Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Hess Toy Truck Announced

This past week Hess revealed their latest addition to their line of toy trucks. This year's toy will be the Hess Toy Truck and Space Cruiser with Scout. This is also the 50th anniversary truck for Hess. Because of this special celebratory year this toy is a three piece release.

The space cruiser comes with retractable landing gear, flashing lights and a button activated as well as motion activated sound effect. The entire space cruiser rides on the top of a flatbed truck of course. There is a scot that comes out of a cargo door on the space cruiser and the scout has folding wings and real lights that work. You can use the flatbed truck for transport or also for a launching pad. There is a button activated launch ramp that comes with a hydraulic life. Forty one lights are included in total and 3 realistic sounds. The cab  has special chrome writing that marks that this is a 50th anniversary edition.

This year the release will be a bit more expensive then previous years but you do get a lot more for your money. This toy retails for $45.99.

You will need 6 energizer batteries to run this toy but there are some that come included with your purchase. Also shipping is free when you order straight from Hess. The product goes on sale November 14th at participating Hess, Hess Express and WilcoHess retail stores. I got this release just a couple of days ago and it is for sure a toy that you will want to make sure is under the tree this year. You can visit for more information.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Saint Francis Organics

Products like lotions, body washes and other items like this can be a great gift for just about anyone. You can give these items to mothers, wives, friends, teachers and more. Every woman appreciates being able to sit back and relax; creating their very own spa experience in their own home. Saint Francis Organics is releasing some brand new products just in time for the holiday season and you will want to grab these items starting in November and keep them on hand for this year’s holiday season.

Saint Francis Organics is coming out with some new moisturizing lotions that are really rich and smooth. You can use them after your shower or bath or keep them in your purse for on the go use. You can get these lotions in a number of scents including Peppermint Vanilla, Lemon, Lavender Blend and Unscented. I am always a fan of unscented products because I don’t like anything strong but all of these products are really nice and mildly scented.

All of the products from Saint Francis Organics are free of harmful or harsh chemicals. You can use these products on your entire family and you will quickly fall in love with all of the items that are part of the Saint Francis line. You can visit for more information.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Grady’s Cold Brew

There are a lot of people who love their iced coffees no matter what the time of year but this habit can get a bit expensive. Not only is it pricey to purchase at least once coffee each morning but it can be an inconvenience to have to drive to a coffee shop each and every day. A lot of people have coffee pots or Keurig machines in their homes but even these options can take up a few precious minutes in the morning that you could be spending in bed or getting ready. Grady’s Cold Brew is a product that you can keep on hand and enjoy your iced coffee beverage whenever you want with very little effort.

Grady’s Cold Brew is a coffee concentrate that is brewed and bottled in Brooklyn, N.Y. Each batch is made from freshly roasted coffee and chicory water. It sits overnight and the grounds are removed using a two step filtering process. The final result is a very smooth and flavorful coffee product. You can mix it with milk, sugar, cream or whatever other additions you like and you can heat it if you would like.

You can also purchase Grady’s Cold Brew in bag form. This is like making a cup of coffee with a tea bag but this is in concentrated form. You can make 2 to 3 cups of coffee with just one Grady’s Cold Brew Bean Bag.

For more information on Grady’s Cold Brew you can visit their website at This product is a great stocking stuffer or addition to a holiday gift basket.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Pure Glass Water Bottle

Here is another great gift that works a main gift or even as a stocking stuffer. We mainly use glass or stainless steel water bottles in our home because those are the two safest but when it comes to glass it can be tough to find a bottle that does not break easily and will last a long time. The Pure Water bottle is a great product because it is The World' Safest Glass Bottle.

If you do happen to drop your Pure Water Bottle and it cracks, the pieces are held together by a special coating on the outside of the bottle. This coating is not on the inside so you do not have to worry about the safety of your water. I have actually knocked my Pure bottle down a number of times and it has not cracked at all. If it does break you can toss the whole thing in a recycle bin.

I like the lid of the bottle because it has a handle and that handle can be used for carrying the item and also it locks the lid in place. The spout of the bottle is nice and large and there is a good seal on the inside of the lid so there is no chance of leakage.

If you are looking for a glass water bottle that is safe enough and durable enough to take on the go with you each day or you know someone who leads an active lifestyle and would appreciate a healthy option such as this, you should consider purchasing a Pure Glass Water Bottle this holiday season. You can visit for more information.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Studio E Fabrics and Timeless Treasures

My son is in love with everything related to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year. Most of his Christmas list revolves around this theme and he even asked me for a TMNT blanket. I have purchased my son blankets in the past relating to whatever current trend he is interested in but I find they always wear and wash poorly and I am never thrilled with them. I am somewhat crafty, depending on what project I am taking on, so I threw the idea out there for making a TMNT themed quilt. My son loved the idea so I got brainstorming. This creation was supposed to be for a Christmas gift but I was excited to give it to him so he got it a bit early.

My son is already 6 ½ so I wanted to stay away from making him a blanket that was pictures of the turtles or something that seemed a bit too childish. He is a big boy now so I wanted him to have an item that he could use and appreciate for many years. I decided to sew him an TMNT themed quilt. I was going to use the different colors of the turtles (red, orange, purple and blue) and then work those colors around different shades of green. Of course if you know the Turtles well like we do you know that there are two different shade palates for these colors. The classic colors go with the TV show while there are more modern, muted shades for the new movie that came out over the summer. I planned to include both.

I got in touch with some wonderful staff at Studio E Fabrics and Timeless Treasures. Both of these sites sell all kinds of fabrics in different styles, prints, colors and textures. Both of these fantastic companies sent over big stacks of fabric squares for my use. I am used to buying fabric at our local craft store but it is always really over priced and I am not always thrilled with my options. Ideally, shopping for fabric online allows for better pricing and better selection. Both of these sites / companies have fantastic products.

Timeless Treasures sells fabric that you will not be able to find anywhere else. Their prints and color selections are amazing. Also, I loved the quality of the fabric and I have washed the quilt a couple of times already and I like how it is going to hold up. You will find prints designed by actual high end designers and you can buy the fabric in any form that you want. For quilting I like to purchase the quarter squares or fat stacks. This way you get a lot of different fabric to work with while not being stuck with just a couple of different shades or patterns.

Studio E Fabrics also sells all kinds of patterns and colors. You can get great holiday themed fabric as well. I got some fantastic Christmas fabric from them and I am using that to make a fabric Advent calendar to hang around the holidays. You can shop by a number of different categories on the Studio E site and that includes newly release patterns, themes, etc. This is another company that really makes a wide selection of products at an affordable price.

For more information on Timeless Treasures or Studio E Fabrics you can visit their websites:

Both of these companies have great fabric choices that you can utilize to create your own Christmas gifts this holiday season. You can also create items for your own home to help decorate and celebrate the holidays.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Multi Flask

If you know someone that is very health conscious you may want to look into the Multi Flask as a gift this holiday season. We are extremely health conscious at our house and I have been getting newly released items for years now to try out for review purposes. This is one item I have never owned or tried before and I think it is great. I would have loved if someone gave this to me as a gift this holiday season.

The Multi Flask is a system that comes with a number of bottles, inserts, lid, etc. The point is that you can use this system to make your own hot tea in a bottle, fruit infused water, etc. There are different inserts that you can use depending on how you want to use your Multi Flask that day. I like this product because you can purchase one set and use it a number of different ways. You can even take the entire system on the go with you if you want tea in the morning as you leave the house, switch to fruit infused water during the day and just drink plain water when you hit the gym in the evening.

In each Multi Flask system you get:

A Tritan Outer Shell
A Tritan Inner Shell
A Glass Inner Shell
A Tea Strainer
A Fruit Infuser
An Agitator
A Sipper Lid
A Sports Lid
Color Bands that help you decorate or identify your bottle.

You can visit for more information on this product or to watch a video on how it works. 

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Photoweavers

I like coming up with very personal gifts for the holidays that really focus on a person’s  personality and what they like. To me, gifting items that are personalized with photos or names are ideal and I always try to find the latest and greatest items to do this with. Photoweavers makes exceptional quality blankets that you can personalize with a photo of your choice.

What I like about these products is that they are not just plain blankets that were embroidered with some sort of text. They also are not the plain fleece blankets you can order everywhere that feature a photo. The picture you choose is actually woven into the blanket. The blanket itself if a really heavy, high quality blanket. This item is great to display or you can use it as well. I have one with a picture of my husband and I on the beach with a nice quote on the bottom of it and it sits at the foot of our bed at all times. It’s so much more personal than just the printed and framed photos we have on our walls.

The great thing about Photoweavers is that their products not only allow you to choose a photo for them but you can also add text, a border, clip art, etc. You can really design this blanket how you want it to be. Also you can purchase other items from Photoweavers such as pillows. The price for a 71” x 53” throw blanket is $128. You can add on whatever you want to and you won’t pay extra for every little addition you make. I recently had a photobook made online and I was shocked at the checkout because every little item I added on cost another $4 or so.

You’ll be amazed at how simple the process is for creating a Photoweavers blanket and the turnaround time is really fast. I would order early though because we all know how crazy shipping times can get closer to the holidays. For more information you can visit I promise you this blanket is an item your loved one will cherish for many years to come.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Turbospoke

I have a six year old little guy who loves cars, motors and all things speed just like his Daddy. For now he has to be happy with his little Power Wheels Dune Racer that he drives around as well as his bike but if he wants to feel like he's got some power behind him he can attach his Turbospoke to his bike. Turbospoke is a bicycle exhaust system that makes motor-like sounds when the spokes of the bike go around and around. 

I like Turbospoke because it is battery free and if you know me or have read my reviews in the past then you know I hate constantly replacing batteries. Turbospoke is made up of a little plastic unit that clamps down onto the bike. There are little plastic cards that you slide into the system and that is what gets moved back and forth; making the exhaust sound. That sound gets amplified through an actual plastic muffler that looks cool as well. Installation and assembly only takes a few minutes and you are ready to ride.

You can visit for more information or to purchase this item for the little speed demon in your life. This is a great way to add some new excitement to riding bikes around and you will find that your child's friends all want to try out the Turbospoke and get one of their very own for their bike.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: AJ's Collection

When it comes to children everybody loves to show them off and talk about them whether you are a mother, a father, a grandparent, etc. AJ's Collection makes a whole line of different products that can be personalized to include names, birthstones and more. You have probably seen someone walking around with a piece like these and they are really beautiful and make the best gifts during the holiday season. The best part is, AJ's Collection is made up of really high quality pieces at pretty great prices.

There are a ton of different types of necklaces available from AJ's Collection. I have the Lucky One necklace and love it. It's a very simple disc charm with my son's name printed on it and there is a small heart charm included as well. The chain is available in a number of lengths and this necklace is really affordable; just $35 depending on the chain you pick.

There are a bunch of different bracelets available from AJ's Collection and I like that you can choose from materials other than just metal for the bracelet portion. There are suede bands that create a really cute cuff bracelet. There are also different kinds of links available and different styles so you can really pick an item that you know your loved one will enjoy.

Also be aware that you do not have to focus on children. AJ's Collection also has a number of items you can personalize with your wedding date, initials of you and your partner, etc. There are also a number of items available for men such as tie bars and keychains.You can visit for more information or to start some of your holiday shopping while there is plenty of time to order.