Back to School Shopping ~ Saving on School Clothes

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I can hardly believe that my little girl will start school this year! The picture below was taken a couple of years ago as Kaelyn anticipated this soon to come day! Wow, Where does the time go?!

Her Preschool begins in just over a month, which means I need to think about back-to-school shopping already! Not only does that mean school supplies, but also clothes for her! Kaelyn has been growing like a weed, outgrowing almost everything in her closet. So, soon we'll be shopping to get her all set for fall and winter. Since we'll be looking to purchase quite a few things for back-to-school apparel, I know that much of my shopping will be done right online. Not only is it a lot more convenient for me to shop from home so I don't have to take all three kids out to fight the crowds and lines, but I've also learned it's a fantastic way to save money as well!

Using sites like CouponSnapshot, I'm able to find great coupons and deals almost anywhere I shop online. I've been using this site for the past month or so and have found that it's extremely easy to navigate and use. I'm able to find the stores I'm looking for in no time at all, and can save on everything from children's products to gifts and home decor.

When I begin my back-to-school shopping for Kaelyn, I will definitely be using this resource to save money on the clothes I buy for her. With Toys R Us Coupons for example, I'll be able to find some adorable school clothes (their little girl dresses and tees are really cute!), not to mention get started on some birthday shopping for my kids!! I am sure I'll be able to find some great Toys & Games Coupons as well!

I would have never thought that back-to-school shopping would be so easy, but with the help of CouponSnapshot its going to allow me to be able to easily shop from home for many of the clothes we need and save money at the same time!

**This post was sponsored. All opinions are my own.

I love giving my kids fun activities to do that teach them valuable skills and concepts. It's so neat to sit back and watch as they explore, discover and learn. I'm always looking for new things we can do together, which is why I'm so thankful for Learning Resources and their great selection of educational materials.

Learning Resources is the leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational products for classrooms and the home. They have been a trusted source for teachers and parents for more than 25 years and continue to grown and impress with their diverse product line of now over 1300 products!

I was introduced to Learning Resources when I taught preschool. I loved the hands-on activities they allowed for me to use in my classroom...and since have used with my own children. They help build a foundation of skills through imagination and fun which is why I'm such a big fan.

We've had the opportunity to review several great products from Learning Resources and have had positive experiences with them all. I have been working more and more with Kaden on his colors, so I was really excited to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review the Splash of Color Magnetic Sorting Set.
  • Sort magnetic objects into their color cans
  • Build color recognition, vocabulary and early math skills
  • Adhere to any magnetic surface—great for whiteboards and centers
  • Includes 8 color frames (8” x 10”), 40 magnets and Activity Guide
When the box arrived, both Kaelyn and Kaden were excited to check it out. Of course, I was too!
Upon opening the box we found 8 color frames, 40 magnets and an activity guide to use if we wanted.
We don't have a large enough white board to use, so we got out two of our cookie sheets that we use for activities and got started. Before I even got the chance to tell them how they could use these magnetic frames and magnets, they started sorting the objects into the correct color cans. I thought it was neat that they took the initiative all on their own.
They did a great job sorting out the colors. Since Kaden is working on this skill right now, I was talking with him about which colors he was sorting as he sorted them. Through repetition it helps build color recognition and vocabulary because he was also telling me what each picture was.
It also helps with early math skills such as sorting and counting which is something Kaelyn enjoyed a lot. I was happy that pre-k activity was one that both my 2 year old and 4 year old could do together and enjoy. Since receiving it they've asked to pull it out several times already. I can tell this will be something that will be a source of fun and learning for our family for a very long time!
I would definitely recommend the Splash of Color set to anyone with young children. The quality is fantastic, and it's a fun and different way to teach the colors and early math skills. Of course this is just one of so many great educational activities offered from Learning Resources. You can check out their full selection at

Buy It: You can purchase the Splash of Color Magnetic Sorting Set for $26.99.

You can also connect with Learning Resources on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Win It: One lucky reader is going to win a Splash of Color Magnetic Sorting Set of their own! Just enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below. If you don't see the form, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**The product for this review and giveaway were provided for free. All opinions are my own.

The Vision Council ~ Eye Safety and Protecting Your Children's Eyes

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer is one of my favorite times of year! I love being able to spend time outdoors with the kids, enjoying the few short months of warmth we experience here in the Midwest. Of course, with more time outside also means more exposure to the sun. I do my best to regularly apply sunblock on all of us to protect our skin, but did not realize until recently I should be doing more to protect our eyes from the harmful UV rays as well!

Last week I had the opportunity to sit in on a briefing with  TheMotherhood and The Vision council where I learned all about the importance of wearing sunglasses outdoors, especially for kids!

For those who are not familiar, The Vision Council is a nonprofit trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. Their member companies manufacture and/or distribute everything from eyeglass lenses and frames to sunglasses to eyeglass cases and accessories. An important part of their work is educating adults and children about vision health and eye safety.

I was excited when asked to be apart of this briefing session, as the topic was one that I wanted to learn more about and share with all of you!  I knew it was important to wear sunglasses, but didn't realize just how important! Research shows that more than 40 percent of parents don’t proactively ensure their children wear UV protective sunglasses - the most effective tool for blocking damaging UVA and UVB rays. Up until now, I will admit, I have been one of those parents. I make sure to apply the sunblock, but have not been great about pushing the sunglasses like I should. After being a part of this informative briefing session however, that has all changed! It was also interesting to see this image with details on the top 25 cities for high UV exposure as well!
Children's young eyes are especially susceptible to UV-related harm (especially those under 10 years of age). I've learned that unlike the mature lens of an adult eye, a child's lens cannot filter out UV rays and so more radiation reaches the retina. Wow! And did you know eyes could actually sunburn? I didn't! The sun's rays can be so dangerous for us all, but especially children! I've learned just how important eye safety is and that's why I wanted to share some of the steps we learned to help shield kids' eyes (and adults!) from harmful sun exposure.

Experts, Jamie Shyer (chairman of The Vision Council board of directors) and Dr. Dora Adamopoulos, OD (member of Better Vision Institute, the Medical Advisory Board to The Vision Council) were there to discuss with us the importance of UV protection for children's eyes and the most appropriate eyewear for outdoor activities. Here are a few key points that I found most helpful and interesting:
  •  UVA and UVB rays are constantly penetrating the Earth’s surface, leaving unprotected eyes exposed to harmful radiation. Although it’s commonly misperceived that UV rays are only out during sunny days, they are actually present throughout the day – no matter the season or weather.
  • Even a small amount of unprotected exposure is dangerous. UV exposure adds up over time and can lead to serious health problems as you and your children age. That’s why it’s increasingly important to have sunglasses handy at all times.
  • To determine if your sunglasses are reliable, look for a little sticker or tag on the lens that shows compliance with criteria set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The label "UV 380" covers all UVA and UVB rays.
  • In a recent survey of 10,000 U.S. adults, 73 percent of parents wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from ultraviolet radiation, while only 58 percent have their children wear sunglasses. That means that nearly half of parents aren’t protecting their children’s eyes from harmful UV radiation.
Of course, it was that last point that really hit home! Knowing the facts, I want to help protect my kids' eyes. And to start, that means buying them a pair of UV-protective sunglasses from a reputable retailer. Some things I learned about choosing the right sunglasses include taking into consideration the following: 1) Comfort (so you'll actually wear them), 2) Reliability (buy from a reputable retailer - not street vendors or popular auction sites), 3) Active Lifestyle (consider your daily activities in your choice of sunglasses), 4) Design and fit that works best for you/your children.

Now if you're like me, you may be wondering how to actually get your kids to wear the sunglasses on a consistent basis. After all, it's easy to find them a pair they'll love, it's not always easy to get them to wear them on a regular basis. That's when creativity comes into play. If your kids like stickers, maybe try letting them put two to three on the glasses (limiting to the frame, not the lens). Or, buy an inexpensive pair of sunglasses and put them on their favorite stuffed animals. I know my kids would be more apt to wear them if their favorite friend was outfitted in them too! Of course, the best way to encourage wearing sunglasses and protecting their eyes is to lead by example. It's important for parents to wear sunglasses every time they have the opportunity. Not only is it a good habit to get into, but it will reinforce the behavior in your children as well.
Jamie Shyer and Dr. Adamopoulos were also kind enough to answer our questions as well. Here are a few of the many I found helpful:

      How can I tell if I have a quality pair of sunglasses? Should I be looking for a certain type of government standard?

To determine the UV protection provided by your current sunglass lenses, take them to your local optometrist or ophthalmologist’s office. Many optical practices have a UV meter that can determine the UV protection of a lens.

When purchasing sunglasses, you should look for an American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, sticker or logo on the lens,tag or box. The ANSI Z80.3-2001 standard, usually labeled as “UV 380,” covers all UVA and UVB ray protective requirements. 

      Do hats help decrease UV exposure to eyes?

Hats, especially wide brimmed ones, can help block UV radiation, but they should never be used in place of sunglasses. The sun is constantly moving so the direction of UV rays at noon is very different from the direction at 3 or 4 p.m. Baseball caps that only have front bills don’t offer eyes nearly enough protection as the sun starts to set. UV protective eyewear is the best way to make sure that eyes are shielded from UVA and UVB rays.  

      Should sunglasses be worn even on cloudy days?

Sunglasses should always be worn outside – no matter your location, season, or time of day. Overcast skies still allow 31 percent of solar radiation to reach the Earth’s surface. 

As you can tell, this session was very informative and helpful. It opened my eyes to the importance of protecting my family's eyes from the dangerous rays from the sun and how to do that effectively.

The Vision Council’s website is also full of useful information about sunglasses, lenses, tints and frames. And, you can connect with them on Twitter and Facebook as well.

*I wrote this post as part of a paid opportunity with The Vision Council through TheMotherhood. All  opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Buy Gifts and Save Money with PromoCodes2012!

Posted by Jenna | Friday, July 20, 2012

August marks the beginning of a very busy few months for our family. We have a total of 15 birthdays between August and mid-December...not to mention Christmas as well! That means July is the month I start planning out gifts for everyone. It can be a little overwhelming, however...thanks to online shopping, purchasing gifts has become a lot easier! Not only with shopping, but also saving!

It's times like this I am very thankful for sites like PromoCodes2012 that help me save money when buying gifts. As I checked out their site for the first time, I was happy to find a user-friendly layout that allowed me to search my favorite online stores (like Amazon, JC Penney, Target, etc) for promo codes and hot deals!

Target is probably one of my favorite places to shop (both online and in-store). They not only have a terrific selection of items...everything from toys and clothing to home decor and electronics... but their prices are affordable as well. I have found that they are even better now, especially with the great Target promo codes found at!

For instance, in shopping for gifts for upcoming birthdays in our family...I was able to find deals on children's clothing for my nephews and kids, kitchen cookware for my mom, video games for my brother, and lots of printable coupons on everyday items as well. Wow, I am thrilled to be finding all the gifts I need at such great prices!

One thing I've found about this site that I really appreciate as well, is that their professional bargain hunter team does a great job updating the promo codes database daily. This means I'm able to find the latest deals and know that the rest of my gift shopping will be made easy! I've had great luck finding deals on the gifts I've been wanting to buy for all the birthdays coming up over the coming months and will definitely continue to check back for great deals often.

I would recommend checking out these deals and promo codes when shopping for yourself, purchasing gifts, and more! With the variety of stores available and discounts all in one's sure to be a convenient way to shop and save.

**This is a sponsored posts. All opinions are my own. 

Summer Infant Slumber Buddies Review & Giveaway

Posted by Jenna | Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer means time outdoors, trips to the park, and one of my favorites....getting to take family vacations! My husband and I love to take our kids on trips, it's a way to spend quality time together and make memories that will last a lifetime! One of the downfalls though, is that our kids often have a hard time sleeping in unfamiliar places. We try to take things they like to sleep with like blankets and stuffed animals, but now have an even better solution that to Summer Infant!

For those who aren't familiar with Summer Infant, they are a company dedicated to bringing parents a large selection of products that are both safe and sensible for little ones. I love how Summer Infant puts their heart and soul into everything they design which is why I am a huge fan of their company and products.

When I found out we were going to have the opportunity to review one of Summer Infant's Slumber Buddies, I was excited. I knew this would be great for at home and travel as well. We were sent the Slumber Buddy Frankie The Frog.

  • Slumber Buddies™ make the perfect bedroom companion for your baby
  • 3 color display options – blue, green and amber
  • 30 minute auto shut-off
  • Calming star and moon display on ceiling and walls of baby’s room
  • Soothing nightlight illuminates room
  • 2 lullabies, 2 nature sounds and white noise

When Frankie the Frog arrived, my kids were begging to take him out of the box. I couldn't blame them, I was excited too!
Upon pulling him out of the box, I was impressed with the quality right away! Once again, Summer Infant did not disappoint! He is also, absolutely adorable and perfect for any child's bedroom. I love that this particular Slumber Buddy is gender neutral, however, there is also the Bella the Butterfly which is equally as adorable and would be great for a little girl especially!
Of course, other than the quality...what's really great about Slumber Buddies is that they offer a selection of peaceful lullabies and a glowing sky full of stars. We took it into a dark room and turned it on and the kids thought it was the neatest thing ever! They absolutely love the calming moon display on the ceiling and walls!
My two year old has especially enjoyed having Frankie the Frog in his bedroom. In fact, he doesn't like to go to sleep without us turning it on at night. It provides a tranquil environment for him at bedtime. I really like the lullabies, nature sounds and white noise, as they help to block out unwanted sounds that may keep him up at night. It has a 30 minute auto shut-off which is great as well!
And of course, we LOVE the 3 color displays that provide a glowing sky full of stars! What a calming and peaceful environment to have a soft glow throughout the room! It has three color options - blue, green, and amber and also acts as a great night light as well!

I have been very happy with Summer Infant's Slumber Buddies! Frankie the Frog is a new favorite in our household, and someone we will be taking with us on our next family vacation for sure. It's sure to give Kaden a familiar environment even when we're away, ensuring a great night's sleep no matter where we are.

I would definitely recommend Slumber Buddies from Summer Infant to anyone with young children! The quality is great, and the soothing environment it creates for little ones helps them fall asleep peacefully. And, with it being such a nice's great for taking on the go as well!

Buy It: You can purchase Slumber Buddies from a number of locations and online retailers. Check out Summer Infant for where to buy.

Win It: One very lucky reader is going to win one of the Summer Infant Slumber Buddies of their own! US Only. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway below. If you don't see the form, please click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**The product for this review and giveaway were provided for free. All opinions are my own.**


Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I apologize that I am so behind on announcing winners. I've been contacting winners right along, but have not had time to get a "winner's post" up until now. Congrats to everyone, and thank you to everyone who entered!

Summer Infant Story Time Potty ~ Commenter 215, tess cogbill - katychick
Energizer MAX AA batteries (2pks) ~ Commenter 171, Micah P.
Junior Carousel Gumball Machine w/refill ~ Commenter 78, Karen Myers Puleski
Midwest Dairy Council Get Moo-ving Prize pack (valued at $100!)~ Commenter 260, Mamabunny S.
Summer Infant Cushy Cradler Newborn Baby Bath ~ Commenter 36,  JoAnne M.
32 oz jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil ~ Commenter 1, Steva S. ABC WordPad ~ Commenter 284, Charles M.
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat ~ Commenter 114, Laura D.
Pearl Paradise Mini Pearl Pendant Necklace ~ Commenter 5, Lois M.
KidCo Safety Gate ~ Commenter 43, Rita
Summer Infant Take Two Booster Seat ~ Commenter 427, Kimberly B.
Mouth Man Hoodie ~ Commenter 195, Daisy M.
EatSmart Precision Get Fit Digital Body Fat Scale ~ Commenter 213, Cassandra E.
Frito-Lay Prize Pack ~ Commenter 108, Miranda W.
Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox ~ Commenter 225, Felicia R.
Tea Collection $100 GC ~ Commenter 104, Jennifer B.
JC Toys Doll ~ Commenter 307, Nancy L.
CP Toys Power Garden Tools Play Set ~ Commenter 74, Lois B.
My1Story Books ~ Commenter 276, Amy D.

Shop & Save with CouponSnapshot

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Having three young children, I find shopping in the store to be quite a task at times. It often takes a while to find the things I'm looking for at the right price, and with two kids asking to go potty and a baby who needs to be fed, it can be very difficult. That's why I do much of my shopping online.

Online shopping has become popular among busy people, particularly parents. I can see why! It allows me to shop from the comfort of my own home, and is a lot easier for me to find great deals and coupons as well! Overtime, I've found that with the right resources, there's usually a deal on almost anything I'm looking to buy. That is especially true with a site like CouponSnapshot.

Whether it's deals on kids products, gifts for a friend, or something more unique like finding online vouchers that your'e looking for...they are a valuable resource for online shoppers looking to save money. I have taken a look around their site several times recently and have been impressed with how easy it is to use. Between the handy category tabs at the top of the page and the search bar, I'm able to find what I'm looking for in no time at all.

I also appreciate the variety of deals offered. When I pulled up the stores, I was amazed with how many there were to choose from. And, they weren't just everyday stores either! There were also many unique options as well. For instance, our family loves to watch the Olympics and can't wait for them to start this summer! So it was exciting to see that people can save big on The London 2012 Shop, finding all The London 2012 Shop Vouchers they could need, right in one place! No wonder it's considered a "one-stop online source for vouchers & deals"!

If you're like me and enjoy shopping online and finding good deals, you may want to check out Coupon Snapshot if you haven't already! They make shopping and saving easy...all while saving me time! What more could a busy mom ask for?!

**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

With three kids to shop for now, we need to find clothing that is high quality and cute, however... affordability is also a priority to us. Thankfully, we have found all of these things from Carter's, the leading provider of baby and young children's apparel.

If you're familiar with Carter's you know that they carry a large selection of adorable clothing for little ones! We love going to our nearest Carter's store many times throughout the year to stock up on clothes for the kids. With everything from pjs to dressy clothes and everything in between, they're really our one-stop-shop when it comes to children's clothing for our 8 month old, 2 year old and 4 year old!

Every time we visit a Carter's store, the whole family has a blast! My husband and I love finding great deals and clothes, while the kids enjoy checking out the super cute clothes, specifically the adorable baby pajamas with characters on the feet! I love their pajamas for the kids - in fact, each Christmas we get our kids pajamas to wear from Carter's!

Christmas 2011 - In their pajamas from Carter's!

And of course, the kids love their comfortable pjs as well!
Back to the big news though! Being such a huge fan, I was excited to learn about the Carter's Stock Up on Basics Sale! Carter’s is your destination for super cute summer styles! Through July 17, select Basics for your little ones online or in-stores start at just $3.99! This is a great time to get your favorite Carter's clothes for amazingly low prices!

Featured select styles for Girls include: 

Knit Dresses - Adorable and comfy knit dresses can be worn alone or with a pair of leggings to make the perfect outfit. Carter’s offers the perfect knit dress basics that are perfect summer staples.
Tees - From cap sleeve to short sleeve graphic tees, she’ll love mixing & matching with various bottoms.
Bottoms (shorts/leggings) - Shorts and leggings are comfy and cute with a no-pinch elastic waist, great for easy outfitting. Your little fashion darling will be oh so comfy in canvas shorts and her favorite tee.

Kaelyn has owned many Carter's clothes. Over the years we've found that they hold up great, are super cute, and are comfortable for her to wear on a daily basis. I was excited to check out the Basics Sale items at, and thought these two pieces would be especially perfect for her. 

Flutter Sleeve Print Dress for $9.99

Kaelyn is a girly girl and loves all things with ruffles, bows, and pink! If given the choice what to wear everyday, she would choose a dress hands down! She loves dresses! I always look for dresses that are comfortable and cute, which is why the Flutter Sleeve Print Dress stood out to me! The colors are great, and I love the bottom as it would make it easy for her to twirl around in (one of her favorite things to do!). It's a cute dress that would be easy to play in and the smocked top and ruffled hem really give it a super cute look, making it a perfect choice as one of Kaelyn's back-to-school outfits!

Cap Sleeve Tee for $4.99
Kaelyn loves pink and so do I. That's why this basic tee jumped out to me right away. I love that it can easily be paired with different bottoms. It would be easy to dress up with a skirt or cute leggings, or dress down with a pair of shorts or jeans. Either way, this tee would be perfect for my little princess!

Of course, with two little boys I couldn't help but look at all of the boys Basics Sale items as well! Featured select styles for Boys include:

Graphic Tees - A short sleeve graphic tee is every little guy’s favorite. Tees with cool graphics and soft cotton are fun to wear in the summer sun.
Cargo Shorts - Cargo shorts will be his favorite in the summer heat! Soft and sturdy, he can mix & match his cargo shorts with tees and tops for easy outfits.

I searched and found some cute items for my boys!

Plaid Cargo Shorts for $5.99

I love the colors and style of the Plaid Cargo Shorts. They are perfect for summer and into fall. We are getting our family pictures taken and I was planning to do browns and turquoise colors for each of us, so I have already ordered the boys each a pair of these shorts! Can't wait to see them on them! They can easily be paired with a tee or polo to dress up or down which I love as well!

Snap-Up Creeper for $3.99
This would be absolutely perfect for Caysen, as it's lightweight and cool enough for him to wear on these hot summer days. I love one-piece outfits like this, as they're easy to get on and off, especially with the snaps that make diaper changes a breeze! The colors are fun for summer, and best of the monkey! I love monkeys on little boys clothing!! Everything about this outfit is just my style (and my little man's as well!).

I love Carter's clothing and am super excited about the great prices during the Stock Up on Basics Sale going on right now! I would definitely recommend checking out the great deals and cute styles!

Buy It: You can check out the Stock Up on Basics Sale online, or at a store near you. To find a store, head over to

You can also connect with Carter's online! Like Carter's on Facebook to discover the latest great deals and engage with other moms just like you! You can also follow Carter's on Twitter for exclusive events, deals and offers for your little ones!

Win It: One very lucky reader is going to win a $50 Carter's Gift Card! US Only. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter Giveaway below. If you don't see the Rafflecopter form, please click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Carter’s partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote Basics. As part of the program, I received product or gift cards. Carter’s believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. Carter’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.**

Summer Recipe from Libby's & Summer Picnic Prize Pack Giveaway!

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer is my favorite time of year. Once the warm weather hits, our family is outdoors as much as possible. It means pool time, walks, vacations and of course family BBQs, picnics, and other outdoor adventures! My kids especially love picnics and are always asking if we can go on one. That's why I'm always looking for new picnic food ideas, and was happy when introduced to a summer themed recipe from Libby's Fruits & Vegetables.

The same old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or cold meat sandwiches get old after a while. It's fun to change it up and add in something different that the whole family will enjoy. The following is a Smoky Carrot Hummus Sandwich Spread recipe...a flavorful and healthy sandwich topper, perfect for summer picnic food!

1 (15 ounce) cans Libby’s® Sliced Carrots drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can Libby’s® Organic Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or curry powder)
½ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, blend together carrots, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, garlic cloves, paprika, cumin and pepper. While processor is running, slowly pour in olive oil. Process until smooth.

To make a sandwich, spread 2 tablespoons of carrot hummus on one slice of whole grain bread of your choice. Top with avocado, tomato, turkey or your favorite sandwich fillings. Top with another piece of whole grain bread.

Keep remaining spread in sealed container for up to 10 days in refrigerator.

This seems to be very simple recipe and one that would help us get out of our typical boring sandwich rut when it comes to family picnics. I'm looking forward to trying it out, and that should be easier thanks to the assortment of products we were sent from Libby's!

With summer here, it's the perfect time to try new recipes and pack up the picnic basket to enjoy some time outside with the family! And, what better way to do that than with a great summer picnic prize pack to get started?! 

Win It: Libby's wants to encourage you to pack up your picnic basket this summer and enjoy some fun family time. They have offered one lucky reader the same summer prize pack I received, which includes an assortment of Libby's products, an insulated Picnic Basket in red, and a Picnic Blanket Tote in red!

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. If you don't see the form, please click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**The product for this review and giveaway were provided for free. All opinions are my own.

HearthSong ~ Zoku Quick Pop Maker ~ Review & Giveaway

Posted by Jenna | Monday, July 09, 2012

After a long, cold winter...summer has finally arrived here in the Midwest. We've been enjoying the warmth and time outdoors as much as possible. The past couple of weeks have been especially hot, so we have being keeping cool by swimming in the pool and of course one of our favorite things to do, eating lots of yummy frozen treats! My kids love ice cream, freeze pops, etc. I like to find healthier alternatives, and have tried to make them myself in the past. Unfortunately I had not found a good way to do this, until I was introduced to a great product carried by HearthSong!

Since 1983, HearthSong has committed themselves to providing parents with age-appropriate, wholesome, and quality playthings for children. It is their belief childhood is a vital chapter in life and a special time when children can experience as much creative, imaginative play as possible. They guarantee that each item is carefully selected for it's quality and safety...and as their motto states, their products are Toys You'll Feel Good About Giving.

I am a huge fan of HearthSong and their great selection of products! I find everything to be unique and something my family would be able to enjoy together. That's why I was drawn to the Zoku Quick Pop Maker and couldn't have been happier to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review.


  • 6 durable, reusable plastic pop sticks with unique ridged designs that allow pops to adhere securely
  • 6 drip guards for tidy eating
  • Super Tool to help quickly release frozen treats from molds
  • Phthalate-free
  • Makes up to 9 Quick Pops before having to refreeze mold

When the Zoku Quick Pop Maker arrived, I was really excited to check it out.

Upon opening the box, I was impressed with the size right away. I had expected the Quick Pop Maker to be larger, so I was pleasantly surprised with the 8"L x 4-1/4"W x 4-1/2"H size! It's big enough to make good-sized free pops, yet small enough to easily handle and find space for in the freezer. I love it!
The quality is also fantastic. I could tell right way that this is something that will last us a very long time. I appreciate this, as I know our family will enjoy a fun and delicious activity that we can do as a family throughout the summer, year after year!

Once I had checked it over, I read through the user-friendly instruction manual and placed the Quick Pop Maker in the freezer for 24 hours prior to making freeze pops. Once it was frozen, the kids and I decided to to cool off with some yummy frozen pops. I love that we are able to use our own ingredients to make the quick pops (juice, yogurt, chocolate milk, etc) and even make them unique with stripes or flavored cores!

The first time we used it, we decided to use grape juice. The Quick Pop Maker uses no electricity, so once it had been in the freezer for at least 24 hours, we removed it and got started. We first inserted three sticks, then poured chilled juice into the molds just before the fill line.

The kids and I loved watching as the pops began to freeze and became completely frozen and ready to eat in just 7-9 minutes! I had read that the process was quick, but wow! Ours took 9 minutes the first time and I thought that was incredible. How fun to be able to watch the whole process too!

Once we could tell the pops were frozen, we placed the orange Super Tool over the top of each pop stick and rotated clockwise until the Quick Pops released. I then lifted each Quick Pop free from the mold, took off the Super Tool and attached the optional drip cup to the stick. It was really that easy!!
I was amazed just how easily the Quick Pop's came out of the mold. It really only took seconds, which was good since I had two very eager children waiting to test them out! :) And, the fact that the pop sticks have unique ridged designs helped the pop adhere securely to the stick as well.
Once removed, I was also impressed with the large size of the pops. They are the perfect treat to cool off on a hot summer day, and the kids absolutely love helping make them! I appreciate the drip cup that attaches to the stick, as it helps contain the mess as well.
And for larger families, or those who have visitors over...the Zoku Quick Pop Maker actually makes up to nine pops before having to refreeze the unit (three at a time!).

Overall I've been thrilled with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker! The quality is fantastic, and it's been great being able to make our own, healthy frozen pops in just minutes. It's a fun activity our family can do together and one I know we'll continue to do a lot through the coming months and years! We look forward to trying out more flavors and creations!

Of course, the Zoku Quick Pop Maker is just one of many great products for summer at HearthSong! I would recommend families with young children, head over and check out their great selection summer toys!


 Buy It: You can purchase the Zoku Quick Pop Maker from HearthSong for $49.98.

Win It: One very lucky reader is going to win a Zoku Quick Pop Maker of their own! US Only. Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. If you do not see the Rafflecopter form, please click here.

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**The product for this review and giveaway was provided for free. All opinions are my own.

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