Thursday, January 31, 2013


I contacted Mr Beams about reviewing their products a few months back and was very excited when they agreed to send me two of their Motion Sensing Step Lights to help us with transitioning Daniella from our bed to her own bed. The idea was to place on in the hallway outside of her bedroom so when she wandered down the hallway during the night to come nurse she could see where she was going. The other one was placed in our master bathroom. The Step Lights come with a strip of adhesive to hang them on the wall.

Unfortunately, from the beginning we experienced trouble with these lights. They would not stay hung on the wall and when they fell, they damaged the walls as well :(  I literally never even got a chance to take a picture of them hung on my wall because they first fell within 12 hours of being hung :(


Wall damage in the hallway - if you look closely, you can see a BIG bubble under the surface of the paint from the weight of the light pulling the paint off my wall!

There was some minor damage to the wall in the toilet room of my master bathroom as well. 

Back of the light unit after it ripped the paint off my wall

I even tried using Scotch Mounting Putty...

That did not hold them up very well either. :(

I contacted Karen, my contact at Mr Beams, to let her know not only about the wall damage, but that the hallway light had malfunctioned. Brand new batteries are supposed to last about one year in these lights. Ours lasted barely a month. The lights are motion sensored (which is really cool) but this one just started randomly turning on and staying on and flickering a lot and wore the batteries out super quick.

Karen was awesome. She immediately offered to ship me a new one AND a three pack of Motion-Sensing Stick Anywhere Lights that you can just set on a table, counter, etc instead of mounting it. She even included free batteries for me for all of them. She really went above my expectations. I just wish my wall damage could be fixed :(

I put one on the tv in Daniella's bedroom 

I put one on the small table we have in our small loft/hallway area which is across from Daniella's room

(The third one, we placed on a kitchen counter)

These sensor lights are MUCH better! We LOVE these!!

Use the promo code NATURALLY and save 20% on your purchase on their website. (Codes have to be in all capital letters.)


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When we were contacted by the Jeff Gunhus crew about reviewing Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus, Brandon was SO excited! It isn't too often we get to review something meant more for him! :) He is an avid reader and devoured this book quickly.

Here is a quick synopsis of the book, courtesy of Amazon (where you can buy the book!) 
"Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him. 

As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly?  Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

For Middle Grade readers and higher 
Fans of: Percy Jackson Series, Harry Potter and The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine"

Here is what Brandon has to say about this book:

"As a big Harry Potter fan, I like the beginning of the book because it's like the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I would like to read more of the series. The big thing I'm really wanting to see is Jack saving his father.
The warnings were pretty cool, too. I like how Jack tried to keep me away from reading it. I read it anyway. In about the middle of the book, Jack was saying all these things to keep a monster away from you. His words are still pounding through my head - lock the doors, change your position every 10 minutes so the monster can't zero in on where you are and if you read it in the car, tat's good because you are moving a lot - but close the boo if you get into a traffic jam. Yeah, I remember his words.
Do your duty, come what may."

OK, so after Brandon kept telling me (and wanting to read excerpts to me) about Jack Templar Monster Hunter, I decided to read it myself!

I am also a Harry Potter fan and I see a lot of parallels between the books. It was a very good, keep-you-in-your-seat kind of book. Lots of action, a little bit of romance (but not too much to discourage younger readers), some humor and a lot of real to life moments such as being picked on by the bullies at school. I recommend this book for younger readers. I found nothing inappropriate about it!

Jeff Gunhus says that he specifically wrote this book for reluctant readers so if you have one of those, this may be just the book for them!

The next book, Book #2, The Monster Hunter Academy, is hoping to be released late Spring of 2013.

The book is currently on sale! The book is on sale for $0.99 vs. $4.99 regular price.

One lucky reader will winner a signed copy of  Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Event #21 For My One Year Blogiversary Celebration - Review and Giveaway For WOW Toys (Ends 02/14/13, WORLDWIDE)

I was really excited to have the opportunity  to review the Casey Camper Van for WOW Toys!

The two biggest things I love about WOW Toys are:

This has quickly become one of Daniella's favorite toys now that she is understanding more about fantasy play.

Casey Camper Van is an 8 piece set and has a friction motor. (Which can get VERY loud at times - the only drawback I have found with this toy!)

You really need to see how WOW Toys designs their toys! Super cool! All of their toys are designed in their workshop in London!

WOW Toys do not directly sell their toys. However, on their website, they have a list of WOW Toys stockists - stores that DO sell their toys!

Casey Camper Van also came with a background prop - 

plus a brochure showing some other WOW Toys.

The back of the brochure has a coloring sheet on it!

