Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Little Girl's Dream Come True: Preparing for Our Disney Princess Royal Ball {#CBias #DisneyPrincessWMT}

Disney Princess logo
Although my girls' tastes and preferences have changed as they've grown, there are some things that have held a solid place in their hearts since the beginning.

For my nearly-6-year-old, it is her unwavering love of Toy Story and the exciting adventures that the characters represent.

But for my 3-year-old, it's a full devotion to everything and anything princess.

Princess, princess, princess. When she wants to wear a dress (pretty much every day), she runs to her closet and gleefully announces I want to wear a princess! When she sees someone on television with the hint of a ruffle on their skirt, it's Oh! Look at her princess! In essence, the sight of just about anything sparkly, frilly or girly is somehow related to being a princess.

So, you can imagine how much her eyes lit up when she found out that Disney is re-releasing the classic, beloved tale of Cinderella on October 2nd.

Cinderella Blu-Ray/DVD

One of the Top 10 Animated Films of all time, it has been seven years since Cinderella was released from the Disney vault! While we could let the occasion pass by with little fanfare, what fun would that be? Instead, we're excited to celebrate the upcoming Cinderella movie release in multiple ways!

First, we got in the princess mindset right at home with the FREE download of the Disney Princess Augmented Reality App (in the App Store for Apple devices and in Google Play for Android).

Disney Princess Royal Ball app

Loading this app onto my phone took only moments over breakfast one morning, and Little Sister B was instantly intrigued (as was I).

We both were immediately smitten with the story aspect of the app, as we were taken through being able to select our own complete princess outfit (dress, tiara, necklace and shoes), customize our own carriage to ride to the ball, and then dance right along with the other royal attendees!

Disney Princess Augmented Reality App

While Little Sister B wanted to spend hours designing each outfit and carriage, I loved the way that the app allowed me to easily capture her joy through photographs at each step that placed her right in the action.

Disney Princess

While we were having a great time with the Royal Ball AR 2.0 app right at home, I was eager to bring it to Walmart to extend it even further. By keeping an eye out for Disney Princess Augmented Reality App trigger points around the store (Fairy Godmother, Cinderella Blu-Ray/DVD, and Cinderella's face), we would be able to unlock even more fun!

I mentioned that I was a little excited about this app as well, right?

As well as going to Walmart to play with princesses on my phone, Little Sister B and I had some shopping to do for the second aspect of our Cinderella celebration: our own Cinderella Viewing Party. What better way to enjoy the wonder of the movie than by having our friends over to watch it with us? Throw in some princess decorations, snacks and goodie bags and we would be all set!

Once we arrived at Walmart, it didn't take long before we were admiring the wide array of party supplies...

party supplies

...grinning over the Cinderella costumes...

Cinderella costume
#DisneyPrincessWMT

...and, in general, having our own version of Where's Waldo as we spotted Cinderella in various places (and products) around the store. See our full shopping trip in photos here!

Cinderella game

After we made our final princess decisions, we breezed through checkout (where our friendly cashier took one look at the items on the belt and said, "Ooh! Looks like someone's having a Cinderella party!") and were ready to head home.

Cinderella party

While we are still putting the final details together for our Viewing Party, we are also looking ahead to even more fun with the upcoming Retailtainment Event at Walmart on October 6th!

Princess Retailtainment Event

That's right! This Saturday, from 11am - 3pm, select Walmart stores across the country (contact your local Walmart for more information and to see if they are participating) will be having pumpkin decorating, coloring sheets, interactive activities and more... and young attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Disney Princess character!

You don't have to tell us twice! An event that gives us an excuse to shop at Walmart (along with the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, we want to see the 2-disc music and Tangled Ever After DVD Box Set, the Fashion Doll set including the Prince, Cinderella and Horse, and the Cinderella Ornament), really try out the Disney Princess Augmented Reality App and dress like a princess?

Cinderella dress-up

In case it isn't obvious, that's a big YES!

