Inspire Future Engineers with the Gadgets & Gizmos Invention Kit #Giveaway

We really like to choose toys for our kids that are fun and educational. That is why when we saw the Gadgets & Gizmos Invention Kit, we knew it was one that our kids would love and let’s face it, I knew my husband would love it too!

This is the ultimate kit for every aspiring inventor! The open-ended kit is packed with parts that kids can mix and match to make tons of gadgets and gizmos.

The step-by-step guide is easy to follow to create 8 projects, like a catapult, helicopter, hydraulic lift car and so much more including their own unique creations.

When they build and invent with this kit, they are exploring exciting science and engineering concepts. My son Ethan is interested in becoming an engineer so this is very exciting to him. The first thing they built with this 180 piece kit is an air powered rocket launcher. After building it, the testing it was super fun for all the boys!

We love this kit so much we are adding it to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.

Giveaway

Lakeshore Learning  is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own Gadgets & Gizmos Invention Kit! Thank you to Lakeshore Learning for the review kit and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US residents.

Gadgets & Gizmos Invention Kit Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Save 30% on Personalized Gifts for your Child, Pet, Family & More! #Giveaway


Unique gifts like personalized books, board games, placemats and more celebrate the recipient and can even include their family and pet in the fun. I See Me! makes it easy to give gifts that will make every child a star.

I love giving I See Me! products to my kids. The look on their faces, when they discover they are the main character of a special book, is truly priceless. This season, I created some really special gifts for my kids on the I See Me! website. It is so easy to add personalization and photos to create unique and treasured gifts.

I know my son Ethan is going to love the  personalized USA Road Trip Storybook I created for him. It is such a fun book, that will really spark his curiosity and imagination with a fun and factual geographic exploration of the United States. In the story, he receives a personalized driver’s license, hops into a magical car, and learns state names and key monuments during the journey across America. He will take a rest stop in our own state of New York to learn a few extra fun facts!

I was able to easily personalize this road trip adventure with my son’s name and the state we live in. I selected his skin tone and hair color, and uploaded a photo of  his face to be incorporated throughout the illustrations!

He is going to love it, and at the end of the book, he will see a personalized map of the United States. The book even includes a list of all 50 states with their capitals, so he can check off the names of the states that he has visited! We ordered the gift set which included a scratch off state map that he is going to just love! I cannot wait to see his face when he opens it.

For our son Luke, our dog lover, we choose the If My Dog Could Talk Storybook. I customized it for him and our American Bulldog, Delilah. I was able to choose from twelve illustrated dog styles and five colors to create a dog that really resembled our dog.

The book includes Delilah’s name and the names of four of our family members, this really makes it fun to read! This book is also a nice way to celebrate a new puppy or dog adoption or remember a lost pet. Your dog’s name and the names of up to four family member’s names (children or adults) are also included throughout the story and illustrations! Plus you can add a personal message and up to two photos on the dedication page.

For a really special gift, the book can be ordered with a personalized bandana, ornament or placemat for you pet. We ordered the book with the bandana and a personalized Christmas ornament that we already have on our Christmas Tree.

Another great gift idea on their site that is fun for the whole family is I See Me!’s new, Our Family’s Race Across the U.S.A. board game. This game makes family game night so much fun! It is a brand new addition to their extensive product line.

Take an adventure across America as you move your piece along the game board. Personalize up to six game pieces with photos of your family member’s faces so they can “travel” from space to space. Your family’s names will also be incorporated into the game board artwork! Create lasting family memories with this uniquely personalized keepsake.

Order Now and Save 30%!

If you order by December 17th and use code CELEBRATE when you checkout, you can save 30%! This is the perfect chance to get a special gift at an amazing price! Click HERE to get started.

We love I See Me! products so much, we have added them to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. 

Giveaway

I See Me! is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own Personalized, Our Family’s Race Across the U.S.A. Board Game! Thank you to I See Me! for the review items and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US residents.

I See Me!  Our Family’s Race Across the U.S.A. Personalized Board Game Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Books, Christmas, Dogs, Family, Gifts, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide

Must Read Warning if You Bought LuvaBella or LuvaBeau Dolls

If you have a LuvaBella or LuvaBeau Interactive Doll from Spin Master tucked away, just waiting for Christmas morning, I have a warning, that you are probably not going to want to hear. As a blogger who reviews the newest products, I was anxious to get my hands on a LuvaBella doll.

I had no trouble finding one, but the trouble began soon after taking her out of the box. Her silicone or vinyl doll “skin” had a greasy appearance and had all kinds of hairs and dirt stuck to her face.

It was not that she was ever taken out of the box, it was how she was packaged from the factory. She had what looked like a crease between her eyes, which most like came from a defect in the mold. On the side of her face she had this huge unsightly seam that was very obviously a flaw from the mold. Her molded hair was painted so sloppy, as if a child had done it. The paint went right down onto her face and was all over her ear. 

After inserting the batteries she had a terrible clicking in her neck, and her chin and would seem to get stuck, she would vibrate in place before turning her head. I took a video of this and let the company know. After viewing my photos and video, they said that, the doll was indeed very damaged and needed to be returned. They explained that in an effort to get the dolls out quickly, there were some issues with defective dolls being released that should not have happened.

I returned that doll and picked up a new one. Now, when I removed the new doll from the box, she had a much better paint job on her hair, she did not have that unsightly crease defect between her eyes, nor did she have the big seam on the side of her head.

I thought everything would be okay. I took a video of her and she began to keep yawning and saying things at different times that did not make sense. She also could not stop burping when eating.

I thought she needed new batteries, so I put in a fresh set of 4 C batteries. However, with the new batteries, she still said things at the wrong time, she did not burp when her back was patted,  but kept doing so when eating. She also started to have limited movement of her mouth. Her mouth barely opened now.

See the video below to see how her mouth is failing

I did some reasearch and found several adult collectors on their 4th doll, and still not having any luck with replacements. Some had the eyes start to fail, they stayed shut unless their was a string tied around their head not allowing the eyes to close. Others had the mouths just stop moving totally.

Many people would comment how gingerly these dolls must be handled. Now they are marketed to ages 4 and up. Do you think if adult doll collectors are having issues like this, that when you give the doll to a 4 year old child. that they are not going to move the limbs, turn the head, bang the doll? Given all the parents that have not opened or tried the doll, we are bound  to see reports of many broken and damaged LovaBella and LovaBeau dolls after Christmas Day.

In my opinion, given what I have experienced, and from what I have seen happen to dolls that were not in the hands of children, I have to say, these dolls are not suitable for toddlers or young children. There is a review for the doll you can see on Amazon that shows the aftermath of the doll being in the hands of a three-year old. It is not pretty.

LuvaBella and LuvaBeau  are very delicate dolls, not one that can be toted around and carried everywhere. It is quite disheartening that they are so delicate yet  marketed to such young children.

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So, let me know if you do decide to check your LuvaBella or LuvaBeau out. The new doll that I had in the video to replace the other damaged doll was only on for the fourth time when she started showing issues with her mouth.

I hope the company does something to make up for all the damaged dolls.

 


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4 Ways to Handle Medical Emergencies in a Foreign Country

Traveling to a different country can be a wonderful, life-changing experience if you stay safe and healthy while you’re away. Dealing with medical issues while you’re traveling can be disorienting, plus being away from home, could leave you wondering what to do. Some advanced preparation will help you keep a level head. Check out the list below for four different ways to handle medical emergencies in other countries.

Look for Low-Level Care

Preparation is one of the best ways to combat any medical issues you might encounter while traveling. Before you leave, do some research to find some local pharmacies to purchase supplies for non-emergency medical issues like scrapes, minor burns, allergies, or to fill prescriptions. Also, be aware that medications may have different names abroad, so know what your prescriptions are called at your destination. Knowing where to go and what to expect when you get there, can help you find the care you need while saving you the cost of going to a hospital.

Consider Costs as a Traveler

If you do end up needing to take a trip to a hospital, it’s important to understand how you’ll be billed as a tourist. Depending on where you’re traveling, a hospital bill could be free, or the most expensive part of your trip, so look into medical costs in the countries you visit. While doing research, make sure to look into whether your insurance plan protects you while traveling. More often than not, you’ll have to pay for medical expenses upfront with the option to file for reimbursement when you get home.

Add Extra Protection

If you feel like your current insurance plan is lacking when it comes to traveling, you may want to consider additional protection in case of a medical emergency. Often, additional protection from providers such as MedjetAssist will offer you extra benefits, like severe weather warnings or emergency translation. When looking for a plan that suits you, consider the risk that comes with the activities you’ll be doing, for a better idea of how much extra security you’ll need. Depending on what you’ve decided, you might want the peace of mind that comes with a travel plan.

 

Have a Backup Card

It’s always good to have a few different kinds of identification on you when traveling, and it’s no different when it comes to your health. In addition to any IDs you have with you, consider making a card with your medical information on it. This should include things like your doctor’s name and number, any travel insurance you have, emergency contacts, and even things like medication or prescriptions you might be taking. Carrying this card with you could prove helpful in circumstances where you’re incapacitated or can’t get to your documents.

One of the best ways to handle a medical emergency abroad is by being prepared for it. This applies not only to yourself, but also to the people you’re traveling with. Conduct your own research, consider additional protection, and print out your medical information to help you handle medical emergencies while traveling.

This is a sponsored guest post, it does not necessarily represent the views or ideals of  Mommy Ramblings.


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Making The Most Tender Pot Roast Using A Tagine #Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

Wow, the weather has taken a serious dip in the Northeast. Tomorrow is going to be absolutely frigid, the morning will feel like 7 below 0 degrees F. The only bright spot is that next week, we should be back to more seasonable temperatures.

When the weather gets colder, I get into the mood to make hearty meals that stick to your ribs and warm you up. I love a good pot roast, beef stew, pasta fagioli and other flavorful stews and soups, on cold winter days.

If you have been following Mommy Ramblings for a while, you will remember my posts about the best way to cook hearty soups and how to make the perfect beef stew. The right cookware, and the way you cook, really make a difference in how your recipes turn out. I love trying new things in the kitchen and, I have always wanted to try cooking in a Tagine.

A Tagine is a cooking vessel that is used to cook food at a low temperature, for a long time. The unique shape of the Tagine lid allows steam to circulate, which works to keep all the ingredients tender and moist. This kind of vessel and cooking method, works so well with dishes like pot roast. The end result is that type of meat that just falls apart so beautifully, and melts in your mouth.

I just finished cooking my second pot roast in my Emile Henry Tagine, and I don’t think I will cook pot roast any other way. There are so many great recipes you can make in a Tagine. My daughter loves cooking chicken tagine. Any type of recipe that you can cook at a low temperature for a long time, will turn out well.

There are many different kinds of Tagines on the market, but I prefer the Emile Henry Tagine. This Tagine is made of their Flame Ceramic and can be used directly on the heat of the stove or in the oven. This is perfect, because I love starting off on the stove cooking my onions and garlic, browning my meat, and then transferring it all to the oven, to cook for several hours.

You can see the video I made the first time I used the Emile Henry Tagine to make pot roast

We love the Emile Henry Tagine so much, which is why you will find it on Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. A gift of Emile Henry Cookware, is a gift any cooking enthusiast will treasure. I know, I certainly do! My Emile Henry Cookware and Bakeware are staples in my kitchen, and they make cooking and baking for my family and friends, easier and better than ever.

Giveaway

Emile Henry Set of 2 Burgundy #9 Ramekins Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Entertaining, Gifts, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Home & Garden, Kitchen, Review

Meet The Largest Corolle Doll and the 14″ Boy Doll That Uses The Potty #Giveaway

If you have been following Mommy Ramblings for a while, you will probably be aware that we are fans of Corolle Dolls, and just like the last several years, you will find them on our 2017 Holiday Gift GuideThis year we are featuring our first boy Corolle Doll and the biggest Corolle baby girl doll.

Mon Bébé Chéri to Dress is perfect for girls who want a large baby doll that they can dress in real baby clothes. This 20 inch doll can wear real 3 month size baby clothes. She has eyes that close when you lay her down and a cuddly soft body.

Check out our video review of this doll below:

Now, I want you to meet Paul, the drink and wet bath baby doll. This 14″ Corolle boy baby doll is anatomically correct. He can really drink his bottle and he is a very good boy who knows how to use the potty.

He does not leak, but will pee when his belly is pressed. This is the perfect doll to use when toilet training little boys too! To add more fun and realistic play, Paul can also take a real bath and the Corolle Baby Tub is a fun accessory to bathe him in.

You can see our video review and demonstration of Paul below:

The Bathtub for large (14 & 17 inch) My Classique Corolle dolls is an essential accessory for girls and boys to give their dolls a bath. Perfect for all Corolle dolls which can be played with in water.

 

He comes dressed in underpants and tank top along with his bottle and potty. Children can dress him in any of the Mon Classique Corolle Clothes for 14″ Dolls, like the Smock and Denim Overall Set.

 

He needed white sneakers and a pacifier too! They are both available as accessories for this Corolle doll.

 

Another realistic accessory for Corolle Dolls is the Cherry Umbrella Stroller. Just like a real stroller! The Cherry Umbrella Stroller for large My Classique Corolle dolls is fantastic! Lightweight and foldable, The Cherry Umbrella Stroller is easy to take along. The icing on the cake is that the grey wheels don’t show the dirt!

 

Giveaway:

Corolle Mon Bébé Chéri to Dress Doll and Cherry Umbrella Stroller Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Christmas, Dolls and Dollhouses, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Mommy Ramblings, Review, Toys

Choose TIME Slippers For High Performance Relaxation – #Giveaway

We are getting our first snowfall in New York today. It is the perfect day for me to appreciate the beauty of the falling snow from my windows as I write. Afterward, I plan to do some holiday baking, and then help my kids decorate a gingerbread house.

In the evening, we will build a roaring fire, and watch a Christmas movie together. I really need a day to kick back a little, and let myself enjoy some holiday fun. That can be difficult for me to do this time of year, because my editorial schedule is so full. However, today I am putting that time aside.

I am reminding myself of this today, by wearing my TIME Slippers. Who am I kidding? I have been wearing these slippers every day since I got them. The mid top, wool slippers have hard soles that I can and do wear outside, because they are so warm and cozy. No one even thinks they are slippers, as they look more like a mid top sneaker.

 

They are so easy to put on and take off, no laces to tie, and the handy hook and loop fastener flap in the back, lets you just slip your foot right in. I have had them for about a week, and I have been wearing them every day because they are so comfortable and they look great!

The yoga mat insoles make my feet feel great with 6mm of cushioning, that was expertly designed to be comfortable under pressure. The wool interior keeps my feet warm when it is cold and wicks away moisture to keep my feet comfortable. I chose the wool exterior, but they also have leather. TIME Slippers are all made using the finest quality materials.

If you travel, you will be able to sail right through TSA in these babies. They have many styles to choose from for men or women. Women, if you have big feet like I do, don’t despair. While their women’s sizes go up to 9.5, the slippers are unisex. That means that you can just order the men’s size that is the equivalent of what you need.

I can tell you, I wear a women’s 11,  I ordered the men’s size 9, and they fit perfectly. I was afraid they would be really wide or look huge ordering a men’s size, but they don’t. The stretch laces fit my narrow feet perfectly, but would easily expand to fit wider feet.

I love these slippers so much, they have been added to Mommy Ramblings 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. They would make a great gift for just about anyone!

Giveaway:

$150 Gift Certificate to TIME Slippers Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Gifts, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Review, shoes

How to Display Colored Artwork Around Your Home

Do you ever find yourself just going on a coloring spree? I know I do. After a long day, there is nothing quite like taking a hot bath, grabbing a glass of wine and my favorite coloring book and just forgetting about the world for a few hours.

I’ll even let you in on a little secret… If the week hasn’t gone so well, or I just can’t seem to get my fix of colored artwork, I can finish an entire coloring book in a matter of days. Sometimes, I feel guilty because I feel as though I might have wasted the book by speeding through it.

However, when I look back on the beauty I have created, I think: “This ought to be displayed and appreciated, not closed up in some book on a shelf.” So, if you find yourself looking for ways to show off your colored artwork, consider displaying it around your home.

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Displaying Artwork 

Displaying colored artwork is an art within itself. What can you do other than just tape the page on the wall Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. Here are a few things people commonly do wrong when displaying their colored artwork:

Tear the pages out of the book.

Rather than going all in and ripping the finished colored artwork right out of the book, take a calmer approach.
Use scissors to gently and precisely cut the page out or remove the cover and binding of the book so that the pages naturally come out.

Overusing the same sized pages.

You’ve heard the saying – too much of a good thing is bad.  Well, too many of the same sized colored artwork pages are not the most appealing. Instead, use pages from a few different books that still have a compatible color schemes, but vary in size. This will add some dimension and character to your display.

Lacking regard for a color palette.

While a variety of colors is beautiful, a finished piece of colored artwork with clearly no color palette in mind can be a bit mind boggling, and leave the viewer confused and overwhelmed. Beyond that, it can be incredibly hard to find a place where such a display will fits well.  Instead, pick a color palette that compliments the area you plan to display your colored artwork so that it flows well and accents the space, rather than standing out like a sore thumb.

Over cluttering the wall.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So, if you add 10 pictures to one small space, you have essentially placed 10,000 words on one small wall. Instead, leave some white space. Allow each picture to speak for itself and give it room to breathe rather than cluttering one entry wall with every picture you have ever colored.

Incorrectly hanging the art.

Once you have chosen which colored artwork pieces are worthy of display, the last thing you want is to wake up the morning after hanging them to find them on the floor. Instead, invest in quality hanging materials to ensure your artwork stays safely in its place. So, now that you are well versed in the things you shouldn’t be doing, let’s go over the things you should be doing:

Creative Ways to Display Colored Artwork Around Your Home

If you just can’t get enough of your favorite, completed page from your coloring book or your home could just use a little sprucing up in the artwork department, try displaying your artwork around your home like this:

Design your first animal clothing line.

If you are like me and are one of those fur parents who love to dress your animals up just about all year round, this display is for you. When you print your artwork out onto some fabric for your pillows, go ahead and grab a little extra to create the perfect t-shirt for your favorite furry friend. Who knows? Maybe they will even convince their pal at the vet to get one, too. Add some personalized tags and washing instructions to really make it your own!

Create a view.

Typically, a window creates a view – it gives the wall a definite shape by adding a square or rectangle to it, giving the room a focal point that lets you appreciate the beauty outside.

But, what if there is no window?  No worries, just add some of your favorite colored artwork! Use pattern scissors to give the artwork a decorative edge and then place it in an oval, square or rectangle frame and hang it  above your couch or in front of your kitchen sink to define the space.

Bonus: If behind the kitchen sink is your location of choice, it will give you something beautiful to look at while you do the dishes!

Make magnets…to hang more artwork.

Display your artwork with some artwork – sounds a bit like overkill, right?  This is a great way to switch up the normal look of a standard coloring page and also a great way to use your colored artwork for practical purposes.
Use round button magnets and clear glass marbles to create colorful magnets, then use those to display your other colored artwork on your fridge, dishwasher, or even your chalkboard or whiteboard.

Use it as placemats.

I know what you’re thinking: You would never use your artwork as something to eat off of, right?
Good, because neither would I! However, with a little lamination, you can use your artwork as a placemat without damaging it, and it is quick and easy to clean. Plus, most placemats will be the size of at least two pieces of artwork, so you can display more than one at each place setting.

Cover your pillows with it.

One of the easiest ways to decorate your couch is to add an accent pillow. What about showcasing your artwork? Talk about the perfect way to spruce things up and make it your own!  Print your colored artwork onto some fabric then wrap your couch pillows you already have and transform them in a matter of minutes. Your kids will love to nap on them.

Displaying your artwork does not have to be as simple as ripping out the page and hanging it on the wall. You have already worked so hard on it, why not take it to the next level and get creative?

Happy decorating, friends!

This is a sponsored guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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Filed under Decorating, Home, Home & Garden, sponsored guest post

The Smart Way To Cart Your Stuff Around #Giveaway

If you are a parent, crafter, teacher, in direct sales or more, you will love the Smart Cart by DBest Products. It is the easier and less awkward way to transport your stuff. Easily haul and store your craft supplies, instructional books, presentation items and so much more.

The Smart Cart is an easy to operate, convenient, collapsible rolling cart with telescoping handle. The smooth gliding wheels lets you maneuver the cart easily, even in tight spaces. The cart is lightweight and can carry up to 110 lbs. It folds compactly for easy storage. The patented, ergonomically designed handle has a non-slip rubber grip.

Made of durable, flexible waterproof material, the smart cart is ideal to haul important files or electronics. Available in 3 colors (red,black and blue) the smart cart is perfect to bring with you to the grocery store and to use to cart bags from your car to the house. The handy front pocket lets you store items you want to have easy access to. 

I am loving these carts, they are ideal for so many things. Love to store my craft supplies in them because I can just roll the cart out to where I am working. When I am finished I just put everything inside and roll the cart right into the closet.

The carts are very handy when traveling, because I can load quite a few items inside, like my kids tablets, stuffed animals, books and toys and they can roll it in and out of the hotel or anywhere else we are staying. It also gives them a place to keep all their stuff while we are away from home, so less chance of them leaving something  behind when we leave.

Cart Dimensions:

L 11″ x W 13″ x H 17″

Handle extends to 41″

The smart cart makes a perfect gift and that is why we have added the Smart Cart to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. 

Giveaway: 2 Winners!!!

DB Products Smart Cart Giveaway (2 Winners) on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Crafts, Gift, Giveaway, hobby, Holiday Gift Guide, Review, Shopping, Travel

Celebrate The Traditional Rituals of Decorating The Christmas Tree with “Pick A Pine Tree” #Giveaway

Pick A Pine Tree by Patricia Toht and illustrated by Jarvis, is a book all about picking and decorating the perfect Christmas tree. This book is a festive, read-aloud children’s picture book that will have you all brimming with the joy and excitement of Christmastime.

Part of the magic of the Christmas season comes from the holiday traditions we look forward to and take part in each year: hanging stockings, putting candles in the windows, stringing lights outside, and one of the most important of all, picking out and bringing home the Christmas tree.

With palpable warmth and style, debut author Patricial Toht reminds us of all the rituals we go through to decorate our tree. Follow along as one family digs out the boxes brimming with ornaments and trimmings.

To make it more fun, they call their family and friends and invite them to an impromptu, tree trimming party. With family and friends, they deck the tree out, and then, turn on the twinkling lights.

Pick A Pine Tree Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Books, Christmas, Giveaway, Review