The Duke rides again! Movies and money mark the INSP Duke Days of Summer!

The Duke rides again! Movies and money mark the INSP Duke Days of Summer!

This post is in partnership with the INSP Network.

When I was a kid, John Wayne film reruns were a staple of early Sunday morning television. It was on those Sunday screenings (via what would now be considered a super small screen) that I came to adore the Duke. Whether starring in a western or war flick, Wayne proved every bit …

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Summer reading giveaway: 'Masters of Mischief' (The Misadventures of Max Crumbly #3)

Summer reading giveaway: 'Masters of Mischief' (The Misadventures of Max Crumbly #3)

Simon & Schuster is partnering with me for a giveaway!

Grandparents typically rank among the top supporters of their grandchildren’s educational efforts, spending hours helping with homework, attending activities and events, volunteering in the classroom and more.

But how can grandparents help out in the same manner during the kids’ summer break? One way is to slow down the “summer slide” of reading and comprehension skills by encouraging grandkids to make reading a regular part —an enjoyable part — of their long summer days. It can be as simple as…

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Delightful display: Custom canvas print from Canvas Factory (review and giveaway)

Delightful display: Custom canvas print from Canvas Factory (review and giveaway)

I'm one of those grandmas who displays lots and lots of photos of my loved ones. All around my house. For this post, I began counting the number of pictures I have placed here and there. And stopped thirty six. With the remainder of the main level plus the family room to go, I've chosen to just guesstimate here. I'm guessing there are fifty or so scattered about. On walls, bookcases, mantels, and more.

I delight in seeing my sweeties, old and young, in pictures. But with that many pictures to adore—and dust—I clearly don't need anymore.

Yet an offer to review—and give away! (more on that below)—a custom canvas print from Canvas Factory…

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Grand giveaway: Grandparent journals and Logitech webcam make connecting with grandchildren simple

Grand giveaway: Grandparent journals and Logitech webcam make connecting with grandchildren simple

Win a perfect prize for connecting with grandchildren now... and later

Both of my grandmothers lived far away from me when I was a child. My maternal grandmother—the one the longest distance from me but closest to my heart—got in the habit as I got older of writing letters a few times a year, filling me in on the simple day-to-day of her senior years.

Gramma was always intentional in staying in touch with me, up until her arthritic hands could no longer write and my return letters—typed in large, bold-face font for easier reading—were no longer easy to read at all as her vision had failed. Had webcams been around prior to her passing, I'm pretty sure Gramma would have been keen on connecting via the high-tech wonder.

Those handwritten letters from my grandmother are among my most cherished possessions. I still have every one. And though I loved reading of her ordinary everyday doings, I now long for more. I wish she would have shared her family story, her personal longings, her dreams and wishes and deeper thoughts on the virtues and values she held close and hoped to instill in her progeny.

My desire for something tangible showcasing such sentiments from my grandma is what makes me so excited to share this giveaway.

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Enter to win sweet prizes! Sweet’N Low® Spread Sweet Holiday Cheer sweepstakes

Enter to win sweet prizes! Sweet’N Low® Spread Sweet Holiday Cheer sweepstakes

Sharing sweets and treats with loved ones tops my list of ways to spread holiday cheer. My traditional Spritz Cookies, loaves of Cranberry Pumpkin Bread, and stockings filled with Confetti Popcorn are the goodies I most often give.

Sweet'N Low®, America's favorite pink zero-calorie sweetener, has gotten into the giving game this year, launching a national sweepstakes to spread holiday cheer. Fans of the brand can enter for the chance to win sweet prizes not only for themselves, but for a friend of their choice, too.

The makers of Sweet'N Low® have shared with me a gift card in exchange for sharing with you the details on their sweet seasonal sweepstakes. Check it out:

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Giveaway and review: Magic Sketch innovative art pad by Boogie Board

My eight-year-old step-grandson loves to draw. And color. And craft. And create.

