Friday, August 31, 2012

Back from Vacation

We have been on vacation (mainly Kansas City) for the last week or so having a fabulous time.  We went to an Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, Kaleidoscope, Zoo and so much more!  David and I celebrated our 11th Anniversary so that was fun as well.  I will post more of our trip after I get some rest :)

The night of our Anniversary

Monday, August 20, 2012

Combat Bugs Sweepstakes

Combat has launched a new $1,000 Sweepstakes.  You can enter here to win $1,000 to throw you very own Bug-Free Backyard Bash courtesy of Combat!  So what are you waiting for?

Stay tuned for a future Combat review and giveaway!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Minted Feauture & Giveaway

 *** Giveaway Now Closed ***
Congratulations to mommy2luke2008!

Have you heard of Minted?  Minted is an online stationery store powered by a global community of designers.  They have everything from birth announcements, party invitations, art prints, stationery, journals, business cards, photo gifts and so much more!

I adore this Wisdom journal.

Or how about this Tweet journal, so cute!

You might already be thinking about your Holiday cards this year (the Holidays are just around the corner).  Minted has some wonderful options that you should take a look at here.

One of my favorites is this Family year in review Holiday card.  I love the idea of incorporating your family highlights of the year within your card!

I also love this frosted windows new year's photo card!

Now that I have your attention, ready for a giveaway?  Minted has generously offered one of you $50 + free shipping to any product on their site!  And another biggie, this giveaway is open for everyone - including internationally!  Woot, woot!

Mandatory Entry:  Follow me on google friend and let me know, that's it!  Please be sure and leave your email so I can contact you if you win!

Extra Entries
, leave a separate comment for each extra entry.  As you can see, there are lots of extra entry opportunities so don't be shy!

1.  Follow Minted on facebook (2 extra entries)
2.  Follow my facebook page (2 extra entries)
3.  Follow me on twitter (2 extra entries)
4.  Follow Minted on twitter (2 extra entries)
5.  Follow my google+ page (2 extra entries)
6.  Follow me on Pinterest (2 extra entries)
7.  Follow Minted on Pinterest (2 extra entries)

Giveaway will end on September 10th at Midnight.  Winner will be selected using a random number generator and will have 48 hours to respond.  If there is no response, I will randomly select another winner.  Giveaway is open to US Residents and International Residents alike, ages 18 years old and above.

Disclosure:  Thank you Minted for sponsoring this giveaway. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

LeapFrog Touch Magic Rock'n Learn Party

 Touch Magic Rockin' Guitars and Learning Bus

Have you heard of LeapFrog Touch Magic Toys?  Touch Magic is a new product line from LeapFrog that brings intuitive touch technology to preschool toys.  These toys recognize taps, touches and swipes to bring each product to life!  This new line is launching with three toys: Touch Magic Learning Bus, Touch Magic Rockin' Guitar, and the Touch Magic Counting Train.  We were blessed to receive 2 Touch Magic Guitars and 1 Touch Magic Bus for our party!

 Check out my fun cupcakes!

 Yummy snacks.

Playing with the Guitar

With the Touch Magic Guitar kids can choose to play solo without a backup, play along with a band or select electric/acoustic guitar to play 10 built-in songs (Rockin' Robin, Itsy Bitsy Spider, If You're Happy and You Know It, Pop Goes the Weasel and more!).  Kids can add guitar riffs, silly sounds and drums creating over 100 musical combinations to make every song unique. 

B and D playing along.

D and her friend jammin' together.

The boys got to try out the Rockin' Guitar as well!

The Learning bus has six piano keys and two drum pads to play along with songs.  Songs include Wheels on the Bus, ABS Song and an original Rockin' School Bus!  There are over 200 learning and musical responses and over 40 touch points on the interactive flat surface.  There are also 3 modes: learning, letter exploration and music.

E rockin' out with our Touch Magic Guitar

We raffled off one of the Rockin' Guitars and here is our winner!

I have been really impressed with how much my kids have been enjoying these toys.  C and D have had a ton of fun with our new Rockin' Guitar role playing!  My older kids have been exploring our bus with E so I will be interested to see how she plays with it as she gets a bit older.  D really likes to sing the ABC's!

Disclosure:  I received free LeapFrog products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored Rock'n Learn Party.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Friday, August 17, 2012

CampusBookRentals and Operation Smile

Are you about to head back to college?  If so, you have probably decided on most of your courses or perhaps you are waiting for the first few days to make final decisions.  I wanted to let you know about CampusBookRentals.  I wish I had done this in my college years.  With CampusBookRentals you can save anywhere from 40-90% off of bookstore prices, there is free shipping both ways and they offer flexible renting periods.  And one of the biggest perks in my opinion, they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented! 

Operation Smile is an awesome organization that performs life changing cleft lips surgeries on children whose families cannot afford it.  The impact in quality of life for children who receive these surgeries is amazing!  Thank you CampusBookRentals for helping make a difference in the lives of many children who greatly appreciate it!

Check out these links here and here to see specifically how much you can save when you use CampusBookRentals!

Our Gutzy Gear Party - Going Gutzy

Have you heard of Gutzy Gear?  Gutzies are fun, removable patches that you can place on Gutzy straps - they can be used to customize backpacks, sports duffels, messenger bags, scooters, seat belts and so much more!

