Friday, August 29, 2014

Free Toddler Activities with Kleenex® Boxes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Huggies and Kleenex. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of the things that I've learned as a mom of a toddler is that toddlers don't care about toys. Everything is a toy to a toddler. Even the things that I buy on a regular basis that I would never consider a toy, like Kleenex Ultra Soft tissue boxes, become a toy in K's eyes. So I've learned to embrace that toddler quality and use everything I already have to come up with free toddler game and activity ideas.

Love these fun toddler activity ideas, definitely saving my Kleenex boxes from now on! #ad

I've experienced the box phenomenon more than once with K; we bring home a big box and all he wants to do is play inside. I never realized that small boxes are just as good as big ones! K taught me that lesson as soon as I unloaded my shopping trip from Sam's Club, and he started using the box of Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissues as a golf ball to practice swinging his new clubs. After being hit one too many times in our small townhouse, I took K and the tissue boxes outside to let the golf practice continue. And then K surprised me. He picked up one of the boxes and stacked it on the other. And then he stacked another box. And another. I went into the house and grabbed the rest of the Kleenex® Ultra Soft boxes from the awesome 12 box cube (their biggest bundle) I bought at Sam's Club, and he spent the next hour making tissue box towers that were taller than he is.

I thought about turning the boxes into actual blocks with numbers and letters on the side, but he probably wouldn't like them anymore because then they would look like toys. So Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissue boxes they'll stay.

I keep Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissues in our house, in our car, and in my purse on a regular basis, and more than once they've been a lifesaver for that random bloody nose or when I get stuck sitting next to the cat lady on the airplane and my allergies act up. I love the Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissues because I can blow my nose about a million times without rubbing my nose raw; that's what I call extra TLC. And recently I've started using them as napkins for K when he's eating snacks. He for some reason thinks that he has to shake a plastic baggie or tupperware container so that his snacks end up all over place. He doesn't do that with the tissues,  and I feel good knowing that his favorite little chair is being protected from the chocolate I rewarded him with for staying still while I took pictures. It's harder than it looks!

There are so many other things that you can do with the tissue boxes once you've used the tissues inside. One of our favorites is human box bowling. Stack up the boxes in front of a slide and take turns sliding into the boxes knocking them down.

Beware though, this one is addicting. And exhausting.

That's just a couple of the fun ways you can use tissue boxes, so next time you are at Sam's Club pick up a 12 pack cube of Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissues, enjoy that ultra soft feeling on your nose, and save those boxes to use for one of these five fun activity ideas.

  1. Build towers out of the boxes and knock them down.
  2. Go human box bowling (described above). 
  3. Put different objects inside each of the boxes that make fun sounds when you shake them (e.g., coins, bells, rice), tape them up, and let your kids shake away. If they're old enough, have them try to guess which box has which item. 
  4. Create ABC blocks. Cover the boxes with wrapping paper or construction paper and draw or paint on all of the letters in the alphabet to give your child a set of large letter blocks.
  5. Turn a couple of the boxes over, give your toddler some wooden spoons, and let them drum away. Bonus points if you turn on Pour Some Sugar on Me while they're drumming. That was always my favorite song to drum to when I was little. 
And to make it ever easier, you can order your cube of 12 Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissue boxes from Sam's Club with their free online order pickup option! Convenience, great prices, and built-in games. I'm sold. 
Liked this post? Follow along with Play. Party. Pin. on social media.


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MacBook Pro Laptop Giveaway

Next Monday the kids in my area finally go back to school. And I'm throwing myself a party because that means there won't be nearly as many tourists in the museums or kids at the parks. Things are finally going to quiet down after a crazy summer. To celebrate, I've teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers to give you something that I personally love and have myself, a new MacBook Pro. They're seriously the best. 


 Pretty My Party has teamed up with and an amazing group of blogs and businesses to bring you the Apple MacBook Pro Laptop Giveaway! Thank you to our sponsors for making this giveaway possible. You can see the entire list of sponsors on the Rafflecopter form below. Cloudy With A Chance of Wine, Giveaway Monkey, Painting Paris Pink, Freebie Finding Mom, Gimmie Freebies, Morsels Party Planning, Lemonberry Moon, Play Party Pin, The Latina Homemaker, She Saved, Catch My Party, B.Lovely Events, Food Folks and Fun, See Mom Click

Apple MacBook Pro Laptop Giveaway

August 28, 2014 at 12 a.m. EST to September 5, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST Open Worldwide Prize: 1 winner will receive an Apple MacBook Pro laptop worth over $1,000! 


The more entries you complete on the Rafflecopter form, the higher your chances are of winning. If you don’t have time to fill out all of the entries you may come back and complete any entries that you may have missed. Good luck! 

Eligibility and Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. This giveaway is open to individuals 18 and older. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws, which includes payments to any governing tax body.

Winner Selection: The winner of the giveaway will be selected in a random drawing through Rafflecopter from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The random drawing will be conducted within 48 hours of the closing of the giveaway by Pretty My Party or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified by email at Potential winner must accept the prizes by email as directed by Pretty My Party within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”).

Rafflecopter Disclaimer: This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat, LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer or endorse this promotion. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy.

Social Media Disclaimer: Entrants should understand that they are providing their information to the sponsors of the giveaway and not to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Google+. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with any of these social media sites.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is blog sponsored and is in no way associated with Apple or any of its products. If there are any questions, please email

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Weekend re-Treat Link Party #82

The Weekend re-Treat Link Party #82 | 

Happy Thursday and Weekend re-Treat Link Party Day! We're finally home from vacation and getting back into a good routine. This past week has been busy around the blog, and I hope you go check out one of my favorite parties ever (and a perfect girl's night in) and what else I've been up to.


Shannon's Favorites

shannon's favorites

Britni's Favorites

britni's favorites

Shauna's Favorites

Shauna's favorites

Brittany's Favorites

brittany's favorites

Most Clicked Links

most clicked

Featured Blogger

Each week we are featuring a new blogger to help introduce you to the different bloggers that link up with us! We choose bloggers that we personally love and think you will too so make sure to stop by, check them out, and say hi while you’re there!

This week our featured blogger is Albion Gould. We were so impressed with her creativity with making a felt fascinator that we had to choose her to feature! Albion is the mom of four and pretty much all around awesome. She cooks, creates, and shares her experiences updating their home. She's definitely someone you want to follow and get to know. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+

Party Time!

Now on to the party! Remember the only rule is to make sure your links are family friendly and we highly encourage you to click on a couple of links to check out all of the awesome ideas people share. I'll be sharing my favorites on my social media pages all weekend long so make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Pinterest to see all the great ideas other people have posted.

TBBR small

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Quick and Easy Feijoada Recipe

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Success® Rice.Tracking Pixel This recipe is 100% 

With fall right around the corner, this recipe for quick and easy Brazilian feijoada with Success® Basmati Rice is the perfect comfort food for a cool evening.

Bacon, sausage, black beans, and rice make this Brazilian feijoada the perfect comfort food, recipe from

When we first moved to Northern Virginia, we were asked to lead the young married couples group for our church.  Leading basically meant putting together monthly activities and figuring out ways to help the younger couples in our area get to know one another. One of the first things we did was to set up monthly dinner groups with the couples, giving them the opportunity to have dinner with other couples once a month. We did that for about two years before we moved out of the area and had to give up our beloved dinner groups. In that two years, I remember a lot of the friends that we made but only two of the meals that we ate. One of them was this delicious black bean and sausage stew that some of our friends from Brazil made called feijoada. A couple of days after we had dinner with them, my husband decided we needed to have it again and came up with his own recipe for a quick version of feijoada that uses bacon, sausage, black beans, and rice.

It's seriously the perfect comfort food and pretty much delicious. And it's so easy. It really is just a matter of cutting up the meat, cooking the rice, and mixing all of the ingredients together. And best of all, it tastes just as good, if not better, the next day. So make a lot and eat leftovers for days.

First, cook your rice. I use Success® Basmati Rice because I like my meals to be as simple as possible and Success® Basmati Rice is just that - simple. It's pre-portioned, and its BPA-free boil-in bag means there's no mess for me to clean up. And it's done in just 10 minutes, which is about as much free time as I ever have these days.

All you have to do to cook it is pop the boil-in bag of rice in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with water, microwave, and drain. And voila, perfect fluffy rice without having to worry about it being burnt or mushy.

Success® Basmati Rice is such a perfect thing to have in your pantry at all times because it is so quick. Since I know you can't eat this feijoada every night, here are some other great recipe ideas inspired by the Success® Basmati Rice.

Next, cook your meats. Then basically you just add in all of the other ingredients and let it cook long enough to let all of the delicious flavors combine. Top your rice with the feijoada and enjoy your little Brazilian feast.

Bacon, sausage, black beans, and rice make this Brazilian feijoada the perfect comfort food, recipe from

Bacon, sausage, black beans, and rice make this Brazilian feijoada the perfect comfort food, recipe from

Bacon, sausage, black beans, and rice make this Brazilian feijoada the perfect comfort food, recipe from

Success® Rice makes four great varieties - brown rice, white rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice. Learn more about all of the different products available then tell me...

Which one would you most like to try? 

Quick Feijoada Recipe 

(Print this recipe)

  • 1 cup Success® Basmati Rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound smoked pork or beef sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 15 oz unsalted black beans, do not drain
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons garlic poder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt to taste 
  1. Prepare the rice as instructed on the package.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat.
  3. Add the bacon and sausage and sauté until brown and crispy, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the can of black beans and cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Add the chicken broth, garlic powder, bay leaves, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. 
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes or until desired thickness. 
  7. Serve hot over rice. 
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Success® Rice.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HUGE Birthday Giveaway

I am so excited to tell you guys about today's giveaway! It's birthday week for one of blogging friends and we're celebrating her in a HUGE way, I'm talking almost $1000 worth of prizes going to three different winners. Amazing right? Now here are the details! 

It's a special day today! We're celebrating blogger birthdays this week with The Cards We Drew and we've rounded up a great group of bloggers and vendors to throw the ultimate birthday bash and party like it's YOUR birthday! We're giving away over $950 worth of prizes for three lucky winners (U.S. residents only--sorry). You can enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below, but first check out the great prizes and bloggers involved and please be sure to read the fine print!

  abbey logo

Each blogger picked their own gift card to here's what's up for grabs!!
Someday Crafts $15 Chilis Gift Card / The Cards We Drew $15 Home Goods Gift Card / Sweet Tea and Saving Grace $15 Hobby Lobby Gift Card / A Girl and a Glue Gun $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Made to be a Momma $15 Amazon Gift Card / Cupcake Diaries $15 Olive Garden Gift Card / Glued to my Crafts $15 Lowe's Gift Card / Kleinworth and Co. $15 Target Gift Card / Frenchie Wraps $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Simply Designing $15 Amazon Gift Card / Carissa Miss $15 Amazon Gift Card / Food Folks and Fun $15 Target Gift Card / Occasionally Crafty $15 Amazon Gift Card / Maybe I Will $15 iTunes Gift Card / Over the Big Moon $15 Pick Your Plum Gift Card / Yesterday on Tuesday $15 Amazon Gift Card / Housewife Eclectic $15 Amazon Gift Card / Our Thrifty Ideas $15 Pick Your Plum Gift Card / Gingersnap Crafts $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Pretty Providence $15 Target Gift Card / Crafting in the Rain $15 Panera Gift Card / Sister's Suitcase Blog $15 Target Gift Card / DimplePrints $15 Lowe's Gift Card / That's What Che Said $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Twin Dragonfly Designs $15 Amazon Gift Card / Happiness is Homemade $15 Amazon Gift Card / The Baker Upstairs $15 World Market Gift Card / Blooming Homestead $15 Target Gift Card / Splendid Designs $15 Michaels Gift Card / Reasons to Skip the Housework $15 Target Gift Card / Giggles Galore $15 Michaels Gift Card / Raegun Ramblings $15 Amazon Gift Card / View from the Fridge $15 Chipotle Gift Card / Flats to Flip Flops $15 Old Navy Gift Card / Cooking with Crystal $15 Hobby Lobby Gift Card / Home. Made. Interest$15 Home Depot Gift Card / 100 Directions $15 Amazon Gift Card / 733 Blog $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Endlessly Inspired $15 Home Goods Gift Card / Here Comes the Sun $15 Target Gift Card / Bloom Designs $15 Michaels Gift Card / Strawberry Mommycakes $15 Pottery Barn Gift Card / Handmade in the Heartland $15 Amazon Gift Card / Wait til Your Father Gets Home $15 Amazon Gift Card / Mabey She Made It $15 Amazon Gift Card / Play Party Pin $15 Amazon Gift Card / Poofy Cheeks $15 Target Gift Card / Bombshell Bling $15 iTunes Gift Card / C.R.A.F.T. $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Gallamore West $15 Target Gift Card

AND on top of all those gift cards we have the following vendors participating...

wink and winn
$100 Credit to Design Your Own Handbag at Wink and Winn

$50 Credit to StitchFix where you can get your own personal stylist sending clothes to your door!



Winner One: $645 worth of Gift Cards + $50 StitchFix Credit
Winner Two: $60 worth of Gift Cards + $100 Credit to Wink and Winn
Winner Three: $45 worth of Gift Cards + $25 to Pick Your Plum + Jamberry Nail Decals

Giveaway Details and Fine Print: Giveaway begins 8/27 and ends 9/5 at 11:59 p.m.. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter and winning entries verified. If winning entry is not complete, prize will be voided and another winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. Gift cards are chosen by each individual blogger and are mailed out separately to the winner in increments of $15 per blogger. Winner may not choose what gift cards they receive as that is predetermined by the bloggers in advance. Winner will have to provide a valid mailing address and email address, which will be kept confidential, in order to claim their prizes from all parties involved. All individual blogs are responsible for fulfilling their own respective prizes and will have the gift card in the mail or through email to you within one week of verification of winning. Gift Cards are sent out in $15 increments. The Cards We Drew, nor any other blog, is not held liable for unfulfilled prizes from other bloggers and/or vendors involved with this giveaway and all associated with this giveaway are hereby not held liable for any issues with the winnings. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and not in ANY way involved with this giveaway and are hereby released of any responsibility or liability. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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