Thursday, June 11, 2009

If You Build It...

Over the past few months, I've hinted about some new projects in the works. A few of you might know I started writing about marriage and St. Louis for The Examiner. Recently, a friend and I also launched a new site called StLFamilylife.com.

Kristie and I are hoping you'll check out StLFamilyLife.com and let us know what you think! We're an online magazine devoted to parenting within the St. Louis area. We touch based on childcare, products, friendships, romantic relationships, sex, education, fun stuff for you to do and alot of other topics.

From now on, my product reviews will be posted to StLFamilyLife.com. My giveaways will also be featured there. Here's hoping you'll stop by and visit.

Oh and if you want to contact me with product reviews or anything else, you can still do so at motherofbun at gmail dot com

Take care!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tap Into Money-Saving Solutions With PUR

Sometimes our tap water tastes sort of gross. I drink ALOT of water. Water flushes out the system but what's the point, if your water isn't so clean?

The costs of bottled water can add up. I was eyeing a PUR Water Filtration product but hadn't gotten around to doing any research. But then a few weeks ago, I was offered one and asked to review. This? Made. My. Day. Of course I said, "Sure."

I started doing the research.

Did you know that PUR Water Filtration not only saves you money but also eliminates up to 3,200 plastic water containers annually? It can also help you save up to $600 a year.

And back to the part about drinking CLEAN tap water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 20% of Americans’ lead exposure? Is from drinking is tap water. But if you've got a PUR filter, no worries. They can reduce many contaminants, including lead, microbial cysts and 99% of pharmaceuticals. (Oh yeah, did you know that there can be traces of pharmaceuticals found in tap water. Yes! Now you know why you should never flush meds down the toilet!)

The pitcher was easy to put together. And the water did taste a bit cleaner. Usually if I put a glass of unfinished water in the fridge to keep it cold, it starts to taste "stale" after a few hours. Wasn't the case with the PUR pitcher/filtration system.

And if you're a tea drinker, you also know how odd tasting water can affect the taste of your tea, lemonade or Kool-Aid. This product can filter that tap water so you can enjoy these beverages.

The PUR pitcher also came with some small bottles of a concentrated flavor so you could add a subtle taste to your water. While this is a great idea, I have had a difficult time getting the flavoring to work. It fits on the underside of the lid. A push of a button is supposed to release a tiny amount into your water. But so far, I haven't gotten it to work. But honestly? I don't do alot of flavoring anyway.

I've seen the cost of the pitcher at anywhere from $15 to $20. So the price is great and we'd gotten alot of use out of ours.

Dad's Day Gift Idea

Father's Day is coming up. And if you've got a dad in your life who loves wine, here's a way to take a vineyard with him. Check out the Little Barrel website. Lots of clothing for everyone. There's even baby stuff!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jif's Natural Peanut Butter Is A Big Hit At Our House

"So how do you like the peanut butter?" I ask my son and his two friends a week ago. The trio had decided on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for an afternoon snack. And as of this question, the kids were eating quietly - a rarity for these very verbal moppets.

"Mmmm Good," said my son as he continued to gobble up his sandwich. "Good," said another little girl. The third child said, "this is delicious." Each one asked for another sandwich.

I'd been trying Jif's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Spread. So far it passed the kid test. Later on my husband tried the peanut butter. He didn't say anything right off. When I put the Jif Natural Creamy peanut butter back into the fridge, I stuck it next to the other peanut butter we were using. Figured a taste test would make things interesting. I didn't get a chance to do a side by side comparison with the kids or my husband. The Natural peanut butter jar was empty within three days. The other stuff? Remained. (And yes, it was opened, so they had a chance to try the stuff out.)

I get to taste the Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. (Their PR peeps were kind enough to send me a small jar.) And it is pretty yummy. Smooth and creamy. Makes me want to make some peanut butter cookies. Doesn't that sound great? Mmmmm.

So overall? The peanut butter was a solid hit amongst my crew. Since peanut butter is a pantry staple at my house, I'll be buying more of Jif's newest product very soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vote Now! Vote Often for Kellogg's Plant A Seed Program

This message is sponsored by MomCentral.

This past winter, during the 2009 Super Bowl, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes debuted a commercial calling everyone who was watching to action. The commercial was for the Plant A Seed program.

The gist of the commercial and the program is to focus on how everyone can make a difference in building stronger communities and enriching a child's life. Kellogg's wants to remind us all that kids of any age, size, and background are filled with a tremendous amount of promise and potential. And we need to give kids a place to REALIZE this.

So, 50 fields across the US are to be renovated. There have been many nominated thus far. And now Kellogg's needs YOU to help choose which fields are the most deserving. What better way to keep families (kids and parents) active and engaged? The hope is that these fields will once again become places of fun and foster a sense of community.

So click on www.frostedflakes.com to view the fields and find out more as to why these places are deserving a ball field makeover. Voting ends May 31st!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pulverize Poison Ivy With Ivarest (Giveaway!)

If you've got kids who love to explore the outdoors (or you yourself like to do so) odds are at some point in time you're going to come into contact with some poisonous plants and need a little something from the Ivarest Poison Ivy product line.

Ivarest Poison Ivy Cleansing Foam is a very effective cleaner that when used immediately after exposure (or once a rash has begun) can combat the effects of poisonous plants. According to the company, "If used soon after exposure, Ivarest Poison Ivy Cleansing Foam’s special combination of cleansers lifts oily plant allergens from the skin surface to be easily washed away, minimizing any reaction and stopping the rash from spreading."

Sounds good to me. But if you've already come across the plants and you're starting to get the "itchies" the company also offers Double Relief Treatment Cream. According to the company, "As the only poisonous plant treatment that contains both an antihistamine and an analgesic, Ivarest Double Relief Formula helps stop the reaction and quickly soothes the skin. The product also features calamine to dry out the rash. Its greaseless formula is tone-neutral and easily removed with water.

Ivarest Poison Ivy Cleansing Foam retails for $5.97-$8.99. Ivarest Double Relief Formula retails for $4.37 - $6.99. Both products are available at select drug stores, supermarkets and mass retailers nationwide.

And now three MotherOfBun Reviews... Readers will each recieve these two products. Simply leave a comment on this post. Winners must be in the US and 18 years of age or older. Deadline is May 29, 2009.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comfort Select Pillows Are Customized And Comfy

When my hubby and I were dating, I'd often ask my husband, "why'd you pick me?" He'd reply, "Its an off-the-rack kind of world. When you go to the store, no designer has created an outfit specifically for your tastes and size. Some clothes will fit great, others not so much. You just find what you want that's the best fit for you. And then you go with it. Same with romantic relationships - you find the best "fit." And same with pillows -- you find kind that works best for you. Right?

Well, until recently, I assumed that worked with pillows too. But I was wrong.

I'm far more picky about my pillows than my clothing. And I did have a pretty great pillow. But when offered a FREE Comfort Select pillow, I was curious and ok, a little greedy. Wouldn't life be even better with TWO awesome pillows?

Comfort Select pillows are tailored for each person. Once I agreed to write about the pillow, I went through a 20 minute conversation with a very nice Comfort Select pillow specialist who asked me questions about what position I tend to sleep in most often, what kind of pillow firmness I like, allergies, if I sleep warm and if I have neck problems. (There were probably some other questions I can't recall right now.) Based on my answers, Comfort Select was able to create the pillow for me.

It took a few weeks to make. And when I got the pillow, I was very excited. The first night with my pillow had me tossing and turning a bit. But it only took me a night to get used to it. (Usually it takes about 3-4 nights to get used to any change in my sleep environment. And that change can be something like sleeping with a heavier blanket or with the air purifier at a higher or lower setting.

I've been using the pillow ever since. Sometimes I sleep warm. With the old pillow, I'd often wake up sweaty. The new pillow wicks away the moisture, so I don't wake up with a whole side of my face touching damp pillow. (That's kind of a gross way to wake up.)

I've even begun taking my pillow with me on trips. I love my customized pillow. And since there are silver strands in the pillow to combat dust mites and other allergens, I wake up feeling better (aka less nasty headaches) each morning too!

If you are a person with allergies or any sort of neck issues, you'll definitely want to check into this kind of pillow.

The pillow was given to me for free by Comfort Select. In return I wrote a review.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Get A Taste Of The Past With Pepsi Giveaway

Pepsi and Mountain Dew are firing up the "wayback machine" by offering special retro formulas of the beverages, giving fans (literally) a taste of the past.

Pepsi is giving away a retro throwback pack valued at $150 and featuring a Pepsi Throwback Trucker Cap, Pepsi Tin Lunch Box, a Retro Clock Radio/CD Player, a USB Lava Lamp as well as a Pepsi Throwback and a Mountain Dew Throwback. (Groovy!)

Can ya dig it? If so, leave a comment here to enter. You've got to be at least 18 to enter and live in the US. You've got until May 24, 2009 to enter. If you're eager to try the old formula? Well, the throwback beverages are can be found nationwide for another month or so and are available in 20-oz retro designed single-serve bottles and 12-pack cans.

Good luck!

Winner is Leslie. Congrats Leslie.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

iCarly Releases Season 1 Dvds

Odds are if you've got kids and cable/satellite) you've heard of iCarly. Miranda Cosgrove plays Carly, a girl from Seattle who lives with her big brother and hosts a fun on-line show with the help of her two best friends. The name of the webshow? iCarly.

The television show has grown into Tv's top series amongst kids (ages 2-14) drawing an average of 5.6 million viewers an episode. My son Seth? Is one of those rabid fans.

Recently, dvds of the first season of the Nickelodeon hit were released. We received the season 1 volume 2 dvd. (The one pictured here.)

Seth was more than happy to watch and review. He's seen alot of the episodes countless times but still... It doesn't matter. He loves to watch.

Disc 1 contains episodes such as iAm Your Biggest Fan, iHeart Art, iHate Sam's Boyfriend, iDon't Want to Fight iPromose Tech-Foots and iGot Detention. The second disc contacts iStakeout, iCarly Saves TV (the extended version) iMight Switch Schools, iFence, iWin a Date and i Have a Love Sick Teacher.

You might recognize Miranda. She was the very clever little sister on Drake and Josh. And as with Drake and Josh, the story lines center predominantly on the kids. You can buy this dvd online at Amazon for $18.99.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can 10-10-10 Transform Your Life?

We make decisions everyday. Some are easy but others? Not so much. That's why you might want to check out Suzy Welch's book 10-10-10.

According to the sleeve on the book's jacket, the book is "a transformative new approach to decision making. 10-10-10 is a tool for reclaiming your life at home, in love, and at work. The process is clear, straight forward and transparent."

Basically, when you make a decision, ask yourself how will this affect you (and others, if others are affected) in the next 10 minutes. Then ask yourself how this will affect you and others in 10 months. Then ask yourself how this would affect you in 10 years.

Welch explains in the book that idea came to her while vacationing in Hawaii. (Over the years, she's refined the technique.) When she first began to share her theory with friends and family, the response was overwhelmingly positive and over time, strangers were starting to ask her about this theory.

She gives many an example throughout the book and talks about how you can apply this decision making process to pretty much any delimma you encounter. According to Welch, "All in, 10-10-10 markedly decreases the days when parenting feels haphazard and overwhelming." Another person in the book claims, "It's just like a GPS device: it keeps us on track."

So what did I think of the book? Well, I'm not exactly sold. Alot of times you can't predict the future. Well, I'm a bit skeptical. Life changes in an instant. And I'm not in the same place emotionally that I was 10 months ago or even six months ago. So alot of my decisions and outlooks are going to be different. And you never really know what kinds of life-changing events are coming your way.

I do like the fact that it makes you stop to think about your actions long term. Doing so definitely gives one more clarity. And that's a wonderful thing.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PR In Your Pajamas? Here's How...

You've got this fabulous product. And you KNOW the public is going to love it -- if they knew it existed. This is where a little public relations know-how can help you. This is also where the book PR In Your Pajamas can help you.

PR In Your Pajamas, written by Elena Verlee, is a practical guide that can help the many business owners who don't have the big budgets needed to hire a public relations agency. Verlee's book can help those pr novices seeking media attention and help you outline your public relations action plan.

The guide, which is written in a clear, concise way helps explain what grabs the attention of a reporter. The book and also addresses how public relations differs from advertising as well as why great public relations can be more effective. Need to learn how to write press releases and talk to the media? Check out the book. You can also read up on how to identify opportunities and how to develop a rapport with those writing about your product or service.

Verlee knows her stuff. She's been in the biz for ten years now and runs her own international public relations firm.

So you may know how to approach a writer but which media entities are the best fit for your product or service? Which places are looking for a product or service like yours? Verlee has a new endeavor out now called Moms Media list. For more information on that click HERE.

For more information check out her site, PR In Your Pajamas. Her blog can be found HERE.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Household Guide To Dying - A Novel Approach to Life

Delia is a mother, wife, lover of chickens and an advice columnist. She also has cancer and has been told there's nothing else that can be done for her. In her final months on this earth, she thinks about all of the years she'll miss with her family. And she can't help but wonder, will her husband be able to run the household as smoothly as she does? Who will help her daughters plan their weddings someday? She decides to write a book to help not just her family but those people who are dying and the loved ones left behind.

Debra Adelaide is the author of The Household Guide to Dying (The book is named after the book Delia creates.). Her other works include The Hotel Albatross, Serpent Dust and Acts of A Dog.

Adelaide's book begins with Delia fully understanding that her time is limited. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she takes a very practical and proactive approach. She starts to make the most of her last few months. And we learn much about her present as well as past in the process.

Delia is a very strong woman and throughout the book we learn why. We learn about her time as a young single mother starting out in a new town, her courtship with her husband, the death of her first child, her career path, her experience as a mother of two daughters as well as her time as a cancer patient. We see she's done alot of living.

I did find the book confusing at times. I've got to know exactly where and when a story takes place. I normally assume a story takes place today and the character lives in the United States unless stated otherwise. While this story takes place "today" it doesn't take place in the United States. There were alot of references that left me puzzled as to the time and place. I didn't sort it out until I read the author's bio and realized the story takes place in Australia.

For me, this confusion takes away from the story. (What's a "shandy?" And when she mentions living in a "caravan" I can't help but wonder, if she means a Dodge minivan?) The ability to bond with the main character is lost because I'm too busy wondering about the details.

But once I was over the confusion, I did develop an affection for the character. She seems like a REAL mom. She curses in front of her kids. She worries. She wonders. She's driven crazy when her daughters fight. She seems like the kind of woman I'd be friends with.

All in all, this book is not a light-hearted romp. It deals with a heavier subject. But for those people who want some substance to their story? This fits the bill.

This post was written on behalf of Mother-Talk.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Social Skill Builder - Software for Life Skills


One of the biggest challenges in parenting a child with ADHD or autism is the social aspect. I've talked with friends who are in the midst of raising children with ADHD as well as friends raising children with autism many a time. This is a subject we often address.

Some kids have a difficult time understanding social cues. Others don't quite understand what is appropriate behavior in varied social situations. And still others just have a problem with impulse control. And these difficulties lead to a social awkwardness for the child as well as those people they deal with. The end result can quickly become one where a child feels isolated and ill equipped socially.

That's where http://www.socialskillbuilder.com/ and their software can help. The Social Skill Builder software helps kids learn about proper social skills in a fun and positive way. The software starts out with a map that has images of common public and private places. A child can choose the place and level of difficulty before beginning the game.

First a video of a common circumstance is played. Then children are asked a few multiple choice questions. If the child answers wrong, no big deal. The software provides gentle help and gives a "reward" when the question is answered correctly. The segments are short. And after each session children get to play a quick game.

Want to reinforce proper behavior while riding in the car? No problem, there are video scenarios for that followed by a question/answer session. What if you're planning to go to a movie? Or want to show your child the correct way to wait in the pediatrician's waiting room? Simply click on the appropriate topic. Your child can see positive (as well as negative) behavior demonstrated.

My son has ADHD and has a difficult time controlling his impulses. He also has a difficult time controlling his emotions if he feels hurt by a friend. We sat down together to watch the scenarios and work through the answers. He enjoyed watching the situations where the kids would act out and was quick to point out what about the behavior was wrong and why. He seemed to take great pride in the fact that he knew how to act accordingly. He was also able to tell me what the proper behavior was in the situation.

One of the biggest battles is that some kids don't know how to act appropriately. But then again, some (like Seth) do but at times get so excited that this knowledge seems to fly out the window. We have gone through several of the situations a few times, hoping that a reminder will help. (He's not a bad kid. Just has lots of energy and doesn't always know how to constructively channel it. But then again, that's what we parent are for, yes?)

I highly recommend. Actually, I think even regular kids could benefit from this social skills software. It could even be an interesting tool to use in a classroom.

This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For A Good Cause...

April is National Volunteer Month! And Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is encouraging people to get involved through its “30 Ways in 30 Days” campaign. Simply visit www.rmhc.org/volunteer to get daily tips on how you can help. Or use the charity’s
new partnership with VolunteerMatch to find other opportunities in the area.

RMHC is also spotlighting volunteers and asking people to share their own stories through an online community powered by Facebook Connect. For more information on the campaign, including the daily tips on how to help or to share a personal story, visit www.rmhc.org/volunteer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Action and Veggie Adventure All In One Site!


At the farm, on the road or in the kitchen! The makers of Hidden Valley Salad dressing are on a quest -- they want kids to not just eat their veggies but learn to LOVE to eat their veggies.

They've created a website, Love Your Veggies and have included a lighthearted games section. (Personally, my favorite game to play has been to use the garden hose to spray off any unwanted critters who are trying to eat my crop! There's something so rewarding in making a little hungry bug scurry away! Seth's favorite game is driving the tractor to get the veggies in time.)

The site is great way to remind kids that eating veggies is an important part of staying healthy. (Plus, it serves as a reminder to us parents that a great way to get kids to eat veggies is by adding a bit of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.) The games are geared toward younger kids but really any one of any age can play... The games are quick and easy to play. And any one of any age will enjoy the fun sound effects and graphics! Give it a try today.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.com

KY's Newest Product - "Intense" (?)

KY Brand has been helping couples "get it on" since 1917. Obviously, they take YOUR sex seriously - even if you aren't.
And now they've got a whole new product out there designed to help women get all "hot and bothered" in that oh so hormonal way. (And we ain't talking PMS.) The product? KY Intense Arousal Gel For Her.

When asked to try this product, I thought, "Eh why not?"
Directions are included with the product. But basically? You or your partner, massage a small amount of the clear gel into a certain, ahem, area during foreplay. The product, which smells to me like peppermint, is supposed to make that area feel warm at first and increase sensation, resulting from a more intense and pleasurable sexual experience.

According to the company's testing, 90 percent of couples experienced increased sensitivity. While I did experience a warming effect, it was mild - not as strong as I thought it would be. Although it did leave the area slightly more sensitive, it wasn't enough to really affect the sex.

We ended up trying the product a few times but basically, my overall experience was a bit underwhelming. I mean, it did increase sensitivity but not to a distinguishable point.
The average retail price is $24.99 for the .34 oz pump which gives you about 20 uses per package. And fear not, if you love your lube, the product can still be used with other KY products.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Giveaway Monday - Ecostore's Plant-based Products

No more nasty chemicals! That's what Ecostore USA's non-toxic Household Cleaning, Baby, Pet and Personal Care Products promise.

Ecostore's gone back to basics, which means getting back to nature and using only plant-based ingredients. In other words, no toxic petrochemicals, lauryl or laureth sulphates, propylene glycol, dyes, parabens, or cocamide DEA.

Recently, I was lucky enough to try the baby body wash and baby shampoo. I had my little man also try it for good measure.

What did he think? Well, I have to admit something first. Being that Seth is a manly-man kinda boy and can read pretty well, I had to take off each bottle's front lable. I knew that if he saw the photo of the baby on the label, followed by the words, "Baby Shampoo", or the little girl and baby and the phrase "Baby Body Wash" he'd be forever prejudiced.

He tried both in the shower a few weeks ago. He, like his mama, is very particular about scents. He loved the scents of both. Both products quickly lather. Both quickly rinse away. This is a good thing. There's nothing worse to a little boy than his mom saying, "Dude, there's still bubbles in your hair. Get back in the shower and stand under the water some more." We didn't haven't that problem with either product.

Some products do dry out his skin, so we do have to watch, at times, what he uses. But he definitely didn't end up with dry itchy skin after using Ecostore products.

As for me, I also loved the scents. Since my skin is very prone to breakouts, I have to watch what products I use. (Because with certain shampoos, I'll notice my neck starts to breakout. Bah!) But I had no problems with either products. Both rinse clean and leave a subtle scent.

In the end "the boy" ended up claiming both products as "his" and put them in his bathroom. That's quite a testimony as to what he thinks. Being that he hates to bathe, I'll take any help I can get!

The company is giving away a $25 EcoStore gift certificate to one lucky MotherofBun reader. I'll also be giving a way a "refreshing Vanilla bath soap" made by the company to a second place winner. Just leave a comment here or on the other blog. You must live in the US and be at least 18 to enter. The drawing closes on April 30th, 2009. Winners will be notified via email. Good luck!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mighty B is Mighty Entertaining

A little girl named Bessie Higgenbottom is on a quest to collect every badge in Honeybee history. (Honeybee scouts are sort of like the Girl Scouts of America.) Why? Because she has heard that if you do so you can become a Mighty B superhero.

Can you blame the girl? Who DOESN'T want to be a superhero?

That's the premise behind the Nickelodeon cartoon Mighty B. Recently I was asked to review "The Mighty B - We Got The Bee!" I wasn't familiar with the show so I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the eight episodes included on this dvd. Amy Pohler does a great job as the voice of Bessie, the quirky little girl with a big heart and boundless energy.

My son quickly got into the show and has asked to watch it again and again. And while I got a kick out of the first few episodes, I had to turn it off. Bessie is squirrelly. So is my son. So Bessie+Seth = far too much squirrelly for me to patiently handle. But I can see why a high-energy kid like Seth would get into the story. Her energy, enthusiasm and silly voice hold a kid's interest.

If you're going to let your kid veg after a hard day of school and homework, I'm thinking this is a great show to let them watch. Bessie is always willing to help others out and try new things. She is not undeterred by the clique of mean girls she often encounters. No violence. No inappropriate stuff. Just Bessie delving into one adventure or another.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Make 'Em Laugh (An Entertaining Documentary)

Sometimes its nice to sit on the couch, turn on the tv and be entertained. Sometimes its nice to sit down, turn on the tv, be entertained and LEARN something.

If you like your tv time to be a bit more productive, I highly recommend, "Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America." The three DVD collection is a documentary that discusses the funniest moments in American entertainment. Hey, American History that could be alot of fun to discuss at the water cooler or at a happy hour!

Make 'Em Laugh is hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. The six-hour series contains snippets of performances, biographical information, and more to demonstrate how much our politics and society plays America's comedy evolution. From slapstick and satire to sitcoms, the show explores all kind of different comedy genres.

The series compiles the best of the best humor (the snappiest wisecracks, and the mst incisive, biting satirical jokes) that's come out of American culture. And the best of America's best talent is featured too -- like Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, and Jon Stewart. (Seriously? The list goes on and on!)

There's also extra feature interviews with comedians discussing comedy. (This aspect was my favorite part!). Roseanne Barr talks about the different between being on sitcoms versus doing stand-up. James L. Brooks talks about “The Simpsons”. Carol Burnett talks about Lucille Ball. Joan Rivers talks about the talent of Bill Cosby.

Don't let the fact that its six hour length deter you from watching. The episodes are an hour long so you can watch over several days or weeks. The dvd package costs about $25 and would be a great gift for a film student or even those wanting to get into the realm of comedy. (It would be nice to show this to my son, an aspiring comedian who thinks there's nothing more to comedy than fart jokes.) Or even if you're just someone who loves to learn, (like me) you'll find yourself tuned in.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Its "The Big One" For SpongeBob!

Is it weird that whenever I see a pineapple I can't help but think of SpongeBob Square Pants? (Sing it with me now... "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?")

SpongeBob has a newly released dvd, "SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob vs. The Big One". The dvd includes six episodes of the show that aren't on any other dvd's. And if you love Johnny Depp, (or actually his voice)? You'll get a kick out of the first episode where he plays a surf guru.

My son LOVES SpongeBob. Almost every weeknight, Seth can be found in front of the tv, eyes glazed over, watching SpongeBob. (What? He gets to watch it while I make dinner.) SpongeBob is much appreciated when a certain little boy is sick and doesn't have the energy to move. Or when he's tired from a hard day of school and outside play and just wants to "veg out" a bit.

And this dvd was a big hit with him. If you've got a SpongeBob fan, I highly recommend. The dvd would actually make a great addition to anyone's Easter basket. (My son would take this video over some jelly beans any day!)

You can buy the dvd on Amazon for $13.99 if you click HERE.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Big bedtime excuses from little minds

It never fails. We go through my son's bedtime ritual. We make sure teeth are brushed, jammies are on and boy is showered. If time permits, there's a book chosen and read. As I kiss him goodnight the whining starts. So does the other stuff.


Seth seems to think sleep is for the weak. And over the years, he's added all sort of tricks to his bag. What are they? I will list...

1.) "I have to poop." (Amazing how his bowels work.)

2.) "But I'm SURE I'm going to have a bad dream."

3.) "But I'm so thirsty (or SO hungry.)

3.) "But I can't sleep alone. The mosters will get me."

4.) "But I'm scared of the dark."

5.) "But I'm scared of the noises." (Usually there aren't any.)

6.) "But I'm... LONELY!" (Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip!)


These are a few that come to mind right now. So I'm really excited to see the reviews for a product that can be found at http://www.sylvaniaonlinestore.com via http://blog.parentbloggers.com. Sounds like the SYLVANIA PalPODzzz portable nightlights might be able to nip that issue in the bud.

This post was written on behalf of Parentbloggers and this weekend's blog blast!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Crest Advanced Seal Whitening Strips Deliver

I remember when Crest Whitening Strips came out. At the time I was using bleaching trays and at one point, got a chemical burn on my gums from the stuff I was using. (NOT fun. My gums turned purple.) So when the strips came out, I was very, very happy.

I typically buy one or two boxes of the Premium strips a year. I like my teeth white. And over the years, have gotten alot of compliments on my teeth. I'd like to keep that going. The early whitening strips were ones you left on your teeth for 30 minutes, twice a day. They slipped around alot. (Even when talking.) You couldn't drink anything while they were in your mouth and you'd end up tasting the whitening gunk they use. But over time, Crest has introduced some newer products to the line, like "Advanced Seal" that are greatly improved.

Advanced Seal offers a form fit, no slip, and clean removal. This is a good thing. I like that the strips are on one sheet. They stick to teeth very well. Once applied, they won't slip. If you've ever sneezed with a whitening strip in your mouth, you know how important and appreciated this aspect is. Plus, when you take them off, most of the whitening gunk comes off your teeth as well. Not all of the gunk comes off of your teeth but most of it.

Overall, the strips do deliver on their promise. And you do begin to see results within a few applications. Plus, unlike some whitening systems, it is safe for enamel AND its an affordable way to whiten teeth.

The strips can be found at many a store where personal products are sold.

Lubriderm - Intensive Repair For Dry Skin

You know that total body dry skin feeling? When your skin feels as if it is three sizes too small for your body? Bah! I hate that.

I had alot of that this past winter. So when the pr peeps for Lubriderm offered to send some lotion my way, I was more than happy to review. The product sent? Lubriderm Intense Skin Body Repair lotion

The Lubriderm brand has been around for about 50 years. And the products can be found across the nation in discount stores like Target, Wal-Mart and even smaller drug stores. I confess, its been years since I've bought Lubriderm lotion. With all of the lotions and potions that come my way via review, I don't have to buy too many personal care items anymore.

The lotion's premise is that it helps dry skin heal itself. This formula, contains some sort of HydraRelease™ technology. So did the lotion do what it said it would? Did it "provide 24 hours of continuous moisture and strengthens skin's moisture barrier for softer, smoother, healthier skin."?

Within one application, my skin felt far better than it had in awhile. After two more applications, I didn't have to use it each day. Now I'm only using it here and there. My skin feels far softer and looks much healthier. Plus, it doesn't have an overly greasy feeling. It rubs on easy, absorbs fast and doesn't have an overpowering scent.

Overall, I highly recommend. I'd forgotten how great this product is. And I'm very happy I rediscovered it this past winter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teens Get (Discover) "Current" With Money Management

Recently, I was talking with a friend who has a teen son. Of course the subject of how expensive teens are (and how they view money) came up. Although I'm not "there" yet (my son is almost seven), it seems the "money talk" is just as tricky and awkward for parents as the "sex talk". How much do you tell them in their preteen years? How much later on? And how do you get them to act responsibly when it comes to this facet of their lives. I mean, it is something they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. How do you teach them to handle money in a productive, positive way?

Current by Discover can help parents. Basically? Its a (cool looking) debit card for teens. Plus, you (and they) can set spending limits, track and manage spending through email, text messages and online statements. If you've got teens with jobs, they can also load their paychecks onto the card through direct deposit.

The card also comes with advanced security features like $0 fraud liability. Lost or stolen cards can be temporarily suspended or deactivated, and card members can get an emergency replacement card.

The company also sponsors a financial literacy program across high schools nationwide through its Money Smarts Program. I don't know about you but I think alot of high school juniors and seniors could benefit from a little basic money management course. And just before they fly the nest and start their college years.

For more information on the program, click HERE.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Giveaway Monday - Books and toys!

This week we have two giveaways! One for you and one for your child!

Giveaway # 1
Eric Ruhalter saw that when it comes to parenthood, and describing certain experiences, words within the English language can only get us so far. That's why he wrote, “The KidDictionary: A Book of Words Parents Need But Don’t Have.”

The book is a funny read. (Here's a Youtube video of it.) And you'll probably be able to relate to quite a few of his stories and words. This week he's giving away a copy of his book to one MotherOfBun reader.

Giveaway #2

LeapFrog has launched 1 Million Reading Hours in conjunction with the NEA’s National Reading Month. Pledge to set aside at least 10 minutes a day to read with your children. The national goal is 1 million reading hours committed! We can do that, right? Right! This is where you can win a LeapFrog Tag reader and five books for yourself as well as an expanded memory LeapFrog School Tag reader plus 10 books to give to your local library.

For either giveaway, please leave a comment. If you want to participate in the LeapFrog giveaway, also let us know how much time you're pledging in the LeapFrog 1 Million Reading Hours Campaign. Both drawings will close at the end of the month. Anyone 18 and older can enter. As always, to increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit MotherOfBun and leave a comment to increase your odds. Must be a United States citizen. Good luck!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Prevent The Flu - Don't Miss Out On The Fun Stuff!

I never thought, as an adult, that my social life would revolve around the social lives of our teen babysitters. Typically, we have three teens who we call on to watch Seth when we go out. And trust me, its not uncommon for us to stay home because all three had plans.

That's the thing... Teens are active, social, beings. They want to be out and about. See and be seen. So that's why former American Idol finalist Brooke White teamed up with infectious disease specialist and author of Germ Proof Your Kids, Dr. Harley Rotbart, and The Clorox Company. The purpose? To launch I Don't Want to Miss..., a flu education and prevention program.

Maybe you didn't realize this, but the CDC has recommended that even teens get the flu vaccination each year. And getting the word out about such things is the program's goal. In fact, there's a contest teens can enter. Just submit a 45-60 second video entry to the brightly colored website. Let them know what sorts of activities they don't want to miss out on why they need to take precautions (like handwashing) during flu season.

One lucky teen will win an acoustic concert from former American Idol finalist Brooke White at his/her school! A second place winner gets a guitar autographed by Brooke White herself! But hurry! Entries due on March 11! Winners announced next month.

Or just check out the site for more details on the contest. Or even tune in to find tips on staying healthy this time of year.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Giveaway Monday (No go)

The giveaways I had scheduled for this week? Sorry but it ain't gonna happen. I've got a child who's been sick for three days. There's even been a visit to a clinic and then onto an ER this morning to boot! And its looking like he won't be up for school tomorrow either. Blah.

Tune in next week.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Empowerment is a mere click away

A pr contact of mine (Hi Brittany G!) recently sent me an email that contains some very important info. Just thought I'd share a part of her message with you all.

The recent activities surrounding Chris Brown and Rihanna are unfortunate but they do shine a spotlight on domestic violence and provide an opportunity to increase awareness about the issue and resources available to help those in need. The Allstate Foundation’s Web site, ClickToEmpower.org, is a great resource for victims and survivors of domestic violence. On Wednesday, February 11, it launched a complete redesign of the site. This site is for “Real People with Real Stories.” We want to hear from you and what you have to say.

As part of the redesign, you will see more information and tools on the site such as how to:

· Find Resources – Navigate through the site to get information on domestic violence, how The Allstate Foundation helps to financially empower women and where to get help.
· Start a Conversation – Have something to say? Want to share a story with the community? Now, you can sign up for an account and start the dialogue with other members through the Click To Empower forum.
· Spread the Word – Upload buttons and banners to your personal profile pages or forward a message to a family/friend to show your support to end domestic violence.
· Engage with Social Networking Tools – Add Click To Empower to your Facebook or MySpace page. You can also view a series of YouTube survivor stories. The stories are told by the very women who survived abusive relationships and showcase The Allstate Foundation’s support of economic empowerment.

I hope you will check out ClickToEmpower and find it a useful resource.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Teeccino is Tee-rific

Recently, I came across an product that really caught my interest -- a coffee that's not really a coffee. Its sort of a coffee but it is herbal and doesn't contain the caffeine nor the acidity of regular coffee. The herbal coffee drink is called Teeccino.

I was intrigued by the product because I've recently cut caffeine from my diet. (When I'd drink it in the morning, I felt like a zombie in the afternoon and early evening.) But my big problem is I like to drink something in the morning, whether its green tea, coffee, or soda. Enter Teeccino.

The first flavor I made was Mediterranean Almond Amaretto. From the packets I've tried, each coffee smells very fresh and robust as you open the packet. (If you read my reviews often you know one of the first things I notice is scents. And whether something smells good or bad.) And the coffee smells amazing when brewed. Seriously. I was happy to just sit and smell the coffee. When I tasted the herbal coffee I was really surprised. It DOES taste like coffee. My other favorite is the Mediterranean Mocha. And my mother-in-law (who LOVES coffee) is eagerly awaiting the Maya Caffee I just sent her.

If you tend to drink your coffee without cream or sweetners, then you will want to drink Teeccino the same way. But I found that I didn't need nearly as much cream or sugar as what I use when I typically drink coffee. I think this is a good thing. Less calories in my cup! And? You can brew it and serve it like you would any other coffee. Want an expresso? Go for it! Want to try it with your french press? Can do. You can even make iced coffee drinks.

For coffee lovers who have problems with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, fibrocystic breasts, Diabetes and Insulin Resistance Syndrome, a product like this is a Godsend. Also, people who enjoy a cup of coffee at night with dinner or after will still be able to sleep later on.

Click HERE to find a store that sells Teeccino near you. And give it a try yourself!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Giveaway Monday!

We’ve got two prizes for this week’s giveaway. The first prize is for a bundle of three gift certificates for “Joy of Cooking” frozen meals. (Do not go to their site before lunch or dinner – especially if you have work to do. With meals like ”Creamy Chicken Florentine and Meat Lovers Lasagna” you won’t be able to concentrate on anything but the image of these yummy foods!) Seriously. Joy of Cooking! You will drool! And hope there’s leftovers you can enjoy the next day.

The second prize is the Little Einstein’s dvd, “Race for Space!” (”Adventure full steam ahead!”) The images are vibrant, the characters fun and there’s lots of kicky songs that will have your preschooler dancing.

Remember that RoC giveaway. I admit I still haven’t drawn a winner. I’ve been working all weekend on writing pieces for other sites. I’m thinking I’ll keep it open until Wednesday. (People who’ve already left a comment last week are def still in the running!) Four winners will receive two of RoC’s amazing anti-aging products.

To enter these contests leave a comment on this post and let me know what product you’re interested in (or all). You can always go to MotherOfBun to increase your odds o’ winning. Also, the first two giveaways? Are for US residents only. And you must be at least 18 to enter. Good luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dream Big, DreamBox Learning


One of the things that attracted me to my husband was that (don't laugh) he's awesome at math. He got a college scholarship based on his math abilities. His dad was a chemistry professor. Its in his genetics! I've always hoped our spawn would inherit the "good at advanced math" gene or at least balance out my "horrible at advanced math" gene. But I've always figured it can't hurt to hedge my bets. That why I was very, very excited about the prospect of reviewing DreamBox Learning system.

DreamBox Learning is a website filled with lots of interactive games -- all in the name of strengthening kids' math skills. The curriculum was designed for kids at a math level of kindergarten to second grade and "adheres to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards," claims their site.

When I explained the concept to my son, he was very excited. He's six years old. It was a big thrill to see his name on the screen. And he took a full 10 minutes to choose his password and avatar. (Oh the choices!)

The games are part of a number of adventures. And if you get tired of pirates, you can always go to the pets or another section. Seth especially liked the dinosaur section. That's where he spent most of his time. And he liked that every time he answered a question right, a funny sound effect and graphic would appear. Seth really enjoyed earning coins after successfully completing a mission. I explained that he could then use them on certain carnival games. But he kept wanting to save them.

The voice on the website was clear and easy to understand. (The DreamBox Learning characters are very cute and fun by the way.) The directions were also given in a concise way. My son, who has a problem following directions sometimes, had no problems following directions when he worked on the site.

From what I read of other Parent Blogger Network Reviews, quite a few people were able to let their kids play independently. Seth is a kid that finds it very difficult to sit still. He demands ALOT of attention and interaction from those around him. Suffice to say, Seth wasn't one of those kids who played DreamBox by himself. But that's definitely no fault of DreamBox. In fact, Seth and I enjoyed snuggling up while he played the game. It was a nice way to calm down from the day.

Also, other reviewers received an email after sessions. The email would let them know what concepts their child had mastered. Oddly enough, I didn't get these emails. I did get the "I miss you" emails though. (Dude. If its a great day? His little butt is outside.) But I was able to log into the Parent Dashboard and see his progress and find out how much time we'd spent on the site.

I was surprised by the vivid graphics and how responsive the learning system is. I am impressed by how the program adjusts the degree of difficulty for the child based on his or her ongoing performance. It not just reinforced what Seth already knows but it was set up in a way to give him a gentle nudge toward learning new things.

All in all, I found it to be a solid, clever site. Subscription plans for the site start at $8.33 a month. If you want to explore it before you buy, you can get a free two-week trial.


This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Evaluating Johnson & Johnson's newest products


See this gift basket of Johnson & Johnson products? Dawn S. won! Congrats to Dawn. Thanks to all who entered.

And now for the review... I recently test two J&J products. The first one is the Johnson & Johnson's head-to-toe foaming wash. The second is their baby bubble bath & wash.

Johnson & Johnson's has been helping people take care of their babies for 50 years now. The products are tried and true. They've got a good, solid reputation, manufacturing baby care products with a "no more tears" formula. I used them with Seth. In fact, it didn't really occur to me to buy a brand other than J&J's when it came to his skin.

But how did these newer products stack up?

The baby bubble bath & wash smells wonderful. It bubbles up easily in the water and it didn't leave a ring around the tub. Sometimes bubble baths make the tub very slippery and slimy which isn't very safe. I didn't have that problem with this product. I had my son test the product and he loved the bubbles' smell as well. The only problem? He's six and the fact that this wash is for "babies" offends his delicate sensibilities.

I'm really wishing Johnson & Johnson would use the same product but repackage. Use a bright blue bottle and put a skate board or soccer ball on the label and call it something like, "Boys Rule bath wash." You know, something quasi-macho for all of the boys out there ages 4-10. You do bright pink packaging and something girl-y for the girls. Tada! A whole new market just opened up.

As for the head-to-toe foaming wash? The pump works easily. When you smooth the foam between your fingers or various body parts, its doesn't make your fingers (or again, other body parts) too slippery. Plus it rinses off easily. The last two points are important because when you've got an itty-bitty baby, you've got to keep a hand on them at all times.

All in all, of the two products, I think the foaming wash would be best for tiny babies. The bubble bath is better for toddlers and preschoolers. And well, anyone who enjoys a good bubble bath.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Life is alot like a circus...

One of Seth's most treasured memories so far is one with his grandparents at the circus. From what I heard, he was mesmerized by the performances (and a bit scared of the clown). And how could he not be? He'd gone to a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey show!

This year, they have got even more amazing shows planned. And since this is a family event, they're offering a very family friendly ticket price -- four tickets for $44. They've also got a program I wrote about last year called Baby’s First Circus.

To take advantage of the first offer, enter the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels (like http://www.ticketmaster.com).you/ must purchase at least four tickets. Additional tickets are $11 each. Check the site for restrictions.

Here's a list of where they plan to be:

* Newark/East Rutherford/Uniondale/NYC Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents "ZING ZANG ZOOM" on March 5 - April 13 (Though the offer is not valid on performances from April 10 - 13 at Madison Square Garden)

*Washington D.C./ Fairfax, VA/ Baltimore, MD Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will present a different performance called "Over The Top" March 18-April 19
* Philadelphia (ZING ZANG ZOOM) May 13-May 25
* Phoenix (ZING ZANG ZOOM) June 24-June 28

* Houston (Over The Top) July 15-July 26

* Anaheim/LA/Ontario (ZING ZANG ZOOM) July 8-August 2

* San Francisco (ZING ZANG ZOOM) August 12-August 23

* Dallas/Ft. Worth (Over The Top) July 29-August 16

* Sacramento (ZING ZANG ZOOM) August 27-August 30

* Kansas City (Over The Top) September 16-September 20.

As for Baby's First Circus (if you are interested here's the post from last year.)? The program was created with U.S. parents and babies (12 months old and younger) in mind. If you go to the Ringling Bros site, you can sign up to receive a voucher for a free ticket to any Ringling Bros. performance, (valid for any date, any place) as well as a personalized certificate for baby.

How cool is that? All of the new sights, sounds, smells and sensations? Talk about serious baby brain food!

From what I hear, people are raving about the shows. So check it out for yourself.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Giveaway Monday - Four Chances To Win!

Giveaway Monday is a bit late this week. But no worries. We’ve got another great product to give away. Its a little something to help turn back the time. RoC RetinolCorrexion Deep Wrinkle Serum and Night Cream. These products are a great one-two punch for aging skin –apply RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum at night after you’ve finished cleaning your face, then the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. The products can be found at nationwide drugstores for about $19.99 a piece.

Four winners will be chosen to receive the combo. (Hey, that’s a value of $40! More with tax.) Anyone 18 and older can enter. Simply post a comment with your email addy to this site by Saturday, February 21. Feel free to increase your chances of winning by leaving a comment on Midwestern Mommy as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Send A Friend A Virtual Sweet This Year!

When the hubby's cousin, Amanda, started to feel tired and just generally unwell, she blew it off. She was too busy to see a doctor. But those vague symptoms never went away. Eventually, as her symptoms worsened, she did see a doctor. She found she had Ovarian Cancer and that it had spread. She fought a brave, strong fight. But last Easter the cancer won. She was in her 30's.

Sarah, my neighbor and a dear friend also was diagnosed with ovarian cancer many years ago. Luckily she caught it early. And she went on to have more children. And this week? She's enjoying some sun and fun in Vegas.

Two different outcomes. One disease. But this Valentine's Day you can help further the research of Ovarian Cancer. And its pretty easy and sweet! Give a friend a sweet that won't settle directly on the hips or bum! (Trust me, she'll thank you when she's trying on that new swim suit this season.)

Go to the Electrolux Web site, and create a unique virtual cupcake. Then, send it to loved ones this month. Let Electrolux know and they will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) for every cupcake sent!


Plus, your goodwill could win you a front-loading washer and dryer from Electrolux! How cool is that? Go give the site a gander!

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Mel B "Totally" Kicked My Butt!

You know the Spice Girls, right? So then you know Mel B.

Mel is always looking fab. But I have to admit, when I first heard she was doing a fitness video, called Totally Fit, I was skeptical. I wondered, "Is this another celebrity, repackaging some old moves with new music?" I've been using workout videos for YEARS. As in since high school. So I know a few moves. And I'm always on the look-out for a great fitness video that's got some new moves.

I'm happy to report that Mel does keep some of the more effective"classic" moves. But she also incorporates some new ones as well. And if I could say one thing to Mel B now? It would be, "Damn, girl! You know your stuff."

I've done the workout a few times now. (The sections are broken up so you can tailor the work out to your liking.) And I am sore for days after each time. Yet she makes it look easy. No wonder she has that rockin' bod. She is in fabulous shape! I breath in? I'm sore. I open a door? I'm sore. She really knows how to maximize moves and time while target some muscles I'd forgotten about. And once I get to a point where I can finish the video and not be so sore? She has advanced moves (and an advanced cardio section) to challenge me.

And like alot of the great fitness vid hosts, Mel B shows alot of energy and enthusiasm. And I love her accent. Especially when she says "to-ally fit!"

But the big question I always wonder as I review these tapes is, "But is this fun enough to stick with?" And "what kind of results will I see?" Check back with me in a month. I'll let you know. Until then, there's a great sale on Amazon for Totally Fit. Check it out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snugglefests and "Seth Sandwiches"

Some people show love with gifts. Others "love" with food. Our family? We show our love with lots of "family snuggles" and a little something called a "Seth sandwich with a little Abbeydog on the side."

The hubby and I have always been pretty affectionate with each other. So when our Abbeydog came into the picture, we'd often spend weekend mornings "loving on Abbeydog." This meant letting her lay in bed with us, preferably (for her) between Marc and me for maximum attention.

When Seth came along, he stole the spot between hubs and me. But by this point, Abbey preferred the foot of the bed anyway. So the weekend family snuggle-fests have continued.

The other maneuver started when Seth was an itty bitty baby. Marc would often hug me while I had Seth in my arms. We called this a "Seth sandwich". Often Abbey would let out a "what about me" bark, walk up to us and nose in between our legs. The "Seth sandwich" was amended to "A Seth sandwich with a little Abbeydog on the side."

How does your family show your love? Parent Bloggers Network wants to know. They've teamed up with Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. The foundation is hosting a Selfless Love contest. PBN wants to hear about how you and your family show your love toward each other. You have until tonight Sunday, February 8 to post and include links to: http://www.insureyourlove.org as well as http://blog.parentbloggers.com. Go to their site and read a few of the entries. You may find some great ideas or get a giggle. Don't forget to email parentbloggers@gmail.com to let them know you've participated.

This post was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Social Media Tips From NSTeens

This past fall, as part of the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on cyberbullying. As I started to research the concept, how kids can protect themselves and what parents can do, I became more and more worried. Seth is only in first grade now but he loves to play games on my computer and at certain sites.

