Harvest Time Books

Teaching Your Child Compassion and Other Important Values

Harvest Time Books

 

 

I’ve always felt that I’ve been an overly compassionate person. I’ll cry reading stories online about other people’s misfortunes or when I’m watching something on the news. I can’t pass a homeless person on the street without my heart breaking and I’m usually quick to help someone if I see they are in need. Sometimes it can drive my husband crazy, but I believe that to raise responsible and compassionate adults, you have to lead by example. For the past few years, we have adopted a family at our church during Christmas, donated to local food banks and schools in need and participated in Operation Christmas Child. Each time we do something, Hayden always gets excited about picking out items to help others.

But with kids, you constantly have to be working to instill these types of values in them. Leading by example is great, but it’s always great when you have extra resources to help. That’s why I love The Principles of Our World, a line of children’s books from Harvest Time Partners.

Harvest Time Books

From Teamwork to Compassion, these books are great for parents and teachers to have on hand. They are appropriate for kids ages 4 and up and they take readers through a series of real-life situations and with the help of illustrated characters such as the Principal of Compassion, encourage principal-based decision making as an effective way to resolve everyday challenges.

I enjoyed reading the books to my son and then asking him what he would do in certain situations. It sometimes seems like he has more compassion for people outside of our family, so the story in the Compassion book about an older brother helping out his younger brother was a great example of something I could read to Hayden and he could relate to in real life being a big brother himself. I’m someone that learns from real life situations and I believe that it helps children too. The Principals of Our World books are great for teaching children about some of the most important values in life.

In addition to the books, Harvest Time Partners also has created some board games that not only help kids think on the right thing to do in situations, but also adults!

Harvest Time Games

The Abundant Harvest Game is a fast-moving conversation game that helps families and educators open the door to more productive dialogue. It reinforces the importance of developing strong character traits and encourages good, principle-based decision making. Through this game, players quickly learn the law of the harvest—you reap what you sow. Abundant Harvest is available in two versions for two different age groups.

The Face to Face card game is a new game that is played with a deck of 96 question cards that ask players questions that stimulate lively discussions on real-life issues. It helps build the critically important life skill of “Face to Face” authentic communication that is rapidly being replaced by today’s online chatter. Harvest Time Partners designed the game to encourage a high level of engagement and to reinforce principle-based decision making with the intent of developing and strengthening a person’s character. It’s the perfect conversation starter for road trips, vacations, family time, and small-group get-togethers. Face to Face is available in four versions for four different age groups, including a special Bible Edition.

I love the idea of putting down the electronics and speaking to family and friends FACE TO FACE again. The questions are interesting and thought provoking, sure to let you get to know your family and friends a little bit better.

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Harvest Time Partners has been around for over 20 years and provides a 100% guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. I think these books and products are a great resource in helping to raise great kids.

Connect with Harvest Time on their websiteFacebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.

Win It!

Enter below to win your own set of Harvest Time Partners The Principles of Our World books!

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Harvest Time and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions in this post are my own.

 

Kazaz! Entry Screen after downloading it (72)

Kazaz! An Interactive Story App

Kazaz! Entry Screen after downloading it (72)

Kazaz! is an exciting new app featuring a world of interactive, animated original stories.  Perfect for children ages 3 to 8, Kazaz! stories combine sight, sound, and touch to help maximize even the youngest child’s learning experience.

Kazaz! Entry Screen after downloading it (72)

Available for iPad, Kazaz! Is definitely the only one like it of its kind.  Kazaz! not only encourages reading but also allows them to immerse themselves in learning by interacting with the app.  Throughout the stories, gems are hidden and reveal fun facts and other information pertaining to the specific story they are in.  The three stories currently available:

The Magic of Kazaz: Reveals the history of how Kazaz! became a magical planet. This story will always be free.

Travelogue page of The Magic of Kazaz-Go Now (72)

I Am the Music Man: Sing along with the Music Man in this hand-clapping, toe-tapping rendition of a classic children’s melody. Free with the Kazaz! app download through October 26th, $1.99 thereafter.

Travelogue page of I Am the Music Man-Purchase (72)

The Story of Wooding: The tale of an adventurous young swan who sets off on an exciting journey, free with the Kazaz! app download through October 26th, $2.99 thereafter.

