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Get “wild” with new books from National Geographic Kids Books (giveaway ends 7/23/15)

 

Summer Reading

Do you enjoy reading when you are lounging poolside? Or do you like to take along a book to enjoy while listening to the sounds of the beach?

Summer is a great time to catch up on all the reading you have been meaning to do the rest of the year. Even children who normally have a lot of homework to do can now enjoy some great reading since they have plenty of time on their hands.

Some schools require summer reading and ask students to keep a log of the books they read. I’m all for encouraging and promoting reading but I think making it mandatory kind of stinks, especially when you have a “reluctant reader” who might prefer to read something they are interested in instead of a pre-assigned book list.

If your child or grandchild loves to read – especially books about animals – I have some great choices for you from National Geographic Kids Books. Kids are sure to go “wild” of these newly released titles. National Geographic Kids has books available for all reading levels.

NGK Lions

NG Readers: Lions –  Part of the National Geographic Readers series, this level one reader ($3.99) is perfect for those just starting to read.   Joining the many dozens of titles in this series, Lions, features beautiful photos of lions and cubs accompanying simple but informative text, fun facts and jokes to make kids ROAR with laughter:).

NGK Kangaroo

Chapters: Kangaroo to the Rescue! – This chapter book series picks up where the Readers series leaves off.  This title ($5.99) features three incredible true stories of animal heroics, including Lulu the kangaroo, two dogs named Maggie and Pilot and three amazing pigs, each a hero in its own way.

NGK Bears

Look & Learn: Bears – Developed in association with child education experts, the newest addition ($6.99) to the Look & Learn board book series features bears of every variety and introduces concepts with context reinforcement so learning sticks.

NGK Birds of Prey

Everything Birds of Prey – The Everything series is perfect for kids ages 8-12.  In Everything Birds of Prey ($12.99) readers can swoop in for seriously fierce photos and amazing info on some of the fastest and largest flying animals in the world.

NGK Ponies and Horses Sticker Book

Ponies & Horses Sticker Activity Book – Packed with mazes, spelling and pattern games, drawing activities and more, this title ($12.99) is perfect for the horse-obsessed and a terrific boredom buster!

National Geographic Kids was kind enough to send me a copy of each of these books to check out. I’ll be donating them to where I work as classroom copies. I think the kids are going to go “wild” over these books.

What I love most about these books, aside from being very informative, educational and interesting, is the photography. The photos found on the pages of all these books is incredible. The very same high quality photographs that appear in the National Geographic magazine also fill the pages of these beautiful books.

I’m an adult and I love animals. I found interesting tid bits about the creatures in these books that I didn’t know about, so I learned from these books too.

These books would make a great addition to any home library.

National Geographic Kids also has a fun website where kids can win prizes, play games, download activities,printable posters, quizzes and so much more. It’s called the National Geographic Kids Super Reader Site.

Kids.NationalGeographic.com/SuperReaders

This would be a great site/resource to have on hand especially when you hear your kids utter those dreadful words “Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?” LOL!

For more information about National Geographic Kids visit Kids.NationalGeographic.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and National Geographic Kids Books on Twitter (@NGKidsBks).

I have a great “Go WILD” giveaway for a lucky reader. The prize package includes all of the books mentioned in this post (a $43 value). Thank you National Geographic Kids Books!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on July 23, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

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Kimberly

*I received free sample copies in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Trollhunters – a new book by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus (giveaway ends 7/22/15)

 

TrollhuntersCover

Are you familiar with the Guillermo del Toro? He’s a writer, director and/or producer for many hit movies and television shows. Some of his projects include both Hellboy films, Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3, The Book of Life, Rise of the Guardians, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Strain and a couple of The Hobbit films.

As if he wasn’t busy enough, now he can add author to his resume.

Guillermo del Toro has teamed up with author Daniel Kraus to create the book Trollhunters. The book is illustrated by Sean Murray.

“You are food. Those muscles you flex to walk, lift, and talk? They’re patties of meat topped with chewy tendon. That skin you’ve paid so much attention to in mirrors? It’s delicious to the right tongues, a casserole of succulent tissue. And those bones that give you the strength to make your way in the world? They rattle between teeth as the marrow is sucked down slobbering throats. These facts are unpleasant but useful. There are things out there, you see, that don’t cower in holes to be captured by us and cooked over our fires. These things have their own ways of trapping their kills, their own fires, their own appetites.”

