Tsue ~ That's What She Said: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Portable, Convenient Access Anywhere ~ Motorola Xoom Tablet ~ Verizon

Having an opportunity to thoroughly dive into the Motorola Xoom with Verizon's dependable service, my family is sold on its features and benefits.  From oldest to youngest, the Motorola Xoom has something to offer everyone.

My husband, the least tech savvy in our bunch, loves to sneak off with the Xoom to watch his favorite shows.  Fast speed and easy connection allows him the luxury of quiet time to enjoy, away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the family.

A gaming fiend through and through, my 10 yr old son likes the gaming features the best.  With continual connection as well as a fun assortment of games preloaded, he loves that he can play anywhere in the house, and even on the go.

From a mother's perspective, I find the Xoom to be incredibly helpful for me to stay connected, especially while traveling.  Lightweight and portable, at a weight of only 25 ounces,  I can keep up with my email accounts, schedule meetings and even manage documents.  With fast speeds, I can manage multiple apps, even when my time is at a premium.

Without a doubt, the most fervent proponent in my family of the Motorola Xoom is my teenage daughter.  Quick thinking and cunning maneuvers are required to wrest the Xoom from her iron grasp.  While the Xoom offers many of the same features as her smart phone, video watching and recording, camera and webcam, as well as android music capacity, she is hooked on the size.  Although significantly larger than her smart phone, the at 9.81"w x 6.61"h x .51"d, the Xoom is a perfect companion for her throughout her day and the perfect size to fit easily in her bag.  With a large screen for sharing pictures and videos with friends, not to mention the latest social media news, it serves her well socially, as well as in class, courtesy of the large on board keyboard.

While the power of the Xoom with dual core 1Ghz processor and Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system has dazzled us, both from price point of $399 with two year contract to fabulous function,  those craving the latest and fastest in tablet technology will want to explore the Xoom 4G LTE.   The 4G LTE Xoom is available with many of the same features as the original, with 5 megapixel camera and 10.1" widescreen HD screen, but adds zing 4G speeds, 3.2 Android Honeycomb operating system and 32GB internal memory.  With a current price $499 with two year contract from Verizon, the Motorola Xoom 4G LTE would make anyone's eye sparkle this holiday season.

Key Features
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb Operating System
  • 2.0MP front-facing Webcam 
  • 5 Megapixel Camera with LED Flash
  • HTML Web Browser
  • Touch Screen
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n

The Motorola Xoom, with Verizon service, is an excellent choice for anyone on your gift list this holiday season, a natural inclusion in the 2011 Must Have Holiday Gift Guide.

Thank you to Verizon of Michigan for sponsoring the introduction to the Motorola Xoom tablet.  Images and information sourced from various Verizon and Motorola sites.  The opinions above are both honest and my own.

Puppies Vs. Babies ~ The Ultimate Showdown $5000 Contest ~ Animal Planet

This post brought to you by Puppies vs. Babies. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you are anything like me, you have no doubt whatsoever that your offspring, both of the two-legged and four-legged variety are the cutest on the planet!  It is simply part of the Mom genetic makeup!
Animal Planet is giving you a chance to put your cuties where your Mom mouth is, with the Puppies vs. Babies Ultimate Showdown contest!  Beyond the all-important bragging rights, the last cutie standing will walk away with a grand prize of $5000 from Animal Planet!  Click over to the Puppies vs. Babies online contest and see how your cuties stack up against the contenders!
From now until Saturday, you can view thousands of submitted cuties from adoring Moms like you and rate each cutie on a scale of 1-10.  Around November 5th, the cutie finalists will be selected and placed into species brackets for the four upcoming elimination rounds.  Courtesy of Animal Planet, each finalist will be awarded $5000.
The final cutie knock down will occur on November 19, when your votes will determine once and for all, who is the cutest - Puppies or Babies!
Of course, my cuties are the cutest in the land, two-legged and four-legged alike, but what about your cuties?  Tell me about your Mother's heart's delight!  How does your cutie stack up against the contenders and who do you think will pull off the title of Ultimate Cutie in the Animal Planet contest?  Tell me in a comment below!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Healthier Me ~ My Experiences with Probiotics ~ Member's Mark 4X Probiotic

After doing a bit of research into the need for and benefits of probiotics for one's digestive health and overall well being, I have been testing Member's Mark 4X Probiotics for the past nine days.  The results I have experienced are nothing short of astounding!

