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    DIY Digger Box – Sand Play for Kids

    DIY Digger Box Tutorial

    DIY Digger Box

    Have a sand loving kid?  How about a digger loving kid?  Perhaps a kid who loves to be kept busy and a little sensory thrown in for kicks never hurts?  Read on, friend!

    Ever since Landon’s birthday last year, I have been hanging on to some extra CAT digger toys.  Our plan was to make him a construction themed cake and Bob and I picked up the exact same vehicles to stick on top.  Of course, I never got around to returning the extra set but figured they would come in handy for something or other because our boy LOVES dump trucks and excavators (and every piece of machinery in between)!

    DIY Construction Vehicle Cake

    Okay, back to those extra toys.

    Today was a typical winter day when we were stuck inside and Landon did not have school.  Once the Legos, batallion of firetrucks and Netflix all lost their luster, we needed a boredom buster.  I’m pretty much psyched about how cool this one turned out – to say that it was an instant crowd-pleaser is an understatement!

    To make your own DIY Digger Box, here’s what you need: Read more

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    Macaroni Grill: Kids Eat FREE on Mondays and Tuesdays

    macaroni-grill-kids-eat-free

    Just got an email from Macaroni Grill that they are starting a new promotion!  Kids eat FREE on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Kids 12 and under can receive a FREE Kids Meal (one free meal per adult entree purchased).  Deal excludes the 3 Course Lunch and Romano’s Kitchen Counter Express.

    As always, I recommend calling your local restaurant before heading out to make sure they are participating.

    Check out the other RESTAURANT DEALS that have posted!

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    Introducing the Safety 1st UltraMax™ Air 360 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat + GIVEAWAY

    This post is sponsored by Safety 1st.  We received a sample in order to facilitate the review.  No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% our own.

    ULTRAMAX™ AIR 360 4-IN-1 CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT - RAVEN HX

    Safety 1st has recently unveiled their new UltraMax™ Air 360 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat and I am more than please to get to tell you all about it!  We have had such great experiences with our Safety 1st car seats.  Between the safety features that Bob and I love and the comfort aspect that the kids love, they always climb right into their seats when it’s time to load up and hit the road.

    What makes the UltraMax™ Air 360 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat such a logical choice when you’re shopping for a car seat, is that it adjusts to fit your child from infancy up through toddlerhood.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having a baby outgrow their infant seat, move into a convertible seat and then get too big again and move to a booster.  We have gone through all of these stages with Lily because we didn’t realize there were seat options that would grow with our child.

    So just what size/age kiddos will fit well in this new seat from Safety 1st?

    • Rear-facing infants from 4 lbs (using special inserts to give them a better fit)
    • Rear-facing toddlers (minus those infant inserts) up to 50 lbs
    • Forward-facing (once old enough) with a 5-point harness up to 65 lbs
    • Belt-positioning booster for longer than most seats: up to 120 pounds

    That’s a whole lot of versatility!

    Here’s what Safety 1st has to say about their seats’ 6 layers of safety:

    The Air Protect® cushioning system provides immediate crash protection with the most advanced side impact energy management system available. GCell HX™ further displaces crash energy around the child’s torso. The steel reinforced frame adds stability to the seat. A deep seat structure helps shield your child, keeping your little one cozy and contained. Soft foam, used throughout the seat makes a comfortable first contact in every touchable location. The motion control headrest contains movement and easily adjusts to 10 different heights, ensuring that you can give your child the best fit for the best protection as they grow.

    ultramax-air-360-4-in-1-convertible-car-seat-raven-hx-6-layers-of-safety

    Features of this car seat:

    • 4-in-1 car seat: Rear-facing for small babies 4-22 pounds, extended rear-facing for toddlers 15-50 pounds, forward-facing 22-65 pounds, and belt-positioning booster 40-120 pounds and 57″ tall
    • 360 Protect™ provides 6 layers of safety
    • Air Protect® for superior side impact protection
    • GCell™ HX patented race car foam absorbs crash energy
    • Steel reinforced frame for additional stability
    • Motion control headrest contains movement
    • Deep seat structure shields child
    • Soft foam throughout the seat for additional safety and comfort
    • Crash tested from every angle: front, rear, side and rollover impacts
    • ClickClean™ machine washable and dryer safe seat pad, lifts away easily from the seat frame
    • QuickFit™ system for easy 10 position adjustment of both harness and headrest with one hand in one step
    • 2 removable, dishwasher-safe cup holders
    • 3-position recline makes it easy to get a good fit in your car
    • Reversible comfort pillows adapt as your child grows
    • Harness holders help keep the harness straps out of the way, making it easier to buckle your child into the seat
    • Color coded belt paths, labels and instructions make installation easier
    • Easy access belt path opens during installation, making it easier to see the belt and ensure that your seat is installed correctly
    • LATCH equipped
    • Exceeds Federal Safety Standards
    • Exceeds European Rollover Standard, (ECE R44 Supplement 7)

    Landon is LOVING this seat!  We stuck it in Bob’s truck.  It installed in just a couple minutes, and Landon is comfortable and happy when sitting in it.

