Give a Bears for Humanity Teddy for Christmas – the Gift That Gives Twice!


close up of woman in sweater with christmas ball

It’s the holiday season – time for good will towards others, finding the perfect gift for that special someone and enjoying quality time with family and friends.

I love that people are more charitable this time of year. I only wish that the good will towards others extended well past the holiday season – even better – year round.

We do what we can throughout the year when it comes to making charitable donations. We donate food (both food for people and food to our local animal shelter), cash and products. When the holiday season swings around my family and I increase our efforts to do good for others. We donate more food and buy gifts for children.

Two years ago my family and I were visiting a local plant nursery, checking out their holiday decorations (they have a section that sells holiday decor). The nursery also sold real Christmas trees. That year we paid for a Christmas tree and told the young lady at checkout that the next person who comes in to purchase a Christmas tree, use the money we gave them to pay for it.

As luck would have it the next family came in shortly after we left. We were able to see them at the cash register from our car through the windows. As we were pulling away the man came running out into the parking lot, waving at us with a huge smile on his face.

We live in an affluent area, but there are plenty of people who struggle to get by. We’d like to hope that the family that benefited from the tree we purchase needed a little holiday magic.

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

We meant to do that again last year but we couldn’t afford it. This year we’re a little better off so we plan on doing that again.

What if there was a way you could purchase a holiday gift for someone on your shopping list and give to charity at the same time? It would be a win-win situation all around.

When you purchase a teddy bear from Bears For Humanity™, not only do you (or the gift recipient) receive a beautifully made teddy bear, the purchase also instantly doubles as a gift for a child in need.

When you purchase from Bears for Humanity you can select from one of the listed charities for your donation bear to be delivered to. The donated bears are personally delivered to a needy veteran’s house, a children’s hospital or an underprivileged household.

What a wonderful idea! I wish more companies would consider doing something like this. As a person with a big heart who believes in supporting charities, I would purchase from companies that did something like this over a company that doesn’t.


Currently the charities benefiting from the donated bears are;

The bears come in two different sizes and several colors.

The 16″ Premium Bear is $39.99 and the 7″ Baby Bear is $19.99. They come in colors such as white, light brown, dark brown, blue and pink.

Check out this brief video that explains more about Bears for Humanity.

About 10 years ago I helped out a young lady with her Gold Eagle project for Girl Scouts. It was called The Bear Fair. Funds collected from the event were used to purchase teddy bears to donate to local rescue organizations (Police Department, Fire Department and Ambulance companies).

When a child is scared they need something to provide them with comfort. That is what the Teddy Bears that were donated were used for. They were given to children involved in car accidents, house fires and other tragic situations.

I truly believe that a teddy bear can provide comfort for both young and old alike.

I have teddy bears. In fact, I sleep with one of them at night on occasion. If I have been having an especially stressful day I find that snuggling with “Mr. Bear” (which is what I call him) makes me feel a lot better.

All of the charities that Bears for Humanity work with work with children, adults and families in need. I am proud to support such wonderful charities. I have linked to each of them (above) so that you can learn more about them. Toys for Tots is one that we donate toys to every holiday season.

The bears sold at Bears for Humanity are not just ordinary bears. Bears for Humanity are made with only 100% Certified Organic Cotton/ Hemp. Plus, they are naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic which gives parents the peace of mind they don’t get from polyester plush toys.

Baby Bears

Large Bears

The bears are made here in the United States through CalWorks. CalWorks provides jobs to at-risk mothers, fathers and caregivers.

Even toy industry experts have also taken notice of this new company. Dr. Toy was first to award Bears for Humanity the Green Toy Company award followed by National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, Playonwords.com PAL
Award, Able Play Seal of Approval and most recently, Mom’s Choice Award—GOLD seal of approval.

The Parents’ Choice Foundation also awarded the company their Gold Award.

The Choice Foundation said, “Among the ways we learn is through imitation and practice – of tasks, process and behavior. Be it the importance of reading, or teaching children empathy and responsibility, parents set the stage. But busy lives can interfere; giving to and helping others takes time, thought and understanding. Making a contribution with a positive impact, even in its smallest form, feels good. Doing it again feels better.

