Brandon's Adventures
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3 -Day Flash Giveaway: Growing Tree Toys $10 GC

Hope everyone is enjoying their week so far. I want to announce this quick giveaway on a $10 Gift Certificate from Growing Tree Toys.

Gift Buying Tips for Girls and Boys

We believe that play should never be limited by gender stereotypes. All kids can benefit from the experience of playing with dollhouses, toy trucks and other toys that have historically been gendered. But if you’re unsure what to give a particular child, it can help to think about toys that are more popular among girls versus boys. Here are some general trends that should help you narrow down your decision.

TO ENTER the giveaway...
You can do one or both of the entries below. Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry with your email address so I can contact you if you win.

1) Simply add me to your Google+ Circles and leave me a blog comment with the link to Google+ profile.

2) Follow @jennieyuen on twitter and Tweet (1x daily) the following and post the link: Flash #Giveaway: Enter to #win a $10GC from Growing Tree Toys @jennieyuen (Ends Dec. 5, 2011) US Only

Giveaway ends Sunday, December 5th @ 11:59pm PST. Open to US residents only. Winner will be randomly chosen via

Disclosure: I was not paid for this post nor received any products. I received a gift code either to use for myself or for giveaway. Thanks to Growing Tree Toys and Blogtricity Team. The opinions expressed in my review are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Kidorable Froggy Rainboots Review

Kidorable have the most adorable kids rain gear and outdoor accessories available. I was given the opportunity from the company to have Brandon try on the frog style boots. It matched the froggy umbrella that we got from Kidorable a while back. The boots came in a nicely designed shoebox. It's nice for gift-giving too for this holiday season. The boots are made of natural rubber. It did have that "new" rubber smell when I took it out of the box, but it went away after I left it out for a few days. The quality is nice: the outer liner keeps feet dry while the inner liner keeps the feet warm.

The bottom is grooved so it doesn't slip.

It's been raining LOTS here in Vancouver. Just few days ago, it snowed, but wet snow. Brandon had a chance to wear his frog Kidorable boots to preschool that morning. When he got to preschool, the other kids pointed out his boots. They like them. One of the moms even asked me where I got it, so I gave her the website and told her there are other styles/themes too.

I think Brandon has big feet. I like that Kidorable has a size-chart on the product page where you can measure the length of your child's feet and it will tell you which size best fits. Since Brandon is currently wearing size 9 shoes (and measured just 6.5" in length), I ordered size 10. Kids grow fast and it's best to upgrade shoe size about every 6-8 months in their toddler years.

Check out the complete frog collection rain gear.

Oh, before I forget, I thought I'd mention has a promo for FREE shipping (via UPS ground) for a limited time (until December 4). Use code GRATEFUL2 at checkout to get free shipping on any order, big or small.

PLUS, Kidorable is partnering with the Children’s Cancer Research Fund to help you support a great cause. They will donate 100% of the proceeds from our Butterfly umbrellas on from Thanksgiving through Christmas, bringing kids health, hope and happiness by revolutionizing the way childhood cancer is treated worldwide. (No coupon necessary)

Disclosure: I received a pair of frog rainboots from Kidorable at no charge in exchange for a review of my opinion. The opinions expressed are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Book for Parents On-the-Go with Toddlers {Book Giveaway}

Free Spirit Publishing presents On-The-Go Time, the tenth book in the award-winning Toddler Tools series of board books by author Elizabeth Verdick and illustrator Marieka Heinlen.

It offers a fresh look at the times and transitions all toddlers face daily, giving young children coping skills to ease transition times and handle everyday routines with confidence and cooperation.


On-the-Go Time was written to help take the hassle out of shopping and running errands with little ones. In the book, toddlers learn simple tools and encouragement to keep moving, cope with the changing scenes, and be super helpers in the car, at the store or library, and on the road. What do they do when they’re on-the-go? Listen, follow along, and even lend a hand. If they’re struggling with transition times, or feeling disappointed or overstimulated along the way, they can take deep breaths to calm down.

Tips for Holiday Shopping

Each book also contains a section of tips for parents and caregivers. Here are few tips from On-the-Go Time to keep toddlers moving (just in time for holiday shopping):

* Keep to a schedule. Make it easier on everyone by running errands or scheduling appointments in between your child’s meals and naps. This will ensure your child is rested, fed, and ready to go. Don’t try to cram too many stops into one trip—this often leads to frustration, tears, or meltdowns.

