Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Tips From Our Forums!

Many readers don't realize that not only does have an awesome blog and website, they also have an active forum community!

I've been involved with this wonderful community for the past 10 years. Today, I'm sharing some of their favorite tips and tricks for making it through the holidays!

Each of these women have earned an award for their tips. Click here to see what these fun awards are all about! 

Sweet Magnolia – Family Time Tip Award
“I used to make homemade hot chocolate while we were putting the tree up and decorating it. I always let the kids help decorate, no matter the size or age they were. It they piled too many up in one spot I simply moved them around on the tree after they went to sleep, they never noticed. We also read the story of the birth of the Christ child and The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve.”

Cooked – Home & Garden Tip Award
“One tip I find oh so helpful if you have pets or small children, put your unbreakable ornaments on the bottom part of the tree, they won't break when little hands or tails knock them off.”

RobertaD- Cooking Tip Award
“My neice just graduated college and started working so I'm going to print off my collection of crock pot meals for her.”

Ajrsmom – Frugal Tip Award
“Here's a tip for a stocking stuffer:  Throughout the year Target runs special deals where if you buy a certain number of specific items or just specific items mentioned, they give you a $5.00 gift card. I've recently earned 2 of the $5. cards so I'm going to stick them into my kids' stockings.”

Fish3711 – Craft Tip Award
“I recycle my Christmas Cards. I take the older cards and cut/paste them onto card stock and I make my own Christmas Cards for my family & friends. I also use ribbon and well pretty much anything I find that I think looks good and glue it on the card for decoration. I add a family photo for the finishing touch.”

Stellajean66 – Family Time Tip Award
“In the evenings, as a family, we like to put on some Christmas music, make some hot cocoa or eggnog and sit in front of the tree and enjoy each others Christmas memories.....our son gets to hear our Christmas pasts and he brings smiles to our face with his favorite memories with us.”

Ajrsmom – Frugal Tip Award
“If you have an old jar candle that isn’t pretty enough to set out any longer but you still love the scent, chisel the candle out of the jar and melt the pieces in a candle melt warmer. A jar candle chiseled into pieces will last a very long time in a candle warmer, saving lots of $$$ from not buying new candles.”

 RobertaD – Frugal Tip Award
“I pick up things all year that will make a good gift for someone individually or bundled together with other items.”

KathyMac – Frugal Tip Award
“I collect change and cash it in once or twice over the course of the year. I put this money aside in my "secret hiding place" and don't touch it until it's time to shop. For the first time this year, I am doing all of my shopping with cash. When the cash runs out, the shopping is done.”

Cau – FamilyTime Tip Award
“We have an Advent calendar in the shape of a tree with 25 pockets in it. I put some coins and a few candies but mainly fill it with slips of paper with things like worth 1 job done by mom, your favorite dinner, popcorn and Christmas movie night, no electronics tonight , decorate sweatshirts tonight , go see the Christmas lights tonight etc.”

Cau – Family Time Tip Award
“I make a movie of our Christmas pictures every year.”

Fish3711 – Family Time Tip Award
“We have a Christmas Tree Tradition in my family. It is one I created for my kids, it wasn't one I grew up with. We all go to pick out our tree. Once we've picked it out and brought it home we all choose a name for it and write it on a slip of paper. Then we draw one name out and that is the tree's name.”

Fish3711 – Family Time Tip Award
“When we decorate the tree, I make homemade cookies and hot chocolate & I insist on playing Christmas music. I used to tell my kids the Christmas music is what kept the tree alive thru the holidays!”

RobertaD – Family Time Tip Award
“We have carried on a tradition that DH's family did which is putting up the tree the first day in December that is snows. We have custard after the tree is up and turn all the lights off in the house and listen to Christmas music while watching the tree and eating our custard.”

Bensmom526 – Home & Garden Tip Award
“To save opened gift wrap for next year, unwrap from roll and insert into the card board tube. It won't tear or turn yellow and you can store it in a corner of your closet.”

Bensmom526 – Family Time Tip Award
“To keep the present opening frenzy under control, I wrap each family member's gifts in one pattern of gift wrap. Christmas morning I tell them who has which wrap and run out of the way before I get trampled!”

Stop by for a visit! You will find me under "ajrsmom". If you see any of the ladies, who are listed above, be sure to tell them that you read their tips on the FC Blog! 

Happy Holiday from all of Us at the Forums! 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

New holiday crafts and articles on FC

Good morning, getting ready for the holidays? We trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are preparing Christmas, Hannukah and beyond! Here are a few new additions to, hope you enjoy!

This adorable Paper Bag Gingerbread House is a fun craft for kids and a great way to make a homemade gift.

This stenciled frame is a perfect project for teen girls, makes a great friend gift!

Don't miss these new tips and ideas too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make an Indian Corn Pin

Make this adorable Indian Corn Pin with your kids. This makes a great craft for fall or for Thanksgiving. You'll need some tri-beads in fall colors and chenille stems. Once finished, you van wear it to celebrate the season, or give as a gift!

Get the instructions for this cute Indian Corn Pin 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Food & Party Fun

Here's some fun Halloween food projects for the entire family!

Edible Haunted House
Spooky Eyeballs on a Stick
Mummy Cookies

For more great recipes & party ideas: Visit our Halloween Party Kitchen at!!

For Halloween costumes and other fun Halloween projects:
Visit our Halloween Party Shop!!

DIY Halloween Costumes: Traditional Favorites!

As trick-or-treaters reach our doorsteps, we will view many fun and frightful costumes. Over the years, several designs pop up over and over, year after year. If your kids are looking for a traditional costume, try one of these on for size!

