Thursday, January 19, 2017

Make your Time Outdoors more Fulfilling with Colter Co. - #Review & #Giveaway




There are certain skills that seem to have been lost with time.  These skills used to be passed down from generation to generation but with the technology of today a lot of these ingenious techniques have almost become extinct.  Thankfully, Colter Co. has come up with a brilliant way to keep these ideas alive and handy on your next outdoor excursion!

What is Colter Co.?
According to their website, "John Colter was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804-1806.  He was honorably discharged on their return trip to help lead another group back to the upper Missouri river.  After leaving that group he explored much of modern day Idaho and Wyoming alone.  He was the first European to see the Yellowstone basin.  The stories he brought back with him made people think he had lost his mind in the wilderness and many people jokingly called the place 'Colter's Hell', not believing it existed at all.  John Colter is widely considered one of the first mountain men and his pioneering spirit is an important part of the history of the west."
"Colter Co. is dedicated to the spirit of John Colter.  It's about the love of wilderness and exploration.  It's about the spirit of self sufficiency and having the skills to pay the bills.  Or, in Mr. Colter's case, the skills to survive the brutal winters of Idaho and Wyoming, along, with only what you can carry on your back."
"We're dedicated to ensuring that the skills that have existed for
millennia get passed on to the next generation.  We want to make sure that another 200 years from now, we will still have the spirit of the west in our hearts."


What does Colter Co. have to offer?
Colter Co. has taken the classic bandana and creatively added some useful benefits to each one making them more than just a hanky in your back pocket!  Best of all, they're affordable and made right here in the U.S.A!  Here are just a few examples of some of my favorites from their site.

Cipher Bandana - $14

The Cipher Bandana features several ways to communicate if you ever find yourself stranded or in need of assistance.  Nato phonetic code words, Morse code, Sign Language and semaphore are all represented as well as instructions on how to use a signal mirror.  Printed with soft water based inks that will hold their color even through the roughest treatment.  Perfect for hiking, camping, climbing or anywhere outdoors!

Cabin Fever Bandana - $14
Out camping and find yourself stuck in your tent during a sudden downpour?  It's hard to bring board games or other activities with you to help pass the time.  Look no further than your back pocket with this fun-filled bandana that features four classic games including checkers, tic-tac-toe, marbles or dots and boxes.  Nature provides the game pieces through rocks, sticks, pine needles or anything else handy.
Fly Fishing Knots Bandana - $14
You can stop worrying about letting the big one get away with this bandana!  From the arbor knot, improved clinch, Uni knot, Perfection Loop and many others, take this handy guide with you whenever you hit the river or docks and make sure you've got the right knots, every time, for your fishing set up.

My Review
My friends at Colter Co. were generous enough to send me two of their most popular bandanas - the Know Your Knots bandana and the Stargazer Bandana.  Both bandanas are made from 100% cotton for comfort and 22"x 22" makes them large enough to wear on your head as well as keep in your pocket for reference whenever you need.

Know Your Knots Bandana
Know Your Knots Bandana - $14

This handy knot tying guide features 16 essential climbing, sailing and survival knot diagrams printed on this versatile and rugged bandana.  Knots include: Lark's head, overhand knot, sheet bend, double fisherman's knot, square knot and many others. 
This bandana is comfortable to wear, easy to fold up and put in your pocket or pack away with the rest of your camping, hiking, climbing or other gear for a thrilling outdoor outing.  Made to last, in the USA, this bandana is sure to come in useful!

Stargazer Bandana
Stargazer Bandana - $14

Out of the two bandana's that I received for review, this one is my favorite.  I have always been fascinated by the stars and constellations.  One of my favorite things to do is lie out in my yard or driveway, late at night, and just look at the stars especially during a meteor shower.  This bandana is perfect for stargazing or even navigating and is a must have on any outing.  It shows the summer night sky over North America with bright glow in the dark ink so you won't have to worry about readjusting your eyes to the darkness each time you look at your star chart.  It also has a few really useful tips on quickly determining the cardinal points of the compass using celestial bodies

Made from 100% cotton yet very rugged, this bandana is sure to be a regular on all of your outdoor adventures!


