Just Kids Gifts – Personalized Gifts (Giveaway)

Now that Kiana is beginning to read on her own, I’ve been trying to find books for her that are not too complicated yet entertaining enough to hold her attention. What better way to peak her interest than a story written just for her? Introducing a brand new company called Just Kids Gifts.

Just Kids Gifts specializes in personalized items like storybooks, CDs, and DVDs where your child is the star! Just provide names, photos, and other relevant details and you’ll receive a precious keepsake that your family will treasure for years to come.

We recently had the opportunity to review a couple of personalized books  – My Tea Party & The Train With No Name.

My Tea Party ($16.95)

Planning a party for friends requires hard work and aforethought. First she must decide who to invite and what to serve, then, what type of decorations are necessary. Setting up for the party, getting properly dressed and many other important things are valuable lessons learned here. Your child will find out what it takes to throw a perfectly special gathering and all the proper manners that goes with it.

Kiana is the star of this heartwarming story. When she first started reading the book you should have seen how big her eyes got when she came across her name. “That’s me!”, she yelled. She continued to read and was thrilled to see not only her name but her sisters’ names, her home town, and my name. As soon as she finished the book she started reading it again.

What I liked about this book is the larger font which made reading a lot easier for Kiana. We also liked the pretty illustrations that perfectly matched the storyline. However, the best part is that it taught Kiana all about table manners. There’s even a page at the end of the book that contains a list of proper table manners. We went through each one and made a note of the ones she’s good at and those she needs to work on.

My Tea Party is now one of Kiana’s favorite books!

The Train With No Name ($16.95)

The little track tester isn’t important enough to have either a name or an engineer…That is, until your child steps in and helps the little track tester to save the circus train. This educational book helps teach about compassion, helping others and most of all, they’ll learn that you don’t have to be big to be important!

I got this book as a Christmas gift for my nephew who lives in Nevada. He loves trains so I knew this would be the perfect choice for him. I was able to select 3 names to go along with his so I used his sister and 2 of my girls. The finished product turned out great and I can’t wait to give it to him!

What I really liked about this story is that it teaches kids to be sympathetic towards those who may not be having great day. Two Engine Express was not very nice to the no name Track Tester but “Evan” came to his rescue by helping to make him feel just as important as all the other trains. It was this friendship that helped save the day.

Just Kids Gifts makes the perfect holiday gifts for those special children in your lives. Check out their selection of personalized books, CDs and DVDs and see your children’s name in print! For more information, stop by their website or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.


How would you like to win a personalized book of your choice? To enter:

  • Just stop by Just Kids Gifts before midnight, Nov 15th and view the books selection.
  • Then come back and mention which one you’d like to win. That’s it!
  • A random winner will be selected and notified via email shortly thereafter.
  • The winner will then have 2 days to claim their prize.

To earn extra entries, you may do one or all of the following. Each one counts as an extra ticket but you must leave a separate comment for each one.

This giveaway is open to US addresses. Good luck!

This post was written for Family Review Network & Just Kids Books who provided the information and item for review & giveaway. By entering this giveaway, you are acknowledging that you have read, understood, and agree to our disclosure policy. One entry per household.


Yo Gabba Gabba: Party in a Box in Stores Now!

July 28, 2011 by  
Filed under entertainment, kids, product reviews

Have you ever done a YouTube search for YO GABBA GABBA!?  I have, and it’s adorable.  The search results reveal video after video of basically the same thing: an adorable kid watching YO GABBA GABBA! on TV and doing some sort of delightful – yet crazy – dance.  Anyone who has ever caught an episode (or 80) knows that that’s pretty much the only reaction possible to what just has to be the wackiest kid’s show ever.

And it is wacky.  The first time I saw YO GABBA GABBA!, I thought it was just some zany commercial.  5 minutes in it started dawning on me that this commercial seemed really long and, even weirder, my niece and nephew seemed to have it memorized.  But, I have to admit that the show was intriguing on a number of levels.  I mean, it’s got unidentifiable creatures, a DJ with a furry hat, a yellow robot, big name guest stars and, of course, music!

Since that day we were introduced to YGG! by my niece and nephew, we have spent a good deal of time watching old reruns and trying to see all of my favorite stars guest appearances on the show.  Even with our vast viewing experience there were still a few episodes we had yet to see, so I was really excited to hear that YO GABBA GABBA! was releasing a box set of shows just in time for vacation season when I don’t have access to my DVR.

