Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Webkinz Jr Party (Webkinz for 3-6 Year Olds)

My family has been playing Webkinz for three years. We love it, but my daughter who wants of course to be like everyone else, would need someone to sit with her while she played.  This would be fine but in an already busy day this can be difficult.  

When Mom Select was looking for hostess for an In-Home Party starring WEBKINZ Jr., I was psyched. 

What is WEBKINZ? 
Well, WEBKINZ is an online world where children and many adults I know, are able to bring to life a humongous variety of stuffed animals that you can buy from pretty much any retail store that sells toys. It is awesome!  Each pet comes with their own unique code (adoption code) that you enter into the Webkinz adoption center and suddenly your pet is on the screen. There is so much to do there and....if you have a friend who has a Webkinz home, you can visit each other, send notes and gifts, play against each other in a very safe environment.

WEBKINZ Jr. is the sister to the well established WEBKINZ world and was created for ages 3-6.This is the ultimate online game for the youngest of players.

What I personally love the most about WEBKINZ JR. is that while I cook dinner, clean, do laundry or my own blog, the site is so easy to navigate that Goddess can do so without much assistance. I am there to monitor (all parents SHOULD BE monitoring their child at the computer until they are at least, 17). Goddess does not know how to read yet. She can figure out help, play and go on most games but usually gets stuck. Since there is no reading required to play WEBKINZ Jr., most 3-6 year olds can play easily.

The parent can register in 7 easy steps! You can even set your child's skill level.
Your child will love it! They get to actually take care of their pet. Give him a nap, feed him, do some gardening, play with him and then head out to the neighborhood and head over to the school, the playground, or 5 other locations. Many of the games teach preschool- and kindergarten-relevant skills like shapes, letters, and numbers, as well as emotional awareness, map knowledge, and matching skills.

Picture 171
When Mom Select throws an In-Home Party, they really do it up! The package I received was to die for and they leave nothing out from the pets to give to 10 kids, craft suggestions and the materials, menu suggestions and activities. This is the third Mom Select party we have had and everyone is always amazed at the material provided. It is a hostess dream. Ok, sorry, I digress...where was I?

We invited 8 friends by Facebook invitation. The RSVP's came in right away. Who doesn't want a stuffed animal?

On the day of the party, my niece set up some shots of the goods while I took care of the snacks and game prep.

We made Chillin' Pet Punch (Frozen Cherry Juice, Ginger Al and Pineapple slices).
and Sweet Pet Parfaits (Yogurt, strawberries, pineapple and Graham Crackers layered in a clear drinking glass).

Picture 169

The morning of the party, 2 kids were sick and another had an out-of-state family emergency. Thankfully, 3 kids showed up which was 5 including my two. They hear party, and my kids want people over! I would have had to invited the retired neighbors over if no one had showed up.

We played a quick game of "meet your pet."  Which basically means all the kids got to rummage in the bags to find the pet they wanted.
Picture 173

Goddess and Mitch picked the brown dog, Handsome the gray cat, and Blondie the Pink Elephant.

We recited the Webkinz pledge (provided in my hostess material):

I'll make sure my pet is happy (hold pet into the air)
And With it I will Play (toss pet in the air and catch)
I will learn, have fun and care for it (hug your pet close)
Each and Every Day! (jump up with pet)

Then we watched the DVD provided which gave us parents and the kiddies an overview of the WEBKINZ Jr world.

You can see Mitch and Goddess were very interested.

Then the kids, ran around for an hour while their pets sat watching. Mitch had just come back from the shore and brought his hermit crabs which all the kids, gathered around for another 15 minutes while working on the puppet craft


Although I was unable to use video this time, one mom preferred her child not be on the website my kids will be happy to talk about their WEBKINZ Jr Pets anytime. So, as soon as I can get the video up onto You Tube which was giving me trouble for the past 3 days, I will.

Here are the kids with their puppets.

