Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today's Giveaway: Sleep Deprived No More


On my recent trip to Camp Baby over in New Brunswick, one of the very best speakers was Dr. Jodi Mindell, author of Sleep Deprived No More.

Her talk (I blogged about it here) contained practical tips and advice for Moms who don't get enough sleep (and isn't that really all of us?!). She spoke about studies done on infant and toddler bedtime routines, and which routines were the most effective for getting kids to sleep. Wouldn't you like your child to fall asleep on time every night, consistently, with little or no fuss?

Well, today we are giving away a copy of Sleep Deprived No More here on Cool Moms Rule! And here's what you have to do to:

Win it!

Link to this post on your blog, and then comment here with your link.

If you don't have a blog you can still win! Just leave a comment. Here's what I want to know:

When was the last time you had 8+ hours of sleep?

If your child sleeps through the night, what routine worked for you?

If you are a struggling, sleep-walking zombie of a Mom, I want to hear about that, too.

Share your tips and tribulations below in your comment for a chance to win Sleep Deprived No More!

Last Day to Enter: Thursday, June 5, 2008
Winners Announced: Friday, June 6, 2008.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's Giveaway: Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake!


Here's another great product made by Moms! Stephanie Troeller and Mary Kate Mellow know what kids like, and they have found a way to make ballet exciting and accessible to young children through this lovely DVD, Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake. The quality of the DVD is wonderful; these mothers have a done a very professional job with what certainly began as an act of love.

The Prima Princessa in the title is a beautiful fairy who magically transports a class of preschool girls to the Paris Ballet Opera's performance of Swan Lake. As the fascinated children watch the ballet, the Princessa narrates for them. For this video, the performance of Swan Lake has been slightly shortened for the benefit of younger children, but nothing is lost in translation.

What really makes the video work is the interactivity it offers your child. After each act, the preschoolers return home to dress up in pretty tutus and learn a new simple ballet step. Kids will love dancing along with the children in the video, and the bright colors, costumes and toys scattered throughout are sure to keep their interest.

Mary Kate has her own blog set up over at Tutuzone, and you can learn more about Prima Princessa presents Swan Lake at the Prima Princessa website. The DVD is also available through Amazon.

Or, of course, You can WIN IT!

If you have a blog, link to this contest in your blog, and then leave a comment below this post with your link.

If you don't have a blog, you can still enter by leaving a comment letting us know why you want to win Prima Princessa Presents Swan Lake!

Last day to enter for this contest is Monday, June 2nd. The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 3rd.


Good luck!
~Viv

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Piano for Preschoolers Giveaway!


Not surprisingly, many of the best products we review here on Cool Moms Rule were created by Moms like you, who saw there was a need for something for their own children that no one else was addressing. So they went that extra mile and solved the problem themselves.

Angie Crellin is one of those Moms. She's been studying classical music for 30 years (obviously she started when she was a baby!), and when the time came to teach her own oldest daughter to play the piano, she excitedly brought home all kinds of music books to help her learn to play the piano, only to see her daughter lose interest quickly. The books out there simply didn't appeal to her. And then Angie's youngest son showed some interest, and rather than try the same old musty books that bored her daughter, she considered classes. But all of the classes out there seemed to use the same old boring beginner's books that her daughter had abandoned.

So Angie created Piano for Preschoolers, and it really is a comprehensive program. And what's even more important, it actually appeals to kids and keeps them interested.

The program consists of :
  • A teaching guide book for the parent or teacher which serves as an introduction and gives some valuable tips for keeping kids interested, how to use the program, etc.
  • A color-coded book of songs kids will love, and can learn to play themselves.
  • Two durable plastic-coated key guides, that fit right over either a piano or a keyboard, so your kids know where their fingers should go by color.
  • A 17-track music CD with "count along" help for every song in the music book.
Here's some of the reasons I think Piano for Preschoolers really rocks (and why it is so successful):

Your know how your child learns. Let's face it, no one knows your child better than you do! You are already a great teacher; you're a Mom. But maybe you don't know how to play classical music yourself. Maybe you've never touched a keyboard. You know what? You can still teach your child with Angie's method!

