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1. Author Feature - Sheila Kelly Welch


Author - Sheila Kelly Welch - www..flavors.me/sheilawelch

Book - WAITING TO FORGET

Genre - Upper MG/YA

Publisher - namelos

Road to Publishing - When I was in junior high, I thought that someday I'd write and illustrate for kids. But it wasn't until after I'd had open heart surgery and could hear my artificial valve ticking that I decided someday had arrived. My first short story was published two years later. Since then, I've had a lot of stories and books published but I always wanted to work with Stephen Roxburgh because I'd heard him speak at a conference and liked his independent ideas. In 2009, I completed a novel that I thought he'd appreciate and when I sent it to namelos, he wrote back within a few weeks with an offer to publish it. His acceptance was the quickest of any I've ever had. I sent the sample chapters on January 12, 2010 and signed a contract on January 29, 2010. The book was released on October 1, 2011. My advice would be to read a lot, write a lot, and aim high. But give yourself time to relax and enjoy life., too.

Book Synopsis - WAITING TO FORGET takes place in a hospital where twelve-year-old T.J. is waiting to see if his little sister will regain consciousness after a bad fall. While he waits, T.J. recalls the traumatic life he and Angela led with their neglectful birth mother and how they were eventually adopted by a childless couple. But T.J. isn't sure he wants to be part of this family with Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy and Dan, who seems to want a more responsible son. Their birth mother often lied because it was easier than telling -- or facing -- the truth. Back and forth between then and now, T.J.'s story unfolds until the past catches up to the present. And T.J. is faced with his own truth.

 WAITING TO FORGET has been chosen for the following lists:

Best Books of the Year, 2012 edition: Bank Street College

Best YA Books of 2011: Pennsylvania School Library Association

South Carolina's Junior Book Award Master List 2013/ 2014

#1 of 50 books: Realistic Middle School Fiction: Goodreads List


Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.



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2. Author Feature - Sheila Duncan

Author - Sheila Duncan - www.troublethedog.net

Book - Here's Trouble!



Genre - Picture Book 

Road to Publishing - I self published because I was working at the time with an outstanding illustrator, Annette Nicolas and a fabulous printer, Jerry DiFazio of Daily Printing. Initially, I thought of going the traditional route; but after a meeting with a Random House executive, I realized my message of hope might be better received by the masses than the publishing houses. She absolutely loved the concept but felt at the time it might be a little out of the box for old school children’s publishers. So I forged ahead and got it done on my own.

Book Synopsis - When Sheila Duncan’s niece was 12, she found herself surrounded by adversity. The family experienced three cancer losses in a very short time. This devoted aunt then suggested they sit down together and write a book about it. The result was the creation of a gutsy, huggable, inspiring dog named - Trouble. As the book begins, Trouble finds himself abandoned on the streets of New York City with his siblings in a box. The story is about hope and resilience and how you can never give up. Trouble is eventually adopted by a kindly grandmother and he then makes sure two other pups in need are adopted as well. The ending is a happy one with this very unusual family curled up, warm and safe, with the words “hope … believe and dream” written in stars in the night sky.

There are slogans that accompany Trouble The Dog which are so important for children in today’s world. They are “Where There’s Trouble, There’s Hope”; “When Trouble Comes, You’re Never Alone”; "Trouble Can Help With What's Troubling You".

More About Trouble -  Trouble The Dog has gone from the drawing of a child trying to help other kids going through tough times to a global symbol of hope. The book was such a success that a Trouble plush toy was created, along with Trouble-inspired jewelry, and T-shirts and quite possibly, an animated children's television series. Quite simply - Trouble helps kids deal with things that are troubling them.

Author Sheila Duncan spends countless hours reading the Trouble story and donating Trouble plush dogs and books. She has been warmly received when presenting Trouble The Dog to families affected by overwhelming circumstances – including victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and the Haiti earthquake.

She has generously given Trouble toys and books to families at children's hospitals, residents of nursing homes, VA Hospitals and over a hundred plush Trouble dogs and books were given to the Shriner's Hospital For Children and the Children's Miracle Network. Sheila is constantly on the go - performing readings, guest speaker engagements, author signings and visiting children at hospitals across the country.

Sheila and the character she created, Trouble The Dog have been featured on CNN’s American Journey, The USA Love List, Magic 106.7’s Exceptional Women Entrepreneurs, MSNBCs Your Business as a Socially Conscious toy; North Shore Magazine’s Top Women Entrepreneurs, a Finalist in Martha Stewart's “Made in America”, and Success Magazine’s “Seniorprenerus” series.

It is Sheila’s mission to brand Trouble The Dog as a global children’s character, giving hope to kids around the world.





 Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.






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3. Mickey Mouse ClubHouse: Minnie-Rella on DVD now!

Disclosure - I received a product to review from the below company or their PR Agency.

If you're looking for a perfect Valentines Day gift for your little princess, check out MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: MINNIE-RELLA on DVD February 11th




Synopsis - Our pals need to get Minnie a surprise present, so they keep her busy with plenty of chores to do at the Clubhouse. Tired from so much work, Minnie falls asleep and dreams that she is MINNIE-RELLA!

Poor Minnie-rella needs a lot of help to get ready for Prince Mickey’s Grand Ball! With a wave of her wand and some “Mouseke-doodle-lee-doo” magic, Minnie-rella’s Fairy Godmother, Clarabelle, transforms an ordinary tomato into a magnificent carriage and Minnie-rella’s raggedy dress into a beautiful gown that is perfect for a princess. But Minnie-rella’s enchanted dance with Prince Mickey at the ball must end when the spell is broken at midnight. With our help, Prince Mickey finds the princess who fits into her lost glass slipper – Princess Minnie-rella!

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie-rella also includes a FREE Castle Play Set, 3 additional Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes and 10 Minnie’s Bow-Toons Shorts!

Bonus Episodes:

Pluto’s Tale – In Pluto’s very first fairytale adventure, we help Prince Pluto rescue Princess Bella from the clutches of sneaky Wizard Pete.

Mickey and the Enchanted Egg – Mickey finds an egg which soon hatches into a Baby Dragon. Mickey and his friends have to return the Dragon back to her castle home and convince the powerful Wizard Pete that they didn’t steal the egg in the first place.

Daisy’s Pony Tale – When Professor Von Drake’s new invention, a Fritzer-Spritzer Spray Potion, accidentally gets spritzed on Daisy’s ponytail, it makes her hair grow super long! That’s not goody-good at all. Along with Mickey and Sire Goofs-a-Lot, Daisy travels on her pony to find twelve leaves of the magical plant, Rapunzel, in order to reverse the effects of the Professor’s potion and fix her ponytail.

Minnie Bow-Toons Shorts -
  • Piano Movers and Shakers
  • A Good Sign 
  • Locked Out 
  • Feelin Crabby 
  • Cucko-Loca’s Egg-celent Adventure 
  • Funny Bunny 
  • Weather or Not 
  •  Mechanical Mayhem 
  • Adventures in Piggy Sitting 
  •  Minnie’s Makeover Madness 

To Buy -Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie-rella normally retails for $19.99, but you can get it right now on Amazon for just $14.99. 


Bid absolutely loves Minnie-Rella.  She thinks it's absolutely magical when Mickey dances with Minnie at the ball.  I don't now how many times we have had to rewind that part.  It's definitely a great addition for for any Mickey Mouse Club House friends out there.









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4. Author Feature - Clark Rich Burbidge

Author - Clark Rich Burbidge - www.giantsinthelandbook.com


Book - Giants in the Land: Book Two - The Prodigals



Genre -  Middle Reader YA Fiction/Fantasy


Publisher - WinePress Publishing


Road to Publishing - I consider WinePress a mix of both worlds and I have certainly been treated as I had come to expect from a Traditional publisher (my first book was traditionally published and this is my 4th book). I began seriously writing in 2010 while I was in between jobs. I have been a story teller my entire life and found the publishing process to require patience and humility to the max. I looked at books in the genre of my writing and called many authors. I found them wonderful to speak with and helpful. I then submitted my work to several publishers. I got declined by some but one in particular didn't appear to even have read the manuscript. So my wife and I talked about it and decided, what can they do decline me again, so I wrote them a very nice letter but one that clearly asked them to at least read my manuscript before declining so I could at least learn from the process. Amazingly enough about 2 weeks later I got a letter back from the publisher telling me they loved the book, suggesting some revisions and giving me 10 days to get the revised manuscript to them. Don't give up and don't be afraid to tactfully and respectfully speak out is what I tell young writers.

My 2nd through 4th books were done with WinePress who I found through a national clearinghouse. They loved my Christmas book right away and also my Giants series so that went much more smoothly.

If you write you should go for it and not be shy. Take the advice and learn from it even if it is tough, and it will be. Just make sure your voice is respected. Publishing is not the same as writing. It is a business and will require you to learn all the things necessary to start a new business. The skills are the same. But if you hang in there and see the process as taking you somewhere worth being then you will find joy in the process. I love meeting fans and doing something to help uplift them is some small way. My outreach to schools to inspire youth to stay in school and that it is worth the effort to find your greatness and become a giant has brought me the real joy in being an author.


Synopsis -Giants Two: The prodigals begins a few years after book one ends. Thomas the primary character of book one is older and is now a forest ward watching over the land. He is central to the book but we also meet several teenage prodigals. Young people who have lost their way, given up on hope in life or simply discouraged and distracted because they don't like their life, don't fit in or feel they can't live up to their parents expectations. These prodigals are caught up in a sudden change as a great evil threatens the land. They must discover their own true potential, overcome their fears and misgivings and save the land. They, along with an aging hero are the only ones that stand between the evil threat and the destruction of the land, their way of life and all the giants have worked to create for a thousand years. You might say they are way outside their comfort zone.

The Giants Trilogy is a thrilling adventure for the middle and YA reader. Parents frequently respond saying they have loved the books as well. There is a huge market out there of people who are tired of dark conflicted characters and not being able to tell good from evil. They seek characters with values that can be inspiring to youth and emulated. I will also say that my books do not give the characters any easy way out of their problems. They cannot just wave a wand, call upon a super power or beam up. My characters draw the young people to them because they, like real people, can only solve problems by reaching deep within and finding their own greatness, rising up and bravely doing all they can. It is my hope that through my books young people can realize more readily that they do have value, they can make a difference and that while they may not be able to clearly see how they fit in, they will see it as they press forward. There is a place for them and it is worth all the effort getting there. My books focus on hope that leads to faith that inspires action that can make a difference.






Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.


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5. Warner Bros. Valentines Day Giveaway

One of my kids favorite things to do is have family movie night.   They would absolutely love to win today's giveaway.





Spend Valentine’s Day with Scooby-Doo!, Pepe Le Pew, Elmo, Bugs Bunny, Charlie Brown and company!
 
Watch Scooby-Doo! Spooky Tales of Love for the Treat, Be My Valentine Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition, Charlie Brown Valentine, Bugs Bunny’s Cupid Capers , Happines is...Peanuts™: Friends Forever, Elmo Loves You , Lonney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection  available now on DVD!!

Movies Include - 

 
Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Love of Snack (DVD)
There’s only one thing Scooby-Doo and Shaggy love more than solving a good mystery… stuffing their mouths with more tasty treats than they can eat! Scooby and Shaggy’s snack-hungry tummies have caused trouble for the rest of the gang time and time again, but the two always step up to the plate to help solve the many mysteries they encounter. Now our favorite “meddling kids” discover what happens when the snacks fight back! From a giant hamburger monster to a cursed pizza to a creature haunting a (say it isn’t so) Scooby snack factory, the gang will need plenty of guts to close these cases. If you’ve got an appetite for spooky adventures with Scooby-Doo and crew, pick up this tasty collection of episodes today that the whole family will enjoy!


Be My Valentine Charlie Brown DE (DVD)
Unlucky in Love: An Unrequited Love Story Through the eyes of the Peanuts characters, the unrequited sense of love will be revealed, only to manifest that at the end the message is something universal, something to which we can all relate.


