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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.

Top Ten Valentine’s Day gifts

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.

vday3Valentine’s Day can be the perfect time to express your love for that special someone in your life. A people jewelers coupon from Great Canadian Rebates can be a great place to begin your search for just the right gift. Here are 10 of the very best ways to make a loved one feel deserving of your love.

Roses are red…

A bouquet of red roses is perhaps the most classic way to show a loved one how you feel.  A perfect symbol of love and romance for as long as such feelings have been around, they can be the ideal offering of attraction and devotion.

Sweet like chocolate

Another classic Valentine’s Day gift can appear in the shape of a chocolate heart. These luxurious ways to spend an evening can show off a sweet side – in every meaning of the word – to one’s intended.

A Basket of Treats

A fine selection of treats presented in a classic basket can offer variety and classic style. Bringing together small offerings and boutique pleasures, a beautifully presented basket can be a great idea for romantics the world over.

Scarves and hats

As the 14 February is pretty chilly in many parts of the world, Valentine’s is a great time to present a loved one with a warming gift of scarves, hats or gloves. Keeping healthy and heated both in the heart and all over can be a great way of showing just how much you care.

Read a way into the heart!

An offering of a book can be a great show of affection. Showing that you know your loved one’s tastes in art and literature can be an important statement – and one that can have the desired results! Take a paper or hard back by your love’s favourite author and carefully wrap. The effect will be just what is looked for.

Valentine’s jewellery

Jewellery of all kinds can be an ultimate statement of love. Not necessarily limited to gifts for her, men can also delight in receiving necklaces, rings and pendants of all materials. Of course if you really want to go a long way to remembering the day, jewellery items inscribed with the date and hearts are widely available!

Toiletry bags

Gift bags of toiletries can present a luxurious collection of smells and cosmetics. Perfect for letting someone know exactly how you feel, a glamorous assortment of toiletries can show him or her the strength of your emotions…

A new pair of running shoes

Perhaps not the first gift that many would think of as a sign of affection, a present of running shoes can be a practical and well-meaning gift for all exercise lovers. As a show of feeling for a loves one’s fitness it can be ideal.

Hi-tech gadgets

A declaration of love needn’t be traditional. Why not make the most of modern technology and offer him or her an electronic gadget straight from the 21st Century.  A Smartphone, MP3 player or digital camera can all show a keen awareness of what makes an object of affection truly tick.

Perfumes, fragrances and cologne

The smell of romance can be a sweet fragrance, artfully constructed in the best ways by the world’s most reputed perfumers. As a way to get the day off to the perfectly scented start as gift tickling the sense of smell could be exactly the right move.

The Beauty of Valentine’s Day Flowers

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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In a flower shop, holding flowers and smilingValentine’s Day – otherwise known as February 14th – is a sacred date for romantics and lovers of the finer things in life. It is a day strongly associated with relationships and declarations of love and passion. Ever since our school days and the furtive delivery of valentine’s cards and messages most of us have been aware of the power of this date.  But how did it all start? And what is the best way to celebrate it?

The History of Valentine’s Day

The true history of Valentine’s is wrapped up in mystery. There are at least three different saints of the Catholic Church bearing similar names to Valentine, but exactly who he was has many different legends. Some see him as a saint fighting for marital rights in the Roman era, while others see it as an essentially pagan construct of loving and giving. In any case, what we think of today as Valentine’s Day is largely a concept that began in the Middle Ages. Indeed, the oldest surviving love poem was sent in England in 1415.  But what about the giving of flowers, a 14th February tradition that many see as being at the true heart of the day?

The Giving of Flowers

Flowers have since time immemorial symbolized fertility and marriage propositions and romantic intentions. The modern take on this appeared at some point in the 18th Century, when European notables and dignitaries began to send out messages to loved ones with a particular meaning without the need of words or inscriptions. A beautifully presented bouquet of flowers was shown to be a potent and alluring way to get one’s point across!vday2

Today this tradition lives on, with the romantic presentation of flowers to an object of affection being a key part of the celebration.  A beautifully stocked florist, such as the superb variety on show at Forest of Flowers, can offer the perfect way to make romantic feelings beautifully clear. Professionally arranged bouquets of roses can be just the gift for that special someone. As a visual representation of Valentine’s Day flowers are unsurpassed. Offer them to your love and let them know you care!

