Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#SpinKindness and Change the World

As this year comes to a close I wanted to share a kindness movement with you that I have been a part of for the last three months, #SpinKindness.  I have had the honor to partner with my Saline Ambassador group (MomsWhoBoogie aka BWTeam4) this quarter to Spin Kindness throughout my city and beyond.  I was also selected as a BoogieWipes Blogger to receive amazing goodies to hand out.  I had so much fun working with the kids in creating kindness bags and coming up with creative ways to bless people throughout our city.  We handed out fun samples and bags to friends and people we knew.  We gave them to neighbors and complete strangers.  We left some in locations around the city for people to find.  And we made a few new friends along the way.  Not only were we able to make someone's day a little brighter but were so blessed in return.  Watching people smile, seeing someone's day get turned around - it is so rewarding and you cannot help but feel good.  It really makes you think about what more you can do and far you can go. 

Special Kindness Kit

Lots of goodies inside to share!

Working on notes to include with each sample bag.

I was so proud of the girls.  They wanted to make each bag/kit personal and include a note.  Words are so powerful and it made me tear up to see them writing things like YOU ARE LOVED.  

I am a huge fan of Busy Bags so it was great to have this one included in our box.

A and B helped me create tons of kindness bags to hand out.

B giving out a bag she made for a girl.

 A door hanger to leave on someone's door.

 A full container of dreft wipes to surprise someone with.

Hot Cocoa cups filled with goodies that we distributed to neighbors on a cold night.  This idea was all my kids and I loved it.  We even included little bags of marshmallows to complete it!

 I made bags with diapers, wipes and boogie wipes samples to leave at changing stations around town in hopes of blessing someone who might have forgotten a diaper bag or be in a pinch!

 Here is one at a changing station in Austin.

Our city doesn't give out bags for groceries anymore without charging a fee - we have moved to reusable bags. I have forgotten a bag on occasion so I thought I would hand out a few to bless people.
 Handing out samples and kindness bags at The Thinkery, the Children's Museum in Austin.

 We left some samples in the painting area!

It is truly amazing how an act of kindness can change a person, situation, city and begin a movement that can truly impact the world.  What do you think?  How can you spin some kindness today?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Body & Soul Book Review & Giveaway

I just finished a great book, Body and Soul by Bethany Hamilton.  First off I just want to say that I am a huge fan of Bethany Hamilton.  She is such a positive role model!  I really enjoyed her movie, Soul Surfer as well as her appearance in Dolphin Tale 2.  Bethany is an amazing athlete and fitness expert.  Everyone has challenges, and Bethany has overcome incredible ones.  In this book, Bethany shares some of her experiences with body, mind and spirit.  It encourages girls and woman alike to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles.  In her book, Bethany includes special workouts, recipes and lots of information on eating  clean and healthier and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.  I love that Bethany talks about physical and spiritual health because both are equally important.  Bethany is encouraging and uplifting and she also discusses the power of positive thinking. 

No Banana Smoothie

I made one of Bethany's No-Banana Smoothies several days ago.  The ingredients are simple - kale, Gala apple, English cucumber, lemon juice, coconut oil and ice.

 This is an English cucumber in case you are wondering.

 Ingredients ready to be blended

 Ready to drink and enjoy

Simply blend the ingredients together and enjoy.  This wasn't my favorite smoothie of all time but it was refreshing and definitely different.  You can really taste the cucumber!  I am looking forward to making the Mango-Ginger Smoothie next.

While this is not a huge cookbook there are lots of fun recipes including smoothies, breakfast options, snacks and dinners as well as a few desserts.

Thank you Bethany for sharing your experiences and your passions and encouraging others in their paths.  I look forward to sharing this book with my girls.

Ready for a giveaway?  Family Christian is generously providing an Autographed copy of Body and Soul to one of you.  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!  Open to US/CAN residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  I was provided with my own copy of Body and Soul to facilitate my review and Family Christian is sponsoring this giveaway.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Purex PowerShot Coming Soon Sweepstakes has launched

Purex is releasing a NEW detergent, Purex PowerShot detergent to be exact.  To celebrate the release there is an amazing sweepstakes that just launched, Purex PowerShot Coming Soon Sweepstakes and you will definitely want to enter.

