Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review: Gold By Thomas Hollyday

I was really excited to get the chance to review "Gold" by Thomas Hollyday. This normally isn't my kind of book, but I was excited to try something a little out of the box for me. I am really glad that I did. This book made for a very interesting read. So interesting, in fact, that I finished it up in two days! The book focuses on John Neale, and his girlfriend as they search for gold that was left behind by a man named Father Tom when he died. The book starts off simple enough, but by the end, you are wrapped up in a world of science fiction and crazy happenings that will keep you guessing all the way to the end of the story!

This book was a really interesting read. For me, I usually stick to either parenting, romance, or post apocalyptic fiction ( I'm eclectic LOL!), so this book wasn't something I would normally pick up. But, I am very glad that I have this book a shot.I really like Thomas Hollyday's style of writing, it is a relatable style that is easy to read. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique and entertaining read!

About the author:
Thomas Hollyday (1942-present) was born in Easton, Maryland. His father was an acclaimed photographer and his mother a brilliant teacher.His father's family were active in the history of Maryland since its settlement while his mother's family were prominent in Democratic Party politics. His grandmother's family descended from a well known German industrial family of Baltimore. He grew up in the southern atmosphere of the Eastern Shore with its maritime and military heritage. He studied writing with Elliott Coleman at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and with C.Michael Curtis of the Atlantic Monthly. He served with distinction in Vietnam and became a successful international businessman.He also drew illustrations for national magazines and published maritime and Civil War history. He currently edits the Wet Their Whistles newsletter for animal water rights (solarsippers.com). He draws the popular humorous Animal Viewpoint Cartoons for newspapers. He continues to please his fans with new novels in his River Sunday Romance Mysteries collection. In his fiction he describes his recurring theme that human settlers since prehistoric times in the Chesapeake region have left a mist of legend and history that permeates its modern stories with a certain compelling truth. At the same time he incorporates the stories of machines with those of their human owners. Each novel, located in the small town of River Sunday, Maryland, also records the continuing beautiful nature of the area. His writing portrays today's problems, conflicts, and memorable local characters with their loves and their combat with evil. In Slave Graves Hollyday examines freedom and in Magnolia Gods, the issue of nuclear war. In the third novel, Powerboat Racer, he writes about racism, while in Gold, his theme is the homeless.His latest book,Terror Flower, about which critics write that he is a master of suspense,considers the strange faces of terrorism. These are well researched,fast paced stories, in which local heroes, both men and women, fight the high technology of modern adversaries often with only their bare hands and cunning.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tips for Financially Responsible Gift Giving




Of the many ways to get into debt, gift-giving seems one of the most virtuous.  Generosity and thinking of others are positive things, so all too frequently we don't stop to think about whether or not we can actually afford to be so generous.

I'm not advocating turning into a stingy Scrooge when a gift-giving occasion comes around, though.  I think you can be financially responsible and still give special gifts.

Here's how.

1. Prepare by Saving

Sure, there are some gift-giving occasions that come up with no warning, but by and large, the number of gifts you'll need to buy each year is predictable.

Your children will have birthdays every year, Christmas comes every 365 days, and so do Mother's Day and Father's Day.

So, don't let these things catch you off guard!  You'll have to spend the money no matter what, so you might as well save for it ahead of time.  Set an estimated budget for your yearly gift-giving, divide it by 12, and deposit that amount into a savings account each month (An online savings account is perfect for this.)  Even if you don't manage to save your full goal amount each month, you'll at least have something socked away, and that'll help take the sting out of gift shopping.

2. Be Realistic

When we're thinking about giving gifts to the people we love, it's easy to shop based on the budget we'd like to have rather than on the budget we do have.

While it would be awesome to have a limitless gift budget, that's just not the reality for most of us.  And though you might not be thinking much about the reality of your budget when you buy that gift, reality will indeed hit when it's time to pay the bill.

When you're shopping, try to keep your head out of the clouds, and keep your gift spending in line with the reality of your financial situation.

