Thursday, April 18, 2019

Last Minute Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Fans of Sesame Street and Elmo from Green Toys (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.


Still struggling to find a few cute gifts for your littlest ones?  Well, look no further than the Green Toys Sesame Street line.  I have a been of Green Toys ever since my girls were little, and continue to shop their amazing toy line, as I love knowing that their products are safe and Earth-friendly. Knowing that their products are free of harmful chemicals and ingredients, as not to harm children or the planet, I can sit back and enjoy watching my girls play and explore with the Green Toys products they are given.

Now that Spring is here, and the warmer weather is upon us, many people are thinking about the beach, and making new memories with their kids there. I know for my family, we live at the nearby beaches during the summer months, as my girls love collecting, shells, playing in the sand, and letting the waves crash up on them.  Beachloving kids are always up for a new sand pail, and the folks at Green Toys has you covered with their Elmo Explorers Outdoor Activity Set.



"Enjoy the great outdoors with the Elmo Explores Outdoor Activity Set! This four piece set includes a bucket, rake, shovel, and the Elmo Explores Activity Guide. The activities in the guide are just the beginning of the many ways children can explore the world around them. Ask questions, find shapes, investigate opposites, and most importantly – have fun! The Green Toys Sesame Street outdoor activity sets are designed to encourage open play, facilitate exploration, and support Sesame Street’s mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder."
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Made from 100% recycled plastic
  • No BPA, phthalates or PVC
  • Meets FDA food contact standards
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks
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This Outdoor Activity Set is made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic, and is geared towards children ages 2-6 years of age.Included with the ocean blue bucket are a durable red shovel and rake, as well as a fun activity guide featuring Elmo and his friends.  



The activity guide features fun activities and coloring pages for kids to enjoy indoors and outdoors.  From "Can You Find" games fun coloring pages, fans of Elmo and Sesame Street will love this 4-piece set from Green Toys, as they get ready to enjoy more time outdoors in nature and at the beach.

In addition to the Elmo Explores Outdoor Activity Set, Green Toys also offers a fun Neighborhood Maker Coloring Activity Set, which is perfect for kids ages 2-8 years old.  This 19-piece set includes beeswax crayons (which in my opinion are the best crayons for kids), and is made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic, just like the Elmo Explores set.  



"Create your very own Sesame Street scene with the Neighborhood Maker Coloring Activity Set! The large color sheets include both interior and exterior coloring scenes, and can stand up (along with the character pop-outs) in the included bases to create a 3D playscape. This 19-piece set helps develop fine motor skills and encourages creativity and imagination. Includes: 10 bases, 2 pop-out character sheets, 2 double-sided neighborhood coloring sheets, and 5 crayons made with soy and beeswax."
  • Made in USA
  • 100% recycled plastic bases
  • Crayons made with soy and beeswax
  • Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks
  • No BPA, phthalates, or PVC
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Not only is this activity set fun for little ones to do, but it also helps develop fine motor skills, encourages creativity and imagination, as well as promotes confidence and self-expression. Both of my girls really enjoyed this coloring activity set.  They liked how you can color a scene, then pop it out so that you can play and move the pieces around.  As the product title suggests, this is a fun Sesame Street neighborhood coloring and play scene.  


Joining Elmo are his friends Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, the Count, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Grover and more. This Neighborhood Maker Coloring Activity Set offers fun for kids to color and use their imaginations as they bring Elmo and his friends to life with the scenes they colored in.  

If you have a little one who is a big fan of Sesame Street -- who isn't? -- then, this is the perfect gift go give them this Easter, along with the Elmo Explorers Outdoor Activity Set.  




You can learn more about these and other wonderful products from Green Toys by visiting https://www.greentoys.com/.


Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Glee Gum Has You Covered for All Your Easter Basket and Egg Hunt Candy Needs (Think Natural Gum - Both Regular and Sugar-Free) + Enter to #Win a Case of Their New Glee Tarts (12 Boxes) - Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.



Last month a couple pictures popped up on my social media feed, and I couldn't believe (1) that I hadn't had Glee Gum in almost two years and (2) Boy, did my girls look so small - well, it was 2017, 2 years ago, so they were only 5 and 6 years old at the time.  



