Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

This time of year is always a little crazy around here as I am sure it is for all you. This year, however, has been a little extra crazy around here.  Our oldest, E1 is an aspiring actress and is enjoying her role on stage in a holiday favorite, Miracle on 34th St.  I am not sure I have ever seen her so full of life. However, all the fun comes at a price. Most nights she doesn’t get home until 11:30, even on a few school nights! Needless to say this mama is tired! But It’s worth it. Here is her head shot from the play. Byrd

When we first started the show E1 was using our tablet to occupy herself during scenes she wasn’t in, however, now she doesn’t even ask for it. She loves coloring in these cute “older” kid/ adult coloring books. And now she asks to color all the time. It is very relaxing for her. E1’s new love for coloring is catching on, now 3 other girls in her play are doing the same. DSC05839

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these are a few of her favorites

 

According to art therapist Lacy Mucklow, not only does this kind of activity engage your hands but also your mind and focus. Also she says that the repetition causes the release of serotonin, the brain transmitter responsible for relaxation. Tangled Treasures Coloring Book_Cover

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Here are a few of Ella’s favorites

These adorable books are great for all ages and I love that there are options for not only the avid colorer but also for those who “create” using words. DSC05837 There is a little something for everyone! So pop on over and check them out. These would make for perfect gifts.

Enter to win some of your very own.

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

If you have a young child with a love of books this one is a must for Christmas.

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The lost name books are personalized to fit your child. These books take the little boy or girl on a magical, courageous adventure to find their name. DSC05721e

The pictures are engaging and the story is captivating.

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All my girls from 1 to 8 years old enjoyed the journey.

This book is probably my favorite personalized story so far and would make a perfect bed time story. Imagine the dreams your little one would have after reading one of these books. I’m in love can you tell!!! DSC05724e

I am also so excited to tell all of you that LostMyName is offering a giveaway! One of our lucky readers will enter and win their very own Lost My Name book.

Please don’t forget to enter and while your at it hop on over and check out LostMyName. These books would be a great surprise under the Christmas Tree.

Happy Holiday Shopping and Merry Christmas!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I received a gift card to facilitate this post but all opinions are 100% my own.

 

Christmas is coming and that means I am making lists of all the people we need to buy for.  Friends, family, co-workers, coaches, teachers and the list goes on.  One of my absolute favorite gifts to give AND receive are gift cards (hint, hint).  They can be used at the leisure of the person you give them too.  And you know it is something they will love and enjoy.  You really just can’t go wrong by giving a gift card.  But now you can certainly GET more when you GIVE a gift card to Olive Garden or LongHorn Steakhouse this Christmas season.  How? Let me tell you!

gift card deals #ad

·         Olive Garden: For every $50 purchased in gift cards get a $10 bonus gift card from now until Jan. 3 (valid for redemption Jan. 4 – March 31, 2016).

gift card deals #ad

·         LongHorn Steakhouse (in restaurant offer): For every $50 in-restaurant gift card purchase from now until Dec. 24, receive a coupon for $10 off two adult dinner entrees (valid for redemption Jan. 1 – Feb. 7, 2016).

·         LongHorn Steakhouse (online offer): For every $25 online gift card purchase from now until Dec. 24, receive a $5 bonus gift card to use toward purchase of two adult dinner entrees (valid for redemption Jan. 1 – Feb. 7, 2016).

I just love this concept!  We regularly dine at both restaurants and I love that by giving a gift card to either place, WE get a gift card for ourselves!  It’s a total win-win situation.

In fact, today we are heading out to do some Christmas shopping and we are heading to Olive Garden for lunch.  Pasta and their yummy salad? Yes please!

gift card deals #ad

Then next week, we are going on a double date with some friends and we have already planned on eating at LongHorn Steakhouse.

gift card deals #ad

While we are there I know we are buying some gift cards!

Who do you need to buy gift cards for this Christmas season?

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

*Disclosure-I received no compensation for this post.  This is a cause I believe in and support and just wanted to share this great opportunity!

 

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Our family has participated in Operation Christmas Child for many years now.  If you are not familiar with it, the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. Individuals, families, churches and groups are asked to fill empty shoeboxes with a “wow” item—like a doll or soccer ball—and other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement.  These boxes can then be taken to one of many drop off points where they will be sent to facilities to be prepared for overseas shipment at eight major processing centers across the U.S.—Atlanta; Baltimore; Boone, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Denver; Minneapolis; and Orange County, Calif.

This is such a neat way to  impact the life of a child in need.  For many of them, this will be the only thing they receive for Christmas and these small tokens of love and fun can greatly affect a child.  Here is a link to Daniella’s story, a recipient of a shoebox:

Daniella’s Story

Today That Daily Deal is offering their annual Shoebox Drive where they will pack a shoebox and donate it for you for only $5!!  This is a fantastic way for you to participate if you aren’t able to shop for the items yourself.  Plus, for every shoebox ordered, That Daily Deal is donating an additional box as well!  The company that does this is a local one and I as well as my children have had the opportunity to help package and deliver the many boxes ordered to the drop off point so I can assure you that this is a legitimate offer.  In fact, if you take a look at the pictures on the site, you’ll see one of my boys helping out 🙂

My kids enjoy picking out items for a shoebox and packing it each year but this allows us to donate additional ones that we normally couldn’t afford to do since it costs us more than $5 to purchase the fillers ourselves.

I hope you’ll take a minute to head over and purchase a box or two.  It’s an easy, inexpensive way to give back to a child in need!  You can purchase a box at ThatDailyDeal.com .  But hurry, this is a one day offer!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

At our house christmas shopping has begun!!! Let me just say that as my 2 older E’s are in this limbo state between little girls and the tween years shopping for them is challenging!!! However DVDs are always a hit!

My older E’s have loved My Little Pony for years! However, over the past year they have seemed to be out growing the fun pony “tails.”  While they might be saying good bye to those lovable ponies My Little Pony released the new 3-DVD set of Equestria Girls.

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The 3-DVD set includes: Equestria Girls, Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games.

In Equestria Girls a crown is stolen and it’s up to the lovable Twilight Sparkle to save the day! To do this she must transform into a teenage girl and face high school with a few new friends by her side.

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Rainbow Rocks is true to its name and is all about these friends rocking as a new all girl band. A battle of the bands breaks out and the friends need the help from Twilight Sparkle once again to save the school.

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In Friendship Games the friends are once again put to the test, but this time there is a new twist. The girls try to keep magic out of the games however, their competitor from Crystal Prep Academy turns out to have a little interest in magic as well- this world’s Twilight Sparkle!!!

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After watching these cute movies I can’t wait to gift them to my girls for christmas. These DVDs would be  a perfect gift for any little young ladies in your life.

With Christmas in mind don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win your own set of these oh so cute Equestria Girls!!!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda