Monday, December 31, 2012

Delbin's Photobook Birth to Age 8


Shutterfly baby photo books are the perfect way to preserve your baby's precious moments.


I created this photobook with pictures of my oldest son Delbin. He is now 12 years old, but I ended this photo book at age 8 because that is when he was baptized.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

eMeals Meal Plans 15% Off Offer For the New Year



eMeals, the online leader in meal planning, offers weekly meal plans that offer families a way to save money on their grocery bill. eMeals can help you get organized in the New Year.

eMeals offers over 50 delicious meal plans and corresponding grocery lists every week based on food style preferences, family size and the current sales at selected grocery stores. Dinner menu plans include classic family meals, low-fat, portion control, low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian, clean eating, paleo, and the natural and organic plan. For more information, please visit www.emeals.com.

Join us in our effort to promote a healthy lifestyle in 2013. We have created some content that is available for you to repurpose on your blog as you extend our tips for eating healthy, saving money, losing weight, and getting organized in the New Year.

Get 15% off the leading meal planning system @eMeals with coupon code "2013"

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about www.emeals.com I am getting a FREE three month online trial subscription to eMeals AND I will be entered to win an iPad. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Monday, December 24, 2012

ReindeerCam, Track Santa With NORAD, Lighting of the National Christmas Tree, etc.

  • ReindeerCam is a fun website that lets your little ones see Santa's reindeer. They can even see Santa feed the reindeer at 10 am EST and again at 5 pm EST. My kids love to watch them and so do I. They are adorable!
  • At Elf Yourself you can magically transform yourself into a dancing elf :)
  • Some families have adopted an Elf On The Shelf. The pose-able elf figurine watches over your kids in the day time and reports back to Santa at night whether they were naughty or nice. You hide it at night and have your children find it in the morning. You can also pose it in so many different ways before your kids wake up. Children love playing hide and seek with the elf and it is a great discipline tool for parents during the holiday for their kids.

What websites do you love to visit during the holidays?  

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I am posting about these fun websites because I love them and thought you might enjoy them too. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for posting about these.

Friday, December 21, 2012

iCaughtSanta.com 25% Off Offer

Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa and Rudolph caught in the act in his or her very own home. iCaughtSanta.com is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.

In three simple steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus or Rudolph and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can purchase Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for loved ones with children, making iCaughtSanta.com a great gift idea even if you don't have kids yourself.

And for even more holiday magic, iCaughtSanta.com is giving away 2 iPads! No purchase necessary. Enter here: www.iCaughtSanta.com/Contest

Eccentric Eclectic Woman Readers Get 25% off your entire order at icaughtsanta.com. Use the following Promo Code at checkout SANTA2012 to instantly save: #icaughtsanta

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about iCaughtSanta.com I am getting a FREE Photo with Santa in my home. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rainier, Oregon Giving Tree 2012

Rainier, Oregon, where I live, is having their Community Giving Tree again. I was one of the families blessed by the giving tree last year. It was wonderful! I feel so blessed living in a community that cares so much. I feel that getting the word out about this awesome program is important!

There are 8 trees total. Trees are located at Cornerstone Cafe, El Tapatio, Chevron, Cole's Coffee, Deli Store and More (Mini Mart), Hometown Pizza, Rainier Community Church of God and Riverside Community Church.

We need your help! If you live in or around Rainier, Oregon and have not already done so, please think about adopting a family or a child in need this year for Christmas. Please go take a "Giving Tree Tag" off the trees and bless a child from our little town of Rainier, Oregon. These are done anonymously. We have over 280 tags that need to be taken which is a total of over 30 families.

The deadline for those that are getting gifts for people off the trees (wrapped or unwrapped with gift tag attached) is December 18th. They need to be dropped off at either of the two churches involved. Drop off dates and times are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30am-12:30pm at both churches, Wednesday evenings from 5-8pm at Rainier Community Church of God and Tuesday & Wednesday evenings at 6-8pm at Riverside Community Church.

For more information click on the above image to make it larger and then you will be able to read it. Thank you!!

Rainier, Oregon Christmas Toy and Gift Exchange


This is my friend's son's Eagle scout project. They've collected an amazing amount of toys, books, games and other gifts. Anyone you who is struggling this Christmas is invited to come and pick out some of the items for your child(ren). It is today at my church chapel! Also, they will be having the exchange again on Tuesday December 18th from 4-7:30pm at the LDS church chapel. Although they are requesting donations for the foodbank, no one will be turned away for lack of ability to make a donation.

For more information click on the above image to make it larger and then you will be able to read it. Thank you!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Warner Bros. Happy Holidays Giveaway and Blog App



It’s the holiday season and finding gifts for your family and friends can be daunting! That’s why Warner Bros. has come up with their awesome Happy Holidays Blog App featuring some classic and new movies out on Blu-ray sure to please everyone on your list!


Blog App:
  • Holiday Movie Challenge! Are you a true cinephile? Then take the WB Holiday Movie Challenge! Keep your movie skills sharp with this awesome quiz! Ready. Set. Go!
  • Decode-A-Scene Game! Time is running out! Can you figure out what movie scene is slowly being decoded in front of your eyes? The sooner you figure it out the more points you earn!
  • Holiday Survival Guide! Throw an epic holiday party this season! We have some awesome tips to make you look like a total holiday master!
  • Get Social! Tweet with the #WBHoliday hashtag and get exited for the awesome holiday titles Warner Bros. has this season.



WIN IT
Prize: Win a Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection, Classic Christmas Favorites or Dr. Seuss’s Deluxe Holiday Collection! (Prize will be chosen randomly from the above Blu-ray titles!)

