Win a trip to Australia from a2 Milk®


Sydney Australia

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Have you ever been to Australia? My husband Alfie lived in Australia for five years, and he loved every minute of his time there. He says the weather is great and the people are so nice.  I know he misses sailing around Sydney Harbour, eating lunch near the Opera House, relaxing by Bondi Beach. He keeps telling me that we need to visit! I'm a total travel hound, so I couldn't agree more, but the reality is that tickets to Australia are expensive, and with five of us in the family, we're going to have to move Sydney back a couple of places on our bucket list until the kids are in college and we can go off on our own. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Speaking of Australia, I'm excited to share with you an exciting sweepstakes from the folks at the a2 Milk Company™! I was named an a2 Milk® Ambassador a couple of months ago, and it has been great because not only did we get to try their milk (which tastes great and is great for sensitive tummies), I got the scoop on the prize: they are giving away a vacation for 2 to Australia! The winner will receive a five (5) night trip for two (2) with round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and $750 towards food and other expenses. The grand prize winner will be selected on or about Thursday, August 11, 2016.

a2 Milk


So why Australia?  a2 Milk® uses cows based in the USA, but originated in Australia. I guess the destination is kind of a nod to the original herd! And why are these cows so special? Because unlike most other herds of cows, they produce milk that is naturally free from the A1 protein, which is the culprit behind "Post-Dairy Digestive Discomfort". What this all means is that a2 Milk® is perfect for people who experience tummy troubles or Post-Dairy Digestive Discomfort, but still want to enjoy real cows' milk, not some milk substitute! You can read more about it in my original a2 Milk® post or on the a2 Milk® Microsite at http://trya2milk.com/.

Obviously only one very lucky person is going to win that trip to Down Under, but you're still in luck, because the a2 Milk Company™ is giving you the chance to try a2 Milk® for free! They're offering the first 1000 respondents to redeem their receipts for the full purchase price of a2 Milk®.  To find out how, go to the a2 Milk® Microsite at http://trya2milk.com/.



Disclosure: This is a compensated post.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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A Prom Drinking Guide for Parents


Don't worry, dear reader; that's sparkling apple juice in the kids'  champagne flutes!

One of the most wonderful things about seeing kids grow is seeing how they change their minds. That ability to adapt is how they end up discovering favorite new foods, taking up new hobbies, and making new friends.  Of course, that ability to adapt can also be challenging for parents as they are exposed to ideas and habits that clash with the values that we as parents are trying to instill in our kids.

Take drinking, for instance. The Pea is 15, and she tells me, "Mom, I hate the taste of alcohol! You don't ever have to worry about me drinking!".  That could well be true, but given her recent turnarounds, I'm not going to take that as gospel truth:

Two years ago: I hate jeans. I can't move in them and I can't breathe in them.
Two days ago: I need more jeans. They're all I wear!

Two years ago: I can't drive an Autopia car without crashing into the rails! I'm a terrible driver and I'm never driving, ever.
Two weeks ago: I'll be old enough to get my driver's permit in 6 months! I can't wait!



Two weeks ago: Mom, I hate the taste of alcohol! You don't ever have to worry about me drinking!
Two years from now: ????

She's a freshman, and already some of the parties that her friends have been invited to have featured alcohol. What's it going to be like when she goes to prom in just a few years?  I think it's never too early to start talking to your kids about topics like alcohol, underage drinking, or drinking and driving.  Want some tips to get your conversation started? Check out the Prom Drinking Guide that I wrote in partnership with SheKnows and Anheuser-Busch, and check out Anheuser-Busch's Family Talk About Drinking initiative on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Disclosure: This is a compensated post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Sick Just Got Real



When you've got little ones running and screaming all over the house, sometimes it feels as if there's nothing more you want in the world than for them to stop.... until they get sick, and they actually do stop.  Sickness is probably the only thing that would get your perpetual bundles of motion to stop, and then you're so worried about them, you'll do anything to get them back to their normal, loud, crazy selves.

