Monday, November 30, 2009

Amazing event and giveaway sponsored by Bill Me Later

Bill Me Later is hosting Toy Tuesday on December 8, 2009.

What is Bill Me Later?

Bill Me Later is an easy and quick way to shop without having to use your credit card. To take advantage of Bill Me Later, choose the Bill Me Later option as you method of payment at your merchant’s website, answer a few quick question questions, accept the terms, and you are done. Your approval will only take a few minutes, and you will either receive a bill in the mail or online, whatever your preference.

What is the Toy Tuesday Event All About?

Bill Me Later wants you to be apart of a really great campaign that introduces to new bloggers and new toys, and as part of this event, they are hosting an amazing giveaway. For official contest rules, visit

On December 8, visit the official Toy Tuesday page to find great deals on the holiday’s most wanted toys and gifts from leading retailers such as Toys “R” Us,, Step 2, Little Tikes, eToys,, FAO Schwarz, HP,, MacMall, Mercantila, One Step Ahead and more.

What is the giveaway all about?

Bill Me Later is giving way Twelve $250 gift cards for Christmas shopping through a panel of bloggers who will be introducing you to toy trends and where to buy for all the best bargains this Christmas.

In addition, by clicking on the Toy Tuesday link, you will get some great deals and discounts.

Here’s the line up of bloggers who are hosting the giveaways. While the first three giveaways are officially closed, you still have several opportunities, from November 30 through December 8, to win a $250 gift card from one of these retailers: Walmart, Toys R Us, Overstock, HP,, FAO Schwarz, eBay. Etc. All you have to do is visit the blog of the day and enter. Each giveaway will only last 24 hours.

November 27th – Ellen Seidman – Love That Max

November 28th – Cassidy Engle – First Time Around Blogger

November 29th – Elizabeth – A Nut in a Nutshell

November 30th – Linsey B. Knerl – Lille Punkin Reviews

December 1st – Carissa Rogers – Good N Crazy

December 2nd – Linda Sellars – Short Pump Preppy

December 3rd – Kim Becker – Mommy Knows

December 4th – Jodi Grundig – Moms Favorite Stuff

December 5th – Laurie Turk – Tip Junkie

December 6th – Briana – Bargain Briana

December 7th - Lana Barhum – Loving It, Loving It

December 8th – Elizabeth Edwards – Table 4 Five

Bill Me Later is also sending a $500 gift card or product donation to a hospital, school, or charity of the winner’s choice.

I am especially excited about having an opportunity to be apart of this great event.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Examiner Cleveland: Topics that affect moms everywhere

Today’s moms are busier than ever before with the demands that they have. Their demands come from every direction: their jobs, their children’s schools, and their home lives. Quite often, the only peace and quiet mothers get is when they crawl into bed at night. And even then, the majority lay awake thinking about the next day, stressing about money, and worrying about all aspects of their family’s lives.

I have been a mother for what seems like an eternity. For me, being a mother is a wonderful gift even though sometimes, I really good use a break. When I started writing for the Examiner, I never imagined the type of issues that affected mothers everywhere, stay-at-home moms and working moms alike. For every mother, it is a balancing act and every mother questions her abilities.

Please come by and visit me my Examiner homepage and read along. Please feel free to comment with any suggestions, ideas or just whatever is on your mind. Thank you.

Check out my latest articles.

Working moms are at a higher risk for depression; they are also less likely to seek treatment A 2008 Working Mom Magazine survey found 91% of working mothers reported that they had signs of depression. The study also revealed that:...Keep Reading »

Recognizing working mom burnout, part 1 Being a working mother is like running a marathon everyday. You work long hours and you take care of your children and it certainly takes a lot of...Keep Reading »

Preparing yourself for Black Friday shopping You are yet to get the circulars that clog up your mailbox and you really don’t have time to review them all. If you want to be prepared ahead...Keep Reading »

Crockpot tips for the Working Mom #1: Fried Chicken in the Crockpot  If you think you can only make soups and stews in your Crockpot, this fried chicken recipe will surprise you. This recipe needs a little bit of... Keep Reading »

The slow cooker and the working mother If you are a working mother, you dread coming home after a long day and preparing dinner for your family. Quite often, you end up making the same...Keep Reading »

Ways to ease the stress of the work-life balance There is no question that being a working mom is stressful and tiring work. The working mothers that you see on television shuffling their children...Keep Reading »

Tips for Sighting Bad Daycares As a working mother, there are so many issues and challenges that you come across on a daily basis. One of the most significant is sending your...Keep Reading »

Tips for sighting good daycare centers  Picking the right day care for your children can be practically stressful for working mothers. Dropping off your child to daycare every morning for...Keep Reading »

Tips for choosing the right daycare One of the hardest choices a working mother must make is choosing the right daycare, and feeling at ease about doing so. Choosing the right daycare...Keep Reading »

How to Monitor Your Children's Internet Use John Robinson’s book titled Anyone You Want Me to Be tells the story of the first Internet serial killer. Anyone can pretend to be anything on...Keep Reading »

How to spend quality time with your children when you work outside the home When you work outside the home, it can be quite difficult to find a balance between work and family. Quite often, your job will interfere with the...Keep Reading »

When a working mother lives with an arthritis-related condition More than 130 million Americans suffer from chronic pain conditions. Women are more likely to suffer from a chronic arthritis-related condition such...Keep Reading »

How do working moms do it all? Every working mom is asked how does she do it all, and quite often, the working mom asks herself the very same question. What does “doing it...Keep Reading »

Surviving the 9 to 5 as a working mom More than 50% of mothers with small children work outside the home, and the main reason that these mothers work outside the home is financial need....Keep Reading »

Wal-Mart to offer some relief during the upcoming holiday shopping season The current state of our economy has forced many of us to start our Christmas shopping early and it is estimated that 70%...Keep Reading »

Lack of common sense or zero tolerance? A first grader who brings a camping utensil to school to use at lunch gets suspended for 45 days due to his...Keep Reading »

Working moms can stop feeling guilty "It seems that no educated modern woman can have a baby without suffering agonies of self-doubt about the meaning of...Keep Reading »

Sleep strategies for working moms A 2007 Sleep in America poll found that: Working moms sleep less than 6 hours per night on weeknights and are less...Keep Reading »

Taking time for yourself According to Reuters Health, mothers of young children who feel they are not getting enough emotional support or...Keep Reading »

Connecting with local moms Parenting is a tough job, and sometimes, keeping a work-life balance can be difficult. To connect with other...Keep Reading »

Tips for working moms to help maintain balance As moms, we spend our days trying to keep a game face while trying to do it all and find some balance. Every working mother wishes for more hours in...Keep Reading »

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Buzzing Through Book

Photo Credit:

Picking toys is not easy and there is a toy website called ebeanstalk, dedicated to selecting good, safe learning toys and toys for a 1 year old. BUT they need help from moms like me to help pick the toys. The toy they sent is called Buzzing Though Book by Manhattan Toy, one of their many unique toys.

Here is the deal on this toy: My little guy is fourteen months and loved the fun characters, bold colors, and the mirror. The Buzzing Through Book tells a story of a be who buzzes through the jungle, the sea, and much more. The bee is interactive in that it travels through the book as you tell the story of the many places your child and the bee visit. Each place the bee visits has hidden characters that your child can explore and because it is a soft cloth book, it is perfect for little hands.

Some neat things are the book:

  • It is washable! Yes, washable and you know how messy babies are at that age.

  • There are pop-up pictures, crinkly pages, and mirrors! All things babies between the ages of 15 to 18 months love!

  • Your child will quickly learn how to navigate the bee to move from page to page though the holes.

My little guy instantly feel in love with the buzzing bee which is the star of the book.  It did not take look for him to learn to guide the bee through the pages and buzz along with the story.

