Unplanned Moments Abound As A Parent!

This post is brought to you by Mott’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. 
Mott's-#Goodandhonest

There are so many unplanned moments when it comes to parenting. I can easily tick off a ton just sitting here right now, how about you? There have been unplanned moments when I have questions my ability as a parent as well as other unplanned moments that have left me speechless. In the end though as a father I have come to find that when the unplanned moments come along that I am ready to man up and not be afraid to tell my kids when I am wrong (even though this can be hard at times).

One of the unplanned moments that I can think of right off the top of my head was the other day when trying to work with my oldest daughter as she struggled through her homework. I could tell that she was not understanding things, but when I tried to address this with her she got defensive, as is her way, and said “I know, I know”, not letting me give the assistance that I knew I could offer. For me, when she gets into this mood she starts to push all of my buttons and I tend to lose my cool. I know that this is wrong, but I get so frustrated when this happens. There have been times like these when I know I have raised my voice and times when I know that she has said things that she regrets, but in the end, I always try and make sure that we are able to sit down later and talk about what happened so that we can try to change things for the future. It is important for her to know that neither she, nor I, are perfect, far from it and there will be times when we all have to recognize this and acknowledge it. At this time I think that this is easier for me than for her, but alas, that is why I am the adult, right?

I was impressed recently to find a new campaign that Mott’s was doing called their Good & Honest campaign.  This campaign uses ads to share some of life’s “parenting truths” moments to uplift parents, share a laugh and acknowledge that we all improvise along the way. This is so important, as none of us as parents are flawless and none of us go into parenting with a handbook for how to do things well. Parenting can be and usually is messy and it is so nice to find brands like Mott’s that are celebrating the unplanned moments and recognizing that moms and dads are doing the best they can every day for their kids.

For me, when I am having some of the unplanned moments with my kids in my own life, it is best for me to sit down with them right after or at least soon after the situation to talk through the situation and them know how I am feeling and what I am thinking. We usually do this with a glass of Mott’s Apple Juice in hand for my daughter (her drink of choice). Having Mott’s on hand seems to take the sting out of the conversation and definitely focuses her to our conversation in general.

About Mott’s

  • Mott’s is the maker of applesauce and 100%  juice and juice drink parents have counted on for years.  Since 1842, Mott’s has proudly created delicious and nutritious products for adults and children and continues to provide “simple solutions” to meet the needs of today’s busy families.
  • Mott’s is available in a variety of juice and sauce offerings, including Mott’s Original, Mott’s for Tots, Mott’s Naturals Mott’s Juice drinks, Mott’s Healthy Harvest Sauce and Mott’s Snack & Go Applesauce Pouches.

Giveaway

How would you like to win a $50 Giftcard as well as some great Mott’s products for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on April 7, 2015.

Mott’s #GoodandHonest $50GC Giveaway

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

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Disney’s “Create Tomorrowland” – XPRIZE Challenge!

Tomorrowland-xprize

Inspired by the upcoming Disney movie “Tomorrowland,” The Walt Disney Studios, Disney Citizenship, and XPRIZE announce a nationwide challenge for young innovators.

 

Beginning April 22, 2015, Disney’s Create Tomorrowland – XPRIZE Challenge invites kids to imagine themselves in the future and report back to the present through video, imagery or stories about one new and amazing invention or innovation they encounter, how it works, and the impact it has on the future.

 

In June, six winners will have a once–in-a-lifetime mentorship experience with a leader in their area of interest. In addition, each winner will receive a $3,000 check, a 3D Printer from 3D Systems, and registration for FIRST® LEGO® League for the competition season 2015-2016 in the U.S.

 

“‘Tomorrowland’ has always been a place of possibility in our parks and for the creative team behind our new film,” said Sean Bailey, President, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. “The future will be steered by the imaginations of our young people, and Disney is thrilled to work with XPRIZE to encourage and inspire the next generation of thinkers and dreamers to build the future they imagine is possible.”

