Saturday, November 16, 2013

Maria's Space Holiday Gift Guide 2013

 We reviewed Disney Princess Ariel's Royal Cruise Ship this year. 

Amazon has it on sale for $37.99

Have Ariel-inspired adventures above and below the sea with this magical two-in-one play set! Closed, the set is a gorgeous ship decorated with swirls, waves, and seashell accents. Open to reveal iconic items and characters from Ariel’s fairy tale. Your princess will love playing out scenes from The Little Mermaid and inventing her own splashy stories! Girls can sail away on a high-seas journey by steering the captain’s wheel on the top deck. To head to the grotto below, simply flip up the ship’s top and open the sides. Then slip down the translucent blue slide into the under-the-sea area. Get ready for a royal ball at the vanity featuring a double-sided mirror or admire the treasures that fill Ariel’s golden treasure chest. When it’s time for sweet dreams, the pink mermaid-princess bed with a starfish-shaped pillow ensures a perfect night of beauty rest!

Hex Bug Lovers will love this game that uses their favorite bug! Bug in The Kitchen is great fun for up to four people and from one of my favorite brands. See my review here.

Interactive Storytelling Belle Doll:

  • Soft body doll interacts with Chip, Mrs Potts, Lumiere, microphone and her storybook
  • Doll can tell over 8 minutes of stories and songs and more than 100 phrases
  • Also includes a deluxe brush
  • Photobucket

Polly Pocket's Zipline Adventure Pool. We love our Pollys! The new Polly items are great and take Polly on all kinds of new adventures. This was a fun interactive toy for Goddess and her friends and months later they are still pulling it out to play. Here is our review.

The Orb Factory has some awesome craft kits that are adorable and easy for kids. We love them and have been buying them as gifts since this review  for the Pillow Pet.

Baby Alive Real Surprises: Your little one can feel like a real mommy when she takes care of this adorable Real Surprises Baby doll. This interactive little doll needs lots of loving care. She helps your little one by shaking her head to show what she wants and what she doesn't. Encourage your little one to prepare her food and feed it to her. After eating, you know what comes next and so will she - the doll really "pees" and "poops" in her diaper. When it's bedtime, your child can cuddle up with her and give her a pacifier. Watch your little one learn to take good care of her Real Surprises Baby doll. Baby Alive and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

 On SALE NOW at Amazon for only $34.99

Create, learn and stretch your imagination with photos! Designed for little ones with simplicity in mind, the LeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App combine the camera power of your iPhone or iPod touch with creativity-focused fun! Your budding photographer can use 6 different modes to edit photos to make silly pictures, go on photo missions to create special albums and even play an exciting augmented reality game. This breakthrough app toy turns your device into the ultimate creativity camera. Works with iPhone 4/4s/5 and iPod touch 4th & 5th generation (sold separately). Does not work with LeapPad or Leapster Explorer systems. Appropriate for children ages 3 to 6 years.

Never be afraid to give the kids your iPhone again! Love the apps. Even my 8 and 10 year old love this.
On Sale for only $12,99

I received a gift from Keurig this month and have to say, it is one of the best gifts we ever got for our house!  The newest coffeemaker is the K75 Platinum coffeemaker  that comes with a filtration system. It also came with a variety of delicious K-Cups.  A 72-oz water reservoir keeps you prepped for multiple servings of java, tea, or whatever you choose. My husband and I believe this is a definite gift idea for most coffee loving homes.

Learning Resources Primary Science Plant And Grow Kit: Introduce complex horticultural concepts through early science play. Unique pieces, such as an observation jar and rooting tray, allow children to explore growing cycles right in their classrooms. Pots are clear for observation, and trowel is sized for little hands. Set of 12 includes 10 activity cards. Grades PreK+.

A fantastic start to help kids learn all about the science of plants and how they grow.

The set is durable, colorful plastic small enough for children's hands.