Jim Sturges is your typical teen in suburban San Bernardino— one with an embarrassingly overprotective dad, a best friend named “Tubby” who shares his hatred of all things torturous (like gym class), and a crush on a girl who doesn’t know he exists. But everything changes for Jim when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed.

TrollhuntersCreativeTeam

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Guillermo del Toro is best known for his critically acclaimed feature films, such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Helllboy, The Hobbit, and Pacific Rim, as well as his best-selling Strain Trilogy.

Daniel Kraus is the award-winning author of Scowler and Rotters, and is the director of six feature films. He lives with his wife in Chicago.

From Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy to his best-selling novel The Strain, del Toro has captured the imagination through his works. His co-author Daniel Kraus is another award-winning author and filmmaker with a penchant for horror stories. Kraus’ debut novel, The Monster Variations, was selected for New York Public Library’s “100 Best Stuff for Teens.” Fangoria called Rotters, his Bram Stoker-finalist and Odyssey Award-winning second novel, “a new horror classic.” Kraus’ 2013 title, Scowler, also won an Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Sean Murray is an illustrator, concept artist, author and teacher known for his work on video games such as Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online, as well as the creator of The World of Gateway, which includes his fantasy guidebook Gateway: The Book of Wizards and the upcoming card game Gateway Uprising.

 

 

The book is already receiving praise, especially amount other popular authors.

“Guillermo del Toro’s name on the cover of a children’s book –  be sure the adventure is not for the timid hearted! He knows the young want stories that do not lie about the shadows under beds and bridges – and in human hearts. Trollhunters teaches us about both kinds. About true friendship, grim and slimy heroes, the strength of outsiders- and the courage it takes to face everyday life.” – Cornelia Funke, Bestselling author of the Inkheart trilogy

“Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus have deftly forged a thrilling, nightmare-inducing monstrous world filled with terrifying trolls, lost boys and mysterious artifacts. The gruesome text, paired with ghoulish illustrations, makes for a fantastic adventure in an underground kingdom that’s just a dangerous as the trials and tribulations of middle school. I’m never looking under my bed again.” – Tony DiTerlizzi, Bestselling author and co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Trollhunters

If you are interested in learning more about this title please visit Un-RequiredReading.com. In addition you can follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter & Tumblr. The official hashtag is #Trollhunters.

The book will be in stores on July 7, 2015. You can pre-order the book at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks a MillionIndieBound and Indigo.

If you happen to go to Comic-Con the author’s are having a special book signing.

COMIC-CON SIGNING DETAILS

Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus Signing

Friday, June 10th

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Disney Publishing Worldwide Booth #1129

BecometheHeroPrize

I have a great giveaway for a lucky reader. The prize package includes;

  • Copy of Trollhunters and branded pins
  • $25 Visa gift card (to stock up on your monster-attack survival supplies).

Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on July 22, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win a copy of this book?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free copy of the book from Disney-Hyperion in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection – 20 Back to School Tales

 

Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection - 20 Back to School Tales

This time of the year most kids are either already done with school for the summer, or close to it. My kids are done with school until September. In fact my oldest gradates from high school this coming week. Sigh… time flies way too quickly.

The last thing on people’s minds is back to school time. Trust me, it’s the last thing on my mind too. I still have one in school and now one heading off to college soon.

Back to school time will be here before you know it. In just a few short weeks you’ll no doubt start seeing school supplies popping up on store shelves. In fact I’ve already seen summer items on clearance at some stores. Clearance? Really? Summer hasn’t even officially begun and already things are on clearance. Way to rush things.

If you have a child or grandchild who is heading off to school for the first time, or even returning to school to start Kindergarten or first grade, you might be interested in a new DVD collection from Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection called 20 Back to School Tales.

Get ready to learn your 123’s and ABC’s with this new colorful DVD collection featuring animated shorts of popular children’s books.

  • How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
  • Splat the Cat
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Sky Color
  • Crazy Hair Day
  • The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash
  • Monty, Emily’s First 100 Days of School
  • The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon
  • The Librarian from the Black Lagoon
  • Miss Nelson Has a Field Day
  • Miss Nelson Is Back
  • Will I Have a Friend
  • Open Wide: Tooth School Inside
  • Otto Runs for President
  • Owen
  • The Scrambled States of America Talent Show
  • Shrinking Violet
  • The Teacher from the Black Lagoon

There are 20 short animated episodes based on popular, classic books. Many of the books featured on this DVD are award winners including ALA Notable Award, Cine Golden Eagle, NAPPA Gold, and Parents’ Choice.

Splat the Cat

Splat the Cat

The DVD has a run time of approximately 3 hours and a suggested retail price of only $5.97 which is super inexpensive for such a fun and educational DVD your child or grandchild will love.

I was sent the DVD to review. It was fun for me to see some of my kid’s favorite books come to life. For example, the Black Lagoon books. My daughter loved them so much that we owned every book in that series. I even kept all the books so that she can some day read them to her children. It was great to see these stories I read to my kids over and over again come alive on the television screen.

I love Splat the Cat. He wasn’t around when my kids were little. None the less I have seen several Splat the Cat books and I love them. He was another character I was happy to see come alive on my television.

This is a great DVD that can be enjoyed year round and not just for back to school time. It’s fun and entertaining with educational materials too.

Look for Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection – 20 Back to School Tales  where ever DVDs are sold.

Scholastic logo

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs

 

Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs

I love bath and body products. I have a really nice collection of products. Some were sent to me to review, some were given to me as gifts and others I purchased myself.

I am a big fan of things like scrubs and soaking salts. I use scrubs pretty much every day as well as lotions to keep my skin moist and hydrated. Other products like soaking salts and bath bombs I use on occasion. Sometimes I enjoy them “just because” and other times I “need” them after a rough day at work or a stressful week.

People will spend a crazy amount of money on bath and body products. Did you know that you can make these products in your own home for just a fraction of the cost? Many bath and body products can be made with just a few simple ingredients too – many of which you might already have on hand.

02J72344

I sometimes make my own hand scrub with a dash of olive oil and about a 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. I put the ingredients in my hand, gentle rub my hands together then rinse them off. The sugar acts as an exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and the olive oil helps to moisturize your skin.

You can also use the same ingredients to make a sugar scrub for your lips to remove dead, dry skin. Just be sure to rub carefully because the skin on your lips is thin.

You can find recipes to make your own bath and body products online, but honestly, unless you know specifically what you are looking for you’ll no doubt miss out on a lot of great ideas. I prefer flipping through the pages of a book. That way I an find things I might not have ever thought of before. That is why I am an enjoying the book Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs by Kate Bello that I was sent to review.

Introducing “Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs,” a new collection of 300 easy, fun, DIY recipes to take bath time to the next ahhhh-inducing level.

These personalized creations utilize fragrant petals, powerful essential oils and exotic ingredients, including sage, lavender, peppermint, rose, jasmine, himalayan sea salt and much more.

Made of all-natural ingredients, these bath additions elevate your soak and help to relieve common ailments such as allergies, stress, acne, dry skin, sunburn and more.

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ll see that I have a whole board dedicated to Beauty. There you will find some great DIY beauty recipes.

What I love about this book is that it contains recipes for products I would never think to make. Not only that it gives you information about the ingredients and how they can benefit you.

There are plenty of great recipes to create products to help you create your own at home spa, but this book goes beyond that. It also provides you with recipes to create products to help you with different ailments you might be suffering from such as stress, eczema, arthritis and even the flu.

Salt and shampoo with nettle on board

The directions are super easy to follow. Each recipe provides you with a list of supplies and ingredients you’ll need.

Many ingredients you might already have in your home. Other ingredients you’ll have to shop around for, such as the specific essential oils you might need. I have an assortment of essential oils but I found recipes that require different oils. I have those pages bookmarked so I an refer back to them when I pick up all the ingredients that I need.

I’m impressed by all the wonderful things you can make simply and easily in your own home. Best of all you can make these products to give as gifts to family and friends. You’ll just need some creative packaging like bottles, jars and boxes. I’m sure you can find great ideas at your local dollar store so that you don’t have to spend a fortune.

If you have every been curious about making your own bath and body products, or you want to find a way to make your own so that you can save money, look no further than the book Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs by Kate Bello.

Look for it where ever books are sold (I saw it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble too).

Have you ever made your own bath and body products? Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments. I always love to hear from readers.

lavender salt

Kimberly

*I received a free sample copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Give your kids the fun of a “family adventure” with Imaginary Friends interactive series

 

Imaginary Friends_Reading

I have always loved to read. I can’t imagine a world without books. For me, books opened up a whole world of possibilities. Books took me on grand adventures. Books inspired me to want to do things and see places around the world.

I love books so much that I saved my favorite books from my childhood. When I became a mom I read my favorite books to my kids. They are teenagers now but I still have their favorite books from when they were younger in hopes that they will read them to their kids one day.

I don’t think kids read as much as they used to. Sadly, I think most kids prefer to play on their parents tablets and smartphones instead of picking up a book, or even going outside to play.

Imagine if there was a way to combine reading, fun activities (some of which can be done outside), as well as an online component to satisfy today’s technology driven youth. There is! It’s called Imaginary Friend Books.

Imaginary Friends Books takes reading to a whole new level. Not only will children read about fun and exciting adventures they will also be a part of the story.

This brief video explains more about this exciting new way to enjoy not only reading but also quality family time with your children or grandchildren.

 

As a mom I love this idea. I really wish that there was something like this when my kids were younger.

My son was often referred to as a “reluctant reader.” He loved it when I read him stories, but he was not too keen on reading books on his own. I had to seek out books on specific topics that he would enjoy (weather, snow, cars…).

I found that my son did enjoy books that were engaging such as pop-up books or books with flaps he could lift up to find a surprise hidden underneath. I would have loved to have him physically get involved with the book and make it more fun than just lifting a flap.

Stories filled with action, excitement and adventure that help to stimulate young minds and aids literacy development.

Imaginary Friends_Adventure_Kit_photo

With Imaginary Friends, parents can put reading in the center of the things their kids love to do every day. Imaginary Friends is a “Family Adventure” that arrives at your house with printed chapters and a fun-filled activity kit with online and real-life games, scavenger hunts and moments to connect with your child.

That is another reason why I really like Imaginary Friends. It’s something that children can do with their siblings and their parents. It’s a family adventure!

These days families can become disconnected. We all lead such busy lives. When you factor in smartphones, tablets and video games it makes it even harder for families to come together to do something fun – something memories are made from. Imaginary Friends brings the family together for a quality bonding experience.

Currently this awesome interactive series is a Kickstarter Campaign. If you are not familiar with Kickstarter it’s a platform to help raise funds for innovative ideas and more. Contributors (known as “backer”), donate funds to projects they are interested in. When the project receives all it’s funding to go into production backers get great rewards.

Imaginary Friends-Children Reading-Capes in the Family_photo

Please note – If the total amount needed is not raised, contributors/backers will NOT be charged and Kickstarter will refund the money back to you. You will not be out any money if the project doesn’t pan out.

Imaginary Friends needs about $32,000 in order to go into production. With the exchange rate that would be $40,000 in Canada. The last time I checked they were less than $10,000 from reaching their goal. That is because many people see the value in such a program and want to see Imaginary Friends come to life.

Their Kickstarter campaign explains what you get when you contribute to this program. Some perks include free books and a year of free Imaginary Friends adventures.

Here’s a short video to see how it works and how you can join the community and be part of the adventure by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign.

If you would like to learn more you can also visit the Imaginary Friend website, ImaginaryFriendBooks.com.

In addition you can check them out on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Imaginary Friends_Devices_Gameplay

You can check out a FREE sample Imaginary Friends Activity Kit available on their website. All you need to do is provide your email address. The sample kit will be available to all backers in addition to their existing reward regardless of the reward level.

Imaginary Friends is also giving away FREE downloadable Father’s Day cards on their blog.

Speaking of Father’s Day, Imaginary Friends would make a great Father’s Day gift. Forget the ties and mugs – why not give dad the gift of adventure and fun with his children. The memories he will make spending quality time with this children is a gift he will remember for a lifetime.

What do you think about Imaginary Friends? Does it sound like something you could enjoy with your child or grandchild? Do you like the idea of combining reading with physical activities and online gaming? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.

Even if you don’t have children or grandchildren, but enjoy the concept, consider joining their community to share your thoughts and ideas with the creators.

Imaginary Friends_logo

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Imaginary Friends to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Big Tractors with Casey & Friends (giveaway ends 5/30/15)

 

A Year on the Farm-cover

Most young children are fascinated by vehicles. It’s not just a “boy thing.” Growing up I was really into trucks and cards. I LOVED my Tonka trucks back in the day when they were made out of metal.

I still remember when my kids were little. They were fascinated by things like firetrucks, Police cars, tractor trailers and farm equipment.

There is a new book available that many little boys (and girls!) might find interesting and fun. It’s called Big Tractors with Casey & Friends. It’s new from Octane Press. In fact, there are several Casey & Friends books worth noting. They offer readers a glimpse into farm life as well as machines used in modern agriculture.

Octane Press produces high-quality narrative and illustrated books for discerning enthusiast audiences. Some of the company’s best-known titles include Red Tractors 1958–2013: The Authoritative Guide to IH and Case IH Tractors and Beast: The Top Secret Ilmor-Penske Engine that Shocked the Racing World at the Indy 500. Octane Press has won several book awards, including IBPA Benjamin Franklin awards (Red Tractors 1958–2013, Forward, Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska) and Independent Publisher Awards (In the Red, Red Tractors 1958–2013).

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends (ages 4-8) teaches readers about the various pieces of farm equipment and how they work, including interesting farming facts and so much more. Readers will also learn about the iconic red CASE IH tractor.

I’m an adult and I found the book interesting. I even learned a few things and I grew up around farms.

Casey & Friends is written by a “seasoned” educator and national curriculum writer Holly Dufek. Together with Cars artist Paul Nunn they are teaching children (and their parents) about the various types of farm equipment that is used to bring food to the table.

Most people don’t know just how much work is involved to harvest the foods that we eat on a daily basis. There is a lot of labor involved including heavy machinery.

casey fall

Here is some more information about the books series.

Meet “Casey & Friends.”
Written by Holly Dufek, Illustrated by Paul E. Nunn | Published by Octane Press
Ages 4-8 | 32 pages | 9×9-inch hardcover | $14.99 each

Follow Casey the farmer, Tillus the worm, Big Red the tractor, and a whole cast of cartoon equipment characters who teach important life lessons gleaned from the farm, like thinking ahead and working as a team. Each title is licensed by CASE IH and highlights a different aspect of farm equipment and technology with educational sidebars, picture glossaries and fun farming facts for added learning possibilities.

A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends (Jan. 2015) introduces children to the world of modern farming by teaching them about the different jobs a farmer does each season. Casey and her team show how tractors, combines and other equipment: plant and harvest crops, work in the farmyard, and care for animals. Learn how farming involves planning for the year, reacting to the weather, and working as a team.

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends (Apr. 2015) shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special.

big red left facing

Combineswith Casey & Friends (June 2015) explains the step-by-step processes used to harvest crops by the most complex machines on the farm. Follow Cody and Kellie—the combines of Happy Skies Farm—as they do the work of three machines: gathering, separating, and unloading grain and corn.

Planters & Cultivators with Casey & Friends (Sept. 2015) features the specialized farm equipment used to cultivate, plant and spray crops. Learn how Tammi the Tiller, Evan the Early Riser Planter and Peter the Patriot Sprayer work together to make this year’s crop bigger than ever. Explore the science of soil and discover how Casey’s team keeps it healthy.

“Know a kid or two who thinks corn comes from the grocery’s freezer section? Put ‘em on track with A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends….Plenty of detail combined with lots of color photos and illustrations makes this an engaging read for kids ages 4-8. A fun (and educational) read for kids and their grandparents!”

—Leslie McManus, Farm Collector Magazine

We have the book Big Tractors with Casey & Friends. I have since donated it to our classroom for other children to enjoy.

Look for these books where ever books are sold.

For more information about Octane Press visit OctanePress.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

BigTractors-cover

CASEIH Tractor Toy

I have a copy of this book, as well as CASE IH Magnum 370 CVT Tractor Toy (1:64 scale – MSRP $8.50 – ages 3+) to give to a lucky reader. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on May 30, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. The winner will be notified via email. The winner has three days to respond or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you MUST complete the initial entry requirement or the extra entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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