Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Giveaway! VTech Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™, Chomp & Count Dino™, Grow-Along Music Center™, & Smart Shots Sports Center™!!!

*2014 Holiday Gift Guide

*PR Samples Provided
Giveaway Provided by VTech

I have an AWESOME giveaway from VTech today; you are going to be as excited as I am.  It's HUGE and the suggested retail value is over $125!   The giveaway package will include four educational toys that are perfect for the toddler years. 

I'll provide the product description for each one, followed by my thoughts on them.  Since there are four products being reviewed at once, I won't be quite as in depth as I was with the VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Forest Adventure Playset™ and Go! Go! Smart Animals™! review but if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask away in a comment.  

Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!


VTech® Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™ (Age 6-36 months, MSRP: $39.99)
Amazon               VTechKids

Description:

Cruise into the learning zone on the Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser. This 2-in-1 toy grows with children and transforms from a floor play toy with detachable steering wheel activity panel to an exciting ride-on toy.

The interactive steering wheel features driving, learning and music modes with more than 80 songs, sounds and phrases that introduce animals, opposites and first words. Turn on the engine, move the gear shifter or press the horn to hear realistic driving sound effects.

Children can pretend to drive to six different fun locations with arrow buttons teaching the concept of direction and road safety. Attach the steering wheel to the cruiser and it becomes a fun ride-on toy.

The Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser also has a fun front activity panel and under seat storage children can fill with small toys for more fun on the go!

Review:

Every child needs a toy like this!  It's the quintessential ride on vehicle that's small enough give the littlest of kiddos a taste of freedom as they learn how to propel it independently. Both of my kids loved their first ride on toy and would ride it all over our first floor, but this one is so much more!

It's great how it it will grow with your child and that he or she can begin playing with it as a pre-walker.  When we had our first child we were apartment dwellers and I really appreciated multitaskers like this, no need to have a big toy to entertain them before walking that then has to be replaced once they get really moving.  This is one toy your child will get a lot of play out of!

Plus there are so many bells and whistles on the Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser!  It sings, teaches, has storage, and promotes both physically active and imaginative play. The wheel also detaches so my little guy likes to take in the car and pretend he's driving right along with me.  


VTech® Chomp & Count Dino™ (Age 12-36 months, MSRP: $19.99)
Amazon               VTechKids

Description:

Children can learn about colors, numbers and food with the adorable new Chomp & Count Dino. Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in the dino's mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.

Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more. Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they've learned.

Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on dino’s back will play sing-along songs. The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.

Review:

This is such a fun interactive toy and there's a lot of play packed into it.  Kids will learn about cause and effect as they feed the dino.  It's so cute to see your child's face light up as they see the dino react to everything they do.  It's not just passive learning as your child can also answer questions posed by the dino.  Besides teaching basic concepts like colors and counting, it also plays music and is also a pull along toy so your child can also have fun taking the dino for a walk.


VTech® Grow-Along Music Center™ (Age 12-36 months, MSRP: $29.99)
Amazon               VTechKids

Description:

Children can pretend to be musicians and sing along to the music with the Grow-Along Music Center. As they sing into the microphone, five colorful lights correspond to children’s voices, or they can play with wacky voice-changing and amplifying effects.

Rock out with three instrument buttons that play guitar, drum and saxophone sounds. Five animal piano keys introduce kids to instruments, colors and animals. Kids can choose between Learn & Play mode and Sing-Along mode to become learning super stars!

Review:

One of the first things my kids liked was music and this up with that high interest toddler activity perfectly.  Again this toy is a great value because it will grow with your child.  The top keyboard comes off so your child can play with it on the floor and then as he or she begins to stand and develop better balance you can progress to placing it back on top for sitting or standing play.  One of the features my kids liked best, was being able to change their voice, the robot was especially fun, and even though I find them to be quite loud enough they thought being able to amplify it was hilarious.  Good thing there is a volume control!

VTech® Smart Shots Sports Center™ (Age 12-36 months, MSRP: $39.99)
Amazon               VTechKids

Description:

Parents can cheer on their little sports stars with the Smart Shots Sports Center. This electronic sports center features a soccer goal and basketball hoop for a fun 2-in-1 experience.

Kick the soccer ball into the net to hear fun sounds or toss the basketball into the hoop and the magic sensor will count up to ten each time a basket is scored.

Three buttons introduce shapes, numbers, opposites, sing-along songs and more. Turn the gears or flip the page to hear fun phrases and sounds. The sports center also features a light-up screen that plays a variety of fun animations and shows numbers, shapes and letters to reinforce learning.

Review:

If your child likes music but needs a little more physical activity, like mine does, then they will really like the Smart Shots Sports Center.  While it still provides music, teaches basic concepts, and has plenty of buttons to push and knobs to turn the real attraction to this toy is the hoop and net.  These are perfectly sized so the littlest sports fans can experience making a slam dunk or goal without frustration.  My kiddo could absolutely loves basketball so this was right up his alley!

Overall:

VTech can be counted on to deliver well designed educational toys that make learning fun and with a lot of variety of activities and interaction.  They infuse play with music, physical activity, and high interest themes.  These newest additions to their toys continue on their tradition of offering high quality toys parents and families can rely on to help enrich their child's life and provide exposure to key early learning concepts.

Learn more about VTech and their educational toys:


Giveaway: One reader will win a giveaway package containing each of the four products reviewed in this post.  Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Entrants must be 21 and older and a US resident, sorry no PO Boxes.

Please make sure you sign into the widget with a valid email or an account associated with one, that you check on a regular basis.  Winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to respond.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maya & Miguel Giveaway to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

*Press Materials, Complimentary Samples,
& Giveaway Provided


Scholastic Media’s award-winning TV series, Maya & Miguel™, is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, the series recently made its debut on iTunes – just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month!  This special month long event is September 15-October 15.

Even through it's just passed I still wanted to share with you the news that for the very first time, all 65 episodes of the energetic animated adventures of 10-year-old twins Maya and Miguel Santos are now available for download on iTunes!  This collection features six volumes for hours of hilarious entertainment – and multicultural learning – anytime, anywhere!

As a member of a multicultural family and as a former teacher in both Northern California and Santa Fe, New Mexico, during which I had numerous students of Hispanic decent, I know how important it is that all children see themselves and their cultures represented in the media.

 The long-running Maya & Miguel TV series, airing on PBS KIDS (check local listings), chronicles the exuberant exploits of the dynamic duo, Maya and Miguel, along with their relatives and friends, set against the backdrop of a culturally-rich neighborhood. Showcasing a positive portrayal of Latino family life, language and cultures, the series aims to promote the value of a diverse society while supporting English language learning.

In addition to iTunes, episodes of Maya & Miguel are available for digital download in the LeapFrog App Center.
GIVEAWAY!

I am pleased to share that I have a special Maya & Miguel package, that I know one of my lucky readers will enjoy!  The package will include a “Spanish First Words” book, additional Maya & Miguel title and awesome temporary tattoos!  Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag: October 2014, Beauty Candy

*Referral Link Included


This month's Ipsy was awesome, a total hit!  First off, the bag is so cute.  It's a padded quilted texture and the teal is super fun.  I was really happy at first glance and that was before I'd even seen what was inside!


I got five products and yes, these are totally my idea of beauty candy!  I knew I'd like this month because I peeked in my Glam Room but it's way more exciting when everything actually arrives.  Plus I had no idea how much I'd like the bag based on the little preview picture.   Doesn't everything look so nice all lined up?


Épicé Purifying Exfoliant: Described as, "A unique exfoliant which removes excess dirt and dead skin cells all while activating collagen production and hydrating your skin. This moisture rich formula utilizes mild, non-irritating and anti-bacterial cleansers with micro-fine polyspheres which enhances skin texture and clarity for a clean, fresh appearance."

I like exfoliants.  I've noticed a big difference and improvement in the texture of my skin since I began using them. However, I currently have several samples to use up so at first I wasn't overly excited about this, except for the fact that it's a fairly large sample!

Then I used it and I really like it!  It doesn't hurt that it's got a fresh citrus scent.  There's a 50% off code (IPSY5014) that's good through 1/15/15 so if I continue to like it as much as my first impression I might purchase a full size.  It's very gentle and not abrasive feeling, compared to some other exfoliants I've tried.


I wish the coupon code for this next product was as good, it's only for 15% off  but the base price is less so that probably won't hold me back!  Figs & ROUGE is one of those brands I'd heard a lot of good buzz about but hadn't tried.  Fingers were crossed that I'd get a sample from them, but then I saw the scent was Mango Mandarin and well, mango is not my thing at all.

Or at least it wasn't until now!  I love this very sweet but tart scent and how light and non greasy the hand cream is.  In fact, I think it smells a lot like sweet tarts.  Candy for my skin, yes please!   The only downer is that this 20ml "sample" is actually a full size, which normally would be a very good thing.  But the tube feels really small in my hand, I could easily use this right up.  So I'm torn, on one hand I love but on the other it's kind of expensive when you consider how little you get for the price.


This was the one "meh" product and mainly because it is yet another eye liner! This time it's a Skone Cosmetics TATTOOED Waterproof Eyeliner.  In its favor, it went on really easily and was smudge proof almost immediately.  I haven't had time to try it yet, but I think it would do a nice winged liner look.


As you can probably imagine, I was nearly breathless when I saw the Cirque Colors Nail Lacquer in XX.  This is a mini bottle, it's a little less than half the size of their normal bottle.  It's best as a top coat so this should be enough to last a good while.  It's a great sample and I am so so glad I got it, it almost makes up for the lip product fiasco I carried on about last week.  Almost.


Let's take a closer look at the gorgeousness!  It's so pretty!  {Swoon} There are over 20 different types of holographic glitter!  The polish applies nicely, I prefer two thin coats to get fuller glitter coverage but they did spread out fairly evenly without much effort.  I had no problems reaching the level of top coat coverage that I wanted.  The nail polish junkie in my is smitten.


Ipsy delivered on the hand cream, the nail polish, and then for the trifecta of awesomeness...a lipstick!  It's even an all natural brand! Yes, ipsy definitely takes October and wins the battle of the beauty boxes!


This noyah lipstick's shade is Deeply in Mauve.  It's semi-matte with a cream finish and really beautiful.  It's deeper rich color is perfect for fall and my complexion.

If you want to join me as a ipsy subbie, please just my referral link when you sign up!  It's just $10 a month and you get a Glam Bag with deluxe sized samples and full sized products!  Overall, I have been happier with the samples and sizes with ipsy versus Birchbox.  Their rewards system isn't as great but you get a better idea of whether you like a product or not since you usually get more to try out.  I really like & the little pouches I get each month, they're perfect for storing & organizing all sorts of stuff.

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