{Giveaway!} The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!

**Sony Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.**

As the mom of two girlie girls who love anything princess, I find it challenging to find age-appropriate movies that appeal to them as well as my son.  Ideally, a movie featuring princesses and pirates with lots of adventure and life lessons would be perfect for our family.

Good news!  The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! just released from Sony Home Entertainment, and fits the bill!

In the brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail, Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by himself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization!

And I’m trying to spread the word about this family friendly flick by giving away a copy of it today! {All you have to do is click to take the quiz below!}

With creepy creatures,

sword fights,

songs to sing along with, laugh out loud moments,

and lessons in bravery, cooperation and being true to yourself,

this movie is the perfect compromise for brothers and sisters to watch.  And they will love the Sing-Along and special features!

The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! Giveaway! #giveaway #ad #princess #pirate #kidmovies

Buy The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!


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Good luck!  Giveaway ends on Wednesday, September 21st!

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Fine Print:  Each household is only eligible to win The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS.  No P.O. Boxes please.

KidloLand App Review and Giveaway

*I was given a free subscription to this App in order to review it for my readers.  All opinions are my own*

We don’t do a ton of screen time at our house, especially playing on the iPad.  The screen time the kids do have is closely monitored, both quality and quantity.  We keep track of how much they get during the week with popsicle sticks….one stick equals one show or 20 minutes of iPad time, and they get 10 sticks for the entire week.

As for quality, I’m picky.  My basic feeling about apps is that, in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why they can’t be engaging and entertaining while still being educational.  Just like TV shows, if I don’t feel like my kid is walking away a smarter or better person, the app is a waste of time and brain space…what I call junk.  And unfortunately, there are a lot of junky apps and tv shows out there that contribute nothing of value to my children.

However, I’ve found a new app that thoroughly entertains Lincoln {and even Millie}, while teaching him some basic toddler concepts.  It’s called KidloLand.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandWhen I opened the app for the first time, I was amazed at the main menu….so many options that cover all the pre-school concepts {numbers, letters, shapes, colors, animals, vehicles, phonics, nursery rhymes, etc.}.  And in each section of the menu, there are on average 10 different activities or stories to do.  Many with more!KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandAll of the activities are interactive, so even while a song or story is playing, the images on the screen can be tapped and manipulated.  Although some of the overlapping sounds and music are a bit much {for this mama’s ears anyway}, Lincoln loves the interaction.  For this kid who doesn’t get much touch-pad experience, it’s a fantastic app for cause and effect and basic tapping/dragging skills.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandAnd while KidloLand is perfect for a toddler because of the songs and simple games, my 5 year old also has taken a liking to it after watching her brother play.  She prefers to “read” one of the 20 brand new stories, all with interactive characters.  I like the option of the narrator reading to her, so she can follow along with the words as she reads.  It also makes a great bedtime incentive….it’s amazing how fast teeth can get brushed when the bedtime story is literally an interactive book from the “Bedtime Stories” category.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandMillie and Lincoln also use the app to practice their sharing skills. The “Games” and “Activities” categories flow from one right into another, and have varying difficulty.  This makes it easy for the kids to share, as Lincoln likes the “Tap-Tap” games and Millie likes the “Connect-the-Dots.”  It’s nice seeing them working together and taking turns.

Lincoln’s favorite game to play is “Chomping Monsters” in the Games category.  He has to click and drag puzzle pieces to complete a piece of fruit.  Then he has to drag the fruit into the monster’s mouth.  And of course the monster makes all sorts of chompy noises which makes Lincoln laugh.  I like that he is solving multi-piece puzzles and learning to identify new fruits….like guava and fig.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandAlthough there is a limited free version of KidloLand, we are really enjoying the subscription with access to everything.  Categories like Vehicles, Fruits & Vegetables, Dinos, Animal Kingdom, Nursery Rhymes, Months & Days, Christmas Songs and Colors & Shapes provide more than enough new material to keep these kiddos entertained.  And because it doesn’t need wi-fi {just a lot of storage, which you can manage in Settings}, it will be a great entertainer in the car as well!

Today, I’m giving away FIVE winners a three-month subscription to this awesome app {a $39.99 value}.  The giveaway ends on Friday at midnight, so don’t miss out!  There are a ton of ways that you can win a 3-month subscription to KidloLand….check it out!

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If you want to bypass the giveaway and just download it now, here are the links you need to get it!

iOS (KidloLand) : 


Google Play Store (Nursery Rhymes For Kids): 


Amazon Appstore (KidloLand)


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‘Serafina and the Twisted Staff’ Review and Giveaway

*I received these books and promotional materials free of charge,  for review purposes on this blog. No other monetary compensation has been received or implied for this post.  All views are 100% my own.*Serafina and the Twisted Staff book review and GIVEAWAY for pre-tween girls @DisneyHyperion @BeattyAuthor #Serafina #win #giveaway #ad #kidlit #tweens #booksforgirls A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a couple of friends online begging for recommendations for books for pre-tween girls.  You heard me.  Girls who are NOT yet tweens, but still love to read.  Because I’ve got one.  Just to brag on my kid for a minute, but Jayna could read fluently when she was 3, reading chapter books by 4, and Nancy Drew by 5.  Before you start judging me, NO, I don’t think Nancy Drew is really appropriate for five-year olds…too many kidnappings, possible ghosts, and lost clocks.  You know, the stuff five-year-old nightmares are made of.  She started out reading Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, which is geared for younger elementary kids, and then she “graduated” to the classics without me realizing it, after stumbling upon my childhood stash while “cleaning.”

Needless to say, she breezed through the rest of the ND series, Magic Treehouses, A to Z Mysteries, Little House on the Prairie, Wizard of Oz, Alice and Wonderland, and any other chapter books she could get her paws on.  I was running out of “appropriate” books for her very quickly.  Even the Christian chapter book section at the library was no good, as most of the books on her reading level {middle school} dealt with coming-of age/puberty stories about girls.  First of all, I’m not quite ready for her to learn about some of that stuff {especially if she isn’t hearing it from me!}, and I just don’t feel like she needs to read about middle school/high school girl problems.  Plus, she is really into the thriller/mystery set.

Anyway, one of my friends online suggested Serafina and the Black Cloak.  It got rave reviews online, and the only issues that people had was the possible intensity level for the lower age range that it’s recommended for {8-12 years old}.  So, we decided to give it a try.  But, because I’m the resourceful blogger I am, I reached out to their Public Relations staff, and not only did they send me that book, but they also sent me an advance copy of the sequel, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, not to mention posters, bookmarks, tattoos, notebooks, pens, and pins.  Jayna opened the package and immediately gathered up everything and retreated to the little library we’ve created under the fort in our playroom.Serafina and the Twisted Staff book review for pre-tween girls @DisneyHyperion @BeattyAuthor #Serafina #win #giveaway #ad #kidlit #tweens #booksforgirls Two days later, she emerged.  Just kidding, but really.  It took her a whopping two days to read both books, and she had her nose in them every second she could, adequately ignoring everything else that was going on around her.

So I thought I’d let Jayna give you her thoughts on the books.  Can’t get a more honest review than from a 7 year old, right?

Serafina and the Black Cloak AND Serafina and the Twisted Staff
{Disney Hyperion}
Author: Robert Beatty
Ages: 8-12 yrs

A review in her own words, by Jayna {age 7}

What are the books about?
 Serafina and her Pa live in the basement of The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in the 1800’s.  He is the maintenance man, and she is the Chief Rat Catcher.   In the first book {Seraphina and the Black Cloak}, Serafina becomes friends with Braeden, the Vanderbilt’s nephew, when they discover a strange man in a black cloak….and notice rich children from the estate disappearing.  In the second book {Serafina and the Twisted Staff}, Serafina and Braeden team up again when they realize that the animals on the Biltmore property are being controlled by someone, and attacking people.

What did you find interesting about the books? I had never heard of a catamount before, and the idea of Serafina being part cougar was really cool.  I also liked reading about the different rooms in the Biltmore house.  Someday I want my mom to take me there so I can see some of the secret entries and fancy rooms that were in the stories.

What were some of the scariest parts of the books?  In Serafina and the Black Cloak, the man in the black cloak…he was the villian… covered the children with his cape and they disappeared.  When I was reading that part, I was in bed and I had to take a little break and hide under my covers for a minute.  I wasn’t too scared, it just creeped me out.  But then I kept reading because I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.  I knew it would have a happy ending.

In Serafina and the Twisted Staff, I was a little scared during the part where they found all the animals in the graveyard, but I kept reading.

What did you think of Serafina’s character?  I think she was really brave to fight the bad guys and protect other kids that she didn’t even know.  She has a little bit of a temper, and gets into fights easily though…she needs to work on that.  But I guess it’s good that she stands up for herself.

Would you recommend these books to other kids your age?  Sure!  Even boys would like them because they have some fighting and magic in it.  They might be too scary for kids under um, 6, though.  But if they can handle Nancy Drew books, they probably would love Seraphina.  It’s like, the same level of mystery as Nancy Drew, but a little more intense since there is magic and some fighting.  And the whole book’s setting is creepy….Nancy Drew just has  little scary parts here and there.

Did you enjoy reading these books? Oh yeah!  They were awesome!  I read them so fast because they were so good.  I’ll probably read them a million times.  Or maybe a thousand.  Or maybe I’ll let Caroline borrow them, because she likes mysteries too.  I can’t wait until the next one comes out….maybe they’ll make a movie of them!!

Serafina and the Twisted Staff book review for pre-tween girls @DisneyHyperion @BeattyAuthor #Serafina #win #giveaway #ad #kidlit #tweens #booksforgirls

So there you have it.

The Serafina books were a hit with the kid.  After reading them, Jayna and her friend Caroline {who hadn’t even read them yet} acted out the stories while playing.  I don’t even have time to read my email, let alone an entire book, but I did glance through the ending of the Twisted Staff, and I was completely hooked.  I ended up reading the last five or six chapters with zero awareness to what was going on around me.  And I did catch this quote toward the end of the book, which just confirms my feeling that Serafina might be a good role model after all…

“She remembered being so frustrated by her limitations, by what she could and couldn’t do at that particular point in her life.  She realized now that her life wasn’t just about who she was, but about who she would become.”

And now for the good part.  THE GIVEAWAY!

Ends on Friday!  Good luck!

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Mark your calendars for a Serafina event near you…including meeting the author at Y’all Fest in Charleston on November 12!

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 *Palmettos and Pigtails is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

Road Trip Bingo with Chick-fil-A

Well, it’s about that time in the summer where we pack up the kids and go on road trips!  All throughout the month of July we are in and out, with and without kids, beds full of company.  Just like every other family, we love traveling.  And since we started ’em young {they were each about 6 weeks old for their first road trips}, my kids are used to being the car for hours on end.  That being said, it doesn’t mean they don’t get bored.

So when Chick-fil-A came out with a Road Trip Bingo on their blog, I pounced on the opportunity to download the free printable  for our next trip.Free Printable Road Trip Bingo from Chick-fil-A #sponsored #ad #roadtrip #freeprintable #cfamoms #chickfilamoms #cfaone @ChickfilA

With four different versions to print, the whole family will be able to play.  And with my new Chick-fil-A One app, I’ll be able to order lunch ahead of time….and maybe a cookie for the winner!

Happy travels!

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Easter Decor from Goodwill

*This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Goodwill Stores.  I was compensated for the items in the post.  As always, opinions are my own.*

Easter baskets are tricky these days.  I see these pre-made shrink-wrapped towers in the grocery stores….full of tons of candy and plastic toys that the kids don’t care about {or need}. But in our house, we keep the Easter Bunny hoopla to a minimum.  The Easter Bunny only brings one basket for our family, and it’s typically filled with needed items, or things that get the kids excited for upcoming spring/summer events.  But this year, we decided to be even more thrifty and creative and get our Easter decor from Goodwill.How to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillWe are fortunate enough to have three Goodwill Stores in our town, but I hadn’t been inside of one in awhile.  But I had an open mind, looking for ideas for a themed Easter basket, or any other decor I could you to spring-ify my house.

First stop, the home decor section….they had shelves and shelves of baskets.  Some pretty, some not so pretty, but at all three stores had a huge selection available.  I was able to find a really big basket with a handle that would be perfect for filling up for my three kids.How to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillAnd I loved that Goodwill made it really easy to fill the baskets.  At all three stores had complete Easter displays featuring a combination of thrifted decor and brand new Easter grass, eggs, candy, stickers, egg dying kits, etc.How to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillHow to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillHow to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillSo now I just needed to find some themed items to complete my basket.  I loved how Goodwill had a separate rack for children’s Easter outfits.  It was super easy to put together a couple of matching outfits for the kids….looks like teal is in this year!How to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillWith the girls starting softball and ballet this spring, I also thought about doing a sports themed basket.  The abundance of cleats and helmets was crazy! How to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillMy other idea was a basket of family games.  The girls are finally old enough to understand and play by the rules, and I actually enjoy the few games we already play at the house.  I was amazed at Goodwill’s selection {and the quality} of games.  And yes, that is a karaoke machine on the bottom shelf!

P.S. See the numbers on the boxes?  Goodwill has sales throughout the week and reduces the prices on certain number by 50% off!  And, you can get double points on your Goodwill card on Wednesdays!How to shop for Easter Decor from Goodwill The other thing I was pleasantly surprised by was the amount of items on the racks that were brand new.  Including bathing suits!  I was able to find appropriate sizes {plus a sun hat for Linc} for the kiddos, and decided to make that my final choice for my themed basket.  So after my purchase…including the basket, grass and Easter eggs, I am pretty much ready for Easter!How to shop for Easter Decor from Goodwill

But, on my way out, a few things in the home decor area caught my eye.  I loaded up on a faux boxwood bush, a LOVE sign, and a cute little praying rabbit to complete my mantle.  I just love the way the whites and creams are accented with my DIY burlap bunting and the simple little cross that Jayna and I made years ago.How to shop for Easter Decor from GoodwillAnd see the cute little nest of eggs?  I used a couple of the Easter eggs that I bought to create that little beauty….come back on Thursday to see the tutorial!  Didn’t my Easter decor from Goodwill turn out wonderfully?  You should go see what treasures you can find at your local Goodwill StoresPalmettos and Pigtails Signature

BeKool Flu Season Giveaway

*I received some of the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

I am surrounded.  The neighbor kids are dropping like flies.  My kids’ class sizes are down by half.  My hands are raw from hand sanitizer.  I navigate the health aisles at Target like an obstacle course, ducking and dodging the projectile sneezes of babies, the flicked boogers of toddlers and the sniffling old ladies.  And somehow we have still {knock on wood} avoided  flu season this year.

Actually, aside from the snotty nose of my teething toddler, we are all pretty healthy.  Not that it couldn’t hit at any time, but I still consider myself pretty blessed.  But in the spirit of the {flu} season, I thought I’d do a rocking’ giveaway this week to get the rest of you sickies back to health!

BeKOOOL and Llama Llama Flu Season Giftpack Giveaway

Today’s prize pack is courtesy of BeKOOOL.  They make these awesome little gel strips that stick to your little ones’ forehead when they have a fever to instantly cool them down.  They are non-medicated, so they don’t interfere with any other medicine, and they have Disney characters on them….so KOOOL, right?!

But we all know that when your Little is sick,  you’ll pull out all the stops to make them feel better.  So in addition to the entire line of BeKOOOL products, the giveaway also includes a Kinsa Smart Thermometer, two books from the Llama Llama series, and Dad to Dad, a book by pediatrician Dr. David Hill, all valued at more than $90.

BeKOOOL and Llama Llama Flu Season Giftpack Giveaway

I made it super easy to enter….tweet about the giveaway, and/or follow BeKOOOL {or me!}.  And, you can tweet about the contest everyday for extra entries.  Good luck, the contest ends on Feb 29th!
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Here’s a little more about the prizes:

BeKOOOL Soft Gel Sheets for Kids: Single-use gel sheets for kids that provide immediate cooling relief from fever for up to eight hours.

BeKOOOL Migraine: Single-use cooling gel sheets that provide immediate soothing relief from migraine headaches.

Kinsa Smart Thermometer: Kinsa builds app-enabled thermometers that offer peace of mind by remembering illness details, and guiding you on next steps if fever and symptoms are cause for concern.

Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro: Expert advice, guidance, and insight from pediatrician-Dad, Dr. David L. Hill.

Llama Llama Holiday Drama & Llama Llama Home With Mama: With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama books are perfect for educating and entertaining kids.

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Aladdin Ballet Giveaway

I spent a wonderful weekend visiting Atlanta with Jayna for her birthday this past weekend….it was so strange to just have one kid to worry about.  Kinda fun doing BIG kid stuff, even though I missed the other Littles too.  And of course, Millie was jealous that Jayna got a whole weekend of Mama to herself.  So I thought I’d surprise her with a little Valentine’s date to the ballet on Saturday.Aladdin Ballet Giveaway

The South Carolina Ballet is once again coming to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center for a one-night-only performance of Aladdin.  Not only is Aladdin one of Millie’s favorite stories, but ever since starting dance at the beginning of the year, she is into anything ballet.

And, because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, I thought I’d give away a pair of tickets to a lucky reader as well.  Bring your spouse, a friend or one of your kids!  The show is at 5:30 on Saturday February 13th at the PAC.Aladdin Ballet Giveaway

South Carolina Ballet turns the musical score of composer Ludwig Minkus, into a classic fairytale based on Arabian Nights.Aladdin is a huge epic ballet, technically demanding for the dancers, visually thrilling for the audience and perfect for the entire family. It is such fun to see Aladdin and Jasmine flying on their magic carpet as the Genie grants Aladdin’s famous three wishes,” says Artistic and Executive Director William Starrett.

And because this is such a quick contest, I’ve made it super easy to enter.  Just follow me and tweet about it!

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Hope to see you there!  Contest ends at midnight on Thursday night, winner will be announced and emailed on Friday.  Good luck!

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Sunday Scripture: ScriptureDoodle Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!  It’s my favorite day of the week….so I thought I’d do a giveaway!  April from #ScriptureDoodle was kind enough to send over some awesome new products for me to try and give to you.  Jayna was thrilled to have some new supplies and inspiration.  And Millie was jealous that Jayna was getting a bunch of stuff to try out.  So, April sent their brand new ScriptureDoodle Coloring Book over for Millie to try out!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!They both ended up sharing all the materials, and miraculously took turns with everything without a fight.  And it’s turned into a thing.  Almost every day I catch the girls sitting quietly at the kitchen table, with their ScriptureDoodle supplies spread out, coloring and doodling.  It’s given them some awesome opportunities to reflect on The Word on their own.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!So, there are a bunch of #ScriptureDoodle packs to choose from….for ALL ages.  If you go to this link, you can compare all the packs and see what is right for you or your kids.  We have the Littles Pack, which comes with all of this:#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!I love the pack of Truth Cards that comes in the Littles Pack.  They are nice sturdy cards with a verse on one side, and an inspirational photograph on the other side.  I was able to show Jayna, using the cards, how she could pull an image or idea from any Bible verse to begin to create her doodle.  For example, “I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me.  -Psalm 120:1”  has a picture of a telephone on the back…but then I had to explain what a “telephone” was….#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!Once she understood how to pull keywords up, she wanted to try it on her own.  Also included in all of the packs are the How To ScriptureDoodle Study Cards.  A huge list of Bible verses is on the back, and now Jayna uses them to look up verses in her Bible to doodle about.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!I just love how the doodling has gotten my kids deeper into the Word, while still expressing themselves creatively.  And since she still gets frustrating writing letters and drawing pictures, the coloring book has been perfect for Millie…she’s so proud of her creations in there!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!So, obviously, we are in LOVE with the ScriptureDoodle products…..the pencil pouches are hand painted, and all of the illustrations in the coloring book are hand drawn by April.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!So I’m so excited to do not one, but TWO giveaways this week.  You’ll automatically be entered into both drawings…..one winner will receive a #ScriptureDoodle Coloring Book and pack of 12 colored pencils.  The other winner will win a complete Littles Pack {which includes a notebook, pencils, colored pencils, an eraser, a sharpener and Truth Cards…all in an adorable drawstring pouch}!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!And I’m making it super simple to enter the giveaway….you’ll want to definitely subscribe to the Instagram feeds {both ScriptureDoodle and April’s}, so you can not only have beautiful Scripture illustrations coming through your feed, but stay up to date on the newest stuff from #ScriptureDoodle.


If you don’t happen to win this giveaway, don’t worry!  April is offering 15% off for my readers with the code PIGTAILS on the Worship-Artist website, where you can get all of the #ScriptureDoodle stuff.  She also has a FREE coloring printable every week of one of her Scripture illustrations.  Here is the direct link to this week’s printable {see it below!}.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!Finally, if you have always wanted to start doodling yourself, but don’t know how to begin, join April for her FREE #scripturedoodle workshop coming up on March 3rd live online.  The best way to stay informed about that is to follow #ScriptureDoodle online {and enter the giveaway!}.

Ok, less talking…more winning!  Contest ends on Friday night…Good luck!

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GIVEAWAY! 4 Pack of Tickets to The Nutcracker Ballet

Quick Giveaway this morning!  I have a family 4 pack of tickets up for grabs to The Nutcracker Ballet at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center {PAC}.  The show is at 1:30 on Saturday, December 5th, 2015.  Because this is such a quick giveaway, your odds of winning are awesome!

GIVEAWAY: The Nutcracker Ballet Family 4 pack of tickets

The South Carolina Ballet presents Charleston’s favorite family tradition, Nutcracker.

Artistic Director William Starrett’s award winning choreography has been combined with a cast of more than 120 dancers, new costumes and enchanted special effects. The company’s 35 professional dancers will dance side by side with over 60 local children, ages 4 to 18.

GIVEAWAY: The Nutcracker Ballet Family 4 pack of tickets

The Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl named Clara who experiences a magical journey as a reward for saving the life of her beloved Nutcracker Prince. Paired with Tchaikovsky’s score, sugar plum fairies, mischievous mice and waltzing flowers will ring in the holiday cheer.

GIVEAWAY: The Nutcracker Ballet Family 4 pack of tickets

Here’s how you can enter!  The Giveaway ends at Midnight tonight!  Good Luck!

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                    The South Carolina Ballet will present Nutcracker at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, December 4th & 5th. Tickets range from $27-57 and can be purchased online at www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com or by calling (843)-529-5000. For more information about the South Carolina Ballet, visit www.southcarolinaballet.com.

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Pamper Holiday Guests with a DIY Welcome Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HostingHacks #CollectiveBias

One of my favorite things about the holidays is a full house.  With both sets of grandparents, a great-grandma, and a couple of aunts and uncles coming into town to join our family circus, a “full house” is an understatement.  But I love every second of the chaos!

Although over the holidays we stash people on any free surface we can find, we do have one “official” guest room.  It’s ideal, really, because it’s in our F.R.O.G. {Finished Room Over Garage}, which means it’s completely separate from the rest of the house, with its own staircase and bathroom.  It’s the perfect amount of privacy for our guests.

But once they arrive in our guest room, I want them to be able to make themselves at home.  There is nothing more awkward than settling into your guest room just to realize that you’ve forgotten some essential packing item….especially when your host family has already retired to their quarters on the other side of the house!  So I like to make sure there are a few essential items in our guest room ready for our VIPs.

Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoTowels and Pillows.  We have extra towels stocked in the bathroom, and more pillows in a spare drawer in the dresser.  I also make sure there are lots of pillows on the bed, and the pillows are all different types {soft and firm}, to cater to even the most discerning sleeper.  And my secret trick with keeping my towels and linens smelling extra good is washing them with Downy Unstopables.  Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoI get the best deal by buying it in bulk at Costco, and I use it on all of my linens.  And since the scent lasts for 12 weeks, it’s perfect for a guest room…your sheets and towels will automatically smell fresh for the next visitor who shows up! Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoToiletries.  Since my guests have decided to take their vacation in my home, I want to pamper them as much as possible.  And, the difference is in the details!  I splurge on the bulk packs of Charmin’ at Costco for extra soft toilet paper.  I love that although they arrive in bulk, I can split up the packs of toilet paper for storage in all of the bathrooms in the house.Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoI also keep tissues in the bedroom as well as the bathroom.  I make sure there is shampoo, conditioner and soap in the shower.  I stock up for all of my household and guest needs in one complete trip to Costco.  And since I’m buying everything in bulk, it’s cheaper AND I don’t have to worry about running out of anything while I’m entertaining guests!Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoWater.  Bottles of water, at least 2 per person.  I’ve found that the small 8oz. Kirkland brand bottles from Costco are the perfect size for a guest room stash.

Snacks.  My favorite thing to leave for my guests is a little jarred mix of chocolate, peanuts, raisins, M&M’s, peanut butter chips and Heaven.  And I found that if I used the left over small jelly mason jars from Lincoln’s Cowboy birthday party, it’s just the right amount for a midnight snack!Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoSpace.  I make sure that our spare dresser has an empty drawer for our guests to use, and there are hangers and space in the closet for any hanging garments.  I also make sure the physical space is comfortable for everyone: by keeping the dog out {in case someone is sensitive to animal hair}, having the temperature set at 72, and having flowers and house plants decorating the room.  I also check that the alarm clock is NOT set {no surprise wake ups!}, but the time IS accurate.Pamper your Guests this Holiday Season with these Secret Tips! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoEntertainment.  I stock a variety of magazines and books in our guest room {everything from Southern Living to Parents, to tourist pamphlets}.  It’s also nice to leave a house key, or at least the code for your garage so your guests can come and go as they please.Free printables and tutorials on how to go above and beyond for Holiday Guests #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoWe have a television for them to use too, but we don’t have traditional cable, so a little cheat sheet on how to work our Netflix and the remote is nice to include, as well.   
I also have our Wi-Fi information framed so our guests can use the internet easily.  If you like this idea, feel free to download a blank copy of it for yourself {save it to your computer and then upload it in PicMonkey to add your own info in a fancy print!}#DIY Welcome Basket with tutorial, free printables and a list of essentials! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @CostcoDIY Welcome Basket of Personal Items.  These items kind of depend on the guests that are staying with us.  For example, I add diapers, creme, baby shampoo and wipes to the basket when our visitors include little ones.  But some of my staples are: toothbrush, toothpaste, flossing sticks, makeup remover, Q tips, cotton balls, nail file, band-aids, razor, deodorant, feminine products, hairbrush, etc.  I buy all of these one-time use items in travel-size so I can easily replace them, and my guests can feel comfortable about taking {and keeping!} what they need.

And don’t you just love my little basket?  It was the perfect size, but kind of plain, originally.  So I used some scrap fabric and some rope to make a super simple DIY Welcome Basket.

#DIY Welcome Basket with tutorial, free printables and a list of essentials! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @Costco

First, you want to make sure your fabric is big enough to cover the bottom and the sides of your basket all the way around, plus about 2 inches extra on each side {to account for seams and the drawstring}.  Your drawstring can be made out of anything that is long enough to fit snugly around the outside of the basket, with enough left over to tie in a knot.

Then, you want to round your corners for easier sewing.  Fold over your raw edge with wrong sides together and sew about a half-inch seam {or big enough to pull your drawstring through}.  It does not have to be a pretty, straight sewn line, as it will be gathered and on the inside of the basket!  Make sure you leave a small opening to pull your drawstring through.

Pull your drawstring through the seam.  I do this by tying my string to a large closed safety-pin and slowly working it through the “tube” that was created when you sewed the seam.

When you have both ends sticking out of the opening, place the fabric in your basket with the pattern side up, and pull the edges of the fabric over the sides of the basket.  Your drawstring {inside the fabric} should fit snuggly around the outside of the basket.  Pull your drawstring ends tight toward each other and tie together.  Arrange the fabric so that all of the gathers are spread evenly over the basket, and then tuck the drawstring and the knot under the fabric so it’s all hidden.

And stock your basket!
#DIY Welcome Basket with tutorial, free printables and a list of essentials! #HostingHacks #ad #CollectiveBias #HolidayHosting #ad @Costco

Your guests should have everything that they need for a relaxing vacation in your home!

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What do you stock up on from Costco to make your guests feel special?

Linking up here this week!