Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Radio Flyer: Worlds Largest Wagon Mosaic!!!


Ring in the Summer with Radio Flyer!
World's Largest Wagon Mosaic



July 4th weekend is almost upon us, which means one thing- patriotic celebrations all wrapped up in red, white and blue! Families all over our great country will be heading to parks, beaches and backyard barbecues to commemorate the occasion with fireworks, sparklers and other symbols of Independence Day. And many of them will be pulling behind them another American icon in a certain signature color- a Radio Flyer Wagon!

Since 1917, the famous little red wagons by Radio Flyer have been a favorite of families and kids everywhere. Boasting more than a dozen award-winning wagon models and a complete line of tricycles, scooters, and other ride-ons, Radio Flyer is as synonymous with outdoor play as summer itself.

There are endless ways to enjoy your little red wagon, from standing out in the crowd at the Fourth of July parade, to toting all the ingredients for a fun summer picnic. Not only will your red wagon provide hours of outdoor adventures, it will bring a lifetime of memories too. That's why Radio Flyer is celebrating the beginning of summer by launching the World's Largest Wagon Mosaic. Simply capture your families' Radio Flyer moments on camera and go to http://www.radioflyerart.com/ to add your photo and help the legacy of the little red wagon live on!

Don't forget to follow @RadioFlyerSmile on Twitter and visit Radio Flyer on Facebook for great updates and insider information.
*No compensation was given for this honest post.*

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Electrolux and Kelly Ripa host, "Splits For a Cause."


Electrolux and Kelly Ripa Host
"Splits For a Cause"

Usually when we hear the word "split", we think of news of celebrity break-ups, splashed across the cover of tabloid magazines. Well, leave it to our favorite celebrity/brand team to prove that a split can be a good thing!

Kelly Ripa and Electrolux are joining forces once again to celebrate the launch of Electrolux Appliance's new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer - that's right, the familiar duo has split up. And to sweeten the celebration, they're bringing in the "Emperor of Ice Cream" Stephen Bruce, owner and founder of Serendipity 3, the landmark New York City restaurant and dessert spot, into the mix.

Kelly and Bruce teamed up earlier today to make banana splits for a cause. And now we want you to dig in, with your virtual spoon! Starting today, at http://www.kelly-confidential.com/, you can build your ultimate banana split using virtual ingredients from classic whipped cream to caramel sauce to rainbow sprinkles. For each "split", Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as part of its $750,000 commitment to help fight ovarian cancer[1].

As usual, Electrolux and Kelly find new and fun ways to say thank you to those who support this great cause. Everyone who logs on to the site and builds a split will be automatically entered for a chance to win the daily prize - $50 towards sweet summer treats - and the grand prize: the new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer from Electrolux.

The new Counterparts provide much-needed additional space for busy families, better temperature control and they're eco-friendly, too.

[1]From 6/29/10 - 9/7/10, Electrolux will donate $1 to OCRF for each banana split made, with a minimum of $35K and a maximum of $40K.

*No compensation was given for this post*

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Online learning...the iGeneration...

Today's students, known as the "iGeneration", are the first to crave and benefit from education "on demand" - or the option to choose where, when and how they want to learn.

To put it in context, the "iGeneration" has never known life without the Internet, being mobile, using avatars, IMing or choosing and watching content whether they are at home, in the car, at a football game or shopping at the mall. To reach them in their high-tech, high-touch world, many parents and educators are looking at how to rewire schools to match how the iGeneration learns.

Taking classes online is one way to give middle and high school students (and their school districts) new options to learn using preferred tools in a familiar environment, and even experience enhanced, one-on-one relationships with educators. Whether they're in need of more assistance, looking for wider range of classes or simply prefer to learn in a medium that they have grown up with, online learning can be a great way to fit your child's needs.

Students are increasingly able to take online classes in partnership with their local school districts. Schools facing budget cuts and a reduction in teachers are turning to online classes to supplement their curriculum, from offering classes for which they have no teachers, Advanced Placement® classes for students who excel, and credit recovery options for students who struggle. In fact, today there are 1 million children learning online, either part time, full time or between school terms. Additionally, more than 20 percent of schools and educational institutions around the country offer online classes today, and that number should grow by another 30 percent within a couple of years, according to industry research. (Simba Information).

