Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rockin Glasses and a Rockin Price!

I received these glasses in exchange for this review.

I was recently approached by someone from Firmoo asking if I would try out their glasses for them and tell you all about my experience. Since most of the people in my family wear glasses, I couldn't pass up the chance to try a new pair!

We got a pair of glasses for our son, Gavin.

They look great on him, and I'm pretty impressed with the quality.

For $33 they are seriously impressive.

To order, all you need is the glasses prescription and the pupil distance. Just plug in the numbers and you're good to go!

The order took about 2 weeks to receive. Not too bad considering that's about the same turn around time for my local eye doctor's office.

I absolutely loved the extras that came with the glasses. We received a very nice glasses case, a little glasses tool (screwdriver), a pouch and a cleaning cloth! All of these are great to have if you wear glasses.

The glasses themselves seem very high quality. The memory plastic flexes and is perfect for Gavin (who is not so kind to glasses- he goes through a couple pair a year). I do wish there were spring hinges in these, but with the frames being so flexible they may not be necessary. I think these will at least last him through the school year, though.

Check out Firmoo next time you need glasses, you could save yourself some significant money by trying their inexpensive but high quality glasses.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A new twist on the mason jar....

Since I live in Michigan, I love to promote products made in Michigan and I was recently approached by Matt, the owner of LioProducts, to check out a cool product... something that I would have never guessed could have been made.

So, Mason Jars are quite popular. You can find a bazillion different ways to use them on Pinterest.... but would you have guessed they can be made into speakers?

Yep, you read that right. Mason. Jar. Speakers.

Wait, wait... I'll show you...

Image from Etsy

Yes, those are speakers! They really work... and really rock! 

So, anyhow, I said of course I'd review! This looks like a fab product and again.... made in Michigan!

I received the speaker super quick and I was impressed with the packing. I was pretty confused by the large box (I stood there wondering what on earth I had ordered...only to remember I hadn't.) but when I opened it I totally had the aha moment. Yes, that's the mail carrier in me... I get impressed by proper packing. 

This speaker is heavy. Well, the speaker isn't overly heavy, but that is one heck of a power hook up!

 The plug-in is majorly heavy duty and the Mason Jar is a real glass quart size mason jar so it's a substantial piece as well. I really enjoy the decorative look, especially with mason jars being so popular right now.

The speaker itself works well. I have no complaints on the speaker. There isn't an independent volume control, it's all device driven, but when connected to my phone it packs plenty of punch, easily filling a room. (My co-workers were impressed).  

The top is covered with mesh, and the ring is secured (I'm assuming glued).

The power cord and jack connect to the side of the jar, and you are good to go, ready to rock, done to dance!

Definitely take a moment to check out this great decorative- but still USEFUL- speaker from Matt over at Etsy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Amaze! #Giveaway #Sponsored #BabyAmaze #VTechToys

I was provided with a sample to review by VTech, all opinions are 100% my own.

Do you remember your first baby doll? Mine was handmade... my Great Grandma made dolls. Here's a clown doll I received as a gift for my second birthday!

 I remember dolls that peed were all the fab when I was a kid, and dolls you could adopt. Baby dolls have come a long way since we were younger!

Baby Amaze is a new line that uses technology to teach nurturing concepts and developmental milestones for toddlers whose parents want more from their role-play dolls.  Your little one can talk to the VTech Baby Amaze Learn to Talk & Read Baby Doll and hear her repeat what they say or read from the three included vocabulary books featuring more than 70 words about animals, food and household objects.

The more your little one talks to the baby doll, the more words and phrases the baby doll will learn and repeat!

Annabelle is loving her Baby Amaze! 

She loves being motherly, and she is enjoying teaching her baby to read, and sing. She even gets surprised by the things Baby says, and it's adorable to see her reactions. Annabelle even employs her brothers as babysitters for her doll.

Annabelle hasn't gotten the "teaching the baby to talk" feature, but she really enjoys reading to her doll, and singing with her doll. I know she's going to enjoy the doll for quite some time, and I'm excited to see her motherly instincts grow as she nurtures this little friend.

The Baby Amaze range of products is available only at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Follow this rabbit to #sleep! #RabbitGoToSleep #ad #Giveaway

 samples and prizing are provided by Random House Kids

Do you struggle with getting your child to fall asleep?
I think we all do at some point! parents all over the world who have embraced The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep as their new nightly routine.
The groundbreaking #1 bestseller is sure to turn nightly bedtime battles into a loving and special end-of-day ritual. This child-tested, parent-approved story uses an innovative technique that brings a calm end to any child's day.
When Roger can't fall asleep, Mommy Rabbit takes him to see Uncle Yawn, who knows just want to do. Children will join Roger on his journey and be lulled to sleep alongside their new friend.

Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin's simple story uses a unique and distinct language pattern that will help your child relax and fall asleep -- at bedtime or naptime. It gives parents the opportunity to personalize the story by using the child's name, and provides written cues to yawn or read a sentence in a slow and calm voice, for a greater effect.

This book includes instructions on how to read it. It's a long book, but you likely won't finish it! I found my 2 year old squirming and fighting as I read it before nap time, but I could see how sleepy he was getting with each sentence!
*credit: Elin Carlholt*
About the Author
Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin is a behavioral scientist with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a teacher of communications at a Swedish university. He is also a life coach and leadership trainer. Carl-Johan has combined all these skills and experiences in developing the techniques in this book. Read more about the author at 
Follow @RandomHouseKids on Twitter and Instagram

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Your Unique Baby- #Sweepstakes #GC #Giveaway #StoreBrandFormula

This post is sponsored, however all opinions are my own.

I don't usually start off my posts with the Rafflecopter form... but here it is! Be sure to check out the BIG giveaway further down in the post!

$30 Gift Card Giveaway!
Enter on Rafflecopter:

For official rules click here!  

When I was asked to submit a photo of MY unique baby, I had a really hard time trying to decide which to choose... I mean, I have EIGHT amazing kids! They are all unique and wonderful. 

I decided to choose this photo:

I chose this photo of Luke to represent my 'unique baby" because he is a survivor, a fighter. His struggle to live at the very beginning of his life made his journey unique.

Every baby is wonderful, they all have some fantastic expressions, too... what is your favorite photo depicting your child's uniqueness? That photo could win you $5,000 and a year's worth of formula!

Here are all the details:

Store Brand Formula’s Unique Baby Sweepstakes

When it comes to infant formula, many factors will help make the decision of what’s best for your baby, but the name on the container should not be one of them! 

What most moms don’t know is that the FDA strictly regulates infant formula to keep little ones safe, so store brand infant formulas, like Walmart’s Parent’s Choice and Target’s Up and Up, are nutritionally comparable to national brands like Enfamil® and Similac® and meet FDA standards, at a much lower cost to your family.

So essentially, the brand of formula you use is not unique, but of course- your baby IS unique.

To shine the spotlight on the most important part of the formula equation: your baby, Store Brand Formula is launching a “Unique Baby” Photo Sweepstakes in which the winner will receive $5,000 AND a year supply of Store Brand Formula.

Every baby is unique. Show us how YOUR baby is unique.  We’re looking for funny, silly, odd, crazy unique baby photos.

Is your baby making a really bizarre expression?
Perhaps your baby is making an angry face?
Or maybe your baby’s hair is sticking up in a funny way.
Whatever it is, we’d love to see it.

How to Enter
To enter the Store Brand Formula Unique Baby Sweepstakes, simply visit and follow the photo submission guidelines and the on-screen instructions to complete the online entry form. All entries must be submitted between September 28, 2015 – November 5, 2015.

Limit one (1) entry per person, per day for the duration of the Sweepstakes
One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 and a one (1) year supply of the winner’s choice of Store Brand Baby Formula. Five (5) First Prize winners will receive $200 and a one (1) year supply of the winner’s c choice of Store Brand Baby Formula.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Enchiridion

Oh how our older boys love this show. I was so reluctant to let them watch it, but after seeing many of the episodes, I have to say the imagination that goes into this show is pretty outstanding. The "potty" humor is thoroughly enjoyed by our middle school boys. I'd recommend this show for 10 and up.... and now there's a new DVD out so that you can enjoy it at any time! Arriving on October 6th...

Finn and Jake Return in Adventure Time: The Enchiridion!

The Enchiridion is an ancient book with codes of conduct, guidelines, and other helpful information for heroes. Watch our hero’s Finn and Jake unlock the secrets in Adventure Time: The Enchiridion! The 10th volume release comes packed with 16 full length episodes from the hit-series Adventure Time.  

Adventure Time: The Enchiridion features the following 16 episodes:


1. The Enchiridion

2. In Your Footsteps

3. Henchmen

4. Billy's Bucket List

5. Betty

6. Ocarina

7. Astral Plane

8. Ghost Fly
9. Root Beer Guy
10. The Pajama War
11. What Have you done?
12. James II
13. Web Weirdos
14. The Gut Grinder
15. No One Can Hear You
16. Dungeon Train


SRP: DVD $19.82
Street Date:  October 6, 2015
Run Time: 176 Minutes
Rating: TV-PG
UPC: DVD 883929482924

Languages: English

Friday, October 2, 2015

Eight Amazing Dinner Party Ideas!

Images by Didriks used under Creative Commons License.

Dinner parties are the perfect excuse to catch up with friends old and new, over a delicious home cooked dinner and a few bottles of wine. If you're throwing a dinner party soon, try something a bit different and have some fun with a theme. This will give your event a real sense of occasion and guests can get excited about fancy dress costumes and evening entertainment.

Here are some ideas to get you going:

Great Gatsby Night
Take cue from the Fitzgerald era and find a flapper dress or tux for a Roaring Twenties theme. Try your hand at making cocktails (Hemingway Daiquiri of course) or serve Champagne in wide brimmed glasses. You might even be able to find some Moet & Chandon as part of the Tesco wine offers. Guests can enjoy a selection of hors d’oeuvres such as salmon mousse, crudites and dip or stuffed mushrooms. Soundtrack the evening with some jazz!

Mexican Night
Things can get a bit wild at Mexican Night, especially if there's tequila involved. Put on a poncho, pop a sombrero on your head and maybe even draw on a moustache. There are endless tasty treats to serve: enchiladas, tortillas, burritos, homemade guacamole, tacos and chilli. You might want to keep a chilled, light Chardonnay in the fridge for overheated palettes.

Color theme Night
Pick a color, then base the dress code, food and decorations on it. Red is a good one as you can cook tomatoey dishes, red meats and pepper loaded salads. It's also a good excuse to stock up on some rich red wines like a Bordeaux or Merlot.

Grown Up Slumber Party Night
This one is great fun and everybody will feel so comfortable and relaxed, pigging out on junk food, knocking back beer and wine and digging into desserts. Find out everybody's favorite comfort food beforehand, like mac n cheese, pizza and hotdogs (make them gourmet, of course). Pick a film, get some blankets and cushions and turn out the lights. Grown up bliss!

Italian Night
Fact: Everybody loves Italian food. Have a go at making your own pasta or pizza dough to really impress friends and family. Then get only the very best Italian wines, there are loads to choose from: silky Sassicaia, Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon and nutty Pecorino to name but a few. Light some candles and gather everyone round the table for an authentic Italian family meal feel.

Rockstar Night
If you have a karaoke game or machine - get it out. This will provide hilarious entertainment! Guests can of course dress as their favorite rock stars and you can serve microphone shaped cupcakes or alcohol infused jellies. Get everyone to help put together a playlist of the best rock songs.

Hawaiian Night
A night in Hawaii calls for some serious cocktails: Pina Coladas, Tequila Sunrises, Mojitos and frozen Daquiris. Be sure to have all the ingredients and plenty of fresh fruit garnishes. Take this one outside to the barbecue and get a good mix of meats and veggies on there. Provide guests with hula skirts, coconut cups and garlands.

Swinging 50's Night
Images by kevin dooley used under Creative Commons License.

Make some space for a dance floor and stick on some swinging music for guests to twist the night away in. You could serve American diner classics like hamburgers, fried chicken, fruit pies and milkshakes.

There are so many themes to toy around with, just remember to enjoy the night.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

3 EASY Halloween and Fall crafts!

This post has products provided by Oriental Trading. We thoroughly enjoyed the products and I would never recommend anything that we didn't love! All opinions are my own.

I love watching the joy in my kid's eyes when they are able to complete a craft themselves, with little to no help from adults. I love that I'm not pulled eight ways trying to help them all the entire way through.

Now that school has started, it's always fun to celebrate Fall and enjoy some family fun.

I've recently found 3 wonderful Fall crafts, that are all easy enough for preschoolers to do themselves!

#1- Fall Apple Magnets

What a great way to bring the apple fun inside! These self-stick, pre-cut, apples are as easy as peel and stick! The only glue necessary is for the magnet on the back.

These adorable owl ornaments are the perfect Fall colors. They are also self-stick. The eyes did require an adult's help for our 4 year old, because the backing was difficult to remove, but other than that the kids did them by themselves!

These beautiful ornaments were a little bit more difficult than the other two crafts, but it was still simple enough for our 6 year old son to do by himself (that's his above)! The instructions suggest using craft glue, but we had excellent success with a glue stick to glue the tissue paper to the clear plastic sheets. The spider/web is self-sticking, just peel the back off and stick on!

We had a lot of fun enjoying these projects... and I hope that you wil,l too!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The whirlwind of the end of Summer.

