Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Thanks to web designer Heather Acton, I now have a site devoted exclusively to my freelance writing career (did I just say career?).

This site contains my bio, clips and ways to get in touch with me if you want to hire me for your writing project.

This is exciting stuff for me. It feels full of potential.

Have a peek and see what you think.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

For All of the Danger-Loving Babies Out There: A Giveaway from Safety Matters

My sweet Colin leads a life of danger and intrigue. To be more specific, he is intrigued by dangerous things.

At nearly fourteen months of age, Colin is a busy, busy man. He walks. He climbs. He places his fingers in a lot of precarious spots. He falls dozens of times a day.

He is interested in stairs, electrical outlets, cords, cabinets, drawers, small inedible items, open toilets, forbidden spaces of any sort.

During his waking hours, I have to stick close to my little explorer. But sometimes even when I am standing right with him, things still happen. Last week, he fell into a decorative piece of molding on my banister and got "a hole in his head," according to his sister. It was bad. And bloody. There were lots of tears (both his and mine).

Note band-aid covering "hole on head."

I have learned that it is impossible to teach your toddler to be safe (you can say "no, no, no" and "danger!" all you want but they are still going to head right for the steps if you forget to put the gate up).

The best you can do is make their surroundings as safe as possible and keep your eyes on them at all times.

The constant vigilance part is up to you, but there is help available in the safety proofing department.

Safety Matters (a new sponsor here at A Hen and Three Chicks) is a Chicago-area company that specializes in making your home as safe as it can be for your kids. The process begins with a FREE in-home safety evaluation. A Safety Matters expert will look over each room in your home and provide a written recommendation and estimate. This report includes the installed prices AND retail prices for each recommend item. You have the choice of having one of the Safety Matters installers do the work for you or you can purchase the items from their retail warehouse and install them yourself.

This is money well- spent (and potential ER waiting room time avoided).

I am delighted to announce that Safety Matters is giving away 2 $100 gift certificates to my readers. Winners will receive the complimentary inspection and a $100 gift certificate good towards the installation costs or any of the products in the Safety Matters store (if you'd prefer to do the installation yourself).

To enter simply leave a comment on this post (If you don't have a Blogger profile that includes an email address where I can reach you, be sure to leave your email address in the comment).

You can earn an extra entry for retweeting any of my tweets about this giveaway or linking to this post on your Facebook page (let me know in that you've done so in your comment).

All comments must be received by March 7, 2010 at midnight CST. I will contact the winners by email on March 8th. If I don't hear back from the winners within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm giving away the new Ralph's World CD on Wee Windy City

I wanted to let you know that I am giving away THREE copies of the new Ralph's World CD "All Around Ralph's World" over on Wee Windy City.

When it comes to kid's music, Ralph's World is one of our favorites. We listen to Ralph's World in the car, during playtime and especially during our after-dinner, pre-bath dance parties.

I also posted information about an upcoming free performance by Ralph's World at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

There aren't too many entries so you have great odds of actually winning a copy. Go on over and enter (it just takes a minute or two to register on ChicagoNow). Good luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lollipop, Lollipop, O-lolli-lolli-pop

What the heck is this thing?

So I put it in my mouth? Just like this? If you say so.

Now, we're talking. Lick. Lick. Lick.

Thanks Mom!

P.S. I know that you aren't supposed to give thirteen month-old babies suckers. Special treat -- I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Good Winter Reads

I keep a basket of books in our living room near the fireplace -- a sort of seasonal reading selection. Now is the time of year to read about snowmen, sledding and hot chocolate. Soon we will be moving on to daffodils, bird nests, and rain puddles.

Not quite yet though.

We are expecting a snow storm tonight (they say almost a foot, but who knows). So before bed we read The Snow Day by Komako Sakai. My aunt gave this book to my kids for Christmas and it has become a fast favorite.

Through its gentle illustrations and minimal text, The Snow Day somehow captures the deep quiet that comes with a big snow. It is a most excellent winter read.

I created an Amazon list over on the right-hand sidebar with some of our favorite seasonal books. I've seen this feature on other blogs and have found it helpful as I planned trips to the library or bought birthday presents for little ones. If you are looking to update your book basket, have a look.*

Just waiting now to see if we have a real snow day tomorrow.

* If you click on a book and purchase it through Amazon, I get (an extremely, extremely) small percentage of the sales price. Pennies. This list isn't intended to be a money-maker -- just a suggested reading list based on our favorites.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Giveaway: A $150 Gift Card to SkinCareRx!

I am so excited about this giveaway -- one (extremely lucky) reader is going to win a $150 gift card to SkinCareRx (the parent company of SkinBotanica, a sponsor of this blog)! $150! This will buy you quite a bit of free skincare, my friends!

So how would you spend this $150 gift card if YOU won?

You could pick up something from the popular SkinCeuticals Skin Care -- maybe this Daily Moisturizer or the new A.G.E. Eye Complex. That's what I would do. This stuff is tempting.

Of course, you could also stock up on variety of other personal care products (including a nice selection of natural and organic choices). If you are feeling particularly generous, you might even pick up a little something for the man in your life who might be reluctant to purchase a moisturizer, but would enjoy it nonetheless.

So how do you win, you ask? Here are the details:

Leave a comment on this post to enter (be sure that your Blogger profile includes an email address where I can contact you if you win).

If you really, really want to win this gift card, there are a few other ways to increase your odds. Pay attention here because this gets a tad confusing.

You get one additional entry for becoming a fan on SkinCareRx.com on FaceBook. And another entry for following SkinCareRx1 on Twitter. Twitter users who retweet any of my tweets about this giveaway get an additional two entries.

If you want to be super, duper serious about this giveaway, you can even write a post about it on your own blog -- that will get you a whopping SEVEN entries (post must have a minimum of 100 words and link to both this post and SkinCeuticals Skin Care).

When you leave a comment, be sure to let me know how many additional entries you are entitled to (we are on the honor system here -- plus, it is bad karma to try to cheat your way to beautiful blemish-and-wrinkle-free skin anyway).

If you don't have your own blog and you wouldn't use Twitter if your life depended on it, you should definitely still enter -- just leave a comment on this post. Who knows? You might just win!

All entries must be received by midnight CST on Sunday, February 14, 2010. I will randomly select a winner and contact that lucky, lucky individual by email on February 15, 2010. If I don't hear back from the winner within 48 hours, I will select another winner.

Okay, now go enter!

You think I am interesting? Gosh, thanks so much.

Today I am featured on the "Interrogating the Interesting" blog over at Funsherpa.com.

Here is what I had to say. I obviously hope that you find it at least minimally . . . interesting.