Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Uncle John's For Kids Only...Review & Prize Pack Giveaway!

Are you looking for a fun way to keep your kiddos busy during the holiday season or for a fun and creative gift idea? If so, you are going to want to read all about the Uncle John's For Kids Only series.  These must haves are just perfect for the kids on your shopping list!  Have you heard of the series?  Uncle John's For Kids series is designed for your trivia fans, infomaniacs and reluctant readers.  Uncle John makes learning and reading engaging and fun!  Check out the products we just got to review in our house....






 TOTALLY QUACKED (ages 8+) -- 288 pages packed with strange science, weird news, obscure history, odd sports, and the interesting origins of everyday things. Special to this edition:  amazing animal quack-ups, history’s biggest quacks, ducky weather, fine feathered friends, quacky fashion, and things that are “Just Ducky” (which could mean really good or…soaking wet).  It's also perfectly sized to make an excellent stocking stuffer:).

Totally Quacked is "totally awesome" according to both of my 8 year old boys.  The book is brimming with fun facts, funny stories, great quotes and more.  Presented in short bits and chapters it is perfect for kids with wandering attention spans.  This would make a great gift for the young readers on your list and can be purchased HERE.

And now, two MUST-HAVES for keeping hungry young diners from gnawing off the table legs at those extra long holiday meals...feed their brains with Uncle John's Riddle Me Timbers! and Magic Cupcake Placemats (ages 6+). Each cleverly themed tear-off sheet in these 36-page placemat pads is filled with brain-building activities: a "Ship Shape" puzzler, a "Fairy Pie" maze, brainteasers, jokes, and weird facts, noodle-while-you-doodle activities and even Polly-Wanna-Doku and Wand-Doku (Sudoku with pictures!).  

Wow!!!!  I love these....really, really love them.  I keep them in a kitchen drawer and tear out sheets for the kids to do as I am making dinner eliminating the "Mom, when is dinner?" chant.  Each of the books is filled with fun doodling pages, brain teasers and more.  What I also loved were the variety of activities which made it so my five year old and both 8 year olds are never at a loss for something they like to do.  These are a slam dunk in the gift department as a fun and creative idea.  Not only are these fun at home but they would be great in restaurants, waiting rooms and road trips.  Grab a stack!  They can be purchased HERE

I am so excited to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader is going to win an Uncle John's Prize Pack containing all the books I reviewed above.  You are going to love them!  Thanks so much to the sponsor and here is how to enter...


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Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick...Review & Giveaway!

I have been doing lots of giveaways for the kiddos lately so I thought it was high time to treat the ladies on my readers list with something fabulous.  Today I wanted to tell you about my new favorite lipstick from Gerard Cosmetics.  It is fantastic!

Have you heard of Gerard Cosmetics?  I love that the company was created by women for women (yay for girl power!).  The CEO Jennifer Gerard got tired of trying to blend and find the right shades so she created her own line of quality cosmetics.

I had the opportunity to road test 2 of the lipsticks from the Gerard Cosmetic Line and I am in love.  I am using these two shades...

Nude


Buttery, full coverage and a stunning neutral hue that can be mixed with any lip color to create the perfect lip color.

1995

Get inspired by the neutral nudes of the 90’s. Inspired by the grunge revival and the beauty trends of an unforgettable decade, this iconic creation is a matte but creamy lip color that is a timeless expression of glam.

These lipsticks are just perfect for me.  I often do not wear lipstick because I detest how so many go on too think and glossy or others are way dry and cakey.  Gerard Cosmetics has created lipsticks that are the perfect texture to stay on and last.  My lipstick stays on all day through coffee, snacks and lots of gabbing.  I also love the colors I chose...they are nice and neutral with a pretty boost of color to brighten up my face.  There are also other colors to choose from:  Cherry Cordial Fire Engine, All Dolled Up and Tequila Sunrise.   There is something for everyone.

You can purchase Gerard Cosmetics from their website here (check out their sales!!) 

I am so happy to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader will win a Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in the color of their choice!  Thanks so the sponsor and good luck!! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Drawing with Mark: Take Flight & As the Wheels Turn & Fire Station ....Review & Giveaway (3 winners!)!

I have a DVD to tell you about today that is one that the whole family will enjoy....Drawing with Mark:  Take Flight & As the Wheels Turn & Fire Station!  Here is the scoop...

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
 
Hosted by former Disney illustrator Mark Marderosian, the critically-acclaimed, nationally broadcast, multi-award winning series continues with two brand-new DVDs that teach kids of all ages how to draw, while also taking them on education journeys to fun and exciting destinations.  Each multi-episode DVD, from the TDC Entertainment imprint Shelter Island, includes journeys, drawing lessons and a specially-designed insert with drawing exercises - perfect practice for any budding young artist!


 DRAWING WITH MARK: TAKE FLIGHT, AS THE WHEELS TURN & FIRE STATION is a special three-episode edition for those enthralled with transportation of all types!  In this DVD, viewers will learn how to draw a plane, helicopter, a futuristic car, a fire truck and much more!
 
A professional illustrator and creator of "Angels from the Attic," a comic strip that appears in 50 newspapers nationwide, Marderosian has a soft spoken and highly educational demeanor similar to Mr. Rogers and has been teaching children how to draw for over 20 years. Marderosian, whose  teaching style is inviting, warm and extraordinarily nurturing, teaches simple basic art lessons and discusses shapes, parallel lines, shading, dimension, stick figures and action lines, so the budding artist can feel comfortable moving forward and expanding his/her creativity.


Our Thoughts:  Our entire family loves this DVD!  I am not shy about saying that when it comes to drawing I am not very skilled.   My mind can just NOT seem to pick apart an image in a way that I can draw it.  It has always been like that for me.  I can't tell you how fun it was for the kids and I to sit together with paper, pencil and the talented Mark Marderosian for a fun filled art lesson.  Marderosian made art fun with action packed lessons on all things that go and then a kind manner that made drawing not a bit daunting.

In my opinion, art and drawing can be a little (or a lot!) overwhelming for children.  I know it was for me.  There is often so much pressure to get it "right" with very little of the "how's" to create.  Mark takes the pressure off and gives kids easy to follow steps to create and to expand their thinking when it comes to art.  This DVD is a wonderful confidence booster for children when it comes to art and creativity and I would happily recommend it to all.  You can purchase this DVD along with others from the series (I am ordering Let's Go to the Zoo for Christmas!)  HERE.

I am so excited to tell you that the kind folks at Foundry Entertainment are giving THREE lucky Reviewed by Mom readers a copy of Drawing with Mark:  Take Flight & As the Wheels Turn & Fire Station!  Thank you so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Zublel's Doll Giveaway!!

I have a great giveaway to share with you today....Zubel's! These are so sweet and adorable and I hope one of you wins this giveaway!

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Zubels 12 Inch Doll - Winner's Choice Giveaway

  Zubel's makes terrific hand knit products such as 100% cotton dolls that come in these sizes 7″ rattles , 12″, 14″ and 24″. They also offer sweaters and hats to match – their is no product in the market that delivers such great looks with our high quality standards… IMG_05381-e1416755995962-450x600 Zubels were born of a creative group working together to bring smiles to children. There was a need for an eco-friendly yet purposeful toy whose only requirement was a little love and imagination.   IMG_1037   Zubels has terrific products that are hand knit and make for great gifts - each product is a terrific gift alone or even better as part of a full set. So many options! 31eeaba40bd7e13ada0cec4f3b8803fcdec94aa1-463x600 Read more about Zubels on this Stuff of Success post. 25cc33b9ce5a5ec33972047b41825c0392efae05And this Stuff of Success Post.   One lucky reader will win a 12 inch Zubel doll of their choice. The prize will be sent directly to the winner from the sponsor. The giveaway will run until 12/20/2014 at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be chosen randomly via Giveaway Tools and will be announced on the Giveaway Tool Widget. Any taxes or other charges that may be part of the prize are the winner’s sole responsibility. The giveaway is open to United States residents only. You must be over 18 years of age and you guarantee that you are eligible by entering. We reserve the right to cancel any giveaway. No purchase is necessary. One entry per person per household.  
Disclosure: The prize sponsor will send prize to the winner. This blog is not responsible for prize. If you have any question please send an email to thestuffofsuccess@gmail.com. All entries are optional, if you do any of the tasks you can collect the entries.   Pin It

Deal Alert! 50% off Phone Cases at Tiny Prints!

Are you still looking for holiday gift inspiration? A customized phone case makes a thoughtful and special gift and you can get one for a steal today at Tiny Prints!


Simply Snapped iPhone Cases
Or the literally hundreds of designs you can choose from for your iPhone or Samsung phone at Tiny Prints. You can also design one from scratch.  I am flabbergasted about all the choices there are to be had! 
And today only, Tiny Prints is offering these cases for 50% off! Here's how to get this offer:
1. Check out Tiny Prints phone cases and choose from iPhone or Samsung and if you want photos or not.
2. Add photos if you want, select your fonts, type in your message, choose your colors. Make it personal. Make it uniquely you (or whoever you are getting it for).
3. When you checkout, use the code EARLYBIRD1210 to save 50%.
It's that simple.
Also, check out all their other gifts and cards and use the code SWDEAL30 to save up to 30% on your order. And code FREESHIP49 will get you free shipping if your order is more than $49.
Pretty awesome...so check it out today.

Happy Shopping!

Pin It

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

50% off Ornaments!!