But, just looking at those pictures made me think back to when they were smaller, and also how much I love Glee Gum.  Are you familiar with Glee Gum?  If not, you are missing out, and this post is perfect to fill you in on what you have missing out, if you are gum (including sugar-free) like me. :-)


OMG, look how big they got in only 2 years.. Insert crying mom here :-(


First, let me start by sharing a little background on Glee Gum, which is based in Providence,Rhode Island, about a hop, skip and jump away from me...well, a half hour, but still close enough to say that one of my favorite candy companies is near me. :-)

About Glee Gum:




"Verve is an independent, certified woman-owned business, dedicated to linking world communities and creating environmentally and socially responsible products. Verve is based in Providence, RI, in a newly rehabbed, solar-powered building.
Verve’s products include Glee Gum, an award-winning natural chewing gum line, Glee Gum Pops, the only natural gum-filled lollipops on the market, and Make Your Own Candy Kits, a line of educational activity kits for kids. The pops and kits are packaged with the help of supported employment."
Glee Gum came about after Deborah Schimberg and her family traveled to Guatemala and learned about chicle, the sap of the sapodillla trees that grow in the rain forests of Central America. Chicle used to once be the basis for the entire chewing gum industry, but then synthetic resins were invented and became the norm.  Upon Deborah's return, to found herself in the kitchen with her kids experimenting with this sticky tree sap.  After trial and error, they came up a way to make homemade chewing gum.Looking to build a new market for chicle and educate people about it, Deborah founded Verve, Inc. and the rest is history. :-)

Deborah has since created DIY Candy kits including a fun Make Your Own Gum Kit which my girls have done as part of our homeschooling, and loved, along with their other kits -- Gummies and Chocolate.  




In addition to these DIY Candy Kits, Verve also offers multiple flavors of Glee Gum, Glee Gum Pops, and their newest addition Tarts, which I can't get enough of -- Read on to learn how you can enter my giveaway for a chance to win a case of Tarts (12 packs in total).

By starting Verve, Inc., Deborah is helping to provide a sustainable source of income for chicle-producing communities, while also being a dedicated member of Green America, a proud part of Trees for the Future and many other affiliations including local and third-world schools.  You can learn more about their mission and affiliations here: https://www.gleegum.com/about-us/?v=26be62772738.


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The last time I wrote about Glee Gum was back in 2017 when I was sharing all about their Halloween products, including their popular Glee Gum Pops, which can be found throughout North American and beyond.  




So, when I saw the photos of my girls trying Glee Gum products for the first time, it made me want to check out their website and see what they have been up.  That is where I learned that they have since come out with Glee Tarts, a guilt-free, fruit flavored candy, made without sugar and artificial ingredients.  




"Each box holds a sugar-free medley of pineapple, passion fruit, Meyer lemon, and cherry flavors, all sweetened with natural xylitol to promote dental health. No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Vegan, gluten-free, and certified kosher. Made in the USA. And, best of all… ZERO CALORIES!"



Now, I am all for zero calorie candies, especially ones that are sugar free and without any unnecessary artificial ingredients.  



After wiping my mouth from seeing the tarts in the picture above, I reached out the folks at Verve, Inc. (AKA Glee Gum) and asked if they could send along a sampling of their products for review/feature in my Easter gift guide, including their new Glee Tarts.  

Look at all the goodies we were sent to sample...


Lots and lots of Glee Gum

Mini Glee Gum boxes and a Gumball Machine with 2 1 lb. bulk tubes of gum

And, Glee Tarts!!!

Not only did I get a handful of Glee Tarts packages, but they also graciously sent along a gumball machine, cans of sugar-free gum and assorted gum, as well as their mini Glee Gum boxes, which make for great Easter egg fillers.  



I couldn't get over all the Glee goodness that they sent, and was so happy to finally be able to chew their gum again.  If you haven't experienced Glee Gum and are a gum chewer, you are missing out.  Their gum is nothing like what you get in stores in the checkout aisle.  Not only is their gum chiclet shaped, but it is as natural as gum gets.

