Monday, December 29, 2008

LAST CALL

With Christmas and everything, I wasn't keeping up with this blog. I just realized that the winner of the SmartShopper grocery list organizer never came forward with her shipping address to claim her prize. Also, one of the Dunkin' Donuts winners hasn't claimed her prize either.

So, here's the last call for The A Team Mom who said...
I LOVE lists! and I have been trying to make a months worth of freezer meals at a time and I think this could help! I would love one! Thanks Dawn!Nichole A

AND

kungfu_mom who said...
MMMM, we just got a DD down the street. I have to resist the urge to stop in every time I drive by. They're soo good!

Contact me HERE by Monday, December 29th at midnight Central Time or I'll choose another winner.

Thanks! And check back here later this week for a few more reviews!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Winners

The winner of the SmartShopper grocery list organizer is.........


Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:41
Timestamp: 2008-12-23 07:43:33 UTC

41The A Team Mom said...
I LOVE lists! and I have been trying to make a months worth of freezer meals at a time and I think this could help! I would love one! Thanks Dawn!Nichole A

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And the winners of the Dunkin' Donuts gift sets are............

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
144
15
152
170
Timestamp: 2008-12-23 07:47:56 UTC

15Jen said...
COFFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

144kungfu_mom said...
MMMM, we just got a DD down the street. I have to resist the urge to stop in every time I drive by. They're soo good!

152Jacci O. said...
MMMM.... Coffee.

170Ali said...
MMMM coffee! We buy Dunkin in our house by the bag!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Congratulations everyone! Please email me HERE with your shipping address.
Thank you everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Word World Winner

Here is the winner of the Word World moon sand set.

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:13
Timestamp: 2008-12-21 02:58:25 UTC

Comment 13 came from:

13Ruthie said...
What a great idea. I will have to look at Target this weekend, but would love to win one for my grandson.

Congratulations! Please contact me HERE with your shipping address. :)

Thank you to everyone who reads and comments on this and/or my other blog

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mmmmm Donuts...

And what goes best with donuts?

Hey! Who said, "Milk"? No, it's not milk! It's coffee, of course. scoffing at person who said "milk"

And more precisely, Dunkin' Donuts coffee!

Need any last minute gift ideas for teachers, babysitters, mail carriers, hair dressers, etc? Dunkin' Donuts has an awesome gift pack of 2 pounds of their original coffee and 2 thermal commuter mugs for $19.99! You can even split it into 2 gifts for $10 each! Not bad! Or Dunkin' Donuts offers rechargeable gift cards in any amount between $5 and $200. (Man, I'd love me one of these because let me tell ya, I run on Dunkin'!)

Anyway, for every holiday-themed Dunkin' Donuts Card you purchase in December, Dunkin' Donuts will donate $1 to the Dunkin' Brands Community Foundation, which supports emergency response organizations. You can even upload a photo to create your own custom Dunkin' Donuts Card and send it with a personalized greeting card when ordering them online. How cool is that?!

And coffee's not just for breakfast anymore, oh no! Here are a couple coffee inspired recipes you've got to check out!

Espresso with Warmed Eggnog

For an 8-oz serving (1 mug)
¾ cup Golden Eggnog
¼ cup minus 1 tablespoon Dunkin' Donuts espresso (approximately 1 shot)
2 tablespoon spiced rum (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

Heat eggnog in a microwave-safe container for about 1 minute. Add the shot of espresso and the warmed eggnog to your mug. If desired, add spiced rum. Stir and dust with cinnamon.


Scallops with Bacon, Baby Spinach with Warm Coffee and Balsamic Glaze

16 oz sea scallops
1 package bacon, sliced
3 tablespoon shallots, thin sliced
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup Dunkin' Donuts original blend coffee, brewed
2 cups baby spinach

Cut bacon strips in half, wrap scallop in bacon half and hold in place with toothpicks. Set aside.

Heat large skillet (medium heat). When hot add 1 tablespoon oil. Sear scallop and bacon in small batches till cooked through, (about 5 min. per batch) - set cooked scallops aside on plate.

Remove pan from heat; discard all but 2 Tbsp of rendered oil. Add thin sliced shallots and stir. Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Add balsamic vinegar and coffee and stir. In a stainless steel mixing bowl toss warm vinaigrette with baby spinach and 2 tablespoon oil.

Arrange spinach on salad plates and top with 4-5 scallops (remove toothpicks before serving), serve immediately.

Serves 4 people.

So hurry to your nearest Dunkin' Donuts or go online to DunkinDonuts.com and get those last minute gifts taken care of. But first, leave me a comment here for a chance to win one of FOUR gift sets (each contains 1 pound of their Original Blend Coffee and one thermal travel mug). I'll choose four random winners on Monday, Dec. 22.

Put it on the List!

I was asked if I wanted to review the SmartShopper Grocery List Organizer. You speak into this electronic device and it records all the items you say and then prints out your grocery list for you. I couldn't quite understand the concept, but I was intrigued so I checked it out.

Here's the deal. It's a fairly small device that can be stuck to your fridge magnetically or mounted on your wall (it comes with hardware). It comes pre-programmed with 80 pages FULL of grocery-related items. All you have to do is push the "record" button on the unit and say what you need from the store. This machine records the item in its memory. When it's time to go to the store, simply press the "print" button and it'll print out a list for you. Not only that, but it organizes the list into sections like fresh produce, dairy, snacks, beverages, etc. If there's something you need from the store and it's not already programmed into the SmartShopper, you can easily add it to the library. You can even add in errands such as haircut, bank, dry cleaners, etc.

After reading the instructions, I decided it sounded pretty cool, so I tried it out. I said, "bananas" and it gave me a choice of
wart medicine
cold medicine

OK then. Let's try this again. I said the word, "bread". This time I was given the choice of
haircut
bucket
butter

Hmmm, that's not right. I'm enunciating and projecting. There's no background noise to interfere. Let's try again. This time I said the word, "eggs" and was given the choice between
car wax
crab cakes
eggs

Well, at least the item I want is included in the possibilities this time! Let's do another one.

"Yogurt."
bell peppers
canned cabbage
bucket

"Yogurt."
deodorant
celery
super glue

"Yogurt."
not in library

"Yogurt."
deodorant
yellow onions

"Yogurt!"
deodorant
sugar blend
powdered milk

"YOGURT."
liver
liquor
kitty litter

"YOGURT!!!!!"
chopped nuts
children's medicine
unshelled nuts

I decided The SmartShopper was a good idea, but it definitely has some bugs to be worked out. At this point, Austin and Savannah asked if they could try it and every single word they said, showed up!