    This seat is available online and at stores nationwide with a retail price of $259.

    Safety 1st is going to give one lucky Mama Cheaps reader their very own UltraMax™ Air 360 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat! Enter using the Rafflecopter below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Back to School with PLAYMOBIL: School Bus and Take Along School House Review

    This post is sponsored by PLAYMOBIL. We received product samples in exchange for our honest thoughts and to facilitate this post. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% our own.

    Playmobil School Bus

    Back to School Season is finally here and we are right in the thick of it!  Last week my best girl rocked her first day of 2nd grade and this week, my best boy had the most WONDERFUL first day of preschool!  This mom is super proud!  (Okay, I’m super drained too – all of this excitement is tiring!)  Landon had a blast seeing his big sister off on the bus last week but doesn’t quite understand why he doesn’t get to the ride the bus (yet).  He missed her so much last week while we waited for his own school year to get underway.

    Between missing his sister and anticipating his own first experience at school, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to let the kids check out these toys from PLAYMOBIL.  I know I have told you before, but it’s worth repeating: we LOVE PLAYMOBIL.  My kids come by this love very naturally as I myself had several beloved playsets when I was younger.  I love their attention to detail (something that the company still ROCKS at with every single set).  There are so many sets, covering such a wide variety of themes, it’s easy for everyone to find a PLAYMOBIL set to enjoy!

    First we opened up the PLAYMOBIL School Bus (5680).  Landon literally jumped up and down when he saw this set come out of the shipping box!

    Playmobil City Life School Bus

    What’s in the box: bus, 4 figures and accessories (backpacks, hat for driver, etc)

    Playmobil School Bus Whats in Box

    What we loved about it:

    • The top comes off of the bus for easy access!  Put the kid and driver figurines in their seats, put the top back on the bus, and off to school they go!
    • The stop sign folds out and in, just like on a real school bus.
    • The lights blink with a touch of the bottom on top.
    • Batteries are included!

    What we might change: 

    • It takes some finesse and patience to get the driver into his bus seat.  (Though once he’s in place, he seems to stay put.)

    Recommended for ages 4+ with a retail price of $39.99.

    playing-with-playmobil-bus

    So the kids are all loaded in the school bus – they need a school to head to!  Our school bus headed across the living room to the PLAYMOBIL Take Along School House (5662).

    playmobil-take-along-schoolhouse

    What’s in the box: one adult figure, three child figures, chalkboard, desks, books, writing utensils, ruler, bike with bike rack, school house and lots of other accessories (68 pieces in all!)

    playmobil-school-whats-in-box

    What we loved about it:

    • SO MANY DETAILS!!  We were so excited to see how many little accessories were included.
    • Folds up – easy to take on our many adventures.
    • Lily loves the white pencil that was included for writing on the chalkboard.
    • Multiple figures make it easy for both kids to play with this set at the same time.

    What we might change:

    • Our floor likes to move around as the kids play which can disrupt the classroom furniture.  It would be great if the two floor pieces locked in place.

    Recommended for ages 4+ with a retail price of $39.99.

    Playmobil Schoolhouse Set

    Playmobil Classroom

    Playmobil Take Along Schoolhouse Folded

    Playmobil Landon Playing School

    Playmobil Landon Playing

    The kids are loving these new school-themed PLAYMOBIL sets and they have seen TONS of play over the last week.  I have observed them playing TOGETHER on more than one occasion which is just awesome.  These playsets have been welcomed additions to our PLAYMOBIL collection.

    They would make a great gift idea for your school-loving kid, and beyond that, they would be wonderful teaching assets for your kid who might be apprehensive or nervous about attending school!

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    DIY Collage Vase and Horse Show Ribbon Bouquet (Inspired by Amazon’s The Stinky & Dirty Show)

    Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Amazon Studios through a partnership with KidzVuz. All opinions are 100% our own.

    The-Stinky-Dirty-Show

    You know how sometimes a show or book or movie comes along and it just sums up your child’s interests in every way possible?  By now you probably know these things about my bouncing baby boy: Landon is incredibly passionate (to put it nicely) about all things trucks, construction, dirt, etc.  I have never seen this boy as happy as when I let him play with his bulldozers, excavators and dump trucks in the sand or dirt.  Oh, and let’s not forget the extreme excitement he gets from driving around on trash collection day!  Trash trucks EVERYWHERE!

    Last weekend I introduced him to the brand new Amazon Kids show called “The Stinky and Dirty Show.”  My intention was for him to watch the first episode and see if he liked it.  Well a couple hours later my 2 year old was on his way to his very first binge watching event.  LOL!

    Landon Watching Stinky Dirty Show

    Throughout the weekend, our entire family ended up watching a couple episodes of the show together.  And you know what?  It is SO cute!  The show’s two main characters are Stinky (a garbage truck) and Dirty (a backhoe loader).

    These two friends go on all sorts of adventures and use their resourcefulness to solve many different problems.  They have a knack for recycling trash into items that help themselves and their friends.  My kids LOVED this show.  Give it a watch and let us know what your kids think!

    Here’s the trailer to the show –

    All this talk about recycling got Lily and I chatting about what fun projects we might be able to make from recycled items.

    We actually came up with two ideas and they both go together.  Lily has ridden in horse shows for the last 4 years and to say that she has a lot of ribbons is an understatement.  This isn’t even half of them:

    Horse Show Ribbons

    She does love her ribbons and she is extremely proud of them (rightfully so).  So while she didn’t want me chopping up her precious ribbons for the sake of a craft, she was willing to let me use them as decor.

    First we decided to make a horse-themed collage vase.  We found a vase at a thrift store, and rescued an old horse book out of her aunt’s trash.

    To make this craft, you will need:

    • a glass vase
    • Mod Podge
    • sponge brush
    • pages from a book of your choosing

    Mod Podge

    To make:

    1. Cut pictures that you like out of book.

    Book pages

    Horse Pictures

    2. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the vase (it will dry clear).  Stick pictures all over the vase in collage style.

    3. Paint over pictures with a 2nd thin layer of Mod Podge.

    4. Let dry.

    Horse Collage Vase

    Now that you have your cute vase, it’s time to recycle some of those horse show ribbons by turning them into “flowers.”

    You will need:

    • horse show ribbons
    • wooden kabob skewers

    How to make:

    1. Fold the ends of each ribbon and tuck them inside the metal hanger clip on the back of the ribbon.

    red ribbon

    2. Stick a skewer in the clip hole (use tape if your clips do not have holes).

    red ribbon on stick

    red horse show ribbon

    3. Arrange “flowers” in your vase to your liking!

    Horse Show Ribbon Vase

    Horse Show Rosettes

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    DIY Collage Vase and Horse Show  Ribbon Bouquet

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    Classic Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

    This post is sponsored by BJ’s Wholesale Club. They provided us with a gift card to facilitate this post.  No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% our own.  #ShopTheClub

    Classic Egg Salad

    Did you know that August is National Sandwich Month?  Our family loves a good sandwich.  We all have our favorite kinds of sandwiches and Lily’s just so happens to be egg salad.  She LOVES egg salad and was thrilled when I asked her to help me make a video showing how easy it is to prepare.  Her and I both prefer a simple recipe without celery or onions or anything too fancy.  We took a trip last week to BJ’s Wholesale Club to gather our ingredients, not just because the prices are so affordable, but because we LOVE the taste of Wellsley Farms Soft Wheat Bread AND also because the big club packs of eggs, mayo, bread, etc let us make a lot of egg salad at once.  We like to make up one big batch and then pack it for lunches throughout the week.

    Check out how easy this recipe is to make.

    You will need:

    • 8 eggs (hard boiled and peeled)
    • 1/2 C mayonnaise
    • 1 TSP yellow mustard
    • 1/2 TSP white vinegar
    • 1/4 TSP salt
    • 1 loaf of Wellsley Farms Soft Wheat Bread

    Egg Salad Ingredients

    Watch the video we put together to see how this recipe is made (and find step-by-step instructions below the video):

    How to make:

    1. In a large bowl, mash up the hard boiled eggs.

    2. Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt to the eggs.

    3. Stir until all ingredients are blended.

    4. Refrigerate until serving.  When ready to serve, spoon desired amount of egg salad onto bread and enjoy!

    Egg Salad

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    Egg Salad Recipe for Kids

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