Friday, December 30, 2011

RAZ 2011: A Truly Rewarding Way To Spread Some Joy #RAZ2011 @Zhuniverse

This year I was chosen as one of 100 bloggers to participate in the RAZ 2011 Program with Cepia, LLC the makers of the Zhu-niverse™ toys and MomSelect™. Each blogger received between 20-96 boxes of Zhu-themed toys to give to the local charity(ies) of their choice.  This is the third year that Cepia has done their RAZ program and I am SO excited to have been chosen as one of the bloggers!

I ended up receiving 20 big boxes of traditional Zhu-Zhu Pet toys and their playsets. I bundled them into 28 bundles and started my quest for the perfect charity to work with.  (Pictures coming when I find my camera that the kids ended up playing with over Christmas)

I remembered this wonderful charity that I was introduced to at a local community event this summer called Heartbeat for Wounded Warriors, and I contacted Janice, the Founder/President to see if they could use the Zhu bundles.  She was very excited and started reaching out within her network to see who had the greatest need for the toys.

Janice actually had me work directly with Deborah, a Lead Family Assistance Coordinator working with the National Guard so I could get the toys to the divisions that needed them the most QUICKLY.  When Deborah and I met in person, she explained that many of our National Guard members went overseas when called to Active-Duty, but when they returned to resume their normal jobs (they normally have every-day jobs during the week, and National Guard jobs on the weekend, until they are called to Active Duty), many of those jobs didn't exist anymore due to the downturn in the economy and businesses closing or down-sizing, and that many members are still having trouble finding permanent jobs.  She then explained that she had plenty of families that would LOVE to receive the help of the Zhu toys for Christmas, and that she would be giving them to families that day.

Bundled Set - Close-up
Filled The Back of My Van!


Deborah (Right) and Me (Left)
When I think of both the RAZ 2011 program and the Heartbeat For Wounded Warriors, I will have to admit that the whole thing brought tears to my eyes more than once.  Knowing the work that Heartbeat does for soldiers and their families across the US, and that they are a locally-based charity, I am so happy to have been part of their support network for a very short time.  I highly encourage you to visit their website and read more about what they do and how they help families across the United States.

About Heartbeat For Wounded Warriors

Heartbeat—Serving Wounded Warriors provides emergency assistance, therapeutic services, support groups, and morale-building programs for wounded service members and their families in Washington state. Our focus is on the wounded and injured. Heartbeat is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization — donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

We offer our programs to wounded and injured service members from all branches of the military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy.

How we help
Heartbeat’s programs and services for wounded warriors and their families are continually growing. We offer support for many types of needs: emergency, physical, emotional, and daily living.

-Current services and programs include
-Emergency financial assistance
-Back in the Saddle Warriors—equine assisted therapy program
-Scuba Warriors—therapeutic scuba activity
-Morale-Building programs and events
-ARC kits for incoming wounded warriors

Read more about Why They Help and their History at the Heartbeat website.

I'd like to say a huge Thank You to Cepia LLC for donating the toys, and MomSelect for coordinating and communicating about this great program! I'm truly blessed and consider this experience to have been a huge benefit to my local community, and I'm very proud to have been a part of it.

Check out all the great Zhu-Zhu toys at zhuniverse.com

*Disclosure: Cepia, LLC provided the toys for the RAZ 2011 program, and MomSelect coordinated the disbursement of the toys and all communication.  I did not receive any form of communication or toys for this event, but ended up taking away the satisfaction that I got to be part of a large group of bloggers helping local communities.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Minute to Pin It: Weekly Pinterest Party (Come Join In The Fun Again!)



Welcome to week 2 of our Pinterest weekly feature, brought to you by Samantha from Have Sippy Will Travel, Staci of 7 on a Shoestring, and Wendi, here at Wendi's Book Corner: Minute To Pin It: A Weekly Pinterest Party.

If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you really should! It is a visual bookmarking site that allows you to 'pin' your favorite things online, share it, and find great 'pins' from people you follow.  I've found some of the GREATEST things on there (crafts, home ideas, recipes, gift ideas, fashions, tips, etc).  So, grab the button, visit/follow your hostesses and add your own Pinterest link below!





Here are a few of my favorite holiday "Pins":





Slim-Fast: Vow to Wow With Their Easy 3-2-1 Plan

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Slim-Fast for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you, but I always struggle with the war to not gain additional weight during the holiday season because of all the wonderful foods that our family cooks, bakes and broils to share with each other.  Another thing I really struggle with (and not just at the holidays) is skipping breakfast.  The Slim-Fast 3-2-1 Plan can help me with both problems!  

So what exactly is the Slim-Fast 3-2-1 Plan?  It is an easy to remember meal plan as follows:

About the Slim-Fast 3•2•1 Plan

• The new Slim-Fast shakes are part of the Slim-Fast 3•2•1 Plan, The plan gives you quick results* - done right. Plus it’s flexible so you can get the structure you want and the variety you crave.

Just follow the plan:

• 3 Snacks: Three nourishing snacks a day such as Slim-Fast 100-calorie snack bars, fruit, nuts or veggies • Slim-Fast 100-calorie snack bars provide a delicious calorie-controlled snack to help curb sweet cravings between meals

• 2 Slim-Fast Shakes or Meal Bars per day: Slim-Fast shakes and meal bars are delicious and satisfying, providing the balanced nutrition of a meal and up to four hours of hunger control

• 1 Balanced Meal: Enjoy one balanced 500-calorie meal per day. As a rule, try to fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with whole grains

SF-123-SB-ChocolateNougatGoneNuts.jpg

Slim-Fast products are available at Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, Kroger and online at Amazon.com and the Slim-Fast 3-2-1 Store on Facebook.

See?  3-2-1 - Easy, right?

Now for the best part!  For someone like me who has two young boys to deal with in the morning and who regularly skips breakfast, a Slim-Fast shake is a great way to get some protein and nutrition into my morning to help fuel me for the rest of the day and to properly jump-start my metabolism.  From there, it should be easy to stay on board!

Check out the Slim-Fast website, where you can enter to win $10,000 in their Vow to Wow Giveaway.  Stay and check out all the great tips available as well.  You can also enter via the Slim-Fast Facebook Page.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Minute to Pin It: Weekly Pinterest Party (Come Join In The Fun!)



Welcome to a brand new weekly feature, brought to you by Samantha from Have Sippy Will Travel, Staci of 7 on a Shoestring, and Wendi, here at Wendi's Book Corner: Minute To Pin It: A Weekly Pinterest Party.

If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you really should!  It is a visual bookmarking site that allows you to 'pin' your favorite things online, share it, and find great 'pins' from people you follow.  I've found some of the GREATEST things on there (crafts, home ideas, recipes, gift ideas, fashions, tips, etc).  So, grab the button, visit/follow your hostesses and add your own Pinterest link below!





Here are a few of my favorite holiday "Pins":





Saturday, December 17, 2011

Looking For A New Cell Phone? Consider The LG Doubleplay

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LG DoublePlay™ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband and I are going to be looking for new phones pretty soon, and while we don't currently have data plans, it is something we'd love to eventually add, so I'm looking for a phone that can do it ALL!

My current phone has a touch screen, which I love, so I consider that to be a MUST as it makes things so much easier than trying to scroll through the menus.  It also has a 2 megapixel camera, which is another MUST because we have kids... in fact, I'd LOVE a better camera.

I've recently discovered the LG DoublePlay™, which DOES have a customizable touch screen.  In fact it has TWO - one main screen, and one smaller screen which can be used at the same time as the main one.  It also has a full QWERTY keyboard which saves a lot of texting/typing time and reduces typos (at least for me).

The Doubleplay™ also allows you to check email, browse the web, and update Facebook.  It also has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and an HD video recorder, so pictures and video can be uploaded and shared via email, Facebook and messaging.   This is perfect for me because at 5 megapixels, pictures can be re-printed and shared at a much higher quality without being blurry.  YEAH!

The LG Doubleplay™ is an Android 2.3 phone, so it gives users access to the Android Market™ and allows lots of great user customizations (customize your phone with seven different home screens and the ability to have up to nine touchscreen shortcuts).

It also has some great texting features to help make texting with one or more people easier.  Both my husband and I text a lot in order to keep in touch with each other and with friends and family, so the technology available here will make things so much easier.

The LG Doubleplay™ is available exclusively at T-Mobile

Since the Doubleplay™ is going to make texting easier and more convenient, help me take better pictures and videos AND help me share them, not to mention allowing me to browse the internet, check email AND update Facebook, it seems to be a perfect fit for my needs.

So now I'm curious... How much time do you spend texting and interacting with your email and Social Networks via your phone?  And will a phone like the LG Doubleplay™ save you time and frustrations?  :)

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Didn't I Know About *77 Sooner? Block Unwanted "Private Caller" Numbers To Your Phone

Over the past few months we've been getting some annoying prank phone calls from a "Private Caller" REALLY late at night, which isn't good for sleeping toddlers. Calling them back or reporting them wasn't possible due to their blocked number not showing on our Caller ID. I finally called our phone service provider today to see if anything could be done, and they told me about *77.

*77 Stops any calls with blocked numbers from successfully calling our number. Legitimate callers can follow a prompt and unblock their phone number, while those wishing to remain anonymous will not be successful!

So if you want to block Anonymous callers from bothering you, use *77. For me it is a free service, but double check with your service provider to make sure it is included in your phone service!

I wish I had known about this service before!

Sprint's 3-Day Sale: 12/12 - 12/14 With Free Phones, Shipping and Activation

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sprint for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, or know someone who needs a new cell phone?  You might want to take a look at what the Sprint 3-Day Sale has to offer.

Sprint is having a great 3-Day Sale (December 12-14) on Android™ powered EVO 4G devices!

Get the HTC EVO™ 4G or EVO™ Shift for FREE: http://bit.ly/rBqHmY, Plus get waived activation for new lines of service and free shipping.

Hurry!  The sale is available now through December 14th.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Planning A Perfect Christmas Eve Birthday Party At Chuck E Cheese (Fun, Easy, and Affordable) @chuckecheese

Every year I face the challenge of finding a way to make our older son's Christmas Eve birthday special, and keeping it separate from Christmas. This year I am so excited... I am planning a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party - and YES - They are open on Christmas Eve!

We've got to figure out his presents (we always put them on the table after he's gone to bed and sort them into Birthday and Christmas), and I promised to make his cake - he wants the Candyland Cake that was featured in a Taste of Home magazine, made with a brownies.  Anyone have a suggestion for the filling?  I'm going to make two large pans of brownies, and stack them...



I love that Chuck E. Cheese will let us bring the cake and ice cream for the party, while they provide everything else!

The best part about having a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party is that they always have great deals on food and tokens, and I don't have to do extra work at home to get ready for the party or to clean up!!

Right now, for every $25 gift card purchased at a Chuck E. Cheese location, you will get 20 tokens for free. I'm planning to go in ahead of time to purchase a bunch of gift cards to pay for the party - that way, I'll have extra tokens, plus, I reserved the party online which gives you 20 bonus tokens!



It is so easy to reserve a party - I went online and reserved a Christmas Eve party at one of the locations near me, estimated the number of people coming and selected the food/party favors that I wanted.  The online reservation even gave me an estimated cost for my party - it is so great!

Not only are there fun games for the kids to play, there are fun picture opportunities, a great birthday show, yummy food and great party bags.

Chuck E. Cheese also has some really great online features, like their Activities page which has some great printable activities for the kids and to help with the holidays:  Paper Chain Decoration, Holiday Gift List, Gift Tags, a Matching Game and a Babysitter Checklist.

Plus, under the Chuck E. Games section, you can find some fun online games (you can even earn bonus tickets for use at a location by playing the Skee Ball Game), printable coloring pages, music and so much more - come check it out!

Logan can't wait to have his birthday at Chuck E. Cheese - I don't know what he is looking forward to more.. the games, the Ticket Blaster Experience, or the pizza...  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finding New Friends Weekend



Welcome to Week 36 of Finding New Friends Weekend Blog Hop hosted by Shelly from My Saving Game, Sam from Have Sippy Will Travel and Jeannette from The Adventures of J-Man and MillerBug!  Thank you all for helping make this hop so successful!  We love you tons!  Now what are you waiting for?  Let's get to hopping!  We are finding some fabulous blogs through this hop and having a great time getting to know so many of you!  So thank you for linking up again this week to those of you who are hop veterans and welcome to those who are new!  Let's continue to make new bloggy friends and increase our traffic! We do have a few simple rules for you - nothing too tough though.  So here we go!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Diamond Candles ~ A Ring In Every Candle (Blogger Review and Giveaway Campaign)


Have you experienced a soy candle with amazing aroma that inspires and makes your holidays go smooth and relaxed? Have you seen anything like waiting with anticipation what’s going to be peaking out of the hot soy liquid while the candle is still burning?

If not, then Diamond Candles Company would like to invite you to Review and Giveaway their Precious soy candles. Why “precious” you’ll ask? Well, each candle harbors a ring valued anywhere from $10-$100-$500-$5000 each. It’s anticipation that really gets you going! What kind of a ring am I going to unveil from the glittery pouch hidden inside the soy wax?

The Criteria for Your Participation Are Simple. This event is Free to you. Open to US only. If you are to review and giveaway a product sponsored by Diamond Candles Company, you’ll need to include in your giveaway the sponsor’s Facebook and Twitter mentions, and a couple of keywords within your review.

