Saturday, February 27, 2010

Neat and Stack Buckets from iPlay Product Review

My 18-month old and I got to review the Neat & Stack Buckets toy by iPlay. This is a great learning toy for a toddler. With this toy, your toddler is building, counting and matching. The buckets have numbers and pictures on the bottom of them so for example, for bucket number 10, which the biggest, there are ten turtles along with the number ten.

My little one loved stacking them up and knocking them over. He was also very intrigued by the pictures and the numbers and would show them to me in excitement. He also loved the shape sorter and it did not take him very long to figure out where each shape went.

This is a wonderful toddler toy. I loved that fact that clean up was easy and it does not take up a lot of room because it the buckets stack into each other. Moreover, the Neat & Stack Buckets toy by iPlay is reasonably priced – around $20 depending on the retailer.

The toy was sent to us for review by Ebeanstalk.   Ebeanstalk is a website dedicated to selecting great baby toys and toddler toys. They rely on the opinions and feedback of bloggers and moms around the country to continue selecting great toys to sell. Their team of child experts also helps them pick out learning toys to make sure your child gets the most out of his or her playtime!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winner of The Napkin, the Melon, & the Monkey Book by Barbara Burke

I used a random generator to pick the winner which is commenter number five.

I will contact you directly so that I can send your information to the publisher.

FEBRUARY 2, 2010 8:03 PM

melanie said... I am a stay at home mom. I used to work in customer service and it is a very tough job...not sure if I'd do it again!!!

Thank you everyone who participated. Be sure to check back for future giveaways.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway!!!

The Napkin, the Melon, & the Monkey: How to Be Happy and Successful by Simply Changing Your Mind

I had the opportunity to review Barbara Burke’s book and I have learned two things, (1) customer service isn’t easy, and (2) not to sweat the small stuff. The book is about Olivia who is a customer service representative for her local electric company and even though she has been trained to handle difficult customers, she has found herself losing control and not handling herself in a professional manner. Fearing she will lose her job, Olivia seeks the advice of a long time customer service representative, Isabel, who teaches her how to relate to napkins, melons and monkeys.

Olivia is like you and me. She is a parent, a spouse, and an employee. She has to work to boost her family’s income and dealing with disgruntled customers isn’t easy when your life is already stressful. Olivia finds herself depressed and feeling miserable and there is nothing she can do about it because her family needs the additional income.

With the help of Isabel, Olivia learns to change her attitude about her employment and it also reflects upon her personal relationships. Those changes come from the experiences and wisdom. One of those examples is SODA which is an acronym for STOP, OBSERVE, DECIDE, and ACT. Isabel also tells Olivia about “unplugging” which allows a person to simply take some time to clear their mind of anything and everything even if it is just for a few minutes. Then, there are the Aha!s which are 22 practical ways to look and practice life. Aha! No. 1 is “I will always have problems” and Aha! No. 22 is that “Generous hearts make a difference.”

Barbara’s book is great testament to living life, not just on a professional level either. Her ideas are ones that we can take with us in our personal lives as well. While I was reading, I looked at my own life and experiences. Sometimes I think that my life isn’t easy - being working mother with RA – but I have also realized that life is what we make it. We choose how we respond and some of Barbara’s Aha!s hit home.

Aha! #1 I will always have problems.

Aha! #2 It’s not about me.

Aha! #6 When all else fails, have SODA.

Aha! #10 The less I talk, the more I learn.

Aha! #13 Spreading my wings is the only way to fly.

Aha! #21 Real freedom comes from letting go of the outcome.

So many of us dwell on things we think we cannot control when there is more to life. Changing our perception of life is the only way to be happy and that is the only thing in life we have control of.

To purchase Barbara Burke’s “The Napkin, The Melon & The Monkey, visit the publisher's website. The price of the book is $19.95 and believe me, it is worth the $19.95. You can also purchase at Barbara Burke's website and there is always Amazon.

One lucky reader of this blog will recieve a copy of The Napkin, The Melon & The Monkey and here is all you have to do. TO ENTER, please leave a comment under this post telling me what you do for a living, and whether you would be able and willing to work in customer service. Leave your email address so we have a way of contacting you. Enter by February 8 at 11:59 p.m. Open to U.S. addresses only.