Friday, December 12, 2008

Parents® Critter Conga

Parents® magazine is one of my favorites out there. It is full of great parenting advice, kid activities AND they have a FABULOUS line of toys!

My current favorite is the Parents® Critter Conga. It is a super fun Conga Drum, filled will percussion instruments. The Drum looks like a leopard, with an easily removable tambourine lid, slithery snake drumsticks, giraffe themed maracas, crocodile cabasa and clacker, elephant conch, and antelope slide whistle, and a water bird warble that sounds like the real thing!

The Critter Conga is designed to encourage tots to create and enjoy music and rhythm. My toddler is in love with the set and I am reaping the benefits of watching him enjoy and learn a love for music.

The only thing I don't like? My toddler is in love with the drums, and my 6 month old loves the tambourine....except the tambourine is the drum top, so the boys can't play with them at the same time. Parents® already thought of this though (ah yes, I love Parents®) and have made it so you can buy extra instruments without having to buy a whole new drum set, perfect for families with multiple kids that will want to jam! You can buy The Critter Conga instruments individually at Target under the collection name Safari Song for $10.00 each.

Want to know where to get your Parents® Critter Congo? You can get The Critter Congo at Costco for $30.00, and it is recommended for ages 18 months and up.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Delgo


I love movies. In fact, I still dream of running off to be an actress (hey, moms can have space out moments too)and anytime I go to a movie I watch the credits. Oh yea, I am that person in your row that won't move, so you have to crawl over me or go out the other way. I LOVE to watch the credits-to see all the names of the people who worked so hard bringing the story to life. I know just a little of how hard they worked too, because I have been an extra before for movies; let me tell you, making a good movie is hard work for everyone!

So, when I come across a GREAT movie-I am in love and fascinated with learning all about it. What great movie have I come across lately?

Enter the visual feast of Delgo. Delgo is a stunningly artistic animated movie with hints of a Romeo and Juliet type love (though in a little kid and a family friendly way) intertwined around wonderful messages: the importance of family, the importance of our differences, and the importance of embracing those differences. Learning to value family, work together and use our differences as strengths to reach a common good is the major theme.

What more of a loving moral and ethical lesson could we hope to teach our children? And though the magical world of Delgo, that lesson is easy to pick up on and learn, even for the youngest in our family without being overly obvious they are trying to teach a valuable lesson to our youngest of citizens (and perhaps even some older ones that missed the lesson when they were younger)

What I love the most about Delgo? The ART. Oh my goodness. The whole world seems like a dream scape-with rich and interesting colors that bring as much to the story as the characters. I would actually say the tapestry of colors and visual feast presented by the background, it itself a character. You really can't take your eyes off the screen because of all the details. I just know that the next time I watch it; I will pick up on more and more details I missed the first time around.

For a wonderful family film, Delgo is going to become an instant classic.

Delgo will be coming out nation wide December 12, 2008 and is the first production from Fathom Studios, an independent film studio. I have to say, Fathom Stuidos has reached the stars with Delgo, and I am very excited to see what future movies they will dream up. The stellar voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anne Bancroft (in her last performance), Val Kilmer, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Kattan and more.

To learn more, and see a sneak peek movie trailer, go check out www.delgo.com! And don't forget the popcorn; once the trailer starts, you aren't going to want to leave your computer. And then you are going to cry for more.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Bender Ball

After having a baby, the biggest thing most moms are thinking about is getting back into our skinny jeans.

Well, through a good diet and exercise, we all can achieve goal, my problem is when to find the time to workout! I have two little kids and recently realized that trying to push two kids in a jogging stroller is HARD. And not very motivating to working out.

So what is a new mom to do? The Bender Ball!


It is a great exercise ball that gives you the perfect position for Core Training, Ab and Body Sculpting and Pilates! It works by giving you a bigger range of motion while doing normal crunches, stretches, sit ups and more-so you get more impact with a simple, quick workout. I am in love too, because I simply pop in the DVD, get out on my mat, and in a quick 1/2 hour I am able to get through all my tough to sculpt areas, get my heart rate up, and feel more energetic.

I have yoga and Pilates DVD's that I enjoy; they are calming, relaxing; however, sometimes I just don't feel I have gotten my heart rate up to the target workout rate. With The Bender Ball, I don't have to worry, I know I am getting a great workout, and I can feel my heart working out too, but it isn't so hard or strenuous that I dread doing it.

Results started showing up fairly quickly for me-which we all know is the key to sticking with a workout routine!

You can learn more about The Bender Ball by visiting their website: www.benderball.com. You can order your own, check out free meal plans, tips on maximizing your workout results, and a healthy eating guide.



Sunday, November 30, 2008

Queen of the Road: Book Review


When asked to review Queen Of The Road by Doreen Orion I was not too terribly excited, simply because a true life novel about life in a bus didn't really appeal to me. I truly figured reading Queen Of The Road was going to be a chore.

However, I quickly learned that I was VERY wrong. I started reading on a Friday at 10pm, figuring I would try to get a few pages in....I stayed up until 4am so I could finish. I could not put Queen Of The Road down. Not only is Queen Of The Road an interesting testimonial to a year in the life of two psychiatrists traveling the US in a bus it is HILARIOUS! Between the crazy bus mishaps and the interesting people they meet along the way, there were many times I laughed so much I started crying!

Doreen Orion captures the ups and downs of life with a witty humor I haven't enjoyed since Erma Bombeck. Doreen tells about how she "upends" her very material and career driven life to travel the states in a bus when her husband, Tim, has his "midlife crisis" As she journeys onward with Tim, she quickly comes to realize it is the journey and not the destination that makes a trip (and life) wonderful.


As a self proclaimed "princess" Doreen is very proud of her work from home job and her ability to multitask everything possible while not leaving her bed or even getting dressed. Yes, she is quite the indoor girl and obsessed with designer items, especially shoes.

But, as a complete surprise to Doreen, the bus trip turns into more than just a way for Tim to explore his inner "nerd" and get out into his beloved great outdoors; it becomes the key to opening Doreen's eyes to what is important in life.

In a witty, humorous and utterly lovable way, she gently reminds us of that lesson too. It is not the latest gadget, the greatest job or the hundreds of shoes that matter, it is the time spent with those we love, because that time passes all too quickly. An important lesson for us all during the Christmas season, when it is all too easy to feel pressure and stress to buy items for people instead of just enjoying the time together.

Doreen experiences changes in her worldview that are not earth shattering, but feel genuine and inspiring through her great connection with the reader. For anyone wanted to get away from the expectations of the world, reach outside the box of the "everyday" routine , Queen of the Road is a GREAT read with a lot of laughs along the way.

To get your own copy, go to Queen Of The Road; trust me, you won't be able to put it down.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Build A Bear Wii Giveaway

Oh here is something fun for us all this holiday season! Thanks to the Family Review network and The Game Factory, you can help raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, a charity I have always loved since my days of taking orders in "the hole" at my hometown's Mickey D's.

How can you get involved? It's a win-win for everyone; you win on ebay by bidding on celebrity built Build A Bear Workshop bears and autographed copies of Build A Bear Wii games-your kids (young and old!) are going to love it.

The one of a kind bears were built by celebrities like Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott (yes, I was a 90210 fan; I LOVE Tori), the Jonas Brothers, James Gandolfini (whom my husband loves, Melissa Joan Hart, Bonnie Hunt, Mitchel Musso, Meaghan Jette Martin and others!

You guys get to score really cool gear and games made and autographed by celebrities while also sharing in the gift of giving to our most vulnerable, yet most important, of citizens: our children.

And you know what is even better? The Game Factory has a Build A Bear Wii game for me to give to one of my readers!! Whoo hoo!!! Here is some more about the new Wii game you could win:

An interactive family-friendly experience, Build-A-Bear Workshop® A Friend Fur All Seasons allows families to share the interactive Build-A-Bear Workshop® experience using the Nintendo Wii™ system. Originally made for Nintendo DS, Build-A-Bear Workshop® entertainment experience allows up to four players to name, groom, feed and dress their bear using the revolutionary Wii™ remote. The game allows players to join their customized bear on adventures to explore islands, meet inhabitants and help furry friends.

Build-A-Bear Workshop® A Friend Fur All Seasons allows full interaction between the player and her/his furry friend in a variety of 20 fun mini-games, from throwing Frisbees to ice-skating. Four islands season-themed wait to be explored and six treasure spots hold magical chests! Developed for children and families, Build-A-Bear Workshop® packs fun for the whole family and allows players to take full advantage of the unique features of the Nintendo Wii™ game system.

Build A Bear Workshop® A Friend Fur All Seasons information:
*Rated E for Everyone

*1-4 players

*retail price of $39.99

*Available now online and at retailers nationwide like Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com and others.

*Explore the four season-themed islands in the Adventure mode and play lots of fun mini games in the Playground mode

*Enhanced interactive experience with 20 fun mini-games, including ice skating, build a snowman, a croquet party, a cool ride on a ladybug, throwing a Frisbee, and jumping on a jump stick. Some mini games even include surprises!

*Fun for the whole family in single or multiplayer party games with up to four players.

*Discover six secret treasure spots hidden around the islands and dig up a magic chest with a hidden surprise just for each player.

*Collect bear medals, rewards and exciting items to use in players very own Build-A-Bear Workshop® experience. Choose from more than 80 items available for your furry friend!

*Natural and innovative game play takes full advantage of the unique features of the revolutionary Nintendo Wii™.

Doesn't that sound like a fun game to play with your children? I wish I could win!! If you want to win, leave a comment here or on my main blog page: Coordinated Chaos to win your own copy of the game. To make it fun, let me know if you ever worked at McDonald's or not in your comment. I worked for the golden arches from the age of 15 to 19 and had a BLAST while saving money for college.

Be sure to go check out the Ebay Auction to get involved and help out children this Christmas. And if you don't have the money to bid on anything, don't worry, simply leave a comment to enter my giveaway for a copy of Build-A-Bear Workshop® A Friend Fur All Seasons!


Monday, November 17, 2008

The Secret Mountain Publishing Group


I am a bookworm and always have been. I remember reading Les Misérables in high school and crying when it was over. I wanted more.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with both of my boys, I started reading out loud whatever I was reading at the time, just for the fun of it. Now I get to read to them everyday and both my boys are already showing a love for books.

My 5 month old has a love for eating books so far, but my Toddler has advanced to wanting me to read stories OVER and OVER...and nothing makes me happier than to oblige him. We will read the same book as much as he wants, and when I start to tire, I will simply start asking him questions about the story-what colors are the characters, what are they doing, where are they going, who are they helping, etc. Books are WONDERFUL teaching and learning tools.

There is so much magic in reading to your children too; new places explored, imaginations expanded. I am so glad my boys are enjoying the family reading time as much as Bill and I do.

A new couple of books we have added to our reading time are courtesy of The Secret Mountain Publishing Group. The books we received from them are so stunningly illustrated with fanciful paintings and drawings that my sons are in love with just staring at the pages.

Many of the children's books from The Secret Mountain have won literary awards, and after seeing my Little Dude's reaction to the books, it is easy to see why. These are the new books we now read over and over and over...but lucky for me, the pictures are so beautiful and the stories so wonderful that I enjoy them as much as my son does.

We have read these three stories, and they became instant classics in our home:

*Down at the Sea Hotel
*A Duck In New York City
*Dream Songs Night Songs From Belgium To Brazil

It is hard to pick a favorite of the three, but I have to say I LOVE the story of A Duck In New York City. The story is about a little duck that keeps getting told that his dream of dancing on Broadway is crazy and will never come true. But the little duck keeps trying, and keeps telling himself, YES I CAN-and in the end, his hard work pays off and he indeed achieves his dream.

How wonderful of a message for young children is that? It is so refreshing to read a story that encourages children to chase their dreams, be them to become a doctor OR a garbage man (yes, right now that is my son's dream). Because, you know, someone has to be a pro baseball player or ballet dancer...or garbage man. So why not? There is no better way to build a child's self esteem then to give them the power of feeling that they CAN do and achieve their goals. And that is just what you'll share when you read A Duck In New York City to your little one.

Another reason I love The Secret Mountain books? They come with CDs. OH AWESOME, because I also love music and LOVE exposing my children to music! It has been so fun to read the stories and listen to the accompanying CDs. The music that goes with Dream Songs Night Songs From Belgium To Brazil is my very favorite-it has lullabies from all around the world, sung in the native languages for your family to enjoy! The music is just beautiful and a fantastic way to introduce other cultures, stories and lullabies to your family.


Want to know where you can get them? Go to The Secret Mountain and order them quickly and easily online! You can also get the books in English or French (easy lullabies are a great starting board for teaching a second language!) for $22.95; CD included with each book.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seal My SOUL



I love music, and I listen to all kinds (yes, even hip hop and rap; I know, you are surprised). Through middle school and college I was what you would call a "band geek". I played the flute and French horn. I have dated a clarinet player, a saxophone player and a trumpet player, all of which left me with a some knowledge of how to play each instrument. I fiddle with the piano, I have learned one song on guitar, and my lovely hubby even got me a French horn for Christmas the first year we were married. When ever school or community plays came around I tried out....for "the pit" (aka the play's orchestra).

Remember that horrible movie "Water World"? While others might cringe, I myself fall into past memories of marching band because that was a score we played for our contests one year. Even though the movie is pretty bad, I love getting lost in the music.

Yes, I love music. Let's just say, it is a huge part of my soul. You can time travel with music; nothing can reach into the depths of a person like good music either.

And that is just what Seal has done with his latest album, SOUL; he has reached into the depth of his soul and deeply touched mine with the foot taping, body swaying results. Click below to hear some samples his modern jazzy harmonies:



His new album, SOUL, is aptly named too, because you can feel his soul pouring through the lyrics and rhythms, while, as a listener, I too find myself swept away with his deep and rich as honey voice. My little boy loves rocking and grooving to the soulful music as well, giving me hope that even if he never picks up an instrument, he at least appreciates the beauty of music.

And you know what is even better than my little job of reviewing Seal's SOUL Album for the One 2 One Network? I get to share it with you!!!

For one of my readers, I have a copy of Seal's SOUL Album and an ipod retro mini speaker. Have you ever seen anything so cute in your life?


The ipod retro mini speaker is a gift to you from Delight.com, a unique boutique that stocks the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Delight features eco-friendly tote bags, gadgets for guys, kitchen gear that is smart and saves time, travel essentials, one-of-a-kind baby gifts, stocking stuffers for holiday gift shopping and unique jewelry and décor accessories with most under $50. You can even check out Delight.com's newsletter for recent sale items and deals! No taking the kids out to the crowded stores to shop? I can shop in my pj's listening to Seal? Oh be still my heart!

So, for your chance to win, simply leave a comment below telling me what music stirs your SOUL.

Mine? Ludacris' "Roll Out". My hubby and I back in our college and dating days, took a road trip to see our College's football team play in a Florida bowl game (I think it was the Orange Bowl? Not sure...). We piled a bunch of our friends into his parent's van and drove the whole 10 hours down listening to Luda's CD over and over. Mostly we talked and goofed off so much we just never changed the CD, but every time I hear that song, it takes me back to that super fun road trip!



Sunday, November 9, 2008

One Step Ahead-What's Inside? Toy Box

I love to play with my kids-to me that is the greatest thing in the world and I could do it all day long. But, as an ex-preschool teacher, I also look for toys that stimulate those "keywords" I learned while in school...gross motor skills, fine motor skills, sensory development, tactile learning, texture integration......who knew teaching preschooler involved covering so much in lesson plans? I digress.

Anyway, as you can imagine, and toy I come across that encourages these developmental lessons while being super fun for my babies and me to play with, I buy them up and tell all my friends. And you know what I love the best? Most of the time, the best toys for stimulating these activities are not high tech, expensive gadgets, but instead very budget friendly! Yippiee!

What I love about the What's Inside? toy box:
*it works on gross motor reaching and depth perception
*it works on fine motor grasping and inserting of objects
*it comes with 8 little toys to take in and out of the box, each with their own simulators like different textures, sounds, fabrics, and colors
*it develops hand and eye coordination skills,
*Great tactile development on the outside of box with sounds, crinkles, tags, and objects
*encourages exploration and imagination

And so, to all of my internet friends out there (yes, I know, doesn't sound good, but it is cause that includes you!)I have a video review of my latest baby toy find, the What's Inside Box by One Step Ahead.

What a great Christmas Present this toy box would make too!! It is meant for kids ages newborn to 12 months; however, my 2 year old loves it as well, so this is a toy that will last you a long time and give hours of enjoyment as he or she discovers "what's inside" again and again! You can buy it for $34.95 or try to win it here.

Watch my video, take a look around One Step Ahead's website and you could win a What's Inside Box for the apple of your eye! Just simply leave a comment here telling me what your favorite One Step Ahead toy is OR what you think of my video. Also, you can comment here OR you can email me at coordinatedchaos@yahoo.com. Oh yes, I make it easy for you. Winners will be contacted through email, so if you don't have it on your blog make sure you give it to me! The Contest Ends Nov. 21, 2008 at midnight. Good Luck!




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Linda Eder Giveaway: The Other Side Of Me

Thanks to One2OneNetwork.com, I have been able to spend the past week surrounding myself and my boys with some beautiful music. We have danced, laughed, and tears even entered my eyes as I watched my oldest dance around to the lyrics that pulled on my heart.

