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November 2012

Don't trust that there Intrawebs - A lesson in humility

The past two days have been interesting for me.  Not because I did anything interesting, but because I hit "share" on Facebook when I shouldn't have.  

See, the internet is full of really cool info, but not all of it is true, apparently.  (Who knew?)  Even if you get the info from a trusted source, it could still be some falsity that can make you look stupid when reposting.

I know, because I reposted some crazy legal jargon that was supposed to protect me from copyright infringement, keep plagiarists from stealing my stuff and basically push the Devil back into Hell any time he tried to take my soul.  However, it turned out to be a hoax.  

Well, hoax isn't the right word.  I can't imagine that anyone would make up such a long legal-sounding speech with the intention of deceiving anyone.  More likely, someone wrote it in the hopes that it could protect us the way he WANTED it to, but got it wrong.  But then again, I am a believer that people are essentially good.  Naive?  Maybe.  But I refuse to think otherwise.

Case in point: I AGAIN posted something that was false last night because it looked like such a wonderful idea.  This time, it was a call for holiday cards to be sent to wounded American soldiers at the Walter Reed Center.  How nice is that?  Well, the Walter Reed Center has been closed for a few years now.  Plus, when they were open, they would not accept cards addressed to "Any Wounded Soldier".  

Ho hum.  Foiled again.

After both instances of posting these incorrect thingy-ma-bobbers, I was immediately made fun of by my friends.  They are lucky that I have a thick skin, or I might just have broken down and cried on the couch with a bowl of pumpkin mousse and a box of tissues while questioning my own validity as a human being for the rest of the day... thank goodness THAT didn't happen.  

It didn't.  I swear.  You can trust me.  It's posted on the internet, so it MUST be true.




15 Prizes, 23 Blogs, Let's Band Together to Turn Black Friday Red, White, & Blue! {Giveaway}

Welcome to our "Turn Black Friday Red, White, & Blue" GIVEAWAY!  
This is THE YEAR to support our American businesses, show our USA Love, and keep our jobs at home by seeking out gifts made in the USA.  We've heard from parents that American made products and gifts for kids are among the most challenging to find so we have pulled together some of our favorite brands and sources for a massive holiday giveaway event.
This giveaway will launch on Black Friday and will run through December 7, with winners selected each day during the first week of December.  Like the fun gift exchanges we all enjoy with friends, the first winner will have their first choice of prize, and so on, continuing until this huge pile of American-made treasures is in the hands of our readers, just in time for Christmas giving.
Our Prize Sponsors:
Many thanks to these fabulous sponsors who offered their American-made products to our readers.  This list alone is a fantastic source for finding made in USA gifts. Before or after you enter, take a moment to click around and get to know our favorite resources for kids' stuff made in the USA.  Be sure to follow them on social media to show your support and to hear about new products and promotions.
K'Nex are the world's most creative construction and building toys.
Prize: K'Nex Classics 50 Model Building Set with over 700 pieces

Natural, Non-toxic Nail Polish, "Natural As Mud"
Prize: MistleToes Gift Set
Made in USA Store for one-stop All-American-made shopping online.
Prize: All American Toy Collection in a handmade stocking

Battery-free, Creative Toys with a Focus on Toys Made in USA.
Prize: Wooden Fire Truck Toy
An Online Source for Things Made in the USA, including toys.
Prize: A $100 gift certificate 
Gifts & teddy bears stuffed with love in Vermont.
Prize: 15" Hoodie Footie Bear
Smart Textiles for Smart Parents! Antimicrobial Baby Products.
Prize: Fold & Go Antimicrobial Changing Pad

Plush toys, handmade just for you!
Prize: Medium Plush Toy of your choice
Authentic American Toys, Games, & Puzzles
Prize: $10 toy, game, or puzzle of your choice
An addicting car racing table game for parties or family game night.
Prize: A Tailgate 500 Game Set
Play with your Thinking Putty at home, school, work, the car, anywhere! 
Prize: A Trio of Tins of Thinking Putty

Hank Player USA | On Facebook | On Twitter | On Pinterest Cool graphic tees for infants, toddlers and boys and girls of all ages.
Two Prizes: 2 long sleeved t-shirts, winners choose

Fun, safe, and environmentally friendly all natural wooden toys.
Prize: Maple & Walnut Start Stacker Toy

Butterscotch Blankees | On Facebook | On Twitter | On Pinterest Personalized gifts with love. Blankets, pillows, accessories & dresses.
Prize: A full-sized, personalized acrylic blanket

Our Promotional Sponsors:
The following sites are showing their USA Love by co-hosting this event on their blogs.  Take a moment to get to know these fabulous bloggers who write about a wide range of topics. This season, they are helping to turn Black Friday Red, White, & Blue!


How to Enter: 

We like to keep our giveaways flexible and allow our readers to enter in whatever ways they are most comfortable. There are a LOT of entry options below, but don't be overwhelmed. They are not required... however, the more entry options you complete, the more chances you'll have to win. The more entries the better because you could even win more than one prize! Some entry options are available for daily entry so bookmark us and come back!
Just click the Do It! button for further instructions on each entry.  Prizes will begin to be distributed on 12/1 and this giveaway will close at midnight on 12/6. The winners will be randomly selected, verified for correct entry participation, and notified by email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you've already entered one contest on USA Love List, entering another will be even easier. Visit USA Love List's Giveaways Page to find out about other active offers to join.

My guest post at My Overthinking: Santa is real...at least to me

I am honored to have been able to guest post over at my friend Kelly's blog My Overthinking about how we handle Santa in our house.  Kelly had posted a really great piece last week about her family's views on Santa, which are completely different than mine.  

It's funny, because in my experience I've never found it easy to "agree to disagree" on a lot of things.  In this case, it's not even really a disagreement situation.  It's more of a yin and yang type deal.  We both agree that each other's Christmas traditions are AOK, because it's what we both chose for our own families.  

I'm so happy to have been a part of this exchange and really hope you all can enjoy both sides.  :-) 

Flash Giveaway by Elite Martial Arts in Rockaway, NJ!! Ends tonight at 10!!

Free Event Giveaway!  


This year, Elite Martial Arts is giving back by giving YOU a FREE event!

 Just call us tonight, Tuesday, November 20th by 10pm and you will automatically be selected to win ... totally FREE!  Call 973 361 5425!

*for non-students only

Your child is invited to join us for fun and exciting ALL DAY Camp at our school!
We'll teach kids team building exercises, karate classes, watch movies, play games and break for lunch and snacks! Open to all participants - you don't have to be a martial arts student to attend! Enrollment is limited so sign-up today by completing the form; click sign up now!
Time: 9AM - 4PM
(with a  6AM and/or 6PM extension!)
Cost: ONLY $45 (normally $80ea)
There's MORE! Enjoy 3 hours - a Parent Night Out event - for only $20! This time it's a Black Friday Black Out!  Karate classes... in the dark! Team building activities! Pizza & Juice dinner! Just click sign up now to register! 
Time: 6PM - 9PM 
CostONLY $20
Elite Martial Arts Rockaway
208 Enterprise Drive
Rockaway, NJ 07866
(The Wal-Mart Complex)
Sign Up Button

Knitters and crocheters wanted! Guest post by Sarah Hughes

My beautiful friend Sarah has started a drive for all you knitters/crocheters out there to get involved in hurricane Sandy relief.  I applaud her for using what she knows to help those who need it.  She also drove all the way here with a truckload of donations for our town that she collected from our social media group the Philly Social Media Moms.  She drove them here...to a town that she is not familiar with.  A town where she knows 2 residents- my husband and me.  

