We’re Sold On Leap Frog

Leap Frog CollageMy oldest daughter is 13 years old.  When she was around 4 we bought her a Leapster for Christmas.  Can I just say that was the best $50 I think I have ever spent?  Seriously, we still have that Leapster almost 10 years later.  It has gone through 3 children now.  Yes, my 5 year old son plays with a pink Leapster and he loves it.  He feels like he’s playing video games when his sisters are playing their video games.  All the while he’s learning to read with it.

I hadn’t really thought about Leap Frog products too much.  We don’t have a ton of them in our home or anything, but the few that we have are perfect.  We got a Tag Reader for my son for his birthday this year and then just for my daughter’s 2nd birthday this weekend we bought her a Leap Top computer.

As I was setting up the Leaptop computer for her this week I realized that this thing was way more than I had anticipated and we only paid $21 for it.  As a matter of fact while its age ranges are only 2-5 my 5 year old keeps taking it from his sister.  If only I had a reason to buy him a toy.  Sadly, he has another 9 months until his next birthday.

But I really began thinking Leap Frog is quality education product at a decent cost.  Even our outdated Leapster is still getting use.  I have no idea if I can still buy games for it, but that doesn’t matter, my son is enjoying the ones we have.  I wanted to take some time to tell you about these two new toys we have from Leap Frog since our Leapster is probably way outdated.  Therefore the games we have might not be relevant to today.

Leap Frog Tag Reading System

TagMy son is in Kindergarten and trying to learn how to read.  His teacher actually recommended all things Leap Frog to help.  She even lent us a video from Leap Frog which helps with the letter sounds.  He loves it all.  Eats it all up.

The Leap Frog Tag is a wand which you can use to read each word in the book.  There are other games and activities you can do depending on where you place the wand on the page.

I didn’t realize when I got the Tag that I would need to download any subsequent books we got him and that it didn’t just work.  So when he first opened it he wasn’t all that interested in it.  Once I got the book downloaded into it he has been using it daily.  He also has tried to use it to read other non Tag books.  That was a bit of a disappointment when he realized it wouldn’t help him read all books.

The fact that he can place the wand under each word and it will tell him what it says is great though.  Because he’s learning how to point to keep his place while reading and as he learns more and more words he can read out loud and put the wand under just the words he doesn’t know.  What a great confidence builder.

If I had to say there was one problem it would be that it probably will only hold 20 books at once.  We haven’t gotten that many books yet so it’s fine, but it’s already over half full and he only has 10 books.  So when he gets more books we might have to remove some so he has room for the new ones.  That might be a slight problem, I’ll have to make sure I take the books from him that we take out of the reader so he doesn’t try to use it and get disappointed if it doesn’t work.

Leaptop From Leap Frog

LeaptopNow onto the little laptop we got for my daughter’s 2nd birthday this past weekend.  Considering I’m on my laptop a lot and my oldest daughter is on her netbook a lot the baby has been trying to use the computers.  Every time my daughter puts her netbook down the baby scoops it up.  While it’s very cute that she puts it on her lap and sits there and hits buttons she also doesn’t need to be playing with it as it’s not a toy.

So I have been looking for a laptop she could call her own.  So I was very excited when I saw this Leaptop for only $21 at Walmart.  I had to get it.  I didn’t pay too much attention to what it did when I got it.  I didn’t think it would do too much because it wasn’t that expensive.

When she opened it I began playing around with it and realized it really does a lot.  This is another one that you have to download stuff into it to get it to do all of the extras and to personalize it.  The good news is if you already have the program downloaded for another toy you just have to add this toy.  So no extra programs on your desktop.

You get to put your child’s name in so it says your child’s name when you turn it on.  You can also choose 3 pre-written emails to have sent to your child from 3 different people.  So for example, I have one email from me that says, “I love you (child’s name), Love Mommy.“  There are several different names programed in already that you can choose from like grandma and grandpa or any other name you use for grandparents, or you can choose to add one of your own.  I also have one from my oldest daughter to her which I typed her name in and it gave me a sound bite that I could listen to to make sure they were pronouncing her name correctly.  So it says From, (my daughter’s name) at the end of the email.

On top of these neat little personalization aspects you can also choose the songs that it plays.  There are plenty of songs to choose from too.  Plus there’s a special song which sings my daughter’s name and even spells it out.  How neat that she’s learning the letters in her name already.  I like that we can go back and change it up when we want something fresh out of the toy.

Aside from all of this the keys can either give you the names of different animals which start with a certain letter, play music, and tell you letter sounds.  This is so great for early reading skills.  And even helpful with reiterating the speech sounds we are working on and trying to get her to use more regularly.

The problem I have?  We only have one of these.  My son keeps taking it from his sister.  I find this is good for him to play with too though with reinforcing those letter sounds.   I’m sure the novelty of it will wear off soon for both of them and fighting will be less, but I’m seriously trying to figure out when I can buy one for my son.  Easter is the next holiday, but we don’t usually do big toys like this, so I don’t know.  Maybe an incentive for good behavior type toy.

We have a few other toys from Leap Frog which we have really been enjoying in helping teach letters and letter sounds.  Leap Frog just seems to get better and better.  And the toys will last for more than one child.  I really wish I could afford to own them all for my kids.  Because I haven’t found one yet that isn’t a great learning tool.

What’s your favorite Leap Frog toy?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  I was not given these products in exchange for a review nor paid to write anything.  These are just toys that I really like for my children and wanted to share them with everyone.

We’re Partying Like It’s 1999 With Just Dance Disney Party

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

What a great opportunity I have gotten from Clever Girls and Ubisoft.  Not only did they let me try out Just Dance 4, but they have also asked me to review Just Dance Disney Party.  My middle daughter could not wait to get her hands on this game.  When she found out it was coming every day she would ask me is it here yet.  It took longer than I expected to get here, but my children still got to play it a few times so I could write this review for you.

What It Is

As I’m sure you can imagine it’s just like Just Dance 4.  A video game that gets you up and moving and more than just your fingers.  Screen time takes on a whole new meaning with these interactive games from gaming systems like Wii.

So just like in Just Dance 4, Disney Party has you hold on to the Wii remote and you follow the dance moves on screen.  The on screen people actually resemble the characters from the show the song is.  It has all of your Disney favorites from Lilo and Stitch to Cinderella.  Plus it includes songs from the shows on Disney Channel.  Everything like A.N.T. Farm, Shake It Up, Good Luck Charlie, Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, Phineas and Ferb, and so much more.

The Game

There are a few different ways you can play this game.  Much like in Just Dance 4 this is for up to 4 players.  You only need the Wii remote.  No special dance pad or other equipment.

You begin by selecting how you want to dance.  You can choose one song to play and just begin dancing, you can create your own playlist of songs, you can do a non stop shuffle which plays through a mixture of songs for a certain amount of time without interruption, or you can o select a son where you’ll choose each song you want to dance to between songs.

You select which mode you want to play in.  There’s team high score where you work together with another player to try for a high score.  Freeze and Shake is fun.  It’s kind of like red light green light.  When a stop light appears on screen you have to stop moving the Wii remote until a shake icon appears.  You will lose points if you don’t follow those directions.  Balloon Pop requires players to dance to inflate a balloon.  When the balloon pops you have to shake the Wii remote to get the stars and earn points.

You can even choose what language you want the songs to play in.  And on top of that on the bottom of the screen it shows the words to the song.  My girls liked that about the game because they could try to sing along.

For Parents

Please excuse my fingerprint TV, I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw this picture.

This game has a section just for parents.  At first when I saw it I thought oh is this to get the parents up and moving too.  Because honestly I don’t need a separate game play mode for that.  It honestly looks like so much fun I generally grab a remote and jump in when they’re playing anyways.

But what it is is a place where you can keep track of your child’s progress and how much they are playing.  I actually thought this was pretty neat.  While I don’t restrict their game play on this one because it does get them moving.  And with the weather getting colder sending them outside to play isn’t much of an option.  We just had a physical in this house too and the doctor as always was encouraging less screen time and more exercise.  Well, while this is screen time when I mentioned that my kids love playing this game she was all for it because it does get them moving.

But it shows you how long they played, when they played, calories burned, and how many times a song has been played.  It also shows the progress of each song by top score or times played.  You can also see the medals which have been earned.  They even give you some health tips to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I thought that was pretty neat.

However, I can’t tell who has earned what.  So while it might be getting played I don’t know who has burned what for calories or who has played a certain song 20 times or who earned what medal.  That would be nice information to know having more than one child to make sure they are all working their hardest and exerting enough energy.  Of course since the Wii is right here in the living room I can see when one of them is not playing and is just watching from the sidelines, but it’s nice to see how many calories they are burning.

So, What Do The Kids Think Of It?

That’s the important part, right?  Do the kids like it?  Well, my kids say yes they do, but they like Just Dance 4 better.  They do like that the words for the songs are there to read along with and really it’s not much different.

They don’t like the different modes of play like the balloon pop and the stop and shake.  They found those both to be stupid.

They liked the selection of songs better on Just Dance 4.  They also preferred the moves on Just Dance 4.  My oldest said Just Dance 4 was more active. They definitely worked up more of a sweat trying to do Just Dance 4.

There are plenty of things for them on Just Dance Disney Party though.  They enjoy watching Shake It Up and Wizards of Waverly Place and songs from there are on it.

Here is a video of the girls playing the game though.  It really does just look like they are going through the motions.

On a side note, I have been expressing to my family and friends that thanks to Just Dance games the baby now thinks she needs a Wii remote in her hand to dance.  She grabs one every time she wants to get down and boogie.  It is really cute, but I hope she doesn’t need a Wii remote the rest of her life to dance.

Where To Buy

If you are interested in purchasing this game though then you can get it from Amazon for $41.20.  This game is available to be played on Nintendo Wii and XBox 360 with the Kinect.

It is rated E for Everyone and is really another great addition to the Just Dance group of games.  If you are looking for a way to get your kids moving and going outside to play is not an option, then this is a great game for that.  The kids recognize the songs and the dance moves are not hard to do.  So even the youngest of players can get into it.

What’s your favorite Just Dance game?

Thank you again Clever Girls and Ubisoft for providing this game to me free of charge.  I have not received any other form of compensation and all views expressed here are my own.

Using Burt’s Bees And Bzz Agent To Combat Dry Skin

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration skin care system from Bzz Agent to try to combat my dry skin. Sadly, one of the side effects of the Rosacea I have aside from the red face is dry skin. And the winter makes it worse. The dry air from the heat turns my face into a flaky red mess. So I’m always looking for a way to combat the dry and this is definitely a start.

It definitely does not do anything for the redness from the Rosacea though. My face is still very red, but I have noticed if I miss a day with the cleanser or the night cream, then my face is definitely much more flaky. And with the Rosacea I have to be careful to not use harsh creams on my face. Natural is the way to go which is what Burt’s Bees is.

The Products I Received

Bzz agent sent me 3 full size products of the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration skin care system completely free of charge.  I received the Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser which retails for $9.99.  The Intense Hydration Night Cream which retails for $17.99.  The Intense Hydration Treatment Mask which also retails for $17.99.  What I did not receive was the Intense Hydration Day Cream and the Intense Hydration Eye Cream which both retail for $17.99.

Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser

The Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser truly does have a creamy consistency.  No harsh scrubbies.  It’s just a light creamy cleanser.  I think it has kind of a light citrus smell to it.  It goes on easily and rinses off easily too.  And instantly your skin begins to feel smoother.

Ingredients

aqua (water, eau), stearic acid, glycerin, sodium lauroyl glutamate, zea mays (corn) starch, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, parfum (fragrance)*, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, salvia sclarea (clary) extract, lactobacillus, theobroma grandiflorum seed butter, cera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, jojoba esters,hydrolyzed jojoba esters, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel, polymnia sonchifolia root juice, zinc oxide, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, propanediol, maltodextrin, tocopherol, xanthan gum, glycine soja (soybean) oil, arginine, sodium lauroyl lactylate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, amyl cinnamal, citral, eugenol, hydroxycitronellal, limonene, linalool. *natural fragrance

The key ingredient in all of the Intense Hydration skin care system is clary sage which is a natural plant from the Mediterranean that has an uncanny ability to trap in moisture.

This is actually the perfect cleanser for me because it does not have alcohol in it.  One of the worst things for a person with Rosacea is alcohol so that was definitely one of my favorite things about this cleanser.  But because of its light creamy texture you also don’t have to worry about the cleanser remaining on your face since it rinses off so easily.  There’s little more damaging effects to the skin than a cleanser drying on your face because it was too hard to rinse it completely off.

Intense Hydration Night Cream

I must admit I was very hesitant and unsure about using this particular product on my face.  Remember I said Rosacea and alcohol don’t mix?  Well, some of the ingredients in this night cream are alcohol.   So I really wasn’t sure I wanted to use it, but I figured if it didn’t work out I would know the culprit and could just stop using it.  So I tried it.  A little bit of this cream goes a long way.  When I first applied it to my face I felt tightening and I was really unsure how it was going to help with hydration.  However, by the time I wake up in the morning my face feels noticeably smoother.  It has become part of my nightly routine and I have noticed less of that tightening feeling when I first apply it.

Ingredients

aqua (water, eau), olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, glycerin, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, tapioca starch, parfum (fragrance)*, propanediol, salvia sclarea (clary) extract, lactobacillus, astrocaryum tucuma seed butter, garcinia indica seed butter, trichilia emetica seed butter, cera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, candelilla/jojoba/rice bran polyglyceryl-3 esters, jojoba esters, hydrolyzed jojoba esters, chondrus crispus (carrageenan), polymnia sonchifolia root juice, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, maltodextrin, zea mays (corn) starch, sucrose, tocopherol, xanthan gum, glycine soja (soybean) oil, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium PCA, zinc PCA, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, amyl cinnamal, eugenol, hydroxycitronellal, linalool. *natural fragrance

Intense Hydration Treatment Mask

This product was another one I was hesitant about.  It also has alcohol as one of the ingredients.  But since the night cream worked well with me I thought I could try this mask out.  And since it’s not a daily use and recommends once to twice a week I figured it couldn’t be too bad.  So I tried it as instructed.  I felt a slight burning sensation along with the tightening I felt with the night cream.  I left it on for five minutes as instructed and wiped it off.  I don’t feel like it all came off though and I didn’t like the way it made my face feel.  And I wouldn’t say it made it any smoother than any of the other products.

I stopped using the mask though because I wasn’t seeing any results and I found the slight burning feeling to be concerning.  Nothing terribly bad happened from my use of it, but it just wasn’t for me I don’t think.

Ingredients

aqua (water, eau), ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, glyceryl stearate, parfum (fragrance)*, propanediol, salvia sclarea (clary) extract, lactobacillus, astrocaryum tucuma seed butter, trichilia emetica seed butter, cera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille), citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel, polymnia sonchifolia root juice, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed wax, lecithin, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, maltodextrin, tocopherol, xanthan gum, glycine soja (soybean) oil, stearic acid, sodium PCA, zinc PCA, potassium stearate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, amyl cinnamal, eugenol, hydroxycitronellal, linalool. *natural fragrance

Overall Reaction

For the most part I have been happy with the results.  Here’s a before use and after use picture.  Please excuse my redness.  Like I said that’s one thing about the Rosacea it definitely did not help, but I wasn’t expecting it to.

I had also received a few small samples of the night cream and day cream with coupons to give out to people.  I decided I give the day cream a try.  Much like the night cream the day cream a little bit goes a long way.  I made the mistake of thinking the sample was a one time use, but I easily could have gotten two or three out of it.  I didn’t want to use all of my day creams so I could let others try it out so I only used it once.  It felt very similar to the night cream.  Just a little heavier I think.  You can feel it on your skin which I’m not crazy about and there’s no SPF in it which means I have to add sunscreen as well to protect my skin.

All in all I think the cleanser and night cream would be all I would use from this line.  They have been the most effective.

What is your go to skin care product?  Do you think you want to give Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration a try?

Disclaimer: As a Bzz Agent I was provided these products free of charge to try out.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own though.

Daily’s Ready To Drink Pouches: Keeping Summer Alive

If you know me you know that I’m not much of a drinker.  Never really have been.  I might enjoy the occasional glass of wine and my all time favorite alcoholic beverage is a Strawberry Daiquiri.

So when Daily’s emailed me and invited me to try out their ready to drink pouches and I saw they had Strawberry Daiquiri I knew I had to do this.  So I eagerly signed up to try it out.  My husband was all aboard too.  We rarely get these kind of treats.  So we were both excited to give these a try.

And please excuse me as I write this as I’m drinking and blogging tonight.  We will see whether or not this is a good mix for me because I have never drank and blogged before.

What Are Daily’s Ready To Drink Pouches?

Daily’s ready to drink pouches have everything you need for mixed drinks.  The alcohol is already in it.  You simply have to freeze for 8 hours and then take out and massage and pour into a glass and you’re good to go.  No ice.  No mixes.  No blender.  You can even put them in a cooler and take them to go.  Although, not while driving of course.  Remember to always drink responsibly.

They come in many different flavors.  My husband and I were able to find Strawberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada at our local liquor store.  So we picked up those, but they come in many other flavors.  There are some new ones for the fall even which include Hard Cider and Spiced Sangria.  These two can also be enjoyed heated up if you prefer.  But if you’re looking for some other frozen drinks Daily’s also has Margaritas, Peach Daiquiri, Pomegranate Acai Daiquiri, Lemonade, and a Light Strawberry Daiquiri.

Strawberry Daiquiri

I have tried other wine cooler drinks which claim to be Strawberry Daiquiris, but nothing has ever compared to what you can get in the bars.  And it has never been worth it to me to make at home either.  I’m just not that big of a drinker to go through the trouble.  So I was anxious to see how this would compare.  And I’m happy to say that it tastes just as good as what you would get in any bar.  The strawberry taste is definitely there with that light hint of alcohol in it.  The alcohol is not over powering to taste.  Although, I do feel a little light headed after one.  And mind you I have been sipping on it for an hour.  See how little I drink?  It just goes right to my head.

Ingredients

The Strawberry Daiquiri contains Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Wine Natural Flavors, Maltodextrin, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Polyphosphates, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Sodium Benzoate, and Potassium Sorbate Preservatives, Gum Arabic, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Sucralose, Red 40, Blue 1.  Made with wine.

Pina Colada

This was purchased for my husband.  He was not impressed at all with it.  He said it did not have a taste.  I tried it and I thought it was gross.  I could definitely taste something, mostly coconut with a very strong alcohol taste.  I did not like that one at all and neither did my husband.  He preferred my Strawberry Daiquiri.  We will not be getting the Pina Colada again.  My husband would like to try the Peach Daiquiri if we can find it or the Lemonade one though.

Ingredients

The Pina Colada contains Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Wine, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Glycerin, Food Starch – Modified, Citric Acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Medium Chain Triglcerieds, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sodium Bonzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Sucralose.  Made with wine.

Overall

We bought 4 pouches (2 strawberry and 2 pina coladas) for a total of $10.  We gave one of the Strawberry Daiquiris to our neighbor the other night after she had a very troubling day and even she agreed that it was tasty and it hit the spot for her as well.  The Pina Colada will not be purchased again, but we definitely want to try these other flavors when we can.  Well, I’m sure I’ll stick with the Strawberry Daiquiri because once I find something I like I rarely try something new.

They are relatively easy to make.  All you have to do is freeze them and then massage to serve.  If they are really frozen you can run them under some warm water to make them easier to get out and you just pour into a glass.  It was so simple.  No need to drag out the blender.  And really, at $2.50 each that’s very affordable.  Considering a Strawberry Daiquiri at a bar or restaurant would easily cost you $10.  So to get the drinks that you love at the bar at a quarter of the cost that is something that makes me smile for sure.

Giveaway

Daily’s has authorized me to do a giveaway for my readers who are 21 and over.  And not just one, but 3 winners.  Three of you can win 1 Daily’s insulated tote a piece.  This giveaway will run until October 19th at 12:01 AM EST.  Open to all US Residents who are 21 and over ONLY please!  Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win.  There’s a daily chance to enter too and be sure to check the terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter form for me information.  If you have any questions please contact me.  Good luck!

Let me know if you go out and try Daily’s.  What flavor are you excited to try?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received Daily’s Ready To Drink Pouches free of charge from Daily’s in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed here are my own and true to the best of my knowledge.

Who Has A Sweet Tooth?

As many of you know I am a Bzz Agent.  What that means is I get selected to try things out and then shout it from the rooftops what I think of it.  Well, recently I have been selected for some candy campaigns.  More specifically gum and what’s called Unreal candy which is candy that doesn’t have all of the fat and sugar, but has all the taste and even some added things like fiber and protein.  So today I would like to tell you about these products which I received to sample with my family free of charge.

Dentyne Split To Fit Packs

Who likes gum?  I sure do and my middle daughter is a huge fan of it.  I got to sample Dentyne’s Split To Fit packs.  It’s gum in a nice little container which you can split to fit in a small pocket.  So you can take it to go without a problem.  It’s not the big bulky packs of gum from our youth.  Heck, they aren’t sticks anymore.  It’s in a pill pack like container and it’s a small square piece of gum like a Chicklet.

It comes in five flavors.  There’s Peppermint, SpearmintArctic Chill, Mint Frost, and Spicy Cinnamon.  I only got to try out the Peppermint, Spearmint, and Arctic Chill.  So what did I and my family think of these 3 flavors?

Peppermint: I found the Peppermint to be okay.  I’m not a huge fan of peppermint.  My children found it to be a little too spicy, or hot as my son says.  It burnt his tongue.  But for the most part I would say this flavor wasn’t half bad.

DENTYNE ICE PEPPERMINT ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED

INGREDIENTS: SORBITOL, GUM BASE, MALTITOL, MANNITOL, ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORING, GLYCERIN; LESS THAN 2% OF: ACACIA, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, ASPARTAME, BHT (TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS), CANDELILLA WAX, SOY LECITHIN, SUCRALOSE AND TITANIUM DIOXIDE (COLOR).
PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE

Spearmint: This was my favorite flavor.  Actually it was a hit with everyone.  I’m not too surprised I like it best.  It’s what I would have bought myself anyways.  Just the right of mint and cool.

DENTYNE ICE SPEARMINT ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED

INGREDIENTS: SORBITOL, GUM BASE, MALTITOL, MANNITOL, ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORING, GLYCERIN; LESS THAN 2% OF: ACACIA, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, ASPARTAME, BHT (TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS), CANDELILLA WAX, SOY LECITHIN, SUCRALOSE AND TITANIUM DIOXIDE (COLOR).
PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE

Arctic Chill: This one my whole family could agree was just awful.  I would not recommend this flavor at all.  I personally thought it had sort of a cough medicine after taste to it.  My husband says it was just too strong.  I don’t know all I kept thinking was it tastes like cough syrup.

DENTYNE ICE ARCTIC CHILL

INGREDIENTS: SORBITOL, GUM BASE, MALTITOL, ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORING, MANNITOL, GLYCERIN; LESS THAN 2% OF: ACACIA, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, ASPARTAME, BHT (TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS), CANDELILLA WAX, SOY LECITHIN, SUCRALOSE AND TITANIUM DIOXIDE (COLOR).
PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE

They all were a long lasting chew.  Well, honestly, I only kept the Arctic Chill in my mouth for a minute.  So I don’t really know how long that one lasts, but judging by the other two flavors I would assume it would be a flavor that kept on giving for at least two hours like the other two.  It might be small, but they definitely packed a punch in flavor.

All in all I would recommend Dentyne Ice Split To Fit packs to you.  I would just stay away from the Arctic Chill.  I would like to try the Mint Frost sometime.  I think I would like that too.  Spearmint is definitely where it’s at though!

Unreal Candy

The next candy I got to try out was called Unreal Candy.  Unreal Candy is your favorite candy bars without all of the junk.  Nothing artificial about it.  What?  Healthy candy?  That’s got to be so gross.   But I’m willing to try it.  Any candy I can get for my children to eat that is relatively good for them is good in my book.

There are 5 different flavors.  Unreal 54 is comparable to peanut M&M’s, Unreal 41 is comparable to M&M’s, Unreal 8 is comparable to Snickers, Unreal 5 is comparable to a Milky Way, and Unreal 77 is comparable to Peanut Butter Cups.

It isn’t sold in a lot of places though.  You can’t get it at Walmart and my local grocery stores did not carry it.  I had to go to CVS to get it.  I did see it at BJ’s after I found it at CVS too.  I chose the Unreal 77 which was similar to a peanut butter cup and then I shared it with my neighbor and my kids.  Five of us eating two little peanut butter cups.  But we got the verdict.

The adults loved it.  The oldest child said it had a strange after taste.  Now unless it’s account of this cold I am having a tough time shaking I think she’s crazy.  I had no after taste.  I honestly think if it came in a Peanut Butter wrapper I probably wouldn’t have noticed a difference.  It does not taste exactly the same, but I would say you could fool someone with it.  Since my son wanted more I’d say it was a hit with him, which is great because he is the child of mine who I have to watch with the candy.

Nutrition Info

Here is the Nutritional information on each Unreal candy you can get.

As you can see they all use natural ingredients.  Go ahead and look at the nutritional information of any one of these candies of the original.  You will find it has nearly half the sugar of a regular candy bar and it’s actually pretty comparable to eating a piece of fruit, at least as far as the sugar intake goes.

I am looking forward to try all of these flavors, except for the Unreal 8.  I just do not like Snickers bars.  All of the other candy is some of my favorite though.

Are you ready to give Dentyne Split to Fit and Unreal Candy a try?

Disclaimer: I received the gum and candy free of charge through Bzz Agent to try out and review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed her are my own.