If you are to participate in this campaign, Blog about this event on your blog, linking it to my post here. Then, fill out this Form with information about your blog. Once you’re approved by the Diamond Candles Company, I’ll ask you to confirm your mailing address for mailing products to you for review and giveaway on your blog (FYI: Diamond Candles does all mailing to the winners for giveaway.)

I found out about this fun opportunity on The Spring Mount 6 Pack.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Check Out Light Strike - The Play Anywhere, Highly Interactive Game of Laser Tag (Amazingly Fun Too) from @WowWeeDotCom


I have to admit that of the WowWee toys our family got to test out and review, the Light Strike were my favorite!  And this is going to sound really silly, but we have been REALLY into Nerf gun wars INSIDE our house for about two years now, and there have been countless injuries from stray bullets, messes and even a broken wall that received a football tackle when one player was trying to avoid a Nerf bullet.  LOL  (The wall STILL isn't fixed all the way)  Weeks after playing a game I still find bullets all over the house!

SO when laser tag entered our house I was ecstatic!  No flying objects (other than people), safe for indoors AND outdoors, and the sounds, vibrations and lights coming from the Light Strike guns and accessories is so great!

Plus, it is so easy to get started!  The entire family (including extended family) got into playing laser tag, from our almost-two-year-old and even Grandpa... it is great fun for all ages.  Obviousely when the younger crowd is playing, we keep it a bit easier and don't focus as much on using the special features that are loaded on these laser tag guns, but that isn't to say there's no experimentation either.  In fact, the boys love the grenade feature on one of the guns because they aim and pull the trigger, and anyone within a certain distance is affected.

I'm honestly not doing these highly innovative toys justice.  They are packed with so much technology, from their interactive menus, the choices for each player, the ability to help team mates, the ability to add attachments, to the ability to play different types of games... that makes these toys simply amazing and gives players infinite ways to play.


The boys have really gotten into the attachments you can add to the guns as well.  They give the laser tag guns different capabilities and advantages that the guns by themselves don't have. Here's a quick rundown of the attachments (and you'll see why there are side deals and trades while playing...)

If you look in the above picture, I'll go from left to right, starting with the farthest back/left:
Rapid Fire System This allows faster, stronger laser strikes and provides stability if you are using the tripod type supports

Enemy Scanner I was shocked to find out that this little attachment actually really warns you when an enemy is moving within its range - the benefit here is that you get a warning that someone is trying to sneak up on you (It also increases the damage dealt by your laser gun

Refractor Launch System Allows you to take out multiple enemies with one shot

Scope Increases accuracy and how far the laser strike will work


Then, as if that wasn't fun enough, there are some pretty amazing targets, which includes: Intelligent Targeting System (I.T.S), Target Vest, Mini Target and Strike Target. Personally, I think the one that is the most fun (and provides the most challenge) is the ITS, or the one that looks like it has rainbow lights on the side.  It has so many different features and games, from a capture-the-flag type game, to specific game reward/consequences like regenerating health or setting off a bomb against your enemies.

One thing I find really great so far is the battery life.  All our guns and accessories are still going strong with the original batteries we put in them, and they have been played with a lot so far.

Overall, the Light Strike guns and accessories are a blast!  They have cutting edge (and highly interactive) technology in them that has really kicked up friendly "war games" at our house, while greatly reducing the mess and pain that comes with traditional Nerf-type games.  LOVE IT!

Great for gift giving this holiday season!

For a limited time, they have a Cyber Week bonus at the WowWeeToyShop:  *While Supplies Last


Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14



Light Strike Assault Striker
by WowWee

 Toys ~  $39.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Style 3 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Light Strike Assault Striker

Features
• Interactive lights and battle sounds that put you in the middle of the fight

Weapon styles
5 built-in weapon styles offer different rates of damage, ammo usage and fire. Select the best weapon to get the job done:
• Laser Strike: Fast-fire weapon with lower rate of damage and ammo usage
• Stealth Strike: Fast-fire weapon with muffled blasts and lower rate of damage and ammo usage
• Pulse Strike: Packs more punch but uses ammo faster and has longer delay between blasts
• Rail Strike: Tons of firepower but burns through ammo quickly and has longer delay between blasts
• Sonic Strike: Biggest weapon in the arsenal, provides maximum damage but eats through ammo and has longest delay between blasts

Built-in target
• Built-in target detects hits from enemies.

Team selection
• Choose between 4 team colors. Each team can have unlimited number of players.

Ammo
• Ammo meter tracks remaining ammo. Ammo is unlimited but requires reload. Different weapon styles have different reload times.

Health
• Health meter tracks remaining life. When health hits zero, respawn to get back in the game.

Shield
• Activate shield to temporarily take 50% less damage when enemies are on your tail. Plan your strategy carefully because there’s a 3-minute recharge time before you can use the shield again.

Headphone jack
• For covert ops, plug in headphones so they’ll never hear you coming.
Strike Target
• Perfect your aim with the included light-up and sound FX target or incorporate it into your gameplay.

Gameplay
• With Light Strike, the only rules are your own. Play how you want!

Additional Information
• Play indoors or outside
• Age 8+
• Batteries: 4 x AA (Assault Striker) and 3 x AAA (Strike Target).
• *Batteries not included.


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Lite Sprites Tree of Light, Pods, Wand, and Playsets ~ Playful, Musical and Fun (Review) @Wowweedotcom


I've seen the cute Lite Sprites commercials, and you've probably seen them too.  I have to say that I really think this toy is cute and well thought out.  This past week, I've been playing with it with my toddler, and yes, he is a boy.  I think it is great that boys can play with girl toys too!  He is absolutely fascinated by this Tree of Life and the other Lite Sprite toys.  And from what I've seen, he loves the bright colors, the flashing lights, and the fun sounds.

The Tree of Life has some really neat features.  The top of the tree can be easily turned, and when spun, it lights up and plays a tune.  The treetop leaves have places to hang the Lite Sprite Pods, which hold the sprites themselves.  The staircase lights up, and the elevator raises and then swivels and locks against the deck platform.  There are also numerous small flowers that can be moved around to decorate the grass under the tree.

Other Lite Sprites playsets can be connected to the Tree of Light.  The pods can be hung on the branches, while the playsets attach via a grassy bridge.  All the parts work really well together and create a really fun Sprite village play experience.

I've only gotten to play with the wand VERY briefely because it is in high-demand.  Not only does it light up and make neat musical noises, but it interacts with colors around it.  You can push the button and place it on an item and it will pick up the color from that item.  They boys and their friends (both girls and boys) love to run around with it seeing how many colors they can get it to turn.  It seems to have been turned into a game/challenge itself.

My only word of caution is that the pink petals of the playset pull out really easily, which isn't a negative, because they are put back really easily as well.  Oh!  And if you are playing with the Light Strike laser guns in the same room, the guns will cause the Sprite toys to light up and make sounds.  :)

If you are looking for a fun, bright, musical toy that both boys and girls will enjoy, take a look at this one.








I'd say this is an all-ages toy.  If you are going to have it around a young toddler, simply put the small flowers up on a shelf.  Otherwise, they are fascinated by the sprites, the colors, the sounds and the movement.  I think they are great interactive toys that will encourage early play and exploration.

Great for gift giving this holiday season!

Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14


Light Sprites Tree of Life
by WowWee

 Toys ~  $39.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Style 3 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Light Sprites Tree of Life:

Features
• Spinning light-up treetop shares color with Lite Sprites and other Lite-Topia playsets
• Lite Wand and Lite Sprites magically change Tree of Lite’s colors
• Take the light-up stairs or personal elevator to a balcony that fits 4 Sprites
• Hang up to 4 Forest Pods from treetop and let Lite Sprites go for a spin
• Colorful lights and enchanting sounds
• Comes with 1 unique Lite Pet, 1 stylish flower ring, 1 connecting pathway and 4 decorative flower accessories

Collect and Connect
• Collect all the Deluxe Playsets and connect them to the Tree of Lite to create an ever-changing wonderland of color and light.

Additional Information
• Age 4+
• Batteries: 4 x AAA (not included)
• *Lite Wand + Prisma sold together. Lite Sprites playsets and other Lite Sprites sold separately.


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Merry Little Christmas Cyber Monday Giveaway: Aromafloria's Sensory Fusion Pomegranate Set (ERV $75, Rafflecopter, US/CAN)


We've teamed up with Life Unexpected: Adventures of a SAHM to bring you the Merry Little Christmas Cyber Monday Giveaway! To help get your Christmas shopping off to a great start, each participating bloggers has put together a prize package that is valued at $25 or more for you to win. Just hop along the linky to discover great new blogs with amazing prizes! Remember the more you enter the better your chances of winning. But hurry, these giveaways won't last long! The Merry Little Christmas Cyber Monday hop will end midnight December 5th!


Giveaway Details:

One lucky Wendi's Book Corner reader will win items from the Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Collection by Aromafloria. This collection is wonderful! The scent is light, and wonderful!  Items can be used alone or together.

Here is my review of the Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Collection by Aromafloria.

Entry is easy - just click through the easy Rafflecopter form! If you have any problems, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to help out!  Then see the linky below and hop to the next giveaway...






Paper Jamz Pro Series Guitar - Fun and Easy to Use, With LOTS of Great Effects - A GREAT Use of Technology @Wowweedotcom


Prior to this past week, I had heard of Paper Jams, but hadn't really experienced them, and we discovered that we were really missing out on a lot of fun and creativity!  I love to encourage my boys to be creative and have fun together and this is the best of both worlds. The singing, dancing, rocking and music-making are AWESOME!  Take one 5 year old and one not-quite-two-year-old going on 5, and you get some really fun (and funny) music creations, especially when using different instruments together.

There are two basic functions to the guitar: making music on your own (freestyle), or you can play with a little help from the guitar.  There are many different extra effects on the guitar that are really fun to play with.

As with the Pro Series Mic, I initially thought this toy was really light-weight and didn't have a lot to it, but I was wrong!  It has a lot of stuff designed into it.  It is surprisingly sturdy, and works primarily with the use of sensitive touch points to turn features on or off, play notes, change songs, or adjust the volume.  As an adult, I have really been having fun with this one.  It is fun to strum the guitar and slide my fingers up and down the neck (no you guys, I'm NOT a guitarist, so I'm sure I'm not using proper terms).  There are lots of neat effects to use too.

The package says that it is recommended for ages 8+, but I find that a bit off.  Our almost five year old is having a blast with it!  He has no problem turning it on and off, and taking care with it.  He loves playing it and creating his own songs, as well as playing along with the help of the programming on the guitar.

Great for gift giving this holiday season, I can vouch that all week this has been a hit!

Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14
And if you hurry, they have a free promo going on for Black Friday Weekend!



Paper Jams Pro Guitar  
by WowWee  

 Toys ~  $39.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Guitar Style 3 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Paper Jamz Pro Series Guitar:

Rock out like never before
• 14 active frets for a wider range of notes
• Real notes and chords to create your own rock anthems
• Perform hammer-ons, pull-offs, palm mutes and slides
• Built-in accelerometer really makes your guitar wail
• Download new guitar styles for different sounds
• Add your favorite music with the free Paper Jamz Pro app
• USB cable included

Play modes
The Paper Jamz Pro guitar has two main modes: Song and Freestyle.
Freestyle mode
Go solo and play real chords and notes to create your own hit songs.
Song mode
There are two ways to rock out in Song mode.
Rhythm: Gives you full control to play your own chords or notes over a song.
• When chords are active, the guitar adjusts the ones you play so you always sound like a pro.
• When notes are active, the guitar adjusts the ones you play for perfect rock solos.
Perfect Play: Just select a song and strum along. Sound like a rock star — without years of practice.

Performance effects
Ripstrip
Slide your finger on the Ripstrip to bend the pitch of notes and chords.
Accelerometer
Point the guitar neck up to play notes an octave higher. Shake the guitar head to add vibrato.
Palm mute
Touch the palm mute with the base of your palm to stop the note or chord—or hold the palm mute while playing a chord to give it a chunky sound.

Advanced guitar techniques
Play your Paper Jamz Pro guitar like the real thing—do hammer-ons, pull-offs, taps and slides!

Expand your set list with your own music
This is one of the rockin’ new features of the Pro Series!
Download the free Paper Jamz Pro app to add music from your own library and rock out to your favorite songs. You can store up to 3 songs at a time, depending on song length.
With the app, just drag and drop files from your PC or Mac to your Paper Jamz Pro guitar—so easy, you’ll be rocking out in no time!
Check out www.paperjamzpro.com to learn more.

Connections
Audio-out jack
Plug in an amplifier to throw your own concert or plug in headphones for a private performance.
Mini-USB port
Connect to a computer with the included USB to mini-USB cable and then transfer your music to the Paper Jamz Pro guitar with the downloaded Paper Jamz Pro app.
Additional information
• Age 8+
• Batteries: 4 x “AA” (not included)


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Paper Jamz Pro Series Mic - An Instant Hit in Our House (Review) @Wowweedotcom


Prior to this past week, I had heard of Paper Jams, but hadn't really experienced them, and I'm really sorry I hadn't!  I love to encourage my boys to be creative and have fun together and this is the best of both worlds. The singing, dancing, rocking and music-making are AWESOME!  Take one 5 year old and one not-quite-two-year-old going on 5, and you get some really fun (and funny) music creations.

