Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dilmah Tea: Fresh from the Garden to Your Cup!


If you’re a real tea connoisseur, then you’ve no doubt heard of Dilmah Tea. It is a tea lover’s dream! My husband and I are both tea fans, although my husband prefers iced tea and I like it hot. But one thing we both agree on is that Dilmah Tea is amazing. What makes it so special?

Dilmah Tea is called a “single origin 100% pure Ceylon” tea. Most other brands combine several different blends of teas from multiple origins so they can keep costs down, but Dilmah Tea prides itself on its purity and rich flavor. It is entirely grown, hand-picked and packaged in Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka). And it’s packed within days of picking the fresh leaf to maximize the freshness and preserve the antioxidants that are naturally present in tea.

Dilmah Tea, a family-owned business, was founded in the 1950s by Merrill J. Fernando, who named his company after his two sons, Dilhan and Malik. Today, the founder’s grandchildren are learning all about tea so they can carry on their family’s tradition of premium tea making.

Dilmah Tea generously sent me a box each of their English Breakfast Tea and their Ceylon Green Tea with Real Ginger. My husband made them "iced" and I prepared them hot. Both have a wonderful, full-bodied taste, whether served hot or cold. We could really taste the difference between Dilmah Tea and other commercially prepared teas. Dilmah Tea tastes fresher and purer, with a really robust and rich flavor. Now that I’ve tried Dilmah Tea, no other tea tastes as good.

I invite you to visit their beautiful website at www.DilmahTea.com. You’ll learn all about the Dilmah story, the health benefits of tea, the tradition of tea growing in Ceylon, the company’s humanitarian efforts to improve the lives of the underprivileged and, of course, you can shop from their wide selection of delicious teas! Dilmah Tea is my new drink of choice. Won’t you join me for a cup?





DISCLOSURE: I received two complimentary boxes of Dilmah Tea to facilitate this review.

Twins Book Set Giveaway on TwinsTalk!

Over on my TwinsTalk website, I just posted a fabulous giveaway for a set of Elizabeth Lyons’ books for families with twins. They are:

Ready or Not ... Here We Come! The REAL Experts’ Guide to the First Year with Twins (second edition)


You’ve expanded (to the point where you’ve traded high-fashion maternity wear for your husband’s XXL T-shirts), answered way too many questions about your babies’ conception, and felt your belly bounce like jelly as your dynamic duo engaged in a boxing match. And the adventure has only begun! In her first humor-packed guide to raising twins, Elizabeth Lyons and her “multiples” sorority offer the wisdom of their combined experience in the form of practical shortcuts, real-world strategies, and sage advice. Lyons balances the day-to-day challenges of raising twins from double feedings to sleep deprivation to getting out while pretending everything’s under control with a sanity-saving dose of camaraderie. By the end, you’ll be smiling and shouting, “Thank heaven, I’m not alone!”

Ready or Not ... There We Go! The REAL Experts’ Guide to the Toddler Years with Twins


You’ve survived the sleepless nights, the inconsolable crying (yours and the babies’), the erratic schedules, the ever-growing mountain of laundry, and the cereal dinners night after night. You’ve washed more bottles and changed more diapers than you ever imagined you would. You’ve proven yourself. You’re perfectly primed to enter Phase Two: The Toddler Years. Ready or Not ...There We Go! keeps parents two steps ahead of their newly mobile charges, arming them with the confidence to dive into the toddler tunnel knowing they’ll exit with their sanity (and everything else) intact.

The giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday, October 10, 2009, so click HERE to enter now!




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

LittleMissMatched Is Having Another Big Sale!


For those of you who love the fun and funky clothes and merchandise at LittleMissMatched, I thought you’d like to know that they’re having a big sale right now!

For the first time ever, you can save 50% off select sock styles. (I just love their mismatched socks that come in sets of 3. I wear mine all the time!)

You can save up to 70% on tanks, pajamas, underwear, and more. (I saw some awesome flannel pajama sets that were $60 and are now only $19!)

All flip flops have been marked down to just $5 -- a 68% discount off of the original price. (They regularly sell for $14-18!)

And all of their bags are only $20!

As usual, they offer free shipping on orders of $75 and over (in the 48 contiguous states).

This is a great time to start your holiday shopping by locking in these terrific prices. Click on the flashing sign below to get started!







All offers valid while supplies last. Sale prices cannot be combined with promo codes.

Giveaway: Twins Books Times Two!

If you’ve got twins or have them in your family, you’ll want to head over to the giveaway that Elizabeth Lyons has on her site, Little Humans Being. In fact, I’m honored that she’s giving away two of the books I’ve published about twins! They are:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More


It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence


One winner will receive BOTH books and there are multiple ways to enter the giveaway. These books also make a great gift for someone who’s expecting twins or raising them.

Just go to http://www.littlehumansbeing.com/?p=271 to enter by Monday, October 5th.

By the way, Elizabeth Lyons is also a twins mom and author, and I’ll be giving away copies of her books, Ready or Not … Here We Come! The Real Experts’ Guide to the First Year with Twins and Ready or Not ... There We Go! The Real Experts’ Guide to the Toddler Years with Twins on my TwinsTalk site very soon. I’ll announce it here!




Monday, September 28, 2009

Join Frigidaire’s “Make Time for CHANGE” Campaign and Enter to Win a Double Wall Oven!


Frigidaire just announced the “face” and spokesperson of their new campaign … and it’s celebrity mom Jennifer Garner! Frigidaire’s new appliance line is filled with time-saving features to help out busy moms like Jennifer, and so their new campaign focuses on the theme of time. Specifically, they want to know how you’ll spend a little extra time with children, and they’ll respond by supporting programs run by Save the Children in the United States.

Head over now to www.Frigidaire.com and “raise your hand” with a pledge to make time for a child on November 1st. That’s the day we move our clocks back and gain an extra hour -- one that can be spent helping a child. For every pledge they receive, Frigidaire will donate $1 to support the CHANGE (Creating Healthy, Active, and Nurturing Growing-up Environments) program and Save the Children’s efforts to help needy children. Save the Children promotes healthier lifestyles for children who live in poverty by providing nutritious snacks and opportunities for physical activity.

In addition, your pledge will enter you into a drawing for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Professional double wall oven! And if you purchase one of these ovens, Frigidaire will donate $100 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. In fact, they’ve committed $250,000 in total to this terrific cause.

So, join Jennifer Garner in pledging to help children in need at www.Frigidaire.com!




Sunday, September 27, 2009

Join Turner Classic Movies for a Month of Thrillers in October!


If you’re a movie buff, you’ll love that Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is starting a new film series in October featuring thrillers! What, exactly, is a thriller? It’s any movie that has you on the edge of your seat. It’s filled with danger, anxiety, paranoia, and more! This is just one of the things I learned on TCM’s special: A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers. The first airing of this special will kick off their month-long festival of classic thrillers. I got to see the opening special before its first airing this Friday, October 2 at 8 PM ET, and it was fascinating!

A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers starts out by explaining what a thriller is. How does it differ from a mystery or a horror film? Many well-known actors, authors and directors are interviewed about the origin and evolution of the thriller, such as Kenneth Branagh, Mel Brooks, Ken Follett, and Diablo Cody. Throughout the special, scenes are shown from classic thrillers, and those who are interviewed share their favorites, as well as their insights on what makes a really compelling thriller.

Alfred Hitchcock and his movies are, of course, prominently featured in the special, along with many other thrillers made throughout the 20th century. I learned about the role of the protagonist, the villain, and the femme fatale in a thriller. I found out that thrillers often were a reflection of the times. For instance, thrillers in the sixties—when people were dealing with the Cold War—became more political. During the seventies, Nazi villains were often seen in thrillers. In the eighties and nineties, thrillers got more violent. (Remember Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct?) And I learned that a good thriller must be unpredictable and an intellectual challenge to the viewer.