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the Warner Bros. Happy Holidays blog app I am getting a Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection, Classic Christmas Favorites or Dr. Seuss’s Deluxe Holiday Collection! (Prize will be chosen randomly from the above Blu-ray titles!) free for my readers as a giveaway. Thanks to PartnersHub and Warner Bros. for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this blog app and giveaway. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Safeway Pin2Win Sweepstakes

Safeway is having their first Pin2Win Sweepstakes from Dec. 12th - January 2nd! Visit the Safeway Pin2Win Sweepstakes Facebook tab once per day through January 2nd. Pin your favorite featured recipe & enter your email address. Hit Submit & Pin! and you'll be entered to win a Safeway $50 gift card. You can also get 8 entries per day by pinning all 8 recipes!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:
For my participation in this Promotion I will be entered to win an "I'M HUGE ON PINTEREST" t-shirt. Thanks to Bloggertunities for providing me this promotion information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! DVD Review and Giveaway


The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! is an adventure which finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland to join his family in time for Christmas. On the way, The Thinga-ma-jigger breaks down, and the crew have to depend on an assortment of animals - from elephants to dolphins to crabs - and their exceptional abilities to help them make the incredible expedition home.

My Thoughts:
We love Dr. Seuss in my house. We have a large collection of books and before DVDs we had a collection of Dr. Seuss VHS tapes. The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! will be my first DVD for the collection I hope to grow of Dr. Seuss DVDs.

I love the Dr. Seuss TV series on PBS Kids of The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That. My favorite character has to be Dr. Twiggles. He is quite cooky, but knows his trees very well. I love the Cat in The Hat too of course. Martin Short is a great voice for him :) We love how the show teaches about different things in each episode. I always learn something that I didn't know or had forgotten.

The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! is an hour long Christmas special that was broadcast on PBS Kids on November 21st. It is now available on DVD. This is very musical with lots of singing. The lyrics to the songs are great. I loved how this movie taught to: be together with your family during the holidays because it is important, cooperate, help each other, put others first, never break promises and never give up. These are such important lessons. Also, I love how polite and nice everyone is with each other, especially the children with the parents and vice versa. They always ask their mother whether it is OK to go on adventures with The Cat In The Hat even though they know she is going to say yes every time.

BUY IT
You can purchase The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! on Amazon.com for $9.99. Also available for purchase at NCircle Entertainment, Target, Walmart, Kmart and Toys R Us!

WIN IT
Prize: Win a copy of The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! DVD

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to review and the opportunity to host a giveaway for some additional free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oregon Zoo ZooLights - Our Experience


This is the first year we braved the cold rainy weather to go to the Oregon Zoo for their annual ZooLights. We went Friday, December 7th. When we arrived it was already dark and we were greeted by this amazing purple and green lit tree in the parking lot. My kids were excited as we exited the van. We quickly got our tickets and shuffled through the gate. I took some pictures of the zoo lights sign as we entered. Then we saw some spectacular light displays, some that seemed to be moving across the landscapes and others that blinked into different poses and positions.


Other firsts for us were riding the Thrill Ride simulator and the zoo train. For the Thrill Ride we got to pick out our movie simulation and we all agreed upon the Prehistoric Underwater one. We waited our turn under a covered area behind the ticket booth and I took some more pictures. We were handed 3D glasses and entered the simulator ride. The glasses were too big for my youngest daughter and so I held her in my lap so she could see the screen while holding her glasses on her face. My boys especially loved the simulator and would love to do another ride again someday. The simulator is hydraulically operated and it twists and turns to the movie so you feel like you are in a submarine.

We parked our stroller under a nice covered area just for that purpose. It was so nice of the zoo to provide these covered places so that the strollers and wagons wouldn't get soaked while we were riding the train. While we waited in line Teela hugged a person in a tiger suit. The steam train was all decked out in lights too and it's steam rose like an iridescent blue cloud from the smoke stack. The zoo train was very pleasant and even though the metal seats were cold we enjoyed seeing all the zoo lights all along the train ride. It was definitely a unique view of the lights and some of the lights that we saw can only be viewed from the train.


I was in awe at just how many lights there actually were and we didn't even seen all of them. We stopped and saw some hula hoopers that were also lit up for the event do their performance. I took a few more pictures and the kids were getting cold and hungry. We decided to go even though I would have loved to stay longer to see more and we totally missed the concert lawn lights which I heard from others were spectacular. I also heard that we missed out on some free fudge from the gift shop because we didn't bring an old string of Christmas lights. Maybe we can see more and get some fudge next year if they are still honoring the promotion. At some point we would also love to see the new baby elephant that was born recently too.

We had a lot of fun and we are glad we could go this year. We loved seeing all the magnificent lights and sights while we were there. We can't wait to go back next year to experience more.

2012 Oregon Zoo Lights Facts
What: "More than a million LED lights transform the Oregon Zoo into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes."
Admission: ZooLights admission is included in memberships at the Plus level and higher. Train and Thrill Ride simulator is extra, but can be purchased at a discount through member packages. If you buy one of the packages with the train at the admission counter instead of getting them after you enter you can skip the hassle of multiple lines for the train. You can also take advantage of some nice specials the zoo is offering for ZooLights. 
Dates: November 23rd-December 31st, There will be no ZooLights Dec. 24 or Dec. 25.
Times: Sunday-Thursday hours: ZooLights gates are open from 5-8 p.m. Guests may stay on grounds until 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday hours: ZooLights gates are open from 5-8:30 p.m. Guests may stay on grounds until 9:30 p.m. Train will begin running around 5:15 p.m.
Preparation: Bundle up and check the weather forecast and temperature before going so you know how to dress. You might want to pack extra warm clothing just in case, especially if you are planning on staying long. The food stations and restaurants at the zoo do cost extra so you might want to pack food and drink for the trip. Take a stroller or wagon for small children and extra baggage. Come a little early to get a good parking spot.

