Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mia Mariu Makeup Review and Giveaway

Mia is Vibrant Beauty and Health Inside and Out

Mia Mariu’s high performance products are formulated with the most natural ingredients available helping you achieve vibrant beauty and health inside and out.  Each unique product fuses nature and technology by combining the highest quality botanicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and peptides.  The result is healthy products that provide a perfect balance that reflects itself through youthful, healthy, beautiful, glowing skin and renewed energy and vitality, at an exceptional value.  Mia offers natural skin care, professional makeup artist quality mineral cosmetics and brushes to Reveal Your Unique Shade of Beauty!
I really enjoy playing with makeup. I am not the type to wear a lot of it, but I do like to have the basics on to make my skin look even and brighten my eyes. So when I had the opportunity to check out Mia Mariu's line of mineral makeup I jumped at it!
My skin is a little sensitive. So I often have red spots or areas that are dry. I do my best to take care of my skin and to put as little on my skin as possible. I use a very simple powder to even my skin tone and then have fun with my eyes by using some eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara. And of course a touch of blush to brighten up my cheeks and some lip gloss to add shimmer and shine. While I was browsing their fabulous selection of items I found just what I was looking for.
I chose to review a mineral eye shadow duo in Rosa Marquesa, a mineral blush in Maria Azucena, a luminous lip gloss in Romance, and an intense eye liner in black. My items shipped quickly and I was anxious to give them a try.
The first thing I noticed was how lightly the eye shadow and blush went on. You didn't need to use a ton to get the beautiful tones. I used to duo to do a highlight and then a darker shade on the crease of my eye lid. It looked fabulous and the color lasted through most of the day, which my makeup usually doesn't. The eye liner also went on nicely... neat and smooth. And my favorite product is probably the lip gloss. It left a wonderful shimmer that didn't wear off in a matter of minutes. I only had to reapply a couple of time throughout the day. And I just loved the light tint of color it added. 
I was incredibly pleased with the items I received from Mia Mariu. I think they are high quality products that save you time and money by being long lasting. I would definitely recommend you check out their website to see all their products and learn more about the company. You can even learn about how you can become an adviser. 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Holiday Gift Guide: GUND


If you are looking for great holiday gifts this year, GUND has got your covered! 

For more than a century, GUND has been creating unique teddy bears and other soft toys recognized the world over for their quality and innovation.
The leading soft toy manufacturer in the U.S., and also the oldest, GUND was founded by German immigrant Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Conneticut in 1898. GUND was one of the first companies to design and produce teddy bears in the early 1900's.
Today, the company manufactures an extensive collection of unique characters licensed plush under the GUND and babyGUND brands.

I have been a fan of GUND products for many years. My husband gave me a GUND teddy bear when we started dating. He has unique features and is the cuddliest teddy bear I've ever owned. He has been my number one bear for 9 years now, and is still very much loved.

This holiday season I had the amazing opportunity to check out some of the hottest toys, perfect for any kid on your list. GUND sent me some samples for my three year old daughter and my infant son, so I have some nice variety to share with you!
My First Drum (ages newborn and up)
When your kid grows up they just might want to be a rock star. Get them started GUND My First Drum! Children will delight in the fun as they tap the yellow star of this playful plush drum to hear enjoyable sounds.

I adore this toy. You can turn the sound on and off on the battery pack. The toy is a good size and the entire thing is soft, making it a safe toy for even the youngest musician to explore. You don't have to hit the star too hard to hear the music, so kids are sure to discover it's musical potential in moments!
Boo (ages 1 year old and up)
Boo, the internet sensation, with 4 million Facebook fans and the star of his own book, calendar and YouTube videos, is finally available, just in time for the holidays, in plush for fans to love at home! The GUND version of Boo is the spitting image of the famous Pomeranian.... right down to his loveable smile!

Boo is so incredibly soft! When I took him out of the box I couldn't help but hug him. I have seen his adorable face all over the internet this holidays season (has anyone caught him as the star of the holiday toys page on Amazon?). He is the perfect companion for any lucky little girl or boy this year.

GUND Girls (ages 3 years old and up)
Ideal for fashion-obsessed youngsters in your list, GUND Girls are huggably soft 17-inch fashionistas with unique personalities and signature styles. The BFFS - "best friends in fashion" - come with one removable outfit for dress-up play. GUND Girls Brooklyn, Sloan, DeeDee and Emma all sport colorful hair highlights that show off their funky fashions, while unique, chunky shoes keep their style young and playful.

This doll is perfect for my daughter. She is quite the little fashionista and loves Brooklyn's pink outfit, bow and shoes. They are perfect little pals and I am looking to add more girls to her little collection!
HuggyBuddy Bumble Bee (ages newborn and up)
This Huggybuddy bumble bee has a yellow satin underside, to compliment an extra-soft fabric top of fluffy yellow stripes with contrasting dark gray stripes and white polka dots. Makes a great security blankie for baby, and a perfect newborn gift!

This bumble bee is too cute. The picture does not do him justice.. you have to see and feel him in person. He is a the perfect size for little ones to cuddle. His is so soft and cuddly. I can see him easily becoming a favorite of many little babies!

GUND clearly takes pride in their products. They are unique and cute, but more importantly, they are built to last. Their quality makes them stand out from the rest. I am thrilled with all four of the toys I received and am always on the lookout to see what GUND is coming up with next. 

You can visit their website to learn more about these products and others. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Granite Gold

I waited years for the opportunity to re-do my kitchen. And when my husband said those magical words.... let's re-do the kitchen.... the first thing I wanted to look into was granite counter tops. We had an ugly corian veneer with a giant crack down the middle. So granite was a top priority!

Once we had it installed it became my baby. I wanted to take such good care of it to keep it shiny and beautiful. I wasn't sure of what I should use to keep it in tip top shape, so I am thrilled to learn about Granite Gold.

Granite Gold offers a great selection of everything I need to keep my counter tops looking their best while being clean. They have everything from daily cleaner to polish to disinfecting wipes and more. And with the holidays coming up I definitely want my kitchen looking it's best.

I received this fabulous selection of products to put to the test on my granite. I have had the pleasure of being able to test out all of the above products multiple times. The daily cleaner has come in handy as I do like to wipe my counters down each night. But with a little one in the house I find myself often turning to the disinfecting wipes, as well. They are easy and convenient to whip out and give the counters a good cleaning.

Every weekend I polish the counter tops. I just LOVE the shine that they have when I'm done. I feel like my counters are brand new again. And I feel so great knowing that these products are designed to not only clean, but also maintain my granite counters. So they can be in tip top shape for years to come. Because I highly doubt my husband will be up to re-doing the kitchen again any time soon!

I have already recommended Granite Gold to my mom and my mother-in-law. I am very happy with these items and will continue to use them to care for my counters. I would recommend you check them out and give them a try!

Holiday Gift Guide: Goblin Kids Review and Giveaway

Goblin Kids strives to provide toys that are as natural and educational as possible. We believe in wooden toys over plastic toys and naturally stimulating toys over battery operated toys. Rather than offering a store that provides a little of both or one that provides mainly plastic toys with some wooden toys mixed in, we wanted to offer a store that would stay true to the belief that toys close to nature are longer lasting, more stimulating, better for nature and most importantly better for your kids. 

This is exactly the kind of store I love to know about. Encouraging my daughter's imagination is so important to me. She has so much creativity and I hate to see it wasted when she has all of these plastic toys that play music or talk for her. I think there is a time and place in a child's life for toys like that, and we definitely have them in our house, but we prefer for her to use her own imagination to make her toys talk, dance, sing, etc.

I was very excited when I was offered the opportunity to check out one of their new products from a company that is very environmentally friendly, Begin Again. The Artist on the Go Kit:

A complete art kit for families on the go. This natural cotton carry case with built in crayon holster, pencil holder and pockets is fully equipped with a 6"x9" recycled paper notepad, 12 smaller colored wood pencils, 2 large wood pencils, 5 drawing stencils including a 6" ruler (metric and inches), 1 pencil sharpener and plenty of storage! Perfect for restaurants, airports, and road trips. the 8"x10" carry case fits in a baby bag and has built in handles for the little ones to carry proudly. 

I knew that this would be the perfect item for my daughter to review. She has been very interested in art lately. She takes any chance she can get to sit down and color. So having an item like this is very convenient for me. I can easily toss this entire kit in my bag and take it on the go. Then we have something we can do together or she can do independently. It's compact enough that it travels well. It has a lot of pieces in it and she's still young, so we have to limit which pieces she is going to take out to avoid a lengthy clean up. When we are home she spreads all the pieces out in the kitchen table and plays to her hearts content!

