MommyMandy l California Mom Blog

Parenting 101: Preventing TV Addiction In Your Children

Before I start, do not be fooled into thinking this is a rant against modern tech. In moderation, television and video games can be very beneficial to a child’s development. I feel there is nothing wrong with embracing those items. However, there has to be a limit. No parent wants to raise a child who is dependent on their various screens.

The best way to stop this from becoming a problem is to provide alternatives. Embrace the ideas below, and you should pass the test with flying colors.

Embrace Other Toys

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The modern child’s bedroom will almost certainly include a TV. And it may well boast a laptop, iPad, and games console too. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t inject additional fun by using non-computerised toys.

In fact, some of those toys can become fantastic room decorations too. Model trams, for example, can add new energy to shelves. Meanwhile, your child can use them in an imaginative manner too. Now that has to be better than hours of mindless gaming.

Being creative is crucial for your child’s development, and another way to promote this is through fancy dress outfits. Let’s face it; dressing up as their favorite superheroes has to be better than playing them on the PlayStation.

Use The Garden

 

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Having those tech features indoors is almost ubiquitous with modern family life. When they’re inside, your kids are likely to use them quite frequently. So why not encourage them to get outside more? As well as fighting the issue at hand, it will promote a more active lifestyle. This can only be good news for their physical and mental health.

Transforming your garden into a kid-friendly environment isn’t difficult. Investing in a trampoline or sporting games can make a world of difference. Meanwhile, a quality climbing frame can provide the perfect venue for their adventures. Besides, it will be far easier for you to keep an eye on them while you’ll also be able to relax in the sun too.

Most kids use their tech devices to stay in touch with friends. Let them invite friends over, and they’ll also have far less need for using social media. Human interaction has to be a far healthier option.

Encourage Hobbies

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Playing games and watching films can be a great leisure activity. However, if you want your kids to spend their free time in an effective manner, you should help them find a hobby.

This could mean joining the local children’s sports team or attending classes in dance or music. And if your kids are genuinely fascinated by tech, then they can make videos using a GoPro camera. If it increases their natural creativity while developing communication skills, it has to be a step in the right direction. Who knows, they may even unearth a genuine talent for their future careers.

Even if those hobbies remain a leisure activity only, it’s important for children to have a passion in life. Best of all, though, those distractions should keep TV time to a healthy limit. From a parent’s perspective, that has to be the best reward of all.

Adorable Summer Styles by Zutano

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We are huge Zuntano fans, but most of you know that already. My two little ones are always sporting the adorable styles and fun prints. I also love to hand down the clothes they out grow to my friends.

This Summer Mikey and Shelby were able to have some matching clothes! That is one thing I love about Zutano is they offer the same (well some) print for boys and girls! We love the Maritime – Print by Tom Slaughter! Mikey and Shelby.

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There are tons of different options to choose from in each line too. From shorts, shirts, dresses, one piece rompers and pants/leggings you can mix and match with a lot of options. Here is Mikey in the screen tee and big pocket shorts.

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We love the Mandarin Terry Baby Bodice Jacket too! It makes the perfect lightweight jacket for cooler summer evenings.

Wearing her jacket and Navy And White Stripe Toddler Tiered Sleeveless Dress. This dress has ties around the shoulder which is great because we can adjust it to how we want the dress to fall on Shelby. It also allows for Shelby to wear this dress more than one year too.

Can she be any cuter in this @zutano_inc outfit?!

A photo posted by Amanda (@mommymandy) on

 

Mikey in his matching Maritime sleeveless suit.

Cuddling with this little guy !

A photo posted by Amanda (@mommymandy) on

We love Zutano and right now the one piece outfits you can get 20% off using the code CUTIETIMESTWO 

*A product was provided.

DIY After Sun Spray with Essential Oils

Summer is here and that means most families are outside and enjoying the sun. If you are fair skin like me then you may find yourself getting red from the sun rather quickly. I have a great after sun spray to help soothe the skin when you may have found yourself out in the sun a little too long!

I love using Essential Oils and this After Sun Spray has quickly become my favorite spray this summer.

DIY After Sun Spray:

20 drops Lavender
20 drops Peppermint
20 drops Frankincense (optional)

Add oils to a 4 oz spray bottle. Fill the remainder with either water or fractionated coconut oil. Shake and apply as soon as possible to the sun irritated area. Repeat every 2-4 hours.

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If you are interested in trying out Essential Oils feel free to message me and I can get you started!

Shrek 15th Anniversary and our Shrek #Swampathon Party! #Shrek15Insiders

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Can you believe it has been 15 years since Shrek came out? I was 17 and loved it back then, now four kids later and they get to enjoy this awesome Ogre too! Relive the magic of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Lord Farquaad, and all the fairy-tale characters when DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and the Shrek 4-Movie Collection arrived on Digital HD May 16th and on Blu-ray & DVD June 7th.

You’ve never met a hero quite like SHREK, winner of the first ACADEMY AWARD® for Best Animated Feature*. The endearing ogre sparked a motion picture phenomenon and captured the world’s imagination with…the Greatest Fairy Tale Never Told!

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Critics have called SHREK “not just a brilliant animated feature, but a superb film on any level” (Larry King, USA Today). Relive every moment of Shrek’s (Mike Myers) daring quest to rescue feisty Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), with the help of his lovable loudmouthed Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and win back the deed to his beloved swamp from scheming Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Enchantingly irreverent and “monstrously clever” (Leah Rozen, People Magazine), SHREK is an ogre-sized adventure you’ll want to see again and again.

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You can pick up the Shrek Four Movie Collection on amazon!

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Disclosure: I was given the product featured in this post as part of being a Fox Insider. All opinions are 100% my own.

How Behavioral Therapy with a Speech Pathologist can help Children with Autism

Individuals on the autism spectrum tend to have differing degrees and combinations of symptoms and therefore treatment must be tailored to the individual. It is also important to keep in mind that individuals with autism vary widely in their needs, skills and abilities.While autism appears to be on the rise is unclear whether the growing number of diagnosing these shows the increase comes from an actual increase in cases or improved detection by parents, teachers, and health care professionals.

Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Social interaction
  • Communication — both verbal and nonverbal
  • Behaviors and interests

A child on the Autism spectrumoften experiences learning development delayed from birth, though some children seem to develop normally before experiencing a sudden loss in social or language skills at a certain point in early childhood. For others, particular or unusual behavior patterns (such as spending hours lining up toys) will become obvious at a later stage.

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Parents are usually the first to notice something is irregular but proper diagnosis of autism is often delayed as some parents and even doctors down play early signs of autism — in fact, many suggest symptoms are just a phase or a sign of a minor delay in typical social and language progression.

Until recently, the types of ASD have been determined by guidelines in the widely-recognized diagnostic manual (known as DSM – IV) of the American Psychiatric Association. According to the Center for Disease Control (or CDC), the three major types of ASD are classified as follows:

  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Autistic disorder

The DSM -IV also included two rare but severe autistic-like conditions: childhood disintegrative disorder and Rett syndrome.The new diagnostic manual (DSM – V) has made some major changes in this list of disorders problematizing easy classification of this condition. It’s unclear, though, how these changes will affect the way health professionals define Autistic spectrum disorders, but it is clear from the manual that more attention is being paid to early identification, behavioral analysis, and intervention treatment than ever before.

At a speech pathology centre, such as Toronto’s Simone Friedman SLS, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are introduced to aholistic Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) approach. The program selected for you or your child is designed to be unique and custom-tailored according to age, ability, availability, and budget. We use both naturalistic methods (including play and interaction) and formal behavior modification (including ABA, IBI) to help people with ASD to develop new skills. Some of the skills developed at Simone Friedman IBI therapy in Toronto include:

  • Communication skills
  • Social skills that include understanding and taking part in social situations and interactions
  • Behaviour (which includes paying attention, as well as coping with restrictions and dealing with emotions)
  • General life skills (such as housework and money skill planning)
  • Motor skills (especially use of the body and hands)
  • Cognition skills (which include learning concepts like colours and shapes)
  • Hygiene (which includes self-help when it comes to bathing, toileting etc.)

If you suspect that your child may be on the ASD, do not hesitate to contact a speech language centre in your area right away. Early diagnosis and intervention can make all the difference in how a child with Autism makes important improvements in language and social skills.

4 Crucial Roles of Parents in Children’s Career Selection

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As parents, there are millions of things that you need to keep in mind to secure the future of your children. It is never easy to become a parent, it is actually the toughest job in the world. Being one is absolutely stressful and challenging, yet fulfilling and priceless. That is why all children should be proud of their parents in any way, especially for the unconditional love they keep showing them.

Growing up, your children need more attention and support, particularly with their studies. When the time comes that your children go to college, you have to make sure to guide them in choosing the best course for them. However, your role as parents is to help your children determine what they really want and not dictate what course should they take up.

Hence, the following are your roles as a parent while your children are trying to figure out the right course for them in college:

Become a good role model

Parents are the first role models of children, so be sure to be the person they look up to. You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to set a good example to them at all times. Always make time to talk to them about everything, especially yourself. Open up and tell them about your work story, career paths and plans in the future.

