Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stay organized this school year with Busy Body Books!

The older I get, the harder it is to remeber all that I have going on. With four kids, one of which is going into middle school, our lives keep pretty busy. Doctor appointments, meetings, events, sleep overs, play dates, etc. all have specific details that I have to remember.

When I was younger, like college age and below, I could remember things that I had on my "calendar" with no problems. Most of the time, I didn't even write things down, I just remembered. Well, those days are long gone. I HAVE to write everything down, or they will be forgotten (and even then sometimes I forget).

I am so thankful that I can use the Busy Body Book, to keep me organized, punctual, and not-forgetful. This is a great product for the on-the-go mom, college student, daycare provider, business lady, and more. You can keep your activities, appointments, events, and more all inside the pages of these designer books.

I will take you on a "tour" of my book, in Spring design, for the 2010-2011 school year book.

The front cover has a plastic cover over it, providing great protection. On the inside cover, there is a pocket, to keep your coupons, notes, and more. The front page has a spot to write your name on your book, in case you misplace your book. In the next few pages, are locations to store your contact information and emergency numbers. There is a page to reference a 3 year calendar and the year's holiday dates.

This book has a great layout! I like that there are pages that you can list each family member, and write down each person's schedule. Just taking a look, you can see who is doing what/when, and how to plan your schedules. If you are a single person, and not needing to keep track of everyone, you can list your school subjects, meal planning, personal diet and fitness goals, business projects and time management, home/school/work projects or babysitter scheduling and instructions. For me, I use it for a few different things: My husband's schedule, my schedule, school/church functions and meetings, and more. I like that on the opposite page, there is a location for doodling...which is a great place to write a note to yourself, a reminder, grocery list, or other.

The book has a location where you can list some of your memorable moments over the year. Each month has a paragraph length spot to write your memories down. There are months listed so you can write your special days on the calendar (with holidays, daylight savings, etc.) on the days.

The back of the book has pages for writing down notes and "to do lists" that are meant to tear out of your book (great grocery list, or paper to write a phone number down). I love the section for writing down special restaurants/take-out spots down and their contact information. The last page is where you write down important people, with e-mail and cell phone slots. There is a tear-out book mark, and a pocket in the last page for extra storage. Again, on the back of the book, like the front, there is a plastic protective cover page.

I love this book, and I highly recommend it to you, it may help you stay organized better! :)
I was sent a Busy Body Book to review from the company. I was sent this product and information in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my time or written review. The opinions in this post are of my own and do not reflect on the company.

Moon Dough~ a fun activity!

We recently got a package in the mail from Team Mom to review: Moon Dough. It is a very unique product, and my kid's (plus my niece) had a great time experimenting with it! We got the Moon Dough Barnyard for review, so we got to make a few barnyard animals.

Moon Dough has a very distinctive texture. It is very soft, and moldable. It is almost like you are squishing a marshmallow in your hand, without getting sticky. I like that the Moon Dough is hypo-allergenic and wheat-free.

My kids thought the Moon Dough felt soft and fluffy, like a blanket. The Moon Dough never dries out, so for that...it is long lasting. It is a little messy, so be prepared for some time to clean up. During play, the moon dough can be somewhat contained on the included two themed play mats.
To make the animals, you have to put the moon dough in the top of the barn (in the mold hole). It is best to fill the mold, and make it full of the moon dough (your animal will look best that way). After the mold is full, turn the crank toward the Silo, two times. The Silo will catch the left over moon dough, and after two cranks, a new animal will come rolling out of the barn door. The kids had a great time seeing which animal would come out to greet them. There are four different animals: cow, horse, pig and a sheep. I thought the molds were great!
My niece had a great time playing with the Barnyard Moon Dough! She loved making the animals, and putting them in the barn.
Also included in the Moon Dough Barnyard, is a mold to make a fence and a hay bale. The fence and the hay bale stand upright after it is molded, so it is fun for the kids to play with their animals in a fence, or eating hay.
The animals can also be placed in the fenced in location in the barn. The kids had a great time putting animals in there. Here is a video of my niece using the Barnyard with the Moon Dough.
video

There are many different colors of Moon Dough: blue, green, white, orange, purple, red, pink and yellow. There are different types of sets you can purchase to play with the Moon Dough: Pizza Shop (SRP$14.99), Barnyard (SRP$19.99), Doghouse (SRP$9.99) and Burger shop (SPR $9.99). You can also purchase refill packs (SRP $4.99).
**Moon Dough is available for purchase at Toys "R" Us, Target, Kmart, Amazon.com, A.C. Moore, Michaels and eToys.**

I was sent a Moon Dough Barnyard to review from Moon Dough and Team Mom. I was sent this product and information in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my time or written review. The opinions in this post are of my own and do not reflect on the company.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hasbro helps get you geared up for school!

Only a few weeks left until school starts up again, well at least in central MN. I know my sister started school already in her state. Kids are gearing up, getting all their supplies, new backpacks, lunch totes, clothes, and more. I wanted to highlight Hasbro's products that are available to help your kids get ready for school with flair and fashion. These items are great for the traditional students, as well as the home educated.
Caleb is going to be a Kindergartener this year, and he is so excited to learn! I am home schooling him this year, and we are going to have a great year. He has the new Bumblebee Transformer backpack from Hasbo, and the Transformer's lunch tote. The backpack is very spacious and has two pockets for storage. On each side of the bag there is two mesh compartments for storage (like a water bottle). The straps are adjustable, and there is a hook strap to hang the backpack up. Inside both pockets there is a couple pockets to keep pencils, or something similar. Transformer back has an ARP $14.99. Sold at Target.
I think the colors on the backpack and tote are very colorful, and fun designs. The lunch tote is very spacious, as well, and wipes clean. One zipper keeps your child's lunch secure, and together. Transformer lunch tote is licensed by Zak Designs, and retails for ARP: $7.99-$9.99 Sold at Target, Meijer, Brookshire Grocery, AAFES, Hy-vee, Winn-Dixie, Publix and Unified. Transformers water bottle matches great with this set, and it fits perfectly into the Transformers lunch tote. Also licensed by Zak Designs, the water bottle is ARP: $2.99. (sold at the same stores).
For your little princess, Littlest Pet Shop has an adorable lunchkit available, and my daughter loves this little bag. She is so excited to take it on our field trips, or trips to the park. I am home schooling her in pre-school this year, so we will be using her new Littlest Pet Shop lunchkit. I love the bottom zippered portion of this lunchkit, for storage of water bottles, or a thermos. The top of this lunchkit, from Hasbro, is very roomy for your child's lunch to fit. Adorable design on this very girlish tote! ARP $9.99 Sold at Target, Toys R Us, Office Depot, Meijer, HEB and Academy.
For those rainy days, your son could use a stylish umbrella. This is a great umbrella, and totally made for boys! Transformers are all over this umbrella! My son was absolutely thrilled to get this umbrella, and he loves sitting under it on the rainy days. I really like how this Transformers umbrella matches the backpack and lunch tote, too. ARP $5.99 Sold at Burlington.
Want to surprise your son or daughter with a new little greeter in their room on the first day of school? Hasbro has a great selection of wall peel and stick appliques. These self-adhesive decals are easy to peel and to apply to the wall. The peel and stick characters stay on, but leave the paint on your walls. Kids can remove the stickers, and place them how they want on their walls. I think these decals are a great way to spruce up a room, and doesn't require you to paint. ARP$12.99 Sold at Target (Transformers are sold at Walmart and Kmart, too).
Boys can gear up in Transformers on their shirts and briefs for their school attire. ARP$7.99 (T-shirts). ARP$5.54 (Fruit of the Loop briefs) both sold at Walmart.
Girls can wear dazzling T-shirts with fun sayings and adorable Littlest Pet Shop characters. ARP$7.99 (T-shirts) Girls can match their tops with LPS undergarments. ARP$3.99-$8.00 for a 3-pack; and $7.99-$16.00 for a 7-pack. Available at Walmart, Target, JCPenny, Kohl's and Meijers.
Your little girls can freshen up with fun toiletries with Hasbro branded Bubble Bath and toothpaste. My Little Pony Bubble Bath is scented with Sweet Berry and the My Little Pony Orajel toothpaste is fluoride-free, and is designed to help train your child for proper dental care. ARP$3.49 Sold in grocery stores, CVS, Target, Walmart and Toys R Us.
Want to make school lunch or snack time fun, but also another great opportunity to learn? Sunshine Cheez-It has a new line available: Scrabble Jr. baked cheeze-it crackers. These are great snacks, tasty, and fun to write words with the tile-like crackers. Each cracker has a different letter, and so it is fun to create words. It is also fun to eat your words! :) My kids love finding different letters, and we work together to make words. I love using these Scrabble Junior Cheez-It crackers to teach my Kindergartener the letters, the sounds they make, and early reading skills. Great homeschool hands-on activity to do with food!
It is so much fun to wear socks that have designs, colors and themes. My son loves to wear fun socks, and he was thrilled to see there were Transformers on his socks. I will have to get some more of these socks, because Caleb wears them everyday! Payless sells these socks for ARP$5.99 (set of three).
I love to encourage my kids toward imaginary play. I love products that will engage their minds, and help raise up their creativity. Hasbro has a few great play tents, and I am so glad that we got to review these! First of all, the Mr. Potato Head Spud Hut is a really fun product! This play tent comes with 10 different interchangeable accessories (eyes, mouths, noses). I was amazed at how many different faces the kids could create (up to 36 faces). The kids had a great time checking out the Mr. Potato Head when they fixed his face.
The Mr. Potato Spud Hut was easy to assemble, with only two poles. The fabric is very colorful, and soft. I really like that this play hut has two fold up doors on it, so kids can get in and out easy.
Being a home schooler, this is a great project to pull out for my kids to have unstructured play time. They are learning about our body parts, being creative and using their imaginations. My kids like to "play house" in thier hut, too. I love listening to their conversations.
My kids tried to make themselves into Mr. Potato Heads, and were giggling the whole time.
They have a blast in the Mr. Potato Head Hut, and our family recommends it! Super fun, and hours of play! ARP$24.99 Sold at Kmart and JCPenny catalog.
Another fun play tent from Hasbro's Entertainment, and my daughter's favorite, is the Littlest Pet Shop Clubhouse. This is a really big tent, and my kids can all stand up in it without hitting their heads! (40 inches in height, and 30 inches in length). Very spacious!

Inside the LPS Clubhouse there are little see through pockets where kids can put their LPS pet, and then they can be apart of the scene. This Clubhouse play tent is easy to assemble, too. There are two sheer curtains, and they can be tied to the side for easy viewing.

My kids love the new play tents, and I am sure many play time hours will be spent inside and outside these fun new hideouts. The Littlest Pet Shop Clubhouse ARP$24.99 and is sold at Target and Kroger.
I hope these suggestions will help you in your last few weeks of school shopping...or just some fun ideas to encourage your children to work hard on those grades! :)

I was sent a selection of products from Hasbro, including the products mentioned in this post, in exchange for a honest review. I am not compensated for my time or written review. The opinions in this post are of my own and do not reflect on the company.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bring the family together for GAME NIGHT with Hasbro!!

Hasbro has some really great new games that just came out, and they are sure to get your kids excitement up! Toy Story 3 just came out this summer, and Hasbro has a few new games with the Toy Story 3 theme.
Yatzee Jr. Disney Pixar Toy Story Edition is a hit at our house. Yatzee Jr. is very similar to the original Yatzee, but instead of dots (1-6) on the sides of the dice, there are character pictures.
With three rolls, the player tries to get 5 of Buzz, Ham, Mr. Potato Head, Bullseye, and Rex. The more you get of that character, the more you have in points.
Woody is on the dice, as well, and he is a wild player....meaning he can be used as a wild in the set the player is trying to roll for.
The players have to watch out for Lotso, though...he may change your score~ and not for good, either!
I think this is a great game for preschoolers and early elementary children, because they are counting, recognizing colors, matching, and building their strategy skills. It is great for kids to play this game together, too, because they work on their team building.
My kids have a lot of fun with this game, and I think it is very suitable for their ages (age 3 & 5). My kids love Toy Story, too, so it is an instant hit!
Game includes a scoreboard, 5 dice, dice cup, scoring tokens, and a label sheet. Ages 4 and up, and this game is designed for 2-4 players. SRP$7.99

Another great Toy Story 3 themed game from Hasbro is the Space Shooter Target game! Half of the fun with this game, is setting up. My son loves to load up his blaster gun and get it ready to play the game. If it were up to him, he would just play with the blaster shooter alone. :)
Foam, circular disks are inserted into the top barrel on the shooter, turn on the shooter, and aim.
Jesse, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, and Mrs. Potato Head are in jail cells, and Buzz needs to blast them out of there with his space shooter.
Sunnyside daycare has good toys in it, and some not-so-good toys lurking about, and Buzz needs to protect them all and rescue them. So, each player shakes the dice to see what they get to do.
Certain rolls allows the player to take a shot at a jail cell to free one of the toys, or they can remove a "bad player" off the game board...or put one back on.
My kids enjoy this game, and it is easy to understand the rules. I know they love aiming the shooter to blast the pawns off the game board. I think this game is great for hand eye coordination, and also provides great strategy skills.

The game includes a space shooter, 12 foam discs, a game board, "jail cells, tokens, pawns and stands, and a dice. This game requires 2 AA batteries, and is for ages 5 & up. SRP$19.99

Our family loves the game of Monopoly, too...and as we all know, that game can be a long, very long game. Well, Hasbro has designed a Monopoly game that you can have a little control on the length of the game. It is called, U-Build Monopoly, and it brings more options to the player.
Players can customize the game board to make the game go quick, or play longer. The game pieces are hexagonal property spaces that link together with a snap. During the game, players build stadiums, hazards, skyscrapers and more to help make the game harder for their opponents. The Starter Track is an option to play the 30 minute game, and the other option is the Classic Track which is an hour game. There is two other options: Pro track (game lasts 90 minutes), for the ultimate challenge, or the Freestyle where you can make your board game creative by mixing up the tiles or shape of your track.
The amount for purchase and rent have changed from the classic monopoly, as well. The U-build Monopoly works with bigger money amounts, like 1.4 Million, and 600k.
For ages 8 & up. 2-6 players can enjoy this game for a SRP$19.99
You can play this game on other devices, too: gaming systems, iphone, computer, and pogo.com
These games are found online and in major retail stores.

I was sent these three games from Hasbro in exchange for a honest review. I am not compensated for my time or written review. The opinions in this post are of my own and do not reflect on the company.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wanchai Ferry Review & Giveaway

I love Chinese food, and I am not always able to head out to a Chinese Restaurant. Either the cost is a little high for our families appetite, or we just don't feel like taking all the kids with us. I was happy to review some food from Wanchai Ferry, because they have such a great selection of food options, they are affordable, and I can enjoy these in the comfort of my own home. Each package serves two, so our family needs about 3-4 bags, but it is such an easy preparation for our family to enjoy great tasting, restaurant quality, Chinese food.

We were sent the newest Wanchai Ferry flavor Beef & Broccoli package to review. I was amazed that everything for the meal was included in the packaging. There were an assortment of Asian-style vegetables, including broccoli florets, red peppers and water chestnuts. It even includes rice and a rich brown sauce accented with soy and garlic for an authentic flavor experience.
The beef and vegetables I sauteed in the pan, and while I was doing that, I steamed my rice in the microwave (in the included packaging). I was pleasantly surprised at how the rice was fluffy, great tasting, and was moist. The vegetables tasted really good, and they were perfect cuts. The beef pieces were great tasting, as well. The meal was a little spicy, and very filling, and I was eating my meal that was ready to serve in only 14 minutes. I recommend the Beef & Broccoli selection! I am excited to try the Shrimp Lo Mein and the Sweet & Sour Chicken. The other selections are: Orange Chicken, Spicy Garlic Chicken, Sweet & Spicy Shrimp, Kung Pao Chicken and Scechuan Style Chicken.

Additionally, all of the entrées have no added MSG!

About Wanchai Ferry
Madame Chong, from China, left her home to make dumplings in Hong Kong. The Wanchai district is one of the busiest commercial areas in Hong Kong, and so Madame Chong went there to start a new life, and to support her two daughters. In Wachai, people/shoppers/commuters would try to get to the pier, so they would take the Wanchai Ferry across.
Madame Chong started making her family recipe dumplings and sold them in a cart in Wanchai. With the attraction from many fans, and the word spreading about her great dumplings, she established the Wanchai Ferry Peking Dumpling Company in 1985. Since then, Wanchai Ferry as become the leading brand in Hong Kong and world wide.

On the Wanchai website, you can download a coupon for $1.50 off your next purchase. The website also offers meal tips, which you can see other menu items that would pair well with your selection of Wanchai meal. I think they have great ideas!
You can also get a $1.60 off coupon available HERE.

**WIN IT!!**
This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Contest is open until August 19th, 2010. To enter, go check out the Wanchai Ferry selections, and comment here about which one looks delicious to you.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or become a fan on facebook, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment about Wanchai Ferry products. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

I was sent a Wanchai Ferry prize pack and information in the mail from participating in a review campaign with Wanchai Ferry & MyBlogSpark. I am also sponsored to to host a giveaway prize pack for my readers to enter to win, provided from MyBlogSpark and Wanchai Ferry. I was sent this meal in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my time or written review. The opinions in this post are of my own and do not reflect on the company.