You can find the Buzzing Though Book at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unexpected Blessings by Roxanne Black (Book Review)

THOSE OF US who face chronic illness remember the before and after moments: the day the phone rang, or the doctor walked into your hospital room, and it was clear that life as you had known it was about to change. You discover that you have cancer or multiple sclerosis or that your child has been stricken with leukemia. You hang up the phone or walk out of the hospital feeling as if your world has been transformed. It’s not simply fear that makes you so disoriented—it’s because you are in the midst of experiencing a true glimpse of the great preciousness and precariousness of life. Falling ill is like joining a private fraternity—one you would never enter voluntarily, but whose membership reveals profound truths that most of us are too busy rushing through our days to consider. In the midst of everyday life, you are suddenly jolted by your own fallibility and finiteness, by the fact that you are no more durable than the shoes on your mortal feet.

I start my review of Roxanne Black’s book with a quote that I can truly relate to as the first anniversary of my official diagnosis comes closer, and years of suffering and looking for answers do not compare to the moment of knowing – finally knowing that you become so disorientated – relieved that the truth is finally there and wondering what lies ahead. “Falling ill is like joining a private fraternity—one you would never enter voluntarily, but whose membership reveals profound truths that most of us are too busy rushing through our days to consider.” No words could be truer.

At the age of fifteen, Roxanne was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks the vital organs of the human. For any teenager, this is a scary experience, and for Roxanne, she was forced to find connections with others to help her to understand what it was she was going through. She started a support group from her hospital bed called “Friends Health Connection,” which is now a nationwide community that matches people who have similar conditions, whether it is cancer, lupus or any other chronic condition.

Roxanne has had a long journey, which included two kidney transplants, she has met and inspired some many people. Roxanne’s mission, for the last twenty years, to help turn her condition into something positive. She recalls the words of her now deceased mother from years prior telling her that maybe that her being diagnosed happened so she could help others, and those words remind her why everyday. No matter who she’s met, whether it was a young girl in a New Jersey hospital who had lost her mother to AIDs, and was HIV positive or whether is the most inspiring of people, like the late Christopher Reeve, Roxanne does not stop believing in extraordinary things, heroism and hope. She reminds us that healing comes from the heart.

You can purchase Unexpected Blessings through Penguin Group (USA) for $15.00.

For more information on Roxanne Black and her book Unexpected Blessings, please her website.

For more information about lupus, visit the Lupus Foundation of America website.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Follow Friday #6: Three Blogs I have been smitten about

The American English translation for “smitten” is feeling of love or affection. The American’s guide to speaking British can give you some insight on following British blogs and enjoying the language as a whole. The last few days have been extremely busy for me at the work and quite often the stress can force me to “throw a spanner in the works” (an expression that means to wreck something).

If you want to enjoy British blogs, you must know the language, sometimes that language sounds rude or funny to us bloody Americans, but the British are my kind of people - straight forward and brutally honest. Watching the BBC America and shows like Torchwood (I miss Torchwood), Martha Jones, and Dr. Who gives you a great appreciation of brutal honesty and straightforwardness. And my favorite sentence enhancer is “bloody” as I find it to be one of the most useful words in British English. Isn’t it just charming to hear someone say "bloody marvellous" or "bloody awful". Could anything be more interesting? Well course, the British are interesting. If we had not send them packing in 1776, well, we would all be saying bloody marvellous or bloody awful with that amazingly bloody accent. Okay, well then, here are my Follow Friday Blogs I have been smitten about (read that with a British accent.)

Random Acts of Reality If anything could be more bloody honest, it would be our some what anonymous hero Tom Reynolds. A perfect name for a Brit, isn’t it? Reynolds is an EMT with the London Ambulance Service. Apparently, as Reynolds tells, his blog is “also, number one search result for ‘Womble porn’. All names have be changed to protect the guilty. This Blog was previously known as "Why I Hate Humanity" but the antipsychotic medication seems to have kicked in. All opinions on this website are mine alone, and may not reflect those of the L.A.S or other ambulance crews.” Yes, Sir Thomas is an interesting gent, isn’t he?

Read his latest post titled “Steve’s Office” and make sure you keep your British slang to English translator handy. Don’t forget you can always rely on google.

Sitting outside Steve’s office always makes me feel like a naughty schoolboy.

I’m guessing that it’s the old wooden panelling that makes me feel as if I’m sitting outside a headmaster’s office awaiting the cane. Not that I ever did such a thing when I was a child - after all in the school I went to the headmaster’s office had a PVC door.

But there is something about the dark wood, the smell of the varnish and the dim lighting that sparks some childhood memory that I never had. It’s something archetypal.

This feeling isn’t helped by Melanie staring at me over her computer monitor. She’s tapping away at something obviously far more important than me. When I arrived I tried to start up a conversation but she just told me to take a seat and that ‘Mr. Hughes’ will see me shortly.

I’ve never called Steve anything other than Steve. It’s a bit hard to call your boss ‘mister’ anything when you’ve gotten horrendously drunk in a Japanese bar and had to bail him out from police custody after he tried, and succeeded, to climb the outside of a church. The climb was impressive, even more so because he could barely walk at the time. During his ascent all I could think about was wether I should try to catch him if he fell. I didn’t want to break my arms trying to save him if it would do him no good.

For the rest of this bloody colorful post, you will have to venture to Tom’s blog.

Girl With A One Track Mind

Apparently, girls have a one track minds as do males. I leave you to guess what Zoe’s all one-tracked about. Zoe’s blog is filled with some of that brutal honesty that the Brits are famous for, more detailed information about her sex life than you dared to ask (aren’t you glad you aren’t Zoe’s mum?), and her views on anything and everything.

Here is Zoe in her own words:

Needless to say it's graphic, but then, that's shagging for you: it's a rather sticky thing, no matter how you approach it. I decided to write about sex in my blog because I felt that the feminist and female-centred perspective is missing from mainstream media. A sexist double-standard about male vs female sexuality still exists, and which chastises women if they express sexual wants and needs; I hoped my blog would provide a counter-balance to this old-fashioned attitude.

 Here is an excerpt from a July 14, 2009 post titled “Kiss.”

The first time I met him face-to-face I wanted to kiss him.

Actually, I had wanted to kiss him for some weeks; each conversation we had over email, IM, or Skype increased my desire, so that by the time I finally saw him in the flesh I was almost craven with my need to feel his lips against mine.

Ever present in my mind, though, was that the feeling might not be mutual: how can you know if there’s real chemistry until you meet offline? Not to mention, of course, the fact that he’d recently learned of my Girl with a One Track Mind infamy, and I was anxious to show him another side of me, so that he would be getting to know me, Zoe, not the obsessed-with-shagging ‘notorious’ sex diarist.

But I still wanted to kiss him, god how I wanted that.

Zoe’s taken a little hiatus, but I am sure she’ll be back soon embarrassing her parents and letting us know what we want to hear.

A Welsh View

Ah yes, the Welsh are such interesting people. Okay, the only encounter I have had with the Welsh is Gwen Cooper from Torchwood and my TV is not that big. However, if you are interested in creativity that will allow you to laugh your bum (butt) off, here is an interesting video on how to open a bottle of wine with your shoe.

And to think, all these years, I was opening all those bottles of wine wrong.

On an interesting note, my brother-in-law cracks nuts with his fists. It serves for an interesting and quiet evening with the family. Apparently, we are not really that posh (high class).

Well these are my top British/Welsh blogs that I have been smitten about. What are your yours?

Tips for Sighting Good Daycares

Picking the right day care for your children can be practically stressful for working mothers. Dropping off your child to daycare every morning for strangers to comfort while you head off to make a living and provide for your family can be quite stressful. However, knowing that your child is in a warm, friendly, and safe environment can go a long ways to ease some of that tension. Here are some signs of a good daycare center and the things you should be looking for when finding a suitable daycare for your children.

Read More.