Oregon ZooLights Link Up:


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Since I am in the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets for my family to go as well as free tickets for the zoo train and simulator ride. Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this promotion.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Letters From Santa At TheHolidayLetterShop.com 50% Off Offer


We have a great new promotion with The Holiday Letter Shop. See the joy on your child's face when they open up their personalized letter. Even the most skeptical child will be amazed. Or send a special message to to the special someone in your life. There are a variety of packages starting at just $9.95 all include a Personalized Letter and Nice List Certificate, some also include activity books, stickers, ornaments and other extras.

Eccentric Eclectic Woman Readers Get 50% off your entire order at theholidaylettershopcom. Use the following Promo Code at checkout SLUSFG to instantly save: #theholidaylettershop


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about TheHolidayLetterShop.com I am getting a FREE Letter From Santa for one child. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hot Mama Designs Heirloom Jewelry Savings Offer

Shannon Sunderland & Sahra Cahoon form the dynamic duo of Hot Mama Designs. Hot Mama Designs rejoices in celebrating motherhood, family and the one-of-a-kind feeling of the handmade object. Their inspiring designs are created to tell stories and celebrate life. Celebrate Family ~ Celebrate Motherhood ~ Celebrate You!

They rejoice in the art of metalsmithing! As artists they are intrigued by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which is (loosely translated) the beauty of things that are unpretentious and unconventional. In our mass-produced world, their jewelry celebrates the one-of-a-kind feeling of the handmade object.

Readers of Eccentric Eclectic Woman Get 20% any order of $100 or more. Promo Code: mamalove226 #mamajewelry


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:
For my participation in this US Family Guide Promotion I will receive FREE pair of handmade pearl earrings.

Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Newman's Own Organics Treats and Snack Food Review and Giveaway

When Nell Newman and business partner Peter Meehan started Newman’s Own® Organics: The Second Generation® in 1993, they were sure there was a market for organic snack foods, but they couldn’t have anticipated just how fast the demand for their products would grow. What started with pretzels and grew to include other snack foods has now expanded to many other organic items: coffee, tea, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, organic dried fruit, and pet food. The partners anticipate adding a number of new items each year in all these areas. Newman’s Own® Organics’ products meet all the requirements of the USDA’s National Organic Program.

The sale of Newman’s Own Organics products generates money for the Newman’s Own Foundation to give away. Since 1982 Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have donated more than $350 million dollars to educational and charitable organizations worldwide.

Our Thoughts:
We received a large box of snack foods and treats from Newman’s Own® Organics. The company was so generous in giving us a large selection of their products to try out for free for this review. The box was packed full with all sorts of wonderful looking snacks and treats. When my kids saw me open the box they all got wide eyed and excited.

We really love organic food because of it being healthier and try to buy it when ever we can. Organic snacks and treats seem like they are harder to find, but when they are found they usually turn out to be a treasure. We hadn't seen the products from Newman’s Own® Organics in the stores, so this was a real treat. We tried all the the many things they sent us and everything tasted yummy, but like everything we did have our favorites. We are now going to search out our local grocery store to see if they carry our favorites and if they don't we will be requesting they do.

Cookies
The first things we tried from the box were their Family Recipe Cookies. We received two of their flavors to try out: Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Chip. These were really good and among my favorites. They were small, but packed with flavor and chewy chocolatey goodness. These also come in resealable bags with a tape tab so they are great to travel with. These come in: Chocolate Chip, Orange Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.

Then we tried their chocolate flavored Alphabet Cookies and these were small crunchy squares with ABCs on them. My kids loved these and the older ones loved trying to spell things out with the handful of them they took out of the bag. My 4 year old daughter, Teela, immediately started singing the alphabet song while munching the cookies :) These also come in Vanilla and Cinnamon Graham.

We received both the Ginger-O's and Newman-O's. They both have creamy filling sandwiched inside two round crunchy cookies. The Ginger-O's have a wonderful ginger taste...I only wish the ginger was stronger because I love ginger! The Newman-O's we received were the chocolate creme filled chocolate cookies. These cookies also come in these flavors: Original, Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Hint O' Mint Ginger 'n' Cream and Wheat Free Dairy Free. They are best when dipped in a glass of milk, in my opinion.

Hermits are another of my favorites. We received the original flavored ones. These cookies are soft and shaped more like cookie bars. These cookies are filled with plump delicious organic raisins and sweetened with organic molasses. These spice cookies have a wonderful flavor. My husband and I hope Newman’s Own® Organics makes more cookies similar to these because we loved their moist, soft texture. These come in: Original, Cinnamon, and Ginger.

Pretzels
We received both their salted Pretzel Rods and traditional Pretzel Thins. These are both a wonderful salty snack. The rods seemed to hold together better than the thins since the thins were mostly broken in the packaging. The rods were thick and easy to hold one at a time in a little ones hand like Zari. The thins were pretzel shaped, thinner and crunchier than the rods. The rods were more flaky of a crunch and very yummy too. These come in: Salted - Rounds, Sticks, Thins, Rods; Unsalted Rounds, Spelt, High Protein, Mighty Mini, Honey Wheat and Thin Sticks.

Dried Fruit
We got to try their dried cranberries. We loved their sweet tangy flavor. These are infused with organic cane sugar and lightly coated with organic sunflower oil. I thought these were better than their non-organic counterparts. I think I will try to find these in my local grocery store so that I can make some cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies or some Cranberry Bliss Bars. These also have a resealable zipper pouch to keep them fresh. They also have: Raisins, Pitted Prunes, Apples, Apricots and a Berry Blend.