And it sounds like some of the cyberbullying is starting earlier and earlier. Gulp. Over the course of my research I did stumble upon some sites that can help adults, tweens and teens. One of which is Netsmartz.org. And another, brought to you by Netsmartz.org is called NSteens. The site, which is also in Spanish, educates teens and 'tweens on how to be safe and smart on the web.

Much the info is very basic (Don't use your real name or address. Be careful about the photos and stories you post online.) but that's exactly what alot of kids need to know. The basics. Just those few tips can go a long way. The site contains videos, comics, interviews with other kids and a design and layout that's very user friendly.

And it also addresses issues like "if you set your page to private, is it really private?" It also addresses the consequences of posting stories that make you look bad. (These days college admissions people and business will check personal pages. Are they going to get the wrong impression?)

The advice is actually very good for alot of us adults out here in cyberspace. It was fun spending time on the site. And its definitely a great resource for parents of kids who into social media.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Giveaway with J&J

The people at Johnson & Johnson have much to celebrate these days. As of 2009, they’ve been helping parents take care of their babies for 50 years. Plus, they’ve also recently launched two new products from the No More Tears line. There’s now a Johnson’s Bubble Bath & Wash as well as a Head-to-Toe Foaming Wash.

Need to stock up on some baby supplies? Or know someone who does? Johnson & Johnson is giving away a gift basket of goodies to one lucky Midwestern Mommy reader. Simply leave a comment on this post. As always, the contest is open to people 18 years and older. Contest ends the evening of February 7. Feel free to pop over to Midwestern Mommy in order to increase your chance of winning.

Green is good (Green Works wipes? Even better!)


A trusty little package from Clorox couldn't have come at a better time. Recently we had some company over. The arrangements were made at the very last minute. The house was a wreck. And when I started thinking about clean up duty? I remembered this marvelous little package of Green Works wipes I'd gotten the day before.

Personally, I use alot of wipe products because they are quick and easy. And since Green Works products started appearing on Target stores, I've been buying more and more of the product lines. So I was happy to try Green Works wipes. Like wipes from some other brands, these are great to clean surfaces like door knobs, light switches, faucets, sinks, and toilet seats.

The Green Works wipes can be used on surfaces you wouldn't traditionally think about as well. Like your leather couch. (You know, when you find your child didn't listen to the "no food in the living room" rule, snuck off to watch tv and accidentally spilled yogurt all over the leather couch.) Or wooden banisters or to even spot clean hardwood floors. There's no bleach so there's no stripping of the material or wood.

Oh, and there's no residue left behind either! So if you want to clean your faucets or remote control? You won't have that dry, icky feeling on your fingertips.

While the wipes don't disinfect, I love that they are biodegradable and free of petrochemicals. Plus they aren't tested on animals.

Green Works products can be found at most stores that sell cleaning supplies. (Like my ole fave, Target.)

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

We have winners!

Remember that Pizza Hut giveaway from last week? Well, we have winners! Congrats to Maria Joy, Stefani and Shania. If a gift card isn’t claimed by this coming Friday, the alternate, Dawn Taylor, will get a card.

As for the Planetjill giveaway held this past week? Heather won. Congrats

And don’t worry. There’s another giveaway scheduled for Monday. Check back then to see what’s in store.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Earn Your Stripes!

"If you build it, they will come."

While reading about Kellogg's Frosted Flakes "Earn Your Stripes" program, I couldn't help but think about that famous line from Field of Dreams.

The gist? Kellogg's is calling upon YOU. During the Superbowl on Sunday, a commercial called "Plant a Seed" will focus on how everyone can make a difference in building stronger communities and enriching a child's life. This call to action is part of the Earn Your Stripes (Tm) program.

The message? Kids are filled with a tremendous amount of promise and potential. And we need to give kids a place to REALIZE this. So, 50 fields across the US are to be renovated. What better way to keep families (kids and parents) active and engaged? The hope is that these fields will once again become places of fun and foster a sense of community. Check out this site for more info. (Am assuming the site will be ready by Sunday. So if you don't see much on it now, check back later.)

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giveaway Monday - Planetjill necklace!

Planetjill is offering YOU $10.00 off your purchase. Just enter "mommyblog" when you check out of the site.

Earlier this month, I waxed poetic about how much I love, love, LOVE my Planetjill necklace. Seriously, I wanted to shout that out from the roof top. But being it was cold outside and I'm lazy, I took to my computer instead.

Many people expressed an interested in Planetjill jewelery and well... You've spoken. And Planetjill founder Jill Schiff has heard you!

This week she's giving you a chance to win a Planetjill necklace. This one in fact. How SERIOUSLY AWESOME is that?

A bit about this necklace? Sterling silver charm and chain. The square-frame is about dime-sized. The chain is very durable and can withstand a grabby toddler. You chose your favorite photo to be placed inside. Planetjill will take care of the rest. There is a slight weight to the pieces. This is good because your charm will stay in place. Oh and if you've got more than one child (or grandchild or niece or nephew or cherished pet) you'd love to show off? You can always add more charms! Plus the charms are very well sealed. So if you jump in the shower and forget you're wearing your necklace? No worries.

Planetjill has a host a great gift ideas for Valentine's Day for men and women. (Not just photo charms but monogrammed charms and if you check out the "new collection" you'll see ALOT of really great pieces there too.)

Once you see a Planetjill piece you'll become a big fan. But don't just take my word for it. Julia Roberts, Maria Shriver, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, Reese Witherspoon, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Cher, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Mariska Hargitay and Joely Fisher are also huge fans too!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment here or at Midwestern Mommy (Or leave a comment in both places to increase your chance of winning.) Anyone 18 years old age and older can enter. Winner will be drawn Feb. 1 and notified via email.

This week Bloggy Giveaways is hosting a Blog Carnival. Go to their site for a gigantic list of cool stuff other bloggers are also giving away.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The DC 24 want to share their Inauguration Day experience with YOU!

On Tuesday, more than one million people filled the Washington Mall to watch President Obama be sworn in as our 44th leader and first African American President.

Twenty four of the people lucky enough to witness the event were fifth and sixth graders from the Frazier Preparatory Academy in downtown Chicago. The kids are known as the DC 24.

Luckily for those of us who didn't get to go, the kids have blogged and posted videos of their experiences at Share My Inauguration, sponsored by The McCormick Foundation. We can live vicariously through them! They've gotten a chance to see the city, test their reporting skills by speaking with other people at the inauguration and even interview Robin Roberts of Good Morning America.

The site also lets you get to know a bit about these kiddos. The 24 were chosen based on "a written essay, grades, test scores, an oral interview, and citizenship", according to the site. After being selected, "students participated in a weekly civics course where they learned more about the Constitution, our election process and African-American history."

Check out the site. Its very uplifting. I don't know these children but I'm so proud of them for what they've achieved. No doubt, this is an experience they'll all share with their own grandchildren someday.

This post was written on behalf on MomCentral.com.