Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Giving Guide - Choose Your Own Adventure's Princess Island

I've posted about the Choose Your Own Adventure books in the past so you probably already know how much I love them. My son is getting a set for Christmas this year. He's an awesome reader so I'm looking forward to his reaction to these books, which will let him direct the story and choose different endings. The newest release from the Choose Your Own Adventure series is called Princess Island. This is the perfect gift for a little girl in your life who loves to read.

Princess Dirt is the main character in Princess Island. Her manners are perfect but she lacks in the housekeeping department. Her mother is going to send her to princess camp in order to learn some additional princess skills but Princess Dirt would prefer to stick to her outdoor adventures. In the end you as the reader get to choose whether Princess Dirt will embrace her dirty lifestyle or will she turn to life like a lady.

Princess Island

Your young reader will have a blast reading this story and going back to change the ending again and again. You can find out more about the Choose Your Own Adventure series as well as Princess Island by visiting These books are affordable and I always like gifting books during the holidays. With so many toys and games around, its a nice reminder of how important reading is.

2015 Holiday Gift Giving Guide - Learning Resources Create A Maze Product Review

Christmas is right around the corner but the good news is that you still have a few more days to shop online if you haven't found that perfect gift yet. It can be difficult to shop for the kids in your life, especially if all the popular gift ideas have already been taken by other people in your family. I like to come up with unique gift items for our son and his friends when we have to buy for them. Learning Resources has some great items that are perfect for Christmas but the best part is that they are also educational. The new Create A Maze toy is a lot of fun and is sure to be a popular item this holiday season.

The basic premise of Create A Maze by Learning Resources, is to follow the cards given, and create the maze shown. You then have to navigate a small ball through the maze you just made. You can play this alone just for fun or you can play against a friend to see who can build the maze the fastest and get through it. For more creative kids or for older children, you can create your own mazes as well without having to follow the cards.

This gift is perfect for children age five and up. My son is seven and a half and thinks this is really cool so its definitely not just for the younger crowd. Easy to put together and easy to play, Create A Maze is the perfect gift to give this holiday season. A brain boosting, educational toy that won't be thrown aside after five minutes of play, consider this gift this holiday season.

You can find out more by visiting

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Glutino Holiday Product Review

While I do love to cook (most days) I am not one to bake. It's not that I don't like to bake, I'm just terrible at it. I know why that is though, I don't like how precise baking can be. With cooking I can sprinkle a little of this and a pinch of that while a baking recipe has to be followed exactly and even then, my more involved treats don't come out as expected. I do have some basic recipes I can follow for cakes and cookies, but every year for Christmas I like to make some different. I should also point out that I don't really eat much gluten as part of my daily diet so that complicates things even more. Its nearly impossible to make anything from scratch with alternative flours and such.

I was thrilled to receive my latest box of Glutino products to try out. We received a ton of great gluten free mixes that will be perfect for this holiday season. What we don't use this month will be going to my son's school for his annual food drive. Let's take a good look at all the sweet treats our house will be enjoying this month:

Glutino Twinkle Sprinkle Cakes
Growing up my absolute favorite cake was that plain old funfetti boxed mix. I kid you not. I loved it. That's why I was thrilled to see this holiday season I will be enjoying a very similar treat but I can rest assured knowing it is gluten free. Not to mention these are adorable and will look great on Christmas as a dessert.

Glutino Double Chocolate Brownie Mix

We love us some brownies in our house no matter what time of year it is. My husband loves them and the more fudgy they are the better. I love gluten free brownie mixes because they are actually really delicious and moist and nobody ever knows they are gluten free when I make them.

Glutino Sugar Cookie Mix
This is going to be the perfect basic, sugar cookie mix to use for cutouts and a variety of other cookies. My son loves helping me with sugar cookies and has been assisting me with our Christmas cookies every year for the past four years or so.

Glutino Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels
We love these in our house around Christmas time. They're great to throw on a platter for dessert at a party or gathering. Though, we usually eat them much earlier before Christmas when we have not yet made cookies.

For more information on Glutino's gluten free products and where you can find them (Including shopping online), you can visit

Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Giving Guide - Hess Truck Review

Every year Hess comes out with a better holiday product than the year before. This year, on November 1st, Hess released their 2015 Hess Fire Truck and Ladder Rescue. A really nice addition under the tree this year, this product is a bit different than the past few years with the traditional white and green vehicle designs.

This fire truck set comes with large, solid tires, working lights, sound effects and a moving ladder. Customers have made it a tradition to purchase a Hess truck each year for their children, grandchildren, family members, etc. I always love the little features that come part of a Hess truck and my son has had fun with these trucks for many years as well.

This year, the Fire Truck and Ladder Rescue retails for $30.99 with free shipping included. Batteries also come included with the vehicle so your child can get playing with it right away. A holiday tradition since 1964, Hess produces some of the best quality toys I have ever seen. I have been reviewing the Hess releases for a number of years now, and am always impressed with what they come up with.

You can stay updated on Hess throughout the year by following them on social media. Their facebook page is located at, their Twitter handle is @HessToyTruck and you can follow them on instagram at @HessToyTruck. There is still time to grab this new release for the upcoming holiday season.

More information can be found at