Favorite Barbie Toys

I grew up playing with Barbies. I had a friend and between the two of us we had almost every Barbie and accessory on the available.

Looking back, it is kind of strange considering I was a total tomboy and once was grounded from a birthday party because I refused to wear a smocked dress.

I always wondered if my girls would love to play with Barbies as much as I did.

A few weeks ago, one of my girls asked if she could do something with the blog. I suggested that she could start reviewing her toys so that other kids would know if it was a toy worth spending her money on.

A few days later I was asked to review a few Barbie products and I knew it would be the perfect start for the kids to test out toys.

We received the Malibu Mall, Barbie Fashion Design Maker, and Barbie Sparkle Studio.

barbie all Favorite Barbie Toys

The girls were thrilled when they saw the toys and got right to work putting them together and getting set up.

malibu mall Favorite Barbie Toys

Remembering spending hours trying to put together the Barbie camper when I was a kid I was a bit worried that it would take a long time to assemble the Malibu Mall.

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Dad and big brother got involved and put the mall together quickly.

If you are planning on purchasing the mall for Christmas I would put it together and wrap it in a giant bag, because will all the excitement of Christmas morning, it would be better to have it already assembled.

mall Favorite Barbie Toys

The girls loved the mall, especially the working escalator. There is also a movie theater where you can slide in your smart phone and Barbie can watch a movie!

My girls have already filled their mall with shoppers and are really enjoying it!

The Malibu Mall also includes a clothing boutique, beauty salon, and a food court. Each section of the mall has a clip that allows Barbie to “stand” which is a pretty cool feature!

cora sparkle Favorite Barbie Toys

Cora opened the BARBIE® Sparkle Studio ™ Doll. To say she was excited about being able to use glitter and sparkles on a doll would be an understatement.

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With this doll you pick out a design and add it to the Barbie’s clothes. Then you decorate the design with sparkles and glitter.

Cora liked the designs, but really wanted to cover the outfits in glitter. Based on her experience you can use the design and glitter or just go with the sparkles.

Cora barbie Favorite Barbie Toys

What Cora liked best about this doll was her hot pink shoes. The shoes are removable which is an added bonus for my girls because they like swapping outfits on their dolls.

My favorite doll is the BARBIE® Fashion Design Maker ™ Doll. My eight year old loves to design outfits for her dolls and even tries to dress her sisters!

FVA Barbie Favorite Barbie Toys

I knew the minute I saw this doll it would be perfect for her.

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The doll comes with shoes, necklace, eight pages of paper for the designs, and accessories for the designs.

You start the design by downloading the Barbie Design Maker app on your tablet or computer.
designer Favorite Barbie Toys

You then create designs in the program and then print out the designs on the special paper.

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This design is one of my favorites. Notice the t-shirt?

photo 1 Favorite Barbie Toys

The designs are printed on sticker paper so you can stick the design on the Barbie. The designs can be stored in a portfolio (included) and can be used again.

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My girls absolutely loved this doll and designing clothes. In the app, you can create and save designs, so my girls have a large collection of designs, and will be able to print their favorites to use on the doll.

Even if your child does not have the doll, you can download the app on your tablet! This kept my girls busy for a long time last weekend, so if you are traveling this holiday season it’s definitely one to download!

These great toys are available at all your favorite stores.

BARBIE® Malibu Mall ™

Toys R Us

BARBIE® Sparkle Studio ™ Doll

BARBIE® Fashion Design Maker ™ Doll

You can also connect with Barbie online.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barbie. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Shopping Tobacco Free this Holiday Season

Thankfully I’ve never struggled with smoking. I grew up with a best friend whose mother smoked all the time. I would come home from her house smelling awful and my mom would make me put everything in the washer as soon as I walked in the door.

I decided early on that I didn’t want to smell like a chimney when I grew up. As I got older I realized how hard it was to actually quit smoking. I worked in a restaurant in college and most of my coworkers smoked heavily. Some of them wanted to quit but they couldn’t. They tried many different things, but they were addicted and couldn’t stop.

I haven’t seen those folks for over 20 years so I have no idea if they were able to quit, but I realized that the easiest way to stop smoking was to never start.

From the time our children were little we’ve always discussed with them the dangers of smoking. One of our sons had severe respiratory issues as a child that needed regular breathing treatments and was frequently in the ER.

We worked hard to protect him from anything that could trigger an attack which meant not eating in restaurants that had a smoking section because even the smoke from across the room could mean a breathing treatment when we got home.

Thankfully he grew out of his breathing problems, but we still try to protect our kids from second-hand smoke. We’ve also been honest and open with them about the dangers of smoking and the health problems that can occur because of it. We believe that educating them about tobacco is the best way to protect them from it.

How my kids feel about smoking.

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If you haven’t been discussing the facts about smoking with your kids it isn’t too late to educate your family with the facts.

tobacco facts Shopping Tobacco Free this Holiday Season

As a busy mom there are issues that I care about (like clean air for my family) but I often wonder what more I can do to make a difference.

