Easter Basket Toy Ideas from VTech #Giveaway

Easter Basket Toy Ideas from VTech #Giveaway

Easter is just a few days away, and I have almost everything I need to surprise my kids. The eggs, the good chocolate, and the baskets are the easy part. What to put in the baskets is a little more challenging. I want something that's fun and educational, has no sugar - we get enough of that from the chocolate! - and can hold their attention longer than a day or two. My daughter's new obsession is everything Frozen, so I have been hiding a couple of Frozen coloring books and the soundtrack CD for her basket.

Speaking of fun and educational, VTech has some great suggestions for those Easter baskets. Last year, we tested the VTech InnoTab 3S Learning Tablet. I am happy to report that more than six months later, my kids still enjoy playing and learning with it. A couple of new cartridges will be a welcome addition to their Easter baskets. The InnoTab® Disney Planes software cartridge is intended for children aged 4-7 years. It includes eight interactive games that let them practice counting, addition, reading, map skills, memory, logic and more. Children can also read the Planes e-book, look through the story dictionary and get creative with a fun photo activity. Summer break is mere weeks away, and some learn-by-play practice is just what we need to keep those early skills sharp.

My kids are a little old for the InnoTab Bubble Guppies software cartridge (Ages 3-6 years; MSRP: $24.99) but younger children will enjoy the "Bubble Puppy" e-book with story dictionary and several games. The software teaches creativity, color matching, counting, reading, life science, vocabulary and more.

If your kiddos are into cars and dinosaurs, check out the Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Vehicles (Ages 1-5 years; MSRP: $7.99) and the Switch & Go Dinos® Turbo Assortment (Ages 3-8 years; MSRP: $9.99). These toys are well made and sturdy enough to survive hours of play. I am giving them to my kids' younger cousins who will have a blast with them. Personally, I prefer toys that have volume control and ideally a "mute" option but I've never met a five year old boy who does not love something with a light-up button that makes noise!

The Go Dinos® Turbo Assortment includes six new dinos, including Dart the Triceratops, Zipp the T-Rex, Spur the Stegosaurus, Fray the Ankylosaurus, Cruz the Spinosaurus and Spinner the Stygimoloch. Kids can rev up the action with flywheels that let the dinos race and roar across the floor. Each dino also emits realistic vehicle and dinosaur sounds and phrases that teach fun facts.

Check out these toys and other gift ideas on the VTech website and at toy retailers. Connect with VTech on Facebook and Twitter.

The Giveaway
One lucky U.S. reader will win a VTech prize pack (ARV $68) including the four toys mentioned above.

To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, try another browser, make sure Javascript is enabled and the giveaway end date has not passed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The VTech products, information, and additional gift pack for giveaway have been provided by VTech. This is a non-compensated post. and opinions are all mine.
Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 12:01 am ET, May 8, 2014. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. One winner will be chosen randomly, and odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 24 hours to respond to claim their prize. Entrants agree to comply with this site's Official Rules.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 0 comments | Read more...
Spot Shot and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 DVD #Giveaway

Spot Shot and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 DVD #Giveaway

Have you seen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 yet? My kids enjoyed the first movie, and we are planning a family movie night with the second. Now that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is out on BLU-RAY™ combo pack and DVD, all we need is the popcorn.

If you’re familiar with the movie, you know that Flint Lockwood’s invention – a machine that turns water into food – now creates food animals called foodimals. These tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other foodimals make quite a mess. I am certainly happy they don't live in my house – despite, erm, all evidence to the contrary. For our messes, I keep on hand a can of Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover, just in case.

Spot Shot is a carpet stain remover and odor eliminator. It promises to eliminate even tough old stains and work on pet stains, coffee, spaghetti sauce, grease, wine, and more. I've tried it on a variety of carpet stains of known and of mystery origin, and so far, it's been very effective. Gotta love that!

Right now, when you purchase Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 BLU-RAY™ combo pack or DVD at authorized retailers, you can get a free can of specially-marked Spot Shot® Instant Carpet Stain Remover – the only product that can clean up a pesky "foodimal" mess. Take advantage of this special offer by April 30, 2014.

The Giveaway
One U.S. reader will win a copy of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on DVD and a can of Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover.

To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, try another browser, make sure Javascript is enabled and the giveaway end date has not passed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway prize and review product provided by sponsor. Opinions are my own and this post is not compensated.
Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 12:01 am ET, May 1, 2014. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. One winner will be chosen randomly, and odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 24 hours to respond to claim their prize. Entrants agree to comply with this site's Official Rules.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 0 comments | Read more...
#Linky for Your #Giveaways Saturday: 4/12

#Linky for Your #Giveaways Saturday: 4/12

Got giveaways? You can link any family-friendly giveaway here weekly to promote it. And don't forget to enter some, of course. My Saturday linky is below. Please include prize and ending date, and link directly to the giveaway page. No affiliate links allowed.

Looking for more blogs hosting Saturday giveaway fun? Visit Aleks at Busy Working Mama and Kristi at Mom's Own Words. Good luck to those who enter, and everyone else - enjoy browsing!






Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 0 comments | Read more...
Nite Ize Gear Ties {Review} #ad

Nite Ize Gear Ties {Review} #ad

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Over the past few years, I have accumulated a surprising number of chargers, adapters, and cables for my family's electronics. I used to have a kitchen drawer where I kept them along with the operating instructions. Once the drawer could not close all the way anymore, I moved them to a storage box in my home office. Admittedly, they were somewhat imperfectly organized. Translation: a mad jumbled mess of cables where finding the right one became a challenge.

I found that a good way to sort through the messy jumble was to place each charger / adapter / cable in a plastic bag and label it. I did that but the cables still seemed to take too much space. The ties that came with them could keep some of my cables relatively organized.  Another way to conquer messy cables is to use Nite Ize Gear ties. I received an assortment of eight ties in four lengths. The ties are different colors and thickness. They are a far cry from the flimsy ties that come with the chargers and cables of new electronics. The Nite Ize Gear ties are made of bendable wire with a soft rubber exterior. They can help organize messy cables, adapters and the like. I love using them to tame the long cords of my hair dryer and flat iron. The cords of my computer, headphones, and modem look much better now, too. I keep one gear tie with my iPod and another with my Kindle charger. The Nite Ize gear ties are well made and versatile, a great thing to have for your electronics and electric appliances.

Nite Ize Gear Ties are available on www.niteize.com and here on Amazon. An assortment of eight ties retails for $13-19.99.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Friday, April 11, 2014 | 0 comments | Read more...
Book #Giveaway: Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell

Book #Giveaway: Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell

Book Description
In his newest novel, JASPAR’S WAR (Rosemary Beach Press; April 2014; $12.99), author Cym Lowell takes readers on a thrill ride to the most unexpected and dangerous of locales to uncover secrets that could bring down the U.S. government.

The recent economic collapse of the Western world is not as vague or nebulous as most of us think. It has been initiated by those with close ties to the sitting American president who have been rewarded by various governments for their stealth efforts. Now, with the capitalists’ own money they are preparing to take the economic attack to another level.

However, there’s one woman who can unravel their plans.

Set in Greenwich, Connecticut, JASPAR’S WAR is the compelling story of an American woman who lives a life of happiness, privilege, and wealth. Wall Street success preceded the president’s request that her husband, Trevor, become Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to rescue a failing global economy.

Now, Trevor has been murdered when the government jet he is travelling in crashes and her children kidnapped. She is told to be silent or else they will disappear like their father. Jaspar doesn’t know it, but she has evidence that can bring these people to justice. Yet, her own government is suspicious of her reasons, suspecting she may know more than she’s willing to tell. To save her children, she is on the run in Italy with an unlikely ally, and will go to the brink of hell and back, joining hands with assassins, traitors, and the devil himself, in a most terrifying and psychological cat and mouse game of intrigue and deception.

