Monday, April 30, 2012

Makobi Scribe Mother’s Day Giveaway Event: Enter to Win a $100 Shopbop Gift Card for Designer Clothes from Tess Giberson and More! (WW)

mothers day gift ideas

Everyone loves their mom and always wants to find the best gift to make her feel loved and appreciated. All of the bloggers participating in this event are offering very special gifts that mothers will love! Keep reading for the details of my fantastic giveaway. After you enter my giveaway, head over to Makobi Scribe to see her mothers day gift ideas worth over $3,000! Then stop by Sason & Pobi to enter the grand prize drawing of a Toshiba 32SLV411U - 32" class 720p 60Hz TV/DVD Combo!

Every mother deserves a terrific outfit that makes her feel beautiful, and now you have the opportunity to go shopping for designer clothes at Shopbop! For my giveaway, I am offering one lucky winner a $100 Gift Card from Shopbop. Check out some of the beautiful items they carry:

Silk Chiffon Tank by Tess Giberson

Hand Patterned Osborn Flats

Tahoe Maxi Dress by Patterson J. Kincaid

The items above are just a glimpse at all of the gorgeous designer clothes you can find at Shopbop. Be sure to follow Shopbop on Twitter, too!


To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open Worldwide and will end at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, May 18, 2012.

Create a Heart-Warming Video for Mom at Animoto!

It’s always great to receive a photo album with pictures of treasured children or grandchildren for Mother’s Day. But, let’s face it, the album gets looked at a few times and then probably stored in a drawer, rarely to be taken out again. That’s why I love the idea of creating a video for Mom or Grandma at Animoto! This service is so easy to use. Just upload the photos from your computer, pick a theme and music, add any text you’d like, and they put the video together for you! Then the video can be watched at any time. Check out the gorgeous video I created at Animoto:

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

Best of all, Animoto’s services are extremely affordable. Thirty-second videos are always free, or pay just $30 a year (that’s only $2.50 a month) to create unlimited longer videos! Imagine the possibilities. You can create a video with pictures from your family vacation, a birthday celebration, graduation ceremony or party, sporting events, a holiday get-together and just about any occasion you can think of! You can also share your videos on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and more, through email or Animoto’s free iPhone app. This service is amazing and so easy to use.

This Mother’s Day, send all of the special ladies in your life a very special video from Animoto. They’ll love it and enjoy it all year! Head over to now.

My Mother’s Day Pick: A Terrace Mini Bag from eBags!

If you’re wondering what to get Mom for Mother’s Day, I have a fantastic suggestion that she is going to LOVE! It’s called a Terrace Mini Bag from eBags! I am absolutely in love with this product. Mom will be ready to toss out the unflattering fanny pack when she sees this little bag. It’s perfect for a day at a theme park, the zoo, or the mall. Even every day! Here’s what it looks like:

As you can see from the photos below, this bag is filled with pockets so there’s a place for everything ~ your credit cards and cash, cell phone, personal items, small camera, MP3 player, park map, and more!

I love the long strap. You can either wear it over your shoulder or extend the strap to its full length so you can wear it across your body for security or to ensure that you don’t set it down somewhere.

I also love all the wonderful colors this bag comes in! And this fantastic bag sells at eBags for less than $20. Comparable bags at other retailers sell for as much as $35! Thanks to eBags, you can get a Terrace Mini Bag for all the special women in your life! Visit eBags through the links below and hurry to order before Mother’s Day!

Terrace Mini Bag:

CouponTrade Diamond Earring Giveaway! and My Jewelry Box are offering an AMAZING giveaway for Mother's Day! Mom is a girl, so who is her best friend? That's right, DIAMONDS! is your new source for discount gift cards and NAME brand coupon codes. Now you can combine these discounts in ONE place to save more than ever before!

CouponTrade Diamond Earring Giveaway

For the most exquisite and wide selection of jewelry gifts this Mother's Day, is your number one of all jewelry stores that guarantees the best in quality and service at the most competitive prices. A Style for Any Taste; A Price for Any Budget; The Perfect Gift for Moms Everywhere! Save 20%!

This stunning pair of 1/2 carat (ctw) diamond earrings boasts the luster of over five dozen round, brilliant cut blue and white stones and is delicately crafted from 10 karat polished white gold. Fourteen luminous blue diamonds glimmer alluringly among a bed of fifty-two pristine white diamonds.

CouponTrade Diamond Earring Giveaway

Make this Mothers Day like NONE other! Entry is simple ~ just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, May 6, 2012.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In the Spotlight: Becca from The ABC KidZ

Welcome to the weekly series, “In the Spotlight,” on Susan Heim on Parenting! Each Sunday, I post a fun interview with a blogger so you can get to know her or him better. Becca from The ABC KidZ is this week’s featured blogger! If you’re a blogger and would like to be “in the spotlight,” please email me at smhparent [at] hotmail [dot] com with your name, blog name, and URL. Put “In the Spotlight” in the subject line. Now, here’s Becca from The ABC KidZ!

1. If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Buy a big house, so that my husband and I can foster and possibly adopt more children. We would make it super eco-friendly, and also purchase eco-friendly cars.

2. What items are in your purse?
I have a purse/diaper bag combo, so you’ll find my wallet, cell phone, pens, and gum, but then I also have diapers, potty covers, and snacks in there!

3. What are the best and worst things about being a parent?
Best: I love hearing my kids laugh and play. Worst: Realizing that I’m not the most patient person that I thought that I was! But God is growing and changing me through this experience for the better. :)

4. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
Yes, we have one dog named Buckner. He’s a Boston/Jack Russell Terrier mix. He was our first baby, so he’s super spoiled! But he’s a wonderful dog and really good with the kids.

5. What was the last movie you saw that made you laugh out loud?
Not sure, but my all-time favorite comedy is Dumb & Dumber. It still makes me laugh out loud even though I’ve seen it tons of times!

6. What is your favorite way to celebrate Mother’s Day?
Being with family and getting spoiled by my husband. (The kids are too young to spoil me themselves.)

7. Who is your celebrity crush and why?
Probably Brad Pitt. I don’t care too much about celebrities, but I’ve always thought that he is one of the most beautiful men on earth (besides my hubby, of course!).

8. What are your favorite and least favorite household chores?
Favorite? I can’t say any chore is my favorite, but I prefer to clean the bathrooms. I’m very OCD, so I make sure it shines in there when I’m done! Least favorite: taking out the trash/recycling. I’ll make things fit in there just so I don’t have to walk them to the bins outside!

9. Would you eat a worm for $1,000?
Hmmm, probably not. I’m a little scared of worms, which is why I’ve been putting off getting my composting bin started. But my sister-in-law is giving me free worms, so now I have no excuse!

10. If you won a dream vacation, where would you love to go?
I’d like to get to Ireland since I’m Irish, but I’d also like to go on a cruise -- anywhere! I’ve never been on a cruise, and I hear they’re amazing. :)

About me: Becca is a stay-at-home mom to three kids ages 3 & under. She reviews family-friendly products and hosts giveaways. She’s passionate about green and frugal living, and is a social justice advocate for women and children worldwide.


KitchenAid Mania Giveaway! Win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer ($350 RV)!

We are giving away a white KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer to one lucky reader! This is a perfect Mother’s Day gift to everyone who loves baking or simply just being in the kitchen! This was made possible by Bay Area Mommy, American Family and some of the most awesome bloggers!

KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer
- Retail Value: $349.99
- Color: White
- 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl
- Tilt-back head for easy access to mixture
- 1 piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
- Includes flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip
- Measures 14 by 8-2/3 inches by 14 inches; 1-year warranty

Giveaway will run from April 29 at 12:01 AM EST to May 9 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to the US only. Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible. Enter through the easy Rafflecopter form below!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Winners for the Week of April 22, 2012


Congratulations to the winners: Jessica-Marie C., Sylvia Z., Paulette A., Pinky S., and Rhonda L.!


Congratulations to the winner: Allison B.!


Congratulations to the winner: Happi S.!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (April 28, 2012)

The weekend is here, and that means it's time for another Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! Be sure to share the great giveaways you're hosting in the linky below so we all can enter. And if you're looking to win some fantastic prizes, check out this awesome list! As always, you can find my current giveaways listed in the right sidebar. Have a great (and winning) weekend!

Last Call for Entries for the iCarly: Groovy Foodie! Sweepstakes!

To celebrate the release of the iCarly: Groovy Foodie! video game on June 12, 2012, they’re inviting fans to join a sweepstakes for a chance to meet the iCarly cast and win a trip to L.A.!

iCarly: Groovy Foodie! is a riveting action-puzzle game based on iCarly, Nickelodeon’s top-rated live-action series for kids and tweens, available exclusively for Nintendo DS™. In iCarly: Groovy Foodie!, Carly and Sam get in trouble and must complete community service by making their imaginative food creations. The insanely addicting game is loaded with the show’s favorite characters and wacky food, and challenges players to feed a hungry crowd fast in hilarious situations!

If your kids are fans of iCarly like mine are, you’ll want to share the news about iCarly: Groovy Foodie! and the awesome sweepstakes! Jennette McCurdy, who plays Sam on the show, has a special message for fans. Visit to hear her message and enter the contest. Hurry because it ends on April 30th!

Dad’s Backyard Oasis: A Father’s Day Giveaway Event ~ Blogger Sign-Ups Now Open!

We all know how hard dads work throughout the year, so when Father’s Day comes along, they all deserve a little peace and relaxation, right?

This Father’s Day, Black & Decker wants to help one special dad get his backyard prepped and turned into an oasis for summer-long grilling and entertainment -- without the added expense. Of course, it can also be a special place to call his own, if he wants.

Black & Decker, as I’m sure you already know, is an iconic global manufacturer of quality power tools and accessories, hardware and home improvement products that are sold in more than 100 countries. They provide consumers with products that help make every day living and working easier and more efficient.

What dad wouldn’t want that?


One grand prize winner will receive each of the following:
• 20V MAX Lithium Drill/Driver
• 2-speed Quick Clean Sprayer
• 36V Lithium High Performance String Trimmer with Power Command
• Garden IQ Hand Tools Series -- including pruners, hedge shears, steel trowel, culti-hoe, heavy duty hose nozzle, water hand hose attachment, miscellaneous safety items AND work gloves
• Total value of $500

The event will begin on May 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm. EST and will end on June 3, 2012 11:59 pm.

Cost: FREE in exchange for your participation and event publishing

Event sign up is limited to the first 200 blogs on a first come, first serve basis.

What is required?
• Post an announcement on your blog by May 18, 2012 11:59 pm. EST.
• You must publish the html in full provided to you concerning this giveaway on May 20 12:01 AM (Posts will be checked around 9 AM EST that morning, and hosts will start deleting those who have not done so.)
• You must agree to mention the giveaway on Twitter and Facebook at least once after the giveaway has started!

Ready to join?
Fill out the Sign Up form with your information. If you have any questions, please email Dee at bellasosavvy @

Hyland’s Defend Products: All-Natural Relief for Coughs and Colds! Plus, Hyland’s Is Giving Away $100 SpaFinder Gift Certificates to Moms!

This was a good winter in our household for colds. We had about two each, and our care package from Hyland’s came right at the perfect time. Since there is nothing for kids under 6 for cough, I am always trying to find remedies that work for nighttime cough. Our bedtime routine for about two weeks was bath, book, barking (coughing) and barfing (excuse the word, but had to stick with the Bs)! I tried everything from humidifiers, Vicks on the chest and feet, steam room, cold air, and window opened, but nothing seemed to work.

After trying Hyland’s Defend Cold and Cough Night Syrup, things got a bit better. We still had the coughing, but it never lasted as long, and the vomiting seemed to stop due to the shorter coughing spells. We all had our turn with the nighttime formula, and I must say it was wonderful for kids as well as adults. And the regular Cold and Cough syrup was wonderful as well. Both products are 100% natural and soothe symptoms such as nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, sneezing and sleeplessness. I love the size of the bottles -- 8 fluid ounces seems to be the perfect size for cold/flu season.

Hyland’s has many products for you and your family to try. There is something for everyone, and not just for coughs and colds. Hyland’s has sleep aids, baby teething tablets and colic relief, pain relief, products for women, allergies and more. Check them out at They’re 100% natural!


Hyland’s is giving away $100 SpaFinder gift certificates to 25 lucky moms this May! All they have to do is visit to enter. No purchase is necessary. Whether trying to win a SpaFinder gift certificate as a treat for themselves, their partner or their mom, ALL entrants will also receive a promotional code for 10% off SpaFinder services. Visitors to the site can also use a free and fun app from Hyland’s to create a free Action Hero Mom e-card to send, download or share for Mother’s Day.

DISCLAIMER: Always check with your physician before administering medical remedies, especially for children. This review should not be considered medical advice. Your experience with this product may differ from mine.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From My Mama's Kitchen: Free E-Book to Celebrate Mothers Everywhere!

Mother’s Day is only two and a half weeks away, and in honor of mothers everywhere, author Johnny Tan is giving away the e-book version of his award-winning book, From My Mama’s Kitchen, for FREE! This offer will be available beginning today through 11:59 PM on Monday, April 30, 2012.

Book description:

Endorsed by the National Association of Mothers’ Centers, From My Mama’s Kitchen, by Johnny Tan, is dedicated to your realization and mastery of the power of unconditional love. The book offers a wealth of wisdom, knowledge of practical living skills and effective communication techniques. From My Mama’s Kitchen reveals the power of relationships, the nature of love and the meaning of life. Johnny’s nine moms equipped him with these insights in a kitchen setting. From the virtue of spiritual awareness to self-actualization, Johnny’s nine moms nourished him with recipes for living to become a person defined by his thoughts and actions.

The book is a tribute to mothers everywhere. It has received five awards: in 2010, Mom’s Choice Awards, Mr. Dad Seal of Recognition and Publisher’s Choice Awards by Family Magazine Group, in 2011, International Book Awards and National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

The print version of this book is designed as a keepsake for all occasions, meant to last and inspire forever. It includes a blank dedication page for readers to inscribe their own loved one’s name, and a space where readers can record their recipes for living. At the very end of the book, Johnny incorporates nine of his favorite food recipes. Visit for more information on this inspirational book!

Tips for Enjoying a Relaxing Fika from Gevalia! #samp

When you’re a mother, there’s always something to occupy your time. But experts say that scheduling some relaxation time for ourselves can help to calm our minds and actually make us better parents! Why not start a new tradition for Mother’s Day by scheduling a Fika like the Swedes? The Fika is a cultural mainstay that allows Swedes to take true coffee breaks throughout the day (not just grabbing a coffee to go). Swedes actually slow down, sit and savor a rich cup of coffee and a sweet snack in the company of friends, twice a day, every day. Doesn’t that sound heavenly?

So, how do you master the art of creating your own Fika? Here are some tips from Gevalia Coffee:

• Silence the cell phone, set the timer for 15 minutes and take a break with a friend.

• Choose the right brew, like a delicious cup of Gevalia Kaffe, the Swedish-heritage coffee and preferred brand in Sweden that is now available in U.S. retail stores.

• Bake a dessert like Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns) or something as simple as Pepparakakor (Swedish Ginger Snaps). If you’re not up to baking, any sweet treat or even fruit will do!

• If you want to go all out, decorate your space with a nice place setting using Swedish-designed coffee mugs and label the desserts in Swedish.

Don’t you deserve a Fika today? Pick up some delicious Gevalia coffee and indulge!

DISCLAIMER: I received a sample of Gevalia from Kraft Foods.

A Mother’s Day Giveaway from Teddy Bears Personalized!

Personalized gifts always make the recipient feel special because you took the time to have something made that’s unique to them! Mother’s Day is almost here, and I know that a special lady in your life would be touched by a personalized plush animal from Teddy Bears Personalized. All of the beautiful animals in their Funky Friends line come with your choice of hoodie that’s embroidered with a special name or message from you! Take a look at some of the adorable Funky Friends at Teddy Bears Personalized:

Once you select the animal, shirt and message, your gift will arrive looking something like this:

Note that each gift also comes with a card that can be sent directly to your loved one. Our family owns several plush animals from Teddy Bears Personalized, and they are of such high quality. They make gorgeous gifts for the special people in your life! Hurry over to to order a Mother’s Day gift for your grandmother, aunt, sister, and more!


Teddy Bears Personalized is also providing a Mother’s Day gift for one lucky person ~ a free Funky Friend of your choice! Pick the animal, the hoodie and the name or message. Then have it sent to someone special or keep it as a treasured keepsake for yourself! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on Sunday, May 6, at 11:59 PM EST.

Guest Post: Researching "A Story of the West," by Susan Spence

About A Story of the West: Matt Daly arrives in Montana Territory with his father John in 1880, eager to begin his life as a cattle rancher. He thinks life will be hard but simple. However, things get complicated quickly. First, Matt falls in love when he meets Lavina Lavold, a young woman who has journeyed west with her family from Illinois. She shares his zest for life, and it doesn’t hurt that she's very attractive. But its not clear if the family is just passing through or if they will settle there. Then there are rustlers who steal cattle on the vast prairie. Though it’s dangerous, Matt joins a band of ranchers intent on capturing and punishing the criminals. Bully Buehler, a neighboring rancher only concerned with profit, causes the most trouble. He thinks the Daly ranch would be an attractive addition to his land holdings, and he’s ready to try to take it. Join Matt as he pursues love and adventure in A Story of the West.

Researching A Story of the West was a lot of fun. The first thing I did was visit the local library. I checked out histories and first-hand accounts of the time period. It was fascinating to read the stories of people who lived in the American West during the 1880s. From cowboys who trailed cattle up from Texas, to women who helped settle the frontier, I read every book of the time that I could find in our small library. I also borrowed books from people whose bookcases I was able to peruse.

The second thing I did was to take short road trips around Montana and Wyoming. I drove down highways that few travel to, towns I might never have visited. Along the way I passed abandoned homesteads and ghost towns. There are also many existing ranches that began during the period I wrote about in my book. I always like imagining the people who lived in these places and what their lives were like. I also love to snoop around old buildings and do so whenever I get the chance.

My destination on these drives was usually a museum. Almost every small town has a collection of relics to showcase the early settlers. The museums are usually housed in period buildings. I can remember visiting a couple old schools and one time I toured a county jail with an indoor gallows that gave me the creeps. My favorites were old mansions that have been restored. I never knew what to expect because each collection is unique.

It was also interesting to talk to the people running the museums. For the most part they are volunteers and their knowledge of local history is impressive. They told me stories about the families who settled the area, many of whom were their neighbors. It really helped set the mood as I studied artifacts and contemplated the lives of frontier settlers.

The one medium that wasn’t of much value was the internet. Although I could look up specific historical events and find information, it was hard to find details of everyday life. For instance, I tried to research the history of haying. I knew roughly the changes it went through, from men using scythes to manually cut grass, to horse drawn equipment and on down to the use of the motorized machinery of today. Unfortunately I found little on the web documenting the specifics of those changes.

When I got stuck, I used my imagination. I thought about how a certain task could have been managed using ingenuity, and common sense probably helped me there. The scenes cannot be entirely accurate, but since a lot of this history is gone forever, that’s the best I could do. People have commented, after reading A Story of the West, that my knowledge of life during the 1880s is impressive. That’s satisfying, since my goal was to be believable.

Free Blogger Sign-Up for Diamond Earrings Giveaway!, partnered with My Jewelry Box, is offering this stunning pair of 1/2 carat (ctw) diamond earrings, valued at $1,000! This set boasts the luster of more than five dozen, brilliant cut blue and white stones, delicately crafted from 10 karat polished white gold. Fourteen luminous blue diamonds glimmer alluringly among a bed of fifty-two pristine white diamonds.

To Participate in This Event:

• Create a post about sign ups for this event, and link back to the form below for a FREE Twitter entry.

• In lieu of posting, you may send $1 for your Twitter entry to

• Additional links are available for $1 each (choose from Facebook or email subs).

• Complete the form HERE.

• Your submission confirmation screen will contain a link to the post html and Rafflecopter script, and you may schedule your post to go live at 12:01 am EST on 4/30.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scribblitt: Make Your Own Storybooks, Plant a Tree, and Enter This Awesome Giveaway! US/CAN

This month, my boys have been talking about writing and poetry in their second-grade classrooms. Their teachers even asked me to come in and share my publishing experiences with the children! Needless to say, because I’m a writer, my children are very excited about the idea of creating their own books. That’s why I was so excited to hear about the wonderful services provided at Scribblitt! On this awesome website, kids aged 7-12 can write, illustrate and publish their very own books! When you head to, you’ll see something that looks like this:

Scribblitt offers writing tools, templates, a unique pick-and-click illustration tool, and even the ability to upload your own photos and drawings. There’s everything you need for your children to create beautiful high-quality hardcover books for gifts or as treasured keepsakes. Has your child written a memorable poem or adorable story? Head over to Scribblitt and turn it into a real 8”x8” book! When you’re done, your child’s book will look similar to the one below:

And here’s another great reason to visit Scribblitt right away. During the month of April to celebrate Earth Day, Scribblitt will plant 1 tree for every 1 book published on Scribblitt. They are even running an Earth Day writing contest! You’ll find more details in the poster below. Check it out and then head over to Scribblitt because this wonderful Earth Day promotion ends on April 30th!

My boys and I are really excited about creating our own children’s books on Scribblitt. I hope you’ll encourage your child’s love of storytelling and/or drawing by visiting Scribblitt, too. Head over to and visit them on Facebook at


Scribblitt is very generously offering the following “Make Your Own Book” giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a code to create their very own free storybook on Scribblitt (includes free shipping) ~ a $35 value! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.