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Easter is NOT for Bunnies!

My family supports our local animal shelter as often as we can. We’ve adopted several animals from the shelter over the years (five out of six of our cats, a dog and even a hamster). Whenever possible we donate food, blankets, cleaning supplies and money. We make a point of visiting the shelter often (usually 1-2 times a month) just to talk with the animals, pet them and to shower them with the love and attention that they deserve. We do all of this because we want the animals to know that someone DOES love and care about them.

Our shelter is currently gearing up for “Kitten Month” (May) when there will be a massive onslaught of kittens. The “Cat House” (where the cats are housed at the shelter) is already at maximum capacity.

Do you know what type of animal shelters across the country see A LOT of in April and May, aside from kittens? You guessed it – Bunnies!

The reason why animals shelters across the country see a tremendous amount of rabbits brought into their care is because of Easter. Well meaning parents buy cute, fuzzy little bunnies for their children as Easter gifts without REALLY taking into consideration that bunnies are living, breathing creatures that require daily care and a long term commitment. A well cared for rabbit can live up to 15 years, about the same as a dog or cat.

If you are considering giving a child a bunny as an Easter gift, or know someone who is, PLEASE consider it carefully. If you really do want to commit to giving a bunny a loving, caring home then PLEASE ADOPT. There are bunnies waiting to be adopted at a shelter near you. Sadly there will be more available after the Easter holiday.

Did you know that there are “Bunny Mills” just like there are Puppy Mills? There are people out there who breed rabbits by the hundreds just in time for Easter. Many of these mills are not fit for any living creature. Most mills keep animals in small, unkempt cages, depriving them of proper nutrition, clean water and exercise. Often they are left to die when they become sick or too old to reproduce.

Some bunny mills ship out under aged bunnies before they are fully weaned. About 20% – 30% of these bunnies die on their way to the retailer and another 20% die before they are purchased. Almost 100% of the bunnies you see being offered for sale at Easter in pet shops are supplied by commercial operations that care more about profit than the health and well being of the animals.

Rabbits are the third most frequently surrendered animal at shelters, right after cats and dogs. Another sad statistic is that a staggering 95% of all bunnies purchased at Easter are dumped within their first year as pets and most of these adorable “Easter gifts” end up, if not homeless…DEAD! Rabbits are not easy to properly care for, contrary to what pet shops may tell impulse buyers. They are entirely unsuitable as companions for young children. It’s a sad fact that many of the rabbits purchased on a whim during Easter time die within months, victims of unintentional neglect and cruelty. Others are abandoned, forced to live in tiny outdoor hutches and subjected to extreme weather, dumped off at overburdened shelters, or abandoned outdoors, where they are unable to fend for themselves and starve or are killed by predators. Rabbits that are sold in stores are domesticated and there for not fit to survive out in the “wild”.

Each year, PETA receives scores of calls of concern about the use of live animals—mainly rabbits, but sometimes ducklings and chicks—as props in Easter photo sessions. Unsuspecting parents and kids might not realize it, but the animals used in these photo sessions are generally terrified and miserable.

Rabbits are sensitive animals who are easily stressed by unfamiliar surroundings. As “prey” animals, they often panic when handled; a frightened rabbit can bite and scratch, inflicting deep lacerations and puncture wounds. Rabbits are also delicately structured animals whose spines can snap just from being held improperly.

Using live rabbits in Easter promotions can sometimes encourage impressionable children to beg their parents to get rabbits as Easter gifts too.   

 

Instead of live animals, a great option for kids is stuffed toy animals. They’re more cost-effective for the studio, and unlike with live rabbits, homes don’t need to be found for them after the Easter season. Using stuffed toys also eliminates the need for businesses to acquire a federal exhibitor’s license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture—a requirement that PETA finds is mostly ignored by businesses that use rabbits for Easter photo shoots. Fortunately, several large companies—including Lifetouch, JCPenney, and Sears—have policies against the use of live animals as props.

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) association, the largest nonprofit association of its kind in the world, has taken a stand against the use of live rabbits for photo shoots. Instead, PPA recommends the “Make Mine Chocolate!” campaign, which offers studios a full range of support for using large chocolate Easter bunnies wrapped in colorful foil and publicizing the promotion. PPA notes that studios can garner additional publicity by holding a post-Easter drawing for the chocolate bunny.

If you are considering giving a rabbit as an Easter gift PLEASE think long and hard about the commitment to the living, breathing creature. If you honestly cannot give it many years of love and care then please consider other options (like a plush animal instead). If you do decide to give a bunny as a gift PLEASE visit your local animal shelter before you purchase from the pet store. Or you can visit www.PetFinder.org to find rabbits waiting for adoption at a shelter near you.


Kimberly

*I was not asked to post this information. I posted this because I love animals and because it breaks my heart to see so many animals in the animal shelters. Any opinions expressed are my own.



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KidsExclusive.com – Discounted children’s fashions

I’m all for saving a few dollars here and there. Living on a tight budget we have to watch our nickles and dimes. Whenever I can shop for my family and save money I feel great.

We have a lot of nieces and nephews, as well as friends with young children. There is always a birthday party to attend and presents to buy. When it comes to gifts I always try and find items that look expensive, but really aren’t. No one needs to know that I picked up something on sale or clearance. As long as they get a beautiful gift that is all that should matter.

There is a new mom-friendly deal site that features discount boutique quality fashions for both boys and girls, aged newborn to 9 years old. It’s called KidsExclusive.com.

What makes KidsExclusive.com special you might ask? Well for starters they offer one, low shipping fee. Shipping can really be expensive when ordering online. I like knowing that I have one, low shipping fee rather than trying to guess what shipping would be or limit my purchases so as not to have a heavy package to ship (the heavier the package usually the more it costs to ship).

KidsExclusive.com appears to have much better deals than similar sites. They also allow you to return the items for a store credit.

Another thing I like about KidsExclusive.com is that they ship quickly. Other deal sites take forever to ship products, sometimes as long as 3-4 weeks! With KidsExclusive you can expect your items to ship to you with 5 business days (plus delivery time). I recently placed and order and I had my package delivered to me within about a week.

My recent shopping experience at KidsExclusive.com was a huge success. I was able to pick up A LOT of items for $100.00. Eleven items in total. Not bad for $100.

KidsExclusive.com has a great clearance section where you can find items for $10.00 or less. I shopped the clearance section and I was able to find some lovely pieces for our friends little girl and for another little girl we know whose parents don’t have much money. It feels good that I was able to get her beautiful clothing and it didn’t cost a lot and reap havoc on our budget.

Here are a few of the items I picked up. All of them were UNDER $10.00. 🙂

I picked up eleven pieces in total for around $100.00 (some were only $7). Each piece is just as lovely in person as it is in the photos. Some of them are very soft and snugly too, perfect for a chilly day.

Each day KidsExclusive.com had new sales. Today’s sale features this beautiful pink princess-like dress from the designer Isabella & Chloe for only $19.90 (regularly $44).

You can even get a peek at upcoming sales so that you can plan accordingly. 

Many designer brands are featured on KidsExclusive.com including One Kid, LA Made, Alphabet, IT Jeans, Me Too American, Lucky Jade and One 90 One.

KidsExclusive.com has wonderful clothing for both girls AND boys.

 

I love their baby items too!

 

 

You can even earn a $20.00 KidsExclusive.com for every person you refer to the site too. For example, if you refer your sister and she places her first order, YOU will receive a $20 credit. If you refer 5 people and each of them places and order you will receive a $100 store credit. With beautiful, quality clothing at great prices it shouldn’t be hard to find people who would love to purchase from KidsExclusive.com.

T0 check out KidsExclusive.com yourself visit www.KidsExclusive.com. You will have to join in order to see the clothing and prices. Membership is FREE.

You can also follow KidsExclusive on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/KidsExclusive) and on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Kids.Exclusive).

Kimberly

*I received a free gift code in order to place a sample order to review. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Bone Marrow Donor Needed – Could YOU be the perfect match for Kyle?

This is not my usual type of post. Whenever I feel strongly about something I feel the need to share that with others.

