Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game


It has been a long week but Friday night game night has finally arrived and we will be introducing you to a fun family game featuring one of PBS Kids’ favorite friends, Daniel Tiger.  The Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood series was actually inspired by another well-loved sweater wearing character on PBS, Mr. Rogers.  Whether your little ones are fans of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood series or not, you are bound to be a fan of this week’s feature board game.  There is actually a rule in the game that requires you to say, “Thank You” when receiving a gift!  This game is wonderful for social development and simply fun to play.  This Friday for game night my littles and I will be exploring Main Street in the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game!

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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game is yet another great family game by BriarPatch.  This board game features five special places on Main Street that each player must visit.  When taking your turn in the game you spin the wheel to get a number.  You then move your game piece that many spaces in any direction you wish.  The polka dot spaces require no action.  If you land on the tree, you pick a Thank You card to determine what your next move will be.  If you land on a gift space, you may choose a game token to gift to another player.  The player receiving the gift must reply with, Thank You.  What’s not to love about a game that involves gift giving and teaching little ones to be gracious when receiving a gift?!  Each player continues to explore main street and fill his or her own backpack along the way.  Once the backpack is full, the player can then race toward the finish line.

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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game is intended for kids 3 years old and up.  It truly is easy enough for my 3 year old to play a complete game.  Since there is more to this game than a race to the finish line, my older children enjoy the game as well.  The game does not require to follow one set path.  This keeps the game interesting and exciting for all of the kids.  My kids never get bored with it.  Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game is surprisingly much anticipated by all of our family members even though none of my kids watch the show.


Celebrating her arrival to the bakery!  After all, sweet treats are about to be stuffed in her backpack!

Buy It!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game can be purchased online at Are You Game.

I received the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Main Street Game for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

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Quilted Monkey Mat: Convenient, Cushy, and Clean!


The Monkey Mat was designed by women who were always on the go.  The Monkey Mat allows you to make your space anywhere you go!  No more bulky blankets!  The Quilted Monkey Mat has an easy to carry pouch that makes this blanket extremely portable.  Simply grab the handle and off you go.  It is very lightweight so that even a small child can easily carry it.  The handle also unbuckles so you can easily access the zipper to remove the mat from the pouch.  The pouch is conveniently attached to the mat itself so you don’t have to worry about losing it.  All four corners of the mat are weighted and also have loops so you can stake it down if desired.  Take it to the beach, park, sporting events, concerts, and more.  The Quilted Monkey Mat is also convenient for travel both close and far from home.  Keep your little on off the floor at the airport, hotel, and more.

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Stay clean and dry with the Monkey Mat.  The Quilted Monkey Mat provides 5 square feet of clean lounging space.  It has a water proof base and is machine washable.  The top of this mat is even water repellant.  The ripstop nylon is soft to the touch and quite durable.  It has held up well to my young children playing with toys and crawling around on it, walking on it with shoes, food and drink spills, and more!


We try to soak up as much sun as possible on warm fall days but the ground is often damp due to cooler temps.  The Quilted Monkey Mat is a must for our picnics or lazy time at the time at park.  The mat does an excellent job of providing us with a dry surface to relax on and enjoy the outdoors.

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The center of the mat has the Monkey Mat logo.  All four corners of the logo have loops that attach to car keys, toys, dog leash, and much more.

Buy It!

The Quilted Monkey Mat is available for purchase in red or grey on the Monkey Mat website.  This would make a great gift this holiday season!

I received a Quilted Monkey Mat for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

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SmartPlanet NDK Original Vacuum Bottle Review & Giveaway


The NDK Original Vacuum Bottle is an 18 ounce bottle of perfection.  The sleek and stylish look of this bottle is backed up with this Nidecker Design double wall that can keep your beverage cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours.  That’s right exhausted parents everywhere, no more lukewarm coffee!

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The NDK Original Vacuum Bottle does an amazing job of keeping beverages either cold or hot.  Since my kids tend to distract me, it can literally take me hours to drink my coffee.  The NDK Original Vacuum Bottle keeps my coffee warm so I no longer have to suffer through drinking cold coffee that was intended to be hot!  With the exception of my daily cup of coffee, I usually drink water all day long.  The NDK Original Vacuum Bottle still amazes me with how long it can keep my water cold.  Before owning the NDK Original Vacuum Bottle, I probably consumed more room temperature water than cold on a daily basis.


