Summer Goodness! Products, Entertainment And More! (Giveaway)CONTESTS | Nirasha Jaganath | July 23, 2011 at 7:06 am
JetBlue bag – Meghan
Chuck-E-Cheese 1 – Kamani
Chuck-E-Cheese 2 – Gilda
Chuck-E-Cheese 3 – Heather T
PerioBalance – Joanna
UmiZoomi – Danielle
$25 AnnieWear card – Christy
There has been too much goodness around this summer and I have been trying to keep my balls in the air. I feel guilty that my kids are at (day) camps (which especially my special needs kids needed) so I run around trying to make up for outings on weekends. You would assume me to be caught up on everything else and you would assume wrong. I am still working though unwritten posts, heaps of (clean) laundry and traveling all over. I promise to get more into the swing of things. A lot of stuff coming up – I travel to New York and few times and then head to speak at BlogHer conference in San Diego. Exciting things await as changes are coming.
Here are a few favorite finds – some old and some new:
I heard about AnnieWear some time back and the story was so amazing that I wanted to feature it on Mommy Niri Cares (time willing I will). Basically the company has amazing quality of clothing line but portions of all AnnieWear sales are donated to animal rescue programs around the country. Now seriously I can vouch for the clothing as they sent my daughter a t-shirt which no “one-time-in-the-washer-and-out-of-shape” kind of t-shirt. The color and thickness speak for themselves (dont you hate that washed out look when it is not intentional?). The fact that they are super-cute is a separate thing altogether. The one my daughter received listed all the ways “woof” from a dog would sound in various language – now tell me that doesn’t make you smile. So quality, cool and even one that makes you feel good – perfect right? What’s even more perfect is a $25 giftcard you can win.
Over a year ago while on a project with KaBoom to build a playground in Los Angeles I met a remarkable friend called Ciaran who in spite of having so many amazing projects running at the same time, owns a company that makes Francie Pants. She gave me a pair for my daughter to try out and have never looked back. Since then I have received more from her and bought a couple too (yes, I love them that much) and we are truly a Francie Pants family. Did I forget to tell you what they are? Sheesh, that is was excitement does to you. Think shorts, but thinner move-with-me type shorts. The kind you wear under dresses, for gymnastics etc. We use them every single week and with 2 girls I can tell you they last – no fading or worn out. Just so you know I do not sort laundry (there I said it – what a relief) so when something lasts ages beyond my laundry habits it is pretty darn amazing quality. Did I mention I love Francie Pants?
When the show Umizoomi hit the kid’s network I for one was ecstatic. Being an engineer I cringe to think of how little focus is made on Mathematics and Science. In fact Curious George was probably the only show that focused a bit on science (just one of the many reasons I love that show). I love that this show focuses on measuring and calculations galore. So when I heard about the Team Umizoomi Preschool Math Kit I was definitely going to test it out. Workbooks, activity cards and more make up this kit. The matching pencils somehow never worked but that could be just my bad sharpener or the fact that I got a bad batch. But really who cares, pencils are dime a dozen and the entire kit is so really worth it. Although targeted to kids in preschool I (bravely) tested it out with my preschooler and my kid who is entering 1st grade this fall wondering if my 6 year old would be bored (she is good at math) and really she wasn’t. The activities are basic enough to not frustrate but clearly build a momentum as they go along. The cards are more intense and need someone there to facilitate but is game-like an very attention grabbing. Both my 4 and 6 year old enjoyed the sparring. (Psst I am giving away a set for one of my readers too – look below). Each kit has
- 48-page workbook that amplifies the curriculum covered in each episode, setting up problems and providing opportunities for practice and repetition
- 24-page storybook that invites kids to join Team Umizoomi on a math adventure
- 24 Mighty Math Mission Cards – portable cards that provide math-based challenges for kids
- 48-page activity book that reinforces math skills through simple games and activities
- Team Umizoomi episode on DVD
Jet Blue And PBS
The fact that I heart JetBlue is no secret, in fact I really think they should consider putting me on their payroll with all the advertising I do. PBS is a company I can find no fault with their content. If there is one channel I will never bat an eyelash at when my kids are watching television it is PBS. Content is of such a high quality that they always amaze me. Whenever I feel that attention is dished out to everything but education PBS is a reminder all is not forgotten in the quality education. Then I heard about a program called Soar With Reading which a program that is a joint partnership. We all know that in summer is a tough time to keep the brain cells working. JetBlue recognized that too and knew that people would be flying on them so they are providing kids with backpacks on board with little activity books and also a book to read. Oh, and not just some 2 pager book to read, quality books like ones from The Magic Tree House series – which came highly recommended by parents who made suggestions when I was looking for chapter books for my 6 year old. Hey, you get to win one too.
Not just for kids, we all need to get on some reading too. Sadly this has taken a backseat for me and I hope to remedy that. There are 3 books
The Help – True that I have already seen the movie (in a screening but movie releases in August) but I have meant to read it a long time, in fact since Beth from Rolemommy mentioned it when we were in LA to build a playground. In fact I have it downloaded since January on myNook but I have a long flight upcoming to BlogHer (where I am speaking) in San Diego and it may be the longest uninterrupted time I will have to do anything. By the way – look out for some exclusive interviews I had with the Director and cast of The Help.
UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. – This is purely for me as a social media addict. I got to hear Scott Stratten at Blissdom in Nashville and love his simple real advice and I actually have implemented some and seen real results.
Saraswati’s Way – a book I should probably read since I have it for ages from author Monika Schroeder but honestly have been a little too wrapped up to do.
If the gods wanted Akash to have an education, he is told, they would give him one. But Akash has spent his entire twelve years poor and hungry. So he decides to take control of his own life and try for a scholarship to the city school where he can pursue his beloved math. But will challenging destiny prove to be more than he has bargained for?
You know that they are part and parcel of summer and you normally expect to just take the bad with the good. Well in my path to become more eco-friendly I am making a start to just be less chemical/toxin friendly. That means I still have a far way to go but am looking very carefully whatI put on/in my body and more importantly my kid’s body. I have avoided using sprays yet when I was asked to check out FairyTales NEW Bug Bandit spray I was keen to try it out. What sold me on in? When I heard that it was an all-natural, pesticide-free, DEET-free bug repellant spray. Of course it is not like I can tell you I scoped a mosquito and saw that it was repelled by the spray but I can tell you what I have noticed. From the past few weekend outings we have had there have been no bites – sure it could be just a coincidence but but I doubt it. Better than the fact that it works? The smell does not irritate my kids (even my super sensory kiddo seems fine with it) and it is light and easy to use. Of course the fact that it has a Fairytale castle picture on it does not hurt to my princess-loving girls.What’s in it? Natural ingredients such as Lemon Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Citronella, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Cedar Bark and Cinnamon are blended with natural oils.
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension
Speaking of moving my 6 year old to older kids stuff, I have been searching for entertainment appropriate for her. I was looking for something with humor (since she has Autism catching social cues and jokes are tough for her) but not the horrid “be mean to your siblings” type of humor portrayed in sitcoms. Phineas and Ferb is a show you can trust will pique their interest without compromising anything. I love their pointy faces and their quirky style – somehow an animated show both girls and boys and adults can actually watch. Here’s more – releasing August 23rd on DVD’s is Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across The 2nd Dimension.
This features Disney Channel’s dynamic animated duo, Phineas Flynn and his stepbrother Ferb Fletcher, as they go on their biggest adventure yet. When the boys discover that their pet platypus Perry is in fact a secret agent who battles the forces of evil daily, they join him on a grand adventure that blasts them to another dimension where a truly evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz has taken over an alternate Tri-state Area. This larger than life, action-packed adventure will have the entire family laughing out loud!
But in case you can’t wait that far The Disney Channel will be premiering a Disney Channel Original Movie, “Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension” on Friday, August 5th. In conjunction with the movie, the “Perry the Platy-bus on Tour” will be heading out on a coast-to-coast journey. So save the date!
Winnie The Pooh
I got to see the movie a little before its release and I expected to see a huge jazzed up version of the the beloved Winnie The Pooh. Somehow I feel like I know and love Winnie The Pooh more than my kids. I really felt that the few movies and Disneyworld did not convey the essence of Pooh as much as I would have liked. The movie was way better than I could have ever imagined. It was like opening a book and it becoming live – literally. My reading girls were hooked as they saw the words and sentence so well entrenched in the story. The movie trails getting a new tail for Eyeore and has all of the characters stay true to what I remembered. A sweet movie that actually had the dad loving it too. I actually received the book as well and I could see the wonder in their eyes as my kids relive the movie in every word. Have a young one, go watch it and truthfully even if you don’t feel free to take a peek. The thirst for good quality children’s movies can certainly be averted here.
Now while you are thinking summer and you want to be outside, some days like today are well over 100 and you kind of want a place with airconditioning. Now I will be the first to admit that I was a Chuck-e-Cheese snob, yes I still remember giving a friend the look of shock when he suggested we go there. That was until I went and realized it was not a fast food place with a playground but and entertainment place that happened to have food. Since then I appreciate a place I can go to that is geared for families and affordable too. Sure the 25 cent (1 token) per game can easily rack-up but I have been to several other places that ask for more than 1 token per game so it is more than a bargain for what you get. Admittedly I worry about germs but in all fairness this concern extends to every indoor place (remember Boston has long winters) including the library and it has never been a reason to keep us away. When I was approached by Chuck-e-Cheese to take a look at their new pizza recipe I was a bit surprised – I mean who really noticed their pizza? I hadn’t as I did not assume it was a place for just for getting a pizza and I had no illusions expecting a higher quality. But I felt since they brought up the topic I needed to dig a little more before. Sure the never frozen and fresh mozzarella caught my eye but then I thought I needed to really look at the ingredients. If you know me I am pretty fussy about artificial food-dyes so I paged through several ingredient lists and was satisfied by what I saw. So we went in with a pass – redeemable for one large pizza, four soft drinks and 30 game tokens and we had a good time. Better yet? I will be giving away a pass to 3 lucky Mommy Niri readers.
I just wrapped up a month’s challenge and honestly loved doing something that was actually good for me. For those who don’t know – PerioBalance is probiotic for the mouth. Promoting healthy bacteria and maintaining healthy gums. Go read each of my posts from week 1, week 2, week 3 and week 4 and tell me you are not convinced? Precisely and that is why I am going to give a lucky Mommy Niri reader a month’s supply of PerioBalance.
The best thing you can do this summer is keep updated with everything on MommyNiri.com – I will have scoops, interviews and several summer goodness giveaways.
Now some stuff to keep your summer sizzling.
I have something for 7 Mommy Niri readers.
The prizes up for grabs:
- A JetBlue bag with books (activity and reading)
- An UmiZoomi Math kit (books and more)
- A $25 AnnieWear giftcard
- A months supply of PerioBalance
- A Chuck-e-Cheese family pass (pizza, drinks and tokens) – I have 3 to giveaway.
Want to win one of these prizes?
To win tell me what is your favorite summer activity. Winners chose by random.org. USA only. You can win one of the prizes – based in order of prizes drawn. Winner not allowed to select prizing and no substitutions allowed.
To earn extra entries, after you have left a comment, do one of the following, but make sure you leave a separate comment entry for each extra thing you do (please DO NOT leave your email address within the comment). This gives you additional ways to win the contest but are optional entries. Contest closes 28th July 2011.
- Subscribe to Mommy Niri (and verify the subscription to be valid) and leave a separate comment that you did. Already a subscriber (thank you) then leave a comment stating you are.
- Tweet it using the green Tweet button above. Then leave a comment you did.
Don’t forget to visit out other fabulous giveaways on MommyNiri.com
Disclosure: I received for some of the products listed.