Spin Master Quick Cups YouTube Video and Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. The giveaway below is hosted by Spin Master. They are responsible for providing the prizes to the winners.

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We love Family Game Night.  We are all about a little friendly competition.  Quick Cups by Spin Master is a great game where kids can outperform their parents if they have a quicker eye and hands! It’s a game for everyone to play and ANYONE can be the winner!

Just by checking out Quick Cups on Spin Master’s YouTube Channel we know that this is the game for our family, it would be a great addition to our pasta nights!

Spin Master is also hosting an incredible giveaway that you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Enter for the chance to win 1 of 3 amazing toy gift baskets that include Grand Prize Games Packages of Fibber, Moustache Smash, Boom Boom Balloon, Shark Mania, Rapidoodle, and Quick Cups! Also, up for grabs are 10 fantastic runner up prizes of the Quick Cups Board Game!

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn GaffneySpin Master Quick Cups YouTube Video and Giveaway
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5 Mindful Must-Haves for a Healthy Back To School

The kids are back to school  – are you ready? Lunches, snacks and good nutrition, as well as more free time for parents, homework struggles and organization. Gina of Embracing Imperfect decided to gather a group of bloggers to share their best Healthy Back to School tips with you!

Stationery Studio provided samples of the items shown below, all opinions are our own.

When Gina asked me if I was interested in contributing to a Healthy Back to School series I thought it was a great idea!  While Abby isn’t “going back to school” we still start to get back into a better ritual, especially as the days get shorter and Billy starts working later.  In order to stay on top of things and keep organized I try my best to start with myself.

I have found that if I don’t take some time out to make sure I’m being mindful of the changes, being present on what’s going on, and check in with my moods/feelings then I risk the chance of becoming depressed.  In which case when stress gets heightened, I tend to withdrawal and want to cocoon because of feeling overwhelmed.  Working full time, trying to be a great Mommy, and wife can take it’s toll.  So here’s 5 of my ultimate mindful must-haves.

  1. Calming/Meditation/Sleep Apps – Sounds a little counterproductive?  Relying on electronics to be mindful and present? Let’s face it, we are constantly on the go, and we are always connected to our devices.  Why not make them work for us. I have quite a few that work in tandem for me. Such as:
    1. Sleep Stream 2 Ultimate – I have had this app since it first was released. It truly helps me sleep each evening.  I have it set up to play my calming sounds such as ocean, rain, etc.  The two best features happen to be the binaural beats for every situation like sleep, anxiety, depression, etc. & the guided mediation feature. I usually opt for the sounds and go through a progressive muscle relaxation on my own to be present and let go of the days trials. For more information about how the app works you can visit Explosive Apps.
    2. Calm – Another fantastic mediation app. I also love that I can access it from my desktop as well if I’m having a trying day at work.
    3. Fitbit One or Jawbone UP3 – These activity trackers have built in alarms – I have them set each day at a specific time to take a break, walk outside and enjoy some sunshine, or just take a moment to be present. The sleep tracker helps to tell me how many hours of sleep I’m getting.
  2. Essential Oils – For pure aromatherapy purposes I’m a big fan of taking time to check in by the sense of smell. Certain blends help me focus, offer clarity, or even just help me relax.
  3. “Me Time” – I know a lot of mom’s are happy to have a few minutes to themselves when the kiddos go to school, it helps to put things in perspective, helps you to miss your kiddos, and just get centered. My husband knows that it’s necessary for me to be happier.  You may say, “Don’t you go to work? Isn’t that your “me time”.  Well not necessarily, most days I don’t even remember to eat lunch.  So even if it’s an hour or two over the weekend – I take some “me time” to relax.  It can be as simple as just catching up here on the blog, going to get a mani/pedi, or even just going to bed early.  If you take the necessary time to reset and be present with your needs then you can be a better you!
  4.  Prep Time – Having some time to prep for the week ahead makes all the difference in the world. It helps to keep things running smoothly so that there are minimal hiccups during the week.  Usually I prep for the week by making sure that we have everything for our sitter, that some lunches are prepped for the week, or healthy snacks are ready  to go.
  5. Organizational Tools (or as I like to say “School Supplies aren’t just for the kiddos!”) –  One of the parts of my prep time is getting organized on paper, for the whole family to see. I jot it all down on my Rainbow Hearts Weekly Schedule Pad from Stationery Studio.  In order to do that I pull out my planner – I do prefer good old fashioned paper planner, and am a huge fan of Erin Condren.  I use a life planner, and have since 2008. It helps me feel like I’ve got it all together.
    weekly planner stationery studio
    Another way I stay organized is by post-it notes.  I put them on everything, it also helps my husband remember things!  I have this awesome Peacock Marble Post-It Notes Ensemble from Stationery Studio that sits right on my desk in our kitchen, so it’s easy to access and put them where they are needed. I need to order another one for work!Post It Note SetWhile I’m getting organized for the week, writing up our schedule, meal planning, etc, I also take the time out to get our mail together for the week. I love the ease of a self-inking stamper, it’s perfect because I don’t have to keep track of address labels.  We use the Emily Self-Inking Stamper also from Stationery Studio.self-inking stamp

That’s pretty much how my Sunday’s go.  I try to prep and organize, and when I do I feel mentally ready for the week, which means I can be mindful and present and take each day as it comes trying to be the best mommy, wife, and me!

 

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More Back to School Ideas for 2015: Need more ideas for this back to school season? Here are more post from my amazing fellow bloggers participating in this Healthy Back to School Event.

5 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas – O’Boy! Organic

5 Tips to Keep Your Child Organized – Momma Lew

5 Tips for a Successful School Year – Mommy University

Back to School: Extracurricular Activities – A Life in Balance

Healthy Back to School Eating for Mom – Embracing Imperfect

One Month of {Allergy-Friendly, Healthy & Balanced} Nut & Egg-Free Kids Lunch Ideas {No Repeats} – Busy Bee Kate

Things Moms Should Do to Celebrate Back to School – Wine In Mom

Healthy-back-to-school-giveaway

Talking about healthy back to school eating, we have an amazing giveaway JAM PACKED with goodies and treats from our participating vendors! Take a peak at all the prizes one winner will have delivered: Alfie the Allergic Alligator Goes to School: Alfie the Allergic Alligator Goes to School helps children begin to learn about food allergies and how to cope with the diagnosis. Alfie experiences several emotions as he deals with starting school among his non allergic peers. This book will encourage discussion and help children, parents, and teachers promote food allergy awareness and acceptance. AllerMates: Lunchbox, choice of color Beanfield Snacks: 1 case of chips (12 bags) in various flavors Biena Foods: Biena Snacks variety pack, which includes a 5 oz bag of all of their 5 flavors Blue Avocado: $50 (re)zip ultimate kit 10-piece reusable nontoxic storage bag kit Boiron USA: $50 Cold & Flu Back-to-School Survival Kit Don’t Go Nuts: one flavor, winner’s choice, of each of these: 16oz. jar of soy spread, 1 box of snack bars (12), 1box of dips (8) Enjoy Life: 2 boxes of chewy bars, 2 boxes of decadent bars & box of pancake mix Good Health Snacks: Mickey Shaped Veggie Chips – 24 pack pantry box Peter Rabbit Organics: 1 case of pouches (10) Red Plate Foods: Sampler pack of their new granolas (Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Berry & Swirl) Skinny Pop: 5 SkinnyPacks Sneaky Chef:  Chocolate No-Nut Butter and Creamy No-Nut Butter – 2 cases each (6 jars/case) SunButter: Gift Box Stationery Studio: $50 gift card StickerKid: 50 + FREE SHIPPING coupons for labels and wall decals Stonyfield Organic: $50 worth of coupons and a bag full of Stonyfield goodies. Sun Cups: Variety Pack Surf Sweets: 30 bags of assorted single serve treats for a class party  WOWBUTTER:  1 Case (6 Jars)

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs were not compensated for this post. A special thanks to all the participating sponsors and their generosity!

Jenn Gaffney5 Mindful Must-Haves for a Healthy Back To School
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Pampers & Walmart Support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals $25 GC Giveaway

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Walmart’s customers and associates have raised over $750 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1987.  Not only am I proud to say that I shop there, but I’m proud to be loyal to companies and brands that are charitable to causes that we are passionate about. Children’s health care and health issues is a big cause that we are passionate about.  I could not imagine what it would be like if our children were in need of treatment and care. I have seen children that we are close to suffer from illnesses, as well as adults that have conquered childhood cancers and have after effects into adulthood.  It’s heartbreaking and you wish you could help everyone.

That’s where you come in, and where you can help.  You may have children, nieces, nephews, or friend’s children in need. Whether they suffer from common childhood afflictions like asthma and broken bones, or fight bigger challenges like birth defects or cancer, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide comfort, treatment and hope to millions of sick kids. To show support for the organization and the one in 10 kids in North America who are treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year, Walmart and Pampers have teamed up to donate $200,000 in the month of June.

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Additionally, by purchasing products like Pampers Swaddlers at your local Walmart, portions of the proceeds will go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. While your family may have had an experience with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or know a family who has, Walmart and Pampers would like to partner with you and offer the opportunity to share information about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and incredible the stories of a Miracle Child from your community!

A child from New Jersey whose story was shared with me is Dylan.  This beautiful sweet little girl.

2014 NJ Champion-Dylan

 

“A few days shy of her 2nd birthday, Dylan underwent a colonoscopy where a large polyp was removed. During the procedure, the unthinkable happened: Her colon was badly damaged and she suffered severe blood loss. It was soon discovered that a blood clot had traveled to her brain and caused a stroke, resulting in hemiparesis, affecting the use of half her body.

