.@TeddyOutReady: 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Jammy Jams

Talking about sleeping my little one is the hardest to get into. He needs to have a special atmosphere to fell asleep, deem light, comfortable bedding and lovely music, of course. We have a CD for Teddy, but it is a collection of lullabies for babies, favorite ones but still more like for smaller ones with children songs. To add more modern and grown-up features to our toddler sleeping habit we introduced him to Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams. It is a collection of lullaby renditions from a variety of musicians such as Daft Punk, Fugees, Oasis, Miley Cyrus and Def Leppard. I think that Jammy Jams made a very successful transformation from favorite songs all adults love to lullabies for babies using vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, piano, blocks and more. We all were delighted to listen to soothing, calming music as a family, only to find that I also fell asleep with Jammy Jams lullabies.

Jammy Jams Teddy

If you take a look at the list of the songs you understand what I am talking about:

1. Get Lucky (originally by Daft Punk)
2. Wrecking Ball (originally by Miley Cyrus)
3. Send Me An Angel (originally by Real Life)
4. Groove is In The Heart (originally by Deee-Lite)
5. Ready Or Not (originally by Fugees)
6. Champagne Supernova (originally by Oasis)
7. We Are Young (originally by Fun.)
8. Hysteria (originally by Def Leppard)
9. Drunken Lullabies (originally by Flogging Molly)
10. I Will Always Love You (in the style of Whitney Houston)

The combination of various genres of music from hip-hop to rock in Jammy Jams lullabies will definitely entertain parents and bring soothing tunes to babies for better sleep and sweet dreams. Jammy Jams lullabies are also great for car trips when our toddler needs to fell asleep. For more information about check Jammy Jams website, find them on Facebook and Twitter.

And now is giveaway time, one lucky reader is going to win a digital download of the Jammy Jams album "Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams". For your chance, just fill the Rafflecopter form below and Good Luck!  The giveawayis open WW and ends January 12, 2014.

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.
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Disney on Ice Princesses and Heroes in Toronto

Disney on Ice Teddy

Disney on Ice is one of our favorite shows to attend during Christmas time. This year was not exception, and we were lucky to see Princesses & Heroes at Rogers Center in Toronto. Lucky because after ice storm in Toronto and lack of power we managed to get to downtown without any problems. Streets and subway were almost empty on our way to the show but the Rogers Center was packed with audience ready to see the fantastic skating, hear favorite songs and recognize adored characters.

Aladdin Aladdin and Princess Jasmine

The performance was a series of Disney tales starting with a fabulous scene at a marketplace where Princess Jasmine and Aladdin met each other. Merchants offering their best products, skating camel and guards created a busy market scene in addition to amazing costumes, colors and dance. Snow White  was the next in the set of adventures in search of friends and the Seven Dwarfs who helped the princess to find her love.

Under the sea

It was nice to see the Little Mermaid with her sisters and hear favorite song "Under the Sea" with colorful creatures, I always question if any reason to leave such a beautiful place (that the scene is absolutely incredible and definitely a must-see).

Belle

Beauty and the Beast tale part was presented with a "Be Our Guest" song.I think it was a pretty exciting performance with the skaters wearing knives, forks and spoons outfit. Another thrilling scene was an impressive fire-breathing dragon (aka the evil Maleficent) fight with Prince Eric, where flames were seen everywhere in the air and even continue burning on ice for a while. The other princesses we saw were Cinderella, Rapunzel and Tiana.

Disney on Ice Princesses and Heroes

Overall, the show was amazing but seems fast and a little bit from everywhere. Princesses’ roles definitely dominated, while heroes were given less attention. Teddy said he liked the whole show except the absence of Donald Duck. Stage designs, costumes and acrobatics are worth seeing for sure. The performances continue to be on stage at Toronto Rogers Center till December 29, 2013. So do not miss an opportunity to see and enjoy one of fabulous shows this holiday season.

