Monday, June 30, 2014

RadioShack FREEdom Offers June 29 to July 12

I received no product or compensation for this post. This post is in partnership with PR firm. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

In honor of Independence Day, RadioShack and RadioShack.com will be offering free gift with purchase on select items from June 29 to July 12. Also, as a special thanks to troops for their service, military personnel, active and reserve, will get 10 percent off store-wide when they show military ID.


Wear your national pride with red, white and blue interchangeable SOL REPUBLIC Tracks or Tracks HD Headphones! FREEdom offer: get a FREE SOL REPUBLIC color headband, a $29.00 value when you purchase a pair of SOL REPUBLIC Tracks or Tracks HD Headphones!

Set the tone of your Independence Day bash with the Motorola Moto Stream and set your music free by turning your receiver, portable speaker or dock into a Bluetooth-enabled device. Heist Mode connects up to five devices with tap to pair NFC and 300-ft. range on a Bluetooth connection. Best of all, it's universally compatible with all Bluetooth devices, so anyone can jump in and drop a track for all to hear. FREEdom offer: get $10 off + $20 Virtual Visa for online-only purchases.

- Buy: GS5 GET: Free 8 MB Memory and portable power bank, a $49.98 value

- Buy: GS 4 GET: Free Flip Cover, a $39.99 value (IN-STORE ONLY; no RS.com availability)

- Buy: 7" Kindle Fire GET: Free Stylus (IN-STORE ONLY; no RS.com availability)

- Buy: Sprint Framily referrals GET: $75 prepaid VISA card

Scenario: You are on Sprint and have a Framily plan. You want to add your cousin onto your plan. You refer your cousin to join your framily plan so you get a better discount. Your cousin activates a new line of service with Sprint on your framily plan. Then you mail off to get a $75 Visa for referring your cousin to join your Framily.

- Buy: Sprint Framily Plan GET: Free Spotify Premium for 6 months, a $59.94 value

- Buy: SOL REPUBLIC Tracks or Tracks HD headphones GET: Free SOL REPUBLIC color headband, a $29.99 value

- Buy: 1 Graphic T-shirt from the collection Get: Free Graphic T-shirt, a $10 value IN STORE ONLY

- Buy: Select Boost Mobile no contract phones GET: Free JBL Micro II speaker, a $39.99 value

- Buy: Netgear Wireless Router GET: Free $20 RadioShack gift card

- Buy: 36 pack batteries (AA or AAA) GET: Free 4pack LED Flashlights $12.99 value

- Buy: New Moto Stream GET: $10 off + $20 Virtual Visa for online-only purchases (Visa sends you an email with a card number and security code)

Monday-only offers, 6/30:

- Buy: 16 GB iPod Touch GET: Free $50 RadioShack gift card

- Buy: RC Wasp Indoor helicopter $24.99; regular $49.99, save 25%

- Buy: Toshiba Canvio 2 TB portable hard drive $99.99; regular $129.99

Friday, June 27, 2014

J-Animals - Wearable Stuffed Animal Review

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

It's a stuffed animal! It's pajamas! It's both! J-animals are wearable stuffed animals that transform from animal to pajamas.

Available in five animals - giraffe, cat, zebra, dog, unicorn - J-animals are the latest, cuddliest plush playthings. Initially introduced as “As Seen on TV” hits, they will be available at major national retailers this June.


Emma received J-Animals in the giraffe design and was instantly intrigued. The J-Animals in its package looks like a rounded stuffed animal. A small zippered section on the animal is what keeps the pajamas stuffed and hidden. The pajamas come out when you unzip the stuffed animal and pull out the pajamas from the insides. You need to straighten the pajamas out because they're bunched up into a ball. After the pajamas are pulled out, they're ready for wear. The head of the stuffed animal is actually the hood for the pajamas.

When you're done wearing the pajamas, you can stuff them back into the insides of the zippered pouch and it becomes a stuffed animal again. It's a really innovative idea, actually.
J-Animals come in three sizes - small, medium, and large. Emma has a medium sized pair of J-Animals and they fit her fairly well. If she grows much taller, they won't fit because they're right now just the right size for her height. The width of material provides plenty of comfort without being too snug.

I have yet to wash or clean Emma's J-Animals so I don't know how well they fare through several cleanings. The material itself is soft and flexible during wear. Emma uses her J-Animals more as pajamas than as a stuffed animal. She likes the quirky look and has fun in "giraffe" character.


