Snap-n-Learn Matching Dinos from Learning Resources #toddlers

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
My two year old grandson absolutely LOVES the Snap-n-Learn Matching Dinos from Learning Resources! This handy storage bucket with a lid contains nine adorable dinosaurs with darling faces. Each dinosaur is a different color and easily snaps apart for mixing and matching.
There are three each of three different dinosaurs, so he can group them by type. This helps him to discern similarities and differences, which is a great skill to develop, especially as he is learning to recognize lower-case letters like b and d. These dinos are also fun to line up and count!
Notice too the spots on the dinosaurs' backs feature different shapes like stars, rectangles, and circles. Children learn best through play, and incidental learning like discovering the different shapes is an exciting finding for them. Learning colors with dinos is fun, and so is mixing and matching them!
When children first begin playing with the Snap-n-Learn Matching Dinos, they will likely take them apart and put them back together exactly as they were. As they become more comfortable with the "rules" of how the dinosaurs work, they will begin to change up how they put them back together, thereby "breaking the rule" of the norm.
This is also an important skill for them to learn on their own. When children make this determination on their own, rather than being shown, they learn that it's okay to question how things work and to experiment with other possibilities. The play of taking them apart and putting them back together also strengthens their fine motor skills, and strengthens their little fingers for learning to hold a pencil.
Learning Resources is a great place to find toys that teach early learning skills to young children. I love toys that require no batteries and feature no screens. My grandson and I both recommend the Snap-n-Learn Matching Dinos!
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To Hear the Forest Sing by Margaret Dulaney

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
To Hear the Forest Sing by Margaret Dulaney is a book of essays, dubbed as "some musings on the divine." As a Christian, the premise of the book intrigued me. The author invites the reader to find a path to kindness and mindful living. Dulaney says, "Prayer is both essential and difficult to qualify. There are no rules to prayers. I hope to be an example of someone who has no idea how to pray, but practices it daily."

Her essays demonstrate that a life of mindfulness and kindness can be achieved by a person of any spiritual affiliation. Her memorable, touching, beautiful essays are written from aspects of her childhood, family life, and love of nature and animals. Throughout the book, she weaves love, enlightenment, and hope into her essays.

I found the essays delightful to read and, rather than reading them all at once, I read them a few a time. I think they are most appreciated this way, when I can "chew on" what she's written for a while before reading some more. It's the perfect bedside book or one to enjoy while reading morning coffee before all the little ones are awake. I think it's a great holiday gift idea too!

on Amazon.com
Learn more about Margaret Dulaney at www.listenwell.org


Inspire Their Creativity with The Manhattan Toy Company

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
The Manhattan Toy Company is one of my favorite toy stores! They make the most unusual toys that spark children's imaginations and inspire their creativity. I received two of their most-loved toys, Winkel and Mio Outdoors, and I'm really impressed with the quality and "playability" of their products.
Winkel is safe for all ages and my 8 month old grandson loves it. Just look at his smile below and that tells you how excited he is to play with it! It is a teether and a rattle, made of soft, pliable loops of different colors that are easy to grasp. Inside the center square there are tiny beads to rattle.
Winkel can even be put into the refrigerator to provide teething babies with some relief. The plastic tubes are made of safe pu tubing with no BPA or PVC. Baby will love shaking Winkel, looking at the colorful loops, chewing on the tubes, strengthening grip, and improving coordination.
Mio Outdoors Play Set is designed for ages over 3 years old. This adorable set includes a friend, two trees, and a hammock. The pine tree is made of fabric and filled with tiny beads, so it's soft and squishy but retains its shape. The other tree is made the same way, with a wood tree trunk. The friend is similar with a wooden head and a painted smiley face.
The tiny hammock stand is simply adorable, made of wood pieces and a hammock made of fabric hangs from two dowels and a string. This open-ended toy inspires hours of creative play in children, sparking stories of hiking, camping, sleeping under the stars, exploring the forest and so much more.
I love toys that require children to use their imaginations!
To get Mio Outdoors and Winkel for your little ones for the holidays, visit www.manhattantoy.com. They offer fabulous toys for kids of all ages! You can search their collections by age, category, or collections. The Manhattan Toy Company makes toys that children will love for years!

Delicious Holiday Gift Sets from Dancing Deer Baking Co.