Travelogue page of The Story of Wooding

Kazaz! and their company, American Story Channel have big future plans, so this isn’t all you’ll see from them.  On the Kazaz! agenda includes additional stories, 11 languages, 3D figures in real gold and silver as well as an animated TV series!  Until then, Kazaz! extends the store experience with activities on the Kazaz! Kids website and via their exclusive newspaper, Kazaz! Post.   Also available on the Kazaz! Kids website is a section just for kids. The Pizzazz kids section features 6 different coloring pages as well as additional puzzles for older users to enjoy.  In the future, you can also bring your Kazaz! app to the big screen thanks to Apple TV.  With this feature, additional sights and sounds will be amplified to increase your child’s Kazaz! experience!

Kazaz!

The Kazaz! app definitely kept Cecelia entertained and wasn’t overstimulating like some apps can be.  The voices of the story narrators are surprisingly relaxing and I even found myself captivated by how they sounded when reading the stories.  As mentioned above, the Kazaz! app is free and inside the app are 3 stories available for your children to enjoy and until October, 26, two of the three stories will be free (Kazaz! is only available for iPad)!

For even more information about Kazaz! check out the video below! You can also visit them on their Facebook page.

Disclaimer: While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are always my own

Photo Source: Google Street View

Trapped in the St. Louis City Hall Parking Lot

Photo Source: Google Street View

 

 

For the last few days, our family has been hit hard with the stomach flu. It got so bad for my son that we ended up at our children’s hospital for dehydration. So when my husband was offered tickets to the St. Louis Blues game for tonight {Center Ice, 13 rows back!}, I jumped at the chance to get out of my house and away from the sickness. After saying goodbye to Grandma and the kids, we left the house as soon as my husband arrived home from work and headed to the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis. Since we were running a little behind, we pulled into the St. Louis City Hall parking lot instead of waiting to get into the garage. We paid our $20 cash to the person at the entrance and I noticed there was another person taking money for the next lane, plus two additional employees in the guard booth. We parked and then quickly hurried into the game, making it just in time.

Before the 1st period was over though, the stomach flu finally claimed the last person in my family – my husband. It hit him like a truck and after leaving the bathroom, we headed to our car. I’ve parked there before a few times but always during the day. The lighting isn’t the best and there’s actually a part of the parking lot that is complete darkness, so I felt a little uneasy as we got into our car. But we were quickly in our car and headed to one of the exits – there are 4 – but the barrier wouldn’t lift. Since this exit didn’t have a guard booth, I backed up and went to an exit that is directly across from the Scottrade Center. Again, the barrier didn’t lift and there was no one in the guard booth. I got out of the car to see if it would lift – nope. I looked around hoping to find an employee who could tell me how to get out. I then got back into my car to look at our parking ticket, hoping there was a phone number to call. Again, nothing.

I drove and tried the two other exits in the parking lot but again, none of the barriers would lift and the guard booths were completely dark. It baffled me that less than an hour earlier, there were 5 people at one guard booth and I assume the same amount at the other, yet now there was no one. On the outside of the main guard booth {pictured below}, there was a sticker that said “How are we doing? Call the boss at 314-622-4414″. I called the number and an answering machine picked up stating that it was Joe Ryan and I had reached the City of St. Louis Customer Service Parking line. I realize it was after hours, but I started leaving a message. Halfway through my message, I got cut off and was informed my message was canceled. Was this a joke?

Photo Source: Google Street View

Photo Source: Google Street View

Unaware that the St. Louis City Police Headquarters had moved a few months ago, I walked across the street to see if I could get an officer to help me when I discovered they were no longer in the building across the street. I decided to get back into my car and head over to the part of the parking lot closest to Scottrade Center so I could run back in there and find someone.

Before I could do that though, another car was trying to get out of the parking lot also. I decided to get behind them in hopes of MAYBE I was doing something wrong. But the barrier wouldn’t work for them and no one answered the customer service line. The next thing I knew, the passenger of the vehicle in front of us broke the barrier into pieces and jumped in the car. Sorry, I didn’t get the license plate, I just got in my car and finally left too – after 35 minutes of trying to get out. But you know what? I don’t blame him.

I live in St. Louis County so I’m the first to admit that I don’t pay attention to a lot of the happenings in St. Louis City. But What. The. Heck. I’m glad that I paid $20 to park my car in a secure lot. In fact, it’s SO secure that I couldn’t get out. I kept thinking, what if one of my kids were REALLY sick and I needed to get home? What if I was a doctor on call who had to get to a patient? But instead, I was trapped in a car with a sick husband and no way to get out.

Here’s a few things that I think need to happen. And maybe I’m crazy. But when I’m paying $20 for parking, I think someone needs to be guarding the parking lot – in the 2 guard booths that are there. The lighting isn’t the best and after all, armed robbery in downtown St. Louis is up 68 percent and that doesn’t include the fact that there are almost more murders in St. Louis City in 2014 than 2013 – and there’s still 2 months left of the year.

If no one is going to be guarding the parking lot, you need to have someone answer the customer service line. Or there has to be an emergency button to let cars out. You can’t just trap cars in the parking lot, especially at night. According to Parkopedia, this parking lot is manned. But it wasn’t for at least 35 minutes tonight. And for me, that’s 35 minutes too long. I’m just thankful for the guy that was way less patient than me.

Le me know if I’m overreacting. Is this the norm for parking lots during sporting events? As someone who attends several St. Louis Cardinals games a year and parks in different parking lots, I’ve never had this happen to me and not sure if it was because it was a city parking lot.

Halloween Treat Bags for Dogs

#TreatThePups with Halloween Goodie Bags + Free Printable

Halloween Treat Bags for Dogs

Post sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own.

In our household, it’s not just the kids that get into Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays and the whole family gets involved – even our dog! Zoey does plenty of tricks for us so she deserves a treat on Halloween night too. We have stocked up on some of her favorite treats like Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Grillers, Pup-Peroni Snacks and MilkBone Biscuits from Walmart. On Halloween night, Zoey loves to walk the neighborhood with us since she just loves people. We usually see a lot of other dogs walking with their owners too. If your neighborhood is like ours and full of pups, put together a treat bag for them too!

Halloween Treat Bags for Dogs

Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Grillers, Pup-Peroni Beef Flavor Snacks and Milk-Bone Dog Snacks are Howlin’ Good Gifts for the pawsome pets in your life! You can head to Walmart.com to see more gift ideas like an edible treat bowl and a Halloween dog treat holder – so creative! You can even print up a door hanger to let others know you treat dogs too.

#treathePups
My son and I had a great time making treat bags for the dogs in our neighborhood. Plus, I have this printable for you to attach to bags for your local pups. Just click on the photo below to enlarge and print!

Halloween Treats for Dogs #TreatThePups

 

Halloween Dog Treats

Halloween Night Safety Tip for Pets

Chocolate is dangerous for both dogs and cats so make sure to keep it all for yourself! I’m sure you won’t mind! :-)

To read more safety tips for pets on Halloween night, head over to Walmart.com to read them!

#TreatThePups Instagram Photo Contest

Treat The Pups Banner 6

Does your dog dress up for Halloween? Snap a photo and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #TreatThePups! You’ll have the opportunity to win one of the three gift cards. The first prize winner will win one (1) $500 Gift Card, second place will win one (1) $100 Gift Card and third place will win (1) $50 Gift Card.

ZoeyHalloween

Enter the contest below!

 

Treat all the Pawesome pets this Halloween!

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The Book of Life Activity Sheets, New Trailer and Giveaway! #BookOfLife

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Last week, I shared with you a trailer for The Book of Life, a new animated movie that is in theaters on October 17th. To get you excited for the release of the movie, I’ve got lots of exciting things to share including activity sheets and a giveaway!

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THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.

The movie stars Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, and more. Rated PG, it’s in theaters on October 17th.

BookofLife-CharacterArt1

Free Book of Life Activity Sheets!

Want to learn how to make your own Sugar Skulls, Paper flags and more? Download free Book of Life Activity Sheets!

Cost Plus World Market Book of Life Shop

Visit the Book of Life Shop in stores and online! In celebration of the release of the upcoming film, The Book of Life, Cost Plus World Market has developed exclusive Book of Life Toys inspired by the film. Products include a colorful Tin Keepsake Box, Guitar, Maracas, Manolo Rubber Duck Bath Toy, Kaleidoscopes, and more.

Watch the Trailer!

Connect with The #BookOfLife

– Visit the Official Website

– Like ‘The Book of Life’ on Facebook

– Follow on Twitter, Tumblr

Win It!

