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Leanne
Wife. Mother. Obsessive Compulsive Shopper.
Recent Activity
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This past week I got to do something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl. I got to go to Disneyland. Having never been to Disneyland before*, I knew I didn’t want to wait for the perfect Disneyland age with my own children and possibly miss the window of opportunity. I wanted to take my kids early and then try and get them back again once they were older and, presumably, more fun. So, I began to save money. I socked away my year-end bonus, I hoarded birthday and Christmas money, and I started, literally, saving my pennies. The plan was that we could go as a family in July this year after BlogHer, and although it... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Rave & Review
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Have you heard of Hasbro rewards? It's a great way to save on Hasbro items you have on your list this spring for getting out to play! There's lots of ways to save, and they change all the time, so be sure to check out HasbroRewards.com regularly to see all the deals you can score. Also, be sure and register so you can be notified when new deals pop up, which is awesome. For me, I was searching for non-candy items to fill those Easter baskets and found some great ideas in the Hasbro catalog. I was hopinng for some awesome toys that would get the kids outside and keep them active this spring and found the perfect items for... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Rave & Review
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A few years ago I realized that saving money on groceries was going to be an integral part of our financial plan. Eating out, dropping $150/week on food, and impulse buys at the store were going to have to be a thing of the past. Either that, or I would need to shop at different stores than I had previously frequented. I started noticing many friends sharing their couponing successes online and started clipping myself, but some weeks I simply did not have time to fully plan for each shopping trip. And, then I noticed that a friend of mine was posting shopping success stories without ever clipping a coupon. Her secret? Our local Grocery Outlet store that she swears... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Rave & Review
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In some ways, parenting is exactly the way I thought it would be, but in some ways I can’t believe how different it is than I imagined. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the never-ending to-do lists and the days that fly by, and sometimes I look at my kids and wonder how on Earth I have a five year old and a three year old. Nothing could have prepared me for how quickly my babies would grow into full-fledged kids and how much I would reminisce about days gone by. Like these days when our sweet "big sister" wasn't so big at all and their sibling shirts from Gymboree were part of some of our favorite outfits. For me, it’s... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Rave & Review
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Here at Rave Central we are big fans of VTech learning toys. From dinos to cars and our beloved InnoTab learning tablets, our VTech toys are some of our favorites even after years of play. We've taken our InnoTab tablets on numerous vacations and roadtrips and each time we remark at how awesome they were for creating a little downtime in the middle of busy trips. One of my favorite things about the VTech InnoTab is that you can reignite your child’s interest simply by buying a new game cartridge or download. We usually do a new InnoTab game for the big holidays to make the whole game system feel new again, and with Easter quickly approaching I was thinking... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Oh back to school, how I dread you! More than just having to give up my sweet kiddos for hours every day, I also dread the whole back to school process of each new school year. This next year is going to be even harder for me as I will officially be without my firstborn all.day.long. The thought is enough to bring me to tears, so I have no idea how on earth I’m going to cope once Kindergarten is a distant memory and serious school starts. But, while I can’t do anything to ease my growing separation anxiety, I know where I’m going to turn to make our transition as easy as possible: SchoolKidz by Staples. Designed to make... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Unlike most households that keep the TV on during family time, our family bonds over music. And, our dance parties have been pretty epic these past few months thanks to this little bad boy. AT&T sent us the MINI JAMBOX from Jawbone for Valentine's Day and since then it has gotten a ton of use all throughout our house, and even on the road with us. At a mere 6.61in x 1.65in x 5.43in and just over 9oz, the aluminum body Mini Jambox is small enough to fit in your pocket, purse or briefcase, but powerful enough that it can create full and beautiful sound wherever you go. With spring break vacations happening for many of you this week, I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Mark my words: someday this kid is going to be in a rock band. And, I hope he's still rocking a "My Heart Beats for Mom" tee when he does. Of course, by then I hope he's graduated to drum machines or whatever they invent in the next 15 years for musicians. But for now, the PlanToys drum set, AKA the Musical Band is perfect for him. I love that nothing is too loud or obnoxious, and all the instruments have unique sounds that make for some really cool beats. He loves that it all comes apart and he can make up his own instruments using all sorts of random things he finds in the toy box. We all like... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Rave & Review
