Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo to the Flu

For years, my kids and I would get vaccinated against the flu, while my husband didn't. He heard the false stories that the vaccine can make you sick, and despite my telling him time and again that it wasn't true, he still wouldn't get vaccinated.

Finally, a couple of winters ago, he got very sick. His doctor confirmed that he had influenza and even told him it was rare to see that in their practice since most get vaccinated now.

I had to do my wifely, "I told you so," of course, and now he gets vaccinated every year. And while his story had a good outcome, sadly, for others the consequences of not getting vaccinated can be tragic.

Families Fighting Flu, a non-profit organization made up of parents who have lost a child to the flu, partnered on the Say "Boo!" to the Flu program to help educate families about the importance of flu prevention.

As part of the program, Visiting Nurse Associations of America is hosting flu vaccination events across the country. Click here to see the tour schedule.

You'll also find tips, videos, activities or more on the site, all designed to educate the public on flu prevention. Click here to check it out now. Stay well!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

The Tear Thief Will Steal Your Heart


I'm fortunate to have children young enough that they still enjoy my reading to them (just don't tell my son's friends that *smile*). Every now and then, we'll happen upon a book that stands out above the rest...one that is timeless and will forever be remembered.

The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy, and illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli, is one such book. This 32-page hardcover published by Barefoot Books is filled with magical illustrations and soothing prose.

The Tear Thief collects the tears of children all over the world and keeps them in her special silver sack. There are children who cry over small things with crocodile tears, but the tears of real sadness hold the most worth.

One girl who cries such tears of sadness happens upon the Tear Thief when she catches her reflection in a puddle (the only way to see her). Readers will follow this girl along in her journey with the Tear Thief and will learn just why these tears are collected and what the Tear Thief does with them.

My kids were riveted and now count this book as one of their favorites. Here are a few examples of the whimsical illustrations and the lovely way Duffy tells this story (click to enlarge):





Beautiful, isn't it? Click here for more information and/or to order. Just be prepared to have a tear or two of your own stolen. :)

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Going Green

"It's not easy being green" has a whole new meaning in today's generation. In a recent Mom Central survey, 81% of Moms said they consider themselves to be "green." But with the hectic lives us moms face, putting our beliefs into action can be a difficult thing.

Clorox Green Works understands this and thus created a new site called 30 Days to Natural to help us in our efforts.

The first step? Planting a virtual daisy on the site. Easy and fun and it gets you in the spirit of helping the environment. You can even click on all the daisies in the field to see other participants and what day they're on. Consider it your personal field of inspiration!

You can sign up to have tips emailed to you or sent to your mobile phone. Simply click on "tools" to register and access these helpful resources. There's also a kitchen checklist with tips on making your kitchen more natural that you can print out.

Click on "diaries" to watch videos of other moms who are on the 30-day journey, and even upload a video of your own. Here's one video from mom Shelley, who has also embarked on the Greenworks 30 Days to Natural project:



Whether its recycling, using environmentally-safe cleaners, or walking/biking instead of driving when you can, the site offers many helpful suggestions in easy-to-follow, daily steps.

30 Days to Natural finally makes it easy to be green!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lands' End Review and Giveaway


If your area is anything like mine, the temperature is dropping fast. We've already had to put our heat on in the evenings and I've been caught outside, unprepared for the cold, a few times already.

Now, thanks to Lands' End, I'm ready for the cold with my new Women's Windfall Snow Sport Jacket.

I am in love with this jacket! I have two coats, one dressy and one bulky, so I tended to avoid both when out and about my regular day. The Windfall jacket, however, is light, sporty and trendy.

But don't let the word "jacket" fool you because it will keep you warm without the heaviness that comes with other coats. The Polarthin™ insulation inside gives you the warmest protection without bulk.

It has a temperature rating of -5°/5° Fahrenheit. Over heavy layers, this Windfall Snow Sport Jacket will keep you warm in -5° weather; over a light layer, in 5° weather.

Other features include:
  • Fleece-lined, zippered outer pockets
  • Multiple inner pockets for MP3 player, cellphone
  • Exterior ski-pass attachment

I can't wait to go sledding with my kids in it!

Here's a little peek of the jacket in black:



And it comes with a hood that easily tucks away into a button-up fold in the back:





Click here for more details.

In addition to the jacket, Lands' End has SO much to offer. I'm thinking of ordering a pair of their Women's Windfall Gloves to match my jacket.

Want to win something fabulous for yourself from Lands' End?

Thanks to Lands' End, one lucky winner here will receive either a Women's ThermaCheck 100 Half-zip Pullover or the Women's Sherpa Fleece Half-zip Pullover, in the color and size of your choice.

Check out the wonderful features of each:


Women's ThermaCheck 100 Half-zip Pullover, the world's only permanent antistatic fleece:
  • Exclusive antistatic treatment resists static cling, static shock, lint and pet hair
  • Permanent antistatic finish never washes out
  • Famous ThermaCheck softness is still here
  • Lightweight ThermaCheck 100 Half-zip is ideal for layering and cool-weather exercising



Women's Sherpa Fleece Half-zip Pullover, Land's End's thickest, coziest fleece:
  • Feminine fit
  • Cotton/jersey lined for comfort
  • Half-zip style looks great and helps regulate body temperature
  • TEMPERATURE RATING: 0°/10° Fahrenheit. Over layering pieces, this Sherpa Fleece Half-zip will keep you warm in 0° weather; over a light layer, in 10° weather.

Be sure to click the links for each to learn more, see all of the fabulous color choices, and even try it on a virtual model that you can create to match your shape and size.

To enter, simply leave a comment with your favorite choice of the two (you can always change your mind later). For a bonus entry, blog about this contest on your site with a link to this post and to Lands' End. Then, leave a separate comment with your link.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm EST, Thursday, October 30. Winner will be selected at random via Random.org and will be notified via email. Winner has two weeks from the time of notification to claim their prize, or the prize will be forfeited.

Good luck!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey



I am blessed enough to be married to a man who loves to cook. And he is unfortunate enough to be married to a wife who hates to cook. :)

While I make fresh meals from scratch every evening for our family, it's definitely a chore for me. It's not that I'm a bad cook. My family has always been happy with the meals I prepare. It's just that I'd rather stick pins in my fingers than have to be in the kitchen cooking.

There is one time of the year, though, when my husband relieves me of my kitchen duties and that's Thanksgiving. Every year he makes the entire meal, sans the mashed potatoes (because I happen to make those really well). How lucky am I to have a husband who does the Thanksgiving cooking?!

And we have yet to have a bad turkey (dry, undercooked, etc.). All of our guests always rave over how well he cooks it.

He did make the classic mistake the very first time he cooked a turkey, though. Yes, the dreaded "leaving in the giblets" error. He even knew about that possibility and thought he'd checked well enough, but he didn't know that there were giblets in both ends.

Thankfully it didn't affect the turkey at all. It was just as perfect then as it has been in the years since.

How about you? Do you have a tale about your quest for the perfect turkey? If so, head on over to Electrolux Appliances , click on "Kelly Confidential," and submit a picture, story, and/or video about your experience.

Whether it's your dog eating your turkey before your guests could, dropping the turkey on the way to the table, or smoke billowing out of the oven, Kelly Ripa and Electrolux want to hear from you.

By submitting your story, you'll automatically be entered to win a sleek, new Electrolux wall oven or range that features a Perfect Turkey button!



The Perfect Turkey™ button from Electrolux uses a temperature probe to precisely control cooking, along with a convection system that gently browns the turkey while sealing in the juices, giving you perfect turkey, every time. This first-in-class feature may just revolutionize the holiday cooking experience!

It's comforting to me to know that this Perfect Turkey button exists. Should my husband ever not be able to take on cooking for Thanksgiving, I can have Electrolux come to my rescue!

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So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Of Bubbles and Doodles

There are two things that are guaranteed to delight my little girl, and that's bubbles and doodles! Thanks to Team Mom, she was able to enjoy both with Kid Kleen's Bath Blizzard and Aquadoodle's Draw 'N Doodle mat.



The Bath Blizzard is a brilliant invention! This isn't your average bubble bath product. With a turn of the dial, a waterfall of bubbles cascades into the bath! I'm talking a TON of fun bubbles.

And the toy is nice and compact so it packs a lot of punch for such a little machine. It easily attaches to the side of the tub with suction cups. Natalie loves hers!



One of Natalie's favorite things to do when she's done with her Bath Blizzard bath is to lay out her Aquadoodle Draw 'N Doodle mat and make footprints with her wet feet.

The mat is designed so that kids can create doodles with water rather than messy paints or markers. It comes with a reusable Aqua pen that you fill with water. Your kids can draw to their heart's content without any cleanup involved (that's MY kind of fun!)

The drawings (or footprints in Natalie's case) disappear after drying, so there's always a clean slate for your child to make new creations on.

I highly recommend both of these fun toys for those in need of gift ideas for the holidays!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free Shipping at Lands' End

Lands' End is offering free shipping to readers of So a Blonde Walks Into a Review! From now until October 20th, you can receive FREE UPS basic shipping service (4-6 business day delivery) at Lands' End by entering the following codes:

Code: OUTERWEAR
Pin: 1013

Perfect for when ordering fall and winter clothing and outerwear for your family! Enjoy. :)


So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Protect Your Child With InstantAmber

Would you be prepared should the unthinkable happen with your child? According to John Walsh, founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, acting immediately after a child abduction is vital as “the chances of safely recovering a child are much greater within the first few hours immediately following a child abduction.”

InstantAmber is a valuable child safety service that provides law enforcement with critical data and photos of your child in seconds which increases the odds of successfully recovering your missing child.

Parents upload photos and other important information about their child onto the site, which securely stores the data. This information can then be sent instantly to law enforcement should your child ever go missing.

For just $29.95 per year (per child), you can be sure that your child's information can be quickly and easily accessed in an emergency. InstantAmber gives parents the peace of mind and security that they have taken every precaution for the safety of their children. Click here for more information.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Custom Blog Design Winner



Congratulations to "Yipee - It's Leah!" who is the winner of a custom blog design from Mommy Chronicles!

Leah, be sure to come back here and let us know when your design is done so we can all take a look at it. :)

Thanks to everyone who entered and remember if you didn't win, but are interested in hiring Lindsey to do a design for your site, you can get $10 off just by mentioning this giveaway.

Thanks to Lindsey for sponsoring this fabulous contest!

Stay tuned for more giveaways to come.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spot Shot - Stain and Odor's' New Enemy





Our Bichon Frise Sophie is trained to go potty outside and inside (on papers). For the times she's not perfect inside, I often lug out my steam cleaner or my spot cleaning machine.

Now, after having the opportunity to review this wonderful product, I reach for my bottle of non-toxic Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator by WD-40. There is also a pet formula that I'm going to try next.



Spot Shot works so well with hardly any effort. Just spray, blot/scrub with a cloth and you're done. It eliminates old and new stains, neutralizes smells through dual-odor eliminators, and incorporates anti-resoiling agents into your carpet to help prevent stains from returning.

But the best part of the new Spot Shot? It is both biodegradable and non-toxic. Good for you and your family, good for your pets, and good for the environment.

My review bottle also came with a test kit so you can see here just how well Spot Shot works at getting out tough stains:





Us moms know chocolate is one of the worst offenders, so for this test, I applied a bit of chocolate from the bottle provided in the kit.



Then I sprayed a bit of Spot Shot onto the stain.



I blotted the stain with a towel and rubbed back and forth a bit, and the stain was gone.



After the carpet dried, there was no sign of the stain, or that the spot had been cleaned.

Click here to learn more about this fantastic product. It comes with a money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose if you try it!

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So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Custom Blog Design Giveaway



If you like the new design here at So a Blonde Walks Into a Review, you're going to LOVE this giveaway!

I am so excited to announce that my blog designer Lindsey, from Mommy Chronicles Blog, has offered to give one lucky reader here a FREE custom blog design! Here's what the winner will receive:
  • Custom 2 or 3 column blog design
  • Custom signature
  • Custom square blog button and code
  • Up to 8 sidebar buttons &/or horizontal navigation bar
  • Complete widget transfer
  • Installation of your new design

Yes, the winner will receive ALL of the above at no cost!! What a prize, huh?

To be eligible to win, entrants must either have a personal blog (no business websites, please), or be planning to start one. And it must be on Blogger, since Lindsey only designs for that format. So be sure you have both of the following before entering:

Here are a some examples of Lindsey's other designs:





Soooo pretty!

Click here to see her full portfolio (with links to the blogs) and the amazing designs she has created.

"Custom" is key here as the winner will receive a one-of-a-kind design based on their preferences and no one else will be able to have that design. The process is so simple and it's so exciting to watch it come along!

Lindsey is wonderful to work with and will not stop until you are completely happy with your new look. And she's very intuitive at capturing the feel you want to go for. I just showed her a photo and explained in a few words what I wanted my site to look like and she designed it exactly as I envisioned it!

As an incentive, Lindsey is also offering $10 off custom blog design for anyone who doesn't win but wants to hire her for their new design. Her prices depend on what is requested so prices cannot be listed, but if you email Lindsey, she will give you a quote.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment here telling me why you'd like a custom design from Lindsey.

For FIVE bonus entries, blog about this giveaway on your site with a link to this post and to Mommy Chronicles Blog. Then leave a separate comment here with your link so that I know to credit you with the extra entries.

For THREE bonus entries (or a total of EIGHT if you do the above step as well as this one) Twitter this contest with a link here and then leave another separate comment letting me know you've done this. Please be sure to provide a link to your Twitter profile in your comment.

All entrants must have an email address that I can easily find so that I can contact them if they win.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 9 at 11:59 EST. Winner has two weeks from the time of notification to claim their prize, or the prize will be forfeited.

Good luck!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Dial Complete Winner

Congratulations to Carolyn from Right Wing Wacko Mom! Her name was selected at random through Random.org as the winner of the Dial Complete giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who entered! There's a fabulous giveaway going on here for a free custom blog design so if you didn't win this one, head on over and enter that. Good luck!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review