Happines is...Peanuts™: Friends Forever (DVD)
Good Grief, love is in the air! A new Peanuts collection blossoms with stories of love, laughs and friendship. It’s the end of the school year and Charlie Brown may finally get his chance to meet the Little Red Haired Girl in the TV Special, You’re in Love, Charlie Brown. Then join your Peanuts pals in an episode of The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show featuring five short adventures: Kite Eating Tree, Sally, Camp, Lucy Loves Schroeder and Scared Snoopy. There’s plenty of delight as Snoopy embarks on a mission as the WW1 Flying Ace, Lucy continues her pursuit of Schroeder’s attention and Charlie Brown gets an unexpected surprise at camp. With a little help from Peanuts, this collection and you are sure to be friends forever!



Elmo Loves You (DVD)
Elmo is making a super special surprise card for someone Elmo really loves, but a gust of wind blows it away! Rosita joins Elmo to chase after the card but they can't reach it. Can Super Grover use his heroic powers to save the day? Join Elmo, Rosita and Grover as they learn about love, emotions and friendship in this love-ly tale featuring the new song "Elmo Loves You" and a special music video about signing "I Love You." There's lots of love on Sesame Street and remember, Elmo Loves You! Special celebrity appearances from Trisha Yearwood, John Legend and R.E.M.!


Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection (DVD)
A new compilation featuring 17 iconic shorts of the loveable French Skunk, Pepe Le Pew! Pepe is always strolling around Paris in the springtime, where everyone’s thoughts are of “love”. While he is constantly seeking "l'amour" of his own, his huge turnoff to any prospective mate is his malodorous scent. Together for the first time are some of Pepe’s most beloved and comical shorts.
 
To Win - Warner Bros. is giving away a great movie prize pack to one of you!  Prize Pack Includes

  • Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Love of Snack (DVD)
  • Be My Valentine Charlie Brown DE (DVD)
  • Charlie Brown Valentine (DVD)
  • Bugs Bunny’s Cupid Capers  (DVD)
  • Happines is...Peanuts™: Friends Forever (DVD)
  • Elmo Loves You (DVD)
  • Lonney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection (DVD)
To Enter complete any of the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Open to US.  No PO Boxes
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



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6. The Roll and Learn Activity Suitcase from VTech Review and Giveaway

Disclosure - I received a product to review from VTech

Due to the nature of my blog, we sometimes have unopened cardboard boxes just sitting in the living room.  My kids are used to seeing them there, so they usually just ignore them.  Today I told them that I had a fun surprise for them, and they all eagerly gathered around to watch the unveiling.

This is what I pulled out - The Roll and Learn Activity Suitcase from VTech.


When Co saw what I was holding, he yelled, "Yea, yea, yea, me!" And he continued yelling it over and over again until I got it out of the packaging.

Bid was a little more reserved.  She just put her hands over her mouth and said, "Wow.  Can I keep it."  And luckily, the toy did not disappoint.

The Roll and Learn Activity Suitcase from VTech features

  • A front interactive activity panel 
    • light-up piano keys, 
    • a removable phone, 
    • fun dog character, 
    • spinning gears, 
    • sun and moon twisties 
    • number spinners
  •  2 modes of play- One makes all of the buttons on the front musical, and the other mode makes everything talk
  • Interaction in English and Spanish, 
    • first words, 
    • greetings, 
    •  modes of transportation
    • famous places
  • 25 melodies and sing-along songs - Co likes to put the buttons until his favorite comes on, so I haven't actually heard all 25.  I hear quick snatches of some of them and then all of a song that talks about traveling with his suitcase.
  • Shape Sorting Fun on front and back of suitcase
  • Suitcase Opens - At first Co did struggle with the opening and closing of the suitcase, and got a bit frustrated.  But now that he has figured it out, he has no problems at all.
  • Inside Panel with picture of travel accessories 

  • A Book that you can flip through (on inside)
  • A Place to store your own toys
  • Volume Control
Co seriously loves this thing.  He doesn't have the longest attention span, and he has spent hours playing with it.  I've never seen him like a toy so much.  And not just a few hours total, I'm talking hours at a time.

Even though it's a noisy toy, I appreciate that it doesn't just beep loudly and make annoying noises.  They really tried to make it educational and teach kids numbers, and words in different languages.

I also like that the toy opens, so one kid can play on one side, while the other kid can play on the other side.  This prevented quite a few fights that first day.


The thing that I love very most about this toy, is that even though it has pieces that are meant to come off during play. the kids can snap them right back on.  Even though Co is not even two, he doesn't have a problem putting the toys back in their proper place, and keeping things clean.  He actually thinks it's fun to clean up his mess.

To Buy - The Roll and Learn Activity Suitcase is suggested for kids ages 12-36 months, and retails for $36.99.  For more info and special deals, you can follow Vtech on Facebook and Vtech on Twitter.

To Win - The folks over at VTech are giving one of you the chance to win a Roll and Learn Activity Suitcase of your own.

To Enter Complete any of the entries on the rafflecopter form below.  Open to US, no PO boxes


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



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7. Ruby Alice Designs - Close2Home Etsy Feature + a Discount

Store Feature - Ruby Alice Designs - http://www.etsy.com/shop/RubyAliceDesigns


Product - Lunch Bag; purple and green lunch bag with handle

About - I am an athlete turned crafter. I competed in track and field all through college and pursued a coaching career post graduation. After a year in NYC coaching for Columbia, I was looking for a change. I left the city for the country and haven't looked back. I began sewing in 2010 as a hobby along side our working farm. In 2011, I began to take my passion more seriously and created Ruby Alice Designs!

Two years in, I take pride in creating custom handbags that meet the needs of each individual client. Since the Development of Ruby Alice Designs, I have expanded my custom designs and started an Etsy Shop, as well as home decor sewing.

We have entered the season of back to school shopping! It's that time when Mother's are running around buying new clothes and school supplies for their beloved kiddos. This year, Ruby Alice Designs wants to make the lunch box hunt a bit easier on you. We create a washable, durable, easy to carry lunch bag for the youngest school goers out there. Our lunch bag design is derived from the classic brown bag. The handle on the top make the bag easy to carry and the magnetic closure keeps food secure. Constructed from cotton and reinforced with a durable batting these bags can hold up to any day at school.

In Ruby Alice form, any of our lunch bags can be made in any child's favorite colors, or fabric of your choice. 

