Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back-to-School Guide {Great Products & $375 Giveaway!}

Are you getting ready to send the kids back to school? I know some schools have already started but my kids don’t go back until September 6th after Labor Day. In celebration of the first day of school I’m happy to be able to share some of these great products with you with a nice giveaway too.

Boots Extracts:

clip_image002Boots Extracts, launching in September are the perfect products for teens and tweens just starting to be conscious of both the appearance of their skin, and the environment. These products are both fun and affordable and can be found at most Target stores.

Ranging from body washes and bath creams, to sugar scrubs and lip balms, all which contain sustainably sourced and community traced ingredients. It’s beauty with a purpose, with key ingredients that cleanse, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin.

My Thoughts: While I’m not a teenage girl or a tween age girl I still love the Boots Extract products. What woman of any age doesn’t love great products that happen to be great on your skin, smell good and as a plus are environmentally friendly. Of course the price is also very enticing! Most of the products range from $6.99 to $9.99 which is great for the quality without department store prices (found at Target). My favorite was the Mango Body Wash- great scent, that lathers up nicely and leaves your skin feeling super soft! I also liked the In Shower Facial Polish that had a nice light fresh smell and indicates it’s for all skin types- I have quite sensitive skin on my face and this product didn’t cause any reactions, but gave me a great clean feeling.


Bath and Body Care Developed to Make a Difference:

  • · Boots Extracts gives consumers an everyday, affordable luxury that gives back.
  • · Boots is working to support community trade efforts by sourcing its cocoa butter, shea butter and honey, the three key ingredients used in every product throughout the range, through co-operative farms in different areas of the globe.
  • · Based in the Dominican Republic, a co-operative called CONACADO harvests the cocoa butter from the Theobroma cocoa seed. The brand sources its Shea Butter from nuts that are gathered by women in West Africa and honey from communities in South America.

What is Boots Extracts?

Boots Extracts products are an indulgent yet accessible collection of products containing a variety of natural ingredients to help hydrate and nourish the skin. 

Body butters are the foundation of the range and complemented by body wash, body scrub, sugar scrub, wonderbalm and lip balm in various scents, including:

  • Almond: Organic Almond Oil acts as a natural moisturizer to soften and condition the skin.  Found in Body Butter, Body Scrub, Body Wash and Lip Balm.
  • Bergamot: A fresh citrus oil uplifts your mood and leaves skin conditioned with a refreshing tingle.  Used in Body Butter, Body Scrub and Body Wash.
  • Brazil Nut: Brazil Nut Oil contains omega fatty acids to help prevent dryness and contribute to good skin health.  Found in Body Butter, Body Scrub and Body Wash.
  • Cranberry: Made with Shea Butter and cranberry seed oil to provide creamy moisturization with a sweet, fruity smell.  Used in Body Butter, Body Scrub and Body Wash.
  • Olive: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in oleic acid to condition and restore smooth skin.  Used in Body Butter and Wonderbalm.
  • Rosehip: Rosehip oil is derived from rose canina seeds, with a high omega fatty acid content known to rejuvenate and hydrate the skin.  Available in Body Butter.
  • Also featuring: Avocado, Cocoa Butter, Coconut, Mango, Nectarine, Shea Butter and Vanilla based Body Butter, Sugar Scrub, Body Wash and Lip Balm.

Available at, Target stores nationwide and, $6.99 to $9.99

Additional information on Boots products can be found by visiting


pillowpack6_front_bag creator_medpopchips, the all-natural line of popped potato chips with all the flavor and less than half the fat of fried chips is the perfect snack option for on-the-go moms and hungry students across the country.  Already named a healthier snack choice by many schools (and one of the few snack foods allowed to be sold in schools), popchips can be found in over 19,000 school vending machines.

popchips were also chosen as the favorite snack by a panel of kids in Real Simple magazine.  Kids love the taste and texture and never even have to know they are better for them.