Caring For Your Flowers on Valentine’s Day

The flowers themselves also deserve some care during and after their big day. Trained florists at the most professional of outlets can offer advice on how best to treat them, but a simple method to keeping them as vibrant as possible is as follows. Firstly, a bouquet should be carefully trimmed before being transferred to a generously hydrated vase as soon as possible.  The vase should be filled about a third of the way with lukewarm water. Any dropping leaves or foliage should be removed as they appear without getting any in the water. Adding preservatives to the water can often be a simple way to ensure a rose stays healthy looking for longer. A good DIY method of doing this is to use a few tablespoons of sugar to the flower’s water. This can act as its food, and can help make it last a little longer. The love behind the gift offering will, of course, hopefully last forever…

 

 

Endure Shop {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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Now that it’s finally February, we can accept the fact that Valentine’s Day is almost here. When the pink hearts start popping up all over WalMart the day after Christmas, I get a little cranky. But, like it or not, the big V-Day will be here in a week from tomorrow! What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Love? Hearts? Jewelry? Chocolate? Well, send your hubby on over to the Endure Jewelry Company, where you can find all of those things (minus the chocolate)!

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I’ve already told you how cool Endure Shop is, especially if you’re a runner. They sell beautifully crafted jewelry to represent and celebrate your running accomplishments, or to motivate you to reach your goals. Remember how I said you can find love, hearts and jewelry all in their shop? Check out this beautiful “Live Love Run” necklace and you’ll see I wasn’t kidding! Wouldn’t this be fabulous a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift for the runner in your life?

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I have a strange attraction/addiction to workout clothes, so I of course chose to review an item from the Apparel collection. Since I live in (almost) perpetually sunny California, I chose the Run Tank. I love the fabric–super light-weight without being cheap and thin–and of course the cute word “Run” with a heart and the Endure logo on the front.

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I ordered the Large because I’m currently 3 months pregnant with my third and figured I’d need the extra room. The tank fits snugly but not uncomfortably, so once I lose the baby weight it will be loose, but not ridiculously huge. I like that the fit is semi-fitted and truly hides the muffin-top, as they claim. The back is racer-back style and the Endure definition is right in the middle of that intersection, which I think looks really cool. My favorite part is the little roadrunner hanging out on the back of my hip–so cute!

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Please forgive my Vampire tan.

The tank also comes in white, but I thought the black with white lettering looked so much cooler. Now I just need to buy a few more colored bottoms so I don’t look like a stage hand or a gothic when I work out in all black 😉 The tank is $32, but if you’re lucky, you can win a $30 Gift Card to Endure Shop and snag this cute top for only $2! Or use the credit toward a really beautiful piece of jewelry for someone…and that someone can be you!

Win a $30 Gift Card to Endure Shop!

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of February 17, 2014, 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 Endure Jewelry Company, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Daddy & Co. {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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Heart Hop Giveaway ButtonWelcome to the Valentine’s Heart Hop!

Hosted By: MPM Network Bloggers

MPM Blogging Network has joined together to make your Valentine’s Day a little lovelier! Each participating blog below is hosting their very own unique giveaway so make sure to stop by them all and enter to win including the Grand Prize: 2 Dozen Rainbow Roses Giveaway.

The Valentine’s Heart Hop ends 2/10 at 11:59pm so don’t let your heart float away!

Chances are, whatever stage of life you are in, you know (or are married to) either an expectant dad, a new dad, an active dad, or an experienced dad.

logoDaddy & Co. (which was formerly Daddy Scrubs) celebrates the men in all of these exciting new roles, with products that show their excitement in the phrase, “I’m the Daddy”.

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Dads are sometimes hard to shop for on Valentines.  Once you’ve given the traditional “I Love You” mug or tie, its hard to avoid the explosion of pink and glitter and still come up with a masculine gift for your man.  Lucky for those of us completely out of good ideas after the brain-wracking exercises of Christmas shopping, Daddy & Co. has some really excellent Valentine’s pajama pants and boxers!  Perfect for Valentine’s gifts!

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Its so hard to avoid gifts that are super pink and girly around this lovey-dovey holiday, but I think these are perfect.  No pink, masculine, he can wear them over and over again, and they could even be a gift from the kids if they’re looking for good ideas.  We (as in me and the boys) picked out the Love Daddy Pajama Pants, and gave them to Daddy a little early.  We will actually be in Vegas for a wedding over V-day weekend, so everything is getting bumped up a few weeks.

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I think these were a great gift!  They’re soft, not too loud, not too bright, very stretchy and comfortable, and you could go out to pick up the mail while wearing these and not be embarrassed.  I would think that the muted colors and the casual fit make them appealing to a majority of men.  The hubby was excited when he saw them, but because they looked a little thin, I had to talk him in to trying them on.  It is only 7 degrees out tonight.  Come warmer weather, I don’t think this’ll be a problem.  They look perfect for the more reasonable part of the year.

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Use the coupon code BLOG14 to get a 10% discount on your order!

twoOne lucky duck will get to choose one pair of boxers OR pajama pants, in your choice of size and style!

Now hop along and enter to win loads of Valentine’s freebies, and enter our giveaway in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Feb 9th 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.  

See’s Candies {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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Welcome to the Be Our Valentine Event!  Its a Valentines-related giveaway hop, so you can follow along below with over 50 other bloggers who are all bringing you a sweet Valentines-related giveaway!
Men, if you’re ever in doubt about what to give your girl for Valentine’s, know that no woman I know would ever turn down a box of See’s Candies!  A box of chocolates is always a sweet gesture, but a box of See’s sings straight to the heart.
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Honestly, any box of See’s is bound to be a home run.  I’m becoming quite the See’s connoisseur, and I still have yet to find a chocolate that didn’t rock my world.  The beauty of their array of products is that you can select variety boxes full of an assortment of wonders, or you can specialize into what you know are already true favorites like I did.  This time around, I picked out two of my favorite delicacies and got a full box of both 🙂
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First are these Peanut Butter Patties.  They are just like glorified reese’s, but with a thicker chocolate shell so there’s really a crunch of chocolate when you bite into it.  The peanut butter has the perfect consistency with more flavor than you’d expect–as if there is more sugar, more salt, higher-quality butter, etc.  A full box of these is bound to go a long ways.  I can’t eat more than one in a sitting before I’m satisfied and happy to close the box for another treat later.
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And then there’s the all-time-favorite Scotchmallows.  What a delicious combination of dark chocolate, marshmallow, and caramel!
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These are delicious any way you eat them, but may I suggest you let them sit at normal room temp for a while before chomping 🙂 I was keeping these hidden from my boys in my upstairs sewing room, which is probably 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house, and so the marsh was a little chewier than normal.  Still delicious.  It didn’t stop me from pounding a few more before I hid the box again.
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Lastly, I picked out a bag of See’s Chocolate Chips.  A quick glance will show you the difference between these and normal chips.  The size is twice as big, and the unique irregularities in shape make them a little more gourmet than normal.  On their own, they are the same delicious See’s chocolate that I know and love, so I can’t wait to bake with these!!  Talk about taking your baking to the next level.
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Should I really tell my husband I have 2 boxes of the most delectable chocolates upstairs?  Still debating.
Online Store / Facebook / Pinterest

One lucky winner is going to win a $25 giftcard to See’s candies!

Win chocolates for your Valentines sweetheart, or just eat these all by yourself :)  I won’t judge.

 

 

Now follow along and win all sorts of Valentine’s wonders…

 

Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on February 3, 2014. The Be Our Valentine Event Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by The Review Wire.
*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Feb 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.  

I Caught Cupid

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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So remember our giveaway from last month where ten of you won a free download to make your own photos with a Santa drop-in?

personalizedphotos-965171-regular

Well, friends, we have another seasonal favorite!  A freebie this month from www.iCaughtCupid.com!  Just like iCaughtSanta, you can use these free code to drop a cute little cupid into any of your pictures!

The coupon code: CUPID

cupid-whiteframeSimply take a pic, upload it to www.iCaughtCupid.com, add a Cupid, enter code: CUPID, and share via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mía Mariú’s New Fragrance Collection {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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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

When my husband and I were dating, we were discussing what about the opposite gender we are most attracted to.  You know, is it the guy’s smile, their sense of humor, or their baby blue eyes that make you weak in the knees?  I was pretty surprised to learn that “Charlie” is first and foremost attracted to a girl’s SCENT.  Really?!  Above a girl’s looks, legs, personality, or straight teeth, he’s most attracted to the way she smells?

Now that we’re married, he still won’t let me pick out perfume for myself.  He has to approve first and he is VERY PARTICULAR.  I was a little nervous when I first tried on this new fragrance called Magia from Mía Mariú, becuase I knew that if he didn’t like it, I’d likely be gifting it to my college sister.  Well, no worries, because he loves it, and I’m oh so glad I get to keep it!

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Mía Mariú is becoming one of my favorite online shops for beauty products.  I first reviewed their makeup (you can read that review HERE) and have been using the eyeshadow practically every weekend out, and then a few months ago I reviewed their anti-aging skincare line (and you can read that review HERE), which I also thought was fantastic.  Add their new fragrance collection, and you might as well order anything and everything from Mía Mariú and save yourself some shipping costs.

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There are three new fragrances from Mía Mariú, two of which are for men, called Caoba and Acqua.  These fragrances are EDT 1.7 oz.  Now in case you didn’t know, and I myself was clueless about this til I met Scent Boy, EDT stands for Eau de toilette which is 4 – 10% perfume oil.  This is a lighter fragrance which is most used for the casual everyday use because it will last for 2 to 4 hours.  Bring this along with you to work if you want it to be noticeable after lunch.

IMG_9250 copyTo me, the smell is something a little floral and fresh.  It doesn’t smell too ‘old-lady’ or too young, while still smelling professional and alluring.  The bottle is beautiful, heavy, sturdy, and easy to use, while the tall square shape fits nicely inside small medicine cabinets.IMG_9256

See that little black tube?  Mia Mariu also sent me a Perfecting Finish Hydrating Stick Gloss in a vibrant red called Amore.  Beautiful!  There’s nothing more nasty than a tube of lipstick that tries out your lips to the point of looking cracked and perma-stained, but this substance nourishes while looking glossy and bright.

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 These fragrances are sold for $42, and one lucky winner will get to choose their own full size mm fragrance!

You might have just solved the question of what to get your lover for Valentine’s!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

 

Lumnique Personalized Scented Candles {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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“Charlie” is taking the CFA level III in two weeks.  For anyone out there familiar with this test, you know the loneliness that the wife can experience in never EVER seeing her husband for several months while he studies!  The study material comes in stack of books that measure well over a foot thick, and the passing rate is usually around 40% even among test-takers who study for 500+ hours.
LumniquePersonalizedScentedCandlesLogo
Lately, the best way I can support him in his study efforts are to just clear up all nights and weekends and let him study his heart out.  However, when I came across Lumnique, a customizable candle gift company, I thought this might be a perfect way to lift spirits, show my thoughtfulness, and encourage enlightenment!
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The deluxe box was delivered quickly and the clean, crisp, and dark black box is very impressive.  Very sturdy, and one that I will definitely be using again to store other things.  What a lovely gift to behold!  These candles come in high-quality heavy glass jars, with resealable lids–I love being able to seal up the yummy scent when it is not in use.
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Typically, ordinary candles are made in a scent paired with a specific color.  You know, red Christmas candles and smell like peppermint, green candles that smell like pine, etc.  Lumnique allows you to create any combination of intent, color, and scent to really create a one-of-a-kind gift!
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With “Charlie” in mind, I started with the intent: GOOD LUCK
Next I chose his favorite color: SKY BLUE
And then I picked a scent I knew he loved: CEDAR
Completely unique, right?  The candle comes with a descriptive card explaining how the candle was custom made, and what each of the choices represent.  As in, the Good Luck intention is meant to remind you that impossible situations can become attainable miracles.  The sky color can symbolize patience, intuition, intelligence, practicality, etc.  The cedar scent can awaken the senses with its invigorating capabilities.  The detailed certificate is a really nice touch, and it makes the gift definitely more personal and intentional.
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I was beaming as I handed over Charlie’s gift!  I’ve made sure to light it for him every night when he sits down to study 🙂 Soak in all those “good luck” aromas.
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Now if you’re debating between the regular and the deluxe box, choose the deluxe because the matches alone make it worth it!  They are top-notch, high quality, very long and thick matches that strike effortlessly and burst into a strong flame.  Charlie, the Eagle Scout, was very impressed and mentioned that they might be his favorite part.
There must be someone in your life who you’d love to give a customized candle to!  From anniversaries, apologies, romance, friendship, celebration and “just because”, there is guaranteed to be a perfect candle for you to create!