My NDK Original Vacuum Bottle goes everywhere with me.  The cap screws on tightly to help you avoid unwanted spills making it easy to take anywhere.  This bottle honestly never makes it to the cupboard.  I wash it, and I immediately fill it up again to use.

Buy It!

The NDK Original Vacuum Bottle is available in four fun colors and may be purchased online at the SmartPlanet website. You might as well just buy one in every color. This bottle is that awesome!

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a SmartPlanet NDK Original Vacuum Bottle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on November 23, 2016.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received a SmartPlanet NDK Original Vacuum Bottle for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 18 Comments

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Spin and Seek Game


It is never too early to introduce your little ones to playing games.  They will thrive on being included in family game time and pick up on many social behaviors along the way!  The Very Hungry Caterpillar Spin and Seek Game is a great way to introduce little ones to board games.  The game is very simple to play yet introduces kids to a couple common board game activities such as using the spinner when it is your turn and counting spaces for your game piece to move.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar Spin and Seek Game introduces kids to both the big and small letters of the alphabet.  Each game card features a fun illustration from many of Eric Carle’s popular children’s books.


We have been huge fans of Eric Carle books for years so I was delighted to see BriarPatch made a game featuring one of our favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Despite the name of the game including the oh so famous hungry caterpillar, this game includes a wide variety of different Eric Carle illustrations.  Each time we play The Very Hungry Caterpillar Spin and Seek Game, my kids and I read an Eric Carle book before starting the game.  Its a fun way to get them excited about reading as well as the game.  They can’t wait to find the letters and see the illustrations that are in these much loved books!  The board game is colorful and sends each player on a zigzagging path through the alphabet.  There are four game pieces since the game is intended for 2 to 4 players.  My kids love the game pieces.  The only flaw we found with this game is that the spinner does not spin very well.  However, it doesn’t deter my kids from getting up at the crack of dawn to play this game!

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Spin, move, seek, and find!

Buy It!

Find The Very Hungry Caterpillar Spin and Seek Game online at AreYouGame.com and Amazon.com.

I received The Very Hungry Caterpillar Spin and Seek Game for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

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Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor Review


I am a huge fan of the Oster brand.  Oster products are known for legendary performance and are designed to last.  This has proven true in my experience with the brand.  I have been using the same Oster blender for over 10 years.  It has a sleek design and quality feel that continues to quickly blend smoothies, food purees, and much more.  Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to test out the new Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor, I was excited to see what it could do!


The Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor includes an extra large 8-cup BPA-free TRITAN™ Jar that’s dishwasher safe and impact and temperature resistant, an extra large capacity 5-cup Food Processing Bowl, stainless steel slicing disk, and a chopping blade.  The Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor has impressed myself and my husband in many ways.  It’s 1200 power watts and 900 watts of ice crushing power combined with a pulse feature has proven to blend with a precision I have never seen in any blender I have ever used before.  You can truly see the ingredients fly up in the jar as the blender pulses.  When making smoothies, we don’t use an exact recipe but our smoothie recipe tends to be made up of these ingredients:

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  • 5oz of any flavor greek yogurt
  • 1 large banana or 2 small/medium bananas
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 mango, or 1 kiwi (choose one of these -we simply choose whichever we have on hand that day)
  • 16 oz cup of ice (we simply take a 16 cup and fill it with ice from the refrigerator ice dispenser.
  • Add 1 Tablespoon ground organic flax seed if desired (This is a great way to sneak Omega-3 essential fatty acids into your family’s diet)dsc_0772dsc_0776-1 dsc_0779-1

This recipe yields 3 to 4 large smoothies.  The extra large base allows the ice, yogurt, and fruit to easily reach the blades of the Oster Pro 1200 so it blends the ingredients into the smoothest cold drink my family simply can’t get enough of.  Since we got the Oster Pro 1200 smoothies have become an evening ritual in our house.

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Banana Strawberry Blueberry Smoothies and a movie.  Life is good.

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The Food Processor works great to create a carrot puree if you want to add carrots to your smoothies.  Our favorite use of the Oster Pro 1200 Food Processor is to make almond butter.  Spread 3 cups of almonds on a cookie sheet or pizza pan and bake for 10 minutes at 250 degrees.  Then place them inside the food processor and blend at medium speed until the almonds become a creamy butter.

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The food processor with  chop up the almonds and turn them into a powder.  You will need to stir periodically until the almonds reach that desired creamy texture.  Three cups of almonds will blend into about 1 1/4 cups almond butter.  We store our almond butter in the refrigerator inside a mason jar but any sealed container will do.

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You can’t beat almond butter on toast and a Banana Strawberry Mango Smoothies for breakfast!

Buy It!

Use this $10 off coupon to purchase the Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor or any other Oster Pro $39 or more at Target!  Be sure to download the Target Cartwheel app if you have not already because there will be other Oster promotions at Target throughout the holidays!

Connect with Oster® online to see their latest products and get exclusive access to recipe ideas and special offers!

oster.com facebook.com/OsterKitchen



I received the Oster Pro 1200 Plus Food Processor via MomsMeet.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

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Pediped Flex Highlander Shoes Review

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My boys have been wearing Pediped shoes for many years.  Once they reached school age, the Pediped Flex shoe quickly became a must have for my boys.  They are comfortable for them to wear all day long and they are easy to put on and take off.  This is very helpful for the daily rush of getting ready for school as well as for gym days when the kids need to change their shoes at school.  Not to mention, the dreaded long winter that will begin before we know it.  There are many cold and snowy months here that require our kids to go to school in snow boots for a good portion of the school year which results in the kids needing to put their own shoes on at school once they arrive inside the school building.  Pediped Flex shoes allow my boys to quickly put their shoes on with no fuss.  Pediped  offers a wide variety of Flex shoes for both boys and girls that are not only great for school but for the holiday season as well!


My 8 year old son’s Flex Highlander black shoes have proven to be perfect for both school and Halloween!  This year my son is dressing up like Harry Potter and the all black Pediped Flex Highlander shoes look great with his costume.  These Flex shoes have a mesh lining that is very breathable.  They also have a flexible rubber sole.  These two features make these shoes comfortable for my son to wear all day with no complaints.  The Flex Highlander shoe also has a Velcro closure making them very easy to put on and take off quickly.  The tongue of the shoe is attached with a small patch of velcro to the top shoe strap.  This helps prevent the tongue from sliding down.  This provides a comfortable fit during wear and also prevents the tongue from getting pushed down while the child is putting on the shoe.  A very smart design feature!  The Flex Highlander shoe has a more casual style and fit.  However, the all black color of my son’s shoes makes them quite versatile.


The Flex Highlander shoes even held up well to a hay maze and long spooky walk at zoo.  The photo above was taken at the end of the evening.  Harry Potter’s Pediped Flex Highlander shoes are quite dirty and Mickey Mouse is about to fall asleep.  The Zoo Boo was hours of fun and walking and my son’s feet were comfy and warm throughout the night!  I love how well pediped shoes clean up. Some pediped shoes are machine washable but his pair is not due to the leather.  I didn’t have to worry about these shoes getting dirty throughout the nights festivities because they spot clean well with baby wipes or with mild wet soap and water.  They still look new after so many adventures!


Harry Potter was spotted in my backyard casting spells while wearing his Flex Highlander shoes!

Buy It!


The Flex Highlander shoe is available on the Pediped website in the black color featured here as well as in chocolate brown.  These shoes are part of the Flex Fit System so can come with additional insoles that can be inserted for a snug fit and then removed for room as your child’s foot grows.  These insoles can reduce shoe size by almost half a size which can then extend the wear time your child can have with the shoes!

Pediped will be launching two brand new, web-exclusive styles in November! These shoes will have an extremely limited run and each pair will come with an individually signed and hand numbered card.  Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to own these exclusive styles! These styles are expected to sell-out quickly, so keep an eye on this pediped page to find out when you can grab yours.

I received a pair of the Flex Highlander shoes for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

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Pleasnt Holidays…..Destination: Hawaii



Save $100 on family-friendly Hawaii vacations with Pleasant Holidays – USFG’s new travel partner!

I am so excited! I just learned that US Family Guide has partnered with Pleasant Holidays, a leading provider of package vacations. They’re based in the U.S. and have great deals on family vacations worldwide – Hawaii, contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, Tahiti, Fiji and more. They can also book complete cruise vacations with airfare, onboard accommodations, and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for vacations where everyone can relax and enjoy.

