Monday, November 30, 2009

Books for gifting this Christmas~ from Randomhouse.

I love books written by Lisa Tawn Bergren, and my kids are thrilled to read them, or have us read to them. Lisa's books are filled with words that speak to the heart of kids (and adults) and the pictures are just priceless.
God Gave Us Christmas, is about an adorablelittle polar bear that is curious and asks many questions. Her curiosity brings her to some questions that children may ask at Christmas time, like: “Who invented Christmas?” “Is God more important than Santa?” Little cub learns that God loves her, everyone, so much by sending his son for us. Mama Polar worded her answer very well, and she told her little cub about the best Christmas present ever!
I think that these questions are valid questions, and I love that Lisa's book helps guide parents tell their children (through reading) a way that will answer their question.

God Gave Us Love, is a fun and heart-warming story about a Little Cub and his Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure. The fishing trip is interrupted by otters, and the young polar is not happy that the otters are in the way. This book teaches kids about loving others, even when they are unlovable. The little bear asks questions like "Why is it easier to love those we like?" " Where does love come from?" "And why does God love her so much?"
Grampa Bear patiently answers his little grandson's questions by explaining the different kinds of love we can share: the love between friends, the love between families, the love between moms and dads, and the love for God.
He also assured Little Cub that because of the love God has given him through his Son, there’s nothing he can do to make God love him any more or any less. Through Grampa Bear’s encouraging Little Cub to love others with a “God-sized love,” children will be inspired to love others and to be patient, gentle and kind, so that in every way, they too can demonstrate God’s love. One of the best lines in this book is this: "His Love brings out the best in us,"and this one, "Because we want to love others as God loves us, we don't always feel like loving them. But when we choose to, it is always the right thing."
I recommend each of these books from Lisa Tawn Bergren, and these books would make a great Christmas gift to your child, or some other special one in your life.
Another great book that would make a great Christmas gift is Treasured, by Leigh McLeroy.
Treasured is a book about our most treasured keepsakes, or where we happen to store them. Our "treasured places" hold the very being of ourselves, and they represent the story of our life. This book reveals God as being a collector, and his great book: THE BIBLE, is full of his treasures. Within the pages of the Bible you will find Abraham's Knife, A bloodstained piece of Wood, and a Golden Bell. All of these items, and more, are described in detail and how God's "treasures," help us get to know the Heart of God. This is a great book for motivating you to get to know our loving and living God, and to have a "treasured" encounter with him.
Author Bios:
Leigh McLeroy
is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston, Texas, and posts often on and

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

You can purchase these books, and others, at the website.

These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art House Volume 1: Basic Shapes and Animals (review and 2 for giveaway)

My kids love art, drawing, and being creative. Being a home schooling family, I love coming across products, videos, and other things that will bring my kids into the "educational realm" and encourage them to grow.
I was sent the DVD: Art House volume 1: Basic Shapes and Animals to review and I thought this DVD was super!
The DVD is hosted by Teacher Emily and her Art House gang. Emily teaches how easy it is to draw fish, monkeys, birds, dogs, and more. The animation of the animals is great, and the music and colors used in this DVD is wonderful! My kids loved watching the animals, and then watching Emily draw them. My kids were fascinated with the DVD. The animation is by Brad Abelson (The Simpsons), and the music is from the award-winning composer Peter Scaturro.
There will be future titles in the series that will be released in 2010 (vol. 2: Start your Engines, vol. 3: On the Farm, and vol. 4: Under the Sea).
This DVD comes complete with printable coloring book pages, which are great to give kids to encourage them to be artistic.
Recommended for ages 3 and up, Art House Volume 1: Basic Shapes and Animals is available at and
Endorsed by KIDS FIRST!, the initial title in the series Volume 1: Basic Shapes and Animals is available now for a suggested retail price of $17.99.

Win : Art House Volume 1: Basic Shapes and Animals (2 winners)
You have the opportunity to enter to win Art House Volume 1: Basic Shapes and Animals! I have 2 extra copies to giveaway. This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Contest is open until December 7th, 2009.
To enter, leave a comment about something you like to do with your kids for art.**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

This review was sponsored by In The Art House. They have supplied me with a DVD to sample for review and information to share with my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review. I am sponsored by the company to offer a giveaway for my readers, as well.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog (review & 3 giveaways)

Here is another great Chicken Soup for the Soul book, and it is geared toward those dog lovers out there! This book is adorable! I enjoyed reading the stories of heartfelt warmth, laughter and inspirational (as in all Chicken Soup books) stories compiled in the "What I Learned from the Dog," Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
This book has great stories that tell you how dogs have changed people's lives through what they do out of love for their owner or others, how dogs have rescued people, helped people through therapy, and how dogs have shown how to look differently at situations/experiences.
The title of each story has a quote underneath of it, and I enjoyed reading the quotes. One that I really liked was this, "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." ~Walter Elliott And this one, "God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers." ~Jewish Proverb
There are 9 main sections in this book: Learning about Family, Learning to have courage, Learning to listen, Learning to overcome adversity, learning to heal, learning to say goodbye, learning to put things in perspective, learning to be kinder, and learning about unconditional love. Each section has about 9-15 stories in them, and they are a couple pages long. Each story makes a great point, and can be inspirational.
What I love about the Chicken Soup books is that the stories reveal such great lessons, just in the story. The stories do not need any explanation to get a message across. What I learned for the Dog is a great book, and anyone that has a dog, or a different pet, can relate to many of the stories tucked in this book. Pets are great for sticking by your side, giving you love and attention, and helping you through rough times (therapy, loss, etc.)
Win : What I learned from the Dog! (3 winners)
You have the opportunity to enter to win Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog! I have 3 extra copies to giveaway. This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Contest is open until December 7th, 2009. To enter, leave a comment about something funny your dog did, or a story you would like to share about a pet.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

This review was sponsored by Simon & Schuster. They have supplied me with a book to sample for review and information to share with my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review. I am sponsored by the company to offer a giveaway for my readers, as well.

The Rock-A-Thon concert this weekend...ends tomorrow!

The event, known as The Rock-A-Thon powered by Energizer® Advanced Lithium, began on Friday, Nov. 27 at 12:05 a.m., when the first set of Rock Band™ players took the stage at the Meridian in Houston, Texas for the 90-hour marathon. Players include several professional gamers such as Robert Paz, a.k.a Prodigy X, Ciji “StaySlayer” Thorton and internet sensation and Guitar Hero II World Series of Video Games Champion Freddie Wong.

“We are excited to have some of the most renowned video gamers playing alongside us as we try to set the Guinness World Record for Longest Relay Rock Band concert,” said Paul Slawinski, President and Co-Founder of The Rock-A-Thon. “We hope people come out to watch the action and to help raise money for Child’s Play.”

For every fan that attends the epic 90-hour charity concert, Energizer, The Rock-A-Thon’s presenting sponsor, will donate $1 to Child’s Play, up to $5,000. Child’s Play is a community-based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. The charity donates toys, video games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America.

“Now more than ever, charities are in need assistance, so we are thrilled to power The Rock-A-Thon and help raise money for Child’s Play,” said Jim Olsen, Vice President of Marketing, North America for Energizer. “Our Energizer® Advanced Lithium batteries will allow for hours and hours of uninterrupted game play, helping The Rock-A-Thon rockers raise money and reach their record.”

Energizer® Advanced Lithium batteries provide 20 additional hours* of continuous playing time in wireless gaming accessories. In addition to offering long-lasting power, Energizer® Advanced Lithium has a shelf life of 10 years and weighs 33 percent less than an ordinary alkaline battery. The entire 90-hour performance will be streamed live at

Going for the Record
The Rock-A-Thon members will be setting the first world record for the Longest Relay Rock Band concert. The event will kick-off with four of the 16 Rock-A-Thon members playing a seven-song set. After the opening set, the group will play in 50-song shifts of four people – one vocalist, one guitarist, one bassist, one drummer – plus two additional people for The Beatles™: Rock Band™ songs (which require three-part harmony in addition to the instruments). All songs will be played on the “expert setting.” After the full 90 hours is complete, The Rock-A-Thon members will have played more than 1,050 songs.

The event will be recorded and documented for submission to Twin Galaxies, the World’s official scorekeepers of video gaming records, according to Guinness World Records.

In addition to the donation made by Energizer, The Rock-A-Thon will be selling official “The Rock-A-Thon” t-shirts for $25 and raffle tickets for prizes like a year’s worth of Energizer® Advanced Lithium batteries. All proceeds will benefit Child’s Play. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

El Tacodor, the world´s only Family Taco Night Game (Review and Giveaway)

El Tacodor Dinner Game is a great way to enjoy family time, as well as have dinner: Taco Night. Here are the things you need for your family game night/meal: Old El Paso taco fixings, meat, family and a FREE game-ready El Tacodor Pack which includes instructions, a scorecard and a challenge sheet which you can download at
This game board, which looks like a menu, is loaded with games that you and your family/friends can do to earn toppings for your taco. Here are a few examples of things you may do when playing:
Crunch Time: Name at least 10 animated movies within 1 minute
Meat-N-Greet: Name 5 things that you´d bring home from your favorite vacation place and let the table guess where you traveled
Lettuce Play: Act out different animals - no noises! Your partner must guess 3
Lime Light: Cheer, "We love tacos, yes we do! We love tacos, how `bout you?"
Say Cheese: Pronounce the name of everyone at the table backwards!
Our family loves gaming, and we love tacos, so this game was fun to review. Our youngest children really couldn't participate, but our 11 year old enjoyed this game. El Tacodor is a fun way to engage with each other, learn about one another, and just have pure fun! We recommend this game for your next family game night/Taco night!
Would you like to win this game?
This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Contest is open until December 7th, 2009. To enter, leave a comment about your favorite part of Taco night is, or family game night.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

This review was provided from Old El Paso, which provided me with the free product to review and information to share with my readers. I was given a prize pack through MyBlogSpark to offer to my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kellogg's Froot Loops and Apple Jacks cereals NOW with fiber!

Most moms want the best nutrition for their kids, and it starts off with a good healthy breakfast. Sometimes it is nice to let kids have a bit of sugar to their breakfast, and sugar cereal can be a treat. I didn't grow up with the sugar cereal, because my mom never bought it. I occasionally buy it for my kids, but due to not much nutritional value, I tend to keep them on the shelf. Being a Mom Tester with Mom Central, I get the opportunity to test and try new products. I was sent a box of Kellogg's Fruit Loops and three other boxes to test. Know what? Kellogg's cereal is now available with the option of FIBER. Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks are now available with 3 grams of fiber per serving! That is great! I love that, because fiber is one thing that kids and adults do not get enough of in their diet.
Kellogg's thought of a great solution to add fiber to the diet. With my taste-testing, and my kids testing, we have found that Fruit Loops without fiber and Fruit Loops with fiber are comparable in taste, texture, and looks. I think that both versions of the Fruit Loops both taste like sugar cereal, and it is kid-approved.
Kellogg's started putting the added fiber in with two kids' favorites: Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops cereals. These cereals are now available on store shelves. These cereals include ingredients such as whole-grain corn flour, whole-grain oat flour, oat fiber and soluble corn fiber. In addition, Kellogg Company plans to extend the added fiber benefits to their other cereal lines over the next year. Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks cereals have added fiber while maintaining the same great taste, making breakfast an easy place for kids to get the fiber they need without the battle.

Our family enjoyed these two new options of cereal from Kellogg's. I am happier with the fiber added bonus, too! We recommend these two options over the original Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks. Thanks Kellogg's!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Kellogg’s and received boxes of Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Build-A-Bear's New Movie: Holly & Hal Moose~Our Uplifting Adventure

I was invited to attend a special private premiere viewing of the new Build-A-Bear movie: Holly & Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Adventure. We went to the Mall of America and saw the hour long movie in the theater. Holly and Hal Moose were there to greet us. I was fortunate to go with two of my other blogging friends.

Madelyn just loved Holly Moose. She was so smitten with her. She was a bit bashful with Hal.
Holly and Hal were there to greet all the kids, and they were also there in the theater to introduce the movie. This is Build-A-Bear's first movie.
ABC Family and Build-A-Bear Workshop came together to create this movie. I thought the movie was super cute, and the animation was adorable. Holly and Hal are just cute! Plus, the other characters: Santa and Mrs. Claus, the elfs, Robot Hal, the reindeer...they are cute, too. Madelyn and the other kids in the theater were very drawn into the story. Holly & Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Adventure is about Holly and her little brother Hal. Holly is suppose to watch her brother, but she would rather be at her friend's party. Hal wonders off, and Holly goes on the search to find her brother. They find each other and end up in Santa's neighborhood. The story reveals so much about loyalty, believing in yourself, and making your dreams come true. I really like how the movie portrays Holly as an obedient child, even though you know she would like to do something different. This is an adorable movie, and I recommend it. After the movie, we went to visit the Build-A-Bear Workshop. We each made a Holly and Hal Moose. Maddie picked out the animals from the bin...we waited in line,
then, she got to work the foot pedal to stuff the bears/moose. She thought that was so cool!
I think the kids had a great time watching their Holly and Hal Moose animals fill up and look more like stuffed animals.
After Holly and Hal were stuffed, we put in the hearts. The kids kissed the hearts, so their moose pets were kissed/made with love. At this point, kids can add sounds to their bears. I choose not to add sound.
After the bears from BABW are stuffed, they get sewn up. Madelyn loves her new friends! She carries Holly with her everywhere. Holly ventured to the clinic with us yesterday.
We walked over to brush out Holly and Hal under the dryers. Madelyn loved this part. I think she thought she was really fixing/brushing their hair out.
This is my blogging friend, Jeannie's grandson, Christian. He had a great time with the fun day!
Madelyn was very happy with her finished result. We had to get Holly some clothing. We picked out her puffy red coat, and winter stripped hat. I opted not to get the jeans and UGG boats (even though those are super adorable). Maybe we will have to go shopping for more clothes for Holly in the future. Build-A-Bear has a great selection of clothing and accessories for your bears. Guess what? Hal's Christmas lights on his antler's really light up, and you can change the batteries when they run out of juice! He is super cute, too!
Christian, Madelyn and Sam had a great time in the BABW! Thank you Build-A-Bear Workshop for creating such a fun and engaging atmosphere for our kids! The picture below is my friend, Lisa's little boy, Sam. He is 4 1/2 months older than Madelyn.

Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure premiered last night on ABC Family (sorry I didn't post this earlier, but my daughter was sick). However, there is a second premiere on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 10 AM ET/PT. Today, Wednesday, Nov. 25, this DVD movie is available to buy, which includes a beary special Build-A-Bear Workshop offer, an exclusive virtual gift to use at and a FREE download of the movie’s signature song. SRP: $14.99 Check it out!

Grammar Made Easy, Writing Made Great

Did you know that you can learn to write with correct grammar and proper punctuation without learning the rules? This last summer, author, pastor, and teacher Fred Lybrand introduces a radically different way of thinking—and learning—about grammar in his simple, yet revolutionary, new curriculum, The Writing Course-Educator’s Version. He straightforwardly offers twelve basic writing “secrets” that virtually anyone can master and that will transform “grammar-challenged” students, parents, and even professional adults into excellent writers. “We are losing a generation of writers to email, IM, and instruction that doesn’t show students how English really works,” says Lybrand.

The Writing Course-Educator’s Version is not only designed for those who constantly struggle with the difficulty of writing, but also for those who just want to write better. Lybrand’s proven approach to writing and grammar solves the problems of what to say, how to say it grammatically, and how to make sure the punctuation is correct. And, the course also shows the sure-cure for poor spelling!

“When a student is not worried about grammar or punctuation, he can learn to write in his own uniquely powerful and effective style; which is the current emphasis placed on writing by the recently modified TAKS test (Texas) and on the SAT college exams,” says Lybrand. “Something more is required than just throwing grammar rules at our students. Instead, our goal should be to teach our children ‘to learn how to learn for themselves.’”

While history has clearly demonstrated the value of the principles taught in The Writing Course-Educator’s Version, there is no writing course even remotely similar to what Lybrand teaches. With a methodology that teaches parents or students how to get engaged in the process of learning the elements that go into writing correctly and effectively, The Writing Course-Educator’s Version immerses students in twelve secrets all truly great writers finally discover (and sometimes aren’t aware of themselves).

“For anyone who likes (or even dislikes!) writing, this course can totally release him or her from the constraints of grammar and punctuation rules and regulations,” says Lybrand. “It also allows parents to become more involved in the schooling process of their own children, whether they attend public, private, or home school.”

Working as either a full curriculum or a supplement (kids in public or private schools can use this training after school to improve their own writing), The Writing Course-Educator’s Version comes as a combination of audio lessons, a printable workbook, and a full transcript of Lybrand’s writing seminar. In sessions of about 30 minutes each, over 21 lessons, students will experience the instruction and exercises necessary to learn the strategic principles which are the building blocks of great writing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wii Games (**Approved**) for your Holiday Shopping Lists...

Looking for a video game to give someone for Christmas? Here are a few that I have recently received to review, and I recommend them (so do my kids)!

MySims Agents
This game starts out with you as a secret agent. You create your agent specialized for you, then you take on an identity. The city you are in appears normal, but underlining the city is crime, mischief and suspense. As a agent, you will need to search for clues and solve cases by balancing, jumping, climbing to where ever the case leads. At the beginning of the game, you are equipped with a crowbar, a magnifying glass and a wrench. As you gain in your experience, you will get more tools to help you on your quest to track footprints, pick locks, hack into computers and do molecular forensics. The more mysteries you solve the more well known you become and more experienced. This game is fun, because you are totally engaged in the mission of defeating the enemy and you get to go on fun adventures like: taking a private jet to reach an ancient temple, a spooky mansion and an icy mountaintop chalet. Throughout the game you are given rewards of unlocking rare items, and you also can recruit other agent MySims to help you increase your team. Your recruits can be sent out to solve cases while you continue to investigate Morcubus. This game also has from mini games included. (1 Player rated E for everyone) **My son HIGHLY recommends this game! He said it is one of his favorites!** From EA games. SRP $49.95

HASBRO FAMILY GAME NIGHT 2: Hosted by Mr. Potato Head!
Gather the family around the TV for a fun night of games galore! Up to 4 players can participate in Hasbro's Family Game Night 2. You can choose between 5 games in two different modes (classic and the new version) of play. This game is a sequel to the award winning Family Game Night, and with the new FGN 2 you can win and collect parts for the Mr. Golden Potato and become the ultimate show champion! You can earn new themes and trophies the more you play.
Here is what games you will find on Family Game Night 2:
OPERATION : You will have to search and find the piece needed to be removed to perform surgery on your patient. Once you find the piece, you are brought to it and you need to grab on and carefully bring the item out (between shapes).
JENGA : (This is one of my favorites!) You take your Wii remote and pull out the Jenga piece that you think may come out without toppling the tower of blocks over. The suspense is almost unbearable! Can you beat the game?
BOP-IT : You can twist it!, BOP-It!, Pull it, shout it in this game of copy. You can play this game with spoken instruction or sound instruction. Great game for concentration.
CONNECT 4x4 : All new way to play this game of 4 in a row diagonally, vertically, and horizontally.
PICTUREKA : Find the clues given in the cards laid out.
You have the option to play with your Nintendo Mii and you can even customize Mr. Potato Head. (4 player game rated E for everyone) **This is a great game to enjoy with the family. It is a great game to play for just a short time period (if you are short on time) or you can enjoy for a longer time frame.** From EA games and Hasbro. SRP$39.95

Set with an all new cast of quirky pets and their best friends, you can enjoy this game with your favorite LPS friends. Loaded with new mini-games like: Busy Bakers, Wags and Tags, Kibble Cups and Strike a pose.
Busy Bakers: Order up! Fill your pets' orders using the different colored bone shaped cakes, fillings and toppings.
Wags and Tags: Tag, you're it (and you don't want to be it). Try to stay away from the pet who is it. The longer you can prevent getting tagged, the more points you get.
Kibble Cups: Keep your eyes glued to the cup with the yellow ball! If you are playing with a friend, their ball is purple. As the cups switch around, follow the one with your ball closely. Once the cups stop, select the one with your ball.
You can explore new towns with your favorite pets, and dress them up for the outing. Venture on quests, deliver invitations, serve up ice cream, and style your pets as you get ready for the biggest Littlest Pet Shop party of the year, you may even have an unexpected (and new) pet arrive for the festivities! In the Littlest Pet Shop Friends, you can play with your best friend! Each pet has a best friend that will help them prepare for the parties. You can also play the mini games with your best friend (in real life) creating a great co-op play feature, and if you earn a blue ribbon for an Expert game, you will unlock a new accessory to the boutiques.
(2 player game rated E for everyone). **Fun interactive game for kids.** From EA games and Hasbro. SRP$39.95

Taking care of a baby is a lot of work, good care, and demanding. My Baby First Steps is a game where the player will take care of a baby from 15 months to 30 months. You will see your babygrow, learn how to walk better, learn to speak better, and do new things. You get to put your baby to bed with a story, give him/her a bath, go shopping, dress and change your baby and more. Using the Wii remote you can hold and shake a stuffed toy to get your baby to walk across the room. Your game has two important people to help you on your journey with caring for your baby. Clara, the pediatric nurse, gives you advice to help your baby, but she is also firm if you aren't careful with your baby. George, is a pediatrician, and he follows the development of your baby since birth. He suggests the steps to take to help your baby with exercises to help him grow. The game has several places in the house you can go with your baby: living room, kitchen, bedroom, dressing room and more.
There is a progress book that you can access by opening a flower menu. This tells you all the information about your baby and profile. This tells you the time you have spent on this game, your baby's that you have cared for, number of objects your have and more. You can see all the information on your baby (weight, name, size, learning skills) In this book is also the instructions from George for the exercises you should do with your baby. **I think this game is a good game for fun. My kids enjoy this one. They like that they can pick to be a mom or dad, and what sex their baby is. They like having a "surprise" baby, too (where the computer picks which baby you have). I think it is good for kids to see what kind of things/activities are involved in taking care of babies.**
(1 player game rated E for everyone) From My Baby Village. SRP$29.99

Join the Greatest Show on Earth and bring it into your own living room! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey just came out with a video game that brings you to the heart of the circus. In this game you will get to go clown bowling (you are the bowling ball), be a human cannonball, juggle the balls with your Wii remote and nunchuck, work in the ring with the tigers, walk the high-wire (can be played using the balance board), ride down the high wire on a unicycle and more. This game has several mini games to enjoy with a friend or alone.
You can edit what your player looks like: skin tone, clothing wear, and hair color. As you play, you will unlock special costumes as prizes. Earning Barnum Bucks you can buy costumes, food, toys and prizes (clown car, bag of peanuts, mini circus train, clown fish and more)
**This is a fun game.** This game is from 2K Play and Feld Entertainment. SRP $39.99
(2 player game rated E for everyone)

This review was sponsored by EA games, MyBabyVillage and 2K Play. They have supplied me with Wii games to sample for review and information to share with my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Sesame Street Neighborhood Collection Building Sets

I am a big time promoter of products for my kids that encourage them to use their imagination, build, play, and interact with. I was given the opportunity to review the Sesame Street Neighborhood Collection Building Sets: Police Station, and we were impressed with this set. My kids love Sesame Street and the characters, so they were thrilled to put this set together.

K'Nex has great building sets, and their products are made with great quality. I think it is great that K'Nex has these sets for the younger kids to put together, as well as sets geared toward older kids.

The Sesame Street Neighborhood Police Station set includes 44 pieces, which includes a buildable Ernie and Elmo figure. I like that the Sesame Street K'Nex set has a stop sign and traffic light. We used these items to learn about safety on the roads, and what the traffic signs/lights mean. My kids liked pretending with them. I think it would be fun to get a few more of the Sesame Street Neighborhood sets, like the Police Car building set and the 1-2-3 Brownstone Building Set. I think it would be fun to mix and match the sets and make fun creations with all the pieces. There are 4 of these building sets in all.
This K'Nex set is big enough for a few kids to play together with, and I like that there is 2 characters (Elmo and Ernie) so each of my kids can play with one.
The Sesame Street Neighborhood Collection sets are designed for ages 2-5, however I think the parts are safe enough for my 10 month old to play with them. (just my opinion). That makes this set super, too. I know that my kids can play with this around their baby brother, and he will be OK.
Our family gives the Sesame Street Neighborhood Collection Building sets two thumbs up! We recommend these toys to your family ~ and they would make a great Christmas gift! These building sets from K'Nex retail between $10.99-$20.99. You can find them at your local retail stores.

K’NEX is holding a Make a K’NEXion contest. You have the chance to win over $1,000 worth of K’NEX Toys and be featured on the web site. How? Make a video and include select K’NEX products. The possibilities are endless. Construct your own story or showcase your child’s K’NEX building skills - use your imagination!
The 10 best videos will be featured on and the winning video will receive $1,000 worth of K’NEX Toys. The deadline for entries is December 7th, 2009

This review was sponsored by Team Mom. They have supplied me with product to sample for review and information to share with my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Barney: We Love our Family

One of the best places to be is in a family. In a family you belong, and can be loved. Barney and his friends talk all about love and family in the new release from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment: Barney: We Love Our Family (November 17, 2009).

Product Description:
Discover the joys and laughter that moms, grandparents and cousins can bring in this collection full of unforgettable moments of warmth and togetherness the whole family will cherish.

Bonus Features:
"Dino Dress-Up" Game
"Welcome, Cousin Riff" Featurette

My kids and I really enjoyed this DVD because there is a precious new baby. Barney and his friends enjoy singing to the baby and talking about taking care of the family and being in a family. We love how Barney and his friends talk about the importance of the members of a family: Moms, Dads, Grandparents, etc.

Check out this new DVD! You can purchase your Barney: We Love our Family DVD in stores or online: Amazon & Lionsgate for a SRP $14.98.

This review was provided from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. They have provided me with a free product to review and information to share with my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

MN giveaway for a 4 pack of tickets to Disney on Ice: Princess Classics!

I am incredibly thrilled to be able to attend an upcoming Disney on Ice: Princess Classics in December here in MN! I have wanted to go to a Disney on Ice show since I was a little girl, and I finally get to go as an FFA (Feld Family Activator)! I know this will be a spectacular show, and I can't wait! Guess what? You can go, too! You can get a special discount on your tickets, and/or enter to win a 4-pack of tickets!

Disney on Ice: Princess Classics has a few different show dates in MN for December:
Thursday, Dec. 10: 7:00pm
Friday, Dec. 11: 10:30am, 7:00pm
Saturday, Dec. 12: 11:00am, 3:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday, Dec. 13: 1:00pm, 5:00pm

This is a great family-fun event to enjoy! I have a great coupon code to give you, so you can get discount tickets! PLEASE share this code with your family and friends! Everyone can get a better price!
The coupon code is ‘MOM’— four tickets for $44 for weekday shows Monday-Friday and $4 off all tickets for weekend shows. Any additional tickets beyond the 4-pack for shows during the week are still priced at $11.
The tickets can be purchased from and by entering the MOM code in the “MC promotion” box when purchasing tickets.
Offer not valid on Rinkside or VIP seating.
Cannot be combined with other offers. Service Charges, facility & handling fees will apply.

Enter to Win!
You can enter to win a 4 pack of tickets to the Disney on Ice: Princess Classics show! These tickets are for the MN show, December 10, at 7:00PM. Please share this link to my blog post with any of your MN friends/family members. You can enter to win for your family/friends that are in MN if you don't live here, too. If you don't win the tickets, you can still use the great coupon code: 'MOM' to get tickets to the show of your choice!

To Enter:
Tell me in the comments one life dream you hope to live out in your life, or someone you know. I will be picking the winner based on what inspires/moves me most. This contest rule/entry/winner chosen, is different than any other contest I have hosted. If there is a tie, or I really can't decide...I will have my husband & kids help me choose.
**After you do the first entry, you can twitter this contest for other MN friends, fan the Disney On Ice Twin Cities FB page, and spread the word to others (just let me know how). Good luck!**
Contest will end on November 29th.

Winners & Contests

It's that time again to announce winners! I love being a product reviewer, and being able to host giveaways from my generous sponsors! So..CONGRATULATIONS to the most recent winners!

Snazzy Baby it's time to eat! (review and giveaway... : Sarah

Happy Days & Nights Diapers from Fisher Price (Rev... : Mami2jcn

Decorate your home with PartyLite : Deb K

Art For Baby (book review & 3 giveaways) : dreamcleavers , Lorina , Donna M. Clark

Madeline for Madelyn (Review and Giveaway!) : kngmckellar

Congratulations again! Thanks everyone for entering the giveaways, and for the extra steps you take to promote the giveaways! I will be e-mailing the winners, and they will have 3 days to respond. I do have the option to pick new winners if I don't have a responce.

Check out the other great contests I have going on:

Marshmallow shooters

Alphabotz Flash Cards (great for education):

jenerations Baby (hair and body care products)

PBM Products...formula & discount coupons! (book giveaway & coupons)

Fresh Organics Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fresh Organics Review & Giveaway

I am all about using natural, kid-friendly, organic products on my kids...especially since most of them struggle with sensitivities= eczema. I was able to review for a great company, Fresh Organic Company, and was sent a bottle of the Shampoo and Body Wash and a bottle of their Bubble Bath. I love the fresh smell of the Shampoo and Body Wash, it reminded me of a spa. Just a clean, fresh scent. The Shampoo and Body wash is hypo-allergenic, safe on my kid's skin, and is multi-use. I love that this is for all over wash time. The soap lathered well, and kept a fun style in my daughter's hair. We like to style hair with shampoo at bath time:

My daughter loved the products from Fresh Organics. We used the Bubble Bath and it made fun bubbles. The Bubble bath product was very runny, and I am used to thicker bubble bath products...and that just surprised me. However, I loved the smells of the bubble bath, and that it is hypo-allergenic. No bad reactions on my precious tot's skin! That is a huge bonus!
I think that the Shampoo & Body Wash and the Bubble Bath are valued right at $7.99 per bottle. I think that these bottles will last long, and I am protecting my kid's skin by using safe, organic bath products. My kids and I give Fresh Organics two thumbs up! I noticed that Fresh Organics has products for kids and adults! Being a sufferer of Eczema, I think I should check into their products for me, as well.

Thanks to a program from Family Review Network and Fresh Organic Baby, they have provided the products for review & giveaway. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary product.
Enter to Win!
You can enter to win a bottle of the Shampoo & Body wash (8 fl oz.) and a bottle of the Bubble Bath (8 fl. oz.).
This contest is open to all bloggers/readers of the United States & Canada ending on November 27th.
To Enter: Go check out Fresh Organics and find out what other products they carry and comment about them on this post.
You can come back once each day throughout the contest and enter again by just leaving a friendly comment relevant to the contest, but you MUST do the first entry.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter this contest, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jeep Travel Anywhere Sport 2 in 1 bag review

Being a busy mom, I love products that offer convenience as well as function! I just received a Jeep 2 in 1 booster seat and travel bag to review, and I was highly impressed! I love that this diaper bag is roomy, stylish, and multi-functional. This diaper bag is made like a classic diaper bag with all the compartments, pockets, bottle holders, etc.; however, it doubles as a booster seat!
It really looks just like a normal diaper bag at first, however the one side unzips to reveal a seat with harness straps. This is such a huge help to us parents! I have gone places several times that didn't have a booster or high chair, and then I am out of luck.

I think Jeep really went to great measures when coming out with the Jeep Travel anywhere Sport 2 in 1 travel bag! Here are the Product Features
*Booster seat quickly pops up and secures to most chairs
*Comfortable, easy-to-clean padded seat holds up to 45 pounds
*Everyday bag includes plenty of storage space for baby’s daily supplies
*3 exterior cargo pockets for quick reach items such as drinks and cell phones
*2 adjustable straps easily secure booster seat to dining chair and a 3-point safety restraint keeps child safe and secure

I had my 4 1/2 year old (37 pounds), 2 1/2 year old (24 pounds) and my 10 month old (22 pounds) try this booster seat out. They each sat comfortably in the seat, and it was a big help to give them an extra boost at the table. I didn't have to empty the bag out to use the booster, and I like that. This bag is an all around help! The only thing you don't have with this bag is a tray, so your child will need the table for their food.

I highly recommend this diaper bag/booster seat to parents with little ones. If you are searching for a great gift idea, I would like to suggest this great product from Jeep! SRP$29.99 Check out Jeep for other great products, too!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Veggie Tales Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving

Veggie Tales and Big Idea, Inc. have released a new Christmas video: Saint Nicholas: A Story Of Joyful Giving (October 6th). It has been seven years since Veggie Tales have had a Holiday DVD.
Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving is another great Veggie DVD, packed with humor and fun. This movie goes into detail about the original origins of "Santa Claus," and how we give because Jesus gave to us.
Nicky the Pepper starts out as a young child. He is not too happy about them giving to others, and he decides to leave home. Through adventures with his cohort, played by Mr. Lunt, they realize that their village was taken over by a cruel man who outlaws giving. In disguises the two continue to give to the poor. Bonus new silly song included: Donuts for Benny.
I love how the Veggie Tales movies/shorts have great learning messages for kids and adults alike. Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving teaches that giving is more important than receiving, and what the real meaning of Christmas is.
Big Idea is involved in several giving opportunities this Christmas season, so they are doing what they promote. Everyone who purchases the Saint Nicholas DVD will receive a FREE VeggieTales DVD to give to a friend in need! Through this offer inside the DVD, you can log into a special website and select the free VeggieTales DVD that you would like to send to a friend with only $2.99 shipping and handling. Big Idea has also teamed up with Operation Christmas Child to help collect gifts for needy children throughout the world.
Bonus features of Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, include an original new song by critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Matthew West, “Give This Christmas Away,” performed by West and Grammy Award-winning artist Amy Grant. There is also a special Operation Christmas Child video.

I think this DVD is superb and a great show to watch with your kids! This would make a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer.
This review was sponsored by Family Review Network & Big Idea. They have supplied me with a DVD to review to share with my readers, for my personal opinion. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Friday, November 13, 2009

PBM Products...formula & discount coupons! (GIVEAWAY)

I have breastfed all four of my children. I am thankful and happy that my body produced milk for my babies, because it is convenient, healthier, always the right temperature, less to prepare (bottles, nipples, etc.) and it helps my health, too. Breastfeeding your baby is THE BEST food source for babies, however not all moms have that option. Some moms don't produce enough milk, some have to be on medications, some moms have multiples (and nursing would be very tiring), some women can't pump at work, or some moms may just need to supplement formula with milk.
On those occasions, it’s important for new moms to get the best value for their dollar, while also safeguarding baby’s health. According to the 10th edition Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, store-brand infant formula is as nutritious for babies as nationally advertised brands. Moms can save significantly – up to 50%-- by buying store brand infant formula vs. nationally advertised brands.
As of October, a new Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program initiative designed to promote breastfeeding reduces infant-formula subsidies by up to 26%; parents who previously had most of their formula paid for by WIC may now have to purchase formula on their own. Honestly, I only think this is a good idea if the mom medically can produce milk for their baby. Some mom's bodies just don't produce/supply milk. If funds are tight for that mom/family and she is on the WIC program, she now has to figure out another way to feed her baby. Formula is very expensive.
For these moms, and all moms who need to save money in this economy, I recommend that you check out the store brand formula’s safety and value. It very well could be comparable, and you could save a lot of money, while still feeding your baby.

PBM Products, which makes store-brand formula, is offering a free copy of the 368-page Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, a $16.95 value, as well as discount coupons for purchase of Walgreens, Babies “R” Us, Kroger and dozens of other leading store brand formula.
This contest is open to all bloggers/readers of the United States and will end on November 20th. Just leave a comment below telling me why you could use this book and the coupons. You can enter this contest to win the book for a friend or family member if you aren't in need of it. You can come back once each day throughout the contest and enter again by just leaving a friendly comment relevant to the contest, but you MUST do the first entry.

**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter this contest, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

This review was sponsored by Team Mom. They have supplied me with information to share with my readers, for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review. Team Mom & PBM Products is supplying the giveaway prize.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

jenerations Baby (hair and body care products)

My kids all have sensitive skin, and so I have to be careful what types of lotions, soaps, shampoos, etc. that I chose to use with them. I was excited to review a natural and organic line from Mom-Invented jenerations baby. I received the Seriously Sensitive Shampoo/Bodywash and the Hair gel for review.

