Sunday, February 7, 2016

Creating Fun and Colorful Valentine's Day Cards with Yoobi Supplies (Review) #willYOOBImyvalentine? #coloryourworld

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Are you one of those people who go to Target for a few items, but come out with half the store?  :-)  I hear many of you laughing as you know it is true.  I am the same way.  I say I will stop in for a few items and then walk out with new finds from the dollar bins in the front of the store and more crafts for the girls and I do.  My husband has gotten to the point where he says he will run in and grab something, as he knows how much I love to shop at Target, as do my two girls.  As soon as they see the red Target symbol on a sign, they are quick to point it out and ask if we can go.

During a recent trip to Target I stumbled across a new brand called Yoobi, which I was not aware of. And, that night after I got home, I couldn't help but smile as I received an email asking if I wanted to review samples from the Yoobi line, to help make DIY Valentine's Day cards and more with my girls.  I was quick to sign up for the opportunity to review the Yoobi line as I didn't pick up any of the products while at Target -- I actually said to myself that I would start here the next time I shopped Target and would pick up some Yoobi products. :-)

What is Yoobi and why did their product offering catch my eye?  

"Yoobi is based on a bright yet simple idea: colorful, vibrant supplies for school, home or office that give to classrooms in need. For every Yoobi item purchased, Yoobi contributes a Yoobi item to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S.!"

Yoobi carries everything from heart glitter (Bella's personal favorite) to markers, colored pencils and so much more -- all at an affordable price, which I love!  We go through so much glue, glitter and markers. It is nice to know that their is a trusted brand that will provide top quality supplies at reasonable prices, for those of us who go through a lot of home and school supplies.  

What is your favorite color? 

The folks at Yoobi have supplies available in the following colors , so that you can fill your office and home with supplies in your favorite color -- neat, huh! :-)

But, you don't have to be craft fanatic or school teacher to love Yoobi products.  

They are just great to have when you have an itch for a DIY project or need to keep the kids busy on a rainy or snow day.   Yoobi products are also great for when the holidays roll around, like Valentine's Day, and you want to create fun, handmade cards to give to family and we did this past weekend.

When I decided to homeschool my girls I thought that they would miss out on fun things like Valentine's exchanges.  But, I was wrong.  With so many families homeschooling nowadays there are so many opportunities to exchange letters and cards.  Both of my girls have pen pals that they share stickers and coloring pages with.  And, this year, we will be creating and swapping Valentine's Day cards with 64 other homeschool kids.  Yes, you read that right -- 64 kids.  My girls can't wait for the mailbox to fill up with Valentine's.

This past weekend, I spread out the goodies I was sent from the folks at Yoobi, which included heart glitter, gel bracelets, glue, erasers, adult scissors, and a stamp roller (Savannah's favorite).  

They also included some colorful paper to get us started on our handmade Valentine's Day cards.  

Both of my girls had a blast making their own Valentine's to send to other homeschoolers.  Like I said, Bella was a huge fan of the Yoobi heart glitter and kept reaching for it, to add a little pizzazz as she called it, to her cards.  And, when they were done, they made sure to add a heart elastic band to an envelope that was addressed to a girl, as a fun surprise.  

Heart Elastic Bands, 6 Pack - Pink
Can you believe this 6-pack of bracelets is only $2.24?  
They would also make a great birthday favor bag item, too!

I have always loved crafts and love picking up fun new craft supplies and school supplies that will make creating handmade gifts, cards and more with the girls that much more enjoyable.  I have to say, I am so happy to have had the opportunity to try out the Yoobi product line.  They really are amazing!  

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Not only are the colors fun and vibrant, but the products are made well and make crafting and creating one-of-a-kind school and home products that much fun.

Just Roll With It Bundle

I love when companies give back, just like Yoobi does.  Just knowing that they give items to classrooms in need right here in the USA makes me want to support this brand even more by purchasing supplies for our home and school use.  

If you and your kids love DIY projects like making homemade cards, or you have a home office and need to update your office supplies, then you will definitely want to check out Yoobi, available exclusively at Target and online at

Here are some photos I snapped of the girls creating Valentine's cards with their Yoobi goodies.  I can't wait for the other homeschooling kids to receive them, as I know they'll love them.  

I can't wait to see what you and your family makes with your Yoobi supplies, so be sure to share and tag me in your social media shares. :-)  Happy crafting! 

Stay up-to-date on new product additions, special offers and sales and more by following Yoobi on their social media pages below...

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Puzzles Are a Great Way to Spend Quality Family Time and Make Memories - Review and #Giveaway #LoveHallmark #‎NationalPuzzleDay‬

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Hallmark's Profile Photo

On Angels’ Wings 550-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle either love it or you hate it.  And, when it comes to living on the East Coast and in the New England area especially, you have to be ready for constantly changing weather.  Just last week we saw temps reach almost 60 degrees at the beginning of the week.  Then, as the week went on the temperatures dropped and Friday we awoke to 8 inches of snow on the ground. And, now, as I write this, we are expecting another 5-8 inches over the course of the next 2 days, with additional light snow through Thursday.  All of this snow has made for a fun time at our house as the girls, who are not big fans of the cold and playing in the snow for long, have taken to board games and puzzles to pass the time. :-)

We started with 40 piece puzzles and have now gone up to 300 and even 500 piece puzzles.  They love the challenge and seeing the final piece put together.  I am loving this, as I, too, am a huge fan, and started to get into puzzles at a young age thanks to my mom and grandparents, who always had a puzzle going on the dining room or card table in the living room.  Even if we only placed a few pieces a day, the time spent together looking through the puzzle pieces and trying to make it, made it that much more enjoyable.  And, now, I am creating fun memories involving puzzles with my girls.

Did you know that January 29th was National Puzzle Day?  If it wasn't for the folks at Hallmark, who sent us a cute Mary's Bears 300-piece puzzle, I would never have known.

Mary's Bears Mary Hamilton 300-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Have you seen the new line of puzzles available from Hallmark?  In addition to the Mary's Bears one we were sent and are currently working -- sorry, the girls will not let me share a photo until we place the final piece, as they want to stand next to the completed project and show off that they were able to complete such a difficult, stay tuned -- you will also find some of the following puzzles, most starting at just $14.95:

Mountainside Park City Illustration 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Tropical Wonders Jungle Rainforest 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Ripe for Picking Vintage Fruit Labels 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Marina Dreams Coastal Scene 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Spot a puzzle that you would love to do?  My girls want to do each and every one with me.  And, I am looking forward to this, too!  I told them that as soon as we finish this puzzle sent from the folks at Hallmark, that they will head to our local Hallmark store and pick out another.  I am guessing with the snow day expected tomorrow, that we may finish the puzzle, as we only have 60 pieces left out of the 300.

New England Afternoon Folk Art Colonial Americana 550-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

With Valentine's Day, birthdays and even Easter fast approaching, why not consider giving a puzzle as a gift. They are not only fun to put together, but you can even glue them together and frame them, as to treasure for years to come.  Or, you can do what my family does and pass the puzzles along to family and friends so that they can enjoy making a beautiful puzzle, and vise versa.

A Vote for America Patriotic 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

So, if you are a lover of puzzles like my girls and I are, then you will want to check out the new line of puzzles. They are available in Hallmark Gold Crown stores and online here:  

Pedal to the Metal Kiddie Cars 550-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

I can't wait to see what puzzles you put together with your family. And, be sure to keep an eye out on my social media pages as I will definitely be sharing a photo of our completed Mary's Bear's puzzle as soon as we complete it. :-)

Mary's Bears Mary Hamilton 300-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

My Cup of Tea 550-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

I am so excited to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a puzzle from the folks at Hallmark.  They will randomly select a puzzle to send to one lucky Inspired by Savannah reader.  I know you'll love whatever puzzle they choose, as they are all stunning and will be fun to put together.

To enter the giveaway, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Carole P. Roman’s "If You Were Me and Live In … Italy" Blog Tour -- Author Q&A and #Giveaway

If You Were Me and Lived in Italy Blog Tour Header

The Day in the Life of Award-Winning Author Carole P. Roman

Being a homeschooling parent, I have the opportunity to come up with my own curriculum and theme weeks to teach my girls.  A couple of weeks ago, after being sent Carole P. Roman's book, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Italy," I couldn't help but put together a fun Italian-themed week to share with the girls.  Being Italian and having family, including my grandmother come from Italy to the USA, I felt it was important to share my background with my girls, as I have and continue to share about their Latin roots from my husband's side. It is one thing to bake and share Italian treat with them, but they didn't know anything else about Italy besides foods that I and family cook for them.

I used Carole's book as the kick off for our week long journey through Italy.  Not only was the text in this kids' book, which is geared towards children ages 4-8 years old, but the illustrations were fun and kept them engaged. 

I loved the questions the girls had about Italy and seeing them get excited about their heritage and the country many of their ancestors came from.

If you want to introduce Italy in a fun way to your child, or are homeschooling parent and doing a passport around the world like many homeschooling families do, then you will definitely want to check out this new book, which will fit right in and be enjoyed time and again by all.  I can't stop raving about this book and showing it off to friends, and love hearing the girls talk about Italy, as if they have traveled there themselves. :-)  I am hoping one day to get the chance to visit Italy and bring my girls so that they can experience the beauty and culture of Italy firsthand.  But, in the meantime, we will enjoy Italy thanks to Carole P. Roman's new book.

In addition to being sent a copy of her book to share with my girls, I was also given the opportunity the do an author Q&A with Carole P. Roman.  I hope you enjoy it, and be sure you head on over to website,, to learn more about this and her other releases, and find out where you can pick up her books. And, now for my interview with Carole - enjoy!

Author Interview with Carole P. Roman

Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?   

We had an office pool. I asked my co-workers to pick a country for me to write about and Italy won by a landslide. I was delighted. 

How did you get interested in writing this particular genre? 

I was in Vegas with my grandkids. Alexander, my grandson, asked me to explain what the Eiffel Tower was. I thought about it and tried to explain what culture and customs were to him. He was four years old. I went home and wrote the first two book: If You Were Me and Lived In ... Mexico, and followed with France. I wanted them to see what life was like in other countries through the eyes of a child their own age. I chose things I felt they would be interested in: food, names, a few words, sports, vacation spots, and a holiday. Something they could find a connection with. I am a former social studies teacher (Are they stilled called that?). I stopped teaching over thirty-five years ago. 

Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?   

I love historical fiction. Tracey Chevalier, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, Phillippa Gregory are my top picks. I do enjoy Jojo Moynes, Carla Kelly, and Liane Moriarty are some of my favorites, too. Gone with the Wind, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, and Sho-Gun are my absolute favorite books.   

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?   

No goals, no pressure. This is a labor of love. I work running a family business. I get to work at 630 A.M. for a breakfast meeting with my husband, kids, and staff. I do my regular job, which is just making sure everybody is doing his or her job. I have to spend an hour with the CFO everyday. We are in three cities, so usually I speak with management in each city.   Then I have a meeting with my assistant. We outline what she must do for the books for the day. Usually we tackle emails and make sure all contest winners have gotten their books. We go over the press release sheets that have to be prepared. I handle publicity for my son's books; he writes paranormal and horror under the name Michael Phillip Cash, and self-help under the name Michael Samuels. My younger son is now starting his writing career with a series called Cave Kiddos, for ages 1-4. We have been ironing out the kinks in his books, helping him with plot and illustrations. I have been preparing for his release. I then start checking reviews on all forty-five of our assorted book, I check to see what people are writing about them on blogs.   

Next, I usually do research on the new series I am developing. It's a spin-off of my cultural series and is for older children. It explores civilizations through the eyes of a student the same age. It's called If You Were Me and Lived in ... Ancient Greece. I began this series with a bang, knocking out four manuscripts and now am working with four different illustrators. One is doing Elizabethan England, another Renaissance Italy, and lastly Colonial America. They are all over the world, so I am writing them all day. Illustrator Bonnie Lamaire just finished the latest Captain No Beard; Being a Captain is Hard Work. And illustrator Kelsea Wierenga is working on If You Were Me and Lived In ... Egypt. Two weeks ago I prepared on Brazil, Egypt, Poland, and Israel. I have to find time to find someone from Brazil to go over the manuscript. That is my project for next week. I have no set schedule and can write anywhere, anytime.   

I see my youngest grandson once a week, my youngest granddaughter and I do lunch once a week. I make sure to see my daughters-in-law for an hour each week. I do yoga twice a week, prepare dinner, and spend time reading over the phone to my two oldest grandchildren. We are reading partners in the early evening. Lastly, do all my evening calls to my kids and brothers and watch the Housewives on Bravo—my guilty pleasure.   Now you know my deepest and darkest secret. I usually check emails before falling asleep sometime before eleven and if I can't sleep, I will pick another topic to write about. That's how I ended up with four books in one week!   

What is the hardest part of writing for you?   

There's a hardest part?   

What’s the best thing about being an author?   

Where do I start? Is it the thrill of watching your story develop? Watching it come to life under the capable hands of an illustrator. Maybe it's when you get that proof or see it on Amazon for the first time. Is it the knuckle-biting anticipation of the first review or the second or the fiftieth? The pride when you win an award and the satisfaction that you are onto something and it might be special. Hmmm…   I have it! Sitting one night and having my grandson read the story inspired by him to me! He is seven now and did that for the first time. I saw my first book in a new light coming from his lips. He laughed at all the right time, his eyes danced. That was the best.  

What are you working on now?   

The usual. This week juggling the newest cultural release If You Were Me and Lived In...Italy and Being a Captain is Hard Work; plus my son's release, The History Major.   

What advice would you give aspiring writers?   

If you are going to do this, commit to doing it the right way. Learn social media and publicize your book. Don't go in thinking all you have to do is write it. There is a whole level of time-consuming work that needs to be done if this is to be a business or just a vanity project. 
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question? 

My favorite question is the one you asked about the best part of being an author. This part of my life has been a thrill! A non-stop thrill.
More About the Book:
If You were Me and Lived in Italy

Join Carole P. Roman as she visits the Republic of Italy. Learn what it is like to live in Rome, see the famous architecture, celebrate a favorite holiday and discover popular names for both boys and girls. Be fascinated with it's diverse and rich history and colorful traditions. On the way, you might learn a word or two in Italian! The If You Were Me and Lived In ... Series is available on Amazon

If You Were Me and Lived In Italy Interior 2 
Ages 4-8 | CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | 2015 | 978-1519241412
About Carole P. Roman
Carole P. Roman 
Carole P. Roman’s is the award winning author of the nonfiction If You Were Me and Lived in… series of children’s books. The first title in the collection, If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico, won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Nonfiction in 2012. If You Were Me and Lived in…Russia and If You Were Me and Lived in...France were finalists in the Indie Fab Foreword Review Book of the Year. Norway and South Korea have also been named as Book of the Year with Rebecca's Reads and Children's Reader's View Book of the Year. Roman has also found success with her Captain No Beard children’s books. Her debut, Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award in 2012. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and very near her children. | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

If You Were Me Series Tour Giveaway

If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy, by Carole P. Roman | Series Giveaway 

Enter to win a complete autographed set of the If You Were Me series, written by award-winning author Carole P. Roman and illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga; including If You Were Me and Lived in … Italy: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World! Plus, the grand prize winner will also receive the Educational Insights Geosafari Jr Talking Globe. Giveaway begins January 10, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends February 16, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy Tour Dates:

Sunday January 10 2016 The Children's Book Review If You Were Me and Lived In ... Series Giveaway 
Sunday January 10 2016 It's Fundamental Author Interview with Carole P. Roman Wednesday January 13 2016 Teacher Dance Book Review of If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy 
Monday January 18 2016 The Fairview Review Guest Post with Carole P. Roman 
Thursday January 21 2016 The Children's Book Review Book Review of If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy 
Monday January 25 2016 5 Girls Book Reviews Author Interview with Carole P. Roman 
Tuesday January 26 2016 Icefairy's Treasure Chest Book Review of If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy 
Wednesday February 3 2016 Little Miss History Book Review of If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy 
Sunday February 7 2016 Inspired by Savannah Author Interview with Carole P. Roman 
Tuesday February 9 2016 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Book Review of If You Were Me and Lived In ... Italy