Thursday, September 24, 2009

Try a Trio

Fisher Price has come out with a new building set called Trio. We got a chance recently to test drive a "starter set." Comprised of clickable bricks, sticks and panels the starter set also comes with a car, a little person, a tree shape, some triangle roof shapes and so on. Quite handy is the storage bin with a lid that can double as a building base. I'll be honest - any Mom's feet would be grateful to not be tripping over the bits of a building set. Yay storage bin!

I love toys that encourage creating and imagining and Daniel has returned to the Trio set countless times. I can see a whole "city" he built on the lid sitting over in the corner as I type this. The starter set is listed as being for 3-5 year olds. One thing I would encourage is strategically planning your Trio playtime. The click action building does take some getting used to and I encourage Daniel to play with the Trio set when he is fresh. Once he starts getting tired, his frustration level can build.

The folks at Fisher Price and MomSelect have graciously agreed to offer a Trio Starter Set to one lucky Relishing the Dirt reader.

To Enter: Comment on this post and tell me your favorite "creative plaything" that you do with your kids.

Extra Entries: Follow or subscribe to this blog and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so. Follow me on Twitter at @Smittens05 and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so. Additional credit for tweeting about this giveaway (please comment with a link).

Deadline: October 9th at Midnight EST.


Note: We received this product free of charge as part of participating in the MomSelect review program.

Zhu Zhu Zhoom!

Congrats to Natalie A. who won the Zhu Zhu pet giveaway here on Relishing the Dirt. A new furry friend is headed her way. And a new giveaway is coming up, straightaway!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pets - Parties, A Review, A Giveaway

As a family who lives in a condo, we're entirely cramped for space when it comes to having a pet. No dogs are allowed, and some days even a cat would feel like one live beast too many around here! When the good folks at MomSelect offered us a chance to explore and play with some Zhu Zhu Pets (and share with some friends) I said yes, please!

Our planned "hamster party" turned into hamster playdates again, due to lack of space issues. I couldn't see stuffing a slew of 4-year-olds into our house all at once - and each of them chasing their new furry friend. Each of the kids at our first playdate seemed quite entertained by the little critters. Daniel's buddy Murphy immediately put his down to watch it scamper off in the other direction. This is the best kind of pet (especially for us Moms) - one that doesn't make a mess, and no worries about feeding it! During one of my last phone calls with Marisa's Mom I had gotten the report that she was still playing with her Zhu Zhu pet quite often. And Murphy's Mom laughed that she had left the house with the Zhu Zhu pet chattering away in her purse.

There are assorted playsets like a hamster wheel and tunnel, a funhouse, an adventure ball and more. Build and rearrange these pieces and the Zhu Zhus have their own habitat to explore.

I would have liked to see some of the habitat pieces built a little more securely. The lid and doors to the hamstermobile and garage come off fairly easily, for example, which can lead to some kid frustration. The hamsters themselves don't really have an "off" switch - they do go into a "sleep" mode after a bit, but this can be a bit of a battery drain.

All in all the kids seem tickled with their new pets. We're planning a few more hamster playdates, and we'd like to have a virtual playdate with you!

The Giveaway: One hamster, and one habitat piece.

To enter: Stop by Zhu Zhu Pets online and tell me your favorite - your favorite hamster, habitrail piece, activity or game from the site - you get to pick.

Extra entries: Subscribe or follow this blog, and leave a comment telling me you have done so. Follow me on Twitter and again, leave a comment that you have done so.

Deadline: Contest closes Tuesday, September 22nd at midnight EST. Winner to be announced September 23rd.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And the Winner is...

Congrats to debbielynne, the winner of the $10 Stop & Shop gift certificate! She says she aims to save 50% when she shops.

Stay tuned for more fun reviews and a giveaway or two!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Save at Stop & Shop - Quick Giveaway!

For the first time I am preparing to send my kid to school! Eek! General Mills and Stop & Shop are teaming up this week to give families a great way to stock up and save, as they gear up for back to school. You should be shopping at Stop & Shop this week because:

There are some great sale prices on the participating General Mills brands: Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Reeses Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp Sprinkles, Cookie Crisp, Fruit Snacks, Old El Paso Dinner Kits, Pillsbury Strudel, Pillsbury Scrambles, Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, Yoplait Yo-plus Multi-pack, Fiber One Yogurt Multi-pack, Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookies, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Pillsbury Sweet Rolls and Yoplait Delights.

Additional savings for your or your school, depending on which Stop & Shop location you shop.

If your Stop & Shop store sells gas: Buy four (4) participating General Mills items and you'll automatically earn 100 points on your Stop & Shop card. For every 100 points earned you'll save 10 cents per gallon of gas. (Please note total discount cannot exceed price per gallon.) Just swipe your Stop & Shop card at the pump to redeem your gas rewards.

If your Stop & Shop doesn't sell gas - Don't worry! You're not left out of the savings. If you buy five (5) participating General Mills products you will receive 20 Bonus Box Tops for your school.

The wonderful people at General Mills and My Blog Spark sent me a $10 Stop & Shop gift card so that I can jump into some of these back to school savings. They also want to give one lucky Relishing the Dirt reader a $10 Stop & Shop gift card too!

To Enter: Leave a comment telling me how much you think you can save on your next shopping trip.

Deadline: Monday, September 7th at Midnight. This giveaway will only last a few days so that hopefully you will receive your gift card in time to use at the sale.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Culture Club

I miss getting mail, don't you? I mean I love coasting the ins-and-outs of the Internet and discovering all the tools available to keep in touch. But there is something about Real Mail, not bills or junk mail or catalogues, but a lovely card / note from someone who is thinking about me.

Thanks to the folks at Momfluence, Paper Culture kindly sent me a sample of their work. Their eco-friendly stationery is created using paper that is: FSC certified as 100% post consumer recycled paper, Green-e and/or Green Seal certified, generated by wind power and elemental chlorine free. All envelopes and packaging are also made from recycled paper.

And you know what? The designs are awesome! This would have been a perfect invitation to the Pirate Party that Daniel is attending next week. There are many wonderful choices for Birthday Party invitations, Baby Announcement and Shower invites, and life events like Moving Announcements, Baptism invitations and more. Give them a look before your next occasion!