Mattress Firm Challenges Austinites to Help Feed the Hungry

Leading specialty bedding retailer, Mattress Firm, is proud to partner with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in the fight against hunger. The Mattress Firm location at 9333 Research Blvd in the Gateway Shopping Center will be challenging Austinites to Give Big and Sleep Happy on August 25, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Mattress Firm is asking Austin to join in the fight against hunger by bringing non-perishable food items to the Gateway location. Each guest that brings a minimum of ten items will receive $100 gift card to apply towards their purchase at Mattress Firm.

“We really like to do what we can to help improve the lives of those in our community,” said Steve Stagner, President and CEO of Mattress Firm. “Hunger has been an ongoing issue and with Austin’s help, we can make a huge impact for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.”

This is the first of many Give Big Sleep Happy events in Austin. Mattress Firm’s local giving initiative encourages employees to partner with local community organizations to help improve lives one night at a time.

Preschool Letter C Art Activity

C is for Cut ~ C is for Cards


Win $100 Amazon GC Facebook Blast

Makobi Scribe and My Vinyl Direct are bringing you this Amazon Facebook blast. The winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $100. The giveaway is open WW. 
Planet Weidknecht is promoting this giveaway in exchange for a spot on the giveaway form.

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Rock N Learn PreSchool! Review

Rock N Learn has a series of specially-priced educational videos and you are not going to want to miss them! Available for a limited time for $7.98 only through September at Sam's Club while supplies last, these DVDs will help ensure your children are ready for school. Titles are available for PreSchool and UpGrades.
We received PreSchool Ready for School and it's a wonderful DVD that covers skills your youngster will need to get ready, including getting dressed, tying shoes, making the bed, cleaning the bedroom, and setting the table for breakfast. Throughout these lessons, the children also count, review colors, and review shapes.
I especially liked the part where the children talked about taking care of books with respect, just like they would with a friend. The children on the DVD talked about manners, listening, and being helpful. There are so many great lessons throughout this 30 minute video.
Using magnets on their own refrigerator, just like we do here on a magnetic file cabinet, the children on the DVD put all the letters of the alphabet in order. These repetitive lessons help children recognize letters and find ones that are in their own names.
One of the children's favorite parts is the letter tracing on the screen. My preschoolers were tracing the letters in the air with their fingers. For some reason the bouncy sound of the dot on the i and the j makes them laugh aloud. I have many of the Rock N Learn Videos and I love their new "whole child" approach that brings in real life skills. Another A+ product!
Rock N Learn online
Rock N Learn on Facebook
Rock N Learn on Twitter
Rock N Learn on Google+
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Win Rock N Learn PreSchool! Ready for School!
To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. This giveaway ends 8/31/12 at midnight ET. Good luck!


Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN opens in select theatres on November 9th and expands on November 16th. Will you go see it?
"Like" LINCOLN on Facebook: http://facebook.com/lincolnmovie
Follow on Twitter @LincolnMovie

Wedne$day Wealth Giveaway Linkup

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Play is Serious Work

Jennie-O Turkey - Review

I have the tendency to buy the same food products over and over. I had never tried Jennie-O Turkey products before so I was happy for the opportunity to sample a few different products. I received three $5.00 coupons and headed to my local HEB grocery, only to be told I cannot use the coupons there because the products I chose were less than $5.00. So I went to my Super Target instead. I chose a package of Jennie-O Applewood Smoked Turkey, Jennie-O Turkey Breast, and Jennie-O Ground Turkey.
Normally, we only eat turkey around Thanksgiving and Christmas, except for maybe deli-sliced turkey. Not that we don't love turkey, because we do, but because making a turkey always seems like SO much work to me. The Jennie-O Applewood Smoked Turkey was already prepared and ready to bake. All I had to do was open the package, preheat the oven, and put the turkey in for just over an hour.
It came out absolutely perfect. My husband and I both loved the Jennie-O Applewood Smoked Turkey. It tastes fabulous! We paired it up with some fruit and veggies for a lean, healthy, delicious dinner. There is alot of turkey in this package, enough for 4-5 people, so we had leftover turkey (that quickly disappeared when the boys got home). I told my husband Thanksgiving dinner will be much easier this year.
For the next day's lunch, I sliced up the Jennie-O Turkey breast, which comes precooked. It can be served cold or heated. We decided to make some turkey sandwiches. This turkey breast is so much moister than any other turkey I've ever had. It was easy to slice and it's a very high quality meat product.
We added lettuce, tomato, honey mustard, and honey wheat bread to the sliced turkey for a delicious, nutritious lunch. I will definitely be buying Jennie-O turkey products on a regular basis now. It's a much healthier choice than beef and it's so much easier to prepare than I thought. It would also be awesome as a salad meat, cut into cubes.
The final test was the Jennie-O Ground Turkey. We made Turkey Soft Tacos, using the Jennie-O Ground Turkey in place of  our usual ground beef, and it was just as delicious. I really liked the fact that there was no grease running out the sides of my tortillas. I am totally sold on Jennie-O products and definitely recommend them!
Jennie-O has a huge selection of products to choose from, including Turkey Bacon, Turkey Rope Sausage, Turkey Burgers and Turkey Link Sausage. I can't wait to try them all. They even offer gluten-free products and sodium-smart products. I'm making the switch to turkey! Check out all their products and recipes at http://www.jennieo.com and be sure to like them on Facebook for great coupon offers.