What do I mean by natural chewing gum?  Look what Glee Gum doesn't include...No artificial flavors. No artificial colors (like Blue 2 Lake or Red 40). No artificial sweeteners (like Aspartame or Acesulfame K). No preservatives (like BHT). Non-GMO Project Verified. Classic Glee Gum is sweetened with Non-GMO cane sugar and brown rice syrup. Sugar-Free Glee Gum is sweetened with 100% xylitol from American birch and beech trees for added dental benefits. 

And, if this wasn't enough to get you excited about their gum, their packaging is also Eco-Friendly, too! 




"Packaged in recyclable material (no blister packs) and made with chicle, a tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforest of Central America. Glee Gum uses chicle because it helps to conserve the rainforest, giving trees more value standing than chopped down for lumber."

So, it is a win-win for all...You get to experience great tasting, natural gum, and you are helping the rainforest and those who harvest chicle. :-)  And, you are also supporting a local business, that is women-owned and run.  Leave it to women to create an amazing product that helps in so many ways, and it good for you! :-)

Like I said, the folks at Glee Gum sent along a box filled with their products for my family and I to sample, and boy did we have fun with it all.  We started by doing a taste test of the Glee Tarts, which were a hit with everyone.  I could get over how you get 28 tasty tarts in a box for only $1.95...that is a steal if you ask me!  



As far as flavor goes, these naturally sweetened tarts, which come in pineapple, cherry, meyer lemon and passion fruit flavors (all in one box), they were all amazing.  I found that it was better to suck on the tarts and let them dissolve in your mouth. But, my husband and daughters beg to differ and say they prefer to put a few tarts of different flavors in their mouths and chew away, so that they can taste the different flavors mix together.  They say it gives their mouth a little zing, while also making their breath smell good. 



I can vouch for the fresher breath, as they all took turns blowing in my face, to prove a point. :-)  I was so to have been reminded of Glee Gum and to have had the opportunity to try their new Glee Tarts line, as they were amazing, and definitely something I will be keeping stock of for now on. 




Right now I have a box in the house near my calendar I look at each day; another in my car's glove box when I need a sweet treat, or to freshen my breath; and, another in my bag, so I always have Glee Tarts handy at all times.  



After sampling the new Glee Tarts, my family moved on to sampling the different sugar-free gum flavors we were sent in the Glee Gum all-flavor sweet stack (shown above), as well as in their Sugar-Free Gum Pouches, which you can purchase through their website for only $3.95/pouch (you choose your favorite flavor variety, and in classic or sugar-free)



Classic bags are also available, in either Bubblegum or Peppermint flavor


Pouch contains 75 pieces of delicious chewing gum, packed in handy, resealable & recyclable pouches.
We tried hard narrowing down our top 3, but it was just so hard to do, as they all tasted so good.  But, we were able to get it down to five of favorites (in no particular order):

  1. Cinnamon
  2. Tangerine
  3. Lemon-Lime
  4. Watermelon
  5. Mixed Berry
After sampling the Glee Tarts and sugar-free gum, the girls couldn't wait any longer to set up the gumball machine. They had hoped to review this first, but I made them wait until the end. I don't know about you, but growing up I always wanted my own gumball machine, like the ones you see in stores, that require a quarter to get a piece of gum.  I always included this in my wish lists for Santa, but he never brought me one.  Well, I did one one year but it was just one of those small chintzy ones.  You just popped the top ball off to get the gumball out. Very disappointing, to say the least.  So, having to wait for a gumball machine as a kid, I thought it was only fair for my girls to wait to get their first gumball machine. :-)


The girls were so excited for the gumball machine, even though it meant it would take quarters from their piggy banks, if they wanted to give it a try.  But, leave it to my oldest to read the instructions in the box and realize you could set the gumball machine up so that it didn't require quarters. Also, she flipped the gumball machine over and saw the door that you can remove and retrieve your money -- little stinker. I thought I would make some money off their desire for gum.  Guess they are too smart for me. :-)




We really had a blast trying out the new Glee Tarts, as well as sampling all their other sugar-free gum flavors.  It really was too long to go without Glee Gum. And, after chewing this gum again, I realized that this will not happen again. This game is way better than the other gums out there.  Come on, would you rather chew a natural gum, or one that you have no idea what is in it based on the ingredients that you can't even say?  It's a no brainer...Glee Gum from Verve, Inc. all the way.  

