Monday, May 31, 2010

Don't Fret the Sweat with Unilever

Kids are pretty busy and on the go from the time they get up in the morning. They get ready for school, spend all day in the school building, go through gym class, and sometimes have after school sports. They come home, and sometimes have evening events going on. This is a very active lifestyle, and with their changing body going through puberty, the body odors can get extreme. We as parents are constantly pleading with our kids to shower everyday, and sometimes requesting a second shower. Many teenagers are resistant to showers at this age, for some reason, but it is so important to instill good hygiene habits early on in their life. Recent research shows that kids now enter puberty earlier than ever, leaving tweens increasingly self-conscious about their appearance and identity, and making it all the more important to start a dialogue with your child to provide them with the necessary support to keep their confidence high.
To ensure parents have the tools they need to maintain their tween's confidence during the difficult transition from child to teenager, Unilever – the maker of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorants – has aligned with a roster of community partners and assembled a panel of experts to develop the educational website and resource DontFretTheSweat.com. Tweens face many sweat-inducing moments, but Unilever hopes to show parents that they can talk to their tweens about how the right deodorant can keep them free from odor, embarrassment and discomfort along the way.
I have always tried to be very open with my communication between my children. Now with my oldest entering the tween years, I want to keep those lines of communication very open and honest. I have noticed, within the last year and a half, that his body is definitely changing. He is needing a daily shower, and sometimes I ask him to take two. I want him to practice good cleanliness hygiene and take care of himself. I am constantly reminding him to shower, brush teeth, brush hair, etc. I want him to feel good about himself, and with taking care of his body, he will feel better about himself. Peers can be pretty cruel with words, and helping our child make good choices may help them avoid ridicule about their bodies. My oldest son is eleven and a half. He has been using deodorant since he was nine years old. He has always been a little ahead of the curve with his growth and development. With noticing his body changing and body odors changing, we introduced deodorant to him. I was giving him a hug and noticed that the smells were more strong and his hair scents changed. With careful thinking, I told him his body was changing into manhood. With manhood comes new responsibilities, like using deodorant, a shaver, etc. He was pretty accepting of the new product to use, even though I still remind him to use it daily.
Recently, Unilever released the Tween Confidence Index, which suggests that tween confidence is short-lived but can be safe-guarded by maintaining strong communication between tweens and parents. With this and more resources available at DontFretTheSweat.com, Unilever hopes to show parents that they can talk to their tweens about how the right deodorant can keep them free from odor, embarrassment and discomfort along the way. Check out the website for some great tips and articles about your teen's changes and deodorants.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Unilever and received the items necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

McDonald’s McNuggets and Shrek Forever After House Party

I was lucky enough to be selected to host a House Party for McDonald's McNuggets and Shrek Forever After! I was amazed at the amount of product that was sent to me from House Party to host this event. I was so excited to share all this with friends and family, and to see the kids get excited about all of it! Getting ready for the party was really fun, too. My friend, Lisa, was also selected to host the party, so we decided to host the party together. We had twenty kids for the party, plus the parents/grandparents.
We had so much to give our guests!! We had Shrek Happy Meal toys, coupons for free McFlurrys, free Minute Maid Apple Juice, a Shrek Movie and more! Our kits came with Shrek themed cups, plates, and napkins (from Hallmark). There was also two Shrek glasses from McDonald's, a very generous gift card to McDonald's to purchase 100% white meat Chicken McNuggets, Happy Meal boxes, Shrek Movie poster, game ideas, and more. I was just blown away with how many things were provided in our House Party kit!
We had a great time getting the menu prepared and had so much fun planning for Ogre-themed (green) food. Even though I forgot about the green finger jello, the kids loved what was served.
We had green macaroni & cheese, peas, green Hawaiian punch, Funyuns, and of coarse the McDonald's Chicken Nuggets.
The kids were excited about wearing Shrek ears. I made the ears out of felt pieces and fabrics. I made them customized for girl and boy.
My friend's daughter, Olivia enjoyed being at the party and being an Ogre.
Not all the kids wanted to wear the ears, nor be in the photos. It was fun to get a group shot of most of the kids.
Time to eat! McDonald's Chicken Nuggets, Macaroni and Cheese, Funyuns...juice makes for a fun kid-friendly meal.
We played pass the Happy Meal toy. We separated the boys and the girls into circles. We gave the kids a Happy Meal toy, and played music.
In our House Party kit was a music cd for Fruits and Veggies promotions. McDonald’s supports Produce for Better Health Foundation’s Fruits & Veggies — More Matters and their Campaign for Children’s Health, a program that encourages the nation’s children to eat more fruits and vegetables for better health. So, we played the music, and when the music stopped, the child with the Happy Meal toy in their hand was out. The last child left in the game won that toy.
This is Lisa's daughter, Trinity in her Shrek ears!
We also played pin the tail on Donkey. I thought this would be a really fun game to play, considering Donkey is one of the characters in Shrek movies. Lisa's husband, Donnie, is a talented artist, and he drew Donkey for us. He did a great job! The kids really had fun with this game. We handed out the rest of the Happy Meal Shrek toys as prizes for this game.
Christian loved his ears, too! This is my friend, Jeannie's grandson.
Some of the kids picking out their prizes from the "Pin the Tail on Donkey" game.
Toward the end of the party we handed out the free McDonald's snack size McFlurry coupons. We asked each child to either say one of their favorite McDonald's menu items, or answer a question from one of the Shrek movies. It was fun hearing what the kids had to say. I think that the McDonald french fries and chicken McNuggets ranked top on the lists!
Everyone liked their Happy Meal box as a party favor to go home with. We put the Shrek watch, another Happy Meal toy, Twinkie treat, Shrek fruit roll-ups with tattoos, and a coupon for a free Minute Maid Apple Juice from McDonald's in the boxes. The kids were so excited about the boxes! Included in the toys and on the boxes were codes to enter online to win fabulous prizes.

Our party was a grand success. Lisa and I had a blast planning for the party, decorating, making food, putting the party together and hosting this great House Party! A big thanks goes to McDonald's, Hallmark, Dreamworks, and House Party! We had an extremely successful party thanks to the wonderful products, prizes and gifts included! I was so happy to be one of the chosen hosts for the McDonald's McNuggets and Shrek Forever After House party!

The Shrek Forever After is currently playing in theaters, and McDonald's has the Shrek toys, and glassware.

I was sent a party kit from House party, and McDonald's in order to promote the new Shrek Forever After movie. I was not paid for my written review. I was given extra Happy Meal toys, promotion cards, boxes and more to give to guests that came to my party.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Candlewick Press Books (Review & 2 GIVEAWAYS)

Children's books are so fun and our family loves to read! I think Candlewick Press offers such a great selection of children's books! I received some books to review, and we have had such fun reading them over and over. I am so excited to share these books with you! I highly recommend these books to your family! These books make great gifts, too!
Did you read Mother Goose books when you were younger? I did, and I loved when my Mom & Dad read me the stories. I grew up with the original "real" Mother Goose stories.
Candlewick Press has The Very Best Mother Goose Book Tower, which is a collection of four mini board books.
I love these little books, because they are perfect size for little hands. I love seeing my toddler holding the books in his hands, trying to read them. The illustrations, by Rosemary Wells, in these books are adorable!
Each book has a title to it: Wee Willie Winkie, Jack and Jill, Pussy Cat Pussy Cat and Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake; however, each book is filled with the Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Each book has about ten nursery rhymes, as well. These books fit great in a diaper bag or purse, to help your child pass time, and possibly get a few giggles. These books make for fun reading, and fun stacking!
The Very Best Mother Goose Book Tower $9.99 U.S./$13.00 CANADA
My daughter loves Polly's Pink Pajamas, by Vivian French. Polly loves her pink pajamas and wears them all the time. She knows she can't wear them to her friend's house for a party, so she seeks out help from her friends to get her outfit for the party. After visiting with her friends, and borrowing the items needed to wear: dress, a sweater, socks and shoes, Polly realizes that it just wasn't right at all.
Will Polly be able to go to the party after all? It is fun to see what the ending is. I am not going to tell you what happens with Polly and her Pajamas...because this is a great book to add to your collection. Great book about friendships, favorites, and decisions.

Polly's Pink Pajamas $14.99 U.S./$18.00 CANADA
Cats are great animals (in my opinion) and I think they make great pets. Children can often think their cats can do amazing things, and be certain things. In The Best Cat, Jeff thinks his cat is a football star, a clown, ballerina, and more. Ginny, Jeff's sister, is not in agreement with her brother. They do agree in the end that Bootsy, the family pet, is the best cat in the world, though. We liked finding out all the things that Bootsy would be, according to Jeff. My kids giggled with this book.

The Best Cat $15.99 U.S./$20.00 CANADA
Being a home schooling Mom, I love teaching my kids about the four seasons. Plus, with living in Minnesota, we definitely experience the seasons fully. I really enjoyed how All Around the Seasons described what happens during each season. Currently, Minnesota is in Spring season, and in All Around the Seasons, "Hiding and seeking, slip down a slide. Springtime's for flying, playing outside." This is a fun book, and the descriptions are very entertaining.
This part of the book is talking about Springtime, too...rainbows, chalk, wagons, climbing trees, and grass-stained knees.
All Around the Seasons $11.99 U.S./$15.00 CANADA
We laughed so much while reading Me Hungry, by Jeremy Tankard. This is such a fun book about a little caveman boy who is hungry. His parents are too busy to help him out, so he goes out to search for food. Will he eat a rabbit, porcupine, tiger, or something else? Will anyone help him get something to eat? What happens in the end? Our family really enjoys this book, and laugh every time we read it. It is a book with few words, which is great for even the youngest age group.
Me Hungry! $7.99 U.S. /$10.00 CANADA
The Guess How Much I Love You books are sweet books about the love between a parent and child. These books are so much fun to read with my kids, and it is fun when they say some of the phrases back to me. Guess How Much I Love You-All Year Round- is about the four seasons with four stories included. Spring is about the growth of things like trees, tadpoles and butterflies after winter. Summer is about all the colors like blue in the sky, reds like poppies and ladybugs, and yellows like flowers. Which is your favorite? Is it Nutbrown like Big Nutbrown's favorite? We liked talking about the four seasons with this book.
Guess How Much I Love You (Sweetheart edition: little red book) is the original Guess How Much I Love You book, just in a small book form and in red color. This would make a great Father's Day gift from your child. This book is a sweet story about Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare talking about how much they love each other, and who loves more. My kids and I play this game all the time, and it is so sweet.
Guess How Much I Love You $12.00 U.S./$14.00 CANADA
I think Leslie Patricelli writes great books that describe young toddlers very well. She has authored quite a few books, and her newest, The Birthday Box, is about a toddler loving his gift: a box! The Birthday Box tells all about the adventures this baby has with his box, and what he found in his box~ a doggy!
The boy and his doggy sail a ship and he is the captain, they fly an airplane, and he becomes a robot. We had some great laughs from reading about this little boy's adventures with his box. It is so true that kids love the boxes their gifts come in, and the boxes can liven their imaginations!
The Birthday Box $6.99 U.S./$9.00 CANADA
Quack! and Hop! are adorable books about baby animals and the fun things they do. Quack! is a story about newly hatched ducklings. "Ducklings waddle. Ducklings trip. Ducklings wings go flip flap flip!" I love the rhyming words in these books. Hop! is about little baby bunnies, their whiskers wiggling, nose twitching, jumping and thumping.
Quack! and Hop! are sold separately for the retail price $5.99 U.S./$7.00 CANADA
Flanimals (a pop-up book) has got to be one of the coolest pop-up books I have ever seen! Quite frankly, it is the most unique and interesting pop-up, too! Flanimals is a book about
From the unique mind of comic master Ricky Gervais comes... 3-D Flanimals! The ghastly stars of a wildly popular book series are about to pop up everywhere!
You will learn very many facts about these strange beasts, and be amazed with the information you read about them! Each page has a great pop-up, and there are little flaps to open to reveal new creatures, or information you need to know.

My oldest son (age 11) loved this book! All my kids loved it, but he was especially interested in the crazy creatures and what they are all about. I was amazed at the great attention to detail with the pop-up! This isn't a book I will let my little ones get their hands on, because I don't want them to destroy it; however, I love showing them the book and every time they are amazed. This is definitely a very creative book!

Flanimals $19.99 U.S./$25.00 CANADA

ENTER TO WIN!!

Candlewick Press has offered to sponsor a giveaway of Guess How Much I Love You -All Around The Seasons- and the Guess How Much I Love You (Sweetheart Edition)! There will be two winners, and each winner will receive both books! This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States, and the contest is open until midnight June 11th, 2010. To enter, go to the Candlewick Press website and check out all the books. Comment here about which ones sound interesting to you.

**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment about something you found over at Candlewick Press. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

This review was provided from Candlewick Press. They have provided me with books to review and information to share with my readers. I am sponsored to offer a giveaway for my readers through this review. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

“Draw Your Own Sun” art contest: 8th Continental Soy Milk (Review & Giveaway)

I am not usually a Soy milk drinker, but I had the opportunity recently to try out the new 8th Continent Soy Milk. I have to say that this Soy Milk is much better tasting than other brands I have tried. It must be because the 8th Continent Soymilk is made from United States grown soybeans. It really makes the difference in quality of products when they are made with better ingredients. My daughter really likes the Soy milk, and prefers it over our other brand milk. Maybe I will make a switch to Soy, especially if it seems to be better for her digestive track and immunity system.
About 8th Continent Soymilk
·8th Continent soymilk is made from U.S.-grown soybeans, and is an excellent source of calcium.
·It is the only American Heart Association-certified soymilk with less than 3 grams of fat.
·8th Continent soymilk is available in four different varieties: complete, regular, light, and fat free.
·All 8th Continent soymilks are lactose free, vegan, and Kosher U certified.

8th Continent sent me an art kit to help promote the new art contest going on.
From now until June 12, 2010, kids ages 5 and up can design a sun to possibly be the art displayed on the 8th Continent soy milk carton. Each day kids can enter to win, either online with an interactive drawing tool, or send in their drawings via snail mail. Here are the rules:
“Draw Your Own Sun” Art Contest
·Children five years and older can submit their own sun-inspired artwork at 8thContinent.com
·Entries can also be created online through an interactive drawing tool at 8thContinent.com
·Contest participants can submit one artwork entry per day through 11:59 pm EST on June 12, 2010
·All design submissions will be featured on
8thContinent.com in an online gallery where the public can vote for their favorite work of art.
·The number of public votes in the online gallery will determine 50 contest winners and a panel of judges selected by Stremicks Heritage Food will determine an additional 50 winners
·The 100 winners will each be recognized with $1,000 in art supplies for their school art programs – for a grand total of $100,000!
·Winning designs may also be featured on 8th Continent soymilk cartons beginning this fall!
***ENTER TO WIN***
8th Continent has offered to sponsor a giveaway for an "art kit" to a Sassyfrazz reader. Included in this kit is a pad of drawing paper, crayons, colored pencils, bowls, cereal, coupons and a coupon for a free carton of 8th Continent Soy milk. With this kit you can draw your own inspired sun shine to enter into the contest! This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Contest ends on June 2, 2010. To enter, tell me what your favorite breakfast item is. Also, what kind of dairy/non- dairy product does your family drink?
**For more extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment about what you have for breakfast! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**
I was contacted directly from 8th Continent Soy Milk to review and share information about their products. I received the “Art Kit” for review to facilitate this review. 8th Continent will be giving away the same kit to the winner on this post for a prize.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seventh Generation works great & is SAFER!! (Review & Giveaway)

I am all for replacing harsh chemical cleaners with safe, non-toxic cleaners....that are not only safer for my family, but safer for the environment. Seventh Generation’s products are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, safe and they work fantastic! Leading the “responsible cleaning” charge for the past twenty years, Seventh Generation has tapped into the disinfecting power of the herb thyme, to introduce an EPA registered line of disinfecting sprays and wipes that kill germs naturally! The new line of botanical disinfectant cleaners includes a multi-surface cleaning spray, bathroom cleaning spray and wipes.
Seventh Generation’s disinfectants contain thymol, a component of the herb thyme, and can be used on hard surfaces including counter tops, plastic cutting boards, highchair trays as well as children’s toys. Best of all, they kill over 99.99 percent of germs naturally and are effective against the Influenza A Virus, including H1N1.
Seventh Generation has partnered with eco-lifestyle consultant and author, Alexandra Zissu, whose new book, The Conscious Kitchen, discusses what’s good for your health, what’s good for the planet and what tastes great, to share her tips on maintaining a healthy kitchen. Her tips include:
·Change is Good
Choosing cleaning products without indoor air pollutants like volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, is a simple and effective way to reduce your indoor air pollution. If you’re not prepared to switch everything overnight, start by swapping out the one product you use the most, and moving forward from there.
·Think before you spray
Residues from cleaning products can last on a surface for longer than we we’d like to know and travel to areas that we sometimes don’t intend them to. Don’t contaminate your food by prepping it on a surface that may contain harsh chemical residues - rinse cleaning products from food preparation surfaces carefully or use botanical disinfecting cleaners that do not require a rinse step.
·Home is Where the Clean Is
Your standard cleaners are good for removing soils and dirt from kitchen surfaces, but to tackle germs you need a cleaner that is effective against microbes like bacteria and viruses. Many cleaners contain ingredients that have antimicrobial properties such as vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, but the germ killing power of these is not necessarily guaranteed. To be sure you are killing germs, use an EPA registered disinfectant. Seventh Generation tapped into the disinfecting power of the common garden herb thyme to provide a disinfecting cleaner that kills germs* naturally.
·Make the Old New Again
Think twice about the items that you’re using to clean and dry your kitchen equipment and dishes. Use rags (like old t-shirts and washcloths) instead of paper towels. If you aren’t prepared to kick your paper towel addiction just yet, use only recycled versions that are unbleached or haven’t been whitened with chemicals containing chlorine and see how long you can make a roll last.
·The Writing is on the … Sponge
Be sure to read the fine print on sponges and only purchase those that do not contain antimicrobial pesticides. Remember to store sponges in a dry place and frequently clean them by zapping plastic sponges wet in a microwave for two minutes or boiling sponges for three minutes in water.
·Mom Was Right, Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands with soap and water before and after prepping food, and always before eating. So much of what can be potentially harmful in a kitchen can be reduced by this simple act that doesn’t require any harsh chemicals whatsoever.

I was sent the new disinfectant line from Seventh Generation cleaning products, including a disinfecting multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, wipes and 100% recycled, unbleached paper towels. I love the ease of the multi-surface cleaner! I like that with a few squirts of the cleaner, a quick wipe with the paper towels, and I have a clean surface free of germs. That is something to feel great over! I never really thought of paper towels having bleach in them, and why they have that. Really? Bleach to make them white? Is that necessary? So, when we wipe our face, or our children's face with other brand paper towels, are we essentially putting bleach on their face? Something to think about. I am much happier with the 100% recycled, non-bleached towels from Seventh Generation...even though they are brown.

The bathroom cleaner is great, too. The smell of the Seventh Generation is pleasant, and after using it, my bathroom sparkles. I simply cannot express how great it is knowing the germs are being killed with this cleaner, yet it is non-toxic and safer for the environment! The disinfecting wipes are great for a quick clean up, as well!
I recommend Seventh Generation to you, and I am happy to share this product with you. Seventh Generation has offered to sponsor a generous giveaway for my readers, as well!

****ENTER TO WIN****

You can enter to win the "Disinfection Cleaning Kit," which includes the multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, a roll of unbleached paper towels, wipes, and a cleaning caddy/bag to hold it all! To enter: Comment on this post about something YOU'VE done for the environment this year? (required for initial entry). Contest ends June10th, 2010.
**For more extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment about something you found out on the Seventh Generation's website! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**
I was contacted directly from Seventh Generation to review and share information about their products. I received the “Disinfecting Cleaning Kit” for review to facilitate this review. Seventh Generation will be giving away the same kit to the winner on this post for a prize.

Craziest things happening lately...all about birds....

Last Friday morning, my husband was sitting in our basement working on the computer. He heard a noise and found out that there was something in our wood stove. At first, he thought maybe it was a bat or a bird. He told me about it, and I told him to leave it in there if it was a bat. He said that it sounded more like a bird, and I agreed that we couldn't leave it in there. So, he got the fishing net and carefully (and quickly) opened the door on the stove. He was pretty nervous to open it, because he didn't know what was going to come out at him. After looking in there a minute, he realized that a DUCK was in there! Crazy!!! How in the world did a duck get in our wood stove? How did it get through the small hole through the vent? We were much surprised. He put the net into the stove, got the duck in there, and pulled it out. Well, the duck flew out of the net and headed to the nearest window (which was closed). She was flapping her wings and hitting against the window. Finally, after a few tries, my husband got the duck back in the net and ran for the sliding doors (which we had open). He set the net down, and the duck waddled out and flew away. I am glad that my husband heard her in our stove and got her out. She must have been terrified! We are still just flabbergasted that a duck was in our stove!! CRAZY!!

THEN, this Tuesday, Caleb and Madelyn were outside near the front steps. We had just got home from the Chiropractor, and I ran in the house to start a pot of water to boil. I had the front door open, because the kids were right out front. I got the water on the stove and I went out to check on the kids. Madelyn was standing very still and said, "Momma, look." I looked over at her and saw this:

I can't believe that a bird was on her head! Crazy, Crazy!! Madelyn was a bit nervous, and she laughed a little, then she asked if I could take it off. I picked up a stick and tried to put the stick near the feet so that it would walk onto the stick.
However, that little bird just clung on to her hair even tighter. The little yellow bird had found a new friend. So, I asked Madelyn to wait just a second so I could grab my camera. I knew I had to take advantage of this amazing photo opportunity! I missed taking a picture of the duck in our stove, I wasn't going to miss this!
The little bird held on her hair for quite sometime. I took a few pictures, and got the little bird to get onto the stick.
video

After the bird was on the stick, it held on to that for awhile, too. Cole, my little guy was sitting in his high chair inside the house, and he wanted to come out, so I put the stick on the step. I asked Caleb to hold on the stick so it didn't roll away. When I came out with Cole, Caleb was holding the stick up. I wish I had a picture of that. because it was so neat! I had to take a video of the bird so I had proof that this was an actual live bird!
I don't know if the bird was a baby, or it was just a little stunned from maybe running into something. I do know that it wasn't afraid of me or the kids at all. It was just the craziest thing. It is such a cute bird.

I love this last photo. I was able to snap the photo quick before Cole grabbed it. I didn't want him to hurt the bird. This was the last few moments with the bird before it decided that it was time to move on. How amazing this was. I still wonder what ever made that little yellow bird decide to take perch on my daughter's head. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest (GIVEAWAY!! Retail value: $33)

If you are planning a vacation or a staycation, remember to bring your camera because you might just take that photo that wins you a trip of a lifetime – a National Geographic Expedition for two to the Greek Isles. Did I mention you will also have your image appear in an Energizer Ultimate Lithium ad in National Geographic?
Entry is simple: Visit Energizer.com/lithium and click on Enter Now and follow the directions.
Contest will end on Wednesday, June 30th!

Aspiring photographers can visit nationalgeographic.com/lithium to enter one photo in each of six thematic categories: animals/wildlife, nature, travel, people/cultures, weather and action/energy. Whether you are a digital photography novice, a proud picture-taking mom or a long-time photo enthusiast, all skill levels are encouraged to enter!!
“You don’t have to be an expert or have professional equipment to capture a magnificent shot,” said 20-year National Geographic photographer and contest judge Jim Richardson. “One of last year’s Category Winning photos was shot by a zoo employee on a regular point-and-shoot camera. Great photography is often about being in the right place at the right time and making sure you’re prepared to capture the moment when it happens.”
After the entry period closes, Richardson will review all of the entries and select two finalists in each category. Then, from Aug. 17 through Sept. 15, Americans will be asked to go online and review each of the Category Finalists and vote for their favorite in each category. Once the Category Winners are determined, Richardson will help choose a Grand Prize Winner, to be announced on or about Nov. 4.
The Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest Web site also serves as a valuable resource for photo enthusiasts. Visitors can check out photos and tips from Richardson, enjoy a gallery of past winners as well as view a weekly gallery that will be updated with new submissions. Photo buffs can even participate in a Q&A with Richardson, asking about anything from his 20 years with National Geographic to questions on gear and equipment.
Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries are such an asset to your camera, because they outlast other brand batteries and they have an amazing storage life~ 15 years!!

Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries are the world’s longest-lasting AA and AAA batteries in high-tech devices. They last up to 8x longer* in digital cameras and up to 2x longer* in flash units than Energizer® MAX®, the company’s flagship alkaline brand. The batteries also last longer in portable GPS units, LED flashlights and handheld games.
Along with a storage life of 15 years, Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries are 33 percent lighter than ordinary alkaline batteries and perform well in extreme temperatures from -40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to 60 degrees Celsius), making them ideal for photographers who are on-the-go.
“Energizer sets a world standard for reliability and long-lasting power, so it made perfect sense for us to partner with the world’s premier publication honoring photojournalism,” said Jim Olsen, Vice President of Marketing for Energizer North America. “Both Energizer and National Geographic share the goal of celebrating the work of photographers from all skill levels. We can’t wait to see the incredible submissions the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest receives this year.”


***ENTER TO WIN HERE TOO***
Energizer is sponsoring a giveaway for my readers! You can enter to win two 4-packs of AA and one 4-pack of AAA Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries ($33 value)!

To enter, tell me about a photo you took recently and it was super! This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. This contest will end on June 2, 2010.
**For more extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment about Energizer's products or National Geographic! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**
I was contacted by Energizer to post this information on the photo contest. They sent me free product in return for a review and promotion. I was also able to host a giveaway for my readers, sponsored from Energizer. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

New Release DVD's from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment! May 18th!!

Lionsgate and Hit Entertainment just came out with two new DVD's today! My kids really enjoy these shows, and I am happy to share them with you. It can be a challenge to find good shows for our kids to watch.

"Being A Friend"
Being a friend is more than just knowing people, but it is more about responsibility and how rewarding it is to have friends & be a friend. Join in the fun with some of the gang: Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, and Thomas & Friends as they enter a series of delightful adventures just released today on DVD from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. $14.95 SRP (available in stores or online)
DVD SYNOPSIS
Thomas' friend Emily learns that being kind is more important than appearances, Bob the Builder helps Lofty accept help to save the Banana Tree for the new Botanical Garden, Barney and his friends make a new friend feel welcome when she moves into the neighborhood and no friend will be left behind with Fireman Sam, in Being A Friend. Join the whole crew and find out what it means to be forever friends with these four episodes:
Thomas & Friends - "Emily and the Garbage"
Bob the Builder - "Lofty's Banana Tree"
Barney - "Making A Move"
Fireman Sam - "Norm's Invisible Friend"
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
Bonus Episode: All new CGI Angelina Ballerina - "Angelina's Dance Partner" - Angelina finds a creative way to work with a new dance partner.

This DVD is geared toward ages 2-5 years old.
Feature Running Time: 59 minutes



"Barney: Let's Play Outside" -perfect for this time of year!
It's a super dee-duper day in the sun playing ball, skipping rope, going on a camp out and just enjoying the warm weather when
Barney™: Let's Play Outside springs onto DVD May 18, 2010 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. Featuring never-before-seen content and fun adventures, this fully-loaded DVD will bring smiles to little faces everywhere and encourage young kids to go play outside.
Trusted by moms and adored by children, Barney displays sharing, caring, imagining, dancing and learning on television, online and through live events, home entertainment and publishing. The Emmy award-winning series, Barney & Friends is one of the top-rated preschool shows today, airing on PBS KIDS® and PBS KIDS SproutSM.
DVD SYNOPSIS
Join everyone's favorite purple dinosaur and his playground friends as they branch out under the sun and stars to fill each day with outdoor fun adventures in Barney: Let's Play Outside. Whether it's imagining shapes in the clouds, eating ice cream, fishing, singing songs around a campfire or catching lightning bugs, Barney, Baby Bop, BJ and the rest of the gang celebrate the warm weather and let their imaginations soar!
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
Which Bug Lives Here? Matching Game
This DVD is geared toward ages 1-5 years old.
Feature Running Time: 54 minutes
$14.98 SRP (you can purchase this in stores now, or online)

Check out all the other Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment DVD's!

I received these two DVD's for reviewing purposes from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. I was not compensated for my time or written review. They have provided me with the DVD's and information to share with my readers.

Wild Creations: EcoAquarium Review & Giveaway!!

My kids love frogs, toads, salamanders, and other similar creatures. They love finding them outside in the summertime, capturing them, playing with them a few days...until I make them let them go. However, I have never heard of frogs being shipped in the mail to your home, setting up and aquarium, and keeping them! Wild Creations is a great resource for purchasing some pet frogs! We got an EcoAquarium to review from Wild Creations...and it was WILD!! I am still amazed that the frogs traveled via FedEx, were happy and alive upon arrival! I set the bag of dwarf frogs in a bowl of room temperature water so they could adjust to the water temperature before putting them in their new home (the Classic EcoAquarium).

While the frogs were adjusting to the water, I set up the EcoAquarium. Everything that I needed for my new aquarium came in the shipment from Wild Creations, except the Spring water which only costs me .80 at Walmart. I put on my glove, and first rinsed out the aquarium with Spring water. I opened the bag of brown living gravel and poured that over the bottom of the tank. The "Living Gravel"acts as the natural filtration system for the aquarium, it does not need to be cleaned. That is so amazing to me, and I like how easy that makes this pet home!
I opened the bag of blue decorative gravel, rinsed it with Spring water, and poured that over the living gravel. I think the aquatic plant is neat! The plant needed good rinsing and I put it in the corner of the tank. The plant needed to be put in the gravel to the bottom of the tank. Then, I filled up the tank with Spring water until it was about an inch from the top.
I got the bag opened for the frogs, and used the included net to get them out. The first frog got in the water, but the second one leaped out of the net. I quickly picked him up with my gloved hand and put him in the tank. After the two dwarf frogs were put in their new home, they appeared very happy and active. The top of the tank has one small hole in it for the deposit of food.
These dwarf frogs eat only two pellets of food each, and only eat two times a week. So, these little pets are very easy to care for, and the food lasts a year! The EcoAquarium is very easy to care for. The cleaning only has to be done every five or six months, and you use Spring water. I like that the EcoAquarium doesn't use or need any chemicals, filters or aeration. It is a great pet for kids, easy to assemble, easy to care for and not expensive. My kids love watching the little frogs and we have had lots of giggles over the comical frogs. I think this is a great educational project, too. If you are a home schooling family, this is a great pet to check out and learn about. The Wild Creations website also offers educational materials you can use with your kits. Great ideas!
I think it is great that Wild Creations sell the EcoAquariums and ship live frogs. The shipping is two days, and you must be home to sign for your new pets. My kids were so excited to meet the new little frogs. I give this company two thumbs up, and highly recommend them!

***ENTER TO WIN***
You can enter to win the Classic EcoAquarium Starter kit (the one I reviewed). This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. This contest will end on June 2, 2010. For a entry in the giveaway, go to the Wild Creations website and find out the name of one of the new products that Wild Creations is introducing later in 2010 (over 40 products). You can find the products in the online PDF catalog. Comment here about what you found. For extra entry opportunities, become a fan of Wild Creations on Facebook (a great place to ask questions and get quick & personalized answers if you have any issues or questions about the frogs). You can also subscribe to their YouTube feed -catch videos of their new exciting products as they are introduced this year. Plus, you can subscribe to Wild Creations frog blog.
I received a special discount code to offer you, so you can buy your own EcoAquarium from Wild Creations, it expires July 31. Just order the Jewel Starter Kit style (retail price $39.99) and enter "BLOGGER" (case sensitive, must be all caps!) at checkout to receive $10 off!

**For more extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment about Wild Creations and their awesome products! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

I was contacted by Wild Creations to do a product review of their Classic EcoAquarium. They sent me free product in return for a review and promotion. I was also able to host a giveaway for my readers, sponsored from Wild Creation. I was not compensated for my time or written review.