20 June 2009

JUNE Giveaway - Plan Toy Eco-Home

What better way to help teach your kids about alternative energy than with toys from Plan Toy's Eco-Line?
We're giving away a set valued at $65, the Plan City Natural Wood Eco-Home.

There are so many cool components to the set. Wind Turbines, Solar Panels and the Living Roof are clean sources of energy used in this PlanCity Eco Home. Power storage and a Grey Water Tank are added to eco play enjoyment.

The set also includes
  • 2 figures
  • an Electric Scooter
  • furniture for 2 rooms.
close up of the wind turbine - close up of the solar panels

Would you like to win one?! One lucky winner will receive the Eco-Home Set, and FREE standard shipping within the U.S. We always extend the FREE shipping offer to any additional items you care to order, but, of course, there is no obligation to do so.

It's easy, here are several ways you earn entries
  1. follow us on Twitter, comment here with your twitter name so we can check
  2. tweet and include @kidstravelhappy as proof, and comment here that you tweeted
  3. Become a Facebook fan
  4. go to our home page and join our newsletter (sign up is lower LEFT of screen)
  5. leave a comment about what 'earth friendly' things your family does on a regular basis
  6. visit this link and then comment & let us know what other Eco-Town set you would add to supplement the Eco-Home
  7. blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment here with the link (this is worth 5 entries, so leave 5 comments about it)
Remember, basically, you should leave a comment for every way you participate so that you earn the proper entries, we will check links etc.

WINNER to be ANNOUNCED on July 1st, with help from Random.org (yes, we will soon have a comment counter, but until then, we do count comment order manually!). Entries received until June 30th at 11:59PM Eastern Time.Come visit our shop in Bethel, Maine - we have an entire Eco-Town play table (above) to play with!

NOTE: this is recommended for kids ages 3 and up. This is a brand new toy, with slight box wear, and is intended for use by the recipient (or recipient's child!). By entering you agree that this is for your use, and that it is NOT to be sold via eBay or other means. If winner does not claim prize within 1 week of announcement, we will draw another winner. We will contact via the email given (as well as post here), so please use a valid email if you want to be able to find out if you won.

Thanks for playing and good luck. (my boys want ME to win this giveaway LOL!)

JUNE Giveaway - Plan Toy Eco-HomeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

13 June 2009

Food for Thought (just NOT for consuming)

Well, moving on from vegetarian fare, to lower calorie, wooden food options. Wooden Play Food is perfect for kids and adults, as it never spoils, always looks fresh, you can add as much of it to your plate as you want, and you won't put on a pound... Obviously, you can't actually eat it, which is its only down-side, but with a couple of cloth bags full of some of our favorite 'in-edibles' you will be ready for your next picnic, gourmet snack, or tea time with teddy, a pet, your family, or maybe someone new you meet along your next journey (oh, and don't forget any and all imaginary friends!).

Now down to the tasty bits
1) Breakfast is not complete without the PlanActivity Breakfast Menu with Serving tray. This set promotes healt
hy eating choices, and will get kids 'fueled' up for the day. Made of wood, this set is durable for years of play. Set includes all in the picture below including: two slices of bread & a bun, sausage, bacon, cheese, fried egg, boiled egg, salt and pepper shakers and a tray to serve oneself or bring to share with others.

2) Healthy Snacks f
rom PlanActivity Fruits & Veggie Set with or Without a Wooden Tray
The set WITH the tray comes w
ith 8 pieces of fruit and veggies (plus knife), and the set WITHOUT the tray comes with 5 pieces of fruit and veggies. Both sets come with a wooden 'knife' which 'cuts' through the food and makes a great sound as it breaks through the 'velcro' holding the food together. Makes teaching about healthy snacks LOTS of fun.

3) Dessert After all that healthy stuff, it's time to celebrate with Melissa & Doug's Wooden Birthday Cake Set
The complete set comes with 6-slices and 19 toppings (strawberries, jellybeans, and gumdrops), decorative storage box, serving plate & serving spatula, and 7 candles (all wooden and attach with velcro). Cake even makes 'slicing' sound when 'cut' with wooden utencils. Kids will love celebrating their birthday over and over.