From scarecrows to pirates to hippies to clowns...Get ideas on how to make your very own costumes

Should you need face paint, fake blood, or need to know how to create fake bruises, check out our feature: Homemade Halloween Make Up, Bruises & Blood.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Managing Morning Madness

Are your mornings rushed, chaotic and disorganized? Then it's time to get control and make morning a good start to a wonderful day! When your morning activities run smoothly, and you're out the door on time it can make your whole day feel better. To create a peaceful morning routine, follow these steps --->>> Managing Morning Madness

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Relax and Soothe With Herbs

Using dried and fresh herbs to relax and soothe isn't just a trick the spas use. You can do that same thing at home! I keep dried chamomile to use in the bath and for tea, as well as lavender, rosemary and mint. Herbal bath teas and bath salts are very easy to make, and if you allow yourself to experiment a little bit you will find your perfect combination!  


These are very strong "teas" that you add to your bath. Remember that you can experiment with combinations as long as you follow the basic recipe on the amounts. If you are allergic to plants of any type do be cautious, but you also are not ingesting the tea, so you should be fine keeping with the guidelines. So much of the commercial bath products we buy are very harsh on our skin, and these will soothe you...  

Skin Soothing Bath Tea 
You will need: 2 tablespoons dried thyme 2 tablespoons dried calendula blossoms 2 tablespoon dried chamomile blooms 1 quart boiling water Add the herbs to the boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the infusion and add to your bathwater. NOTES: You can use just chamomile and double the amount. 

Spring Herbal Bath 
You will need: 1/4 cup dried lemon balm 1/4 cup dried chamomile blossoms 2 cups boiling water Cover the herbs with the boiling water and brew for 20 minutes. Strain and add to your bathwater. NOTES: You can use fresh lemon balm, but increase it to 1/2 cup. I also use mint with chamomile.  

Relaxation Herb Tea 
You will need: 1 cup rosemary 2 cups lavender 2 cups rose petals 1 cup mint Mix these dry ingredients together and keep in a sealed, dry jar. Use about 1/2 cup for each bath. Pour 1-2 cups boiling water over the herbs and brew for 15-20 minutes. Add to your bath.  

Herbal Milk Bath 
You will need: 2 cups cornstarch 2 cups dry milk powder 2 tablespoons of your favorite herb, crumbled Mix these dry ingredients together. For your bath tie about 1/2 cup of the mix in cheesecloth, or a muslin bag and tie very tightly. Add to your bath. You can tie kitchen string to the bag and float the bag in your bath as the water runs. Keep the bath mixture in a sealed container. 
Bath salts are so easy to make and there are SO many variations once you start making them yourself. The basic recipe is as follows: You will need: 1 cup Epsom salts 5 or more drops of essential oil Mix together and keep in a covered jar. Allow the salts to sit for a few hours or overnight. Add about 1/2 cup to running bath water.  

Add 1 cup baking soda which is a skin soother. Add 2-3 tsp. honey for a moisturizing. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of a healing salt such as Dead Sea salts Squeeze in 3-4 caplets of Vitamin E oil to moisturize. Add 2 cups of baking soda, and 1 cup of citric acid for fizzies. You can use any type of essential oil that is soothing. Nice choices are lavender, rose, calendula or patchouli oils. 

What's Related:
Dream Pillows
Fifty Ways to Use Essential Oils
Growing Your Own Tea Garden

About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three living in the Midwest United States. She is also editor of
Did you enjoy this article? Rate It! | Tell A Friend

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fun Outdoor Play

As summer hits its peak, many parts of the country are experiencing very warm spurts of weather.To cool off here are some fun outdoor games for the kids and anyone else who would like to join in the fun!

Water Balloon Volley

This is a great on a hot summer day!

Each team will need a bedsheet and good supply of filled water balloons. Everyone on the team holds a corner or side of the sheet. Place a water balloon on the sheet. Using lots of teamwork, bounce the balloon on the sheet until you can flip it over the net. The other team must catch it in their sheet and flip it back.

For smaller groups or children, use a smaller sheet or a tablecloth. You can also use a ping-pong ball.

Balloon Head Race

Organize players into pairs and give each team a partially inflated balloon. When the game starts, teams must race to a finish line carrying a balloon between their heads. Don't use your hands! On hot summer days try using water balloons or running the race through a sprinkler. 

Water Balloon Fight

Just a good old fashioned wet and wild game of tag with water balloons! A great way to get cool! Set ground rules such as no hitting in the face or head.

After the water fight is over, or every hour or so, have a race to see who can pick up the most broken water balloons until they are all picked up. Use a plastic milk carton to collect them in, the spout is small enough to collect them and little hands can't reach in and take them out.

Safety Tip: Don't let children put broken balloons into their mouths. Remember, these little broken balloons are a choking hazard, not only to small children, but to anyone. If a balloon breaks in front of a child's mouth they can suck in the balloon when they gasp with surprise,and it can choke them.

Egg & Spoon Race

This is definitely an outdoor activity! You will need one raw egg and one spoon for each person participating in the race. Line contestants up next to each other on a starting line. Racers should have a point across the yard to race to (point B), turn around and come back to where they started (point A).

Place the egg in the spoon. The racer must balance the egg in the spoon, without using their free hand, and make it from point A to point B and back to point A again. If the egg drops, but is not broken, the racer may pick up the egg, while STANDING STILL (no travelling!), reposition it on the spoon and resume the race. The first person back to point A without a broken egg wins!

Water Bucket Relay

This race works best with Rubbermaid containers, the size that you can fit snugly into your kitchen sink. Mark the inside of the container with a marker and fill with water to that marked spot. Just as in the Egg & Spoon Race contestants should have a point across the yard to race to (point B), turn around and come back to where they started (point A). Howeverm in this race, each contestant runs solo. Time each person separately, taking turns.

In this race however, the first person back may not be the winner! Using a stopwatch, or a watch with a second hand, time each contestant and record thier water measurement when they have completed their "lap". The person with the best time combined with the most water left in their tub wins! 

About the Author:
Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She is the Chief Editor of Magazine. Visit her blog by clicking here.

Reading To Our Children

As parents, we are bombarded with advice on educating our children; homeschool, public school, private school, or tutoring. It's an endless debate that we all participate in at some point. However, I think we can all agree on one thing: we want our children to have an appreciation for reading and literature. This can prepare them for college, working and life in general. So, how do we accomplish this?

Start Early

You are pregnant, and friends and relatives start planning the showers or asking about gifts. Of course, start out with the things you need the most. But, then ask for a good lullaby book, a book of rhymes and a few of those indestructible cloth and plastic books for babies. As you go through those months of waiting to have that precious baby, practice those lullabies and recite those rhymes. Story telling is an art every parent can learn. If you read in monotone, too fast or too slow, kids lose interest. Read like you would want to be read to! That little one in your womb will love the vibration of your voice and you will get some needed practice.

Books, and more books...

Children need to be around books. They need to learn that books are special. You can do this by teaching your children to take care of their stories. If you see them writing in one gently but firmly tell them "no". When they are older talk with them about putting them on a special shelf or drawer in their room. Make the books accessible, and trust them to take care of them.

You will find that you can quickly gather a collection of good kid's books by looking at garage sales, finding deals on the internet and asking Grandma and Grandpa to buy books instead of toys! Always be on the look out for books. The library is a great free resource for books, and you can take advantage of story telling time too.

By Our Example

The best thing we can do as parents is set examples for our children. If they see us reading, and enjoying books they will want that too. My parents were avid readers during my childhood. We went to the small library in our town often, and we had encyclopedias that were always fascinating to us. We loved reading! When I went away to college I found out my roommate had one book with her. One. She didn't leave them at home. She simply didn't own any. She looked at reading as a "chore". Her parents did not set an example, and she had no interest in reading.

Story Time

Set up story times for your children. We always read one or two books and sing songs before bedtime. Every night, no exceptions. If time is tight for some reason, pick a small book. You can read at other times, and when your children start school they will read in class. Your story time needs to be a special time that is never pushed aside. When they are older they can take turns reading too. I believe this is a tradition that will make an impression on your children. It is a special time they will never forget. We have all heard the expression "comfort food". Wouldn't it be nice if your children grew up and had "comfort books" that they could share with their own children?

Your child's perception of reading is based on the example you set.  Make it a good one...for their sake.

About the Author:
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer and mom to three kids living in the Midwest. For more gardening fun visit her at Old Fashioned Living

Bullying - Both Sides of The Fence

Whether your child is being bullied or is the bully, our parenting expert has some solid advice for you.

When Your Child is Acting Like a Bully

It has been brought to my attention that my child has been bullying other kids at school. How can I help him improve his behavior?

Think about it
At first you may want to blame the other kids, or the adult who brought the information to your attention. You need to be honest with yourself to determine the truth in the situation. If your child has been acting in aggressive ways, you'll want to help your child have more positive interactions with other children. Your child needs you on his side right now to help him learn how to control his own behavior.

Solution #1: Instead talk about specific incidents. Ask helpful questions to determine the reasons for your child's behavior. Brainstorm with him a variety of options he would have as an alternative to being rough. Help him learn new ways to handle the conflicts that arise with other children. Use role-play to help your child practice new ways of responding to other children.

Solution #2: If possible, arrange to have your child spend some time with an older, responsible child. If you don't have any close family members or friends that fit the bill, look into a Big Brother or Big Sister program. It may help to find a mentor for your child who can teach good social skills by example.

Solution #3: If you must discipline a child for a specific act, such as punching another child at school, use discretion when deciding on a consequence. Yelling, hitting or harsh punishment will only encourage your child to continue his own aggressive behavior. Instead, look for constructive consequences, such as assigning chores at home, or writing a note of apology to the child who was hurt.

Solution #4: Discourage your child from spending time with friends who behave in aggressive ways. (See: Friends, inappropriate choice of.) Encourage your child to become involved in an organized youth activity. Participation in a team or group often gives a child the social experience he may be lacking. Another option is to enroll him in one of the social skills classes that are now appearing in schools, churches and hospitals.

Solution #5: Enroll your child in a quality martial arts school. Visit the school first and watch a few classes in action before you mention the idea to your child. Choose a program with smaller class sizes. An authentic program will teach restraint, respect, and self-control. A good martial arts teacher will convey a quiet, reserved confidence. Talk with the teacher in advance of classes to let him know your concerns about your child's behavior, and what you are looking to achieve with the class. An experienced teacher should make you feel confident that you are making the right choice for your child. This may be just what your child needs to learn to control his physical power, and to develop self-discipline. (And it's heartwarming to see your child bow to the master and hear him end every sentence with a hearty "Sir" or "Ma'am"!)

Special Note: If your child displays a continuing pattern of aggression he may display other negative behaviors as well. He may display signs of low self-esteem, have problems in school, spend excessive time alone, and have a hard time controlling his anger. If this were the case, it would be wise to seek professional counseling for your child, so that the reason for the behavior can be discovered, and the child can learn to control his emotions and learn to succeed socially.

When Your Child is the Victim of a Bully

A bully is picking on my child. What can I do to stop this?

Think about it
As much as you'd like to step in and solve this problem yourself, it's probably in your child's best interest to teach him how to solve the problem. Once he's learned the skills to stand up for himself he can use them in other life situations.

Solution #1: Teach your child how to respond to a bully in a bold assertive way. Practice with him at home in a role-play situation. Demonstrate the difference between cowering and whispering, "Oh, go away, please leave me alone." versus standing tall, using a deep, loud, voice and saying with authority, "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

Solution #2: Suggest that your child stick with two or more other children when at the playground, the bus stop or wherever he comes face to face with the bully.

Solution #3: If the bully problem is at school, tell your child that if he's not successful in fending the bully off on his own it's okay to ask for help from a teacher or playground attendant. Rehearse with him what to say when he approaches an adult for help so he doesn't sound like he's whining or tattling. "Excuse me, Mr. Watanabe, but Jason keeps chasing me and throwing stones at me. I've asked him to stop but he won't." If your child practices saying this at home he will come across sounding confidant and will more likely get assistance from the teacher.

Solution #4: Teach your child to turn and walk away from a child who is being a verbal bully, without so much as a word. Being ignored may cause the bully to give up.

Solution #5: Determine if your child has healthy friendships with other children. If your child is a regular victim and doesn't have many friends, she can benefit by developing better social skills. Encourage your child to invite friends over to your home or to invite them to accompany you on an outing.

Special Note: If your child tries many different approaches but is continually harassed by a bully, or if the bully is physically aggressive, you may need to step in. It is rarely, if ever, effective to approach the bully or his parent's directly. Instead, approach the school principal or other person in a position of authority. If you lose your temper and yell, it will be unlikely you'll get the help you need. Instead, take the time to think about what you will cover in the meeting, and call ahead for an appointment. Outline the specific behaviors that you are concerned with, review the tactics you have used to try to stop the behavior, and have several suggested solutions in mind. Approach the principal with a calm, matter-of-fact attitude and you should be able to put together a plan to control the situation.

 More You Might Like:
I'm Sitting Up Front
Back to School Gear For Less
Back to School Wardrobes for Less
Managing Morning Madness
Kids Home Alone: When and How?
Preventing School Bullying and Protecting Your Child

About the Author:
Elizabeth Pantley is author of Perfect Parenting, Hidden Messages, & Kid Cooperation, and president of Better Beginnings, Inc. She is a popular speaker on family issues. Elizabeth's newsletter, Parent Tips is seen in schools nationwide. She appears as a regular radio show guest and has been quoted in Parents, Parenting, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, American Baby, Twins, Working Mother, and Woman's Day magazines.

Balancing Youth Sports and Family Life: How to Find Balance & Reclaim Family Time

Raising sports active kids is difficult, perhaps more today than ever before. Parents feel pressure to help their kids succeed. They want to keep up with other parents in an increasingly winner-take-all society. Too often, parents just like you feel that if they don't do everything for their child, they are bad parents.

In fact, surveys show that today's sport active kids and their parents get too caught up in the crazy sports vortex. Today's parents spend eleven hours less a week with their teenagers than they did two decades ago. The average mother spends less than a half hour per day talking with her teens. Only six out of ten 15 and 16 year olds regularly eat dinner with their parents. Family vacations are down by 28 percent. Sports have replaced church on Sunday for many families. Children are being benched for missing practice to be with their families on religious holidays.

Surveys also show that your children most likely lament the lack of parental attention. They want to spend more time with you, not less. They want more free time, not less.

I sincerely believe it's time to reclaim our family time. Here's how you can find a balance between your children's youth sport activities and your family life:

Schedule family time. Set aside one night a week or month as Family Game Night. Choose a board game, play card games, make tacos, and just be together. Make it sacred time.

Consider your travel time. Before you allow your children to play a particular sport, or on a particular team, consider your travel time to practices and games. Other things to consider include: your work schedule as well as your spouses, your children's school schedule and homework demands, carpool availability, and the needs of other family members.
Look for balanced sports programs. Look for leagues and clubs that balance sports, family and school life. Make sure the program emphasizes having fun more than winning. Children shouldn't be penalized for missing practice on Christmas Eve to be with their family.

Find a balance between sports. Introduce your children to sports such as golf, tennis, squash, racquetball, cycling, sailing, windsurfing, rock climbing, jogging, kayaking, rowing, or canoeing that they can enjoy after their competitive careers are over. Encourage your children to engage in sports and activities with you as long as they enjoys them, like bike riding, hiking, skating, sailing, and running. Encourage them to play different sports and avoid early specialization. It will them develop a variety of transferable motor skills such as jumping, running, twisting and simultaneously reduce the risk of overuse injuries that too often result from early specialization.

Allow for a social life outside of sports. Being on a travel or select team often requires a year-round or near year-round commitment and extensive travel. If you allow your children to participate, they can end up socially isolated from the family, their peers and the larger community. The athletic role can become so consuming and controlling that their childhood essentially disappears. Early specialization can thus interfere with normal identity development, increasing the risk that a child will develop what psychologists call a one-dimensional self-concept in which they see themselves solely as an athlete instead of just a part of who they are.

Coach your child's team on "kid time". Too many parents fall victim to the idea that practices have to happen after an adult's workday is over. This falls during the dinner hour, when children should be spending time with their family. With the new statistics of parents (primarily mothers) working from home, why not get your coaching license and run the practice in the afternoon right after school is over? This will give you time to be with your children and their friends and still be home in time for dinner with the rest of the family.

It is possible to create balance within your family's everyday life, even with children who participate in sports. But it is up to you as the parents to make certain that your kids don't over schedule and that they establish the right priorities.

What's Related
Achieving Balance in Your Family
Surviving Little League
The Cost of Competition on Kids
The Simpler Family
Did you enjoy this article? Rate It! | Tell A Friend
About the Author
Brooke de Lench, Youth Sports Parenting Expert and author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports has helped over 42 million moms and dads worldwide get the tools and information they need to make their child's youth sports experience safer, less stressful and more inclusive. For more information on balancing your child's sports life with your family life, go to and sign up for Brooke's free newsletter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

DaGeDar: The Hottest New Racing Toys of the Summer! - Review and Giveaway


Our #2 Anonymous Poster says: What an awesome giveaway! I'd love to win this and give it to my grandkids for Christmas! Thanks for the giveaway 

Congratulations, Dorothea! 
Watch your inbox for an email from me today. You have 48 hrs to respond to it.


From the makers of the really popular ZhuZhu Pets, DaGeDar is one of this summer's hottest new racing and collectibles games. We were one of the lucky households chosen from Mom Select and DaGeDar to review a race set.

My kids couldn't wait to tear open the boxes to see which track and balls we were sent.

We tested the High Speed Jump Stunt Track. The tracks are easy to assemble and are made with great flexibility so that you can raise and lower them for different racing challenges every time! 

High Speed Jump Stunt Track

So, what speeds down those race tracks? They are DaGeDar racing balls! Each ball is outfitted with a special racing face and comes with its very own registration number that your kids can use to register their balls online at the DaGeDar website. There are 6 sets of racing balls to choose from.

