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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.

Puzzles from Winning Moves Games {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.

We have a Christmas tradition at my house called a “Chocolate Puzzle Party” where we eat chocolate and bust out a certain nativity puzzle.  We usually pull it out a few nights before Christmas, but it must be finished in order for Christmas to come.  Some years we’re putting the last few pieces together on Christmas Eve in a rush to get it done in time!

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Because of our tradition, Christmas and puzzles just go together with fond memories in my mind, so welcoming this Hobby Hill puzzle into our collection of holiday traditions seemed only perfectly right!logo

Winning Moves has an impressive collection of games for all ages, and many of them have been featured here on Dandy.  Their puzzles are just as wonderful, and this Holly Hill Pastime Puzzle makes such a wonderful gift!

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I’m impressed with every part of this product.  The box is sturdy and glossy, and the pieces are crisply cut and vibrant in color.  This picture is so fun!  There is so much to look at in all its festive wonder!  We’ve been doing a lot of puzzles around here lately, but they are mostly for 3-yr-olds and I don’t get to help much.  I was really in the mood to do a puzzle on my own and enjoy the calm pleasure of piecing it together myself, so I selfishly cleared the kitchen counter and put this together a piece at a time throughout the day.  I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how much I enjoyed it!  I’ll share the experience next time, but I really loved being the first one to put it together on my own.

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What makes this more than a standard puzzle are the 30 whimsical pieces that can be found throughout the puzzle!  In putting this together, I feel like I am constantly coming across the most wonderful Christmas shapes.
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The details on every home, window, and wreath are beautiful!  The original painting must be huge, because a LOT of details went into this number.
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Wouldn’t this make the perfect Christmas gift for your children, a friend, a teacher, or even a grandparent?  Puzzles are so classic and ageless!
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One lucky winner will receive this Holly Hill puzzle, and just in time to enjoy it during the Christmas season!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Dec 4th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*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.  

Winning Moves Games {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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SORRY!!  I have so many memories of playing this classic game with my brothers when we were little!  I realize now that we didn’t know the rules well, and weren’t actually playing the game right at all, but we still loved it!  There is just something about drawing that “Sorry” card, knocking your opponent over, and sending them straight back to Home that makes it so rewarding! 🙂

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We recently got the new Classic Sorry from Winning Moves, and my husband and I have pulled it out almost every night!  Does that make us huge nerds?  We play one quick game before heading off to bed, and what makes this the perfect evening game is that you can hold a conversation while playing, and still enjoy the card-drawing strategic fun of a lighthearted game.

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It may look simple, but we’ve discovered that there are indeed strategies to this game, and that it can turn around into the other player’s favor in a matter of a few turns.  Within the rules are additional rules for “Point Sorry” for Adult Play, which isn’t anything sketchy, I promise!  Its just another way of adding in some tricks and rules to make it even more interesting.

IMG_5855After several weeks of at least one nightly game, we think this game is top-notch.  The cards are crisp, thick, and glossy, the board has a nice finish, and the the tokens are pretty indestructible.  I really enjoy not having a ton of pieces to set up or piles of cards to arrange.  I love the simplicity of it all.  Man, I love Sorry.

IMG_5856And just so you know, I’ve been losing 9 times out of 10, and I still love playing it every night!

Winning Moves Games carries SO MANY fun classics such as Yahtzee and Monopoly…

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…in addition to some new games that I would love to try out and learn the rules alongside my kids.

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Check out their beautiful Pastime Puzzles and NEW 2013 games!

Word has it there will be another upcoming review and giveaway for some more Winning Moves Games, so stay tuned for another one coming your way!

In the meantime, enter the rafflecopter below to win your own CLASSIC SORRY!!  Sold for $20.95.  Game night!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of August 10th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*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.  

Piczzle Picture Puzzles {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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Who doesn’t love a good puzzle!?  Little kids love em, they’re perfect for a rainy day family activity, and you even see them on tables at nursing homes.  They’re ageless, and when you put a friendly picture on top, there is something so satisfying and heart-warming about seeing pieces of something familiar all come together.  I’m so excited to show you the professional and oh-so-personal puzzles from Piczzle Photo Puzzles!

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The process of ordering took less than 5 minutes.  I really appreciated not having to take time to orient pictures, resize, crop, and troubleshoot.  I simply chose what size I would like, the number of pieces (large or small), and uploaded my picture.  Everything was taken care of and it couldn’t have turned out any better.  You could also choose to do a wood puzzle, but mine here is a cardboard base, like the generic puzzles you think of and have probably handled before.

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The slick packaging is impressive and crisp, and the box is the perfect size!  I’m usually bothered by big bulky puzzle boxes that feel oversized compared to the tiny pieces it holds.  This box is just right–slim and thin, sturdy, and even though it looks like the front picture has been pasted on instead of printed, the choice to adhere an actual photo print instead of a color copy really makes a difference for the better.

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The pieces have clean and smooth edges that join together easily and don’t shift apart.  You know that frustrating feeling when your puzzle gets bumped and pieces that were once joined all slide apart?  Not even a problem with Piczzle puzzles.  I can tell these pieces were made from premium grade cardboard–they don’t feel flimsy at all, and I’m not worried about the picture peeling up on the edges over time.

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The top surface isn’t exactly glossy–its more of a textured matte, so I’m thinking of painting a modge-podge finish over the top of each piece to make it shine.  My puzzle here is the Medium 8.5″ x 11″ size, and I think the size is perfect.  I chose to do smaller pieces, so there are 48 in total, but you could also get this same size (also for $21.95) but with smaller pieces and have a 16-piece puzzle.  And aren’t these colors vibrant?  The puzzles are printed using an advanced digital printing technique, so the colors are deep and rich.

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How sweet to be able to put your own picture into a puzzle!  This could be a super fun family reunion activity, a gift to a friend, a birthday surprise for a child, or even a fun way to show your sweetheart you love them!  Personalized gifts always go a long way.

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Piczzle also gives you the option of adding text or fun colorful borders to your puzzles if you feel like getting a little creative.  Have you thought of something fun you could put on a puzzle?

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Be sure to follow Piczzle Photo Puzzles on Facebook, and Piczzle Photo Puzzles on YouTube.

And here’s a coupon code for our readers!

Coupon code: DandyGiveaway21
21% discount on all prices.
Valid until: Monday, July-22, 2013; 23:59

One lucky winner will get to design their own small cardboard puzzle at www.piczzle.com!

Please note that giveaway winner cannot win Piczzle from more than one blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of July 21st and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

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.

The Learning Journey {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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Being a parent is so much fun, but also a big responsibility!  I often feel the pressure of being the source to point fingers at when my child misbehaves, lacks manners, or becomes disruptive.  It is also exciting to be the person who beams when my child does something new and has learned a new ‘trick’, like being able to sing the ABC’s, pick out colors, and count!  I am really enjoying investing my time and energy into these little humans, and helping them learn and grow into knowledgeable people!  TLJI_logo_landscape_bg

I have been on the hunt for educational games and toys that will help me as teacher and help my son as a student to learn new things.  I can’t exactly make flash cards or sit him down to a textbook just yet, but I can introduce games and puzzles that will stretch his mind and increase his knowledge.  One such game is our new 4-in-a-box 123 puzzle from the Learning Journey.

yhst-97790102288617_2244_22558881This puzzle set is pretty fun, and has several built-in learning features.  Just like the title, this set has four different puzzles in one box.  The first puzzle that makes number 1 consists of two pieces.  The second puzzle for the number 2 is a four-piece puzzle, the third puzzle for the number 3 is a six-piece puzzle, and the last puzzle that incorporates all the numbers is an eight-piece puzzle.

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When we pulled out this puzzle for the first time, we didn’t realize that the numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8 were on the back of the pieces, and we were all a bit confused as to what the numbers meant, and why the number 2 was underneath all the pieces for the “1” puzzle, and why the number 4 was underneath all the pieces for the “2” puzzle.  I think it is a confusing feature on the puzzle for very young children who are new to puzzles, but I can see how this can be developmentally appropriate as the child grows.  As their capabilities increase, more features can be explained and talked about.

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The puzzle pieces are nice and sturdy with vibrant color and no peeling edges, and just the right size for toddler hands.   The finished puzzles measure approximately 12.5in x 8.5in.  This is a perfect ‘starter’ puzzle for little minds, and I’m glad it comes in a nice box that stores the pieces.

The Learning Journey has all sorts of fun games, puzzles, and electronics.  Here are some I have my eye on:

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So many fun educational toys and games!

One lucky reader will receive their own 4-in-a-box 123 puzzle set from the Learning Journey!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Friday, March 15th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by The Learning Journey, but all opinions are strictly my own

Caravan Shoppe {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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 A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine pinned an image of some cute blocks to one of her boards, and I immediately pinned it to my “Kids Activities” board and took a look at the link.  Just a week or two later, I saw those same blocks pop up in my Google Reader feed from another blogger who had discovered these great blocks for her daughter, too.  I jumped at the opportunity to review the Olliblocks from Caravan Shoppe so I could introduce them to you!

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Caravan Shoppe is a digital download site with lots of innovative artwork that can be downloaded (and used!) immediately after purchasing.   Caravan Shoppe explains that “upon purchase and confirmation of payment, you will receive an email containing a secure download link of your Caravan purchase.  You will receive a zipped file that contains a printable PDF of the artwork that you have purchased, as well as instructions to help answer any questions specific to the product that you have purchased…  For best results, we’ll always recommend a local printer or print shop that are always easily accessible and affordable.

“One of the delightful aspects of our digital download products is that you can make several copies of each item you purchase and download. Keep them for yourself! Give them as gifts! Get creative with all the possible uses for your brand new piece of art!”

The Olliblocks are my absolute favorite because of their versatility and the way that my boys used their imaginations to play with these pieces.  “You can be as creative as your little one as you find new and exciting ways to use the Olliblocks download. It is perfect for printing out and adhering to magnets, framing as the whimsical art piece it is or backing with cardboard to use as paper dolls for quiet time.”

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As I perused each of the links on Caravan Shoppe, I also found lots of other digital downloads that I loved — like these Chalktastic Backgrounds!  “Simply download once and print one for yourself and several others as gifts for those who are always snapping photos of their kids! These large format posters can be printed at 36 x 48 and the process is as simple as putting the files on a jump drive and driving to your local Staples. Sound too good to be true? Let us add this cherry on top. Printing will only cost about $6 a poster.”

This set of 7 Chalktastic Backgrounds only costs $7!

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I can attest to these engineer prints at Staples in all their glory — I had a large poster size print of our family picture printed on an engineer print for $2.99 and then attached it to a foam board from the Dollar Tree.  Hanging on our wall, no one can tell the difference between that and the more expensive black and white prints.  Well, maybe someone can tell, but for less than $5, I’m willing to take that chance.  🙂

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There are also some great holiday prints for Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas that can be used in a variety of different ways and for years to come.  These files can also be printed and given as gifts (but not sold!), which can also make for some great birthday presents throughout the year or for holiday gifts at the end of the year — which is what I intend to do with this Alleluia! DIY Nativity Puzzle.

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And, if that weren’t enough, Caravan Shoppe offers some FREE PRINTABLES of some digital downloads for you to try out!  I LOVE these Caravan Signature Party Hats

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**Caravan Shoppe is offering a discount to our Dandy readers!  Use the code happygiveaway (all lowercase letters!) for a 20% coupon code!**

Head on over to Caravan Shoppe, check out their great digital download packages (and freebies!), then come back here and enter to win a $30 Caravan Shoppe gift certificate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the evening of Saturday, March 2nd, 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 Caravan Shoppe, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Keystone Puzzles {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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Recently I have been rediscovering the simple joy of puzzles!  If you have a toddler in the house, you know how they can be a treasured play toy from a very early age.  “Rocket” was not really a fan for the longest time, and it kind of broke my heart because I wanted him to find the same enjoyment that I found in puzzles as a little girl.  With time, he has come around and we’ve enjoyed pulling out and finishing new puzzles together.  Maybe it had to do with getting the right puzzles–you know, ones with cars and trucks.

Puzzles are practically ageless, aren’t they?  You see them in preschools, you see them in nursing homes.  Heck, my family of all ages will sit around a card table and put together 500-piece puzzles all during Christmas break!  If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind, unique, and personalized puzzle for your family and your home, Keystone Puzzles has some beautiful creations!

Karen, the puzzlecutter from Keystone Puzzles, creates all her puzzles herself from start to finish, from the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania.   What is so unique about Keystone Puzzles is all of the intricate cutting styles.  Here is the standard cut, which is already pretty fantastic.  Can you spot the cute figural piece?

Keystone Puzzles has an impressive number of figurals that can be incorporated into each custom puzzle.  How neat to have these incorporated as puzzle pieces!

Every piece is meticulously cut by hand, one piece at a time, with the tiniest cuts!  Here is the beautiful spiral cut.

These artistic pieces are crazy!!  No two puzzles are ever the same!  Truly unique.

Keystone puzzles can also do continuous, long arm, non-interlocking, butterfly, enhanced spiral, grid, and combination cuts.

They can also incorporate color-line cutting, disguised edge pieces, and trick edge pieces!  They can do dropouts (like the “I Love You” in my mini puzzle below), dropout/figural combinations, and sculpted edges!  Fancy, schmancy!

Karen sent me a mini puzzle so I could see for myself how intricately beautiful these puzzles are.  The first thing I noticed was the high quality wood.  The pieces are made from a 1/4″ 5-ply birch plywood, which is extremely strong, and the combination of maple and birch gives the pieces a lovely contrasted look from the side.

This mini puzzle took me almost over 5 minutes to solve!  I love that!  I can only imagine the thrilling challenge a large puzzle 18 or 19 inches in length would be!  With all the unexpected cuts and designs, what a cozy evening of puzzle-doing you could have!

Everything was sanded smooth and tied so cute in a box.  In fact, included with every puzzle purchase is a storage box to hold and protect your puzzle!  The large puzzles come with a handmade solid wood box with a sliding lid, and stained and finished!  Talk about a heirloom that will last for generations!!

You must go take a look at all the incredible creations in Karen’s shop!  There are some exquisite creations that would be PERFECT for wedding gifts or even family reunions!

Go take a look for yourself at all the beautiful things Karen makes in her Etsy shop!

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