Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coming Monday......Newness

So some of you may think that I have given up on this blog, well I have! Kind of.  As a few of you have noticed when trying to comment on this blog there are some glitches, mainly with my template, but I've also had a hacker come and do some not nice things to my blog which made me think perhaps I will "start over".

Hubby, the amazing Coaster Critic, blogger extraordinaire and I put our heads together and decided that the best way to accomplish what I wanted from a blog, while making it family friendly and hopefully hacker unfriendly-ish would be to change my format, hosting, and even do some fun redesigning. Well, that redesign has been through 3 templates, many long nights, and lots of decisions, but we've done it, (I would not have been able to do a 16th of the new blog without hubby's help. So really my whole new site goes out to him. ~Thanks hubby for stressing to make sure I had something I wanted that would work well.~

My new site will be revealed sometime on Monday, November 30th, just in time for the new month. I figure I'm turning 30 next week anyway so it'll be good timing to rework my blog anyway. I'm very excited for all of you to see it, be able to comment on it and add your opinions and hopefully share it with your friends too.

Oh yeah and I have some great new posts for you to get started reading :)

So be sure to check back in and for those of you who are actually still reading this blog, big thanks!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Santa Buddies DVD/Blu-Ray Review


Just in time for this holiday season Disney presents Santa Buddies, a mischievously merry Christmas movie that will not only bring laughter to your home but also touch your heart. Santa Buddies follows a list of fun predecessors including Air BudAir Buddies, and Space Buddies, to name a few.
Santa Buddies is a live action film featuring the familiar faces of George Wendt as Santa Claus, Christopher Lloyd as grumpy Stan Crudge, and Danny Woodburn as the lovable Head Elf Eli. Zachary Gordon does the voice-over for the main character, Puppy Paws. Stan is the character you love to hate. Christopher Lloyd plays a spectacularly grumpy dog catcher and his character is very believable. Aside from the human players, there are many fur-covered characters who play important roles in making this movie shine.
Viewers will love the rambunctious, snow white Puppy Paws whose curiosity gets him in trouble. Five personality-filled golden retriever pups called The Buddies enhance the fun and laughs. Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Mudbud, and Buddha each create their own hilarious antics from the start of the film to the finish. You're bound to fall in love with one, if not all, of them. Some of their rambunctious adventures in Santa Buddies include doggie break dancing, a jaw-dropping mud scene, and a Christmas cookie disaster.
I love the movie's play on the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol. The dog catcher in this movie, Stan Crudge played by Christopher Lloyd, is the villain and, not so coincidentally, his name can be transformed into S. Crudge. Other Christmas Carol similarities are when Stan is visited by the Elf dog resembling Scrooge's spirits, and there's even a version of Tiny Tim. I thought it was neat that they added that layer to the film.
The version of Santa Buddies that I reviewed came with both standard DVD and Blu-ray versions. I did not watch the Blu-Ray version of this film but I think it's great that there is an option. If you have a DVD player in your vehicle you will definitely want to consider buying this so your kids can enjoy it both at home or in the car.
I give this movie two thumbs up for being a delightfully funny family movie while showing children there is more to Christmas than the material side.
Go out and get your copy Tuesday, November 24th!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birth Theatrical Review


Imagine spending time with the girls enjoying mommy conversations where everyone ends up talking about their birth experience. From c-sections, to nursing, to obs, and hospitals everyone has an interesting story to tell. Sounds like your typical mom's night out right?? Well now it's also a theatrical presentation.

Birth by Karen Brody gives viewers a sneak peek into what it's like for women of varied backgrounds to be the center of this miraculous event. This piece is based on interviews that playwright Karen Brody conducted with moms across America and paints a picture of how low-risk, educated women give birth today.

The characters in this piece are very easy to relate with if you're a mother. Whether it's the down to earth mom, who after she got a taste of actual contractions had three hospital births and 1 in home birth, the momma who saw midwives all throughout her pregnancy and insisted her baby was breech even when no one else would believe her, or the woman who wanted a c-section from the start for planning purposes.

Many women, like the characters in this performance, have their "dream" birth. You know, the one we all dream of?? Peace, love, and harmony, floating on a cloud of awesomeness while delivering our little angel?

Well, sometimes things just don't turn out that way. While I never knew I would have a c-section with Little Miss "A" I did experience the doctors talking about sports and didn't have that immediate one on one time with her that I would have wished. This time I am again choosing c-section for health and yes somewhat planning reasons. Family will be able to help with Avery and be able to be here when the baby is born and for me having a c-section as opposed to a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC) will not effect me in the long-haul.

Personally I see a lot of the individual stories leading the viewer towards natural, unassisted births and alleging that hospitals have their own agendas making sure the baby is safe and they are not at risk for a lawsuit. I do understand that some mothers can be traumatized especially when something they don't expect to happen in labor and delivery happens.  I always say expect the worst and hope for the best instead of setting yourself up for failure when the birth doesn't go exactly as planned. Of course it's always best to research, research, research.

From what I understand Birth is about empowering pregnant women to make their own choices for their own bodies when it comes to laboring and delivering their child. I know we as a race are strong and yes, "We Rock," and I think when it comes down to it we're blessed with a beautiful child.

I had the amazing opportunity to view the final dress rehearsal of Birth by the players of Bold Charlotte. Thanks again for the amazing invitation and the great performance. You can find performances in your area here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Warm Heart

So allegidly my blog makes someone warm and fuzzy besides my family. I am very honored to receive the Heartfelt Blogger Award from a cute bloggy momma Mommys Time. Thanks for the shout that's super sweet.

Rules of the award are as follows:
Display the award logo (check)
Nominate up to 9 blogs that make you feel comfy or warm inside (some awesome blogs to check out below!)
Link to your nominees (click on their name to visit their site)
Link to the person from whom you received the award (See my shout out above, how sweet!)

Here are my nominees that I just adore:

Congrats girls I love your blogs!!! Pass on the love.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dusty Goddess

So you would think that after 2.5 years of doing this whole mommy thing that I would be a pro at all things domestic. Well do I ever have you fooled! Now don't get me wrong I do know some pretty awesome tricks and tips to save time and avoid meltdowns, but there are a few sections of the domestic goddessness that I haven't mastered that I would love to improve upon.

I'm so envious of the moms who have everything planned out, perhaps because before I became a mom myself I used to be so much more organized. Although there are a lot of things that have changed A.C. (after child); my body, (which sometimes I'd rather deny that it's mine), becoming that late person that I always hated, and memorizing every little thing there's one thing that I didn't want to change and it's being super duper organized.

Perhaps I gave up being so particular for my sanity, considering I had a newborn, packed up a whole townhouse, moved to a new state into an apartment and THEN a new house in only 3 months. So I'm not super mom and realized that it's okay to put some things off if I can spend more time with my daughter. Oh how things have changed. These days, since Little Miss "A" is a little more self-sufficient I'm able to get more housework done and she even likes to help. (Must record that here in the blog so I can show her when she is a teen.) Instead I think that now it would give me more time to spend with "A" if I were more organized.

I clip coupons, keep a daily calendar of events (sometimes even with 3 calendars I still forget the time of play dates and nights out,) but what's missing is a little more detailed organization.

Here are my list of things to work on to help improve, let's say quality of life:

-Start planning weekly meals (and if I'm good enough even coordinate sales/coupons to meals)
-Create a "schedule" for "A" so she and I can get more out of her day and bring a little more structure in
-Start throwing/donating things that are junking up my closets in hopes that my $2 sweater will sell after 5 months on craigslist.
-Select certain days to clean certain things, oooh this one may be fun, I could do theming: Toilet Tuesdays, Washer Wednesdays, now if there was only a day of the week that started with "N" then I could have a nap day :)

Those are a few of my current goals, I'd love to start before baby #2 makes her debut. I would love any tips or websites devoted to a decent but not quite there organized momma. I think my Domestic Goddess Award is getting dusty...I may even have it revoked if I don't do something STAT!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

iCarly Wii Review


Ever wonder what it would be like to join the cast of iCarly in their hi jinks? iCarly on Wii allows you to be as creative as you want when it comes to set design, props, characters, design, and more.
On May 13, 2009, Nickelodeon announced they had reached an agreement with Activision to produce an iCarly video game for the Nintendo game systems DS and Wii. On October 27 this video game became available to the public.
This game is based on iCarly, an Emmy Award-nominated television series that premiered on September 8, 2007 on Nickelodeon. The series stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor. The premise of the show is that Carly (Cosgrove) and her best friends Sam (McCurdy) and Freddie (Kress) create their own web show called iCarly. The three try to stay out of trouble while making their web show funny and successful.
Start creating new webisodes on iCarly with the one player feature or invite up to three of your friends to join in. Fans of the show will appreciate that more than 200 of the game's "webisodes" are taken straight from the series. With each mini-game you complete you earn "Web-cred" allowing you to buy fun items for your iCarly studio. The more you play the more features you can unlock. Emails from fans, opponents, and the game keep your webisodes exciting and fun.
My only qualm with the game is that the webisode instructions are very brief. In a majority of the games I wasn't sure what to do with my controller, but did figure it out after a few tries. I would prefer something more like Mario Party, for example, where the screen shows you the buttons to press and instructions prior to the game starting.
Prior to this review I had never watched iCarly on television, but of course had heard about it. I decided to watch an episode to see if that would change my perception of the game. Honestly, I don't think that you need to be a viewer to get the concept of the game and do well in it. If you or someone you know is already an iCarly fan, however, this is a great game that features well-known characters from the show.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Handfuls Handprints Part 1


Little Miss "A" and I had a fun opportunity to check out Handfuls Handprints in action this weekend. The owner, Jenny Bertleston invited us to create impressions of Little Miss "A's" hand and foot print. "A" was so excited after seeing the great pictures on Handfuls Handprints Website that she took one of her play plates and started tracing her hand on the plate. Should I be glad she was excited??

I love Handfuls because their finished product is much more detailed compared to a lot of places I've seen. A lot of work goes into achieving this pristine look. Jenny uses a specially formulated glaze and repeat kiln firings to brings out the beauty in these custom works of art.

Once we got to Fancy Pants, a super cute boutique in Charlotte we met Jenny. She has a very gentle and sweet personality and is just amazing with children. She took great care to make sure "A's" hand was placed in the perfect spot.

"A" was so proud to see her hand in the ceramic!

Then we stood "A" up on the table with her mammoth 9.5 size feet and the look on her face was priceless. She was grinning from ear to ear. I'm not sure if it felt neat because it was cold or the fact that she was like a celebrity on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, perhaps all of the above. I was nervous that "A's" scrunched toes would make the print look weird, but Jenny's such a pro at this that she got an amazing footprint.

Here's Jenny, Handfuls Handprints, owner showing us the amazing work of art. Again, look how "A" is so excited about seeing the product. She even said she wanted to do it again right after we had finished if that tells you how much fun it is for a 2.5 year old.

Here's the finished (for now) product. Jenny gives you options on colors, text (what you want written on the piece), and even shape options. I think these extras allow you to make the prints even more personal to your own family. We even let "A" pick out her own colors and can't wait to see what it looks like after it's done in December. We'll have an official reveal on the site as well.

Here are a couple of my favorite styles. One with a handprint in a handprint, how precious is that??

And something I am positive I want with baby #2. Aren't these ornaments simply adorable??

Attention animal lovers!!! Handfuls also does impressions for your favorite pets including but not limited to dogs, cats, and horses.

What would you pick if you had your choice of any of Handful's products??

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Public Potty Tips


Being the mom to a newly potty trained 2.5 year old I've struggled with getting the hang of going potty in our own home. Potty, wipe, flush, wash. Then I realized once I left the comforts of my own home, my step-stool and into the "unknown" of public restrooms that it gets scary.

For those moms who are preparing to take their little ones on the public potty here are a few tips and suggestions I hope you take with you.

A few of my momma friends have actually purchased travel potty seats, a mini toilet cover fold-up version so the kiddos bums don't have to touch the existing seat. A lot less actual work in the potty. You can find some here:

Most, but not all, public restrooms have the paper toilet seat covers that are a life saver when you don't want to hold your little one over the toilet in mid-air. Beware, occasionally the seat cover will fall in if you don't place it correctly and nix all your plans for a germ free-ish potty session. In my search I also found disposable potty covers (like the free ones but better) and these ones even stick to the seat with adhesive tabs! Check them out:

Now we don't have these and if you use the potty seat covers this may be going a little overboard, but if you're really freaked out by germs then you may want to think about getting some Potty Mitts. Looks like they cover your child's hands so they can grip the potty but not have to worry about what's getting on them. I wonder if they make holding on more difficult though, they look a little slippery. Perhaps an upcoming review idea??? If you want to buy some Potty Mitts I suggest these:

and if all else fails there's the good ole standby: Toilet Paper. Here's a trick I like to use while I toilet paper the potty like it's Halloween on steroids. After trying to get into the largest stall available, (it gives you more space to not bump into anything and keeps little hands further from the yuckies,) I look for a drain, or colored tile, something that I can assign Little Miss to stand on that's hopefully just out of reach from everything. I double and triple paper each side (including the front) of the potty so she has a spot to put her hands and does not have to touch the actual seat/base.

A few smaller tips I also like to use in the community potty sessions are: putting paper towels under my arm so I have them ready immediately after Little Miss washes so her shirt, pants, shoes don't get too wet. Also hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer.

What are your tips for using the public restrooms with your children??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ni Hao, Kai Lan Doll


Ni Hao, Kai Lan is an animated series that premiered on Nickelodeon in February of 2008 and is blowing up. The show teaches children Mandarin Chinese, about Chinese culture in general, and occasionally a few yoga poses.
The show helps to support social and emotional development for preschoolers through cause-and-effect problem solving. Along those lines Fisher-Price has created four very cute, plush, Kai Lan emotion dolls. We got to try out Sweet, but they also offer Giggly, Happy, and Silly.
Each plush doll comes with a cute plastic necklace for your child with the Chinese symbol and word of your specific doll's emotion. Our necklace was Sweet, and that it was. It was the perfect size, well made, and totally safe. (Please note this product is recommended for children ages 3 and up.) My daughter loved wearing her necklace and felt like a part of Kai Lan's super fab friends with the jewelry on.
We like this doll because she is the perfect size for any child and is not too big or overbearing. Perfect for the family who doesn't want stuffed animals and toys to take up too much room in their home. Because she is so cuddly and soft, my daughter likes to keep her in bed, and I don't worry about her being uncomfortable.
Super Emotions Plush Kai Lan has soft, textured hair with cute fabric flowers, just like her character on the show. Each different emotion doll also comes uniquely dressed so you can collect all four and have that many different dolls for your child. Sweet Kai Lan is dressed in red, Happy Kai Lan is in yellow, Silly Kai Lan wears mostly light blue, and Giggly Kai Lan is adorned in pretty purple.
My favorite aspect of this doll is that it enables you to teach your child about their own feelings and how to express them through words. My daughter and I talk about what her "sweet" face is and it leads to us talking about other emotions and how to react in situations. So Super Emotions Kai Lan is a great learning tool for children of all ages as well as a playmate.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dora Christmas CD


Dora The Explorer is ringing in the Holidays with her newest CD Dora's Christmas. This holly, jolly CD features Christmas Classics like "Deck the Halls", "Jingle Bells", and "Feliz Navidad". Also included on this snowy sensation are Bonus Tracks from Dora's Holiday Movie Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure. You'll want to make sure Swiper doesn't swipe this CD!

Along with fun tunes on this Sony Label album, kids will enjoy the great bonus content also on this disk. Bring fun wall papers, lyrics, and a Dora's Christmas Carol mini video to life using a computer CD drive.

This CD's insert features the usual song information, but also includes a festive Feliz Navidad/Christmas game board and pieces. For those of you not wanting to cut your insert please note there is a great printable version in the Bonus Content.

For those of you looking for the more traditional versions of well-known Christmas songs, you'll have to look elsewhere. When I first listened to the CD with my daughter, I was expecting the songs to be the original version but of course sung by Dora.

Dora incorporates fun friends from her show into her songs relating to the kids who follow her show. Dora's version of "Deck the Halls" mentions some of her best friends, "See Boots the Monkey jump before us. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la Big Red Chicken joins the chorus. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la."

As expected Dora also includes great learning opportunities by including Spanish into many of the songs on this album including "Here Comes Santa Claus."

"Here comes Santa Claus, Aquí viene Santa Claus, To visit me and my friends, Everyone’s waitin’, anticipatin’, As his sleigh comes round the bend. Bells are ringin', Boots is singin', All is merry and bright. So hang your stockings on Nochebuena, 'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight." I'd expect nothing less from this Hispanic sweetheart.

If your child is a Nickelodeon fan they will adore this exciting CD not only because it features voices from Dora the Explorer, but also friends from The Backyardigans, and Go, Diego, Go!

Kids will recognize the "Dora The Explorer Christmas Theme" which is a jingle bell filled version of the original Dora Theme song. Parents will love that it features the Young People's Chorus of New York City.

After I got over my initial shock of the "Dora-fied" words, my daughter and I were dancing around the living room enjoying the upbeat song, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". So if you're like me you may want to listen to the album once through, sample it online, and once you buy it just have fun with your kids. Dora's Christmas is a really fun CD for kids who love Dora the Explorer to be able to enjoy Christmas with singing, and silliness.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baby Favorites

If you're a new mom, shopping for a baby shower, or going to be a mommy anytime in the are some things you may want to think about getting to save your life!!!! I've listed the top 10 things I couldn't live without being a mom, at least a mom to a baby. These do not include the givens, diapers, wipes, food, but are definitely things you may want to look into.

In no specific order:

1. Diaper Genie II- especially now that she is eating solids, I don't think we could live without it. Plus it's so easy to take out and change the cartridges.

2. Purell Hand Sanitizer- for times when you could use a sink but there's none around. Love the stuff with aloe so your hands don't dry out too.

3. Baby carrier- any kind will do, I have Infantino. But this comes in handy for shopping, simple housework or just calming your baby down sometimes even putting them to sleep. Not so great for doing dishes or anything food related.

4. Burp cloths- Avery is the spit up queen, so this was and is still a must for us. We have them upstairs, downstairs, in the car, in the diaper bag, and still that's not enough. Easy to wash and handy for explosions.

5. Swing- I love love love the Fisher Price Papasan! It's so versatile you can rock two different ways, and Avery loves the mirror and animals. Unfortunately, the weight limit says 25lbs but Avery is topping it off at 17.5lbs. She is too big for the seat and when we put her in it creaks, probably not a great sign. But she has used it tons since birth, so I'd say we got our money's worth, if you don't have one and have a new baby put this on your registry!

6. Gas drops- these were a huge help. I use Little Tummies Gas Drops, I've also heard that their Gripe Water is a good one, we buy these in bulk :):)

7. At least 2 changing pad covers- of course changing pad covers are a must, but I love that I have two, when one is in the wash I can use the other, I don't have to wait for it to wash and dry, this definitely saves me time and is well worth it.

8. Pampers diapers- I was going to just put Swaddlers on here, but since then I've also used Cruisers and Baby Dry and love all of the Pamper Line diapers. They are great, as far as diapers go. They may be a little more expensive than some others, but I've not had one pee-pee leak period.

9. A good watch- not just any watch, a watch with a stopwatch feature is a must. I use mine to time feedings and also to see how long she is awake and sleeping. Even to this day I am using it to help me remember. Lord knows every mom has a lot of things on her mind already, why not help yourself out a little bit? The only thing is you have to remember to set the timer or else it's worthless. It's more sporty than fashionable but then again now you're a mommy. Sometimes fashion has to suffer when it comes to convenience.

10. One word: Boppy. I use this for lots of stuff. Mainly to feed Avery, it saves my back and gives her and I support. Whether your baby is formula-fed or breast-fed you can use this. We also used to prop Avery up with it when she was very small and then when she was learning to sit up alone used it as a cushion. The covers and Boppy are both washable and easy to travel with.

I hope these suggestions help you. I know there are tons more but these were the most important to me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Napping House


When my husband first brought The Napping House into our home, touting that it was one of his childhood favorites, I wondered if it would be current enough to be fun for my 2.5 year old to sit and listen to. (After all, it was published when I was just four years old!)

Well, the short answer to that is that she loves this book, and, secretly, so do I! The playful repetition in the book helps the reader to participate by joining along in the sing-songy lines and fuels opportunities for making animal and snoring noises along with the funny characters we meet in The Napping House.

The book begins with a rainy dreary night in a tired house. It opens with a plump, snoring granny and climaxes with a sleepy child, dog, cat, mouse, and flea all perched atop the granny in the silliest of positions, making readers and listeners alike giggle.

Each character gets it's own creative way to awaken the next. This wild sequence of events unfolds to a happy house where "no one now is napping."

My favorite part of this book is the illustrations. The New York Times awarded this book Best Illustrated Children's Book in 1984. Don Wood's playful images help children understand each part of the book from the yawning dog to the clawing cat. His depictions of this hilarious tale make the words on the page come to life. The images really convey the story of how everyone ended up in that small bed, bending with each addition, and how each fun character woke the other up in the silliest of fashions.

Audrey Wood and Don Wood have certainly created an imaginative piece of literature that you can read over and over again, each time inspiring laughter from your audience. I would highly recommend this book for kids of all ages.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Story Bird Designs

Occasionally I get lucky at drawings and contests, and recently I won a fun prize through a twitter retweet contest. Check out this beautiful handmade Glass Tile:

I was given the choice of all of the beautiful pendants and choose this one. I'm not sure what the designer had in mind for this piece but to me it symbolizes my life as a mommy. When I first became a mom I struggled with the fact that I thought I had lost "me", and was now "just" a mom. It took some great friends and some experience to realize that I could reinvent myself as both "me" and "mommy" combined. So there I am the tree who has the best of both worlds.

What's your favorite pendant??

There are so many different necklaces available on Story Bird Design's Etsy Site, go get yours now!
And if you're not yet following me on twitter, check out my page and become a fan!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Piggy Paint

Angel Kisses, Twinkle Toes, and Glass Slippers, that's what Piggy Paints are made from. Actually those are a few of the fun names of these wonderfully non-toxic, hypoallergenic nail polishes. Piggy paints are actually made from water, water-miscible acrylic resins and thickeners (well below 100 parts per million), and glycol ethers. 

Piggy Paint has received the Excellence Award from and their seal of approval as an approved Vendor of Mom approved-child tested products!!

My least favorite part of nail painting are the fumes. Especially now that I'm pregnant I think the smells are ten times worse. When painting my daughter, little Miss A's nails, I was often overwhelmed by the scent of regular nail polishes and cringed when she would stick her fingers in her mouth only to have ingested some paint chips. I searched for a healthier option and like many was lead to try Piggy Paint, kid-friendly polishes.

When I got my bottle of Piggy Paint in Girls Rule! I noticed the pretty pink purple hue and the fun metallic pearl sheen. I knew Miss A would love the color too. Next, being curious, I put the opened bottle up to my super sniffer, (pregnant nose,) and was simply amazed to say the least.

The nail polish has very little smell and what smell it does have is not your typical nail polish smell rather more of a non-toxic children's paint smell. The polish remover was just as impressive if not more impressive with the lack of overwhelming chemical scent. A momma's dream!!

Avery was beyond excited to get her nails painted. The polish comes in a great sized bottle, not too large and bulky and not too small to hold onto. The polish went on very smoothly especially considering a very wiggly 2.5 year old. 

The end result, pretty piggies, excited little girl, and healthfully happy mommy. Oh and a new learned skill....

Want to know how to get yours? Be sure to visit and use coupon code: BEST15L for 15% off anything on the Piggy Paint website including sale items. (Code expires December 15, 2009) Spend over $25 and domestic shipping is FREE! Follow PiggyPaint on  & Facebook for secret sales and special offers! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Friendly Chicken


For those of you who regularly frequent Chick-Fil-A with or without your families I don't have to tell you how amazing this fast food restaurant is. In my opinion, and until I am corrected, this is the top family fast food joint offering customer service, kid friendliness, and tasty food high above other fast food standards.

Chick-Fil-A is the only fast food restaurant where I'm greeted and my order is taken in a very polite manner. Occasionally I'll get a, "How are you," or a "Please pull up" at other ff restaurants but typically I'm just glad if I get a glum, "Can I take your order." 

Now aside from their friendliness this joint is amazing if you have kids. This is the only fast food that I know of that gives you disposable place mats, bendy straws, and allows the kids to trade their toy for ice cream. On several occasions when dining in we've had servers help by brining food to our table and even getting items like high chairs, and silverware for our table instead of staring at us while we struggle like most fast food restaurants. Just that in itself amazes me.

Also on the kid front I love that Chick-Fil-A is so involved in the community offering several activities monthly for families.  

Now while I'm not always in the mood for chicken, (sorry Chick-Fil-A cows,) when I am I do love their fried chicken and the fact that it's white meat. Maybe not the healthiest lunch but very tasty. I appreciate the reduced fat milk and fruit cup choices for the kids meals. 

I love Sunday's but I do have my sad moments when I realize that Chick-Fil-A is closed :(

So thank you Chick-Fil-A for being kid friendly, community friendly, tummy friendly, and just generally friendly! 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses

Being pregnant this time around I've had the weirdest cravings, maybe because I spend a good amount of my day-to-day in the grocery store, or maybe because this little one wants different things.

Little "Miss A" and I perused the Halloween Candy aisle to stock up our own pantry and fill our own bellies, sorry Trick-or-Treaters, your time will come. We stumbled upon several different kinds of holiday Hershey Kisses including, but not limited to, the Candy Corn and Carmel Apple but what intrigued me most for my recent preggo cravings was the Pumpkin Spice. Mmm sounded delish.

Once we got home and the car was unloaded, I was very excited to break into this bag and much on these creative holiday candies. In an attempt to show you the insides of the Pumpkin Spice Kiss check out this fun photo.

I assumed as most Hershey Kisses it would be chocolatey, my favorite! But instead it is more of a pumpkin white chocolate mixture. Now I love love love sweets and chocolate and again perhaps it's my maternity taste buds, but I found this treat by itself to be a little too sweet. I would suggest these to go best on top of sugar cookies or maybe in some hot cocoa or coffee to take the sugary "edge" off the sweet treat.

Overall, a tasty once and a while treat that can (Pumpkin) Spice up your desserts but not something I would snack on regularly, perhaps that's why it's a limited edition item.

Monday, October 5, 2009



I'm totally one of those moms who is super-planner-woman. When it comes to finding out the sex of my babies I'm not one to wait until their birth to find out. I totally applaud those mommas and think it's neat but SO not me. I need to know if I can buy girlie or boyish clothes, pick out a name, and make sure everything in general is set.

While our first sonogram technician was very clinical in letting us know our daughter was a girl we're still very excited to find out the sex of this baby that will join us in Spring of '10. In our talk about gender predicting using wives tales we've come across Intelligender. Maybe you've heard of it too.

This product is becoming increasingly popular and was recently featured in Parents magazine. Basically it's an affordable at home urine test that allows you to not only find out the gender of your unborn baby but also find it out earlier than a 2nd trimester gender ultrasound in which is usually given around week 18 to week 20.

Intelligender allows you to take this test as early as 10 weeks. For those parents who are extremely excited to find out the gender and just can't wait for the doctor's appointment this is a fun option. While results are not 100% they do stack up at 82%-90% accurate. I have a few friends who have had positive results.

In my very brief research of this product (as I'm hoping Intelligender will send me a sample to test my results,) I have found a number of complaints in regards to the test not being right. I have found however that in many of these cases the women are either taking the test before 10 weeks and also waiting longer for the results than listed in the instructions. I'm sure that not following the test exactly would give you mixed results.

Although I can wait for my ultrasound, (which I'm ever so excited about and thinking it's a boy,) it would be fun to test one of these out. Intelligender is sold in many retail drugstores. Check out if you're interested in finding out more about this product.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nothing But Noodles


You say Yum I say Nothing But Noodles. Not only is this a yummy treat for moms and dads but has a great kids menu and is nothing less than accommodating creating a happy environment for families.

I had the opportunity to go out with a few ladies and kids from my moms group and I think each one of us loved our dishes. I was impressed by the variety of items on the menu including salads, italian, asian, and american. The staff at the Elizabeth Avenue location was amazingly helpful setting up our kids booster and high chairs and giving us tips on food selection.

The children loved their food, the chopsticks holders and triangle crayons (perfect for restaurants since they don't roll off the table) that came with their meal, and our girls loved the atmosphere so much they decided to have their own little dance party.

I loved my Cheesy Chicken With Vegetables: Wok-seared chicken, fresh button mushrooms, carrots and broccoli stirred into our original three-cheese sauce. Served up proper with a fresh mixed green medley.) I even had the option to sub for whole wheat noodles and it was delicious AND healthy.

Just writing this review is making me hungry and without a doubt I can say that I will definitely return to this restaurant for it's cleanliness, friendliness, tasty food, and most of all because it's so family friendly.

PS I just realized they have cotton candy. I'm hooked!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jelly Telly??


From the makers of Big Idea, Veggie Tales, 3,2,1 Penguins, and more fun Christian programming comes...... JELLY TELLY!!

Since my introduction to Veggie Tales at Sunday School, (as a high-schooler,) I have loved these cute crudites! Bob and Larry made me laugh while reminding me about the simple things that God is constantly teaching us. Even though these animated story tellers were geared towards children it's easy for anyone to catch on, and end up rolling on the floor laughing.

I knew that when I had children I would want them to watch Veggie Tales too. So, I asked for the videos at each holiday and bought a few myself. Most of them are VHS but someday I'll work towards a DVD set.

Just this year we found out that Veggie Tales are now..."On TV!!!" It's basically a new introduction and lead into the story but they've kept most of the same stories to teach Sunday Morning values.

Jelly Telly is a fun website that features Christian media, including games and videos. It's a great way to get more of the great message of the Bible to our youngsters. Co-Creator of Big Idea, Phil Vischer wants to "Bring the Bible to Life." Not only are they providing great materials but they're also inspiring and hiring upcoming new Christian children media designers. Which I think is pretty cool.

They have everything from animation to puppets to human actors. I feel like they have something for everyone, so if you get a chance to go to their website: Jelly Telly
check out some of the fun characters and creations.

Also for those of you Veggie fans Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella will be released in the U.S. and Canada on DVD on July 31st in Christian bookstores and August 1st in the general market.

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