F June 2011 ~ Critique of the Unique

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Welcome to Critique of the Unique

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In the Kitchen with Amelia

Welcome Amelia to the Critique of the Unique! Join Amelia in the kitchen for great down-home cooking ranging from appetizers, to tasty main dishes all the way through to awesomely delicious desserts!!

"Winnie the Pooh" in Theaters this July

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood this July and revisit your old time favorite characters!

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

'Winnie the Pooh' Premieres in Theaters on July 15, 2011

Coming to a theater near you!!! This July, don't miss the return of your favorite Hundred Acre Wood characters as "Winnie the Pooh" premieres in theaters nationwide.

Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with “Winnie the Pooh.” Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo—and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. 

 “Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” asks Pooh.  

Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey.

 Inspired by three stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic, hand-drawn art style, “Winnie the Pooh” hits theatres on July 15th!

Follow "Winnie the Pooh" on Facebook

Four Free eBooks for the Collector in You

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If you are an avid collector, then you will love this great deal! From now until July 4, you can download four great eBooks courtesy of Krause Publication and F+W Media, Inc, an offer extended in consideration of our nation's birthday!!

These great titles are compatible with the Nook, Google and iTunes! To view available titles, visit their site!

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Thanks to Krause Publication and F+W Media, Inc. for this gracious offer! FTC regulations require that I disclose that no compensation was offered or accepted for the sharing of deal. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Endangerables CD Review and Giveaway

Product: Endangerables CD
Performed by: Fred Bogert
Category: Kids, Family, Music
Price: $7.99

"No matter How Far Away We Are, We Will Always Be Linked Together"
                   --The Endangerables

Deputy Endangerable is here to save the day!! Deputy Endangerable (aka --your little ones) first pledge to do their very best to protect all the species of our planet (including one another)! All they have to do is raise their right hand and repeat the Endangerables Oath and then the fun begins! It starts with learning the secret and official Deputy Endangerable handshake that will surely be a hit with your little ones and their friends! Then, put on the rocking CD and learn about ways to help save the planet through 10 originals songs, all composed by Fred Bogert, the three-time Emmy nominated musician-performer! Your child will learn such songs as:

  • Extinction For Extinction
  • Crocodile Shoes
  • Girls Rock & Rule
  • and many more!
The Endangerables consist of the following pals, all who are either endangered, threatened or vulnerable species, all working together to protect and care for all those that need help! You will meet:
  • Ulysses the Eagle
  • Milton the Orangutan
  • Sasha the Baby Seal
  • Bucksnort the Indian Rhino
  • Ms. Scarlet the Scarlet Macaw
  • Khul the Tiger
  • and many more!
Not only will your child learn some amazing, rocking tunes but these tunes will help to raise your child's awareness about the endangered species on our planet and how to help these species, as well as other animals on our planet!  The Endangerables pals are available in a plush toy as well, so your child can collect them all!!! 

Our Experience: As soon as I put the CD in, my son started dancing to the music! He's nine and although he has his own taste in music at this point, he was still greatly entertained by the Endangerables CD. The music is in tune with the current music trends and is definitely a CD that can be enjoyed by all ages!! My son loved the song "Crocodile Shoes" and I have admit, it was my favorite too!! Had a familiar beat and was very upbeat! He thought it was fun to learn the oath and the secret handshake and he immediately felt as though he was part of a special club!

Want to hear more songs? Not a problem. Simply visit the Endangerables website and preview some of these amazingly fun songs!! Also, if you have children  that would love to become Deputy right away, then visit the sign up page for them to become deputies! It's free and includes other great activities such as coloring pages, games and much more! Simply by signing up and putting "SSA" as the option for where you heard about the Endangerables, you will receive an email with a link to the free mp3 of the Endangerables theme song "Extinction to Extinction". 

Where to Purchase: The Endangerables website

ONE lucky reader will win an Endangerables prize pack consisting of:

  • One PLUSH TOY (winner can choose either Ulysses the Eagle, Milton the Orangutan, Sasha the Baby Seal, Bucksnort the Indian Rhino, Ms. Scarlet the Macaw or Khul the Tiger)
Giveaway Ends on JULY 10, 2011. Midnight Central

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT:  Winner of this giveaway is Eileen L. from Missouri!! Congrats Eileen!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guest Post: I’m Lost! How to Prevent and Handle a Lost Child Situation by Keith Kepler

A lost child is a parent’s worst nightmare. And, as families plan to spend more time outdoors, on vacation and in busy public places this summer, it is important to be prepared. A survey of parents by the Center to Prevent Lost Children showed that 90 percent of families will experience losing a child in a public place at least once, and 20 percent said it has happened more than once. The United States Department of Justice reports that more than 300,000 children become temporarily lost for at least one hour, but the good news is that a majority of those children are quickly found and not harmed.
It is important to try to prevent a child from getting lost but even more important that the child knows what to do if they do get lost. Preparing yourself and a child can make this frightening situation become a bit easier for everyone involved.
·        Before you go anywhere, talk to your family about what to do if someone gets lost. Discuss a designated place to go if you get lost or advise children to stay right where they are when they feel they are lost. Tell children to find a security officer, police officer or an employee if you are in a public place, or remind them they can ask another mom with kids for help.
·        Prepare your children so that they can identify themselves. For younger children, have their identification information in their pocket. If they are old enough to speak and can relay the information, practice reciting your phone number with them, and let them know they can always call 911.
·        For younger children or when clothes don’t have pockets, be creative. Make a bracelet out of numbered beads or write your phone number inside a shirt collar or on a shirt tag with a fabric marker.
·        Dress children in bright colored clothing so they can easily be spotted. Lemon yellow and lime green are the suggested colors because they easily attract the eye. You might also have a piece of clothing that is only worn when the child goes out in public so you can easily remember what they are wearing.
·        Take a photo of your child with your phone before you leave home or when you arrive at your destination. This will help police find a lost child because they will be aware of exactly what the child is wearing, and how they look that day.
·        Positive reinforcement is the best way to prevent a child from wandering away from you when you are in a public place. Speak with your child about stranger danger, and remind them of the importance of staying with you.
Sometimes children do get lost, and it is easy for parents and guardians to forget what to do in this scary situation. Many public places have standard procedures of what to do when a child is missing, so make sure authorities and the venue’s management are notified that the child is lost. Authorities will be able to help because they are familiar with the area’s surroundings, and could have the capability to lockdown buildings or issue an alert.
Amusement parks and vacation spots are not the only places where children can get separated from their parents. This can occur at home as well. If the child is lost at home, be sure to look in the most common hiding and play spots first.
·        If you are at home, search your house first before going outside. Check closets, laundry baskets and piles of clothes, in and under beds, in large appliances, in vehicles and other areas where the child may hide or play.
·        If you still can’t find the child in the home, call 911 to notify them and let them know if you feel the child is in any danger. Police departments would rather be aware of the situation and called back when the child is found, rather than wasting valuable minutes to find the child. Time is crucial once a child has been separated from you.
·        Stay calm. Screaming the child’s name won’t help you locate the child any faster if they are not close by. Plus yelling the child’s name could lure the wrong type of person to your child who may be screaming back for you.
·        Make sure the phone number your child knows, preferably a cell phone, is on and is receiving a signal. Also, be sure to have a close family member or neighbor near your home phone so that you can stay in the area where the child was last seen.
Just like any other emergency plan, it is important to review and practice your family’s strategy if a child gets lost. Children can be better prepared to know what to do in the situation, and will feel more confident that they will be reunited with their family if they understand the family’s “lost” procedures.
About the author: Keith Kepler is the Vice President and General Manager at AlliedBarton Security Services. AlliedBarton is the industry’s premier provider of highly trained security personnel to many industries including higher education, commercial real estate, healthcare, residential communities, chemical/petrochemical, government, manufacturing and distribution, financial institutions, and shopping centers.

National Tire Safety Week June 5-11

Summer driving season has officially arrived and while we are all concerned with safety on the road, we often forget one of the most important components: our tires.  According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 660 highway fatalities are caused by underinflated tires annually.
This National Tire Safety Week (June 5-11, 2011) tire expert and Michelin subjective test driver, Sarah K. Robinson shared her tips for tire safety.  She also explained some of the simplest steps you can take to ensure you have a smooth, and most importantly safe, ride this summer travel season including:

  • Check you tire pressure – Check your tire pressure at least once a month and before and after a long trip.  Tires can lose 1-2 psi per month.
  • Examine your treads – Always make sure your tires have at least 2/32” of tread depth (the penny trick). Examine the wear patterns; the wear patterns can tell you whether your tires are over or under inflated and if your alignment is off. 
  • Avoid hydroplaning – Simple adjustments to driving including reducing your speed and avoiding wet spots, especially standing water can reduce your risk of hydroplaning.
  • Rotate – Tires should be rotated every 6,000-8,000 miles.
  • Keep deepest treads in the rear – Make sure when replacing just two tires that you put the two tires with the deepest treads on the rear axle regardless, whether you have front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Thanks to Sarah K Robinson for these great tips!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In the Kitchen with Amelia

I am proud to introduce a new regular contributor to Critique of the Unique. Let's welcome AMELIA to the house!!!

Amelia will be sharing wonderful recipes and cooking related reviews and giveaways, so be certain to check out her posts!! We look forward to all the tasty dishes she will be preparing and sharing with us! So be sure to go "In the Kitchen with Amelia"!

A little about Amelia (in her own words):

Greetings readers, my name is Amelia and I have been married to the most wonderful man for a little over a year, together we are raising my step-son and I'm loving every hectic minute of it. They are my everything and I strive to be the best person I can be for both of them. My step-son loves to be in the kitchen with me, he's the best sous-chef I've ever had! 

From a very early age my family and I were always together in the kitchen cooking, whether it was at Grandma's, Aunt's, or my Mama's kitchen. I remember thinking when I was little that it was so neat how a home baked cookie or cake could make someone who was feeling down, start smiling and feeling better, or how people would ooh and aah at the dinner being set down in front of them it was like magic to me and I knew I wanted to be a part of that reason of making people feel happy. So, that's where it all started: baking cookies with Mama or Grandma, and as I grew older I started to experiment, not all of them good ideas, haha,  but hey live and learn right?!

I've come to a point in my life where I'm starting to think of all the different types of food I've yet to try and I get excited over the literally millions of different combinations. I tend to gravitate towards Italian dish's mostly, but hey, who doesn't love a bowl pasta right?! My favorite thing to do is bake, but I can't say I have a favorite thing to bake, I love any baked goods! My husband likes to tease me and say I'm having an affair with food, because I will, seriously, do a little happy dance when I'm eating something I find to be really great tasting, I'll rock side to side in my chair while saying yummmmmmm, haha! 

Besides cooking and spending time with my family I do enjoy to be outside: any outdoor actives, fishing being a family favorite, swimming, hiking, camping, floating the river, bungee jumping or just something as simple as sitting on the porch drinking coffee in the morning while gossiping on the phone with my Mama! I'm very excited to be apart of this blog and can't wait to get feed back from the readers, together we can make the world a magical place by the food we cook for our families and friends! And remember....a recipe is just a guide-line, make it your own, experiment!!! Bon Appetit!! 


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