My Top Present Picks for 2011

I know, I know. There are only a few days left until Christmas. But, you may still need to get that last minute gift for someone you love. Hopefully this list will help.

Books

  • Champion Me Books – these were such a huge hit with all of my kids. The personalization is better than any other book I’ve found. You won’t be able to get the book by Christmas if you order now, but a gift certificate is the perfect way to go.
  • Gracie’s Gift – this is my must-have book for moms of little girls. Such a sweet story that reminds us that our children are a gift from God. You can order the book from Amazon and you may still be able to get it in time for Christmas. {It’s on sale for just $12.37 and if you have Amazon Prime through the Amazon mom program, you can get free two day shipping or pay $3.99 for one day. Totally worth it.}
  • What’s Eating Your Child? – This is my go-to book for my kids. It’s helped relieve chicken skin and so many other issues just by changing what we eat. Definitely a must have for every family.
  • First Time Dad – Know a man that’s about to become a dad – or is a dad? This is the perfect gift for him.
  • Read & Share Bible for Children – perfect for toddlers. Breaks Bible stories up into small, easy to read sections that won’t go over your little one’s head.

 

Toys & Kids

  • Joovy Bicycoo – A must have if you have a toddler/preschooler that wants to learn how to ride a two wheeler.
  • Leapfong Peek-A-Shoe Octopus – I haven’t done a review on this one, but I couldn’t resist grabbing it for Gage. Great price on Amazon too – just $19.99, but it won’t arrive until after Christmas. I purchased ours at Walmart for around $25.
  • Vtech Sit to Stand Alphabet Train – another must-have item for babies. {No review on this yet either, but another one that I had to grab for Gage.} Amazon has it for $46 and you can still get it in time for Christmas!

 

Gifts for Grown Ups

  • Windows 7 Phone – after giving up my smartphone to help cut costs around here, this is one toy that I really really miss.
  • Icon Modus 1 Flashlight – Not just any flashlight. Trendy and super bright, plus it’s small enough to carry in your purse or leave in your car.

 

Clothing & More

  • Custom Covered Wipes Case – don’t lug an ugly pack of wipes around. Make it special by making it exactly what you want.
  • Boba Baby Carrier – I couldn’t survive without mine. Best infant carrier I’ve found.

 

What’s on YOUR must-have list this Christmas?

Holiday Guide: LaBarrie Littles Etsy Shop Review

laberrie littles etsy shop

Some of my absolute favorite reviews to do are Etsy shop reviews. Why? Because I love handmade items, and I love supporting moms in business.

Recently, Aisha from LaBarrie Littles contacted me and asked if she could send me a couple of shirts to review. Of course I said yes, and she quickly sent me two of the most adorable shirts I have ever seen.

Here – take a look at how adorable Lucy and  Parker look in their new shirts so you can see what I mean:

labarrie littles

Aren’t they absolutely adorable? The shirts, I mean.  Aisha did such a fantastic job on these personalized applique reindeer shirts. I can’t wait to show off these shirts at our church Christmas party and then again at all our Christmas Day festivities.

parkers reindeer shirtThe shirts are so beautifully made. Super high quality, and even after washing, the design is still perfectly in tact. I love the added touches she used as well with the bow on the antlers of the girl reindeer and the bow on the neck of the boy reindeer. So stinking cute.

I love personalized products – especially clothes – for my kids. It makes them feel special having something with their name on it, and since most of my kids have unique names, personalized products are the way to go.

Aisha lives here in the Atlanta area, so I not only get to support a mom in business, I also get to support a local business. Best of both worlds!

I’m all about good news, and Aisha at LaBarrie Littles has lots of good news for my readers:

  • She’s offering FREE shipping right now on lots of items in her shop.lucy's personlized shirt
  • She’s STILL taking Christmas orders!
    • Order by December 12th to avoid a rush fee.
    • December 13th – 16th add $5 per item
    • December 16th last day to order for Christmas Delivery.

After looking through her shop, her prices are so reasonable that even with the rush fee, you can still afford to stock up for all your holiday needs.

And don’t just think Christmas items from LaBerrie Littles… I’m thinking  New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter… the list goes on and on!

Check out this adorable shirt for Baby’s first New Year:

personalized new years shirt for baby

Wouldn’t that be adorable on Gage? She also has a shirt available that says “Happy New Year 2012.”

I would highly recommend LaBarrie Littles to anyone looking for high quality personalized products. She has a huge assortment of products available and she does excellent work – and quickly too!

Check out the LaBarrie Littles etsy shop today and have your kids be the best-dressed kids at your family gathering this Christmas. {And you’ll at least ensure that the grandparents will get YOUR kids names right this year. 😉 }

You can also find LaBarrie Littles on Facebook and follow LaBarrie Littles on twitter.

Disclaimer: I received the items mentioned above from LaBarrie Littles in order to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Holiday Guide: Disney Princess Sing & Glow Rapunzel {Review}

sing and glow rapunzelRecently I received the Sing & Glow Rapunzel doll from the wonderful folks at Mattel.

Lucy is a HUGE Rapunzel fan. People often comment that Lucy’s hair looks quite a bit like Rapunzel’s, and I could totally sit and brush it all day. {But, wouldn’t you know it? I sing and sing and sing, and I’m not looking any younger.}

When the package from Mattel arrived, Lucy about went through the roof. Even in the box, Lucy had so much fun with this toy. You push the button on her chest and she magically lights up and starts singing. When she’s out of the box, well, that’s when the real magic happens. Rapunzel comes with a magic wand. When you wave the wand over the flower on her chest, she sings and lights up. It really is a very cool feature.

There are several things I love about the Sing & Glow Rapunzel:

  • It’s made by Mattel and backed by Disney – two awesome companies that this mom approves.
  • The lights and sounds are phenomenal and really make the doll something special. It’s really Rapunzel from the movie singing, too, so no “fake” voices.
  • Her clothing is high quality, hard to rip, and you can’t access the lights or batteries easily. {Good for when baby brother grabs the doll and doesn’t want to let go.}
  • It takes 3 AAA batteries but they last for the longest time. Lucy has played with this toy for countless hours, and the batteries aren’t showing any signs of needing replaced.

lucy and rapunzelThe only thing I would have changed about the doll? I would have made the magic “wand” a magic “brush” instead. While Rapunzel’s hair isn’t super long, it still needs brushed, and the first thing I think of when I think of Rapunzel is brushing her hair.

All in all, this is a super fantastic toy, and it gets 2 thumbs up from everyone in our house. While we’ve heard “At Last I See the Light” about a million times, it never gets old to watch Lucy spin around and sing along with all the drama she can muster. It’s really very sweet.

I would highly recommend this doll to any parent that has a Rapunzel fan in their household.

There are some fantastic deals available online right now. Here are some places I’ve found to purchase the doll:

  • Mattel – $31.99 {Free Shipping Right Now}
  • Disney Store – $39.50 {Not sure on shipping}
  • Walmart – $31.88 {97 cent shipping to home}
  • KMart – $32.99 {Free in-store pickup}
  • Barnes & Noble – $34.95 {Eligible for free shipping}
  • Amazon – $49.99 {Eligible for free shipping}

Disclaimer: I received the item mentioned above from Mattel in order to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Holiday Guide: Champion Me Books {Ends 12/3}

Warning: This post may load slowly because I’m including lots of pictures. Don’t let that scare you away! The pictures are totally worth it!

Recently, a very dear blogger friend of mine introduced me to Champion Me Books – the makers of Award-winning personalized children’s books. From the first time I visited their website, I was hooked. These were the best books for kids that I have found anywhere.

Champion Me Books sent me a gift certificate to order a book for a review. I had a hard time deciding which of my boys should get the review book, though. Zander and Jace both love to read, and I want to continue encouraging that love. I decided to order two books – one for Zander, and one for Jace.

For Jace, I ordered “Jace vs. the Scribble Monster.” There was a reason behind this: Jace has always been my mischievous one – and when we moved out of our last house, I spent days scrubbing the walls of his bedroom, trying to get the crayon off. I just had to order this book about scribbles on a wall that take on a life of their own and chase Jace all over the city.

Here’s Jace with his book:

Jace vs the Scribble Monster

Zander received “Zander and the Stonkeropolous.” Zander has a hard time standing up for himself, and he often gets bullied. I wanted to get this book for him to encourage him to stand up to his fears. Here he is with his book:

Zander and the Stonkeropolous

You should have seen the boys faces light up when they saw their books. I was planning to hold off and give these to the boys as Christmas gifts, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to see their reactions so that I could share them with you.

When I asked Jace what he loved most about the book, he said, “It’s all about ME! They turned me into a cartoon, and my name is all over the book. I love it!” His eyes were as wide as saucers, and he grinned from ear to ear while he slowly flipped through each page.

Zander was also enthralled, and he wasn’t getting up from the table until he read every last word in the book. He closed the book and said, “Mom, that was the coolest book ever.”

I asked them to show me their favorite page from their books. Here are the pages they picked:

Jace and the scribble monster

Zander and the Stonkeropolous

For hours, I have listened to the boys read their books out loud over and over again. They never get tired of it, and neither do I. They’re sitting together, reading, getting along, and excited about seeing each other as characters in books.

The kind folks at Champion Me Books also sent me e-books for Lucy and Parker. I couldn’t afford to order books for the two of them right now, but now that I’ve seen the ebooks, you can bet that I’ll be ordering them just as soon as I can.

Here are the covers from Lucy and Parker’s books:

Lucy in the Great Escape of Mighty Star

Parker in Gadgetland
I’ve read Lucy’s e-book to her about a hundred times, and Parker’s probably twice as much. The kids love seeing themselves in a story and hearing their name said over and over.

Another feature that I love is that you can include an inscription inside each book to your child. Here’s what I said in Zander’s book:
“Zander, may this book always remind you how strong and brave you are. Always obey your parents, be kind to others, and follow your dreams. We love you! Love, Mom and Dad.”

Now, every time Zander looks at that book, he will remember that it was created with love just for him. Same goes for Jace. It’s an extra little touch that makes all the difference in the world.

Best.Gift.For.Kids.EVER.

Each book is $24.95, which may seem a little steep, but in all reality, these books are worth every penny and more. These are some of the highest quality childrens books I have found. They’re not going to fall apart after reading them a few times. They are beautiful books, with eye-catching illustrations, thick, quality pages, and a durable glossy outer cover. Overall, I am super impressed with Champion Me Books and would recommend them to everyone I meet. Can’t afford a hard copy of the book right now? E-books start at just $9.95 and would be a great addition to your iPad or laptop to share with your child whenever. seal of approval

Champion Me Books recently won several awards including two from The Toy Man as well as a Mom’s Choice Award. All were well deserved! I’d definitely give them my “Seal of Approval.”

You can learn more about Champion Me Books the following ways:

Now, I’ve got some GREAT news! Champion Me Books has asked me to host a giveaway right here on my blog! That’s right! One lucky winner will receive a $40 gift certificate to Champion Me Books. To enter, use the rafflecopter gadget below.



Want another chance to win a Champion Me Book for your child? Head to my friend Lindsey’s blog Kindered Spirit Mommy, and enter her Champion Me Giveaway. {You can find more links to more giveaways on the Champion Me Books Facebook Page.}

Disclaimer: I received a gift certificate from Champion Me Books to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

Holiday Guide: Introducing BKids {Review}

bkidsI am so excited to introduce you to BKids – a fantastic toy company for little ones ages 0 – 36 months.

BKids stands on the principle that kids should do what they do best – Be Playful, Be Happy, and Just BE KIDS. They want their toys to be both educational as well as fun, and every product is designed and created with love. Because they care so much about the safety and well-being of every child, they ensure that all products comply with the highest quality and international safety standards. {Something this mom is excited about!} BKids wants parents to spend quality time with their children – exploring, enjoying, playing, and enriching their lives.

I recently received two items to review: The Soft Peek-a-Boo Blocks and the Stack ‘n Link Pal.

Gage doesn’t have many toys, so I was thrilled that this review would be just for him. All the baby toys we had have been lost, broken, or are still packed in a box, so I was excited to have some fun new toys for Gage to play with.

Gage really loves both toys. He loves chomping on the Soft Peek-a-Boo Blocks. He’ll sit for the longest time just chewing down on them. It’s great, because it distracts him from the fact that he’s actually sitting up, and I really think it helps relieve some of the teething pain he’s been having. I’m not crazy about the “peek-a-boo” idea behind these blocks. The hard plastic blocks that the soft blocks fit inside have really caused a lot of trouble. Pinched fingers, sore heads… but that was instantly resolved just by putting up the hard outer blocks until Gage is a bit older. I love the texture of the soft blocks, though, and think that no kid could ever have too many of them.

soft peek a boo blocks
Gage also loves the Stack ‘n Link Pal. The older kids lost the cute little monkey head that goes on top, {and no, Mama ain’t happy about that!}, but Gage will still sit and play with this for the longest time. He can’t quite get them to stack yet, but he sure loves banging on everything with them.

The other day, I babysat for a friend of mine. She has a little boy that will be one in January – so he’s just a few months older than Gage. I pulled out the toys and both of them had a ball playing with everything.

bkids
{Thanks to my friend Lanamae for letting me borrow her sweet Toby for this review!}

Overall, these toys are a huge hit in my house. I love that they encourage Gage’s fine motor skills, and they keep him preoccupied. We can play with them together, or he can play with them alone. Either way, he’s just as happy as can be!

To learn more about BKids, check out their website. You can also find them on Facebook, follow them on twitter, and catch them on YouTube.

Disclaimer: I received the toys mentioned above from BKids to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was in no other way compensated for this post.