Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Imagination Box Company Saves National Turn Off Week and offers giveaway too!

Now before you scoff at this title and decided to click somewhere else - wait and read. It's really all about me, the mama. The Mama who loves arts and crafts beyond words but has a secret little computer addiction that many times keeps her from playing with the kids as much as she would like. I knew that the challenge of National Turnoff Week was just the kick in the tookus I needed to balance out things in our little house. If you are interested in seeing what we did head on over to I'll tell you later Betty, she'll tell you all about it. One thing we did was create Imagination Boxes generously given to us by Kim & Russell, co-owners of the Imagination Box Co., a company dedicated to producing socially and environmentally responsible toys that spark children's imagination. Both my 8 year old and 3 year old were very excited to get started on their boxes. Gavin, my 8 year old, chose the paintable Firehouse/Rescue Station and Anna, the 3 year old, chose the paintable Country Cottage. Anna got out her paints and she was painting away. I found I really had to restrain myself from becoming the arts and crafts dictator. Letting her choose her own colors and discover how colors combine to make new colors was all part of the process. What it came down to was Mama wanted a box of her own to paint - living vicariously through my children's play, heavy sigh. Finally she invited me to paint too and we had a ball creating what she christened as her "Fairy Cottage". I even wrote a little "Welcome Fairies" above the door. It was very easy to paint and there was room for some free drawing on the box. Anna wanted rugs in her house so we got out the sharpie pen and drew a couple of rugs which she promptly painted. The only difficult part was her ability to reach all the areas of such a big box. But with adult supervision and turning the box all different directions we were able to paint our own masterpiece.

Gavin, who has sensory issues, didn't want anything to do with the paint. "It's too messy for me", he stated. So we pulled out the crayons and he went to town. I ended up helping him with his project too as he found some of the parts to color repetitive. But that's because he decided the bricks had to be all one color and thus creating his own repetitiveness. With crayons we colored on the floor which made the size of the box a non-issue.

We did question, as people sensitive to the environment and frugal by nature, whether or not we could have done that ourselves with our own cardboard boxes. But here's the deal...yes, I could have made my own...but chances are I wouldn't because I'm busy doing other things quite honestly. And these are way cooler than anything I could have come up with. I am not an artist by trade but come by perfectionism honestly. Anything I would have made would have looked like a six year old drew it...no thanks. I'll take the Imagination Box Company's version any day.

Imagination Box-a-rama

What I love about Imagination Boxes
  • Creating it is play in and of itself but then the kids have a playhouse for imaginary play. Anna got out her "my little ponies" and immediately set up house. So there is value in this toy since it keeps on "giving".
  • Made with sturdy double walled corrugated board, these toys are extremely durable so they're made to last.
  • The details on the different boxes make them so unique. I tried to capture some of those details in a few of the pictures.
  • They are so easy to put together. Plus, if your space is limited, like in our little house, just "unfold" them and tuck them under a bed or behind a sofa.
  • It is fabulous for both individual and co-operative play. One of my kids has a hard time
    "playing with others" but since he was the project manager cooperative play was welcomed. It was a joy to see that happen.
About the Company

Kim and Russell, are not only co-owners of the company they are wife and husband too. Their story speaks to finding and honoring your voice. As artists and parents of three daughters, the last of which was home schooled and raised without cable TV, they were committed to encouraging creativity in their home. Russell actually made these boxes for their youngest and they became the neighborhood hit. Everyone wanted one!

Imagination Box Company is a direct reflection of their lifestyle. Many years ago, before it was hip to be green, Russell and Kim became concerned about the environment. They also became more uncomfortable with the messages that were being marketed to kids. They are strongly against any sort of violence in toys and also don’t believe in advertising directly to children. Getting back to basics is what they believe in. Peaceful toys for the children and the earth. What more can a Quaker mom ask for?

Imagination Box Company has generously offered my readers a chance to win a box of their choice. To enter all you have to do is go to their website , look at the choices, come back and leave a comment with which box you'd chose and a way to contact you.

Extra ways to enter:

  1. Click the "tell a friend" button at the end of this post and tweet about it. Use rt@LaterBetty and leave a comment that you tweeted. Feel free to follow me as well.
  2. Click the "tell a friend" button at the end of this post and choose another social network (my favorites are technorati and kirtsy), comment what you did.
  3. Follow me here or at I'll tell you later Betty or subscribe to my feed, comment that you did
  4. For five extra entries blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link to the post.
Good luck! The giveaway is closed on May 6, 2009 at midnight est.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Punchbowl Premium Membership Winner!

Congratulations to Manic Mother who was chosen by a true random number generator at random.org ! She won a 1 year premium membership to mypunchbowl.com valued at $29.95!

Her post:
Manic Mother said...

I like the ecards especially the mothers day ones.

My Punchbowl Premium Membership Winner!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Punchbowl makes me look good - Giveaway!

Indiana state welcome sign

After being approached by the folks at My Punchbowl to write a review of their party planning website, I knew that my trip back to the Hoosier state would now be smooth sailing. Now you may be asking yourself,"How does this chick connect party planning and traveling to Indiana (yes, the Hoosier state)?". Well, the last time we sojourned to family and friends I was pretty nonchalant about the whole visit. Let me tell you, that didn't go over so well. A couple blog posts later about how much fun we had and the pictures to prove it, created hurt feelings by those friends and family who hadn't. I was determined not to let that happen this time. And My Punchbowl was going to be my partner in perfect planning.

The Process

Signing up was a breeze and it's free(you know I like that)! I was like a kid in a candy shop because creating My Punchbowl invitations is like digital scrapbooking. I decided what needed to happen was to warn remind my peeps that the Clinton posse was heading into town. I needed a "Save the Date" card to virtually send everyone in Central Indiana who cared about our visit. So I named my "event" Indiana Bound and started the creative process. The thing I dreaded was transferring all those e-mail addresses. No problem! My Punchbowl is living in the 21st century and has a handy dandy way to import those puppies and organize them beautifully.

What fun I had! I got to pick from all sorts of "paper", fonts, colors, even virtual ribbons if I wanted. I ended up playing with the "Save the Date" form to create a schedule of where we would be when and contact information so no one could complain say they didn't know we were in town. Now, one of my computers is an old man, which made creating my card a very slow process. But once I moved to my computer that is a middle aged woman everything moved at a normal rate of speed and I was able to get it done before we actually left! Plus, I was able to fit in everything in the card that people needed to know to see us (if they wanted to) and avoid us (if they didn't want to). Here's what I came up with:

Party planning for my daughter's birthday in June is going to be a breeze thanks to My Punchbowl.com.

You Can Win a Premium Membership

So My Punchbowl is generously offering a one year premium membership to one of my lucky readers. With a premium membership you get not only award winning features and hundreds of design options, you also get priority tech support, premium designs, more fonts, papers, and ribbons and exclusive partner offers. All of this plus advertising free creations comes with the premium membership. So, are you curious enough now to check out the perfect party planning website? Are you asking, "What do I need to do to win this membership? Tell me now!".

Well, to get a chance to win a premium membership leave a comment by midnight est April 22 , 2009 with the following info: (and please leave a comment & e-mail addy for each entry):
  • Visit My Punchbowl and leave a comment about the site that I didn't share
For addition entries into the giveaway this is what you can do:
  1. Subscribe to My Punchbowl leaving user name and what event you'll be planning in the comment.
  2. Follow me at Twitter and tweet about this giveaway with RT@LaterBetty included in your tweet.
  3. Follow either one of my blogs or subscribe to a feed of either one of Betty's blogs
I'll announce the winner on April 23rd and contact them by e-mail as well. Now get out there and start commenting!

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