Monday, November 30, 2015

VTech Baby Amaze Doll: Toddler Sized Fun!

The product was provided to me for review purpose. All opinions are my own.

Grace is in the "I love babies!" stage and I adore it! She carries at least one baby
with her wherever she goes and if we forget to bring one, then I hear about
the missing member of our group until we return home and she is reunited
with her friends. She prefers to have two babies with her at all times,
and if for some reason she is only able to have one baby, she keeps telling
me, "Two babies?! Two babies. Two babies!" until we get home and she can
have two babies with her again.

When I opened the nondescript box that our
Baby Amaze Learn to Talk & Read Baby Doll was shipped in,
I knew the moment that I got the box open that Grace was going to love her.
She is a bright, and cheery baby and she talks!!!
Sure enough, when Grace saw her, she grabbed her and was very distressed
when I told her we couldn't open her until the next morning.
She stuck her little hand in the tester hole and tried to get Baby Amaze out herself.

Once she got the box open the next morning and learned that when she
pushes the buttons that her baby talks and sings with her, she was hooked!
She also loves to read to herself and to me, so it is perfect that Baby Amaze
comes with her own board books that they can read together.
It is so awesome to develop a love of reading and
 concepts about print at such a young age.

It really is AMAZing that grace can talk to Baby Amaze Learn to Talk & Read
and the doll will learn and repeat. She has already learned the big kids' names
and Grace (and the big kids) love it!
She also encourages your little one to engage in nurturing role playing
by asking for her pacifier, bottle and more.

The four different activity buttons make playing with Baby Amaze a lot of fun.
Grace especially loves the Music Time and Reading modes.
She's a natural singer and loves singing with her baby. I like that it plays
familiar tunes and the baby hums along with Grace.

The Baby Amaze range of products is available exclusively at Toys"R"Us stores
nationwide and online at

I'm so glad that Grace loves her Baby Amaze doll and is learning nurturing
behavior - even as the youngest of our family.
She is a sweet little doll and I know we'll have a lot of fun playing with
her together.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

RECIPE: Hot Cocoa Cookies and {ELF}ing Your Neighbors

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias

M&M hot cocoa cookies

I love baking during the holidays! And I especially love taking favorite recipes
and putting a new spin on them. I love to see the holiday themed M&M’s® that are released
each year andthink of a fun way to incorporate them into one of my favorite cookie recipes and
just bump themup a notch. It's fun to create something delicious and then share it with friends
and neighbors during the holidays.
So when I stopped at Walmart to pick up my groceries for the week and saw the
M&M’s®display with all of the holiday M&M’s® in one place, I had to grab
one of each bag! In addition to the M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate, M&M's® Holiday Peanut,
and M&M's® Holiday Peanut Butter, they also had M&M's® White Peppermint and 
M&M's® Hot Chocolate!!!! The M&M's® Hot Chocolate spoke to my heart
and I knew just which recipe I was going to use them with - Hot Cocoa Cookies!!! 

I also had to grab the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix because I think that I
need to try these adorable M&M's® Holiday Snowflake Cookies because they are
so festive and I love a good cake mix cookie! And whenever I'm making cookies,
we always have to have a gallon of milk on hand because what is better when you're testing
a new cookie recipe, than a nice tall glass of milk!

Isabella loves doing holiday baking with me. We put on our Christmas aprons, turn up
the Christmas music, and enjoy working together to make something
delicious for those we love.She was a great taste tester when I whipped up this new
 recipe and gave it the thumbs up and assured me that I could win
a holiday baking challenge for sure!

In fact, the MARS Holiday #BakeInTheFun sweepstakes is going on right now!
If you vote for your favorite photo, you are entered to win one of eight KitchenAid® mixers!


M&M's® Hot Cocoa Cookies

1 1/4 cups butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
1 cup hot cocoa mix
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 9.4 oz bag M&M's® Hot Chocolate
1 1/4 cups tiny marshmallows
3/4 mini chocolate chips
small jar of marshmallow creme 

 1. Heat oven to 375°F. Combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

2. Add in the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt and soda. Mix until well blended.

3. Pour in the M&M's® Hot Chocolate, tiny marshmallows, and mini chocolate chips
and stir in by hand until well combined.

4. Drop onto line baking sheet 2 inches apart. I used my cookie scoop to get just the right
amount of cookie dough.

5. Bake for 9-11 minutes and then cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before
transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Since these are Hot Cocoa Cookies, in addition to the tiny marshmallows baked inside
the cookies, I thought it would be fun to top the cookies with some marshmallow.
So I heated marshmallow creme in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, spooned it
into a medium size storage bag, snipped a little off one corner, and then piped the
marshmallow onto the top. It really put the flavor over the top and was a big hit with
the family!

Now all we need to do it to package them up, put them with my ELFed notes and instructions,
and go ELF our friends and neighbors with some yummy treats!
If you've never ELFed someone, it's just like the Halloween tradition of BOOing.
You bake up some delicious treats, print out the instructions, and stealthily leave them
on the porch of an unsuspecting friend or neighbor to spread some Christmas cheer!

Be sure when you serve up your Hot Cocoa Cookies you do it with a nice big
glass of ice cold milk!
One of the most requested food items at food banks is milk, but because people don't
think to donate milk to local food banks, they can only provide less than one gallon
per person per year! Think of all the essential nutrients and protein more than
46.5 million Americans, that rely on Feeding America food banks,
are missing out on each year!

This holiday season The Great American Milk Drive is delivering
gallons of nutrient rich milk to families in need.
For a small donation at The Great American Milk drive will donate
a gallon of milk to a needy family in your community.
You can learn more about the need for more nutritious foods in American food banks
and how your small donation can make a huge impact by logging into

Be sure to check out even more holiday recipes and share with me your
favorite holiday cookie recipe in the comments below!
I'd love to see what you're baking up!

And don't forget to grab your coupon
to save $1.00 on ANY TWO (2) M&M's® Chocolate Candies, 8 oz or larger.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TOO Cute Tuesday: Linky Par-Tay! #260

We had such a great time at Knott's Merry Farm this weekend.
It got me all in the mood for Christmas!
But first, it's Thanksgiving this week and I need to get my apron on
and get to baking the rolls and the pies!
What are you making for your Thanksgiving feast?
Don't forget to make your Fancy Turkey Headband!

Now onto TOO Cute Tuesday!

What did you make this week that is TOO Cute??
Come link up!

  • Must be made by you.
  • Link up to the specific post - not your main blog.
  • No Etsy shops or giveaways please :)
  • Please post the button or link back here so more people can join in the fun.
  • Visit some of the other participants and leave them some LOVE!
TOO Cute Tuesday will be open Tuesday-Saturday.
On Saturday or Monday I'll highlight some of my favorites
and then we'll start over on Tuesday!

This post brought to you by:

I changed the linky party so that the most recently uploaded project will show up as number one. This way everyone gets a chance on top. So, look in the first spot for your project, not at the end. Thanks!!!


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