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I love Peter Pan. So much so that I have a spot in my house that pays homage to the classic Disney film. This is the children’s play space, affectionately dubbed the “Scrog Pit” and it has a mural of a ship on the water with Never Land off in the distance. Like I said, big Peter Pan fans around here. Maybe it’s because I never really grew up myself, but I never really grew out of Tinker Bell. I was hoping my daughter would have the same love of Tink and her fairy friends, and I can definitely say I’ve gotten my wish. First introduced to the fairies of Pixie Hollow with "The Secret of The Wings", she’s been... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Here in Seattle, spring has officially sprung. Sunshiny days spent at parks and beaches, late sunsets, and sprouts popping up flower beds everywhere tell me that warmer weather is quickly approaching. And I, for one, am thrilled. However, my wardrobe still thinks it is winter. When I open my closet I’m greeted by greys, blacks, dark patterns, and sweaters… so many sweaters. Obviously, a spring wardrobe update is in order. When I heard that Macy’s in downtown Seattle was being transformed into The Secret Garden as part of the Macy’s Flower Show, I knew I needed to stop in. I knew Ravenna Bloom, one of my favorite local shops for flowers and quirky garden pieces, was creating displays, but other... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Any guesses where these Volkswagen-loving kids were? I'll give you another hint: Yes, that's right, it's a car museum. I somehow ended up at LeMay Museum in Tacoma this past weekend, AKA "America's Car Museum" to see their VeeDub exhibit with the family and the grandparents. With Volkswagen camper vans, beetles, historic vehicles, and unique collectibles like the "Love Bug", the kids were in heaven running around and finding their favorites. If anyone ever doubted how much I love my hubby and my kiddos, the fact that I stepped foot inside a car museum should be proof enough. Surprisingly, the museum itself ended up being a lot of fun, and thankfully it was very kid-friendly. At the end of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Rave & Review
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I love Easter. I love all the spring colors, I love pulling out my mismatched “fancy” dishes, and I love having family and friends over to celebrate with tea and snacks and then a full dinner. But, there’s one Easter tradition I just can’t get behind. You see, I just do not like ham. I do not like it, Sam I am. I do not like it here or there, I do not like it anywhere. Knowing this, you wouldn’t think I would be excited to write about a company like HoneyBaked Ham, but you’d be wrong. I will admit that when I was presented with a menu, the first thing I searched for was ham alternatives. Once I saw... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Rave & Review
Oh man, that is INSANE! It really makes you wonder who scalps kids toys! Sent from my Windows Phone From:
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It’s been brought to my attention that I don’t do nearly enough rants here these days, so I’m going to fix that with a lengthy rant about Disney’s Frozen. No, not the movie itself, which we love, I’m talking Frozen STUFF. You see, I have two Frozen fanatics in my house. These kids would love to own an official Anna and Elsa dress or two. In fact that’s all my 5 year old asked for this past Christmas, but all that was available locally was toddler-sized. We bought her the cheapie toddler dress from Target because Santa doesn’t let kids down like that, but it’s just too short for her and it’s apparently “very scratchy”. It's this one, if you're... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Rave & Review
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What does every mom want for Mother’s Day? The answer is something personal and from the heart. This is easy if you happen to have crafty kids or love macaroni necklaces, but what about for the rest of us? We can turn to Re:Collected Pieces, a Portland-based company that makes custom jewelry and more that any mother would love. We’re not talking silver jewelry with personalized messages like anyone with a hand stamping set can make – what Tabitha at Re:Collected Pieces does is even more personal than that. Photo pendants, repurposed items, and artwork all become statement pieces to be adored and each custom work can be personalized in many levels. After checking out the ReCollected Pieces Etsy shop,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Yes, I let the kids have a scooter... indoors. You may think I'm crazy, but I really wanted them to get the feel for riding in a relatively safe place before I let them loose in the neighborhood. I will admit that if they were any other children, I wouldn't let them ride indoors. But my kids have a tendency to be overly cautious, which makes learning to ride scooters, bikes, and even trikes an excruciating process. I figured that if I let them ride slowly indoors to get the hang of scooting, that it would make transitioning to outside a whole lot easier. Plus, it's cute. Right? This model is, from what I can figure, a Radio Flyer Pro... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Who doesn’t want to eat better these days? Even if losing weight isn’t your goal, I think we can all agree that we’d like to eat the best things to give us energy and make us feel great without feeling like we’re constantly depriving ourselves. With obesity rates on the rise, processed foods constantly in the news for questionable ingredients, and an overall unhealthy attitude towards food, it sometimes feels like it’s impossible to eat healthy without growing all your own food. And, while I’ve got a nice little garden going, it’s certainly not enough to feed my family for the year, so I love that I’m learning ways to give my family whole, fresh foods and avoiding processed foods... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Rave & Review
The audio books are the BEST and I love that you can turn off the audio when the child can read!
