Category Archives: review

Get Outside with Toysmith #FreeFormFun

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We try to limit screen time for our boys but that means you have to have alternative activates ready for them. I’ve found that giving them a simple game or objective gets them moving and once they get moving their creative and active brains get going.

Toysmith’s collection of Get Outside, GO! has some great outdoor games and activities to help get kids moving. Yesterday after school I set up a few new games for the boys in our well-loved backyard. We played Spring Ring and Bashminton. They are similar games that require 2 players to hit a ball-like object back and forth. I think the boys like Spring Ring the best because it was a little bit easier for them since they could hold the ring with 2 hands.

Spring Ring comes with 2 large springy paddles, a bouncy ball and a pom-pom ball. It can be played on land or in the water. The pom-pom is a little bit easier to use which makes it ideal for younger children.

Bashminton comes with 2 oversized rackets and a bashable birdie ball. This game is a little more challenging for younger children but is still a lot of fun.

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We also tried out Night Zone Capture the Flag which just adds a fun twist to your classic game of capture the flag. The set comes with 2 light up flags and 2 light up bases. The red team versus the blue team for a fun battle over these light up flags. We look forward to playing this with some friends at night.

Once I get my boys outside playing it’s hard to get them to come back in. Sometimes they just need a little extra nudge to get them out the door, like some fun new outdoor games.

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Back to School Routine with Juicy Juice

My boys have been back to school for about 4 weeks now and I finally feel liked we’re getting into a good routine for our days. It’s so important for my boys to have a daily routine they can count on, it’s helps to feel confident and comfortable when they know what to expect from the day.

I typically prep their school lunches the day before so I can be present during our morning routine. The boys know there are no screens in the morning before school but after they are ready for the day they are free to play or read until it’s time to leave.

In the afternoons they unpack their backpacks and then are free to relax for an hour or so until we have to start homework. They typically run to play with their little brother’s that they’ve obviously missed throughout the day. We have a small snack and discuss the events of our day. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of the day because they little brothers are so excited to tell the big boys what they’ve been doing all day. I love to listen to them excitedly share what’s be going on while they were gone.

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Having a routine helps our days run smoothly and reduce the amount of whining when they kids know what is expected of them. I actually think they look forward to their screen free mornings playing with their little brothers before they head off to school.

Juicy Juice has more great tip from author Meredith Sinclair on how to get your kids into the back-to-school routine.

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Tips for Packing School Lunch

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I pack 2 school lunches every day, in a few weeks I will be packing 3 school lunches. I’m working on streamlining the process to make my life easier but also still provide healthy lunches for my boys. Here are a few things I do to help make my life a little easier.

  1. Buy in Bulk – A lot of ingredients are required when you have to pack 3 lunches 5 times a week. So I frequent big box stores when I’m able or a just buy several boxes of whatever product I’m buying.
  2. Buy Proper Food Storage – I bought several 3 compartment food containers and a lunch box that fits said container plus has a place for a water bottle. We save money buy reusing the food storage containers and giving the boys water bottles for their drinks. Plus, I can store messier food in the containers.
  3. Pack Ahead – I typically pack the boys lunches the day before. I have a toddler at home with me while they are at school and he also requires lunch. So whatever I make him for lunch I just make more and pack the boys lunch while I’m at it. I just store them in the refrigerator so I can just pop them in their lunch boxes in the morning.
  4. Remember your food groups – I know my kids would love a meal full of sugary treats and carbs but I also know that if I pack them fruit or veggies they might actually eat it. My boys are well rounded diners so I try to provide a few different foods in their lunch. For instance, one lunch may be pizza rolls, baby carrots, grapes, veggie straws and a Go Organically Fruit Snack.
  5. Have fun – I know I get sick of eating the same thing every day so I try to make the boys versatile and fun lunches. Some of their favorites are pizza rolls, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, crackers and cheese, and more. They typically only have sandwiches about twice a week. I also like to include a fun sweet treat like Go Organically Fruit Snack.

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Go Organically Fruit Snacks make for perfect treats in the boys’ school lunch.  These tasty, on-the-GO USDA-certified organic fruit snacks are made with real fruit, available in three great flavors – Fruit Medley, Mixed Berry, and Tropical!

