Friday, May 30, 2014

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (May 31, 2014)

This coming week marks the end of the end of the school year for my boys. Soon, we'll be into their favorite time of year, which includes summer camp and more playtime with their friends. Let's say a big "hurray" for summer by entering some giveaways! Please check out all the great prizes up for grabs on my right sidebar, as well as those listed in the linky below. If you're hosting a giveaway on your blog or website, insert it in the linky and share this page with your Facebook and Twitter fans. Happy summer!






Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tune In for WordGirl Appreciation Week ~ Plus, Read These Tips to Teach Your Kids About Appreciation!


Two, four, six, eight, who do kids and families nationwide appreciate? WordGirl! So it’s only fitting that the extra-special WordGirl Word of the Month for May is … “Appreciate”! Better yet, this month marks the lead up to a whole week of new action- and vocabulary-packed episodes set to premiere in early June!

From June 2-6, it’s “WordGirl Appreciation Week” on PBS KIDS (check local listings), featuring five all-new episodes of the three-time Emmy Award-winning show for the school-age set from Scholastic Media! Young viewers will join WordGirl, Captain Huggy Face and friends on exciting adventures around town as they fight crime and protect the innocent -- correcting poor grammar wherever they spot it and introducing key vocabulary words all along the way.

Inspired by May’s Word of the Month and the upcoming week of new WordGirl episodes in June, below are some tips to help you teach your kids how to show their appreciation.

Manners matter! – Even a small gesture of gratefulness can really make a person’s day, whether it’s saying “thanks” or giving a heartfelt compliment. Have your child send a “thank you” note to show their appreciation for someone special. “Thank you” cards don’t just have to be for receiving gifts!

Adopt an attitude of gratitude! – Encourage your child to take the time to recognize what they appreciate by making a list of all the things and people they’re thankful for. Have them try adding something new to the list each week. Then, kick the gratitude up a notch by encouraging them to do a good deed every day such as walking a neighbor’s dog, offering up their seat on the bus or train or simply holding the door open for someone.

Commit to giving back! – Make giving back to your community a frequent habit for your family. Volunteering is a great way to show you care, as is giving to a local charity. Engage your child in gathering up their old clothes, books and toys to donate. It will go a long way toward assisting others, while also helping your child learn to appreciate all that they have!

Hand over responsibility!
– Show your child what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes for a while. Try role playing and let your child be the “mom” or “dad” for the day, assisting with some of your responsibilities. It’s a great way to help them develop a deeper appreciation for all that moms and dads do for the family each day!

And don’t forget to tune in to “WordGirl Appreciation Week” together, June 2-6 on PBS KIDS!

For more on WordGirl:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Tour and Excerpt: Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi, by Brian Leaf

Susan Heim on Parenting is pleased to be a stop on the blog tour for Brian Leaf's new book, Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi: Cloth Diapers, Cosleeping, and My (Sometimes Successful) Quest for Conscious Parenting (New World Library, June 1, 2014).


About the Book:
In his first book, Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, author, yoga teacher, and blogger Brian Leaf told the funny, transformative story of how, as a freshman at Georgetown University, yoga changed his life.

Now, in Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi, Leaf turns his observant wit, and the calming effects of his yoga practice, toward his journey into “conscious parenting.”

Leaf recounts hilarious stories of family mishaps and conundrums that any parent will relate to on a far-ranging list of topics — from birthing class to breastfeeding, choosing a school to pooping, and much more. He also imparts wisdom and techniques from the wide variety of parenting philosophies he and his wife have studied along the way — Attachment, Playful, Unconditional, Simplicity, and good old Dr. Spock parenting.

"Make no mistake. I don’t have it all figured out,” Leaf writes. “I’m about as neurotic as the next guy. Maybe just a bit more. And that’s why I know that another sure key to parenting is patience, compassion, forgiveness, and even faith, in my kids, of course, but also in myself.”

Book Trailer:


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
An Excerpt from Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi

Noah has just figured out that I have hair on my body and that he doesn’t. A developmental landmark, to be sure. Unfortunately, though, his fascination is not so much with my legs, arms, chest, or even beard. He is consumed by the fact that, amazingly, he has no hair down below — on that part of Michelangelo’s David that all kids stare at — and I do.

Which is fine. Except that kids have no filters. They will say anything. They don’t know that it’s funnier to point out your fart at home than it is at the salon. At nursery school pickup, they’ll tell their teacher that you didn’t wash your hands in the bathroom, or they’ll ask you loudly if a woman with a bit of a mustache is a man.


Eight years ago, before I was a parent, my four-year-old nephew shouted angrily at me in a public men’s bathroom, “Stop sticking your finger into my tushie!” (I was not, though perhaps I was wiping a bit too thoroughly.)

So now Noah demands a viewing and a comparison at every possible opportunity. I don’t believe in making any bodily parts or processes taboo. For example, when Benji wants to inspect the goods before we dump his potty, I say absolutely. (I do draw the line when he wants to use it as Play-Doh.) So when Noah wants to view my hairy David, I go with it.

This came up recently at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. Noah loves the bathrooms there — not only are the walls tiled with images from Carle’s classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? but the urinals are etched with flies AND they have the cutest little minitoilets for the under-seven set.

We were in a hallway crowded with parents and kids headed to the craft room when Noah realized he had to pee. Already excited about a trip to this bathroom to search for the blue horse tile, it hit Noah that he’d also have a chance to...“Daddy, I have to pee, and I want to see your hairy penis!” In his jubilation, he lingered on the last two words, so it sounded like “hairyyy peeeeeniiiiis.”

Noah’s shrieking glee drew the full attention of the museum’s throngs of crafting parents and tots. All I could do was nod, smile, and offer a curt wave.

# # #

BRIAN LEAF is the author of Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi and Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, as well as the owner and director of the holistic New Leaf Learning Center in western Massachusetts. He has studied, practiced, and taught yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda for twenty-three years. Visit him online at http://www.misadventures-of-a-yogi.com.

Excerpted from the new book Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi ©2014 by Brian Leaf. Published with permission of New World Library www.newworldlibrary.com


Cool Off This Summer with Minute Maid Juice Bars!


It may have been a long, cold winter, but summer is finally arriving, and with it comes the need for some refreshing treats to cool off in the heat. I have a suggestion that will please the whole family: Minute Maid Juice Bars! As a parent, you’ll love them because:
  • They’re made with 100% real fruit juice!
  • They contain a full day’s supply of Vitamin C!
  • They have only 60 calories!
  • They’re naturally flavored!
  • They’re available in three flavors: grape, cherry, and orange!
My boys love every flavor of Minute Maid Juice Bars. They’re just the right size for their little hands, and they satisfy the need for a refreshing summer treat. Adults love them, too! Learn more about Minute Maid Juice Bars at:

http://jjsnack.com/minutemaid/home1.aspx
http://twitter.com/jjsnackfoods
http://instagram.com/jjsnackfoods

Then head to your local grocery store’s freezer to pick up some Minute Maid Juice Bars for the summer!




Great Summer Reading: Mouseheart, by Lisa Fiedler + a Big Giveaway! #Mouseheart

MOUSEHEART
by Lisa Fiedler, Illustrated by Vivienne To

If you’re looking for a way to help combat the summer “brain drain” with your children, I recommend that you find a book or series that will capture their interest! The following book sounds like a fantastic candidate for amusing the kids, with fun animals, plenty of secrets and non-stop adventure! It’s The Warriors series meets Redwall in this first book in an epic animal adventure series set in the subway tunnels of Brooklyn (grades 3-7). Read on…

ABOUT MOUSEHEART
Hopper is just an ordinary pet-shop mouse — until he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep within the untamed tangles of transit tunnels, and in Atlantia, a glorious utopian rat civilization.

But all is not as it seems. Hopper misses Pinkie and Pup, the siblings he lost in the escape attempt. Atlantia is constantly threatened by roving rebels who wish to bring the city to its knees. And there are cats everywhere, cats who would normally eat a rodent in a second, but leave the rats unharmed ... and no one can seem to answer why.

Soon Hopper is caught in the crosshairs of an epic battle, one that spans generations and species. As the clashes rage, Hopper learns terrible, extraordinary secrets. Deadly secrets about Atlantia. Painful secrets about his friends.

And one powerful secret about himself.

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7

Visit all the MOUSEHEART websites - #Mouseheart
• Visit the official website
• Follow Simon Kids on Twitter and Facebook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Fiedler is the author of several novels for children and young adults. She divides her time between Connecticut and the Rhode Island seashore, where she lives happily with her very patient husband, her brilliant and beloved daughter, and their two incredibly spoiled golden retrievers.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Vivienne To has illustrated several books, including The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins and the Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective series by Octavia Spencer. As a child, she had two pet mice escape. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, with her partner and her ginger cat. Visit her at VivienneTo.com.


