Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday with Rudolph

My most favorite purchase of the holiday season thus far. :)

Cuddle Barn Knows Cute! Come See 'The Fox' Over at my Place! With #Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a product to review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

What Did the Fox Say??? You've probably heard that song...some of you multiple times, for sure. We were in the video rental store the other day and my 7-yr. old burst out singing it. I just looked at him and shook my head. I didn't even know he knew that song. Evidently he heard it from an older sibling. So... when a package from Cuddle Barn arrived on our doorstep yesterday and it played that song, to say my son was delighted would be an understatement.

Cuddle Barn sells so many cute, musical stuffed animals
including this one, 'The Fox.'

The musical plush animals at Cuddle Barn are meant to go on display. They are the push-a-button and hear-the-song kind of toy. They are built very well, with a quality that is going to last year after year, and they're cute. People who walk in the room gravitate right towards them.

He's got a cute little hoodie that acutally fits on his head.

The detail on the Cuddle Barn characters is nice. The sweatshirt has a hood that actually fits The Fox, the cuffs are rolled, and there is a screen print on the front that says the name of the song he plays.

And there they are...instant and very happy friends. :)

If you have been to my blog before, you might already know my 7-yr.-old still loves, loves, loves his plush animals. Suffice it to say, he and The Fox became very fast friends.


Cuddle Barn offers free shipping on all orders within the continental USA.

Head on over to Cuddle Barn and check out the large variety of animals they have for sale. You can see the product selection here. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

One lucky winner gets "The Fox" to call their own. US entrants only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

20% Off Space Scouts Monthly Subscription for Kids

Disclosure: I received a product sample to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.



Children love Science. I've found that to be true with my own four in our home, and in the school system as well. Teaching the kids about the marvels of the universe is fun. I've found they are especially prone to learning if they have hands-on activities to help them remember what they're being taught. A great way to get the conversation and learning started is to use the kits you will receive in a Space Scouts monthly subscription club. With these kits, your child will get to explore a new place in space...delving into areas like space science, space exploration, and astronomy, each and every month.


The lunch box was washed and used immediately.
It's fun to take a rocket to school. :)

Kits arrive once a month, and are filled with fun additions to add to your collection. Our first kit contained a space lunchbox,


Those are astronaut figures in one hand, and an robotic arm, extension grabber in the other.

a robotic arm extension grabber, two astronaut figures (my son loves those little figures!),


a puzzle scramble (made of stickers),


a constellation card, information sheet, and magnetic stickers (appropriately the characters on the magnets are named Jett and Roxy). :)


There is also an activity sheet to further help facilitate learning.

This monthly subscription kit is such a fun way to introduce or expand upon the knowledge your child/ren already have regarding Science and Technology. This fun, educational subscription creates a build-upon experience, allowing you to add on to each lesson with every new kit that arrives.

The subscription is affordable at just $11.95 a month + $3.00 shipping. You can get discounts for multi-month purchases. The kits are designed for chldren aged 6+.

Visit the website to learn more. You can also follow Space Scouts on Facebook and/or Twitter.

20% discount on initial purchase of any Space Scouts subscription plan using discount code USFAMILY20. Promo code expires 12/31/14

Flutterbye Fairy Really Flies!

Disclosure: I received a sample product to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Spin Master has been blazing the trail of fun for quite awhile now. They really do have a great line of games and toys for the kids. Recently we received a toy from them to review. When I opened it, and my son saw a doll, he said no waaaaaaaay, nuh uh, he wasn't reviewing a doll!  

Mmm hmm... I knew once that doll started to fly, he'd be in the room, and I was ohhh so right. :)

Flutterbye Fairy from Spin Master

Flutterbye Fairy sits on a base that also serves as a launching pad and a charger. There is a light on the front of it that will indicate by color, when she has a full charge. A direction booklet is included that will tell you what the different light colors mean.

If you purchase the flying doll for a gift, be sure to get the batteries!
Flutterbye Fairy takes 6 'AA' batteries.

This doll is really fun! She gets everyone in the room excited about how she's flying around (even the adults). ;) Flutterbye Fairy takes 6 AA batteries to run, so if you're picking one of these up for a Christmas present, be sure to buy and include those so your gift recipient doesn't have to wait to give her a go :)

Flutterbye Fairy. Isn't she cute?

Flutterbye Fairy is a pretty little thing. She's got bright eyes and a happy smile, and she's dressed in traditional fairy costume. This is the Tinkerbell version. There are many other dolls to choose from as well.

The base is the charger.

Charging her is easy, simply plug the cord attached to the base into the designated port on the doll. It takes about 30 minutes for her to get a full charge.

There's my son who said he wasn't going to review a doll!!
Mm hmm,
clearly you can see he's loving it. ;)

Here is a picture of the doll in flight. She went pretty high, and my son whose curiosity got the better of him when he heard me sending her in the air, is controlling how she moves. When my husband came in the room and gave it a try, because he is taller than little man, he got her to fly all the way to the ceiling.

You control her motions with your hand. She moves where your hand moves.

You simply put your hand underneath her to direct how and where she goes. Cool, right?

We've packed our doll back up nice and pretty in her package, and today she'll go, along with a group of other toys and items we've acquired, to a Toys 4 Tots box. I'm super happy about it too because I know she's going to make a little girl very, very happy on Christmas morning.

If you've got a little girl on your shopping list this year, and still need to pick up a present...this is a wonderful gift idea!

Keep your eyes open for Flutterbye Fairy in the toy section of your favorite store, or find her online.

You can learn more about this line of dolls by visiting Spin Master. You can also follow along on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Holiday Savings! $3 Off Beauteque Beauty Bags



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Come check out our Beauteque Holiday Bagstravaganza!!!! Our favorite Bags are the Head to Toe Spaliday, Tra La La Travel, and Polished Holiday bags. What's better is that they are customizable!

Head to Toe Spaliday - Comes with plenty of beauty products that are perfect for a STAY AT HOME SPA! Includes an Avocado Massage Cream, Aloe Shower Gel, and fruit sheet masks!

Tra La La Travel bag-. This is the perfect skincare set for when you are ON THE GO! Some products featured include a clay washoff mask, fruit cleanser, and makeup remover wipes.

Polished Holiday Bag- Perfect for the mani pedi girl! This includes nail polishes, hand cream, foot file and a nail tool kit.

This is not all! Come check out all of our featured Products. You can find something for any family member or friend who would love to enjoy the Holiday Season even more! Free U.S. Shipping over $35

My Readers Save $3 Off each holiday bag from Beauteque Use Code: HOLIDAYBAG

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BOOM BOOM BALLOON is Fun for Adults and Kids Alike!

Disclosure: I received a game to review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


I have never revived an old post, unless it was for a blog hop (with that as the specific theme). For this game, however, I had to do it... It's Christmas time, and one game suggestion I wanted to give you if you're going to have family/friends visiting, or want a fun gift to give is Boom Boom Balloon by Spin Master. We got this LAST year and it was so fun!! We played with the little ones in the family, and it's JUST as fun with the big ones when they come to visit. This game really gets you laughing, and one year later we're still using it and loving it. In fact, it's already on the party table for guests arriving this weekend for a holiday celebration.

So...please bear with me if you saw the post last year. I'm putting it back up this year, just to offer a suggestion to readers who might still be on the lookout for a really great game idea! :)

And without further adieu... here is last year's post (never mind the pictures being blurry...grr, I'm so glad I have a new camera). :)

It is no secret that I am a fan of Spin Master Toys. I  have a Pinterest Board dedicated to them, and have been very happy to review a few of their toys.  Today I am going to review one of their games, the Boom Boom Balloon game.


First off let me tell the absolute truth, I was a big chicken to play this game. Popping balloons are not my thing. BUT I was wrong, the pop on these balloons is subtle, and more like a release of air (not a big bang).  Whew.

Easy Peasy Set Up!

You don't even have to tie the balloon.

Set up was easy & no batteries required.  Just a few simple pieces to put together, and you don't even need to tie the balloon, just wrap the end around the plastic (pictured above) and you're good to go.

The 'pop' was not alarming, just a 'whoosh' and then the release of air.

With the first game we played, Dad was a big chicken like me... you can see him in the background being silly.  Like I said, the balloon gives a subtle pop, not a big one, hurrah again for that!, but we did have a challenge...and that was that the sticks weren't clicking.

WRONG!
Do not put your sticks in upside down like we did!

Well.... reading the directions (ahem, cough) helped a ton, and we saw that we were using the sticks upside down! hahahaha

RIGHT!
Once we turned the sticks the right way, the game was hopping!

Get the sticks in right...and then you've got a game going!!  It was really fun!  You roll the die and have to push a stick in until you hear the number of clicks that came up. You can get a 1, 2, or 3.

