Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shutterfly Custom Photo Book Flash Giveaway


Thanks to my amazing sponsors at Shutterfly,I get to give one of my readers a custom photo book with free shipping. Aren't you excited!

Giveaway prize: 8x8 hard cover 20-page Photo Book plus shipping (including Canada) ($38 value)





a Rafflecopter giveaway


***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.Giveaway prizes are provided by the sponsor and they are responsible for shipping.

Preserving Childhood Memories with Shutterfly Yearbooks




This spring I told you about the new yearbooks available from Shutterfly.If you missed that post you can see it here.Now that school has begun,I wanted to remind you of this special way to preserve the school year.Shutterfly yearbooks are fun and easy to create,Not only can you have your favorite photos,but can add captions,phrases or notes to your pages too.

Using the provided templates you can create pages for class photos,student photos,events, and more.If you prefer even more freedom in your design,chose the custom path and arrange the pages however you like.Color printed and professionally bound,these are available only by contacting Shutterfly for a quote.They offer specials and discounts that fit your needs and you can save up to 70% when ordering for the class or school.This allows everyone to save and get a quality book too.

If you are involved in the PTA or other school program,know a teacher,or just have kids,contacting is easy and you can save big.With prices as low as $6 per book,it is a good idea to look into these.The minimum number of books to receive a discount is 10,so this works for small or large classes.The books are saved forever,so you can always order more if needed later.You don't even have to worry about ordering too late or waiting too long for your order, because the books will arrive in about 3 weeks.


You can find Shutterfly on Facebook,Twitter,or Pinterest for updates,specials and new products or read about it on the Shutterfly blog.

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.I will receive a photo book and gift code as a thank you for reviewing this item.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

6 Favorite Travel Entertainments for Kids in Cars





Often times, going on vacation with the family will involve long rides in the car. However, packing up your kids and taking off across the country for hours or even days can make everyone go a little crazy if you are not prepared with adequate entertainment to keep the busy.
Many parents cringe at the thought of being cooped up for long periods of time with screaming, whining, crying kids who are constantly asking if you are there yet and complaining about boredom. Yet, a number of activities exist that will keep the kids occupied and ensure you still have all of your hair intact when you arrive at your destination.
11.   Play Games. I Spy, 20 Questions and The License Plate game are a few old favorites that kids today will still enjoy playing on long road trips. Some commercial travel games for kids are also available that do not include small pieces that can be lost or stuck between the seats.
22.   Take Advantage of Available Technology. Many family vehicles today are equipped with built-in entertainment centers. However, if yours is not, you can invest in a portable DVD player that can keep kids entertained for hours. These affordable players use the car's outlet for power and they can be easily mounted on the headrest for backseat viewing. Tablets and smartphones can also be downloaded with games and videos that your children will enjoy. Handheld gaming devices are also great tools for keeping the kids busy for a while. All of these devices feature headphone jacks, so they can watch or play to their heart's content and you can enjoy the peaceful ride.
33.   Give Them A Few Responsibilities. Kids love to help and road trips are no exception. Let them be trash masters with a bag near their seat to everyone can pass the trash to them during the ride, and then let them toss the full bags in the trash can when you stop at gas stations, rest areas or arrive at your destination. Drink keeper is a great job as well. Just set the cooler near their seat and let them pass out beverages when everyone is thirsty.
44.   Make Time For Roadside Attractions. Regardless of age, kids require frequent stops for food, bathroom breaks and leg stretching. Couple these tasks with roadside attractions to get more bang for your buck. Kids get the breaks that they need and distraction from the trip. In addition, they will wear themselves out from excitement and nap for the next few hours of your journey.
15.   Sing-alongs. All kids love music, so incorporate it into your trip with family sing-alongs. Let each child choose a song for everyone to sing, use the scan feature on the radio or pre-loaded iPod to sing along to random songs that everyone enjoys or let your kids take turns singing their favorite tunes for you.
26.   Audiobooks. Reading books in the car can lead to serious motion sickness, but everyone will enjoy passing the time with audiobooks. A number of kid-friendly audiobooks are available at local libraries or downloadable online.
Remember to bring all the necessary supplies like tissues and snacks and leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and you will be ready for a stress free family trip.
As a side-note, always remember before you set off to make sure that your auto insurance policy is up-to-date and up to covering your travel needs.  Long road trips can mean out-of-the-ordinary experiences that may not be covered by your current policy. For more tips before you set out, check out the articles archive at Remember to bring all the necessary supplies like tissues and snacks and leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and you will be ready for a stress free family trip.
As a side-note, always remember before you set off to make sure that your auto insurance policy is up-to-date and up to covering your travel needs.  Long road trips can mean out-of-the-ordinary experiences that may not be covered by your current policy. For more tips before you set out, check out the articles archive at 
Remember to bring all the necessary supplies like tissues and snacks and leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and you will be ready for a stress free family trip.
As a side-note, always remember before you set off to make sure that your auto insurance policy is up-to-date and up to covering your travel needs. Long road trips can mean out-of-the-ordinary experiences that may not be covered by your current policy. For more tips before you set out, check out the articles archive at buyautoinsurance.com.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Beginer's Bible App for iPad


The Beginner's Bible App For iPad 
Endorsed by Craig Groeschel, Pastor of LifeChurch.tv
Grand Rapids, Mich, September 13, 2012: Zonderkidz has announced the release of The Beginner's Bible App for iPad, which has already garnered praise from critics including Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv (http://www.lifechurch.tv/) and author of The Christian Atheist. The app is based on The Beginner's Bible, the bestselling storybook Bible of all time, having sold over 6 million copies since its release in 1989. Complete with stories, coloring pages, games, and audio, children six and under can enjoy their favorite Bible stories all by themselves.

"I was blown away by The Beginner's Bible App," commented Groeschel. "As a parent and a pastor, I am constantly looking for ways to engage children with the Word. This app provides a fun way for kids to interact with the Bible using technology that they can relate to."

The Beginner's Bible App was designed for young children to easily use themselves but will also be a valuable resource for parents wanting to participate as well. The illustrations have interactive elements that a child can manipulate using the touch screen.

"We are excited to offer this app that creates a fun way for kids to learn about the Bible," said Annette Bourland, Senior Vice President Zondervan Group Book Publisher. "The Beginner's Bible is widely seen as the first Bible a child receives. In a digital world, it is a priority for Zonderkidz to offer a Bible geared for the youngest readers."

"My children and I enjoyed reading the stories in The Beginner's Bible App. They already knew what was coming in each story, but they loved reading it anyways and playing with the illustrations that accompany each story," said Lori Cunningham, founder of WellConnectedMom.com. "The Beginner's Bible app makes these favorite childhood stories come alive in a new way for kids."

The Beginner's Bible App is available free of charge. The complimentary download includes six interactive Bible stories, coloring pages, puzzles, and a game. Additional story packs will be available for $1.99 and will include six new stories, coloring pages, puzzles, and a new game based on one of the stories. All story packs will be released over the next three to five months. At that time the complete storybook Bible will be available to consumers.

To learn more about The Beginner's Bible App, visit: http://app.beginnersbible.com

*I was not compensated in any way for this post.I am simply sharing information supplied to me as a Handlebar member.

Back To School in New Heelys Styles

My boys have been obsessed with Heelys for as long as I can remember.I even considered trying them myself,but with my foot issues,I haven't been able to yet.Recently,I was offered a pair from the new Heelys  line for my oldest to try.He selected the Inferno style and was excited for them to arrive so he could test his skills.



When the Heelys arrived, he was thrilled to see they featured the same one-wheeled style as the original Heelys.The ones we received were a grey synthetic nubuck material,making them soft and suede-like,and they were highlighted in a bright lime green and white.(These also come in a red/black combo,which we had asked for,however it must not have been available so we received these instead).He was a little disappointed about the colors,but decided to give them a go anyway.



With any Heelys,the first step is to remove the plugs and insert the wheels.This is easily done with the supplied tool and takes just seconds to complete.Once the wheels are inserted,it is time to get rolling.