 

“We are excited to launch the Create Tomorrowland XPRIZE Challenge, which gives young people a platform to voice and depict their creative, bold and imaginative problem-solving inventions of the future,” said Trish Halamandaris, Senior Vice President Marketing & Communications at XPRIZE. “At XPRIZE we believe that solutions to the problems facing humanity can come from anyone, anywhere and one of these young innovators just might come up with an idea that can truly turn Tomorrowland into reality.”

 

Participants will compete in two divisions: Junior Division (8-12 years old), and Senior Division (13–17 years old). All entrants must have prior consent from their parent or legal guardian in order to participate in the challenge. Official Rules and details about the Challenge are available at http://XPRIZEchallenge.org/CreateTomorrowland. Official registration and submission period starts April 22, 2015, and runs through May 17, 2015.

 

Submissions will be judged on innovation, creativity and presentation. XPRIZE will provide a panel of judges who will evaluate and score all submissions, and six (6) winners will be chosen.

Supporting XPRIZE Partners include FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), 3D Systems and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

 

 

TOMORROWLAND opens in theaters everywhere on May 22nd!

It’s time for #AmazonFamilyUS

amazon-family-thunderclap

Amazon should embrace the fact that ALL parents, no matter their gender, are responsible for taking care of their kids. And they should show that they respect those families that don’t have a mom just as much as those that do. Amazon already calls the program “Amazon Family ( #AmazonFamilyUS ) ” in other parts of the world — they should do the same thing here in the United States.

The petition asking Amazon to change to Amazon Family ( #AmazonFamilyUS ) has surpassed 10,000 signatures and the more the merrier! If you have yet to sign this what are you waiting for? I mean, really, why wouldn’t anyone want a company like Amazon to not recognize families for the dynamic that they are?

For me, this is about equality and about being able to let Amazon show that all families matter, not just moms. There are so many types of families in today’s society, as I have mentioned before on Dad of Divas. That being said, it still floors me that Amazon has yet to recognize the #AmazonFamilyUS effort and what it stands for.

I stand behind this effort and hope that all of you will too!

 

 

 

Embassy Suites Launches #PrettyGreat Family Travel Hacks!

#PrettyGreat-Travel-Hacks

Three-quarters (77%) of parents across the nation take trips where they stay in a hotel at least once a year with their kids – regardless of how many children they have – with about one-third (30%) of families traveling three or more times a year.¹ Parents say that family vacations are among their favorite moments with their kids, and that’s why a favorite, family-friendly hotel brand is taking steps to help make these important journeys even easier on parents.

Recently, Embassy Suites Hotels, the Hilton Worldwide brand of upscale all-suite hotels, announced the launch of its new #PrettyGreat Family Travel Hacks community.

“Family vacations come in all shapes and sizes, but some of the challenges parents face are the same, which is why we are committed to providing families with everything they need for a terrific experience – from two-room suites to free, made-to-order breakfast to complimentary drinks and snacks for all ages at our evening reception,” said John Rogers, global head, Embassy Suites Hotels. “We are taking it a step further this year with new team member training, family-focused amenities and the new #PrettyGreat Family Travel Hacks online community, which gives parents the opportunity to learn and share great advice on what makes trips with the kids easier and more fun.”

The Embassy Suites #PrettyGreat Family Travel Hacks program includes the following components:

  • #PrettyGreat Family Travel Hacks Online Community: The online community provides family travel “hacks” – simple, clever tips to make vacation journeys with children easier, from packing to keeping the kids entertained on the road – posted by family travel experts and fellow parents. Currently, parents can post their own battle-tested hacks for the chance to win one of eight one-night stays to the Embassy Suites hotel of their choice, awarded weekly from March 19 through May 14, 2015.