Oh yes, Linda Eder is a musician I have fallen in love with. Her new CD, The Other Side Of Me, pulls on the tender heartstrings that all moms and dads (new and experienced) know so well.

And you know what is even more amazing? I love all the songs. Every. Single. One. And I am the queen of one hit wonders-I will buy a CD to get one song from it, even though I don't like, or even hate, the rest of the CD. So, I was not at all expecting to fall in love with all the tracks, let alone play them all over and over, but that is just what has happened. I am totally in love with the messages Linda Eder so beautifully belts out for the rest of us in her unique, happy and tear jerking style.

Linda Eder even speaks to me on a personal level, because she too is a working mom, working to keep that balance of being at home with your child and working to make money for your child (while still trying to get all the other things in life done, like the laundry...) You can tell that motherhood and the love for her child, Jake, greatly influenced her song writing on The Other Side Of Me.

A combination of country, jazz, pop and a huge sprinkle of Broadway thrown in, The Other Side Of Me brings to life the emotions that many of us parents can't put words to. Her song, If I Could, which you can hear in the background by watching my video below, puts the grooves and vocal harmonies of a country angel to a parent's deep love and fierce desire to protect, that moms and dads everywhere carry.

Both Sides Now has an upbeat and catchy rhythm that makes me want to sing along again and again. And Little Dude just loves to dance while the fun song is going. What I love best about Both Sides Now, is the beautiful way Linda Eder puts into words the reflections all of us stop and take now and then as we travel through life. Thinking back on how we felt and acted in younger years (or even just yesterday) and then revisiting those thoughts as we "wise up" or become enlightened through experience. Yes, that is the theme to the lyrics and rhythmic flow of Both Sides Now, and the light hearted way Linda Eder vocalizes the emotions and lyrics keeps my family and I listening, dancing and singing along as we too make this journey of life.

You can hear me "vlog" (and gush more) about the CD by clicking on the video below (and listen to songs from the CD play in the background!):

video

and you can hear my two very favorite songs If I Could and Both Sides Now on the CD here:
http://www.lindaeder.com/Music.aspx

You can buy The Other Side of Me at Barnes and Noble and if you would love to hear Linda Eder Live (and maybe run into me) you can check out her Tour Dates! I want to go to one of her Florida Tours, since it won't be too terribly far from where I live! Oh fun!

Ready for the giveaway part? Guess what you can get?

The Other Side of Me autographed CD and autographed T-shirt or hat!!!

To win all you have to do is listen to Linda Eder's songs, pick a favorite and tell me why! Super easy eh? You can also email me at coordinatedchaos@yahoo.com if you happen to not have a blog account or you can leave a comment on my main page. Just make sure you leave me a way to contact you, either through email or your blog, so that I can let you know if you won! If I don't hear from the first winner in a week's time then a second winner will be chosen. The Giveaway ends November 21st.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bella Sara

So, now I wish I had a little girl, because I had the opportunity to review Bella Sara, a beautiful, girly online world of horses, magic, fun and trading cards. Yes trading cards so all her friends can play and continue the fun even without a computer!

Bella Sara is a horse-themed collectible card game featuring positive messages for kids 5 to 12. The Bella Sara website carries the story beyond the Bella Sara cards, which both horses and objects that kids can activate and play with online in a safe, imaginative virtual world. They can feed, care for, train, and play with their horses and also play games and solve puzzles on the site.

By letting your little girl participate in the Bella Sara world, you can finally give her the pony she keeps asking for-without the cost! Every card has a beautiful horse for your child to care for-and an id number for entering on the Bella Sara website so then the horse on her card can appear in her online stable! How cool!

And you can be rest assured that your child is participating in a safe online environment; At present, BellaSara.com is a private user experience and interaction with others online is not possible. Very awesome for us protective parents!

Bella Sara keeps all personal information private and takes great care to keep the Bella Sara World a fun and carefree place where your child can grow and learn the many joys of caring for horses, which in turn teaches them about how to care for others, be responsible for their actions, just like with a real friend or pet!

There are also great interactive games on the website, like puzzles, printable coloring pages, and offline card games!

Parents have the discretion to decide their child’s appropriate level of interaction with the Bella Sara World through the easy to us parental-controls section of your child's account to turn off or limit his or her access.Having such powers can also be good for "reality discipline" no chores done, no Bella Sara.


Bella Sara was created by Gitte Odder Brændgaard. Gitte was inspired to create Bella when she worked as a social worker, caring for mentally disabled young people and realized the need for inspirational, meaningful messages and imagination-building game play designed to uplift girls and raise self confidence.

Yes, I need a girl. Or I need to borrow my neighbor's little girl when she reaches the age of 5, because I see this being a super fun computer version of "My Little Ponies" meets the card game "Magic" and that can only mean one thing-hours of fun and bonding!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bugaloo Kid's Soft Soled Shoes

There is nothing more wonderful to watch than your child's first steps! The amazement on his face (and on yours!)is so fun to experience.

But as a parent, it can be oh so NOT FUN to find shoes that fit your new walker but also don't hamper his new found freedom. For new wobbly walkers, hard soled shoes are out because they lack the give and take bend on the foot that helps our newest upright citizens balance!

So, the most logical option is to get a soft soled shoe that shapes the foot without constricting balance or movement and ensuring your child quickly gains confidence in his or her walking. The problem? Such shoes are usually VERY expensive and don't wash well in the washer. Trust me, I have experienced the 40 dollar pairs you can find out there, and they are great, but that is so expensive for something that will be outgrown soon and can't be washed!(and if you wash them, they come out all faded, twisted and are never as soft again) And the cheap kinds form Target? Yea, they wear out faster than anything, and in the end you've spent 40 dollars replacing them over and over....and over.

So what's a budget conscious and foot conscious mom to do? Turn to Bugaloo Kids!! The mom behind the design, Heidi, is a genius! She has made super durable soft soled shoes that will help your child grow and walk without damaging his feet AND at an affordable cost! The shoes come in all kinds of cute and wonderful designs and at $15 you can afford to have a couple of pairs!!

Also, I washed one shoe 4 times, and in the end, I can't tell the difference between the one I washed and the one I didn't-now that is quality!

Product information (click image below to enlarge)
Bugaloo Kids shoes have:



Bugaloo Kids is MADE IN THE USA, so you can be sure the product is top quality. But that is not even the best part! Every purchase helps to fight childhood slavery. 5% of each purchase goes directly to International Justice Mission to help fight human trafficking and to help the victims of such horror, most of which, sadly,are children.

That's something those $40 dollar shoes I bought can't claim. And helping children, along with the high quality, cute designs and budget friendly cost ensure I will be buying many pairs of these shoes for my son.

Love it? Sign up for Bugaloo's Newsletter by leaving your email so you can learn of discounts, sales, new designs and products first! And by signing up for the newsletter through me, you will be entered into a giveaway for a pair of shoes (the giveaway will actually take place in a few weeks, so check back for more info on when the drawing will be held).


EDITED:: THE GIVEAWAY WILL END NOV. 14th

Monday, October 27, 2008

Secret Keeper Girl

As a mother of young boys, you would think I would not worry about the peer pressure that young girls face today to be skinny, to be sexy, to grow up faster than they should...but I do. Why? Because my boys will someday be dating girls, and I want them to know what is important to find in a friend, girlfriend, wife-and most of all to know that girl is truly a treasure to care for.

First though, our girls need to feel like they are a treasure, and to place some importance on their modesty, appearance, behavior, and ultimately stand up to the peer pressure and glamorization of materialistic items and wild, unchecked behavior young Hollywood displays. A strong self-esteem for our daughters can fight anything, but it is hard to build up against a world that deems morals and modesty as "frumpy".

But where, as a parent, do you start? The Secret Keeper Girl Series. I have had the privilege of reading a book targeted to today's young girls (around ages 8-12), Danika's Totally Terrible Toss, and it tells a fantastic story of a normal, sweet middle schooler facing those very pressures that today's girls face head on. What makes this book great is that the lessons are very subtle, and the story is one that reminds me of the books I was into at that age: Baby Sitters Club, Nancy Drew, Boxcar Kids-this book is written in the same easy flowing, pre-teen fictional fashion, full of all the types of entertainment middle school girls (and me!) love, making this a fun read while teaching VERY important lessons on how to handle peer pressure.

And what I think is super fun about the Secret Keeper Girl Series? There is a fun question answer part in the back set up specifically so moms and daughters can discuss the lessons of the book in a non confrontation, completely open and free way. A FANTASTIC way for a mom and daughter to connect and discuss the trials and tribulations of the world before the world does and a great lesson for moms in how to LISTEN to their daughters when the world isn't.


Dannah Gresh is the author of The Secret Keeper Girl Series, and beyond the series she also wrote a fun book called "8 Great Dates for You and Your Daughter".

And a great first date? Get some toe nail polish out, turn on some of your daughter's music (like the High School Musical soundtrack) and break out: The Secret Keeper Girl Series; you'll both be amazed at what you will learn and build together.

Published through Moody Publishers, you can buy them at Barnes and Noble for $7.99.



Sunday, October 26, 2008

pHisoderm Baby

EDITED: GIVEAWAY ENDED

Remember your awkward teen years? I do. But you know what? Mine were a little bit easier once I discovered pHisoderm face wash. At least then, if I had to go through the teen years I could do it with clear, soft skin!

Well, now the brand that saved my skin (and still does) from break outs and oiliness makes Baby pHisoderm tear free gel wash! Fantastic! I gave Baby pHisoderm tear free gel wash a try and it worked wonders on my JR's sensitive skin. After only a few uses his skin is clearing up from irritation around his tummy, legs and arms that has been occurring no matter what kind of material I clothed him in! What a miracle, because though the dry, red areas may not have bother him, they bother me and I am so happy to have found something that has helped balance the pH of my son's skin!

More reasons to LOVE Baby pHisoderm:

*Phthalate-free formula and packaging
*Dermatologist recommended
*Designed for babies prone to dry skin conditions
*pH balanced to moisturize baby's skin as it cleans
*Soap free gel formula rinses easily and won't over-dry or irritate
*Allergy tested for your little one's skin
*Leaves your little one smelling baby fresh

Baby pHisoderm is also made in tear-free Cream Wash

Love it? Want to win some? I have two bottles of Baby pHisoderm Tear Free Gel Wash to give away to TWO lucky winners!! Leave a comment here or email me to enter. Make sure I will have a way to contact you, otherwise a new winner will have to be chosen! Good luck!



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pillsbury and Yoplait-a perfect pair!

I am a huge fan of quick and easy now that I am juggling a toddler and a baby all day! However, that does not mean I want to sacrifice nutrition or taste either! Well, I have stumbled upon two great products:

Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites are the perfect pre-dinner snack AND a great way to celebrate "you and me" time after the kids are put to bed! Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bies are warm, flaky pastries filled with mouth watering fillings in three different choices: cheese & spinach, buffalo style chicken and mozzarella & pepperoni. My favorite is the cheese & spinach flavor, with its wonderfully salty and rich cheese melted all over the perfectly cooked spinach, it is just heaven in you mouth. My husband loves the buffalo style chicken to give him a great kick of flavor and buffalo sauce heat without all the mess of a buffalo chicken sandwich! They are in great little bite size pieces, perfect for small snacks or finger foods for big parties! My favorite? They are incredibly easy to prepare and serve! That is my kind of great tasting, quick cooking! Also, the three Savorings flavors pair perfectly with wine to make your "date night at home" great fun and a fabulous way to celebrate, relax and save money!

And the kids you have finally put to bed so you can enjoy your date night? You can rest assured they are getting all the calcium and vitamin D they need with the Yoplait Kids sip-able or spoon-able yogurt! For kids that don't like to drink mild (like my son) a fun way to eat their calcium and vitamins is a dream. Little Dude loves being a "big boy" and eating with his own spoon and Older kids will love the fun way of drinking their yogurt! You can also rest assured that with Yoplait Kids Cup Yogurt or Kids Yogurt Drink, that your kid's nutrition is Yoplait's highest priority and thus extra nutrients, calcium and vitamin D are added to help your child grow to their full potential.

To join in the fun by winning a Savoring The Moment Gift Bag OR a Yoplait Kids Prize Pack, leave a comment here, on my main page, or through email at coordinatedchaos@yahoo.com. Let me know which food you would like to try the most and enter twice if you want to try to win both by leaving two separate comments! Good luck! Contest Ends Nov. 8, 2008 at midnight.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment

Before being a stay at home Mom, I worked at a daycare for ages 6 weeks to 6 years and After School Care aged children. I was blessed to have experiences teaching 4 year olds preschool for a few years and even more blessed to take over as Infant "teacher" for a new group of wonderful babies (who are now starting to turn 4!)

Anyways, with the years I spent with that wonderful group of babies all the way to their two year old years, I went through A LOT of diaper ointments and creams. Parents brought in whatever brand they preferred, and I would use it on little Ben, Sophie, Rebecca and Isabelle, but honestly, all the brands worked about they same, they all took a number of days to start being effective for bad diaper rash, and they ALL STAINED THE BABIES CLOTHES LIKE CRAZY.

It would be so frustrating to try to put diaper rash on a wiggly older baby or toddler and try to avoid getting the creams on the clothes because no matter how much you washed or scrubbed, those creams just wouldn't come out. The brown ones, the white ones, the creamy ones, the organic ones and the perfumed ones-all eventually worked on the rashes, but they all stained and ruined cute little outfits!

Finally though, I have discovered that Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment WILL NOT STAIN. In fact, Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment is a pale white in color, but rubs on as a clear, non greasy, Triple Protection Formula to soothe your baby's bum and prevent irritation from coming back!!

Lansinoh's Diaper Rash Ointment contains:

*Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin-the world's purest lanolin, forms a protective barrier to help seal out irritating wetness and promote natural healing
*Microfine Zinc Oxide-unlike other zinc oxide formulas which go on thick and white, Lansihoh's innovative formula allows the ointment to go on white and rub on clear. It is light when applied to the skin and provides strong, lasting protection.
*Dimethicone-an excellent emollient, allows for superior spreedability while softening and soothing your baby's delicate bum.

Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment is fragrance free, hypoallergenic and has an elegant, non-greasy texture so that it wipes on and off easily, unlike all those other brands of diaper ointments out there! Also, Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin uses ultra-pure, medical-grade lanolin that is created with a patented refining process, making it the ONLY lanolin available that contains no preservatives or environmental impurities of any kind, so you can use Lansinoh products even if you are allergic to wool. Lansinoh ensures it's Diaper Rash Ointment is so pure and safe, it can be used on even the most sensitive and delicate of skin.

Best of all? IT WORKS QUICKLY.

My son, JR, poops constantly, and has very sensitive skin, so he almost always has a bit of diaper rash going on. I have used just about every cream and ointment out there, all of which offered relief after many days of using them. So, needless to say, I was skeptical when I first tried out the Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment, but within the first day, JR's diaper rash had cleared up!! I was absolutely amazed-no more sensitive red area for my son AND I didn't have to worry about getting it on his clothes-fabulous! Truly, a mother's dream come true!

So, to honor my excitement over Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment, I am hosting a little giveaway! I have a gift basket of Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment,Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin, and a travel pack of Lansinoh Clean & Condition Cloths (which I have also fallen in love with!)All you have to do to win is head over to Lansinoh's site for Moms at:

http://www.lansinohmoms.com

Check it out, and tell me what your favorite part of their website is! Please leave comments here or email me at coordiantedchaos@yahoo.com and make the subject Lansinoh Giveaway (make sure to leave contact info so I can reach you if you win!) The giveaway ends November 1st at midnight. Good luck!

And, for those of you that don't win, don't worry, you can buy Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment at a wonderfully low price in most retail or grocery store baby isles as well as online!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holgate Blocks


Simple is best, in my opinion. That is especially true with children's toys. Simple items inspire greater use of the imagination, and that, my friends, is what childhood is all about.

The basic, simple toys of all childhood should be wooden blocks. Blocks to stack, sort, build, balance, and knock down can teach way more to your child than any rigorous study program at any preschool, because your child learns through play. Stacking the blocks works on eye and hand coordination, gross motor skills, and, as the stack gets higher, fine motor skills to keep the blocks balanced. Your child will learn spacial relationships between objects in the world by building, tearing down, building, and knocking down the blocks over and over.

If your child has blocks with images or numbers, you can bring in color, number, and shape sorting to the floor play. Most of all, by playing with blocks, your child is NOT watching TV, and is even developing his use of language as he exercises his imagination to build whatever he can dream, hopefully with you buy his side.

As opposed to "educational toys" that light up and talk to your child, simple blocks encourage an imaginative give and take kind of play between a child and himself (or imaginary friend), children and other children, or parents and children that build and develop the use of language and roll playing that are so crucial to a child's self image, understanding of trial and error, and overall development.


Blocks are truly a parent's best friend and a child's greatest learning tool, and my favorite blocks are Holgate Baby Blocks. They are made of sound wood, the beautiful brightly colored images don't chip off after rough use (trust me, if my two year old can't scratch or eat the images off, nothing can), and best of all, THEY ARE MADE IN AMERICA. Yes, you can heave a big sigh of relief when your child does decide to try licking the blocks because everything is safe, non toxic and made to last for your kid's grandkids to use. I am in love with the blocks and have already ordered more to give as gifts. Everyone should have these lovely, colorful and made in the USA blocks on their children's gift lists this holiday season.



Monday, October 13, 2008

The Life Aquatic!


My son is Loving Life right now. Why? Because he is getting to draw in every room of the house! YES. He can do art work anywhere, over and over again, without marker mess, paper mess, crayon disasters, or water color misfortunes. How is this possible? The Sin Master's Aquadoodle Draw N Doodle! He is LOVING it and I actually think I love it MORE. the Aquadoodle Draw N Doodle mat is the ultimate in mess-free entertainment, and the wonderful drawings your kids create simply disappear on the doodle mat as it dries! No mess, no expensive markers to keep up with, no special paper to buy over and over-just good clean fun! And should your mat get dirty, you just simply wipe it clean with a damp rag! You can see a great video of my son playing the Aquadoodle HERE (Click on My Videos, My Uploaded Videos, and go to Amazing Aquadoodle!)

Aquadoodle Draw N'Doodle Mat Details:
1. No mess magic!
2. Just add water to the Aqua Pen to start the fun!
3. Inspires imagination whether on their own or playing with friends!
4. Durable and re-usable
Suggested Price: $24.99, age range 2 and up, AND it's available at all leading toy retailers

He is also on cloud nine because of Spin Master's new Kid Kleen line of bubbly bath activity toys! Little Dude has always loved water, but now I have to fight him to get OUT of the tub! He LOVES his new Bath Blizzard, a super fun, crazy bubble making machine that hooks right onto the tub faucet and creates a HUGE BLIZZARD of fun and awesome bubbles!! It is so fun to watch and Little Dude falls into the biggest giggle fits ever as the bubbles come out and go all over the tub! I have never seen such wonderful bubbles with such little effort on my part. All you have to do is fill the machine with water and bubble solution and turn it on-then you sit back and watch your children become creative with the mounds of bubbles! I am seriously jealous this toy wasn't around when I was little-I think I might be stealing it for a tub soak of my own! It doesn't make any kind of annoying noise, just great big waterfalls of bubbles!

Kid Kleen Bath Blizzard Details:
1. Fun in the Tub
2. Safe and non-toxic
3. Longer lasting bubble baths
4. Fits right in the tub
Suggested Price: $19.99, age range 3 and up, AND it's available at all leading toy retailers

I hope you enjoy going aquatic as much as we have because these products are going on my gift list this season as FANTASTIC toys to give to all my little relatives!



Friday, October 10, 2008

Feeling Girly in Shabby Apple Dresses


Shabby Apple has made me feel oh so pretty in their lovely dresses! There are dresses for all occasions, from daytime with the kids and grilled cheese to night time out with the girls, Shabby Apple has a dress to bring out your girly side in comfort and style!

For new moms everywhere, it can be a daunting task getting the kids out to the mall so you can do a little long overdue clothes shopping. Having your toddler open the dressing room door as you are trying to squeeze into yet another pair of jeans is just no fun and terribly stressful. And lets not even talk about trying to keep the accessories you are digging through from becoming toys....

But never fear, there is a fantastic solution to your "shopping with young children" delima-The Shabby Apple!

Even better, by avoiding the stressful hassle of chasing young children around a shop, you can help fight global poverty! Peaceful shopping AND helping to save the world? That is what I call shopping the Super Mom way!


Have a daughter or niece? She can join in on the dressy fun as well with Shabby Apple's Shabby Baby line. Oh, how I am wishing for a daughter to buy this for someday! I might have to settle on getting it for a neighbor's daughter-it is just too cute! The dresses for children are made of the same high quality, soft materials their Shabby Apple line is made of-and if you notice you could even get mini me dresses for you little angel-how fun for a mommy and daughter day out!

Shabby Apple also has a great feature for those of you nervous about shopping online and getting the fit right: Their Fit to Flatter center can help you find the perfect style for your body type! Their delicious dresses are also conveniently labeled as "Fits Generously" or "Fits True To Size".

I had the pleasure of trying out the Cleopatra Dress, and let me tell you, I felt absolutely royal while wearing it! The dress is casual and super comfy enough for me to wear it around the house, out to a playdate, or out for a walk with the kids! Yet with a few accessories, the Cleopatra Dress turns into the perfect date night outfit! The fit is fantastic for covering up post baby weight curves I haven't gotten rid of yet, and is super comfortable for warm or cool weather with the long length. And best of all? I feel amazing wearing it, and that my friends, is a boost that all women deserve from their clothes.

Would you like to save the world by shopping Shabby Apple? My readers can enter the code:

CoordinatedChaosblog15off

on the payment screen for a discount toward your next www.shabbyapple.com purchase. Hurry though, the offer ends Dec. 31, 2008!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sesame Street K'NEX!!

Do you remember watching Sesame Street as a child? I sure do, and my very favorite characters were Burt and Ernie. I loved Ernie's "Rubber Duckie" song and would sing it all the time! I am sure I drove my parents crazy with it!

Now, I have the joy of watching my son fall in love with Sesame Street, and it is amazing the nostalgic and joyful rush of memories I get as we sit and watch all my old pals teach my son great lessons, brought to him by the letter Q and the number 3! My Little Dude is so in love with Sesame Street, he can even point out characters as he sees them in stores or in magazines. "Elmo!" "Zoey!""Burt" "E-ne!" (Ernie) I am just loving it.

Obviously, I was SO EXCITED, when I found out K'NEX (another childhood favorite of mine) was teaming up with Sesame Street to create special Sesame Stree K'NEX toys for toddlers!!! And when I was asked to review them....let me just tell you it was a dream come true!

My son just turned two, so I was a little worried that perhaps the parts would be a little too advanced; however, he quickly identified his favorite characters from Sesame Street: "Burt! E-ne!" and after a short demo from me, he was off and running, building to his heart content. He is still too young to actually balance the Burt and Ernie characters, but as he gets older, the toys will even stand, bend, and work on his eye hand coordination as he balances them in a standing position!

My son LOVES building with these Sesame Street K'NEX, and I LOVE that all 46 pieces are chunky so that his little hands can easily grasp and hold them as he builds. I also love that while he is having a blast he is also improving his gross motor skills, fine motor skills and imagination. We were blessed to try out my favorite guys, the Burt & Ernie building set, and along with the vibrant, great colors, (which are great for teaching my son his colors!) there are also extra pieces in the set to build whatever your child's imagination can dream! The Burt & Ernie Building Set comes with three fun and educational activity cards with additional building ideas, but trust me, these toys are so fun that once you show your child what to do, he will be creating all kinds of wonderful things for you!

There is a whole range of different sets you can buy, ranging from $10.99 up to $31.99, featuring all your lovable Sesame Street Characters. Also, all the sets are compatible with each other AND contain the new KID K"NEX blocks, which are compatible with other leading preschool building blocks, so Little Dude has a whole new world of fun opened up to him. I already have my eyes on some of the larger Sesame Street K'NEX sets as Christmas gifts for him and my little nephew and nieces!!

And let me just tell you, when I need a little time to "be a kid" myself, I LOVE getting on the floor with Little Dude, building our Sesame Street characters together, and singing to him, as he laughs, "Rubber Duckie, you're the one...."


Monday, September 29, 2008

Fisher Price-My Little Lamb Cradle and Swing


So, as all of you know from my blog, my son JR has not been the easiest, nor happiest of babies. In fact, he has been known to cry for hours on end, as my husband and I try rocking, carrying,bouncing, and even wearing him in slings around the house to keep him happy. Some are hit and miss, and just depend on his mood, which can be frustrating for us, and of course makes us sad that we can't figure out what our son needs!

Well, no more of those days, my friends! Why? Because I found the Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle and Swing!! This swing is AMAZING. You can see my son, here enjoying it and get a close up look of the swing:


http://www.newbaby.com/miche


The Fisher Price My Little Lamb has really saved my life. My son LOVES to see himself in the mirror that hangs above and the soft fabric is just so cuddly and gentle. Also, a fantastic feature is that the My Little Lamb swing can turn to sing 3 different ways! It can swing front to back facing left OR right, as well as the cradle side to side swinging, so I can change his viewing range without having to move the swing! Also, the swing is incredibly light and easily folds up to store in a closet or to just move to a new spot on the house.

As you can see in my video, there is a lovely toy and food tray on the swing, but what you can't see is how easily it comes on and off- I am able to do it one handed! Also, the the product designers at Fisher Price did an amazing job of making the swing so beautiful and eye pleasing, even with the tray is not attached! There are not bumpy or pointed edges my son might hit or scratch himself on when the tray is removed because it is all ONE PIECE (also incredibly easy to keep up with!) and the clips for the swing are on the bottom sides, so all my son has tucked around him is plush, soft, cradling fabric.

The music is wonderful, too. Soft nature sounds with birds, water, crickets, and frogs along with 8 nurturing lullaby music tracks. The great sound track choices, along with the softly colored moving mobile and mirror, keeps JR very happy and entertained as he focuses on the moving images and enjoys the soft music.

You can buy the swing here: Fisher Price

And trust me, it is well worth the price because it makes my son happy, and that my friends, makes me a happy Mommy!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Review: A Friend Like Henry

Do you remember your first pet? Mine was a dog who was my best friend, tea party partner, and confider of childhood dreams. Though he never had to, I know that he would have saved me from any and all danger.

In the true life story, A Friend Like Henry, readers are welcomed into the world of Dale and the loving dog who truly saves him from the cage of Autism.

When the Gardners welcome home their newborn son, Dale, they have the optimism and dreams of all new parents. However, as the years pass and they realize that Dale is unlike other children, the Garnders face an unknown and scary diagnosis: Severe, Classical Autism. Even worse, they are told by "experts" their son will never be able to lead a normal life.

The author, Nuala Garnder, shares the frustration, challenges and fears she and her husband faced as they tried to keep their son from slipping further and further into his own world. Her open, honest account quickly draws the reader in and makes you feel like you are a family friend, sharing in all the defeats, but still hoping for a breakthrough to Dale's world. Her frank and beautiful story telling makes you want to laugh, cry, and empathize with her hourly challenges and defeats as she fights to get Dale the professional help they all need.

Hope, optimism and dreams are rekindled when a puppy comes into their lives. In the form of a golden retriever, Henry, the Garnders discover a way to slowly tear down the brick walls of Dale's Autistic cell. Henry's examples of unconditional love and patience save the entire family from the brink of despair by building a bridge between Dale's world and ours and making the impossible possible: for Dale to be a normal boy.

The worst is realized as Dale's little sister, Amy, also starts to show signs of Autism. Through the lessons from Henry, the Gardners are able to muster the strength to fight Autism head on yet again and with quick and early intervention, help to stop her deterioration into the unknown.

This book is a must read for everyone-beyond the story of parenting an autistic child-it is a story of hope and inspiration. Reading, A Friend Like Henry, makes you realize that miracles, no matter what others might say, are possible.

Would you like to read it? I loved the book so much that I am willing to give a copy to a lucky reader! See the rules at the bottom of this blog, leave a comment here or send me an email at: CoordinatedChaos@yahoo.com! The giveaway ends Oct. 1st and the winner will be contacted through email, so make sure I have a way to get in touch with you. Good Luck!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Past Reviews

Here are links to the reviews and giveaways I had before creating a nice "Miche Reviews" page to keep them all organized! Enjoy!

I Have Found My Jogger
Precious Moments Giveaway
Junk Yard Dogs
My New Ring Sling
Sippy Cups and Baby Plates
The Piano Is Fixed!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Review Blog

Hi, All! I have been blessed with some WONDERFUL online friends, and through their friendships I have been hooked up with some fantastic companies to do product reviews! I so very very excited! For the sake of organization, I will now be posting all of my product reviews, be them for a company or just to share my opinion with others, here at this blog, www.MicheReviews.blogspot.com, an affiliate with my parenting blog, www.coordinatedchaos.com.