As part of their new Sick just got real.™ campaign, the pediatric brands of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare asked me to share some of my stories about parenting a sick child. Boy, do I have stories! With three kids, how could I not?  Kid delirious with fever? Check. Kid coughing up blood? Check. Kid vomiting into mom's hands? Check. Kid projectile vomiting like a demon from The Exorcist?  Check.

If you're a parent, I'm sure you've been there and you have similar (or worse) horror stories to share about taking care of a sick child. Instead, I'm going to share a story about a child taking care of a sick parent.

One of my sweetest memories of Jammy's babyhood is the time I came down with strep throat, along with 3Po and The Pea. Alfie was at work, and the three of us were burning up with fever. Jammy was the only one who was well enough to play. Actually, he was the only person who was well enough to get out of bed! He spent the day watching tv and playing quietly at my bedside. I felt terrible, both physically and emotionally; I was wracked with guilt that I couldn't take care of my kids.

At one point during the day, The Pea began crying weakly for something to eat. I could barely lift my head, let alone crawl downstairs to prepare anything.  Wouldn't you know it, Jammy took it upon himself to go downstairs and get some cereal for his big sister. He couldn't have been more than two or three years old, and there he was, taking care of us. He carried a box of cereal and a plastic bowl upstairs (he wasn't old enough to open the fridge and pour milk). My heart swelled up with love and pride for my little trooper. He was the best little nursemaid ever!
Is your child coming down with something? Is your heart breaking to see them suffer?  You are not alone! Visit the Sick just got real.™ website to check out virus outbreaks in your location, get tips for dealing with sickness, and learn which of Pfizer's products -- Infants’ and Children’s Advil®, Children’s Robitussin®, and Children’s Dimetapp®. -- can give your child some relief from their symptoms.


Gift Card Giveaway

One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a $25 gift card! Share a story about parenting when your child is sick for a chance to win. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below by April 30, 2016. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received a gift card from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare for my participation in this campaign. The giftcard for the giveaway was also provided by Pfizer. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Rainy Day Monster Jam: a completely new and awesome experience




The photo below was taken the very first time the kids went to Monster Jam. It was crazy to see how tiny they were compared to the gigantic Monster trucks!  That was seven years ago, and all three kids have grown a lot since then, but they continue to be dwarfed by Monster Jam trucks. For our family, Monster Jam has become something of a family tradition, and when February or March rolls around, you can bet at least one of our kids is going to ask, "When is Monster Jam coming back to town?".
Monster Jam

Fortunately, the Bay Area has a huge Monster Jam fan base, so they usually visit the area at least once a year.  Last weekend we went to Monster Jam at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, we had the time of our lives. The kids were bitterly disappointed when we couldn't attend the last Monster Jam in Oakland, so getting this second chance to attend was such a gift. In fact, it turned out for the best because Levi's Stadium is much nearer our home, and in our opinion, a much nicer stadium (it was the home of Superbowl 50!).

We've been to Monster Jam several times, but amazingly, there always seems to be something new to experience. This time, it rained heavily for almost the entire show, which added a completely new dimension. We got to see the importance of traction for these trucks to do their amazing stunts. With so much rain pouring into the stadium, the field quickly turned into a huge mud pit, making it way more difficult for the trucks to do their high flying leaps and somersaults.


Many of the trucks must have burned their clutches out, trying to get enough speed and power to do their tricks, because they ended up in a smoking heap!

The trucks may not have jumped as far or as high, but getting to see trucks covered in mud, splattering mud everywhere as they revved their engines and turned corners, kind of made up for it. The whole thing turned into a cross between mud wrestling, an off-road race, and a freestyle competition. You can barely see the motorcross riders in the photo below because they are so completely covered in mud!


Also new this year was a donut competition. Trucks would go round and round in circles to see who would make the craziest donuts. One truck did half of his donuts on two wheels!

One of the highlights of the show was a truck who leaped the length of three whole monster trucks! Fireworks went off as the truck flew through the air, and the crowd went crazy.

Levi's Stadium seats 70,000 people, and I was surprised to see people in every single section of the stadium! The place was at least half full. I couldn't believe that Monster Jam could manage to pull so many people on such a miserably rainy day! It just goes to show you that Monster Jam really does have a huge fan base with broad appeal. I saw families, couples, adults of all ages. It really is a show that everyone will love!


Disclosure: As a Feld Family Activator, I received 4 complimentary tickets to the event. All other costs associated with attending the event were incurred at my expense. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Earn Free Nights Quicker with the New and Improved Choice Privileges


Summer is almost here! I can't wait for school to end so we can get to my all-time favorite thing to do: travel. Whether it's a weekend road trip or a month abroad, I love visiting other cities and countries and experiencing new things.

When you travel a lot, loyalty rewards programs can really help you see more new places for less. But some programs take forever to earn the points to get free flights, hotel stays, or cars! It's not always easy to stick to one brand of airline or hotel because there may not be one near the place you want to stay, or one in your budget. That's why programs like Choice Privileges are so great. The Choice Hotels group has over 6,300 hotels around the world, with 11 brands to meet every budget. And now, with their newly revised Choice Privileges Rewards program, earning free nights is quicker and easier than ever!
Here's a rundown on some of the best changes made to the Choice Privileges program:

FlexRewards

Earning a free night's stay with the Choice Privileges program is easier and quicker than ever. There are no more blackout dates -- instead, the number of points you need to book a night will vary with the season. Reward nights at Choice Hotels around the world will cost between 6,000-35,000 points per night (except Australasia where you may need up to 75,000 points), and over 1,500 Choice Hotels only require 8,000 points or less!  Finally, you can even use Points Plus Cash (6,000 points plus cash) to book a night!

Earn 10 Points per Dollar

All Choice Hotels now earn 10 points per dollar spent -- including economy and extended stay hotels! Also, members staying at Choice Hotels' economy brands no longer need to stay two consecutive nights to earn points for their stay.

Keep Your Points

As long as members stay active by completing a qualifying activity at least once every 18 months, they get to keep their points.

Extra Rewards

Weekday travelers can earn a special reward — a little something 'extra' — right when they check in. For each qualifying stay that includes at least 1 weekday night (any night Sun. through Thurs.), the member can earn a special reward of their choice.

Members who are residents of the U.S.  can choose from:

  • 500 Choice Privileges points
  • 100 airline miles with participating carriers
  • $0.20 per gallon in Fuel Rewards® savings at Shell or other select fuel stations
  • $2.50 Amazon.com credit
  • $5 coffee card

Non-U.S.-based members can choose from::

  • 500 Choice Privileges points
  • 100 airline miles with participating carriers
That's a lot of incentive to stay at a Choice Hotel whenever you travel!  For full information about the new Choice Privileges rewards program, visit www.choicehotels.com/choice-privileges





Disclosure: I was awarded bonus Choice Privileges points as a thank you for blogging about the program. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Ways to nurture your child's interest in STEM


scientist
photo source: Wikipedia

When it comes to interest in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), my kids are lucky to have had a supportive environment. Both their parents are engineers (Although I don't work in STEM right now, I have a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and a master's degree in systems engineering. Alfie has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and has worked in the field for almost 30 years), so numbers come easily to all of us. Being a "math nerd" is not a bad thing, and at this point, all 3 kids show interest and aptitude in science and math.

But if you are a parent who considers themselves "bad" at math, you might be at a loss as to how to nurture your child's interest in STEM fields. You might feel like you can't really help them with their homework (especially starting in middle school) because the math is just too intimidating. You want to encourage them to pursue their interests but don't really know how. If your child is a girl, it might be even more challenging, because you might not know of any role models you can point out (According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs). I've written several posts about ways to get girls more interested in STEM careers,  Here are four things that any parent can do to nurture their child's interest and abilities in science and math:

Invest in toys that encourage open-ended exploration

I can't say enough about building toys like Lego and KNEX. Kids learn how to follow instructions and analyze diagrams. They learn to recognize patterns. They learn how to build things up and break them down. They learn how to figure out solutions when they're stuck. All of these are valuable STEM skills! The benefits add up even more when kids throw away the instruction manual and start to build on their own. They learn how to problem solve -- they learn how to figure out what works and what doesn't, and how to build things to meet their needs.
KNEX


Get involved in your child's science and math education

If you have the time to volunteer for a science project, seize the opportunity! Show your child that you are interested in math and science. If you can't make it during school hours, don't worry. There are lots of other ways to show your child that you think science and math are cool. Show an interest in their math and science homework. Help him or her brainstorm a project for the science fair. Attend your school's math and/or science night.
cow eye dissection


Make science fun at home

There are so many activities kids and parents can do at home that help build science and math skills. Even something as simple as baking can get kids working on fractions, multiplication, and measuring! One of the most entertaining birthday party activities I ever devised was a building contest. Kids were given toothpicks and marshmallows and told to build the tallest tower possible in a set amount of time. Everyone had a great time! They quickly figured out some of the basics of structural engineering while engaging in friendly competition with their friends.


Encourage your child to join a science club or a competition

A great way to nurture kids' interests in STEM is to sign them up for an afterschool club, a summer camp, or (for older kids) a conference dedicated to STEM, or even a competition. The word "competition" can sound really scary to a kid, and no parent wants to be the pushy parent who forces their kid to compete -- but competitions can be fun, and they don't have to be showstopper events to teach kids valuable lessons. Case in point: I'm the noontime activities coordinator at our local elementary school, and one of our most popular activities is the annual Building Challenge. I pretty much took the marshmallow tower building concept and turned it into a multi-week competition, with different building materials every week. Kids work in teams, so they're learning teamwork as well as the laws of physics! If your school has something like this, by all means encourage your child to join. If your school doesn't, ask your local PTA to help you organize one!

Small school challenges like these are the first step to more serious competitions, and if your child shows like he or she wants to pursue STEM projects on a more serious level, there are many competitions out there. Many grade schools and middle schools have science clubs or robotics clubs that field teams to local competitions. Do you have a budding scientist on your hands? Encourage them to enter the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge!

About the Young Scientist Challenge

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for grades 5-8. Through the program, young inventors have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work closely with a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of “America's Top Young Scientist.”

The mission of the Young Scientist Challenge is to foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in science generally declines. In 2008, Discovery Education teamed up with 3M, one of the world’s most notable innovators – to cultivate the next generation of problem solvers and give students an opportunity to receive mentorship from 3M scientists.


 How the Challenge Works


•Call for entries is currently open through April, 20, 2016. To enter, participants must submit a one-to-two-minute video describing the science behind a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem.

•Judges evaluate the entries through April and May based on creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

•Ten finalists are announced in the summer. These participants will be challenged to develop their innovations that positively impacts lives (including them, their family, their community or the global population). The students will participate in a mentorship program during which they will get the opportunity to work one-on-one with renowned 3M scientists as their mentors.

•Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2016

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit www.youngscientistchallenge.com. Submissions will be accepted through April 13, 2016



Disclosure: This is a compensated post.  Information about the Young Scientist Challenge (in italics) was provided by The MOMS. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Color Me Rad 5K -- the perfect family fun run!



I've been on many fun runs over the years, but it's hard to imagine any run more fun than the one we enjoyed last week: the Color Me Rad 5k in San Jose. It was the first fun for everyone else in the family -- Alfie, The Pea, 3Po and Jammy -- but there is no better run to do for your first run, and there is no better run for the whole family to enjoy!

About Color Me Rad

Color Me Rad is loosely based on the Hindu Festival of Colors, otherwise known as Holi. The festive colors used are a sign of winter's end and spring's new beginnings. Or in the case of RAD; the color represents the end of lame runs and the beginning of fun runs.

Start out as clean as a newborn babe, and throughout the run, our volunteers will coat you with liquids, powders, and gels of blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow until your face, shirt, and body come out silkscreened like a tie-dyed hippie on the other side. Each section of the run adds a new explosion of color to your clean, painter's palate until you cross the finish line into a final blitzkrieg of color.

