9.01.2014

Review and Giveaway: Geronimo Stilton Going Down to Chinatown and other adventures DVD

Are you looking for a fun way to encourage your emerging reader to dive into a new book? The Geronimo Stilton collection is prolific and takes readers on adventures all over the world. There are also animated cartoons of many of the stories which may serve as an "in" for your reader.


Going Down to Chinatown and other adventures is a DVD of four episodes. The first of which, Chinatown, teaches a beautiful lesson about the journey being more important than the destination, infused with some ancient Chinese history. Tea Story follows Geronimo as he tries to locate his manuscript that was mistakenly switched at the train station. In Hypno Tick Tock Geronimo is hypnotized and hi-jinx ensue. The DVD finishes with Clean Sweep wherein Geronimo is tasked with solving the mystery of a series of robberies and a surprising connection which makes things personal.



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THE GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader will win Geronimo Stilton Going Down to Chinatown!

US residents only, please.

~enter after the jump!~

Disclosure:
I received this DVD free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

***Be sure to check our sidebar for additional giveaways that may interest you!***

8.31.2014

Review: Life, Motherhood and the Pursuit of the Perfect Handbag by Emily Roberson

I'm going to start out with full disclosure here: I know Emily Roberson and that's why I read her book. She doesn't know I'm writing this (don't worry, I'll tell her later,) and she certainly didn't ask me to help promote. I really enjoyed the book and since many of you, dear readers, are also mothers playing the life juggling game I think you might as well.

Life, Motherhood and the Pursuit of the Perfect Handbag is the story of Tess Holland, a busy wife, mother, and creative director of a boutique handbag company in Boston, whose busy life is turned upside down when her company is bought out by an international company. The story is driven by the strong character development of Tess, whom I felt I knew as well as any of my friends, or myself. As her husband is finishing up his medical fellowship she struggles to find a balance with the childcare, home, and work demands. Her new boss from the merger is soulless and condescending but with her husband's studies she doesn't feel she can quit.

The story had me very stressed out at times because it was so easy to put myself in Tess' shoes, thanks to the very relatable inner monologue narrating the story. How do you balance work and children? How to you maintain a marital relationship when you hardly see your spouse? These are questions we all ask ourselves and questions Tess tries to navigate through the story as well.

She addresses the cultural aspects of being a modern, urban family, which I found very relatable from my own eight years of living in LA. She explores what really makes a marriage work (or not) as she stumbles toward the answer herself. And most importantly for me, she discovers what success means to her and to her husband.

As the drama wore down and the story started to close I found myself smiling as I read. The book made me happy. I felt hopeful: for the characters and for myself. I realized that while this isn't generally a genre I seek out, I found it very thought-provoking. I really, really enjoyed the book and would have even if I couldn't hear my friend narrate some of the lines to me as I read. I knew I had to share it with you because many of you would surely love it as much as I.

Read an excerpt here. Then go buy the book! You'll be glad you did.



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Disclosure:
I received this book free of charge.
I was not asked to write a review nor promote it in any way.
I am doing so because I enjoyed the book and think some of you may enjoy it too.

8.30.2014

Review: Mabel's Labels

I can't tell you how many things have gone to school and never come home. I don't understand it. Don't those other parents notice "I didn't buy this" or "this isn't ours" when they see a new lunch box or sweater? There's no guarantee that labeling your items will protect them from disappearing but in my experience it does help.

Of course marker fades and tape is easily peeled off.

Mabel's Labels doesn't! Mabel's Labels provides high quality, durable, customizable adhesive labels for all your children's stuff. For this review we received the Ultimate Back to School Combo Pack. This pack includes 40 Skinny Minis, 50 Tag Mates, 16 Shoe Labels, and 2 Teeny Tags. The Skinny Minis go on any solid surface you can imagine. The Tag Mates go on the tags of clothing (yes, that school spirit shirt that everyone has? Now you know which one is yours.) The Shoe Labels go on -- you guessed it: shoes! The Teeny Tags are solid and have a key ring, you can attach them to zippers, keys, anything with a hole.
Preview your selection for colour, design, and of course spelling, before you buy! (My son's name isn't actually boy, but we had fun playing around with different layouts and options.) On the left is the shoe label, on the right is the teeny tag, and the two in the middle are the tag mates and skinny minie.

This set is so versatile, the labels so high quality, and the colours and designs so fun that we could hardly contain ourselves as we labeled everything we could think of. We didn't even have to restrain ourselves because the set is so comprehensive we have labels remaining for items we may acquire later in the year. For our family this set will definitely last him next year as well.