One lucky winner will receive a Deluxe customized candle set from Lumnique!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 9th 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 Lumnique, but all opinions are strictly my own

One Month to Love by Kerry & Chris Shook {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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9780307730978_p0_v1_s260x420I consider my marriage to be just as strong and happy as the day we were married, but I also believe that a good thing needs to be continuously nourished in order the thrive.  The title of this book intrigued me, as well as the challenge it presented to focus on a relationship for the next 30 days, so coincidentally ending just before Valentine’s Day.

I started reading this book the day it arrived, and it has been a joy and a pleasure every night, and food for my soul.  The short and inspirational read was the treasured moment I longed for at the end of every day.

With the book being broken down into 30 segments, the portion to read every night was only a few pages, which I thought was perfect.  It ended with several challenges—something to think about, write about, or do.  A great “So What” moment at the end of the chapter to wrap it all up, and really apply to your key relationship(s).

The first few chapters help you diagnose the relationships you want to improve, offering encouragement to those who feel a relationship is beyond repair, and pinpointing what things to think about with some proactive suggestions.  I love that most of the readings and daily challenges revolve around changing the way we look at our relationship, looking inward at our role with much self-assessment.  I am always drawn towards self-help and DIY books, so the approach is one I agree with and gravitate towards.  I don’t know if it was intentionally written this way, but the focus of the book so geniusly and subtly shifts from the problem that lies between you and another person, to an inspirational motivating quest about how you would treat the last days of your life if you only had 30 days to love.  I started reading thinking about the things I wanted to change or fix in my marriage, to feeling so empowered about the things I can change about myself to be happier, stronger, and better!

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is the sweet religious insight about relationships and character traits of our Savior, Jesus Christ, throughout the book.  These are so seamlessly presented in a way that feels completely applicable and personally touching, and not at all in a preachy manner.  Usually I am somewhat disappointed in the way Christian books cram scripture anywhere they can, but these short and sweet thoughts were so pleasant to come across.

This book is written so well!  The authors give caring advice, relevant personal short stories, and genuine concern for the readers.  I felt it was 100% applicable, and I am considering making this book a yearly read for myself, pulling it out on every January 14th until February 14th.

Well done, authors Kerry & Chris Shook.  A truly excellent and inspirational read.  Thank you for enriching my marriage!

You can read more about the book HERE.  Read an author bio of Kerry Shook HERE.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Sock Monkey.Net {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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Is there anything more cheerfully adorable than a sock monkey?  His funny little face and his skinny little limbs are just so loveable!  If you own a sock monkey of your own, do you just love it?  If you don’t own a sock monkey, would you love to make your own?!  I am so excited to show you the cute little shop of Sock Monkey.Net, where you can find hand-made SockLady Sock Monkeys, as well as supplies and do-it-yourself Sock Monkey kits!

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I think these sock monkey kits are fabulous gift ideas for boys, girls and even grown-ups!  Children love Build-a-Bear because they get to create their own stuffed animal, right?  This is the same idea, but WAY more affordable!  (And cuter).  These kits come with those cute vintage red heeled socks, a needle, thread, black embroidery thread, two button eyes, a pom-pom, red yarn, and a bag of poly-fil fluff.  The budget kits contain every supply except for the fluffy filling (and are only $13!).  And don’t freak out if you’re lacking sewing skills or a sewing machine, because Sock Monkey.Net also carries a deluxe kit that is pre-sewn!  I got to review just such a kit!

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It was a fun little project!  The top-quality classic socks were great to work with.  Stuffing the skinny tail got a bit tricky, but stuffing it with the end of a pencil helped push all the stuffing down.  The kit comes with a nice bobbin full of thread, plenty of black cord, and and a surprising amount of well over enough stuffing, so you could use the extra on another project!  Or another monkey!

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The instructions were simple and easy to follow, and offered some helpful tips.  I’m definitely keeping my instructions to make more in the future!  I originally made this monkey for my 9-month old, but the toddler is just crazy about it!  He runs around the house flinging “Monkey Face” around and takes it up to bed with him for every nap.

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Do you need a sock monkey in your life?

Sock Monkey.Net is offering TWO readers a Budget Do It Yourself Sock Monkey Kit!

big 2009 BK Monkey

You could make one for your Valentine!!

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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 Monday, February 18th 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 SockMonkey.net, but all opinions are strictly my own

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