Thursday, November 18, 2010

Macaroni Grill & Wanchai Ferry At Home - Prize Pack Contest





Date-cation the new wave for cash and time-strapped couples? Hubs and I haved enjoyed special evenings together and they really help rev up a sometimes harried and hectic married/family life - we totally understand the value of investing time together to benefit our marriage! I've missed special date nights with my hubs because of our budget saving efforts. Thank goodness Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill At Home products have entered the picture to give us some well-deserved "couple time" together without busting the budget! These flavorful and easy to create meal kits provide deliciou taste, semi-homemade convenience, and some special time together at home for a fraction of the cost of a meal at a sit-down restaurant - plus we avoid the hassle of one-hour waiting for tables and less-than-ideal babysitter rates! I just crack out the nice dishes, some candles and put the kids down a bit early and relax with my special guy and a glass of my favorite wine! I even have a special dessert and a DVD planned...

Enjoy an Asian escape with Wanchai Ferry restaurant-inspired dishes by simply adding your own protein to delicious entrees like Cashew Chicken, Spicy Garlic Chicken, Orange Chicken, and Kung Pao Chicken. Or bring the romance of Italian cuisine to your kitchen with Macaroni Grill favorites such as Chicken Piccata and Angel Hair Pasta, Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta, Chicken Alfredo with Linguine, Garlic & Herb Chicken Penne, and Chicken Marsala with Linguine.

So stay in and go all out!® Make your meal an experience by perhaps adding some ambiance with candles and flowers.

For more information and dinner tips, visit WanchaiFerryAtHome.com and MacaroniGrillAtHome.com. And be sure to follow Macaroni Grill on Twitter and "Like" the Facebook page to keep up with all of the latest news on your Macaroni Grill favorites!

Be sure to take advantage of this online coupon http://www.myblogspark.com/uc/main/198d/ for $1.50 off two packages of Wanchai Ferry and/or Macaroni Grill Dinner Kits!

PRIZE PACK CONTEST:
Enter my blog contest today to win a free Date Night Prize Package of one Wanchai Ferry dinner kit, one Macaroni Grill dinner kit, and a $25 Visa gift card to help you enjoy your own Special Date Night At Home. Please post a comment and tell me what your at-home Date-Cation plans will be. One lucky winner will be randomly selected from all entries received by Monday, 11/22; 12PM. Be sure to include your email contact information. Winner will receive the Prize Package directly from MyBlogSpark. Contest open to US residents only. Thank you for participating and Good Luck!


Wanchai Ferry, Macaroni Grill At Home and MyBlogSpark provided me with a prize package as well as a second prize package for a blog contest to facilitate my honest review.

Hershey's Moderation Nation - Win a Prize Pack!



"Everything Good In Moderation..." - Sometimes it's especially difficult to embrace this wise philsophy - especially during the holiday season! Our friends at Hershey's steps in with some great tools and suggestions to help us all enjoy without guilt...

With Moderation Nation, a new national program created by the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition, (HCHN) in collaboration with the American Dietetic Association, you can now have access to a variety of tools that will help you achieve moderation - and you don´t even need to give up your favorite foods!

For on-the-go needs, the new Moderation Nation iPhone app, free and available on iTunes or via www.themoderationnation.com, will reward you for the activity you´re already doing, while encouraging you to do even more in a way that suits your busy lifestyle. With an easy-to-read tracker and a comprehensive list of activities to choose from, you can earn badges for your progress and go from a Starting Gun to a Healthy Hero!

The Moderation Nation Web site (www.themoderationnation.com) provides a host of new tools for you and your readers, including:
Recipes and Expert Tips. Here you´ll find advice from Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian (RD) for NBC's The Biggest Loser, award-winning chef and New York Times best-selling cookbook author


Additional recipes and tips from Regina Ragone, Food Director at Family Circle magazine; Keri Glassman, author of the O2 diet; and Liz Ward, author of Expect the Best Pregnancy.


Moderation Menus. Seven-day meal plans - with snack ideas - that will help you plan out your week. Each menu is based on an individual lifestyle, such as Single, Adults with Kids and Adults with No Kids.


Balance the Meal. This cool balancer tool allows you to input your main dish and its preparation method; in return, you´ll receive ideas for complementary side dishes that round out the meal smartly.


Useful Facts. Here you´ll find everything from a "portion distortion" guide - providing cues on what actual portion sizes should look like - to a grocery shopping fact sheet - to a guide on how to start and maintain a food journal.

Hershey's and MyBlogSpark provided me with a "Moderation Nation" prize pack, which includes a Moderation Nation t-shirt, Hershey´s chocolate and a nutrition journal to track your food and activities as well as another Prize Pack for one lucky reader! Please post your comment on my blog and tell me what is your favorite Hershey's chocolate moment. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries received by Monday, 11/22/10; 12pm. Winner must be a US resident. Please be sure to include your email contact information in your comments so we may reach you. Prize will be mailed to winner directly from MyBlogSpark. Thank you for participating - Good Luck!

I received a prize package for myself and the opportunity to host a contest for an additional prize package for one winner from Hershey's and MyBlogSpark to facilitate my review.

Life-Long Potty Learning Or Things Momma Never Told You: Cottonelle Flushable Moist Wipes



Is it time to "clean up your family's act"? LOL
Since my personal potty training journey never seems to end - kids and hubs are certainly well beyond diaper stage and graduated to the toilet a number of years ago, I imagined that my potty learning was complete - until I really focused on the "end results"! I recognized that some additional benefits could be realized by everyone since trying a sample of Cottonelle's Flushable Moist Wipes! I keep them handy on the very cool Command Hook enclosed free in a promotional packaging available in stores now. These flushable gems come packaged in decorative containers which easily match your decor.

To help break the ice on "toilet talk," the brand launched GetFreshWithaFriend.com, which features a special "Funny or Die" video (check it out and you might just see a familiar face…) as well as fresh reward offers that encourage people to try the products. Current users of the product even describe trying Cottonelle Flushable Moist Wipes as an "aha moment."
I definitely did! Who doesn't want to feel fresher and more comfortable through their day? I have personally recommended getting the Cottonelle wipes for every bathroom in your home to my friends - I even find them to be invaluable during my monthly cycle - what a relief!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the Cottonelle brand and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bing Supports Schools: "Our School Needs"




I am a busy volunteer parent with the Our Savior Lutheran School of St Petersburg Parent-Teacher Organization. This challenging economy continues to challenge both public and private schools in providing excellence in education with more limited resources. Bing is helping with their "Our School Needs" Project. Every school has an ever-growing "wish list"... Our school needs a new roof, funding for instructors in enrichment programs, and textbook revisions.

In a bid to win $100,000 for their school, parents, students, and teachers around the country have been telling Bing what their school needs through essays, photos and videos. You can read some of their amazing stories here. Soon a panel of judges, including critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning director and producer, Davis Guggenheim, of Waiting for Superman and An Inconvenient Truth fame, and DonorsChoose.org founder, Charles Best, will narrow down the entries to 15 finalists.

Starting October 27th, it's up to the public to determine the winner. And, the first 30,000 people who vote each day also will receive a free $3 DonorsChoose.org giving code to support the classroom project of their choice. This is a great opportunity to help other schools in need. If 50 people to vote each day from October 27 to November 5 and redeem their $3 codes on DonorsChoose.org., collectively that's $3,000 -- imagine how our community could help benefit local schools by participating!

Here are the contest details:

Visit this special link to learn more and vote ASAP:

www.bing.com/ourschoolneeds
Bing is awarding a quarter-million dollars in prize money divided among four schools in need, and your vote can make all the difference.
The entry with the most votes wins $100k, and 3 others will each win $50k.
Bing is giving away up to $900,000 to schools in need through DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit website where public school teachers can post classroom projects that need funding. Be one of the first 30,000 to vote for your favorite finalists each day and receive a $3 donation code to redeem for the classroom project of your choice!
The voting phase starts Friday, October 29 and runs through Sunday, November 7. America will be asked to vote on the 15 Our School Needs finalists as determined by the panel of judges. The winners will be announced Tuesday, November 9.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Bing and received a gift card and DonorsChoose.org giving code to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Listerine Oral Care Challenge: America's Tooth Fairy Campaign





This year has been a blessing of wonderful check-ups with our dentist! What a tremendous relief....our cleaning visits have gone smoothly for everyone (adults and kids). Wow, what a difference a year makes! I give props to Listerine and Reach dental care products which we've been using throughout the year. I take our oral hygiene seriously...brushing, flossing and rinsing at least 2x/day-sometime 3 times when I can corral the kids!

Our family was selected by Mom Central to participate in Listerine's Oral Care Challenge has it continues to make a wonderful impact in our dental health.
The goal of the challenge is to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash twice a day for three weeks. I find that making the challenge fun and less threatening for the kids seems to motive their better brushing habits. We're keeping a daily calendar with stickers (similar to a star chart) with fun prizes to be earned. They don't need as many reminders or oversight to be sure to brush and floss well.

Our friends at Mom Central and Listerine provided our family with a wonderful assortment of oral care products including the new Listerine Total Care anticavity mouthwash, Listerine Agent Cool Blue tinting rinses, Reach kids brushes, and Reach Access Flosser and disposable heads! These products help motivate and inspire with great tastes and interactive technologies to keep everyone on track for at least twice daily inpsiration! I really LOVE the Listerine Total Care mouthwash...I can sometimes slack off with rinses, but the flavors are good without burn. I can sincerely feel a significant improvement in my plaque along the gumline, too!

The calendar challenge will result in positive dentist visits for everyone, and the added rewards for daily brushing, flossing rinsing goal achievement will inspire the kids...we'll enjoy a day together at Hunsader Farm's Fall Festival as a special treat!

The makers of LISTERINE and REACH have also teamed up with America's Toothfairy to launch "Trick or Treat for America's Toothfairy," a campaign to raise awareness of pediatric dental disease and help provide life changing care to underserved children. Please visit to learn more at www.AmericasToothfairy.org


I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of LISTERINE and REACH and received products to take the Oral Care Challenge. Mom Central Consulting also sent me a Global Giving gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Filtrete Water Filter Pitcher: Refreshing N Eco-Friendly



Our green and wellness journey for the fam continues throughout the week, as we strive to walk several times a week, drink more water, and reduce our carbon footprint on the environment - a tall order while leading a busy family life!

We enjoy carrying around fresh water througout the day, but hated the idea of all those plastic water bottles in the landfill. How wonderful that Filtrete, a trusted brand, now features a home water filtration system. We tried the Filtrete Water Filter Pitcher to be easy, convenient and economical. The water from our regular tap is filtered quickly and stores in the plastic pitcher in our refrigerator. We have cold and delicious water at hand without the wasteful and pricey water bottles. The filters last about 3 months, and even have a convenient notification sensor on them to remind you to change them!

In addition, Filtrete created Clear Advantages to help busy moms like me. You can register to receive seasonal e-newsletters featuring money-saving offers, filter change reminders, better home living tips and more by signing up on the Filtrete Water Filtration Products website. (http://www.filtrete.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/FiltreteUS/Filtrete/Resources/Clear-advantages/) on the Filtrete Water Filtration Products website. You can also follow Filtrete Water Filtration Products on Twitter (@FiltreteWater) (http://twitter.com/FiltreteWater) or like the brand on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/FiltreteWater) for healthier living tips.



Enjoy this special savings coupon for your Filtrete Water Pitcher Purchase:
http://bit.ly/94pwaV


I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Filtrete and received the water pitcher to facilitate my candid review.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dannon Cup of Hope Through November 30




I have enjoyed a VERY PINK OCTOBER, have you? We waved and cheered this morning as friends and neighbors walked their final leg of the the local 3-Day Walk for the Cure along our street! I counted in my closet, and I have a total of oi PINK ITEMS - it's my small part. It is such an inspiring and passionate outreach for such a worthy cause. October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and as a result, many organizations and brands have developed efforts supporting this cause. Throughout September and October, a variety of Dannon products will help support the cause, not only by raising money, but also by increasing awareness for a disease that affects women and families at a staggering rate - with more than 290,000 women diagnosed every year. Dannon pledges to donate at least $500,000 dollars to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, but they hope to increase that donation to $1.5 million dollars this year.

OUR CALL TO ACTION - YOU HAVE A MONTH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
Under the lid of specially-marked Dannon products you will find a unique code. With each code entered at www.cupsofhope.com by November 30, 10 cents will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. ® (NBCF). The money raised will go to the NBCF, to provide women free mammograms and support breast cancer research nationwide.

Such a worthwhile and important cause...so enjoy your morning Dannon yogurt this month and submit those codes TODAY!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Dannon. In addition, I received a gift certificate and products to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Tiger Has Bite - Sink Your Teeth In!



I was thrilled to receive KT Turnstall's new CD release, Tiger Suit, from One2One Network for review. I LOVE her music including top selling singles "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" and "Suddenly See" from her first album. Tiger Suit does not disappoint...

The songs are a nice mix of styles and themes. I enjoying listening in the car during my morning commute or with a nice glass of wine in the evening after the kids are tucked in bed. My favorite tracks on Tiger Suit are "Glamour Puss" and "(Still A) Weirdo" - I guess they speak to the inner-Kim! LOL

There are songs with emotional intensity, quirky ballads, catchy choruses and every song has its own unique touch. It has a global reach by using a variety of instruments and arrangements. The "Uummannaq Song" is fun and engaging.

I definitely recommend downloading via Itunes or purchasing the CD at Amazon.com or other retailers nationwide!

I received a copy of "Tiger Suit" by K.T.Tunstall from One2One Network to facilitate my original review.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lunchables Options - Upgrade Your Lunchbox



What's the latest fashion in lunches....? Lunchables improved options - featuring reduced overall sodium content, fat and calories by at least 20% throughout their product lines...with the same great tastes and fun contents that my kids love!

My kids help put their lunch box contents together every morning...Lunchables great selections help our family get it together and get out the door with no stress! The new Chicken and American Sub Sandwich and Chicken Strips meals are made with whole grain and even have bottled spring water. The favorite Deep Dish Pizza now comes with DOLE Mandarin Oranges - another winning pick for everyone! These wholesome meals are perfect for the lunch box, a quick snack or on-the-go picnic or park trip.

I find you can't beat the delicious tastes, wholesome ingredients, and convenience...all wrapped up in one easy to go container that has many recyclable (or craft-project worthy) segments -

Yummier, healthier, and greener - thanks LUNCHABLES!
Be sure to explore their website at:
http://brands.kraftfoods.com/lunchables/varieties.aspx

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Lunchables and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quick and Delish:Healthy Choice Steam Entrees




My weekday routine can sometimes be a grind...but it's always nice to have a warm, filling lunch to look forward to. Many of the heat-and-serve, frozen meals today have a long laundry-list of ingredients...something a bit disconcerting to me for our family. I was thrilled to learn that Healthy Choice has added several new Steam Fresh meals to their delicious and nutritious line of products! I sampled the wonderful Healthy Choice Rosemary Chicken & Sweet Potatoes and the Garlic Herb Shrimp meals - so delish for my weekday workplace lunch escape! The meal was quick and easy to prepare, just 4 minutes in the breakroom microwave to achieve steamed perfection...the veggies stayed so bright and fresh-tasting.

Steam makes such a difference - it's such a fresh method of food preparation. Unlocking the vibrant flavors and colors of the quality ingredients - you can truly taste the difference!

The key to the new entrées is steam, which unlocks the fresh taste and vibrant flavors of the large-cut, quality ingredients. An innovative steam-release vent in the film ensures a convenient cook time of about four minutes, without any need for extra steps like poking, peeling or stirring.

Be sure to visit the Healthy Choice Facebook page www.facebook.com/HealthyChoice

The price point is perfect for lunch - generally $3 or less each - I have found coupons in the Sunday paper ads, too! My lunch escape is economical and luxurious...ah bliss! MY LUNCHTIME RITUAL HAS NOW BEEN TRANSFORMED...

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Healthy Choice and received samples of their new steaming entrées to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

KNOW Magazine and Mad Science Brings Science to Life!

Our family LOVES Science...wow, it feels good to say that...I guess that makes us geeks in the very best way, huh? My son has celebrated birthdays by having the class come over for a fun, Mad Science Lab party. Mad Science has local instructors and party staff share their own love of science for a fantastic party experience!

Statistics show that the number of young adults pursuing careers in science in the U.S. pales in comparison to other countries. But taking steps to bring science alive for kids at a young age can make a huge difference. Mad Science, the world's leading science enrichment provider, launched KNOW Magazine, a publication specifically designed to engage and excite children at an age when science proves as important as math, reading and writing. Our family really loved the sample edition of KNOW Magazine filled with great learning and fun! The magazine gives kids great scientific insights at an age-appropriate level.It's colorful and engaging to appeal to them without being too technical. It's a great resource that they will love to receive in the mail!

Geared to children 6 to 9, KNOW Magazine provides kids with age-appropriate articles, fun science and technology facts, games, puzzles, and experiments. With six issues per year all free of outside advertising, the magazine covers everything from dinosaurs and animals, to the solar system and the human body to keep kids engaged year-round. The magazine's educational focus combines learning and entertainment in a way Moms can feel good about.
Here are links to a sample magazine as well as the main website:


http://www.knowmag.ca/shapes/ (Free Online Issue)
http://www.yesmag.ca/store/about2.html (Main Website)


I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mad Science and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Seventh Generation Fall Back to School

With nearly 22 million school days lost each year due to the common cold and flu (CDC) and as many as 2.7 million bacterial found per square inch on common school surfaces (NSF International), it’s no wonder that 82 percent of parents with kids in grades K-5 fret about the germs in their children’s classrooms (according to a survey conducted by Seventh Generation).

This school year, Seventh Generation is sharing tips from best-selling author and pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene, to help parents protect their child’s health during back-to-school season. Dr. Greene suggests taking the following precautions:

Optimize the immune system
Reap the benefits of probiotics like those found in yogurt. A recent study showed that children who received enough probiotics daily throughout the cold and flu season had a significant reduction in the number of illnesses they had and, when they did get sick, the symptoms were both milder and didn't last as long.

Be sure your child is getting plenty of vitamin D from the sun, from food, or from a supplement.

Build a strong foundation. Good food, good sleep, and good physical activity all help the immune system to flourish.
Be wise about reducing unnecessary exposure to harmful germs
Teach children the key times to clean their hands in the classroom. The most important times include after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom, upon leaving "high-risk" places (recess, naptime, play stations) and before meals or snacks.

Sixty percent of teachers surveyed said that they request that parents donate disinfecting wipes to the classroom. Seventh Generation’s disinfecting wipes kill 99.99% of germs* naturally using the active ingredient thyme, a component of thyme oil which is derived from the herb thyme.

Stress the importance of not touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Demonstrate to your children how to cover their mouth and nose for every cough and sneeze. This simple maneuver has spectacular results in decreasing the spread of viruses and bacteria floating about the room, waiting to be inhaled.
*Refer to disinfecting product labels for full details


You can also check out Seventh Generation on Facebook and Twitter today! Visit Seventh Generation on Facebook or Seventh Generation on Twitter and “Like” or “Follow” the brand to keep up with the latest news from Seventh Generation.

I received a Seventh Generation product, gift pack from Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark to help facilitate my review.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SOYJOY Second Chances....



We all deserve a second chance, right? I know I have gotten a few in my day - so why not healthy snack option SOYJOY?

I have been searching for my morning snack bliss for some time...I've tried salty, sweet, and blah. SOYJOY Nutritional bars were somewhere in the midst of the trials. Whole soy rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins in a convenient and handy snack bar helped me get through the A.M. rush. I felt pretty good about myself for selecting them with my natural juice for a mid-morning break during the work week, but they weren't a passion. Now for that mightly Second Chance...

SoyJoy has amped the flavor! I was thrilled to receive a few samples courtesy of SoyJoy from Mom Central recently to taste the new and improved SOYJOY which is now delicately baked to be fruitier, moister and better than ever! I was curious, and now I'm a believer! SOYJOY's newest flavors of banana and blueberry have a taste and aroma similiar to freshly baked muffins...yum! All the SOYJOY flavors - Banana, Blueberry, Strawberry, Berry, Apple Walnut, and Mango Coconut are hitting the stores nationally in their lighter and fruitier forms as we speak - I can't wait to try them all! Now I am passionate...I can't wait each morning around 10 a.m. to savor another bar. They are light, but still filling and substantial. One certainly does the trick for me, and at around $1.29 per bar is the perfect balance of brains and beauty! Plus all those all good-for-me incentives!!!

In celebration of the new SOYJOY and in the spirit of second chances, SOYJOY is also hosting the Second Chances Contest. You may enter to win one of three $1,000 prizes by briefly telling your personal story about a time you did not make the best first impression but, with a second chance, turned it into a joyous ending! Submit your entry anytime between now and October 3, 2010.

Visit SOYJOY's Facebook page at

www.facebook.com/soyjoy

to upload your story in a 30-second video clip or in 100 words - don't forget to ask your friends to enter and vote! I have my entry all set to go -

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of SOYJOY and received samples of their nutritional bars to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weight Watchers Lose-A-Palooza is Today!

Lose-A-Palooza is a one-day social media event created to encourage participation in the Lose For Good campaign to benefit Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger charities.

Weight Watchers will donate $1, up to a max of $60K, to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger TODAY ONLY (SEPTEMBER 14, 2010), for each approved mention, acknowledgement or action related to this "Lose For Good" campaign through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and check-in via Foursquare!!! What are ya waitin' for???? Help those in need today and take a moment to take action and share your voice to use social media for good! Please post, Tweet, and Share throughout the day today. Every time Lose For Good is mentioned using an approved method on 9/14, Weight Watchers will track the mention an donate a dollar - up to $60,000.

Visit Lose-A-Palooza: http://bit.ly/LoseAPalooza
Visit Lose For Good: http://bit.ly/lose4good

If you post on Twitter, please use hastag #LoseForGood:

Today Only! Lose-A-Palooza-Weight Watchers donates up to $1 for each #LoseForGood social media mention http://bit.ly/LoseAPalooza

I received information and an opportunity to win a prize from One2One Network and Weight Watchers to assist with this post. I did not receive any compensation.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Zhu-niverse Tour Hits Gecko Fest/Tampa Bay!




Wow-Kristen and I had a totally rockin' time at the Zhu-niverse Tour as it hit Tampa Bay! The Zhu-niverse Giant Road Trip started on May 27th in St. Louis, MO as they kicked off the Rib America Festival. The Zhu Crew will keep on rockin' all summer long until they wind it all up on October 10th in Phoenix, AZ. Your favorite Zhu Zhu Pets and Kung Zhu hamsters will be traveling over 20,000 miles in 20 weeks, so be on the lookout. They can’t wait to see you on the road!

First we were hosted by the Zhu-niverse Team at the ToysRUs at Tyrone in St. Petersburg. We checked out our perfect hamster match by playing "Which Zhu Are You?"...I am Capaccino! Kristen is Peachy! Then we checked out the Human Hamster Wheel and Kung Zhu Obstacle Course. There was so much to see and do...it's highly interactive and perfect family fun to get into the Hamster habit!

Next, we performed the Zhu Zhu Flo with the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg Dance Team at the Annual Gecko Fest in downtown Gulfport. I'll post the dance video separately - the YMCA dance instructor Kelly Marshall did a fantastic job with the kids! The Zhu-niverse Tour Zhu Crew staff told us our group the most prepared and professional dance group performing on the Tour so far!!!

Check out the 2010 Zhu-niverse Tour site to see if they are heading to a festival or fair in your area - you don't want to miss it!:

www.thezhuniversetour.com/

Check out the upcoming release of a spooky Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster for Halloween - we can't wait to buy this when it's available! Soooo cute...

I received two gift cards, a Kung Zhu hamster, and Zhu Zhu Flo instructional dance dvd to assist with this review from BSM Media, ToysRUs, and Cepia/Zhu-niverse.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life Long Learning With American Public University

Fall brings cooler temps and (in northern climates)falling leaves - it also brings to mind the inevitable "back to school" impulse in us all...

My children have already returned to school and all things are going smoothly. I am pleased with their experience so far, and I find myself wishing for some life-long learning opportunities for myself. I completed my bachelor's degree through an adult learning program and earned my bachelor's degree in 2000 - wow, ten years have flown by! I found that my degree brought with it a broader spectrum of professional opportunities as well as an increased wage potential. Sweet since I just was in it for the education for itself!

Moms, recent high school grads, and others interested in exploring educational pursuits this fall should look into American Public University:

http://www.apu.apus.edu

Request a brochure: http://www.apu.apus.edu/lp/RFI/index.htm

American Public University provides a respected and affordable education via online coursework which is flexible and regionally accredited. Non-traditional students such as myself will find a diverse course offering and desirable fields of specialized study including special event management, hospitality management, legal and sports & health sciences. Virtual tours are available to help you connect with admissions professionals and learn about the program, financial aid, and schedule. The greater APU virtual community numbers more than 70,000 classmates and 12,000 alumni, with more than 1,500 faculty and staff collaborating throughout the world! Could this be the right program for you?

I was intrigued by the fact that unlike traditional universities, APU offers classes on a monthly basis (rather than semester), with accelerated programs and flexible courses that enable students to earn their degree while balancing family and work demands. So important in today's busy family schedule and work demands!

I know our family places a very high value upon higher education - it's a pivotal aspect for today's modern family...adults and children. To take your first step in your life-long educational journey, visit American Public University today to find out more...

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of American Public University. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking time to participate.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

BlogHer10 Swag Hits!

Mom Bloggers gathered in mass recently at the BlogHer10 in metro NYC! Can't wait for BlogHer11 in San Diego-I'm already getting my tickets!

Such great learning and networking opportunity abounded, and some awesome social times...including Swag Suites for enjoy sampling and connecting with vendors/sponsors. Some great finds at the MomSelect Swag Suite, including:

Ionators by Activeion- raffle prize
Safe Bedding and Crib Gear from SootheTime
HEXBUG Nanos
The Daily Portrait by Milson Road- raffle prize
CharcoCaps®
Pedia-Lax® Fiber Gummies
Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex
KinokoTM AHCC®
Softlips®
PediaCare®
Temple Touch Thermometers
Zippity Doo's Lice Prevention Hair Care products
BioGaia samples
BNatal samples
Boogie Wipes/Achooz
Charlie Banana Tote Bags
Mickey Mom's Club promotional items
Halo Sleep Sacks
Lil Miss Diva dresses- raffle prize
Mrs. Smith Diaper Bags- raffle prize
Parigi Fashions
Precious Moments books and puzzles
Webkinz Jr. Plush Toys
Extra Dessert Delights from Wrigley
ZhuZhu Pets
Zynks for Drinks
Build-a-Bear Workshop Bears

Perfect collection of products and services to help busy moms like us! The Build-a-Bear, Zhu Zhu Pets, Webkinz, HEXBUG nanos, and Precious Moments were a huge hit with everyone. Perfect for our resident toy testers! These are all going to be TOP OF THE LIST for kids this holiday season! The Precious Moments books and puzzles, as well as a new line of baby gear, are so exceptionally well made and inspirational. LOVE THESE!

The Extra Dessert Delights gum from Wrigley is such a hoot! A fun little treat without the guilt in special dessert-inspired flavors like Key Lime Pie. Highly recommend these.

Thanks again to MomSelect and the great folks at BlogHer10...can't wait til next year!

Sweet Milano Moments....


This summer has been filled with special moments that made me stop to savor the sweetness of life...the special Independence Day Girly Weekend with Krissy at Innisbrook...ahh, the Indaba Spa was amazing! We shared such a meaningful and magical time together-Mommy/Daughter Time was never better!

Playing with our new dog Preston rescued from Pet Pal Rescue, especially fun taking him to new friends for intros or to Petco for a special grooming spa treatment! Love his Orange Creamsicle scent and collar charm!

Cuddling with hubs Ken during a nasty Florida Summer thunderstorm...he's still my White Knight after all these years!

What are some of your special summer sweet moments? Savor them with Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies!

Check out the new Strawberry Milano with a $1 off coupon (http://bit.ly/O2OdollaroffPF) and visit the Milano Facebook Page (http://bit.ly/MilanoFacebook) for more special offers and discounts.

Looking forward to savoring special Fall moments together with Milano, too!

Never Shout Never "Harmony" CD @ Target/$7.99!!



Harmony Out Today!!! By NEVER SHOUT NEVER
Don't forget to pick your copy of the new album Harmony out today! You can get it at itunes, Target for $7.99 or grab the exclusive package from your local Hot topic or order it online HERE! This Hot Topic limited edition version includes 2 CDs (1 CD of the album, 1 CD of music with guitar chords lifted), a digipak and pull-out poster with lyrics and chords. It is on sale for $14.99 until 8/30 so get yours before they are all gone. Check out the video of the Hot Topic package here

NEVER SHOUT NEVER Wiith nearly 1 million fans on Facebook and MySpace and over 1 million tracks sold in the US, alternative retro-pop band Never Shout Never is evoking excitement from even the most jaded teen with their debut album Harmony!

Harmony was just released this week and the band will be rocking living rooms across America with their appearance on The Jimmy Fallon Show next Friday.


As a Back-to-School gift, the band is delighting fans and getting the masses ready for their headlining VMA tour by making Harmony available for 50% off thru Saturday only at Target - just $7.99 (sale price available in stores only).

Monday, August 23, 2010

HPV Testing: Protect Yourself and Your Family



My daughter and I are visiting the family pediatrician for back-to-school preparation, and will be having an important conversation about the HPV Vaccine. Our medical professional advocates for young girls to receive the vaccine, and we will be exploring this important health resource for our daughter. I will also be looking into HPV Testing to learn more about empowering myself and female adult family members/friends to ensure their awareness:

Women 30 and older are their own health advocates by proactively asking their doctor about receiving the digene HPV test along with their Pap smear. Visit the link to www.theHPVTest.com - and mention some of the benefits of visiting the site such as the educational materials and insurance information.

In the meantime, learn more about HPV testing at www.theHPVtest.com. Here you can watch doctor-produced videos, browse frequently-asked-questions, access tips on "what your test results mean" and download/link to educational materials

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the QIAGEN digene HPV test. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM HPV/CERVICAL CANCER?

While you’re learning about the HPV vaccine for your daughter…
…Learn about HPV testing to protect yourself from cervical cancer
• THE PAP TEST looks at a sample of cells taken from a woman's cervix for any cell changes or abnormalities. Pap
testing should begin at age 21.
• THE HPV TEST is conducted from the same sample as the Pap and identifies women with high-risk HPV infections
that can cause cervical cancer. When used with a Pap in women 30 and older, the HPV test increases the ability to
identify who is at risk of developing cervical cancer.
LINKS: HELPFUL WEB RESOURCES ON CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION
www.theHPVtest.com - Web site focuses on the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer through HPV screening
and Pap testing. Site includes frequently-asked-questions, patient stories, and tips on “what your test results mean.”
o Follow us on Twitter: @HPVinformed
o Facebook page: http://bit.ly/HPVTestFB
www.theyellowumbrella.org – The Yellow Umbrella Organization is founded by cervical cancer survivor and “rocker”
Christine Baze, who takes her music and story on the road to educate women about cancer prevention. Also, visit Christine’s
www.savethehooch.org site to purchase a Yellow Umbrella make-up kit to raise money for cervical cancer prevention.
www.HealthyWomen.org - HealthyWomen is the nation’s leading independent health information source for women.
Recently listed as one of Forbes’ top 100 websites for women, healthywomen.org has resources on many women’s health
issues, including comprehensive info on cervical and gynecologic cancers.
www.pearlofwisdom.us - The Pearl of Wisdom™ Campaign to Prevent Cervical Cancer is a global partnership to raise
awareness of tools for preventing cervical cancer and advocate for making them available to girls and women worldwide.
Buy a pin, send an e-card, and download educational materials.
The digene HPV Test
HPV vaccines are for girls and young women ages 9–26 to help protect against the two types of HPV that are most
commonly associated with cervical cancer. These vaccines are a powerful tool to help protect today’s girls —
tomorrow’s generation of women — from cervical cancer.
But what tools are out there for women today who may be at risk? Learn about what you can do to protect yourself
against cervical cancer:
• If you are age 30 or older, ask your doctor for the digene HPV Test together with your Pap test.
• If both tests come back normal, then the tests don’t need to be repeated for 3 years. But remember to return each
year for your annual health exam.
• If one or both tests come back abnormal, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. It simply enables
your healthcare provider to monitor you more closely or treat pre-cancerous cells before cervical cancer develops.
• HPV testing isn’t necessary for women younger than 30, because HPV infections in young women usually go away
on their own without causing problems. Women under 30 will only have HPV testing if their Pap test is inconclusive.
Trademarks: QIAGEN, digene (QIAGEN Group); Pearl of Wisdom™ (European Cervical Cancer
Association).<> <> ©2010 QIAGEN Group

Beat the Back-to-School Heat With Tips From Gatorade



Back-to-school time means back to the athletic fields for our family...soccer, volleyball, and basketball practices, games and championship activities fill our calendar throughout the seasons...it's all good! However, the heat can be dangerous during these on-field activities. We make sure to have lots of fluids, including Gatorade, available for all the athletes to promote better hydration and replace important electrolytes. Gatorade wants all athletes to get the critical information for our young athletes to play hard and stay hydrated....

Moms play a key role in keeping their athletes safe, so Moms need to understand that young athletes may be at greater risk for heat-related illness and know the ways to prevent it.

Water isn’t enough. While fundamental, water alone does not hydrate and refuel as effectively as Gatorade.

Gatorade supplies the proper amount of fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly put back what your young athlete loses in sweat and provides energy to keep them going.

In drinking water, the brain may turn off the perception of thirst before the body’s overall fluid needs are met and stops the athlete from fully rehydrating. The electrolytes in Gatorade help maintain the stimulus to drink so athletes drink enough to replenish and refuel.

Equipment makes a difference - wear light net-type jerseys, T-shirts and shorts, change sweat-soaked clothing, avoid wearing excess clothing, remove helmets when not playing and remember to stay hydrated.

You can help- download a free Gatorade Heat Safety Kit found at www.nfl.com/trainingcamp. For every unique download Gatorade will donate $1 to “Beat the Heat” charities up to $20,000

Visit the Gatorade Site:
a link to the “Beat the Heat” website where you can download your own Heat Safety Kit http://www.nfl.com/trainingcamp

BEAT THE HEAT FACT SHEET


Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat Illness and Emergencies Heat-related illnesses have many factors involved but can be caused when an individual is subjected to extreme temperatures and humidity and is unable to cool down. Dehydration also can be a factor. Dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to function properly and takes a toll on an athletes’ performance.

Causes of Heat Emergencies

Primary contributors to heat-related emergencies include:

* Heat and high humidity

* Extreme physical exertion

* Layered or rubberized clothing

* Inadequate fluid intake


Risk for Young Athletes

* Children may be less tolerant of heat stress than adults and may be at greater risk for heat illness


Warning Signs – What to Look For

Without taking precautionary measures, young athletes might experience a heat-related illness. In some cases, they might be unaware they are experiencing this condition and continue practicing. Make sure your child knows the signs of heat-related illness and encourage his/her coach to periodically check players during practice or workouts for the acute warning signs of heat illness, which can include:

* Nausea

* Headache

* Weakness

* Fainting

* Poor concentration

* Flushed skin

* Light headedness

* Loss of muscle coordination

* Fatigue

* Vomiting


Equipment Makes a Difference

* Encourage young athletes to wear net-type jerseys

* As they acclimate to the heat, athletes should wear T-shirts and shorts, not pads

* Remind athletes to remove helmets when not playing or scrimmaging and avoid wearing sweatshirts and excess clothing

* Young athletes should change sweat-soaked clothing as soon as possible after activity
BEAT THE HEAT FACT SHEET


Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat Illness and Emergencies Heat-related illnesses have many factors involved but can be caused when an individual is subjected to extreme temperatures and humidity and is unable to cool down. Dehydration also can be a factor. Dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to function properly and takes a toll on an athletes’ performance.

Causes of Heat Emergencies

Primary contributors to heat-related emergencies include:

* Heat and high humidity

* Extreme physical exertion

* Layered or rubberized clothing

* Inadequate fluid intake


Risk for Young Athletes

* Children may be less tolerant of heat stress than adults and may be at greater risk for heat illness


Warning Signs – What to Look For

Without taking precautionary measures, young athletes might experience a heat-related illness. In some cases, they might be unaware they are experiencing this condition and continue practicing. Make sure your child knows the signs of heat-related illness and encourage his/her coach to periodically check players during practice or workouts for the acute warning signs of heat illness, which can include:

* Nausea

* Headache

* Weakness

* Fainting

* Poor concentration

* Flushed skin

* Light headedness

* Loss of muscle coordination

* Fatigue

* Vomiting


Equipment Makes a Difference

* Encourage young athletes to wear net-type jerseys

* As they acclimate to the heat, athletes should wear T-shirts and shorts, not pads

* Remind athletes to remove helmets when not playing or scrimmaging and avoid wearing sweatshirts and excess clothing

* Young athletes should change sweat-soaked clothing as soon as possible after activity
BEAT THE HEAT FACT SHEET


Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat Illness and Emergencies Heat-related illnesses have many factors involved but can be caused when an individual is subjected to extreme temperatures and humidity and is unable to cool down. Dehydration also can be a factor. Dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to function properly and takes a toll on an athletes’ performance.

Causes of Heat Emergencies

Primary contributors to heat-related emergencies include:

* Heat and high humidity

* Extreme physical exertion

* Layered or rubberized clothing

* Inadequate fluid intake


Risk for Young Athletes

* Children may be less tolerant of heat stress than adults and may be at greater risk for heat illness


Warning Signs – What to Look For

Without taking precautionary measures, young athletes might experience a heat-related illness. In some cases, they might be unaware they are experiencing this condition and continue practicing. Make sure your child knows the signs of heat-related illness and encourage his/her coach to periodically check players during practice or workouts for the acute warning signs of heat illness, which can include:

* Nausea

* Headache

* Weakness

* Fainting

* Poor concentration

* Flushed skin

* Light headedness

* Loss of muscle coordination

* Fatigue

* Vomiting


Equipment Makes a Difference

* Encourage young athletes to wear net-type jerseys

* As they acclimate to the heat, athletes should wear T-shirts and shorts, not pads

* Remind athletes to remove helmets when not playing or scrimmaging and avoid wearing sweatshirts and excess clothing

* Young athletes should change sweat-soaked clothing as soon as possible after activity

Hydration Guidelines

* Flavored, cold, lightly salted and/or sports drinks like Gatorade improve voluntary fluid replacement by players, especially the younger athletes.

* Athletes need to think about hydration before, during and after physical activity. A player should be fully hydrated before beginning practice or competition. Fluids lost through sweat

and breathing should be replaced by fluid consumption including during workouts, practices and games (physical activity).

* During activity, players should have unrestricted access to appropriate fluids. Thirst is a late indicator of the need to hydrate. Dehydration has occurred once thirst is turned on.

* The best approach, particularly in hot environments, is to have players weigh in and out each day to help determine adequate fluid replacement needs. Following a competition or workout, the coach should have players weigh out and drink enough to match their weight loss. Remember 16 ounces is one pound. For each pound that the player did not replace, the player may need to consume 20-24 ounces to fully rehydrate for the next training session.

* Players should consume food and drinks that contain a liberal amount of salt. Options like sports drinks and nutrition provide some benefit over water because sports drinks give athletes fluid to rehydrate, carbohydrates to fuel muscles and important electrolytes like sodium to help maintain fluid balance.


Types of Heat Illness

* Heat Cramps: Some athletes may experience heat cramps. This type of cramp is the tightening and spasms experienced in large muscle groups (e.g. quadriceps, hamstrings, etc.). It is often preceded by heavy sweating and large electrolyte losses. If a young athlete is experiencing heat cramps, he or she should stop the activity, find a cool spot to gently stretch and massage the muscle and drink appropriate fluids like sports drinks that contain important electrolytes including sodium.


* Heat Exhaustion: Another type of heat illness is heat exhaustion. Signs and symptoms of this problem can include profuse sweating, dehydration, fatigue, lightheadedness, rapid pulse and low blood pressure. Body temperature may be slightly elevated. If heat exhaustion is suspected, the child should lie in a cool place with legs elevated, have cool, wet towels applied to the body, drink cool fluids and have someone monitor their vital signs. With heat exhaustion, often the ill athlete feels better when he or she rests in a cool place and replenishes fluids by drinking cool liquids. Continue to monitor the athlete. If signs are present that the illness is severe or progressing, activate the emergency action plan and follow these emergency action steps, Check-Call-Care. Check the player for signs. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. Have someone administer your emergency care plan.

* Heat Stroke: This is the most serious heat-related illness. With heat stroke an athlete will have a high body temperature – 104° F or higher - and could have red, hot, dry or moist skin, vomit, be incoherent or lose consciousness, have shallow breathing and/or a weak pulse. He or she might experience mild shock, convulsions, a coma and can die from heat stroke. If he or she goes into respiratory or cardiac arrest, an adult should begin rescue breathing or CPR, as appropriate. Cool by any means possible, as quickly as possible. Keep an ice bath or “cool pool” nearby so emergency personnel can decide whether to immerse the player. If necessary, trained medical personnel should place the player in an ice bath while monitoring core body temperature and call for emergency medical services (EMS). Continue to cool and monitor the player while awaiting EMS.

What You Should Know if You Coach Youth Sports Lots of moms are out there coaching, assistant coaching and serving the important role of “team mom” and should know the following steps to help prevent heat-related illnesses:


BEFORE

* Allow 10-14 days of light activity in the heat for adjusting to warmer climate/temperatures.

* Schedule practice during cooler times of day.

* Remind players to hydrate throughout the day. Coaches and parents should teach athletes how to monitor their hydration levels by checking the volume, frequency and color of their urine. If they are hydrated, their urine should look like lemonade. If their urine looks dark, like apple juice, they may need to drink more fluids.

* Encourage athletes to weigh in and out before and after practices to determine individual fluid losses. (See “After” section for more details).


DURING

* Schedule and enforce frequent drink breaks and rest periods during physical activity

* Remove pads and practice in T-shirts and shorts.

* Reduce intensity and/or length of training with high temperatures and/or humidity.

* When it comes to keeping athletes safe on the field, water may not be enough. While water is fundamental to the body, it does not hydrate as effectively and as a properly as formulated sports drink with sodium.

* Ask athletes to buddy up during practice with a teammate to monitor for warning signs of heat illness.

* Overexposure to high temperature and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The National Weather Service issues heat alerts when the daytime heat index (a combination of temperature and humidity) is 105° F or more, which can dramatically increase the risk of the most serious heat-related illnesses. At 80-105° F, fatigue and heat stroke are also possible with prolonged exposure. Athletes playing in the heat for long periods of time wearing protective padding are especially at risk.

* Be prepared by having an ice-filled tub ready for immersing a player in case of an emergency. Carry a cell phone on the field at all times. Know the precise address of the practice or game field and any specific directions required by EMS responders. Remember to cool first before trying to transport the athlete.


AFTER

* Weigh athletes following practice and compare to their weight beforehand to determine fluid losses. Coaches should monitor athletes to ensure they replace every pound lost during practice with approximately 20 ounces of fluid.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Gatorade’s “Beat the Heat” campaign and received Gatorade samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nesquik Hosts Live Chat With Olympic Champ Apolo Anton Ohno Today!

I am so excited! As a member of the NESQUIK Shakers, I just learned that Apolo Anton Ohno will be participating in a live chat on the @NESQUIK USA Facebook page (http://bit.ly/cJvY3k) on August 11th at 10:00 AM EDT. Want to join me? He may answer a question you post!

Back to School With Sam's Club and General Mills Box Tops


Back-to-School time is upon us, my daugher starts back next week! If you're like us, this is such a bittersweet time since back-to-school means the end of summer bliss, but also finds us excited about the new school year...and BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLY SHOPPING!

For an easy solution, head to your local Sam's Club from August 11 (hey, that's TODAY!) through August 31 and you will earn cash for your favorite school through their General Mills Box Tops Program. At the Sam's Club Back-to-School event, you can get a head start on your collection and fine 6 Box Tops on particpating General Mills products. With your fav Box Tops for Education brands at a great value, Sam's Club will be your one-stop for all the supplies you need to send the kids off well fed and prepared to face the school year (at a great price)...we stocked up on our favorite Big G cereals!

I visited our local Sam's Club this week and found everything the kids needed for their school supplies including wipes, tissues, markers, notebooks, binders, pencils, and the most awesome Pentel Writing Pack with 19 useful pieces for a super low price! Love it!

In addition, Sam's Club is running a promotion for current members - if you upgrade to a "Plus Membership" from August 6-13 you can earn extra Box Tops for your school. Just visit the Member Services Desk of your local Sam's club and upon payment for your Plus Membership, you will receive a certificate for 150 Bonus Box Tops! For more information on how you can take advantage of this great offer, visit
and learn more about the great advantages of Sam's Club Membership:

www.SamsClub.com

CONTEST:
I am pleased to host a contest on my blog for a $25 Sam's Club gift card for you to help with school supplies. Please comment on this blog post and tell me which General Mills Box Top items you plan to purchase during the Sam's Club Back-to-School Event. One comment per person. A winner will be selected from all comments received via random draw. Deadline for entry is August 20, 2010. US residents only.

I received a Sam's Club prize pack of a $25 gift card and Plus Membership upgrade plus an additional package as a blog contest giveaway from Sam's Club and General Mills through MyBlogSpark participation to help facilitate my candid review.

Nature Made SAM-e Complete - Contest

I have to be honest, some days can really get to me - ya know? I try to take good care of myself in mind, spirit and body, but a little bit of life can sometimes go a long way...

From the trusted brand, Nature Made, a supplement clinically proven to naturally support a healthy mood has now become part of my daily supplement routine which also features a multi-vitamin and immunity support. SAM-e is a naturally occurring compound which helps to maintain a balanced mood. Ya know the adage that, "If momma ain't happy, then ain't nobody happy"?...well, this is definitely helping to put things into perspective for me and my family!

Nature Made SAM-e Complete helps replenish your body's natural levels of SAM-e which decrease with age. When taken daily, it can begin to help naturally restore a healthy mood in as little as 7-14 days. For more information, visit their website:

www.sam-e.com

I also wanted to let you all know about a cool campaign Nature Made SAM-e Complete recently launched called “Give a Smile,” http://www.sam-e.com/give-a-smile. They are working with Dream Factory, the second largest children’s wish-granting organization in the U.S., to grant the wishes of three children suffering from a critical or chronic illness. Through this campaign SAM-e will donate to a child’s wish for every social action you or your readers complete (like uploading an image to their mosaic). The more actions, the more SAM-e will donate. You can find out more about the program using the link above and learn how your actions lead to SAM-e donations!

I am pleased to have the opportunity to one of my readers for a chance to try Nature Made SAM-e by hosting a giveaway on my blog for a 3-month supply as well as a reusable water bottle, and journal. Please comment on my blog about what helps to put you in a better mood. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries. One entry per person. Contest deadline is August 14, 2010 12 AM.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Nature Made and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review.

Summer Breakfast Adventure with General Mills


The summer is flying by (literally) - but we're "launching" a fun breakfast adventure with General Mills cereals including Trix with Fruitalicious Swirls! General Mills has partnered with Nickelodeon's The Penguins of Madagascar for an action-packed and nutritious breakfast. We are having flying penguins all over the house - and it's so much fun!!!

Inside specially marked boxes of General Mills cereals, you'll "commence opertions" with one of five characters from The Penguins of Madagascar, who we all loved from the Madagascar movie series. Each participating cereal box has a cool plastic launcher of Skipper, Rico, Kowalski, Private or King Julien. Use the launchers to join the penguins on "missions" like Dive In, Soldier; Longest Penguin Propulsion Launcher; Clear the Wall, or Target Practice. The missions are all outlined on the cereal boxes...The characters make a great team, and the new release of The Penguins of Madagascar Operation DVD Premiere with awesome DreamWorks animation. This is the world premiere of the Penguins Crew's feature-length DVD. My kids are having a blast at the breakfast table every morning while I really appreciate the Whole Grain nutrition.
The promotion is while supplies last. Please visit General Mills websites for more information:

www.GeneralMills.com
www.GrowUpStrong.com


ENTER TODAY!: I am pleased to host a blog contest for one lucky winner to receive a Big G Penguins Prize package of a box of Trix cereal, a Penguins of Madagascar launcher, and the new Penguins of Madagascar movie, The Penguins of Madagascar Operation: DVD Premier. Please post your comment on this blog and tell me which character from Penguins of Madagascar is your child's favorite? Contest ends on August 16, 2010; 12 AM. One winner will be randomly selected. Winner will be notified by email and must be a US resident.

I received a Big G Penguins Prize Package of a box of Trix, a launcher and copy of the DVD Penguins of Madagascar Operation: DVD Premiere from General Mills and Nickelodeon through MyBlogSpark as well as a second prize package to be sent to the blog contest winner to help facilitate my review.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cool Perfection in the Heat of Summer-Contest


Wow, is it just me...or is it really, really hot out there???

We've been hitting the local rec pool this summer for some cooling relief, but the evenings are just perfect for a cold treat. I love to add some of the new Breyers Smooth & Dreamy frozen treats to our dessert menu. They are also great to add to a picnic tote for the pool or beach! I have been a Breyers girl for a long time - nothing can compare with their all natural vanilla, in my opinion! With six rich and creamy flavors such as Chocolate Carmel Brownie, Vanilla Caramel chip, Chocolate chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Vanilla Fudge Brownie, and Triple Chocolate chip, these amazing bars and sandwiches offer a little something cold and declicious for everyone. There are no artificial flavors or colors and sport only 160 calories or less and 4-6g of fat per serving - great for helping to stay bathing suit ready!

Breyers is currently hosting a fun contest, Breyer's Wheel of Delights Instant Spin and Win, on their website located at:
http://www.smoothanddreamy.com

Be sure to visit and enter today!


My friends at Mom Central and Breyers have provided me with four coupons for a free box of the Breyers Smooth & Dreamy treats. I have four coupons to give away to my readers. Please post a comment on this blog and tell me which Breyers Smooth and Dreamy flavor you would like to try. I will randomly select four winners from all entries. One entry per person. Open to US residents only. Be sure to include a method of contact so I can reach you if you are a winner. Please post your comment by 12 AM Saturday, August 7, 2010. If winner cannot be reached, an alternate winner will be selected. Thank you for participating!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Breyers and received products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Share The Table:Delicious Meals With Barilla



Barilla Pastas and Sauces continue to be a family sanity-saver at our home! We really enjoy their delicious, light sauce recipes and wholesome pastas for our weekly pasta dinner nights. That's one of the "tricks" I incorporate into my meal planning to ensure a number of full house dinner table gatherings for us. Our schedules become hectic once school begins this fall, so I was thrilled to discover the great, innovative recipes at www.BarillaUS.com

Chef Mario Batelli really sparked my cooking imagination as I gathered the kids to help prepare a wonderfully easy and nutritious meal from his recipes available on the Barilla website. We tried the Basic Tomato Sauce with their hearty wholegrain pasta - magnifico! The sauce even has the added benefit of fresh grated carrots to help everyone get some added veggies! Serve with some fresh garlic bread and tossed salad makes for a lovely evening without stressing out the cook! Be sure to try the Barilla Whole Grain pasta and Take The Barilla Challenge - visit to learn more: www.TryBarillaWholeGrain.com
If you don't love it, you'll get a free box of your favorite Barilla Pasta.

Here are some fun tips from Mario for Sharing the Table at your home:
* Dont' begin to clear the table until everyone has finished eating - linger awhile.
* Serve dessert separately from dinner - a little later and with new place setting - so you have a reason to sit down together again.
* When conversing at the table, don't interrogate your kids - let questions come naturally.
* Linger at the table after the last bite has been eater - tell a joke or a family story.



“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Barilla and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review..”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Favorite Movie So Far This Summer....




Go see this movie...it's hysterically funny! Perfect for a fun afternoon with the fam to cool off from the summer heat....light and positive. Steve Carrelle is wonderful. The littlest orphan, Agnes, has my favorite line, "It's so fluffy!!!!"
3D effects are great..very colorful and interesting...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kids Bowl Free This Summer - Expanded Locations!

Kids Bowl Free is the program that provides 2 FREE games of bowling every day all summer at over 975 locations from coast to coast and Canada...
you just need to pay for shoe rentals.

We are thoroughly enjoying the Kids Bowl Free promo offer. Several of our friends have joined on our recommendation. Bowling is the quintessential family activity - light competition, light exercise, cooler temp during the hot summer months, and educational building of math and science concepts! I have loved bowling since my childhood, so it's a natural fit to share this with my children. You can reconnect with everyone while enjoying the game: unlike video games, movies or many other activities, you can pause and talk/make eye contact while playing.


New bowling partner locations were added this week - Kids Bowl Free if you live near:

1. Chippers Lanes (Horsetooth Center) - Fort Collins, CO - Phone 970-226-6327
2. Chippers Lanes (Estes Park Center) - Estes Park, CO - Phone 970-586-8625
3. Chippers Lanes (Broomfield Center) - Broomfield, CO - Phone 303-466-9700
4. Chippers Lanes (College Center) - Fort Collins, CO - Phone 970-484-4777
5. Let It Roll - Phoenix, AZ 85020 - Phone 602-944-4401
6. Mira Mesa Lanes - San Diego, CA - Phone 858-578-0500
7. Gold Country Lanes - Sutter Creek, CA - Phone 209-223-3334
8. Jonesboro Bowling Center - Jonesboro, AR - Phone 870-972-5270
9. Bowl Newport - Newport, AR - Phone 870-897-3799
10. Albany Bowl - Albany, CA - 510-526-8818
11. Clover Lanes - Rochester, NY - Phone 585-244-1484
12. T-Bowl - Wayne, NJ - Phone 973-694-5800
13. Conway Family Bowl - Conway, AR - 501-329-2638
14. Hamilton Lanes - Hamilton Twp, NJ - Phone 609-585-2400
15. All Fam Bowling Center - Cabot, AR - Phone 501-941-3225
16. Lodi Lanes - Lodi, NJ - Phone (973) 471-7100
17. Galaxy Lanes - Fort Myers, FL - Phone 239-986-2695
18. Hickam Bowling Center - Hickam AFB, HI - Phone 808-449-5273
19. Frontier Lanes - Warwick, NY
20. Ice Lanes - Sterling, CO - Phone 970-522-3331
21. Thunderbird Lanes - Warminster, PA - Phone 215-674-8250
22. Chalet Lanes - Wisconsin Dells, WI - Phone 608-254-8727
23. Thunderbird Lanes - Philadelphia, PA - Phone 215-464-7171
24. North Bend Lanes - North Bend, OR - Phone 541-756-0571
25. Thunderbird Lanes - Willow Grove, PA - Phone 215-659-1715
26. Fireside Lanes - Citrus Heights, CA - Phone 916-725-2101
27. Thunderbird Lanes - Philadelphia, PA - Phone 215-743-2521
28. Thunder Strikes Bowling Center - Sublette, KS - Phone 620-675-8529
29. Kearny Mesa Bowl - San Diego, CA - Phone 858-279-1501
30. Meridian Bowling Lanes - Meridian, ID - Phone 208-888-2048
31. Gardner Ten Pins - Gardner, MA - Phone 978-632-0010
32. Max Bowl East - Baytown, TX - Phone 281-427-4771
33. Fire Lanes - Brush, CO - Phone 970-842-2620
34. Max Bowl North - Humble, TX - Phone 281-540-2800
35. Grandview Lanes - Van, BC - Phone 604-253-2747
36. Thunderbird Bowl (Brandon) - Brandon, MB 204-727-2695

*************

Here's What You Need To Do:
#1 - Go To www.KidsBowlFree.com
#2 - Register their family
#3 - Upgrade to the optional family pass so that up to 4 adults can enjoy the same great 2 FREE game offer every day.
#4 - Have a bunch of fun this summer spending more time with your family.

See you at the lanes!


Follow them on Facebook @ kidsbowlfree.com/facebook
**** Follow us on Twitter @ kidsbowlfree.com/twitter

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kelly Confidential-Electrolux Summer Giveaway


I just entered the Splits for a Cause to donate $1 to help fight ovarian cancer at:
www.Kelly-Confidential.com
Read on to learn about the project and also enter my blog contest to win a $25 American Express gift card for your summer ice cream wishes as directed below:

Kelly Ripa doesn’t normally like to dish about the latest break ups. But sometimes a split can be a good thing.

In celebration of Electrolux Appliance’s new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer – that’s right, the familiar duo has split up – Kelly teamed up with the “Emperor of Ice Cream” Stephen Bruce, owner and founder of Serendipity 3, the landmark New York City restaurant and dessert spot.

The pair teamed up to make banana splits for a cause. Starting today, at www.Kelly-Confidential.com, people can build their ultimate banana split using virtual ingredients from classic whipped cream to caramel sauce to rainbow sprinkles. For each “split”, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as part of its $750,000 commitment to help fight ovarian cancer .

“This is the kind of split that leaves you chilled … but in a good way,” laughed Ripa. “This is a cool campaign for an even cooler cause.”

Serendipity 3’s ultimate banana split recipes are also available on the site – sure to inspire incredible ice cream confections from experts and novices alike.

“Banana splits are classic,” said Bruce. “But there are lots of ways to jazz them up. Bananas are a must…everything else is up to you!”

To encourage people to help spread the word, everyone who logs on to the site and builds a split will be automatically entered for a chance to win the daily prize – $50 towards sweet summer treats – and the grand prize: the new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer from Electrolux.

$25 American Express Gift Card Contest for your own "Ice Cream Wishes":
One randomly selected entry will receive a $25 American Express gift card via postal mail. Please comment on this blog about your own Summer Ice Cream Wish to be entered. One entry per person. US residents only. One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries received at the deadline on July 15, 2010. Please be sure to include your email address so I can contact the winner.

I received a $25 American Express gift card from MomSelect as well as an additional $25 American Express gift card to distribute as a contest prize to help facilitate my review and posting.

Thank you for reading and participating in the contest!
Good luck in your entry for the Electrolux contest as well as this blog contest.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awesome Yoursphere Contest-Enter Now



Create Your Future This Summer Contest-Enter Now


http://yoursphere.com/teen/create-your-future-summer

What is your dream for your future?
Tell us, and you may be one of two lucky Yoursphere winners!
Enter now. Scholarship winners will be selected on June 28th.
What do you need to do achieve your dream?

Attend a special class like music, dance, art or science this summer? Go to camp? Earn money to help pay for college? Whatever your dream is, Yoursphere is here to help it come true.

Fill out and submit this form. You may be one of the two members that will receive $250.*

DEADLINE: Monday, June 28 9 a.m. PT
*The funds will be sent directly to the school or camp you will be attending unless your parent provides proof of pre-payment. Or you may choose to receive a U.S. Savings Bond for $500 instead.

Before you get started, the application asks for details about your activity (like how much it costs), and there are four essay questions

My daughter submitted to be considered for attendance at the Morean Arts Center Summer Camp - it would be amazing if she is selected! She worked hard on her submission since it's such an important opportunity.

Good luck on your child's entry - see you on Yoursphere!
We look forward to connecting with you on Yoursphere.com
Great family friendly social networking site: www.Yoursphere.com Use our referral code for free registration: YSMC-0063




I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on Yoursphere.com, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Demand Learning for Today's "IGeneration"



Summer time learning is at your family's fingertips using the KC Distance Learning for middle school and high school students. New options to learn which embrace today's "IGeneration" is such a valuable resource. It's perfect for those homeschooling or those needing to cover topics during a relocation transition or those facing academic challenges.

Check out www.Onlineschoolsolutions.com to learn more

KC Distance Learning offers online learning options to fit all types of students and learning situations. Once at the site, click on your state to locate the online school serving your state.

Our Florida provider is Keystone School: http://keystoneschoolonline.com

View a great demo link at the site to view the tools and technologies available to engage and enlighten at http://aventalearning.com/aventa-capabilities-demo:
* Online Learning Environment
* Communicate with instructors
* Participate in discussion with other students

As parents, we realize the importance of a quality education for our children. KC Distance Learning, Inc. is another great tool for our "tool belt" to ensure their success.

I received a $20 Target gift card from MomSelect to assist in facilitating my review.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Join Us On Yoursphere.com - see code provided


Great family friendly social networking site: www.Yoursphere.com Use our referral code for free registration: YSMC-0063

We're learning a lot and planning to create our own "spheres"~ we hope you'll join us to connect!

My daughter's classmates are starting to register, too! Their parents recognize the importance of online safety while also exploring new social networking for tweens.

I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on Yoursphere.com, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Monday, June 14, 2010

RaceTrac FreeFills This Summer-Gift Card Contest




Summer is here, and it's HOT...HOT...HOT!!
We're already sweating it out in the car as we journey to summer camp, the beach or pool, friends' for BBQ, and planning a fun summer vacation road trip. It's hot and thirsty work/play, so I am excited to share a great deal at RaceTrac which is always on your way, no matter where!

If you're always on the go with a drink in your hand, you have to check out the new RaceTrac FreeFill Cup. Available for only $6.99 at your local RaceTrac location, this cool cup entitles you to FREE refills from their impressive fountain for the entire summer. From now until August 1st, you and your family can be sipping all of the refreshing drinks you love, without any additional charges!


Our local RaceTrac has them in red, green, blue and purple fun designs to keep you cool and refreshed throughout the summertime! Free refills of our favorite drinks are a lifesaver for my fam! Gotta love those Slushies!!!! LOL

I am hosting a contest courtesy of RaceTrac and MomSelect.
ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE A $10 RACETRAC GIFT CARD TO PURCHASE A RACETRAC FREEFILL CUP

Just post a comment on my blog to this post about what your road trip plans may be for the summer. Contest entry deadline is June 30, 2010. One winner will be selected via random draw from all entries. One entry per person. Please provide your contact information in your post. US residents only may participate. Prize will be sent directly from MomSelect.

Good luck and thank you for participating!

I received a $10 RaceTrac gift card as well as an additional $10 RaceTrac gift card to be mailed directly to a blog contest winner to be announced to help me facilitate my review.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SMART Boards In Our Classrooms For Techie Kidz!


Our Savior Lutheran School in St. Petersburg FL installed amazing new interactive whiteboards into many of the classrooms this school year. We held special fundraising activities throughout the year to assist with funding for these amazing tools for our children. Everyone was very excited to add this resource to the classrooms, especially the kids!

My daughter will begin 6th grade this fall, and will have the good fortune of experiencing the SMART Board throughout the next three years in their middle school program. I asked the students at the end of the school year summer picnic about their reaction to the Boards this year. Each mentioned their wonderful interactive nature and how they felt like their were getting more out of the topics covered while using the Boards. One 7th grader noted that he was definitely more connected in the classroom, and that the SMART Board seemed liked a next step for all the kids since they are all so "wired" these days...I started to feel like a dinosaur!

All the teachers at Our Savior are totally "a buzz" about the Boards, too! Now all the faculty of this private, Christian school have asked to receive the new classroom resource to elevate their lessons to a new dimension.

SMART Technologies is the world's largest provider of interactive whiteboards - a "touch screen" board that functions like a blackboard does, but with the technical capabilities of a computer screen. Truly amazing and like nothing we've seen before!

The company has just launched the "SMART Love of Learning" campaign. It acknowledges and celebrates all of the teachers who have impacted individuals around the world. There is a great facebook page that has been developed for this campaign and an opportunity for contest winners to win a SMART Interactive White Board for their own child's school or the school of their choice!

You can check out their website - www.SMARTloveoflearning.com to learn more.

Some additional links to learn more and explore their YouTube and Facebook applications are:

The link for the Smart Love of learning website is: http://tiny.cc/8lrjf
The link for the Youtube videos is: http://tiny.cc/xpz26
The link for the Facebook page is: http://tiny.cc/0tje2

Be sure to enter to win a SMART Board for your school of choice...I entered today! My favorite teacher was Mrs. Edelman from 7th grade. She was absolutely fearsome, but the lessons she provided me in the classroom were invaluable to my communication skills EVERY DAY! TEACHERS TOTALLY RULE!

Happy Summer Vacation Everyone!