Dec 302011

Can you believe 2012 is almost here?  It’s time to reflect on 2011 and then celebrate the New Year by setting goals and making resolutions (or not!) for 2012.  If you’re going to be having a party then you might be interested in these New Year’s Eve ideas.  Whether you’re having a big bash or some family fun there are crafts, recipe and party ideas for you.  Here are a few I like that I found on Pinterest.

Chalkboard Paint-dipped Glasses

New Year’s Kids’ Party Ideas

New Year's Eve Ideas Continue reading »

Dec 282011
Get ready for 2012 by entering to win tons of prizes! The “New Year’s Hoppin’ Eve” Giveaway Event is hosted by Matter of Cents and Our Family World.  More than 100 blogs have joined together to give their readers several chances to win.  Swagbucks is also sponsoring a Kindle Fire as the Grand Prize! is the online rewards community that works, rewarding people for all of the things they’re already doing online – search, games, watching videos, shopping, surveys and more! The Swag Bucks earned by users have helped purchase everything from diapers to video games – it’s easy, it’s rewarding, and it’s 100% free!  Bloggers: if you’d like to work with Swag Bucks in their Blogger program, please send me an email here and I will get you the contact info.
I’m sure you’d like to know what Shopping for Savings is giving away!  Well I have some awesome prizes for you for three winners!
My first prize is a Shrink Yourself Premium 12-week online membership (ERV $160). Open WW.  You can read more about this prize here.
My second prize is a copy of the game The Oregon Trail (for the Wii or Nintendo 3DS, winner’s choice).  Open US.  Please read my review of the game here.
My third prize is a SolPal’s MoonBeam Solar-Powered Nightlight!  Open U.S.  Please read my review of the MoonBeam here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you’ve entered my giveaway, please head over to Matter of Cents and enter to win the Kindle Fire grand prize!!  The grand prize is open to US and Canada only (no P.O. boxes).
After you’ve entered here and entered to win the grand prize, be sure to visit all the other participating blogs and enter to win their great prizes, too!

 Posted by at 5:00 am
Dec 282011

I love games that touch on a note of nostalgia.  That’s why when I found out that The Oregon Trail was being gussied up and released on the Wii and Nintendo 3DS for the 40th Anniversary of the game, I was nearly beside myself with giddiness.
I remember many hours of Oregon Trail game play – back when it was on a 5-1/4″ floppy! – during my elementary school years.  For those that may not be aware of this classic, the Oregon Trail is set in the mid-1800s and lets players assume the role of a wagon pioneer guiding a party of settlers westward from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, while they follow the Oregon Trail.  It’s a great game on so many levels, because in addition to the fun factor, there is also luck, logic and skill involved.  Do you bring an extra 200 pounds of meat in case you can’t find anything to forage or hunt (and risk over-extending your oxen)?  Should I rest an extra day so that a case of the sniffles doesn’t turn in to cholera (but risk the water being too high at the next ford crossing)?
Since it’s release in 1971, more than 65 million copies of the highly popular game have been sold.  And now The game has now been modernized for play on the Wii and Nintendo 3DS systems: for the first time, players can drive the wagon on the trail (shaking the Wiimote is like cracking your whip, and you steer with the nunchuck).  You can also customize the design of your wagon.  In addition to steering, you can also still enjoy the standard features like hunting, foraging, fishing, trading, river fording, and interacting with travelers along the way.
If you’re looking for amazing graphics and complex game play, you’re probably going to be disappointed.  It retains the more simple “old-school” feel of the original, which is one of the things that makes it so great.  It’s like enjoying a piece of history….while actually reliving history, too.
Want your own copy?  This new version of The Learning Company’s classic educational action adventure game is available for a SRP of $19.99 (Wii version) and $29.99 (3DS version).  The Oregon Trail is rated E-10+.  Or you can win one from me!  One winner will receive an Oregon Trail game for either platform.

I received a product in order to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% mine and my family’s.

 Posted by at 4:03 am
Dec 282011

SolPals is the brainchild of Ron and Chantele Gustaveson and is the creator of the world’s first solar-powered hybrid lights.  Both Ron and Chantele have a passion for solar and wind power, and after seeing a documentary about children who lived in darkness due to not being able to afford electricity, they focused their solar power passion on a way to address the issue raised in the documentary.  Their mission is to “light up the night with the power of the sun”.
SolPals has two products: Moonbeams, which are nightlights for kids and the FlexLight which is a utility light.  Their products use both a rechargeable battery and two backup alkaline batteries.  All SolPal products have the option to be either completely solar-powered or to use the built-in hybrid technology.  The hybrid sensor first utilizes all stored solar energy, then, if necessary, automatically switches to the backup alkaline batteries.
I met Ron from SolPals when I was at the ABC Kids Expo and I really liked what I saw.  He was so passionate about hit product, that I knew I had to learn more.  And what a unique product!  We’ve had the opportunity to try the MoonBeam Flower-shaped nightlight in twilight blue (they also have a Star-shaped one in stardust white and more designs like dinosaurs and snowflakes coming soon).  It works so much better than I had expected!  I used the suction cup (it has a lock feature) to attach it to the window and as soon as it started to get dark it kicked on and the area near the window was bathed in blue light.  It also gives me the peace of mind that it’s not going to short out and be a fire hazard.
You can purchase your own nightlight from their website or Amazon (free shipping) for $29.99.  Or you can win one from me!  SolPals is providing one winner their own MoonBeam as part of my New Year’s Hoppin’ Eve giveaway event that starts 11/28/11.

I received a product in order to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% mine and my family’s.

 Posted by at 2:49 am
Dec 282011

I love shopping for Christmas ornaments, decor, and other items after the big day has come and gone because you can score some amazing deals.  Willow House is one company that has some great discounts on Christmas products right now. For those of you not familiar with Willow House they are a home-based company that is represented by Design Consultants – consultants like Paula Jolly who wanted to help introduce Willow House to all of you.

Willow House products are both unique and lovely.  They believe that a product should make you happy each time you use or look at it. Good design should be accessible and affordable, because the days of fussy and overpriced products are gone forever.  And like their namesake willow, Willow House sways with the trends but are not overwhelmed by them.

I’ve been checking out their “Seasonal” sale and found this Roxy Reindeer Cheese Plate and Spreader that I’d love to have. It was originally $39.96 and is now marked down to $11.96.  I’d fill the plate up with crackers and use the spreader to help serve my hot artichoke dip. From the Outlet section, I’d like to have the Gramercy Triple Dip Stand, regularly $19.96, now marked down to $7.96.

I recently received the Wirework Treasure Trio and I have lots of plans for them next year. In addition to filling them with small wrapped candies, I think I’d like to use some reindeer moss in one, maybe some tiny round glass ornaments in another.  I think the round and star one could also be used for an extended season by filling them with “wintery” items, like acorns, evergreen trimmings, etc.  They’re very sturdy and seem like the would hold up to multiple seasons of usage.

I received a product in order to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% mine and my family’s.

 Posted by at 12:00 am