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6 Coolest Kid Advent Calendars for 2018 Plus 2 for the Grownups

This post contains affiliate links.

Advent Calendars were a fun tradition we always had growing up. I remember racing down each morning to punch out the little door and eat my perfectly molded holiday chocolate.

Well, like most things since the 80’s, Advent Calendars have stepped up their games. While you can still find the chocolate filled kind, now there are calendars based around the kids’ favorite characters and toys. From LEGO to Paw Patrol and everything in between, here are a few of our favorite Advent Calendars for 2018. Don’t worry, we even threw a couple in at the end for mom and dad!

 PIN for later!

PIN for later!

Harry Potter Advent Calendar

Countdown to Christmas with this fun Harry Potter-themed pocket Pop! Pieces include Wizarding World’s favorite witches, wizards, beasts, ghosts and house elves. Perfect for all Harry Potter fans. Available for pre-order now for $54.99.

Harry Potter Advent Calendar

LEGO Advent Calendar 

There are three different LEGO Advent Calendars available this year - City,

LEGO City Advent Calendar
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar



and Star Wars!

LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar



No matter which LEGO Advent Calendar you select, you can be sure there will be hours of play involved once each little door is opened.

Fisher-Price Little People Advent Calendar

Little People Advent Calendar

Little People are always toddlers’ favorite toys. With this Advent Calendar, you get a new piece to the set every day for 24 days. This can help little ones build their excitement for the big day and also understand how many days are left before Christmas. Which, if you’ve ever had a toddler, you understand can be quite the challenge!


Paw Patrol Advent Calendar 

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

For the preschool kiddos, their favorite friends from Adventure Bay can help them countdown the days until Santa arrives. Behind each door is a tiny, holiday-themed collectible and as the holidays get closer, kids can build out the world of Adventure Bay!


Advent Calendars for Grown Ups

Finally for Mom and Dad, Aldi is releasing two adult Advent Calendars this year and honestly, we might need them both.

Aldi Wine Advent Calendar


The wine and cheese Advent Calendars will be available in early November and we only hope that the wine and cheese are paired perfectly for each day!

Imported Cheese Advent Calendar

Does your family do Advent Calendars every year?

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Mamas, Take A Picture With The Trophy

While hauling out the last load of stuff to the car at the dance competition last weekend, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself holding the first place trophy from Madeline’s small group dance that she received the night before.

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Something in me told me to pull out my phone - fast, before someone else got on - and snap a pic. It could be that in that moment I realized I don’t think I had held a first place trophy before. Or maybe it was because I was so proud of the girls and how hard they work day in and day out to receive that award.

 Dance Mom Tribe Shirt Available  HERE.

Dance Mom Tribe Shirt Available HERE.

If you’re not a dance mom, here’s a little background into how group awards work. Basically there are a ton of the them. There are judges’ awards, then each dance’s score falls into a range and those awards are given out. After all of that, they do overall placements. Each competition is different and it depends on how many dances are in each age group to determine how many overall awards the give out. For this award they did a top 5.

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The girls take turns going up for their different dances. So not only does your dance need to win overall first pace, but it has to be your turn to go up to get the award. So bringing home the overall first place award is not something that happens every day. And for group dances, you don’t get to keep it, it goes back to the studio for all to admire.

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When we finally got home from the competition and I was looking back through my pics on my phone, I saw the one of me holding the giant award and smiled. It’s not that I am one of those moms trying to live through my children. It’s that their successes are my successes. (Their failures are also my failures, but that’s a different blog post.). They put in the time at the studio but I put in the time driving them to the studio. And their dad and I put in the cash to fund their time at the studios.

We always say to do your best and have fun. There’s no pressure to win coming from us. This whole experience, like all competitive sports, is teaching them much more than how to win. But seeing your kid on stage with their mouth on the floor holding the big award? That needs to be celebrated.

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So the next time your kid comes home with the big award, take a picture with it. Better yet, get all of the team moms together and take a group photo. I know we will next time. Take the pic, you earned it!

If you need a cute shirt to rep your child, check out our Etsy shop!

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New AR App For Preschoolers + NYC Family Trip Giveaway!

 This post is in partnership with  Play Forward's Stan Lee’s Kids Universe .

This post is in partnership with Play Forward's Stan Lee’s Kids Universe.

My four year old has a big imagination. If you were to drop by our house (please call or text first) at almost any time you would see an elaborate battle set up. It may span two levels with multiple side plots but he could explain the good guys and the bad guys from the captain down to the minions.

best preschool app

But also like any four year old, he loves a little screen time. When we do screen time we want to make sure it is something that fosters creativity. Dex T-Rex is the first character from Stan Lee’s Kids Universe. Dex loves to play but can sometimes be a little rough. Kids following Dex can watch him learn and grow critical social skills like understanding how their actions affect others.

stan lee's kids universe

Developed by Playing Forward, a transformational technology studio that creates digital experiences that ignite children’s imaginations, the apps are specifically designed to support kids’ social-emotional development through entertaining storytelling, movie-quality visual effects, and the use of Augmented Reality. According to studies, social emotional development is key to success in school and in life. Playing Forward is dedicated to giving every child the very best shot at a happy childhood and a successful adulthood.

stan lee's kids universe

While I love everything that is behind this app, Will just thinks it’s fun. There is an option to just read the Dex T-Rex story like a book. Or there is an augmented reality option that puts Dex right in your real world. Here Dex is on our living room coffee table!

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The app is easy to navigate. Toggling between the story and the AR is seamless.

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Even the older kids couldn’t resist holding a monarch butterfly over their hand!

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GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the launch of these fun new apps, Playing Forward is holding a contest with the Grand Prize being a whirlwind STEAM-powered weekend of play and exploration in Manhattan! The prize will include a two night stay, meals, transportation and museum tickets for a family of four including personalized experiences at the Natural History Museum and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.

ENTER TO WIN HERE!

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This is a sponsored post, all opinions and honest and our own.

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Smallfoot Movie Review

This weekend I took my best little guy to see an advance screening of Smallfoot.

Will started full day pre-K this month and I’ve been missing spending all day with the little dude.

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He had been dying to see this new animated movie so this was the perfect thing to do on a Saturday. He was all smiles getting a day to mom all by himself while his sisters were at dance.

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We got the biggest slushy…

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got our Yeti bag and were ready to see Migo go on his adventure to find the Smallfoot.

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The movie is a super cute tale about how the world around us isn’t always what it seems.

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It also teaches us that no matter how much we try to protect the ones we love, being honest is always best.

small foot

I’m not sure my four year old movie partner caught on to all of the themes and lessons in this movie, but he did have a lot of laughs. And when the credits began to roll, Will proclaimed Smallfoot the best movie ever.

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I have to agree, it was a great movie that took us on a fun adventure together. A great way to spend a Saturday. Smallfoot is in theaters on September 28th so you can see it then and judge for yourself.

Mama’s Boy and Strong as a Mother Shirts available on Etsy.com

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Cheap & Easy Unicorn Cake

 This post contains affiliate links.

This post contains affiliate links.

Birthday parties are my thing. At this point, with three kids I have over 20 kids birthday parties under my belt. This year, our middle daughter decided she wanted to go to the Pentatonix concert instead of have a party.

As we got closer to her birthday, I started to feel guilty. I thought what if we do a really small party with just her little dance friends? Then I thought we could make it a surprise!

cheap unicorn cake

Since we were already taking her to a fun dinner with some of our best family friends and the concert, whatever we did was going to have to be cheap. Really cheap.

how to make a unicorn cake

Unicorns are still her jam and I’ve always thought unicorn cakes were just the cutest. After calling local bakeries and getting quotes from $75-$150, I knew there had to be a better way.

DIY unicorn cake

Then I found the unicorn cake topper kit on Amazon and was so excited. It usually costs $10 but was on sale for $8 when I bought it and it was delivered the next day with Amazon Prime!

unicorn cake topper

Now I just needed a cake. I called our local grocery store and asked for a plain 10” flat iced white cake. It cost a whole $15. Now here come the super complicated directions - are you ready?

DIY unicorn cake

Step 1: Stick on the eyelashes.

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Step 2: Put the horn on top of the cake.

easy DIY unicorn cake

That’s it! The $23 cake was the hit of the party! The birthday girl loved it and so did all of her little friends. They were totally fooled and kept asking who was going to eat the unicorn horn. Sorry girls, it’s not edible which makes it even more awesome because it’s reusable! Unicorn cakes all around!

easy unicorn birthday party
easy DIY unicorn cake

“Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then be a unicorn.”

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