She helped our town, so now we have the opportunity to help her home town too - Staten Island. Please see Sarah's guest post below and share it with all those knitters in your life.  

I was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Since Hurricane Sandy hit last week I have seen my hometown destroyed via photos on the internet. I see facebook posts of old friends talking about the destruction, the suffering and the loss. My heart is in pain from the devastation that Hurricane Sandy left behind. While I have made my obligatory Red Cross donation, collected donation items and drove them to the right places I feel like I need to do more. It’s getting so cold out and people have lost everything. As the granddaughter, daughter and niece of knitters and crocheters I thought by collecting handmade hats and giving them out directly to in the communities that lost I could bring a little bit of warmth and love from knitters and crocheters. So I have created Spreading the Warmth: One Hat at a Time.


I decided I could unite some people, maybe gather up 50 or so hats and bring them home to Staten Island. To the families that have lost EVERYTHING!!! A friend of a friend from Staten Island made me a flyer that I started sharing it a little on facebook late Monday night and Tuesday Morning. Tuesday alone I had 671 hits to my blog post about it, about 100 emails and facebook messages and EVERYONE wanted to help. I mean EVERYONE….From Canada, to Israel, to The Netherlands, Orlando, Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Nevada AND SO MANY more places I can’t list them all. I'm looking for more!! Are you a knitter? Do you Crochet? Together we can Spread the Warmth, One Hat at a Time.....

You can follow the collect progress and cheer on everyone on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/FinneganAndTheHughes
Email me- hatsforhurricane@gmail.com

Tonight….I too, am picking up my needles ----------------------------------------------------------------------


About Sarah Hughes...I grew up in Staten Island, New York and my family moved to New Jersey when I was 18 years old. I say things like Pay-pa and waddaa sometimes and try to cover my thick accent! When I escaped working in New York City for a new life in Philadelphia I started dating my now husband Rob. We have two children, Derek is 4 and Hayley is 2. Finnegan is our 5 year old Australian Shepherd and really more like a third child than a dog. All of our children love to sleep in our bed!! I blog over at www.finneganandthehughes.com  

Use whatever works to get through...


I'm dazed.  For almost two weeks now life has not been normal.  I have been sitting in this bubble next to all these homes demolished by hurricane Sandy.  Nothing happened to my home or family, so I am eternally grateful for that.  But I am sad.  I don't understand it all.  I keep pushing that thought back because I don't really think I would ever want to know the reasoning behind all that has happened.  It has happened.  That is enough.

I have been getting mad a lot lately, too.  I don't normally get mad.  But I have been lately.  I have been focusing my anger on this chair I see on the side of the road.  This chair has been sitting there for a few days now.  It looks like someone threw it out for special pick-up.  On normal days, it would be an average sight.  But now, the mere thought of it is making me cringe.  It's a beautiful recliner.  It looks almost new.  

If you were to go across town, you could probably find the same recliner on the side of the road, but it would be soaked in bay water from the massive flooding along with every other ounce of its home's contents.  That twin recliner would have been thrown out because it had to be, not because someone just didn't want it.  This one over here was probably replaced by an even newer recliner in a nice warm house.

How silly is that?  I'm getting mad at a chair?  I don't even know WHY it was thrown out.  Maybe it has a pee stain.  Maybe it IS broken.  Yet, I'm still mad.  There it sat through a rain/snow storm.  There it still sits...  if I had the ability I would bring it across town myself.  

But anyway... I don't know what to write.  I thought writing about the tragedy would make me feel better.  But the truth is, I'm not ready to feel better.  People need help.  Standing beside them and helping to get them back to normal is the only way to go.  Getting mad at a chair and helping in any way I can is whatever works for me.  Use whatever works for you to get through it.

I made up this Facebook page for people to check if they want to help in any way.  I hope you can check it out.  

Hurricane Sandy Support Page- South Jersey

If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated.  In the very least, please say a prayer for everyone.  I believe it works.

Thank you.