Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hurry for the Little Tikes Christmas in July Sale!

For their Christmas in July event this year, Little Tikes has put about 150 items on sale! (Do a quick search at www.LittleTikes.com for the phrase “Christmas in July,” and you’ll see ALL the fabulous deals!) And for the holiday weekend, Little Tikes is offering all of their loyal customers an extra 5% off. This even includes items already on sale! Just use the code BANG at checkout to redeem the 5% savings. (This is for your product total only before shipping and taxes. But don’t worry because they also have tons of items with Everyday Free Shipping!) But hurry: This extra special deal only lasts until Wednesday, July 6, 2011!



DISCLOSURE: I was not compensated for this post. I'm sharing it only for the benefit of my readers.

An Independence Day Gift from Ancestry.com!

I recently hosted a wonderful giveaway from Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource that helps people discover, preserve and share their family history! Now, I’m pleased to announce another great opportunity from Ancestry.com. In honor of Independence Day, Ancestry.com is launching the Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 -- a collection of more than one million applications from men with a direct link back to either a supporter or a participant in the fight for United States independence during the 18th century. These records can take a family back through two centuries of history in a single document. And for a limited time, from Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4, 2011, Ancestry.com is inviting the public to discover proof of their own link to the foundations of freedom by searching for ancestors in the collection free!

The applications contain references to Revolutionary War pension files, documented family and local histories, family Bible records, deeds, court documents, census records and typically include a short summary of the ancestor’s service. Nearly 165,000 members of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) can trace their family tree back to an ancestor who supported the cause of U.S. Independence during the years 1774-1783. Founded in April 1889, the Sons of the American Revolution seeks to honor the people and events of the American Revolution, and inspire the community with the principles on which our nation was founded. Its members include 16 former U.S. Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, as well as famous generals like Douglas MacArthur and John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, and even notable world figures like Sir Winston Churchill and Juan Carlos I, King of Spain.

The Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 provides a valuable resource for anyone trying to trace their ancestors back to the time of American independence. All applications required a pedigree and accompanying information to demonstrate a generation-by-generation link to a patriot ancestor. Over one million application records make it even easier to discover family members who might have been veterans of the Revolutionary War, members of Continental Congress or even signers of the Declaration of Independence.

To begin searching The Sons of the American Revolution Applications, visit www.ancestry.com/Independence. You can also follow Ancestry.com on Facebook and Twitter.

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? A Sallie Mae Survey, Tips, and Giveaway for a $25 Gift Card to Restaurants.com

Do you remember what career you wanted when you were a kid? Like most children, I went through various ideas, such as being a teacher or a flight attendant. At one point, I even wanted to be a nun! When I asked one of my 7-year-olds what he wants to be when he grows up, he said a “rock scientist” (geologist). I thought that was a great idea! Of course, by this time next year, his answer will probably be totally different! Sallie May, the number-one financial services provider specializing in education, recently launched the “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” survey. They’d love for you to visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/salliemaegrowupsurvey to share what your child wants to be when he or she grows up, as well as what you wanted to be when you were little!

In conjunction with this short and fun survey, they’ve also issued some tips on how families can help their kids get started on pursuing their career aspirations by being financially prepared for college. One in five American families with children who are likely to attend college name saving for higher education their top priority, according to How America Saves for College, conducted by Gallup and Sallie Mae. For the nearly half of those not saving for college, respondents reported that they do not know how (18%) or are not sure which are the best college savings options (28%). Sallie Mae offers these tips for families to help them get an “A+” for their college savings plans:

Build a plan. First, understand the full cost of college and build a plan to save for it. Sallie Mae’s free Education Investment Planner helps calculate and compare future college costs at more than 5,500 college and graduate schools across the country and provides an age-based estimate of how much to save. It helps users explore the different ways to pay for college (based on savings, scholarships, grants and student loans) and helps families predict the student loan payments once the child graduates. Families can create a savings goal and set up automatic deposits of $25 or more a month or deposit money annually as budget allows.

Start saving as early as possible in a dedicated college savings account. As mentioned above, most families save for college using two to three savings vehicles. Consider the following options:

o Build college funds tax free. 529 college savings plans are tax-advantaged ways to save for college, have no income limitations, and are easily transferable to another beneficiary if needed. Most 529 plans are sponsored by a state and many offer a state tax incentive or other benefits to residents (check 529.com for information on each state’s tax advantages). Family members can enroll in any 529 plan regardless of the state of residence without taxes or penalties. Earnings grow free of federal income tax as long as the withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses. Contributions to a 529 plan can be up to $13,000 ($26,000 if married filing jointly) a year or up to $65,000 ($130,000 if married) at once as long as no additional gifts are made to that beneficiary over a five-year-period.

o High-yield savings and Certificate of Deposit accounts: Sallie Mae’s savings and CD accounts are low-risk investment options with competitive interest rates (often one of the highest in the country), no monthly fees and no minimums. In addition, the high-yield savings accounts offer the ability to earn extra Upromise rewards to help your money grow.

Save more with Upromise by Sallie Mae. Earn extra money for college through Upromise. Since its inception 10 years ago, Upromise members have earned $600 million in college savings, the equivalent of a college education for 20,000 students. Joining Upromise is free and rewards members for eligible everyday spending with hundreds of participating merchants and by making purchases with the Upromise World MasterCard. Earnings can be invested in certain tax-deferred 529 plans, deposited in a high-yield savings account, used to pay down an eligible student loan or simply request a check. Even friends and family can sign up.

Give the gift of education -- especially during the holidays, birthdays and graduation. Sallie Mae’s How America Saves for College with Gallup found that 16 percent of families had help with college savings, with an average amount of $9,243 from family and friends. Thirteen percent of parents rely on gifts into college savings accounts as their primary way to save for college.

o Ugift with Upromise. With Ugift, gifts can easily be given directly to a child’s 529 college savings account administered by Sallie Mae’s Upromise Investments. Giving through Ugift has totaled more than $12 million since 2008.

Put your employer to work. Check your benefits at work as many companies offer employees the ability to contribute to a 529 plan through ongoing payroll deduction.

Kids can save too. Kids as young as school-aged can contribute to their future by setting aside money from a weekly allowance in their college savings account. Older kids can deposit earnings from baby-sitting, summer jobs or working part-time. It adds up over time and is an important reminder of their goal to attend college and a good lesson on saving.

My husband and I set up a college savings plan for our kids as soon as they were born! It’s never too early to get started. In fact, the earlier you start, the better. I hope you’ll give this some thought. And, in the meantime, be sure to take Sallie Mae’s quick survey about “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up”! As a thank-you, Sallie Mae is also offering the following gift for a reader of this blog!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will win a $25 gift card to restaurants.com courtesy of Sallie Mae! To enter, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/salliemaegrowupsurvey and fill out the quick survey. Then leave a comment on this post sharing what you and/or your child want(ed) to be when you grow up! You must do this to enter the giveaway.

After fulfilling the mandatory entry above, you can earn optional, additional entries if you:

- Follow @SallieMae and @ParentingAuthor on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet 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 Sallie Mae on Facebook. (1 entry)

- 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, Google Friend Connect and/or Kindle. Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 4 entries)

- Place 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)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Thursday, July 14, 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. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, clynsg!



DISCLOSURE: I was not compensated for this post in any way. Thanks to Sallie Mae for providing the gift card for this giveaway.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tween Magazine Review and Giveaway: Discovery Girls!

I vividly remember the years when I was a tween (between the ages of 8 and 13). I was so impressionable, and I longed for advice on subjects like clothes, hair, boys, puberty, and more. I didn’t have an older sister, and I was starting to get to the age where I didn’t always want to go to my mom. So, I often pored over magazines for information. Today, tween girls can get great info and guidance from Discovery Girls magazine! Their mission is “to inspire and encourage girls to be more confident and resilient and help them deal with those difficult situations that all girls run into growing up. We give them advice and wholesome content addressing everything from peer pressure, to hairstyles, to future careers.”

I really like that a lot of their content comes from other girls. Often, kids pay more heed to what their peers are saying than what adults tell them. It’s also comforting for tweens to find out that other girls are going through the same things they are and have the same questions. Discovery Girls even features “real girls” on their covers, not air-brushed celebrities who project an unrealistic image of beauty.

I had the opportunity to look through some recent issues of Discovery Girls, and they covered topics such as acne, teasing, friendship, embarrassing moments, lying and much more! The stories are presented in a way that appeals to young people, with lots of color, graphics, and quizzes, and minimal advertising. Articles range from the serious to the goofy, like Fun Pet Facts!

And Discovery Girls just released their special collector’s edition survival guide! It features 10 years of the best advice and stories from previous issues of Discovery Girls. This makes a great gift for girls who are just getting introduced to Discovery Girls and haven’t had the benefit of reading previous issues.

Discovery Girls even publishes books called Fab Girls Guides! Topics include Getting Through Tough Times, Friendship Hardship, Sticky Situations, and Getting Your Questions Answered. I have a copy of Fab Girls Guide to Getting Through Tough Times. It steers girls through issues related to friendship (rejection, bullying, etc.), family hardship (blended families, job loss, etc.), loss (crime, losing a parent, etc.), and other “dark times” (making amends, living with disability, etc.). It features personal stories from other teens and age-appropriate advice on getting through difficult times.

If you have a daughter, granddaughter or niece between the ages of 8 and 13, I highly recommend that you check out the Discovery Girls magazines and books. You can also visit the Discovery Girls website at http://discoverygirls.com/.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Discovery Girls, one lucky winner will receive a prize pack worth $70, which includes:

1) a one-year subscription to Discovery Girls magazine (6 issues; a $20 value)
2) 1 set of the Fab Girls Guides books by Discovery Girls (a $40 value)
3) 1 copy of the Collector’s Edition with 2 free gifts (a $10 value)

MANDATORY ENTRY: Simply leave a comment on this post sharing with whom you’d love to share Discovery Girls if you win! (No names are necessary; just “my daughter,” etc. is fine!)

After fulfilling the mandatory entry above, you can earn optional, additional entries if you:

- Follow @DGmagazine and @ParentingAuthor on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet 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) Sample tweet: Tween Magazine #Giveaway: Discovery Girls! 1-year subscription, special edition & 4 Fab Girls Guides! http://tinyurl.com/3f2ro2o @DGmagazine 7/13

- Like Discovery Girls on Facebook. (1 entry)

- 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, Google Friend Connect and/or Kindle. Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 4 entries)

- Place 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)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Wednesday, July 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. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, Marjorie!



DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Discovery Girls for providing product samples for this review and giveaway. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are 100% mine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Wayfinder, by Darcy Pattison

Reviewed by T.R., Teen Reviewer

The Wayfinder is a story about a young man who possesses the ability to locate anything. Using what is called “The Finding,” the protagonist, Win, is able to find anything that he can picture in his mind. While simple, this is an original take on the use of magic and is rather interesting in comparison to other fantasy novels, which tend to portray magic in a predictable way. Set in a fantasy world, the author provides hints of a grand setting and universe, but the story all takes place within only a short distance of Win’s hometown.

The plot line centers around Win and a telepathic dog, Lady Kala, going on a quest to find a magical well to cure the nation from a plague. They travel through some interesting places, such as a village where the residents magically enslave wolves to hunt for them. The story is a good length and doesn’t leave the reader wading through unimportant backstory.

My only complaint about the story is a subplot that draws from the story as a whole. Win is dealing with the grief and depression from the loss of a loved one that was partially his fault. While I generally would support any idea that gives a character more depth or emotion, Win’s constant internal conflict sometimes makes him come off as mopey and annoying.

On the whole, I recommend The Wayfinder. It’s a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Book website: www.thewayfinder.com
Author’s website, Fiction Notes: www.darcypattison.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DarcyPattisonAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/FictionNotes








Book Trailer:




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

GIVEAWAY

One lucky person will win a paperback copy of The Wayfinder, by Darcy Pattison. To enter, leave a comment on this post sharing the title of your favorite fantasy or sci-fi book. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

After fulfilling the mandatory entry above, you can earn optional, additional entries if you:

- Follow @FictionNotes and @ParentingAuthor on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet 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 Darcy Pattison on Facebook. (1 entry)

- 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, Google Friend Connect and/or Kindle. Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 4 entries)

- Place 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)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Tuesday, July 12, 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. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: Anonymous (jim.coyne2@verizon.net).

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to the author for providing product samples for this review and giveaway. The reviewer was not compensated for this review in any way and all opinions are 100% those of the reviewer. Amazon affiliate links belong to the blog owner.

Are You a Zhu-natic? Check Out Another Clip from the Upcoming DVD, Quest for Zhu!

Since releasing the first trailer for the upcoming ZhuZhu Pets DVD, Quest for Zhu, Zhu-natics everywhere have been asking to see MORE of the feature-length film. In the following clip, you’ll travel to the other side of the Zhu-niverse to meet ZhuFu -- the wisest of all Zhus! Check it out:



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

This is just the latest sneak peek at the upcoming ZhuZhu Pets adventure movie, Quest for Zhu, featuring Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, Chunk, and Num Nums. Stay tuned for more video clips. You can also become a fan of the Quest for Zhu movie on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ZhuZhuPetsMovie.



DISCLOSURE: MomSelect is hosting a series of blogger drawings as a thank-you for posting information about the upcoming Quest for Zhu DVD.

Teach Your Kids to Say “Thank You” with Customized Note Cards from Amy Adele!


One of my pet peeves is when children aren’t taught to send thank-you notes. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I just think it’s common courtesy to formally thank someone when they give you a gift, especially if the gift isn’t opened in the giver’s presence. I don’t know if this is common everywhere, but in our town the kids usually wait to open their birthday party gifts after they get home from the party place. My guess is that this is done to avoid the embarrassing “I already have this gift” or “I don’t like Transformers!” comments from our precocious little angels. I’m fine with that, but then I never hear from the family again after the birthday party! Out of all of the children’s birthday parties we’ve attended over the years (a lot!), I think we’ve received maybe three thank-you notes afterward. I really believe that our children should be taught to express their appreciation.

Knowing that kids aren’t going to get overly excited about writing a thank-you note, one way to motivate them is with their very own customized note cards! At Amy Adele, they have the most adorable note cards for kids! Check out some of these designs:


I ordered the Two Monkeys Flat Card shown below for my boys, and I adore it! I had their names printed at the top in a fun green font. When you order cards from Amy Adele, you get to pick the message in your choice of font style and color. The flat cards come with envelopes and are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. (Even their envelopes and shipping peanuts are eco-friendly!) My boys were so excited about the cards that I know they’ll be just as thrilled to write out their thank-you cards the next time they receive gifts.


Besides the flat cards, Amy Adele has a large assortment of other fun stationery and gifts. They carry invitations, labels, calling cards, announcements, gift tags, clothing, photo cards, holiday cards and much more! I love all of their unique and creative designs. I hope you’ll visit www.amyadele.com to pick up some personalized thank-you cards for your kids, as well as some of the other great products at Amy Adele. Sign up for the newsletter and get 20% off!



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.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.

Take Up the Challenge to Do Good Deeds and Make “A Better World”!

I have to admit that I’m not the kind of person who plays games on Facebook. In most cases, I just don’t see the point of playing! But I was recently introduced to a game on Facebook that has more noble intentions. It’s called A Better World. The point of the game is to do good deeds. And it not only rewards you for your successes online, but also for acts of kindness and expressions of gratitude in the real world! The game is designed to inspire you to support others, make positive choices and feel better about yourself. More than 120,000 players so far have explored the 15 locations in the game, such as:

Department of Do Good: share your real world good deeds and see what other members have done

Gratitude Grotto: reveal what you’re thankful for and support other members’ messages

Sanctuary of Hope: share your hopes and dreams while encouraging other players

Arcade: play uplifting mini-games with friends or alone

Better Pets Pet Shop: find and care for a virtual pet, such as a puppy, kitten or even a unicorn!


ToonUps created A Better World in the hopes of ushering in a new era of what they call “do good gaming.” Considering that so many games encourage players to “defeat” each other, I love the goal of A Better World, which actually aims to improve players’ emotional and spiritual well-being and encourage others to do the same. Check out this trailer for the game:



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

A game with a higher purpose? That’s my kind of game! If you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll check out A Better World at www.facebook.com/ABetterWorld. Create your own character and get started on doing good deeds, both virtually and in real life! It’s a win-win situation for everyone!



DISCLOSURE: I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: You Can Do a Graphic Novel, by Barbara Slate

Reviewed by T.R., Teen Reviewer

You Can Do a Graphic Novel, by Barbara Slate outlines how to tell a story in the simplest terms. Despite its title, however, this book could actually be used as a primer on how to write any story, not just a graphic novel. If you’ve ever taken a high school literature course, then this book would probably be beneath your level. However, if you have a middle-school child who is interested in writing, then this would appeal to him. The book outlines how to write a basic story, how to develop characters, how to combat writer’s block and many other things that any prospective writer should learn. It explains each item in simple enough terms for any age to understand and would help your child develop his early writing and artistic skills. For someone who has more experience with graphic novels, some of this information may be common knowledge (such as what a thought cloud looks like).

Most chapters deal with how to improve story structure or characters. I would have liked more information about the literary differences between a printed novel and a graphic one, which are two completely different modes of artistic expression. Also, as a fan of graphic novels, I wish the author had referenced other works in addition to her own. That said, this book is aimed toward a younger audience so it shouldn’t be faulted for its simplicity. As a starting point, it can help kids to generate ideas and learn how to structure their own graphic novel!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Slate has done it all. Her first character, Ms. Liz, appeared on millions of greeting cards, in a regular comic strip for Cosmopolitan magazine, as a spokesperson for Dupont’s Lycra and as the star in a series of animated segments on NBC’s Today Show. Her big break in comics came when she created Angel Love for DC Comics. From there, she created, wrote and drew Yuppies from Hell, and Sweet XVI for Marvel and put her own spin on the Disney classics Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Archie’s Betty and Veronica, and Mattel’s Barbie. Barbara’s art has been exhibited in many galleries and reviewed by The New York Times. She is profiled in the seminal work A Century of Women Cartoonists. Stan Lee, Chairman, POW! Entertainment and Chairman Emeritus, Marvel Entertainment, calls Barbara “titanically talented.” She is currently busy being a mom, doing a graphic novel titled, I Got Married and Other Mistakes, and teaching. Her website is barbaraslate.com.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky person will win a copy of You Can Do a Graphic Novel, by Barbara Slate. To enter, visit the author’s website at http://barbaraslate.com, and then leave a comment on this post with something you learned on the site. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

After fulfilling the mandatory entry above, you can earn optional, additional entries if you:

- Follow @ParentingAuthor on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet 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 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, Google Friend Connect and/or Kindle. Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 4 entries)

- Place 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)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Monday, July 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. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, esluka!

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Alpha Books for providing product samples for this review and giveaway. The reviewer was not compensated for this review in any way and all opinions are 100% those of the reviewer. Amazon affiliate links belong to the blog owner.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winners for the Week of June 19, 2011

A big “thank you” to everyone who entered these contests over the past few weeks. More great prizes are up for grabs in the CURRENT GIVEAWAYS list on the right sidebar. And I’ve got some great giveaways coming up, so keep checking!

GRIPSTIC 3-PACK ASSORTMENT


Congratulations to the winner, Angela (couponinggibsongal at gmail dot com)!

SET OF PERSONALIZED LUGGAGE TAGS FROM INVITATION CONSULTANTS


Congratulations to the winners, Emillie Rose, jbmthill, and fdigsby!

DINOSAUR TRAIN ALL ABOARD GAME


Congratulations to the winner, tamiv!


COMPANY KIDS CHILD’S BACKPACK



Congratulations to the winner, hity88!

$25 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO MY BABY CLOTHES BOUTIQUE


Congratulations to the winner, mummytotwoboys!

Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster? Don’t Forget Your Pet(s)!

Guest Post by Susan Weiss
Ark Naturals
http://www.arknaturals.com

The recent tornadoes, flooding and fires across the country are an ever present reminder of how vulnerable and precious our family pets are. With Hurricane Season getting started, it is time to start thinking about preparing emergency kits not only for your family, but also for your pets as well. Below are tips and ideas to consider when making a pet survival kit.

Pet Survival Kit

• Proper ID collar and rabies tag/license -- Make sure your pets have had all their shots within the past 12 months. Pet shelters will require proof of vaccinations.

• Carrier or cage

• Leash

• Ample food supply (at least two weeks)

• Water/food bowls

• Any necessary medication(s)

• Specific care instructions

• Newspapers, cat litter, scoop, plastic trash bags for handling waste

• Proper ID on all belongings

• Non-electric can opener


Sheltering Pets

Public shelters do not accept pets, so if you are planning to evacuate, you must plan in advance where your pets will go.

Do not leave pets home alone. It could be days or weeks before you return and your pets could starve to death, or flooding could cause needless drowning deaths.

There are pet-friendly hotels and motels where the entire family can stay, and pet shelters are located throughout the county.

Put your pet into a carrier as soon as possible when you are preparing to leave, as this will reduce stress and keep them from getting lost.

All animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have:

Proper ID collar and rabies tag

Proper ID on all belongings

Carrier or cage

Leash

Ample food supply (at least two days)

Water/food bowls

Any necessary medication(s)

Specific care instructions (i.e., medication, diet, etc.)

Newspapers, plastic trash bags for handling waste

Pet shelters will require proof that dogs have been vaccinated during the past 12 months.

All pets brought to a pet evacuation center should have a proper identification collar with leash, a properly-sized plastic or wooden carrier that allows your pet to stand and turn around, ample food supply (for at least two days) with water and food bowls, any necessary medication(s), specific instructions for education or diet, plus newspapers and plastic trash bags for handling waste.

Large animals also need to be considered in your plans. Know if you are located in a storm surge area and make plans to move animals to a safe area close to home.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Like Chocolate? You’ll LOVE Wonka Exceptionals! (GIVEAWAY)

I have to confess: I’m a chocolate lover! I usually have a supply of chocolate stashed away so that the kids don’t get into it. And I love really GOOD chocolate. Plain and common chocolate is okay, but fill it with something scrumptious, and I’m in heaven! I recently discovered Wonka Exceptionals chocolate collection, and this chocolate is amazing! I tried the following two new varieties:

* Triple Dazzle Caramel Bar – creamy milk chocolate filled with buttery caramel and a dazzle of sea salt
* Fantabulous Fudge Bar – velvety milk chocolate filled with decadent chocolate fudge

I honestly can’t say which one I liked better. Both had a very rich and creamy flavor, and were positively mouth-watering. Other flavors in the Wonka Exceptionals line include the Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar (made with toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate) and the Chocolate Waterfall Bar (made with creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate). I’ve got to get my hands on those two flavors, too! Wonka Exceptionals are available in full-sized large bars and bags of individually wrapped pieces. If you’re a chocolate lover like me, you’ll be positively drooling over Wonka Exceptionals. Visit www.wonka.com to find a store near you.

LINKS

Website: www.wonka.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/WONKAnation
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wonka

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a prize pack loaded with Wonka Exceptionals Triple Dazzle Caramel and Fantabulous Fudge Bars! To enter, visit www.wonka.com and check out their products. Then leave a comment on this post with the name of another Wonka product that you love. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

After fulfilling the mandatory entry above, you can earn optional, additional entries if you:

- Follow (@WONKAnation) and (@ParentingAuthor) on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet 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) You can use this tweet if you’d like:

Enter to #win a WONKA Exceptionals prize pack! Scrumptious chocolate! http://t.co/6ojtv8A @WONKAnation @ParentingAuthor #Giveaway ends 7/9

- Like Wonka on Facebook. (1 entry) Get another entry if you leave a comment on their wall saying that you entered the giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting! (Leave a second comment.)

- 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, Google Friend Connect and/or Kindle. Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 4 entries)

- Place 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)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Saturday, July 9, 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. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner, Angel Jacklyn!



DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Wonka for providing product samples for this review and giveaway. I was not compensated for this review in any way and all opinions are 100% mine.

Company Kids Celebrates Summer with Nautical and Pirate Themes!

Just in time for summer, Company Kids has a wide variety of nautical- and pirate-themed items for your kids’ bathtime, playtime, bedtime and more! Check out some of these adorable items from Company Kids.

For the Bedroom:

Sailboat Rods & Holdbacks: $29-$52


Company Kids’ curtain rods and holdbacks are topped with seaworthy sailboats that float against the sunlight for window treatments that sparkle with nautical flair. Add these curtain rods and holdbacks to your child’s room and create a window that’s ready to set sail from daytime to bedtime.

Stripe Rod Pocket Curtain Panel: $39-$59


These versatile window panels coordinate perfectly with all of Company Kids’ bedding collections, providing the perfect finishing touch for your child’s room. These cotton drapes are striped in red, white and blue, specially lined to help keep sunlight at bay.

Striped Blue Ball Rods & Holdbacks: $29-$52


These curtain rods and holdbacks are topped with preppy striped spheres that pop sunlight for a window treatment that fits beautifully in any boys’ room. Add these curtain rods and holdbacks to the window and create a look that’s sure to be the star of your child’s bedroom décor.

Pirate Hanging Letters: $10


Brightly-colored, 3-D letters spell f-u-n for any bedroom! Each letter is finished with a non-toxic paint. 6½"L x ¼"D x 8"H. Available in letters A–Z.

Mermaid Shimmer Percale Bedding: $32


Watercolor dreams full of colorful fish and beautiful mermaids come to life on this magical bedding, revealing an entire undersea world for everyone to see. She’ll drift off every night in the softness of this 200-thread-count cotton bedding, completely cozy and carefree.

Personalized Mermaid Canvas Wall Art: $55


Hand-painted with your child’s name in graceful script, this personalized wall art is printed on cotton canvas with a vibrant and playful scene from the ocean deep. Add a personal touch to her bedroom décor with beautiful mermaid wall art designed just for her!

For the Bathroom:

Hooded Towel - Pirate or Mermaid: $32


Kids will sail right into these hooded towels. Made from soft, absorbent cotton, these towels keep them warm and cozy. Little ones will look forward to bath time -- all the time -- with a hooded towel that’s so much fun!

For Playtime:

Melissa & Doug® Role Play - Pirate: $35


“Let’s pretend” is more fun than ever with these creative kids’ costumes and accessories! Not just for Halloween, these playful costumes allow them to use their creativity year-round. Each outfit comes with a nametag so kids can personalize it with their own name. Choose from a chef, pirate, firefighter and other fun characters your kids will love.

Zubels Stuffed Doll - Mermaid or Pirate: $24


Fun and friendly, these handmade dolls will be cherished immediately. Happy faces and cute costumes combine to give these hand-knit toys their unique, imagination-inspiring design.

Visit www.CompanyKids.com to see their huge selection of items for your kids’ bathroom, bedroom, and more.



DISCLOSURE: I will receive a promotional item as a thank-you for sharing this information. No financial compensation was provided.