Friday, October 30, 2009

Product Review from a Fellow Blogger

Here is a review that I would like to share with you from a fellow blogger that I know. She won a give-a-way that I was holding on my blog.

You can also see the post for yourself and learn more about Mary at her Blog: Satisfy Your Senses
Product/Giveaway Review - Cara Retz - Discovery Toys

I entered a Labor Day Giveaway that Cara with Discovery Toys was having during the month of September. She holds frequent giveaways at her blog: Play Smart Blog.

This particular Giveaway, I really wanted. I have a 4yr old child and knew this was perfect for her. I was extremely excited that I had won, but my excitement didn't hold a candle to my daughter's reaction when she opened the package.

She tood a few moments to look the toy over and then without being told how to do it she was able to figure out that she could take it apart with the screwdriver that was included. She did ask for a little help when putting it back together. But after the first time all we heard was "I can do it myself!" I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that she tood it apart and put it back together 7 times before playing with it as a train. She was very fascinated with the idea she could "fix it" (in her words) all on her own. My husband commented "I can just see the gears turningin her head right now" as she was looking the toy over for the first time.

This is the toy that I won from Cara's Giveaway:

Motor works Trian

Take-apart-and-put-together workabel 3-D construction set challenges fine motor skills while boosting brainpower. Finished train actually rosed on rotating wheels! Compatible with Motor Works electric screwdriver. Includes easy-to-follow graphic instructions and manual screwdriver. Not inteded for children under age 3 due to small parts.
from 4y & up (K, V) e
Learning Pathways: Thinking Skills, Motor Skills, Exploration

Key Benefits:
Utilize small motor skills and thinking abilities to assemble, take apart, and reassemble a real working toy train
Identify colors, vehicle parts and relative positions
Follow graphic directions
Prompt understanding of parts-to-whole
Challenge small motor skills while boosting brainpower
Use simple tools
Engage in imaginary play!

When I purchase from others in direct sales, like myself, I like to get to know more about them and their business. I asked Cara several questions and she was very kind in answering them for me.

How long have you been with DT? - I've been with DT for about 2 1/2 years, but didn't do much with my business until May of this year and I'm just loving it.

What made you decide to join DT? - I loved the products! I grew up on DT. My mom had some when I was younger and loved playing with them. Then about 6 years ago, I had a party and really enjoyed it. Then another opportunity came up and I decided to join!

What other companies do you have, if any? - None, but I do work for my Dad's company, Legacy Images (

Are you running any specials? - For the month of October, hostess and customers can earn free books and new consultants can earn a free canvas DT tote.

City and State? - Kokomo, IN

Hobbies, likes, dislikes? - I enjoy scrapbooking and cross stitch, when I have time.

What is a day in your life like? - depends on the day, usually busy, but fun.

A memorable moment involving DT (party, customer, experience, etc) - Getting to be an official memeber of my Team Leader's team. I am so excited about this. It has helped me out so much and it's also helped out others in DT get connected to groups, which I'm so glad I could help.

A bit of advice for other moms (involving DT)? - Give your kids a well rounded play diet. DT is great for this because we involve every area of a child's development. The toys are kid powered, not battery powered, so your kids get to use their imagination and that is one of the best things. And always play with your children, it's the best investment you can make.

A bit of advice for other Direct Sales people? - Love what you are doing, be heartfelt, and ask everyone.

How should others contact you? - You can go to my website at, send me an email at or give me a call at (765) 461-7989.

You can also keep up to date on all the exciting things going on at Discovery Toys as well as enter giveaways and leave comments just by visiting her blog: Play Smart Bog (When you stop by tell her I sent ya!)

Thank you Cara for sharing a bit about you and Discovery Toys with us. And thank you for the Great Giveaway! I will definitely be passing on information about DT to my friends and family! I recommend Discovery Toys to anyone that is looking for Fun & Educational Toys, books, and more for their childre. I will absolutely be purchasing DT Toys for my own daughter in the very near future! The holidays are upon us at DT Toys are very affordable!

Be kind to yourself & the evnironment and Satisfy Your Senses today!
~ Mary

Thanks for the great review Mary.  I'm so glad your daughter is enjoying her train and I look forward to working with you more!

