Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dinosaur Train Books Review...

We recently reviewed a trio of Dinosaur Train books.

"DINOSAUR TRAIN’s “Buddy” is participating for the first time this year in May's Get Caught Reading Month, organized by the Association of American Publishers as part of its annual nationwide campaign devised to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.


As part of the campaign, both Buddy is depicted “caught reading” in posters made available to teachers and parents for use in classrooms, libraries and other locations.

According to the Association of American Publishers, research indicates that early language experience actually stimulates a child's brain to grow and that reading to children gives them a huge advantage when they start school. To that end, the members of the association hope to encourage people of all ages to enjoy books and magazines and to share that pleasure with the young children in their lives. The “Buddy” posters will be available at http://www.getcaughtreading.org/

Handy info and where to find Dinosaur Train:
The hit television series Dinosaur Train™ airs daily on PBS KIDS® (check local listings).
Dinosaur Train on PBS: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/ pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/>

The Jim Henson Company: www.henson.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hensoncompany
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hensonparents hensonparents>
Geocache: www.geocaching.com/dinosaurtrain

"The Buddy & Friends board book, from Grosset & Dunlap, join Buddy as he travels aboard the DINOSAUR TRAIN to introduce kids to some of his friends. Packed with full-color images from the show, this simple book is a perfect introduction to DINOSAUR TRAIN's many species! SRP $5.99. Ages 3–5."

"A Surprise for Mom!, from Grosset & Dunlap, is a beautiful picture book that follows Buddy and his siblings as they begin to plan something special for Mrs. Pteranodon on her special day. Read along as Team Pteranodon searches high and low for the best gifts ever! SRP $3.99. Ages 3–5."


"Tiny Learns to Fish, from Grosset & Dunlap. The first reader in the Dinosaur Train program follows Mr. Pteranodon as he takes the kids to the big pond to teach them how to fish. There's just one problem. Tiny can't catch a fish, and Buddy can't fly, so they team up to catch fish together! This Level 1 reader is perfect for young fans, who are starting to read on their own. SRP $3.99. Ages 3–5."


What we thought: I have two huge fans of Buddy and The Dinosaur Train, so needless to say, these books were a ginormous hit with both A and D.  The books are a great way to explore with Buddy outside of the hit PBS show.  I like that they have published both board books AND paperback books so that kiddos of all ages can enjoy them.  These books are filled with the fun, loveable characters from The Dinosaur Train and each book teaches a lesson.  Excellent reading material for kiddos ages 0-7ish:)  ABCD Diaries gives these Dinosaur Train books an A+!!
Buy It: Find these great books at your favorite book store.
Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a set of books for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Element Bars Review and Giveaway...

We recently had the chance to try a variety of bars from Element Bars.


About Element Bars:
"At Element Bars, we invite you to pick and choose the elements (or ingredients) that you want (or don't want) in your nutrition bar. We want to make nutrition personal again by letting you customize your bars to your liking. We are also committed to using unprocessed or minimally processed elements for your bars, in order to retain the maximal nutrition for you. What we thought: These bars were some of the tastiest we've had in a long time.  A testament to their "good"ness:  Any time our kiddos wanted an Element Bar (which was quite often:) they would ask for a candy bar.  If a protein bar can taste like a candy bar and still be healthy and filling, it is definitely a keeper around here:)  We tasted a variety of flavors and I was super impressed with the high quality ingredients and the deliciousness of every bar.  Element Bars pack a big punch nutritionally.  I loved that you could see whole pieces of nuts, berries and fruit...you really know you're eating the good stuff.  I love the idea that you can customize your own bar...you know you're getting just what you like:)  Element Bars were a huge hit at our house and I'd bet they go over well pretty much anywhere:)  ABCD Diaries gives Element Bars and A+!



Our promise to you:
•Premium Ingredients - The highest quality, all-natural, minimally processed ingredients
•Deliciousness - Our Taste Guarantee
•Freshness - bars fresh out of the oven to your doorstep
•Personal Care - we will make your ElementBars experience perfect"




Buy It: Find these tasty treats at Element Bars!
Win It: Element Bars has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a 12 pack of custom bars! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and tell us what kind of bar you'd create.

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Giveaway ends Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a variety of bars for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Charlie's Soap Review and Giveaway...

We recently reviewed Charlie's Soap laundry powder and spray stain remover.
 Laundry Powder-
"1 tablespoon for large load, HE or regular. Contains only the purest ingredients: coconut-oil based surfactants, washing soda. 97% biodegradable. No perfumes, dyes, fillers."

What we thought: I was intrigued by the fact that we were first instructed to clean our washer with the soap before actually washing any clothes with the laundry powder.  I never really thought about it, but I'm sure our washer gets pretty dirty after a while.  The day before I was set to review our powder, our 15+ year old washer bit the dust, so we used Charlie's Soap to christen our new washer:)  The results were clean, soft clothes without an artificial scent.  Simply clean, and we all love that!  I love knowing these products are safe for my family and the environment.  The versatility of Charlie's Soap is pretty special too.  With the variety of products offered on their site, you can clean ANYTHING!!  Awesome stuff:)  ABCD Diaries gives Charlie's Soap an A+! 



Buy It: Find these safe, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners at Charlie's Soap or check the locator for a retailer near you!


Win It: Charlie's Soap has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a prize pack that includes an 80 load laundry soap and a bottle of liquid cleaner! To enter, follow our blog via GFC.

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Giveaway ends Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given Charlie's Soap products for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Educational Insights "Talking Electron Microscope" Review and Giveaway...

Congrats Nina H!


We recently had the chance to review some really awesome games from Educational Insights!!


About Educational Insights:

"Based in Southern California, Educational Insights, is the manufacturer of playful products with serious educational value, including subject-specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys, and games. Our products are designed by seasoned educators and parents who know that, first and foremost, learning must be fun."

Talking Electron Microscope™
"Ages 8-12
View more than 180 amazing, up-close images with the Talking Electron Microscope! View various zoomed versions of 60 images and hear 5 fun facts about each image in Learning Mode – then switch to Quiz Mode and test your knowledge! Images include the human body, viruses and bacteria, plants, animals, and other “stuff.”"
What we thought: What a super cool way to introduce science to little ones or build on the scientific knowledge of older kids!  This microscope is a super neat tool that really makes learning about science fun.  It is definitely best suited for ages 7+, but even our 5 and 2 yr old kiddos enjoyed it.  The microscope is packed full of interesting information and slides and could keep your budding scientist busy for hours!  Great for summer fun at home or as a classroom learning tool, ABCD Diaries gives the Talking Electron Microscope an A+!

Buy It: Find this awesome microscope at Educational Insights!


Win It: Educational Insights has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader the Talking Electron Microscope! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and "Like" Educational Insights on Facebook.

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Giveaway ends Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given this game for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Educational Insights "Estimation Station" Review and Giveaway...

Congrats StephE!

We recently had the chance to review some really awesome games from Educational Insights!!

About Educational Insights:

"Based in Southern California, Educational Insights, is the manufacturer of playful products with serious educational value, including subject-specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys, and games. Our products are designed by seasoned educators and parents who know that, first and foremost, learning must be fun."
Estimation Station
"Great for parent involvement!
Ages 5-9
No more wild guesses! The Estimation Station is the perfect way to teach your students to make logical, mathematical estimates. Simply send this jar home with a student to be filled and counted. Then fill the included proportional scoop and share that number with your class. Students use that information to formulate educated estimations about the number of pieces in the jar. Clearer and easier than home-made jars with hard-to-view contents.
Includes:
-4" plastic cube jar with locking lid and sturdy base and 2" plastic cube scoop

-Activity guide with a week’s worth of activities including estimation, counting, place value, comparing and ordering numbers, making predictions, graphing, statistics, and mathematical reasoning

-Parent letter (in English and Spanish) with instructions on filling and counting the jar's contents

-Teaches estimation and proportionality"


What we thought: This was a super fun and easy way to introduce the concept of estimation to our little ones.  The Estimation Station is a simple, yet effective tool for classroom and at home use.  I think kiddos would really enjoy taking the toy home and choosing what to fill it with to try and stump their classmates:)  We used mini marshmallows in our first test and our 5 year old guessed surprisingly close to the correct amount...even closer than my guess, so I guess it was a helpful visual that succeeded in helping her learn the lesson:)  This is a great hands-on learning tool.  ABCD Diaries gives the Estimation Station an A+!

Buy It: Find this awesome estimation game at Educational Insights!


Win It: Educational Insights has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader the Estimation Station! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and "Like" Educational Insights on Facebook.

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Giveaway ends Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given this game for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Educational Insights "Inching Along Measurement Game" Review and Giveaway...

Congrats Kim(kimkmc)!!
We recently had the chance to review some really awesome games from Educational Insights!!


About Educational Insights:

"Based in Southern California, Educational Insights, is the manufacturer of playful products with serious educational value, including subject-specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys, and games. Our products are designed by seasoned educators and parents who know that, first and foremost, learning must be fun."

Inching Along™ Measurement Game
"Ages 5-7
This adorable teacher-submission game gets young children measuring with a ruler! Students select their playing piece, draw a card, measure the lines indicated on the card, and move forward that number of squares. The first player to reach the end wins! Leveled cards work with grades K, 1, and 2."

What we thought: Our 5 and 2 year old kiddos really enjoyed this game.  They had a lot of fun finding the letters and lines to measure and using the ruler to practice measuring.  The camping/bug theme of this game was really appealing to the kids and I loved that the cards ranged in difficulty and even included addition and subtraction problems.  This is a really fun way to introduce measurement to kids your early learners(ages 5-7)  ABCD Diaries gives Inching Along an A+!

Buy It: Find this awesome measuring game at Educational Insights!


Win It: Educational Insights has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader the Inching Along Measurement Game! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and "Like" Educational Insights on Facebook.

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6.Enter any other current giveaways on ABCD Diaries and leave a comment saying so. +1 for each entered

Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given this game for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Educational Insights "Grammar 500 Game" Review and Giveaway 1...

Congrats Rajee!!


We recently had the chance to review some really awesome games from Educational Insights!!






About Educational Insights:

"Based in Southern California, Educational Insights, is the manufacturer of playful products with serious educational value, including subject-specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys, and games. Our products are designed by seasoned educators and parents who know that, first and foremost, learning must be fun."


Grammar 500™ Game
"Students, start your engines! Draw a card and see if you can answer one of 100 fun grammar, punctuation, and capitalization questions. Answer correctly, roll the dice, and move your piece forward. Be the first to round the finish line and you win!

Includes 21"W x 16"H oval game board, 100 question cards, 4 "pit stop" answer boards, 4 tire markets, 4 car pawns and die
Fun facts and kid-friendly questions cover grammar, punctuation and capitalization
Simultaneous game play keeps everyone engaged
Based on key scope and sequence requirements for grades 2-5"


What we thought: This was a pretty cool game and perfect for kiddos 7+, whether in the classroom or at home.  The questions are a good combination of challenging and fun and really engage the players.  Definitely a fun way to learn and practice grammar rules:)  ABCD Diaries gives the Grammar 500 Game an A+!

Buy It: Find this awesome grammar game at Educational Insights!

Win It: Educational Insights has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader the Grammar 500 Game! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and "Like" Educational Insights on Facebook.

Extra Entries:
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5.Blog about this giveaway(leave link) +2 entries...comment twice please
6.Enter any other current giveaways on ABCD Diaries and leave a comment saying so. +1 for each entered

Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given this game for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cousins Jamboree by Hope Harris CD Review...

We recently had the chance to review Cousins Jamboree by Hope Harris.

"GRAB YOUR DANCIN’ SHOES & WARM UP YOUR SINGIN’ VOICE TO JOIN HOPE HARRIS in COUSINS JAMBOREE"

“Hope Harris combines country and swing with a little touch of show music … Harris has a clear and friendly voice that reminds one of Kate Taylor and Patsy Cline.”
– Lahri Bond, 2010 Parents' Choice® Silver Honor Award review of Cousins Jamboree
“Cousins Jamboree – with a whopping 16 songs – serves up all the energy of a live performance and then some. With rich arrangements and whimsical lyrics, the charm of this folksy artist shines through on every track.”
– Richmond Family Magazine

"With a 2011 Parents’ Choice® Silver Honor Award for her new CD Cousins Jamboree proudly in hand, independent children’s musician Hope Harris is all set to share her music with the world! Rocking songs, whimsical songs, heartfelt songs, and soon-to-be sing-along-songs combine on this 16-track album of Hope Harris originals and arrangements, each one set with imagination, style, and country warmth.

