Thursday, March 31, 2011

Enter to Win a $500 Gift Card to Growing Tree Toys in the Super Review Contest!

Imagine the fun you could have with a $500 gift card for a toy store! Now you’ve got the opportunity to have this experience through Growing Tree Toys’ Super Review Contest! Throughout the month of April, anyone who visits their site and writes an approved review is entered to win a $500 gift card to Growing Tree Toys. The more reviews you write, the more chances you have to win the grand prize!

- Write 5 approved reviews -- get 5 contest entries per review!

- Write 6-10 approved reviews -- get 10 contest entries per review!

- Write 11+ reviews -- get 25 entries per review!

In addition, each day one person from all the submissions for the month will win a $10 voucher for merchandise!

On top of the entries into the contests, you’ll also receive the regular benefits of Growing Tree Toys’ Rewards program. You’ll get 25 points for a standard text-based review that is at least 50 words. Add a photo for 50 points or a video for 75 points. Not in Rewards yet? You’ll also earn points just for signing up!

Go to www.growingtreetoys.com/super-review-contest.html for details about Growing Tree Toys’ terrific Super Review Contest! Deadline: April 30, 2011.



DISCLOSURE: As a member of Growing Tree Toys’ Blogger Network, I will be entered into a bloggers’ contest to win a toy prize package. No financial compensation has been provided.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Have a Delicious Easter with Swiss Colony -- and Enter This Spring Giveaway!

As a child, I always looked forward to going to the mall at Christmastime and checking out the big display from The Swiss Colony. Their cakes, petits fours, meats, cheeses, and much more always looked so delicious! And, of course, eating them was even better than looking! My sister and I always got excited when a Swiss Colony package arrived as a gift. But The Swiss Colony is not just a place for great Christmas gifts. It’s also an amazing place to shop when you want to send something very special for Easter! Their new spring items include some of these mouth-watering items:

Easter Cake Trio


My family was sent the delectable Easter Cake Trio pictured above, and the cakes were mouth-watering! The flavors are lemon, chocolate, and vanilla with a creamy filling. They were irresistibly heavenly!

Cocktail Jelly Belly Petits Fours


Luscious Lemon Cheesecake


Spring Flower Tower


There are many more wonderful items in The Swiss Colony’s new spring and Easter selection of goodies! Now’s the time to start thinking about sending something very special to your loved ones for the holiday. I hope you’ll visit www.swisscolony.com and send them a gift that will put a smile on their faces!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive the item of his or her choice from The Swiss Colony’s new spring and Easter items! Click here to check them out, and then leave a comment on this page with the item you would love to have (except for the Chihuahua because he sold out!). (If you hover your cursor over the product picture, you will see the name of the product.) This step is mandatory to enter the giveaway.

OPTIONAL ENTRIES (leave a separate comment for each after completing the mandatory entry):

- Follow The Swiss Colony (@TheSwissColony) and Susan Heim on Parenting (@ParentingAuthor) on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet this giveaway up to 3x a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet)

- Like The Swiss Colony on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Subscribe to The Swiss Colony email newsletter. (Sign up in bottom left corner at www.swisscolony.com.)

- Like Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook and/or follow on Networked Blogs. (1 entry for each)

- Subscribe 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)

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

- Put 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)

- Post 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)

- Enter another current giveaway listed on my right sidebar. Let me know in a comment which giveaway(s) you entered. (1 entry per giveaway)

- Leave a comment sharing another item you love besides the Easter and spring goodies at www.swisscolony.com. (1 entry)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at 11:59 PM 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 is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, paula michele!



DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product sample from The Swiss Colony to facilitate my candid review. No financial compensation was provided.

Video Review: Bausch and Lomb Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution

For many people, they love how contact lenses make them look, but not necessarily how contacts feel in their eyes. It’s common for them to become uncomfortable, and people sometimes give up on wearing them when that happens. That’s what happened to me after wearing contacts comfortably for twenty years! After my third pregnancy, my eyes changed (which is a common side effect with pregnancy), and I was never able to wear contact lenses comfortably again. However, my husband continues to wear contact lenses (no pregnancy effects for him!), so I asked him to try Bausch + Lomb’s new Biotrue multi-purpose solution. This solution has been developed to match the pH of our tears, keep beneficial tear proteins active, and lubricate the eyes naturally. And, of course, it also disinfects. In the following video, I share my husband’s impression of Biotrue. (Sorry, I look orange. Must have been the lighting in my bathroom!)




