Pick and Draw Drawing Game Giveaway


Pick and Draw is a fun drawing game that I wrote about on Monday, and today you have a chance to win a copy of this game for your own family! My kids all love this simple, card-based drawing game – the pictures above were drawn by three-year-old Lily, and you can see pictures by five-year-old Johnny and seven-year-old Emma in my inspiring creativity post!

This giveaway is open worldwide! To enter, visit the Pick and Draw site and leave a comment telling me why you are interested in winning a copy of this game! I’ll pick a winner via random.org on March 30th!

This giveaway has now ended – congratulations, Louise Rogers!

Fun With HP: Printer + Snapfish Giveaway!


We have all been enjoying our new HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook x4. The touchscreen is amazing for reading the news and blogs – and even better for drawing! I think the Fresh Paint app that came with the computer may be our family’s favorite feature! I also love that, when I want to get to work, I can switch back to the desktop setup I am used to. The backlit keyboard is also great for typing in the evening. I’m looking forward to exploring it a little more over school break – we plan to try out some of the very cool printables you can create at HP’s Holiday Headquarters. I think six-year-old Emma, especially, will have fun with those. I’ve also put together a Pinterest board of holiday arts and crafts for us to try.

Want to try creative printables for yourself? Snapfish and HP have a fantastic giveaway for my readers this month: an HP ENVY 120 e-All-in-One printer (RV $249.99), a $50 Snapfish Gift Code and a HP Holiday Value Pack! The printer is the same one featured in the clip above – and you can use it to create all of the ornaments on the tree! I don’t own the printer, but I think that its bluetooth printing capability as well as the fact that you can scan documents facing up (so you can look through the glass to make sure they are oriented correctly) is pretty cool! Readers must be over 18 and have a US address to enter via the rafflecopter form below. One person wins the entire giveaway. This giveaway will run until December 31st, when a winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever made paper Christmas tree ornaments like the ones from HP featured in the video clip for this post? What is your favorite paper craft or printable for kids?

This post was written as part of the HP Pin the Halls campaign. I received promotional items from HP and Snapfish in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Baby Doll Carrier Giveaway

It’s Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day! I love this biannual event – it’s how I’ve discovered many of my favorite sewing blogs!

For new visitors, I’m MaryAnne! I am a stay at home mom with four kids: Emma (six years old), Johnny (four years old), Lily (three years old), and Anna (three months old. I blog about joyful parenting with an emphasis on creativity, learning, and play – and all three of those categories apply to me as well as the kids!

I’ve been sewing since I was twelve years old, when I taught myself by breaking a lot of needles and ruining a bunch of fabric on our family’s old Singer sewing machine. It’s a pretty sporadic hobby these days, but here are projects I’ve made that may interest you:

I also have a few hand-sewn projects – great for kids who want to sew:

Also, check out this Tow Mater my awesome hubby made!

I also made today’s giveaway item – and if you click on the photo it will take you to my tutorial, if you would like to make your own.

baby doll sling style carrier

This year I’m giving away this pretty sling-style baby doll (or stuffed animal) carrier! It’s just like the ones I made for my kids for this baby doll carrier tutorial, just in a more neutral pattern.

I picked something small so in order to keep this giveaway open worldwide. Entering is very easy – just fill out the form below. US readers may also want to check out my $50 Stride Rite gift card giveaway (ends 12/8).

This giveaway has now ended. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations, Ashton!!!
learning laboratory linky at mama smiles

Are you looking for Learning Laboratory? Baby doll carriers provide all sorts of fun, creative, hands-on learning opportunities for kids! They get to practice nurturing a baby, they practice coordination putting the carrier on and off and lifting their dolls or stuffed animals in and out of it, and it makes a wonderful gift for new big siblings. I’m sending one (with Cars print fabric) to my newly-minted-big-brother nephew for Christmas.

Learning Laboratory is a celebration of fun, creative, hands-on learning. If you have a fun, creative, hands-on learning post, link it in the comments, or share it on my Facebook page! I’ll pin your post to my Pinterest boards, and will pick a few favorites to share next Monday. Here are two posts I really enjoyed reading last week:

MAM Bottle and Pacifiers–US Giveaway

one baby's opinion of MAM pacifiers

Anna turned one month old yesterday, and to celebrate I have a fun little giveaway for my US-based readers courtesy of MAM. I have a certain fondness for MAM products, because when Emma was a baby she liked to go on eating strikes – and sometimes the single MAM bottle we owned was the only way we could get her to eat! One of my nephews would only uses MAM pacifiers, so they seemed worth trying.

We were sent a set of MAM Anti-Colic Bottles, and an assortment of MAM pacifiers to try out. Anna sipped from the bottle, but looked disturbed – her typical reaction to being bottle-fed. At least she didn’t reject it completely! She likes the MAM pacifier best out of the three types we’ve tried, although you can probably tell from the photo that she isn’t completely in love with it. I like the ventilation system that is built into the bottle to help reduce colic symptoms, and the orthodontically correct design of the pacifier. They are also very cute – my kids thought the little bunnies on the bottle were particularly adorable! I will say that the bottle is harder to put together than a standard, non-vented bottle – but the extra time is well worth fewer upset stomachs! The bottle cap stays on really well, and the pacifier comes with a very cute case that can also be used to sterilize the pacifier in a microwave! There is also a way to reassemble to the bottle so that it doubles as its own sterilization container.

MAM is offering 1 Anti-Colic Bottle and an assortment of MAM Perfect Pacifiers to a US reader of this blog! Visit www.mambaby.com and the official MAM USA facebook page to learn more about their products, and enter using the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received MAM bottles and pacifiers in exchange for this review from MAM via Child’s Play Communications. All opinions are my own.

Back to School with Crayola + Giveaway!

Experimenting with Crayola Window Markers

I’m a lifelong fan of Crayola, so I was thrilled when MyBlogSpark offered me the opportunity to try out some of their back to school products! These window markers were a HUGE hit with my kids! They really liked the bold lines of the mega window markers, and they deemed the Crystal Effects markers magical. I agree! Check out this beautiful star scene that six-year-old Emma drew with them:

Crayola Crystal Effects Window Markers
The Crystal Effects markers go on very clear – the way a typical (non-window) Crayola marker might – and then crystalize as the ink dries. It’s pretty amazing to see the crystallization effect happen:


One thing about these markers that I love as a mom: they wash off the window effortlessly, with water – even after leaving a picture up for several days!

Crayola has tons of fun products for back to school this year: Wild Notes (kind of like Crayola Color Wonder with a very fine-tipped markers and standard-feeling paper), a BLACK whiteboard, and fabric markers that work on dark fabrics! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about all of their newest products!

Fun Crayola products for Back to School

Would you like to have some window mega markers, Crystal Effects window markers, Wild Notes index cards, sticky notes, and notebook, and Bright Fabric markers? Crayola (via MyBlogSpark) is giving a pack with all of these away to one of my US-based readers! To enter, just fill out the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The information, products and additional Crayola Back-to-School gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark.