Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blog the Recession

Motherhood Uncensored has come up with a fun idea to help out the bloggers suffering from money problems. Hate to admit, I'm one of them. We've been struggling in Michigan for several years. It is hard! With gas & the rising cost of food alone, things get tough.

Here is the concept ~

The premise is simple. If you read blogs, then for the month of August, make the "pledge" to click through from your feed reader. No obligation to leave a hilarious comment or send a long stalkerish email (although both, within reason, are always lovely). Just click through to the blog (not on ads unless you are so led) and if you're feeling generous, click around to their older posts.

Just those extra page views can make a big difference for bloggers who could really use the help!

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Friday, August 1, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard ~ Harry Potter

In December 2007, J.K. Rowling unveiled The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a very special book of five fairy tales illustrated by the bard herself, embellished with silver ornaments and mounted moonstones. Amazon was fortunate to come into possession of one of the original copies, and it was our privilege to share images and reviews of this incredible artifact. Now J.K. Rowling is giving millions of Harry Potter fans worldwide cause for celebration with a new edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, available December 4, 2008.

Offering the trademark wit and imagination familiar to Rowling's legions of readers--as well as Aesop's wisdom and the occasional darkness of the Brothers Grimm--each of these five tales reveals a lesson befitting children and parents alike: the strength gained with a trusted friendship, the redemptive power of love, and the true magic that exists in the hearts of all of us. Rowling's new introduction also comments on the personal lessons she has taken from the Tales, noting that the characters in Beedle's collection "take their fates into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe," and "that magic causes as much trouble as it cures."

But the true jewel of this new edition is the enlightening and comprehensive commentary (including extensive footnotes!) by Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who brings his unique wizard's-eye perspective to the collection. Discovered "among the many papers which Dumbledore left in his will to the Hogwarts Archives," the venerable wizard's ruminations on the Tales allow today's readers to place them in the context of 16th century Muggle society, even allowing that "Beedle was somewhat out of step with his times in preaching a message of brotherly love for Muggles" during the era of witch hunts that would eventually drive the wizarding community into self-imposed exile. In fact, versions of the same stories told in wizarding households would shock many for their uncharitable treatment of their Muggle characters.

Professor Dumbledore also includes fascinating historical backstory, including tidbits such as the history and pursuit of magic wands, a brief comment on the Dark Arts and its practitioners, and the struggles with censorship that eventually led "a certain Beatrix Bloxam" to cleanse the Tales of "much of the darker themes that she found distasteful," forever altering the meaning of the stories for their Muggle audience. Dumbledore also allows us a glimpse of his personal relationship to the Tales, remarking that it was through "Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump" that "many of us [wizards] first discovered that magic could not bring back the dead."

They are also selling a gorgeous collector edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard for $100 with free shipping.

Collector's Edition Product Features:
All five fairy tales from the original The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Outer case disguised as a wizarding textbook from the Hogwarts library
Exclusive reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction
10 new illustrations by J.K. Rowling not included in the Standard Edition or the original handcrafted edition
Velvet bag embroidered with J.K. Rowling's signature
Metal skull, corners, and clasp
Replica gemstones
Emerald ribbon

What do you think, anyone out there plunking down $100 for this book? I would definitely pay the $7.59 for the Standard edition! What about you, will you be adding this to your Harry Potter collection?

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Review ~ Autism Heroes: Portraits of Families Meeting the Challenge

I was sent a copy of the powerful book Autism Heroes: portraits of families meeting the challenge. The book profiles 38 different families living with autism in a an intimate look into their lives. They share
their experiences openly and honestly, sharing their challenges, triumphs and hopes.

I first started learning about Autism when my youngest daughter was about 2 years old. I was on a parenting group for babies born that year, some of the moms were talking about their children's problems. At the time, Cam was barely talking & one of them mentioned that their child wasn't speaking and they were working on getting him diagnosed. That caught my attention and I started looking into Autism. Cam fit some of the symptoms at the time, so I took her to be tested. This was around April, the place that did the testing ran like a school year. By this time, she was going on 3, still barely talking, so we set up an appointment for September. By September she was adding words, but still on the very low end. We took her to be tested and thankfully she did not have anything wrong with her, just a late talker. Since she was adding to her vocabulary, they told me to keep an eye on her for 3 months and come back if she quit adding words, which never happened.

Autism Heroes is a gorgeous book that measures approximately 11 x 9. It has stunning photography throughout the book by Joe Buissink. The book is meant to be a great resource families as well as educators, clinicians, researchers and policy makers. The author Barbara Firestone, PhD did an amazing job on this book.

You can purchase Autism Heroes at Amazon with free shipping, click here.

Founded in 1975, The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit organization of its kind in the United States serving children with special needs related to autism, Asperger's Disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, mental retardation, abuse and emotional problems.

Learn the early signs of Autism in English and Spanish here.

If you have an Autistic child in your life, this is a wonderful book to own. The stories are full of hope and encouragement, honesty and love. Read about how these families first were diagnosed, what they are going through now and get advice from them.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Webkinz August Pet of the Month + September

You know that one of my biggest searches is for Webkinz, lol. Figured I wouldn't disappoint and post the August Webkinz Pet of the Month.

I'm actually bummed about this months, Cam already has it. She got it for Christmas. I had bought 2 of them, gave Aly hers around May. She didn't put it in right away, so I talked her into giving to a friend for a birthday party gift. We didn't have the money to buy a new gift and she didn't seem super excited about the horse anyway.

Then of course a few weeks later I found out it is the August pet of the month. Oh well, they are hardly playing it in the summer anyway.

Clydesdale Webkinz Clydesdale Webkinz

The September Pet of the Month is the ...

WEBKINZ - Bullfrog
Webkinz Bullfrog

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quickie Contest ~ Playing Card Credits to Arts Cow

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

I have a quickie contest for credits at Arts Cow that expire soon! I have a code for free playing cards 1 design & a code for playing cards with 52 pictures. If you are interested just respond. They expire in 5 days. Code will be emailed to you.

Contest ends Thursday July 31st at 9am. Hurry & comment here.


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WW ~ Prissy Poofs Tutu

I recently won a Prissy Poofs tutu, so had to snap some pictures.

Check out more Wordless Wednesday.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Maiden America ~ No Slip Hair Clips Review

Don't you hate it when after struggling to get your daughters hair done all pretty in clips, and then they fall out as soon as she starts playing. Well Tristan over at Maiden America has solved that problem with her gorgeous hair clips. I'm serious, these clips are stunning and they DO NOT fall out.

Not only are the clips wonderful, the company is pretty awesome as well. Maiden America is proud to be a pro-parent / pro-childhood company. Taken from the About page ~ With three young daughters and degrees in Communication and Fashion Design, Tristan Benz is a busy mom whose purpose is to produce high quality products, employ fellow moms, military wives and other Americans and encourage more age-appropriate products as the 'norm' for young girls in America. Be sure to click the link for the about page and learn how Tristan came up with the name of her company, it is a great story!

Tristan gave me a $40 gift certificate so I could try out her barrettes. I have to admit it was hard to spend, way to many pretty designs. I ended up going over and if I had any more money, I'd have bought a lot more. Seriously these are gorgeous! Here is what I ordered ~

Pony Pair Sparkling Cloud Flower in size small
Velvet Crystal Pony Pair in Black in size small
Crystal Daisy Candy cane Pony Pair in small

I also received a beautiful blue x-small clip & a bow holder ribbon decorated with crystals as a free gift. Isn't Tristan wonderful?

Now the company isn't kidding, these clips are no slip. They are amazing on how good they stay in. According to the website, they are even dog tested. Isn't that great. Maiden America could become millionaires if the right dog lovers found her site!

I only ordered size small barettes. I've used them to pull back my daughters hair and to decorate pony tails and pig tails. The x-small worked really well on my older daughter to pull back her bangs. I really want to order the size medium next time to hold more hair.

If you have a baby with fine hair, I'd recommend the x-small for sure. If you have an older child though, you can go with x-small - medium. Not sure on the larger sizes. These are great for babies - adults. Tristan sells a huge line of barrettes, amazing headbands, limited edition handbags and it looks like apparel is coming soon.

A great feature on the site is the pony pair of the month club. For $13.99 a month (shipping included) you can get a set of barrettes delivered to your house. There is also great deals on sets of 3 clips in size x-small starting at $16.99 for 3.

I really can't say enough good things about Tristan, Maiden America & the hair accessories. If you aren't sure what to do with the clips, here are some hair ideas, I love the french braid look!

Shipping is also very very reasonable, and free shipping over $35.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Carnival ~ $50 Target GC

I have a great contest for the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival. Yep, you will love it. So what is it?

A $50 Target Gift Card !!!

Don't ya love it? I know that most people are huge Target fans, so I want to come through for all my loyal readers. If this is the first time you have been here, I hope you will take the time to subscribe. That way once all the crazy contesting is over, you can remember to come and check out this blog.

My name is Ginny. I've lived in Michigan all my life. I've been married 11 years on the 3rd of August. I have two gorgeous daughters, Aly & Cam. My oldest is actually going into middle school, where has the time gone? My baby is actually going into 2nd grade!

I'm a stay at home mom. I do earn some money on ebay. I also do product reviews on this blog! I love entering contests, I'm an avid reader and scrapbooker.

Ok now enough about me, how do you enter the contest? I'm making this one easy, just comment on this post. That is it, you can say hi, count me in, tell me something about yourself, you can even ask me a question. Who knows maybe I will turn your question into a post, if you have a blog, that is some extra link love for ya!

If you really want the Target GC, here are some extra ways to get entries ~

  • Blog this contest, can be a separate post or mixed in a bigger post
  • Stumble this post or blog
  • Digg this post or blog
  • Twitter this contest
  • Fav me at Technorati
  • Subscribe via a RSS reader
  • Subscribe via email {2 entries!)

Be sure to also enter my Lands' End Backpack giveaway.

Contest runs from July 28th at 7am till August 1st midnight. Winner will be announced August 2nd. Winner has 3 days to contact me with address. Contest is open to everyone that can spend a Target GC. You do not have to be a blogger to enter. Please make sure I have a way to reach you.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

MomDot Launching Early July 28th!

MomDot is launching early, tomorrow! Below is taken directly from the site :)

“Hey BlogoSphere! MomDot is so excited about our launch! We had been working hard to get going for August 1st, but with all the amazing support of mom boutiques and mom bloggers, we are ready to get the Party Started! We want you to come every day starting on July 28th with the party ending on August 31st, including prizes daily and feature bloggers, just in time to bang out the end of summer and into the school year. Don’t forget to list your blog for free and connect with other mommies on our forum!”


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If you have kids, then you know all about SNACKS! If your kids are like mine, then you get sick of hearing the word Snack, especially in the summer. To encourage moms to turn snack time into an opportune time for good nutrition and family fun, the Kellogg Company has teamed up with family life expert Deb Geigis Berry and registered dietitian Rachel Brandeis to give moms a way to create healthier snacks for their kids while spending quality time with their kids. The initiative is called Snacktivate, and it helps moms incorporate kids into meal planning and preparation by providing healthy recipes and snack options that are as much fun to make as they are to eat. When Mom Central asked me to join this blog tour, I was pretty excited.

At this point in the summer, I am fresh out of ideas for new snacks for the kids. With this new program from Kelloggs, I have an arsenal of new, healthy recipes for my girls snacks. I was sent 2 boxes of Mini Wheats, an awesome new cereal take along cereal bowl and the recipe for Sassy Sunpops (find about 1/2 way down the recipe page). I have to admit, I normally don't bake, and if I do it is from a box. These looked good though and I was anxious to try the Mini Wheats in a recipe. My girls always insist they love mini wheats, but will never actually eat them. I even had the flaxseed, unopened because I had no idea how to use it, lol. I did everything but the cookie stick. The girls really enjoyed them, except the almonds. Next time I will just skip the almonds. I thought they were good though with the almonds!

The snacktivate website has tons of information. I have spent a lot of time browsing it over the last week. I'm really looking forward to making some of the fall and winter recipes. Especially the spooky snack tote, turkey treats and sweet snowballs. There are tons of pdf downloads, go on check it out ...

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Christmas in July Giveaway:

Detroit based Company just got in some new  ugly Christmas pajamas and onesies.  Why wait till the holiday c...