Where can you purchase Colter Co. products?
If you're interested in purchasing any of the awesome bandanas featured in this post or if you'd like to see what else Colter Co. has to offer be sure to check their website!  For more up to date information on new products and promotions make sure to follow them via Facebook, Instagram and subscribe to their newsletter which can be done at the bottom of any page on their site.

Giveaway Time!
Four (4) lucky winners will receive a bandana of their choice from Colter Co.!  Enter below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided complimentary products to help facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed in this post are mine, 100% honest and not influenced in any way.  For more information please visit the PR section of this site.  Copyright Shopping with the Couture Queen 2009-2017.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Playing Pretend is Tons of Fun with Just Pretend Kids - #giveaway



Playing pretend is something all children love to do.  Growing up I wanted to be a princess and my son loved pretending to be a super hero or pirate.  When I was younger I had old Halloween costumes that didn't fit anymore and half broken props to play with.  Ashton, on the other hand, has super hero capes and outfits to add to the excitement.  Playing pretend is a great way for children to explore and learn about themselves and the world around them.  If you'd like to add a little magic to your child's pretend play without spending a fortune, Just Pretend Kids is the place to go.

What is Just Pretend Kids?
According to their site, "We believe that Pretending is a human way of practicing for real life. In many cases it helps us decide what we want or do not want to be when we grow up. Playing dress up and pretending to be a princess, a pirate or a dragon is a great way for children to explore and learn about the world around them and themselves.  We take special care to try to instill our products with this same intention.  We want our costumes to make your children feel like princesses, pirates, dragons and lady bugs and to inspire them to dream, laugh, imagine and explore."
"Our Just Pretend tutus, wands, wings, accessories and children costumes are made with quality, comfort and value in mind.  When you hold our costumes you will feel how soft they are.  We use the finest tulle with just the right finish to make our tutus.  Our wands are made to minimize danger from sharp points or dangerous materials.  We don't sell any items that we would not want our own children or grandchildren to wear or play with."

Gift Ideas from Just Pretend Kids
Playing pretend is a lot of fun for any age!  Here are just some of the great costumes that caught my eye.
Elephant Costume - $49.99
Your toddler will love pretending to be an adorable elephant complete with trunk, tusks and large elephant ears.  This plush suit zips up for a comfortable fit and leaves their little hands free for play. Elastic bands at the feet fit over your child's shoes to complete the look.
Enchanted Ice Princess Dress - $79.99
Your little princess will love this enchanting dress which features an icy blue satiny skirt topped with a fitted bodice and elegant sheer sleeves.  The bodice is detailed with beautiful trim and pretend cameo at the neckline.  The skirt features a frozen glittery pattern and is filled out by the included hoop.  This outfit is completed with a removable, long, delicate cape printed with perfect snowflakes.


Alien Romper - $34.99
Even your baby can have some out-of-this-world fun with this precious Alien Romper.  Zany details on the headpiece and romper will make anyone smile, no matter what planet they're from.  The romper and headpiece are lined and snap closures allow for easy diaper changes.



Penguin Scarf - $19.99
If you're looking for something adorable that will also keep your little ones warm, your child can cuddle up with one of the newest items from Just Pretend Kids.  The plush Penguin animal scarf is both fun and functional with pockets on each end to keep little hands warm.

Where to Purchase Just Pretend Kids Products
If you're interested in purchasing any of the items featured in this post or if you'd like to see what else they have to offer simply visit the Just Pretend Kids website!  For more up to date information on new products and promotions make sure you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

Giveaway Time!
Enter to win an amazingly soft and plush baby blanket of your choice from Just Pretend Kids, below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions stated are mine and 100% honest.  If you have any questions please visit the PR section of this site.  Copyright Shopping with the Couture Queen 2016.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Last Minute DIY Holiday Gifts They'll Love! - #tutorial #DIY #crafts #holidays


If you're still trying to get gifts or stocking stuffers for friends and family and just haven't had the time to go shopping or if you're on a tight budget, you can still give a great gift and one that's made from the heart.  I've scoured the Internet in search of some of the best DIY holiday gifts that are sure to please.


Hot Cocoa Mix Ornaments
Ingredients:

  • One single serve package of your favorite instant chocolate mix.
  • One clear plastic fillable ornament.
  • Festive colored sprinkles
  • Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or mint chocolate chips
  • Miniature marshmallows such as Jet Puffed Mallow Bits
  • A tag or note with instructions on how to make the hot chocolate (just mix in 8 oz. of hot water)
  • *Optional* mug
  • *Optional* Candy cane and/or chocolate spoons.
Directions:

  1. Start with a clean ornament and take the top off.
  2. Fill each ingredient into the ornament using a funnel.
  3. Start with the hot cocoa mix, then sprinkles, chocolates and lastly the mini marshmallows.
  4. Put the top back on and make sure you deliver this gift standing upright or wrap with plastic wrap to keep the contents inside.

Cozy Slipper Gift "Basket"



Materials:

  • Pair of comfy slippers
  • Small gift ideas such as lip balm, relaxing face mask, socks, chocolate, a gift card or whatever else you think the recipient would enjoy.
Directions:
  1. Simply take the slippers and arrange the items inside of the slipper then tie them together with a bow.
Homemade Coffee Scrub

Supplies:
  • One cup ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 1/4 vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops of orange essential oil *optional*
Directions:
  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl. (Begin by using 1/4 cup almond oil and increase until you reach your preferred texture. 1/2 cup makes it a thinner, more oily scrub.)
  2. To use, we skin and use a small scoop to apply.
  3. Gently rub coffee scrub in small circles to help remove dry skin.
  4. Wipe as much as you can with a paper towel then rinse off the rest in the shower or sink.
  5. Store in an airtight container.  Best if used within 2 - 4 weeks.
Peppermint Soap
Supplies:

Directions:
  1. Melt one pound of soap base at a time.  You can use the double boiler method with a large Pyrex measuring cup or melt the soap in the microwave by stirring every 30 seconds.
  2. Add 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil into the melted soap and stir well.
  3. Pour soap into molds.  Add a few drops of red soap colorant and use a toothpick to gently mix the color with the melted soap. *Tip: For an even more festive look, these snowflake silicone molds are perfect!*
  4. Allow soap to harden for at least two hours or place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.  *Tip: If you have trouble getting the soap to come out of the mold, lightly grease the mold with coconut oil beforehand*
  5. Get creative!  Wrap your soap in cellophane bags and tie with festive ribbon, wrap the soap with small pieces of wrapping or scrapbook paper and embellish with ribbon, candy canes or anything else you can think of.
Gingerbread Play Dough Kit

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 mason jar
  • 1 gingerbread cookie cutter
Directions:
  1. Fill mason jar with dry ingredients.
  2. Print out cute, festive labels and directions.
  3. Attach the labels to the jar and using a ribbon or piece of twine attach the directions and gingerbread man cooker cutter to the jar.
Recipe:
  1. Mix all ingredients into a sauce pan.
  2. Cook slowly over medium head while stirring constantly.
  3. While stirring, the dough will begin to form into a ball.  When all ingredients are incorporated remove the dough from the heat.
  4. Let the dough cool to the touch and knead it then store in an airtight container.

Button Bookmarks

Materials:

  • Paperclips
  • Fancy buttons
  • Hot glue
  • Felt
Directions:
  1. Simply hot glue the paperclip to the back of each button then cut a small piece of felt to go on top.  The felt will keep the glue sealed and leave a smooth finish.

DIY Canvas Portrait

Materials:

  • Stretched canvas
  • Gel medium (such as Liquidex)
  • Paint brush
  • A laser copy of the picture you want to transfer
  • Spray bottle filled with water
**Note: Your image will print reversed**

Directions:
  1. Apply a heavy coat of the gel medium and cover your canvas completely.
  2. Press the photo copy onto the canvas and let it dry overnight.
  3. After your image is completely dry, use the spray bottle to wet the top of the paper.
  4. Rub the surface with your fingers until pieces of the paper start coming off.  When pieces start coming up, your image will be revealed.  *Note: This step takes a little bit of time and can be messy so be patient and be careful not to rub too hard as this can accidentally remove your transfer.*
  5. Continue until all of the paper is removed and the image is completely visible.
  6. Cover the canvas with one more coat of gel medium to seal and protect the image.  *Note: The picture will not transfer perfectly however these imperfections add to the beauty and uniqueness of this gift.  Each picture you transfer will be different.*
Materials:
  • Glass container of some kind
  • Sand
  • Bamboo skewers (cut)
  • Faux or real succulent or air plant
  • Small decorative items such as stones *optional*
Directions:
  1. If you are using a faux succulent or equivalent with a long stem, tape to the bottom of the glass container so it stays in place and doesn't flop over.  If you're using a real succulent or equivalent, put a small amount of rocks on the bottom followed by a shallow layer of dirt.  Plant your succulent to make it secure.  If you're using an air plant, simply set the plant on top of the sand after you pour it in in step 2 - no need to plant it.
  2. Next, pour your sand into the container and tap the bottom gently so the sand evens out into a nice layer.  You can find several fun, different colors of sand at Michaels or your local craft store to personalize it.
  3. Add any small decorations you'd like to decorate your zen garden such as small figures, rocks or charms.
  4. Take the sharp end of the bamboo skewer or a pencil, anything with a small, somewhat sharp end and doodle in the sand.


Ice Cream Sprinkles Sneakers


Materials:
Directions:
  1. Squeeze a little bit of each color of paint into the separate compartments of the plastic paint tray.  You'll only need about a dozen dabs of paint of each color on each shoe so you won't need a lot of paint.
  2. Dip your angled paint brush into each of the five colors and dab them with a steady hand across the surface of each shoe, making sure to switch the direction of the brush each time.  *Tip: Use one color at a time and leave about an inch of space between each painted sprinkle.  Then clean the brush and start with the next color and so on.*
  3. Let paint dry for a couple of hours.  The DecoArt Americana paint is made for any kind of surface including canvas and fabric so you don't necessarily need to treat the shoes with sealant to make the color stay.  However you may want to spray on waterproofing solution made specifically for shoes if you're worried about staining your freshly painted, bright white shoes.
Ornament pillows

If you really want to get creative, I found this incredible DIY ornament pillow tutorial from StudioDIY.com.  If you have a sewing machine, a little bit of time and skill these would make fabulous gifts for anyone and they are just too cute!

Are you finishing up some last minute shopping?  Are you thinking of trying any of these out for yourself?  Comment below!


I was not compensated for this post.  All pictures and tutorials are linked to their owners.  For more information please visit the PR section of this site. Copyright Shopping with the Couture Queen 2009-2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wholesome, Life Lessons your Child will Love to Read from ZonderKidz - #Review #Giveaway



Books make fantastic gifts for the holidays and some can even help you teach your children life lessons such as the importance of sharing, responsibility and more.  Growing up, I loved reading the Berenstain Bears and had a lot of fun reading them to my little brother.  It became a tradition, every year my brother and I would receive the newest Berenstain Bears books and it's one that I passed down to my own son.  You can help keep the Christmas spirit alive with the help of my friends at Zondervan Publishing.  Their books are not only family friendly, wholesome and tons of fun but they're also very affordable!

More Information on Zondervan Publishing
According to their website, "Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications.  For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christan experiences through its best selling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products.  The company's products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide in more than 60 countries, translated into nearly 200 languages.  Zondervan is the North American publisher and licensee of the NIV Bible translation."
"Zonderkidz, the children's division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation.  As a leader in Christian children's communications, it creates products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 12.  Zonderkidz is also the publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader's Version) Bible translation, the 3rd-grade reading level edition of the NIV."

Great Gift Ideas from Zondervan Publishing
Zondervan has so many great books that would make perfect gifts for any age.  I've browsed their site and found a few I wanted to share with you.

Wonders of Creation Holy Bible Illustrations to Color and Inspire - $24.99
Adult coloring books are a marvelous way to relax and they're also very addicting.  I actually asked Santa for some new coloring books, colored pencils and gel pens for Christmas this year!  This beautiful adult coloring book features 50 pages o illustrations of animals, landscapes and other wonders of creation with key Bible verses called out on each page.


You're the Best Dad - $8.99
If you're looking for a great gift for Dad, this keepsake is full of fun activities you and your kids can enjoy and for Dad to treasure throughout the year.  This book has fun, kid-friendly activities that children can use to engage with their father.  This memory book is a lasting keepsake that Dad will cherish for a lifetime.
Stories Behind The Great Traditions of Christmas - $15.99
The festive traditions of Christmas - presents, stockings, carols, evergreen trees carefully decorated with colorful ornaments and lights - infuse our celebration of the season with memories that last a lifetime.  In many ways, that you may not even realize, they point us to the birth of Christ.   Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas reveals the people, places and events that shaped the most loved customs of this merriest of holidays.

My Review
My friends at Zondervan Publishing were gracious enough to send me seven fun and adorable children's Christmas books for review.

Ready, Set, Find Christmas - $8.99
Ready, Set, Find Christmas holiday board book is perfect toddlers and preschoolers who will enjoy finding the 48 objects hidden throughout while reading the classic story of Christmas.  The beautiful illustrations and simple words make this a great tool to teach your little ones to read as well.
Each page features a short bible verse and eight items for them to seek and find on the page.  Each item is labeled and has a corresponding picture above it to help your toddler or preschooler associate the word with its picture.  Ready, Set, Find Christmas is an affordable small gift or stocking stuffer for any child up to about age 5 and helps teach them the true meaning of Christmas.



Goodnight Manger - $8.99
Goodnight Manger is a board book perfect for toddlers and young children up to about age 5.  It tells the story of Mary and Joseph as they try to lull baby Jesus to sleep in the noisy stable after his birth.  From itchy hay to angel's joyful singing and animals making noise, Mary has to find a way for everyone to work together to shepherd baby Jesus into peaceful dreams under the twinkling stars.  With easy-to-read rhyming text, Goodnight Manger is the perfect holiday bedtime story and one your child can learn to read right along with you!

A Royal Christmas to Remember - $14.99
A Royal Christmas to Remember is perfect for the princess(es) in your life.  This hardcover book is about five princesses Joy, Grace, Faith, Charity and Hope who find themselves in the midst of a dramatic scene right out of a holiday fairytale that includes bandits, a harrowing rescue and a royal Christmas celebration of family and God's love.  This exciting tale makes a fantastic bedtime story and it's intermediate text is great for school aged children to read along with you.
A Night of Great Joy - $16.99
A Night of Great Joy is a charming picture book that celebrates the joyful season of Christmas.  It tells the nativity story through the performance of a children's Christmas pageant.  The illustrations are absolutely adorable and help your child really get into the story and the simple storytelling makes this another great book to help teach your little ones to read.  This delightful story is perfect for children up to about age 5.

Christmas Love Letters from God - $16.99
Christmas Love Letters from God includes seven stories, beginning with Isaiah's prophecy and ending with the visit of the three wise men.  Your child will find his or her own letter from God, while following each story, folded into a small envelope attached to the page.  I love the fact that each letter has a space to write in the child's name and is written as if God is speaking to your little one.  This book is recommended for ages four to eight.


The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel - $3.99
The Berenstain Bears were some of my absolute favorites growing up and I remember receiving a few of them every year for Christmas.  In the Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel it's almost Christmas and there is finally snow in Bear Country.  Brother, Sister and Honey Bear are ready to build a snowbear until Honey Bear's snow angel gives them a better idea.  As they warm up with hot cocoa, Mama and Papa give the cubs a lesson about some very special angels and the work they do for God.  These books are perfect to read to your little ones or for children up to about age 8 though the lessons are important for kids of all ages.

The Berenstain Bears Christmas Fun Sticker & Activity Book - $6.99
If your home is full of holiday hustle and bustle, little ones can end up getting in the way.  The Berenstain Bears Christmas Fun Sticker & Activity Book is a great way to keep them busy and in one spot while you finish preparing for the big day.  This fun book has puzzles, activities and more than 50 reusable stickers to keep them occupied.

Overall, I enjoyed each and every one oft these precious books and highly recommend them to anyone with younger children.  Perfect for something to keep them occupied while you finish last minute preparations, as stocking stuffers or as gifts all by themselves all at prices that won't break the bank.

Where to Find ZonderKidz Books
If you're interested in any of the books featured in this post or would like to see what else Zondervan Publishing has to offer you can see their entire selection on their website.  You can also find their books at your local bookstore such as Books A Million or Barnes & Noble.  For more up to date information on new products and promotions be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Giveaway Time!
One lucky winner will receive a children's book from ZonderKidz!  Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free product(s) to help facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed int this post are mine and 100% honest.  For more information please visit the PR section of my site.  Copyright Shopping with the Couture Queen 2009-2016.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure - #Review #AmazonKids



Amazon Kids recently added an original kid's special onto their Prime Video collection called Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure and I was granted a special sneak peek before the premiere.  This adorable special was full of fun and adventure, perfect for the whole family!

More Information on Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure
Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure is about a 12 year old Dorothy Gale, voiced by Ashley Boettcher of Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, who discovers her mother's magical travel journal from Oz hidden beneath the floorboards of their Kansas home.  The book triggers a tornado which rips her house from its foundation and transports Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, to Oz.  Lost in the modern hustle and bustle of this magical metropolis, Dorothy learns that to get back to Kansas she will need to acquire every magical element in Oz.  Unfortunately for her, Oz is currently facing its worse magic crisis in eons.  Dorothy and Toto meet some unlikely friends and allies in West, (Nika Futterman The Loud House), a young street-smart witch grappling with dark magic temptations and Ojo (Jorge Diaz, Elena of Avalor), a half-Munchkin who's full of heart.  Dorothy realizes the only way to get the magic she needs to get home is to find Glinda, the elusive and most powerful witch in Oz.

Lost in Oz is an animated, action-adventure comedy which was part of Amazon Studios' 2015 summer pilot season and received 4.9 out of 5 stars by customers with 91% of the reviews being 5 stars!  The new special includes the original pilot plus 40 minutes of new content for an extended adventure.  A full season of Lost in Oz will debut on Prime Video in 2017.
My Review
I absolutely loved Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure and can clearly see why it was rated 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.  This adorable Amazon original special is perfect for your littlest ones but still engaging for your tweens as well.  Without giving any spoilers away, I will definitely say Lost in Oz is worth the watch!  With a full season debuting on Prime Video in 2017, we all have something to look forward to in the coming year.

Lost in Oz is based on the "OZ" books by L. Frank Baum.  Developed and executive produced by Abram Makowka, Darin Mark, Jared Mark and Mark Warshaw (East Los High), the series features voice talent from Ashley Boettcher (Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street), Nika Futterman (The Loud House) and Jorge Diaz (Elena of Avalor).


I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are mine and not influenced by any monetary or any other form of compensation.  For more information please visit the PR section of this site.  Copyright Shopping with the Couture Queen 2009-2016

 
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