Monday, March 31, 2014

New Week, New Winners!

Hello lovely MBP fans and readers! We hope your week is off to a fabulous start! We're excited to announce a brand new list of winners from some of our recent giveaways! Many of these are from our Spring Style Guide Sponsors, so we're excited to bring you these wonderful designs! A big thank you to all of our MBP giveaway sponsors for offering these prizes to our readers!

Ready to see who won?

A Big Congrats Goes Out to...

$50 Wee Squeak Gift Card: #1850- Christina D.
Smile Brilliant LED Teeth Whitening Kit: #240- Jennifer H.
Insect Lore Ladybug Habitat: #110- Charity C.
Pajama Drama Nouveau Silky PJ's Set: #980- Em M.
Veronica Mars Movie: #40 Jerri D.
Riudavets Avarcas Sandals- 1 Adult Pair & 1 Child's Pair: #1750- Paula S.
Moulin Roty Shadow Puppet Set: #340- Jody M.
Leap Frog Letter Factory Adventures DVD: #50- Elina K.
ELM Designs Necklace: #900- Karen G.
Tommee Tippee Sampler: #390- Amy O.
Celtic Cottage Wall Hanging: #30- EJ M.
A Banner Affair Easter Banner: #500- Crystal R.
Guillow's Balsa Wood Plane Kits: #60- Jessica T.
Hidden Worlds Fairy Door: #420- Jenn H.
The Ink Junkie Comfort Mat: #200- Jennifer W.

Winners have all been e-mailed and have 48 hours to claim their prizes, or we will draw for new winners. This is a huge list of winners, so please give us a few days to get your shipping info sent out to the sponsors. Congrats to our winners! Didn't win this time? Don't worry- we have lots of other giveaways going on right now, and more coming soon!!

Thanks to all of the wonderful companies and business who worked with us to sponsor these giveaways!

The Sparkle Egg: A Symbol of the True Promise of Easter Book #Review + #Giveaway

We are so excited that Easter is in just a couple of short weeks! I volunteer my time on Wednesday afternoons, co-teaching a children's music class at my church, to a group of adorable 3-5 year-olds. We have been working on Palm Sunday and Easter themed songs for weeks, and in just another week and a half from now, they'll be finishing up the program for this year, by making their very own musical egg shakers. We're ready for Easter as far as church goes, but my household is another story. I sometimes put our own traditions on the back burner, because of our heavy involvement in church activities, but this year, that's all about to change, with the addition of a very special Easter book, to our book collection.

Ideals Books

I was thrilled for the opportunity to connect with Ideals Books, a Guideposts company, featuring family friendly books for children. Ideals Books publishes about 25 new titles every year, and aims to promote Christian education by connecting faith and life. This year, we were introduced to one of these new titles, called The Sparkle Egg: A Symbol of the True Promise of Easter. This book sounded like it was a wonderful fit for our family, and we were excited to receive it!

The Sparkle Egg, written by Jill Hardie and Illustrated by Christine Kornacki

My first impression of The Sparkle Egg book, just from looking at it, was that it was beautifully created. Not only are the illustrations gorgeous, but the cover is touch and feel, with raised embellishments on the sparkle egg, for children to explore with their hands.

Title page...

Beautiful message to the reader from the author!

I wanted to give the book a read through by myself first. I know that a lot of parents first read whatever they think their child(ren) might be interested in, before handing it over to the child. I just wanted to make sure that my three-year-old would be able to enjoy the book, without it going too over his head.

The Story of the Sparkle Egg quickly begins to unfold...

The Sparkle Egg tells the story of a young boy named Sam, who tells a little lie to his parents, regarding a test score he received in school. When Sam and his parents visit the school's open house, his parents learn from Sam's teacher that he didn't do as well as Sam lead them to believe on his test. Sam's parents explain their disappointment, Sam apologizes for his lie, and still feels ashamed of himself.

After Sam gets home from school one afternoon, his mother has all of the preparations made for decorating Easter eggs, one of the family's favorite traditions (it's one of ours, too!). Sam's mother introduces a new tradition- decorating a sparkle egg. Sam enjoys decorating the egg, making it so beautiful that it sparkles and shines. After decorating the egg, Sam is instructed to write down something that he is ashamed of on a slip of paper, and then to place it inside of the sparkle egg. Sam, of course, writes down the lie that he told to his parents.

Sam places the gold star drawing inside his sparkle egg...

On Easter Sunday morning, Sam opens up his sparkle egg, and finds it empty- his slip of paper is gone! The idea behind the sparkle egg, is that our sins are erased, because Jesus died on the cross to save each and every one of us! Just like that, Sam's sin vanished, because he asked for forgiveness.

'A touching story that uses the powerful yet accessible symbol of an empty egg to demonstrate the concept of complete forgiveness. The Sparkle Egg is a tool which will help readers and their families start a new Easter tradition.'

B, ready to read The Sparkle Egg for the first time, with mommy.

B enjoyed looking at the beautifually illustrated pictures while I read the story to him.

As we read the story together, I stopped and asked B some simple questions- about right and wrong, explaining what a lie is, and how it can hurt someone else, even when we think it can't. Trying to explain the Easter story to young children isn't always easy, so this book is a wonderful tool! B was intrigued by the sparkle egg, and noted how pretty it was. We talked about why Sam placed the paper inside, and how it disappeared on Easter Sunday, after Jesus died on the cross, and rose from the grave. B has asked to read The Sparkle Egg dozens of times since we received it, and I love reading it to him so much! I can't wait until we make our very own special sparkle eggs with the other little boys and girls in our weekday church school program next week!

Details of The Sparkle Egg

Written by Jill Hardie
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki
Available now!
Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages
ages 4 to 8 

Instructions for making your very own sparkle eggs...

We have not made our sparkle egg yet, because we will be making these with the 3-5 yeear-olds at church next week. I loved the idea behind this so much, that I thought it would be wonderful to share with the children on their last day of the church school program, the day they have their Easter party. Each child wil decorate their own plastic egg in our music class, their very own sparkle egg. We will fill the eggs with rice to make them into musical shakers, but we'll also be sending home instructions for the sparkle egg activity with the parents, so they can all begin a new sparkle egg tradition at home!

Our family has been blessed by this beautiful story, and we are very thankful to have this special new Easter tradition to enjoy and share with others!

I also received a special surprise- Ideals Magazine: Mother's Day Edition!

Beautiful story and photo in the Ideals Mother's Day Edition...

Touching poems and photographs...

This special Mother's Day issue celebrates motherhood with heartwarming stories about and by mothers, poetry and quotations that will warm the hearts of mothers, and recipes to enjoy or share. The text is accompanied by beautiful, full-color photographs and fine art reproductions.

Either one of these wonderful titles from Ideals Books would make beautiful gifts for someone special in your life!

Want It? Buy It!

Visit the official Ideals website for more information, or to purchase your own copy of The Sparkle Egg. You can also connect with Ideals on Facebook, or share your special Sparkle Egg stories by tweeting, using #ShareAMoment.

Want It? Win It!

One lucky MBP reader will win their very own copy of The Sparkle Egg! This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Just use the handy dandy Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win!

Special thanks to Ideals Books for allowing our family to experience a very special new Easter tradition, and for offering this special giveaway for our readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paint a Pretty Picture for Spring with Avon's Nailwear Pro Polishes! #Review + #Giveaway

One of my favorite beauty items is nail polish. It may sounds sort of silly, but I really enjoy giving myself at home pedicures and manicures. Going to the nail salon isn't exactly in my budget, and even if it was, I'd rather take that money and do something special with my family, instead. I try to make sure that I always have a good selection of nail poishes to choose from, as well as the essential tools I need to make my nails beautiful at home. Now that sandals season is upon us, I want to make double-sure that I have what I need for my toes to be perfectly polished.

Presented by MBP Spotlight Sponsor, Vanessa Wigglesworth

It is our pleasure at Mommy's Block Party, to connect our readers with a select group of women in direct sales. We love working with Vanessa Wigglesworth, who is a part of the MBP team, and is also an Independent Avon Representative. Vanessa believes that every woman is and should feel beautiful. Vanessa is a loving, caring, hardworking wife and mom, and loves encouraging others! I was excited for the opportunity to work with Vanessa this month, and select a few Avon products that I felt would be a perfect fit in our Spring Style Guide.

I selected a few colors of nail polish from Avon's Nailwear Pro + Enamel Collection. This is one of my favorite brands of nail polish, and there were quite a few new colors for spring that I thought would look great with some of the pretty fashions I'd been receiving.

