12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 12 Read a Holiday Book #12JollyDays

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I have had so much fun sharing our holiday family traditions with you over the past twelve days. The final activity I want to share is one that is so simple yet so beautiful. Reading. Grab your favorite Christmas book and cuddle up in your jammies by the tree or cozy in bed and…read together.

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We try to read a holiday book every night…like an Advent calendar. A countdown to Christmas in books.

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Below are a few of our favorite Christmas books…

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  • Very Merry First Christmas by Jennifer Dewing
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Yes, Virginia There Is A Santa Claus by by Chris Plehal and James Bernardin
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
  • God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and David Hohn

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Very Merry First Christmas by Personal Creations. A magical story of Goose, Chipmunk and their furry friends who deliver a note about your child to Santa. Then, the animals adorn a tree with your child’s name spelled out in ornaments. Written by award-winning children’s author Jennifer Dewing and beautifully illustrated by artist Mati Rose McDonough.

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 5 Ornament Exchange #12JollyDays

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Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments that represent us. Our family. Our memories. Throughout the year, we collect new ornaments to add to the tree. We buy an ornament at every travel destination. We have ornaments from our trips to Ocean City, Disney World, Disney Land, Chattanooga, and more. Our tree has an ornament marking each year that Mike and I have been married. There’s an ornament for each child’s first Christmas. We have ornaments from when we were kids. Ornaments made by us as a family or by Lucas at school. It’s a beautiful sight to see and it always brings up memories while we trim the tree. We talk about the places we’ve been or remember Lucas’ first Christmas or share stories of our own childhood.

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Each Christmas, we like to give each other special ornaments that mark a milestone or hobby. This year, we have several new ornaments. For Lucas – the gamer and baseball ornaments. Two of his obsessions.

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For Amelia – the sock monkey and Elmo ornaments. She is obsessed with Elmo lately!

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For Mike – the beer and griller ornament. Mike loves to brew his own craft beers and he can regularly be found at the grill or smoker making a tasty dinner for us.

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For Aries (our dog) – a beautiful chocolate lab ornament.

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For Family – a new “The Jollys” ornament marking each member of the family.

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For Me – the photographer and smartphone ornaments. These couldn’t be more perfect, right?!

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Exchanging ornaments is a special tradition that every family can do during the holiday season and will create lasting memories. You could host an ornament exchange party with friends or family, make homemade ornaments with the kids, or if you have an “elf” friend he or she can surprise everyone with a new ornament (our Elf Sherman does this every year, actually).

Personal Creations Ornaments

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com to check out their huge variety of personalized Christmas ornaments. They have over 1,000 personalized ornaments – there is literally an ornament for every occasion, milestone, personality, interest, and more. Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

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$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

 

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 3 New PJs for the Family #12JollyDays

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Can I just open one present, mommy? These are words heard around the world in the days leading up to Christmas. I know that I begged my parents. My brothers (all four of them) begged our parents. My husband begged his parents. My kiddos plead with us now. The solution? Give them one gift to unwrap before Christmas morning.

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The gift? New Christmas pajamas for the whole family. I know that a lot of families do this one, but there’s a good reason why. It’s a fun and simple tradition that everyone looks forward to every year.

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We like them to match or coordinate, of course! That way we are ready for pictures on Christmas morning.

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Personalization is always such a special touch. Everyone loves to have their name on their pjs!

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Christmas Pajamas Tradition Ideas

1. As the kids get older, draw names to determine who each person will buy pajamas for. The goal? Buy the silliest pajamas you can find!

2. Open your new pajamas and hop in the car and drive around town to look at Christmas light displays.

3. Open your new pajamas and read a book. We usually cuddle up in bed and read the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

4. Give pajamas and a family board game. Spend Christmas Eve in your new jammies playing a board game.

5. Give pajamas and a family movie. Spend Christmas Eve in your new jammies watching a family movie.

Get the Christmas Pajamas Pictured Above

Warm and Cozy Adult Pajamas by Personal Creations. Add holiday style to your sleepwear with these comfortable 2-piece pajama set.

Warm and Cozy Kids Pajamas by Personal Creations. Darling for both boys and girls, these cozy 2-piece pajama set will warm up frosty cold winter nights.

Warm and Cozy Nightgown  by Personal Creations. Classically styled holiday plaid nightgown has a dainty bow at the chest and feminine ruffles at the sleeves and bottom hem. 

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

 

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

(VIDEO) Little Scholar Tablet for Kids Review & #Giveaway

I swear babies come out of the womb knowing how to use smartphones and tablets these days. Amelia has already shown interest in our iPhones and is perfectly adept at “swiping” and going through apps. She is 18 months old. Totally blows me away. The thing is that if she is going to use a smartphone or a tablet of any kind, it needs to be educational and it needs to be appropriate content. This is true for both her and Lucas (7 years old). I don’t want to worry about her viewing inappropriate videos or content.

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That’s why I love the new Little Scholar Tablet for kids – it literally comes LOADED with 150+ apps, videos, music, books, and more…all appropriate and ready for your little ones right out of the box. You don’t have to spend hours setting it up and you don’t have to constantly worry that your kids will stumble onto something they shouldn’t be watching and you don’t even need an internet connection to use. However, this is a fully functional tablet so you can add apps if you want to and of course – connect to the internet too.

Watch the video below to hear about the features we love!

About the Little Scholar Tablet:

Little Scholar tablet from SchoolZone (leading educational kids publisher) is jam packed with 150 educational apps(including videos, songs and e-books), valued at nearly $400 worth of FREE content. Little Scholar provides its users with lessons based on all of the “core curriculum” subjects for preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders, including math, reading, spelling, logic, creativity, and geography. Parents can even use an App management tool to choose the apps, music, and e-books that are active on Little Scholar, so they can tailor the content to fit the learning needs of their children. Little Scholar was made for kids 3-7 and features an 8-inch screen and runs a Google Android™ 4.2.2 operating system.

For additional information, visit littlescholartab.com.

LITTLE SCHOLAR TABLET GIVEAWAY!

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Back-to-School Fall Fashion for Girls – Matilda Jane Clothing

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You guys. Having a little girl is so much fun. Already Amelia is trying to put on my makeup and loves playing dress up. She used to hate wearing anything on her head, but now she reaches for the headbands and hair wraps and hats herself. It’s so cute! And…the clothes. The clothing options are so much fun! I recently discovered Matilda Jane Clothing and am in love.

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There is one word to describe Matilda Jane Clothing. Breathtaking.

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From the packaging to the quality of the fabrics to the whimsical details that go into each piece, Matilda Jane’s clothing is breathtaking. We received the Bon Vivant Peasant Dress and Eggshell Ruffle Leggings to try out on little Amelia.

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The dress has the cutest pink Paris print accented with gathered cap sleeves and mauve buttons plus a blue piping trim and a contrasting velveteen ribbon. The Eggshell Ruffle Leggings are just adorable and an instant staple in Amelia’s wardrobe! The Leggings are a really nice weight, which will be perfect for the cooler temps ahead. 

We also received the Best Friends Collar Tee  and Sunburst Ruffle Leggings.

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The Best Friends Collar Tee is a classic with a cream-colored peter pan collar, navy pleats and cap sleeves. However, when paired with the Sunburst Ruffle Leggings, the whole outfit becomes bright and cheerful and modern. It’s such a fun combination and a whole new spin on a classic!

Oh and I have to show you how everything came packaged. In these adorable mesh bags – such a nice touch and would make a lovely presentation as a gift!

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This quote really encapsulates Matilda Jane Clothing…

“It’s all about keeping a little girl…a little girl. Keeping her youthful. Keeping her spinning and twirling and carefree. And most importantly, bringing her happiness.” – Denise DeMarchis, designer and founder.

Don’t you just love that?

About Matilda Jane Clothing:

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Matilda Jane Clothing uses a direct sales format that helps women find the balance between entrepreneurial success and their everyday life by allowing them to build their own home-based businesses. The playful clothing line for girls, tweens and women is available exclusively through in-home trunk shows led by a nationwide network of women called Trunk Keepers. These Trunk Keepers provide a high level of personal service in a relaxed environment. Shoppers are encouraged to touch, feel and socialize while they shop which provides the best shopping experience.

Since its inception, the company continues to grow and is now operating through over 500 Trunk Keepers across the United States. All Trunk Keepers go through an extensive application and interview process as Matilda Jane looks for the right combination of friendly, warm, professional and fun. They are provided with complete sales training making them experts in knowing the latest collection, new styles and are encouraged to add their own personal flair.

Find your local trunk keeper by typing in your zip code on www.matildajane.com and view the LOOKBOOKS HERE.

Halloween Bag Giveaway

 

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Enter now to win a FREE MJC 2014 Halloween Bag! Post your favorite Halloween picture of you or your little one to the Matild Jane Facebook page or on Instagram between 12:01 A.M. ET on 9/16/14 and 11:59 P.M. ET on 9/17/14. Include the hashtag “#MJCHalloween”.

They’ll choose five winners at random to receive this super cute bag! The bag will be available for free with a $150 purchase starting Thursday, 9/18/14. For full Contest Rules and Terms & Conditions, visitwww.matildajaneclothing.com/contests.

Kid’s Party Planning Made Easy & Cute – Just Pretend Kids

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As you all know, I am a party planner by nature. I love any chance to entertain. My favorite part is thinking through all of the little details. Thinking of the theme, the color scheme, all of the cute plates and napkins, etc. I love to make parties special. I really believe in those little details. However, it is definitely time consuming. It used to be easier when we only had one child. Now we have two, I work a lot more, Lucas is in school, and so on. Time is not always on my side! That’s why I love the new Kids Party Pack from Just Pretend Kids.

The Party Pack includes everything parents need to create a magical and enchanted celebration, complete with an amazing present inside, a costume for the guest of honor! We got the chance to check out the Ladybug Luck Party Pack

 

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Amelia got all gussied up in the Ladybug costume that was included in the Party Pack.

 

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The costume is made with every attention to detail and is very high quality. It comes with tights, leotard, tutu, wings, wand, and headband. It is just gorgeous!

 

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We invited a couple of Amelia’s cousins over to celebrate…

 

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Available in twenty themes, the Just Pretend Kids Party Pack comes with:
  • Invitations
  • 9″ plates
  • 7″ plates
  • 9oz cups
  • Napkins
  • Table cover
  • Cutlery
  • Costume for the child of honor!

Everything coordinates beautifully. It’s all thought out for you. All you have to provide is the food and the guests! Super cute, super easy! For additional information or to order, please visit Just Pretend Kids.

(VIDEO) Leak-Proof Sippy Cups for Babies & Toddlers by Playtex®

*This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Playtex Baby. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

As soon as Amelia turned 7 or 8 months, we decided that it was time to begin that transition from a bottle to sippy cup. Like Lucas, we knew we wanted her to be completely transitioned over by the time she turned 1 year old. But…ohmygoodness I didn’t know what we were in for. We must have purchased at least 5 or 6 different brands of sippy cups before finding one that did not spill. I’ll be honest, we started with the ones that were cute first. Yeah big mistake LOL!. Cute = spills it seems! Anyway, after many tries – we finally bought a Playtex Playtex® TrainingTime™ cup. Finally! A cup that fit all the requirements!

  • Passed the Amelia test – CHECK!

  • Small enough to fit in her tiny hands – CHECK! These are contoured to make it easy for small baby hands to grip and they even hanse removable handles.

  • Zero leaking – CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!

So while I was recently sent a few Playtex® cups for review – we purchased several of them before that. These are the ONLY sippy cups that we buy and use now!

Playtex® AnyTime™ Spout Cup

Playtex® AnyTime™ Spout Cup

Now, we have moved on to the Playtex® AnyTime™ cups and the Playtex® PlayTime™ cups, which are designed for older babies. We especially love the Playtex® PlayTime™ cups because they are insulated.

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All of the Playtex® cups are available with either a spout or straw depending on what your baby prefers. However, my favorite feature of ALL Playtex® cups is the Twist ‘N Click® Technology. There’s no guessing about whether the cup is secured correctly – once you hear the click – you KNOW it is closed tight. That of course equals NO LEAKS. If you happen to get one that does leak, then just take it back because all Playtex® cups are backed by a 100% Spill Proof, Break Proof, Leak Proof Guarantee. That’s pretty cool!

Playtex® sippy cups are available at Walmart, Target, Babies “R” Us, and national grocery retailers.

Additional Information:

For more information, visit www.playtexbaby.com or www.facebook.com/PlaytexBaby.

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Personalized Summer Beach & Pool Gear for the Whole Family

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Lucas has been out of school for about a month now and we have been living it up at the pool! We also have a beach vacation coming up that we are very excited about! So today, I wanted to share with you a few of our new favorite pool and beach gear from Personal Creations. They are all personalized, which makes them so unique and fun!

Amelia is looking super cute in her personalized Fun in the Sun Sunhat! This is an adorable hat and it also protects her delicate skin from the harmful rays of the sun. It’s also super soft and flexible which makes it very comfy for her to wear.

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Kids Beach Tote with Toys is just perfect for Amelia. It is a small enough bag for a child to carry, but big enough to fit more toys or beach necessities like a sun hat or sunblock. You can choose from shark, butterfly, fish or crab.

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Amelia got the butterfly and it is so pretty!

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Lucas got the Kids Beach Bucket & Sunglasses which actually fits into the beach tote above. Lucas loves that it’s personalized!

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We can’t wait to take both to the beach this summer!

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We have already put our new Pool Fun Microfiber Beach Towels to good use this summer! They come with us to the pool all the time. The towel itself is so soft and ultra absorbent – LOVE.

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And, last but not least – you have to have a tote bag for the beach and pool, right? I love the Polka Dot Tote Bag to haul around all of our stuff. It fits a ton of stuff too. I can fit four towels, sunblock, a couple of books, and magazines into mine.

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NEW by Playtex! Nipple Variety Pack – Slow & Medium Flow

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Amelia has just recently begun her transition from bottles to sippy cups. She still has one bedtime bottle though. Anyhow, from newborn to the present – we have had to change nipple sizes several times on her bottles. Each of those times we had to go out and find the right ones, etc! That’s why I think it’s pretty smart that Playtex recently introduced the Nipple Variety Pack, which comes with four different types of nipples – both slow and medium flow. They are perfect to purchase in the beginning and allow to grow with your child! They will work with any of the Playtex bottles – the disposable drop-ins or the traditional reusable bottles.

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Playtex® NaturaLatch® Nipple

  • Most like Mother®
  • Standard surface area to mimic average nipple sizes
  • Available in Slow, Medium and Fast Flow
  • Silicone, BPA-free
  • Compatible with all Playtex® bottles: Playtex® VentAire® and Playtex® Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners
  • Available in: Playtex® NaturaLatch® Nipple 2-pack, Playtex® Nipple Variety Pack, Playtex® Bottle & Nipple Gift Set, Playtex® VentAire Gift Set, Playtex® Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners Gift Set.

Playtex® Breastlike Nipple

  • Slope of area around nipple mimics the breast.
  • Available in Slow, Medium and Fast Flow
  • Silicone, BPA-free
  • Compatible with all Playtex® bottles: Playtex® VentAire® and Playtex® Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners
  • Available in: Playtex® Breastlike Nipple 2-pack, Playtex® Nipple Variety Pack

Playtex® Fullsized Nipple

  • Shape of nipple mimics large size nipples. Designed for wider mouths.
  • Available in Slow, Medium and Fast Flow
  • Silicone, BPA-free
  • Compatible with all Playtex® bottles: Playtex® VentAire® and Playtex® Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners
  • Available in: Playtex® Fullsized Nipple 2-pack, Playtex® Nipple Variety Pack

Playtex® Angled Nipple

  • Angled design promotes semi-upright feeding
  • Available in Slow, Medium and Fast Flow
  • Silicone, BPA-free
  • Available in: Playtex® Angled Nipple 2-pack, Playtex® Nipple Variety Pack

Additional Information:

For more information, visit PlaytexBaby.com or www.facebook.com/PlaytexBaby..

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WIN IT!

Five Jolly Mom readers will win the products featured above! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

 

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New Mom Must-Have! Diaper Genie Elite Diaper Pail

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You know I think one of the things that I forgot about when I became a mom again was how many diapers babies go through on a daily basis. It’s just a fact of life. You will be dealing with lots and lots of stinky diapers. The other fact of life? Stinky diaper disposal. Here’s what I didn’t want … 1.) Keep dirty diapers in the house where they make my house stinky 2.) Constantly be running outside to throw a dirty diaper away

That’s why a diaper pail is a must in any home with a baby! We loved the Playtex Diaper Genie® when Lucas was a baby and are now using it again with Amelia. We recently received the Diaper Genie® Elite Diaper Disposal System with a new odor absorbent Carbon Filter to test out and it does a wonderful job of containing odors.

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Diaper Genie Elite Diaper Pail at a Glance:

  • The all-in-one diaper pail helps control odors, contain germs and makes diaper disposal easy
  • NEW! With safe, natural activated carbon filter to absorb strong diaper odors.
  • Double-lock pail design and multi-layer refill helps seal in odors and germs
  • Antimicrobial protection inhibits odor-causing bacteria
  • Ergonomic design with foot pedal allows for easy, hygienic ,hands-free opening
  • Elite Pail holds up to 38 newborn diapers
  • Refill holds up to 270 newborn diapers

My favorite feature is the Diaper Genie Elite Ultimate Odor Lock System, which is a double-lock design that seals away odors each time you drop in a dirty diaper. It basically provides a barrier between where the dirty diapers are stored and the top of the pail where you toss the diapers in. There are diaper pails on the market that DO NOT offer this. In fact, I was using one with Amelia because it was gifted to us and I was very unhappy with it!

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The foot pedal is also a nice feature when you are holding a baby in one arm and a dirty diaper in the other!

We also received the Playtex® Diaper Genie® refills and Nursery Fresh refills (cheaper and by another brand) so that we could compare how each performs. Immediately, you notice a difference! The off brand refills were much more difficult to insert into the Diaper Genie. Even removing them was tougher. So much so that the refill case came apart as I was trying to remove. We even noticed that the lid did not seem to close as securely with the off brand refills.  Playtex® Diaper Genie® refills definitely win! They are super easy to insert (they literally slide right in) and they have a better fit in the pail allowing the lid to close more securely. Less secure = odor leakage = stinky room! We definitely do not want that!

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Additional Information:

For more information, visit www.playtexbaby.com or www.facebook.com/PlaytexBaby.

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BUY. SNAP. GET.

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SpaFinder Promotion! Get a $25 SpafinderWellness 365 eGiftCardwith purchase of any 3 Diaper Genie® Refills

1.Buy any 3 Diaper Genie® refills in one transaction from May 1, 2014 to July 31, 2014.
2.Snap a picture of your receipt, email or text it to dg@drvsusa.comby July 31, 2014.
3.Receive a code and website to redeem for a $25 eGiftCard from SpafinderWellness 365TM.

Go to www.drvsusa.com/dgfor details