I love watching my daughter use this kit. She is experimenting with stencils and switching between pencils and crayons. She loves exploring all of the things the kit has to offer. She has stored some stickers in the kit as well, so she has been incorporating those into her master pieces as well.

Goblin Kids has so many great products! I had a great time browsing the site to get a feel for what they offer. I love the way the site is set up. You can browse by age or category. I really like to browse by age so I can save myself some time by only looking at age appropriate items. They have a nice range of products for infants to 7+ years of age.

I would highly recommend you check out this great site for educational toys during your holiday shopping!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: World Vision Gift Catalog

Share the true spirit of Christmas!

Sometimes buying holiday gifts can feel like an obligation. Another sweater Grandma won’t wear, another tie to add to Dad’s collection – what if the gifts bought out of social necessity went to supply real necessities around the world? This upcoming holiday season, shoppers can reinvent gift lists with items from the World Vision Gift Catalog. These alternative gift ideas, from goats and chickens to life-saving medicine, honor the recipient and create a lasting impact for people in need. The catalog offers nearly 250 gifts online and in the print version ranging in price from $16 to $39,000. These gifts can be purchased in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker or child, including many affordable items under $50.

I just love this idea! It is so true.... we buy gifts because we have to. Don't get me wrong, I genuinely enjoy giving gifts during the holiday season. And I like to put a lot of thought into finding something that the person will love. But in reality, I'm not buying anything that anyone NEEDS. My family and I are in very fortunate positions. We don't have needs like so many other less fortunate people around the world. World Vision gives you the perfect alternative to your typical gift giving. Give a gift that also helps others in need.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with World Vision this holiday season. They sent me a gorgeous ornament set.

This set of handmade Zakale wire & bead ornaments are from Nairobi. Meaning "reuse" Zakale crafts are made from recycled materials by a group of Kenyan artisans reclaiming their own lives from poverty.

While we all enjoy shopping for our friends and family, we should keep those in need in our minds. World Vision has created the perfect opportunity to give to those who need it most. Through their World Vision Catalog you can give the gift of life by feeding a family in the US for a day for only $16. You can help fund a child's education for only $32. Or you can purchase a goat for $75. With the purchase of a goat you are providing children with protein from the milk and allowing families to sell the surplus.

I would highly recommend you check out this great site and consider making a donation or giving a gift that helps others. 

Holiday Gift Guide: Stompeez Review and Giveaway

Stompeez Begins Christmas Stampede Early: 
Now under new management, maker of soft, animated character slippers steps 
up production efforts to meet this year’s holiday demand – news story: 

Every time my daughter sees the adorable Stompeez commercials she asks if she can have a pair! Each pair is colorful and adorable in it's design, with a selection that includes dragons, unicorns, puppies, kitties, and monsters. There are great colors for boys and girls ages approximately 5-9 (though the smallest size fits my three year old pretty well and looks like it will last a couple of years). 

With every step your child takes your Stompeez ears perk up revealing their cute little faces. A really fun way of keeping your little ones feet warm. They are fun and functional, making a great holiday gift for any boy or girl on your list. 

As a mom, I am very happy with the Stompeez that we were lucky enough to check out. We chose Be-Bop Bunny because they are pink and purple (my daughter's two favorite colors). She started having a blast with them right away... stomping her way around the house. I was impressed with the quality. There is plenty of padding to keep her feet comfy. We ordered a small (the smallest size) and there is room for her to grow. But even with some extra room she is able to activate the stomp feature in the heel. 

I think these are slippers that she will enjoy all winter long! Right now you can save $5.00 off your order by using the code SLIPPER.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas

A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas
Philip Yates, illustrated by Sebastia Serra

Ahoy mateys - Christmas is coming and even pirates celebrate the holiday! This follow-up to the hugely popular A Pirate's Night Before Christmas offers a witty re-imagining of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - with a sly buccaneer twist. With impeccable rhythm and a lively sense of fun, Philip Yates and Sebastia Serra create a delightful world all their own.

My Thoughts:
I just adore this book! I think it is so unique and unlike any other Christmas story I have read. It was so much fun to sit and read this book with my daughter. She really likes pirates. I think it has to do with her favorite ride in Disney World, now she's stuck on them. So she was really excited to learn that even pirates celebrate Christmas. But she did inform me that they wouldn't be getting any presents because they were naughty. Those poor pirates get such a bad rep. 

The book is filled with fun illustrations and clever saying as the pirates count down the 12 days of Christmas. It is a fun book to add to your Christmas collection!