One lucky winner will get to receive a Casey Camper Van of their own! RV is $50 (although usually they can be found cheaper).

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Event #20 For My One Year Blogiversary Celebration - Review with Giveaway for Sprout San Francisco! (US Only, Ends 02/14/13)

Did you know?

This is just a few of the many things you can learn about on Sprout San Francisco's website.

Bryant at Sprout San Francisco sent me an adorable changing pad - Ele Patemm Pad in Storm White Twill.
This item costs $65.00. Yes, that is a bit steep, but let me tell you why I think it is worth every penny!

It is a Sprout Exclusive that it is Made in the USA of CPSIA-certified laminated cotton, waterproof and machine-washable. PVC, lead, phthalate, BPA, formaldehyde, and latex-free! What changing pad do you know of that is machine washable?!?! Plus, I love that it is gender neutral. We are big fans of gender neutral baby gear.

The red star in a family label. Not part of the actual product.

It folds up into itself so that it has a carrying handle and it creates a pocket that s big enough to keep a diaper tucked inside! (Disposable and most cloth diapers fits!)

Daniella is two years old and fits easily on this! Most portable changing pads are way too small for her at this point.

Sprout San Francisco sells all kinds of items from toys to clothing to bedding to furniture to room decor and baby gear.I am pretty sure that just about anything you ca looking for for your child in the organic/natural realm could be found here!

One lucky winner will receive the same Ele Patemm Pad in Storm White Twill.that I did!

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Event #19 for My One Year Blogiversary Celebration - Review with Giveaway for Bloomers! Edutainment (US Only Ends 02/14/13)

Bloomers! Edutainment has made a wonderful addition to my Blogiversary Celebration! I just love their philosophy about kids -
"The Bloomers! mission is to encourage the healthiest planet and the healthiest people possible by teaching young children about nature and gardening."

Good stuff about Bloomers! -

"Bloomers! teaches kids how to grow plants and trees and trees and plants are good for our planet because they pump oxygen into our world and processes carbon dioxide.
Growing your own food is healthier because:
You don't have to use chemical pesticides and herbicides
You can only grow fruits and vegetables so by default they come ...
Kids are more apt to eat vegetables if they grow them
Growing your own food is economical and therefore helps families save money.
Bloomers! helps fight childhood obesity. Over 18% of children in the U.S. are obese. Childhood obesity is a major drain on our health care system and is getting worse. Gardening provides both exercise and better nutrition.
Bloomers! promotes outside play. Bloomers! is the only online game that wants your kids to go out and get their hands dirty. Encouraging kids to go outside and play – whether in your own yard or in a park - as part of the Bloomers game is healthier than large amounts of time spent inside in front of the television.
Bloomers! is educational.
Online games in and of themselves are more interactive and can therefore be more educational than television watching.
Bloomers! teaches science which is often ignored for early learners.
Bloomers! Schoolyard Program gives kids hands-on experience to reinforce what they are doing online.
Bloomers! has characters that kids can identify with that makes them more willing and excited about learning how to grow. Bloomers! offers products that strengthen and facilitate the identification with the characters which reinforces their excitement about growing, nature and being outside."

I think that everything that this company stands for s incredible! KIDS NEED TO GET OUT AND PLAY - in fact, their motto is "We want kids to go out and get their hands dirty!".

Bloomers! Edutainment sent Daniella their (I'm Blossoming}Pink Treehouse Apron for us to review. She loves it!!!

She loves to get outside, dig and explore. When stuck inside due to cold/wet weather, she likes to use this apron with her kitchen set :)

She is only 2 and it is intended for ages 3-7 so it is a bit big on her still, but that just gives her a longer time period to love it for!

 Their specials for January and February are 50% off all aprons and tool belts.(Treehouse Apron - {I'm Blossoming} Pink, regularly $29.95, now $14.98 and Treehouse Apron - Pine {For You} Green, regularly $29.95, now $14.98. Acorn Toolbelt - {Keep On The} Grass Green regularly $29.95, now $14.98 and Acorn Toolbelt - {Dig In The} Dirt Brown regularly $29.95, now $14.98). What a great price!!!

And did I mention that the aprons and tool belts come with a package of the Bloomers! know + grow Organic Snow Pea Seeds?

Plus, they sell all kinds of organic gardening stuff to grow your own garden with your kids!

This giveaway will have two lucky winners!

We will be giving away two tool belts: one boys and one girls.
{Dig in the Dirt Brown} and {Keep on the Grass} Green
Description: Carries all your gardening gear and accessories. One size fits most. Cotton Twill. Ties in back. Comes with a pack of Bloomers! Organic Snow Pea Seeds. P.S. You can sew your patches on it!

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