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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving
from the Chesco Mom Bloggers family to yours!

We hope you have a healthy, relaxing and yummy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Show some bloggy love and visit...

Our friend Nicole at A Mommy's Musings is hosting her very first bloggy giveaway to win a high-resolution digital photo card created by Krisi's Kards. The give away starts today (11/24) and goes through November 30.
All CCM's are welcome to enter the contest
Click here
to visit Nicole's blog. This is one of my favorite blogs to visit.. She has it decorated for the holidays.. I love it!

Best of luck Nicole, with your first bloggy give away!

Thanksgiving Turkey Jump

School's Out Early--Pump It Up is Open
Schools are closing early, so we are opening our doors.

Tuesday, Nov 25 2:30 - 4:00pm

$9.95 per child, $5.95 per sibling

Space is Limited. Buy you tickets now to guarantee your spot.

For all of our latest Pop-In PlayTimes, Family JumpTimes, and other special events, be sure to visit our Calendar of Events

For More Information on Pump It Up, or to Book A Party, give us a call at
610-918-9180 or visit us on the web at www.PumpItUpOfWestChester.com

P

Holiday Toy Re-Sale

Just in Time for the Holidays…
Toy Re-Sale
Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Masonic Lodge, 246 N 3rd St., Oxford, Pa.
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Don’t miss an opportunity to shop smart for the Holidays.
Lots of gently, pre-loved toys, electronics, music, games, and a whole lot more…at
BARGAIN PRICES

Need extra Holiday money??
We are still accepting consignors with toys to sell. For complete information, please call
610-932-2996.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Our friend Caroline, at Lina Bean just posted her first blog contest. Let's show her some bloggy contest love.....Click here to visit the Lina Bean blog and enter to win a Lina Bean Throw & GO or a 3 piece matching set.

Another Reality Show Opportunity

Hi there!

My name is Lauren Kurnit and I'm a casting associate for the unscripted series "Nanny 911." We are currently looking to cast families in the Philadelphia area, and I was hoping you might be able to help me spread the word to your fabulous group's members.

We are essentially looking for families who really want or need the opportunity to spend three or four days working on bettering their lives with our nanny specialist. Perhaps mom and dad don't know how to deal with the public tantrums or wish that they could get through a meal without a meltdown; our nanny specialist will work with them to implement structure and create harmony in the home. As we all know, child rearing doesn't come with a manual and sometimes a little bit of outside help is all a family needs.

If you are interested in helping us spread the word, please e-mail me and I will send you a flyer. Feel free to pass this information on to any families (single or two-parent) that you think might be interested.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the show can feel free to contact me via email (lauren.nanny911@yahoo.com) or 212-404-1842. We also have a website with further information: www.nanny911casting.wordpress.com.

Alternately, interested families can send an email with the following information:
1. Name
2. Address and contact information
3. A brief description of the family members. They should be
sure to note the out of control kids and give us examples of
bad behavior /why they need a nanny specialist.
4. A list of the issues the family would like resolved (potty
training, tantrums, etc.)
5. Pictures of the family and the home
6. Whether you own or rent your home

Any family who makes it on the show receives $10,000. The length of filming varies between three and four days.

We are currently in our last phase of casting, so if you know of any interested families, please tell them soon!

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for your anticipated help.

Best,

Lauren Kurnit
Casting Associate
Jennifer Sullivan Casting/Nanny 911
212-404-1842
lauren.nanny911@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reality Show Opportunity

CBS and NEXT ENTERTAINMENT are looking for dynamic, competitive and entertaining families that all live in the same neighborhood to participate in the next great reality competition series. Families will compete for substantial cash and prizes!
If you think you can gather at least SEVEN other families that live in VERY close in proximity to you, contact us to be part of the ultimate family and neighborhood bonding experiment.

Some facts:
~ the taping of the show will be Summer 2009
~ families must be able to commit for 3 weeks (24/7); stipend of $5000 will be given during this time to each participating family.
~ winning family will receive a life changing monetary award!
This will be posted to the CBS website soon--so contact the the casting agent (below) immediately if you are interested.