Holiday Gift Guide: The Great Christmas Crisis

The Great Christmas Crisis
Kim Norman, illustrated by Jannie Ho

First the reindeer rebelled - now it's the elves' turn! This fun follow-up to The Great Reindeer Rebellion is as over-the-top entertaining as its forerunner. Told in fun rhyme, this holiday-bright book takes kids on an undercover mission with Santa himself - and gives them an inside peek at what REALLY goes on in the elves' workshop.

My Thoughts:
What an appropriate book for this time of year! This story is full of chaos and stress as the elves try and deal with the quickly approaching big day. It is funny and engaging for kids to get a peek at what goes on with Santa and his elves in order to prepare for such a monumentous night. And what an important lesson the elves learned about taking some time to stop and enjoy the season and all the wonderful things that go along with it.

Families can easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. And this leads us to often miss out on some of the most magical parts. Simply stopping to enjoy some holiday music and drink some hot cocoa could make such a huge difference in how your family celebrates. I love that the elves are the ones to remind us of this! My daughter was fully engaged throughout with the fun illustrations and silly things going on at the North Pole! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Stable in Bethlehem

Stable in Bethlehem
Joy N. Hulme, pictures by Dan Andreasen

From 12 drowsy doves to 7 soft sheep to 4 shaggy camels, this lovely board-book celebrates the wonders of Christmas - with a counting concept built right in. Joy N. Hulme and Dan Andreasen perfectly capture the spirit of the season with gentle rhymes and softly hued, charming pictures. The ideal addition to any Christmas stocking!

My Thoughts:
This book is absolutely precious! It's the perfect little board book to cuddle up with your child before bed with. The pictures are beautiful and calming. The animals are sweet and fun to count with your little one. My daughter and I enjoyed cuddling up with this book and taking a moment to slow down and talk about Baby Jesus and what Christmas is all about. This is a wonderful book to remind children that Santa and presents are fun, but Jesus is the reason for the season.

Holiday Gift Guide: Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic
Kirsten Hall, illustrated by Simon Mendez

Have a merry, old-fashioned Christmas with this enchanting book! With the pull tab, Santa and reindeer-driven sleigh fly across a beautiful night sky and over the rooftops. Special Christmas moments, and more, magically appear in this stunningly illustrated changing picture book. Kirsten Hall's lyrical verses will delight readers of all ages and simon Mendez's exquisite art brings the holiday season to life. 

My Thoughts:
This book is so unique! I just love how each page takes you to another magical Christmas moment, where right before your eyes, you can see the scene change! Each picture was like a peek into the world of a family celebrating the holidays and it brought such comfort and joy to my heart.

This books is so much fun to read as you rhyme your way to the big moment when Santa appears in the night sky. Each Christmas moment is magical, and there is such excitement as you wait to see what the picture will change to. My daughter really enjoyed pulling the tab to change the pictures. It's a must-have Christmas book!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: safeHands Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer

The holidays are quickly approaching and I have one thing on my mind..... germs! Having a baby born so close to Christmas has made me a nervous wreck. IT has even driven me to consider not seeing family on Christmas day in order to protect my newborn from those pesky germs lurking on hands of loved ones.

Then I received some information about safeHands and the opportunity to check out some of their products. This could be just what I'm looking for!
What is safeHands®?
safeHands®  is the world’s first line of soothing and effective alcohol free hand sanitizers developed for multiple daily use. It’s hydrating foam-based hand sanitizer kills more than 99.99% of germs on contact, while still leaving hands silky smooth.

I was a big believer in hand sanitizer when my daughter was born and would insist people use it before holding her. Then I started to worry about the fact that it was loaded with alcohol. I wasn't very comfortable with that and turned to the less convenient, but still effective, good old hand washing in the sink.

safeHands has just the products I need to encourage my family and friends to quickly and conveniently disinfect their hands before handling my son. And it's a product that I feel comfortable with my daughter using as well.  With their line of products for kids, safeSquirts, I can take it everywhere with me and know i can clean her hands whenever it's needed.

I would definitely recommend you check out their website to learn more. There is no better time than the holidays to keep kids germ free and healthy!

Holiday Gift Guide: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas: The delightful aroma of the kitchen during the holidays – with smells of cinnamon, peppermint, chocolate and vanilla – is a scent that many associate with long lived memories. The holiday season is a perfect time to create flavorful memories with family and loved ones. Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest vanilla and pure flavor products in the world. This year, foodies can bake, cook and gift products such as Peppermint Extract, Chocolate Extract and Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. The vanilla bean paste is made with Nielsen-Massey’s famous Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract with the addition of real seeds from the vanilla pod, combined in a slightly viscous base. It is used whenever the distinctive look of vanilla seeds is desired.

