Monday, October 31, 2011

Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® {Giveaway}




Did you know... Day Light Savings is quickly approaching in less than a week, November 6th to be exact! As you make the changes to all of your clocks around your house, you should take a quick second to test all of your smoke detectors.

Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) are asking parents to take a vital step to keep their kids safe at home – Change Your Clock Change Your Battery®.


Throughout October and the beginning of November,  Energizer is inviting parents across the country to join the Energizer Bunny® Brigade on Facebook for a chance to win free smoke alarms and batteries for their home or a grand prize of a home fire safety makeover. It’s a fun way to get people thinking about an important topic – home fire safety – and sharing positivity within their communities.

The message is simple, and the habit can be lifesaving. Thirty-eight percent of fatal fire injuries occur in homes without working smoke alarms, while 24 percent occur in homes in which at least one smoke alarm is present but fails to operate.*

Join the Energizer Bunny® Brigade on Facebook and enter to win on ace and friends too!

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Thanks to the Energizer, TWO LUCKY ace and friends reader will win a smoke alarm equipped with Energizer batteries!
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chicboom Keychain Speaker Ball by chicBuds {Review & Upcoming Giveaway}


 

I LOVE music, so when I came across this super fun and unique product, I had to share. The chicboom Keychain Speaker Ball from chicBuds is the perfect gift for the music lover in your life.  This amazingly cute device is compatible with iPods, iPhones, MP3 Player, Walkmen, Computers, Airplane Connectors... basically any listening device! 



The keychain itself is pretty small, but surprisingly, it plays the music quite loud. Louder than I definitely expected. What I really liked was that there is a built in rechargeable battery that you plug into your computer to recharge it's power. It claims to give you fours house of play time. I haven't tested it four hours straight, but I've been using it often and still haven't had to recharge it yet.

Here are some additional product details:
  • Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • Plays for up to 4 hours on a single charge
  • Connects to any device with a standard 3.5mm stereo jack
  • Power and battery life indicator
  • Clarity, incredible volume and clear distortion-free sound
Find out more information about this product and other at www.chicbuds.com

I will be hosting a ONE-DAY GIVEAWAY tomorrow, November 1st - one lucky reader (US only) will win the chicBuds chicboom Keychain Speaker BallMake sure to return back to enter!


[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free from the manufacturer of a PR Agency. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." See ace and friends Disclosure Policy HERE.]
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like a *Shutterfly* Christmas {Giveaway}

Over the past several years, I've tried out many different online photo publishing services. Time and time again, I've ALWAYS come back to Shutterfly to print ALL of my photo needs. Whether it's been birth announcements or photobooks, I've had nothing but great success with Shutterfly's quick and efficient service.

The things I love most about Shutterfly (in addition to the super fabulous discounts they offer) is the convenience and ease of use. The Shutterfly site is much easier to upload and organize your photos then other sites I have tried. They offer a variety of projects to fit all your photo expressive needs.

So call me crazy (don't hate me for already planning Christmas stuff, but I can't help myself... I {heart} Christmas), but I've already perused through the amazing selection of Christmas Cards and have chosen my absolute favorites (take a peek below.... cute, right?)! Now, the challenge begins of selecting my favorite style and favorite kids' photo to use in it. Choices, choices.... ahhhhhh, help....


 What type of cards will you be sending out this holiday season? Shutterfly offers a wide selection of Christmas Cards, from Greeting Cards to a variety of different photo Christmas cards. Ever have a hard time trying to figure out what to get the grandparents for the holidays? Create an amazing photo books... they will LOVE and cherish them!

So what are you waiting for... check them out... you won't be disappointed, plus you will make me feel better for printing out my Christmas cards sooooo early! (honestly, it's NEVER to early for Christmas stuff... well, for me anyway... my husband would beg to differ... )


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THREE LUCKY ace and friends readers will win 25 FREE Cards
(please note: shipping is NOT included).
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Crane USA - *Name That Toon* Facebook Contest!




Crane, makers of the line of Adorable humidifiers, is giving Moms and Dads a chance for their kids to be a cartoon character. That’s right! Winners will have an original animated likeness of themselves created to star in a cartoon with the Adorables they named. In addition, all winners will receive an Adorable humidifier sent to them with a personalized certificate with the winning name.



Contest Instructions

With 11 Adorables, there are eleven chances to win! So get together with your child and have some fun playing the name game. Post your name idea and on the following Monday, 5 finalists will be chosen based on originality.

The 5 finalists have one week to win based on number of votes. If you are not one of the finalists, don’t worry. You have a chance to name next week’s Adorable!!

Visit Crane's Facebook page to enter!
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First Alert: The Great Escape {Giveaway}


October is Fire Prevention Month! Are you as surprised as I am to hear that? In a study conducted by First Alert, 79% of Americans have a home escape plan in place in case of a fire or other emergencies. However, over half (51%) never practiced their plan and 29% have only practiced it once. I am sad to say, we fall in the minority {sigh}. We definitely plan to change that going forward!




To develop an effective fire escape plan, First Alert and the NFPA offer the following tips:
  • Involve everyone in your household in developing a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Make sure everyone in the home understands the plan. 

  • Install smoke alarms throughout the home and test them monthly. Change batteries every six months to ensure proper function.

  • Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor’s house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped.

  • Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor’s home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
  • Once you’re out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

It is suggested to practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year, making drills as realistic as possible.  Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.

Enter to win:  Like First Alert on Facebook for your chance to win fire safety-related prizes and even a “Great Escape” to Chicago!


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To purchase your own First Alert Smoke Detectors or other products
visit their site HERE to find a store near you or visit their online retailer.
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 One LUCKY ace and friends reader will win a First Alert VOICE Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm of their very own {RV $49.97}.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

EXERGEN TemporalScanner Thermometer {Review & Giveaway}


If you have ever tried to take the temperature of a baby, toddler or even a child, you know that it can be difficult. Little ones can't hold it under their tongue, some don't like it under their arm and well...  I am quite certain MOST definitely do not like another alternative. Thanks to Exergen, the battle to take the kids' temperature has ended with the use of their TemporalScanner Thermometer!


About EXERGEN TemporalScanner
 (source: exergen.com)

The TemporalScanner Thermometer is a totally non-invasive system with advanced infrared technology providing maximum ease of use with quick, consistently accurate measurements. Advanced, patented technology measures temperatures with a gentle stroke across the forehead.

The TemporalScanner Thermometer has been clinically tested for accuracy compared to rectal thermometers and temperature sensors inserted in the heart during course of patient treatment and accepted for use in major hospitals, making it the ideal thermometer for use with newborns, infants, children or adults.

The TemporalScanner has patented software, providing arterial heat balance. This unique process determines temperature by accurately measuring the balance between the tissues warming from arterial blood and tissues cooling (warming) caused by heat loss (gain) to the environment.

ace and friends thoughts

I've been intrigued by TemporalScanner Thermometers and always wondered if they were as accurate as they claim to be and I was determined to find out. From what I have read, these types of thermometers are much more accurate than an underarm or in the ear reading.

Here is what I did to take little {e's} temp recently. I compared Exergen's TemporalScanner Thermometer reading with that of an oral thermometer. To get an accurate read there are a few easy steps that I use to produce the best outcome.

{1} Placed the thermometer on her forehead, just above the eye and ran it all the way into the hairline, without lifting the thermometer off of her forehead.

{2} I took three reading and then averaged all three temperatures.

{3} After taking the readings I found it was very easy to clean. I just wiped the head with the tip of a swab and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. According to the directions, by cleaning the head of the thermometer on a regular basis, it will perform and work more accurately.

Now, in comparison to the oral thermometer, the temperature was within +0.3 degrees F. I tested three times and essentially came up with the same degree difference between the two thermometers.

Going forward, the Exergen TemporalScanner will be our go to thermometer. This thermometer is very easy to use, doesn't irritate our kids and most importantly, produces a quick accurate temperature reading. Genius!


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To purchase your own Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer 
visit their site HERE to find a store near you or an online retailer.

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 One LUCKY ace and friends reader will win an Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer of their very own.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Proactiv 365 {Review}


Acne breakouts, ugh! I should say... a big UGH! I thought that was long gone with my teen years. Unfortunate for me, I was recently revisited by the ugly acne fairy. BOOOO! What I noticed was that when I started having kids, it was happening a little more often and then by number three... more often than not. I never in a million years thought I would be so lucky un-lucky to deal with it again in my thirties (le sigh!). Like many of you, I've seen Proactiv 365 everywhere, advertised on television, in the newspaper and even endorsed by so many of my favorite celebrities. Seen over and over again, the claims of how well it worked, I (well, my face) was ready to give it a well-needed test run!

About Proactiv

Proactiv’s 3-Step System is designed to attack acne “proactively”—delivering the right combination of medicines and skin-care agents, in the right order and concentrations, to help control the acne cycle before breakouts occur.

Now, along with the acne-fighting 3-Step System, Proactiv offers Proactiv 365, a program that provides you with customized advice from trained Skincare Advisors 24 hours a day, as well as a private online community, to enhance your Proactiv experience. 
 
ace and friends thoughts
pre-Proactiv 365.

unfortunate breakouts at hairline and on chin area.  ----------------->
(unlucky me... sigh, again.)
Step 1 - Renewing Cleanser
Proactiv Renewing Cleanser

The Renewing Cleanser is used twice daily and it is used to treat the whole face. It was very easy to use. All I had to do was apply about a dime size amount of cleanser and massage on my face for 1-2 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Step 2 - Revitalizing Toner
Proactiv Revitalizing Toner

The Revitalizing Toner was also used twice per day on the entire face. Again a dime size applied with a cotton ball and then allowed to dry. 
Step 3 - Repairing Treatment
Proactiv Repairing Treatment

The Repairing Lotion Treatment can also be used twice per day, but I opted to only use it in the evening because my skin has been known to dry out with benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient). I used a very small amount (like the size of a pea) and just applied to my oh-so lovely acne breakout areas. 

After using the Proactiv product for a few short weeks, I am happy to report that my skin has cleared up. If you are skeptical (as was I), rest assured, it did indeed work for me. Take a look below. 

post-Proactiv 365 use (sans makeup).

What I really LOVED was that they offer Proactiv 365, a super useful area to have my skin care questions answered by the experts. I will definitely continue to use these products on a regular basis to prevent any future breakouts.  Final thoughts: An amazing solution for adult acne breakouts... I am thrilled with the results!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Proactiv and received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Share-It-Forward With o.b.



First, I am thankful that I live in a country that allows us so many day-to-day conveniences! I sometimes tend to forget how wonderful I really have it. I am fortunate to have a warm home, access to stores, healthy food and so much more. Unfortunately for others in developing countries, every day conveniences are not so easy to access. 

For those in these developing countries, not only do they have to live day to day in poor conditions, but they also struggle with other important health issues. Millions of girls in these countries have to suffer, because unlike the women and girls in the United States, they don't have easy access to sanitary protection. Yep, sanitary protection, something that we (as women in the U.S.) take for granted. Young girls within these countries are dropping out of school because they are unable to afford sanitary protection or even worse, resort to to dangerous alternatives, which increases their susceptibility to poverty and disease, including HIV. 

Thankfully, there is something YOU and I can do for these young girls. o.b. Brand has created  a Share-It-Forward Facebook campaign to raise money and awareness for Huru International, a non-profit organization that provides at-risk young girls in developing countries with the resources and knowledge they need to complete their education and safeguard their health.  Now through November, the o.b. Brand will donate $1 (up to $25,000) for every person who visits the o.b. Outreach Tab on the mighty. small.™ movement Facebook page and "Shares" a message about Huru International's mission.

Here's how you can help (p.s. it's SUPER simple!)

Visit visits the o.b. Outreach Tab on the mighty. small.™ movement Facebook page.
 
{1} Like the mighty.small.movement
{2} Select your state of legal residence within the green box
{3} Check that you accept the Terms & Conditions
{4} “Click to Share” button (in pink) to post the message on your Wall
{5} That's it. Continue to help "Share-It-Forward".


See what this movement is doing to help...




Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of o.b. and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monte Carlo DVD and Purse Hook {Giveaway}


  
Top 5 Mistaken Identity Films for the Whole Family



You can win a DVD copy debuting Oct. 18


A classically fun tale for the entire family is one of mistaken identity, especially when tons of hijinks and shenanigans ensue after a movie character is thought to be someone different. With the Selena Gomez flick Monte Carlo debuting for home entertainment on Oct. 18, we have compiled a Top 5 list of these kid-friendly stories of twins, lookalikes and doppelgangers.



Selena Gomez stars in Monte Carlo as Grace, a recent college graduate who is ready to live out her idea of a perfect vacation with BFF Emma (Katie Cassidy) to Paris. After several twists and turns, including her unhappy stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester) joining them on the trip, Grace falls into a fairytale of her very own in the French Riviera.



1)     The Parent Trap (1998)




In this remake of the classic Disney film of the 1960s, Lindsay Lohan stars as both Hallie and Annie, identical twin sisters separated after their parents split. Hallie ended up with her father Nick (Dennis Quaid) in the U.S. and Annie grew up in London with mom Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson). When the two meet at summer camp, they hatch a brilliant scheme to reunite them and their parents by switching places.


2)     The Lizzie McGuire Movie



The spin-off feature length film from the Disney Channel original series follows Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) to Rome where she gets mistaken for an international pop star named Isabella Parigi. Isabella is known for her ballads with heartthrob Paulo Valisari (Yani Gellman), and when the two have a big fight, Lizzie is asked to save the day.



3)     Model Behavior



Alex Burroughs (Maggie Lawson) wishes she could have a picture perfect life of photo shoots and racks of clothes and Janine Adams (also Lawson) yearns for a little bit of normalcy. When the two run into each other and realize the resemblance, they switch lives. Things get a little complicated when Alex must deal with Janine’s terrible mother Dierdra (Kathie Lee Gifford) and cute fellow model Jason (Justin Timberlake).



4)     She’s the Man



This spin on the Shakespeare tale “Twelfth Night” revolves around Viola (Amanda Bynes) as she takes her brother’s place at school and on the soccer team when he decides to skip out for a couple of weeks. While at the boarding school and posing as her brother, she falls for one of his soccer teammates Duke (Channing Tatum). In the meantime, Duke has a crush on Olivia (Laura Ramsey) who in turn likes Sebastian (James Kirk).



5)     Monte Carlo




While on vacation with her BFF and stepsister, Grace (Selena Gomez) is mis-identified as British heiress Cordelia Winthrop Scott who is in Monte Carlo for several important appearances. These events are leading up to a huge auction raising money for charity that the spoiled Cordelia must be at, even if Grace must pose as her for the show to go on.





More Printable Fun: 

Just for families and moms... feel free to print these two super cute postcards and share them with a friend!


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One LUCKY ace and friends reader will win a Monte Carlo Prize Pack that includes copy of the movie on DVD and a unique Monte Carlo Purse Hook

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cranium Brain Breaks Game {Review & Giveaway}


As a family, we love spending time together and really enjoy our family game nights. It's always so much fun and filled with LOTS of friendly competition and laughter! Cranium Brain Breaks is a fast-paced and fun-filled experience that features more than 200 games that can be played in one minute or less. It's super portable {brain} case means it can be played anytime, anywhere. Families can race to beat the timer in such things as acting and sketching to sculpting clay and guessing games.  Two or more players can play and it's geared toward ages 8 and up, but our 4 year old and 7 year old had a great time playing along too!
 
ace and friends thoughts

We played as teams because it was easier for our family. Although the two older siblings like to compete against each other, it was nice to see them team up and work together than against each other. These fast paced games were perfect for us when we just have just a few downtime minutes between getting home from school, dinner and bed time. We really liked that you could play as little or as many games as you liked as each one in under one minute. It's definitely great fun for anytime and anywhere! 


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Purchase your own Cranium Brain Breaks on their site HERE. (Retail $12.99)

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One LUCKY *ace and friends* readers will win their very own Cranium Brain Breaks.

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Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum {Review}


In a household with three very busy body kids and an outdoor cleaning hubby, you can just imagine the amount of {stuff} that makes it into the house daily. Dirt, leaves and just random debris ends up on the floor making it a tough job for any old vacuum. In addition to the daily {stuff} are indoor allergens that could use the assistance of one heavy duty vacuum to help alleviate all these daily battles. Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum was up for the challenge!



About little more about the Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum

The detachable canister feature on the Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic pet vacuum makes cleaning hard-to-reach areas super easy. The suction system is housed in the detachable unit, so wherever you go, the suction power travels with you. Whether you're looking to clean areas where your pets like to sleep, stairs, or even car upholstery, just 'Press, Grab and Go' and you're all set.
  • Unique detachable canister: Goes with you so you can clean stairs and other hard to reach areas, such as where your pets like to sleep
  • Great for pet hair: 12 amps and Multi Cyclonic cleaning system
  • TurboBrush Pet: Easily cleans pet hair off of stairs and upholstery
  • Rotating Brush Power Switch: Allows for cleaning carpeted and bare floors
  • HEPA media filter: Captures over 99.9-percent of pet dander, dust mites, pollens and ragweeds
  • Dual edge cleaning: Provides Surround Suction to clean hard-to-reach places like baseboards and around furniture
  • Easy Empty dirt container: Convenient clear bagless container allows for easy empty
  • 30-foot power cord
The Test drive by ace and friends

Assembly was super simple but I did need a Phillips head screwdriver to attach the handle to the base and it took less than a minute to do it.



The hose and accessories snapped into place and I was ready to roll.



There are many qualities that I enjoy about the Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum. Because I have carpeted and hardwood floors in my home, I wanted a vacuum that could easily go from one type of surface to the next. I appreciated that the wheels on this vacuum are made of a plastic/rubber material and don't damage or scratch our hardwood floors. 

Another thing that I really liked about this vacuum was that the dust cup is easily accessible, easy to empty and then easy to put back into place.  The dust cup container is located on the front of the vacuum and you can see through the clear plastic container when it needs to be emptied.


So, how does it sound and does it really work? First, the carpet. It performed very well on the carpet, picking up ALL sorts of YUCK (see above). The vacuum had some weight to it, but nothing overly unusual. It was easy to maneuver and I really liked the ability to go from the carpet area to the hardwood floors with a flip of a switch. By turning off the brush, you can easily transfer to the hardwood floors.


It easily picked up crumbs, leaves and other {stuff} on both surfaces. 

To reach the stairs, the canister detaches with ease and I could carry it with me to clean the staircase as well as the sofa and more. {love.}


So what are my favorite features: 
  • Amazing suction power.
  • Press N' Go Lift-off feature. For use on stairs and other hard to reach areas.
  • Bagless.
  • Dedicated on-off switch for brush. To vacuum wood floor without brush.
  • Brush automatically turns off when unit is at upright position. - Furniture protection rubber guard. 
  • Pet Brush Attachment - has rotating rubber spinner to grab hair as you vacuum carpet or furniture surfaces.  
 Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum in action

video

 
I was thrilled that it picked up dust and dirt out of the carpet as well as worked perfectly on the hardwood floors. The crevice tools, pet turbo brush and extension piece performed as expected.  I really like that ALL of the attachments are housed/stored right on the vacuum itself. It makes for easy accessibility and easy storage. Some vacuums don't have this ability and I have been known to lose an attachment or two. So kudos to Bissell for their design.

Overall the vacuum was easy to maneuver and use. My first impression of the unit is quite positive and I expect many years of cleaning satisfaction with my Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum.

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Buy It

Purchase your own Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Pet Vacuum on their site HERE. (Retail $179.99)

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[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free from the manufacturer of a PR Agency. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." See ace and friends Disclosure Policy HERE.]
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