And the winner is….ME!!!

I have never been one of those people to win contests, raffles or scratchoffs.  Probably one of the main reasons I never got into gambling or going places like Atlantic City and Las Vegas often.

However every once in a while the tides have to change right?  Yea, I didn’t think so either but at the end of the year when I saw two giveaways on Instagram that didn’t require much effort other than saying I’m in I thought why not.  And guess what… I won them both!!! What are the odds???

And when I say I won, what I really mean is Minime won. lol.  One was for a gift from one of my favorite dad accounts TheBookOfRoma and the othr was a really cool Toy Magazine account TTPM.  So, in reality I guess I’m still not one of those people that wins contests but Minime might be.

Check out her really cool prizes below.

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St. Ives Voxbox

Some of you know that I’m a member of Influenster.  Over the time I have received some really cool products for review.  When I got back from Long Island last week I have a St. Ives #voxbox waiting.

This might be my favorite box so far.  Each of the products smell amazing.  And as you can see in the photo below these aren’t trial sized.  They are going to be lasting me for a while.  Minime has also taken to the lotion and body wash.  I used to have to fight to get her to wear lotion now I have to hide it from her!

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Can’t wait until our next voxbox!

 

*Sponsored*

 

Santa App

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I just found this app today but it’s right on time. Download it NOW lol. It’s a free app. Of course there are a MILLION in-app purchases available. I have in-app purchases disabled on my phone but if you don’t be wary because some of these are what I consider to be expensive.

I was able to create a beautiful free video from Santa and once I show it to Minime I think she will love it. I know I do. By the way, Minime has already told me that Santa isn’t real. I bring that up just to say if my child that doesn’t think Santa is real will enjoy this then if your littles believe they will be beside themselves when getting their own video.

App Store

Google Play

 

Financial Literacy – Easy As 1,2,3

By now I’m sure you have heard of the 52 Week Savings Challenge.  You might be like me and have even participated in it.  If by some chance you have missed it here is what I’m referring to:

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As you might know I am a firm believer in teaching children financial literacy as well.  I was sent this version of the 52 week challenge for children.  I think it is AWESOME.  I also think it’s a great lesson for remembering that EVERY penny counts.

kids money challenge

 

 

In The Words of Elsa…LET IT GO

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I recently read this advice on a mom blog that said don’t make little things into big things.  I really wish I could remember the site so I could credit the blogger.  It was great piece of advice that I felt like was written just for me.

Sometimes when I’m yelling (I mean gentle parenting on a maximum volume) I ask myself what am I really fighting for.  Is the behavior I’m attempting to correct harmful?  Will allowing Minime (or her cousins) to do the behavior going to mean that later in life they will not understand the difference between right and wrong?  Am I trying to “win” because I want to show I’m in charge or because I think there is a lesson to learn?

I’ve allowed Minime to lead when it comes to breastfeeding and potty training.  Why not let her lead in other areas.  Why allow myself to get stress and create stress because someone doesn’t want to eat lunch when I think they should?  Why should I get frustrated because Minime wants to wear the same sparkly pants (that have been washed nightly) for the 5th time this week?

My gift to all of you this season is the knowledge that it is okay to just let it go.  We don’t have to control every single thing.  Not in our children’s lives and not in ours.  Trust me I get how crazy that sounds.  I used to plan my life down to the minute.  Now I am learning to let it go.

When you’re feeling the stress rise (be it with the kids, work, family friends, or anywhere else) ask yourself is this worth it or should you just…LET IT GO?

Thumbs Up to Target Wonderland

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I was really worried.  If I had done this review last night I would have come from a very Grinchy place.  I would have written of long lines and no pleasure.  I would have said that Target Wonderland looked just like it’s name a wonderland but sadly it’s staff was wonderless.

I attempted to do what most New Yorkers know better than to do.  I attempted to visit a holiday experience on the weekend.  Yes, I should have remembered from my Rockefeller Tree incident a few weeks ago to know better.  I tried taking Mini me to this amazing place yesterday afternoon and after spending one hour and twenty seven minutes in line got turned away because of closing time.  I was devastated and defeated.  I was angry that while warned I wouldn’t have much time inside I wasn’t warned I might not make it.

Mini me was sad and asked me if we could go back today.  I wanted to refuse but didn’t want to be the Grinch again.  I even tried to talk her into going somewhere else.  Happy she stood her ground because by the time we left there today she told me that it was the best day ever!  And that she LOVES Target Wonderland.

I know by now many of you already know that this is a WONDERFUL place to take your littles but if you didn’t go you still have one more day to experience it.  The popup shop closes on Tuesday, December 22nd.  Do be warned if you’re going there to do shopping items are sold out.

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Entering Wonderland. 

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Can you spot the Mommy and Mini Me Tsum Tsums?

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Who doesn’t want their picture on a huge etch a sketch?

And you can’t miss Minime’s fun in the ball pit.  Check it out on my Instagram page.

Another Santa Story

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If you’re looking for something to do with your littles this weekend here is a FREE Santa event in the Bronx.  Sadly we will more than likely missit because we have dance at 11a on Saturdays.

If you go please take pictures and tag us on Instagram at @justabxmom.  Please and thank you.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This weekend Mini me and I joined some friends and their littles visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center.  Talk about OVERWHELMING!!!!

The company was great but the experience was kind of scary.  There were so many people there.  Some blocks had so many people they were virtually impossible to walk down.  Fortunately, Mini me napped through the experience.

I can’t even begin to think how it would have been with her wake and wanting to walk through the chaos.  The tree was beautiful and the light show on 5th ave was enchanting but I can’t see us doing it again anytime soon.

I would share our photos but this is much more spectacular lol

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Macy’s Santa Review

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go so we might as well see as many Santa’s as possible!  I still go back and forth on if Mini me will believe in Santa but that’s for another time and another post.

Mini me and I had to go into the City this week so we made a family day out of it.  Met up with some friends and traveled to the North Pole (also known as Macy’s Herald Square’s 8th floor).

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I have been visiting this Santa for years.  I’m used to waiting in line and I expect it.  Right in midtown and world famous who doesn’t think they will be in line when visiting Santaland?

Surprise!  We didn’t have to wait!!! Of course there were people ahead of us but there was no line reaching around the depths of freight elevators and the seemingly neverending zigzags that have normally been part of my expedition to the North Pole.  We simply walked up and entered Santaland!

As always it was a beautiful fantasy brought to life.  I don’t care if it’s your first or 40th trip to Santaland you will not help but to smile when you see the place covered in fake snow and singing snowmen.

Yes, that’s Mini me trying to get a peek at the snowman’s songbook.  Thanks Auntie E for the save with going in the snow when it fell down.  And big thanks to the Elf that didn’t make a bog deal about it.  We worried we might make the naughty list behind that one.

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As a parent surrounded by not only the children you are with but the many other children visiting the north pole this was a great sign to see less than 10 minutes into the visit.

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And the Santa and elves we visited were wonderful.  They let us take different poses and combinations.  We didn’t feel rushed and they even supported breastfeeding when Baby E needed a moment.  Who could ask for more?

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I definitely suggest paying this Santa a visit.  If you can go during school hours on a weekday that would probably be best.  The closer it gets to the holiday though it might not make a difference.  The first time I took Mini me it was a weekday and early and we still had about an hour wait.  Bring snacks and something to distract your little people in case you have to wait.

And take tons of photos (even though most might have a red/orange tint based on the lighting).  Please practice patience for those in line in front and behind you.  Some children will want to spend more time looking at one exhibit than another.  There is many things to experience before you get to the man of the hour so allow yourself and littles to do just that, experience the magic of the moment.