Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RSV Season is in Full Swing-Educate Yourself

A few years ago we fostered a preemie baby. She was the smallest, most beautiful baby girl. She was born just 2 pounds and change.. and when she was released from the hospital, and into our home, she was only a little over four pounds. Before we took her home, we had to watch a video on RSV, signs, symptoms, and how we could help protect her.

Although most babies that contract RSV are born premature, full term babies get RSV, too. Be wary of crowds, especially if your child has a weakened immune system. Try to keep him or her from people who smoke or are sick. Some kids catch this virus from exposure in daycare. The virus spreads through tiny droplets that go into the air when a sick person blows their nose, coughs, or sneezes.

You can catch RSV if:

  • A person with RSV sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose near you
  • You touch, kiss, or shake hands with someone who is infected by the virus
  • You touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contamined by the virus, such as a toy or doorknob.
RSV often spreads very rapidly in crowded households and day care centers. The virus can live for a half an hour or more on hands. The virus can also live for up to 5 hours on counter tops and for several hours on used tissues.

With each year's first chill in the air, parents rush to stock up on cold medicine, tissues, and vitamin supplements. While most Moms are very familiar with colds and the flu, few of them are aware of another common and potentially life-threatening seasonal virus, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the U.S. According to the CDC, "RSV season" typically runs from November to March in most of the U.S., but can vary based on where you live.

While nearly every child before the age of two contracts RSV, it often comes and goes with symptoms similar to the common cold and many parents don't know the difference. In certain babies, however, it can lead to a serious respiratory infection. Premature infants are especially at risk of serious complications, or even death, from RSV disease because they have underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems.

One in eight babies is born premature in the U.S.-over half a million every year. Parents of these fragile infants need to be educated on the challenges of raising a preemie, including the risk of RSV disease. November 17 was World Prematurity Day, an important day designed to help raise public awareness about the problem of global prematurity, which affects more than 13 million babies worldwide.

Know and understand, that this virus looks and sounds like any other virus. If you think your child might be having problems breathing, has a cough that is difficult to stop, wheezing, or fever, contact your pediatrician. To learn more about RSV, visit https://www.rsvprotection.com.

"I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation."


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some Thoughts on Sandy

I know it seems like I've been neglecting the blog on what most review bloggers will tell you is the busiest time of the year. It's almost like we're little elves in the midst of pre holiday preparations.

The truth is, most of my family is back home, on Long Island, New York.

That sounds familiar, because that is one of the major areas that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. My home town was under water, the barrier island breeched. Neighborhoods that don't typically flood were severely flooded, and areas that never thought they would be affected by anything other than wind, were ravished by flood water, high tide, and down power lines.

Did you know that there are still 15,000 homes on Long Island that are without power?? I don't know about you, but after 10 minutes during a storm, I start getting antsy. I can't imagine 10 days or more!

A view of Sandy from Space- Courtesy of NASA
On top of that, the area also got hit by a nor'easter. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad, but the fact of the matter is, it got cold enough to snow, several inches, yet there were homes with no heat.

Living  1500 miles away, it was obviously difficult to help my friends, family and neighbors in need. One of my friends posted some information on donation locations for residents of Breezy Point.

Breezy Point was this beautiful beach town, that was more than just a town. This community was close knit, each block throwing open-house style parties, the coolest and funniest mardi-gras parade, and always there for one another. I remember heading there to our extended family's house to have a ton of summer fun. I remember this one time that my cousin and I went, and the sand was so hot, it burned her feet. The ems workers that lived on the road came by and gave us cream to put on her feet. We were kids, but we learned that sand does get that hot from that crazy day! 

Anyway, when I read the message about the donation spot, I decided to spread the word the best I could. I even sent a small care package up. I've read since then that they are doing well with the clothing donations, but are still in dire need of food.

There's still homes all over New York and New Jersey that don't have electric. No electric means no hot water to bathe in. No television, computer, internet, possibly even phone. 

My heart is with them all during their time of need. My prayers are with their families.

I cannot stress to you, my readers, to be thankful for what you've got this holiday season. Things can change in the blink of an eye. For my friends and family affected by Sandy, they know now that things can be replaced, you need to cherish what's most important- your family.

Remember that as you bite into your bird next week. In the meantime, get ready for some Black Friday ads, special savings offers, and our Gift Giving Guide. Try something for the last 15 days of November. Every morning when you get into the car, say out loud one thing you're super grateful for.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Target Black Friday Ad Sneak Peek

 As I mentioned in a previous post, Target will be opening on Thanksgiving night. With 33 pages packed full of door busters and extraordinary savings, it's going to be hard to map out your Black Friday {er, Turkey Thursday?} route. To find your Target Black Friday Ad, visit Target.com and type in your zip code. The good news is that if you don't want to venture out, many deals will be offered online, as well.


Toys R Us Black Friday Sneak Peek

Add Toys R Us to the list of stores opening Thanksgiving night. The ad is a 32-pager and has 16 pages full of amazing doorbusters, with most products at 50% - 60% off. They also have another section dedicated to 2-day sale only items.

If you'd rather stay at the comfort of your home and shop online, {I don't blame you!}, they are also advertising free shipping on all orders made at Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com. Doors will open at 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day, so make sure you don't miss out on all these great toy deals! To view the whole ad, click here.


Kohl's Black Friday Sneak Peek!

This time of the year I turn into a site stalker... at BlackFriday.com. I wait patiently until the ads are posted and scope out the sales to decide whether or not I'm going to trek out into the craziness known as Black Friday.

This year, I'm a little frustrated. Target, Kmart and Walmart have all decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving night. First off, I think it's horrible that a corporation would do that to their employees. Everyone is hurting financially, some are starting to bounce back, and Black Friday gives those people a chance to do that. Yes, I know the people who work retail get paid holiday, most of the time, but the fact of the matter is they should be home celebrating with their family, sleeping off their turkey induced coma, and getting ready for Black Friday. NOT venturing in Thursday evening. {sigh} Rant over.

On a positive note... Kohl's Black Friday Ad has finally been posted!! {insert happy dance} I know you can't see me, but I'm dancing right now. The 64 page mega sale book was just released, and it's PACKED with amazing sales.  It's so big that they entitled it: OPERATION: BLACK FRIDAY. I love Kohl's.

This year find hot deals on toys, clothing, jewelry, and so much more. PLUS, get $15 in Kohl's cash for every $50 you spend! I'm super excited about this one!! For those of you who are used to the regular 50% off on all toys sale they usually do, you may want to peek in the flyer- not all toys are on sale, some are on better deals, some.. well, not so much. Happy Shopping!



Monday, November 12, 2012

Amazon Lightning Deals- LEGOS

Run, don't walk, to Amazon because Lego Lightning Deals are going on right now! Choose from popular building sets from Pirates of the Carribean, Star Wars, Lego City, and MORE! What are you waiting for?!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Neighborhood #ToyStore Day - November 10th

I grew up in a small town. In that small town, there was a small, independently owned toy store. I remember shopping there when I was little.. about preschool age. I know that sometime in the years between preschool and elementary school that the store closed down. I really am striving to give that "old school" feeling to my kids, and trying to support more local shops, than big box stores.

This Saturday is the third annual "Neighborhood Toy Store Day" brought to you by The American Specialty Toy and Retailing Association (ASTRA). Here's some information from their press release:

Families and independent retailers across the country are celebrating the joy and wonder of shopping at a neighborhood toy store, thanks to the third annual “Neighborhood Toy Store Day” on Saturday, November 10, 2012.

The American Specialty Toy and Retailing Association (ASTRA) established Neighborhood Toy Store Day to introduce families to the fun of shopping at local toy stores and to celebrate each retailer’s commitment to the community. Participating stores will host local in-store events for families, such as face painting, craft projects, live performances or special discounts. “Neighborhood Toy Store Day provides families with an enjoyable and exciting way to support their local toy store,” said Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA.

“Local toy stores add charm and character to neighborhoods across the country and provide children with a wide variety of unique and quality toy options typically unavailable at big box stores. Retailers look forward to this special day as a way to celebrate with the community and the customers they value.”

“We are excited to participate in the third annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day,” said Linda Hays, owner of Hopscotch Toys in McMinnville, Oregon. “Local toy stores take pride in providing knowledgeable staff and maintaining a carefully curated selection of toys that are just right for the community they support. This year, Hopscotch Toys will celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day with face painting, game demos and a Christmas letter station, complete with elves to help children compose their perfect letters to Santa.”

In addition to fostering a sense of community, shopping locally provides a number of economic benefits to a neighborhood. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more— in contrast with only $43 when consumers spend their money at a national chain.

“On November 10, we hope that more families will discover the special touches and unique value often found only at local toy stores,” added McHugh. “Shopping locally is a win-win for families – they can find unique toys and receive top notch customer services while supporting the community in which they live.”

