There are aspects of our bedtime routine that vary around here, but one thing that always stays the same is that Big Sister E has to have my husband read her books before she goes to sleep. If I even attempt to volunteer, I'm turned down flat with a, "No. Daddy!" as I'm sent on my merry way.
I'm not offended and, in fact, love the bond that my husband has with each of our girls. But the part that makes things difficult? That's when he has to go out of town for work, something that happens fairly often. He isn't gone for weeks or months on end, but a few nights every week or every other week, meaning the kids are left with all mom, all the time.
Big Sister E accepts me reading her books on those nights, as she doesn't really have a choice, but I know that she misses having her father around and the comfort that she receives from having him read to her.
Which is why I adore the concept of Hallmark's Recordable Storybooks and the way that they have the ability to have a wonderful book read no matter how large the distance between loved ones.
Is there anyone that doesn't know the name Hallmark? Having spent the last 100 years helping people stay connected and best express their feelings, there is so much more available than just the greeting cards that are most commonly associated with this brand.
Whether you're stepping foot inside a Hallmark Gold Crown Store or searching their easy-to-browse website, finding the next gift, wrapping paper, ornament, album, card and more couldn't be easier and you know that you're going to be happy with what you find.
Which is exactly why as soon as Guess How Much I Love You, the classic, award-winning tale of unconditional love, arrived in Recordable Storybook form, I knew that it was going to be perfect for my husband and daughter to share.
From the outside, this appears to be a beautiful hardcover copy of a children's book that I've known and loved for years. But one look inside the front or back cover, and there are simple step-by-step instructions as to how to turn this into something that can be cherished for a lifetime.
Recording each page really couldn't be much easier. With only two buttons (record and stop) you simply turn to the chosen page, press record and wait for it to verbally cue you to begin, read the page through slowly and clearly, and press stop. After a quick pause, your words begin to repeat back, allowing you to decide if you approve or would like to give that page another try.
After you've repeated the steps throughout the rest of the book, voilà! To be sure that little fingers don't accidentally press the record button and negate your work, there is even a switch inside the battery compartment that can be moved to the locked position to keep your words safe for the future.
As I had explained to Big Sister E that she would now have a way for Daddy to read her a book even when he wasn't there, she was thrilled to help him get it recorded and ready for listening.
Later on, when my husband asked Big Sister E about the book to confirm that she knew what would happen when she opened it, she replied, "I know what it's for, Daddy. It's for when you're gone and I'm feeling sad because I miss you."
Who knew I was going to get teary-eyed over a children's book?
I love the full concept of these, I really do. By taking literary favorites as well as original Hallmark stories and including the recordable aspect, these books are just such a great gift idea.
From family members living far away to a parent being deployed to a token of affection perfect for a holiday, there are more than a dozen Recordable Storybooks (with new ones like Goodnight Moon coming soon!) available to help stay connected always - your reading lasts even if the batteries are changed!
Looking for a last-minute Valentine's Day gift? Look for these high quality, colorful and unique Recordable Storybooks in your nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store with a retail price of $29.95. And if your child is still searching for the cutest valentines to pass out to their friends, don't miss the Classroom Valentines on Hallmark.com - with your child's picture right on them, they're not only personalized but really cute! And by entering the promo code CLASS25, you can even receive a 25% off discount!
Thanks to the generosity of Hallmark, one person will get to enjoy a way to make bedtime special no matter how far apart they are, because...
One lucky person will win a Guess How Much I Love You
Recordable Storybook from Hallmark!
Recordable Storybook from Hallmark!
To enter to win: Visit Hallmark and tell me which of their Recordable Storybooks you think the child in your life would love the most.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
1 Extra Entry if you follow Hallmark on Twitter and/or Like them on Facebook.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
WIN a Hallmark Recordable Storybook (ARV $30) to hear the voice and love in person! #thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/ihk8mP #giveaway #win
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and Hallmark. Please leave an address where it can be found.
Giveaway will end on March 4th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
A big thank you to Hallmark for providing a Recordable Storybook 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.