Rio 2 - #Rio2Insiders Blu-ray Giveaway

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Get ready to shake your tail feathers! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment takes you deep into the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest for the most fun you’ll have all summer, as RIO 2 debuts on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD July 15. Just in time for summer vacation, this “hilarious family adventure” (Jeff Craig, Sixty Second Preview) will samba its way into your home with exciting bonus features and extras everyone will enjoy. Projected to eclipse more than $490 million worldwide at the box office, the animated hit is the must-own family title of the season.

The cast of the animated hit comedy Rio returns — along with a new flock of all-star voice talent, including Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia and more — in this high-flying sequel for the whole family. The party continues when Blu (Oscar® nominee Jesse Eisenberg1), Jewel (Oscar® winner Anne Hathaway2) and their three kids take a walk on the wild side and embark on a colorful, comical, music-filled journey through the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit into his new surroundings, he goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law!

The RIO 2 Blu-ray™ and DVD brings everything you loved from the first Rio, but with even more laughs, excitement and music! Not only will kids get nearly an hour and a half of bonus features on the RIO 2 Blu-ray™, but they’ll also get their groove on with two downloadable bonus songs from the RIO 2 soundtrack: “I Will Survive” and “Poisonous Love,” both performed by Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) and Nigel (Jemaine Clement). For even more fun, every Blu-ray™ comes with 15 exclusive levels for Angry Birds Rio™ and Music Machine Sing-Along and Dance-Along songs for a whole family party! There’s also Janelle Monáe’s “What is Love” lyric video, a deleted scene, character auditions and much more!


Win It!

One person will win a Rio 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrate Summer's Biggest Party With the #Rio2SummerTour

I received no product or compensation for this post. This post is in partnership with PR firm. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

JOIN THE SUMMER’S BIGGEST PARTY AS TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF THE AMAZON TO YOUR HOMETOWN

Families will have plenty of reason to shake a tail feather down to the tour; it’s full of interactive activities for all ages including portable viewing stations to watch soccer games, live from Rio; screenings of RIO 2; Samba performances and lessons; customizable Carnival masks; soccer challenges, and much more! All guests can also turn their fun into a global sensation by joining a cross country karaoke from the party via the sing- and dance-along photo booth.

Summer Party Tour Schedule

Mon. 6/30 New York, NY South Street Seaport 12 - 6:30 pm

Tues. 7/1 Philadelphia, PA Franklin Square 12 - 6:30 pm

Sat. 7/5 Atlanta, GA Mall of Georgia 12 - 6:30 pm

Tues. 7/8 Cincinatti, OH Smale Field 1 - 6 pm

Wed. 7/9 Chicago, IL Kohl Children's Museum 1:30 - 6:30 pm

Sat. 7/12 St. Louis, MO St. Louis Galleria 1 - 6 pm

Mon. 7/14 Dallas, TX The Parks at Arlington 12 - 5 pm

Fri. 7/18 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood & Highland Center 12 - 5 pm

Will you be attending any of the events for the Rio 2 Summer Tour?

Final Winners For June

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn via Random.org. The winners have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of the Rebook Spartan Race giveaway is #6, Seth.

The winner of the Fifth Avenue Trilogy giveaway is #20, Sadie.

The winner of the Softsoap Body Wash giveaway is #4, TemporaryWaffle.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Be sure to check out my current active giveaways, all listed at the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Domino’s Pizza® to Offer Free Pizza for a Year through Social Media Giveaway

This post contains a referral link. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

The only thing better than a chance at free pizza, is a chance at free pizza for a year! Domino’s is partnering with Quikly, a Detroit startup, for a fun new kind of giveaway designed to surprise Domino’s fans. Fans can register for the giveaway, and fans who have registered will receive a text message or email with a link to the giveaway site – the faster fans click through, the better their reward will be. Domino’s will be giving one lucky recipient free pizza for a year! In addition, they’ll give more than $100,000 in e-gift cards to 50,000 other fans. To join in the giveaway, customers should visit Domino’s Facebook or Twitter page and click on the link to register.

Customers can share details of the giveaway with their friends through Facebook, Twitter and email for a chance to receive a “heads up” notice of when the Quikly offering will go live. The “heads up” notice will be awarded to those customers whose friends also register for the giveaway.

The promotion will go live sometime before July 11th, so get ready to move fast! Once it starts it's first come, first serve and the biggest rewards go first. This Domino's Fan Perk is limited to the first 150,000 participants, so make sure to opt-in now!

Battroborg - Motion Controlled Battling Robots Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Being teens, there's not a lot of "toys" my boys play with anymore. Although they refuse to classify it as a toy, Logan and Adam have a heyday when battling it out with Battroborg. My husband and I have even put our battling skills to the test.

Battroborgs are motion controlled battling robots built for combat and controlled with wireless controllers. There are three available modes of play - Combat, Tag, and Autodrone. Battroborg’s advanced radio control technology also allows players to host a Battle Royal where up to 20 robots can battle at one time. The 3-in-1 Battle Arena, which we received, includes two robots, two controllers, four training drones, sticker sheets, and arena with ropes.

Initial set-up of the arena and robots is fairly easy. Instructions are easy to follow and assembly doesn't require a lot of effort. Batteries are needed for the controllers and they're not included. Robots are charged by plugging the controller onto the backside of the robot. The controller is removed from a robot after charge. Full charge time equals twenty minutes of play time.

Much like what a popular gaming system uses, the robots are controlled with a wireless nunchaku controller. A person makes the robots move by motioning the controller to the left or right, up and down. My hubby quickly learned that wildly waving the controller around does not make a Battroborg punch any harder. There's no need to overexert yourself.

Little lights on top of the robot indicate damage level. There are five different colored damage indicators. Green is good; flashing red is bad. With the 3-in-1 Battle Arenea, having the ropes configured down the center allow for closer proximity of the robots. You have to be careful when repositioning the ropes, but you can do so in order to allow smaller or larger space within the arena.
The only technicality we have yet to overcome with Battroborgs is getting them to fully rotate or turn. The robots do not go backwards, which is sometimes frustrating. Other than that, Battroborg has provided my family (especially the guys) lots of competitive fun and action.

Get Healthy-Looking Hands With Skyy Hadley's At-Home Remedy

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Just because the warm weather is here, that doesn’t mean our hands are safe from flakiness and dehydration. We have to be extra careful not to let our hands dry up from the high temperatures, low humidity, constant washing of hands, and sun exposure. Below is a quick at-home remedy to combat dry, summer hands from celebrity manicurist and owner of As U Wish Nail Spa, Skyy Hadley!

Skyy Hadley’s Luxury Rejuvenating Hot Cream At-Home Hand Treatment

· Remove all nail polish with a gentle polish remover

· Begin by sloughing off dead and dry skin from palms and backs of hands with a homemade sugar scrub (salt scrubs can be drying or irritating):

o Mix sugar, a few drops of vegetable glycerin and an uplifting essential oil like peppermint or rosemary in a medium-sized bowl.

· Gently rub hands together to scrub away dullness. Remove scrub with a warm wet cloth.

· Do NOT soak fingers in water, as doing so will actually draw the moisture OUT of your skin.

· Instead, heat up 2 plastic baggies full of a thick, luxurious cream and add a few drops of an invigorating essential oil such as tangerine, ylang ylang, or chamomile.

· Heat until very warm but not too hot, then place hands in bags for about 2 minutes, allowing moisture to penetrate the skin.

· Remove hands from bag and massage cream into skin, wiping off any excess.

· Your hands should instantly feel smooth and look radiant!

New Series 'Married at First Sight' Premieres July 8th

I received no product or compensation for this post. This post is in partnership with PR firm. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
It's not something my husband hasn't already heard, but I was not in love with him at first sight...or second or third. In fact, I just wasn't interested. I was not looking to be in a relationship and I wasn't impressed with Jason's behavior. If it wasn't for his persistence, I wouldn't be with him now. Thankfully, he was tireless in his efforts and we've been together for over 12 years.

FYI, the new "one stop shop" network for all lifestyle programming will be premiering 'Married at First Sight' on July 8th at 9p ET/10p PT. The show is an extreme social experiment following six brave souls who are yearning for a life-long partnership as they agree to a provocative proposal: getting legally married the moment they first meet. Four specialists- a sexologist, spiritualist, psychologist, and sociologist- will create what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will never meet or know each other until they walk down the aisle and see each other face to face, for the first time, when they get married. Each episode of Married at First Sight will follow the classic lifestyle stories of newlyweds- from the honeymoon to early nesting to other relatable events of married life. After several weeks together, each couple must make a decision: do they remain together or decide to separate?