Set #1

Also included was a cool Flip Action Carrying Case and a Vortex Spinner. Each comes with their own special DaGeDar ball.

Each carrying case holds up to 3 balls and is equipped with a clip so you can clip them on your belt loop or back pack! We received a green carrying case (my daughter's favorite color!). The cases also come in orange and black.

Flip Action Carrying Case

Use your Vortex Spinner to launch off-the-track challenges!

Vortex Spinner

Advertised as the coolest new "boys' " toys this summer, we are here to tell you that girls love these racing collectibles and race tracks, too! (Shhh...don't tell anyone but Alexis beat her brother at most of the races!)

Both of my kids enjoyed playing with this racetrack. My daughter is always propping the track up against different things around our house. So far, the fastest time is when its propped up against the couch. (above).

Definitely a cool toy and the balls make trading fun again!

Now you have a chance to win your very own DaGeDar Basic Ball Set PLUS a Vortex Spinner or a Flip Action Carrying Case!
(US Residents Only - Prizes awarded are chosen by Mom Select and DaGeDar)

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is let us know why you would like to win this great DaGeBar Set!  

** Limit one entry per person **

The giveaway runs from 8/12 thru 8/19.  

The winner will be emailed and had 48 hrs. to respond.  Please be sure that your email info. appears so that I can contact you.  

(I was provided with these products to review by by Mom Select and DaGeDar)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Charlie & Lola Slightly Invisible Giveaway!


Kelly Dollard posted: "My girls adore the "I Absolutely Must Do Coloring Now or Painting or Drawing" activity book. We have a few of the story books too... but this one is a perennial favorite."

Congratulations, Kelly! Watch your inbox for an email from me today. You have 48 hrs. to claim your prize. 

Lola is 4 going on 5. She has an imaginary friend named Soren Lorensen and also a real friend named Lotta. Charlie is 7 and has a real best friend named Marv. Their adventures show the relationship between a brother and sister and how they handle different situations that arise. The Blog is thrilled to be giving away a super Charlie & Lola Gift Set including all of these wonderful items:

Their latest book, Slightly Invisible.
Charlie and his friend Marv have invented an invisibility potion to help them find strange and tricky creatures. They would prefer to go on their hunt without Lola pestering them. But that doesn't sit well with Lola so she asks for help from her imaginary friend, Soren Lorensen. Together they set off to hunt for strange and tricky creatures, too. Looks like the creatures met their match when dealing with Charlie's little sister!  

Talking Poseable Charlie & Lola Set
The Talking Poseable Charlie & Lola Play Set is packaged in a reusable play scene and includes Charlie, standing 12 inches tall, and Lola, measuring 9.5 inches. Kids can bend the arms and legs into any pose for hours of fun. Each character speaks their signature opening line from the book, video and TV episode: "I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny," says Charlie. Responds Lola, "I'm not small. I am BIG!".

Charlie & Lola: The Absolutely Completely Complete Seasons One and Two
Now together in one super amazingly terrific box set, the absolutely completely completest collection of Charlie and Lola ever - the complete seasons one and two, fifty-two episodes plus the double-length Christmas special, on eight discs! 


So, What do you have to do to enter this giveaway? 
Simply do one (or more) of the following:

*~*~*~Mandatory First Entry*~*~*~

Tell us what your favorite Charlie and Lola book or TV show is and what makes it your favorite.

 For More Entries:

-- "Like" The Blog on Facebook  or if you already "like" us, let us know. 

-- Become a Follower of The Blog via Google Friends - if you're already a Follower, let us know.

-- "Like" CandleWick on Facebook

The Giveaway is open from 8/10 thru 8/19. 

The winner will be contacted by email so please make sure that your contact information shows in your entries. The winner will have 48 hrs. to reply. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Tbox - perfect for teens!

For teenage girls, that "time of the month" can create an awkward situation around friends. What young lady wants to rifle around in her purse looking for a tampon? Tbox is a fashionable box that fits into your purse, or better yet, hangs inside your school locker, giving you discreet and easy access to those little unmentionables.

The Tbox Tampon Holder holds up to 8 tampons and comes in fun girlie designs. For locker use, the suction cup sticks to the side of lockers, or remove the suction cup to carry in a backpack. No one has to see tweens/teens personal hygiene items ever again!

Get more information about how to buy the Tbox at

Friday, July 29, 2011

Egg Carton Ladybugs and Crabs!

There's a cute project on using cardboard egg cups, some black pom-poms and acrylic paint. One of our readers, Kaya Tran, wrote to us to share this adorable photo of their version using our directions. So cute, love the crab (lobster?)! Above is Kaya's photo, thanks for sending that in!

You can find the instructions for the original craft here --> Egg Carton Ladybugs

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We Have a Winner! - Halo Bars Giveaway

Congratulations to lfhpueblo with her post of "I'd like to win because I need more Omega 3's in my diet."

She is the winner of her very own box of Halo Bars

Please check your inbox for an email from The Blog!

In addition to this awesome giveaway,  PROBAR is offering a one time, 40% discount for all of our FamilyCorner: The Blog readers! Simply visit , place your order and enter BLOGGER upon checkout.

Summer Organizing with Post-It!

Stop procrastinating and start organizing with these great new products from Post-It!

Post-it® Pockets

Post-it® Pockets -Go Vertical!
Peel, Stick and Organize!

Use them inside cabinets, near
the calendar, on the door or file
cabinet to keep important
documents neat and easy to

Organize receipts, coupons,
bills and more

Suggested Retail Prices: $5.99 to $10.00

Post-it® Super Sticky
Personal Calendar

Highlight important dates and events

Available in Pink Stripe, Orange Chevron
and Green Brocade

Price Range: $6.00 -$7.00

Post-it® Flag+ Combination
Highlighter and Pen

Mark. Write. Flag. Find!

Chisel tip for medium and thick highlighting

Modern design with ergonomic comfort grip

Conveniently fits in backpacks, purses and
shirt pockets for messaging on the go

Pen available in black ink

Highlighter available in blue, yellow, pink,
green and orange with matching colored

Price Range: 2-pack for $5.99 and 3-pack
for $6.99

Post-it® Durable Tabs

Make it simple to index & file – easy to organize,
store and retrieve documents

Tough, long-lasting and stands up to repeated

Easy to write on with plenty of space for labeling

Repositionable and easy to apply

Price: $4.99

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Teach children to count money with a fun game the entire family can enjoy! 

Exact Change combines an excellent teaching lesson with fun, fast paced action that the entire family will love. The goal is to play all of your cards first. You can discard cards by matching the color of the last card played, by matching the currency value (play a penny on a penny), or by making EXACT CHANGE. Making exact change allows you to discard multiple cards that add up to the value of the last card played. If the last card played shows a quarter, you can make exact change by playing two dimes and a nickel…allowing you to discard three cards in one play!

FC's Reviewer, Tami, says: "Counting change is one of the skills that I insist both of my kids learn. I find it sad that many older teenagers and adults can't count back change from a dollar. I've been playing this game with my 8 yr. old and it makes learning how to count money really fun. My 13 yr. old even got in on the fun. This changes that "chore" of learning how to count change into a fun game!" 

If you're looking for games about money! Look no further! Exact Change is the best game on the market that teaches children to count money! Exact Change is a favorite of teachers!

Ages: 6+
Players: 2-6
Suggested Retail: $9.99

Monday, July 11, 2011

Enter to Win A Box of Halo Bars!

HALO, the delicious between meals treat that’s designed to do better for your body.

HALO is:

    * Sinfully Healthy Snack
    * Certified Organic
    * Only 150 Calories
    * Low in Sugar
    * Vegan and Dairy Free
    * All Natural
    * Good Source of Omega 3 & 6

HALO Bars are certified organic, a good source of Omega 3 & 6, low-in-sugar and dairy-free/Vegan, but break new ground with four decadent dessert-themed flavors:

Nutty Marshmallow
Rocky Road
Honey Graham.

In addition to this awesome giveaway,  PROBAR is offering a one time, 40% discount for all of our FamilyCorner: The Blog readers! Simply visit , place your order and enter BLOGGER upon checkout.

*Giveaway open to US & Canada members only*

To Enter this giveaway:

1. Your first entry should be to tell us why you would like to win a box a HALO bars.

For Extra Entries, you can:

2. "Like" Magazine on Facebook or if you already do, let us know

3. Follow FamilyCorner: The Blog on Google Friends or if you already do, let us know.

The deadline to sign up is Friday, July 22, 2011

The winner will be announced, Saturday, July 23, 2011, by email. Please make sure that we have your contact information. The winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.


CONGRATULATIONS: lfhpueblo with her post of  "I'd like to win because I need more Omega 3's in my diet."

Please check your inbox for an email from me, Tami .

Saturday, July 9, 2011

OUT OF AFRICA: Natural, Organic Shea Butter Soap

Let’s face it – kids are dirt magnets! They like to play outside, roll around in the dirt and then come into your nice, clean house and spread the “love!”

Rather than letting your kids drive you crazy with their dirty hands and faces, teach them how to clean themselves up at an early age. And what better way then with an all-natural, paraben-free, antioxidant-rich bar soap?

OUT OF AFRICA makes a gentle, creamy, and most importantly super moisturizing Organic Shea Butter Bar soap. While most bar soaps dry out kids’ skin, the Organic Shea Butter Soap thoroughly cleans the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Enriched with 20% pure and unrefined shea butter (most others contain 1 or 2%), the soap comes in a variety of kid-friendly flavors, like vanilla and milk. Also available in unscented, it’s ideal for dry, sensitive and irritated skin.

Suggested Retail Price: $3.50
**A portion of your purchase will be donated to educate children in West Africa.

~*~* Tami says: "This soap is wonderfully rich and creamy and it smells great, too! Works wonderfully to clean up dirty grubby hands, yet it's gentle enough to clean faces, too."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

FishEyes Rod & Reel with Underwater Video Camera

Nextsport has come up with a cool way to take the guesswork out of fishing. Picture this. You and your keep head out to the pier and drop your line in the water. Hours go by with no nibbles. The kids are whining, no one is catching anything, and the sun is beginning to beat down on you. You leave with an empty fish bucket and a headache. Sound familiar?

Enter FishEyes. At first I thought this was a fishing pole, but what it really is is an ingenious way to determine if the fish are around or not. if the fish aren't there, you can move to another spot and avoid a wasted morning with disappointed kids. Just drop the FishEyes line into the water. There's a camera on the end of the line and a viewing screen on the rod. You'll see a crystal clear picture of what swims below!

FishEyes is meant mostly for pier and boat fishing. You drop it in and the bait basket will attract the fish, letting you see what's swimming around. This tool works best when used in lakes, as rushing rivers will keep the camera moving around too much for a clear visual. FishEyes is not meant to be cast out, the camera is too heavy and will not allow for much distance.

This tool is also great fun around the swimming pool. Drop the camera in and watch your kids swim! Take it to the beach, lower the camera in the water and search for treasures such as shells and starfish.

FishEyes Features:
  • Underwater video camera transmits live footage to your LCD screen
  • Full-color, full motion LCD screen with removable sun shade
  • Allows you to catch the fish you see
  • Included bait basket attracts fish to the viewing area
  • Video camera with built in LED light for all underwater conditions

Technical Details:
  • Requires 4 AA batteries- not included or users ages 8 & up
  • Adult assembly required
  • Hooks and lures not included


"FishEyes rod and reel was great for keeping our kids entertained on our last fishing trip, it really is like a fishing video game"

"My kids spent hours playing with the FishEyes on our last camping trip to the lake; they were convinced they'd find the Lochness monster and hidden treasure underwater"

"My husband loved the FishEyes because it finally kept the kids occupied while he fished!"

"I cast it out until it was facing down river and monitored the LCD screen while my friends were casting their lines in front of it. We watched to see which lure colors were attracting the fish better. Worked great!"

Watch the video of this cool gadget:

Find out more information and how to purchase FishEyes on their website

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps: Teach this Easy Method in Just 5 minutes!

All kids want to recall their multiplication facts automatically. But if they can’t, Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps® is for them. If they can count, they can multiply - and get the right answer every time!

Touch ~ See ~ Understand

Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps® is perfect when you want to teach someone . . . quickly and easily, so they feel confident and proud.

If you’re like most people, when you read about something new, you become a skeptic. “Yeah, right . . . What’s the catch?” may enter your mind. But with Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps® there is no catch. The concept is so utterly simple it will be hard to believe there hasn’t been a book written on this method until now.

The Sticks and Steps® method eliminates frustration. No more multiplication charts! No more embarrassing tallies that get lost on the page! Here’s an inconspicuous way to get the answer fast. This hands-on multi-sensory approach helps information stick better, which leads the way to better understanding of math concepts.

Best of all, the Sticks and Steps® method is easy to learn, easy to teach, and so logical, it’s easy to remember. It requires no aids or expense, other than this reasonably priced instruction book.

If you’re a parent or teacher, you will be amazed at how quickly your child will catch on to the Sticks and Steps® concept. With your help, they will experience the joy of learning.

Suggested Retail Price: $14.95

Ages: 8+

~*~*Tami says: "My daughter is heading into 3rd grade next year so to give her a heads up on multiplying and dividing, we are using this book. The book is laid out in a simple way that's easy for children to understand. I would definitely recommend this book for parents or teachers who are teaching these areas of math."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Puppet Play

Have fun and go green with Diana Schoenbrun's Puppet Play: 20 Puppet Projects Made with Recycled Mittens, Towels, Socks, and More. A puppet builder, an illustrator, and an author, Schoenbrun presents 20 puppet projects made with recycled materials easily found around the house.
A lonely sock becomes a wizard puppet. A glove without a mate turns into five little pig puppets. And that tired dishtowel transforms into a lively banjo player puppet—all at very little cost. Diana Schoenbrun's easy-to-follow directions are accompanied by how-to illustrations. Also included are full-color photographs of puppets, as well as a chapter that guides children through creating and presenting their own puppet show. So, the next time the dryer eats a single sock, get crafty, go green, and go play with Puppet Play.

~*~*~ Tami says: "This is a great book to direct your kids' energy toward working on fun projects instead of being "plugged in" all summer in front of the TV or video games. Put on a puppet show, host a puppet birthday party, have fun at a many ways to use this book!"

Suggested Retail Price: $14.99 US, $16.00 Canada

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brainetics - A Breakthrough Math & Memory System

Brainetics, an innovative system that is making learning exciting again. Through fun games and entertaining tricks, Brainetics is teaching kids how to master the priceless skills of focus, following directions, problem solving, organizational skills and memory improvement.

Its not just kids who are utilizing the program. In fact over 35 percent of users are adults and seniors. Parents are using the program to get an edge at the workplace and Seniors are using it to stave off mental aging. Brainetics is a high-energy program that challenges a person - at his / her own pace - with fun mental tasks that help one concentrate, focus, and build mental processing at the same time.

The creator of Brainetics, Mike Byster - once named the fastest mathematical brain in the world - has figured out how to teach kids the skills to increase their mathematical, memory, problem solving and mental organization capacity beyond what they, or their teachers thought was possible.

Brainetics teaches your brain to behave like a computer. It will receive information, store it and memorize all the relevant information while ignoring the unecessary information.

There are three powerful reasons why Brainetics work so well:

1. Brainetics teaches how to MASTER all the vitally important learning SKILLS (focus, concentration, problem solving, thinking outside the box, organizational, increased mental capacity and memory) that are rarely taught in schools and people lack throughout their lives.

2. Brainetics trains two different parts of the mind to work simultaneously yet independently of each other. One part memorizes information while another part is sorting and processing new information. The mind will begin to work much more efficiently and be more powerful giving Brainetics kids a huge advantage throughout their academic lives and beyond.

 3. Brainetics is incredibly fun. Brainetics will never seem like a chore and everything is very fun and cool to learn for all ages and ability levels. Brainetics can either be learned alone, or entire families can learn together.

The Brainetics kit includes:

5 educational DVD's that guide your student through a process of interesting and motivating lessons:
DVD 1 Focuses on following directions, concentrating and detecting patterns in numbers
DVD 2 Helps students overcome math anxiety through fun tricks and games
DVD 3 Introduces math shortcuts enabling kids to do complex math in their mind
DVD 4 Develops mental multi-tasking to help solve any math problem
DVD 5 Applies Brainetics skills to improve mental capacity and memory recall.  

Brainetics also comes with a Parent's manual for added lessons and tips for success, a Playbook to with practices and exercises, plus Flash Cards and Playing Cards for extra enjoyment!

For more information and to watch a video on it, visit their website,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Delicious, Certified Organic Halo Bars

What if there was a snack that could satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth that had zero grams of guilt?

HALO, the delicious between meals treat that’s designed to do better for your body.

HALO Bars are certified organic, a good source of Omega 3 & 6, low-in-sugar and dairy-free/Vegan, but break new ground with four decadent dessert-themed flavors:

Nutty Marshmallow
Rocky Road
Honey Graham.

 HALO is:

    * Sinfully Healthy Snack
    * Certified Organic
    * Only 150 Calories
    * Low in Sugar
    * Vegan and Dairy Free
    * All Natural
    * Good Source of Omega 3 & 6

Look for HALO bars in REI as well as your local natural food, grocery and outdoor shops. Learn more at their website,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sceptre 19-inch LED HDTV DVD Combo

About this great TV: 

Sleek widescreen LED HDTVs feature built-in DVD players and clutter-free design

Widescreen LED display features ultra-fast 5 ms response time and auto contrast enhancement

DVD player integrated into the unit's ultra-slim design

Dual HDMI ports and a USB port further expands functionality

Energy Star 3.0 complied saves power

Black finish with striking chrome accents

Available at: Target, NewEgg, Sears and Costco

Suggested Retail Price: $269.00

From Our Reviewer: 

Jodi says: "What a space saver! (ultra-slim for sure) Great design with awesome picture clarity. The size is perfect, and can fit just about anywhere! No need for a wall unit, since the DVD player is encased in the unit. This would be great in a kitchen, family room, kids room, or a garage (yes my spouse has a tv mounted in the garage.). Any place you want or need a TV, this is an ideal choice. The 24' comes in chrome, black, red, white, pink, or blue and you can match it any d├ęcor is just awesome!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nightwave Sleep Assistant

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

We all know that getting a good night's sleep improves our overall health, and parents need that more than anyone! After a busy day, when you lay down and your mind is racing, how can you fall asleep quickly to make the most of the precious few hours you¹re given?

Solve your sleep problems – naturally.

    * Quiet your mind
    * Relax your body
    * Wake up refreshed

NightWave Sleep Assistant eliminates tossing and turning and helps you fall asleep naturally. You get the rest you need to feel great in the morning for the rest of your life.

NightWave Sleep Assistant helps people who suffer from sleep loss due to:

    * Over-stimulation from an active mind
    * Environmental and lifestyle stresses
    * Jet lag and unfamiliar sleep surroundings

NightWave focuses your mind and regulates your breathing to elicit a natural relaxation response in the body and help you fall asleep. A small device for your nightstand, it uses a soft blue light to silently guide your breathing and focus your mind. Users lie with their eyes open and synchronize their breathing with the rise and fall of the soft light as its movement becomes slower and slower. After a shore time, NightWave shuts off and you fall asleep. Unlike sound machines,the soft light does not disturb others.

With NightWave, adults and children alike begin to relax within minutes and then easily drift into sleep. NightWave is also great for returning to sleep in the middle of the night. NightWave is battery operated and includes a 9V battery.

For more information visit their website.

Suggested Retail Price: $49.95


Tami says: "I used this product for several days before reviewing it. I must admit that I was skeptical going in but after using it, I can say that it really does work. It took me a couple of days to get the concentration and relaxation parts right; but, once I figured it out, the NightWave was easy to use. Its small size allows for easy packing to take with you on trips, too."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Glow Crazy Distance Doodler

What kid doesn’t love glow in the dark toys and coloring?  Now add that to being able to color on the walls without mom freaking out and you’ve got Glow Crazy.

Glow Crazy uses a light wand that beams light from up to ten feet away to make its mark on the reusable canvas decal provided. No mess! (The canvas decals stick on the walls, ceiling and windows but do no damage. They stay stuck for the most part and peel off with no trouble…So if you’re worried about your little one staying up all night playing just take the canvas off the wall!)

Kids & Moms love:

You can draw free hand or use stencils.
A new creative way of showing off artistic abilities.
Beats the heck out of shadow puppets!

What’s In the Box?

Dual Action Magic Light Wand
2 Large Reusable Wall Canvas Clings
4 Stencils
Tip booklet


Tami says: "This is a toy that will keep the kids busy for a while! You can lay the clings on the floor or on a table or stick them on the wall (love the fact that you can remove the clings and there's no residue left behind!) and then turn out the lights and let the fun begin! There are endless games and activities to do with the magic light wand....from tic tac toe, to writing a story, to drawing wild pictures. To use the stencils, all you need to do is shine the wand on the stencils and voila! the picture will appear. That's not can "erase" your pictures with the want or just wait for them to fade away. Great fun to hang near your child's bed or on the ceiling for nighttime activities. Would be great to keep the kids entertained at sleep overs, too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zazoo Photo Clock

The Zazoo Photo Clock is the contemporary multi-functional answer for your early riser.  For young children who wake too early or do not stay in bed all night, this is the solution for you. Parents get more sleep!  Kids get more sleep!

The Zazoo photo clock is easy to read. When the photo alarm "goes off" the image changes. The digital time is also displayed on the face of the photo clock. Your child will quickly be able to associate the image changing to the time displayed. The clock comes with two pre-programmed image sets of "awake" and "asleep" photo options that help your child know when it is the appropriate time to stay in bed or get up and start the day. The photo alarm has two settings so the photo alarms can be easily set for a nap-time setting and a night-time setting.

You can easily personalize the awake and asleep images so your own child is the star. Just upload your personal pictures and then select.  It is simple. Kids will love to see themselves in pictures on their photo clock.

The clock grows with your child providing a cool, modern accessory for older kids too!  They love the rotating photo frame and music player.

Do you kids love to see pictures of friends and family?  Just upload photos and set to rotate. The Zazoo photo clock frame is a kid-friendly design with an easy to view screen.  Kids will love to see themselves in pictures.  Upload and view your favorite photographs of family and friends. A supplied remote control lets you navigate the photos from the comfort of your chair or bed.

Listen to music and audio books on your Zazoo photo clock. Using the included mini USB you can download your favorite songs to the memory of the photo clock or use the SD/MMC/MS or xD card slots to listen to your favorite tunes, listen to an audio book or watch a video.  Download your selected file to a memory source and play on the photo clock.  The card slots are located on the side of the frame.

The colorful, fun frames look great in children's bedrooms. There are 5 styles available - white, pink stars, numbers, pink peace, blue peace.

For more information and to watch a video of how the clock works, visit Zazoo

~*~* Tami says: We have used this clock for a couple of weeks now and I'm still amazed at what this little machine can do. It's so much more than just an alarm clock! My daughter loves the "cool" factor of this clock. She  can easily upload pictures onto her clock using the USB cable that is supplied with it. Playing music on it is simple, too. You can plug a thumb drive right into the side of the clock or you can upload music from your computer. The remote is laid out in an easy pattern so that children won't have a problem using it. We love this clock because it's a "grow-with-me" product that can be used for years.