Sunday, May 29, 2011

Seaside Sidekicks Giveaway


When I'm looking for toys for the Peanut and the Bean I go out of my way to find playthings that are well made, educational, affordable and (this is purely a personal preference) not awash in pink.

So it's not surprising that Melissa and Doug is one of our favourite go to places for play things. We're always excited to receive Mellisa and Doug toys and art supplies. Since imagination and creative play are practically built right into their toys it's no wonder that they are among the most played with at our house. The Peanut gets hours of fun out them and once the Bean gets to be big enough to play too, we know she'll be getting just as much fun as her big sister.

So the Peanut has been chomping at the bit for sandbox weather since sometime last November, and with a summer filled with beach outings on the horizon we're thinking about some new sand toys. Lucky for us Mellisa and Doug have just introduced some cute sand toys that could provide endless entertainment at either the sandbox in our back yard or the beach.

Now, I can totally picture any number of under the sea role playing opportunities with The Seaside Sidekicks Sand-Molding Set, "Hello Mr Sea Turtle, have you met my little friend Tiny Blue Seahorse? He's been simply frantic to meet you, he's a huge fan of your work in sand molding."

"Why, Tiny Blue Seahorse, I'm simply delighted to meet you! might I offer you some tea?" And now that I've got my lackluster try at writing gripping dialogue out of my system...

With each mold nesting inside the next, this set just screams to be packed up to the beach; compact toys are a must when you're headed to the sea side via public transit and you have to make sure you have plenty of diapers and wipes along with the other beach day must haves like lunch and a change of clothes.

The Seaside Sidekicks Sand Cupcake Set is a must have for any little baker and I have to say that the unique hinged cupcake molds are genius! The tropical colour scheme is lovely and the sea creature cake toppers are too sweet for words. The sea turtle, little crab, sea star and the gold fish toppers create the perfect set.

I can see the Peanut baking sand cupcakes, building mini castles and using the icing to create even more fun designs in the sand.


I am eternally amazed by the bottomless well of creativity that the Peanut and her friends delve into when they play. The Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set is a fun set featuring everything needed to cook up some beach time fun; bowl, whisk, mixing spoon measuring cups and a sifter.

Not only can I see the Peanut keeping busy making sandcakes with this set but also some seaweed soup too. Plus I'm sure (little budding paleontologist and treasure hunter that the Peanut is proving herself to be) that she'd also use the set for digging up dinosaur bones and panning for gold.



If you're going old school and a pail and shovel are all you need to get your sand party started then the Clicker Crab Pail and Shovel is the combo to get. A bright red to stand out against the sand on the beach with a friendly infections face to bring a smile to your face. This sturdy pail is perfect for hauling water and filling with sand for sand castles and other sand sculptures. It's also a pretty cool place to hold all the shells and pebbles your little collector brings back to the blanket.

And about now I'm guessing you're wondering what is all this about a giveaway? Well, Melissa & Doug has generously offered to send a prize pack of all four of the sand play sets I've talked about here once they get 200 Facebook followers from this giveaway! Pretty exciting right?



To Enter:

Mandatory Entry

Jump over and “Like” Melissa & Doug on Facebook, then come back here and leave a comment telling me that you did.

You can leave it at that if you want but for all the eager beaver's out there, extra entries can be had by doing any or all of the following (just remember to leave a separate comment for each extra entry that you complete):

- Subscribe to Melissa & Doug’s Treasured Toy and Birthday Club e-mail list
- Visit PeanutButterPie on Etsy and tell me which item you like best.
- Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to your post in your comment
- Follow PeanutButterPie on Twitter and tweet the following (worth 2 extra entries) :

I entered to win a @MelissaAndDoug prize pack for some prime sand play this summer from @PeanutButterPie! http://bit.ly/jzBWCg

Rules

Contest ends just in time for the beginning of Summer on June 20th 2011 at 9:00 p.m. PST. Deadline for this giveaway has been extended! The cutoff for entries will be June 27th at 9pm PST. An extra entry will be given to all those who entered before the original deadline as special thank you. I will select a winner at random from all eligible entries. I'll email the winner before posting an announcement on here so please make sure that you have a way for me to contact you.