Yes, I love how compact it is and can store so many books, especially for travel!
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You know how some toys are so beloved that they are returned to over and over again throughout the years? Schleich figures definitely fall into that category. These were one of the first toys we bought for my daughter, purchased so she could play with them on the long plane ride to Europe, and they are one of the few early toys that she still plays with today. She {or maybe it was we} got so addicted to these little figures that we eventually had a drawer full, and then two drawers full, and now we've got a massive amount of these little guys. It's not only puppies, we've got everything from barnyard animals to horses to African wildlife -... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at Rave & Review
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I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. Is it just me who is bothered by all those "how to spend your tax refund" ads that are really just frivolous ways to waste your money as soon as you get it? How about actually putting that money back to work for you by investing it in something that will lower your monthly expenditures and hopefully put even more money back in your pocket? Are you curious yet? I'm talking about the lowest priced unlimited plans anywhere. Most people wouldn’t see a cellphone service as an investment, but when chosen carefully,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Rave & Review
We are lucky that we can leave ours up year round because we almost never get snow, but man, this RAIN! I'm so happy that they can at least go out when it's sprinkling because otherwise I'd go crazy with them asking to go on the "Jumpoline"!
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Our trampoline is easily the coolest thing we own, so naturally we spend a ton of time jumping on it, relaxing on it, and playing all sorts of games that include it. But, I'm always looking for ways to make it even more awesome, and I think I found the ultimate trampoline DIY. It's quick, it's easy, and it's really inexpensive to do. Introducing the trampoline playhouse: Just look at that smile. That's the look of a child in their own bouncy playhouse. Want to make your own? You're in luck, because this is quite possibly the easiest DIY, ever. I came up with the idea for a trampoline playhouse after a session at the Gymboree Play and Music class... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Remember my post back in 2012 about the Wishbone Flip, the coolest ride on toy, ever? {I'll wait while you check it out here} Our Flip has gotten so much love in the past two years that it is simply called "sweet ride". As in, "I love my sweet ride," or, "get your sweet ride out of the kitchen, I'm trying to cook dinner." That kind of love. Seeing as how the life of most baby toys is typically a few minutes, tops, I fully thought he would be done with his sweet ride by now. But, not only is he not anywhere near done with the Wishbone Flip, it's the one toy we rarely make him share because he's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Rave & Review
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If I were to summarize what I’ve learned so far about preparing your child to learn, it would look like this: foster a love of reading in your child. This message has come in many forms, but it’s always the same takeaway. Read with your child, give your child access to great books, and, likely most important, lead by example, and you will prepare your child for success in numerous facets of school and life. I feel we’ve done fairly well at this in most regards and we are definitely raising little readers, but up until recently we haven’t had much time to model this behavior ourselves. Any parent of young children will tell you that there simply are not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Rave & Review