Contact her directly at:
Lauren Spiegel Casting Producer
310.566.7618
laurenspiegel@blockpartycasting.com

Monday, November 17, 2008

Who’s the one with the stinky pants?

Baby Clean Fun is a CD of 16 short, catchy tunes that turn challenging daily tasks into fun parent-child bonding moments.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Baby Clean Fun, co-creator Michelle Cruz and asked her a few questions about how the idea for the CD was born.

The idea for the CD came up when co-creator Beth, mother of 3, would sing "Mr. Washcloth" to her baby to distract her and clean her up after meals. The song was so catchy that Michelle remembered it and sang it to her children. Amazingly, Michelle had the same reaction that Beth had. Singing the song made after meal clean up a breeze!

The two friends, thought if this could work with cleaning up after meals, it would certainly work with other challenges like getting baby to eat, washing little hands, and putting on shoes... just to name a few. Before they knew it there were 16 songs for 15 different tasks.
To hear a sample of the songs & view the lyrics click here

The Baby Clean Fun moms are from Lancaster County and worked long and hard to get their CD produced. Support local Moms and order a copy of Baby Clean Fun today! FREE Shipping until December 25th.

Facebook-ers... click here to become a fan of Baby Clean Fun.

I am a HUGE fan of "Baby Clean Fun" and would like to share a copy of the CD with one lucky Chester County Moms reader. My 3 year old daughter and I sing 'Gotta Brush" every night while brushing her teeth. Our rule is, when I am done singing she is done brushing.
It has totally worked and I know she is brushing for more than a few seconds.

To enter this contest please email contests@chestercountymoms.com and enter Baby Clean Fun in the subject line.**

**This contest will end at midnight on November 30th. The winner will be notified via email and has 10 days to respond. If the winner fails to reply within 10 days we will pick another winner. The winner of the contest must be a Chester County resident.

Friday, November 14, 2008

World Diabetes Day

Today the 250 million people worldwide who have diabetes will help celebrate World Diabetes Day. The goal of the day is to gain attention for the need to improve care, prevent the disease in those at risk and find a cure. This year the theme is children with diabetes. Unfortunately, the epidemic is increasing in children. This includes Type 1 Diabetes as well as Type 2 Diabetes. Leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. 
One of the main focuses of today is awareness. So please look at the following symptoms and if you are concerned about yourself or any family member please call your doctor ASAP:
extreme thirst
frequent urination
weight loss
lack of energy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

5 Simple Rules For Happiness

1. Free your heart of hatered.
2. Free your mind from worry.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Steve Irwin Day - November 15th

Steve Irwin Day is on November 15th. The annual event is held to celebrate the extraordinary life of the one and only Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

On Steve Irwin Day, people from all corners of the globe join together to raise money for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors conservation projects. The day will represent the many things Steve was passionate about - family, fun and wildlife conservation.

You can participate in Steve Irwin Day.....Don your khakis and visit the Austrailia Zoo website.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BPA Update - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By now, we've all heard about the potential dangers that exist from plastics containing BPA. This is an issue that I follow pretty closely and have gone to various different lengths in my home to eliminate it, especially in products for my children. Some new information has been released on this topic, and I found it very interesting and thought our Chester County Moms readers may too.

This information comes from the Healthy Child, Healthy World Blog.

Bisphenol-A has had its fair share of media coverage this year and things are definitely not quieting down. Just this week a scientific panel released a report charging that the FDA ignored valuable studies when it concluded last summer that BPA is a safe chemical. Many retailers and manufacturers have responded over the past year by voluntarily phasing out the suspect plastic. Despite these clear market signals, the manufacturers of BPA aren’t giving up without a fight. Here is the latest in this on-going chemical saga:

The Good
Kudos to Canada for officially declaring BPA a toxic agent and banning the sale, import, and advertising of baby bottles containing BPA.
• Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, along with the Attorneys General from New Jersey and Delaware, sent a letter to 11 baby bottle and formula container manufacturers asking them to voluntarily stop using BPA in their products.
• San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier wants stores in the city that sell baby bottles made with BPA to pull them from the shelves -- and Safeway already has agreed to do so across its grocery stores nationally. She will also be asking hospitals to discontinue their use of these products.
• The National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program released a report on October 23rd reaffirming their 2007 findings that BPA does indeed pose a health concern. Now if they could only convince their FDA peers…

The Bad
In addition to the piles of studies that have already raised red flags, new research continues to demonstrate BPA’s potential ill effects.• The first study on humans showed a link between BPA and heart disease and diabetes.
• In tests on breast cancer cells, researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that BPA may protect cancer cells from dying off when they are exposed to anti-cancer drugs, reducing the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
• Based on a review of 261 scientific publications, the National Toxicology Program found that BPA may alter brain development and behavior, and increase the risk of prostate cancer in children, infants and fetuses.

The Ugly
The government agency that has the authority to protect us from this chemical, the US FDA, has declared BPA safe. Since they made this declaration, many have been asking why. Investigative reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uncovered a dirty, little secret: the FDA report claiming that BPA is safe was written largely by the plastics industry and others with a financial stake in the controversial chemical.

The American Chemistry Council, the trade group representing chemical manufacturers, submitted their own (biased) review of BPA studies that the FDA used as the foundation for their evaluation. In addition, it recently came to light that the chair of the FDA subcommittee failed to disclose receiving a $5 million “gift” from a major BPA user. Science for sale, anyone? "This latest revelation makes clear that no matter who is in the White House come January, he has to rebuild the FDA," said Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook. "An agency that once epitomized independent, impartial expertise in the service of public health has degenerated to a disgraced stenographer for the chemical and plastics industry."

Sign the petition supporting legislation (S. 2928, HR 6228) introduced this summer that bans BPA from all food and beverage products. The Consumer's Union has already gathered almost 18,000 signatures! Add yours now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pump It Up Grand Opening

Pump It Up, West Chester's new bounce facility celebrated their Grand Opening this weekend. We were invited to a pre-view party and we had a great time bouncing the afternoon away. Both kids and parents!

The facility is broken up into 2 bouncing areas. Area A has a giant slide, obstacle course, and basketball bounce.



Area B had an awesome rock wall, another giant slide, a really cool bounce mountain and a huge octagon bounce.

After we bounced the kids had pizza and juice in one of the private party rooms.

The party hosts at Pump It Up, were all so nice and were interacting with all of the kids and parents to make sure everyone had a good time. The Chester County Moms Blog team Loves Pump It Up!

For more information on birthday parties, family fun nights, pop-in play, field trips and lots more please click here or call Larry at 610-918-9180.

Pump It Up
250 East Union Street
West Chester, PA 19380
610-918-9180

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Understanding Turkey Talk Before Thanksgiving

I found some great information while doing some research on buying an organic turkey for the Thanksgiving Holiday this year and thought I'd share it with you. Hopefully this will help you "decode" the terms on your turkey label to decide if it is right for you. This information comes from the Health Child Healthy World Blog.

98% of Americans gobble up turkey during a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, farmers sold about $3.86 billion worth of turkeys in 2007, according to the USDA.

To buy a turkey that is healthy, humane, and eco-friendly is no small task. When shopping for a turkey, we are confronted with a label language few can understand. Heirloom? Free-range? And everyone’s favorite, Natural? We know enough to be skeptical of deceptive labeling, so what do all these claims mean?

Our friends at Celebrate Green! devoted a section of their Thanksgiving chapter to decoding the turkey talk – so you know what you’re buying into before it’s dinner time. If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of this invaluable green holiday guide book, do so now! Remember Healthy Child receives a donation for every copy sold.

Definitions and Labeling for Turkey as defined by the USDA:

Natural - Turkey labeled natural contains no artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient. It must also be minimally processed, so that the raw product is in no way fundamentally altered. The label must explain the use of the term “natural” with product-specific details.

No Hormones - Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising poultry. So any label that claims “no hormones added” is advertising falsely or trying to legitimize a higher price tag.

Kosher - According to Kosher laws, animals should be cared for ethically, and slaughtered as humanely as possible. However, correct Kosher treatment may be the exception rather than the rule, especially in large organizations. The label doesn't guarantee that animals are raised or treated any better than animals from industrial farms. Local farms or butchers may have more specific details on how their poultry was raised and cared for.