Letter C Art for Preschoolers

Interacting with the letters of the alphabet in many different ways helps to make letter recognition easy for preschoolers.

Another Winner on Planet Weidknecht

The Literary Love winner of
a Doctor Kit and Curious George book is
Terrim Fas!

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Texas Monthly September - How To Raise a Texan

PRESS RELEASE - During its almost 40-year history, Texas Monthly has provided guidance to its readers on how to experience the best that Texas has to offer. Not until the September 2012 issue has the magazine tackled the subject of how to raise a Texan—from birth until their departure from the nest. In ten remarkable stories that march chronologically through the stages of life, a diverse group of writers weighs in on the challenges and joys of Lone Star parenthood. The on-sale date of the issue is August 23.

In addition, a short video from the September issue cover shoot is available HERE. Watch photographer Randal Ford, his crew, and a bunch of parents attempt to herd dozens of Texas toddlers, all in their boots. Don't miss this issue or the video!

Safely Share the Road with School Buses

According to the American School Bus Council, school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. Today, as compared to years ago, school buses are built with safety in mind. In fact, a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation states that children are safer riding the bus to and from school than being driven in a car by an adult. When you are sharing the road with school buses, follow these tips:

· Yellow and Red Flashing Lights - School buses have yellow lights to warn drivers they will be making a stop and red flashing lights and an extendable stop sign to tell drivers to stop. Yellow does not mean go faster, it means slow down. Be aware of your surroundings and always come to a complete stop. Do not continue driving until the lights have turned off and the sign is pulled in.
· Passing a School Bus - It is illegal to pass a school bus on the right side of the road because you cannot be aware of where the bus needs to stop to load or unload. Always wait for the bus to move to the right lane or stay a safe distance behind it. Additionally, it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. It is vital that you stop your vehicle at least 10 feet away from the school bus to allow for riders to enter and exit safely.
· Railroad Crossings - In most states it is required that school buses stop at all railway crossings. Be alert when a crossing is ahead and a school bus nearby so that you can stop as well.
· Divided Highways - You must always stop for flashing red lights; however, most states do not require drivers to stop when on the opposite side of a divided highway. Use extreme caution if you are in this situation as passengers may be trying to cross in that area, especially if there is a crosswalk.
· Buses Need Turning Space - Just like trucks, buses have a wide turning radius. Remember to provide them with ample turning space so they can maneuver easily on the road.
· Watch for Children Waiting for the Bus - As the driver, you are responsible for keeping an eye on the road and on children waiting for the bus. Come to a complete stop at all stop lights and stop signs, drive slowly near bus stops and watch for children crossing the road.
· Slow Down - Use caution if you are driving in residential areas and school zones. Fines for speeding in an area can be hefty.
· Allow for Extra Time During Your Commute - School bus drivers have to follow the same speed limit rules as every other driver; however, they make frequent stops which can delay traffic. Know the bus routes in your community and allow ample travel time when school is in session.

Guest post by David Silvey, Vice President at AlliedBarton Security Services, www.alliedbarton.com, the industry’s premier provider of highly trained security personnel to many industries including higher education, commercial real estate, healthcare, residential communities, chemical/petrochemical, government, manufacturing and distribution, financial institutions and shopping centers.

Velvet Sky Lullabies by Valarie Pettiford - Review

Parents and children will love this collection of original lullabies from Valarie Pettiford. Velvet Sky is a wonderfully relaxing CD, perfect for rocking baby to sleep or relaxing a toddler to sleep. Valarie's voice is soft and angelic. I've been using these lullabies in the background during our morning daycare hours and I've noticed the children have been much calmer and quieter indoors than usual. When the children asked if they could dance to the music, it was so sweet to see them fluttering around like butterflies, softly and sweetly to the music. Velvet Sky is a fabulous collection of gentle and peaceful songs. We love it! The release date is set for 9/18/2012 but you can pre-order the song Velvet Sky at the link below.
Disclosure: I received this CD at no charge in exchange for my honest review.