The girls are at Grandma and Grandpa’s today, so one of my jobs was to tackle “the blog drawer” where I keep goodies I have been sent to review. A few highlights I’d like to share with you:

Busy Mother’s Organizer

Every mom is busy, and I firmly believe every mom needs an organizer. Many women have gone digital, but I still treasure my pen and paper date book. This version has fun sticky notes on the inside cover, with sections for contact information, lists and menus, and notes. It also has enough one page ‘week-at-a-glance’ sheets to last for a year. I have to admit that I am pretty loyal to the brand I already use, which I prefer for the softcover and larger daily spaces, but the Busy Mother’s Organizer is beautiful and worthy of consideration.

Let’s Sign, Baby! by Kelly Ault

This is a board book to share with baby in order to learn to sign together. Many parents are going this route these days, as it’s certainly useful to know that baby wants “more”, or wants to “play” instead of trying to guess what’s going on in his or her mind. It’s also cute to see babies communicating “thank you” or “I love you” well before being able to do so verbally. Personally, I did not use sign with my girls. At the time, the research I read was showing that babies certainly learn to communicate through sign earlier than through spoken language, but if they do sign, they may wait a bit longer to start speaking. I was okay to mind-read for a while longer, and just wait for the verbal language to come (which was not the same for both girls, by the way). I’d love to hear from any moms who have used sign with their babies, to find out about your experiences. This is a terrific baby-and-parent book, which I would definitely use in conjunction with more of a “parents’ manual” type of title.

BIC ReAction ballpoint pens

I’m going to tell you a secret, and it just might breach blogger etiquette. When I received a pack of two pens (retail value $3.99) for review, my first thought was: “Sorry, but I will not spend an hour crafting a post about pens.” However, the promotional angle presented in the accompanying media release hooked me: “Looking To Boost Workplace Performance? Consider the Handwritten Note”. The press release goes on to talk about the importance of personalized praise, and that a survey shows handwritten notes are the most valuable form of communicating this. I wholeheartedly believe in the need for employers to show their appreciation (and I know my coworkers concur, as we have discussed it), and let’s be honest, we like to know we are appreciated by more than just our bosses: our spouses, children, friends. I know that I adore (positive) notes from my students’ parents, and I know they like to receive (positive) notes from me, too.

Email seems to be the most common form of communication amongst employers and employees now, but there certainly is something about a handwritten note that takes things up a notch. Now, do we have to write our notes with the BIC ReAction ballpoint pen? Well, no, (although honestly, it is an excellent product) but their strategy did appeal to me enough to get me to mention it to you, didn’t it? Clever. Whoever came up with that PR idea deserves a raise. Or a handwritten note of appreciation!

(Oh, and teachers – if you’re looking for a nice red marking pen that will glide along, this one works. That is, if you’re still marking with red. I know some people are against it because of the colour’s negative connotation on children’s work.)

There you have it, folks, my review roundup. Now I have to go enjoy my “nice, relaxing day without the kids”: by cleaning the garage and doing school prep!

2 comments on “Review Roundup: An Organizer, A Book and…Pens?”

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