In just a few days, I had a nice little package from Vanessa's Avon!

My helper was ready to see what was inside of the box...

I love getting packages from  Avon, because it's like opening up a special present, each and every time! The items always come well packed, with bubble wrap, and they're also wrapped in pretty tissue paper! Vanessa told me before the package arrived that she included a special surprise for B, too- so we were both excited to see what that might be!

Let's check it out!

Here's B's surprise!

Vanessa was so sweet to think of B! She's a mom, and knows that Avon makes some pretty rockin' products for little ones, including some fun stuff for bath time! Vanessa was kind enough to send B not just one, but two Bathtime Body Paints from the Avon Naturals Kids Rio 2 Collection. These are roll-on body paints, safe to use in the tub or shower, on wet skin. They are not to be used on dry skin, however. The bath paint rolls on and washes right off. This bath paint is safe for ages 3+. These roll on bath and body paints have been around for a long time... I remember my grandmother buying a very similar product for me and my sister from Avon when we were little girls! 

B was thrilled to have some new snazzy stuff to try out in the bath! The body paint glides on smoothly to wet skin. We had a great time 'painting' B's tummy, feet and arms blue at bathtime! These are a great price (right now, just $0.79 per tube), and would make a great filler for Easter Baskets! There are also a lot of other cool bath and body products for kids from the Avon Naturals Kids Rio 2 Collection! Thank you, Vanessa!

Onto mommy's goodies... lots of fun surprises!!

Vanessa sent me some special teats, too! 

Every Avon order arrives with the latest campaign brochure, which is wonderful, because I lve looking through the Avon books. Sometimes it's so much more fun to see items in a catalog than just browsing items online. I received three Nailwear Pro + Enamel Polishes, the Instant Gel Cuticle Remover, and some special nail art tools!

Here are the colors that I selected: Serene, Make my Day, and Golden Vision.

My first order of business, was to use the Instant Gel Cuticle Remover. It comes in a small tube, and you only need a tiny bit for each nail. I simply smoothed it over my cuticles, and then used a cuticle pusher to pushthe cuticles back. This is probably my least favorite part of any mani/pedi. My cuticles are sensitive, and getting rid of the cuticles can be painful. The gel makes it super easy to soften the cuticles quickly, without tingling or burning, so they can be painlessly pushed back! This is a must-have product, if you do your nails at home!

Next up, Make My Day!

I chose the Make My Day polish, because every girl needs a really bright, bold red toned nail color. Red is my go-to color during the summer, because it goes with pretty much anything. I love the way this striking red looks against the color of my skin (which is pretty white at the moment, but will hopefully start to tan a little soon). This is a beautiful color to wear on fingernails or toenails- looks amazing with black or white, and other colors of clothing, as well.

Golden Vision

I was excited to try the Golden Vision nail color, because it's something different for me. Gold is a color that I have stayed away from my entire life, and now in my 30's, I have taken an interest to it. This particular shade is from the Sequins Collection, and is so bright and lovely. I don't know if you can tell this from the photo of my tootsies or not, but the color really shimmers, and sparkles when the light hits it. I thought this would be a great color, especially for summertime, and that it would look great with a lot of the light blue tones that I tend to wear during late spring and easrly summer. Once my feet tan a bit, this color will really pop!

Last but Not Least, Serene...

Okay, so this color was a big experiment for me, and can I just tell you- I love this color! I was unsure of how folks would react to my using this color on my fingernails, but once I painted my nails, finished them off with a top coat and they were dry and set, I couldn't stop looking at them. It's all the rage right now, for super bright colors such as this one, to be worn on the fingernails. A long time ago, you just didn't do this. I have never been a fan of painting color onto my fingernails... I've been a clear polish gal, but now, it seems that anything goes, so I was willing to give it the old college try. The trick to wearing a color like this on your fingernails, however, is that your nails need to be trimmed short, and shaped. The minute it chips, touch it up, or remove the polish.

Another reason I chose this color- I sort of love it... can you tell?

This color pops up everywhere in my bedroom!

The serne color is so pretty, and to me, proclaims to to the world that spring has sprung! I lve to use this color in my home. There are pops of this color in my bedroom, tying in our black and white theme, with pops of blue and sometimes pink! It's a trendy color, and I know that, but I still can't help but love it. I think it looks great on my nails, and I received a lot of compliments on the color, and being bold enough to wear it!