Hunted from all sides and unsure of who to trust, Jaspar races around the world in an attempt to stop a madman's disastrous plans, reclaim her life, and find her children. With a host of characters caught up in thrilling circumstances, the storyline comes alive at breakneck speed as readers are taken on a wild and unexpected journey from the quiet backcountry of Greenwich, the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, the magnificence of the Eternal City of Rome and to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. With alarms sounding off around the world, hero and villain alike twist and turn in and around each other, encountering threats suspiciously similar to current world events.

About the Author
Cym Lowell was born in Montana to academics with a youth of traveling the world. To be polite, he was an undistinguished student, rewarded with assignment to the U.S. Navy at 18. After two years in Vietnam, college and law school were a challenge. Being a veteran in the political turbulence of the late 1960s and early 1970s taught humility. Raising three children in the Midwest and Texas brought love and responsibility. An international tax practice in the financial crises of the past 40 years provided insight into motivations of actors on the global stage. Friends, clients, adversaries, and colleagues, like victory and defeat, added color and context. The result is a thriller writer with a treasure trove of experience to frame compelling characters enmeshed in heart-thumping challenge about endearing people caught-up in events that one would never dream possible.

The Giveaway
One U.S. reader will win a copy of Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell.

To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, try another browser, make sure Javascript is enabled and the giveaway end date has not passed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This post is not compensated and contains affiliate link(s). Prize provided by sponsor.
Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 12:01 am ET, April 24, 2014. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. One winner will be chosen randomly, and odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to claim their prize. Entrants agree to comply with this site's Official Rules.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 | 5 comments | Read more...
Book #Giveaway: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Book #Giveaway: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Book Description
An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.

Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for The Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation.

The Opposite of Loneliness is an assem­blage of Marina's essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

Author Bio
Marina Keegan (1989–2012) was an award-winning author, journalist, playwright, poet, actress, and activist. Her nonfiction has been published in the New York Times; her fiction has been published on NewYorker.com and read on NPR's Selected Shorts; her musical, Independents, was a New York Times Critics' Pick. Marina's final essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness," became an instant global sensation, viewed by more than 1.4 million people from ninety-eight countries.

For more information please visit http://theoppositeofloneliness.com

The Giveaway
One U.S. reader will win a copy of The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.

To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, try another browser, make sure Javascript is enabled and the giveaway end date has not passed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This post is not compensated and contains affiliate link(s). Prize provided by sponsor.
Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 12:01 am ET, April 23, 2014. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. One winner will be chosen randomly, and odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to claim their prize. Entrants agree to comply with this site's Official Rules.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 | 6 comments | Read more...
Book #Giveaway: The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran

Book #Giveaway: The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran

Book Description
When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

About the Author
Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or Twist, Mr Almost Right and Breakfast in Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits includeRome, MI5, Spooks, Being Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.

The Giveaway
One U.S. reader will win a copy of The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran.

To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, try another browser, make sure Javascript is enabled and the giveaway end date has not passed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This post is not compensated and contains affiliate link(s). Prize provided by sponsor.
Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 12:01 am ET, April 18, 2014. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. One winner will be chosen randomly, and odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to claim their prize. Entrants agree to comply with this site's Official Rules.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 | 7 comments | Read more...
TRIPOD Store + Go Travel Container {Review} #ad

TRIPOD Store + Go Travel Container {Review} #ad

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
The TRIPOD Store + Go Travel Container is just what it sounds like. A plastic container with three compartments, the TRIPOD can hold pills, vitamins, and supplements. The three compartments share a semi-transparent cover. When closed, the TRIPOD has a triangular profile and stays closed with a plastic clip.

Depending on how many pills you take daily, you could dedicate a compartment to each daily dose, or sort them and have several days' worth of one medication in one compartment. I think the TRIPOD works best for those who need to have a few pills on hand during the day, or go on short trips, such as a weekend out of town. I would have a multivitamin compartment, one for pain reliever, and another for my B-Complex supplement. The box does not lay flat when open, so it can be tricky to keep the pills from rolling around if all three compartments are open. It may be easier if you just use up all the pills in the first compartment before you move on to opening the second.

The TRIPOD is made of BPA-free plastic and covered with soft blue rubber. It can be used for other things beside medications. Each compartment can hold tread and needles, for example, tweezers, or a tube of lip balm. I prefer using a small toiletry bag for those but it is an option if you need to carry small items.

The TRIPOD Store + Go Travel Container retails for $14.99. Check out this travel container and other Sabi products at www.sabi.com. You can also follow their blog, and connect with the company on Facebook /SabiBrand) and Twitter (@sabi_brand).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 | 0 comments | Read more...
Folio Easy Pill Traveler {Review} #ad

Folio Easy Pill Traveler {Review} #ad

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
A few weeks ago, I was packing for a family trip. As I piled clothing and toiletries in our suitcases, I glanced at the row of bottles of vitamins and supplements. I buy those at a wholesale club, and the bottles are huge. Some hold an 8-12 month supply. They take some serious luggage space, so I decided against bringing them along for the trip. After all, we would be gone less than a week.

If you take medications on a regular basis but would prefer not to lug the bottles in your purse or suitcase, a pill box is very helpful. The Folio Easy Pill Traveler by Sabi can hold a week's supply of pills. There are two oval compartments for each day of the week. That comes in handy if you need a morning and evening dose, or just extra space for those bulky supplements. One compartment holds up to three capsules of our favorite multivitamins.  In a single compartment, I can also fit a dose of my B-Complex supplement which consists of two large capsules, and another pill. The box stays closed with an elastic strap and looks rather fancy for a pill box. It's made of BPA-free plastic and can be hand washed when needed.

The Folio Easy Pill Traveler is available on Amazon for $24.99. It looks much nicer than the basic plastic pill boxes I've seen around, and lets you carry your pills in style. As far as function, it does the exact same job as the promotional pill box I got for free last week from the drugstore. The Sabi box adds a touch of elegance to the mundane job of popping a daily supplement, and I can appreciate that.

Check out this pill box and other Sabi products at www.sabi.com. You can also follow their blog, and connect with the company on Facebook /SabiBrand) and Twitter (@sabi_brand).

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

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 | 2 comments | Read more...
Book #Giveaway: How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days

Book #Giveaway: How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days

Book Description
"You should write a book."

Everyone has a story to tell. If you've ever thought of sharing yours but don't know where to begin, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days gives you the perfect framework. Step-by-step techniques, culled from writers' workshops taught by the author are presented in a series of fun writing exercises, including:
  • crafting your three-sentence memoir
  • identifying an incident that changed your life
  • creating stirring scenes
You'll figure out the major themes of your life, mine your memory for dramatic incidents, stitch your assignments (and diary entries, blog posts, and other writings) together into a compelling plot, and polish your prose into believable dialogue and exciting action. The book also includes quick "clear communication" lessons about spelling and grammar, plus information and advice about different publishing paths. Simply follow the daily directions and in just one month you will have a memoir ready to submit for publishing.

Whether you're a seasoned writer or a novice, dream of hitting the bestseller lists or just want to pass a little wisdom on to your grandkids, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days is a fun, easy guide to writing the Next Great Memoir - yours.

About the Author
Roberta Temes, Ph.D. is an author, editor and writing instructor, as well as a seasoned psychotherapist and psychology faculty member. She lectures around the country at corporate meetings, medical conferences and health spas. She is also the author of the award-winning Living with an Empty Chair and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hypnosis. For more information about her, please visit http://drroberta.com.

The Giveaway
One U.S. reader will win a paperback copy of How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story.

To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions. If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, try another browser, make sure Javascript is enabled and the giveaway end date has not passed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This post is not compensated and contains affiliate link(s). Prize provided by sponsor.
Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 12:01 am ET, April 10, 2014. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. One winner will be chosen randomly, and odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to claim their prize. Entrants agree to comply with this site's Official Rules.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | 5 comments | Read more...
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