Monday, November 30, 2009

Entertain During the Holidays with Nancy’s Appetizers! (Giveaway)

It’s party time! Yes, it’s that time of year when we celebrate the holidays with numerous parties for friends, family and co-workers. If the thought of preparing appetizers for the event sounds daunting and catering isn’t an option, there are some wonderful easy-to-make options now available that will impress your guests! Nancy’s Appetizers has an awesome variety of yummies to offer, including:

Petite Quiches



Deli Spirals



Black Tie Thai Peanut Satay


Cheese Souffles


Mushroom Turnovers


Seafood Crab Cakes


Don’t they look delicious? Mom Central arranged for us to taste a Nancy’s Appetizer of our choice, and my husband came home from the grocery store with the Seafood Crab Cakes. All I can say is “Yum!” They were delicious, and I can’t wait to try some of the other Nancy’s Appetizers. They’ll be great to serve on Christmas day to sate our appetites before dinner is served.

Visit www.nancys.com to learn more about their impressive products. They also have party tips, recipes, and a store locator.

GIVEAWAY

Now you have the opportunity to enter to win a coupon to try out any one 12 ct. Nancy’s Frozen Appetizer for free. How can you enter? Just go to www.nancys.com and leave a comment here with your choice of appetizer. (Don’t worry, you can still change your mind at the grocery store!) You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries by:

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar. Leave a comment.

- Following me on Twitter (@ParentingAuthor) and tweeting about this giveaway. Leave a comment with the URL of your tweet. You may tweet twice a day. Please leave a separate comment for each tweet. (It’s easy to retweet by using the Bookmark button at the bottom of this post.)

- Putting a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog (the code is in the upper right-hand column of this site) and/or a text link on your blog roll. 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. (3 entries; leave a separate comment for each)

- 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 and/or Kindle (see sign-up options on left sidebar). Leave a comment for each subscription method.

- BONUS: Earn three extra entries by leaving a comment with your favorite make-ahead recipe! Leave three comments, but you can just write "Recipe" for the second and third comments.

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Saturday, December 12, 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 the winner: DebsCrafts!





DISCLOSURE: I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Nancy’s Appetizers and received 2 coupons to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I’ll Believe You: A Sci-Fi Comedy That’s Entertaining and Thought-Provoking

Support IBY

I was recently asked to review a movie called I’ll Believe You. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of it. It had a limited release in theaters at the end of 2008 and then came out on DVD in September 2009. So, I wasn’t expecting it to be great. But when I saw who was in the cast, including Patrick Warburton (“Puddy” on Seinfeld), Fred Willard (in a huge number of shows and movies), and Chris Elliott (he still grosses me out in There’s Something About Mary!), I decided to give it a try. I’m really glad I did! I enjoyed it immensely.

The story takes place in Melbourne, Florida (as a Florida resident, I could relate to the scenery) at a radio station where Dale Sweeney (played wonderfully by David Alan Basche) is about to be canned from his show because nobody’s listening to it. (Maybe the show’s wee-hours-of-the-morning time slot had something to do with it!) But Dale’s show suddenly gains new listeners when someone reports the sighting of a possible UFO followed by a mysterious call by someone speaking an unknown language at 1:13 every morning. Who is this strange person? Is it even a person? What is he trying to say? Why does he always call at the same time? Dale is desperate to save his radio show (and avoid working for his brother at Hose World), so he and his oddball friends and listeners set out to solve the mystery. When the “alien” is finally nabbed, his identity is a big surprise!

Watch this trailer, which will tell you more about the movie:



(If you’re reading this via email, you may need to click onto the title of this article to access it on my blog.)

I also watched the “Making of…” bonus feature on this movie, and it was surprisingly shocking and honest. It tells how the movie was put together … and then almost got thrown in the trash! After screening I'll Believe You with test audiences, they found that the whole beginning of the movie, which introduces all the characters and a subplot, just didn’t work. They had to find a way to remove the subplot and rewrite the first part of the movie so that it flowed into the rest, without reshooting any of it! If you’re interested in filmmaking, you’ll be fascinated by how they corrected this very complicated problem!

I encourage you to go to www.illbelieveyoudvd.com to learn more about the movie and find out where you can order it, including on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. I'll Believe You is a fun and creative film that is well worth the purchase or rental.





DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of the I’ll Believe You DVD to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided. This is my opinion, and your experience may differ from mine.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Small Talk Six: Wishing on a Christmas Star


This week’s topic on Small Talk Six is “6 things on your wish list for Christmas this year”! (What’s Small Talk Six? Click here to find out.) This is really difficult. I’ve been blessed with so much! It’s tough to come up with six items (much to my family’s dismay because it makes their shopping much more difficult!). Here goes…

1. An eReader. A nook, a Kindle… I’ve been dying to try out an eReader. How cool would it be to hear about a good book and have it in your hands almost instantly?!

2. Dishes. My husband just installed new cabinets in our kitchen, and my 11-inch plates don’t fit in them! The dishes are old anyway, so I’m looking for ones with slightly smaller dinner plates. I haven’t been able to find anything I’m crazy about yet, though, in the right size or price range.

3. Dark chocolate. This is always a great stocking stuffer for me. I love it! (But it’s got to be GOOD dark chocolate, not something like dark chocolate Snickers bars.)

4. Sleep. I never seem to get enough. Is it too much to ask for at least one morning where I don’t feel like I’m dragging myself out of bed?

5. World peace. Yes, I know, I sound like a Miss America pageant contestant. But I would give up Christmas gifts for the rest of my life to be able to say that nobody is at war.

6. Thinner thighs.
I can dream, can’t I? (This might be tougher on Santa than the wish for world peace!)

So, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment on this post describing some of the “things on your wish list for Christmas this year.” And then click HERE to find links to other bloggers’ Small Talk Six lists for the week.




Friday, November 27, 2009

Join Stride Ride for a Twitter Party on Sunday and a Fan Celebration Day on Cyber Monday!


Stride Rite is celebrating Cyber Monday, this Monday the 30th, by holding a Fan Celebration Day on www.facebook.com/striderite. Stride Rite Facebook fans are invited to log on Monday, November 30th from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST for hourly giveaways with amazing prizes, including gift cards and gift bags from Stride Rite Children’s Group brands like Saucony Kids, Sperry Top-Sider Kids, and more. There will also be a fan-only coupon for Cyber Monday shopping on www.striderite.com and a mystery prize valued at over $600 that fans can enter to win throughout the day!

To kick-off the Cyber Monday celebration, Global Influence is hosting a Twitter Pre-Party Sunday, November 29th from 9 to 10 p.m. EST with Shannan Powell (@slpowell) at the helm! For an hour, tweeps will chat about Cyber Monday shopping tips and preparing for the holidays in general using the #srCyberMon hashtag. There will be seven Stride Rite gift card winners, and participants will be among the first to learn about the Fan Celebration Day on Facebook. To learn more and RSVP, please go to: http://tinyurl.com/yfjucsj.


Thanks to Global Influence for sharing this wonderful opportunity!




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this very special day, I am grateful not only for my family and friends, but for all of YOU who visit my blog. May your day be filled with blessings and peace.


Love,



Black Friday and December Deals from LittleMissMatched!


Starting at 12:01 a.m. EST on Friday, November 27th, LittleMissMatched is giving everyone 30% off all their winter socks! This includes fuzzy anklets, fuzzy knee highs, toe socks, sporty socks, and regular knee highs. The sale ends Sunday, November 29th at 10 p.m. EST. Use coupon code: WINTERSOCKS to redeem.

Also, for the first time ever, they will be launching 12 Days of Holiday Savings. Starting Cyber Monday, LittleMissMatched will offer a different deal from 12:01 a.m. EST to 10p.m. EST every day until December 11th. They’re kicking off the savings with a deal on their most popular sock styles. Customers who buy 1 pack of anklet socks get 1 pack of anklet socks FREE! Use coupon code ANKLET at checkout. Offer excludes sale socks and Project Sock styles.

Lastly, LittleMissMatched has free shipping on orders $75 USD and up in the continental US. This will also start Friday, November 27th and end on December 15th at 10 p.m.

I’ve written about LittleMissMatched before because I love their products. In fact, I’m wearing a pair of their socks right now! Please check them out for fun and unique gifts for everyone! Just click on the banner below on Friday to get started.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Enter to Win a Kindle from Noobie!


I really want an e-Reader for Christmas, so I just entered a contest to win a free Kindle from Noobie (worth $259). Even better, here's a chance for you to win one, too!

All you need to do to enter is to click the link below or copy and paste it into your favorite Internet browser:


http://www.noobie.com/kindle-giveaway?ref=1517685231

Or you can click on the button below:

Win a brand new Kindle!

Just fill out the brief form, and you're all set! Be sure to read the email you get from Noobie after you register. You'll get your own unique link that you can use to earn even more entries in the drawing!

Noobie's Kindle Giveaway will end on December 10th, 2009 at 11:59 PM ET. The drawing for the Kindle will take place on or about December 14th, 2009. Good luck!




Enter to Win $150 and a Holey Donuts! Holiday Pack (Discount Code and Giveaway)


Everybody loves donuts, but not the calories and fat they normally provide! The average donut has 15-20 grams of fat and up to 480 calories. So, I was really excited to hear about Holey Donuts! They use a patented cooking process (not deep frying) that creates a light, fluffy donut with as little as 3-4 grams of fat and 150-250 calories per donut. You’d have to eat four of their full-sized donuts to equal the amount of fat in a traditional donut. Holey Donuts! also doesn’t use artificial sweeteners or fat substitutes. Are you drooling yet? I am!

They kindly sent me some of their cinnamon buns, and they look so scrumptious that I decided to save them for Thanksgiving breakfast. Special donuts for a special meal! I’ll be posting about my experience with Holey Donuts! in the near future, so stay tuned.* I can’t wait to try them!

When you order Holey Donuts!, they’re hand-made, flash frozen and delivered via express mail to your door. Just pop them in the freezer, and they’re ready to go for breakfast or a treat anytime! And now there are two great ways to get some Holey Donuts! at a great price!

DISCOUNT CODE


Buy 2 and get 1 free! Go to http://holeydonuts.net/ and place 3 or more assortments in your shipping cart. At checkout, enter the code HGLL and click recalculate. Your 3rd assortment will be free (up to a $11.95 value)! Feel free to use this code for yourself or as a gift for a friend or family member anytime up until December 15.

GIVEAWAY

Holey Donuts! is also offering one lucky reader of this blog A Holey Donuts! Holiday Pack consisting of:

1- Full box of Jumbo Low Fat Cinnamon Buns (4)
1- Full box of Our Awesome Jumbo Low Fat Blueberry Vanilla Buns (4)
1- Full box of Holey Donuts! Low Fat Cinnamon Bun Middles (16)

+$150 holiday spending cash!

Did you notice that little line in bold print above? You get $150 cash for your holiday shopping! That’s an amazing prize! So, how can you get in on the action? Pay attention because this is not a typical giveaway. Here’s how to enter:

Send an email to info@holeydonuts.net and type “Susan Heim on Parenting” in the subject line to enter. Please enter only once. That’s all there is to it! You’re welcome to leave a comment on this post if you’d like, but that will not enter you into the giveaway. You must send the email to enter the giveaway.

Deadline: December 15, 2009

Now, go enter the contest and then order some donuts with your discount code. Be sure to let me know if you’re the lucky winner!

*We had our Holey Donuts Cinnamon Buns for breakfast on Black Friday. They were fabulous! You seriously have to use the discount code and enter the giveaway. They're scrumptious!





DISCLOSURE: I received a box each of Holey Donuts! Jumbo Low Fat Cinnamon Buns, Jumbo Low Fat Blueberry Vanilla Buns, and Low Fat Cinnamon Bun Middles to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.

Join the Great American Sleep-In with GlobalGiving.org on Black Friday!


Celebrate Black Friday by doing all your gift giving through GlobalGiving.org! They’re having a “Great American Sleep-In” on Friday, and here’s how it works:

• Sleep in, spend time with your loved ones at home, and avoid the crowded stores and long lines.

• Stay in your slippers and order GlobalGiving Gift Cards online. Give the card to someone you love; they go to globalgiving.org and pick a cause that touches their heart, and they use your card to donate to their favorite project. It’s the gift that changes lives!

Remember, you can also donate to a cause in your loved ones’ name (and they’ll get a lovely card letting them know). They have projects all over the world!

Even better, there’s no charge on (standard) shipping and handling on all Gift Card purchases through December 26th. Check out their great new holiday designs!

If gift cards aren’t your style, go to www.WorldofGood.com/GlobalGiving to buy positive, eco-friendly products that are for good on the planet. For each transaction on its site, World of Good will contribute $5 to GlobalGiving projects.

What a meaningful way to say Happy Holidays!




Monday, November 23, 2009

Take Ultimate Party Meatballs to Your Next Holiday Gathering!


I used to dread being asked to take a dish to a party because I am so bad at cooking. I never knew what to make… until I discovered the recipe for Ultimate Party Meatballs! With only three ingredients, it is really easy to make. Best of all, every time I bring my meatballs someplace, people absolutely love them! I’ve been making this recipe for several years, but was pleased to find out that Heinz and Ocean Spray have now set up a website devoted to the Ultimate Party Meatballs! Go to www.ultimatepartymeatballs.com to find recipes, entertaining tips, party enhancements, and even enter a giveaway for up to $3,000! (Deadline: February 15, 2010)

And now, without further delay, here is the recipe for the fabulous Ultimate Party Meatballs!

1 14-ounce can Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 12-ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
1 2-pound bag frozen, pre-cooked, cocktail-size meatballs

Combine sauces in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Add meatballs. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally. Makes 30 appetizer servings.

My favorite way to make this recipe is in the slow cooker. It seems to make them extra flavorful! To do this: Place meatballs in a slow cooker. Combine sauces and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH.

It can’t get much easier than that! Even a kitchen-averse person like me can make this dish and impress all her friends! I’ve even made this recipe when I didn’t have a party to go to because my family likes it so much. I hope you’ll give it a try!





DISCOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Heinz and Ocean Spray and received the ingredients necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

The Black Friday Deals Have Already Started at Amazon!

The biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday – is almost here! If you’re like me and hate getting up early, fighting crowds, and standing in line for something that they’ll run out of before you get to the front of the line, consider doing your Black Friday shopping online! I buy a lot of things at Amazon because their prices are great and it’s so convenient.

And Amazon’s Black Friday deals start as early as today, Monday, November 23, 2009! Just click on the banner below to get started on your holiday shopping and check out Amazon’s Black Friday specials.



You’ll want to continue to check Amazon’s Black Friday page because they add new deals every day on toys, electronics, and much, much more. Happy holidays!




Thanksgiving Bluelight Specials at Kmart


In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, this week’s Bluelight Specials at Kmart will run from Thursday to Sunday rather than the usual Saturday and Sunday!

Bluelight Specials for 11/26-11/29 THURSDAY to SUNDAY from 1PM-6PM!


• Kids Route 66 Graphic Tees $3.99 (Reg. $7.99)

• Essential Home 7.5' x 9.5' Rug in a Bag $34.99 (Reg. $69.99)

• All Multi-Roll Wrap 50% Off (Reg. $7.99)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to follow @KmartDealsnNews and use the #KmartBLS hashtag for a chance to win every day! For more info & rules: http://tr.im/KmartBLS. Good luck!




Sunday, November 22, 2009

Help Kids Love History with the Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor Book Series (Giveaway)


I have always loved history. After all, history is really just hearing real-life stories! I’ve always been fascinated by how the early American settlers lived; by the building of the pyramids in Egypt; by the hardships faced by those in the Outback of Australia; and by the lives of ninjas and geishas in Japan. Unfortunately, many kids (and parents) today have a bad image of history. If it’s not taught correctly, it can seem like just a bunch of useless dates and boring facts. Therefore, it’s important to make history come alive for kids.

A book series by Lori Jordan-Rice, a former elementary school teacher, is perfect for teaching kids about history without the usual boredom. These books are so entertaining that they may even set kids down the road to being history lovers! (I think that reading Little House on the Prairie books as a child really made me interested in history.) Here’s a peek at the adventures in the first two books in the series:

Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor follows Tyler, a boy who hates school—that is, until he unlocks a secret trapdoor beneath his desk in Miss Trimble’s classroom. Tyler unexpectedly falls into a mysterious basement filled with old books and guarded by a magical talking dog named Barnabas Bailey. His new companion takes him back in time, guiding him through American history firsthand and teaching him life lessons along the way.

In the second book of the series, Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor: The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus, Tyler continues his travels through time with this trusted canine companion, Barney. As they witness Columbus as a boy, a young man, and finally sail aboard the Santa Maria with Columbus himself, Tyler realizes that even a great explorer can face setbacks before reaching his dream. He learns he has to believe in himself to achieve his goals of playing on the school basketball team and delivering an oral report on Columbus in front of the whole class.

These beautiful, illustrated, hardcover chapter books are geared toward kids from ages 6-12. Children can also go to www.MissTrimblesTrapdoor.com to write to Tyler and Barney, and access crossword puzzles and word searches, as well as kid-friendly history links. And parents can order books here, too! I’m really looking forward to future books in the series:

Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor: The Courage of the Pilgrims
Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor: The Independence of the Founding Fathers
Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor: The Adventurous Spirit of Lewis and Clark


As author David C. McCullough said: “History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” It’s important for kids to learn about the past so that they can be prepared for the future. The Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor series is an excellent place to start for teaching kids about history and the lessons it has to impart.

GIVEAWAY


I have a copy of the first two books in the series, Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor and Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor: The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus, to give away to one lucky winner! To enter, leave a comment below describing an event from history that has always interested you or a history book that has impacted you. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries by:

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar.

- 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. (It’s easy to retweet by using the Bookmark button at the bottom of this post.)

- Putting a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog (the code is in the upper right-hand column of this site) and/or a text link on your blog roll. 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. (3 entries; leave a separate comment for each)

- 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 or Kindle (see sign-up options on left sidebar). Leave a comment for each subscription method.

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Sunday, December 6, 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 the winner, Carol M.!




Saturday, November 21, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award


Thank you so much to Rondi at WAHM Resource Site who just presented me with a Superior Scribbler Award! It’s such an honor to be recognized for my “scribbling skills”! My kids are very proud.

The rules are as follows:

• Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

• Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

• Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.

• Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List.

• Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

There are so many blogs that I love to visit, so it was really tough to narrow it down to just five. But these five bloggers definitely demonstrate superior scribbling skills and always have something meaningful to share:

Melinda Wentzel at Planet Mom


Jean Ann Duckworth at A Life of Simple Joy


Shelby Tutty at Prologue to a Twins Blog

Mark Hundley at Living in the Meantimes

Kate at Busted Plumbing