Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Daring is divine!

Even as little as 35-years ago, a "good girl" was expected to be a docile little creature. Girls were expected to be amiable -- full of manners but empty on opinions. Little girls were expected to only like dolls and tea parties while letting the boys have all of the grubby fun.

And really? Why should the boys get to have all of the fun? Thanks to Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, girls today have their OWN book of ideas and adventures to explore called The Daring Book for Girls.

The Daring Book for Girls is an enchanting read packed to the brim with all sorts of history, adventure ideas, and how-to's. Do you know your spy lingo? Do you know how to make a stink bomb or a lemon-powered clock? How much do you know about women pirates? Well, crack open this book.

The ladies even have a few pages devoted to finance, The Periodic Table of the Elements, how to change a tire, and math tricks.

While reading through the book, I kept thinking about my childhood -- we lived in a rural area where there weren't many kids around and there wasn't much to do. (No cable or gaming system either!) I was what could be considered a "girly tomboy" (the girl climbing the tree and digging in the dirt while wearing pink nail polish and a purple skirt). If this book would have been created long ago, I'm sure I would have fallen in love with it during a summer library visit.

Although there are some "girly" how-to's like "how to put your hair up with a pencil" and "how to make friendship bracelets", the authors recognize that no matter how "girly" the girl is, most do enjoy some activities that have been traditionally tagged as "boy stuff."

Whether you celebrate your girly-ness or let your inner "tom boy" loose, The Daring Book for Girls is bound to keep readers (young or old) busy and enthralled for quite some time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spark turns the ordinary into the extraordinary for kids

Up until a few weeks ago, the only type of science my son found remotely interesting was science fiction. (He's a rabid Star Wars fan.)

But all that changed once the boy got his very own Spark Talking Microscope.

The Spark™ mission is to offer captivating science products that inspire kids to explore and make discoveries for themselves. The microscope comes equipped with an array of slides for children to examine -- like fleas, mosquitoes, houseflies, and even spiders. For any kid who's fascinated by bugs? Getting to see them magnified by five times is an irresistible proposition.

The microscope also talks to the child supplying interesting facts and even, at times, some funny sound effects.

There's also cards illustrating how to use the microscope. But honestly? The microscope is so easy to work, the kiddos probably won't need them. Seth was examining slides within minutes. If you are interested in seeing how easy this toy is to operate, click here to watch a quick YouTube video.

And since Spark designs this toy with parent participation in mind, it also includes a full-color parent's "Lab Assistant" guide so your child can get a thrill out of being the "lead researcher."

And while the lens view is very clear, I wish the magnification was a stronger. What I would really have liked is for the magnification to have been powerful enough that you could see the tiny hairs on a fly or slides of bigger germs. Perhaps, if he could see that germs actually exist, he'd take more time to wash his hands?

But all in all, this durable microscope, which sells for $29.95, has earned Seth's seal of approval.

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On the go? Day Runner to the rescue!

"The hurried-er I go, the behind-er I get."

Yup. That would describe our family. We're not exactly what you'd call proactive people. We're more along the lines of "Whu? You needed that yesterday. D'oh!"

For the most point it all boils down to organization. Or ahem, LACK of organization.

So when Parent Bloggers Network was offering bloggers a chance to review the Day Runner Family Matters organizational system, I was all "Ohh! Ohhh! Pick me." I might have even offered to name any future children after both Kristen and Julie. Oh, wait. I FORGOT to send them that e-mail. They must have picked up on my desperate vibes, then.

What did I think? Well... the erasable calender, which is now on the planning desk in the kitchen, is a great concept. The designated day spaces are big so you could fit alot of necessary info on each block. But I wish the erasable marker that accompanied the package had a finer point as you can't really write very tiny if you want your writing to be legible. But I would assume that I could find a finer point marker somewhere, yes?

The wirebound monthly/weekly appointment book looks super cool. Being that the one I have is for 2008, I've yet to use it. And frankly, right now, I don't think I would use it. But 2008 is the year I will most likely be looking for gainful employment. This could, no doubt, come in very handy when I need to juggle a work schedule with Seth's education and my hubby's job, which happens to involve ALOT of travel.

The erasable door reminders haven't been something we've used for an organizational purpose. Honestly, when I post a reminder, I tape it to a door and make sure its eye level. I'd never remember to look down at the door handle. But now that my son is starting to read, I actually use one to write a little note to him each morning. (Like, "Mom loves Seth. Go, Seth go!") He gets quite a kick out of erasing the note and leaving one for me.

I do wish though at least one of the erasable door reminders had a magnetic strip on the back. Because then one could position it on the side of the fridge. The hubby gets a bit irritated when he's trying to take a phone message and can't find paper and a pen, so one of the reminders is now sitting next to the phone at the planning desk as well.

The activity folders and storage cases, I confess, haven't been used for their intended purpose either. I do have one storage case downstairs to catch stray school papers and newsletters. But the rest now reside in the office. As a result? Bills aren't getting lost under mounds of kindergarten art work, charity solicitations, insurance paperwork and other stuff. This is GOOD! Very, very good. When you can FIND stuff, its far easier to be a proactive person.

All in all, for now our lives are simple enough that we don't require a color coding organizational system. But in a few years, I'm sure we will. And I'll now exactly where to go for what I need.

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

Friday, November 2, 2007

No Glove, No Love

I know what that title says and get your mind out of the gutter! What I'm talking about is a lotion called Gloves in a Bottle.

And to cut to the chase? What I'm trying to say is that if you've got dry hands and no Gloves in a Bottle? You won't be loving the way your hands look or feel.

Gloves in a Bottle is a shielding lotion that quickly absorbs into the skin. The lotion then forms a protective barrier that holds moisture in so that skin is able to heal itself naturally. The lotion does eventually come off but only through the natural exfoliation process.

When I had first heard of the concept I assumed the lotion would be thick and greasy. I was hesitant to try it. But the lotion isn't thick nor does it leave hands feeling sticky or slimey. Once the milky product is absorbed, you can't even tell that you've just put on a lotion. Your only "proof" is that hands feel immediately softer.

But the product, which is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, isn't just for hands. Elbows, knees, feet and any dry, scaly patches quickly benefit from continued use. (For a list of product ingredients click here.)

I've made a practice of using the shielding lotion each night before bed. Alittle bit of product goes a long way. And I'm hopeful that my "supply" will get me half way through winter, aka dry, itchy skin season.

For a complete price list click here.

And if you don't believe me? Well, there are quite a few other bloggers who've reviewed this product... Get their opinions here.