I spend a lot of time surfing the web while researching information for my segments, it occurred to me that it would be fun to share some of my favorite sites with you. These are websites that I think are worth your time (which I know is a hot commodity) to check out. One site is helpful when you are trying to screen movies to decide which ones your kids can view and another lets you sample all kinds of cool beauty products. There is even a site for your dog! I also found a special site that enables your friends and family across the miles to come together to reach out to someone you know in need of support or well wishes. Take a look...
I absolutely love this website and the site's creator is a local Phoenix mother! Kim Freid came up with the idea to send loved ones a chest full of well wishes and notes when her aunt became ill with cancer. She put together a pretty chest full of encouraging notes from her aunt's family members and friends. Her aunt was so touched by the gift, that Kim started to do more chests full of notes to loved ones and friends in times of need and in time of celebration. Her aunt is now cancer free and Kim has brought her clever idea online.
It is easy to create one using projecttreasure.com. First, you log on to the site and get it set up. Next you invite people to contribute. Then, through Project Treasure's note creator, each person creates meaningful messages for the recipient. The messages are then printed individually on high-quality note paper and assembled into a lovely keepsake chest for delivery. The individual chests are handmade and milled and made from bamboo, which is a renewable resource. Then the person you treasure receives a chest full of uplifting and inspiring notes. I love that this works for all kinds of occasions and events like birthdays, graduations, a new baby, as well as sympathy and get well wishes, too. Such a great idea!
You can purchase the original Project Treasure package that includes up to 25 printed notes, the bamboo chest, a greeting card and the presentation gift box for $49.99 and gift wrap is included. The bamboo chest is gorgeous. Watch the segment to see it. Additional notes can be included at a small extra cost. The other available package is the Notes in the Organza Bag that costs $29.99 and includes up to 25 printed notes and a greeting card in a blue organza bag. No bamboo chest or gift box is included so this is a good option for someone who already has the bamboo chest from a previous Project Treasure gift or for someone looking for a lower priced package to send. I think the chest is beautiful and worth the extra cost. Additional notes can also be sent. Get all of the details at www.projectreasure.com.
This is a great one for parents. To preview content in films before watching, visit www.kids-in-mind.com to get all of the details. The site enables adults to determine whether a movie is appropriate for them or their children, according to their own criteria. Unlike the MPAA they do not assign an inscrutable rating based on age. Instead, the site is categorized into three objective ratings for categories that include sex, nudity, violence and profanity. All are presented on a scale of 0 to 10, and it is explained in detail why a film rates high or low in a specific category. I also appreciate that the site includes mentions and scenes that include substance abuse and a thorough list of discussion topics that the movie that may elicit questions from children. Kidsinmind.com also includes what the bottom line message of the film seems to be, which is a nice way to sum up a decision about whether or not to let my tween see a PG-13 movie.
With my tween, I feel pretty good about letting her see PG movies, but I still like to check the kidsinmind site first to see what factors make it a PG movie. A good example is the Life of Pi movie. When I looked it up, I liked that the bottom line message is stated as "in a crisis, a young man can call on the resources of his faith" and it is also handy to know that several animals are attacked and die in the film. My daughter would be fine with this, but some younger children may find that disturbing or scary, so it is so helpful for parents to have this easy to read resource to help make good decisions about movie viewing. When it came to potential discussion topics, the site suggested that kids who see the Life of Pi movie may ask about animal rights and different religions. Helpful to know because children are like sponges and they take everything in, especially what they see on the big screen.
The other thing I like about this website is that, as it is explained in the site's mission statement, kidsinmind.com is like a food labeling system which tells you what a food item contains. No judgments are made and the site doesn't criticize or praise movie content. The mission statement goes on to say that they are not affiliated with any political party, any cultural or religious group, or any ideology. What they advocate is responsible, engaged parenting and I'm all for that, plus I really like to see movies with my family, so this is a helpful resource for me.
Want to try what's hot in cool new beauty and lifestyle products every month? Check out birchbox.com. You pay a monthly $10 subscription fee (there are no shipping or handling fees) and you receive a pretty box every month that is filled with cool stuff that includes beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples. Products come from both up-and-coming companies and well known brands, so you get to try out all kinds of new items. Snacks, like yummy granola bars, are sometimes included, too. And if you want to order a full size of a product that you tried and liked from your Birchbox, you can simply visit Birchbox.com to order. There is also a way to save money on your purchase by using loyalty points. Every 100 points gets you a $10 gift card. There are several easy ways to earn those points. For every dollar you spend, you earn one point. Plus you can get 110 points for signing up for a yearly membership. Get 50 points for getting a friend to sign up and 10 points for filling out a feedback survey. Members can sign up monthly and cancel anytime. You can also sign up for three months at a time or more.
I especially like that each box is customized for me, based on the profile that I filled out when I set up my subscription. Some samples are sent to everyone and other samples are chosen specifically for my beauty and grooming needs. And the same samples are never sent twice, so my box is always current, unique and fresh with local trends. I really enjoy opening my box every month. Birchbox also recently added custom boxes for men, too. For more information and to sign up visit www.birchbox.com.
Similar to Birchbox.com is a product site for your pooch to ponder. When you sign up for BarkBox, every month you will receive a box in the mail with four or more carefully selected products and presents for your dog! This includes items like bones, treats. shampoos, leashes and innovative new gadgets. And like Birchbox, you can order your pup's preferred products at great rates on the www.barkbox.com site. I like that a portion of proceeds from each box goes to help shelters and the services and care they give to dogs in need. You pay $18 a month for your monthly barkbox and 10% of that goes back to a variety of rescue groups. So this site will please your pooch and give back at the same time. To see a barkbox sample, watch the segment.
You may have heard me mention my own website on the show once or twice. My site at www.managedmoms.com is a great resource for easy recipes, important parenting topics, beauty news, fun pet stuff and giveaways, too! Just last week, I gave away (through random.org drawings) Sprouts Farmers Market gift cards and this week, we're giving away a $50 Petco gift card. And every Friday, all of my subscribers are automatically entered into our Freebie Friday drawing with prizes that have included beauty products, cookware, jewelry, shoes, pet products and more. I'm proud to have an amazing team of writers that include experts in their fields of fitness, beauty, parenting and more. There is also a travel section with reviews of hotels, resorts, restaurants and other attractions that is helpful if you are planning a family vacation or staycation. It has been a nice surprise to me that many of my readers aren't all moms, but we also have subscribers who are pet parents, as well as dads and grandparents, too. We have received a lot of nice emails about the site's content which is meant to provide tips to help make our manic lives a little more managed. So please check it out and consider becoming a subscriber. It is free and I never share your email address with anyone. You simply receive a notification email when we post a recipe or article. If is it interesting to you, click the link to read it or simply delete. Your free subscription also automatically puts you in the weekly Freebie Friday drawing. So check it out. The site has been my labor of love and so far, feedback from readers has been great!
Do you have a favorite website we should know about? Tell us about it in the comments section because we are all short on time in this world that is long on websites. So share your favorites!