Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back "Pack" To School With Green Supplies Giveaway

 Yep, school is just around the corner and there are quite a few "Back to School" Giveaways going on this month. Here is a great one I am thrilled to be able to join in on.
Welcome to the Back "Pack" To School With Green Supplies Giveaway Event hosted by Mama to 4 Blessings. Thanks to Green Apple Supply for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!

Here is a little information about Green Apple Supply:

As parents: Stephanie and Robert Tobor, founders of Green Green Apple Supply want the best for our kids. And as global citizens, they were faced with the responsibility to care for our planet, and each other. They began as an endeavor to feed our family natural, organic foods has grown into a much larger enterprise. Learning about potential dangers to children, and the planet, in cleaning supplies, household goods, office supplies…everywhere. The worsening state of our environment, climate change, and increasing levels of toxins showing up in children’s blood work combined to create a great passion for exposing our family to only the cleanest, most wholesome products.  When they had inquired as to why individuals were choosing traditional products rather than opting for eco-friendly versions, typically given one of two answers:

1. Green products are too expensive.
2. There are too many choices, and some are not effective.

This was the beginning of Green Apple Supply! By utilizing economies of scale, wholesale purchasing power, and personal product experience, their endeavor to make it easier for anyone to purchase Earth-friendly products. Keeping overhead low and this is a non-profit effort. Products are sold as close to cost as we can, while still keeping the lights on. Why? Because we think it’s the right thing to do.

Green Apple Supply is generously allowing me to give one reader a backpack filled with green supplies to start their back to school "green"!

Starting with a Bighorn Backpack - The rugged and durable Bighorn backpack has all the essential components for the modern individual, with the additional bonus of being made of RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) water bottles. Recycle, reduce, reuse has never looked this good.

Made from recycled PET bottles!
Constructed of Repreve® RPET materials
420D polyester ripstop and 600D polyester
non-toxic dyes & materials and reflective piping
dual side pockets with ergo-padded shoulder straps
internal organizer pocket and moisture wicking mesh back
Sells for $32.50

And inside the backpack one winner will receive:

2 packs (12 i n each pack) of Graphite Pencils - $1.75 each
2 packs of Banana Paper (8.5" X 11")- $2.50 each 
Made from 80% post-consumer waste paper / 20% banana leaf fibers. Water-based inks.
Acid-free and bleach-free paper.
1 (2 qty) Glue Stick Blister Pack - $4.75 each
Almond Scented Glue Stick is non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. Best of all it smells like marzipan, an almond-based.
1 box of 64 Prang Soy Crayons - $3.50 each
Made from a unique soybean oil formulation. Our crayons are made from 100% renewable resources and do not include paraffin wax.
1 box of Ecolorgy Washable Markers (8 pack) - $2.75 each
Non-toxic washable markers made in the USA from 25% recycled plastic. Duplex tips draw thick or thin lines and if they start to dry out, rejuvenate them by dipping the tip in water.
20 pack of eraser pencil caps $1.25 each
1 Recycled Plastic Ruler - $1.00 each
1 Twin Pencil Sharpener - $1.75 each
Made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer polystyrene.
1 TerraCycle 3-ring Binder Pencil Case - Honest Kids- $2.50 each
Made from up-cycled Honest Kids drink pouches
Qty 2 2-Pocket Portfolio Folders - $.75 each
Fully biodegrade
1 Set ChicoBag- Snack Time re PETe, Set of 3 Colors - $11.50
Each Snack Time set includes three reusable snack and sandwich bags that feature a fold-over, hook-and-loop closure system that expands to fit a full-size sandwich, or folds over for smaller snack items. The bags feature a food-safe, water and stain resistant liner that makes for easy cleaning.
Water resistant natural cotton exterior & interior
Attached cooler bag is insulated with a BPA-free liner, so it’s safe for your kids
Adjustable, padded shoulder straps for extra comfort
Recycled plastic components, Hand wash, line dry
Easy, durable velcro closure for little hands
Zipper pocket in main pocket for change or keepsakes
Special name tag on inner flap
Non-toxic and lead-free, conforms to U.S. standards

Giveaway ends on August 22nd at 11:59 PM.
Open to US residents only. Ages 18+.

Please use the rafflecopter form below
to enter to win, daily entry available by tweeting!

It's Almost Here: The Back to School Blast Giveaway Hop

back to school blast

Starting at midnight tonight you can come back to enter to win a great Back to School Prize Pack. I have had the great opportunity to review 3 awesome products. Two of these were for my Back to Preschool Blast which starts next week and the other I reviewed back in May. Crayon Rocks and Early Expert Spanish have both agreed to provide an additional prize for this great event.  I reviewed the Cube It! FunBites cutter a couple of months ago and have been offered the opportunity to review the Luv It! Cutter in the near future. 

Here is a little information about each product:

"Crayon Rocks are all natural soy wax crayons made from USA grown soybeans and colored with mineral pigments.
The colors are vibrant and can be layered to make beautifully textured art work.
They were designed to strengthen the tripod grip muscles, preparing fingers and hands for handwriting.
The shape allows small fingers to color in large, wide strokes creating pictures rich in color.
Used by occupational therapists to develop fine motor skills."

"Early Expert: Spanish is an engaging educational game grounded in research. Early Expert is easy to set up. First purchase it, and we will send a password to the email address you provide. Then simply log in, update your password information, add your children, and click Play! Up to four children can have logins per account. The game is entirely online and available to play from any PC or Mac!"

Buy 2 FunBites cutters and save 23%

"Each FunBites Pack includes a high performance curved blade cutter that quickly creates small bites and a matching popper top that pops out food instantly so hands are clean, food is untouched. FunBites is 100% MADE IN THE USA, top shelf dishwasher safe and BPA Free."

Not only can you have a chance to win the above prizes, but there will be a Grand Prize hosted by This Flourishing LifeGenerations Of Savings, and Tailor Made Momma are all hosting the grand prizes on their blogs. They are featuring prizes totaling $1000 in back to school gear for all ages. Head on over to their sites to enter!

And there will be many other blogs offering prize packages worth at least $25!
So stop back between midnight tonight and August 14th for your chance to win.

And don't forget to check out all the reviews/Sponsor Spotlights for my Back to Preschool Blast 
The giveaway will run from August 8 through August 25.

Tots and Me

Wordless Wednesday: Aug 1, 2012 (w/linky)- Storm Damage plus my cutie pies

Here are some pictures of the damage a mile away caused by the storm that knocked out our power for three days last week: 

Truck being used to clean up:

Our quiet little rural town wasn't so quiet with lots of these generators running. Unfortunately we didn't have one.

We saw them fixing this and were told when they were done here we should have power. 
We did. 
That was Saturday evening. We had lost power Thursday afternoon.

And some random cute pictures I had to share.

I think I have a picture of each of the younger children sliding their way out of the carseat while fussing while they were little. In fact, I think I have one of Krystal too and she is going to be turning 16.

Love the intent look.


The girls were all helping daddy make the pancakes.

Tots and Me

Would you like to join me in my Back to Preschool Blast?
Would you like to help promote?
Would you like to share the button for extra entries in the giveaways?
Click this button to find out more:
Tots and Me

You can also earn extra entries on the review posts.
Stay tuned for reviews of great toddler and preschooler related products this month in anticipation of the giveaway August 8 through 25!!
(The ones  for Crayon Rocks, For Small Hands, Rock 'N Learn's Dance with the Animals, The Orb Factory's Magnetic Mosaics and Blue Orange Games are live)
Hope to see you here!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- July 31, 2012

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me and Emily @ Emily Reviews

Our co-hosts this week are Mari from Our Life's Adventures and Sue from My Photopage  

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me & Emily @ Emily Reviews along with    Mari from Our Life's Adventures and Sue from My Photopage.

Muffin Tin Monday: Olympics

Muffin Tin Monday at Muffintinmom.com

In honor of the Olympics I gave the girls an Olympic Muffin Tin for lunch today.

We had the colors of the rings:
Blue Blueberries
Black Chocolate Chips
Red Grape Tomatoes
Yellow Corn
Green Spinach

Then we had a Popcorn Cone Torch that I saw on Pinterest. You can find it over at babble.com.

Here is a better view of ours:

And daddy came up with the idea of making hard boiled egg gold medals.
I added the toast for a grain and the cheese ribbon for some dairy.
(I like to make muffin tins as balanced as I can.)

And so the girls have been introduced to the Olympics.
I think it's sort of cool they are being held in London this year. My mom is from England.

Back to Preschool Giveaway Blast: Sponsor Spotlight- Blue Orange

Tots and Me

Welcome to another Back to Preschool Giveaway Blast Sponsor Spotlight in anticipation of the giveaway which starts on August 8th. Please note, that there has been a change in the dates for this event. We were without power for three days due to severe storms blowing through our area on Thursday, so I have to play catch up on a lot of things. 

From the sponsor:
"Since 2000, Blue Orange Games has been creating award-winning games with remarkable quality and high play value. Designed to be easy-to-learn, adaptable to a range of abilities and to build upon important skills, their games grow with families and make lasting memories. There’s no mistaking a game by Blue Orange. Beautiful craftsmanship and an eye-catching aesthetic is their priority. As an eco-friendly company, they use durable materials that respect the environment and plant two trees for each one used in game construction. "

I found it quite intriguing that for every tree used in the making of their games two more are planted. Check here to see where they got the name Blue Orange In addition, there games have received multiple awards. And I can see why. 

They sent me two different games to review.
Tell Tale Fairy Tales and Spot It Jr! Animals

The girls were really itching to try Spot It Jr! Animals, so we played this game first.

These games are stored in cute little tins, which is a great idea as far as I am concerned. It is a lot sturdier than a cardboard box and that is important around children. 

The instructions come are enclosed in the tin on an accordion style circular book.

