Thursday, September 30, 2010

Halloween Googly Bands: An Inexpensive and Healthy Alternative to Candy!

If you’re like me, you dread the after-Halloween battle over all the candy your kids receive. My children always get so much candy, and we have to hide it in an inaccessible place so my boys don’t try to eat it all at once. It’s a constant whine every day for more candy! Unfortunately, I don’t have the heart to tell my kids they can’t treat-or-treat or throw out all the expensive candy. However, it would be great if more parents chose to give out something other than sweets. Here’s a fantastic new option that just came out this year: Halloween Googly Bands!

Kids are absolutely crazy about these fun-shaped and colorful rubber bands they can wear, collect and trade. And now they’re available in Halloween themes and decorative packages that are perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters. You can either purchase Halloween Googly Bands in normal packs of 12 for about a dollar a pack. Or you can get them in treat packs, similar to the big candy bags available this time of year. Each Googly Band Halloween Trick Bag contains 18 smaller packets, each with 3 Halloween Googly Bands. They are PERFECT for little princesses and superheroes.

My kids were absolutely thrilled with the Halloween Googly Bands. They would definitely give up a high-calorie candy bar in exchange for a pack of Googly Bands! Your house will be very popular with trick-or-treaters when word gets around that you’re handing out Halloween Googly Bands. You can purchase Googly Bands at Walmart, Walgreens, Publix, Rite-Aid, and many other stores. Visit www.googlybands.com or www.facebook.com/googlybands today!




DISCLOSURE: I received a package of Halloween Googly Bands to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.

Finalists and Winners for Cynthia Roberts’ Wind Warrior Giveaway

I have randomly selected five finalists for Cynthia Roberts’ Wind Warrior Giveaway. The names of the following five people will be forwarded to Cynthia for the Grand Prize drawing to potentially win one of her prizes: a romantic two-lid willow picnic basket with deluxe service for two; a succulent Godiva chocolate tier; an exquisite pearl and crystal necklace; and two $25 Amazon gift certificates! If you’re one of the following five finalists, please check your inbox or spam box and reply with your contact information right away so we can get you into the drawing. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Finalists:

Carole Spring
deb126
Tabathia
shala_darkstone
fdigsby

UPDATE

Cynthia announced the winners of her giveaway. Sadly, none of them were from this blog. Hopefully, we'll be luckier when she releases the next book in her series!

Kara Piehl - Basket for Two - from the Book of Secrets Blog
Barbara Platt - Godiva Tier - from the Shibley Smiles Blog
Jan Herberger - Necklace - from the Intense Whisper Blog
Pamela Shockley- $25 Amazon Gift Card - from Cakeblast.com
Melissa Barnes - $25 Amazon Gift Card - from the Simply Stacie Blog

The 5 hosting blogs chosen as the grand prize winners are:

Candace Redinger - Candaces Reading Blog - Basket for Two
Christie - The Fiction Enthusiast - Necklace
Aleksandra Nearing - Busy Working Mama - Godiva Tier
Carla Costa - Cuidadocomodalmata - $25 Amazon Gift Card
Yvonne - Divas Book Case - $25 Amazon Gift Card

Vapor Steam Cleaners Sanitize and Clean Without Chemicals!

I still remember when they used to clean the carpets at one of my former workplaces. As soon as we walked into the office in the morning, we could smell the harsh chemicals. Some people even had to go home because they reacted so severely (nausea, watery eyes, etc.). Not only was it uncomfortable, but I was very concerned about the long-term impact from exposure to these potent chemicals. Fortunately, modern technology has given us some healthier and more environmentally friendly options for cleaning carpets and other surfaces.

One of these options is a vapor steam cleaner for carpet cleaning. This is not a vacuum, conventional steam cleaner or pressure washer. Instead, it uses a small amount of water and electricity to clean, sanitize, and deodorize without the use of chemicals.