Kids learn their colors early, and this system works on that premise. Don't worry about overwhelming musical charts in the beginning. All they have to do to play the notes is know their colors! (You may be aware, if you have older children, of the popularity of video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. They use a similar premise of having the kids push buttons on the controller by color to play the guitar or drums, and they certainly keep kids' interest!) By the end of the program, your child will make the transition to musical notes easily.

Kids learn at their own pace. If they stumble over a song, they can take as long as they need to learn it.

The songs are catchy, and kids know them. Who hasn't sung the ABC song to her child, or Old MacDonald? How about Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?

Now, imagine if your child could play these songs herself, with you singing along and praising her. Don't you think she would be motivated to learn to play more songs?

As I said, the program is comprehensive, and at $39.95, Piano for Preschoolers is more than reasonable. The only thing not included is the piano (hey, imagine what the shipping would cost for that!) or keyboard.

By the way, that's another thing I liked: kids can learn this program on a simple keyboard, which is easier and cheaper than a piano. But you may feel differently. Maybe you have a baby grand sitting around in your conservatory somewhere. ; )

And, if you discover you have a child prodigy on your hands, Angie plans to release another course for older children soon.

Win It!

Want to Win The Piano for Preschoolers Program? We were so impressed, we're giving away our review copy to one lucky Mom!

Here's how to win:

If you have a blog, link to this contest on your blog. Then come back and comment with the link in your comment.

If you don't have a blog, leave a comment below this post with the reason you think your child would love the Piano for Preschoolers Program!

All comments must be made by 9:00 PM EST on Monday, June 2nd (forget that midnight deadline, I'm a Mom, I can't stay up that late!). One lucky Mom will be declared the winner on Tuesday, June 3rd.

That's it! Good luck!

~ Viv

Wow! Giveaways All Week Long (well, until Friday!)


It occurred to me that we haven't had a giveaway for a while on Cool Moms Rule, and we are absolutely due for one.

In fact, we're due for several!

So for the rest of this week, right up until the weekend, we'll feature reviews of fine products that really caught our eye, and you'll have the chance to win each one!

That's right, check out the posts for the rest of the week for a chance to win a different prize every day! Starting today, with the very next post: Piano for Pre-Schoolers. We'll post our reviews, and then explain how you enter the giveaways. Each prize will be awarded one week from the date of the post reviewing it.

Got all that? Yes? No? Well, don't worry, just stay tuned and it will all become clear!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering the Fallen


The Rhino was asked to write a report about an important date in history. He chose D-Day, June 6, 1944.

I learned some things I didn't know while he was working on his assignment. For instance, according to the Rhino, Rommel wasn't there when the Allies flooded the beaches of Normandy because he was home with his wife, celebrating her birthday. Instead, a lesser-known commander than the "Desert Fox"--lesser-known and less capable--took control, and that may have helped the Allies reach the enemy strongholds.

I also learned that we lost 10, 000 men that day in Normandy. The Axis lost only about 4000, but we still considered it a victory because of the ground we had gained. And because we had 800,000 soldiers committed to the mission (the largest naval attack for that time), I guess 10,000 seemed like an acceptable amount to the strategists who planned the mission.

So, altogether, about 14,000 men died on that one, brief day.

They didn't ask to be remembered as heroes. They were soldiers, and so they did what needed to be done, what they were told their country needed them to do, because they believed it was their duty to serve their country.

And because every single mission brought you that much closer to the trip home.

Today, Memorial Day, at 3:00, our country will offer a moment of silence in remembrance of all the men and women who who never made that trip back home.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yep, that sounds about right!

cat
more cat pictures

We trimmed the kittens' claws for the first time today. They hated it and meowed the whole time, squirming, even though I was very careful with the trimmer not to cut their claws too short. Here's why:

Earlier, one of the kittens, Colby, was attacking my hand in "Ferocious Attack Kitten" mode, which he does a lot. But this morning, he actually bit me, hard.

And then, when I got up to go to the bathroom, he stood on my laptop 'til it went "pppppppppppppp[[[[[[\\" on the screen. Which he also does a lot, or tries to.

