Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

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My kids love LEGOS and other building sets.  They had several at the top of their Christmas list.  So they were excited when the December box from Brick Loot showed up at our door.  Brick Loot is a monthly box subscription service where kids receive a box filled to the brim with the latest and greatest brick compatible products, including the fan favorite, LEGO.  The theme for the December box was Space Fight in celebration of the new Star Wars movie.

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The box included:

-Exclusive LEGO Galaxy Fighter Space Ship

-Space Egg with mystery build inside

-LED Lightsaber

-Space Hunter & Galactic Enforcer

-LEGO Galaxy Cadet Minifigure

The boys couldn’t wait to dig into the box and get started building!

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The boys loved the space theme and my hubby thought it was pretty neat too!  My 7 and 10-year olds were able to put their sets together with no help.  My 5 1/2 year old needed my help.  I enjoyed creating the ship with him.  After about 30 minutes, we had everything together.

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This was what we got in the mystery egg.  He was so proud of his creation!

My 10-year-old was excited to show off his ship.

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They really liked the Galaxy Fighter Space Ship as well but the Lightsaber was a huge hit!

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How neat is that??

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I was once again impressed by all of the sets we received in the box.  The kids had a blast and I loved watching them get creative and work together.  Brick Loot is a fantastic service for all lovers of building sets.  Subscriptions range in price from $23 to $27 a month. Mudpies and Tiaras readers will get 10% off one and three month subscriptions when you use the code mudpies.  You can also purchase individual pieces at BrickLoot.com (at great prices!) and add some new, fun pieces to your kids’ collection.

One lucky winner will receive the January Brick Loot box!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

I love to bake and the holidays are the perfect time to bring the kids into the kitchen and let them help me make some of our family favorites. The first is Pumpkin Cheesecake. My hubby loves this one and looks forward to it all year!

Ingredients:
2- 8oz packages cream cheese, softened (I use Neufchâtel)
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 large graham cracker pie crust
This cheesecake is so easy to make, especially with the help of the Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer. You just beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and spices on medium until well blended.

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Then add the eggs and beat just until blended. My 10-year-old loved helping me!

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Pour into crust and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Once done, refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I like it plain but my hubby and kids like to top it with cool whip. It’s super yummy and perfect for when you need an easy holiday dessert.

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The Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer is great for smaller mixing jobs. It’s lightweight and easy to use. It comes with 6 attachments – twisted wire beaters, milkshake mixer, dough hooks, and whisk and features a pulse function. But what I love best about the mixer is that it comes with a snap on case that holds all the attachments. No more searching for beaters in a drawer!

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Cookies and Cream Truffles are another treat I like to make at Christmas time. These are seriously addicting!
Ingredients:
1- 16 oz package of chocolate sandwich cookies cookies
1 package cream cheese (again, I use Neufchâtel)
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips

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First, crush the cookies into fine crumbs. You can use a food processor or put the cookies into a gallon size resealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. We used the latter method since my kids think it’s super fun. Next, mix the crumbs with the cream cheese. My Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer really came in handy with this part!

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It can be hard to completely mix the cookies and cream cheese together but this mixer did a great job. It also allowed me to get other things ready while it mixed.

Once the mixture is ready, shape it by spoonful into 1″ balls and put on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

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Place the truffle balls into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Heat chocolate chips on low heat until melted and dip the truffle balls into the chocolate to coat. This can be a little tricky but having them fresh from the freezer helps them hold their shape. Remove the balls and place on wax paper. Place in refrigerator for an hour (if you can wait that long!). Store leftover truffles in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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You can embellish these in many ways. You can drizzle white chocolate over them, sprinkle colored sugar or candy sprinkles on top before the chocolate dries, or top with some of the cookie crumbs. No matter how you top them, they are delicious!

Again, my mixer from Hamilton Beach made whipping up this treat a breeze! It comes with 3 attachments (dough hook, whisk and flat beater) and a deep stainless steel 4 quart bowl. The tilt-up head easily lifts out of the way with the touch of a button for easy bowl access.  It switches speeds with the turn of a dial and I found I prefer this over push buttons. My son was easily able to work the mixer and I really liked that the mixer came with a splatter shield for the messier jobs.

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How would you like to win one of these mixers for yourself? Just enter on the forms below!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

As a mom of 3 sometimes having a few minutes while my kids are occupied to get something done is a big help.  I don’t know about you all but in our house the youngest is the hardest to keep busy.

With that in mind I’m so excited to show you the latest craze in the Byrd house.  The PortaPlay!  I was so excited to try it out because unlike its sit and play counter parts this activity center can grow with your child through the preschool years. image1e

The PortaPlay is super simple to assemble. It took maybe 10 minutes. image2

As soon as Baby E saw it I couldn’t keep her out of it. I tried converting it to a table but she wasn’t having it haha. She loves to sit and play or eat or watch her little shows in it. DSC05718e

With Christmas right around the corner this toy would make an excellent addition under the tree.  Drop by their website loveoribel.com or check them out on Amazon.

Happy Shopping!!!!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

 

With Christmas approaching, I’m on the lookout for fun new toys for the kids.  Thankfully, Toy State has a great selection of items that I know they’ll love. I recently received the Road Rippers Dancing Car and I couldn’t wait to have the kids try it out.  This vehicle has lights, music, realistic sounds, and it even dances!

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I was a little disappointed to find that unlike the other Toy State items I’ve received in the past, this car didn’t have the frustration free packaging that I appreciate so much.  It had the standard zip ties holding the toy in the box.  Not a huge deal but I did miss the easy twist disc they usually have.

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My 7-year-old loved the fact that it even had a windshield wiper molded on the back.

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The kids liked the realistic look of the car and were excited to try out the features. The 3 smaller buttons on the top provide different sounds and lights.

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One of them makes the sound of a car remote locking or unlocking and the headlights flash as well.  The kids said it looked like a real car.

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The large button makes the car “dance”. It shakes and bounces to the music and the kids thought it was awesome. Even Little Miss came running over to try it out.

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They had a lot of fun watching the car dance and it seemed a little different each time which was nice. It lasted about 10 seconds each time. This car is geared for kids 3 and up. It’s a bigger car which makes it easy for smaller kids to play with and the buttons are easily accessible. It requires 4 AA batteries which are included (yay!).

Toy State continues to provide unique fun toys and the kids have always been thrilled with them. Road Rippers Dancing Car is available in the VW Bug and Mini Cooper style.  The MSRP of this car is $19.99 and you can find them at Toys R Us, WalMart and Target. If you have a little car lover on your list, the Dancing Car would be perfect and would provide lots of fun and entertainment!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

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I recently received my October Beauty box from Peaches and Petals and I’m excited to share the contents!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Peaches and Petals is a monthly service that sends you a box filled with great beauty and fashion accessories. Each box contains 3-5 items with everything from scarves, rings, and watches to mud masks, nail polish, and blush.  Here’s what I received this month.

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The first item was an Elizabeth Arden tote.  This was on the spoiler alert card I got with last month’s box.

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It’s super cute and I really like the size. Roomy enough to fit a lot but not bulky. I’ve been using it to tote my lunch and supplies for my preschool class.

Next was a bottle of Sally Hansen Ista-Dri nail polish in Petal Pusher.

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It’s a pretty pale peach color that would go with anything.  I honestly don’t paint my nails very often but Little Miss LOVES having hers done so I was excited to receive this.  I did try this one out though because I was curious about the Insta-Dri part.  I did one coat and within 90 seconds, my nails were dry to the touch.  I wouldn’t go digging in my pockets or rifling through my purse right away but I was impressed.  This will especially come in handy with Little Miss since waiting for her nails to dry is not something she enjoys!

Also included was an eyeshadow trio from Smashbox.

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I was excited about this because while I live trying new makeup, I rarely splurge on it. I really liked the colors in the trio. Sometimes, in boxes like these, you end up with odd or super bright colors.  These are nice neutrals that would look good on just about anyone.

I also received a jar of Resveratrol Moisturizing Day Cream from Barielle.

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My skin tends to be on the oily side so I’ve only used this on my face a couple of times.  I have used it more on my neck and hands.  It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly.  I like that it has a light scent that not overbearing.

 

Lastly, I received an Anne Taintor Magnetic Postcard.

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It’s a fun little novelty item that I will probably end up using on our fridge instead of sending to someone.  We tend to accrue a lot of refrigerator art!

Again, I looked for values online (mainly Amazon) to get the estimated value.

Bag- found one on Amazon for $11 plus $4.49

Nail Polish- $4.25 (average from 3 Amazon sellers)

Moisturizing Cream- $7.68 on Amazon

Eye Shadow- $16.99 on Amazon

Magnetic Postcard- $3.95 at an online magnet store

So that’s a total of $48.36 worth of product for $14.99 shipped.  Pretty good haul!  With each month’s box, you receive a little spoiler alert card with a picture of the following month’s guaranteed item.  November’s box will contain a fringe scarf like this one!

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I love wearing scarves in the fall so I’m really excited about this!

When you sign up for Peaches and Petals, you will receive 50% off your first box by using code PEACHTIARA. That means you only pay $7.50 for the first month!

 

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda