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Monday, April 27, 2015

Sponsored Freebie & Review: Zubels and Parents Magazine

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Tomoson and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Are you looking for something unique and special to get that adorable baby or child in your life? You should definitely take a look at Zubels. Zubels has been around for years and has just recently started selling their items here in the United States. Zubels make everything from 100% cotton (some organic). Their hand knit toys, hats, sweaters, pants and booties will be loved and cherished by children and parents. 

Zubels started with a creative group working together to bring smiles to children. There was a need for an eco-friendly yet purposeful toy whose only requirement was a little love and imagination. Zubels is a family owned company. The company, which has been in business for over 30 years, offers traditional, eco-friendly, hand knit toys, quality gifts, accessories and apparel which are available at various boutiques and online retailers.

Zubels are each hand knit with 100% super soft organic cotton yarns. Zubels uses eco-friendly low-impact dyes and has minimal packaging to reduce environmental waste. Each one is also hand stuffed to make them huggable and loveable. Their subtle textures, vibrant colors and hand embroidered details spark imaginary play. Every doll has a distinct personality just like every child!
We did not know which Zubel we were going to get to try out. I was excited when I saw it, as it was a dog and Xavier loves dogs. Since Xavier is three years old I did not know how much he would like the Zubel rattle toy, as I thought they would be better for younger children. We received the Spotted Dog 7” Rattle Toy. Xavier loved him right away. He named him Bruno and Bruno has been carried around the house a ton and has been constantly played with and loved.

I loved Bruno the Zubel toy. He was made much stronger than I would have thought. There are washing instructions of hand washing and rolling on a towel which is the same for most of Xavier’s stuffed animals. He is a great size for Xavier. The toys come in 7” and 12” mostly; they all have a rattle inside of them. Xavier loved that part of Bruno, and it is a quiet type of rattle so it does not drive mommy crazy either. I love how affordable all the adorable items that Zubels offers are. They have very cute sweaters, hats, booties and toys in all sorts of things for all different types of imaginations. They are truly unique and special.

Next Generation Stay At Home Mom Gives Zubels 5 Stars!

If you would like to order your handmade Zubel visit their website and use the code ZU15 to receive 15% off!

Also, thanks to Zubels, ALL READERS CAN RECEIVE 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO PARENTS MAGAZINE-12 ISSUES- FOR FREE! Just click on the sponsored link below to claim your magazine subscription, no strings attached! Please note: this offer only available from 4/27/15 through 6/1/15 ONLY!

#Zubels, #ParentsMagazine, #sponsored, #tomoson, #review, #giveaway, #nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmreviewsandgiveaways, #nextgenerationsahm5starreview

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight: The Tools of Blurb

 **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Our big blog sponsor this month is Blurb Books. I have written my review of them, and last week shared the story about how the company of Blurb started. Today, I share with you some of their great free book making tools. They are extremely easy to use. Blurb books not only are great for photo books, you can make cookbooks, journals, honeymoon books, wedding books, even write your own book and publish it through Blurb or just make a few for your friends and family. You can even make your very own children's book for your child. Check out the many tools of Blurb and create a book that is truly your own.

So last week I shared a bit of the Blurb story and how they came to unleash the power of self-publishing. But Blurb is actually way more than a self-publishing platform. They are really a tour de force of creativity that strives to help give your story – your inspiration – a stage. And they provide some really incredible tools to make that possible.

Here are a few of my faves:

  1. Free book making tools – This one may be obvious, but there’s more here than meets the eye. Blurb offers multiple easy-to-use bookmaking tools and templates to give you complete creative control and customization:
    BookWright: The only desktop publishing software built for creating professional-looking print books, magazines, and ebooks. It’s super simple to use, which means you won't need to hire a fancy designer, know a line of code, or buy expensive software. BookSmart: A user-friendly book-making tool that allows you to create beautiful, professional-quality photo books, notebooks, and planners.
    Adobe InDesign Plug-In: If you use Adobe® InDesign® then this Blurb plug-in is for you. It lets you create and lay out books and magazines directly within InDesign and output in both print and digital formats. It also includes free professionally designed starter templates for photo books, cookbooks, portfolios, and magazines.
    Adobe Lightroom: This book creation tool is fully integrated into Lightroom, so users can make a gorgeous photography book without needing to leave the Lightroom workflow. It also includes 5 paper choices, including high-end photo-quality paper from Mohawk Fine Papers®.
  2. Online photo books – With this tool, you can create your very own online photo book in less than an hour. The online templates and layouts are gorgeous. All you have to do is drag & drop your photos from your computer, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
    Instagram Photo Book: Blurb allows you to make a little 7 x7 book that’s as unique as your Instagram feed. You can start with up to 60 images and go up to 240 pages! It’s like a tiny museum devoted to your style!
    Facebook Photo Book: Now you can turn those favorite socially-shared memories into a book-store quality book! You just curate your photos and any Facebook comments you want to include and voilĂ ! You’ve got a beautiful 60-page book of shared experiences.
  3. Step-by-step Tutorials & Webinars – If you ever get stuck on how to do something or just need some creative inspiration, you’ll definitely appreciate Blurb’s interesting and informative Webinars and Tips and Tutorials sections. So helpful.
  4. Free Tools to Use - Not sure what size book you want? Blurb shows you what a 10 x 8 book would look like versus a 13 x 11 with their creation and layout tools. You can also see what different paper types would look like, such as Premium Matte or Proline Uncoated and what makes them different.
  5. Pricing Tool – Blurb’s Pricing Calculator will save you from pricing surprises. You just select your book type, number of pages, type of cover, and paper you want and this tool calculates what your book will cost. They also have special pricing on large orders (e.g. 300+ books).
I encourage you to take some creative time for yourself and explore Blurb’s unique and valuable book-making tools. And remember that from now through 4/30 you can get 20% off any book you create, just use code: APRILLIGHTS! If you are thinking of self-publishing or starting a fundraiser use code: BIGAPRIL and get 20% off 20 or more books!

What are your favorite Blurb tools?

#blurbbooks, #blurb, #photobooks, #nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmsponsorspotlightBlurb

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What to do on Earth Day?

Many people notice that Earth Day is coming up and do not think much of it. However, some of us do, we like to celebrate the wonderful planet that we live on everyday in it's own type of celebration. So if you wonder how you can join the celebration or what you can do to celebrate Earth Day, some of my best ideas I got last year trying to come up with a family fun way to celebrate Earth Day. Come to find out we found many ideas, and still do many of these things on days other than just Earth Day. I hope you find a great way to celebrate Earth Day!

*Originally published on 4/21/14

    It is finally Spring, the buds are blossoming, the sun is shining longer and longer and today is the day that everyone should celebrate. That is because it is what binds and connects each and every one of us; today we celebrate Earth Day!

So Happy Earth Day! In case you are not sure of a good way to celebrate Earth Day or you are stuck in an office all day here are ten ways to celebrate today for this wonderful place that we live on!

10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

1. Plant Trees
- It may seem simple but we breathe the oxygen trees produce everyday and quite frankly, we can never have enough trees. A sapling is easy to find at your local home improvement store, garden stores or even your local farmers market.

2. Clean Up Your Community
- We are not asking you to do everything, but add something into your normal routine. Pick up some trash on the side of the road while you are walking into your office. Pick up that stray napkin stuck in the tree. Walk around your local park and you are sure to see something that needs some sprucing up!

3. Contact your local elected officials and talk to them about the environment
 - We elect people into office yet we never bother to let our voices be heard by them. Perhaps if they knew that the people in their area are very environmentally conscious they will keep that in consideration when they make any type of decisions for your area. So be a voice for the earth and make sure you voice your opinion on what we can do as a society to help fix and sustain our beautiful planet.

4. Have a picnic lunch
- Even if you are stuck in work all day, try eating outside today and stay off your cell phone and really enjoy what nature has to offer. You will never seize to be amazed how many things go along around you and you miss it all. The bird looking for a seed, the squirrel in the tree, the ant bringing something home for dinner, our earth not only is our home but the home to many others take a breather and see that today. While you are picking up your trash from your picnic be sure to pick up any other stray trash in the area and you did two good deeds!


5. Plant A Garden
- It is Spring time and there is no better time than to plant a garden. So get outside and put anything from a vegetable or flower or even that Easter Lily that is on your table in a garden. Get your hands dirty and enjoy!

6. Take Pictures of Nature
- All day long people snap pictures with their phones, I see endless selfies, dogs, cats, kids and even food, yet rarely do I see nature. Today post a picture of something beautiful you saw on the earth today!

7. Visit A New Park or Hiking Spot
- If you have not checked out that new park yet, today is a great day to do it! Go on that hike you keep wanting to do. Make your morning jog in a wooded area or park so that you get more nature. Go out and explore!

8. Spread the Word About Earth Day
- I would bet that the mass majority of people do not know today (April 22nd) is Earth Day and always has been. So go around and wish them "Happy Earth Day!", post it on your social networks and let them know ways to celebrate, remember everyone lives here as much as you do!

9. Kick Start Recycling
- I am saying "Kick Start" because you should not "just recycle" today. You should be doing that everyday. So if you count throwing your foil in the correct recycle bin your celebration you are wrong. If you already recycle at home, look for other things you can recycle. Donate clothing, donate some furniture. Buy used items, buy vintage and antiques. All that helps to sustain us from making more things and polluting our earth. So ladies today, try buying Vintage (Read: Shopping Online for Vintage or Hand Me Down Clothing) or actually start recycling in your home or work or find something else you can do to help reduce waste.

10. Donate
- is an organization that is worldwide and works to protect the planet in so many different ways. They are always in need of donations. Today is a great day to donate, you can donate as little as $5 and you still made a difference.

The best way to celebrate Earth Day is to remember that every day should be earth day! 

Don't forget we have TWO giveaways going on right now. Our first one is for the children's book Gladly Giraffe by Catherine Meade and our second giveaway is a pair of Toddler Caterpillar Clogs from Clogstrom. Click on the names for more information and I hope everyone has a great Earth Day!

#earthday, #celebrateearthday, #earthdaycelebrations, #10waystocelebrateearthday, #nextgenerationsahm, #giveaways

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sponsored: The Story of Blurb

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Like many great companies before it, Blurb was actually started by accident. In the early 2000s, Eileen Gittins, Blurbs' Founder, rekindled a passion for photography while trying to figure out her next career gig.

She wanted to compile her photos into a nice coffee table photo book, but she only wanted to print a handful of copies. The conundrum was that every publisher was quoting her hundreds of dollars for each book! She found this curious – and frustrating. So she asked herself, are there other people like me who want to create their own high-quality book at an affordable cost, from their photos? The answer, of course, was yes, and it changed her life – and book publishing – forever.

In 2006, Eileen launched Blurb, a simple book-designing platform and a publishing process that could quickly produce beautifully made books at game-changing price.

Everyone from award-winning photographers, to couples wanting to commemorate the birth of their child started using Blurb – and they continue to do so today. Even after almost a decade, people are still blown away by Blurb’s user-friendliness, quality, and affordability. People trust Blurb to create every kind of book imaginable, including:

Photo books
Magazines, and more

Blurb doesn’t just help people make books and magazines, they also help market them by providing publishers with their own dedicated sales page. Blurb’s dedicated sales pages allows authors to:

Make their book or magazine available to the public or by invitation-only
Write a compelling book description
Customize a preview of their book
Share their book with others on social media

Blurb also created their publishing platform to work seamlessly with Amazon and Apple iBooks Store so authors would have even more options for how they sell their books.

There are so many remarkable things to share about Blurb – too much for just one post! So keep an eye out for next week’s post because I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Blurb tools and tips -- which, if you are like me, will leave you thinking … “I didn’t know Blurb could do all that!”

Oh! And I almost forgot to mention that now through 4/28 you can get 20% off any book you create! Can’t wait to see what kind of book you create!

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sponsored Giveaway & Review: Clogstrom Toddler Caterpillar Clogs

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Tomoson and received a gift and or payment to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

We were really excited to try out these new Toddler Caterpillar Clogs from Clogstrom. Xavier, my three year old son, loves caterpillars and he has a fondness for wearing shoes. In face he is actually a little picky on the type he wants to wear.

Clogstrom has made adorable Toddler Caterpillar Clogs that easily slip on and off. They are very comfortable for your child, waterproof and can be used indoor or outdoors. They come in United States sizes 4 through 8 and in seven different styles and colors.

The box they came in was adorable with a cute label on it as to what they were. Xavier loved them right away and was very excited to try them on. It was a little hard at first as he insisted on wearing socks and I was hoping to use these at the beach this summer. So for the first couple days he wore them with socks, then we started wearing shoes without socks and so did he.

The Toddler Caterpillar Clogs are very adorable. We got a lot of compliments on his shoes, which was nice especially since he is a boy. I love how durable and sturdy they are, there is no way he can damage them by pulling the antennas off or anything that I can find. They are extremely easy to wash. Most of the time I run them under the faucet and dry them off and they are good to go.

Xavier wore his Toddler Caterpillar Clogs on many surfaces and we can say with firm confidence that he did not slip in these shoes not even at top toddler speeds. He ran in them on carpet, wood, linoleum, tile, concrete, grass and water.

My biggest complaint with these shoes is a big one, but a problem that can be remedied if you buy a pair. The size was very much off. I ordered Xavier a size 6. We had just bought him other shoes in a size 6. He barely fits in the Caterpillar Clogs and has since day one. He never complains so it took us a couple days to notice just how tight they were on him and to make sure you did not just have to work them in a little bit. They are so tight that even with or without socks they leave red marks on his toes and right at the base of his ankle where the edge is. The strap on the back is not adjustable so unless he slides into them, which he does not and I do not know many toddlers that do, he cannot wear them. As a result of this I had to break it to my toddler that he cannot wear his favorite shoes that he loves so much. Which as any parent knows is a hard thing to do, I was upset to get him excited about them and wearing them, and then have to take them away after a week because of fitting issues. This does not have to happen to you. So as long as you order these a size bigger than you would order regular shoes for your child, you should be safe, and they do offer complete refunds.

Next Generation Stay At Home Mom gives Clogstrom Toddler Caterpillar Clogs 4 Stars!

If you would like to order a pair of Toddler Caterpillar Clogs you can get them at Amazon.

Enter our giveaway for a set of your own! US and Canada residents only, contest ends Friday, April 24, 2015 at 9:00AM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#sponsored, #review, #giveaway, #tomoson, #clogstrom, #nextgenerationsahm, #nextgenerationsahmreviews, #nextgenerationsahm4starreview
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