Color play- It was fun to match pinks, whites, black, and even yellow with this fun nail color!

I love the Avon Nailwear Pro + Enamel polishes, because they're easy to use, they dry quickly, and the color is long-lasting. I had no problem with the color chipping off my nails during the week, which meant that I was still able to work on projects with my son, do the dishes, scrub the bath tub, etc, with my manicure still in tact at the end of it all.

Avon's Nailwear Pro + Enamel Polishes are beautiful! They come in a ton of colors, which change often, and go on sale every now and then, too! This is by far my favorite brand of nail polish, and one that I truly trust! I haven't had the chance to use my nail art tools just yet, but when I do, I will post a photo of my experiments! I think it would be lots of fun to create a marbled look with a couple of colors!

When it comes to Avon products, Vanessa is an expert! One of the things that I love about Avon, is that you're not locked into just one type of product with them. Avon has health and wellness products, beauty products, items for the home, fashion apparel, jewelry, products for kiddos, and more!

Take a look at a few of these great items from Avon...

Fun & Flirty Cut-Out Dress

10- pc Glass Serveware Storage Set

Sofia the First Cuddle Pillow

Kyra Twist Perlesque Gift Set

Black Suede Cologne Spray for Men

Foot Works Collection

I can't tell you how many of Avon's products I would recommend, because there are too many to count. My grandmother has been using Skin So Soft products by Avon since I was little. They're wonderful! I am a huge fan of the Foot Works products, love Avon's eyeliners, skincare lines, and so much more! Soon I'll need to re-stock the Bug Guard products, too- because they're awesome!

I am so happy to have these wonderful new nail products to use and enjoy this spring, and I can't wait to add even more nail polish colors to my personal collection! If you love color, and enjoy doing your nails at home (because it's easy to do, relaxing and saves a ton of money), shop the Nail collection from Avon!

Need some gifts? Vanessa can help!

Whether you're looking to stock the Easter baskets, or put together a special gift for Mother's Day, a birthday, a get-well gift, etc, Vanessa can help make awesome product recommendations for you, for just about any occasion! 

Want It? Buy It!

You can shop the latest and greatest from Avon through Vanessa's Avon website, right from the comfort of your home, or while you're on the go! Be sure to check for new items every couple of weeks, as they change often! You'll also want to be sure to check out the online Outlet for even more deals and steals! Looking for a fundraiser for your group or organization? Avon has a wonderful fundraising program, and Vanessa would be happy to share more about that with you! Looking to start your own business? Vanessa can help with that, too! Just give her a shout- she'd love to share about why she chose Avon as a career and how it's impacted her life. You can also connect with Vanessa's Avon through Facebook and Twitter! Vanessa loves sharing specials and hosting giveaways, so make sure you pop by her Facebook page often!

Want It? Win It!

One lucky MBP reader will win their choice of TWO shades of Nail Polish from Avon, to help get their nails in shape for spring! Just use the handy dandy Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win! Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older!

Special thanks to our friend Vanessa Wigglesworth for allowing me to experience the beauty and color of these wonderful nail polishes, and for offering this wonderful giveaway for our awesome readers!

Good luck!

My MBP Signature

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Don't Cry Over Tangles- Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush #Review + #Giveaway

Before I became a mom, there was one thing about little kids that always baffled me... their messy, tangled hair. I mean, it irked me that there were so many kiddos running around with crazy, tangled hair- boys and girls alike. 'Why don't their parents keep it brushed?' I wondered. Now that I'm a parent myself, I know that brushing a child's hair is a battle in itself. We fight that fight every day- sometimes 3-4 times a day, because I can't stand for B's hair to look tangled. Unfortunately, B has my hair- thin, fine and tangly. He refuses to let us, or anyone else get near his hair with scissors to cut it or trim it, so his hair is long. I don't mind him having long hair- lot's of little boys do... but if it's going to be long, it has to be kept brushed!

I don't know many children who enjoy having their hair brushed. I remember the horrors of my mom, or my grandmother trying to brush my tangled, frizzy hair as a child (my grandmother one got a brush stuck in my hair and it had to be cut free!). Hair brushing can be quite an unpleasant experience, which is why I began the search for a hair brush that would quickly, easily and painlessly do the trick of brushing B's hair without a screaming fit.

