Thursday, February 27, 2014

Links From My Mailbag

You may have noticed that a few months ago, I added an email address button to my toolbar (see those pretty green buttons on the right?).  Not soon after I opened that email account, my first product review request appeared in my mailbox.  Some of the emails I've received are just product announcements - for example, there's a new parenting app out there that lets your child use a plush toy to interact with your ipad.  Whoopie.  Other letters are from bloggers themselves, asking to do a guest post (I suspect, although I might be wrong, that these are mostly PR / Marketing representatives and their "guest post" would include a large dollop of product placement and advertising).

For the most part, I use this blog to write about my family and to moan about how many hours I spend in my car, but you'll remember that on one occasion I accepted the invitation to review the Green Biscuit Practice Puck (click on these words to read that post).  That review was a ton of fun, I'm not going to lie.  The kids loved the pucks, I had an easy time reviewing the product and we all enjoyed giving two free pucks away to my readers.   After that experience, I decided that my blog would mostly be a family blog, but if any other product review opportunities came along, I would consider them on an individual basis.  It's my goal to only review products that my family would actually use or have use for.

And while no product has really fit those criteria (with the exception of one item called the UrbMat which I'll tell you about in a minute), there have been some interesting review requests finding their way into my in-box.  I can't write individual posts about products that I haven't tried, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to write one big post with links to the various products so that if you, my beloved readers, see something of interest, you could click directly onto that company's website.

This post's topic is obviously going to be void of any photos of my children, so I'll stick one in to keep the grandparents happy.

Awww.  Look at the Elliots, all tanned and pretending to be loving.  Don't believe your eyes, they are actually quite pale and cranky.

But back to my mailbag.  

I'm dividing this post into three categories:  A Product For Children Who Are Younger Than Mine, A Way For You To Help Further Academic Research and One Stand-out Product That I Think Looks Wonderful.  

Let's get started.

Products For Children Who Are Younger Than Mine

Parents these days are really inventing up a storm.  I've had tons of blog post mention-requests from a host of internet app companies who promise that their ipad app will raise your infant's IQ by 50 points or keep your child fully occupied while you work a full day from home.  These products didn't really appeal to me.  But one email from a woman who makes stroller clips, caught my eye (probably because it was well-written and personal).  If you are looking for a stroller clip follow This Link to Amazon and check out her reviews.   The woman who emailed me is named Febrina Tanghal and her company is called BabyBubz Inc.   She is offering my readers a discount of 40% (not too shabby!) on your purchase.  The coupon code to use is PQ6MUHDW

Here's a photo from the website:

I think that the photos of the clips in action on the stroller - which you can see on Amazon - are better, but I couldn't figure out how to take a photo from Amazon.  I'll have to ask my 8 year old when she gets home.

It's been a long time since I pushed a stroller, but I would imagine that clips like these would come in handy when walking home from the grocery store (those stroller baskets are not that large), or for hanging a diaper bag while you are at the play ground.  I would also imagine that they would make good baby gifts - especially when you factor in that 40% off coupon.

A Way For You To Help Further Academic Research

I got an email the other day from Lauren Zimmerman, a graduate student at the University of Georgia. Lauren is working with Dr. Malissa Clark (Assistant Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies) and they are looking for women who voluntarily left their jobs for one year or more to complete an on-line survey.  The survey is quick (I filled it out in about 5 minutes) and it centers around your decision to leave the workforce, your feelings about leaving a paid job and your thoughts on re-entering the workforce in the future.  

Maybe it's the Anthropology Major / Women's Studies Minor in me, but this topic is right up my alley.  In fact, I did my Major Thesis in college about professional women and the problems they encounter as women/mothers in the workplace.  A whole lot has changed for women since 1993, but the topic is still a good one and one that I imagine is relevant to the majority of my readers.  

For more information and to participate in the survey, Click on THIS LINK which will take you to the study's website.  You could also email Lauren Zimmerman at if you had any other questions.

And now, finally, 

One Stand-out Product That I Think Looks Wonderful
(and does some good for humanity)

My absolute favorite product review request came from Phil Weiner, Founder and CEO of UrbnEarth.  UrbnEarth is "a social venture and a community dedicated to empowering urban dwellers to live a healthier lifestyle."  Interesting, right?  I thought so.  

I clicked over to the UrbnEarth website and was even more impressed.  UrbnEarth's product is called an UrbMat and it is a garden-loving, apartment-dweller's dream.  I think that Phil is probably better at describing his product than I am, so here is some information from the email that he sent me.

"Some highlights of the UrbMat are that it:

· grows 12 types of non-GMO herbs, vegetables, and flowers
· is only 3' x 2' so it is great for urban spaces
· has a built-in irrigation that helps conserve water
· includes a weed barrier and companion planting to keep away pests
· makes a great gift, class projects, and educational tool for teachers, parents, and kids!"

I don't know about all of you, but my children are thrilled with almost any activity that involves dirt.  We've attempted some minor gardening, but with limited success.  I am certain that the UrbMat would be a perfect fit for both our family and our tiny garden space.  And I'm even more certain that this would be a fabulous activity for a classroom school project.  I also really liked the fact that UrbnEarth is donating 2 free meals to hungry children in the United States for every mat sold.  You can feed your family and feed the family of someone less fortunate all at the same time.  It's win-win!

I plan to order my own UrbMat and I'll keep you posted on how the girls and I do with our veggie-growing, but in the meantime, please consider buying a mat of your own for your family - or as a gift for your child's classroom.  To order click HERE and use the coupon ELLIOTWAY to get 15% off your purchase.  If you want any addition information or if you just want to read more about the UrbMat and UrbnEarth, click HERE

And that, my friends, is the bottom of my mailbag and the end of my public service announcement.  

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