When I consider the replacement cost of your school clothes and supplies, I think the labels are worth it.




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Disclosure:
I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

8.29.2014

Review: STL Ocarina

Of the many hats I wear during the day, music teacher is one of my favourites. To facilitate someone's creation is a pretty sacred thing and I'm so grateful that I get to do it. I teach piano because that's what I know best, but access to the instrument is a challenge for a lot of people. Even for myself as a child and as an adult I've had many periods of time without a piano in my home. Accessibility should not be an impediment to a young musician. Not everyone will have a piano and many parents have no interest in investing in such a large piece of furniture. Nor is paying for weekly music lessons in the budget or a priority for every family (not to mention the travel time.)




I was very pleased when contacted by STL Ocarina to review a superhero-themed ocarina. An ocarina is a very ancient musical instrument important in both Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures. It is small, portable, inexpensive, and can be learned at home or in a group setting. They sent me the 12 hole plastic Iron Man ocarina and it was immediately a hit with my boys. As a C-major instrument similar to the recorder we all learned in elementary school, it took no time for my nine year old to put together Mary Had a Little Lamb. It comes with a neck strap and is not heavy and both of my children have had fun tooting around the house making up their own songs. I love having easy to pick up and play instruments so that everyone may feel the pride of creation.

(Legends of Zelda fans, they've got some for you, too.)


As a beginner instrument this is a fun choice. STL Ocarinas has an impressive selection of designs, styles, and materials from which to choose, as well as online lessons! The ocarinas are very affordable. I hope they are able to bring music to the lives of many, many children because I think music is for everyone.



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Disclosure:
I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

8.28.2014

Review & Giveaway: SOL REPUBLIC


If you are looking for the perfect Back to school products look no further than SOL REPUBLIC. SOL REPUBLIC carries headphones, speakers and other accessories to make

your music sound better than ever before. 

About SOL REPUBLIC
Founded in 2011, SOL REPUBLIC is a global consumer electronics company dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through better-sounding headphones and accessories. We are music fanatics who develop products from the ground up to make headphones and speakers that look, sound and feel unlike anything else in the market. 

My Review
   I was sent SOL REPUBLIC RELAYS and SOL REPUBLIC x Motorola DECK to review.

SOL REPUBLIC RELAYS are perfect for the runner, the exercise fanatic or just someone who is always on the go. They are in-ear headphones that actually stay in the ear! I have purchased so many headphones in the past to bring to the gym with me and NONE of them have stayed put in my ears. RELAYS are the ONLY in-ear headphones that I have owned that stay in place thanks to their FreeFlex® Technology. I love how lightweight they are and how much sound they block out letting me focus solely my music. The sound is clear and my music sounds amazing. RELAYS are available in five different colors-so you can be sure to find your  pair in your favorite color.

SOL REPBULIC x Motorola DECK is unlike anything I have ever reviewed before. The DECK is a wireless speaker which you use by wirelessly and easily connecting via bluetooth. It features 300' wireless range and a Heist Mode which allows up to five friends to connect and take turns playing their favorite music. So far we have used the DECK while cooking, having a few friends over and while watching a movie. Sometimes while watching movies via our laptops we have a
difficult time hearing. We decided to try using the DECK along with our movie and I am so glad we did! The DECK makes our movies sound loud and clear and gives us an awesome surround sound experience. It is great to use for background noise while studying, relaxing or just getting ready for work. The DECK is available in three different colors and comes with a great little carrying case to keep it protected and free of dust. The compact size makes it perfect to take anywhere.





The Giveaway!

Open to US Residents Only!

Win a pair of RELAYS from SOL REPUBLIC!

Enter after the jump!

8.27.2014

Review: Indestructible by Angela Graham

Indestructible 
by Angela Graham

Synopsis: 


Love. Passion. Respect. 


Logan West finally has the one thing he believed unattainable: the fiery woman who challenges, protects, and adores him just as much as she does his young son, Oliver. 


After having her world shaken yet again, Cassandra Clarke is ready to move forward, eagerly embracing the beautiful man who has laid claim to her heart. With secrets revealed at every turn, she refuses to lose the only man she’s ever loved. 


Not every battle is hers to fight, but she’s never been one to back down. Logan and Oliver are part of her now, and together they are…indestructible. 