* Make a “go-time” list. Your child will do a lot better on-the-go if you’ve made a visual schedule ahead of time. On a piece of paper, draw a representation of each place you’ll be going: a book for the library, an apple for the grocery store, a stamp for the post office. Then your child will know what to expect and look forward to.

* Get ready, get set. Before you leave home, give your child a chance to use the bathroom, get a drink and snack to take along, and choose a favorite toy to bring. Make sure you always have a handy stash of diapers and wipes, underpants and extra clothes, raingear, juice boxes, small toys, and other essential “go-time” supplies. It’s helpful if your child eats beforehand or brings along a snack—especially if you’re running several errands. Full tummies mean calmer children!

* Prepare for challenges. You can use every one of these tips and still have one of those terrible outings where your child melts down in public. What to do? Take a few deep breaths and have your child do the same. Avoid yelling, making threats, or bribing your child with treats. Sometimes, it’s best to simply pick up your child and leave until you’re both calmer and can return to the scene. (You wouldn’t be the first parent or caregiver who had to leave a cart full of groceries behind.)

My big concern is about Brandon running off and grabbing things off the shelf. That's one reason why I always have to bring out his stroller when I'm shopping alone with him, but he's getting too big for the stroller now. I'm trying to find ways to deal with it. The book kinda helped him to understand not to misbehave or respect other people around. We don't want to cause a scene or make trouble.


One (1) lucky reader will have a chance to WIN a copy of "On-The-Go Time" Board Book from the Toddler Tools Series. Chosen winners will be selected via through Rafflecopter and is open to US & Canadian residents (ends December 23, 2011 at 12:01am EST).

{Please wait while Rafflecopter entry form loads...}

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from Free Spirit Publishing at no charge in exchange for a review of my opinion. The opinions expressed are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Brandon Mispronouncing Words

There are still some words that Brandon is having trouble saying or pronouncing. It's actually the letter 'S' and the letter 'U'. He's 3-years-old, but hopefully he'll get it soon when he's a little older. I think it's funny to hear him say it. Most of the time, I understood what he said to me. I occasionally had to correct him and ask him to repeat it back. Here are just some example words:

music = "muyik"
snacks = "nack"
snake = "nake"
escalator = "eligator"
schoolbus = "goobah"
star = "dar"
you = "ooh"
unicorn = "oohnicorn"

Does your little one have trouble with pronouncing too?

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Friday, November 18, 2011

10 Things a Nanny Just Can’t Do in Public to the Kids

Yes, you’re right; in many of these cases it isn’t a matter of public or private, they shouldn’t be doing them at all. But for any nanny out there that thinks they can do what they want with the kids, when their parents aren’t watching, there are other people watching who care about kids too.

1. Change their diapers – Now this may not seem like a big deal, but diapers do not need to be changed in a public place. A public restroom would be acceptable, but laying the child down in the middle of the shopping mall to change their diaper is not appropriate.

2. Physical punishment – Hitting, spanking or slapping a child is not an appropriate disciplinary measure for a nanny under any circumstances. It can generally be assumed that if she uses physical punishment on the children when they are in public, she certainly is using it behind closed doors.

3. Leave them unattended – Leaving children in a car in the parking lot or sitting by themselves in a restaurant booth, while the nanny runs an errand or attends to other personal needs could be considered child endangerment, which is a crime. The nanny’s number one priority needs to be the welfare of the children at all times.

4. Berate them – Belittling kids for any reason is not appropriate for any mature adult. It is inexcusable from someone who is supposed to be a trained childcare provider. This is certainly as true in a private setting as it is in a public setting. Words hurt!

5. Claim them as her own – Why a nanny would do this is hard to fathom, but her working relationship to the children should always be made clear if it is questioned in a public or a private setting.

6. Complain about their parents – Although there may be times when a nanny has legitimate frustrations with her employers, she should be responsible and mature enough to avoid voicing those frustrations and complaints to other individuals, when she has the children with her. The conflict between parents and nanny can be a very confusing issue for children.

7. Take on parental roles – When a nanny is in public with the entire family, children and parents, the nanny’s role becomes secondary to that of the parents. A nanny should never usurp the role of the parents in a public setting where the parents are available to handle their children themselves.

8. Expose them to inappropriate situations – Taking children into any establishment that might expose them to lewd behavior, vile language or adults who are intoxicated would never have a reasonable excuse. Endangering children’s minds and well-being would be a reason for immediate dismissal of a nanny.

9. Leave them in the care of strangers – A nanny should never trust the care of any her charges to a stranger in a public place. Even in an extreme emergency, calling on law enforcement would be a better choice than a complete stranger who happens to be willing and available.

10. Ignore parent’s rules – If the parents have set rules for their children, while they are in the home, such as rules about behavior or what can be consumed, a nanny does not have the freedom to ignore those rules, when she is outside of the home with the children.

The thought of any nanny exposing their young charges to any of these items in public can be a horrifying thought. Of course, thorough background checks and checking of previous references are the parent’s best security against hiring a nanny who would operate in such an unprofessional manner.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the company or PR firm to share. Thanks to for the article. The expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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{WINNER} Dannon Danimals Branded Soccer Ball w/Drawstring Bag Giveaway

The lucky winner for the Dannon Danimals Branded Soccer Ball w/Drawstring Bag Giveaway that ended November 12, 2011 is..... (drum roll, please)

Congratulations to Jeffrey Glucksman (#47)

I have sent you an email. You have 48 hours to respond. Thanks everyone for participating in my giveaway contests.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Children's Book Review: The Miracle of Rain

The Miracle of Rain, by Sherry Rossman, is a wonderful children's book. I was provided an ebook copy (a PDF version) of the book to review and read it to little Brandon. One night, we sat together with the computer laptop on my bed and We've read it together as a bedtime story. Brandon seemed very interested and quietly sat beside me while I read it to him. During the story, he sometimes asks me "Then what happened?" He's just anxious and wanting to know what was going to happen in the story.

The story is about a girl named Nora and her cat Molly, who were terribly frightened by the rain storm. It rained all of a sudden while they went out for a walk. Later, they bumped into a raccoon named Smickette who takes them to a safe place. He explains to Nora and Molly why rain and water is very useful.

Kids can learn to overcome their fears of storms, thunder, and/or lighting as well as the importance of rain. We tell our children not to be afraid and that it's okay. That's part of nature. I would tell Brandon it's like a storm party just like how the story describes. And if he ever hears thunder, make a clap (pretending to be as loud too).

About the Author:

Sherry Rossman grew up in Rimrock, Az in the block house that her parents built with their own hands. Along with her two brothers and a few neighbor friends, she ran around the land to her hearts content. Javelinas, rabbits, coyotes and various other wildlife were constant visitors, and more frequent than human ones in the '70's and 80's. This was where her love and connection to animals grew. It is also where she saw and believed in the beautiful workmanship and wonder of God.

Sherry was introduced to the love of reading by her parents, who read to her and taught her the value of a good book. Among the bookshelves in her childhood home sat books or vestiges of family members who penned their own legacy of life such as Andrew Lytle, Charles Darwin and Sidney Lanier. These books were living proof that the love of the written word ran deep and echoed inspiration and passion in abundance.

Find Sherry at: | Facebook

Disclosure: I received an ebook copy of the book from Sherry Rossman (author) at no charge in exchange for a review of my opinion. The opinions expressed are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doodlecast for Kids App

Doodlecast for Kids

Doodlecast is a unique drawing app that records your voice and your doodles as you draw. You can then play back your drawing and even export it to share with friends. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

It comes with more than 20 drawing prompts with simple questions designed to give kids a starting point. Kids can choose from one of the prompts or start a drawing from scratch. The app records the entire drawing process along with audio from the microphone to create videos up to three minutes long. The videos are as fun to watch as they are to create and Doodlecast makes it easy to share them with friends and families.

The Doodlecast For Kids App is a fun creative activity, but it is also a valuable teaching aid. Families can use the app for everything from practicing counting and letters to talking about feelings.

What I think? I thought the developers did a pretty clever idea to create an app that can actually record your drawings and voice at the same time. It's perfect for keeping kids entertained while learning. I'm an artist and I think it is great for little Brandon to learn to do a bit of drawing/doodling using his imagination.

On the first night I let Brandon try this app, he was giggling so loudly when he heard his own voice and watch his drawings come to life. We both thought it was really neat. I think he was having too much fun.

Disclosure: I received a code to redeem for the above App at no charge in exchange for a review of my opinion. Thanks to Tickle Tap Apps and zinc Roe. The opinions expressed are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kidorable's NEW Dragon Knight Collection

Kidorable introduces their new Dragon Knight Collection. You can see the image below of the entire collection including the boots, coats, umbrellas, backpacks, and hangers. Oh, I really love to get that for little Brandon this Christmas!


The Dragon Knight collection is steel grey with dark green as accent color, perfect for strong and brave boys. Some pieces accentuate the Knight, others the Dragon, but there is a nice interplay between both characters throughout the set. The umbrella has protruding dragon horns and wings, with a knight, fire, and a castle motif along the bottom. The helmet on the matching raincoat is Kidorable’s coolest hood so far.

The child who wears it can imagine himself as a valiant knight fighting the dragon. The backpack is shaped like a shield for extra play value. It comes with a little stuffed toy sword. The coat is a new material, PU (polyurethane). It’s softer and lighter than PVC.

Great news - For the week of December 5-11 only, use coupon code DRAGON7 to receive a free Dragon Knight umbrella with your order over $20. Just remember to add the Dragon Knight umbrella to your cart first.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the company or PR firm to share. The expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

{WINNERS} Empire Theatres Reel Babies Giveaway

Due to very low entries and only 4 contestants (and since the giveaway is for 5 winners), all of you have won the Reel Babies FREE Movie Passes giveaway that ended November 7, 2011. Here's the winner's list:

Jeffrey Glucksman - b*****
James - j*********
Connie - n***********
Cassandra Henninger - s***********

CONGRATULATIONS and thanks for participating in my giveaway! I will send each of you an email you shortly.

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Disney Cars AppMATes for iPad

When I recently heard about Disney Cars AppMATes for the iPad (while searching on Disney Cars in the iTunes store), I had to find out more about it. I thought Little Brandon would love to try this. The app is free to download. Watching the introductory video, I thought it was quite interesting. The game comes to life digitally with miniature Cars 2 vehicles and allows kids to use the iPad as a virtual play mat. The cars have sensors on the base of each toy that are recognized as a footprint by an app with no cable or Bluetoothe connection required. If you don't have a AppMATes toy character, you can choose "paper car" in the app.

We don't have any of the AppMATe Cars character and I haven't seen it at our local toy stores here in Canada. I do know Toys-R-Us and Target in the States have them available. I'm planning to get one for Brandon. For now, we just use the virtual one.

Cars 2 Appmates features include:

~ Exploration – Drive around the world of Radiator Springs to discover landscapes and hidden secrets by simply placing the Cars toy character on the screen and turning it in any direction. Drive through mud and up ramps, visit friends at Flo’s V8 CafĂ© or check out your Car’s reflection, showing off your latest gear and gadgets.

~ Directed Game Play – Perform missions unique to each character. Completed missions – like helping bring a tow hook back to Mater – gain hubcaps, the virtual currency. Collect enough hubcaps to personalize each car with special features like a unique horn sound, customized tire tracks, and cool gear like a rocket launcher or spy vision goggles.

~ Racing – Rev up the action by racing against World Grand Prix opponents and your Radiator Springs friends. Five racetracks are available at launch. Race around Willy’s Butte, jump off Carburetor Mesa and roar through downtown Radiator Springs earning hubcaps in day or night races.

Each toy unlocks different features and content within the app specific to the character, allowing kids to come back over and over to enjoy an imaginative, open-ended play experience using the Appmates toys. Fans can download and test the app by simply using their fingers to drive a virtual car through the world, but the play experience is optimized to come to life with the Appmates toy vehicles.

Created in collaboration with Spin Master, Disney Appmates toys are available starting Oct. 1 at national retailers, Apple Store, Apple Store online, Disney Store and with vehicle two-packs (SRP $19.99) featuring four characters including Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holley Shiftwell. Two additional characters – Francesco Bernoulli and Shu Todoroki – will launch in November and be available exclusively through Apple Store and Apple Store online.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brandon Learns to use Chopsticks

Coming from an Asian family, all of us occasionally use chopsticks with our meals. While shopping at Daiso store, I saw a pair of these cute children's training chopsticks and decided to get one for Brandon. I let Brandon use on his Cheerios and dried snacks. It's just practice on that first so he doesn't get all messy with saucy and greasy foods at the dinner table. So far, he's doing pretty well and he really likes to try it on his own.

The chopstick is attached and it pivots at the top, so it's easier for Brandon to hold and helps him get used to gripping it.

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