HearthSong Flying Space Monkeys – Review & Giveaway

 The holidays are all about family and traditions. Old traditions and new traditions. You take the happy traditions you grew up with and instill them into your own family and make-up new ones as the years go by.

One of the new traditions we started a few years back takes place on Christmas Day. It all started with the little ones going upstairs to watch from the loft. Then the adult family members all simultaneously opened ready-to-go sponge dart guns. The excitement started immediately and it was “Game On”! Before too long the grandkids were caught up in the action and teams were formed. The action lasted hours. A tradition was started.

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This year every single family member, from grandparents to the kindergartner, will each be opening a Flying Space Monkey from HearthSong. I know these adorable monkeys will be flying all over within seconds of escaping the confines of thier wrapping paper. We can’t wait to see the different games and competitions the kids and grandkids create with the ultimate goal of their monkey winning.

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Brave Irene – Children’s Book with CD

 Our granddaughter is honing her reading skills in kindergarten. She loves to “show off” and read to us every chance she gets. However … she still brings us books and snuggles up on our laps so that we can read to her. Even though we hope there are still many years of snuggling with books in the future, sometimes we aren’t available in person to share a book with her. These are the times that precious books narrated on CDs can be the perfect gift for little ones like our granddaughter.

Brave Irene is the story of little Irene who puts aside her fears to complete a special task that her mother is too ill to complete. Academy Award winning actress Meryl Streep brings the story of Brave Irene to life with her delightful narration on CD.
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Here We Go! – An Exciting Adventurous Storybook

 We have a special verbal game we play with our grandchildren. We call it our Adventure Story. It’s interactive and everyone can participate. It’s a “to be continued …” story where we travel wherever our imaginations take us and we have a remarkable time. Anyone and everyone can be in our Adventure Story. (Recently Britt was there carrying Yoda in her backpack!) We leave it to Cody, our 8-year old grandson, to make our Adventure Story pure magic!

Patricia Babuka and Scott Schaefer of Grandcamp Adventures have brought an adventure story to print in a delightfully illustrated book. Written by Walter Sorrells and illustrated by Victor Tavares, Here We Go! is the story of eccentric (in a fabulously fun way) grandparents who take their grandchildren on an exciting adventure around the world.

While Papa and Grammie are on holiday around the world they find that many of their precious treasures have been lost through a hole in the baggage compartment of their plane.

The adventure begins when their grandchildren, Savannah, Luca and Aiden, arrive for a visit.

Papa and Grammie explain the “disaster” that has happened and then they all set off on an adventure traveling the world over to find the lost treasures. Using a magic compass, their travels take them to castles in England, the jungles of the Congo, the beaches of New Zealand, Chinese New Year in China and a local family gathering in Venezuela.

Before the family arrives back home, they’ve experiencing fabulous customs and traditions of various different cultures. It truly is an Adventure Story of a lifetime!

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Gracie’s Gift – Children’s Book

 Gracie’s Gift is a precious little story book. The story of Gracie truly hit home for me as I think it will for anyone who has a little princess (or two, or three …) in their life.

Author Andrea Trosclair takes us on an inspired journey of love as Sean Gautreaux brings Gracie to life with splendid illustrations.

The story opens the morning of Gracie’s birthday. She’s wakes and climbs out of bed excited about the adventures that are in store for her birthday celebration. Everything is perfect as she dances about her room until she spots the bow sitting next to her birthday dress. You see, Gracie does not like wearing hair bows.

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Activision Games for Girls Summit

Last week we took our 5-year old grand daughter to the Activision Games for Girls Summit where all three of us had an extraordinary time.

Activision-Games-4-Girls-1 simplesojourns.com

Activision has taken the most popular toys and made interactive video games from them. These games are available in the DS format and have been a hit with not only Kennedy but her older brothers and parents too. The six games we were introduced to are Moshie Monsters, Wappy Dog, Lalaloopsy, Zhu Zhu Babies, Zoobles and Squinkies.

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We were treated to a fabulous lunch before we settled in to hear all about Activision’s new games for girls. While we were learning some amazing facts and statistics about girls and gaming in general … Kennedy was having a jolly good time with her new friends.

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Recipe Rock – Review & Giveaway

  I have a few cookbooks that I use on a regular basis. They’re my “go to” books that contain my favorite recipes, some of which I’ve used for 30 years or more.

As of late I’ve searched and found most of my recipes online, many of which I’ve posted here on Simple Sojourns. I usually pull a recipe up online on my Macbook. But since I’m a bit of a messy cook, I leave my Macbook on the kitchen table and run back and forth from the table to the kitchen counter. It works, but it’s not exactly convenient.

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Seventy percent of cooks nowadays are probably like me, choosing the internet over actual cookbooks. If they print out the recipe they’re more than likely constantly moving it out of the way and getting it quite messy … like me!

Enter the Recipe Rock … awesome and convenient. I love the Recipe Rock. A lot.

Recipe Rock

 The Recipe Rock is a small 2 inch sculpted concave “rock” with a powerful earth magnet. It can hold up to eight pages by simply placing them between the rock and the ball. The Recipe Rock is small enough to sit on the counter without getting in the way. It also fits nicely in a drawer. I use mine almost everyday and I love it!