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive some great summer reads, including:
• Custom Mouseheart t-shirt
• plus 3 great books: Mouseheart, The Search for WondLa, and Belly Up

Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Heart-Warming New Hallmark Channel Series ~ Plus a Bible Study!

The new original series, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, was created and is Executive Produced by Martha Williamson, who also created the megahit Touched by an Angel. It is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming group leader Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people's lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe), who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.

Take a sneak peek at the series in this video:


This incredible series also incorporates scripture in its themes and in the conversations between characters. In fact, The American Bible Society has built a seven-day Bible reading experience, which digs deeper into the meaningful biblical themes revealed in each episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered. The Bible Reading Experience is free and currently available for one week only, so sign up now!


I recently had the opportunity to watch the episode "The Future Me," which airs this Sunday, May 25 on Hallmark Channel! This episode is about a special couple with Down Syndrome who discover the Scriptural meaning of marriage through the challenges of their journey, which inspires their parents. I confess that I had tears running down my cheeks when it was done! The young woman in this episode, Ellie, wrote a letter to her future self when she was in high school, sharing her wish to be married to her classmate, Bobby, ten years down the road. They fell in love and worked together in a flower shop after graduation, but Ellie’s father refused to believe that Ellie was ready for marriage. There was also a funny storyline where Rita was competing in a postal employee pageant against the daughter of the supervisor, played by Marilu Henner, who promised to squash Rita like a bug if she defeated her precious daughter! This episode had just the right combination of humor and sweetness to make it guaranteed to entertain you this Sunday.


I hope you’ll join me in watching Signed, Sealed, Delivered on the Hallmark Channel. The show airs on Sundays at 8/7c! Learn more at:

Website: www.hallmarkchannel.com/signedsealeddelivered
Facebook: www.facebook.com/signedsealeddeliveredtv
Facebook for creator Martha Williamson:
www.facebook.com/pages/Martha-Williamson/609169295802010

And don’t forget to download the accompanying Bible Reading Experience HERE.



Disclosure: I will be entered into a blogger giveaway for the chance to win a Signed, Sealed, Delivered gift set as a thank-you for sharing this information.

Get in a Patriotic Mood with a Shirt from TheFlagShirt.com! (PROMO CODE)

As I write this on Memorial Day weekend, it has definitely put me in a patriotic mood. I’m thinking about all of the members of our Armed Forces who have given their lives for our country, the upcoming summer filled with American pleasures like barbecues and beach trips, and fireworks on the fourth of July! And I know that my patriotic shirt from TheFlagShirt.com is going to get plenty of use!

At TheFlagShirt.com, they have the best selection of patriotic shirts that I have ever seen! There are shirts for men, women, and kids. They have t-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, and just about any other kind of shirt you can imagine. Find hats, shorts, pants, socks and other items, too! You could spend all afternoon browsing through their fantastic selection. Check out just a few of their items below:


TheFlagShirt.com was kind enough to allow me to pick out my own patriotic shirt. I was looking for something I could wear to work, a step up from a really casual t-shirt. Fortunately, I found this fantastic Ladies American History Long Sleeved Shirt on their website:


I love the ¾ length sleeves, the navy color, and the unique American history print that appears on both the front and back of the shirt. It’s super-comfortable, and I get so many compliments when I wear it! I ordered my usual size, and it fits perfectly, so this design runs true-to-size.

Head over to TheFlagShirt.com to pick out some patriotic shirts and clothing for your family. Their prices are reasonable, and you’ll pay just $4.95 for flat rate shipping ~ no minimum order! Check out their Promotions tab for their list of sale items and their 2 for $20 selections. Follow TheFlagShirt.com on Facebook and Twitter, too!

PROMO CODE: Save 10% off your order with the code FLAGSHIRT104




This post contains my affiliate link.
This post contains an affiliate link.

Daddy & Co.: My Life As A Dad Celeb Daddy Gift Pack Giveaway ($162 Value)!

Father's Day will be here before you know it, and all papas can show off their daddy status and say it loud and proud with "I'm The Daddy" gifts and apparel by Daddy & Co. To celebrate the launch of "My Life As A Dad," their groundbreaking new weekly web series that showcases celebrity fathers sharing their personal fatherhood experiences and parenting tips, Daddy & Co. is offering a fantastic Father's Day giveaway for my readers. Read on to learn more about My Life As A Dad, as well as how you can win a fantastic Celeb Daddy Gift Pack, valued at $162.00!

My Life As A Dad  (MLAAD) is the first show of its kind to delve into the lives of celebrity and professional athlete dads and highlights their journey to daddyhood. The show features personal interviews, kid jam sessions, and games, along with advice, discovery, and emotional messages directly from celebrity and professional athletes whom you know. MLAAD gets their answers to important questions, such as how they feel about being a dad, their parenting philosophies, how they balance their family life with their professional life and, in some cases, how they relate their unique upbringing to being a dad today. You’ll find out what their favorite activity to engage with their child is, their best piece of parenting advice, and even their first thought following their child’s birth.

The series features interviews with the likes of actor/comedian Tom Arnold, Dancing with the Stars winner J.R. Martinez, NCIS Los AngelesEric Christian Olsen, Witchblade’s Will Yun Lee, and many more!

Check out the awesome celebrity advice and videos below:

Tom Arnold: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC2E88fMB8I

His best advice for new dads: “This is for real. This is a lifetime commitment. Everything is different now.”
On why it's okay to make mistakes as a new parent: ”Relax. Babies don’t break so easy... You are going to make mistakes. I know I’ve made mistakes.”
On protecting his son from inappropriate encounters he experienced in his childhood: “These are going to be issues where I say, ‘Here is my experience, and, you know, just talk to me about it.’”
On how your whole perspective changes as a parent: “We can be very selfish beings, and you really can’t be selfish anymore. It’s kind of a relief, because it’s a hard job to be that selfish.”



J.R. Martinez: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCueErqyFhc

On the last two years as a dad: “It’s crazy how the time flies. As a parent you have to enjoy the moments. When you’re catching up to one thing, all of a sudden she’s learning something else, and she’s doing something else, and you’ve got to catch up to that.”
On why dads must trust their instincts: ”As long as you’re preparing and learning, you’ll be fine. If you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Children are resilient; they adapt; they just make it work.”
His funny confession: “There were a couple times when I put the diaper on backwards!”
Advice for first-time fathers: “Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid. Don’t leave it up to Mom 100%. You [dads] can do this as well.”



NCIS: Los Angeles star Eric Christian Olsen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43F4NGODtNQ

On reading to the baby during the third trimester: "When I was a little kid, my dad always read to us, and my mom would read to us every night. We started that tradition now, so we put these little earbuds on the belly, and I read Goodnight Moon every single night."
On birthing classes and meeting with a doula: "It was really helpful for me to have an understanding of what the next step was and what I could do [to help and be a part of the birthing process]."



Finally, enjoy this brief Father’s Day video from Daddy & Co.!



The daddy or daddy-to-be in your life will love watching Daddy & Co.’s new My Life As A Dad video series! Now, here’s another special thing you can do for him … enter to win an awesome Father’s Day prize from Daddy & Co.!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a fantastic Daddy & Co. Celeb Daddy Gift Pack, valued at $162.00! The gift pack features Daddy & Co.'s Daddy Diaper Pack, Big Daddy Hook, What Daddy Bear Loves + Daddy Bear, I'm The Daddy Water Bottle, Sunglasses, one set of Daddy & Me Tees, and 1 box of Daddy's Disposable Diaper Changing Pads.


Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, June 8, 2014.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (May 24, 2014)

Thanks for joining us for the Memorial Day Weekend edition of the Super Saturday Giveaway Linky. I encourage everyone to honor those brave men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Hopefully, you have a little more time on your hands due to the holiday and will also be able to enter some giveaways! Check out those that I've listed in the right sidebar, as well as those in the linky below. If you're hosting a giveaway on your blog or website, please include it in the linky and share this page with your social media followers.






American Ride: Giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

American Ride
Host of AMERICAN RIDE, Stan Ellsworth, breaks the mold of the stereotypical high school history teacher.

Former history teacher Stan Ellsworth tours the country on a Harley Davidson for the television show American Ride. Ellsworth’s approach to American history in American Ride removes the “bow tie and sweater vest” of history professors, puts on the “skull rag and denim vest” and breaks down stereotypes. His adventurous spirit and love for the United States are contagious and engaging. His approach is more like an invitation to walk (and ride) with him through the footsteps of history. He hopes the stories and “postcards” from the highways and byways of the country will make American history relevant to today’s audiences and motivate them to take an active part in the preservation of the values this country was built upon.

Now in its sixth season, Stan takes you across the world to see how the clouds of war gathered once again and what led America to enter WWII. New episodes air each Monday 9PM ET/ 7PM MT on BYUtv. If you've missed any episodes, you can catch up with all of the previous seasons online anytime at www.byutv.com/americanride.



Stan
ABOUT STAN ELLSWORTH

The 6’ 2”, 300-lb muscle-clad Harley Davidson-riding host of BYUtv’s acclaimed American history program, American Ride, would like nothing better than to inspire the next generation of George Washingtons, Susan B. Anthonys and Thomas Jeffersons. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and raised in the Carolinas, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Ellsworth was steeped in the landmarks and stories of American history throughout his formative years. His family lineage includes such historic luminaries as Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen; both Generals of the Cival War, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant (also the 18th president of the U.S.); and American folk heroes Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.

Ellsworth’s goal—both when he was in the classroom, and now in his weekly television program—has always been to “wake people up” to the stories of our founding fathers and mothers, and to the sacrifices they made in creating this nation. In his gruff baritone voice, he speaks eloquently of our heritage and extols the wisdom and bravery of those who came before.

“LET’S TAKE A RIDE” ~ Stan Ellsworth


book blast button

Blast Giveaway
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 6/17/14

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dad Will Love His Customized Father's Day Coupon Book from Datevitation.com (Discount Code + Giveaway)!

I am so excited about Father’s Day this year because we found the perfect gift for my twins to give their dad. It’s a customized coupon book from Datevitation.com! With these pre-packaged love coupons, you pick the activities and customize the text to your liking.


Our Father’s Day book was so much fun and easy to make. There are all kinds of options for creating fun coupons for Dad, such as those shown below:


You can use the art they provide or customize your coupons even more by uploading photos of your loved ones to use as character faces.


And, as the name implies, Datevitation.com is not just for Father’s Day. There are more than 100 book cover options and hundreds of coupon ideas so you can create a coupon book for your sweetheart (great anniversary or Valentine’s gift), friend, children, or just about anyone for whom you’d love to create a unique and personalized gift. And the combinations are practically endless. For example, there are more than 500 date ideas alone to pick from when making a coupon book for your special someone.

I really love this gift idea from Datevitation.com. Let’s face it … Dad isn’t going to get excited by another tie or package of underwear. But he will love the idea of spending more special time with his family and the thoughtfulness you and your kids put into making him a one-of-a-kind gift. Head on over to Datevitation.com and start creating a coupon book for Dad or Granddad today!

PROMOTIONAL CODE

Books normally start at $25, but when you use the code SUSANHEIM, you’ll receive $10 off your order plus free shipping at Datevitation.com ~ a $13.50 value! That means you can get Dad a fantastic Father’s Day gift starting at just $15. What a deal! Please be sure to order by June 5 so you’ll have your book in time for Father’s Day.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a promo code for a FREE coupon book at Datevitation.com! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents and ends at 11:59 PM EST on May 26, 2014.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bloggers Wanted: It's Water Slide Time Event!


It’s Water Slide Time Event
Organized by: Mom to Bed by 8
Grand Prize: Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Slide
Event dates: 6/16 - 6/30/2014
Giveaway is open to US residents


Bellhops Can Help Make Moving Day a Breeze for College Students! (DISCOUNT CODE)

Like many college students, my second son chose to live in a traditional on-campus dormitory for his first year of school. After a long 7-hour drive to campus, we had to lug all of his personal belongings up to the top floor of the dorm! I remember pulling up to the dorm and being told that we could only park in front for 10 minutes. We were instructed to dump all of our son’s belongings on the lawn, move the car to a parking garage, and return to haul his stuff from the grass to his room. Needless to say, by the end of the day, we were exhausted!

Fortunately, I can save many students and families from the same ordeal by recommending a service that can make moving day a whole lot easier! It’s called Bellhops, and they are a student-run moving company on 120+ college campuses in 42 states. (And, yes, they are on my son’s campus. If only I had known!) They will also assist with move-ins and move-outs for houses, apartments, sororities/fraternities, and storage facilities -- just about any small-scale moving job. Their prices are extremely reasonable, and they only hire students who share their belief in strong customer service.

If you’ve got a child or grandchild moving into a college dorm or student apartment this fall, I suggest that you see if Bellhops are available at their campus. Visit http://getbellhops.com today. And here’s a discount code to make moving even sweeter!

DISCOUNT CODE
Receive 5% off your services with Bellhops!
USE DISCOUNT CODE: susanheim1

Contact Bellhops through the social media channels below:
http://getbellhops.com/
http://www.facebook.com/CampusBellhops
http://twitter.com/bellhopnation
http://pinterest.com/getbellhops/



The discount code contains my affiliate link.