Toy Industry Association Launches 2 Helpful Websites

Just in time for the holiday season, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has launched two helpful websites for consumers.

If you aren't sure what to buy, or you want to look a bit more into a certain toy.  These sites are sure to help you out.

ToyInfo.org is the first website.  This site provides you with the tips you need to choose the right toys for your family.  They include toy safety facts to free downloadable play guides.  They even include recall information and discussion boards.  The website has a great look to it, and is very easy to navigate.  You can browse through their tabs or search what you are looking for.

The other site is ToyAwards.org.  They showcase the top toys nominated for the 2010 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY).  These are recognized as the Oscars of the toy industry.  For the first time this year, you can register to win your choice of one or more of the 11 prize packages.  You and your kids can indicate on the website your favorite toy picks.  How great is that?  Us parents, can finally tell the industry what we like!

Take a peek at these sites to help your shopping this year!

Thanks to Team Mom for bring these websites to my attention!


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Starbucks Gift Card on Sale in Swagbucks Today Only!

Starbucks logoImage via Wikipedia
I know a lot of my readers search using Swagbucks, so I wanted to post about todays gift card sale.  Swagbucks has been putting a different gift card on sale all week, and today they have Starbucks on sale for 110.

Now normally I pretty much stick to the $5 Amazon gift card for 45 swagbucks.  Overall it is the best deal they offer.  However, the Starbucks is the only gift card that they carry that is an actual physical card.  It is not an e-card like all the others.

If you don't like Starbucks, you can redeem for these, save a few and then sell them on ebay.  Starbucks always sells on ebay, it is totally free money! Check out the current listings.

Of course with Amazon being an online only store, you can also redeem for those and sell them :) Check out the current listings here, many are already at the full gift certificate price.

If you aren't already a member, what are you waiting for?  Sign up today and start earning your prizes.  You even get an extra entry into my contests for signing up through me :)


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Visions of Sugar Plums: A Collection of Christmas Cookery


When you think of Christmas, one of your thoughts almost always will be about baking.  Think about your own Christmas memories.  I guarantee at least one if not more will centered around cooking/baking.  Do you remember the amazing baked goods your Grandma or Aunt used to make.  Do you have fond memories of making cookies with your mom?  Now think about it ~ Will your kids have those same memories?  Let's hope so!  Remember that scent is a very powerful memory trigger.

I was given the opportunity to check out an amazing Christmas cookbook {e-book} written by Lizzie over at A Dusty Frame.

Presented by: Lizzie at A Dusty Frame
Price: $7
Available at: A Dusty Frame
Description:

Visions of Sugarplums: A Collection of Christmas Cookery is a delightful ebook published by Lizzie of A Dusty Frame, filled with those exceptional recipes of holidays past. An example of some of the recipes ~ 

Gingerbread Waffles
Warm Cranberry Punch
Sweet Potato Casserole
Moravian Cookies
Toffee Squares
Epiphany Cake
Julgrot (Swedish Rice Pudding)
Triple Layer Brownies
Vintage Molasses Cake

Peanut Butter Dip 
Donkey Chow
Gourmet Dog Biscuits



The book is sprinkled with holiday traditions from around the world and their corresponding recipes, like finding the lucky single almond in the Julgrot. You’ll find inspirational quotes, a section on making homemade ornaments from kitchen ingredients, suggested family traditions, snow day ideas, and a list of favorite Christmas books. And, of course, lots of love. 

Visions of Sugarplums is available for just $7 and is thoughtfully arranged with vintage illustrations—a lovely keepsake for yourself or a special gift for a friend.

The recipes in this 64 page cookbook are well written and extremely easy to follow.  I think my favorite thing about this cookbook though is the section on equivalents and alcohol substitutes.   Not really being a cook, these are a big help.  My favorite recipe is the Hot Chocolate.   Super easy & super yummy.  Lizzie doesn't stop at recipes though.  There are tons of tips through the book like how to spruce up your hot chocolate.


This review was written for Mama Buzz.  I was sent a copy of the e-book free of charge to read and review.  
A Dusty Frame button
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The Glade Candles Holiday Collection Review & Giveaway

the old Glade logoImage via Wikipedia
When I first opened my bubble mailer from Glade, my first thought was ~ Wow this smells good.  I was sent the Bayberry Spice Glade Scented Oil Candle.  To be honest, I'm not a big Christmas person, and I tend to prefer scents like Cucumber Melon, Honeydew, etc.  I was surprised to like the Bayberry spice so much.  That was without evening opening yet, just pulling it from the package!

The Glade Candles Holiday Collection captures the warmth of the holiday season, adding that extra little touch to transform your home into a haven for family and friends. The collection is offered in Apple Cinnamon and limited-edition Bayberry Spice. Seasonal designs of falling stars or festive gift packages adorn the red or green candle holders. The collection features new, refillable Glade Scented Oil Candles decorative glass holder; refillable Glade Scented Oil Candles tins; and Glade candles 4 oz. jars.
Glade Scented Oil Candles:
      • Glade Scented Oil Candles use a unique warming plate to quickly melt the candle into a large pool of scented oil, so more fragrance is released into the air. Once the oil is gone, the candle safely goes out without leaving a mess.
      • Place the holder on a flat, heat-resistant surface away from drafts and any flammable materials. Insert one Glade Scented Oil candle on the magnetic center bump.
      • Before lighting, ensure that the holder is free of debris. Light the candle by holding a flame to wick. Each candle will burn for two – three hours. Do not trim the metal wick.
Glade Candle 4 oz. Jar:
      • Place candle on a flat, heat-resistant surface away from drafts. Light the wick to release the fragrance into the air.
      • Keep lit candles away from anything that can catch fire, and keep matches and foreign objects away from lit candle.
      • Always trim wick to 1/4 inch before use.
      • Stop using the Glade candle 4 oz. jar when 1/4 inch of wax remains.
      AVAILABILITY:   Glade Candles Holiday Collection is available from October through December. It is located in the air care aisle of food and mass-merchandise, drug and retail stores such as Target, Walmart and many more.
      PRICE: The manufacturer suggested retail price for the Glade® Candles Holiday Collection is:
      • $3.49 for Glade Scented Oil Candle tin
      • $3.49 for Glade Scented Oil Candle decorative glass holder
      • $3.49 for Glade Scented Oil refills available for the tin and decorative glass holder varieties; contains four refills
      • $3.49 for Glade candle 4 oz. jar
INFORMATION:  For more information, visit www.glade.com/holiday
The oil candle is pretty cool.  This is the first one I have used.  I love the little tin, makes a unique touch.  They last about 2 hours and fill your home with a nice scent.  I don't like to strong of scents because of my allergies, and the Glade candle was perfect.  Adds a nice little touch of Christmas to the home.  Helps create that atmosphere of the holidays!

Giveaway ~ Glade is giving one of my lucky readers a candle from their Holiday Collection.  To enter, just tell me what type of scents you like during this Holiday Season.

Extra entries ~

  • Spread the word about the giveaway ~ blog it, link it to a giveaway linky, etc
  • Join Swagbucks using the link here (leave comment w/ user name)
  • Follow me on twitter & tweet the giveaway (daily)
  • Fave me on technorati
  • Subscribe, Follow and/or put my button on your sidebar (comment for each)
  • If you have no blog, email 5 friends about giveaway
  • Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy etc this giveaway post
  • Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy etc this blog
  • Comment on a non-giveaway post (up to 5 on any of my blogs, not just this one) 
 Contest will end on December 10th

This review was written for the Family Review Network and Glade.  I was sent a Glade Candle to test out.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my honest opinions.
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Crayola "Lights, Camera, Color" Review & Giveaway ~ CLOSED


I'm lucky that my 8 year old daughter loves art.  She loves creating.  The only issue we have is she is a bit of perfectionist which doesn't always work with an artist.  She tends to come home a lot with unfinished art projects because she wants it just right.


Coloring though, she has that mastered.  It is easy to do, can be quick or complex and what kid doesn't like to color (other then my 12 year old)?


Crayola.com has started something new that I think even my oldest would get a kick out of ~ "Lights, Camera, Color" -- an application at Crayola.com where kids can turn their digital photos into custom coloring pages. 