The following is a complete schedule of TCM’s salute to thrillers every Friday night in October (all times shown are Eastern):

Friday, Oct. 2 – Thrillers and Hitchcock

8 pm A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – premiere
9 pm Rear Window (1954), starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly
11 pm A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – encore
Midnight Shadow of a Doubt (1943), starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright

Friday, Oct. 9 – Political Thrillers


8 pm The Manchurian Candidate (1962), starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury and Janet Leigh
10:15 pm The Parallax View (1974), starring Warren Beatty and Hume Cronyn
Midnight The Boys from Brazil (1978), starring Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck

Friday, Oct. 16 – Crime Thrillers

8 pm The Narrow Margin (1952), starring Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor
9:30 pm A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – encore
10:30 pm Lured (1947), starring George Sanders, Lucille Ball and Charles Coburn
12:30 am The Lodger (1944), starring Merle Oberon and George Sanders

Friday, Oct. 23 – Gothic Thrillers

8 pm The Night of the Hunter (1955), starring Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish and Shelley Winters
10 pm Dragonwyck (1946), starring Gene Tierney, Walter Huston and Vincent Price
Midnight Rebecca (1940), starring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier and Judith Anderson

Friday, Oct. 30 – Psychological Thrillers

8 pm Gaslight (1944), starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten and Angela Lansbury
10 pm Night Must Fall (1937), starring Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell and Dame May Whitty
Midnight Psycho (1960), starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam

So, be sure to tune in to TCM every Friday night in October, and in the meantime, enjoy this original trailer for the movie, Rear Window. What could be more classic than Jimmy Stewart (my personal favorite) and Grace Kelly in a Hitchcock film? I love it!






Saturday, September 26, 2009

Get a Free Box of Yummy Smucker’s Uncrustables!


Mom Central arranged for my kids to try Smucker’s Uncrustables. They’re cute and yummy little sandwiches that look more like tarts or pies. We got a box (4 sandwiches) of Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam with our voucher, and I also bought a big box (8 sandwiches) of their Grilled Cheese. Both were a huge hit with my boys!

Uncrustables can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. For the Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam flavor, we just set it on the counter for a half-hour, and it was ready to eat at room temperature. The Grilled Cheese variety comes with little crisping sleeves that you put around the Uncrustables and microwave. I stole a few for myself because they were delicious! They’re fairly small, so they don’t constitute an entire meal, but they can be part of a complete lunch or served as an after-school snack. And there’s a new whole-wheat version now for a healthier option.

The J.M. Smucker Company is giving 80,000 families the opportunity to try Uncrustables! Starting this Monday, September 28th, just go to www.uncrustables.com and share a helpful time-saving after-school organization tip. If you hurry, you may receive one of their coupons for a free 4-pack of delicious Uncrustables!





DISCLOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Smucker’s Uncrustables 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.

Small Talk Six: Neighbors


This week’s topic on Small Talk Six is “6 things you love or hate about your neighbors.” (What’s Small Talk Six? Click here to find out.) I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood where we don’t have any major problems. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves, which is good because nobody is bothering anybody, but bad because we don’t really have the family atmosphere that many neighborhoods have. Nevertheless, here are the 6 things that I really like and dislike about my neighbors.

1. I hate that some neighbors let their dogs crap in my yard and don’t clean it up.

2. I hate that people in the apartments behind us throw their garbage over the fence into our back yard.

3. I hate that certain neighbors leave their empty garbage cans in the street days after the trash collectors have come.

4. I love that we all agree that we don’t want a homeowners’ association.

5. I love that most of the people around me take good care of their yards.

6. I love that none of our neighbors are nosy and are respectful of people’s privacy.

So, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment on this post describing some of the “things you love or hate about your neighbors.” And then click here to find links to other bloggers’ Small Talk Six lists for the week.




Friday, September 25, 2009

The Benefits of Intergenerational Activities from GE Strong as Steel


If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I’ve been continuously promoting the GE Strong as Steel campaign because it gives you the opportunity to enter every day through November 15th to win a brand-new GE appliance! And if one of you wins by entering on my blog, then I win one, too. So, I would love for BOTH of us to win a new appliance!

Each week, the GE Strong as Steel team is sharing some fun material about getting in shape. This week’s information is about intergenerational activities. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative, “Intergenerational programs are activities that bring together individuals of different ages as partners to explore, study, and work towards a shared goal. These activities foster cooperation and promote interaction among generations including children, youth and older adults. Programs can be youth serving older adults, older adults serving youth, or youth and older adults serving together. Some examples of intergenerational programs are: youth teaching seniors or providing chore service; older adults mentoring youth or providing childcare; and children, youth and older adults performing in a community theater group or working to improve the natural environment.”

