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    our latest obsession, product reviews

    My Latest Bookish Obsession: Page Anchor (for Bookworms Like Me)

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product from Page Anchor to enjoy and share with my audience. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

    When I initially saw an ad for Page Anchor on Instagram, I immediately fell in love with the product and the overall concept. Page Anchor is a beautiful, functional, anchor-shaped metal pin bookmark. The sleek and elegant design is pleasing to the eye, it’s easy to use and it really helps to prevent your book from closing while you’re reading. Simply put, Page Anchor is an elegant tool to transform the way you read. Say goodbye to holding pages of a book in place with your fingers while you read.

    I received the Rose Gold Page Anchor in the mail a few weeks ago and I’m obsessed with it! It’s a beautiful, high-quality product and is now easily the most stunning bookmark I’ve ever owned. As their website states, “Its body is crafted in surgical grade 316L stainless steel, in order to keep even the thickest of books open. The anchor is then ion-plated with a layer of rose gold and hand-polished to create its highly elegant appearance.” Each Page Anchor comes with a simple user guide, a cleaning cloth and a handy small pouch for storing when not in use.

    To use your Page Anchor , simply slide the pin into your book and it will hold the pages to prevent your book from closing. Your hands are now free to do something else like sip on your favorite beverage, type on a computer keyboard, highlight passages or take notes while you read or study. I really enjoy using it to keep the pages of my cookbooks open if I’m trying a new recipe. When you’re ready to turn the page of any book, slide the pin up, turn the page and then slide it back down again to hold your pages in place. Easy, peasy! You can use your Page Anchor bookmark on everything from hardcover and paperback books to journals and cookbooks.

    In addition, for as long as you own it, your Page Anchor will be covered by a lifetime warranty. Their warranty covers all problems related to manufacturing defects, that may cause damage throughout your ownership of the anchor.

    Since receiving my Page Anchor I’ve used it everyday for my daily reading and it truly has transformed my reading life for the better.

    Ready to try or gift a Page Anchor for yourself or a friend?

    You can use my coupon code HEREWEEREAD15
    to get 15% off your Page Anchor!

    Head over to www.page-anchor.com now!

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    family fun, product reviews

    The Easiset Way to Learn How to Play Chess for Ages 5 – 105: Brainblox Family Fun Chess

    Disclaimer: My family received a free Family Fun Chess set from Brainblox to review and enjoy with our family in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

    If you’re like me and have little to no experience playing the game of chess, you may be wondering how to teach kids to play chess when you don’t even know how to play yourself! Thankfully, Brainblox is here to help! They recently introduced a beautiful Family Fun Chess set to their product line and it’s so great.

    If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me talking about it recently in my Instagram stories.  I also hosted a giveaway in partnership with Brainblox where we gave away one chess set to a lucky winner.

    What is Family Fun Chess?

    It’s a color-coded, FUN, learn-as-you-play game for kids and adults to learn chess!

    When it’s your turn, simply roll the Chess Cube to see which piece to move! The Reference Cards make it easy to learn-as-you-play, while the full-color Instruction Book and videos tell you everything else you need to know.

    The chess set includes:

    • a folding wooden chess board
    • 32 wooden chess pieces
    • 2 reference cards
    • a full color chess book
    • a wooden cube

    Learning how to play chess the “Family Fun” way was very easy to understand for me and my kids.  We found the reference cards to be super useful in helping us all understand how each of the chess pieces are able to move on the board during the game.  I also appreciate the fact that Brainblox included instructions for playing chess the standard way too.  This will come in handy once we’ve fully grasped the rules of chess and are ready to move on to learning how to play standard chess.

    The thing I love most about learning to play chess and teaching my kids to play is all of the benefits associated with understanding the game.

    Here are just a few of the benefits of playing chess:

    • increases concentration and memory
    • helps with paying attention to detail and strategic thinking
    • improves problem-solving and spatial skills
    • exercises both sides of the brain

    Even more importantly, I find learning to play chess alongside my children to be much more meaningful because offers quality time and experiences that we will remember for a lifetime. If you’re sold on learning to play chess with your little ones, you’ll first need to get your family a chess set.  If you can’t already tell, I’d highly recommend the Family Fun Chess set from Brainblox.  It makes a great holiday or anytime of the year gift for ages 5 – 105!