Be sure to visit Walmart.com to see their large collection of Disney Princess gear, download coloring pages, take the Disney Princess Quiz, get inspiration for planning your own Disney Princess Party, and more. You can also connect with Disney on Twitter, Disney Princess on Facebook, and Cinderella on Facebook so that you never miss a single hint of sparkle or magic.

Keep an eye out soon for a follow-up post showing our fun at the Retailtainment Event, Cinderella Party and by unlocking more features to the Disney Princess App! It's Princess-mania around here and we're going to be twirling, whirling and enjoying every minute!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Disney Consumer Products, Inc but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. #CBias #SocialFabric

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Winners!

The lucky winner of Chuggington Traintastic Adventures on DVD is...


The lucky winner of a Blingles Theme Pack is...


The lucky winner of an In-Law Survival Kit in honor of Married to Jonas is...


The lucky winner of five free product coupons for Barilla Microwaveable Meals is...


Thanks to everyone who entered these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Win Striker Water Bottles for Your Child's Entire School in the Contigo No Spills Contest!

Contigo logo
While backpacks, notebooks and pencils are important school supplies, one that needs to not be forgotten is a water bottle. With the way that kids go, go, go all day long, staying hydrated is much easier when they can quickly take a sip from a convenient, high quality water bottle nearby.

For my kids, that means reaching for their Contigo cups! We're big fans of their simple, yet functionally innovative, environmentally friendly drinkware options and I love that they truly are 100% leak-proof and spill-proof.

So, what could be better than enjoying Contigo for ourselves? Sharing that love by winning new spill-proof Contigo AUTOSPOUT Striker Water Bottles for my daughter's entire school in the Contigo No Spills Contest!

Contigo No Spills Contest

That's right! The grand prize winning school will receive Striker Water Bottles for the entrant's entire school (up to 1,000 water bottles)! These innovative bottles feature a one-touch drink spout for quick and easy one-handed opening and drinking, a spill-proof valve system to eliminate leaks and spills, and are made out of 100% FDA-approved, BPA-free materials.

The Striker was even recently recognized for product quality, effectiveness and value with a seal from PTPA Media - North America’s largest volunteer parent testing community of over 40,000 parents.

Ready to win them for your child's school? Simple! Just visit the Contigo No Spills Contest and submit a photo of your kids' messiest spill. The photo submissions will be voted on by fans and the winning school will be chosen based on the photo with the most fan votes.

Photos can be submitted from September 27 – October 15, followed by the voting period from October 15 – 28. The lucky winner will be announced on October 29!

There have been some pretty... um... interesting entries so far...

messy kids

...but I'm sure that your child has done something just as messy, right? Don't keep that photo all to yourself, enter it for a chance to win high quality Contigo AUTOSPOUT Striker Water Bottles for their entire school!

Remember, photos can only be submitted through Sunday, October 15, 2012, so start picking out your favorite picture today for the Contigo No Spills Contest!

(I was provided products from Contigo in exchange for my help sharing this contest, however, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. We truly love their great products!)

Music for Exercise and Working Out: What's On Your Playlist? {#SmoothBlogger}

Smooth Fitness logo
If there is one thing that I can't do, it's exercise without some form of distraction. Whether it's music or television or even a friend working out near me so that we can huff and puff together, I need something to take my mind off of the fact that I'm not relaxing and sitting on the couch.

Fortunately, the amazing Smooth CE 8.0LC Elliptical Trainer from Smooth Fitness provides me with two out of those three options, as I have it placed in front of the television and it comes with a high-tech audio system built right in. Heck, if you count my kids walking in and talking to me or playing on the floor nearby, it covers all three ways that I like to push myself without focusing on the task at hand.

When it's time to jump start my workout with tunes, Smooth's exclusive SmoothSound integrated high-clarity mp3 audio system makes it easier than I would have ever thought. Right on the front of the elliptical, you simply plug your phone, iPod or mp3 right into the "Line In" slot...

music controls

...and use the volume control to set your song to soothing or blasting.

