Friday, December 19, 2008

DVD Winner- Pingu

And the lucky winner for the Pingu South Pole Adventure DVD is.....


.........Pam! Congrats, please e-mail me your address. I will try to get this to you soon! I hope that you and Jack enjoy it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winner: Snow Days DVD

Congrats, Andria!! You are the winner of the Hit Favorites: Snow Days DVD. Please e-mail me your address, and I'll make sure that goes out to you soon! I hope that you and the kids enjoy it.

DVD Review & Giveaway: Pingu's South Pole Adventures

Have you met Pingu yet? He's an interesting fellow. He is a mischievous little penguin who is always looking for trouble....errr....adventure. There are so many things that a little penguin can do in the good ole South Pole. In Pingu's South Pole Adventures Pingu meets up with the Abominable Snowman. He does many other fun things too.

Zachariah enjoyed this DVD with the funny penguin. It puts me in mind of the Shaun the Sheep DVD that we viewed not long before. There is little to no talking going on, and it is really silly comedy. But I believe it is fun for the target audience of children ages 2-8.


Would you like to win this DVD for a child in your life? Lucky you, I have one to give away. To enter just leave a comment telling me your favorite winter sport (mine is probably figure skating- to watch and not participate in). Make sure that I have a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you when you win. If you'd like a second entry, just link to this contest on your blog and come leave another comment (that counts for the second entry). The contest will end Friday, December 19th at 11:00 PM EST.
Stick around for more giveaways. I have two more I will be posting soon. And I'm not leaving the contests open for too long, because I'm hoping that you'll get the videos sooner that way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Help! I can't make this decision on my own!

If you didn't know yet, I won a pair of shoes (or anything from their website) from Keen. Jen at Absolutely Bananas is my new best friend. Go give her a hug for me. Keen has all sort of lovely things like shoes for the whole family, socks, and bags (above- Laurel: Port Royale-Beet Red).






I could get a cool pair of shoes that would look great on Matt (see above- Bandon Shoe WP: pinecone), or I could get Zachariah the most rockin' pair of toddler sneakers (below- Targhee: dark gull gray/old gold).





But let's be honest. I won this prize, so it's going to be all about me! I don't very often do nice things for myself, and this is my chance. (below- Wasatch Crest WP: cloud blue/lunar rock)


I could get myself some shoes or a bag (see the cute one above or check out the other neat ones on their site). But I truly need some new shoes. (below- Ventura Suede: pinecone)






Most of the time I wear tennis shoes. Nothing fancy, just some Sketchers I picked up on sale. I have worn my current pair day in and day out for two years now. They are due for replacement soon. (below- Targhee II: charcoal/warm olive)
But let's be real. I truly want a pair of cute shoes just because! I was looking to replace a pair of black, chunky, dressy/casual shoes anyway, so I think that's more of what I'm leaning towards.

And here's where you come in. I need your help to decide.

These (below- Calistoga: Orion Blue) are so adorable! I love the style, and I really like the blue. Problem is that for Christmas my mom ordered me a pair of shoes from Land's End that are blue.


So that makes me think about these black ones with the little flowery things. Cute cute cute! I think these are my second place choice right now (below- Calistoga: black).


Then these (below- Palermo MJ: black) are my first place choice. These are the ones the I told Jen that I would choose, but I thought I might change my mind. After looking at all of the options, I'm still strongly leaning towards these. They are really cute, and I think I could wear them with jeans and my black corduroy pants (which is what I wear everywhere about 85% of the time- jeans or corduroys). I'm hoping these look kinda-dressy and casual...that's what I'm going for.


Here is what I want from you. What would you choose? Keep in mind my opinions and options here. I'm definitely leaning towards my first or second choice. Pick one of those or talk me into something else.
1. Calistoga: black
2. Palemro MJ: black
3. One of the tennis shoe options (which ones?)
4. Something else that I haven't considered that I must have
Go forth and vote! Your opinion is needed and valued. I'm also going to run these by my mom and grandma when they are here tomorrow (they both have good taste). Plus I may run to the store here in town that carries these shoes to try a few on and see them in person. That may sway my decision too.

DVD Review & Giveaway: Snow Days

So, I've been winning (or at least getting nice things) left and right this week. First I got a $100 gift card (from a friend), then I won a book from CP at 3 Giraffes, and finally I got free shoes! (I totally need your input and advice about the shoes. I'm composing a blog post for later about that- complete with photos.)

Now it's your turn! I have several reviews/giveaways that I want to get done before Christmas. To be honest I wanted to get them done over the last two week but that didn't happen, so here we are now. I can't guarantee that the winners will get these before Christmas, but hopefully they will get them soon after at least.

*****

Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment have done it again. This time they've put together a collection of fun preschool oriented shows about SNOW. HIT Favorites: Snow Days is now available online and in stores.

This DVD includes episodes from Barney, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, Pingu, and a bonus episode from Fifi and the Flowertots. There are shows about Christmas, Santa, Christmas trees, winter, hockey, sledding, and more.

We enjoyed this DVD. I love the collections of videos with a theme like this. It gives Zachariah a chance to see all his favorite characters in one place and have fun celebrating the season.

I am going to give away one copy of this DVD. You can enter by leaving a comment here telling me what your favorite Christmas movie is. Mine is Christmas Vacation, we watch it every year and can't stop laughing. You can earn a second entry by linking to this giveaway on your blog, then come back here and leave another comment so I know you linked (that will be your second entry). Make sure that I have a valid e-mail for you (many of you who read regularly, I already have yours so now worries), so I can notify you when you win. Contest ends at 11:00PM EST Thursday, December 18th, so hurry and enter now! Good luck!

**And come back later to tell me which shoes I should get.**

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I love shoes!

I didn't get any new computers, but Mama just got a new pair of shoes! Ehhh! I'm practically squealing here. (I really would, but the kiddo is napping and I don't want to wake him.)

I just won Jen at Absolutely Bananas' Keen shoe giveaway!!!

I can't see it in the link for that post, but if you go to her main page and scroll down to the giveaway you can see the picture of the shoe I said I liked. I don't know yet if that's what I'll choose. There are so many options. I can tell you it will definitely be a shoe I get. And it will be just for me. I need a new pair of shoes anyway, and I was already thinking about using my gift card to get some. But now I can use that money for other things.

To be honest, I was just talking to my husband about winning this. The Keen's shoes are so nice. I don't think I've ever owned a pair of shoes so nice. Right now I'm wearing tennis shoes that are 2 years old and starting to come apart (but they still work), and I wear them every day. And the only other pair of shoes that I really have are black dressy ones I wear to church and other nicer events, and I just found out that they are falling apart and that's why they were hurting my feet.

So help me out here. What should I pick from Keen? I can pick anything from their website! Whew, I can see that I'm going to spend hours online tonight picking out the right shoe.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tis the season, right?

Christmas presents bought - check
Staff Christmas luncheon & gift exchange - check
Ingredients for Christmas goodies - check
Child's Christmas presents hidden - check
Internet shopping done & delivered - check


Things yet to do:
*Bake cookies, candies, goodies
*Matt's staff Christmas luncheon (what to make)
*Small group Christmas potluck (not for another week)
*Wrap Christmas gifts
*Get yarn for baby blankets that need crocheted soon!
*Get new toddler bed from my sister's house
*Post new DVD reviews/giveaways (so far behind)
*Post 10 more times before the end of the year to reach 500th post goal


OK, so my to do list is longer than my finished list. Well, as much as I can think of. I have gotten a lot more done, but those are the big things.


Now a question for you. Say that you received an early Christmas gift. It's a prepaid Visa card for $100. You can do whatever you want with it. What would YOU spend it on?? (I rarely have spending money like this, especially this much at once.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All the Magic I could Giveaway

When I saw the opportunity to enter Casey’s (at moosh in indy) HP Magic Giveaway, I wanted to enter right away. Then I saw what she was requiring of her entries. She is looking for someone with a heart of gold to receive this prize. The recipient is supposed to tell about what they will do with all the computers, because one person does not need that many computers on their own. I totally agree, Casey!

And after I read that, I knew that I had the perfect reason to enter. This is not something that I’ve discussed in much length here on my blog, but I will have to in order to fully explain what this gift of computers could mean for me.

Many of my readers/friends here know that I do some tutoring. Actually what I do is tutor for an after-school program at a low-income housing complex. I have been working at the after-school program (ASP) for four years now.





The families at this site are low-income (or no income, as I’ve been surprised to learn that many of them are) and they must meet guidelines in order to come live there. Then our center runs different programs for the residents there. There is a GED program that happens during the day. There are computers available for people taking online courses or looking for jobs. And the biggest thing we do is the ASP that I am involved in.

We currently have about 30 students, grade K-6 (the older kids go to an off-site program that is very similar). This is the largest group that we’ve had since I started there over 4 years ago. We have a LOT of kids. They come right to us when they get off the buses from school. Then we help them with their homework, feed them a snack, and have other fun activities for them.




The other helpers there include a center director, an ASP coordinator, two group leaders, two college student helpers, and a reading tutor (me). I am on staff as a licensed teacher to help with literacy for our students. I help with homework (as does everyone else), then I also work one-on-one with students to enhance reading skills, comprehension, etc.

We all enjoy working with the children. These are kids from broken families. They don’t have much, usually. We know they get free lunch at school (all our kids are applicable for that) and a snack from us, but beyond that who knows if they eat much at home. Many of the parents only do what they have to do with these kids to help them get by. They sometimes let them wander in and out as they please. We know that we are many times the only support, caring, and love that those kids get in a day.

Recently the apartment complex remodeled the apartments and built a new office building. This totally displaced where our center was located. Our center was previously two apartments that had been converted into one big center complete with small offices. And we also had a little apartment upstairs that we used for the younger children. When the remodeling began, we were moved. First the younger kids were moved to a different apartment. Then our offices were moved, and now we are all working out of the community room. And our two directors are working out of a storage closet. This presents quite a problem when one of those people is handicap and in a wheelchair. But these ladies continue on and do what they can with what they have.
Many of our supplies are packed away in boxes and stored in our small outdoor shed. There are days when we have very little to entertain the children. And when you have 30 kids and only 10 operating computers, we can’t always use those either. Most times the older kids get first dibs on the computers, and the younger ones have a chance at them on Friday afternoons.

We use what we have for the ASP. That’s pretty much our motto. But seeing this giveaway made me very excited that I could help our center out. We will soon be moving into a newly remodeled room (small, but nice, and complete with offices for our directors) that all of us will be in together again. I would love to give these directors and students this computer equipment to be about to do work and homework better. We do have some laptops, but the truth is they are all outdated and seeing some wear. The directors don’t have their own computers. The ones they did have were old and not working well. They are currently using the laptops intended for the children, which gives us a fewer computers to use for the kids.

If I won this contest, I would give the majority of the prize straight to the center. I know that our directors and students would be blessed so much with these computers. This is something that we desperately need and can’t afford. We are financed by local grants and over the last few years those have become smaller and smaller. We’re lucky that we have what we do. Just think of all the things that the students can do with brand new computers and other equipment.



Honestly, this isn’t something that we need here at home. We could use a new printer (and I’d be tempted to keep one of the computers), but the rest of the prize would go to help everyone at the center.

P.S. The contest closed several hours after I submitted this entry. Unfortunately I didn't win. Maybe next time.

The Christmas Toy DVD Winner

Wow, has it been busy around here. So sorry. I owe a winner a prize. I finally drew a winner for The Christmas Toy DVD.

The lucky winner for The Christmas Toy DVD is................ #4...

Sarah at No Whey, Mama! Congrats!

Sarah, I already have your address, so I will have that sent right out to you. Enjoy!

Please come back for more reviews and giveaways. I have some that I need to do soon. I had anticipated doing more last week, but some other things came up that kept me off of the computer (surprise house guest for 2 days, Christmas caroling in the freezing cold, church meetings, etc.). So I'm trying to catch up on everything this week. Bear with me please.

Monday, December 8, 2008

More free shoes?

Wow, I can't resist signing up for more shoe giveaways. Go visit Absolutely Bananas for your chance to win too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

DVD Review & Giveaway: The Christmas Toy

This DVD was so much fun. The Christmas Toy is a Jim Henson movie from the 1980s. Talk about stepping back into my childhood. Wow! I'm pretty sure I saw this movie as a young child, it seemed really familiar.

All the puppets and toys are fun and lovable as all Jim Henson's characters are. They are anticipating Christmas. And the movie is about what new toys might join them. Of course this makes other toys feel left out and jealous. But it's a great life lesson in the end for kids of all ages.

Zachariah is in love with all things Christmas right now. The Christmas Toy has been a great holiday video around here. All the cute little toys and animals and dollies are fun to watch and enjoy.

If you love holiday movies, this is a must have for your collection. I can see that we will enjoy this one for years to come (if we don't wear it out first). It is recommended for ages 2-8 (which is pretty broad), but I think adults will like it as well (especially if you are a child of the 80s).

You can find this movie for purchase here, here, and here, and in stores everywhere.

OR you can win this DVD here! I'm so happy to have a copy available to give away. I know that your kids (and your inner kid) will love this movie.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas decoration is/was now or as a child (be sure your e-mail address is available or at least I have it from before). If you'd like a second entry, you can link to this post on your blog. Then come back here and leave another comment with the link to your blog post.

I will be drawing a winner on Saturday, December 6th at 3:00 PM EST and announcing the winner here. Best of luck, and stay tuned for more DVD reviews and giveaway.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fun fun fun

I was trying to figure out how to give away some more DVDs. I have 5 more sitting here to review. I wanted to see if I could get them all done in the next week or so. I want to make sure that you get prizes now...before Christmas, and maybe you'll find some Christmas ideas in the process too. So, this will be review/giveaway crazy in the next week or so (not sure how many I want to post at once). The giveaways will be shipping right from the company (to save me shipping). Hurray! I'm so happy about that. Now I'm ready to commence giving away!

Also, sometime soon I need to host another Pay it Forward contest. I won 2 other contests that I never posted. Oops. Well, I should be able to get to those soon too.

Monday, December 1, 2008

DVD Review - DVD Gift Sets


The Barney: I Love You Gift Set comes with 3 fun Barney DVDs and a Barney CD with 5 songs on it. When we first got this set of DVDs, it was Zachariah's new favorite. Any time that I let him choose a video, one of these came out. His favorite by far was the "Barney: Let's Go to the Zoo" DVD. He loves in the beginning when they ask what his favorite animal is, and he promptly answers "The zebwa". So cute! The other two DVDS in this set are "Barney: Now I Know My ABCs" and "Barney Songs". They are all so much fun and great for the Barney lover in your life.


Bob The Builder: Big Build Collection is a nice set of Bob DVDs. This set also includes one of Zachariah's new favorite toys - a collectible die-cast Scoop toy. "Bob the Builder: When Bob Became a Builder" tells all about Bob's first job with his dad. "Bob the Builder: Bob's Big Plan" is all about building a new town and the joys and troubles that came from it. And "Bob the Builder: Top Team" is all about teamwork and working together...YES WE CAN! These are all great DVDs with fun episodes and great story lines. Zachariah can never go wrong with Bob the Builder.
Last but not least is the Thomas & Friends: Whistle Express Collection. Any Thomas videos are great at any time. This set includes the DVDs "Thomas the Tank Engine: Carnival Capers", "Thomas the Tank Engine: Calling All Engines", and "Thomas the Tank Engine: Milkshake Muddle". Honestly, I think Zachariah doesn't enjoy Thomas as much as some other action-packed shows. But he really loved the collectible train whistle that came with this set. It is just the right size for him. He had a large train whistle, but he couldn't get his mouth around it enough to make a big sound. This one is perfect for him, plus it's not as loud. Win/win in my book.
These DVD sets are already out at stores. They can also be found online at these links: Hit Entertainment Shop, Amazon- here, here, and here.

Free shoes too?

Does anyone else have a contest I should enter? These Keen shoes that Three P's in a Pod is giving away look awesome! I hope I win. But you can sign up too by clicking here.

Free chocolate!

Who can resist free chocolate? Not me. I'm entering twice. I've heard Jana talk about her homemade chocolates for a while now. And now she's giving some away for Christmas.

Don't miss out, you can go enter her contest too!