Yo Gabba Gabba: Party in a Box Episode Synopses:
Yo Gabba Gabba: Birthday Boogie
Birthday – Brobee has a surprise birthday party and everyone makes presents for him. Guest Stars:  Melora Hardin, The Ting Tings

Dress-Up – DJ Lance brings a costume box and everyone plays dress up. Guest Star: Little Ones

Talent – The Gabba Gang learns that everyone has different talents and that practices makes perfect.  Everyone uses their talent to make something special. Guest Stars: Amar’e Stoudemire, Hot Hot Heat

Ride - The Gabba gang has fun riding toys.  Toodee goes surfing, Muno rides a skateboard, Plex go-carts, Foofa rides a bike with training wheels, Brobee rides a razor and DJ Lance roller-skates. Guest Stars:  Dean & Britta

Yo Gabba Gabba: Clubhouse
Clubhouse – Brobee and Muno build a boy’s clubhouse but won’t let Foofa and Toodee play.  Meanwhile, DJ Lance and Plex help Foofa and Toodee build an awesome treehouse where everyone can play. Guest Stars:  Erykah Badu, The Sounds, Mark Mothersbaugh

Adventure – Muno and friends travel through a jungle under Gabba Land and find the golden treasure. Guest Star: The Killers

Summer – All the characters in Gabba Land enjoy the outdoors and the happiness of summertime. Guest Star: The Aquabats

Animals – Foofa loves animals and she follows an animal to learn more about it.  The Gabba gang also discovers some silly animals that only could be found in Gabba Land. Guest Stars:  Jack McBrayer, Paul Scheer, Jimmy Eat World

Yo Gabba Gabba: Dancey Dance Bunch
Friends – The characters learn how to have fun with friends and to appreciate and respect each other. Guest Star: Mya

Eat – The characters learn the importance of eating vegetables and healthy meals, trying new things and cleaning up after themselves. Guest Star: Elijah Wood

Dance – New dances are performed by the characters as they learn about manners and about the importance of apologizing. Guest Star:  Hector Jimenez

Happy – The characters learn how to handle moments of sadness and how to use hugs as a way of expression. Guest Star: The Salteens

Yo Gabba Gabba: Party in a Box Fast Facts:
Street Date: July 12, 2011
Catalogue: 145314
DVD SRP: $24.99
DVD Running Time:  Approximately 297 minutes

Sounds like a good time, right?  Seriously, if I was choosing guest stars, this would pretty much be my wishlist of who I would want to appear on the show, and here it is all one one great box set!

 This post was written for Nickelodeon who provided the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Mrs. McVeigh’s Magnificent Manners Show

November 7, 2010 by  
Filed under educational, entertainment, kids, product reviews

About the Show
Dallas-based Manners Expert and Dallas Morning News Manners Columnist Elise McVeigh will unveil her latest project on October 21: the debut of “Mrs. McVeigh’s Magnificent Manners Show.”  This 30-minute children’s DVD on manners is based on “Mrs. McVeigh’s Manners,” a division of Elise McVeigh’s Life Camp, which teaches children ages 2-11 and university aged students manners in a fun and unique way. The DVD is being produced by Dreamfly Productions.

“I am thrilled to produce this DVD for children and parents throughout the country, just in time for the holiday season,” McVeigh said.

“Manners are an important process in society, and everyone should have basic manners for the dinner table and at social gatherings.”  In addition, parents often find it difficult to teach children good manners.  I have found that demonstration and role-playing are the most effective ways to teach children manners and life skills.”

When “Mrs. McVeigh” teams up with her wacky temporary assistant, Professor Maynard (pronounced “Mannered” when he is Mrs. McVeigh’s assistant), she shows the good Professor how to do things the right way.  Your kids will laugh and relate to Professor Maynard as he learns throughout the DVD what demonstrating good manners really mean. The lessons include meeting and greeting, restaurant manners, table manners, how to set a table, how to write a thank you note, and more!

Members of the public may pre-order the DVD through McVeigh’s website,
mrsmcveighsmanners.com, or through amazon.com (as of October 10)
Manners expert Elise McVeigh has been teaching manners classes to children since 2003.  She brings her classes to life with demonstration and role-play for children on this 30-minute interactive DVD. Elise McVeigh currently resides in Dallas, Texas, and is the owner of Mrs. McVeigh’s Manners, a division of Elise McVeigh’s Life Camp, a seminar company for moms and their children.   In addition, she writes a Manners Column for the Dallas Morning News’ NeighborsGo section where thousands of people read her advice on manners and getting organized. Professor Maynard, played by Richard Means, is a professional actor with the Kim Dawson Agency.

My Take on the Show
What parent wouldn’t say that their child could use some manners lessons every now and again and this DVD is a great example of a teaching tool that is  fun to watch and the kids really like it. I let my daughters watch this and they were engrossed! I also found that after they watched this, they actually were more polite and we ended up having a few great conversations about the topics that were covered.

As mentioned above this DVD was quite interactive and I tended to find that that the kids really did get involved with the characters and they were definitely different from watching the show itself. All I can say is that I wish this show was on in the Midwest!

The author received a complimentary product to facilitate his review. He was not monetarily compensated.

Hot Links of the Week – Nov 25th

November 25, 2009 by  
Filed under columns, hot links

Welcome to this week’s Hot Links of the Week. If you would like to have your giveaway included in an upcoming edition, please email me the information at anislandreview at gmail dot com.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out my latest giveaways located in the sidebar and hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  • Rockin’ Mama – $75 GC to Beau-coup (Nov 25/US)
  • babybix – Seagate FreeAgent Go External Hard Drive (Nov 25)
  • Mom’s Focus on Cyber World – Win $25 GC Beaucoup (Nov 25/US & Canada)
  • Gifts.com – Casio Exilim EX-S12 Digital Camera (Nov 27)
  • The Mom Reviews – NachoMamaTees/Crazy Dog T-shirts (Nov 27)
  • Mommy’s Idea – Custom Digi Invitation from Oh My Gluestick (Nov 28/All)
  • Mom Knows It All – Bamboo FurBuster (Nov 29/US)
  • Purr Prints – Thank You from Etsy GiveAways:16 Prizes to be won – 16 Winners! (Nov 29/All)
  • The Mom Reviews – Macy’s $25 GC (Nov 30
  • Contest Corner – 18×24″ Photo Poster Print (Nov 30/US)
  • Mom Start – Cook or be Cooked Wii Video Game (Nov 30/US)
  • Mom Start – 2 100.00 GC to Borders (Nov 30/US)
  • Mom Start – Free Agent Theater+ 99.00 value (Nov 30/US)
  • Mom Start – 50.00 Gift Card to Burlington Coat Factory (Nov 30/US)
  • SAHM Reviews – $30 Walmart Gift Card (Nov 30/US)
  • Mom Start – 500.00 Giveaway (Nov 30/US)
  • Rockin’ Mama – CEIVA Pro 80 Digital Photo Frame with One Year PicturePlan (Dec 1/US)
  • Diva Giveaway – myEARTH360.com $50 Gift Certificate (Dec 3/US & Canada)
  • Here And There – You’ve Been Sentenced Game System (Dec 5/US)
  • Mom Knows It All – muvee Reveal 8 (Dec 5/US)
  • Here And There – Around The Table Games (Dec 5/US)
  • Babies Gotta Have It – $60 Gift Certificate to Paperspring.com Photo Cards (Dec 6/US)
  • MyAdventures.com – One Grand Prize winner will get the adventure trip of a lifetime, while first and second runner’s-up get substantial gift certificates from REI. See rules for details. (Dec 31)



  • My Wee View – Jupiter Freedom – Hands-Free Bag (Nov 25/US & Canada)
  • Mom’s Focus on Cyber World – DreamSack’s Pashbu scarve (Nov 25/US & Canada)
  • My Wee View – METRIN Skin Care Package (Nov 27/US & Canada)
  • babybix – Belli Skin Care (Nov 30)
  • Mom Start – Active Fit Kit (clothing, bag 50.00 Value) (Nov 30/US)
  • The Mom Reviews – Hana Professional PINK 1/5″ Flat Iron (Dec 1)
  • babybix – Imprecious Fingerprint Necklace (Dec 2)
  • Diva Giveaway – $100 Gift Certificate from NeuAura Shoes – Eco & Vegan (Dec 3/US & Canada)
  • Rockin’ Mama – Wii Fit Plus and Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2010 (Dec 3/US)
  • Audrey’s Give Away Blog - Pair of Handmade Snowman Earrings (Dec 4/All)
  • My Wee view – Mineral Fusion – Make Up (Dec 4)
  • Rockin’ Mama – Padova Hobo Bag from Elliott Lucca (Dec 5/US)
  • Mommy’s Idea – Women’s Day Planner from Chaos Simplified (Dec 5/All)
  • Mission Mommy – Clarisonic Mia (Dec 7)
  • Melinda Joy – Chewy Lou Design Shirt (Dec 8/US & Canada)
  • The Giveaway Diva – Diamond Necklace with half a carat of diamonds (Dec 8/All)
  • Audrey’s Give Away Blog – Winner’s Choice of Pendant & Chain (Dec 8/All)
  • Fractured Toy - Wii Fit Plus board & Jillian Michaels new 2010 Wii workout (Dec 10/US)
  • Mission Mommy – Wen Healthy Haircare Cleansing System (Dec 11)
  • Glamoursis – Three BH Cosmetics Color Palettes to be given away: 1st name randomly drawn wins: One (1) BH Cosmetics 120 2nd Edition Palette. 2nd Name randomly drawn wins: One (1) BH Cosmetics 88 Color Matte Palette. 3rd Name randomly drawn win: One (1) BH Cosmetics Contour & Blush Palette (Dec 23/US)
  • The Giveaway Diva – Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti® Open Heart necklace in medium (Dec 31)






  • Many of you may have heard about the launch of The Beverly Hills Kitchen, a new line of chef-prepared gourmet food that combines restaurant-quality cuisine with the ease and intimacy of at-home dining. Creating a quality family dinner is important to us, and we need your help in developing new meals in our product line. So – we want to know from Moms and Dads, what’s the number one meal you wish you could make in just 10 minutes? We’ll select the best (and most realistic!) meal as a future entrée in The Beverly Hills Kitchen’s line. Four people will be selected at random to receive a $50 QVC gift card. We’ll send notice of the winning meal in December.
  • To promote romance and healthy pregnancies during the most romantic month of the year, Barefoot & Pregnant, Fit Pregnancy and The Bump are teaming together to offering five free gloriously long weekends of much-needed relaxation before baby comes in the Biggest Babymoon Ever this February! We’d like to invite you to win by entering the sweepstakes giveaway at www.fitpregnancy.com/babymoon. Sweepstakes entries must be received by January 15, 2010.
  • Season 2 of the A&E hit original nonfiction series Hoarders premieres Monday, November 30th at 10pm ET/PT. In the new season of Hoarders, A&E delves into the world of extreme hoarding, a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to collect things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. The series takes a fascinating look at the lives of people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis. Whether they’re facing eviction, the loss of their children, jail time, or divorce, they are all desperately in need of help. To commemorate the season premiere of Hoarders, we are giving away one Hoarders Prize Pack Contest (with a $25 A&E Shop Gift Certificate, an A&E t-shirt and an A&E hat); retail value $65. To enter, completely fill in the form at http://www.pazsaz.com/contestb.html between November 20, 2009 and December 25, 2009. You must be at least 18 years old to enter and a resident of the United States. No group entries. Incomplete or incorrectly filled out entries will be disqualified. Complete contest rules may be found at http://www.pazsaz.com/crulesb.html.
  • Zappos is launching their ultimate challenge on Polyvor.com. Here users (your readers!) will have access to their dream closet full of Zappos products from dresses, designer jeans, workout wear, great accessories, and of course shoes from hundreds of designer brands. Users are encouraged to mix and match their favorite products and brands to create their own trendy collage. If they think they are the next star stylist, your readers can share their collages via Facebook, on blogs, and more! Zappos will select three winners and these winning fashionistas will receive a Zappos shopping spree!!! Winners will receive a $500, $300 or $200 Zappos gift card to turn their collaged outfits into a reality. The winners will be chosen by Zappos fashion gurus based on creativity and use of Zappos product. Please let your readers know that the contest runs from November 24 – December 7 – so get styling!
  • A&E presents The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty, a new real-life series that will chronicle the personal and professional lives of Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon as they prepare for a Jackson Five reunion, while also coming to terms with Michael’s tragic loss. The series premieres on A&E on Sunday, December 13 with back-to-back one-hour episodes beginning at 9:00pm ET/PT. The series will then move to its regularly scheduled time, Sundays at 10:00pm ET/PT beginning December 20 on A&E. Behind the headlines lies a captivating family, whose lives have been unwillingly played out before cameras for decades. To celebrate the premiere of this new series, we are giving away one The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty Prize Pack (includes a 3-CD pack with a copy of “The Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back! Unleashed Masters” CD, The Jackson 5′s “Love Songs” CD and The Jacksons’ “Destiny” CD; plus a The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty t-shirt and a bag); retail value $75. To enter, completely fill in the form at http://www.pazsaz.com/contest3.html between November 24, 2009 and December 31, 2009. You must be at least 18 years old to enter and a resident of the United States. No group entries. Incomplete or incorrectly filled out entries will be disqualified. Complete contest rules may be found at http://www.pazsaz.com/crules3.html.



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