Still Looking For The Perfect Family Gift? A Canon Camera Is It!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeason

Holiday Tree 2014_27 (1)

Christmas is only a 15 days away!  I can hardly believe that it's already almost here.  If you're still looking for the perfect gift for your spouse or family, look no further than Best Buy.  Canon cameras make the perfect gifts!  I have had one of my dad's Canon cameras on loan for a few years, and it has been such a great camera to work with.  I love the crisp, clear pictures that it takes for the blog or for family pictures.

Canon Holiday Image (1)Canon Holiday Image 2

Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.

•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video  

•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video

•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.

•      The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more. *offer valid 12/7-12/20


Best Buy is hosting a Canon Twitter Party on Thursday December 18th at 7pm CST. Join the party for a chance to win Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes! Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.

Are you wishing for a Canon camera this Christmas?  Send this link over to your Santa for #HintingSeason!

Shop Best Buy for the New LG OLED TV

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card.  This LG OLED TV post was written by me and all opinions are mine.

0 LG Oled Best BuyIf someone on your Christmas list is requesting a new TV or if it is time to update your family TV, Best Buy has the new LG OLED TV.  This TV is only 0.21" thick at it's thinnest point, making the picture absolutely stunning.  The picture quality is amazing!  Infinite Contrast ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks.  And, LG's exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors.  

With deeper, richer colors, stunning contrast and ingeniously curved screens, it truly is unlike any technology you have ever seen.  The LG OLED TV will deliver a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination.  

  • Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color deliver more natural, lifelike viewing.
  • 4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.
  • Super thin design 
  • Find content faster with webOS.

LG's latest display technology must be experienced to be believed!  Learn more at LG OLED at Best Buy online and visit Best Buy to experience the greatest of the LG OLED TV.  Save $500 with Best Buy’s everyday price of $3499.99.


Do you love twitter parties? Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy. 


The Perfect Stocking Stuffer: Don’t Forget the Duracell Batteries

This stocking stuffer post was brought to you by Duracell batteries and She Speaks.  All opinions are mine.

Duracell Batteries stocking stuffer

Stockings were always an important part of Christmas morning for me when I was growing up.  I loved to get fruit, candy, a new toothbrush, jewelry, and more in my bright red Christmas stocking.  Now that I am a parent, I love to give them their stockings and see their excitement as they see what goodies are in it.  


I love to pick out things to fill stockings, and somehow I have gotten Hubby on board, too.  It's hard, sometimes, to fill those huge stockings!  I try my hardest to fill them with things we actually need, but well, what do we really need?  Well, for one thing, we always ALWAYS need batteries.  Smoke dectectors, remote controls, clocks, toys, holiday decor, travel DVD players and more require batteries so that is why Duracell batteries are THE perfect stocking stuffer.  Everyone can use batteries and it is guaranteed they'll be used.

We always prefer to buy Duracell CopperTop All-Purpose batteries because we know they will last the longest.  There is a 10 year guarantee in storage with Duralock Power Preserve Technology. Changing out cheap batteries is annoying and can actually be quite expensive in the long run.  Stick with Duracell to get the most out of your batteries.  Duracell is the #1 trusted battery brand of first responders, pharamacists and parents, so I know that it's a battery I can trust.

Add Duracell batteries to your holiday shopping list and pick some up the next time you're at Walmart.  CopperTop batteries are available in AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V.  There are different size packs.  Go big with the 16 pack:


Follow @Duracell, @Walmart, and Duracell on Facebook for more information and offers.



What’s The Hottest New Tablet For Kids This Season? The VTech InnoTab MAX! {giveaway, too}

This post was brought to you by VTech.  All opinions about the VTech tablet for kids are that of my guest reviewer or my own.

If you have been to the toy section at any major store recently, you will see lots and lots of great products to choose from.  If you have narrowed it down and you have decided you are buying your child (or a child you know) a tablet, you may wonder how they are different and what advantages one tablet has over another.  Well, I had a guest reviewer check out the new VTech InnoTab MAX with her twin six year-olds and they were sold within the first hour of opening it. 

The VTech InnoTab MAX is recommended for children ages 3-9 and sells for around $109.  It is VTech's 4th generation kids' learning tablet, featuring its fastest processor yet.  It has up to six times the processing power of previous generations and a 7" high-resolution, multi-touch screen display.  It's the perfect size for little hands!  The InnoTab MAX also has enhanced their Premium VTech Kid Connect and at no additional charge, allows kids and parents to exchange voice and text messages, photos, drawings, and fun stickers in real time between the InnoTab MAX and a smartphone.  How awesome is that?

VTech InnoTab MAX

Okay, aside from the cool, techie side, the InnoTab MAX is excellent for educational purposes, too.  It is NOT just a toy.  Kids have access to more than 650 educator endorsed, age and stage appropriate learning titles as well as carefully cultivated educational Android apps that can be purchased and downloaded through VTech's Learning Lodge app store.  Parental controls allow parents to manage their child's apps, web access, and tablet time, as well as view a progress log.  This is so helpful because kids and parents alike can get carried away, so it's helpful to have all of that information in one place. 

Other great features include:

  • ​​The tablet comes with 15 onboard apps including Premium VTech Kid Connect, My Magic Beanstalk, Movie Maker, Art, Wonder Cam Max, E-Reader with Story Dictionary, and more.
  • comes with one free Toca Boca app and two additional free apps that can be downloaded from the Learning Lodge
  • built-in rechargeable Lithium battery
  • kid-safe Wi-Fi
  • durable kid-friendly cover that can be removed, also acts as a stand
  •  plays videos and mp3 songs
  • 180° rotating camera
  • 8 GB memory – expandable up to 40 GB with a 32 GB microSD card
  • and much more!

VTech InnoTab MAX2Both of the kids absolutely loved the InnoTab MAX.  It is very kid friendly!  They were able to figure out almost everything on their own.  It is something that they can use together, alone, or with their parents and that is a major plus!  It's great for waiting for her brother at baseball practice, the doctor's office, or when you have a few minutes to reward the kids for positive behavior.  They really love it!

Check out the VTech Kids website, Facebook, and Twitter to learn more about the InnoTab MAX!  Purchase it on Amazon, too!

Enter to win this season's hottest new electronic toy in the Rafflecopter below.  You don't have much time, so I've added some extra entries to help you out.  Good luck!

VTech InnoTab Max Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gifts For The Kid Who Has Everything: Kiwi Crate and Koala Crate Subscription Boxes

This post has been brought to you by Kiwi Crate.  All opinions are mine

Since becoming a homeschooling mom, I have found that I struggle to come up with engaging, educational crafts for the boys.  Pinterest is my frenemy!  I find the perfect activities on Pinterest, but then the busy side of me sets in and I cannot get everything together.  I am not organized enough to gather all the materials and get a craft done in any appropriate amount of time.  I've come to grips with that.  With that said, you will understand my sheer excitement when the boys each received a box with their name on it containing instructions, craft materials, and extra activities that were age appropriate and meaningful.  It was like someone came and led an afternoon long educational arts and crafts lesson that the boys loved.  

The Captain opened his Wild West Kiwi Crate, which is geared for kids ages 4-8, while D and Baby Brother were taking a nap.  (No little brothers with sticky fingers makes for a better experience, you know.)  The Captain read something about a hobby horse.  I admit, I was left thinking I was going to have to scour the house to find a stick or something that we could use because there was NO way that Kiwi Crate fit one in their box.  Except they did!  The oh so wise company included a paper roll, about the size of a paper towel roll and inside was a slightly smaller roll.  All we had to do was pull it out and put a cute bandanna sticker to hold it in place and instantly we had a "stick" long enough!  The Captain was able to read the directions and all I had to do was help him to remove the backing on some of the stickers.  His hobby horse had eyes, a mane, ears…and he absolutely loved it.  The whole Wild West theme, crafts, and more were right up his alley.  He also was able to create bean bags by threading a piece of yarn through holes (hello fine motor skills!) in precut material.  Brilliant.  

