Monday, May 27, 2013

Interactive 3D Books for Kids! #Giveaway

Getting children interested in reading seems to be a difficult accomplishment for some families. In our family, everyone loves to read, but I have many friends whose children don't enjoy reading, and the parents try to find some way to encourage them. I recently discovered a great way to get your children hooked on reading, with interactive 3D books from Popar Toys!

I received Popar's Bugs 3D Book for review. At first glance, this seems to be just a normal book, although it is loaded with color pictures and illustrations, which already grabs a child's attention. What makes this book so unique though, is the 3D aspect. You don't need to find a pair of glasses to dive into a 3D world; now you simply download the Popar Toys app (free for any mobile device) and start the reading journey on a whole new level!

It's so easy to use that even a young child can do it on their own. Use the camera on your mobile device, and the entire book comes alive! Each section has a "pop-up" 3D bug. The fun doesn't stop there though; your children will enjoy playing with the bugs by sliding and pinching. There are also games and read-along sections the children will have fun with. 

Honestly, this is such a fun way to encourage reading and learning in young children. Even the older children will enjoy the books with the 3D capabilities!

One of my readers will receive their choice of a Popar Toys 3D Book!
(Choose from Bugs, Princess or Construction)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Personal Injury Lawyers

Have you ever been in a car accident? Ever needed a Personal Injury Lawyer? With all the traveling I do, and that we do as a family, I am amazed and can say without a doubt that we have been blessed to never have been involved in a serious accident. The closest we ever came was about 16 or 17 years ago, when I was a young teenager and our family was taking a trip to Missouri. We headed out in the evening, and drove through the night to get a good head start on the trip from Florida to Missouri. About 11:00 at night, we were suddenly t-boned by a driver going well over the speed limit on the highway. The car that hit us just disappeared, so we drove to the next exit and called the police. 

When law enforcement arrived and we explained what had happened, they were amazed that there were no injuries. In fact, one of the officers stated that if our vehicle was not an older model Suburban (made of steel), I would probably have been killed or at least seriously injured. Our vehicle was totaled, but thankfully no one was hurt. 

Needless to say, after all the hundreds of thousands of miles we have driven in the past 10 years, I am very grateful we have never needed the services of a personal injury lawyer, but it is comforting to know there are lawyers ready to help those involved in a car crash or accident.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Adorable Toys For Children from HABA!

Okay, the company I'm sharing today is well known among families as a great place to shop for children, but they have outdone themselves with the new line of Lilliputiens!

A line of soft toys for children anywhere from 0-24 months, these are some of the most adorable toys ever! I received the Baby Lucy Set for my review. Baby Lucy is a cute little doll that comes dressed in a red hooded coat, and snuggled in a basket. She also has a bottle and her own little doll that needs tucked into bed with Lucy! Seriously, Baby Lucy is so cute, any little girl would love the opportunity to play with and care for her. I love the fact that the entire doll, basket and accessories are soft, so baby can play with her at any age. There are no hard pieces, and no little pieces that come off and potentially be dangerous. Yet, while Lucy is safe for a newborn to snuggle with, she's detailed enough that a toddler will enjoy playing with her as well! What little girl wouldn't love to have their own little Lucy to tuck into bed, share secrets with, and enjoy as a snuggly, cuddly friend?!

Who could resist that face?!

"Look after your favorite doll just like mommy and daddy! Give her a bottle, dress her, change her and then when its time for bed, put her to sleep in her pretty leaf basket. Make sure you don't forget her little doll!"

Fun at Six Flags Over Texas!!

As you may have deduced from my sporadic posting on here lately, our family is traveling. Sort of a mini-vacation, and we're in one of my favorite places-Texas! We've already been through Dallas/Fort Worth area, Austin, and now are headed to western Texas. One of our more exciting stops was visiting Six Flags Over Texas, in Arlington, TX. Not only was this our first visit here, but it was my first time to any Six Flags park!

I received complimentary tickets for myself and the 2 girls, so we made our plans for a full day at the park. Everyone was super excited about visiting; we love roller coasters, and SFOT boasts quite a few spectacular coasters! In fact, after arrival, our first 4 stops were at roller coasters. :)

Runaway Mountain is an indoor coaster that consists of a ride in entire darkness. I've always though these were neat, and this was no exception. I found it to be very mild; fun, but not one that would be too scary for young children. The Runaway Mine Train, another coaster at SFOT is also pretty mild, and good for children or people who don't care for the huge drops and loops (do such people really exist?!).

One of our favorite rides of the day was Pandemonium, a very unique coaster. What makes Pandemonium different from most other coasters is the spinning aspect. Each car literally spins 360 degrees as you fly through turns, helixes, and a camelback. This was super fun, and we were disappointed when it was closed for the rest of the day after our first ride. While it doesn't have the great big drops or any vertical loops, it is still enough of a thrill for any coaster fan, yet even the more timid children will enjoy it.

The Pandemonium track
Another ride M and I really enjoyed was Shock Wave-you guessed it, another coaster! The best part of Shock Wave is the back-to-back vertical loops, seriously my favorite part of the ride! This was only M's second time on a coaster that "goes upside down" and she loved it-even begged to ride again, which we did of course! 

Now, my favorite ride at Six Flags Over Texas, also took us the longest to actually get on. We waited in line for just over an hour, but it was totally worth the wait. The Texas Giant, a record-breaking wood coaster, is a must-ride for any coaster fan. With the steepest drop-79º-and the steepest bank-95º- of any wooden coaster, this is a roller coaster you don't want to miss! It is absolutely amazing! M and I both agreed it was the best coaster we were able to ride at SFOT. 

Another fun ride that the whole family will enjoy, is La Vibora-a bobsled experience! Sort of like a roller coaster, but instead of running on a track, it runs on a half-pipe that gives you the feeling of riding a bobsled. We all did this one several times!

The only disappointment we had during our visit, was that we didn't have time to make it to all the rides-especially all the roller coasters. We were especially looking forward to riding Mr. Freeze, but it was closed when we first checked, and the line was too long when we checked 45 minutes before closing. However, we now know where to head right away when we visit again!

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Six Flags Over Texas; it seemed very family oriented, which is a biggie for me. We also took advantage of the 2013 Sport Bottle, which offers you free refills all day on the day of purchase. You can not beat this deal! We've been to other parks that don't have any sort of refillable cups, and you end up spending $30.00 or more just on drinks throughout the day! The dining options are reasonable (we shared a $5.00 platter of nachos, and it was huge!) and the drink deal especially is well worth the cost.

The girls loved the Freestyle machine!
Overall, I was very impressed with our first visit to Six Flags Over Texas, and can't wait for an opportunity to return!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NEW Nancy Drew PC Game #Giveaway

A few times a year, there's an excitement building among the girls/ladies in our family. It starts a few weeks before the release date of the newest Nancy Drew PC game, and by the time we actually have it in hand and installed, we're all super ready! It started as a tradition back when the first or second game came out, and has continued to be one of our favorite "girl time" activities. So when I was given the opportunity to download and play the newest game, The Ghost of Thornton Hall, we wasted no time diving in to the mystery.

"Jessalyn Thornton's fateful sleepover at the abandoned Thornton estate was supposed to be a pre-wedding celebration, but the fun ended when she disappeared. While her family searches for clues, others refuse to speak about the estate's dark past. Did something supernatural happen to Jessalyn, or is someone in Thornton Hall holding something besides family secrets?" 

Obviously we don't believe in ghosts, but as expected, the "ghost" in this mystery has a logical explanation. However, this is probably one of the scariest Nancy Drew games in a while, and is my favorite out of at least the past 4 or 5 games. This case actually turns into 2 mysteries; finding Jessalyn, the missing girl, and solving the decades-old mystery of the Thornton family secret. Along the way you will solve puzzles, open a crypt, walk through the family graveyard, stumble upon an unexpected guest, and even open secret passageways that date back to the Civil War! 

We started playing the day the game was released, and in less than a week we had it solved. Because we are traveling we weren't able to do it as a girls activity, because they didn't all come with me. M did though, and her favorite part of the day was getting to the hotel in the evenings and playing Nancy Drew! I won't spoil the game for you, but I will say the ending was a surprise, and the teaser for the next game really leaves you on the edge of your seat!

The Ghost Of Thornton Hall also has some updated features, such as being able to fast forward through conversations. This doesn't seem that important until yo'u've played a game a few times through, and can quote the conversations with the characters...then it gets annoying to have to sit through the entire dialogue! This is definitely a bonus!

We're giving away 3 copies of Nancy Drew & The Ghost of Thornton Hall!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Laventine Organic Skin Care~ #Giveaway

valentine  /VA-lən-tine/ n. a sweetheart who brings you roses.

laventine /LA-vən-tine/ n. a sweetheart who brings you beautiful skin.

Wow, am I super happy to share this amazing company with you all! For the past couple months, I have really been looking at the ingredients in the "skin care" products that I use, and I was getting more and more disturbed with all the chemicals and junk. So, when given the opportunity to review an item from Laventine, an organic skincare company, I was of course thrilled.

Laventine sent me their Olive Facial Cleansing Oil, a water-soluble oil. I know what many of you are probably thinking-clean your face with oil? How stupid do you think we are? I know I have always heard to avoid putting any oil or oily products on my face, because after all-our skin creates enough oil as it is! However, olive oil is the perfect facial cleanser for so many reasons! To use, simply rub a small amount in your hands to warm, then apply to dry skin. Massage onto face in circular motions, and rinse off with lukewarm water. Now, if you're expecting an oily or greasy face, you will be disappointed-albeit in a good way. After using this for a couple of weeks, I am so impressed! Never has my face felt better. No oily build up, my skin is thoroughly cleansed without getting dried out. This even works great for removing makeup, no matter how stubborn. It is the ultimate facial cleanser, and I love that I no longer have to worry about the junk being used to "clean" my face-it's natural, organic olive oil! 

Honestly, there is only one thing I don't care for about Laventine's Olive Oil Facial Cleanser. And that is the fact that I didn't know this existed years ago! I've been using chemical-loaded products for so long, when there is a healthy, natural alternative that honestly works so much better!

One of my readers will receive a Laventine Olive Oil Facial Cleanser!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Skate Shoes For Summer!

Is everyone enjoying the warm weather? It finally seems to be here to stay for the summer, and we have wasted no time in getting outdoors for all kinds of sports and family fun. One of our regulars is volleyball, but we're enjoying everything from tennis, basketball, bike rides, family walks, and just about anything you can imagine doing outside. Everyone has a favorite summer sport or activity, and it's good to have the necessary gear for participation. For example, skateboarding can be done wearing just regular sneakers, but did you know there are actual skate shoes that are designed for use while skateboarding? For the longest time I never realized this, until J informed me some time ago. (Leave it to the teenager to teach the adult!).

Skates.Co.UK sent me a pair of DC Youth Block Net Skate Shoes for review. These are overall black with some really eye-catching lime green trim and laces, definitely some shoes that will stand out in a crowd. Perfect for M, who loves bright colors! I love the extra safety these provide for skateboarding. Because of the special design, the shoes feature an almost sticky outer sole that will help the rider maintain a good grip. The shoe upper is made with real leather, so these are certainly shoes that will last for a good long time-even with the wear and tear of skateboarding. 

We also discovered that these shoes are perfect for use on scooters too. M loves to ride a scooter, and again, these provide an ultra-tough grip. You don't have to worry about your child's foot slipping off the skateboard/scooter when wearing these skate shoes!
M doing the Mary Poppins stand :)

If you need a pair of skate shoes like these DC Shoes, or perhaps some roller blades or in-line skates for yourself or the kids this summer, why not check out Skates.Co.UK? They have great prices and super fast shipping (even coming from the UK, I was impressed with how fast our shoes arrived!). Of course they also have all kinds of skate gear, from boards, clothes,'s literally a skate superstore!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Win A Trip For 4 To Brazil! #CB2NovogratzBrasilSweepstakes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CB2 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever wanted to visit a foreign country? I guess techincally I have, because I have been to Canada quite a few times, but somehow Canada just doesn't seem as exotic as Brazil! So, let me share some exciting news with you, how you could win a trip (for up to 4 people) to Brazil. 

First of all, the CB2 and Novogratz Sweepstakes is, obviously, sponsored by CB2. I must plead shameful ignorance here, because I had never heard of CB2 before! When I checked out their website though, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful home furnishings and decor. The newest line, CB2 and Novogratz Collection, features pieces from design duo Robert and Courtney Novogratz. This collection was inspired by their vacation home in Brazil, and I just love the style and colors! I think the Quadrado Rug is my personal favorite from the new collection; it is simply stunning.

Now, for what you've been waiting for-information about the CB2 and Novogratz Brasil Sweepstakes! The grand prize winner will receive a 1-week stay (for yourself and 3 friends/family members) at the Novogratz's vacation home in beautiful Trancoso, Brazil. If you don't win the grand prize though, don't despair-10 other winners will receive a $100.00 CB2 gift card, and an autographed copy of "Home by Novogratz". The sweepstakes runs from May 2nd through June 3rd, so what are you waiting for? Hurry up and enter!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sun Protection With Cute Hats!

I'm really not much of a hat person, unless it's a baseball cap. Give me a baseball cap and I can wear it all day, but other than that-I don't wear hats. That is, I didn't until I discovered the cutest hat ever-the Ladies Scala Visor!

I received a Ladies Scala Visor in Fuchsia/White, and from the moment it arrived, I knew this would be my constant companion for the next several months. It is so much better than a simple baseball cap on so many levels! First of all, this Visor protects your neck as well as your face. Full protection, and it's much wider than a cap bill-it features a 5-inch peak. 

Secondly, I love the feminine style of this visor. It brings to mind ladies gardening, or sipping lemonade while visiting in the backyard. Just a lovely, ladylike, must-have accessory! 

I know, it doesn't really match the red shirt :)
In addition to the sun protection and style, this visor is perfect for traveling. It has an elastic loop attached at the back so you can simply roll the hat up and toss it in your suitcase, purse, or in a pocket in your car. It is completely crushable/bendable, and it pops right back into shape. I will be bringing this on our trip to Texas and New Mexico next week, as I will be certain to need sun protection out there!

With a retail price of only $25.00, this Ladies Sun Visor is affordable for anyone, and if you're going to be spending any time outside this summer, I highly recommend you check this visor out!