VACATIONING IN OUR OWN BACKYARD
This year my family has been taking advantage of what we have right in our own backyard and saving a ton of money that we would normally spend on vacations.
Granted, we are fortunate to have an inground pool.
Of course, that is sometimes as much a challenge as it is a blessing.
And, admittedly, it is not the same as getting away to the beach....
but it's pretty darn close! Especially when you take into account how much money we're saving!
While the weather has been favorable, we've designated most weekends to "vacation time". The whole family pitches in to get housework and shopping out of the way at the end of the week and once "vacation time" begins, its time for family fun and relaxation.*No hassle or expense of boarding the pets and they "vacation" with us!
*No wasted time or fuel expense traveling!
*No junk food or eating out expenses beyond buying food for our own BBQ!
*No whining from the kids because they want their friends to come along (with the pool, their friends are over all summer anyway)
The teens like to swim and lounge in the sun, volleyball and taking advantage of the fire pit in the evenings. My son's friends like to make more of an adventure, pitching a tent in the backyard. My husband and I, when not on lifeguard duty, enjoy sitting on the screened porch, the hammock and all the quality time we've had with the kids.
I am always on the prowl for outdoor toys to help keep our backyard adventures fun and new. I've been a big fan of online shopping for the last couple of years and usually find a much larger selection, and often better prices, online than in the local retail stores.
This year I discovered Hearthsong and was fortunate to be given the opportunity to review some of their products!
Hearthsong offers a wide variety of toys, games as well as arts and crafts that are certain to be well received by your own children and that make fantastic gifts for others! Hearthsong offers top rated toys, over 100 of which are exclusive offerings! Shoppers can take advantage of Deals of the Week and find fantastic bargains, saving over 60% in the Clearance Center.
The Hearthsong website is easy to navigate and it's a breeze finding the perfect addition to your backyard collection or gift, with their shop by interest and shop by age searches. Looking for fun for the whole family, be certain to visit their collection of items, just right for Family Fun!
We had the chance to review some items that fit right in with our "backyard vacations". My son's favorite were the Water Stix!
We tested two large stix and they were a huge hit with all the kids!
In fact, they are a "must get" for my nephews for the holidays who admired them on a recent visit.
True to description, the Water Stix are easy to use, by putting the squirting end into any source of water - pool, lake, bucket - you load them by pulling out the inner tube of the stix. By pushing the inner tube back into the main tube, an impressive blast of water shoots out. Hearthsong cites a possible 50' blast. We didn't actually measure, but it was significant!
The Water Stix are only $9.98 for medium length and $10.98 for the longer length. I found them very sturdy and a much better quality, not to mention better price, than anything I've found locally!
The items I reviewed represent only a small selection of Hearthsong's Water and Beach Toy collection and certainly don't even put a dent into their full selection of offerings. I strongly recommend that you visit the Hearthsong website and put them on your list of first stops for all of your gift shopping for kids of all ages.
Impressed with Hearthsong? Find even more at Magic Cabin, another site in the Hearthsong family with great ideas for gift giving and putting a smile on their faces.
Looking for a great site for your outdoor decorating needs? Visit Hearthsong's sister site, Plow and Hearth! An impressive assortment of offerings, including eco-friendly products!
Toys for adults? Wind and Weather has just what you need when looking for gifts for the one who has everything.
***SPECIAL OFFER***Hearthsong is sponsoring a special monthly giveaway on their site! Each month, a winner will be selected to win a $200 gift certificate!
***GIVEAWAY***Hearthsong has generously offered my readers a chance to win their own set of two Water Stix!
To enter, you must follow my blog in some fashion and visit Hearthsong's website.
This giveaway will end on Saturday, Oct 9th at midnight EST and is open to all residents of US and Canada, 18+. The winner will be selected randomly from eligible entries and notified by email, so please be certain to leave your email address in your comment. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before I'll need to move on to a runner up.
For your mandatory entry, please leave me a comment letting me know how you follow That's What She Said and your favorite item from Hearthsong.
***BONUS ENTRIES**** Visit the Hearthsong blog and tell me in a comment something interesting you learned there, 5 entries.
* Like Hearthsong on facebook and write on their wall, letting them know that Terri from That's What She Said sent you. Leave a comment with your facebook name, letting me know you did so, 5 entries.
* Spread the word about this contest using twitter, facebook, stumble, technorati, blog post with a direct link back here. Handy button at bottom of post for sharing. Leave a comment for each method with your applicable name, 5 entries each. Feel free to tweet daily for an additional 5 entries per day.
* Follow my blog in a new fashion, whether it be via Google Friend Connect, email, RSS feed, twitter and leave me a comment letting me know how you're following, 5 entries for each method.
* Enter any other current giveaway and leave a comment, letting me know which one, 5 entries per giveaway
* Put my button on your blog and leave me a comment with a link so I can find it, 5 entries.
* Visit Magic Cabin, Plow and Hearth or Wind and Weather and let me know what you like about each site or a favorite product in a comment, 5 entries for each site.
HINT: Be certain to keep your eyes open for sweepstakes opportunities at each of those websites, similar or identical to the giveaway hosted at Hearthsong!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. CONGRATS TO ABBI, COMMENT #56, COURTESY OF RANDOM.ORG!
I was provided with a set of Water Stix, a Geyser Gusher and a Splashy Catch for the purposes of creating this review. Some information and the product specific images were taken from the Hearthsong website. The opinions expressed above are honest and my own.