Learning of the significant impact one's digestive system has to so many other bodily systems was a great surprise to me.  You may read more of the details via my previous piece, Top Five Digestive Health Issues In Women.  Finding myself checking off so many concerns on the list of possible related effects of digestive malfunction, I was quite enthusiastic to give probiotics a try.

The first day of testing, as opposed to less discomfort and bloating, I seemed to experience the exact opposite.  Fortunately, I was forward thinking enough to continue with the testing!  By the second day, the increased bloating and general digestive region sensitivity was gone.  On day three, I felt an overall sense of lightness; certainly the absence of any bloating.

As the week progressed, I found myself sleeping more soundly and for longer periods of time.  My overall energy level went through the roof!  From those benefits alone, I feel like a new woman!

Although I do not classify myself as lactose intolerant and have never been diagnosed as such, I have experienced some negative effects on days when my overall dairy intact is greater than usual.  A glass of milk, a yogurt and perhaps ice cream for a treat in the course of one day is enough to stir up trouble within my digestive system.    Throughout the course of the test, I made it a point to maintain a typical diet, although I intentionally increased my dairy intake on day five.  The results - no ill effect whatsoever! 

While I cannot speak to the possible results another may have in trying Member's Mark 4X Probiotic, based upon my experiences, in addition to all I have learned about the importance of digestive health in one's overall well-being, I would certainly encourage my readers to explore and try for themselves!

Created with a probiotic blend of recommended beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, & Bifidobacterium bifidum) at "5 billion live cells at time of manufacture and an effective level at time of consumption" and based upon my personal experience,  Member's Mark 4X Probiotic is a budget friendly and effective means to a healthier you.

Available at Sam's Club.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  The opinions above are both honest and my own.  Images and information sourced from http://digestivehealthfor.me/.  Additional information sourced from women to women,  Web MD, AMA.  
Woman Image.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Three Signs That You May Need Glasses ~ Zenni Optical

Right on schedule, as soon as I hit the big 4-0, things in my visual world started becoming a bit fuzzy. Although, within my immediate family, I have historically been blessed with the strongest eyesight, with both parents, as well as both sisters already doning specs, I knew it was only a matter of time before I needed them as well.

Actually, I've needed them for some time.

Top Three Signs That You May Need Glasses ~

1. When reading, you begin to notice that your arms seem to have shrunk in length. Despite holding a book or document out at full arm's length, it's just not far enough!

2. You find yourself looking at your computer screen at an angle as though through bifocal lens, when you don't even wear glasses!

3. When trying to read the small print preparation directions on a food package, or the dosage directions on a bottle of medication, you find yourself looking around for your son's magnifying glass!

My excuse ~
Truly, I don't have a good excuse for not getting myself a pair of glasses. While my time is tight, I am certain the time I would save by being able to read small print without aids and assistance would pay off in the long run. I have vision insurance, so even though I like to be frugal in purchasing necessities, my out of pocket expenses would be minimal. Honestly, my most legitimate excuse for stalling is my difficulty in selecting sunglass frames to compliment my face. With a round face, I struggle to find a complimentary style each time I shop for sunglasses. I despise standing in a store, trying on so many unflattering pairs.

A Solution ~
I recently discovered Zenni Optical and beyond their very affordable prices, the selection of fashionable frames is outstanding! Keeping their prices low by bringing products to their customers directly from their factories, without the additional cost of middlemen, Zenni is a very cost effective choice for eye wear. Best of all, you can virtually shop for frames at the Zenni online store and assure yourself that the great frames you like will compliment your face. By selecting a face with a shape similar to your own from the online gallery, or even uploading a picture of yourself, you can try on any of the frames from Zenni's vast selection and purchase with confidence. If you are looking for cheap eyeglasses and don't want to compromise on style, Zenni is a great way to go!

Thank you to Zenni Optical for sponsoring this introduction. The opinions above are both honest and my own. Information sourced from Zenni Optical site. Eyechart Image.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Giving Bak During the Holiday of Giving ~ Camelbak & Water.org ~ Giving Back Giveaway

Not yet through Halloween, I am already thinking ahead to the Christmas holiday.  Although I relish shopping for my family, surprising them with gifts, my husband and I do ensure that we take time to reinforce our strong commitment to giving back with our children.

While we do volunteer in our community year round, each Christmas we ask our children to select a charity to which they would like to make a donation.  Each child typically receives generous monetary gifts from relatives, in addition to packages.  The amount they choose to donate is discretionary and my husband and I match their gifts.

Last Christmas, after our family spent a day volunteering at a local pet shelter, the children elected that organization to bestow their gift.  Although I have suspicions, I always look forward to learning of their new beneficiary, this year being no exception.
In this spirit of giving, I introduce the latest edition to the That's What She Said Must Have Holiday Gift Guide, not only a very useful gift idea for the holidays, rather a gift that gives back:

.6 liter Blue BPA free Groove
.6 liter Stainless Steel Groove

the limited edition Water.org Camelbak Groove bottles.

Why These Bottles?
Beyond superior spill proof design, self-filtering capacity and handy Flip&Sip valve, giving these limited edition Camelbak bottles as gifts this season comes with an extra, important feature.  For each bottle purchased, Camelbak will donate $10 to Water.org!

CamelBak and Water.org, a charity co-founded by Matt Damon, are teaming up for a second consecutive year with a simple and powerful way to help some of the 884 million people who lack access to safe water supplies.

Why Support Water.org?
Water.org is on a mission to spread awareness regarding the need of nearly one billion people who yet do not have access to safe drinking water.  The cost of providing only one person safe water for life - only $25!

 Water.org is a nonprofit organization that has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Water.org traces its roots back to the founding of WaterPartners in 1990. In July 2009, WaterPartners merged with H2O Africa, resulting in the launch of Water.org. Water.org works with local partners to deliver innovative solutions for long-term success. Its microfinance-based WaterCredit Initiative is pioneering sustainable giving in the sector.
With so many in dire need of such an essential life sustaining resource, combined with the nominal cost of making a tremendous impact in one person's life, supporting Water.org through the purchase of the limited edition Water.org Camelbak Groove bottles for your holiday gift giving simply makes compassionate sense.

Make A Difference

“Matt and I founded Water.org to make a difference and end the suffering around the world from not having safe water,” said Water.org Co-Founder and Executive Director Gary White. “We chose the CamelBak Groove bottle because of its unique design, the company’s continued commitment to innovation and their generous support of the safe water cause.”
“Our relationship with Water.org was cultivated in an effort to help people with limited or no access to safe drinking water stay healthy and hydrated,” said Sally McCoy, CEO of CamelBak. “With the right funding and resources, we have the ability to significantly minimize the fresh water crisis that is affecting far too many people. CamelBak is committed to help in any way it can.  We invite you to join us in spreading the message of urgency and hope that someday everyone in the world can have access to clean, safe water

Donate directly to Water.org.

 "Like" Camelbak on Facebook - 100,000 likes means a $50,000 donation to Water.org!

Camelbak Quality ~ Firsthand 
Both of my sports fanatics, son and daughter alike, have personally tested Camelbak water bottles.  The Camelbak self-filtering Groove is always at my daughter's side, for running sessions and cross country meets, as well as traveling with her for all of her Lacrosse adventures.  A very particular water connoisseur, she loves the clean tasting water at the ready, courtesy of the self-filtering design.

My son tested the .6 liter new, insulated Better Bottle during football season this year.  Throughout the hot and humid conditioning season, the double walled insulated design keep his water cool and refreshing.   Unlike his previous water bottles, he loved the spill proof bite value for grabbing a quick gulp.