"Orange juice"
orange juice

"Peanut butter"
peanut butter

"What bread"
wheat bread

They looked at me like I was stupid and said, "All you have to do is hold it a little farther away from your mouth, Mom." Duh

So I tried it again and lo and behold, the kids were right! Grrr. It works. If I had only read the instructions a little better, I would've known this. The instructions clearly tell you to speak 6-8 inches away from the unit. AND (that's not all!) there's even a section on improving the voice recognition! You can "train" the SmartShopper to better recognize your voice! Pretty cool, huh?

I'm a huge list person. I make lists for everything (you know, because I'm turning into my mom). I can't tell you how many times I think, "Oh I need to get (insert name here) from the store the next time I go." Unless I stop and write it down right then and there, I will totally forget it. With this, it would be handy to just press a button and say, "Batteries" or "diapers" or "green peppers" or whatever it is you need. The fact that the list is organized into sections is especially handy for those husbands who can't find a thing in the store without very specific instructions!

I'm not sure I'll be able to retrain myself from writing lists to letting the Smart Shopper write my lists for me, but I do think it's a nifty little gadget! This is a great idea for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.

SmartShopper has reduced their price to $79.99 for the rest of the year. In addition, those interested in purchasing a SmartShopper can use the exclusive code JF55925 until December 31 to receive an additional $5 off their order. All orders placed between now and December 31 will receive free ground shipping to U.S. destinations! (I'm sorry, I've been a bit behind on reviews, so I'm not sure if you can get delivery in time for Christmas with regular ground shipping.)

And, I have one SmartShopper here for a random winner that I will choose on Monday! Leave me a comment here for your chance to win!

Winners Winners!

First off - here are the winners of the Matisse & Jack's yummy snack mixes!
(Oh and I know someone commented on my blog as to whether the snacks were vegan. The Power Snacks are both vegan friendly, and the Cocoa Squares can be made with soy-margarine instead of butter to be vegan.)

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
93
131
Timestamp: 2008-12-18 17:03:10 UTC

93Chrissy said...
Wow How cool!~ These look great!

131Amanda VE said...
We would love to try these!! :)

Congratulations! Please email me HERE with your choice of 2 mixes and your shipping address.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I never heard from one of the Groovy Girls winners, so here's a new one...

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:315
Timestamp: 2008-12-18 17:10:23 UTC

315AlaneM said...
These are so cute - count me in!!

Email me HERE with your shipping address!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let's Build a Word



Do you guys know this program on PBS? This is one of Clay's and Brooklyn's favorite shows. When the music starts, they come running into the family room to watch. And you know what? I'm glad. Not only does this show not drive me bonkers like some of the stuff they like to watch, but I know it's teaching them something of value. (I mean, I learned half of what I know from watching shows like Sesame Street when I was a kid!) Really though, a study funded by the U.S. Department of Education found that WordWorld significantly strengthens early literacy skills in preschoolers, providing the building blocks essential for learning how to read.

WordWorld brings words to life in a unique way. For example, if the word is BARN, they show a picture of a barn made up of the letters B, A, R, & N.

Children learn to make the connection between words and the objects they represent.

This study demonstrated that children doubled their oral vocabulary skills of words featured in WordWorld, they tripled their ability to read specific words featured and built in WordWorld, and even children in disadvantaged households where English is a second language showed gains in phonemic awareness, as well as oral vocabulary and reading words featured in WordWorld.

All I know, is my kids like it and now Target carries Word World toys and DVDs! Last year, the kids got a set of Word World modeling dough with word molds. This stuff is cool because the dough is fruit scented and fun to squish into the molds - yellow, banana scented dough for the banana mold, purple, grape scented dough for the grapes mold, etc. The containers of dough and the molds fit in a plastic picnic basket for easy clean-up and storage.

They also have Moon Sand sets with fun word molds. Kids love to play with this stuff! I think mainly because it's messy. There are many magnetic playsets which are terrific for on-the-go fun. Just fold them up and take along. Your kids can play with them in the doctor's office waiting rooms, in the car, and at restaurants. There are also Word World magnetic plush toys, puzzles, AquaPix, and more! You can check them out HERE.

I have a Word World Moon Sand set to give away to one winner. Leave me a comment here and I'll draw a random winner on Saturday, December 20.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pokemon Winners

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

8
84
64
Timestamp: 2008-12-16 05:45:33 UTC

These comments came from -

Jake said...
I used to play with these when I was little. Now my little brother plays with them. It would be a perfect Christmas gift! PICK ME...please.

the Spoonies said...
Bailey would love the Pokeman cards. I remember your ebay post about the pokeman cards. I was at the hospital with Bay and somebody had sent it to me thinking that I would like it. I did and I laughed a lot while I was reading it. It reminded me of my life and how crazy it could be. Granted I only have 3 kids so really it should only be half as crazy as yours.

Jodee said...
I was hoping the Pokemon craze would subside before my kids were old enough to care, but I guess it's here to stay for a while. That's why my life savings sits in a binder full of cards in my 6-year-old son's room.

Congratulations! Contact me HERE with your shipping address and I'll send these out to you right away. Thank you everyone! :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Groovy Girls & Children's Place Winners

The winners of the Groovy Girls RSVP sets are....

Here are your random numbers:
349
23
Timestamp: 2008-12-14 05:34:46 UTC


Rebecca M. said...
What a great surprise to have these as a giveaway again! Our family has "adopted" another family in need this year and they have three little girls that would love these as gifts! I would so love to win this so that I can provide them with a wonderful Christmas!

and

azpaladino said...
These dolls are adorable!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The winner of The Children's Place gift card is....

Here are your random numbers:249
Timestamp: 2008-12-14 05:30:35 UTC


Sarah said...
We love the Children's Place!!

Congratulations! Please contact me HERE with your shipping addresses by Monday night.
As always, thank you to everyone for reading and leaving your comments! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Matisse & Jack's

Have you ever heard of this brand? I hadn't before I was asked to try it out. I usually steer away from doing reviews on food products, but since Matisse & Jack's makes healthy, all natural products, I jumped at the chance. For new readers who don't know, I try to stick to an all natural diet for my family. I do it mainly to help Jackson with his ADHD. I've found that artificial colors, flavors and preservatives tend to send him into orbit and/or make him very argumentative and nasty. I think everyone can benefit from a healthful diet without all the artificial additives though.

So Matisse & Jack's makes boxed snack mixes. All you have to do is add a couple ingredients (some butter, water, applesauce, etc.), mix, and pop it in the oven. In a few minutes you have warm, homemade, fresh-from-the-oven goodies that are not only delicious, but they're good for you too!

The first mix I tried with my family was the Cocoa Squares. All you add is applesauce and oil. Jackson, Austin, and the little kids loved these. Savannah and I thought they were a bit too "appley" and didn't care for them that much. We decided they'd be better with less applesauce and some peanut butter instead. That's another cool thing about these mixes - the box offers variations on the original recipe. You can add ingredients to spice them up, or you can try a lower fat variation.