It's officially Autumn, as much as I hate to admit it. I don't know about you, but the beginning of the school year has my head still turning. We are still working on getting into a routine around here.

I hope things have been wonderful with my dedicated readers!

I've been working on a new photography venture, I started classes last March, and I'm finally getting to a point where I'm liking my photos. 

(Please note, these are low-resolution photos to deter people from taking them without permission)

During Labor Day weekend we visited the LOVELY Fayette, MI. Here's a photo of Snailshell Harbor!

And here's the furnaces from the ghost town of Fayette.

We've witnessed some amazing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) this summer, too!

And some other beautiful things in the sky.

Our small, and close, adventures have kept the last few weeks thoroughly busy!

Another busy season is upon us, as the holidays roll in.

If you'd like to see more of my photos, please follow me on instagram

See you soon!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Monster Musical

Put on your favorite Halloween costume and get set for a spooktacular full-length adventure. Then, enjoy two more exciting episodes as you search for pirate treasure with Captain Mickey and don your dungarees for delightful fun down on the farm. The DVD includes nearly 2-hours of adventure plus an Exclusive Trick-Or-Treat Mini Tote!

 Visit the creaky castle of kindly “Count Mickula” and help your Clubhouse pals solve a puzzling riddle: Who, or what, is making a curious clanging, banging noise? With the right Monster Mouseketools and help from YOU, this mystery will soon be history! 

Then, enjoy two more exciting episodes as you search for pirate treasure with Captain Mickey and don your dungarees for delightful fun down on the farm. Packed with singing, dancing, laughter and surprises, Mickey’s Monster Musical is a high-spirited treat that can’t be beat.

Voice Cast: Bret Iwan as Mickey; Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Bill Farmer as Goofy and Pluto; Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck; and Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck.

Director: Donovan Cook (Return to Never Land)

Executive Producer: Rob LaDuca (Jake and the Never Land Pirates)

Producer and Story Mark Seidenberg (Jake and the Never Land Pirates)

Release Date: September 8, 2015 (Direct Prebook: 7/14; Distributor Prebook: 7/28)
Packaging: 1-Disc DVD with exclusive Trick-or-Treat Mini Tote

Episodes: Mickey’s Monster Musical, Part 1 & 2, Mickey’s Pirate Adventure, Part 1 &2, and Mickey’s Farm Fun Fair

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ZTE Maven - An Affordable #Android Cellphone #Giveaway

The new, affordable, ZTE Maven came to AT&T recently and I was sent one to check out and share my thoughts about it with you!

First, out of the box, it feels like a substantial handset. It looks good and my tweens were instantly ON me checking it out.

This cellphone is priced at $59.99 and is part of AT&T's Go Phone lineup. At that price, it is perfect for those who want an Android device, but do not want to shell out hundreds of dollars. It also makes a great device to get if you damage your phone and need a replacement quickly (which is what actually happened to me!).

I will start out saying that I put very few apps on this phone. I used it sparingly. It only has 8GB of storage space with half of that used for system memory.

There is the ability to add an extra SD card to increase storage.

I personally think this is a HUGE bonus. Many higher end phones do not have this option and it is one that really makes me consider a phone. With so many wonderful Android apps.... not to mention photos that are taken, memory space is huge. So grab an extra micro-SD and pop it into this phone!

I was very impressed with the battery. With a  2,100mAh battery, I was able to use it for two days without recharging. Most of the time it was just in locked standby mode, and I did not use it for much web browsing or gaming but I was still extremely impressed. 

The camera is one area in which I was a little disappointed in. I understand this is an inexpensive phone, but most people with smartphones want to use it as a camera. The camera has a 5MP rear camera and a 0.3 MP front camera.  While there are nice optional controls, such as pro-mode, the pictures just leave a lot to be wanted.

As you can see in this photo of my son, Nolyn, the quality is grainy and there is a huge loss of detail. This was taken on the auto setting. 

When I attempted to take photos of moving objects (kittens) I found it impossible to get a decent picture. All that I was able to capture was a blur.

The Maven from ZTE runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and is compatible with AT&T's LTE 4G network. The ZTE Maven that I have says it is running Android 5.1 currently, though.

Phone calls are good quality, I had no issue with them whatsoever. The signal strength did seem a little deceptive. I would often show full bars, but then I couldn't make a call- and when I looked at my other AT&T phone it wouldn't have service.

Overall, I think this is the perfect phone for tweens/teens or those who do not want to shell out a ton of cash for a phone, just know it's limitations and love this phone for what it is! The value is there for the price.
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