Monday, November 28, 2016

Finally Feeling Chilly aka Keeping Target in Business

I am very happy that there is finally a sustained chill in the air.  I'm talking highs in the 50's lows in the 40's...almost 30's.  Woot woot.  

Cold temperatures take forever to arrive here in Phoenix and only stay for a little while so we enjoy them while we can.  Today my girls wore coats to school for the first time this season.  They also added hats and scarves, which may have been overkill but hey, we're thin blooded!

My youngest was sporting her new Cat & Jack super soft bear zip sweatshirt, favorite polka dot dress and new silver zip booties.  She LOVES her new Dollar Spot scarf with built in hand warmers.  So so cute!  Basically she's head-to-toe Target today.  What can I say, it's my favorite place to buy her clothes right now. :)

By the way, the sweatshirt is only $14.99 and Target has FREE shipping and an extra 15% off right now.  Target for the win!

Now not to leave out my big girl, she's got some Target on there too.  She's wearing her new Cat & Jack dark wash jeggings, also only $14.99 and 15% off!  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my little family to yours.  I hope your turkey is delicious, the deserts plentiful and the conversations peaceful. :)

We're celebrating with extended family this year so the table is full!

For more Turkey-day fun check out:
Thanksgiving 2015
Thanksgiving 2014
Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2012

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fisher Price Friday - Movie Viewer

Lets go to the movies this week on Fisher Price Friday.  A very old-school and low technology movie but a movie all the same!  It's the Movie Viewer and cartridges #460 made between 1973-1985.  I bought this viewer and a dozen cartridges from a fellow Fisher Price collector last Christmas as a gift for my youngest.  

This simple player requires no batteries or electricity, just a child's own powered hand crank.  The player and the cartridges are made of plastic and it is light and hand held.

The player is one piece with a colorful crank on one side and a label on the other.  It also includes an adjustable focus wheel.  There are white players and later variations that are yellow.  The lithographs on the side have differences as well, the original (mine) having a black background and later editions having a light grey.  

There is even a Winnie the Pooh version that has a picture of Pooh Bear on the hand crank lithograph.

The cartridges slipped into the player and the images move forward when the wheels are caught/spun by the hand crank.  Simple technology but very effective!  The plastic cartridges are either yellow or white and have different lithograph for each edition.  For example, the Lonesome Ghosts cartridge has at least 3 different lithograph variations during the 6 years that it was made.

When you find these cartridges now the lithographs are often missing and there are eBay stores that sell replacement stickers.

By my count there were at least 46 different movie cartridges released with many of them having multiple editions.  The cartridges include characters from Disney, Sesame Street, Marvel Comics, Charlie Brown, Warner Brothers and even The Pink Panther.
These same cartridges can also be used with the larger Movie Viewer Theater #463 which shows the same videos on a small screen or projects them onto a wall (and requires power).

The original movie viewer was sold with one cartridge, the Disney movie "Lonesome Ghosts" #475.  Other cartridges were available for purchase separately and in groups.  Later versions of the movie viewer came with different single cartridges.

It wasn't easy to make a video but here is Mickey's Trailer #491 looking through our viewer.  This cartridge was made between 1974-1979.

We love our player, and it's an easy low tech (and quiet) way to watch "movies".  

For more cameras look at:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lego Friends Themed Birthday Party

For my daughter's 9th birthday party this year she selected a Lego Friends theme.  Lego and especially Lego Friends are big in our house so this wasn't a surprise and was a relatively easy party to plan for.  I'd love to share our details with you today.


The Shop Sample
I selected a personalized invitation from an Etsy store named DesiDesigns7 (image file only) and made copies on Shutterfly.  My daughter especially loved this invitation because it looked like a Lego box with the "2-99" listed on it.  Our copy looked very similar to this one, and even happened to also be a 9th birthday!


For decorations we purchased pink, teal and purple mylar balloons from the dollar store.

I wrapped some of her family gifts in boxes to look like Lego blocks.  I used solid color paper (leftovers from Christmas) and also tissue paper.  Then I cut out a few coordinating colors and glued them onto the boxes.  This worked perfectly because we didn't open the family presents during the party, so they worked double duty!  I also made one gift bag block as seen in the photo.  This one had triple duty on the day of the party because I tied the balloons to it too.

I repurposed the same dollar store pink plastic tray from my youngest's summer Hot Wheels party to use for this party.  I simply cut out an extra bingo card and taped it onto the tray.  I used this tray to hold the favor bags.