I would love to be able to show you videos of my son wheeling about on his Heelys,but that is just not a fact.Although he tried over and over to get the hang of them,he just couldn't make them go like he wanted.I think part of that was just his fear of falling,so I encouraged him to keep trying.In the end he was able to stand,walk and roll in them,although not well enough that he felt comfortable taking videos of them in use.Even though he cannot skate like a pro in them,he loves the fit and style and wears them to school every day.I was concerned that he may get into trouble for wearing them to school,but all he has to do is remove the wheels,pop in the plugs and go.This is great for playing at the park,going for walks or hanging with friends.He is able to go from wheels to plugs and back with ease,making Heelys the perfect on the go shoes.
Heelys introduced three new lines for the fall and winter including a sport style,the low profile skate style and the Lifestyles version which are designed especially for girls/women.I personally love the idea of the women's line because Heelys has never had a style just for the females before.They also have styles that feature 2 wheels for a whole different skate experience.
I love the new styles and have already looked into grabbing a few pairs as Christmas gifts this year.I am also trying to decide which of the new female line I want to try for myself.

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.I receive sample items in order to write a fair and honest review.No other compensation was received and my opinions were not influenced by receiving sample items***

“SAVING MR. BANKS” BEGINS PRODUCTION IN LOS ANGELES





Disney began production today on “Saving Mr. Banks,” the account of Walt Disney’s twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to P.L. Travers’ popular novel, Mary Poppins, and the testy partnership the upbeat filmmaker develops with the uptight author during the project’s pre-production in 1961.
 
            Two-time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”) will essay the role of the legendary Disney (the first time the entrepreneur has ever been depicted in a dramatic film) alongside fellow double Oscar®-winner Emma Thompson (“Howard’s End,” “Sense and Sensibility”) in the role of the prickly novelist.  Before actually signing away the book’s rights, Travers’ demands for contractual script and character control circumvent not only Disney’s vision for the film adaptation, but also those of the creative team of screenwriter Don DaGradi and sibling composers Richard and Robert Sherman, whose original score and song (Chim-Chim-Cher-ee) would go on to win Oscars® at the 1965 ceremonies (the film won five awards of its thirteen nominations).
 
            When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney’s desire to bring her beloved character to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario’s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past.  During her stay in California, Travers’ reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only molded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book. 
 
            None more so than the one person whom she loved and admired more than any other—her caring father, Travers Goff, a tormented banker who, before his untimely death that same year, instills the youngster with both affection and enlightenment (and would be the muse for the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks, the sole character that the famous nanny comes to aide).  While reluctant to grant Disney the film rights, Travers comes to realize that the acclaimed Hollywood storyteller has his own motives for wanting to make the film—which, like the author, hints at the relationship he shared with his own father in the early 20th Century Midwest.
 
            Colin Farrell (“Minority Report,” “Total Recall”) co-stars as Travers’ doting dad, Goff, along with British actress Ruth Wilson (the forthcoming films “The Lone Ranger” and “Anna Karenina”) as his long-suffering wife, Margaret; Oscar® and Emmy® nominee Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under,” “Hilary and Jackie,” “The Rookie”) as Margaret’s sister, Aunt Ellie (who inspired the title character of Travers’ novel); and a screen newcomer—11-year-old Aussie native Annie Buckley as the young, blossoming writer, nicknamed “Ginty” in the flashback sequences.
 
            The cast also includes Emmy® winner Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) as screenwriter Don DaGradi; Jason Schwartzman (“Rushmore,” “Moonrise Kingdom”) and B.J. Novak (“NBC’s “The Office,” “Inglourious Basterds”) as the songwriting Sherman Brothers (Richard and Robert, respectively); Oscar® nominee and Emmy winner Paul Giamatti (“Sideways,” “Cinderella Man,” HBO’s “John Adams”) as Ralph, the kindly limousine driver who escorts Travers during her two-week stay in Hollywood; and multi-Emmy winner Kathy Baker (“Picket Fences,” “Edward Scissorhands”) as Tommie, one of Disney’s trusted studio associates.
 
