Friday, June 26, 2009

Jump Start

I work on the computer, but somehow I never quite thought my toddler would be able to get around on it-boy was I wrong!

When I was offered the chance to try out and review, I was a little hesitant, because I really thought my son would be too young to get much from an educational online game-but again, boy was I wrong!

Jump Start is FANTASTIC for teaching kids, the award-winning adventure-based 3D virtual world is personalized, imaginative and really entertaining, all the while teaching math, reading, and critical thinking skills so kids get a real "jump start" in life.

Since I used to teach preschool, I understand how much of an advantage getting that little "jump start" on understanding basic math, letters, and critical thinking can be your our children once they start school. Not only will having these basic school skills learned give your child confidence in their new surroundings-which may be a bit of shock if they didn't go to day care or preschool-they will also give your child a strong basis for learning the next level!

What is also great about Jump Start? You have to register and your kid's profiles stay private, so you don't have to worry about their personal information ending up on the internet somewhere. Your kids can play in virtual worlds, work on their math skills and learn valuable life lessons-like the Golden Rule-while also having a world of fun! The best part? You can print out progress reports of how your child is doing at the game and what skills they might need extra help with. How wonderful is that? So while your child thinks they are just having fun on the computer, you can enjoy the fact they are learning, and you can learn what skills you need to spend extra working with them to improve! Fantastic! is created by an award winning early childhood learning company, and provided me with a free trial of to try out with Little Dude, who is not yet 3. This review was not paid and the online interactive world of is geared for ages 3-10. You can find out more about joining Jump Start here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Primrose Schools

Before I started staying at home with my munchkins, I worked as a day care provider for other people's munchkins and loved every second of it. In fact, if Bill's job had not transferred him to Tennessee shortly before Little Dude was due to be born, I would have gone back to work at the day care and just taken Little Dude with me. I loved my job that much and knew he would have a blast with the other teachers I worked with.

I loved working at the preschool/day care I worked at, and becoming an "adopted" part of each of my children's families was a huge honor. In fact, I still keep in touch with the majority of parents whose children I cared for over the years I worked.

So, I was super excited when Primrose Schools contacted me and asked me to take some time to review their preschool and new blog on early childhood expert tips and fun by Dr. Mary Zurn at Can I tell you I am in love with Primrose Schools? I really enjoyed the preschool system I worked with, and would go back to working there in a heartbeat; however, Primrose Schools has so much to offer, like Spanish, Music, Physical Fitness and special programs for children with special learning needs.

My favorite part of Primrose Schools is their Balanced Approach to Learning. Most preschools/day cares go too far one way or the other. Some are purely child lead learning, and others are purely teacher lead learning-but Primrose has figured out the best way. They have a balance of child lead and teacher lead learning to help your child get the most time dedicated to what they are interested in while still getting the instruction and direction to try learning new things.

Their new blog, is a great resource, too. You can find summer time boredom solutions, rainy day activities, and you can ask Dr. Z all your early childhood questions. I know I will be calling on Dr. Z for help in busting the apartment boredom blues!

You can check out Dr. Z's blog now to get instructions on 10 summer time activities your children are sure to enjoy and you are sure to enjoy creating with them. Have fun!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Iddy Biddy steps for a Greener World can be made by your children, thanks The Nature Conservancy! Idbids is a fun group of soft, plush toys and each one represents a different part of nature. With the purchase of each kit, a child can enter a code online that will help protect the habitats of animal friends through The Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion Trees campaign, Adopt an Acre® or Rescue the Reef® programs AND your child can play along at!

We got Waverly, the Water Drop Idbid, and he helps with The Nature Conservancy's Rescue the Reef® program. Once you buy Waverly, a donation to the program is made and you are able to go online to with your personal code (that Waverly comes with) so you can pick out one of Waverly's friends and learn about how to help take care of your new friend's habitat.

The Idbids site is such a great learning tool for all ages of children, and my 3 year old just LOVED picking out a friend, naming him (Little Dude picked the clown fish and named him Nemo) and learning all about where "Nemo" lived. It was great fun for me, too, as my son and I got to explore and learn about how to "save Nemo".

So Little Dude is enchanted with Waverly, the Water Drop and I am too because of all the learning he is inspiring in my son (and me!) But most of all I love Waverly because he is an Organic USDA certified handcrafted toy. That means I don't have to worry about my youngest son chewing on Waverly, or wonder if it is OK for Little Dude to be sleeping with Waverly. Waverly is made with conserving nature in mind, so he is made out of organic cotton and the tag is printed in the US on recycled paper with eco friendly inks.

How's that for a company being responsible? You can learn how to get your Idbid at The Nature Conservancy and you can buy your own Idbid at

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Avon And Suze Orman

So remember how I got to talk to Suze? Yea, it was pretty awesome to talk to her about my financial questions on saving for the future. I am still in awe I got picked to sit on the panel of great women bloggers that got to interview her.

And you know was is really cool? Suze has teamed up with Avon to promote Avon as a way for busy working women (like us moms!) to earn extra money by working as little or as much as we want.

Well, you may be saying, yea, that's OK, but what is cool about that? It's cool because I have a bag of Avon goodies to give away to one of my awesome readers!!!

Cool, eh?

I had actually never used Avon before, because honestly I have horrible skin. It is fine if I don't wear makeup, but as soon as I put any foundation or blush on, the next day I am sure to break out. So for the most part, I don't wear much makeup. I only wear it for those special occasions, like dinner out with Bill, or at weddings. Other than that, I skip it.

But you know what? I got to try out some Avon myself, (as a little perk of participating in on the Suze Orman interview) and I am in LOVE. I have worn it every day for the past week and not had a breakout yet! The mineral foundation is just amazing (and I have never tried mineral foundation before, but I really love it now) and the great lipsticks stayed on but didn't stain every cup I drank from. Fabulous!

Now I am sure you are asking how you can win the goodie bag, right? It is easy! All you have to do is email me at OR leave a comment here sharing a story about your first time wearing make up.

Mine? The first time I wore full make up was to Prom my freshman year of high school; it completely made me feel like a if only my mom hadn't had to chaperone....but that is another story.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Diane Birch: Bible Belt

I was lucky enough to get picked to review Diane Birch's Bible Belt CD, which hit stores this week! I have to say a huge thank you the One 2 One Network for getting me involved in this great promotion.

I have to admit, that when I first started listening to the Bible Belt soundtrack, I was not sure what to expect, and the jazzy mix of blues and soul that belted out surprised me because 1: I had not realized it was a blues CD 2: I liked it! And I am not usually a blues fan.

If you like Nora Jones or Diana Krull, you'll probably like this album. It's bluesy yet modern enough to grab today's listener. And it quickly caught my attention. I gave it a couple of plays before deciding on what tracks I liked and which I didn't.

Blues isn't normally my genre of choice, but I was happy to receive this album to review. I really didn't know what to expect, as I'd never heard of Diane Birch before, but I was pleasantly surprised once I gave it a listen. The songs vary from uptempo and fun to slow and sensual, and I was rather surprised that I really ended up loving some of the slower, more soulful tracks. With the upbeat tracks intermixed with the slower ones, there is a nice range for every music lover out there.

The CD was available starting June 2 in music stores everywhere. Give it a chance; you will be glad you did. I know I am!