The Gift That Makes Everyone Happy

Since my family is all spread out–and so are my friends–I’m always struggling with the perfect gift to send over the holidays.  Growing up, my parents would often rely on Hickory Farms to send to long distance friends or to bring to holiday parties.  In my opinion, it’s the perfect gift for the person who has everything because you know you’ll be having unexpected company and the food won’t go to waste.  I’ve never been disappointed with a gift from Hickory Farms.  Whether it’s their fresh fruit, savory meats, or delicious cheeses, their food is always tasty and the presentation is spectacular.  And for that person who has a sweet tooth?  Hickory Farms has amazing cookies and chocolates.  As part of the Mom Central Hickory Farms blog tour, I received the Orchard’s Bounty Gift Basket.  I love that it combines fruit, meat & cheese!

Orchard's Bounty Gift BasketWhile searching the Hickory Farms website, or visiting one of their familiar mall kiosks during the holidays, you’ll notice there is something in every price range, making this a perfect gift for just about everyone on my list…and the $3 shipping is a nice bonus!  I hate it when you spend a bunch of money on a gift, then shipping costs another 10 bucks.

If, like me, you’re a little more likely to spend your money with companies that give back, you’ll love this: For every Party Planner Gift Box sold, Hickory Farms will donate $5.00 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, a national nonprofit that hopes to end childhood hunger in America.  Hickory Farms also provides free military shipping to military APO/FPO addresses on select products, allowing our troops across the globe to share in the holiday spirit & traditions.  Love that!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a product sample to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.

HappiTaps, for the Tech-loving toddler!

HappiTapsBear

Warning!! Introducing your child to HappiTaps may mean you’ll be seeing a lot less of your Iphone. On the flip side, it’s sure to provide lots of giggles, heartwarming moments, and some uninterrupted “mommy time.”  HappiTapps pairs up technology with teddy for a winning combo!

Like most toddlers, my daughter loves to play on my Iphone.  Her favorite thing to do is watch YouTube videos and listen to music.  Recently, she’s been waking up saying, “Bear,” and before bed she says, “Night Night, Bear.”  I’ve never before reviewed an app, but the new Infantino HappiTaps Beary Happi app had so many neat toddler friendly features, I was excited to test it out.  Clearly, it’s a hit with my daughter!

Features:

  • 3D computer animation in conjunction with the iPhone/iPod Touch cutting technology to create a toy that reacts to a child’s life moments
  • Over 150 different expressions to keep kids engaged and learning
    • Tell jokes, share fun facts, tell stories, sing songs, teach educational tidbits
    • Beary Happi also loves to laugh, wink, make faces and of course he eats and sleeps
  • Full of games and activities for engaging play
  • 2 Play modes
    • Toddler Mode – Hides the navigation so toddlers cruise carefree from 1 activity to the next
    • Manual Mode – Let’s kids choose between the 7 games and activities
  • The cover features a lock for the home button to ensure kids stay within the app
  • Age: 18+ months

What exactly are HappiTaps?

HappiTaps are a toy/app hybrid. Infantino/Step 2  created a winning combination, merging kids  fascination with technology and an adorable snuggle buddy to create an interactive companion.  Brilliant, I say!

Beary Happi is the very first HappiTap. Put your Iphone or Ipod inside and download the free app to make him “come to life”.

I’ve already downloaded the HappiTap app and am eager to get my bear case that will wrap around my Iphone.  I know my daughter will go crazy over it!  We are just beginning to learn about all the features as we navigate through the app.  I’m torn because I think this would make the perfect stocking stuffer for her–once the bear arrives–but I’m so excited to see her reaction that I don’t think I can wait until Christmas!  😆  At a retail price of just $19.99 plus free shipping, this makes a great gift for nieces and nephews too!

 

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Infantino HappiTaps and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.  All opinions  are my own.

 

 

Personalized Picture Puzzles from Piczzle

puzzle

I love getting–and giving–personalized gifts.  I’m always on the hunt for that unique item that is going to bring a smile to someone’s face each time they look at it.  In this digital age, it’s easier than over to personalize just about anything, but sometimes, the item you receive doesn’t look quite as good as  the item you ordered!  The opposite was true for me when I received my Piczzle photo puzzle.

Prices for a personalized jigsaw puzzle start at less than $20.  You can create puzzles in several different shapes and even add fancy borders & messages. The sizes range from six pieces (great for kids) to 2,000 pieces!  With the holidays coming up, this seems like a perfect gift for that person who has everything.

I have a large family, so to get us all together for a picture is quite a chore.  Last year, we were able to pull it off,  and it’s a moment I treasure.  I knew, immediately, I wanted to capture that moment with a Piczzle puzzle.  It’s a keepsake my family will treasure, and I plan to give it to my parents when we are all in Arizona this Christmas.

Piczzle

Aside from the fact that the puzzle looks even better put together (picture quality), I love that the pieces are strong…not flimsy like you’ll see with some other puzzles.  Since my daughter is constantly cutting teeth and shoving things in her mouth, this is a huge bonus!  😉

Disclaimer: I received the 100 piece puzzle shown above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions–good and bad–are 100% my own.

Bracelets: How to Wear Fall Fashion’s Biggest Trend!

Bracelets are making big waves this Fall!
It’s not uncommon to see 8, 9 or even 10 on each arm!  Unique to 2011  is mixing all the different types.  This season,  cuffs, skinny bangles, chunky bangles, charm bracelets, beaded bracelets, dainty bracelets,
gold bracelets, silver bracelets and bold bracelets are all on trend …….and together!
Everything Goes

(Lois Hill, Kenneth Lane, John Hardy and Cara Accessories all available at Nordstorm)

Bows are a trend in clothing and shoes this season and check out the bracelets with bows! A classice Juicy Couture Pave bracelet and Ted Baker Cherry Bow bangles are super sweet!

Bow me

Menswear inspired bracelets are popping up everywhere: (and not just on ladies, men are layering, too!) Leather isn’t just for shoes and handbags. I love these!

(Vince Camuto, Tory Burch, Latasia and Cara Accesories)

Great alone or layered

It’s so fun mixing colorful bangles like these with your current watch and metal bracelets!  This Kate Spade enamel collection and MARC by Marc Jacobs Concrete Jungle bangles

are my favorite for adding some color to your arm!

Pops of Color

I love wearing bracelets with meaning, too.  Right now I’m wearing (only on my right wrist) my “C” and Leo bracelets from Alex and Ani, my Inspirational and stainless cuff bracelets from Latasia, three  metal skinny bangles and charm bracelet I earned for fashion sales with CAbi, my Alex and Ani feather bracelet my friend gave me for my birthday and my “H” bracelet all on one wrist! (Don’t weigh yourself with all these on – it’s not pretty!)  I sound like my dog with her tags – you can hear me coming, but I love it!   What is on the left? A vintage cuff, black leather wrap bracelet and the same Michelle watch I’ve worn for 6 years is on right now.  The large cuffs like the Lois Hill one above always make me feel like Wonder Woman or part of the Wonder Twins – it’s great to not take yourself too seriously!

Wear all at once!

So, share with us, what’s on your wrist?!   What is your favorite new bracelet trend this season?

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Beautiful Boxed Tea Set 71% off!

TEA FOR 2

Doesn’t this picture make you want to curl up in your favorite chair with a blanket and your favorite book and sip on some hot tea?  So relaxing!  I drink my tea British style, with a little milk and sugar.  I learned it from my sweet grandmother, who we affectionately called Mumsy and she truly was one one of the sweetest souls to ever walk the face of the earth…she was also from England.  If Mumsy were here today, she would be getting this lovely tea set I spotted on The Today Show  this morning.  This deal is good all week.  A beautiful boxed set from Harney & Sons.TEA

The Harney and Sons tea chest is filled with a selection of 32 wrapped sachets including three different organic teas.  It includes a variety of  popular flavors like Hot Cinnamon Spice, Earl Grey, Organic Green, Paris, and Organic Bangkok. It also includes eight refill boxes of 20 satchels so you get a total of 192 tea satchels. For more information and to buy the $113 product for $33, be sure to enter  TODAYTEA  at checkout.  Great Mother’s Day gift!

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