  • Crayola´s "Lights, Camera, Color," the only application of its kind for kids, was created to bring online and offline creativity together to inspire kids to color and create in a whole new way!
  • The kid-friendly, easy-to-use online application at Crayola.com allows children to upload their digital photos and transform them into unique coloring pages, then add fun designs and pictures that turn them into totally customized creations.
  • Specially-marked Crayola crayon boxes (48, 64, 96, 120-ct. as well as the 150-ct. Crayon Tower) will include a code that lets you print custom coloring pages. Kids and moms can try out the application for free online at Crayola.com/colorme at anytime, but a code is required to print out the personalized coloring pages. Each code found in 64-count boxes and larger is good for six months of unlimited prints. The 48-count box has a code that is good for three months of unlimited prints.
  • To add to the online fun, kids will be able to make their own creatures using their photos with the "Body Builder" tool and their own machines with the "Gizmo Gears" application. Add these crazy creations to the "Lights, Camera, Color" one-of-a-kind coloring pages and you´ve got the ultimate coloring book because they are the star!

    Here´s how kids (and of course moms) can transform their memories into customized coloring pages:
  1. Upload a new or existing digital photo onto the "Lights, Camera, Color" application at Crayola.com/colorme.
  2. Print out your coloring page or save and send it to Coloring Page Maker to customize with fun graphics.
  3. Choose a background: you can choose from several including a desert, a beach, a haunted house and more.
  4. Add props such as a hat, mustache, wings, etc.
  5. Select words/phrases: "Best Friends," "Kids Only," "All Star" to name just a few.
  6. Save and print.
  7. Start coloring your one-of-a-kind creation.

Isn't that just too cool?  I love it, so much fun.


  • Guess what, you get to try it out for yourself.  I'm excited to offer you and a special one-day pass, so that you can experience the magic of "Lights, Camera, Color" for yourselves. Just use the code ~ PRT77F3S






  •  

    This would make a great handmade gift.  Wouldn't your child love opening up their very own coloring book, starring themselves.  You can package with a set of crayons and have an affordable present.  Would make a fun birthday present as well.  Think of your nieces, nephews, grandkids or your childs close friends.  


    Making the pages is super easy.  You want to look for uncluttered pictures, otherwise they seem to busy in my opinion.  I think the beach example above is just perfect.  The pictures also have to be horizontal or a vertical that can be cropped horizontal.  


    If you play around with the site to get ideas, you can make your entire coloring book to print out using your one day pass!


    Thanks to Crayola and MyBlogSpark I was sent a Crayola 150-count Telescoping Crayon Tower that included a "Lights, Camera, Color" code for six-months of unlimited prints. Great news, I have (1) to giveaway to one of my readers as well.  I actually saved mine for a Christmas present, you might want to do the same.  It is really cool looking and I know my 8 year old will LOVE it.  She is always begging for the "big box" of crayons, I think her jaw will drop when she sees this baby!

    To enter this giveaway ~  Tell me about your favorite photo(s) of your family.  

    Extra Entries ~ 


    • Become a fan of Crayola on Facebook
    • Try out the Crayola.com/colorme service and tell me what you think, what type of picture did you do {You do not need the code to try out the service, but you will not be able to print your page}
    • Spread the word about the giveaway ~ blog it, link it to a giveaway linky, etc
    • Join Swagbucks using the link here (leave comment w/ user name)
    • Follow me on twitter & tweet the giveaway (daily)
    • Fave me on technorati
    • Subscribe, Follow and/or put my button on your sidebar (comment for each)
    • If you have no blog, email 5 friends about giveaway
    • Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy etc this giveaway post
    • Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy etc this blog
    • Comment on a non-giveaway post (up to 5 on any of my blogs, not just this one) 
    Contest will end on December 10th.  I will need your full mailing address and phone number to provide to MyBlogSpark if you win.  Your information will only be used to ship prize.  Congrats to our winner Elana!

    Please note ~ To  decorate your page and to print your page you will need to register.  If you are already registered with Crayola.com then you are all set.  Registering is quick and easy though.

