Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And the Winners Are...

Nativity - Rebbeca Navarro
Dinosaur Volcano - Pam Kennedy

Congratulations ladies!
Please send me your mailing addresses

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Designs Have Arrived - Let's Celebrate!

It has been a long long wait with all sorts of bumps along the way -- so I am super excited to announce that my new Flipzles have finally arrived!  And to celebrate I will be giving away one of each!

Any dinosaur loving kiddo will have hours of exciting play time with the new Flipzles Dinosaur Volcano. I really enjoyed studying up on dinosaurs in order to choose a variety of them to include in my artwork as pieces of this fun play set puzzle.

The Flipzles Nativity might just be my new favorite!  It definitely isn't just for kids.  Any nativity collector would love to add this beautiful hands on set to their collection.

Please help share the exciting news about my new Flipzles designs and enter to win!

To order go to

How to Enter:
Simply comment on this post and include how you helped spread the word about FLIPZLES.  
A few options might be to share a link on your social media accounts, send out an email to friends about FLIPZLES, share the link to the FLIPZLES website (www.flipzles.com) or blog, encourage others to enter the contest. Post a photo or video, sign up for my newsletter on the Flipzles website. Be creative and SHARE AWAY!  Just make sure to list all the different ways you helped spread the word in your comment. New likes on FB, Twitter and Instagram will also count as one entry.

Each method of sharing you list will get you one entry in the giveaway. 
Please number your methods to make it easier for me to award you your entries.  Thanks!

Entries will be accepted until midnight of December 1, 2014.
Entries will be numbered and the winners will be chosen at random through random.org

Two prizes will be awarded
-One Flipzles Nativity 
-One Flipzles Dinosaur Volcano

Links to my social media -

See below for complete official rules - must be 18 to enter and win - prizes will be shipped to addresses in the USA

Monday, August 25, 2014

Be Still...

I have had this thought popping in and out of my head for days... so I decided to make a quote-photo for it to remember it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Screen-Free Week Realization

Did you know that last week, May 5-11th was Screen-Free Week?   According to the non-profit (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) that created the event;  Screen-Free Week is "the international celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend seven days turning OFF digital entertainment* and turning ON life! It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore nature, and spend time with family and friends." *work and school assignments not included.

I saw some information about it a couple months ago on ASTRA's facebook page, and thought it would be a great thing to try with my 4 kiddos.  When Kazoodles, a local toy store, offered $5  Kazoodle bucks for kids who took the pledge and made it the whole week screen-free, my kids didn't hesitate to jump on board.  I told them I would match the $5 if they made it the entire week, so they would have $10 to spend at Kazoodles.   I still wasn't sure that they would be able to give up video games and TV for a whole week, but knowing a trip to the toy store was the reward definitely was a great motivator. 

This experience was definitely a bit of an eye-opener for me.  I knew my 3 year old would be asking to play the i-pad and watch movies.  I figured my 11 year old would have trouble staying off her i-pod.  My 7 and 9 year olds love to play games on the Kindle and wii, but they also love to play outside, so I wasn't sure how they would react. I was pretty sure that the week would be filled with kids asking for electronics and me reminding them it was Screen-Free week.

However that was not the case.  My three year old did ask to play games and watch movies a few times the first few days, but after that he stopped asking!  And guess what!?  My older kids never even asked and didn't even act like they missed it.  


On the other hand --- I struggled.  This Screen-Free Week was definitely way more difficult for me than it was for them.  That surprised me - as a toymaker who spends hours and hours promoting unplugged creative play and problem solving through my puzzles I didn't want to admit it, but it was true... I was an enabler.  It was usually me who turned the TV on to get the kids to be quiet for a while.  If I had my oldest daughter babysit while I ran to the store, I commonly turned a movie on so I would know they would all be sitting safely in one room.  When I was at the Dr.or Dentist office, I usually handed an electronic device to the little ones so that they would sit still and wait quietly.  

This past week, I could do none of those things.  There was one day that was particularly rainy outside and the kids were wrestling and running circles in the house. There was rough-housing, squealing and laughing amid arguments and shouts.  It felt like complete chaos around me.  They were having fun, burning off energy and being extremely loud in the process.  It would have been nice to send them outside, but the rain didn't make that very practical.  I had a strong urge to turn on a movie upstairs so I could make dinner in peace.

Fortunately I resisted the urge, but it did hit home quite hard.  It wasn't the kids who were hooked, it was me!

Turning on the TV, or plugging in a video game is the easy thing to do, but definitely not always the best. I used this easy way out WAY more than necessary.  I can do better. 

I know there will still be times that I feel like the kids are safer inside watching a movie, and I believe it is important for them to use technology, so I am not suggesting cutting it completely.  I just am going to take more accountability for the fact that it isn't something they need or want as much as a crutch I use.

They would much rather me take the time to play, read and walk with them outside. Sometimes that feels like a lot of pressure and I feel like I need to be involved in all they do.  But the truth is, they are creative, imaginative little people and though they do love to have me play with them they are also content on their own.  I don't have to feel like I need to play with them every waking hour, or hand them a device to keep them occupied.  Kids still love to make mud pies, build, sort, solve and daydream.  I just need to remember to let them.

After this week's experience, I am definitely going to strive for a better balance.  I am sure by next year when Screen-Free Week rolls around again (May 4-10th, 2015) I will need a fresh reminder. Will you join us?  

Friday, March 28, 2014


In February I went on a retreat to Taos, NM.  While there I was very inspired by all of the colors and textures.  I took lots and lots of pictures of very simple beautiful things with the hope that they would make great backgrounds for some of my favorite quotes.

I got started today --

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

International Puzzle Day

Today is International Puzzle Day!

I am spending the day painting the front and inside of my new Flipzles Dinosaur puzzle!  Here is a sneak peak of the puzzle piece artwork in progress. I am super excited about this puzzle and can't wait to show you more.

In 1760 John Spilsbury mounted a map on a sheet of wood and used a saw to cut around each country.  This mapmaker created the first puzzle to use as a teaching tool.

Puzzles have become a standard toy in classrooms and homes throughout the world.
They are great for so many reasons --

Here are just a few of them -

Problem solving & Critical Thinking

Fine Motor Skills and Hand-eye coordination

Focus and Concentration

Memory & Observation skills

Social Skills and Cooperation (when working as a family or with classmates to solve a puzzle)

Flipzles add a few more to the list --
Creative play 
Children can use the pieces to make up their own stories and scenarios.  They can make up and write their own stories and use the pieces them out, or they can come up with other creative ways to play with the pieces.  My nephew likes to line them up like dominos.
There is no denying that puzzles are food for the brain.  So sit down with your child today and solve a few puzzles!

I am having a 20% off sale on the website now through Feb. 2nd. 
Use this code at check out
Go to http://www.flipzles.com to purchase

Monday, January 27, 2014

Personalized Valentines

I love School Valentine's exchanges, but I think Valentine's candy is the grossest -- too many cherry medicine flavored lollipops and conversation hearts... YUCK!  

My kids always want to give Valentine cards with some sort of treat on them though, because those are also their favorite to receive.  Over the years, we have started looking for ideas of fun, unique things to add to the cards that don't involve candy.

Last year my 5th grade daughter's whoopee cushion valentine's were a huge hit.

This year I looked through the Oriental Trading catalogue with my kids and let them pick something (with guidance of course).

My 3rd grader chose cute butterfly masks for the girls in her class and slap bracelets for the boys.  My 1st grader chose mustaches for her his class.

We did a little photo shoot and then I added messages in photoshop.
We will print these pictures 4x6 and then attach the masks, mustaches and bracelets along with writing the names of the classmates on the back of the photo.

The mustache ones aren't as creative as you can find them all over on pinterest, but my son wore his mustache for the entire day after the photo shoot, so at least I think the kid's in his class will love to get their own to wear.


His front tooth fell out the day before - so we had to showcase it somehow.

My youngest son, really wanted in on the action so I let him have a mustache to wear.  He kept calling it his "Mus-beard." He also found a hat in our dress up closet and started following me around asking me to take a picture of "cowboy Dantley." He was twitching his lip and acting tough.  It was too cute so I decided to make a Valentine for him as well.  He isn't in school yet, so maybe it will just be a fun one to send to his grandparents.