 

  • Embassy Suites Team-Member Training: Fifty-six percent of people surveyed in the recent Embassy Suites Family Travel study said a friendly staff would make them return to the same hotel or stay at the same hotel chain in another location for a family vacation.1 Embassy Suites is reinforcing its commitment to providing families with a great guest experience by incorporating family-specific training into its orientation program and ongoing team-member training sessions.  The brand is also adding resources, such as how-to videos featuring our All-Star Team Members, and encouraging team members to share their demonstrated best practices to inspire others.

 

  • Family-focused Amenities: Embassy Suites is adding a variety of new family-focused amenities, from cocktail napkins with family-friendly games – like tic-tac-toe, Sudoku and word search – for the evening reception, to baby- and child-specific “do not disturb” signs, to coloring books and crayons at check-in. The brand is also planning a pilot program to offer baby care amenities – such as baby wash, wipes and other essentials – at select properties this summer.

#PrettyGreat-Travel-Hacks

To better understand and respond to the needs of traveling families, Embassy Suites Hotels commissioned a survey¹ of 2,000 U.S. parents with at least one child under the age of 18 at home. The results reinforce the desire of all parents to travel with their kids, and reveals key wishes and stumbling blocks related to family travel including:

  • Families travel frequently, but Millennials show real wanderlust. Nearly 40 percent of Millennial parents (38%) travel and stay in a hotel three or more times per year with their children – a higher rate than both Generation X and Baby Boomer parents. Still, eight out of 10 parents (82%) overall wish they could travel with their kids even more frequently.

 

  • Families that travel together, stay together. Sixty-three percent said they are motivated to take a trip with the kids in order to “build new memories with them,” and 62 percent said “spending time with their kids while they are still young” is a motivating factor.

 

  • Travel is a family affair. Millennial parents often bring other family members on vacation. About one-third (34%) of Millennials bring another family member other than their partner and/or a grandparent (31%) on family vacations. Generation X and Baby Boomer parents are both less likely to take these additional family members, with Boomers being about two times less likely.

 

  • Family travel is an important part of parenting today. Seventy percent of parents are motivated to take family trips because they believe giving their kids experiences they didn’t have as a child is important. These parents want their kids to be more well-rounded than they were at their age (51%) and want to provide more for their kids than their parents were financially able to provide (47%).

 

  • Family-friendly amenities lead to a successful vacation. Fifty-three percent said “affordable two-room suites,” and 47 percent said “free hot, made-to-order breakfast each day” would make them a lot more likely to take a trip with the kids, the two highest-rated of the choices offered. That’s good news for those staying at Embassy Suites, which has long catered to families by offering every guest a two-room suite, free cooked-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks* and snacks.

 

Rockport Shoes Let You Have Adventures Every Day! #Giveaway

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blogpop-Spring-Fling-2015The weather is getting warmer and that means that it is time to celebrate with the Blog Pop Team for their annual Spring Fling Event! Between March 26-29 the 10 bloggers from Blog Pop are working together to bring you some awesome giveaways! So go and check out the following blogs for some other great prizes, and remember to come back here a lot over the next few days to enter for some great prizes! The 10 blogs that are a part of the school rules  event include:

My next giveaway is Below!

Each day is a new adventure. Life is not about sitting on the sidelines, it’s about embracing each opportunity that comes your way – both big and small. Whether propelling you from work to play, or providing the comfort to explore a new path, Rockport shoes are designed for living life to the fullest.

Rockport

 

Every day for me is an adventure and lately that have been more true than not. For the past few months I have been dealing with a broken ankle and because of that I have been looking for any type of shoes that I can wear with wither an ankle boot or being on crutches as I need as much support and comfort as I can as I walk around.

With that in mind, and seeing that we are in the midst of winter I also was looking for shoes that not only looked good, gave comfort, but also had amazing traction too as I did not want to fall and hurt myself any more.

Rockport asked me to put together my own adventure look and because of that I tried my best to find the shoes that would best help me in my time of need as I needed to have the help and support and knew that at the same time I needed to look stylish too. That being said, I selected the Walk 360 Toe Guard Oxfords that you see above as I thought that they could go with wither casual or semi-dress clothes and the traction was something that I knew would really help me this time of year while I try to get back on my feet.

