Friday, November 30, 2012

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (December 1, 2012)

I have SO many awesome giveaways for the holidays! I just added a giveaway for a Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray Box Set worth $279.99! I hope you'll check out my right sidebar under CURRENT GIVEAWAYS for a complete listing, with more being added every day. (Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any of them!) I know that other bloggers have a lot of fabulous giveaways going on right now too, so if you're one of them, please share them in the linky below! And if you're loving this opportunity to win some great prizes, be sure to hop around on the linky and check back frequently as more are added. Happy holidays!

iFrogz Animatones: Adorable Kid-Friendly Headphones and Earbuds!

My son, Caleb, loves to play hand-held video games, but listening to the constant beeps and theme songs can get old. I’m constantly telling Caleb to turn down the sound or even turn it off! Using headphones is an option that makes both of us happy, but I worry about what damage the sound might inflict on his little ears if he turns the volume up too loud. Fortunately, I just came across a line of child-friendly earbuds and headphones from ZAGG that have audio-limiting protection for developing ears! This means that kids can’t turn the sound any louder than 85 decibels, which is about the volume of a standard telephone dial tone. Perfect!

The iFrogz Animatone headphones and earbuds come in three fun colors -- blue, green, and red -- along with corresponding animal prints (such as a ladybug, turtle or snail). Even the box is adorable! The earbuds, which my son received for review, also arrived with several different-sized buds so you can find just the right fit for your little one. There’s nothing more frustrating than having them fall out because they don’t fit correctly!

My son loves his blue walrus-themed earbuds. The bright color makes it easier to find them when he lays them down somewhere in the house, as kids tend to do, and they don’t get mixed up with anyone else’s earbuds. If children don’t like earbuds, the headphones make an excellent option! You can find iFrogz Animatone headphones and earbuds at and Best Buy stores nationwide. I hope you’ll pick some up this holiday season for the little listeners in your house and protect their ears!

Taking Your Child to the Doctor? Five Tips to Help Them Say “Ah” with Confidence (Giveaway for Baskin-Robbins Gift Card!)

Guest post by Nicole Fonovich, co-creator of the “Luca Lashes” app/eBook Series

Winter is on its way, and everyone knows what that means. Not skiing, not hot chocolate, not kissing under the mistletoe. Colder temps bring cold and flu season, sick kids and doctor’s offices. (Cue sniffles and sneezing.) Any self-preserving individual will avoid sick people like the plague. But if you’re the parent of a young child, you might not have a choice. Here are five life-changing tips for bringing your sick child to the doctor’s office and surviving the sniffle season ahead.

1. Avoid it at all costs.

Crying babies, snotty noses, heat-seeking germ missiles that love to embed themselves inside busy working mothers -- these are all the things that await you at the doctor’s office! So if you can avoid it, do. The most efficient way is to have your child immunized. This requires some preemptive planning. Go early; the sooner the better. That way you can avoid all the mayhem of bringing a sick child to a doctor’s office full of other sick kids.

2. Choose wisely.

When it comes to sticking sharp things into your child’s skin, the friendlier the better. Don’t just settle for the first pediatrician who accepts your health insurance. Look for a doctor who works well with your child’s personality. Ideally, it is someone who is great at distractions. “Dear sick little baby, here is a cute, fuzzy little bear.” The needle will be in and out before your baby knows what hit her. Be picky when it comes to your child’s doctor. You’re the one who will end up paying on the car ride home.

3. When all else fails … play doctor!

So, you’ve done your best. You got your child immunized; you disinfected every surface in your house; you even kept her away from the coughing kid at the playground. But she still came down with the flu. What's worse than a sick, irritable kid? A sick kid who is terrified of the doctor. You have no choice. She’s spiked a fever and it’s not coming down. Before you drag baby to the doctor, prepare her for what to expect. Buy a toy doctor kit with things like a stethoscope, shot dispenser, and a fake plastic hammer. She will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the doctor and associate them with fun rather than fear.

4. In the waiting room, play some more.

Waiting rooms are germy places, and the last thing you want is to get infected yourself or to make your child even sicker. This is where your handy dandy iPad comes in use. It can provide great entertainment and distraction without having to share any germs.

5. Take control for your baby.

Be a model for your child. Project confidence, not fear when at the doctor. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and get all the answers you need. Bring a pen and paper, take notes, and be inquisitive. This helps your child see the doctor as a resource for help and information. There’s no need for nervousness here.

With these tips you can turn a potentially dreadful experience into a lot of fun for your child (and yourself), one that they will be eager to repeat in the future. Regular doctor’s visits will be a piece of cake after this, allowing children to enjoy an important part of a lifetime of health benefits.

Nicole and Damir Fonovich are co-authors of Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor, available at all app/ebook marketplaces. For more helpful suggestions, visit the Luca Lashes YouTube Channel and


Enter the Luca Lashes contest!

Readers: Comment on this post with your most interesting story of taking your kid(s) to the doctor and you’ll be entered to win a gift pack complete with a toy doctor kit, fun Band-aids and a $20 Baskin-Robbins gift card for use after their next appointment! This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on December 7, 2012.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY! Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray Box Set ($279.99 Value)! #FRIENDS

Warner Bros. Pictures is pleased to announce the release of Friends: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set! To celebrate this terrific news, they’ve also released the following:

The Friends Blog App, which includes:

30 Days of Friends: Trivia Challenge! Come back every day to earn a different Friends character badge, unlock hidden badges, and earn awesome Friends content along the way.

Mashup Clip Countdown! Relive all your favorite Friends moments in these fun clips. Each week a new clip will be unlocked. Come back week after week to check them out!

Which Friend Are You Most Like Quiz! Everybody loves the characters of Friends for their distinct and quirky personalities: Chandler’s wit, Monica’s OCD, and Phoebe with her free spirit. Take this quiz to find out what Friends character you are most like!

Mashup Clip Countdown Video Player! Relive all your favorite Friends moments in these fun clips. Each week, a new clip is unlocked, so keep coming back to check them out!

Now, read on because I have the opportunity for you to win the following fantastic gift for a super Friends fan … like yourself perhaps! (I know I would love to find this under the tree with MY name on it!) Here’s how to enter:


One awesomely lucky winner is going to receive a Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray Box Set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment ~ a $279.99 Value! (I am SO jealous!) To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.

Children Can Now Explore the Exciting World of DreamWorks Madagascar on! (GIVEAWAY)

The first words out of my son Caleb’s mouth this morning were: “I can’t wait to see if my dragon has hatched!” These aren’t typical words for a little Earth boy to utter unless he’s been playing in the DreamWorks Madagascar area of! At Central Park Zoo, Caleb and his brother, Austen, have been having great fun exploring all of the activities there. In the Enchanted Sanctuary, they collected hearts to warm up the “eggulator” so they could hatch their very own dragon egg. They had fun naming, decorating, and playing with their egg, and then placing it in the eggulator and learning to care for it. They’re hoping they’ll find a baby dragon when they log back on today!

Throughout the Madagascar area, they collect coins and stars in various sections and games so they can trade them in for clothes, vehicles, and more for the avatar they created and named. They love to explore the kingdom by jumping on various launch pads placed throughout that enable them to fly and see all of the fun places to visit. One of their favorite areas, besides the Enchanted Sanctuary, is the Beaver’s Revenge game. It’s similar to an Angry Birds game, but this time they use beavers to launch fish at woodsmen! There are many more areas that my boys haven’t even begun to explore yet, guaranteeing months -- even years -- of excitement. Best of all, with JumpStart, I know that my boys are interacting and learning in a safe online environment and playing games that are educational and age-appropriate.

Watch this 30-second video for a quick peek at the new Madagascar world on JumpStart:

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

At JumpStart, they have areas for children of all ages. Children ages 3-5 can explore StoryLand. Kids in grades K-2 will love AdventureLand and MarineLand. And upper elementary students will want to check out Future Land and Uncle Milton’s Scienceland. Parents will want to visit JumpStart’s blog for great parenting articles and news on features of JumpStart. I’ve given you just a brief snapshot of all of the excellent games and activities available to families when they join I hope you’ll check it out with your children and consider giving a JumpStart membership as a holiday gift!


One lucky winner will receive a complimentary 3-month membership to! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, December 13, 2012.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Xbox Holiday Bundle Giveaway Event ($339 Value)!

Xbox Holiday Bundle Giveaway Event

If your family loves playing video games together, you'll definitely want to keep reading because we have an amazing prize to give to one very lucky family!

This fantastic event is hosted by Mom to Bed by 8 and A Medic's World

Please take a moment and visit our sponsor, Penny Auctions Canada

Penny Auctions Canada is an online auction website that lets you buy awesome products for pennies!
Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Holiday Console Bundle Includes:
Xbox 360 250GB Console
3 Month LIVE card
Kinect Sensor
Kinect Adventures
Kinect Carnival

One lucky reader will receive an Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Holiday Console Bundle!

Giveaway ends December 19, 2012, at 11:59pm, open worldwide {residents outside of the US will receive cash equivalent of $339}, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Gummibar Makes His Film Debut in "Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search for Santa"!

If you’ve got kids in elementary school and an Internet connection, you’ve most likely heard of “I Am a Gummy Bear (The Gummybear Song)”! My son, Austen, sings it all the time after watching this Internet sensation on YouTube. So, he and his brother were very excited to hear that Gummibar is starring in his very first movie, Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search for Santa! In the movie, Santa is reported missing, and it’s up to Gummibar and his friends to find Santa and save Christmas. Check out the trailer below:

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

Gummibar: The Yummy Gummy Search for Santa is now available on DVD, Digital Download, and On Demand. Kids will be thrilled to know that the movie features 8 songs, which includes 2 Christmas songs and 6 “Gummy songs”! There are also 6 bonus music videos that children will love to sing and dance along to! My boys loved watching this movie, and it has become a permanent part of our holiday movie collection! I hope you’ll pick up a copy for your children or grandchildren and visit Gummibar through the links below.

Twitter: @LGHomeEnt

This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Have a Heavenly Shower with Home Spa Shower Sprays! (GIVEAWAY; 5 Winners)

I love to take long, hot showers at the end of the day. It’s just so relaxing to wash off the dirt of the day and go to bed nice and clean. It’s also a great “thinking time” as it seems like some of my best ideas seem to come to me in the shower! Anyway, I recently came across a product that makes a shower even lovelier: Home Spa Shower Sprays! Made of high-quality, 100% natural essential oils, they’re aromatherapy in a bottle!

Home Spa Shower Sprays come in four invigorating scents: eucalyptus, lavender, pink grapefruit, and tangerine. The directions say to spray three or four squirts into the water stream before you enter the shower. It smells lovely, but the scent doesn’t last very long, so I have a better way of making the wonderful scents last. I run the hot water for a while (while I’m washing) until the bathroom gets all nice and steamy. And then I pump 6-10 sprays into the water stream. The scent seems to last much longer because it disperses in the steam in the room, and I can smell the fragrance even after I shut off the shower, so my bathroom smells good, too!

My favorite scent is the lavender. I gave my adult son the eucalyptus, and he really liked that, too. The grapefruit and tangerine also smell great, but didn’t last as long as the lavender and eucalyptus for me. If you love to take nice, relaxing showers, I suggest you add a Home Spa Shower Spray to your experience! You can find more information at CLICK HERE to visit them on Facebook, too.


Five lucky winners will each receive one Home Spa Shower Spray in their choice of scent! To enter, simply fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

Raising Givers, a Guest Post by Author Darryl Nyznyk ~ Plus a Giveaway (US/CAN)!

Guest post by Darryl Nyznyk, author of Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas

My wife and I raised four daughters through school day traumas of isolation, rejection, ostracism and dissociation, and bullying. While none of our daughters were on the receiving end of all of these hateful practices, each experienced one or more personally, and each saw them foisted upon others. It was our duty, as parents, to guide them through these experiences by teaching them how to deal with the pain, and by helping rebuild their shattered psyches after each experience.

We found it was just as important to instill in them empathy and compassion for others suffering through the same trauma. We wanted to teach them to look less at the pain they were experiencing and more to the pain of others who they could help. Our belief was that our kids needed to learn how to give of their compassion, understanding, and love in their everyday lives. Here are five basic concepts that helped us in our efforts.

1. You are a good person. One of the most important elements in a giving heart is a sense of self worth that enables a person to step away from his own problems and focus on the issues of others. To be true givers, children need to have confidence in themselves. Build their self-esteem, but not because they might be the “prettiest,” “smartest,” “best athlete,” or “most popular,” but rather because they are empathetic and compassionate people. If they cry when a person they know dies or they understand the pain when a friend gets hurt or they help a neighbor in need, it is these feelings and actions that make them good people.

2. Discuss issues of evil and sadness in the world. Getting children to sit and carry on a discussion about the issues of the day can be virtually impossible. With homework, music lessons, sports practice, electronics, friends, and every other conceivable interference, it’s difficult to find a moment to have a conversation other than “hi.” But it’s vital that we do. It is our task to find those moments where we can say “Did you hear about …?” and “Do you think there’s anything we could (or should) do about …?” We need to ask them about any sad or evil events of which they are aware, and how they feel “we” should react. Despite the hesitation our child may express at first, the truth is that once we get them talking, we have moved them away from focus on self and to thoughts about the plight of others -- an essential step in imprinting the concept of giving onto their hearts.

3. Think of someone at school who needs help. Encourage your child to think of someone at school who might need empathy, compassion, or simply a friend. Suggest they look beyond their immediate circle of friends and identify someone who might be viewed as a “geek,” a “nerd,” an outcast. Talk to your child about how that person must feel; try to get your child to try on that person’s shoes so that they understand how painful that person’s experiences are. Then discuss how your child might be able to help, even with something as simple as a kind word.

4. Talk to friends at school about those in need. Encourage your children to step up in their peer groups to convince friends not to judge those previously deemed below them. “I heard his parents can’t afford to get him good soccer shoes; maybe we can figure out a way to help. He’s a pretty good player.” “Her mother’s been really sick. Maybe we should ask her to join us and see if she needs help.” Or just plain, “She looks weird, I know, but she’s a nice person, just a little shy.”

The point here is that our child steps up and gives herself to the pain and suffering of those ridiculed by her group. Peer pressure makes this one very difficult, and a parent’s discussion about the proper approach to the peers is essential. It doesn’t require that your child take over the leadership role from the “king” or “queen” of the group, but rather that she use her subtle influence and intelligence to move the leader to compassion that the others will follow.

5. Stand up against injustice even if alone. Our children know right from wrong because we have taught and continue to teach them the difference. When they see bullying or other injustice in their schools or other social settings, they must step up to protect the weak and bullied.

The most difficult thing for the normal “non-leader” child is to become visible by asserting themselves. It’s difficult because by standing up within the group or outside the group, the child is challenging leadership and risks becoming the butt of jokes or the one who is bullied. This is why parental guidance in the art of subtlety within the group, and of strength of purpose outside the group is essential. In conjunction with that guidance, our child’s knowledge that we, as parents, have his back when he steps up, gives him the strength he needs to stand tall.

Teaching our children to give is the essence of our duty as parents. It’s an enormous undertaking, yet what better gift can we give our world than a child who “gives” herself in the fight against injustice, cruelty and inequality?

Darryl Nyznyk is a full-time storyteller and father of four grown daughters. As a parent, he began to take a hard look at the world around him -- one of extreme political and social divisiveness -- and as an author, he wanted to share the message with the world that he had been telling in his own home for years ... a message of hope, love and faith. He is the author of Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas.


Enter the Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas contest!

Readers: Comment on this post with what your favorite charity is and why. Darryl will choose a grand prize winner and match a donation of up to $100. The winner will also receive a signed copy of Mary’s Son. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only, and ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 7, 2012.

Finding the Baby Jesus Blog Tour: Book Review and Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Tour Schedule
I'm pleased to announce that Susan Heim on Parenting is a stop on the Blog Tour for the book, Finding the Baby Jesus, by Kimball Fisher. Following my review, you'll find a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash!

About Finding the Baby Jesus, by Kimball Fisher
After being forced to wear lederhosen for the annual holiday card picture, twelve-year-old Chris thinks that the least his parents can do is get him the Tony Hawk skateboard he wants for Christmas. But when he recovers the hand-carved Baby Jesus that everyone thought had been destroyed in a fire the year his grandma died, Chris realizes that some gifts are even more important than skateboards.

When the author had to discontinue a cherished tradition of reading Christmas stories out loud with his family and holiday guests each week in December, he wrote Finding the Baby Jesus. He had been unable to locate enough meaningful stories that could be read in a single sitting with wiggly children.

My Thoughts About Finding the Baby Jesus:

Chris is just like most young boys -- more concerned with what he’s getting for Christmas than about the true spirit of the holiday. He is upset as they arrive at his grandfather’s house because his parents have told him that the new skateboard he wants just isn’t in the budget this year. Chris is also missing his grandmother, who died and can no longer celebrate Christmas with them. But when Chris encounters another little boy who has no parents and only wants a warm coat for Christmas, he begins to see that there’s more to Christmas than getting the hottest toy on the market. This story is just the right length for reading to children and will help them uncover an important lesson through the eyes of a child like them. Reading Finding the Baby Jesus together as a family should be part of everyone’s holiday tradition!

Praise for Finding the Baby Jesus:
“Tender and true, this warm Christmas tale brought tears to my eyes.”
~Heather Vogel Frederick, author of the much-beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club series and Oregon Book Award winner for The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed

“A touching story that speaks to the importance of family, giving, and the true spirit of Christmas.”
~Matthew Kirby, author of Icefall, winner of the Edgar Allen Poe and the Pen Center USA Literary Awards for Children’s Literature

“Deeply moving. Poignant.”
~Deborah Halverson, former editor at Harcourt Children’s Books and author of Honk If You Hate Me, a Gayle McCandliss Literary Award Winner

"The perfect little book to tuck away with your Christmas things and bring out year after year to read with family. As mother to three boys, I can't imagine a better protagonist than Chris. His typical teenage attitude followed by the softening of his heart towards a friend teaches a poignant and very relatable lesson on the true meaning of Christmas."
~Amazon review

"After I read this short story, I felt like I had read a novel -- every sentence is packed with action and imagery. I was emotionally connected to the characters, and the story is touching. I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming! A great story to read every Christmas."
~Amazon review


Author Kimball Fisher
Kimball Fisher writes novels for young readers. He is also a best-selling business author, professional speaker, and management consultant. Some of his past jobs include: sailboat builder, ghost writer (not as scary as it sounds), illustrator, and factory manager (more scary than it sounds). For fun he builds furniture, stained-glass windows, and writing pens.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities (with minors in English, Asian Studies, and Japanese), and a Master of Organizational Behavior degree from Brigham Young University. He and his amazing wife Reenie live in Portland, Oregon, where they have seen pheasants, coyotes, and a bobcat in their own backyard.

Book Blast
Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/26/12

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Send a Meaningful Gift from World Vision for Giving Tuesday! (GIVEAWAY)

Today is Giving Tuesday -- a day to encourage people to focus on giving rather than getting. The Christian humanitarian organization World Vision is joining nearly 2,000 nationwide organizations to challenge Americans to take part in this new movement. But World Vision also has a unique initiative: to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy. Any gift of food, clothing, or school supplies for children in the U.S. given through World Vision’s Gift Catalog ( during the week of November 26 will be designated for their Sandy relief efforts. World Vision’s relief teams have been distributing much-needed supplies in some of the most vulnerable communities hit by this devastating storm on the East Coast.

A new World Vision Holiday Giving Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, showed that fewer Americans plan to give a charitable gift as a holiday present this year. Wouldn’t it be great if we could change this statistic by spreading the word about Giving Tuesday? Here are some tips for participating in Giving Tuesday from World Vision:

Volunteer Virtually: Not everyone is able to take off work to physically volunteer, but you can volunteer virtually by donating food kits online through World Vision. Each kit contains enough food to feed a family of five for one day ($16 per kit).

Give a Meaningful Gift: Share the spirit of Giving Tuesday by giving a gift that can change a life. World Vision’s Gift Catalog has hundreds of gifts such as goats, fresh water wells, and life-saving medicines that can be given in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker or child and help one of more than 825,000 people around the world who benefit from gift catalog items. Gifts range in price from $16 to $39,000, and there are more than 250 items online to choose from. After purchasing a Gift Catalog item, the person whose name the gift was given in will receive a special card describing the gift and its impact.

•Teach Generosity: Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, and teachers to help children understand the importance of generosity and giving to others. World Vision’s Gift Catalog can be a helpful educational tool.

There are so many donation options on the World Vision site that I can’t possibly do them justice, but here’s a great example. For just a $25 donation to World Vision’s Maximum Impact Fund, you can help provide for the needs of children and families worldwide where resources are most desperately needed. Plus, with your donation, you can select a gift for yourself or a loved one, such as one of these adorable plush animals:

World Vision generously sent me samples of these three animals, and they are absolutely adorable. Made by Hasbro, they are super soft and safe for birth and up. Giving a World Vision donation along with one of these plush animals would be a perfect way to celebrate the birth of a new little baby in your family this year!

To learn more about World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit or call (888) 511-6511. Since 1996, purchases from the catalog have raised more than $33 million that helped more than 825,000 people around the world!


One lucky winner will receive all three plush animals (Gertie Goat, Chuma Chick, and Pallu Pig) from World Vision! 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 EST on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Basketball Star Kevin Durant Stars in the Movie, Thunderstruck, Now on DVD and Blu-Ray! (GIVEAWAY)

Warner Bros. is proud to announce the release of Thunderstruck on DVD and Blu-ray on December 4, 2012 ~ along with the Thunderstruck Blog App! If your little athletes are basketball fans, they’re going to love this movie! NBA superstar Kevin Durant plays himself in this action-packed family film about a basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian (Taylor Gray) magically switches basketball skills with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high school team ... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life! But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner means working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season. Our family hasn’t seen this movie yet, but it sounds like an excellent choice for our next Family Movie Night!

To celebrate the movie’s release, Warner Bros. has introduced this fun Thunderstruck app, which contains:

• Free-Throw Challenge Game! Are you up for a Free-Throw Challenge? Show us your skills! Make as many baskets as you can and unlock special clips along the way!

• 7 Thunder-ific Tips for Kids! Does your kid dream of going pro? Use these awesome tips to help them sharpen up their skills! “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”~Kevin Durant

Enjoy the Thunderstruck app above, and then read on to find out how you might win a copy of the Thunderstruck Combo Pack!


One lucky winner will receive a Thunderstruck Combo Pack (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Download)! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter through the easy Rafflecopter form below.

Celebrate Giving Tuesday! Give a Holiday Gift That Has the Potential to Save Lives

After the buying frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s certainly appropriate to celebrate Giving Tuesday -- the holiday season’s new day for giving back. The Giving Tuesday movement encourages people to donate to and volunteer with organizations that are close to their hearts.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has many meaningful gifts that capture the true spirit of the season and have the power to save lives. Each symbolic Rescue Gift represents a program, project or tool that the IRC uses in its critical humanitarian work around the world. Gifts will be used where and when most needed to provide help and hope to people who have been uprooted by conflict or disaster.

You can browse Rescue Gifts online and dedicate them to loved ones, who will receive beautiful personalized print or e-cards to acknowledge the gift. There is a Rescue Gift for everyone on your list at various prices. Here is a sampling:

Photo Credit: Aubrey Wade/IRC

For parents: A Safe Delivery Rescue Gift ($24) can ensure critical supplies for the safe birth of a child in a crisis zone.

Photo Credit: Peter Biro/IRC

For children, to teach them the value of giving: A Baby Goat Rescue Gift ($50) can provide relief for a family in a drought-stricken area like Somalia. When grown, a goat can provide milk for malnourished children.

Photo Credit: Peter Biro/IRC

For teachers or students: A Year of School Rescue Gift ($52) can supply the tuition, books and other materials for one year of a child’s schooling in a country recovering from war.

Photo Credit: Janet Simmelink/IRC

For the green thumb: A Community Garden Rescue Gift ($60) can provide tools and seeds to refugees who have been resettled in the United States, so that they can grow their own fresh, healthy food in an IRC community garden.

For a partner or spouse: A Toolbox for Disaster Recovery ($75) can furnish strong, sturdy tools to a disaster survivor so that he or she can clean up their home and village, and truly begin their road to recovery.

As an added bonus, when you spend $75 or more at, you will receive a fashionable “Rescue” T-shirt or have it sent as a gift.

Rescue Gifts are a charitable gift option that is both fun and rewarding to give and receive. I hope you’ll commemorate Giving Tuesday by sending a Rescue Gift through the International Rescue Committee. I plan to visit their site with my children to pick out a gift that helps others and to teach my kids to give.

Help Him to Upgrade His Shaver This Season with Philips Norelco! Plus, Get Coupons and Enter a Twitter Contest!

Does your hubby or partner complain that his shaver just isn’t doing the job anymore? He may be due for a shaver upgrade! I have a fantastic suggestion: the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Shaver. Check out the amazing features of the SensoTouch 3D Shaver:

• It’s cordless, making it convenient for travel or on-the-go use.
• The GyroFlex 3D contour-following heads adjust seamlessly to every curve of the face, minimizing pressure and irritation.
• The shaving head has 3 specialized tracks: slots for normal hair; channels for long or flat laying hair; and holes for the shortest stubble on your face.
• The dual-blade system lifts hairs to cut comfortably below skin level for a closer shave.
• The Aquatec wet & dry seal lets you choose how you prefer to shave. You can get a comfortable dry shave or a refreshing wet shave using a shaving gel or foam.
• The low-friction SkinGlide shaving surface slides smoothly along your skin.
• The easy-grip shaver handle has an ergonomic grip with anti-slip coating, ensuring close control for an extra precision shave.
• The unique skin-friendly precision trimmer system is built to avoid unnecessary skin contact. Easy to use for perfect moustache and sideburn trimming.

My oldest son, in his early twenties, told me that his old shaver wasn’t working well anymore, so the opportunity to review this product came just in time. Here’s how he described the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Shaver: Amazing! He said it was very gentle on his face and got all of the hair the first time, so he didn’t have to keep going over the same spot. A short shaving time is a plus for a young man rushing to school or work! He also liked that the charger is in the stand, so he can keep it continuously charged. In addition, he praised how easy it was to clean the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Shaver. He is absolutely thrilled with his new shaver and says that his old one seems like a dinosaur now in comparison ~ definitely a shaver upgrade!

Now’s a great time to shop for a new Philips Norelco shaver for your man because there are some great coupons available!

• Save $20 on Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D
• Save $10 on Philips Norelco SensoTouch 2D
• Save $5 on Norelco PowerTouch, PowerTouch with Aquatec, 6945, Replacement Heads, Bodygroom, QT4019, QT4022, QT4070, QG3270, and QS6140

Get your Philips Norelco coupons here!

Philips Norelco’s Holiday Twitter Contest!

I’m also pleased to announce Philips Norelco’s Holiday Twitter contest! Through December 17, 2012, Philips Norelco is giving their Twitter followers the chance to upgrade their electric shaving experience -- and holiday experience -- by giving away a PowerTouch with Aquatec every day! They will also give away a weekly $1,000 and SensoTouch 3D grand prize. You can find all of the details, rules and prizes on their Twitter page @ShaveExperts.

I hope you’ll consider the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Shaver or another one of their high-quality products when you’re shopping for holiday gifts!

Free Gingerbread Man Song from Bari Koral for the Holidays!

Award-winning singer/songwriter Bari Koral is getting into the holiday spirit with a gift of music for her fans. From now through December 31, the song “Gingerbread Man” from Bari Koral’s award-winning 2012 album, Anna and the Cupcakes, is available as a free download.

"Gingerbread Man" may be downloaded at:

This is a really cute and bouncy song that the whole family can sing and dance to ~ enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winners for the Week of November 18, 2012


Congratulations to the winner: Maureen (suburban prep)!


Congratulations to the winners: Carlabree B., Stephanie L., Allyson T., Kim R., Denise S., and Jessie C.!


Congratulations to the winner: Kim L.!


Congratulations to the winner: Saver Sara!


Congratulations to the winners: chris z. and Catie R.!


Congratulations to the winner: Alison W.!

Do Allergies Develop in the Womb?

If your child suffers from allergies, especially severe or life-threatening allergies, you’ve undoubtedly wondered how they came about. Were they inherited? Did you do -- or not do -- something during pregnancy that caused allergies? Is it an environmental problem? I recently ran across two comprehensive articles on the website,, that address these puzzling questions based on the most recent medical research. Unfortunately, there are still no clear-cut findings as to what causes allergies, but more answers are emerging, which is good news. Check out the articles below:

Do Allergies Develop in the Womb?
By Michelle L. North PhD and Anne K. Ellis MD MSc FRCPC FAAAAI

Do Allergies Develop in the Womb? Part Two: Responses to Questions by Concerned Mothers
By Michelle L. North PhD and Anne K. Ellis MD MSc FRCPC FAAAAI

Battle Dry Lips This Winter with Carmex Lip Conditioner!

I love Carmex lip products for keeping my lips soft and chap-free. In fact, I keep two Carmex sticks on my desk at all times for quick application when my lips are feeling dry. As a member of the Carmex Blog Squad, I was recently sent their new Carmex Lip Conditioner for review! This amazing product comes in a little squeeze tube -- perfect for slipping into your purse or backpack. It contains 13 moisturizing ingredients that absorb quickly. And I love the all-natural orange flavor … yum! My lipstick goes on smoothly over the lip conditioner or I can use it alone or before I go to bed.

Cool weather has arrived, and with it comes even more dry and chapped lips. I came down with a cold this week, and my lips always get dry when I’m sick from the constant use of tissues. Fortunately, my lips have been staying moist with this cold because I’ve been applying Carmex Lip Conditioner frequently. I am so thankful not to have painful lips to add to my sore nose!

If you haven’t already, be sure to stock up on Carmex lip products for the cold and flu season, especially the Carmex Lip Conditioner! You’ll love the orange flavor and the smooth feel of your lips when you use this product this winter. It’s a must-have for battling your winter woes!

Leading Lady’s “Most Comfortable Bra in America” ~ Get 30% Off and Free Shipping for Cyber Monday and Enter to Win One on Facebook!

It’s common knowledge that finding a comfortable bra can be a challenging task! Itchy lace, hard underwires, and straps that dig in can make the best outfit feel uncomfortable. That’s why I was really excited when Leading Lady asked me to review their Cotton Front-Closure Leisure Bra, also known as the Most Comfortable Bra in America™!

Leading Lady is a premiere intimate apparel company dedicated to creating comfortably functional, remarkably affordable, stylish and easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepwear. A family-owned and -operated business, Leading Lady has been expertly tailoring nursing and full-figure bras for top brands and retailers across North America for more than 70 years. Leading Lady’s comprehensive line of nursing and full-figure intimates -- including sexy stretch lace wirefree and underwire bras, supportive and seamless sport and yoga bras, and cozy sleep and leisure bras -- can be purchased directly on

Leading Lady’s signature Cotton Front-Closure Leisure Bra, now known as The Most Comfortable Bra in America™, is made from soft, breathable cotton fabric with a touch of spandex for stretch. Designed with ultimate comfort in mind, the bra hooks in front, making it ideal for sleeping, running errands and practicing yoga, a cinch for dressing, and extremely easy for nursing moms to feed their babies.

I really love Leading Lady’s Cotton Front-Closure Leisure Bra. It is amazingly comfortable -- no itchy lace or uncomfortable underwire. It provides a lot of support thanks to the wide, padded straps and back area. I ordered my usual size, and it fits just right. And I love the wide range of colors it comes in: peacock, pink, heather gray, ecru, white, black, and black with tan dots! The front closure makes it really easy to get on and off. Sometimes, I prefer a padded cup when I’m wearing a thin shirt, so I wish there were a padded version of this bra. But for most of my outfits, this bra is absolutely perfect! Keep reading to find out how you can potentially win or save a lot on Leading Lady’s awesome Cotton Front-Closure Leisure Bra!

Enter to WIN The Most Comfortable Bra in America ™ on Leading Lady’s Facebook page in November! Hurry over because the current contest ends on November 28, 2012! Click on the banner above to enter.

CYBER MONDAY SALE! Leading Lady is offering 30% off site-wide with code Thanks30, plus get free shipping with no minimums! Click on the banner above to start saving!

And if you happen to miss the Cyber Monday sale, you can still get 15% off site-wide through the end of the year with the code MCBLOG3466. (Cannot be combined with any other offers.)

Finally, Leading Lady is proud to celebrate “Leading Ladies” everywhere through its products, programs and philanthropic activities. Leading Lady is dedicated to arming new moms with the support -- physically, intellectually and emotionally -- they need to nurture their babies through breastfeeding and committed to supporting a variety of organizations and issues relevant to women across the country. Follow Leading Lady on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.