If the winner does not respond within 48 hrs of being notified, I'll pick a new winner. The prize will be mailed directly to the winner by Melissa and Doug.


Good luck!

Disclaimer: I have not received any monetary compensation for holding this giveaway. The giveaway is contingent on the giveaway sponsor receiving 200 new fans





Thursday, May 26, 2011

Packing

Every time we plan a trip it's a big production that includes hours of planning to keep the Peanut busy.

After four years I like to think we've got it down to the absolute basics:

A few new DVD's with a DVD player or laptop
(on an airplane this is less important for during the main legs but for longer trips to and from the airport this is invaluable especially if you want to be able to visit with the family members who have come to pick you up or take you back)

Crayons and a new colouring book or activity book
I say new because it's nice to have the gift of novelty on your side. This year we're picking up a kindergarten activity book for the Peanut to work through as well as a blank notebook for her to draw in. On our last trip she had a book of mazes and puzzles that kept her busy and made her already brilliant mind even shinier so we're hoping to replicate that.

Paint with water books
a few years ago we came across Water Wow books and they've been in our travel bag ever since. While I'm not a huge fan of licensed character products like Disney Princesses or Dora I every once in a while disregard my dislike of buying into the marketing machine and go for it.

Water Wow books are like colouring books that your child paints onto with water. The page fills in with colour when a wet brush is used and once the water dries the page is ready to be painted on again and again, and the Peanut does.

Snacks
because there is nothing and I mean nothing worse than an over hungry child strapped into and airplane seat. Once, when the Peanut was about 18 months we got on a plane around dinner time, we hadn't had a chance to stop and feed her and some how her snack bag was taken from me in the rush to get seated and ready for take off and placed in the overhead compartment. The crying, kicking and screaming was a stern teacher, Now the snack bag is never out of reach.

Random small toys
We've included Polly Pockets, matchbox cars and even a slinky at one time or another but hands down, the most bang for our buck has been a package of Bendaroos.
The Peanut has been known to play with these for hours.

For the Bean we'll be bringing her stuffed bunny and making sure that she's got full access to her food source aka Momma. For me I'll be bringing a good book or two.

So these are on my short list for the carry on bag, what types of things do you always carry on for the kidlets?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wake Up Call

It happens at least once every year; I get a big reminder about the importance of applying sunscreen. For my lack of planning and foresight I'm sporting nose worthy of Barnum & Bailey.

I went to bed with a cold magic bag draped over my forehead and liberally applied moisturizer

So how was our long weekend?
Chock full of Birthday celebrations for the Husband, garden activities and a play date for the The Peanut (which was where the reminder that summer is coming and sunscreen should be on the daily to do list).

The husband has been known to drag out my birthday celebrations so I was pleased to see that we could do the same thing for his. This year was a pretty big birthday for him, we celebrated his entering the new 30's with a few special dinners, a few nights out with his buddies and a family dinner with cake and fresh berries; not to mention our night out last weekend to see The Raveonettes.

In Garden news, Our Pumpkin seeds have sprouted; including the seeds from last year's jack-o-lantern and we've planted a new blueberry bush, some carrots, onion, lettuce seeds and put in some broccoli, pea and tomato seedlings. I've added some dill, mint, basil and rosemary to our herb patch and we started the Peanut's Butterfly garden. Now it's all about watering, watching for new sprouts and pulling weeds.

The play date was held at one of our old North Shore haunts, one of our favourite parks. The day started off cool and cloud covered and, in our defense the forecast didn't call for a lot of sunshine. Hence the should have known better talks last night. The only one of the four of us who didn't come home with a little bit of redness was the Bean. My face is red, the Husbands neck and arms are red and the Peanut had a little bit of red on her forearms which is faded today.

This week coming up is all about planning. Planning our upcoming trip to Alberta, planning the Peanut's birthday, planning next weeks meals and planning for PeanutButterPie's coming year. I'm going to sit down and write out a plan for the coming year, marketing, production, and updating the shop. I'm aiming big knowing that I probably won't be able to tackle it all but I'll be doing my best.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Thousand Words

It's a little late and I'd planned on sharing these photographs in my last post but these things happen with a couple of busy girls to look after...





Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nest



In our front yard there is a four foot tall tree stump. The people who lived here before us cut down a huge fir tree and left the tall stump there. It's an odd looking stump, it's slowly decomposing and now there's a pair of chickadees building a nest in it.

The best part other than the fact that the est is no where near my bedroom window? The fact that the kitchen window is. I love sitting at our table and watching birds light onto the lilac branches there. I don't get to do it often but I'll be enjoying the few moments that come my way.

In other news I'm getting my hair done. It's been a few months, well almost 6 but who's counting? My roots are though. After that the husband and I are going out on a date night. We're going to see one of our favourite bands. It's the husband's birthday next week and we're celebrating a week early.

anyway if your'e wondering how my mothers day was I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's not that I'm trying

I just keep tripping over new songs. Last time I blamed it on the husband this time blame falls squarely on Nissan's shoulders. Their new commercial with the super giant bubble blowing out from behind their latest model really hooked me. The artist's name is Jasmine Ash and the song is called Lulls and the melody combined with her ethereal voice was enough for me to go alooking for her.

Now, tell me this song doesn't do something for you?

Find more artists like jasmine ash at Myspace Music

Monday, May 9, 2011

Touch Faith

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's all about me

today. At least this is what I've been told. The thing is that I'm just not too bothered with it all. I'm tired, I mean sitting on the couch at 6:30 and wanting to sleep tired. Also I'm feeling a little on the sad side. The Peanut is being such an amazing sister. She's helping out, she's being as patient as an almost five year old can be and I can't help but feel like she's not getting enough from me.

On the positive side, the Bean isn't going to be so little much longer, in no time at all she'll be more interactive and less in need of so much of my time. For instance she's just fallen asleep with out being snuggled by me for the first time and I've managed to spend the last ten minutes typing. In the meantime the Peanut is growing up, overnight it seems she's started to gesture more when she tells her stories, her imagination is growing and her vocabulary is astronomical. I'm finding that she manages to amaze me more and more as time goes on.

So today it's all about me. I'll be enjoying a tasty breakfast and hopefully a kick butt handmade card followed by a trip over to my sister's place to have dinner. I hope that if you are a mother too that today was all about you and that it was and is a beautiful one.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The husband forced me to watch this

well not really; he insisted and I'm hooked

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And it reminds me

So the other day I posted two version of a Kate Bush song. When I was in the seventh month with the Bean and the hormones were kicking y butt both versions were more than able to start the water works.

My sister warned me that being pregnant would really make our Dad not being here feel harder. Some how that song really brought missing him in general and being sad that he's not here with us to celebrate his grandchildren home. So of course I feel the need to balance that sadness with a song that reminds me of our Dad's quirky sense of humour.



Do you have a song that reminds you of someone?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

learning and listening

The Bean is starting to laugh. Mostly they are soft barely heard chuckles followed by delighted shrieks and always the smiles. Really it's her cheeks that make the smiles. The Bean has been gifted with the most delectable cheeks, cheeks that demand to be eaten up, that invite kisses and that glow when she smiles. I've managed one big loud laugh from her and just like with the Peanut those laughs are as addictive as cheese cake or butterscotch sundaes. I'm at the point where I'll do just about anything to get one.

I'm finding myself wondering if the little mannerisms that I remember from when the Peanut was itty and that I'm seeing the Bean make are something that the two of them share or if these are things that all babies do. The combination snuggle boob dive as she tries to recover the breast I've removed because she's almost asleep. The way she holds her hands just so on her chest and the way she lifts her left eyebrow ever so slightly when I'm talking to her.

And then there's the chest thumping she does when I'm reading while I feed her. The Peanut did this too; swinging her arms out and around so that the book I was holding was jostled before her little fist made connection with my chest. This is a big one for the Bean, especially if she's tired.

So I'm reading lots, and listening to music and I thought I'd share these two versions of one song that never fails to make me feel a little sad.

Kate Bush - This Womans Work by shyhonestjosh



Which version do you prefer?

Monday, May 2, 2011

enough said

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Author unknown
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