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Sweepstakes
Go Organically® Fruit Snacks has partnered with select organic brands to assemble the perfect On-The-GO Road Trip pack for your summer vacation. Your readers can enter to win one of our tasty, organic prize packs by filling out the form.

  • 1 lucky winner will win a $500 Gas Gift Card, 1 Diono Car Seat, and a basket filled with organic goodness for your family’s summer road trip.
  • 10 lucky winners will win a basket filled with tasty treats for your family’s summer road trip.
  • 25 winners will receive a box of Go Organically® Fruit Snacks.

Contest Ends 8/31/17

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win 1 of each flavor of Go Organically Fruit Snacks. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 9/10/17

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 9/10/17

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Smurfs – The Lost Village DVD Review

Once again we had a wonderful Friday evening with our traditional pizza and a movie. This week we watched Smurfs – The Lost Village and it was a huge hit.

smurfs lost village

About
Smurfs – The Lost Village

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

I loved the Smurfs when I was young and I loved being able to share this fun story with my kids. The Lost Village explores the story of how Smurfs came to be and what secrets lie beyond their small village. It’s fun for me as an adult to learn more about the characters I loved some much as a child.

The cast boast many popular actors whom you might easily recongnize their voice, or not. One of my favorite things to do while watching animated movies with my kids it to try and figure out which famous actors are voicing the characters. Sometimes it’s easy and other times I’m quite surprised. This time there were several voices I recognized right away like Jack McBrayer, Rainn Wilson and Ellie Kemper.

The DVD and BluRay also comes with so much bonus material like commentary, interactive featurettes, and music videos. Overall, it’s a great movie for family movie night and we can’t wait to watching it again.

I received the featured Blu-Ray in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Probiotics for Women

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I’ve been using Jarrow probiotics on and off for several years and have always loved the results I see when using them. Whenever I’ve been pregnant in the past I’ve use them to help regulate bowel movements and keep my pH levels balanced. And with my babies and kids I’ve used Jarrow probiotics to help heal their gut health especially after stomach viruses.

I’ve been taking the yum-yum dophilus, fem dophilus and Jarro-Dophilus for women for a few weeks now and have noticed that the yum-yum dohilus has helped me feel more regular and healthy. They are really easy chewable tablets and taste great which makes them great for my kids to take too. The fem dohuilus have helped during my hormonal shifts and help keep the urinary and vaginal bacteria in check. I also really like that this formula doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated. Additionally, the Jarro-Dophilus for Women has been great at keeping my vaginal microfloral healthy.

Jarro-Dohilus for Women contains four probiotic strains that support vaginal urinary and reproductive tract health. What is great about Jarrow’s formulas is the EnteroGuard enteric coating which allows the probiotic to pass through the stomach unharmed and ready to be released in the intestines intact.

Jarrow also make a variety of other great probiotics for men, women and children all of which help balance pH and healthy bacteria in the body.

Jarro-Dophilus is available at health food stores nationwide and at many online retailers. Visit jarrowprobiotics.com for a full list of locations.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Guilt Free Summer Treats

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I’ve been cutting back my sugary treat intake over the past few months and with this blazing hot summer heat there is nothing I want more than a huge bowl of ice cream. When Joe and I were first married we would eat a bowl of ice cream almost every night… oh to be in my 20s again. After having 4 kids and surpassing my 35th birthday my body is no longer as forgiving of my indulgences. And I’m not just talking about the extra weight I’ve gained… I genuinely feel bad when I eat too much sugar.

We rarely eat sugary treats at night any more but on the occasion that I want something cold and sweet on these hot summer nights I’m stoked to learn about Arctic Zero, a zero-guilt sweet treat made with clean ingredients. The founder of ARCTIC ZERO created it for his mom—a Type-1 diabetic, because he believes that everyone should be able to enjoy delicious frozen desserts without any worries.

About Arctic Zero

  • ARCTIC ZERO is great for diabetics since it’s sweetened with monk fruit
  • ARCTIC ZERO is lactose free
  • ARCTIC ZERO only uses rBST-free whey protein
  • ARCTIC ZERO offers gluten free frozen dessert options.
  • ARCTIC ZERO is certified kosher, GMO free, and contains no artificial ingredients

Buy

Price Around $4.49/pint
You can buy Arctic Zero online or at your local grocery store.

We’ve tried several of the Arctic Zero flavors like Salted Caramel, Cherry Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Swirl and more. The variety of flavors are amazing. The texture is a little bit different than a traditional ice cream, Joe says it reminds him of snow cream. I think my favorite flavor was the Cookie Shake and Joe’s favorite flavor was Peanut Butter Swirl.

The true test was weather or not Joe liked Arctic Zero. Ask anyone that knows him and they’ll tell you he has a slight obsession with ice cream. He’s also pretty picky about the kind of ice cream he eats so the fact that he really loves Arctic Zero tells me a lot. It’s not exactly like ice cream but it is a pretty great frozen dessert, especially for those that can’t typically have traditional ice cream.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Gearing up for Cars 3 with Juicy Juice

Disney Pixar’s “Cars 3” is cruising into theaters on June 16th, so to prepare for the racing excitement the boys and I took a little trip to the NC Museum of History to learn about the history of auto racing in North Carolina.

We aren’t big NASCAR or racing fans but North Carolina’s racing history dates back to the 1930’s and is currently a billion dollar industry in our state. So we felt obligated to learn more about what makes it such a popular sport. We got to see champion driver Richard Petty’s stock car and other popular racing memorabilia.

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The boys were rather disappointed that none of the cars had eyes or could talk like the one from Cars but they are very excited for the upcoming “Cars 3” movie.

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Juicy Juice has launched a limited-edition “Cars 3” product featuring beloved characters like Lighting McQueen. Juicy Juice “Cars 3” 100% juice will be available in 8-pack juice boxes in Apple, Berry, Fruit Punch and Grape, and multi-serve bottles in Apple, Berry, Fruit Punch, Cherry, Kiwi Strawberry and Strawberry Watermelon. Look for these specially-marked packs, find your code, go to juicyjuicegame.com and enter to win awesome prizes such as movie tickets, toys and activity sheets.

Head to your grocery store to buy limited-edition Cars 3 Juicy Juice and while you wait for June 16th to check out this fun Piston Cup Race Maze.

CONNECT

This post has been sponsored by Juicy Juice. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Preparing for Wild Weather and Runny Noses #SickJustGotReal

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As I’m writing this I have the windows opened and we just returned from an afternoon at the park as it is currently 78 degrees outside. Yet, only a few days ago it was only 9 degrees outside and the ground was covered with ice and snow. This is the weather we get in North Carolina. This is also how my kids end up with colds so frequently during the “winter”.

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Thankfully my medicine cabinet is stocked and ready with all of the children’s cold medicines we might need during this crazy North Carolina winter.

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Ease those aches and pains, while reducing a child’s fever fast with Children’s Advil®, a great solution for kids as young as 2 and up to 11. Children’s Advil® comes in several great-tasting flavors, including: Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors. There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape, which provides unsurpassed fever relief (among OTC pain relievers) with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months. For your child’s cough, trust Children’s Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief to control and relieve symptoms all-day or all- night. Available in grape or orange flavor, for children ages 4 and up. Please note, certain Children’s Robitussin® products are only suitable for children ages 6 and up. Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free eases your child’s stuffy and runny nose, while quieting a bothersome cough. All in a great-tasting grape flavor that’s dye-free, for children 6 and up.

Kids get sick so learn how to be prepared by visiting Sick Just Got Real to learn more about solutions to tackle sick days like a champ.

CONTEST

America's Greatest School Nurse Contest

No matter how prepared we are kids get sick sometimes when we aren’t around which is why Pfizer is hosting America’s Greatest School Nurse Contest.

Does your school nurse go above and beyond in educating and comforting their students? You can nominate your school nurse to win a prize valued at $500 and will be entered to win the grand prize: the title of America’s Greatest School nurse and a trip for a getaway from school sickness.

For more information and to read the full contest rules and submit a nomination, visit AmericasGreatestSchoolNurse.com. Nominations will be accepted from January 9 to February 23.

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a $25 Visa gift card and additional Pfizer Pediatric products [(1) Children’s Advil® Suspension, Grape, (1) Children’s Robitussin ® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief, (1) Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free]. Use Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway Ends 1/31/17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on January 31, 2017. The winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.