Friday, October 31, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide - vtech Review & Giveaway

  Christmas will be here before we know it, and I am so excited to kick off our Holiday Gift Guide today! We're starting off HUGE! We LOVE vtech in our home, so we were thrilled to have the chance to try out 4 of their new toys! Yes you read that right, 4 amazing toys for toddlers arrived on our doorstep a few weeks ago. That's not the best part though, vtech has been incredibly generous enough to offer one of you the chance to win all 4 for yourself! 

   The toys we received are geared towards kids 3 and under, and we have two little one's that fall in that category. Sweet Pea is 2 & Lil Stinker is 3, so I knew we'd have some happy kiddos! When the box of goodies arrived on our doorstep, their excitement was pretty hard to contain.

  Hubs & I decided that we didn't want to overwhelm the kiddos by opening all of the toys at once, so we let them choose two that first night. Sweet Pea immediately gravitated to the Chomp and Count Dino (19.99), so this was the first toy we pulled out. 

   The Chomp and Count Dino is geared towards kids ages 12-36 months. This is perfect for Sweet Pea, we've been working on colors , shapes and numbers with her & this fun toy helps promote learning in both of those areas. The Dino comes with 8 brightly colored discs that are marked with different healthy treats, for your little one to feed to their Dino. We love that the treats are healthy, this helps instill great habits while their having fun.

    We've had this toy for weeks now & it has become Sweet Pea's favorite. It became 10 times cooler when her brother figured out that it also has a pull string. She loves taking her new pet for walks. 

  Since Sweet Pea chose the first item we opened, we decided it was only fair to let the boys pick the next toy. They quickly chose the Smart Shots Sport Center (39.99) , this toy is geared for 12-36 you can imagine how surprised I was when my 6 year old was entertained greatly by this toy.

  The Smart Shots Sport Center required minimal assembly, Hubs had it together & ready to go in just a few minutes. Once it was together both boys (6 and 3) were ready to play. This toy has so many cool features. It comes with a soccer ball and a basketball, so your child can shoot a basket or score a goal while they play. My boys have decided that one day they have "basketball practice" and the next day they have "soccer practice". 

   While kids work on their shooting or kicking skills they'll be encouraged by the animated LED screen. The scoreboard will count their points and play encouraging sounds and phrases. These are the features that my older kids enjoy, but the little one loves all of the smaller details. Kids can work on their fine motor skills by playing with the gears, and they can learn shapes & numbers by pressing the shape buttons. This is greatly entertaining for all 3 of my kids and that is always a plus!

    We also received the VTech Sit to Stand Smart Cruiser Toy(39.99), my kiddos love ride on toys. So I knew this would be a huge hit with the younger two. This ride on toy offers fun for little one's ages 6-36 months. Even before your babe is ready to ride, they can enjoy the Cruiser by playing with the removable steering wheel on the floor. The steering wheel is interactive with an abundance of fun ways to play. They can press the horn, move the gear shifter, turn the key & so much more. All of the play is accompanied by flashing lights and fun noises.

  When your kiddo is old enough , you simply attach the steering wheel to the car so they can enjoy all of the same developmental play while riding along.  The under seat storage is an added bonus, because we know all toddler's love to hide their special things.

   Lastly, we were sent the VTech Grow Along Music Center (29.99), this may be my favorite item out of all of the toys. I love anything that inspires imaginative play & that is exactly what this toy does for my kids. With all of my children being 2 or older, the favorite feature of this is definitely the microphone. They love that they can change their voice with the simple turn of a dial, the "robot" voice is by far the favorite. I love just sitting back watching and listening to them sing and giggle with this toy.

  The Music Center is also great for younger toddlers, the height adjustment is perfect for their constant growing & the entire play area removes to be a floor toy. The keyboard features fun animals, bright colors and 75+ songs! 

   My kids have loved each of these toys and with their great price tags, they would make the perfect gift for any toddler on your list! They can all be purchased on Amazon & one of you will win all 4 toys to help make your Christmas shopping easier. Please fill out the entry form below for your chance to win.. This giveaway will end on Friday 11/14, Good Luck.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#UpYourDance with Papa John's (Giveaway)

  What's better than enjoying some delicious hot pizza and a game of football from your living room? Maybe some fabulous pizza & tickets to the big game. Well that is exactly what Papa John's is offering. 

   We honestly hadn't enjoyed a pizza from Papa John's in awhile, sadly there aren't any locations in delivery distance of our home. However, we did just find out that there is one miles from Hub's work location , making it easy for him to grab dinner on the way home. So recently we picked up a couple of pizza's and they were incredible!! The kids loved them and it made dinner super easy on this pregnant momma.

    Papa John's wants you to Up Your Game, by creating and submitting an #UpYourDance video! Show them your best & wildest End Zone Dance anytime from now until 12/29 and some lucky fan's will receive some great prizes along the way. The biggest prize will be tickets to the Super Bowl! If you need a little inspiration you can head over here.

  In the meantime, one of you can win a $25 credit to use for your dinner one night at Papa John's! Please fill out the entry form below for your chance to win. This giveaway will end on Tuesday 11/11, Good Luck.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Savi Mom Review & Giveaway

 Mom's are some of the busiest people I know. From the time we wake until we go to bed, we are working to keep things together in our homes. Whether that's cleaning house, feeding the kids or encouraging our husbands; there isn't a lot of time spent on ourselves.  The time we do have for our needs can be minimal, so having some help a long the way is always appreciated.

 Savi Mom is an online shop that was started to help new moms find what they want & need easily. The shop was created out of a desire to help make pregnancy and post-pregnancy less stressful and more enjoyable. As strong supporters of breastfeeding, the mom's who created the shop also wanted to find & make available products and clothing that support and encourage moms to breastfed as long as they wish.

   Being pregnant with baby #4 has led me to learn about all the positives and negatives when it comes to nursing attire. One of the biggest things is having nightwear that makes those midnight feedings a breeze! When I'm half asleep I don't want to be fumbling with difficult snaps of a nursing tank.

   When I saw The Savi Mom Nursing Nightgown I knew it would be a must have item. I received the nightgown in the color blue, I also chose a size Medium because I tend to gain weight all over during pregnancy and wanted to be sure I could wear it through the rest of this pregnancy and once our sweet one arrives.

photo courtesy of Savi Mom

  When my nightgown arrived, I couldn't believe how soft it felt and was anxious to try it out. It honestly sat for awhile because I typically just fall asleep in the tank top I wear during the day (classy I know) , but last week I landed myself on bed rest and it was my go to item.  Hubs and I spent a few hours in the hospital monitoring me & baby (don't worry we are both great...just being my 4th pregnancy I need to take it easier) ; when we got home I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed right away. So I threw on the nightgown and slept amazingly well.

  The next day my mom was sweet enough to watch all 3 kids so I could sit or lay with my heat pack all day. I decided to keep this nightgown on all day long and I fell in love with it for several reasons:

  •  Super comfy 
  •  Modest - this is important to me even in nightwear.. I have two boys that I want to present myself well in front of , the neckline on this is great & in length it hits my knees
  •  the slits in the front will make nursing the new baby super easy, but they also close up well so when you're not nursing you don't need to worry about showing more than necessary ;-)

  I am so excited over how great this nursing nightgown is! It will definitely be making an appearance in the bag I pack to go to the hospital. This will be great to wear when anticipating visitors, but needing to be in something comfy and easy to nurse the baby in; so much better than those hospital gowns!

   You can purchase your own Savi Mom Nursing Nightgown on their website for $36. One of you will win your own , in your choice of size (s-xl). Please fill out the entry form below for your chance to win. This giveaway will end on Monday 11/10, Good Luck.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Click N Dig Review & Giveaway

   One of the biggest nuances of my day to day life is when I misplace something. I often KNOW that I just had an item , but when I go to use it I can't locate it. I don't know if in the chaos of life I just become careless or if it's my kiddos moving things. I tend to think it's the kids...I mean I can't be going crazy, yet...right? Either way, it's something that annoys me to no end.

  Two of the day to day items that Hubs and I both tend to lose sight of are our keys and remotes. The kiddos love to grab the remote to turn their shows on, and Buddy (6) has a bad habit of carrying the remote through the house and then leaving it in some random spot...which results in an all out search party once the kids are in bed and Hubs and I want to relax for the evening. 

  Hubs and I always joked about how we needed to come up with some type of solution to this problem. Well..I'm happy to say that the days of us playing hide n go seek with the remote, or running late to an event because we can't locate our keys, are over! We were recently sent the Click N Dig F6 Item Finder and it's a hit with both Hubs & I.

 The Click N Dig F6 Finder is a convenient & high quality device that will help you find your misplaced item , everytime! This device comes with one transmitter, three key ring receivers & three thin receivers. Double-sided adhesive is included to attach the thin receivers to remotes and other items. Batteries come installed in the transmitter and receivers & an extra battery set is included. 

  We chose to put the receivers on our TV remotes and one on both of our key rings. Once you set all of your receivers up you will want to put the transmitter in a place where you'll easily find it later. We chose to place ours on a high shelf, where the kids can't move it ;-)

  When you need to locate an item you simply press and hold the color coded button on the radio transmitter to find an item up to 60 feet away. The transmitter's frequency can penetrate through walls, cushions and more! So the receiver's will beep and flash no matter where they are. 

 This device has been so handy for us. We've used it a couple times over the past few weeks & it has saved us so much time in our searching! The first time I used it was to find my keys...funny thing is they were in my purse, but as I rummaged I didn't see them. Once I used the transmitter and the beeping led me back to my purse I just had to laugh..then when I opened my purse I saw the flashing light which helped me get my hands on them right away! The second time was to find the tv remote. The kids had been curled up under blankets earlier watching tv and when they threw the blankets in our ottoman the remote went their too. Without the Click N Dig I would have been searching for a long while...probably would have eventually given up on that one. 

   We absolutely love the Click N Dig and would recommend it to anyone. This device retails for $69.95 but can be purchased on Amazon for $39.95. One of you will win one of your own! Please fill out the entry form below for your chance to win. This giveaway will end on Friday 11/7, Good Luck.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Apple Pie Scones

   Yep, you guessed it...another apple recipe! Hey, that's what happens when you love to bake & go apple picking ;-) Of course, we're talking breakfast food too. I've said it before, but its my absolute favorite meal of the day.

   One of my favorite breakfast treats are scones. I fell in love with them a few years back when I first tried the Blueberry Scone at Starbucks. Since then I've made a few different varieties at home & I love them every time! So when I saw this Apple Pie Scone from Rumbly Tumbly floating around my Facebook newsfeed, I knew I had to give it a try.

Apple Pie Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
3 Tbls granulated sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbls cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup of heavy cream, plus 1 Tbls for brushing over the scones

Glazed Apple Filling:
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled & chopped up small
2 Tbls butter
1 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbls granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Brown Butter Glaze:
2 Tbls butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbls heavy cream

Start by making your apple filling. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and toss in the apples. Stir until the apples are cooked and very little butter is left. Remove from heat and add in the sugars and cinnamon. Set aside to cool.

Next, using a food processor make your dough. Put all of your dry ingredients in and then cut the butter in. Add your apple pie filling to the mixture and mix well until well combined.  Add the heavy cream, stirring until your dough comes together in a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2-3 times until it comes together. Pat it into a disk. Wrap the disk tightly in plastic wrap and put in freezer for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

To make your glaze, put the butter in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring occasionally until it turns a nice golden brown. Mix in the sugar & cream and set aside.

Remove your dough from the freezer & place on your baking sheet. Cut it into 8 equal wedges and brush with a light layer of cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. (mine was about 18 minutes)

Drizzle with glaze & enjoy!! (by the time I got to this step my glaze had thickened up too much, I knew adding more cream would just make it thicker so I put it back on low heat and added some milk)

 These were a huge hit in my home, I even got some over to my mom ...she was watching the kiddos while I went to my glucose test, so taking her these goodies was the least I could do. She loved them & my Buddy (6) said "they were amazing!". I did find them to be a bit moister than most scones, but they were still heavenly!

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