Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Preparing to Conquer the Muddy Mountain Known as Mudderella {#Mudderella2015}

Mudderella logo
I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mudderella. I received complimentary admission to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

While I have already admired many of my friends for their intelligence, generosity, kindness and more (let's not forget their incredibly good taste in having me in their lives), many of them have also added a level of fitness to their lives that I cannot help but envy.

Get up and workout at 5:30 in the morning before heading off to a full day of work? Participate in weekly boot camps that consist of nonstop push-you-until-you-drop exercises? Where do these ladies find the time, energy and motivation that I don't have?

Fortunately for my health, however, I'm now going to have no choice but to get out of bed and stand up from the couch much more often. Because if I want any remote possibility of a chance of keeping up with these friends of mine, I'm going to have to get myself in gear with some major training in time to participate (and not pass out) in the one and only Mudderella in less than two months!

mudderella mud run

The first and only full-day athletic event series designed for women, by women, Mudderella challenges all-around strength, balance, endurance and agility in a team environment. We all know that working out and getting fit can often be a solitary experience, but what if there was a way to be strong, have fun and enjoy the day with your girlfriends all at once?

That's Mudderella! The actual event is a 5- to 7-mile muddy obstacle course, but the experience is so much more than that! From start to finish, groups of friends (no duo is too small! No gang is too big!) complete and conquer the course together.

Yes, there is a finish line, but Mudderella isn't a competition or a race, it's an attitude. A feeling of empowerment and laughter and overcoming a challenge with other amazing women by your side helping and cheering you on!

I dare you to watch this video and not want to immediately sign up to participate!

Am I excited? Absolutely, 100%.

But am I also a bit scared due to the fact that I have fitness buffs as friends while I myself get winded after two minutes of playing tag with my kids? Definitely. I know that Mudderella is all about teamwork, but that doesn't mean that I want my three teammates to have to literally carry me through the majority of the course!

Thank goodness Mudderella also offers a training program that is designed to help users get ready to take on their challenging course. The program is broken up into six different workouts that are clearly explained and have a short video to demonstrate the moves. Simply start at your own level and work your way towards better and better fitness!

Mudderella training program

I have until May 30th to be able to not only complete "the basics" but get myself physically prepared for Mudderella, so you can bet that I've been dusting off my tennis shoes and getting to work!

Even though my inner lazy voice still wants to stay put, what better inspiration than knowing that I'm soon going to be surrounding myself with a group of my closest friends while conquering a muddy obstacle course?

workout routine

Are you feeling like you would like to spend a day overcoming personal challenges, giving your fitness goals a boost, and filling your soul with feelings of empowerment and support?

There is no incorrect definition of "success" at Mudderella, as ALL women are welcome to participate to discover just how possible it is to Own Your Strong.

own your strong

Right now Mudderella has nine U.S. and two Canadian events planned for 2015 (but may be adding more!), so be sure to check out their schedule to find the one nearest you:
  • Englishtown, NJ – May 9, 2015
  • Richmond, IL – May 30, 2015
  • Vallejo, CA – June 27, 2015
  • Kitchener, ON Canada – July 11, 2015
  • Clarksburg, MD – July 25, 2015
  • Snowmass Village, CO – August 22, 2015
  • Slippery Rock, PA – September 12, 2015
  • Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler, BC Canada – September 26, 2015
  • Thompson, CT – October 3, 2015
My friends and I are hitting the road to attend Mudderella in Chicago on May 30th, so if you are in the Midwest and want to come join us, please register and become a part of our team!

If not, make sure to visit Mudderella.com to find out more and sign up in your area — remember that even if you aren't feeling all that physically fit at the moment (me!) that the Mudderella Training Program can help you get there!

Feel your own motivation build by visiting Mudderella.com and connecting with this incredible event on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and through the #Mudderella2015 hashtag.

Mudderella, here we come!

Mudderella strong

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wondrous Ink Personalized Children's Books {Review & Giveaway}

Wondrous Ink logo
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Around here, we like books.

I typically have a pile checked out from the library waiting for me, while both Big Sister E and Little Sister B have shelves in their rooms (and in our living room) piled high with books that get taken down and re-shelved daily. It is far from uncommon for me to go look for either one of them only to discover them sprawled out on their beds or the floor, engrossed in the stories that they see in the pictures or found in the words.

From baby board books with only pictures to large, intricate books covered with words, they both love to be a part of the magical world that books can provide. So what could possibly make a book better for children that are already fascinated with them?

How about customized books that not only star those children but bring them on a tale to find out what makes them unique and special? That's exactly what is found in the beautifully illustrated, exquisitely written, personalized books from Wondrous Ink!

Wondrous Ink book

Currently offering one title, Wondrous World, a gift from Wondrous Ink ends up more than a book, it is an exquisite, truly personal keepsake from start to finish.

From the colorful, delightful illustrations to the enchanted, simple story, there is just no way to not get caught up in the magic on each page. While I have come across no shortage of children's books that make me cringe or wonder why they were ever published, Wondrous World is instead inspiring and heartwarming.

In fact, the uplifting storyline is not only interesting and engaging, but tells the starring child why they themselves are wondrous and unique in the world. Is there a better message than that to promote to our children?

There really was no question that we were pretty entranced... from the moment that our Wondrous Ink books arrived in their bright, custom packaging!

Wondrous Ink packaging

Wondrous Ink has designed Wondrous World for ages 2–8, but I can only imagine how amazed new parents would be to receive this book for their little addition as well!

Wondrous Ink story

Just look how incredible this book is before you even have it opened!

Wondrous Ink review

My girls were understandably thrilled to see their names right on the cover... and the excitement only increased as we delved into the story.

Page after page, we followed along as the girl in the story went on a quest through an enchanted forest to find out what makes her special. As she encountered animals and creatures of all kinds that had a problem to be solved, each letter of my daughters' names floated into the sky and became a part of the story as well.

Wondrous Ink book pages

The result is definitely adorable and something that a child of just about any age would treasure and love!

Wondrous Ink book review

Plus, when the end of Wondrous World is reached, not only can the lucky recipient be excited about having discovered what makes him or her special, but every book includes a special key that unlocks a bonus Wondrous World of learning fun.

Simply set up the child's world (all that is required is a name, email address and password) and they can then read a bonus story that continues where the book left off and a short quiz that tests how close the young reader was paying attention. There are also plans to add more books, puzzles and games over time to the online Wondrous Worlds, so the entertainment can be extended even further!

Wondrous World online

Retailing for $29.99 and available for shipping anywhere in the world, the quality and uniqueness of Wondrous Ink books really speak for themselves. Each one is printed, bound and delivered within 14-21 days (depending on your location) and is sure to amaze and delight!

Find out much more about Wondrous World (and make a free preview with any name you choose!) by visiting WondrousInk.com. You can also stay up to date on all things Wondrous by connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

And, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon see the child in their life marvel at their own personalized book as well, because...

One lucky person will win their own beautiful personalized
Wondrous World book from Wondrous Ink!

Wondrous Ink giveaway

A big thank you to Wondrous Ink for providing two books for me to review as well as one for a lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


The lucky winner of a variety of General Mills cereals and an exclusive Skylanders game set is...

The lucky winner of a $25 Walmart gift card from Febreze is...

The lucky winner of a Royal Silk Scarf and World Water Day Umbrella from World Vision is...

A big thank you to everyone who entered these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Unique and Creative Storytelling Movie Experience for Kids: Moulin Roty's Cinema Box {Review & Giveaway}

Magicforest logo
It is no wonder to me that, after spending the majority of their day following various rules, regulations, guidelines and instructions, my kids relish in being able to to relax into the world of open-ended play when they arrive home.

Don't get me wrong, I love their school and I know that they are stretching their imaginations and using their creativity while there, but when it comes to being home, I'm happy to let them take control (within reason) a bit more... particularly when their choices don't involve a screen or a power cord.

Which is why when I an introduced to items that are unique and clever; extremely well made in terms of safety and quality; and can take a "regular" concept and turn it into something filled with limitless, engaging possibilities, I am understandably intrigued.

What child wouldn't be amazed and fascinated by the versatile ingenuity of Moulin Roty's Cinema Box from Magicforest?

Moulin roty cinema box

Celebrating more than 10 years in the U.S., Magicforest is an American toy importer known for providing the very best in children's toys and games. Along with the other extraordinary European brands that they provide for specialty toy and gift shops across the country, Magicforest is proud to be the exclusive distributor of Moulin Roty, a highly regarded French toy company that has spent the past 40 years making young dreams come true.

Offering a whimsical line containing everything from soft baby toys to detailed dolls to expertly crafted wooden toys, Moulin Roty is no stranger to inspiring and delighting children of all ages.

With the arrival of their innovative Cinema Box, I had no doubt that we would soon have Moulin Roty fans in our household as well!

Moulin Roty Cinema Box

Completely simple yet unlike anything that I have ever seen, Moulin Roty's Cinema Box contains everything that a child needs to create and run their own miniature movie house. Who hasn't wanted to be in charge of inviting guests, advertising the show, and running the movie projector for their own cinema?

Moulin Roty Cinema Box review

Complete with one projector (a mini View-Master mounted on a flashlight), five image disks each with eight story pictures, 16 cinema tickets, 20 'Now Showing' signs, and a stylish box that turns into the cinema screen, all that this kit requires is a little imagination to put on a show!

Moulin Roty Cinema Box projector

The only aspect that took us a few minutes to figure out was having the ability to focus the projector (done by twisting/unscrewing the end), but once the girls and I had that completed, there was nothing to stop the show from going on.

Simply select one of the five discs (images portray five different tales: brave knight, stop thief, superhero, cowboy, and pirates), design a marquee on the 'Now Showing' pad...

Moulin Roty Cinema Box now showing

...pass out tickets to all of your favorite dolls, stuffed animals and kittens...

Moulin Roty Cinema Box show

...and start the show!

Moulin Roty Cinema Box toy

I love the way that the projector is so simple to use, as my kids haven't had a problem changing out the discs or turning them from scene to scene, and that the beautiful illustrations show up easily on the backdrop screen provided on the inside of the box.

Hearing the narration that they come up with each time has provided plenty of laughs and I adore how the Cinema Box seamlessly combines storytelling with movie-going with make believe. All that I need to do is pop some popcorn and sit back to let this kit work well for one child, two or more!

Magicforest Moulin Roty Cinema Box review
Magicforest Moulin Roty Cinema Box

For the child in your life that loves pretend play, Moulin Roty's Cinema Box would be a unique and special gift that can provide a new experience each time. As a big bonus, all of the pieces pack up so nicely and the box ties closed so there is never any worry of items getting lost or this kit not being able to travel well. It's always a great time or place for the theater!

Find out more about the Cinema Box and place your order (it retails for $40) by visiting ShopTantrum.com. You can also see more information on this as well as on many more amazing Moulin Roty toys by visiting Magicforest.com and connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.

And, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be able to provide a miniature movie experience in their household as well, because...

One lucky person will win Moulin Roty's Cinema Box from Magicforest!

cinema box giveaway

A big thank you to Magicforest for providing a Cinema Box for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.