Tuesday, October 30, 2012

School Lunches Are Much More Fun with Lunch Chillers and Snack Bags from i play! (GIVEAWAY; US/CAN)

Sending lunches and snacks to school has been harder than I ever imagined. When I worked as a nanny, I didn’t have the same parental thoughts as I do now that I am a mom. I never worried when the lunches came back not eaten. I just packed them and figured the kids would eat them if they were hungry … let the parents worry about the nutrition and how much their child is eating or not eating! But when my own daughter started school, and the lunches came back or the snacks were half-eaten, I was a worried mom.

Fortunately, i play. carries some terrific items to make lunch and snacktime more appealing for kids. I can keep nutritious food cold in Sadie’s lunch box thanks to the Garden Lunch Chillers made by green sprouts. These refreezable ice pouches keep food and drinks cold, which means it’s safer to eat. The chillers are reusable, washable, PVC-free and the perfect size for a lunch box. They would also be good to keep milk or formula cold in a diaper bag and for road trips. Just pop them in the freezer between uses, and they are ready for next time. Best of all, the fun designs (Bugs and Veggies) make for fun lunch boxes, perhaps lessening the chance that food will come home uneaten.

i play. also sent me their Reusable Garden Snack Bags. I always put Sadie’s recess snack in one so she knows when to eat it. They are also PVC-free and easy to clean and wipe down when needed. The bigger size fits a sandwich nicely, and the smaller one is perfect for a small snack. The Velcro closure stays shut for no mess, and it’s a perfect little bring-along snack bag for a trip, car rides or just about anywhere. Pick from three fun designs!

I hope you’ll check out all of the wonderful BPA- and PVC-free items for babies, children, and parents at i play., Inc. You can find them through the links below.

i play. website: http://www.iplaybabywear.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/iplaybabywear
Twitter: http://twitter.com/iplayinc
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/iplayinc/


One lucky winner will receive a pack of Garden Lunch Chillers and a pack of Reusable Garden Snack Bags from i play. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only, and will end at 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

A Halloween Stencil from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial!

I recently shared the great news with you that the blockbuster movie, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with its first-ever release on Blu-ray™! It features an all-new, digitally remastered picture and includes the 1982 theatrical movie, an all-new interview with director Steven Spielberg, and "The E.T. Journals" featuring never-before-seen footage from the set of the film. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack also includes deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a cast reunion and an UltraViolet™, DVD and Digital Copy of the film, offering you the chance to relive the mystery, laughter and wonder of the iconic movie anytime, anywhere on the platform of your choice.

And, just in time for Halloween, enjoy this pumpkin stencil from E.T.! Just click on the banner below.

Help Master Lock Support the American Heart Association, Plus Enter This Giveaway for a Special Edition Love Lock!

Did you know that “sweethearts” around the world affix padlocks to well-known gates and bridges to symbolize their love? We celebrated Sweetest Day this month, and Master Lock is honoring the “padlock custom” while simultaneously generating donations for the American Heart Association! When you visit www.MasterLoveLock.com, you can make your own declaration of affection for a loved one and help generate a Master Lock donation to a wonderful cause.

Master Lock is donating an initial $10,000 to the American Heart Association and will donate an additional dollar for every love lock created and sent through www.MasterLoveLock.com (up to $5,000) through December 31, 2012. Here’s how it works:

1. Head to www.MasterLoveLock.com.
2. Select a lock.
3. Choose a bridge to secure your lock to.
4. Upload a private photo and personal message for a loved one.

A customized “love lock invitation” will then be sent to your recipient via email. If your love lock is honoring someone lost, you can send the invitation to yourself for acceptance. Once the invitation has been accepted, the love lock and message will be posted on the site’s public gallery, securing your symbol of endearment forever.

Don’t delay! Please help Master Lock support the American Heart Association, and show a loved one how much you care! Visit www.MasterLoveLock.com today.


One very lucky winner will receive a special edition Master Lock Love Lock (pictured above)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day and Support Your Local Toy Stores This Season! #toystoreday #localtoystore #shoplocal

I can’t believe that the month of October is almost over! But we have plenty to look forward to in November. Not only will we celebrate Thanksgiving, but it’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 10th! The holiday shopping season is a great time to support your local neighborhood toy store. When you visit www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org, you’ll find a terrific online resource to help you learn more about the best toys on the market -- those items with the “woohoo factor” that make you or your kids jump for joy when you find them! You’ll also find articles with expert advice about toys and play, a local toy store locator, and much more.

So, why should you shop locally? Every $100 spent in local, independently owned stores returns $68 to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more (Source: 3/50 Project). Shopping locally also fosters a sense of community, helps you locate items that might not be available nationally, and offers more personalized customer service. And when you visit participating stores on Saturday, November 10th, you’ll discover fun activities, craft projects, live performances and/or special discounts to celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day!

My children were sent examples of some of the terrific quality products that might be available for sale at your neighborhood toy store. Check them out!

Playmobil Future Planet Playset

My boys, age 8, LOVE this toy! This amazing space station has plenty of moving parts and even a working solar panel that powers a ventilator! They put it in front of the window on a sunny day, and it really works! The Playmobil Future Planet playset encourages imaginative play and provides kids between the ages of 7-12 a real sense of accomplishment when they put it together.

Mine Shift Game by MindWare

This two-player game is a ton of fun. I love that all ages enjoy it, even adults. It’s a strategy game where you try to beat your opponent by getting your jewels from one end of the maze to the other by rotating and shifting the tiles on the board, and moving and jumping your jewels. It’s easy to learn but a great brain challenge!

Nanoblock Electric Guitar

These micro-sized building blocks can be assembled to construct a realistic-looking electric guitar! This set is for ages 8+, and my boys found it to be quite challenging! But with a little help from their big brother, they put it together and were thrilled with it. The small size makes this the perfect stocking stuffer!

All of the toys featured above can be found at independent toy stores nationwide. I hope you’ll visit www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org to locate your local toy stores and do your holiday shopping with them this year. And don’t forget to visit on Saturday, November 10 in celebration of Neighborhood Toy Store Day. Spread the word and visit the following social media sites to show your support!

http://twitter.com/TheWoohooFactor (#toystoreday #localtoystore #shoplocal)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I Need Your Vote in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Blogs Contest!

I’m excited to share that Susan Heim on Parenting has been nominated to the Top 25 Product Review Moms - 2012 list on Circle of Moms! Can you please help me get into the Top 25 by giving my blog a quick vote? It only takes a second! Just click on the button below, scroll down until you see Susan Heim on Parenting, and click on the “thumbs up” button. That’s it! The button will remain on my right sidebar so you can vote once a day until November 16, 2012. I really appreciate your support! Thank you!

Teachers, Enter the Why We Love Recess Contest for the Chance to Win a $150 Gift Card!

Are you a teacher with a blog? Then you’ll be very interested in Dannon’s Why We Love Recess Contest! All you need to do is post on your blog about why you love recess. Here are some ideas of how you or your students can express your love of recess:

• Put on an active presentation showing what recess means to you.
• Write about the importance of playtime and recess.
• Share a fun story about one of your childhood recess memories.
• Come up with a fun jingle that describes why you love recess time. Encourage your class to not only sing but actively perform the jingle.
• Show and Tell: Bring in a picture of your favorite playground activity.
• Create a storyboard that shows how you would enjoy a new playground.
• Have your children or students draw pictures that show what recess means to them.

Of course, you can come up with your own as well! After you have posted on your blog about why you love recess, send a link to your blog post to roxy.rahimi@dannon.com. By emailing the link to your post, you will be entered in the Why We Love Recess contest and will be eligible to win a $150 gift card! In addition, your post could be featured on the Danimals Facebook page. You have until November 30, 2012 to post about recess and send your link. For more details about the Why We Love Recess Contest, check out the Official Rules online at danimals.com/challenges.

Educate Kids About Bullying with the Captain McFinn and Friends Series!

October is Anti-Bullying Month, and if your children are in school, I hope they’ve been talking a lot about the subject. But addressing the subject at school is not enough. We should be speaking to our kids at home about the dangers of bullying, too. One way to do that is with the Captain McFinn and Friends book series, created by Phyllis Cafaro. The series includes three books (hardcover, softcover, and eBooks), an activity book, a sing-a-long music CD, a mobile app, and educational materials for adults to help teach children between the ages of 4 and 8 about kindness and friendship. Children should be educated about anti-bullying as early as possible so that they acquire a life-long habit of being kind to others and standing up to bullying.

I received copies of the books in this series for review. In these books, we meet Captain McFinn (a shark), Stink & Stank (mean barracuda brothers), Bella (a kind angelfish), Three-Tooth (a rabbitfish), Coral Rose (a magical princess), Inky (a friendly octopus), and other fun characters. In The Legend of Captain McFinn and Friends, McFinn the mean shark turns into a nice guy when he sees the power of friendship, which helps him out of a tough spot. The sea creatures band together to help Coral Rose save a coral reef from people who are destroying it in Captain McFinn and Friends Meet Coral Rose. In Captain McFinn and Friends Rock!, the friends make musical instruments out of junk in the ocean and form a Friend-Ship Band! They also learn to show compassion for Bella when it turns out she’s not a great musician and feels left out of the band. All three books help parents and teachers talk about the power of friendship over meanness.

I also received a brochure about the S.H.A.R.K. Patrol program. The Students Help Achieve Respect & Kindness Patrol anti-bullying program is for teachers to educate K-3 students about bullying and how to protect themselves. There are puppets of the sea animals from the books, stickers, teacher guides, posters, and many other materials available to help teachers and administrators build a program at school to discourage bullying. I hope you'll visit www.captainmcfinn.com to learn more about all of the wonderful materials available for families and educators to teach children to “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully”! Visit Captain McFinn and Friends on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Winners for the Week of October 21, 2012


Congratulations to the winner: Phaedra S.!


Congratulations to the winner: Fiery N., Stacey D., and Carolyn A.!


Congratulations to the winners: Stephanie Z., Lisa M., Liz L., Anastasia F., Crystal Y., Tony L., Jeremy S., and Shelly J.!


Congratulations to the winner: Tamar S.!


Congratulations to the winner: Tami R.!


Congratulations to the winner: Ada M.!


Congratulations to the winner: Jamie Leigh Martin!


Congratulations to the winner: Vikki B.!


Congratulations to the winner: Ashley M.!


Congratulations to the winner: Ann H.!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (October 27, 2012)

As I type this, the palm trees here in South Florida are blowing sideways courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, the storm is just skirting our coast, so we're only experiencing a little extra wind and rain. Unfortunately, it's been a tough week to work since they closed the schools for a day and a half. We'll be saying some prayers for those of you who have yet to experience Hurricane Sandy. Don't forget to bring in anything that could blow around your yard and be sure to have lots of non-perishable food and other supplies on hand. If you don't lose power, I hope you'll join us for the Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! Hop around to the blogs below for the chance to win great prizes. And if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog or website, feel free to share it with us. My current giveaways are listed on the right sidebar. Good luck!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The ABC Photo Contest from I See Me! Prizes Include a $100 Visa Gift Card and Personalized Books!

Exciting news! I See Me! just launched the “ABC What Will You Be!” photo contest. To enter, simply upload a photo of your favorite little one, along with the caption “When I grow up, I want to be _________” and you’ll be entered to win.

The grand prize is a $100 Visa Gift Card! Ten (10) runners up will receive a copy of I See Me’s new “A-B-C What I Can Be!” personalized storybook. I have a copy of this book, and it is absolutely adorable!

Be sure to "like" I See Me! on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ISeeMeBooks. Then CLICK HERE to enter the photo contest and share this contest with your friends! Hurry, the contest ends on November 2.

Dannon’s Path to Play Challenge: Fun with Leaves! #Rally4Recess_leaves #sweeps

Last week, I told you about Rally for Recess, an incredible program by Dannon® Danimals® and Danonino® to help encourage kids to be active and play outdoors. I hope you’ve been looking for codes on Danimals® and Danonino® products and redeeming them online at www.rallyforrecess.com for a chance to win a $30,000 Playground Makeover for your school or one of three $1,000 Playtime At Home Prizes!

I also shared that our family is participating in Dannon’s Path to Play Contest. We received a fun poster from Dannon that includes “challenges” for our family to do. By completing the challenges, we have a chance to win awesome prizes! This week, we decided to tackle the “Action Challenge”! Here’s what it said:

Raking up the leaves can be a chore -- but jumping in them is much more fun! Rake up a pile and take a jump!

When I first read this challenge, I thought it would be impossible for us to do because we live in south Florida. We don’t have the pleasure of watching the leaves turn colors and fall to the ground. But thanks to Hurricane Sandy passing by, there was enough wind to blow a lot of leaves in our yard! My son, Austen, had so much fun learning to rake leaves for the first time and then jumping into them. Check out his adventure today!

Thanks to Dannon for encouraging children to be more active! I hope you’ll join them for the Rally for Recess program and have fun outdoors!