The Recipe Rock is made by Architec Products and is sold on Amazon and other retailers. It even comes in red! It would make a perfect stocking stuffer, priced at under ten dollars. How would you like to win one?

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Tiny Prints Holiday Cards

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We’re big on photos at our house. As we say in our weekly Favorite Photo Saturday post, we take an average of 500 photos every week. Because of our love for photography and the story we believe a photo can tell, one of our favorite things about the holidays is receiving photo Christmas cards.

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It gives us a chance to see what our family and friends have been up to. To see how they’ve grown and how they’ve changed.  We’re actually having a family dinner tomorrow night with our children and grandchildren. We’re gathering together for good food, good company and family photos.

By this weekend I’ll have the perfect family photo picked out and I’ll be ordering our Tiny Prints Photo Christmas cards.

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I’m in love with Tiny Print’s 2011 holiday collection.  They styles are gorgeous and the variety to choose from is vast. From the round to the tri-fold there’s something for everyone!

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Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc

Congratulations to #8 Jessica in Virginia the winner of this giveway!!

 I love autumn. The weather is cooling and the desire to dance around in the moonlight is everywhere. Well … okay. So I’m the only one that wants to dance in the moonlight … but I bet I could get our youngest grandchildren to join me!

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Image credit: Aerobie

The moonlight is a good time to toss the Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc about though. It’s good active fun for as or after the sun goes down. Play alone, with the family or invite the neighbors for a wicked street game. Our Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc is bright neon green. The Disc also comes in blue, yellow and pink. Think of the fun you could have with all four colors. Four teams, four different colored discs’ and the sky would be a rainbow of color!

Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc

Retailing for $15 and sold at major sporting goods stores (including Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods) the Skylighter Disc is recommended for ages 10 and up. We however have a jolly good time playing with our grandchildren ages 11, 8 and 5.

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Image credit: Aerobie

The Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc makes a spectacular light show, day or night. It will zoom (powered by the hand!) about amazingly long and is quite accurate. The disc is 12 inches in diameter which gives it stability. The rim is cushioned for performance and soft catches. The batteries are long lasting but … replaceable. The Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc is made in the U.S.A.

Bottom line … the Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc is good fun, challenging and can bring the family together for dancing in the moonlight! The Aerobie Skylighter Lighted Disc is available on Amazon.

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Phillips Sonicare Essence 5300 PINK Limited Edition – Giveaway

Congratulations to our giveaway winner #85 Beth in New York!

 Two of my favorite days out of the entire year are when I go to the dentist for my bi-annual cleanings. I love everything about sparkly clean teeth. Everything! Yesterday was one of those days. I was proud when my dental hygienist told me what an excellent job I was doing brushing and caring for my teeth at home. She actually said I couldn’t be doing a better job. I thought about the new Phillips Sonicare Essence 5300 Susan G. Komen for the Cure Limited Edition toothbrush I’ve been using. And I thought about it with a big huge smile.

Brushing our teeth morning and night (and sometimes in between) should be a daily routine. We shouldn’t have to give it a second thought, especially when it comes to teaching our children and grandchildren healthy habits. I’ll be the first to admit that it can be mundane and boring. I’m here to say that Phillips Sonicare Rechargeable Toothbrushes help to keep this important daily habit easy and enjoyable.

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(Image courtesy of Phillips Sonicare)

Philips Sonicare is a proud sponsor of Susan G. Komen for the Cure which works to save lives and to help put an end to breast cancer. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness months, October 2010 and October 2011, Philips Sonicare will donate $100,000 to fund breast cancer research. And now, the new Essence 5300 Susan G. Komen for the Cure Limited Edition rechargeable toothbrush is available for purchase.

Phillips Sonicare Susan G. Komen

Recognizable by the Pink Power Button, the new Essence 5300′s sleek design is comfortable in my small hand and is easy to place on the charger. And that’s important to me. 
 

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Just Kids Gifts – Personalized Book

I love books. I love to buy books. I love to give them as gifts. I read books to my children and I love to read them with my grandchildren. I rarely discard books and never throw them away. For me, reading a book is like watching a really good film. I can visualize the characters and the landscape. The stories are in living color. I personally believe it’s important to instill a love of reading in children at a very young age. We can do this simply by reading with our kids and grand-kids. If we read to them and then with them, before long they’ll be reading to us. Reading is a marvelous thing.

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Just Kids Gifts has a wonderful selection of children’s books that are personalized. Children will read  in the story about themselves by name along with the names of their very own friends. There is a large variety of books with all the stories revolving around your child or the child of your choice. The books are well made and will last for years to come. I actually think they’d make wonderful heirlooms to pass down through generations to come.

We received the ‘My Christmas Wish’ personalized book for our grand daughter. The story is all about Kennedy and her favorite friend Kassidy.

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Together they plan a make-believe trip to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus.

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Kennedy wants to bake cookies for the elves with Mrs. Claus while …

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… Kassidy wants to help with the reindeer.

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Together they embark on a delightful journey that will delight children of all ages.

Just Kids Gifts just kids gifts 1 personalized books are also available in Spanish along with a wide variety of personalized CDs and DVDs. We know our grand daughter is going to love her new book. Her birthday is in early December so it’s going to be the perfect gift.

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