Creating a pattern becomes habit and habits create change. Enter Bears for Humanity. From the materials sourced to the workforce employed, to the carefully screened “Buy One, Give One” program, this company is as much a teacher as it is a manufacturer. These lessons of philosophy and business practice are worth patterning and passing along.

My Sammi Bear

My Sammie Bear

When giving a bear to a child, be sure to share the bear’s story. Present it as an age appropriate introduction to empathy and responsibility: getting a hug feels great; giving one feels pretty good too. And by the way, “hugs” can take many forms.”

The Premium Bears have jointed limbs, making them a great addition for any childhood adventure or tea party.

Currently the available bears are;

  • Sammie—iconic beige
  • Sassie—pink
  • Snowie—white
  • Snugglie—chocolate brown
  • Sweetie—blue

Bears for Humanity

The company also makes the non-jointed 7” baby bears (mentioned above) and assortment of accessories for the Premium Bears.

I was sent one of the bears to review. I chose Sammie, the classic iconic beige bear.

I love that his arms and legs move. It’s not often that you come across a bear with movable limbs. You can position him (or her if you choose to make it a girl) sitting down, standing up and a variety of other positions.

This is a quality bear. You can tell from the very first time you hold it in you hands. You can tell that this bear was made with love and attention to detail. I don’t see any lose strings, holes or shedding.

These are not the type of bear you put on a shelf and just look at it (unless you want to). These bears were made to be played with, snuggled with an fully enjoyed.

My review bear also included the opportunity for me to donate the same bear. I chose Toys for Tots.

Teddy bears are not just for children. I’m an adult and I love teddy bears very much (most plush toys – I have a collection of them).

If you are looking for a special gift for the holiday season (or year round), I hope you’ll consider Bears for Humanity. These would also make great gifts for baby showers, new parents, birthday’s and more.

Be sure to let the gift recipient know that another bear will be donated to the charity of your choice.

For more information please visit BearsforHumanity.com. Look for the brand on social media too.



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

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Gifts for the whole family for $5.00 from Kohl’s Cares



If you follow my blog on a regular basis you probably have read some of my posts about the Kohl’s Cares program.

Kohl’s Cares sells books, toys and other items through out the year that benefit the Kohl’s Cares program. New products are introduced throughout the year and are available for a limited time both in stores and online at Kohls.com.

Pproceeds from the sale of products in the Kohl’s Care collection goes towards children’s charities. Kohl’s Cares donates 100% of the net profit to Kohl’s Cares charities that support kid’s health and education programs nationwide. Since 2000 Kohl’s Cares has raised and impressive $257 million dollars.

Now is a great time to shop for Kohl’s Cares products. Not only can you get wonderful gifts for $5.00, you can also feel good knowing that the proceeds are going towards children’s charities. After all, the holiday season is about good will towards others. What a better way than to purchase wonderful gifts for those on your holiday shopping list AND help out children’s charities at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.


Currently Kohl’s Care is offering adorable, soft and snugly plush animals and matching books by Nancy Tillman. The stories are charming and the illustrations are beautiful.

I LOVE the book/plush combinations that Kohl’s Cares puts out year round. I have many “sets” in my family’s library collection. I like to display the book and plush together on the bookshelf. I rotate them every few months.

I’m just a bit kid at heart and I love displaying charming things around my home. I am also making a nice collection of children’s books for my future grandchildren. I’m looking forward to reading them the books while they cuddle with their furry friend.


The current available book titles are;

  • You’re Here for a Reason
  • On the Night You Were Born
  • Where Ever You Are My Love Will Find You
  • I’d Know You Anywhere My Love

The books are truly beautiful and each one expresses love in its purest form. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them.

The matching plush animals are adorable. The Panda is especially fuzzy. Every time I pick it up I utter the words “It’s so fluffy!,” just like Agnes did in the film Despicable Me.