(And do remember that people who really love you would most certainly not want you to go into debt to buy a gift for them!)

3. Focus on Meaning More than Money

Though almost no one would turn down a super expensive present, for most people, the most memorable gifts are the ones given with thought and care, even if those gifts weren't terribly expensive.

So, when your gift-giving budget is limited, focus on finding a meaningful gift, not an expensive gift.  Study your recipient.  Think about what they like to do, listen for clues when you talk with them, and keep an eye out when you're around them to see what items they might find useful or enjoyable.  And pay attention to whether or not they like to receive practical gifts, experiential gifts, or pampering gifts.

Give these tips a try this year! You'll be so much happier without gift-giving stress and your bank account will be happier too.



Kristen is a mom, wife, the face behind The Frugal Girl and a contributor to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog.
This has been a sponsored post.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Hot Gift! Flip Out Game (Especially For Flip Out Mamas!)

Today's gift is a special one for us here at Flip Out Mama. We are always looking for cool and unique gifts that reflect our personalities. Well, today we got the chance to review a special game from Gamewright Games called, what else, Flip Out! We were so excited to try a game that had the same name as us!
Flip Out is a card game, but not like any other card game that you have played before! Here's the scoop:

Just when we thought we had played every type of card game, along comes this one that literally flips everything inside out! Between the double-sided cards, the clever varieties of actions, and the easy-to-learn rules, this game has the perfect combination of elements that makes for hours of family fun. FlipOut, the game where there really are two sides to everything!

 The premise of the game is simple. You flip, switch, and swap your cards in order, to try to get four in a row. The catch is, every card has two sides, so the other players can snatch them up and use them for themselves. This makes the game very fast paced, since you are always worried about what your opponents are going to try to do!

This game has been a ton of fun to play with Tater. It is a fun game, first and foremost, but it is also an educational game, and I love that! The game says for ages eight and up, but Tater took right to it, and learned how to play, no problems. So, if you have a younger kiddo who is super mature like my guy, feel free to let them play too! I also like the game because it doesn't take a ton of time to play. I can sneak in a quick game of it with Tater while Bean is napping, in the bath, or watching cartoons, and it gives us some special one on one time together.

If you are looking for a cool game for yourself, or for your kiddos, I think you should check out Flip Out! It is really a ton of fun! To check out Flip Out for yourself, click here for more info! Also be sure to follow Gamewright Games on Facebook for the latest news and promotions!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We Love Assassin's Creed 3! #AC3GOLD

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please visit Amazon.com to get your own copy of Assassin's Creed 3, today's Gold Box Deal of the Day! I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

As most of you already know, we are really big video game fans here in our house! One of our favorite video games is the Assassin's Creed Franchise, and today we are going to tell you why! While I usually stick to zombie-ish games (what can I say, I'm a zombie gal!), this game also really holds my interest more than most!

I love the fact that Assassin's Creed takes place during the American Revolution, I just think it is a really cool time period for a video game to take place in. I can't wait to play Assassin's Creed 3 because I hear that it has a present day setting mode where you can play in the 2012 apocalypse. That sounds great to me, and really super interesting! I think me and Tater would have fun playing this one together, especially since he is really into American History!

I love games like Assassin's Creed where you kind of forget that you are playing a video game, and instead feel like you are a character in a movie. That is the kind of video games that I really like, and this is one of them! This is why I think I would like this game, and I can't wait to get a chance to play it! If you are like me and thinking that this game sounds like a lot of fun, I have a great deal for you!

Today's Amazon Gold Box Deal Of The Day Is Assassin's Creed 3, and it's only $33, TODAY ONLY!

Here's how to get it! Just go here and buy it today to get this awesome deal: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0050SYLRK! Go GET IT NOW!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hot Gift! Tonka Die Cast Toys From Funrise Toys PLUS GIVEAWAY!

Today's hot gift comes from one of my very favorite companies! Funrise Toys have long been one of our favorites here at Flip Out Mama, and this year is no exception! They are always turning out high quality, fun to play with toys that last a long time. What more could you ask for? 

With two boys in my household, Tonka is definitely one of the most common names around our home. My boys are obsessed with anything that drives: cars, trucks, you name it! Even better if it is something like an army tank, police car, ambulance or firetruck! Those are right up their alley and they can play with them for HOURS! 

This year, Funrise Toys was kind enough to let my boys try out a brand new line of Tonka Die Cast vehicles that are available exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide! The Tonka Die Cast collection is being released to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Tonka making some of the greatest kid's toys that there are! The Tonka Collection vehicles are right around 1:55th scale and this collection consists of twelve vehicles and eight different haulers.

My boys were thrilled with these Tonka Die Cast vehicles. I personally love them because you can just tell by holding them what a great quality toy these are. They are not going to fall apart the first time you touch them, which is a nice change of pace from most toys on the market today! These toys are so cute, they really do have a lot of personality behind them, and that is another thing that I really like about them! They have been playing with them ever since we opened the package, and I am a little worried about whether or not their Christmas gifts will be able to hold their attention as much as these toys have! Let's hope so! 
If you are looking for a really great gift for a special kid on your list, I would totally recommend these Tonka Die Cast vehicles from Funrise Toys! That's not all! Funrise Toys is so generous they are providing one lucky Flip Out Mama reader with some Tonka Die Cast toys of their own to try out! Read on to find out how to enter the giveaway below! In the meantime, you can check out Tonka's Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/tonka and Funrise Toy's Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/FunriseToys to keep up to date on deals, news and promotions! Also make sure to follow both Tonka and Funrise on Twitter. You can find them at @Tonka_trucks and @Funrise_Toys to keep up with everything that they have going on! 

In the meantime, to enter the giveaway for the Tonka Die Cast Vehicles, all you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me who you would share these Die Cast Vehicles with if you are our winner! Make sure to leave your email address in the comments so that we can contact you if you win! We will be choosing our winner in a few short days, on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at approx 11pm est! 

We received a sample product in order to conduct our review, however, all views and opinions are 100% my own.



Aortic Aneursym Surgery, Catheter Ablations, and the doctors who do them!

I know a lot of you have been asking about my heart surgery that I had back in March, and many of you are wanting to hear my experiences. So we go! My doctors at the University of Kentucky Hospital were spectacular, and do things like my catheter ablation and aortic aneurysm surgery all the time, they are real pros!

Tuesday morning, March 27,  I showed up at UK hospital for my procedure bright and early, at 7am. 

I was taken back right away to a tiny little room, like an ER room. The first thing I did there was change into hospital gown, no slip hospital socks, and fancy hair net!! :) (For future use: no jewelry, no undies, so be prepared!)

The nurse was absolutely wonderful (shout out to Kelly!), and made me feel way more comfortable. We went over the procedure, and what would be done, even though we had been over it a million times before. 

My IV's were put into both arms (the procedure is long, so they wanted to make sure in case something happened to one IV, that I had a backup!), and they took some blood and sent it to the lab for some kind of tests.. I  am not really sure what they were, but I know one of them was a pregnancy test... They wanted to make sure I wasn't pregnant before they put me on the Xray table.

My dear new friend Mindy came to get me for surgery! They wheeled my little bed right out of the room  and into the Cath Lab. I knew as soon as I met Mindy that I was going to be okay. She was so funny, and sweet, she took all the edge off right away. And she promised me lots of drugs, which was why I really liked her... LOL.. 

I really can not say enough good things about the EP team at the Cardiac Cath Lab (UK Gill Heart Institute). These folks are amazing. The guys and girls were really young, really funny, and really nice. As soon as they wheeled me in, I said "I'm scared", and one guy goes "not half as scared as I am." That's when I knew it wasn't going to be too bad LOL! They had the radio up really loud in the room and it was blasting Lady Gaga. "Do you want us to turn it down?" they asked.. Umm no, I think I will be okay... 