Beautifully produced by the man who co-produces the Dan Zanes family albums, Rob Friedman, Cousins Jamboree cannot help but engage listeners from the get-go, in large part due to the open friendliness and musical purity of Hope Harris’s inviting voice. Hope relies on the quality of her singing to carry the song and compliments her young listeners by assuming they are intelligent enough to appreciate music that doesn’t rely upon gimmicks. In creating Cousins Jamboree, Hope’s wish has been to create a down-home, good-times celebration showcasing country, swing, jazz, blues, ‘50s rock & roll, folk, and show-tune sounds — a montage of American music — while at the same time reminding children that being kind to one another, looking out for friends, and behaving with good manners is a happy way to live.

A graduate of the University of Virginia and, later, the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, Hope Harris spent many years living and performing in NYC, appearing both on and off Broadway, in regional and stock productions across the country, and even doing stints at venues like Nashville’s famed Bluebird CafĂ©. A crowning success in the kids’ realm was her starring appearance, for three years running, as “Baker Bobbie” for the Park Slope, Brooklyn, Chocolate Chip Chamber Music Series, for which she is also a contributing scriptwriter. Hope now lives with her family in Richmond, VA but returns often to NYC to perform.

Coming next from Hope Harris, in fall 2011, will be Picasso, That’s Who, an album honoring great artists through the centuries. Looking ahead to spring 2012, Hope plans to release an Earth-friendly CD titled Lemonade Stand."

What we thought: This CD is forty minutes of down home fun:)  You can't help but sing along with the catchy lyrics and you'll find its hard to sit still while Cousins Jamboree is playing:)  We really loved Hope Harris' style and voice and these songs were more than just fun, they also teach some wonderful lessons along the way.  We really enjoyed Cousins Jamboree and we're really looking forward to Hope Harris' next CD.  This CD is perfect for kiddos ages 3-10 and their parents:)  ABCD Diaries gives Cousins Jamboree an A+!

Buy It: Find this wonderful CD at your favorite music dealer.


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a CD for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ann-Made Jewelry Review...


We recently had the chance to review a gorgeous bracelet from Ann-Made.

About Ann-Made jewelry:
"Ann-Made jewelry is Ann's unique creation made from recycled soda can tabs to remind us that a little creativity can put many discarded materials to new use. The bracelets were the first item in the line and were originally conceived as a project for her alternative school art students. The popularity of the bracelets were immediately apparent as Ann, her daughters, and fellow teachers received numerous enthusiastic comments each time they wore theirs. Earrings and Pendants have now joined the bracelets in this unique line of jewelry. Each piece is made with great care and attention to detail. We want what you wear to be very special!"

What we thought:  Simply ingenious!  This jewelry is stylish and really makes a statement!  If you want to let the world know you are serious about taking care of our environment while making an eco-conscious fashion statement, check out the great variety of bracelets, pendants and earrings at Ann-Made.  Ann's jewelry is really well-made and there are lots of gorgeous designs to choose from.  ABCD Diaries gives Ann-Made jewelry an A+!

Buy It: Find this wonderful environmentally-friendly jewelry at Ann-Made!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a bracelet for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Tropical Traditions Organic Raw Honey Review and Giveaway...

Congrats Domestic Diva!

We recently had the chance to review a jar of Organic Raw Honey from Tropical Traditions.



About Raw Honey from Tropical Traditions:
"A Raw Product from the Wilderness
Tropical Traditions Organic Raw Honey comes from the frontier areas of Canada, and is only harvested during a 6-week period in the summer. Tropical Traditions is the exclusive source of this premium organic honey in the U.S. Most commercial honeys available on the market today come from bee farms, where the bees are controlled within a certain area and get their pollen from usually only one kind of flower. Many of the plants that produce these flowers (clover, orange blossom, etc.) are grown with pesticides and fertilizers as well. In addition, almost all honeys on the market are pasteurized in high heat and filtered, removing many of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes.

Tropical Traditions Organic Raw Honey has not been subjected to the heat of processing, only warmed enough to flow (same temperatures the honey would see inside the hive). We select only premium honey that is pure, smooth and creamy, with the consistency of soft margarine at harvest. It contains live yeast and enzymes, because it has not been processed. It also contains pollen because it has not been filtered—merely screened.
Fine textured crystals are characteristic of totally pure, unheated, unprocessed, raw honey. Properly crystallized honey has a fine, smooth texture. Crystallized honey preserves natural goodness and doesn’t drip. The more rapidly honey crystallizes the finer the texture will be. It will also turn harder over time as it crystallizes. Truly raw honeys do not deteriorate with age, but like fine wines, continue to age and develop into more complex tastes.

