Thursday, May 20, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Giggle, Giggle, Quack ... and More Stories By Doreen Cronin on DVD

One of my kids' all-time favorite books is now on DVD - with a bunch of other fun stories!  It's Giggle, Giggle, Quack ... and More Stories By Doreen Cronin on DVD. 

I love love films for kids that aren't all loud  bells, whistles, violence and puppy love, but age-appropriate narrated stories, more akin to a book on (video) tape than a movie. Which is why I'm a huge fan of Scholastic Storybook Treasures adaptations of children's book to film. These DVDs support reading comprehension, vocabulary and problem solving.  I always turn on the read-along function on these DVDs so the kids can follow along with the words as the stories unfold.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack ... and More Stories features more than an hour of animated storytelling by celeb voices like Abigail Breslin (Olive) and Randy Travis. Kids aged 3 - 8 are the target age.

Official DVD synopsis:
The title story is the hilarious sequel to “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type”. This time, Farmer Brown’s animals pull their old tricks on Farmer Brown’s brother, Bob. Duck instigates the action, ordering pizza with anchovies for the hens and renting “The Sound of Moosic” for the cows.

Also included are four additional stories, animated from the original storybook illustrations of Betsy Lewin and Harry Bliss: “Dooby Dooby Moo”, “Duck for President” and the best-selling “Diary of a Worm” and “Diary of a Fly.” As an exclusive bonus, the DVD also includes an interview with illustrator Harry Bliss and Spanish versions of “Giggle, Giggle, Quack” and “Duck for President.”
So if you think every pig deserves a bubble bath, and every cow deserves a good long cry at the end of "The Sound of Moosic", well, this is the DVD for you. I mean your kids.

Leave a comment before May 31 and you'll be entered to win your own copy!  

The good people of Scholastic Storybook Treasures sent my children their own copy to review.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wedding Season Approaches

For those of you on the wedding, groomsman and bridesmaid (or like me, the bridesmatron *shudder*) circuit, I give you this deleted scene from I Love You Man (via Love Life Images): 

Here's to jumping the air while wearing a strapless bra and a bright turquoise prom dress!

(And my apologies to my girls for making them wear those silver sheaths in 2002.  I know you never wore them again.) 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The View Alert March 12 - 19

The View Alert

• Friday, March 12 - Kate Gosselin is back with her extensions and will join the girls as guest co-host.

• Monday, March 15 - Jessica Simpson and all of her oft-lauded body parts.
• Tuesday, March 16 - Marisa Tomei teaches the girls the pole and lap dance techniques she intensely studied for The Wrestler.
• Wednesday, March 17 - Kate minus 9 again...but Dr. Drew's coming on with his patented subtle snark that the gals won't catch.
• Thursday, March 18 - It's all about Joy!  She gets to do stand up and not get interrupted...kind of like her other show. 
•  Friday, March 19 -Olympic gold medalist and Dancing with the Stars contestant Evan Lysacek visits.  Kristi Yamaguchi stops by too, looking even cuter than she did 20 years ago. Bitch.

Next week explores a slew of different chick looks.  Find which one works for you, take notes and work it! 

  • Friday -  MILF gone wild...aka Kate trying to snag a date on network television.  Don't get me wrong, she's cute.  But she also has EIGHT KIDS. 
  • Monday - Bombshell on the Verge.  Cleavage, cleavage, everywhere.  Bring popcorn.
  • Tuesday - Please Call Me the Next, More Italian Susan Sarandon - Cheekbones and charm.  
  • Wednesday -See Friday.
  • Thursday -The Gal With A Great Personality. (And two shows, a honor held by goldmines Ellen and Kelly Ripa, so no bagging from me.)
  • Next Friday -Hotties On Ice.

I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review. I'm hoping for a boob shirt.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The View This Week - March 1-5

The View Alert for This Week

• Tuesday - Edward Cullen, I mean, Robert Pattinson
• Wednesday - Lisa Kudrow will try and teach the ladies comedic timing
• Thursday - Incredible shrinking woman and target of my 4th grade Eddie Van Halen crush jealousy Valerie Bertinelli and the cute girl who plays Alice in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
• Friday - Oscar squeeeees with Don Cheadle and Wesley Snipes and Oscar predictions (by entertainment journalists)

Things to look for when you watch: 

  • Tuesday - Cougarful fawning
  • Wednesday - Rapt attention and note-taking (I'm hoping); references to Elisabeth and Lisa's shared blonde-ness (I'm dreading) 
  • Thursday - Snarky references to alumn Star Jones own methods of weight loss?
  • Friday - Wonder if Whoopi will bring her Oscar?  That would be cool.
I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review. I'm hoping for a boob shirt.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Love The View and I'm Proud

OK, OK, SNL is great but I love The View, the real deal, even more.  Of course, I dressed as Barbara Walters for Fourth Grade Career Day in 1984, borrowing my mom's big career woman bow-tie blouse and begging my grandma to style my stick-straight hair in hot rollers for that on-air coif.  I started watching The View in 1997 as a college senior, the very first season when Debbie Matenopoulos was the twenty-something voice of America.  No thanks to working office jobs, I had to take frequent View hiatuses from 1997-2004, checking in only via Talk Soup and those rare sick days when I Barb and the girls comforted me as I moaned from the coach.

But one of the perks from dropping out of corporate America to raise my kids (Elisabeth would be so proud) is that I have been able to be a semi-regular View-er since Charlie was born.   And when we sprung for DVR  in 2005, whoa-ho, I got to jump on the regular-viewing View bus (just like Whoopi!) again and girlfriend, I've never gotten off.

Are you a big fan of The View too?  Then you've got to enter The View sweepstakes for moms. One lucky winner will be randomly selected to receive a trip to NYC (without the kids, natch) to watch a live taping of The View, squee!!! The sweepstakes is open until February 28th.  Enter here! 

And guess who's coming on the show tomorrow people?


(Go ahead, run to your DVR remotes.  I'll still be here.)

Oh yes, tomorrow 2/23 the controversial cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore will be joining the Women of The View LIVE.  No MTV editing. (I'm sure the 5 second delay will be in full effect.)  Can you IMAGINE the guys dancing with Sherri? Freaking on Joy?  Styling Barbara with a Snooki-style Bumpit?

You know who else is going to be on The View this week? OCTO-MOM, Danielle Steele, local Montgomery County, Maryland-girl Guiliana of E! and husband reality TV dude from Donald Trump's show, and then for a Friday grand finale, Regis and wife Joy are going to perform a song from their new album.

Seriously.  You don't have to wait until late on Saturday night for great TV.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Original Art Sale on Jasmere Tomorrow

Although I'd love to be able to display original pieces of art in my home, usually the artists' works I love are so expensive I end up framing the creations of my children instead.  (Seriously avant garde, I know.) And besides, I need plenty of wall space to display photographs of my beautiful children - our family's best works of art, right?
Well get this -, my favorite discount daily deal shopping site and a local business run by parents in Silver Spring  - will be featuring professionally-commissioned art by amazing artist Lisa Golightly of Kiki & Polly
on extreme discount. 
This means that you'll be able to commission a professional piece of art painted from a photograph of your kids for 70% least!  

All those photos pictured above?  They were paintings of real childen that Lisa painted for their parents.  And when you hang that original piece in your home, you'll be displaying an art investment piece and portrait of your kid.  

I think this is the ultimate gift to a parent or a highly personal design item for a home.  

Just sign up at to receive their daily deal alerts (by the way, today's is REUSE denim jeans and jean skirts for $42 or less and this high-fashion, eco-friendly denim is butter soft and usually costs $100 or mor.)  The Kiki & Polly artwork sale is tomorrow, Wednesday February 17.  Don't miss it! 

And check out more incredile art at Kiki & Polly to see examples of what you could have commissioned for your home. 

I was not compensated in any way for this post. 

LunchSkins - Eco-Friendly Design for Lunch Time!

I don't even want to KNOW how many plastic sandwich baggies I've used over the years packing lunches for myself and now, my two kids.  What a waste.

But there's a solution  - and they're so freaking cute:  LunchSkins. 

Three local green moms, co-founders Kirsten Quigley and Cristina (Cris) Bourelly and creative director Jennie Stoller Barakat, developed these reusuable lunch bags for sandwiches, snacks and more.  These eco-mamas were inspired by the fact that every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches go into landfills in the US. And their products are making an important environmental impact - in just this first year since they launched, LunchSkins customers have saved more than 12 million plastic baggies from landfills.

If you'd like to help this mission - as well as save in the long run on the purchase of those blasted sandwich bags - you can shop for snack, sandwich and sub bags here.

Kirsten and Cristina sent my kids and I two sandwich bags and a snack bags to test out, and they're durable, easy to clean and very well made.  And they're so cute, there's no way my kids will be throwing them out.  My son Charlie says that his shark-patterned sandwich bag is the hit of the kindergarten lunch table.  Not only eco-savvy, LunchSkins also have the bento-box-effect, in that my kids are more likely to eat healthy things when cutely packaged. I have since shopped for a few more and we're total LunchSkin converts.

Highly recommend!  You can pick up some for your kids in their favorite colors and patterns here.

I was sent 3 LunchSkins for my children to use...and then I promptly bought 3 more! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

REDOING THIS GIVEAWAY: Three Pairs of The Princess & The Frog Slippers (Size Big Kid - Adult)

UPDATE: The winners are Julie, Meg and Sharon!

I am ticked that I have to do this, but I have to re-do this giveaway.  Here's why.

I used to have all my comments for A Parent in Silver Spring and A Parent in Silver Spring Reviews handled by Haloscan.  When I would log onto to Haloscan, I would have access to the email addresses of commenters and comment entries for giveaways.  This software was free, all I had to allow was one ad at the bottom of my first post.

I initially installed Haloscan because Blogger does not do trackbacks and would only allow comments from those logged into Blogger, and I wanted to be able to both send and monitor trackbacks and allow comments from everyone.  And keep my cheapskate booty on lovely, free, SEO-friendly Blogger.   Over time I came to really appreciate Haloscan's commenting system over the commenting system provided on Blogger and was very glad I had installed.

This week I logged on to Haloscan to access the email addresses of commenters and draw winners' names for giveaways.  Upon arriving at Haloscan I was informed that JS-Kit had acquired Haloscan, and I could either download all comments, or pay $9.95 for all my data to be converted to Echo and receive uninterrupted service.  

JS-Kit and Echo have received favorable coverage in the media and I knew that companies like Discovery were using this commenting software.  I wasn't aware that JS-Kit had acquired Haloscan, but then keeping up with tech news isn't my top priority.  I quickly caught up on Tech Crunch and then blithely plopped down my credit card info, logged onto Echo and went to my new Dashboard to access your comments and email addresses.

My websites' data wasn't there.  And my data still is not there.  Over one week later.  I should have downloaded the data.  But I didn't. I took them at their word that my service would be uninterrupted.  They did not say the data would be lost or delayed. 

I cannot get a response from Support, Customer Service, have not had any of public forum questions answered.  From the Twitter searches I've done, I'm not the only one that is disappointed.

I do not know if I upgrade to either the White Label or Echo Pro (which does not publish prices...hmmm, I bet the sales team would get back to me!) if I will have access to them.  Or if I will receive a response and better customer service.

Maybe it's just taking JS-Kit awhile to convert all the Haloscan info over.   But I did not receive an email from Haloscan or JS-Kit alerting me to the change over until after I had already paid for the conversion.  I didn't even get an emailed receipt for my purchase.   I haven't received an email letting me know about any timeline of service.

However, I was led to believe that by paying for the formerly free service, that all would carry on as before...and better.  And it has not. In their sole email to me, JS-Kit wrote:

While Haloscan has a been a trusted friend for many, the reality is that the servers and the software are beginning to fail and our small startup is unable to continue to support two platforms. We recognize that change is always difficult and daunting, however we hope that the new features, great support and constant innovation on the Echo platform will offset the challenges of any switch.

I hate going ranty.  It's just so bloggy.  I'm a freelance writer...right?

Well, today I am very bloggy ranty low-techy ignoranty.  Pretty soon I'll start talking about health care reform.

But it's all to explain to you why you'll have to send an email to with Slippers in the title and your mailing address in the body of the mail to receive the free Princess and the Frog slippers before Christmas. In my mommybloggy giveaway.  

Now I'm off to go find some Precious Moments clip art to paste in my margins and a plug-in that will play Taylor Swift when you arrive at my page!



Here I am modeling the slippers.  They are almost too small on my big flippers.

Courtesy of the Disney folks that are bringing us the fabulous The Princess and the Frog film this winter (we LOVED it), I have three pairs of exclusive frog slippers for giveaway.

These will fit kids age 9 and up through adult to size 8 (they are stretchy and conforming, but can have room at the toes for a more pronounced froggy flop.)  Leave a comment for a chance to win your own to keep or give as a gift this holiday season to your fave princess. 

If you give a pair to a girl you love, maybe she'll smile just as widely as Eve here:

Eve in front of the Princess Tiana display at Carols Daughter 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie Extended Edition and Wishing Stone

The winners have been emailed and sent the movies - I have the list of drawn winners somewhere and will update here once I find it!  

I'm giving away 10 copies of Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie extended edition with movie-tie-in jewelry included (a mood ring-like wishing stone with clip for backpacks and such.)

Here's the official DVD synopsis:

Wizards Of Waverly Place The Movie Extended Edition features exclusive footage, behind-the-scenes bonus and awesome extras that take you deeper into the mysterious world of wizardry! Embark on a supernaturally exciting adventure as the Russos, your favorite family of wizards-in-training, join together on a quest full of heart-stopping action and hilarious magical mishaps! While on vacation, Alex (Selena Gomez) accidentally casts a spell that threatens her family’s existence! Max (Jake T. Austin) tries to keep his parents together while Alex and Justin (David Henrie) use every trick they know as they search for the “Stone of Dreams” to reverse the spell and save their family.

Anywhoo,  if you'd like to win this DVD gift set, you must live in the United States and email me at with Wizards in the title and your address in the body of the email. The winner will be randomly drawn on Monday morning and then sent by me Priority Mail on Monday or whenever mail in the DC area resumes.

Yes, I'll only mail and yes, I'll be shoveling my driveway and taking my desert booty (um, it's 80 degrees in my hometown right now) to the P.O. on Monday morning.   Which means that yes, you'll probably receive before Christmas but don't burn me in effigy if you receive on the 26th.

GIVEAWAY: G-Force DVD BluRay Triple Set

The winners have been emailed and sent the movies - I have the list of drawn winners somewhere and will update here once I find it!  
I have 9 copies of G-Force (a triple Blu-Ray, DVD & digital copy set) for giveaway...who wants one?

G-FORCE is a rated PG children's film about special agent spies...that are guinea pigs. It's also a Jerry Bruckheimer live-action/animation hybrid in 3-D with ground-breaking special effects. Voiced by Sam Rockwell, Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Jon Favreau and Steve Buscemi, its got comedy as well as action. The concept sounds crazy, but what's really nuts is how much my kids (and some of yours too that we saw at the APISS free screening) love this movie.

Hey, remember the hamster dance?  ZhuZhu pets, gerbils as life metaphors/blog mascots...what is it about domesticated rodents these days?

Anywhoo,  if you'd like to win this DVD set, you must live in the United States and email me at with G-Force in the title and your address in the body of the email. The winner will be randomly drawn on Monday morning and then sent by me Priority Mail on Monday or whenever mail in the DC area resumes.

Yup, you'll probably receive before Santa takes off.  And yup, that's the only way you're gonna get it.  No way will I meet you in a dark alley to give it to you, sorry!

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