According to TobaccoFreeKids.org, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people in the United States every year. Tobacco deaths are 100% preventable!  I’m partnering with the Tobacco-Free Kids campaign to help educate folks on how they can help raise a generation of kids who don’t have to struggle with the addiction of smoking.

This holiday season we have the choice to shop at a variety of stores, but a choice you can make is to shop at stores that do not sell tobacco products.

It is easy to find the stores closest to you with this tobacco-free retailer store locater.

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Just plug in your zip code and find the nearest tobacco-retailers location. I found several retailers less than two miles from my new house.

You can thank the tobacco-free retailers in your area by leaving a comment on their social media channels.

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You can also send messages to your favorite stores that are not tobacco-free and ask them to reconsider their decision. Tobacco kills people every day and is 100% preventable with your help.

To learn more about making your holiday shopping tobacco free this season visit shoptobaccofree.org and help make a healthy difference!

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I’m partnering with Tobaccofreekids.org this year to work towards getting tobacco products out of our stores. All opinions are my own. 

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Bonefish Grill 15% Discount and Giveaway!

Last week I took my mom to dinner at Bonefish Grill. She’s been so helpful with us staying at their house I wanted to treat her to a delicious dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Bonefish Grill.

Every Tuesday at your local Bonefish there are specials on lobster. If you love lobster this is a great way to enjoy it for less. For between $9 and $20 you can dine from the Tuesday Tales lobster menu and get a delicious dinner!

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This lobster BLT is $13.99! MMM…. bacon!

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You can order a cold water lobster tail for $9.90. In my opinion the best deal on the Tuesday Tales menu is the lobster sliders which are under $9! That’s a great price for lobster.

My favorite way to eat lobster is on steak! (Go big or go home, right? ) I ordered the steak topped with lobster thermador. It was absolutely delicious! It is served with whipped potatoes (YUM!) and mine had a side of spaghetti squash that was delicious. The portions are generous and if you are like me you will probably have enough for lunch the next day.

photo 86 Bonefish Grill 15% Discount and Giveaway!

Did you know that if you make a reservation at Bonefish you will receive 15% off your meal? This is valid through December 14, 2014 so if you would like to dine at Bonefish during the holidays you need to go in the next three weeks!

The service is always fabulous at Bonefish Grill and they always keep your water refilled which is a big deal to me! It’s the little things in life sometimes, you know? icon smile Bonefish Grill 15% Discount and Giveaway!

They have a great menu selection and if you have people in your family that don’t love seafood there are several options for them on the menu including a burger, pasta, steak, and salads.

Finally, don’t forget about the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer! It is a must order at Bonefish Grill and is so delicious! I always have just enough leftover to make a salad for lunch.

Bonefish is running a special right now, if you buy $100 in Bonefish gift cards you get an extra $20 gift card bonus. I love these deals because you can stretch your holiday dollars.

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I have a $25 Bonefish Grill gift card to give away today!

If you love Bonefish you’ll definitely want to enter. Just leave a comment sharing what your favorite item on the menu is at Bonefish Grill and you’ll be entered to win. If you’ve never been to Bonefish Grill you can enter by leaving a comment.

The giveaway is open to US residents and ends 11/ 26.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

A Simpler Season eBook on Sale Now

As the holidays are coming (less than a week until Thanksgiving), we can either enter this time of year with delightful anticipation or impending dread depending on how crazy, hectic, and time consuming our schedules become.  It’s hard to fit it all in to the calendar.  But, do we have to?  Do we have to make celebrating the holidays complicated and chaotic? Can we still enjoy them if we make them simpler?  I believe we can and so does my friend, Jessica, who wrote this book that you do not want to miss…

simpler season 3d midsize A Simpler Season eBook on Sale Now

A Simpler Season is a guide to planning the winter holidays as it…

…provides creative ideas , time-saving tips, and budget-minded inspiration for making the most of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. With the busy family in mind, I’ve provided recipes, to-do lists, children’s activity sheets, planning pages, gift ideas, and step-by-step tutorials for creating homemade gifts.

A Simpler Season contains:

  • creative ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s
  • over 150 pages of content: ideas, recipes, and inspiration for planning a special holiday season with your family
  • 70+ printable pages: calendars, to do sheets, inventories, and planning pages**
  • games and activities to do with the kids
  • 24+ family activity cards to print and do over the month of December
  • printable recipe and gift cards to help you make edible gifts
  • a variety of family devotional ideas to explore with your family
  • a list of children’s books to enjoy as well as extension activities to do with your children after the reading
  • family-friendly recipes for the each of the winter holidays
  • questions to get you thinking about how you really want to spend your time this year
  • easy downloadable format in pdf or on kindle

Right now, you can get A Simpler Season on sale for only $5 (reg. $9) with no coupon needed.  Sale ends November 23, 2014.

Purchase your copy of A Simpler Season today and get ready for a peaceful and more enjoyable holiday season!

**This eBook is also available on Kindle.  However, the Kindle version of A Simpler Season ($6) does NOT include the printable pages.  You’ll need to purchase those separately here for $3 or purchase The Simpler Season with the printable pages included using the link above.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.