Either plug headphones into the matching slot so as to not disturb other members of your household, or allow the two powerful, high-clarity speakers built into the CE 8.0LC to keep you motivated with your favorite music surrounding you.

elliptical machine speakers

All that's left to do? Create your own custom workout playlist, of course.

This seems to be where I struggle, as my laziness creeps in and I find myself listening to the same songs over and over. However, I read recently that studies show that the rhythmic speed of your music influences your athletic performance, so that means that I need to update my music with some songs that can get me moving and get the most out of my time on my elliptical machine.

I've been spending some time checking out a variety of songs and think that some of this eclectic mix might make a pretty good addition to my life...

Havana Brown & Pitbull - We Run the Night
Outkast - Hey Ya!
Nicki Minaj - Pound the Alarm
Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body
The Wanted - Glad You Came
Starship - We Built This City
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
Train - Hey, Soul Sister
Beyonce - Crazy In Love
No Doubt - Hella Good

Pretty random list, right? That's why I'm turning to you! Now that my toe is healing from my unfortunate dresser incident, I'm looking to make up for lost time with my Smooth CE 8.0LC and need some motivation.

What are your favorite songs for working out? The ones that make it easy to hit the pavement (or the treadmill), spin your wheels or push through the exhaustion just a little bit more? Do you purchase mp3s? Download free music? What's playing in your ear as you lace up your tennis shoes?



Find out more about Smooth Fitness and the incredible Smooth CE 8.0LC Elliptical Trainer on their website and be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

As a #SmoothBlogger, I have been provided with a Smooth CE 8.0LC Commercial Elliptical from Smooth Fitness. However, all thoughts and opinions shared are honest and my own.

Track Your Child's Health and Progress with Baby Zoe - Free App for Apple and Android! {$50 Target Gift Card Giveaway}

Before Big Sister E was born, one of the items that I spent a great deal of time searching for was just the right baby book. It had to be cute... but not too cute. It had to have plenty of room to record dates, events and milestones... but not so much that it would take me ages to fill out. You know, the important stuff.

However, it didn't take too many months into her young life before my consistency in recording information began to wane. As much as I wanted to return home from every pediatrician visit and write down her height and weight, it didn't always happen. And while I told myself I'd remember to mark down the date she gave her first toothy grin or pulled herself up to standing for the first time... things started to slip by.

While that bothers me for posterity's sake, it also wasn't the best method for tracking information to pass back to our pediatrician. Um sure, she can roll over. She started doing it, uh, a little while ago?

If I was doing it all over again, I'd be sure to look for an easy way to track the health and developmental progress my children are making day to day. One that is simple, easy to use and is conveniently right at my fingertips when I need it. Which is where I'd find the great new app (FREE for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets) called Baby Zoe.

Baby Zoe logo

The most comprehensive app to help you track, manage and share health data about your children, Baby Zoe is quickly proving to be a must-have high-tech accessory for parents. This great app is designed to be a parent's best friend to track the health and developmental progress of their children while also documenting the day to day joys of growing up.

And who knows better about exactly what parents are looking for than a husband and wife team of two kids? After having plenty of life experiences of raising their energetic, and often wild, boys, Rusten and Karen Gomez have worked tirelessly to ensure that Baby Zoe is a fun and rewarding tool that will help parents and doctors alike.

family portrait

So, how does it work?

Baby Zoe tracks your child's eating, sleeping, medicine intake and growth progress. You can also manage your photos (easily taking them at any time for documentation), events and emergency contacts, while sharing information with doctors, babysitters, daycare, and family members. Baby Zoe can also be used during pregnancy for moms-to-be or for multiple children for growing families.

Baby Zoe app

This innovative app has just about everything that a parent could ask for when it comes to their children. You are able to quickly log a wide variety of events including eating, sleeping, diapers, play, issues, milestones, growth, doctor's visits and more.

At the same time, being able to associate photos with events work on multiple levels. Want to preserve a photo of your little one taking their first steps? Simply snap it and add it to the correct milestone. On the other hand, if your child has a rash, Mom can quickly log the event and take a picture of the rash right in the app, therefore being categorized and ready for showing the pediatrician.
 
Along the same lines, a few quick taps allows parents to create reports of individual events, days or periods of time. These are then preserved for your records, while being convenient and organized to share with a pediatrician, if needed.

baby growth chart

Whether you are pregnant with your first child, are in the midst of sleepless nights with a newborn or are a veteran mom of multiples, Baby Zoe is on a mission to empower all parents to improve the health of their children. There is no reason to miss out on making life more convenient and manageable when it is presented in such a user friendly, helpful way.

And I mentioned that it was FREE, right? Head over to the Baby Zoe website today to find out more and be sure to download it from iTunes for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch or on Google Play for Android.

Plus, thanks to the generosity of The Gomez's, one person will receive a great thank you for downloading their app and making their own lives a little easier, because...

One lucky person will win a $50 Target gift card!

Target gift card

(Enter with the Rafflecopter form below. If you have any questions or problems entering, there is a video tutorial found here that can help.) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Baby Zoe for providing a $50 Target gift card 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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scrubbing Bubbles Teams Up with fantastik to Tackle Tough Kitchen Messes {Review & Giveaway}

Scrubbing Bubbles logo
The arrival of fall means many things – kids are back in school, the temperatures are cooling off, the leaves are beginning to change and more – but it also tends to mean something else: more time spent in the kitchen.

Between packing lunches, school activities, tailgating, barbeques and holiday dinners, there are many occasions to be in the kitchen cooking up something for family and friends. While feeding small or large crowds is something that some people love and some people dread, we can all agree that no one is a fan of the aftermath and messes.

Sticky counter tops, greasy appliances, fingerprints on stainless steel, a filmy residue on the sink... not so much fun. Fortunately, Scrubbing Bubbles, the brand that is known being a hardworking and helpful ally in the bathroom for 40 years, has now taken on the task of tackling America's toughest kitchen messes as well!

Scrubbing Bubbles kitchen

Combining the ease and effectiveness of Scrubbing Bubbles with the grease-fighting power of fantastik, grease and grime in the kitchen don't stand a chance with this new collection of products.

As many people know, keeping a kitchen clean requires daily work, so by combining both of these hardworking formulas together, consumers can cut through tough messes without all of the physical effort. Plus, the cleaners are all-purpose, tackling many surfaces so that one product can do the job of many, saving time and money. They're a win-win!

New Scrubbing Bubbles with fantastik products include:
  • Bleach 5-in-1 Scrubbing Bubbles All Purpose Cleaner with fantastik is an all-purpose cleaner that cuts through grease with the power of bleach to make cleaning easy. It removes five tough stains including food spills, greasy soil, soap scum, and mold and mildew stains. This all-purpose spray is not just a bathroom and kitchen cleaner, it's also strong enough to use on outdoor surfaces such as lawn furniture. It eliminates odors as it cleans, leaving a fresh scent behind.
  • Oxy Power Scrubbing Bubbles Grease & Stain Remover with fantastik is a multi-purpose cleaner that removes spots and stains from fabric, upholstery and other soft, absorbent surfaces. It also removes dirt and grease from hard surfaces such as appliances, counter tops, microwaves, stainless steel, chrome, sinks, ceramic tile and glass.
  • Lemon Power Scrubbing Bubbles All Purpose Cleaner with fantastik kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria, as well as the viruses that cause the common cold and flu. This all-purpose cleaner leaves a lemon scent with no filmy residue, cutting through tough grease and grime throughout the home and is strong enough to use on outdoor surfaces such as lawn furniture.