Lately I have opted to give Cole his baths in our sink. This saves water, and it is easier on our back. I am not so sure it saves too much water, though, because he is loving to splash! Anyway, I tried out the Shampoo/body wash from jenerations baby, and we loved it! The smell is wonderful, and it is so gentle on his little skin. I love that jenerations baby is safe for my children's precious skin~no sulfates, parabens or tea tree oil and lavender. I recently found out that lavender can disrupt a child's hormone levels. Did you know that?
jenerations baby is a line of organic body and hair care products for babies and children founded by mompreneur Jennifer Reilly. Jennifer is a salon owner, and wanted to develop products to perform to salon standards, all the while being safe for children's skin~especially her own two children. The jenerations baby line is completely hypoallergenic (which totally excites me), physician-tested and includes two versions of children’s shampoo/body wash, detangling conditioner, moisturizing lotion, and even hair gel, all made with only the safest natural and organic ingredients.
Cole is really excited about the jenerations baby shampoo/wash, and our family gives the products two thumbs up! jenerations Baby Shampoo/Body wash is retailed at $13/8.5 oz. bottle. Nathaniel, my 11 year old, used the hair gel in his hair. It looked and worked great! NO offensive smell, no super crunchy hair, and it looked great in his hair. Another great product and made naturally and organically.

Products are available at , buy buy Baby, and many other stores throughout the U.S.

Enter to win!
The company has offered to sponsor a giveaway for my readers! One winner will receive a duo set of shampoo/conditioner. This giveaway is open to residents of the USA (bloggers/non-bloggers), and will end on November 25th, 2009. TO ENTER: go to the website and find out something you find interesting about the company/products. For an additional entry, you can "become a friend of jenerations baby on facebook". You can come back once each day throughout the contest and enter again by just leaving a friendly comment relevant to the contest, but you MUST do the first entry.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter this contest, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

This review was sponsored by jenerations Baby. They have supplied me with free product to keep for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Halloween around here...

We didn't really know what to do this year with Halloween. It really depends on the weather here in MN, but this year wasn't too bad for temperature. We spent the morning at home doing different things that needed to be done. Here are a few photos that I took a few days before Halloween. My kids love dressing up, and it is (almost) a daily fun activity for them.

Madelyn is in her purple unicorn outfit. She got this costume from my friend, Lisa, from a garage sale special find. It is so warm and cozy, and Madelyn loves it!
Here is Nathaniel in the pirate hat, and one of his new favorite shirts from Terry. (hand-me-down)
Cole is wearing the Jo-Jo hat. I know it is a girl's hat in the show, but it looks cute on him!

After that, we helped some friends move to their new home. We got home about 5:30, and our kids were tired. However, they still wanted to go treat-hunting. We had considered bringing them to a local church party (games, outdoor petting zoo, outdoor blow up jumpy-thingy...etc.) but we had come home too late for that. We got the kids in their costumes, and went to a local neighborhood.
Cole was super happy that night, and he was in a warm costume as Pooh Bear. I have to say that I was excited about this find...$1.25 at Savers! That was a great deal, and he can now play "dress-up" with the kids.
Isn't he a cute little Pooh Bear? Caleb and Madelyn had a lot of fun, too. They picked out their duds.
Caleb was a jester/clown and Madelyn was the "itsy, bitsy spider." Maddie's costume was a little too small, but she insisted that she wore that one. We did hand-me-down costume attire this year.

The owner of this home was all dressed up as Princess Leia, from Star Wars. I thought her costume was superb!

It was a fun night out with the little ones. Nathaniel was with his dad this year. I am not sure how it worked out, but he has only been at his dad's one other Halloween in his life. Nathaniel had wanted to be with us this year because his best friend was going to have his birthday party/celebration. But, his dad said no, because he wanted to have him for trick-or-treating after all these years. I really had no clue that it was that important to his dad, or I would have offered to make it work out for him to be able to have that time with Nathaniel. Nothing I can do about that now. At least he had a good time.

The kids had so much fun, and enjoyed walking around in their costume. It was fun to hear them saying the 'ol phrase, and then thanking the home owner. After about 15 homes, the kids were getting tired and cold. So, we packed them up and headed home. In the car, I had smelt I asked Terry, "Did you give the kids candy?" He said he didn't, and then he asked the kids...

Terry: "Are you guys eating candy?"
Caleb: "I'm not eating any."
Madelyn: "I am!" (Have to love her honesty there!) ~LOL

We get home and Madelyn had about 4 wrappers/candy around her. It was pretty funny.We started to undress the kids from their costumes and get them in their jammies when the doorbell rings and knocks come on the front door. I had turned our outside light off, and it was evident we were not participating in the giveaway. Still the middle-school age kids lingered, so I hollered that we weren't handing any candy out. They left. Terry told me to just stay out of sight while he put the kids to bed. So, our house was completely black. I was in the basement talking to my aunt. About 10 minutes go by, and we get another banging on the door. I wait. Then, more banging. Seriously? I couldn't believe that they knocked the first time, but 2 times? So, I head up stairs, and call for Terry. I hear the kids laughing and talking loud. So, not only did they rudely go to a dark home, knock 2 TIMES!~ they hang out waiting...loitering! So, Terry opened the door and told them to go. I was furious to say the least. I can't believe how rude their behavior was. Anyway, the kids had fun, and I wanted to share the photos.