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Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Xbox 360 Kinect Games for Young Children


Although we have the Xbox 360 Kinect in our house, Tyler rarely gets a chance to play on it. The only game we have the it is close to being appropriate for his age group is the game Just Dance. When I learned that Xbox 360 Kinect recently launched two new games for younger children, I was eager to test them out with Tyler. 

 The first game we played was the new Xbox 360 Kinect Sesame Street game. When Tyler was a toddler we would spend the morning playing blocks together while watching Sesame Street. I knew that the game would be an instant favorite for him. The game features interactive episodes from the 2011-2012 season of Sesame Street. He felt like he was right inside of the episodes that he had watched this year while playing the game with me. The game promotes literacy, math skills and fosters social and emotional development. Tyler and I giggled while counting along with Elmo in this fun and interactive game. 

 The second game that we added to our collection is the Nat Geo TV America The Wild game. My middle child Ella is a nature lover, so I played this game with her. She felt like she was right in the wild along with Casey Anderson as an 800-pound grizzly bear took us on an adventure from right in our living room. The game includes a one year season pass to allow more adventures online. This game would be a perfect gift for any animal loving child.


Disclosure: We were provided with review copies of this games. All of our thoughts and opinions are of our own.

MaLo Underwear Drawer Makeover #MaLoUnderwear


After almost 15 years of marriage, the "sexy" underwear slowly started to fade away, and my husband I started wearing "granny panties". Yes, even guys can have "granny panties". Since I still think my husband is just as sexy as the day I married him, I wanted his underwear to reflect just how handsome I think he is.


While we were out running errands over the weekend we made a stop at Kmart to spruce up his underwear drawer. After hearing so many positive things about the new Mario Lopez line at Kmart called MaLo, I wanted to see what he thought about the brand. You can view photos from our shopping trip in my Google Plus story.




He wasn't too excited about the purple underwear until he tried on a pair at home. (I think having a girl has softened him up a little) He felt that the brand of underwear was comfortable and he felt just as hot as Mario Lopez while wearing them.


So this is what my husbands underwear drawer looks like. Embarrassing - I know. My husbands Mother would fold his underwear before I married him. When he first asked me to fold his underwear, I told him "no way"! I guess after looking at his underwear drawer 14 1/2 years later, maybe folding underwear was not a bad idea after all.


I tossed out all his "tidy whities" and replaced his drawer with nicely folded MaLo underwear and t-shirts. His drawer went from a white cotton mess into a colorful, hip underwear drawer.


Learn more about the Mario Lopez Malo Kmart line on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: “I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and MaLo #CBias #SocialFabric” All my thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Back-to-School with the Sony eReader


My older son Andrew is a reading machine. He owns more books than toys and attempts to sneak flashlights into his room at night just to read. When I got the new Sony eReader PRS-T2, I surprised him by giving it to him as a back-to-school gift. I had previously purchased him a Nook by Barnes and Noble, but the games and Netflix were too tempting that he never ended up using it for reading. 

Andrew has been in school for a month, and still loves his Sony eReader!


My favorite feature of the Sony eReader was that it serves as that one purpose - a Reader. I don't have to worry about him sneaking in a game of Angry Birds or watching a movie. When I see him using the reader, I know he is only doing one thing - Reading!


The Sony eReader is very easy to use. We were able to complete setup on the reader within just ten minutes. He quickly purchased the next book in the series he is reading, and was enjoying time getting caught up in the story. The only feature that I thought might pose as a concern was the flashing screen, but Andrew said that it does not affect his enjoyment of the eReader.


The Sony eReader is thin and light. It comes with a matching stylus pen and has wi-fi capability.


My son is always carrying along a huge stack of books which usually end up inside of my purse. Now that he has the Sony eReader, the only thing that is being stuffed into my purse is a lightweight reading tool.


My son Andrew has fallen in love with his Sony eReader. He spends hours a day reading on it, and the soft grey scale screen is easy on his eyes.


He is even able to use the eReader for checking out books digitally from our local library. 


The Sony eReader PRS-T2 is available online at the Sony store for $129. It features:
  • 6" eReader
  • Glare-free E-Ink Pearl V220 touch screen
  • 2 GB of storage
  • Finger swiping page turn capability 
  • Eight font sizes and styles

Disclosure: We were provided this Sony eReader to review as part of the Sony Moms program. All our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Make Easy Homemade Applesauce


Apparently it is Johnny Appleseeds Birthday. Who knew? Right! Well, if you have a kindergartener as I do, then you probably know that. Tyler came home with a unique homework assignment tonight to make homemade applesauce. The recipe was quick, easy and kid friendly - plus we had a blast making it together.

Here is how it went tonight. We took four apples, and I peeled and cut them for Tyler.



Then we added 1/4 cup of water, 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 of a lemon and a dash of cinnamon.

We covered the bowl with a plate and microwaved for 10 minutes. It took a little longer in my microwave since I have not used it in 3 year years.


Then Tyler went to town smashing the apples until they turned into applesauce. (This was the best part!)


Viola! Applesauce in less than 20 minutes! Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed, and I give Mommy & Tyler an A+ on this kindergarten homework assignment. What about you?

Wordless Wednesday: I Wanna Bite


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Banana Orange French Toast Recipe


The kids are back into the grove of their new schedule, and I am working hard to send them off the school with a healthy breakfast every morning. Statistics have shown that children do better in school when they start their day with a healthy breakfast - the problem is that most parents don't have a lot of time in the morning. I can help! I developed this quick and easy way to make healthy french toast within minutes in the morning. Scrap those frozen waffles and give this recipe a try tomorrow morning.

Ingredients:


  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1/4 tea. cinnamon
  • 4 pieces of bread
  • Olive oil spray
Directions:

  • (This can be made the night before) In a food processor (or blender) mix the eggs, orange juice, bananas and cinnamon until well blended.

  • Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  • Dip a piece of bread into the mixture and soak for about 5-10 seconds.

  • In a warm frying pan, spray with the olive oil spray.

  • Cook the piece of bread for about 2-3 minutes on each side (or until browned).
  • Top with bananas, oranges or syrup.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet Your Professor Day

Andrew got the teacher he wanted!

Today was an extremely exciting day for my kids - they finally got to meet their teachers for next year. They kicked-off the start of the school year with a fun "meet your professor" day. All of the classes at their charter school represent a college for the school year as part of the schools curriculum. They feel that if children learn about the different Colleges throughout elementary school that they are more likely to know what College they want to attend far before their senior year in High school.

Ella with her teacher

Last year Ella's class was Georgia Tech, and she got so excited about the University that she can't stop talking about wanting to apply when she is ready to graduate high school (she is only eight).  I had homeschooled her through the schools independent study program last year, so it is going to be hard not having her home with me this year. I am going to miss my little "social media maven."

Tyler with his teacher

The hardest thing about this year - is saying "good-bye" to my baby. Tyler will be starting Kindergarten, and I am excited (and sad) all rolled into one. I already have a box of tissues stashed away in my purse for tomorrow.



Elmer's Bag it Forward Twitter Party 9/10 #Bagitforward



It's time for the kids to go back-to-school. We are hosting a special Twitter party where we will be talking about giving back to kids in need this year with the #Bagitforward program. Come learn how you can help children in your community by bagging it forward.

What: Elmer's Bag it Forward Twitter Party #Bagitforward

When: Monday, September 10, 2012 1-2pm EST

Where: On Twitter using the hashtags #Bagitforward on the custom tweet grid link http://cbi.as/ryiwq

Prizes: (2) $25 Walmart gift cards, (1) $50 Walmart gift card and (1) $100 Walmart gift Card

Who to follow:  @GlitterfulFelt @tsue1136 & @monicajohnson

RSVP:





Twitter Party Legal Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.

Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #Bagitforward. To be eligible, entries must be received by 1:55 p.m. EST except that mail in entries must be mailed separately and postmarked by September 6, 2012. To enter without purchase, hand write your name, completed address, age and telephone number on a 3”x5” card and mail it to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

Prizes will be limited to (2) $25 Walmart gift cards and (1) $50 Walmart Gift Card, and (1) $100 Walmart gift card and will be given away every 15 minutes during the 1 hour duration of the party on September 10, 2012. The grand prize of (1) $100 Walmart gift card to 1 winner will be given away at the close of the party. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #Bagitforward at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by 
@tsue116 during the party on September 10, 2012 and must respond to @tsue116 within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on September 14, 2012.

To obtain a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

SPONSORS: Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712

All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner.  There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party.

I was compensated to host this twitter party by Collective Bias. All of my thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Back-to-School Backpack Decorating Party


I can't believe that Ella is really going to school this year. After homeschooling her for the past year I am feeling excited, and anxious about her going back-to-school. She is definitely excited about going back to school so she can be with her friends.


While we were getting ready to prepare for back-to-school we had a small backpack decorating party with her closest girlfriends. Everyone brought over their backpacks, and got a chance to decorate them with Gutzy Gear patches.



All of the girls customized their backpacks with their favorite patches, we played games and had cupcakes for snacks.


It was a great way to get Ella even more excited about starting school on Wednesday. She can't wait to start trading patches with other kids that have Gutzy Gear this year.


Disclosure: We were provided with a Gutzy Gear back-to-school party pack. All of our thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Celebrations with Arbor Mist



We had a quiet Labor Day weekend with family and friends. Our favorite thing to do over the holiday is spending time grilling up some fantastic food. While I normally make fancy cocktails for the adults to drink, this year it was much easier with Arbor Mist's new frozen wine cocktails. All I had to do was freeze, squeeze and pour. It made serving drinks to my guests a breeze.



Everyone was able to enjoy a slushy drink that was fresh and delicious. It allowed me more time to spend with my family, than having to be in the kitchen.


After all the guests had gone home, we were able to spend the evening camping under the stars with our children. We made smores, told camp fire stories and enjoyed every minute of our Labor Day weekend together as a family.


We hope that you and your family had a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend.

Disclosure: I was provided with Arbor Mist samples from She Speaks for our Labor Day weekend celebrations. All of our thoughts and opinions are of our own.


Keeping Kids Safe from the Summer Sun


Kids are going to be doing their last cannonballs of the summer over Labor Day, and keeping them protected from the harsh summer sun is important.  We have some tips to share on the best way to apply sunscreen to your kids.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Operation Storage Unit Clean Out



This is a result of having a baby during a move (hence boxes that still have not been unpacked in 8 years), all of our massive holiday decorations, and of course the famous baby stuff. After a couple of years of dumping every item the kiddos grew out of into this storage unit, it got seriously out of control.


I would get calls from Steve telling us about how he got hit on the head with a car seat, and other random injuries. Every time I would hear about a friend having a baby, we have give away what we could from the storage unit. It just has not been enough.


We are just simply tired of spending $180 to store stuff we have just been too busy to go through, so we attempted "operation storage unit clean out" this weekend. After two hours, two trips to the Goodwill, and two trips to Children's Orchard, we can finally see the floor!


We did not do our clean out without having some fun with the random things we found along the way. Stay tuned for a hopefully cleaned out storage unit soon!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New York Fashion Week Sears Style Twitter Party #SearsStyle


Get ready to strut the runaway right in the comfort of your home for our Sears Style Twitter Party! We will be talking about the great new fashions currently at Sears, while some of the top bloggers tweet live from New York Fashion Week. Come prepared to talk about what you love about fashion at this exclusive online event.


What: Sears Style Twitter Party #SearsStyle

When: Friday, September 7, 2012 1-2pm EST

Where: On Twitter using the hashtags #SearsStyle on the custom tweet grid link http://cbi.as/erx7m

Prizes: (3) $50 Sears gift cards and (1) $100 Sears gift card

Who to follow:  @GlitterfulFelt @monicabenavidez & @dealfanatic 


Twitter Party Legal Rules:


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.

Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #SearsStyle. To be eligible, entries must be received by 1:55 p.m. EST except that mail in entries must be mailed separately and postmarked by September 4, 2012. To enter without purchase, hand write your name, completed address, age and telephone number on a 3”x5” card and mail it to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

Prizes will be limited to (3) $50 Sears gift cards and (1) $100 Sears Gift Card and will be given away every 15 minutes during the 1 hour duration of the party on September 7, 2012. The grand prize of (1) $100 Sears gift card to 1 winner will be given away at the close of the party. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #SearsStyle at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by 
@monicabenavidez  during the party on September 7, 2012 and must respond to @Monicabenavidez within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on September 21, 2012.

To obtain a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

SPONSORS: Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712

All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner.  There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party.

I was compensated to host this twitter party by Collective Bias. All of my thoughts and opinions are of my own.
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