My Thoughts: Popchips are delicious! I’ve tried different kinds of “healthy” chips and they are definitely lacking the flavor of popchips. Popchips are nice and light but still taste like the classic salty snack we all love! Popchips also don’t have any thing fake in them. No fake colors, no fake flavors, no preservatives. Just make sure you get the small bags you can eat in one sitting or a good clip for your chip bag because without preservatives they won’t stay fresh. These would make a great snack for your kid’s lunches without the worry of being unhealthy.

popchips’ has just released their “pillowpack”, a six pack of 3 single-serve original and 3 single-serve barbeque popchips, perfect for a week’s worth of brown bag lunches.  The “pillowpacks” retails for $4.99 and is available at grocery stores around the country- perfect for back to school.


care4teenCare4Teen gives you total control and flexibility of what your children/teens are viewing on the internet. It shows you their search requests their processes, programs downloaded, and what exactly your child has been doing or watching on the computer with screen shots videos. You can also allow or block certain sites with ratings from other parents.

  • Remote access. This means that you never have to be out of touch with your child's activities online. You simply login to your account from any computer or device with internet access and you are taken to the page which displays all of your child's activities, as further outlined below.
  • Intuitive blocking of websites. automatically blocks a large number of websites, either because of their blatant inappropriate content or because the majority of other parents have black-listed the site. There is also a comprehensive white list of websites with over 3 million websites available to your children.
  • Complete parental control. Although Care4Teen acts intuitively with the blocking of sites, you as the parent retain complete control of your child's online activity. You can choose to block certain sites which are white listed or allow sites which are black listed. Additionally, you can choose to have the program run with restricted or unlimited access, depending on who is using the computer at any time.
  • In-depth tracking and monitoring. The Care4Teen system includes many layers of built-in tracking and monitoring features. In addition to the intuitive blocking of websites, the program also records each URL visited, the length of time on each site, 10 second video clips captured every 2 minutes and random screen shots.
  • There is NO-CHARGE for this service. Simply download the software on your computer and you're all set!

For more information, to try a free demo or start protecting your child now visit Care4Teen here- 

Kidzmet Student Snapshots:

snapshot-emailDo you remember your favorite teachers from when you were in school? I know I still do...decades later. They not only taught me subject matter, but connected with the way I learned in a way that inspired a love of learning in general within me. All because we "connected" well.

When our kids head back-to-school each year, the teachers have a whole new set of students to get to know as quickly as possible. You can help your kids' new teachers connect with them faster and be better prepared to offer help with areas in which they might struggle with a Kidzmet Student Snapshot, which highlights their overall learning preferences, interests/strengths and the way their unique personality type impacts the way they learn best. All for less than it costs to download a song. 

Kidzmet's Founder, Jen Lilienstein, said she sent the Student Snapshot to her own email address, then printed out a copy for her daughter's new teacher so they could talk about it together. Jen also suggests using the Snapshot to better assist with your child's homework this school year.

Kidzmet's Pairing Portrait takes 10-15 minutes to complete and is suggested for kids ages 4-12.

Kidzmet has earned the Parent Tested Parent Approved award for product excellence and was named one of Brett Larson's top 5 back-to-school technology products that every parent should consider.

For more information on Kidzmet check out their website- 

Nalgene Water Bottles: {Giveaway}

Nalgene offers two new products, the On-The-Fly (OTF) and the Multi-Drink water bottles that will help keep students of all ages hydrated in a cost-effective manner. Parents can save money on expensive bottled water by giving their kids these re-usable Nalgene water bottles! Whether young kids want to carry one of these around school as their newest accessory or older students need to stay hydrated while they play on their sports teams, kids of all ages going back to school will love these water bottles. These hydrating essentials with easy-to-use loop top caps are 100% leak proof so you don't have to worry about unwanted spills. You can sip, gulp, or slug with the Multi-Drink bottle, which has a straw and a sipping valve so you can have the best of both worlds. Kids will love to show up on the first day back to school with these hydrating essentials, which come in a variety of bright colors! Both of these products are BPA-free, under $15, and also make the perfect accessory to any of your favorite family-oriented activities.

The newest bottle from Nalgene.  It takes the OTG (On-the-Go) bottle to the next level.  An improved drinking interface combined with a leak-proof cap.

OTF-93On the Fly - OTF

  • Approx 9 1/2 inches tall
  • Weight 136 grams
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compostable EarthFirst® bottle “shrink sleeve” packaging is made from renewable plant resources
  • Cap is made in China the bottle is made in USA
  • Push button opens closure
  • The OTF cap will fit on some other wide mouth bottles. 