The WALK 360 shoes are Rockport’s most biomechanically engineered walking shoe ever. They’ve taken the Rockport DNA:

  • stability
  • flexibility
  • softness
  • lightness

and infused the shoes with form fit and climate control, providing 360 degree performance and comfort.

Rockport

In trying these shoes on I have to say that these shoes were VERY comfortable and I could tell from the very beginning that they provided my feet with the support (or foot in this case) with the support that I knew that I would need right now. I tried out the shoes with Jeans and semi-dress pants and they work in any situation. Best of all though was the feel and the look, which was casual, but sleek. I can tell that I could walk in these shoes for a long time and still feel comfortable.

This is important to me whether I have a broken ankle or not, as even in my professional life I do a lot of standing and walking, and because of this I need something that will not put undue pressure on my lower back and these definitely did not do this, and instead, I felt ultimately supported, which was perfect.

Once I get back on my feet I am planning to really put these shoes through a urban adventure roadtrip, but that will not be for a few months due to my ankle. In the meantime though I will still be using these to support my healing and look good in the meantime.

These shoes are so comfortable! I, for one, would recommend them for anyone looking for some great walking shoes that look good and support completely. I encourage you to check out these and other great Rockport Shoes today!

Discounts for My Readers
Because of the opportunity that I had to try these shoes, I have a great discount for my readers. This code is valid from March 1st-April 30th and is redeemable for 20% off purchases on www.rockport.com.
DADOFDIVAS20
A few other notes on the code: 
Offer not valid on clearance items.  Cannot be combined with other product promotions. Offer not valid on prior purchases or gift cards.  For online purchase, enter online code at checkout.  © 2015. The Rockport Company, LLC. Rockport®.

 

 

Giveaway

How would you like to win a pair of these shoes for yourself? All you need to do is fill out the below form to enter. The contest will run for one week and will end on April 11ckport, 2015.

 

 

 

        • Enter any of the giveaways below

Rockport Shoes Walk 360 Toe Guard Oxfords

 

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

As required by the FTC: Blog POP! received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are those of the writer’s alone.

THE FINE PRINT: All entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Please read each giveaway’s directions carefully as entry methods may differ, and giveaways may be open to different world areas. Please make sure you leave a way (valid email address) with your entries to be contacted if you win. Please note that Dad of Divas, Blog POP! or the Blog POP! bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. We will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. Good luck!

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Find Great Quality & Variety at Shirts.com #Giveaway

shirts.com
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blogpop-Spring-Fling-2015The weather is getting warmer and that means that it is time to celebrate with the Blog Pop Team for their annual Spring Fling Event! Between March 26-29 the 10 bloggers from Blog Pop are working together to bring you some awesome giveaways! So go and check out the following blogs for some other great prizes, and remember to come back here a lot over the next few days to enter for some great prizes! The 10 blogs that are a part of the school rules  event include:

My next giveaway is Below!
Shirts.com has an amazing variety of pop culture shirts that range the gamut from long & short-sleeved shirts and more. I was very impressed with all of the shirts that were available and the array of cultural iconic images tat were portrayed for men, women and kids!

I received a few shirts and t-shirts from shirts.com and love the designs! I am awaiting all of them to arrive, but when they all do I will share with you pictures and my complete thoughts. On the one that I have received the quality is high and the screen printing is well done. As mentioned above I love the variety on this site and there are so many shirts that I have never seen anywhere else! Shirts.com is a great site for yourself or for that unique gift that you have been trying to find for that hard to buy for family member or friend!

shirts.com

Giveaway

How would you like to win a $60 giftcard to shirts.com for you or your family members? All you need to do is fill out the below form to enter. The contest will run for one week and will end on April 9, 2015.

 

 

Shirts.com $60GC Giveaway #BPopEvents
 

        • Enter any of the giveaways below

 

 

Winner must be a resident of the U.S or Canada.

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

As required by the FTC: Blog POP! received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are those of the writer’s alone.

THE FINE PRINT: All entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Please read each giveaway’s directions carefully as entry methods may differ, and giveaways may be open to different world areas. Please make sure you leave a way (valid email address) with your entries to be contacted if you win. Please note that Dad of Divas, Blog POP! or the Blog POP! bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. We will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. Good luck!

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Dads in the Limelight – Jonathan Criswell of the Lets Play Three Blog

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 526th Dad in the Limelight is Jonathan Criswell of the Lets Play Three Blog: www.letsplaythree.blogspot.com. I want to thank Jonathan Criswell for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

Jonathan-Criswell

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge):
I’m Jonathan Criswell, and I am 39 years old and live in Middletown, DE. (Am I the first Limelight Dad from Delaware?) By day I’m an Investment Accounting Relationship Manager, by night I help raise three kids and just started documenting that fun over at my site, www.letsplaythree.blogspot.com.
But mostly I try to stay out of the limelight. I don’t try to “go viral” by writing posts that make me out to be a superhero, split the world in half and force everyone to take a side, or declare that a harmless parenting trend or innocuous phrase MUST. STOP. NOW. I’d rather make five people happy than 99 people happy and one person unhappy. (I guess I don’t belong on the Internet at all, really!) But I try to be a good dad, and since this is the Year of the Dad, I’ll take my .0001% share of the limelight.
2)  Tell me about your family:
My wife Michelle and I have three kids, ages 7, 5 and 2. A daughter and then two sons. Michelle is a Kindergarten teacher and has a degree in Early Childhood Education, so the kids right now are pretty much in her wheelhouse. When they become teenagers, she says she’s turning them over to me, so that’s when things will get interesting.
My family is my life. Nothing comes close and nothing comes in between. We have lots of fun together, goofing around and laughing. And teaching.
Jonathan-Criswell3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father? 
The single biggest challenge I face every day is balancing work with life, which I’ll detail more below. Everything else is a tie for second, like finding shoes, untwisting car seat straps, and making sure we have enough peanut butter. Sometimes it takes us 15 minutes to get from the house to the car, so there are abundant “opportunities for improvement” as they say in Corporate America.
I know many couples who had trouble changing their lifestyles after having a child, but my wife and I were homebodies anyway, so the home life doesn’t bother us in the least.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My advice to all parents is, if you’re fortunate enough to have a supporting spouse or partner, to make sure you take care of them, too. Show your kids how much you love your partner. Treat him or her with respect. Your kids are watching that closely.
After that, kids generally don’t have any more of a clue than you do, so try anything. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If those don’t work, try something else. If they do work, they may not work tomorrow. One size does not fit all when it comes to kids. They’re complete wild cards, and that’s just part of the experience.
Some general rules I’ve learned…Kids never go on hunger strikes, so if they don’t eat, wait a day or two..eventually they will. Make sure you attend your child’s well visits to the doctor. Many police stations offer free car seat installation, if you’re like me and afraid of your own DIY installation skills.
Jonathan-Criswell
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Not sure we’ll ever achieve perfect balance between parenthood and outside life…and that’s fine, it’s part of the ongoing process. If we ever achieve balance, it will last for exactly one millisecond before going off-kilter again. On my worst days, I’ll get berated by a client at work and come home just in time to see my youngest poop in the bathtub. On those days, I’ve achieved perfect balance in the sense I feel I’ve failed at everything equally!
There’s no doubt I’ve left some money on the table at work by prioritizing family over office and not working corporate-friendly 16-hour days. The true balance comes in not over-prioritizing family to the point that there’s no money left on the table. There will be times I have to be away for work, so I try to make the most of the time I’m with the kids.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I never really solicit specific advice from other people on anything, but I’ve indirectly learned from other dads to relish all the moments, good and bad, and to not let folks diminish your role just because you’re not your child’s mother. That said, it really doesn’t bother me when people playfully portray Dads as joking, sometimes fumbling fools, because I’m the biggest doofus out there. (As 8,000 crookedly worn diapers out there will attest.) But sometimes it goes too far, and you have to say enough is enough. Dads are people, too, and <newsflash> most of us are good parents!
Jonathan-Criswell
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Whatever you’re going through as a father, chances are someone else has gone through it or is experiencing it now. Sometimes it’s just good seeing you’re not alone. That’s what I set out to do on my site, not change the world, but show dads and moms that they’re not alone, that at least one other person out there has been there. Sometimes that’s all you need to hear…if it happened to someone else, maybe I’m not so bad a person for feeding my kids hot dogs 3 days last week after all.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
The “firsts” are always big…first steps, first words, etc. And our Day Care center is great about not telling us about them unless we ask, so we don’t feel like we’re watching our kids’ lives on tape delay. Of course the birth stories are always fun (says the Dad) because people are anxious to hear about it.
Also, being able to teach kids the ways of the world is incredibly satisfying…you can impart your own wisdom and shape minds, hopefully for the better. Everything you value, your kids will value, at least early on. My wife and I have been able to transfer a sense of family to our kids that — we can only hope– will help guide them in the future.