Enter to win a The Book of Life Prize Pack that includes a $25 Visa Gift Card,  Mini guitar & keepsake box from Cost Plus World Market.

BOL-WorldMarket

Enter the Rafflecopter form below. US only, prizes courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Imagine Elmo

Imagine Big With Let’s Imagine Elmo #ImagineWithElmo

Imagine Elmo

 

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Whenever I think of a character using their imagination, one of the first to pop in my head is Elmo. My kids and I love watching Sesame Street and seeing Elmo come on the screen and using his imagination to discover new worlds and sing songs. I love to encourage my kids to use their imagination and recently we had a fun Playskool Party to encourage kids to use their imagination while discovering the new Let’s Imagine Elmo.

Imagine Elmo

Open up your imagination at home with Let’s Imagine Elmo, a 13-inch Elmo that comes with three different hats that unlock different imaginary themes and play modes. You can place the crown on Elmo’s head to play a game of “Prince Elmo Says,” pop on the cowboy hat to learn about numbers in the “Countin’ Cowboy” game, or put on the sea captain hat for a fun “Sounds of the Sea”game. Your kids can also tickle his belly, squeeze his nose, or bounce him for a fun reaction.

Imagine Evie Elmo

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How fun is the new Let’s Imagine Elmo?! My kids love him! #MC #ImagineWithElmo #Sponsored

View on Instagram

We had fun kicking off the party with Elmo snacks – Earth’s Best Crackers and Pouches – and trying on the different hats that Elmo has too. It was fun trying on the different hats and using our imagination to create stories with Elmo.

Imagine Snacks

 

Imagine Crowns

 

My little climber could definitely imagine being a gymnast when she is older. I was surprised when my son told me he imagines he will be a writer!

Imagine Olivia Sticker

We also had fun playing with the Stack N’ Spin Monkey Gears, {a favorite from when my son was older!} where  little ones can build up the fun by placing colorful gears all around their monkey friend’s belly, hands, and feet. The Stack N’ Spin Monkey Gears encourages Fine Motor Skills, Hand-Eye Coordination and Cause and Effect – perfect for little ones!

Imagine Evie

New this year, the the MR. POTATO HEAD brand combines mini spuds with Mix & Mash play in a two-inch scale featuring everyone’s favorite TRANSFORMERS characters! Optimus Prime spud partners up with Grimlock spud to battle the Decepticons! Squeeze the Grimlock figure’s eyes and watch as his jaw chomps and launches a projectile!

Imagine Hayden

If you’re looking to get one of the hottest toys for 2014, check out the Let’s Imagine Elmo from PlayskoolWhat do your kids imagine they will be when they grow up? 

Zoey Minnie 2

Treat Your Dog this Halloween Season! #BegginHalloween

Zoey Minnie 2

 

This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. All opinions are my own.

With Halloween coming up next week, it’s not only my kids that I’m thinking about! I’m also thinking about our lab, Zoey! She absolutely loves people and is such a friendly dog, so on Halloween night my husband and I like to bring her along as we walk through our neighborhood. We are a Disney lovin’ family so naturally, we had to buy her a Minnie Mouse costume. She actually keeps them on too – it’s so cute!

Zoey Minnie

My kids love seeing that Zoey gets a costume too for Halloween! {We are actually considering changing her costume since my twins are dressing up as Anna and Elsa. We think Zoey will be a perfect Sven!}

You don’t have to give only kids treats this Halloween – dogs love them too! Celebrate Halloween this year with Beggin’ – The Official Dog Treat of Halloween™! It’s the perfect treat for your dog after they do their tricks and it’s the perfect treat to have on you Halloween night while you’re out walking in case you see any other dressed up dogs!

Beggin’, the Official Dog Treat of Halloween™

Head to the Purina Pet Park where you can play the Treat Seeker game for a chance to win one of 25,000 treat samples for your pet! It’s a fun game – my son is hooked! While you are there, get to know the full array of Beggin’ and Purina Pet Treats! They’re the perfect way to “treat” your dog or cat this Halloween season. They will be “beggin'” for them!

Plus, share the “scare with your friends on Facebook or Twitter!

What will you be dressing your dog up as for Halloween?

Enter to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!

Enter the widget below to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!

Purina Halloween 2014

Jimmy Dean Pulled Pork Lunch

Transform Your Lunches with Jimmy Dean® Frozen Lunch Entrees!

Jimmy Dean Pulled Pork Lunch

 

 

The last few months have been kind of crazy for our household. My son started 1st grade and is now going to school full-day and my husband started a new job. We are all getting into the swing of a new routine – even me since I’m now working from home with my 1 year old twins running around.

I try to stay as organized as possible since I work from home and that includes making everyone’s lunches the night before and trying to plan my menu for the week each Sunday. When it comes to meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – I always tend to make the same things over and over again. It gets boring fast and I’ve recently started hearing complaints from the men in my family about making something a little different for their lunches and our dinners. Usually, I’ll spend hours browsing Pinterest for ideas but now my mind is racing with ideas using the new Jimmy Dean® & Jimmy Dean Delights® frozen lunch or dinner entrees at Walmart! That’s right, Jimmy Dean isn’t just for breakfast anymore!

For my husband, I know that he has been wanting some variety in his lunches. I’ve never been the type of person to get overly creative or involved with lunches – it’s always been a sandwich, chips and a fruit. Sandwiches can get boring fast but not the sandwiches from Jimmy Dean! I’m talking Smoked Ham & Cheese Sandwiches on Pretzel Buns, Smoked Sausage on a Country Bun and Pulled Pork on a Pretzel Bun. YUM!

Last week, we did a week’s worth of Jimmy Dean lunches and they were a huge hit not only with my husband at work but for me at home. There’s so many times that I’m busy with my twins that I forget to eat because I just don’t have time to prepare something for myself. When I pop one of these in the microwave and sit down to enjoy it, it’s like I’m actually enjoying a sandwich packed full of flavor from a restaurant or a BBQ joint. For a busy Mom like me, I love having the option of enjoying a high-quality meal in just minutes.

Now, it looks like I’m getting fancy with lunches. Check out my Jimmy Dean lunches below!

Jimmy Dean Pulled Pork on a Pretzel Bun Lunch

Jimmy Dean Pulled Pork Lunch

Jimmy Dean Pulled Pork Sandwich

Jimmy Dean Ham and Cheese on Pretzel Bun Lunch

Jimmy Dean Ham and Cheese on Pretzel Bun Lunch

Jimmy Dean Ham and Cheese on Pretzel Bun

I picked up the new Jimmy Dean products at our local Walmart, where you’ll find the new frozen lunch and dinner offerings, . Pick some up today and transform your boring ol’ lunch!

Connect with Jimmy Dean

Online

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

YouTube

Instagram

Jimmy Dean…it’s not just for breakfast anymore! It’s for anytime of the day. Which lunch are you looking forward to trying?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart: Jimmy Dean . The opinions and text are all mine.

TGT_DoveMB_Social1

Celebrate Feeling Beautiful with Target and Dove #TGTfeelbeautifulfor

TGT_DoveMB_Social1

 

 

When my son was about 4 years old, he was in the bathroom with me while I was looking in the mirror. Not thinking, I said out loud that I hated the way I looked – my hair was limp, my complexion was a mess and I just felt blah. He looked up at me and said that he thought I was beautiful. It was at that moment that I realized I had to not only build up my child’s self-esteem but that I had to have good self-esteem myself to be a good role model for my kids. When I had my twin girls, I knew that I wanted them to grow up with self-confidence and to know that they are beautiful – both inside and outside. The same goes for my son, too!

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What’s your beauty legacy? Help the next generation of young girls and women celebrate feeling beautiful. All you have to do is tell the world who you feel beautiful for, by tweeting and posting with #TGTfeelbeautifulfor.

Target Dove Beautiful

Target and Dove want to help you feel beautiful inside and out. Through November 1st, you can save on the Dove products that help you feel your best. Head to Target.com to print a coupon for $0.75 off any one Dove women’s product at Target!

TGT_DoveMB_Social2

 

I saved and shared my beauty legacy, now I want to see yours. Every time you choose Dove, you show your support for self-esteem building programs for girls. Dove has helped more than 13 million girls so far. Together, we can help even more.

Win It!

Enter to win a $50 Target Gift Card!

20_Target_Gift_card

All you have to do is tweet who you feel beautiful for and include the hashtag #TGTfeelbeautifulfor. Share a link to your tweet in the comments below, for your chance to win a $50 Target gift card.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored post by Lunchbox, all opinions are 100% my own. Giveaway ends on November 1st. US only. 

