Saturday, November 30, 2013

Super Sunday Sync #64

Welcome to Super Sunday Sync #64!

I love long weekends, and we are on the tail end of a really good one over here this week.  I hate to see it end!  I hope everyone else has had a fabulous week too!  Thank you for joining us! We are so thrilled that you have taken the time to stop by our blogs this weekend.

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Stop by and say hi to your hosts!
Dawn ~ Dawn's Disaster
Kera ~ Nugget On A Budget
Rosey ~ Mail 4 Rosey


Rules for the "Super-est" hop ever:

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4)  Grab a button and put it somewhere people will see. We'd love for this hop to continue to be a big success!

Super Sunday Sync

If you're interested being a Guest Host, please 
 


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #8

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #8
It's another installment of the fun Holiday Surprises event. I can't believe we're already at Week #8!  There are some great prizes yet again. A big thanks to Bill from Holiday Contests and Sweeps for taking the time out to put it all together.

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

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:

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 

A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF THE SPONSORS:


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.

Finally, 'tis the Season (officially)!



I thought Black Friday was for Friday only? I have been informed that it runs all weekend long.  Whew, I hope the crowds don't. ;)  While I didn't venture out yesterday, hubby wants to go out tonight or tomorrow and do a little Christmas shopping.

I can't believe I said that...he's usually the 'wait until Christmas Eve' kind of shopper, and this year he's jumping the hurdles to get out there and spend some money, hahahaha.  Ya' think ya' know a man. ;)

The last year big brother was home.
We'll do a Santa stop too.  My son's excited about seeing Santa, and the older kids have always been good sports about posing with Santa too. :)  The holidays make me miss my grown boys more than I already do. I like them close to their mama.



All of our decorations are up except the tree...we still have to get that...probably sometime this weekend. I wanted artificial this year, but we always get real and hubby loves it (I love many things about a real tree too), so that's what we're going to do.  I'm not putting the train around the tree this year, maybe that'll make maintenance easier (moving the train tracks daily to get the pine needles is tedious). In any case, I hope we get a really fragrant one...the fresh scent of Pine is my favorite thing about having a real tree in the house.


If you celebrate Christmas, are you getting in the spirit? I've been there since October, but now I can officially say it without people groaning.  ;) I love, Love, LOVE this time of year!! Bring on the holiday. :)

Cuddle Barn Review & Giveaway

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

J. Frost from Cuddle Barn

J. Frost is in the house, and boy is he cute! Standing a full 12"" tall, this singing plush snowman has already become a fast friend in our house.  My son was sick one day last week (a 24-hr bug he caught from someone in his classroom) and when he was down and out, boy was he down and out.  It just so happened that J. Frost from Cuddle Barn showed up that very same day.  When my son's fever went down and he felt good enough to venture out to the couch, I surprised him with the plush.  You can see from his reaction in the picture above that it was love at first sight. :)



J. Frost is one of many singing plush items you can get from the Cuddle Barn store online, and it's not just Christmas items that they sell, there are many, many categories, but this time of year, it might be the adorable, fun Christmas items that you want the most. :)

Take a look at their website to see their extensive and very cute inventory.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or YouTube.

Right now they have a great discount going on for the holidays: 5% off any order placed through Dec. 25th, 2013, using the coupon code HOLIDAY13.  The site also has free shipping on all orders placed in the Continental US.

One lucky winner gets a J.Frost of their own! Short giveaway, 10 days only so you can get it in time for Christmas!

US entrants only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 29, 2013

Free Swagbucks Extravaganza



Hey everyone -- Swag Code Alert! Here's the new Swag Code available on Swagbucks.com:  
Save200 (case sensitive)

Expires 11/29 6:15 EST  This one is good for 13 Swagbucks!

Make sure  to get your free Swag Bucks before time runs out! If you don't know about Swagbucks yet, it's the largest rewards website that gives people free gift cards for the things they do online.

In addition to earning Swag Bucks through the Search engine, playing Games, Watching videos, taking Surveys & more, they also like to give out Swag Codes for bonus Swag Bucks. The more Swag Bucks, the more free gifts cards! Don't miss out on all the savings and free rewards -- sign up for Swagbucks with my referral link here

Winner Announcement


Congrats to the following whose names were randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winners of the giveaway they entered.

Susan D. won the Starbucks giveaway.
Karen G. won the Fairytale Brownie/Bars giveaway
Andrina won the $50 Laughing Giraffe Book Gift Certificate giveaway.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

@mail4rosey #GenworthHoliday Discussion (big change means big decisions)

Disclosure: Information for this post is sourced by Genworth Financial. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Fly to Disney for the holidays? Yes, please (once upon a time).

When my maternal grandparents were alive, and then just my gram, holidays at their house in Ohio were a given. No matter where we lived (and for most of our lives it was in Florida), we made our way back to family for holidays, and we loved it!  That was most especially true during the Christmas holiday season.

The family acting like toy soldiers at Disney World for a photo opp.
You can barely see my daughter she's so short. These days she's almost as tall as me. :)

When my grandmother too passed, things changed, and quite honestly my idea of a good holiday until even a few years ago was jaunting off to some great holiday destination, and taking a break from reality for awhile. We had Christmas at home (we celebrate on Christmas Eve) and took off the very next day.  I don't regret those trips...we still had our big celebration at home, and then we went out and made some more great memories.

Now that I am getting older and things are changing yet again, my priorities for family holiday time are once again starting to shift. The oldest is now married and lives in another state, my second oldest went out of state to go to school, and my mom...who lives in yet another state, just lost her husband a few weeks back, leaving her completely alone.  The family is scattered, holiday vacations are harder to come by (as a big group) because we're spread out all over the place, and the sense of unity as we've known it during holidays, is just different.


Don't get me wrong: Nothing makes me happier than to have all of my kids together in the same place with me.  Nothing.  And we do still get together, but it's not the primary focus of some of their lives anymore, they've got their own grown-up things going on now.  And I don't like the thought of my mom being alone.  So, some tough questions are coming into play.

My biggest concern at the moment is my mom.  What is our role in her life now?

Do we offer to move her closer to us? 
Is it something, she and we can afford?  
What considerations do we need to keep in mind when contemplating what will or will not be done?  

I found a great article to help me sort through the information, When and How to Coax a Parent to Move Closer. The article discussed the importance of looking at such things as a cost-benefit analysis (that is not wholly financial), the cost factor to you for having a parent move closer, the need to consult with family, and one I haven't done yet but fully intend to, discussing these things and more with the parent.  I am not sure yet whether my mother has contemplated moving to a new state or not.  Maybe she likes it where she is? Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she needs time to adjust?  What are her finances like now that shes'll be down to a single income? Does she have medical, health, and/or life insurance covered, or was her husband the one who made all of those decisions?

The best part of the holidays? Good old-fashioned, never-goes-out-of-style, family time.

I'm not sure what the answers are to any of those questions, but I know we'll be sitting down together to find out. If we need help along the way, and I'm sure we will, I am confident Genworth Financial will be there to help clear up any areas that need a sharper focus.  This will all happen soon, maybe when we get together over the holidays, and maybe shortly after, I don't know. Until then we will be enjoying each other's company and loving the holiday season.

Wishing the same to all of you (and for those reading the day I post, a big Happy Thanksgiving Day to you tomorrow if you celebrate it, and happy regular day to you, if you you don't). :)

Rogers Family Company Coffee (Review & Giveaway)

Disclosure: A product was received to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.



I drink coffee year-round, but I especially love a good cup when it's cold outside.  I know many of you can absolutely relate. The Rogers Family Company knows good coffee!!  Take a look at the history behind their special holiday blend and you will be amazed! I was amazed.


In any case, on my end of the journey, I am very happy that they go to the trouble they do to find the perfect coffee beans. The San Francisco Bay 100% Organic Holiday Blend Beans make a superior cup of joe.  The description from the website for this particular blend of coffee is as follows:

Our 2013 Organic Holiday Blend is complex yet balanced with good acidity and notes of spices and chocolate, resulting in a creamy body and a bright bold finish. 

I took his picture right when we opened the pkg.
He's laughing because it's so big!

If you like to grind your own beans to ensure the freshest cup of coffee, these beans are such a welcome addition to the kitchen!  The 3 lb. bag is NOT small either.  You can see from the picture above that a 3lb. bag of beans is half as big as my 6-yr. old. :) Certainly it is enough to get you through the holidays and provide a lot of happy, hearty enjoyment in the form of good coffee, for you, your family, and many, many guests.

Take a look at the Rogers Family Company Coffee & Tea online market. They've got beans, ground coffee, single cups, tea, gifts, specials and more!  Everything is delightfully packaged, delicious, and very affordable. The big bag of coffee pictured above is on sale right now for $20.99.

One winner is going to get a 3 lb. Holiday Blend (unground beans) of their own (just like the one reviewed). This would make a great gift, and/or it would be great to keep for yourself!

You can learn more about Rogers Family Co. and their products by visiting their website.


You can also follow them on any one of their social media sites:

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Treetopia Wreaths

Disclosure: Sample received to help facilitate review. All opinions stated however, are genuine and my own.

Treetopia specializes in artificial Christmas Trees, wreaths, and decorative garland.  Their products are very well known, and have a very good reputation.


I have to tell you, it's exciting when a very big Treetopia box, covered in pretty green snowflakes shows up on your doorstep.


It's even more exciting when it's almost time to decorate for the holidays (just a couple of more days for us now!), and inside is a big, beautiful wreath!

Biltmore Pine Wreath from Treetopia

The wreath we received was a pre-lit, Biltmore Pine interwoven with two kinds of pinecones, Cashmere tips, and holly. It does look authentic, and it's really pretty when it's lit up.

Biltmore Pine Wreath & Garland Set
from Treetopia

The bow on the wreath is a wonderful gold, holiday color. We've decided to decorate outside this year, and will be hanging these up for the neighbors to enjoy as well as ourselves.

Treetopia also offers a full selection of artificial Christmas trees, in many sizes and colors, as well as decorations aplenty, and of course the wreaths...there are so many of them, and they're all just as gorgeous as the next.

Take a look around their website, and you can poke around their Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram sites as well. Be sure to keep your eyes open for any sales that are going on. The BIG THANKS sale they have going on today is great (50% off) but it ends at midnight tonight (11/26).  Hurry on over to take advantage of the savings.

A big thank you to Treetopia for offering us an extra piece of big pretty to add to our decorating this year.

Do you have your decorations up yet?  Hubby makes me wait until the day after Thanksgiving (and I laud his patience).  It's almost time though, and a big woo hoo for it!! I love decorating for the holidays!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Easter Seals Recognizes Noelle's Grandpa! Awesome!!

A lot of you already know Noelle from Jumpin Beans.  I was visiting her blog to enter sweepstakes (she's always got some good ones running) long before I became a blogger myself, but since I've started my own place, we've also become bloggy friends.  If we lived close together, I have little doubt we'd get the kiddos together and have nice visits!!  She's got a heart of gold, and when she recently put up a post, I thought it was so awesome I asked her if she'd let me share it here.  She agreed, and it's below!  I hope you'll take the time out to give it a read, and if you get a chance, swing on over to her place too, to say hello.
Thanks for letting me share, Noelle!

Taken from last week's Jumpin' Beans 'Wordful Wednesday Post'

This is totally going to be a WORDFUL Wednesday Post... It is about my family and I am so very very proud!
Let me give you the run down...
Family - My dad's dad used to own a bicycle shop in my hometown.  He owned it for over 40 years and people all over town have memories of getting their bikes from him.  He passed away over 20 years ago, but his memory lives on!!!