After having a hard time with her daughter at hair brushing time, CEO and inventor of Smoobee, decided that something had to be done. Her daughter would cry, run and hide every time she needed to have her hair brushed. So, full-time corporate working mom to this sweet girl, began working on a specially designed hair brush- one that would target tangles without causing tears. After talking to some of her mom friends, she found that they had similar experiences with their children, when it came time for them to have their hair brushed. One ten-year-old in particular went without having her hair brushed for days at a time, because she hated it so much!

This hard working momma worked on designing the Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush on the weekends, and soon had prototypes to share with her friends. Her friends loved the results they saw from using the Smoobee Brush, and the rest is history! Smoobee became available for purchase online, hit store shelves, and today, is an award-winning mom-invented brush that parents and kids love!

We received our own Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush to try out!

I was very excited that we were able to try out the Smoobee Brush for ourselves. Of course, we received pink, but that really doesn't matter... a brush is a brush, all the same. I couldn't wait to get the package opened and try it out on B's hair, which was of course, tangled from a day of running around, playing outside.

Details of the Smoobee available on the back of its packaging...

One of the things that is super fun about the Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush, is that you can purchase special kits to go along with the brush, and bedazzle the brush with stick-on jewels and gems! If I were a little girl, I would totally be into doing that!  

I know the photo is a bit blurry, but here is B, trying to wrestle the Smoobee Brush away from my husband.

B was intrigued by the new brush, but when it came time to try it out, he ran and hid behind one of the arm chairs, as he usually does.When we finally convinced him to sit down and let us comb through his hair with the Smoobee Brush, he hardly winced or cried. He usually just makes it worse for himself by not sitting still. He stayed calm, and let his daddy gently brush his hair, and in the end, it was tangle-free. It was probably the easiest time we'v had brushing B's hair since it has grown out so much.

I wanted to give the Smoobee Brush a try, too!

I was also interested to see how well the Smoobee Brush would work through my own hair, which is long, thin, fine and tangles easily. The brush just seemed to glide right through my hair, and smooth it from top to bottom. It never got stuck, I didn't need to pull at it, and I didn't wind up with tons of strands of hair stuck in the bristles of the brush, either. When I usually brush my hair, it's a task I dread. I use a wider tooth brush so it won't get stuck, or pull too much hair out along with it.

The Smoobee combines hard and soft bristles in one brush...

Smoobee is a wooden brush, so it's strong and durable, and super easy to grip. It has both the plastic teeth and the corse bristles in the head of the brush, catching each and every strand of hair as it glides its way through. I usually have to use a little bit of a detangler spray (I spray it right onto the brush), but the Smoobee cut out the need to do that. I didn't need to use it on B's hair before brushing with the Smoobee, or my own!

The Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush works with all hair types- thick, thin, straight, wavy, curly, etc, It will also work with super curly hair, but it may take a bit more effort. Smoobee aims to make hair brushing a quick and easy task for parents, and painless for kids. Smoobee is so much fun, and encourages children to want to brush their hair, instead of run away from the brush.

Smoobee is the proud recipient of the coveted PTPA Award, which is Parent Tested, Parent Approved. This seal of approval is one that parents everywhere look to and trust, and I believe Smoobee is definitely deserving of this award, as it's a wonderful product that I highly recommend.

With Smoobee, hair brushing can be fun again! If you have little girls (or a little girl), it would be so much fun to purchase some Smoobee brushes so each girl could have their own at a slumber party, and then bejewel or bedazzle them together! Get 20% off for purchases of 5 or more Smoobees and gem stickers.

***Please note that Smoobee is a wooden brush and therefore should not be placed under water or in the tub. Bedazzle stickers are for 4 yrs and older and could be a choking hazard.

Want It? Buy It!

If you're ready to kiss crying and whining at hair brushing time goodbye, head on over to Smoobee to learn more about this wonderful brush! The brush alone is great for boys and girls, and girls will love bedazzling their very own brush! You can shop the Smoobee store to purchase a Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush of your own! Smoobee is social and would love to connect with you or hear your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest!

Want It? Win It!

One lucky MBP reader will win their very own Smoobee No Cry Brush ($25 Original RV)! Winner may specify their color choice. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and oder.

Special thanks to our friends at Smoobee Magic No Cry Brush for allowing us to experience a pleasant hair brushing time, and for offering this awesome giveaway for our readers!

Good luck!

My MBP Signature