Each item is only $5.00 (a book/plush combo will cost you $10.00). Where else can you get a beautiful hardcover book AND a quality made plush toy for $10.00? Most hardcover books will cost you that amount, and the plus animals would sell for MORE in other stores.

These “sets” would make for great holiday gifts as well as “grab bag” gifts for school. You can also buy them as sets or individually and donate to a local children’s charity such as Toys for Tots to give to underprivileged children and families in need. Not only will you be promoting literacy, you’ll also be provide a child in need with a new “friend” which will provide comfort and joy.



color me Christmas

Another fun children’s product from the current line of Kohl’s Cares products are Color Me Christmas Cards. Your child can color and decorate their own holiday cares and write their own personal messages inside. The set comes with 20 cards to color, envelopes and three markers. You can also color the cards with colored pencils. The lines are very thin, so crayons might now work as well.

Kohl’s Cares always has products from grown ups too. This time they are offering a holiday music CD by Blake Sheldon – Blake Sheldon Christmas. The holiday CD features the following songs;

  • Jingle Bell Rock – featuring Miranda Lambert
  • Oklahoma Christmas- featuring Reba
  • There’s a New Kid in Town- featuring Kelly Clarkson
  • Home featuring Michael Bublé
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Silent Night- featuring Sheryl Crow
  • The Christmas Song
  • Blue Christmas- featuring Pistol Annies
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Silver Bells- featuring Xenia


I’m not a fan of country music, but I do enjoy this CD. I especially like the duets with Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bublé.

Kohl’s Cares is also offering a holiday book called Holiday Delights featuring recipes, crafts and gift ideas from Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Country Living. Not only would this make a great gift it would also be nice for you to buy for yourself to help you with yummy recipes for your holiday meals and gifts you can make for family and friends.

The holiday book, Christmas CD and Christmas cards are also only $5.00 each and all the proceeds goes to the Kohl’s Cares program.

For more information or to find a Kohl’s location near you visit www.Kohls.com. You can also find Kohl’s on the various social media sites (all the links are found on the bottom of their website).

Have you ever purchased Kohl’s Cares products? What do you think about the new collection? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received some of the products free in order to do this review. The remaining products I purchased myself on my own. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

Just 5 more minutes Mom…


Alarm Clock

Stall tactics… we’re all guilty of it. I know I certainly am – especially when it comes to cleaning. I love a clean house but hate to clean. I’m always finding other things to do instead of tackling the tasks I need to do.

Kids are the masters of stall tactics. Whether it’s doing chores, homework or going to bed… they are full of excuses which delay the inevitable.

Take my teenage daughter for example. She goes to college full time and works part time. She hangs out with friends on occasion and sees her boyfriend on Thursday afternoons and all day Saturday (when she’s not working). She uses these things as excuses as to why she can’t keep her room clean. She has laundry piled up on top of her dresser and clothes all over the floor and I have no idea what could be lurking under her bed. Whenever we ask her to clean the room she always finds some way to stall. Her usual reasons are she has homework or she’s too tired. Really? Right now, as I write this, she’s lying in her bed texting. She’s been up since 9:30 AM (EST) and she doesn’t leave for school today until 1:00 PM. Now is a perfect time to clean the room but I know if I insist she does she’ll say she has to take a shower, go to the gym, study, finish up homework or any other excuse she can come up with to stall having to clean the room. Ugh!

Sleeping Child

My kids are teenagers now so they know the consequences of not getting a good night’s sleep. We used to insist on a 10:00 PM bedtime (ideally 9:00 but once they hit high school that didn’t work anymore). I tell them at 10:00 I’d like the TV off, phones put away, music turned off and lights out. Usually this all happens (finally) around 11:00 PM. They employ the usual stall tactics… they are thirsty, they need to finish up homework, there is something good on TV they can’t miss, they are not tired, or the use this time to tell us about something that happened when they were at school/college and/or work – stuff that could have been told to us at the dinner table. Oh yeah! I forgot about the infamous “I need something signed for school” tactic where they take a half hour to find it. Ugh!

They have been fighting their bedtime since they were little. I even used a system my mom set in place for me which didn’t work.

My mom had a rule that for every minute past my bedtime that I was not in bed with the lights out I would have to go to bed 5 minutes earlier the following day. That meant if I was in bed 5 minutes after my bedtime I’d have to go to bed 25 minutes earlier the following night. I learned my lesson real quick when I ended up having to go to bed about 40 minutes earlier because I stalled the night before. Oddly enough, this method didn’t work with my kids. They would continue to stall even when they were forced to go to bed earlier.

One idea I recently learned of is letting you kids do something for 5 minutes and then after that it’s lights out no matter what. This could be reading a book or maybe even watching a few minutes of television. I know what you are thinking – how can you stop a child watching TV after five minutes. That’s easy – let them watch a 5 minute show. There are some to be found on Netflix.

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation launched Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, new episodes of the latest hit, all in a nice little 5-minute package.

5 More MInutes

I like the idea of 5 minutes of a fun television show then it’s lights out. Netflix has many other popular children’s shows and movies this could work with. Simply set up a timer and allow your child to watch only 5 minutes then the TV is turned off and it’s lights out. You can even sit and watch with your child to make sure the follow the rules.

I kind of like this idea because if it’s a show/movie your child really likes they will be anxious to get to bed just so they can watch five minutes of it. If I was a child and my mom did something like this with me I would look forward to bedtime just so I can watch a little bit of my favorite show/movie. This is an ingenious idea.

Netflix has so many great options like Disney favorites (the Disney Short Films Collection would be a great choice), Clone Wars, Penguins of Madagascar, Girl Meets World, King Julien, Popples, Callious, Super Why and Goosebumps – just to name a few.

Some new movies and shows are coming to Netflix which would make great options too.

New on Netflix

For more information about Netflix, or to check out what films and shows they have to offer, visit Netflix.com. You can also check them out on social media.

What tactics do you use to prevent your kids from stalling when it comes to going to bed at night? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section of this post with what worked, or didn’t work, for you.

How do you feel about letting a child watch 5 minutes of their favorite show/movie every night in order to encourage them to get to bed at a specific time? Would you try that with your child/grandchild? What movie/show do you think they would be excited to watch?

To see what ideas others have check out the hashtag #5MoreMinutes on social media.



*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership and goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Related Posts:

HomeTeam – Bringing together families in a meaningful way


Holiday Grandparent Reading

Can you believe that it’s already NOVEMBER? When did that happen? It seemed like only yesterday my kids were gearing up for final exams. Now they are busy making their Christmas wish lists. Sigh… time flies too quickly.

I love this time of year. Not only do I enjoy the cooler weather, but I am also excited about all of the holidays. Not only am I crazy about decorating, I also love spending quality time with family and friends.

This time of year also makes me feel a bit sad. I miss my kids being little and getting excited for Santa Claus and Christmas morning. They are teenagers now and it’s just not the same as when they were little.

The holiday season also makes me miss my mom and dad, mother in law and great-grandparents. I had such amazing childhood memories when it comes to the holiday season. I miss it all – right down to the great big Christmas morning breakfast my mom would make for everyone.

I also miss spending time with my cousins and other relatives who are far away. Distance can make things difficult when it comes to getting together for the holidays. It’s not easy for some people to take off from work, hop on a plane and spend a week with you. It’s especially hard for elderly relatives, such as grandma and grandpa, most especially if they are in ill health or not able to travel.

Thankfully we have technology that can help loved ones stay in touch when they are unable to be there in person such as telephones, Skype and HomeTeam.

HomeTeam Logo

Have you heard about HomeTeam yet? It’s a wonderful way for people to stay connected no matter where they are in the world.

Some people, especially parents, might think that technology is not always good for children. HomeTeam’s mission is to turn “tablet time” into “family time.” HomeTeam helps to bring families together and foster love and relationships.

HomeTeam is an app that is available on iTunes or Google Play. You can also sign up for HomeTeam on your desktop or laptop computer.

Once you create an account you are able to connect with family and friends. Once connected, your child (or grandchild) can connect with loved ones to chat, play games TOGETHER, read books and more.

HomeTeam has a delightful library of wonderful ebooks that can be read together or your child can have grandma or grandpa read one of the books to them via HomeTeam.

HomeTeam Books


HomeTeam has a great library of books for children up to age 12 including popular characters like Marvel, Disney, Pixar, sports books, animal books, science and more. There are plenty of wonderful options to choose from.

You can even read books of your own via the live video feed option. Imagine reading The Night Before Christmas to your grandchild/grandchildren “in person” via HomeTeam.

Using HomeTeam your child can have their grandparent, or perhaps even a parent who is deployed or living in another part of the country, read them a bedtime story.

I wish HomeTeam was available when my parents were still alive. I think it would have been amazing to have my mom or dad (or both) read my kids a bedtime story and be able to interact with them on the computer or tablet (similar to Skype). What a wonderful way to make special memories to cherish a lifetime.

HomeTeam is not just about books and reading – your child can interact with loved ones and play games together with them too. Imagine your child being able to play Connect Four or do online puzzles with a grandparent who lives thousands of miles away. I love it!


Games HomeTeam

There are plenty of games for all ages as well as games for children up to 12 years old.

In addition to playing games and reading together, HomeTeam is also a way for children and parents/grandparents to talk to one another, face-to-face, on the computer or tablet.

HomeTeam was created by Panasonic

HomeTeam brings grandparents and grandchildren closer together, helping to reduce a gap that may exist due to geographical distance or cultural differences. Phone calls with young children, often filled with yes and no answers, lack the depth and duration needed to build strong relationships and can leave individuals searching for something to talk about. Panasonic built HomeTeam from the ground up to address these and other unique challenges facing today’s families striving to build regular and meaningful contact.

“HomeTeam bridges the gap that sometimes separates today’s grandparents from their grandchildren, be it distance, culture, familiarity with technology or a lack of topics to discuss,” said Todd Rytting, Chief Technology Officer at Panasonic Corporation ofNorth America. “By providing activities that create common ground and shared experiences between grandparents and grandchildren, HomeTeam engages them in a way a weekly phone call never will. Panasonic studied how families struggled to create meaningful connections outside of family events and visits and this service was built to overcome the most common barriers. HomeTeam is easy to use and provides a natural experience with the power to unite families, anytime and anywhere.”

You can give HomeTeam a “test drive” for an entire 30 day for FREE (no credit card required). If you enjoy the service you can subscribe to it for $8.99/month. Personally I think that is a decent price for access to the games, books and having the ability to connect with loved ones far away. You are lucky to be able to buy one game or book for that price – and that doesn’t include the ability for your child’s grandparent to read it to them or play with them.

You and your child can also play the games and read the books without being connected with someone else.

If you would like to learn more please visit www.MyHomeTeam.com.

Child Tablet

You can find the app in the Google Store and on iTunes. You can also sign up directly from your Desktop/Laptop.

With this being the holiday season HomeTeam would be a wonderful way to connect with family and friends for the holidays, especially those who cannot be with you in person. I think this would make a great “family gift” too.

Don’t forget to check out Panasonic on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What do you think about HomeTeam? Does it sound like something your family would enjoy? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Panasonic Logo


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

Related Posts:

Check out the Mini Maker Faire at Barnes & Noble Nationwide November 6-8 (giveaway ends 11/6/15)


B&N Mini Maker Faire

We all know Barnes & Noble is a national bookseller, but did you know they’re committed to building all forms of literacy for our children – reading, art and technology? As part of that commitment, they’ve partnered with Make: Magazine to present a Mini Maker Faire at every single Barnes & Noble store across the nation Friday, November 6-8.

Maker Faires are community-based learning events that inspire everyone to become a Maker and connect with people and projects in their local community. Guests ages five and up can experience hands-on learning and making opportunities in creative thinking, art, design, construction, programming, coding, and 3D printing.  The Mini Maker Faires will consist of three main areas:

  1. The Make Workspace: Attendees will experience the latest technologies in 3D printing, robotics, coding and programming, including: da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer from XYZprinting, Ozobot, The Slipstream Drone from Protocol, and Meccano Meccanoid from Spin Master.
  2. Meet the Makers: Leaders and top brands will discuss the latest trends in designing, building, creating and making.
  3. Make & Collaborate: Guests can immerse themselves in the process of ideation, rapid prototyping, circuitry and more. Among the featured products for children are: Electronic Snap Circuits from ELENCO, littleBits, Maker Studio™ from ThinkFun, and LEGO® Bionicle Bricks

You can contact your local store to find out what special guests are participating during the Mini Maker Faire, or visit www.bn.com/storelocator.

We know its important to keep our children engaged and to expand their minds in new and wonderful ways, and the first-ever Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faires provide an incredible opportunity for both children and adults to experience creativity and learning in an authentic, hands-on event.

B&N Logo

In addition, one lucky reader will win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate, compliments of Barnes & Noble. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on November 6, 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 would like to win this prize?

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


*I have partnered with Barnes & Noble to bring you this information. This is a compensated post. Barnes & Noble will be providing the prize. 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Halloween costume ideas inspired by popular television programs


Halloween costumes

I miss my kids being little. They are both teenagers now. My son has no interest in Halloween anymore and our daughter only wants to get dressed up for a Halloween party with her boyfriend and friends. Gone are the years of trying to come up with fun and creative Halloween costume ideas for the kids.

I used to love going trick-or-treating when I was a little girl. Back in the day we wore those plastic masks and capes that came in boxes. If you are forth-something year old like me, I’m sure you recall the costumes I am referring to. The plastic mask went on your fact with holes cut out for your eyes. They attached to your head with a very thin piece of elastic.

The best Halloween costume I ever wore was inspired by the film Mommy Dearest. My best friend dressed up as Joan Crawford. She work a long, black, velvet evening gown and a lot of rhinestones. She looked like she was about the walk the red carpet. I dressed up as Christina, her daughter. I wore a little girl’s dress and carried a wire clothes hanger and a bottle of Ajax (if you saw the movie you know why). Talk about creative. LOL!

Over the years my kids have worn some fun costumes. One year a friend of mine made the kids costumes. My daughter was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and my son was Winnie the Pooh. She made my son’s costume too “fluffy.” His tummy was so fluffy that he could barely walk. We had to “de-fluff” him a bit.

Winnie the Pooh


Unbeknownst to me my sister dressed my nephew up as the Tin Man and my niece as a dog. It was fun to see Dorothy and the Tin Man trick-or-treating together.

These days I see A LOT of costumes inspired by popular television shows and movies.

Gina Lee, who is a wife, mom and photographer, created some fun Netflix-inspired costumes. They are so easy to make too. You probably have most of the items you need already in your home.

#StreamTeam Halloween costumes

Inspector Gadget


Do you need more inspiration?

Look to these Netflix favorites.

Halloween Costume Inpiration 1

Speaking of Netflix, if you are looking for some scary Halloween entertainment don’t forget to check out Netflix’s Horror movie section. They have plenty of spine tingling films to jump start your heart and get  you in the mood for some frightful fun. They even have some creepy series like American Horror Story: Freak Show and iZombie to get you in the Halloween spirit.

For me you can’t beat the classics like Scream, Children of the Corn and the Halloween films.

For the younger members of your family you can find non-scary Halloween entertainment on Netflix such as Curious George: A Halloween Boo-fest, A Magic Puppy and Children’s Favorites: Halloween Treats.

To check out what else Netflix has to offer visit Netflix.com. You can also find the brand on social media.

Don’t forget to check out what is new on Netflix too.

New on Netflix

What Halloween costume is your child wearing this year? Are you getting dressed up in costume too? Have you or your child ever worn a costume inspired by a television show or movie?



*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership and goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Related Posts: