Thursday, July 22, 2010

Breyers Smooth & Dreamy~ The Good, The Bad, The Giveaway

Breyers Smooth & Dreamy line has added some new members to their family. We had the opportunity to give these bars and sandwiches a try so we could spread the word. Good or Bad.

The Good

Oh my. You would never know that these have fewer calories than regular Ice cream. I couldn't decide which to try so I let the kids choose. Of course they couldn't agree so we came home with a box of each of these. Handsome wanted the sandwiches and Puddin Pop wanted the bars. After trying both, I'm picking the bars as my favorite. Chocolate Ice Cream with (tons) of bits of chocolate and dipped in the most delicious chocolate coating. Not the plastic, no flavor chocolate. This chocolate melts in your mouth and almost has a caramel taste to it. It was sooo good.

The sandwiches were yummy too. The cookie was firm but not super crunchy. It wasn't soggy, which is the most important. The ice cream was creamy vanilla with chocolate chips. It was good and Handsome preferred these to the bars. Puddin Pop and I are more chocolate fans, causing us to prefer the bars over the sandwiches. Plus...they have fewer calories. More a bonus point from me than PP. She's fortunate not to have to worry about calories.

The Bad

While I have nothing bad to say about Breyers bars or sandwiches, I will share my story to possibly save you the same grief...

As I said, we bought both bars and sandwiches. The thought was that each kid got to choose which they thought would be better and everyone would get to try both. By day 3 there were 3 sandwiches and 1 bar left. When it came time to have our ice cream snack, a war broke out. PP wanted the bar because she picked them out and Handsome wanted the bar because...well frankly, I'm pretty sure it was because it was the last one and his sister wanted it. I determined that Handsome should have it only because he had not had one of the bars yet. The battle lasted for 10 minuted before I declared that if they couldn't figure it out, I would eat them all myself. PP decided she would like to try a sandwich. She's a smart 4 year old.

The Giveaway

I pretty much suck at getting people to enter giveaways and this is a coupon. Actually, I have 5 coupons to give away. Each is for your very own box of Breyer's which you can choose to share or keep all to yourself. Blame it on the low calories and claim it's an adult treat. I've decided not to make you comment here to get it. Instead, you are all invited to be my friends on Facebook. Each day next week, between 7:30 and 8 am, I will post a link to this post and you must comment on it. I will pick a random number prior to posting and whoever is that number commenter Wins. It'll be fun. Promise.

So go send me a friend request and then look for me all next week.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Breyers and received products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday~ Brownies, Breyers and VBS

It's Tuesday which means it's time to Random Up. Bits and pieces of thoughts in my head all being laid out in random order. It doesn't have to make sense. It's more of a cleanse of the mind. Jump in with The Un Mom and Friends and play along. Everyone needs a good cleanse once in a while.


I'm not a religious person. I spent my youth attending Sunday school and Confirmation classes. I think having a "base" of religious beliefs helps one make more informed decisions as an adult. My In-laws attend a Baptist Church and take the kids and Hubster along with them on most Sundays and Wednesday evenings. I make use of this time by working (outside the home). Each summer I am rewarded with Vacation Bible School. This is my week. Every night the kids and Hubster will be gone from 4:30 to 9pm. A week of me time, no dinners to prepare (except for me) and wine.

The power went out for a little over an hour yesterday. Right in the middle of 2 Grey's Anatomy episodes. I'm a little ticked. It left me with almost nothing to watch while everyone was gone.

I've got coupons (5) for a FREE box of Breyers Smooth and Dreamy Ice cream bars/sandwiches to give away. You'll need to be my friend on Facebook to enter. It's going to be super simple to win. Make me your friend now so you can play next week. One free box will be given away each day Monday through Friday. What are you waiting for?

Someone asked if I was actually drinking wine while the rest of the family was at church. Yes. I was. It was GOOD.

EA Active has been kicking my butt for a couple weeks now. Someone let Bob Greene and his trainers know that I would appreciate them calling me on days I miss. The brownies on the counter had no problem yelling at me to eat them. Bob needs to step up his game.

Why does spell check not recognize Breyer's?

I'll leave it at that for now. Now go cleanse you mind and link up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Marriot Introduces "Nickelodeon Your Stay"

Travelling with children can be exhausting and challenging. Originally from Michigan (and now in Virginia) we try to make at least one trip "home" each year. It's a 12 hour drive if I do it myself, with kids and their need to pee it's more like a 15 hour trip. I've done it straight through and I've done it stopping half way. Driving straight through requires (at least for me) leaving at 3 am and having the kids sleep for the first 4 hours of the trip. By the time we arrive they are hungry and grumpy and not the children I wish to present to grandparents who only get two shots a year to spend with their grandchildren.

Marriott properties have embraced a new "Nickelodeon Your Stay" program for summer travellers. The promise of SpongeBob and Dora await lucky visitors. We were sent one of their gift bags full of goodies and I can see why these components would be welcomed by any parent.

First, promising your child a SpongeBob pillowcase to rest their head on once you get to your destination is an awesome bribe. Yes. I said bribe. I have two kids and would so use this to keep them from fighting in an already not-so-fun, long car ride. The activity book and reading book would be great to keep little ones busy while parents tend to the unpacking and when they need a few minutes to catch their breath. The book bag also comes with a bracelet, sunglasses, a water ball, and a 3d SpongeBob figure that the kids can put together. Promising this to children as a reward for behaving in the car just may make the trip a little less stressful on everyone.

If you are travelling this Summer make sure to look for Marriott properties on your route. A little suprise never hurt anyone and may just make the trip a little more enjoyable.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Marriott and received a Nickelodeon gift pack to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Checking out Preschools

I'm still on the fence. I want PP to get a fair shot before starting full day kindergarten but I can't seem to decide where that should be. Handsome went to a religious based preschool across the street but they didn't live up to their claims and I'm not a religious person and don't feel like portraying myself differently on the application. Money is also a factor.