View a Demonstration Video

We have provided a demonstration where you can view the tools and technologies online students use to engage with their teachers and classmates. Click on the following link to experience how students engage with their teachers and classmates online, in a recorded session where students from around the country come together outside of class to discuss the results of the "iGeneration" survey with their teacher and hear their insights. http://smub.it/jlj/iqlive

Also, to experience the robust curriculum offered by online learning, click on the following link - http://aventalearning.com/aventa-capabilities-demo. Once there, select the green button that says "view multi-media demo." When the demo loads, select media-rich curriculum to experience how online learning is effectively teaching today's iGeneration.

Online Learning Successes

Chicago Public Schools
Online learning is well suited for various learning styles and helps those who've fallen behind. More than 1,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) students who were at risk of not graduating from high school have received their diplomas this month with the rest of the CPS Class of 2010 after earning the credits needed to graduate through an innovative virtual learning program at 75 schools across CPS.

Military Family
Karl, a child of a military family, moved numerous times throughout his high school years, but wanted a consistent education experience. With online learning, Karl had the chance to excel at his studies and even graduated early with a 4.0 grade average. Karl embraced the independence and self-mastery that online learning fostered.

The Star Athlete
Isadora, a star tennis player, was struggling with the best way to juggle her demanding tournament schedule with a good education. Her parents enrolled her in online learning as a supplement to her local high school, so she was able to get in her two to three hours a day of tennis training - and stay ahead academically.

We hope you are as impressed with Onlineschoolsolutions.com as we are, and we appreciate your support of this program.

SOME STATISTICS

Online Learning
Student Survey
A recent survey found that compared to traditional learning environments, online learning is proving to be an effective way in teaching today's "iGeneration" who live in a world of customized and instant feedback. Here are highlights from the survey:

72% of online students spend three or more hours on homework per week vs. 56% of students in traditional schooling.

54% of online students get more challenges when they are doing well in school vs. 49% of students in traditional schooling.

58% of online students get more help when they fall behind vs. 40% of students in traditional schooling.

Online students have more interest in attending a four year college after graduation than students in traditional schooling. 78% vs. 67%

MY TAKE:

After looking through the info they gave me, it sounds like a great opportunity. I finished my degree online and so I know that online learning can be very beneficial under special circumstances. When I homeschooled, one year, because of my pregnancy with MaKenna, I used online learning for one of my boys...it worked great! So...I totally believe in this. HOWEVER, I DO worry that if it spreads like wildfire, the class environment will be eliminated, and all the fun, friendships, etc, that go along with that will also be eliminated. On the flip side, the world is run with computers, and the earlier we can teach our children to use them and know them, the better....but I just wish that computers wouldn't take the place of other important things. I do believe that this online learning is definitely a wonderful thing, for people with special circumstances.

Check out the links yourself and make your own opinion. I think that if you are going to have online learning in the household, this is the group to go with. They seem to be phenomonal at what they do.

What do YOU think???

Thanks to them for allowing me to review their site and learn more about them!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I LOVE fun guessing games!!


Win a
Black Flip MinoHD Camcorder

Black Flip MinoHD Camcorder at Gazaro

I predicted it hits $140.0 on June 28th
to win a new

Black Flip MinoHD Camcorder from

Gazaro

Bust Summertime Boredom!

Bust Summertime Boredom with
11 Wallet-Friendly Ideas from Primrose Schools


Prevent Summer "Brain Drain" by Planning Ahead

School is out and children are so excited that summer is here, but it won't be long until you hear the infamous, "I'm bored" from your little ones.

Primrose Schools, the leader in educational child care, recommends encouraging imaginative play and having a plan in place to keep children's minds engaged during the summer months. Studies show that without stimulation, children can lose up to 60 percent of what they learned during the school year.

That's why Dr. Mary Zurn, Vice President of Education for Primrose, has come up with the list of ideas below as a starting point for summer activities that offer a balance between the freedom of child-initiated play time and more structured activities.

The 11 Boredom Buster Ideas from Dr. Mary Zurn and Primrose Schools
www.drzandme.com and www.PrimroseSchools.com
"Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place."

Here are 11 ideas parents can use to keep young minds active during the summer months:

1. Boredom Buster Jar:
At the beginning of the summer, sit down with your family and brainstorm a list of activities that can be done alone or that you can enjoy doing together. Encourage your children to share their own ideas and help you decorate and label a simple jar as the family "Boredom Buster Jar." They'll feel more involved in the project and more likely to think this is a "neat" idea, if they participate in the creation and idea generation. Next, write everyone's ideas down on slips of paper and as a group decide which ones should go in the jar. Anyone in the family can pull any idea out of the jar to fight the summertime boredom blues.

2. Stories Alive:
It sounds too simple, but reading is one of the most important waysto keep young minds engaged during the summer.Make reading even more fun by finding ways to bring the stories to life. For example, in the book Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, children create a make-believe town in the desert out of rocks, boxes, and their imaginations. Read the book with your children and then challenge them to create their own town with materials they find in the backyard.

3. Art Start Box:
You'll need to gather basic art supplies-child safe scissors, glue, markers, tape and construction paper. Put them in a special box along with empty oatmeal boxes and paper towel rolls, colorful magazines and bits of aluminum foil. Occasionally add a special surprise like chalk, stickers, or stamp pads so there's always something new for the children to find. Even if you normally have these supplies around the house, it's fun for children to know that the Art Start Box is just for them. They'll probably have some good ideas of other household items that can be recycled to fuel their creative energies.

4. Family Performances:
Break out old clothes or costumes and encourage children to make up characters and create a play to act out. They are the directors, actors, and producers. They can also make musical instruments out of pots/pans, wooden spoons, empty canisters and have a parade; or everyone can play along to your family's favorite songs. Record or video the performances, and enjoy the replay. You'll also be capturing a bit of family history everyone will enjoy for years to come.

5. Family Dance Party:
Crank up the music and encourage your entire family to boogie down. Dancing gives children a great outlet for self-expression through their own motion and helps build self-esteem. It also enhances motor and coordination development by incorporating skills like jumping, landing and leaping. Dancing is a great activity that can involve the whole family and doesn't take very much preparation.

6. Fort Building:
Children love to build all kinds of structures--from small towns to large towers. Constructing forts or tents is an activity that can keep children focused and problem solving for hours. All the items you need can be found around the house- some chairs, cushions, blankets, and of course adult supervision.

7. Cookbook Fun:
Have you ever shared your favorite cookbook with your children? Take it out and ask your children to choose a recipe to try. Measuring can be a fun and easy way to keep math skills fresh.

8. Summer Scrapbook:
All you need for this project is a spiral notebook. Encourage everyone in the family to draw pictures of favorite activities and collect mementos from special events throughout the summer. Children love to go back through scrapbooks and albums and tell about what happened at each occasion. They will also be building their storytelling skills at the same time.

9. Listening Game:
Lie down in the backyard, in the den or at the park and listen. What do you hear? Do you hear what I hear? Can you imitate the sound? This is similar to watching the clouds and naming the shapes, and it encourages everyone to slow down and focus on listening.

10. Camping Out:
Pretend to campout in the backyard. Plan a meal, pack a backpack and set up a campsite. You might even decide to spend the night!

11. Scavenger Hunt:
Make a list or picture cards of common household items and have your children find the items on the list. Invite friends or neighbors to join in the fun to make it a competition.

To find these and other great tips for parents, check out Dr. Zurn's blog at DrZandme.com. And don't forget to grab Dr. Z's Widget while you're there!

For more information on Primrose Schools, visit www.primroseschools.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One eskimO concert review


I had the opportunity to attend and review a concert by One eskimO last night. I got two tickets and a meet and greet back stage. Not sure who to take with me, I finally asked my country bumpkin husband. When I say country bumpkin, I mean country bumpkin and One eskimO is NOT country music. But...I thought it would make for a fun date night.


One eskimO's music is tough to define...but I will try. It is along the lines of soft rock. Maybe like a Pink Floyd...Cranberries mix? Maybe even alternative? So...we'll go with soft, alternative rock!
So One eskimO is currently touring the states. They are from England, and from what I understand, they are pretty big there. One of their songs, "Khandi" has made them big there and here in the states.

They are extremely talanted people. VERY versatile! I was extremeley fascinated by their musical skills...especially that of the drummer. Now....some of you may know....I am a drummer....so I always find myself paying more attention to the drummers during concerts than anything else. However, this drummer was EXCEPTIONAL. He wasn't using a traditional drumset...and I am not sure that I ever saw him use an actual drum stick. He used brushes almost the entire time...and a couple of the brushes looked like they even glowed in the dark! That could have been just the lighting...but either way, it was WAY cool!! He was truly an amazing artist...and one point he even put something in his mouth which resembled the smoker thing that the caterpillar, Absolem, had in Alice in Wonderland...but it made a sound similar to the Didgeridoo! It was great! I have never seen anything like it! Something else that was new to me....he had something that looked like a Christmas Tree next to the set. I thought it was decoration. I will admit to thinking it was odd decoration since it is June....until I saw him hit it with his brush...and it made the most beautiful, high pitched gong sound! It was incredible! I TOTALLY want one!!! He also had something like an electric xylophone attached to the set. I mean...seriously...this drummer was state of the art...high tech!! It made me want to go up there and jam with him!!!

Then there was the bass guitarist who could play guitar with one hand and blow on his horn with the other! I for one LOVE music. It doesn't matter what kind of music...God has given me the ability to just enjoy music regardless of the type. Life is always good when I have music. I was in band...I love horns...but Jeff...he wasn't a big fan of the horn.

The singer has a very mellow voice. Very fresh and soft.

The other guitarist was equally talented.

While they played their music a video was going on behind them. It was a cross between Pocahontas meets eskimo...meets giraffe and penguins. It was interesting. I wasn't so into the video as I was way too busy watching the drummer...but from what my husband says it reminded him of The Wall with Pink Floyd. Not in content, but in the sense that it was a video playing while the music was playing. He got the sense that there was symbolism in the video...but like The Wall...it needs to be watched several times before the symbolism will be caught.
They played only for an hour but didn't start until 9 pm. I thought they were starting at 8, so I had my babysitter at home until 10:30 or so. I knew since they weren't done until 10, and it was a 20 minute drive still to get home, that I wouldn't have time for the meet and greet...so sadly I had to skip that part. I would have liked to have met them though and ask them all sorts of questions burning in my mind like, "Why One eskimO?", etc. But I didn't get the chance since I was running short on time. I could listen to them talk forever though...I am a sucker for british accents! :-)

All in all I think they did a fantastic job! I love ALL music, but I do have my favorite music and though this type of music wasn't my favorite, they still did a great job and I will still listen to their music...just not necessarily on a daily basis. Jeff on the other hand...not his cup of tea....BUT...he said they are highly talented and they did do a great job! Which they did. If I were their mother I would be extremely proud of them! I really foresee a HUGE future for them. Their talent is just too good to miss. I would highly suggest running out and purchasing their cd yourself and checking them out. Then spread the word about this fabulously talented group!

I am so thankful to One eskimO, their tour manager Daniel Zimman and One2one Network for the tickets to their show!

*I did not receive compentsation for this review other than the free tickets to the show.*

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Solo Online Photo Contest


Our friends at Solo are back this summer with their second annual Solo Online Photo Contest! And like last year, they are unveiling new must-have product just in time for summer barbecues. Solo Squared™ plates and bowls are the perfect complement to their popular Squared cup. These durable, single-use cups, plates and bowls cut down on clean-up time, which means more time for summer fun!
Speaking of fun, how does winning great prizes sound? The Solo Cup Company has launched their second annual online photo contest with a grand prize of $5,000 for the best photo featuring Solo products. You'll be able to enter your favorite photos at www.SoloCups4ever.com until August 6th. In addition to the grand prize, two $1,000 runner-up prizes will be awarded at the end of the contest. By entering, you'll also have the chance to win daily and weekly prizes of gift certificates and Solo products- a great way to extend the fun of summer well into the fall!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MOVING everything to this blog!

Hi all!! I am in the process of moving everything to this blog that is non family related! Please be patient! Please follow me and subscribe to this blog!! The other blog is still and will remain active...but I am going to devote that one to family, so that our out of state family can just read about the kids and not have to read reviews, etc. THIS blog will be about live in general, little tidbits and mostly reviews and GIVEAWAYS!!! Bear with me on getting thing transferred over!!!!