When a sampling of these great products arrived at my door, I took one look around my not-so-clean kitchen and couldn't wait to put them to use.

Scrubbing Bubbles with fantastik
Don't anyone tell my kids that a really cute Scrubbing Bubbles cookie came with these, because it somehow mysteriously disappeared...

As I have always been impressed with Scrubbing Bubbles in our bathrooms, it didn't surprise me when these products worked perfectly in our kitchen. I love being able to reach for all three of these bottles and know that our counter tops, sinks, appliances and more will end up fresh and clean. Any odors from food or grease disappear and the remaining shine is a welcome replacement.

It's all too easy to go from this:

dirty stovetop
 
To this:

cleaning a stove top

To this:

dirty stove top

All in a matter of seconds!

While no one is a big fan of cleaning the kitchen, The Scrubbing Bubbles lineup of cleaning products with fantastik are a great way to make the whole process easier and faster. Why work hard when you don't have to?

To learn more about the Scrubbing Bubbles collection of kitchen products with fantastik, visit Scrubbing Bubbles on their official Facebook Page, on Twitter or at ScrubbingBubbles.com. These innovative items are available now in grocery, drug and mass-merchandise retailers.

Plus, thanks to the generosity of SC Johnson, one person will be ready to see their kitchen spic and span as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Scrubbing Bubbles Total Kitchen Foaming All Purpose Cleaner with fantastik!


(Enter with the Rafflecopter form below. If you have any questions or problems entering, there is a video tutorial found here that can help.) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to SC Johnson for providing three Scrubbing Bubbles products for me to review as well as a Foaming All Purpose Cleaner with fantastik 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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Barney: Most Loveable Moments 2-Disc DVD {Review & Giveaway}

Barney logo
Being big fans of the public library, the girls and I try to visit as often as possible to check out a new stack of fun, engaging books.

But, as any library patron knows, there is so much more to offer than simply books. We love the story times, the events, the community, all of it. However, if you asked my kids, they would most likely mention that they love the ability to find so many of their beloved characters all in one place. No matter if they are in the mood for princesses, trains or animals, they love scouring the shelves to find something new and fun (and, even though they don't know it, educational).

One larger-than-life, huggable T-Rex that they're always happy to see is none other than the super-dee-duper Barney and the journeys that he brings readers or viewers along on in each and every book or episode.

Therefore, they were pretty excited to hear that fans everywhere can now join Barney in 10 tee-riffic tales filled with imagination, music and learning in an all-new collectible 2-disc DVD set, Barney: Most Loveable Moments.

Barney: Most Loveable Moments

Available now on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and HIT Entertainment, this is an event of dinosaur proportions that is not to be missed. Aimed at children ages 1-5, this 2-disc DVD set provides everyone's favorite purple dinosaur in 10 of his most loveable, huggable episodes.

With seven bonus features including games, read-along stories, sing-a-long tunes and a collectible O-card, this special set helps little ones learn the importance of working together, being a friend and keeping promises.

Barney Once Upon A Fairy Tale

I appreciate the way that every time Barney appears on the screen, the tales are filled with imagination, music and education. While there are other shows that we have seen that have aspects that make me cringe, Barney continues to display sharing, caring, creativity, dancing and learning, proving why this Emmy award-winning series is one of the top-rated preschool shows today.

Barney: Most Loveable Moments is no exception, as these episodes have Barney showing what it means to be a friend, why it's important to keep promises and how to find creative ways to work together. Kids will want to join Barney and his friends in a stu-u-pendous collection of stories and songs that the the whole family will love!

Episodes include:
  • Once Upon A Fairy Tale
  • The Reluctant Dragon
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Bonjour, Barney!
  • Little Red Rockin’ Hood
  • Beethoven’s Hear!
  • It’s Showtime!
  • Counting
  • Days of the Week
  • Squares, Squares Everywhere
Special Features include:
  • Barney’s Book of Hugs Book
  • BJ’s Batting Cage Counting Game
  • What’s That Sound? Game
  • Sing-A-Long: If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Build A Sandcastle Game
  • Read-A-Long Book: Barney and Baby Bop’s Band
  • Dino Dress-Up Game
Barney Squares, Squares Everywhere

Retailing for $14.98, Barney: Most Loveable Moments would be a great addition for young Barney fans anywhere. This 2-disc set has a feature running time of 199 minutes and does a great job of bringing education, entertainment, and fun time and time again!

Thanks to the generosity of Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment, one person will soon discover just how loveable this big, purple dinosaur can be, because...

One lucky person will win Barney: Most Loveable Moments 
on 2-disc DVD!


(Enter with the Rafflecopter form below. If you have any questions or problems entering, there is a video tutorial found here that can help.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment for providing a copy of Barney: Most Loveable Moments for me 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.

FRAAS Fairisle Infinity scarves {Review}

FRAAS logo
Although I enjoy flipping through fashion magazines or catching a few minutes of an E! Network style show, I tend to let most of the latest trends and fads remain there.

The hottest heels on the runway? Fun to look at, but not exactly practical for playing in the park. The chic, new, ├╝ber expensive clutch? Definitely pretty, but probably not built for storing plastic toys and cracker crumbs.

However, one leading trend that I've been happy to embrace as my own is the casual fashion that comes with a novelty scarf. Being able to drape or tie a scarf as a finishing touch to an outfit just has the ability to give it a polished, put-together look with ease. And no collection is more on-target than the luxurious line up of versatile options from FRAAS in their Fall 2012 collection.

fashion scarves

Ever since its foundation in 1880 by Valentin Fraas, FRAAS has thrived, advanced and expanded at a rapid pace due to constantly implementing new ideas and concepts.

From its bases in New York, Paris, London, W├╝stenselbitz, Toronto and Shanghai, design teams travel to major shows and forecasting seminars throughout the globe to identify new trends and develop products that are perfectly attuned to fashion and customer demand.

The company's research team, meanwhile, works unceasingly to develop and discover new yarns, fabric and methods of manufacturing products that are of truly outstanding quality. For the upcoming fall season, more than 100 new FRAAS brand styles are debuting in multiple color options to provide savvy consumers with the right styling and best shades to work with existing and new wardrobes.

When the Fairisle Infinity Scarf arrived, I knew that it would be a great addition to my closet.

FRAAS Fairisle Infinity Scarf

Comprised of acrylic, nylon and a bit of wool, this scarf is super soft and extremely lightweight, making it a great item for transitioning from season to season. Right away I loved the muted, neutral colors and the loose, open weave of the fabric.

lightweight scarf

Having worn an infinity scarf before, I was excited that this one provided the same easy looping (no tying needed) and quick styling. No matter if you are looking to dress up your outerwear, sweater, dress or blouse, the Fairisle Infinity Scarf has the ability to give a fashionable finishing touch that is sure to turn heads.

FRAAS review

While I was initially concerned about how delicate this scarf would be, it didn't take long before I realized that simply because it feels thin and fragile, those do not equate to it being flimsy. Instead, it has held up well to being worn time and again and easily retains its classic, soft shape.

Whether pulled on to go have coffee with friends, to bring my girls to the library or packed in a bag for travel, the FRAAS Fairisle Infinity Scarf has proven to be one item that will never go out of fashion. Available in four color options (navy/turquoise, camel/ivory, rose/petal, and black/grey), this scarf retails for approximately $40.

This fall, don't spend a fortune trying to renew or revamp your wardrobe. Instead, visit FRAAS on their website (as well as on Facebook), to select your favorite way to stylishly accessorize what you currently own. You can also find FRAAS products worldwide in department and specialty stores as well as online retailers and from Amazon.com.

(Other than the Fairisle Infinity Scarf that I was provided by FRAAS to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed or to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this company and their products.)