Sunday, March 30, 2014

Winners for the Week of March 23, 2014

Deborah Swift Book Blast: $25 Amazon Gift Card


Congratulations to the winner: Mitch E.!

The Orphan and the Thief Book Tour: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Congratulations to the winner: Ramona M.!

Taming the Wolf Book Tour: Audiobook


Congratulations to the winners: Mary H., David B., Deborah D., Katherine I., and Karen D.!

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop: 1 of 4 Paperbacks by Bestselling Authors


Congratulations to the winner: Karen D.!

Leland Dragon Book Blast: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Congratulations to the winner: Caroline T.!

Infusium 23 Miracle Therapy Hair Care Products


Congratulations to the winner: Danielle P.!

Veronica Mars Movie DVD


Congratulations to the winner: Darlene J.N.!

Mental Health Giveaway Hop: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times


Congratulations to the winner: Angel H.!

March Mom Mentors Post: I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now #MomMentors


Recently, I announced my pleasure at being selected as one of Graham Blanchard's Mom Mentors! Each month, we share insights on a particular topic relating to parenting and faith. This month, our question was:

What do you wish you’d known about God when you were a child?

I loved reading the very insightful answers shared by my fellow moms. I hope you'll be inspired by them, too! You can read them at www.grahamblanchard.com/wish-knew/. And feel free to share your answer to this question in the comments section below!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

ScriptureArt: Faith-Based, Fashionable Products for Every Occasion! (PROMO CODE + GIVEAWAY)

I love companies that not only make great products, but strive to make a difference in people’s lives. ScriptureArt is that type of company. They design and make faith-based gifts, combining faith and fashion through unique products that give back and make a global impact. Some of their products include:

Promise Packs: peel & stick decals that help focus your thoughts on God's promises and stay positive

Statement iPhone Cases

Inspirational Keychains

Classy Travel Totes

Statement Wristlets

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to review a ScriptureArt tote and wristlet. The first thing that struck me when I opened the package was the beautiful design. I received the Katherine ~ the gorgeous black and white pattern above with the pink trim. I love it! The second thing that impressed me was the high quality of both items. They are extremely well-made with heavy canvas material. They will certainly last a very long time and put up with a lot of use.

Check out the inside of the tote below:

It’s an extremely generous size that makes it perfect for shopping. It holds a lot of stuff! And it’s all lined in plastic so it’s easy to wipe clean when something spills inside. Large inside pockets allow you to tuck in small items such as mini-umbrellas or drink bottles. And there’s a zippered pocket on the outside to hold your personal items, such as ID, money and keys. And I like how it sits flat on the ground so it won’t tip over. I absolutely love this bag, and it would make a lovely gift, too.


The wristlet is also wonderful. A side window pocket allows you to see your ID/driver’s license. There are numerous compartments for credit cards, paperwork, money, etc., plus a zippered compartment for change. (See inside view above.) The snap-closure flap adds a dash of style. And you can easily carry it on your wrist or attach it to a larger bag with the attached strap!

ScriptureArt also has Bible cases, iPad folios, luggage tags, personalized cutting boards and wood frames, calendars, laptop skins, and much more! I hope you’ll check out their beautiful, high-quality products at www.ScriptureArt.com. Join them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, too.

PROMOTIONAL CODE
Code: guess25
25% off your entire purchase!
Expires 12/31/14

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a beautiful ScriptureArt tote and wristlet ~ a $90 value! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, April 13, 2014.

Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games ~ DVD Review and Giveaway!

The third installment in the Alpha and Omega series arrived in stores this week. Fans of the first two movies (and the Olympic games) are sure to enjoy this one, too!


About the movie:
Join the pack in this wild, warmhearted and totally pawsome adventure starring everyone’s favorite alphas and omegas! It’s time for “The Great Wolf Games,” when all the alphas in the packs set aside their differences for some friendly competition. When an unexpected accident puts many of our pack’s star alpha wolves out of commission, a new team is assembled that includes forest friends not in the pack. Can Coach Humphrey lead his ragtag group of “underdogs” to victory? Find out in this thrilling movie that will leave you howling for more!

My kids’ review:
Stinky, Claudette and Runt are back in this movie. A little bear and a porcupine join their team! We liked the part where the little bear was chasing the butterfly! This movie was fun. We liked the Wolf Awareness Trivia Game (a bonus feature on the DVD), too!

Trailer:


Official Website: http://www.alphaandomegadvd.com/
Activity Sheet: https://www.hightail.com/download/elNLTG04R3MwVWxMWE5Vag



GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a DVD/Digital UltraViolet copy of Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, April 13, 2014.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (March 29, 2014)

It's hard to believe that March is on its way out already. Let's close it out with a bang by entering some awesome giveaways! You can find them listed on my right sidebar as well as in the linky below. And if you have a giveaway (or more) listed on your blog, please share them with us in the linky. Don't forget to tell all your Facebook friends and Twitter followers about this page. Have a great week!







Against the Wild: DVD Review and Giveaway

Tonight is Friday, and that means it’s Family Movie Night at our house! We love to discover new movies that are exciting and appropriate for everyone. We recently watched Against the Wild, a new film that just arrived on DVD and digital download this month.

About Against the Wild:
A gripping adventure for the whole family, Against the Wild begins with siblings Zach and Hannah traveling by seaplane with Chinook, their Alaskan Malamute, to visit their father for the weekend. When their plane encounters engine trouble, the pilot is forced to make an emergency landing in the woods in the middle of nowhere. As they travel on foot to seek help, Zach, Hannah and their loyal companion come face-to-face with the challenges of the wilds -- from wolves and grizzly bears to forest fires. Using all the wilderness skills they know -- and with some help from Chinook -- the siblings must work together to overcome each obstacle and conquer the ultimate goal: returning home again.

Watch the following clip for a sneak peek at Against the Wild:



My kids’ review:
We were excited to see this movie because our grandparents live in Alaska. Our favorite character was the dog because he could take care of people, carry them, find water, and more. The scariest part was when a bear tried to eat the kids. They had to hide under a log to get away from him. It was good they had their dog because he helped them find the place to hide. We liked this movie because the grown-ups didn’t instantly find the kids, so they had to go through a lot of interesting things before they were found.



GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a DVD copy of Against the Wild! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Unplanned Motherhood Book Tour: Giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

unplanned motherhoodUnplanned Motherhood

Unplanned Motherhood is a non-fiction collection of short stories written by moms and dads about their funny, inspirational or motivational journey as a parent. Unplanned Motherhood is based on the web series created by Lena Sledge.

Unplanned Motherhood is a comedy web series for perfectly imperfect families, starring Lena Sledge as Layla, a wife and mother of five who gives parenting advice on her real life mommy blog. Her unique parenting style contradicting with her perfect parenting advice lends to a distinct brand of humor. With each episode we see Layla teaching her kids life lessons as she discovers more about herself and the advice she gives to her readers. Unique to this web series is the actual blog that Layla writes where she gives the perfect parenting advice. Many of her posts are followed by the tag line: To see how I really handled the situation, watch this week's episode.

This web series is special because viewers of the web series and readers of the real life blog get to interact with Layla and let her know if her advice is on the money or share their own parenting advice. To follow the Unplanned Motherhood blog, go to www.lenasledge.com. Stay tuned. Unplanned Motherhood debuts March 28th!!!!

If you'd like to submit a short story to be included in the book, Unplanned Motherhood, send 500 words or less to sonnybrookfilms@yahoo.com. Your short story must be clean and family-friendly, as well as funny, inspirational or motivational.


Sneak Peek:



Unplanned Motherhood Cast
Unplanned Motherhood Cast

Starring Morgan Hamilton as Sonny, Stefani Colvin as Brooke, Grayson Kilpatrick as Deacon, Aidan Heuer as Spoon, and Ari Heuer as Ari.

Episode 1:


LenaAuthor Lena Sledge

Lena Sledge is an award-winning author. Her first book, a collection of short stories called If I Had My Way, won the 2012 African American Literary Award for Best Short Story/Anthology. Her short film, Grandma's Hands, won 3rd place at the River City Film Festival in March 2014. Her most recent project, a comedy web series called Unplanned Motherhood, debuts on March 28th on YouTube. Lena Sledge has collaborated on many literary projects as well as TV and film projects. She offers advice, resources, and tips on writing, navigating the independent film industry as well as reviews and highlights about upcoming books and authors. Lena Sledge also enjoys photography. You can view some of her photography work on her website as well as Flickr.


book blast button

Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 4/21/14

Enter Your Loom Jewelry Creations in the The Original Loom Boom’s Loomy Awards for the Chance to Win Big Gift Cards!

It is awards season, and The Original Loom Boom has decided to join in the fun with its very own first annual Loomy Awards! The Original Loom Boom helps you to organize, display, transport and share your loom bracelet creations (see photo at left). If your household is like mine, we have a TON of loom bracelets around the house because my kids love to make and trade them with their friends. This product looks like an awesome way to keep them all together.

I’m going to be reviewing and hosting a giveaway of The Original Loom Boom very soon, but I first wanted to let you know about the Loomy Awards since they begin on March 30. Winners will be chosen from four categories: Best Bracelet, Coolest Charm, Wackiest Wearable, and Best Loom Boom. Three winners will each receive a $250 gift card, and one grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card! Plus, all winners will receive a special edition of The Original Loom Boom!

How to Enter
Entries can be submitted on The Original Loom Boom’s Facebook page beginning on March 30, 2014, and winners will be announced on a live web award show on April 30, 2014.

Join in on the fun by entering your fun jewelry creations in the Loomy Awards, and stay tuned for my upcoming review and giveaway of The Original Loom Boom!




Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism Book Blast: Giveaway for a $75 Amazon Gift Card

Unlocking the Social Potential
Unlocking the Social Potential_Final_ShadowsTo your dismay, your child has received a diagnosis of autism. Along with this alarming news comes the barrage of emotions that suffocates you like an avalanche— denial—confusion—depression—guilt. You want to fix your child; you have a million questions; and you want answers immediately. Autism is a journey in which the child and her family navigate challenges and experience achievements along the way. To guide you in this rewarding journey, Dr. Karina Poirier offers her expertise in this book that parents will find incredibly useful.

In this book, you will find the answers you’ve desperately been seeking. Dr. Poirier has provided, in simple, easy-to-comprehend language, an overview of child development, a descriptive explanation of how autism affects each developmental area, and guidelines for advancing your child’s functioning in all developmental domains. You will appreciate the multitude of hands-on, full-color sample lessons for teaching social and emotional skills, language, problem-solving and decision making, and play skills to children with autism.

Publisher: Social Cognition Publications | Irvine, CA
Color: Full-color illustrations
Pages: 300
ISBN (Print): 9780988798205
ISBN (Digital): 9780988798212
Available: March 2014
Available at: http://www.socialcognitionpublications.com/

Improving social and communication skills in children with autism

Dr. Karina Poirier, author of Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism, says that understanding a child’s unique needs is the key step to dealing with concerns and developing their strengths.

“Bring everything into the light. The worst thing you can do,” she said, “is to ignore the issue. Parents can help their children learn how to communicate better and develop social skills that will help them thrive later in life.

"Get help early, identify the specific issues you are facing, ask questions, learn everything you can, and devise a concrete and detailed strategy for engaging your child so key skills are developed and strengthened.”

Here are her answers to some key concerns that parents of a child with autism are faced with.

Q: My child can sit through a learning task on the iPad or television; however, he becomes restless and fidgety when working with a teacher. Why?

A: Your child’s attention system is reactive. Consider how much children learn from viewing television. Teachers struggle to get children’s attention when an activity does not include the sensory kaleidoscope children are used to receiving when sitting in front of the television.

Key Action: Children must be taught at an early age how to develop the mental tools (attend, remember, think) to engage in deliberate and self-directed learning experiences with an adult’s guidance.

Q: My child does not respond appropriately to mood changes in others (e.g., when a peer’s mood changes from happiness to distress). Why?

A: Your child may be lacking the ability to read nonverbal cues. Children with autism often have impaired ability to read, interpret, and process social and emotional messages. Children who are unaware of others’ thoughts and feelings risk not developing the sense of self.

Key Action: Treatment to teach the child the emotional codes that are part of the social experience. The child needs to develop the ability to understand other peoples’ emotions from their facial expression, tone of voice, and body posture. The child should be taught to recognize and interpret how people around him think and feel.

Q: My child has difficulty with describing his/her day at school, recounting an experience, or relaying a message. Why?

A: Delayed recall skills utilize episodic memory. Episodic memory allows us to remember past events and share these events with others. In other words, it is how we engage in reciprocal conversations with others. Episodic memory produces a conscious awareness of events that have occurred at any one time; it enables people to remember what happened to them in the past or to conceive the future.

Key Action: Effective treatment is required for the child to learn about memory strategies and to practice remembering. Through repetition, the child develops not only better recall of past events, but also the skills to communicate the memory of the event to peers or adults during a conversation.

Q: My child is verbal and has good command of language; however, he has trouble initiating conversation with others and taking turns during a conversation. Why?

A: Children with autism have difficulties in social initiation and social-emotional understanding. Engaging in a reciprocal conversation with others requires the development and interaction of memory, information processing, and expressive communication skills—all of which are pervasive deficits of children with autism. It is not that these children do not desire involvement with their peers. On the contrary, they do have the desire to be socially engaged with others; however, the dilemma lies in the fact that these children lack knowledge of social norms.

Key Action: Effective treatment that emphasizes social norms and rules, and teaches children how to process social information by distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information in a social situation. Initiating and maintaining a conversation requires a person to have social knowledge, which is knowledge of event schemas.

Q: How much play time is appropriate to include in my child’s learning routine?

A: For a young child, teaching through play is extremely important. Play gives children something to do with their ample free time; it also serves the important purpose of honing children’s physical, social and emotional development. Play does not occur spontaneously in children with autism the way it does for typical children.

Key Action: Investing significant time teaching through play focuses the child on developing fine and gross motor skills, interpreting the social cues of other children and adults, and responding to those social cues appropriately. Play can be used to develop the ability to interact with, explore, and, ultimately master their surroundings. Play is an essential part of the learning process, and its ability to mimic real-life scenarios makes it an ideal way to stimulate overall development.


About the author:
Karina Poirier, Psy.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Karina Poirier is the Director of the Center for Social Cognition, a board-certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D), and a certified cognitive educational therapist. Her clinical practice is devoted to providing outstanding individual and group therapy that improves social and cognitive outcomes for individuals with autism, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and related disorders.

Learn more at www.drkarinapoirier.com.

ONLINE RESOURCES

http://www.drkarinapoirier.com
http://www.facebook.com/CenterforSocialCognition
http://www.twitter.com/SocialCognition
https://plus.google.com/+Centerforsocialcognition/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2hZCpP_TDdGzWxrREAbJ4w

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a $75 Amazon gift card! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Launches Foaming Hand Soaps and a Get Messy Contest! (GIVEAWAY) #GetMessyContest

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day has a lot going on this Spring! First, they’re introducing their new foaming hand soaps! Kids love to wash up with foamy soap, especially when it smells like watermelon, apple, lemon verbena or lavender! Our family has been using the watermelon foaming hand soap in our bathroom, and there has been no arguing when I ask the boys to wash their hands. The foam is fun, and they love to smell their hands after they’ve been washed. And, like all products in Mrs. Meyer’s hand care collection, the foaming hand soaps are made with natural essential oils and plant-derived ingredients such as olive oil, aloe vera gel, and glycerin. You can find Mrs. Meyer’s foaming hand soaps at Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and other great stores! Visit www.mrsmeyers.com to learn more.


And Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day is celebrating the coming of Spring in another great way with the launch of a three-month contest that encourages families to have fun getting messy together! The Get Messy Contest takes place in three separate three-week segments. Each segment features a unique theme and another chance to win a new grand prize: a custom craft center, a brand-new suite of kitchen appliances or a custom garden and greenhouse!