Chocolate Bars
We received three of their luscious chocolate bars to review. These are all premium organic chocolate. The Espresso Dark Chocolate has organic ground coffee in the chocolate and 54% cocoa. This is so yummy especially for the coffee lover. The Orange Dark Chocolate has natural orange flavor in the chocolate and 54% cocoa. It smells and tastes like one of those delicious chocolate oranges you get during the holidays. The Super Dark Chocolate has 70% cocoa and is richer than the others. I personally loved all of them because I am a huge chocolate fan...but who isn't?! I get so many cravings for chocolate during the week that I need some of these bars stashed away where my kids can not find them. The chocolate bars come in: Dark Chocolate, Super Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa, Mocha Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Espresso Dark Chocolate and Orange Dark Chocolate. I think they should do a mint one and one with bits of crystallized ginger in it.

Chocolate Cups
We received three of their wonderful chocolate cups to review. The Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cups were my favorite of the three. They reminded me of a peppermint patty except with a crunchier chocolate outer shell in the cup shape. I also loved the Dark Chocolate Caramel Cups which had the gooey, creamy caramel center that oozed out into my mouth. Yummy! The last ones were Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and since I am not much of a peanut butter fan (unless I get cravings...which do occasionally happen) these were not my preferred chocolate cups. These come in: Peanut Butter in Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Peppermint and Caramel cup in either Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate.

Licorice
We received three of their delicious licorice twists to review. I love licorice and have ever since I was a little girl. Their Sour Apple and Sour Cherry flavors were my favorite. They have organic sugar and sour crystals, derived from natural citrus sources, on the surface of the twists. These are sour and sweet at the same time and so yummy! Although they do get sticky with the little ones. Last we tried the Pomegranate. This is such a unique flavor for licorice, but I really liked it. These come in: Sour Strawberry, Sour Cherry, Sour Mango and Sour Apple, Black, Strawberry and Pomegranate. I think I need to find the other sour flavors to try because all sound so good.

Mints
These come in pretty decorative tins that I am going to re-use for small objects when I am done eating all the mints out of them. I received the Cinnamon and Peppermint. If you open the tins the mints look exactly the same...no artificial dyes or coloring. I love cinnamon anything so I tried these first. These have a wonderful spicy cinnamon taste. The peppermint is like a blast of fresh cold air. These will keep your breath fresh and are only 1 carbohydrate apiece. This made my type 1 diabetic son, Delbin, very happy. These come in: Cinnamon, Ginger, Peppermint and Wintergreen. The same flavors are available in a convenient pocket size .75 oz roll and a four roll multi-pack bag with the familiar American Gothic style logo of Nell and "Pa" Newman. Since I love ginger so much I am going to try to hunt this one down to try.

BUY IT
Purchase the Newman’s Own® Organics products locally in and around Portland Oregon at New Seasons Market. If you live other places you can search to see where they carry them near you. You can also go to Amazon.com and search for the products there too. They have a great selection of them.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a Newman’s Own® Organics Prize Pack. One winner will receive 4 of our favorite items and some other surprise items. Prize pack will include: Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Hermits, Sour Apple Licorice and Pretzel Rods!

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to review and the opportunity to host a giveaway for some additional product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sports Illustrated Kids Sports Parent Of The Year Winner & Holiday Offer!

Sports Illustrated Kids is a great magazine for kids that love sports. It has great action photos, pull out posters, sports collecting cards, easy-to-read stories about star athletes, helpful instructional tips from the pros, humor, comics, trivia, player interviews, child reporters, games and activities. I believe my boys would love the magazine.

This month, the very first “SportsParent of the Year” award was given. With the help of parenting bloggers, the magazine received multiple nominations to honor dedicated sports parents from around the U.S. The title went to Kristie Finnan, a mother of 3.  Finnan, from Pennsylvania, coaches her daughter’s soccer team and regularly cheers on her children during soccer, basketball, gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do competitions. This award was modeled after the famed Sportsman and SportsKid of the Year awards.

SI Kids will feature both of the winners and a sports-filled “Gotta Get it Gift Guide” in their December 7th issue! The SI KidsGotta Get it Gift Guide” is online as well. This gift guide is filled with great ideas for your little sports fan.

Special Offer:
Need something else for your little sports fan? Receive an entire year of SI Kids in print and on tablet for only $19.95 – a 66% savings off the cover price! Go and order a subscription in time for the holidays.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about SI Kids I am getting a free Christmas stocking full of goodies from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kids AND a free one-year subscription. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this post.

Melissa & Doug Magic Mine Train Tunnel Review and Giveaway


The Melissa & Doug Magic Mine Train Tunnel is a wonderful toy for kids this holiday season! This toy is so much fun and is recommended for ages 3 and up. It comes with a train engine, two magic mining cars, one 8" (203mm) ascending track piece, and wooden mine tunnel (5 total pieces). The mine cars enter the tunnel empty and reappear through the gate loaded with gold and gems. It features realistic train and mining sounds that are activated when the train enters the mine tunnel. Batteries are not included. Requires (2) AAA batteries. Additional track sold separately and this set is compatible with popular wooden railway sets.

My kids love trains and have quite a few wooden railway sets that go together well. This one caught my eye in the available free toys to pick to review from Melissa & Doug's Terrific Twenty Holiday Gift List. We installed the batteries and tried it out. The train has sounds that come from the tunnel as the train presses a large button down as it goes through. The sounds are a train whistle, the train going down the track and also mining sounds like pick axes hitting rock and the treasure being loaded. The sounds; however don't correspond well with the movements of the train through the tunnel and since the tunnel is on a hill the train goes through fairly quickly with the sounds still trailing behind it. In my opinion all toys that make noise should have an off switch...this one does not have one. In order to turn off the sound of this toy you have to take out the batteries completely. You also have to flip the gold and gems over manually and one of our mining cars was finicky and wouldn't stay empty unless you pressed it exactly in the right spot. Once flipped over to empty you can send the train through the tunnel and the levers on the bottom of the mining cars will flip them from empty to full automatically as soon as it passes through the tunnel. The tunnel is constructed mainly of wood and painted with a very nice mine in a mountain scene. The train cars are made of mostly plastic and the train engine of mostly wood. They hook together magnetically.