Pleasant Holidays is new to US Family Guide, but has been partnering with hotels and resorts for more than 55 years to get great offers you cannot book anywhere else. When you’re planning to explore close to home or farther afield, make them your one-stop-shop for everything you need: flights, accommodations, car rentals, ground transfers, exciting activities and tours, and travel protection coverage to protect your travel investment (because if parenthood has taught us one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected). And unlike some other online travel providers, they have in-destination customer assistance should you need it.


They’ve currently got a great deal on Hawaii vacations that saves you $100 per booking. Select from 26 hotels and resorts on the four most popular islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii. Explore the exciting sights of Oahu, including world-famous Waikiki Beach and historic Pearl Harbor. Watch the sun rise from the slopes of a dormant volcano on Maui. Snorkel, hike, kayak, surf, experience Polynesian culture and more. This deal is valid on new vacations booked by 10/30/16 for select travel through 6/30/17 that include roundtrip airfare from the continental United States and a stay of five nights or longer at a participating hotel or resort. The $100 savings is per booking and taken at time of booking – no waiting! For more information or reservations visit www.PleasantHolidays.com, call 1-800-837-5154 or contact your travel agent.

Be sure to keep an eye on my blog page. I’ll be sharing more great deals for memorable family vacations from Pleasant Holidays soon!

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Find Costumes for the Entire Family at HalloweenCostumes.com


My entire family looks forward to dressing up for Halloween every year.  HalloweenCostumes.com has a great selection of costumes and accessories for all ages.  My youngest two children tend to change their minds a lot when it comes to deciding on what costume they want for Halloween.  I find that plopping them on my laps and pouring over the pages at HalloweenCostumes.com is the easiest way to help them make a decision.  I can quickly show them all of the children’s costumes and they can visually see what each costume looks like on a child.

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Once my son set eyes on this Mickey Mouse costume, his decision was made.  He wanted that costume.  He was going to be Mickey Mouse.  We ordered the largest size, which was size 4-6.  My son will be 6 years old in two months so it just fits him.  I wasn’t very worried about it fitting a little small on him since I was going to need to layer him in long black pants and sleeves to keep him warm anyway.  The mouse ears fit on the head like a bonnet and tie close under the chin.  This is the one part of the costume that is clearly too small for my little man.  Luckily we have a warm Mickey Mouse stocking hat my son is going to wear with the costume.  Living in Wisconsin, keeping warm is key with our costume choices!  This Mickey Mouse costume is super cute and my son loves it.  That’s all I can ask for.

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My baby girl completely shocked me this Halloween by choosing to be Bo Peep.  Her costume is really fun and cute but she really needed a staff to complete the look.  HalloweenCostumes.com has a great selection of accessories, so I was able to find the perfect staff to complete my daughter’s Bo Peep costume.  My HalloweenCostumes.com order was packaged well and shipped quickly.  The cane came in several pieces but was super easy to put together.

Buy It!

Get your costume today at HalloweenCostumes.com!

I received a promotional code to purchase a discounted Halloween Costume for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.


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Shimmer & Shine Genie Friends Forever Game


Briarpatch has created the ultimate selection of board games perfect for family game night!  My kids can’t get enough of our Briarpatch games so I thought I would share some of our new favorites.  Each Friday I will introduce you to one of the games featured in the picture above so you can get a feel for the game and what my kids love about it!  Since Shimmer & Shine has taken over my house as well as the toy isles this fall, we are going to start by featuring the new Shimmer & Shine game, Genie Friends Forever.

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The Shimmer & Shine Genie Friends Forever Game can have 2-4 players with each game player getting to choose a game piece of either Shimmer, Shine, Tala, or Nahal.  Each player has a magic carpet game piece featuring four different jewels.  Each player collects jewels to fill their magic carpet and then he or she may fly over to Leah’s world where all the players work together to fill the genie bottle with jewels.  My kids love to race to fill their magic carpets and I love that the game ends by all the players working together.  It leaves all of the kids feeling good at the end of the game.  No sad children feeling bad about not winning in this game!  Shimmer & Shine Genie Friends Forever Game is great game for teaching kids strategy, teamwork, and positive social interaction.  Your Shimmer & Shine fan will love the game board and the game pieces!


The Shimmer & Shine Genie Friends Forever Game is intended for kids ages 3 years old and up.  My kids are 3, 5, and 8 years old and they all can play this game according to the rules and absolutely love it.  It can be challenging to find board games that are both fun and easy enough to keep the attention of a 3 year old yet still fun enough to keep an 8 year old engaged for the duration of the game.  Certain spots on the game board require you to toss the game token and every time it lands “boom zahramay” side up, my kids all yell the phrase and giggle.  My entire family loves this new Shimmer & Shine game by BriarPatch.  We have played this game more than a handful of times and my kids always complete the game.  They never get bored with it, and they always ask to play it again.  It has quickly become a family favorite.


Buy It!

Shimmer & Shine Genie Friends Forever Game can be purchased in stores as well as online at Amazon and Are You Game.

I received the Shimmer & Shine Genie Friends Forever Game for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

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Loop Review & Giveaway: Get in the Loop with the Ultimate Phone Strap!


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Meet your phone’s new best friend, the Loop.  Who knew a simple phone strap could be life changing?  Whether you are looking for a way to keep a more relaxed hold on your phone or way to help the dreaded phone drop, the Loop has you covered!  Loop phone straps are made in Canada and are only $6 or less a piece!  The Loop offers two styles of phone straps.  The Petite Loop allows for creates a wrist strap perfect for multitasking.  As a mom of three, I am always multi-tasking and my phone often pays the price by crashing to the ground when my hands are full.  Thanks to the Petite Loop I can easily carry my sleeping child, several bags, and my phone stays securely attached to my wrist.  I also love knowing my phone is protected from drops, when I am near water.  I love taking photos and videos of my kids playing at the lake or of the eagles flying by when we are on a boat ride.  With the Petite Loop keeping my phone securely attached to my wrist, I don’t have to worry about accidently dropping my phone in the water!

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The Ninja Loop allows you to comfortably hold your phone by simply placing your fingertips through the loop over the back of your phone.  This allows for a relax hold in nearly any position.  I read on my phone a lot and the Ninja Loop allows me to have a very comfortable and secure hold on my phone with minimal effort on my part.  I so wish I had had a Loop when I was nursing my babies!  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed a lot of quality time with my babies during their feedings, but my youngest refused a bottle so there were many feedings I could have benefited from the ability to multitask while easily holding my phone in one hand.  This UAG phone case is my favorite but the sides have such a smooth finish that often found myself dropping my phone.  The Ninja Strap was the perfect solution to save my slippery fingers from dropping my phone.  The summer striped pattern of my Ninja Loop is really fun and happy looking.  This phone strap truly makes my hand happy as well!

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The Loop is compatible with most smartphones.


Both of my boys have Nexus 5 phones and they both are loving their new Ninja Loops.  They have smaller hands and the Loop allows them to relax their hands while holding their phones to play games.  The Loop is available in a variety of different color and patterns choices.  My 8 year old has a black phone with a black phone case.  He likes the all black look, so he quickly claimed the black Ninja Loop.  The monochrome look is pretty sleek.


My younger son loves red, so he claimed the red Ninja Loop for his smartphone.  A clear photo of him using the Ninja Loop was impossible because he is always on the move.  The Ninja Loop has been working great to help prevent phone drops for my active 5 year old!


I have the iPhone SE and both style Loops work great with my phone.  Thanks to this cool product line, I might even move to a bigger phone in the future.  I honestly keep buying the smallest size iPhone because my hand gets sore while holding bigger sized phones.  The Loop helps you keep a relaxed hold even on larger phones.  Both Loop styles are easy to apply.  Simply apply the sticky portion of the Loop to the inside of a clean phone case and you are ready to go once you place your phone inside the case.  If you don’t like your original placement of your Loop, you can pull it off the case and reapply it.  I did this with all of my Loops and they are working great.

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Buy It!

Get in the Loop and get your phone one of these amazing smartphone accessories. These functional yet affordable Loops would make great stocking stuffers! The Petite Loop retails for $5.99 and the Ninja retails for $4.99.  Loops ship free when you purchase 3 or more.  Have a lot of phones and/or cases in your household?  If you buy 5 loops, you will receive 1 free!  However, if you hurry over to the Loop website, The Petite Loop is currently on sale!

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win the Ninja Loop and Petite Loop of his or her choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on November 16, 2016.  This giveaway is open to residents in both the U.S. and Canada.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received Loop phone straps for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the products I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 17 Comments