Wild West Kiwi Crate Box

After D woke from his nap, I showed him his Koala Crate and he was so excited!  Usually he has to team up with his older brother for craft projects, but not with Koala Crate.  It was geared for his age and he was able to do everything without being frustrated or needing lots of extra help.  His Koala Crate was all about learning colors and included crayons, watercolor paints, a soft color dice toy, transparency sheets for exploring colors and color mixing, and a garland to paint!  He loved the scavenger hunt game and painting the garland.  So much fun!

koala crate

Kiwi Crate is an award-winning, monthly subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials to inspire creative, educational fun. With themes like Music, Color, Robots, and Safari, these crates deliver everything needed for unique activities that you and your kids can enjoy together. We know parents are pressed for time, so Kiwi Crate makes it easy to engage your children in creative activities that are both fun and educational.  Monthly crates include all the materials & inspiration for 2-3 hands-on projects, delivered to your door! Plus, a 16-page magazine with activities to extend the learning & fun. Subscribers receive a bonus welcome kit + FREE shipping. Available to the US & Canada.

There are different crates for different age levels and interests:

  • Koala Crate:  ages 3-4
  • Kiwi Crate: ages 4-8
  • Tinker Crate: ages 9-14+
  • Doodle Crate: ages 9-16+

These monthly subscription boxes would make a great, year-round Christmas gift for a kid or teen who has everything.  There are new surprises every month, creativity to be explored, and lots of fun to be had!  Visit Kiwi Crate and use code "LWCF5off" to save $5 off of your first crate with a subscription to any crate!

Connect with Kiwi Crate:

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest



Make Plans to Attend the Best Buy Holiday Shopping Event this Saturday

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


Now is a great time to start thinking about the holidays, if you haven't already.  I have just now started to think about what Hubby might want for Christmas and to be honest, I'm completely stumped.  Best Buy is always a good place for him because there are just so  many items he would love!

Best Buy is prepared to make this a great holiday season, starting with their Holiday Shopping Event this Saturday (November 8th)!  From 1-4 PM, visitors will be allowed to preview and shop great holiday collections from some of the biggest brands.  Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony will all be represented, and more!  There will be experts available to answer any questions you may have and to help you make the best holiday gift purchases for those that you love.

Another great incentive to attend the event is the in-store only (not valid online) offers:

  • Get a $100 Best Buy gift card when you buy any Apple® MacBook Air 1,2
  • Get a $50 Best Buy gift card when you buy the new Apple® iPad Air 2 or iPad Air 1,2
  • Bundle & save when you buy the Surface Pro 3 128GB, Type Cover and Microsoft Office 365”
  • Purchase a 55-inch Samsung UN55H6350AFXZA HD TV (SKU 4323009) for only $799.99
  • Receive 3X My Best Buy points on all Samsung curved UHD TVs. (Not a My Best Buy member? See a sales associate to get signed up today.  As a reminder, My Best Buy members will not get 3X points if they select promotional financing (6, 12, 18 or 24 months).

  • Save $200 when you buy a Sony XBR55X850B 4K UHD TV (SKU 5005006) with a Sony PlayStation 4.

  • Select PlayStation 4 games on sale for $24.992 (regularly $39.99)

  • Get free Geek Squad Smart Device Online Setup (valued at $49.99) with the purchase of Geek Squad Protection for Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

  • Get free Geek Squad Virtual Smart TV Set Up (valued at $149.99) with the purchase of Geek Squad Protection.

  • Get 20% off Geek Squad Protection with the purchase any Geek Squad TV Installation service.

**Unless noted, rainchecks are available for advertised products. We reserve the right to limit quantities. No dealers. Other limitations may apply.  Not available online.**

Get more infomation about the Best Buy Holiday Shopping Event and see more great offers, details, vendor demos, and to find participating stores in your area.  

Do you have your eye on something at Best Buy?  What would YOU love to receive this season?