Support Handmade - This lunch bag retails for $35.  There are also a variety of different bags available on her etsy page starting at just $20.  You can receive 10% off your order with code backtoschool


 Have your etsy/home business shop featured here in our Close2Home Friday Weekly Feature!

Clode2Home Fridays

This post is written by the Etsy Shop Owner as part of my Close to Home Feature.  I received nothing for this post.  I am not responsible for the giveaway prize - it is separate from this post and not sponsored by me.



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8. Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Run For Your ‘Rife! available Sept. 10th, 2013

Just in time for fall, and the start of the cold season, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment has released a brand new DVD - Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Run For YourRife!

This DVD is a little different because it features TV episodes from a variety of the Scooby Doo shows - including Scooby-Doo Where are You!, Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, The Scooby & Scrappy Doo Puppy Hour and others. Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Run For YourRife! will also include an all-new original episode titled Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Scarecrow.

Episodes Include - 

  •  Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Scarecrow – All new 22-minute cartoon
  • Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Werewolf, Scooby and the gang’s camping trip is disrupted when they encounter a werewolf who has been lurking around their campsite.  
  •  A Tiki Scare is No Fair, the Mystery Inc.’s Hawaiian vacation is interrupted by a witch doctor who warns them of the wrath of god Mano Tiki Tia
  •  Hang in there, Scooby-Doo, featues a ghost dinosaur
  •  A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts
  •  Scared A Lot in Camelot
  •  Which Witch is Which
  •  Snow Job Too Small 
  • The Stoney Glare 
  • Scooby Doo and a Mummy, Too 
  • A Scooby-Doo Halloween
  •  Scoobra-Kadoobra 
  • Scooby in Kwackyland
 
 To Buy - Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Run For YourRife! is avalable for purchase on Sept. 10th 2013,  and retails for $19.98.  But you can get it right now on Amazon for $17.98






I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. 



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9. Loralyn Designs - Close2Home Etsy Feature

Store Feature - Loralyn Designs - http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoralynDesigns

Product - Simple Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace

About -  My name is Laura King, I am a true New England-er being born, raised and still living in Massachusetts, USA . I am thankful to have had a mom that encouraged crafting and creativity from an early age. She taught me the beauty of handmade items from sewing to painting and drawing, gift wrapping, jewelry making, and home decorations. At age 8, I was selling my jewelry door to door (OK, I was selling my fashion plate color drawings too). At 13, my mom invited me to join her in selling my 3D plastic canvas Christmas ornaments. I remember being awestruck by my mom and the fact that she was willing to sell my items next to hers. Funny, I still have a few of those ornaments I put on my tree every year.

I branched out to woodworking and home improvement projects in my 20s. Love my workbench! Now in my late 30s, I have discovered a new passion with metal crafts. Combining all my past experiences and hobbies together is how Loralyn Designs was born.

In April 2012, Loralyn Designs was invited to join The Artisan Group. The private group, founded by Valerie Guerrero, brings talented artists opportunities to design products for celebrities, awards shows and TV shows. Since joining, we have been featured in the guides for the Country Music Awards and the Oscars and had the amazing good fortune to gift Tyra Banks. Our proudest achievement to date is designing a necklace for The Vampire Diaries which was worn by Galen Vaughn, a Vampire Hunter played by Charlie Bewley in episode that aired in February 2013!



Support Handmade - There Simple pendant necklace retails for just $29.99.  Or for those Vampire Hunter lovers out there, that necklace goes for $59.99.





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10. Free Country Girls First Track 3 in 1 Jacket Review

Disclosure - A product was provided to me for review purposes

It may seem a little early to talk about winter coats, but in Utah temperatures are known to drop more than 10 degrees in just a few days, and snow comes as early as October.  Because of this, we always have to make sure we get a good coat when we are Back to School shopping.

One of my favorite style of coats/jackets for kids is the 3 in 1First Track System jacket from Free Country


This jacket is great, because it really is 3 jackets in 1, so is perfect for all different degrees of weather.

For the chilly days, it can be a heavy winter coat.


But when it's not as cold outside, the inside lining actually separates (unzips) from the coat, leaving you with a jacket and a lighter coat. 



The coat also comes with a nice furry lined hood.

As you can tell from the pictures, Kik absolutely loves this coat - especially the plaid jacket part.  She also loves that there are hidden pockets inside her coat when everything is zipped together.

To Buy - I am so glad that Kik is finally big enough to get a Free Country Coat (sizes start at girls and boys 7/8).  My husband and I have bought these coats before, and the quality is excellent.  They last a long time.  They are warm.  And extremely durable.

And the best part is, since it's not coat season, all of the coats on their website are listed at a good price.    Thenormally retails for $100, but is available on their website for just $45.  And some of their other jackets are on sale for as low as $28.





I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



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11. 1st Annual Shopping Extravaganza is coming up 9/14 at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah

If you are looking for something to do in the Salt Lake/ Provo area next Saturday, Sept. 14th, the Outlets at Traverse Mountain are having a fun charity event! And everyone is invited!

The 1st Annual Shopping Extravaganza



When: Saturday Sept 14th, 2013

Registration goes from 10 - 1, and the event runs 10-4.

Where: The Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah

Cost: Tickets for the Event are $15 each.  Everyone that attends the actual event needs a ticket, but ticket price includes lunch, and 100% of ticket proceeds go to local charities.


 Tickets include
  • Lunch and Dessert Bar (Will be available between 11 and 2)
  • Baggage Check
  • Live Entertainment
  • Free Photo Booth
  • 5 free prize tickets (Additional tickets will be available for purchase there, if you want more chances to win)
With the Raffle they have thousands of dollars worth of prizes to give away to attendees,  You don't have to be present to win, but all tickets must be redeemed by Sunday, September 15th at 5:00 pm.  You just have to go to the customer service desk to be find out if your tickets are winners.  

To Buy: Tickets are $15 each.  You can buy them online through the Outlets at Traverse Mountain Web Site, at their customer service desk, or at one of their participating charities.  

Boys and Girls Club of Weber/Davis, Childhelp Wasatch Front Utah Chapter, Friends of the Food and Care Coalition, Habitat for Humanity of Utah County, Kid History Foundation, Make-A-Wish Utah, Project Read, Utah Foster Care Foundation, Yes! Utah Organ Donor Registry, and Youth Making a Difference.




I received tickets to this event from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. 





1 Comments on 1st Annual Shopping Extravaganza is coming up 9/14 at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah, last added: 9/7/2013
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12. Curious George's Town App Review and Gift Pack Giveaway

Disclosure - Product for review and Giveaway provided by company or pr agency.

Because of where Bid is going to preschool, she doesn't actually start till mid-October.  She is bored at home without her sister, so we have been looking at creative ways for her to get a little learning practice.

One of her new favorite things to do is the new Curious George's Town App from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


The Curious George's Town App was designed to teach preschool and kindergarten aged kids smart saving and spending habits.

In the game, there are 6 stations where kids can play mini games.

Library - Kids sort books that begin with a given letter.  This is a fun take on a alphabet matching game.
Towne Square - At the fountain, kids navigate their way through a maze.  They spin a color wheel, and then move to the next available color slot.  Kind of like candy land.


Pet Store - Kids feed hungry animals, and then help a customer buy a pet.
Park - Kids clean up the park by recycling different types of items.
Grocery Store -Kids collect items from the grocery store at checkout.
Bakery - Kids follow color/number directions to bake a cake.  Then they get to decorate and eat it.  My girls love designing so this is by far their favorite game.  Their creations aren't always bakery worthy, but they think they are beautiful. 



The app is designed to be a virtual world where kids can earn virtual game coins.  So at different parts in the mini games they have a chance to collect these coins.  Then with the coins they win, kids can purchase additional items to expand and customize their town.  So far we've bought houses, a camp site, and even dinosaurs.


I really like this, because kids can earn all of the virtual coins they need in game, and you don't have to make any additional purchases.  Also, there is a parents reward center where parents can pick "chores" or things for their kids to do at home, and reward kids up to 3 (free) virtual coins a day for completing these tasks.

Here is what we decided on with Bid.


Bid absolutely loved this game.  The first time we sat down and played, it turned into a family event. She is always excited to play the game and earn coins.  She is also willing to do a little extra here, so she can get rewarded her free virtual coins.

This is a fun virtual world for kids!

To Buy - The Curious George's Town App is available for the iPad and iPhone and retails for just $3.99.  For more info, you can check out the Curious George's Town App on iTunes.

To Win - They are giving away a Curious George Gift Pack to one of you!  Gift pack includes
  • App Download
  • Curious George Builds A Home (or another paperback CG title)
  • Curious George Travel Activity Kit ( A classic book, 3 stories on CD, an activity book, a card game, stickers and double-sided crayons)

To Enter, Complete any of the Rafflecopter Entries on the Form Below.  Open to US - NO PO Boxes.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines.



6 Comments on Curious George's Town App Review and Gift Pack Giveaway, last added: 9/13/2013
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13. Vestigia Fortuna - Close2Home Etsy Feature

Store Feature - Vestigia Fortuna - http://www.etsy.com/shop/VestigiaFortuna


Product - Handmade Jewelry

About - I live in sunny Tel-Aviv, and I am a jewelry designer. I have a small studio in my house where I make my jewelry with much love and enjoinment. I started making jewelry "by accident", when after fixing a necklace I bought, I discovered the feelings of joy that lie in working with my own two hands.

Support Handmade - The Turquoise and Gold Necklace pictured above is just $38.00.  There are also 200 plus other pieces on his site in all different colors and prices.  Also you can get 15% off with code: ONEDAYATATIME

 Have your etsy/home business shop featured here in our Close2Home Friday Weekly Feature!

Clode2Home Fridays

This post is written by the Etsy Shop Owner as part of my Close to Home Feature.  I received nothing for this post.  I am not responsible for the giveaway prize - it is separate from this post and not sponsored by me.






2 Comments on Vestigia Fortuna - Close2Home Etsy Feature, last added: 9/6/2013
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14. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents BUILT TO AMAZE! Utah giveaway and discount code

Just in case you missed when I posted about it a few weeks ago, I wanted to make sure you knew -  

 

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents BUILT TO AMAZE! is Coming To The Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City September 26-30th, 2013!

 
Ringmaster Andre McClain takes the Ringling Bros.®reins accompanied by his horse Comanche, to lead his funny and mischievous circus supervisors to construct a fantastic design of heart-pounding and wondrous performances sure to amaze and thrill audiences.  


The show features  tigers, an elephant dance party,  high-wire acrobats, The Steel Vortex, owns, and even a human cannonball.  

WHEN: Thursday, September 26-30
Thursday, September 26               7:00 PM
Friday, September 27                     3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 28               11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 29                  1:30 PM & 5:30 PM
Monday, September 30                7:00 PM


WHERE:  EnergySolutions Arena
 
To Buy - Tickets are on sale now!  Ticket prices are $20, $25, $45 (VIP), $60 (Front Row) and $90 (Circus Celebrity)

You can also use code MOM to get a discount.  (Good for tickets at $16 and $23 prices at the following shows)
  • Thursday at 7PM
  • Friday at 3:30 PM
  • Saturday at 11:30 AM
  • Sunday at 1:30PM and 5:30 PM

In addition to the regular show, all ticket holders are invited to tour the Animal Open House (opens 90 min before show).  Ticket holders are also invited to an All Access Pre-Show, opening 60 minutes before the show starts on the arena floor!


To Win - We also have a family 4 pack of tickets to give away to one of you.  The tickets are in the form of a voucher that has to be redeemed at the box office, so show date/time is not set.  Tickets are only good at Salt Lake Event, so please don;t enter if you can't attend.

Enter using the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
Disclosure - All Show characters, logos, artwork and photos are copyrighted material 2013 Feld Entertainment. “I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.”  They also provided the giveaway tickets.  Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post.


3 Comments on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents BUILT TO AMAZE! Utah giveaway and discount code, last added: 9/6/2013
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15. JewelrybyBellissima - Close2Home Etsy Feature


Store Feature - JewelrybyBellissima - http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelryByBellissima


Product - Bali Sterling Silver & Swarovski Crystal Bracelet (piece pictured is 159.00)

About - I believe I was born creating. It is simply something I have done since I was a small child. My jewelry is a collaboration of what I see and hear around me, how I am feeling about those things and how I see the world. The bold, rich colors and endless variety of gem stones provides me with endless ways to express my creativity. I only use high quality stones, crystals, gems and clasps so customers will be proud to wear Bellissima Jewelry.

Support Handmade - Products start at just $14.00.  You can also use coupon code BLG15
 



 Have your etsy/home business shop featured here in our Close2Home Friday Weekly Feature!

Clode2Home Fridays

This post is written by the Etsy Shop Owner as part of my Close to Home Feature.  I received nothing for this post.  I am not responsible for the giveaway prize - it is separate from this post and not sponsored by me.





3 Comments on JewelrybyBellissima - Close2Home Etsy Feature, last added: 9/6/2013
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16. Dave Ramsey - Junior's Smart Saver Bank Review and Giveaway

When Kik brought her first day of school info home earlier this week, we found out that in addition to reading, she is required to work on math for a set amount of time every day.  We'll do workbooks, and computer math games, but we also thought it would be a perfect time to introduce her to some of the Dave Ramsey Kids Line of products.

Since she is in 2nd, and will just be learning about money,we think Junior's Smart Saver Bank, might be a perfect fit.



The Smart Saver Bank comes with 3 mini piggy banks with the words, Spend, Save, and Give written on the side. Whenever Kik gets money from now on, we can teach her these core concept while practicing her counting skills.

We have another piggy bank, that is split into multiple sections for the different categories. To get the money out, you open a spot in one of the 4 feet.   I like these smaller banks better, because it's easier to tell where the money goes.  It's also easier to make sure you aren't spending the wrong section.

Even though, my younger kids aren't quite big enough to understand the concept of money, they still love these banks.  Co likes to snort and make them walk around the house.  I didn't want him to lose Kiks money, so I had to hide them for the time being.  Next time Kik gets money, I plan on sneaking them down to her room, and going over the process with her.

To Buy - The Juniors Adventure Bank retails for $19.95, but right now on the website they are on sale for just $14.95. 

To Win - One of my lucky readers will win a Smart Saver Bank.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



17 Comments on Dave Ramsey - Junior's Smart Saver Bank Review and Giveaway, last added: 9/6/2013
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17. Stranded and Trial by Fire Books by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbets - Review and Giveaway

Picture books are a little too easy for Kik now, so If your kids need a little bit older books, check out  the Stranded series from Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbets.



I had heard about the Survivor TV show of course, but I had never actually watched it. So when I first heard about the kids book series, I wasn't sure if they would be my type of book.   But then I read Stranded - the first book in the series - and I was pleasantly surprised.

In Stranded, Vanessa, Buzz, Carter, and Jane find themselves as siblings in a newly blended family.  While the kids parents are honeymooning, the four kids join their uncle on a 5 day boat expedition.  Although, they don't always get along, things are going relatively smoothly, until they get trapped in a big storm.  They end up stranded on a deserted island and have to find a way to work together to survive.

Stranded was full of action, yet still clean and appropriate for kids.  I also liked how it approached the subject of blended families learning to work together despite their differences.


The 2nd book in the Series is called Trial by Fire.  In Trial by Fire there is another big storm, and the kids lose most of their supplies.  The kids have to find a way to survive on the island while also learning to deal with each other.

I like that in this book, the kids actually make a lot of mistakes, and deal with their differences in a realistic way.



To Buy - Both books are great adventure books  geared toward the 8 year old and up market.  I haven't actually had a chance to pick up the 3rd book in the series yet, but that's only because it doesn't come out until November.   The books retail for $6.99, and are available online and in stores wherever books are sold.

To Win - The great people at Penguin are giving away the first two books to one of you!  


a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received the books to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



14 Comments on Stranded and Trial by Fire Books by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbets - Review and Giveaway, last added: 9/6/2013
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18. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents BUILT TO AMAZE! - SLC Tickets are on sale now!

Two years ago, my family and I went to  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for the first time ever.  The next morning I was in the hospital, waiting for my baby boy to arrive.  Ever since then, we've used the circus as kind of an unofficial celebration to my sons birthday.  This year will be no different!


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents BUILT TO AMAZE! is Coming To The Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City September 26-30th, 2013!

Ringmaster Andre McClain takes the Ringling Bros.®reins accompanied by his horse Comanche, to lead his funny and mischievous circus supervisors to construct a fantastic design of heart-pounding and wondrous performances sure to amaze and thrill audiences.  

The show features  tigers, an elephant dance party,  high-wire acrobats, The Steel Vortex, owns, and even a human cannonball.  



WHEN: Thursday, September 26-30
Thursday, September 26               7:00 PM
Friday, September 27                     3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 28               11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 29                  1:30 PM & 5:30 PM
Monday, September 30                7:00 PM



WHERE:               EnergySolutions Arena

To Buy - Tickets are on sale now!  Ticket prices are $20, $25, $45 (VIP), $60 (Front Row) and $90 (Circus Celebrity)

In addition to the regular show, all ticket holders are invited to tour the Animal Open House (opens 90 min before show).  Ticket holders are also invited to anAll Access Pre-Show, opening 60 minutes before the show starts on the arena floor!


Disclosure - All Show characters, logos, artwork and photos are copyrighted material 2013 Feld Entertainment. “I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.” Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post.



1 Comments on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents BUILT TO AMAZE! - SLC Tickets are on sale now!, last added: 9/6/2013
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19. Room on the Broom Book and DVD Review and Giveaway

Today is the first day of school. Today our life will go from waking up late to rushed mornings, and from family movie night to early bed times and homework.

Luckily Kik loves school and always does well with the transition.  She loves telling us what she is learning about, and always wants us to expand on different subjects.  I know that this is not always usually the case.  So when I was planning the back to school event I decided that I wanted to include products that make home learning a little more fun.

First up is reading.   When Kik was in kindergarten she had  to read 15 minutes every night.  Then in first grade, it was bumped up to 20 minutes.  Finding interesting books that were at an appropriate level, was actually a really difficult thing.

In Kindergarten it was all about fun picture books that made her laugh.  Room on the Broom from  Dial Books (an Imprint of Penguin Books) fits this description perfectly.


Room on the Broom (written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler) is about a witch, but it's not a traditional Halloween story.  In Room on the Broom, a witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick - until the witch drops her hat, her broom, and her wand.  With each item she drops, the witch finds a new friend that wants to go along for the ride.  The witch is happy to make room on her broomstick, but the cat...not so much.  But when the witch is threatened by a dragon, the cat learns that friends are important, and all the animals team up to save the day.

In addition to the book, there is also a movie version that was released on August 6th from Magic Light Pictures and NCircle Entertainment.  The film uses CGI Animation to bring the story to life, and they did a great job.  Here are a few pictures of my kids the first time they sat down to watch the film.




My kids love the book, but as you can see above, it has also became one of their favorite movies.  Co will bring me the case repeatedly until I put it on.  Witches are Bid's favorite things ever, so she would happily watch it all day.  And Kik loves to read along with the movie. 

They love it so much, that they have decided that we are all going to be witches for Halloween.

To Buy - The hardcover book retails for $16.99, and is available wherever books are sold.  The DVD has a SRP of $9.99, and is available at Target, Walmart, Toys”R”Us, amazon.com, Kmart, and many other retailer.

 To Win - They are giving away a copy of the DVD to one of you!

To enter complete any of the entries on the rafflecopter form below.  Open to US.  NO PO Boxes


a Rafflecopter giveaway 

I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



11 Comments on Room on the Broom Book and DVD Review and Giveaway, last added: 9/6/2013
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20. Jeanpatchbymk - Close2Home Etsy Feature plus a 10% discount

Store Feature - Jeanpatchbymk - http://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanpatchbymk


Product - Beeswax Candles & Tarts

About - Keep several of my "Emergency" Candles around the house on shelves so the next time the power goes out you can go right to them open up the cute lid and what do you find a set of matches too! Not only will you have instant light you'll have a warm glow that will quiet your nerves and relax you as well as a sweet light aroma!


I buy my natural beeswax from a local farm in my area. ♥ I used a cute dog bone shape mold and include 5 oz. of wax tarts with this listing. When heated they give off a very strong natural smelling fragrance. Unlike the artificial scents that you will find in all soy or wax tarts, these are naturally scented. Save your health and your lungs by using only naturally scented products.

Support Handmade - Each tin is 2 oz. and comes with a candle mat made by my loving little hands just for you to enjoy! Eco-friendly wicks!
Mat Measures 6x8 inches.
$14.00

Use fun10 for 10% off

  Have your etsy/home business shop featured here in our Close2Home Friday Weekly Feature!

Clode2Home Fridays

This post is written by the Etsy Shop Owner as part of my Close to Home Feature.  I received nothing for this post.  I am not responsible for the giveaway prize - it is separate from this post and not sponsored by me.




2 Comments on Jeanpatchbymk - Close2Home Etsy Feature plus a 10% discount, last added: 9/6/2013
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21. Terracycle - Review and Capri Sun Lunch Box Giveaway

Kik has been so funny with what she wants this school year.  She wants her stuff to be cool and fun, but still unique.  In the past, we've been able to find all of her school stuff in one place, but this year she wants to stand out.

A great place to look for fun and unique products is Terracycle.com.

At Terracylce they take old products like juice, chips, and candy bar wrappers, and upcycle them into fun new products.

This year they offered me a chance to do a review and giveaway of some of their back to school products.  I was excited to see what they had to offer.  They sent a cliff kids backpack, a kool-aid pencil case, and a hard bound m&m's notebook.


The first thing I noticed was how bright the bag is.  The colors are definitely in style, and Kik loved it.  The bags on the Terracycle website come in all different colors, styles, and sizes. 

Unfortunately, she likes to carry around various hats, gloves, water bottles, a couple of books etc. so this particular backpack is a little on the small side for her.  Bid will just have papers, folders, and artwork from her preschool class, so it will probably soon be hers.

Also pictured above is the pencil case.   This is a great pencil case for Kik.  It's the perfect size for her to carry around all of the art supplies she has.

Besides the pencil case, and backpack, they also sent an m&m's notebook.  Picture this, but brown with the m&m's logo.  I can't take a picture of it because it has been claimed by my husband and is not at home.
The cover is thick and durable - like really durable.  With little kids, most notebooks get ripped accidentally.  Even if they tried, I don't know how they could ruin it.  They really are my favorite notebooks ever.

To Buy - TerraCycle Products can be purchased at a variety of major retailers in store as well as online at DwellSmart.com and other online retailers.  Also Terracycle makes a variety of outdoor/ gardening items including fertilizer!
To Join - If you would like to help make Terracycle Products a reality, all you have to do is select your waste and start collecting!  Check out the Terracycle website for more info!


To Win - Terracycle is giving away a Capri Sun Lunch Box/Cooler to one of you!

 

To Enter complete any of the entries on the rafflecopter form below.  Open to US No PO Boxes.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



21 Comments on Terracycle - Review and Capri Sun Lunch Box Giveaway, last added: 9/6/2013
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22. Crayola “Get Out and Create” Review and Giveaway

When we buy school supplies, I like to buy Kik quality products, that will last through the year.  Since she's in elementary school, that usually just means the basics - pencils, markers, crayons, etc.  For older kids it also usually means some kind of small notebook to keep track of assignments and projects.  When I was in school 10++ years ago, I always had some kind of colored pens or fun paper to keep track of things on.  Homework just seemed more fun that way.  I would have loved these.



Even though Bid doesn't go to school yet, this year she wanted her own set of school supplies.  So when Crayola offered me to do a review and giveaway of their “Get Out and Create” packs, I thought they sounded perfect for her.

The Crayola gift pack included the Washable Sidewalk Chalk,  the Color Wonder Mini Stow and Go, and the Color Wonder Mess-Free Glitter Paper and Markers.

The Washable Sidewalk Chalk is great.  It features 48 of the classic crayola colors, just in chalk form.  The colors are bright, vibrant, and they really stand out against the cement.



My very favorite thing about the chalk is that it's washable.  We've had a few different brands of chalk in the past, and they are not all equal.  As you can see Co does a little squat when he is coloring, and even though I watch him he ends up with chalk on his bum.  A few other brands have stained my kids clothes in the past, but so far this year their clothes are all chalk free. 

The Color Wonder Mini Stow and Go, and the Color Wonder Mess-Free Glitter Paper and Markers, are both kind of similar ideas.  On both, kids can draw mess free with no marker smudges all over their body.  As you can see in this picture, open marker and no mess.



The Mini Stow and Go features a small travel case, a 15 page mini coloring pad, and 3 markers.  The case is cool because the inside has compartments that hold the markers in place, and the outside doubles as a coloring surface.  Plus it's small and easily portable.

The Color Wonder Mess-Free Glitter Paper is exactly what it says it is - glittery.



Unlike most glittery objects, the glitter effects are actually in the paper.  Which makes me happy, because real glitter sticks to everything.

To Buy - For more info you can find Crayola on Facebook and Crayola on Twitter.

To Win - Crayola is also giving away the same gift pack to one of you!


To Enter complete any of the entries on the rafflecopter form below.   Open to US NO Po Boxes.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

"The Crayola product, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Crayola.” Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



19 Comments on Crayola “Get Out and Create” Review and Giveaway, last added: 9/6/2013
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23. Make the First Day of School Special with Hallmark - Review and Giveaway.

Disclosure - Review & Giveaway Products provided by Hallmark

School starts in exactly one week.  I like having my kids at home for the summer, but it's nice to have them gone because I can get back to a routine.  Over the last two weeks, we've been hurrying to go shopping and get everything ready for the school year.  

Even though she's only 7, Kik is definitely a fashionista and knows exactly how she wants to look on that first day of school - poofy pink skirt, boots, a levi vest, and a cowboy hat.  She can't wear the hat to school, but she wants it anyway.

When I was younger, first day outfits were very thought out, but now I don't have a clue of what I wore.  Because of this, I like to take a picture of my kids on the first day of school.  Usually I have them showing off their outfit and holding a sign  I wrote that states what grade they are going in to.  Sadly, my signs struggle and they are written on computer paper.

This year Hallmark has improved my idea a million fold with their Pics N Props School Days Activity Kit


The Kit comes with a small chalkboard perfect for your kids to hold in pictures.  With the chalkboard, you can make your own school year sign, or use one of the included inserts.


Also with the chalkboard, comes a small scrapbook, and little journal pages for your kids to record their feelings.  The kit has inserts and journal pages for preschool - graduation, so it has the ability to evolve with your kids.


Also for the first day of school is Hallmark's Back to School line of cards.

· SO SO Happy™ Greetings: These cards are fun.  They feature a variety of fun kid centered monster characters and teach positivity, acceptance and love.  The cards even include fun surprises for kids
 like shoelaces, key chains bracelets, etc.



· Kids Encouragement Greetings: Sometimes school can be daunting and kids need a confidence boost. These cards are designed to help little ones know that they are being thought of, and that they are loved.


· Back-to-School Greetings: Animal Themed Back to School Greetings


To Buy - Products can be brought in store and online.  The school days kit retails for $29.95 and is a Hallmark Gold Crown Exclusive.

To Win - Hallmark is giving a “Making Memories & Encouraging Kids” gift pack to one of you. The gift pack will include a Pics ‘n’ Props School Days Activity Kit and a selection of the greeting cards. -

To Enter, complete any of the entries on the Rafflecopter below (Open US)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines



18 Comments on Make the First Day of School Special with Hallmark - Review and Giveaway., last added: 9/6/2013
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24. TealsJewels - Close2Home Etsy Feature

Store Feature - TealsJewels - http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/TealsJewels


 Product - Jewelry

About - I have been doing beading since I was 10. I restarted about two months ago... and intend to add more items shortly. But at present it is just jewelry.

Support Handmade -  Prices range from $8 to $30!

 Have your etsy/home business shop featured here in our Close2Home Friday Weekly Feature!

Clode2Home Fridays

This post is written by the Etsy Shop Owner as part of my Close to Home Feature.  I received nothing for this post.  I am not responsible for the giveaway prize - it is separate from this post and not sponsored by me.




1 Comments on TealsJewels - Close2Home Etsy Feature, last added: 9/6/2013
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25. Favorite Part of Summer - Good Humor, Klondike, Magnum, Breyers, Fruttare, Popsicle

I don't know if you know this about me, but my husband and I are seriously ice cream fanatics.  I've eaten it almost every day for the last two plus years.  We usually have at least two kinds in our fridge, plus some type of Popsicles.  

Because of this - or maybe as a side effect of this - one of my favorite posts to do every year, is an ice cream post brought to you by my friends at Unilever.  I can't tell you how happy I am, when I get those free coupons in the mail, that allow me to try out the latest and greatest.  My choices this year -



Good Humor PB eggs - These were amazing.  They really tasted almost exactly like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups - just more creamy and melt in your mouth delicious.



Klondike Rocky Road - I'm usually just a strict chocolate girl, but you can't go wrong adding creamy marshmallows.



Magnum Double Chocolate - These are my absolute favorite.  The Magnum bars are rich chocolate syrup sandwiched in between 2 creamy chocolate shells, with chocolate ice cream in middle.

And because I wanted to play fair I let my husband and girls pick the rest.

Breyers Strawberry Waffle Cone - This is one of the newest flavors in Breyers Blasts.   Each flavor features Breyers Ice Cream with mix ins of popular candy and cookie brands - such as Mrs. Fields, Snickers and Whoopers.  The Strawberry Waffle Cone features strawberry ice cream chunks of sweet, fudge-covered waffle cone and a strawberry swirl.


Fruttare Strawberry -  I thought it would be icy like a lot of other fruit bars are, but there was no iciness.  If you took a tasty strawberry smoothie and put it on a stick you would have this Fruttare bar.  As soon as our current supply is gone, my husband wants to try the peaches with milk variety.





Popsicle Hello Kitty -This one was obviously my girls choice.  Just the fact that they are hello kitty makes the Popsicles tastier in their eyes.  The flavors are cherry, watermelon, berry, grape and they all come in fun shapes. 





I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. 



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