We played a game called The Missing Piece.  Everyone received 1/2 of a Gutzy on paper.  We had to go around and find our match.  I had as much fun as the kids!

 Everyone with their Gutzy starter kits!

 Then everyone got to pick Gutzy patches.  E helped distribute.

Check out some of the available styles.

 My friend "Going Gutzy" on her diaper bag.

 D was so excited to get the popcorn patch.

 And how cool does she look - pretty Gutzy!

Our friend Mare Bear sporting her Gutzy on her seat belt.
Her Mom loves the extra padding the Gutzy strap provides!

D, B and C sporting their Gutzy on their wheels.

So, what are you waiting for.  Go Gutzy!
Disclosure:  We were chosen to host this party through MomSelect.  Thanks so much to MommyParties and Gutzy Gear for allowing us this opportunity and providing us with the amazing Gutzy Gear kit (included Gutzy starter kits and patches along with fun games and activities).  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Hearts For Hearts Girls Party

Have you heard of Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls?  Hearts For Hearts girls is a charitable doll line and fashion collection from Playmates Toys that seeks to empower girls to become agents of change in their communities, their countries and around the world.  Right now they have eight dolls (Rahel from Ethiopia, Consuelo from Mexico, Dell from The United States, Tipi from Laos, Lilian from Belarus, Nahji from India, Zelia from Brazil, and Lauryce from The United States) inspired by real girls in real places all over the world!

Our party kit was amazing.  We received Lauryce and Nahji, along with bracelets and passports for everyone!  A and B decided to keep Nahji and we raffled off Lauryce during the party.
 B with Nahji and T so happy to win Lauryce!
Our friend has the Consuelo doll so she brought her with to the party.  It was so fun to have three of the different dolls with us.
The girls making their passports!
Here are a few of them - I didn't even get to get photos of them all!

Did you know that 884 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water.  Shocking, I know!  World Vision, a Hearts For Hearts Girls partner (and an organization we support monthly!), helps bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to communities with their Clean Water Fund.  We decorated water banks and started collecting spare change to partner with this mission.

Making our Clean Water Banks
Of course we had snacks.  Mainly fruit and crackers (eaten in numerous countries) and an Ethiopian inspired Party Punch!

Another highlight of our party worth mentioning has to do with the fact that we very recently cut down our palm tree in our backyard.  The branches and pieces are still in our yard as we haven't completely cleaned it all up yet.  The kids used this as an opportunity to flex their creative juices.  They decided to use the palm branches to build a Papua New Guinea Home.  I thought this was a great idea and it was really fun to watch them do it!

Getting the supplies...

 Working together

Another view

Most of the girls outside their Papua New Guinea inspired house!

I cannot say enough good things about Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls.  I really like their dolls (they are cute and fun), every time you buy a doll a portion of the purchase price is donated to children's causes in those countries (absolutely love this), and they seek to empower girls to be change agents both locally and globally - pure awesomeness!  If you want to find out more about Hearts For Hearts you can find them here on facebook. 

Disclosure:  Our Hearts For Hearts Girls Party was sponsored by MommyParties and Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls.  We received a party kit containing two dolls (one to keep and one to raffle away), bracelets for guests and their friends, coupons, passports, and tons of fun ideas.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  Special thanks to MommyParties and Hearts For Hearts Girls in allowing us this wonderful opportunity!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lock up Safety for Back to School

Master Lock is launching "The Master Combo Challenge" - where students and parents can play an interactive game through the company's Facebook page to discover tips on how to stay safe at school and keep their possessions secure.
Check out this set-your own combination Laptop Computer lock!
I didn't even know these existed.

While we homeschool I still think it is important to have good tips and keep yourself safe.  I think my best advice to both students and parents on staying safe is just to be aware.  Awareness can make the difference between and unsafe situation and a safe situation.  Test your safety and security knowledge here by taking the Master Combo Challenge!

Disclosure:  I am entering a contest for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Our Awesome Lego Read & Build Party

I tried to show everyone who came with this collage.
We had 6 families attend: 13 kiddos and 6 adults

We had our Lego party the other day and we had so much fun!  I thought I would share it with you all.

We had some confetti popcorn (each color is a different flavor), jello molds (hearts, ducks, and starburst patterns), chips, oranges, juice and water)

 The goodie bags and special hand outs!

Having fun with our sets.

Each bag had either a Busy Farm Read & Build Set or a Grow Caterpillar Read & Build Set.  We had a lot of fun reading the stories and making the animals!  These sets combine the fun of reading to your little ones and Legos.  They are specifically geared for children ages 1 1/2 - 4 years.  I really like that my older kids can participate and read the stories to my younger ones.

 My homemade Lego banner

 Just some of the fun we had :)

And we were blessed to have our own Master Builder!

 And that's a wrap!

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to House Party and Lego for allowing us this opportunity and providing us with some of the Read & Build sets.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Shutterfly Long Live Summer Photo Contest

In case you missed it I wanted to let you know that Shutterfly has a Long Live Summer Photo contest going on.  We are on the tail end of it but there is still time to enter!

You probably have a ton of photos from your summer so this is a great opportunity to feature them.  Right now we are in the last week with the theme of Parties and Celebrations - my favorite!!

You will have the chance to win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on this weeks theme - Parties and Celebrations.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering!

       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot