Tuesday, May 31, 2011
When I started blogging in March I was absolutely terrified that my blog would gain no followers and that I would never host or be selected to host any type of reader giveaway. I have since thankfully been proven wrong! Go blogger programs! Go MyBlogSpark! Yea! Whoop-Whoop!
Anyway, I LOVE MyBlogSpark. At first for a long while I hadn't received any offers or email and was very sad, but I emailed them after awhile and before I knew it ~ emails have been rolling in... okay just a few offers & promotions, but they have been good offers and promotions. The Kung Fu Panda 2 Reader Giveaway that ends on 5/31 was brought to you by.. yep you guessed it MyBlogSpark & the new giveaway that opens for submissions on Wednesday 6/01 is also brought to you by MyBlogSpark (I can't wait to open this one! I know someone will be thrilled with it.. here's a hint: Chex Mix) This is another great opportunity to drive traffic to your blog or site and participate in another really cool program.
So here's the lowdown on MyBlogSpark:
What type of opportunities will I receive as a member?
MyBlogSpark offers several opportunities, which can include product reviews, giveaways, promotional announcements, coupon offers, surveys and even the chance to attend events.
Who is eligible to join MyBlogSpark?
To join MyBlogSpark, you must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the United States with an active blog.
Does it cost me anything to be a member?
There is no cost to join and you can choose whether you’d like to accept or decline any offer you receive. MyBlogSpark also handles all fulfillment and shipping costs for any product reviews and giveaways you offer to your readers through MyBlogSpark, unless otherwise noted within the Spark.
What is a “Spark”?
A “Spark” is an opportunity that may include a review and giveaway that MyBlogSpark sends to you based on the interests you indicated in the registration survey and any subsequent surveys you have answered.
They also ask that when you participate that you do so within 3 weeks of accepting an offer and that the promotional giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Like any other giveaway or promotion that you present on your blog you do need to include a disclosure even if you have a standard policy about it. They provide you the basic details that should be included in your disclosure. You can also become eligible for more "Sparks" by participating in surveys sent to you by MyBlogSpark.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I got thinking (which sometimes isn't a good thing. lol) ~ I was on Tomoson today and was looking back at some of the older reviews that had been offered to bloggers and I was saying to myself - I wish I was blogging then so that I could have applied for the product reviews. Here is my wish list of things I wish would come back around for a chance to review.
KinderGlo: they make a fun, safe, portable nightlight for kids.
Cool Art Vinyl: They make fun wall stickers.
Princess Time Toys: They have all kinds of pretend "dress-up" costumes.
Dapper Snappers Kids Belts: A belt that only uses the back 3 belt loops; No interference with kids being able to undo their pants because a belt gets in the way.
KidKraft Play Kitchen Baking Set: I love KidKraft ~ they make high quality toys and children's furniture that is built to last!
Melissa & Doug toys sponsored by GummyLump: Again, high quality toys that are built to last!
Bravery in a bottle makes "Monster be gone sprays": How many times do you have to go "fight" monsters to get your kids into bed?
Gaddy Nipper Crayons: How cute are they? They also come in your child's name, ladybugs, & more!
Other ones I would love to do would be for companies/products like Britax, Storkcraft, Lego, other children's furniture (like playroom furniture), kid's clothing companies, basically anything kid related!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Finding "good stuff" the kids will consume is hard, but with companies like Honest Tea Kids, V8, and Apple & Eve it just got easier!
Nature Got it Right. We Put it in a Bottle.
Mission Statement: Honest Tea creates and promotes delicious, truly healthy, organic beverages. We strive to grow with the same honesty we use to craft our products, with sustainability and great taste for all.
From what I’ve seen, Honest is doing a fabulous job of living up to their mission! I like seeing that little USDA Organic label on their packages. I like the ingredients that are listed and my family and I love the taste.
Honest beverages are the perfect blend of full flavor with just enough sweetness to enhance the natural flavors.
Honest Kids pouches are a good alternative to the typical high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor and artificial color concoctions. They’re certified organic, contain real fruit juice and a full serving of Vitamin C. They’re available in fun flavors that are tasty for kids and adults: Appley Ever After, Goodness Grapeness, Berry Berry Good Lemonade, Tropical Tango Punch, & Super Fruit Punch. The Super Fruit Punch is super yummy. It’s a blend that includes white grape, strawberry and watermelon. It’s nicely sweetened, but not too much. I don’t care for kid type drinks, but this quenches that occasional craving.
V8 Fusion is a breakthrough juice that combines fruit and veggies into one tasty delightful treat! You get a full serving of veggies + fruit in one 8 oz. glass. The awesome end result is that you get 100% juice that is nutrition packed and includes antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E & the biggest plus is that it has NO ADDED SUGAR! Yay for healthy and tasty alternatives to soda & plain water. My picky eater, Bradley, cannot get enough of the Strawberry Banana flavored V-Fusion. I personally found it a bit tart for my tastes~ just saying it could be the pregnancy~ but it gets him the nutrition he needs when he decides to be picky and it is so much more cost effecient then PediaSure.
Just like V-Fusion, Apple & Eve combine fruit and veggies to bring your child one full serving in every juice box. Many of Apple & Eve's juice boxes only have about 70 calories per serving and come in variety of flavors including Berry Berry, Tropical Orange, Strawberry Kiwi, and Apple Harvest. For the younger toddlers out there they provide smaller juice boxes which are easier for tinier hands to hold and feature Big Bird and friends. These smaller sized juices come in flavors like: Apple Carrot, Berry Banana, & Pear Peach. The best part is that you don not always have to have the convenience of the on-the-go juice boxes because they come in family sized bottles as well. The main veggie used i their juices are carrots, but they combine other veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, and beets as well. Fruitables have less sugar because they combine their 100% juices with purifies water. These are also a great source of antioxidants & vitamins A, C, & E.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
|Recommended for ages 9-12|
TJ and the Time Tumblers is worth the recommendation as it was morally solid (with a slightly dark side) and entertaining to read. I absolutely love young adventure with doses of imagination.
It had action, silliness, romance, and crazy inventions. It also reminded me an awful lot of the Disney show Phil of the Future and T.J.'s surfer friends; Tuna & Herbie reminded me Bill & Ted (from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure). This book is slightly sci-fi but not overly so. There is time travel involved as the name suggests but it is not a huge component to the story.
TJ along with her sisters and father have moved from Missouri to California. Their home antics are pretty silly but the real treat is when TJ begins school as the "new kid". The boy she has a crush on thinks she has a mental disability (all she can say around him is, "uh..um...er..."), the prissy actress sets her spiteful eyes on her with evil results, and to top all of that, two boys from the future go back in time to study her because she will become someone very powerful when she grows up. The book moved along great had fun dialogue and colloquialisms fun for young readers and even gave me a couple of smile-out-loud moments. Nothing where the kids and I were lauging out loud though or rolling on the floor with sheer delight.Their slapstick action was equally zany, to the point of silliness.
On another note:
It was definitely "of this world", we were surprisingly treated to one girl calling another a witch, a student referring to one teacher as dumb and another as ugly, and character last names such as "Suchasnob," "Simpletwerp," and "Claudlooper." We even read that poor Doug Claudlooper wears "Goodwill rejects." I was a little shocked that a Christian author would have his characters describe each other this way. I know my children will be exposed to these attitudes and judgments in the "outside" world, however there are 3 instances in this book where TJ, the main character, is challenged to look beyond the superficial, to not show favoritism, and to love her neighbor which is a very good thing ~ challenging children to understand that kid's in this age range can be mean and cruel at times & that sometimes you have to look beyond what is on the surface and try to accept people for who they really are regardless of where they come from. Sometimes it is hard for kids to be unbiased and not to be judgmental, but this book provides that challenge.
In the end, Bill Myers is a great writer. He is very entertaining and engages this age group very effectively. He uses different sizes of fonts to express emotions and volumes of the speakers. I really liked this aspect to the book. I think it is perfect for children who don't really like to read. This book will get them hooked ~ just try to be sure to engage your children in conversation about the way others are treated and how it can effect others and themselves, why it is wrong to be judgmental, and how to cope with the situations themselves if they ever find themselves in it.
- Title: T.J. & The Time Stumblers by Bill Meyers
- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale Kids (April 18, 2011)
- Price:$6.99 US
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1414334532
- ISBN-13: 978-1414334530
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
Tomoson is a piece of software that brings the community of bloggers and promoters together in one place. Now, promoters can manage all their blog giveaways and bloggers can apply for promotions in one location. All provided to you at no cost!
There are constantly new blogger promotions popping up. I check it twice a day because sometimes there are multiple promotions released in one day and if you're not fast- you're last!
Many of the promotions that you see on blogs as of late have come from Tomoson. The BabyBond nursing accessory that I have reviewed and am giving away is just one example of a Tomoson promotion. There are many others like Prefense Non-Alcohol hand sanitizer, ViSalus V-Shape, Skillet Bacon Jam, Sand Gone, My Baby Clothes Boutique, BrytonPick, The monkey shirt by TshirtPrinting.net, & Kiki's fashion maternity review & giveaway - just to name a few of the most common ones that I have seen on my fellow bloggers sites as well as my own.
Each company has specific requirements that must be met to be a host applicant. Many of the requirements are clearly posted below the description of the promotion: usually a number of FB likes/follows, Twitter followers, Alexa & Google ratings, or any number of things. Some promotions don't require any prerequisites at all except being a U.S. Blogger. Those ones are a little rarer and harder to come by. Also just because you may not meet the requirements doesn't mean you shouldn't try applying for a specific promotion. Once you submit your application and you have been "rejected" you have an opportunity to submit a rebuttal if you think that you should still be considered for a certain promotion, but don't meet requirements. This is particularly handy if you are really good at pitching yourself to companies.
Once you have signed up & logged in you have dashboard of sorts where you have an overview of your applications, the steps that have been taken if the reviewing of your application has been completed &/or approval and product status if you were selected. You will also receive emails in your regular email inbox alerting you to approvals and shipments of products. You will also have access on Tomoson to the same messages that are emailed to you. There is also a support section with the most Frequently Asked Questions if there is anything that you are unsure of. You can also submit a support inquiry to the Tomoson team if you cannot find the answer you seek.
This is a wonderful program and can help build more traffic to your blog/site when you are chosen to host a review & giveaway. I think everyone should give this program a try for themselves.