Thursday, April 28, 2016

Award Winning Cubes Puzzle - Garden Animals by HABA

HABA is a leader in high-quality award winning toys for children and I am happy to announce that their NEW 2016 Cubes Puzzle- Garden Animals has won a National Parenting Product Award!

Review product and additional information provided by HABA or representing PR Agency for review purpose only. All thoughts and opinions are my own, 
The Cubes Puzzle-Garden Animals is well crafted featuring 6 different animal frames you can switch out, along with 4, 6 sided cubes. The entire puzzle is made of wood, making it build to last. This puzzle was not only a hit with me, but my little guy loved matching the cubes to their frames and constructing each of the 6 adorable animals: beetle, frog, bird, fish, hedgehog and mouse.

Fitting the blocks into place builds his fine motor skills and constructing the animals develops problem solving. Making it even more appealing to him are the 3D cubes and two dimensional scenes, as opposed to more traditional flat puzzles.

I adore finding toys for my children that have that perfect balance of educational value and engaging fun. It's easy for me to figure out why The Cubes Puzzle-Garden Animals is a NAPPA Award winner.

Find this S.T.E.M approved educational toy online at for the MSRP of $23.99.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Are You Prepared for Mosquito Season? #LearnWithOrkin #Giveaway

Summer and all its fun is almost upon us; barbecues, picnics, beach trips and simply enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer. The down side to all that outdoor fun… mosquitoes! 

Luckily, though, we can rely on the professionals at Orkin who study the science of mosquitoes and other pests closely to better tailor plans that help keep them out of your home this summer. In fact, Orkin even has a new “Buzzer Beater” app, which features scientific knowledge of mosquitoes to help you and your family prepare to fight the bite.

Challenge your knowledge!

Are you prepared for mosquito season this year? Take the quiz to see if you’re ready to earn your badge in Mosquito Season Prep and check out the Orkin’s yearly “Mosquito Cities” list download and find out if your city made it!

So do you think you are prepared to fight the bite this year? Enter now to win The Orkin Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kit!

 Each pack includes:

2 Bug Catcher Craft Kits: These awesome DIY bug catcher kits will let your family’s personality shine through while also learning about nature and the world around us. The kits include a variety of foam ladybugs, dragonflies and more!

2 Bug Nets: Explore the great outdoors with these fun mesh insect nets. They can be used to collect and study butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars and many other backyard creatures.

2 See-Through Bug Jars: Reveal the wonders of your backyard with these clear bug jars. Each transparent plastic box has a magnifying lid for better insect viewing. Young explorers love discovering worms, butterflies, ants and insects. These containers allow them to make homes for their new discoveries.

2 Magic Color Scratch Little Garden Critters: Scratch faces, designs and more on these Magic Color Scratch Little Garden Critters! A perfect kids' activity for critter lovers, simply scratch away the black coating to reveal vibrant rainbow colors. Includes butterflies, frogs, turtles and more.

Glow-in-the-Dark Creepy Crawlers: Turn off the lights and let them glow! These vinyl glow-in-the-dark bugs are lots of fun for all ages.

Prize packs and information for this post provided by Orkin.

About Orkin:
At Orkin, we use the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that's right for your needs. To learn more about our pest control based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit or call 1-800-800-ORKIN.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Moms' You're Not Alone #SickJustGotReal (+ Giveaway)

As Mother’s we’ve all been there. Kids are sick we want nothing more for them to feel better and are possibly feeling a little guilty that we’d also like 2 minutes alone in the bathroom. 

There is no greater reward then being a parent, but it’s not without struggles. Those mom meme’s always seem to ring true for me. I’ve been peed on more times than I can count, I’ve left my home only to find a pop stain from the “explosion” that happened seconds before we left on my shirt. I’ve been vomited on while I held my little one with just as many tears just hoping that was the last of it and they will be able to rest and feel better. I’ve ate that Cheerio found in my hair and laughed about it. What can I say? I am a mom and I love it. And I’ve come to accept that taking care of little ones means sometime things get messy or tough, especially when "Sick just got real."™

“The video and gift card have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.”

Sick kids mean long days, longer nights. All you truly want is for them to get better. But like the the Sick just got real.™ video depicts, a mom can dream. You’re not alone! I myself dream of the day I can take the trip to the bathroom alone, or sleep-in for the day. One day those dreams will be a reality and I’m sure I’ll want nothing more than to hear someone banging on the bathroom door or jumping in my bed at 6am. But for now I will settle for happy and healthy, and when they’re under the weather and things are getting stressful I know I can turn to *Pfizer Pediatric products to help provide some relief.

Enter now for your chance to win a $25 Visa gift card courtesy of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

*use only as directed

Friday, April 15, 2016

How to be a Good bridesmaid

Your bestie finally asked — you’re going to be a bridesmaid! The next few months (or even years) are going to be a whirlwind of planning, preparation and parties. If you’re going to go down in history as the best bridesmaid ever, you’ll need to up your game. Here, House of Fraser shows you how to be a good bridesmaid. 

1. Wear the dress

Planning a wedding is stressful. From booking photographers to arranging a seating plan that won’t result in World War 3, the bride has a lot on her plate — the last thing she needs is you moaning about your bridesmaid dress.

By all means offer your opinion, but don’t be THAT girl who is constantly negative. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ruffled satin blancmange dress or lime green with pink polka dots, it’s her day and you should respect her wishes. Suck it up and keep the drama to a minimum. 

2. Make sure you’re 100% invested

You’re a bridesmaid — great! You get to wear a fancy dress and be in all the photos — but that’s not all your role requires. You’ll attend endless dress fittings and rehearsals, and deal with panicked calls from the bride about the color of her wedding favors at 2am.

If you’re not prepared to get involved and attend all of the events, don’t say yes. You’re either in or you’re out — there’s no middle ground. Either commit 100% or kindly decline.

3. Start saving in advance

Following on from the last point, the best bridesmaids always start saving in advance. While everyone knows how expensive getting married is, few consider how much bridesmaids have to shell out. 

From hen parties to wedding presents, the costs can quickly mount up — you may even be asked to pay for your dress, shoes, makeup and hair too. Give yourself a head start and start saving as soon as you’re asked.

4. Get to know the other bridesmaids

On the run-up to the big day, you’ll spend a lot of time with your fellow bridesmaids. From the bride’s family members to work colleagues and school friends, bridesmaids can be a mixed bag and you may not always know everyone.

To make the bride’s life easier, get to know the other bridesmaids. You’ll enjoy it more and could make a friend for life. 

5. Plan a considerate hen party

As a bridesmaid, you’ll be responsible for giving your bride a first-rate send off into married life. The key to planning a successful hen party is to be considerate.

It’s common sense really: if your bride loves make up and pampering, she’s probably not going to enjoy quad biking in the mud. Likewise, if she has said she doesn’t want a stripper, chances are she doesn’t want a stripper! Choose an activity that you know she will like to stop the hen party from falling flat.

6. Create emergency kits for the wedding day

The wedding day has arrived. A strap has snapped on a bridesmaid’s dress and the bride is fussing over her hair not being quite right — that’s where you come in.

As a perfectly prepared planning superstar, you’ve cleverly packed all of the essentials into your handbag. Tissues? Check. Hair clips? Got them. Safety pins? Of course! There’s nothing you’re not prepared for — a sign of a brilliant bridesmaid.

7. Be the peacemaker

While you may be the perfect bridesmaid, others may leave a lot to be desired! Bridesmaid drama is not uncommon — in fact, it’s almost a staple of any wedding! 

It’s easy to take sides and get involved in petty squabbles about what time the hen party should start or how unflattering the dress is, but you should be the bigger person. Mutiny in Team Bridesmaid will stress out the bride, so always try to keep the peace.

Starting Them Strong: Unlocking the Ability to Learn in Your Child

Every parent wants to raise a child that makes them proud. However, it’s much healthier for the child to feel good about their own achievements. Children evolve through school and some find their strengths related to particular subject areas whether it be English, Mathematics, Science, etc. Some children do better than others in school. Part of doing well is related to understanding how to study, learn, and retain information. Teach your children to be better students so they can take that knowledge and apply it in each classroom. 


It may seem ‘geeky’ to peers to be excited about a particular class, yet preparation usually makes a difference when it comes to retention and ongoing confidence. Star students read preliminary materials, skim ahead through textbooks, and research information online before they start taking a class or to supplement classroom materials. 


A lot of students get poor grades because they are not well organized or prepared for an upcoming exam. Many adults can relate to the notion of cramming before a big test. Unfortunately, such actions are not conducive to getting good grades overall or doing well on individual tests. Great students are organized and learn how to allocate time, balancing studying with socializing, chores, alone time, etc.

Notation and Review

Students who perform well take notes in class or while they study. Such practice reinforces learning and exposes the student to the information in various ways. Reading the information, writing it down, reciting it out loud, and then later reviewing or quizzing oneself, greatly improves the potential for retention. Taking notes is like studying a bit at a time rather than waiting until a few days before a test to cram.

Self Analysis

A bit of self analysis is required to become a great student. Some students are better auditory learners; they enjoy lectures or listening to podcasts to retain information. Others are visual learners and need to read information or watch videos; when they go to answer a test’s question, they remember seeing the information in a book passage or within an online video. Understanding how they best retain information, and their preferences for receiving information, is an incredible asset to a young student. Having students take the WISC test can give them greater clarity regarding areas of intelligence aside from math and reading.


Exceptional students are curious, whether that means having the courage to raise their hand and ask questions in class, choosing a study buddy, or taking the initiative to approach others, such as working professionals, to further their knowledge related to a subject. Encourage your kids to ask questions and remember the only silly question is the one not asked.


Remind students that going to school and taking classes requires a commitment. Just like joining a baseball team or volunteering to help older people buy groceries, being a student necessitates consistency and dedication. Students need to attend classes, pay attention, do their homework, and turn in all assignments on time. Waiting until the night before to study for a test or complete an assignment shows a lack of commitment and dedication.

David Carter is studying child psychology, and has a daughter of his own who just turned 4. He enjoys seeing how his daughter is developing, and helping her grow in every way he can. He writes for a number of blogs in his spare moments.