Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Introducing Baby Banjo {For The Love Of Blog}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Another blast from the past?  Okay.  🙂

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Introducing Baby Banjo!!!

He is finally here!  Banjo was born on April 14th at 5:32 pm.

 His first baby pictures:
For a 37-weeker he was a BIG baby! Our little heavy weight weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 and 3/4 inches long!

What a proud Papa!

Of course my Audi had to get a picture of the hearing screening being done…by someone else!  Now why should insurance have to pay for something that daddy could have done himself???  It’s only a matter of time before Banjo makes the trip to the office and just for kicks gets a full work up done by his daddy. Guess that will be their male bonding time!
I’m awake!
I’m asleep!

I’m really awake!
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 Well, that was a fun little jog down memory lane!  I really need to get some of those picture developed.  Why is it so hard to get photo prints taken care of?  Shouldn’t it be so much easier?  It really should!  These are memories, people!  🙂   Perhaps I should make a photo calendar.  That would be a perfectly effective and dandy way to use all of our pictures from the past.  Otherwise they will never be seen.  So many pictures.  So little time.  I must make a habit of actually doing things with the pictures.  Like for instance…  My phone… It contains hundreds and hundreds of pictures.  iPhone pictures that will never be seen unless I get them printed.  Time to print them!
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Stay tuned for more posts from the past.  A glimpse into my life before the Dandy.  🙂

Baby News!! {For The Love Of Blog}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008

Baby News!!

I know the count down to baby says that we have 23 days to go, but it’s wrong! Due to my blood pressure issues we knew that he would be born before 40 weeks, but everything was always still up in the air. Well, I saw the doctor today and we are good to go! Sunday evening I will go into the hospital to have the induction process started. So Monday (April 14th) will be baby day! I’ll post pictures of him as soon as I can…although I may be quite busy next week! And yes he is still nameless!
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That post takes me way back.  Back to the days when life seemed so much more simple.  But was it? Really?  Sure I wasn’t busy with children.  Sure I had a job outside of the home back then.  Sure I had time to go shopping and shopping alone.  Sure I didn’t need to worry about getting places on time because I was always on time.  (Children have a way of making you late.)  Sure I always wore the type of jewelry that I wanted to wear.  Earrings especially.  Dangly ones.  Ones that you can never wear with a baby around.  See?  The things that you don’t think about until they are gone.
Life back then was quite dandy, but would I change my life for the world now.  Never.  I love being a mom.  I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world.  They are my everything and it’s even more dandy that life used to be.
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Speaking of things that are dandy…  Have you visited the Seeing Dandy lifestyle blog yet?  It’s a place to see all things that are dandy.  Because well it’s dandy.  🙂

LEGOLAND Kansas City {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My Banjo is now 6-years-old.  It’s weird to think that my first born is that old.  He’s like a little man who is almost finished with kindergarten.  So very strange for me!  In past years we have always had a birthday party for him.  I was trying to be that mom who threw those big, fabulous parties with lots of friends invited.  Yes, that mom.  I even invited the siblings of the friends, because I didn’t want anyone to feel left out.  Is that a little crazy?  Maybe a little excessive?  (Now there’s nothing really wrong with being that mom.  There are plenty of moms who can pull it off and more power to them.  I’m just not good at being that mom.  For sanity sake I had to take a step back, evaluate what’s truly important, and just say no.)

This year?  No more.  We have three littles now.  All will have a birthday.  All will eventually want to have a party.  All cannot have a party in the same year.  That would be maddening.  I can’t plan for such things.  I can’t decorate for such things.  I can’t organize for such things.  I can’t do such things.  It’s just not going to happen times three every year.  Nope.  Not going to do it.  So I’m thinking that each child has a “friend party” every other year.  Maybe every 3rd year.  Just. Not. Every. Year.

That’s why this year we decided to take Banjo (and the other two littles) out of town for a surprise birthday weekend extravaganza.  Banjo expected to have a party.  We told him we had a special adventure planned instead of a party.  It was a weekend all about him, things he likes, and together as a family.  The best part of celebrating in this way?  Family time!

We went to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Kansas City!  LEGOLAND agreed on us coming for a visit, my doing a review on the blog, and giveaway away FOUR tickets.  You will find that giveaway below.  First, here are just a few of our favorite highlights from the place Banjo now thinks is the bestest birthday celebration ever.  At the LEGOLAND in Kansas City you can…

Find out how many LEGO bricks you weigh and your height in LEGO bricks:

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Travel to a distant land:

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Meet your favorite LEGO characters:

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Build and race LEGO cars:

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And just have a fantastically dandy time!

Of course you can’t visit LEGOLAND without getting some LEGOS.  Audi came out of the shop with this on my keys:

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He said it’s because I’m Wonder Woman.

As I already mentioned, the winner of this giveaway will receive FOUR tickets to LEGOLAND in Kansas City!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 2nd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by the Kansas City LEGOLAND Discovery Center, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Sprinkled Joy {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

About five years ago, I was up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got out of bed and decided to get something done.  We had just moved in to our very first home that we had purchased a couple of weeks earlier, and I was in the middle of decorating.  There was a large wall that ran from our living room to our dining room, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  That night, though, I came up with the most perfect wall college of different sizes/shapes/colors of frames that just happened to fit together perfectly.  I included some of the most important things to us in these frames (our marriage certificate, a family picture, a picture of Jesus Christ, etc.) along with some cute decorations (a large teal J, burlap background, etc.), and that large wall college has been a staple in every house we’ve lived in since then.

Since having children, we’ve had to make some changes to the pictures in the frames, and over the past year, I’ve had an empty 8×10 white frame that I couldn’t figure out what to do with.  Pure laziness, I know.  When I discovered Sprinkled Joy, though, I knew that I had found the perfect fit for that empty frame!

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Sprinkled Joy is an Etsy shop that specializes in customizable prints and printables that are perfect for every room in the house or for any occasion.  There are a number of prints for family reunions, weddings, anniversaries, baby shower, birthdays, etc. that could then be framed and hung in a bedroom, living room, family room, or nursery.  I love that there is literally something for everyone in this shop — all customizable at an amazing price with a quick turnaround time.

One of my favorite parts of working with Sprinkled Joy over the past few weeks has been my interaction with Sarah, the shop owner.   She has been quick to respond to my messages, to update me with changes along the way, and to allow me the chance to make changes to my proof.  If you’re looking for someone who will ensure that your customizable products looks exactly the way you want it, I would highly recommend Sarah at Sprinkled Joy!

Sarah tells us on her About Us page: “In January 2012 I put some products up and people began buying them – I was shocked, and super flattered. From there Sprinkled Joy has grown beyond any expectations I initially had and has some regular customers and many new happy ones. I always love it when I can create something that has been personalized especially for someone and hope that my designs can bring an extra measure of joy into people’s lives.”

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The Original Famous Couples Subway 8×10 Print

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Newborn Stats Birth Announcement, Size 4×8

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ABC Name Print – Customizable

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Family Tree for Large Families

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Important Places, Tell Your Story in Longitude & Latitude

**This is the print I worked on with Sarah to create, and I could not have been more pleased with the outcome!!  I especially loved the idea of creating a print of these important places because my husband and I met in Okinawa, Japan, which is where we had our first date and where my husband proposed.  The interesting thing, though, is that we discovered a few weeks into our dating that we had both lived about a mile away from each other in a little town in Utah for about eight years!  My husband’s family moved to Washington state about the same time that we moved overseas, but our family would fly through Seattle during our summer trips back to visit grandparents.  We’ve loved how these places have forever changed our lives!

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Are you already imagining one of these prints on your wall??  Enter below to win on 8×10 print of your choice from Sprinkled Joy!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be  drawn no later than the evening of August 31st and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Sprinkled Joy, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

Birthday Express {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I love when parents go all out for their first child’s first birthday!  What a great time and occasion to celebrate a whole year of being a parent for the first time, and how fun to plan a big to-do and invite all your friends and family to love on your cute baby!  Birthday Express has the most adorable (and extensive) assortment of 1st Birthday Party Supplies, and we were thrilled to receive the Barnyard 1st Birthday Party Pack for my cousin’s little boy’s first birthday!  Here are her thoughts:

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We had a great experience with birthday express!  Our little boy had the best 1st birthday he could ask for and I enjoyed planning and carrying out an adorable party thanks to this company.

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We knew we wanted to do something that could incorporate tractors and farming and I fell in love with their Barn Yard themed package.  I get really overwhelmed throwing parties and was so grateful to have so much of it taken care of for me!  I literally took the box I had received in the mail from Birthday Express to the park, along with the food our friends and family prepared and a couple of cowboy themed items from our house and set up a super cute party!  party3

Our boy loved the attention, treats, candle, and balloons…his little friends loved the little favors and park toys, the parents enjoyed the theme and decorations, and I LOVED the ease of throwing it all together.

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All my basics were covered, (plates, cups, utensils, decorations, candles, party favors, thank you cards, party hats, etc,) and we just added in our own little flare. My favorite part of Birthday Express… his adorable birthday sign!

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It was such a blast!  I still had extra streamers and used them to decorate his room in our new house…because who doesn’t love a decorated bedroom!

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We only struggled a little with the cardboard cutouts (party hats, party favor boxes, etc.) I guess we are not super skilled, but we needed a little tape to help hold them together, but the kids loved them all the same. 🙂

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Thank you thank you thank you Birthday Express!!

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Check out the other party packs from the 1st birthday section at BirthdayExpress.com: http://www.birthdayexpress.com/categorypage/1st-Birthday-Party_18+82.aspx

And get excited about an upcoming site called 1stWishes.com, which will have all of these adorable 1st birthday products and supplies in one location.  It will be live this Thursday!  Don’t forget to stop by later this week and start planning your little one-year-old’s party!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

MyLittleSeat {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Growing up, my dad worked a completely consistent schedule and was home by 4:30 p.m. every night, which allowed our family the opportunity to eat dinner together almost every single night.  Even during my high school years when we’d all be running in opposite directions, I think we did a pretty good job of having as many of us at the dinner table as possible, and I can’t remember even one time that any of us ate dinner in our own rooms.  (I do, however, have incredibly fond memories of our Chili’s takeout dinners on Friday nights in front of the TV watching Survivor and The Apprentice!)

My husband’s schedule, while consistent, doesn’t mean that we have the option of eating dinner together every night, but we do try to eat at least one (and usually two!) meals together as a family everyday.  As parents of young boys, though, these meals can be highly exhausting!  Both of my boys are good eaters, but they can get active and it’s rare to have both of them actually sit at the table through the entire meal without a number of reminders.  In fact, just the other day, I mentioned to both of them that I was planning to put seatbelts on their chairs so that they would stay in one place and finish eating!

MylittleSeat

Well, these products from MyLittleSeat are even better than my idea of having seatbelts installed on our chairs — this sling style travel high chair allows for any chair to become a high chair safe enough for young children!  These seats can be used in your own homes, at friends’ houses (whether they have children or not), in restaurants, and on vacation.  They have the cutest designs for their sturdy fabric, and the best part is that fold down into a matching compact travel bag that is just larger than the size of a diaper and wipes container!

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“Determined not to “go back to work” as a result of the love affair that comes with having a baby [founder Stephanie Collins] set about finding something creative to do from home-preferably only during nap time.  Being new parents who travel quite often, and overwhelmed with all the additional baggage necessary while traveling with an infant, Stephanie and her husband would often secure their baby to a seat for meals with whatever was on hand (initially using a sarong while in a coffee shop at the airport). With inspiration from her grandmother who used to secure her children to adult chairs using towels, she made multiple trial versions of a compact, fabric, baby sling style harness that secures an infant to an adult chair – and after lots of trials and experimentation, mylittleseat was born!”

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We have loved to try our MyLittleSeat travel high chair on my two year old (who, admittedly, is on the smaller side but fits comfortably), but I’m very excited to use this next year when we’re in a new country with an infant!  We have lots of travel plans, and this product will work perfectly to safely keep our youngest addition upright and restrained without much inconvenience or prior thinking.

One Dandy reader will win a MyLittleSeat travel high chair, in any design!  Enter below to win!

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning of Saturday, July 27th, and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by MyLittleSeat, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

Uncommon Goods {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I remember my mom telling me when I was in high school that it was incredibly difficult to find gifts for me, which surprised me!  I’ve always looked forward to all holidays and special occasions and haven’t ever been disappointed in gifts that I had received.  Thinking more about it, though, I don’t think that it’s because I have incredibly high expectations for gifts or because there’s just one gift that I have to have — rather, I’m pretty practical when I purchase items and I’m not very sentimental.  I suppose that that combination had made it difficult to find something that I would appreciate or would even keep for very long.

I realize now that one of the reasons that I had never really thought about it before was because my mom has always been such a good gift-giver!   She does the most amazing job of putting together fun, small packages to send to my boys every holiday, and she’s the aunt/sister/cousin/visiting teacher who not only remembers your birthday but also has a card and thoughtful gift in your mailbox or on your doorstep just in time for your special day.  I, unfortunately, did not inherit that innate ability to show my love and appreciation through thoughtful gifts, so it has taken me a little longer to learn the ropes.

On Mother’s Day this year, I woke up to find the sweetest letters written to me by my husband and my two boys, and they did such a great job of showering me with their love that I knew I wanted to make Father’s Day just as special for my husband and father/father-in-law.  If you’re like me and need a little extra help in the gift-giving department, then I would highly recommend starting your search at Uncommon Goods!

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Uncommon Goods features a variety of items for gifting for all ages, all price ranges, and all reasons!  You can search through their large inventory by category, but my favorite search link is the “Occasions” tab that will open up a number of choices ranging from more common gift-giving ones (birthday, baby shower, anniversary) to ones that my mom thinks of ahead of time and I don’t think about until after the fact when it’s too late (graduation and housewarming).

And then, if you still need more help finding that perfect gift, each of the Occasions is split further into more specific categories!  Since Father’s Day is on my mind, I spent most of my time there — they split it further into Gifts for Dad, Gifts for Grandfather, and Gifts for New Dad.  Here are some of my favorites from their Father’s Day gift selection:

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World Scratch Map

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Guitar Pick Punch

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Working Man’s Hygiene Kit

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Dad Infinite Joy Personalized Art

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Travel Chef BBQ Set

Enter below to win a $50 Gift Certificate to use at Uncommon Goods for your next gift-giving occasion!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the  morning of June 7th and will be emailed within  24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a  new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Uncommon Goods, but all opinions are strictly my own.

MarlMarl {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I have a picture of my oldest son when he’s about six months old sitting in his Bumbo seat eating pureed green beans, and he was wearing a white long-sleeved onesie.  You’d think that those green beans would be all down the front of him, right?  No way.  He is the cleanest eater I have ever known — we never needed a bib and could feed him on the go with a spoon in the most awkward of positions.  Fast forward another two or three years to another picture of him at Easter eating a melting chocolate bunny outside in the sun wearing his adorable three piece Easter suit.  And, again, no chocolate anywhere on his clothes — just a little on his cheek.

Well, his little brother has more than made up for that.

Our now-two-year-old still requires a bib for some foods (spaghetti, applesauce, etc.) and can make the biggest mess out of what I would think to be the cleanest foods (fruit snacks, maybe??).  This review was perfect for him!

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We were sent this absolutely adorable “Garcon” feeder apron from MarlMarl, suitable for children ages 0-3.  The snaps in the back are easy to attach but more difficult for kids to remove, and my favorite part is the extra material at the bottom that catches whatever might land in their laps.  My little boy put it on as soon as I showed it to him, and then proceeded to leave it on to play for the rest of the afternoon!  While he used it for a “dress-up” piece and brought us food as a waiter, it easily could be used in more formal atmospheres to keep clean while not catching the attention of others in the room.

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And, frankly, the beautiful Bouquet Rose Pink style for girls to wear could just about be an outfit in and of itself!

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MarlMarl also offers bib sets for boys and girls that come in a striped gift box with a greeting card for birthdays or baby showers.

bib_boy_set_1Macaron Boy Bib Gift Set

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Marche Girl Bib Gift Set

Personalization is also available to give an extra special touch to these bibs and to set them apart even more.

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**This posting was sponsored by MarlMarl, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

 

Chocolates by Genevie {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I’ve recently decided that my favorite snack to eat in the afternoon is a grapefruit — not necessarily because it’s something that I love to eat or because I crave it, but because neither of my boys ask to share with me!  The tartness isn’t appealing to them, so they glance over and see that have a grapefruit and then go straight back to what they were doing.

Without. saying. a. word.

It’s the little things when you’re a mom…

Chocolates, though, are quite the opposite!  It doesn’t matter if they’re playing with friends, watching a movie, enjoying their new coloring books from Grandma (thank you!), or even eating a popsicle — they’ll dart over to me when they even sense that chocolate is out.  You can imagine that I’ve become quite the closet-chocolate-eater to avoid having to share or justify why mom can have chocolate just before dinner but the boys can’t.

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“…Chocolate by Genevie [creates] the finest artisan chocolates that make the ideal luxury gift for the people you love. Only the finest chocolates are selected for our collection and all boxes are packaged exquisitely and delivered 1st Class Royal Mail to the UK.”

“Our collection includes chocolates from the finest European Chocolatiers who excel in the art of chocolate; we regularly test new Chocolatiers work for quality and only  truly outstanding chocolates are selected for our boxes.  We are a small family business dedicated to sourcing and supplying chocolate that is second to none. Disappointed with the quality and direction of most UK chocolatiers we tirelessly searched and tested chocolates from across Europe to bring you an exceptional collection of artisan chocolates that are the culmination of Europe’s greatest chocolatiers.

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“Our signature is reflected in chocolates that have high cocoa content with less sugar, consisting of only premium ingredients. If you’re looking for cheap ultra sugary chocolates made with cost cutting ingredients then our products are not for you.”

These chocolates are incredibly rich, and they include an amazing variety of flavors to pique your tastebuds!  My box included Champagne Truffle, Nougat, Dark Orange, Advokaat and Pistachio, Arabica Truffle, Cointreau, Milk Truffle, Coconut and Pineapple, Coffee Praline, Marzipan, Dark Truffle, and White Truffle.

Do you know a mom who needs some chocolate, whether she eats them out in the open or in the dark of her pantry?  Chocolates by Genevie is a great gift that is sure to please!

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Candy Galaxy {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Easter!  We had a great day yesterday putting on our Easter Sunday best, listening to my cute four-year-old sing with the Primary kids at church, watching the boys discover their Easter baskets, taking a family afternoon nap, and then eating a delicious ham dinner.  It was a great day to think of our Savior and to usher in spring.

One of the omnipresent staples in an Easter basket is candy, and our boys were not lacking for candy in theirs!  They had a few of their favorites and also had a chance to try out some new (to them!) candy from Candy Galaxy.

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Candy Galaxy is an online candy store that features candy for all occasions — they have pre-made Easter baskets, gift baskets to send for movie nights, and fun choices for baby showers and weddings.  They also have categories to search the candy by color, which I thought would be perfect for planning themed birthday parties or other events.  One of the tabs that caught my eye, though, was the Nostalgic Candy that has Chick-o-Sticks, Cow Tales, Clark Bars, Candy Buttons, Necco Wafers, and Razzles!

We were sent the 1970s Retro Tin from Candy Galaxy, and my husband and I had the best time opening our own “Easter basket” chock-full of great candy that we remember eating as kids.  Our boys found the large rolls of Smarties, a set of Pixy Sticks, and candy necklaces in their Easter baskets yesterday, and they like those almost as much as their new kites!  Almost.

Retro Tins

Candy Galaxy also features the perfect candy for a (sometimes…) fun holiday — Pop Rocks for April Fools Day!  I attempted to explain April Fools Day to my little boy last night, and I’m excited for some fun jokes and tricks throughout the day.  Obviously, we’re going to be a little more tame this year, but a few ideas I found was to put Pop Rocks on the rim of a glass or to sprinkle some Pop Rocks on top of instant pudding for a surprise.  I can’t wait to try them out today, especially since the boys have never even heard of Pop Rocks!

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Candy Galaxy is offering a 24-pack of their new flavor Green Apple Pop Rocks to a Dandy Giveaway winner!  The set of Pop Rocks was sent to my house, so the winner will need to pay for shipping from North Carolina to you, but this means that the giveaway is WORLDWIDE!

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** This giveaway is open to WORLDWIDE entries, but the winner is required to pay shipping — I will email you a Paypal invoice before I ship to you from North Carolina.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of April 8th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Candy Galaxy, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

 

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