Tag: Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: The Help Blu-ray Combo Pack {Review}

The #1 New York Times bestseller by Kathryn Stockett comes to vivid life through the powerful performances of a phenomenal ensemble cast. The Help is an inspirational, courageous and empowering story about very different, extraordinary women in the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project — one that breaks society’s rules and puts them all at risk. Filled with poignancy,
humor and hope — and complete with compelling, never-before-seen bonus features — The Help is a timeless, universal and triumphant story about the ability to create change.

My Thoughts…

If you like me are fan of movies that take stories from the deep south like Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, and the like, you’ll be in for a real treat in watching The Help. I had missed out on seeing The Help when it hit theaters earlier this year and just haven’t picked up the book yet. I can tell you that after seeing this film I do intend on adding it to my 2012 reading list. I’ve heard people say the movie is just as good as the book and that’s saying a lot because most films based off books aren’t always as pleasing.

I was quite taken with the film. It’s main focus is on a gal who wants to become a journalist and is challenged to write about what bothers her despite the thoughts of what others thing of her decision.   Not an easy task writing and even approaching The Help about the stories encountered in their lives during the civil rights movement in Mississippi during the 1960’s. I laughed, cried, and was quite stirred. The characters and their feelings were all very real. The movie is almost three hours but I really didn’t feel like it was that long while watching because I was so taken and drawn in.

The bonus features on the The Help Blu-Ray include deleted scenes, The Making of The Help, In their Own Words tribute to the Maids, and more. I would say if you haven’t already, you should rush out and see this movie. I don’t want to give too much away about the film so instead  I’m including the trailer below for you to see.

The Help stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard. To learn more about The Help Visit the website and mobile site: http://thehelpmovie.com/us/.

You can purchase The Help (Two-Disc/DVD Combo) on Amazon.comfor $24.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. This is a great deal as this paticular set goes for $40!

Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Picture Collage Maker Pro {review + giveaway}

Christmas is only days away and New Year is right after! Can you believe it? I’m preparing myself to begin working on photo books and albums from all my 2011 endeavors. My 2011 was certainly a year full of so very much. I have been looking for place to easily make photo collages, calendars, digital scrapbooks, and cards to share with family and friends. I had been using one program currently but it’s been very limited in what I can do. And though I love the look of scrap-booking by hand, it often becomes quite expensive purchasing papers, embellishments, and more.

I recently was given the opportunity to try out Picture Collage Maker Pro.  This is a useful and helpful software program that gives people the opportunity to easily create and share photo collage projects of all kinds. In fact, right now they have a Special  Christmas Edition that contains 26 abundant brand new professional Christmas templates to create Holiday cards to send along to friends and family. I love that you can choose whether or not if you’d like to print or send your creations by e-mail or regular post. You can even create desktop wallpaper of all your favorite photos!

I’ve been using this software for about a week now and I’ll have to say that it’s very user friendly! There are options to use pre-made templates, but you can also customize and create your very own quite easily. There are backgrounds, stickers, photo frames, and any more items and tools to create a one of a kind gift or greeting that’s specific to you and your family to share or keep for yourself.

There’s a resource page which you can download add on templates to include in the program! Tutorials and design ideas and suggestions also can be found. If you fan the software created Pearl Mountain on Facebook you’ll be able to download some great bonus templates too! If you sign up for their free newsletter you’ll be in the know of when new templates and updates are available.

Overall I am really happy with Picture Collage Maker Pro. It’s user-friendly. It doesn’t slow down my computer like other collage sites and programs I’ve used. It has lots of great pre-made templates to choose from for holidays, seasons, and so much more. I couldn’t be happier!

You can purchase Picture Collage Maker Pro for $ 39.90 off their website or you can try to win 1 of 20  license for free here on my blog! Please enter below through Rafflecopter!

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: The Happy Kid Company, Fun Fort {Review & Giveaway}

I’m really pleased to see a lot of parents going back to the basics for kids toys this year! Arts & crafts, blocks, dress up items,  stuffed animals or figurines, musical instruments, and puzzles are classic toys that every child should have and play with. Honestly, what could be better than those battery free types of toys that provide hours upon hours of imaginative play?

Speaking of a classic, who hasn’t built a fort with blankets strung across chairs or other furniture growing up? I know I did. I remember having hours of fun with my sisters building and playing inside our own secret little space often crafted with our own bedding and our mothers clothes pins for hanging laundry. This method worked okay but almost always ended up with our sheet falling down constantly!

I had been wanting to get my daughter a tent to play in. She had one but somehow the poles got misplaced during our move. Poles sort of scare me too with a baby boy around. I could just imagine a pole popping out of place breaking things around the house and possibly even seriously injuring somebody. There had to be something better out there and this is when I found out about The Happy Kid Company, A company that specializes in forts for kids.

We were sent a Fun Fort in Hot Pink to review. And here’s why we love it;

  • Easy to securely put up & take down with stretchy Velcro adjustable loops
  • It has corner pockets that add extra stability or to hide treasures!
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors (water resistant)
  • It’s washable and super durable
  • Included are 6 extra stretchy extension loops
  • It’s portable and store able without taking up much space.
  • A free matching tote bag is included!
  • Can be made into a fort, teepee, tunnel or canopy
  • Provides  endless hours of imaginative play

My daughter has been using her Fun Fort to encircle her bunk bed. It’s really easy to put up and take down. She absolutely loves it and I do too. We are both happy that it’s stayed put. We also can’t wait to take it outdoors for play this Spring and Summer!