Tiny Prints is having a huge holiday sale that ends today!  Hurry over to save up to 40% off the entire site as well as 50% off their beautiful zinc ornaments.  These make lovely keepsakes and gifts!  Check this out...

To see all the beautiful ornaments and to snag great deals on ornaments, cards, calendars and so much more click HERE.  To save 50% enter the code EARLYBIRD1209.  Happy Shopping!! Pin It

Monday, December 8, 2014

Topganic Facebook Giveaway & Upcoming Review!

Happy Monday Morning!  I have lots to share with you this week but I wanted to start you off with news of a great giveaway for a product I am so looking forward to reviewing, Topganic Hair Products!  Check out the scoop from their website...

Derived from ancient apothecary blends for the elite and royal, Topganic is the first hair care line to effectively combine natural oils, extracts and minerals from the Dead Sea. Providing a truly natural approach to protect and nourish hair, the brand's luxurious range of shampoos, conditioners, masks and more work to prevent further damage from chemicals, heat styling and pollution.

Yes, Please!!!  My poor hair is fried right now from my coloring and heat styling so I can't wait to see what it does for me.  Stay tuned for my review but for now you can like Topganic on Facebook and enter their Facebook giveaway!  Check them out here and good luck! Pin It

Saturday, December 6, 2014

365 Days of Pinterest Day 3....Smoothie Time!

I love smoothies.  We have them all the time at our house and I am always looking for inspiration for new flavor combos.  Quite some time ago I pinned this recipe from Kitchen Treaty...

This Coconut Green Smoothie looked amazing so I decided to give it a try. Using the original recipe taken from HERE as inspiration, I made my own version of this healthy smoothie.  Here is my version....

  • 2 cups Spinach (I thawed up some frozen chopped spinach)
  • 1 cup  frozen mango cubes
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 cups light coconut milk
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
Blend it all together until smooth and drink up!

Mine is not as pretty as my inspiration(not even close!)....
Even though my shake is not nearly as lovely looking as the inspiration recipe it was AMAZINGLY good and made enough for 2 generous sized smoothies.  I feel full and energized from this glass of healthy.  Give it a try and start your day off with a healthy dose of goodness. Pin It

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt...Review and Giveaway!

I have been working on lots of children's book reviews over the past few days so how about something for the grownups?? I just finished reading The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt this past week and it was a wonderful read. Here is the scoop from the publisher...

About the Book

A candid and insightful look at an era and a life through the eyes of one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century, First Lady and humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt.
The daughter of one of New York’s most influential families, niece of Theodore Roosevelt, and wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt witnessed some of the most remarkable decades in modern history, as America transitioned from the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and the Depression to World War II and the Cold War.
A champion of the downtrodden, Eleanor drew on her experience and used her role as First Lady to help those in need. Intimately involved in her husband’s political life, from the governorship of New York to the White House, Eleanor would eventually become a powerful force of her own, heading women’s organizations and youth movements, and battling for consumer rights, civil rights, and improved housing. In the years after FDR’s death, this inspiring, controversial, and outspoken leader would become a U.N. Delegate, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, a newspaper columnist, Democratic party activist, world-traveler, and diplomat devoted to the ideas of liberty and human rights.
This single volume biography brings her into focus through her own words, illuminating the vanished world she grew up, her life with her political husband, and the post-war years when she worked to broaden cooperation and understanding at home and abroad.
The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt includes 16 pages of black-and-white photos.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I already knew plenty about Eleanor Roosevelt from history but it was a treat to hear about her life in her own words and not from the text of a history book.  Roosevelt was an inspiring woman and way ahead of her time when it come to civil rights.  It was  fascinating to hear about all the people she came into contact without throughout her life and all the ways she went about helping them.  Eleanor Roosevelt was certainly not the woman behind the President she was clearly working right alongside him to make our country a better place and the lives of its' citizens more equally balanced and fulfilling.  If you are looking for an inspiring piece of history, this is the book for you.  If we all were the listeners and activists like Eleanor Roosevelt was, this world would be an amazing place to be.

Buy it HERE.

I am so pleased to tell you that one lucky reader will win a copy of The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Thanks to Harper Collins for the great book and giveaway!  To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Hank Has a Dream & Hank Finds an Egg....Review and Giveaway!

When I was a little girl I remember having a book that featured  real pictures of stuffed animals.  I loved it and I treasured it.  I was recently reminded of this wonderful book from childhood when I was given the opportunity to review two books by Rebecca Dudley I jumped on the chance because when I saw the covers I was instantly smitten.  Hank Finds an Egg and Hank Has a Dream brought me right back to the simplicity of the beloved book from my childhood.  Here is the scoop on these two stories....

