Celebrate National Reading Month + Sweepstakes

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Did you know that March is National Reading Month? I didn’t until the other day! Emma Kate can’t read quite yet, but we are still participating by using our Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet and the plethora of Audible books she can listen to! (Read on to enter to win one (1) of 10 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets!)

The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet can help aid your children in cultivating their love for reading with so many fun titles to explore! You can also access educational games that will help teach your kids how to read.

Here are some of Emma Kate’s favorite books available in Amazon FreeTime Unlimited:

  • A Day with Caillou – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty – Freetime Unlimited Version
  • Disney Buddies: ABCs
  • Elmo Loves 123s – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • PINKFONG Dino World – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Teach Your Monster to Read – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Toca Lab – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Wonster Words ABC Phonics – FreeTime Unlimited Edition

The Fire Kids Edition Tablets are the #1 kids’ tablets in the U.S. and come with a kid-proof case and a 2-year guarantee. You can get a replacement no questions asked. Each one comes with a one year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which gives you and your child access to over 30,000 books, videos, audible books, apps, and games. There are also Spanish language books, plus thousands of kid-friendly websites and web videos.

You can have peace of mind using the Parental Control settings in FreeTime Unlimited, where parents can set time limits, change age filters, enable/disable web browser access, and you can even choose whether to allow in-app purchasing. Parents can also use Parent Dashboard to review the digital content their kids are using in FreeTime, determine how to manage time limits and educational goals, and remotely adjust their child’s FreeTime settings. I love helping Emma Kate set educational goals on her tablet. You can also see how much time your child is spending reading each day and see what books they are reading and listening to!

Discussion Cards offer parents a “family book club” approach with summaries and sample questions based on the books, videos, Audible books, educational apps and websites that are viewed within Amazon FreeTime. This could be a fun time to have a “game” where your child answers questions about the books they are reading.

You can also set up “Learn First” settings to encourage learning before play. These can be set up in the FreeTime settings on your child’s tablet, or remotely via Parent Dashboard. This way your kids can still have fun playing games, but after they have done their educational time with books or audible stories.

Also, please note parents don’t have to have a Fire Kids Edition tablet in order to access Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. The FreeTime Unlimited app is also available for download on iOS and Android! Also, once parents sign-up for Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, that very same subscription can be used on any compatible device including Fire tablets, Fire Kids Edition tablets, compatible Android and iOS phones and tablets, and compatible Echo devices, including Echo Dot for Kids. There are so many options!

Now, I would like to challenge you to participate in National Reading Month by completing a social activation below, and those readers who pledge their participation will be entered in to win one (1) of 10 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets! There will be ten winners in total! Just check out the link below.

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and Amazon will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes of 10 Winners.

Amazon Fire Kids Edition Sweepstakes


Get to reading!

Holiday Traditions Revisited

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I am really big on traditions, especially around the holidays. So big, that one year at Christmas I cried hysterically because my family decided to “change things up” and go somewhere else for Christmas instead of my grandparent’s house per usual. I was devastated. Now that I have a child of my own, we have started some of our own traditions, as well as continuing a few from when I was a girl.

One thing that is different from…well I won’t say what year, let’s just say “way back when”, is the technology. Technology has made connecting, learning, and entertaining that much easier (and more fun!) and I love that there are options for Emma Kate. One of our favorites is the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet. This tablet is the #1 kids’ tablets in the U.S. and comes with a kid-proof case. (My child is quite the dropper!) It also includes a two-year worry-free guarantee—meaning if it breaks, just send it back and Amazon will send you a new one without asking you a bunch of questions.

How do we incorporate this device into our holiday traditions? Easy! For example, we love to read to Emma Kate, especially Christmas books. It’s been fun to read titles right from her Fire HD 8 Kids Edition like Winter, Cold and Snow, and also listen to books audibly like The First Christmas Tree and the Great Sled Race.

For a lot of people (and usually for us, except for this year,) Christmas means traveling, which also equals bored kids in the car. Emma Kate loves it when we pre-download books, games and videos for her ahead of time to enjoy in the car.

There are even kid-friendly cookbooks available in Amazon FreeTime on the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. What is Amazon FreeTime? Each tablet comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, giving you access to over 20,000 books, videos, Audible books, educational apps, and games. There are also over 1,000 Spanish language books, videos, educational apps, Audible books, and more.

Another thing I love about this device is the Parent Dashboard. By using the Parental Control settings in FreeTime, parents can set time limits, adjust age filters, change web browser access, and turn on or off in-app purchasing. (That one is huge. Emma Kate is always trying to buy stuff!) You can also review the things your kiddos are using and seeing in FreeTime, and even remotely adjust your child’s FreeTime settings.

fire hd 8

We are all about education and learning games, so I love how the technology of the device allows Emma Kate to have fun and learn at the same time. (ssshhh don’t tell her she is learning!) It’s also something we can do together as I guide her, read with her, and watch alongside her. It has been such a great and fun addition to our holiday traditions this year, and I can’t wait to see how they evolve next year!



Tuesday already?!? Does everyone feel extra spry after a 3 day weekend? I know I loved having hubby home for the extra day. Makes a ton of difference if you ask me! In case you missed some weekend posts because you were BBQing or shooting out people’s eyes with fireworks, you can catch up below:

Friday Favorites: Smoothies

Jambalaya Recipe

Runner’s World Skirted

July Goals

Also, as promised, here are some fun and festive pictures from yesterday. First, the shoes I pull out every year! I wore these babies proudly to church yesterday morning.

2011-07-03094009 2011-07-03094018

holy cuteness! I have had these bad boys since high school, but I love ‘em.

Then after church we went to a BBQ in our neighborhood. Check out the festiveness:


Running Skirt’s strappy tank in Midnight and red dot sweaty band. Great for a par-tay!

Check out my super cute American flag pin!


Don’t I just scream soccer mom? It’s going to be fun, guys, one day when I do have little mini-me’s!

Also, can I brag about the awesomness that is my husband? Saturday after we went out to eat we stopped at the sporting goods store and bought a tent for the beach, and then he said he wanted to go “look around” Best Buy. Folks, I go through this A LOT. The boy is obsessed with video games. Anyway, he was sneakily trying to let me pick out my nook color and a case for my birthday. Recently when I found out you can check e mail, websites, and blogs on the nook color, I really wanted one b/c lugging my laptop around when I fly gets really annoying and heavy. Well, we started looking, then I spotted the iPad 2 which is super cool. Then a guy started helping us and explained there is a tablet that is way cooler than the iPad2 and cheaper, and he wanted us to look at it.

Why is the acer iconia so cool? Well, it has flash player, and, AND a full size USB hook up and HDMI hook up. SWEET! I was playing with it while Bobby was drilling the kid on the specs, and the kid said “let me know if I can help any more or grab one for you” and Bobby said “ya, get on for me” WHAT?!? OMG! So, happy birthday to me! I now have a tablet! It’s really cool and I love it so far! My hubby is awesome.


say hello to my little friend. Smile

So, basically, he wanted to get me my nook early so I could be downloading books to take to the beach next week, and we ended up walking out with my Iconia instead. I am a happy girl, and a lucky one, too. he spoils me.

I have more festiveness to share with you tomorrow, we had some friends over for a BBQ of our own last night! Stay tuned! Oh, I also have a recipe to share! Maybe tomorrow? MAYBE!


Yesterday at the gym I did legs, tri’s, and chest, as well as 20 minutes on the bike.

QOTD: What is the best birthday gift you have ever gotten? Getting a new 4runner last year was pretty sweet if I do say so myself.