There are 5 different games that can be played, all of which revolve around finding the matching animals on these cute cards. This game is ingenious. Every pair of cards (it doesn't matter which two cards you pull out of the deck) will have one and only one matching animal. 
Here take a look at two different pairs

How long did it take you to find the matches?

Here are all the animals that are pictured on the cards. I love that they give you the name for each animal. I reviewed the name of each of them with the girls, they even learned some new animals. It was important that the girls knew the names because when they find a pair they need to be able to say it fast in order to claim the matching pair.

The girls especially enjoyed playing the first game, Twins. In Twins, you flip over 2 cards simultaneously.

Everybody tries to find the matching pair. The first one to call it out gets to keep the pair of cards. Two new cards are then flipped over.

After all the cards have been used, the player with the most cards is the winner.
I love that children can develop their visual discrimination skills by playing this game. 
They really need to concentrate, it is trickier than you think to find the pair, especially when under pressure. 

Hannah wanted to have a look at what all the excitement was. She wasn't able to play yet though. It will be a fun way to teach her some animals though. 

The game we are playing here is called "Tower." In this mini-game everyone is dealt 1 card and the remainder are placed in the center of the table. They are supposed to be placed face up, but I wanted to make sure we were all ready to play at the same time, so I just flipped it up when ready. We were to only concern ourselves with the card in front of us and the center card. When the match is found the first person to call out their match gets to keep the card from the center pile. This card is placed on the top of one's own pile and it is the card that needs to be matched next.
This game was a tad more confusing for the children. Amelia especially was distracted by the other piles. The other thing that confused her, was that we are always trying to match to the center card with the current card on top of our pile. Though it was a little more confusing, she did seem to be enjoying herself as was everyone else.

Both games we played are suggested for ages 4 and up. 
There is one more mini-game called "The Well" that we didn't have time to play. This is also for ages 4 and up.
For older children there are two more variations:
"Hot Potato"
So many fun ways to play this game!
I highly recommend this game for its fun and educational benefits.
For the youngest children playing the "Twins" game for a while may be recommended until they get the gist of the game.

The other game I was sent to review is called, "Tell Tale Fairy Tales" and it is packaged the same way as Spot It Jr! Animals. 

There are also multiple suggested ways to use these cards. 
There are several games that can be played as individuals or teams of 2. What I love about these games are they are not competitive and they encourage the use of imagination. There is no right or wrong way to tell the story. Here are the suggested games:
Everyone takes 6 cards, places them in the order they want their cards and then you take turns telling your story.

"Round 'N Round"
This is the game we played. Everyone takes 4 cards. A group story is created by taking turns laying the cards down one at a time (one card per player each time around). 

We had quite the story going here about an old man and a queen who had a daughter who sings and was dating a pirate. Unfortunately I can't remember it all right now.

The other two games are called
"Showtime" and "The Stage."

I can seeing us using these cards in our homeschool for language arts and creative writing. I was thinking it would be great fun, as the girls get older, to have them take several cards, place them in front of themselves and write a story. Another fun early literary skill is sequencing stories. I thought perhaps we could take 3 cards and I would tell a short story. I would then mix up the cards and see if the girls could place them in the right order, telling back some of the story (I wouldn't expect a word for word retelling). I am excited to try out these ideas when we start school. 
In addition these cards can be used as an alternative for the traditional bed time story. You would just need to pick some cards, they recommend 10, and tell your own story.

Once again, I highly recommend this game. So many fun ways to play and great educational benefits. A love of telling stories will contribute to a love of reading and writing, which is very important to me.

In addition to these two games Blue Orange has quite a few more "Pocket Games" plus they have "Tin Games" and "Wooden Games."
You can check their entire Games Chest out right here.
In addition you can check out Blue Orange on Facebook
or Twitter

Additionally, they also have educational limited editions of Spot it! coming out this summer adapted especially for preschoolers! They are offering free printable versions of the games online.
There is:

These will be available for purchase in August, but you can check them out now with the above links and try them out. 

Are you ready for some exciting news? 
Blue Orange has agreed to give one lucky winner in the Back to Preschool Giveaway Blast their own Tell Tale Fairy Tales Game. It will be a part of the Grand Prize Pack which is now worth over $300. In addition they will be including a wooden game called CooCoo the Rocking Clown
Blue Orange Games CooCoo The Rocking Clown Game
Not only that, they are offering Spot It Jr! Animals to be included in the 2nd Place Prize Pack.

How would you like some extra entries into this giveaway before it even starts? 
  • Head on over to the Blue Orange Games website and tell me another game you would love to try out. Leave the answer here in the comments with your email and when the giveaway is live I will email you the secret code to place in the Rafflecopter for a bonus 10 points.
  • Also, if you would like to spread the word about this event and place the button on your blog sidebar I will give you an additional 10 points. Again, please come back and comment.
Either way, don't forget to stop back between August 8th and 25th to enter the giveaway.

Tots and Me
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