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Capture the Adventure in Your Family’s Life with the GoPro Hero! #GoProatBestBuy

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Sponsored post. I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card. 
I can’t believe how quickly the year has flown by. Here we are already well into October! I’ve decided I’ll be ready for Christmas this year so I’m starting my shopping now!
 
One place I know I can go when I want to find the latest cameras and camcorders is Best Buy. This year I’m super excited to check out GoPro Hero cameras for the action heroes on my shopping list and Best Buy has the full line-up!
Once I started looking into the GoPro cameras I thought of all sorts of awesome things I could use them for. There are so many places I never take my video camera for fear it would drop on the ground or get wet. GoPro to the rescue!! I’m already planning my next trips down the twisty slides or on the swing set! I think the kids will love using it while on their bikes! We can relive all of the big splashes and screams up close and in vivid color!
Hero lifestyle water
Hero lifestyle rollercoaster
These really are perfect holiday gifts for everyone. Kids and teens will love them and if you know a gadget guru they’ll be impressed by the technical specifications.
Here’s a quick run-down on the GoPro HERO line-up:
  • GoPro HERO4 Black: the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

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  • GoPro HERO4 Silver: the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

hero cluster cropped 1

  • GoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.
  • 12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates.

hero product image cropped

I’m putting on a GoPro HERO4 on my Christmas list and I sure hope it shows up on December 25th. I’m excited to go out on adventures and capture the moments that bring joy to my life and a HERO4 is sure to do it beautifully!

hero lifestyle ski

 

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

megabloks-invisible-boatmobile-rescue-94620-8589

Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants™ Invisible Boatmobile Rescue Giveaway

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A few weeks ago, my son and I were at the toy store and he was looking around, showing me all of the toys he wants. It sometimes doesn’t even matter if we don’t buy anything, he just loves to look at everything. As we walked down the Mega Bloks aisle, he suddenly tarted shouting at a new toy that was on the shelf. He loves all of the Mega Bloks play sets but when he saw there were now Mega Bloks Spongebob toys, he was so excited.

MEGA Brands Announces Expansion of Nickelodeon Licenced Products

I was so happy to make his day when Mega Bloks sent me their new Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants™ Invisible Boatmobile Rescue toy as a way to share about their exciting new partnership with Spongebob!

megabloks-invisible-boatmobile-rescue-94620-8589

Plankton is at it again and it’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick to stop him with the Invisible Boatmobile Rescue by Mega Bloks SpongeBob SquarePants. Build the Invisible Boatmobile with cool translucent blocks and take off for a high-speed chase! Help, Plankton is launching jellyfish everywhere! It’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick – dressed as Mermaidman and Barnacleboy  – to save them with the Invisible Boatmobile’s not-so-invisible net!

Ideal for ages 5 and up.

Features:

  • Cool Invisible Boatmobile to build with translucent blocks
  • Buildable bobCAT vehicle and a Jellyfish catapult
  • SpongeBob, Patrick and Plankton micro action figures
  • Four jellyfish
  • Combine with other Mega Bloks SpongeBob SquarePants playsets to build your own wacky world of fun in Bikini Bottom.

Find out more about Mega Bloks and Spongebob!

– Visit the Mega Bloks SpongeBob Squarepants Official Site

– Check out the Invisible Boatmobile Product Page

– Follow Mega Bloks on Twitter and Facebook

– Follow @SpongeBob on Twitter

Hayden had such a fun time building the set and we look forward to seeing more Mega Bloks Spongebob SquarePants play sets! This is oing to be a hot gift this holiday season, so I’m excited to be giving away the Invisible Boatmobile Rescue by Mega Bloks SpongeBob SquarePants!

Win It!

Enter to win the Rafflecopter form below. US only.

Spongebob Front Packaging

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received the above product for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

daniel tiger costume

DIY Daniel Tiger Costume

daniel tiger costume

 

 

My kids absolutely love Daniel Tiger and really, what kid doesn’t? I have such fond memories of watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood growing up and while no one can bring back Mister Rogers, you can introduce your child to the world of Daniel Tiger!