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

So, there you have it! As you just heard, my husband is thrilled with the performance of Bausch + Lomb Biotrue multi-purpose solution. We will continue to purchase it in the future! Visit www.biotrue.com to learn more about this terrific product.




DISCLOSURE: I wrote and conducted this review while participating in a Mom Central Consulting blog tour on behalf of Bausch + Lomb Biotrue. I received a Biotrue sample and a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My True Nature: Natural Bath and Body Products for Kids!


I’ve written quite a bit about my quest to use more natural products for my family. I have a long way to go in terms of going totally green, but when a switch to a natural product makes sense, then I’ll do it. I was recently introduced to My True Nature, which produces 100% natural bath and body products for kids! They contain organic ingredients, and are even packed in 100% FDA-approved recycled PET plastic bottles that are recyclable and reusable.

And the great thing about them is that they perform just as well as other products. The My True Nature bubble bath I used in my twins’ bath gave us lots of bubbles! And the shampoo and body wash made their hair and skin clean and shiny! I was very pleased with the performance of both of these products. They also carry lotion and hand soap.

Your kids will love them, too, because My True Nature products come from an imaginary place called TubbyTown! This cartoon wonderland features characters like Bobo the dragon, Milo the skunk, Clio the teddy bear, and Olli the octopus. They each have their own favorite product and personality.

Go to www.mytruenature.net to learn more about My True Nature bath and body products. You can purchase these products individually, as combos, or in cute gift sets. And they’ll soon be coming out with hooded towels, books, and more! When you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll receive a discount code for 10% off your order. I hope you’ll check out My True Nature today through the links below.

LINKS

Website: www.mytruenature.net
Blog: www.mytruenatureblog.net/ksuttonboyd/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/My-True-Nature/133041796710673
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/mytruenaturesf



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Exciting News About the Barnes and Noble NOOK That Your Family Will Love!

I’ve written before about how much I love my NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet from Barnes & Noble. Here’s an example of how handy it is. I was recently contacted to review a book by an author that I really love. However, the book features a character that had been introduced in one of the author’s previous books. Even though I was told it wasn’t necessary to read the first book to understand the second, I really wanted to get a sense of the character’s origins. So, I picked up my NOOK, typed in the book title, and within minutes I had the book I wanted for only $7.99. I was reading it that day! No trip to the bookstore. No disappointment if it was out of stock. And no waiting for an online order to arrive, thus delaying my review. It’s just amazing how convenient the NOOK is.

Another thing I love about the NOOK is that Barnes & Noble is always improving the features that are available. They’ve introduced the NOOK Color, added games and other apps, made it easy to read magazines and children’s books, and so much more. And today I learned about more great additions that I’m really excited to tell you about!

If your kids are big fans of Nickelodeon like mine, they’ll be excited to learn that Barnes & Noble is now offering the first-ever digital books featuring Nickelodeon characters, like Dora, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the Backyardigans!

And if you haven’t seen NOOK Kids’ exclusive AliveTouch technology (available for both NOOK Color and NOOK Kids for iPad), I highly recommend that you visit a Barnes & Noble store for a demonstration. This technology really brings children’s books to life! Kids can tap to turn pages, interact with the text, and zoom in and around gorgeous graphics in SpongeBob’s world under the sea or in places on Dora’s map. You can browse through the Nickelodeon collection for NOOK at http://bit.ly/hF6fnt.

And for the grown-ups, B&N recently expanded its digital magazine catalog! It now includes The Economist, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Saveur, ESPN The Magazine, and PC Gamer! (I’ll have to tell my teenage son about the last one!) Click over to www.barnesandnoble.com/nook-newsstand-digital/ to see the full line of magazines and newspapers available for NOOK Color.

And, finally, a little bird told me that there are more updates coming out for NOOK Color this spring that will allow users to explore exciting new applications, email, and many other requested features. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to find some of your favorite apps available for NOOK Color, including Angry Birds, Lonely Planet Phrasebooks and Drawing Pad, along with many, many more. Hurray!

If you haven’t yet had the amazing experience of reading books, magazines and newspapers on a NOOK Color, now’s a great time to do it. Honestly, I never thought I’d enjoy reading books on an eReader, but the NOOK Color changed my mind -- big time! I really, really love it. I hope you’ll check it out at your local Barnes & Noble or www.nook.com.

Irresistibly Adorable Baby Hats from Beanie Designs!

If you’re feeling down, you’ve just got to take a look at these pictures. If they don’t make you smile, then nothing will! Aren’t they precious?


All of these babies are wearing infant hats from Beanie Designs. If I had a baby, I would own a whole collection of these hand-crocheted hats! The good news, though, is that you don’t need to have a baby to purchase the handmade items at Beanie Designs. My seven-year-old son lost his hat at school a few months ago, so I was thrilled to find the perfect new hat for him at Beanie Designs!

My son loves his new hat (he picked it out himself), and it goes perfectly with his warm-weather coat.

Besides children's and baby hats, Beanie Designs also carries girls’ headbands, and they’ll soon be offering mittens and booties!


I am so in love with the adorable handmade children’s hats at Beanie Designs. They ship worldwide, and all orders shipped within the U.S. ship for free! These hats make a wonderfully unique gift. Imagine the big smile your friend will have on her face when she sees her baby in a Beanie Designs hat!

LINKS

Website: www.beaniedesigns.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/beaniedesigns
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BeanieDesign




DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary hat from Beanie Designs to facilitate my candid review. No financial compensation was provided.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It Wouldn’t Be Easter Without Hershey’s Candy -- Celebrate with This Hershey’s Giveaway!

Everyone knows that the Easter Bunny has a very special relationship with The Hershey Company! And each year, Hershey offers a very special collection of yummy treats for our hoppy friend to deliver. For instance, check out this delicious Hershey’s Solid Milk Chocolate Snapsy Bunny! It’s called “Snapsy” because you can easily break it apart into neat pieces for easy sharing.


And doesn’t this Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Egg with Chocolate Creme Center look mouth-watering?


This Easter, Hershey is also partnering with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment to provide Easter treats inspired by the characters in the new movie Hop! Other delicious Hershey’s Easter favorites include:
  • Cadbury Crème Egg
  • Reese’s Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Eggs
  • Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates in pastel-colored foils
  • Hershey’s Miniatures in pastel-colored foils
  • …and much more!
And when you visit Hershey’s special website at www.CelebrateWithHersheys.com, you can find some wonderful Easter recipes and craft ideas! For example, you can learn how to make these cute Pinwheel Party Favors.


I’d love to make this beautiful Flower Pot Bouquet!


This Foil Egg Wreath is so cute!


Now’s the time to start planning for a terrific Easter! As your first step, visit www.CelebratewithHersheys.com to make your candy shopping list, and find creative craft and recipe ideas. Don’t you love these Peanut Butter Bunnycakes?


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a Hershey’s Easter prize pack made up of Hershey’s Easter candy! To enter, visit www.CelebratewithHersheys.com and look around. Then leave a comment on this post with the name of a recipe or craft you’d like to try (that wasn’t mentioned in this review). You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries by:

- Following Hershey’s (@hersheys) and Susan Heim on Parenting (@ParentingAuthor) on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You may tweet this giveaway up to 3x a day (spaced at least an hour apart). Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet)

- Liking Hershey’s on Facebook. (1 entry)

- Liking Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook (1 entry) and/or following on Networked Blogs. (1 entry for each)

- 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 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 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 and www.CelebratewithHersheys.com. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post. (3 entries; leave a separate comment for each)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Monday, April 11, 2011, at 11:59 PM 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 is open only to US residents.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, CHarris!



DISCLOSURE: I received some complimentary Hershey’s candy as a thank-you for sharing this terrific information with you. No financial compensation was provided.

Save Magic City: Fantasy and Adventure in a Chapter Book for Kids

If your kids like magic and fantasy, then they’ll want to check out the book Save Magic City, by Rocsanne Shield. In this book, a boy and his mother find a mysterious stranger who turns out to be from the 13th century! Edmund has been banished to the United States in the year 2007. During his time period, he could do magic, but he can’t do magic in modern times unless it’s used to help someone. Naturally, Edmund is fascinated by things he could never have imagined, like computers and the Internet! In the meantime, times are tough in the small town where Edmund lands. Many people are unemployed, and banks are foreclosing on houses. Can Edmund use his magic to save the town? How will his new friend Leo and the other kids help?

Watch the following video to learn more about this book and its blog tour:



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

At close to 300 pages, this chapter book will appeal to kids in upper elementary school, middle school, or high school. You can learn more about author Rocsanne Shield and Save Magic City at http://rocsanneshield.com/. Rocsanne’s other books can be found at http://medievalhearts.com/.






DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was provided. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission on sales made through the affiliate links in this post.

I’m Test-Driving Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse!

I’m excited to share the news that I’ve been selected to participate in the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse Test Drive Program. (Whew, that’s a mouthful!) So, what does that mean? Over the next month, I’ll be using this new rinse twice a day as part of my regular dental routine and sharing my experience with this product.

Just so you know where I’m starting in my oral health practice, I currently brush my teeth twice a day and floss daily at bedtime. I haven’t used a mouth rinse or mouthwash for ages! Why? Mostly because of laziness. I work from home, so I figured that really fresh breath wasn’t that important since I don’t often interact with other people. But I realize now that I was being naïve because a good mouth rinse does so much for than freshen your breath. It actually improves your overall dental health. For example, the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse is designed to:
  • Kill germs
  • Reduce plaque
  • Help prevent gingivitis
  • Keep teeth cleaner longer (vs. brushing alone)
  • Freshen breath
  • Have an invigorating sensation
The first four on the list above were a surprise to me! So, now that I’m getting older, I know I need to do all I can to keep my teeth in good shape so they’ll last for many more years. That’s why I signed up for the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse Test Drive Program. I’m really excited to get started and see if I really can see a difference in how my teeth feel after a month of using this product. I hope you’ll join me!



DISCLOSURE: I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Crest and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central Consulting sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Reminder: Just a Few Days Left for Extra Entries!

Just wanted to remind you that there are just a few days left to get extra entries in any giveaway!

Just click on the picture below and then hit the "thumbs up" sign in the upper right corner to vote Susan Heim on Parenting into the Top 25 on Circle of Moms! For every day that you vote until voting ends on 3/30, you can take an extra three (3) entries into one giveaway of your choice. Just leave three separate comments on the giveaway post telling me that you voted for Susan Heim on Parenting on Circle of Moms. Every day that you vote, you can take three extra entries for the same giveaway or choose a different one.

Please help us make it into the Top 25 and get your extra entries! Even if you're not currently entering any giveaways, I would really appreciate your support with a vote!



Cheerios Could Make Your Dream of Becoming a Published Children’s Book Author Come True!

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing your words in print, you’ll want to enter the Cheerios® New Author Contest! They’re on a quest to find the next great new children’s book author, so this could be your chance to make your publishing dreams come true! One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a possible publishing deal with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, in addition to having your book featured inside Cheerios cereal boxes nationwide.

Cheerios’ New Author Contest is ongoing now and runs through July 15, 2011. Entrants must write and submit an original story (in either English or Spanish), which is suitable for children ages three to eight. If you think you have the “write” stuff, visit www.spoonfulsofstoriescontest.com for more information and to enter.

Also, in conjunction with the New Author Contest this year, Cheerios plans to donate 100,000 new books through its charitable partner, First Book. As part of its Spoonfuls of Stories® program, Cheerios works with First Book to get high-quality, award-winning books in the hands of children in need. Since the program’s inception in 2002, Cheerios has given away more than 50 million children’s books free inside cereal boxes. Cheerios has also donated $3.5 million to the nonprofit First Book® to get books to children from low-income families.

How Do You Hug a Porcupine? by 2009 New Author Contest Grand Prize Winner Laurie Isop, of Renton, Wash., will be featured inside 3 million specially marked boxes of Cheerios this spring! Isop’s charming story was selected from more than 8,000 entries, and will also be available in bookstores nationwide as of July 26. Ron Rauss of Warrenton, Va., is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 New Author Contest and his winning story, Can I Just Take a Nap?, will appear inside Cheerios cereal boxes in spring 2012.

You could be next! If you dream about being the 2011 New Author Contest Grand Prize Winner and seeing your original children’s book in print, head over to www.spoonfulsofstoriescontest.com for more information, and then get writing! I’d love to announce you as the next winner!




DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of How Do You Hug a Porcupine? as a thank-you for sharing this valuable information with you. No financial compensation was provided.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Winners for the Week of March 20, 2011

We had a very diverse assortment of terrific products to give away in the past week! Congratulations to the following winners. And please check the “CURRENT GIVEAWAYS” list in the right sidebar because I know you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to win an HD Flip Camera, a gorgeous handmade silk handbag, and much more! Thanks to those of you who entered, as well as our fabulous sponsors.

RAISELS PRIZE PACKAGE


Congratulations to the winner, Denise S.!

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: NEW MOMS


Congratulations to the winners, paulasue, Amy W., and Shairbearg!

STORAGE BOX FROM MASTER LOCK


Congratulations to the winner, Dani!

SHABBY APPLE DRESS


Congratulations to the winner, maryjaco1! She chose the beautiful “Garden Isle” dress pictured above.

FELICITY & CORDELIA: A TALE OF TWO BUNNIES


Congratulations to the winner, Amberpebs!