Build dreams with them

Always let your children dream. This is a good sign, which just means that they have a goal in life. If you let them have an ambition, you are molding them into someone who they want to become in the future. So, make sure that you dream with them and explain things properly when they ask you.

Support and encourage them

In case your children are having a hard time deciding on what career path to take, your support and encouragement as parents matter the most. You have to help them throughout the whole decision-making process and whatever they choose, be it a Diploma of Accounting, Counselling, Arts, or anything, you have to support them hundred percent.

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Aid them in exploring career options

There are numerous career options available out there and it may be a struggle for your children to select one. With that, you have to assist them in discovering the best option for them. It might be difficult at first, but when your children finally figured it out, it will be worth it. Moreover, you can help them get work experience opportunities through your network.

On the whole, your role in the career guidance process of your children is crucial. This is the time when your children need you the most, thus, make it a point that your presence is felt. Your children’s college days is one of the hardest and most defining time of their lives. Therefore, you need to guide them well and never force them to take up a course that they don’t have interest in. Let them decide and be their number one fan.

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Mikey – 1 year and 4 Months Old!

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Wow, Time literally flies when you have a baby and toddler. He makes me laugh every day. And he is very very busy!

Words:
mommy
daddy
Sarah
Hi
Be (binky)
anna (hannah my inlaws dog)
sis (Sam)
neo (nino)

He waves hello and bye and is such a flirt! He loves when the ladies talk to him.

Weight is around 27 lbs and is 30 inches tall.

Mikey

A Few Staples for the Pantry This Summer

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We are on our last week of school and then it is Summer Vacation! My kids are so excited, we already have quite the list of stuff we want to do. From swimming at the lake, pool, visiting GG, a few camping trips and hikes we will be busy!

A long bucket list of fun activities means that we are going to be on the go.. a lot! Keeping the kids fueled and hydrated is extremely important so I have already started updating our pantry with drinks and snacks that will keep the kids happy but also healthier options. I like to keep snack size everything for easy grab and go. We can throw everything into an ice chest or backpack.

Here are a few of the must have staples I keep for the kids and you can pick them all up at Target!

pantry must haves

  • BODYARMOR Sport Drink
  • Annies Fruit Snacks
  • Bananas
  • Justins Classic Almond Butter Squeeze Packs

These all make excellent snacks and keep my kids happy! They absolutely love BODYARMOR Sport Drink which happens to be packed full of electrolytes and is made with coconut water! My kids love it and are sport drink fans so to find out about BODYARMOR I was pretty stoked to switch them to something that is better for them.

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You’re probably wondering what exactly BODYARMOR Sport Drink is right? Well BODYARMOR is packed with Electrolytes, Vitamins, and Coconut Water, It provides your body with the necessary hydration to perform at its best.  So when we are at the pool swimming or out on a hike I know that my kids will stay hydrated (and myself at that!)

I myself love having BODYARMOR after my runs or working out. I sweat a lot so I love I am adding back in electrolytes and vitamins. I love the flavors too.

BODYARMOR Flavors include:

  • Fruit Punch
  • Orange Mango
  • Tropical Punch
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Grape
  • Lemon Lime
  • Mixed Berry
  • Blackout Berry

BODYARMOR also contains:

  • 2.5x the electrolytes of the leading sports drink
  • 100% vitamins A, C, E and 200% Vitamin B
  • 10% coconut water
  • Natural flavors and colors, gluten-free, certified kosher, and no preservatives

Be sure to get this Coupon to save on BODYARMOR .

For those of you in Southern California like me you can find BODYARMOR at Ralphs and Target! And you can find a list of retailers near you by visiting the store locator at www.drinkbodyarmor.com.

*A product and compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Giveaway Winners

Pediped® Debuts Fresh New Styles for Spring/Summer 2016 *Giveaway ends April 7th* WINNER: kristen s.

b.box baby *Giveaway ends April 14th* WINNER: Janet B.

Chuck E. Cheese’s and Big Brothers Big Sisters Fundraiser Starts March 31st! *Giveaway ends April 15th* WINNER: Shelly L.

2 Red Hens Shopping Cart Cover *Giveaway ends April 21st* WINNER: JEssica B.

Celebrate Discovery with Yookidoo!

Did you know that June 14th is International Bath Day? Legend has it that on this day Greek mathematician, scientist and scholar, Archimedes, discovered while taking a bath that an object’s volume could be accurately measured by being submerged in water! Unable to contain his excitement, Archimedes leapt out of the bathtub and yelling “Eureka, Eureka!” as he ran through the streets of Syracuse, Greece.

