Holiday Gift Guide: LITTLE LIVE PETS™ LIL’TURTLE TANK {#Giveaway}

Little Live Pet Lil Turtle Tank

Adorable and fun and the best words to use to describe the LITTLE LIVE PETS™ LIL’TURTLE and TANK which make them an excellent gift this holiday season.

We received the Little Live Pets Turtle and Little Live Pets Lil ‘Turtle Tank to check out before Christmas. Here, Little S unboxes them and shares a demonstration:


Little Live Pets are a series of various animals such as owls, turtles, mice and more that fit in the palm of your hand and interact with you in various ways. Many of the pets also have their respective habitats that are available to make the experience even more life-like.

Little Live Pets have been rated as one Toys ‘R’ Us’ Top 15 Toys and are very reasonably priced. You can check out the full lineup of pets at


Little Live Pets are sold at many popular retailers including Toys R Us, Home Hardware and Loblaws (to name a few).


Lil Live Pets Reviews

One City Mom reader will win the Lil ‘Turtle Tank and Lil’ Turtle included. This contest is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who are 18+. Please read the full rules in the giveaway widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City Mom

DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments

DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments

I have recently shared that I am looking to create a rustic, beachy Christmas this year in our new home as our old decorations aren’t going to fit in with our brand new colour scheme. That is why when I saw my friend Jennifer’s post on Facebook about these rustic tree ornaments she was making, I fell in love. The images she shared were beautiful and I know from following her on FB, that she is quite talented in the DIY and “upcycling” department.

Not only did I want some for myself (I’m buying four) I wanted to know how she did it. I figured that if I was curious, there were probably a lot more people who would be curious too. Jennifer has graciously agreed to share a ‘how-to’ for us so that we can make our own or perhaps just gain some inspiration to get out and discover ways to “upcycle” what is right in our own backyards.

There has never been a better time to do so as rustic, shabby-chic and natural elements design is right on trend.

Please “meet” Jennifer and learn how to make these beautiful, rustic wood ornaments.


Hello! My name is Jennifer and I’m a habitual recycler and upcycler of just about anything I can get my hands on! I love to create and repurpose items that I often find curbside or in my backyard.

These simple DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments are no exception; they’re made from branches from my yard that came down in a windstorm a few weeks ago. The steps are simple and the tools required are minimal:


  • Branches (mine were 2 – 2.5” in diameter)
  • Wood-burning tool (I use one from Lee Valley)
  • Circulating chop saw or table saw (I use The Mister’s)
  • Hand drill
  • Pencil
  • Decorative ribbon


DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments How To

  1. Cut branches 1/4” thick, sand away any rough pieces
  2. Drill a small hole in the pieces (for ribbon)
  3. Draw your pattern onto the wood pieces (I did rustic trees)
  4. Using your wood-burning tool, trace pattern on each piece
  5. Repeat for each ornament
  6. String with ribbon and hang!


These ornaments make great personalized gifts! Be creative…get outside and see what you can find to re-purpose. How inspiring!

DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments


If you like Jennifer’s rustic ornaments and would like to save it for later, here is a fun image that you can use to Pin!


Thank you Jennifer for sharing your how-to and for this wonderful inspiration as we head into the holiday season.

City Mom

American Girl Beforever Doll Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt Outfit & Jukebox

American Girl Maryellen Larkin

If you’re a follower of City Mom on Pinterest and/or Instagram, you likely know that we are big American Girl fans in our house. It’s not just Little S who loves AG…I have not outgrown my love for dolls and collectibles, so we share this love together.



Among American Girl’s wide variety of dolls and accessories is their Beforever line of dolls from different era’s, e.g. Maryellen Larkin from the 1950’s.

Maryellen Larkin

Maryellen Larkin is the newest member of our family (and AG’s), as Little S received her as a birthday present. We love Maryellen because she is just so cute and deliver’s an excellent message for young girls…follow your heart instead of the crowd; an important principle for girls today.


Maryellen Larkin's World

Another aspect that we love of all the Beforever dolls including Maryellen, is the education their “world” provides on important times in history.

Maryellen is from 1954 so her clothing, accessories and furniture reflect this era. There are also three books (and perhaps more to come) that provide more insight into the life of a nine-year-old girl growing up in the 1950’s.


American Girl All For Girl

We fell in love with the American Girl brand for more reasons than the cute dolls, fashion and furniture; we fell in love with the motivating message for girls to be all they can be and to follow their inner star. From the American Girl award-winning advice books like The Care and Keeping of Us, A Smart Girl’s Guide: Friend Troubles to their All For Girl, Girl for All campaign that will unite 3 billion girls who have each other’s back.

American Girl is a brand that I am proud to share with my daughter and one that I truly enjoy her immersing herself in. It is nothing but positive, showing the strength and inner beauty within all of us.


Little S and I were fortunate enough to receive Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt outfit and her Jukebox. Little S unboxes and demos these two items in the following video. We will also highlight a few key points below:

Maryellen’s Poodle Skirt Outfit

Maryellens Poodle Skirt Outifit

Poodle skirts were very popular in the 1950s, and Maryellen is thrilled when her mother buys this one for her to wear to her first day of fourth grade! This outfit includes:

  • A black quilted skirt featuring a pink poodle with a stitched leash
  • A pink blouse with a cute Peter Pan collar and contrast polka dots on the sleeves
  • A polka-dot kerchief that can be worn in her hair or around her neck
  • White bobby socks
  • Black-and-white saddle shoes

Maryellen’s Jukebox

Maryellen's Jukebox

In Maryellen’s day, jukeboxes were often found in restaurants and diners. People would scroll through a list of songs, then put in a few coins to play their favourites.

This jukebox lights up and plays six pre-recorded ’50s-style songs when the buttons are pushed. Plus, girls can connect their own electronic music players to play all their favorite songs! Includes a 3.5 mm audio cable. Note: Electronic music player not included. Requires 4AA batteries, not included.

Little S absolutely loved these two items to go along with Maryellen and she says that girls would love to find these items under the tree this year. If your child doesn’t already have Maryellen, she will also make for an amazing gift this holiday season!


As we enjoy sharing our AG experience on social media, I often get a lot of inquiries on how we Canadians can buy American Girl items and the answer to that is pretty easy. Canada now has American Girl boutiques in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver and hopefully more soon!

If you don’t live near any of these cities, not to worry, you can shop online at Sign up for the newsletter and you’ll even get notifications of special promotions like free shipping!


This one you’ll have to act fast on, American Girl is offering free shipping until November 24th, 2015 via on orders over $100.

We encourage you to get to know the American Girl brand if you don’t already. You will love the quality, selection and “extras” that come with the experience.

Happy holidays from us!

Disclaimer: we received the above mentioned products to perform this review. The opinions are 100% our own.

City Mom

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