This was one of the funniest parties ever and my house is soon becoming the house kids want to come to. They always ask what I am reviewing this week.  As you can imagine we had company the next week for 2 days as the guests who were finally around came to collect their pets. Except for Soprano who we went to visit after her dog had puppies. We brought hers to her. Just look at that smile!


Thanks to WEBKINZ Jr, and Mom Select for allowing me to host a super fun, party. I hear that all the kids love their WEBKINZ Jr Pets and take them everywhere.

Look for a Webkinz Jr., giveaway very soon!

Taking Pen To Paper Challenge Week Three

Photo Cards
Well, we are in week three of the Pen To Paper Challenge as a Pearista (a group of bloggers sponsored by Pear Tree Greetings that value the power of connecting through stationery.

This letter was sent to Kathy who won the Surprise DVD (Phantom of the Opera) I gave away on my Birthday.

Picture 207Picture 208

I really do love giving someone a note. It makes me feel good just knowing that someone is going to open something that is not a bill!

Kathy received her DVD and wrote me this note:

Hi Maria,
My dvd came today thank you sooooooo much and thank you for the pay it forward note card what a sweet idea :)

So, with one more week to go, I am going to write a letter to my girlfriend Peggy and finally get it out. She and I haven't spoken in over a year (she prefers letters, I prefer phone calls). She will love that I am sending a letter to her.

The Happiness Project - What Makes You Happy?


Happiness is = Watching my children hold a puppy for the very first time thanks to Lauri's dog "Bella, Bella" giving birth to 6 on Saturday night.

Don't get any ideas...we are not taking one. We are not ready for a dog. Annnnddd....when we finally do, do it. We are going to pick one out as a family. The parents of these pups are tiny little yappy dogs, we are looking for bigger for our next one. I had a dog for 12 years and a cat for 16 before the kids. That dog weighed 4.5 pounds. We definitely want bigger next time.  Buuuuttt they are cute.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Stonyfield - Hosting A Sweepstakes A Day = Win Free Yogurt for a Year!

It's easy:

Just sign up and vote to win free yogurt for a year.
You can vote in the Stonyfield Cup once each dayLike their Facebook page for more information.

Avocados are Not Just For Guacamole'

I am from NY. We do a lot of pizza here. In fact, Pizza is always our Friday meal. Soooo.....recently I decided to try something different. Avocado on pizza. I love it on sandwiches, burgers and in salads so why not try it on our favorite meal?

Here are pictures of my Breakfast Pizza starring the Mr. Avocado!

We scrambled 6 eggs, add salt, pepper, oregano, basil
Then put the scrambled eggs on pizza crust (usually home made, this time, ready made)
A thin layer of shredded mozzarella
Then we cut red onion very finely and place that on top.
Bake for 8 minutes at 350
Take out and place, big pieces of sliced avocado.

The hardest part of this dish is making sure the slivers of avocados make it to the pizza! I love fresh avocado.

We loved it because of the crispness of the crust and the creaminess of the egg and avocado. It is yummy!

We recently found out that the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA) is launching the "Big Hit" contest. The Avocado League recipe with the most votes during the "Big Hit" contest will win the title of Avocado League MVP and the grand slam prize ­ a $5,000 grocery gift card! Second and third place winners will receive a $2,500 and $1,500 grocery gift card, respectively. Each of the top three winners will also receive a year's supply of avocados! The five Avocado League runner-ups will each receive $100 grocery gift cards.

So, what do you think? Should I bother entering?

BTW..anyone can submit their avocado recipe and YOU just may be featured as an "all-star" recipe.

If you decided to enter. Let me know so I can vote for you.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Family Friendly Movie - Marmaduke - A Review

Friday, I mentioned I had received Marmaduke from 20th Century Fox.  Yesterday morning, I sat down to watch with the family from Fox Entertainment.