Dylan was then referred to Children’s Specialized Hospital, where she had to relearn how to stand, speak and eventually walk. This required intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Known for her strong will, Dylan has made exceptional gains in her strength and control in just a few years and is now running and jumping. She’s expected to make continued improvements and wears foot braces to assist with alignment and gait mechanics.

Dylan is very playful, curious, full of energy and wins everyone over with her contagious laugh.”

 

So by supporting Walmart and Pampers, you’re also supporting the $200,000 donation by P&G to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

What experiences do you have with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? 

Win It!!!!!!! 

Enter to win a $25 Walmart Gift Card to help share your support for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by purchasing Pampers from Walmart!

Rules: You do not have to be a blogger to enter/win. An email address is required to enter. Thoughtful comments required for comment entries. Entering this contest allows us the permission to use your email address for our Newsletter which may be unsubscribed to at any time and subscribing is not a requirement for winning. The winner will be chosen randomly through Giveaway Tools and contacted via the email registered in Giveaway Tools. All of the winners’ entries will be verified. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. One person/email per household. US only.

This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on July 14th, 2015. Good luck!

The Walmart Gift Card and Information has been Provided by P&G.

 

Jenn GaffneyPampers & Walmart Support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals $25 GC Giveaway
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Color Alive with Crayola

Coloring is not just for kiddos.  I definitely turn to coloring as a stress buster, and I find it very much therapeutic.  NBC reported, coloring parties are a growing trend for adults! There’s so much out there in the world to take the fun activity of coloring to the next level that helps kids at any age tap into their imagination.  Imagination is very important in our family and we  love when kiddos can learn through it.

We’ve been brand loyalists to Crayola for as long as I was a kiddo.  We love their crayons, markers, colored pencils, and their coloring books. In fact we cannot wait to take the kiddos to the Crayola Factory in Easton PA.

One of  their latest ideas that I saw at Toy Fair is their Crayola Color Alive.  I loved it as soon as I saw how to make it work!

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Crayola Color Alive! the new mobile app combines traditional coloring – crayons to paper – with digital interactivity… From mythical creatures and enchanted characters, to Barbie, Skylanders, Monster High and more, kids of all ages can see their favorite character come to life on screen, exactly as they have created them on the coloring pages.

The Crayola Color Alive! app offers parents a nice opportunity to integrate family time, traditional play with the latest digital components… mom, dad and kids all will enjoy!

How it works:

Combining the traditional coloring experience with 4D technology, the Color Alive! eye-popping adventure begins by printing coloring pages from the app or Crayola Color Alive! Action Coloring Books (also at retail), and then coloring to your heart’s content.

Once colored, in app mode aim the mobile device’s camera at the colored page, tap and the character bursts to the screen in multiple 4D animated sequences, complete with the colors and designs from the artist’s printed page.   In 4D mode, a hidden “easter egg”  on the  coloring pages reveals character specific stat.  The app is from DAQRI, the industry leader in augmented reality.

color alive fun

You can download your own complimentary Crayola Color Alive coloring sheets here (Barbie, Enchanted Forest, Skylanders, Monster High and Mythical Creatures) along with brand art to get you started.  You can find the app for iOS devices here and in the Google Play store here.

We had such a blast with this app.  It’s great for kiddos to color at home and then still take their creations on the road while you travel.  It gives such a sense of empowerment when they see their creations come to life!

**GIVEAWAY – A lucky reader has a chance to win all the Crayola Color Alive! coloring books – 6 different books at a value of approx $40.

Signature-Jenn
Jenn GaffneyColor Alive with Crayola
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DCKids & WBKids Now on Youtube

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We are totally into the retro cartoons that remind us of our childhood and these cartoons from Warner Bros do just that.  You can watch them for yourself, check out some of the amazing new videos from DCKids & Warner Bros’ new Youtube channels – included are favorites such as Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends and Scooby-Doo! There will be many more updates over the next year, so don’t forget to subscribe to their channels!

It’s no surprise that we are connected.  I’ve said before how we are those parents,  when at a restaurant if Abby isn’t settling down we will let her watch a show or two so that we (and those around us) can dine in peace.  We love Youtube, especially Youtube Kids.  Some of our favorite channels for not just Abby, but our other nieces and nephews, not to mention ourselves are DCKids, Batman Unlimited and Scooby Doo!

With DCKids your kids can catch up on all of their favorite cartoons that they are into, right now such as DC Super Friends, Batman Unlimted, Teen Titans, and more.  Then on WBKids you can share your favorite cartoons that you grew up with.  We love that there are Scooby Doo and Looney Toons. We cannot wait to see how both of these channels grow with time.

DCKids Channel and WBKids Channel

 

 

Batman Unlimited

DC Super Friends

Scooby-Doo!

 

Now for a Giveaway! 

Enter for your chance to win one of five mystery toy gift baskets! The baskets are worth a minimum of $50, and will be picked by the staff of Warner Bros and DCKids.
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This post contains sponsored links from Warner Brothers

Jenn GaffneyDCKids & WBKids Now on Youtube
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