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an insatiable taste for sweets. One of my favorite gifts to give and receive is a mixed collection of scrumptious gourmet baked goods. Dancing Deer Baking Co. bakes up the most delicious brownies and cookies! My mouth was watering even before I opened the package.
I received the Classic Deer Gift Hamper and was delighted at all the goodies inside! Five different packages contained their Chocolate Chip Cookies, Molasses Cookies, Cranberry Orange Cookies, Caramel Sea Salt Squares, and Chocolate Chunk Brownies. Everything arrived in a darling reusable gift box, padded with crinkles, and tied with a pretty red bow - perfect for gift presentation!
Dancing Deer baked goods are always soft, fresh, and delicious. These gourmet gifts are always baked from scratch and are Kosher. They use pure, high-quality ingredients, blending traditional artisan baking with innovative flavor combinations, and they package their gourmet gifts with a professional yet whimsical tone.
The Classic Deer Gift Hamper comes with a total of 30 delectable cookies and brownies that simply melt in your mouth. Their sweet treats have won lots of awards and, once you taste one of their goodies, you will agree that they are simply amazing. This holiday season, give a gift of delicious gourmet goodness from Dancing Deer!
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PILGRIMAGE: The Great Pilgrim Routes of Britain and Europe by Derry Brabbs #book

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
I was absolutely stunned when I received this hardcover book in the mail. PILGRIMAGE: The Great Pilgrim Routes of Britain and Europe by Derry Brabbs is gorgeous! It's billed as a photographic essay, but in reality it's a huge book, both in size, breadth, and weight that anyone would be proud to own. It's the perfect book to display in a prominent place in your library or on your coffee table.
The photos in PILGRIMAGE are breath-taking! Brabbs makes you feel like you are there, taking a real pilgrimage. The text completely draws you in, describing the deep, rich history and key features of each route across Europe. Even if you are not a traveler, you will be drawn into even the details of the distances and number of days it takes to walk the routes. You'll even find websites to help you plan a pilgrimage in this book.
You'll pick up this book again and again, even just to peruse the astonishing photographs and look over the maps. Celebrate the beautiful landscape and architectural legacy of Europe through the photos of one of England's finest photographers, Derry Brabbs. This is the perfect holiday gift idea for your favorite traveler, history buff, avid reader, and photography bug!
Order today!
Frances Lincoln, Quarto Publishing Group

Therapedic Warm Me Up Electric Heated Wrap

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
It's really cold outside and sometimes that cold air sneaks into the house. Most of my evenings in winter are spent huddled up and shivering under a blanket on cold evenings to watch a movie on television. I am so happy that my new Therapedic Warm Me Up Electric Heated Wrap chases all of the winter shivers away!
This wrap is perfectly sized to hug around my shoulders, arms, and back at 26" long x 74" wide. It's a much better size than one of those giant, bulky electric blankets. I can also choose to simply lay it across my lap and legs as a throw. It's made of a super soft, incredibly silky, luxurious plush, and comes in Black, Navy, or Taupe.
To make the Therapedic Warm Me Up Electric Heated Wrap even better, they added two big, deep pockets! Now I can tuck my hands in the pockets when my fingers are feeling extra chilly, plus the pockets are large enough to store the electric cord when not in use. My grandkids also love to snuggle up inside of this wrap with me.
The plug-in extra-long controller cord has four heat settings so I can easily adjust the heat to my level of chill, plus it features a safe 4-hour automatic shut-off. The controller completely detaches from the wrap, making the wrap machine wash and dryer safe. I've used it on the couch in the evenings, at my desk during the day, and on my bed at night. What a fabulous holiday gift idea!
Order the Therapedic Warm Me Up Electric Heated Wrap for everyone on your holiday gift list! I highly recommend this product (as I sit here at my desk wrapped up in it, waiting for the sun to warm up the day). It's available at Bed Bath and Beyond and at www.bedbathandbeyond.com. You'll even get free shipping on it!


Wendell August - Reindeer Games Ornament Collection

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
You may know Dasher and Dancer and all the rest of the reindeer in the famous song, but I'll bet you've never seen them like this! These Reindeer Games ornaments from Wendell August are authentic Old Forge Pewter and they are simply stunning.
Each of the eight reindeer are meticulously created with incredible detail and designed with a playful twist of modern sport. These ornaments are sold individually, so you can choose one as a gift or buy the entire set for your Christmas tree.
Each ornament is two-sided and features a leather cord for hanging. Your Reindeer Games ornament comes in a pretty gift box with a foam bedding and a Wendell August signature background card. I absolutely love these playful ornaments!
I am extremely impressed with the thickness of each ornament. These are such high-quality that they will last forever and your family will be able to pass them down for generations to come. These ornaments will look fabulous on any Christmas tree!
If you have kids or grandkids, these are a terrific gift idea. Choose Vixen if you have a little hockey player, Comet for little soccer stars, or even Cupid for an archery lover. And if your grandkids just love to play in the snow, Donner is atop a sled and Blitzen is rocking his snowshoes.
Each Reindeer Games ornament is just $18 and they are perfect gift ideas for sports and game lovers of all ages. Each ornament is about four inches tall, so they make a really beautiful impact on a Christmas tree. Tie one to the top of another gift for an extra-special treat!
Shop for keepsake gifts and ornaments at www.WendellAugust.com. Their quality is unmatched and I've been simply delighted with everything I've ever received from them. The craftsmanship is impeccable and the Old Forge Pewter is gorgeous.
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Enter the 48th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest #recipe

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my post.
See photos for my Easy Fruit Tart recipe.
Time is running out to enter
Get your entries in by November 10!
Use Pillsbury Pie Crust at room temperature.
The Pillsbury® Bake-Off® Contest is back with a new twist and they are calling home cooks nationwide to fire up their ovens and imagine the possibilities with Pillsbury. In partnership with Food Network and The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, Pillsbury is celebrating family memories made at home, by seeking out your family’s favorite recipes and the inspiration and stories behind them.
Cut little pie crust circles with cookie cutter (or plastic cup) and set in muffin tin.
As an evolution of the beloved Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, this year home cooks are asked to share how they use Pillsbury in a family favorite recipe and to also share the story behind their recipe. Do you have a twist on a recipe passed down from a relative? Is there a special family tradition that surrounds the recipe? Judges will consider both the recipe and the story behind the recipe in their judging. Contestants may submit their original recipe using Pillsbury® refrigerated dough along with the inspiration behind it for any of the following categories: Cozy Breakfasts, Appetizers for Any Party, Dinners with Heart, and No-Fuss Desserts at BakeOff.com.
Fill with any flavor canned pie filling.
“Baking traditions have always been important in my family, and the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, which is a baking tradition in itself, has shaped the way many people bake for their own families today,” said Ree Drummond. “Partnering with both Pillsbury and Food Network to celebrate the memories made by American home cooks every day in kitchens around the country will be heartwarming, fun, and totally delicious.”
Mix Truvia with Cinnamon and sprinkle generously over tarts.
This year’s grand prize winner will receive a trip to New York for an appearance on Food Network’s hit show The Kitchen, a feature in Food Network Magazine, a kitchen makeover from GE Appliances and $50,000 in cash. Four lucky category winners will each be awarded a trip to New York for an appearance on The Kitchen, a feature in Food Network Magazine, a suite of GE Appliances and $5,000 in cash.
Bake to bubbly perfection at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Learn more about this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest at www.BakeOff.com. Now go fire up your oven!
Cool, remove from pan, and enjoy!


Roll and Play Toddler Game at Thinkfun

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Children learn through play, so parents should always keep that in mind when choosing their child's toys. As an early childhood specialist, I am delighted to recommend the Roll and Play Toddler Game, available at www.Thinkfun.com! Designed for ages over 18 months, this game is a blast for little ones.
Roll and Play comes with a big, soft, dice-shaped cube that displays six colored sides, plus a stack of 48 activity cards. The game is simple and fun - just roll the cube and select a card with the matching color, and act out the activity shown on the card.
Your child will love this game that teaches colors and counting, gross motor skills, following instructions, and picture/word recognition as they "Roar Like a Lion" or "Giggle and Laugh." Included is parent's guide to help you lead your child through this fun game. The cube even has a secret pocket that stores the cards.
My grandson and I love to play with the Roll and Play Toddler Game! It gets us both moving, having fun together, and making great memories. When we're done playing, my other grandson, who is almost nine months old loves to hug and climb on the cube too. I'll bet there is a child in your life who would love to play too!
Order Roll and Play today for the little ones in your life!
It's a great holiday gift idea that requires no batteries!

Giveaway! Lugz Women's Boots for Fall and Winter

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
The cold weather has definitely arrived here in Kansas. We even had some snow flurries in October! I love boot season and Lugz Tambora Boots are perfect for the cold winds that come sweeping across the prairie. These boots combine style, functionality, and warmth like no others.
This newest style to join the Tambora line of Lugz women's boots features a thick warm fabric pattern of red, black, brown, and cream at the ankles, resonant of an American Indian blanket. The suede exterior provides an excellent barrier against wind, rain, and snow.
The Tambora boots have a reinforced rubber heel and toe for superior traction and durability. The luxuriously cushioned insole makes them super comfortable to wear no matter where I'm trekking. The acrylic fur lining interior keeps feet and toes warm and cozy. Even the tongue of these boots is padded for warmth and comfort.
I love that the Lugz Tambora is a lace-up boot design because I can adjust the fit even when I'm wearing my extra-thick wool socks on the days the temperature dips below freezing. Plus, I can tuck my pant legs into the boots to keep the winds from sneaking up.
Lugz Tambora Boots are rugged and casual, perfect for wearing with jeans and pants. I spend most of the winter in blue jeans, and these boots look so great they're a fashion accessory for my feet! I've gotten tons of compliments on them.
During the coldest months of winter, the most important things are to be warm and comfortable, and with Lugz Tambora Boots I can be warm, dry, comfortable, and fashionable! This style is definitely my favorite one from Lugz.
Get your warmest and most comfortable Tambora Boots from Lugz.com today! Don't wait until you're shivering cold. They offer great styles for women, men, and even kids. And don't miss your chance to win a pair of these fabulous boots below!

One winner will win their choice of any Lugz Women's Tambora Boots from Lugz.com. To enter, just fill in the giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and older. The more entries you complete on the form, the better your chance to win. Giveaway ends on 11/25/17. Good luck!