    Not ready to invest in a chess set of your own yet?  You can also look into local chess clubs for kids in your area.  Find out if your child’s school or your local library has a Chess Club. That’s a great place to start, so kids can get basic instruction and have peers to play with.  There are also many online resources and apps available to use too.  You can choose to play against friends, connect with other players at your level, or get live or virtual tutoring.

    Your turn:  Do you or your children know how to play chess?  Are you excited to learn about the Family Fun Chess set from Brainblox?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    literary road trip series, product reviews

    Literary Road Trip Series: Adorablue Travel Tray for Kids + A Giveaway!

    Have you ever wondered how your child can make better use of their downtime while traveling on road trips or running daily errands in the car?  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s okay to just look out the window and watch cars or people pass by.  However, if you’re looking for a travel tray to help keep kids entertained, I’d highly recommend the one made by AdoraBlue.  It’s convenient for kids to eat, draw, watch movies and most importantly it helps keep things organized.

    On one side of the tray, there is a station for kids to eat, play with toys (like the AdoraBlue Scavenger Hunter game) read books, or to watch/play on the iPad/tablet at eye level.  The erasable side is for drawing, writing and creating.  Yes, it’s reversible!

    I love the media tablet holder being secured by a zipped plastic pocket to keep it protected from accidental spills.  We all know how messy life can get with kids, right? I also like how versatile and portable the travel tray is.  You can either use it as a lap desk in the car/stroller, on a plane for various fun activities, or use it indoors sitting on the couch or in a restaurant.  The custom design appeals to boys and girls alike.  It also has easy access to a large storage with zippers and a built-in bumper to keep your space mess-free whether your child is creating a masterpiece or munching on snacks.

    Here are some of the features:

    • Made of a vegan leather surface that is is easy to clean and soft to the touch.
    • It buckles either around the child’s car seat or stroller.
    • It has large mesh storage pockets on the side and a 2 inch wall to stop food, toys, markers or crayons from falling.
    • It is ideal for short and long trips.
    • It’s portable!  It can also be used indoors at home on your couch or in a restaurant.
    • Fits most car seats and boosters.
    • Comfortable, safe and 100% waterproof.
    • Includes cup holders for baby bottles, water bottles or sippy cups
    • Erasable board for drawing and expressing creativity.
    • Contains 3 different stations to play, eat, draw or use the iPad/tablet in a zipped, waterproof casing.

    The best part?  Our friends over at AdoraBlue were gracious enough to sponsor an Instagram giveaway for one (1) travel tray.  In addition, for a limited time, our audience can get 40% off a travel tray as part of a Mother’s Day promotion.  Click here to get a travel tray using the 40% discount (discount applied at checkout).

    Connect with AdoraBlue!

    Website | Instagram | Facebook

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    family fun, giveaways, holiday gift guide series, product reviews

    Holiday Gift Guide Series: Hideaboo Hideouts + An Instagram Giveaway!

    hideaboo-hideoutgiveaway

    5-4-3-2-1 blast off!  The kids absolutely LOVE playing in their new Hideaboo rocket ship hideout!  Created by an award winning teacher, Hideaboo hideouts help spark creativity and allow your kids to play independently or with each other. My kids love pretending they are astronauts in a rocket ship flying to outer space.

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    One of the best things about the hideouts is they are totally portable and can be placed in any part of your house or used on the go (as long as your bring your card table along with you).  We currently have our hideout in our living room, but the kids have played with it upstairs in their room too.  It’s perfect for keeping them occupied while I do things like cook dinner or fold the laundry.

    Hideaboo also provides you with FREE access to their printable library.  They’ve created activities, diy costume ideas, an adventure journal and printable puppets for each of their Hideouts! Your purchase comes with a code for free downloads of your printable activities and instructions.  How fun is that?

    Each hideout is made to slide over a card table and it’s super simple to set up and fold away for easy storage.

    Here’s what’s you get:

    • Includes ONE Hideout and ONE storage bag
    • Card table not included
    • Slips over standard card tables, 34″ w x 28″ h
    • Easy to setup and tear down
    • Durable, high quality fabric & machine washable

    These are the current hideouts available:

    • Happy Camper Hideout
    • Enchanted Castle Hideout
    • Underwater Submarine Hideout
    • Outer Space Rocket Hideout
    • Down on the Farm Hideout
    • Lemonade Stand

    The best part?  Our friends over at Hideaboo were gracious enough to sponsor a giveaway!  That’s right, you can choose ANY one of their hideouts if you are the lucky winner!  Pop on over to my Instagram page if you want to enter to win.  Good luck!

    Connect with Hideaboo!

    Website | Instagram | Facebook

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    children's books, giveaways, product reviews

    I’m a Pretty Princess Party Set + A Giveaway!

    I’m always on the lookout for positive, self-esteem boosting products for kids, especially ones targeted for black girls and boys.  My daughter will be turning 4 in September (where does the time go?) and she specifically told me she wants to have a princess themed party.

    Princesses are a loved part of many American girls’ culture, but it’s no secret there is very little representation of different races and cultures.  While I don’t restrict my kids to only play with certain toys or use specific products based on race, it is important for me to expose them to books, toys and products in which they can see themselves being represented.  That’s why I ‘m so excited I came across this adorable princess princess party set from Crystal Swain-Bates.  The party set is perfect for throwing a black princess party, birthday party, baby shower, or sleepover.

    I initially mentioned Crystal on my blog last year when I mentioned her awesome coloring books for black kids in the holiday gift guide that went viral.  Crystal is the author of seven fun black children’s books and the owner of Goldest Karat Publishing, LLC, a boutique publisher aiming to fill the ethnic diversity gap in traditional publishing.

    prettyprincesspartyset

    Are you planning a celebration for your pretty black princess? Tired of all of the blond hair, blue eyed princesses that your daughter can’t relate to? Get this party in a box featuring a beautiful black princess named Makayla from the book I’m a Pretty Princess!

    imaprettyprincess

    This set for 16 contains the following items:  (16)  9 inch plates, (16) 7 inch dessert plates,  (16) 9 inch cups, 16 pink and yellow balloons, 16 cupcake wrappers, and (1) pink tablecloth.  Also available is the “Big Hair Don’t Care” party set which is just as cute!

    bighairdontcarepartyset
    This set for 16 also contains the following items:  (16)  9 inch plates, (16) 7 inch dessert plates,  (16) 9 inch cups, 16 pink and yellow balloons, and 16 napkins.

    Remind your little black and brown girls of their sparkle by throwing them their very own princess party.  Click here to order a party set or browse some of the other amazing items available on the website including: books, coloring books, magnets, t-shirts, tote bags and more!  Use discount code “hereweeread” to get 10% off your purchases.

    Connect with Crystal Swain-Bates!

    Website | Facebook | Instagram

    The Giveaway!
    Our friend Crystal was gracious enough to sponsor this fabulous giveaway for a “Big Hair Don’t Care” party set.  Be sure to enter before the deadline.  Good luck!

    Big Hair Don’t Care Party Set

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    children's literacy, product reviews, subscription boxes

    Petit Mail Story Card Subscription for Kids + Giveaway!

    If you follow my blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about a variety of different subscription boxes and services for both kids and adults.  I love kids’ monthly subscription boxes because they offer unique educational experiences. They can give kids of all ages the chance to learn by doing fun projects, crafts and activities.

    Today I’d like to introduce you to Petit Mail!  Have you heard about these cute subscription story cards yet?  I met Alison, owner of Petit Mail,  last month on Instagram.  I saw a picture of the cards posted on her page and immediately reached out to her.  As a mom of two kids under the age of 4, I’m always on the hunt for different activities to do that incorporate both learning and fun.

    petitmail

    Petit Mail is a monthly story postcard subscription for kids, ideally suited for preschoolers and early readers.  Each month, a story card arrives in a bright, fun envelope, addressed to your child.  Story themes follow the adventures of characters Oliver and Olivia, and encourage imagination, creative play and family connection.  Currently, there are only two characters available, but there are plans to expand the characters to include more diversity.

    Parents and children can read each story card together and use the monthly adventure as inspiration for family time activities. Oliver is putting on a puppet show? You can too. Story topics include science, nature, reading, art and more.

    With so much of our days filled with technology, it’s a wonderful treat to receive paper mail – children LOVE finding envelopes in the mailbox addressed just to them.  (My children are no different.)  Some months include little bonus extras, like stickers or bookmarks and every story card includes a link to additional content for parents with activity tips and suggestions.

    When our story cards came in the mail my kids were happy to see their names printed on the envelopes.  My son received the story card entitled ‘Oliver Loves Reading’ and my daughter received ‘Olivia’s Science Project’.

    The activity on the back of my son’s story card was to go to your local library and have a library scavenger hunt.  We haven’t done this yet, but I’m looking forward to doing it!  My daughter’s activity on her story card was to mix two colors together to make a new color.  We had fun using food coloring to mix blue and red to make purple and blue and yellow to make green.

    Untitled design

    Parents and caregivers might find Petit Mail to be a very affordable gift subscription. Canada and US subscriptions cost just $6 per month (including postage) and international subscriptions are also available.  Subscriptions can be purchased for 3, 6 or 12 months, and make a great non-toy gift for kids.

    Parents can find out more about Petit Mail at: http://petitmail.ca

    Petit Mail Shop: http://www.petitmail.bigcartel.com

    Sign up for the Petit Mail newsletter here!

    Connect with Petit Mail!

    Instagram | Facebook

    Sounds great, is there a discount?
    Yes, there is!  Here Wee Read Subscribers and readers can save $10 off a 1 year (12 month) subscription using code HEREWEEREAD until May 31, 2016!

    How about a giveaway?
    I’m glad you asked!  One (1) lucky winner will win a Petit Mail story card of their choice.  You can choose between the following themes:

    • Oliver Explores Art
    • Olivia’s Pen Pal
    • Oliver Loves Reading
    • Olivia The Superhero
    • Oliver Learns About Fossils
    • Olivia’s Science Project
    • Olivia Builds A Boat

    Enter today!  Giveaway ends Thursday, April 28, 2016.  Good luck!

    Petit Mail Story Card Giveaway

    Disclaimer: I received two complimentary story cards in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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    product reviews

    Interactive Growth Charts for Kids Plus a Discount!

    Sometimes when I look at my kids it doesn’t seem like they’re growing that much.  I think that’s because I see them everyday so I don’t notice the difference as much as a person who hasn’t seen them in a few months.  It’s only when I look back at photos from previous months/years that I notice they are in fact growing like weeds and it sort of makes me want to burst into tears!  I love the fact that they are growing and learning new things and coming into their own, but its happening so quickly.  If you’re a parent, I am sure you understand.

    Since I never had an official growth chart growing up, I knew I wanted one for each of my children.  As a kid, I remember having a wall in our apartment where we would measure how tall we were. It was always so fun to see how much we had grown. But then we moved and the wall went away… as did our “growth chart.” I wanted something for my kids that could move with us, but was still simple and easy to store. The interactive growth chart from PaperRamma is perfect because it simply rolls up and you can store it away.

    Here’s the proof image I received which shows the entire growth chart from top to bottom.
    CharnaieGordon_Proof

    I recently came across PaperRamma and instantly fell in love with their interactive, info-graphic style growth charts for kids.  They are so beautiful, chic, and modern.  Gone are the days when you just used a growth chart to record your height…that’s so 20th century!  With this growth chart, you can keep track of milestones, favorite things, first words, birth stats, and more!

    GrowthChartCollage

    Each chart is customizable and printed on canvas. You can pick the colors, customize with your child’s name, pick a world or US map and can pick almost anything to put at the top for design from flowers to a graphic that fits your nursery decor.

    I love the overall concept behind this growth chart – it’s a keepsake you can move from home to home (or room to room) with you.  You can also write down notes (using an oil-based marker or pen), add photos and remember all those cute and funny moments for the whole family to look back on.

    My growth chart arrived within a few days in a sturdy cardboard package and I couldn’t wait to get it open!  Once out of the package, I was instantly impressed with it. The colors are beautiful and the design is flawless.  I can tell the chart was made to last.  Their design gurus use rich, vibrant inks which will help to preserve the design for years to come.

    I truly love the interactive growth chart we received and it is so much nicer and more creative than the other charts I had been finding in stores and online.  I’m sure it’s something my children will also treasure for years to come.  Order a personalized growth chart for your little ones today before they grow any more!  Makes a great gift for holidays, birthdays, or baby showers.

    Interested in ordering a chart?  Well, you’re in luck!  Our friends at PaperRamma have graciously provided a discount code for all of my readers to use.  Just visit their website to browse their collection and use the code READ10 in order to receive 10% off of their collection interactive growth charts.  Offer ends Jan 31, 2016.

    Connect with PaperRamma!
    Website
    Facebook
    Instagram

    Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary growth chart in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

    Your turn:  How do you guys document your kids growth and milestones… or do you?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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