Certified Organic Raw Honey from Canada
In order for honey to be certified organic, the beehives must be placed in isolated areas miles from the dense population, industry, traffic congestion, and farm fields treated with chemicals and landfills. Second, a bee’s flying range is determined by their natural instinct which tells them to stay within their natural four mile range from the hive location. Finding area which can be certified organic is extremely difficult, which is why there are so few certified organic honeys on the market. Tropical Traditions sources its honey from hives in the wild frontier areas of Canada.

These regions are a rich source of wild vegetation that produce some of the finest honey in the world. The USDA and Canadian Organic Certification implies a rigorous set of standards and conditions that must be adhered to by both the producer (beekeeper) and the packager. All aspects of the honey production including the source of the nectar, forage area of the bees, management of the bees, extracting process, transportation, “lot” management, processing temperature, integrity (no co-mingling with non-organic honey), screening, and, packaging materials, are taken into account in the certification process.

Try some, and we think you’ll agree that there is no finer honey in North America! Raw, organic, Canadian honey, available exclusively in the US through Tropical Traditions."

What we thought:  We were pretty impressed with our jar of honey.  I loved knowing that it was pure and natural and pesticide-free.  It tasted great spread on plain toast, used in our Honey Wheat Bread recipe, and as an ingredient in our Hawaiian Chicken dinner.  This honey is super versatile and provides a light honey flavor that isn't crazy, overpoweringly sweet.  ABCD Diaries gives the Organic Raw Honey from Tropical Traditions an A+!

You can find some delicious recipes using this product on Free Coconut Recipes.


Buy It: Find this organic raw honey and other wonderful products at Tropical Traditions!


Win It: Tropical Traditions has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a free jar of organic raw honey! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and comment below.

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Giveaway ends Monday, June 6, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US residents 18+:) No PO Boxes.

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given raw honey for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat's Life Review and Giveaway...

Congrats to sksweeps, susan1215 and saturdaynightfever!


Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat's Life: 101 Stories about All the Ages and Stages of Our Feline Family Members

Jack Canfield (Author), Mark Victor Hansen (Author), Jennifer Quasha (Author)

Product Details

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul; Original edition (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781935096665


Product Description

"From kittenhood through the twilight years, our feline companions bring joy, love, and laughter to their “staff.” Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life captures the experience of living through the natural life cycle with our cats. Stories cover each age and stage with all the fun, frustrations, special bonds and routines involved, including special attention to senior cats and grieving."

What we thought: What a great book for cat lovers! As always, Chicken Soup for the Soul brings you the best short stories, this time the topic is cats. From kitties to cats, this book features some really great stories. There is even a chapter on dealing with the loss of your beloved pet. Heartwarming and heart wrenching, Chicken Soup for the Soul's My Cat's Life is wonderful from beginning to end. ABCD Diaries gives this book an A+!
Buy It: Find My Cat's Life and other wonderful Chicken Soup for the Soul titles at your favorite book seller!!

Win It: Three ABCD Diaries reader will win a copy of My Cat's Life!! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and leave a comment below.

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Giveaway ends Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this book for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life Review and Giveaway...

Congrats to ErinCook, Sarah and Kris!



Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life: 101 Stories about All the Ages and Stages of Our Canine Companions

Jack Canfield (Author), Mark Victor Hansen (Author), Jennifer Quasha (Author)

Product Details

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul; Original edition (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781935096658

Product Description

"It’s a dog’s life. From puppyhood antics to the twilight years and saying goodbye, Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog’s Life captures the entire experience of living through the natural life cycle with our dogs, with special attention to senior dogs and grieving. All dog lovers will laugh, cry, and recognize themselves and their furry friends in these heartwarming and inspiring stories."

What we thought: What a great book for dog lovers!  As always, Chicken Soup for the Soul brings you the best short stories, this time the topic is dogs.  Through puppyhood, "teen" years and adulthood, this book features some really great stories about man's best friend.  There is even a chapter on dealing with the loss of your beloved pet.  Heartwarming and heart wrenching, Chicken Soup for the Soul's My Dog's Life is wonderful from beginning to end.  ABCD Diaries gives this book an A+!

Buy It: Find My Dog's Life and other wonderful Chicken Soup for the Soul titles at your favorite book seller!!


Win It: Three ABCD Diaries reader will win a copy of My Dog's Life!! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and leave a comment below.

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6.Enter any other current giveaways on ABCD Diaries and leave a comment saying so. +1 for each entered

Giveaway ends Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this book for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lil' Miss Couture Review and Giveaway...

Congrats to Melanie!!

We recently had the chance to review a few gorgeous items from Lil' Miss Couture.


About Lil' Miss Couture:

"Our hair accessories are produced to offer versatility and practicality with fashion sense. We offer cutting edge designs that may be coordinated with various styles.

It all started in the Spring of 2010! I found out I was expecting a daughter after 3 sons. This is when I began crafting as a mom of a little princess. I started falling in love with lace, ruffles, bows, and all of those girly girl things. I began custom creating high fashion designed hair accessories to coordinate with my daughter’s wardrobe. Designing hair accessories for my daughter became a passion of mine. Now, I create hair accessories for all the "Lil' Miss Couture's" in the neighborhood. In my mind I am designing for the princess next door. This has been the look and feel for our couture collections. Lil Miss Couture hair accessories can dress up casual attire or compliment formal attire."

Elegance Floral Clips

                                           
Flip Flop Skirted Clip


  Bella Bow Clip

                                     
What we thought:  There is some really cute stuff at Lil' Miss Couture.  I would highly recommend the hair accessories for special occasions and "picture taking" times.  While our clippies stayed put, after wearing them for a few hours of normal 5 year old play we noticed some wear and tear.  The appliques seemed to be scrap booking type supplies with sticky backing so they were easy to re-affix to the clippies.  The bow/headband combo is gorgeous and as good as new after several "wears."  I really loved the selection at Lil' Miss Couture and they really do have some of the most gorgeous designs!  If your little one will be the subject of a photo shoot soon, check out Lil' Miss Couture for some really beautiful accessories.  ABCD Diaries gives Lil' Miss Couture an A!


Buy It: Find these fun hair accessories for your little princess at Lil' Miss Couture!


Win It: Lil' Miss Couture has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a $25 gift certificate! To enter, follow our blog via GFC and follow Lil' Miss Couture via Facebook!

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Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given 3 accessories for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Bodycology Review...

 We recently had the chance to review a gift set from bodycology.
About the gift set:
"Every woman deserves some pampering to relieve the daily stresses of work and family life. Allow the recipient of this set to leave worries of any kind outside the bathroom door by treating her to small comforts from bodycology® .


bodycology®’s new Warm & Cozy Sock Set is a delightfully thoughtful gift that includes a 2oz body cream, 2oz body mist and a pair of cozy socks. The sock set is available in a variety of soothing and uplifting fragrances that will indulge the senses, such as Sweet Petals, Cherry Blossom, White Gardenia, Cucumber Melon, Sunshine Daisy and Brown Sugar Vanilla. The Warm & Cozy Sock Set retails for $5 and can be purchased at Walmart.

The Warm & Cozy Sock set can be given alone or can be paired with a favorite Antibacterial Hand Soap. Aside from adding a lively dose of color to any kitchen or bathroom counter, bodycology®’s Antibacterial Hand Soap kills germs, cleanses hands and leaves a lingering fresh scent after every use. Two new scents are launching: Clean Waters and Fresh Cucumber. Both will be available at Walmart stores for $1.99 each."


Pure

"Clean, sparkling water flows with spring flowers to create the scent of freshness and purity.
Bodycology Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer kills 99% of germs without water."

What we thought: This was a lovely gift set!  I am a huge fan of cozy socks so this set was perfect.  The Sweet Pea lotion and body spray smelled wonderful.  5 yr old A actually asks for the spray just before bed every night:)  It is a beautiful scent that lingers for quite a while.  The hand sanitizer is pretty cool too.  It seems to get rid of germs quite well, but it doesn't dry out our hands like other waterless sanitizers do.  bodycology has some really great gift sets for all the special occasions in your life:)  ABCD Diaries gives bodycology an A+!

Buy It: Find these awesome gift sets from bodycology at Wal-Mart!



Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a swim set for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

PetCakes Series 2 Review and Giveaway...

Congrats to Karenb834!

We recently had the chance to review the new Series 2 PetCakes!
About PetCakes:
"Well Made™ Toy Manufacturing Corporation, introduces PetCakes™, a new collectible plush pet line that will be a sweet treat for children ages 3 & up. Each PetCakes animal features a "frosting" hat, comes nestled in its own cupcake wrapper and has its own whimsical backstory. At first look, children will see a delicious cupcake but will then be surprised by the pet they find snuggled inside! Combining sweet faces and cuddly plush with a clever cupcake theme, PetCakes are collectible and provide hours of open-ended imaginative play. PetCakes make perfect gifts for a special friend and for pet lovers. They are ideal for birthday party favors, stocking stuffers and as rewards for good grades. Most of all, PetCakes deliver the kind of fun kids eat up!"

What we thought:  The Series 2 PetCakes were too much fun:)  They came just in time for A's 5th birthday and she LOVED them!!  And what's not to love?!  The are soft and cuddly and cute, not to mention that they resemble on of the kiddos favorite treats...CUPCAKES!!  I love that the Series 2 PetCakes are animals that are a little less common among children's plush toys.  The bear is pretty typical, but the panda, the squirrel and the raccoon are a little out of the ordinary and that makes them even more special:)  ABCD Diaries gives the adorable Series 2 PetCakes an A+!

Buy It: Find these cute plushies at toy stores and mass merchandisers nationwide.

Win It: PetCakes has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a Series 2 PetCake of their own!  To enter, follow our blog via GFC.

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Giveaway ends Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given PetCakes for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Savory Choice Review and Giveaway...

Congrats to Melinda!

We recently had the chance to review the line of broth and demi glace concentrates from Savory Choice.
About Savory Choice Broth Flavor Concentrate
•Liquid broth concentrate packed in single-serve foil pouches
•No MSG, no preservatives, no trans–fats, and gluten-free
•Great value: 1 box (12 stick pouches) makes 96 ounces of broth
(equal to 7 x 14 oz cans or 3 x 1 quart boxed broth)
•Uses: soups, stews, gravies, injection, brine, or as an ingredient in your marinade
•Convenience: no more opening a full box of broth when you only need 1 cup
•Each stick pouch of liquid broth concentrate is reconstituted with 1 cup (8 oz) hot water.

Savory Choice Chicken Broth Flavor Concentrate

Savory Choice Beef Broth Flavor Concentrate

Savory Choice Vegetable Broth Flavor Concentrate


Savory Choice Turkey Broth Flavor Concentrate

Savory Choice Beef Demi Glace


•Restaurant quality sauce in minutes that is perfect to drizzle over steaks
•Uses: enhance stews and soups
•Perfect for braising pot roasts and short ribs
•Each pouch makes 1/4 cup demi glace (four 1 ounce servings)

What we thought: I love any product that makes dinner time less of a hassle.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to cook, but I don't necessarily love spending tons of time in the kitchen.  As far as broths go, the best tasting I've ever had have come about the hard way, boiling the yummy stuff out of the meat/veggies.  The broth concentrates from Savory Choice are the closest I've ever come to tasting like the real deal.  When we used our first pack I let 2 yr old D have a taste. B said, "Eww, that is going to be so salty!"  Of course, I had already tasted it and with 2 yr old D's help explained to him it WASN'T crazy salty, it just tasted like chicken...imagine that?!  And even though the beef and the veggie were just as good, I was a little skeptical on the turkey.  Most canned/boxed versions we've tried have tasted more like chicken than turkey, but guess what? The turkey tasted like TURKEY!!  We enjoyed using our broths in fideo, rice, gravy, sauces and one AMAZING chicken pot pie if I do say so myself:)  The demi glace was equally delicious over a juicy rib eye (and everything else on the plate:)  Seriously, Savory Choice products were a breeze to use and absolutely scrumptious to eat.  ABCD Diaries gives Savory Choice an A+!

Buy It: Find these super convenient cooking helpers at Savory Choice or check the store locator for a retailer near you!


Win It: Savory Choice has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a Savory Choice prize pack featuring their excellent products! To enter, follow our blog via GFC.

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Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+


Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a sampler of products for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Northline Express ThermaCELL Review and Giveaway...

We recently had the chance to review a ThermaCELL mosquito repellent unit from Northline Express.

About Northline Express:
Northline Express is your one-stop shopping headqurters for all your fireplace and hearth, BBQ and pest control needs.