Here is a trailer so you can see what the show is all about:



Sounds like an interesting show! I'll be tuning in.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Would you marry someone based on blind faith, without knowing who they are or what they look like?

Monday, June 23, 2014

MoGo Sport - Flavored Mouthguards Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

I'm a referee for the local roller derby team and my oldest daughter very recently joined as well. We are required to wear full safety gear, including mouthguards. I've purchased and used two brands of mouthguards in the past. One I liked real well. The other I threw away immediately after first-time use. I recently received two mouthguards from MoGo Sport, and Shelby and I put them to the test.

The M1 MoGo Sport Mouthguard currently comes in six flavors: Bubble Gum, Blue Raspberry, Mint, Orange, Fruit Punch and Lemon, two styles (black or clear) and two sizes (adult or youth). I received two adult size mouthguards, one in orange flavor and one in lemon. Every MoGo mouthguard comes with a quick release tether, but I have not used the tether during roller derby.

When I first received the MoGo Sport Mouthguards I made the rookie mistake of instantly inserting one in my mouth and going from there. Such is not the case. MoGo mouthguards need to be softened and molded to better fit a person's individual mouth. This is done by submerging the mouthguards in hot water, then into a glass of room temperature water. Once those steps are finished, the mouthguard is molded by lining it up with the center of your teeth and biting down. There are complete instructions included on how to mold the mouthguard and they are easy to follow. Once I properly molded the mouthguard to my teeth, it fit well and felt like it provided ample coverage.

MoGo Sport Mouthguards get their flavor from a revolutionary technology that allows MoGo to place any flavor into plastic. The flavor is not coated or sprayed on the plastic; it is impregnated into the plastic and the flavor lasts for nearly the life of the product. A flavored mouthguard (especially one with good taste) sure beats wearing a "plain Jane" mouthguard.

I've been wearing the lemon MoGo and Shelby's been using the orange one. I'll take her word that the orange one has a nice flavor. (No swapping of spit here!)

No mouthguard in the world is good, regardless of flavors, if it doesn't protect. Both Shelby and I feel confident that our chompers are well protected with MoGo while we play roller derby.
Do you or your child play sports that require mouthguards? Which flavor MoGo mouthguard would you like best?

Delightful Discounts and Deals #23

This post contains referral and affiliate links. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
http://www.iseeme.com/

Once in a while I will compose a list of discounts, deals, coupons, and sweepstakes that I feel will be of interest to my readers. Here's the latest I've come across:

I See Me has launched their Summer Reading Sweepstakes through August 31. A grand prize winner will receive a $250 Visa gift card plus 5 personalized storybooks from the I See Me line of books. Twenty five other winners will win a personalized coloring book. The entry is as easy as entering your name and email address – that’s it!

I See Me is also offering FREE SHIPPING June 24th to July 7th. Just enter coupon code BUZZ to get free standard US shipping on ISeeMe.com through 7/7/14.

Easy to take on-the-go with a hands-free application, Puracyn® Wound and Skin Care is your go-to first step in first aid treatment for cleaning and healing wounds, including cuts, abrasions, irritations, and lacerations. From June 21st until 12:00 pm ET Thursday, July 24th, enter the Puracyn® Favorite Summer Firsts Giveaway for your chance to win one of four fantastic summer first prize packages for your first summer backyard bash, your first summer splash, your first summer outdoor adventure, or your first summer road trip. One winner will be randomly selected each Thursday July 3rd through July 24th.

Sea-Band® Mama Anti-Nausea Wrist Bands and Sea-Band® Mama Ginger Lozenges are essential to pregnant women for drug-free morning sickness relief. Enter the Sea-Band® Mama New Mommy Sweepstakes to win other essentials for you or baby! Six winners will each win a $250 gift card (to CVS or Target, where you can also find our new Sea-Band® Mama line), along with an adorable Petunia Pickle Bottom designer diaper bag to tote around all of your little one's essentials! Winners will be announced on the 15th and 30th of each month (June through August).

Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit - #BugWisdom Giveaway

I received product in exchange for this post. This post is in partnership with PR firm. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ. This post contains embedded widgets.



When life hands you dung, just roll with it.