If you have any questions for Jonathan Criswell, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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SpinMaster Toys Bring Your Family Closer! #Giveaway

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blogpop-Spring-Fling-2015The weather is getting warmer and that means that it is time to celebrate with the Blog Pop Team for their annual Spring Fling Event! Between March 26-29 the 10 bloggers from Blog Pop are working together to bring you some awesome giveaways! So go and check out the following blogs for some other great prizes, and remember to come back here a lot over the next few days to enter for some great prizes! The 10 blogs that are a part of the school rules  event include:

My next giveaway is Below!

SpinMaster-Toys

Sew-Cool-Machine

SEW COOL SEWING STUDIO AND SEW COOL CREATIVE FABRIC

Revolutionary Threadless Sewing Studio

It’s never been sew easy! Now girls can magically sew with no thread. The SpinMaster Sew Cool Sewing Studio is the safe and easy way to create beautiful stuffed characters and accessories. Just design, stitch, and decorate. Unlike ordinary Sewing Machines, the Sew Cool Sewing Studio is designed specifically for girls aged 6-years of age and above and creates a seam without any thread! Its unique threadless sewing is the perfect way to learn new creative skills and get great end results. Girls can start their own threadless sewing revolution with the Sew Cool Sewing Studio.

Incredibly Safe & Easy-To-Use

The SpinMaster Sew Cool Sewing Studio is incredibly safe and easy to use. Designed with a needle guard, a seam alignment and sewing guides, the entire process is very simple and safe. Once a project has been selected and the materials have been prepared, girls simply need to press the button and follow the dotted line as they magically sew the pieces together.

Sew-Cool-Machine
It doesn’t get easy than this- No thread No foot pedal! No bobbins to wind! No needles to thread!

Create Cute Characters, Fashions, and Accessories

With 9 projects inside, the Sewing Studio gives you plenty of materials and instructions to keep busy. Girls can create cute pre-cut characters and accessories or design their own characters such as Owls, Cats, Ponies and more. Each character can be stuffed big and full as you fill them with the included cotton stuffing. Want something a bit more fashionable? Try creating a beautiful handbag or even designing your very own sewing project. There are tons of additional Sew Cool patterns for download The Sew Cool Sewing Studio is the all-inclusive studio that lets girls easily create whatever they can dream up.