Here are the themes for each segment:
• March 10th – March 28th: Arts & Crafts
• March 31st – April 18th: Kitchen
• April 21st – May 9th: Garden

To enter, simply visit GetMessyContest.com and upload an original photo of your family getting messy matching the theme of the current segment with the hashtag #GetMessyContest. Once the photo is approved, you will receive a confirmation email and your picture will go live on the site. Then you can share your photo with friends and family and ask them to vote. The top 10 finalists with the most votes will receive a Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Gift Bucket and will be entered for the grand prize. From there, the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day team will come to the home of the Grand Prize Winner, install the prize and host a party for the winner and 30 of their friends!

Join me in celebrating Spring with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day by checking out their new foaming hand soaps and entering the Get Messy Contest! And, finally, here’s one more gift from Mrs. Meyer’s…

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will win a code for a Mrs. Meyer’s Variety Gift Bucket valued at $36.99! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Enter Rigoni di Asiago’s Fiordifrutta Spring Contest to Win Delicious Goodies! #Giveaway

Celebrate Spring with Fiordifrutta!

Enter to win a fruit-shaped foldable tote filled with Fiordifrutta goodies from Rigoni di Asiago! Their fruit spreads are scrumptious! Hurry, because this contest only runs through March 31, 2014. Don’t miss out!





Sunday, March 23, 2014

Start the Countdown to Easter with the Easter Countdown Calendar Game ~ Now 50% Off! (PROMO CODE)

As Easter nears, kids will start incessantly asking the question: “When is the Easter Bunny coming?” Thanks to the Easter Countdown Calendar Game by Countdown Cal, Inc., they won’t have to ask you because they’ll know exactly how many days until their Easter goodies arrive! This calendar is adorable. Here is what the front looks like:


Starting 15 days before Easter (which is April 5 this year), children can open a little flap on the box each day. Beneath each one is a piece of delicious foil-wrapped crispy chocolate candy, as well as an Easter mini picture! The number of days until Easter is also shown.


When kids flip over the calendar, they will find the mini picture they uncovered on that day’s flap. (And, of course, they can eat the candy, too!)


They can also mark off that day’s number on the “Countdown Pal”!


The Easter Countdown Calendar Game makes a great annual Easter tradition. Head over to www.countdowncal.com and order an Easter Countdown Calendar Game for each of your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews so they can begin counting down until the Easter Bunny’s arrival! Even if you don’t purchase in time for the countdown, the Easter Countdown Calendar Game makes a special treat in your child’s Easter basket.

PROMOTIONAL CODE FOR 50% OFF!

When you use the code SusanHeimEaster as you check out at www.countdowncal.com, you’ll receive 50% off the Easter Countdown Calendars. That makes your price only $6.00 per calendar! Plus, the discounted shipping rate (U.S. only) is a flat $2.00 per calendar, so this is a real bargain. You can order as many as you’d like at the discounted rate when you use the code. This offer expires on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014.



Disclaimer: I have received complimentary calendars in the past as a thank-you for sharing this product with my readers.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Winners for the Week of March 16, 2014

Muse Unexpected Book Blast: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Congratulations to the winner: Tammy D.!

Spartanica Book Tour: Autographed Books 


Congratulations to the winners: Elise-Maria B., Crystal M., Julia C., and Miranda A.!

Third Daughter Book Blast: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Congratulations to the winner: Tamera M.!

Paris Cravings Book Blast: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Congratulations to the winner: Dawn G.!

Secrets, Book 1 in Guardian Trilogy by Liz Schulte (paperback)


Congratulations to the winner: Stephanie G.!

Tillie & ClementineBook 1: Noises in the Night, signed by Dan Killeen


Congratulations to the winner: Darlene J.N., Cheryl R., and Les J.!

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake & 2 other books in series by Julie Sternberg


Congratulations to the winner: Paula T.!

$15 Fandango Gift Card and 5 Snickers Bars


Congratulations to the winner: Erica C.!

Boneseeker Cover Reveal: $10 Amazon Gift Card & eBook


Congratulations to the winner: Julia C.!

Lucky Is Reading Giveaway Hop: Winner’s Choice of Chicken Soup for the Soul Book


Congratulations to the winner: Denise S.!