The Miracle-Gro Aero Garden ULTRA is a hi-tech, high-output indoor garden that delivers big yields and fast, healthy plant growth. The world's simplest, smartest indoor garden grows the freshest herbs, salads, cherry tomatoes and more - all year round. The fully automated Aero Garden ULTRA uses NASA-proven technology to optimize light, water and nutrients and deliver bumper crops of the freshest foods possible. The dirt-free growing system sets up in less than 5 minutes with no mess, perfect for kitchen gardening! The revolutionary My Garden control panel guides you every step of the way, from planting to harvest, ensuring your success and even reminding you when to add nutrients and water. Starts perfect seedlings for transplanting to your outdoor garden, too. Includes: Miracle-Gro Aero Garden ULTRA with My Garden control panel; Gourmet Herb Seed Kit with Basil, Dill, Cilantro, Chives and more; 3 energy efficient, MaxGrow grow lights for fast growth and big yields; Liquid plant food for vitamin-packed fresh food with no pesticides or herbicides; Quick Start Tending and Harvesting Guide.

We are loving our little personal indoor garden. It took us no time to set up. Everything is included in the package!
My kids were really excited about setting it all up and at 8 and 10 put the whole thing together.

We have attempted to garden over the years and never really been able to grow much. The kids love caring for our small seedlings right now.

No mess, nice and compact and the kids are really excited about finally eating veggies that we grew ourselves.

The Land of Oz is full of letters, As and Bs and Cs and Ds.  From Auntie Em to farmhand Zeke, some great and powerful letters you'll see!

Get this special Destruction Board Books Package, with all the rip, boom, crunch, and wham you’re looking for!  This special package features Crush It, Shred It, Knock It Down, and Blow It Up. Enjoy the mayhem of the Destruction series!

 Follow BATMAN on this colorful, action-packed adventure about being brave! Illustrated by award-winning artist Ethan Beavers in the popular DC Animated Style, BATMAN IS BRAVE! introduces young children to the character education concept of courage, while appealing to comic book fans of all ages.

In the frightening, maze-like dungeon laboratory deep within Castle Grotteskew, mad scientist Professor Erasmus brings his bizarre experiments to life. His first creation, Stitch Head, has long been forgotten. But when a traveling circus ringmaster promises to make him a star, Stitch Head is torn between his almost-life in the castle and the promise of fame outside its walls. But before he can decide what to do, the professor’s latest monstrous creation has smashed its way to freedom . . . and Stitch Head is the only one who can stop it. 

In Hit The Road Helen! When Paris and Helen decide to hit the road together, it means more trouble than they can imagine for both themselves and the people of Troy. But who says Helen is entirely at fault? Sure she had a face that launched a thousand ships but she also had a little interference from the meddling god of love and his mother, Aphrodite. Think you know the truth behind the Greek myths? Think again. Hades is here to set you straight once more on the true story of the Trojan War.

Mr. Puzzle Super Collection - With his incredible powers, Mr. Puzzle can stretch, bend, shrink, grow, and will work hard to keep the folks of Busyville safe from trouble. What a nice guy! Mr. Puzzle, a superhero who's a perfect fit for all problems.

The Time Tripping Faradays is a perfect series to get your middle schooler started on. When their parents, two temporal researchers who travel through time to document history, are transferred to 16th-century Prague, Dawk and Hype hardly expect to find themselves in the middle of an alchemical mystery. In fact, the new, boring job is meant to be a punishment for Dawk and Hype’s bad behavior at their last temporal post. The two teenagers are from the 25th century—how could medieval Prague compare? But when they meet a man who claims he can turn metal into gold, Dawk and Hype find out that Prague holds deeper secrets.

Is it a book or is it a toy? I had a problem deciding! Play-Doh Book and Craft Kits from Silver Dolphin Books and Play-Doh. What kid doesn't love Play-Doh? These books take it up a notch with some wonderfully easy craft ideas using Play-Doh. See our review here.

Roller Girls - When Annie moves from London to a small town in the midwest, she struggles to fit in. She gets off to a bad start when she makes an enemy of her school's queen bee, Kelsey. But she discovers a new passion, the exciting sport of roller derby, and makes friends with the cool and quirky girls on her team, the Liberty Belles. She also meets Jesse, the friendly boy who works at the roller rink, and Tyler, a cute, all-American sports star.


