Saturday, May 9, 2009

Learning CPR for Summer Safety ~ American Heart Association

With the weather finally warming up, I'm finally thinking about summer. School is almost over, yeah! The kids will be home all day, looking for things to do. We spend a lot of time swimming, going to the beach and to the park. I've been pulling out the beach towels and toys, making sure I have sunscreen and bathing suits. All common things to do to get ready for summer. One thing we might not think about though is what to do in an emergency.

The American Heart Association is doing something about that. The first week in June begins National CPR and AED Awareness Week. Mom Central has joined with the American Heart Association to raise awareness for all to get trained in this life-saving skill. We think it critical for parents to get trained in CPR so we can protect our families. By learning CPR we all make a small commitment that could save the life of someone we love.

As a mom, I know how busy life can be. I've found that the American Heart Association offers several options for learning CPR. In addition to traditional classroom courses, they offer a self-directed course, CPR Anytime. In just 22 minutes, you can learn CPR. The kit comes with an inflatable, reusable mannequin and instructional DVD. You can choose from an infant kit (for children under one year old) or child/adult kit. If you had prior CPR training but your skills have gotten rusty, now is your chance to brush up. The more you practice, the more automatic the skill will become. By starting a CPR program now, Moms get one step ahead of the game. When faced with an emergency, you will feel confident and know exactly what to do.

I have the adult kit and it is well worth the money (~$35). I missed CPR training in our health class, so I appreciate having this at home. I'm super shy, so practicing on a dummy in front of other embarrasses me. I'm so thankful to be able to learn how to perform CPR in the privacy of my own home!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

MyPunchBowl Review & Giveaway

With spring/summer, we start having a lot of parties and weddings to go to. From communion, graduations, birthday parties, etc ~ planning a party can be time consuming. With everyone being online and using digital now a days, having an online way to make planning parties easier, is essential!

With the ability to personalize your events and customize your eCards, MyPunchbowl is the most personal way to celebrate life's milestones. You can create your own online invitations, poll guests for the ideal date, easily import guests lists and manage RSVPs, design personalized candy favors, and more.

MyPunchbowl has everything you need right online to help plan for that perfect party. It has e-mail invitations you can create, it helps you set the date, it keeps track of RSVP's, it provides you with party ideas, check list, registry and you can even purchase party favors, supplies and gifts too, all on one site!

MyPunchbowl isn't just party planning though. In this era of social networking, it is hard to keep track of everyone's birthday. With MyPunchbowl, you can keep track of all the birthdays that matter in your life. You can even send e-cards to all of your friends and family when their birthday comes around!

I mentioned weddings as well, MyPunchbowl can help you plan your wedding as well. You can share your engagement with a design style that you like for free online. Think of all the people you want to tell, but don't want to send formal engagements, etc to.

There is also a great forum section at MyPunchbowl. There are a ton of great ideas, tips, recipes and more. They also offer a shopping section, to make planning done all at one stop! There is a wide variety of items for the party and gifts.

MyPunchbowl is a FREE service. However there is a premium paid account option as well. Currently the yearly membership is on sale for $29.95, but it's regularly $49.95. The premium membership provides you with more designs, less ads, and other fun "goodies".

Premium ($49.95 value) gives you:
- Premium designs
- More fonts, papers, and ribbons
- Advertising free invitations and eCards
- Priority tech support
- Exclusive partner offers

The people at MyPunchbowl have offered to give TWO of my readers a premium membership for one year.

To enter ~

Please stop by MyPunchbowl browse around, maybe even sign up for the free account. After looking around, come back here and tell me your favorite feature.

Extra entries ~

Contest ends on May May 23rd at 11:59pm

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Review ~ iCarly Season 1 Volume 2

April 21st, iCarly: Season 1, Vol. 2 was released. Nickelodeon brings fans 12 more episodes from the 1st season of the hit show + bonus features and more.

Special Features include:

- Behind the Slime with the Cast of iCarly
- Behind-the-Scenes Extras
- Special Bonus: Pilot Episode of True Jackson, VP

iCarly premiered on Nick back in September 2007 and was an instant hit in our household! My girls were always fans of Drake and Josh, so were excited when kid sister (Miranda Cosgrove) got her own show.

If you haven't seen it yet, the show is about a girl named Carly. When it started in 2007, she was 13 & lives with 26 year old brother. She and her best friends Sam & Freddie make a web show together.

The show is great. Both my 7 & 11 year old daughters enjoy it. It is one of the few shows that do not drive me crazy to watch or to even hear. The show is funny, deals with normal issues. Nothing to crazy yet, Carly is getting older so we will see how the shows goes. It has a great sarcastic humor to it. With the shows focus being the web show, you don't get all of the boy/girl craziness that other shows seems to focus on. It is there, but in the background. Really great show for school aged kids to watch.

When I got the package with iCarly: Season 1, Vol. 2 in it, I surprised Cami with it (my 7 year old) after school. She literally jumped up and down in excitement, then ran to the living room to watch it. Since we have had it, she has popped it in several times to watch. There has been a few times when I asked, are you watching that dvd again? No mom, I'm watching Nick. She truly loves the show. I'm still not sick of it yet, so that is a good sign for me!

There have been 2 seasons of iCarly so far, each season has 25 episodes. You can purchase both iCarly: Season 1, Vol. 1 and iCarly: Season 1, Vol. 2 on Amazon.

Thanks to Family Review Network for this review.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dirty Bow Wow Review & Giveaway + Dog Toy Drive

If you are a dog lover, I have the book for you ~ Dirty Bow Wow. This book is 110 pages of beautiful dog photographs and information. The book written by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz features a different dog on each page with their favorite toys.

I really enjoyed reading about each dog and their toy. Really makes you see what personalities animals can have. I've always been an animal rights activists, so I love anything that gives people an idea that animals have feelings.

There are tons of breeds included in the book from pure bread to the gorgeous mixed dogs that usually come from shelters. The book isn't really about the breeds though, it is about the beloved toys of these dogs. The toys were so fun to discover from a poodle with a pink purse, black lab with a soccer ball to the tons of breeds with various stuffed lovies or blankies.

Even if you aren't a dog lover (I'm a cat person myself), you just can't help but smile with this book. It is wonderful for kids as well. They will enjoy looking at the photography and if they can read ~ Kids will definitely warm up to the stories of dogs toys. Who can relate better? This is the type of book that you want to leave out on your coffee table!

Now, what really makes this book special is the Dirty Bow Wow Dog Toy Drive that is going on this May 2009. The authors of the book want to help dogs in need by providing a toy drive for dogs at shelters and rescue groups. You can click the banner below for information!

You can also see all participating venues here: Dog Toy Drive Venues

Thanks to Ten Speed Press and Family Review Network, I have one copy of Dirty Bow Wow to giveaway to a Mom of 2 Dancers reader!

To enter ~ Just comment here with your favorite type of dog. Do you prefer pure breeds, if so what breed? Do you prefer the adorable mixed muts, then comment with that.

Extra Entries ~

Contest will end on May 18th at 11:59pm

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Review ~ One Time Wood + Discount

I was recently given a chance to try the One Time Wood Challenge.

One TIME® wood protector is a unique exterior wood protection formula that uses a proprietary acrylate resin blend to provide long-term protection from water and UV radiation.

Unlike conventional exterior wood treatments, One TIME® penetrates deep into the substrate's cellular structure and cures in the natural sunlight. It can NOT evaporate or wash away like other products that simply coat the wood surface.

One TIME can be used on virtually any exterior wood:

*New or Old Wood
*Pressure-treated or Natural Wood
*Cedar, Pine or any other wood type

Maximum Benefits include:

  • Protects wood for at least seven years from sun, water and other elements. This eliminates the need to reapply wood sealer every one to two years as is necessary with conventional products.
  • 100% solids and contains no solvents, silicones, oils, water, waxes, or VOCs.
  • Penetrates into wood to become part of the wood's cellular structure, protecting it from water and sunlight.
  • Covers up to two times the square footage per gallon than conventional wood treatments, resulting in the need to purchase less product.
Easy Application:
No overlap, run, or drip marks
No back brushing needed
No cracking, peeling, flaking, or chipping
To rejuvenate color within 7 years, just clean dirt from the wood & reapply One TIME®.
Multitude of Outdoor Applications
One TIME® can be used on virtually any exterior wood:
New or old wood
Pressure treated or natural wood
Cedar, pine, or any other wood type
And on any exterior wood application:

Log homes
Outdoor furniture
Shake Roofs

Maximum Benefits
Protects against the damage of sun, water and other elements for 7 years
Penetrates and becomes part of the wood's cellular structure
Covers up to 2-3 times the square footage per gallon of conventional wood treatments
Contains 100 percent solids that cure in the wood - no water, solvents or waxes
One TIME® is available in 1-gallon and 5-gallon containers.

My Results ~

I first used a piece of wood and drew a line down the middle. I used the One Time Sealer on one side and the sealer my dad used on his deck last year. I did the One Time side first and wow what a difference when I started using my dads product. The One time goes on very easily. You only need to coat it once. It is thicker then what dad uses. The stuff my dad used almost felt like paint compared to the One time. Also, the stuff my dad used last year was guaranteed 5 years and needs to already be redone this year (one year later).

After my test piece, I used the left over to seal my daughter rain gauge that she made at one of those free kids workshops. Didn't it turn out great? I love that you can actually see the wood grain & now her rain guage is protected. She has been having so much fun checking the rain (almost every day, ugh!).

I really liked the One Time a lot. I can't recommend it enough. Our test was enough to convince my husband what a great product this one. Couldn't convince my dad though, said he would stick with his cheap stuff. I personally was shocked because he has to redo the deck every single year. What gets him, is his product states a guarantee as well. Maybe next year when he sees how well the Rain gauge stood up, he will finally be convinced to use the Superior One Time Wood Protection.

Discount ~

My amazing readers can receive 10% off their purchase of One TIME Wood Sealer by using the promotional code: One TIME redeemable at

This review courtesy of Family Review Network.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Giveaway ~ Chicken Soup for the Soul Moms & Sons

I have 2 copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Moms & Sons: Stories by Mothers and Sons, in Appreciation of Each Other to giveaway!

As numerous mothers know, raising boys can be an adventure. From baby blue blankets to first wedding dances, sons provide their mothers immeasurable amounts of joy - not to mention bruised knees to clean, rambunctious friends, and good-natured teasing. Written for mothers and "mama's boys" everywhere, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Moms and Sons" (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC., 978-1-935096-16-0, September 2008, $14.95) offer glimpses into the touching - and often funny - interactions between mothers and their boys, as grateful sons, single moms, and loving grandmothers all chime in to add their voices to this new collection.

To enter tell me something you love about being a mom or something you love about your mom!

Contest will end on May 12th at 11:59pm

I'm also giving away 2 copies of Like Mother, Like Daughter to enter that one as well!

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Review ~ Acting Out Can Can Musical Skirt

If you have girls, then you should know how much they enjoy dressing up. Both my girls have always loved it. It is actually one of the few things my 11 year old will still do with my 7 year old.

When I came across Acting Out, I instantly fell in love with their line of musical dress up skirts. How cute is that?

I was sent the new Musical Can Can skirt to test out.

Children (big and small) will have fun performing their own version of the stage act that originated in Paris in the mid 1800's. Skirt features an adjustable waistband which allows it to fit ages three to eight. Three AAA batteries included.

When I opened the box, I was beyond delighted. The skirt is gorgeous. Extremely well made, beautiful bright colors. It is nice and full as well, no flimsy dress up skirt here. It has the adjustable waste ~ it fit both Cami, my 7 year old and Alli, my 11 year old. They actually had a minor fight over the skirt, my tween insisted Cami had to share the skirt.

Inside the waste, there is a pocket. That is where the music box is located. It has an on/off switch for easy use. Just hit a button and it plays the Can Can. You can listen to the music right on the Acting Out website.

Both girls have worn this skirt to dance class. Everyone loved it! The teachers and even the owner fell in love with it and wanted to know how I got such a cute skirt.

I cannot recommend the Acting Out line of products enough. Check out all of the adorable skirts that they offer. There is such variety from dance, hula, waltz, hokey pokey and even the chicken dance. They also have a line of accessories including baby blankets, wings, boas, tiaras and clippies.
Boys don't need to feel left out as well. Acting out also sells a reversible Adventure cape (pictured) and a Monster Mash cape.

Acting Out Musical Dress up is sold at tons of stores around the US. You can find a store near you, plus internet retailers.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

The New Healthy Choice

Have you seen all the Healthy Choice commercials that have been running lately? They are trying to get the word out ~ There is a new Healthy Choice! They have taken a fresh approach to healthy eating, which does not include counting calories or being on a diet. Love that, don't you?

This year Healthy Choice introduced a fresh new look, along with reinvented and contemporary recipes, meals with positive nutrition and new all natural entrées, to make your meal decisions easy, and give you the great taste you crave and the nutrition your body needs.

The new line of Healthy Choice All Natural Entrées is filled with protein, whole grains, fiber and antioxidants to help promote heart and digestive health, all without preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, so that you can feel good about the food you eat and serve to your family.

The only brand in its category that can call 100% of its products "healthy" as approved by the FDA, Healthy Choice's complete line of nutritious products makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making smart eating choices easy.

With this in mind, Dr. James Rippe (founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute), a leading authority on lifestyle and health, just concluded a six-month study with overweight adults who started a light exercise routine in combination with some healthier food choices including one low-fat Healthy Choice meal per day.

Healthy Choice was selected for the study because they are the only brand of prepackaged convenience meals that is able to call 100% of its products ‘healthy’, as defined by the FDA. In fact, the new line of Healthy Choice All Natural Entrées is filled with protein, whole grains, fiber and antioxidants to help promote heart and digestive health, all without preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.

The study involved men and women suffering from health conditions common to many Americans ~ such as being overweight and having raised cholesterol. The plan centered on eating Healthy Choice products every day, along with controlling calories and portions and choosing healthy options for other foods as well (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.). The participants also followed a simple walking program (starting at 15 minutes for 3 days/week and ending at 45 minutes for 4 days/week) as well. A control group followed the walking program but without making any changes in their food choices.

In three separate papers, presented this week at the 2009 Experimental Biology Conference in New Orleans, Dr. Rippe explained the results of the study:

By consuming one Healthy Choice meal per day, the participants lost an average of 12 points from their cholesterol readings.
From following an overall healthy nutritional pattern, the participants lost a total of 18 pounds on average over 14 days – all of which was body fat.
While losing weight and lowering risk factors for chronic diseases, the participants also improved dietary quality. Their consumption of fats decreased and consumption of fiber and micro nutrients increased. There was also a significant reduction in sodium and salt consumed as well.
“We know that healthier eating and being physically active are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but when pressed for time, it’s a challenge to achieve and maintain such a lifestyle,” said Dr. Rippe.
“These findings are important because they show in a long-term study that Healthy Choice products offer the convenience and nutrition people are seeking to help them reach their goals.”

It is nice to know that you can still live a busy life and be fit. You just have to make the right choices in what pre-packaged meals you select. Healthy Choice is a great way to go that is good for you, tastes good and is affordable!

Be sure to keep an eye out for their search for a spokesman. Very funny commercials. Except that one with Julia eating with her mouth open. That is so disgusting, hopefully that one is off the air for good.

Want to thank Mom Central for this opportunity.

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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...