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Posts Tagged ‘giveaway’

I can see it vividly. A picture of myself, by little sister Heather, who’s four years younger, and our baby sister Lauren, maybe six months at the time. All butt naked and crammed into a bathtub together. Mind you I was 11. But we all had big grins having a grand old time. I’m sure my mom still has that picture somewhere. Probably hanging on to it as blackmail. I think everyone has a picture of themselves taken while they were taking a bath as a baby, or even a kid. So it’s only fair that I carry on the tradition for posterity’s sake.

I have some photos of my first two, that clearly show how far my photography skills have come.

Along with my ability to white balance; another something that’s come a long way are options for keeping baby bath time safe. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the same day my 11-year-old naked bathtub picture was taken, but probably around that time. I stood up really quick and scraped my back on the bathtub spout. It’s one of the only injuries I remember and still cringe about to this day. I’m pretty sure I have a scar to prove it. I have warned by kids about during each bath.

When I got a box of goodies from my blog partner Munchkin, one of the things inside was a bathtub spout guard. I was so excited and immediately put it on our bathtub faucet. It’s made to help guard against bumps, burns, or in cases like mine, scrapes.

I bought a transitional tub for Lil’ J when she was a baby (that yellow duck tub pictured above). Now Munchkin has a 2.0 version that’s a swan. I blew it up and set it on the bed and Lil’ J screamed when she saw it when she got home from school. Lee Lee isn’t sitting up yet but it’ll be perfect when she is. Like the suck tub, the swan also has the white hot technology to show when the water is too hot for baby.

For now we are using the Munchkin Clean tub that’s great on the counter or in the bathtub for washing your floppy little infant. Personally I like it on the counter better, so I don’t have to bend over. Lee Lee seemed to like it better there too. It has a little pout on the end that lets the dirty water run out of it while you’re washing your baby.

In another post I mentioned my excitement for the new squirt bath toys now can be opened and dried out to prevent mold. Lee Lee isn’t playing with those just yet but her siblings are. We should be able to keep them clean until she’s ready to use them herself.

It’s still a bit surreal starting over and doing this all a third time. I’m looking forward to the day that I can plop the three of my babies into a tub for one adorable picture I’ll forever treasure (and get to use as blackmail).

GIVEAWAY!

Want a $250 gift card to use for Munchkin products? Of course you do! Use the Rafflecopter entry form to enter! Giveaway ends October 31st at 11:59pm. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m pretty sure third grade is when Barbie dolls were all the rage. I may have even had one stuck in the middle of my cake at my roller skating rink birthday party. Most of my gifts were dolls and rarely did any of them look like me. Did I care? Nope.

I played with the dolls until their limbs fell off, and sometimes even long after. I brushed their hair and styled them in the bathtub. I didn’t realize it at the time but a lot of those toys, along with the people I was surrounded by at school, influenced the way I saw myself.

My curly hair seemed unruly and messy compared to the slick shiny hair of my dolls. My eyes seemed so dark and boring. The “pretty dolls” I was gifted looked nothing like me. Therefore, was I not pretty?

While I didn’t take it to that literal equation (though self-conscious, I was always a pretty confident child) I altered the way I looked to match beauty standards. I straightened my hair, and even wore contacts–not to see better, but to change the color of my eyes.

As an adult, connecting all the dots, and becoming a mother to a little girl, I knew right off the bat we were going to do things differently. She’d see herself represented in books, movies and toys in ways I never did. I’ve made this a priority.

Apple Park Organic Toys Review

I applaud companies that also recognize the need for more diverse toys. Apple Park has long been a brand promising products that are safe for children, better for the environment and always beautifully green. But beyond creating soft baby clothes, and toys made from organic materials, they’re also aware of the importance of creating more toys that represent a wider rainbow of children.

Their newest Best Friend’s doll named Mia has a dark skin tone, braidable pigtails and to my daughter’s delight–a removable dress.

Apple Park Organic Toys New Mia Doll Review

Apple Park sent us one of their new dolls and Lil’ J was so excited to open hers, and a matching one she insists is for her baby sister. I explained how this was a new doll, and their first that looked like her, to which she interpreted to mean it’s a special doll made in her image. I haven’t had the heart to tell her otherwise yet. But I do love watching her embrace dolls, toys and characters who look more like her than most toys I played with as a little girl.

In the 1940s, a study looking into the effects of segregation by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark found that black children not only overwhelmingly preferred white dolls, but they also had negative perceptions of black dolls. I saw these dolls in the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. It broke my heart reading how children didn’t want to play with the dolls with darker skin. The “doll test” was cited in the 1954 Supreme Court caseBrown vs. Board of Education, which led to desegregation.

Apple Park Organic Toys New Mia Doll Review

It’s important for every child to see themselves in a positive light, and to see the beauty in diversity in the world. That begins with the toys they play with and the books that they read. I’ve seen the difference it’s made in my daughter’s life and it gives me hope that we’ve come a long way and that things will continue to get better.

Our little girl on the way also has a super soft and snuggly first baby doll ready for her and I hope it’s a gift she cherishes a long time.

Apple Park Organic Toys New Mia Doll Review

Giveaway

CLOSED– Winner: Entrant #12 Heather

What a week you guys. Not one, but two giveaways for you! First off, Apple Park has a slew of adorable baby and children’s toys and items from books and blankets to dolls and backpacks. Use my code JB20 to get 20% off your Apple Park purchase from May 22nd until May 31st.

Now for the giveaway. One reader will win an Apple Park Prize pack filled with the sweetest goodies. This prize pack has a retail value of $150 and will include these items or items of a similar value:

To enter just leave a comment with letting me know what item you love on their website. Giveaway closes next Thursday night May 31st at 11:59pm.

Big thanks to Apple Park for being today’s blog sponsor.

texas bluebonnets

Spring is here and to celebrate the flowers blooming, I’ve teamed up with other amazing bloggers to bring you a KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway. Winner will pick their choice of color.

Spring-Kitchenaid-Mixer-Giveaway

So what are ya gonna make with this if you win? 

To enter to win follow directions in the rafflecopter form below and make sure to read the terms and conditions below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS: this giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and over and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 28th, 2015. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. Number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Approximate retail value is $250.00 and will be purchased at Target. One winner will be selected. This is a giveaway sponsored as a group buy, which means the bloggers pooled their money together to purchase this product for you. All liabilities and responsibilities with product is directly responsible by Target. Winner will drawn by random.org from all verified entries, contacted by email provided, and announced on this page at the end of the contest. Winner has 48 hours to respond or prize will be redrawn. Entrant is responsible for the email address they provide, whether through typing it directly or through the Facebook entry method. Little Inspiration is not responsible for lost or misdirected emails. All prizes will be awarded. No prize substitutions allowed. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook and we hereby release Facebook of any liability. Facebook and Target are not a sponsor of this giveaway. Prize is mailed or emailed directly by Angie Ramirez of Little Inspiration and requires confirmation of delivery. Protected tweets do not count as an entry method for tweeting. Tweets must come from a public account. Bloggers in this group giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Reading with kids digitally and with paper books. A list of favorite books read in 2014.
Last year I got a new tablet for Christmas, downloaded a library app and have been checking out all sorts of books. I started the New Year reading the Divergent series. Here are a few of my favorites from this year and a little one-liner of my thoughts.

Fiction
matched trilogyTypically my favorite genre. I feel like I read more of these but these stand out the most.

Divergent Series (3 books): I couldn’t put the first couple books down. Very fun to read.

Matched Series (3 books): Also very good, it’s hard for me to choose a favorite between these two. Both were post-apocalyptic society-type books.

Gone Girl: I read because it was recommended to me based on the books I’d been reading. I was seriously frightened and disturbed at some parts but it was an unexpected mystery book that I enjoyed.

Non-Fiction

Diary_of_Two_Mad_Black_Mormons
One of my goals was to read more auto-biographies this year.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me: A hilarious way to start my attempt to dive into biographies.

Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons– I bought this book before the publishing company sent me one because my friends wrote it. It’s hilarious, and uplifting, and a great read. You don’t need to be mad or black or Mormon to enjoy it.

5 Love Languages: My first “self-help” book and wow… I loved it, still reference it, and I just bought it so I can read it again with my husband.

Children’s Books

Of-thee-i-singThis category isn’t as long because we have so many classics and favorites that we read over and over. But there are still a few new ones that jump out at me.

Of Thee I Sing: A historical book with gorgeous illustrations. Written by Barack Obama. The book tells short stories of boys and girls who grew to be miraculous men and women who changed our country. I love hearing Lil’ J talk about Jackie Robinson, Neil Armstrong, Jane Addams and Helen Keller. I want to find more books like this one.
Reading with kids digitally and with paper books. A list of favorite books read in 2014.The Boxcar Children: Lil’ J was so excited to show me a new movie she discovered on Netflix. As she described it to me I realized she was talking about the Boxcar Children. I surprised her and downloaded a digital copy of the book so we can read it together at bedtime. I’m amazed at how interested she is in the story, and how she notices subtle differences from the movie. I’m hopeful we can continue to read this series together.

Reading with kids digitally and with paper books. A list of favorite books read in 2014.

I’m also re-reading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, reading the Maze Runner series, the latest Percy Jackson book (I know, I’m a dork), and a book a friend from church wrote and is letting me read before some big publisher picks it up. I’m rooting for her!

Depending on who you are (and how much you get to read) you may be wondering where I find the time. I don’t feel like I read THAT much. If I had it my way I’d plow through way more books. But the fact is I typically get to read after my work is done and the kids are occupied or asleep. But most often I’ll read while working out on a cardio machine at the gym or while I’m rocking each kid to sleep.

Nothing beats the smell and feel of a physical book… Unless you’re a mom who loves to read but lacks the time. Then a tablet beats that hard-cover book. I have yet to really get into audio books, I feel like they’re great for long drives and I don’t take those very often. I want my kids to grow up with a love for books no matter what format it’s in.

Reading with kids digitally and with paper books. A list of favorite books read in 2014.

Our latest digital device is the Samsung Galaxy Tab® 4 NOOK®. It’s easy to hold with it’s 7-inch vibrant display. My son loves watching Elmo song videos on it, and my daughter has enjoyed sharing stories with me.

I can read in the dark while my kids are dozing off in my arms, or on the elliptical when I can’t steady a book. It’s also nice because I can put in some headphones and turn on background music, or even watch a show when I’m done. I always have it with me, and I can pick up reading where I left off while I’m waiting for dance class to end, or stuck in a long line.

This isn’t meant to argue paper books vs digital books, just stating some of the benefits I’ve enjoyed and noticed this year since it’s been my first year as a portable tablet owner. Hopefully next year will be full of just as many or more enjoyable books.

Reading with kids digitally and with paper books. A list of favorite books read in 2014.

What have you been reading lately? What books do you recommend?

Visit this page and tell me what feature you like most about the New NOOK by Samsung, then leave a comment by Monday November 17th and you’ll be entered to win the New NOOK by Samsung which comes in black or white, and loaded with $200 worth of entertainment. The device also has front and rear cameras for picture-taking and epic selfies, GPS, and it’s a fraction of the cost of other popular tablets. My Facebook Fans, Pinterest Followers or Google Plus Followers get one extra entry.

**Winner Alert 11/19** Cynthia who said “I am new to the Nooks. I’ve never own one but looks the information on the BN website I am excited about the parental controls. My daughter is constantly using my Ipad and going to other things that she is not supposed to go to. This feature will definitely keep her from going on Youtube etc.” Is the lucky Random.org winner of the New NOOK by Samsung. Thank you everyone for entering!

Big thanks to Barnes & Noble and The New NOOK by Samsung for sponsoring this giveaway. Samsung sent me a tablet to test for the purpose of the review. All opinions expressed are my own.

*Winner alert!* Lil’ J randomly drew Amy! Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you to claim your prize!

I’m really still a year out from turning 30 but it’s creepin up on me way too fast. I’m looking at my 30 by 30 list (ok, I need to update it because I’m doing better than it looks right now) and realizing there are a few major things I need to start getting underway. One of which is finding my signature dish.

