>Boon Splat and Water Bugs Review & A Giveaway


A few months ago, I signed up to take part in the Boon Blogger Program.  They were very quick to respond and after a few emails we decided I’d review the Splat and Water Bugs toys.  Well, Boon was fine with shipping but for some odd reason, there are frequently times when mail gets stuck in postal-limbo and my Boon package was stuck in limbo for a while.  Thankfully its been here a few weeks now and the kids have all been enjoying their new tub toys.  
The Water Bugs are simple, fun, and neutral.  When I say simple, I mean the design is just simple, straightforward.  Kids can pick it up and just enjoy, no learning curve.  I love the shape and design of the cute little bugs (I’ve not ever said “cute little bugs” that I can remember, before!?) and how easy it is for little hands to grasp them.  The bright, neutral colors make this a great fit for any tub- regardless of having boys or girls or a mix of boys and girls in your house.  We’ve had a lot of fishing style games for the tub and unfortunately, none of them have ever worked well and the kids get frustrated.  I feel like the Water Bugs toy is a good toy that lets the kids feel like they are fishing and can be successful.  
The other toy we checked out is called Splat.  Think ring toss for the tub.  One of my favorite things about this toy is that the floating post is shaped like a splat.  Its just a fun, whimsical design feature, but I like it a lot.  Like the Water Bugs, the colors of the Splat toy are bright and neutral.  My kids adore this game, and my husband and I often try to beat them.  (I don’t share tub pics of my kiddos, so just stock photos for this review, sorry!).  Sometimes we win but mostly, the kids do.  They get more practice at it, in our defense!  
There are 2 big reasons why I like Boon products so much.  The first?  They are safe for kids.  Safe for adults.  We’ve all heard by know about how bad BPA is for us!!  The second reason is that Boon gives back by giving 10% of their profits to charities that support children in need.  
Now, Boon makes far more than just a few cute tub toys that are easy to store and care for.  Am I going to tell you about all of them?  I could, but since the nice folks at Boon have offered to send one of my awesome readers a Splat of their own, I think I’ll save my thoughts and wait to see what you guys think is neat….

Mandatory Entry:  Head over to Boon Inc and tell me what your favorite Boon product is.  That’s mandatory, so if you don’t do this, the other entries aren’t going to count.  

Extra Entries:
**Like Boon on Facebook and Tell them you want fun tub toys like This Mama Loves Her Bargains’ kids have! (3 entries)
**Follow Boon on Twitter (1 entry)
**Follow the Boon News Blog (1 entry)
**Follow my blog via email subscription (2 entries)
**Share this on any social networking site and get 1 entry/day per site.  Please leave URL  If you tweet- include @mamatomjr  and @booninc  along with the link.  If you scroll to the top of this post in the upper left corner you’ll see little buttons to share on social media sites- this is how I share giveaways when I am entering- it makes it easy and the link is already included for you!

**Enter any other giveaway and get 1 entry/giveaway
**Comment on any NON-giveaway post (relevant to the post) dated 8/15/10 or later) and get 2 entries/post.  

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=this0a9-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B00279MUKK&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThis giveaway will end on October 10, 2010 at midnight, EST.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to initial contact or another winner will be chosen using random.org.  US only

I received samples of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.

    >Crosswinds Press Wil & Fritz Children’s Books Series Review


    Wil, Fitz and a Flea Named T is the story of Wil going to gather apples for his grandma, and the lesson he learned along the way from a flea named…you guessed it, T!! – T lives on Wil’s dog, Fritz.  Anyway, Wil is sent to gather apples but took the easy road to find them, and realized almost too late that there weren’t any to find.  T has him go back to where he chose the easier path and guides him to choose the other path, and Wil learns that the easy way isn’t always the best nor the right way, and ends up having plenty of apples to bring to his gram.  This is a sweet story with tons of rhyming words- I definitely think it may be for the 5+ crowd- my 3 year old got lost a few times, but he’ll grow into it.  I like how there is a lesson taught without being preachy- and I find T to be quirky and funny. 
    I like that each of the books written by CJ Connolly and illustrated by Lisa Adams include Wil and Fritz.  I also like how they are all full of rhyme and sharing life lessons, again, without being preachy.  I get really annoyed and cranky when books seem preachy- and honestly?  Those books usually end up at goodwill or the book donation bin at the elementary school here in town.  The illustrations suit the stories quite nicely. Isn’t this such a sweet illustration?
    The Boomerang teaches Wil and Fritz about how your actions have an impact, especially when taken out of anger vs. not from anger.  (I noticed the website says its a gentle introduction to the concept of karma, and I agree, but that wasn’t what popped into my head)  He learns this important lesson and T and his cousin Zed- from Australia- and learns yet again that making mistakes teaches you something.  
    This book is especially fitting for where we are as a family right now, we’ve recently started going to church more and the kids, especially my oldest, are asking lots of questions about God and blessings and treating others how you want to be treated.  Really, having these books come into our house has been a blessing- they are leading into some wonderful conversations and growing opportunities with my 5 and 3 year old!
    The Bad Enchilada brings Wil and Fritz to the discovery that not letting go of anger really only hurts you in the end- and  can make you feel even worse than what got you upset in the first place.  This one really hit home with my oldest.  She’s been what we call a “grumpalumpus” in our house lately and she’s not been feeling great all around.  I honestly think reading this book together and discussing it helped!!
    I have to tell you, I really liked these books before I read them.  I just had a feeling I’d love them, and I do.  I love them even more having read about how Crosswinds Press came to be, and why Ms. Connolly decided to write this series of books- there’s proposed to be 10 in all.  She’s writing them for her grandchildren, and I think that is such a beautiful, amazing gift for her to give to each of her grandchildren- and to other children.  There are so, so many books on the market- but knowing the reason behind such wonderfully written books makes me adore them all the more.  
    You can find any of these books at Crosswinds Press or on Amazon.com.  They even have some fun pages to color you can download from the site as well!
    Find Crosswinds Press on Facebook
    Follow Crosswinds Press on Twitter
    Visit the Crosswinds Press Blog

    I received samples of these books to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed within are my own. 

    >I wore lipgloss this weekend. Yes, I did. Its my anniversary and I’m Clearly In LOVE!

    >This is not a regular occurrence.  Even when I have makeup on I wear chapstick at most.  I neglect my lips. But, thanks to Ally and Karly  friends of mine, my 5 year old is obsessed with lip gloss and asks for it every 3.2 seconds.  Every so often I cave in and let her have a bit.  Then she’ll want ME to wear some.

    I do like the Leslie Tyler “Clearly in Love” gloss in Mint Kiss we got to check out- the smell is nice and perks my mood up a bit, and the gloss itself is modest in shine, and not thick when applied.  Often times when I try a gloss its too thick for my liking and I end up wiping it right off.  

    But, today is our anniversary, and since its, well, its Monday…  (Not the most romantic day of the week!) I decided on Saturday to make a special dinner and put on some makeup and ‘real’ clothes.  Sometimes, its nice to celebrate occasions at home, and still dress like you are going out.  (Those of you who know me and are shocked reading this, please note, I did not wear shoes.  More like the me you know?).  So we had a nice family dinner and spent a nice evening together, hubby and myself, in honor of the 7 years we’ve been married, and the 10.5 we’ve been together.   With 3 very young children, finding the time and energy to do things like putting on makeup for dinner at home on a Saturday isn’t always easy.  Having some quick and simple to use products like this gloss make it a lot easier!

    The thing that struck me most about this gloss?  My husband didn’t make the yuck face when I kissed him.  He hates kissing gloss or lipstick, and this time, he didn’t complain.  Perhaps it was the mintiness, perhaps it was the sheerness, but he didn’t complain.  He’s been complaining about kissing lip products for 10 years, people!! This is huge!!  The kissability factor should ALWAYS be taken into account with lip products.

    So.  In short.  Leslie Tyler’s Clearly in Love- smells great, goes on smooth, stays on long, not too thick, and makes you feel great!  It comes in a handful of colors, and retails for about $12.00.  That’s not so bad considering how many $3 and $4 tubes of gloss I’ve tossed immediately because I hate how it feels on- I’d rather spend a bit more on one product that’s a good quality that I’m happy with than less on multiple products I’m not satisfied with. Rumor has it that Taylor Swift and Jennifer Love Hewitt like this stuff too!!

    Enter to win a Leslie Tyler Gloss from It’s a Glam Thing!

    I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review from It’s a Glam Thing.  Opinions expressed within are my own.

    >Frecklebox Review & Giveaway


    Frecklebox sent us a growth chart for the kids.  I love it.  Up until now my husband we have used a wall in the kitchen to mark each child’s growth every 6 months- including some of their friends.  I’ve been arguing that this is not a good idea since if we move, I’m going to insist on moving the wall with us, but I’ve not yet won the argument.  When I got to choose something to review from Frecklebox and I saw the growth charts, I knew I had to have one of these!!

    Isn’t it cute?  Plus, its gender neutral and has 3 monkeys, which means 1 monkey for each Bargain family kid. I love it.  Its such a sturdy material, no risk of tearing or anything. AND, most importantly for me, its portable.  So if and when we ever move, it can come right along with us.  No need to dismantle the kitchen wall to keep my overly-sappy self happy.  Win, win all around.

    Frecklebox has so many cute items you can have personalized with your child’s name- some really great ideas for that hard to shop for child who has every toy you can think of already!!

    Want  to win a Frecklebox item(s) of your own? 

    Mandatory Entry- Who are you shopping for if you win? 

    Extra Entries:
    Like Frecklebox on Facebook-  tell them you want to win a cool growth chart like This Mama Loves Her Bargains (2 entries)
    Follow Frecklebox AND me! on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway including both @frecklebox and @mamatomjr (1 entry/day)
    Sign up for Frecklebox Email Alerts

    And of course, you can also Follow me on Networked Blogs, GFC, Facebook, and/or Subscribe by RSS or Email to my blog.  You can take 2 entries for each of these that you do!

    Share this on any social networking site and get 1 entry/day per site.  Please leave URL of your post!! (HINT: Click on the time stamp (ie…5 minutes ago- clicking that brings you to the URL of your post on Facebook or on Twitter!)

     Enter any other giveaway and get 1 entry/giveaway

    Comment on any NON-giveaway post (relevant to the post) dated 7/15/10 or later) and get 2 entries/post.  

    Please note that this giveaway will end on October 6, 2010 at midnight, EST.  Winner to be chosen by random.org.  US Only.  If you have won a giveaway from Frecklebox in the past 12 months you are NOT eligible to enter this drawing!

    I received a copy of this DVD to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.


    >Some awesome finds at TJMaxx today!!

    >Here are some things I spied at TJMaxx today:

    Spiced Pumpkin Halloween themed Yankee Candle Jars- $7.99
    Diffuser Spiced Pumpkin – the things with the reeds?  Orange jar with spider webs, black reeds, pumpkin scent- $12.99
    They also have other Yankee Candle H’ween things but thats what jumped out at me.  The black jars were patchouli scent which is not a favorite of mine but they had the same items.

    Random packs of Carter’s brand in girls AND Boys 3 pack undies- $4.00 from $6.99.

    Maclaren Quest Strollers $69.99 IN GOOD COLORS!!!!!!!!!!

    BooBoo Rescue Kits- these are awesome- normally $16-20 only $7.99 or 9.99 (2 sizes).  We keep this in each vehicle in our house!

    I saw a WOODEN Thomas set that I’ve seen in other stores on sale for $89 for $34 but I can’t for the life of me remember which set it is.  I’m kicking myself for not buying that one, for sure!!

    There were others but these were the deals that had me squealing!!



    GoGo Squeez Applesauce 4 packs- Seen @ Whole Foods this week for $3.79 were $2.19.  Tasty Baby infant cereal bags were $1.99 and  Healthy Times Arrowroot Vanilla Cookies are $2.09

    >Get $100 worth of Picaboo Photobooks for $25 from Groupon!!

    >That’s a savings of $75.00!  With the holidays so close- or just to keep up to date with family albums (I’m so guilty of not doing this) this is an awesome deal!!

    Just click on Groupon and look for Pittsburgh – its good for all areas (my local deal is nowhere near this good today!!)

    Thanks to Coupons are GREAT for the head’s up!

    >Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event in select theaters nationwide 9/29 and 10/2


    NCM Fathom and Walt Disney Studios Open
     The Disney Vault to Bring an Animated Classic Back to More than
    500 Theaters Nationwide on Sept. 29 and Oct. 2
    Click here to find a participating theater close to you!!

    >Shaun the Sheep Party Animals DVD Review & Giveaway


    I am going to preface this by telling you that *I* find Shaun the Sheep hilarious- but I’ve also always loved Wallace & Gromit and was really excited to be able to watch full episodes with my husband and kids- or maybe just for me.  Either way,  this is a family hit.  The kids may not get the humor the same way we adults do but they enjoy watching!!  Even if you haven’t see the Shan the Sheep shorts on Disney Channel, just looking at the titles of the episodes will give you a hint of what’s to come in the shows.  All puns are clearly intended, and when you see pigs “taking over” a farm and running things how pigs want them run, you’ll understand the humor.  I love this DVD!!  Its silly fun that the kids enjoy and the parents can enjoy, as well.  