Organic - Any product claiming to be organic isn’t fully legit without the USDA Organic Seal, which means the product is made of 95% organic ingredients. When the term organic appears on a label without the seal, the product is 70% or more organic.

Free-range - Free-range turkeys are touted as the best for the bird. But, the USDA says the term means very little, only that birds have “access” to the outdoors. That means they are likely bred similarly to conventional birds: in over-crowded space with a short lifespan to end in a potentially inhumane slaughter. Once again, your local farm or vendor may be able to better guarantee your bird enjoyed a humane life.

Heritage - Heritage turkeys are defined by the historic, range-based production system in which they are raised. They must meet the following criteria: natural mating, long productive outdoor lifestyle, and slow growth rate.

Heirloom - According to the Heritage Turkey Foundation, heirloom turkeys may come from older breeds, and “can’t mate naturally, do not mature like true heritage turkeys, and don’t taste good.”

Thanks to our friends at Celebrate Green! for continuing support and collaboration!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Millions of jobs at stake in carmaker woes

One of our Facebook friends has a link to this article listed on her facebook page. My husband currently works in the automotive industry and this issue is something that is near and dear to me. What is going on in the ecomomy is scary and has rocked my family pretty hard.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With auto sales at the weakest pace in 25 years and a government bailout far from certain, job losses in the struggling industry could potentially get much worse.

If the Big Three carmakers were to cut U.S. operations by 50%, 2.5 million jobs could be lost in 2009, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Center for Automotive Research reported that the total employment impact includes nearly 250,000 jobs lost at the automakers and nearly 800,000 at suppliers.
In addition, the organization estimates another 1.4 million job losses outside the industry, such as those caused when stores go out of business in communities hit by plant closings.

In economic terms, cutting operations in half would reduce personal income by more than $125.1 billion in the first year, and $275.7 billion over three years, the center said. Such a decline in personal income would cost the government tax dollars -- $49.9 billion in 2009 and more than $108.1 billion over three years.

Automakers GM (GM, Fortune 500), Ford (F, Fortune 500) and Chrysler employ hundreds of thousands of well-paid workers and support far more retirees and their families with health care and other benefits. In addition, dozens of suppliers and thousands of dealerships depend on the Big Three.

"The likelihood of one or two of the Detroit Three manufacturers ending operations is very real," David Cole, chairman of the center, said in a statement.

But a larger fear is a complete shutdown. A 100% reduction in Big Three operations would cost about 3 million jobs in the first year alone.

"A complete shutdown of Detroit Three U.S. production would have a major impact on the U.S. economy in terms of lost wages, reductions in social security receipts, personal income taxes paid, and an increase in transfer payments," Sean McAlinden, the center's chief economist, said in a statement. "The government stands to lose on the level of $60 billion in the first year alone, and the three year total is well over $156 billion."

Year to date, the auto industry has announced 110,610 job cuts, more than double than the same period in the year before, and the highest of any industry with the exception of finance, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

More than 15,000 layoffs were announced in the automotive industry in October alone, the report said.

Obama Wins!

So.. the votes are in and Barack Obama has won the election.
I stayed up very late last night flipping news channel to news channel to get as much campaign coverage as I could.
I felt that John McCain's speech was very gracious and that he has been humbled by the whole experience. I think if he delivered more speeches like he did last night instead of messages of scandle and talk of "that one" the decision may have worked more in his favor.
Barack Obama was confident and delivered a moving speech. I was overwhelmed by the number of supporters that came out to Grant Park and by the final numbers in the election. I was excited that I had witnessed such a historic moment in the history of our Country and I look forward to the next 4 years.

How do you feel about the outcome of the election? Leave a comment or email me at sarah@chestercountymoms.com. Please keep your comments respectful! Thanx!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Share your voting experience...

I posted my voting adventure and was wondering if anyone would like to share their voting experience?

How long did you wait in line to vote?
What township?
Any thing out of the ordinary to report?
Do you feel voters were leaning more towards Obama? McCain?