Green Virgin Products Review And Giveaway Hop

This review/giveaway is hosted by Everything By Chelsea
Chelsea at Everything By Chelsea is a big fan of eco-friendly and natural products! And she says Green Virgin Products are a must in your home! They are in hers now! Chelsea had the opportunity to review their GVP Formula 433 All Purpose Cleaner Concentrate, Soap Nuts, and GVP Formula 433 Solid Stick Prespotter Bar!
First Chelsea tried the 433 all purpose cleaner concentrate and 2 spray bottles. The ingredients which were printed on the label were; purified water, fatty acids, coconut oil, organic alcohol, folic acid (vitamin B9), minerals and enzymes derived from plants. That’s impressive to see natural ingredients! This cleaner you can actually drink, wash a newborn baby, and wash your hair and body! Chelsea used this cleaner everywhere! She cleaned her kitchen, used it as a veggie wash, cleaned her bathroom, cleaned her dining room table, and dusted. And you know what… the cleaner worked like a charm! Green Virgin Products formula 433 all purpose cleaner is absolutely amazing! Chelsea will be buying more!
The next product Chelsea tried was Soap Nuts. She thought, how in the world could soap nuts wash my clothes! And she was surprised. Soap nuts are actually not nuts, they are berries from the Chinese Soap Berry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi). The berries contain a natural soap called saponin. Soap Nuts can be used to wash your laundry, wash your car, you can make a concentrated liquid soap, and use it as a cleaner. They are hypoallergenic and safe for babies! When Chelsea used soap nuts to wash her clothes she used 5 nuts (broke them up) and did 5 loads with the same nuts! The clothes come out smelling great and are super soft. She was very surprised!  I have heard about soap nuts before and have been wondering if they would work well for cleaning our cloth diapers.

The last product Chelsea tried was GVP Formula 433 Solid Prespotter Bar. She was surprised by the ingredients…they are GVP Formula 433, baking soda, coconut oil, olive oil, and sodium hydroxide. Chelsea usually never have spots tough enough to have to use a prespotter (can you tell Chelsea doesn’t have children?). She did a couple of experiments to see if it would get out mustard stains, lipgloss, and hot sauce out of an older shirt. Shockingly it got almost all of the stains out! This would work very well on children’s clothes, since they get so messy!
Chelsea simply cannot say enough good things about Green Virgin Products. On their website they have a great selection of products that are affordable.
And it’s definitely something I’m going to be checking out.  I just don’t know if I could give up my magic eraser.  And don’t go telling me all the bad things that are in there either because that thing cleans off everything.  For basic everyday cleaning purposes and of course for the laundry this sounds like a great option to me though.
Here is a chance to win your OWN Formula 433 all purpose cleaner with 2 spray bottles, a 500 gram bag of soap nuts, and a 433 solid prespotter bar! This giveaway will end 9/26! Only open for US! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Chelsea received this item for the purpose of a review. She was in no way compensated for her opinion as they are her own. Your opinion may vary from hers. Monica’s Mom Musings is not responsible for prize shipment.

Twistbands: Good From Head To Toe

A few weeks ago I was reading some blogs and I saw a review for Twistbands.  They sounded interesting so I went to check out their website and became even more intrigued by their shoe laces.  They had shoe laces that claimed they would not untie.

No way!  My middle daughter is forever being told to tie her shoes!  Our conversations go something like this:

Me: DD tie your shoe!

DD: Which one?

Me: The one that’s untied!

DD: Grumble, grumble, grumble, I hate tying my shoes.

And then two minutes later it’s the same thing.  Sometimes with the same shoe, sometimes the other one.  It just never ends.

I figure at school she must walk around constantly with untied shoes.  Well, I know for a fact she does, because she goes through shoe laces like crazy.  Then when the lace is all frayed and destroyed I hear how she can’t tie it because the lace is broken.  Well, if she wasn’t constantly walking on them, then this wouldn’t be an issue.

So I emailed the company in complete disbelief over these shoe laces and the owner agreed to let me try them out for myself so I could see if the do in fact do what they say they will do.  But not only that she said she would send me some of the hair ties too.  Hey, as the mom of 3 girls hair ties always come in handy around here so I was totally up for it.

The Shoe Laces

Okay, so lets get right down to it.  The shoe laces were what I really was in disbelief about so the shoe laces are what I will talk about.  When they arrived in the mail my middle daughter was not home and therefore neither were her sneakers.  But I needed to try them, so my oldest daughter volunteered her shoes for the job.

These are definitely not your typical shoe laces.  They are made out of this elastic like spandex material so they are very stretchy, but they are also very thick.  I laced up my oldest daughter’s Converse like sneakers.  It wasn’t easy to do trying to keep it straight because the lace is so thick.  I did get it laced up and had my daughter try it out.  My oldest wasn’t crazy about it.  She found it hard to tie.  Must have been the stretchiness of it.  Once it was tied it slipped on and off without a problem though.

When my middle daughter finally came home she was so excited that she wouldn’t have to tie her shoes.  So I laced her up with the hot pink shoe lace we were given.  Which actually went great with her Shake It Up sneakers.  And for the past two weeks she has been putting them to the test.

Let me tell you, my 10 year old is rough on stuff.  I honestly don’t know what she does, but there have been times when the bottom of her sneaker has been falling apart a month after buying them.  Not cheap sneakers either.  It always baffles me.  So I knew if anyone would find a way to get these laces untied, it would be her.

And she did, ha.  The first day she told me they came untied.  Come to find out she had been sitting on her foot in her chair and when she moved her foot it just caught the end of the lace just right and untied it.  However, that was the only time it came untied.

I haven’t ever seen it untied or had to tell her to tie her shoe because it was untied.  She has had mixed reviews.  One day she loves it the next she’s unsure about them.  While she isn’t tying her shoe everyday I guess the stretchiness and the on and off of the shoe was loosening things.  I did have to tell her to retie it to tighten it and now she’s back to loving the laces again.

All in all I have been impressed with these laces.  They aren’t showing any signs of wear though.  Likely because they aren’t being walked on.  They really do stay tied.  Well, unless you sit on them and yank it out from under you or get it caught on something I suppose.

Clearly they also should be retied every so often if your shoes start getting loose.  But all in all I like.  At $5 for a pair of these laces in my house if these last as long as the shoes do then it’s totally worth it.

They can be worn in adult shoes or children’s shoes.  They come in two different lengths, 27″ which are great for children’s shoes or adults shoes with 3-4 grommets or 36″ which are for standard adult sizes with 6 grommets.  The ones I received are 36″.  My oldest daughter wears the same size shoes as me and they were plenty long enough to lace up her sneakers and my middle daughter is in a girls size 4.  It wasn’t too long for hers.

Now The Hair Ties And Headbands

I was surprised to not only receive 5 hair ties, but also 3 headbands.  All stretchy like the shoe laces.  Who knew that scrunchies were out.  I must have missed that memo while raising my kids or something because I have still been wearing my big bulky scrunchies on my arm and in my hair.  Truth be told my oldest still uses a scrunchy from time to time, but mostly she was using the typical cloth elastics.

My oldest daughter was blessed with a lot of hair like I used to have pre-kids.  Well, all of my girls have a lot of hair.  My middle daughter rarely has her hair in a ponytail though.  My oldest always does because she hates it on her neck, but she won’t cut it short.  Oh what I would give to have her ponytail again.  I miss having all that hair and like my daughter I didn’t know what I had until I didn’t have it.

So who better to try out these hair ties than someone with a lot of hair?  So I gave them to my daughters to try out, but that’s not to say I didn’t try them too.  My oldest daughter was very excited to try a ponytail holder that wasn’t supposed to leave dents in her hair when she took it out.  And that I think she would be happy to say it does not do.

Her one complaint was that they aren’t big enough.  She wears two in her hair.  She does that with the elastics too though.  I think it’s mostly a security thing although she swears if she only wears one it slips out of her hair.  She wears one particular one just about daily though and she has gotten it pretty stretched out already.  I’m not too sure how much longer it’s going to last.  Or if it’s as sturdy as scrunchies.  This is to be expected of anything with elastics.  Even my scrunchies get stretched out eventually.

I am a scrunchy girl, or so I thought.  But having misplaced my scrunchy I grabbed one of these one day and I do like the ponytail it gives.  It’s a nice tight ponytail without actually pulling on the hair and hurting your head.  It doesn’t slip out of my hair at all.  No loose strands or anything, but unlike my daughter I don’t have a whole lot of hair these days.  Mine is also one length and my daughter’s is layered so that could be why she gets pieces that slip out too.

Here’s a side by side look at our hair in ponytails with the Twistbands in our hair…

I haven’t tried the headbands, but my oldest daughter has and she said she likes those a lot.  They stay in place, but don’t pinch her head like most headbands do.

So all in all I would definitely recommend the hair ties.  The one wish my daughter has is that they had some that were a little bigger.  They are perfect for going from hair up to down without leaving any indentations in the hair from the ponytail and they are stylish and inconspicuous to have on your wrist as a bracelet.

They range in price from $2 – $2.50 for a single hair tie or $5 – $8 for a 3 pack or $10 – $12 for a 6 pack.  You can add baubles or print to them for an extra charge too.  They would make great gifts or party favors.  I find them to be stylish and practical and well worth those prices.

The headbands range in price from $4 for one to $24 for six.  You can get them printed on and baubles added to those too.

Overall Reaction To Twistband

All in all I would say Twistband is great from your head down to your toes.  The hair ties don’t tug and pull on your hair and make a stylish bracelet.  The shoe laces really do not untie.  I know I’m shocked, but they don’t.   I highly recommend them.

What do you think, do you want to give Twistbands a try?

Disclaimer: I was given Twistband hair ties, headbands, and shoe laces free of charge for the purpose of facilitating this review.  However, all opinions expressed within here are my own.

Steam Cleaning My Home With Hoover

I have always wanted a steam cleaner.  So when Mom Central invited me to be a part of their Hoover campaign I jumped at the chance.  I chose the Hoover Twin Tank Steam Mop to try out and review.  I have no carpeting in my apartment.  It’s all hardwood floors and tile.  Which of course I love with having little kids because spills are much easier to tackle when you don’t have carpeting.

I knew having a steam cleaner would help in containing germs too.  Another fun part of having children, all of the germs they love to share with each other.  I am forever fighting germs it would seem.  Not having to use harsh cleaners which always make my hands break out and of course are not safe around children was a huge bonus.

Features Of The Hoover Twin Tank Steam Mop

  • Allows you to use a cleaning solution with the steam to really clean those tough dirt spots.  A cleaner clean with Hoover.
  • Disinfecting power.  With steam alone you can remove 99.99% of harmful bacteria.  Including MRSA, Staph, and Salmonella.
  • Separates the cleaning solution from the water.  This makes it easier to switch between just steam cleaning and getting a deeper clean with Hoover’s cleaning solution.
  • Easy to use control dial.  Right on the front of the machine is a dial which you can adjust to just steam or with cleaning solution and depending on how big of a job you can adjust how much cleaning solution you use.
  • 30 foot power cord.
  • Removable tanks for easy refilling.
  • Swivel mop head shaped perfectly for corners.  The mop head pivots easily around things and right into corners.
  • Capability of using steam on carpets to refresh them with steam.  A carpet glider is provided to make it easier to go over carpets.
  • 3 microfiber pads for multi-surface floor cleaning.  One pad is for is for hard floor surfaces only and two pads used for multiple surfaces, including carpeting.
  • Comfortable handle.  With soft touch grip to provide you with the most comfortable handle for cleaning.
  • Lightweight.
  • Cord release.
  • Light indicator.  Turns green when it’s ready to steam.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  It sure had me intrigued and I was dying to try it.  I actually held off on mopping my floors in anticipation of its arrival.  Hey, there’s no better way to try out a new toy than making it have to work on your toughest job, right?

So How Did It Do

When it finally arrived I immediately read through the instruction manual and got all ready to try it out.  Put water in the clearly marked tank on the front and the cleaning solution that was provided in the clearly marked tank on the back.  I started in my bathroom.  Cleared it out and set the dial to general clean.  There’s also spot clean and tough stains.

I placed a multi surface cleaning pad on, turned the machine on.  Waited 30 seconds for the green light and I was steaming.  I pushed the trigger and moved it all over my bathroom floor.  It pivoted easily around my toilet and reached behind the tank without a problem.  It was easier to maneuver and got into tight spaces better than my Swiffer Sweeper.  And any tough to clean areas I just held over that spot for a few seconds and it came right up.  No more scrubbing with the mop head or having to get on my hands and knees with a scrub brush.  It was so easy.

I loved it so much that I moved onto my kitchen floor.  And it was easy to get around the table legs and reach under the table.  Best part of all is I don’t have to close my kitchen and bathroom after mopping because it dries so much faster.  And believe me with just one bathroom closing it off so the floor could dry with six people was torture.  Everyone of course has to go as soon as you finish mopping too.  But now there’s no more wait.  There’s no more using chairs to block the door into the kitchen to keep the baby out while I’m mopping.

I took my cleaning frenzy right down stairs to my neighbor’s house too.  She was away on a business trip and we have a key so we can take care of her dog.  I had to give this thing a try on carpeting too and she has a few area rugs that I wanted to try it out on.  Don’t worry, I let her know what I was up to and she was not offended at all that I wanted to clean her floors.

As a carpet steamer I was not as impressed with it.  I did not see a difference when I was done in her carpet, but I figured while I was down there I would do the kitchen floor.  Especially since her dog does sometimes do her business there.  I know she’s constantly bleaching her floor.  Her floor is a little different than my kitchen floor.  Actually, I must say I’m so happy that mine has that almond color to it and not the stark white that hers is.  I used the general cleaning on her floor too and it was great.

It was so great that my neighbor now wants a Hoover Steam Mop.  She came home and loved her kitchen floor so much and she knew that with the steam it was getting up all of that bacteria too.  I don’t think she was impressed with the carpet like me, but she loved her kitchen floor.  I’m going to steam it for her again actually.

I think I can throw my mop and bucket out though.  In the past few weeks this has come in so handy.  We had a toilet overflow the other day.  My four year old keeps putting too much toilet paper in the toilet and clogging it.  So there’s not much worse than an overflowing toilet.  While normally I would lug out the bucket and mop and fill it with a mixture of Lysol and water this time I just got the steam mop out.  And I steamed the bathroom and the hardwood floor of the hall because the water went into the hall too.  Just steam.  I have also used it to clean up spills when the baby has spilled drinks on the floor.  It’s so easy to just have to pull that out rather than a mop and bucket.

Wanna see for yourself?  I took some pictures of my floor yesterday before I steamed and then after I steamed.  I am all out of the cleaning solution.  I finished up the 8 ounce bottle it came with after my first cleaning spree.  That was two kitchen floors and one bathroom on general clean.  However, just steam does a good job too.  So here’s my kitchen floor before…

and after…

I know it’s hard to tell there, but there was a spot of I believe jelly on the floor next to the table leg.  So here’s the before and after of that spot on the floor…

Can you see it?  This whole floor was cleaned with steam alone.  That spot came up with little effort on my part.  I simply held the steam mop over the spot for a few seconds and it was gone.  I have removed stickers from the floor this same way too.  I love that I don’t have to scrub spots on the floor like this to get it clean.

What About The Cons

Nothing is perfect.  And I’m a believer in telling you the things I don’t like.  I’ve already mentioned I wasn’t impressed with it on the carpet.  I don’t know if that was because it was an area rug and not an actual carpet or because I didn’t vacuum the rug first or what, but I wasn’t super impressed.  However, I never intended to use it on carpets anyways, it was strictly for all of my floors.  Which hardwood and linoleum it has been great on in my house.

My only other complaint is the access of the cleaning solution.  I asked Hoover if there was anything else I could use and they do not recommend you using any other floor cleaner in their machine.  So my option was to buy it through them online.  That’s fine, a 32 ounce bottle sells for $10 on their site.  Of course then you have to pay for shipping.  But the 8 ounce bottle that came with the machine only cleaned two kitchens and a bathroom or about 700 square feet of space I would say.  I don’t know that I want to wait for a shipment.  Hoover kindly sent me to some local places which might sell the cleaner, but neither one did.

One recommended checking Home Depot.  I have only called them, not actually gone there.  I am told they have a Hoover Hard Floor cleaning solution that they say can be used with all of their machines.  It’s a 64 ounce bottle I am told for $20.  So basically the same price it would be to buy the 32 ounce bottle from Hoover of course minus the shipping and waiting.  I however am not 100% sure I can use it with the Hoover Twin Tank Steam Mop and Hoover has not gotten back to me about that yet.  And since I haven’t seen the bottle for myself I can only go by what I was told by a store associate.

So those were my only issues.  That I don’t like it on carpets and I have been having a heck of a time finding the cleaning solution without having to order it directly from Hoover.

In The End

Those things don’t matter much to me, all of the great things about this mop way outweigh those two minor negatives.  I don’t even need it for carpets.  I probably wouldn’t recommend it if you were planning on using it for carpets.  You can probably get a better Hoover Steam Cleaner for carpets.  But the lightweight and ease of use of the Hoover Twin Tank Steam Mop have made this my favorite cleaning tool.  If only it cleaned toilets too, ha.

I have washed the microfiber towel pads in the washing machine once so far.  No problems.  Just threw them in with my towels and washed and dried right in the dryer.  It still sticks right onto the mop without a problem.

At $99.99 retail price I think this is well worth the cost.  While I know I would have talked myself out of spending the money on something like this I seriously do not know how I have lived without it.  And like I said, my neighbor is sold.  She felt the price was good too for the job it did.

She has other pressing things to buy right now (a new dryer) so she won’t get one right away and I’ll probably keep cleaning her floors for her every now and then or just let her borrow mine, but it’s quiet and efficient and I feel like I can safely say things are clean even though I’m not spending hours scrubbing them to get that way.  I kind of think in the end it’s going to save me money because I’m using less water than I would with filling a bucket and I don’t have to use a cleaning solution to disinfect.

So don’t talk yourself out of this purchase because I really don’t think you’ll regret it.  Seriously, you can truly say so long mop and bucket with the Hoover Twin Tank Steam Mop.

I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review, but my opinions are entirely my own.

Book Review Of What Alice Forgot

This summer has been great.  I have gotten back into reading actual books without pictures in them all thinks to my Summer Book Club.  And the last book I read was What Alice Forgot and I would have to say it’s the best read of the summer so far.

I feel that I would be remiss if I did not share with you this book.  And share why I enjoyed it so much.  Plus truth be told I have been dying to talk to someone about it and unfortunately I think that my lackadaisical approach to book club has made it a little more difficult to actually get together.  So I didn’t get to have the discussion I had hoped for, but I do hope if you have read the book, then you will share with me what your thoughts were in the comments.

About What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot is written by Liane Moriarty.  It is about a young woman named Alice who fell and bumped her head and misplaced the last 10 years of her life.  She wakes up thinking she’s 29 years old and carefree and in love and about to have her first baby.  In actuality she’s 39, uptight and scheduled, in deep hate with the man she thinks she loves, and has 3 children.  She only has these little flashes of memory that make no sense to her and she’s trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but every time she finds something out about her she hates herself and her life even more.

She simply cannot wrap her head around any of it and understand why 10 years would make her fall out of love with the man of her dreams and stop talking to her sister and her best friend.

My Thoughts On What Alice Forgot

I must admit I had a hard time getting into What Alice Forgot in the beginning.  There are three view points that are being shared.  Obviously the main one being Alice’s, but every so often it splits off into Alice’s sister’s point of view, and her grandmother’s thoughts.

It does this by having her sister writing “homework” for her therapist.  She’s writing about her feelings and helping to give small pieces of the puzzle of the story of Alice’s life. Then her grandmother is writing a letter to an old lost love and also sharing little bits and pieces of Alice’s new life.

I was having a hard time in the beginning wrapping my head around it and I really just wanted these people to answer the questions of who’s Gina and why did Nick move out.  But eventually it all started to make sense and at the end everything really does just fall right into place and it was important to hear these other characters thoughts in this manner.

How I Related To This Book

Throughout the entire book I kept thinking in 1998 I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.  That was the year Alice was brought back to.  And she was pregnant with her oldest.  So I kept trying to think about the things that I thought back then.

While in 2008 my marriage wasn’t in a shambles I definitely was living a life I probably wouldn’t have imagined for myself in 1998.  I kept trying to think about how strange that would be.  To be meeting 3 kids I didn’t remember having.

It’s true, 10 years really does change a person a lot.  It seems like such a short amount of time, but in that time so much can happen. So many experiences change us as a person.  Having children changes us.  Jobs change us.  Friendships change us.  I am honestly not friends anymore with anyone I would have considered my best friend 10 years ago.

Even my relationship with my family is different.  But the whole time I was reading it and seeing how the relationships around Alice were changing with her as her 29 year old self instead of her 39 year old self it made me think what would happen?  Would any of the fights I have had with my preteen daughter over the years be fixed with me going back to a simpler time and just taking the time to slow down.  To stop and take her out for ice cream and play in the sand at the beach with her.  Would having those thoughts and dreams I had for her when I was pregnant with her have helped improve our relationship instead of having 10 years of remembering every eye roll and every fight or way she has misbehaved?  What would that have done for our relationship?

And then I couldn’t help but wonder if even without losing my memory could I still be that mom of 10 years ago?  Before the sleepless nights and all of the potty training battles and homework battles.  Before the reality of motherhood stepped in.  Could I do that?  I think I can and I think it has become my new goal to try and achieve with my children.

To stop rushing, to take a step back.  To listen with an open mind and open heart and not ready to accuse.  I gave it a go last night actually.  The kids were bickering over something silly as usual and my oldest has squeezed my middle daughter a little too hard.  Normally just the fact that she put her hands on her sister for the millionth time when I have told her about that and finding a better way to deal with her anger would have made me just ground her and I probably wouldn’t have talked to her because we’ve done this a million times before.

This time, I listened to my middle daughter’s story and I helped her to see where she might have gone wrong in the disagreement.  Then I got my oldest daughter’s side of the story.  I didn’t yell.  I just calmly asked her what she could have done differently.  And she tried to excuse it with well she was trying to get me in trouble which she knows tends to make me that much more upset, but I just calmly explained to her that I dealt with that and that she needs to worry about herself and she needs to stop and think before she reacts to things.  She apologized to her sister and her sister apologized to her and there was no screaming or slamming of doors.

Age and wisdom is a good thing, but so is remembering the times when life was just a little easier.  And sometimes we can learn something from our old former self.

I was crying by the time the book was over. It was a good cry.  It was an enlightening cry.  Who would have thought that a fiction book could have taught me something about life and how to be better for my children and my family?

If you haven’t read What Alice Forgot, then I highly recommend that you do.

She’s Got BIC Soleil Legs And She Knows How To Use Them

Who remembers the L’eggs commercials from the 80′s where they used the ZZ Top classic as their advertising slogan.  She’s got L’eggs and she know how to use them.  Back in the day pantyhose were the way to go.  That was how you appeared to have tan legs.  I bought into the hype with my pale self too.  I couldn’t actually tan.  My legs were white and I hated that.  So enter L’eggs.  At that time I thought even the nude made me look good.  The days of denim skirts over pantyhose with socks and Keds sneakers.  That was my style.  And I thought I was styling.

Not so much.  Because it never looked real on me.  My legs were about 50 shades browner than the rest of my body.  What were we thinking?

Now tanning and bronzers are the way to get that tan look.  Well, the tanning of course isn’t a healthy way to look tan, not like the bronzers are.  That stuff always turns me orange though.

So as I’ve grown I have come to the realization that you know what?  I’m white and that’s that.  You put me in the sun and I’m red.  You put bronzers on me and I’m orange.  So I just have to accept the fact that I’ll never have nice tan ZZ Top approved legs.  Probably a good thing since those guys are old enough to be my grandfather anyways.

Of course that doesn’t mean I can’t show off my gams.  Not that I’m trying to show them off.  In the summer time it’s all about finding the best way to stay cool.  So summer time means you all get the pleasure of seeing my pale legs.  But I can’t cover the hair and stubble with pantyhose.  So I actually have to shave, much to my husband’s delight I’m sure, during the summer months.

I Am A Shaver

Not a waxer, I’ve never used Nair, or any other hair removing system.  I have an electric razor for quick jobs, but the disposable razor with shaving cream is my method of choice.  It has been since I started sneaking shaves in the shower when I was 12 years old because my blonde haired mother did not think I was old enough to start shaving yet, but I was getting picked on at school.

Generally I just buy cheap disposable razors.  The kind that you get one shave out of and have to toss because it’s too dull to do anymore shaves.  So when I got the opportunity as a Bzz Agent to try out the BIC Soleil Savvy disposable shaver I was excited.  And even more so that it was going to be coming right at the start of peek shaving season for me.

The BIC Soleil Savvy

The BIC Soleil Savvy is the convenience of a disposable razor with the shaving power of cartridges.  You receive one handle with 4 refillable razors.  All for the retail price of $7.49.  So it gives you the price of a disposable razor and not the price of a refillable cartridge razor.

The handle has a comfortable rubber grip to it.  This makes it easier to control.

It has a triple blade for the cartridge which easily pivots to glide easily over the curves of your legs.  There is also a lubricating strip with vitamin E to help heal the skin.

It’s super easy to replace the cartridges.  They just snap right into place on the handle.

Once you finish all four disposable refills you toss the handle and buy a whole new package.

I Have Found My New Razor

I can never go back now that I have used the BIC Soleil Savvy.  Seriously, I tried once and I regretted it.  When I went on vacation I had packed my new BIC razor with all of my other toiletries, but I still needed to shave before I left for our trip.  I used one of my old disposable razors and I hated it.  It was rough on my skin.  And it did not get as close of a shave.

I normally shave every other day in the summer, but I have found I can push that to three sometimes four days with the BIC Soleil Savvy.  I actually felt the need to shave when we got to New Hampshire with my new razor because I could already feel the stubble from my old one.

I don’t have to toss the BIC Soleil Savvy cartridge after just one shave.  I can use it two or three times and go longer between shaves.  All this means that while I might actually be paying more for just 4 razors I’m actually getting more for my money since I can use it more times and the shave lasts longer so I’m shaving less frequently.

It glides over my legs and under my arms so easily.  It doesn’t even feel like I’m shaving, but the smoothness I get from this razor and the closeness of the shave is beyond phenomenal.

I seriously had my doubts based on the price.  My usual disposable razors I can get 10 in a package for around the same price as just 4 with this one.  But not having to shave every other day is so worth it to me.  Seriously, I have been recommending these razors to everyone I have talked to about shaving.

I think I would even allow my 13 year old daughter to use it because I honestly think it would cause fewer nicks with the way the head pivots.  Originally I worried about the triple blade and her young skin, but I kind of think it might be better for her when she starts shaving more regularly.

Want To Try For Yourself?

I have a special offer for my Monica’s Mom Musings readers.  Well, the first 5 people who comment here anyways.  I have five $3.00 off coupons for the BIC Soleil Savvy that expire on December 31, 2012.  The first five people who comment here telling me what they hate most about shaving will get one coupon.  You need to provide me with a valid email address so I can contact you for your address and you must answer my question.  I will put the coupon in the mail to you as soon as I get your address.

So what do you hate the most about shaving?

I was provided the BIC Soleil Savvy razor free of charge from Bzz Agent to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are my own though.