activity?

For starters, if you've never worked with felt before, check out my quick guide on how to work with felt.  Now, choose a paper template to cut from (I used DLTK's Jack-o'-Lantern template.)

felt pumpkin cutout

Cut your chosen Jack O Lantern and as many eyes, noses, and mouths of your choosing from your felt.  Our pumpkin is all orange and our eyes and mouths are all black.  You could even cut out yellow eyes like a lit pumpkin.

Halloween Pumpkin Felt Activity set #ivysvariety

The best part of this activity is that it could be a stand alone felt activity, or you could use it on a felt board.  Even better, because felt doesn't cost much if you buy the bulk pack, you can make a few extra for kids as little Halloween gifts.  Depending on the time you have available or the amount of small children you expect to see, you could even pass them out to your Trick or Treaters or Party Goers if you (or they) are anti-candy. We store ours in a quart sized zip-lock back to keep it clean and to separate it from other felt activities.

I love that this simple Halloween craft promotes my daughter's creativity and can be used until she loses interest in felt activities.

Be sure to come back here and show me your Felt Pumpkins!

Disclosure: To help support this blog and continue to bring you free content, Ivy's Variety posts may contain affiliate marketing links, receive free products for review, and/or consist of paid or sponsored posts. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Please see my disclaimer page for more info.

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September 04, 2014

Gymboree and Eric Carle! Plus, Special In Store Story Time Event

*Disclosure: Because I love Gymboree and Eric Carle and believe this is valuable information, I include affiliate links and may be awarded an affiliate bonus based on comments on this blog post.
Eric Carle children's clothing Gymboree
I, wanted to express my excitement over the latest news with Gymboree.  It's one of my favorite clothing retailers for S, especially when they have sales or when we have gift cards!  To make it more exciting, they've revealed that they're bringing out a clothing line from Eric Carle.

Eric Carle children's clothing Gymboree

Eric Carle is one of our favorite children's book authors.  Who doesn't know of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?  One of Shelby's favorite Eric Carle books is The Grouchy Lady Bug.

Another announcement I wanted to include is this:

9/5/14 - Visit any Gymboree retail location from 10a.m. to 12p.m. (outlets excluded) for caterpillar crafts and story time.  You can find printable coloring sheets and activities inspired by The World of Eric Carle at

COMMENT ON THIS POST: What's you're favorite Eric Carle book?  And, how excited are you about this new clothing line?

Disclosure: To help support this blog and continue to bring you free content, Ivy's Variety posts may contain affiliate marketing links, receive free products for review, and/or consist of paid or sponsored posts. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Please see my disclaimer page for more info.

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Little Tikes Activity Garden 3-in-1 Adventure Center Toy Review #TeamLittleTikes

I received this toy in exchange for my review, however my opinions are my own.

I recently joined Team Little Tikes online and was immediately rewarded by receiving the Activity Garden 3-in-1 Adventure Center.  In exchange for the toy, I have agreed to publish my review(s) in various places.  My favorite outlet is obviously right here on my blog so that you can benefit from hearing our thoughts directly.

Little Tikes Logo
For starters, I joined Team Little Tikes and received the toy ON my daughter's birthday!  So, it was a nice surprise on her birthday, but that happened to be coincidence.
Little Tikes Activity Garden Adventure Center #review

September 02, 2014

Save 25% on Halloween Costumes - BuyCostumes Orange Tuesday Event Ends 9/2!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

It's hard to believe it's already time to think about Halloween.  My daughter just had her third Birthday and now I have to start planning for an anniversary and hubby's birthday on top of thinking about Halloween.  Are you ready?  

Start your Halloween shopping early this year with the BuyCostumes Orange Tuesday event, where EVERYTHING is 25% OFF through 9/2 with this discount code!

BuyCostumes Halloween Costumes

August 28, 2014

Let's Imagine Elmo Toy Review

Let's Imagine Elmo toy #review #toddlerfun #gotitfree

Thanks to, I was selected to receive a Let's Imagine Elmo Toy in exchange for posting my honest opinions.   I was not compensated in any other way.  The Let's Imagine Elmo Toy is a Playskool Sesame Street toy geared for children ages 2 -4 years.  The manufacturer's information includes these features:
• Elmo has 4 interactive play modes• Interact with Elmo by tickling him, bouncing him, or squeezing his nose• Elmo plays "Prince Elmo Says"• Elmo counts up to 20 with your little one• Elmo plays a sounds-of-the-sea identification game
Let's Imagine Elmo toy #review interactive play modes

August 25, 2014

10 Tips to Get Your Toddler to Eat

Does your kid enjoy chicken tenders, french fries, macaroni and cheese, and all the other "typical" kid foods?  Yeah, mine too (except, strangely enough, not so much interested in mac and cheese).  I found that employing strategies like making a separate meal for the kid to be time consuming and wasteful.  You're here because you would like to get your little one to eat a wider variety of foods, add more nutrition to his or her diet, or not dirty a separate pan just for your child.  Try out these 10 tips to get your toddler to eat dinner (a rewrite of my original Picky Eater post):
child eating img picky eater toddler wont eat

August 22, 2014

Upcoming Birthday and Free Mini Classes from Craftsy

It's almost my daughter's birthday and birthday planning is under way.  Birthday cakes are so expensive and I've really always wondered how difficult it would be to make our own.  Thankfully, my daughter doesn't currently eat cake, so we're planning an ice cream party.  However, I'm pretty confident in the years ahead she's going to start eating cakes... what kid doesn't?  And, I'm pretty sure I'm never going to feel like the price of a bakery cake is worth it (I don't like spending money).

Anyway, I think I'm going to be checking out Craftsy's free Cake Decorating mini-classes in case there's ever that future need.  I'm currently seeing 4 mini-classes in cake decorating available for free in addition to many other free mini-class offerings.

Craftsy Free Mini-Class img

What Crafsty FREE Mini-Class are you interested in?

Disclosure: To help support this blog and continue to bring you free content, Ivy's Variety posts may contain affiliate marketing links, receive free products for review, and/or consist of paid or sponsored posts. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Please see my disclaimer page for more info.

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