Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crayola Back to School Gift Pack Giveaway!

When I was a kid, I always preferred Crayola crayons over any others, and would ask my mom to get me the bright yellow box.  I loved getting a box of 64 crayons with the sharpener built in!

When I had kids of my own, Crayola was the brand I went to when we needed crayons or colored pencils. It was also what I looked for in other art supplies, as their products have grown over the last 100+ years to much more than crayons.

Their website is full of art and craft ideas, and I love the fact that they have a solar farm that generates enough energy to create 1 billion crayons and 500 million markers a year.

Crayola and My Blog Spark recently sent me a box of Crayola goodies to celebrate the start of the school year.  When I opened the box, all 3 of my kids' eyes lit up and they were excited to see what new things they had to play with.

Colin immediately wanted the Crayola Dual-Sided Dry Erase Board!  Lydia jumped at the Window Markers with Crystal Effects and immediately set to decorating our back door windows.  I confess, I grabbed the sticky notes, and Nate was thrilled with the Wild Notes Subject Notebook and index cards (perfect for studying spelling words.)

The next best thing to having these fun supplies to play with is the chance to give some away to one of my readers as well!  I have a kit that includes:
  • Crayola Bright Fabric Markers
  • Crystal Effects Window Markers
  • Crayola Window Mega Markers
  • Wild Notes Index Cards
  • Wild Notes Sticky Notes
  • Wild Notes 1 Subject Notebook
To enter this giveaway, I need you to note the giveaway name and mandatory question listed below, then CLICK to go to my Giveaway Form and fill out the required information.  I do my giveaways this way so that your email doesn't have to be left in public on my site.  Only entries left on my giveaway form will count towards the giveaway; any comments left below will not be entered.

Name of Giveaway: Crayola Fun
Mandatory Question:  What's your favorite crayon color?

You will receive one extra entry if you also "like" my Facebook page.  Thanks!

I will choose a winner using on September 5, 2012.  For all my giveaway rules, please see my giveaway rules.  Good Luck!!

*Disclosure: The information, products and additional Crayola Back-to-School gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark.*

Creativity for Kids Craft Kits Review & Giveaway

Lydia loves crafts and art supplies.  We have plenty of the standard supplies at  home (crayons, markers, paper, scissors, stickers) and she creates masterpieces often.

I loved the chance to check out this Faber-Castell Creativity for Kids craft kits recently thanks to Faber-Castell and MomSelect.  Craft kits are great because they give her some focus, but still allow her to be creative.  They also provide her with some craft supplies that she may not find in our craft cupboard otherwise.

After I opened the box, I mentioned that we would get into them in a couple days, since we had a lot going on.  The next thing I noticed was that the Creativity for Kids Deluxe Glitter Art was ripped open and she was busily creating glittery creations to share.   She loved the glitter, I loved the variety of materials she had to work with. This kit came with 3 boxes to decorate, glittery tags, notecards, glitter, glue, glitter pens and stickers.  Our kitchen floor may be a bit sparkly, but she has had great fun with this kit!

Another kit we received was the Creativity for Kids Fashion Bracelets.  Again, there is variety in this kit, and 15 bracelets!  There is plenty of supplies for her to enjoy a play date with friends where they can all make their own bracelets to take home!  (This is what we plan to do with this kit -- she has already chosen who to invite.)

Finally, we received the Creativity for Kids Mossy Meadows Gnome Garden.  All 3 of my kids are working on this kit together to give as a gift for Grandparents Day next weekend.  It has seeds to plant, as well as adorable figurines.  Everything is included, even the mister to water the seeds so they can sprout!  I know my folks are going to love this gift.

I found these kits to be full of variety and high quality items.  There is a ton of flexibility, so kids can be as creative as they are with the supplies. I will definitely be purchasing more in the future for my little crafty child, and plan to give them as gifts.

Right now, though, I have a couple kits to give away to one of my wonderful readers.   The lucky winner will receive the fantastic Deluxe Glitter Kit, as well as a Sea Shell craft kit thanks to Creativity for Kids.

To enter this giveaway, I need you to note the giveaway name and mandatory question listed below, then CLICK to go to my Giveaway Form and fill out the required information.  I do my giveaways this way so that your email doesn't have to be left in public on my site.  Only entries left on my giveaway form will count towards the giveaway, any comments left below will not be entered.

Name of Giveaway: Craft Kits
Mandatory Question:  What are your favorite craft supplies?

You will receive one extra entry if you also "like" my Facebook page.  Thanks!

I will choose a winner using on September 5, 2012.  For all my giveaway rules, please see my giveaway rules.  Good Luck!!

*Disclosure:  I received product from Faber Castell Creativity for Kids and MomSelect to facilitate my review, and also to give away.  I did not receive any further compensation.  All opinions and photos are my own.*

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gutzy Gear Review

A couple weeks ago, Lydia and her friends at preschool / daycare had a little party where we handed out some fabulous Gutzy Gear.  MomSelect sent us a great selection to share with the kids, and they were thrilled!

Gutzy Gear is the brainchild of 2 creative cousins who were inspired by their grandmother's old golf sweater covered with patches from different golf courses.  They designed the straps to help kids show off their creativity and personality.

The straps slip easily over backpack straps (or messenger bags, or duffel bags, or pretty much anything with a strap!)  The fun then begins with the hundreds of patches to choose from.  The patches come in packs of 2.  They easily attach to the straps, but they don't easily fall off.  They can be removed and re-positioned easily, but they don't budge once they're placed on the straps.

Most of the kids brought backpacks with them each day, so they immediately slipped the soft straps on their backpack straps and added the fun, decorative, velcro patches.  There are so many different styles that everyone can find something to show off their individual style.  And I do mean there are a ton of designs!  Everything from superheroes to puppies to rock guitars to monsters.

The kids were excited, and Lydia found it funny that they thanked her all day long for their new decorative backpacks.  They were showing off their Gutzy Gear and didn't want to take their backpacks off!

If you visit, you will find the straps, and the wide variety of patches that are easily attached, moved and removed.  You can buy them direct from, or find them online at Amazon, or at local retailers like Target, K-Mart and Toys R Us.  (Check out their store locator for specific locations.)

If you're on Facebook (Okay, nowadays who isn't?) check out Gutzy Gear there to see fun designs and learn about special promotions they're running.

Lydia has been in school for a couple weeks now, and this weekend she informed me that we needed to order more Gutzy Gear because her new friends in Kindergarten want some of their own.

I think they're a hit!

*Disclosure:  I received a party pack with products to share with our local friends from Mom Select and Gutzy Gear.  No additional compensation was provided.  All opinions shared are my own.*

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Box Tops for Education (and a gift card giveaway!)

 Do you collect box tops for your local school?  When we home-schooled, I didn't pay much attention to box tops, but when the boys moved into public school, we began to learn about them.

It's an easy way to help schools raise money for much needed equipment, supplies, and more.  When you purchase something from General Mills that has a "Box Top for Education" graphic, then you can cut those out and send them in with your child to school.  The school gathers them up and sends them in to redeem.  It's easy for everyone!

Right now, as part back to school, Wal-Mart has teamed up with General Mills and is offering certain items that offer even more box tops than usual!  You can visit the "Earn More For My School" website to learn the details, but basically, if you purchase specially marked items at Wal-Mart, they will be worth 4 box tops, instead of one.

I'm excited that I have a $25 Wal-Mart gift card to send out to one of my wonderful readers, thanks to Wal-Mart and General Mills.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, you will CLICK HERE (yep, right on those words!) and fill out my Google docs giveaway form.  On August 25, 2012, I will randomly choose one entry to receive the gift card.

When you click over to the page, you will need this information:

Name of Giveaway:  Box Tops
Mandatory Question: What is your school raising funds for this year?  (my kids' school is raising funds for a rock wall!)

Good Luck!!

Find out more about Box Tops for Education at their Facebook site, or on Twitter.

*Disclosure: The Walmart gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by General Mills and Walmart through MyBlogSpark.*

USB Flash Drive Giveaway via USB Memory Direct

I carry at least 2 flash drives with me at all times, usually more when I'm working.  As much as I love storing files to the cloud, not all training rooms have access to the Internet, which means I have to have a copy of my class files with me.

I also use flash drives to keep track of important information (scans of driver's license, passport, insurance cards, etc.)

The boys need flash drives for school.  If it's not a paper they're busy writing they need to carry back and forth between school and home, it's a PowerPoint presentation.

So, when I saw the chance to get a free flash drive, I knew I had to post!  USB Memory Direct is giving away free 2G flash drives!  Follow them on Twitter or Facebook to learn more, or visit this web page.

The flash drives will contain an e-book with 75 tips for back-to-school.

What are you waiting for?  Go and try to win your own 2G flash drive!

*Disclosure: This post was not sponsored, but by posting this information, I am eligible to receive a free USB drive.*

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -- Nothing but sky

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer is Over, Already?

Considering that it is still 116 outside, I know many do not believe summer is over, but my kids started school last week, which signals the end of summer break.

Lydia, our warrior princess, started Kindergarten.  She is extremely excited about it, and rather peeved that after 3 days she still has NO homework.  Clearly, that teacher doesn't quite understand her job.  She is also frustrated at the 3yo work she is being asked to do, since she learned how to draw lines years ago!  But, she is loving meeting new friends, and she enjoys riding the bus.

Nate is in 5th grade this year, and has the same teacher Colin had last year.  She is a good teacher, who already knows Nate, and I am sure she will build a positive classroom.  His other 5th grade teacher is the same teacher he had in 4th grade, so there isn't a lot of new transition going on with teachers.

Colin is in 6th grade, which means that this is the only year all 3 will be in the same school.  He is excited about his teachers, feels great about his writing teacher, and is looking forward to a "Space Mission" project for 6th graders.

The summer seemed to fly by, but we made a bunch of great memories and had a lot of fun.  Since the end of May, we:

  • Took a trip to California, and visited the beach, as well as La Brea Tar Pits
  • Attended our first ComicCon (which I wasn't too sure about, but my brother really wanted to take the kids.  I am very glad we went, because the kids had some fantastic encounters with young adult authors and it was a great day.)
  • Lydia attended summer camp at the Desert Botanical Gardens (She attended preschool classes there last year, and she's going to miss that this year -- but hopefully she can head back next summer for another camp.)
  • Nate attended soccer camp with Challenger Sports and practiced with his club soccer team.
  • Nate took private bass lessons to boost his skills.
  • We took in a bunch of movies at the local cheap show
  • We swam (we'll keep swimming for a couple months . . . )
  • Nate & I headed to St. Petersburg, FL for the National Stuttering Association Conference
  • Colin attended camp at the Challenger Space Center (which he declared absolutely awesome! They did math every day! It really challenged the kids to think about astronomy.  To see him so excited about camp, it was well worth the tuition and the long drive.)
  • Spent a weekend at a local resort so the kids could enjoy the fancy pools.  We tried Hilton Squaw Peak this year, and found it okay. The kids prefer the water features at Arizona Grand.  Next year, we'll be at the Kierland Scottsdale for the National Stuttering Conference.
  • Bo & I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, which means that in a couple weeks we'll celebrate 17 years since our first blind date.  My parents have graciously offered to watch the kids for the night in a few weeks so we can get away.
The school year has begun, and our calendar is filling up quickly.  Lydia has started tball, Nate's club soccer team joined a league so they can play more often, musical group opportunities are going to open up, and who knows what else.  I'm excited about this year, and can't wait to see what it brings!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - 15 Years

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -- MIM

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