MultiDrink-80Gulp It. Sip It. Lock It. Nalgene’s leak-proof MultiDrink features a 24mm loop-top for refreshing gulps, and a sip-friendly pivoting straw with leak-proof lock. 63mm cap fits other Nalgene wide-mouth bottles and allows for easy cleaning, icing and drink mixing.


  • Straw locks into its own "garage" to stay clean
  • Small 28mm cap opens for solving hearty thirsts
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Leakproof 63mm Cap

My Thoughts: I love the idea of not having to continually buy bottled water for my children but have yet to find a good leak-proof water bottle that they can take to school. The teachers really don’t like the screw on and off tops because I see how they can easily be spilled so the bottled water from the store is kind of out of the question anyway. I’ve had water bottles come home with my kids that have leaked in their backpacks and ruined papers or that aren’t easy for the kids to open on their desks at school. My favorite of the two new water bottles listed above is the On-the Fly bottle because it’s simple to pop open and has a great sized hole for drinking- this is definitely a bottle that I wouldn’t mind taking to the gym with me but the kids have already claimed it for school. I think my kids actually like the MultiDrink bottle better though- they were actually arguing about who was going to get to take it to school. I think the increased feature here is the straw, for some reason kids just like straws. It still has a 28mm cap opening for drinking- which is what I prefer so when they aren’t using it at school I might try to steal this one too. Overall both great choices for a great water bottle for Back-to-School!

The retail value of the Multi-Drink is $14.99 and the retail value of the OTF is $12.99.

For more information on Nalgene water bottles or to purchase (free shipping on all orders of $10 or more) visit -

For more great offers and deals be sure to check out Nalgene on Facebook and Twitter!

Action Alert: {Giveaway}

Action Alert_Back to School Online Safety Tips

Back to School Online Safety: Five Tips for Parents

(Provided by Action Alert)

1. Make sure your home computer is set up properly. Create a user profile that is dedicated to your young computer user and make sure that it’s properly and age appropriated restricted. Parents should avoid just letting a younger child use a computer that is “out of the box”. An innocent misstep can lead to the child being exposed to content that is not age appropriate.

2. Teach responsible use of technology…and do it early. Take the time or use tools available to watch what your child does on the computer and don’t be afraid to guide them toward making good decisions about how they interact with others online. Even “kid safe” websites like Club Penguin allow users to chat with each other. You might be surprised at how other users on these sites interact with each other.

3. Use website blocking and filtering that is age dependent. Strict settings for younger users will ensure that they can only visit the very limited number of websites they need for school.

4. Set time and use limits. With more schoolwork moving online and an array of distractions at their disposal, it is easy for kids to spent too much time online. Recent articles continue to enforce what most parents instinctively know- that too much time sitting in front of a monitor and keyboard is not healthy and can affect grades. Setting time limits and discussing responsible Internet use with kids at the start of the school year is key to their health and academic success.

5. Think of  technology use as a privilege that needs to be used responsibly and set rules for its use. Parents teach their kids how to use a bike safely- they take steps to make sure (wear a helmet) and if they catch their child breaking the rules they set, there are likely consequences. Just as parents teach kids the rules and responsibilities that come with riding a bike, they should teach kids there are rules and responsibilities associated with technology use. Technology solutions, such as Action Alert, provide parents an easy way to set and enforce rules regarding the use of technology, and most importantly, provide the opportunity to teach responsible use of technology so that kids online missteps won’t come back to hurt them later.

About Action Alert:

As the internet and social media become increasingly intrinsic to modern life, parents are struggling to protect their children and ensure they use online technology responsibly. After more than twenty years in information technology, the creators of Action Alert developed this revolutionary internet parenting device designed to keep kids safe online. Developed in conjunction with law enforcement, educators, and child psychiatry experts, Action Alert is the only internet safety device endorsed by the Child Safety Network. Action Alert is designed to help parents teach children how to use technology responsibly. Action Alert protects children from cyber bullying, predators, inappropriate content and more through a sophisticated collection of features, including content blocking, video monitoring of computer activity, and real-time alerts sent to parents via email and text message.  Action Alert is easy to use, even for parents who describe themselves as ‘computer illiterate’, but impossible for even the tech-savviest of kids to work around. Above all, Action Alert combined with an open dialogue about responsible technology use will keep children safe online.

