Saturday, September 13, 2008

Healthy Kids, Naturally

Healthy Kids, Naturally

(Family Features) Keeping kids and teens healthy can be a challenge during the busy school year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold alone.

Fortunately, there are some simple, and natural, things parents can do to help kids stay healthy and energized for all their activities.

Hygiene. The CDC says that the single most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands. When there’s not sink and soap around, use natural hand sanitizers—wipes or gel—with 100 percent pure essential oils.

Nutrition. Growing bodies and brains need fiber and nutrients to stay healthy. A child’s health can suffer from too few of these good things and too many sugary, highly processed foods.

The USDA Food Guide Pyramid recommends nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. One serving size of fruits and veggies for children equals one of the following:
• 1/2 cup juice
• 1 cup raw leafy salad greens
• 1/2 cup chopped raw, canned or cooked fruit or other vegetable

Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3s, are crucial for development and health of the brain, heart, nervous system, tissues, skin and immune system, especially for school-age children. DHA can be found in fatty cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, and in DHA-enriched products like eggs and milk.

What about nutritional supplements? If kids and teens are actually eating nine servings of colorful fruits and veggies—plus foods containing all the other recommended daily nutrients—every day, then they probably don’t need them. But with picky eaters, tight schedules, food allergies and more, they don’t often get what they need. In these cases, supplements might be a good idea. But be careful. While it’s easy to find a fun and fruity multivitamin that kids don’t mind taking each day, it’s the nutrients they need, not loads of sugar or artificial colors and flavors.

Rest. Rest, relaxation and sleep are key for handling stress. While moderate stress is normal, the demands of school life can cause stress overload for youngsters and adolescents—and their parents and teachers! Be sure to schedule in downtime and allow for adequate sleep when you’re planning the week.

Kids need more sleep than you might think.
• 3–6 years old: 10 3/4–12 hours per day
Source: Whole Foods

• 7–12 years old: 10–11 hours per day
• 12–18 years old: 8¼–9½ hours per day

Stomachaches, nervousness, trouble sleeping, anger flares or infections may be signs of stress. Fortunately, there are plenty of safe, effective ways to handle it. Breathing deep, exercising, stretching, physical play and homeopathic remedies may help.

If you would like to know more about natural ways to help your kids stay healthy, the Whole Body Team Members at Whole Foods Market are well educated about all of the products they offer and are happy to answer questions.

You can also visit for educational podcasts and more information.
Courtesy of Family Features

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Complete Public Records ~ Genealogy Help

Being a scrapbooker, I have taken on the role of family historian for my families history. I have a love for genealogy along with my scrapbooking. Part of searching through my family history, I need to take advantage of state public records to help with my research. You can use Public Records resources to research marriage and divorce records, birth and death records, business information, property records, court and criminal public records, links to employment searches, unemployment benefits, etc. As you can see they are good for more then genealogy.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X ~ Review

I am a huge James Patterson fan. My favorite books to read are mysteries and for a long time I only read women authors. I was never anything intentional, and I didn't even realize it until I read my first book from Patterson. I had heard how great the Women's Murder Club was, I had to run out and read it. I was instantly hooked. Since then I have read tons of his books with the Alex Cross series being a favorite. When the The Dangerous Days of Daniel X came out and it was geared towards boys, I didn't think anything of reading it. Then when Mother Talkers sent out an invite to review this book, I passed that up as well. I figured, I'm a girl and I have two girls, nobody here to enjoy this book. Then when Mothers Talkers sent out a second request for reviewers, I thought I better ask to join, I knew this would be a book I'd like.

Let me tell you, I am so glad that I ended up joining this tour. Once again Patterson creates an excellant book. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is the first book in Patterson's newest series, and the first book that he wrote in the Science Fiction genre. It is aimed at boys to get them reading. However the book can be enjoyed by girls and adults alike. I love that this author is trying to do something about the statistics that boys are less likely to read then girls. Plus he has a 10 year old son, so he knows a little something about what boys his age like.

Like all of James Patterson's books, this book is quick moving, fast paced and hard to put down.

The greatest superpower of all isn't to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells -- the greatest power is the power to create.

Daniel has that power.

Daniel's secret abilities -- like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses -- have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn't have a normal life. He is the protector of the earth, the Alien Hunter, with a mission beyond what anyone could imagine.

From the day that his parents were brutally murdered in front of his very eyes, Daniel has used his unique gifts to hunt down their assassin. Finally, with the help of The List bequeathed to him in his parents' dying breath, he has located the killer.

Now, on his own, he vows to take on his father's mission--and to have vengeance in the process.

Take a moment to read an excerpt at USA today to see what you think. You can purchase this book at Amazon ~ The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Watch for the Daniel X: Alien Hunter (Graphic Novel) that is coming out in November 2008.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Women in theaters Sept 12th + Giveaways

Dove Partners with Hollywood Film to Empower Women to Work Together.

From the website ~ The Women is a fast-paced, witty and emotional look at all things female, including loyalties, betrayals, careers, families and most of all, friendships. A remake of the 1939 classic film, The Women features an all-female cast of distinguished actresses, including Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cloris Leachman, Bette Midler and Candice Bergen.

To help promote this movie, Dove has put together a short film - The Women Behind “The Women” - that goes behind-the-scenes of “The Women,” focusing on real beauty vs. manufactured beauty ideals in Hollywood. This film follows a 16-year-old teen as she discovers first-hand, how Hollywood creates the images we see on screen and highlights the work and people involved in making a major motion picture come to life.

I'm really looking forward to watching this movie. I received two tickets to see the movie from Dove and the Family Review Network. I plan on taking my mom with me to see the movie. We haven't went to a movie together in a really long time, so it should be a lot of fun. Keep an eye out for my review.

The Family Review Network will be covering the opening of this movie and we look forward to sharing our thoughts with you. Stop by for a chance to win 2 tickets to see The Women.

Dove is giving away 100 tickets, you can go here to enter. Also take a moment to watch the movie trailer. Dove also has a printable coupon for $1 off on any 4 pack or larger Dove Soap or any 1 10oz or larger Dove body wash.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Win a $50 gift certificate from Tiny Prints!

*Contest has ended, confirming winner*

A leader in holiday photo cards, Tiny Prints has a great new line of cards for this upcoming 2008 holiday card season. They are so excited about this line, that they couldn't wait to show you it. Tiny Prints is offering a sneak peek to showcase the all new card designs. You can help out, by entering their contest to help determine what cards will be most popular this coming holiday. During this early preview period, the new holiday cards are not yet available for purchase; however, for a very limited time you can receive amazing early-bird savings on their soon-to-be retired photo cards
Christmas cards and holiday invitations.

To help them celebrate the launch of this new card line, they're looking for contestants to review any of their very newest 2008 Christmas cards, holiday photo cards and business holiday cards for those who work in or own companies. Simply go to Tiny Prints (, browse your favorite 2008 holiday card designs currently being previewed and save your favorite 2008 design in your account by clicking the “save in favorites” button. Then come back here to my blog and provide a link to the specific holiday card (see link for example) in the comments below indicating what you liked best about it. Please note that some designs are so new that they cannot yet be customized, but will be soon (early October and hundreds more designs)!

The contest will run from now (9/9) through Tuesday, September 30th 2008. Winners will then be drawn at random from people who have properly followed the above directions and placed comments in my blog post. Please create your comment using the same e-mail address you used when creating an account on Tiny Prints so participation can be verified. Any questions, feel free to email me. Good luck!

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Review ~ Bugalug Hair Products

If you have daughters, or any little girl in your life for that matter, you know how important hair accessories are. What mom doesn't dream of dressing up their precious little one in cute outfits with matching hair pieces? If this sounds like you, then you probably know how hard it is to find all those cute little hair things that match plus actually stay in the hair. This is where the company Bugalug comes in. A Canadian based company.

The company was born out of need, a need for cute hair accessories. Barrettes that stay in place, with trendy colors, simple designs that aren't too cutesy.

I was sent two of the striped barrettes from the Sweet Treats collection and the headband you can see in the picture to the right. The headbands are so cool, they are full adjustable. The actually fit baby to adult. They stay in really well too. That surprised me a bit because it is a nice soft ribbon, I thought it would slip out. The piece that makes it adjustable though, really holds well. My oldest just loves it. Most of the hair accessories I try out are more for the younger aged girls. It is nice to find a trendy boutique like hair accessory for a tween/teen!

The barrettes stay in really nice as well. They are the alligator clip style with the no slip grip added onto them. Made very well, using non-toxic glue. The stripes were nice and even, no frayed edges. You can tell that a lot of time and detailing are put into these hair accessories.

The barrettes can be purchased alonefor $4 or in 6 pack occasion cards for $22. The headbands can be purchased alone for $8 each. You can even have your order sent in a gift box for $2.50. Make a great birthday present or christmas present, especially if you do not live near your granddaughter, etc.

To sum it up, our household is a fan of Bugalug Barrettes and Headbands.

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Review ~ Yoplait Yogurt

My oldest daughter has a major sweet tooth. I struggle daily with getting her to eat healthy. One thing I can always count on though is yogurt, she loves it. When I was asked to review Yoplait yogurt for kids, I jumped at the chance.

I bought the Strawberry Banana drinkable yogurt for her. It has a smooth texture to it with a great flavor. One benefit to the smooth yogurt, is there no choking hazard for younger kids. The bottle is a nice side, just perfect for a small snack or for little hands. Yoplait Kids has 25% less sugar then leading brands of kids yogurt. It also contains omega-3 fatty acid that helps support healthy brain growth, plus Vitamin A & D and Calcium for strong bones. Don't forget all the benefits to live and active yogurt cultures, these are great for kids digestive systems!

The yoplait kids in a cup has that great spoon hugging texture as well, this is a great way to teach toddlers how to use a spoon. The yogurt comes in a variety of flavors and has fun Nickelodean characters on the packages like Dora, Diego & Backyardigans.

My daughter says that Yoplait is her favorite yogurt. This is coming from a picky girl, so it must be good!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Unique Skins ~ Review + Giveaway

I was giving the opportunity to order a Unique Skins through the Family Review Network. I placed my order right away for my Ipod.

The site is super easy to navigate. On the sidebar, you can select what device you have. You also have the option on the top right to browse by device. They carry skins for tons of products including the Apple line, most cel phones, Wii + other game consoles, even laptops.

Once you select your device then you start designing. You can choose one of their designs or upload your own. My computer can be difficult, so I just chose one of their designs. Actually my kids picked it out, can you tell? The photo above is the back. The photo below is the front. Like I said the process was so easy. You can decide how big or small you want the image. You can use one or several. Super easy! Plus the price can't be beat, $6.99 + a cheap shipping charge to protect your expensive investment!

What exactly is a Unique Skins? Well is vinyl with a non permanent adhesive backing that is professionally cut to fit your device. That means it will leave no residue when you remove your skin.

I place my order on a Saturday. When I got the mail on Monday, I had a package. I wasn't expecting anything, so was surprised to find my brand new Ipod skin already at my house. Isn't that amazing speed! It was pretty easy to stick on as well. The front came in 3 sections & then 1 section for the back. I started with the biggest section of the front. I wish I started with the back because it was a little difficult getting it around the screen. I tried doing the top first which was a mistake, once I switched to the bottom first, it went right on.

If you do come up with any problems, just check out Unique Skins FAQ section, it is full of information. I highly recommend this company if you are looking to add a touch of you to your electronics!

Now onto the fun part, do you want to win a $15 gift certificate for yourself? I thought so!

Thanks to Unique Skins, I am giving away (3) $15 gift certificates to their store.

To enter this contest, please visit Unique Skins and look around. Then come back here and either tell me what you would put a skin on, what design you like that they offer or would you do your own design and what is it. (You just have to answer one of those questions to enter, but feel free to answer all if you wish)

Contest starts today (9/8) and will end Sunday September 21st at midnight.

You may get additional entries by doing any of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each thing you do (except the first one, your comment would be on other posts)
  • Leave a comment on any of my posts after this contest. You can do this once a day. The comment must be relevant to the post
  • Digg, Stumble, Kirtsy etc this contest and/or my blog
  • Fav me on Technorati
  • Blog about this contest
  • Put my banner in your sidebar
  • Subscribe to this blog or any of my other blogs
  • Request a referral email for My Points & join during this contest.
  • Join BigCrumbs, Ebates or Swag bucks
  • Advertise in my top spots or through a banner


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Fall into Reading 2008

Directions and Information taken from Callapidder Days, click banner above to join in.

Who: Fall Into Reading 2008 is a fun challenge that is open to anyone and everyone! As long as you can read, you can participate! (It's best if you have a blog, but if you don't, feel free to participate via comments as we go along.) We've had people from around the world, and readers as young as ten participate in these reading challenges, so don't hesitate to join right in.

What: Fall Into Reading 2008 is a casual, low-pressure challenge that revolves around -- you guessed it -- reading. My goal is simply to provide you with motivation to read, and to provide an opportunity for all of us to set goals when it comes to our personal (or family) reading.

As a participant, all you'll have to do is make a list of books you want to read this fall and post that list on your blog. They can be books you intend to read on your own, books you want to read with your kids/family, Bible study books you're working through, or a combination of any of those things.

Bottom line of the challenge: We'll share our goals with each other, and then share our experience and results when the challenge is over.

When: I'm sure this will come as no surprise. Fall Into Reading 2008 will take place throughout the fall of 2008. Shocking. The official dates are September 22nd through December 20th.

Where: Here, and on particpants' blogs all over the blogosphere. I'll put up a Mr. Linky on September 22nd where everyone can submit a link to their own Fall Into Reading 2008 blog post. All I ask is that you share your goals (your list of books) in your post, and that you include a link back to the post here that contains the Mr. Linky. On December 21st, I'll put up another Mr. Linky where you can submit a link to a wrap-up post on your blog, telling everyone how you did on your goals.

Why: Because I love reading, and many of you love reading, and it's wonderful to share our love of reading with each other. Fall is the perfect time to curl up with a good book, and it's very cool to know that there are bloggers and blog-readers everywhere doing the same thing.

Besides, it's through challenges like these that I often (finally!) read and finish some non-fiction books. A little motivation and a little accountability go a long way for me -- and can for you too!

How: The start of Fall Into Reading 2008 is exactly two weeks away, so start thinking about your goals now. Keep a list. Make a pile. Visit the library. Talk to friends. Check under your bed and behind your nightstand for those books you intended to read (or finish) but never did. I'm sure it won't take long for you to get an idea of what you want to read this fall. Work on your post and then come back here on September 22nd, ready to submit your link!


Some other notes:

*I'm not picky. If you think you'll only have time to read two books this fall, that's okay by me. If you change your list halfway through October, that's okay too. It's the reading and sharing that count, so don't worry about getting "yelled at" -- just join us!

*Spread the word. Be sure to let your blog readers know about Fall Into Reading 2008 so that they, too, can be part of the reading craziness. Feel free to grab the button from this post or from my sidebar and use it on your blog. I'll include a code at the bottom of the post that you should be able to easily copy and paste into your sidebar.

*Visit the past. You might want to check out past reading challenges, either to get some ideas for books you want to add to your own list, or to see how participants wrote their posts. Here's a link to last year's Fall Into Reading kick-off day post. The rest can be found by exploring my left sidebar.

*A prize! Naturally, there will be a prize. I'll award a $10 gift certificate to one Fall Into Reading 2008 participant, chosen at random. To be eligible, you'll need to: post your initial Fall Into Reading 2008 post with goals (and add it to the Mr. Linky here) by midnight on September 24th AND post a wrap-up post at the end of the challenge (and add it to the wrap-up Mr. Linky that will be here) by midnight on December 23rd.

*Book giveaways! Bethany House Publishers will be sponsoring weekly book giveaways throughout the Fall Into Reading challenge. I'll be giving away one book per week, beginning Thursday, September 25th. You don't even have to be an official Fall Into Reading 2008 participant to be eligible for these giveaways. Just stop by and leave a comment to enter the drawings.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Holiday Grand Plan Week #2

Grand Plan - Week 2 Tasks for the Holiday Grand Plan

Calender Week

[ ] Divide the Christmas Card List into 5 groups. Write and address one group
this week.

[ ] Make the holiday budget. Work together with your spouse to set a
comfortable level of holiday spending. Use the printable holiday budget form.

[ ] Print master shopping list to speed errand days.

[ ] Do your visual field a favor with a quick d�cor declutter. A clean sweep
now makes holiday decorations all the more impressive.

[ ] Set up a holiday housework plan. Print our chore checklist form. Post it
publicly and hold family members accountable for delegated tasks.

[ ] Make a family wardrobe check. Fill out the family wardrobe worksheet. Put
and "to Buy" items on your shopping list.

[ ] Perform a tabletop check. Inventory serving pieces, table linens, china and
flatware. Will you be ready to set a holiday table?

[ ] Establish good health habits to cushion your family from holiday stress.
Focus on regular bedtimes, proper diet, and mild exercise.

[ ] Schedule family haircuts, manicures, and groomings.

[ ] Develop ideas for gifts and decorations.

[ ] Order Christmas cards and address labels.

[ ] For friends of other religions take the time to find out what their major
holiday is, and look for an appropriate card to send to them at that time.

[ ] Divide gift responsibilities with other family members.

To Buy this Week

[ ] Begin Christmas gift shopping. Divide the master gift list into 5 sections.
Purchase gifts for one-fifth of the list entries. Wrap gifts as they are
purchased. Keep a running total of gift expenditures and enter on the holiday
budget form.

[ ] Purchase any holiday clothing for family members.

Area to Organize - Living Room

[ ] Begin by washing the outside of the windows in this room. You will
appreciate being able to see outside when you sit down at the end of the week in
your beautiful, clean, and organized living room!

[ ] Take everything off walls, dust it, and set it aside. Dust or wash the wall,
vacuum or dry-clean draperies and blinds. Get your favorite cobweb killer and
sweep down ceilings, corners and tops of doorways.

[ ] Take cushions off furniture. Vacuum thoroughly, replace cushions, spot treat
any stains and shampoo if necessary.

[ ] Wooden furniture (and anything with drawers/shelves): Empty, sort and throw
away what you really don't need. Put the rest where it belongs. Dust/polish the
piece you've finished with and repeat with other pieces. Don't forget the
maintenance on piano.

[ ] Baseboards: depending on condition they're in, dust or wash them.

[ ] Coat closet: empty, sort clothes (by family member, season). Remove any
"off-season" items and decide whether to trash, donate, or store elsewhere.
Replace only those items which should be in your coat closet.

[ ] Clean the TV screen (if you have a set in this room). Don't neglect the
stereo items either. Re-organize tapes/records/videos as per your needs.

[ ] Clean/change the silk flower arrangements as per seasonal needs. Wash/trim
any live plants in this room.

Other items needing attention if your room has them:

[ ] Fireplace/mantel/chimney/glass doors

[ ] Lamps (does the shade need dusting or replacing?)

[ ] Electrical cords (check for frayed wires)

[ ] Mirrors (items framed w/glass) get out the Windex

[ ] Doorknobs/drawer-handles (are they clean?)

[ ] Now is a good time to measure furniture pieces and windows, to enter in your
planner or Household Notebook and keep on hand for shopping for necessary items.

[ ] Stacks (of anything!): Take time now to use the sorting method of
trash/donate/store elsewhere. Now put these new piles where they belong.

[ ] Vacuum the carpet and clean if necessary.

[ ] Hang the items back on walls, if you haven't already and take a good look
around. It should look pretty good by now. Take out camera and take pictures for

Previous Weeks ~

Week 1

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TV Store Online Halloween Costume Giveaway

I didn't realize that the sold a huge line of Halloween costumes until recently. They are the place to go if yo...