The SpinMaster Sew Cool Sewing Studio contained a battery operated small sewing machine, some colorful fabric, precut projects, a few patterns, some decorated pieces to sew and then stuff with the included stuffing, and instructions sheets. The batteries were not included. The sewing machine requires 4- AA batteries . There is a safety feature : the needles are covered with plastic so a child’s fingers do not touch them when sewing.
My Take on the Sew Cool
I found the fabric to be colorful but very stiff. I sewed a pattern and it was difficult to turn the finished project inside out and then “poke’ out the corners . No thread is required to sew the material. The person sewing actually must pull the fabric through the needles in order to sew the fabric together. That took some practice.
The instruction sheets were well written and the accompanying illustrations were very helpful.
The Sew Cool (additional) box of  colorful fabric had 10 large sheets of the special fabric. There were helpful directions to make a purse and a back back. The templates were included in this separate box.This fabric was stiff like the fabric that was included with the sewing machine.
You can only use this fabric. You cannot use fabric from a fabric store.
The age given by the company sending the sewing machine was 6 years old and older. I believe a 6 year old will have a difficult time using the machine. An older child will have more success.

 

WACKY-TIVITIES , KINETIC SANDkinetic-sand

It’s more fun when it’s Wacky! SpinMaster Kinetic Sand is the squeezable sand where you can FEEL the fun! You’ve seen it before, but you’ve never felt anything like it! Pack it, pull it, shape it and love it, Kinetic Sand is so incredible you can’t put it down. It’s kinetic – meaning it sticks to itself and not to you! It oozes, moves and melts right before your eyes. It flows through your fingers like a slow-moving liquid, but leaves them completely dry. Kinetic Sand stimulates children’s creative skills allowing them to create anything they can imagine over and over again. Kinetic Sand never dries out and is gluten free. This soft and stretchy sand easily cleans up while delivering non-stop fun! It’s squeezable sand you can’t put down. Feel the difference with Kinetic Sand!
Features
  • Kinetic Sand is the squeezable sand where you can feel the fun! Pack it! Pull it! Shape it! Love It! You’ll never want to put it down!
  • Kinetic Sand stimulates children’s creativity, easily cleans up and it sticks to itself, not to you!
  • kinetic-sandIt’s 98% sand, 2% Polymers and 100% fun! It’s also gluten free!
  • Made for kids ages 3+.
  • Includes: 1lb (454g) Kinetic Sand4 Plastic Sand Molds1 Plastic Sandbox Tray
My Take on the Kinetic Sand
My youngest daughter enjoyed taking the Spinmaster Kinetic Sand and squishing, pushing, and molding it into a form. There were several issues with the sand while she played with it. It was quite crumbly and often the shapes did not hold their shapes. She tried to make a “mountain shape” and the top kept coming off. She tried a turtle shape, like the one displayed on the box, and the legs of the turtle would crack while forming. She really could not pick up the shape once it was made without if crumbling.
As I said she enjoyed playing with it but it did not model into shapes very well or as we expected it to.
hyper-disc Hyper Disc

It Hovers! It Floats! It Defies Gravity! It’s the SpinMaster Air Hogs Hyper Disc! The Inflatable flying disc that you can fill with helium or air! Toss it, bounce it, and perform wild tricks. Measuring a massive 3 feet in diameter, the Hyper Disc flies like a Frisbee and floats like a blimp. Its lightweight design makes it easy for children of all ages to toss it, roll it, flip it, bounce it and perform tricks. Blow the Hyper Disc up using the included straw or fill it with helium (not included) for a greater gravity defying effect. Be careful of strong winds as the Hyper Disc can blow away. The Air Hogs Hyper Disc is designed for indoor and outdoor use. Get outside and launch the Air Hogs Hyper Disc!

hyper-discFeatures

  • Includes: 1 Air Hogs Hyper Disc, 1 Straw, 1 Instruction Sheet
  • It hovers! It Floats! It defies gravity! The inflatable Hyper Disc flies like a Frisbee and floats like a blimp!
  • Measuring 3 feet in diameter, the Air Hogs Hyper Disc can be tossed across great distances!
  • Use the included straw to inflate it with air, or fill it with helium for a greater gravity defying effect! Refill it again and again!
  • The Air Hogs Hyper Disc is for children ages 3+. No batteries required.

