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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.

Holiday Gift Guide (4th Edition)

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.

It’s time for Val’s Holiday Gift Guide! I haven’t been “in business” as long as Tara and Camille, so this is my only Gift Guide this year. But that doesn’t make it any less amazing! Check out the following companies/products below and you should be able to find something for just about everyone on your list this year!

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FOR THE TECHIE/iLOVER:

#1 Whooz?

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Whooz? Vinyl Labels for iDevices was designed to solve the problem of lost, stolen or “borrowed” cords and cables for iDevices. These vinyl labels cover your charger cables so they are easily identifiable and stay organized in your drawer/purse/wherever you keep all your cords and cables. They come with clear instructions and are really easy to put on. The vinyl is good quality and shouldn’t rub or peel off easily. Each pack of labels comes with four designs and they just released three new sets of designs for the holidays. Look for another giveaway of these awesome labels coming soon!
Read my full review HERE.

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FOR ANYONE WHO LOVES CUSTOM CANVAS ART:

#2 Fabness Canvas

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Fabness Canvas is an easy-to-use online canvas printing site.  The process is simple: in just five easy steps you can have a beautiful, professional-looking canvas print of any picture you choose. It ships quickly and arrives perfectly packaged to avoid any damage. The quality is superb. Believe me when I say you will LOVE your Fabness Canvas! And lucky for us Dandy readers, Fabness is extending a special deal to us for up to 82% off! Order now to get your canvas in time for Christmas!  The sale ends at midnight on November 26, so hurry! This is truly a great gift for anyone.
Read my full review HERE.

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FOR YOUR ADVENTUROUS or TRAVEL SAVVY CHILD/GRANDCHILD:

#3 Little Passports

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Little Passports is a monthly subscription service that helps your child learn more about the world around him. Monthly packages transport your child to either another country (the World edition) or a state (USA edition) and teach them all about the local customs, historical landmarks, foliage, animals and much more. The activities, stickers, and field guide can keep kids busy and learning for hours, and they look forward to receiving their package in the mail every month. Little Passports is better for older children (ages 5-12) but even the little ones can appreciate learning about the world around them.
Read my full review HERE.

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FOR YOUR PRETTY PRINCESS:

#4 Douglas Cuddle Toys

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Douglas Cuddle Toys has been a family owned and operated company for more than 60 years! They specialize in plush animals, but they also carry several types of baby dolls and have a new line, Dreamy Dress Ups, that features dress-up wings, masks and dresses! Some gifts your little ones may like this Christmas are
the Petunia Ballerina Mouse (available in two sizes!), the Infant Claire Stripes & Dots Doll, and the Dreamy Dress-Ups rainbow fairy mask and Rainbow Fairy Wings with Glitter. Be sure to check out their extensive line of plush animals to find the perfect stuffed animal for any animal lover!
Read my full review HERE.

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FOR THE DOCTOR/NURSE/PHYSICIAN’S ASSISTANT IN YOUR LIFE:

#5 Kelly’s Funky Kreations

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Kelly’s Funky Kreations is an Etsy shop with a variety of homemade items and a ton of personality! Kelly makes everything from beautiful door wreaths to baby hair bows to awesome safety pin watches, but one of her most creative creations are her custom Stethoscope Covers. She currently sells them in a variety of fun, colorful fabrics, but if you have a custom order she will work with you to create the perfect gift. Think how happy your nurse/doctor/PA friend will be when she has a cute, bright stethoscope around her neck!
Read my full review HERE.

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Happy Shopping, Dandy-ites! Keep posting in every few days for the next round of awesome Holiday Gift Guides!

Holiday Gift Guide (1st Edition)

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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dandygiftguide

Who else has difficulty deciding which gifts to buy and give for the holidays?  I know that it’s always a struggle around our house.  Just coming up with the ideas for the perfect gift and who to pair it with…  It’s stressful!  We here at Dandy Giveaway decided to pass along some of our favorite gift ideas to you our loyal readers.  🙂

So here’s our 1st edition of holiday gift ideas for 2013!

Gift Idea #1:

What?  A personalized bookmark from Alli’s Originals.

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Why?  Something hand stamped is unique and always makes the perfect gift.  Plus, Alli’s Originals is offering Dandy Giveaway subscribers a 10% discount.  Enter at checkout code:  ao10%07 to redeem your discount!

 

Gift Idea #2:

What?  A language learning program from Dino Lingo.

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Why?  Available in 40 different languages and the perfectly fun way for kids to learn.  Plus, there’s a Thanksgiving special going on right now!  Use coupon code: THANKS10 to receive 10% off, a 2014 dinosaurs calendar, and free shipping (in the US).

 

Gift Idea #3:

What?   A toy vehicle from Worx Toys.

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Why?  Given Top Toy of the Year Award for 2013 and quite the toy it is!  The vehicles teach kids how they work and at the same time allow kids to have tons of fun watching them work.

 

Stay tuned for the next holiday gift guide edition appearing right here in 3 days…

 

Peace on Earth by Mary Engelbreit {Book 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.

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_240_360_Book_987_coverChristmas and Mary Engelbreit.  Two of my favorite things!!  I’m thrilled to tell you about her new Christmas book, called Peace on Earth, A Christmas Collection.  This is a collection of carols, stories, and poems that ring in the holiday and celebrate it in all its wonder.

This is the perfect book for putting you in the Christmas spirit!  There are familiar carols and familiar scriptures, along with some new poems and stories that I’d not read before, but loved just as much.  Same with Mary’s artwork.  She has some classic illustrations that I’m so glad were included, along with some that I’ve not seen.

There are 40 pages of delightful artwork in this hardcover, jacketed book.  The colors are bright and vivid and there is so much to look at on every page.  What an artist she is!  On any given page, there are so many things to fall in love with.  The attention to detail, from the border trim to eyelashes is intentional and beautiful.

As an artist, Mary Engelbreit has been a favorite of mine for years and years.  She has such a way of brightening spirits with her cheerful colors, prints, words, and drawings, and this book is one of her best.  The cherry on top is the glittery snowballs on the front cover dust jacket!

I think this book would make the most wonderful hostess gift.  This book wrapped up with a plate of cookies on top would be so thoughtful, for mother and child, and something that could become a yearly tradition.  I split this up among two nights and enjoyed every minute.  I can’t wait to read it to my boys.  I’ve decided that yes, this will be a tradition in our household!

You can purchase this book for $17.99 from Zondervan HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Let Cardstore Take Over

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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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Cardstore. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

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Taking care of Christmas  cards is rarely just a one-night event.  It used to take weeks to design them, wait for shipping, address by hand, and then mail them out.  All of this CAN be done in a single sitting if you let Cardstore.com take over!  We used Cardstore last year for our Christmas cards, and I was 100% pleased and amazed with how easy and how fast I was able to create our personalized cards with a cute message and signature, and then hand them over to Cardstore to stamp and ship.   If you order cards before Nov. 20th, you can get $20 off your $50 order!  Time to cross this one off your holiday to-do list: http://po.st/PersonalizeYourCard

 

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Cards

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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IMG_6369Every year I battle the Christmas card clutter.  I struggle to find a way to keep all our cute cards on display without having them take over our counter.  This year, I’m ready for the mass of adorable family pictures and seasons greetings after putting together a clock-like clutter control decoration that is perfect for holding Christmas cards.

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First I set out painting solid wood clothespins.  I think painting these up in Christmas colors and prints would be darling!

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Wood glue and clamps do just the trick.

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Start arranging them around the a circular piece of wood.  I used particleboard and shaved a circle using a Dremel.

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Add watch hands with or without a working motor behind it, and start pinning!

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Wouldn’t a clothespin wreath in Christmas colors and designs be just darling?!  I’m so tempted to make another one Santa and reindeer style!

Magic Moves Electronic Wand {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.

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“Rocket” has been enrolled in early intervention services for over a year now, and I think they’ve really helped him out!  When we started, he could say maybe 4-5 words consistently, and now he’s a motor mouth, using pronouns, 3-word phrases, etc. and he’s really on track with other kids his age.  One of our dear therapists who still comes to the house every week often brings a toy microphone for “Rocket” to sing or speak in to.  At first he was hesitant, but now he really puts on a show for us, wailing all sorts of made-up songs.  When we were asked to review this super Magic Moves Electronic Wand, I knew it would also be a hit!

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Based on how much he loves that simple microphone toy, I knew his reaction to a magical wand with sounds and lights would be worth catching on video!

Precious, right?  This kid cracks me up.  As you can see from the video, this toy is super easy for kids to figure out.  There are two buttons.  The green starts a new song/action, and the purple repeats the last one.  There are three AAA batteries included and it measures 10″ long.  I really like the happy (and gender neutral) colors and shapes, and the lady’s voice is clear and friendly.

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I also love how this toy promotes getting up and moving!  I am all for kids expending a little more energy throughout the day!  Here are some more of the fun actions.  There are 90 in all!

“sneak like a cat”

“fly like an eagle”

“hoot like an owl”

“stretch like a lion”

“bounce like a ball”

This toy has been a riot at our house!  Usually a toy like this becomes a source of contention because the little boys have a hard time sharing, but the short songs/actions make it easy to share after each song when the lights go out because each turn is a few seconds long.  I think this toy will be educational, foster creative expression, and also be useful in fostering more words and expression from our little guy!

This wonder is available on Amazon found HERE.

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.

Christmas in July at OrnamentsandMore.com!

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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Just the other day, I was chatting on the phone with my brother and then a couple of days later with my sister — and, oddly enough, the rotation for our sibling Christmas gift-giving came up in both conversations!  The Ornaments and More Christmas in July sale came at a perfect time, especially if you’re looking to get a head start on your Christmas shopping this year!

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Ornaments and More Christmas in July Sale!

Coupon code is SANTA20.

Can be used starting TODAY (July 7, 2013) through the end of July (July 31, 2013) to save 20% on total order on site.

Shipping fees & Maryland tax not applicable to coupon.

700+ new gift ideas for 2013!

I’ve received two ornaments from Ornaments and More over the past year, and I love both of them!   Here are two new ones from the What’s New for 2013? category on the site that caught my eye…

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2013 Baby’s 1ST Christmas PINK Onesie Ornament Glittered Heart

No, you remembered correctly — I’m having a boy.  But, one of my dear friends in California just delivered her twin baby girls yesterday morning and another friend is due with her twin baby girls next month!  (And, yes, I completely geared myself up for the possibility of having twins when I found out that I was due the month after!)  These ornaments would make sweet gifts for these sweet girls that I can’t wait to snuggle.

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Glass GRADUATION Cap & Diploma Glass Ornament Glittered Stars

And, my brother is graduating in December with his degree in Math/Statistics with a minor in Physics.  WOW!  We’re so proud of him, and we’re especially excited to see where he’ll be heading and what he’ll be doing once he’s finished with school.

Remember that all personalization is included in the cost you see listed on the website — any name, any year, etc.!

Head on over to Ornaments and More to take a look at their many options!

Ornaments and More {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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Because I’m a thrifty shopper and I like to pick up great deals all year long, I have a large stash of gifts for all occasions on the top shelf in my closet.  I have gifts for baby showers, birthdays (for all ages and genders!), and for fun holidays throughout the year.  My biggest stash, though, is my Christmas gift stash.  We determined a couple of years ago that Santa was only going to give three gifts to each of our children, but then we each usually give gifts to each member of our little family, we have a swap for each of our extended families on top of the gifts we give our parents, and we also like to give small gifts to neighbors and friends.  By the time that’s all said and done, we end up with quite a large list — and I’m sure you can relate!!

I had the opportunity to work with Ornaments and More last year, and I’m excited to feature them again on Dandy Giveaway in anticipation for their Christmas in July sale that is right around the corner!  I absolutely LOVED the baby boy ornament that I received for my youngest son last Christmas; in fact, I liked it so much that I opted to receive another baby boy ornament to replace the one I had in storage for my oldest son!  I like these ones so much better, and I plan to use Ornaments and More again when Baby Boy #3 makes his appearance in time for the holiday season.

Ornaments and More has an incredible selection of high-quality ornaments for incredibly reasonable prices.   In both of my experiences with Ornament and More, the ornaments are shipped quickly, and the customer service was top-notch.  My favorite part is that the personalization is done by hand and is NOT computer-generated!  Because our last name is Johnson, we’ve tried to choose more uncommon first names for our little boys; we love all three names, but it can be tricky to find ready-made personalized items for them.

Ornaments and More has an ornament for lots of different occasions; here are a few of my favorites for some special events that are coming up or might have just happened in your home:

Father’s Day (right around the corner!):  Licensed to Grill Personalized Christmas Ornament

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Weddings:  Just Married Christmas Ornament Old-Fashioned Car

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Graduations: Personalized Graduation Ornament Tassle Cap and Stars

New baby:  First Christmas Ornament Baby Boy Snowflake Personalized

Ornaments and More is hosting a giveaway for Dandy readers — any ornament of your choice!  Be sure to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning of Saturday, June 15th, 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 Ornaments and More, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Silence is not always so golden…

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Or is it?  Sorry my dandy friends for being so MIA! I cannot believe that I’ve been so unusually quiet these last few weeks.  Usually I’m quite the talker.  😉  Or maybe you haven’t minded my quietness???  That’s okay, too.  At any rate I’ve missed checking in with all of you.  It was a very busy end to 2012 around here as I’m sure it was in all of your own lives.

We visited the Missouri Botanical Garden Holiday Trains with friends:

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We decorated:

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Our neighborhood has this wonderful tradition (since the 1960’s) that takes place ever year on Christmas Eve and Christmas night:

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It’s so beautiful driving in and seeing the streets lined with the glowing luminaries.  I love our neighborhood!

 

Santa was really good this year to our kiddos:

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They were definitely on his nice list!

 We visited family and Santa made a stop there:

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“Mine!”

Ruby learned how to do some new things at our house…

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And at my grandparents house:

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Oh and the little miss turned 1!

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Stay tuned for the posting on that very dandy birthday party…

The Piano Guys Christmas

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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I’ve always loved this beautiful musical arrangement and my husband has known these guys since high school:

 

They are so very talented!

Happiest of holidays to you all!

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