            “Saving Mr. Banks” will be directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “The Rookie”) based on a screenplay by Kelly Marcel (creator of FOX-TV’s “Terra Nova”), from a story by Sue Smith (“Brides of Christ,” “Bastard Boys”) and Kelly Marcel.  The film is being produced by Alison Owen of Ruby Films (the Oscar®-nominated “Elizabeth,” HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Temple Grandin”), Ian Collie of Essential Media (the Aussie TV documentary “The Shadow of Mary Poppins,” DirecTV’s “Rake”) and longtime Hancock collaborator Philip Steuer (“The Rookie,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” trilogy).  The film’s executive producers are Ruby Films’ Paul Trijbits (“Lay the Favorite,” “Jane Eyre”), Hopscotch Features’ Andrew Mason (“The Matrix” trilogy, “Dark City”) and Troy Lum (“Mao’s Last Dancer,” “I, Frankenstein”) and BBC Films’ Christine Langan (Oscar®nominee for “The Queen,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin”).
 
            Hancock’s filmmaking team includes a trio of artists with whom he worked on his 2009 Best Picture Oscar® nominee, “The Blind Side”—two-time Oscar® nominated production designer Michael Corenblith (“How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Apollo 13”), Emmy®-winning costume designer Daniel Orlandi (HBO’s “Game Change,” “Frost/Nixon”) and film editor Mark Livolsi, A.C.E. (“Wedding Crashers” “The Devil Wears Prada”).  Hancock also reunites with Academy Award®-nominated cinematographer John Schwartzman (“Seabiscuit,” “Pearl Harbor”), with whom he first worked on his inspiring 2002 sports drama, “The Rookie.”
 
            “Saving Mr. Banks” will film entirely in the Los Angeles area, with key locations to include Disneyland in Anaheim and the Disney Studios in Burbank.  Filming will conclude around Thanksgiving, 2012, with no specific 2013 release date yet set.
 

* I was not compensated in any way for this post.All information supplied by Disney

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Packaways Collapsible Storage Boxes



With summer winding down and school back in session,it is time for the cleaning and packing associated with  heading off to a dorm room.While you are getting ready to send your young adults off to school,storage is something you must consider.There are many items that may need to be taken to school,but may not be used all the time,like cold weather gear.For these,and many other needs,consider grabbing a few Packaways to help make the transition a quick and easy one.

Packaways Dorm Boxes are available in 4 different colors (pink,green,white and blue) and come in different sizes to fit your needs.The moving boxes are perfect for fitting all those dorm room needs in the car.Plus,they can be used once at school for storing belongings or for bringing items back and forth during breaks and vacations.They even offer a large,underbed storage box for extra clothing,bedding and more.


Packaway boxes are designed to become erect or collapse in just seconds,with no tape needed.This means no trying to hold the box closed while you tape it shut,and no mess when you unpack either.Made from durable polypropylene,the Packaway boxes can be collapsed and stored flat for easy access later.

Even if you don't have any children going to school away from home,you probably still have things that need taken out or put away for the winter.Packaways are perfect for storing winter clothing,guest bedding,table linens or just about anything else you can think of.


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, September 11, 2012

LoveSac Chaise Sectional Giveaway


Welcome to the Sactionals Sectional Furniture Giveaway!

Sponsored by LoveSac.com


There are only 2 pieces. Combine any quantity of Sactionals "Bases" and "Sides" to arrange (and rearrange) any chair, sofa, sectional, loveseat, or bed you can imagine - no tools necessary. Sactionals Covers are removable and can be changed at any time, so you’ll never be stuck with furniture that doesn't match if you decide to change your home d├ęcor. Sactionals Covers are also machine washable, so when the kids spill their food and drink all over the furniture or the dog uses your Sactionals to wipe his feet off, just take the covers off and throw them in the washing machine!
Four Cushion Chaise Sectional with Chocolate Rhinoplush CoversSactionals Four Cushion Chaise Sectional with Chocolate Rhinoplush Covers ($3,260 Value)
  • 4 Sactionals Base Pieces, 5 Sactionals Side Pieces
  • Machine Washable, Changeable Chocolate Rhinoplush Covers
  • Easy to Change Covers Anytime!
  • Easy to Rearrange Into Dozens of Positions
  • Most Versatile Number of Pieces
  • Fast and 100% Free Shipping
  • Lifetime Guarantee!
Four Sactionals Bases and five Sactionals Sides make a Four Cushion Chaise Sectional. A Four Cushion Chaise Sectional is not only the world’s most popular sectional furniture setup, but one of the smartest ways to buy your first Sactionals as well. Just nine pieces offer you eight everyday furniture solutions to real life dilemmas. In minutes and with no tools, you can turn this TV-room sectional into a Movie Lounger for a cozy family movie night, a bed for unexpected house guests, a Long Sofa with Ottoman for more formal entertaining, an L-shaped sofa for maximum seating capacity, four individual chairs for game night or two loveseats for couples entertaining.
Four Cushion Chaise Sectional with Seawater Rhinoplush Covers Four Cushion Chaise Sectional with Taupe Rhinoplush Covers

One lucky winner will receive a Sactionals Four Cushion Chaise Sectional {$3,260 Value}!

Choice of Chocolate Rhinoplush, Taupe or Seawater Covers.
Giveaway ends October 1st at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclosure: In the event of a winner outside of the lower 48 US states is selected {Alaska, Hawaii or Canada}, the winner is subject to paying the shipping and handling fees associated with this prize by the sponsor. I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. 2 Monsters and A Princess is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  





Keeping Your Valuables Safe From Harm

We all have items we want to keep out of prying eyes and grabby fingers and the best way to do that is to store them in a safe.Choosing a safe can be a daunting experience with all the available options out there,so I wanted to share some of my suggestions on knowing which one to select for your needs.Having a quality safe in your home can save you both time and money,making it a great investment,not to mention the relief of knowing your items are locked up tight.

There are many uses for a safe,so deciding which to buy depends on what you will be using it for.If you are looking for something simple to keep papers,passports,birth certificates or similar items in,then a small safe would probably work just fine for you.However,if you have larger items or many items to store,you may want to go for something a little bigger to make sure you have enough room for everything.Always keep in mind that you may want to add other items later,so be sure to get one that has at least a little extra room for this purpose.

Of course,size is not the only factor to consider when buying a safe.You should also consider the reasons for wanting the safe.Security is obviously one of the main reasons,but there are many others.Making sure little hands don't get into things can be a major reason for needing a locked place.This means you need a safe that they cannot unlock on their own.Protecting your valuables in the event of a fire is another concern,so your safe should be able to withstand high temperatures for a long period of time.Whatever your needs,there is a safe that will work for you.

In our home we have two safes,one for our important papers and small items,the other for our guns and ammunition.This allows us to have our items protected,yet still  be able to get to them easily.Your needs may be the same or different,so in the end,you have to select what is appropriate for your family.What about you? What do you keep in your safe?


Monday, September 10, 2012

Playmobil Take Along Soccer Match Review and Giveaway




When I was offered the chance to try the new Take Along Soccer Match by Playmobil,I honestly had no idea if my kids would like this or not.They aren't really soccer fans,so I hoped they would give it a chance and at least try it a few times before they made their decision.I didn't have to worry because this was something they all enjoyed playing with.In fact,they liked it so much,my oldest now wants to join a soccer team so he can play the live game too.


When the package arrived the kids wanted to try it right away,so we opened the box and got started.I love that it comes with super easy photo directions so you can see what you are supposed to be doing.This makes it easy for kids or adults to assemble the field and players.It takes only a few minutes to get it set up and be enjoying your first match.


The Take Along Soccer Match is a great toy to take on trips,campouts and sleepovers.It is easy to assemble and take down,so kids can do it all by themselves.You can even customize the player numbers using the included stickers.This is especially fun if you have soccer players or fans at home,they can make a team member have their own number or the number of their favorite player.
  • Perfect for summer travel, this compactable and travel-ready Take Along Soccer Match includes a 22 x 33 inch field, soccer ball and other accessories.
  • To further enhance the soccer experience, the figures have a leg that kicks to propel the ball forward, which helps make playtime more realistic.
  • There are also goalie figures that connect to goal joystick, which allows kids to control the goalies’ movements from behind the goal net.
  • The PLAYMOBIL Take Along Soccer Match is ideal for kids ages five to ten; because of small parts it is not recommended for little ones under the age of three
The Take Along Soccer Match is available for $59.99.They offer other Take Along sets and accessories too. You can visit Playmobilusa.com to redeem the coupon code US72A12C for 20% off Playmobil Take Along items!
a Rafflecopter giveaway









“Disclosure:  The information and gift packs have been provided by PLAYMOBIL USA through MyBlogSpark.”

