Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A few afternoon (and evening) winners!

Hey there MBP fans... we've got a few winners to announce today.
Are you one of them? Let's find out!

Pink Blush Maternity: Amanda M. Entry #1772
Utterly Yours: Amy O. Entry #890
Everly Grey Maternity: Monica P. Entry #783

Tracy Tayan Designs: #622- Crissie C.
ClosetMaid: #8744- Jenn M.
Talking Friends Prize Pack: #4067- Kimberly B.
ThinkFun Hello Sunshine Game: #1599- Rochel R.
Office Candy: #1081- Celeste
WOW Toys: #1956- Becky G.
Junie Grace: #213- Michelle D. H.
Lollipop Kids: #1047- Athena D.
Kinderfeets: #5419- LaVonne C. L.
Congrats to our winners!
You have all been e-mailed and have 48 hours to e-mail me back and claim your prizes!
 Please make sure to check your SPAM folders as well and change your settings to allow for MBP emails
Thanks to our wonderful sponsors for offering these giveaways!
Didn't win this time?
No worries- we have tons of other great giveaways going on right now, and many more to come! Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter, so you never miss a giveaway.
Stay tuned... another round of winners is coming soon!

Sneakin' In Science Review-April

Last summer I signed Beckett up for a Science mini-camp at our local library. I was taking a few classes myself and did not do the drop off and pickup each day. By not doing this, I really missed out on what was being done and what they had learned, because by the time I got home, B's answers were "I don't know" or "I don't remember". Luckily, my father-in-law is an Engineer and he was the one doing drop off and pickup, so he quickly learned to ask what they did each day. Unluckily, for the Science mini-camp, my father-in-law is an Engineer and some of the things they told him about were not always the correct explanations for the experiments they did. Bummer. We will not be doing this mini-camp again.
Like I have said before, Science is not my thing. I am glad that I have my father-in-law to be able to provide B with other experiences, especially after the Science mini-camp bust. I also have a resource in a company called Sneakin' In Science.
Sneakin' In Science was created by a middle school science teacher and mom, Sara. Sara was looking for a way to continue growing and sharing her popular classroom experiments. She started selling some of them locally, designed a website and tried her hand online. After some initial struggles, Sara decided to market her favorite experiments as a subscription set (1,3,6,12 months) and Sneakin' In Science was born. Sara wanted to show that yes, experiments are fun, but you are also learning by asking questions, seeking answers, and doing more experimenting. All of Sneakin' In Science's experiments are designed for kids ages 5-12, and while some concepts may be more difficult for the younger set, learning is still going on.  
Sara graciously offered us three months of Sneakin' In Science, here are our experiments from February (Film Canister Rockets/No Melt Snow) and March (Volcanoes). We couldn't wait to check out what April would bring us!
Our April package from Sneakin' In Science is here!
We were excited to find a Mineral Dig and Geode experiment
April-Geodes/Mineral Dig Kit If you like collecting rocks and minerals then this month's experiment is for you!  Not only will you get to search through soil to find samples of different minerals you'll also get to crack open a geode to see the crystals inside.  You'll get a mineral dig kit in which you will find samples of common minerals.  The mineral dig includes a guide to help you id the minerals you find as well as information about how they form and their properties.  You'll also receive a geode that will need to be put into an old sock or bag to be split with a hammer (safety goggles and adult supervision are a must!). 
Sneakin' In Science is very excited about their newest change, professional printed directions and information. It looks great Sara!
 The instruction booklet and ID page look very nice and still contained a list of what was included and easy to follow directions to complete the experiment.
We started with the Mineral Dig. It included a small bag of soil that contained various rocks and minerals. We emptied ours into a bowl so that both kids could get their hands in and dig. 
After we had searched the bowl and found 7 items, the kids were both excited to see the different colors and shapes of the items we found. We talked about how some would be minerals and what a mineral was (thanks to our information sheet provided by Sneakin' In Science with everything I needed to explain a mineral). We also talked about how some were just rocks and how we would be able to figure out which ones were which. I promise you, I would have had to look all of this stuff up before I could have even begun to explain it, but with Sneakin' In Science, it is all at my fingertips.
We then used the easy to read and understand Mineral ID page. We talked about how the color would help us best figure out which mineral we had found (although this is not usually the best way to ID a mineral).
We found an Amethyst, an Emerald, Topaz, Corundum, Aqua Marine, and Moonstone. Each mineral had information listed about it and photos to see. It also included information on the Moh's Hardness Scale, which we had to check out. Our favorite mineral was the Moonstone because it looked the neatest and you could see through it.
After we had identified all our minerals and one rock, we tried scratching them on the Streak plate to see what we could find. B thought this was the best part!
When we had finished up with our minerals, it was time to check out the "big rock" that had come in our package. I had the kids look the rock over and tell me what they thought about it, I got pretty much the same answer from both, "a big gray rock that is heavy". I talked to them about how sometimes rocks can be more than just a rock, but something more exciting, this caught their attention.
I took our "heavy big gray rock" and put it inside an old sock, this confused them greatly. I then got Daddy's hammer from the garage, now they were really shaking their heads and asking me what I was going to do. After I hit the rock in the sock, they were worried I had broken the rock and ruined it.
When I took it out of the sock and we found this, they were amazed that there were crystals inside.
We discussed how sometimes a rock can be more than what it seems and how it happens. Of course they wanted to know if our backyard rocks had crystals and we talked about how some places near us probably did. I am sure they will be on the hunt for "special rocks" very soon.

This experiment from Sneakin' In Science was very fun. The kids loved digging for the minerals, we had to do it more than once, and of course were thrilled to find the crystals in our geode. Sneakin' In Science has provided us with some wonderful experiments but the best part is, they provide most of the items needed to do them and all kinds of correct and helpful information. My kids have been learning without really realizing it and wanting to learn more.
Want It? Buy It!
Did this look really fun and exciting? Are you ready to experiment? Check out Sneakin' In Science for a monthly, 3 month, 6 month, or yearly subscription and get into science!  Looking for more from Sneakin' In Science, check out their blog or Like them on Facebook .
Thank you to Sara and Sneakin' in Science for another great round of experiments!


Who can't wait to see these lovable monsters on the big screen? US!
Mark your calendars for June 21st, 2013!

Take a look at the official trailer for this summer must-see!

“Like” MONSTERS UNIVERSITY on Facebook: http://facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity

"Follow" Disney/Pixar on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DisneyPixar

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY releases in theaters on June 21st!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Protect Your Loved Ones with Sun+ and Bug Guard Products from Avon (Review + Giveaway)

Part of MBP's Summer Splash 2013

There are so many things that I love about this time of the year. I am a gardener, so I love seeing all of the hard work that I put in to my flowerbeds last year, springing to life through beautiful blooms this spring. My two-year-old son loves to play outside, walking barefooted through the grass, coloring on the front walk with his sidewalk chalks, riding his bike, playing in the sandbox, and being my special helper when it comes to watering the flowers. We live in North Carolina, where the sun is hot, hot, hot and when it warms up, it's humid, and there are mosquitos aplenty! Protection is everything.

Presented by MBP Spotlight Sponsor, Vanessa Wigglesworth

I am pleased to introduce you all to one of our newest MBP Spotlight Sponsors, Vanessa Wigglesworth. Vanessa is a wife and mother, and a super representative for Avon. If you're not familiar with Avon, take a minute to look at what they're all about. If you are familiar with Avon, then chances are you already know about their fabulous line of makeup products, personal care items, skincare, fashion, products for the home, etc. We're teaming up with Vanessa to bring you special Avon product features and giveaways throughout the year, and we've got some special products to kick off our big splash into summer!

My Avon goodies from Vanessa, along with a handwritten note and the latest Avon brochure!

As a mom, Vanessa knows how important it is to protect your children. During the summer months, protecting our skin from harmful, damaging UV rays is so important! Both adults and children need their skin to be protected from the sun, and nothing shields the skin like the Avon Sun + product line!

Triple Protection for the Witt family this summer! Thanks, Vanessa!

Vanessa sent me two wonderful sunscreen products from Avon's Sun+ line. I was anxious to try the Sun+ SPF 40  water resistant sunscrren face lotion. We attended an outdoor event a couple of weekends ago, and were caught out in the direct sun for over an hour. Like a bad mommy, I forgot to pack the sunscreen, and we all suffered for it. My mom, husband and I all wound up with sunburned faces and shoulders, and poor Balian broke out in a rash.

