Category: contest

Winner of Book Giveaway …

By , July 30, 2010 6:35 pm

I am a day late with announcing the winner of my book giveaway, sorry!  Yesterday I was able to spend a rare day with only my 9 year-old and it was just too much fun to be blogging.

Anyhow, the random winner of Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream by Gwynneth Beasely is:


Thank you so much to Gwynneth for providing me a copy of her book to give away.  Kara, I will email you privately to get your address.

Thanks also to all who joined in and for all your great outdoor ideas and stories!

Book Giveaway! – “Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream” (Gwynneth Beasley)

By , July 21, 2010 1:26 pm

One of the really fun things about blogging is all the people you “meet.”  Recently a former Unplugged Project participant, blogger and now published author Gwynneth Beasley (hooray Gwynneth – congrats!!) contacted me to see if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway of one of her books.  When she mentioned that it was about the very unplugged activity of camping (unless you are in a 40 foot RV with satellite TV of course, LOL) I was definitely sold.

One night at dinner Zeke announced, ‘I have made a decision everybody.  We are going camping this weekend and no one is bringing the computer, the phone, their mobile, the TV or the DVD.’

quote from p.1, Zeke, Ky, and the Mountain Stream

Yes, Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream is perfect for an Unplug Your Kids review and giveaway!

Gwynneth kindly sent me two copies all the way from Australia, one for my family to read, and the other to give away to an Unplug Your Kids reader.

I wasn’t able to show the book to my children right away since they were camping for a few days with their father.  A happy coincidence I thought!  When the kids returned from a fun camping adventure of their own, they were ripe to read the tale of Zeke and Ky’s camping trip.  They all enjoyed the book and I found them picking it up and rereading it on their own later, even my older children.

Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream has a large, easy to read font and the vocabulary is fairly basic which would make it a good choice for younger readers who are just transitioning to “chapter books.”  Each page contains just a few sentences of text and a simple photo illustration.  The book length (18 pages) is also great for younger children with short attention spans.  It would make a wonderful read-aloud book too and could inspire lots of conversations about camping, nature, the power of positive thinking, and the value of unplugging once in a while!


  • To enter the giveaway for my free copy of Zeke, Ky, and the Mountain Stream, simply leave a comment with a quick summary of a favorite outdoor or camping activity that you do with your children (or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.).
  • For an additional chance(s) to win this book, you can subscribe to Unplug Your Kids (link is in upper right sidebar).  Just leave another comment here to let me know.
  • The giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 28th at 8:00PM PST.  I’ll select a random winner based on all entries, and announce the winner on Thursday, July 29th!
    Comments are now closed. Winner to be announced tomorrow (July 30th). Thank you all!!

3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge

By , April 18, 2009 8:50 pm

April 20th through the 26th is Turnoff Week (formerly TV Turnoff Week, but now it applies to all “screens”).  As I mentioned previously, I will once again be hosting a Blog Challenge for those who dare to give the no screen (or reduced screen) thing a try for a week.  A few intrepid souls have already expressed an interest in giving it a try.  Thank you!

I am very late in posting the instructions.  Usually I start a few weeks ahead of time!  However this year, I have been really busy with other, “real life” obligations.

Finally though – for those who have already indicated that they want to give it a go, and anyone else who wants to attempt it, here is how the 3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge will work:

Phase 1 –

1) Write a post about the challenge that sets forth your goals, reasons for joining in, etc. The more people we can reach and get to join in, the more fun and educational it will be!  Remember, it is not just about giving up TV, what about the “other screens” in your life? The computer is my personal downfall so I will be concentrating on reducing that.

2) Link to your post in Mr. Linky below (leave a comment too in case Mr. Linky goes haywire, as occasionally happens, and I have to take him off).

3) Steal the Blog Challenge badge and put it in your sidebar, linking to Unplug Your Kids. Let me know if you need help with this step.

Two sizes:

Phase 2 –

Do your best to meet your goals from April 20-26. If you aren’t successful, it’s OK. What is important is to try, and to learn something from the experience.

Phase 3 –

1) After Turnoff Week ends (April 26th is the last day), write a post about how it went: the good, the bad, and the ugly! Sharing experiences helps everyone.

2) I will also write a “How it Went” post and I will put up a new Mr. Linky. Put the link to your “How it Went” post in the new Mr. Linky (plus comment just in case).

3) On Wednesday, May 6th I will draw a random name from among those who completed the challenge by putting up their final post (remember, whether you met your goals or not, completion just means blogging about it!).  If you don’t put up your final post and enter it in the Linky before that date, then I can’t enter you in the contest.  A random person will win a $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Finally, I have to apologize to a few of you who asked me questions that I have not answered yet.  I have just been SO busy this past week, that I haven’t had a chance to think about the blog, or email, or anything much.  I do appreciate your questions, and I will try and send you an email tomorrow (Sunday).

Here is the first Mr. Linky.  Anyone who wants to enter the 3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge should write a post about their intentions and link to it here.  Even if you indicated in the comments to my last post about this that you wanted  to join, please be sure to link to your goal-setting post here, to make it “official!”

3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge

By , April 10, 2009 8:44 pm

I am finally posting about the 3rd Annual Turnoff Week blog challenge.

This year’s National Turnoff Week begins April 20th and runs through April 26th. I plan on hosting another Turnoff Week Blog Challenge for those who want to take the plunge and give the TV-free life a try!

Can you turn off your TV for one week? Can you turn off your computer for one week? Can you at least reduce your family and personal screen time for one week?

These are things to think about. The idea is not to feel guilt about doing it or not, “succeeding” or not, but simply to gain awareness of the amount of time that we all spend in front of screens these days.

Even without TV, I have my own “screen-issue.” The computer is my downfall. I will try to reduce my computer time that week.

Think about it. Discuss it with your family. Perhaps this would be a good time to try reducing your screen time if you have been considering it.

I’ll post more later about how to join in the Blog Challenge (as always, there will be a small bribe prize for a random participant!!), but I just wanted to plant the seed in your thoughts today.

So, is anyone interested in giving it a try?

Unplugged Toystore $50 Giveaway and Discount – Bright October!

By , October 25, 2008 8:07 am

I was very excited to receive an email the other day from Courtney at Bright October asking if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway.

Well, yes!!  Bright October is one of my favorite Unplugged Toystores so I knew that whatever Courtney wanted to give away to a reader would be wonderful.

At mom-run Bright October, there are no mass market, licensed character toys.  All the toys they offer are excellent quality, safe, open-ended, and simply beautiful.

In addition to popular, high-quality brands such as Haba, Selecta, and Kathe Kruse, you’ll also discover some that are less well-known (here in the U.S. anyway): Blabla (Peru), Sevi (Italy), and Vilac (France) for example.  I personally love the totally cute organic stuffed animals!

Courtney is very generously offering a $50 Bright October gift certificate to a randomly selected Unplug Your Kids reader, as well as a 10% discount for ALL Unplug Your Kids readers.

To enter, all you have to do is:

1)  Visit Bright October to pick what you might want to buy with your gift certificate (this is hypothetical, if you win you can still change your mind and pick something else).

2)  Leave a comment here on this post saying what you picked.  To enter, leave your comment here at Unplug Your Kids (not at Bright October).

3)  That’s it!

I’ll leave comments open until next Saturday, November 1st at 8PM Pacific Time.  After all comments are in, I’ll pick a random winner and announce it here on Sunday morning, November 2nd.  (I wish I could enter too, but I guess that wouldn’t be very fair!)

Even if you don’t win, you can still take advantage of the 10% off coupon.  Just enter unplug at checkout to get your discount.  The code will be valid until the end of the year, December 31st, 2008 so you can do a little Christmas shopping with it.

Thank you Courtney and good luck to all!

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