Dragon
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Warm Wishes for Wonderful Holiday Season!

Teddy Happy Holidays
Warmest Thoughts and Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year 2014!
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

KidzCanDesign Pendants Giveaway US


KidzCanDesign specializes in converting child’s work of art, photos, handprints, foot prints into a high quality sterling silver custom jewelry which can then be worn with pride by any member of the family.

Welcome to Holiday giveaway sponsored by Kidz can Design, hosted by NYSavingSpecials 
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Holiday Walmart $50 Gift Card Giveaway US


Holiday cheer, festive mood, fabulous shopping and family gathering. It is definitely the best time of the year. To help a little bit this season we welcome you to join Holiday Giveaway hosted by NYSavingSpecials and co-hosted by
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Toys R Us $50 Gift Card Giveaway US

 

 
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been a favorite destination for kids and grown-ups alike with its wide selection of toys, games, learning aids, electronics, children’s apparel and furniture.
 
This year we invite you to participate in amazing Christmas giveaway hosted by NYSavingSpecials and co-hosted by 
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Scratch Mommy Organic Body Butter Flash Giveaway US

scratch2

Welcome to the Scratch Mommy Body Butter Giveaway! Hosted by Scratch Mommy, A Sweet Potato pie and a few amazing bloggers! This body butter is completely divine, check out A Sweet Potato pie full review here! Just enter the easy rafflecopter below for a chance to win a 6 oz body butter, scent of your choice. Click here to check out all the choices. The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends December 23, so hurry up, there are good chances to win this amazing product.

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Deep Sleep MP3 from Andrew Johnson

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.  
To continue on sleeping topic I was happy to learn about Deep Sleep MP3 from Andrew Johnson. Nothing beats a good night sleep and it is definitely essential for both mental and physical health. Listening to Deep Sleep every night helps you gently fell asleep and have a natural deep sleep  without any sleeping pills. Deep Sleep mp3 filled with a range of relaxation techniques and visualizations, which can help you to get all the physical and emotional benefits of a regular and healthy sleep.

Deep Sleep

It reminds me acupuncture sessions where you get a relaxation treatment and feel like re-charged and full of energy after. I found the more you use Deep Sleep mp3 the better and faster you fell asleep, because it becomes like a habit in every day sleeping routine. Your mind gradually becomes ready for a good sleep with Deep Sleep while listening the record. It lasts about 30 min but you will probably fell asleep before the end of recordings.

Deep Sleep

Deep Sleep mp3 is also helpful after stressful days at work or holiday rush, just put your mind and body in balance, forget about all the errands and have a good & healthy sleep. For more information about Deep Sleep and other Andrew Johnson relaxation techniques and products check their web site and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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.
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday $50 Gift Card from Matilda Jane Giveaway US

 Matilda Jane

I already read so many good things about Matilda Jane clothes and my nieces also love them. Here are the thoughts about Matilda Jane from another amazing mom at Saving You Dinero: "My daughter and niece are 'girly girls'. They love to wear cute clothes and look pretty. There is not a lot of options out there when it comes to beautiful and unique kids' clothes.

Matilda Jane Logo

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

MJX T53 Gyro 3D RC Helicopter - Amazing Stability, Design and Performance

 RC Helicopter

Teddy always wanted a helicopter with remote control. We got MJX T53 High Performance 3.5CH GYRO 3D Flight Thunderbird Infrared RC Helicopter from http://www.everbuying.com/ for him and he wasn’t disappointed. High-end design and technology with intelligent infrared remote control, video function and USB charging system make T53 easy to use and have the extraordinary performance.

Colorful searchlight helps during night flights and makes the helicopter look more attractive. 3D flight high efficient coaxial-rotor structure, strong wind resistance of metal stabilizer bar and double motors power system provide powerful driving force for flight. With accelerators feature, the PRO Remote Control makes operation more personalized and faster flight.

MJX T53 High Performance Helicopter Teddy

The AVCS (Angular Vector Control System) gyro has the strong ability to correct the helicopter’s momentary large, small and continuous defluxions. Helicopter can be mounted with high-pixel camera and take video during the flight. The video is generated in AVI format. To protect and prevent any risk caused by stuck of the main rotor the helicopter equipped with auto power cut-off system. The helicopter can be charged from USB interface of computer and from remote control.

 MJX T53 High Performance 3.5CH GYRO 3D Flight Helicopter

The adaptor will automatically stop charging once the battery full charged. Remote control has 2 channels and can be used for 2 different helicopters by switching channels.It is a nice addition to our remote toys family.

This holiday season, check what a wide variety of products http://www.everbuying.com/ offers to customers at affordable prices. Everbuying.com is a leading global online wholesale retail company operating in the international wholesale market specializing in electronics and contemporary fashion. Their goal is to provide worldwide customers with great high quality products at the lowest factory direct wholesale prices.
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Distillery District Christmas Market - Wordless Wednesday

Last week-end we were lucky to visit Distillery District Christmas Market. After the storm to get to Distillery was a challenge but it was worth it. Teddy was happy to meet Santa there, plus lots of music, carolers, shows and other family friendly entertainment.

Distillery District Santa Distillery District Christmas Tree Distillery District Christmas Market
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Paris - Expectation vs. Reality #familytravel

Teddy in Paris

The final post related to our trip to Paris is intended to compare what we expected to experience in Paris with what is really happened. These are top 10 items on our Expectation vs. Reality list:

1. People friendly to tourists.
As soon as we became a part of the tourist conglomerate of Paris, we realized that people who live in Paris are nice and friendly. It looks like the constant crowds of tourists which overload subways during rush hours and trying to ask something in English became pretty normal.

2. People are sincerely ready to help. We were surprised to see pickpocket warning signs at many major Paris attractions. The most active pickpocket locations are Louvre and Eiffel Tower. We found however that, in general, people in Paris are quite social and not much different from Toronto folks.

3. Streets and attractions are clean and well-cared.
Streets and attractions in Paris look good and clean. But if you check your shoes and clothes after few hours on Paris streets, you will find out that they are covered with thick layer of dust. It is probably the same level of dust you can get spending the same time on construction site.

Paris Eiffel Tower

4. Transportation is good and reliable.
Yes, transportation system in Paris is exceptional and very reliable. No delays, very short intervals between trains (buses), cover all city and far into suburbs, reasonable crowds even during rush hour. One small difference - RER and subway trains are quite narrow, there is a pair of seats on left and right sides and only 20 inches of walking line between them. There is no way to move stroller between the seats, let along to stay there. The only way to stay with a stroller is close to the door with all people who didn’t get a place to sit. Consider that you have to fold stroller and it's wheels are very dusty, there is a 99% chance that you touch someone with dusty wheels and get an angry look.
Paris Streets


5. Food in restaurants is the best in the world.
There is a common opinion that Paris is a culinary capital of the World. While eating out in many different places in Paris, we found that service is fast and friendly. The food was mostly incredible with some exceptions, when restaurants need to feed the crowds of tourists, there are big chances to have some "accidents". In one of the expensive restaurant Teddy found piece of plastic packaging with French words. They apologized, but charged us for everything except that dish anyway; even though we couldn’t eat anything after that discovery. I know that there are very good restaurants where you have to reserve table in advance, but there is no way to go there with toddler. Another way to go in rural areas where you can find authentic French cuisine. But if you a tourist and your goal is to check as many places as you can, then be ready for fast food with French touch. Many people like it too.

6. Groceries quality and taste better than in North America.
We agree 100% with this one. French milk and dairy products are so delicious. There are so many varieties of yogurts and cheeses and they all have amazing taste. I am wondering what is the difference between European and North American cows? Why we can not have the same taste for our products? Cheese also is significantly cheaper there. Raspberry and strawberry in Paris are very tasty and not even comparable to pick-you-own from local farms during the harvest season. They are pretty expensive, but they worth it. Of course, you can buy there cheap berries too, but they taste similar like the ones from our grocery stores.

Using stroller in Paris


7. Paris is a stroller accessible city.
NOT! In Paris you start to appreciate the amazing accessibility of Toronto. Buses without stairs that can go down to allow you roll a stroller inside. Subway elevators are on majority of stations. All public offices and tourist attractions are pretty much accessible by a stroller and a wheelchair.

Paris has another picture. In the subway’s web you have to walk a lot to get to other station passing many sets of stairs up and down. No elevators and very rare escalators. Same picture you can see at all main attractions (“Arc de Triomphe” is exception).

There are few elevators in Louvre but if you use them you can see only about 40% of available exhibitions, to see the rest - you have to use stairs. It was not big deal for us to fold and carry 11 pounds stroller, but I am very sorry for people in wheelchairs. For example, in order to see statue “Aphrodite of Milos” in Louvre, you have to use stairs.

Aphrodite of Milos Paris Museum Statue


8. Rooms in hotels are small and expensive.
We were able find a room in decent hotel close to Eiffel Tower for 2 adults and 1 child for price that 1.5 time more expensive than in similar hotel in Toronto. However, the room in Paris was 2-3 times smaller. The biggest surprise was a size of elevator in the hotel (approximately 20 by 50 inches). Only 2 average adults can fit there comfortably or 3 that very close to each other. Considering that 1 square meter of living surface in Paris costs from €10K to €15K – to own spacious apartment can afford only rich people.

Paris Street Performer

9. A lot of street performers.
There are a lot of street musicians, dancers and artists in Paris. Mostly in subway, RER and places where a lot of tourists. What surprised us is that almost all their activities have very little connection to Paris and France.

Paris Street


10. Apparel in Paris’ stores is fashionable and a good quality.
If you plan to go shopping in Paris you have to do really big homework. There are a lot of boutiques that sell clothes and souvenirs very poor quality. And price is not cheap either. So if you want to spend significant amount of money in Paris, do research how spend them wisely. Based on our experience – the best quality (and the most expensive) clothes that made in France or other EU countries and sold in official brand chain stores. Souvenirs are the best in official museums boutiques. As per style – in Paris almost everything looks stylish and you have to fight with yourself to don’t spend all your money right away. However when we came back, I regretted so many times that I didn’t buy that and that and those.

Paris Streets View 
 
Teddy in Paris Day 9: Seine Cruise and Shopping
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Get a Healthy and Restful Sleep with Immortal Herbs #ImmortalSleep

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.  
Good night sleep brings multiple benefits. Fresh start of the day after uninterrupted sleep is always welcome. Lots of people suffer from sleep issues because of stress and anxiety. Even me, who usually do not have any difficulties to fell asleep suffer from time to time with the inability to close my mind to all the problems around.

Immortal Sleep

In order to get the restful and healthy sleep I decided to try Immortal Sleep by Immortal Herbs. I like that all the Immortal Herbs products made of the finest quality herbs, natural, clean, pure and without fillers. The company also uses traditional Chinese extraction methods which have been proven and used for years. Before Immortal Sleep I tried different sleeping pills and I can say that Immortal Sleep gives that fresh wake up experience, I did not have with other pills. I also found that Immortal Sleep is great for the nights when you wake up in the middle of one and can’t fell asleep again. I know now that I just need to take Immortal Sleep and go back to restful sleep.

Immortal Herbs sleep blend helps to relax the body and mind and have deep peaceful sleep. Their pills contain the ingredients which have been used for centuries and bring effective results to get your body into a deep state of rest. For more information about Immortal Herbs please check Immortal Herbs web site, you can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Put Child in Hockey or Save for Post-Secondary Education? #beyondtheblueline

I have only one kid and I know he loves all activities we put him to participate in from arts and music classes to soccer, basketball and hockey. Being a mom to an active kid requires not only physical but significant financial involvement too. All older than Teddy boys in our family play hockey and these days at AAA level, it is obvious that Teddy has big chances to join hockey adventures. Last year my boy was taking Kids on Ice classes, and then went watching how his elder cousins show their hockey skills at the games. This year Teddy joined combination sports program including soccer, basketball and hockey. I look at all those activities and I am sure I want to give the best experience to my little one, probably sometimes it comes like we follow family traditions or trying to keep up with the flow or “trend”. Anyway, do all those extracurricular activities benefit my boy’s development, definitely they are. If a kid sees his close friends play hockey he becomes curious and wants asks to join them too, it is like a follow by example.

Skating

Now I see all the passion and dedication my boy has for all the activities he participates. And I know that I will do my best to find finances to pay for his activities. We are happy to have older kids in the family playing hockey helping from the expensive gear - skates, helmets, sticks and other items to valuable tips.

Hockey Game

It was our relatives who convinced us to open RESP for our little one; I think this advice came from their own experience of balancing kid’s hockey activities costs and saving for future education. I understand why according to Canadian Scholarship Trust plan survey, 36% of Canadian parents believe paying for extracurricular activities like hockey is more important before saving for post-secondary education. When kids are young and do not even go to school like mine, the post-secondary education seems so far away and we think there is still time for that, about 12 – 15 years ahead. However, hockey is right here waiting for you - the sparkling ice, skates, training and wins. Nevertheless, about 89% (of parents, surveyed by CST) believe it is important for parents in Canada to help their child pay for their post-secondary education.

 photo Hockey_zps4778b58c.jpg

I realized how important to save for future education, Teddy said he wants to be a designer when he grows up; design new cars, planes and toys. We will be very disappointed if in 10 years we come to the point when our boy having all the talents, skills, creativity and experience will not be able to get his post-secondary education because of finances. That’s why it is important to start contributing as early as possible. It does not need to be a huge amount, even $20 a month adds up plus the Government matches 20% of the first $2,500 you contribute to your child’s RESP each year, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200 per child.

With love to hockey and true belief in importance of savings for future education, Canadian Scholarship Trust plan is launching Beyond the Blue Line, a new community education initiative inviting teams and associations to tell what they’re doing to encourage community involvement and academic success. As a result, hockey team or organization can win $10,000 to help make hockey less-expensive. Entries must be received by December 31, 2013.

You are also invited to take part in Twitter Chat hosted by Canadian Scholarship Trust plan. Come join @CSTConsultants, @beyondtheblueline and @THNKenCampbell on December 17th at 9pm EST where they will be discussing the cost of hockey vs. Education and RESPs. Follow hashtag #hockeyvseducation – there will be nice prizes to win 5 - $50 VISA gift cards.

Disclosure: I am part of the C.S.T. Consultants Inc. – Beyond the blue line blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Learn How to Make Soap at Home! Complete E-book Guide

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.    
Soap Making Made Easy: learn how to make soap at home! is three e-books package by Michelle Gaboya who shares her extensive over 10 year experience of making soaps at home. My interest of making soap came from general curiosity first as we all use soaps in our life every day. I was eager to know how the soaps made, their ingredients and types, history of soap-making and I found answers to almost all my questions in Michelle Gaboya books and even more. In her series she covers different topics including processes, soap types, equipment needed for soap-making, step-by-step instructions of the most popular methods.
Soap Making Made Easy

The books also have all the information how to avoid the most common mistakes many soak makers experience at the beginning with tips and solutions. Michelle Gaboya aslo shares over 50 unique soap recipes including bars soaps, liquid soap, shampoos and more. And my favorite parts are how to color and scent the soaps, how to use essential oils to make pleasing scent combinations. It was interesting to read about how to make soap for people with dry, sensitive, or oily skin, and conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Soap Recipes

Soap making requires dedication, patience and creativity. It is similar to cooking if you like cooking your dishes bring only joy and pleasure, same with soap making, if you like making them it does not seem too difficult and boring, in opposite, it is engaging and rewarding work and hobby.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Seventh Generation Healthy Baby Home Party

Few weeks ago we hosted a Healthy Baby Home Party, just before the holiday rush, moms gathered together to discuss and share thoughts about creating healthy environment for our babies. Among guests we were glad to have a newborn baby, who was happily sleeping all party long.

Healthy Baby Home Party was developed by Seventh Generation in partnership with Healthy Child Healthy World to give moms an opportunity to gather with friends and learn about creating a healthy world for their families. Environmental Defence (Canada’s environmental action organization) has released a report where showing that Canadian babies are exposed to a bunch of harmful chemicals even while in the womb, which cause cancer and other serious medical problems.

Seventh Generation Healthy Baby Party

At the party we played Healthy Home Bingo and watched an award-winning Canadian poet Shane Koyczan’s video “A poem for a Toxin-Free Generation” while kids were playing together and having fun. I talked to the parents and came to the interesting results after discussion. Parents said that they did not follow 100% healthy and natural choices in their life style but since having kids they started paying more attention to the product labels and tend to switch to green alternatives. It was great to learn that parents take steps towards better living and are willing to learn more about toxin-free products.

Seventh Generation Healthy Baby Party Products

Seventh Generation also introduced seven simple tips to live life more toxin free, which were listed in the party books. You probably already know about some of those tips and made them a part of your life:
  • Once a week open all the windows in your house for 5 minutes, bring in some fresh air. 
  • Avoid recycling receipts. They may look like paper but could contain BPA, so just throw receipts into the trash. I first questioned receipts while in Paris, there all shopping receipts I got, listed that they do not contain BPA, assuming that Canadian receipts do have those chemicals. 
  • Use glass containers for lunches and food storage; do not let harmful chemicals leach into the foods from plastic containers. 
  • Choose a good mug for morning drinks, reusable cup or mug is the best choice. 
  • If something gives off a scent that makes you think “Horrible” then it is time to step away and get rid of it. 
  • Get a plant and improve your indoor air quality 
  • “Unscented” is not the same as “Fragrance free”, take a look at the labels and be aware of what’s really inside the stuff you buy. 
I think we did a good job when had a party as one more step toward creating a healthy world for our families and friends. We were also happy to find out that the full range of products of Seventh Generation natural products is available to Canadian customers. You can find free & clear baby diapers, wipes, skin & bath care products, feminine care, plant-based laundry detergents, dish detergents, spray cleaner in stores like Loblaw, Real Canadian Superstores and natural product stores across Canada.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Toronto Zoo Pandas - Wordless Wednesday

Our visit to Toronto Zoo was a long anticipated event and did not disappoint. We were excited to meet Da Mao and Er Shun, Toronto Zoo Pandas who became extremely popular this year. Despite the rainy weather we had a good day out!

Panda Toronto Toronto Zoo Panda

Toronto Panda Panda Toronto Zoo
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anabella Giggles All Day! Children’s Book

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Anabella Giggles Book

I read Anabella Giggles All Day! with my little one, the story about girl who loves giggling and having fun. The book is not very long and quite easy to read with kids, ages 3 to 7, it has one sentence per page. Anabella Giggles All Day! has really nice pictures showing kids at different places inside and outside the school. Teddy is still learning how to read, so colorful book illustrations were more interesting to my boy until we got to the page about the Keddy Teddy where he easily spotted Teddy name and became more curious about words and what they were all about.

Anabella Giggles All Day

 It is a nice story about kids, friendship and respect; the story of two friends who learn and grow even if it is just learning something new about each other. I am sure all the preschoolers would enjoy reading Anabella Giggles All Day! and may be even recognize themselves in the book characters.

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.
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