Friday, January 31, 2014

Valentine's Celebrations with Oriental Trading Company!

 I love shopping at Oriental Trading Company !  It really is my go-to place for FUN inspiration!  If you're a regular reader you know that I've written about them before (1st Birthday, Christmas) and today I wanted to tell you all a little bit about what Oriental Trading Company has to offer you for Valentine's Day.  They have so much awesome and affordable Valentine's Day related products!  They have everything you could possibly need to celebrate the holiday- decorations, crafts, candy, toys, party supplies, and of course, valentines. I regularly shop at Oriental Trading Company for so many different things that I use at school and at home!

Oriental Trading Company is the nation's largest direct merchant of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and a leading provider of school supplies and affordable home décor and gift ware.  They serve tons of customers through colorful catalogs and the Internet and offer more than 40,000 products to meet the needs of all kinds of businesses, not-for-profit organizations, individuals, schools, churches and teachers.

Oriental Trading Company sent me several items for review to use with my students this Valentine's Day.  Even though, nowadays, there is little time in the classroom for crafts, we still do get to do a little celebration for Valentine's Day (although it does help that it's on a Friday this year).  One of the main thing that my kiddos need for Valentine's Day is a place to put all of their valentines to each other.  I chose the Owl Valentine Box Card Holder Craft Kit for my students to make this year.  I just couldn't pass up how cute these are!  



One thing I love about crafts from the Oriental Trading Company is that each one come individually pre-packaged with all of the pieces, which makes it super easy to prepare for each student.  Plus, a lot of their foam crafts come with self adhesive pieces.  So much easier than that messy Elmer's glue!  Only the wings needs to be glued separately.  Hot glue or even those glue dots would work really easily to stick those one.





 


Each owl craft came with a sturdy bag for collecting valentines that measures approx. 6" x 2 1/2" x 8 1/2".  I know my kiddos are going to love making these to collect all of their valentines this year!



 I also got some fun Valentine's Day owl and monster pencils to pass out as treats and these super cute valentine bear sucker covers to cuten up even more treats!




Last, but not least, I received these Valentine Monster Sticker Scenes.



These are seriously fun and adorable!  They are the size of a regular sheet of paper (8.5x11).  These packs come with 3 sheets of four different monster design backgrounds and 12 sticker sheets so the kiddos can design their own monsters.  The stickers are even repositionable and acid free.  I am positive my students are absolutely going to adore having fun designing with these!  You can see my example below. :)



Hope you got a few fun Valentine's Day ideas!  


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Thursday, January 30, 2014

TBT: Cream Cheese Lemon Bars


**This post originally appeared on My Life According to Pinterest on 1/1/12**

My grandma used to make these amazing lemon meringue and key lime pies when I was younger, so I grew up loving lemon and lime flavors.  These cream cheese lemon bars are yummy and easy to make.  They turned out well, but next time I add more lemon zest because I like lemon and limey things to be nice and tart.  You can always add more or less zest depending on how tart you like your citrus desserts.  I adapted this recipe from Jam Hands.

Ingredients

Crust:
1 lemon cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg

Filling:
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
2 eggs
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
3  3/4 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1.   Preheat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. For the crust, mix together the dry cake mix, butter, and 1 egg.  
Mix well. The mixture will be somewhat thick. 
Press into a greased 9×13 baking pan and set aside.


3. For the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. 
Add the vanilla extract, eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. 

4.   Mix together well and add powdered sugar. 
Mix until the powdered sugar is fully incorporated.


5. Spread filling over crust.



6.  Bake for 38-42 minutes, until lightly brown and 
when gently shaken the center will only slightly jiggle.


7. Cool and cut into small bars. 
(I cooled mine in the fridge for a little bit before I cut them.)  

8.  Dust with powdered sugar if desired.




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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Erin Condren Designs Giveaway #MamasNewLook

Mama's Got a New Look 

We just rang in 2014 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU! 
Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. The Blogging Mamas Network, along with co-hosts Mama's Baby Cupcakes, So Easy Being Green, and Viva Veltoro want to give the special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year!

This Event will run from January 15-29 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you achieve that new look!

I am so excited to be giving away a $25 gift code to Erin Condren Designs at erincondren.com!

 If you've never visited Erin Condren Designs than you are seriously missing out.  Ring in the new year and get personalized, stylized, and organized!  Erin Condren Designs offers everything from  invitations, address labels, gift labels, custom business cards, life planners, lesson plan books and even acrylic designs and they can all be customizable to fit YOU! Her designs are so amazing and colorful- I mean just visiting the website cheers me up! 

Here's a little sample of what you can find there:

I recently saw a review of her life planner on another blog and I was so smitten.  I knew I had to have one for the new year!   After a long time narrowing down the decision I decided to order the 2014 Classic Life Planner in Fleur Feliz- Rainbow.  I personalized my planner with my name at the bottom and I love how it turned out! 


The 2014 Life Planner is loaded with tons of special extras you will love!
  • Cover is heavy duty laminated for protection from everyday wear and tear
  • Fun inspirational quotes throughout the planner to keep you going each day
  • Monthly tabs are also laminated for extra durability
  • Two page monthly spreads
  • To-do lists and goals space for every week and month
  • The weekly spread pages are divided into morning, day, and night to help keep you extra organized
  • There's even a meal/exercise/lists/etc. section for highlighting daily notes & activities. 
  • 20 pages of lined and designer blank pages for notes in the back 
  • 2 pages to keep important numbers and contacts 
  • 240 colorful stickers to help you highlight and keep track of birthdays, appointments, and special events 
  • Pockets and a zip lock pocket with 12 extra gift labels

Check out my full review of my Life Planner here.  I'm totally in love with my new planner!
Anything from Erin Condren would make such an excellent gift!
I'm already thinking of what to order my sister for her next birthday.
And I may be thinking about what to order for my next birthday too!  

