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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tween Giveaway of Dork Diaries & Zynks for Drinks ends October 17, 2010

Are you looking for some great books for your tweens? Books that can and will relate to them and their lives? Middle School Years can be very scarey and having someone to relate to can help out a lot. The Dork Diaries character Nikki Maxwell gets into trouble, has the same desires as tweens her age and has fascinations that are new and different common to any tween you may know.

Rachel Renee' Russell the author of The Dork Diaries calls Michigan home as a child where she grew up in a small town near the shores of Lake Michigan. As an adult Rachel is an attorney in Virginia but finds pleasure in writing children books. Rachel is a mother who shares her love of writing books with her children and allows her daughter to help with illustrations. Her daughter and her created The Dork Diaries with realism in mind and used their own experiences in school. Rachel says that she was not only considered a Dork in school but she is still a dork. I love this statement because I am always telling my children to be friends with everyone because you are never sure what Dork will end up doing good in life. The experiences that Rachel and her daughter had while in school will be shared in more up coming Dork Diary books with the third book appearing in 2011 and the fourth in 2012.

Zynks for drinks are super cute bright colorful stretchbands to fit around any drink. Perfect way to be able to I.D. you can or glass as well as a cool way to show off a bit. Zynks for drinks is the perfect item for any tween because:
  • No more lost beverages!
  • No more half-full cans of soda on the coffee table after a party!
  • No more germ-o-phobe moms at the play group panicking about which cup belongs to the kid with the runny nose!
  • No more waste!!!!
  • PLUS, personality!
All great reasons any tween would want a Zynks for drinks. One of the best parts is originality because Zynks for Drinks offers over 30 different themes. How great this would be for any family gathering, party or just hanging out.

Zynks for drinks was created by a lady who grew up in a family where the motto of waste not want not was a way of life. The thought of throwing out 1/2 a can of soda that had been sitting around for a unspecified amount of time was unheard of. When she moved out and got married she experienced the other side of life it seemed her husbands family had never heard of the motto that was enforced in her family. The amount of 1/2 drunk soda cans, juice boxes that went unopened and not to mention glasses of drink that still contained left over drinks bothered her just a bit. She attempted to write names on the drinks to try to rid the problem of never knowing whose was whose but sadly this did not work that is when she devised the Zynks for Drinks.
Have a special young person in mind that you think could find good use in The Dork Diaries? Are you or someone you know in need of Zynks for Drinks? Well I have a wonderful tween prize collection where someone will be able to win both the Dork Diaries books and their own Zynks for Drinks.

To enter giveaway: (1)  Visit the Dork Diaries website and let me know something I did not share or a memory you have as a tween. (2) Check out the Zynks for Drinks and let me know what your favorite theme is.

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Giveaway starts now and ends October 17, 2010. Good Luck Email must be in comment or on blog profile or it will not count.

We received a copy of the Dork Diaries for review. Thoughts and opinions shared in this post are those of mine alone and may or may not agree with others.

MySelf Belts Review and Giveaway

All of my children have been independent. They all liked to do things for their selves as soon as they could. My grand baby Princess is no different. There are things that our little ones think and want to do for their selves but they can not physically always do. One of these things used to be fastening the belt on their pants. Little hands can try all they want to but when loops and hooks and etc... all need to do be done little hands can often find it difficult. That is why I love the MySelf Belts. They are the belts that only take one hand to fasten. Little hands are not the only ones that may find it difficult to use both hands to fasten their belt. That is why MySelf Belts also have available belts for teens and adults. Individuals with disabilities are individuals who are proud and want to do all that they can do for their selves. This not only includes large activities like living on their own and having a job but small activities such as caring for their selves which includes dressing. MySelf belts allows all individuals big and small to fill good about their selves.
MySelf  Belts is the creation of two sisters Talia and Danielle. Both Talia and Danielle are moms with their own special gifts, Talia a social worker and Danielle a retail industry veteran. Not surprisingly MySelf Belts came about because a child of the sisters found it difficult to fasten their own belt while learning to potty train. The inability to locate a belt that was easy to fasten led them to develop a belt for kids on their own. The belt the duo developed was not only kid friendly but also promoted independence. The sisters take pride in the fact that the MySelf belts are also offered to individuals of all ages who may struggle with hand dexterity issues or other limitations. The MySelf belts allows all to gain independence.

Take a look at the super cute belts available for children both boys and girls.

available size age 2 to size 10
available in sizes age 2 to size 10

available in size age 2 to size 10

available in sizes age 2 to size 10

Have someone that you believe could use one of the MySelf Belts? You can purchase the MySelf Belts from their website One lucky Annies Home reader is in luck because the ladies from MySelf Belts wants to give them their choice of belt in childs size.

To enter this giveaway visit the MySelf Belts website and let me know which belt would be your choice if you were the winner. Choose smartly because the belt you choose will be the belt you win if you are the lucky winner.

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Giveaway starts now and will end October 17, 2010. Good Luck Email must be in comment or on blog profile.

We received a MySelf Belt for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions are mine alone and therefore they may agree with others or because they are only my opinions may not agree with anyones.

Pampers Gifts To Grow

Here are a few more Pampers gifts to grow points.
FacebookOct2010 (10 points)

Thanks Money Saving Mom

Mexican Meatballs

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 16-ounce jar salsa

Heat oven to 400° F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, preferably ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; let cool.In a large bowl, combine the pork, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, and onion mixture. Shape into 12 meatballs. Wipe out skillet, add the remaining oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 7 minutes total.If not using an ovenproof skillet, transfer the meatballs to a baking dish. Pour the salsa over the top. Bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Tip: If you're in the mood for soft tacos, set out corn or flour tortillas and shredded cheese with the meatballs. Otherwise simply serve them over rice.

Source: My

Friday, October 1, 2010

Juppy Baby Walker review and giveaway

Princess is grown and now runs, jumps, walks and does it all on her own. It wasn't always that way just ask her mommy who had an aching back as Princess tried to learn to walk using mommies hands with mommy in a built over position to make up for the height of Princess. The Juppy will save my daughters back from excruciating memories such as these because it will allow her to stand up straight yet allow her baby to learn to walk. Just watch this short video as it describes all about the Juppy Baby Walker.

My take on the Juppy is that it is the perfect Baby Walker. It allows the parents to be there every step of the way without having the dreaded back pain that often occurs when walking hand in hand. I also love the fact that the Juppy Baby Walker easily folds up and can be easily carried in a purse or bag and transferred to where ever one needs to go. Just think of the ease of traveling to the park, to the beach, to church, to grandmas house or where ever one goes.

Buy: you can purchase the Juppy Baby Walker from their website

Win: Juppy is allowing me to host a giveaway here on my blog Annies Home where one winner will receive a Juppy Baby Walker of their own. To enter the giveaway please visit the Juppy Baby Walker website and let me know which color you would prefer.

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Giveaway starts now and will end October 16, 2010. Good Luck email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count

We received a Juppy Baby Walker for purposes or review. The comments and opinions shared in this post are mine and may or may not agree with others.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Win a Play Doh Mega Fun Factory

One of the funnest things about growing up was playing with Play-Doh. How cool !!! Now my nieces, nephews, and grandbaby love to shape, pull and play with Play-Doh as well. Over the years Hasbro has added creative toys to play with the old faithful Play Doh but for the most part it has stayed the same. One of the coolest new products to use with play-doh is the mega fun factory. J. Leigh Designz and Hasbro has teamed up to offer a cool giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a Play-Doh Mega Fun Factory set. Giveaway ends October 18, 2010

Fall Tips from top websites

The fall weather is my favorite time to travel. I do not have to travel often with my grand baby but if I did I found some great tips on Pampers Village about potty training on the go as well as a few other ideas. You may want to check them out as well.

Fall is also a time when I spend more time in the kitchen. Between fall and winter the kitchen will be hustling with busy people. My hubby and kids also love to cook but sometimes we need to cook a quick meal. Cooking Light offered a great list of ingredients to fill in your kitchen for the busy cooks you should take a look

Great After School Snack Ideas

After School often means hungry kids as well. So what do you feed the troops when they come home? As moms we want to give them healthy snacks and our kids want it quick. Here are some great ideas for after school snacking

The above are some of my favorite snacks listed on the top 20 best snacks for kids that Parents Online shared you can find recipes and more tips there.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderlion (low carb)

1 Pork Tenderloin (about 1 1/4 lb)
3 Scallions, trimmed and cut lengthwise in strips
5 Strips of lower sodium bacon

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make a long slit lengthwise down center of pork, being careful not to cut all the way through. Open the pork like a book. Place scallions on one cut side of pork; fold pork back over to close. Wrap bacon slices around pork to cover completely. Place in small roasting pan. Rub 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 Packet of your choice of sugar sweetener over bacon. Roast 20 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted in center reads 150 degrees. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Source: Diabetic Connect

Going To The Apes
Only for a great charity event would I dress up in an ape outfit in 90 degree weather. Can you imagine all the great folks you would meet. No this is not me but a friend of mine a preacher in a near by town with a great sense of humor. They were giving away chocolate dipped bananas

Cool Cars
Cars for Kids were also at the Charity for Kids and I captured these great pictures.

The orange/peach car almost makes you feel as if the drive in was still around. I would have loved to have been a teen in that time period. Of course my time had its own fun but wow big cars, carhops and drive in movies seem very cool to me.

Loving Life Together
This is me and my hubby and we are simply loving life together. Here in this picture we took the day off to go explore some of our beautiful Southern Illinois. We have been together for 23+ years and just simply love being together. Thats what works for me what is it that works for you? Do you have someone special in your life that you love to be with? An activity that you love to do? Or what is it that puts that smile on your face and works for you?

Beautiful Quilts - Wordless Wednesday

Recently I attended a charity event for Baptist Childrens Homes. Part of this event is the wonderful quilt auction held each year. Here are just a very few of the quilts I loved.

My grandmother was a quilter and I reckon her mother was also a quilter. I can remember the time they spent going into each time seeking piece making sure all the lines were correct the pattern was they wanted it and the colors in the material were just so. I can remember her using leftover cloth, cut up pieces of clothing that no one wore any more and purchasing special material for the quilt she would create. The beauty in her quilts are priceless and it seems that through her quilts grandma left a piece of herself.

Dreaming A Quilt

Vision unfolds.
Color and pattern
change form,
then settle down;
ready to become real.

Fabric bought
here and there.
Shades and hues
are elusive,
having dwelled
only in thought.

Purchases placed
in a box beside
templates designed
late at night.
Inspiration surfaces
in that somnolent state.

Supplies gathered;
plans sketched on
an old yellow pad.
I close the lid
and slip the container
beneath the bed _

that secret place
where dreams
like this wait.

© 1998 Anne Johnson

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Creativity for kids Pottery Studio Review and Giveaway

As the days become shorter and the weather outside becomes cooler you may find yourself looking for great projects to do indoors. There is no need to look any further than Creativity for Kids where you can find hundreds of wonderful craft projects to do. Do a search here on Annies Home and you will find out several projects that we have had fun making from Christmas stockings to planters we have had lots of fun with kits from Creativity for Kids. Our latest kit that we had the fortune to review was the Do Art Pottery Studio kit.

Pottery has been part of a wide variety of civilizations and is not only fun but a useful craft as well. The Do Art Pottery Studio will introduce your child to the art and history of hand sculpted pottery. The manner in which it starts out with simple pinch pots and leads up to more complex projects is one that I am fond of. I feel that starting at an easy point builds confidence and allows the child or adult to want to build up to the harder skill. I am happy that the Creativity for Kids pottery set has the goal of instructing as well as inspiring making it a very useful homeschool tool as well. Everything about the Pottery Studio is meant to help the child or adult to learn the craft of creating pottery. The wheel itself is grooved so that the clay will hold on and this also helps to keep the clay center. Unlike toys that run out of the batteries fast the Pottery Studio allows the foot pedal to control the on off switch so when the pottery wheel is not in use the batteries are not on. Creativity for Kids does want to remind the customer that their pottery wheel is high quality but does not compare to real pottery wheels that cost hundreds/thousands of dollars.

Do you want to learn the art of pottery or have a little artist in mind over the age of 8 that would love to learn how to make pottery? Then enter the giveaway here on Annies Home that Creativity for Kids is sponsoring where one lucky reader will win their own Pottery Studio.

To enter giveaway: visit the Creativity for Kids website at and let me know what art kit you would love to have.

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Giveaway starts now and ends October 15, 2010. Good Luck Email should be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count

We received a Art Pottery Set for review purposes. Thoughts and Opinions shared in this post were mine alone and therefore may or maynot be the same as yours.

Baby Sick?

When our little ones are sick it makes us as parents feel bad as well. Do you ever notice that many times little ones will get sick after the Dr. office closes? What to do? Do you take them to the E.R? When you are not sure what to do when the little one gets sick you may want to check out this symptom checker from

Win a Britax Car Seat

Princess is getting to be a big girl and no longer rides in her little car seat. Well, actually Princess was nearly 10 lbs when she was born and it did not take long for her to grow out of her infant seat. But her first car seat was very special she felt secure in it but now that she is getting bigger she will be moving up into an even bigger car seat. The ones from Britax are super nice and I would love to get her one. The blog Simply Being Mommy is hosting a giveaway sponsored by Britax where the winner will get a Britax Frontier 85 car seat like shown in the picture. You should just see all the great fabric choices available. If you want to enter this giveaway do so before October 25, 2010  

Win a Diaper Cake

Have you heard the news? Princess will be a big sister soon and I will have another grand baby to spend time with, love and cuddle. Oh how precious a new baby is. A new baby as we all know needs its own things from diapers to special shampoo a shopping trip is always in order. I fell in love when I saw this diaper cake from Diaper CakeWalk on the Kiddies Corner Deals blog. At this time you can enter a giveaway there to try to win a three tier cake on their best seller list. The giveaway ends October 12, 2010

Soup and Sandwich Night is Back On Menu

Autumn is in the air and the cooler weather means that Soup and Sandwich night is back. Yeah!!! i love finding lots of great ways to please the family with new soups and sandwiches. I recently found this great combination on My Recipes and it will be on our menu for next week for sure
Jack and red pepper quesadillas Coat 1 side of each of 4 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas with cooking spray. Place tortillas, coated side down, on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle each tortilla with 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 2 teaspoons sliced green onion. Fold each tortilla in half. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into wedges.

Win Cute Push Along Toy from Melissa and Doug

My children all learned to walk while holding on and pushing a toy. Often it was a toy grocery cart as they would start pushing eventually forget they were holding on and let go and walk. The Chomp and Clack Alligator wooden toy by Melissa and Doug would also be a very cool learn to walk toy. How fun it would be to play with and push as the alligators made chomping and clacking noises. The blog happily blended is hosting giveaway sponsored by Gummy Lump  where winner will recieve this cute little toy. Giveaway ends Octobe 10, 2010

Whats your Toddler Afraid Of?

We all are afraid of something. Even the strong tough ones who would love to say we are not afraid of anything are still afraid of something. When we reach the age of talking through our feelings and sharing our thoughts we can easily share our fears. What about the toddlers that can not yet talk clearly or share feelings? They are still afraid of things and sometimes it is very hard to decipher exactly what they are afraid of. Parents Online took a look at the top 10 fears of toddlers recently and listed them as;

fear of the dark:

many adults also have this fear it is a fear that children often have and some adults find it hard to get out of. Fear of the dark is often the fear of the unknown. When we feel afraid in the dark we often turn on a light. It is very important to teach toddlers where the light switches are and that they can turn on the light if they can not see and are afraid. We always had a night light near the bathroom and in our children's rooms. One thing that our daughter did is to give her daughter a snuggle toy that lit up just enough so that she was not afraid

Fear of monsters is also a very serious fear of toddlers. While as adults we find this a bit funny toddlers take this fear very serious. You can help your child by going on a monster hunt before bed checking the closet, under the bed and in any hiding place the monster may be. Another idea is to have a squirt bottle filled with water and label the bottle monster spray. Toddlers imaginations go a long way and if parents can help to calm their fears then all the better

Fear of the weather is a fear that many children and adults have. I have a brother in law who will not be found outside if a storm is approaching as well as a nephew who as a toddler showed great signs of fear. No they are not related in fact my nephew is my brothers child and my brother in law is my husbands brother. Help your toddler by creating a visual chart so they can understand what is expected in the weather. Another great idea is to create a plan in case of bad storms. My daughter has a kit prepared for her and her little girl each time a storm with possible tornado's comes up they grab their kit and head to the basement.

Bad dreams are a fact of life and a major fear of toddlers. Our children went through what are called night terrors Night Terrors are not only hard on the child but also the parents who so want to help the child. We eventually had to talk to our pediatrician for advice on what to do. If your child has night terrors that is what I advise you to do as well

Fear of strangers is often more common in toddlers than in infancy. My grand daughter is so cute because she will come to me instantly as soon as she hears my voice and sees me. But my husband who sometimes has a beard and other times does not she will shy away til he talks to her. Toddlers are often like this wanting to be sure they are safe and if they are not staying by mom where they know they are This to me is not a fear you want to break away from them wanting to be near mom as much as you want them to welcome others as well. Parents should lead by being friendly and visiting others.

Fear of separation breaks the parents heart and seems to crush the little one. Parents should set up a good bye routine and only leave the child with trusted individuals that the child has been introduced to.

Fear of being alone is one thing that my daughter has struggled with when it comes to our Princess. She is an only child and there are times that mom would just like to go do her own thing. However, princess has other ideas such as mom reading, mom cuddling, etc... This behavior is great but when it comes to homemaking, cooking etc... it becomes difficult. One thing we have learned is that to have your child in the same room but a bit away from you constantly reminding them that you are there

Toilets and bathrooms were a major fear of one of my nephews who it seemed took forever to get potty trained. He was so short it scared him a bit to sit on it and then I am not sure what other fears he had. You can help your child by investigating the potty with them and supplying a step stool for a step up

Fear of Doctor of Dentist is another fear that toddlers share with adults. I believe I developed a fear of them as a child and the thought of having to go still gives me a chill. To comfort my children we would discuss the doctor visit ahead of time as to look forward to it and then sit in waiting room reading and talking. I am happy to say that the doctor visits for my children were not as traumatic as they were for me
What are or your child afraid of?? Did you find your fear on the list??

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