Never mind the photo quality, the camera I had when I took this last year
was a point-and-shot bought quickly on vacay (to replace my good camera that broke!).


Hubby kept rolling 3's, and we were laughing until our stomachs hurt.  The best part...watching little man roar with laughter when dad inevitably popped the balloon (all those 3's...it was bound to happen). ;)

This is a great game. It's recommended for ages 8+. Our youngest was 6 when I wrote this (he's 7 now), and still had a great time playing it. Balloon Blast does come with balloons, and you'll want to discard those as soon as they pop.

You can learn more about the game by visiting the Spin Master website. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

#Sponsored #MC What's Your #RedKettleReason?

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Influence Central for The Salvation Army. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


As a little girl, every holiday season, my mother would carefully take a couple of dollars out of her purse, a purse that had a little two-ball closure on top that snapped. I knew when she pulled me to the side, and undid that purse snap, that we were going to donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle, or the 'bell ringers' (those manning the kettle) as I called them when I was a child.

The bell ringing made me feel happy, and Christmas-y. After all, Santa's reindeer had those bells, right?  She would fold those bills carefully and put them in my little hand. I can still remember the feel of her transferring those bills into my gloved hand (and in Ohio, in December, outside...hands were always gloved). Even though I only had a few steps to go from her to the kettle, I remember how I kept looking down at my hand to ensure I didn't drop those bills. To me, it was a big deal. Then I would drop the money in, it would all be over, and we'd be on our merry way in seconds...the 'bell ringer' instantly all but forgotten.

What I didn't know as a child, is that those donations were being given to help others who really needed it during the holiday season. As I grew older, and developed a heart for giving, those donations took on a deeper meaning. I realized there were people behind the scenes that we would never meet or talk to, but who needed the helping hand of a stranger.



Today, I've passed the tradition of giving on to my own children. While I don't have a double ball-snap purse, and the kettle at the store pictured above was inside (hurrah for staying out of the elements!), it's still a big deal to my youngest to drop money in the kettle. I wonder if the clanging bell makes him feel holiday-y and festive like it did for me? I bet it does. And since the Salvation Army has been around since 1865, there's a very good chance, he will someday be taking his child/ren up to the kettle as well. That's fine by me. I think it's a tradition well worth keeping around. Don't you?

The Salvation Army Doing the Most Good

The Salvation Army began in London, and twenty years later made its way to the United States. So for 150 years internationally, and 130 years local-to-me, the Salvation Army has been giving people a hand-up. Whether that hand-up takes place in the form of gifts, paid utilities, a hot meal or countless other ways, the altruistic nature of their assistance certainly deserves to be lauded.

Just a Few of Many Ways the Salvation Army is Helping

• In 2013, The Salvation Army’s 3,600 officers, 59,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers served nearly 30 million Americans in need. That’s almost one person, every second, every day.
• The Salvation Army’s faith-based mission calls it to meet human needs in His name without discrimination, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, physical disability, age, creed or religion. 
• The Army has nearly 7,600 centers of operation covering nearly every zip code in the country.
• We also have a worldwide presence, providing assistance to people in more than 120 countries and territories around the world. The Salvation Army serves millions of people through dozens of services directly targeting the needs of local communities – from homelessness to disaster relief to substance abuse rehabilitation.
• Through the public’s generosity in 2013, in the United States alone:
o The Salvation Army served more than 58 million meals to the needy.
o 204,000 people received rehabilitation services through donations to Family Stores.
o Over 203,000 underprivileged children attended day care and summer day camps.
o The Army provided nearly 10 million nights of shelter.
o 324,000 people received help during times of disaster.
o More than 4 million families and children were served during the holidays.
o More than 1.8 million people received help through senior, medical and institutional services.

That's just a small list of the ways the Salvation Army has helped, does help, & will continue to help those in need. It gives you even more reason to want to drop a few dollars in the red kettle when you're passing by, doesn't it?

Note: One-third of online donations occur during the last two days of the year. Donors can benefit when it comes to their taxes if they donate to a charity and receive the proper documentation before January 1.


#RedKettleReason Campaign

The Salvation Army’s 124th National Red Kettle campaign is encouraging Americans to share their reasons for giving using the #RedKettleReason hashtag. Donors who post using #RedKettleReason can view their posts and others on RedKettleReason.org and learn why the rest of America is giving. Visit RED KETTLE REASON to learn more!


I'm headed over to post my reason now. I'll see ya' there. :)