Monday, December 19, 2011

Flower Girl World: Review

Audrey, Georgia, and Sydney got to be flower girls in my brother-in-law's wedding this past Saturday. They were beside themselves with excitement in the weeks leading up to the event.

One way I often help my kids prepare for upcoming things is to read them books about the experiences they will be having. So before going to the dentist, we read books about it. Before going apple picking, we read apple books.

And the wedding was no different. We had accumulated a couple of wedding books over the years that the girls enjoyed reading before the big day.

I was offered the chance to review a new website and set of books designed to engage (pun intended) little girls who are interested in flower girls or who are going to be flower girls. Camellia, the Fabulous Flower Girl is a picture book that both Sydney and Georgia enjoyed. It helps girls understand that friends (and flower girls) don't always have to be the same to be friends. It has the little details I like in these kinds of books that help children know what to expect when they are in the situation.

Rosie and the Wedding Day Rescue is a chapter book that Georgia and Audrey both had fun reading. It is for slightly older girls, although I think Audrey (5th grade) is probably even a bit old for it.

But not only are there two fun flower girl books, there's a whole Flower Girl World website. While not yet at full functionality, there are lots of tips for parents and brides, as well as info for flower-girls-to-be and a photo gallery of flower girls. There will be games and activities for girls, as well.

I was provided with free copies of the two books to facilitate my review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Betty Crocker Molasses Cookies REVIEW/GIVEAWAY

Congratulations, Melanie! You are the winner of the Molasses Cookie prize pack! Happy baking!

'Tis the season for cookies! Last night, I went to a cookie exchange with a bunch of ladies from my women's Bible study small group. There were piles of yummy treats, and of course my kids dove on my stash the moment they saw it.

My girls love baking. Sydney is always game for hopping up on the counter and "helping" me bake. Georgia and Audrey are actually helpful and are developing great kitchen skills.

So that's why when I was offered to participate in the Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie mix review, I knew Audrey would love to try them out.

I decided to let Audrey (age 9) do the entire thing by herself. She was so proud to try, and got right to work. Since it was a cookie mix, there was not a lot she had to do. She cracked the egg, softened the butter,  mixed it all up, and formed the cookies. She was able to make cookies, start to finish, all by herself. The kids loved them (except for Sydney, who doesn't like gingerbread)!

Would you like to win a Betty Crocker prize pack of your own? Just leave me a comment, telling me your favorite Christmas cookie. US addresses only, please.

I was provided with a Betty Crocker prize pack as a thank-you for posting. I was not otherwise compensated. All product, prize pack, information, and the giveaway have all been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Veggie-Go's: REVIEW

My four kids can EAT. And when Audrey and Georgia get home from school, they are hungry! Of course, if somebody's eating, they all want a snack. So I am always on the lookout for healthy options that are fun and yummy. We often have apples and peanut butter, or cheese and crackers.

I was recently introduced to a new snack, called "Veggie-Go's." Basically, they are a fruit leather-type snack, made from all-natural ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and spices. There are five unique flavor combinations:

Mountain Berry Spinach
Cinnamon-Spiced Beet
Mulled Wine
Carrot Ginger
Sweet Potato Pie


While Joel was napping, the girls and I sat down for a taste test. Everyone was in agreement that they loved the Mountain Berry Spinach. Very yummy! There was a little disagreement in the order of next yummiest, but we all liked the Mulled Wine and Cinnamon-Spiced Beet. I thought Sweet Potato Pie was pretty good, with its chunks of pecans, but Georgia doesn't like sweet potatoes, so that was a no-go for her. None of us were fans of the Carrot Ginger. The ginger was very strong, so if you love ginger, it's the flavor for you!

Veggie-Go's are available at local specialty food stores in the Boulder, CO area, or you can order them online. They retail for $1.49 each, or you can buy a multi-pack. Veggie-Go's are made by a company called The Naked Edge. Find them on facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Aussan Naturals: REVIEW

I like to feed my family lots of healthy fruits and vegetables. It is not within our budget to buy only organic produce, but I do try to buy organic when I'm choosing something that's on the "dirty dozen" list. I'm fortunate to shop at a grocery store that has a wide variety of natural and organic foods. But even so, sometimes the produce I would like to buy is not available in organic. For example, last week conventional strawberries were buy one get one free. There were so many strawberries that there wasn't any space for the organic ones!

So that's why I was happy to try out Aussan Naturals products. Among many natural cleaning and household products, Aussan Naturals offers a fresh fruit and vegetable wash. From their website:

Spray firm produce, such as apples, bell peppers and tomatoes with a generous amount of Aussan Natural. Allow product to sit a few seconds, then rub well, rinse, & eat. For softer produce, such as lettuce, berries and broccoli, place in a colander & spray generously with Aussan Natural. Allow product to sit a few seconds, then rinse & enjoy. Leaves no residue or aftertaste!

It is 100% natural and non-toxic. I like that it is getting my produce cleaner than using water alone, and there really is no aftertaste.

I also had the opportunity to try out their all-purpose cleaner. For a few years now, I have only used natural cleaners in the kitchen. I like them because they work well but are healthier for my family. I know, I could just use vinegar and baking soda, but I really hate how vinegar smells. So I choose to spend a little more for a nicer scent. Aussan Natural has a very subtle scent. Nice!

I was provided with a free bottle of both Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner and All-Purpose Cleaner to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own. All product information comes from the product website.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fyrflyz: Review and Giveaway



Do your kids like to catch fireflies? Mine sure do! Recently, we were asked by MomSelect to review a new toy that kids can use to do light tricks. Since it's intended for kids ages 8 and up, I asked my 9-year-old daughter, Audrey to review it for me. Here's her take on it, and her first foray into vlogging!

Hi, I'm Audrey and I love the Fyrflyz toy. It is kind of like seeing fireworks in your own backyard. You hold the handles loosely and spin it. Then, when you have it wound up, you pull it tight. At this point, you should be having optical illusions which make you see all kinds of cool shapes!

My friends who I gave them to, love the Fyrflyz toy, also. I love to try to make hearts (when a triangle blends into a circle) with one of my friends.  One time we were trying to do it with the lights off.  She got a lights-out heart without ever having gotten one before! She was so mad because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get a heart with the lights on before. She eventually got a heart with lights,though.

I think that this is a fun, easy toy that almost all kids would enjoy.
     
video

Would your kids like to try out a Fyrflyz? We have one to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment telling us who you would give it to. Make sure you leave your email address if it's not linked in your profile. US addresses only, please. Contest ends Friday, September 2. Winner has 48 hours to respond with his/her address, otherwise we will have to select another winner.

Fyrflyz are available at Toys R Us stores.


I was provided with a free Fyrflyz toy by MomSelect and Fyrflyz to facilitate my review, as well as two additional toys to give to Audrey's friends. I was not compensated in any other way for this review. All opinions are my own or those of my daughter.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Clue: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Edition

Who has seen the new Harry Potter movie? We haven't yet, but we are big Harry Potter fans. Audrey is only nine, so I have just let her read the first three books in the series so far. Georgia will probably read the first one this year, too.

We play a lot of games in our house, so that's why we were so excited to be able to try out Clue: Harry Potter Edition. Clue is one of my favorite kids' games, and this one did not disappoint. It is set in Hogwarts, and one of the students is missing! You get to choose someone to be, and go through the school looking for clues.

The game is played in much the same way as regular Clue, but with a few fun Harry Potter twists. If your kids like Clue and Harry Potter, I think this game will be a big hit with them!


I was provided with Clue: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Edition free from Hasbro, for purposes of this review. No other compensation was given, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CSN Stores: GIVEAWAY!

Our 4-year-old, Sydney, is allergic to red food dye. It is so severe that one time when her preschool teacher made Sydney's footprints on a piece of paper with red paint that she had a reaction. Now Sydney does not use red paint unless she is using a paintbrush.

Then a couple of weeks ago, she came home from school with red marker on her hands. She had been tracing her hands for a picture, and some of the (washable) marker got on her skin. Later that day, of course, she had a huge meltdown of the dye variety.

So right away I decided that I had to find her some natural markers, if any existed. Lucky for me, I found some online. Even luckier, CSN Stores carry them! CSN Stores are a group of online stores that have over a million products, from baby equipment to shoes to lighting and rugs. And luckiest of all, I was in the process of doing a review of their stores for this blog.

So I quickly ordered some Clementine natural art products for Sydney to try. The prices were great--lower than at another large online retailer you might know. Many items from CSN ship for free, or shipping is free once you spend a certain amount. The items I ordered came very quickly, even earlier than I was told when I placed my order. I was very happy with the speed and variety of products offered by CSN.

Sydney liked the markers and crayon rocks I ordered for her. There were only four colors of markers, but they were bold and colorful. The crayon rocks were fun, and came in a package of nine different colors. Hopefully now she can trace her little hands without having a problem!


If you would like to win a set of Clementine natural markers and crayon rocks, leave a comment telling me who you would give them to. Make sure you leave your email address if it's not linked to your profile, U.S. addresses only, please. Contest will end next Thursday, 5/19.

I was provided with a gift card to facilitate this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.