Monday, August 31, 2009

Enter to Win a Kenmore Appliance by Submitting Your Crazy Cleaning Confessions!


If you’re like most moms, your busy schedule means that certain areas of your life get a little short-changed. For me, that’s usually the cooking and cleaning! I long ago accepted the reality that I’m not going to have the super-clean house that my mom had. (And she and my dad managed to accomplish this while both working full-time jobs outside the home!) Instead, I’ve instituted some shortcuts to make my life a little easier. For instance, I rarely iron. I hate it! Instead, I don’t purchase clothes that will need a lot of ironing, and I hang up items right out of the dryer to minimize wrinkles. I also confess to keeping extra placemats on hand to avoid washing the table! I just throw dirty placemats into the laundry and replace them with clean ones.

So, what are your cleaning confessions? Now’s your chance to ‘fess up, and maybe even win a new Kenmore washer/dryer or dishwasher in the process! Yes, Kenmore wants to know the off-beat things you do to tackle the housecleaning. Do you let your dog lick your dishes clean? Do you just throw a rug over carpet stains? We want to know! Here’s more information from Kenmore on their exciting contest:



How to Enter: Go to http://www.youtube.com/kenmore and upload your video(s) portraying your crazy cleaning confessions! Your video should be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes in length and must be created exclusively for this contest! You can enter up to three times during the Submission Phase. But you’ve got to hurry because submissions must be entered by September 6, 2009! After that date, Kenmore will select the 10 Finalists, and their videos will be opened for public voting from September 11 through October 1, 2009 to determine the winners. Three winners will receive a new Kenmore appliance! You can also see sample videos on Kenmore’s YouTube page.

Eligibility: Kenmore Crazy Cleaning Confessions is open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States (including District of Columbia) who are at least 21 years old at time of entry. Excludes Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Click here to read all of the Official Rules.

Kenmore is also donating $5.00 for each video submission and 50 cents for each vote cast to the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program, which reaches out to young people in almost 100 countries to help effect positive change for our communities, for animals, and for the environment. So, even if you don’t submit a video, please go to www.youtube.com/Kenmore on September 11, 2009 and start voting to benefit a good cause!

Well, are you ready to confess? Are you prepared to let the public know your crazy cleaning methods and shortcuts? Be brave because it could pay off in a big way with a brand-new Kenmore appliance arriving at your door! Go to www.YouTube.com/Kenmore to enter today. Good luck!






DISCLOSURE: I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Kenmore and received a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Heading Off to College? You Need the College Survival Guide


When Tieman Cutler, a California teen, headed off to college in Maine, she started sending tips to her friends back home who were going to be attending college after her. This inspired The Clorox Company to team up with college students and mothers across the country to develop a brand-new College Survival Guide! In fact, they’ve put together five region-specific editions: Midwest, Northeast, South, West Coast, and National. Everyone can check out the National guide, and then read the guide for the region where their college is located to get more specific information on college life in that area! Here’s a video with more information about the guides:

Each guide includes:

Advice from Those Who Know Best – A “heads up” on popular clothing and accessories to bring to school, as well as a list of activities and quirks that are to be expected in that region while at college
You’re Not in Kansas Anymore: College Living “Must Haves” – Listings of the “must have” items for college – everything from a laundry basket to a bathroom caddy
5-Minute Dorm Room Clean-Up – Quick clean-up tips, great not only for the morning after a late-night get together, but also when a crush decides to drop by for an impromptu study session
Seasonal Influenza and Novel H1N1 Virus Prevention Tips – Tips to help reduce the spread of germs and viruses, such as getting vaccinated and regularly disinfecting items shared with friends like computer keyboards, cell phones or video games
The Boring Stuff Mom Has to Say – Lifestyle tips directly from moms to help keep college kids at their best

I’m thrilled that I was one of the moms consulted for the “Boring Stuff” section! Well, I don’t think what we moms said was boring at all, but it is definitely helpful stuff for college freshmen to learn. For instance, we want kids to know: “Don’t walk home alone at night.” And, “Sleep is a must, so avoid all-nighters if you can.” These tips from our mom panel came not only from our own experiences as former college students, but also from sending our own kids off to college! But, let’s face it, our kids don’t want to hear advice directly from us, which is why the College Survival Guide is such a great idea.

So, how do you get it? It’s free! Parents, just go to www.MomCentral.com/CollegeSurvivalGuide2009 to access this terrific resource for incoming freshmen. And how do you get your teen to check it out? Just send him or her to Facebook! At www.Facebook.com, do a search for “College Survival Guide 2009.” You and/or your teen can become a fan and pass the word to other kids and parents on Facebook. Post your own tips about surviving college, as well as your pictures! And keep checking back to see what others have posted.

I wish we’d had the College Survival Guide when my son started college last year because this year’s crop of freshmen will really benefit from the terrific tips in this guide. Thanks to Clorox and Mom Central – and especially all of the students and moms who provided feedback – for putting together such a valuable resource for college students and their parents!






DISCLOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of The Clorox Company and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Small Talk Six: School Memories


This week’s topic on Small Talk Six is “6 things you loved or hated about school.” (What’s Small Talk Six? Click here to find out.) It’s natural when our kids go to school to think back to our own school days, the good and the bad. I have plenty of good memories about school, but also some painful ones. It’s tough to write just 6 things about school, but here’s what I came up with!

- I loved books. I have such fond memories of reading in elementary school. I read the Little House on the Prairie series several times, as well as the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. Other favorites were Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books and those by Beverly Cleary.

- I loved helping the teacher. Many times, I would finish my assignments early, so my elementary school teachers let me correct papers, put up bulletin boards and run errands.

- I loved shopping for school clothes at the beginning of the year. My mom would take my sister and me to the mall, and we were given a certain budget for clothes. I tried to get as many clothes (that were cool) within the budget. If I wanted to spend more, I had to buy them myself.

- I hated gym class. I was super-skinny in school, and my family wasn’t athletic. I was usually one of the last ones picked for teams.

- I hated riding the bus. In high school, I went to a private school that was on the other side of town, so I had a really long bus ride. We had to get up on cold winter mornings and wait outside for the bus in the dark. Brrrr!

- I hated speech class. I was shy, and giving speeches was a nightmare for me. Hard to believe I ended up giving the valedictorian speech in high school! I was so nervous that I don’t remember a thing about it!

So, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment explaining “6 things you loved or hated about school.” And go to http://www.momdot.com/blog/small-talk-six-those-school-girl-or-boy-days/ to see what other bloggers thought about their school days!




Friday, August 28, 2009

Qlubb: For Organizing Groups, Anything Else Is Chaos (Giveaway)


A lot of groups that may have taken a hiatus over the summer are now getting back to business. These include scout troops, sports teams, book clubs, youth groups, school clubs, PTAs and much more! In the “old days,” we usually set up a phone tree to notify members of meetings, practices, and special events. E-mail works better now, but it can be inconsistent. But recently I found a website called Qlubb that helps parents and group leaders organize and coordinate children’s activities and groups. It’s an awesome free service that includes sign-up sheets, shared calendaring, photo sharing, automated reminders, group invitations, member rosters, bulletin boards and many other great features. And sign-up is extremely quick and easy!

Getting kids to all of their activities can be stressful, and if you’re trying to coordinate volunteers, make phone calls, send out emails, and share information, it can be even more chaotic. That’s why Qlubb is such a valuable resource. More than 20,000 members now use this service to organize their groups and teams. Check it out! It’s free, so you have nothing to lose. I have a feeling that once you try it, your group will wonder how it ever got along without Qlubb! In fact, their Qlubbs have over 90% participation and usage by members. Click on the “Demo” button on the upper-right-hand corner of their site to see what they have to offer your group.

And now there’s no better time to try out Qlubb because they’re holding a back-to-school contest during which they’re giving away 2 eco-friendly, “muck-free” (no BPA, no phthalates, no lead) citizenpip lunch box systems every week! For every friend you refer to the site, you will be entered to win one of the two weekly prizes.

In addition, you have another chance to win a terrific citizenpip lunch box system right here! (You can see what’s included in the picture on this post.) To enter on this blog, leave a comment here about what group in your life would benefit from using Qlubb. You must do this to enter.

You can earn optional, additional entries by:

- Becoming a fan of Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook. Leave a comment with your Facebook name.

- Following Qlubb and me on Twitter (@qlubb and @ParentingAuthor) and tweeting about this giveaway. Leave a comment with the URL of your tweet. You may tweet once a day. Please leave a separate comment for each tweet.

- Putting a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog. (The code is in the upper right-hand column of this site.) Post a comment with your blog’s URL.

- Posting this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post.

- Listing Susan Heim on Parenting as one of your Favorites on Technorati. (See “Add this Blog to My Technorati Favorites” banner on the left sidebar.) Leave a comment with your Technorati user name.

- Subscribing to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS, as a Follower on Blogger, or on your Kindle (see sign-up options on sidebars). Leave a comment for each subscription method.

- Enter the GE Appliance giveaway. Click on the picture of the stove near the top of the left sidebar. Leave a comment on this contest page that you entered. You can enter daily!

One lucky winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Friday, September 11, 2009, at midnight ET. Please leave an email address on one of your comments if it’s not available on your Blogger profile. Winners must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to windycindy, who said that Qlubb would be great for "helping to get parent volunteers for all of the needs at school"! Terrific idea!



DISCLOSURE: Qlubb is sending me a Qlubb gift bag as a thank you for telling you about their site, but I would have done it even without the gift because I think it's an awesome idea!


20 Tips for a Germ-Free School Year


NOTE FROM SUSAN: My kids have been back to school for a week and a half, and one of them has already come down with a cold. It’s no surprise as this happens often at the beginning of the school year when all the kids are once again in close quarters. National Geographic Kids has some advice for children on how to reduce the risk of contracting a cold or other bug. These tips are available on their website, http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/, along with a lot of other fun activities, games, videos, information and more for kids! You can also order their children’s magazines, including National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids, which I’ll be reviewing on this blog in the next few weeks!

20 Tips for a Germ-Free School Year


The school year always brings new friends, new teachers, new assignments, and unfortunately some new germs. But not to worry, a new school year doesn’t have to mean new illnesses!

Follow these tips and you might score a perfect attendance record this year!

1. Wash your hands with soap and water after you sneeze, cough, or use the bathroom. Count to 20 or sing a couple of rounds of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” while you scrub!

2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

3. Use a tissue when you need to sneeze or cough. Throw your tissues in the trash—don’t attempt a Guinness World Record for the biggest pile of dirty tissues!

4. If you can’t stifle a cough or sneeze in a tissue quickly enough, sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

5. Take a multi-vitamin every day.

6. Don’t share water bottles or drinks. Your friend might not know he or she is sick and spread germs to you.

7. Don’t share your hair brush or hat. Little creatures like head lice could be hiding out and could be passed on from one person to another.

8. Stay home from school, sports practice, and parties if you feel sick or have a fever.

9. Wash your dishes with detergent and very warm water to kill germs.

10. Stay away from family gatherings and reunions if you are sick or if one of your family members is sick. Grandma and Grandpa and younger cousins may have a stronger reaction to the illness than you do.

11. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet can help boost your immune system and help you fight off illnesses before they make you sick!

12. Sleep eight or more hours every night. A strong body will help you fend off infections.

13. Wash your hands after you high five, fist bump or shake someone’s hand.

14. Don’t double dip into the salsa or dip.

15. Get some fresh air and exercise every day. Outside air often carries fewer germs than stagnant indoor air.

16. Avoid crowded places like movie theaters and shopping malls if the flu has been reported in your town.

17. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. These areas are germ spreaders.

18. Don’t share ear buds with friends. They can harbor loads of germs.

19. Blow kisses to your sick friends and family instead of kisses and hugs.

20. Get a flu shot if your doctor or school recommends it.

You can find more great tips like this at http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/




Thursday, August 27, 2009

Enter to Win a Brand-New GE Appliance!


I’m so excited about this new giveaway. It’s the biggest prize I’ve been able to offer you on this blog so far! How would you like to win a brand-new General Electric appliance! If you are selected as the Grand Prize winner in this contest, you get to choose one item from among the following GE appliances:

(A) a GE® Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher. Model # GLD6760NSS, ARV $649;

(B) a GE® 25.0 Cu. Ft. ENERGY STAR® Side-By-Side Refrigerator with Dispenser, Model # GSH25ISX, ARV $1,499;

(C) a GE® Spacemaker® Over-the-Range Microwave Oven, Model # JVM1850SMSS, ARV $489;

(D) a GE® 30” Free-Standing Electric Range, Model #JB700SN, ARV $1,099;

(E) a GE® 30” Free-Standing Gas Range with Warming Drawer, Model # JGBP88SEMSS ARV $1,449.

It’s a tough choice, isn’t it? But, nevertheless, wouldn’t it be great to be given this choice? So, here’s how you enter. Check out the “bridgit” below and click on the bar that says “Sweepstakes.” This will take you to a form where you can enter! It’s very easy! Even better, you can enter every day until the end of the contest: November 15, 2009.









NOTE: The sweepstakes is open only to persons who are legal residents of and living within the 48 contiguous United States and District of Columbia, 18 years or older, as of the date of entry. The full rules can be viewed at http://strong-as-steel.com/rules.

If a reader of this blog gets the Grand Prize, then I get to pick out an appliance, too, so PLEASE enter now and come back every day to this post to continue to enter. I’ll put a link on the sidebar of this blog so you can find the post each time you come back to this site.

Wouldn’t it be great to celebrate the upcoming holidays with a brand-new GE appliance? Enter now, and good luck!




Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Help Children Ease Back into the School Year with PBS KIDS®!


Following are some tips from the experts at PBSPARENTS.org on getting kids and parents prepared for the new school year.

Starting the school year can be a time of great excitement ... and anxiety. Help calm your child’s fears with these teacher-approved hints that will get everyone ready for the big day:

Ease into the routine. The start of a new year can be stressful -- practice your routine a few days in advance.

Ask your child compelling questions. Specific questions help children picture what school will be like.

Describe what will happen on the first day. This will help ease nervousness or confusion

Tool up. Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip, letting your child pick out a few special items.

For more helpful tips, visit PBSPARENTS.org. And check out the new Back to School channel on the PBS KIDS GO! Video Player (PBSKIDSGO.org/video) for
curriculum-based clips from ARTHUR, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, MAYA & MIGUEL and more to foster learning!


Get your child back into the school groove with THE ELECTRIC COMPANY! Here are some suggestions from PBSPARENTS.org to keep the literacy learning going even out of the classroom.

Create a cozy, comfortable reading space with your child.
Set rules for this area in your home to maintain peaceful reading.

Let your kids catch you reading. Talk about what you read in newspapers, books, and magazines with your children so they understand the importance of reading.

Encourage your child to read aloud at home. Your child will learn to read with expression and understanding while sharing stories with you -- and siblings and grandparents, too!

A trip to the grocery store can reinforce reading skills.
Have your child write the grocery list, find the items using the store’s signs, and read product labels. You can also encourage healthy eating.

Thanks to PBS KIDS for these terrific back-to-school tips!




Grammar School for Bloggers: Plurals and Apostrophes


For today’s lesson, I’d like to point out an error that I see frequently: using an apostrophe to make a plural* word. This is what I mean:

This site has some great giveaway’s!
She looked like a rock star from the 1980’s.
Parent’s need to be informed.

In most cases, an “apostrophe s” is used to show ownership, as in…

Her daughter’s coat was missing.

…or as a contraction.

There’s a man at the door.

However, apostrophes are not necessary when you are pluralizing a word, such as “giveaways” or “parents” in the examples above.

Decades and centuries are very commonly written incorrectly. They should look like this:

1980s NOT 1980’s
1920s NOT 1920’s
1800s NOT 1800’s

Correct: Many wars were waged in the 1800s.
Incorrect: Many people were unemployed in the 1930’s.

Ask yourself:

Is there any ownership going on (daughter’s coat)? If yes, use the apostrophe.
Am I using a contraction (there’s)? If yes, use the apostrophe.
Am I using the plural form of a word (giveaways)? If yes, skip the apostrophe.

*plural = more than one of something

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Enter the Staples Back-to-School Giveaway on Mom Central!


Mom Central’s Teen Reviews Central is giving away one set of Staples Back-to-School must-haves inside a backpack, thanks to the team at Staples! The Staples Back-to-School giveaway includes:

1 High Sierra Swerve Backpack
1 Omnitech Laptop Skin
3 Omnitech Calculator Skins
1 One Subject Notebook
1 Access Bag N’ Pack Flap Top Insulated Lunch Kit
2 Mini Xeno Retractable Ballpoint Pens
1 Dickies Composition Book
1 Book Jax Book Cover
1 Game Controller Calculator
2 Book Sox Book Covers

Head on over to http://teenreviewscentral.momcentral.com/2009/08/school-is-almost-back-a-look-at-staples-backtoschool-top-ten-.html to enter!

Contest ends Tuesday, August 25th, at 11:59 p.m. EST.




Monday, August 24, 2009

Milkshake Is Back! Hurray!


It’s been two years since the band Milkshake put out a new CD, but the wait is finally over! Fortunately, the music on Great Day was well worth the wait! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the music of Milkshake, they’re billed as a children’s music group, but their songs are unlike any others you’ve ever heard! When I think of children’s music, I tend to think of The Wiggles or “The Wheels on the Bus” or lullabies. And, frankly, if I hear one more rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” I just might scream! That’s why Milkshake’s music is so great -- both kids AND adults love it! The themes of their music are kid-friendly, but their rock-and-roll beat is definitely grown up!

I encourage you to head over to www.milkshakemusic.com to see what I mean. You can listen to Milkshake’s music, watch their videos (also seen on PBS Kids, Noggin and Discovery Kids), learn more about the band and, of course, get their new CD! You can also sign up for their newsletter and visit the kids’ page. You can even buy Lisa Mathews’ signature tutu for your kids!

Great Day contains 12 songs, and I enjoy listening to every one of them. I take it in the car, and the kids and I rock along to it while we’re on the road! Some of the themes include getting over a bad day (“Happy Place”), seeking adventure (“Travel Far”), and getting the “gimmes” (“I Want It”). If you’re seeking a little more edgy and contemporary music for your family, you’ll be highly pleased with Milkshake’s new CD, Great Day!


DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this CD so I could effectively and objectively review it!


Back to School with Lunchables and Their Better-for-You Lunch Combinations


My kids are really picky eaters, and we always have a tough time figuring out what to put in their school lunches that they will actually eat! So when Mom Central asked if I would try out some of the new Oscar Mayer Lunchables products, I saw this as a great opportunity to find more options for my finicky kids. I was not disappointed!

I took my free Lunchable coupon to the store and scored a box of Mini Burgers from their Lunchables Lunch Combinations line. I also bought the Pizza + Treatza combination because that looked really tasty, too! I told the kids we were saving them for their school lunches, but they were so anxious to try them that I finally let them eat them at home because I wanted to see if they really did enjoy them! Guess what? They ate every bite!

The Mini Burgers are adorable. They come with two grilled burger patties made of 100% beef, four mini slices of Kraft American cheese, two buns, a packet each of ketchup and mustard, a Capri Sun fruit punch, and a mini Nestle Crunch bar for dessert. If your kids are having this at school, they can eat them at room temperature. If they’re home, you can warm the burgers slightly in the microwave as we did. My boys said they were delicious and gobbled them up! (These are the same children who often leave their regular fast food burgers untouched on the plate, so I was impressed!)

The Pizza + Treatza Lunchable came with three little pizza crusts made with whole grain. Two of them were for making mini-pizzas, and the third was for a dessert pizza! The meal came with very generous portions of shredded Kraft mozzarella cheese, a packet of pizza sauce, a packet of chocolate fudge frosting and lots of mini rainbow chips! It also included a Capri Sun 100% fruit juice. Again, my kids ate every bite! They really enjoyed putting their little pizzas together and ate the meal at room temperature. Yum!

I encourage you to head on over to http://brands.kraftfoods.com/lunchables/ to check out the other varieties of Lunchables. There are all sorts of combinations, from subs to crackers and cheese to mini hot dogs. And look for the following logo on those Lunchables that are part of their new better-for-you line:


The Pizza + Treatza meal that we tried displayed the logo! Lunchables are a fun and handy addition to the choices available for your child’s school lunches. Your kids will have fun putting them together and, best of all, eating them! You might also want to stock up on them when your grocery store has them on sale (as ours did last week) so you’ll have them handy on those days when you’re running late and don’t have time to make a lunch. Thanks to Mom Central for arranging for us to try delicious Lunchables!



DISCLOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central on behalf of Oscar Mayer Lunchables and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Join Hellmann’s and Best Foods Mayonnaise, along with Billy Ray Cyrus, to Feed the Hungry


Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, works with large corporate donors to secure food and grocery products on a national level to distribute, as needed, to local food banks. Each year, they provide food to more than 25 million low-income Americans, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors. Now they have a brand-new initiative with Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise called the Sandwich Swap ‘n’ Share program. They’ve also recruited celebrity dad Billy Ray Cyrus to join them in this endeavor.

How does it work? Just head on over to the Hellmann’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/hellmanns and create a virtual sandwich! This is a fun game where you pick your bread, your meat, your veggies, your condiments and more to create a unique and delicious sandwich! For every sandwich you create as part of the virtual Sandwich Swap ‘n’ Share program, Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® will donate 7 lunches to Feeding America®.

And not only will you be helping to feed the hungry, but you might win something for you, too! Each sandwich created will automatically enter you for a chance to win a $250 grocery store gift certificate. And for every friend on Facebook® that you share your sandwich with, Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® will donate an additional 7 lunches to the charity.

If you’re a parent, this is a great program to share with your kids who have Facebook pages. Encourage them to go to Facebook.com/hellmanns, create a crazy sandwich, and share it with all their Facebook friends! They’ll have a good time doing it and helping the hungry at the same time. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

“I am so honored that Hellmann’s asked me to be part of this great project. You can’t find a bigger sandwich fan than me – I’m just a real food, real sandwich man. The best part of the whole program is that we’ll hopefully inspire folks to join the effort to end hunger by supporting Feeding America; I can’t think of a more worthy cause.” – Billy Ray Cyrus




Saturday, August 22, 2009

Small Talk Six: Good-Bye, Summer!


This week’s topic on Small Talk Six is “6 things you’ll miss (or won’t miss) about summer.” (What’s Small Talk Six? Click here to find out.) My kids started school this week, so our summer is now over! Here are the 6 things I will miss -- and not miss -- about summer!

- I’ll miss getting to sleep in a little bit later in the mornings. My twins just started kindergarten, so we all need to get up an hour earlier because school starts earlier than summer camp. Unfortunately, I am not a morning person! And I work at night, so I hate to lose work time by going to bed earlier.

- I’ll miss the freedom from homework. Now that school has started, I know my teens will be much more stressed-out by homework. And when they’re not happy, I’m not happy. That’s just the way it is with moms!

- I’ll miss the calmer traffic. I live in a tourist area, and the traffic is much worse in the winter when the “snowbirds” (people who spend winters in Florida and summers up north) and tourists show up. The wait for a table at a restaurant is much shorter in the summer, too.

- I won’t miss the heat. It gets pretty humid in Florida in the summer. I’m fairly heat-tolerant, but my favorite season in Florida is still winter. It’s the best time of year here!

- I won’t miss paying for camp! My twins are attending public school for the first time, so we’re finally free of paying for summer camp (and pre-Kindergarten and preschool before that!).

- I won’t miss the mosquitoes! They’ve been just terrible this year. There’s nothing worse than being woken up in the middle of the night by a mosquito buzzing in your ear! And I’m tired of yelling CLOSE THE DOOR! all day. Hopefully, the mosquitoes will lighten up this winter.

So, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment explaining “6 things you’ll miss (or won’t miss) about summer.” And click here to see what other bloggers are going to miss (or not miss) about summer!




Friday, August 21, 2009

Win a Personalized Book from I See Me!


I’m so pleased with myself because I already have some Christmas shopping done! And for part of that I have to thank the wonderful people at I See Me! They asked if I would review one of their personalized books for children and I jumped at the chance because I knew this would be a perfect gift for my nephew, who lives in a different state. I sent them my nephew’s first and last name, gender, birthdate, and the year in which the book would be given, and a beautiful copy of My Very Own Name showed up a short time later! It was even personalized inside with our own dedication. I know that my nephew and his parents are going to be thrilled with it.

My Very Own Name tells a very clever story about how various animals teamed up to string together the letters in the child’s name. It is so smoothly and brilliantly done that you would think the book had been originally written in exactly that way, with the child’s full name included! The illustrations are gorgeous, as is the hardcover outside of the book. It even arrived all wrapped up in a box and ribbon! (I chose to have it sent to me so I could review it, so I’ll mail it directly to my nephew as we get closer to Christmas. But you can have the book shipped directly to your recipient, if desired.)

And I See Me has several other books that you can personalize:

My Very Own Fairy Tale

In this enchanting personalized story, fairies bring letters one by one to provide clues about which girl they think should be chosen as their fairy princess. Each fairy also brings an adjective to describe the girl, such as fair, truthful, or smart. At the end, the fairies realize that they have all been describing the very same girl, and they crown her as their princess. The book teaches the child that her inner character traits are what make her a great princess or leader. This educational book also teaches the child how to spell her name, and it builds vocabulary skills. The Fairy Patch at the end is full of interesting facts about flowers and berries. She will cherish her very own fairy tale for life!

The World According to [Your Child]


The World According to [Your Child] is a personalized book that makes it easy to capture this precious stage in your child’s life. This stunning, 20-page professionally typeset hardcover book features the child’s own drawings and classic comments about his or her world. The kit includes interview questions to ask the child, such as what the child wants to be when he or she grows up, the child’s favorite things, and more. Color markers and drawing sheets are provided for the child to do 6 drawings, including a self-portrait. The child’s interview answers and drawings are then made into a beautifully printed book that’s ready for all-about-me storytime!

I received a sample of this book, and the quality is amazing. The child's own drawings and answers are seamlessly incorporated into each page. You've got to see it to believe it!

My Very Own ABCs

Featuring the animals from the storybook My Very Own Name, this personalized board book helps your child learn the ABCs. Perfectly proportioned for little hands, each book includes the child’s name, birth date and a dedication from the sender to make it a cherished keepsake! The book has 30 sturdy board pages, 4 of which are personalized to the child. A cuddly plush lamb accompanies each book as a gift set. The book’s convenient 5.5” x 7.5” size travels well in a diaper bag.

You and Me (Coming This Fall!)

I See Me has announced the addition of another personalized book to their line called You and Me. This would make a perfect Christmas gift for your child's grandparents! You and Me is a unique hardcover book that grandparents make to celebrate their special bond with their grandchild. It gives children a glimpse into their grandparents' lives when they were children through the present. It helps children to understand their roots and share in their grandparents' experiences through family photos and memories. One of my kids' grandmothers is retiring soon, and I think this would be a terrific project for her to work on for her grandchildren! I also received a sample of You and Me, and it's just as gorgeous as the other I See Me books!


At I See Me, they also have other beautiful and personalized products for your kids, such as wall art, a floor puzzle, plates, t-shirts and more! They also have great gift sets that combine their various products for easy gift-giving.

GIVEAWAY:

Now, you have an opportunity to win a free personalized book from I See Me! To enter, go to www.iseeme.com and leave a comment here telling me which book is your favorite! This first entry is required. You can earn optional, additional entries by:

- Becoming a fan of Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/susan_heim_on_parenting/. Leave a comment with your Facebook name.

- Following me on Twitter (@ParentingAuthor) and tweeting about this giveaway. Leave a comment with the URL of your tweet. You may tweet once a day. Please leave a separate comment for each tweet.

- Putting a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog. (The code is in the upper right-hand column of this site.) Post a comment with your blog’s URL.

- Posting this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post.

- Listing Susan Heim on Parenting as one of your Favorites on Technorati. (See “Add this Blog to My Technorati Favorites” banner on the left sidebar.) Leave a comment with your Technorati user name.

- Subscribing to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS, as a Follower on Blogger, or on your Kindle (see sign-up options on sidebars). Leave a comment for each subscription method. *BONUS: If you subscribe via Kindle, you’ll receive 5 entries! Please leave 5 separate comments if you’re a Kindle subscriber.

One lucky winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Friday, September 4, 2009, at midnight ET. Please leave an email address on one of your comments if it’s not available on your Blogger profile. Winners must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to Tonya, who said: "I like all of the books there, but my daughter would like My Very Own Fairy Tale the most."