At Orkin, they never stop learning. Their new “Bug Wisdom” video series is a reminder that some of life’s biggest lessons come from small places. Bugs are smart, curious creatures – we humans can learn a lot from their ways.

Take the “What’s YOUR Spirit Bug?” Quiz on The Orkin Bug Wisdom App and find out which smart, curious creature you are most like. You can also click through all the GIFs and soak in every nugget of wisdom that these bugs have to offer.

The Orkin Man always knows what to look for when he shows up at your home. If you want to get exploration down to a science, be sure and enter to win Orkin’s Backyard Explorers Kit!



Win It!

One person will win an Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit that includes:
- The Orkin 9-Page Activity Bug Book
- Orkin Bugview Bug Catching Tool and Magnifier
- Red/Black Summer Wayfarer Sunglasses

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA. Each household is only eligible to win 1 Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 22, 2014

U.S. Cellular Helping Parents and Children Come To Agreement - #HelloBetter

I received compensation for this post. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

A recent U.S. Cellular survey found 39 percent of parents say they wish their children would talk to them instead of texting/emails or instant messaging them. I belong to that percentage.

I'm okay with my children texting or instant messaging me if the need warrants but I'm adamant that they don't depend on their computer or phone to relay every message they want to convey. I'm all for technology and the abundance of information that it affords but I also cherish good, quality time.

In another recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents indicated that 13 was an appropriate age for a child to receive their first mobile phone, whereas five years ago this age was 15. With how busy our lives are, I have to also agree with this concensus. Even though I prefer my kids to talk to me face-to-face if they are able to, there have been several times that a mobile phone has come in handy when getting a hold of them. Our youngest child is 12 years old and just got her first cell phone within the last few months. She's a busy girl and I like that I can get a hold of her to discuss extracurriculars and schedules.

For parents who have just purchased a new mobile device for their child, U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips to help ensure their children’s usage is both safe and courteous:

Establish guidelines: According to the U.S. Cellular Better Moments survey, 72% of families have rules regarding child’s cell phone use. To help make this conversation as easy as possible for all parents, U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement provides customizable suggestions on safety and etiquette that focus on creating better moments within families. The intention is to make this work for each individual family, and to show how technology can enhance time spent together as a family.

Set up their phone: Take the time to set up your child’s phone to ensure they only have access to phone features and apps that are appropriate for their age. The U.S. Cellular Family Protector App provides safety and security by allowing parents to block websites, restrict the downloading of applications, and more.

Monitor usage: Regularly checking in on your child’s mobile phone usage can ensure they are using their phone safely and responsibly. The Family Protector app allows parents to monitor call content including text messages, contacts and call history. It can also set schedules for usage to ensure children are not using their device at school and can also set time limits for using the internet once home.

Last year I went through U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement with five of my children. Although they have each had a phone for a while, I printed out a Parent-Child Agreement and went over it with them. I already had rules in place for their cell phone use, but the Parent-Child Agreement opened up new conversations and messages, as well as gave me the opportunity to go over what rules we've discussed in the past. Each kid signed the agreement after we discussed it. The same scenario took place when Emma got her cell phone a few months ago.

U.S. Cellular will offer free Device Workshops in July that focus on this very topic. At the workshops, U.S. Cellular associates will offer families tips on setting phone guidelines and share suggestions to help with the decision of getting their child their first cell phone. For a list of Device Workshops in your area, visit www.uscellular.com/events.

Disclaimer: Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.
What age do you think is appropriate for a child to get their first mobile phone? I encourage you to print out and go over the Parent-Child Agreement with your kids. It will set up some ground rules and open up discussion.

Thymes Aqua Coralline Hand Cream - Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
Thymes is a company known for bath, body and home fragrances. Until recently, I'd never heard of the company. I still don't know a lot about the brand or its association because the Thymes website doesn't divulge a lot of information. I will, however, say that I really like the one product I recently tried from the company, the Thymes Aqua Coralline Hand Cream.

Aqua Corraline is a new fragrance out of the many that's offered. The scent is made with notes of pure water lily, dewy white cyclamen, crisp driftwood, tart yuzu, lemon pulp and Hinoki wood. I liken it to the smell of the sea and floral tones.

Thymes Aqua Coralline Hand Cream has an amazing silky feeling after application. For real, it makes my hands feel like they've been embedded in silk. I probably overuse the hand cream because I like it so well. The cream itself is white in color and isn't goopy, gloppy, or greasy. Although its main purpose is for use on the hands, I've used the cream on my feet and elbows as well. This cream rates at the top of my list in terms of fragrance and feel.

Have you ever purchased or used Thymes products? What's your opinion of them?

Baby's First Book Blocks - Review

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
I don't have little ones in my household and I'm definitely not expecting. That era came and went for me. But this seems to be the year of babies. I know several females that are due with child this year. That means I'm on the lookout for items that will make great gifts for baby showers.

Author Dan Stiles has fabricated Baby's First Book Blocks, a set of mini board books designed to help babies develop visual acuity and encourage blooming motor skills. After reviewing the book blocks, I'm sure they'd be a wonderful gift for baby.

Featuring bold colors, diverse shapes and intricate patterns, these compact little books offer a prime opportunity to interact with even the youngest babies. There are four book blocks in the set, which each book centered around a theme. One book shows black and white shapes. Another features red, blue and yellow shapes. The other two books have more complex patterns, shades, and colors. The books are small enough for a small child to easily grasp with their hands, and they can be stacked to resemble blocks.

I feel it's important to visually stimulate a child's mind and Baby's First Book Blocks provide that incitement.

Friday, June 20, 2014

All Smarts Aside, I Took the Truck For A Ride


Last Friday I put on my big girl panties and participated in Tough Trucks during the Monster Truck show at the local raceaways. The Tough Trucks part of the event is where local drivers bring out their rides and take them to the track, doing doughnuts and going over high jumps. I was the first female ever to participate in Tough Trucks at the local track. Although I didn't do bad, I didn't win. However, I can still say I gave it a go and set precedence for other chicks to show they can run just as well as the guys.


Although I can firsthand say that Chevy Trailblazers know how to romp it in the mud, my hubby didn't care for me using my everyday vehicle when I had a hankering to go muddin' so he bought me the big blue truck a couple months ago for that purpose. I'd never driven the blue truck until the day of Tough Trucks so I wasn't quite sure how it'd all work out, but 'Big Blue' didn't disappoint. The thing ain't pretty but it knows how to go.


A cute little field mouse, who I appropriately named Mr. Jingles, hung out next to me in the pits the entire time. I almost considered letting the little guy go for a ride on the track with me. Almost.

Being a Tough Truck driver and in the pits allowed me the opportunity to see a lot of the Monster Trucks up close. Big Foot, La Chica Loca, and Ghost Ryder were three of the six Monster Trucks at the track to entertain the crowd. (I'd tell you the other three but I can't remember their names.)

It would have bee nice to bring home a cash prize for placing in the top but even better than that was the adrenaline rush from taking the blue beast on wheels out on the track. I totally plan on doing it again at the next event (which I believe is in September).

My husband and his friend took our truck out the next day and participated in Tough Trucks again during the second Monster Trucks show. The friend drove my truck on first round and took out the axle. So now 'Big Blue' is at home getting repaired.
Have you ever been to a Monster Truck show? Have you ever participated in a Tough Truck event or seen one?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nordstrom Peter Rabbit Collection - Review and Giveaway

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Nickelodeon and Nordstrom have hopped into spring with the debut of a new specialty plush toy line inspired by the Nickelodeon preschool series Peter Rabbit. Along with the GUND plush, two brand-new books, “The Start of Spring and Peter” and “Friends Sticker Activity Book” published by Penguin will also be accessible to customers. Peter Rabbit featured products will be available online and nationwide in nearly 100 Nordstrom stores in U.S. cities.

These high-quality Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail featured products draw inspiration from the series and are made of the finest fabrics with precise details. The line includes 12” plush and 6” beanbags featuring all three series characters.

I haven't seen the Nickeloden preschool series, but I remember the loveable character of Peter Rabbit from the storybooks. I think fans of the Nickeloden show or fans of the tales of past will be enthused to purchase and play with the Peter Rabbit Collection sold at Nordstrom. I'm not sure when the entire collection will be available for purchase online at Nordstrom but right now you can purchase the Peter Rabbit Stuffed Animal and Lily Bobtail Stuffed Animal
I received the 'Gund' Peter Rabbit Stuffed Animal for review and it's just adorable. Made of polyester, it's just a little over 11 inches in height. The classic bunny character is brown and white in color and wears a blue jacket. Crossed over its shoulders is a green messenger bag. The plush has a lot of detail and is a darling companion to cuddle with or collect.

Win It!

One person will win a Peter Rabbit Stuffed Animal.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Laughter, Tears and Braids - Book Review

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

For some Dads being strapped with the responsibility of taking their three kids to the grocery store alone on a weekend is too much to handle. Not the case for Bruce Ham, a father of three girls who is now living the storyline of the 80's TV show Full House on a daily basis. After his wife passed away from cancer, Bruce took over carpools, school calendars, braiding hair, shopping for new clothes ­ everything his wife used to manage with the girls. And, Bruce’s brother-in-law moved in to lend a helping hand completing the transformation to the real Full House. Bruce chronicles his story in his book, Laughter, Tears and Braids, sharing anecdotes from his courtship with his wife, their life together and his learning to be a single father to three girls ­ including giving fashion advice like "purple is the new black" when he couldn¹t find a black skirt in his daughter’s size on a shopping trip.
Bruce Ham, author of Laughter, Tears and Braids, tells the story of how he became a single father after his wife's death from cancer. Bruce writes in a way that grips at your heart. I was on an emotional roller coaster reading his story. I cried on a couple of occasions, smiled and laughed at his wit, and felt genuine love of a father to his daughters.

By writing this book, Bruce Ham allows readers into his life and all its joys and struggles. Some people's stories should be written, and Bruce's is one of them.

Joyous News For These June Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. The winners have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of The American Bible Challenge giveaway is #8, Leela.

The winner of the Bet On Your Baby giveaway is #17, Natalie F.

The winner of the NatureSmart Vitamin Gummies giveaway is #30, Amanda W.

The winner of the Twix Bites giveaway is #30, Melissa S.

The winners of the Colgate Optic White giveaway are #29, MamaStace and #47, Seth and #35, 1froglegs.

The winner of the Portable Push Button Lock Box giveaway is #3, Gala.

The winner of the Robocop Blu-ray giveaway is #18, R. Oliver.

The winner of the Snickers giveaway is #21, Susan Christy.

The winner of the Philips Norelco BeardTrimmer giveaway is #18, Patricia Wojnar Crowley.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Be sure to check out and enter my currently active giveaways, listed on the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

The Verona Trilogy: The Loved and The Lost - Review and Giveaway

I received books for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Book Synopsis:

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln are three 24th-century time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona and reclaim their medieval family’s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won – or lost forever.

In this, the final book of The Verona Trilogy, our three time travelers go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn’t have imagined – all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.

My Review:

As part of The Verona Trilogy, The Loved and The Lost is the third book in the three-part series. Although it isn't necessary to read the first two books, it is helpful to so you can capture some of the background with the teens and the trials they endured beforehand.

Hansum, Lincoln and Shamira have been put through History Camp and have lived in 14th Century Verona, Italy. Because the teens have seen and experienced the hardships of the past and know what the future holds, they go back in time and try to change it to save their friends and loved ones from the past.

I've read all three books of The Verona Trilogy and The Loved and The Lost is, by far, my favorite. The characters' personalities and maturity have evolved in The Loved and the Lost, and I was left feeling satisfied with the ending to the teens' romances and adventures.


Win It!

One person will win paperback copies of all three books in The Verona Trilogy.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

5K Run Second Place Win


I can't run to save my soul but my son, Logan, could be Forrest Gump's protégé. Running is in his blood. Last Saturday he participated in his most recent 5K run and garnered himself a medal. Out of over 100 runners, Logan placed third overall and second in his age division. Proud mama, I am!

I had signed up to be a volunteer for the 5K Walk/Run and showed up bright-eyed and bushy tailed to help. After speaking with several people who didn't know left from right, I finally gave up and just watched the event as a spectator. Doesn't hurt my feelings none; however, there's been a handful of occasions I've been to or participated in recently where chaos was the norm. Eh, oh well, I'm just glad Logan joined in and gave it his all.

Does your child participate in any sports? Does lack of organization at an event cause you angst?

Rio 2 Activity and Coloring Sheets - #Rio2Insiders

I received product for review.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

In celebration and anticipation of the upcoming release of the family animated film Rio 2 coming to Blu-ray and DVD July 15th, here are some activity sheets and coloring pages for you to print and enjoy!