Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Celebrate Summer with FUNundrum

Attention Southern California Families, this summer marks the 200th anniversary of the great showman P.T. Barnum. The circus is coming to town and Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey are celebrating by offering a special "MOM" discount to all of our readers. You can choose from a few different discounts. Select dates offer packages for $48 for a family of 4 (ask for the Family Four Pack Offer) or you can get $4 off individual tickets on select shows. Tickets can be purchased directly through Ticketmaster or by calling 1.800.745.3000.

To redeem, use the discount code "MOM"

Don't live in Southern California? Visit the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey site to see when the circus will be in your area.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Vincent Shoes have been a Swanky Moms favorite for years now. They're cute, stylish, on sale! Visit Vincent's Summer Sale and save up to 75% off on certain styles. I've been eyeing these cute "Betty" shoes, too bad I have two boys.... Shop now, styles and sizes are limited.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Father's Day Fun with "Handy Dad"

Looking for a fun little gift for Dad from the kids this Father's Day? Check out Handy Dad by Todd Davis, host of HGTV's show Over Your Head. This super fun book is filled with projects that dad and his "helpers" can make together. There are 25 projects in the book that range from the super easy to the super complex.

I love that each project has its own difficulty level and tells you how much time will be involved. Detailed supply lists are included and the illustrations are fabulous. There are 4 "easy" projects: lava lamp, paper airplane, water pressurized rocket & a good ol' fashioned slip and slide. The "afternoon projects" are a little more complex. These range from a rope swing to tie dying and a water balloon launcher. And then there are the awesome "weekend projects" which look to be pretty serious, but also completely do-able. My boys really want to make the zip line and the bike jump!

Since we are holding onto this book for Father's Day, my boys and I have been secretly checking out all of the cool projects. They've been asking me daily if they can give it to Dad early so they can get started on their slingshots! I know this book will be a hit and can't wait to see what projects they'll dive into.

Got girls? Don't you worry, there are plenty of projects for everyone. There is a great dollhouse project as well as a pattern for some really cute angel wings. I do have to say though, that most of these projects are very unisex and perfect for the whole family to be involved in.

Visit Amazon today and order your copy in time for Father's Day.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Know a Mini Philanthropist? Check Out The Barnum Award

Live in Southern, California? The circus is coming to town and nominations are currently being accepted for “The Barnum Award.” The Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey circus is on a Southland search to honor three stand-out kids who are making a difference in our community. Nominate a child between the ages of 8-14 who is demonstrating the entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit of P.T. Barnum. Nominating is easy, by answering a few brief questions on the online application at www.thebarnumaward.com. First, second, and third place winners will receive cash prizes to continue their service. The award ceremony will be on opening night at the Honda Center, July 28th.

Keep an eye on the Swanky Moms Blog! We will be putting up some special ticket discount information next week!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Turn Those Mole Hill Math Skills into Mountainous Ones!

From the minute I saw it's name, I was intrigued by the Zillio math system. The teacher in me went straight to the website for more information and the mom in me cheered when I realized that it's not just for the classroom. We received two products for review, the Zillio Mini Mountain and the 2D Playground. Both items went above and beyond my expectations. What surprised me most though, was that fact that as soon as I took it out of the box, before I read any directions, my six year old was spitting out multiplication facts. "Mommy, look, four threes is twelve, five threes is fifteen." And he just kept spinning the mountain while spitting out math facts. All the while understanding the concept of multiplication, not just memorizing the facts. This went on for at least 30 minutes straight and during this time I really saw a "light bulb" moment. My little kindergartner knew how to multiply and understood that it was the "opposite" of division; and this was all on the first day.

It wasn't until a few days later that I had a chance to read the manual and learn about the different games and activities that could be played with the Mini Mountain and the 2D Playground. I was really amazed by how many different concepts are covered: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, number lines, fractions, and ratios. Some games are simple, some much more complex, but the great thing about the games is the fact that you can choose the one that best fits the needs of your child. Some games are individual some are collaborative, some games can be modified for different ability levels and some should be played with players of similar mathematical abilities. The Zillio website has a great page explaining the games by age.

Unfortunately, most children experience the "summer slide" and lose much of what they learned during the school year. Teachers often spend up to 2 months reteaching students skills that were learned the previous school year. With Zillo products, parents can help their children (and their teachers) keep up to par in math while having fun in the process.

Good news for moms! Zillio has lowered their prices just in time for summer. The Mini Mountain is on sale for $69.95 and the 2D Playground is just $24.95. I do have to say that my household preferred the Mountain over the Playground, it's much more tactile and interesting for little ones. Zillio products are recommended for ages 4 to 94, so there's something for everyone. Grab Grandma and brush up on those math skills!

Visit www.zilliogames.com and be the 20th person to e-mail heather@swankymoms.com with the name of one of the games you can play with Zillio. The winner will get to choose a Mini Mountain or 2D Playground!!!! Winner must have a US shipping address.

Become a fan of Zillio on Facebook, I did!