There are two basic funtions: kids can sing on their own, or they can sing-along to one of two-preloaded songs (don't worry - you can add more).  There are five different fun and crazy sound features, and by far the boys favorite is to use ALL FIVE at the same time.  The best part?  They actually sound pretty good while they are rocking out.

When I first picked up this toy, I was a bit worried because it is light and sort of plain in features, or so I thought.  Once we put the batteries in and started playing with it, it became obvious that there was MUCH more to the toy than we initially thought (which we found to be true with all the WowWee toys we got to play with).  It is surprisingly sturdy, and works primarily with the use of sensitive touch points to turn features on or off, change songs, or adjust the volume.  I've come to appreciate this because there are no buttons to break or fall off.  Pretty neat!

The package says that it is recommended for ages 8+, but I find that silly, since our not-quite-two-year-old LOVES it and has no problems playing with it.  He just needs a bit of help turning on the on/off switch.  I do however think the toy is appropriate for kids of ALL ages, including adults who want to have some fun too.

Great for gift giving this holiday season, I can vouch that all week this has not been put away once!

Save 10% at WowWeeToyShop by using the promo code:  blogpromo14
And if you hurry, they have a free promo going on for Black Friday Weekend!



Paper Jams Pro Mic  
by WowWee  

 Toys ~  $29.99 (Use code blogpromo14 to save 10% at WowWeeToyShop)

Edition Reviewed: Paper Jamz Pro Mic Style 1 - Review sample received courtesy of the manufacturer, many thanks for sending our family one to review!


About the Paper Jamz Pro Series Mic:

Features
• 5 voice effects help you sing like a pro
• Auto mode to automatically adjust voice effects in real time
• Expand your set list with songs from your own collection
• Effects amp attaches to microphone and has built-in speaker and convenient belt clip
• 2 preloaded songs get you started on the road to pop stardom
• Store up to 3 songs at a time
• USB cable included

Five voice effects help you sing like a pro
The Paper Jamz Pro microphone starts up in Auto mode, which adjusts effects in real-time to recreate a song’s original sound. Turn off Auto mode to choose which of these 5 awesome effects you want to apply to your voice:
• Perfect Pitch™: Corrects your pitch so you’re automatically in tune
• Chorus: Multiplies your voice to add depth
• Auto Vibrato: Adds real vibrato to your voice
• Melody Match™: Tunes your voice so you always sing a perfect melody
• Auto Harmony: Makes a copy of your voice so you sound like part of a harmonized duo

Expand your set list with your own music
This is one of the rockin’ new features of the Pro Series!
Download the free Paper Jamz Pro app to add music from your own library and sing along to your favorite songs. You can store up to 3 songs at a time, depending on song length.
With the app, just drag and drop files from your PC or Mac to your Paper Jamz Pro microphone—so easy, you’ll sound like a star in no time!
Check out www.paperjamzpro.com to learn more.

Connections
Audio-out/headphone jack
Plug in an amplifier to throw your own concert or plug in headphones for a private performance.
There’s even a feature that lets your headphones double as a monitor, so you can better hear your own voice while singing.
Mini-USB port
Connect to a computer with the included USB cable and transfer your music to the Paper Jamz Pro microphone with the downloaded Paper Jamz Pro app.

Additional information
• Age 8+
• Batteries: 3 x AAA (not included)


*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

As a WOW-Mom, I Get To Share Exciting And Interactive Toys With You This Black Friday Weekend! Stay Tuned... @Wowweedotcom


I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to become a WOW-Mom and help share WowWee toys and the great experiences our kids and relatives have had with them with you!

 As part of the Black Friday Weekend, I was going to host a WowWee Party with our friends, relatives and their kids, then share the party on here so you could see what items were the biggest hits, but our youngest son and I both came down with the flu, so I'm bringing the party directly to you with the help of my not-so-sick older son.

What can you expect?
To get some great insight (reviews, tips, etc) into some fun WowWee toys available this holiday season
Hear about the great features
See some fun pictures
Use this PROMO code for 10% off at the WowWeeToyShop: blogpromo14
     - They have some great Black Friday Weekend Bonuses available right now

WowWee Toys has three great toy lines: Paper Jams, Light Sprites and Light Strike.  These toys are all so much fun, it is hard to pick a favorite.  Over the past week we had a great time getting to play with these toys, so it will be a pleasure sharing the fun with you.

Prior to this past week, I had heard of Paper Jams, Light Sprites and Light Strike Toys, but hadn't really experienced them, and I can tell you, my kids were missing out!  The singing, music-making and laser tag that has been going on at our house has been GREAT!  And not to leave out the Light Sprites, which are geared more toward girls, but which are great for toddlers (who don't put toys in their mouths) as well because of the bright colors and sounds.




Stay tuned!!

*Disclosure: I am a WOW-Mom and received some WowWee Toys for party and review purposes. I was not compensated in any way, and the opinions shared are from our direct experience and was not influenced by our sponsor.  If you use my promo code to order at the WowWeeToyShop and get 10% off, I will get a small incentive from the sales.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aromafloria's Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Bath and Body Products (Review)

Pomegranate Sensory Fusion  by Aromafloria is a wonderful spa type bath collection, including Aromabeads, a Soy Candle, Bath Fizz, Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter, Salt Glow Scrub and Whipped Body Butter With Shea and Aloe.  This is a beautifully aromatic and soothing collection for your skin and your senses.

The scent is light and earthy (I say earthy in that it is not a sickly-sweet scent, but rather soothing and natural), which is heavenly while using, and leaves a very light scent behind that is not overpowering or distracting.

I've had a chance to try the Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter, Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Salt Glow Scrub and Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Whipped Body Butter With Shea and Aloe.  All three products are wonderful when used together or individually.  The foaming body wash is wonderful and has the strongest scent (in my opinion) of the three products I used, but it is still subtle enough for daily use.  The scrub makes my skin feel rejuvenated and when washed off, leaves a smooth and silky feeling on my skin.  But I'd have to say that my favorite product among the trio is the whipped body butter with shea and aloe.  It is so creamy and light, it soaks into my skin quickly, leaving my skin nicely moisturized.  With the winter weather moving in, and LOTS of hand-washing due to colds, my hands have been dry and cracking.  After using the body butter twice, my skin was back to normal, feeling very soothed from the dryness.  Yeah!

The Pomegranate Sensory Fusion Collection by Aromafloria: Aromabeads, Soy Candle, Bath Fizz, Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter, Salt Glow Scrub, Whipped Body Butter With Shea and Aloe

Aromabeads: The fresh tart aroma and crimson color of our AromaBeads makes them resemble the pomegranate’s jewel like seeds. Their energizing aroma is inviting in any atmosphere.

Aromatic Soy Candle: The energizing tartness of pomegranate is balanced by notes of fresh dew fruit, cassis and sweet amber milk. The seductive, crimson pomegranate has come to symbolize renewal, romance and youth for cultures around the world.

Bath Fizz: Packed with minerals and anti-aging benefits, the tantalizing aroma of pomegranate puts a real zip in your bath time. Renew your senses, splash away damaging free radicals and reveal younger-looking skin. Preservative free.

Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter: Pomegranate detoxifies and bestows anti-aging benefits in this naturally derived coconut cleanser with moisturizing organic shea butter. The perfect path to revitalized and younger looking skin. No amides, SLES or SLS.

Salt Glow Scrub: Natural minerals and pomegranate extract help reverse the effects of aging in this energizing oil free, water-based scrub. This fine salt glow formula is perfect for all skin types. Protects against damaging free radicals as it makes skin look perfectly polished. Preservative free.

Whipped Body Butter with Shea and Aloe: This Body Butter stimulates metabolism of the cells to visibly improve skin texture. 100% pure pomegranate detoxifies and bestows anti-aging benefits in this natural, Asian-inspired wellness treatment. Create your own Sensory Fusion ritual and pamper yourself while you revitalize your skin.

About Aromafloria

from their Facebook page
Founded: 1985

About: We believe in producing wholesome beauty products which means selecting the purest, safest, sustainable and eco-friendly ingredient.We do this by following the Organic and Natural Standards and by promoting GREEN chemistry for eco-friendly results.

Company Overview: Our collection of bath, body and skin care products is expertly formulated with aroma therapeutic essential oils, medicinal herbals and exotic botanicals. Infused with Nature's healing benefits, they remain authentic solutions in a marketplace overflowing with mass-produced brands.

Mission: At the heart of Aromafloria is a fervent desire to help people empower themselves in their search for balance and well-being. In our increasingly high-tech and low-touch world, we invite you to create quiet, restorative moments and meaningful rituals that will elicit relaxation and keep you on your road to wellness.

Products: HEALING WATERS, STRESS-LESS, MUSCLE SOAK, SINUS-HELP. FULL RANGE OF NATURAL AROMATHERAPY WELLNESS PRODUCTS FOR BATH, BODY AND SKINCARE.
TRUE NATURAL LUXURY PRODUCTS THAT WORK!

Website: http://www.aromafloria.com
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