GoldieBlox Building Toys for Girls #lookatgoldie #giveaway

Last Christmas, we gave our youngest daughter 2 GoldieBlox sets.  It was the beginning of something beautiful.  Building toys- for GIRLS- that aren’t super girlie, and aren’t dumbed down.  My kids LOVE building toys.  All 3 of them.  My younger 2 are more into it than my oldest, but she still enjoys building too. Many of the sets designed for girls don’t get as much play time, and definitely don’t seem to present the same challenges to kids that the “boy” sets do.  Or didn’t, until Debbie Sterling came up with a building toy designed for girls to encourage them in math and engineering concepts- GoldieBlox.

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Sometimes you just have to rock the sunglasses when building.  You just have to be a Blox Star. 

What is it about these GoldieBlox sets that keeps the kids coming back for more?  There’s a clean simplicity in each set- a story, and a building toy to go along with each.  There’s not a lot of attention paid to making it “pretty” or even “cute” but instead, attention paid to make these sets playable, buildable, to keep them coming back for more. That’s what draws me to the line. Although we do WANT a GoldieBlox figure (which I hear is coming out for holiday time this year), she’s not necessary to feel like you have the whole toy.

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Also, each of the sets (ranging in price from $19.99 to $29.99, and an extension kit for $9.99) can work with the other sets.  A visit to GoldieBlox.com offers more plans and ideas to further use these building toys for girls, which means kids can expand their play and build on those engineering and math concepts. There’s a Solid Gold(ie) package, with 3 GoldieBlox sets, the expansion pack and a BloxStar shirt for $99.95….which we ordered this week for ourselves- we have the sets, but the price is great, we wanted the expansion pack, and now we have 3 gifts readily available for friends, plus a super cool shirt for my little BloxStar to wear :) !

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As I said, we’ve had a few GoldieBlox sets for a while.  The sets we received for this #lookatgoldie campaign, the Parade Float and Dunk Tank, were lots of fun and all of us have had TONS of fun playing with the Dunk Tank. There’s been talk of building a dunk tank in the yard now so the kids can try to dunk their dad.  I’ll keep you posted if that happens.  Perhaps a video…. in the meantime, here’s a video of the GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank set!

 

 

Building Toys for Girls can be awesome and NOT dumbed down!

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GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank

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In GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank, Goldie has to find a way to get Nacho clean. The only problem is: Nacho hates water and loves being a dirty dog. After many tries to get Nacho clean, Goldie finally comes up with the perfect contraption. As kids read along, they help Goldie build a dunk tank (and learn about hinges and levers) to get Nacho clean so everyone can go to the carnival on time.

  • A book series plus construction set where Goldie and friends devise a plan to get Nacho clean in time for the carnival.
  • Builds spatial skills, engineering principles (hinges and levers) and confidence in problem-solving.
  • Comes equipped with 3 design ideas and unlimited building possibilities.
  • Compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys.
Skill set: Hinge and lever
Includes: Storybook, 1 animal figurine, 1 bouncy ball, 2 wheels, 9 short axles, 18 long axles, 12 blocks, 10 spacers, 2 targets, 3 design templates   

GoldieBlox and the Parade Float

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In this much-anticipated sequel, Goldie’s friends Ruby and Katinka compete in a princess pageant with the hopes of riding in the town parade. When Katinka loses the crown, Ruby and Goldie build something great together, teaching their friends that creativity and friendship are more important than any pageant.

  • A book series plus construction set introducing Ruby, Goldie’s best friend and princess-turned-engineer.
  • Builds spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem-solving.
  • Comes equipped with 9 design ideas, a DIY project, and unlimited building possibilities.
  • Compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys.

Skill Set: Wheel and axle

Includes: Storybook, 3 animal figurines, 7 wheels, 6 blocks, 9 short axles, 4 long axles, 4 spacers, 1 band, 1 ribbon, 9 design ideas

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One reader will win a prize pack including GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank and GoldieBlox and the Parade Float! 

 

 

This #lookatgoldie post is sponsored by GoldieBlox through our affiliation with The Motherhood. Opinions are my own. 

A Day in the Life of Our Tend Toddler

What’s a day like in our home? For our kids? Gee, I never really stopped to think about it, because, aren’t “typical days” kinda boring?

That’s what I thought before I had the wonderful opportunity to be involved in a video project with Huggies. The camera crew arrived and set up in our house, and the director proceeded to ask me lots of questions to prep me.

I reflected that this would be a good idea for ALL moms to do from year to year. Our children change so much, it’s hard to remember what a “typical day” was like two years ago when he was just born. Or, four years ago, when I just had one child. This post is written by my friend Julie from HappyStrongHome.com :)

Day in the Life of a Tend Toddler Pin

Ask yourself the same questions the director asked me to get a feel for your own “typical day?”

  • What does he do when he wakes up?
  • What does he like to eat?
  • What’s your daily routine like?
  • What toys does he like to play with?
  • Where do you go?
  • What about lunch and naptimes?
  • When does he go to sleep at night?

Or do fill in the blank questions like:

  • Not a day goes by that he doesn’t ______.
  • Every night when I put him to sleep, I think _____.

While I felt nervous to be on camera getting interviewed, I think it was such a valuable experience for me to sit for a minute and really think about what my child’s day is like – for him, and with ME!

Turns out, I’m happy with what I discovered: our son wakes up happy to see us, loves to eat his cereal or eggs, plays trucks and dinosaurs or trains all day, or loves to dig in the dirt. Not a day goes by without him squeezing me tight in a bear hug.

And every night when I put him to sleep, I think what a wonderful addition he’s been to our world. I can’t imagine a typical day without him at this point!

Turns out – a typical day is actually very very special to me!

Watch this cute video from Tend and Huggies showing “A Day in the Life of a Tend Toddler!” Enjoy it – because I sure did!

This post is in partnership with Tend and Mode Media, and I received compensation for participating in this program. All opinions are my own.

#BuildABoxtrollSweeps: Enter to Win! #TheBoxtrolls

We are just over a month out from the premiere of The Boxtrolls movie. My family cannot wait to see this movie- if you remember, we’ve been reading the book that the movie is based on, Here Be Monsters (The Ratbridge Chronicles). The Boxtrolls promises fantasy, whimsy, ingenuity and, of course, a whole lot of fun.  Arthur, a young boy, and the  Boxtrolls (shy creatures who live below ground and wear boxes) must fight Snatcher to save Ratbridge.  There’s adventure, danger, and lots more.

 

Filled with whimsical illustrations and very short chapters, this story (and the book itself) lend themselves quite nicely to a read-aloud for all ages and a fun ‘challenge’ book for young chapter book readers.  I thought my oldest and I would be doing the reading for the most part, but my little guy has stepped up and he’s been the most enthusiastic about taking his turn for some chapters!

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To get all of us more excited about the arrival of the quirky and adorable Boxtrolls, there’s a REALLY fun sweepstakes going on!  We’ve all been challenged to build our OWN Boxtrolls.  So get your crafty supplies together and think outside of the box (Get it? See what I did there?) and start building your Boxtroll!

I told the kids tonight at dinner that we’ll be making our OWN Boxtrolls (stay tuned for progress and pics on those) and all 3 immediately had very, VERY different ideas on what to make.  So apparently, the Martin family will be making not one but 3 Boxtrolls.  I’m kind of excited about their ideas. I can’t wait to see yours too! This is the kind of thing that helps us to get so excited for movies to come out (this one is due in theaters 9/26/14).

 

 

How To Enter For A Chance to Win the Sweeps:

build-a-boxtroll-sweeps-#buildaboxtrollsweeps
Sweeps Duration: 8/4/14 Midnight EST – 9/5/14 11:59PM EST

Prize: An all-expense paid trip for 4 to the L.A. movie premiere of Boxtrolls

  1. Make a totally awesome Boxtroll

  2. Snap a pic

  3. Upload your photo to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the #BuildaBoxtrollSweeps hashtag

No purchase necessary. 18+ years old. 50 US States + District of Columbia only. 8/4/14-9/5/14. Official rules.

boxtrolls-characters-#theboxtrolls

So what kind of Boxtroll are YOU going to make?

 

 

 

This post is part of an ongoing partnership with The Boxtrolls and SocialMoms.  Opinions are my own.

Surface Pro 3 $150 Off for Students

Microsoft is offering $150.00 off Surface Pro 3 for college students between August 3 and September 6 to help them get the tablet that can replace a laptop for a great price. It’s the perfect classroom companion for any student: just click in one of the colorful Type Covers to turn out a term paper, or open a OneNote page with the click of the all-new Surface pen for hand-written notes or doodles.

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This offer is available at Microsoft Stores, Best Buy, Staples and Tiger Direct in the U.S., and Microsoft Stores and Best Buy in Canada, and to be eligible for the promotion, students must be enrolled in college or university and have a valid .edu email address.

 

I would officially like to announce that I want to go back to school. I want a Surface Pro 3! Especially the Surface pen- that just seems AMAZING and like the perfect tool for me. It’s thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air, too. The Surface Pro 3 is a laptop and a tablet. All in one. I’m so wanting one.  You’ll just need to choose a cover once you make your purchase.  That would be the hardest part of my decision!

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No compensation received for this post.  I received this information as part of my #WindowsChampions ambassadorship.

How To Save On New School Clothes

As it gets time to start thinking about back to school and budget planning, you’ll have to start thinking about school clothes. Of course you want your kids to look nice, and if they grow like weeds like most kids, they’ll need some new clothes that fit! School clothes shopping can be a bit overwhelming especially if it’s something new to you, or you are trying to stick with a tight budget. There’s a few tips that will help you maximize your budget and get the most for your money!

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Don’t go for designer brands.
It might seem obvious, but some people are truly worried about this. Your kids will not be bullied over designer brand clothing or regular brand clothing. School clothes get dirty and torn up fairly easily anyway, so you really want to go for something more durable, rather than expensive. WalMart used to be known for really cheap clothing and bad quality, but they’ve improved quite a bit the last few years and they have some really great school clothes sales!

Be practical.
Make sure, as mentioned before, that you’re going for clothes that will ultimately last the entire school year. You don’t want to get clothes that will fall apart easily, otherwise you’ll have to spend twice as much! Look for good quality and price over anything else! This goes for shoes too. Make sure the shoes you buy are durable and can last a long time!

Don’t go overboard.
This is a pretty important tip! It can be easy to buy way too many school clothes while shopping and get carried away. Get what you need, and call it a day! You don’t need a different outfit for every day of the month, just enough to get through the week and have some variation from time to time. Keep track of your spending while you shop so you can stick within your budget.

Allow your kids to help!
While this might seem like it will cost MORE money, it can actually save you quite a bit! This prevents you from picking any school clothes that they don’t like or don’t want to wear, and that will save you some money in the long run. Still stick within your budget and let your child know that you can’t go overboard with picking, but allowing them to help in the process can make sure everyone is satisfied and no money goes wasted!

Go to places that offer sales on school clothes.
Places like WalMart, Target, and Kohl’s are usually pretty good about offering sales for school clothes! JCPenney is a great option too because they offer some sales that allow you to get away with some great steals and savings! You always want to look for sales and never pay full price, that way you can maximize your budget!

What are your favorite places to shop for school clothes? Let me know in the comments below!

Thinning Hair Products #Cerafill

I have a lot of hair. Like, a lot a lot.  It’s super fine, though…and the numbers are on the decline since kid #1 was born 9 years ago. I thought the hair loss would stop after the “6 months” people kept telling me about for post-partum hair loss. It never did. I wonder sometimes if I still keep and kept losing hairs so much because I had so many pregnancies in a row- 6 total in 5 1/2 years- 3 miscarried, but still. The hormones maybe did a number on my hairs? I’m not super vain. I’m really not.  But I miss my hair. I don’t like seeing my scalp through my hair. I’ve been so lucky for long and I feel like the tides are turning…and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve looked into thinning hair products to get some help. thinning-hair-front-cerafill I’ve actually had to start using smaller hair ties for my hair.  That’s how much my thinning hair has affected me! Dislike! I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Cerafill powered by Redken. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Redken and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. This is why when I had the chance to try Redken Cerafill I agreed readily. I was to try these products for 2 weeks, although Idid a full 4. While I’m not going to tell you that my hair now rivals Rapunzel’s in thickness (or length… I guess not color), I CAN see a difference, and that makes me happy. Like I said, I’m not super vain. But my hair’s always been this one way, for most of my 40 years on this earth, and the changes aren’t ones that I’m so excited about. I am horrible with selfies but here’s the after- I can see a little change, can you? thinning-hair-post-cerafill-after-pic *Just a note- my hair is actually clean in both of these shots.  Today, well, it’s a little humid out, can you tell? I have frizzy everything!  There’s more to GET frizzy so I’ll take it. cerafill-defy-thinning-hair-products

What IS Cerafill?

Thickening shampoo and conditioner system for normal to thin hair.

Instant hair thickening with Dense FX* It’s like gaining up to 9,000 more hairs after one use!**

The normal growth cycle of a single hair strand can last anywhere from two to six years. When hair is healthy and growing at a steady rate, it grows about a half-inch per month. When hair is thinning, the growth cycle shortens and stays in the actively growing phase for shorter periods of time.

What Cerafill does, with Ceramide, SP-94 + ZINC PCA, and Filloxane, is to strengthen, nourish and protect each hair strand.  The Minoxidil works to thicken the hairs individually.

All Cerafill products are safe for pregnant women and people undergoing chemotherapy, except Minoxidil. Minoxidil may be harmful if used when pregnant or breast-feeding. See Minoxidil Drug Facts box and product insert. Regarding clients using Minoxidil who are undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy, a question of this nature would need to be addressed by the patient’s physician as every case would be different.

Want to give Redken Cerafill a try? Check out their Salon Finder! Would I have tried this product? I don’t know.  Perhaps, if I saw it in a salon.  Having tried it now, I AM planning to get more of it as I run out (my conditioner is almost gone). I love the Redken brand and it does work to help my hair look and feel fuller. That has me sold.

Do you struggle to find thinning hair products too?

Best Backpacks for Kids

Besides all the other costs that come with back to school shopping, you’ll also want to pick out a high quality backpack for your soon-to-be student! It’s hard to know what kind of backpack to get, especially with so little in the way of reviews and information! These backpacks are sure to be great for your student and are the best of the best!

Best Backpacks for Kids

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JanSport Classic 

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This style of backpack has been around for ages and is super durable! Not only is it durable but they’re very fashionable and simple. This is great for any school age. Buy the JanSport Classic

High Sierra Swerve Pack

high-sierra-swerve-backpack
This is a great backpack that comes in tons of different colors, so it’ll be sure to appeal to any kid! It has tons of compartments, water bottle pockets, an MP3 player pocket with a headphone port, and more! It’s a great backpack for middle and high schoolers who have lots to carry! Buy the High Sierra Swerve Pack

North Face Jester 

north-face-jester
North Face is a great, durable brand overall and their backpacks are no different! It provides tons of pocket and compartment space, and is durable in basically every weather condition. This is great for kiddos who might be spending any amount of time in snow this school year! It dries quickly which is nice too! Buy the North Face Jester

JanSport Big Student Backpack 

jansport-big-student
Like the JanSport Classic, this is a great sturdy backpack! Additionally, it provides even more space than the Classic and has a variety of styles as well! This is great for middle school through college and with the incredible durability this backpack provides, it might even last that long! Buy the JanSport Big Student Backpack

CLELO Vintage Canvas Backpack 

clelo-vintage-backpack
This backpack is great for high schoolers or college students that want a more fashionable look for their backpack! It’s got a chic vintage design that is timeless and beautiful, and allows plenty of space for books and a laptop! Buy the CLELO backpack

Everest Luggage Backpack 

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This backpack is great for school and other activities. It provides a large main compartment with a front pocket organizer and side pockets as well! It comes in many different colors and will appeal to many students! Buy Everest Luggage Backpack

 

All of these backpacks are a solid choice for any student ranging from kindergarten to college. Ultimately, you have to find the backpack that works for your student and allows them to carry everything they need and provides a fashion that they’re comfortable with! These are some of the best of the best, and without a doubt the most durable!

Join the #GoBeyondParty 8/13 1pm ET!

This post brought to you by Triad Retail Media. The content and opinions expressed below are that of this mama loves.

Our Tobey is 13 1/2. We actually just got home from his annual vet checkup, and even the vet couldn’t believe how well he’s doing.  I was a proud dog mama!!  We try to give our Tobey, adn our cats- even our chickens- the best quality we can in foods we choose because they are part of our family and we want what’s best for them.

Tobey

Purina® believes in providing quality products for pets because they deserve the best. Their focus is on nutrition, quality and food safety, so you know your pet is benefitting from what they are eating.

More than 400 scientists and pet nutritionists are involved in the detailed process of ensuring all Purina pet foods, including Beyond® natural pet foods, are easily digested, provide essential nutrients, and taste great!

Your pet does a lot to take care of you, and we know you want to do everything you can to take care of them. To celebrate such an amazing bond, we are having a Twitter party! Join the #GoBeyondParty to share photos of your amazing pet (cat or dog) and help spread the word about all the amazing benefits Purina Beyond® can offer them.

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Dates: 08/13/2014 Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm EST Host/CoHost: @Crissy / @moderndaymoms Prizes: 6 Coupon for small bag of food (up to 15.5lbs) each with (6) $10 Walmart Gift Card

Coupon for small bag of food (up to 15.5lbs) each with (2) $20 Walmart Gift Card – Quantity 2 Grand Prizes: $100 Walmart Gift Card and Coupon for big bag of food (up to 24lbs) – Quantity 1 $200 Walmart Gift Card and Coupon for big bag of food (up to 24lbs)

Hashtag: #GoBeyondParty Must attend party to win, winners announced through out party.

     Find Twitter party hints here: http://bit.ly/18onQgl

RSVP Below to be eligible for prizing- and don’t forget to participate!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monitoring driving habits #StraightTalkTesters #giveaway

The Safe Drive Car connection by Straight Talk is a really great device, which greatly decreases the worries of having a driving aged child. As part of Straight Talk’s new product category “connected life” the Safe Drive Car Connection helps you keep up with your teenager when they’re on the road, and allows them to sharpen up their driving skills in the process. Monitoring driving habits (of your kids and yourself) with smart devices is something many of us should consider. I know it’s made me more cognizant of things! car_connection_straight-talk

We all know texting and driving is one of the most dangerous habits in young people and adults alike. We also know that it can be hard to fight the urge at times, especially for younger, easily-distracted drivers. With the free, third-party ZoomSafer app, available on both the iTunes App Store and  Google Play, Safe Driver Car Connection can restrict text messages and phone usage while driving to eliminate this risk. It also allows you to track your vehicle through the use of GPS at any time, right from your home computer OR from your cell phone or tablet. You can see if your car is being towed, moved, or if your teen has driven outside of a predetermined area you gave them permission to drive! That feature alone is enough to convince me of its worth!
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But there’s more! Ever wondered how your child (or spouse) drives when you aren’t present? Safe Driver Car Connection actually allows you to receive a driver score report to monitor anyone’s vehicle use and driving habits! I’m not going to tell you who was driving the van recently.  (Photo above) You’ll notice the driving score is a 70 – one of us has been a little heavy on the gas pedal.  That number may not seem significant, but as you scroll through the data on the Car Connection app, you can see how those types of habits literally cost you more money, based on the average price of gas for where YOU live. It IS significant.

straight-talk-remote-alert

Another device in the Connected Life line of products is the Remote Alert System. This system allows you to stay connected with your household while you are away. Its built-in wireless module can send an SMS Text message or place a phone call to up to eight pre-assigned numbers when a sensor is triggered in your own home. You can enhance this kit further by adding accessories like an additional motion sensor, magnetic door/window sensors, and a remote control key fob.

One reader will win a Safe Drive Car Connection Device from Straight Talk!

 

 

This post is brought to you as part of my ongoing participation in the Straight Talk Testers program.  While I am compensated via service, product and payment for my participation, I’m also well into my third year of being a Straight Talk customer and have been very happy with the services offered.

Back To School Lunch Ideas

Whether you choose to feed your child all natural foods, or something quick and easy, you’ll need to come up with back to school lunch ideas! Of course, most kids would be satisfied with a sandwich and a snack every day, but sometimes it’s nice to change things up for them!

back-to-school-lunch-ideas

1. Pasta Salad.
If your kids are a little more adventurous in taste, they’ll love some fresh pasta salad for lunch! It’s easy to store, just send a chilled bowl and a fork and you’re set! You could couple this with some nice crackers to go along with it, and you’re set. Check out this pasta salad recipe with salami and mozzarella for a great idea!

2. Chicken noodle soup.
This is always a great option for kids who have been sick recently, or are getting over their bout of sickness that caused them to miss school. The first day back after an illness is always pretty miserable, and chicken noodle soup can make it a little less so. Additionally, it’s a nice and comforting “home” food, so it’s nice to be able to eat something like that at school!

3. Classic sandwich meal.
Of course there’s always the classic turkey or ham sandwich, chips as a side, and a piece of fruit to boot! This is a timeless classic, and extremely easy and convenient! To put a twist on this lunch idea, try a chicken salad sandwich instead of normal deli meat!

4. “Lunchable” meal.
For an alternative to a classic sandwich meal, you could do a “Lunchable” style meal, packing crackers, turkey or ham, and some snacks. Rather than a candy item like a Lunchable provides, you could provide a fruit like grapes or oranges, and granola instead of chips.

5. Macaroni and cheese.
This is something that is easily stored, and can be kept in a container to keep it hot, or eaten cold! You can use leftovers from a big dinner or homebaked macaroni and cheese, or just make it specifically for lunches throughout the week. Mac and cheese is a huge kid favorite and would make a lovely lunch surprise! To complete this meal, send a cup of fruit to balance it out!

Try these lunch ideas to give some variety to your student’s life and they’ll be sure to love it! What kinds of lunch meals do you send to school with your kids? Let me know in the comments below!