Snow Takes The Checker Book Review

Snow Takes The Checker combines horses, other animals and NASCAR to promote land conservation. No worries though, the book is all fun and adventure.  Follow Snow, a horse and his best friend, Tuga, a turtle as they prepare and take part in the Animal 500.

The Animal 500 is the most difficult race of the year and although Snow wants to win, he remembers to keep be a teammate. Even when another racer tries to play dirty, Snow remains polite as he was taught. The race itself through the illustrations and the writing is very exciting.

Written by Demi Knight Clark, Snow Takes the Checker! is one in a series of books about Snow. All books support Racing for Wildlife. Ryan Newman, #39 of NASCAR, has teamed with the author and the non-profit to help keep untouched spaces outdoors for animals.

My Review: Snow Takes the Checker will keep your childs attention easily. Its as if you are hearing a sportscaster talk you through the twists and turns of a race. The illustrations are colorful and inviting. Youre sure to hear, read this again! the lessons of friendship and being a team player ring throughout the story.

Purchase: Snow Takes the Checker! is available on Amazon.com for $12.55 or from the website The Snow Horse.

Disclosure: I was provided with this book for a book tour by Parent Reviewers. All opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Catty Wompus Book Review

Catty Wompus teaches one of the most important life lessons that children (and adults) can learn be the friend you want to be. Catty is a spoiled girl who loves things, not people. At least thats how it seems. Shes the rich girl who dresses well, has the latest toys and acts as if shes above other children.

From an adult point of view, you can see that Catty is lonely. From a childs point of view, she comes across as mean, especially when she tells a girl that her clothing was ugly. This girl, Lucy Hope,  feels sad and angry about this offense.

When she tells her mother about what happened, her mother gives her advice about Catty. She doesnt tell Lucy to avoid her or to get back at her. She says, Her heart is empty, dont you see? Lucy considers this and decides to become friends with Catty. What will the outcome be? Read Catty Wompus A Tale of Friendship to find out!

My Review: Catty Wompus should be required reading for every child! The author, Julie Howe has written about a true experience that has left an imprint on her. This story will leave an imprint on you and your child. The messages about friendship, reaching out to others, kindness in the face of meanness is something we all need to learn and re-learn.

Purchase: Catty Wompus A Tale of Friendship is available on Amazon.com for $14.50.

More Information:  Read about the author, the book and the illustrator, Chason Matthews from the Catty Wompus website.

Disclosure: I received this book as part of a book tour with Parent Reviewers. All opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Top Ten Family Vacation Tips

Going on a family vacation should be a fun and stress free time, not one where were upset and as parents trying to keep the peace.  Although we have flown a number of times, most of our trips are done in the car. We have a DVD player, comfy seats and lots of space to relax.

When our daughter was just an infant, we began traveling and it was so easy. She slept, we drove. She was in her stroller, was nursed, and/or ate anything we gave her and slept wherever, whenever. As a toddler, she was a happy traveler too. She loved seeing new things, having her photos taken and even sleeping in her car seat. As she grew, little issues came up, she would begin asking the age old question, when will we get there? and saying, or whining, Im bored!.

Thats when my husband and I used some of the old tricks our parents used. Heres our top ten family vacation tips:

  1. Talk, actually discuss things during the drive. Youll be surprised how much fun and laughter youll end up having. Sometimes, some serious issues may come up that your child wouldnt likely open up about otherwise.
  2. Sing together. You may need the radio to get you going with this, but theres nothing easier to bring a smile to everyones face when youre singing, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).  You may end up singing Old MacDonald after that!
  3. Plan your trip together. Even though weve probably gone over what weve going to do in advance, its still a lot of fun to discuss last minute plans or just go over our plans.
  4. Play some games. Remember car bingo? Yes, we still play that. We also read billboards and find odd color cars, like orange. Prizes? A desert when we stop for food or a souvenir for $1.
  5. Choose a place to eat. We try to save money on our trips so we do a lot of eating in our hotel room, but we do plan on eating out a few times each trip. Each family member gets their choice of a place to eat (within some limits of course). If you dont need reservations, you can do this during the drive.
  6. Bring a camera or two. This sounds logical, but we also have our daughter bring her own camera. Its an inexpensive digital made for children. She can take the photos she wants and keep them for her memories. She even uses it in the car.
  7. Take time to soak it in. Dont schedule every minute of your vacation. Plan some down time so you can just hang out, go swimming, stop to see something unusual or interesting. This can make the most memorable moments of your trip.
  8. Dont spend too much money. Some people think that going on luxurious vacations is the only way to have a good time. This is the farthest from the truth. Some of our favorite memories are stopping at a quiet rest area and eating a picnic of sandwiches that we packed.
  9. Find unusual souvenirs. Sure theres tons of coffee mugs, key chains, stuffed animals and t-shirts, but look for things that may not even have the name of where youre visiting. Find something in the woods, or by the lake, or in an old country store. Let your children choose an item that reminds them of something you did together, like a photo that you can make a frame for at home.
  10. Go with the flow. The weather may be awful, your hotel room may turn out to be a mess, but being together is what matters most. Go to a museum, find an out of the way motel, talk to some locals and learn what they do for fun. Enjoy!

This post is being written as part of a contest at Twitter Moms.  I along with other bloggers were asked to write about our top ten ideas for a fun, distraction free family vacation. Alamo is providing $30 gas cards to the first 50 bloggers who enter. I am also entered into a contest for a $100 gas card.

(Alamo Rent A Car is a value-oriented, internationally recognized brand serving the daily rental needs of airport leisure travelers. Alamo offers low rental rates and a fun, hassle-free customer experience at the most popular travel destinations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Rim.)

Chocolate Cheerios Review And Giveaway

Chocolate Cheerios is made with real cocoa and is low in fat. Its good for you with 8 grams of whole grain per serving, cholesterol free and is a good source of calcium and vitamin D. It tastes just like chocolate milk in a bowl! Another great addition to the Cheerios cereals.

There are some recipes available from Cheerios for you to take a look at and use. Surprise your family!

My Review: This was a big hit in my house. Chocolate cereal is something that I use as a treat, but with the health benefits of Chocolate Cheerios, I have no problem serving this every day. Plus, I know my daughter will drink the excess milk in the bowl.

Savings Alert! Print a 50 cents off coupon for your next purchase of Chocolate Cheerios

Giveaway: Win a Chocolate Cheerios Gift Pack which includes One Box of Chocolate Cheerio, One Ceramic Cereal Bowl, Chocolate Scented bath items and One Bath Pouf.

The Rules:

  1. Contest starts now and ends Feb. 15th at midnight EST.
  2. Open to adults 18 and over in the US.
  3. Winner will be chosen by Random.org.
  4. Winner has 2 days to claim prize.
  5. Have fun and tell your friends.

How To Enter:
For One Entry For Each Below: (please leave a separate comment for each entry)

  1. Leave a comment about what is your favorite Cheerios cereal.
  2. Follow my blog on Facebook. (Please leave your Facebook ID)
  3. Follow me, ConnieFoggles, on Twitter. (Please leave your Twitter ID)
  4. Sign up for my FriendFeed (Please leave your FriendFeed ID)
  5. Use the Bookmark widget/button under this post and share this post on any of the sites listed. (Please comment with which site you shared this post on.)
  6. Tweet this exactly:

Win A Chocolate Cheerios Gift Pack @ConnieFoggles http://bit.ly/aCopVQ Ends 2/15 PL RT

Disclosure: Product, information, prize pack, and giveaway have all been provided by Cheerios andMy BlogSpark. All opinions are my own.

Ferdinand The Frog Uses The Potty Book Review

Ferdinand Uses the Potty is a book with colorful images, rhymes and humor and a built in lesson for your child about toilet training. Covering a topic that can cause problems among parents of all walks of life, this book is a fun way to get your child to open up about his fears or concerns about potty training.

Ferdinand, a yellow frog,  wets his bed one night, but has no idea what has happened. When he tells his friend, a boy, who has gone through the same thing, he is told how to handle it use the toilet. But Ferdinand remembers what happens with toilets:

Oh no, said the frog, Im not going in there. Ive heard the loud sound that thing makes! Every time you go in there, I hear a WHOOSH sound, Im afraid that thing gives me the shakes!

Soon, though, Ferdinand conquers his fear and is very proud of himself. His fear is put into words that are easily understood by toddlers as well as the way that he gets over them. Written by Jay Tucker, a father, teacher and writer and illustrated by D.E. West, a father, husband, graphic designer and artist, Ferdinand Uses the Potty: An Empowering Toilet Training Tale is published by Loving Press.

My Review: The rhyming, adorable character, Ferdinand and the bright, cherry illustrations make this a book that your child will want you to read again and again. My daughter had major fears of potty training and I wish that I had this for her. Seeing a frog go through it with the help of a child is a creative move. I recommend this to parents who are in the throes of potty training of going to give it a start.

To Purchase: Available on Amazon.com for $11.86

You can also read a parents guide, get coloring pages and play Frogger on the Ferdie the Frog website.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of the book by Loving Press and The Parent Reviewers for this review. The opinions stated here are my own.

Quickly The Magic Spatula Book Review

Quickly: The Magic Spatula is a heartwarming book that reminds adults of stories from our childhood and how important the little things in our family really are. For children, this book helps create memories and start discussions about family, love and imagination.

The story of Quickly begins when a brother and sister are children who played in their attic. It fast forwards to them as adults who are looking through the boxes of the same attic. Their mother had passed away and they now had children of their own. It is not a sad time though, but a time of memories, of time spent with their mother when she did ordinary things that lots of moms do including cooking breakfast for them on Sunday mornings.

The object that helps bring back these striking memories filled with admiration, enduring love and vivid details was a spatula. That spatula, now old and dim, was at one time shiny and put into use for those Sunday pancake breakfasts. The story of how it becomes named Quickly is told in a mesmerizing way. The illustrations help bring it to life.

Share this with your child between the ages of 2 8 and allow them to tell or write their own story in this book or online at the Quickly: The Magic Spatula website. Theres even questions to go over with your children, and information about the authors.

Purchase: Quickly: The Magic Spatula for $11.65 on Amazon.com

I was compensated with a copy of the book for this review. All opinions are mine. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more details. Thank you to Parent Reviewers for the opportunity to review this book.

Blog Giveaways 10/14/09

Here are some blog giveaways for you to enter. Please be sure to visit the blogs by clicking on the links and let them know that you found their giveaway here. Good luck!! Dont forget to enter my giveaway for a $25 Gift Certificate to McCormick & Schmicks Restaurant, ending October 19th.

Ending Tomorrow 10/15:

Custom Vinyl Banner from My Red Apron

Cell Phone Case from Donido Designs

Good To Be You Mini Compact from Brown Couch Events

Ending 10/16

Hand Crocheted Dish/Wash Cloths from Audreys Giveways

Ending 10/17

Harry Connick Jr. Your Songs CD from Brain Foggles. Open to US & Canada!

$25 Gift Certificate to EcoStoreUSA from Natural Baby Goods

Ending 10/18

Sweet Tomatoes Souplantation 2 Meal Passes 3 Winners

Ending 10/19

Crazy Dog T-Shirt from Brown Couch Events

Built NY Tasty Lunch Tote from Brown Couch Events

Usborne Books from Brown Couch Events 3 Winners

Ending 10/24

Baby Bjorn Active Baby Carrier from Natural Baby Goods

Ending 10/25

6 Deborah Milano Brilliant Lips Mobile Glosses from Ladies Gadgets

Ending 10/30

Candle/Soap Gift Basket from Ms. Modern

Blog Giveaways 9/24/09

Ending 9/25:

Any Photograph from Inventing Amys Etsy Shop from Audreys Giveaway Blog

Ending 9/26:

Handmade Baby Booties from Natural Baby Goods

Ending 9/27:

Kaskey Kids Sports Action Figure from Brown Couch Events

Letters Numbers Colors Shapes Activity Book from Brown Couch Events

Poster Print from My Red Apron

Liliputians Applique Birthday Shirt from Brown Couch Events

Saving Ben Book from Autism Learning Felt

Ouchies from Brown Couch Events

Ending 9/28:

Kreated By Karen Handmade Tote Bag from Audreys Country Crafts

Ending 9/30:

Ponds Towlettes Travel Gift Pack from Brain Foggles

Beauty prize pack, jewelry prize pack, or craft prize pack from CanContests

$15 iTunes Gift Card, $15 Amazon Gift Card and Tears of the Desert Book from Yule Time Giving

Halloween Goodie Bag from 19 Etsy Shops from Laughing Vixen

Digital Bank from Saving With Mama Nordy

Ending 10/2:

Bird Earrings from Audreys Giveaways Blog

Ending 10/14:

$25 Gift Certificate for Artisan Jewelery from Just My $0.02 Cents

Ending 10/17:

$100 Gift Certificate to Talbots from oh hey!

Blog Giveaways 9/14/09

Please visit the blogs below to enter their giveaways.

Ending Tomorrow 9/15:

A doll dress and apron set from Audreys Country Crafts

Ending 9/18:

Crafty Momma Hair Items from Noodles and Nuggets

WAT-AAH! backpack with goodies and four bottles of WAT-AAH! from BrainFoggles

Ending 9/19:

Vintage Charm Bracelet from Love Charles Vintage

Ending 9/21:

New Native Inc Organic Baby Carrier from Penelopes Oasis

Ending 9/22

Alight.com Plus Size Top from The Art of Willy Nillyness

Ending 9/25:

$50 Target Gift Certificate and CD from Mama Must Have

Ending 9/30:

Happy Baby Organic Baby Food from A Little Piece of Perfect

Ending 11/2

Two Target Gift Cards from Aprils Little Family

Back To School Schedule

We began working on getting back into the swing of things about a week before school started. Our back to school schedule has been working out very well. My daughter has no trouble waking up and getting ready for school.

There has been a change in her school hours though. She is in school about a half an hour longer than last year. That doesnt sound like much, but it throws off our home schedule, especially dinner time. Weve come up with one solution where she eats her snack while doing some of her homework. We look over what is required and chose something that is easy for her to do.

I sit with her while shes eating and work with her a bit. Then shes on her own with her homework. I do check it of course. Next we work together on some chores which help her calm down after her day in school. After dinner, she has plenty of time to play, talk on the phone and read. Bedtime is a set time every night.

Having a schedule makes school time easier and calmer for parents and children. No more yelling in my house!