They flopped me over onto the surgery table, and started putting all the wonderful cold pads all over my body. Apparently these are for different things, including shocking my heart back to life if I were to die, etc.. There were a total of 52 of these all over my body, and they were cold! They also tied my hands down so I didn't go all ninja on somebody. I didn't argue. It was a possibility :)


Now, after this point, someone slipped some happy juice into my IV, and things get a little fuzzy. Someone changed the radio station. I said what the hell, change it back. We talked about how many kids we all had, and how long we had been together with our significant others. Somewhere in this little getting-to-know-you session, someone snuck some catheters into my groin. What? When did this happen?!? I didn't even feel it. 

I thought it was going to hurt? The internet said it was going to burn? Cmon! My doctor (a wonderful and amazing electrophysiologist, who I quite literally, owe my life to!) arrived, and patted my head. It was time to start. Okay.. whatever.. can you turn the radio back up? Everyone was laughing at me. This was a good sign. .. 

I turned my head to watch the millions (okay, like twelve) monitors that showed all kinds of stuff about my heart. I was going to watch them do this! Oh shit, I thought, I have no idea what any of this means... "well guys, I dont want to be rude, but I really am thinking about taking a nap"... I said.. More laughter. 

"It's totally fine, take a nap", they assured me. 

"Well, this is important, and I feel like I should be paying attention...."

No one cared if I was paying attention, so I took a little nap.. 

I remember them talking all around me. I remember the doctor telling me it was going to be a tricky one. I woke up several times and tried to talk to everyone, but they would zap me with more happy juice and I would go right back to sleep!

I woke up again. I asked:
"have we been in here like, what, an hour?"

Everyone laughed.
It had been six and a half hours. Oops, time flies when you're having fun.

The doctor patted my hair(net) again. "We got it!" He said, and gave me a high five.

And I went away. Back to my little room, and then on, to the hospital of doom.

(My 24 hour stay in a regular hospital room, was enough to make me wish I had not done the surgery. Absolute worst 24 hours of my life, but that is another post.)

Laying flat for 6 more hours was the absolute worst of the whole thing. I thought I was going to go crazy. And I puked twice. IDK what it is about me and sedation, but it always does that to me.

The next morning, I talked to my doctor. This time I could remember what he was saying, since I was sans happy juice.

He said my extra pathway was in a very weird place. He had to burn my heart 33 (!!) times just to get the wire to burn once. Crazy! He said he wasn't sure he could get it at all, but he wasn't going to give up on me.

Eventually, he seared that baby, and after that he couldn't get my heart to do crazy shiz anymore, which was great. He also told me that I was very sensitive to my own adrenaline, and once my heart started, it just went crazy. As if I didn't know that LOL.

My insertion sites for my catheters (one on each side of my groin, no neck cath), look like tiny pinholes.. Maybe like someone stuck the tip of a pencil in there. That's all. I was a tiny bit sore the next day, and today (third day out) I can only feel the one on the right side (that's the one they used for all the work). Ibuprofen works just fine, in fact, it's the only medication I have had since I came out of surgery.

Best news of all? No hurting heart. No palpitations, maybe just a couple here and there and doc says that's normal as my heart's "normal" rhythm (the one it's been used to for 26 years) has been interrupted and it will have to get used to a new one. It is so weird not to hurt, and I see a direct relation between this and anxiety. I am still so anxious that it will start again, so afraid... I still can't really believe that it is gone, that fast, and that easy. I am still scared that it will come back. I know it is a possibility to regrow, but hopefully I will at least have a few years of no worries before I have to do that again.

Basically? It was no big deal. Easy Peasy. Much easier than having a baby, and much easier than having a tooth pulled. I felt no pain whatsoever during the procedure. IDK who the people are who say they felt the wires being burnt, or a tingling sensation, or anything like that. Perhaps they didn't have as much happy juice as I did LOL.

I hope that this post helps someone else who is preparing for a catheter ablation. If you have any questions for me, I will be happy to answer them!

This has been a sponsored post for NYU Cardiac, however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hot Gift! Sandzini Art Products! Plus Giveaway!

As a mom of a super artistic six and a half year old, I have had my share of art messes around my house. So, whenever a new product comes out that allows my kids to have fun and be creative, with less mess for me, I am all about checking it out! The product that we are talking about is Sandzini, and it is made by a wonderful company, Ohio Art!

Sandzini is a great new "magical sculpting compound", allowing kiddos to create and have fun without making a huge mess! We got the awesome and super cool T-Rex Sandzini Kit, since our boys love, love, LOVE dinosaurs! This was SUCH a fun project for us! You get the T-Rex skeleton with the package, and then you work with the Sandzini and place it on the skeleton to create a super cool dinosaur!

Sandzini was super fun to play with, it's kind of like a wet sand consistency, would be the best way that I can describe it. It doesn't stink, and best of all, it isn't super messy to play with. You can take your Sandzini creation and let it dry, to create a super cool dinosaur that you can play with or display! Love it! I have to say that I give Sandzini two thumbs up! Great for kids, and great for moms, what else can you ask for, right? If you want to check out Sandzini for yourself, just click here! And, leave your email address below for a chance to win a Sandzini kit of your own!


Hot Gift Idea! Cool Gear Products



Well, let me start of by saying that I have been a fan of Cool Gear products for years. Back when I was working in retail hell, I bought a few great Cool Gear chillers and travel mugs to carry drinks back and forth. (You weren't allowed to GO GET A DRINK there- even from a fountain- crazy!) Anywho, I fell in love with Cool Gear products way back then and I have loved them ever since. So, when I got the chance to do a review for them as a part of our Holiday Gift Guide, I was thrilled! 

We got some great products to review that were perfect for stocking stuffers! 

The first product that we got was the Cool Zooey Flip Top bottle in blue. This thing is SO cute! This is the perfect bottle for my boys to take on the go! My favorite part is the freezer stick that comes inside. It's filled with a gel substance (non toxic, of course), that you stick in the freezer. Then the drink stays cold for hours afterwards! The bottle is made of a sort of freezable plastic material, perfect for kiddos. The boys love, love, LOVE this bottle, and let me tell you, they sure do show it with all of their fighting over it! LOL!

The next product that we reviewed, however, was by far my favorite! This, my friends, is the Snacktime container, and it has totally simplified snacktime for my boys! Okay, here's the deal: the Snacktime container is one actually two separate pieces, but it connects to make one full piece. You can use the pieces separately, or together, either way. The top is an insulated drink bottle, which you can put in the freezer to make sure it stays cold. It has a cute little built in straw, and it doesn't leak! The bottom is a snack container. It's kind of upside down, and it twists off. Then you have a cup and a snack! Perfect! This is such a great idea! I find myself taking this thing with me every single time we leave the house! Bean loves it, and so do I!

Cool Gear has some really great products, ones that would make super stocking stuffers this Christmas! So if you are looking for a cool gift that is different from all the rest, check out Cool Gear and see what they have to offer! Here are a few of my other favorite Cool Gear products:

This is the Lunch 2 Go: 

I LOVE this snowglobe tumbler:


I am also a sucker for curly straws!
As you can see, Cool Gear has a ton of great products for everyone on your list! I recommend that you check them out today! To visit the Cool Gear website, click here! You can also join them on Twitter and Facebook!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stay Prepared With GoalZero.com

As most of you already know, I am kind of obsessed with being prepared. I should have been born a boy scout. I have found the perfect site for me at GoalZero.com. Goal Zero makes a ton of great products perfect for the "preparer" in us all. They make so many great products, it's hard to choose a favorite. I would have to say that I think one of the coolest things that they have are solar powered chargers for your cell phone, laptop, iPad, etc.. I can't imagine how useful one of these could be in an emergency.

If you need to charge more than just a cell phone, don't worry. Goal Zero has many different kits, some of them are even capable of powering a TV or a small refrigerator. I just can't say enough about how cool this technology is. I mean, when you are building an emergency preparedness kit, a generator is usually one of the first things you think of, but with something like this, you don't need a generator. It's completely silent, and you don't have to keep refiling with fuel. Imagine the convenience.

I love that Goal Zero is filling this niche in the market where there has once been a huge gap. It doesn't really matter if you are looking for a solar charger to be able to run your TV during the zombie apocalypse, or if you just want to recharge your cell phone on a camping trip, Goal Zero can make those dreams a reality. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want to have one of these on hand in case an emergency strikes. What I really love about these kits is that solar power is free. All you have is the up front cost of the solar panel and the kit, and after that, you are in the home stretch, with no more money to spend. I am really hopeful that we will be able to get one of these Goal Zero kits soon to add to our emergency kit!

This has been a sponsored post for Goal Zero, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Use The Lowen Sign Company For Your Signage Needs!

Everyone knows that when you are trying to sell a house, one of the most important parts is having a good sign. If you have a good sign like one from the Lowen Sign Company, you can attract potential buyers to your home. If you don't have a good sign, often times people won't even know that you are selling your home. It has to look professional as well. A non professional sign can be a real turn off to potential customers. Some people even think that having a non professional sign can be worse than having no sign at all!

The Lowen Sign Company knows how important good signage is to your real estate transactions. A sign has to look good, first of all. They also know that a good sign conveys all the important information without overwhelming the reader. I think that these folks do a great job of combining high quality stylish signs, with simple easy to read information that can make all of the difference. Lowen Sign Company is one of the largest companies in the United States that serves both the commercial and residential real estate markets. This really sets them apart from their competition.

I know that when we were looking to buy a home, I paid a ton of attention to the signs. Some of them were so stuffed full and complicated, that I couldn't read them when I was just passing by. That was a turn off for me, and it looked unprofessional. I also hated the handmade signs on houses near us. I don't think that looks professional, and you could at least try to make a better looking sign! These folks should have called Lowen! 

If you are selling your home, or if you have a business that you want to advertise, Lowen Sign Company can really give you a sign that you will be happy with. Not only are their prices great and reasonable, they make great quality products that will stand the test of time. If you are needing a sign, these are the folks to call! If you are looking for a sign to advertise your business, but also need affordable rates, check out this company today! You won't be sorry that you did!

This has been a sponsored post for Lowen Sign Company, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hot Gift! Nanoblocks!! Plus Giveaway!

Well, up until just lately, the "building block" craze has managed to escape my house.. However, not anymore.. Up until now, my guy hasn't been interested in any of those things.. We recently got a chance to try out a cool new toy, nanoblocks, and boy, let me tell you! My Tater is now a building pro! He has revised his Christmas list to ask for blocks, blocks, and more blocks!

nanoblocks are not your ordinary building blocks. Nanoblocks are super tiny micro sized building blocks that you can use to make some super amazing things. If you think Legos are tiny, you ain't seen nothing yet! nanoblocks are super small, and they allow you to create some really awesome creations! Nanoblocks have really been a huge hit, and they have received lots of awards! We received a violin to build, and it was very tough!Well, for a seven year old anyways..It has over 180 tiny pieces!

It was definitely a family project for us! However we had a great time putting together our creations, and Tater had a great time using the nanoblocks to build other cool stuff when we were done! He has adjusted his Christmas list to include some more nanoblock kits. Here are the ones we want to get next:
This piano is next on Tater's list!


Dad wants this one! It contains over 5800 pieces, including LED lights! How cool is that!

I love this eagle! It's my favorite!

If you are looking for a cool gift, you need to check out nanoblocks for sure! These are really a revolutionary building toy, and I think kids and parents alike can play with them and have a great time!

If you would like to win a violin nanoblock set like the one we reviewed, all you have to do is leave your email address below for a chance to be entered to win!


