Make Someone Happy This Holiday with Coca-Cola!

The prizes for this giveaway were furnished by The Coca-Cola Company, and The Coca-Cola Company provided promotional consideration for my participation in this program; however, I am responsible for this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of The Coca-Cola Company or its parent or affiliates.

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you may have noticed the return of a childhood favorite- the iconic Haddon Sundblom Santa has returned to Coca-Cola products! In 1931, this Santa was created for Coca-Cola and has served as a symbol of the holiday spirit for more than 80 years.

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Coca-Cola and the Haddon Sundblom Santa have always had a special place in my life. If my dad ever got stranded on a desert island, I’m pretty sure I know the one thing he would want with him- an unlimited supply of Coca-Cola. Since I can remember he’s always had Coca-Cola merchandise- everything from the cookie jar I raided regularly to the collection of glasses that he arranged just so, ready to be filled with ice and his favorite beverage.

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I definitely inherited my dad’s love of Coca-Cola, although I’m more likely to reach for the Diet version {or the new Coca-Cola Life, which is amazing by the way}. Still, the first thing I do when I go over to my Dad’s house is hit the fridge so we can share a Coke!

Giving my Dad the Gift of Coca-Cola

When Coca-Cola told me about their “Make Someone Happy” campaign and said that they wanted to send me some Coca-Cola branded goodies to share with someone I loved, it was obvious who I would choose! Christmas came early for my dad last week when I brought over his new goodies, including a Cooking with Coke Cookbook, a six pack of Coca-Cola glass bottles {he loves the bottles!}, a Santa tote bag, a soy candle, and even a warm, red lambswool blanket! He was thrilled and it was really nice to be able to make his day like that after all he’s done for me. {&Hopefully it makes up for the Coke glass that I shattered when I was five.}

If you want to Make Someone Happy this season, {or just want these goodies all to yourself}, enter below so that you can win the same goodies that I gave my dad! I also encourage you to find your own ways to make someone happy this season, whether that’s through donating your time, money, or goods or just greeting others with a smile!

Win It: One lucky reader will win a Coca-Cola Make Someone Happy prize pack! The pack includes a six pack of Coca-Cola glass bottles, a lambswool blanket, a Cooking with Coke cookbook, a soy candle, and a Santa bag. To enter, just comment below letting me know how you will make someone happy this season! {Giveaway ends 12/30 at 11:59pm PST. US Only.}

Have Fun While Learning About Math with Mickey’s Magical Math World

A couple of weeks ago, I had a parent-teacher conference with Shane’s teacher to assess where he’s at. I knew he was a smart kid who always tried his best, but I was still surprised when she told me that the test he took at the beginning of the year showed that he already met the standards in math for what he should know at the end of the year. Then I thought for a minute and realized I shouldn’t have been surprised- he is very good at math (that and science) and has always thrived in it!

Shane playing Mickey's Magical Math World

I’m always looking for tools to help Shane learn while having fun, and I was so excited to hear about the new app from Disney, Mickey’s Magical Math World. In the game, kids can explore, recognize and identify shapes with Mickey’s Rocket Build; Play with numbers and patterns within Minnie’s Robot Playground; Ponder early number concepts with Donald’s Alien Number Line; Explore Counting to 10 and early problem solving with Donald’s Sleepwalking Aliens and experiment with shapes, patterns and sorting skills with Goofy! Since we love Mickey & friends in our house, I knew Shane would love this game and I had to download it!

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From the moment that I installed it, I knew it was going to be a hit not only with Shane but with kids everywhere. The graphics are so impressive that it looked like we were watching a TV show, not just playing with an app. The games are so enticing that Shane wanted to try every single one- but they were fun enough that he never wanted to stop playing them! I asked him which was his favorite and he told me that he honestly couldn’t choose because he liked them all. I saw him playing with Mickey’s Robot Build a lot, and he spent a lot of time sorting with Goofy!

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I love this app because with all of the games involved, kids will be too busy having fun to realize that they’re learning. Also, I love that there’s a math-centric option for kids who really love it! Shane has fun with reading games of course, but math is his true favorite {at least right now}.

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An added bonus to the game is that it goes with the Disney Imagicademy: Parents app, a new, free app that is the parent component to the Imagicademy apps. It allows you to see your child’s latest creations, provide encouragement with a virtual high five, and share your child’s accomplishments with your family & friends! The app also serves as a resource to connect with the Imagicademy community and includes articles and activity inspiration to help parents connect and help their children grow.

In addition to the apps themselves, Disney’s new Imagicademy brand includes free Disney Store events, books and magazines, and hands-on learning tools to help connect your child’s digital experience to the physical world- and to help parents get involved in their child’s creativity and learning! The brand is focused on children 3-8 and encourages imagination while learning. Instead of drilling facts or information into your child, the games allow children to learn through play!

