I’m not sure where it came from, but my daughter suddenly decided she needed to learn how to play the guitar so she could have some music to go along with the song lyrics she’s been coming up with since she was old enough to talk (it’s really nice that she can write the words down now instead of asking me to memorize them!).
Guitar Center was having a sale, so we looked around online and checked out the reviews on other sites, too. The Daisy Rock Debutante Junior Miss Short Scale Acoustic Guitar kept showing up again and again with positive reviews overall.
They also had the color she preferred—bubblegum pink. It also comes in cotton candy blue, which is my personal favorite, and popsicle purple.
It’s a ¾ size, which is just right for my seven-year-old, and will probably be fine for at least a few years. It’s meant for kids between the ages of five and nine, then they can graduate to a full-size guitar.
The “slim and narrow neck” makes it easier for small hands to play, which I think is brilliant. I remember trying to learn to play a full-size guitar at age 16; I was turned off because my hands weren’t big enough.
The sound is better than what you get from most of the toy guitars out there that look like the real thing but don’t sound so great. We paid $79 and, thanks to a special December sale (coupon code: DECSALE), were able to pick up picks, a stand, and a book to get her started for about $15.00 more.
Is it the best guitar on the market? No, of course not. Is it perfect for a beginner? From what I can tell as someone who doesn’t play guitar or have a lot of experience with them, I think it’s probably one of the best in this price range, and definitely worth the $79.00.
Photo credit: Guitar Center
Today’s link round-up features washi tape gift tags, ornaments, cookies, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for peppermint chocolate coconut cookies.
Create Craft Love taught us how to make washi tape gift tags.
A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make paper ball ornaments.
Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a cute pinecone snowman.
Artsy Fartsy Mama shared a cute craft to make with the kids—winter window clings.
Restyled Junk showed off a cute Christmas garland made from old jeans.
Club Chica Circle showed us how to make a cute snowman headband.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Crafts by Amanda
Lesson learned: Never say never. I said I’d never wear footie pajamas. I laughed at them on the racks. But then I found myself freezing in my house, with a fever. That’s it—the fever made me delirious enough to send my husband out for a pair of these because they seemed like the perfect solution.
You know what, though? They kind of are.
They’re soft and fuzzy—and warm, of course. I got the zebra ones (there were also leopard and sock monkey versions), so these are just black and white with a black zipper that zips all the way up the front of the torso.
The material is a little thinner than I expected, especially on the feet, but layering a pair of socks under them should keep me nice and toasty.
Sizing is a little tricky. I would normally wear a small in other pajamas, but I’m 5’8” and there’s not a lot of wiggle room on the length when you’re shopping for something like this.
If you’re about my height or taller, you may want to go up a size. The medium is the perfect length (as long as it doesn’t shrink) but the sleeves are a bit shorter than I would like.
It’s a little baggy around the middle and there’s plenty of room everywhere else. That’s not really a big deal in my opinion, since they’re not exactly meant to be sexy. I wear a size 6.5 shoe and there’s extra room in the foot areas, which have cute zebra faces and ears on them. I don’t think they’ll trip me, but it’s worth mentioning.
I doubt I’ll be living in this thing all winter, but it’s nice for the nights when I just can’t get warm. They’re $24.99 at Target, but right now Target.com has a 30 percent off coupon code (JOY30) and free shipping.
Photo credit: Target
Today’s link round-up features Christmas crafts, treats, and more.
A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for easy chocolate Oreo truffles.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared a cute snack idea for school.
Create Craft Love shared a DIY chalky finish Christmas frame idea.
Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a paper plate elf.
Restyled Junk made cute snowman lights.
Artsy Fartsy Mama showed us how to make a sequin tree.
Club Chica Circle made Santa and elf hat candy jars.
Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Crafts by Amanda
The Disney Princes Hairstyles: 40 Amazing Princess Hairstyles with Step by Step Images is a beautiful soft cover how-to book that covers hairstyles inspired by the princesses in Disney movies. There’s Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Merida, Mulan, Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Tiana.
Though there are styles for almost all hair lengths and hair types, shoulder-length and longer hair will work best for the styles in the book.
There are braids, updos, curls, and waves. Not good at braiding? No problem. There’s a “braid school” at the beginning that walks you through how to do several types of braids—traditional, French, Dutch, rope, traditional fishtail, and French fishtail. Master these (it’s easy thanks to the diagrams!) and you’ll be able to handle any of the styles in the 115-page book.
The photography is gorgeous and the final shots are clearly inspired by the movies they’re associated with for an extra touch of magic. The step-by-step sections contain written instructions and easy-to-follow images, so all of the styles are easy to recreate.
This book was sent to me for the purpose of a review. The retail price is $14.95. There’s a similar title, Disney Frozen Hairstyles, that covers Elsa and Anna’s styles.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic book and my daughter was thrilled to try out some new styles. She has her favorite princesses, of course, but she was so overwhelmed by the number of styles, I think she forgot about her favorites and wanted to try them all at once.
For a Disney Princesses fan with longer hair she loves to have styled, this is a must-have.
Photo credit: Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc.
If your daughter’s a Frozen fan with long hair, this Disney Frozen Hairstyles Inspired by Anna and Elsa book will blow her mind. Inside, there are 28 hairstyles inspired by Anna and Elsa, each one just as beautiful as the last.
The book is divided into sections: Twists and Braids, Updos and Buns, and Waves and Ponytails, with a Braid School at the beginning to help you learn how to do the basic component of several of the styles before you dive in and get started.
Some of the styles can be done on shoulder-length hair, but not many. The longer the hair, the better, because there will be enough length there to complete all the twists, curls, braids, and buns the styles entail.
Braid School teaches you how to do traditional, French, Dutch, rope, traditional fishtail, and French fishtail braids. Each hairstyle has written instructions and step-by-step images that walk you through recreating them as if you’ve always been a hairstyling pro.
Of course, some of the styles may take practice because they’re quite elaborate, but the guides break them down into simple, manageable looks that are much easier to recreate than you’d think by looking at the finished styles.
I’m not even close to being a hairstyling expert, but I enjoy playing around with my daughter’s hair when she’ll let me, and I’m confident I could do any of the styles in this book thanks to the clear instructions and images.
One of the things that shocked me most as I flipped through was just how simple it is to create the looks that appear to have hours of work put into them. As long as your daughter will stay still long enough, you should be able to pick up the book and master any of the looks.
This book was sent to me for the purpose of a review. Its retail price is $12.95 and there are 72 pages.
Photo credit: Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc.
Today’s link round-up has scrapbook inspiration, gift guides, laundry problem solutions, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie shared some holiday cookie recipes.
A Beautiful Mess inspired us with scrapbook ideas.
Crafty Journal showed us how to turn a Christmas card box into a gift box.
Kenarry gave us a gift idea for teachers.
One Good Thing by Jillee solved some common laundry problems.
Rad Mom Cool Kid shared a gift guide for teens.
Create Craft Love gave us a recipe for eggnog French toast.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry
Sometimes, you just wish your older kid was still using sippy cups, like on car rides or when they want to take a drink out of the kitchen and into a room with carpet. This Contigo Trekker Kids’ Water Bottle seems like the perfect solution.
One of my biggest pet peeves with reusable water bottles is all wrapped up in how hard it is to clean the straws that come with them. I do my best, but I never feel like I’ve cleaned them well enough, especially when they’re small (wider straws are okay).
This 14-ounce cup is straw-free and comes in a variety of colors, plus they’re available on their own or in packages of two. Even the lid’s attached, so there aren’t a lot of little pieces to worry about tracking down after you’ve washed them or juggle while you’re trying to clean them.
It’s spill-proof, leak-proof, and can be washed in the dishwasher. I love the shape of the cup because it seems easier to hold onto than some of the to-go cups I have in the cupboard at the moment. It’s also a good option for lunch boxes if you’re not into sending boxes of milk or juice.
Also, if you’ve ever poured yourself a cup of coffee on your way out the door and your kid wanted something similar, this is it. While I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t put hot liquids in here, it has a similar enough look and feel to a coffee cup to make them feel grown up.
One negative point: Some users report having trouble cleaning the rubber seal and inside the valve. In this case, soaking it in a mix of white vinegar and water may be advisable.
Photo credit: Amazon
Today’s link round-up has ornament ideas, hot cocoa, a gift guide, tradition ideas, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make low fat chocolate chip raspberry quick bread.
A Beautiful Mess shared some of their favorite holiday projects.
Crafty Journal showed us how to make a dollar bill angel.
Crafts by Amanda taught us how to make ugly sweater ornaments.
One Good Thing by Jillee shared a recipe for the best ever creamy Crock-Pot cocoa.
Rad Mom Cool Kid shared some gift ideas for the traveler.
Create Craft Love put together a Christmas traditions printable.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Crafts by Amanda