Cara Retz
Educational Leader

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Disney Offers Refunds on Baby Einstein Videos

CCFC’s ongoing campaign to stop the false and deceptive marketing of baby videos has had an important success. We’ve persuaded the Walt Disney Company to offer a full refund to anyone who purchased a Baby Einstein DVD in the last five years. The refund is only available for a limited time, so please help us spread the word now.

As a result of our 2006 Federal Trade Commission complaint, Disney stopped claiming that Baby Einstein videos were educational for infants, but the company made no move to compensate parents who purchased them.

We thought parents deserved better. So, with help from CCFC members like you, we kept the pressure on until Disney agreed to reimburse Baby Einstein customers.

The refund offer is a wonderful victory for families and anyone who cares about children. Recent research shows that screen time is not educational for babies. Now parents who purchased Baby Einstein DVDs, mistakenly believing the videos would make their babies smarter, can recoup their money.

You can help by spreading the word. Letting friends and family members know about the refund will help parents get their money back – it’s also the perfect way to start a conversation about babies, marketing, and screen media. After all, a screen-free babyhood is a critical component of a commercial-free childhood.

What you can do:

1. If you've purchased a Baby Einstein DVD in the past 5 years, click here to learn how to get your refund.

2. Share this email and our fact sheet on baby videos with any parents that you know.

3. Pass on the news about the refund and our success on relevant blogs, parent listservs, and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

**Taken from: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood website

Cara Retz
Educational Leader

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making Work at Home Work - October 2009

As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.

Introducing The Work at Home Girls

Let's face it: a lot of people want (and in some cases need) to set their own hours and work from home. Are you one of those people? What's stopping you? If you're serious about making money from home, you'll do what it takes - including investing in your own learning-either to get your company off to a strong start or to help you move to the next level more quickly. Work at Home Girls is designed to help you.

WAHG Affiliate button

The Work at Home Girls is the brainchild of Jill Hart and Mary Byers, two successful work at home moms and authors. They've teamed up to offer help, ideas, challenges and mentorship from for women that work at home. Jill and Mary have over 20 years combined experience running a business from home. One is a techie (Jill, founder of Christian Work at Home Moms and author of So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom) and the other is a wordsmith (Mary, freelance editor and author of five books, including Making Work at Home Work).They've teamed up to share what they wish mentors had shared with them when they started their businesses over a decade ago. The Work at Home Girls share their Simple Secrets to make your business a SUCCESS -

Traits of Successful Work-at-Home Business Owners
By Mary Byers and Jill Hart
While many people like the idea of working in their pajamas and having a minute-commute down the hallway, not everyone is cut out to work from home. Those who do so successfully have the following traits:

Passion. It’s essential to love what you do and do what you love when working from home. Passion will keep you going even when the going gets tough, as it does in even the best of jobs.

Self-Motivation. It’s important that you’re a self-starter, especially when you are your own boss. There’s no one to motivate you other than yourself when you are self-employed.

Resourcefulness. Work -at-home CEOs aren’t just the head of the company, they ARE the company. That means being the janitor, the technology guru, the marketing manager, and the brains behind the operation. Often, this requires skills you don’t possess. But when you’re resourceful, you’ll be able to find the knowledge you need to keep your business moving forward.

Confidence. It takes guts to run your own enterprise and confidence to manage it effectively. Though there will be times you experience self-doubt, overall you need to have the confidence that you can, and will, figure things out when you run into obstacles.

Like this? Want more? Join the most recent teleseminars!

* Making Your Business Work for You: How to Choose, Launch and Run a Winner (available soon as a download)

* Realistic Expectations: What You Need to Know About Working from Home Successfully (available soon as a download)

* Marketing Your Business Online (October 26)

* The Business of Business: Rev Up Your Profit! (November 2)

Work at Home Girls give you specifics, examples and personal business experience that you won't find anywhere else! Check them out today!

Cara Retz
Educational Leader

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Skill Focus: Visual Discrimination

What it is:
The ability to visually tell the difference between two or more things.

