Category Archives: Giveaways

Review of LeapTV game system

Disclosure: LeapFrog provided the LeapTV system for me to review.

LeapFrog rarely disappoints me, but I was a little skeptical of this new game system they sent me, the LeapTV…. well, they blew me out of the water again!

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LeapTV is fun, active, educational, and safe (age appropriate) – all of the things I love about LeapFrog products.

With all that in mind, the FUN is definitely there. The game system is engaging because there are many ways to play. Depending on the game, your kiddo might have a mission where the camera is displaying him (my kid loved this) right there on the screen. And, the control is two-in-one. It has a wand-like/senser use, and then can be rotated to act like a traditional controller.

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My almost-5 year old loves this new game system from LeapFrog. Every game and level is a little different, and his favorite right now is Spiderman.

The setup was a little tricky because we have a recessed wall with an extension mount TV. It took us a few tries to figure out where the TV and camera should be, but now it’s great fun. There’s a mount where the camera can be on top of the TV, but for our setup, that meant a large reach. If I extend the TV and leave the camera on the counter, the camera can’t read the top-most movements. So, our solution was to keep the TV mostly near the wall, and it works great for us that way.

LeapFrog is going to allow me to give one of these away soon, so stay tuned!

Leappad2 Giveaway!

I am so excited that I’ve been chosen as a LeapFrog parent. LeapFrog has a knack for combining what I love about toys (developmentally appropriate, educational, fun) and what my son loves about toys (fun, interactive, has noise, has lights haha!).

They sent me the new LeapPad2 to review, and we’ve been playing with it for about a week. Since I have a newborn who naps 4 times a day, Samuel gets “LeapPad” time when I’m putting her down for a nap. This is a win-win because he gets to play with his favorite toy, and I don’t have a 2 year old running into the nursery saying, “Moooooooommmmyyyy!!!” at the top of his lungs. 🙂

You can read the details below, but here’s my review in a nutshell: This thing is so great, I want one for ME. 😉

Why I love the LeapPad2 (there’s so much I could say here, these are the highlights):

– There is no Internet access. My son loves to play games on an old iPhone we have, or, of course, our own phones, but he knows exactly how to get to YouTube, and there’s just too much Internet access for him to play on these phones independently. Some parents might think it’s a pain to connect online to look for and download apps, but I see that as a plus.

– Developmentally appropriate! My son is only 2 and a half years old, and the device is made for ages 3-9, but he still has no problem finding a ton of fun, and I can see how he will be able to use the LeadPad2 for years. Literally. Here’s a really cool tidbit: The eBooks and games actually adapt to your child. As he answers more questions correctly, for example, he gets harder questions – I LOVE THIS FEATURE. I can say so much more about the kid-ness of the LeapPad2 – how it’s perfect for their size, how friendly voices and images show them how to play each app so they’re not lost – LeapFrog knows kids. That’s all there is to it.

– No boredom. Not only does the LeapPad2 arrive with great content, but there are over 300 apps available, plus any LeapFrog Explorer games can be used in the device. It’s just not possible for this to get old.

– Variety includes creative learning. Developing children’s creativity is absolutely lacking for the current education regime. We are so focused on math, science, reading, and writing that we won’t let our kids color an elephant purple. We’ve played with apps that help a child learn to draw (like really draw not just scribble or doodle or color) and create a film. I was quite impressed with the creative apps.

– At a retail of $99, the value is really high for the price. I know people who have purchased iPads for their kids, which is totally their choice, but for a young child $99 is much easier to stomach for a super nice Christmas or birthday present.

What could be improved:

– My son is left-handed. I was a little disappointed when I saw the stylus on the right side of the device. Thankfully, the screen is responsive to fingers, so he doesn’t need to use the stylus unless he’s working on writing games. For example, the Pet Pad has a writing section where he can trace letters with the stylus. I was pleased to see that there is a left-handed mode for this that flips the screen around, but the child has to 1) know they’re left-handed 2) see this small button and know what it’s for 3) press it every time they enter this zone. The device could be more left-hand friendly by assigning the child’s writing hand to their profile and using that setting in all writing activities.

– The LeapPad2 runs on 4 AA batteries. You can use rechargeable AA batteries, and you can also buy a recharger kit for the device. And you will want to have a way to charge rather than buy batteries. I think we got maybe 7-10 hours of playtime on one set of batteries. It would be a huge parental-approval boost to have the recharger kit come with the LeapPad2, straight off the shelf.

I hope this review is truly helpful to you! It was just released, and I think they are sold out on Amazon and people might be reselling them at a higher price. If I were you, I’d wait until the rush dies down and get one straight from the manufacturer.

OR……..you can try to win a LeapPad2 right here! All you have to do to enter is comment on this post. The giveaway will end on Friday, August 31 at 11:59pm. Good luck!

Disclosure: LeapFrog provided the LeapPad2 for this review, but all opinions are mine all mine!

Spring Weeding + Miracle Gro Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Here in Austin, I’ve discovered that we have this lovely (not) weed called milkweed. I honestly don’t remember them from last year, but I remember them from the year before. And this year, since we lost a lot of our grass to a terrible drought, we had A.LOT. of milkweed.

Pretty much half of our backyward looked like this. And we knew we had to get those weeds out of there if we want grass … and less milkweed … to grow back.

What you have to understand is that this stuff is nasty. It’s prickly, it’s thick, it’s spiky, it’s well-rooted, and it’s poisonous.

It reminds me a lot of sin.

One cold, sunny Saturday, I went back there to pull up as much as I could, and I just couldn’t shake the parallels to sin. Here are some things that came to mind:

  • Sin is painful. We actually call these “spiky weeds” – just what you want in the yard of a 2-year old, huh? When they’re dry, they can slice your finger open (trust me).
  • Sin chokes out life. By its very nature, this plant is taking up space, a lot of it. Nothing else can grow until it’s ripped out.
  • Sin takes root. And needs to be removed at the root. And oh buddy, these roots are thick. Usually, even with the help of tools, I could not get the entire root out. But if just a superficial removal of greenery is made, nothing will change. The sin, I mean weeds, will just grow right back!
  • Sin multiplies and grows rapidly. Have you noticed this? When you let that temptation bring you into sin, it’s much easier to commit another sin against God. Because come on, you’ve already messed up – and His grace will cover it all – so why stop now?
  • Sin needs to be removed one by one. When you become a believer in Jesus, the Holy Spirit immediately begins working on your heart. But it’s not like all of your sin is eradicated all at once, or ever. You are on a journey, and that transformation takes time – sometimes it’s quicker than others.
  • Sin is more easily conquered in community. You know what I was thinking the whole time I was weeding? Boy, it sure would be nice to have another set of hands – I could get this done in half the time. Even better, what if I knew someone who had a trick to removing these things?
  • Sin is ugly. But God can use it for good! Just look at my yard – not yard of the month, ya know? So I googled “milkweed austin texas” to see what kind of tirades people went on and on about with these things, and guess what I learned? They are the exclusive food of the monarch butterfly’s larvae. Yeah. Just like our sin is nasty – but we can rejoice that we have a God of hope, who can redeem anything and uses it for His glory!

  • Sin will be a struggle until we enter the kingdom of heaven, but fighting it daily allows us to rely more on God and know His will more clearly. Did you think the pic above was I’m finished! ? Nope – that’s just the one little area I cleared out! The rest of my yard was still overgrown with them. But now, this area has room to grow grass.

Like all illustrations, this isn’t perfect, but it really gave me a glimpse into some practical truths about our sin nature. At the end of the day, though, here is what I’m resting in:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)

And remember – God has given us this blessing of reconciling us to Himself so that we can share that great news with others (5:18-19)!

Related to my spring weeding, let’s have a giveaway!

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Miracle Gro has come out with a new product called Expand ‘n Gro™– it’s a planting mix that is all-natural (made of coconut fibers!) and super absorbent – so absorbent, in fact, that it expands up to 3 times it’s size when you add water. The all-natural fibers add nutrients that feed your plants for up to 6 months, so you prep your spring beds, and then you don’t have to fertilize for the season – nice!

A lightweight, all-natural soil product that holds water!? They’re sending me a sample to try, and I can’t wait. Obviously, my yard needs help. Do you want to try it, too?

Just Like the Candid Pastor’s Wife on Facebook, and leave a comment below letting me know you’re a fan. You’ll be entered to win a sample to try for yourself!

Your comment must be left by midnight CST on Saturday, April 21.

See more here:
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And the Winner is…

The winner of the Dayspring giveaway is Lisa M! She said

I’ve gone through a lot of things that most people would consider pretty rough in the last few years. By God’s grace, I’ve managed not only to survive them, but to come through them with my faith stronger than it’s been in a long time. I’m very thankful for that!

Thanks for sharing Lisa, and for entering everybody!! I hope it was fun!

Grace Above Fire {Dayspring Review and Giveaway}

I have been looking for something to go above my fireplace since we moved into our house. Well, I finally found it!


And here’s a photo that’s a little closer:

They’re called GRACE tiles, from Dayspring. Dayspring’s pictures are much more lovely than mine and show off the middle tile – the white dove in the shape of an “A”:


What I didn’t realize until now is that you can switch out the tiles anytime you want because the rod just comes right off the hooks. Dayspring also has PEACE tiles, TRUST tiles, Bless this Home tiles, and Peace on Earth tiles. I noticed that the GRACE tiles are on sale right now – $10 off. You can get them here. Make sure if you order these, that you get the rod set too.

Aren’t they lovely? Do you want some Dayspring lovelies yourself? Well I have $20 in Dayspring credit to giveaway! This $20 cannot be used towards shipping costs, but you can use it toward anything else in their online store.

Here’s how you can win:

  • In the comments, tell me how you’ve been experiencing God’s grace this week.
  • Like The Candid Pastor’s Wife on Facebook, and leave a comment letting me know you’re a fan!
  • Share a link to this post on Facebook, and let me know in the comments that you shared the love.

Each comment counts as an entry, and comments need to be entered before 11:59pm on Friday, April 15. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday. 

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by DaySpring. Although they provided me this product in exchange for my review, the opinions stated herein are mine, take ‘em or leave ‘em. Affiliate links are also included. See my site disclosure for more information.

Warrior Prayers Giveaway!

I already shared with you about the Warrior Prayers eBook – which I love! It’s a book that helps you easily pray through God’s word for your son(s).

The author, Brooke, is hosting 21 days of prayers on weekdays from April 1 to April 29. We will commit to praying certain prayers each day of the week, 10 times a day! I am so excited for this to begin!

Well, because I really really REALLY want you to join the Warrior Prayers 21 Days of Prayer, I am giving away a copy of the eBook to one reader!

You can enter up to three ways:

  1. Like The Candid Pastor’s Wife on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’re a fan.
  2. Leave a comment letting me know what the heaviest burden for your son is – and we can bring it to God’s feet together.
  3. Like Warrior Prayers on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’re a fan.

The giveaway ends Wednesday night at 11:59pm. The winner will be announced on Thursday – so hurry!

Would you like to join the Warrior Prayers challenge? You can get your book (it’s only $5.97), and sign up here!

Who Won? Who Won!?

Want to know who won the E-Mealz giveaway!?!?!?!

Melanie! She said, “I need IDEAS for weekly meals” – Me too girl. Me too!!!! I’ll email you shortly!

Congratulations Melanie, and thanks for entering everyone. It made me feel better that we all experience those dinnertime hurdles.

If you’re still hoping to try out E-Mealz, I saw that MooLaLa is offering 6-months of meal planning for only $12 again today! Yippee!!! Get your subscription here.

Get Rid of Your Dinner Woes {Giveaway!}

Are you still in your dinner rut? Or have you been trying new things? Maybe you’re like me, and you got out of your dinner rut, but your menu needs a little produce revamp (without a budget increase).

I didn’t realize until after I tried out E-Mealz, the online meal planning program recommended by Dave Ramsey, how little fruits and veggies were going into my dinners! Especially produce of the fresh-not-cooked-to-smithereens variety.

I have to admit, when E-Mealz asked if I would like to try out their “mealtime makeover” for busy families, I was skeptical – not because of their mission, though! They want to give you more time with your family by simplifying the mealtime process. I was skeptical because I’m the queen of my kitchen.

Then, I checked out  a sample menu. These were meals I actually wanted to eat! And cook!

Here’s how E-Mealz works:

  • You get to choose which plan you want. You can choose plans that fit just 2 people, gluten free plans, plans that go by points, and plans that are designed around certain grocery stores’ (like WalMart and Kroger!) sales.
  • You get a new (delicious) menu each week.
  • The menus have 5 meals, so you get to do what you want on the other 2 days.
  • It’s only $5 a month!!! And if you order by 3/31/11 and use the code BLISS, you get 15% off, or $4.25/month! I have seen other meal planning services that are double that.

Why I love it:

  • The menu plans reuse ingredients, so you don’t feel like you’re buying a bunch of produce, half of which will go bad.
  • You can get a plan to match what is on sale at your favorite store (I can’t wait for them to get HEB matchups!). This is the number one way to save money at the grocery store.
  • I got the menu plan for 2, and there was plenty for Brad, Samuel, and me to eat without a giant amount of leftovers. I really felt like our food was more efficient.
  • There is a nice variety of meal types, from restaurant fare to comfort food to meat and potatoes.
  • I got a lot of thumbs up from Brad! I kept hearing, “This is good.
  • A lot of the meal sides are fresh produce, which I have seriously been lacking.
  • You can be on weight watchers and use their points menus!
  • SO affordable.
  • If you’re queen of your kitchen too, you can easily customize it – switch out sides or use other ingredients. For example, tonight we made a healthier, quicker version of monte cristos. They were to-die-for! They called for bacon, but I used ham because I already had some. Delish! (See recipe below!)
  • We had a little bit of a rough month, and the number one thing I loved about E-Mealz was that I could just pull the plan out and go to the store. No thinking required. It was very easy.

Giveaway!

E-Mealz would love to give away a THREE month subscription ($15 value) to one Candid Pastor’s Wife reader! Lucky yous. 😉

Here’s how you can enter (you can do one, two, or all three of the below options!):

  • Like E-Mealz on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you Like them.
  • Leave a comment letting me know what your biggest dinnertime hurdle is (like getting everyone fed before meltdown time, planning the menus, budgeting, etc.)
  • Like The Candid Pastor’s Wife on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you like us.

The giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Wednesday, March 23. The winner will be announced on Thursday, March 24. Good luck!

Yummy Monte Cristo Recipe (courtesy of E-Mealz)

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon (I used 3-4 slices ham)
  • 4 slices English sandwich bread (2 english muffins)
  • 4-8oz extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (I just used the cheddar i had; it happened to be sharp but not white)
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4c milk; dash nutmeg; 1T butter; maple syrup for drizzling

Instructions

Prepare bacon according to pkg directions. Combine egg, milk, and nutmeg and mix well; set aside. Layer cheese, apple, bacon, and a little more cheese to taste on 2 sliced of bread and top with bread. Melt butter in pan heated to medium heat, coat the top and bottom of each sandwich with egg mixture and cook until deep golden on each side and cheese has melted. Halve the sandwiches and drizzle lightly with warm syrup.

(For sides on this meal, they suggested canned split pea soup and chips. However, most of their suggested sides include some fresh produce – this was a comfort food night! :))

E-Mealz provided me with a free 1-month meal planning subscription in exchange for a review of their product. I will also make a small commission on any sales you purchase with the BLISS code. You know I’m too candid to share anyone’s opinions but my own! Thanks for supporting this blog!

Psssst… {Giveaway!}

Hi friends! I’m hosting a giveaway at Daily Deal Mojo this week. I’d love it if you’d sneak on over there and enter.

That is…if you like free stuff…and mineral makeup…

🙂

The giveaway is here.

$8 for 2-Year Subscription to Parenting Magazine :

With Parenting Magazine subscription, you can subscribe to the early years (ages 0-5) or school years (age 5+) issues. This deal saves you 60% off the regular price!

This deal ends at midnight on Tuesday, 2/22. Get this deal here.

$25 for Eco-Friendly Clothing and Accessories :

LooptWorks offers top quality clothing and accessories all made from pre-consumer waste products. This deal saves you %50….not to mention, 400 gallons of water from every shirt you buy!

This deal ends at midnight on Saturday, 2/19. Get this deal here.