Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School with Tiny Prints

We are enjoying the last few days of our Summer vacation here.  All too soon we will begin our new school year, and grow to enjoy the routine of waking up early and being productive (I'm being hopeful here!)!  With the cool weather I'll be in the kitchen a lot more, making delicious soups, chili, breads...yum!  Fall is actually one of my favorite times of the year.  Minus the waking up early in the morning part.  I have just never been a morning person no matter how hard I try.

I do tend to get a kick out of the organization that this back to school time of the year brings.  It's like Spring Cleaning, almost!  I feel almost giddy wandering the school supply aisles in stores and picking out brand new notebooks, pens, pencils, and crayons.  I love the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil or a brand new box of crayons. 

Any time I visit the school here I can't help but notice the overflowing lost and found boxes.  I try to label most of the girls school supplies and books so it's easy to keep track of them and find them if they do happen to get lost.  Last year I made some custom stickers and labels at Tiny Prints, and that worked out great.  You can get a set of 24 personalized stickers for just $7.  They are great for books and notebooks.  My daughter's teacher asked parents to send in any Dr. Seuss books they had last year for a Dr. Seuss day, and we have quite a few.  A few are very special to us (my husband sent them home to us from Afghanistan, thanks to the United Through Reading program), but I wasn't worried sending them to school after putting a label on them that I had personalized with our last name, and phone number. 

Tiny Prints carries a lot of other great back to school items as well, like this great teacher stationery.  I think it would make a great gift!

Tiny Prints is so excited about their Back to School offerings, that they want to offer YOU the chance to win a $50 gift/promo code you can use for free items, so you can try them out for yourself!  (Please note promo code excludes, calendars, photo books, Erin Condren notebooks & planners, and gift certificates)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for the purposes of this review through the above mentioned company or representing PR agency. In the event of a giveaway, the prize is shipped by the sponsor and I hold no responsibility. Thank you for reading!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Back to School...Means Back to School Shopping!

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

...and it's no secret that I love to shop!  I only like to shop if I know I'm getting a good deal, though.  I have already started back to school shopping, my oldest will be in First Grade this year.  FIRST GRADE.  I get to keep my youngest home with me for one more year before she starts Kindergarten.  She is NOT happy that she is just enough past the cutoff that they won't let her in this year, and while she's probably more than ready to go, I'm secretly happy she gets more time at home with me first.  I'm so not ready for both of my girls to be in school.  Anyway, back to school shopping.  I've been picking up school supplies here and there, mostly at CVS and Walgreens, but I got a few things at Walmart too.  The schools here provide pretty much everything as far as paper, folders, and all that stuff goes, but I like to stock up because they might not have enough with budget cuts, or we just might need something like that at home, and I'd rather stock up now when things are ten cents to a dollar than pay full price later. 

Other than school supplies, we've purchased a few items of clothing.  I pick things up on clearance and put them away all the time, but you know part of back to school shopping is the fun of picking up some new outfits.  I'm still not done, I need to find a good deal on some jeans for the girls, and some shoes.  Is it just me or do they go through shoes quick at this age?! 


As a blogger, sometimes I get to be "in the know" on great companies and the awesome sales they're having.  ..and like I said, I do love a good sale.  Add in a coupon?  I may just have heart palpitations!  Okay, not really, but it definitely piques my interest!  I was just informed that Famous Footwear has a new coupon for 15% off (or 20% off if you're a Rewards member, or sign up to be one!  Um, yes please!)...and that is not all!  They're also having a BOGO (buy one get one half off) sale!  Awesome!  Maybe I'll even spring for a pair of shoes for myself (at least mine last more than a couple months before I grow out of them, haha!)

Be sure to print the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon!  It's valid in stores only between 8/2 and 8/18!

While you're there, if you're not already part of the Rewards Program, you'll want to sign up to make that coupon worth 20%!  The Rewards Program is FREE and as a member you earn 1 point for every $1 you spend.  Points accumulate and you can earn certificates of up to $100 per year!  As a member you'll recieve offers for special discounts as well, so be sure to ask about it and sign up!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, August 3, 2012

Crayola Summer Fun Prize Pack! #MyBlogSpark

Ahhh, Crayola.  The name itself is synonymous with childhood creativity.  Crayola is by far my favorite brand of art supplies for my children, and for myself!  There is just something about a Crayola crayon or marker.  I always head for them first when I start school supply shopping.  There are some great sales lately, too!

One thing mom's know about art supplies though, is that they can be MESSY.  Crayola knows that too, and wanted to help us out by creating the Color Wonder line of products.  While these aren't all completely free of mess, they certainly cut down on it!

Teaming up with My Blog Spark, Crayola recently sent me a package of goodies to play with!

As Crayola helps keep your kids occupied in the backseat this summer, you can enjoy the ride because Crayola Color Wonder products are made to let kids express themselves without making a mess.
  • With over 10 feet of coloring, the compact Color Wonder On the Go Tiny Tube lets kids tear off a perforated activity page for magical coloring fun at home or on the road.  The tube fits in the cup holder of a car and can store the included markers inside, making it a perfect on-the-go activity. Adhesive-backing allows paper to stay in place while coloring so kids can easily create anything imaginable.
  • Bring your friends on the road with the Disney and Barbie Crayola Color Wonder Mini Coloring Pad and Markers. With more pages than ever, kids will enjoy coloring a variety of pictures featuring some of their favorite characters. These fun coloring pads are also available in mini sizes that are perfect for tucking into a bag and bring them with you wherever you go.
  • Get back to basics and allow kids to draw what they see outside their car window or daydream and draw whatever they imagine with the Color Wonder Coloring Pad. Kids will be entertained in the back seat with 5 sheets of Color Wonder paper and 2 Color Wonder Markers that only leave a mark on special Color Wonder paper.
Create, erase, and create again with Crayola Dry Erase products that allow kids to unleash their inner artist over and over without carrying around hundreds of sheets of paper.
  • You’ll be all packed up and ready to go with the Crayola Dry Erase Travel Pack that features a dry erase surface, along with dry erase crayons, an eraser and a sharpener to help sustain hours of fun. Take out the game and activity templates and let kids challenge each other to different games using vibrant, washable markers.
  • Everyone can get in the game with the Crayola Dry Erase Zany Play that comes with four bullet tip dry erase markers and boards that your family can use to play games like tic-tac-toe, the dot game and mazes.
To be compleeeeetly honest, I'm not really sure I wanted to share with my kids when I opened this awesome package!  Filled to the brim with fun Crayola activities and art supplies.  I promise I shared, though!  Hehe!  With the super hot weather this Summer, coupled with the storms we've been having so many of lately, we've spent a lot of time indoors.  Crayola to the rescue!

These products are FANTASTIC.  As if I wasn't already a huge fan of Crayola, these just sent my OCD mess hating self into a calm, happy place!  My kids can color in the living or family room with the Mess Free Color Wonder products without me having to constantly worry if crayon or marker is going to end up on my freshly steam cleaned carpets.  Usually we color at the table, even though washable Crayola comes out easily enough.  I wouldn't dream of keeping my children away from expressing their creativity, but I would lying if I didn't admit that I cringe at the mess sometimes!  :o)

Be careful with the markers in the Dry Erase Zany Play Kit, though!  My daughters pulled this set out during a birthday party, and a little one got ahold of one of the markers and before we knew it, had colored on my walls and my couch!  Sneaky little thing!  :o)  A little alcohol on a wash rag took it off my couch, and a Magic Eraser came to the rescue on my wall.  I tried Windex on a rag first but it didn't budge.  Thank goodness for Magic Erasers!  :o) 

My kids have had so much fun playing with these Color Wonder items.  They love watching designs appear before their eyes as they are coloring, and I have to admit, the Hot Wheels coloring pad is SUPER cool with it's shimmery, metallic paper!  I should have taken a video the first time (and the next couple of times) as the girls were coloring.  The "WOW!  Mom, look at this!" was just so fun.

My oldest daughter just started cheerleading, and practices are about two hours long.  This means lots of time for my four year old to exclaim "I'm bored!"  Well, problem solved with Crayola.  We'll just be packing up a bag with the Color Wonder To Go packs and the portable Dry Erase board!  We can play games on the Dry Erase board and keep ourselves occupied.

Thanks for Crayola and My Blog Spark, I'm able to offer one lucky reader a Crayola Summer Fun Prize Pack!
  • Crayola Color Wonder On the Go Tiny Tubes
  • Color Wonder Coloring Pad
  • Color Wonder Barbie Mini Coloring Pad and Markers
  • Color Wonder Drawing Pad and Markers
  • Dry Erase Travel Pack
  • Dry Erase Zany Play
  • Princess and the Frog Mess Free Color Wonder Activity Sets
All of the same great products I received can all be yours, so be sure to enter!  :o)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for the purposes of this review through the above mentioned company or representing PR agency. In the event of a giveaway, the prize is shipped by the sponsor and I hold no responsibility. Thank you for reading!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carmex - Review & Giveaway!

I have been a fan of Carmex for what seems like my whole life.  I remember my parents always having the little pots in the house and I like the familiar tingle and soothing that it gave dry, chapped lips.

I always have a little pot on hand, and when my lips are chapped that yellow lid is a comforting sight.  I'm not sure when they started making tubes of chap stick, but I love that they do because it's so much more convenient than the pots.  I do have a bit of the nostalgia factor going on for the pots, which is why I always have one, but I love to keep a stick of Carmex in my purse, and I love, LOVE, love that they make Carmex available in different flavors now as well.  Carmex is currently available in six different flavors!  Original, Cherry, Strawberry, Vanilla, Lime Twist and the NEW Pomegranate Sweet-Tart!  And have you tried the Moisture Plus click sticks?  They are amazing and even come tinted!!  I adore them.

