M is for Monster Box review & #giveaway #2014HOTHolidayGifts #ad


* We received a M is For Monster Box for review purposes. All opinions are honest and based on our experience.

M is for Monster

What is a M is For Monster Box?

M is for Monster is an educational subscription box service.  I became aware of the company after we won a box and I was thrilled by its contents! After our initial experience I wanted to know more, so did Hayden (and Henry).  I was impressed and I wanted to share it with you!

M is for Monster Boxes are available to select for Toddler or Preschool ages.

  • Toddler boxes are suggested for ages 2-3 and focuses on uppercase letters, numbers 1-10 and basic shapes + more!
  • Preschool boxes are suitable for ages 4-5 and focuses on lowercase, numbers 1-20 and basic shapes. More complex activities for children with longer attention spans are introduced here. Other skills are introduced on occasion.
  • If you have more than one child, additional boxes are discounted!
  • Boxes ship to US addresses only and are mailed out on the 20th of each month.
  • Buy as a one month gift or monthly automatic service!

M is for Monster

Perfect choice for a Holiday or ANYTIME Gift!

What did I like best?  Several things.

  1. Projects were planned out, easy to follow and supplies on hand! No shopping trips or guessing required! Hayden had no trouble handling the activities himself with minimal parental instructions.
  2. If I had a question the Monster blog offered back-up, step by step instructions! That was key for this no-so crafty mom!
  3. Everything was fun, yet reinforced education- at home! It gave me a chance to open up additional preschool dialogue and it WAS welcomed! For example, after we finished with an activity- often, I saw opportunities to use the projects in other meaningful ways.  He had so much pride in creating these projects!
  4. Each box has four brightly colored envelopes- to Hayden opening each envelope held SO much excitement and anticipation!

M is for Monster

Loaded with Activities!

Everything was child friendly and easily cleaned up!  There is even a bonus sheet included that offered songs, rhymes and game opportunities related to that month’s theme!

As a mom, I can’t tell you how nice it was to have fun, fresh projects packed into a BOX! I could tell, this was a mom based business and appreciate the thought and detail put into the creation of the M is for Monster Box.

M is for Monster 5

Easy to LOVE!

Yes (with supervision) 2 yr old Henry joined us.  Actually, there was no stopping him. Though some of these activities may have been beyond his age range, I was able to create some fun on the spot!

He very much wants a box of his own and I think it will make an ideal gift for each of my children this holiday season.

Priced in the mid $30 range it averaged about $2.00-2.50 per activity.  The materials provided were DEFINITELY quality items, so I feel for a FULL month this is a definite bargain!

Proudly including as a selection in our #2014HOTHolidayGifts

HGG for kids

Follow M is For Monster on Facebook-Twitter- Google + and Pinterest OR find online at M is for Monster

And just in time for the Holiday Season
Enter to WIN a box for your toddler or preschooler!

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Disclosure: M is for Monster box was provided to facilitate this review. Opinions are honest and based on my experience.

Lalaloopsy Babies DVD #Giveaway #ad ends 11/2

This post is being shared from our friends at Home on Deranged!  Enter to WIN!

Disclosure: The following post is a collaboration with Lionsgate Home Entertainment on behalf of Lalaloopsy Babies DVD. We received products for the review and to thank me for participating. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

Lionsgate presents Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps DVD #giveaway on Home on Deranged @homeonderange

Have you seen the new Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls? They drink from a bottle and poop out a little charm. Needless to say, our toddler girls think it’s the coolest, funniest thing ever! So no wonder when we had the chance to review the new Lalaloopsy Babies First Steps DVD, they were ecstatic! I popped into the DVD player, and they were entranced to watch it over and over.

Go Gaga For A Sew Cute Movie Adventure Based On The New Lalaloopsy Babies Doll Line

Based on the soft line of the hugely popular Lalaloopsy dolls, the fourth movie in the top-selling franchise explores the adorable beginnings of the “sew” cute cast of Lalaloopsy characters. The movie is now available on DVD, digital HD and Video On Demand from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Check out a sneak peek of the movie below:

The girls loved joining the Lalaloopsy friends first adventures together! After the Lalaloopsy girls discover an old scrapbook filled with photos and mementos from when they were babies, the friends reminisce about their nursery days where they found their special bond and first met their adorable pets. They realize how those early adventures helped to shape their personalities, and reminisce about becoming stitched together, friends forever in this delightful, fun-filled movie that Lalaloopsy fans will treasure!

Featured on “The Talk” host Julie Chen’s top toy list, the Lalaloopsy collection continues to be one of the fastest selling toy brands. The Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps! DVD features bonus material including two Lalaloopsy Mini Adventures and a Pet n’ Seek! Interactive Maze, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

Also now available in stores are those Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls I mentioned earlier. Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls are available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

And just for our readers!

FREE Lalababies Activity Sheet

Lionsgate presents Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps DVD #giveaway on Home on Deranged @homeonderange

Download a FREE copy of this adorable Lalaloopsy Babies coloring page by clicking on the picture or going right HERE!

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

The best part of being one of the first to see the Lalaloopsy Babies DVD is that we now get to offer a giveaway of one DVD to YOU!

For readers age 18+in the U.S., we are offering a giveaway of ONE (1) copy of the Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps DVD! Enter the Giveaway Tools entry below and you will have a chance to see the Lalaloopsy Babies in their very first adventures!

#TrueTales tackles “sup slut” is this REALLY okay?

This post courtesy of the always fabulous tech mom, Melissa from Home on Deranged.

Elmo backpacks are the devil: back to school time sucks Welcome back to Thursday’s #TrueTales! Time for our True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches series. We’re going to change things up here at True Tales, as we begin to focus on the good, the bad, and the ugly side of parenting. With two toddlers each, we are both “newbies” on this journey, and we’re going to chronicle it for you as we go, learning, loving and laughing.

This week, it’s my turn here at Home on Deranged, and I recently had an experience that I shared on Facebook. It really stuck with me, this notion of Sup Sluts, and I felt the need to write about it. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m right. But raising children these days is a frightening predicament. You have to watch where they go, who they spend time with and hobbies that they decide to undertake. I don’t think the world is an evil place, but sometimes, it’s full of people who don’t draw the same boundaries that we do. And so it is that my Lord of the Flies neighbor made me rethink Sup Sluts.

How my Lord of the Flies neighbor made me rethink Sup Sluts by Home on Deranged @homeonderange

Recently, we stopped by the local convenience/gas station to fill up the car. As we pulled to the pump, I noticed a very familiar looking pickup truck at the pump across from us. In order to appropriately tell this story, I’m going to first give a little background. So I hope you’ll forgive a little trip down memory lane.

When we first moved into our current neighborhood, there was a house on the street that had a huge jacked-up pickup truck constantly parked on the street; a decrepit Jeep in the backyard that never seemed to move; about 4 different sets of jet skis, that also never seemed to move; very tall grass in the backyard; and one little yippy dog.

Oh, and teenage boys. At least four, five, maybe six of them. Occasionally a couple of teenage girls would also be there, but not often. No adults. At least none ever seen outside.

Thomas and I took to calling this house, “Lord of the Flies,” since it seemed to be inhabited by as well as cared for only by teenage boys. Which didn’t seem like such a great plan.

Over the last 2+ years, cars have come and gone. The jacked up truck is gone, replaced with a gorgeous, full-size white Toyota Tundra with custom wheels, custom rims, and the coolest LED lights contained within the headlights. I admit it: I was jealous the first time I saw them. They scroll through about half a dozen different colors. They serve no useful function on the truck whatsoever, but they are seriously cool.

Back to the gas station story. As we’re approaching the pump, I say, “Isn’t that one of the Lord of the Flies?” Thomas looks and says, “Yep. No one else has those crazy headlights.”

My Lord of the Flies neighbor made me rethink Sup Sluts by Home on Deranged @homeonderange Then I say, “Does that sticker on the front windshield say, ‘Sup Sluts’?” Thomas double checks and says, “Yes, yes it does.”


At first, in an attempt to be all cool and stuff, I say, “Maybe that’s how guys talk to each other now. You know, head nod and say, ‘sup slut?'” My husband looked at me like I’m the most naive person he’s ever seen. “Guys don’t call each other ‘sluts,'” he clarifies for me. Oh, alrighty then.

Then I take the time to look at the person driving this truck. It’s a boy. Honestly, he had to be 16, just legal enough to drive the car. If I think about how long that truck has been in the neighborhood, it’s only been in the last 6 months or so. He’s got the flat bill ball cap on his head, and is skinny as many teenage boys are.

He couldn’t possibly have put that there, on his window for the world to see and judge, because he thinks it’s a funny way to reference women, right?

When I got home, after dinner, I couldn’t help it; the former reporter in me had to know: what the hell is Sup Sluts? I found the Facebook page of Sup Sluts, essentially, a street riding team. They do motorcycle stunts and tricks, and live the biker lifestyle. In other words, not what this kid was doing, and not a group that would be in the least bit interested in either this blog and/or the opinions of its owner.

Instead, as I searched Google for images related to Sup Sluts, so you could see this rather benign decal, I got to see a whole lot more. I doubt I seriously need to tell you what kind of things I got to see on that page. And then I just felt worse and worse and worse.

Because our girls are going to enter that world one day. The world where calling someone a slut, being called a slut, being asked to act like a slut, or being accused of being a slut is a real scary option. Where women are only valued by the way they look, not the way they talk or think or write or sing. And I had to stop. I had to walk away from the icky, ugly Internet and go watch my sweet girls play innocently in our living room.

I dread the day that is coming. And whether Sup Sluts cares about me and my opinions or not, I really wish they would find a better name. Something that actually has to do with street racing or motorcycle trick riding, not archaic derogatory terms applied to women, rarely in a positive way.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Is the word ‘slut’ used too often, too inappropriately? How would you react if your son or daughter decided to put one of these decals on their vehicle? Share your thoughts/tips/advice with me in the comments!


Brilliant Sky Toys and Books- Brilliance Award Winner #Giveaway #HOTHolidayGifts

Brilliant Sky Toys Brilliance Award Winners #giveaway at @homeonderange

*post provided by Home on Derange
Disclosure: The following post is a collaboration with KidStuff PR on behalf of Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. We received products for the review and to thank me for participating. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

Brilliant Sky Toys Brilliance Award winners #giveaway on  Home on Deranged @homeonderange Have you ever walked in the door of a brand new store, full of anticipation and excitement, slightly holding your breath as you cross the threshold? That was our toddler daughters the day we visited Brilliant Sky Toys and Books in Austin one recent weekend. After staring at all the items in the large display window for about a minute, they literally stopped two feet inside the door to check out the toy display in the corner. And thus began our amazing visit at Brilliant Sky and its wonderful world of toys.

The Store

Brilliant Sky Toys and Books was founded in 2002 in Michigan with the goal of being the finest upscale specialty toy store in America. They have hit the nail on the head. We visited the store in Austin, Texas, located in the beautiful West Lake Hills on the west side of town. They had just finished decorating their windows for Halloween, and it went beyond inviting; it was enticing.

We met the store owner, Courtney, who is mom to a 3 year old, and as soon as I heard that, I knew that a mom-owned toy store was going to be the cool place to hang out, and I was right. She stocks her store with items that appeal to children from birth to 12/13 years of age, from jewelry to science to dinosaurs to bikes and more.

Brilliant Sky Toys Brilliance Award winners #giveaway on Home on Deranged @homeonderange She also hosts a story time every Monday with books, singing and arts and crafts, and every Tuesday, she presents Mr. Will, who does live music and story time. Seriously, this is the cool place to hang out.

The Contents

Courtney explained that Brilliant Sky Toys and Books provides the highest quality products to give children the best opportunity for physical, emotional and cognitive development. And fun! Each store is unique, but each store has a play area where kids can do what they do best: test out the toys. In fact, our girls bounced around on a Rody for almost the entire time. Until Leelou discovered the PlasmaCar, and she rode that all over the store. It’s a really relaxed environment, where you can let your kids run around, make noise, play with toys, read books, and never worry that others will be staring at you. They will only be encouraging you.

In fact, Courtney and our girls became fast friends, as Courtney taught them both how to play Kooba, a new kind of dart game, that our toddlers loved. Although intended for older kids, Courtney caringly guided them as they desperately wanted to play it. And they walked away feeling successful!

Brilliant Sky Toys Brilliance Award winners #giveaway on Home on Deranged @homeonderange

Brilliance Award Winners

Five years ago, Brilliant Sky Toys and Books decided to start looking through 10,000 kids products on their shelves and pick a few favorites, dubbing them the Brilliance Awards. This year’s list features 10 products that are surprisingly low-tech, based on quality, value and open-ended play, and the beauty of a child’s fascination and delight. Did we check out the winners while at Brilliant Sky Toys? Oh, you bet we did!

  • Squigz Starter Set ($24.99) – PUSH together and POP apart these cute little suckers for hours of creative building play! From Fat Brain, Squigz will stick to virtually any flat surface using “suction” construction.
  • Plus-Plus Mini-Basic ($29.99) – Plus-Plus building bricks allow kids as young as 3 to create mosaics or 3-D designs but joining two plus signs with endless possibilities. The Mini-Basic contains 480 bricks.
  • Lottie Dolls ($19.99) – This 7.5″ doll from Arklu is flexible, poseable and can stand on her own two feet. Lottie comes in several other varieties and Arklu makes great accessories and pets to add as well.
  • Doodle Quest ($24.99) – In this unique drawing game from Blue Orange Games, players complete a specific drawing on a transparent sheet without tracing so it fits into the scene.
  • Create Your Own Storybook ($19.99) – Let your child be the author of their very own storybook from Creatively Ever After! Markers, simple instructions, and plenty of writing and drawing forms are enclosed along with a postage-paid envelope to send in their story to be bound.
  • Super Stadium Baseball Game ($39.99) – The unique magnetized infield from International Playthings creates ball movement when the pitches are thrown in this must have pinball style game.
  • LoopDeLoom ($29.99) – This ingenious new loom from Ann Williams has spinning pegs that make weaving simple, fast and fun. Easily make scarves, purses, cuff bracelets, headbands, cell phone and tablet cases, hand warmers and more.
  • Sew Cute Sets ($9.99) – A kid-safe needle, pre-cut patterns and easy-to-follow instructions from My Studiogirl spell success for first time sewers.
  • Illustrated Adventure Stories and Illustrated Fairy Tales ($19.99) – Classic stories are beautifully illustrated in these volumes from Usborne Publishing.
  • Paint Your Own Porcelain Bowls ($24.99) – Kids get to paint and oven-bake their own one-of-a-kind creations with this great art set from Mindware.

Learn More
Find out about the wonder that is Brilliant Sky Toys and Books on their website, and find a location near you for the fantastic shopping. Each store has its own unique Facebook page with deals, coupons, sales and event information. Discover, experience, explore, interact, and enjoy. That’s the Brilliant Sky way, and it’s the way to play.


The best part of the entire trip (other than our daughters’ laughs and giggles), is that we now get to offer a giveaway of one of these Brilliance Award Winners to YOU!

For Home on Deranged readers age 18+in the U.S., we are offering a giveaway of a Winner’s Choice of any ONE item in the Brilliance Award Winners listed above! Enter the Giveaway Tools entry below and get ready to enter the Brilliant Sky Toys & Books wonderful world of toys!

Home on Deranged and The Noise of Boys are highly recommending Brilliant Sky Toys and Books and its Brilliance Award Winners for all your Holiday Gift Guide Needs! #2014HOTHolidayGifts

HGG for kids

SoftWalk! Boots! Boots! Boots! The season of fashion has arrived! #2014HOTHolidayGifts


SoftWalk Dublin

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the NEW SoftWalk Dublin Boot for this post! Opinions are honest and based on my experience.

Sleek, yet rugged.  Plus versatile enough to wear with your favorite jeans or cozy leggings! Fall is my favorite season for fashion- because of boots!  SoftWalk does not disappoint with this entry in to the fashion footwear market.  The Dublin, offers a high end look, paired with on-the-go comfort.  No doubt, the Dublin will be a SoftWalk TOP style.


SoftWalk Dublin2

Footwear Material & Design

Comfort, class &refinement, in this casual, on trend short boot! Combines detail of a slouch collar and a western style heel!

  • Antimicrobial brushed suede microfiber footbed lining with foam backing and a leather upper. 
  • Suede leather footbed lining featuring the patented SoftWalk “Eggcrate” and slip resistant textured rubber sole.
  • Stacked 2″ Heel height, 4 1/2″ shaft height and supportive Iron/steel shank
  • Available in sizes up to size 12 and stock dependent 3 widths (Narrow, Medium and Wide)
  • Zipper closure


Softwalk Dublin 3

The SoftWalk Dublin Boot has the patented eggcrate footbead! Orthopedically designed and patterned after mattress technology. The footbed lining includes a unique density foam which adjusts to the shape of your foot.

Ultimately this provides the support and luxury of a pillowtop mattress feel ALL day. Whatever type of shoe you desire, SoftWalk raises the bar for your feet!

Learn more about the footbed options available here!

SoftWalk F.I.T.S.
Supports Your Feet!

SoftWalk shoes provides fashion forward styles combined with the “ultimate comfort experience.” Styles can be selected based on your personal needs and tastes.  Enjoy a past fit?  You can select your new style based on footbeds type, bottom height & texture!

See all the various possibilities & options here!

SoftWalk Shoes offer over 60 sizes and widths!
Over 75 styles/patterns!
PLUS multiple Footbeds choices!
So YOU can assured of a proper, custom fit!

The NEW SoftWalk Dublin Boot is currently available at SoftWalkshoes.com, Nordstroms and Zappos.com 

Follow Soft Walk on Facebook & Twitter for latest product information!

See ALL of the new exciting styles in 2014 Fall catalog here →2014-Fall-Catalog-SoftWalk_lowres

 ENTER  to WIN  SoftWalk Shoes Now!

*Ends 11/4- US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I chose the SoftWalk Dublin to be part of our #2014HotHoliday Gift Guide! Co-hosted by Melissa from Home on Deranged! I chose the Dublin- due to the style, quality and comfort offered ♥ I know this would be a well received gift!



Note:  The above product was provided to help facilitate review.  All opinions are mine and 100% honest or it would not appear on this site. Giveaways are fulfilled directly from sponsoring brand.