Thanks to a new partnership, Sears approached me about reviewing some of their new Calphalon cookware and at first I sorta chuckled because me?… Cook? HA! But I was reminded of the fact that it is actually one of my big goals to tackle, and I’m not going to find a signature dish overnight. I asked you all on my facebook page what recipes you love and was seriously so impressed by all of you little chefs out there! There are so many delicious dishes I want to try but I haven’t had time yet.

Anyway, so I have these fabulous new Calphalon nonstick pans that are nice for the cooking pros yet also super durable for my clumsy self, and yet all I’ve made on them so far is grilled cheese and pasta (breaking news: I also just made scrambled eggs). They all turned out great, and as promised… food didn’t stick to the pan and cleanup was easy too. So now I’m all cocky and overconfident thinking I can probably cook anything with these things. But what to cook?

Check out my video to see my dilemma.


So like I said, if you can offer some help and leave a recipe you love and you think I could handle in the comments. As a thank you I’d like to give away a $25 gift card to Sears to someone who comments on this post. It doesn’t have to be a recipe you invented, just something you love or think I’d love (or for your non-foodies, just some words of encouragement for me will do 😉 -added 10-11)

Things to keep in mind if you skipped out on the video:
Easy
Not too hard
Painless
Straightforward
Easy

If you want to submit a baking recipe that works too. I have some cool muffin pans I’ll be tempted to put store-bought cupcakes in, so help a sista out with your baking recipes too if you’d like.

I’ll draw the winner on October 12th October 16th so you’ll have plenty of time to go shopping and get some cookin’ practice in before Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about Calphalon at Sears here. A big thanks to Sears for sponsoring my quest to becoming a little more domestic. All opinions (and typos) are my own.

*By can’t, I mean I currently suck, but I’m sure I’m probably capable.

For my husband’s academy graduation I rented the beautiful Canon 135L lens to capture the special occasion. I took tons of photos, maybe around a hundred. I can’t tell you the exact amount because I lost all of them after my daughter knocked over my laptop of seven years, and it was not worth the price of repair. Then what do you know, the external hard drive I used as a backup crashed the same week.

The only photos from that event I have are web-sized versions I happened to send to my mother-in-law. Thankfully she hounded me for pictures or I wouldn’t even have those. Pictures from that event and a period of my daughter’s life are all gone, forever.

I’m generally not an obsessive-compulsive person, but that terrible experience triggered this fixation with backing up photos. I spent so much time researching multiple ways, to back up my photos. ALL of my photos. Including images from my iPhone, our iPads and most of all, my camera.

Last year I shared with you a way to backup and print all of your iPhone (and Android) photos for next to nothing. This time I’m going to share the ways I archive and my opinion of the best ways to backup photos and videos (you know how I love my videos!) so that you nor I will ever lose another cherished captured moment again.

Never lose your precious photos again! Here are three ways you need to be backing up your photos and videos. The easiest and best ways to save your memories.First let me explain why it’s SO important to organize your photos. It’s one thing to have a million photos backed up, but it’s an entirely different issue when there’s no rhyme or reason to how you have them saved. I could dedicate an entire post to this but let me just briefly explain how I organize mine.

Any time I import new photos I make a new folder with the event. That folder is saved inside a folder for events for that month, which a subfolder of the current year folder. For example I’d import Lil’ J’s ballet recital pictures which would be in Pictures à 2014 Pictures à August 2014 à Lil’ J’s Ballet Recital.

Then each picture in that folder is titled “Lil’ J’s Ballet Recital01, …02, ..03 etc. It makes it much easier when looking for specific images. Especially when you can’t remember the name of the event but have a general idea for when you took the photos. As I back my images up, I keep them organized the same way as often as possible.

Now here are some of the best ways to back up your photos.

The Cloud

I am a huge fan of web backups, especially if they can be automated. Like I explained here, I have all of my iPhone photos automatically backup to Google Plus in a private album (you don’t even need the app to be open for them to upload), then I print out the month’s worth of photos using Groovebook for $2.99 (free shipping). You can also upload images from your computer to Google Plus but I haven’t been doing this unless it’s a super important event I want to save because of the amount of images I take. Storing images and whatnot on Google Plus is free up to 15GB then you have to pay for more space.

Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need. Another option for backing up large photos from your computer is using Flickr. Flicker is awesome for storing your photos and videos because you get a full TB of storage for free. Even I can’t imagine filling that up. However videos have a time limit of 3 minutes, so keep that in mind with your uploads. I haven’t been using their mobile app to backup my photos because my app had to be open in order for it to update, and I aint got time for that. But I love using it to back up my large photos from my computer. I try to log in once a month and upload my photo event folders for the month. Most of those albums I keep private, or select which photos I want to show publicly.

External Hard Drive

This is an obvious necessary backup. You never know when the Internet may fail you, so back up your stuff to another hard copy you can keep your hands on. I have a few Western Digital drives that I use to backup my entire Macbook Pro and iMac. I even connect it to my wireless router so it can backup both of my computers wirelessly and have less of an issue with plugging and unplugging it in, or it getting knocked off my lap when using my laptop (which I think is one of the reasons my previous one failed). I have two 500GB drives and a TB drive. Believe it or not my TB drive is full already because I was backing both of my computers up to it. I’ll probably do them each on separate drives from now on to conserve space, or upgrade to a 2TB drive. My plan is to keep one in my fireproof safe and update it every month in case of a fire (is my OCD showing again?).

LyveHomeNever lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need.

This device is my latest backup endeavor and it’s the perfect addition to the methods I already have in place. In fact, if I had this first, I’d be tempted to skip my other two means all together.

The LyveHome is a wireless photo and video manager. It works in conjunction with the Lyve App that I have downloaded on my iPad mini, my iPhone and my iMac. So every time I take a photo on my phone, or upload a photo to my computer, it automatically pulls it over to the LyveHome and stores it as a backup. It has 2TB of storage so until I reach about a million photos, or an insane amount of videos, I won’t run out of space. (So far I’ve imported 14,038 photos and 617 videos and I’ve only used 4% of my storage). I love my external hard drives to backup EVERYTHING(all of my programs, documents, files, etc) but it’s nice to have a device specifically for our memories.

Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need. My favorite aspect is seeing photos I take on my iPhone now automatically sent to my computer. My iCloud account has long since been full, so I had to manually sync my phone (which I rarely did) or search my Google Plus backup to find a pic I wanted to edit. Or just email it to myself. ANNOYING.

I can also view all of the images from my computer on my iPad or iPhone. When you reach storage capacity on your phone and get that dreaded warning, you can delete your photos and videos from your iphone library without worrying because you’ll have an extra copy already on your LyveHome and stored in your LyveApp. This also comes in handy when I want to show off a photo I took on my DSLR that I haven’t uploaded online yet. I can access the photos from my computer while I’m out.

Another little bonus is the cute clock it adds to my desk, and the fact that it scrolls through all of my old photos so I can feel a bit of nostalgia while I work.

Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need.

Here are a few things worth noting:

-Although it has a touchscreen, you can’t watch videos or delete photos/videos by toughing the LyveHome device, but you can through the app on any of your other devices. I was a little confused by this at first. You control it from the app, not the cube itself.

– It doesn’t import photos shot in RAW format. So if you are like me and don’t shoot in JPEG or RAW+JPEG, you’ll have to convert your images before they’ll be added to LyveHome. This will probably motivate me to hurry and edit all of the images I love so they’ll immediately be backed up in an additional spot, instead of just saving them to edit later.

-It scrolls through all the images, and right now the only way to “hide” them from being displayed on the LyveHome cube is by deleting the photo from your LyveApp. So those boudoir photos I wanted to save for myself but maybe not have my friends from church see when they come over… Umm, I’ll probably just stick to my alternate backup methods.

Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need.

Overall, I love it for automatically syncing photos as I take them, and for peace of mind. I wish I had this back when my computer and hard drive crashed. It could have saved me a lot of heartache.

One of these will run you about $299. You can learn more by visiting their website.



Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about the best ways to backup your photos. Now here’s the fun part. I LOVE sharing ways to document and preserve your family legacy and you know I love feeling like Oprah. Lyve sent me an extra device to give away to one of my readers. To enter the giveaway just check out the video about LyveHome and let me know what you thought, and what memories you’re most excited to backup and why by leaving a comment. You have until August 28th EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 2ND to enter. I’ll randomly draw the winner using random.org. Entrants must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States. Good luck my friends!

*I’d like to give a huge thanks to Lyve for allowing me to review their product and give one away to one of my fabulous readers. I was sent the device to try for free, and compensated to include an honest review in my post. All opinions expressed are mine, ALL MINE!

Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need. Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need. Winner Alert: Lucky #13: Trenton Robertson. If the winner fails to claim their prize an alternate will be chosen at random.

Never lose another precious memory: 3 Best ways to backup photos and videos. This post will give you all the tips you need.

When I left my family to move to Utah I couldn’t have been more excited. I was going to college and pursuing my dreams. But little did I know the Utah winters would be the bane of my existence. As I approached my graduation four years later my husband and I only circled potential destinations that were warm on our map.

Texas summers have been a whole ‘nother story. While they get extremely hot, I’d much rather deal with the heat than the cold.

Big T’s birthday was a couple months ago and when Grandma asked for his wish list, a water table was at the top. We busted it out right away, but now that the temperature is heating up, it’s getting a lot of use. I’d been working on a video for their grandma to show off all the fun they’ve been having, when some friends of mine invited me to join in a Step2 giveaway. I realized that the water table they’ve been playing with is the same brand, so though this tie in would be perfect.


So a big thanks to Grandma for the fun toy!

I’m hoping to start doing a giveaway once a month on my blog to give back to my fabulous readers.–Sharing something I own and love. Consider this a start. Watch the video to see the Step2 water table my kids are enjoying (promise you’ll love it), and read below to see the fabulous giveaway where one winner takes all.

***

TerrificTwoStep2Giveaway (1)

Welcome to the It’s Terrific to be Two with Step2 Giveaway, hosted by Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy and generously sponsored by The Step2 Company.

Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy are celebrating their little boys turning 2 years old and have partnered with Step2 for a fabulous giveaway featuring gift ideas that are perfect for 2 year olds!

Gifts Under $25

2-in-1 T-ball & Golf Set: Score a hole-in-one or a home run with the 2-in-1 T-ball & Golf Set™ by Step2. This sports toy helps toddlers and preschoolers to be active in their playroom or the backyard. The 2-in-1 T-ball & Golf Set helps teach kids cooperative play as they take turn swinging the bat or putting the golf ball. Children’s coordination and motor skills will develop as they try to hit the ball off the tee or swing the golf club at the putting green. Kids can practice counting as they keep track of how many points they score during a baseball game or round of golf. The 2-in-1 T-Ball & Golf Set is sure to be a hit! Made in USA. ARV $19.99
Crayola Crayon Rider: Their favorite crayon is now a life-size ride-on toy! Zoom around the town in color with the Crayola Crayon Rider™ by Step2. This kid powered ride-on promotes gross motor skills as kids use their legs to get the wheels moving. It is never a dull moment with this exciting riding toy for toddlers! Made in USA. ARV $24.99

Gift Under $50

All Around Easel for Two: Vertical writing easel makes developing proper writing skills fun! Features a chalk board on one side and a magnetized dry erase board on the other. Includes a clip to secure artwork, two removable and easy to clean storage bins, and a 94 piece foam magnet letter and symbol kit. Available in red or pink color (winner of the giveaway can choose color). Made in USA. Accessories, dry erase board and foam magnets made in China. ARV $39.99

Gift Under $75

High Seas Adventure Sand & Water Table with Umbrella: Ahoy matey! Your little pirates will have hours of outdoor fun with the High Seas Adventure Sand & Water Table with Umbrella™ by Step2. With two different sides for sand and water, this activity table is perfect for multi-child play. Toddlers and preschoolers can pretend they are sailors at sea while they play on the water side and then arrive at a desert island when they use the sand side. The High Seas Adventure Sand & Water Table with Umbrella is also great for sensory play as little ones splish and splash the water and dig for buried treasure in the sand! The cover helps keep sand clean and dry when not in use. Made in USA of US and imported parts. Accessories and umbrella made in China. ARV $69.99

Gifts Under $100

All Around Wagon: This is a multi function wagon for nearly every use. The seats flip into a flat bed, seat, or table. The wagon has a large storage capacity and six cup/snack holders. The wagon also features an easy pull handle design, seat belts for added security, Whisper Wheels™ for a smooth ride, and a door that opens and closes for easy entry and exit. Weight limit is 75 lbs. Made in USA. ARV $79.99

Splurge

Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill: The Grand Walk-in Kitchen & Grill™ is a realistic play kitchen with all of the features a real kitchen has to offer; except this kitchen set is for kids! The Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill has plenty of room for multi-child play, including an attached dining area and toy kitchen appliances that will keep kids busy for hours. This pretend play kitchen has three realistic electronic features: grill, stove top, and phone. Children can use the toy grill to cook hot dogs and hamburgers when they play make believe. The large toy sink has a swivel faucet with push button for preschoolers to pretend wash the play dishes, play food, and even their hands.“Stainless steel” toy refrigerator enhances role play by allowing kids to store their play food and accessories in the fridge. Includes a 103-pc accessory set. Great for use in an indoor playroom. ARV $259.99

What do you think? Do you have a two-year old who would love the items on this list? We’re giving away this entire set of toys to one lucky family!

If you’d like a chance to win, just enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states only. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Good luck!

Disclosures: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Viva Veltoro, and the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 06/16/14. One (1) winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries.

With moving plans in the works, decorating is on my mind. I’ve never been a natural at decorating. At all.

I think I inherited my lack of skills from my mother: The queen of “hire help.”

When I was 15, she handed me a stack of magazines to browse through for inspiration for my new bedroom decor.

I saw a picture in one of them, of a bright yellow room, with orange trim, pink doors, a neon clock and bright polka dots all over the ceiling.

“This is it!” I thought.

My mom hired painters, I spray painted my canopy day bed, stereo, and end table, then cut out an assortment of neon-colored polka dots to tape to my ceiling.

Now looking back, I’m not sure what drew me to a room that was nearly impossible to sleep in, but it was a cute idea, and it worked for me at the time.

I’m a firm believer in making a home your own. It’s something that’s been hard for me to fully commit to for the last eight and a half years because we’ve been renting. And even when we weren’t, we didn’t paint a single room.

Now that we are finally buying a house, I’m excited to make it our own, yet still nervous to paint.

I’m thinking until we settle on colors I’ll compensate with photo walls. I’m obsessed with photo walls, and I’ve been pinning all sorts of styles and displays I’d love to attempt to create. family canvas photos

Currently I have a small photo wall in our livingroom with three 16×20 canvas prints. I printed two at CafePress during one of their sales (I’m always on the lookout for more!).

I love canvases because it takes out the hassle of finding the perfect frame. But I am not a fan of the bulky-not-easy-to-store factor. With frames, you can easily switch the photo out, and store the old photo behind, or away flat.

I’m loving these glass clip frames allegedly from Ikea, but I’m not seeing them on their website anywhere. I’ve seen standard-frame sizes on Amazon but I’d love to find some in square dimensions.

My question is, with all of my dreams for immense photo walls… Will a couple-dozen photos of my kids all around my house seem ridiculous? I mean, I can include some of Snoop too, and they won’t all be face-shots.

Something to consider. Either way, I’ll probably order some more canvas prints. I’d love to do a wall like this one from Robinwood Photography.

canvas wall

I’m always on the lookout for discount codes and deals from CafePress because their canvas prints are actually a nice quality. They also sell cool baby clothes, and baby hats. And if you want something custom-made you can design your own iPad case, mug, magnet, design your own t-shirt or whatever.

For now, I’ve got my eye set on anything home-decor related.

Is there such a thing as having too many family photos hanging around the house? What do you think? Any other decorating advice for me? Leave a comment and let me know! One random comment will be chosen next week for a $20 gift certificate to CafePress. Kudos to them for sponsoring this giveaway.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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