4) The Wooden Tea Set from PlanActivity is an adorable set for pretend play (it is NOT recommended that REAL liquids be put in these, however). Gather friends real & imaginary for hours of conversation, trip planning, and more. We LOVE that this set has wooden tea bags, sugar cubes, spoons, cups, saucers, and tea pot. The tea is never too hot or too cold, and the pot never empties. Add to the birthday cake for an exquisite role play experience. All of the items pack small enough for on the go as well!

Lastly, we want to add that these are long-lasting, quality sets, that will provide years of fun at home, grandparents, or on-the-go.

Food for Thought (just NOT for consuming)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

03 June 2009

Eating Vegetarian away from Home

In relation to eating vegetarian I feel compelled to tell a story of traveling in California a few years back (at the time our now 6 year old was only 3 months old). Now, this is NOT a story to try to convert anyone to any sort of eating style, as it is my husband and my choice to raise our children vegetarian (and, we use that term loosely, as we are technically lacto-ovo meaning we eat dairy and egg products, as well as wild caught fish). I will also point out that if our children WANT to try red meat (or chicken, pork, hot dogs... is that a meat?), we are totally OK with it, they just won't get it at home. This story can be related also to any family with a member (or members) with any type of special dietary need.

Back to my original story, we're in CA, late at night, with 8 of us and our RV outside of Yosemite looking for dinner for both carnivores and omnivores. The result (sigh) Denny's. Starving, we all pile into our 'round' seating arrangement, scour the menu, and 4 of us opt for the 'veggie' burger. It comes out, I bite into it first, and MY first thought... NOT veggie burger. We bring this immediately to the attention of our waitron, she goes back to the cook and asks. We are then assured that the burgers are in fact 'Boca' Burgers, and skeptically, the other 3 take bites of their burgers. The consensus... animal MEAT. So, at this point (and it's approx 11PM, mind you), we get the attention of the waitron again, she goes back, is shown the box, and Boca Burger it is (as far as we know). Well, we all ate the burgers (with some hesitation, but we were hungry!), and no one was ill in the AM (I hadn't had red meat for 15 years), so I now question what was added to the burger to make it taste so 'meaty' (the same grill as the meat burgers?)

Result of this experience.. NOTE TO SELF, have a better idea of late night (or any time of day) veggie protein options wherever I travel.

I've searched the web in the past and here are some of the resources I've used since, starting with my favorite.
  1. The Happy Cow - a Compassionate Eating Guide: a vegetarian restaurant guide and directory of health food stores, has a global directory, reviews, search options and more
  2. Vegetarian USA - the Vegetarian Travel Guide, FREE city and state guides (USA): excellent resource for vegetarians, from lodging, to health food stores & restaurants
  3. VegDining.com - 'your online guide to vegetarian dining around the world': good resource, but requires membership to enjoy the best benefits, worth a look, however
  4. We also suggest (in the US) at Chamber of Commerce sites, which usually have good local directories
A few other thoughts when choosing a Restaurant while traveling
  1. Sitting in a hotel somewhere? Pick the consierge's brain, thumb throught the yellow pages, ask locals
  2. pick up a local paper and browse the ads, take note while sight-seeing or drving around somewhere, and see what looks popular
  3. always carry some non-perishable snacks for yourself and your kids while on the quest for a dinner location, they will tie you over so you don't have to settle for choosing among a couple of veggie options on a menu at a non-vegetarian restaurant. If you are a vegetarian (or, have a desire for sea food, kosher food, or other special dietary need) it's worth finding a place where the entire menu is an option.
  4. our last bit of advice (and thus the 'snack' tip above) is to start looking for a place to eat before you NEED to eat (and, more importantly, before the KIDS need to eat). It will save you from settling for anywhere, and avoid a child glucose crash meltdown
And, as a website specializing in making sure "kids Travel Happy" - it's always good to have things to do! Check out our Family Time Dinner Games

Eating Vegetarian away from HomeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

01 June 2009

Magnetic Poetry for Kids CONTEST WINNER

And the winner is.....

True Random Number Generator
1 53 26 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

#26 is "Shop with Me Mama" - Congratulations!

She wins her choice of a Kids Magnetic Poetry Kit, a Magnetic Board, and FREE Standard shipping in the U.S. or Canada. Thanks for playing!

New BLOG entry this week - and new contest 3rd week of the month

Magnetic Poetry for Kids CONTEST WINNERSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend