Finding Unique Scrapbooking Items

The closest city to us is about 45 miles away, and I am on a mission to find some unique scrapbook embellishments. I did not mean Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Or Target which I have done to death, but those great little places that have really unique items you just can’t get at the big chain stores. I went to Local.com because I had heard there was a small store that might have just what I am looking for but I did not know the name.

If you haven’t heard of Local.com, it is a great conglomeration or Yellowpages, City search, reviews, driving directions, etc. but all in one site, which is nifty. I just typed in my local search for scrapbooking stores, and immediately up came two within a fifty mile radius of my house. There was the one in the city that I was looking for, and then BONUS! I found a place not to far from my mother’s house in a neighboring small town that I did not even know existed.

All from one site, I got the store name, address, and shopping hours. There was no review for this particular location, but I can provide one when I get back from it to help others. I can’t wait to see what scrapbooking treasures await my next pages thanks to Local.com

Buying Christmas from a Distance

My grandparents (I call them Oma and Opa) live in California, and I do not get to see them as often as I would like, but at the holiday season I like to treat them to something special that let’s them know I am thinking of them and I care. I just received my gift card to Target from them in the mail it is one of my favorite gifts that I get every year from them. They also sent the girls gift cards to Kohls, so they could each buy a new outfit. They are awfully good to us, and I am at a loss as to what to get them.

I finally have decided a nice gift for them would be a night out in San Diego which is near by. I have been tracking down wonderful restaurants and think I have found it with best italian restaurants in San Diego, which features a really nice looking Italian restaurant. Now if I can complete the package with some tickets to the theatre I think I will have scored my golden granddaughter award. Anyone in that area have any great suggestions?

The Thrill of the Hunt

I am a shark smelling blood in the water (okay slightly too graphic) okay. let’s try….I am a stalker, obsessed fan, mad woman normal but frugal(yeah let’s run with that) about finding a Nintendo Wii, and Wii Fit at a bargain basement price. I have looked at Craig’s List, Ebay, and refurbished sites, because i will not stop until I get this for Regand (okay for me too) because I have been talking to her therapists and they all agree this would be a wonderful way to continue therapy throughout the summer.

Since I adore getting top dollar items at bargain basement prices, I am scoffing at the idea of spending over $300 for everything, and have decided if I can fine it in like new condition I think I would allow myself to spend half of the going price. If I didn’t want it so badly for this summer, I would wait even longer to see if I could get a Black Friday (my favorite shopping day) steal.

I am on a mission, so if any of my wonderful friends hear of a great deal (that would include shipping) then please let me know. I would much rather Regan and I eat healthy and have a fun way to stay fit than resort to weight loss pills and couch potato disease in the upcoming summer months.

Of course the ideal situation would be for a Nintendo Rep to find my site, and say “what a wonderful thing we would be doing by providing therapy and weight loss fun to this family” LOL….. Hey it could happen…

Dirty Bow Wow: Book Review and Giveaway

I come from a long line of dog lovers. Particularly I have pretty much grown up with predominantly Irish Setters or Golden Retrievers. Both gorgeous breeds who have a real passion for having their own toys. Currently My parents and my brother both have Golden Retreivers adopted from a Golden Retriever Rescue Society, and I can’t wait to get my own Golden for my girls when we are settled in a permanent house. Now Alex and Toby the family Goldens have another thing in common….they love their toys!

To celebrate dogs and their penchant for toys is this heart warming new book Dirty Bow Wow by Cheryl and Geoffrey Katz. Each page of the book features a particular dog and breed with their favorite toy. My favorite picture was the poodle with the pink purse….too cute!

Currently in the month of May the authors are partnereing with several bookstores across the country to have a dof toy drive to collect toys for dogs in shelters and rescue groups. What a fantastic way to give back for all you dog lovers. For more information on the Dog toy drive please click HERE

Want to win your own copy of Dirty Bow Wow? Then if you live in the United States you are in luck. I am pleased to have a giveaway for your own copy, sure to please you or your favorite canine companion. Remember of you are entering anonymously, I really need your email address to get in touch with you. This Giveaway will close on May 17, 2009 at midnight CST.

1.Mandatory Entry: Tell me your favorite Breed and why.
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Raising Readers

Books are treasures in my house. Both John Mark and I are avid readers, and never go a single day without satiating our craving for the written word. Because my girls have seen our commitment to reading, and have been raised with books, they are in turn avid readers. I am a firm believer that readers beget readers….especially when you take the time to model it for your children.

Recently, a friend of mine wondered how she could get her son to be a better reader, because he was falling short in the Accelerated Reader Program at school. He had missed out on going on the school reward field trip because he could not seem to make his reading goals. I asked her if either she or her husband read at home ever, and she admitted they were more of a TV family, not really a book family. I wish I would have had some of these tips to share with her then. You can bet Io will share them when the new school year starts. The following are some great tips:

Summer Reading Tips from Tim Shanahan, author of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill’s best selling elementary reading program, Treasures. (Macmillan/McGraw Treasures)
Dr. Shanahan is also the past president of the International Reading Association.

1. Read Together! Summer usually allows families to spend more time together. This is a great opportunity to read more with your kids to help keep their skills fresh. Children learn a lot when you read to them. Even if your child can read by himself, take turns reading to each other, and be sure to talk about what you are reading. Ask questions, answer questions and explore the ideas together.

2. Ask Questions. Even if you are not reading the same books they are, talk to your children about what they are reading. Ask them questions such as what happened in the story or what might happen next, who is their favorite character, or who is the villain. This builds summarization and recall skills, and your interest helps increase their interest.

3. Leverage Pop Culture. Don’t ignore the value of graphic novels or a popular series like the Twilight books or Harry Potter. These are great ways to encourage adolescents to read more.

4. Plan an Outcome Activity. Whether you are reading to your children or they are reading themselves, plan an outcome event or activity based on the reading. For instance, if the book has been made into a movie, watch the DVD together after reading the book. Book reading can lead to picnics, museum visits, ballgames or even family vacations.

5. Mix it up. Don’t just focus on storybooks. Kids often prefer to read about fact rather than fiction, including books and articles about the environment, animals, current events, sports, and other topics. Talk to them about what they like and help them find reading materials that match those interests.

Do you have your own tip to share? Thanks to the wonderful people at Macmillan/McGraw-Hill I can reward my readers who love books as much as I do. I am giving to three readers children’s books from the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill’s Treasures series. Just follow the giveaway instructions. Remember if you enter Anonymously….please leave an email address where I can reach you. This giveaway will end July 5, 2009 at 12:00 midnight CST.

1. Give me your own reading tip to encourage your kids to pick up a book.
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