Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #8

Another great week to partner with other blogs in the Holiday of Surprises Giveaway - this time for Week #8.  I hope you enjoy this event with some pretty snazzy prizes!  Good luck and let me know if you are a winner.

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #8
Along With

Proudly Brings you Holiday Of Surprises Week #8

Prepare your own weather forecast for Santa as he prepares to make his Christmas Eve trip around the globe with this amazing Weather Theme Giveaway!

Grand Prize Package:
1- The Weather Channel Professional Weather Station
1- 17" Galileo Thermometer
1 - Hybrid Mini Dynamo Lantern (Crank/Battery)
1 - Aria Elite 42" Wind Chimes (Silver)

Second & Third Place Package:
1 - 17" Galileo Thermometer
1 - Hybrid Dynamo Mimi Lantern

Here is what Holiday Contest and Sweeps says - Being a certified NOAA Severe Weather Spotter myself, I can truly say this is my favorite giveaway. Not only do you get the latest in weather technology, but you also get a weather tool that has been around for ages.  

With this terrific Grand Prize Package you will be able to keep updated on your very own weather conditions. After reviewing this La Crosse/Weather Channel Station,  I can honestly say that it gives you very accurate reading that are identical to that of your local National Weather Service reading minus the radar feature.

Prizes Details:

Here is what Holiday Contest and Sweeps has to say - Being a certified Skywarn NOAA Severe Weather Spotter, I can honestly say this one of the best weather stations you will  find for the value. It is very simple to set up and the data is right on spot. The features that come with this will make you feel like you are a actual meteorologist. Below you will find all the details that will explain why I give this kit 5 stars.

If you're a steadfast weather watcher, The Weather Channel® Professional Weather Station By La Crosse Technology® is sure to keep you on cloud nine. With its sophisticated technology, multiple recording functions, and latest weather updates, this advanced weather station features instant transmission technology that updates measurements and criteria every few seconds. 

Station includes a weather forecasting function with three weather icons, a weather tendency indicator, time and date displays and user-select-able alarm settings for a number of different weather conditions.

The attractive, conveniently sized wireless indoor console may be wall mounted or displayed freestanding. Also, the weather center kit features an outdoor temperature and humidity sensor, an anemometer and a self-emptying rain gauge. Transmission range is up to 330 feet in open air.

Our weather station makes a great gift for a farmer, fisherman, athlete, driver anyone who loves weather or spends considerable time outside. The myriad of atmospheric measurements and other helpful elements displayed and recorded on the console will take any serious weather watcher by storm. Ranges: humidity range 1% to 99% (%RH), wind speed 0 to 111.8 mph, outside temperature, dew point, wind chill range -40°F to 139°F, relative pressure 27.17 to 31.9 in Hg and total rainfall 0 to 393.6". Five AA and two AAA batteries required (not included). 

• Grey With Silver Trim Complete Weather Station by Lacrosse Technology®
• Indoor/outdoor temps; outdoor wind chill and dew point temps (°F/°C)
• 24-hour rainfall and total rainfall (inch/mm)
• Outdoor humidity (%RH)
• Relative air pressure (in Hg/hPa) with 12-hour tendency indicator
• Wind direction with compass and wind speed (mph, km/h, m/s or Beaufort) 
• Weather forecast icon with storm warning alarm
• Alarms for high wind speed, high/

Italian astronomer Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei’s (1564-1642) discovery that the density of liquid expands or contracts with temperature changes led to the creation of the world's oldest thermometer — a method of searching for actual room temperature. The thermometer is made up of a glass cylinder. Inside the cylinder are hand blown, calibrated, glass spheres each with imprinted designated temperature reading medallions. As temperatures fall, spheres will rise, as temperatures rise, spheres will sink. The lowest floating sphere in the upper group will indicate actual room temperature. A functional work of art!

The Viatek Mini Hybrid Dynamo Lantern is equipped with 4 super bright LED's that provide ample light to illuminate your patio or porch hours after the sun sets. The compact, lightweight, water-resistant design makes these lanterns perfect for traveling, boating or camping. Each Hybrid Lantern requires 4 AA batteries for battery power (not included). The Mini Hybrid Lantern is also equipped with an internal battery and dynamo crank so you will never be without light! Available in Single or 3 Pack.

                                  Viatek Mini Hybrid Dynamo Lantern Features:
• 4 Super Bright LED's, 100,000 hours.
• Dynamo Crank charges internal battery
• 4 AA batteries, for using battery power
• Sturdy metal easy-carry handle
• Each Hybrid Lantern is 8" High
 Arias Elite 42"inch Silver Wind Chime

Hand-tuned in the U.S.A., the impressive size and tone of this larger chime make it a great conversation piece to set off your outdoor arrangement!  This chime’s style combines a traditional look with modern sounds, and it is sure to blow gracefully in the breeze, producing gently beautiful melodies. The Arias Elite chimes come with a 2-year limited warranty from the manufacturer and are available in up to four color options.


This giveaway is in no way associated, endorsed or affiliated with Facebook.

This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only.  Entrants must be 18+ years old to enter. This giveaway will ends at 12:00 AM (EST) 12/15/2013

Holiday Contest and Sweeps received sample of the Weather Station and Thermometer for review purposes. The respective sponsors are responsible for awarding and shipping of their individual prizes. The winners will have 48 hours after being notified by email to reply, failure to do so in that time frame will result in another winner being drawn.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Nativity Story App Review

Disclosure:  I was provided with this app to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  Thanks so much to FlyBy and the sponsor.  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes.

I have a fun new children's app to tell you about, The Nativity Story App!  It is colorful, interactive and tells of a great story - that of Jesus' birth.  It is available on both the iPad and iPhone.

You can see from this photo that this app has a pop-up book feel to it with the way the illustrations are done.  I really like the character and feel this lends to the story.

 My kids have been super engaged using this app.

The whole story is set to rhyme which my kids love!  Not only can you read or listen to the story itself but there are tons of interactive opportunities woven throughout.  Red boxes will appear next to characters - when pushed they will make additional comments or ask and answer questions to other characters.  Windows can be opened, ropes can be pulled, the donkey can be moved with your hand and so much more.

 They have really enjoyed the tapping, swiping and many interactive features within.  

C loves to make the chickens fly.

Listening to the story.

D listening and interacting with this app.

I really like that you can have the story read to you (great for my younger ones) or you can read the story for yourself (great for my older ones).  And I love the band of angels at the end.  You can choose which angels and their instruments are playing during the song Noel.

 This is extremely cool!

The Nativity Story - Popup Deluxe Edition retails for $3.99 on the iPad and The Nativity Story - Popup Mini Edition retails for $1.99 on the iPhone.

Read more about this App below.

About The Nativity Story
Where will baby Jesus be born?  At the market?  AT a restaurant?  At the inn?  Readers of this book app can follow Joseph and Mary on their search for a place to stay in Bethlehem.  Along the way they encounter a variety of colorful local people and animals.  This is a fun and engaging way to share the original story of Christmas with the young generation and remind them what Christmas is all about.  Great for kids 2-10.

You can watch a video on The Nativity Story App here.

Why Kids Love This App
 - It's like a vintage pop-up book, with classic woodcut-style illustrations
 - By tapping and swiping, kids can help Joseph and Marty find a place to stay.
 - Knock on doors ... Pull on the rope... Ring the bell... Open windows... Make people talk...
 - Create music!  Help a band of angels play their instruments.
 - Lots of characters to get to know: Innkeeper, Merchant, Shepherds, Chef, A Band of Actors, Neighborhood Children, Mary's Donkey, Farm Animals and of course... Angels!
 -  Funny sound effects!

Why Parents and Grandparents Love This App
 - Nostalgia.  It feels like a classic pop-up book, bringing back memories for parents and grandparents.
 - Optional Narration: Listen to the old-timey narrator tell the story, or read the story yourself.
 - EXTRA Feature: After the story, explore the original Bible text that tells the Nativity Story.
 -  Amazing Visual Quality: Support for retina display

How is This Christmas App Different?
 - Production Values - It is a work of art: a rich visual and sound experience.
 - Interactive - Touch technology and animation is used to engage the reader in the story in an enchanting and educational way.
 - Age approach - The classic Bible story is retold her with an original and creative approach that appeals to young kids as well as adults.
 - Original - This app is designed like a vintage popup book and includes unique features such as interacting with a band of angels and playing instruments like trumpet and harp.

I hope you will try out this App and let me know what you think!  And by the way, this would make a great Holiday gift.

Cinderella Goes to the Potty eBook Review & Blog Tour

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Litfuse Publicity Group and Justin Blaney for allowing me to be a part of this tour and providing me with this eBook to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I have another book to tell you about, Cinderella Goes to the Potty by Justin Blaney.  The first thing I need to tell you is that this is not a whimsical fairy tale book to help your toddler in potty training.  It really has nothing to do with toddlers or using the potty.  It's audience is more young adult and above (I would not suggest it for younger than preteen).

I know that this is only 1/6th of the novel but I must admit that I do not understand this book.  I found it to be dark and honestly, scary.  I do suppose that my humor is more of the innocent and tame variety.  This eBook starts out with Cinderella having to escape an old man and woman as well as a carnivorous potty (or one that eats people).  She manages to do so and goes on a quest to find a potty that is nice, one that doesn't eat old men, women and little girls.  She finds herself in Toilet Forrest and then I have no idea how it ends.  Did she find a nice potty?  I really am not sure.  It might be that I need the other 5/6 of the novel to really understand what happens but I can tell you that I really don't get it.

Now, the graphics are truly unique and really interesting.  I use the word interesting because again, I personally find them to be very dark but I can still recognize talent - even when it is not my personal preference.  A really cool feature in my opinion is the way that some of the graphics and words give life to the story itself - sometimes you have to turn pages sideways, read around graphics - basically keep moving in order to continue on.  I definitely think that this could be a distraction for many but I like this unique idea and use throughout this story.  Great job!

Here is an example of what I was describing.

Another positive - the author's heart and goal.  Justin Blaney is trying to spread the gospel message to children who aren't normally exposed to Christian content.  Justin, I love this - truly I do.  I just do not see the gospel within this story.  I know I might just be missing it and that is okay but I really do wish I saw it.  Maybe we can chat sometime.

Read more about this book and author below.  You can purchase your own copy here.  And check out the full blog tour (which runs until 12/1) here.

About the book
This eBook is 1/6th the full length graphic novel.  It can be read in about 5 minutes and enjoyed for years.  It is an Isfits book.  What is Isfits?  A cast of characters sampled from icons of adolescence, re-imagined.  A graphic novel, like you've never seen before. 

Cinderella scratched a new line on the wall every night when the clock struck twelve.  For 999 nights, she'd sworn to herself that she wouldn't stay long enough to see 1000.  Cinderella heard the old man and the old woman clunking up the stairs.  The clock began to chime.  Cinderella was out of time.  She had a decision to make - the kind of decision that could change her life or take it from her.

About the author
Justin Blaney is the author of the Amazon bestseller Evan Burl and the Falling which reached the #1 position in fantasy, teen and thriller categories.  His latest project is "Isfits," a series of graphically illustrated postmodern fairytales and cautionary confessions for young adults.  The stories follow the adventures of a cast of characters based on icons of adolescence placed in a darkly-humored world of blissful brokenness where they possess the power to affect cultural and personal change in the real world.  Blaney is the founder of Innovate for Jesus and Inkliss, a film production company.  He lives outside Seattle with his wife and three daughters.  Learn more about Justin at

Below you can read more about how you can partner with Justin and also be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.  Keep reading and good luck!

Hello! I'm partnering with Justin Blaney to help him spread the word about his fun new book series, Isfits.

He's launching the series with a Kickstarter campaign---he wants to turn these fun/unique stories into full-color, hardback, glossy-paged books.

Who's Justin? Justin Blaney is a virtuoso. He does a little of everything, but one of the coolest things he does (besides writing amazing stories) is run an organization called Innovate for Jesus (resources for pastors, ministry leaders, non profits, authors, etc.). The site features people like Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Pete Wilson, Matt Chandler, Mary DeMuth, and more.

Besides the super cool graphics, what is special about Isfits? Justin is releasing his Isfits series in the general kids book market rather than as Christian releases. His hope is to spread the gospel message to children who aren't normally exposed to Christian content.

What Is Isfits?
  • Postmodern fairytales & cautionary confessions
  • A cast of characters sampled from icons of adolescence, re-imagined.
  • A completely new genre of fiction. Since that's hard to describe, let's call it a graphic novel like you've never seen before.
  • Nearly 200 original designs, optimized for inspirational display in your home, office, prison cell, igloo, or hut.
Click here for more information. If you'd like to sign up to review the first book in the series, Cinderella Goes to the Potty (It's a five-minute read! You'll love it!), email info {at} litfusegroup {dot} com (and be entered to win $100 gift card!).  And if you'd like to learn more and support Justin's Kickstarter, GO HERE.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

David and the kids made a true feast today!  I hope you have had a wonderful day with loved ones as I have.

Our table

Our Turkey - Helen

 The girls made this amazing fruit salad.

 Homemade Apple Pie


Lots of bread...

I have so much to be thankful for - my Savior, my health, my family, my friends and the list goes on.  Yesterday I turned 34 weeks in my pregnancy - won't be long now before we meet our littlest one.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Teespring Review

Have you heard of Teespring?  It is a crowdfunding platform for groups, causes and communities to design and sell custom apparel.

Anyone can design a shirt (using your own design or choosing from the 1,000s of graphics provided) which can then be sold via facebook, twitter, or anywhere on-line.  The profits are sent to the seller.  Teespring can be used as a fundraising tool or just to earn some extra cash.

The seller decides a set date and therefore determines when the shirts print and ship.  This allows the seller to pay nothing upfront and take no risks.  Pretty cool huh?  Here's the deal: if the minimum goal is not reached, the shirts will not be printed and the buyers will not be charged.

 Here is my shirt design. 

I just launched my own campaign called Live Simply Give Generously which can be viewed here.

I was impressed with all the options available.  There are three different shirt choices to choose from - Hanes Tagless Tee (which I chose), Canvas Ringspun Tee and the American Apparel Crew.  Not to mention numerous color choices - I went with a more neutral color (Ash) in hopes of appealing to a wider audience.  And the designing, they allow you to upload your own graphic or choose from the many available (and there are many!).

Next you set a goal.

You set a price for each shirt that will meet your goal.  In this photo if 50 tees are sold, then $165 would be raised for my cause.  I love the way that this site is set up - extremely user friendly.

Finally, launch your campaign.

One of the hardest things for me to figure out was what campaign I wanted to launch.  I knew that I wanted it to be about giving and that I wanted to give 100% of the proceeds away but that was it.  It has been such a joy to watch how excited my kids have been to raise money for shoes for children in Ethiopia that I decided to launch a campaign and give the proceeds to that cause - why not?

I am not sure if my campaign will make, I need to sell at least 50 shirts but I am excited about this opportunity and I really hope it does!  The opportunities are really endless.

Ready to launch your own campaign?  Just go to to get started.

Disclosure: Thanks so much to Sverve and Teespring for selecting me to participate in this campaign.  Compensation was provided.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

The First Christmas Night Book Review & Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was provided with this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  Thanks so much to FlyBy and the sponsor for providing this information and giveaway.

I have another book to tell you about, The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher and illustrated by Christine Kornacki.  The illustrations felt familiar to me at once and I realized that is because Christine Kornacki also illustrated The Sparkle Box (read my review here)!  This book is a retelling of the birth of Jesus set to Twas the Night Before Christmas

The illustrations are life-like, vibrant and extremely enjoyable.

 The kids loved both the story and the illustrations.  Here D is looking at baby Jesus.

I never tire of reading about Christmas night or the night that Jesus was born into the world.  This night changed everything and is at the core of what I believe - truly an amazing event.  I enjoyed how Keith Christopher was able to tell the story in the form of a poem.  My children were engaged and easily followed along to the lyrical rhythm.  While I think this book is applicable all year round, now is the perfect time with Christmas approaching to share this gem with loved ones!  You will not be disappointed, I sure wasn't.

Read more about this book, author, and illustrator below.  And be sure and enter the giveaway for your chance to win your own!  Or go here to purchase a copy.

About The First Christmas Night
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago.  The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds through Christ's birth, the angel's appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers.  In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife and two children.

About the Illustrator
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, here dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Who is it for?
 - Kids ages 4-8 - The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
 - Family story time during the holidays
 - Children's Ministers and Sunday school teachers
 - Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win a copy of The First Christmas Night for your own.  Just enter below and good luck!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

VeggieTales Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas Review

I have a new VeggieTales to tell you about, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas (which was released October 22, 2013).  In this film Bob the Tomato (as Phillip Fleagle - lights display extraordinaire) and Larry the Cucumber (as a mall elf) are going all out to make Christmas the best of the best at the Spring Valley Mall.  Phillip believes that the more lights, the bigger displays, and the best decorations will make it the best.  Larry believes that by making a list of children's Christmas wishes and keeping them happy he is spreading the Christmas cheer.  But a little girl, who is more interested in helping her neighbor than a Christmas present for herself ends up taking them both on a journey to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus and bringing glory to Him.

This installment introduces a brand new character, Silas the wise okra (voiced by reality star Si Robertson of Duck Commander), who narrates this tale.  Our children have never seen Duck Dynasty but David and I are familiar with the show so that was a fun element for us.

The end of the film features an all-new song titled "Light of Christmas" performed by Owl City and TobyMac!  This song is pretty awesome and my whole family is really enjoying it right now.  If you want, you can check out the Light of Christmas Lyric Video here - you won't regret it!

We really enjoyed this film as a family.  This film is the perfect opportunity to discuss compassion and selflessness with children.  In the film, this little girl was so heartbroken for her neighbor who lost her home.  She had such compassion that it moved her to take action - she was making and selling Christmas cards to raise money for her neighbor.  I don't know if you remember my post earlier this year on the 35 nice things present we made for David but this has been a true pleasure to see our kids enjoy.  When we see men and women on the side of the roads, they are the first to read their signs and ask how we can help - often times making their own suggestions.  May their hearts of compassion and generosity continue to grow!  This has tied in perfectly to discussions on how they and we as a family can help/give back this holiday season.  The kids have already raised money to help provide shoes for children in Ethiopia.  Last year they each filled a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.  The deadline is vast approaching but I was so excited to see that there is an option for building a shoebox on-line and still taking part.  If you would like to contribute to Operation Christmas Child and build an on-line shoebox go here!  When you help others, you help let His love shine through!  And enjoy the trailer below.

Disclosure:  I was provided with this DVD to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #7

Again, I am so excited to partner with other blogs in the Holiday of Surprises Giveaway - this time for Week #7.  I hope you enjoy this event with some pretty snazzy prizes!  Good luck and let me know if you are a winner.

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #7
Along With

Proudly Brings you Week #7 of Holiday Surprises Giveaways

Grand Prize Package:
1 - Ryobi 40 volt Lithium Cordless Blower
1 - Ergo Chef Prodigy 5 Piece Knife Set
1- LED Beaded Glass Tree - 3 Piece Tiered Set  Silver
1- LED Beaded Glass Tree - 3 Piece Tiered Set  Gold

Second & Third Place:
1- LED Beaded Glass Tree - 3 Piece Tiered Set  Silver
1- LED Beaded Glass Tree - 3 Piece Tiered Set  Gold

RYOBI takes Cordless to the next level with the 40-Volt Lithium-ion Blower. With a 40-Volt battery pack, this blower delivers longer run-time, fade-free power and quick charging. Specially engineered for hard surfaces and smaller yards, this blower features a variable speed trigger for adjustable power and a quick charger that does the job in less than 2 hours so you’re always just one charge away from a perfectly tidy outdoor living space. All backed by a 3 year warranty, there’s never been a better time to consider Cordless.

Here is what Holiday Contest and Sweeps has to say - I recently had the pleasure of trying out this Ryobi Blower and it performance  was outstanding. The power behind the lithium-ion battery performed better than the old electric blower that I own. The light weight of the blower minus having to worry about pulling a extension cord behind you was much easier on my back. It usually took me around a hour and a half to completely take care of my entire yard but with the Ryobi Cordless Blower I was done in less than a hour without even stopping to recharge the battery. When I was finished with my yard my neighbor was amazed with this cordless blower and asked  if  he could use it on his front yard, I told him I wasn't sure how much more the battery could go since I had just cleaned up my entire front and back yard. Well to our amazement, the Ryobi Cordless Blower powered through his stack of leaves and twigs that had collected in his yard with no problem what so ever.

The variable speed trigger made cleaning up a ease by being able to have more power available at your finger tips if necessary, while using less for those area's that didn't need as much power to clear. Before when I would use my old electric blower my wrist would ache for hours after the stress the handle would put on them. This wasn't the case with the Ryobi, since the handle is ergonomically designed for easy one handed operation. One great feature is that the nozzle is tapered making it easy to remove those stubborn areas that a normal blower was just leave. I give this blower 5 stars and plan to buy both my sons one for Christmas for their homes.

This Prodigy Series Commercial 5 piece was designed for the professional and home cook who shop for the exceptional value and want a reliable knife set without spending a bundle. Designed for ergonomic comfort and precision. The blades are crafted from high carbon stainless steel and have a 18 degree cutting edge so that they can slice, chop or carve up any food product that you need. The handles are seamlessly molded to prevent bacteria issues and provide a non slip grip for precise control and safety. This knife set includes the following: 8" Chef knife, 8" Bread knife (Offset), 7" Santuko knife, 6" Boning knife, and a 4" Paring knife. Enjoy preparing meals with the Prodigy Series.

Holiday Contests and Sweeps has had the pleasure of using this knife set and says that it is made of quality material and expertly designed.  After suffering from Carpal Tunnel in their wrist for years they always dreaded the thought of preparing meals due to the pain they would have in their wrist afterwards from using an old store bought knife set that had a hard time slicing butter more less meats. The first time they used these, they  went over to their drawer and took out their old knifes and threw them away. With this set of knifes it is now a pleasure for them to prepare meals for their family.  They found that chopping up vegetables with the 7" Santuko knife takes no time at all and had no wrist pain due to the Prodigy's ergonomic designed handles.  They gave this set 5 Stars.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nuby Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway

I have some fun Nuby products that have recently launched in stores and on-line that I wanted to tell you about.  These five products make up my Nuby Holiday Gift Guide for 2013!  In no particular order

Number 1:  IcyBite Fruit and Animal Teethers

Nuby's IcyBite Fruit and Animal Teethers are BPA Free and ideal when front teeth first start to show.  The teethers come in fun designs with multiple teething surfaces.  These teethers feature PûrICE™ gel which stays cooler for longer than water filled teethers.  The soft removeable cover allows your baby to hold the teether when it is cold without their hand getting cold.  These teethers are endorsed by pediatric dentist Dr. Grace Yum, founder of Yummy Dental and Orthodontics for Kids in Chicago, Illinois.  These are available for purchase at

Number 2:  IcyBite Teether Keys & All Natural Pacifier & Teether Wipes Set

Nuby's IcyBite Teether Keys are BPA Free and ideal when back teeth erupt.  This teether again contains non toxic PûrICE™ gelthat allows the teether to stay cooler longer.  The cool textured surfaces soothe and stimulate sore gums safely.  The teething nub helps massage tender gums.  The bright and colorful shapes stimulate your baby visually and help with hand eye coordination.  And the all natural pacifier & teether wipes ensures your baby's teether is clean!  These are available for purchase at TJ Maxx stores.

Number 3: Comfort Orthodontic Pacifier and Plush Pacifinder

Nuby's Comfort Orthodontic Pacifiers are BPA Free and feature NEW massaging bristles!  The soft massaging bristles move with the sucking action of your baby.  This motion helps soothe sore gums and aid in the eruption of new teeth.  The Plush Pacifinder keeps baby's pacifier sanitary and secure!  The soft plush pacifinder has fun and colorful characters your baby is sure to adore!  These are available for purchase at Burlington Baby Depot stores.

Number 4: Chewbies Teether

Nuby's Chewbies Teethers are BPA Free and ideal for teething!  It is small enough for baby to hold and features multiple teething surfaces to aid in the eruption of new teeth.  This teether comes with a hygienic carrying case for Moms on the go!  These teethers are endorsed by pediatric dentist Dr. Grace Yum, founder of Yummy Dental and Orthodontics for Kids in Chicago, Illinois.  These are available for purchase at Walmart and

Number 5: Clik it Insulated Cool Sipper

Nuby's new Clik it Insulated Cool Sippers feature leak proof technology that you can see and hear!  Moms and Dads hear the click and know the cup is locked; they will not have to worry about spills and leaks!  The Cool Sipper's soft, silicone rim helps transition to open cup drinking.  The soft silicone rim is soft on tender gums to help protect children's teeth.  Pediatric dentist Dr. Grace Yum supports Nuby cups, "There are loads of fun cups on the market, but Nuby cups are the only ones that I endorse.  Nuby's brilliantly designed soft, silicone spouts are gentle and safe and they are the only ones that I recommend to my patients."  The one piece rim is easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to assemble, unlike other cups that have lots of small parts to fit together.  These are available for purchase at Target stores.

Now that I have introduced you to the five featured Nuby items, ready for a giveaway?  One person will win the item of your choice from this Holiday Gift Guide - pretty awesome right?  Just enter the form below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  I am a Nuby Mommy Blogger and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.  Special thanks to Nuby for providing information and sponsoring this giveaway.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Sparkle Box Book Review & Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was provided with this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  Thanks so much to FlyBy and the sponsor for providing this information and giveaway.

I have a new book to tell you about, The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki.

Inside you will find your very own Sparkle Box to make and use.

Here is our box right after we put it together.

 A couldn't wait to read this one.  She actually went and read it first and then came and told me all about it.

I have really enjoyed reading this book with all the children.  It is never too early in my opinion to teach generosity and opportunities to give and make a difference in the world.

E loves the bright, vibrant illustrations.

Let me tell you a bit more about the premise of this book!  Sam is a young boy who is excited about Christmas approaching.  He notices a sparkly box on the mantel of his home.  His mother tells him that it is a special gift that they will open later but first they must fill it.  Throughout the story Sam and his family participate in various good deeds and acts of kindness - donating blankets and food, they help provide a well for a village in Africa so that they will have clean drinking water, and Sam even gives a candy bar and mittens to a stranger in need.  When Christmas finally comes Sam is beyond excited to open The Sparkle Box.  He discovers slips of paper inside documenting the acts of kindness that they have participated in.  His parents explain that the Sparkle Box is a gift for Jesus and that every time they help someone in need they are indeed blessing Jesus - what better way to celebrate His birthday.  I love this idea and symbolizing the spirit and heart behind Christmas.

Our kids and their friends at church have been given a challenge to show compassion and give generously in a practical way by helping raise funds to buy shoes for children who don't have them.  The kids were each asked to raise $10 to "fund" a pair of shoes.  It has been such a joy and blessing to see our kids think of ideas and develop a heart of the Lord for giving.  We recently went through out playroom and they picked out toys to sell in a garage sale to raise money for these children.  They also baked blueberry muffins to sell during the garage sale. 

 Here are A and B with their friend at the Bake Sale table.

I am so proud of them and last Sunday they were able to take $30 with them to church and help fund 3 pairs of shoes!  I cannot wait to see what they and we as a family come up with next.

Read more about this book, author, and illustrator below.  And be sure and enter the giveaway for your chance to win your own!  Or go here to purchase a copy.

About The Sparkle Box
Sam is so excited about Christmas!  He's thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel.  In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others.  On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds.  Sam's mom explains that the things that they've been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Author Bio
Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday.  The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace.  Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.

Illustrator Bio
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, here dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win a copy of The Sparkle Box for your own.  Just enter below and good luck!
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