Three grand prize winners will receive a Whirlpool washer & dryer set and 300 second-place winners will receive a bottle of PowerShot.

This sweepstakes ends March 31, 2015.  Go here to enter now and good luck!

Purex PowerShot detergent will be in stores soon.  Watch the video to see how it does the measuring for you!

Watch the video HERE!
Disclosure:  Thanks so much to the Purex Insiders program for allowing me to be a part of this campaign and providing information about this promotion!  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wild Republic Audubon Bird (American Goldfinch) Review & Giveaway

Our American Goldfinch

Have you heard of Wild Republic and their line of Audubon Birds?  I am actually quite familiar with most of the entire line as my in-laws have been sending them to David's grandmother for years.  The kids love looking at them and playing with them every time we go for a visit.

These birds are licensed through the legendary National Audubon Society.  This collection consists of realistic plush birds with authentic sounds.  The actual bird calls are provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, pretty awesome right?

The Audubon Birds have been a key product line of Wild Republic for over a decade and each year, the company looks to add more authentic birds to the line.  Each bird is carefully researched and comes with an educational hang tag that includes information about its appearance, eating habits, habitat maps and sound information.

Last year in 2013, Wild Republic extended its license with Audubon Society to offer Audubon Birds Clasp Purses, which do not have bird call sounds.  I haven't seen these yet but I am pretty sure that my girls would be in love.

Side view of our bird with tag

We were sent the American Goldfinch Series 1 bird for review.  Our hang tag tells us that American Goldfinches are found throughout the United States and Canada.  The males have much brighter yellow feathers that contrast well with the black patches on their head and wings while females are duller yellow.  They make twittering sounds.

 Migration Patterns chart found on the tag

I love the color coded map included of the migration patterns.  Our bird is soft, colorful and a perfect size for little ones.  I think the most impressive thing about these birds is the authentic sounds.  When you push the birds back, you will hear the authentic American Goldfinch call.  These birds are fun, realistic and highly educational.

 All the kids enjoy playing with our bird including F!

Ready for a flash giveaway?  Yep, this giveaway is a fast one so make sure to enter right away!  Wild Republic is generously providing one of you with your own Audubon bird.  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

VeggieTales Beauty and the Beet Review

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  I was provided with my own copy of VeggieTales Beauty and the Beet to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

VeggieTales Beauty and the Beet: A lesson in kindness

Does your family love VeggieTales?  I have a new one to tell you about, Beauty and the Beet.  And right now at Family Christian it is on sale for $9.99 through the 24th of December!  This would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for friends and family.

 D and the rest of the crew love the songs!

About Beauty and the Beet:  Mirabelle and her traveling family band, the Veggie Tones, are determined to get to their next gig.  When a fierce winter storm hits they get stuck at a run down resort.  Mr. Beet, the grumpy resort manager, has them clean and sing for their supper.  Why is Mr. Beet a beast?  Can Mirabelle's kind heart change him?  Find out in this tail of unconditional love.

What we think:  We are huge VeggieFans here so of course we love Larry, Bob and crew!  VeggieTales does such a great job of emphasizing Biblical truths in their videos.  And similarly to the story Beauty and the Beast, this 45 minute episode Beauty and the Beet teaches us about friendship and unconditional love.  In short, Beauty in the Beet is entertaining, fun and a delight for the whole family.  It has "awesome music" according to my children and a fabulous message.  This movie will not disappoint fans and is sure to make some new ones along the way.

Save Big with Purex and #Cartwheel

Remember when I told you about Purex and #Cartwheel in this post?  Well, Purex has launched a new #Cartwheel promotion and you can really save!  It is the season of giving.  Now through December 27th, you can get 25% off any Purex detergent at Target stores with a #Cartwheel coupon - talk about savings.  Go here to download your coupon now! 

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to the Purex Insiders program for allowing me to be a part of this campaign and providing information about this promotion!  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Happy's Interactive Motorized Plush Pet Review #TheHappys

Have you heard of The Happy's?  The Happy's is one of the amazing lines from Cepia, the makers of ZhuZhu Pets!  The Happy's are an adorable, life-like line of interactive motorized plush pets.  They do tricks for Happy Treats, race after their Chase and Play ball, and really play and interact with you.  Just like the real deal, The Happy's love to spin, sit, pounce and play.  The new, brightly colored Happy's are in store right now and would be a fun gift for kids this Holiday season.

 The kids were so excited to receive The Happy's package!

 We received Lady, a super cute, bright pink cat.  Lady comes with one Happy Treat. 

Lady's Happy Treat, Pounce

 Our Chase and Play Ball

Each The Happy's plush pet comes with an Interactive Happy's Treat.  The Interactive Happy's Treat is a hand-held remote that allows the pet to come to you and do a trick like sitting up, dance, follow, spin, pounce, etc.  You push the button on Lady's back to get her started.  She likes to spin and travels around the room faster than you would think!  Our house is almost entirely wood flooring which is perfect for The Happy's.  It is amazing how fast and far lady can get in such a short amount of time.  When we push her Happy's Treat she immediately comes.

 Pushing The Happy's Treat

Lady pouncing

Then we turned on Lady's ball.  She immediately found the ball from across the room and began spinning around it.  The kids love the way she plays with her ball.

Lady heading to her ball.

Lady is spinning around her ball in this photo.

D and E having a great time with Lady.

All of our kids have enjoyed playing with Lady and her ball.  They enjoy her life-like qualities and just think she is fun and entertaining.  If you have animal lovers at home you might want to try out The Happy's!  They would make a fun and unique gift.

Disclosure:  We were chosen to receive a very happy package including a new The Happy's pet, interactive treat and chase and play ball through MomSelect.  Thanks so much to MomSelect and Cepia for allowing us this opportunity.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wholesale Party Supplies Frozen Party Kit Review

We just had a fabulous Frozen themed joint birthday party last Saturday!  I was so excited when Wholesale Party Supplies sent me their Frozen themed party kit to use at our party.  This kit contains seven balloons (2 blue star balloons, 2 silver star balloons, 2 Frozen holographic balloons and a 41" Olaf), 30 silver foil star hanging decorations, streamers, ribbon, table cover, napkins, silverware, plates, cups, foil star cascade centerpiece and even candles!  All of the party decorations were amazing but I think my favorites were the Olaf balloon, the plates and the star hanging decorations - they just added so much festivity!

Our Frozen Party Kit was filled with goodies!

 Our Balloons - a great variety made for an awesome display

Table cover with centerpiece

The plates and napkins were awesome!  The girls loved having them match the theme and we even used the castle napkin as a bit of inspiration for the cake.

 Our food spread - I love how everything looks on the table cover.

 Grapes and Snowman Cheese Sticks

 Party Pinwheels

 We made snowflake candies for the cake and had extras.

 And Olaf treat goodie bags to go home!  Everyone was able to build a snowman.

 I really love the star hanging decorations.  They really added a lot to our entryway during the party.  In fact, we still have them up and I bet we will leave them up for all of our December festivities.  

 Not only did we made candy melts but we also made sugar glass for the cake.  It was actually quite fun and turned out perfect.

 David did a great job making the cake.  The two cakes were connected with stairs.

Another view

D blowing out her candles.  Her side of the cake was Arendelle.

 And B blowing out her side, the ice castle!

What do you think?  Are you having an upcoming Frozen party?  Do you need some Frozen party ideas?   I would highly recommend Wholesale Party Supplies for your themed party gear.  They were professional to work with, their products arrived quickly and the quality is superb.

Disclosure:  I was blessed to receive the Frozen Ultimate Kit for review.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.