A few of Avon's Sun+ products...

The Sun+ SPF 40 suncreen face lotion is perfection! It's a lightweight, oil-free formula, which can be worn alone, or (ladies) underneath make up. This lotion glides onto the skin so smoothly, and it's not greasy, which is awesome for me, as I have oily skin. This is even gentle enough to use on little ones 6 months +.  I have put this on Balian's face a couple of times while we've been outside in the hot sun, and he hasn't broken out into a heat rash! SPF 40 is a great strength for my husband's feet, too! His feet always burn when we're on vacation, so he is very thankful that he'll be able to use this formula when we're at the beach in a few weeks.

Sun+ SPF 25 Sunscreen Spray

Vanessa also sent me the Avon Sun+ SPF 25 sunscreen spray. I know that this wonderful, protective sunscreen will change the way I apply my sunscreen while at the beach! Let's face it- slathering your body with sunscreen is tedious. The application process takes forever, and we're often wanting to get onto the beach and get into the water, so we skip the sunscreen. Bad move! Remember, protecting your skin is priority number one when you're having fun in the sun. The sunscreen spray makes it super easy to protect your skin. This sunscreen sprays on evenly, quickly and with ease! All you have to do is slap your suit on, spray your sunscreen on a few minutes before you hit the beach, and you're good to go! Just re-apply every couple of hours. No more, 'Honey, will you get my back?' Now it's, 'Honey, will you spray my back real quick?' Easy as pie! The sunscreen spray is also water resistant, so you can jump waves with the family all you want!

Bug Guard + SPF 30

The fun in the sun doesn't end there! Vanessa also sent along the Avon's Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, SPF 30. This cool kid-friendly sunscreen and bug guard in one is a lot of fun! This Cool 'N Fabulous sunscreen is one that the kids won't fight you about putting on. The super water resistant lotion is blue! Yes, yes- it's blue, goes on blue, and then disappears as you rub it in! I love this because it helps me to be able to see where sunscreen still needs to be applied to the skin. Balian thinks it's cool because it's blue, and he likes the scent.

Now you see it...

...now you don't!

This is a double-protectant, as it is also a Bug Guard. This special formula repells against ticks, fleas, mosquitos, noseeums, and a few other pests, as well. Balian and I have something in our skin that mosquitos just love, and we'd also love to go to the beach and not be eaten alive by the sand fleas!

Avon has all sorts of wonderful Sun+ and Bug Guard products to protect your skin from the sun and the buggies this summer! No one wants to have to retreat the outdoors due to bug bites, so protect yourself and the kiddos with these wonder products! Check out some of these summer must-haves!

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*I personally recommend having this on hand!

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Keep these in your purse or diaper bag!

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Crochet Trim Dress

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Woven Butler Bag

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Nailwear Pro (Forbidden Fruits Collection)

Of course, Avon has a ton of great products- I love their nail polish, their eyeliner, and several of their skincare products! They have a wonderful line of accessories and products for the home, as well as an incredible outlet of great deals! The best thing is that you can shop all of these categories through Vanessa's Avon website- all in one place!

Want It? Buy It!

Whether you're ready to purchase some wonderful skin protecting products for the summertime, or you still need to shop for mom before Mother's Day rolls around, Vanessa's Avon has just what you're looking for. Not looking for anything in pasrticular? Browse Vanessa's website for an aray of products you'll be glad you came across! Vanessa is standing by to help you place an order, to answer your questions, or to share the Avon opportunity, if you're thinking about starting your own business! Vanessa's Avon is also on Facebook, so swing by her page and get connected!

Want It? Win It!

One lucky MBP reader will win their choice of ONE (1) Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus product OR 1 AVON Sun+ Product from Vanessa's Avon. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win!

Special thanks to MBP Spotligt Sponsor Vanessa Wigglesworth for allowing my family to test these wonderful products from Avon, and for offering this great giveaway for our readers! Be on the lookout for another Avon product feature with Vanessa in June!

Good luck!

