Little Bits Modular Electronics for Kids

I am SO excited to share this new product with you! If you have a budding engineer in your family you are going to want to pay attention to this! Through my internet search to find a fun and unique toy that would spark the interest of my grade schooler, I learned about Little Bits. What are they you ask? Why only the most awesome electronic modules that snap together with magnets! They can be used for prototyping, learning and fun. Sound geeky? Good, it’s supposed to! I received the Holiday Kit in the mail. It was nicely packaged for gift giving in a compartmentalized box with a magnetic closure and a bow. What It’s All About “A special kit for the 2012 Holiday Season! The Holiday Kit is a great introduction to littleBits, and also includes step-by-step instructions to make special projects, like a Christmas Tree ornament, a Dancing Skater and a New Year’s Party Hat! This Kit features some awesome new Bits including the Light Wire and the Bright LED to help you make a splash during the holidays. And, of course, you can you can pack everything away in the snapp case if you ever stop playing. littleBits is a system of modular electronics that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun! Each bit has a simple, unique function, like blinking a light or sensing pressure. Just snap a few

The littleBits Holiday Kit includes:

  • A double sided instruction sheet with quick start guide and project suggestions
  • A custom-made 9V battery + cable
  • A 9V battery connector.
  • Custom plastic screwdriver

7 littleBits:

  • power
  • pulse
  • light wire
  • dc motor
  • bright led
  • wire x2

Winner of Awards From: parent tested, parent approved National Parent Publications Awards Maker Faire Dr. Toy Popular Science TED *littleBits is for kids 8+ and contains small magnets My Experience I am not electrically or mechanically inclined, but these things are FUN!! I unpacked the kit and immediately started on a project. I simply followed the “recipe” in the pamphlet, cut out a figure of an ice skater, attached it with a pipe cleaner and voila. I made a spinning ice skater!!! The quick start guide had me creating within minutes.

Not only is it rewarding to make your own creation come to life, but it’s a GREAT way to learn. Each component snaps together with magnets and labelled (power, pulse, dc motor, etc…) Through experimentation and play your child will quickly learn the cause and effect of each of these components. Little Bits are recommended for children aged 8+, but I am really excited about sharing this with my 7 year old (with parental guidance of course). He just loves building and creating with legos and other materials. This will help him take his imagination to the next level. Who knows, maybe I will have a budding engineer on my hands! Little bits come in a variety of packages, including: teaser, starter and extended kits. Individual components are also available for sale. All kits and products can be purchased at The Little Bits Holiday Kit retails for $49. A great price for gift giving! One of our readers will win their very own Little Bits Holiday Kit!!!!

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  “A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Wii #Giveaway

Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Wii Giveaway

Since it’s the holidays, Jenny from  Freebie Spot I decided to host a fun little giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Nintendo Wii valued at $75. Happy Holidays- to YOU!

The Skylanders Giants Story

Thousands of years ago, the Skylanders Giants fought epic battles in Skylands, but were banished to Earth. Now Kaos is back and with a new threat looming, it’s time to bring them back to join forces with the Skylanders. Only you can put them into the Portal of Power to unleash their strength in the ultimate battle to save Skylands. Are you ready to face Kaos?

The Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Nintendo Wii includes: Video Game, Portal of Power, 3 Skylanders Figures, Character Collection Poster, 3 Sticker Sheets with Secret Codes, and 3 Trading Cards. Buy it at retailers everywhere! Don’t forget to check out Skylanders on Facebook and Twitter too!

Skylanders-Giants-Gameplay-1 Skylanders-Giants-Gameplay-2 Skylanders-Giants-Gameplay-3

Enter to Win!

Are you ready for your chance to win the Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for Nintendo Wii? You will make some lucky kid very happy! This giveaway is open to US residents age 18+ and ends on 12/18 at 11:59pm ET. To enter, just follow the instructions in the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck and happy holidays!

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Please note: The attempt will be made to ship this to the winner by Christmas, but is not guaranteed. Freebie Spot is solely responsible for prize fulfillment. The Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for this giveaway was graciously provided by Activision.

Holiday spending help with H&R Block’s Emerald Advance ($300 Mastercard Gift Card Giveaway) #HRBlockLoan

Most every family I know has been affected by the state of the economy.  I know that we all seem to feel the “pull” on the purse strings this time of year, with wanting to give something special to everyone on our list for the holidays- but we don’t always have the means to do so.

Have a plan. Make a list. If it’s a budget you have, or a list of items, have it with you so you can follow it- and stick to it.  Stores KNOW we are weak, and they market to our weaknesses…all of those adorable little holiday themed anythings at the end of aisles, and taunting us while we wait for our turn to check out…all of those little things add up fast.  That extra $20 or so you throw in for the adorable or fun factor would serve you a lot better to splurge for a babysitter for an hour, or to put towards a vacation fund.  Make that list, check it twice (Santa even checks it twice) and stick to it!  If you find something that you really think is marvelous, think about it for a while, don’t just purchase it.

Check for sales– I know this seems like a no-brainer- but I was just this morning set to head out and get that one last item on my gift list  and did a quick google search for it.  Guess what was $11 cheaper on than I’d have paid in store- AND I won’t have to pay shipping – or gas to drive to the store for.  Not everything will be less online but it definitely pay off to look around a bit if you can.

Take advantage of Price Matching– SO many stores are price matching identical items that competitors are selling.  What does this mean for us?  Well, if you bring that circular to the store (or circulars, for multiple items), you’ll probably take a bit longer at checkout, but you’re also eliminating the need for stopping at multiple stores…and the temptation of add-on items near registers at the other stores you won’t be shopping in.  I’m the guiltiest person of add-on items- I see it and think “that would be so cute for their stockings!” and voila, I’ve got that item times THREE in my cart….none of which I’d planned to purchase.  (Which is really a lead in for my next tip:)

Stick to your list.  You have a list of ideas or simply a budget to stick to- so stick to it.  Those add-ons and impulse buys ADD UP FAST and it really, really pays to stop and think before buying.  Do my kids need more chapsticks?  No, they do not.  No matter how cute all of the 3pack sets are in cute candy and character flavors.  But adding 3 3-packs to my cart means adding $4.99+ 6% tax TIMES THREE to my spending, and when you look at it that way, the chapstick we have here at home already will do just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Ultimately, there really isn’t a gift worth going into debt for.  Plan ahead for holiday shopping if you can.  Even a few dollars a week all year adds up.  In a pinch, H&R Block’s Emerald Advance could come in handy- but I encourage you to stick to your budget even if you DO use the program!

You can learn all about  H&R Block Emerald Advance, including the application process and where to find a retailer near your home.
· Starting November 19th, apply to get up to $1000 cash in time for the holidays

· All you need to apply is a valid photo ID and your most recent pay stub (no W2 form required!)

· You don’t already need to be an H&R Block client to apply

H&R block mastercard giveaway

One reader will win a $300 Mastercard Gift Card! 

To Enter: Leave a comment telling me how you shop for holiday gifts- are you a planner? Do you have a strict budget?

Want extra entries?
Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)

*Click on any image or link in this post about Recalls (and it’s a great app to download!) Comment here that you clicked (can be done 1x/day)

*Leave a relevant comment on this post 


*Follow Me on Pinterest

*Leave a  relevant comment on this post about being organized for taxes

Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post +1 entry/day

*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

This giveaway will end on December 19th, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.

· H&R Block provided me with the $300 gift card to give away. The prize was provided and may be shipped to the winner by H&R Block, but H&R Block is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of H&R Block. Entrants must be 18 or older and located in the US only. Winner to be chosen at random.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Event- 3 winners!

santa claus is coming to town event

Are you ready to win some Christmas gifts?? Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s bringing gifts for you- and you– and one more of you! THREE winners! Ho, Ho Ho!
Disney Holiday Princess by Mattel

Barbie Photo Fashion Doll (she is really a digital camera!) by Mattel arv:$50.00- 1 winner

Visa Gift Card OR Paypal Cash arv: $100.00- 1 winner

This giveaway begins on Dec. 9th at 11:59 PM (eastern time) and ends at 11:59 PM on Dec. 16th, 2012.

Entry is very simple, just follow the instructions on the Giveaway Tools form below! Good Luck!

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Seventh Generation ‘Cold Care Kit’ Review and Giveaway

Seventh Generation Cold Care Review and Giveaway household and personal care products I am truly excited to tell you about these fabulous household and personal care products.  I don’t love to clean the house so when I do,  I want to know that the products I use are safe for my family and effective.   Seventh Generation is a line of  products I use and trust.

Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment.  Established in 1988, the Burlington, Vermont based company remains an independent, privately-held company distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants, and online retailers across the United States and Canada.

Seventh Generation currently has four lines of products, household, personal, baby and laundry care.  They were generous enough to send me several products in addition to the “Cold Care Kit“.

What’s in the cold care kit?

  • 1 box of Facial Tissues that are made from 100% recycled paper, minimum 50% post-consumer content.  These tissues are strong, absorbent and get the job done.  They don’t need to hide behind scents or lotions.  I love these Facial tissues and the simple box design goes with any decor.
  • 1 easy spray bottle of All Purpose Cleaner that is non-toxic, VOC-free formula works great on marble, granite, stainless steel and many other surfaces.  The Free and Clear bottle I got does not leave behind an odor and keeps my surfaces clean and shiny.
  • 1 bottle Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner with cold and flu season upon us, we could all use some disinfecting spray. This cleaner Kills over 99.99% of household germs, specifically: Influenza A viruses including H1N1, Rhinovirus (type 37, the Common Cold virus), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on hard, nonporous surfaces.
  • 1 container  Disinfecting Wipes.  These wipes are handy and effective, they are all said to kill over 99.99% of household germs.  Great for the house, office or classroom.
  • 2  12oz. bottles of  Purifying Hand Wash.  These are available in lavender or mandarin scents. I have tried both and they smells are pleasant and not too strong.    The bottles are a simple design and would look great in any kitchen or bathroom.

One reader will win their very own Seventh Generation “Cold Care Kit” The Seventh Generation Cold Care Kit  (ARV $25.50)!
To enter: What Seventh Generation product is your favorite, or do you most want to try?
Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)



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*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

Sample was received to facilitate this review.  Opinions are my own.  This giveaway will end on December 21 , 2012 at 11:59PM EST. Winner has 48 hours to respond. US only.  One entry per household.

Favorite Hasbro Boys’ Toys & Games (Giveaway)

I realized the other day as I was writing my favorite games post that I left a new favorite out, and then I realized too that these are the games my 5 year old son loves the most- so I decided I’d share these together.

star wars angry birds jenga

Star Wars Angry Birds Jenga– I don’t know anyone who has played Angry Birds who hasn’t become instantly hooked. But mixing Star Wars in kicks things up a notch, and now we can bring those cyber birds into family game nights with this Jenga game. Even when my son feels like we “always” play “girl” games, at least with this one, he can enjoy his birds AND Star Wars guys at once- and work on fine motor skills and coordination! Win for everyone!

Speaking of Star Wars Angry Birds, there’s a whole line of products out. Little figures (I love fChewbacca – and R2D2), games, plush friends- and since they are *new* they will be a great gift idea! Pricing ranges from about $2.99 to $39.99 so you can find something in your price range. I got a few of my kids’ friends the little mystery bags with 2 figurines inside for a holiday surprise. They were too cute to pass up!

mighty strike thor

Action figures have been fun to play with….well, since the first action figure came out. We like superhero action figures around here- the Mighty Strike Thor is all powerful, all awesome and huge 10 inches tall (for an action figure). He’ll be joining IronMan and Captain America on the 2nd shelf of the bookcase in my son’s room in no time, I’m sure.

spiderman hero fx glove

Is your little superhero fan more into acting than action? Or a combination of the two? The SpiderMan Hero FX Glove let’s him BE Spidey- have Spidey’s hand, make the web sounds just like Spidey (and without the mess- I love the Web Blaster, but that is an OUTSIDE toy and the webs it shoots can and will stain your ceiling (ask my husband….he’s the one who learned this is the hard way). Toys like this help encourage kids to role play and my son and his little buddies spend hours upon hours BEING their favorite superheroes. It looks like the “new” Spiderman that the kids see everywhere. I like the lack of anything shooting out so that I’m not finding said pieces that shoot out all over my house. (There are also masks for the Avengers including Spiderman from Hasbro, of a far better quality construction than any costumes I have seen.

koosh galaxykoosh galaxy aiming










Koosh has the COOLEST new line of launchers and slingshots for the little guys- (and yes, they’ve even got Star Wars Angry Birds launchers and balls). I got to play with these at BlogHer this summer. So SO much fun. These look like the “big boy” Nerf-style guns, but don’t require the dexterity and strength of an 8 year old to operate- so littler boys can have their shooters without frustration. The balls are a firm foam, they fly pretty far, you will feel it when you are hit with one in the tushy (it was bound to happen). They are also bound to get lost so my advice is to grab a bag of refills when you buy a launcher. MOST of the launchers are under $15 each. That’s a pretty nice price, and each comes with at least 2 balls. My 3 year old daughter LOVES these launchers. I can’t even describe the sheer joy in her laugh when she shoots those balls at her dad’s feet! The ball launchers start at $12.99 and go up from there which means you can get him (or her) a REALLY fun toy without breaking the bank! I LOVE these launchers. I mean it. They are fun for ALL of us!

trouble game

Trouble is a BIG favorite with my son and his pals. Actually, all three of my kids like this game. I like it too, especially since the die is enclosed in a plastic dome and you can’t actually lose it. Very good game for when the kids get past the beginner games like Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Hi Ho Cherrio, etc.

One reader will win a Koosh Solar Recon and a pack of glow-in-the-dark refill balls! (ARV $26.99 for the launcher, $6.99 for the refill)

To enter: Tell me in a comment: What are YOUR favorite little boy toys and games?

Want extra entries?

Visit Hasbro and tell me something you’d like to have – anything’s fair game!

Leave a comment on this post

Share this giveaway on any social networking site. One share per network per day. Leave a separate comment for each entry you do!


This giveaway open to US only. One entry per household. Giveaway ends December 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner to be chosen randomly.

Some samples recieved for holiday guide. Opinions are my own.

Gift Ideas for Baby

What do you get for the littlest ones in our lives? Tiny infants don’t open gifts, they won’t know, but it’s hard to not get them something for the holidays, isn’t it? I have a few gift ideas for baby!

Books– Think of yourfavorite books as a child. Or the books you and your children have read hundreds and hundreds of times. Why not start adding to the baby’s book collection? Some of our favorites: anything Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle…the Llama Llama Red Pajama books, Goodnight Moon, anything by Jez Alborough, and anything by Roger Priddy. Books are usually read over and over, especially with young children, so try to get board books! You could even just start a tradition of a holiday themed book – add to that collection every year!

Clothing– Ask the parents what the baby needs. Maybe they need some clothes for the next season, or a larger size. It’s not like baby clothes aren’t adorable in every size, you know?

wooden shape sorting cube

Baby Toys– If this is a family’s first baby, chances are, they don’t have much for the “next” age level for toys. Ask around, do some research. Sophie the Giraffe is a family favorite that I often give as a shower gift, but most certainly would give for a holiday gift as well. A nice shape sorting toy is always appreciated, and used for many many months- my kids are 3, 5 and 7 and they STILL use our shape sorting bus! Most sites online or employees in smaller stores can help give you some wonderful ideas based on baby’s age- don’t be afraid to ask!

Bath Stuff– What about a gift basket- good for baby and parents? Some great bath products (check with the parents first if they have a brand they prefer), a few cute bath toys, maybe a hooded towel, a puppet washcloth, and some lotion, with some lotion and a candle for the parents would be a great gift.

Get Better Basket– Like it or not, most babies can and will get sick. Products to help them feel better can add up fast. Why not do a themed gift and do a fun character humidifier, some natural relief products (see my thoughts on Maty’s natural relief products), a blanket to snuggle, and maybe some herbal tea and honey for mom and dad.

Dishes/Drinkware: A nice set of child-safe dishes, child sized silverware, a nice sippy cup or two can also be a great gift. Even baby china- my mom bought all of her grandkids a set of baby china when they were born- most of them got Peter Rabbit themed- we still use them on Thanksgiving and other special occasions even today.

What are YOUR favorite gift ideas for babies?

Dominion NZ Sheepskin Boots Review, Discount & Slipper Giveaway

Dominion NZ sent me a pair of their Jean sheepskin boots. I love sheepskin boots– they keep me warm and they are comfortable. But I didn’t have any dark brown boots. So when they offered to send a pair of the Jeans for review, I couldn’t resist. Of course, living in Connecticut, we have cold winters and it’s hard to resist boots that can look so cute and feel so snuggly warm- warmth and comfort are top priorities- the style comes second! (albeit a close second…)

jean boot dominion nz sheepskin boot

Dominion produces some of the finest handcrafted footwear and apparel that delivers the encompassing, enduring luxury of sheepskin and leather by carefully blending fashion and function. Dominion uses materials which include the very best, genuine twin-faced sheepskin, renowned in particular for its breathability as well as premium lambskin and shearling. Dominion is responsible for producing some of the finest clothing and footwear made in New Zealand. All Dominion of New Zealand products are backed with a full manufacturer’s warranty.

dominion nz boots

I really like these boots. They look fantastic, they are very well made, and are quite stylish. Unlike most of the Sheepskin/Shearling boots I have seen, including my own, the sole of this boot isn’t flat- which is much better for your feet. I also adore the rich color of both the lining and the outer boot. The liner of each boot is a nice, substantial layer of shearling, designed to offer comfort and warmth. It hasn’t shed in the three weeks I’ve had the boots- and I wear boots all the time, so I’d know by now if that lining was going to be shedding soon. It’s clear with these boots that the folks who make them know what its like to live in a cold climate! I think the Jean boot is most definitely worth the $124.00 price tag that comes with it- these boots will last you season after season, year after year.

One thing I’ve found with these boots, and with all sheepskin boots, is that they seem to run very small. Order up a size!

dominion cassandra

Dominion has some beautiful other items they make- there is a “Cassandra” jacket on their site that I just cannot stop thinking about. It looks so warm and so snuggly. I love how the bottom flares out- and it’s long enough to cover your hips! So many women’s coats don’t cover the hips. Of course, it’s also a $2199 jacket and it’s not very likely that I will ever own it, but it sure is pretty and fun to window shop!

**From now until December 31, 2012, you can save 10% off Kate and Katherine boots on with the code MAMABARGAINS**
catchee tiger mens slippers

One reader will win a pair of the Men’s Catchee Tiger Slippers (ARV $99) in their choice of size!

To Enter: Visit and tell me another product you like or something you learned from Dominion’s site.

Want extra entries?


*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

This giveaway will end on December 19th, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.
A sample was provided in exchange for the post. Opinions are my own.

Home for the Holidays Giveaway

home for the holidays 2012

It’s time for the Home for the Holidays 2012 Event! Hosted by Dixieland Mom Product Reviews and co-hosted by Swank Savings, This Mama Loves Her Bargains & Simply Southern Couponers.

Find out about current or future events for the Biltmore Estate.

We are excited to bring you the Home for the Holidays Event! We will be giving away gifts for just about anyone on your gift list! Enter for your chance to win:

Apple iPad 3 – 64 GB -arv: $650.00
Wii U- arv: $439.00
Apple iPod Touch- arv: $379.00
Tabeo Kids Tablet- arv: $149.00
Total arv of all prize is $1617.00!

There will be one winner for each prize, for a total of 4 winners!This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada who are 18 years of age or older. Event begins Dec. 7th, 2012 and ends on Dec. 18th, 2012, winner will be chosen on or before Dec. 19th and notified via email. Please make sure to add to your safe list so the winner email doesn’t get sent to your spam folder! You have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. If no response is received within that time, you will forfeit your prize and a new winner will be chosen. Mandatory entries will be verified.
Entry is very simple, just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nestle Winter Favorites (Williams Sonoma & Gift Card Giveaway)

peppermint mocha chocolate chip cookiesIt’s December, and we’re in full holiday mode. People are friendlier, cards are being sent, gifts ordered, folks are helping one another, and everyone I know is doing some kind of baking – we all have some special foods that go along with our holiday traditions! If you are looking for some new ideas, be sure to visit Nestle’s Winter Favorites…because you’ll come across mouth-watering images like this, for Peppermint Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies- which are probably going to be baked this weekend in my house, I can’t stop thinking about them! Just LOOK at that photo!
Nestlé® Fall Favorites Banner 2
When you click on the image you can’t seem to resist, it brings you right to the recipe for it. So you can make it at home. I can promise you mine will NOT look as good as the Nestle Winter Favorites page, but I can bet my versions of these recipes will taste just as delightful!
In honor of the Nestle Winter Favorites, one US reader will win a Boxed Set of Williams-Sonoma Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons (value: $42) along with a $50 Walmart e-gift card!
To enter: Use the share buttons on the Nestle Winter Favorites page for Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Then come back here and leave a comment with the link to the post. (You can get 3 separate entries for sharing on each of the social networks- be sure to leave a separate comment for each!)
Want extra entries?
Click on any trackable link (or image) in this post +1 entry can be done daily

Follow Me on Pinterest leave a comment with your user name!

Share this giveaway on any social network! (This can be done daily- and once daily per share- so share, share share! Just leave the URL of your share in an individual comment please!)
This giveaway will end on December 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. US only. Winner to be chosen randomly.