The Alphabeasts Plush Characters + Book Review

Cute, plush (oh so very soft!) colorful beasts; These are the Alphabeast! They are a creative + fun way to teach the little one’s in your life the alphabet. The plush beasts & the 26 piece board book set keep my 3 year old’s attention very well. I think for her (Nevaeh, with the “N” Alphabeast pictured below) it is the colors that attracted her at first and now she is beginning to remember parts of the alphabet. She can at least say each letter now, unlike before we began using these products.

 
My son, Elijah at 6 years old (with the “E” Alphabeast pictured above), loves creative creatures so these were a hit with him from the beginning. He also like the original names of each beast like “Eieio” and the stories of each beast on the back on the individual board books. His attention is kept by the unique words (not your normal “a is for apples”) that are included as well.

If you’re looking for a different and creative way to introduce the alphabet to your kidlets, the Alphabeasts are the way to go!

Website: http://www.thealphabeasts.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alphabeasts/103276919756787

Disclaimer: AlphaBeast has provided me with product in exchange for my 100% honest opinion.

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KleenSlate Dry Erase Paddle Boards

We had one, I repeat ONE, dry erase marker board that was about 8″ x 10″ that both my kidlets were constantly fighting over. I was tired of “wasting” paper by the kids drawing a picture and flipping to the next page; sometimes going through an entire notebook in an hour so I continued to let them take turns fight over the one we had. So I was really excited when our KleenSlate Dry Erase Paddle Boards arrived!

  

Now there are plenty to go around for all! These dry erase paddle boards are easy to handle, light weight and have a place to store the marker in the handle. They are very easy to clean with the eraser on the marker’s lid. If the kids color the whole board in, we’ll typically clean it off with a dry cloth or baby wipe quickly. These not only come in handy for the kids quiet time play, but for homeschooling as well. We will be starting spelling classes after the first of the year so I can see the boards working out well for that. The paddle boards are two sided; one side is blank and the other side either has graph paper or elementary lined paper on them.

If you’re a homeschool family or just looking to find something of interest for quiet play, check out the KleenSlate dry erase paddle boards! Take a moment to LIKE KleenSlate on Facebook and tell them Simply Random Reviews sent you.

Disclaimer: KleenSlate provided me with a free product in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Halloween Cards from MixBook

MixBook has a wide variety of Halloween party invitations. We are still not sure if we are having an actual Halloween party this year or not. So when personalizing the card to my liking, by adding photos of the kidlets and editing the text on it, I realized that I was able to remove the text for the date, time + location of “a party” and just entered general text into it. I pretty much changed into a Halloween Card rather than an invite. I left a space blank on the front of the card so that if we choose to host a Halloween party, I could handwrite the information on there.

  

I love the ability to edit these cards how I want them to look. You can change the text, add different photos into it, edit the photos coloring + size, add stickers to them and more! So head on over to MixBook.com to order your Halloween cards today!

Disclaimer: MixBook provided me with a free product in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Lil Candy Corn Witch Costume

While searching for Halloween costumes for my kidlets, my son set it in stone that he wants to be the “Black Power Ranger”. My 3 year old daughter wanted to be every fairy, princess, cutesy bug, etc that she seen. She’s been a fairy, a butterfly + a kitty cat. I wanted something different; OK, something that wasn’t so pink!

We came across a selection of witches costumes for kids. I thought that it would be a great idea, specially when she pointed out the Lil Candy Corn Witch Costume. When we received this one in the mail, the expression on her face was priceless.

The packaging looks just as it did on the website. Once opened, the first thing that I noticed was the difference in the sizing of the Black Cat Bag. In the picture of the website + the packaging, the bag included looks like it would be larger (at least the handle should have been longer). However, the costume material was made strongly; the colors were bright, as they should be. The costume it’s self and the hat fit as they should. The last one in stock was a size “2T-4T”. She is a 4T + it’s a slight bit snug, but will still work for Halloween. I tend to purchase the kidlets costumes one size larger so they can use them for dress up throughout the rest of the year, but this one will probably have to be handed down to another little girl in the neighborhood after the Halloween fun is over.

Overall, this costume was a plus. It’s definitely a possibility that I’ll head back over to the Costume Super Center to order that Black Power Ranger costume for my little man.

Disclaimer: Costume Super Center provided me with a free product in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Forget the Baggies + Grab a Sandwich Wrap!

Green Business! Yep, not only does Eco Lunch Gear have green products (using 100% Certified Organic Cotton), but a green office too. This is one of the great things behind this company that I loved from the start. They recycle in the workplace, no paper products; They do their dishes the old fashion way + use cloth napkins!

I had the opportunity to review the Sandwich Wrap + the Snack Bag. Two great products for any lunch pail. Both are cute, durable + EASY to clean!

  
Left: Sandwich wrap + snack bag folded up. Right: Sandwich wrap opened as a placemat.

REUSABLE SNACK BAGS
Adorable fabric prints, folds like an envelope + Velcros shut. Fits a good size handful of fresh veggies or fruit, chips, cookies or even a brownie. Approximate size is 3 1/2″ x 6″.

REUSABLE SANDWICH WRAP
Same great fabric prints as the Snack Bags, folds up like an envelope as well + yet again Velcros shut for freshness. Bring a left over burger, bbq sandwich or just a PB+J to work with you; Even the biggest of “sandwiches” (ok, within NORMAL reasoning) will fit in here! When the Sandwich Wrap is opened all the way, it doubles as a placemat. Approximate size is 13″ x 15″.

I put these to the test before even allowing my children to get a hold of them because they were so cute. I pulled + tugged + twisted to my hearts desire. These babies are strong. These can be hand washed right along side of your regular dishes or machine washed if you’re really in a hurry. Either way, Eco Lunch Gear is easy peasy. A+ in my book!

Check out Eco Lunch Gear on Facebook + Stay tuned tomorrow for our first Simply Random Giveaway!

Disclaimer: Eco Lunch Gear provided me with a free product in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Emery Kate’s Closet

I meant to post this back last summer, but I did not due to a camera USB cord mishap.  I just came across these photos and chose to post it.  These items are now about 6 months old and still holding up!

Tutu & Flip Flops from Emery Kate’s Closet

We received a petti-skirt (not pictured), flip flops and a tutu that was custom ordered from Emery Kate’s Closet, a small-town home business based in Kentucky.  They were all made of great quality that they could even withstand this “tom-boyish princess”.  If you’re looking for custom made jewelry, hairbows, tutus, flip-flops, etc stop over to the facebook page Emery Kate’s Closet for more information.

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A Few Cleaning Tips

I’m always looking to make things easier or cheaper.  So today, being in the (almost) winter sweep cleaning of my apartment before the big Christmas-Tree-Putter-Upper day, I have been procrastinating and found some really great quick clean methods as well as some create your own cleaners.

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Meal Planning Giveaway Winners

Three readers that entered the What’s For Dinner? Giveaway were selected using the Random.org true number service.  And the winners are…

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1. #3 – Leslie Cole “All I can say about this is WOW!!!!! I have 3 young boys at home and I am constantly struggling for something healthy and nutritious, yet also delicious, that all 5 of us will eat. This would really help me stress less and spend more time loving on my family.”

2. #24 – Katie Lou “LOVE your blog! With kids with multipile food allergies out mealtime for sure takes some major planning!”

3. #1 – Mollie “Hey Gypsy! I don’t think that I’ve been to your blog before today, and I definitely didn’t know that we have so many common interests…

I would use this resource so much. My mom and I combine forces to plan and make the meals for 8 people, and we eat at home nearly every meal. We’re already doing pretty good, but the routine gets stale and this would be such nice way to get us going again!”

I will be contacting the winners shortly by email to discuss your prize.  Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to those who participated!

If you are interested in more about receiving a copy of your very own “200 Weeknight Dinners” eBook or the online meal planning system head on over to Menu In A Box.

PS: I know there was/is an issue with the correct time & date stamp on comments.  As of 9pm when I checked comments last night, most all comments were posted and were showing as 5/26 AM times.  I plan to fix this issue before the next giveaway so there are no questions/mishaps.

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What’s For Dinner? A Giveaway!

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How many times a week do you ask yourself, What’s For Dinner? How much time a week are you planning out your family’s dinner meals, shopping lists and grocery shopping?

A lot! I know that I was spending more time than I wanted to in planning for our meals – probably just as much time or more as I did in cooking & eating them! Then a few months ago, I came across Menu In A Box. I won a free one year membership to the site by simply entering a giveaway on the blog. I was thrilled at the thought of it and trust me, it’s came in handy!

My favorite part of the membership was actually the free gift that came along with it, an e-book. Menu In a Box 200 Weeknight Dinners Budget & Family Friendly includes 40 weeks of meals along with shopping lists. All organized and ready to print for shopping and preparing your meals! You could add one night of leftovers and one night as a take-out or go out to eat and print a page from this ebook and you have an entire week planned in seconds!

Example of How to use 200 Weeknight Meals

If your family is easy to please in the meal department, you could print the lists off and use them in the order that they are. Everything, and I do mean everything, sounds great! I, however, have one child that eats everything in sight and one that is allergic to eggs as well as has some sensory issues (picky about way certain foods feel and/or look in his hands and/or mouth). While he seems to be doing a bit better lately with those sensory issues, I do usually have to make sure I have something else on hand that is most likely microwavable or quick to throw together like a sandwich. As there are 40 weeks to choose from, I have been known to skip through a few of them and print out ones in which everyone in the household is more likely to eat all or close to all the meals from that week. And others I have used a blank printable meal planner of my own and created the shopping list for a few of the meals from the e-book and a few of my own recipes. Since my children are toddler/preschool age, I’m sure they will out grow the picky stage and I’ll have more opportunity to use each and every one of the recipes!

Advantages of 200 Weeknight Dinners

what-you-want

Now here’s your chance to get a copy!

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3 of my lucky readers will win a copy of 200 Weeknight Dinners!

Contest starts today May 20 and ends May 25 at 11PM EST

Winners will be announced on May 26th

You may visit Easy, Quick Dinners where you can find more information about this e-book.

To enter this giveaway, Leave a comment below and tell us how this could help your household’s weeknight meal planning. For an extra entry (must have done the above first), Follow myself @LifeAsMama and Ruthie of Menu In A Box at @MenuInABox .  Tweet out the following, then comment below that you did so.

Win a Free E-Book, @MenuInABox’s 200 Weeknight Dinners | Enter: http://bit.ly/7JYiOT | via @LifeAsMama #MealPlanner #Giveaway

It’s that simple!

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