Carmex kindly sent me one of each of the flavors in the chap stick tubes, as well as a super fun yellow beach bag!  It's hard to choose, but my personal favorite is the Lime Twist.   I love it for Summer, and it's so refreshing.  All of the flavors of lip balm smell awesome.  I don't really think they taste very well, but they smell great and they feel even better.  They apply so smooth and make my lips feel great.  Plus, they still have that familiar Carmex tingle that I have grown to love over the years! Did you know, that the famous tingle comes from menthol (which is intended to kill germs and relieve discomfort) and camphor (added to alleviate pain)?  This stuff is packed full of great ingredients to help heal, soothe, and protect.  These premium lip balms are made with an ultra-moisturizing formula, and are complete with an SPF 15, water resistant suncreen (for up to 80 minutes!), so they're great for a day at the beach or a splash in the pool.

As a Proud Member of the Carmex Blog Squad, I'm thrilled to be able to offer you a giveaway of the same beach tote I received, on behalf of Carmex! Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 *I received one or more of the products mentioned above for the purposes of this review through the above mentioned company or representing PR agency. In the event of a giveaway, the prize is shipped by the sponsor and I hold no responsibility. Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Be a Bronzy Babe with Fake Bake

I am about as pale as they come.  I always say if I were any more white, I'd be a ghost!  I always need the lightest shade of foundations and powders, and I don't tan.  Try as I might (when I was a teen!), I just don't.  I burn, turn bright red, peel, get blisters, and I'm just generally uncomfortable for days... only to turn pale again.  No big deal, I kinda like my natural skin tone!  And who wants skin cancer, anyway?  Not me!  So, I just don't bother with tanning.  I proudly slather on the SPF 70!  :o)

But that doesn't mean I don't want to perk up my natural glow a bit!  Especially in the Summer, but even in the Winter too when I'm feeling pasty and blah.

So, when Fake Bake told me about that not only do they carry self tanners, but also a line of cosmetics, I asked to try the Tinted Body Glow and the Just Peachy Blush. I've always been "in" to makeup, so I have a well stocked selection of cosmetics to play with, and I'm always interested in trying something new.  Who knows, it might just become a favorite product, right?  That holy grail you just can't live without.

We were about to go on a Summer vacation to Florida, and I thought these might be welcome additions to my travel bag!  Indeed, they were!

I lovvvvve this blush!  The container is very sturdy and includes a mirror so it's easy to just toss in your purse or bag if you're going out and think you might want to touch up the glow (though I have to say, this stuff has staying power, I have not once had to touch it up, even with the humidity this Summer!).  The Just Peachy is a soft peach, and I've actually been on the lookout for a soft blush that wouldn't be too dramatic on my pale skin.  Even a soft pink can sometimes just be too pink for me!  I often end up layering my blush under my powder to tone it down, if I decide to wear it at all.  But this, I love, I've been wearing it almost every day for a month and it just gives me the right amount of Just Peachy glow!  It has a bit of a shimmer to it, to highlight your skin, and it's a great way to get that sexy, lightly sun kissed, blush to your cheeks.

Retails for $9.95

When I saw the Tinted Body Glow from Fake Bake, I perked up.  I've never really had the guts to try a self tanner.  I mean, I've been interested and looked at a few, I've just heard way too many horror stories, and my skin is SO pale that even the slightest change might be too drastic, and if I couldn't wash it off right away, I knew I'd be miserable...but a Tinted Body Glow might be just the thing for a temporary glow and a little extra sparkle!  Can't hurt to try it, right?  It's not like a self tanner that might stain my skin for weeks and leave me wishing I hadn't tried it at all (sorry for any self tanner stereotypes!  I fully admitted I've never tried any!).  I have to admit, that seeing the container scared me a little bit, it looks pretty dark to one who has such fair skin!

However I was pleasantly surprised when I smoothed this Tinted Body Glow into my skin, that it blended nicely and didn't give me a fake tanned look, but just what it promised, a softly tinted GLOW!  I love it!  Seriously, this stuff is awesome.  You can use it on your face, your arms, legs, stomach... it says "Head to Toe" for a soft, bronzy glow.  I like to apply a little to my legs, arms, shoulders, and chest/neck area.  It smells great, and it's packed with vitamins, botanicals and anti-oxidants to keep your skin looking and feeling great.  It retails for $16.95, which isn't bad at all for a product like this.

One thing to note, however, is that it does NOT contain sunscreen, so don't forget to apply that as well to keep your skin protected.

After trying these products, I'd definitely recommend Fake Bake.  They have high standards for their products, and it really shows!

Go check them out on Facebook and Twitter!


*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for the purposes of this review through the above mentioned company or representing PR agency. In the event of a giveaway, the prize is shipped by the sponsor and I hold no responsibility. Thank you for reading!

Are Your Kids Kidorable?

Show off how Kidorable your kids are this Summer!

On the beach, by the pool, at the zoo, inside or out on a rainy day! There is always a time to be Kidorable.

One lucky fan will win a full Kidorable ensemble of their choice, just for sharing a picture!

It’s easy—just email a picture of a child you love sporting a Kidorable product to

Whoever gets the most votes wins.

They will receive entries from August 1 through Wednesday, August 15.

Then voting will continue through August 22 at noon CST when we’ll announce the winner.

Send in your photo today!

One entry per household. US or Canada shipping address required for contest eligibility. File size must be smaller than 1mb.