But, somehow, this morning he managed to pop off one of the keys!

So now I am missing a key from my nice shiny Macbook Pro's keyboard.

And I couldn't find the key that came off, either. I don't know if he hid it somewhere or ate it or what!

So I e-mailed the Engineer, who said, "You could dissect him and find out."

Harrumph. That's dog-lover's humor, right there.

But I have to admit I didn't feel quite so bad clipping those claws this afternoon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I finally checked out Cre8buzz

Last year, I got an invitation to Cre8buzz. At the time, I remember being excited about it. Back then, it was invitation only, so I felt like a big deal. ; )

Anyway, I went and signed up. Since not many other Moms or bloggers or women had signed up yet other than me, I didn't really do anything else.

And I just forgot all about it, really.

But yesterday, on twitter (where I am CoolMomsRule, if you want to follow me, btw), a friend mentioned how many Moms were hanging out on Cre8buzz these days. So I went and checked it out, and he was right!

There's a lot going on over there these days, and I am still learning the ropes. I need to figure out how to climb the anthill (still not sure about that). And I want to make some friends; people who are like me.

So, if you are: a Mom, like cats, eat too much junk food, watch too much TV, spend too much time on the internet, spend too little time cleaning your house, are passionate about your beliefs as long as you don't miss your regular TV shows or internet time (hee hee), are cynical, sarcastic, weird or geeky, or a combination of all of the above, come on over and visit me at Cre8buzz!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Worldess Wednesday: That's Cold for Florida!



Update: For any of you that were unable to read the sign on my picture, the temp is displaying as -196 degrees F.

Now, this temp has been up there on the sign for almost two months. I first noticed it April 1st, and thought it was an April Fool's joke; but no, somehow the temperature is reading -196 now all the time. And since the temp here changes by the hour and usually runs in the 80s this time of year, I can only assume that it isn't just the wording on the sign, and the entire temperature-sensing apparatus is on the outs.

But that does not excuse the sign people, who surely have the power to: a) Have the sign fixed, b) Take the entire temperature function out of the equation and remove it from the marquee, or c) Personally apologize to me for making me see the ridiculous temperature foul-up.

Every. Single. Day.

Twice.

When I drive the kids to school, and when I pick them up.

*sigh*

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Where in the World are the Coolest Moms?



Sign the guestbook by adding your location and a pic (or an avatar) and help us track the coolest Moms in the world! You can use your online name, a silly nick, or create an alias just for the guestbook (no sign-up required).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Blog Tour: Ragu's Fresh and Simple Pouch



I was recently sent some samples of Ragu's new Fresh and Simple Pouch, microwavable pouches that are ready in about 90 seconds. They're vacuum packed, and great for the pantry, since they don't take up a lot of room. And Hooray! No glass bottles to break and seep tomato sauce all over your tiled kitchen floor or into the family room' s carpet. And yes, we have been known to all sit in front of the TV and eat spaghetti in the family room. I've never been one of those "eat over the sink!" types of Moms. Which is probably why we are planning on getting new carpet this year...

Anyway, back to the Ragu Fresh and Simple Pouches!

They come in three varieties, with no preservatives or sugar added, and they're really convenient. If you've ever made pizza with Ragu sauce, or chicken parmesan, as I have, you've come to appreciate not having to mix up a nice Italian tomato sauce from scratch, especially after soccer practice or Robotics league meetings that go on until the evening hours. Just like the Ragu you are used to, these new Ragu pouches go perfectly with pasta and chicken for a quick fix on a week night.

You can find out more about the new Fresh and Simple Pouch at the Ragu website. There's even a few new recipes to try, like Meatball Sloppy Joes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Check Your Calendar and Blog for Peace June 4th (NOT the 6th!)

Just to update everyone on yesterday's "Blog for Peace" post, I got a note from Mimi of Mimiwrites. Seems there was an error in the original instructions that lists "June 6th" on the third step as the day to Blog for Peace instead of June 4th. I've changed it here on my blog, and please make sure that if you are participating and have posted the instructions on your blog, you make that change as well.

And don't forget to Blog for Peace on June 4th!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Great Idea: Blog Blast For Peace (June 4th)



This post goes out to all my friends in the blogger network, Mommy bloggers, pet bloggers, aliens-in-disguise who blog, whatever! Even if you don't blog, though, be sure to check out the blogs who are participating in this blogblast:

Dona Nobis Pacem: Blog for Peace.


On June 4, 2008, Bloggers from all across the globe will blog for peace. We will speak with one voice. One subject. One day.

Won't you join us?

How To Get Your Peace Globe
Here's how to do it in 4 easy steps!
  1. Choose one of the four Peace Globe designs shown below. Right CLICK and SAVE in JPG format.
  1. Sign the globe using Paint, Photoshop or a similar graphics tool. Decorate the globe anyway you wish. You can even include the name of your blog. Click here for hundreds of inspiring examples from previous BlogBlasts.

  2. Return the peace globe to mimiwrites2005 at yahoo.com and sign the Mr. Linky on her site. Let her know your blog's name and url by leaving a comment here. Your submission will be numbered and dated in the official gallery . Your globe and post will be listed on the Official BlogBlast For Peace website and The Peace Globe Posts page.

  3. On June 4, 2008 DISPLAY YOUR GLOBE IN A POST. Title your post "Dona Nobis Pacem". This is important. The goal is for all blog post titles to say the same thing on the same day. Write about peace that day or simply fly your globe. Click here for examples of peace globe posts from previous BlogBlasts.
If you already have a globe from a previous BlogBlast you may use that one or make a new one. Send in as many as you wish. Be creative!











If I believe that words are powerful -

then this matters.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Teen Me

Link
I finally got around to uploading and captioning a sketch I made based on this Metafilter thread . Basically, this guy on livejournal asked his friends to draw themselves as they were when they were teens, and it was picked up by others (I'm sorry to say I don't know the guy who had the original idea, though I love it). So, this is me.

Now, some of the folks who drew themselves as they looked then were only in their twenties now, which to me is not much of a difference. But as I'm 42, a lot has changed since those halcyon days.

For one thing, you would never catch me in white, painted-on jeans today. And my hair is a bit shorter, and fashionably cut, though most days I don't take the time to "do" it properly. And I am not (*sigh*) nearly so skinny as I was then.

But I still carry a purse with too much change and lots of pencils for sketching (along with pen and ink these days, and receipts and the kids' doctors notes, etc.). And I still get lost in a book whenever I can take the time to read one. I have trouble, even to this day, finding pants long enough to fit me. I could stand to be a bit more out-going, and I usually start out with that same, shy smile.

Of course, if you cross me now, especially when it comes to my kids, I can turn into the Queen Bitch of the Universe in a second.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We've added to our family!


You may remember how our first kitten, Leo, died recently from FIP, or feline infectious peritonitis. This was devastating to our family, and especially to my youngest son, the Rhino, who hopes to be a veterinarian one day. We felt the emptiness of the house without a pet keenly.

So recently, and quietly, we adopted two more shelter kitties. We did this after much reflection, and the decision to adopt two kittens instead of one came only after visiting pet stores, contacting breeders, and more than one trip to the shelter. But after seeing these poor two little orange kittens, taken away from their mother and brought to the shelter, we felt that we could not separate them from each other. Tiny, hungry, and very scared, the brothers needed each other to feel comfortable in their new home.

We've really come to enjoy having them in our home as part of the family for the last few weeks.

And the Rhino, especially, has really bonded with the new additions, because he's been home most of the week with that hurt right hand (see gruesome blue palm photo further down the page), playing videogames with his wrong hand and throwing the ball for them to chase.

We got to talking, during this time, about all we had learned from the loss of our first kitten, and I spoke about my years growing up, always with a cat in the house, and how much that experience meant to me. And we, the Rhino and I together, came up with an idea, and decided to run with it.

So, what we did is...we made a blog for the kittens!

Or rather, by the kittens. Mostly.

Written from the viewpoint of our two orange fluffballs, which we have named Colby and Cheddar, with occasional insights from their human family, and even a little LOLcat humor, we proudly present this new addition to our blog family as well:

The Cheezits: Colby and Cheddar--taking over the world one human at a time.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Trying to Do My Part for the Cyclone Victims

If you've seen any of the news stories, or thumbed through the slide show here, you know about the devastation wrought by the cyclone that recently tore through Burma.

Now, I know times are tough here. The economy sucks. Gas prices are obscene.

But at least we still have a place to sleep.

Our water is clean.

Our kids aren't going to bed hungry.

So, if you can, please consider giving to those in need:


If you do make a donation, please comment below this post. I promise I'll respond to each and every one.

Thank you, and I love you all for helping to make this world safe for every family.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blue Palm, Swollen Fingers...this can't be good.



UPDATE: THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who twittered me with advice (and your sympathy and concern for the Rhino). We went back to the doctor, who took another look to verify that although he has numerous broken blood vessels in the hand, no ligaments or tendons appear to be torn, and since no bones are broken, he SHOULD be able to start using the hand on Monday. Until then, he has an ace bandage and the doctor recommend a sling to keep the hand elevated as well. You're all great, thanks for responding! ~Viv

This is the Rhino's hand after his Birthday party this weekend. In case it doesn't show up well, yes, his palm is blue. And that middle finger? It really is about twice as wide as each of his other fingers.

What happened? Well, I 'll tell you. It was a sleep-over party, the kind where kids don't really sleep, but stay up late all night playing videogames and drinking energy drinks and celebrating being thirteen and officially teenagers. At least, that's what they were supposed to be doing. But somewhere around midnight, when the Engineer and I had gone to bed, after all the pizza and ice-cream birthday cake had been served and eaten and cleared away, someone (and I suspect it was Big Brother Owl) thought it would be a great idea to play hide-and-seek. In the dark. With the lights out.

Now, if you have read my blog since the beginning, you might remember that the Rhino is my accident-prone child. If there is a wall, he will run into it. If something is on the floor (usually something he left there), he will stub his toe on it. If he has to carry something, half of it is likely to end up on the floor. He says this is because he is "unlucky." I prefer the word "careless." But I digress.

So, they are playing hide-and-seek in the dark, these 13 and 15 year-olds, and of course someone hits his hand on the door, and of course it is the Rhino. I would expect something like that to happen.

But this is where it gets interesting.

No one, not the Rhino or his brother or any of their friends, who are good kids, A and B students and usually level-headed (for the most part) and mature for their ages, no one thinks to wake up the parents.

Instead, they find the surgical tape and bandages (which, yes, I do have in the house, as prior experience has taught me it pays to be prepared), and they wrap the Rhino's fingers together, and he puts ice on the hand right away (which is actually a good move and what I might have done).

So, hours later, I wake up and go out with the Engineer to get breakfast ready for the kids, and find out what happened, and all hell breaks loose because (remember the picture?) his hand is blue, and swollen, and he has spent most of his birthday party watching the other kids play the videogames, unable to join in because he can't even straighten out his finger.

At this point, since all those hours passed without us knowing about the injury, it seems best to just wait until Monday morning (this all happened in the wee hours of Sunday) and take the Rhino to his doctor.

Which I do, and the nurse practitioner is filling in, and she takes one look at the blue, swollen hand (even after I've been feeding the kid ibuprofen and making him keep icing it), and scribbles out an X-ray order with "STAT" written on it in big letters, and I take the Rhino down to the hospital (which he is somewhat familiar with, after the last injury) for X-rays of the hand. I was assured we'd have some news by early afternoon.

And then we wait. And wait. And wait some more. Until, finally, I call the doctor's office, and they haven't even seen the Xrays yet. So, they will call the hospital and get back to me.

That was Monday. By Tuesday morning, I was all over the phone, the Rhino still home from school, the hand still blue, and no better off than before. I played phone tag with the doctor, who finally called in the afternoon to say, basically, "No bones broken or sprained, keep giving him ibuprofen, and if it is still swollen in a week, come back."

So, today the Rhino went back to school, with his hand wrapped in an Ace bandage, and he will have to have someone else write for him, since it is his right hand (of course!) that's injured. And I'm still upset, because I feel like the hand looks bad enough that surely there's some damage done there, even if the bones aren't broken, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. I've been using all my Google fu looking up hand injuries and haven't really found any research to help me figure out if I am doing the right thing in just listening to the doctor or not at this point.

Please, if any of you out there know about hand injuries, let me know what you think! I did have a friend of our neighbor's, who is an X-ray tech, just look over the hand, and he thinks there was damage to the "metacarpal area." Does that sound serious to you? It does to me.

Anyway, I'd love any input from my wonderful readers, because I don't have a clue what else to do!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great Mother's Day Gifts (hint, hint)

With Mother's Day just around the corner, we've put together a list of some of our favorite gift ideas here at Cool Moms Rule. We've even separated it by price to make it even easier to treat Mom on your budget.

Moms: Feel free to print up this post and "accidentally" leave it lying around the house. Sometimes the family needs a little reminder. Or treat yourself or your own Mom to something special (because cool Grandmas rule, too!).

Mother's Day Gifts Under $75



For the new Mom who's still nursing, these soft, comfy and yet still stylish wrap nursing pajamas from BabyCenter.com are the perfect choice. The set includes a hip-length, sleeveless pullover wrap top and cropped pants with an under-the-belly elastic waist in a machine washable cotton/spandex blend.

When it comes to flowers, you can't go wrong with Proflowers.com, the only florist Viv ever uses. Check out this gorgeous, "Graceful Bouquet," at $59.99, overflowing with tulips, lilies and snapdragons. You can find other bouquets for as little as 29.99 plus shipping available at their site.


Gifts Under $50

Among the Moms I asked, Clinique's Happy is the very favorite 'Mom' perfume, and this Happy gift set comes just in time for Mother's Day. With over $59 worth of fragrance products, it retails for just $48.50 and includes Happy perfume spray, rollerball (perfect for her purse), and body cream in this sweet orange flowered bag. Available at Macy's, Dillard's and other fine stores carrying Clinique products.

Next is the Pink Hot Chocolate Making Set, from Bonjour, available at Cooking.com. For every purchase made from now until July 31st, Bonjour will make a $3.00 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help fund breast cancer research. And who doesn't like chocolate?!

Gifts Under $25

Again from Babycentral.com comes two great gift ideas, each one a gift that Mom will treasure for years.
Baby of Mine: a journal of her baby's first year, lets Mom chronicle all those important "firsts" like that very first tooth. The title makes us think of the sweetest, saddest scene from Dumbo, when a chained-up Mama elephant sings to her little elephant dude.
There's also Between Me and You, Mom: a journal written by the kids, sharing their love for Mom through the written word (if that one won't tear you up, nothing will!). A great way to connect with the kids and share some quiet time together for Mother's Day without breaking the budget, either of these journals make a lovely gift for any Mom

Note: Cool Mom's Rule DID NOT receive any commissions from these companies or products! These are simply some of our own personal favorite gift ideas for Moms (including ourselves!). ~Viv

Monday, May 5, 2008

Your Kids Will Love Snacktime (and so will you)


Ever listen to your childrens' favorite song, say Barney singing, "I love you," and find yourself wishing that Barney was just as extinct as the rest of the dinosaurs? Catch yourself whispering under your breath, "Where is a big asteroid now, when I really need it?"

Well, then, I have a pleasant surprise for you!

I just got a pre-release copy of a new CD Barenaked Ladies are bringing out in May, called Snacktime, to review. Kids' music is new for them (as vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson says, "Our collective kids now outnumber the band nearly two to one"), and maybe that's why their songs are so appealing to adults as well as children. Anyway, the tracks (and there are 24 of them on the CD) are hilarious, and most of them are short (so kids won't get bored) and catchy enough that you will find yourself singing right along with them.

Don't believe me?

Here's some sample lyrics:

789
1, 2, 3, 4 and more makes 7
Why is six afraid of 7?
Cause 7 ate 9...

Once upon a time,
In our solar system
We couldn't make do without 9
But Pluto's not a planet now
So, 8 will do fine!

Crazy ABC's
[Hey, Steve, what's that? Sounds good.
Oh, it's a new alphabet song I'm working on.
Great, a new alphabet. I just learned the old one.]

A is for "aisle"
B is for "bdellium"
C is for Czar, and if you see 'em
Would you mind tellin' em?

[Okay, hang on a second, Isle?
Yeah, aisle like in a theater
Right. Okay, and then Dellium?
Yes, Bdellium, it's a gumlike tree resin, starts with a silent B.
And Zar?
Yeah, it's a Russian Czar...]

Ninjas
Ninjas are deadly and silent, they're also incredibly violent,
they speak Japanese, they do whatever they please
and like to vacation in Ireland!

Raisins
Raisins come from grapes
People come from apes
(I come from Canada).
I came in first place
In a non-existent race
To rebuild the Parthenon
The Parthenon's in Greece
(Or was it in Grease 2? I can't keep my movies straight...)

If you like Green Day and the like, you probably already know about BNL, but if not, and you're a cool Mom who wants to actually enjoy the music your kids listen to, then pick up a copy of Snacktime and you'll be laughing along with them for a change.

The CD will be released on May 6th, when you can also download tracks from the online site.
Meanwhile, here's an MP3 of '789' !
video

Sunday, May 4, 2008

SELF and Neutrogena Partners in Skin Care Health (with Jennifer Garner!)


Following up on yesterday's post about skin cancer and the importance of sunblock, Neutrogena and SELF are working together to promote healthy skin by encouraging every woman to not only wear sunblock, but also check her skin for suspicious moles regularly.

Yes, you know you should be doing skin checks, but are you doing them?!

SELF magazine and Neutrogena brought in Jennifer Garner in this video to explain the importance of sun protection in a new program entitled, "Road Map to Healthy Skin”.

As part of the program, you can print out a SELF MOLE MAP or encourage your friends to do the same by sending out an e-card, like the cute one pictured above this post.

For every 5 e-cards you send, Neutrogena will make a donation to skin cancer research!

I like a company that's willing to put their money where their mouth is, don't you?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Protect That Kissable Mouth


I live in the sunny South, and I take it as a given that if I am going outside, I need sun protection. I wear sunglasses when I am driving, and my foundation has sunblock, so I figure I am doing a good job.

But, according to some dermatologists, wearing lip gloss--lovely, sheer, shiny lip gloss-can actually increase a woman's chances of skin cancer. I know, I was surprised, too. Apparently, the shiny lip gloss, "...Can make more of the light rays penetrate directly through the skin instead of getting reflected off of the skin’s surface," says Dr. Christine Brown, a dermatologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

She goes on to explain that, "Some dermatologists say that in the worst case, the resulting sun damage can lead to potentially fatal forms of skin cancer. Of an estimated 3,500 new cases of skin cancer of the lips are diagnosed yearly, 90 percent of them are squamous cell carcinoma. Additionally, it can strike more aggressively on the lips than on other parts of the skin and, if untreated, can cause disfigurement. In some cases, the cancer can fatally spread to other organs.”

Yuck. So now, here you are, having read this, and you are cursing me and wondering if you are doomed to a life without lip gloss, aren't you?

Well, you don't have to go that far. Several lip glosses offer sunblock, because even if you never thought about it, apparently the more savvy cosmetics companies have.

Two to try: Neutrogena's Moistureshine Lip Soother SPF 20 and Neutrogena's Moistureshine Soothing Lip Sheers, also with SPF 20 Protection.

Though I was surprised to hear what dermatologists are saying about lip gloss and sun protection, I actually already have (Yay, me!) The Moistureshine Lip Soother in a cute, summery pink, so apparently I'm ahead of the curve. I can recommend it to you without reservation, because I really enjoy how cool and light it feels on my lips, above and beyond the sun protection factor. I actually bought it in the first place because I noticed it has aloe vera in the ingredients, and I am a HUGE aloe fan--we have a plant in the backyard, and it is really like a wonder drug for sunburns.
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