Other decorations included Lego Friend's blocks that my daughter put together, purple table clothes (dollar store) and of course a Happy Birthday banner!


Games were especially fun to plan for this age group as there were SO many options!  I pinned item after item on Pinterest and had to narrow down to just a few.  Here are the ones we chose:

1. Cooperative Build: This activity required a big Lego plate, a box of blocks and one die.  The girls took turns rolling the die and they would add that many pieces to the plate.  There was no winner of course, just a nice team building activity to get the party started.

2. Lego Drop: A variation of the old-school clothespin drop game it required a jar, Legos and a stool.  The girls took turns dropping 3 Legos (we chose long ones) into the jar while looking over and having the Lego touch their nose.  We had a small jar and long Lego to increase the challenge.   You could use a regular mason jar with younger kids. The winner of this game got a prize.

3. Tallest Tower: This game required enough medium Lego plates for each girl and a box of Legos.  The task was simple, to build the tallest tower in the amount of time allotted.  In our case we gave them 5 minutes.  The winner of this game got a prize.

4. Lego Friends Bingo:  I think this was the favorite game of the day.  I found this colorful and fun (FREE) game download from the blog Artsy Fartsy Mama.  It was simple and only required the board copies and pieces. We used Lego blocks as markers naturally.  The winner received a prize.  If we had had more time we could have played a few times.

This game was so popular with my youngest that we've played it regularly since the party!   

Now, last but not least.

5. Lego Friends Word Search: This themed word search was perfect for our (mostly) 8-9 year olds and took them a few minutes to complete.  The (FREE) download was also available from the Artsy Fartsy Mama blog.


Although not a game we had Lego Friends coloring pages that I found online (for FREE). I had them out at the beginning of the party for the girls to color before things got started.  

Coloring Pages
Coloring Pages 2

I purchased two packages of photo props (dollar store again) for the girls to pose with.  They had the best time!  I did group shots and also individual photos with the birthday girl.


My daughter selected cupcakes at the grocery store and we used candy blocks to decorate them.  I purchased the blocks from Amazon and also used them on the cupcakes and in the favor bags.


For beverages we had sparkling lemonade (from Trader Joe's) served in pink paper cups.  We added paper straws with Lego Friend's flags on them.  The flags were party-bag toppers (another FREE download from the fabulous Artsy-Fartsy Mama blog) that worked perfectly as a flag.  I simply cut them out, glued them together then punched holes for the straw to fit through.  

We kept utensils in a Lego block holder that my daughter made for the party.  Cute and easy!

Since it was late October in Arizona we had our refreshments outside.  Ah, the perks of desert life. 


We had clear favor bags with soaps we made (that had a Lego Friend figure inside) and more candy blocks tied with a lego block ribbon.  For more information on the favors see my entry here.

To get your own Candy Blox on Amazon go here


We completed the party by sending personalized thank-you photo collage cards (39 cents at Walgreens).  I took the photos of the girls at the party and my daughter added the text.  Simple and a fun and of course manageable since the party was on the small size.

It was a great party and a fun time was had by all!  

For more of our birthday parties check out:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Fisher Price Friday - World's Smallest Fisher Price

The last couple of post-election days have been rough.  I'm talking wearing black, moping around, drinking extra coffee and eating my feelings rough.

To brighten my day-after-the-election I stopped by a Cracker Barrel to pick up the "World's Smallest Fisher Price".  How could I resist?

Caution: Objects are smaller than they appear :)

I'd heard about these cuties and had to check them out.  At only $5.99 each they're a tiny little steal.  They include the School Bus, Chatter Phone and Rock-a-Stack.  They also had other tiny vintage toys/objects including a Polaroid Camera and Sock Monkey, but I was only interested in the Fisher Price.

Now, first I must admit that I have never been to a Cracker Barrel before.  Does this shock you? I was surprised to see that my closest restaurant (only a few miles from my house) had an entire store of goodies. My children would love this place!

But back to the world's smallest fisher price toys.  They are truly tiny, similar to ornament size as I'll show below.  However they also have features that move and make sounds!  So. amazing.

First up the Little People School Bus.  I placed it in front of the full sized toy so you can see what a remarkable (yet tiny) remake it is.  It has the same lithographs, people figures (one person short) and even a door that opens and shuts!  

The people were replicas of the 1975-1982 version of the School bus #192, earlier and later versions had different people.  However, it is missing one little girl as the full size toy had 7 passengers. 

Also the stop sign moves out and the bus makes a clacking noise when the tires move. And the cherry on top is that the eyes move up/down and the driver back/forth when the wheels move.  Impressive.

Here is the World's Smallest school bus in comparison to similar Fisher Price school bus ornaments.  Hallmark is the closest (back left) and the only smaller one is the Basic Fun xmas decorated (also plastic) ornament in the front.

Note that the lithographs inside (bottom left side) are the same as the full size toy.  They even include tiny details like the drawn mittens, books, etc.  Such tiny detail! 

Next up is the Rock-a-Stack.  I don't have this classic toy around anymore (boo hoo my girls are too big) but this little one is a great copy.  The rings move up and down when the middle stem is raised (as shown).  But, they don't come off. Which is good because those pieces are t-i-n-y.

Now to compare to my other little rock-a-stacks.  This includes a Basic Fun ornament (far left), keychain (back) and Dept 56 (right).  As you can see it's the smallest of them all!

Last but not least is the super small Chatter Telephone.  This itty-bitty chatter phone looks just like the original #747 Chatter Telephone.  Same lithographs and blue wheels.  The phone makes noise when the wheels move and the dial spins.  And if that wasn't enough the eyes move up and down with the wheels.  So sweet!

I have oh...just a few Chatter Phone ornaments. :)  But as you can see the World's Smallest Chatter Telephone is the smallest of them all!  Doesn't this photo look like a Chatter Phone family? ;)

If you have a Cracker Barrel near you go get these "World's Smallest Fisher Price" toys.  They're adorable and just what I needed to help brighten my post-election blues.  

For more information on the original toys:

To see more Fisher Price themed ornaments check out these prior posts:

For Hallmark Fisher Price Ornaments: 

2007 - See 'N Say 
2008 - Play Family Farm 
2008 - View-Master 
2009 - School Bus 
2009 - Chatter Telephone 
2010 - Play Family Fun Jet 
2010 - Zookeeper Says 
2010 - Play Family School 
2011 - Music Box Teaching Clock 
2011 - Play Family House 
2011 - Little People Lil' Movers Fire Truck (not a vintage toy) 
2011 - Snoop 'N Sniff - Limited quantity 
2012 - Corn Popper 
2012 - Two Tune TV

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dollar Shave Club - "Male" products that this woman loves

I've been using Dollar Shave Club for a couple years now; and although I'm not their target since it's a men's shaving subscription company, I'm still a big fan!

I've been using the 4x razor since 2014.  For only $6 a month (shipped) my legs are smooth and hair-free.  I've been adding other products to my subscription and today I'd like to share a couple more with you.

Since Dollar Shave Club is a line targeting men they refer to beauty products as "Clean", "Style" and "Protect".  A couple months ago I reviewed the Wind Master Lip Balm and the Wanderer Lavender & Amber soap bar.  Today I'd like to share my new favorite  Dr Carver's Shave Butter.

I am not a fan of using bar soap to shave my legs and for awhile now I've been using a shave oil (honest company).  Although it kept my legs moisturized and prevented nicks it was thick and challenging to get out of my shaver.  The Dr Carver's Shave Butter had all the pluses and NONE of the drawbacks.

It's amazing!

This genius product applies easily (a little goes a long way), has very little scent, rinses cleanly and does a great job.  My legs were moisturized and no nicks!  The Shave Butter comes in two sizes for travel (3 oz) or home (6oz).  

Ladies. Get. This. Butter.

Best part about the Dollar Shave Club is that you can just add the product to your regular shipment for no extra shipping cost.

Also an update on the Wanderer Lavender & Amber soap.  I've been using the bar soap and both my husband and I like it.  I bought my BFF the liquid Body Cleanser version of this soap and she reported back that she LOVES it.  So *shhh* but I bought her a bunch for her birthday next week.  Nothing says Happy Birthday like some shower soap.  Ha! (don't worry I got her something else too).

So if you're already a subscriber who happens to be a woman try these products out!  And if you haven't given them a try consider joining the Dollar Shave Club. It's not just for men! 

I'm also considering gifting shavers/products as Christmas gifts.  Wouldn't they be a fun gift for the teenagers in your life? :)

For my prior reviews check out: 

Update, Lip Balm review and a trick to save on your subscription

Dollar Shave Club a Woman's Review
Dollar Shave Club not Just for Men

And to sign up pretty please use this link and I'll get a credit.  Thank you!