About ASTRA Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is a non-profit organization that provides leadership and resources to grow the specialty toy industry. As the largest association serving the specialty toy industry, ASTRA members include independent toy and children’s product retailers, specialty toy manufacturers and industry affiliates. For more information on ASTRA, please visit www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org.

I really encourage you all to visit your local toy store and check out the vast selection of toys available, from tots to teens.  To thank us for sharing this information with you, we received these toys to review and share with you. Be sure to check our Holiday Gift Guide (which will be released very soon!) for more great gift ideas!

Playmobil Future Planet E-Rangers` Headquarters with a detachable roof and changeable transparencies in the command canter. The balance Racer can be turned into a propeller or a jet-car racer. Kids will love the LED spotlight / KO - Flash Cannon (which really works, but requires batteries), functional solar cell with fan,  This playset is geared for kids from 7-12. Watch the Future Planet movie here, and see how the E-Rangers battle the Dark Force. Kids will enjoy reenacting the scenes, or coming up with their own story lines. It retails for about $129.

Mine Shift is a two player game that encourages players to strategically maneuver through the mine to gain access to the gems. How can you forge ahead through the jeweled walls of the mine shaft? Shift them! Rotate a game tile a quarter turn to move the mine wall and allow your gemstone access. Or rotate tiles to prevent your opponent from moving. There are walls everywhere, but strategic miners can successfully make their way through to the other side. With 27 game board tiles, the set-ups are unlimited for a brand new game every time you play. This product is geared for players 8 and up, and retails between $20-25.
This nanoblock Electric Guitar is one of MANY intricately designed pieces from the latest and greatest mini building block company around. Nanoblock products are made from teeny-tiny building blocks that when put together, produces an extremely detailed figure. Choose from their "Mini Series", the "Sites to See", Deluxe, Instruments, and Holiday series to find that perfect gift for the person on your list that has everything, loves puzzles, or loves to build. Whether you're looking for a kid about 8, or an adult who's 78 and loves to build things with little pieces, nanoblock might have the perfect product to build. Rated on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the easiest to build), each piece is uniquely challenging and fun. The electric guitar is priced at about $12, and is recommended for kids about 10-12. My little man is only 9, and while he loved the Eiffel Tower he built last year, as soon as he took it apart, he lost most of the pieces. A bigger (more mature?) kid might keep the pieces together. My advice, glue them together, or buy for an older kid who can take care of it, or for an adult who LOVES puzzles. (My husband and I LOVED the Eiffel Tower.)


Monday, November 5, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sweepstakes! OVER $500 Value!

Enter to win a Breaking Dawn Part 2 Prize Package that includes dinner and a movie for four and exciting Twilight merchandise! Refer your friends for more chances to win - for every friend you refer, you will receive an additional entry in the sweepstakes.

Dates: November 5 - November 14

Four (4) movie tickets to Breaking Dawn Part 2
$400 for dinner for four (4) Twilight
Prize Package: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Soundtrack $9.99 (Releases Nov 13)
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Movie Poster $6.99
Twilight Saga Four Pack DVD Set $39.99
The Twilight Saga Book Collection $53.30
Breaking Dawn Part 2 T-shirt $22.50

What are you waiting for?! Enter now!! Good Luck!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Toys R Us + Babies R Us $10 GC w/Any $75 Purchase

Right now both Babies and Toys R Us is offering a $10 Gift Card with any purchase of $75 or more until November 10th!

Print out this coupon and bring it with you:


Mega Coupon Day!

I woke up to these spectacular coupons in my inbox this morning. With two out of the five of us feeling under the weather, I'll be able to catch up on some blog work today, but I figured these coupons needed to be shared! Redeem at Walmart, or wherever you do the most of your shopping. 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Carter's $8 Doorbuster Sale!

 Carter's is having an amazing sale this weekend only, both in-store and online. All bodysuit pant sets are on sale for only $8!! There are both boy sets and girl sets available. Head over to your local store, or shop online now.  


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thanksgiving Printable Coupons

No matter who's coming for dinner, these coupons are sure to save you some extra dough. Near the bottom of the list, print out the bath/body coupons to stock up for guests. Hurry and print these quickly, because these coupons won't last long!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Amazon Holiday Toy List 2012!

The Amazon Holiday Toy List 2012 and super amazing "Lightning Deals" are now available. Lightning deals are posted daily, and are unbeatable deals that everyone needs to check out. Quantities are limited, so be sure to check back daily!!

What's on your child's Holiday Toy List, this year??



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