If you would like contribute please leave a comment or email me. I will post your first name only (example "Sarah from East Caln Township")
My email address is: sarah@chestercountymoms.com

***********************************************************************************

June from East Marlborough...

How long did you wait in line to vote?
2.5 hours with 3 kids age 2 and under! I went at 7:30 am and the line was super long so I left. I returned at 10:30 hoping for a shorter line but it was just as long. I stayed at 10:30 because it just did not seem like it would get any better. I have never seen so many people voting at this location.

Any thing out of the ordinary to report?
Sigourney Weaver was there talking to voters, signing autographs and posing for pictures and video. She was wearing an Obama/Biden pin. She was very laid back and friendly.

Do you feel voters were leaning more towards Obama? McCain?
No idea. I was amongst many of my neighbors so people were not talking too much about who they were voting for.

Click on comments to read more poll experiences...

More Poll Updates

Chic Fil A... It is good to live in East Caln Township..... Thank You Chic Fil A!
It's raining...notice what this man is using as an umbrella! I wonder if that is any indication of who he is casting his vote for.


Report from the polls...

This is a picture from East Caln Township polling center. Chic Fil A is passing out snacks and there is a playground for the kids. I have been waiting in line for 30 minutes. I have seen lots of my neighbors coming out and the average wait seems to be 2 hours.

VOTE!

So today is the big day! After I finish this post I am off to the polls, 2 kids in tow. My husband went at 7am this morning and waited in line for 2 hours. He had his coffee and Blackberry so he was okay. I have a backpack full of snacks and our portable DVD player. I am counting on Dora & Diego to get me through waiting in line. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long. Maybe I should bring 2 DVD's just in case.

According to our Chester County Moms poll Obama and McCain are only 3 votes apart.
Have you voted in our poll? Or more importantly have you voted yet today.. in the real election?
If you would like to check your voter status or find out where your local polling center is click HERE to be directed to the Pennsylvania Voter Services Website

Additional Information can be viewed at the Chester County Voter Services website.

We would love to hear your report from the polls. How long did you wait? Did you see anything "out of the ordinary" going on? Leave a comment or email me at sarah@chestercountymoms.com.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Apple Skillet Flapjacks

Apple Skillet Flapjacks by Stella Zedman

This recipe for apple-flavored flapjacks are quick and easy to bake. Simply prepare the apples ahead of time, reheat them before adding batter and pop them in the oven.

Ingredients:

3 eggs - 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk - 1/2 cup (125 mL) all purpose flour - 1 tbsp. (15 mL) granulated sugar - 1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla - 2 tbsp. (30 mL) butter - 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced - 1/4 cup (50 mL) brown sugar -powdered sugar for dusting - maple syrup, if desired

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). In the container of a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, milk, flour, granulated sugar and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container to make sure everything is evenly blended. Set aside. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a 10-inch (25-cm) nonstick skillet that can go into the oven. When the butter is foamy, add the sliced apples and the brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the apples are tender and beginning to brown. Remove from heat. Pour the mixture from the blender over the apples in the pan and place the pan into the preheated oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the batter is browned and slightly puffed. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup, if desired. Servings: 4

How kids can help:
Combine all the ingredients in the blender and run the blender (with adult supervision).
Help peel and slice the apples; older children can help sauté them.
· Pour the batter over the apples.
· Dust with icing sugar.

Parenting Magazine Query

I just received this email from a PR exec... .

She is writing a story for a national parenting magazine about pregnancy and gastrointestinal issues. She is interviewing lots of experts to explain why our gastrointestinal system rebels against us when we're pregnant, but she also wants some voices of moms in there--specifically anyone who figured out good remedies for their gas, bloating, constipation, or heartburn during pregnancy. Maybe it was a specific exercise (or avoiding a specific exercise), changing your diet, trying something alternative, or even eating/doing something that defied conventional wisdom, but worked for you.
The best way to reach her is through email: judi@judiketteler.com. She won't use any quotes/names in the story without talking/emailing with you first.
Please respond by Nov. 10th (earlier is better) if you are interested in contributing.