Easter Seals - I am not sure about everywhere else, but at least in my hometown, each holiday season, Easter Seals of Albany releases a new Christmas Ornament.  They some times have the ornament represent something in the city.  For around 10 years now, I have received one of these beauties for my personal tree.  (They $18 each, that includes shipping and $11 can be written off as a tax write off, if my memory serves me right.)  

This year, my mom put a lot of thought into it and decided to write Easter Seals to see if there was anything that could be done to recommend making an ornament to honor my grandaddy's memory.

Well, after months and months of communication, it was revealed a couple weeks ago...

They released the 2013 Easter Seals Ornament - Pat's Cycle Shop!!!!
The 2013 Easter Seals Ornament, honoring my grandaddy!!!!

Broxton never had the privilege to meet him, but it was great to be able to get this pictures of him at the reveal!!! 

Of course, I had to get a picture of Broxton with my grandmother (his great grandmother!)

The best part of it all was that several of our family members were able to be there for the big day!!!
We drove back to my hometown for the big day!  We met up with several family members at the local Easter Seals location.   The mayor was there and she read a proclamation...   Of course, me being the sentimental / emotional one... I was crying... Just happy that my grandmother was there for the day... Happy that people will have this ornament on their tree for years to come.  My granddaddy sold bikes to make kids happy and what better time than Christmas?

People from Albany buy these for the fact of adding to their collection... People from other places buy these as memories from their past (if they are from Albany) and the great thing with this particular ornament is that people can buy this if they have never even been to Albany... Look at it!  Who didn't have a tricycle like that when they were a kid????

So, if you are interested in buying one (You know I had to put that out there for you all!) Feel free to head on over to the Easter Seals site and order one today!!!

Super Duper Publications (with reader discount!)

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

Super Duper Publications sells toys that are fun, and that inspire learning, creating a win-win situation for parents, children, and educators alike. If you take a look around their website, you will find a lot of really great choices for discovery, learning, and fun too! We were lucky enough to give some of their learning games a try.

MagneTalk Telling Time Game
These pieces all separate and have a magnet on the back that holds fast to the dual board.

The MagneTalk Telling Time game was an instant favorite. It comes with a sturdy dual folding board that has a clock on one side, sans clock hands, a place to put numbers, and room to create a sentence (many 'clock' words are included to assist).

This is how the board looks without any magnets on it.

I am not sure if my son was just ready to learn to tell time, or if the format of the game made it easy. I suspect it was a combination of the two. Whatever the case, my little guy really made some great progress in learning how to tell time! It was very appealing to him because he could arrange and rearrange the magnets to make different times; match those times with the magnetic clock handles; and create sentences out of words very similar to (and some the same as) the sight words he's practicing in school.


My son created a sentence out of the magnetic-backed punch out words,
that went along with the time he selected for the clock display.
An example of a sentence he formed can be seen above. 8:30 PM really is his bed time, and he created that on the board with the clock hands, the actual number display, and the sentence above.

Reinforcing how to tell time, x3 (the clock, number display, & sentence).

The MagneTalk Telling Time game comes with its own sturdy, clear bag with handles.
This bag makes clean up, & keeping up with all of the pieces a breeze!

The MagneTalk Telling Time game is but one of many educational games at Super Duper Publications, and it sells for $21.95!

The second game we reviewed from Super Duper Publications was Word Joggers for Categories.

Word Joggers for Categories

Word Joggers is an amazingly fun game that can be played in any number of ways.  According to the description at Super Duper Publications, it is designed with students in mind who have specific language processing difficulty in grades Pre-K through the Grade 5, and students who are learning English as a second language.

Contents of Word Joggers (Source)
  • 15 Boards (30 Playing Surfaces)
  • 396 Word Joggers Cards
  • Bingo Chips
  • Spinner (1–2)
  • 6 Card Holders
  • Instruction Book with Game Ideas

My son holding open the instruction book so you can see one of the ideas shared for playing.

The pictures on the over-sized BINGO cards are familiar, colorful, and large.
Just right for generating interest and keeping a little one's attention.



Taking his turn with the spinner
The game is similar to BINGO in many ways, but steps it up a notch or ten to be even better (and you already know that Bingo is fun in and of itself!).  Offering three sets of cards (Categories, Attributes, and Vocabulary) the game can be mixed and matched to help you focus on areas your child might most need practice, repetition, and/or learning. Games can be adapted to most any environment (school, home, clinical), and sorted/created by level of difficulty.







We chose to create a BINGO game out of the category cards alone for our first game.

The cards were great because they offered easy to read sentences that got my son thinking, and best of all, practicing his reading!!


The first card he drew said, "Things made of paper," and he spun a #2 on the spinner. So... he had to put a BINGO chip on two of the items on his card that were made of paper.  The game continued along in that fashion until one of us achieved a line all the way across, up and down, or diagonally.


I drew from the "Food" category that matched my card, and my son drew from the "School" category that matched his card.  We could have both used the same type of category card.  That's the beauty of the game, you can create and enjoy as many different types of scenarios as you can think of (and for my youngest, that is a big part of the fun).  This game was a big hit in our house, and we have played it almost every single day since it arrived.

Super Duper Publications

The two games reviewed here or just a small selection of the many great learning/fun items you will find at Super Duper Publications.

You can learn more about them and their products by visiting their website.

You can also follow Super Duper Publications on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube.


Two Ways to Save!

There are also two great promos going on right now.

The first is 33% off of web orders. This offer is good until 12/1 (midnight), and you can take advantage of it by using the promo code 'Thanks.'

The second offer is 15% off using the promo Code: DEGRVPJR (good through Dec. 20).

Shipping to US and Canada is always free for orders over $20.

Super Duper Publications is a great place to shop any time of the year, but with the holidays coming up, it's even more appealing to me. I love to shop for gifts that children like, and learn a great deal from too!  I hope you'll go check them out, I am certain you will find something you love.

Appliance Efficiency Matters!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.


Most people don't pay very close attention to the appliances they use daily. There's rarely any reason to do anything but take them for granted as long as they seem to be working. However, appliances cost a lot in terms of electricity if you don't manage their usage carefully. Many find this to be something of a raw deal and are less than pleased to realize just how much current a given appliance can draw to run up their bill, but the only real response most people take is to just try to use the appliance less. This isn't the best way to handle it, unfortunately, and many never learn that the efficiency of an appliance is something within the power of the owner to improve.

One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of an appliance is to look into any filters it might use. Everything from refrigerators to dryers uses filters for water and air. Often, these filters are noted in the owner's manuals as something that should be replaced every so often, but most people overlook this so long as the device continues to operate well. However, it's very possible to replace these filters to improve the efficiency of your appliance, which can save you money in the long run and improve its performance.

Electrolux-store.com is a good example of a retailer for these filters. Filters are always very specialized, which can make them difficult to find in brick-and-mortar stores. They're easy to find online, however, so long as you know what kind of appliance you are looking for. Check up on its model number n use that as a search token to find what sort of filter you need. This will usually take you right to the details about not only what kind of filter you require but how often that filter needs to be replaced as well as how to perform the replacement yourself. Often, calling in maintenance for these will simply result in a replacement of the filter because that is all the appliance requires, so sparing yourself the house call can spare your wallet!

Keeping the efficiency of your appliances in mind is a great way to keep your home more energy-efficient, making it more affordable and better for both the community and the environment. There's no reason not to stay on top of these details as a homeowner or even a renter, and the web makes it very possible.

Winner Announcement



Congratulations to the following giveaway entrants who were randomly selected by Rafflecopter:
Sara E.: Lottie Doll & Accessory
Sara P.: Imagine I Can! craft kit
Sue S.: SmartSilk Pillows