Subway Random Acts of Fitness For Kids

Subway has a new promo going called Random Acts of Fitness For Kids! They are wanting to help teachers to get their kids fit!!

If you are a teacher/home-educator, you can request a free Get Fit for the Fun of It! Kit from Subway. They will send you health and fitness information! Sign up HERE!!!

While you are there check out their Classroom news and Activities links!

Zune is music to my ears

I was recently introduced to Zune by The Online Mom. I was thrilled to get this cute little red 8 gig music machine to review!
Isn't it pretty?

Yes I love bright, shiny gadgets!
It was very quick & easy to install the software on my computer. The Zune Microsoft software quickly gathered the music already on my computer and added it into the Zune data base. It will also grab photos, videos and podcast too! Thank you Microsoft!

I received a 2 week free trial to Zune subscription! I figured out that that was just enough time to get me addicted! I could listen and download tracks, albums and create playlist. I created a lot of playlist. I now have my classical, 80s, Disco, Christmas, Harry Connick, Jr., Disney,etc all set as needed!I love listening to the FM radio! It allows you to tag a song and then later you can download that song into your collection!!!

I really freaked out with the link into wireless networks! This allows you to surf the millions and millions of Zune tunes without being on your computer! One day I was in the parking lot near a Quiznos! They offer free wireless. I was able to get on and surf for new tunes! You add songs to your cart and then when you are back on your computer you can sync the songs from your Zune to your computer!I was impressed with the resolution to view pictures, videos, album covers,etc. This lil' 8 gig holds up to 2,000 songs, 25,000 pictures or up to 25 hours of video! Very impressive. Who needs a wallet full of pictures of your kids and grand kids when you have a Zune!!! Very cool and up to date with the digital times!

The only weird function of the lil' machine is the volume control. You control it by lightly touching the touch pad up or down. It takes a few uses to get the hang of it but once you do it is smooth sailing!
I have two cautions that I have discovered:

#1- Zune will give you people as a recommendation based on your music preference and their music preference. You can add them as a friend and listen to their music too. So keep an eye on that and do with it as you wish. You can talk to them via messages on Zune.

#2- Your child will have access to millions and millions of songs. You can block the wireless from the Zune player which will not allow them to search tunes away from the computer if you wish. For my daughters' they know that if we do not know the band they need to have us listen to the music. I've never rejected any bands that they have brought to us. A few times we have asked "why do you want to listen to that?".We do not have any music in our own personal music collection that we wouldn't want our children to listen to. I love that you can have unlimited access to all of this music with a Zune Subscription. I look back to our CD collection and wonder why we have certain CD's. Some music will come and go. With Zune you can pick your music as your taste changes.

Keep checking back at The Online Mom. The site is up-to-date with current technology! Follow her on Twitter. She has tweet chats every Wednesday night using the hashtag #theonlinemom. You can also Fan her on Facebook! She has a newsletter that you can sign up for on her website! Check out my blog post "The Online Mom-Momma's Little Helper" from a few weeks ago too!

As with everything in this time of technology, parents need to be the eyes, ears and voice of reason for their children. You can't do it alone! So take advantage of resources like The Online Mom to help you see your options!


Harry Connick Jr. Review of Your Songs

I've been a huge Harry Connick, Jr. fan for years! My first CD that I bought was Blue Light, Red Light back in the early 90s. Let's just say that it was sound of love at first hear for my ears! Thanks to The One2One Network I've been given the opportunity to review his new CD, Your Songs. This is his 25th Album and he has sold over 25 million copies of his albums worldwide!

From the moment that I had the songs in my Zune player I knew that Harry was singing these songs to me! I posted my feelings on facebook that he was singing to me and here are some of the reactions that I got:

In your dreams, maybe! LOL!

I LOVE HARRY CONNICK JR.!!!!!!!! I have his Christmas CD!! And BTW, he is singing to me!

Lucky you! ;)

Might just have to go get that CD. I have two others.

When we were dating, Matt gave me a Harry Connick Jr. CD, I always think it is Matt singing to me, only Harry sings so much better!

I LOVE his voice. I am doing a Target run today, I am going to look for it!

Oh my goodness... I had no idea that he even had a new album! :)

This is exciting! FOUND IT! Target. I am putting it in now.......Thanks for the heads up this morning!So thank you Harry for getting us all in a wild frenzy over your new CD! This CD is named Your Songs because they are some of our favorite songs sang by iconic performers!!! Harry said on THE TODAY SHOW that he "just wanted to sing to us and not go over the top!"

Check out the track list (Originally performed by):

All The Way (Frank Sinatra)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
(They Long To Be) Close To You (The Carpenters)
Besame Mucho
The Way You Look Tonight
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Roberta Flack)
Your Song (Elton John)
Some Enchanted Evening
And I Love You So (Don McLean)
Who Can I Turn To? (Tony Bennett)
Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

If you want to see Harry sing check him out here:

9/29 – The View
9/30-- Imus in the Morning
9/30 – Letterman
10/1 – Today Show
Week of 10/5 – Rachael Ray

While we were living in New Orleans we got to see him in several Mardi Gras parades! Oh yeah it was great! Gotta run! Harry is about to perform on the View!

Don't forget to Fan Harry on Facebook!

Banned Books Awareness Week

(I posted this on The Homeschool Reading Diary)

I never realized that there were "banned" books until I was in 11th grade. My Lit teacher told us that we were going to read classical books that were not on the banned list but we could read books on the banned list on our own outside of class! I asked after class what were "banned" books because I had no clue! I would have loved to have had access to the Internet at that time because I would have Googled "banned books."
I just heard that there is Banned Books Awareness Week, September 26- October 3. This is what Half Price Books has to say about this week: Speak freely. Write candidly. Read endlessly. Celebrate your First Amendment rights during Banned Books Awareness Week, September 26 - October 3. And remember that Half Price Books buys and sells anything ever printed or recorded, including banned and challenged books. We applaud the courageous authors who open our eyes to controversial topics.

Here is a list of the top 100 banned books as listed by 100bannedbooks .

1. 1984 by George Orwell

2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain

3. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

4. Age of Reason by Thomas Paine

5. Andersonville (1955) by MacKinlay Kantor

6. Animal Farm by George Orwell

7. 1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean

8. As I Lay Dying (1932) by William Faulkner

9. The Bastard by John Jakes

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

11. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

12. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

13. Blubber by Judy Blume

14. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

15. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

16. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

17. Call of the Wild by Jack London

18. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce

19. Candide by Voltaire

20. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

21. Carrie by Stephen King

22. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

23. Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger

24. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

25. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

26. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

27. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

28. Color Purple by Alice Walker

29. Confessions by JeanbyJacques Rousseau

30. Christine by Stephen King

31. Cujo by Stephen King

32. Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen

33. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite

34. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck

35. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

36. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

37. Decameron by Boccaccio

38. Dubliners by James Joyce

39. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

40. Fallen Angels by Walter Myers

41. Fanny Hill by John Cleland

42. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

43. Forever by Judy Blume

44. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

45. The Goats by Brock Cole

46. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

47. Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck

48. Grendel by John Champlin Gardner

49. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

50. Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

51. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

52. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

53. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

54. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

55. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

56. House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

57. Howl by Allen Ginsberg

58. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

59. I Have to Go by Robert Munsch

60. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

61. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

62. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

63. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

64. King Lear by William Shakespeare

65. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

66. The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks

67. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

68. Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov

69. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

70. Lysistrata by Aristophanes

71. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

72. Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

73. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

74. Monk by Matthew Lewis

75. Native Son by Richard Wright

76. Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad

77. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

78. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

79. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

80. Ordinary People by Judith Guest

81. Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

82. Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective

83. Portnoy's Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth

84. Private Parts by Howard Stern

85. Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

86. Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

87. Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

88. Separate Peace by John Knowles

89. Silas Marner by George Eliot

90. SlaughterhousebyFive by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

91. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

92. Sons & Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

93. The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

94. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

95. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

96. Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

97. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

98. Ulysses by James Joyce

99. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

100. Wrinkle in Time byMadeleine L'Engle

I found a great site that goes into why books are banned. Go to Delete Censorship for more information. Some books stay on the list. Others get added or deleted over time.

Motivation to ban a book stems from an individual feeling that their family values, religion, political views and or minority rights are being threatened. From there they just gather supporters and up it climbs the chain to get it banned. If you don't like the book for whatever reason then don't read it. Simple as that. FYI- The Harry Potter Books are the #1 most challenged books of the 21st century!

My opinion is that as a mother there might be books that I do not want my children to read. I do not feel a need to impose that on every child in America. As I looked over this list I see may books my daughters have already read. Some of the books on the list we are reading for High School Literature! This is something we will be discussing as we read and study together.


AeroPress Iced Latte Coffee Recipe

Thanks to Stephen, at Big City Coffee, I won an AeroPress Coffee & Espresso maker a few months back on their Facebook Fanpage! I was really excited to win this cool coffee maker! Because it is such a cool coffee gadget, I decided to make my first cup of espresso into a Iced Cafe Latte. Make note that I am not a cold coffee drinker! I had read somewhere that someone used a French Press to make a cold espresso. I gagged thinking about it but decided to try it out.
The instructions included with the kit are extremely easy to follow! You put a filter in the cap and twist it onto the chamber. Then place it on a sturdy mug. It is best to use a fine-drip grind coffee. I used Cafe Pergolesi Espresso from Big City Coffee. I would say that it is one of the smoothest espressos that I have ever had. The smell is so inviting! I wanted to make the double espresso so the instructions said to use two AeroPress scoops of grind.This is the part where you are to pour in hot water (175-180 F) for best taste! My filtered tap water was easily 100 degrees off! You slowly pour in the water and then stir with paddle for about 10 seconds. Next you wet the rubber seal and insert the plunger in the the chamber. Gently press down about a quarter of an inch and I held that pressure for about 20-30 seconds all according to the instructions. The plunger goes to the bottom of the coffee and it is finished!

I have to say that it tasted a lot better than expected. It was very smooth, rich and no bitterness. I tossed in some milk and ice cubes to make an iced latte. The advantage of doing this with the cold water is that the ice cubes didn't melt. I rate this a 9.9 for a cool iced latte! You'll have to try it and see if you like it. My daughter finished mine off. She loves her coffee cool/cold. She loved it.

I have since used the AeroPress for hot espresso too. Very quick and easy. This will be great to take along on a trip too! I love it that it is plastic so no worries about glass breaking.


Break a Record and Support Child Literacy

On Oct. 8th you can join others and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and join in to beat the record of the most people reading the same book on the same day! This is sponsored by Wal-Mart and the book is available for you there for $8. The proceeds of the sale will be donated to JUMPSTART!

Make the Pledge to read!!! You can also purchase the book online! They are selling a special limited edition copy for the purpose of the contest!

Make the Donation to help Jumpstart. According to their site "Just $200 can sponsor a family and community literacy event, providing early education resources to an entire community of families to help jumpstart learning at home!"

Anyone tweeting with the hashtag #jumpstart has a chance to win a free copy of the book! 500 winners with 1 given away every 100 tweets!! Crazy fun!

Of course Amy at Resourcefulmommy had a great twitter Site Warming yesterday for the tweeting contest! Keep on tweeting!


Are you sneaking in fruits & veggies for meals?

Are you a parent that has to sneak in fruits and veggies into your kids meals to optimize the nutritional value?

Are you worried that they are not
eating enough of these?

Are your kids bored
with your tricks?
If this is you then you need to try the new Little Blends by Horizon. According to Horizon, they have created a new "Little Blends yogurt—bringing fruits and vegetables together for the first time in a great-tasting yogurt that kids love."

Guess what parents? This can be done without adding growth hormones, high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. Not only can offer this yogurt blend to them but be assured that the product is made of "natural goodness."Go take the "Feed The Baby" game. This is a crack up! You get to feed this video toddler veggies! I was waiting for food to fly back at me! Go see if you can beat my score of 3 spoons! to try your luck at feeding the baby his veggies. (I finally got the little boy to eat 19 spoons of veggies!) Oh and GOOD LUCK!

When my girls were new eaters I didn't seem to have a problem with them eating their veggies. The main problem would be introducing new veggies. They didn't like changing veggies. They could eat the same one all the time. I do remember that I would mix a new veggie slowly into the old veggie to where they were eating more of the new veggie.

Parents get your kids to eat their fruits and veggies! You are helping them establish healthy habits that will have them cleaning their plate even when they turn 60!

Thanks to TwitterMoms for hosting this blog post through the sponsor, Horizon's Little Blends. You too can participate. Go check out TwitterMoms for all the details!
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