And vapor steam cleaners aren’t just for your carpets. They can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, with the exception of those that are extremely heat sensitive (like the paint on your car). And because they use such a small amount of water, soft surfaces like mattresses and carpets dry almost instantly! I remember our carpets being wet for hours after my dad cleaned them when I was a kid. That doesn’t happen with a vapor steam cleaner. In addition, dust mites, fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae are killed instantly by exposure to vapor. This makes vapor steam cleaners especially valuable for pet owners and people who suffer from allergies.

Vapor Systems has a complete line of residential and commercial vapor steam cleaners for carpet or other surfaces. They’ve designed each vapor steam cleaner to be easy to operate and maintain, and they’re backed by a terrific warranty. I hope you’ll say “no” to chemicals for cleaning your carpets and check out the products at Vapor Systems. They even offer free shipping on orders of $99 or more in the continental US and Canada.



DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post intended to share the benefits of vapor steam cleaners.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Video Game Review: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Video games are very popular with my four boys! My son in college often plays them online with his friends who go to other colleges. My high-schooler is definitely an expert on video games, and my six-year-old twins are just getting into them. They recently had the opportunity to try out the brand-new game: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, based on the hit movie that’s currently in theaters! It’s available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS. My boys tested out the Wii version.

First, a little bit about the game:
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole provides fans with the ultimate extension of the movie by allowing players to create their own Guardian of Ga’Hoole and experience the film’s storyline from a new perspective. In the game, a young owlet named Soren arrives at the Great Ga’Hoole Tree and tells of his escape from the evil Pure Ones, revealing a new threat to the owl kingdom. Players in this single-player game take on the role of Shard, seeking to protect owl civilization from demise. The game features beautiful environments, soaring flight-sim action, and a fun-to-play representation of the world of Ga’Hoole.
My six-year-olds had no problem learning to play this game (although it is recommended for ages 10+ due to fantasy violence). They easily mastered flying and picking up objects like hot coal. They loved how they could customize their characters and pick which owl they wanted to be -- horned, barn, great gray or spotted -- each with its own special abilities. One of my sons told me, “I’m the good owl, and I get to fight bad owls. My favorite part is when I got to fight the king bat!”

Here is my 17-year-old’s review of the game: “It is very fun to fly around like an owl. The flight controls are pretty good, although occasionally a little shaky, and it allows for fun missions where you can fly and race across open expanses at great speeds. It is during these open flight sections that the game really shines…. The game also allows you to customize your owl’s speed, attack, and health so you may find yourself replaying this a couple times to try out new combinations and equipment sets. This game will definitely be enjoyable to younger kids and fans of the movie.”

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is now available just about anywhere they sell video games!




DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this game to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission on sales made through the Amazon link at left.

Check Out the New Season of FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman on October 4th

I get tired of watching the same old shows over and over with my kids, so I’m always excited to discover a show we all love that we’ve never seen before. FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman on PBS KIDS GO! is one of those shows. Even though this show is entering its fifth season, we missed it somehow. But not anymore!

We were blessed with a screener about the brand-new season, which starts on Monday, October 4th. In the first show, six kids receive exciting phone calls to find they’ve been selected to travel around the country to master Ruff’s crazy challenges in order to earn the title of the FETCH! Season 5 Champion! (In case you haven’t guessed, Ruff is a cartoon dog!) In 20 new episodes, they’ll explore animals, arts, and more. On the first episode, they take off on a Viking-driven duck boat! In other episodes, the kids learn magic from famous magicians Penn & Teller, save baby sea turtles, explore an abandoned gold mine in Colorado, and meet up with some wolves at Yellowstone National Park.

FETCH! is funded in large part by the National Science Foundation, and is focused on exposing 6- to 10-year-olds to the three A’s of art, animals, and adventure. I hope you’ll join this exciting show for its season premiere on Monday, October 4, 2010. My 6-year-old boys loved every minute of FETCH!

Go to http://pbskids.org/fetch/ to learn more about FETCH!, play games, and find out what time it’s shown in your town.





DISCLOSURE: I received a screener for the season premiere of FETCH! No other compensation was provided.

Wordless Wednesday: Proud New Tiger Scout


Monday, September 27, 2010

It’s Time You Got Your Own Business Cards at UPrinting.com! (Giveaway)


Business cards aren’t just for executives anymore. Have you ever been at the park with your kids and met another mom that you wanted to stay in touch with? Just whip your business card out of your purse and she’ll know how to contact you! And they’re great for bloggers, too. When you mail out a prize (on those occasions when it doesn’t come from the sponsor), it’s a great idea to put your card in it because you’re more likely to get an email telling you that the prize arrived safely. And business cards are definitely a must-have if you’ll be attending any conferences. I’m sure you can think of many more reasons to have a business card. My parents used to spend a couple of months a year in an RV, and they had business cards made so they could stay in touch with people they got to know in the campgrounds.

At UPrinting.com, they have an excellent selection of business cards. What I like about them is that they don’t look too business-y. They have square cards or slim cards. They have rounded corners, leaf shapes, circular cards, and more. They have gloss and matte finishes. You can have your cards printed on the front side only or on both sides. You can design your own or use one of their templates, which are fantastic! Check out some of them below:


The designs above are just a tip of the iceberg. They have hundreds of templates. Or if you’re creative, you can do your own original design. You’ll love browsing through all of the colorful and unique business cards at UPrinting.

GIVEAWAY

I’ve been given the opportunity to present the following giveaway to one lucky winner!

250 Die Cut Business Cards for One (1) Winner – Specs:

2 x 3.5”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.75 x 3.5” (slim card)
Die cutting options available: Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded One-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle
Paper Type: 14pt Cardstock Gloss, Matte, or High Gloss; 13pt Cardstock Uncoated
Color: 4Color Front, Blank Back; 4Color Front, Black Back; 4Color Both Sides

To enter, go to www.uprinting.com/business-cards.html and browse through their fantastic business cards. Then return here and leave a comment with the specific name of a design that caught your eye. (Don’t worry, you can change your mind if you win the giveaway!) You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional additional entries by… (leave a separate comment for each)

- Following UPrinting (@UPrinting) and Susan Heim on Parenting (@ParentingAuthor) on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You may tweet 3 times a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet)

- 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. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 3 entries)

- Liking UPrinting on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Liking Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar. Leave a comment. (1 entry)

- 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. (1 entry for button; 1 entry for text link)

- 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)

- Receive 5 extra entries if you commented on this Birthday Page before 11:59 PM on September 6. Leave 5 comments saying, “Birthday Bash #1,” “Birthday Bash #2,” etc.

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Monday, October 11, 2010, at 11:59 PM EST. 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 is limited to US residents only 18 years old and above.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, gmissycat!



DISCLOSURE: As a thank-you for hosting this giveaway, I will receive 250 Die Cut Business Cards from UPrinting. No other compensation has been provided.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

5 Tips for a Perky Pup

Guest Post by Susan Weiss, Founder of Ark Naturals & Natural Pet Health Care Expert

It’s National Dog Week -- a great time for families to “paws” and pay extra attention to their hairiest member! Here are five fantastic tips from Natural Pet Health Expert Susan Weiss, Founder of Ark Naturals (www.arknaturals.com), which specializes in all-natural products for dogs and cats.

1) Remember to create “us time” for you and your pet!

We’re all so busy -- and as much as we love our pets -- feeding them and keeping them safe is the norm but not really enough. Very often they are ignored. Remember, dogs are pack animals, and they need a little “us time.”

2) Remember to cut their nails, clean their ears and check their oral health regularly.

Long nails on a dog are incredibly uncomfortable for the dog. Dogs that go to groomers are normally okay in this department -- but so many dogs are not the monthly grooming type. If you can’t cut them yourself, take them to your vet or a groomer. Also, be sure to use an all-natural ear and dental remedy on a regular basis, such as Ark’s Ears All Right and Brushless Toothpaste.

3) Leave the TV or radio on when you leave the house.

Yes, my dog actually watches TV. He hates being alone, and the TV calms him. Give your dog a special treat when you leave home by turning on some form of background noise. They won’t feel as lonely and will associate your leaving with a good thing.

4) Take your dog for a longer walk than usual (but be conscious of potential joint pain!).

It’s good exercise for your dog and great exercise for you. Once a week or on the weekend, don’t rush your walk and go that extra distance. Be conscious of joint pain and stiffness, however, and make them more comfortable with joint care remedies such as Ark’s Joint Rescue.

5) Don’t give up teaching your dog “company manners.”

Dogs like to be around people! If they could talk, they would tell you that it’s not fun being alienated in another room or put outside when guests come to the house. But jumping, barking, and aggressive behavior to guests in your house is not okay. Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks! Your friends will love you for it -- and your dog will be happier because he will be in the crowd instead of being chased away.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mom’s the Expert: The 411 on Baby Hair Care

Guest Post by Tami Dimmerman
Mom of two and founder of Le Baby hair gel

NOTE: When Tami Dimmerman’s young daughters suffered from very sensitive skin, she did extensive research in search of hair products that could tame her girls’ wild fly-aways without irritating their skin -- ultimately developing her own chemical-free, non-toxic hair gel Le Baby. Over the years, Tami has learned many tricks and tips for infant and toddler hair care sure to make the life of any parent easier. Below, she shares her Top 5 list of tips to help parents care for their young child’s hair while maintaining a healthy shine and texture.

Baby Hair Care 101:

1. Comb It Out
After washing and conditioning your child’s hair, always comb the hair while it is wet so that knots are less likely to occur. Use a wide- or thin-toothed comb (depending on texture) to comb hair so the little knots clear out before they become big tangles. Try not to use a large brush, which may actually create more tangles than prevent them.

2. Avoid Cradle Cap
Pay close attention to your child’s scalp to help avoid cradle cap, oily and flaky patches of skin on the scalp. This is due to dryness of the scalp and is common among newborns and babies. If it occurs, comb and wash out all the dry skin from the scalp and apply a lotion to the scalp and hair to prevent the dryness from returning. Do not use baby oil for an infant’s hair as this increases the risk of cradle cap.

3. Keep It Light
Only use baby products for your infants’ hair until they turn one and have more hair. Products we use for our own adult hair and scalp may contain harsh ingredients for a baby’s hair. Baby lotion and Vaseline are great products that keep your child’s hair and scalp moisturized and healthy until more hair starts appearing.

4. Tame Wild Hair
Protect your child’s hair from static cling and frizz that can be due to cold, humid or rainy weather. When the wild weather makes your child’s hair wild, tame it with a non-toxic hair gel or lotion to keep the hair under control.

5. Mix to Shine
Mix products that work well together. After washing your child’s hair, use a baby lotion to rub onto your infant’s hair and scalp to keep skin and hair moisturized. Then, put Vaseline on your infant’s hair to maintain the healthy shine and texture of their hair.

About Le Baby Hair Gel
Created by Tami Dimmerman, Le Baby hair gel is a styling gel free of harsh chemicals meant to define wispy curls and tackle unruly hair. From taming those wild fly-aways to smoothing frizzies, Le Baby hair gel works on all hair types and is hypoallergenic for sensitive skin. The unique formulas leave hair shiny, healthy looking and more manageable. Available at www.lebabyinc.com, Price $9.95

Meet Tami Dimmerman
Tami searched for a product that would tame and style her daughter Chloe’s fly-away hair without aggravating her eczema or irritating her sensitive skin. She hoped to find a safe, gentle and effective gel without harsh chemicals or potentially harmful ingredients. Unwilling to settle for what was in the marketplace, Tami spent months experimenting with different all-natural formulas until, through animal-free testing, she found the perfect combination and solution.