Find the Perfect Graduation Gift For Your #GreatestGrad at Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

graduation gift

Graduation from high school or college is a big deal and it's important that friends and family celebrate with the graduate and support them as they begin this new phase of their life. Since the hubby has been a youth minister for about eight years now, all of his youth group kids are growing up and graduating.  We had quite a few gifts to buy this year, so that meant we couldn't spend a lot on each gift, as much as we really would have liked to.  We were reminiscing about how gifts for our graduation were always towels or picture frames…which were needed, of course, but it's always nice to get something really cool that will also be useful for college or starting a new job.  Did you know that Best Buy has a great selection of gifts for grads under $50?  My favorite would have been the Oster Blender.  I would have loved being able to whip up a smoothie in my dorm room freshman year!  (Seriously…I thought I was cool for having a toaster oven and a fridge!)  


Top Gifts Under $50:

  • Roku Streaming HDMI Stick
  • Nose & Ear Trimmer
  • Oster Blender
  • Mr. Cofee 12-Cup Coffeemaker
  • My Blend Blender
  • Shark Lightweight Iron
  • BISSELL Cordless 2-in-1 Handheld/Stick Vacuum
  • SOL REPUBLIC JAX Earbud Headphones
  • Case-Mate Glam Case for iPhone
  • Insignia Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Otterbox Symmetry Case for iPhone 5/5s & Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung S-View Flip Cover for Galaxy S5
  • Speck Case for HTC One (M8)
  • Modal case for iPhone 5/5s
  • Modal Bluetooth Speaker
  • Thule Gauntlet Laptop Sleeve
  • Incase City Laptop Sleeve
  • Incase Neoprene Laptop Sleeve
  • Incase City Laptop Sleeve
  • Incase Neoprene Laptop Sleeve

​Get a FREE case with the *online only* purchase of Sony QX10 attachable lens style camera.  (click for coupon)

Visit the Best Buy Gift Center and find lots of great gifts for the graduate who is moving out to get them all set up, the networker who uses technology to stay connected, or even the fitness fanatic.  Find the perfect gift for your greatest grad at Best Buy!Best Buy

Gifts for Teachers: What Teachers Want (and What They Can Do Without)

Gifts for Teachers

I always struggle with what to buy my sons' teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week, Christmas, and the end of school.  When I was teaching, I appreciated everything and was always surprised when I would get a few gifts, even for Valentine's Day or Easter.  Parents are so sweet to think of their child's teachers any time of the year.  Teachers work hard and deserve to be spoiled a little bit from time to time. 

I asked a few of my teacher friends what they always love getting from students.  I thought this could help parents like me who really don't have a clue about gifts for teachers!  Of course, every teacher is different, but here are just a few ideas of what was suggested:

  • Supplies for the classroom.  Teachers spend a lot on classroom supplies, so giving a few things to help out would likely always be appreciated.  Or ask the teacher if he/she has a wish list!  (I always loved getting sanitizer…ha!)
  • Personalized gifts – anything personalized to the teacher, or even monogrammed is great.  One teacher said she loves her monogrammed notepad she was given.  If you are close with the teacher or know a little about her life, personalized things like Origami Owl would be great.
  • Drinks – I heard this from most of my teacher friends.  A case of their favorite soda, a bottle of cold water, coffee, or a fountain drink from Sonic is greatly appreciated!  (You might ask them nonchalantly what their favorite beverage is or get your child to ask so you know what they like!)  Drinks are a nice surprise and pick me up, I know!
  • Snacks – Same as drinks, but this gets a bit trickier because of diets and food restrictions.  For instance, one teacher I asked said she does NOT like to get chocolate, while one said chocolate is always welcome!  So do your research if you're going to give food.
  • College or Professional Sports Gear – Most teachers love "stuff" from their Alma Mater, and a lot of teachers I know have at least one favorite sports team, especially male teachers.  This opens up many choices, because you can find anything and everything with college or sports teams' names on them.
  • Gift Cards – You can't go wrong with a gift card, that's my motto at least.  Craft stores, book stores, or restaurants are good.  See if your child can give you some clues as to what they like…if the teacher sips coffee in the morning, chances are he or she will like a Starbucks card.  If all else fails, pick up a gift card to a teacher supply store or you know…Target.  :)  And they don't have to be worth lots of money, either.  Teachers can make $5 gift cards go a long way, I promise!
  • Hand written cards – You wouldn't believe how touching and meaningful a handwritten note is, whether it be from the student or parent.  A note about a specific incident or how the teacher helped your child is a wonderful way to show your child's teacher how much you appreciate them.  It's the cheapest, but probably best gift ever!  Add in a handmade picture or photo of your child to make it even better.