LOS ANGELES, CA. (August 3, 2010) – Leaping out of the doghouse and onto the big screen, the hilarious hijinks of the good-natured Great Dane Marmaduke barks its way onto Blu-Ray Disc/DVD Combo Pack and as a DVD Single Disc August 31 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. An all-star cast of voice talents, including Owen Wilson (Marley & Me), George Lopez ("The George Lopez Show"), Keifer Sutherland ("24"), and Fergie (The Black Eyed Peas) lend their voices to the dog-out-of-water tale about what happens when the lovable oversized pooch is unleashed in an idyllic seaside town.

When Marmaduke (Wilson) moves to a new neighborhood with his family, the super-sized teenage dog soon discovers he just doesn’t fit in—literally! Marmaduke can’t help being a one-dog wrecking crew, causing fur-flying chaos wherever he roams. But, with the help of his friend, Carlos the Cat (Lopez), Marmaduke may just get out of the doghouse, fall in love, and surf off into the sunset.

Just in time for some end of summer fun, Marmaduke Blu-Ray Combo Pack (a two-disc set of Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film) comes packed with laugh-out-loud special features including more surf dog fun in Cowabarka!, canine casting, the Marmaduke Mahem gag reel, deleted scenes, and more, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 U.S./$49.99 Canada. The Marmaduke standard DVD, including deleted scenes and featurettes, will be available for $29.98 U.S./$43.48 Canada. 

 For the trailer go here, I was unable to find one for download.

What I Can Tell You:
The Movie was great! Marmaduke has something for everyone. If a movie can make my kids laugh, I am very happy. They loved anytime Marmaduke knocked someone down or dragged someone around. Goddess asked a million times how the make the dogs talk and Handsome cracked up more than 10 times.

There was nothing I felt was inappropriate or that I had to explain to my kids which is something I look for in every movie.  There was a lot of jokes about passing gas but that is what kids find funny! I rather that than curses, or sexual behavior in my kids movies. No one ever got detention for farting!

The movie was like a typical high school environment, the jocks, the geeks, the cheerleaders, drama geeks, and the bullys.  Really cute life lessons with the use of animals.

The movie was adorable and I was surprised after reading some online reviews. The movie is different than the comic strip but that is fine because the kids who will be watching will not miss a thing. This is just a fun movie, which is what it was intended to be and what parents look for when taking their kids to the movies.  Something your kid will sit through, make them laugh and you can enjoy too! Marmaduke totally does that.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary DVD copy of this movie from Fox Home Entertainment.

Mellow Yellow Monday - Feeding the Parakeets


Feeding the parakeets really is one of our favorite parts of the zoo! This little yellow sweetie was one hungry bird.



Blue Monday - Parakeet Feeding

Blue Monday
At the zoo the other day, we feed some of the parakeets. Here is Handsome being so patient and still as a bird eats off a stick with bird seed.



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Round Robin Photo Challenge - Feelings!

More Feelings

Not the best pictures but....these totally say happiness to me. They were on apposing sides of a see-saw.

Sad - This was not the animal he wanted on the Merry-go-round but he refused to wait for the next ride so this is the face he wore in all photos.

Tired - Goddess was having a blast and sat down feeling too hot to play for all of 20 seconds.

And my favorite for this meme, Goddess being SILLY!


Shadow Shot Sunday - Ginormus Flower

At the zoo the other day I took this picture of Handsome with the idea of using it for Shadow Shot Sunday! I love these big flowers.


Self Portrait Sunday - August 29, 2010 - In The Nude

Oh, my poor little meme has never quite caught on. So sad. Funny, people just don't like taking pictures of themselves but when we are old and gray and have a lot of people pictures of obscure things what then. I much prefer to think I am going to live into my Golden Years and will cherish all photos of me looking younger and full of life's promise!

Once in a while you need to put down the photo editing tools and make-up and show the world the real you! So, here I am showing the world the real me. Yup, this is pretty much the "real" me tongue and all.

Picture 198

Scrubbing Bubbles Will Clean Your Toilet For You - Review & Giveaway

Seriously, does it get any better than this?

