World Vision Gifts For Christmas- Gifts that Give Back

Looking to give a beautiful, unique gift this year?  Maybe you want to do something even better then that- maybe you want to give a gift that gives back.  World Vision lets you do both- you can not only give beautiful gifts that the gift-ee will love, but when you buy, your money goes to those who need it most.  World Vision is Fair Trade, and helps artisans make a living wage that they can raise their families on.

This year more than 50 percent of holiday shoppers plan to purchase holiday gifts online. Look into new gift ideas that give back with just a few clicks of the mouse from the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog.
More than 250 items, ranging in price from $10 to $39,000, are available online and in the print catalog to help improve quality of life for women, children and families in the U.S. and around the world. Give help where it is needed most and receive handcrafted gifts that are beautiful accessories:

African Soapstone Box – New to the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog, the hand-carved African Soapstone Box is a safe place to store necklaces and rings. Coated in light blue with an image of a giraffe, this ornate box features pretty details that will complement nearly any decor. Donations go toward the Kenyan artisans who crafted the box to help provide medical care for their families. $85


Royal Silk Scarf – A recent addition to the Catalog, this gorgeous silk scarf adds color to the holidays and supports the needs of children and families worldwide, including those in the community where it was crafted; the luxurious silk was woven by Vietnam’s Ma Chau villagers, who receive fair wages & sustainable income through their craft. $95
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Best Buy the destination for the latest cameras and camcorders

Disclosure- 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.


Shopping season is in full swing, and with that the mad dash for the perfect gift is upon us all. For the photographer in your life, there are a ton of options available. So many that it can be unnerving at first sight. Luckily enough, Best Buy is here to help with their knowledgeable staff and Holiday Gift Center.

Today we will look at a few of the camera options by some of the hottest in manufacturers.

First up is the new Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens. This camera is a DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi, so you can capture high quality photos and share them quickly and easily. 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.
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Win a Subscription to Live Happy Magazine

Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own and honest.

Looking for a good read?  If you are like me, the answer is “yes, always”.  I recently came upon a new(ish) magazine, one that I had never heard of.  It’s called “Live Happy” and it is all about things you can do to bring more positive energy into your life, ways to make positive changes, and how to be genuinely happy.  Not one article about “keeping my man” or “how to drop 27 lbs in 15 minutes” or anything like that- it was all about making changes, even in how you think, to make your life better and more fulfilling to you.

Becoming more grateful, looking at things from a different light, and figuring out what really makes you happy can take work for some of us.  It was inspiring reading others stories and thoughts on happiness, how to bring more inner peace and joy to your day. I really enjoyed the positive thinking and tips to give your mood a boost. There are also articles on food and meditation, getting ahead of stress, and interviews with interesting people.
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Disclosure- We received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own and honest.

How do you bring the fun of a camp out, when you are stuck inside?  It’s going to be a long, cold winter.  Want a big bright sky full of stars into your bed room, living room, playroom?  Or how about just bringing the fun of sleeping outside inside?  With the new 2-in-1 LED Starlight lantern.  This fun lantern combines two great ideas into one fun product.  Authentic-feel-camping, here you come.

pic5First of all, the Starlight Lantern is a Star Projector.  This means it projects stars on ceilings and walls to give you a feeling of laying under a star filled sky at night.  This is, of course, minus the bugs and sleeping on the ground.  To add to it’s usefulness, the lantern doubles as a lantern with the flip of a switch.  Now it is a 4 LED lantern that will easily illuminate your way, be it on the way to the bathroom in the woods or just to your sleeping bag in the living room.
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Animal Planet Sea Lab Playset

Disclosure- we received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own and honest.

11 04 14 products 037It is no secret my son is an animal fan.  If it has fur, scales, or feathers, then its for him.  Right now he especially loves playing with sea animals.  The Sea lab play set by Animal Planet fits in with the little guy’s play patterns because it (surprise surprise) has tons of animals with over 29 pieces.  There are whales, sharks, fish and of course two scientists to study the whole lab.  There are lots of lights and sounds to discover and a ton of fun to be had.  The lab folds open for extended play and fun with more then one person.  Then once you are all done all the pieces can fit right back into the lab for easy transportation and storage.  (The best part, in mom’s opinion.)
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Fun Holiday Toys and Gifts

With holiday shopping days winding to a close, you might be really stressed out trying to figure out the best toys to give the kids in your life.  Don’t worry, that’s what we are here for.  Check out some of these toys, sure to please any child.  These are easy to give, won’t break the bank, and are pretty much guaranteed to make kids light up like the Christmas tree or Menorah.

pic4Legos- you really can’t go wrong.  Got a little builder in your life?  These sets are awesome, and inexpensive (especially as LEGO sets go.  No matter if you have a boy or a girl (or want to give a gift for everyone to enjoy), either of these sets will be a hit.  The CREATOR Furry Creatures playset is adorable- everyone here had a good time building it. It comes with all the pieces you need to build a cat and a mouse, even a little piece of cheese.  You can also build this three-in-one set into a puppy dog or a rabbit, or try making them all and see what you like best.  $20 at

Got fans of the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, or perhaps you yourself are and want to introduce it to your children.  The LEGO The Hobbit Attack on Lake-town is pretty neat, and offers a lot for the price of $30 (larger sets available).  Defend your land from those awful Orcs with Tauriel and her Elven warriors.  Includes 5 minifigures with assorted weapons: Bain son of Bard, Bard the Bowman™, Tauriel and 2 Hunter Orcs. If your kids are anything like mine, it is all about the minifigs, so having this many in one set, for this price, is pretty good (especially when you consider they are about $5 each out of the set).

pic5Jay At Play is making some pretty awesome stuff right now, and great for any kid.  Easy gift giving- and again, the kids will love the gifts!    First, look at the new Tummy Stuffers Wild Ones!  They come in several sizes, and right now you can get a large one with a free small sized Tummy Stuffer for only $20 at  You really, really can’t beat that. You can choose from 6 styles of animal, all in funky, wild colors that the kids will enjoy.  Not to mention, that this is not only a toy, but it encourages kids to clean up- and they really like doing it!  They will put all their toys into that Tummy Stuffer, you wait and see how fast they clean up.  I kid you not- I would not lead you wrong.  They stuff their toys into the mouth of the animal until it is full, which takes longer then you might think.
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Wilson Creek Winery – personalized wine

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own and honest.  Please see “I Disclose” for more info.

pic1This holiday season there will be plenty of opportunities to spread holiday cheer, and just shy of singing loud for all to hear,  the second best way to spread cheer to adults is with wine or other libations.  Many people love it, some a bit too much, but as with all things moderation is key (ha).

Wilson Creek Winery was acquired in 1996 by the Wilson family.  They wanted to start a fun family operated winery that made great wine.  As proof of that, they won the 2010 Gold Business of the Year.

pic2One of the interesting aspects of the Wilson Creek Winery line of products is the ability to make your own labels for some very good wines.  We were given the opportunity to try Almond Sparkling Wine.  This is one of four general categories of wines, including red wine, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, white wine, including 2012 white Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Cuvee Sparkling Wine, and of course the Almond Sparkling.  All of these can sport custom labels which can be used as wedding favors, business ads, holiday cards, or any reason you can think of.  We brought ours to a family function and everyone got a kick out of the labels.  We included a nice family photo.  These wine bottles could be also used at family functions in your home.
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Adventure To Santa at the Cherry Hill Mall

“Tis the season for all things Holly and Jolly, and that usually includes a visit to see Santa. This year, if you are in the area, why not shake things up and visit Santa AND Shrek at the same time?

20141129_135551Best part?  You get a whole experiance, not just a quickie Santa’s lap visit and photo.   Wait, no, the best part is that you don’t’ have to wait on a zillion hour line.  You RSVP online for a time slot, show up, and go right in.  We got there just on time, checked in, and waited maybe 5-10 minutes to get inside.  Maybe the best part is that the kids were REALLY excited about all the stuff they got to do while on the tour.  Or that the price for the tour and photos are not any higher then they were for a typical Santa photo (The cost for a single photo with Santa at Radio City Music Hall is $25.  At our local mall, it’s $20.  Here, you get a 3 photos of your choice, in a variety of sizes, for $30.)  There are a lot of “Best Parts”….It’s hard to choose the best-best part.
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