I have fond memories of my preschool years. I don't necessarily remember specifics but I remember the playground outside and spending time in the kitchen baking with the instructors. School was always fun for me and I want it to be fun for my children. Puddin Pop is so social and I think she would thrive in a school environment. She insists she'd rather stay home.

KinderCare is one of the schools we'll be looking into this week. With locations everywhere across the country (We have 4 within 10 miles of the house) they provide daycare and learning programs for infants through school age children. The 3-4 year old Preschool offers a variety of theme based units incorporating language, math, science, creative arts and music, as well as time for developing motor skills and social development. The program works on not only developing the needed skills for Kindergarten but instilling the confidence and eagerness to learn before children move forward.

I contacted the location closest to us on Friday and received a response within an hour from the home site letting me know the Director would contact me within 48 hours. I actually heard from the director within 2 hours (email) of my original message being sent. Considering it was Friday afternoon, I find this impressive. If this is their level of communication than they already get two thumbs up from me. Now we will visit and see if they have any openings for a half day program.

They are also having a nationwide Open House on July 28th. You can RSVP through their site to the location nearest you.

I started thinking "What am I going to do with my mornings free?" It's been more than 6 years since I've had regular alone time. I'm already looking around the house at all the projects I want to tackle. Of course, I'm also telling myself I can wait a couple months because then I will have more time.

I will post a follow up after our visit

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of KinderCare Learning Centers and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Tie Dyed Shirts

I purchased this Tie-Dye kit several months ago on sale at Target. I thought it would be fun for a rainy day project with the kids. We broke it out on Thursday and got our creative juices flowing. The results (at least from the kids) were fantastic. I really like that everything except the t-shirts are included. I also like the precision the bottles allow for over dunking in buckets of dye. It also provides less clean up.

We chose to use two of the four included dyes. We'll save the other two for another rainy day. Purple and yellow were the colors the kids decided on. I asked them what type of design they wanted and they both wanted "targets". Handsome wanted three and Puddin Pop wanted two. I twisted and banded the shirts and then set them loose with the dye bottles.

Handsome (through some convincing) determined that less was better. I didn't want him to use all the dye before his sister and I got a chance. His shirt came out looking like this...

I think it's pretty cool. He probably could have used a little more color as we didn't run out, but I like the way it turned out. More importantly, HE likes the way it turned out.
Puddin Pop had a different method and wouldn't stop until she could find no white spots in her pile of shirt. I think she's onto something. Her shirt turned out like this...

Not bad for 4. She is also thrilled with her project which make me happy.
I tried to do a shirt like the one on the left side of the box. The blue and yellow one. Apparently I folded the shirt wrong because the one I made for Hubster (that I'm sure he'll never wear) turned out like this...

Who knew you could do Rugby Tie-Dyes?
The project was a success and we have enough dye left over for 2-4 more rounds. Very little mess and minimal clean-up make this a project I can't wait to do again. The box says it can make up to 14 shirts. If made like Handsome's I believe it would. If made like Puddin Pop's you might get 6. This would be a great play date project or for a sleepover. It suggests letting the shirts sit banded for 12 hours, we are not patient people and rinsed after 4. I think that was a fine amount of time as the shirts do not look faded at all.
What do you like to do for rainy day fun?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today is the Day!

Today is the day.

Last weekend I ordered Ea Active's Personal Trainer and it arrived on Thursday. Then the Holiday weekend snuck in and I'm ashamed to say that the box hasn't even been opened.

Today it will be.

I know many people that have different workout equipment. Rowing machines, stationary bikes and the ever-so-boring treadmill. The only person I know that uses theirs regularly is my Step-Mom. She uses a stationary bike to help with her MS. I know she uses it because she calls me while she's on it. Other people use theirs to hang laundry on. I would.

Video game platforms have come out with a way to work at home and I'm going to give the 30 day challenge my best effort. Coupled with outside play at Water Country and the beach I'll be looking for some results.

Now I just have to get the kids off the Wii...but I won't let that deter me.

Anyone want to join me?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Buckroe Beach, Virginia is now known as Jelly Fish Field

Last week I took the kids to the beach. I've been bragging ever since about all the work that's been done to this particular beach since last year. They've really cleaned it up. Large rock walls have been put in to block waves for little kid friendly spots to have fun in.

Friday night I convinced our neighbors to join us for a day at the beach. The hesitantly accepted.

We got to the beach around 9:30 to get our pick of spots before the crowds showed up. This also allows for close parking which makes the dragging of all the "stuff" tolerable. Especially on the way out when everyone is tired and kids no longer want to help.

I really could have used some super powers. Not the leaping steel buildings kind. The kind that can repel these...

The beach was covered with them. Last week we saw a few little parts but nothing like this. It freaked me out a little. Then I walked into the water and saw this...

If you look close you can see two. One that looks like the one on the sand (lower left) and one that looks like the jelly fish Spongebob tries to catch (upper right).

I got close enough to get this..

...and then I got the heck out of the water. I'm ashamed to admit that the kids weren't afraid to get in the water...I wasn't so brave. My superpowers eluded me. I was a mere mortal mom.. far from the shore.

Once all the kids had claimed to be stung, one screaming and the others barely mentioning it (which I suspect means something rubbed up against them but probably didn't sting them), we decided to have a different kind of fun. Again us moms sat on the sidelines while the kids and dads did this...

Heads in the sand. What could be more fun than that. The day wasn't a total waste. The kids had fun. I was a little embarrassed for suggesting such a jellyfish infested beach (Yes Brook, you did warn me). Is there a jellyfish season? They just weren't there last week. When will they be gone?


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