Action Alert is a great tool for monitoring your child’s internet and computer usage. I love the easy plug in USB tool that runs the program. My first thought was that my children are too smart and will just remove the USB tool and then it won’t work, however after reading more about Action Alert I learned that if the USB tool is removed the computer won’t run, so that won’t be an issue. Action Alert is easy to install, just simply plug the USB tool into the port, enter your email address, create a password and enter the activation code. Action Alert is a great tool for blocking unwanted content and records up to 60 hours of all computer activity. Action Alert notifies you by email or can be setup to send you a text message when key words or phrases are used by your child.

For more information about Action Alert visit-

GetButtonedUp: {Giveaway}

Looking for some really great FREE printables to help you get back into the swing of things during Back-to-School time? Well look no further! Be sure to check out the lunchbox notes and time/to-do list management forms on 

Also offered are a number of tools for purchase for both students and moms  

pocketdoc_mainThe Pocket.doc- a credit card-sized document ensures your kids always travel with critical emergency, medical, and contact information on them. Fits perfectly in a backpack.

Homework.pad - a large, pad makes it really easy for students to keep track of every assignment in one spot so nothing falls through the cracks.

Password.log - in this day and age, passwords multiply like bunny rabbits. Help your student organize theirs in one place with this log book. It has room to change them on a regular basis and keep a record of your new passwords.

Weekly.agenda - a compact planner that will help your busy teens (and you) stay on track.

My Thoughts: I was particularly interested in the Pocket.doc and am excited to get to try this product out. I’ve looked for dozens of little things to make sure my kids have important emergency information on them at all times but I love the Pocket.doc idea because it’s small and fits perfectly in their backpack- what better place to have it while going to and from school during the day- anywhere else and I’m sure my kids would loose it. I think I may even find a way to sew it into their bag with an easy access pocket for those who need it but so that my kids won’t be taking it out all the time.

I also really loved the FREE printable lunchbox notes- they are cute and simple and love that they have two different docs geared towards different age groups. pocketdoc_inside1 pocketdoc_inside2

So be sure to go and checkout all the fun things at 

Texas Instruments: {Giveaway}

TInspireCXTexas Instruments has a new color-screen graphing calculator, the TI-Nspire CX handheld, which uses color to help students "see" different learning approaches and work on interactive animated lessons to highlight critical math and science concepts. It's for middle school, high school and college students and it's an investment students can use from middle school through high school.

My Thoughts: The TI-Nspire CX is a top of the line graphing calculator, I mean it’s in color! When I was in high school I didn’t have a color graphing calculator- JEALOUS! Just the fact that it’s the Texas Instrument brand was enough to have me interested- because in my mind it has always been a high top of the line brand, and when I had teachers request you purchase certain calculators it was always a Texas Instrument. The TI-Nspire CX at most retailers also includes software that helps students work beyond the classroom. You can even use your own digital images to discover real-world connections to your math concepts. The rechargeable battery included will last for up to 2 weeks before needing a recharge and this calculator is test certified! That means you can use it on the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, AP, IB and Praxis exams. Retail $165.


For more information about Texas Instruments graphing calculators and accessories click HERE.

SOAR Study Skills: {Giveaway}

logoAbout SOAR Study Skills:

Our books, audio programs, and classes are for:

Students in middle school, high school, and college who are spending hours on homework and/or having a hard time earning “good grades.”

Parents of students in elementary, middle, and high school who are experiencing homework battles and do not know how to help their child(ren).

Educators of middle school, high school, and college students who are looking for effective ways to help their students achieve long-term success in school and in life.

…The SOAR® System is for anyone who wants to make school and homework easier and be more successful!

Regardless if you are a “straight A” student or struggling to pass your classes, SOAR® provides homework help that will make life easier for you. The system is also an excellent tool for students with ADD or ADHD!

Is homework causing frustration in your home? Are you running out of ideas…and patience?

dvd_layoutHomework Help! for Parents is a 3-CD set including two interactive CDs (the third disc is a resource disk) This value-packed 3-CD set is only $74.99.

This CD set includes all the information to provide simple action plans to:

  • Eliminate homework arguments and fights
  • Plan ahead more effectively to stop “Last Minute Syndrome”
  • Reduce evening chaos
  • Streamline papers and supplies to get organized
  • Learn how to plan, organize, and learn beyond schoolwork
  • Reduce (often eliminate) forgotten supplies and lost assignments
  • Improve student’s accountability at home and at school
  • Learn how to instantly read text-books faster and with greater comprehension
  • Learn how to learn more efficiently and effectively

supply_kitSoar Organizational Supply Kit:

Handy over-the door Pendaflex file with six durable and colorful poly folders helps you prepare for unit tests and final exams by keeping all of your papers in a neat, organized place. This keeps them off a cluttered desktop and out from under a messy bed. The easy-access pockets allow you to sort your papers quickly. It also means the papers are always very easy to find when needed, to. $49.95 + shipping.

  • A durable 1 1/2” binder
  • 6 Poly Folders
  • Notebook Paper

Softcover-book-e1297783686451Soar Study Skills Book:

Identifying what turns students OFF to ‘study skills’ and teaching what turns them ON to strategic learning…so they can earn better grades in less time. $24.99 + shipping

The SOAR Study Skills is a core program, addressing basic organizational and strategic learning needs for students. The three principles for a student-friendly system that stand behind SOAR Study Skills are:

  • Strategies must be time-efficient. Strategies must be realistic for students to do, save them time, and reduce as many unnecessary steps as possible.
  • Strategies must be effective. We respect students’ time and will not teach anything that does not deliver results.
  • Strategies must apply across the content areas. There are many “study skills” that are useful techniques, but we only selected or developed strategies that apply across content areas so that students will clearly understand the appropriate times/settings to use the strategies.  This approach empowers students to confidently take more responsibility for their own work and develop a more strategic approach to all of their learning.

For more information on SOAR Study Skills and to see some of their other products visit

Goof Off:

Summer is nearly over and as kids head back to school, parents will soon be faced with an array of mysterious back to school messes. From melted crayons on the car seat to arts and crafts messes covering the carpet and walls, to chewing gum stuck on books and shoes, the battle with spots and stains will soon begin to wage its war on your nerves. Goof-Off the Miracle Remover is here to help!

For the month of September, a special back to school discount of 10% will be applied toward all products ordered from  plus FREE shipping on all purchases over $25, just be sure to use the promo code SPEG.


Miracle Remover Tip #1 – Removing glue 1. If the glue hasn’t dried, wipe off as much of it as possible, carefully, so as not to spread it over a bigger area. 2. Spray Goof Off® Heavy Duty directly on the problem. 3. Wait for it to penetrate. 4. Wipe that glue right off the surface.

Miracle Remover Tip #2 – Removing Decal and Stickers Adhesive The easiest, quickest and safest method to remove adhesive residue from a decal or sticker from just about any surface is to spray on Goof Off® Heavy Duty, let it dissolve the decal and residue and then wipe it away. It’s safe, effective and works in one step, with no harsh fumes and no damage to the surface.

Miracle Remover Tip #3 – Dealing with crayon marks If you need to remove crayon marks from walls, furniture, upholstery, car seats or pretty much anything else, Goof Off® will restore your good mood, and a happy relationship with your “budding little artists.”

Miracle Remover Tip #4 – Dealing with dirt and grime Regardless of what type of dirty mess, from ground-in dirt to grass stains, Goof Off® Heavy Duty will handle it effectively, safely and thoroughly the first time. 1. Apply directly on dirty area. 2. Allow Goof Off® to penetrate for a couple of minutes. 3. Wash the garment as directed by the manufacturer.

For over a quarter of a century, Goof Off® has been selling a number of products designed to help consumers eliminate messy mistakes that would otherwise ruin their belongings. Goof Off® products clean tough messes and mistakes around the home, garage and workshop.

Goof Off® products are available for purchase at major retailers and grocery stores, or online at

GIVEAWAY: One lucky person is going to win all of the following prize package valued at over $375!

  • (1) On-the-Fly and (1) MultiDrink Nalgene Water Bottle
  • (1) Action Alert Online Internet Monitoring Software Program
  • (1) Pocket.doc from
  • (1) TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculator from Texas Instruments
  • (1) SOAR Study Skills Package

Just click the “Read More” button to enter the giveaway!

Disclosure: These reviews are based on my own honest unbiased opinion. I was sent product free of charge from some of these companies but was not compensated monetarily.




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