So when I received a Magic Sketch from Boogie Board free for review, Bud was the perfect product reviewer for this post.

What's a Magic Sketch? It's pretty much the coolest thing ever, Bud deduced after a few minutes with it. Technically, though, the Magic Sketch is a kid-proof, waterproof, innovative art pad that provides a new and exciting screen on which kids can draw, learn, and play.

Then erase with the push of a button and repeat. Again and again.

magic sketch

The Magic Sketch LCD-display tablet retails for $29.95 and comes with...

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Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure (Giveaway/Review)

Kate, Humphrey and their three wolf cubs — Stinky, Claudette and Runt — are back! Time to snuggle up with your own cubs to enjoy Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, recently released by Lionsgate in a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD available exclusively at Walmart.

 
From front to back: "Stinky," "Runt," "Claudette," "Humphrey" and "Kate" in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's ALPHA AND OMEGA 2: A HOWL-IDAY ADVENTURE.

The new holiday movie features the unlikely pair of wolves, Kate and Humphrey, and their new frisky family of cubs in a heartwarming wilderness adventure. As the family prepares to celebrate its first winter holidays together, their smallest cub, Runt, mysteriously disappears.  They must journey across the wilderness to find and bring back Runt before the winter festivities begin at home. While their adventure does not end exactly as planned, in the end Kate and Humphrey discover that for the holidays, “Home is where the family is.”


The 45-minute movie is filled with action and suspense as well as plenty of the humor and heartwarming moments. Adults will chuckle at the banter between the parents as well as a slo-mo moment when a toboggan takes a tumble and Kat and Humphrey find a second for romance mid-air. My hubby and I certainly were amused by the flick… and we didn’t even have grandkids in the room while watching it.

Special features include:

  • Are you an Alpha or an Omega?
  • Wolf Fun Facts Trivia
  • A Wolf’s Tale: Making Alpha and Omega 2
  • Following the Pack: A Sneak Peek Into Upcoming Alpha and Omega Adventures

For more on Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure, visit the Alpha and Omega DVD site.

Thanks to Lionsgate Entertainment, you can enter to win an Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack ($24.99 value). Enter via Rafflecopter below. Entries accepted through midnight MST Nov. 18. Random winner will be chosen and notified Nov. 19. Prize to be shipped by Lionsgate, not this blog.

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Disclosure: I received this product free for review as part of the Entertainment New Media Network. Opinions are my own.

Munch! Win a cozy bedtime story package for little ones

Munch!

Matthew Van Fleet — author of New York Times bestsellers Alphabet, Heads, Tails, and Moo — has once again created a coveted interactive tale for toddlers. This one is called Munch! and it hits stores August 27.

Munch! features four clever pull tabs and seven tickleable textures. The clever board book puts toddlers nose to nose with captivating critters as they demonstrate all different kinds of mouths and the amazing things they can do. Along the way, sounds, colors, and actions are introduced in a fun and interactive way. The sturdy and silly book is intended for ages 2-6, but can be enjoyed by all members of the family.

Munch! is another in a long line of unique books from Van Fleet, whose innovative books have been introducing children to basic concepts for almost twenty years. His unique formats invite toddlers to touch, press, pull, lift, and even sniff as they explore colors, shapes, numbers, letters, opposites, and more. Here's a glimpse into his creative process:

For more information on Munch!, visit the Official Book Site and Van Fleet Books.

Munch! prize packageBetter yet, enter via Rafflecopter below to win a cozy prize package to share with your favorite toddler, courtesy of the publisher.

One winner will receive a bedtime story package: 

  • Copies of MUNCH!, SNIFF!, LICK! MOO, CAT and ALPHABET by Matthew Van Fleet

Entries accepted through midnight August 27. Winner will be randomly drawn and notified August 28. Prize and shipping is responsibility of brand representatives, not Grandma's Briefs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Munch! for review before sharing this giveaway.