A quick word about a helpful website...

I was recently introduced to a new website, HotelsCombined.com. It is a website that does a search across the many travel websites to find the best deal. There are a lot of great sites out there such as Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, Expedia.com that can search for a great deal on hotels and Hotels Combined does a search through all of them...combined! There are currently about 20 of these partner sites (such as the ones listed above) that provide the search results and once you find what you are looking for, a link is provided for you to book your hotel. Simple!

One big reason I decided to do a post on this website, aside from me thinking it is a genuinely helpful site, is the company's method for getting the word out. They are using the power of word of mouth marketing, which if you are not familiar with marketing strategies is considered to be one of the most if not the most powerful form of marketing, and in doing so are sending money to charitable organizations rather than an advertising firm. World Vision is an organization that I strongly support and by doing a post that gives what I feel to be helpful information to others, Hotels Combined will send World Vision a donation of $20, helping those in need. In a world where every little bit can make difference, especially given the severe need in parts of the world, I am appreciative of their willingness to take this approach.

I hope next time you are planning a trip or vacation you take a look at HotelsCombined.com and are able to find a great deal!


Stroller Strides February Calendar

Classes for the Spring are finally starting back up this Friday! Here is the rest of the February Calendar!

Heart for Haiti

**also posted at Smells Like Awesome (Val's family blog)

Here in Houston we have an amazing Christian radio station, KSBJ (89.3 FM). Today they are doing an all day fundraiser called Heart for Haiti. This fundraiser is "KSBJ's initiative to support the organizations that are currently providing relief on the ground in Haiti." The funds they raise today will be distributed to four reputable ministry organizations including:

World Vision

Living Water International

Samaritan's Purse

Compassion International

The goal of today's fundraiser was $50,000 and praise Jesus it already up to $66734.90!

Please consider donating to this fundraiser even if it is just a few dollars. Every little bit helps!

Bringing the blog back to life!

I finally got around to "cleaning up" the blog and have a few things I'll be posting throughout the day!

Thank you to the many people who have contacted me over the past few weeks regarding the blog, Stroller Strides classes, and community outreach. These are among the list of things to be posted!

more to come...


FREE Pass to Cy-Fair Pump It Up!

So how has everyone been for oh, you know the past few months?

I will be updating the blog, cleaning things out, etc over the next week or so and will hopefully be back to some "real" blogging soon!

But for now, enjoy this Free Pass to Cy-Fair Pump It Up!

You'll have to print the pass out, so click on it and print from there. If you print directly from this page, you will be cursing my name as you will get the many posts along with it!

As you know (or maybe not) we moved to Cy-Fair a few months ago and have been very happy here! Everyone is very friendly and it is nice to have the comforts suburbia and the big city at arm's reach!

And now a word from Cy-Fair Pump it up...

Pop-In Play Open Jump session during the month of January, 2010. Pump It Up Cy-Fair is the ultimate inflatable jump center in the Houston/Cy-Fair area. We pride ourselves in being the safest, cleanest and most fun indoor fun center in the city of Houston! We are family owned and family operated and take great pride in our facility. We would love for you to visit! Our friendly staff will make sure your visit is enjoyable!

Simply print this coupon and bring to our facility anytime during the month of January 2010 and let your child jump for free. Limit one free coupon per customer per visit. Call us at 281.469.4205 or visit our website at http://pumpitupcyfair.com for our Pop-In Playtime hours.


Raise Your Hand For Chocolate Milk

Speaking of milk...

I was contacted by Got Milk and asked to help spread awareness for this new campaign called Raise Your Hand For Chocolate Milk. Here is the deal. There is debate now among schools to remove chocolate milk from school menus in efforts to boost nutritional quality of their meals. The result is less and less kids are drinking milk at all at school. During these developmental times in a child's life, milk is essential in their diet be it chocolate or plain.
Leading health and nutrition organizations – like the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, and School Nutrition Association – recognize the valuable role that milk, including flavored milk, can play in meeting daily nutrient needs. All agree that the small amount of added sugar in flavored milk is an acceptable trade-off for the nutrients provided. In addition, studies show that children who drink flavored milk have better quality diets, do not have higher intakes of sugar, fat or calories, and are not heavier than non-milk drinkers. source: raiseyourhandformilk.com

Here is a pdf file outlining the top 5 reasons to Raise Your Hand for Milk.

I'm a mom of three and all three of them drink chocolate milk. I'm Ok with it! There are other drinks out there like sodas and other sugary drinks that they do not drink because they know they have the option for something better. Luckily (as far as I know anyway) our school here has not booted chocolate milk off the menu but should that happen it would be a cause for concern for me. If you have school aged children I hope you visit the website, sign the petition, and help out in spreading awareness for this campaign. Our kids need us!

Ebeanstalk.com...a place for toys

***Introductory paragraph written by Ebeanstalk

What makes a good toy? A toy called the Activity Bus from Plan Toys who makes safe green toys was sent to me from a toy website called ebeanstalk. Ebeanstalk has toy experts and moms that find the great learning toys and baby toys through a toy testing program. I’ll let you know what I think of the toy now.

This post is literally months overdue, along with the other posts starting at me from my notebook of blog ideas! I received this Activity Bus back in July and handed it over to my kids. They were excited about it when it first arrived and they liked all of the little parts and pieces that came with it. The bus opens up to make a mini class room complete with chalkboard, desks, teacher, and students. Very creative!

I love the design of the bus. It reminds me of the classic wooden toys...something that looks like one of Santa's elves made! The parts and pieces however really didn't stay put. They popped out of place easily and fell over easily. For a my three and five year old, this got annoying. The Activity Bus didn't really grab the attention of my oldest child. She played with the younger two for a few minutes and then lost all interest. This toy is not really made for her age group so that is not a bad or surprising thing.

In all honesty, this is not one of my kids favorite toys. That being said, Ebeanstalk.com does have several toys that I think my kids would like better. All of the toys sold at Ebeanstalk are good for learning and development and there are several neat toys that they carry that I have not seen in stores. One thing I like about the website is that it is easy to navigate through. You can search for toys by several different categories making it easy to find just what you are looking for.

This is a late post, but as it so happens just in time for Christmas! If you've got little ones to shop for this season, this website might be a good stop!