The timing for us having discovered these apps couldn’t be more perfect. With him out of school for the next two weeks, we definitely want to stay on top of our learning- and more importantly, have fun! We’re definitely going to be getting some use out of both apps over winter break and for a long time to come.

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Download it: You can download Mickey’s Magical Math World by clicking here or Disney Imagicademy Parents by clicking here. The Parents App is free and is available for iPad and iPhone, and Mickey’s Magical Math World is available for iPad and is free to download with in-app purchases. Each in-app experience is $4.99, or you can buy the bundle of all five experiences for $19.99.

What is your child’s favorite school subject?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Children’s App Review: Little Luna

This post is brought to you by Little Luna and is written by a guest reviewer. All opinions are that of the reviewer.

Children are full of such special talents and abilities- whether they’re 3 or 10 years of age- and that’s what makes a child special. Having little ones in the house always has me giggling with the funny things they say and do and there’s definitely never a dull moment in our house! Allowing my kids to play with educational apps on my iPhone is something I love because I love to see my children’s interactions while they play through the game. One of our new favorite games is Little Luna and it’s about bombardier beetles in Little Luna that are providing you with big talent.

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If you have little boys in the house I know that you know just how silly they can be! The littlest things such as burping and tooting will have them laughing hysterically. While sitting at the dinner table, the boys frequently toot and they think it’s their special talent and that it’s oh so funny. These little boys and girls will feel like they connect with the Little Luna app because the story of her amazing list as a bombardier beetle focuses on her special talent- which is tooting!

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From the moment we turned on this app we all fell in love. Bombardier beetles use tooting as a defense mechanism in the wild but Luna uses it as a way to express herself, which is why this is her special talent. The app consists of mini-games such as practicing your toot targeting skills, doing some fun yoga moves and matching musical melodies with all of her family members.

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This really is a fantastic app for little ones and I know you’ll love it just as much as we did. It’s ideal for children aged 4-8, but I feel that children a tad younger and a tad older would also enjoy this just as much. The graphics are crisp and fun, and the simple navigation makes it ideal for little fingers. I really hope you’ll give this app a chance because if you want to see your little ones laugh, this will definitely do it!

Download It: You can grab Little Luna – Big Talent for just $2.99 in the iTunes store.

Do your kids think tooting is hilarious?

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Get the Hottest Cameras and Camcorders at Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

There are so many different aspects to becoming a great photographer, but one of main ones is having a great camera. There’s only so much you can do in the way of lighting and staging when your camera can’t take a good image in the first place. Camera technology has been improving really fast lately, which makes for some amazing photographs but also means my just 3 year old camera is already woefully out of date!

Nikon, Sony, and Samsung have some amazing cameras on the market right now that all come with built in Wi-Fi so you can share your photos with ease. {I wish my camera had this feature so bad because I’m pretty much the worst at actually sharing the photos I take on my “real camera” since it’s a pain to upload them all each time.}

Any of the following cameras would make great holiday gifts- or you can give them early so they can use them to capture the holiday memories you make this year!

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Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens

-A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly

-This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity

-Also available in red or gray

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Sony α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

-A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus

-This Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.

-Also available in White or silver

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Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

-A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps

-This Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera’s 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8″ touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.

You can learn more about all of these cameras and get other gift ideas from Best Buy in their Gift Center!

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What kind of camera do you prefer?

Great Holiday Gift Ideas from Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

There are just five days until Christmas, and we’re down to the wire! It’s time to wrap all the gifts and make any last minute purchases that you’ve been putting off. We still have a couple of people to buy for that are just so hard to shop for! I forsee a trip to Best Buy in my future since they have something for everyone- including gaming systems, appliances, cameras, TVs, and personal electronics.

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We have a very tech-focused family, so we do a lot of shopping at Best Buy this time of year. They have the best prices on the best technology, and a much larger tech selection than other stores. Some of my favorite gifts that I’ve received have come from Best Buy as well, like when Justin got me a Garmin GPS when I was constantly calling him for directions. So what are my holiday gift giving picks this year?

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Xbox One: For the gamer in your life, consider the newest gaming system from Microsoft! Be sure to check out some of the hottest titles, too, including Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Just Dance 5, Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Madden 15. Not a gamer? You may still want an Xbox One- not only can it play games, but you can use it to access movies, TV shows, and even apps. It’s one console that does something for the entire family!

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JBL Reflect Earbud Headphones: With a five hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect Earbud Headphones are a sure hit for anyone who likes to exercise or just loves their music! The earbuds have built-in magnets to help keep your earbuds close when you don’t have them in- without getting all tangled up in cables. JBL has some great Bluetooth speakers, too!

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Garmin and TomTom GPS: With several models available from each brand, there is a perfect fit for anyone. Many include lifetime map updates, lane assist, and even a display that shows the speed limit and arrival time! You can also get there faster with traffic and weather updates and use voice recognition technology to control your experience.

Purchasing your tech gifts from Best Buy is a great choice because of their unbeatable prices and expert service. So, what’s on your Christmas wishlist?

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