Fondue Popple Recipe #SnackSmall #popchips

One of my favorite traditions to do around the holidays is fondue! Growing up we had tree different pots…one with oil, one with chocolate, and one with cheese. We would dip everything from cinnamon rolls, hot dogs, to bananas! Now we can add popchips to our list! These would be delicious in chocolate, and probably even cheese! Here are the instructions for the Fondue Popple.

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7 Clever Fireside Games + Munchkin Panic Giveaway

Munchkin Panic is a great combination of the regular Munchkin game and the cooperative tower defense game, Castle Panic. Combining the best features from both of these hit games made Munchkin Panic even more exciting. Fireside Games offers 7 different games that “spark creativity, encourage strategic thinking, and inspire the imagination.” I enjoy games that are strategic, but don’t take hours to play. Munchkin Panic fit that description! I am also horrible at understanding instructions (I always tend to make it more complicated than it really is!) so I had my son read them and teach me how to play. I, once again, was surprised at how easy the game was to learn and how fun it was to play. I am starting to teach my 10-year-old how to play so he can join in next time. We really had a blast trying out this exciting new game! It had strategy, humor, luck, and excitement! What more could we ask for?

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10 Reasons To Buy An LG OLED TV From Best Buy!

The holiday season is just around the corner and that means we have an excuse to go shopping! (Yes, it means so much more than presents but that will be in a different post!) Now that we live in a house about a third of the size of our previous home, we are looking for Christmas presents that won’t clutter our already miniscule house! Best Buy is a great place to start! They have a huge selection of electronics to entertain and to make our lives just a little bit easier. This year one of the most talked about televisions is the new LG OLED TV. These Ultra HD TVs take clarity to a whole new level! Whether you are watching the latest blockbuster, home movies, or a sporting event, after seeing how lifelike the image is on OLED, you will never go back to a “regular” TV again! This would make a great family gift since everyone will be able to enjoy it! 

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Here are 10 reasons to buy an LG OLED TV from Best Buy:

1 – The stunning design of LG OLED TV is only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point.

2 – If you want to get one large gift instead of several smaller gifts, this would be something the whole family can enjoy!

10 Facts About Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer + Book Giveaway

When I saw the title “Rudolph’s 50th Anniversary” in my inbox I just about jumped out of my seat. I have absolutely adored Rudolph for as long as I can remember and was so excited to be able to receive something related to my favorite reindeer! What I ended up getting was more than I ever could’ve imagined! A set of 6 gorgeous books to celebrate Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his 50th anniversary! When the books arrived, I was seriously SO excited I immediately texted my mom a picture of the set and she was just as thrilled. I almost wanted to pick up my kids from school to show them!

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Growing up we moved around a lot (my dad was in the Army). I remember watching Rudolph on our 80+ pound television set in our apartment in Germany when I was in Kindergarten. I also remember watching the VHS tape at my grandparent’s house in Washington, and at our house in Utah. No matter where I moved to or who I was visiting during the Christmas season, Rudolph was always a constant. I even still have a set of Rudolph Happy Meal toys!

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It’s kinda crazy thinking that my mom grew up watching the same frequently aired television special, with her parents! Now that I am a mom of 5, there hasn’t been one Christmas where we didn’t watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together as a family. We have a special edition Blu-ray set, but always end up saving it on our DVR so it’s more accessible! When we aren’t watching on TV, we are now able to read our Rudolph books. Even though each of the books is completely different, they all have the same message…it’s okay to be different! My youngest son loved the board books! They had slides and flaps with pictures underneath. He even read both books all by himself! I was so proud of him. My daughters loved the “my reader” book and “Rudolph Saves the Day.” My oldest son thought the graphic novel was awesome, and my mom and I thought that 50th Anniversary book was the best! 

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Now that I had been gushing about my love for Rudolph for way too long, here are some super cool facts you may not have known about the nostalgic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer…

1 – The very first broadcast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer aired in Sunday, Dec. 6, 1964 on NBC. The story has been changed several times since then, but the message remained the same.

2 – The actual Santa and Rudolph figures used in the TV special were given to the secretary at the time. She gave them to family members and they were used as holiday decorations or toys, depending on the person. At that time, no one knew the value of the beloved characters! 

3 – The figures were found in a attic by the secretary’s nephew, who brought them to PBS’s Antiques Roadshow to see how much they would possibly be worth. They were appraised for between $8000-$10,000!  Kevin Kriess contacted the owners and purchased them promising to have them restored to their former glory! (They were being used as toys for the past few decades!) Now they look just like the 1964 version we see on TV! 

4 – The TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was based on the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks which was in turn based on a 1939 poem with the same written by Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May! Crazy right?

5 – Donner, Comet, and Dasher are all voiced by the same actor,  Paul Kligman.

6 – The Santa Claus puppet was 9 inches tall and Rudolph was 5 inches tall.

7 – Rudolph had aired every year, at least once, since 1964 making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history! 

8 – In the first airing of Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon visit the Island of Misfit Toys, and promise to help them. That was the end of that and the Misfits were never mentioned again. After the show aired, the producers were flooded with letters from children and parents who were upset that Santa didn’t follow through with his promise! They added a scene at the end showing Santa returning and that has been the standard ever since!

9 - Billie Mae Richards (Rudolph) and Paul Soles (Hermey) remained friend’s and even lived in the same Ontario retirement community until Richards’ death.

10 – If you have ever wondered why Dolly for Sue is a “misfit,” you aren’t alone! Fans have debated the issue for years until it was finally settled by Rankin-Bass. “Dolly for Sue is a “misfit” because she has psychological problems – she feels unloved.”