We received a sample product to review. All thoughts and opinions however are 100 percent my own.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hot Gift: Wonderful Toys From Build A Bear Workshop!

With my boys, sometimes I feel like they miss out on fun stuff that is catered towards girls. Well, one thing that they both love is stuffed animals, and what I love as the mom is that Build A Bear Workshop makes it okay for little boys to love stuffed animals too! We have always been huge Build A Bear fans in our house, especially since they have such cool toys for little guys as well as little girls! So, when we got the chance to review a couple of new animals from their Holiday Collection, we were pumped!


Beanie was so excited to receive his very favorite character, Rudolph! Rudolph is the only Christmas movie that he will watch, and the only Christmas song that he will sing! So, I knew that this furry friend would be just perfect for him! My favorite part about Rudolph, of course, is his glowing nose! And, I mean, look at him! Is he not the cutest thing ever? He has Rudolph slippers to go on his adorable little Rudolph feet (paws?), a Santa hat, a snowflake cape, and a jingly jingle bell collar. He really is so adorable, and I love the accessories! They are my favorite part! Of course, being a Build A Bear Furry Friend, Rudolph is soft, cuddly, and extremely well made! Bean is so in love with him, he has been sleeping with him in his bed every single night since I surprised him with him! 

And of course, what would Christmas be without a visit from the good old Grinch? This was surprise for the big man, and how perfect a gift it was! My big man, Tater, has a soft spot for the Grinch. I often argue that is because Tater is a Grinch himself most of the time, but that's okay! I love, love, LOVE this guy! He is the cutest thing ever! Mister Grinch comes complete with Santa "grinch" hat, Santa outfit with booties, and Santa Bag to steal all the Hoo's gifts! I love it! But, the best part about The Grinch? His heart lights up in THREE different sizes! So, he can go from being mean old grinch to nice "reformed"Grinch just like that! Of course, the Grinch is a Build A Bear Workshop Furry Friend so he is made with love and the great attention to detail that keeps us moms coming back for more every time!

Of course, as always, the boys were thrilled with their new Build A Bear Furry Friends, and as a mom, I am beyond impressed with the quality, durability, attention to detail and all around cuteness of these furry critters! We will always be Build A Bear fans in this house! If you are looking to purchase a special Furry Friend for the kids (or grown ups!) on your list, just click here to check out Build A Bear's fabulous selection! Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with the coolest new furry friends, great deals and promotions! Until then, here are some photos of my guys enjoying their new Build A Bear Friends! 






We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. Although a sample product was received, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hot Gift! Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates

Is there a better gift than chocolate? I don't know about you, but I don't think so! Today's review is for Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates, and boy are they yummy! Guylian is an amazing company, and they make some amazing chocolates! They make adorable chocolate seashells and seahorse truffles that are made from 100% pure Belgian chocolate. The truffles are still made in small batches in Belgium, and the quality is unlike anything you will find anywhere else!

Their chocolates are not only delicious, but beautiful as well. These are truly chocolates that are meant to be savored, not scarfed down on a whim! These are the kind of chocolates where eating them is part of the experience, and you have to really enjoy them! I like mine with coffee, yum, yum, YUM! These truffles are so beautiful and delicious, they make the perfect gift for anyone on your list! You can find them at all sorts of different retailers. In my area, they are available at TJ Maxx and Marshall's, as well as my local Walmart!


We received a sample product in order to conduct this review, however, all opinons and thoughts are 100% my own.

Hot Gift! Hotter Footwear!



Ohhh shoes... They really are a girl's best friend, aren't they? I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with shoes. While I do love Summertime with heels and strappy sandals and flip flops, boots are my one true love. I can't get enough of them! That's why when I got the chance to do a review for Hotter Footwear recently, I knew I had to get my hands on some of their adorable boots! What is Hotter Footwear, you ask? Well, I will tell you! Hotter is a company after my own heart, dedicated to making shoes that are not only stylish but also comfortable as well! If you are a girl, you know what I am talking about! There are not enough companies like this in the world. For the most part, you have to have one or the other: either style or comfort. But not with Hotter. They combine both in the best way!

