#GettingGutzy with Gutzy Gear- Review

Oh my Gutzy gracious! These things are so cool! If you have never heard of Gutzy Gear, you "gotta go Gutzy" now! 

So, just WHAT is Gutzy Gear? Gutzies are totally cool removable patches that stick to a Gutzy strap cover. Use them on backpacks, duffles, messenger bags, and more. 

Here are a few pictures of some of the Gutzy Gear I received for my party:

Gutzies $4.99-$5.99

I also received fun party ideas, recipes and games such as Gutzy Bingo! The games especially were a big hit.

I had intended on hosting my Gutzy party here in my home, but when I had the opportunity to visit friends and family in Indiana, we took the party with us! Ten kids (and their parents) had a blast with a Gutzy Pool & Pizza party. While most of the kids weren't excited about going back to school, they were excited about being able to go back in style!  Ranging in age from 2 to 14, all the kids loved the Gutzy Gear. The paw print and puppy were a hit with the younger kids while the older ones preferred the hearts, flowers, guitar, and food patches. They are all so cute! Each one also has a tiny "G" somewhere on them as well and the kids enjoyed looking for it on each Gutzies. 

Party-goers holding up some of their Gutzy Gear.

No matter what your personality or style, there's a Gutzies for you! 
These are just a few of the Gutzies available for purchase. 

Gutzy straps are super-easy to put on. Just wrap them around the backpack strap (or whatever else you are attaching them to) and the strong velcro will hold them in place.

Stick the Gutzies on the strap. The velcro holds strong so there is no reason to worry about them falling off, but they are easy to remove when you need to!

How cute is that!?!

Gutzies are great to trade and Gutzy Gear even has a couple of neat ways to store them such as the Gutzy Gear Collector Book which holds over 200 Gutzies & the Gutzy to Go Door Hanger that holds over 50 Gutzies! They also carry a Visor and Hat as another awesomely cool way to show off your Gutzy Gear.

Right now until September 7th, visit www.facebook.com/gutzygear  and
tell them how you Go Gutzy for a chance to win a Toys R' Us gift cards. Prizes are:
• 1 $500 gift card
• 10 $100 gift cards
• 20 $75 gift cards
• 30 $50 gift cards
• 40 $25 gift cards

So what are you waiting for? Go Gutzy!!!

Thanks to MomSelect and Gutzy Gear for allowing me to host this Gutzy Gear party!

The Smiley 360 "Capture Your Summer" Contest

I think I once calculated that in the first 21 years of my life, I moved 26 times. This was due in part to my dad being in the Air Force when I was little, my first husband being in the Marine Corp, and just life in general in between those two stages of my life and after. It is hard for me to believe that I have lived here in southern Ohio for 21 years now, but it still doesn't feel like "home".

 It is said that "home is where the heart is" and if that is true, then "home" for me would have to be in Vincennes, Indiana.  

Vincennes is a town richly steeped in our family's history since before the Revolutionary War. It is where my dad was born and raised, where my mother and I lived with my grandparents while my dad was serving in Vietnam, and also where we moved to when my dad got out of the service and returned to civilian life.

This is me when I was probably around 1 year old or so, with my grandpa, "putting my dukes up". lol He died when I was 4 but I have some great memories of him. I still miss him!
This is where I spent summers with my cousin Beatrice. Not sure what my mom was thinking putting me in such a short dress! lol (Then)
Now (about 38 years later)! I am on the right. I can't believe I'm posting this picture. I didn't have any makeup on yet and my hair wasn't fixed!
Vincennes is where much of my family still resides. Family that I don't get to see often enough.

So, what does all that have to do with my summer? Simple! I got to go to Vincennes with my children twice this past July! My children learned more about their heritage and we all made wonderful family memories that will last a lifetime!
In early July, we attended the Joyce Family reunion. I must say, it was a bit strange when I ran into people who knew me, but I had no clue as to who they were. Can't really expect me to remember people I haven't seen since I was 2 though, right? lol
(Second) Cousin time!
Photographs (that I had never seen before) of my dad & his twin brother and of my grandparents.

My Uncle Danny (my dad's twin brother), Uncle Jim, Uncle Bob, and my dad. All very dear to me.

(Sadly, my Uncle Bill wasn't able to make the trip from Mississippi.)

My daughter, Mamaw (my mom), and my niece Jess enjoying a very cold smoothie on a very hot day, in downtown Vincennes.

Here are some photos that my daughter took while exploring   downtown, before and after the smoothie break.

Inside the George Rogers Clark Memorial.

This past winter, the old Gimbel's Department store building,  where my grandfather worked as a young man, caught on fire and burned down. Family story is that while working here, he carried a rather heavy set woman across the street which caused him to develop a hernia, which in turn resulted in him being turned down for enlistment into the military.

More pictures of downtown Vincennes and the Wabash River. Cross the bridge, and you enter Illinois!

My cousin Judy and I, together again at last!

When we went back towards the end of July, I got to reconnect with one of my cousins whom I had not seen in probably 25 years. Judy made a spur of the moment trip from El Paso, TX (almost a 30 hour drive) with two of her girls to Vincennes, so I made a spur of the moment trip as well from Ohio (a 5 & 1/2 hour drive) to see her again after all these long years. She is like a sister to me and the 24 hours my family spent with hers was the highlight of our summer! 

We spent part of the day playing with the kids at the Ouabache (Wabash) Trails Park. Our family used to have family picnics and get-togethers here when I was growing up.

Two of my kids, with three of their second cousins (Jamie, Nat, and Hannah)! It was the first time we had ever met them, and everybody got along great!

To swim, or not to swim? Cooling off in the hotel pool after enduring 112 degree heat! 

She finally decided to swim! This is Baby C with my oldest daughter Nanny.
Mr. B was finally convinced as well. 

My twin daughter Miss M with (second) cousin Dani. She was such a sweetie!

Nanny, braiding Princess Wuwu's (Dani's) hair. Nanny is learning Korean and for some reason, after being around her for awhile, Dani decided to dubbed herself Wuwu. :)

Ending the day with pizza and ice cream. Besides spending time with family, what could be better than that?

My kids (minus my 2 youngest who were already in their car seats), my cousin Judy's kids, and my cousin Jimmy's kids in front of the Marriott where we stayed during our visit. This photo was taken right before we were getting ready to leave and head back home to Ohio. What a wonderful visit, and one none of us will soon forget! It was truly the pinnacle of our summer!

Do you like to work with brands and try out new products? Want to join an awesome online community? Then join me on Smiley360! You will be  you did!

#MilkUnleashed 4 Pack Giveaway - Ends 9/5

Since we are a homeschooling family, the whole "back-to-school" deal isn't really much of a change for us. We are just as busy with our hectic life in August as we are in during the rest of the year. Softball games, church youth outings, play dates, ballet and more take their toll on us. Especially the little ones. More often than not, we are packing lunches to take with us to eat on the go. When you're on the run, it's not always easy to eat & drink healthy. Bottled water is always an option, but gets to be a bit boring. Having "on-the-go" shelf-safe milk is a quick and healthy way to change it up a bit. 

The small cartons are easy for little hands to hold and fit perfectly in a diaper bag, purse, lunch box, or cooler! These would be wonderful for field trips, school lunches, and after school snacks. The possibilities are endless! If you pack your child's school lunch, what better way to know that they are getting the calcium their bodies need from a brand you can can know and trust! I remember using Hershey's syrup as a child and even now, it brings back such sweet memories of my grandmother making my cousins and I chocolate milk and smothering our ice cream with the delicious chocolate goodness! My children (with the exception of 1) LOVE milk so I am delighted to learn of Hershey's shelf-safe milk products! 

Use the cool app below to learn more about shelf-safe milk, get some awesome snacking ideas, and take the fun quiz to learn what type of "on-the-go" family you are. I did and was surprised to get "Futuristic Fam-Tastic"! Some of it was right on, but I am seriously the least organized person I know (with or without apps!). After you've had fun with the app, scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a Milk Unleashed variety pack!

One winner will receive a Milk Unleashed variety pack consisting of four shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Hershey's, LaLa, Horizon and Organic Valley as well as a cow stress ball and information of shelf safe milk! Giveaway ends 9/5 and is open to U.S. residents 18 and over. Winner will be randomly chosen and will have 48 hours in which to respond before a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purex Insiders Combat Source Kill Max Ant Bait & Ant Gel Review & Giveaway - Ends 9/12

Thanks to Combat and Purex Insider, I recently had the chance to review Combat Source Kill Max Ant Bait and Ant Gel. So far, I've been very pleased with the results.

We live in the country, so bugs and all that come with the territory. It's very common for pesky little critters and bugs like ants to make their way into our house. Ants in particular tend to be a problem all year round, even in the colder months and they can be very hard to control and get rid of. I have 5 children, the youngest two being two and four years old so I really don't like using spray insecticide inside the house. Because I do have small children, I have tried "natural" and "homemade" repellents but none of them have really worked.

