Tis the Season

christmas shoppingAs I pack the car with bottled water, snacks, comfy shoes and big environmental bags it would appear that I am planning for a natural disaster of some sort.  To your disappointment it’s nothing so extreme but it is something almost as adrenaline filled. Yes you guessed it, I am planning for a girls Christmas shopping weekend!

There are a group of us that go shopping every year and attempt to conquer our entire Christmas list in one weekend.  We plan every detail….from which route to take, a listing of each store we want to hit and even how long we can spend in each store.  We plan out where we will stop for lunch (we need to make sure we have fuel in us to keep the shopping marathon going for the two days) and we plan where and when we will stop for dinner.  Dinner is mostly to re-group over a glass of wine to make sure we didn’t miss anything and if we did, to add it to the agenda for the next day.

We even go as far as booking into a hotel for the night near the shopping mall so that we can shop until we literally “drop”. I attend this shopping extravaganza with girlfriends who all have children the same age as mine.  This is helpful because then we can bounce gift ideas off one another and ensure that we are getting our kids the latest and greatest toys.  We spend the most time in toy and kids apparel stores.  We all have 6 year old boys that are obsessed with trucks, cars, airplanes and figurines.  We ensure that we bring all of the holiday store coupons with to ensure we are getting the best bang for our buck!!!!

DC Friend BatcaveFor the most part I usually get the majority of my Christmas shopping done that weekend.  For any last minute gifts I get those online as I am sick of the malls by then.  Going to websites like http://www.mattel.ca/ is a good as they have their toys categorized by age group which makes shopping very convenient.   They have everything from Barbie to the latest Imaginext toys (which my son and his friends LOVE).  The DC Super Friends™ Batcave is an absolute favorite in the 4-8 year category!!!!

For next year all you parents out there that are wondering when and how to start your Christmas shopping, my advice to you is pack your car with all of the essential survival tools and a well planned out Christmas list.  Then hit the open road for a shopping extravaganza.  It will take a weekend to get everything done but then you can rest and enjoy the rest of the holidays with family and friends knowing that you have conquered the list that was haunting you.

Well, I’m off to start wrapping……

“Disclosure: I am part of the Mattel Holiday Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

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See What Happens when You Save with Barbie

My daughter has always been a “girly-girl”.  Her favorite colour is pink and she loves all things sparkly, frilly and anything with lace. She also loves to dress up her brother whenever the opportunity allows. She gets to turn him into Prince Charming or much to his horror sometimes even a princess so that he will fit into her role playing activities. Little brothers are good for something 😉

What is really neat to see is that my daughter takes on a whole new persona when she is playing dress up or when she is playing with her Barbies. I watch my daughter dress her Barbies in not just pretty little outfits, but outfits that have meaning to her. It is a great make believe and creative world that I see her immerse herself into. I watched with a smile as she and her friend recently made up a story about two young ladies who were traveling the world. They made sure that the Barbies were wearing outfits that fit each country that they were visiting and that the outfits were appropriate for the weather, time of day and other very important travel factors. The detail that went into this role playing was astounding and the creative juices were certainly flowing. Far better than TV or screen time on the computer, this activity let the girls use their minds in an interactive way. First their Barbies went to Paris and were wearing high legged boots and berets, then they were off to Alaska where they were wearing winter coats and hats, followed by Mexico where they wore their bathing suits. It was fun to watch and to listen to what my daughter and her friend thought the wardrobes would be in each country. I was quite impressed actually that they knew all that they knew at such a young age.

Then my daughter put on her Engineering hat (as all 8 year olds do) and started to construct bedroom furniture for her Barbies. The Barbie bed that I bought her wasn’t enough….her Barbie needed a couch, a TV (of course) and a piano! My daughter has spent countless hours building furniture for her Barbies to sit, lay and eat on with cardboard, felt pens and tape. What a create activity. To round out the play session, my daughter then took some modeling clay and decided to make food for her Barbies.

I have attached the picture of the birthday cake that she made for her Barbie and her Barbie’s friends. Very creative stuff with hours of enjoyment attached.

Who knew that playing with Barbies would turn into such an adventure….world travel, fashion creation, furniture engineering and the makings of a chef. Looks like a ton of fun…..hey, I wonder if there is an age limit on playing with Barbies, I think I may give it a whirl too.

Save With Barbie Coupons: Once a week starting August 7th, on Tuesday and Thursday, we will be sharing with you exclusive COUPONS from websaver.ca. Also, check out the Barbie Facebook Page for more information on product coupons and savings. Follow me at @momsurvival on Twitter and use the hashtag #SaveWithBarbie to get all the details on upcoming savings and fun.

Disclosure: I am participating in a Mom Central Consulting campaign for Barbie and receive compensation for my post. All opinions on this blog are my own