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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Sweeps 7/25

Sunday Sweeps! Feel free to link up your giveaways below including the ending date. And don't forget to enter other people's giveaways if you see something that catches your eye. Good luck!

Chance to Win Kung Zhu!

A couple of weeks ago I posted how Cute saw the new Kung Zhus at Summerfest. Well now he (and everyone else) has a chance to win some. The Kim Pace Photography Blog is hosting a giveaway for Kung Zhus right now. If you are interested in participating hurry over because the giveaway ends today. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ten Tips For Ensuring a Safe, Healthy and Successful School Year

It is hard to believe that summer is more than half over and it is almost time to start preparing for the next school year. Airwear and my fellow TwitterMom, Beth Aldrich, are sponsoring an essay contest for consumers, encouraging parents and care-givers to share how they plan to help their kids live a healthy, safe and successful school year. Families can submit their thoughts by visiting LighterSaferGreener.com. One grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000, while 10 first prize winners will receive vouchers for Airwear lenses valued up to $400.

Here are my top ten tips to ensuring a safe, healthy and successful school year:

1. Make sure your child's school has all your contact information and your child's medical information. Double check to verify that it is up to date.

2. Take the time to get to know your child's teacher or teachers. They will be more open with you if they feel comfortable with you and know that you are invested in your child's education.

3. Talk to you child about bullies. Remind them that they should treat other kids how they want to be treated. Also make a plan with them for what to do if another child is bullying them.

4. If you child takes the school bus make sure that they get on and off the bus safely.

5. Start your child's school sleep schedule at least a week before school begins. They may be used to sleeping in during the summer but they will need to be well rested when school rolls around

6. Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast for a good start to the day. Eating a balanced, nutritional lunch is helpful as well.

7. Get to know your child's friends and their friend's parents. Communicate with them to make sure you are aware where your child is and what they are doing with their friends.

8. Talk to you child everyday about what happened at school that day. Try to ask open ended questions so they can't just answer yes/no or good/bad etc.

9. Help your child with their homework and check with the teacher on a regular basis to make sure your child is turning in all their homework.

10. Give you child age appropriate limits on television and video games. Use them as rewards for school achievement.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Airwear blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, visit http://airwear.twittermoms.com/about

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tips To Help Kids Embrace Summer Reading

I love summer and almost everything about it! Here in the midwest we wait a LONG time for nice weather and we take advantage of it when it comes. Our family spends a lot of our free time outside in the summer. This summer two of our goals for our son are to teach him to ride a two wheel bike and to continue to teach him how to swim. I also have to remember that it is important to continue teaching him to read. Summer is a crucial learning time because we want to discourage "brain drain" or loss of learned knowledge.

Here are my tips to encourage summer reading!

1. Go to the local library. Often libraries have free summer reading programs for kids. I still remember going to "brown bag lunch" library programs where we would listen to stories and eat our bag lunches. It is one of my favorite summer memories. Take advantage of the library programs in your area and of course borrow lots of books to read.

2. Lead by example. When my son sees me playing around on the computer all he wants to do is play video games. When he sees me reading a book he is always curious about what I am reading and asks me a bunch of questions about the book. I believe that kids learn a lot by watching their parents so set a good example and read more yourself.

3. Join a book reading club. Many places including Barnes and Noble and Half Price Books have children's reading clubs. The child reads a certain amount of book and is rewarded with a book or gift card.

4. Host or attend a book swap. This is one of my favorite things to do. Kid's donate books they no longer want or use and in exchange can take the same number of books home. The books they receive are not new, but they are new to them! Make sure to establish that books should be in good condition so it is fair for all participants. My son's school has a book swap every year and it is always a huge success.

5. Make it fun! Find ways to make reading fun for your child. This may vary from some kind of reward system to a fancy new book reader. I have seen on several blogs I read that VTech has a new book reader for kids that looks really neat.
I Can Read! BooksBecome an I Can Read! Member

Summer is a time for lot of fun but also a chance to encourage kids to continue to read and learn. Hope you are having a great summer so far!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Sweeps 7/11

Time to link up your blog giveaways! Leave your giveaway information below including the ending date. Good luck everyone!!!

Get Touch'd! Review

Every busy mommy needs some "me" time. My favorite "me" time is to take a long shower or bath and use yummy smelling products. Using nice bath and body products is one of the ways I indulge myself. And the bonus is that it is calorie free...unlike the chocolate I also occasionally indulge in. :)

I was given the opportunity to review Touch'd Bath Butter. Touch'd describes their bath butter as 'A creamy, cleansing product with the consistency of butter, making it luxurious. Sweet Almond Oil and Grapeseed Oil make this versatile, which can be used as a moisturizing boy cleanser or as a shave cream.' Touch'd bath butter worked well for me as both an overall cleanser and as a shave cream. I appreciate products that can fulfill more than one function and this bath butter certainly does that. The smell was very fresh and relaxing. The consistency of Touch'd bath butter is dense enough not to spill out of the container. This is an advantage for me because I tend to be clumsy and spill products.

So if you are in the market for yummy smelling bath products condsider Touch'd.

I was given a complimentary sample of Touch'd Bath Butter to facilitate my review. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friendly Friday 7/2

The Girl Creative Smart and Trendy Moms

Many thanks to the ladies at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Frugal Novice and Healthy Home Blog for sponsoring Friendly Follow. A fun and friendly way to get to know other bloggers. There are several other blog hops on Fridays including The Social Parade from Smart and Trendy Moms. I have really enjoyed getting to know so many bloggers over the past several months. I would love for you to follow Cute Stuff and let me know where I can find you as well. While you are here please check out my Balloonatiks DVD Review and Giveaway. It is a cute DVD and there are low entries right now so you have a great chance to win. Have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Party with the Zhu Zhu Pets at Summerfest!

Thanks to MomSelect, myself and my extended family were able to attend the Zhuniverse Tour at Summerfest. Summerfest is the world's largest music festival and I am lucky enough to have it right in my own city of Milwaukee, WI. This year Summerfest was the host of one of the stops on the Zhuniverse Tour.

When Zhu Zhu pets emerged last year my son Cutie wanted one for Christmas, so dutiful parent I am, I waited in line at Toys R Us one morning and got him one. He loved it!!! Honestly I think what won him over initially was the Zhu Zhu pet commercial...he loved the little jingle on it. So when the Zhu Zhu pets came out with their own song and dance (the Zhu Zhu Flo) Cutie and all his cousins were excited to dance along. The Zhuniverse experience at Summerfest included a dance stage but unfortunately the kids did not get a chance to show off their skills because the rain had made the stage too slick for their awesome dance moves. Thankfully there were a lot of other fun activities that the Midwest rain could not put a damper on.

The kids were able to power a life size hamster wheel!

Here is my niece finding out what Zhu Zhu pet she is most like. After the child takes the quiz and gets a photo taken, they are given an access code to find their picture online. Below is Cutie's final product...he is most like Azer. How adorable is this?

The newest line of Zhu Zhu Pets are called Kung Zhu. The Zhuniverse tour had the entire collection set up for kids to try out. There was a really neat looking life size inflatable hamster habitat but that was closed due to the rain as well. There were so many other fun activities that the kids didn't even notice. The King Zhu obstacle course was a hit with all the kids.

And of course the Zhu Zhu Pet DS game was loved by children and adults alike! Check out my sister's gaming skills.

The Zhuniverse Tour continues on this summer so check to see if it will make a stop near you. My family had so much fun with all the family friendly activities. The Zhuniverse event was definitely a highlight of our summer!

Disclosure: I was provided with admission tickets to the Zhuniverse Tour at Summerfest in order to facilitate my review. I was not financially compensated nor was I under any obligation to post a positive review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone. Thanks so much to MomSelect and Melanie Yerman for this opportunity.
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