Friday, July 31, 2009

SafeEyes giveaway

Updated August 14:

The winner is Leslie! Congrats and enjoy!

When your kids are little, the internet is a simple place. They are monitored while online 100%, simply for the fact that they could break something if you walk away! But as they age, you tend to walk away more and more, thinking "What can he possibly find at this age? He's so innocent and still loves Pokemon, for crying out loud!"

I will admit that I fell into that protected bubble. I felt my kids were relatively safe since I was never farther than a room away. And while I don't believe they would ever intentionally look for "bad internet stuff" I DO believe that "bad internet stuff" looks for them. I am NOT ok with that.

Enter the program,, SafeEyes. SafeEyes is a parental control software that gives you, the parent, control over what their little eyes are exposed to. It allows you to block (or not) certain programs, games, websites (by categories), instant messaging and more. SafeEyes can record inappropriate posting of personal information and will report it back to you. It even has the option of placing a time limit on their computer time!

At first, I wasn't sure it was working. I don't customarily go to websites that one would consider objectionable. None of my children use the internet for more than games or YouTube videos. But have you SEEN some of the YouTube videos that are allowed to be published? Some of them are nothing short of pornographic! I finally realized the value of SafeEyes when I was personally going through a friend's website but couldn't see the pictures. I was confused. What was wrong with my computer? Had I gotten a virus or something?

And then it clicked in my brain. This site had, in the past, had pictures that weren't 100% innocent (though not horrible, either). The pictures were definitely ones I would have wanted to review before allowing my kids to look through them. The program was working! And, the best part? I was able to turn it off easily so that I could still peruse the internet as an adult.

Right then, I was sold. My children are coming into an age where internet safety is a serious issue. You may be finding yourself in a similar situation. If so, I have a 1 year subscription to the SafeEyes program for 1 lucky reader!

Ways to enter:

~ Comment!
~ Subscribe to my blog
~ Tweet about this giveaway
~ post about this giveaway on your own blog

I'll pick the winner on August 14. Good luck!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Clay So Cute giveaway!

Updated on August 13:
The winner, picked by, is #9, Jane from Winning Readings! Congrats, Jane! I'll contact you today for your mailing information! Thanks to all for entering and good luck on the next giveaway!

If your kids are into art projects, then I have a truly fun giveaway for you!

Clay So Cute is a new book by Sherri Haab all about the cool crafts you can make with polymer clay. Though the releases all say it is designed with an aim towards 8-12 year old girls, I disagree. The projects in this book appealed to all 3 of my kids, none of which fall into that marketing bracket. My eldest son is 10 and is thrilled by the robots and animals. He and I could easily picture how to adjust some of the girlier jewelry pieces into boyish decorations. This book also sparked his enthusiasm to design some projects for Christmas presents. When that particular child is excited about anything art related, I jump ALL over it.

All of them loved these projects, all the way down to my 3 year old daughter who cannot make ALL of the crafts, for sure, but is able to be involved in the basics. After all, what 3 year old isn't proficient in playing with clay? Polymer clay is simply something she can make that will LAST.

I am so happy to be able to share this book with 1 lucky reader! Simply comment below and I'll pull 1 name on Thursday, August 13.

You can get extra entries by:

~ subscribing to my blogs
~ tweeting about this giveaway
~ post on your own blog with a link back

Easy! Good luck and have fun!

Monday, July 20, 2009

What Happened, Indeed?

"What Happened To the Girl I Married?" is the choice for July's SVM book club. I was truly excited about this book as the basic outline was said to chronicle one man's journey into becoming the stay at home parent for a year and finding out exactly where his wife had "disappeared" to. The description definitely fits, as the book is about the author's own discoveries regarding the impact that being an at-home parent can have on one's psyche.

Read the rest....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo Review

There are some books you read that just flow, you know? There are authors who write in a style that makes you believe you're actually having a conversation with them. While reading Jancee Dunn's new book, Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had To Ask, I found myself wishing she WAS in front of me, telling me these hysterical stories from her life as we drank a cup of coffee. I found myself wanting to meet not only her parents and sisters, but also her friend, Julie. I loved listening to the monologues of someone who understands that the situations we experience are only half of the story; the other half (the half that keeps you reading) is the method with which the story is told. Her unique interpretations are what made me fall in love with every single person in her book.

Though, I WAS a little put out that she ended it before her baby was born! NOW I'm left to stalk her on the internet to see if she had a boy or girl and how that is going for her. (Should make for a whole new slew of humorous memoirs!)

There are some books you receive that you just can't put down. This was one of them. I've never liked book reviews that go on and on about the little details or break a book into a long, drawn-out metaphor. Cut to the chase. If I like it, I like it and I'll tell you about it! And this book?

I liked it.

Take a break and curl up with a cup of coffee and "Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo...." and you won't be sorry.

Don't forget the 2 giveaways listed below that end on Friday the 10th!