My Thoughts:
I was very excited to check out the vanilla extracts offered by Nielsen-Massey. We do a ton of baking during the holiday season, so I knew I would be able to put them to use and experience their flavor.

I received a sampling of some of the flavors they have to offer. My sample included:
2 oz Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 oz Pure Peppermint Extract
2 oz Pure Chocolate Extract
2 oz Pure Almond Extract

Mmmm, what a nice selection of flavors. I opened each bottle and took a whiff and was blown away by the delectable scent. These are the perfect selection of extracts to give someone this holiday season. You can check out these high quality extracts, as well as other flavors, on their website. They also have a very informative guide to illustrate what types of yummy treats can be made with each flavor.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: The Sparkle Box - Book

By Jill Hardie
Ideals Children's Books

Like many families, Jill Hardie saw that her family would get caught up in the tinsel, parties, gifts, lights and general busyness of the season that they would forget there is a deeper reason to celebrate Christmas. She found a special way to show her children the joy of giving to others and to teach them that giving is itself a gift! The result is The Sparkle Box: A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas, which is written by Jill Hardie, and beautifully illustrated by Christine Kornacki. Each book even comes with a beautiful sparkle box, so families can begin their own tradition this Christmas season.

Like most young children, Sam is so excited about Christmas. He’s busy thinking about his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties and puzzling over one very mysterious gift—a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. Throughout the Christmas season, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness and service to others.  On Christmas morning, Sam finally gets to open the Sparkle Box, where he finds slips of paper recording the family’s good deeds during the holiday season.  Sam’s parents explain that the things that they've been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for God. This uplifting story will inspire readers to adopt this faith-centered tradition in their homes.

My Thoughts:
What a refreshing book! I must say that I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I am constantly searching for the best deals on presents and running to the stores on the busiest shopping days of the year. It's easy to lose track of what's important during the holiday season. And if it's that easy for me to lose track, I can only imagine how easy it is for my daughter who is fully caught up in the Santa and presents aspect of the holiday.

This book is a beautiful reminder that we can enjoy the holiday season and all of the traditions that go along with it, but that we should also be keeping the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts and in our lives. I love the idea of doing little deeds throughout the season and keeping them written down in the sparkle box. How special it would be to open that box on Christmas and be reminded of the people we've met, the things we had done for others. To read each slip and relive the moment on Christmas morning with our family.

This book could be the start of a beautiful tradition for you and your family. I am looking forward to putting our sparkle box to use and making a difference during the holidays... and hopefully the rest of the year, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all of my readers and fans a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Heart of Christmas DVD

The Heart of Christmastells the story of Austin and Julie Locke, who are devastated to learn that their young son, Dax, has been diagnosed with cancer.  With courage, determination and faith, they decide to give Dax one last Christmas – even if it has to be in October.  When the community sees the holiday decorations and learns the heartbreaking truth, what happens next is a miraculous outpouring of care and support.  The Heart of Christmas will touch your heart and bring home the spirit of the holidays.

Candace Cameron Bure: Make It or Break It
Jeannie Nielson: Faith Like Potatoes
George Newburn: Father of the Bride
Erin Bethea: Fireproof
Matthew West Grammy-nominated Christian Singer

My Thoughts:
I love holiday movies. I feel like sitting down with a good movie filled with holiday decorations, music, and the feeling of family makes the season merry and bright. When I first read about this movie I had some hesitations about watching it. It sounded so sad. As a mother, I wasn't sure this was the kind of movie I wanted to be watching to get myself in the holiday spirit. The idea of facing the fact that your child has cancer and may not live to see one more Christmas is an unbearable thought that I wouldn't even want in my head.

But I decided to give the movie a try. I have to admit it was an emotional movie. The feelings of love and fear from the parents was very relatable and feelings I never want to experience. But there were also moments of pure joy, watching this incredibly strong little boy lift the spirits of those around him. It has made me look at my family in a whole new light. I have always appreciated them and been thankful for their health, but now I feel even more thankful. It has put the meaning of Christmas into perspective. It isn't about gifts, it's about being with the ones you love and being so thankful for all that you have.

This is a powerful movie that will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart. The characters are really fabulous and you feel like you really know them. You experience their struggles, you feel their joy, you cry with them. There is a lot of Christmas magic in this movie.

Holiday Gift Guide: The Original Christmas Classics on Blu-ray

Wow, what a perfect holiday walk down memory lane. This Blu-ray set is the perfect collection of the old time classics that brought families together during the holiday season. I remember looking through the TV guide to make sure we didn't miss these family favorites. Now you can have them in your home, ready to watch anytime, with the Blu-ray collection.

The cute and family-friendly box set contains four of the most beloved holiday TV specials of all time, including the Rankin/Bass classics “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Frosty Returns.” Watching these iconic TV specials are part of the American holiday tradition, just like baking cookies or trimming the Christmas tree!  The holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without them…  

The Original Christmas Classics collection will be available wherever Blu-rays ($44.95 SRP) are sold.

They just don't seem to make holiday shows the way they used to! I still look to these classics each and every year to get in the true spirit. And now I am excited to be able to share them with my daughter. While the animation may not be what she used to, I think she will truly appreciate the stories and Christmas messages behind each of these tales.

Frosty the Snowman is probably my favorite from this collection. There is something about his smile and the music that just bring me back to my childhood. Tell me, what is your favorite Christmas special?

Be sure to visit The Original Christmas Classics Facebook page!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Lil' Teammates Team Sets

My husband is a huge football fan. He looks forward to games for days and days. His team of choice is the New York Giants, though you will spot him watching other teams to eye up the competition. So when I learned that Lil' Teammates had come out with a new product I knew that it would be something right up his alley.

The Lil' Teammates Collectible Team Sets are the perfect gift for any football fan. Each set contains all three positions from your favorite team; quarterback, lineman, and running back. There are 22 teams to choose from, so finding one you love should be easy. Each set comes in a diorama display package, perfect for displaying on a shelf.

Each figure stands 3" tall and has a rotating head, arms, and waist. They are fully licensed and a great gift idea for the football fan in your life!
MSRP: $24.99

You can also find college and hockey teams exclusively at Kohls. I will be on the look out for my husband's favorite hockey team!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Baby's First Christmas and Rudy Learns to Fly

I am big believer in giving books for the holidays. They are something that kids can enjoy time and time again. Starting from a young age you have the power to instill the love of reading and helping bring words and pictures to life for a child. Holiday books seems to be especially magical as excited children sit down to visit the North Pole or see reindeer fly. So I was thrilled to be able to check out two great titles that will be the perfect additions to the youngest children this holiday season!

By Christina Goodings
I am so thrilled this year to be able to celebrate Baby's First Christmas with my son. This book will be the perfect gift that we will hold on to for years to come to remember his first Christmas. It's the perfect size and full of bright illustrations. Each page has just one or two words to help tell the beautiful tale of Baby Jesus.

This book is intended for children up to age 3. It is also the perfect book for an older sibling to share with a young child. It is easy for them to follow the pictures to recreate the tale. It is a simple story that gets the message and the meaning across with engaging illustrations.

By Rebecca Finn
My daughter just adores this book! Rhymes are used to tell the tale of a reindeer who is afraid to fly. But with Santa's help and a little "magic," Rudy is soon on his way! My daughter was cheering for Rudy and hoping he would be able to get over his fear.

This book is really magical for young children. It is intended for children ages 3-5 and even come with a special ornament. My daughter can't wait to hang Rudy's ornament on our tree so that Santa can see it when he comes to visit!

I would definitely recommend this book for any young child. It is filled with Christmas magic!

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups on Blu-ray and DVD 11/20!

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
on Blu-ray and DVD November 20, 2012

The North Pole has a new litter of playful pups! However, when the frisky foursome—Hope, Jingle, Charity and Noble—practically destroy Santa’s Workshop with their mischievous gamboling, they realize the best way to prove that they’re responsible enough to become Santa’s Helpers is to show how well they can spread the Christmas spirit all by themselves. With help from a magic crystal, they start granting everyone’s wishes. But their good intentions backfire when one unhappy boy asks that Christmas go away forever! With his wish impetuously fulfilled, and the joyous spirit quickly disappearing from the planet, Mrs. Claus and the pups have to find a way to reverse the spell—or risk losing Christmas forever! 

Christmas has truly taken on a new meaning for me ever since my daughter was born. Each year it becomes more and more wonderful to watch her experience the magic of the Holiday season. So we like to start watching holiday movies as soon as possible to help get us into the spirit! And since my daughter is already a big fan of adorable talking pups, I figured this one would be a hit.

The Santa Pups are truly adorable. Each one offers a different personality that reflects throughout the movie. With three girl puppies and one boy puppy the movie is full of silliness and sibling love. My daughter immediately decided that Charity was her favorite pup. Though Charity has a lot to learn about putting others first and helping when needed, she has a lot of the same qualities as my daughter. They are both very girly girls. But I am so glad that my daughter recognized that sometimes Charity could have been nicer. I, myself, like Jingle. Much like myself, the poor pup can't carry a tune but just loves to sing. She is a humorous little one. And my husband, of course, went for the leader and only boy, Noble. Noble tends to get in some trouble with his mischievous ways. He kind of puts himself in charge even though it may not always be the best idea.

The film was really heartwarming and brought a lot of Christmas spirit to life. The pups have a lot to learn about Christmas spirit, but with help from some friends and each other they start to learn a lot about themselves and what the Christmas season is really all about. As a mom to young and impressionable little girl, I loved the messages that are portrayed through this fun movie. It was hit with my family and would make the perfect family movie night pick for this holiday season!

download Cheryl Ladd's Pumpkin Pie Recipe!

Friday, November 16, 2012 - Win a Second Honeymoon!

Wow, when I look back at my wedding and honeymoon it's hard to believe that it was over 6 years ago! Time has truly flown by. Life has definitely gotten sweeter with the addition of children to our lives. But our "couple time" is priceless... and few and far between. We dream about taking a second honeymoon and having some quality one-on-one time together. is offering you the opportunity to win a second honeymoon! Entering is easy and fun.... and you have 4 chances to win (note - you can only win once). Each winner will have the opportunity to pick the honeymoon of their choice (up to $3,000 in value). Imagine the places you could go!

The current contest started on November 1st and is going strong until December 6th. So you still have plenty of time to get your entry in. All you have to do is click HERE to automatically be redirected to the contest app on's Facebook page.

For the current contest all you have to do is submit a funny wedding photo. We all have them, right? The entry with the most votes win! Good luck!

Book Tour - The Reader

The Reader
By Amy Hest

In this timeless picture book, a new reader trudges through deep snow with a mysterious suitcase in tow. He has something important to share with his faithful companion, who bolts ahead to wait at the top of a tall hill. Our small hero climbs higher and higher, until finally, he is there, too. Then he opens his suitcase - click, click - and soon the only sound in the world is the sound of the reader reading their very favorite book to the very last page... the very last word.

This is what I hope and dream for my daughter. I hope that my daughter will find a love for reading. One so strong that she takes her books with her wherever she goes. One so powerful that sitting in the freezing cold with her favorite book is enough to make her happy. The Reader is an inspirational book about a child loving to read. I truly enjoyed reading this book to my daughter and explaining to her the magic that books hold. Their ability to take you to new places, meet new people, and go on exciting adventures. While she can't read yet, she picked up a book, headed to the corner and proceeded to turn the pages. She looked at each one carefully and I imagine she was telling herself a story.

From the Author:
My favorite place to read?  Well, that’s easy. My bed, definitely. I have a very BIG bed. With a very PUFFED-UP blanket and a bunch of BUNCHED-UP pillows. I read at night, very late at night, when most people are sleeping. I punch up those pillows and turn on the bedside lamp and pull the blanket way up high to my chin and rest my book way up high on my knees . . . and then . . . at last . . . I'm reading! I read . . .  and read . . . and . . .until my eyelids start to flutter. . . . But I read a little more . . .  a little more . . . and now the eyelids are closing . . .  closing . . . and the book falls off my knees . . . and now I’m sleeping . . . sleeping . . . sleeping. . . . 

Win a copy of this wonderful book, The Reader. Simply comment with your favorite place to read. Be sure to include an e-mail address! Open to US and Canada. This giveaway will end on November 30, 2012 at 11:59 P.M.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Signazon Review

I often see people who have custom banners created for special occasions. I always look at them and think what a nice touch it is to an event. From family reunions to birthday parties. I see them all the time, but I myself have never had one made. I guess I always figured they would be very expensive. But with a recent opportunity I learned a few things.... they are affordable.... they are easy to design and personalize how you want them... they can last for multiple uses.... and that I really love them!