Two of our main problem areas for ants are the living room and laundry room. These are also two areas that my youngest children are in quite often so this is where I placed some of the Combat Source Kill Max Ant Baits. These baits contain the insecticide, Fipronil, which kills most common household ants such as Argentine, Cornfield, Little Black, Odorous House, and Pavement Ants. The ants are attracted to the bait and then carry it back to their colony which in turn destroys the queen and the rest of the colony. They are easy-to-use, mess-free, need no activation, and most importantly to me- are child resistant. You simply place the bait where you have seen the ants and let it do all the work!

I used the Combat Source Kill Max Ant Killing Gel that I received in hard to reach cracks and crevices indoors where I have seen ants (and where I knew for certain the children could not reach) and outdoors where I have seen ants entering the house. Also containing the insecticide, Fipronil, it is formulated to attract ants quickly and works in 3-5 days in the same way as the baits do. The worker ants return to the colony and feed the gel (the bait) to the larvae and to the queen which eliminates the entire colony. The gel is very easy to apply, but is not child-resistant once dispensed OR in the application tube it comes in. 

Get a coupon for $1 off any Combat ant or roach bait by signing up for the Combat e-Newsletter

Thanks to Combat & Purex Insider, one of my readers will have the chance to win a box of Combat Ant Gel to try for themselves! Please enter using the Rafflectoper form below. Contest ends on 9/12 at midnight EST. A winner will be randomly chosen and will have 48 hours to respond. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Creativity for Kids Craft Kits Review & Giveaway ~Ends 9/7

If you are looking for something fun to do with your children on a rainy day, or just any day, check out the fun Creativity for Kids craft kits by Faber-Castell! They have so many products to choose from, the only problem will be deciding which ones to buy. From bobble heads, to fashion, to seasonal & holiday they have something for everyone!

Through a promotional program with Faber-Castell and MomSelect, I received 3 of these fun kits to review. As a homeschooler, I love having activities like these on hand to use as art projects or to work on when we have some down time. 

My son (who is 4 & 1/2) and I had a great time with the Mossy Meadows Gnome Garden ($29.99 retail value). He checks it on a daily basis to see if any grass has grown yet. It's been a couple of weeks and there is still no grass, so I'm thinking maybe we need to plant some more and place it in a different location where there is more sun. The kit contains plenty of extra wheat grass seeds, which should sprout within a couple of days. 

My daughter (age 14) enjoyed making flower and heart glitter boxes from the Deluxe Glitter Art kit and 3 feather hair extensions and 2 headbands with the Feather Fashions kit ($21.99 retail value). She wears the red feather extensions often, and it looks great with her long red hair! Each kit contained plenty of supplies and materials for loads of fun.

The gorgeous headband my daughter made with the Feather Fashions kit.

These are the two boxes my daughter made with the Deluxe Glitter Art kit. She is currently learning Korean, and I'm pretty sure the symbols on the pink box are her name. Cute, huh?

(The Feather Fashions kit contained:  hairclips, headbands, ponytail holders, 40+ feather, rhinestones and enough accessories to make 12+ designs.)

(The Gnome Garden contains everything you need for 3 teeny weeny gnomes: a garden dish, potting mix, wheat grass seeds, bark house, leaf-shaped pond, mossy rocks, stepping stones, resin gnomes, toadstools, ladybugs, paint, brush and a mister! The garden dish measures 11"w x 2"d. The natural wheat grass seeds are pet friendly!)

The great folks at Faber-Castell & MomSelect are providing the Deluxe Glitter Art kit ($29.99 retail value) as well as the Beach Buddies Shell Craft kit ($16.99 retail value) for me to giveaway to one lucky reader! 

Add some sparkle, shine and shimmer to all of your craft projects. This deluxe art set includes an array of glitter glue, shaker-top glitter pots, glitter stickers, glitter paper, gift tags, envelopes, greeting cards, craft glue, trinket boxes and more. This is a perfect craft activity for parties, holiday projects and seasonal crafting.
Turn 25+ REAL sea shells into a crew of creative crustaceans. This complete set includes a tropical pallet of paint, glitter-glue, wiggly eyes, craft glue, dimensional paint and ocean inspired felt accents. Full of fun, this is the perfect crafts for beach-themed birthday parties, summer camp and small group activities. 

Follow Creativity for Kids on Facebook!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below! Giveaway ends 9/7 midnight EST. Winner will be chosen at random and will have 48 hours in which to respond. Good luck!