Here is my son, Jaedan, trying out the train:

My kids really enjoyed this train set and have added it to the sets they already have. It is a great addition to them. They love the tunnel and watching the cars go from empty to full. I also think this set is pretty ingenious. It would definitely be a great gift to buy for someone who loves trains.

BUY IT
Purchase the Melissa & Doug Magic Mine Train Tunnel for $29.99.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a Melissa & Doug Magic Mine Train Tunnel.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: For my participation in this Melissa & Doug Review I received the toy above and another one of the same to offer as a giveaway to my readers from their Terrific Twenty list. Thanks to Melissa & Doug for providing me this free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this review and giveaway.

Thunderstruck Blu-Ray DVD Giveaway and Blog App

Warner Bros. is proud to announce the release of Thunderstruck on DVD and Blu-ray December 4th 2012, along with the Thunderstruck Blog App!

NBA superstar Kevin Durant plays himself in this action-packed family film about a basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian (Taylor Gray) magically switches basketball skills with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high school team... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life! But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner means working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season.



Blog App:
  • Free-Throw Challenge Game! Are you up for a Free-Throw Challenge? Show us your skills! Make as many baskets as you can and unlock special clips along the way!
  • 7 Thunder-ific Tips for Kids! Does your kid dream of going pro? Use these awesome tips to help them sharpen up their skills! “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”- Kevin Durant.
  • Get Social! Tweet with the #ThunderstruckBluRay hashtag and post about the release of this action-packed family film.


WIN IT
Prize: Win a Thunderstruck Combo Pack (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Download).

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!


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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the Thunderstruck blog app I am getting a Thunderstruck Combo Pack (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Download) free for my readers as a giveaway. Thanks to PartnersHub and Warner Bros. for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this blog app and giveaway.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty Giveaway is Back!

From now through December 19, 2012, Melissa & Doug will be doing another round of DAILY GIVEAWAYS on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page! That’s another Terrific Twenty toy to a new fan EVERY DAY! Enter here!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: For my participation in this Melissa & Doug Promotion I will be entered to win one of THREE BIG prizes from Melissa & Doug! One winner will receive $100 in their choice of Melissa & Doug toys. Two runner-up winners will receive $50 in their choice of Melissa & Doug toys. Thanks to Melissa & Doug for providing me this promotion information and entering me to win. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Novica's Gift Finder and $40 Giveaway


Novica has a new gift finder on their website and it is so easy to find unique gifts made by fantastic artisans worldwide. Most gift finder search engines on websites are hard to use and don't really find what you are searching for. Novica's gift finder is easy and searches quickly narrowing everything down to the specific search. It has categories you can pick to search under to narrow the search down even further. The categories you can search under are: Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, Gifts by Price, Home Decor, Gift Suggestions and Curated Collections. These categories even narrow further, for example you can choose search bracelets under Gifts for Her. If you click on one of those categories you can also sort those items by artist, name or price up at the top right of the page. You can also go to the left side bar and narrow down even further by clicking on a specific link. These are narrowed by gender, type, interest, personality, gift type, occasion, price and region. I love the Gifts for the Animal Lover and Eco-Friendly Gifts category.

I have gotten gifts from Novica before and my experience was wonderful. The items I got were of exceptional quality in every way and so very unique. My brooch and earrings from them always get lovely comments from people wanting to hear where I got them and the story behind each piece.

Novica is a great place to shop especially to get gifts for your friends and family for Christmas. With your purchase you also help Novica make the holidays extra special for their extremely talented and deserving artisans. As you can see there are so many different ways you can narrow and define your search for the perfect unique gift with their new Gift Finder.Try it out for yourself today!


WIN IT
Prize: Win a $40 Gift Code for using in their store.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to NOVICA for sending me a $40 gift certificate for free for this post and one to give away for free. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review of their gift finder.

The Royal Royal The Royalty CD Review and Giveaway

The Royal Royal is a Christian worship music band that comes out of Ontario, Canada. Growing up with a Pastor as a father and music in the household, brothers Nathan and Gabriel Finochio came together to form the band. Their single, "Praise Him" hit #1 on iTunes Christian U.S. and Canada charts. They have also created a fan base after touring with other popular worship bands like "Hillsong United."

The Good: The songs have great messages of faith and praise. The whole album takes on both an alternative and contemporary genre of sounds for worship music. It is hard to visualize the band as being a duo because they develop a much bigger sound.

The Bad: This album has too much repetition in my opinion and could do without so much of it. Maybe it is because they want the words to stick in your mind. The songs usually start out strong with good lyrics, but fall short at the end where the lyrics just get said over and over again. Some like this type of worship music, but in my opinion it got a little old.

Track List:
  1. Love
  2. Praise Him
  3. To You
  4. Heartbeats
  5. How Wonderful
  6. Saviour
  7. How Long
  8. Life In Your Hand
  9. Mighty Hands
  10. My Salvation
  11. My Hope
  12. Draw Near
  13. October
  14. Your Voice
BUY IT
You can purchase The Royal Royal The Royalty in mp3 format on Amazon.com for $9.99.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a copy of The Royal Royal The Royalty CD.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to review and one to giveaway. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bebo Norman Lights of Distant Cities CD Review and Giveaway

Bebo Norman is a contemporary folk-pop-rock Christian musician from Columbus, Georgia. Light Of Distant Cities is Bebo Norman's 8th studio album. It was released on October 22nd via BEC Recordings. In his seventeen-year discography this is the first time the artist has brought his close friend and multi-instrumentalist Gabe Scott on board as co-producer. Together with Ben Shive (Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves) this album has been produced.

