Mami's Favorite Things: BabbaBox!

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I have been seriously lacking in the crafty mami category. And I have been feeling serious mami guilt over it. So when I heard of this thing called BabbaBox, I thought it might be a good solution for me.

And I was right! You might be asking, what is a BabbaBox? Well, it’s a monthly subscription box that is delivered to your home with ALL the physical materials plus know-how content to really engage with your kids.

There are four major components in the box: Create, Explore, Story Tell and Connect.

The frog princess was immediately drawn to the binoculars. And this month’s box was perfect for us because we are very interested in the moon and the stars. I have been known to wrap the girl up in a blanket and sneak her outside to catch a glimpse of a full moon and a sky full of beautiful stars. Nothing beats hearing her whispered “wooowww”.

It’s also awesome because, with her out of school for a few weeks, it means that I have projects ready to go and tie ins to my planned trip to the science center.

  

My biggest gripe when even thinking about doing a craft project with her has been materials. I can never find everything or will need to run out and purchase some things. Well, now I don’t have that problem.

Can I tell you how giddy I was that everything that I needed for all of these projects were in one handy dandy box? I was. And so was she.

We read our book (a couple of times because she had to go back and show me things that apparently I’d missed) and went outside to star gaze. This has been my favorite part so far.

Then, we decide to create! And what are we making? A moon nightlight. I’m going to admit something to you: I’d never done paper mache before. It was super easy and all of the supplies were handy and at my disposal. I spread them out on her little table and we got to work.

Project Pieces

Instructions

The instructions were super easy to follow. I let her tear up the paper while I mixed the paste.

BabbaBox_Balloon

Of course, after failed attempts at blowing up the balloon, I took over.

After that it was smooth sail…okay, I’m lying. It wasn’t. You want to know why? Because my child doesn’t like her hands dirty. So she would dip a few pieces of paper, plop them on the balloon and then go wash her hands. Seriously kid? I am making a mental note to play in the mud as part of our aversive therapy to get her over this.

Paper Mache 2 Paper Mache

She enjoyed it so much, though. While we worked on covering up our balloon, we talked about the moon. And how the surface of it is not smooth. Kind of like the paper we were adding on the balloon. She asked me if I remembered when we saw the stars the other night. And I said of course. Then she ran out to wash her hands.

Paper Mache 5Paper Mache Moon

I’m waiting for her to get back from school so that we can light up our project. Following that, I’m hiding the BabbaBox so that I can have some projects to do after she gets out of school for winter break.

But, I think I want to get this membership. For as low as $19.99 a month you can have a project box a month. With different themes and different interests, the possibilities are endless. I love the fact that this will give us ready to create projects and also incorporate some of what she’s already learning in school and what we go over at home.

Oh and afterwards, I can do this with the boxes (yes, I’m totally going to repurpose these in the kid’s room).

BabbaBoxes

So, here’s the recap and a special offer for you (FYI, feel free to get this for us as a Christmas present):

BabbaBox is a theme-based box delivered to your door that allows you to enjoy a little convenience and inspiration! As any parent can attest, the most important thing you can give to your child is quality time. BabbaBox makes this possible by helping you to save time, money, & mindspace.

Just think! Fantastic monthly activities with ALL the materials for kids ages 3-6. Included in the box are 3 projects + 1 bestselling book + digital download + parent surprise gift!

The best part? Babbabox makes a GREAT unique gift during the holiday season.

Act now! Get 50% off your first month when you sign up for a monthly membership using the code, SWAY100. Offer expires December 31, 2012.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BabbaBox. The opinions and text are all mine.

So tell me, do you have projects/craft time at home? What do you like to create with your little ones?

Mami's Favorite Things: Time to Play!

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Every once in a while, I come across things that make me do a little jig. You might think this happens all the time since I tell you about it when it does happen but I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case. I have a set of brown paper bags that I had ready for the Christmas season. I have a list of reasons but one of them was certainly trying to figure out what to get the frog princess and then trying to figure out where I’d be getting it.

Enter Time to Play. Can I just tell you how much I pink puffy heart them? I went on their site a few weeks ago and the frog princess and I spent over a half hour just watching videos of their toy reviews. I also got to take some notes as she expressed interest in some of the items we saw. It made me feel better that I had a go-to place where I could get good information on toys. Also, it made me think I need to go work for them. They really play with all of these toys and put them through the ringer to make sure that we have all of the information we need to make our purchase.

Because they’re cool like that and want to help a sistah out a little further (yes, this is all because of me. You’re welcome), they recently did 2 awesome things:

Price comparison tool:

Now I can go to Time to Play and not only check out reviews toys, games, video games, books, infant products, sporting goods and more BUT I can easily see who has the best deals! This means that I don’t have to run around going to different websites and trying to do my own comparisons. Which saves me time and stress because (ssshhh, don’t tell anyone) I highly dislike shopping for anything that doesn’t include gadgets/toys for myself. This is what it looks like:

Comparison Tool

PS: I really want a Doc McStuffins doll. You know, for the frog princess! I kinda dig the fact that it also shows you who has the toy in stock. Because nothing’s more frustrating than finding a good deal only to find they no longer have the item.

Bilingual Toys

The folks over at Time to Play have put together their first ever Top Bilingual Toys list, revealing the seven toys chosen by the Time to Play editorial team as those which offer the most valuable play experience in two languages. All I can say is: insert dancing jig in 2 languages here.

I certainly am going to get good use of that list. While there are some toys out there that have certain words in Spanish, it is difficult to find quality bilingual toys.  Going through the list, I think I know one thing that my frog princess will be getting from Santa. She told me she wants a pink present (um, now I have to find pink wrapping paper). And inside that present she told me she wants a baby doll with a pink shirt. Enter Baby Alive Baby All Gone!

The Bilingual Toy category joins categories such as Action Figures, Dolls, Educational Toys, Video Games, Infant Products, Apps, and more.  Needless to say, I’ve logged in a few hours of time on this site.

Here’s my problem right now. I want everything I see on the site! And yes, I’ll admit that some of the toys are for me to play with. Hey, I never said I grew up, did I?

With thousands of in-depth product reviews and a new price comparison tool which tracks product inventory and prices at five major retailers, AND their new Bilingual Toys category, TimetoPlayMag.com is the one-stop resource for fulfilling a child’s wish list this holiday season. The popular website is also now available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, and German.

The folks at Time To Play seem to think that you guys want to win some toys this week. So, I give you a giveaway of the Baby Alive Baby All Gone and a Furby! I am going to tell you a secret: I might enter my own giveaway. Is that wrong? Don’t judge me, I really want these!

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Check out Time to Play on Twitter for their weekly #TimetoPlayLive Twitter parties chock full of prizes. And don’t forget to stop by their Facebook page for some cool giveaways.

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Disclosure: I attended a Time to Play luncheon in Orlando. But y'all know it takes more than free food to get me to talk about a product or company. All thoughts and excited commentary are purely my own.

More giveaways going on now:

Mami's Favorite Things

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I wanted to give you a running list of all of the things that have made it to my list this year. I will update as we go along (I believe I have TWO more weeks of giveaways for you).

Hallmark Holiday Gift Pack

Maiden Nation Kiss Kiss Bracelet

Eyedews Packs

Shootie Girl Moms Rock Bling Shirt

Goodie Tins

 

Kleenex

Disney (only giving away Magic on this one)

Photobook

Books

Time to Play

Here's a preview of what's coming: Microsoft Office, BabbaBox, Net10, Toys, Spice Crafters, Salon Namora Certificates and more!

Who's excited?

Mami's Favorite Things: Books!

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When I sat down to enjoy a late dinner with Ashley and Shell at BBC Atlanta last year, there was a new face (for me) at the table. And when she gave me her card, I smiled and knew we'd be fast friends. Heather is the face behind The Mommyhood. And how could I not love it?! Mommyhood meets Mamihood. Perfection! Recently, she told me she was writing a book and I was ecstatic. Well, what she didn't tell me was that she'd placed secret cameras in my house and also used some sort of Betazoid power to bore into my brain. I know she's done this because Heather's book, Secrets of the Mommyhood, is the book I've never written with all of the thoughts I've ever had.

SOTM

She takes it from the top. From seeing the line on the pregnancy stick, to unsolicited (crazy) advice to the cool stuff you've put on your registry that will surely end up in your garage.

Love doesn't begin to describe how I feel about this book. It's everything I ever wanted any of my expecting friends to know. SPOILER ALERT: do not read the following line if you're pregnant and my friend.

I'm SO planning on giving all 32 of the women I've gotten pregnant this year a copy of this book for Christmas.

It's just in time too because I've grown tired of sending my frightening baby products Excel spreadsheet and having to explain why I think that a poop holder, as Heather calls it, is unnecessary. So this book will save me lots of eye rolls and long explanations.

Seriously, it's fantastic. I love that Heather tells you about her own experiences, how she felt, what she did. These are her opinions and thoughts but they mirror so many of my own and the ones of other mamis I've talked to.

I couldn't put the book down (even though I should've been doing schoolwork, don't judge me). That's how good it was.

And before you ask: of course I have a copy of this book for you as a giveaway!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. In reading this book it made me think of one of my other favorite books this year The Kid Dictionary. If you follow me on the Twitter you know that I am forever retweeting Eric when he puts up definitions (if you don't follow me: shame on you!). I mean if Secrets of the Mommyhood gives you the no holds barred of parenting then The Kid Dictionary will give you the lexicon to understand the new language. Here are a few examples:

Resembullate (re-ZEM-bhul-ayt) v: To unnecessarily asses which parent a newborn baby looks like.

Leftoaf (leff-TOWFF) n: A parent whose diet consists largely of foods her children don't finish.

Daduation (DAD-ju-ay-shun) n: The painful realization that you are quickly and irreversibly turning into your parents.

TKD

See? What'd I tell you? So for this giveaway, not only do I have a SIGNED copy of Heather's book but I will most certainly equip you with the vocabulary that you need to learn with a copy of The Kid Dictionary. You're welcome!

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Mami's Favorite Things: Photobooks

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I’ll get right to the point on this because if you’re like me and want a photobook, you’re going to have to well, book it and get it done ASAP so you have them for the holidays. I haven’t started any of mine. I’m blaming school although it’s probably a good way for me to procrastinate and get something productive completed. But, I digress. STOP HERE. If you are a grandparent of my child or know the grandparents and cannot keep your mouth shut, you are not allowed to read any further than this. Feel free to check out Shutterfly PhotoBooks: The Best Gift Ever, though. and. don’t. come. back. here. Thanks!

I want to do a photobook this year for the grands. I never know what to get them and short of gift wrapping my child and putting her under the tree, I think this is a pretty awesome gift (PS: I’m totally giftwrapping her when she turns like 14).

I think it’ll be the perfect Christmas gift, don’t you? It’s one of my favorite things because they are easy to create and I can do it while wearing my yoga pants and mismatched socks. Check out this cool video. It warmed my heart and I know it’ll warm yours too (have no fear, you won’t see my yoga pants in here).

So, who wants to join me in my mismatched sock heaven? Enter to win below. I have TWO photobook codes for TWO lucky ducks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Resourceful Mommy Media and Shutterfly. All photobook gift giving ideas and yoga pant references are my own.

Mami's Favorite Things: Disney!

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I don't even know if I can be coherent while writing about this. How excited am I, you ask? Disney excited! Every year, we've taken the frog princess to Disney. The first year, she was actually in the hospital for her birthday (thanks, Roseola). Last year we did make it on her birthday and I was probably giddier than she was.

But this year? We did it a little different. I didn't want to do a party (have you done a cost analysis on parties?!). I wanted to do a day at the parks and a night at a resort. The frog princess has been really interested in animals so this was an easy one for me, Animal Kingdom! PS: I'd never been to Animal Kingdom so yeah, enter mami giddiness here.

Enter my own personal planning fairy! Yadira works for the mouse. She's in marketing strategy so of course, she knows all about the park. I knew I wanted to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge and after hearing that this was one of her favorite resorts, I was sold.

Friday. Was. A. Dream. I am teary eyed with emotion just thinking about it. Why you ask? My frog princess is well, a princess. And Disney knows all about that. We got the lodge to check in. And she immediate received her button.

Birthday Button

I've heard of Disney's plus 1 but it is a thing of beauty to see it in action. We hung out and watched the animals on the observation deck. Seeing the happiness on her face? PRICELESS!

Frog Princess Pointing

Sasha (aka: Susan) and Lilly made us feel so special when we were checking in. I think they were as excited as we were that it was our little girl's birthday. And it showed. Um, Lilly, can you come on over and figure out how to get these Mickey stickers off of her stroller? The frog princess got a chance to take more stickers than I thought a normal adult would allow. These gals handled my request for a savannah upgrade seamlessly and were super sweet to boot.

Sharon & Lilly

And our room? Um, EEEEKKKKKK! We had a view of the savannah! Do you know what that means? Check this out:

Giraffes_Room

Us_Room

Towel Ears

To see the look on her face when she saw the first animal was...indescribable. The (ex)man and I had such a good time with her.

Smiles

On our way out of the lodge we passed a few cast members. Every cast member that noticed her button would greet her with "happy birthday princess". How cool is that?! One of them, Sharon, noticed her button as we were leaving the lodge. She stopped us and took off one of her pins to give to her. I was dumbfounded. How cool is that?! Her very first pin came from a cast member!!!!

Her BIG surprise though came at the Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom park. We were going to have a character lunch. So, a little note here before you see the cool pictures? The food was SOOOOO good. I actually would like some right now. But, I digress.

We got to take pics with Donald outside. And inside? Seeing her patiently waiting at our table while the other characters made their way around made my heart swell with happiness.

Donald  Daisy

Mickey  Goofy

At the safari we felt like we were in Africa. I'm still in shock at what Disney has been able to pull off in this park. It is definitely my new favorite and I look forward to exploring it in more detail.

Lions

Zebras

The frog princess is still talking about the zebras, the giraffes and of course, Nemo! We saw the Nemo show and wow. Ah-mazing. I really can't think of additional words. There wasn't enough time to get to everything in one day. We are definitely heading back.

Can I tell you how blessed I feel? That I am here in Orlando and can pick up an annual pass at the beginning of the year and just head on over to the parks whenever I feel like it? Throughout the day, I kept telling the (ex)man how great this was. On his part, I can say he felt the same way and even suggested that we stay over again next year.

On our way out of the park, we ran into a photographer that took a couple of awesome pics of us with the tree of life in the background. Unfortunately, I haven't decided which ones we are going to buy yet so, you can't see them. But, they were taken by Margaret. Who had a fantastic personality and she really just epitomized the entire feeling of the day. And I loved that. Loved that my baby girl was made to feel special. Loved that people connected with her and with us. And THAT'S why Disney is one of my favorite things this year.

Lodge

On the day of check out, we saw Mia again. She was the one that gave my child her button. We sat outside while we waited for our car and also had a chance to meet Lebo. That feeling of being special had not faded. Of course, Mia couldn't let us leave without more sticker (Mia, you too can come over to peel these off the furniture). That connection that the cast members make with you, is not fake. I remember Lebo bending down and asking my child (who by now referred to the hotel as "home") when she was coming by. Um, why did she say in 3 weeks?!

Honestly, I would love nothing more. Especially with the lodge being decorated for Christmas.

I have no giveaways for you today. I have nothing to give you other than a glimpse of magic. This most special place in the world is not just magical but it's right. Because they've taken the time not just to make the place magical but to put magical people in all the right places to make that experience unforgettable.

 I can't wait to go back! To Disney and the Cast Members that contributed to this 3rd birthday celebration: thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Daddy Mami

Mami's Favorite Things: Kleenex

This past month has seen a lot of mami I don’t feel so good’s. Have you experienced this business? It’s the first “winter” that she’s in school. I know it’s expected but with her suffering from febrile seizures (though thank the sweet baby Jesus she hasn’t had one in over a year), it bring a certain level of defcon 5 into the house. A few weeks back, pink eye and a cough turned into bronchitis. Runny nose, coughing and even a little sharing with her mami made for an interesting couple of weeks. So I had a chance of taking care of my baby in the way that mamis know best.

I love to cuddle with her when she’s sick. It’s this need I get to hold her close to me. Like my body can heal hers. And yeah, I’m well aware that’s probably the way I got her cooties. But that’s okay.

I was lucky that papi was here because he got to make me my ultimate comfort food: his world famous rice pudding. When I’m sick I love comfort foods, don’t you? I love chicken noodle soup with an egg dropped in and a little garlic (try it, it’s yummy). I love hot cocoa and I also have a special affinity to ginger tea when I don’t feel well.

Of course, these days when I get sick it means that I don’t get to stay in bed all day long as the kid requires some attention. But, there’s nothing like a comfy pair of sweats and some thick socks. I move our nursing area to the family room with the kitchen nearby and then set up camp on the big couch complete with a blanket that we alternatively use to cover us and as a fort, depending on how we feel.

I also keep lots of water nearby and 2 very, very important things: a box of Kleenex and a trash can for the used tissues. We went through a whole box this last time and with us hanging out at the parks this past weekend, it seems that someone is not feeling so good again. As I type this, she is sitting on her favorite chair while I hover over her with the temporal thermometer. And yes, the box of Kleenex is nearby.

Kleenex_SWS

This is a more practical favorite thing but one that I feel is very necessary during those times of yuckiness that are sure to come and go during this time of the year.

I found out that Kleenex has Care Packs. You can get them via their website and have it sent to a loved one to make them feel better.  I wish I’d known about this when my little sister was sick a few months ago. She was all the way up in DC and missing being nursed back to health. This would’ve certainly made her smile.SWS3_CarePack

I am planning on sending one to the frog princess’s teacher. Can you imagine working with 15 snotty kids? I often see her with a little red nose and just want to sit her on my lap and cuddle her too. She definitely deserves a Care Pack.

Kleenex also has Share Packs to well, share! And they want to give one away to you! Because, I’m sure you’ll need them at some point in time.

Share Pack

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Have you checked out the other giveaways in this series?

Eyedews Packs

Shootie Girl Moms Rock Bling Shirt

Goodie Tins

Disclosure: this is a compensated post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex. All coughs, cuddles and snotty noses are mine (and the kid’s).

Mami's Favorite Things: Goodie Tins

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I told you about Goodie Tins before. I think they were my favorite local product this year. And not just because they took the idea right out of my head but because this is a local small business owned by creative and awesome women. Just like me! Yeah, I tied that in pretty nicely, don’t you think? Well, not only do they have awesome tins for babies, mamas, friends, stress balls, coffee lovers, tea addicts, etc. but now they have a Holiday Collection! So I suggest that you cull through their site and place your order. I know the last thing I want to do is spend time stuck in traffic, cursing people out in my head (because most times the frog princess is with me) and waiting in long lines.

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I have my eye on the Pom Pom Goodie Tin. See, I’ve always been a fan of pomegranate. I remember as a little girl, I’d walk past the produce store on 157th and Broadway and mami would get me this crazy looking yummy food. I’ve always loved pomegranate. And so, when I saw that this tin brought Stirrings Pomegranate Martini Mix, Stirrings Pomegranate Rimmer, the signature Keepsake Goodie Tin and the sexy holiday apron (which you can or cannot wear with cute red pumps and perform your very own rendition of Santa Baby), I had to have it! Also, I think the girl looks like me. You know, when I take the time to actually call Salon Namora and get them to head on over here to do my hair.  I bet you can think of at least 2 people that would love to get this (me! me! me!).

I’m really doing all the work for you guys. I’m thinking I need to just start charging y’all for this gift consulting work I’m doing.  The least you should do is head on over and grab some tins. It will mean you’re supporting small businesses AND you’re getting awesome gifts. Win-win, I say!

But before you go, enter the giveaway below. See, I’m a firm believer that we should get something for ourselves so, I say get something for someone else and be sure to get a little tin for yourself. The winner will get a tin from their Holiday Collection. Good luck!

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Have you checked out the other giveaways in this series?

Maiden Nation Kiss Kiss Bracelet

Eyedews Packs

Shootie Girl Moms Rock Bling Shirt

Disclosure: I pink puffy heart the girls at Goodie Tins. They didn’t pay me to write this post (though they should totally hire me as their social media/PR mami guru person AND premier product tester because hello?! I rock!). All gushing is entirely my own.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

Mami's Favorite Things: Shootie Girl

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Have you ever come across a product that makes you want to purchase it in every single color available? That’s how I feel about Shootie Girl. Except that in this case, it wouldn’t be every color available but rather, any idea in my imagination. I find myself running across a promotion or a brand and thinking: you need a bling shirt for that! I met LaShaun at Blissdom and what a blessing that was. I had the opportunity of purchasing shirts from her as the Central Florida Latinas set out for our first event.

Nowadays I just keep a list of bling shirts that I need in my closet. Yes, I said need. Want a peek at my list? Here it goes:

  1. @MyMamihood – self explanatory as to why I’d need a t-shirt with my Twitter handle in bling on the front
  2. @MamiInkMedia – well if I have one for the blog, then I need one for the business, right?
  3. I Heart Football – because I do! This would be a shirt that I could use as part of my fantasy football league
  4. #DreamCoach – I love my dream coach job and I want to tell everyone about it. What better advertising than me, don’t you think?
  5. Mamis Rock – because we do!
  6. MacGyver – this is my AKA line name and I think it would look good in pink and green rhinestones. Oh yeah, did I mention that there’s a variety of gems to choose from?
  7. I HEART Nerds – I have a VERY OLD shirt that says this. It’s the one shirt I ALWAYS fly out of Orlando in. I haven’t not worn this shirt since I got it. It’s old. And I’m afraid I will need to replace it soon. If I don’t, I may never get on a plane again. So, what better replacement than some nerdy bling, eh?

I could continue and don’t get me started on the shirts for the frog princess:

  1. Frog Princess – duh!
  2. ‘09 Diva – Research has shown that girls born in ‘09 are divaish and spunky. So they definitely need a bling shirt for that
  3. I HEART Books – because she does and I do and that’s just how we roll
  4. #AfroPuffs – you’ve seen the pictures, this is just too fitting for words. Besides, she doesn’t have a Twitter account (yet) so a hashtag will do for now

Seriously, I could have this be my entire wardrobe. With color options and a variety of t-shirt selections, you are sure to find what you need.

Also, I love that this is a family business. The name Shootie Girl was coined by the little girls (cousins) and I think that’s just precious. What’s the definition you ask? "Confident, Creative, Intelligent and Strong. A leader, not a follower!" If that doesn’t describe me (and most of you!) I don’t know what does.

During the holidays, I think it’s important to support small businesses. What better gift this season than a personalized bling shirt for your mom, sister, daughter, grandmama, friend?

Stop by and check out Shootie Girl’s Facebook page, be sure to shop for your favorite gal in the world (PS: feel free to get me any one of the above mentioned shirts). And of course, enter the giveaway to get your very own “Moms Rock” t-shirt!!!!! You’re welcome.

MomsRock

If you stop by and visit my girls, let them know mami sent ya! I know this will become one of your favorite things too.

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Have you entered the other giveaways in Mami’s Favorite Things? Hallmark Holiday Gift Pack Maiden Nation Kiss Kiss Bracelet Eyedews Packs

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.