Here’s what GE has to say on the subject:
Sure, you may not have known that your kitchen could get you in great shape, but maybe you know this one: How many seniors does it take to change a light bulb? It only takes one! But, it can be a lot more rewarding if it takes two—a senior and a youth, an oldie and a newbie, an acorn and an oak...

Intergenerational activities increase cooperation, interaction and exchange between people of different generations, according to Generations United—an organization that began in 1986 and is the country’s only membership organization promoting intergenerational public policies, strategies and programs.

According to the EPA, these activities can prevent unnatural age segregation and apply the strengths of one generation to meet the needs of another. For youth and children, these activities can enhance social skills, improve academic performance, decrease drug use and increase stability. For older adults, these activities can enhance socialization, stimulate learning, increase emotional support and improve health.

And when the two generations team up to help the environment, it’s a win for everyone!

I encourage you to find ways in which your children can spend more time with their grandparents or other seniors in their lives. Thank you to the GE Strong as Steel team for reminding us of the benefits of intergenerational activities. And for sponsoring a really great giveaway!

Click on "Sweepstakes" below to enter now!












Day 12: The 12 Days Til My Birthday Giveaway


Welcome to the final day of my birthday giveaway! Today’s giveaway book is:

Games Babies Play
From Birth to Twelve Months

By Vicki Lansky

Book Description (from the back cover):

Every baby’s daily routine should include play that is fun for you and your baby. Play is vital to every infant’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual development. It also supports the important role of child/adult bonding. Here is a wealth of traditional and contemporary suggestions suited to your rapidly changing infant—with helpful developmental information in three-month increments—to help you recognize the important milestones.

About the Author:

Vicki Lansky has been a trusted name in parenting advice since her first title, Feed Me I’m Yours, was published in 1975. She collects practical ideas and offers easy-to-use information on issues ranging from ear-tube surgery to potty training. She has written for Sesame Street, Parent’s Guide, and Family Circle and has made numerous TV appearances on programs from Oprah to The View. Her books have sold over 6 million copies.

To enter to win a copy of this book, simply leave a comment answering the question:

What activities did you do (or plan to do) to bond with your children when they were babies?


One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified entries received by September 26, 2009, at midnight EST. One entry per person please. Make sure you leave an email address if it’s not on your Blogger page. Winners have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. U.S. residents only please.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, mom2anutball, who said: "I read to my kids a lot when they were infants, and breastfeeding helps bonding too, I think."






Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hold It Baby: It’s Sanity on a String! (Giveaway)


My twin boys were always big “tossers” as babies. If they had something in their hands, it would eventually end up on the floor. They tossed food off their high chairs, pacifiers from their cribs, toys from their strollers, and anything else they had in their grip. With two babies at once, you can imagine all the picking up I had to do! It got really frustrating at times.

I was recently sent a terrific product that would have solved a lot of those problems for me. It’s called Hold It Baby, which is described as “sanity on a string”! I can definitely see why. The Hold It Baby consists of three lanyards that can be attached to your baby’s stroller, high chair, shopping cart, airline seat or other place, and can hold up to six items at a time, such as books, pacifiers, toys, sippy cups, and more.

What’s really clever about Hold It Baby is that it has many different attachments on it—two sizes of silicone bands, a snap and a clip—so that it can hold just about anything that your baby is likely to play or eat with and toss. It also comes in a terrific storage bag for easy portability, and it’s even washable!

If you’ve got older kids, they can attach Hold It Baby to portable video games, sunglasses, or other items they don’t want to fall on the floor and break. This is a terrific product that really is a sanity saver for parents, especially if they have “little tossers” like my boys!

Please visit www.HoldItBaby.com to order. There’s also a very helpful video on the site that shows you exactly how to use the Hold It Baby.

DISCOUNT

When you order 2 or more Hold It Babys from www.HoldItBaby.com and enter coupon code MULTIPLES at checkout, you get 10% off your purchase! This is great for families with twins. Or with one baby, you can keep one Hold It Baby in the car and another in the house or with the stroller.

GIVEAWAY

Guess what? I have two Hold It Baby organizers to give away (two winners each get one Hold It Baby)! How can you get one? To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on this blog telling me what your baby or child is always tossing on the floor! You must do this for your first entry.

You can earn optional, additional entries by:

- Becoming a fan of Hold It Baby on Facebook. Leave a comment with your Facebook ID. (And keep checking the Hold It Baby Facebook page often because I noticed that they post a lot of discount codes!)

- Following me and Hold It Baby on Twitter (@ParentingAuthor and @HoldItBaby) 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.

- Entering 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 each time you enter. You can enter daily!

Two winners will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Friday, October 9, 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. U.S. residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winners, fancygrlnancy and Natalie!



SAFETY NOTE: Secure the Hold It Baby connector to an immovable object that is at least five (5) inches below the child’s chin. The Hold It Baby is not a toy and should never be used by a child without an attending adult. Do not use this product in a crib, playpen, or port-a-crib. Do not use this product if your child is unrestrained. This product conforms to all government safety requirements (mechanical testing, toxicity, and flammability). This product is to be assembled by an adult.


Day 11: The 12 Days Til My Birthday Giveaway


Welcome to Day 11 of my birthday giveaway! Today’s giveaway book is:

Bond with Your Baby Before Birth
How to Communicate with Your Unborn Child

By Kim O’Neill

Book Description (from the back cover):

Do you ever wonder what your unborn child will look like, be like, act like, or desire in life? In Bond with Your Baby Before Birth, psychic Kim O’Neill offers her guided channeling techniques to help moms-to-be tap into the deep intuitive powers of pregnancy and meet their unborn child before birth.

Your connection to your unborn baby is growing faster than your waistline, and in this uniquely fascinating book, the mysteries of your baby’s soul and life destiny can be revealed to you through Kim O’Neill’s insights and philosophies. Filled with the author’s own personal experience of channeling her own children in utero as well as poignant first-person accounts from those for whom she has channeled, this book introduces you to the phenomenon of communicating with your baby before birth.

About the Author:

Kim O’Neill was named Houston’s Best Psychic and is the author of How to Talk to Your Angels and Discover Your Spiritual Destiny. Her popular column “Ask Kim” appears monthly in The Indigo Sun magazine. For more information on Kim’s events, teleseminars, newsletter, and books and CDs, visit www.kimoneillpsychic.com.

To enter to win a copy of this book, simply leave a comment answering the question:

Do you believe it’s possible to communicate with a baby before birth? If so, in what ways?

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified entries received by September 25, 2009, at midnight EST. One entry per person please. Make sure you leave an email address if it’s not on your Blogger page. Winners have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. U.S. residents only please.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, Egare1, who said: "I think it's possible to communicate with a baby before birth. With our little one whenever hubby pats my tummy she kicks back at him, and when she hears drumming she always has a dance!"

To learn more about The 12 Days Til My Birthday Giveaway, click here.






Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy National Punctuation Day!


I make my living as an editor and writer, so I have to admit that I’m a real stickler for proper punctuation and grammar. I drive myself crazy finding mistakes in magazines and newspapers. So, you can imagine my enthusiasm in finding out that there’s actually a National Punctuation Day! It’s been going on for six years, and I never knew it!

The holiday, celebrated every September 24th, was founded by Jeff Rubin, a journalist who also became frustrated by all the errors he encountered while working. The holiday, though, is really aimed at schoolchildren in an effort to encourage good grammar and punctuation. Every year, teachers and students create various games and activities to celebrate National Punctuation Day, and Rubin is even holding a contest this year to discover the best punctuation-themed baked goods!

Now that kids and adults are using their own version of shorthand to send text messages, emails and tweets, the art of proper punctuation and spelling is being lost. I encourage you to visit www.nationalpunctuationday.com/ to learn more about this terrific holiday. If you hurry, there’s still time to enter the baking contest before it ends on September 30th! The website also has other ideas for celebrating National Punctuation Day, information on using correct punctuation, punctuation-related products you can purchase, a newsletter, and much more.

Thanks, Jeff Rubin, for creating my new favorite holiday! And you, dear reader, can celebrate at your house by making the official Punctuation Day Meat Loaf recipe found on the National Punctuation Day website. Happy punctuating!