Hearts for Hearts Dolls #Giveaway

Dolls have been around a very, very long time.  Big, small, realistic, non-realistic, well made, not so well made, themed dolls, look alike dolls, dolls that pee, dolls that eat, dolls that have eyes which can close…the  list is kind of endless.  Once in a while, though, a doll comes along that stands out a bit from the rest….like the Hearts for Hearts Girls.

These dolls are gorgeous- very well made, beautiful features and stylishly dressed…which is all well and good but the reason these dolls stand out is that they give back.  You see, for each of the Hearts for Hearts dolls that is purchased, a portion of the proceeds is given back to one of the countries that the dolls represent.    As a mom, I love to support brands that give back.  As a former kid who loved dressing dolls, I love the awesomeness of these dolls.  They are fun, appealing and seem to be ready to withstand countless hours of play, dress up, and who knows what else.

You can read more about these dolls below:

Hearts For Hearts Girls is a charitable doll line and fashion collection from Playmates Toys, which seeks to empower girls to become agents of change in their communities, their countries and around the world. The line features six dolls inspired by real girls from real places allover the world. Each authentically dressed and lifelike doll has her own story to share and is working to change her community in ways unique to her home country. A portion of each doll sale is donated to a non-profit organization that helps children from that doll’s country. Playmates Toys is working with non-profit partner World Vision to make this possible.
The Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls come to life with a fully interactive website that lets girls discover different cultures, read about girls who have overcome challenges, and engage with the dolls through a range of activities. Each doll comes with a special code that lets girls unlock a free membership to the kid-safe website at www.hearts4heartsgirls.com. All girls are welcome to visit the website, but the special code that comes with purchase provides access to a larger array of games and also lets girls create their own “myHeart” page. This special page displays things that girls care about, ways in which they want to help girls or their community, and words to help express how they feel as a Hearts For Hearts Girl. They can change the page as often as they like!
One reader will win a Hearts for Hearts girl!! [click to continue…]

Crayola Glow Book #Giveaway

With all of the different ways kids can create things these days, it isn’t surprising that a lifelong favorite brand of mine has added a little bit of technology to their creative line of products- I’m talking about Crayola, and their Glow Book.  This book is REALLY cool and allows kids to create so many things- including in layers- so that they can create their own animation, right at home!!  How cool is that?  I love gifts that inspire creativity and this is definitely on the short list for when I have an art lover to shop for.    There are extra tracing sheets available right on the Crayola site if your child wants some practice before starting on their own, original designs.

Layers of Glowing Fun!

Create glowing, moving, animated art! Design your own cartoons, multi-message signs and sequential drawings—the possibilities are endless! Glow markers wipe clean with a damp cloth. Create new images as often as you like! [click to continue…]

Playmobil Top Agents Review and #PrizePack #Giveaway

Do you have a little super spy in your life? If so, I know the PERFECT holiday gift. Playmobil offers their Top Agents set which includes a spy vehicle that can work with a Wireless Spy Camera and Remote. All of these items are sold seperately. I love that they can be played with individually, or added on to your set to enhance the fun later. I know this gift will absolutely thrill any little guy (or girl) on Christmas morning. I had a chance to try out the Wireless Spy Cam, Remote and Robo Gang Truck. We were able to get playing right away with the helpful tutorials online. Playmobil offers a great site that describes step by step how to get your camera working on your PC, how to record a movie with You Tube and save movies on your computer. Once the car was assembled, set up was really a snap and we were able to get started right away. My son and my husband had so much fun “spying” on the rest of the family using their new toy. I found the video quality to be surprisingly good and the remote control feature was so much fun. The remote control had a long range, so they were able to easily navigate the truck all around the house without losing the signal. I anticipate that this will be one toy that will be around for a long time. With the help of their dad, even the little ones were able to get in on the action.

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Head Chefs Cooking Adventures Cookbooks #Giveaway #PrizePack

I have some mad love for Head Chefs.  Kid-sized, kid-friendly cooking utensils that are also functional.  We have tried a few other brands that are kid-friendly and while they are most definitely kid-sized, they don’t perform well.  This is super frustrating.  So we keep going back to Head Chefs (over the summer we shared about them), who recently expanded their product line to include a line of Cooking Adventures Cookbooks- The Peace of Pizza, Mac and Cheese Fit for a King, and Santa’s Favorite Cookie.  My children LOVE to help in the kitchen, whenever possible, and I really enjoy having their help- but I also want my kids safe in the kitchen- so I like having kid-sized tools around to facilitate some culinary success.

Each of the Cooking Adventures Cookbooks tells a story including the Head Chefs “characters” and includes adventure, stories, and some fun and delicious recipes!  Having some of the Head Chefs utensils to go along with these just makes for lots more fun.  Plus, when else is it perfectly acceptable to grab a tushy whenever you want?  Remember, all of the Head Chef’s utensils have a little tushy on the handle!!  These products are just so well made and the cookbooks are no exception- nicely bound, durable pages, large enough size for easy viewing.   [click to continue…]

Miche Bag Review #Giveaway

If you are anything like me  you LOVE a great new handbag.  However, after a season (or less) you get tired of the same bag day after day and are looking for a change.  It’s expensive to purchase several new handbags every year and not always feasible.  When I discovered that I could get several different handbag looks without all the cost I was definitely interested.  Miche offers a great line of handbags that consist of an inner base bag and an outer shell.  The outer shell is interchangeable.  So you can easily change the entire look of your bag on a whim, without buying an entirely new bag.

The bags come in 4 different styles.  The Classic, Prima, Petite Base and Demi.  These base bag options differ in shape and size.

Once you have chosen your base the fun begins!  Each base bag comes with a large selection of shells.  Simply pick out the ones you like and they quickly fit over your base for an instant change.  No changing the contents of your bag or complicated zipping.  There is a magnetized flap at the top of the shell that just flips over the edge of your base to hold it in place.  I love that I can even change my purse from day to day to match my outfit or my mood. [click to continue…]

Photo Ornaments from PhotoJewelryMaking.com

I had some fun with a few wedding photographs from my nephew’s wedding this fall this week.   The folks at PhotoJewelryMaking.com sent me a cd-rom and supplies to make some Beaded Photo Christmas Ornaments – such a fun activity, easy to do and I can see me using this software to resize a lot of images for crafts and projects we do- not just for ornaments!  One thing I REALLY like is that they suggest you just use regular paper for printing- no need for expensive photo paper, because the thinner paper fits into the openings better.

Making your ornament is pretty simple (I had a few freeze-ups with either the program or my laptop or both, but with that exception, this was smooth sailing).   [click to continue…]

American Girl Holiday Dresses

Trying to get a photo of three small children is no easy feat.

Do you know what’s more fun to my girls than having fancy Christmas dresses? Having fancy Christmas dresses that match their beloved Holly and Annabelle dolls!! American Girl sent us a dress for each of the girls plus the matching dress for their dolls. To say the girls were smitten is, to say the least, an understatement.

For my older daughter, we got the Merry & Bright Outfit for Girls and for Dolls. It’s pretty, it’s shimmery, flowy, and, key for my daughter, is twirly. All the key features in a dress my child looks for, and for me? Well, it’s pretty, modest, and very well made. I know that my girls will both wear this dress, and we’ll then pass it along to another family to enjoy, with no worry of it fading nor falling apart. American Girl is not an inexpensive brand by any means but it is definitely all good quality.   There is even a beautiful capelet that you can get with this (to my daughter’s disappointment, we do not have this.  Perhaps Santa may drop it off?) to complete the holiday look.  This dress is absolutely gorgeous.  I’m a little jealous.  [click to continue…]

Talenti® Gelato e Sorbetto Old World Egg Nog

Are you an egg nog lover?  A foodie?  Epicurean?  Know someone who is?  I have a really wonderful gift idea (or treat for yourself) just in time for Christmas- my dad’s favorite treat for the holidays is now available in frozen form…its sweet, its creamy, its smooth and oh, so very delicious.  But get it fast, because Talenti® Gelato e Sorbetto Celebrates the Holidays with Old World Eggnog, a Limited-Edition Gelato Flavor Available Now Through December 31, 2011

The holiday season is the quintessential time for families to get together, laugh, love and…indulge. This is why Talenti® Gelato e Sorbetto is launching Old World Eggnog, a flavor that packs the comforting ingredients of traditional eggnog in a rich, creamy gelato. Available in stores and online for a limited time only, Old World Eggnog features fresh egg yolks, pure vanilla extract, soothing nutmeg and no alcohol for a family-friendly treat.

Not an egg nog lover?  There’s several other Talenti flavors to delight your palate- the Roman Raspberry is sweet and just a little bit tart and oh, so very delicious.  There’s even a Double Dark Chocolate (THERE is a gift to give a chocoholic in your life!! Hint, hint!!) [click to continue…]

Zazzle Custom Photo Ornament Review and 24 Hour #Giveaway

Every year around this time I love to select one special photo and have it made into an ornament.  I just love looking at these photo ornaments throughout the years.  It’s just so unbelievable how fast those little ones grow!  These are such wonderful gifts- a wedding photo would make a great ornament and holiday gift, baby’s first Christmas, graduation photos- it’s a nice way to preserve any memories, and these really do make wonderful gifts.  It might be a fun tradition to start doing an ornament of a Christmas photo to hang on the tree each year!
This year I tried out Zazzle to make my own custom ornament.  They have thousands of options and surely something to suit everyone’s taste.  I like the simplistic design of the Premium Square ornament.  To create my own masterpiece I just selected the ornament, uploaded my photo and edited as I pleased.  After taking a few minutes to understand the editing options, I was able to easily move my photo and add text.  You can even get fancy and add layers if you choose! [click to continue…]

Kiddy USA Adventure Backpack #Giveaway $169.99 ARV

Wow, do we have a really great review and giveaway for you today!  Earlier this summer we featured the Kiddy Sport n’ Move Stroller from Kiddy USA.  We just loved this product so much that we contacted them again for a review of their Adventure Backpack.  My little guy is now 5 months old and just LOVES his new stroller and will soon be ready for the backpack.  I think this makes the PERFECT holiday gift for that daddy on your list.  My husband thinks this is the best thing since sliced bread.  He has been taking the littles out on hikes in the cool weather and they are all enjoying it so much.  They get bundled up and explore (and I get some free time to myself at home!)

Here is a little more info on the Kiddy Adventure Backpack:

“The ergonomics and functionality of the Kiddy Adventure Pack is impressive. With our stylish and comfortable child carrier you can hike miles and miles with your child on your back. Our back carrier ensures that you and your child both can enjoy a carefree outing in nature!” [click to continue…]