Why it's important:
Visual discrimination is a foundation piece for reading and math success. In order to tell the difference of a "b" from a "d" or a "p" from a "q" or "3 dots" from "5 dots" or many geometric shapes and patterns, children need to be able to look at differences they see and sort and classify them in their minds. We can begin to teach these skills at a very young age with many of our products.

Busy Bugs
Can you put the spider on the spider and the fly on the fly? Look carefully at the details to tell which is which! How about the red bugs from the orange bugs? Similar colors require even more visual discrimination!
#2109   $20.00

Playful Patterns
Sort the colors, sort the shapes, what pieces do you need to build the boat or the caterpillar? One to one matching of the shapes on simpler patterns build those visual skills leading to more advanced skills needed for the castle and other shapes.
#2930   $22.50

Sunshine Market
It's a shape sorter in disguise! Is that a lemon? Well, yes, but it's a circle too! That cheese? Yep, a triangle I see! Match color pieces to color doors or, for more of a challenge, match to the squares in the top. All are red so you really have to use your visual discrimination skills to tell which is which!
#1530   $25.00

It's a Match
Perfect travel buddy for mastering visual discrimination. What direction is that shoe facing? What fruit is that? What does that piece belong to? All these engaging pages lead not only to problem solving but require careful examination of the pictures. Take with you in the car or to church as a quiet activity for fun, on the go brain boosting!
#2027   $25.00

Cara Retz
Educational Leader, Discovery Toys

Monday, October 19, 2009

Give the Gift of Learning

for children of all ages

Available to order 10/15-12/31/09
(while supplies last)

Each gift set is $99 & comes with 7 items & our Deluxe Eco Gift Bag

As an added bonus, order by November 15th and get an additional 10% off the retail total (before shipping and tax) on phone or email orders!

Wow 7 gifts at $14.14 each! Actually only $12.73 if you take advantage of my extra 10% off and order by November 15th!

Aren't you tired of buying toys that always break a few days later? With Discovery Toys there's no need to worry about that because of the LIFETIME GUARANTEE on all our toys!

Baby's First Discoveries #8543 only $99 reg. $113.50

Baby's First Discoveries set includes: Lullabies Around the World, Super Yummy, Go Go Caterpillar, Sunny Sounds, Jangles, Play & Learn Snail, Busy Baby & Eco Gift Tote. to view all the products
Click on Shop Products, click on Holiday Gifts under Categories on the left.

Toddler Discover & Play #8544 Only $99 reg. $111

Toddler Discover & Play set includes: Bathtime Bugs, Giant Peg Board, Sounds Like Fun CD, Match Up Ride & Go, Place & Trace, Caterpillar Shape Sorter, Measure Up Cups & Eco Gift Tote. to view all the toys
Click on Shop Products, click on Holiday Gifts under Categories on the left.

Preschool Discover & Play #8546 Only $99 reg. $118.50
The Preschool Discover & Play includes: A B Seas, Busy Farm, ABC & 123 wipe clean Workbooks, On the Go Flashcards ABC, Progressive Puzzles, Playful Numbers & Shapes, Playful Patterns & Eco Gift Tote. to see all the toys
Click on Shop Products, click on Holiday Gifts under Categories on the left.

Family Games #8547 Only $99 reg. $111

Family Games Set includes: Word Flip, Labyrinth, A to Z Jr., Flip Flop Faces, Wiz Kids & Eco Gift Tote.

An Eco Gift Tote will come with each gift set.

Wow 7 gifts at $14.14 each! Actually only $12.73 if you take advantage of my extra 10% off and order by November 15th!

Please go to my web site to view all of our products.

Feel free to call 765-461-7989 or email with any questions about our products.

Are you working on anything in particular with you children? Is there anything they are having a hard time with? Do you know a family with a child with special needs? I want to help. Please contact me so I can help you help the children in your lives!

Cara Retz, Educational Leader

Want free toys? Book a home or catalog party and get free toys for the holidays!
What would you do with an extra $200-$400 a month? Want to help families?
Contact me for more info.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We Have A Winner

And the winner is....

Andrea B!!!