Now, I asked teachers what they prefer not to get.  This doesn't mean that they don't love and appreciate every single gift given to them, because they really, really do!  But these gifts are given a lot and if a teacher has taught for years and years, this stuff really piles up.  And most teachers I know love to be organized and also have a hard time parting with things their students have given them.  So, after ten years, they're left with "what do I do with all of this?"  So, unless you know that your child's teacher collects one of the things below, get something else or save your money and write a sweet card.

  • Teacher-y or Apple Themed stuff 
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Ornaments
  • Coffee Mugs

​What is an awesome teacher gift that you've either given or received?













**contains affiliate links**


Give A Gift Throughout the Year with Citrus Lane

This post is brought to you by Citrus Lane.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.


citrus lane

The Captain and D both have birthdays close to Christmas, and the new Baby will, as well.  I sometimes have a little guilt over the fact that they can only celebrate with gifts one or two months out of the year.  We don't let that stop us from buying them things they need or little things they might want throughout the year, but as far as the surprise factor and quality items….that's only reserved for birthdays and Christmas.  Citrus Lane monthly subscription boxes are a fabulous remedy to this problem.

Each month, Citrus Lane compiles boxes full of 4-5 quality toys, books, snacks, household and body care items, as well as the occasional treat for parents.  There is a box each month for kids ages newborn through five years old.  Each box is worth at least $25 in retail value, and shipping is always free.  


august box


We received a Citrus Lane box to review for D because his birthday is a week from Christmas, and I felt he needed a little surprise in November, after the Captain's birthday.  He was SO excited to receive his very own package in the mail and loved opening it up!  The Captain was excited, too, of course!  The surprises were wrapped in yellow tissue paper and was fun to just tear into.


citrus lane

D's box was jam packed with goodies!  It contained:  a Dreamz & Twinkles To Go from Cloud B, rhythm sticks from Hohner Kids, BOPS baked organic potato snacks from Good Boy Organics, and a Ladybug Magazine from Cricket Magazine Group.  Also included was a 3 month digital subscription to Ladybug Magazine!


citrus lane

I was most excited about the adorable Dreamz & Twinkles To Go.  It is a compact nightlight that can easily be packed in a suitcase for travel, used in the car on a dark night, or just for use at home, like D is doing at this very moment in his crib!



Although D loved each item in the Citrus Lane box, his and the Captain's favorite item was definitely the rhythm sticks.  They both love music and banging things together, so of course they loved these sticks!  D likes to take them in the car or play with them at home.  They're high quality and fun!


citrus lane


I think a monthly subscription to Citrus Lane would make a great, different Christmas gift – one that gives throughout the year.  You can discover new products, get great new toys and items, and receive a great surprise in your mailbox every month.  Citrus Lane boxes are perfect for rainy days, rewards, trips, or "just because." 

Subscriptions are available in one, two, three, six, or twelve month increments and start at $25.  Right now, you can save $10 off any subscription.  Just visit the Citrus Lane website.  **Offer Terms: can only be applied to subscription purchases by new Citrus Lane customers. It cannot be applied to gift subscriptions. Subscriptions automatically renew to full retail price. You may cancel anytime.**

Stay up to date on info and deals by following Citrus Lane on Twitter and Facebook.


Gandhara Designs Fair Trade Necklace {Giveaway Closed}

This fair trade necklace giveaway was brought to you by Gandhara Designs.  All opinions are mine.

Beautiful jewelry that is fair trade and high quality is hard to come by.  It is very hard to tell if something has been created by workers who are treated ethically and fairly.  Gandhara Designs is a Canadian boutique that specializes in one-of-a-kind, heirloom quality artisinal jewelry hand-crafted from artisans all over the world.  These pieces are unique and can be passed on throughout the generations.

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