    Mischief-making Shaun the Sheep and his fearless flock of barnyard buddies are causing mayhem in seven new revel-filled episodes in Shaun the Sheep: Party Animals came to DVD, Digital Download and On Demand  on September 7, 2010 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment.  Shaun the Sheep is the second fastest growing children’s brand (Source Nielsen) and each DVD outsells the last.  Five minute shorts of the series currently air in the U.S. on the Disney Channel, but full-length episodes are only available on these three formats.


    There’s no disguising the fun with Shaun the Sheep and his barnyard buddies in this party-fest of wild antics from the Oscar®-winning creators of “Wallace and Gromit”. The farm is once again party central as Shaun, Bitzer, Timmy and those Naughty Pigs cause all sorts of mayhem, from flying cue balls and pillow fights to nights of disguise and intrigue. Grab your invitation to laughter for some sheep-herding mayhem that’s sure to rock the flock!

     Episodes include:

    • “Party Animals” – The farmer throws a costume party for his birthday. When Bitzer loses all the invitations, Shaun saves the day again. Disguised in their own ingenious costumes, the sheep stand in as the guests. But can they fool the Farmer into believing he is surrounded by his friends? 

      (This episode is by far my favorite.  The kids think I’m crazy but seriously.  HILARIOUS.  Its a must see. )

    • “Double Trouble” – A bored Shaun dresses up as the Farmer to entertain the flock. Realizing he now has the power to boss Bitzer around; Shaun takes the opportunity to throw a party for the flock. All goes according to plan until Bitzer puts two and two together. Then Shaun encounters the real Farmer…

    • “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow” - The Farmer is preparing for a date! He wants to look his best so it’s time to dust off his prized hairpiece. Shaun can’t resist trying the wig on but loses it while showing off to the flock. The race is on as Shaun and Bitzer try to return the wig in time for the Farmer’s big night.

    • “Pig Swill Fly” – The farm is looking spotless and everyone is on their best behavior when the dreaded farm inspector pays a visit. While the Inspector checks out the inside of the farmhouse, war breaks out in the field between the sheep and the pigs. Can Bitzer prevent the Inspector from noticing as the chaos escalates outside?

    ·        “Operation Pidsley” – While the Farmer is away, the sheep sneak into the farmhouse for a party. But when Pidsley snaps a photograph of the fun and games, Shaun and Bitzer need to catch the malicious cat before he can show the incriminating evidence to the Farmer.

    • “Shaun Goes Potty” – The farm receives a delivery of a brand new pool table. Before the Farmer can take it indoors, Bitzer and the flock have a game with disastrous consequences. They must repair the damage before the Farmer finds out!

    • “Pig Trouble” – When Bitzer injures his foot and can’t work, the Farmer chooses the pigs to take over his role. The power crazy pigs take the opportunity to turn the farm into a porky paradise – at the sheep’s expense. Bitzer tries in vain to warn his master what is going on behind his back, but it’s Shaun who steps in and restores the status quo.

     (The kids find this one the best.  They love it.  “Again, mom!!”)


    ·        Timmy’s Tune

    ·        Building A Pig

     Want to check out Shaun the Sheep Party Animals for yourself? One of my readers will be receiving a copy!! 

    This one will be easy, everyone.  Visit Shaun the Sheep- Tell me who your favorite character is.    Want an extra entry?  Tell me your 2nd  favorite!!  That’s 2 entries already!

    And of course, you can also Follow me on Networked Blogs, GFC, Facebook, Twitter and/or Subscribe by RSS or Email to my blog.  You can take 2 entries for each of these that you do!

    Share this on any social networking site and get 1 entry/day per site.  Please leave URL and as always, include @mamatomjr  if you tweet.

     Enter any other giveaway and get 1 entry/giveaway

    Comment on any NON-giveaway post (relevant to the post) dated 7/15/10 or later) and get 3 entries/post.  

    This giveaway will end on October 4, 2010 at midnight, EST.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to initial contact or another winner will be chosen using random.org.  US only

    I received a copy of this DVD to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.