You can connect with Erin Condren on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
 Visit their website to shop for yourself!  You can even earn $10 off of your first order here- just create an account!

One lucky person is going to win a $25 gift code for anything they like from Erin Condren Designs.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools below.  Giveaway ends on 1/29 at 11:59 p.m.  Good Luck!

This wonderful Grand Prize has two packages up for grabs!

The first prize pack, Fashion Mama, features a whole Gel Nail Kit from Couture Gel Nail Polish, a $100 Gift Code to the online jewelry retailer The Vintage Pearl, and a crocheted Infinity Scarf in winner's choice of color from Treasured by Holly.

Our second prize pack, New Mama, features a breastfeeding camisole from Undercover Mama, a Chewbeads "Jane" necklace in winner's choice of color, winner's choice of fabric for a diapers/wipes carrying case from The Diaper Clutch, Bamboobies set of Multi Pack Pads, and winner's choice of item shown from Loving Moments by Leading Lady and their Maternity to Nursing line.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nuby IcyBite Fruit Teether Review


As Little Guy gets older the teething doesn't get better!  In fact, I think it's getting much much worse.  Little Guy was a late teether, so I feel like he'll being getting teeth forever!  He's currently working on tooth number 8 (at 15 months), so Nuby's Icy Bite Fruit Teether is coming in more than handy!


From Nuby: The IcyBite™ teether/soother by Nûby™ provides a cool textured surface for baby to bite and teethe on during teething periods. The cool resilient surface soothes and stimulates sore gums safely. Engineered with raised offset surfaces that assist in the eruption of teeth by gently massaging infant’s gums. Colorful shapes are easy for baby to hold and sized for maximum effectiveness as a teether and soother. All Nûby™ products are made of safe, durable materials and exceed all government safety regulations and standards including Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963.


Little Guy really liked this teether.  He was interested in it as soon as I took it out of the fridge.  The shape makes it easy to grab and I love the bright colors- it really makes it easy to find in the fridge and where ever it eventually  gets left around the house.  The top to this orange fruit teether is removable and the orange is covered in little nubs to help massage his poor gums.  It also contains nontoxic purIce gel that allows the teether to stay cooler longer than water filled teethers.  I love that you keep this teether in the fridge and not the freezer because that means that Little Guy can actually hold this in his mouth without his hands getting too cold.  But, don't worry, this teether definitely gets cold enough to provide some great teething pain relief for your little one!  

The Nuby IcyBite Fruit Teether comes in 4 cute and colorful designs: Orange, Pineapple, Apple, and Strawberry.
Photo from Nuby.com

Follow & Connect:  You can Like Nûby on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Erin Condren Life Planner Review

It's a New Year and a new you and, of course, that means a new planner people! So, where else could I look for my new planner than Erincondren.com!  


 If you've never visited Erin Condren Designs than you are seriously missing out.  Ring in the new year and get personalized, stylized, and organized!  Erin Condren Designs offers everything from  invitations, address labels, gift labels, custom business cards, life planners, lesson plan books and even acrylic designs and they can all be customizable to fit YOU! Her designs are so amazing and colorful- I mean just visiting the website cheers me up! 

Here's a little sample of what you can find there:

I recently saw a review of her life planner on another blog and I was so smitten.  I knew I had to have one for the new year!  I thought about ordering a lesson plan book, but since I now do most of my planning online and typed up on the computer I knew I would get far more use from a life planner.  ErinCondren.com generously sent me a $25 gift code to help offset the cost of my planner for my review.  After a long time narrowing down the decision I decided to order the 2014 Classic Life Planner in Fleur Feliz- Rainbow.  I personalized my planner with my name at the bottom and I love how it turned out!


These life planners aren't cheap- you can expect to pay around $50 or more depending on the style and extra options you choose.  But, they say you get what you pay for and that's definitely true with this Erin Condren planner.  The 2014 Life Planner is loaded with tons of special extras you will love!  First of all, the cover is heavy duty laminated for protection from everyday wear and tear because you know you're going to want to carry this stylish planner everywhere!

Throughout the planner you'll find fun inspirational quotes to keep you going each day.


The monthly tabs are also laminated for extra durability.


There's two page monthly spreads, as well as to-do lists and goals space for every week and month.  The weekly spread pages are divided into morning, day, and night to help keep you extra organized.  There's even a meal/exercise/lists/etc. section for highlighting daily notes & activities.

All of the extras include a snap in page holder that doubles as a ruler, 20 pages of lined and designer blank pages for notes in the back, 2 pages to keep important numbers and contacts and  240 colorful stickers to help you highlight and keep track of birthdays, appointments, and special events.


There's even some pockets and a zip lock pocket with 12 extra gift labels.


Your planner is even sent to you beautifully packaged with some fun complimentary extras.  Who doesn't love that?



I love the design of my planner so much I even ordered some notebook notepads to match. :)


I'm in total love with my new planner! Anything from Erin Condren would make such an excellent gift!
I'm already thinking of what to order my sister for her next birthday.
And I may be thinking about what to order for my next birthday too!  

You can connect with Erin Condren on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Visit their website to shop for yourself.

Erin Condren Designs is going to help one of you get personalized, stylized, and organized this year!
Come back next week during the Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway Hop and enter to win a $25 gift code to shop at erincondren.com

*Disclosure:  I received a gift code to help with part of the cost of my life planner in exchange for a review of my honest opinion.

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