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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Get the Family Organized NOW for the New Year!

This is a GREAT calendar. With two kids, not even in activites yet, and me and the hubby it lets us all know who has what going on, when!

An organizer for the wall! This organizer calendar is the perfect 16-month planner for every busy family. Complete with extra-large grids to keep track of each day's events, large storage pocket, over 390 stickers, write-on / wipe off boards, a pen-with an eraser, and contact sheets for important information such as the pediatrician, dentist, orthodontist, veterinarian, school, bus company and much more.  This all-in-one command center  makes it EASY to stay on top of your busy family's schedules.Each day is divided into 5 colors, so if you choose to organize by color, you can, without having to grab different colored pens.   From soccer games to business trips, EVERYONE'S schedule is easy to follow with 2011 Family Facts Family Activity Wall Calendar.

My kids LOVE the stickers too!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
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Friday, December 10, 2010


Baby Bites

I have to confess, since being a stay at home mom I have let the schedule slack. I have also stopped paying attention to what Ashlee is really eating, just letting her snack a she wishes running all over the house. Now I'm paying the price for my mommy mistake!

Baby Bites, the newest title from Bridget Swinney, Registered Dietitian and mother of two, delves into every area of feeding babies, including the less talked about "output" department. She also offers a no nonsense approach to making your own baby food.

"In working with new parents, I've found they really need practical information and real life examples. I appreciate the fact that new moms often don't have the time to take a shower, much less to sit down and read a complicated feeding book! So I've divided the information into sections that can be read quickly--during a nursing session, for example."
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McCormick & Schmick is offering one order of bar food FREE

Since teaming up in the early 1970s, Bill McCormick and Doug Schmick have established more than 80 restaurants throughout the country. The two men, very different yet surprisingly compatible, have established themselves as passionate entrepreneurs with one collective vision, to run the nation's premier family of seafood restaurants. The combination of an open imagination and a respect for tradition are what makes McCormick & Schmick's the classic and successful business that it is today. For more information about our history, click here.

Each McCormick & Schmick's restaurant is uniquely designed to create an inviting, original and relaxed atmosphere, where guests can enjoy the highest quality dining experience. Our restaurants are situated in a broad array of locations – from downtown urban cores to suburban retail-driven centers. For more information on the design and development of our restaurants, click here.

Each McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant’s menu is printed twice daily, featuring the signature “Fresh List” highlighting an impressive number of fresh seafood varieties, in addition to aged steaks, poultry, entrée salads and pasta. McCormick & Schmick's commitment to local freshness is apparent in the seasonally inspired dishes and regionally inspired preparations offered. To learn more about our food, click here.

Since our very first restaurant opened, McCormick & Schmick’s has focused on a true spirit of hospitality, where every guest is treated like family. The McCormick & Schmick’s “people-focus” extends to our employees as well, whom we treat with the utmost respect and for whom we provide growth opportunities at many levels. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants also believe in giving back to the communities in which we are a part by supporting local programs and organizations. For more information about our culture, click here.
McCormick & Schmick is offering one order of bar food FREE for anyone that checks-in on Foursquare during Happy Hour!

What is Foursquare?
Foursquare on your phone gives you & your friends new ways of exploring your city. Earn points & unlock badges for discovering new things.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010


Teens: 50 Activities That Will Change Your Life

This is a great book for parents of teens. The book helps with self discovery in this world where the challenges of being a teen chage daily!

With all the challenges and uncertainty in a teen's life, self-discovery and setting a foundation for the future is difficult. "Who am I?" and "How can I become the person I want to be?" are questions that frequently haunt teenagers.

With the help of Roger Leslie's book, Success Express for Teens: 50 Activities that Will Change Your Life, today's teenagers can begin to discover more about themselves and learn about setting attainable goals.
Leslie compares choosing a direction for your life with going to a train station and deciding which train will take you to your desired destination.

The ticket for every destination in life is commitment. "Are you required to remain only on one train all your life?" students ask Leslie. "Of course not," he reassures them. "You may return to the depot at any time to pick a new train, or you may re-board old trains you once took but left earlier."

To help young people decide on a destination, this award-winning teacher developed and refined the exercises shared in Success Express for Teens. Throughout the book, the brief, action-oriented activities pose the questions "What should I do next?", "How?" and "What's in it for me?" After describing the goal of the activity, Leslie then leaves room to respond to specific instructions and reflect on how the knowledge can be put to immediate use in real life.

The activities are set up to encourage teenagers to clarify their highest ambitions, identify wise risks, and develop motivation that will help make them self-starters and keep them focused on their goals--even in the face of adversity. Leslie subtly teaches students about their dynamic relationship with life and the empowering role they play in any destiny to which they aspire.

Teens can take their journey to success independently by completing the suggested activities on their own. In addition, the book has a helpful appendix for teachers, counselors, group leaders and parents which details ways to turn each of the 50 activities into shared group experiences for five to fifty teens.

So, whether alone or with their peers, teens can board the Success Express and move toward identifying and realizing their dreams.
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Breast Cancer: No One Chose This Journey

When I saw the title of this book I just had to read it. Many women suffer fromt his disease and many so not share it. But I know that everyone know someone who has or had breat cancer. (weather or not they have told you).

"...a beautiful book, filled with breathtaking art and hope, bringing smiles and much calm..."
- Barbara Delinsky, New York Times bestselling author of UPLIFT: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors

The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that each year, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and of them over will 40,000 die from the disease. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. But when she believes that breast cancer could never happen to her, the diagnosis seems devastating.

Fran Padgett extends a hand to every "she" living with breast cancer in her new book Breast Cancer: No One Chose This Journey. In this tribute to all women who have been "chosen by breast cancer," Padgett offers comfort. Through nine stories that have been entrusted to her by friends and others she met casually at conventions, coffee shops, and in line at the shoe store, Padgett shows that, while the journey may be intensely personal, no one travels that path completely alone.

The spirit of many different women imbues these pages. From the very young to older survivors in various countries, Padgett takes the tales of the same difficult disease and shows how each woman fought and how she bloomed. Readers will meet Destiny who was diagnosed at 29; Becky who kept giving her students so much while she was battling; and Bonnie who rode 14 miles to the Breast Center for treatment. They may have been chosen by the same disease, but each woman's experience is uniquely theirs. Reading about the different trials and tribulations each of these women faced makes it easier to believe that breast cancer does not have to create unnecessary isolation; it can be used to unite.

Padgett's original artwork enhances each of the stories. A series inspired by the women she writes about, The Gift Of Time pieces communicate the sense of strength and hope shared through the stories. Each piece in this collection shows the inner spirit and beauty of the woman for whom Padgett created it. Painted using her own impressions and the impressions of family and friends of the woman, the art is a visual of the love and support with which each woman surrounds herself when facing this hard disease.

A book of comfort and sorrow, this book has a message for all who read it. If you enjoyed the tales of strength from books like Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul and A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors, this truly touching collection is a must-read.

Every emotion and outpouring of the soul is captured through Padgett's words and her stunning Gift of Time artworks. All of the triumphs and ironies, the laughter and tears, the sensations of survival, and the complexities of healing usher in anyone who feels abandoned by the world and showers them with the courage to strengthen their relationships and the hope to keep moving forward with life.
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Hair Bows, the Hot Holiday Accessory

I let my cousin help me review this product, other than the dog eating the instructional DVD, she was able to view it once before that and has created over 100 hair bows!!!!

Bowdabra bow and craft tools unleashing creativity all over the world!  From beautiful bows for gifts to elegant bridal accessories and home decor, the crafting possibilities are practically endless with Bowdabra.

With its simple-to-use "goof proof" design, Bowdabra is for people of all ages; even children. Families seeking fun and affordable activities can spend some quality time together using Bowdabra products to create unique crafts and wonderful memories.

Bowdabra products come with a VIP Pass to our membership site, containing craft articles and videos presented in an easy to follow style.

The Bowdabra Hair Bow Tool and Ruler comes with a ruler to fit over your existing Mini Bowdabra, interactive software to make 70 Hair Bows, and the much loved Bowdabra Bow Wire.

The Hair Bow Tool and Ruler helps you to make unique bows including: Boutique Bows, Pinwheel Bows, Scrunchy Bows, Loopy Bows, Pet Bows, and tiny little Baby Bows. Available in our store NOW!
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New Dress for Christmas service

These are the most amazingly cute dresses I have seen. I was lucky ehough to review the Scarlett Raven from the Shaby Apple  dress. I'm wearing it to the Christmas Eve service!

The Scarlett Raven dress is a swath of bordeaux-colored habatoi silk blossoms from the slim silhouette of a black-and-white pinstriped, high-waisted pencil skirt in the Scarlett Raven dress.  The fully lined bodice boasts princes seams and cap sleeves, while the skirt's sturdy construction hugs your curves in an oh-so-flattering way. Finished with a silky tie at the neck and playful pleated ruffling in the back, the Scarlett Raven is a smoldering twist on a modern classic.

Shabby Apple welcomes you to great dresses that make dressing simple.

After years of not being able to find stylish dresses that covered enough skin to make you really feel comfortable (without wearing a tank top, cardigan or long slip), owners Emily and CK decided to do something about it.
They visited trade shows, marketplaces and designer studios only to discover the problem was not that department stores weren't buying the right dresses, but that designers weren't designing them.
Shabby Apple is proud to offer you fantastic dresses that allow you to look fabulous, without having to compromise anything else.

A return to what dresses were always meant to be — a one-piece outfit. No need to add tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!).

Shabby Apple also focuses on helping women worldwide. Through our charitable work with women throughout Asia and Africa, we are able to convert dress sales into lifestyle changes for women and children.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Fit into that Christmas outfit!

So we all know the holidays are great to gain pounds but what about sheding them to fit into the perfect holiday outfit? Well Step360 is an easy, fun, and fast way to do just that!

More than two decades ago the original Step changed the way millions of people worked out. Now the Step360 is set to transform fitness once again. The secret: A revolutionary design that marries two adjustable air-filled chambers with a flat, padded platform. It's one part ab machine, one part butt blaster, one part thigh trimmer and a total-body training tool. You'll burn hundreds of calories each workout while firming your muscles and flattening your abs.

You'll burn hundreds of calories each workout while firming your muscles and flattening your abs.

Best of all, when you pair the Step360 with Jessie Pavelka's unique 30 and 60 second high-energy bursts of Cardio + Strength Quickies, you'll get results like nothing you've seen before! Every time you step on the platform, you engage your entire core and surrounding stabilizing muscles. Add or decrease air to control just how challenging you want your workout to be. To boost your results even more, use a sculpting cord.
With this all-in-one training tool and workout program you'll blast fat, lose inches and reshape your abs, butt and thighs. Plus, you'll ramp up your metabolism so you'll keep burning more calories all day long, even at rest. It's the smartest, most effective, most efficient way to exercise.
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Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren

I'm not a grandparent but I got this book for my mother. It is a super book for granparents of all ages and in all stages of life.

You can be the grandparent that every child wants! With Grandloving’s heartfelt ideas you’ll connect, bond, and grow closer to your grandchildren.

The new, 5th edition of Grandloving: Making Memories With Your Grandchildren includes anecdotes and hints from hundreds of grandparents, parents, and grandchildren from all over the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned grandparent, newbie nana, or child caregiver, this vast collection of fun, low-cost activities, resources and helpful information provides support for family members of all ages!
  • Revised, updated, and expanded 5th edition (View our videos for more details.)
  • Co-authored by two generational team: Grandma Sue Johnson, her daughter-in-law, Julie Carlson, and daughter Elizabeth Bower (Learn about them.)  
  • Illustrated by Ronnie Walter Shipman and Frederick B. Johnson
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New Book Uses Art to Make Math Fun

This is an awesome book if you have a child who loves to draw, color, or just have fun. And the trick is they are learning math skills at the same time!

In Levin's 12th 1-2-3 Draw title (series total: 23 titles; over 1.5 million sold), she uses her proven step-by-step drawing instruction to offer lessons that supplement math learning in a fun way. In Draw Plus Math: Enhance Math Learning Through Art Activities, the lessons are based on learning goals outlined by the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

By enhancing math learning through art activities with exercises and games, Levin turns the sometimes frightening and often challenging concepts of math into something fun and approachable. Robots, critters, odd creatures and more all play an active role in teaching beginning math concepts.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


A new twist on old favorites

Hasbro has relased some old games with a new twist!
SORRY! SPIN, a new take on the classic game of SORRY!, features an innovative rotating game board that makes getting “HOME” more complicated and unpredictable than ever before. The unique dynamics involved in the game of SORRY! SPIN engage players on every move and make it anyone’s game to win.
Similar to the classic game of SORRY!, cards prompt
moves around the game board forward and backward.

In SORRY! SPIN, these action cards and spin spaces
involve an added element as players might be asked
to spin the center game board a quarter turn, which
could move an opponent’s pawn, or even your own,
farther or closer from the corresponding “HOME” area.
It’s hard to know  what card will be played next!

Be the first player to get four pawns back to the
“HOME” space and yell “SORRY!” to win the game.

Players become the TWISTER mat in this game, as the iconic TWISTER dots are turned into rings that players use to connect body parts with other players to score points – taking TWISTER to a new level. Score points to win any of the five unique games included in TWISTER HOOPLA and prepare to closely interact with other players in this exciting interpretation of TWISTER.

Players select from team games, goofy races, or
competitive play in TWISTER HOOPLA. After turning the
spinner, players follow instructions to connect body part
with a colored TWISTER HOOPLA game ring, such as
“green ring, right elbow to left hip.” Don’t start to laugh or
lose your balance. Dropping the ring means you’ll be

 Choose from five unique games:
-          TWISTER Glue
-          TWISTER Race
-          TWISTER Scatter
-          TWISTER Tangle
-     TWISTER Toss

Hasbro is adding a friend named FROGGIO to the Elefun and Friends line. This fun-loving character comes to life in the POP GOES FROGGIO game, which takes picture finding to new heights. In this active matching game, preschoolers spread lily pads of Elefun and his friends around the room, spin the spinner and try to find the matching picture. The first preschooler to match the Elefun and Friends character to the right lily pad gets to stomp on the big green lily pad launcher and send Froggio for a triumphant leap!

To begin playing, place lily pads of Elefun and his
friends face down around the room. Players take turns spinning the butterfly spinner, and race to try to find the
Elefun and friend’s picture under the lily pads.

Once the matching lily pads is found, the preschooler races back to Froggio and stomps on the large lily pad
launcher, which send Froggio flying into the air.

For younger players, place the lily pads face up and allow players to either catch Froggio in the air or pick him up
off the ground once he lands.
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New clothing for the season

We LOVE these pants for easy diaper changing!

Hello World Clothing Company and their SimpleZip Pants were designed to make diaper changes easier and your life a little less hectic.

Our pants are made from 100% interlock cotton and include our patent pending SimpleZip™ design, allowing you to unzip your baby from ankle to ankle. Say Hello to stress free diaper changes and goodbye to your little one’s strip tease act.
  • Color: Pink with Chocolate Brown accents
  • Sweet layered ruffles
  • Comfort fitted elastic waist
  • Machine washable
  • Imported
  • Size Chart
  • Gift Box
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Tony Hawk®: SHRED

We are a video gamin family. This is one of our fav Christmas games this year!

An all-new Tony Hawk experience created for a younger audience, Tony Hawk®: SHRED allows kids to “GO BIG” and feel the exhilaration of skate and snowboarding like the pros using the game’s innovative, motion-sensing board controller right at their feet.  With coin-op, arcade style gameplay and pro athletes, including Chaz Ortiz, Lyn-Z Adams, Travis Rice, Torah Bright, and the godfather of skate himself, Tony Hawk, SHRED is packed to the brim with larger-than-life moments, huge jumps and gaps, incredibly steep drops and decents, and a veritable goody bag’s worth of motion activated, jaw-dropping tricks – enticing kids to get off the couch, be physically active and get immersed in the action.

·         GO BIG OR GO HOME SON!!! Tony Hawk: SHRED gives kids the chance to fully experience the thrill of supersized skate and snowboarding, where the bigger the feat the better the fun – tricks that are impossible to do today, but could potentially be pulled off 20+ years from now as the sports evolve!  SHRED’s intuitive board controller captures every bit of sugar induced kid energy, allowing them to jump on and immediately perform over-the-top tricks, master massive drops, pull-off awesome grabs, and ride-out super long grinds right from the family room floor!

·         NOW WITH 100% MORE SNOWBOARDING – Whether riding on cement or snow, Tony Hawk: SHRED has it covered.  SHRED’s innovative, motion-sensing board controller was never designed with just skateboarding in mind, and now young aspiring snowboarders can feel the ultimate rush as they shred down steep mountain peaks, launching off huge kickers and pulling off crazy spins, flips and grabs!  Featuring pro riders Travis Rice – 2009 X-Games Gold Medal winner, Louie Vito – 2010 Euro X-Games Bronze Medal winner, and Torah Bright – 2010 Winter Olympic Gold Medal winner, kids can jump on SHRED’s board controller and go crazy in a whole new way, performing the biggest snow tricks imaginable in iconic frosty locations like Whistler, the French Alps and Beijing.

·         DON’T SIT…SHRED!!! – There’s no lounging around with Tony Hawk: SHRED in the family room!  With SHRED’s amazing motion-controller board and enticing GO BIG gameplay, kids will be off the couch and into the action in no time, using their boundless energy to grind through exotic locations and bust sick moves!  Whether it’s younger kids raring to jump on the board to pull-off huge tricks, or older kids craving to go head-to-head against siblings and friends for the top score, Tony Hawk: SHRED offers a socially fun and physically active experience the whole family can enjoy together!

·         SHRED AS A PRO…OR SHRED AS THE PRO! – While Tony Hawk: SHRED’s full pro athlete list includes skaters Tony Hawk, Lyn-Z Adams, Corey Duffel, Sean Malto, David Gonzalez, Geoff Rowley, Stevie Williams and Chaz Ortiz; and snowboarders Travis Rice, Louie Vito and Torah Bright, the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 versions of the game lets kids import their own Mii and Avatar characters – allowing them to BE the pros on-screen pulling off larger than life skate and snowboarding tricks.  The Wii version of SHRED also features additional content, including Mii versions of all the pro athletes, exclusive levels, and a Wii-specific visual style all to itself – based from the 360 and PS3 versions of the game of course.
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Shrek The Halls!

If you follow me on Twitter you know my daighter's new favorite movie that we watch at least 5 times a day is Shrek The Halls!

Shrek is quietly living in the swamp with his family when the Christmas season arrives. Under Donkey's urging, Shrek reluctantly promises Princess Fiona a special Christmas surprise. Shrek goes to the local bookstore to try to find a present for Fiona, but since he doesn't know what Christmas is all about, the shopkeeper gives Shrek a copy of Christmas For Village Idiots, a step-by-step guide to celebrating the holiday.

Shrek proceeds to follow the book's advice by decorating the house and getting a tree so he can spend a quiet Christmas Eve with his family, but Donkey brings the entire "family" to the swamp, ruining Shrek's plans.

As Shrek tries to tell his own version of "A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas)"; Gingy, Donkey, and Puss in Boots interrupt and each tell their own version of a Christmas story. Donkey tells of floats coming to the swamp. At the end, Donkey tells of licking an enormous Santa figure that is made out of waffles, but in reality he accidentally starts licking Shrek's leg. Puss tells his version of the story of Santa Claus, but ends up playing with the ball point of his Santa hat, while in reality he is playing with one of the baubles from the christmas tree. However, Gingy's story is not happy, but horrifying, as he tells about how his girlfriend Suzy got eaten up by Santa Claus. To which Donkey finds it unbelievable, with Gingy screaming "You weren't THERE!!".

Donkey finds Shrek's Christmas for Village Idiots book, and the ensuing fight over the book destroys all of Shrek's decorations, furniture and the tree. Shrek ends up ejecting his friends from the house.

Christmas spirit ruined, Fiona and Shrek have a talk, after which she takes the children and leaves the swamp to go and apologize to their friends. Shrek feels downhearted that Christmas Eve didn't go as he hoped it would.

Fiona catches up to their friends and explains to Donkey what Shrek had wanted for Christmas. Shrek catches up with the group, and apologizes for losing his temper. Donkey is shocked to learn that this is Shrek's first Christmas, because "ogres don't celebrate anything." Donkey also apologizes for being annoying, and explains that Christmas never goes as planned and according to his mother, "'Christmas ain't Christmas until somebody cries', and that's usually me."

After a snowball fight, the friends return to the swamp, and Shrek tells his story, featuring not Santa, but Ogre Claus. Soon they hear bells and go outside to see Santa and his reindeer, although Gingy runs back inside screaming in terror.
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Monday, December 6, 2010


Helping Military Children Understand Separations

Separation for children at any time of the year can be difficult, but the holidays are often even harder.

How does a parent in the U.S. Armed Forces explain to a young child the concept of service to country and about why they are away so often? Dear Baby, I'm Watching Over You written by Carol Casey and illustrated by Mark Braught, is a warm and beautifully illustrated story of enduring love across distance and time that will help children understand all the tender ways a parent remains connected to family while deployed to another country, to another state, or away for training exercises. Whether the child is a baby, toddler, or teen, they want to know that they remain a priority to their absent Mom or Dad and that their parent continues to watch over them from afar.

There are over a million servicemen and servicewomen on active duty. Many of them have had long and repeated tours of duty creating a challenging situation for military families. The 2005 U.S. Census Bureau estimated there are more than 25 million veterans, many who faced similar challenges in keeping close bonds with their children while away from home.

This book is for all the military personnel and for their spouses and families who have sacrificed along with them. It is a love letter from a parent to a child that puts into words the small and precious moments keeping that bond alive through distance and hardship. It also addresses the larger issue of patriotism and duty felt by all those who serve.

Each Dear Baby book comes with a unique yearbook feature that will help preserve precious memories. In this book, it is a "Roll Call" page where the person who has read this to or with a child can write their name and the date.

"A delightfully illustrated story with meaningful passages offering a depiction of the many ways our military moms and dads are watching over their families....Dear Baby, I'm Watching Over You was developed for military families, but it's a book that is suitable for any child's bookshelf. I highly recommend this book for every child, classroom, and library."                 Barb Webb, Country Bookshelf Book Launches with Author's Tour of Military Bases
Author Carol Casey begins a tour of military bases this month stretching from Camp LeJune in North Carolina to Camp Pendleton in California.
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Christmas Tree Safety

It is of course the holiday season. Having formerly worked for the Pierce County Fire Prevention Bureau I want to give everyone some holiday safety tips. According to the USFA over 40 people die every year from holiday related fires. More than 1,650 are injured and over $990 million in damages occur.

1. First off WATER YOUR TREE! This video as been circulating for years but is well worth a watch:
2. Keep and eye on your open flames or candles!
3. Use indoor lights INDOORS and outdoors lights OUTDOORS. Use indoor extension cords INDOORS and outdoor extension cords OUTDOORS.
4. Do not overload electrical outlets.
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Toy Story Action Links

Another great gift idea for the little boy or girl in your family is the Toy Story 3 Action Links line of toys.

From the Toy Story 3 Action Links Sunnyside Breakout Stunt Set to the Toy Story 3 Dump Truck Vehicle Stunt - Lotso and of course you cannot forget the Toy Story 3 Space Aliens 3 Pack, these fun toys are good for hours of fun.

We were blessed to host a Toy Story 3 party through BSM Media. We had tons of fun and all the children enjoyed themselves.

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by BSM Media on behalf of Disney/Pixar and received a sample to facilitate my candid review.
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In Praise of Praise

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Games, movies and MORE Christmas Fun!

This week I have some great games, movies, and much more for this Christmas season!

Everyone's all tie favorite in our house is of course Play-Doh!
Model Magic Presto Dots to the Max
Make fun creations with bumpy, 3D textures, Presto Dots to the Max is a deluxe collection with more bases, forms, Model Magic colors, tools and more fun-tastic ways to create!

They offer a girl pack, boy pack, and frog pack!
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Friday, December 3, 2010


Pledge® to Love Your Kitchen

Pledge® is here to help and is hosting the “Pledge® to Love Your Kitchen” Contest in partnership with Jyl Johnson Pattee of

About the Contest:

The contest offers moms the chance to win $15,000 in gift card(s) to a major home improvement retailer to help update their kitchen along with a year’s supply of Pledge® to make it shine.  For all the details and official rules, go to

About Pledge®:

This holiday season Pledge® is empowering moms to put a new twist on their family’s tried and true traditions. One easy way to do that is to make all areas of your home shine. That’s right – that trusted yellow can under your kitchen sink can be used to dust, shine and protect a variety of household surfaces:

  • Leather
  • Stainless Steel
  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Laminate
  • Wood
Check out more information at
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Keep Kids Safe on Outdoor Playground Equipment

Regular maintenance and supervision help keep kids safe when playing outside.

As a parent one of the most important things to consider is your child's safety.  Most parents, particularly first time parents express a feeling of anxiety and ambivalence regarding what is the best way to keep their children safe while still affording them the freedom necessary to make their own decisions and explore the world for themselves.   There is often a tendency among parents to ?ver parent While these feelings come from a place of love and concern, parents who are too overprotective are often robbing their children of the valuable experiences in problem solving and conflict resolution that are so critical to child development.  One of the most important tasks that every parent must undertake is the ability to protect and educate while still allowing their children to grow and develop as independent individuals. 

Fortunately, when children are very young there is less of a struggle in this area.  All young children need a lot of protection from a world that they do not understand or yet know how to navigate.  Children's physical safety is of paramount concern in these early years, and it is very likely that on all counts they will fall, sustain minor injuries and cuts, in the name of learning.  These are not tremendous issues; they happen to all children the world over and are instrumental in teaching them when they are running too fast, climbing too high or doing other things that they shouldn't.

But what can parents do to really ensure their children's physical safety? If you are creating a play space for your child in your backyard, there are many safety precautions that you need to consider. 

·         Age. Home playground equipment is generally suitable for children from 18 months to about 12 years of age at most. 
·         Material. When installing such playground equipment, be sure that you are installing the materials over an impact-absorbing materials such as sod or earth. Hard materials like concrete, asphalt or stone are inappropriate for children to safely play on.
·         Sun. When you are installing equipment made of metal be mindful of the sun.  Metal equipment can get very hot when exposed to the sun and placing a slide, monkey bars or other metal accessories in a sunny place can cause a child to burn herself at worst, or at the very least to avoid using this piece of equipment.
·         Avoiding Danger. Be sure that you are keeping a regular eye on the equipment your children are playing on and constantly checking to be sure that screws are tight, materials are solid and your swing set's connection to the ground is sturdy. 
·         Damage. It can be difficult to avoid the damage that naturally comes to outdoor playground equipment. Sun, rain, sleet and heavy winds can damage materials as the years go by.  Regular checkups and maintenance ensure that you avoid overlooking a piece of damaged equipment that could potentially harm a child. If there are ropes, nets or climbing ladders, you must be sure that they are fully and firmly anchored to the ground and tightly bound to any of the other pieces of equipment that they connect to. 
·         Dry. Be sure that after a rain or snow storm, all equipment is thoroughly dry before your children decide to play on it. Slippery metal bars can pose a serious safety hazard for children of all ages. 

My last piece of advice: playground play should always be supervised by an adult.  Even the most well constructed pieces of playground equipment are not completely flawless and children have a tendency to get rambunctious and over excited when they are playing outside and any too-fast running, too-high swinging or other extreme behaviors can result in injury. It is always best to be sure that you are around to make sure that your kids are playing safe.

Do you have any other tips that I’ve forgotten to mention? Feel free to add them, in the comments below.

About the Author
Andy is a writer on a variety of topics from child playground safety to swing set accessories reviews. She has a 4 year old daughter who inspired this post after asking, ‘can we have a playground at home’.
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10 Great Recipes to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

In recent years, Christmas has gotten so commercialized that we’ve forgotten what it is all about—food! Who doesn’t have memories of warm Christmas hams, homemade Christmas candies, pies, warm cider, or other Christmas treats? Making and eating tasty treats and good food is one of the things that makes Christmas so special and gets us in the Christmas spirit.

So, if you are looking for some traditional Christmas recipes—or for something a new and adventurous—check out the list below for links to amazing treats what will make you think you’re hearing jingle bells already.

1)      Mint Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes: A little chocolate, a little mint, and almost no holiday stress.
2)      Christmas Ginger Cookies: Ginger cookies are a staple of season; try these tasty treats to get in the spirit.
3)      Apricot Glazed Ham: Time to update your Christmas ham recipe! Try this new one with a savory and sweet apricot glaze, Christmas dinner will never be the same again.
4)      Christmas Plum Pudding: Have you ever tried this traditional English Christmas treat? Now’s the chance to find out why it’s been an English Christmas staple for so long.
5)      French Canadian Christmas Pork Pie: If you are looking to sample other countries’ Christmas traditions, serve a little French Canadian Pork Pie at your next Christmas dinner.
6)      Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlets: In reality you could eat these all year round, but then what would you have to look forward to at Christmas?
7)      Christmas Tree Shaped Green tea Cookies: These little cone shaped treats are rolled in sparkling sugar, stand on a chocolate chip trunk, and are topped with a small candy star. If making these doesn’t get you in the mood for Christmas, then bah-humbug to you!
8)      Fantastic Traditional Christmas Cut-out Sugar Cookies: What is Christmas without biting into a good old-fashioned sugar cookie shaped like a sleigh or a reindeer? Try this delicious twist on a traditional cookie guaranteed to make you feel like a kid again.
9)      Russian Friendship Tea: There’s nothing like a little hot cocoa or cider on a cold winter’s night, but if you are looking for something a little different this Christmas try this fruit-based tea infused with cinnamon and cloves.
10)  Chocolate Fruitcake:  I know all the fruitcake jokes in the world, but you’ve never had fruitcake like this. Chocolatly, fudgy goodness that will make you think twice about ever telling a fruitcake joke again.

Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes.
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