It’s Christmas In July With Tipsy Elves!

***This is a sponsored post.  I received two awesome Christmas Sweaters from Christmas Elves to wear in family festivities we chronicle.  All thoughts contained in this post are honest, our own, and in the style of the Critters And Crayons Blog.***

Christmas In July With Tipsy Elves!

I was seriously excited to work with Tipsy Elves this Summer!  As an avid Shark Tank fan, one of my very favorite episodes is the one featuring this cool start-up.  I especially loved following their journey with Robert Herjavec on an episode of Beyond The Tank.  Definitely check those episodes out!

I had seen their great sweaters on so many of my friends at Christmastime and was thrilled to receive a couple to try out.  Critters And Crayons readers know that we are huge dinosaur-crocodilian aficionados thanks to our six-year old son!  So, this Tipsy Elves sweater was the easy choice!

Tipsy Elves Christmas In July  Dino Sweater

We were headed to Jacksonville Beach in Florida this Summer, which was almost like celebrating #ChristmasInJuly for us!   The vacation feels like such a gift.  We have been thankful for every day and every amazing experience!

From the colorful sunsets….

Jacksonville Beach Florida

To the gorgeous water and waves….

Jacksonville Beach

To the many visits to St. Augustine Alligator Farm where we finally saw Maximo, the huge saltwater crocodile and star of the park!

Maximo Saint Augustine Alligator Park

Our son definitely felt like it was a lot like Christmas In July!  He even wore his favorite T-Rex Santa shirt on one of our visits!

Christmas T-Rex Tshirt

I was actually very thankful on several occasions that I had a good sweater with us on our beach vacation.  The only one I brought with me was my Tipsy Elves sweater, and I found the hotel awesomely cold after a day in the sun on the beach.  It was perfect.  And, I have to say that the quality and fit of the sweater is fantastic!  I even love the surprising shoulder cut-outs!

Tipsy Elves Dinosaur Santa Sweater

My hubby has the funny Gingerbread Man sweater...

Tipsy Elves Gingerbread Man Sweater

And I think it looks pretty darn good on him!

Christmas In July With Tipsy Elves

That’s us!  Celebrating #ChristmasInJuly with #TipsyElves in the most Christmassy Place on the planet in the HOT summer month of July on the beach!  We’re at Hobby Lobby, of course.

I think the sweaters go beautifully with our sundress & khaki short ensembles.  Actually, I’m loving the shoulder cut-outs here.

Ornaments At Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby was so full of decor and photo ops that we drew the attention of the manager and workers as we snapped away.

We told them we were getting ahead on our Christmas Card.

They offered to take some photos for us.

Christmas Spirit!  It’s already here!

I credit the sweaters!

Tipsy Elves Sweaters

Merry #ChristmasInJuly with #TipsyElves!

Have a great Summer!

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Just Between Friends Eastern Fairfax Spring Sale!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Just Between Friends Eastern Fairfax.  Critters And Crayons is receiving a $50 shop credit to experience Just Between Friends consignments.  All opinions and writing are, as always, my own.


Just Between Friends Eastern Fairfax Logo


Just Between Friends is now in Eastern Fairfax, Virginia!  I had never heard of the consignment chain until I was invited to learn more about it, and once I did, I was shocked at what a smart concept it is!  It is a fantastic opportunity to resell used (but in good condition) children’s clothing, toys and other items, as well as maternity gear!


As our children grow, every parent has the problem of how to rid the clutter to make room for more.  Our normal solution is to consolidate and donate items in bulk to non-profits who can use the items.  But, this time, I’m going to give Just Between Friends a try, because it seems like a fantastic idea, and also because the weekend of sales sounds like a lot of fun!


Here is the schedule of events for the upcoming event between May 1st and May 3rd at Embassy Suites Springfield!


6PM-8PM:  Consignor drop-off (see below for links on how you can upload your items, and print off your bar codes to pre-tag your items before drop-off)


10AM-2PM   Consignor drop-off
3PM                Presale for 12-hour volunteers (learn about the benefits of volunteering at the link below)
4PM                Presale for 8-hour volunteers
5PM                Presale for 4-hour volunteers
6PM                Presale for consignors and media
6:30PM-        Baby Shower for Expectant Moms and Parents of Newborns.  A brand new Thule Jogging Stroller will be given away!!!
7-9PM-           Prime Time Shopping $10 Admission   (No passes accepted)


10AM-Noon    Hometown Heroes Event (Presale for teachers, nurses, foster parents, military, first responders, and their spouses!)
Noon-8PM      Open to the public, $5 admission (Passes Accepted.  Print yours below!)


9:30AM-10AM  Grandparents and seniors 55+ can enter as part of the Early Bird Special
10AM-2PM     Open to the public.  Many items will be 50% off.  Free admission
6:30-7:30PM  Consignors with last names between A-L pick-up items
7:30-8:30 PM Consignors with last names between M-Z pick up items


Just between friends fairfax tags


Check out the important links and information below to learn about how you can consign items, volunteer at the event for additional benefits, or attend to find amazing deals on children’s and maternity items!












Just Between Friends Fairfax

Download and Print the Just Between Friends Eastern Fairfax Free Admission Pass!


I know where I’m going to be that weekend!   I’ve already started going through the kids’ outgrown winter wardrobe!  Getting to tagging!




Hope to see you at Embassy Suites Springfield for the #JBFfairfax Spring Sale!




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Bunnyville At Fair Oaks Mall!

Critters And Crayons was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to take photos with the Easter Bunny at Fair Oaks Mall and to receive a gift card to help spread the word about the awesome #Bunnyville Event at #FairOaksMall that is coming next week in this sponsored post!

Be sure to bring your little ones for FREE face painting, balloon creations, spring crafts, and more! March 28 & 29 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 the Grand Court West. Hop into Bunnyville at Fair Oaks Mall and get your photo taken with the Easter Bunny.

Fair Oaks Mall Bunnyville


Our family thoroughly enjoyed the experience of getting Easter Bunny photos at Fair Oaks Mall this past weekend.  The staff was very helpful when trying to help our family get the best picture possible.  Receipt of our printed photos was swift and professional.  The entire set-up was fantastically bright and happy and the Easter Bunny was patient, friendly, and very adorable!


If you are planning to visit the Easter Bunny, you can find him in Grand Court West through April 4th, Monday through Saturday between 10 AM and 8:30 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM.  If you have small children, they’ll be able to play with some of the activities in and around the village (check out the collage above to see some of them) while they wait their turn with The Bunny!

If you want the kids to have a blast while they wait for their photo opportunity, definitely bring them to #Bunnyville this weekend!  It’s free and will be so much fun!

Enjoy the event!  We’ll be back for it, too!



Have A Wonderful Easter!



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Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Critters And Crayons is thrilled to participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day to celebrate diversity in literature this year!  In addition to many fellow bloggers who are supporting the event this year, MCCBD has been made possible because of the following great sponsors!

MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,  Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Our family was thrilled to receive the book, The Rainbow Files Book #1:  The Day I Was The Only Kid In School , a very fun book that sparked meaningful conversation and great laughs.

The Rainbow Files The Day I Was The Only Kid In School

We sat down on a rainy day to read the book together.  Our second grade daughter started the reading by exclaiming that she knew it would be a fun book because she had already done a “Picture Walk”!

Before reading the story, we read the prologue about the authors, Maria T. and April E. Kelly.  They are a mother-daughter team who worked together on the story.  Maria’s young daughter, April, collaborated on the story as she and her mom made up bedtime stories during Maria’s active cancer treatment.

The Day I Was The Only Kid In School

The main theme of this book (without giving away too many spoilers) centers on the loneliness (or the even more accurate term used by Maria to describe what her daughter felt during that cancer treatment process, “aloneness”) that a child can feel.

There were many points of laughter for the kids as we wandered through the odd-awful-turned-very-memorable day of the third grade narrator who winds up being the only child at school one day.  The perspective was child-relatable, and the storytelling was full of unexpected turns and details that delighted the kids.

When I asked them what their favorite parts of the story were, they loved hearing about how a student became the teacher, and taught all of the teachers how to finally do their hair and make-up.  They also loved all of the fun sounds in the book, which aided enthusiastic storytelling through onomatopoetic literary devices throughout the story.

The Day I Was The Only Kid In School


This has been a fantastic experience.  When I asked the kids if they were glad to participate in the event and to read The Day I Was The Only Kid In School, they agreed that it was awesome.  My Kindergartener and Second Grader definitely recommend this book for other kids!




If you want to learn more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCCBD), and have a chance to win some great book packages, please take a look at the information below!


To find more information via social media, be sure to use hashtag:  #ReadYourWorld



Join the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm and use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages!



Find Author interviews and more on the MCCBD blog here:



Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld



-MCCBD now has it’s own! A is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic.



#ReadYour World




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Paid Focus Group For Laredo Ladies

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Think Group Austin.

All opinions are always 100% my own.




Think Group Austin


A Paid Focus Group For Laredo Ladies!


Selected Laredo Ladies Will Be Paid $125 (Value Includes Gift Card)

To Participate In A  2-Hour Focus Group Study.

No Sales Pitches ~ Just Your Opinions On….SHOPPING!


I was contacted recently by Think Group Austin about an interesting opportunity for women in Laredo to participate in a PAID Focus Group Study to discuss shopping habits!

Selected ladies will be paid $125 to provide their opinions and did I mention that the Focus Group Study lasts JUST 2 Hours?
To Learn More, Check Out The Info Provided Directly From Think Group Austin Below & Please Share The Survey With Other Ladies In Laredo!



“Think Group Austin (a market research firm) has an upcoming paid focus group study in Laredo, TX, for females ages 21-54 years old.

The study pays $125 for two hours on Tuesday, July 8th, during business hours. The study concerns shopping habits.

If you are interested in this study, please click on the link below to take a survey.

Based on your responses, one of our recruiters will contact you with more information and questions.

This is a great opportunity to share your opinions and get paid for it; in absolutely no way will we try to sell you something.

Feel free to pass the survey on to anyone who you think might be interested!”



Sponsored Post Disclaimer:    I only endorse products that I have experienced and/or tested, and often receive a product or service as compensation for conducting a sponsored post or giveaway.  The focus group sponsored by Think Group Austin is an event that I would attend, myself.  In return for my labor and provision of this giveaway, I received monetary compensation.  All opinions are always 100% my own, honest, and written in the style of the Critters And Crayons Blog. 


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Wee Rascals : Clothing Inspired By Historical Heroes {#Giveaway}


This is a sponsored giveaway on behalf of Wee Rascals. All opinions are 100% my own.







The Wee Rascals Raglan Giveaway On Critters And Crayons!


I am thrilled to let parents know about a brilliant new clothing company run by two cool &  innovative moms, Kylie and Liz!

They set out to build a brand that breaks from the common Princess & Super Hero themes we see on store racks.

Wee Rascals is a “Made In The USA” Company that features historical heroes on high quality shirts made for children.

We received the Wee Rascals Raglan shirts featuring Isaac Newton and The Founding Fathers and completely love them!

Wee Rascals Giveaway Critters And Crayons-2

The smart designs and soft texture of the Wee Rascals shirts are a real hit with the kids.

Our son is picky about how a shirt should feel, and the softer the better for him.  He gives his full “softness endorsement”!

And, the images of literary and historical figures do spark conversation and learning.

Our son and daughter  have spent some time deliberating about which Presidents are actually on our daughter’s Founding Fathers shirt ( after they asked why Ronald Reagan and President Obama weren’t on it).

Plus, you can see in the photos that the shirts move quite nicely with active boys and girls!

Wee Rascals Giveaway Critters And Crayons-5

The great news is that you can win one of these beautiful Wee Rascals shirts, too!


The Wee Rascals Giveaway starts on Monday, April 7th, 2014 at Noon (CST)

and ends on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at Noon (CST)

The entry is free and open to U.S. Residents over 18 in the continental United States!

*Further Details Can Be Found In The Entry Form…




SHARE The Giveaway Using The Following Mobile-Friendly Link:


Don’t Forget To Use The Official Event Hashtag When Sharing!




(It helps us verify optional entries so we can find The Winner!)


The Wee Rascals Raglan Giveaway On Critters And Crayons!


Good Luck!


Sponsored Post Disclaimer:    I only endorse products that I have experienced and/or tested, and often receive a product or service as compensation for conducting a sponsored post or giveaway.  In return for my labor and provision of this giveaway, I received two Wee Rascals raglan shirts for my children as compensation.   All opinions are always 100% my own, honest, and written in the style of the Critters And Crayons Blog. 

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The Valentines Day Giveaway From Knotty Origami And La Cookie Company!

This is a sponsored post giveaway written by me on behalf of Knotty Origami And La Cookie Company.  


All Opinions Are 100% Mine.   


Valentines Day Giveaway Knotty Origami La Cookie Company


 A Beautiful Valentines Day Giveaway

From Knotty Origami And La Cookie Company Is Here!




A Winner Will Be Selected Via Random Drawing

at Noon (CST) on February 12th, 2014. 


*Must by 18+ Years Old & Resident of the Continental U.S. To Enter*


You can win the following pretty gifts!


The Penny Knot Necklace & Fancy Kusudama Flower


Both of these items are hand-crafted and can be found in the Knotty Origami Etsy Store!  


A Box of La Cookie Company Hojarasca Cookies


These cookies are so delicate, flaky, and sweet that you could find yourself eating them like popcorn!

They have become a dessert staple in our home.

My family cannot get enough of them….And they make very pretty party treats!


la cookie company-2-6


 La Cookie Company

And a few other sweet gift items to fill the lovely prize basket that you can read about when you






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The Merry Basket Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post giveaway written by me on behalf of Knotty Origami, Vella Naturale, Just Stitch, Susan Hammert of The Pampered Chef, Oma’s Homemade Dogfood, And South Hills Designs By Eliana.  All Opinions Are 100% Mine.  



Rendy Brel***….Your name was selected as the winner of the Merry Basket Giveaway! Please contact me at crittersandcrayons(at) to confirm by Noon (CST) on December 19th, 2013. Thank you to all who entered! Merry Christmas!

Critters And Crayons is excited to announce




The Merry Basket Giveaway!




The Merry Basket features wonderful products from the following businesses!



One Handmade, Adjustable, Burgundy Celtic Knot Necklace By

Knotty Origami


A Three-Piece Variety of Natural Soaps By

Vella Naturale


One Handmade Coffee Coozie From

Just Stitch


One Package of Gourmet Dog Food And Treats From

Oma’s Homemade Dog Food


One Mix ‘n Chunk Tool From Susan Hammert of

Pampered Chef


One Mini-Locket And Charm From

South Hill Designs By Eliana Marroquin



 The Giveaway runs from



Tuesday, November 26th at Noon (CST)






Tuesday, December 17th at Noon (CST)!





(And To Read The Official Rules And Eligibility Requirements),




Or Enter Using The Form Below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thanks For Entering!


Best Of Luck To You!


A Hopping Popping Christmas Literacy Event!

I hope you’ll come out to to see me and my friends at Laredo 8 HEB Plus for a super fun literacy event on November 30th!

I’ll be reading some old Christmas favorites and the kids are going to enjoy some fantastic stomping on the Bubble Wrapped Floor and Christmas Tree Painting With…..

 Bubble-Wrap, of course!



HEB Plus Critters And Crayons Literacy Event A Hopping Popping Christmas




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Some Beautiful Jewelry {A Give-Away}

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kranich’s Jewelers.


I have not received any products or services directly in return for this post or the administration of the give-away.   The winner of the sponsored give-away will receive the product directly from Kranich’s Jewelers.


All opinions are 100% honest and my own.






I’m thrilled to offer Critters And Crayons readers a chance to win a piece of beautiful jewelry courtesy of Kranich’s Jewelers!


You’ll find a lot of beautiful and interesting pieces when you visit!


To Enter The Give-Away On

The Critters And Crayons Facebook Page,

Click HERE!


To Share The Give-Away, Please Use This Link:


The Give-away will run from August 9th (1:00 PM CST) until August 20th (1:00 PM CST)!



If you win, you will select one piece of jewelry from the following list provided by Kranich’s Jewelers!



Please allow two to four weeks for delivery and all terms and conditions apply (see the give-away!) 


Here are a few photos of some pieces you could win! 

kranichs bracelet kranichs pearls kranichs ring




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