Our family's Color Me Rad experience

We all got up bright and early on Saturday morning and donned our white shirts (because they show the color better!) and race numbers. I had picked up our race packets the day before; each registered runner gets a race number, a waterproof phone case, a tattoo, and a pair of color packets to throw around before or after the race. Each of us brought sunglasses to protect our eyes as well as a cap or bandana to protect our hair. The Pea didn't want to wear anything on her head because she wanted her hair to get colored!
Color Me Rad San Jose 2016


The "fun" part begins even before the "run" part begins! About 10 minutes before start time, everyone gathered in front of a sound stage and did some warm up exercises to some catchy tunes and a DJ announcer. We had a great time following the Zumba instructors on stage, and afterwards, we were rewarded with some color bombs tossed out onto the audience! We got color on ourselves even before the run began!
Color Me Rad San Jose 2016


The run started about 15 minutes late, but other than that, the start was very well organized. Runners started the run in "waves", spaced about 5 minutes apart so that the start wouldn't be too crowded and no one would get trampled. I think they did a great job controlling the start waves.

The course made its way around the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. It was a pretty easy course, on a flat asphalt path with gravel or dirt on each side so runners could go off-road if their knees were giving them trouble. It had rained every day the week before, so in some areas the path was a complete and total mud pit -- so we had the added bonus of enjoying a mud run as well as a color run! We had to run through one area that got our shoes and socks completely soaked, and in some parts of the run, it got difficult to run because of all the mud caked on our shoes, but everyone was in high spirits and it was all in good fun. Time wasn't a big issue since we didn't have timing chips anyway; we weren't there to set any personal records, we were just there to have fun.

As promised, runners/walkers passed through 4 (or was it 5?) color stations where volunteered doused everyone in color. Some stations doused you in powdered color (it's non-toxic, dyed cornstarch and it's safe to inhale in small amounts, but I recommend you hold your breath as you run or walk through!). Everyone absolutely loved it, and my boys actually stopped running and slowed down to a walk in order to make sure that they were completely covered in color!
Color Me Rad San Jose 2016


Two stations used liquid color instead of powdered color, which actually stayed on our shirts better than the powdered color. It was a cold, windy day, so we were freezing for a few moments after the volunteers sprayed us, but we were running, so we quickly warmed back up again.
Color Me Rad San Jose 2016


By the time you reach the finish line, you will be absolutely saturated in color! Not only that, after you cross the finish line, you are given two free color packets (they were generous that day and actually gave every 3 packets each) to add to your shirts, or to douse your friends in as they cross the finish line.
Color Me Rad


Our "after" photo looked quite a bit different from our "before" photo!  We all had a wonderful time. Color Me Rad really is the perfect family run, because it's just a short distance so it's easy to run, and if you don't want to run, you can walk, and with all that color, you have fun every step of the way.
Color Me Rad



Disclosure: I received 4 complimentary entries to Color Me Rad San Jose. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Enroll your child in Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp


British Soccer Camp

3Po and Jammy's dad is British, so it was practically predetermined that they would love soccer even before they were born! They've been kicking a ball around ever since they could toddle around, and it's the only sport that they really love to play and watch.

We always said that one of the things that would make us move to the UK would be all the opportunities available to play and watch soccer (football, that is). Our favorite teams play in the English Premier League every week, and with over 30,000 clubs registered in the UK, the boys would always have quality coaches and people who are just as passionate about the Beautiful Game as we are.
soccer bonggamom 3Po

Fortunately, soccer has really exploded in popularity here in the last 15-20 years. Everywhere we go, we see kids playing soccer, and we now follow our local team, the San Jose Earthquakes, with every bit as much passion as we follow Chelsea and Arsenal. We used to think the quality of play for kids was higher in the UK, but nowadays I'm not sure that's true anymore.

A couple of years ago we discovered British Soccer Camps and signed 3Po and Jammy up for their summer soccer programs. They were amazing! The camp locations and schedules are so convenient, they employ coaches from the UK and other countries, and the prices are so reasonable. Kids get all kinds of fun goodies like a free tshirt, soccer ball and poster. 3Po and Jammy learned so many skills during their time with British Soccer Camps, and they enjoyed all the drills and scrimmages.  At the end of the week, the coaches prepared a personalized skills assessment for each camper, and they went through not only their physical skills but also their team building skills and personal skills. I really appreciated how the coaches took their time to know the kids.  Best of all, they came home tired and slept well every single night!!

soccer

About Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp

British Soccer Camp is the most popular camp in North America - 150,000 campers! With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!

Enroll you child in a British Soccer Camp today Enroll in British Soccer Camps Today! FREE Water Bottle with code: USFG16http://www.challengersports.com/britishsoccercampsmums.aspx

soccer bonggamom

Disclosure: As a blogger for US Family Guide I will be receiving a complimentary week of camp. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Celebrate Easter with GourmetGiftBaskets.com


Easter basket

Easter is coming early this year -- really early, March 27th!  If you're scrambling to put together Easter baskets for your family, save yourself the stress and put GourmetGiftBaskets.com of your Easter gift giving. They have dozens of Easter gift baskets and Easter gift ideas, all beautifully put together and ready to ship to the people you love. Many of the items can be delivered in just 1-2 days, so your Easter gift baskets will arrive right on time with the Easter bunny!

GourmetGiftBaskets.com sent me their Double Bunny Easter Basket and my kids love it! It really makes Easter special to have so many Easter treats and sweets just bursting from one basket. The package arrived in just 2 days, and it was securely protected in bubble wrap so when I took it out of the box, it was as beautifully arranged as it was in the website photos. I can't believe how many things they were able to fit into one basket:
Easter basket



Here are my Top Five Favorite Easter gift ideas from GourmeGiftBaskets.com:

Double Bunny Easter Basket, $119.99, includes free shipping
Two bunnies are twice as nice, especially when you have two kids! As a mom of twins, I give this basket a two thumbs up! This basket has all the goodies that kids know and love, including Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and two adorable plush bunnies. It's no wonder this is GourmetGiftBasket.com's best selling Easter basket for kids!


Happy Easter Brownie Cake, $34.99.
It's just like a giant cookie cake, except it's made from brownies! I love it because it can double as a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter buffet.


Easter Celebration Cake Pops. $39.99
Who doesn't love cake pops? These come in a variety of yummy flavors -- chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet, dipped in Belgian chocolate and drizzled with pastel confections. The teeny Easter-themed appliques are so cute!


Springtime Gift Tower, $39.99
Gift towers always look impressive, and this one is impressive inside and out. It's overflowing with a mix of sweet and salty treats, and the damask-lined boxes can be used for storage long after the goodies are gone.


Easter Champagne and Chocolates Gift Basket, $99.99
I love this because it appeals to the whole family, young and old. This gift basket is chock full of the good stuff -- prosecco, Ghirardelli chocolate, gourmet cookies, and deep, dark chocolate.


Other Easter gift ideas include the Sugar-Free Gift Basket ($89.99), Easter Basket for Men ($74.99), Gourmet Carrot Cake, and Springtime Berries ($44.99), and Premium Spa Win Gift Basket ($124.99). Check out GourmetGiftBasket.com's 2016 Easter page for their full line up. Many of the items include free shipping, and in many cases, the item can be delivered in 1 or 2 days!  Make Easter stress-free and happy with GourmetGiftBasket.com!

Disclosure: I received a gift basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com to facilitate this review The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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PEEPS & COMPANY®: Essential components of every Easter Basket


Easter

Easter wouldn't be Easter without the Easter Bunny, and Easter wouldn't be Easter without an Easter Basket!! We love surprising our kids with Easter Baskets every single year, and even though my kids are now in their teens and tweens, they've proven that you can never be too old for an Easter Basket!

Many stores sell pre-assembled Easter baskets, but I think it's a lot more fun to assemble one yourself (and you can customize the basket to the recipient's age and interests). Creating your own Easter basket couldn't be simpler. Here are the four essential components of a great Easter basket:

1) Basket

Find something to put your goodies into! It doesn't even have to be a basket -- you can use a pail, a box, a bowl, or a gift bag.

Easter baskets

2) Basket liner

This is an optional step but it's oh-so-much-fun, and it really puts the spirit of Easter into your basket. You can use plastic Easter grass that is sold in stores at this time of the year, or use bits of crinkled paper grass. You can also use tissue paper.



3) Candy

This is the fun part! Kids love Easter candy, especially PEEPS marshmallow bunnies, chicks, and eggs! They have so many varieties and flavors these days, you could fill a hundred Easter baskets with PEEPS candy and not have a single basket with the same kind of candy!  Don't forget jelly beans from Mike and Ike, as well as Hot Tamales from PEEPS & COMPANY® for the teens!

4) Toys

Toys can really set each Easter basket apart! You can tuck in different kinds of toys depending on the recipient's age and interests. It's always nice to include an Easter-themed toy such as a plush chick or lamb. PEEPS & COMPANY® has all kinds of non-candy Easter goodies such as ear buds, tshirts, plush toys, caps, sweatshirts and more! Check out their full line at PeepsandCompany.com.


Have fun creating your Easter baskets!!


Here are some of the items in my 2016 Easter Basket photos. They're all available on PeepsandCompany.com:

· 5-inch PEEPS® Plush: Spread the joy of PEEPS® when you give this plush PEEPS® chick as a gift to those of any age (assortment of colors).


· PEEPS® earbuds: If you need a sweet bit of time to yourself, let your favorite yellow PEEPS Chick take you away with your favorite music through these PEEPS earbuds. Get a dose of stress relief, in stereo, every time you put them on and crank up the tunes!


· PEEPS® luggage tag: From candy to cute accessory, these PEEPS® luggage tags add a pop of color and whimsy to your gear (assortment of colors).


· PEEPS® Orange Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Orange Fudge: These three Chicks are orange delight flavored and dipped in orange fudge to enhance the flavor. Share them with your friends or keep them for yourself!


· PEEPS® Marshmallow Chicks: The five and 15 count packages of the iconic PEEPS® Chicks are available in classic Easter colors including yellow, pink, blue, lavender, green, and orange Chicks! The 10 count package of Chicks is available in all of the classic Easter colors as well as white.


· PEEPS® Marshmallow Bunnies: The four count bunnies come in classic yellow, pink and blue colors. The 12 count bunnies come in classic colors as well as lavender, white, green and orange. The 16 count are packaged in classic colors plus lavender and green.


· PEEPS® Decorated Eggs: Nine white eggs iced with pastel colors in 3 unique designs, these eggs are great for recipes, crafts and immediate consumption.


· PEEPS® Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks: Ten delicious vanilla cake flavored marshmallow chicks sprinkled with fun rainbow confetti.


· PEEPS® Sour Watermelon Flavored Marshmallow Chicks: Sweet and sour flavors collide to create a burst of watermelon in these ten green chicks with a blush pink center.


· PEEPS® Chocolate Dipped Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Chicks: Three delectable chocolate mousse-flavored Chicks dipped in either creamy milk or dark chocolate.


· PEEPS® Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks: Individually wrapped marshmallow chicks covered in either milk or dark chocolate.


· PEEPS® Rainbow Pop: Four chicks in colors yellow, green, pink and blue marshmallow on a stick- it’s like a colorful PEEPS® lollipop.


· MIKE AND IKE® Easter Treats: Bring chewy, fruity goodness this Easter season with a 10 oz. gift bag of MIKE AND IKE® Easter Treats flavors. Filled with grape, pineapple-banana, strawberry, lemon-lime, and cherry-flavored MIKE AND IKE® candies – and all made with real fruit juice – this gift will put a spring in anybody's step as the bright new season gets underway.


· MIKE AND IKE® Jellybeans: The Assorted Fruits MIKE AND IKE® JELLY BEANS are a fan favorite.


· HOT TAMALES® Jellybeans: Celebrate Easter with our cinnamon-flavored jelly beans (14 oz. package)


Enjoy 20% savings on PEEPS®

Get 20% off your next purchase at PeepsandCompany.com, no minimum required, from February 15 through April 15, 2016, with discount code: EASTERTREATS






Disclosure: The PEEPS & COMPANY® products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by PEEPS & COMPANY®. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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