Next I tried the Granola Bites and the Chocolate Chip Power Snacks. Everyone loved these and gobbled up the whole pan in minutes! Well, they didn't eat the actual pan, but you know what I mean. They were really yummy and they were healthy! They're made with organic, whole, natural ingredients like All Purpose Wheat Flour Unbleached, Organic Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Brown Sugar, Seedless Raisins, Unsweetened Dried Coconut, Baking Soda, and Cinnamon. Matisse and Jack's tagline is, "Wholesome and Yum Become One." It's true! They're delicious! And I love that you bake them yourself. Then again, I love baking and do a lot of it. There's just something about taking a nice warm tray of freshly baked cookies, or muffins, or cakes out of the oven. Mmmmm!

You can find Matisse & Jack's yummy mixes at Whole Foods and Super Targets or you can order online. When you order 6 boxes, shipping is free. And for my readers, Matisse & Jack's is offering a 10% discount when you order online now through January, 2009. Just use the code "freshisbest".

And leave me a comment here for a chance to win some Matisse & Jack's products. On Wednesday, December 17, I'll choose 2 names who will receive 2 boxes each of Matisse & Jack's yummy natural snack mixes!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Wanted to Wonder Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the I Wanted to Wonder hair bow holder!

The winning comment was #92.

Bekah said...
That is so cute! I have two girls who could so use one of these!

Email me HERE to give me your shipping address.

SpongeBob Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the SpongeBob DVD sets!

Here are your random numbers:
73
139
188
Timestamp: 2008-12-11 06:05:10 UTC

The winning comments came from....


Katie B said...
I know some adults that would like this for Christmas too! lol But my little cousins (9, 5, 3, & 2) would go nuts over this! Pick ME!!! :)

Jodee said...
Although I tease my husband for watching Spongebob with the kids and loving it, I have to admit I'm a closet fan. And my two-year-old runs around saying "I'm ready! Promotion! I'm ready! Promotion!" and singing "It's the best day ever!"

Melanie said...
We all love sponge bob here. Thanks!

Please contact me HERE with your shipping address. Thank you to everyone who participated! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gotta Catch 'Em All

I think many of you are aware of the Pokémon cards I placed up for auction on eBay, which in turn, led to the rise in popularity of my blog. Because of that, I thought it apropos that I give away some Pokémon cards here. I was given 3 sets of Pokémon trading cards to give away. Two of these sets are Diamond and Pearl Stormfront/Raging Sea theme decks. One of them is Diamond and Pearl Stormfront/Dark Rampage theme deck.

I had to ask my kids who was on the front of these packages because I had no clue. I would have guessed it was Water Dragon Guy with Fangs and Spikey Green Dinosaur Dude. Apparently I'm wrong. It's Gyarados and Tyranitar. I was close. I used to know the names of all the Pokémon. I used to know what they evolved into and all kinds of information about them. Then I got a life. You know, back before Austin could read and I'd help him play his Pokémon game on his Gameboy. Wow, that was a long time ago. Pokémon have been around for long time! Anyway, Pokémon cards have made wonderful stocking stuffers in my house for the past few years. The booster packs are inexpensive and fit nicely in a stocking for the Pokémon lover on your list.


Leave me a comment here for a chance to win one of these Diamond and Pearl Stormfront packs. Each pack contains 60 cards including one holographic foil card, 1 metallic coin, 1 rulebook/card list, 1-player playmat, and damage counters. I'll choose 3 random winners on Sunday, December 14th.

Sweet Dreams

OK, you guys liked the Lands' End jammies; here are some jammies from The Children's Place. I've spent a lot of money at The Children's Place over the past 14 years! They have some really cute clothes for kids at reasonable prices. I've gotten many matching outfits for my girls there too. I love that you can usually find matching or coordinating clothes in different size ranges. I remember back (before I gave up) when I used to try to get family pictures taken. I would shop at The Children's Place to find coordinating outfits for everyone so we all looked like we belonged in the same family.

I was very bummed when The Children's Place moved out of my mall. Now I order online. Right now, they have some great deals on children's jammies online. Check out these adorable cupcake jammies. Lexi has these and I have a hard time getting them away from her to wash them. She says they give her sweet dreams. Get it? Because of the donuts and cupcakes and candy on them? Sweet dreams? OK, I thought it was funny when she said that.

They've got a lot of jammies on sale for as low as 10 bucks! And slippers for only $6! I like that they often have "2 for" sales on items too because it makes it easy to outfit all the kiddos without breaking the bank. They've also got snuggly warm sweaters for $12 right now! You can't beat that!

I have a $30 gift card for The Children's Place to give away to one random winner. Just leave me a comment here and I'll choose a name on Sunday, December 14! And check out The Children's Place online - it's not too late to get delivery in time for Christmas! Or, of course, you can just head to your favorite shopping center and visit The Children's Place there.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lands' End Winner

The winner of the Lands' End giveaway was comment #102 which came from -


KAL071203 said...
the kids pj's are too cute! thanks Dawn!

Congratulations!!! You have until Thursday at 12:00 AM central time to contact me HERE which your choice of the women's slippers, men's slippers, or child's fleece pajamas.

Thank you everyone!

Groovy Girls - The Sequel


The folks at Groovy Girls noticed how many comments I got on THIS POST about them, (if you missed my first review about Groovy Girls RSVP dolls, go back and click that link) so they've given me 2 more sets to give away! These dolls are really cute! I love that they're more wholesome than a lot of other dolls out there. These don't have Tammy Faye-like make-up and nightclub clothes. They've got cute hair and stylish clothes. In fact, you can even get more outfits for them (sold separately) if you like changing their clothes.

The cool thing about these Groovy Girls RSVP dolls is they come with an access code that lets you play online games and chat with other girls in a fun, safe environment. You can also design groovy clothes for your virtual girl and decorate your virtual room online.

Groovy Girls RSVP strives to promote Respect, Self-expression, Values, and Play. And girls can earn points by participating in online activities to help provide dolls to children in need. Manhattan Toy is donating toys to the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation (retail value up to $250,000 pending results of the Groovify Yourself viral activity and Groovy Girls RSVP online point system). What a great way to help out others while having fun yourself.



Each set of Groovy Girls RSVP dolls includes 8 girls and 5 pets (13 dolls in all!) There are plenty to give the little girls in your life and donate to Toys for Tots or some other similar charity too! Leave me a comment here and I'll draw 2 winners for these 2 sets of Groovy Girls RSVP dolls on Saturday, December 13. Good luck!
*****Edited to add*****
Now through December 31, get a Free Chetta Chic fashion item with any purchase of an RSVP doll. Also get Free shipping on orders over $75! Simply enter promo code RSVPGroovy to receive promotion. Offer expires 12/31/08. Free shipping applies to UPS Ground Shipment only. Click HERE to order.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Poingo Winner

The Winner of the Poingo set (Poingo reader, Cars book and Finding Nemo book) had comment number 205.

Mom of Army Brats. said...
my son would love this!!!

Congratulations!!! Thank you everyone for leaving a comment!

I Wanted to Wonder

Nancy at I Wanted to Wonder sent me this beautiful bow holder to check out. Isn't it pretty? And it's well-made too! I never review products unless I can get my hands on them and see them up close first-hand. These are hand-painted with non-toxic paints and varnishes on artist quality canvas stretched over a wooden frame. They're sturdy.

Simply fasten your barrettes and hair clips to the ribbons and you have a handy place to keep them organized and easy to get to. When you're done using it as a bow holder, you can cut off the ribbons and voila, it's a beautiful piece of art that can adorn your wall for years.

Nancy's got many, many designs (in 5 different sizes) that are painted and ready to go in time for Christmas. She'll even personalize them for you! Or, if you prefer, you can place a custom order specifying color, design, and even ribbons so it will match your daughter's, niece's, or granddaughter's room (ready for delivery after Christmas).

While you're browsing Nancy's gorgeous bow holders, take a look at her custom made clothing, hair clips, and painted shoes!

Orders placed by December 12, will ship in time for Christmas to U.S. destination. For orders placed after that time, contact them about arranging shipping to meet your needs.

And I have this prettiful pink and mint green bow holder (pictured above) to give away to one lucky reader. Leave me a comment here and I'll draw a winner on Thursday, December 11th. If you're interested in getting a bow holder for Christmas, go ahead and place your order now. If I draw your name on Thursday, Nancy will credit you, so no worries.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?

SpongeBob, of course! I My kids love SpongeBob. I watch him on TV and laugh they watch him on TV and laugh. OK, so he's not Popeye or Tom and Jerry. He's not the Animaniacs or Baggy Pants and the Nitwits, Scooby Doo, Casper, Captain Caveman, Speed Racer, Tennessee Tuxedo, The Flintstones, Heckle and Jeckle, Mr. Peabody, Hong Kong Phooey, Jabberjaw, Magilla Gorilla, The Jetsons.....

OK, I'm stopping now before I get lost down memory lane. Seriously though, I like watching SpongeBob with the kids and I'm not ashamed to admit it. It's way better than some of the lame cartoons that are out there today. How can you not love a sponge who's always happy and carefree; a sponge who sees the glass as half-full (and then can soak it up if it spills)?

And today I have 3 SpongeBob Squarepants DVD sets for 3 lucky winners! These 2 disc sets include 21 episodes from season 5. Plus, they include 5 karaoke music videos so your little jellyfish can jam along. Get it? Jellyfish? I just made a joke because SpongeBob likes to go jellyfishing! No? Well, I thought it was funny. Then again, I've had a little wine tonight. This could be a fun stocking stuffer or gift for any Bikini Bottom fan on your list. So, leave me a comment here and I'll pick 3 random winners on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Last Call!

Last call for Lyndsay who won the fire safety kit from Kidde. You have until Sunday, Dec. 7th 12:00 AM central time to claim your prize. If I don't hear from you, I'll draw another winner.

Do You Like Green Eggs and Ham?

I'm always on the look-out for fun games that entertain my little kids so they don't feel the need to take apart any household appliances, color on the furniture, or swing from the curtains.

I Can Do Games recently gave us the chance to try out a couple of their fun new games - Horton Hears a Who, You to the Rescue game and Green Eggs and Ham, Speedy Diner game. We tried Green Eggs and Ham, Speedy Diner first. All six of my kids played this one. My oldest kids had friends sleeping over when we played, so they joined in too. I think the older kids had more fun with Green Eggs and Ham than the little ones did. Or maybe my little ones were just scared of how goofy the older ones were acting so they slowly backed away. (I think this game is a little too complicated for young kids to play on their own.) Either way, they had fun running back and forth across my family room delivering food (such as blue toast, purple pizza, and of course, green eggs and ham) to the customers (goat, fox & mouse).

This is a fast-paced game that gets your kids up and moving around. Designed for kids age 4-8, this game encourages early reading skills, counting, shape and color matching, and interactive play and cooperation. Kids race to the table delivering menu items to customers who can't make up their minds. The musical menu timer helps make this a fun game!

Next, we played Horton Hears a Who, You to the Rescue. This is now Clay and Brooklyn's favorite game. I think I played this with them 47 times in a row the other day! To play, you place 6 plastic clovers around your house. On your turn, you spin the arrow and move the number of spaces indicated on the board. If you land on a clover space, you don the Horton hat, and follow the instructions on that clover space to get to the clover before the timer runs out. Instructions include such fun things as "hop to the pink clover" or "crawl to the green clover". You have to remember where that color clover is and follow the instructions to get there. Then you bend over, pick up the clover with your trunk and race back to the board before the timer runs out.







And it's hilarious to watch the little ones hopping around with their elephant hat! This is a fun game! After playing it a few times, the kids were even able to follow the instructions and play on their own.

I Can Do Games gave me one game to try out and one game to donate. Unfortunately, my kids ripped into both of them right away and I couldn't donate an opened game to Toys For Tots. So, we went to the store and picked out a couple new games to donate instead.

If you like finding games that let your kids get up, jump around, and be silly while having fun, these I Can Do Games are great! Check out the six different games available HERE!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lands' End Jammas & Slippers

I've got another fun Lands' End giveaway for you! I don't know how Lands' End found me originally, but I'm glad they did because I love working with them. All of their products are top-notch and Lands' End stands behind them 100% so I feel proud to use them, talk about them, and give them away to you guys!





First up, we have pajamas (or "jammas" as Brooklyn has taken to calling them.) These Fleece Pajama Sets are so snuggly soft! I got a pair for Jackson after I noticed that all his pajamas looked like they should be passed down to Clay. Man, were they small! Anyway, I got them for Jackson and he loves them. He's been wearing these nearly every night. They come in different colors and designs. And check out these adorable slippers! Are they cute or what? And they match the boys penguin jammies! There are also cute pink girly Angel Fleece Pajama Sets here.




Our next gift-giving recommendation is the Women's Regular Terry Travel Slippers with Bag. These have flexible rubber soles to help keep you from sliding across your kitchen floor when your kids smear lotion all over it. They also come with a coordinating fabric bag so you can easily pack them for traveling or for hospital stays. I don't personally ever wear slippers (or socks for that matter) because I can't stand hot things on my feet. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm weird. But my mom loves these. She says they're soft and comfortable. And if these slippers aren't your style, Lands' End has more than a dozen other styles from which to choose!



And finally, for the men in your life, we have the Men's Regular Low Shearling Moc Slippers. These are made from soft sheepskin suede and leather with 100% shearling lining. They have durable soles so hubby or dad can walk outside to get the paper without soaking or freezing their tootsies. I guess men probably don't have tootsies, huh? I meant to say "feet". They won't freeze their manly feet.


Oh and don't forget about Lands' End's daily St. Nick's Pick. (Say that five times fast!) Every day they have a new item on sale just for that day. Check back daily for new offerings.


And for you, one lucky reader will be able to choose from the boys or girls Angel Fleece Pajama Set, the Women's Regular Terry Travel Slippers with Bag, or the Men's Regular Low Shearling Moc Slippers! Just leave me a comment here and I'll choose a random winner on Tuesday, Dec. 9th. Good luck!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kidde Fire Safety Winner

Here are your random numbers:124
Timestamp: 2008-12-04 04:36:05 UTC

The 124th comment came from Lyndsay.

Lyndsay said...
Great giveaway! Choose me random number generator!

Email me with your shipping address and I'll have this sent to you right away.

As always, thank you to everyone who left a comment!

Oh and one more thing! My firefighter friend came up with another safety tip that I thought was important. He said, "You should have a CO monitor as well, CO is the silent killer (you can't smell it). Tell your readers not to run the car in the garage, cause the CO builds up in there and then creeps into the house everytime the door opens. CO monitors have a memory and store up CO over time. Then usually go off when you'd least expect it."

So there you have it. Congratulations to Lyndsay and to everyone else - STAY SAFE!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Poingo



Come on, say it with me, "Poingo!" "Poingo, poingo, poingo!" It rhymes with Oingo Boingo. Remember them? Oh great, now I'm going to have the song Weird Science in my head all evening. And I'm way off track here. Back to Poingo.

I was asked if I'd be interested in trying out Poingo. I have to be honest. I had no clue what Poingo was; I'd never heard of it. Now I know. It's "the next generation of interactive books". It's not unlike the Tag system from Leapfrog. You use the pen-like instrument and simply touch the pages of the books. Kids can make the pages come alive with words, sounds and songs just by touching the pages.

This thing is cool! It's so small! Not small like "your kids could stick it up their noses" small, but small like a chunky pen. You don't need any clunky computer notebooks to use this system. All you do is turn on Poingo and touch the pages of your favorite book. Ta da! By touching the different words and pictures on the pages, kids discover fun surprises. I, I mean my kids, had a great time playing with the Finding Nemo book. You can not only read the book with Poingo, but you can play games. It'll ask you questions like, "Touch the animal who has stripes." It's a fun interactive toy! You can see a demo HERE!

Because this is similar to the Tag system, I wanted to compare the two. There are advantages to both. Now, I've tried Poingo and know it works well. I haven't tried Tag so I can't speak with authority that it works as well. Tag has a wider variety of books and activity cards available so you might get more use out of it, although Poingo does have more titles coming out in the future. The Poingo starter set (Poingo and both Cars & Finding Nemo books) retails for $34.99, whereas the Tag reading system includes Tag and one book and retails for $49.99.

Poingo comes with 6 books in its memory. If you purchase additional books which are preloaded in its memory, you can just go ahead and play. If you purchase books that aren't loaded in Poingo's memory, simply go to their website and download the content to Poingo with the included USB cable.

I think this is going to be one of Lexi's favorite new toys. Lexi is my 7 year old daughter and she struggles with reading. Because she has a hard time, she often complains when she has to read and, although she's getting better about it, she doesn't like reading too much. I think this will give her some extra reading time, but it'll be disguised as fun. What's better than learning through playing and having fun?

And for you, my awesome readers, I'm giving away one starter set (Poingo, Finding Nemo book & Cars book). What an awesome Christmas present! Just leave me a comment here and I'll pick a random winner on Monday, December 8th.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Burnin Down the House

It's officially winter in my neck of the woods. We've got a few inches of snow on the ground already. Winter is the season for skiing, sledding, playing in the snow. It's the season for snuggling up to crackling fires, gingerbread scented candles glowing softly in the evening, and twinkling lights on your Christmas tree. It's also the deadliest season for home fires. My friend Gin knows the horror of awakening in the middle of the night to the smoke alarm and watching your house go up in flames from the street. It's something you never want to experience.

I asked my firefighter friend for some tips on avoiding fires and staying safe this season. Here's what he had to say:

1. Keep stuff (garland, tinsel, rugs, papers, clothes) away from portable heaters and the heat vents - they get hotter than you think.

2. Don't leave candles burning. You'd be surprised how many fires are caused from candles.
I almost never burn candles because I'm pretty sure the kids would somehow find a way to burn the house down with them. Try out THESE flameless candles instead.

3. Know what to do in case of a fire, where to go, where to meet. Stop drop and roll of course :)

4. Make sure smoke alarms work! and that your kids wake up with the sounds of them. It isn't enough to have smoke alarms. You need to make sure the batteries work. Change the batteries at least twice a year when you change your clocks. The best choice in smoke alarms are ones that are hardwired with a battery back-up in case the power goes out. That way, when one alarm goes off, they all go off. And, of course, make sure you have one on every floor and in or near every bedroom in the home.

5. Make sure the flue is open when using a fireplace. Also use the protector in front of the fireplace. Some have glass others have a chainlink protector. Use them and keep whatever you're burning in the fireplace.

6. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of kids.

7. Follow manufacturer's instructions when stringing lights on your tree. Don't do the Clark Griswold thing and plug 20 strands into the same outlet. Unplug lights before going to bed or leaving the house. Keep live trees moist.

8. Have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it. Oh yeah, fire extinguishers have a shelf life and don't last forever so make sure it works or you might be forced to use a bottle of Coke to put out a fire. Not that that's ever happened to us or anything. Just sayin'...

Doesn't reading that make you want to go check out your house and make sure everything is in working order? It totally made me want to make sure everything was safe. So, go check your homes. Yes now. I'll wait. (insert lovely holiday music). Are you back? Did you realize you could use another smoke alarm or fire extinguisher? Well, you're in luck. From now until December 19th, you can save 20% on fire safety products in the Kidde store on Amazon.com. All you need to do is click on "Give the Gift of Safety" on kidde.com or visit the Kidde Amazon Store directly and enter 85BR5532 as the promotion code when checking out.

And leave me a comment here for a chance to win a fire safety kit from Kidde! This kit (retail value $100) includes
- 1 Living Area Fire Extinguisher
- 1 Battery CO/Smoke Combo
- 1 DC Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector with Digital Display

I'll choose a random winner on Thursday, December 4. Good luck and be safe!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ride Makerz Winner

Thank you to everyone who checked out Ride Makerz and left me a comment here. The winner of the $75 gift card is.......

Here are your random numbers:
12
Timestamp: 2008-12-01 04:14:54 UTC


Amanda said...
Whoever came up with that idea is a genius! My boys would LOVE that. I'm a mean mom and won't take them to Build a Bear because we can't have stuffies in our house due to our allergies.

Congratulations Amanda! Email me your shipping address so I can mail this out to you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vrooom!

I have an awesome giveaway for you!!!

After church on Sunday, I headed over to Ride Makerz at Woodfield Mall for a blogger event. Jackson and Clayton, along with Joe, had been invited to make cars there. I figured the girls and Austin would just hang out and watch. No big deal. When we got there, the nice folks who put this blogger event together, invited all of us to make cars. I was surprised that all the kids wanted to do it. I really didn't think the girls would be into it. But as Brooklyn told everyone in the store (repeatedly!),"I want a pink car with a 'mote control!" Of course, the princess walked away with, yes, a pink car with a remote control.

Anyway, if you've never heard of Ride Makerz, it's place you can go to build a car. It's kind of like Build a Bear, but geared <---get it? geared? Cars? Gears? I just crack myself up! Ahem, as I was saying, it's geared more toward boys and dads. So we walked in to the shop and my husband started drooling over all the car choices. I'm sure he would rather have had a life-size hotrod, but he made do with the model one. He even took it to work with him on Monday to show off his creation. Seriously, you walk in and see a wall like this...




Here you pick out the body. They've got dozens from which you can choose in every color of the rainbow. Prices range from $12 - $29.

Next, you move onto the section where you can pick out a custom sound for your car (in case you don't like the vroom vroom sound that comes with the car) and wheels & tires (again, you can get the wheels & tires that are included, or for an extra price, you can choose from several different custom treads.)

From there, you go to the station where a Ridez employee will assist you in putting your car together. This is the fun part! It's also where you can switch out the included chassis for a radio control one! It's a $25 option, but it's pretty cool.



Once you've assembled your Ride, you can customize it with pretty much any option you could think of for a real vehicle. You can turn your vehicle into a tow truck or firetruck and get sirens and lights. You can get grills and spoilers, running boards, lights, truck beds, engines, roof racks complete with surf boards, mufflers, and decals. Seriously, I think they've got hundreds of optional add-ons. And the cool thing is, you can build your car with only the included options and bring it back at a later date (like when grandma and grandpa give you a gift card for your birthday) and add on more accessories then. So whether you have $25 to spend or $125, you can make a pretty cool car.

Ride Makerz even offers birthday parties starting at $12 per kid and going to "sky's the limit".

Here are the kids' creations...


Savannah's simple blue Mustang


Austin's um black car, and Lexi's skull-mobile. I can't believe my "pink girly-girl princess" made a car covered in skulls!


Jackson's black car of some sort and Clay's umm red car. He went a little nuts with the stickers. According to Clay, that's the best part of Ride Makerz - applying lots and lots of stickers. There's even a sticker over the windshield. Maybe that's why the driver crashed and the car burst into flames.


Joe's hotrod and Brooklyn's "pink car with a 'mote control"

OK, now here's the coolest part! Ride Makerz is having a Black Friday special! When you go to a store on Friday, November 28, you can get the $25 radio control option for FREE! If you don't have a location near you or you can't stomach the after-Thanksgiving Day crowds, you can get the same deal by ordering online! You can order your car all assembled or order the components you want and have fun putting it together at home.
And, and, AND that's not all! I have a $75 gift card for one lucky winner! Just leave me a comment here and I'll choose a winner on Sunday, November 30!

Free Shipping


Since so many of you commented on the Groovy Girls giveaway, I thought I'd pass this offer on to you. Right now you can get free shipping with a $75 order at Manhattan Toy. Not only that, but you can get a FREE Groovy Girl holiday doll with a $75 order November 26 - December 1 while supplies last. Choose from Anastasia Sparkle or Garnet Glitterbella. Enter code Sparkle for Anastasia Sparkle or code Glitter for Garnet Glitterbella.

You can always go in with a friend or two and place your orders together to get the free shipping.

Lands' End Sale


I like working with Lands' End on giveaways because they keep me in the know about upcoming promotions and sales. Right now, Lands' End is running its Daily St. Nick's Pick at LANDSEND.COM. They're posting new discounts every day so check it out often to see what's on sale.
Shhh, I'll let you in on a secret. Tomorrow's deal is going to be $50 cashmere items that normally sell for $89! You guys are among the first to know about this one. Have fun shopping!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

PhotoFiddle Winner

Here is the winner of the $50 gift certificate from Photo Fiddle!


Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:12

Shellie said... Oh, I want one! That is so cool. I love the picture of your girls, it's sweet.November 17, 2008 1:42 PM

Congratulations Shellie and thank you to everyone to who left a comment. Remember you can still get 15% off your order from PhotoFiddle.com right now! Just enter the code mom15 on the shopping cart page in the promotion code box and click apply.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Groovy Girls Winners!

I love doing giveaways for my readers, but I hate having to choose a winner (or in this case - 3) because I really wish I could give them to everyone! This is why I don't choose winners based on comments. I wouldn't know where to start! I use a random number generator. So here are the random winners who will each receive a set of 13 Groovy Girls and pets:

4
149
523

These comments came from:


Juliana said...
Oh my goodness...my girls would love these!

Kristi-Anna said...
We have two little girls aged 8 and 4. I have one son, aged 5.5. I'm sure he'd play with the pets! :D My husband also lost his job last week, so Christmas will be lean this year. Through the generosity of companies who are willing to donate products through genuine folks like you, Christmas could be a little brighter in our home this year!Thanks for all you do Dawn!

KKsMom said...
I know of a lil girl in my town who would just love these.She is 4 and just lost her dad...We are doing a toy drive for a few families this year and hers in one of them....

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blogs and leave me comments!!! You really make my day with your wonderful words!

Adventures by Disney

Last week I was invited to a presentation for Adventures by Disney. I'd never heard of it and was interested to learn what it was all about, especially since we'd recently gone to Disney World.

Adventures by Disney started back in 2005 with 2 itineraries offered. For 2009, they'll offer 23 destinations on 6 continents, including Italy & Switzerland; Boston, Newport & New York; central Italy; Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands; Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and San Francisco; Glacier National Park & Banff National Park; South Africa; and Alaska. Adventures by Disney gives families a way to not only see the world, but they "bring these locations to life" for your family. For each trip, 2 experienced Disney guides will accompany your group. Your group will meet up with local experts in each city you visit as well.

I had the chance to meet 2 of the tour guides at the event last week. Let me just tell you, I wanted to bring them home to entertain my kids while I work! You could just tell that the guides are great with children and would do a terrific job of occupying them on these adventures.

Not only will you enjoy 4 star+ accomodations on your Adventures by Disney vacation, but you won't have to worry about booking a thing. All transportation between cities you visit is taken care of. Excursions and sightseeing is arranged. Disney has done all the leg work and found the best family-friendly sites and activities in each location. They've already scouted out the best places to eat and shop and stay so you don't have to. They've also added downtime into each itinerary so your family can explore, get spa treatments, shop, swim, or go out to eat on your own as well.

Now I've never actually gone an Adventures by Disney vacation so I'm not speaking from experience, but given Disney's attention to detail, I imagine all bases are covered and you wouldn't have to worry about a thing during your vacation. I have a feeling the trip would be "magical".

With that said, these trips aren't for everyone. First, you have to be 4 years old to participate so my family couldn't even go on an Adventures by Disney vacation for one more year (when Brooklyn turns 4). Also, these are not affordable for the average family, in my opinion. If you're the type of family who loves to travel and you take big vacations often, then check this out. I think it would be a great way to see the world. Especially in countries where you don't speak the language, I think it would be terrific to have everything planned out and guides to help you every step of the way.

However, if you're an average family, like us, who goes camping and has to save up for 10 years to be able to go to Florida for a week, then you'll have a heart attack when you see the prices of these vacations. For example, their 8 night Viva Italy trip which tours Rome, Tuscany and Venice, would cost a family of 4 about $13,000 (early booking price) and that price doesn't include airfare to and from Italy. And you'll be on your own for 3 lunches and 4 dinners as well. So I guess you have to decide if the pricetag is worth the experience and memories for you and your family. You can check it out HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2008

PhotoFiddle


Isn't this picture great? I took this picture of Savannah and Lexi a few years ago at my sister's wedding. I've always liked it and have thought of getting it blown up and framed. Of course, like most of my picture and decorating plans, it's been on the back burner for years.

When someone from PhotoFiddle contacted me and asked me to try out their site, I took a look at it. Now you have to sign up before you can check out all the features. I know, I know, it's a pain to sign up, but you'll be glad you did. You can take an ordinary photo and PhotoFiddle will change it into an oil painting or a charcoal sketch or a watercolor painting or any of dozens of other possibilities. You can play around on the site and see what your picture would look like as a black and white print or an impasto painting. When you've chosen your favorite, PhotoFiddle will print it on canvas and it'll look just like a beautiful piece of art!

I chose to have to above photo made into an impasto oil painting on stretched canvas.

a close-up view


a little farther away


from across the room

In addition to all the creative ways you can change your photo, the Photofiddle.com art team can adjust colors, remove objects, restore photos and more. This is a terrific Christmas idea for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list. You can give grandma and grandpa a family portrait in "oil" or a "watercolor" of the grandkids. And right now, PhotoFiddle is offering my readers a 15% discount on orders! Just enter the code mom15 on the shopping cart page in the promotion code box and click apply.

*****Edited to add: Leave me a comment here for a chance to win a $50 PhotoFiddle.com gift certificate! I'll choose a random winner on Friday, November 21.*****

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feelin' Groovy

The girls and I were given the chance to check out Groovy Girls RSVP. If you aren't familiar with them, the Groovy Girls RSVP line are plush dolls that come with a code to access online activities at groovygirls.com.

The dolls are totally cute! Lexi squealed with excitement when she opened the box of 8 dolls and 5 pets. Brooklyn immediately took over, pushing Lex out of the way, to grab up the dolls for herself. Savannah, my 12 year old, even thought the dolls were cute. My sons weren't impressed because the dolls don't shoot arrows or ooze blood or have removable intestines. Even if they had liked the dolls, they wouldn't have been able to admit it because they're boys and way too cool for anything like that.

Lex and Brooklyn have had fun playing with the dolls and pets. They pretend the dolls are having a slumber party or shopping, or going to school. They also like to carry the dolls along when we go to church or to the store or to friends' houses.

But the fun doesn't end there. By entering the code included with your Groovy Girl RSVP doll, you unlock an online clubhouse where girls can play. They can customize their room - "mod pod", play games and chat with other girls in a safe and positive environment.

According to Lexi, the Groovy Girls website isn't as good as Webkinz. "There aren't lots of games and you can't buy stuff for your room. You can just like change the colors of the carpet and bed and stuff," said my 7 year old expert. I did have some issues getting some of the games to work when I used AOL. It wasn't a problem when I switched browsers, however. I agree there isn't as much to do on the Groovy Girls website, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. I don't have to drag Lexi off the computer because she doesn't want to play for hours on end. She can decorate her virtual room, dress her virtual Groovy Girl and play games. There's even a section for parents with advice on raising a "whole girl".


Groovy Girls RSVP strives to promote Respect, Self-expression, Values, and Play. And girls can earn points by participating in online activities to help provide dolls to children in need. Manhattan Toy is donating toys to the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation (retail value up to $250,000 pending results of the Groovify Yourself viral activity and Groovy Girls RSVP online point system). What a great way to help out others while having fun yourself.


Just in time for Christmas, I have THREE sets of Groovy Girls RSVP dolls and pets (8 dolls and 5 pets per set) to give away to 3 lucky readers! Just leave me a comment here and check back on Wednesday, November 19 when I'll pick 3 random comments to win. Good luck and in the meantime, check out GroovyGirls.com and Groovy Girls RSVP.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Strolling Down Linden Street

BlogHerAds and JCPenney gave a few bloggers a $500 gift card to use for items in their Linden Street line. I was one of those lucky bloggers. $500 to use on things for my bedroom? Woo Hoo! I haven't updated my room in, well ever. I immediately went online and checked out JCPenney’s Linden Street line and was thrilled to find a lot of cool items. I decided that I wanted a whole new furniture set along with bedding and window treatments. Then I got realistic and figured that $500 would probably only buy a sheet set and a comforter.

So I packed up all the kids and headed to JCPenney. Yes, you read that right. I packed up all the kids. You know, because I’m insane like that. I think I spent more time chasing the kids than looking at the Linden Street items. Thankfully you don't have to repeat my mistake. You can shop online for the Linden Street items!

The linens were really nice and I was impressed with the quality and the price. Linden Street is a fairly small line of products, in my opinion. There are only 4 different styles of comforters, for example. However all the items coordinate with each other. You can match blankets to sheets to comforters to rugs to pillows to curtains and blinds, furniture, lamps and bathroom towels.

With my $500 gift card, I purchased a bedding set including the comforter, dust ruffle, and 2 pillow shams, a 300 thread count sheet set, a blanket, a decorative pillow, a table lamp, 4 curtain panels, and a rug for my bathroom. And I fell in love with the Linden Street Cherry Road bedroom furniture and may have to go back and get it at some point in the future.

Watch my video to see the before and after difference in my bedroom!

Lands' End Fleece Winner

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:406



The winner of the Lands' End Women's ThermaCheck® 100 Half-zip Pullover with comment #406 is

Blessed Mama said...
Please enter me! Thanks!
November 9, 2008 6:29 PM

Congratulations! And thank you to all of you who take the time to read my reviews and leave comments!!!!!!!!!

And last call for Teresa who said...
I would love to give this to my kids for Christmas! I hope I win. Thanks Dawn for giving everyone a chance to win!November 4, 2008 10:51 AM

Please email me at mom2my6pack@aol.com and give me your shipping address so I can get your items shipped out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey



I laughed out loud and this commercial. OK, I laughed out loud and snorted.
Now, I've never actually had a turkey slip from my hands and go flying out the window, but still, if there's an easier way to cook a turkey, then I'm all for it! The thought of putting my hand up a chicken's butt to grab out that little bag o' guts just grosses me out, so when the folks at Jennie-O asked me to try out their Oven Ready turkey, I jumped at the chance.

Jennie-O has both whole turkeys (homestyle or butter, garlic, herb seasoned), and also turkey breasts that come in a Fool Proof cooking bag. All you need to do is plop it in your oven. Seriously, you take this turkey from your freezer (no thawing required), plop it into a roasting pan, cut a couple slits in the Fool Proof bag and walk away. You don't have to season it because Jennie-O has already done that. You don't have to rinse and clean it - taken care of. You don't need to pull out that little bag of giblets and such because there isn't one. You don't have to guess when the turkey is ready either because they all come with a pop-up timer; when it pops up, it's done. And clean up is a breeze because the turkey cooks in the bag! These are idiot-proof.

I make turkey several times a year. I'm not just a Thanksgiving kinda gal. Turkey is perfect for a large family and their whole turkeys come in 2 size ranges: either 11-13 pounds or 17-19 pounds. Sometimes I throw a turkey breast in my crock pot. You can put the Jennie-O boneless, skinless turkey breast (still in its bag) in your crock pot. Other times, I cook a whole turkey in the oven. It feeds our family and gives me leftovers so I can make turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, and soup. There are some really yummy sounding recipes for leftovers on their website HERE.

Not only is this Jennie-O Oven Ready "turkey-in-a-bag" easy to cook, but it tastes great! Because it cooks in this bag, the juices stay in. The turkey is tasty and moist. And you can use the juices to make your own gravy or stuffing, or you can use the included gravy packet to make a flavorful gravy. Now for those of you sticking to Feingold or other natural diets, you should know that this does contain artificial ingredients in the seasoning and gravy packet.

I'm not having Thanksgiving at my house this year, but the next time I cook a turkey, I'm definitely getting the Jennie-O Oven Ready turkey.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Kidijamz Winner!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

302
Timestamp: 2008-11-09 03:51:57 UTC


Comment number 302 came from:


Teresa said...
I would love to give this to my kids for Christmas! I hope I win. Thanks Dawn for giving everyone a chance to win!
November 4, 2008 10:51 AM

Congratulations!!! Thank you to everyone who read my blog and left a comment! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jawbone in Blue and Pink

You might remember a review I did a while back on the Jawbone bluetooth headset. You can read it HERE. Well, Jawbone now comes in both blue and pink! I love pink! It's my favorite color so I pretty much like anything that comes in pink. As always, it has the patented NoiseAssassin Technology: Jawbone literally feels your speech with its Voice Activity Sensor (VAS) to distinguish the sound of your voice and cancel out background noise. It's easy to use, comfortable and doesn't make you look like a telemarketer. And now it comes in PINK!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baby it's Cold Outside

OK, well it's not really cold outside here. We've had a bit of a heatwave this week. But it will be cold. In fact, I believe they're calling for snow this weekend. Without a doubt, you need a good winter coat when you live in Chicago. I have a problem finding the perfect winter coat, however. If I find a nice, toasty jacket that keeps me warm while I'm shoveling outside, or when picking my kids up from school, or while running errands, it will undoubtedly make me melt when I get inside the school, or church, or store. And who wants to carry a big, bulky coat around with them especially when they're already juggling kids and packages?

I recently had the opportunity to try out Lands' End Women's Weatherly Jacket. When I first saw it I was amazed at how thin it was. We're so used to thinking that we have to look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in order to be warm. Well, with this coat, you do not need to add 5 feet of fluff to your middle in order to keep warm. The Weatherly Jacket has this exclusive PolarThin™ insulation that keeps you really warm without the bulk. And really, who wants a big puffy coat that makes you look 2 sizes larger than you really are? I love it because it's cute, yet casual and that's my style.

It has all these cool features too. Water beads up and rolls off the outside of the jacket instead of soaking in. It has a fleece collar, an MP3 player pocket inside, and handwarmer pockets. It even has adjustable cuffs for a snug fit that keeps snow out and adjustable back waist tab for a better fit. You'll be amazed at how warm you stay in a jacket that's so lightweight and thin! It has a temperature rating of -10°/-5°. If you're wearing layers, the jacket will keep you warm in -10° weather; if you're only wearing one light layer, in -5° weather.

And it comes in like 20 billion colors! OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but it does come in 13 delicious colors, and both regular and plus sizes. Right now it's on sale for $49.50 which is not a bad price for a Lands' End winter jacket. Because it's from Lands' End, you know you're getting a quality item that will last and last. And, of course, you're getting Lands' End customer service and backing.

If the Women's Weatherly Jacket is not your style, or perhaps you're looking for a dressier coat, never fear because Lands' End has a ton of other stylish coats for the whole family! If you live someplace that never drops below 70°, I'm green with jealousy then I guess you'll just have to miss out on these prettiful coats. Poor you. ;)

Right now, Lands' End is giving away a Women's ThermaCheck® 100 Half-zip Pullover to one of my readers. This fleece pullover comes in more than a dozen colors, and regular, petite, and plus sizes. Leave me a comment here and I'll pick a random winner for the snuggly, warm pullover on Monday, November 10.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

KidiJamz

I recently had the chance to try out VTech's Kidijamz Studio. My kids loved it! I mean, all of my kids loved it. Austin and Savannah might not admit it, but they even liked playing with the Kidijamz Studio! It's got a million buttons, bells and whistles and kids just love to push buttons. Especially when those buttons elicit a variety of noises. If you haven't yet mastered the fine art of tuning the kids out and noisy toys drive you bonkers, fear not. This comes with a headset so the kids can play to their heart's content and you don't have to hear a thing. Not that I don't love listening to my kids banging on a piano or anything...

Another cool thing about this toy is the fact that it comes with a removable music player. You can record your music on it, then take it out and listen to it like an MP3 player. Kids can take the music player and headphones with them and listen in the house or the car or whatever. It's great if you have more than one kid because one can play with the Kidijamz Studio while another child listens to the removable player.

VTech sums it up on their site: "Kidijamz is an interactive music station that lets kids record their own songs and music and play it back on a detachable music player. Music mixing is a snap with 20-kid friendly tunes. To find their own beat, kids can choose from 10 different musical instrument sounds, five musical stylings, and three rhythm buttons. Adding to the fun, kids can sing til their hearts content with the included microphone and digital voice effects. A musical scratching disc and light-up keyboard round out the fun."


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Leave me a comment here to win your very own Kidijamz Studio! And then head on over HERE or to your favorite store and pick one up for your kids. Only 54 more shopping days until Christmas! Leave me a comment and I'll pick a winner on Friday, November 7th!