While walking through the woods, Hank finds an egg all alone on the forest floor. Spotting its home high up in a tree, Hank diligently tries to return the egg to its nest, but is met with failure each time. After keeping the egg warm overnight, he returns to the scene the next morning. To his surprise, he is met by another forest creature. Will they find a way together to see the egg safely home?
Artist Rebecca Dudley crafts each tiny leaf, flower, and creature that appears in Hank's forest in breathtaking detail, bringing the sunlit woods to life. From delicate ferns to the glow of Hank's little campfire, Hank Finds an Egg immerses you in its vivid miniature world.
In this charming tale, told without words, Hank's endearing and genuine kindness will inspire readers young and old alike to believe in themselves and the goodness of others.

 In this poetic tale, Hank dreams that he can fly. Together with Hank and his little friend, readers set sail gliding through Hank's world as he discovers the wonders of flight and the magic of friendship. How far will Hank fly? What will he see? How high will he go? The enchanting images of author Rebecca Dudley's meticulously crafted dioramas set the scene for this gentle fantasy as the dreamland mysteries capture his friend's imagination.  Rebecca Dudley's highly praised, hand-crafted dioramas and characters -- combined with minimal text -- highlights the magic of friendship and lets young readers' imagination soar. 

Our Thoughts:  Both of these books are simply magical. My daughter loves these books and so do I.  The attention to detail of these dioramas is amazing and each photo is truly breathtaking in an uncluttered way.  In Hank Finds an Egg there are no words to the story and they are not needed one bit!  Each picture lovingly tells the story of Hank's mission to return the egg to its' cozy nest in the tree.  My daughter enjoyed making up her own words as we went along!

In Hank Has a Dream, the same beautiful diorama pictures abound.  This time there are words to go along with the pictures and they are a lovely addition.  The story is simple with short sentences and allow the pictures to do most of the telling.  It is, in a word, a showstopper. 

I have such admiration for talent like Rebecca Dudley possesses. She has created a magical world for Hank that children of all ages (and their parents!) will want to jump right into.  Here is a charming video that gives you a taste of what the "Hank" books have to offer... 

You can purchase both Hank Has a Dream and Hank Finds an Egg HERE.

I am delighted to tell you that the kind folks at Peter Pauper Press are giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader copies of both these charming Hank books ($34 value!).  Thanks to the sponsor and to enter use the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

365 Days of Pinterest Day 2....Banana Bread!

I am always in possession of too ripe bananas just screaming for a good banana bread recipe.  I have a fabulous muffin recipe that oddly doesn't translate well into bread.  I pinned this recipe and decided to give it a try to see if this recipe was the "one" that would please all the members of the house!

Banana Banana Bread from Allrecipes....




Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
I made the slightest of changes to this recipe based on experience and other reviews. I used more banana....4 whole bananas which was probably about 3 cups.  I also used 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup of white sugar rather than the full 3/4 of brown.  My version....
This is the "one"!!  It was very flavorful without being overly sweet.  This will be my "go to" banana bread recipe going forward (using the changes I made). Pin it to try later!  Pin It

Thursday, December 4, 2014

365 Days of Pinterest Day 1....Arm Knitting!

Years ago I was quite a knitter and even did a few craft fairs.  I loved making scarves, booties and purses.  As the years have passed I have found far less time to knit (three kiddos will do that!) but I miss the satisfaction of creating something.  I also realize that I don't have a ton of time to start a project that will take up all my free time.  I need a little instant gratification which is why when I pinned this I was intrigued....

Adorable right??  It was also knit on her arms and promised to be completed in 30 minutes. Sign me up please!   I went to Joann's and grabbed some yarn (two skeins of super bulky) and watched Simply Maggie's easy to follow how to video (find it here....http://www.simplymaggie.com/how-to-arm-knit).  After one hour I had this...

I was SO happy with the results!  I think the next one I make will take me less time because I have gotten into the groove or arm knitting.  This pin is a hit and one I will go back to as an easy and quick project.  The only change I made from Simply Maggie tutorial is I cast on 10 stitches vs the 12 done in the original pattern.  Pin It

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A New Feature....365 Days of Pinterest!

I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest.  The love part comes from all the fabulous ideas to  be had and the hate part comes from the way I pin and pin and pin these great ideas yet never (or hardly ever!) do any of them. I have 1598 "likes" and 1260 "pins".  I have maybe tried out 5 of those potential 3000 fab ideas.  What is wrong with this picture??

Because I love a good challenge I have decided to give myself a "365 Day Pinterest Challenge".  Everyday for the next year I am going to try something I have liked or pin and I will share it here on Reviewed by Mom!  I will share it with you, dear readers, so I keep myself honest (I wouldn't dream of letting you all down!) and it will also allow me to road test these great ideas to see if they are, in fact, worth doing.  Be sure to check back everyday to be sure I am doing my challenge AND watch me try new recipes, crafts, haircuts, makeup tricks and more.  You simply can't imagine the randomness of the things I have pinned.  This should be interesting! Pin It