This album is truly a creative masterpiece and a definite keeper. I love his use of lyrics and instruments. I don't mind playing this one over and over again. I don't see myself tiring of it, ever. The greatest thing about this album is how it speaks to the listener. It beckons the listener to reach for the light and hope that is in Christ especially in despair and darkness. Bebo has been there. He has an insiders perspective and these songs resonate this to his audience. The theme of light and darkness, desperation and recovery is profoundly evident throughout the eleven-song track list. The depth of his music is so personal, thoughtful and beautiful.
"You can't understand light unless you understand darkness, because that's where life is most often lived - somewhere between the two. It's messy and it's beautiful all at the same time," says Bebo Norman.
Bebo Norman "Lights of Distant Cities" EPK

Track list:
  1. Lights Of Distant Cities
  2. The Broken
  3. At The End Of Me
  4. Daylight Breaking
  5. World Gone Dark
  6. Sing of Your Glory
  7. Collide
  8. Wine From Water
  9. Outside Her Window Was The World
  10. Just A Glimpse
  11. Go With You

BUY IT
You can purchase Bebo Norman Lights of Distant Cities on Amazon.com for  $12.93.

WIN IT  
Prize: Win a copy of Bebo Norman Lights of Distant Cities CD.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to review and one to giveaway. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shutterfly Photobook Giveaway

My children are growing up so fast. As they grow I love to reminisce about times when they were younger. I love photo books from Shutterfly because they help capture great memories all in one book. Shutterfly allows you to easily arrange your pictures with a variety of layouts, different backgrounds, text boxes, fun embellishments, and cover options to choose from. You can also see exactly how the pages are going to look before they are printed. They are so fun to make and so easy too. I would love to make a photo book for each one of my children up until the age 8 (their baptism age) and filled with great memories and moments that we don't want to forget. Shutterfly Photobooks are perfect for holiday gifts and I hope to make one for my oldest son, Delbin this year.

Please watch this: Shutterfly Photo Books: The Best Gift Ever

 WIN IT
Prize: Win a code for an 8x8 hardcover photo book (20 pages) (2 Winners) (shipping not included).

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about Shutterfly's Photo Books I am getting a free 8x8 hardcover Photo Book with 20 pages from Shutterfly and two to giveaway (expire on 12/31). My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review and giveaway.

Dial Holiday Foaming Hand Wash Review

Dial Complete Foaming Hand Wash now comes in four limited edition holiday designs: Santa, Snowman, Candy Cane, and Holiday Scene with trees. These are so festive to decorate your bathroom, kitchen, or mudroom with. These decorative bottles contain Dial Complete's antibacterial foaming hand wash that kills 99.99% of germs while still being sensitive to the skin. Brighten your sink or counter with a bit of holiday cheer this season.

I received the Santa and Holiday Scene hand soap to try out and bring a little more merriment to my sinks. I love how cute the designs are. The foaming hand soap is fun for my kids and they like it more than the regular dispensers. The scent is very pleasant and reminds me of grapefruit a little. I love how it leaves your hands clean and fresh smelling.

Dial is also having their Dial Stocking Stuffer Giveaway which began at 12:00:00 PM ET on November 23, 2012 and ends at 11:59:59 AM ET on December 21, 2012. They are giving away (4) Weekly Assortment of Dial products and (4) Weekly $50 gift cards. Prize winner’s names will be posted on the Dial Facebook Fan page. To enter like the Dial Facebook page then go to the Dial “Holiday Giveaway” tab and enter the application. Fill out the on-screen registration form to enter the Giveaway.

Also, if you write why you use Dial on the palm of your hand and upload a photo of it on Dial's Facebook page in the Hand in Hand tab you can and get a coupon for $1 off of any TWO (2) Dial Liquid or Foaming Hand Soap & Dial Hand Sanitizer (7.5oz size or larger).

Cold and flu season is here. To keep your holidays healthy as well as happy have some "Holly, Jolly Handwashing" and "Let it Foam, Let it Foam, Let it Foam!" :)


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Purex for the opportunity of doing this review and Dial for sending me product for free and promotion information to facilitate my review. By posting I will be entered to win prizes. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Colortime Crafts and Markers Savings Opportunity

Since 1990, over 5 million children and adults have loved creating t-shirts, pillowcases, backpacks, tote bags, bandanas, and more for parties, slumber parties, and scout meetings with our permanent fabric markers. Colortime has provided their customers the opportunity to entertain their guests with a creative activity that becomes a permanent keepsake. Also, they are a licensed vendor of the Girl Scouts of America. Check out their wholesale program, great for your organizations.

They also offer free downloadable coloring pages (http://www.colortime.com/Free-Coloring-Pages-c64.html) and a "Birthday Club" (http://www.colortime.com/Birthday-Club-c85.html) with special incentives.

Get 15% off all orders Promo Code: 15USFG when you check out at colortime.com

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about Colortime I am getting a FREE Sampler Project and 3 Markers. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free product. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Real Food Moms & Simple Food For Busy Families Review and Giveaway

Real Food Moms is a great website and blog that is all about nutrition and helping parents make easier, tastier and healthier meals for their families in less time. Parents have a lot on their plates these days, but usually those plates don't involve healthy food. People are spending less time in the kitchen and more eating out. Usually the fast food choices to meet our busy schedules aren't the healthiest in the world. Real Food Moms helps break the unhealthy food cycle and bring good food to your table.

I know I have very little time for meal planning, shopping, food preparation or worrying about what to feed my extremely busy family. I admit that I have a hard time with planning things ahead of time and time management. I am a major procrastinator and usually have a mountain of things to get done on my to do list. This is why I love this website! Most of the recipes that are on this website take less that 15 minutes of prep time. Real Food Moms also shares essential tools, reference charts, time-saving tips and cooking tricks you will need to make your life easier in the kitchen.

Join and Follow Them
They have an app you can download for your convenience on your iPhone. An internet radio show called Family Food Experts that airs every Wednesday at 6:00 PM (EST) on www.W4WN.com (replay on Tuesdays at 9am) The Realfoodmoms.com will co-host every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Each week they'll talk about Healthy Meal Ideas. Join their Twitter chat every Tuesday at 2pm EST #famfoodexperts There will be a weekly giveaway too! Enter on Facebook or Twitter through www.familyfoodexperts.com. Follow them on Pinterest. They also have a forum that you can join to get support and quick answers to your questions. You can also get the Summer Issue of their Cook Once Eat Twice Menu Planner for Free by subscribing!



I received a book written by the Real Food Mom Founders called Simple Food for Busy Families to also review for free. This book is packed with good information. I love how it is laid out. This is my new go to book for helping me put healthier meals together. While this book is not really a cookbook (there are recipes in this book, just not a lot of them), it is a quick reference guide to many things essential for putting meals together. It takes on a whole foods approach to nutrition and tells us how to stray away from the Standard American Diet (SAD). I loved the chapter Seasonality: Eating in Harmony with Nature and learning the benefits to doing so. I loved reading and learning about the different herbs and spices, vegetables, grains and beans, and how to mix and match everything for tasty healthful meals. I really need to execute and administer the daily routine suggestions that they have in this book. I already love to make crust-less quiche and couscous and have incorporated them into my diet. I think I after reading this book I am well on my way to making better choices to put on the table.

Buy It
You can purchase their Pantry Makeover Kit to help you organize and makeover your pantry for $14.95! You can also purchase Books by the Real Food Mom Founders; Great Expectations: Best Food for Your Baby and Toddler From First Foods to Meals Your Child Will Love for $9.36 and Simple Food for Busy Families, The Whole Life Nutrition Approach for $14.24.

WIN IT
Prize: Win the Simple Food for Busy Families Book

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Real Food Mom for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway one for free also. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our Shutterfly Christmas Cards 2012

Framed In Snowflakes Christmas Card
Send Christmas cards personalized with your family photos.
View the entire collection of cards.


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: For sharing my card that I created and ordered through Shutterfly, I get $10 toward my next order.

You can get $10 too if you order your Holiday cards or other project through Shutterfly. The order summary page will give you an option to share your creation. After you've shared the project like I have then email Shutterfly.com at shareproject@shutterfly.com your active link (no screenshots, please) to the Web page containing your embedded project.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shutterfly Holiday Cards 2012 Review and Giveaway

Shutterfly has got a fantastic new collection of Holiday Cards this 2012 from traditional to modern styles. They also have religious/scripture based cards including: Christmas and Hanukkah. They have cards you can personalize with your family or fur babies photos on from the photos that you can store online on Shutterfly. Whatever your style is they’re sure to have something you’ll love.

I love Christmas. This is one of my favorite times of the holiday season. I love getting together with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love giving gifts, decorating, sending out my yearly happenings newsletter, and personalizing cards to send out to family and friends.

I have gotten cards with Shutterfly before and they turned out wonderful! I just recently picked out my family Christmas photo and I believe the Christmas Cards that I picked to go with it will look fabulous with it! I picked the Framed In Snowflakes Christmas Card. They also have a lot more Photo Christmas Cards to choose from and because of the photos these will become great keepsakes. You can usually personalize the cards from Shutterfly in a number of ways by: choosing to have them printed on high quality matte or glossy photo paper or premium card stock, word personalization, and photos. Order your cards in time for the holidays so they can be shipped and get to your friends and family on time!

Shutterfly: Get Social
BUY IT
Go to Shutterfly's Special Offers page to see what you can save on. They also have photo books, other cards, stationery, prints, calendars, photo gifts and home decor that you can purchase also! Just hurry if you are going to get holiday cards to get them shipped in time to friends and family.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a gift code for $50 off your order of $50 or more (Excluding tax and shipping, cannot be combined with any other promos. Expires on 12/14/2012 – no extensions.)

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about Shutterfly's Holiday Cards I am getting a promo code for $100 off my order of $100 or more (excluding tax) including US or Canada shipping (expires 12/14/2012 – no extensions) for free from Shutterfly. They are also giving me an extra $50 off order of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos (expires 12/14/2012 – no extensions) to giveaway to a reader for free. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Adventures of Scooter The Penguin DVD Review and Giveaway

Teaching lessons of acceptance, honesty, teamwork and understanding, this family friendly animated movie is about a unique blue penguin named Scooter that is from a lost colony of penguins known for their amazing speed and strength. He was abandoned before he was even hatched and is taken in by a family of silver penguins that encourage his talents. Still, Scooter doesn't feel like he belongs. He finally learns the lessons of love and self-worth and returns to his village to save the day.

This movie was low budget and the events seem to drag on too long throughout the movie. It is OK for younger kids, but didn't hold my little ones' attention and my older kids were extremely bored because the events were too predictable and there was very little eye candy or real detail to the animation. It was, however; a good storyline and message so I believe the whole thing could have been presented better.

BUY IT
You can purchase The Adventures of Scooter The Penguin on Amazon for $9.59.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a copy of The Adventures of Scooter The Penguin DVD. (3 Winners!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Entertainment One for sending me product for free to review and 3 to giveaway. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bailey Christmas Hero DVD Review and Giveaway

In Adventures of Bailey Christmas Hero the beloved Bailey is up to his antics and mischief once again as the Baker Household gets ready for Christmas. Bailey, the cute pooch, is worried that he won't get any presents from Santa because he has been a bad dog. He is told of a mysterious Indian chief that will answer his questions and make his wishes come true. With visions of tennis balls, dog bones and squeaky toys dancing in his head, he sets off with his brother Duke on an adventure to find this Indian chief. However, his pursuits get in the way of the Baker Family plans. Will this doggy ever learn the true meaning of Christmas?

This family friendly live action film is sure to help you get into the spirit of Christmas. We loved the cute "tail" and the message that it had. I am glad to be able to add it to my collection of Christmas movies. I have to admit I am a sucker for cute animal movies. I am also very fond of dogs myself and my kids enjoyed the movie very much. If you love dogs and would love to get into the true spirit of Christmas with your family, this movie might be right up your alley.

Watch the trailer:

"Adventures of Bailey - Christmas Hero" trailer from Liz Franke on Vimeo.

BUY IT
You can purchase Adventures of Bailey Christmas Hero on Amazon for $12.99.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a copy of Adventures of Bailey Christmas Hero DVD. (3 Winners!)

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Entertainment One for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway one for free also. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Polar Express with Mount Hood Railroad - Our Experience


On Wednesday, November 21 my children dawned their PJs and we headed out for the evening to go on our scenic journey towards Hood River, Oregon to go on the Polar Express at Mount Hood Railroad. We stopped along the way and a magnificent rainbow arched across the sky. We took highway 14 on the Washington side and I was sure glad we did because the scenic drive was so gorgeous. It was raining a lot though so I didn't get my camera out for most of it. We fist saw Cape Horn and it is pictured above. We also saw some absolutely breathtaking waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge. We couldn't tell which ones we were seeing from the highway, but some of the waterfalls include: Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Horsetail Falls and Multnomah Falls. Even from the distance we were, they were all spectacular. We caught a glimpse of  Beacon Rock as we drove. It was large and it looked like it was cut out from the surrounding landscape. We also passed the Bonneville Dam which I also would have loved to see up close. Then we passed the Bridge of the Gods. The wind blown trees along the highway were one-sided because of the high amount of wind that goes through the valley, hence the name of the nearby river, Wind River. There is also a stretch of highway 14 that goes through a total of 5 tunnels that I counted located between Stevenson and White Salmon in the lovely valley of Skamania. Then we went over Spring Creek and I wish we could have stopped to go see the fish hatchery that was there.

We finally arrived at the toll bridge to Hood River, Oregon and went across. We arrived at the Mount Hood Railroad and got the tickets at the call desk. While we waited for the train to arrive we looked at the many items in the gift shop and display cabinets. Then it was time to board. As we were boarding we were greeted by the train chefs :) The last picture of the chef is our train car. Brian wanted me to take a picture of the train wheels because they looked neat.


We seated ourselves and put our coats and bags in the upper rack. We had coach seats and I guess they are more traditional like the seating you see in the Polar Express movie. The train car was decorated with nice Christmas garlands, lights, bows, and ornaments. It felt very festive.

As soon as all the passengers had boarded the conductor greeted each family and punched the Polar Express golden tickets we were given. He was punching them close to Delbin's head so he got some clippings in his hair.

Then we were underway on our ride to the North Pole. Shortly after we were moving we were served cookies on a napkin and hot chocolate in Styrofoam cups. I was expecting mugs and plates, but I guess this was coach, so not as fancy. I wish we had gotten carbohydrate information for Delbin (he has type 1 diabetes) ahead of time because it took forever for the servers to track any down. They do not have the nutritional information on their website and for those of us with diet restrictions this would be very helpful. They also almost forgot about giving us any refreshments after a while passed and we had to remind them. Unfortunately they didn't have any straws and I was ill equipped as well with no sippy cup for Zari. The cups were easily spilled in the hands of my toddler, so I tried to manage by letting her have a couple of sips here and there, but this was very tedious. At least the hot chocolate was not scalding.

As we got closer to our destination the Polar Express story was read to us. The reader stopped to show the pictures to us at every page turn which was nice. He also tried to put as much feeling into the reading as he could muster. I am sure reading the story over and over gets a little old after a while.


We were interrupted many times while on the train by a loud "bum", Hobo Jo, (one of the characters of the movie) that said crazy things and tweaked the kids' noses as he passed. He interacted well with the kids and was pretty funny to watch.

We finally got to the North Pole and were directed to look out the far window. The inside lights were fairly bright and since it was so dark outside by contrast we couldn't see much except for the Christmas lights and dancing shadows of the elves. I would have loved to see Santa's reindeer better that were looking at us from below. We never got off the train to actually see Santa's workshop and the North Pole like I thought we were going to do originally. I was also thinking that the display would be better seen in the dark and that was why I picked the 4:30pm departure time, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. They really need to have the outside display more lit up next year!

Then after we waited a bit Santa's elves and the jolly man himself joined us on board the train for a picture and gave my kids each a large bell like the one given in the movie. The Santa definitely looked the part with his real beard. The elves were dressed merrily, although my husband said that I would have made a better elf because of how short I am in comparison. Santa was definitely the best part of the whole train ride.

The trip was fairly short. It basically consisted of the ride to the North Pole and a reverse leg back on what I believed to be the same track. On the return leg of the trip we sang Christmas carols. Most of the passengers were trying to remember the words and it felt a bit awkward to be singing in front of strangers, but at least we were trying to make it heart felt.

Even with everything not going as I had hoped we enjoyed our first time on the Polar Express at Mount Hood Railroad. My children will treasure the bells that they received and remember this time we had as a family together. It was a nice retreat from everyday life.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:
For my participation in the US Family Guide Polar Express Promotion I received 4 FREE coach seats valid weekdays in November and chose to buy 2 more for my girls to go also.

Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this opportunity and Polar Express at Mount Hood Railroad for hosting it. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this review.