About ThermaCELL:
"Color: Olive
DEET Free
EPA approved
Compact, Cordless and Portable
Repels up to 98% of mosquitoes
Repels black flies, no-see ums & sand flies
Provides a 15 x 15 ft "Bug-Free-Zone"
Odor free – undetectable to animals
Measures 7.5" long and 1.5" thick, and is 3" wide at the top, 1.5" wide at the bottom.
Tested and approved by the U.S. Army. (Currently used in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan)
Perfect for hunting, fishing, camping, barbeques, backyards, decks and many other outdoor activities

ThermaCELL is the only butane-operated mosquito repellent system that is also a cover scent, offering concealment in the spring and early fall when mosquitoes are at their worst. This system creates a 15' x 15' area of protection that is up to 98% effective against mosquitoes and other biting insects.

The ThermaCELL Olive Green appliance operates on a single butane cartridge, that heats a mat and releases allethrin, a synthetic copy of a naturally occurring insect repellent. Each mat contains enough repellent for four hours of protection, and each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours."

What we thought: We were pretty impressed by our ThermaCELL unit.  The mosquitoes are pretty thick along our area of the Texas coastline, so we were super excited to try this mosquito repellent.  It was really easy to set up and simple to use.  We put it out on our backyard table and noticed almost immediately the mosquitoes thinning out.  This is a really great product for backyard use, but would also be great for those summer camping trips and for hunters when fall comes back around. B has already claimed the unit to take aboard the boat on his fishing trips:) 
Northline Express has a pretty extensive line of mosquito and other insect repellents as well as BBQ and fireplace related products.  ABCD Diaries gives Northline Express and ThermaCELL and A+!

Buy It: Find this wonderful mosquito repellent and more at Northline Express!


Win It: Northline Express has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader ThermaCELL unit! To enter, follow our blog via GFC.

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Giveaway ends Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a ThermaCELL unit for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

The GoodOnYa Bar Review and Giveaway...

We recently had the chance to try out a variety of bars from The GoodOnYa Bar.

Breakfast Bar
"In a word, amazing! The ingredients in this bar are so unique, and the nutritional profile so wonderful that we have to boast just a bit. We didn't set out to make a high fiber bar. We simply combined healthy superfoods that tasted great together. When we got the nutritional analysis back we were shocked. 28% of the daily recommended allowance of fiber in just one bar. Now we don't subscribe totally to the USDA food pyramid but we do know that unprocessed, live, organic foods are what we should be eating, so that's what we are about! You can buy Fruit Loops with added fiber! Yeah, right! And don't be afraid of the fat. Read the Fat vs. Sugar document, you will be happily surprised to know you don't have to skimp on your favorite foods! Obviously what we are doing in this country isn't working. It's time to rethink things! We have done that with our bars."


                         
 
Peanut Butter Chocolate:
"Well, seriously. It's peanut butter, it's chocolate, it's kind of a no brainer! However there are ways to make this classic combination right! Start with the best peanut butter in the world (see above), 70% dark chocolate, raw honey and now you are talking about a healthy version of what I dreamed of getting at every house on Halloween! Cold milled flax, sesame, vanilla.....we are not kidding around here, we care about what we are doing, and we care about you!"
 
Peanut Butter Honey:
"The best peanut butter in the world comes from New Mexico. Valencia peanuts are smaller, sweeter, and they grow in a very dry climate. That means that the mold, aflatoxin, which is an allergen and a carcinogen, isn't present in out peanut butter. We love peanut butter and we know you love it, so we searched out the best! Combine that with raw, organic honey, flax and sesame, and you're in for one protein packed, tasty treat! It's time to love peanuts again. In fact, it's all about love!"


What we thought: These bars were pretty impressive.  They were super convenient and tasty and best of all, a healthier, filler-free option for on-the-go snacking!  Even the kiddos enjoyed these:)  I feel good knowing I'm giving my family something that will fill them up with the good-for-you stuff they need instead of empty calories and junk when I don't have time to make a healthy snack from scratch.  ABCD Diaries gives The GoodOnYa Bar an A!

Buy It: Find these bars at The GoodOnYa Bar!
Win It: The GoodOnYa Bar has generously offered one ABCD Diaries reader a 3 pack of bars-one of each flavor(arv $10)! To enter, follow our blog via GFC.

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Giveaway ends Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 11:59cst. Winner will be chosen via random.org and emailed. They will have 48 hours to reply. Open to US 18+

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a 3 pack of bars for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.