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Today, international toy manufacturer, Yookidoo, continues to celebrate Archimedes’ excitement and discovery with their award winning line of bath toys that keep learning and exploration afloat! As a proud sponsor of International Bath Day, Yookidoo is spreading the word that bath time is THE ideal time for learning and discovery.

With bath toys, like Yookidoo’s Flow N Fill Spout, children can learn the basic properties of physics such as empty/full, float/sink, heavy/light, and cause and effect all while having FUN in the tub!

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Keep the water flowing with the Yookidoo Flow N Fill Spout. This automatic spout attaches to the tub to draw water up and create an endless stream.  Three interchangeable tumblers each with a different spouting action offer a variety of ways to play and experiment with water. For ages 9 months- 3 years. MSRP: $19.99 Available at www.BabiesRUs.com

Join Yookidoo in their celebration of International Bath Day on June 14th so little scientists everywhere can rejoice “Eureka, Eureka!” over their own amazing new bath time discoveries!!

 

*A product was provided.

Hey Pampers Fans! Check out These Savings! #PampersSavings

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Hey all my Pampers fans!I am super excited to share these awesome coupons coming out this coming week! Pampers is now offering amazing money-saving opportunities for parents with little ones, so that you can get the same great diapers . Here’s how to save:

Keep an eye out for this Sunday’s newspaper (May 29, 2016) for an insert from P&G with these Pampers coupon offerings. Use these coupons at any mass, discount or grocery stores where baby care products are sold.

Keep an eye out because there will be a coupon offer for $3 off two bags or one box of any Pampers Diapers or Pampers Training Pants. And there will also be a coupon offer for $3.00 off 2 bags or 1 box of Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants or UnderJams Absorbent Night Wear.

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I am excited for these coupons because I recently had a fun Pampers Easy Ups play date and I can share these great coupons with my friends who came to our play date.

Guess what you can also clip the Pampers Easy Ups  coupons at www.coupons.com as well.  zIf you do not already have one you will need to create a coupons.com account and then you can print, shop, and save – and keep an eye out for more Pampers coupons in the future!

For more information on Pampers diapers and pants, visit www.pampers.com or the brand’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter  and YouTube.

*This post was made possible by iConnect and Pampers. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Our Pampers Easy Ups Play Date

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Last week my friends and I got together for an informative park play date and us moms discussed potty training! I have quite a bit of friends who have little ones stating to potty train so it was fun to talk about how we potty trained our older kids and how different each kid is when it comes to potty training.

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Potty training is an amazing milestone for toddlers and parents alike, but it can also be stressful. Spring is the time many families kick-off potty training so they are ready for summer fun and then for the start of preschool. Potty training can feel like an overwhelming process, and when minor leaks or accidents occur, it can be a disappointment. Pampers Easy Ups helps makes this journey a little easier by providing better leak protection than the leading competitor.

Training pants support the diaper-to-underwear transition for toddlers and their families as they have a more underwear-like look and feel while still helping to keep messes off clothing, bedding and other surfaces no matter where accidents happen: at home, on-the-go or overnight.

Pampers Easy Ups work during the day AND night, enabling toddlers and moms to confidently and completely transition from diapers to underwear.

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Pampers Easy Ups come in fun Thomas & Friends® designs for boys and Dora the Explorer® designs for girls and a more underwear-like design for growing toddlers. They are also super-stretchy sides to make them easy to pull up and down when using the potty

 

Available for Boys and Girls sizes 2T/3T through 4T/5T.

Follow Pampers on Twitter and Facebook

*I hosted a potty-training party, in partnership with Pampers.

2016 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and we have some wonderful gift ideas for you! From the tea lover to fitness guru we have made a list of some of the top gifts mom (grandma or any special lady in your life) would love.

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Boll & Branch Cable Knit Throw

Nothing says “relaxation” like a cozy blanket and Mom will love curling up under this beautiful 100% organic cotton throw. Made ethically in India of eco-friendly non-toxic dyes.

Rest well knowing you’ve done something good for Mom, the planet, and our global neighbors. The throw comes in various colors to match what your special lady would love. (I’d love the white!)

 

 

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Dune Jewelry Beach Bangle Bracelets

Each of the Beach Bangles comes with a special charm . The signature Beach Bangle collection’s allows you to capture some of your life’s most cherished memories and adventures, and to carry them with you on your wrist, and in your heart. Each piece is handmade layered to a gem-like finish with your favorite beach sand.

There are so many beach sand to choose from so depending on that special beach you visited you can now have it cherished in a bangle.

 

youniqueYounique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+

Who doesn’t want beautiful lashes that pop? Listen up, fiber lash lovers. Younique has improved our wildly popular 3D Fiber lash enhancer to make it better than before.Introducing, Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+!

With a new brush and a fresh look, our proprietary, hypoallergenic formula brings life to tired lashes. Its two international patents pending leaves little wonder about why women are talking about which lash enhancer they use.

 

origamil owl necklace Origami Owl Living Lockets

 

Beautiful necklaces that show off what mom loves? Her family! Pick her up the Large Silver twist locket, pair it with the Legacy Family TREE Window Shelf and then the birthstones off all her kids or grandkids!

You can throw in a gift certificate too so mom can pick out a couple other charms!

Origami Owl offers more than just the living lockets. From watches, bracelets, earrings and so much more.

 

 

Southwest Sunset Arrows Essential Oil Bag from Red Fox LaneSouthwest Sunset Arrows Essential Oil Bag from Red Fox Lane

The Essential Oil Bag from Red Fox Lane bag is made with individual pockets to hold up to 12 essential oil bottles (depending on bottle sizes) – with plenty of room for extras like rollers or minis!

The roller bottle bag has individual pockets to hold 14 rollerball bottles. Pockets are taller to keep your rollers upright. The XL bag is made to hold 14 of the 15ml bottles, plus an insert or two. It is about 30% larger than the regular bag.

il_570xN.841495241_9kozSurviving Parenthood One Sip at a Time To Go Cup – GlitterSips

This to-go coffee cup has actually been on my want list for a year! GlitterSips has tons of fun sayings and your coffee or tea loving mama will love this! Get it in her favorite color too.

Moving your family? Considerations before choosing your home in a new community

It’s also about…HOUSE, HOUSE, HOUSE.

Or is it? Choosing a new home for your family isn’t just about the property you are purchasing, it’s also the community where you’ll spend years of your life in. It’s true that home is where your heart is, but what if your heart doesn’t know where it should be?

From great education system to low crime rate, there are literally hundreds of variables you need to consider before hiring your residential movers and choosing that perfect place you and your family can call home

Choosing a place to live

Start by determining what is most important to you and your family. If you’re single, living near or in the city might be an ideal choice for you. However, if you have a family, a small town that offers amenities your whole family needs is your best bet.

One good example is the community in Adelaide where you can find homes nestled in nature while still having the luxury of facilities and other family-necessary amenities. If you buy a house in Adelaide, you’ll be in a community where your entire family can live for decades and beyond.

Affordability aside, here are some more tips that helped me in my journey towards choosing a place to live in.

Proximity to family and friends. Starting a new life doesn’t mean moving yourself too far away from your friends and family. If you have an extended family, chances are you’ll spend holidays with them. If extended family and friends are important to you, then choose a place within reasonable distance by vehicle or plane.

Crime rates and statistics. Who wants to live in a place where crimes are rampant? By researching the crime rate and statistics in your desired area, you can learn more about the safety of its neighbourhood.

If you already know where to live, stop by the local police station to discuss the neighbourhood. They’ll be happy to discuss any concern you have in the area.

Climate. Climate plays a big role in our lives as it impacts our behaviour, hobbies, and even our jobs. Living with a climate which you are most comfortable will contribute to your physical and mental health. So choose wisely.

Education system. A good education system in your selected area is vital to setting up children to better handle their own lives as they grow, therefore the importance of good schools cannot

Sofia The First Birthday Theme!

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Shelby loves everything Disney Princess related and we knew for her fourth birthday we wanted to so a Sofia the First Party theme. She adores watching Sofia the First and was so excited for such a fun party!

We picked to have the kid’s party at Chuck E Cheese so that we didn’t have to deal with a lot of clean up especially since we knew we would have about twenty kids and twenty adults. Each of the kids had their own side of the table and we made sure they had plenty of activities to do while sitting down!

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We picked everything up that we needed for the party at Oriental Trading Co. which has tons of Sofia the First theme items. I love that I can get everything we need at such a great price and all at one store. I didn’t have to drive from store to store trying to find what we needed.

For the goodie bags we had lots of toys and of course candy! Everything we got from Oriental Trading. I put everything into the purple bags and then tied them up with a crown for each of the girls.

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I love how the cake turned out to. Simple but perfect for Shelby!

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You can pick up everything you need for a Sofia The First Birthday Party at Oriental Trading Co!

*A product was provided.