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Azuli Skye w/ Anna

April Spotlight Sponsor

We have introduced a lot of new Spotlight Sponsors to our readers over the past few months. One of our newer sponsors is Anna Howard with Azuli Skye. Azulie Skye is a unique jewelry company that began in 2008 as a small at home business and has since grown into a nationwide company. Anna, a Founding Director with Azuli Skye is based in North Carolina and absolutely loves what she does. To find an Azuli Skye consultant near you check out their website.

You were introduced to the lovely Anna Howard back in February when she sponsored a review and awesome giveaway of the Starlit Daisy Necklace with Steph. Well today Anna and I are keeping the theme of stars and flowers! I will be introducing you to the Art Deco inspired piece Star Blossom from Anna and Azuli Skye.
Silk sack to help protect my necklace

Yay! It looks like a present!!

Fresh out of the bag.

Close up of the pendent. There are small crystals around the edge.
I wish you could see it sparkle! 
Star Blossom is a necklace and earrings set that can be purchased together or separately. After Anna and I got to talking she decided to send me the Star Blossom necklace because it is almost exactly the same as the tattoo that I have on my right foot.
Isn't this crazy cool?!
 We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share such a cool coincidence and story with our readers. My tattoo has a lot of personal meaning and brings up some great stories from my life. I'm so excited that I now have a necklace that will bring me the same feelings! Plus it is something I don’t ever have to keep covered.

Rockin my Star Blossom necklace!

I added some extra length to the chain so it hangs a little lower.
The Star Blossom necklace and earrings from Azuli Skye would make a great Mothers Day gift for that special mommy in your life. However, if stars and flowers aren’t your thing, check out some of the other jewelry Azuli Skye has to offer. I'm sure you will find something that fits your mama’s favorite style.

Azuli Skye has everything for your Chic mama.

Have a classic mom? Azuli Skye has their style!

Azuli Skye loves the young fresh mommy!

Have a mom that loves the vintage life? Azuli Skye can help them get in touch with their inner Marilyn.

Don't worry wild mommy's Azuli Skye has you covered too! 

Want It? Buy It!
Azuli Skye is always just a mouse click away. Just log on to Anna’s site and start shopping. Make sure you check out their monthly specials and Hostess Exclusives.
You can also find Anna and Azuli Skye on facebook. 

Happy shopping!

Thank you to Azuli Skye and Anna for sending me such cool necklace! I absolutely LOVE it!

DIY Funky Crayons (Project)

My little guy loves to color, and to encourage his creative flow, I am often picking up different colors of crayons for him to use and enjoy. As a toddler, he really hasn't quite grasped the concept of 'please don't break the crayons on purpose' yet. As a result, we end up with lots of tiny broken crayon pieces, which if I don't keep an eye on, wind up in all sorts of places through out our home.

Fed up with the little crayon bits, but not wanting to waste the wax, I committed myself to finding a way to recycle the crayon pieces. I have seen those nifty contraptions that will take your old crayons and combine the colors, and turn them into brand spanking new crayons, but I'm not going to do that, just to have them broken into bits again.

So, I got the clever idea to grab one of our silicone ice cube trays, and try to make some funky crayons out of the broken crayon pieces. 

3-4 small crayon pieces in each mold

It turned out that this was a great project for Balian and I to do together. I peeled the paper off of the leftover crayon pieces, and he filled the ice cube tray with a few pieces of broken crayons in each mold. He got a big kick out of that, and breaking some of the larger pieces into smaller ones to better fit into the mold.

Out of the oven, and cooled...

After the triangles were all filled up with the crayon pieces, I preheated the oven to 175 degrees. I placed the ice cube tray on a cookie sheet, and placed it in the warm oven for about forty-five minutes, so the crayon pieces melted down. 

After that, I tool the tray out of the oven, and set it aside so it could begin to cool. One the tray cooled off, I placed it into the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I poppped the crayons right out of the tray, and voila- we had fun, new crayons!

We wound up with ten new crayons...

The triangle shapes are much easier for little hands to grasp, and much harder to break than traditional crayons (even the chubby ones, which still wind up broken at our house!).

We have other trays with star and heart shapes, and I may just look for other shapes, too! This was a lot of fun, a toddler-friendly project, and it was a great way to recycle broken crayons!

Try it with the kiddos this week and see what you think!

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