Andrea won the October Bloggie Give-A-Way!  She will be recieving the Wipe Clean Learning to Read & Write.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toy Drive

I am working with Healthy Families of Howard County to raise money to purchase Discovery Toys for the 250 they work with. I would like to be able to give enough toys for each child to have 1 or 2 toys and I need your help to make this happen. These will be given to the children at Christmas along with a few other things that are donated. There are a couple different ways you can help.

1. If you own a business or know someone who does, I will set up a booth in your place of business and staff/customers who come in can purchase toys for themselves and toys to be donated. The hostess benefits that would be earned through this would go toward toys to be donated as well.

2. If you own a business or know someone who does, and would like to give a donation, this money would go towards purchasing toys.
3. You personally can donate money to go towards the purchase of toys.
4. Host a party and donate the hostess benefits you would have earned to go towards toys to be donated.

5. Any other way you can think of!

If you would like to help out in any way, please let me know. And feel free to pass the information around to others who you may think are interested.

Thanks so much for your help!
Cara Retz
Educational Leader, Discovery Toys

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Keep Your Family Safe - Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4-10

Other things you can do in October to keep your family safe...

Make and practice a fire escape plan for your family.

Teach your chldren how to crawl on the floor if there is a lot of smoke.

Walk through the house with your family and look for all the possible exits/escape routes.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from you home where everyone knows to meet after escaping.

Check your smoke detectors.

Teach your children how and when to dial 9-1-1. They must know their name and home address to use 9-1-1.

Practice "Stop, Drop, & Roll". To the tune of "Farmer in the Dell" sing: Stop, Drop and Roll, Stop, Drop and Roll, If your coles should catch of fire, Stop, Drop and Roll.

Make sure matches, lighters, or any other tiem that could start a fire is hidden safely away from small children.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Hot, Hot, Silly - Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4-10

A fun game to play for Fire Prevention Week - October 4-10

Not Hot, Hot and Silly

Here's an activity you can do with your child: Cut some pictures from magazines, newspapers, catalogs, etc.  Have your child sort the pictures into three piles: not hot, hot, and silly.  If your child likes to draw, write thos titles on a paper and let the child draw pictures that are correct for each title.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4-10 is Fire Prevention Week

Help your child know what things in your home are "hot" and should not touch. Sparky the Fire Dog wants you to share this information wiht your children: Saftey tips for burn prevention:
  • Tell a grown-up if you find matches or lighters
  • Stay out of the kitchen when adults are cooking on the stovetop
  • Do not touch hot irons, toasters, or curling irons
  • Have an adult check the water temperature of the bath before you get it
  • Keep three feet of empty space around space heaters adn fireplaces
This material is from Scholastic and was brought to you by National Fire Prevention Association.

Read the book Stop, Drop and Roll by Margery Cuyler

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Bloggie Give-A-Way

I'm going to start having a monthly Bloggie Give-A-Way. This month, you can win:

Wipe Clean Learning to Read & Write

Colorful wipe-clean activity book comes with removable stickers, a washable-ink felt-tip pen, and engaging puzzles and activities. Children learn visual tracking, tracing, placing stickers, color and shape recognition, sequencing, matching. 38 page soft-cover book.

Learning Pathways: from 3 years - preschool READING & LANGUAGE, EXPRESSION, MOTOR SKILLS
Foster visual tracking and fine motor skills with activities involving tracing, placing stickers, color and shape recognition;
Develop sequencing and matching skills;
Explore early concepts related to shape, size, position and directionality;
Practice tracing foundational letter line forms (straight, diagonal, curvy and circular);
Encourage playful "do-it-again" practice with write-on/wipe-off feature;
Progresses from ABC & 123 WIPE CLEAN WORKBOOKS

Ways to enter:
-If you follow my blog, leave a comment that you are! (1 entry)
-Follow my blog and leave a comment that you are a new follower. (1 entry)
-Post my give-a-way on Facebook, Twitter, etc and leave a comment with the link. (1 entry each)
-Post on your blog about my give-a-way and lave a comment with your link. (1 entry)
-Subscribe to my montly newsletter and leave a comment that you did. (1 entry)

*You have until October 15th to enter. Winner will be drawn on October 16th.

Cara Retz
Educational Leader