Daniel_Tiger

When I connected with Brenda of Davis Specialty Sewing on Facebook and saw her Daniel Tiger Inspired Costume for her son, I knew I had to share here for everyone to see! She’s got a great tutorial below so you can make your very own Daniel Tiger Costume for Halloween!

daniel tiger costume

This costume is a size 4T and is an alteration to the brilliant SuperCool Hoodie pattern by A Sparkly Baby. Currently, there is a tutorial for the tiger hood put together by Jennifer Barasso, owner of Stitch Upon a Time but it is only being offered if you bought the hoodie pattern and are a member of the Facebook group A Sparkly Baby Patterns. I suggest joining the group. It’s fabulous!
 
So….onto the construction process. The red hoodie was made using sweatshirt fleece and lightweight knit for the lining of the hood. I used two different types of fur for the hood and stripes. The tiger hood is lined with fleece. Then you just need coordinating thread, a drawstring, and separating zipper. I would suggest using at least a 14in zipper for the 4T size, My zipper was only 12in and was too short so I had to make do by bring the collar down farther. 
 
All the materials I used for the costume  were purchased at JoAnns, Here are the links and amount needed (for a 4T):

 daniel tiger supplies

Red Hoodie – 1/2 yard of main body and ¾ yard of coordinating (sleeves, waistband, cuffs, hood)

 

Tiger Hoodie – 1/2 yard of beige fur, about  1/4 yard of brown fur, and about 1/2 yard of lining fabric for the hood

 

Pants – ½ yard of beige fur, about ¼ yard of brown fur, and about a fat quarter of red and white knit for the shoe covers.

To make the pants I just took a pair of my son’s pants, turned them inside out, and folded them in half. Then, I placed them on the fold of the fabric and traced around them leaving room for a seam allowance, hemming, and elastic casing. There is a great tutorial on how to make a quick pair of pants over at Simple Simon and Company. Basically, I followed that tutorial and added stripes, shoe coverings, and a tail into the back seam. Make sure to add your tail as you are sewing up the back seam of the pants.

The shoe coverings were came about by tracing a semi-circle onto red knit (I used upcycled T-shirts!) and sewing them onto the bottom of the pant legs. Then, cut another, smaller, semi-circle of white knit (again, t-shirts!) and sew it onto the top of the red. Then, sew a piece of elastic to the bottom of the shoe covering so it will stay in place when your little munchkin is running around.

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daniel tiger tail

The tail was done by following the tutorial from The Road to Crazy Blog and altered by using left over beige fur and brown fur stripes. I wanted wire in mt tail so it didn’t hang loose but the only thing I had was floral wire. Although, I used the entire pack of floral wire it was just not strong enough to hold the weight of the fur and stuffing. I should have used a wire coat hanger now that I think about it.

daniel tiger hoodie

And that’s it! Now, you have a really cute Daniel Tiger inspired costume. My son likes to wear the hoodie everywhere we go and leave the pants for Halloween.

Thanks Brenda for this awesome tutorial on a Daniel Tiger Costume! Check out her Facebook page at Davis Specialty Sewing

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Disney Trip Countdown Ideas

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Even before my husband and I had kids, we loved visiting Walt Disney World. We also loved creating Countdown Calendars. Yes, even before smartphones and apps were introduced, we would have a calendar on our fridge or on our computer just counting down the days until we were back at the Happiest Place on Earth. Once we got our smartphones and before Hayden came along, we then had an app that counted down the days for us.

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When we had our son, I got to get creative with him as we counted down the days until our trip. I would love to someday surprise him with a trip to Disney World but I also love planning it and sharing in the excitement with him as it approaches.

With toddlers, it’s so hard to tell them how far away something is – they don’t really understand 2 months, 3 weeks, 8 wakeups. So when my son was three years old and we were headed to Disney World, we decided to make a paper chain to help him understand the concept of how far away our trip was. You won’t need much for this Countdown Calendar! All we used was construction paper, glue sticks and crayons. On each chain I wrote down how many days were left.

Disney Countdown Chain

He loved pulling off part of the chin each morning and it helped him with the concept that the smaller the chain got, the closer the trip was! If you’re looking to make a Disney Countdown Chain, you must check out the template that Grey Luster Girl has – the chain has Mickey ears!

The next year, I decided to get the fun paint samples at Home Depot and create a bright and colorful countdown calendar for our fridge. This was a lot of fun to make with Hayden and I liked seeing it in our kitchen.

WDW Countdown Fridge

This year, we bought this wooden Walt Disney World Countdown Sign from an Etsy shop. We have a lot of Disney stuff going on in our basement and we are always planning a trip, so we thought this would be a great addition.

WDW Countdown

When we got a little bit closer, I decided to try my hand at making some Mickey Ears with my new Cricut Explore. I made 20 Mickey Heads so Hayden could start pulling them off when we were 20 days out.

WDW Countdown with Cricut Mickey

With ribbon, glue dots and the Mickey Heads from the Cricut, this was a really simple and fun Walt Disney World Countdown to put together! Hayden has loved taking a Mickey Head off each day.

Hayden and Disney Countdown

There are so many fun and unique Disney countdowns out there! Check out some of my favorites!

Disney Countdown Ideas

- Fiddle Dee Me: Clothespin Countdown

- Mom and More: Disney Countdown Chain

- The Suburban Mom: Disney Cruise Countdown

- The Suburban Mom: Disneyland Countdown

- Just Is a Four Letter Word: Countdown to Disney Monorail Craft

- All for the Memories: Printable Disneyland Countdown

- Disney in the Desert: Picture Frame Countdown

- My Crazy Good Life: Countdown Poster

How do you count down the days until your next Disney trip?

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The Best of Me Trailer and Sweepstakes + Giveaway

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Last week, I shared with you a trailer for The Best of Me, the latest Nicholas Sparks book to be turned into a movie. It’s in theaters on October 17th and I’m already preparing to bring my tissues with me.

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The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

The Best of Me stars James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.

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Watch the New Trailer!

Want Nicholas Sparks to join your Book Club?

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Calling all book clubs! You and your club could win a visit from a professional moderator & special guest appearance from Nicholas Sparks via Skype.  All you have to do is tweet a question you’d like answered using #BestOfMeBookSweeps!

Connect with #TheBestOfMe

Like The Best of Me on Facebook

Follow / Subscribe Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

Win It!

Enter to win The Best of Me in paperback, a mug and $25 Visa Gift Card.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prizing is courtesy of Relativity Media. Open to US mailing addresses only. 

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Take a #SuaveFamilySelfie to Win!

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The other weekend, my family met up with my in-laws and we headed to their community’s downtown area for a parade. We sat on the edge of the street, bundled up as it was the first chilly day of Fall and everyone was so happy and excited. I don’t usually like to be in pictures, but at that perfect moment, I knew I had to capture it.

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It’s one of my favorite photos because it captured me with my kids as we are having a fun day – the only person missing was my husband! I love taking family selfies in the fall because we are always outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and fun things to do like apple and pumpkin picking!

Want to win big just by taking a Fall Family Selfie? 

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Enter for a chance to win a Suave® Fall Family Selfie prize pack by snapping a photo of you and your family living beautifully outdoors and posting it to Instagram.

Step 1: Take a family selfie (or use a recent one!)

Step 2: Post it on Instagram using the 3 hashtags: #suavefamilyselfie #LB2LB #Walmart

Step 3: Fill out this form and submit your Instagram link.

*To get your Instagram link visit instagram.com, log in, and find the link to your photo. It will be in the format of http://instagram.com/p/YOURPHOTOID.

*To retrieve the link from your Instagram mobile app, go to your profile picture on the app, click the “…” in the bottom right hand corner, and then select “Copy Share URL”.

Enter the sweepstakes weekly to increase your chance of winning. Each week 6 new winners will be drawn to receive a $175 Walmart prize pack that includes a sponsor-selected camera lens, $100 Walmart gift card, and a Walmart.com photobook awarded in the form of a $50 Walmart gift card!

What are some of your favorite Fall activities? If you’ve snapped a family selfie, make sure to upload it to Instagram for a chance to win! 

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Watch The Book of Life Trailer

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I’m always looking for good animated movies in the theaters because it usually means a fun family day for my son and I. We recently saw the trailer for The Book of Life and he said he definitely wanted to see it!

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THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.

The movie stars Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, and more. Rated PG, it’s in theaters on October 17th.

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Play The Book of Life Minigames  

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Dive into The Book Of Life with the minigame challenge! Follow @BookofLifeMovie and tell us your high score! Get started now.

Watch the Trailer

Connect with The #BookOfLife

– Visit the Official Website

– Like ‘The Book of Life’ on Facebook

– Follow on Twitter, Tumblr

Stay tuned for a The Book of Life giveaway next week!