Thursday, October 25, 2007

Be prepared -- the Sequoia Survival way!

It was a dark and snowy night. I was living in St. Louis and trekking to the home of the parental units who live two miles outside of a tiny southern Illinois town. As I got off of the highway, a mile from their home, I noticed the snow removal trucks hadn’t touched the roads in this area. It had snowed so hard it was impossible to tell the road from the ditches that lined both sides. Visibility was horrid. I ended up getting stuck.

I had to walk a little more than a quarter mile to my parents house. It was slow going – especially in the midst of a blizzard while wearing heels and an Ally McBeal type suit. (Hey, I was 23. Need I say more?)

As I slipped, shivered, and cursed in the darkness, I vowed to keep extra socks, sneakers and a blanket in the trunk during future winter months. Looking back, I know that these three things? Don’t exactly spell “Prepared for Inclement Weather”. But that’s only because I didn’t know about the vehicle survival kit from Sequoia Survival Company.

Thanks to Sequoia Survival Company, you don’t have to think like a boy scout — as the company has come out with a really amazing product that will help you and your loved ones stay warm, dry, fed and even entertained!

The vehicle survival kit I received was stuffed to the brim with all sorts of essentials. Included are ready-to-eat meals, packaged water, first aid products from 3M, thermal emergency blankets, rain ponchos, light sticks, leather work gloves, rope, toilet paper, notebook/pen and even a deck of playing cards. (For a full list of items click found in the vehicle survival kit, click here.)

At first when I thought about the idea of a survival kit I wondered, “how difficult can it be to create your own? Could I do it as well as these guys? And for less money?” When I started looking through the package I realized that this is definitely the way to go for someone like me. I would have just thrown some candy bars and a few bottles of water into a duffel bag and sat it on top of an old comforter. But the founders of this company did their homework and employed the guidelines provided by their local fire department, FEMA and the Red Cross. I wouldn’t have thought to include stuff like cleansing wipes, duct tape or handwarmers. And as for thermal emergency blankets? I had no idea they existed. The carefully chosen products in the kit seem to be of good quality. Plus? Survival packages can be customized to meet your needs.

My parents not only live in a rural area but they also have a little hideaway nestled deep within a wooded area in another county that is far more secluded. (There are no telephone lines, running water, nor electricity. The roads are also extremely narrow and poorly maintained.) Frankly? I worry about them being out at their cabin during nasty winter weather. Methinks a vehicle survival kit maybe exactly what they need this Christmas.

This review was written on behalf of the Parent Bloggers Network. For more reviews on this product and many others, click HERE.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Name your tune

Christmas is quickly approaching. And if you've got children in your life who seem to have every toy under the sun, (and you have NO idea what to get them) you might want to visit a website called Name Your Tune .

Founded by Candace and Eric Alper, and based in Toronto, the company offers CD's made up of popular children's music. The super cool part? The songs are personalize for the child receiving the music. Children will hear their name more than 80 times throughout 14 much-loved songs. And if you have more than one child's name you'd like to include? The company is happy to create your CD accordingly.

The music is lively and fun. The founders have done a great job of choosing songs. (Ditties like, "If You're Happy And You Know It", "Wheels on the Bus", and "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon", and "ABC Medley.") And the singers' do a great job of clearly and cheerfully incorporating the designated name into the songs.

Although my 5-year-old is no longer interested in hearing "The Wheels on the Bus", he found the CD amusing. He laughed hysterically when he heard mom's name added into each song. (I found it pretty amusing too.)

Although my two nephews are a bit too old for this gift idea, I have a niece who would get quite a kick out of this. So as Christmas draws nearer, I'll be visiting Name Your Tune.

Name Your Tune CD's are $20 each, or $18 each when you purchase 2 or more at the same time. And buyers may add a personal message on the CD label making the gift a more special and a treasured keepsake.

A portion from the sale of each CD will be donated to Hear Here, the Toronto-based non-profit organization that provides hearing aids for children.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Express yourself

I signed up for Vocal Point a few weeks ago. I have heard great things from others and was eager to join.

So far, I've gotten some great recipes as well as coupons and even had a chance to take a survey and get paid $100 for my time. Seriously. I could have made $100 just for answering questions. The only caveat was that I had other obligations so there was no way I could meet up with the survey crew at the time they were wanting. But still. That kind of money? Could have bought some super cute shoes or clothes or groceries or Christmas gifts.

But the site has all kinds of ways to get coupons and free samples. Its very easy to sign up too.

Interested? Check it out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To boldly go (where no yogurt has gone before)

If your kiddos love yogurt like my little guy does, you might want to give Fizzix a try.

Fizzix, made by Yoplait, has a bit of carbonation added to the yogurt, hence the "fizz" in Fizzix. We were sent Blue Raspberry Rage and Strawberry Watermelon Rush. According to the website, the product also comes in Wild Cherry Zing/ Strawberry Lemonade Jolt Triple Berry Fusion/ Fruit Punch Charge.

Seth LOVED the taste and the fizz. He was clamoring for a second halfway through eating his first! Needless to say, the product didn't last long at our house.

I gave some Fizzix to a few of the moms in my hood. Here's what they thought:

"The kids (ages 5 and 2) both really liked the Fizzix," said Jess. "I tried them, and I did not care for the fizz as much as the kids did."

According to Jess, the tube (Yoplaits Go-GURT is packaged the same way) was the biggest downside. "They seemed to be SO much messier (for the two-year-old) than a regular container of yogurt. "

Sarah and her son Jacob weren't big fans. "(He) thought they were ok but would not want to get them again. I tried it and did not like it."

But as a kid, Jacob did appreciate the appeal of the fizz.

"Jacob thought the fizz was cool," said Sarah. "But said there was a funny aftertaste that he didn't like."

Traci's son Luke tried them at our house during a playdate. He was an immediate fan so I sent some product home with him.

"Luke loved it so I would certainly consider buying it. He took one to school in his lunch box every day until they were gone," said Traci.

To take a gander at the nutritional value of the product go here.

Plus, there's even a cool website just for kids. (They'll get a kick out of the burp organ. Trust me.)