Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One week down and my son and I are both using Neutrogena's new UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock.

When I was offered a chance to try Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock in exchange for reviewing it I jumped at the chance. I've been a Neutrogena fan since I was a teen, so trying out a new product they were making was a no brainer. 
I use sunscreen every day as part of my daily skin care routine, but in the past it has been part of my moisturizer. I didn't feel I was using a high enough SPF so had recently purchased a stand-alone sunscreen from the department store line of skincare that I use. I frankly hated it. It was mostly zinc oxide and it felt very heavy on my face. It basically just sat on top of my skin and made my face feel dirty.

I started using Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock seven days ago. I was impressed from the first day. It comes in a bottle with a small tip. It is a somewhat thin, white liquid, so the small tip on the bottle is appropriate so you don't pour out more than you need.

The best part is that it rubs into my skin easily. I don't feel it at all after I've applied it unlike so many other products I have used. I have only been out in the direct sun once for about 60 minutes since I started using it, but I can say with that one experience it worked. If only I had used something on my shoulders and the back of my neck that day, which did not fare as well.

Interestingly, my 7 year old son started summer camp this week and I have applied sunscreen to his face every day, along with the rest of his body. He reacted badly to everything we tried on his face until two days ago when I tried using this product on him. We are still waiting for the reaction from the other sunscreens to completely heal, but the Neutrogena Ultrasheer Liquid Sunblock doesn't seem to be making it worse. I'm very interested to see how he does with another week of using it.

Would you like to review UltraSheer®, too? Then go to http://www.giantwavepool.com/ultrasheer!

Or get $2 off your UltraSheer® purchase at http://www.neutrogena.com/suncoupon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free for review purposes from Tidal Labs. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kung Zhu Pets review and giveaway! - ENDED

***And the winner is Abbi who tweeted about this giveaway! Congrats Abbi! You should receive an email from me shortly.*** 

Introducing the hottest new line from Cepia evolving from the Zhu Zhu Pets...Kung Zhu Pets! These warrior hamsters are far from being the cute and cuddly Zhu Zhu Pets that everyone fell in love with. But make no mistake, these ultra cool, tough pets will be a sure competition to the original Zhu Zhu Pets! With eight original characters split into two battling groups called Special Forces and Ninja Warriors, Kung Zhu Pet owners will have the thrill of training each character to transform them into fighting, battling warriors. While these Kung Zhu hamsters may start off as "cute" and "mild-mannered," once they are sent into their main training grounds, smart chip technology will actually allow you to hear a distinct personality transformation of fighting ninja and warriors.


A couple weeks ago I came home from work to find this box waiting on my front steps.

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it to find it full of the latest toy craze - Kung Zhu Pets! Noah was pretty darn excited himself! How lucky were we that MomSelect chose us to review the newest Zhu Zhu pet craze!
Thor had a few ideas himself about those pesky hamsters.
Noah, Thor and I spent a very fun couple of hours unpacking and setting everything up.
Thor was especially concerned about keeping us safe from those fierce Ninja and Special Forces hamsters!
Kiel came home and was slightly underwhelmed by the training zone that had taken over the family room. That is until he realized how much fun Noah was having.
 Then he was right in the middle of it all.
Much like Thor was.
 Over all the "three" of them did a great job playing together.

It was a pretty impressive setup!

Even if it did take over the entire family room floor.
Seriously, the entire floor. I couldn't get them all in one shot.
Is it possible to have too many toys?
Stel says, "Yes, Yes it is." Especially when they move and make noise. 
The Kung Zhu pets in action.
Training time.

So what do I think of the Kung Zhu pets? Well, as I said before, they take up a lot of space! We were fortunate to be able to review the original Zhu Zhu pets last year when they first came out, and I can say that they have improved the design. This set was much easier to put together and the connections between pieces stay together better. The entire design is pretty impressive considering all they do. Unfortunately, in our case whenever they were in the arena the same hamster always ended up losing, even when we switched the armor between the two. Noah and Kiel were less interested in the arena action than everything else, so that wasn't a big deal for us.

Unfortunately, one of our hamster's wheels are no longer turning, but you have to remember that Kiel is only 2 1/2, and these are recommended for ages 4+, so that very well could be because he insisted on pushing them along the track rather than letting them go on their own. 

We had a lot of fun with the entire set-up over the last few days, but these type of toys don't do well in general with my boys. Too many pieces and way too many ways to interact inappropriately with them (as in now their monster trucks and Lego men are interspersed throughout the training area - but I love watching their imagination in action). It will be interesting to see how long this lasts with them. (Again, remember that Kiel is 2 1/2 and Noah isn't a "typical" child.)

So, ready to hear the really exciting news? 

Yes, it's true. I have Kung Zhu pets to give away to one of my lucky readers! 
In fact, I have two Kung Zhu pets, two sets of Kung Zhu armor, a Dragon Hammer and Missile Attack Tower, and the Giant Battle Arena. Everything shown in the picture above! And believe me, it was a difficult task for Noah to decide which two hamsters he was going to keep and which two he was giving away. 

To win all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me who you would like to win this for! 

For extra entries you can do the following:

1. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter with a link back to this post. You can tweet once a day. Make sure you come back here and leave a comment on this post each time.

2. Post it on Facebook. You can post once a day. Make sure you come back here and leave a comment on this post each time.

3. Follow my blog on Google connect or as an RSS feed.  Leave a comment here letting me know you do.

4. Follow my main blog (Mommy Needs Therapy) in a reader or via email. Leave a comment here letting me know you do.

5. Post about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a link in the comments to let me know.

Don't forget to include your email address in the comment. I know you have to include it to publish the comment, but unless it is actually within the body of the comment or you have email enabled on your Blogger profile I can't see it.

You have until midnight on Friday, July 16, 2010 to enter. I'll announce the winner that weekend. Again, don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you!

US and Canada mailing addresses only.

Full disclosure:  MomSelect  provided me with the Kung Zhu pets to review and the set to give away. I am not receiving monetary compensation for hosting this giveaway. The opinions in my review are purely my own.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Balloon Time helium balloon kit giveaway! And tips on hosting a vampire party. - ended

I never thought I'd be intrigued by vampires. As a kid stuff like that scared the crap out of me. When Twilight came out it took me months to jump on the band wagon and read it. I did though and was sucked in just like so many others. 

The same thing happened with True Blood on HBO. My husband watched the first season and I wasn't the slightest bit interested. Then I read Twilight and became somewhat intrigued by vampires, so I watched the second season of True Blood. And of course I'm hooked and can't wait for Sunday nights to watch each new episode of season 3! I've read all the books now too.

And you better believe I'll be dragging the hubs along to see Eclipse very soon!

Now I'm not much for hosting parties; frankly my house is never neat enough to make me feel like the work involved wouldn't suck all the fun out of it for me. Yeah, I'm that lazy. And that antisocial.

Anyway, I know some of my readers do like to host parties (and probably have much neater houses than I do) so when I was contacted by Balloon Time with tips on how to throw a vampire party and the offer to sponsor a Balloon Time giveaway, I figured why the heck not!

I've used Balloon Time kits before for the boys birthday parties and other than struggling the first time to get the tank to work, because I was being a complete idiot and turning the valve the wrong way (boy did I feel like a dumb-ass), it was super easy and convenient. Cheaper and easier than going somewhere to get the balloons blown up for us. The last time we did that Rich lost a bunch of them trying to get them in the car because it was so windy.

So here is the information from Penny Warner about hosting a vampire party! Go to the end of this post and you can enter to win a Balloon Time helium balloon kit.

Celebrate Your Favorite Vampires with a Premiere Party at Home
Vampire Parties are all the rage, thanks to books, TV shows, and movies like “Twilight,” “True Blood,” and “Vampire Diaries.” Whether you’re a fan of vampire Team Edward or werewolf Team Jacob, barmaid Sookie Stackhouse and vampire Bill Compton, or good/evil vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore, you can host a Night of the Living Dead party to celebrate a birthday, Halloween, or the latest vampire episode.

There are lots of vampire-related party supplies available, but you can easily make your own invitations and personalize them to your theme. For a Coffin Invitation, fold a sheet of black construction paper in half. Draw the shape of a coffin on the paper, making sure one side of the coffin is on the fold. Cut out the coffin and write “Do not open until midnight” or “Open at your own risk” on the front using a sparkly pen. Or you can type it up on the computer using a spooky font, print it, cut it out, and glue it to the front. Next find a picture of your favorite vampire on the Internet or in a fan magazine and copy it for each invitation. Open the coffin and glue the picture on the right-hand side. On the opposite side, write the party details. For added fun, cut out drops of “blood” from red paper and place them in the envelope. Or add a set of vampire teeth.

Ask your guests to come as their favorite vampire—or werewolf—past or present. When they arrive, offer them face paints, vampire teeth, and vials of fake blood to add to their costumes. Make simple capes out of black fabric and hand them out to guests.

Create a gothic atmosphere with helium-inflated black and red balloons. Tie the balloons onto furniture, to backs of chairs, and float them to the ceiling. Turn the lights down and light candles, or string holiday lights around the room. Replace regular light bulbs with black lights and red bulbs. Make a giant coffin using a large appliance box. Paint it black, add a string of garlic or a wooden cross to the top, and place it in the center of the room to use for setting out snacks. Place vampire fangs, garlic, and plastic bats around the room or hang them from the ceiling. Cover your mirrors and black out your windows. Set the table with a black cloth and bright red paper products. Use vampire teeth as napkin rings. Make a centerpiece using a glass bowl, fill it with red tinted water, and float black candles. Make some personalized tombstones from cardboard or foam, and write epitaphs on them for each guest. Set them around the room. Play Clair de Lune, Muse, and Coldplay music in the background.

Games and Activities
Team Trivia. Divide guests into two teams and have them answer trivia questions about vampires and such from “Twilight,” “True Blood,” or “Vampire Diaries.”
Quote the Vampire. Write down quotes from the vampire books or shows and have guests try to identify the speaker.
Vamping Vampires. Write down scenes from your favorite vampire film, book, or show, and have guests act them out for one another to guess.
Vampire Shirt. Let guests make their own t-shirts with their favorite vampires or sayings on them. Print pictures of vampires and sayings on iron-on paper using the computer, and then let guests iron them on and decorate with glitter glue, sequins, and other embellishments.
Vampire Videos. Watch videos of your favorite vampire films or TV shows. Don’t forget the originals, such as “Dracula,” or the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Serve lots of red-colored food to satisfy that thirst for blood—red licorice, sliced red peppers, strawberries, red apples, red salsa with red tortilla chips, French fries with ketchup dip. Ask the bakery to tint a loaf of bread red, then make sandwiches with red jam. Cut out bat-shaped cookies, bake them, and spread with chocolate icing.

Offer a variety of red-colored drinks for the vampire guests, such as tomato juice, cranberry juice cocktail, red punch, red sports drink, etc. Freeze gummy worms in red water to make ice cubes for the drinks.

Make a coffin-shaped or tombstone-shaped red velvet cake, covered with chocolate icing. 

Give the vampires plastic teeth, black capes, fake blood, posters of hot vampires, face painting makeup, videos of the shows, or other vampire related gifts—there are lots available!

Penny Warner has more than 25 years of experience as an author and party planner. She has published more than 50 books, including 16 specific to parties. Additionally, Warner writes a weekly newspaper column on family life, penned a column for Sesame Street Parents magazine and has appeared on several regional and national TV morning programs. Her latest books include LADIES’ NIGHT, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, and HOW TO CRASH A KILLER BASH.

Balloon Time is the leading brand of consumer helium balloon kits in North America. Balloon Time kits feature a helium-filled tank, latex or foil balloons and ribbon, and are available at national retail chains, party goods and grocery stores nationwide. For more information, visit BalloonTime.com


To enter to win all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what kind of party you would host!

For an extra entries you can do the following:

1. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter with a link back to this post. You can tweet once a day. Make sure you come back here and leave a comment on this post each time.

2. Post it on Facebook. You can post once a day. Make sure you come back here and leave a comment on this post each time.

Don't forget to include your email address in the comment. I know you have to include it to publish the comment, but unless it is actually within the body of the comment or you have email enabled on your Blogger profile I can't see it.

You have until midnight on Friday July 16, 2010 to enter. I'll announce the winner that weekend. Again, don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you!

US mailing addresses only.

Full disclosure:  Balloon Time is sponsoring this giveaway and will provide the winner with a voucher can be redeemed at a local store (a retailer locator is available on the Balloon Time website at http://www.balloontime.com/display.php?page=storelocator). The only compensation I am receiving for this giveaway is the joy of offering something fun to my readers! ;)