The Fun Fort comes in Blue, Lime and Hot Pink, and can be purchased for $34.95  from The Happy Kid Company or at Amazon.com! Be sure to check out the other types of forts they offer too! This toy is well worth the investment, I guarantee it.

**Deal Alert**

In honor of the Parents’ Choice Silver Award, The Happy Kid Company will be discounting THE FORTAMAJIG FUN FORT! for a limited time when purchased till the end of the year. Simply visit The Happy Kid Company’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/thehappykidcompany for more details.

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Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Air Picks

Air Guitarist can rejoice because playing legendary licks  has never been  easier thanks to  Air Picks. This fun new motion activated toy gives you the opportunity to flat out jam with an item that is literally small enough to fit in your pocket.

Air Picks are pretty neat. They are shaped like an actual guitar pick just slightly larger. Currently there are three picks to choose from Classic Rock, Rebel Rock, Rolling Stones. Fans will rejoice in being able to play songs such as Jumping Jack Flash, Satisfaction, Born to be Wild, Smoke on the Water, and Sweet Home Alabama to name just a few.

Users can select which song they’d like to strum in rhythm with on the back of the pick itself. There’s also a whammy bar button on the back to really mix things up. It’s not completely full proof, you have to “play” correctly in order to really rock out releasing the chords at the right time.

There’s no volume control but I found this not an issue as it’s not too loud or to quiet. I liked that there’s a clip that you use to hook to a belt loop or backpack though can easily remove it too if you so choose. Batteries for this toy are included which is a plus as well. No body likes receiving a battery operated gift and not having the batteries at the ready to use it, especially  during the Holiday.

Overall this toy would totally make a fun stocking stuffer this year for kids ages 6 to 13 years old, especially if they like music too. Air Picks retail at $11.00 each and can be purchased in numerous places such as Think Geek, Amazon.com, Target, and at the at the Ohio Art Toy Store – www.world-of-toys.com!

Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Scholastic Storybook Treasures: Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics Two

100 award-winning and classic children’s stories are faithfully adapted and brought to life in this comprehensive 17-DVD collection. From the best-selling favorite Goodnight Moon, to the beloved adventures of Corduroy and Red Riding Hood, parents and children alike are sure to enjoy these classic treasures, featuring celebrity narration from Thora Birch, Abigail Breslin, John Lithgow, and many more!

My children and I love the entire Schloastic Storybook Treasure collection and are pleased to have collected nearly all of them whether in singles or in sets like this one! They are great for family time and have wonderful educational value featuring an innovative read-along function that highlights words as they are spoken, supporting early literacy skills.

The collections offered by Scholastics are sure to delight as storybooks you grew up with can be shared with your children or grandchildren in a delightful new way.  I encourage you to check out all the fine stories that are available  in wide age span starting for children ages two and up.

You can purchase Scholastic Storybook Treasures: Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics Two  or other sets like this one at Amazon.com ( on sell for 33.95!) , New Kideo, and other well known retailers. These collections make wonderful gifts and will no doubt be treasured for a lifetime.

Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Shabby Apple “Ballerina Dress” {review + giveaway}

Shabby Apple Color LogoShabby Apple is a clothing boutique offering a variety of stylishly eloquent feminine dresses and accessories for women, preteens, and young girls. I happened upon this company while searching for dresses over two years ago and am I glad that I did. What sets Shabby Apple from the rest in my eyes other than their exceptionally chic styles is the fit to flatter option and helpful guide on their site!

The Fit to Flatter guide is there to help customers find the right dress for their figure! I found this extremely easy to use and very helpful. What you do is answer 3 different questions about your body or you can browse the following categories to find your body shape: Hourglass, Apple, Pear, Pencil, Athletic, Womanly, Tall, and Short.  I found by using the fit to flatter section that dresses like the Polo, Cat’s Cradle, and the 90 Words Per Minute dress among others would flatter my figure. I own several of these and am pleased to say that their sizing was spot on!

I was recently given the opportunity to add yet another Shabby Apple dress to my wardrobe called the Ballerina. I’ve in the past week worn this to a work Christmas Party at a fancy hotel, to an intimate Christmas concert, and when attending my local church. I’m pleased to say this dress is very versatile for a wide range of activities and social gatherings.

The Ballerina dress welcomes a variety of body types including my own ranging in the fits generously size chart! I love the Plum color which makes it perfect for both Fall and Winter season. The top of the dress is V-neck which flatters nicely and it’s also perfect for when I am about and about nursing my son. Breastfeeding mommies like myself will love this added feature. The waist line on this dress is ruched from bust to hip meaning this is great for those who feel uncomfortable about their waistline. I may be petite but I’ve had two children and my stomach area is something that I’ve been working on.  There’s no need to wear a slip as the skirt part of this dress is fully lined. Did I mention it’s comfortable?

Overall the Ballerina from Shabby Apple  is very flattering dress that meets style and gives the comfort I so simply adore with my wardrobe. You don’t often get both sometimes. You can wear this dress in many ways depending how you accessorize with jewelery, fashion scarves, and more. I think at $62.00 though currently on sell for $40.00 this a dress that you shouldn’t pass up if it catches your eye.

**Apple Accolades: Shabby Apple has a great promotion called Apple Accolades, where Shabby Apple gives you a free gift (shipping included) for every $100 you spend at Shabby Apple. **


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Feel free to enter below letting me know another dress, skirt, or product from Shabby Apple that you’d love to own!

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Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.