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Square Fish, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, is releasing 6 new Rudolph-themed books that span a variety of formats, including the first ever graphic novel starring Rudolph and company, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS, by Brendan Deneen. Other formats include a classic storybook, a picture book, slide-and-find and lift-the-flap board books, and a ‘My Reader’ edition specifically designed for beginning readers. There’s something for the whole family! Here are all 6 books and a short description of each.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story

Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition for ages 4-8

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Slide and Find

Board Book for ages 2-4

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Life-the-Flap

Board Book for ages 2-4

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph Saves the Day

Paperback picture book for ages 3-7

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: My Reader

Level 2 Paperback Reader for ages 5-7

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Island of Misfit Toys

Middle-Grade Graphic Novel for ages 7-12

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In addition to these books, the anniversary celebration includes a major tie-in with the U.S. Postal Service, tribute promos from CBS, a collector’s edition DVD with new bonus material, a new stage musical, theme park and in-mall entertainment, and a social media campaign – #ShineBright – that celebrates uniqueness in association with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

Enter to win all 6 of these Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer books!

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 Disclosure – Per FTC Regulations, I am disclosing that I received the items mentioned above courtesy of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and was also sponsored by said groupOpen to US mailing addresses only. Open to US mailing addresses only. The views expressed above are my own, honest opinions and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site. 

David Baldacci Holiday Gifts For The Whole Family + Giveaway

Let me start out by saying I had never read a David Baldacci book before. I know, it’s a sin. I had no idea what I was missing! I started The Escape this weekend and couldn’t put it down. It is intense, easy to follow, and fascinating. I wish I had read the other two previous books before starting this one. I can’t resist finishing The Escape first, but I am definitely going to get Zero Day and The Forgotten when I’m done! The Finisher is just as impressive. My 10 and 16 year old boys have been reading it. My 16-year-old was familiar with Baldacci after reading his 39 Clues book. I think we will both finish our books by the end of the week, which is saying a lot because I have so many things on my to-do list! This somehow made it’s way to the top. I am excited to have found a new author that I love and can’t wait to check out his other 26 books! If you are looking for holiday gifts for anyone in your family, David Baldacci has books for all ages!

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Penguins Of Madagascar Trailer, Game, & Giveaway!

Penguins of Madagascar will be in theaters this Thanksgiving! I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that thought the penguins were the highlight of the Madagascar movies. I found them hilarious! I love the dry, witty humor and the whole “super spy” thing. This will definitely be a movie for the whole family! We are checking it out next Saturday and I’ll be posting 10 fun facts from the movie on Thanksgiving Day. Until then, here are some cute images, a fun game, and the trailer for Penguins of Madagascar! 

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The Mop-Up Popizza #SnackSmall + popchips Giveaway

This latest popchips recipe is probably my kids’ favorite! We have pizza about once a week and there is always a gooey mess in the bottom of the box that gets wasted. This popchips recipe turns the cheesy mess into a delicious snack! See the complete instructions below. In case you can’t wait til the next time you order pizza, there are a few ideas to make your own using popchips! 

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7 Features Of The Mega Bloks Super Race Set 8-in-1+ Giveaway

The Mega Bloks Hot Wheels Super Race 8-in-1 was super fun to build! My 6-year-old was home sick from school the day after the set arrived to we spent the morning building all 8 cars. We would each work on a different one at the same time. My son would line them up as we finished in order of “awesomeness.” After all 8 were built I wanted to make the “Ultimate Car” that combines pieces from all the cars, but he would have no part of that. He really, really didn’t want to take them apart. To him trading 8 cars for 1 wasn’t a great deal. I guess I can’t blame him! Maybe one day when he is at school I will make the Ultimate Vehicle and then put them all back before he gets home! He loves using his cars on the different Hot Wheels tracks we have. They stay together very well even through crashes and rollovers. This was awesome set and I would recommend it to any Mega Bloks or Hot Wheels fan.

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7 Kids Preferred Holiday Travel Toys For Kids!

If you are traveling with the kiddos this holiday season, here are some fun toys to keep them busy along the way! Kids Preferred has a huge selection of toys great for kids of all ages. With brands like Eric Carle, Disney, and Kimmidoll you can’t go wrong! My son was able to check out the Tigger Blanky. The underside is made of satin, just like the blanket he’s had since he was a baby. I am hoping to someday swap out his old blanky for the smaller (and cleaner) Tigger Blanky! He keeps it on his bed with his other stuffed animals and won’t let anyone else touch it. My daughters love the Kimmidoll products. They were able to review a few notebooks last year and they still use them all the time. I’m hoping to get them the journals for Christmas! They love writing songs and other random notes. I would recommend any of these Kids Preferred products to anyone doing a little traveling in the coming months! 

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Here are 7 Kids Preferred Travel Toys for Kids:

1 – The World of Eric Carle “The Tiny Seed” Clip on Soft Book – Inspired by one of Eric Carle’s books, this clip on soft book all about a tiniest little seed will become your baby’s favorite. The soft book has great activity features on each page, crinkle texture inside, a teether on the cover, a squeaker, and a hanging clip so your baby can have fun and learn anywhere.

10 Quotes From Chicken Soup For The Soul: Home Sweet Home + Giveaway

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home is a great reminder of what makes a house a home. A house is what you live in, but a home is so much more. These 101 stories about “Hearth, Happiness, and Hard Work” are inspiring and help me realize (like most Chicken Soup for the Soul books) that I am not alone! I am not the only one that struggles keeping the house clean. I am not the only one who dreams of owning a house again someday. I am not the only one living in a house twice my age that is sort of falling apart! I love reading these stories and feeling connected to the contributors. It makes me want to not give up on my dreams and keep moving forward until they are accomplished! 

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Here are 10 quotes from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home:

1 -Whenever I go on a trip, I think about all the homes I’ve had and I remember how little has changed about what comforts me. – Brian Andreas