    I was sent a set of crayons and a code to try out the service from Crayola and MyBlogSpark.  I was not paid for my review.  This review is my own thoughts and opinions.  I was not persuaded in any way by my free crayons :)


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    The Attitude Girl by Mila Bernadkin


    Do you have a tween or teen in your life?  I do and boy does she have an attitude!  That is why I was excited to read this new coming of age book called the The Attitude Girl

    The Attitude Girl by Mila Bernadkin follows outspoken, materialistic 17-year-old Vicky on her road to becoming an adult as she struggles with bullying, financial setbacks, idealism, loss and forgiveness along the way.
    Lately, everyone thinks Vicky has an attitude problem…but in her eyes, she's simply being honest about what she thinks and feels – something she wishes everyone else would do a little more of – and realistic about what it takes to forge a successful future in today's economically unsteady world. She was NOT going to fail financially like her dad did before he left Vicky and her mom for good, and she wasn't going to fall for a sweet-talking guy who would happily steer her away from her goals just to get into her pants. She was being level headed! So why didn't her friends and family understand that?
    In this debut novel, a first-place winner in the Arizona Authors Association Annual Literary Awards contest, Bernadkin draws on her experience as a teacher, mother and advanced graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature to create a compelling story that identifies with the tremulous world of mixed emotions and confusing messages of "maturity" today's teens live in as they feel their way through the process of becoming young adults.

    My thoughts ~ I really enjoyed the story of Vicky.  Yes, she did have an attitude.  Was it deserved?  Probably, she had some hard things going on.  This book helped bring me back to teenage years, that feeling of knowing it all.  Now realizing how you come off with such an attitude and sometimes hard to be around.  I loved that she was against dishonest, a very important virtue to have.  As you read through the book, you start to see Vicky mature a bit, she will learn to be a bit more understanding of others.  This is a really great read from a wonderful new author.


    I had the chance to email a bit with Mila Bernadkin.  She was one of the sweetest authors I think I have come into contact with since reviewing books.  Wonderful lady, I'm so excited to see what is next from Mila!



    The Attitude Girl,(ISBN: 978-1-58985-115-9) a Five Star Publications book, retails for $16.95 and can soon be purchased in bookstores and through BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, IndieBound.org and FiveStarPublications.com. Visit www.AttitudeGirlBook.com for more information.

    Disclosure ~ This book was provided free of charge, by Mila Bernadkin/Five Star Publications, in association with MamaBuzz.

    Wow Imports Personalized Jewelry Review & Giveaway


    I cannot believe that we are already past Thanksgiving and onto the true Christmas season.  I worked the entire holiday vacation for my non-profit group, so it just flew by for me.


    I have a really great review and giveaway for you today.  I love jewelry, actually my favorite gifts in the tween & teen years was jewelry.  Another thing I love is personalized items.  I guess that is why Wow Imports is now a favorite shop for me, they combine 2 of my loves!

    I ordered the Angela personalized necklace in my youngest daughters name.  I received my necklace extremely quickly and packaged nicely.  I also was able to add a ruby rhinestone to the i in her name to symbolize her birthstone. At

    This personalised silver name pendant is .7mm thick and approximately 5/8" tall.
    The .925 sterling silver box chain is included with this sterling silver name necklace.

    At $27.95 this is a great value for a fun, personalized necklace.  Wow Imports also sells a wide variety of other personalized jewelry items at affordable prices.  Including personalized rings, name bracelets and even earrings.  Wow Imports is a family run business.  They don't just offer personalized items either, they have a great selection of African Fair Trade bead and wire art as well.  You can really cover a lot of gifts at Wow Imports.  Hurry over though, for standard shipping you have to get your order in by 12/5!

    Giveaway ~ I get to giveaway a Personalized name necklace to one of my lucky readers.  Just head over and tell me what necklace you would select if you were the winner.

    Extra entries ~

    • Spread the word about the giveaway ~ blog it, link it to a giveaway linky, etc
    • Join Swagbucks using the link here (leave comment w/ user name)
    • Follow me on twitter & tweet the giveaway (daily)
    • Fave me on technorati
    • Subscribe, Follow and/or put my button on your sidebar (comment for each)
    • If you have no blog, email 5 friends about giveaway
    • Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy etc this giveaway post
    • Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy etc this blog
    • Comment on a non-giveaway post (up to 5 on any of my blogs, not just this one)  
    This giveaway will end on December 8th @ 11:59pm.

    This review was done for Mama Buzz.  I was sent a necklace to review.

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    St Ives Even & Bright Scrub and Body Wash

    I love Amazon's Subscribe and Save Service, use it for a ton of things. This is a great deal right now, St Ives Even & Bright  ...