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.

Halloween is 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.

Can you believe it?  I blink and it’s already November.  Seriously!  Who else is shocked that is it now…


How is this possible?  Where did October go?  And September, and August, and July for that matter!  Those 2014 months are GONE.  Never to return.  Which means… We are on the Christmas Countdown.


I have most of my shopping completed already.  I tend to do that throughout the year, so I’m not surprised when the Christmas Countdown sneaks up on me.  It’s less stressful and more dandy.  Also easier on the bank account.

Are you ready for the holidays?  Shopping list complete?  Not quite?

Well, here’s an idea for you and it’s quite the steal of a deal.  A dandy deal actually.


Holiday gift sets.

Once they are gone they are gone.  So get ’em before they are gone.  *wink*

Here are all the details on what you get in each set:

NC60 – Joyful Season
Set Includes:
Exclusive Nail Wrap
Cardinal Nail Lacquer
2.0 oz Nourish Moisturizing Hand Crème
Holiday Gift Card
Holiday Gift Box

NC61 – Joyful Laughter
Set Includes:
Exclusive Nail Wrap – Tint
Sweet Sangria Nail Lacquer
2.0 oz Nourish Moisturizing Hand Crème
Holiday Gift Card
Holiday Gift Box

NC62 – Joyful Celebration
Set Includes:
Exclusive Nail Wrap – Sparkle
Barely There Nail Lacquer
2.0 oz Nourish Moisturizing Hand Crème
Holiday Gift Card
Holiday Gift Box

Shop HERE.

I am a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant, but all opinions are strictly my own.  Nail wraps are all the rage and I love having pretty nails!  🙂

O Eclectic Tannenbaum in July

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 call Christmas in July!  After all July 1st is tomorrow and it’s my blog, so I can do that.  Right?  Right?  *wink*  Plus, you all know that I LOVE Christmas.  It’s by far my most favorite holiday.  I do also really like Halloween, but I’m pretty sure you know that already, too.  There’s just something about the Christmas season.  All the Christmas decorations, Christmas smells, and ChristmasLightsEtc.com sales this month.  What’s not to love?  Anyway, today you are in for a real treat.  Are you ready for it?  I’ve decided that I’m going to share with you a part of my life that I’ve never done before.  I’m going to share with you something from my family blog.  A hush falls over the crowd and then…  The crowd goes wild!  Some of you may not know this about me, but before this blog I was actually already a blogger.  I had a little family blog that I maintained while we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Far away from family and friends.  I should specify that I mean prior friends.  We did make friends in San Antonio.  I’m not that anti social.  *wink*  We lived in SA for 6 years.  I started a blog to share our lives and growing family with loved ones who lived elsewhere.  My very first blog posting was on April 8, 2008.  This was exactly 6 days before Banjo was born.  So I have been blogging for quite the long while.  For my Christmas in July special I’ve decided to share with you an excerpt from my little blog.   And here it is…

Monday, December 1, 2008

O Eclectic Tannenbaum – I love Christmas ornaments!! I’ve always been fascinated by the way the glass ones glint and reflect the lights. My mom was always one of the room-mothers when I was in elementary and she would give out these great handmade ornaments at the class Christmas party. I have one creative mother! However, why is the grass always greener…or in this case someone else’s Christmas tree always greener? I will admit that while I was growing up there were some years I envied others’ Christmas trees. They were all fancy and put together right out of a decorator’s magazine. Our tree was always quite eclectic. We put our school made ornaments on the tree no matter how they looked! 


My brother and I even had our own box of ornaments to place on the tree. These were random ornaments we had collected over the years; first Christmas, special ornaments, gift ornaments, etc. We had so much fun picking just the right branches to hang our ornaments! Looking back I wonder why I ever had Christmas tree envy??? We had a great tree and a great family tradition! One that I will always remember and hold close to my heart. My parents made sure that it was about us feeling special and included around the holidays. And the tree itself displayed how we had grown over the years. I’m so thankful to my parents for instilling in me these valuable traditions and for giving me the type of tree that I want my own children to have!

A Smith Family Christmas Tree
Our tree has also become very eclectic. Anyone who comes over around the holidays will find that I just love Christmas ornaments in all their randomness! When Audi and I got married my mom sent us my ornament box. Every year we have even gotten more memory making ornaments as gifts from people; our first Christmas married, in our new home, etc. I can’t wait for Banjo to one day bring home his beautiful school made ornaments and store them away in his very own box! We also started our own tradition of collecting ornaments from the various places we have vacationed. It is fun to decorate the tree together every year and remember what we have done and where we have been throughout the years.
*The End*
These days our Christmas tree still looks exactly the same.  With the exception of the additions of new ornaments from new travels and ornaments that Banjo has made.  Yay!  My wish came true!  I’ll have to share those with you sometime.  We’ve also embarked on the adventures of decorating the outside of the house.  I guess that comes from living in a more established neighborhood with children around.  Plus, we have to compete with all the St. Louis neighborhood light displays.  Not really, but we can try.  Or rather… dream, right?!  We still need to perfect getting the light strands to the top of the columns:
That will come with time I’m sure.
Despite our failed column lights attempt…
We are so very grateful to finally live in a neighborhood that has a Christmas tradition of its own.
Luminaries line our street every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
*This post was brought to you by MBN. All of the thoughts were completely my own.

Djubi {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.

Remember how I posted about those scary bunnies?  How I publicly aired my fears of creepy clowns and the Easter Bunny?  No?  You don’t remember?  I mean seriously.  How could you forget???  I’m still having nightmares about it.  This year the “bunny” brought Banjo the Original Djubi Game. (Thank you, Djubi for sending us this dandy toy for the boy’s Easter basket.) catch6   If you are looking for a fun backyard game then here it is.  This is it.   Good thing I’m posting this just in time for summer, eh? original-djubi-game

Banjo and Ruby both love it.

Here they are showing their Boompa how it’s done:

catch5 catch This is at my parents house.  Don’t they have the coolest setup with that lake behind their house?!  My kids love spending time out there. Djubi is perfect for teaching kids of all ages how to aim and catch.  Adults like it, too! catch2 catch3 The Djubi ball has a band on it that when hooked on the handle and pulled back will then soar through the air for the other player to catch.  Such a unique concept and fun for all ages!

Go HERE for the stores where you can find Djubi!

*This posting and review are sponsored by Djubi, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Holiday Entertaining with Brylane Home {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.

Raise your hands if you’re hosting a party, expecting company, or entertaining family or friends this month!  Isn’t hosting fun!?  I’ve always loved throwing parties and trying to impress my guests with the attention to detail and decor.  Holidays are no exception and I can’t wait to invite people over to use our new 66-Pc. Gold-Plated Flatware Set from Brylane Home!brylanehomeOh how these gleam!  They actually arrived on our anniversary, which was absolutely perfect, because according to the anniversary gift guide, “silverware” is the gift to exchange on your 5th Anniversary!  It couldn’t have been more perfect!  We ooh-ed and ahh-ed over every piece together as we took them out of the packaging and placed them in the box.  It was a good morning 🙂

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This set is adequate for as many as 12 guests, as there are twelve dinner knives, twelve dinner forks,  twelve salad/dessert forks, twelve teaspoons, and a 5-pc. hostess set.  We’ve already had the chance to use the whole set for our Thanksgiving meal last weekend!


Having a full 12-guest set was just perfect for our Thanksgiving crowd.  I love how uniform everything looked and how the gold looked next to the Fall colors and flowers.  My family loved the fine silverware!  We agreed that this is a stunning set for $99.  Clearly, they are not pure gold, but who can tell the difference?


I once taught a lesson to my junior high students about hospitality and offered cake slices on different kinds of plates and with different silverware, and then asked which one they would prefer.  With similar pieces of cake, of course, you’d like to eat it on fine china with a gleaming silver fork instead of with a plastic spork on a paper towel!  People notice and care about what they eat with!


Imagine eating with a piece of gold in your fingers.  These look like works of art, and the color is just brilliant.  Someone could have told me that these were solid gold, and I’d believe them.


These arrive in a wooden storage box that is just as high class as the flatware.  It feels like solid wood and it is lined in plush material with slots that keep the flatware separated and stationary during storage.


This flatware set is only one of many beautiful dinnerware and entertaining products and decor that are perfect for the holidays.  Look at these gorgeous placemats, Christmas trees, and even a Christmas comforter set!

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Our family has been able to review several items from Brylane Home, and we are more and more impressed with each one.  Everything has arrived quickly, well-packaged, and built-to-last.  Brylane Home will be the first site I recommend to anyone furnishing a new home.

Visit Brylane Home and stock up on holiday decor in time for Christmas!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / YouTube

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Holiday Gift Guide (7th 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.



Gift Idea #1:

What?  A set of arm warmers and a scarf from The Painted Daisy.


Why?  Because baby it’s cold outside!  🙂  There are so many beautiful and warm accessories to choose from that will bring a smile to the face of the recipient.



Gift Idea #2:

What?   Vinyl wall decor from Old Barn Rescue Co.

I have found the one 3 lines

 Why?  It’s a gift suitable for anyone and everyone on your holiday list!  Old Barn Rescue Co. has amazing designs that help people decorate and we all know that there’s at least one person on your list that needs help in that department.  🙂



Gift Idea #3:

What?  Language learning DVDs from Little Pim

French gift set

Why? They are the #1 Language Learning System for Children and your kid/grandkid/whoever will LOVE learning another language with their DVDs, digital videos, CDs, flash cards and books. See my review HERE.

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!




#1 Whooz?


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.




#2 Fabness Canvas


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.




#3 Little Passports


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.




#4 Douglas Cuddle Toys


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.

doug collage



#5 Kelly’s Funky Kreations


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.

steth collage


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

_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.

Mood-lites {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 Halloween! I loved Halloween as a kid–dressing up, trick-or-treating, eating candy, watching cheezy movies like Hocus Pocus (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at least once a year, every year, since it was released in 1993)–and of course all these things are 1,000 times more fun with kids of my own. Some things, however, like certain decorations, are not as fun with kids. We have a bin full of Halloween decorations that we inherited from my mom when I moved out. Most are pretty benign, but surprisingly, a few really freaked my kids out, like this giant spider:


This is from when my son was a baby–it scared him for a minute and then he loved it! This year, my daughter was freaked out by it and wouldn’t even go out the door by herself where it was hanging for a few days! That said, we’ve had to figure out alternative ways of making our house look spooky without totally scaring our kids. Colored lights are a good way to do that!


Mood Factory has created a line of colored lights that are perfect for decorating, enhancing moods and celebrating different occasions. Mood-lites come in eight different colors that correspond to different moods; yellow for Happiness, orange for Energy, red for Passion, light blue for Serenity, pink for Sassy, green for Renewal, purple for Creativity and dark blue for Tranquility.  As their website says, “Our first product lines are based on the sense of sight and how colors affect our moods.  We plan to teach about and engage the other senses as well.  After all, research suggests that the more senses we engage towards a desired state, the more profound affect on our moods. We encourage you all to Get Your Mood On.”


Mood-lites come in several shapes and sizes. All of the colors come in standard 25-watt incandescent bulbs, 60-watt spiral CFL bulbs, a 2-pack of 25-watt candelabra incandescent bulbs, and 90-watt outdoor flood lights. All of the bulbs fit in standard light sockets and function just like normal light bulbs. But they sure don’t act like normal light bulbs! I was sent a package with a variety of lights, and I tried out the pink Sassy light and the purple Passion light.


The Sassy light bulb was a welcome addition to our bedroom…and that’s all I’ll say about that because I know my mother-in-law reads this blog 😉 And the purple Passion bulb added to our Halloween decorations perfectly this year, casting an eerie glow on our front porch while still giving off light and not being too scary.


We kept a green CFL bulb from the package of goodies and plan to use it on our porch during Christmas. Think of the uses these babies could have–sports team colors for game days, different colors to support health awareness (i.e. blue for Autism awareness month, pink for Breast Cancer awareness month, etc.),  pink or blue at a baby shower or to reveal the gender of a baby after its birth, orange (Energy) lighting where you work out–the possibilities are endless! Mood Factory is also great because they support several charities and causes. Twenty-five cents of each light bulb purchased is donated to i-Fred, an international foundation for research and education for depression.


Mood-lites can be purchased at Lowe’s and Amazon.com for about the same price as a normal light bulb. But, lucky for you, one winner is about to get a whole package of goodies from Mood Factory by entering the giveaway below!

Win a box of Mood-lites from Mood Factory!

**Because I was sent the winner’s prize items along with my review items, the winner will be responsible for paying shipping from me to you, via PayPal invoice.

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of November 11th, 2013, 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 Mood Factory, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Wallies {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.

My Aunt Tami is a huge role model to me.  She has the most adorable (and always well-dressed) children, has some fantastic recipes up her sleeve, takes time to dress fashionably herself (even with six kids!), and her house is always decorated to model-home quality.  We stopped by a few months ago and I was reminded of how much I love Aunt Tami’s style.  One of the most memorable additions to her charming kitchen was a side cupboard panel that had been turned into a chalkboard wall.  Just darling!


My mind starting spinning with ideas of how to do something like this in our kitchen, even though we’re in a rental.  Painting the built-in cupboards isn’t really an option.  When I saw these chalkboard papers from Wallies, I freaked out a little inside.  My chalkboard wall dreams were obtainable!


This is the Big Chalkboard which comes as one giant piece 25″ x 38″ in dimension.  This is sold for $24.99 and it even comes with chalk!  I was a little worried as I unrolled the sheet to see the deep wrinkles,


…but as you can see, once applied to the flat surface, the wrinkles aren’t a problem.  I only wish that there was a square grid behind it, on the peel-away paper, to make cutting and trimming easier.  I applied this first with tape up the sides, and then ripped away pieces at a time and smoothed it down with a shower squeegee.  It only took one application, but even if that doesn’t happen, this is re-positionable, so mistakes can be corrected.


I’m so happy!!  I can’t wait to do some artsy writing every month according to the season and holidays.  Without a lot of storage space for holiday decorations, I’m really liking the decor that can be interchangeable and stay out all year.  I still have more than half of the sheet leftover to try on other surfaces, and it looks exactly like a real chalkboard.  Completely legit.

Wallies has a number of chalkboard decals, among all sorts of decals, cutouts and murals, and even Holiday Wallies!

W16000 W16040

But these aren’t just for mom!  Look at these fun ideas for kids and children’s bedrooms:

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Check out all the beautiful and fun fun fun products from Wallies and get some fun holiday decor up in your home!

Online Store / Facebook

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 


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