There is an adorable little 4 year old boy name Kyle (pictured above) who needs YOUR help. Kyle has been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. It’s a life threatening condition where your body does not produce enough red blood cells. Red blood cells are needed to carry oxygen to your organs and every cell in your body. Aplastic Anemia can be fatal if not treated right away.

The best course of treatment for Kyle is a bone marrow transplant. The problem is out of the 9 million registered donors there are no matches for Kyle. What Kyle needs is someone who is of Asian and Caucasian decent. Kyle is half Chinese, half Caucasian.

Here is how YOU can help Kyle. If you are of Asian and Caucasion, please consider helping Kyle. All you have to do is take a bone marrow test. It’s easy and painless. All they need is a cotton swap sample of the inside of your cheek. There is no pain involved in testing to see if you are a match. You must be between 18-60 years old and in good health.

If you know anyone who is of Asian and Caucasian decent please tell them about Kyle and see if they can help.

To learn more please visit KyleNeedsYou.org. You can also find more information on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/KyleNeedsYou and on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/KyleNeedsYou.

Even if you are not a perfect match for Kyle, or even if you are not of Asian and Caucasian decent, please consider being a bone marrow donor. For more information please visit Marrow.org.

Kimberly 

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this in order to help this little boy.

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Fun Bites – Create Fun Bite Size Foods

Do you have a picky eater in your household? When my kids were little they used to give me a hard time about eating certain things, most especially my daughter. In order to get them to eat what I wanted them to eat I had to make things fun and exciting for them. To do that I would cut things into different shapes, turn meals into funny faces or animals, or give foods silly names to make the kids more interested in them.

There is a new product on the market that is geared towards children in order to make meal time more fun. They are called, appropriately enough, Fun Bites.

Fun Bites are, in a way, like cookie cutters. They are used to cut out shapes from sandwiches, toast, cheese, fruits and just about anything else you can think of.

Currently Fun Bites is available in two different shapes – square (Cube It!)  and heart. (Luv It!).

Fun Bites are plastic “cutters” that resemble ice cube trays, in a way (the Cube It! one certainly does).

Using Fun Bites is easy. Simply put the item you want to cut on a firm, flat surface. Next take your Fun Bit and press it down firmly on the item you want to cut. The rock the Fun Bite back and forth a few times to make sure it’s cut all the way through. Next, place the insert piece into the Fun Bite and press down to gently remove the pieces from inside the Fun Bit cutter (which, by the way, doesn’t have any sharp edges).

Hopefully I explained it OK. If not, here is a visual of the Luv It! Fun Bite and a cheese sandwich.

The cuts that the Fun Bites makes are very small. They are ideal for toddlers and small children, but not very practical for older children, no matter how picky they are.

Fun Bites are great for making bite size appetizers. You can cut out cubes (for example) of various meats, cheeses and bread, then stack them up to make tiny bite size sandwiches.

I did encounter a few times where things got stuck inside the Fun Bit cutter, even after using the insert. They easily peeled out so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

These work great with cheese, bologna, bread, omelets and many other food products. I suppose when your child no longer enjoys food cut up in bite size pieces they can use the Fun Bites to cut out fun Play Doh shapes.

Over all I think it’s a cute idea, especially if you have little ones at home, or if you like to entertain and create fancy finger foods. I personally don’t think I’ll have much need for them since my kids are older and I don’t entertain like I’d like to. I’m going to pass these along to my neighbor who has a toddler. This would be perfect for her.

To learn more about Fun Bites, or to make a purchase, please visit www.FunBites.com. You can also find Fun Bites on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/FunBites), Twitter (www.Twitter.com/FunBites) and on YouTube (www.YouTube.com/FunBitesCutter).

Save 25% off your order using the discount code 25%OFF at check out.

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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My Monster Burrufu

You may not know the name Alberto Corral, but you most likely know of his work. He worked as an animator for the movies Kung Fu Panda 2 and Shrek Forever After. Alberto also has another entry on his resume – author.

Alberto Corral has written an adorable children’s book called My Monster Burrufu. It is illustrated by Alessandra Sorrentino. I’m surprised that he didn’t illustrate the book himself since he also does animation.

My Monster Burrufu is the story of a 7 year old girl name Olivia. Olivia lives with her father Steven who is a successful author.

Steven decides that he would write better out in the country so him and Olivia pack their bags and move far out into the country. Their new home reminds me of the Adam’s Family house, based on the illustration.

Olivia doesn’t have much to do in the new house so she roams the hallways with her dog Tula.

Late one night Olivia had a late night snack of milk and cookies. When she was finished she returned to her bedroom, only to realize she neglected to put the milk away. So she headed back downstairs to the kitchen. As she got closer to the kitchen she saw something unusual – a monstrous, hairy arm reaching for the cookies from the shadows. Without thinking about it Olivia started to chase after the mysterious being, only to have him disappear into the darkness.

The next day Oliva sets out to find their house guest. She happens upon a secret door into the attic. Is is there that she meets the creature she saw the night before – a huge, hairy monster name Burrufu.

Burrufu has lived in the attic for a very long time. He used to go outside but people taunted him, forcing him to hide away in the attic. To pass the time away Burrufu wrote stories. Olivia was impressed by the wonderful stories he wrote.

Olivia new that she couldn’t let her father, or his agent Mark, know about Burrufu. She knew he would have to be her secret friend.

On the days that her father wasn’t around Olivia would try and persuade Burrufu into leaving that attic. At first it was outside of the attic to enjoy some cookies. Not long after that she was able to convince him to go outside into the tree house. Burrufu was almost discovered when her father’s agent, Mark, showed up.

How long will Olivia be able to keep Burrufu a secret? What would happen if he was discovered? What does Mark take from the house that might expose who Burrufu really is? To learn the answers to these questions you’ll have to pick up a copy of My Monster Burrufu.

This is a charming story that is sure to delight any young reader. The book is around 100 pages long so it can easily be read in a day or two. There are chapters within the book making it an ideal bedtime story too.

I love the illustrations. Burrufu is not scary at all. He’s adorable!

I thought I knew the direction the story was going but it actually had a few twists and turns that I didn’t expect. The ending was unexpected too.  

I think the reading level for this book would be from 6-10 years old. Younger children might need to have it read to them.

Look for My Monster Burrufu where ever books are sold including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Kimberly

*I received a free sample copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

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New High Tech Products from Crayola (Giveaway)

One of the greatest gifts I ever received when I was a young girl was a brand new box of crayons. Usually every holiday season my mom would give me a  new box of crayons and a couple of holiday coloring books. For such a simple gift it gave me great pleasure.

Even though I’m not longer a child I still enjoy coloring. Believe it or not my husband and I have been known to sit down at the coffee table and just start coloring. We have several holiday coloring books and I think my husband and I must have colored in more pages then my kids have. We especially like images that have a lot of details to them. We also share the same box of crayons, which is in pristine condition, compared to the crayons my kids use (they always break them).

Did you know that Crayola crayons have gone high tech? It’s true! Crayola has a new application for the iPad called ColorStudio HD. It turns your iPad into an interactive coloring book and features some of the most beloved Crayola crayon colors.

I have a couple of coloring applications on our iPad, but NOTHING compares to the Crayola ColorStudio HD application. With this application things come alive and it features music, sound effects and other special surprises. 

Crayola even has a really cool device called an iMarker that is like a marker for the iPad. It doesn’t leave a mark on the iPad, it just works within the Crayola ColorStudio HD application.  

You can choose from 64 colors in the digital Crayola crayon box and then use the iMarker to create the look of Crayola crayons, markers, paints and colored pencils as the stylus interacts with an iPad. The digital coloring pages respond with movement and sound as the pages come alive as kids color. It’s really cool!

Your child can save their artwork and can e-mail it to family and friends, print it out or upload it to Facebook (with a parent’s permission of course).

Children can even play games, draw free hand or create their own coloring pages that they can print out and color with “real” crayons.

The application is free at the iTunes App Store with the purchase of the iMarker for $29.99 at Toys R Us, Best Buy, the Apple Store and www.griffintechnology.com. The iMarker is recommended for children ages 3+. It comes with batteries and a FREE download of the ColorStudio HD application. 

Another cool “high tech” product that Crayola has available is called Crayola Story Studio. The Crayola Story Studio turns your child into a coloring book character. It’s the coolest thing!

Currently there are three different Crayola Story Studio “kits”.

 Crayola Story Studio: Spider-Man lets kids upload a photo and transform themselves into a superhero that stars with Spider-Man in personalized comic book they create and color. A free access code inside the kit unlocks the Story Studio application at Crayola.com/storystudio. Kids can choose a super power, story-line, and one of six villains to battle alongside Spider-Man in their own web-slinging adventure. When they finish their story, they can save it, share it or print and color it. The kit includes paper, glossy cover sheets for printing comic book-style covers, binding strips and 15 Twistables colored pencils to create three complete books.

– Story Studio: Disney Princesses lets kids star in a fairytale with a Disney Princess. Crayola Story Studio: Disney Princess lets kids create fairytales starring them and a Disney Princess! Kids upload a photo to transform themselves into a character, then create a story with their character and a Disney Princess! Story Studio includes everything kids need to create personalized storybooks and unlimited coloring pages – just print, color and bind the pages. They can choose storylines from Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, and Princess and the Frog. With the free on-line access code that comes inside, Pip-Squeaks markers and glitter glue, blank sheets and binding strips, kids create three complete story books!

– Story Studio Adventure Maker: Cars 2 lets kids join the pages of a story with Lightning McQueen, Mator and the Cars 2 characters form Disney Pixar. The set includes 10 Pip-Squeak Skinnies markers, 3 Pip Squeak broad line markers, 2 Pip-Squeak glitter glue tubes, 30 story sheets, 6 glossy cover sheets and 3 comic binding strips to make three complete story books.

How much would you pay for this awesome technology? $40? $30? $25? How about only $9.99 per kit! WOW!

These kits would make a perfect holiday gift AND it won’t “break the bank” either.

I’m currently trying to make a book for my nephew with the Story Studio: Spider-Man kit. I am making him a coloring book. It took a bit to find the right photo to use but I think it’s going to turn out perfect when I’m finally done with it. I think a personalized gift like this is a lot more enjoyable then some random toy I picked up from the toy store. Plus he can keep it and read it like a book too.

I love that the kits have everything you need to create a fun coloring book, including the binding strips (they are a little tricky to work with but I finally got it right).

I love all the little Pip-Squeak accessories. They are basically miniature versions of markers and glue. 

All of the new Crayola products are a lot of fun. It’s nice to see that Crayola can move forward with the technology while still holding on to the products we grew up with.

Crayola products are sold at many retail locations across the country. 

To learn more about these and other Crayola products visit www.Crayola.com.

Crayola and MyBlogSpark have generously offered an awesome prize package featuing these high tech products. The prize includes:

– Crayola Story Studio: Spider-Man

– Crayola Story Studio Disney Princesses

– Crayola Story Studio: Cars

– Crayola iMarker for use with the iPad

– FREE download of the ColorStudio HD application for the iPad

To enter please comment on which of these new products most excites you and who the prize package would be for.  

For extra entries you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each that you have done. Extra entries are optional. 

– Subscribe to She Scribes (E-mail or RSS). Both options are found on the right side bar.

– “Like” Crayola on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/Crayola.

– “Like” She Scribes on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/SheScribes.

– Follow Crayola on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/Crayola.

– Follow She Scribes on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/She_Scribes) and tweet about this review and/or giveaway. Please include @She_Scribes in the tweet so I can see it too. This is limited to three tweets per day.

– Share this review and/or giveaway with others on Facebook, Digg, Technorati and so forth. Be sure to tell me what you did and please provide a name and/or URL so I can verify.

– Leave a thoughtful comment on a non-giveaway post on She Scribes and tell me which post you commented on. There is a limit of one comment per post, but you can comment on as many posts as you want for an unlimited extra entry option.

– Post about this review and/or giveaway on your site and please link back to this post. Please provide the URL.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on December 22, 2011 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply with a name and mailing address (no PO Box). Failure to do so will result in a new winner being chosen.   

Other great giveaways can be found on the right side bar under “Win It”.

Kimberly

*The Crayola High Tech Holiday prize pack, product information and prize pack for giveaway have been provided by Crayola through MyBlogSpark. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

   

 

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