Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fun Outdoor Toys From GEOSPACE

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  I received a sample for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.

Our weather has been fabulous so we are spending more and more time outside playing. Usually it involves lots of playtime in our driveway. The Sparkler Whip ‘N Skip and the Sparkler LED Jump Rope from GEOSPACE have become instant hits with Big Sis. Since they light up she really likes to play with them after dinner and right before bed so they can see it all lit up!

The new Sparkler Whip ‘N Skip reminds me of the one I had growing up in the 80's. This new version will have have a whole new generation hopping. Once kids tether it to one leg, they can begin rolling the ball in a circular pattern. With this comes the challenge of maintaining balance, endurance and coordination, and a healthy dose of competition to see who can keep going for the longest. It requires 2 AAA batteries. I was unsure if Big Sis would be able to do it but after me getting it started for her a few times she quickly got the hang of it.

The new Sparkler LED Jump Rope modernizes the classic jump rope for kids. It has flashing LED multi-colored lights, which are embedded inside of the jump rope. What’s even better is that no batteries are required, as the dynamo produces low-voltage electricity that powers the LEDs. The Sparkler is 99 inches long, which is ideal for children 8 years old to adults as well.

Every time we play with these I always get up and play with them too. These are get up and move fun for adults and kids. Summer is coming so get some toys that get the whole family outside having fun!

Connect: You can connect with GEOSPACE on Facebook and @GeospacePlay on Twitter.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with IMUSA + Gluten-free Tortilla Recipe

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I received a sample for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.

As with most people, I have a serious love of Mexican food. There's something so warm and comforting about it, not to mention how delicious it is, that I just always want to eat it. Since today is Cinco de Mayo, we absolutely had to have Mexican food tonight and what better way to prepare our dinner than with the help of some great and brightly colored products from IMUSA.

I'm no stranger to fun kitchen gadgets, but I have to say the IMUSA tortilla press wins hands down as my new favorite. Since I'm a gluten-free girl, I have made my own flour-free tortillas in the past, but frankly it was not easy rolling out dough, not to mention it was sticky and the tortillas never looked pretty. I had all but given up on being able to eat tortillas again, but I decided to give my gluten-free tortillas one last shot with the IMUSA tortilla press and let's just say I was not disappointed.

Gluten-free Tortilla Recipe - makes 6 tortillas

- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 cup arrowroot starch (could also use tapioca flour)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. organic shortening (could use soft butter or oil)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup water

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in the shortening and finally add the water until you get a good doughy consistency. I start with a 1/4 cup and go from there as you don't want the dough to be too dry or too wet and sticky. Once the dough has formed, divide into 6 even pieces and roll into balls.

Line your tortilla press with parchment paper and place a ball of dough in the middle.

Now comes my favorite part, close the press and SQUISH!

Open it up and you have a nice, round tortilla ready to cook.

Heat some oil in a skillet on medium and cook for about a minute or two on each side, until it starts to brown a little. Once it's done cooking, add it to a tortilla warmer to keep them nice and hot. Since I was prepping way before dinner would be ready, I put all my tortillas into the warmer and then microwaved for 15 seconds so they would still be warm by the time dinner started.

While the tortillas were keeping warm, I decided it was time to tackle the guacamole. Cutting avocados can always be a bit of a pain, so I couldn't wait to use the avocado slicer. It made my job so much easier and quicker.

My guacamole is pretty simple as I just use avocado, a bit of taco seasoning, and a squeeze of lime juice. 

Aside from all of the delicious smells coming from the kitchen, the table looked bright and festive - the perfect setting for a delicious Cinco de Mayo meal.

Although I decided to go for a more simple meal of tacos for Cinco de Mayo this year, everything was fresh and made from scratch. I love spending time in the kitchen making healthy meals with real food for my family and IMUSA makes it even easier for me to do so with simple-to-use products that cut time from cooking and allow me to spend more time out of the kitchen. 

IMUSA is a leading ethnic housewares brand with deep roots in Latin America and the United States, offering hundreds of affordable housewares products including gadgets, cookware, appliances, cleaning, food storage, espresso, and ethnic specialty items. 

IMUSA is hosting an #IMUSAdeMayo photo contest! In order to enter the contest, all you need to do is share a photo of your favorite Mexican fare with IMUSA using the hashtag #IMUSAdeMayo between May 1st and May 5th. To be eligible to win a prize, you must submit at least one (1) photo and to be eligible to win the grand prize, you must submit a photo each day of the campaign, for five (5) days total. Visit www.facebook.com/imusausa for more information and send in your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #IMUSAdeMayo for a chance to win!

Connect: You can connect with IMUSA on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and @IMUSAUSA on Twitter.

Dress Me! and Sophie's Animal Parade are Great New Picture Book Releases

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  I received a sample for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.

May is here and my kindergartener is already begging for summer. This will be her first true "summer vacation" and she had ideas in her head of no chores and no homework. I had to let her down gently and let her know we still will be keeping a clean house and instead of homework that just means we will have more time for books. Since she is a book fanatic she was thrilled with this news and has even told me she plans to read a few books to her baby sister all on her own. These two books for the preschooler crowd are great for reading aloud or even for big sisters to read.

A young girl makes her way through a variety of career possibilities—dancer, doctor, superhero, plumber—in a variety of costumes. She can be graceful, creative, brave, caring, silly, and even scary. She can wear braids or glasses, a crown or a beret. No matter what she chooses, her puppy is twirling, painting, and hammering right beside her, often with an accessory of his own. The story is simple and yet suggests infinite, limitless opportunities and the little girl’s right to choose who and what she wants to be. The message is one of exploration, choice, and self-expression. And ultimately another option for the little girl is to be “just me.”

From the author and illustrator of Paint Me! comes DRESS ME!, a new book that affirms how to dress #LikeAGirl. Simple words with beautiful illustrations tells an inspiring story of teaching kids to explore and be open-mined. Also a great book for big siblings to read to little siblings. 

Mama calls it Sophie’s imagination, but Sophie calls it magic. Everything Sophie draws came to life, and one day when Sophie feels lonely, she decides to draw a friend. But the polar bear cub isn’t very happy in Sophie’s room, where it is much too warm. So Sophie tries again. But the duck wants to swim in a pool full of water. And the giraffe is too tall for the tiny room! It isn’t long after the elephant shows up that things begin to get a little too wild and Sophie must demand that everyone go outside. In the backyard, with all her new friends, Sophie meets someone new—someone who happens to be an expert lion trainer. It looks like Sophie’s magic may have worked after all.
From award-winning illustrator, Katia Wish, and author of Marathon Mouse, Amy Dixon, comes SOPHIE’S ANIMAL PARADE. This funny picture book teaches kids about using their imaginations. Sophie might have drawn more pictures of animals than she can handle this time!

Curl up with these two books as these both remind kids to be creative and their imaginations know no end! Sky Pony Press always seems to have high quality books with great stories. I can never seem to read enough books and that goes for both children's books and books for adults too.

Connect: You can connect with Sky Pony Press on Facebook and @skyhorsepub on Twitter.

Contest Tuesday Blog Giveaway Link Up 5/5

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Thanks for stopping by and linking up! Although it's not a requirement, it would be great if you could help spread the word about this contest link up by linking to us, tweeting, etc. As always, this link up is only for giveaways hosted on blogs and any brand contest links will be deleted.

Don't forget to check out this listing of places to list your contests. There's quite a list compiled already, you might want to check it out!

Please enter your contest like this on the linky:
Blog Name - Giveaway Title - End Date

We've got some great giveaways going on right now too! Check them out.