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.I received a sample item in order to write a fair and honest review.No other compensation was received.***

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to School Style from Gutzy Gear


Have you heard of Gutzy Gear? These super soft,cute straps fit over the handles of your shopping tote,backpack and more to create a fun,personalized look.Created by two friends who were searching for a fun product that allowed kids to show their preferences,Gutzy Gear gives kids the "Gutz" to express themselves.


For our Gutzy Gear party,we were sent a variety of patches and straps for the guests to decorate their own set.The Gutzy Gear straps are so easy to use,even my 3 year old nephew could do them.Each set contains 2 different patches and can be mixed and matched for a unique look.
To make your own, simply open the package and remove the straps.Next you add the patches you want to create your very own,personalized design.The patches attach easily with the ready-to-use velcro backing,so they go on in seconds.Then you just wrap the Gutzy Gear strap around the handle on your bag or backpack and you are good to go.The entire process takes less than 5 minutes from start to finish and requires no cleanup except tossing out the original packaging.



Gutzy Gear offers an assortment of patch designs from hearts and flowers to monkeys,skulls and fast food items.We had 10 kids,ages 5 to 11 try these and both boys and girls were able to find something that suited their style.The kids each made their own set of straps and many of them had their Gutzy Gear straps on the first day of school.



You can also grab a Gutzy Gear visor or hat to show off your style or take your patches with you in the collector book or to-go strip.They even have character Gutzies featuring favorites like Monster High,Spongebob,Sonic and Marvel characters.

The only thing I would change about these would be to add other colors for the straps.I like the black,but don't care for the yellow trim on them.I would like to see black with other colored trim or just different colored straps to choose from.Hint Hint!

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.I received the mentioned sample items to host my party.No other compensation was received and my opinions were not influenced by receiving sample items***

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Book Reviews-Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman




I just finished reading Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman.I have never really read about the Amish or their way of life before,so I wasn't sure what to expect from this story.I have to admit I liked reading about a different way of life and enjoyed this book so much I read it in just a couple days.

Almost Amish begins with the main character,Julie,who is tired of her everyday life.Julie feels as if she doesn't have a place.There is nothing that she is great at,no special talents,she is just plodding along doing whatever she can to help everyone around her.When Julie learns her sister in law,Susan,needs to help to be on a television show about the Amish,of course she agrees.The family sits down and works out what stipulations they have,what they hope to achieve and want to do in their time at the farm.The adults are excited to do the show and get away from their hectic lives,but the children aren't quite as excited.

When they arrive, they are thrown a few curve balls that don't sit too well with all the participants like having to wear Amish style clothing while they are there.As their time goes on,the kids begin to make friends and enjoy themselves.The ladies,however,aren't quite so lucky.Susan is constantly trying to preserve her image as the Martha Stewart type who can do it all,while Julie finds herself in the shadow of her sister in law and just can't seem to do anything right.

There is more to the story,but I have to leave some surprises for you to discover.I have a new respect for what is called the "simple" life.While they might not have the same kind of values or lifestyles as others,they still have activities,enjoy family time and have problems and dreams just like anyone else.


***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.I received the sample item in order to write a fair and honest review.No other compensation was received and my opinions were not influenced by receiving sample item***

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School Really Sucks

I don't know about you,but I was just not ready for school to start.I had all the supplies,clothing and accessories they needed,but the thought of getting up so early was not a fun one.I have 3 kids in 3 different schools this year so that means multiple trips a day to the bus stop to take them in the mornings and then doing it all again in the afternoons...blah!


The kids were ready though and still seem excited to go and see their friends each day.My daughter has been waiting all summer to meet some girls to hang out with and she has made a few new friends already.Being in a house with two brothers gets on her nerves sometimes.


My oldest has had some issues with bullying in the past so he was not as thrilled for this year to begin.I am hoping he can get away from that and have a better time this year,but he wasn't up for posing or anything the first day.I guess he is getting too old for that.

What about you? How is your school year going so far?





Saturday, September 1, 2012

Our Stylish Creativity for Kids Craft Party

I love Creativity for Kids products.I had tried a few of the kits prior to this party,and was thrilled with the results.They have such a wide variety of fun crafts and kits for boys and girls of all ages,that you can always find one to fit your need.

The amazing party pack I was sent was one of the biggest I have received since being a blogger.We had several large kits to make during the party and even some different items and small kits to send home with each guest! Every kit comes with a booklet of ideas,designs and instructions to help you get started.I suggest skimming through this just in case there is something that needs to be done ahead or an item you may not have on hand or may want to add.We decided to let the girls do their crafts however they wanted and help them if they needed it.


My favorite kit was the Deluxe Glitter Art.This kit included items to make trinket boxes,note cards and gift tags(or ornaments).The kit had everything we needed to complete each craft and was simple and easy to use.I loved that it came with glitter and glitter glue as well as stick on gems for decorating.Of course,you can use your own items like beads or stickers too,but we had plenty in the kit with extras left over.

My daughter loved the Fashion Bracelets kit the most.This included large and small bracelets as well as ribbons,beads and more to decorate them with.My favorite part of this kit is the easy to use sticker tape for decorating.The two sided tape simply stuck to the bracelets and then we peeled off the backing to adhere the beads or ribbon to it.This made assembling much more simple than trying to use glue on them.I do wish it had included more of the tape because we ran out,but that may have been due to so many hands using it at once that some of it may have been wasted.


I think the overall favorite of the kits was the Pop Art Necklaces.This kit had everything we needed to make a ton of super cute bottle cap necklaces with both provided and color your own images to use on them.The guests selected a color cap,beads and string,then added a sticker design to the cap.Next they covered the sticker with the provided clear covers to keep it from peeling off.They then strung the beads and caps onto  the necklace strings and tied them.Each necklace takes only a few minutes to make and the colors can be mixed and matched for a variety of looks.




The Fashion Headbands kit was a hit as well.This came with all the items needed to create fun and stylish headbands that the girls could wear to school.The kit included feathers,beads,ribbon,charms and more to allow freedom in the designs.


Each guests selected a colored headband and then the items they wanted to add to it.The provided craft glue was used to hold the items in place to complete the look.One thing I noticed with this kit was the messiness of the glue.I suggest an adult do the actual applying of the glue because it takes such a small amount for it to work.We had a slight mess from over excited girls using too much,but it wipes off easily,so that was cleaned up in seconds and we continued with the crafts.

 We also had a fun purse kit that we made and then the guests used their purses to carry their crafted items home.The cute little totes came complete with a matching change purse that could be decorated too.Each set had 5 sheets of different colored stickers that could be used to decorate the purses.These were super easy to use and let the guests make a bag that suited their style.The stickers were really durable and thick,so no worries about ripping the stickers or them peeling off easily.


When the party was over,each guests received a Fun with Fashion coloring and activity book and an E-Z Spray Tie Dye Bandana kit to take home.We also tried one of the Tie Dye kits and my daughter loved being able to make her own bandana and even had so much extra dye,she was able to do a shirt,sheet and pillowcase with it too.
In the end,a Creativity for Kids Craft Party can't be beat.The kids all enjoyed making things their way and talked about being able to show them off on the first day of school.They loved the amount of items included in the kits and they used some of the suggestions and photos on the boxes for ideas too. I have had a few moms at the bus stop ask me where one of the kids got this bracelet or that necklace because their daughter wants one and even had a few calls asking where to buy these products from friends or family of the guests who attended.

If you are looking for a fun party idea, group activity or just some cute crafts to do at home,I highly recommend looking to Creativity for Kids!

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.I received the party kit from my fabulous sponsors at Creativity for Kids and Mom Select in order to host this craft party.No other compensation was received.