My Review   After reading Irreplaceable, Inevitable, and Indestructible at lightning speed I was so happy to get my hands on the last book in the Harmony series. Angela Graham is back again with the third and final book in the Harmony series. This book picks up right where Irreplaceable left off. Logan and Cassandra face the future together after Cassandra's attack. Cassandra has to get her wits about her while trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered existence. With Logan's coniving, black-mailing ex, Natasha back in the picture that won't be very easy. Add in a secret and a murder that could bring everything Cassandra holds dear burning down around her....Indestructible grabs you, holds you and won't let you go until the very last page. Beautifully written with emotion, angst and a dramatic storyline to keep you turning page after page.

Meet the Author: USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble Bestselling author. 


Angela knew she found her calling in the world of fiction the moment she began pounding away at the keys for her first short story in 2012. With a baby on her shoulder, she wrote for about a year before deciding to try her hand at an actual novel. It was the best decision she ever made and since then she continues to bring characters to life in her free time snuck away from her first role as mother to her three young children. 


You can purchase the Harmony Series at the following retailers;

8.26.2014

Review: Quest Protein Chips



If you are a health freak like me I am sure you have heard of Quest. Quest makes protein bars, pasta and more. Quest just released their first high-protein snack potato chip-and made chips that are actually good for you instead of being just "less bad." The chips are high protein, low-carb and gluten free. Read on for my review of the Quest Protein Chips.


About Quest Nutrition
     Quest Nutrition is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Its products are available in more than 6,000 locations across all 50 states, in such retail stores as GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods Markets, as well as internationally in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil, Russia and other countries worldwide. Quest products are also available through the website, www.QuestNutrition.com. Follow on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ or via the hashtag #CheatClean.

My Review
    I was sent three bags of Quest's Protein Chips to review; Sea Salt, Barbecue and Cheddar and Sour Cream. In my opinion these chips had a more cracker like consistency to them which made them quite unique. Did they curb my chip craving--yes actually-but I only wish the bags were bigger. My favorite of the three flavors would have to be the Sea Salt, though the other flavors were good as well. My husband especially loved the Cheddar and Sour Cream and thought their flavor was spot on. So if you are craving a salty and crispy snack reach for Quest Protein Chips-they will keep you fuller longer and give you 21 grams of high-quality whey and milk based protein. With only 5 grams of carbs you can feel good about reaching for that extra bag of Quest Protein Chips!

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Disclosure:
I received these items free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

8.25.2014

Review: Birdling Bags




What do you get when you take two best friends Courtney & Meagan, who are aggravated that they can't fit all of their baby things in a normal weekender bag? You get an amazing unique, compartmentalized bag created by these two friends. Mother's of young children-celebrate because you no longer have to fret about having a unorganized mess when you get to your destination-and that is all thanks to Birdling Bags.

My Review
   Listen, I know from experience how stressful and downright awful it can be traveling with children...and I only have two! The diapers, the spit up, the bibs, the wipes, the spit up rags, the changing pads, the twenty pairs of baby socks, five pairs of baby booties, the swaddling blankets....need I say more?
    Now that I have a toddler and a seven year old I wish I could say it has gotten a bit easier to travel--but why lie? It still is a pain in the butt. My three year old son is still in diapers (which requires me to travel EVERYWHERE with a plethora of diapers and wipes). Between packing for my son and daughter--I still have a million things I need to compartmentalize for the both of them. Even if you don't have kids you women (and even some of you men) can all relate when I say its difficult to fit a lot of stuff into one of those flimsy weekenders, right? By the time I get where I need to my jewelry is wrapped around my stiletto's and the white shirt I packed is smushed into a tin of makeup that is now covering half of my belongings. Yeah,....that relaxing weekend is SO not happening.
      Thank goodness, for Birdling Bags...I mean just take a look at all the stuff you can fit into one of them (click here, I mean it). These gals, mean business with all the things you can fit into this amazing bag. 
     Graciously I was sent a lovely Sun Bleached Salmon Weekender Birdling Bag to review
(jealous? I know you are!). Let me just rub the awesomeness of this bag in your faces a bit more; the bag is made of a water repellent duck canvas exterior-basically, no one is going to rain on your parade with this bag in tow. There are four exterior pockets, a grey nylon interior divider that separates the bag into three separate compartments (for easy storage of your gear and oh, your kids stuff too). The bag straps can be worn over the shoulder so you can have your hands free for the kids, your dog, your significant other or your phone. Oh, and just incase you want to hold your bag all Birdling bags come with Chestnut Genuine Leather hand grip and accents (fancy Schmancy, huh?), oh and there is an optional shoulder strap (if you really, really need it). The canvas can be spot cleaned and the nylon interior can be wiped down as well (if you are a clean freak). An adorable "Dirty Birdie" Laundry Bag is included so your dirty unmentionables won't touch your clean clothing (your Mom would be proud!). 
   So what do I think? I think this bag is hands down amazing. My husband agrees as he has always asked me to take a carry on with me--and I can never fit everything I need in one bag (not anymore, honey pie!). The durability, large size and compartments make it super easy to fit everything I need in one bag--that's right this bag is all mine. I will be ordering a second bag for the kids soon--
 
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Disclosure:
I received these products free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

8.23.2014

Review: Honeydew Intimates



Sometimes you just need the perfect pick me up-caffine, chocolate and shoes sometimes just don't cut it. Sometimes you want to feel feminine, sexy and cute without giving up comfort and that is where Honeydew Intimates steps in.

Honeydew Intimates was launched in 2002 and was conceived out of a family-owned and operated intimate apparel manufacturing company, Honeydew Intimates is the brainchild of creative director Benny Zafrani who envisioned a brand that embodied all the complex necessities of fashion and undergarments in modern lifestyles.

Honeydew Intimates was among the pioneering labels to challenge the conventional notion that intimate apparel had to be plain. It infused its pieces with an effervescent sense of fun and fashion – vibrant colors and whimsical prints, dynamic designs of square cut boy shorts and frilly rumbas – all the while providing comfort through fine quality fabrics and accessibility through reasonable pricing. It’s sexy while remaining wholesome, playful while

being classic. It didn’t seek to conform to the traditions of only being either expensive or boring, answering instead the needs of modern women everywhere and ultimately making intimate apparel that they enjoyed wearing. Virtually overnight fashion’s most discriminating experts, Hollywood’s biggest stars and women of all ages and from all walks of life were captivated.

Today, Honeydew Intimates counts among its devoted fans celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, Halle Berry and Paris Hilton. Bestselling pieces from the line have been featured in major fashion magazines including InStyle, Lucky, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, People Style Watch, Redbook, Fitness, Shape, Star, US Weekly, Life and Style and many others. The collection continues to grow in sales and is currently sold out of 2,200 doors, from specialty boutiques to major department stores nationwide including Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, Dillards and Macys South as well as internationally.


My Review
    I was sent three items from Honeydew Intimates to review; Fine Mesh Ruffle Bralette and Fine Mesh Ruffle Bottoms in Licorice/Icing and Toasty Pajamas in Pink



     The Bralette and Bottoms are just what you need when wanting to feel sexy without giving up comfort. The ruffles make both pieces flirty, feminine and super cute. The straps on the bralette are made of satin-finish and are adjustable for your comfort. I love wearing the bralette when I want coverage but don't want to wear a stifling and constricting bra. Both the bralette and bottoms look great when worn together or worn separately. 

    I am a huge pajama lover. If I am home you will most likely find me lounging in my PJ's. I absolutely adore the Toasty Pajamas from Honeydew Intimates. They are made of super soft and snuggly flannel. I swear the more I wear them and wash them the softer they become. I absolutely love the girly print of white polka dots on a bright pink background. The sweet purple buttons and ribbon tie give the PJ's an added pop of cute color. As most of you know I am very petite so finding Pajamas that don't swallow me whole are hard to find. These Toasty Pajamas fit me perfectly and are so comfortable I want to wear them everyday! I am so grateful I have found Honeydew Intimates! If you are looking for unique, gorgeous and well made intimates, pajamas and more I highly recommend checking Honeydew Intimates out! 
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Disclosure:
I received these items free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

8.22.2014

Review: Figo! Organic Gelato

   



      Figo! is Italian for "Cool!" and Figo! Organic Gelato definitely lives up to its name. Figo! Organic Gelato is made as close to the original Italian Gelato in Italy as possible using only pure and wholesome ingredients. 

My Review
   I was able to review three flavors from Figo! Organic Gelato; Sea Salt Caramel Cafe, Pure Pistachio and Chocolate Duet. My favorite out of the three was definitely the Chocolate Duet
(being that I LOVE Chocolate). The Chocolate Duet had tiny flakes of dark chocolate and was smooth and delicious. My husband adored the Sea Salt Caramel Cafe a tiny bit more than the Pure Pistachio but he said it was really hard to choose a favorite out of the two. I enjoyed the Sea Salt Caramel Cafe and the Pistachio as well and actually preferred the Pistachio more than the Sea Salt Caramel Cafe. All of the Figo! Gelato flavors are rich, creamy, GMO Free, Organic and delicious. So if you are looking for amazing Gelato with pure organic ingredients look no further than Figo! Organic Gelato. Ciao!


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Disclosure:
I received these products free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

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