 

My Take on the Disc

This was pretty cool. It took a bit to b;low this up with air though. As you can read above this product was made to be filled with helium or air, but without helium you will not get the actual floating that is mentioned. The disc can be used as a disc though between two people or more, you do have to try a little harder seeing that you don’t have the helium. That being said, my girls did enjoy this and with the warmer weather coming, they will be using this a ton!

Giveaway

How would you like to win a SpinMaster Toys Prize Pack which includes:

  • Zoomer Puppy
  • Zoomer Dino
  • Air Hogs hyper disk
  • Kinetic Sand metallics/gems
  • Sew Cool machine

All you need to do is fill out the below form to enter.

 

Blog POP! SpinMaster

 

        • Enter any of the giveaways below

 

 

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

As required by the FTC: Blog POP! received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are those of the writer’s alone.

THE FINE PRINT: All entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Please read each giveaway’s directions carefully as entry methods may differ, and giveaways may be open to different world areas. Please make sure you leave a way (valid email address) with your entries to be contacted if you win. Please note that Dad of Divas, Blog POP! or the Blog POP! bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. We will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. Good luck!

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Great Photos: This Firefighter Was Popular

Great Photos: This Firefighter Was Popular when she read the other night! I love sharing great photos like this. Great photos like these were taken with the Samsung NX Mini Camera.#nxmini #imagelogger

via IFTTT

Great photos like these were taken with the Samsung NX Mini Camera.#nxmini #imagelogger

Moulin Roty’s Cinema Box Lets Your Child Run The Show! #Giveaway

 photo disclaimer_zpsaa1cb05b.jpg
blogpop-Spring-Fling-2015The weather is getting warmer and that means that it is time to celebrate with the Blog Pop Team for their annual Spring Fling Event! Between March 26-29 the 10 bloggers from Blog Pop are working together to bring you some awesome giveaways! So go and check out the following blogs for some other great prizes, and remember to come back here a lot over the next few days to enter for some great prizes! The 10 blogs that are a part of the school rules  event include:

My next giveaway is Below!
cinema-box

Pass the popcorn! Working Mother magazine editors searched the overflowing aisles of last month’s Toy Fair to spot the most marvelous playthings for its busy readers. Likewise, the American Toy Industry Association (TIA) was tracking trends in 2015 play. They both agreed that Moulin Roty ‘s Cinema Box ($40) captured the spirit of open-ended play that engages, encourages and enhances young imaginations.

Imported from France by Magicforest, the enchanting Moulin Roty Cinema Box lets-show-a-movie kit is designed for tots ages 3 and older. Young theatre-goers can pass out tickets, view several stories illuminated by a flashlight, and then narrate what they see on the “screen.”  A little movie lover can even design a marquee on the “Now Showing” pad and invite dolls and stuffed animals to sit in the front row! For more information about this imagination-building Moulin Roty Cinema Box, please click on the above link.

cinema-box

 

My Take on the Moulin Roty Cinema Box

The Moulin Roty Cinema Box was well made and really stimulated the imagination and creativity of my youngest daughter. We like to watch movies in our home and this kit allowed her to take control of the movie itself and the experience that she and all of us have. What was fun was that she was able to use the Moulin Roty Cinema Box to really turn out living room into a movie theater which was something that I was not expecting at first, but in the end it was such a blast and she kept pulling out the kit every time a new movie was put on. If your child likes movies and likes to use their imagination the Moulin Roty Cinema Box is definitely a kit that you should consider for your own home.

 

Giveaway

How would you like to win this Moulin Roty Cinema Box? All you need to do is fill out the below form to enter. The contest will run for one week and will end on April 11, 2015.

 

Moulin Roty Cinema Box Giveaway

 

          • Enter any of the giveaways below

 

   

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

As required by the FTC: Blog POP! received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are those of the writer’s alone.

THE FINE PRINT: All entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Please read each giveaway’s directions carefully as entry methods may differ, and giveaways may be open to different world areas. Please make sure you leave a way (valid email address) with your entries to be contacted if you win. Please note that Dad of Divas, Blog POP! or the Blog POP! bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. We will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. Good luck!

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