These are my Heaven boots, and oh ladies, are they ever heavenly! I love, love, LOVE them! They are literally like walking on a pillow! The inside fur lining is so soft, and the padding is ultra cushy and comfy! I love them! My favorite part is the outside stitching and the button detail on the sides. it just makes them that much cuter! I got the ones in the mushroom color, but there are also some adorable ones in brown and black as well. I would take all three, and never take these boots off! LOL! I love that the soles are made to be slip resistant, I don't have to worry about falling in the snow and busting my butt! So, that is nice! I also like that they are made so that water and snow does not seep inside of them, like some of my other boots! Nice!

I am telling you ladies, that if you are looking for comfort and style rolled into one, Hotter Footwear is the place to go! If boots are not your thing, don't worry, Hotter carries all sorts of shoes to fit your taste! These are my other favorites:

Adorable, huh? If you want to check out Hotter Footwear and the adorable shoes that they have, click here! And, they have shoes for guys, too, so make sure you check some out for your man!

We received a sample product in order to conduct this review. Although a sample product was received, all opinions and thoughts are our own.

Hot Gift! Dragons Riders Of Berk DVD!

Hey guys! If you are looking for a great gift for the Dragon Trainer on your list, I have the perfect one for you today! If your kids were a fan of How To Train Your Dragon, they will love this! Dragons: Riders Of Berk is the animated series based on the movie, so it is right up my boys' alley! It contains all new dragons in all new adventures, and this DVD is jam packed with four episodes! It also contains the How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, and the making of, so that is sure to keep your dragon fans entertained for quite awhile! My boys loved the DVD, and have been watching it over and over since Thanksgiving! I highly recommend it if you have Dragon fans at your house!

Hot Gift! RingStix plus GIVEAWAY!


Okay, guys! Get ready for a great one! Today we have a review and giveaway for RingStix for you! Most of the time, gifts that we give and receive for Christmas are lazy gifts, DVDs, board games, blankets and slippers. It seems like most of the time the gifts we give and receive on Christmas are actually trying to make us be lazy! Well, that is a thing of that past this year, because this year we are giving RingStix! Okay, okay, I better back up a minute. You are probably wondering what in the world RingStix are. Here's the basics! RingStix is a fun, easy to learn outdoor ring toss type game. It is fun for the whole family, young and old, it doesn't matter! You can take Ringstix with you anywhere, and you can play it anywhere. It is super fun! 

Want to see what I am talking about? 
Take a look at this video to get an idea how to play:  



I mean really, how could you NOT want to learn how to play? This game is like ring toss with swords! We got to review the new game, RingStix Lite, which is a lighter, more colorful version of the original, and we loved it! It started out with just Tater and I playing it, and we had so much fun that we had to take it with us to my sister's house for a cookout, so the whole family could get in on the action.I will tell you this, it is definitely a conversation piece! We had several people that were walking down the street stop and ask us what in the world we were playing! Everyone thinks that RingStix looks super cool, and that's because it is!

Seriously, though.. we loved this game! I have definitely gotten at least four members of my family hooked on it and wanting it for themselves! Tater can even play it by himself by tossing the ring in the air and catching it! And, at only $14.99, RingStix Lite is a heck of a deal!  Make sure to follow RingStix on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest deals, news and promotions! Are you interested? Think it looks cool? Well, guess what?? One lucky Flip Out Mama reader will win a RingStix Lite set of their own! How fun does that sound? Here's how to enter! Just GO HERE to the RingStix website, and look around for a while! Come back here and leave a comment telling me one thing you learned about RingStix! That's it! Make sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win! We're gonna do a quick turnaround on this giveaway, since I want to make sure you get your Ringstix before the holidays! One week only, so tell your friends, and hurry up and enter!

Contest will end on December 7, 2012 at approx 11pm EST. Winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate winner will be chosen. We received a sample product to review, however, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
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