Anne Taintor Vintage Revisited fun and sassy gifts like flasks, hostess trays, emery boards, change purses. Truly the best stocking stuffer or secret santa shop yet.  See my review here.

The World Vision Gift Catalog has been on my gift guide for two years.  World Vision is not only a great gift idea for someone you love but also helps people around the world. Here is my review which contains much more information and how to get in touch with this great organization.

Combines gel and foam for optimal comfort. Helps to reduce back pain, promotes good posture and features 34 cooling vents. Promotes good posture. Conforms to body, contours instantly. 

I reviewed this for Amazon this year and love it. Very comfy however, it was so comfy that Teach claimed it and took it to work with him saying his chair is much older than mine. Hrumf. 
Selling for 50% off on Amazon (12-1-13)

I got a Kindle Fire HD last year for Christmas and it was absolutely my favorite gift. My kids and I spend as much time on it as we do anything else. Play games, read books, watch Netflix, look for fun things to do and take photos. Why pay for an expensive Ipad when for me this is the same thing? When I saw that I could check email, post to my blog, update Facebook, do my checking, this took the place of my laptop while I am on the run! It is like having my laptop in my pocketbook at all times!
There are various versions of the Kindle Fire HD. You can't go wrong with even the least expensive which is the one I have.

Getting someone a Kindle Fire? Check out this wonderful accessory that makes my life so much easier which I am on Facebook, emailing or blogging.

The Belkin Bluetooth Keyboard Folio Case for Kindle Fire HD 7

155 hours of battery life. It is like having a full keyboard. The Kindle sits firmly and also acts as a carrying case. I truly think this is the best accessory I have for my Kindle!
Super Magicstick fashionable mobile chargers are shaped like a lipstick/cigar to charge smartphones, tablets, and other devices on the go when an outlet is not available: $34.99

The new DASH7 über-flat ¾ inch-high wireless pocket-portable Bluetooth soundbar speaker system and speakerphone provides a huge sounding wide dynamic range omnidirectional sound in a thin size that slides into the slimmest purse or pocket.  Available in red, black, and white: $249


Kidz Gear: KidzControl™ Volume Limit Headphones lets kids study and play quietly at home or school:  $19.99

CyberLink PhotoDirector 5 

CyberLink PhotoDirector 5 Ultra combines all the features you need for photography in a single workflow efficient photo management, pro quality adjustments and creative photo editing. With native 64 bit support, non destructive tools, RAW support for popular DSLRs and Ultra 4K slideshow output, PhotoDirector is all you need to turn your photos into works of art. 
For the price this is a great gift! 
For the crafty type, Colortime Crafts and Markers is a great place to start. These easy to color items make every kid or adult feel like an artist! My review is here.

Plush Craft BFF Pillow allows children to make high quality fabric creations with no sewing required. Use the stylus to punch pretty fabric and make these fun and easy fabric-by-number crafts.

Kids as young as 4 can make these beautifully professional looking pillows that they will be so proud of.

You get all the pieces you need including the pillow, the puncher tool and the decorations. The pillow has holes and numbers. You simply take the decorative piece and insert it into the correct hole using the tool. The colors are in the purple family. White,light lavender and dark lavender.

We are big fans of Annoying Orange and think kids and adults will love The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange. My review is here

Home Alone 1 & 2 are some of our favorite Christmas movies. There is a new Home Alone movie out for this holiday season called Home Alone The Holiday Heist. Check out our review here.

Pint-size viewers will have a lot to bee excited about this holiday season when The Hive, the animated TV series for preschoolers on Disney Junior from Bejuba! Entertainment, comes to DVD and digital for the first time! “A Very Buzzbee Christmas” features nearly 90 minutes of high-flying hijinks starring the tiny, stripy Bee family – Pappa Bee, Mamma Bee, Buzzbee, Rubee and Babee – as they buzz around the sky, take part in Honeybee Hive’s Harvest Festival of Lights and await the arrival of Pappa Christmas. The adorable new release captures all the most buzz-worthy themes of the popular series, including spending time with family, making friends, and finding out about the world and how it works.

Kids and families will count down to Christmas with the DVD debut of the beloved international sensation, The Secret World of Santa Claus! The two special two-disc sets each feature a dozen episodes of the timeless animated series. In “The Secret World of Santa Claus: Elves in Toyland, Santa, his reindeer and trusty elves sleigh into a land full of enchantment. But when they arrive, they find the meddlesome Gruzzlebeard has cast a wicked spell on the toys, making them come to life. With Christmas fast approaching, Santa and his elves must undo the maleficent magic before it’s too late…! And in “The Secret World of Santa Claus: A Present for Santa, children work with Santa’s elves to make him a gift so he won’t be the only person on the planet who never receives presents on Christmas. While they’re hard at work, the dastardly Gruzzlebeard unleashes hungry termites that nearly eat Santa’s house, along with his trademark suit with special powers! Santa is very distressed, but when he awakens to a big present outside, courtesy of the children, he discovers all hope is not lost.

“Enchanted Tales: The Night Before Christmas & The Christmas Elves” brings two of the most beloved classic holiday tales to colorful animated life in a pair of complete 48-minute movies on one DVD! “The Night Before Christmas” presents a whimsical holiday surprise package bursting with comical elfin escapades, musical fun and inventive fairy magic. The festive tale is followed by “The Christmas Elves, which centers on a kindhearted, orphan boy and his loyal cat as they discover the true spirit of the season in a Yuletide tale of musical, magical holiday cheer. The multi-award-winning Enchanted Tales series, produced by Golden Films and distributed in more than 80 countries around the world, has already delighted millions of young viewers through Comcast and Hulu.

We loved The Croods, here is a peek at our Croods party that we had in October.

If you haven't seen Turbo, see it. Adorable movie. We have had the best time with this movie and the kids have watched three times since we got it. Our review is here.

Monsters Vs. Aliens 15 episodes of Nickeleon's show! Great show. Great animation. My review is here

Modern Family Season 1, 2, 3, 4 is something you can't go wrong with.

Bible Readeez is a great addition to your home.  See our review here


  1. Great list! My granddaughter loves Belle from Beauty and the Beast and would go gaga for the Interactive Storytelling Belle Doll. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Can't wait to see what you add to the list of video games and books!

  3. The Polly Pocket Zipline Adventure Pool looks right up my granddaughter's alley. Polly Pocket is interactive. Definitely a gift to aquire.

  4. So many great things on this list. I also love my Keurig and it is used many times a day. I wish mine had a filter but it is still wonderful. The Aerogarden looks like so much fun.

  5. My favorite item in the holiday gift guide is the K75 Platinum coffeemaker

  6. Lori Thomas6:54 PM

    Lots of neat gift ideas, I know my son would enjoy Learning Resources Primary Science Plant And Grow Kit.

  7. I love books, the BATMAN IS BRAVE caught my eye most of all.

  8. Lori Thomas4:32 PM

    I like The Miracle-Gro Aero Garden ULTRA, would make a great gift for my Dad.

  9. I also like the Kindle Fire HD for me and the Interactive Storytelling Belle Doll. My granddaughters would love it :)

  10. A lot of really great ideas for Christmas shopping, I have a lot of mine done already. I really shop for people all year round.

  11. I loved the Baby Alive doll when I was a kid so I'm sure both my granddaughters would love Baby Alive Real Surprises for Christmas.

  12. The K75 Platinum coffeemaker would be a wonderful Christmas gift..for me of course ;)

  13. I like the Interactive Storytelling Belle Doll, my niece would love that doll

  14. Anonymous12:07 PM

    I love Interactive Storytelling Belle Doll, she's so pretty! :)


  15. Ucomfy Optimal Gel+Foam Chair Comfort Cushion would be perfect for my husband.

  16. I love the Keurig! Anything to do with Coffee and Im there!

  17. I love the Leapfrog protective camera case for the iPhone. I think it would be nice to encourage our children to explore the delights of photography without having to worry about them breaking our phone.

  18. I would love to buy the The Miracle-Gro Aero Garden ULTRA. The deer have eaten so much of our garden in the past years that we have just given up. With the Aero Garden I think there is hope.


I love comments. Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to talk to you further