With Easter fast approaching, why not consider picking up some of their Glee Gum Pops, Mini Glee Variety bags, or packs of their Glee Gum in assorted flavors?  Or, if you want to go all out, pick up the super fun gumball machine with 1 lb. bulk gum. It is a steal at only $29.95

(Available with and without the 1 lb. bulk gum tube)

Buy now, and choose you favorite flavor of gum, or get the assorted so that you can enjoy all their flavors, which as I mentioned above are great tasting.  One 1 lb. bulk container will fill the gumball machine almost full.  But, if you want to stock up and have more gum handy when it runs out, you can buy 1 lb. bulk gum tubes (in sugar free and regular) for only $13.95/tube




If you are hosting a egg hunt, or are looking to switch things up with what you include in the eggs before putting out in the yard, or around the house for the kids to find, why consider picking up the Spring Sugar-Free Mini Variety Bag, which includes 24 mini boxes of sugar-free gum, for only $4.99!



Just look how cute these mini boxes look when you add them to the plastic eggs?  



Yes, they do fit in an average sized plastic egg and close easily. :-)


Knowing just how much my girls love Glee Gum, I know they will be all smiles come Easter morning when they dump their egg haul out on the living room rug and find what the Easter Bunny left for them. :-)




I could go on and on about how great Glee Gum from Verve, Inc., but instead I will just share their website link so that you can check it out for yourself, and place an order, to receive in time for Easter.  



Or, if you are looking to make a switch to healthier gum, while also supporting a women-owned business, who help so many wonderful causes, then Glee Gum is what you have been looking for.


--GIVEAWAY--


Thanks to the folks at Glee Gum, one lucky Inspired by Savannah reader will have a chance to win a case of Tarts (12 boxes) to enjoy with family and friends.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow Glee Gum on their social media channels to stay up-to-date on special offers and giveaways, new product announcements, and more...



Glee Gum on Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/GleeGum/
Glee Gum on Twitter -- https://twitter.com/gleegum
Glee Gum on Pinterest -- https://www.pinterest.com/gleegum/
**And, be sure to sign-up for their monthly e-newsletter to get exclusive deals & offers!

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Plushland, a Family-Owned Business Offers a Wonderful Selection of Plush Toys for All Occasions Including Easter, Graduation, Mother's Day, as Well as Just Because Gifts! (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.




The other day marked 10 years that I have been blogging.  When I got this notification in my email, I couldn't believe it had been this long.  But, then I looked at my girls and could tell, that sounded about right, as I started blogging in 2009, right after I found out I was expecting our first daughter.  I started my blog to share personal review of baby products I had picked up for our new addition, and then found myself, with the help of my husband, creating a baby blanket that had a sound module attached that played a mother's heartbeat sound, to help sooth a child to sleep.  I shared my journey of coming up with this idea, creating a prototype, and then another, and the 3 others that followed, as well as receiving a Huggies MomInspired grant to help fund this product that I was developing.  In addition to sharing all about the phases of bringing a product to market -- we made it all the way to getting a final prototype, and then had to put it aside as the costs of safety and fire testing were expensive, as were all the other legal costs of starting a business, trademarking things, etc. -- I began to share other mom and dad entrepreneur stories.  I found it fascinating during our run with the Sootheaze blanket just how many other families were out there doing the same thing as us -- hoping to not only create product that would solve a problem (in our case, soothing a crying baby), but also provide income to help make raising a family less stressful financially.  With so many big box chain stores out there, many of these mom and pop shops and online business fall to the wayside, and have to make the difficult decision to walk away from their dreams and business.  

So, I began to highlight companies I stumbled upon online and had the opportunity to try out their products and services firsthand. I share not only a personal review of their products, but also interviewed these mom and dad entrepreneurs, and shared how they balance work and life, as I was with a new baby and found myself trying to juggle blogging, virtual assistant work, working on my Sootheaze product, and being a new mom and trying to figure it all out.  I loved hearing their personal ups and downs and tips for work-life balance, while also knowing that I was helping to get their product in front of other moms and dads who also like to support small businesses like I do.  My Spotlight on Mom and Dad Entrepreneurs took off and I featured over 500 parent/caregiver entrepreneurs over the years.  While I don't do a weekly spotlight like I used to, I do still like to feature products from mom and dad entrepreneurs that I stumble upon.  This is where Plushland comes in.  I found this online plush toy brand while putting together my Easter Gift Guide.  In addition to the candy and toys the Easter Bunny brings my girls, they also find a couple new plush toys each year in their baskets.  While my husband may say the girls have enough plush toys, I beg to differ. :-)  Growing up I loved to collect plush toys, especially seasonal and holiday ones.  I looked forward to Santa and the Easter Bunny bringing new plush toys, which either ended up in a hanging toy holder in the corner of my room to admire, or on my bed, which was reserved for my favorite plush toys at any given moment. There is something calming about a plush toy, even as an adult, when you pick it up and give it a snuggle, you can't help but feel like a kid again, and more relaxed.

I had a few ideas of plush toys in mind for my girls for Easter. My oldest is dog obsessed, so I was hoping to find a dog plush with bunny ears.  And, for my youngest, she is all about bunnies and wanting to get a bunny.  My search led to me to the Plushland website, and after reading the "About Us" section, I found out that this was a mom owned business, and that her 12 year old daughter had joined her and was helping to come up with unique designs, many of which have earned them design awards in different levels.  Bravo!! :-)  In addition to creating unique designs you don't see in large retail stores for instance, I found myself falling in love with all their plush toys.  You could tell they were all made well, and were original designs.  And, knowing that this was a family-owned business, made me more excited to support them, and help spread the word about their plush toy brand.

After reaching out to the folks at Plushland, I was sent three of their Easter-themed plush toys for review.  And, when they arrived, I  couldn't wait to share them with my girls, as I knew they would be all smiles and clear off a spot on theirs to keep these oh so cute plush toys. :-)  Here are some photos of the girls snuggling up and enjoying the three plush toys from Plushland...





As you can see in the photos above, the girls were all smiles and fell instantly in love with the plush toys I hand-selected for them.  They knew just why I chose these plush toys, and that meant even more to them.  Just like with Christmas ornaments I give the girls each year, I try and find something to capture their hobbies, loves and/or personalities in a given year. And, when Christmas and Easter roll around and I look to gift the girls with a plush toy, I choose something that will turn into a keepsake, and that they can look at be reminded why I chose this particular toy for them.  This year was all about dogs and bunnies, and my girls couldn't have been happier with the plush toys from Plushland.

Here are some other cute Easter-themed designs available from Plushland that would make for great Easter basket fillers....









In addition to seasonal toys, Plushland has you covered for year-round gift giving of plush toys. They carry an amazing selection of classic bears (with and without fashion and accessories), Character plush including Societz and jointed plush toys, as well as special occasion gift ideas (Include: Baby, graduation, Mother's Day, Valentine's and Easter).  I really couldn't get over the selection of plush toys Plushland offered.  They all were cute, and would make for great gift ideas for both kids and adult plush toy collectors and lovers. I even found myself flagging a few of the bears from the Mother's Day section and hinting to my husband and girls that these would be a nice surprise. :-) 




There is even a cute Grandma's bear that I will definitely be picking up and gifting to my mom from girls, as it is just so stinking cute. 





I could go on and on about the plush toys from Plushland, but instead why don't you head on over to https://plushland.com/ and browse their product offering for yourself.  Just be warned, they are all so cute, which will make it hard for you to decide which plush toy to go with. :-)  With Easter fast approaching and then Mother's Day and Graduations, make sure you keep Plushland on your radar for your all your plush toy needs.  And, know that with your purchase you are supporting a family owned business, who takes pride in their business and product offering.  

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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