Monday, November 30, 2009

Spa Day at Home

There's nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh mani/pedi and I'll never forget the day I shared the experience for the first time with my little girl at the mall (and neither will she!). But in this tight economy, we can't always treat ourselves to such luxuries.

That's why I was SO excited to receive the Magnificent Manicure Kit from Team Mom for review. Natalie had I had a blast using the kit to do a homemade mani/pedi and the best part is that the kit is also educational.

There is a pamphlet that contains science questions about "cosmetic chemistry" for your child to ponder while they make their various creations. For example, when making a "crystal mud bath," kids can learn about absorbency, moisture and solids vs. liquids.

My daughter had the most fun creating her own scented lotion. Included in the kit is a label for the lotion with a space for your child to write the name of their creation. Natalie named hers "La France." :)

As of this writing, the kit is on sale for $15.95 at Having been given Creative Child Magazine’s 2009 Toy of the Year Award, the kit makes a perfect holiday gift!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Sunday, November 22, 2009

K'NEX 400 Piece Tub - Review

My kids were fortunate enough to receive the brand new K'NEX 400 Pieces Tub for review from Team Mom recently, and they have been having so much fun creating with it! The K'NEX 400 Pieces Tub is a flexible building system that lets kids explore and build both 2-D and 3-D models.

Made for ages 7 and up, my 9-year-old found it easier to make the 2-D designs while my 13-year-old son tried the more intricate 3-D ideas. There are 20 different models with step-by-step instructions pictured for your child to try, or they can venture into their imagination and create an original work of art. The possibilities are endless, so this is a toy they can use over and over again, unlike others they may get bored with after just a few uses.

K'NEX works with other brands like Lego so if you already have other systems you can integrate them for expanded play. And kids can make their creations move (ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds that spin, wheels for cars, propellers for airplanes, etc.), so there is plenty of after-building play.

The best part is that all the pieces can be thrown back into the tub for storage once kids are done playing so there's no mess (which helps tremendously when you have a dog in the house who likes to sneak away with toy parts).

The K'NEX 400 Piece Tub retails for $20.99 and is available at Target, WalMart and Toys "R" Us.

Right now, you can win $1,000 worth of K'NEX building sets for your child via K'NEX's "Make a K'NEXion" video contest. Details can be found on, (bottom, right corner).

Happy building!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

iTunes Gift Card Winner

Congratulations to JulieMoe! Her name was selected at random as the winner of the Holiday Inn BudJetSetter iTunes giftcard giveaway.

Thanks to all who entered and to Holiday Inn and Weber Shandwick for sponsoring this fun contest!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Your Voice Needed to Save Animals

IMPORTANT UPDATE/CORRECTION! I just received word from Kendra that Casey was actually rescued 5 minutes before he was to be put down!!!!!! (she had not been aware of this until just now) I cannot express enough to you how much joy this brings me!! But please remember the other dogs out there that aren't as fortunate as Casey when you read this post and please speak up for them. Thank you!

A few weeks ago, I found out about a sweet dog by the name of Casey who was in need of being rescued:

Lukas and Kendra Jade Rossi had been working hard to get the word out about Casey (Kendra made the video above for him), and many others joined in, including myself. Pleas were made via Twitter, Facebook and other networks, and the Rossis even offered to cover Casey's adoption costs.

Unfortunately, no one came forward and Casey was put down (see update/correction above...Casey was actually rescued 5 minutes before being put down). I was so devastated that I vowed to do whatever I could to help keep this from happening to other dogs like him. No animal that happy, young and loving should have to be put down. It shouldn't have to happen to any animal...period.

Kendra and Lukas run a wonderful group called Rock Star Rescue and have gone above and beyond in trying to save these precious animals.

If that photo above cuts to your heart as much as it does mine, there is something you can do. Right now, there is a critical protest being planned for Saturday, November 21 in Los Angeles to demand a progressive, no-kill general manager for the city. The picket is being organized by Animal Defense League-Los Angeles, but you do NOT need to be a member to join in.

Here is what Kendra wanted to share with all of you about this important mission:
"The general manager of LA Services has big shoes to fill after Ed Boks, who created new relationships with the rescue organizations of Los Angeles. The new manager of LA Animal Services needs to maintain and improve those relationships in order to truly create a no-kill LA.

The city can't do it alone and should utilize those of us that are willing and able to help.

Thousands of happy, beautiful, healthy dogs and cats and even moms and babies die unneccesarily every week in the Los Angeles shelters every month because of lack of cooperation and education.

I believe that every living animal should have the right to live. And if we do not take care of them, and fight for them, who will?

We have a voice, we need to make it heard."

I couldn't agree more. If you'd like to make YOUR voice heard, visit (second post down), and/or email for more information. Be sure to visit Rock Star Rescue as well for other ways you can help if you're not in the Los Angeles area.

Note: Originally published at So a Blonde Walks Into a Blog.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Friday, November 13, 2009

"No Regrets" Winner

Congratulations to Nancye! Her name was selected at random as the winner of the "No Regrets" giveaway.

Thanks to all who entered and thank you to Sarah Ivens for not only sponsoring this fabulous giveaway, but for doing the interview for the contest as well.

You can purchase a copy of "No Regrets" here. Stay tuned for more contests to come!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Monday, November 2, 2009

Win an iTunes Gift Card Courtesy of Holiday Inn

With the holidays fast approaching, I know many of you are getting your travel plans set in place. Whenever we travel to visit my family in Virginia Beach, we always stay at Holiday Inn on the oceanfront.

Not only are they family-friendly and affordable, but Holiday Inn offers a wonderful rewards program where we've earned points toward free stays from our previous visits. And now, Holiday Inn is encouraging people to take a new approach to travel by being a BudJetSetter (say it really took me a minute to get the double-meaning, lol).

Holiday Inn doesn't want a few miles to stand in the way of enjoying the holidays with your family. Here are some fabulous ideas on how you can be a BudJetSetter and get the most out of your holiday travel experience:

Girls Great Escape: You love your father and brother-in-law and all, but sitting on the couch for 10 straight hours watching football isn’t exactly the type of holiday cheer you’re looking for. Take a much needed break from the holiday hoopla and book a room at a relaunched Holiday Inn instead. Not only will you be able to come and go as you please, you’ll relish in the privacy of snuggling up in Holiday Inn’s new, crisp bedding with “soft” or “firm” pillows to choose from while you watch a girly holiday flick. Other BudJetsetter tips:
  • Treat yourself to some fabulous art – for free! Scout out local museums in the area for a dose of culture. The originals may be out of your price range, but grab a poster in the gift shop as a treat.
  • De-stress from the holiday madness by creating your own in-hotel spa. Give yourself a mini facial by washing and exfoliating in a steamed bathroom. Replenish and revitalize hair using Holiday Inn’s new coconut verbena shampoo & conditioner from Bath & Body Works. Then for an extra touch use lavender oil on your temples or, use a lavender face mask while you catch some zzz’s.

Guys, Listen Up!: While you may want to give the woman in your life a little bling, we understand that budgets are tight. But you can still tug at her heart strings by whisking her away for a romantic holiday weekend that won’t break the bank. In fact, you don’t even have to go far.

Relaunched Holiday Inn properties are conveniently located all over the country from metropolitan cities to small towns off the beaten path – Book a room for a night or a weekend, grab some Prosecco and let the relaxation begin! Hint for Dads: getting mom away for a night like this may be exactly what’s on the top of her wish list! Other BudJetsetter tip:
  • Research local concerts, fairs or skating parks that might require a minimal entrance fee and make it a date night.

Travel Gurus, rejoice: You know that you can find Holiday Inn around the world, right? Give yourself or a friend the gift of adventure and hit up a hip or exotic destination this season instead. For some inspiration, here a few destinations to choose from below. All you have to do is decide where to go, cash in some airline miles for the flight, and your budget will be sure to thank you!
  • Nairobi, Kenya for about $215/night
  • Lisbon, Portugal for about $107/night
  • Papau New Guinea for about $224/night
  • Christchurch, New Zealand for about $132/night

To help you enjoy your BudJetSetter journey, Holiday Inn, in partnership with Weber Shandwick, is offering two lucky readers of So a Blonde Walks Into a Review a $10 gift card to iTunes (one $10 card per winner). Perfect for creating your favorite mix of music for a holiday road trip!

To enter, simply leave your best travel tip in a comment on this post. Be sure that there is an email address for you that I can find, or your entry will have to be disqualified. By entering, you automatically agree to all the rules and disclaimers listed here. Please also see my disclosure policy here.

You can receive additional entries by doing one or all of the following (one entry for each step):

~Twitter with a link to this post. Then leave a separate comment here with your Twitter link.

~Blog about this contest with a link to this post. Then leave a separate comment here with the link to your post.

~Follow this blog. Simply click on "Follow this blog" found near the top of the sidebar to the right (under "The Blonde"). Then, leave a separate comment letting me know you are following.

~Post the button below on your blog and then leave a separate comment here letting me know it's posted and where. Here's the code for the button:

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

~Add So a Blonde Walks Into a Review to your Technorati Favorites (just click the button below and follow the simple steps). Then, leave a separate comment here letting me know you've added this blog to your favorites:

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Deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, November 16, 2009. Winner will be selected at random using Good luck!

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