Image of baby: Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, September 24, 2010

How to Have a Successful Sleepover

Guest post by Tim Handorf

“Mom, can I have a sleepover?” Sleepovers, slumber parties, nightovers, whatever you call them, are somewhat of a rite of passage for every child. If your child hasn’t asked you to host one or let them attend one yet, it’s just a matter of time before they do. But should parents take precautions before planning a sleepover or sending them to someone else’s house?

According to a recent interview on CBS’ The Early Show with Shannon Eis, a parenting expert and Time to Play magazine contributor, sleepovers can cause moments for alarm. However, there are several ways for you to ensure your child is safe, comfortable and has a successful slumber party. Here is a breakdown of what she said:

First things first, it’s imperative to make sure that your child is truly prepared for a sleepover. It varies with each child, but signs that indicate your child is not ready are the following: Clings when you leave him/her, does not like to participate in new experiences, and regularly wets the bed.

Eis says the appropriate age to begin having sleepovers is usually around 5 or 6. She suggests that children younger than 6 try having sleepovers with family members. This way, children start to get comfortable with the idea and realize that you will pick them up in the morning, something Eis says is the number-one fear for most young children. She also suggests that if you are the host parent, do not “invite more children than there are the actual age of the child.” For instance, if your daughter/son is 5 years old, do not invite more than 5 children. The following are additional tips she gave to make sure your child has a smooth slumber party:

1. Talk to the host parent: It’s perfectly okay to ask questions about the host parent’s home and dynamics, Eis says. If you want to know if the home has firearms, internet (you might want to check in with your child via skype) or if you would like to know how many siblings your child’s friend has (i.e. any older brothers you might feel uncomfortable having your daughter around), then it’s important to ask upfront. It’s also important to inform host parents if your child has any specific rituals, such as going to the restroom right before bed, to prevent problems during your child’s stay.

2. Leave lights on: Eis says that because children tend to get spooked and trip in the dark, it’s best to leave on the lights. She also suggests passing out flashlights as party favors so that children who might be afraid of the dark are comfortable.

3. Plan wind-down activity: While most sleepovers don’t involve any actual sleep, Eis says it’s really important to set and stick to a reasonable bedtime. Eis suggests planning a wind-down activity such as reading a bedtime story or letting the little ones watch a program -- anything that lets them know the evening is coming to a close.

4. Set a pick-up time: Lastly, Eis says to set a specific time that the child needs to be picked up so that the host parent will have a ball-park figure of when their life can return back to normal and they can start cleaning, etc.

By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Tim Handorf, who writes on the topics of online colleges. He welcomes your comments at his email Id: tim.handorf.20@googlemail.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

VivaPrime: Fighting Child Malnutrition (Plus, a Nutritional Supplements Giveaway!)

Can you imagine going blind from a vitamin deficiency? In the United States, that’s practically unheard of, but in other parts of the world, an estimated 190 million children suffer from vitamin A deficiency (VAD), and 350,000 go blind every year from the condition. Here are more sad statistics: One-third of child mortality is caused by under-nutrition. In addition, 450,000 children under five die each year due to zinc deficiency, and 136,000 deaths are caused by iron-deficiency anemia. Shocking, isn’t it?

VivaPrime, a global leader in providing nutritional supplements that promote holistic healthcare, has partnered with Vitamin Angels to prevent child malnutrition and provide essential nutrients to children in need worldwide. Vitamin Angels is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing vital nutrition in the form of supplements to developing countries, communities and individuals in the U.S. and around the world. VivaPrime donates 1% of all sales to Vitamin Angels and, through the Save a Life campaign, VivaPrime will donate $.25 to Vitamin Angels for each person who “Likes” the VivaPrime Facebook page. For just twenty-five cents, Vitamin Angels can help a single child with both vitamin A and antiparasitics for an entire year!

Watch this short video about this valuable program:



[Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to access the video online.]

Although Americans rarely suffer from the nutritional problems faced by those in other countries, we often fail to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, putting our health at risk. With this in mind, I encourage you to look at VivaPrime’s product line. They provide 11 different formulas designed to address specific areas of your health, such as vision, cardiovascular health, skin, brain function, digestive health, and more. Please visit VivaPrime at the websites below to learn more about their holistic nutritional health products!

Website: www.vivaprime.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivaprime
Twitter: www.twitter.com/VivaPrime

GIVEAWAY

VivaPrime has generously offered one box each of their Ultiwoman (advanced daily nutrition for women) and Beauty (promotes youthful, radiant skin, hair & nails) formulations to one lucky winner! To enter, visit www.vivaprime.net and look around, and then return to this post and leave a comment about something you learned on the site. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional additional entries by… (leave a separate comment for each)

- Following VivaPrime (@VivaPrime) and Susan Heim on Parenting (@ParentingAuthor) on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You may tweet 3 times a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet.)

- 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. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 3 entries)

- Liking VivaPrime on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Liking Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar. Leave a comment. (1 entry)

- 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. (1 entry for button; 1 entry for text link)

- 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)

- Receive 5 extra entries if you commented on this Birthday Page before 11:59 PM on September 6. Leave 5 comments saying, “Birthday Bash #1,” “Birthday Bash #2,” etc.

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Sunday, October 10, 2010, at 11:59 PM EST. 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 is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, SalanderServant!



DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary samples of VivaPrime products to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided. I am not a health professional and this post should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with your physician before taking supplements.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healthy Choice Steaming Entrees: Yum, Yum, Yum!

Convenience foods aren’t always good for you, so it’s great to know there are some healthier alternatives when it comes to frozen prepared meals. Healthy Choice has a new line of frozen microwavable steaming entrees that are easy and quick to make, and they contain lots of veggies and generous cuts of meat. I had the Roasted Chicken Verde for lunch the other day, and it was loaded with peppers, corn and chicken, along with whole grain rice in a cilantro-lime sauce. It was delicious! In fact, there are 8 yummy varieties of Healthy Choice Steaming Entrées:

Chicken Romano Fresca
Garlic Herb Shrimp
Honey Balsamic Chicken
Lemon Herb Chicken
Portabella Parmesan Risotto
Roasted Chicken Verde
Rosemary Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Sesame Glazed Chicken

One of the reasons why these meals are so good is because they use steam to bring out the flavors of their quality ingredients. You just pop the entrée into the microwave (no poking holes, peeling back covers or stirring in the middle), and let the steam do its work! The result is a fresh-tasting and hearty dish. Much better than fast food -- and cheaper, too, at around $2.50 or so!

Next time you’re looking for some “fast food” for lunch or dinner, drive past your usual place and head for the freezer aisle of your local grocery store for some Healthy Choice Steaming Entrées!

Go to www.healthychoice.com to learn more about Healthy Choice Steaming Entrées. And be sure to visit Healthy Choice on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HealthyChoice and click the “Like” button!



DISCLOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Healthy Choice and received samples of their new steaming entrées to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Get Kids Excited About Science with KNOW Magazine!

One of my sons is a senior in high school, and he wants to major in a biology-related field in college. These days, that’s pretty unusual. Researchers tell us that the United States falls behind other countries in the number of young adults who are pursuing careers in science. One of the ways to change this dreadful statistic is to get kids excited about science at an early age. Science magazines for kids are a terrific way to do this!

KNOW Magazine, published by Mad Science, is geared toward children ages 6 to 9 and uses fun facts, games, puzzles, experiments and articles to make science fun and relevant for kids! It is published six times a year and is free of outside advertising. They cover topics like space, the human body, animals, and much more!

Would you like to check out KNOW Magazine? Click here to download a free copy of the Sept./Oct. issue. Do this with your kids so they can see all the great stuff inside! This issue focuses on shapes and patterns. My boys loved looking for the hidden pets in this issue and checking out the creepy see-through frog! Since we live in Florida, they were especially interested in the article on sea stars. This issue even shows you how to do string art! It’s chock-full of interactive and fun activities for kids in elementary school.

You can learn more about KNOW Magazine and subscribe at www.knowmag.ca. If your children are between the ages of 10-15, they’ll love YES Mag at www.yesmag.ca. Subscribing to these magazines is a wonderful way to instill a love of science in your children.

WIN!

To sign up to win a subscription to KNOW Magazine, click here! Five winners will be selected at random to receive a year-long subscription (6 issues) with enough science experiments, news, and articles to keep your child excited!



DISCLOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mad Science and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Surprise Me! Secret Santa Gift Exchange!


Join us for the Surprise Me! Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Christmas 2010


Surprise Me! Secret Santa Gift Exchange is a gift exchange/swap for bloggers. Each participating blog will be a Secret Santa & also receive a gift from a Secret Santa. There are No Sponsors for this event; it’s just like one big office party. After you receive your gift, you can tell everyone all about it on your blog.

$15 gift(s) + shipping = $20.00

Each Secret Santa will spend $15 on their gift. This can be one item or multiple items that total $15. We want everyone to enjoy the swap and their gift, so we have added category choices for you to choose from on the sign-up. This way, the Secret Santa will have an idea of what you like and everyone will enjoy their gifts.

Sign up will be open for 2 weeks and will end on Wednesday October 6th.

If you are interested in participating in the Secret Santa Gift Exchange, simply fill out the form and we will add you to the list.

After you sign up, snag the button and let your readers know that you are participating & that they can, too! After sign-up closes, we will notify everyone by email to let you know :

Who to ship to
What gift idea they like
When to ship by
Where to ship gift to.

We will email you updates, shipping deadlines and all other information needed after the list is closed.

No one will know who is whose Secret Santa, so shhh … it’s top secret!

Giveaway: Libman Freedom Spray Mop!

Yesterday, I wrote about how much I LOVE my new Libman Freedom Spray Mop. (Click here to read my review.) Today, I got the good news that Libman has generously offered to give a Freedom Spray Mop to one lucky reader of this blog! Hurray!

How can you enter? Go to www.libman.com/freedom-mop.aspx or to my review and read all about the Libman Freedom Spray Mop. Then return here to leave a comment on this post about your favorite feature of this terrific mop! You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries by... (leave a separate comment for each)

- Liking Libman on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Liking Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting (@ParentingAuthor) on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You may tweet 3 times a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet.)

- 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. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 3 entries)

- Following Susan Heim on Parenting through Google Friend Connect. Click on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar. Leave a comment. (1 entry)

- 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. (1 entry for button; 1 entry for text link)

- 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)

- Receive 5 extra entries if you commented on this Birthday Page before 11:59 PM on September 6. Leave 5 comments saying, “Birthday Bash #1,” “Birthday Bash #2,” etc.

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at 11:59 PM EST. 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 is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, Sue E.!



DISCLOSURE: As a reviewer for the Mom Bloggers Club, I received a complimentary Libman Freedom Spray Mop to facilitate my candid review. No other compensation was provided.

Book Review: Made by Hand, by Mark Frauenfelder

Have you ever made or fixed an item by yourself and felt the thrill of accomplishing something worthwhile with your own hands? Mark Frauenfelder says in his new book, Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World, that you can experience this thrill all the time when you become a do-it-yourselfer (DIYer). Making things yourself allows you to “become more engaged with the world … in a meaningful way.”

So, what stops us from doing more things by hand? Lack of time is certainly a contributing factor. But, says Frauenfelder, the biggest mental obstacle we face is that “Most people loathe failing so much they avoid trying things that require pushing past their current abilities.” But, he’s found, we’ve been looking at mistakes in the wrong way. Mistakes “are not only inevitable -- they’re a necessary part of learning and skill building. Mistakes are a sign that you’re active and curious. In fact, recent brain research suggests that making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn.”

In Made by Hand, Frauenfelder decides to embrace the spirit of screwing up and embrace a lifestyle of doing things with his hands. In the book, he describes his adventures when he plants and maintains a garden, raises chickens for eggs, makes wooden spoons and musical instruments, and even becomes a beekeeper! What I loved about this book is that Frauenfelder isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes. And he makes plenty of them! But it’s fascinating to read what he learns from each one and how they only increase his desire to be a DIYer.

Another great thing about the author’s passion for a DIY lifestyle is that it’s become a family affair. Fraudenfelder’s wife and daughters sometimes roll their eyes at his latest endeavor, but they usually end up going along for the ride and finding that a DIY philosophy is meaningful and rewarding. If you’re feeling dissatisfied by our disposable, throwaway culture, I highly recommend that you read Made by Hand to discover “the joy of using your hands to build a richer, more meaningful life.”

Visit www.boingboing.net/madebyhand to learn more about Made by Hand and author Mark Frauenfelder. Pick up a copy while you’re there or click on the Amazon link below.

About the author: Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of the most popular blog in the world, boingboing.net, with more than 5 million unique visitors a month. He is also the editor in chief of Make magazine, the leading publication of the do-it-yourself movement. He has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and The Colbert Report and has written for The New York Times Magazine, Popular Science, The Hollywood Reporter, CNN, and Business 2.0.





DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my candid review. No other compensation was provided. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission made on sales through the Amazon link at left.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Love My New Libman Freedom Spray Mop!

If there’s one thing that I absolutely hate to clean, it’s floors. It hurts to get down on my hands and knees to scrub. But using a mop is no better because it’s such a mess and a tedious process to constantly rinse out the mop and slop it around on the floor. So, I’m shocked to hear myself say that I love my new mop! What would inspire such ardor? It’s called a Libman Freedom Spray Mop. And it really has given me “freedom” from the formerly horrible job of washing my floors.

There are plenty of things to love about the Libman Freedom Spray Mop:
  • You get to pick your own cleaning solution. It comes with a removable bottle that’s super-easy to fill with whatever liquid cleaner you like to use on your floors.
  • The microfiber pad on the mop is safe on all floors and can be machine washed up to 50 times! That’s a huge savings compared to other mops that require you to purchase disposable one-use pads.
  • There are no batteries, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them. The cleaner is dispensed through a handy trigger sprayer that allows you to decide how much liquid to put on the floor. No more heavy and messy buckets!
  • The mop comes fully assembled, which is great for non-DIY moms like me. You can find it in the mop and broom section of your favorite store.
  • It’s very reasonably priced between $19.99 and $24.99. That’s a steal for how fantastic this mop is!

Check out my bathroom tile floor after using the Libman Freedom Spray Mop! Isn’t it gorgeous?


Go to www.libman.com/freedom-mop.aspx to learn more about the Libman Freedom Spray Mop, watch a video of this mop in action, and even download a $5 off coupon! And join Libman on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/libmancompany.



DISCLOSURE: As a reviewer for the Mom Bloggers Club, I received a complimentary Libman Freedom Spray Mop to facilitate my candid review. No other compensation was provided.

Children’s Book Review: The Changing Colors of Amos

Everyone knows that leprechauns are green, right? Not all of them! In the children’s book, The Changing Colors of Amos, we learn that at least one little leprechaun becomes a different color every single day! On Monday, he is “like swirling gray clouds playing tag with the thunder”! On Tuesday, Amos is “as blue as the ocean when seen from the sky.” On subsequent days, Amos turns red, purple, yellow, and orange. But Sunday is a special day because he turns the color of his dreams!

In The Changing Colors of Amos (by John Kinyon, with illustrations by Kay Selvig Flanders), children will be charmed by the rhyming verse and colorful illustrations. They’ll learn about colors, the days of the week, word play and emotions. This beautifully written and illustrated book will be a cherished part of any children’s bookshelf!

Visit http://cherishedpublications.com/ to learn more about The Changing Colors of Amos and order a copy -- or click on the Amazon link below.




DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my candid review. No other compensation was provided. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission on sales made through the Amazon link at left.