As a sports mom, whether due to great design features or the uber cool look of the Camelbak bottles, I love that my kids are so attached to them, these bottles actually make it back home!  Add to that the Camelbak lifetime guarantee, as well as 100% BPA free and top rack dishwasher safe and I'm sold, too!


Winner will receive limited edition .6 liter Blue Water.org Camelbak Groove bottle* and donation of $25 will be made to Water.org in winner's name.  * If limited edition .6 liter Blue Water.org Camelbak Groove bottle is unavailable at conclusion of the giveaway, .6 liter Groove Bottle will be substituted. 

This giveaway is open worldwide and will end on December 23, 2011, at midnight EST.   The winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries and notified by email.  Please leave your email address, in anti spam format, in your first entry comment.    If your email address is accessible via your comment name, leaving it in a comment is not necessary.  Winner will have 96 hours to respond before I must move on to a runner up.

Visit Water.org and come back here and tell me in a comment something you learned there and why it is relevant or important.

* Like Camelbak on Facebook, leave Facebook name in comment.  5 entries

* Like That's What She Said on Facebook, leave Facebook name in comment, 1 entry

* Test your Water Knowledge with the Water Quiz, tell me your score in a comment, 1 entry

* Share your score on your Facebook wall, leave a link in your comment, 1 entry

* Follow That's What She Said (tsue1136) on Twitter, leave twitter name in comment, 1 entry

* Tweet about this giveaway.  Can tweet 3 time per day for 1 entry each.  Leave link to your tweet in your comment.  Please use:
I'm entered to #win a @Camelbak bottle & Water.org donation at That's What She Said. #giveaway #water http://bit.ly/sO1LXn

* Share this giveaway in some other fashion: blog it, Stumble it, post it to Facebook, anything goes.  Leave a link to your sharing in your comment, 3 entries per each sharing.  Handy share button at bottom of post.

* Enter any of the active That's What She Said giveaways and leave comment letting me know which.  2 entries for each additional giveaway.

* Follow That's What She Said via email subscription, RSS Feed or on Stumble Upon.  Leave comment for each method with applicable name. 1 extra entry for each method.

* Review That's What She Said on Technorati or Alexa, leave comment with user name.  5 entries per method.

This giveaway is closed. Please see winner's page for results.

On behalf of Camelbak, Water.org and That's What She Said, thank you to all entrants for participating and following!

This giveaway is sponsored by That's What She Said.  That's What She Said is not responsible for shipped prizes that are delayed or lost by shipping service.  Images and information sourced from various Camelbak and Water.org sites.  Facebook is not involved in nor responsible for this giveaway in any fashion.  Holiday Image.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top Five Digestive Health Issues in Women ~ Member's Mark 4X Probiotic

With another birthday looming in the near future, as well as considering the number of candles that will adorn my cake this year (insert: big sigh) I am finding myself increasingly interested in women's health issues, yet alarmingly undereducated.

Recently, I have been hearing quite a bit about probiotics and digestive health.  Having been given an opportunity to test the Member's Mark 4X Probiotic formula, available at Sam's Club, a bit of initial research was called for.

Exploring some of my favorite online sources for information on women's health issues (Web MD, women to women), I quickly discovered one's digestive health is significantly inter-connected to one's overall health.

Top Five Digestive Health Issues In Women
(source: women to women)

Poor absorption on nutrients - impacts overall health and function, including weight maintenance
Poor immune system function - vulnerability to infection and disease
Food Allergies - increased sensitivity to trigger foods
Deterioration of intestinal wall - may progress into serious syndromes or diseases
Chronic Inflammation - may contribute to a wide assortment of ailments, including heart disease, joint and muscle disorders, as well as skin disorders

Signs one may be suffering from digestive issues can also include frequent fatigue, poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, frequent constipation and acid reflux.

The Proof Is In The Numbers
All manner of contributing factors impact one's digestive health, including both physical and psychological stress, poor diets low in fiber and raw food but high in processed, various risk factors, including age, depression and inactivity, as well as hormonal imbalance.

Resulting can be an imbalance, with the "bad" bacteria out-populating the "good" bacteria in your digestive system.

Fighting The Good Digestive Fight
If you suffer from some off the symptoms listed, don't despair.  There a number of ways to potential skew the numbers and help your digestive system regain a healthy balance.
Minimize sugars, wheat and dairy and see if your symptoms improve. Eat nutritious meals and add a medical-grade nutritional supplement. Try a high-quality digestive enzyme with meals. If your symptoms don’t respond, get an active-culture probiotic to help restore proper bacterial balance. Remember to drink lots of water and chew your food very well. Extra magnesium at bedtime is also a great help for softer stools. (source: women to women)

The Test
Over the course of this week, I will be testing the power of probiotics by use of Member's Mark 4X Probiotic, while maintaining my typical diet and routine and will share my experiences in an upcoming post.  With a probiotic blend of recommended beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, & Bifidobacterium bifidum) at "5 billion live cells at time of manufacture and an effective level at time of consumption", I am optimistic about the pending results.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  The opinions above are both honest and my own.  Images and information sourced from http://digestivehealthfor.me/.  Additional information sourced from women to women, US Probiotics, Web MD, AMA. Candle Image.

Foundations in Luxury ~

When one thinks of supreme luxury, certain essential qualifiers in evaluating candidates to top the list come to mind.  To be considered the creme de la creme, timelessness of style, unsurpassed quality, coveted desirability, as well as sterling reputation are all essential factors.  Few names are capable of passing rigorous standards.
Classic.          Timeless.       Excellence.

Of those who do pass these austere proofs,

Tiffany & Co. ~ established 1837
Founded in 1837 in New York City by Charles Lewis Tiffany, Tiffany & Co. has a rich heritage filled with celebrated events, artists and milestones that live on today in legendary style.

Cartier ~ established 1847
renowned worldwide for its high jewelry creations and watches, perfumes and prestige accessories - symbols of craftsmanship and elegance, quality and excellence.

Rolex ~ established 1908

Leader ~ first wristwatch to be awarded the Swiss Certificate of Precision             Innovation ~ first self-winding mechanism with Perpetual Rotor                               Timeless ~ stylish, prestigious status

Ladies Rolex 18ct White gold Diamond Pearl Master

Men's Rolex Watches ~  Platinum President Day- Date II, Glacier

Harry Winston ~ established 1932

Inspiration ~ pulse and vibrance of New York City                                                       Vision  ~ diamonds into art                                                                                            Revolution ~ modern jewelry design

Thank you to Swiss & Luxury for sponsoring this exploration of luxury.  Offering Swiss and Luxury timepieces, you are invited to preview Rolex prices.   Information sourced from various sites of featured houses of fine jewelry.

#Win a Monster Bash from #KmartHalloween & the Attack of the 50ft Party Celebration

Do you thrill each fall as trick-or-treating time draws near, excitement building as you ready your home and your family for your Halloween festivities, with animated debates regarding best choices for Halloween costumes prevalent?

If so, you are in excellent company!
Trick-or-treaters of all ages are bustling in their preparations for the much anticipated arrival of Halloween night this year, my family no exception.

Whether you are looking forward to celebrating your child's first Halloween, or helping your seasoned pro to find the spookiest costume; preparing to decorate your first home or adding thrilling new pieces to your existing arsenal of Halloween decor, shoppers this season have one common thread.  Halloween shopper this season seek quality and value.

As an experienced Halloween fanatic, I am accustomed to searching for innovative and unique items, as well as for the best deals.  This year, Kmart is pulling out all the stops for the Attack of the 50ft Party!


Visit Kmart on Facebook, like their page and fill out short form to be entered to win a weekly drawing to make this your most spectacular Halloween ever!  This week's prize is an amazing $1500 Kmart gift card!  Just imagine the spook-tacular Halloween party one could throw!

While there is only one lucky winner from the Kmart Attack of the 50ft party Contest weekly, everyone can win with Kmart's ghouliscious selection and spectacular savings!

At 50ftparty.kmart.com, you'll only find easy phantomastic treats and savings, no tricking required!

Whether the aim of your Halloween shopping is sweet,

or frightful

you'll find plentiful opportunities for savings!  


This week, take advantage of 50% off featured costumes and 25% off featured lighted pumpkins, as well as pet costumes, no coupon required!

Special values on candy treats for your Halloween activities with printable $1.00 coupons for in store purchases for both Hershey's Jumbo Size bags and Monster bags!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias.  The opinions above are both honest and my own.  Images and information sourced from Collective Bias and various Kmart sites.  Leaf image

Work It! Fashionable Business Suits from Express ~ $500 Suiting Makeover Sweepstakes

This post brought to you by Express. All opinions are 100% mine.
Is your professional wardrobe up to date?
Does your business fashion style say that you are savvy force to be reckoned with?
Or does it say that your professional style needs work?
Whether you are looking to advance in your current career, seeking a job or desiring a new career path, first impressions are key.  You may have the brightest mind in your field, but if you have the look of someone who is out of touch with the times, you are likely doing yourself, and your career, a disservice.
Helping your career wardrobe turn a successful corner is easy when you know where to go for expert fashion help  - Express!
Look interesting and professional at the same time regardless of where you work. Tried and new style formulas and Express collections edited for their work-worthy personality offer all the answers to your five-day, daily question, "What do I wear to work today?"
Whether looking for business attire for yourself or the man in your life, Express has the latest looks at prices you'll love.
Use your business sense to expand your wardrobe affordably with great savings offers from Express,  You'll love how far your hard earned dollar stretches when you use great deals founds at www.express.com, like free shipping or printable coupons to help you save $25, $50 or even $75 on your purchases.
Be certain to check out the Express sweepstakes on Facebook for your chance to win a $500 suiting Makeover to achieve the chic, power look you deserve!
I find the great lines,  fabrics and colors of the suit collection at Express very appealing, as well as appropriate.  Do you need an update to your professional look?  Which Express suits do you love?  Tell me in a comment below!

Images and information sourced from various Express sites. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Freshen Your Pets Breath Naturally ~ EvoraPlus Pets ~ Review & Giveaway

An important part of caring for your pet includes caring for their dental needs.  Beyond ensuring the health of their chompers, dental well being in animals further aids in their overall health, as well as sparing the rest of their family from less than fresh "doggy breath".  The same holds true for the feline members of your household. 

Providing your pet with the quality, crunchy food, as well as biscuits and chew toys can aid in keeping their breath pleasant for close pet encounters, but still doesn't solve the underlying issue that creates "doggy breath".  Oragenics, the maker of EvoraPlus and EvoraPlus Kids has a natural solution that gets to the root of the problem, scientifically combating the causes of "doggy breath" and nipping it in the bud!

How It Works
EvoraPet™ Oral Care contains ProBiora3® probiotics – a specifically formulated blend of beneficial bacteria important for good breath and whiter teeth in cats and dogs. Unlike any other pet oral care product available, the ProBiora3 probiotics included in EvoraPet Oral Care have been formulated to inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause bad breath.   That’s right – instead of simply scraping the plaque off your pet’s teeth, the Probiora3 probiotics in EvoraPet Oral Care address bad breath by reducing the bacteria known to cause bad breath and – the natural whitening agent made by the ProBiora3 probiotics helps to eliminate tooth stains.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Evora Plus ~ Probiotic Dental Mints for Healthier Teeth & Gums ~ Review & Giveaway

We all want whiter teeth, fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums.  Maintaining a consistent at home dental care routine, as well as regular exams with your dentist is key.

Even so, in between dental cleanings, invariably, that less than fresh feeling seems to creep back in.

Why the dwindling fresh?
Research has shown that of the hundreds of strains of bacteria found in the human mouth, only a few are known to cause harm to the teeth and gums, and a few more are known to help maintain oral health. Many situations – including eating a diet high in sugar and other processed carbohydrates – cause these oral bacteria to become out of balance. After we eat sugars and processed carbohydrates, the harmful bacteria convert the carbohydrates and create the by-product lactic acid, which erodes the tooth's protective enamel and affects the dentin within the tooth.
Getting back in balance ~
When EvoraPlus® melts on the tongue, the freeze-dried probiotics activate and attach themselves to the teeth and gum tissue, establishing colonies of live, active beneficial bacteria both on the surface of the teeth and deep beneath the gum line. These colonies compete for both nutrients and space with the harmful oral bacteria that disrupt gum and tooth health, as well as cause bad breath.

Perfect Holiday Gift for Sports Fans ~ Lil' Teammates Collectibles

Are your weekends filled with some pigskin action?

or perhaps a bit of flying ice?

Are your gift recipients thrilled each opening season

or do the playoffs keep them on tenderhooks?

Whichever is your sports fanatics obsession, you'll find the perfect holiday gifts to please at Lil' Teammates.  Select from individual representatives from both collegiate and professional sports or collector's sets!  Your fan will love exploring the action at Lil' Teammates.com, collecting points and getting in on the fun and action. Don't miss out on the latest collectibles at the Lil' Teammates shop, where you can pick up Series 2 figures now!  Keep up with the latest news, special offers and promotions via Facebook and Twitter.

My fans love their Lil' Teammates collections from our favorite Michigan teams!

Which Lil' Teammates are tops for your sports fans?  Tell me in a comment below!

No compensation was received in exchange for this feature.  Images and information sourced from various Lil' Teammates sites. The opinions above are both honest and my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

THQ u Draw Your City Art Contest ~ Support The Arts In Your School ~ $10K Prize

The community in which my family lives is a small suburban township, nestled between a large urban area and sprawling rural county; the cornerstone of which is our school district. My husband and I selected this area in which to raise our children prior to our oldest child entering Kindergarten, with the school system and tight knit community being primary determining factors. Now, many years later, with our daughter a Junior in high school, we are still pleased with our decision, but, at the same time, concerned about what the future holds.

As with so many school systems across the county, we have observed an alarming, progressive pattern of funding crisis plague our school district. Budgetary obstacles each year are miraculously met and conquered, only to be trumped by increased cuts in funding the following year. Despite strong community support and volunteerism, the concern for the survival of fine art program offerings is starkly real.

The importance of maintaining fine arts offerings, as well as other extracurricular activities in schools is indisputable, on multiple levels.

U.S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Science's study:
Students who participated were three times as likelyto perform in the top quartile on a composite math and readingassessment compared with nonparticipants. Participants were alsomore likely than nonparticipants to aspire to higher education:two-thirds of participants expected to complete at least a bachelor'sdegree while about half of nonparticipants expected to do so.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Learning Through Art Study:
The study found that students in the program performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills — including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning — than did students who were not in the program.

Sports programs offer students crucial access to organized physical activity, stress reduction through exercise, as well as increased self esteem and development of ability to work cooperatively. Music, Theater and Art programs are just as important, encouraging self expression, self evaluation, as well as enhancing divergent thinking skills. Accessibility of these essential programs to all students is paramount to holistic learning and success of students, both in school and beyond.

As in my community, cooperation and volunteerism is key to ensuring continuing availability of art programs, as well as other extra curricular programs, to students. Reciprocally, successful students are key to a community's ongoing growth and prosperity. In this spirit, THQ and uDraw are sponsoring a contest to celebrate the relationship between community and schools, as well as the importance of art availability for students, the uDraw Your City Art Contest.

uDraw Your City has launched a nationwide art contest, in which young artists ages 6 to 17 years old have the opportunity to share what they love most about their city through art. Contestants can use a uDraw GameTablet to illustrate what they love most about their city - though entries may also be created in traditional print formats using any artistic medium.

THQ and uDraw invite kids to embrace their artistic inspiration and to share "what your city, your town, or your community means to you." Maybe it's the silhouette of your favorite building, a drawing of your friends at the park, or a stencil of your favorite local athlete.

The submission period runs through October 31, and the grand prize winner will receive a package worth more than $15,000, including a uDraw, and a $10,000 cash prize that the winner can choose to apply toward a college scholarship. Additionally, THQ will donate $10,000 to the winner's school of choice to help support its art program. Entries are judged on artistic merit (based on age group), creativity, and adherence to the overall city theme.
Visit the uDraw Your City Art Contest website for all the details and please share them to support your community, your schools, your students!

What challenges is your school district facing?
How is your community rallying to support extra curricular programs in your school district?
Is your child a budding artist, musician, star of the stage or promising athlete?
Share your story with me in a comment below; I would love to know!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of THQ and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. The opinions and experiences above are both honest and my own. Images and information sourced from THQ uDraw site and Mom Central.
Art Image. IES Study. Guggenheim Study.

Greening Up My Indoor Decor For The Holidays

Only a few weeks into the fall season, I am already missing the color of my outdoor flower beds.  While I do have some brilliant chrysanthemums that have some back in glorious size and color, I miss the diversity of my seasonal beds.

As my family migrates indoors for the fall and winter seasons, the timing is invariably right to reflect on my indoor decor, before the bustle of the holiday season is in full swing.

Deep cleaning, organization and some much needed (or, at least, desired) updates to various room decor is in order.  To overcome the loss of my wilting outdoor flower beds, the addition of some new house plants is usually in order.

Spread around the house, perhaps a pot in the foyer, a flowering plant in kitchen, and a green plant that will drape from my china cabinet in the dining room, would be nice new additions.

With pets and children in the house, I do take care to ensure that the plants I use outdoors, do not pose any potential risk.  A quick online search of safe plants for children and pets helps to ensure that I don't select any plants that could prove dangerous. 

Although festive, colorful and seasonal, Poinsettia plants are poisonous for both children and pets!

Please see my disclosure policy.  The opinions above are both honest and my own.  Purple Flower Image.

Holiday Must Have ~ Memorex Pure Play Portable Speaker for iPod ~ Review

When you have a family that is constantly on the go, you are always on the look out for products to make your adventures as comfortable as possible.  When you have a teenager among you, portable technology is a must have!

For us, it was all about the music.
For them, it may be about the texting, but the music is still all important.
Having portable accessibility is essential.

Beyond portability, however, is the necessity to share.
If you have a teen, you know all too well what I refer to.
They share their clothes, their accessories, their hearts.
Their music.

Given an opportunity, courtesy of Memorex, to test the PurePlay Portable iPod Speaker System, my teen daughter was beyond thrilled.  She, of course, have the obligatory iPod Boombox style docking station, which is lightweight and quite portable for around the house.  The Pure Play speaker, however, takes portability to a whole new level!

This iPod compatible speaker is small in footprint, measuring only 8.7" x 3.3" x 1.8" , but carries a powerful capacity to share your music.   Translation:  My 15 yr old daughter LOVES it!  Lightweight and the ultimate in portable sound, she just tosses it in her purse, tote or bag and off she goes!

Features of the PurePlay include:

  • ability to dock iPhones and iPods for powering and charging, essential with teen level use
  • stereo speakers loud enough to share your music with the neighbors from pool side
  • line in jack enabling connection with other digital audio devices
  • choice of powering via 4 AAA batteries or AC adapter
  • self enclosing, protective, folding case
Having received the PurePlay during the summer months, our unit has been thoroughly tested:
  • countless pool parties
  • three camping trips
  • several cross-country lacrosse tournaments
  • cross country practices and meets
  • football games
  • beach excursions
  • homecoming parade
  • bon fires
  • sleepover parties
  • impromptu after school gatherings
  • non stop regular use 
Although Memorex offers a one year warranty on the PurePlay, after months of rigorous teen testing (that's seven years for the rest of us) the PurePlay is yet in excellent, fully functioning condition!  At a modest price for such a teen proof essential device, I believe it is well worth the retail price of $69.99, as well as deserving of inclusion in our Must Have Holiday Gift Guide!   Grab a PurePlay for your teen or lover of music on the go at Best Buy.

I was provided with a PurePlay from Memorex to explore for the purposes of creating this feature.  The opinions and experiences above are both honest and my own.  Images and information from various Memorex sources.  Earbud Image.

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