Friday, January 31, 2014

Chalk Preschool Online Offers a FREE Online Preschool Activities That You Can Do At Home w/ Your Little Ones #ad

Disclosure: This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and Chalk Preschool . All opinions are my own.





While my girls are only pre-school age, I am trying to figure out if I should homeschool them.  I was never homeschooled as a child, and attended public schools.  But, with all the violence you see in the schools, the large class sizes and schools not passing required tests to meet educational standards, I oftentimes think that it would be better to homeschool the girls, so that they could get the best education possible.  I have a handful of friends who homeschool, and say that this is the best thing for their family.  while, on the other hand, I have other friends who say kids will lose out on friendships formed in schools, being away from parents so that they can learn to be independent and become their own person, etc.  There are so many pros and cons, so this is one decision that will take some thought and discussion with my husband, as it would be a huge commitment on my part to develop and teach the curriculum, while also making sure to take the girls to events and meetups with other home schooled children for socializing. 

But, in the meantime, while I think about homeschooling (we still have a couple years before Savannah would start Kindergarten), I have been utilizing online preschool programs and websites to help teach the girls the basics that they would need, and would learn if I had enrolled them in a local preschool program.  One program that I have been using for over a week now, and am loving is Chalk Preschool.  Unlike many other websites offering online preschool curriculum, Chalk Preschool is the only one that I have found that offers free online preschool activities that are really beneficial and keep the kids engaged.  I don't have to worry about ads popping up on the screen directing me to other websites to buy additional products/services, which I love.  I don't know about you, but I go crazy sometimes with the in-ad popups some of my kids' apps have, or the need to buy additional add-ons to keep the apps/programs running.  It adds up over time, and the kids get frustrated when they can't play it anyone unless I make an additional purchase.  But, like I said, Chalk Preschool is totally FREE.  :-)

 

Miss Christina, the new teacher for the web series from CHALK Preschool, introduces the Chalklets - See more at: http://news.chalkpreschool.com/news.php?include=144974#sthash.LBgzWfMI.dpuf
 Miss Christina, the new teacher for the web series from CHALK Preschool, introduces the Chalklets



Each day you and your child(ren) can sit in front of computer and go through the lessons of the day.  Don't worry about the kids getting bored, or saying that they already saw that video or did that activity, as Chalk Preschool offers up new lessons, videos and activities on a daily basis, which keeps this online preschool curriculum site and fresh and engaging.


The past week and half, my girls have been learning all sorts of things, as they related to science, math and literacy.  Before stumbling across this website I had started to work with Savannah on writing the letters of the alphabet.  I would write out the letters and have her trace them and then try to make her own letters.  I even went out and bought a handful of activity books to help -- but, nothing seemed to get her excited about learning how to write.  Then, I logged on to Chalk Preschool and printed out daily printables, which were letters of the alphabet (lower and upper case of a given letter).  Each day I would print out a different letter to practice.  You would think that a simple printout of a say "Xx" or "Vv" would not excite a preschooler...but, I was wrong.  Savannah loved being able to first color in each of the letters, and then had fun tracing the upper and lower case letters until she was confident enough to try and write out each letter herself.  I have a refrigerator full of upper and lower case letter printouts to show off her writing skills.  You should have seen how proud Savannah was of herself as she made her first "Xx."  She was smiling from ear to ear, and I couldn't have been a prouder mom. :-)



In addition to the daily printout, Chalk Preschool also offers up daily weather reports, talks about the day of the week, numbers, and so much more.  There are even ideas for crafts that you can do with kids centered around the days lesson. Today we are planning to do freestyle art and will decorate the walls of the playroom with our masterpieces, as this was one of the hands on suggestions for the art portion of the preschool lesson plan.  Right now, as I am writing up this review, Savannah and Arabella are coloring in the letter of the day, "Bb".  I will be working with them shortly on practicing to write this letter, in both upper and lower case form, so that they can add another letter to growing writing skills. :-)


I have never seen my girls so engaged and excited about wanting to learn new things, than when they see me logging in each to Chalk Preschool.  It also helps make the day more fun, as we not have a routine to get up, have breakfast, get dressed, and then we spend time on Chalk Preschool going through the different videos and lessons.  The online curriculum provides 45-60 minutes of easy-to-follow videos spread out over 25-30 lessons per day.


Then, after lunch, we do a craft suggested from the website, along with the printable activity.  And, when I tell my friends with little ones about this website and how much my girls have learned in a short period of time, they are amazed and say that they will be checking out the website for themselves.  They also love that it is FREE and chock full of fun, educational videos and lesson that really do help a child learn and grow, as you help prepare them for kindergarten or homeschooling.

If you have a toddler or preschooler and have been looking for ways to teach them the suggested preschool curriculum that they should have under their belt before they enter kindergarten, then you will want to check out Chalk Preschool.  A few of my friends whose children are enrolled in a local preschool program and have been using this website since I told them about it, can't stop raving about it, and keep telling me that their kids are learning so much more with this web-based online preschool.

Visit Chalk Preschool Online, and sign up for a FREE account.  Within a matter of minutes you will be registered and ready to experience all that is great about Chalk Preschool Online.  Don't forget to check out the Chalk Preschool Blog, for great parent resources, videos that offer up fun arts and crafts ideas, and so much more.  Just the other day, we watched a video on how to make our own snow globes.  We will be heading to the craft store tomorrow and have a weekend arts and craft activity planned.  The girls can't wait! :-)


There is also a Chalk Preschool News Room website that has all up-to-date information as it relates to this a wonderful site and early childhood education.  So, don't forget to check the newsroom out, too.

Happy learning!

Follow Chalk Preschool Online at Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/ChalkPreschool.


About CHALK Preschool Online:

CHALK Preschool was founded in Chicago in 2005. The success of its initial six schools resulted in a nation-wide demand for more locations. The online version, which embodies the successful curriculum of the brick-and-mortar schools, was created to accommodate the requests and furnish a full-scale, user-friendly mobile learning experience. CHALK Preschool Online emulates the classroom setting with vibrant videos to engage children.

With over 8,000 preschool lessons produced exclusively for the program, every day of the week provides a new step in a continuing educational journey. Motor skills are encouraged by dancing along to original songs that reflect the learning standards. Core subjects are introduced and then re-enforced through developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and Chalk Preschool . All opinions are my own.
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Rediscover the Timeless Classic, "The Velveteen Rabbit," in a New Gift Book Edition -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.




9780385375665

by Margery Williams; illustrated by William Nicholson
Doubleday Books for Young Readers | On sale January 28, 2014 | Ages 3–7
HC: 978-0-385-37566-5 | $19.99 | $23.00 Can. | 48 pages
 



"Doubleday Books for Young Readers is pleased to provide readers with a new gift edition of one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT (by Margery Williams; illustrated by William Nicholson / On sale January 28, 2014 / $19.99 / Ages 3–7). Ideal for baby showers, birthdays, and holidays throughout the year, or just as a great read-aloud, this new version is sure to appeal to children, parents, and fans of this unforgettable story.


This charming new edition contains Margery Williams’s classic text about a discarded, threadbare nursery toy that is saved from peril by a magic fairy. The fairy whisks the Velveteen Rabbit to the idyllic world of Rabbitland, where he becomes “Real”—a cherished childhood companion who will be loved for eternity. With luminous illustrations by William Nicholson (re-scanned from a rare 1922 first edition) and a sumptuous cloth binding, this gift book is certain to become a favorite family volume.


Treasured for generations, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT is a timeless tale about the magic of boundless love that will be cherished by a new generation of young readers."


---

My Thoughts:

Recently, I was sent this new deluxe gift edition of the classic tale, "The Velveteen Rabbit."  I don't know, but I think I was more excited about reading the book than the girls were.  Growing up this used to be my favorite book to have my mom read to me at bedtime, and while I still have the original book that she was kind enough to save, it has seen better days.  Because of this, I have it stored away, to preserve, only to pull out on occasion and read when spring cleaning.  You would think that I would have picked up a copy of this book to include my daughters' book collection -- but, I was surprised to find that we didn't own it.  So, when I received this gift edition, I was eager to relive this classic tale and share with my girls. :-)

What caught me eye, beyond the beautiful cloth binding with gold accents, was the remastered illustrations from the 1922 first edition.  I couldn't help find myself linger a while on each page, as I admired the illustrations done by William Nicholson.  I will not bore you on a review of the story, as you have probably read this timeless classic or have had it read to you as a child. What I wanted to let you know was this new deluxe gift edition would make for the perfect baby shower gift, baby's first birthday gift, or given just because to share the joy of reading with a young children, as you create memories bonding and spending quality time reading together. :-)

I was so happy to see my girls enjoying this story, and didn't mind when they asked me to read it again.  And, since receiving, "The Velveteen Rabbit" has become one of our must read books at bedtime.  What a way to wrap up a great day with the girls, than to cuddle up in bed and share one of my childhood favorites with them, and see their eyes light up wonder and joy as I read the story, and we admire the beautiful illustrations.  I will definitely be picking up additional copies so that my girls can each have their own copy, and to share as gift this year.  If only this book was available at Christmas, as it would have made a great stocking stuffer gift for children.  Making a mental note for this upcoming holiday season. :-)

--GIVEAWAY--

Thanks to the kind folks at Doubleday Books for Young Readers, one lucky reader will win a copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit" Deluxe Gift Edition to share with their child(ren), or give as a gift.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!
  
 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

---

About the Author:


MARGERY WILLIAMS (1881–1944) published The Velveteen Rabbit in 1922—the first and best known of her 30 books for young people. She was born in London, and lived her later years in Greenwich Village, New York.

About the Illustrator:


WILLIAM NICHOLSON (1872–1949) illustrated several books, but was primarily known during his lifetime as a portrait painter. Many of his portraits and still lifes hang today in museums and galleries throughout England, where he was born. He was knighted in 1936.

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grab Your Children Close and Give Them a "Snuggle Sandwich" As You Enjoy This Cute Children's Book by Malachy Doyle (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


The Snuggle Sandwich
Buy now for only $9.99.

JUVENILE FICTION
32 PAGES, 9.5 X 11
FORMATS: PAPERBACK PICTURE BOOK
PAPERBACK PICTURE BOOK, $9.99 (US $9.99)
PUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 2013
ISBN 9781849394208
RIGHTS: US

Synopsis:

"Morning chaos gives way to a quiet moment, in this perfect book to snuggle up withIn the early morning bustle of breakfast time, no one notices when little Annie's teddy bear, Ted, falls to the floor. It is only when the morning rush is finally over that Mama and Annie find him. And then comes Annie's favorite time of day when she, Ted, and Mama at last have time for a snuggle all together."

My Thoughts:

We have a new way to hug in our house...the "Snuggle Sandwich."  Thanks to recent release of "The Snuggle Sandwich" by Malachy Doyle, I can't help but grab the girls a little ones a few extra times in the day just to give them a snuggle.  And, now whenever we hug, or the girls want to cuddle, they ask for a "Snuggle Sandwich."  Savannah even tells me when I am in the middle, that "I am the jelly to her peanut butter sandwich."  When I am not snuggling the girls, they are surprising during their sibling fighting by stopping throughout the day to hug it out. :-)


The story itself is not only cute, but I loved the playful and oh so colorful illustrations, as they really drew the girls in and kept their attention.  They couldn't wait for me to turn to the page to point out little things on each page, from a messy bedroom with random toys on the floor, to a cat sitting at the kitchen sink looking out the window.  It is amazing what children pick up and zone in on when they are read to.

My girls keep asking for this book, and I can't resist stopping what I am doing to read it to them, as I know the reward we will all get -- "Snuggle Sandwich" time.  This is no better feeling for a parent than to be able to pull your child close and feel their warm embrace.  My friends will older children keep telling me to enjoy these precious moments as when they get older they will not want to cuddle.  I don't want to think about this, as I love their hugs, and being able to show them how much Mommy loves them through my embraces.  Maybe if the others read "The Snuggle Sandwich" to their children, maybe, just maybe, they will be able to feel the power of a child's hug, like I am so blessed to enjoy each day. :-)



About the Author:

Malachy Doyle is the author of more than 70 children's books, including The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales, Horse, Owen and the Mountain, Tales from Old Ireland, and The Dancing Tiger, for which he won the Nestle Children's Prize Silver Award. 

About the Illustrator:

Gwen Millward is the illustrator of The Bog Baby and Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood.


Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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An Unexpected Topic That My Girls Can't Stop Giggling About Thanks to This Children's Book -- "The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business" by Werner Holzwarth (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Independent Publishers Group Logo

The Story of the Little Mole Boxed Book and Toy Set


Every once in a while I will let Savannah sit with my and browse books, for consideration of a review on my blog.  Last month, during the holidays, I did just this, and one book she kept pointing to and asking for was this one ---The Story of the Little Mole Boxed Book and Toy Set.  I think what caught her eye was the plush toy that came with the book.  Or, maybe she knew what the book was about.

Synopsis:

"The outrageous bestseller is back, now in a boxed set of minibook and stuffed toy, with packaging that becomes a board gameA terrible catastrophe befalls the little mole one bright, sunny morning. It looks a little like a sausage, and the worst thing is that it lands right on his head. Our plucky little hero sets out to find who has left their business on his head. Join the intrepid mole as he sets out to find the culprit and exact his revenge in his own little way. His highly entertaining and informative search reveals an important but often neglected side of animal life. The box that this small edition of the book and stuffed toy come in has a board game on the back, and dice and game pieces on the bottom for children to put together with an adult's help.

Have you seen or heard about this book?  I hadn't until I saw the book on the IPG website. But, I have to admit, I didn't read much into the synopsis, as I had so many other tabs open with potential books.  I saw that the book came with a plush and thought it would make for a cute gift set.  So, I sent off a request for the book, and couple of weeks later, Savannah was all smiles when the The Story of the Little Mole Boxed Book and Toy Set arrived at our doorstep.  It wasn't until I sat down to read the book with the girls that I realized what it was about -- a mole that the misfortune of having been pooped on while he was sleeping.  And, on the top of his head was a pile of poop.  

The book follows along as the mole tries to find out who did this to him.  As he meets different animals and asks if they did this, they all respond "No," followed up by showing the mole how they poop.  



Are you smirking or chuckling yet?  Well, each and every time we have read this book -- which I have to say I have lost count of since receiving early last week, the girls can't control their laughter.  Savannah feels bad for the mole, while Bella keeps telling me the mole needs wipes and a bath as he is PU. :-)

If you were to ask Savannah what her favorite book of the moment is, she will most definitely say this one.  Go figure!  And, when we are not reading this book, or the girls are pulling it off the shelf to flip through and say "Eww" to the different poop droppings, I can find Savannah carrying around her new mole friend wherever she goes.  She is snuggling up next to the mole right now as she sleeps.  On the few occasions we have gone out and she has taken the mole with her, people will quickly glance at the plush toy and say how cute it is -- until Savannah points out the pile of poop on its head, and then laughs. :-)  

While I am not sure that this would make for a great gift idea -- depends on the child and parent's sense of humor, I will say that the story itself is easy to understand and short in length, which is perfect for little ones.  And, with the inclusion of the mole as part of the book and plus gift set, it adds a fun bonus feel to the overall reading experience.  Like I said, my girls can't stop laughing whenever we read this book, and Savannah brings her mole friend with her everyone.  Want a cute book to share with your child about being pooped on?  Or, just looking for a laugh out loud book you can read to your child and get silly for a short time with?  Then, this is the book for you.  I will make a point next time to pay more attention to the books Savannah's points out -- but, I have to say that I can't help but laugh when I read this book, as I would never have guessed it was about a mole being pooped on, when you glance at the cover.  I seriously thought he was wearing a funny looking hat.  My bad! :-)

FYI...this best-selling book is available in different forms including one with sound (so you can hear the plops) and even in pop-up form. Which book style will you choose? :-)


Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Surprise That Special Someone with a Fun Graphic T-Shirt for Valentine's Day from NachoMamaTees.com -- Review and #Giveaway



Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


cool t shirts


When it comes to buying gifts for my husband, I can never go wrong with a new graphic t-shirt.  Just the other day I was putting away the laundry and noticed a few t-shirts tucked in the far back of one of his dresser drawers.  After pulling them out to look at them, I realized that these t-shirts were from my husband's college days...which was over 14 years ago.  I had to ask him why he was holding onto these t-shirt when he arrived home that night.  And, his response..."They are still in good shape."  Well, I guess if you look past the fading and few minor holes, that to him they are in good shape. :-)  I had to remind him that I had just picked him up a handful of new graphic tees for Christmas, so that he could replace old t-shirts that have seen better days.  But, like ladies who don't want to part with their shoes or handbags, my husband grows attached to his t-shirts.

Does your significant other have a particular style of shirts that they like?  My husband loves funny graphic tees...the funnier the saying or illustration, the better. :-)  And, over the years, I have found a handful of online stores that carry t-shirts that are right up my husband's alley.  One site in particular that we both love is NachoMamaTees.com.  I had the opportunity to first share this online retailer with you all a few years back.  I have continued to purchase t-shirts from this site, all of which my husband has loved.  So, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I would share some of the graphic t-shirts from NachoMamaTees.com that caught my eye, and that would make for a great gift ideas for that special someone in your life who loves graphic tees, like my husband -- in case you are still looking for the perfect gift to surprise them with on Feb. 14th.



Ask Me About My TRex t shirtMustache Flip Shirt



Best Husband Ever ShirtThe Office Assistant to the regional manager T-shirt
Recycle shirt cool recycleWhite Irish Suspenders T-shirt
Elephant Math T-shirtStud Muffin T-shirt

Thanks to the kind folks at NachoMamaTees.com, they send their Talk to myself expert advice T-shirt  for me to review.  


Talk to myself expert advice Tshirt

I have yet to show my husband this, as I plan to surprise him with it for Valentine's Day.  Out of all the shirts on this site, the reason I had requested this on in particular is because my husband usually responds with a similar response when I catch him talking to himself (usually in Spanish).  So, I knew that when he sees this t-shirt, not only will he laugh, but he will know it is especially for him. :-)  Do you know anyone in your life that would appreciate this funny graphic t-shirt?  

Valentine's Day is only a couple of weeks ago.  Don't delay in shopping online for that perfect gift for your sweetie.  Why not make NachoMamamTees.com your first (and only stop) for all things graphic tees for him/her?  The hard part about the whole ordering process will be deciding which t-shirt(s) to buy.  And, be warned, you will find yourself wanting to add a few t-shirts into the shopping cart for yourself.  :-)

Click here to begin browsing the NachoMamaTees.com website now -- http://www.nachomamatees.com/.


And, don't forget to follow NachoMamaTees.com on their social media pages to stay up-to-date on special offers, giveaways and new style addition:





---GIVEAWAY---

One lucky reader will have a chance to win 1 graphic t-shirt of their choose from the NachoMamaTee.com website ($16.99 or less, 
regular retail, not sale price; no exceptions).  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Let the New Honeywell EnergySmart® Infrared Heater Help Make Your Home Cozy -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone. 


 Honeywell Heater



What is going on with the weather?  We can seem to get up past the 20's here in New England, and Atlanta and other Southern states were hit with a snowstorm that left people stranded on the roads for almost a day or even longer.  I have lived in New England all my life, but as I get older, I am starting to think why I stay.  It is not for the weather...that is for sure!  And, don't get me started on heating expenses.  We use oil heat to heat our home, and have back up electric baseboard heating, but no matter what we use, we spend a few thousand dollars each winter on oil tank refills and using the supplemental heating, just to keep the house warm and pipes from freezing.  Every time we begin to start saving, the oil truck pulls up in front of the house to refill and leave another $700+ bill for us to pay.  Ugg.  
 
For the past few weeks, we have started to not only start saving money again, but were able to turn down the thermostat and use less oil, and say goodbye to needing to put the baseboard heating on.  How you ask?  Thanks to the folks at Kaz, the ones who make products for brands like PUR, Vicks, Honeywell, Braun, SoftHeat, SmartTemp, they were kind enough to send along the new Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater for me to try out.  I already own the Honeywell HZ-860 EnergySmart® ThermaWave Heater, which I still use in our guest room, or bring into the basement for when the girls want to play, to warm up the room quickly.  I even ended buying my parents one of these heaters for Christmas for them to use in their bedroom, as they rely on electric baseboard heating, which if you have in your home, know it is expense to run, especially during those cold winter nights that the heaters keep clicking on.  While I love the Honeywell HZ-860 EnergySmart® ThermaWave Heater, it heats an average size bedroom.  

Honeywell HZ-860 EnergySmart<sup>®</sup> ThermaWave Heater

We have an open floor plan in our house, and spend the majority of our day in the kitchen/dining room/living room.  But, due to the large 800+ sq. foot open area, the Honeywell HZ-860 EnergySmart® ThermaWave Heater wasn't powerful enough to keep the entire space warm. I have always been pleased with the Honeywell products that we have owned, and they last a long time.  So, I was excited to hear that they had introduced a line of Honeywell MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heaters to their product line up.  




The Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater not only heats up and keeps our open space warm, but I don't have to worry about breaking the bank in electrical costs, as it uses energy wisely, saving you up to 35% on your energy bills.  Now, when have you heard of a heater of any kind saving you money like this?  We have really been putting the Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater to the test these past couple of weeks with the below 0 temps and freezing cold nights here in New England.  This heater offers 2 MyTemp settings, which allow you to pre-set two favorites temperatures.  And, you can also choose to run the heater on low, medium or high heat.  


Depending on the temperature you would like to see the room set at, the heater will adjust the low/medium/high setting accordingly.  



Unlike other heaters we have owned in the past, one of the key features that I LOVE LOVE LOVE about this new infrared heater from Honeywell is that it accurately indicates the room's temperature, along with the desired temperature you set.  Know I don't have to guess what the current temperature is at, or pull out the kids' head thermometer to check the room temperature.  The accuracy of the room temperature is always spot on, and creeps up or down depending on the settings and desired temperature you set.



Another great feature of this infrared heater is that is safe to use around children and pets.  I remember back in the day when we would visit my grandfather, who had an old fashioned infrared heater.  This heater was massive, and when in use in the winter was dangerous to be near.  It was hot to the touch, which wasn't safe for kids playing or pets walking near it.  I had hesitation at first about reviewing this new heater from Honeywell because of what I remembered from my grandfather's heater. But, I know that they have come a long way in updating and making heaters safer, and Honeywell is a tried and trusted brand that my family loves.  

As I am writing this post, I have the oil heat turned down and our trusty  Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater running here in the living room.  And, you know what...it is really toasty warm in here. :-)  I am glad I had the opportunity to review this new infrared heater from Honeywell, and I can't stop raving about it to family and friends.  I told my husband the other night that we need to pick up another one to keep in the basement, which also has an open floor plan.  That way we can heat the entire living space and utilize these play areas room.  Right now, when the winter season is upon us, we rarely let the kids play downstairs because of the need to heat the space.  But, by using the Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater in this area, we will heat the space, while not seeing crazy electricity hikes in our monthly bills.  What is not to love about this?!



So, if you live in a cold part of the US, and find yourself scratching your head as to alternatives to high rising oil costs and electrical bills that leave you feeling like you will never save $$$, why not give the new Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater a try.  This quiet infrared heater is great for large rooms, and really does work well.  In a matter of minutes, I can turn a room that was sitting at 65 degrees into a cozy comfy 68-69 degree room. Just look at the other benefits of the Honeywell HZ-980 MyEnergySmart® Infrared Heater, and worth considering for an alternative heating source in your home:


The Honeywell MyEnergySmart Infrared Heater provides quick, safe heating for extra large spaces. Six long-lasting quartz elements provide invisible heat, which is evenly distributed throughout the room. The HZ-980's EnergySmart® Thermostat uses energy wisely, saving you up to 35% on your energy bills.* This electric heater also features an automatic shut-off timer and 2 MyTemp settings, which let you pre-set two favorite temperatures.

Benefits:

  • 2 MyTemp settings let you pre-set two favorites temperatures
  • EnergySmart® technology helps regulate power consumption, saving you up to 35% on energy bills vs. conventional heaters
  • Energy Usage Indicator clearly displays the amount of energy used at a specific time
  • Digital LED lights accurately indicate the room's temperature and desired temperature
  • 1-8 hour automatic shut-off timer
  • Remote control
  • Top located digital touch screen controls
  • Color: Black
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty
Safety Features

  • Cool Touch housing and handle
  • 4 Way Tip Over Switch
  • Overheat protection
  • Grounded 3 prong plug

See the entire line of Honeywell Infrared Heaters here.

*Compared to a standard 1500W heater

---

 


Recently, Honeywell set out to determine the formula for comfort and name the nation’s coziest cities. The awards were evaluated by scientists at the leading environmental consulting firm Environmental Health & Engineering and determined based on specific criteria used to judge overall comfort, ambiance and accessibility of the different locations. And, the results are in....

So where is the coziest place to live?  “Defining coziness is a relatively abstract task, but we were up for the challenge.  We believe coziness is defined by a city’s overall comfort, ambiance and accessibility,” said Dr. Ted Myatt, ScD, Environmental Health & Engineering. “We synthesized a variety of city data across major metropolitan areas in the United States to calculate an overall ‘coziness’ score.  We looked at criteria ranging from fireplace and portable heaters usage, access to parks, and overall walkability to restaurants and coffee shops per capita, stressful lifestyle scores and historical ambiance.”
 

Based on this profile, below is a list of the top ten coziest U.S. cities:

 

1.     Boston/Cambridge, Mass.

2.     San Francisco, Calif.

3.     Santa Fe, N.M.

4.     Washington, D.C.

5.     Portland, Ore.

6.     Seattle, Wash.

7.     Baltimore, Md.

8.     Providence, R.I.

9.     New Orleans, La.

10.  Savannah, Ga.

 

Another recent survey of Americans from the makers of Honeywell Infrared Heaters found that 97 percent of respondents deemed their homes “cozy” due to comfortable furniture, inviting décor, warm colors and comfortable temperature. 

 

So as temperatures dip this winter, anyone can create their own warm, cozy space with a new Honeywell EnergySmart® Infrared Heater, which features whole-room energy efficient heating. These elegantly designed portable heaters utilize infrared heating technology to provide a heat output of 5,200 BTUs without burning oxygen or humidity, which can cause rooms to feel dry.  Long lasting, premium quartz heating elements begin working instantly, providing a soft glow and warmth that users can immediately see and feel.

 

For tips to keep your home its coziest this fall and winter—wherever you live —visit Facebook.com/HoneywellPluggedIn. For more information on Honeywell heaters, visit www.HoneywellHeatSavings.com.

 



--GIVEAWAY--


Thanks to the kind folks at Kaz, one lucky reader will win a new Honeywell MyEnergySmart Infrared Heater.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!




About EH&E

EH&E (www.eheinc.com) has provided an extensive range of environmental and engineering consulting services for over 20 years. The EH&E team consists of more than 60 experts with an outstanding record of providing solutions for issues that affect the environment. EH&E has a depth of knowledge and credibility unmatched in the industry. 



About Kaz

A world leader in high quality healthcare and home environment products, Kaz is a state of the art, dynamically-managed, global leader in healthcare devices, home comfort and water filtration products that operates in over 65 countries on six continents with a brand portfolio that includes PUR, Vicks, Honeywell, Braun, SoftHeat, SmartTemp, and more.  Kaz is a global marketer of humidifiers, air purifiers, heaters and fans under the Honeywell brand.  The Honeywell trademark is used by Kaz USA, Inc. under license from Honeywell International Inc. Kaz USA, Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ: HELE).  For more information about Helen of Troy Limited, please visit www.hotus.com. For information on other quality products for home health, home comfort, water filtration and insect control visit www.kaz.com.





Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Great App for Kids -- Dabby Dill & the HICCUP Pickle (Review and FREE App Download #Giveaway (3 winners)

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post in which I was given a promo code to download this app as well as was compensated for my time in reviewing and writing up a post.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.


iPad Screenshot 1

About the App:

"Dabby Dill & The HICCUP Pickle is a story that features fun, custom illustrations; interactive surprises, vocabulary words, sing-along songs, recipes, fun facts, and even a BONUS HICCUP game! Listen to the narrator read the story, read along with the narrator, or read it by yourself. Great for kids ranging from 4-8."


iPad Screenshot 2

When it comes to iPad apps, the more interactive it is the better.  With two toddlers, they are all about tapping away at the screen and seeing things come alive.  So, when they saw I had downloaded a fun new app, "Dabby Dill and the Hiccup Pickle," of which I said it had a lot of hidden surprises, they couldn't wait to try it out.  Even though we have had only this app for about a week now, the girls can't get enough of it.  :-)  Since downloading, I haven't seen them not play with the app during their daily iPad time.

Not only is the story cute, as it follow a little girl with pigtails called Dabby Dill, who wakes up one morning with hiccups.  She tries her hardest to get rid of them, and asks everyone around her for help.  But, she can't seem to shake the hiccups.  What is she to do.  Little ones will love following along with this easy to understand story, while also tapping on the different objects in each page's illustrations to make them come alive with sound and movement.  In addition to this neat interactive feature, kids will also love learning new words.  Certain words are highlighted throughout the story.  


iPad Screenshot 3

And, when a child clicks on the word, a dictionary entry pops ups, which gives the definition of this new word, and also teaches a child how to properly pronounce the word.  I was amazed that by the second day, Savannah was using words like scurry in her day to day activities.  My husband was the one who heard her say, "Look at Bella scurry along, Daddy."  He asked me where she learned this word.  I had to think for a minute, and then she chimed in "Dabby Dill, Mommy!"  How could I have forgotten? :-)



This fun interactive app also includes a song to sing along to, as well as sequence game (similar to Simon from back in the day...one of my childhood favorites) and even a dill pickle recipe.  

iPad Screenshot 5


While I haven't tried the recipe out, I promised the girls this upcoming weekend we would.  



But, in the meantime, the girls are enjoying this new interactive storybook app, which they can have read to them or have me read to them.  I am hoping that this is just the first and long line of Dabby Dill storybook apps that will be available, as my girls and I are loving this one, and can't wait for more!


iPad Screenshot 4

If you are looking for a fun app to download to your family's iPad for the kids to play with, why not check out "Dabby Dill and the HICCUP Pickle," which is available at the iTunes store for only $2.99?  This is a steal for all the cool interactive features this app has to offer, that will keep your little ones entertained for hours.




--GIVEAWAY--

Thanks to Brad Daberko (the app creator) at Pickled Productions, three (3) lucky readers will have a chance to win a FREE DOWNLOAD code, so that they can try out this app with their child.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post in which I was given a promo code to download this app as well as was compensated for my time in reviewing and writing up a post.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Looking for Gym Alternatives to Help You Stay Fit and Healthy? Try MyYogaWorks FREE for 1 MONTH!!! #MC

Disclosure:  I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MyYogaWorks. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.




Yesterday I shared how I fell off the wagon sort of speak in regards to my keeping the weight I was finally able to shed last year.  In addition to adding music to my workout routines to get me excited again about working out and to help burn more calories, I have also been getting back into yoga again.  Before I got pregnant with Savannah, I used to be a health educator, and would be put on classes and demonstrations for patients at the hospital I worked at, as well as to people in the community.  One of the classes I found an instructor to teach and that always seemed to fill up fast was a gentle yoga class.  This was during the time that yoga was becoming popular.  I found myself taking the class and enjoying it.  


While you don't find yourself sweating like you would during an intensive workout, you can feel your body getting a workout, and usually walk away from the class feeling energized and relaxed.  In addition to the gentle yoga classes I attended at the hospital, I also enrolled in a couple of other intermediate classes, which I also found enjoyable.  But, then I was diagnosed with cancer, and two years later welcomed daughters back to back in 2010 and 2011.  So, my free time has been limited, making it nearly impossible to sign up and stick with a weekly yoga class.  Last year, I ended up having to purchase a treadmill and other workout accessories as I didn't have the desire to head off to the gym after a long day with the girls.  Instead, I would have my husband watch them, and then I would head to the basement to do a cardio video or other high intensity workout that really got me sweating and burning calories.  As the year came to a close, however, I found myself getting bored with my workout routine, and would skip a day here and there.  Knowing that I would need to find an exercise class or program that would help keep my 2014 resolution of keeping the weight off and staying active.  Then, I thought back to when I took yoga classes and how much I enjoyed them.  


Knowing that I didn't have a lot of time at the end of a busy day to enroll in a weekly yoga class, I looked for alternatives and stumbled across MyYogaWorks.  And, then a few days later, I was contacted by the folks at Mom Central Consulting to see about reviewing this online yoga site.  Call it fate...but, I took it as a sign to get back into yoga.  And, that I have done.  :-)  After signing up for an account with MyYogaWorks, I have full access to on-demand classes that can be accessed at home, work on even on when traveling.  MyYogaWorks offers specialty classes like pre & post natal yoga, meditation and more.




For me, I have found the best time to watch one of these informative and easy to follow along yoga instructional videos is in the early AM before the girls get, or if I am lucky mid afternoon when they girls go down for a nap.  Most videos are about 15 minutes in length, making these great for a quick pick me up.  I especially loved the "Nap Time Yoga for Moms" series.  There are four videos in this series, which you can do separately, combine a couple or if you are lucky enough to about an hour of free time, can complete them all.  I usually find that I can get 2 of these videos in at a time.  My favorite of the videos in the series in the "Mommy Restore" as it really acts as a pick me up, and helps reinvigorate and up your energy level, so that I can tend to the girls.  And, for me, yoga is also a mood booster.  Whether I am stressed out, tired, or just feeling gloomy because of the cold weather, once I complete one of the online instructional yoga videos at MyYogaWorks, my mood is more positive, and I feel better overall. It is amazing how exercise, let it be yoga, a dance class, a spin class, etc., can boost your energy and leave you in better spirits.  Knowing this, why wouldn't you want to make a point to fit a little exercise into your daily routine?  I know that we get so busy and that the few free minutes we do find ourselves with, the last thing we want to do is exercise.  But, take it from, a mom who is on the go from 6AM to almost 11PM every night, exercise is really great for your overall health.


Why not give MyYogaWorks.com a try today? MyYogaWorks offers 500 online yoga classes ranging in length from 5 to 90 minutes, which are available for all exercise levels (beginners, intermediate and advanced). You are bound to find videos that will teach you the basics of yoga, or advance your knowledge base, while leaving you feeling great.

Have an upcoming wedding?  Then, why not give the "Wedding Journey Series" a try?  Expecting a baby or recently given birth?  You will benefit from the "Journey to Birth" and "Post Natal" series.  And, for those who find themselves traveling for work, there is a great "Road Trip Yoga Classes" series that can keep you on track when it comes to including fitness into your daily schedule while traveling.  No matter which videos or yoga series you participate in through MyYogaWorks, you will find yourself like yoga and the benefits that this form of exercise has to offer. 

Try Out MyYogaWorks FREE for 1 MONTH!!!


For a limited time, visit MyYogaWorks and use the coupon code YOGA2014 to receive a free, one-month subscription to MyYogaWorks.  Note, a credit card is required to sign up, but the credit card will not charged until the free promotional period ends.  Click here to visit the MyYogaWorks website and take advantage of this special offer - https://www.myyogaworks.com/promotionalpages/ic


I can't wait to hear what you think of the online videos.  So, if you do get a chance to try them, please head back here and let me know what you think.



Disclosure:  I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MyYogaWorks. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
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