About Ashley

Ashley is a military wife, mom of two, sports addict, and over-tweeter. She is the owner of FiddleDeeMe.com, a blog about nothing in particular and everything all at once. She's currently training for her first marathon, proof that she'll do anything to get to Walt Disney World again, even run 26.2 miles. She's also a Social Media Community Manager, excellent baker, and wine enthusiast.

Jakks Pacific Presents new Frozen Dolls and More!

I received product to facilitate my review. Additional compensation was not received and all opinions are my own.

Do you want to build a snowman?

If you’re my daughter, the answer is “YES!” Frozen fever is still raging in my house and I don’t see it ending any time soon. If the Frozen aisle at Target is any indication, Frozen fever is still going strong in households everywhere.  You can imagine my daughter’s face when she opened a box of Frozen goodies from Jakks Pacific last month. I’m pretty sure there were squeals, tears, and a whole lot of jumping. I finally got her to sit still long enough for a photo before she tore the boxes open.

Jakks Pacific Frozen Toys

Jakks Pacific always creates fabulous product lines based on Disney movies and other popular franchises: Star Wars, Cabbage Patch Kids, Nintendo, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Disney Princess, and more! They carry everything from dolls to dresses to apps and even great products for your four-legged friends. We have plenty of Jakks toys in our home and the quality has always been top-notch.

We received the Enchanting Anna Dress (SRP $19.99). My daughter is in Kindergarten and wears a size 5/6 in girls. The dress is sized for ages 3& up (to size 6x). It fit her beautifully and she should be able to get a few months of wear out of the dress before the sleeves and bodice become too tight. This is a basic play dress, so it’s a little thinner than the deluxe dresses you may find inside Disney Parks. It’s perfect for pretend play because it easily fits over clothing and does not use buttons or zippers (which means mama doesn’t need to be there to dress/undress her every time.) We’re doing this new thing now where I can’t photograph her playing dress-up, so you’ll just have to imagine how stinkin’ cute she looks in the dress. I swear she thinks she’s 16 already.

Jakks Pacific Frozen Elsa Wand

The perfect accessory for the dress is the Elsa’s Musical Snow Wand (SRP $12.99.) Warning: if you’re like me and the sounds of “Let it Go” make you twitch a little, you may want to skip the wand and go for the cute jewelry or wigs to accessorize your little one’s gown.

Jakks Pacific Frozen Toddler Elsa Doll

We also received the Elsa Toddler Doll (SRP $24.99) which is so adorable! It even includes a little Olaf, which my son immediately commandeered for his own.

I know it’s a bit of a struggle to find Frozen toys right now, but don’t lose hope! I’ve had much better luck finding the toys in stores like Target and Toys R’ Us instead of online. I highly recommend picking up some of these Jakks Pacific toys if you’re able to. You can also check sites like In Stock Now to be alerted when new stuff goes on sale.

You can find Jakks Pacific on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Easter Basket Ideas from Wonder Forge

Thank you to Wonder Forge for providing product for this post. No other compensation was received.

The Easter Bunny only has a few days left to get ready for his big day! If you’re like me, you’re scrambling to find some great items for your kid’s Easter baskets that won’t have them jacked up on sugar until Memorial Day.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids get plenty of candy at Easter, but I always add a little extra something to their baskets. This year, I’ve added new crayons (who doesn’t love a fresh box of crayons), bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring pads, water bottles (we’re constantly on the go and they’re perfect for road trips), and a new game. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s really not! And the majority of the items can be used outside this Spring, well if we ever get Spring weather, that is! I switched things up this year and bought tin buckets for their “baskets” so they can store their chalk/bubbles in the buckets in our garage. The wicker Easter baskets never seem to hold up and I hate having to store them ever year.

So here’s where I’m supposed to show you these awesome buckets, filled with all of the wonderful goodies inside. Well, we’re traveling for Easter weekend and I couldn’t put their buckets together ahead of time. They’re all packed away in a suitcase, ready to come along to their Grammy’s house. And, you know I love you all, but I couldn’t bring myself to stage the buckets just to rip them apart and redo them this weekend. I know you feel me, fellow parents.

Ok, so back to the games. Thanks to Wonder Forge, our kids will be getting two amazing games this year!

My daughter is still infected with Frozen Fever and can’t get enough of the movie, dolls, dresses, songs…you name it. If it’s Frozen, she wants it! This Wonder Forge Frozen Matching Game is going to be perfect for her bucket!

Frozen Matching Game by Wonder Forge

My son is a typical three year old boy and has recently discovered the amazingness of super heroes. He’s going to flip when he finds the Marvel Matching Game in his bucket!

Marvel Matching Game by Wonder Forge

Why are matching games the perfect game for my kids?  Well, matching games can be played independently or with others. The kids learn how to entertain themselves when they play alone and to take turns when they play against each other. It’s also a game I don’t mind playing with them. They’re also easy on the budget. Wonder Forge Matching Games are priced under $10!  Tip: We store the pieces in a ziptop bag and discard the boxes. We find it’s much easier to clean up and store that way!

You can find Wonder Forge Matching Games at a large number of retailers.

Where to Buy Wonderforge Toys

Be sure to pick up a game for your child’s basket this Easter! Check out the Wonder Forge Matching Games and leave a comment with which game you think your child would love to see in their Easter basket!

Mad Housewife Cellars Wine Review

 

 

I received two bottles of Mad Housewife Cellars Wine for this review.  All opinions are my own.  I’d never lie about wine, y’all.

If you know me, you know that I love wine.  I take great joy in perusing the aisles at the liquor store to pick out a new bottle.  Of course, I always have my old favorites on standby, but there’s something exciting about trying out a new wine.  It’s almost like getting a hidden treasure…you can see the outside, read the label, see what Wine Enthusiast has to say, but you really don’t know what’s inside until you take that first smell and sip.  Maybe I’m just a wine romantic.

You can imagine my excitement when Melissa reached out to me to do this review for Mad Housewife Cellars.  A wine review?  Sign. Me. Up.

Mad Housewife Cellars has a definite sense of humor about themselves.  “What’s domestic bliss without a little wine?” is their catch phrase, after all.  And I really appreciate their approach to giving women a delicious, reasonably priced choice for an every day wine.  I thoroughly enjoy having one glass of wine after the kids are in bed.  It’s my treat to myself of a long day of work and family obligations.  When I reach for the bottle of Mad Housewife, the kitchsy label reminds me to not take myself too seriously.

Speaking of the label, Mad Housewife just unveiled a new look for their wines.  I absolutely love it.  I could see Betty Draper pulling the bottle out of the kitchen cabinet and having a glass after dinner.  It’s fun, fresh, and would definitely catch my eye in the wine store.  What do you think?  I think it was a great improvement!

Mad Housewife New Label

But Mad Housewife’s approach to marketing doesn’t rely on a label.  Mad Housewife Cellars produces fabulous wine in several varieties.  I tried the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Both varietals have won several awards from distinguished wine competitions, and it’s easy to see why.  The Cabernet was smooth, and had distinct notes of cherry, without being overly sweet.  It had a very nice mouthfeel.  If I were a chocolate girl, I would pair it with a little dark chocolate dessert.

I’m more of a red wine girl, but the Chardonnay was also great: fruity with high notes of melon and apple, with a creamy feel.  This would be my go-to wine when I sneak one of the kid’s cupcakes at night.  (What? You know you do it, too)  It would also make a great cooking wine (after all, you don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink…that’s the cardinal rule) and would pair nicely with fish or chicken dishes.

Have a girl’s night in?  Be sure to check out the Mad Housewife Recipe Collection.  And try mixing it up!  Going to a bridal shower?  Just think of the fun you could have making a retro-inspired gift basket featuring a couple bottles of Mad Housewife!

I can’t say enough great things about Mad Housewife Cellars.  And that’s not because they gave me free wine.  Free wine is only fun if it tastes good, and I can honestly say this wine hits that mark.  I’ve already purchased the Merlot and more of the Cabernet.

Have you tried Mad Housewife Cellars wines before?  What do you think of their new label?

Mad Housewife Cellars is available at most local wine sellers and on Amazon.com.  Grab a bottle and take five minutes for yourself tonight.  (and, as always, drink responsibly)

You can find Mad Housewife on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  They definitely know how to have fun on social media!  Be on the lookout for fun memes and contests on their sites.

Cheers!

Christmas Tree Tidbits from Hallmark

 

 

I received the “The Band Concert” ornament in exchange for this post.

Christmas is less than a week away, which means we’re putting the final touches on our holiday decorating.  In our home, our Christmas tree is the center of the holiday universe.  Our tree isn’t the fanciest tree, either.  We don’t do elaborate themes or crazy decorating.  For us, our Christmas tree is a time capsule we unearth every December.  It’s filled with memories and stories we relive each year as we unpack the ornaments and place them on branches.

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It’s been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember for my mom to purchase a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament for each of us kids every Christmas, and now she purchases them for the grandchildren.  After 30 years of my own ornaments and now ornaments for my husband and two children, you can imagine how many Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments fill our tree!  In fact, I moved my Father Christmas Series Keepsake Ornaments to a display case this year because we didn’t have enough room on the tree for all of my Santas!

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What I love most about Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments is the stories they tell.  From First Christmases to hobbies to favorite movies and sports teams, Hallmark has every moment covered.

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I collect the Father Christmas Series as well as Gone With the Wind ornaments.  And, of course, I always leave room on my tree for my favorite mouse.  This year, we’ve added The Brave Little Tailor, the second in the Mickey’s Movie Mousterpeices Series and the amazing The Band Concert ornament.  How stinking adorable is this?!

Mickey is no stranger to the Hallmark family, that’s for sure!

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107 magical Mickey Mouse appearances!  I only wish I had room on my tree for them all.

This year, Hallmark is celebrating 40 years of Christmas memories and magic with Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.  For our family, Christmas isn’t complete without Hallmark on our tree and we hope to collect our favorite ornaments and capture memories for another 40 years.

Do you collect Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments?  Which ornament is your favorite?

Driver Safety with PEAK Back-Up Cameras

This post is brought to you on behalf of PEAK Back-Up Cameras.  All opinions and content are my own.

We do so many things to keep our children safe when they’re in our car.  We make sure they’re in the correct car seat and buckled up at all times. And we make sure our children, and the children in our neighborhoods are safe outside of our vehicles, too.  We make sure we drive slowly down our streets.  We observe school zones.  We stay off of our cell phones.  And we check twice when backing out of our driveways or in the parking lot at school.

Sadly, checking and double-checking before backing up isn’t foolproof.  It can be impossible to see a smaller child or toddler walking behind your car no matter how many times you look.  Blind spots are a very real issue. (as a personal note: I fully believe in using your mirrors and eyes first and the camera as an additional step in the safe process of backing-up.  Never rely solely on a camera system when backing up your vehicle.)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates, an average of 292 deaths and 18,000 injuries occur each year as a result of back-over crashes and 44% of those deaths involve children under the age of five. Several consumer groups have pushed for the Department of Transportation to require all new vehicles (in particular vehicle classes) to be equipped with rear back-up cameras.  After some delays, the new regulations are expected to take effect sometime in 2015.

But where does that leave families who can’t afford to upgrade to a new car?  We won’t be trading in my car for quite a few years, but I still want the extra piece of mind that comes with having a back-up camera.

PEAK Back-Up Camera

Luckily, PEAK offers a wireless back-up camera you can easily install into your existing vehicle.  Simply mount the camera to your rear license plate holder and you’re set!  It takes less than 15 minutes to install on most vehicles and it’s available nationwide at Walmart and leading auto retailers.  Watch the video below to see how easy it is!

PEAK was generous enough to send me a back-up camera for my vehicle (2009 Toyota Camry) and I couldn’t be happier with it.  It installed easily and gives me that extra bit of reassurance in the school or grocery store parking lot to know I’m backing up safely.  This would be something I would most certainly purchase for myself or for a gift (it would make a great non-traditional baby shower present), especially if we towed a trailer or boat with our vehicle.

To learn more, check out the PEAK website or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.