Signazon gave me this fabulous opportunity to try out creating my own banner and checking it out in person. So my daughter and I took to the computer and started browsing some different categories and getting some ideas. I asked her what kind of banner we should create and of course her mind was already on Christmas! We looked at a few of the Christmas designs and ultimately decided to create a special "Happy Birthday, Jesus" banner.

I love the idea that we are creating a banner that we can use year after year. I often find that we overlook the importance of Christmas day because we do get very caught up in Santa and the presents. So with this banner we will start family tradition of remembering what the day is really about and making it a little birthday celebration!

Creating the banner was beyond easy. We found a layout we liked and simply put in the text we wanted to use. I was able to change the font, color, and size to make it look just how we wanted it to. They had a nice variety of Christmas themed banners, but we felt the one with the nativity scene was most appropriate.

Once my order was submitted I was amazed with the follow up from Signazon. Not only did I receive a confirmation as soon as the order was placed, I also received a shipment confirmation, AND an e-mail with tips and tricks on how to hang my banner. My shipment arrived very quickly. It was a flawless process. Through your process you can also decide to make it suitable for the outdoors for a minimal fee or have it double sided.

I am so glad that I was introduced to Signazon. Their easy to navigate website, simple process, quick shipping, and great prices have made me much more inclined to have special personalized banners at more of my parties and events! I would definitely recommend you check them out today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Pinypon Party!

Welcome to the world of Pinypon! I had never heard of Pinypon before I was offered the opportunity to host a party for my daughter and her friends. But I am so glad I had this opportunity because it has opened a whole new world of fun toys that my daughter now adores!

The World of Pinypon is a mini-dolls world inhabited by independent and modern girls, who love fashion, accessories and the newest hairstyles. Shopping is one of their favorite things to do! With their pets, they travel the world in their super-cool van going to new places and making new friends. Pinypon is a colorful collection of their interchangeable friends. You can mix and match everything - dresses, accessories, hairstyles and even faces, for tons of fun!

Check out the amazing kit that we received to make our party a huge success!

We received enough Pinypon's for each girl who attended to pick their own. Then they had a blast taking them apart and swapping hairstyles, outfits, accessories and more.

We also received two of the vans, allowing the girls to buddy up for their wild adventures. They went camping, took a road trip, and even took on the long drive to Disney World with their new Pinypon friends!

We also received two Nenuco Newborn Dolls, one for my daughter and one that we gave away as a prize during the party. 

I would say that this party was a huge success. The girls were thrilled that they each got their won doll to take home with them and start creating their own Pinypon world. I was really impressed with how nicely everyone shared and how open the girls were to trading and sharing pieces to create new combinations. These toys really allow for imaginations to go wild in so many ways.
The van had tons of hidden features, like a paddle boat and two surf boards!
Even the youngest party goers were able to change clothing, hair styles, and accessories on their own.
If you take off the hairstyles you can store accessories inside the head for safe keeping.

I can imagine that these toys will be hot this holiday season. If you have a daughter between the ages of 4 and 7 you are in the ideal age group for these toys (though I could see girls continuing to love and play with them for a few years after that).

You can learn more about Pinypon by visiting their website or stopping by their Facebook and Twitter page.

* I received these products for review purposes as part of a MomSelect Party. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Holiday Gift Guide!

It's that time of year again! Time to start thinking about the perfect gifts for everyone on your lists. I am so excited to bring you Momma Drama's 3rd Annual Holiday Gift Guide. I will be starting to post great ideas, products, and companies to help make the hunt a little easier the week of Thanksgiving. The guide has gotten so big that it will continue through the end of the month!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Spot the Animals - Book Review

If a book can be engaging and spark my daughter's interest it ends up in this drawer. In that drawer are her go-to books that she turns to time and time again. Some we have read so many times that she actually has them memorized and can retell the story word for word. This book has ended up in that drawer.

Spot the Animals is the perfect board book for preschoolers. The bright colors and fun illustrations really draw their attentions. And anything that has flaps to lift is always a hit with my daughter!

My daughter is a big animal lover and takes pride in how she identifies different animals, imitates their sounds, and tells people little facts about them. So this book is right up her alley. On each page she is given just a little peek at who is hiding under the flap. She then uses what she already knows to try and figure out what kind of animals it is. Now that we have read the book so many times she never gets them wrong, but she still gets excited each time she lifts the flap to see if she got the right answer!

I would definitely recommend this for children ages 3 and up who are learning about animals and animal identification  And it's another book created with The American Museum of Natural History.  It's a fun and engaging book!