Monday, April 28, 2008

That Baby DVD & CD Giveaway and Discount

I am going to admit something here that I can't believe I'm going to admit. I am in love with a DVD for babies. Seriously. I want to sit down and watch it all by myself. Which I did when I first reviewed it. But then I had to keep making sure my youngest was watching it with me on subsequent viewings so I didn't look silly.

I am telling you...If you've had a stressful day, just pop in That Baby DVD and watch "Happiness Runs/Circle Game" and you'll find yourself relaxing really fast. The song is so soothing, but when you add in the amazing's just like one of my best meditation cd's. And it's for babies, people!

Well, I did feel better when I saw this on the website, though:

"This isn’t baby music. It’s music the whole family will enjoy – including babies."

Okay, so maybe I'm not so crazy. :) They couldn't be more right. No more annoying Barney music as you drive in your van. This is music you will love to listen to, and watch, along with your kids.

The graphics reflect the latest 60's style that's so trendy now. Lots of pretty pinks, yellows and browns and "groovy" illustrations. I kept thinking that the creators should also be in the blog design business.

The vocals are even better. I'm also hoping that they make a cd for grownups because I would totally buy it. Their vocal style is the type I love listening to (it's like something out of Lileth Fair...except when the men sing of course, lol. But they're just as good!)

There's also a "That Baby CD" which has all of the songs that are on the DVD, plus three extras. Perfect for driving in the van, or for my youngest to play in her karaoke machine (she plays regular cd's in it and sings along).

And you will love the song choices. Look at their description of the song "Sunday Sun" written by Neil Diamond:

"There are two types of people in this world. Those that grasp just how cool Neil Diamond is and those who don't."

So very true! And I will sheepishly admit that while I've never been a big Neil Diamond fan, I am a HUGE fan of how the creators of "That Baby" have done his song. There's also "Pony Boy" written by Bruce Springstein, "Brass in Pocket" written by Chrissie Hynde, "These Are Days" by Natalie Merchant, and so many more. See how easily an adult could fall in love with this?

The DVD not only has graphic-themed videos, but there are also puppets, real life children playing guitar and dancing (they are so cute it will melt your heart), and cartoons just to name a few.

One of the best parts of the DVD/CD is how it was created. It's a "mom and pop" operation, created by two parents and their children. Who better to know what kids will love best?

Want to try it out yourself? Enter the coupon code "MotherTalk" when purchasing and save 20% on your entire order! From now until May 18th, all orders using the coupon code "MotherTalk" will be entered in a drawing to win a new iPod nano. Just click here to order.

I am also giving away one copy of "That Baby CD" to one lucky reader here! Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered (U.S. and Candian residents only, please). Deadline to enter is 11:59, Monday, May 5. Winner will be selected at random using and announced on May 6. Good luck!

Contest Winners

Thanks again to all who come here from the Bloggy Giveaways! Here are the final two winners:

~Congratulations to Ginny from Mom of Two Dancers! She has won a 4 oz. bottle of Lice MD. (Hopefully she won't ever need it though!)

~Congratulations to Not Trying for a Boy who has won a copy of Mama Rock's Rules by Rose Rock with Valerie Graham.

If you didn't win, no worries! There are always new giveaways going on here (keep an eye out for one today). You can enter your email address in the little subscribe box in my sidebar to receive email updates so that you never miss a giveaway (all information is kept private).

Thanks again and good luck in the upcoming giveaways!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No-Slip Hair clips Winner

Congratulations to Heather from Cool Zebras! She has won two sets of no-slip, hair clips from my boutique Wishes and Wonders.

I'm offering free shipping on any orders placed in my boutique for anyone who reads this from now until May 11. Just mention "So a Blonde Walks Into a Review offer" in the "message to seller" section when checking out and I will refund your shipping to you after your purchase.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and entered! I have SO many contests planned (Littlest Pet Shop, dinner for 4, DVD's, CD's, books and lots more) so keep an eye out. You can subscribe using the little box in my sidebar so you don't miss out on any of the great giveaways. Good luck! :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Cure for Modern Life Winner

Congratulations to Belinda from The Bird Cage! She has won a hardcover copy of The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker.

If you didn't win, don't worry! There are lots of giveaways going on right now, and lots more coming up. Here are the current contests going on:

~Set of two no-slip hair clips from my boutique Wishes and Wonders. Click here to enter. Ends at 11:59 on April 26.

~Copy of Mama Rock's Rules by Rose Rock. Click here to enter. Ends at 11:59 on April 27. (note new deadline)

~4 oz. bottle of Lice MD (no we've never actually had lice here so no worries on entering the hair clip contest, lol). Click here to enter. Ends at 11:59 on April 27 (note new deadline).

Keep an eye out for lots of fabulous, upcoming contests. Happy entering!

Monday, April 21, 2008

No-Slip Hair Clip Giveaway

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

It's time for another Bloggy Carnival! Yay!! These are always so much fun. Welcome all new readers that are here via the carnival. Pull up a comfy chair and make yourself at home. There are always lots of fun contests going on here, so be sure to subscribe via the link in my sidebar so you don't miss out on any of them (I'll link to my other contests at the bottom of this post). Click here to see the other aweseome participants in the Bloggy Carnival. There's tons of stuff to win!

Now on to the current giveaway. This one is close to my heart as it comes from my own boutique, Wishes and Wonders. You can peruse the widget in my sidebar to see a bit of what I offer there, or click here to see the full selection of items.

I am giving away TWO sets of no-slip, hair clips (shipping included) like these:

To enter, simply visit Wishes and Wonders to decide which two clip sets you'd like to win. Then, leave a comment here letting me know your favorites. Deadline to enter is 11:59 EST on April 26. I'll select a winner at random using on April 27 and the winner will be announced here and contacted via email that day.

Here are the other current contests going on here all ending at 11:59 on April 27 (note new deadline). All you need to do is comment on each one to be entered in that particular contest:

~Copy of Mama Rock's Rules by Rose Rock. Click here to enter.

~4 oz. bottle of Lice MD. Click here to enter.

There are plenty more contests to come so keep an eye out!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lice MD - Review and Giveaway

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Update: Please note the new deadline of April 27 for this contest. I'm bumping up the date so that I can feature this contest in the very awesome Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! Click here to enter all of the other fabulous giveaways going on there. Good luck!

Lice. Just that one word can elicit fear and dread in any parent.

I clearly remember last summer when a neighbor called to inform me that one of the girls our daughters play with outside had contracted lice. I was filled with worry, but fortunately my children escaped it.

I also remember as a child, when the two boys next door to me came down with lice. Their mother searched my head for any signs of the bugs, then offered to cut my hair extremely short "just in case." My grandmother, thankfully, put any such ideas quickly to rest! And I was lucky again to have not contracted the dreaded lice.

Should your children, or mine, ever contract lice, however, there is a product they can turn to for help that is non-toxic, free of dyes, perfumes and harsh chemicals and pesticide-free. Lice MD is pediatrician-tested and clinically proven to get rid of lice, their eggs and nits, while avoiding the use of dangerous pesticides such as lindane, a pesticide that was banned for agricultural use in 2006 by the FDA.

Some lice products still use lindane, which makes you wonder why any company would make a product that requires parents to fill their child's hair with a banned pesticide.

Aside from being pesticide-free, Lice MD is odorless and contains a conditioning agent. Thus, combing out your child's hair is less stressful and less painful than with other products.

I have one 4 oz. treatment (enough for long hair) of Lice MD to give away to one reader. You never know when you might need it! (but I'm hoping you don't) Simply leave a comment here by 11:59, April 27. Winner will be selected at random using and announced on April 28. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bring Out Your Inner Dancing Queen!

Great news, Mamma Mia! fans! Coming to theaters this summer is the big-screen remake of the famous and oh-so-enjoyable Mamma Mia!, starring Meryl Streep.

Ponds has teamed up with the makers of Mamma Mia! to help you play a part in all the fun. All you need are two friends, a video camera, and your voice!

Women 40 and older are invited to band together to form a singing trio and sing their favorite songs from the movie such as "Mamma Mia" or "Dancing Queen." Simply record your performance and submit it via the Pond's website. You'll also be able to find music and lyrics to download and rehearse to at the site.

Ponds is looking for "the trio of women who best embody the sassiness, sexiness and confidence of Donna & the Dynamos from the movie, MAMMA MIA!" Winners will receive a luxurious trip to London to live the life of those Dynamos at the world premiere of Mamma Mia!

Ponds believes every woman has a dynamo in them. Prove them right and submit your video today! Full details can be found on the Ponds website. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mama Rock's Rules - Review and Giveaway

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Update: Please note the new deadline of April 27 for this contest. I'm bumping up the date so that I can feature this contest in the very awesome Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! Click here to enter all of the other fabulous giveaways going on there. Good luck!

As a parent of three, I've been learning and growing along with my children for over 18 years. And you know what? "You learn something new everyday" is quite true, even after all this time.

Imagine if you were able to get sage advice and tips from a mother who has successfully raised 27 children? If you're like me, you'd jump on the chance to do so.

You'll have the opportunity to do just that when you read Mama Rock's Rules: Ten Lessons for Raising a Household of Successful Children (Harper Collins) by Rose Rock with Valerie Graham. Rose Rock is the mother of comedian Chris Rock, and has raised ten children as well as 17 foster children.

Anyone who can do that...and do it successfully, has my full attention! The book is full of wonderful words of wisdom, and I like that Mama Rock is very "old school." She tells it like it is and believes in setting rules and limitations for children. She believes that parents should be parents and not friends with their children (Amen to that!)

To bring home the points she makes in each section, she offers "Mama's Mojo" which is a short but sweet summary of some of her rules. Her children also offer their point of view in quotes in the sidebars of the book.

The celebrity lover in me enjoyed getting a glimpse into the childhood of Chris Rock. Mama Rock tells so many funny/charming stories that you feel like you're right there in their household, trying to cover up the broken gumball machine right along with them (one broken piece at a time carried out of the house under coats, lol).

My favorite piece of advice was how Mama Rock got her children to admit to doing something wrong. She advises parents to never ask a "yes" or "no" question. Don't ask your children if they broke a vase. The answer will always be no.

Instead, sit them down, make them comfortable with something like a delicious bowl of ice cream and then make them believe that you already know more than you do (don't you just love her already?). Then ask them something like, "When you did this (broke the lamp or piece of china), were you bouncing a ball or did you throw it around the room with someone else?"

I am so going to use that from now on with my kids! In fact, I clearly remember using this on a boyfriend of mine who I suspected was cheating on me in middle school. He'd gone to a skating rink on a Friday night and when he got back I said, "I heard you were skating with that girl."

Of course, I'd heard no such thing, but it worked. He apologized profusely and I quickly dumped him. Why didn't I ever think to use that tactic with my kids? Thanks, Mama Rock for reminding me that a little manipulation can go a long way in bringing out the truth!

I don't agree with all of the rules in the book (for example, I don't believe in handing my children a condom and so far my approach has worked as my oldest is heading off to college as a virgin and plans to save herself for marriage), but I think most parents would be hard-pressed to completely agree with all the rules another parent has for their kids.

But I do agree with most of the rules, and I think you will too.

Want to find out if you do? I am giving away my review copy of Mama Rock's Rules to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment here to be entered. Deadline to enter is at 11:59 p.m, April 27. Winner will be selected at random using and announced on April 28. Good luck!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dare to Wear White....and receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

I think this is probably the first review opportunity I've had that made my jaw drop. Not because of the subject matter, although it might be considered taboo to some (but REALLY needs to be talked about among women).

No, the reason for my shock was that I had just had the procedure that is being reviewed done myself less than a year ago. The procedure is called the NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation System and is done on women who are finished having children to stop heavy periods.

According to the National Women's Health Resource Center, 1 in 5 women experience heavy periods. That equates into 10 million women in the U.S. alone.

Take a look at these results from a recent Mom Central survey of more than 1,300 women who indicated they have heavy periods:
  • 75% of women reported that their heavy periods negatively impact their quality of life by disrupting their family and social life, regular activities, and moods.
  • Almost 60% said that their periods negatively affect their sexual relationships.
  • More than 50% of women with heavy periods said that they dread leaving the house on their worst days.

I can certainly relate to all of the above. Because I have endometriosis, I have always suffered from heavy periods. But in the last couple of years, it had become unbearable.

I'll forewarn you. I'm going to be brutally honest and graphic here. I believe this needs to be discussed and I believe that women who are suffering as I did need to hear this and know that there is hope.

My periods were so heavy that I was becoming extremely weak each month. I could not wear tampons, as they could not contain the blood flow. I would wear two overnight pads that I would have to change every couple of hours.

Many times, however, I would bleed so heavily that no amount of coverage would help. I clearly remember one evening having just put on two overnights and driving five minutes from my home to pick up dinner at a McDonald's drive-through. I was home within ten to fifteen minutes, but in just that short amount of time, I had bled so heavily that the seat of my van was covered.

At other times, if I would try to use the bathroom, the mere act of pulling my pants down (and thus not having any coverage for a brief moment) would result in blood and large clots escaping down my legs.

I would have to sleep with towels underneath me at night to protect my mattress. I dreaded leaving the house, going to the pool (that was out of the question actually), exercise, etc. at that time of the month. And I would never Dare to Wear White.

My doctor informed me of a procedure that is quick, minimally invasive, and hormone-free and that would finally rid me of this horrible problem. You must be done with childbearing, and that part was hard for me to accept. But I knew my husband did not want anymore children, so I went ahead with the the NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation System.

Despite the large percentage of women who suffer from heavy periods, Mom Central's survey revealed that only 14% of women know about this treatment option. To me, that is very sad!

With the Novasure ablation, there are no hormones. No hysterectomy. Just a one-time, minimally invasive procedure that takes less than five minutes to complete. It can be performed in a doctor's office, or under general anesthesia (I had mine done under anesthesia along with a few other procedures for my endometriosis).

As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects that should be discussed with your physician.

Take a look at these official results, courtesy of Mom Central:

"Clinical trial results show that more than 9 out of 10 women who have had the NovaSure procedure returned to normal or lower than normal levels of bleeding, and about 40% had no periods at all. In addition, 93% of women treated with the NovaSure procedure were satisfied with their results, and 97% said they would recommend it to a friend.

For me, it was the best thing I could have ever done for my body. My periods are almost non-existent now. I barely spot and haven't needed anything heavier than a pantyliner (and sometimes not even that). I can now go to the pool, sleep normally, not feel like I'm wearing a diaper every month.

And? I can now Dare to Wear White. is "a place where women can share experiences and feelings about this very private subject and learn more about treatment options so they can actively seek help."

If you suffer from heavy periods, be sure to check out Dare to Wear White, a valuable resource and place of support. Ask questions, share your story, and/or request a brochure from the site.

There is also a short, easy survey where you can share your experiences and offer your feedback. The first 250 eligible women (i.e. those who have heavy periods and are finished having children) who complete the survey will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate as a thank you for their participation.

Don't let heavy periods control your life anymore. Here's to all women being able to wear white!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Contest Winners

Time to announce LOTS of winners! Without further delay, they are:

~Winner of the Baby Jamz Microphone is.....Tara from Tara's View of the World.

~The three winners of the Horizon Organic Milk contest are: Marilyn from Yummy Things & Cupcake Dreams, dolls123, and ChristyJan.

Congratulations, winners! Thanks for entering!

And if you didn't win, no worries! There are lots of contests coming up and one you can enter right now.

Click here to win a hardcover copy of The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker. Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Road Map To Holland

As I sit here, I am trying to find the right words to adequately express how much this book meant to me. And I realize there are none. None that are powerful enough anyway.

I have always had a special place in my heart for children with Down syndrome. So when I was offered the opportunity to review the memoir Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Syndrome by Jennifer Graf Groneberg, I immediately accepted.

Little did I know just how important this book would become to me and my family. Shortly after I began reading it, we found out that my sister-in-law, who is pregnant with my first niece or nephew, was told that initial tests showed she was at increased risk of having a baby with Down syndrome. My mother-in-law informed us that abortion was being considered.

I felt so helpless and I wanted to shout to the rooftops about how wonderful children with Down syndrome are. How this was not a death sentence, if the tests were even correct, which many times they are not. I wanted to share how what may seem like a burden can actually be the biggest blessing in your life.

I wanted to give my sister-in-law a "road map to Holland."

In fact, I wish every single woman who is faced with this possible diagnosis be given this book to read. It is honest, gripping, and raw, and a testimony to the boundless love a mother can have for her child.

The title comes from the idea that having a baby with Down syndrome is a bit like having planned a trip to Italy, but being detoured to Holland. You've made all of these plans to tour the beautiful hillsides of Tuscany and everything is all mapped out.

When your plane finally lands, the stewardess announces, "Welcome to Holland." At first you are confused, afraid, bewildered. You know nothing about Holland. You have no idea how to get around, where to go, what to do.

But Holland is beautiful too. You just need to get a new road map, change your plans and enjoy all that this new place has to offer you.

The pain of not being able to realize your dreams of going to Italy, especially as everyone around you talks about how wonderful their trips to the country were, will never fully go away. But, as Groneberg says, if you spend your time dwelling on that pain, you'll never be able to fully enjoy "the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland."

What I loved most about Groneberg, is that she makes it clear in this book that she is no out-of-the-ordinary superhero. She is just like you and me. She has fears, worries and insecurities just like the rest of us. And she shows that all it takes to raise a child with Down syndrome is love. That's the only quality you will need to possess. Love alone will give you courage and determination and anything else that may be required of you.

There was one part of the book that made me really identify with Groneberg. It's what made me see, more than anything, that she is just like any other mother. She talked about watching the Tour de France and how cyclists have support vans that move along with them as they race. She says:
"I need a support van. A mother's support van following alongside me wherever I go, full of helpful people popping out whenever they are needed. Want a nap? Here we are. Need to use the toilet? Take your time. Shower? No problem. How about a paper cup of Gatorade and a splash of cool water on the face?"

Oh my gosh! What mother wouldn't LOVE to have such a thing? I was nodding my head vigorously and dreaming of how much easier life would be with a support van.

But you know what? I'm not sure if Groneberg realizes this or not, but in a way, she has not only created a road map for parents facing a Down syndrome diagnosis. Her book is also that support van.

Feeling lost? Scared? Confused? Afraid of what the future holds? There's a support van waiting to help you, and it's found in Road Map to Holland.

My sister-in-law, as it turns out, was never really considering abortion (we found out that that idea came more from my mother-in-law). She has decided to not find out the results of her follow-up tests and accept whatever God gives to her.

If that is a baby with Down syndrome, I will be there with open arms. And I will have a road map and support van all ready for her.
~Read the backstory on Road Map to Holland, including the amazing moment captured on the book's cover, by clicking here.

~Be sure to check out the author's blog, as well as her columns in and Literary Mama.

~Purchase your own copy of this amazing book here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Cure for Modern Life Giveaway

What do you get when you mix a morally-challenged pharmaceutical rep, a naive yet good-hearted social activist, a research scientist caught in the middle of the former two, a homeless little boy and his sister and their drug addicted mother?

You get a cast of characters that make for an interesting plot and a gripping, modern-day novel. The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker is all about "what it means to be a good person" and "doing the right thing."

Matthew, the pharmaceutical rep, is one of those characters you love to hate, but can't help but love at the same time. Tucker paints him with a certain, underlying vulnerability that makes you believe that deep down, he uses his tough-guy persona to hide his emotional vulnerability and pain.

Amelia (the activist) sees both sides while Ben only sees the good in Matthew. What will this complex man do when presented with a little boy and his sister who need a home and a mother who needs drug rehabilitation? That is the crux of the plot, and it is what brings out the true nature in each of the characters.

This is going on my "books I couldn't put down" list. I was captivated by each of the characters and looked forward to finding out where each of them would end up.

But don't just take my word for it. Check out the reviews by and Publisher's Weekly.

You can also see if Tucker will be touring in your area by clicking here.

Now you have a chance to win a hardback copy of The Cure for Modern Life. Simply leave a comment here to be entered (U.S. and Candian residents only, please). Deadline to enter is Tuesday, April 22, 11:59 EST. Winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 23. Good luck!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Healthy Child, Healthy World

Note: Thank you for your patience as I've had to take a bit of a hiatus from posting regular reviews and contests. There are still two contests you can enter. Click here and here for more information and to enter. New contests will be posted very soon. Thanks for reading!

As a mom of three, I know all about worry. You worry about the foods your children eat, the air they breathe, the environment in which they live. Most of all, you worry that your children will grow up happy and healthy.

I was blown away by the information I read in Healthy Child, Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan, and how many things I did not realize had an adverse affect on my children's health.

Something as simple as a basic household cleaner can contain chemicals that irritate the respiratory system, are carcinogenic, disrupt hormones, and are neurotoxic. Studies show that using typical cleaners is associated with chronic wheezing and asthma in children (all of my children have asthma, so this was particularly concerning to me). Manufacturers are not required to post these warnings on labels.

Think your child is healthy because he/she eats lots of fruits and vegetables? So did I. But if those fruits and vegetables are not organic, the more they eat, the more harmful pesticides they may be ingesting.

Fish and seafood can also be problematic, as they often contain high levels of both mercury and PCB's, which are linked to memory and thyroid problems, and possibly cancer. Did you know that it can take about ten years for your body to rid itself of the chemicals in half of one night's dinner?

Even plastic toys, water bottles, shower curtains, etc. can be hazardous. Plastics (mainly those with a #3 recycling label) contain Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which is made from flammable glass vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. Our family goes through a ton of water bottles, something I'm going to work on changing.

The good thing about this book is that it gives you answers and solutions along with the warnings and information. You'll feel empowered rather than scared. There are easy-to-follow steps and the book encourages you to go slowly so as not to feel overwhelmed.

For example, cutting out cleaning products that contain scents is one step toward reducing respiratory irritation. Easy enough, right? There are also tons of cleaning tips and recipes for homemade, organic cleaning solutions.

The book also contains advice from celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Kate Hudson and Erin Brockovich, and the foreword is by Meryl Streep.

Click here to check out Healthy Child, Healthy World's website, and here to purchase the book. Here's to being healthy!
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