Thanks to Family Review Network, I participated in a review for Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

The Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner provides a 360-degree clean, three times a day (no action by you required) by automatically spraying a powerful cleaner inside the toilet bowl, tackling unsightly toilet rings, lime scale and hard water marks. All you have to do is clip it onto the toilet rim.

For best results, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Start with a clean toilet. Clip the Action Sprayer over toilet rim; ensuring the clip is sitting flat on the rim and faces into the bowl, not at an angle. Push the bottle down into the device. A green blinking light means the unit is ready.

Step 2: Hang the device on the side of your toilet tank or place it on the floor.

Step 3: Activate the device by pressing the gray button—then wait five seconds for it to spray. Repeat as necessary when initially setting up the device.

The cleaner will automatically dispense three times a day (every eight hours) leaving a clean, fresh scent. For an added clean, push the gray button for a manual spray.

What I Can Tell You:
  • Anything that is going to take a job away that I hate works for me!
  • It comes with batteries and is ready to go when you take it out of the box.
  • It looks a lot like the Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner from Scrubbing Bubbles
  • It hooks very easily to your toilet bowl tank
  • Pick up the seat and attach the clip to the side of the bowl.
  • Then give it a push! Well that is what we did anyway. You don't have to because it is an automatic spray cleaner. The little mechanism thinga majig, spins quickly and sprays the whole inside of your toilet with cleaner (3 times a day. More if you use it yourself.)
  • You can smell it working.
  • I thought the kids were pushing the button because I didn't realize that it was automatic at first, (even though it says automatic!) so I told them to stop for the first three days. They said OK, but obviously thought I was crazy since they weren't touching it.
  • I will always have a refill on hand because, the revolutionary product has changed my life. I seriously love it!
  • You will find yourself suddenly telling your friends, family and even strangers about this "save time" product. 
To Buy:
Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner is currently available at Amazon and Drugstore.com.

The suggested retail price for Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner is $26-29. A twin pack of refills (30-day) are approximately $11.49 each.

Follow Scrubbing Bubbles on Twitter for free prizes, giveaways and fun tips!

To Win:  Leave me a comment by Midnight, September 11, 2010

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for (3 extra entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Subscribe to my newsletter/email (3 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Follow my blog (2 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Subscribe to Chotskies
*Follow me on Twitter, leave your Twitter name
*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one.
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook (Not my personal Facebook) and post a message that you entered with a link to the giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a link to the message in the entry form.
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link
*Follow me under networked blogs (on my left side bar)
*Follow Scrubbing Bubbles on Twitter and leave a tweet and link.
*Add my main button to your side bar
Do not leave entries in the comment section, 
those are for comments about the post only!!!!!

"This post was written for Family Review Network & Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner.  who provided the complimentary product and the giveaway in exchange for my honest review."

Camera Critters - Bird Butt!

Camera Critters

I headed to the zoo today and got to spend some time at the bird sanctuary. This little guy turned to fly but appears to be giving me back!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer's Sweet Moments Hosted by Milano

One2One Network has linked up with Milano cookies to ask about this Summer's Sweet Moments, a moment from summer that made you stop to savor the sweetness of life!

The reason I found this so hard to answer is because I spent 2 weeks of my Spring in the hospital and 6 weeks of my Summer suffering from all kind of "itis" issues. Diverticulis and Endometritis so while it seems I should have nothing "sweet" to discuss here, I have plenty.

My little family became much closer during my time away and my husband and I did what we could to make sure the kids had an enjoyable summer regardless of the fact that we had to stay close to home.

The moments I spend with my kids together and separately are always "sweet" moments for me. Moment's with my girlfriends, family members are moment's that I particularly enjoy but this year, the moment that was the sweetest for me was, my 44th birthday.

My husband came in bearing the necessities for the perfect meal for "ME". Wine, Steak, Sweet Potatoes and Chocolate Cake are all the things that make up the perfect meal in my eyes. To know that he really knows what I like and took the time to get all of it on his ride home, made me realize even more what I knew already. We are and always will be perfect together. There may not be grand gestures of adoration but in the long run, having someone who REALLY knows you, and takes care of all the little details (and the big ones too) really made my birthday special.

Then because I liked the cake so much....he went out and got it again...and another steak the next weekend. Now that IS "sweet".

BTW...if you have a chance, check out the Milano Facebook page and envy with me the bloggers who are Milano Mavens. The Milano mavens are a group of women who share their lives and interests on their personal blogs. They also happen to be huge fans of Pepperidge Farm® Milano® cookiesnd are able to eat from a bushel of cookies sent by the company.

If you have a chance, head over to the Milano Facebook page and leave a message about your "sweet moment".

BTW...enjoy your own moment with a $1.00 off Milano, which you can get over here.

What moment this year, allowed you to stop, pause and savor the sweetness of LIFE?

Disclaimer: This post was written for One2One Network with the possibility of winning a gift card.

Back To School With Super Why

Super Why! PBS Kids

Heading to CA? Meet the Star of Marmaduke on August 31st

 Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Kiefer Sutherland And Fergie Star In
The Larger-Than-Life Family Comedy Unleashing On
Blu-ray Disc And DVD August 31

Well, I won't be there but at least I get to spread the word!
WHAT: In honor of the hilarious dog-out-of-water tale Marmaduke, featuring an all-star cast of voice talents, including Owen Wilson (Marley & Me), George Lopez (“The George Lopez Show”), Keifer Sutherland (“24”), and Fergie (The Black Eyed Peas) will fetch huge laughs on Blu-ray and DVD August 31 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Furry fans and their human companions will mingle with the on-screen “Marmaduke” at a very special exclusive appearance.

A fun-filled fest for fans of both the two-legged and four-legged variety, the day will include:

  • Trainer demonstration of canine movie star “George” who plays the good-natured Great Dane Marmaduke on the big screen
  • Sampling of the new doggie treats, specially created in honor of Marmaduke!
  • Special goodie bags for both dogs and their owners.

WHY:Originally founded in 1989 because of a special-needs Great Dane named Gracie, 3 Dog Bakery’s mission is to fresh-bake healthy, all-natural treats for four-legged-friends. At this special celebration, dog-lovers will learn about the special health needs of their canine companions while also having the chance to pat the head of the on-screen Marmaduke!


3 Dog Bakery

The Original Farmer’s Market

6333 W. 3rd Street #710

Los Angeles, CA 90036


Tuesday, August 31

10:30am – Media Call Time

11:00am – 2:00pm – Presentation and activities

Thanks to 20th Century Fox I have Marmaduke on deck for this weekend. Look for my review by Monday.
Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter

Taking Pen To Paper Challenge Week Two

Photo Cards
Last week, I told you about a challenge I am taking as a Pearista (a group of bloggers sponsored by Pear Tree Greetings that value the power of connecting through stationery) called the Pen to Paper Challenge

This week my letter is sent to Donna. She was the winner of the Street Angel Giveaway. Donna was so sweet she purchased a necklace yesterday from Street Angel which made me feel really great! Thanks Donna!
If you want to get back to personal notes and make someone's day, check out Pear Tree Greetings and their really beautiful stationary.

Sky Watch - Biggest Flowers Ever

Sky Watch

Today the kids and I headed to the Zoo. It was a beautiful day and school starts in less than 6 days and we have a Summer fun list to check off. It was the last place I wanted to go but the kids really wanted to. It was hotter and more crowded than usual but we ended up meeting up with a friend which made it even better. She wanted to know if I wanted to meet at the local park, I mentioned I was heading to the zoo, she wrote she was on her way. Love those fly by chance get togethers.
They might not look that big in this picture but......


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Review Network Interview

Dear Readers,

If you have been reading this blog, you know that we get a lot of giveaways because I am a member of Family Review Network.

Every month they interview another reviewer. This month Krista interviewed little ol' me. Here is my review. If you have a chance check it out and say hi to the rest of the reviewers if you have time and check out some giveaways listed at Family Review Network.