Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday: Shampoo

I have really long, thick hair and of course it has a mind of it's own. Some days it looks amazing but most days, it is a rats nest!! Being a mom, I typically wear it up in a messy bun as that is the easiest way to wear it when you are always rushing out the door!! The worst part is my hair gets so dried out, so I am always looking for a shampoo that will keep it moisturized without giving me dandruff. Currently I am using Pantene Pro-V Beautiful Lengths Shampoo which seems to do a good job. If I leave my hair down, it doesn't feel oily or dry, it feels just right. I am able to go my usual 2-3 days without washing it and it doesn't feel nasty. Plus, it does make my hair look healthy.

So, now it is your turn to weigh in. What kind of shampoo do you use? Why do you like? If it isn't your favorite shampoo, tell us which one is and why!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Tip dedicated to our friend Anna

When cutting bangs, place a piece of scotch tape arcoss the child's bangs, then cut above the you a straight line and easy clean up.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pampers Extra Protection Diapers

About 6 weeks ago, Princess started waking up in the middle of the night, make that screaming. I would go upstairs, get her calmed down, and turn around to leave only to have her start crying again. Every night she would end up in our bed and that got old pretty fast. Finally one night, I decided to change her diaper even though it didn't seem to be full. Well, low and behold that worked and she went right back to sleep without ending up in our bed. So every night she would wake up screaming, I would change her and then back to sleep she went. After about 17 days of this, I decided enough was enough and decided to try the new Pampers diapers.


Ever since the night we first used them, Princess has slept through the night without fail. She wakes up and her diaper is extremely wet but doesn't feel like the softball size diaper it used to feel like with the basic Pampers. The diapers are so soft and extremely flexible for my little one. I have read that other overnight diapers are stiff and you can feel the gel in them but not these. I was really impressed.

Pampers Baby Dry Overnight extra flexible tabs expand and contract with your baby, ultra absorb core outstanding overnight absorbance and it has a comfortable contoured fit. They feature Xtra-absorb zones in the core and stretchy sides with soft fasteners that stretch and overlap for a snug fit. They are my new sleep saver!!!

**Disclaimer: I have not tried other overnight diapers as my daughter has extremely sensitive skin and Pampers are the only diapers that do not break her out.**

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Toy of the Week: Furry Fun Chatter Elmo

As I looked around my house for my toy of the week, I was struck by the amount of Fisher Price toys we own. My goodness, I should own stock. As my last toy review was a Fisher Price toy, I wanted mix things up so I began to search for a toy my girls love that isn’t Fisher Price. Then Elmo giggled and I thought how perfect. I began a web search for a picture of this lovable character but was having a hard time locating the specific toy so I had my daughter bring him to me in order to look at the tag for the actual name. To my astonishment I discover he, too, is a Fisher Price toy.

So without further ado, I bring you the Furry Fun Chatter Elmo.

This is, without a doubt, the cutest annoying toy I’ve ever seen. It’s a little plush toy, only about 8 inches tall. His head is on a hinge and each time his head moves he says a part of a sentence or phrase, in that adorable Elmo voice. What makes it hilariously annoying is if you shake him fast enough he repeats the same word before moving on to the next word of the sentence. For example, one phrase is, “Elmo is so giggly.” If you shake him on the Elmo, he repeats Elmo over and over and over, every time his head moves, until you give him a little pause to move on.

Furry Fun Chatter Elmo is suggested for children 18 months and up but my 15 month old LOVES him! She’ll sit and shake him with such force and he just giggles. He’s durable enough to withstand a few tosses down the stairs and usually laughs with every stair he hits. He requires two AA batteries (which were included) and most retailers sell him for about $10.00, making him an affordable addition to any Sesame Street loving family.

There is also a Furry Fun Chatter Cookie Monster.


**My apologies for lack of picture, I'll share just as soon as blogger allows**

Monday, March 22, 2010

Graco Quattro Tour Duo Stroller

A friend on Fabebook posed a question to her friends regarding double strollers. I felt I couldn’t simply say, “I have the Graco Quattro and its great,” and that be the end of it. I began writing a review for her. So instead of trying to fit this review into a nice little FB box, here it is.

I have the Graco Quattro Tour Duo and it’s perfect for my family.

It’s a tandem double stroller that, quite frankly, steers quite well, especially when the heavier load is in the back seat. It fits through all standard doors and has a great “parent tray” with cup holders and zipper pockets.

One of the reasons I chose this stroller is that an infant carrier can be placed in the front or back seat (it can also carry two infant carriers at the same time).

The reason this is such a good thing is the rear seat lies all the way down so if your toddler needs to take a nap or falls asleep somewhere, you don’t have to figure out how to get them to sleep sitting upright in the front seat.

It folds up as easy as the Graco single strollers with the one hand. It’s obviously heavier and bigger than single strollers but I found it to be lighter than some others on the market.

It has a drop down basket so you don’t have to bother the child in the back seat to access the basket. There’s even a smaller basket under the front seat, perfect for toddlers/preschoolers to pack away a couple of their own toys.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

And the Winner Is..........

{insert drum roll here} The lucky number from was 6, and the 6th comment belonged to.......wait for it..............The Edwards Family!

Congrats to you for winning our first giveaway! Considering there were only 12 entries, and you had 3 of them, your chances were pretty darn good! :) I hope you and your boys enjoy the Hexbug Nano!
Thank you to everyone who entered! There are more giveaways to come!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday: Favorite Beer, Ale or Cider

Ahhhhh.....March 17th, a day I once looked foward to in my younger years. It is a day for anyone Irish (or Irish by association) to have an excuse to enjoy food they wouldn't eat on a daily basis (yummy corned beef and cabbage) and consume ridiculous amounts of green beer!!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and massive amounts of beer drinking going on in the world today, share with us your favorite kind of beer, ale or hard cider. Even if you aren't a beer drinker, what kind of beer have you found best to cook with if a recipe calls for it? What is your significant other's favorite?

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of our loyal readers and may you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My new "must have" Gadget...

Is my Kitchen Aid food processor! As many of you know, I have made most of Six's baby food. The whole idea of store bought baby food having such a long shelf life kind of freaked me out a little, so I researched making baby food from scratch and have found it to be pretty easy.

Before getting my Kitchen Aid, I had tried a cheaper 3-cup food processor and my blender. Both worked ok, but each had cons. The 3-cup was WAY too small. I was having to do a couple of batches at a time. The blender held more, but I was constantly having to stop and stir my ingredients to get everything mixed. But with my Kitchen Aid, I can drop everything in, turn it on and in a few seconds its all done, and in one batch.

It comes with alot of other attachments, such as a dough mixer, a shredding blade, a slicing blade and a few other things that I am still not quite sure what they are. (But I will find out!) I used the shredding blade the other night to grate cheese and it worked better than any cheese grater. I also used the slicing tool to slice cucumbers for a salad the other night and it sliced them thinner than I ever could by hand. The instruction book/recipe book has a home-made carrot cake that will be my next adventure. I will let you know how it turns out!!

Product Features:
  • Large Feed Tube & Pusher
  • Dough blade saves you the time and effort of hand-kneading by kneading yeast dough quickly and thoroughly
  • The stainless steel multipurpose blade chops, minces, blends, mixes, and emulsifies foods quickly and easily
  • The Pulse control allows you to precisely manage operation when a light touch is needed
  • 4-cup mini bowl with stainless steel mini blade fits inside the work bowl for small chopping and mixing jobs
  • 9-cup work bowl allows you to quickly process food with power and efficiency
MSRP: $199.99

You can find this and other products at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Toy of the Week: Crayola Twistables

My children are coloring fanatics, especially Princess. Everywhere we go, I bring along crayons and coloring books or pages because it is a guaranteed pleaser and something that always keeps them busy, especially when we go out to eat. The downfall to that though was I was always dealing with broken crayons and the little pieces getting everywhere. Then, when the kids would color, they would get frustrated that the crayon was broken and I constantly had to peel back the paper to get it exposed enough so they could color.

That is until I discovered Crayola Twistable Crayons!! They are absolutely amazing. They are crayons that require no peeling or sharpening. When the tips get worn down, just twist them up and you're ready to keep on coloring. The clear plastic barrels keep them from breaking and make it easy to see how much color is left. They come in a variety of amounts and 2 different sizes, regular and minis. The twisting mechanism is so easy that even Princess can twist them up if they get used to low. I bought 2 packs of the minis and found mini coloring books and keep them in my purse so they are available at all times. They have not only saved me many a meltdown, but it has been nice to go in my purse and not find a bunch of broken crayons.

The Twistable line also includes markers and pencils. The markers are cap-less so no more worrying about missing caps or dried out markers. The pencils are erasable which allows you change and re-do drawings or correct "mistakes." Now kids can complete picture-perfect homework assignments and reports in color—without having to start over.

These products are amazing and rather inexpensive. I paid $1.14 for the 10 pack of minis at Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart carried the entire line of twistables.

So I recommend to anyone who has an avid colorer, invest in some Twistables and never experience broken crayons again!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our First Giveaway!

Are you feeling lucky? St. Patrick's Day is this week, so in honor of the lucky holiday, we're holding our first ever giveaway! The prize........last weeks "Toy of the Week", a Hexbug Nano! (Recommended for Children 3+)

There are a few different ways you can enter.

1. Follow us on Blogger and/or Facebook and comment below that you are a follower.
2. Share our link with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. and comment below if you do so (include a link if possible).
3. Leave a comment stating what you like about our blog and/or what you'd like to see more of. We'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions!

Make sure you leave a separate comment for each item as each comment counts as your entry, so you can enter up to 3 times. A random winner will be chosen via on Sunday, March 21st. We will post who the winner is and we will contact the winner if we have a means of doing so.

Good luck!

*If we don't receive shipping information from the winner by Tuesday, March 23rd, the initial winner will forfeit their prize and another winner will be selected via
*Please note, color of prize may vary from photo.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday: Organized Activities

I'm so excited, B has her first dance class today! She's going as a guest with her friend and it's the place I've been wanting to take her to, we're both thrilled. I love the idea that she will have an outlet for some of her energy and she loves to dance!

During my research I found a few places that offered classes for infants (4 months old) and it begs the question:

What is too early for organized activities?


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bonus Tuesday Tip

Here's a tip from The Mrs. on her blog, Trying Our Best, which I follow. The tip tells you how to get stuck gunk off of your pans and dishes! I actually posed this question on Facebook not too long ago when I was trying to figure out how to get some sticky gunk off of a cookie sheet, and I remember someone telling me to do this. :)

Handy Kitchen Tip

Tuesday Tips: Dryer Sheets

I absolutely love dryer sheets and the way they smell but using them once is such a waste to me. So I started coming up with creative ways to reuse my dryer sheets so that way they wouldn't go to waste, especially since after only one use most dryer sheets still have some scent and static protection left in them. Here a few ideas to share:

1) Dusting: used dryer sheets can knock the dust off nearly any surface, including furniture, blinds, car interiors, baseboards/molding.

2) Keep your clothes fresh: tuck a few sheets in your drawers to keep that ‘just-washed’ smell happening for weeks. Throw one in your dirty clothes hamper to prevent any odors from escaping into your bedroom.

3) Scrub your showers: Lightly wet a used dryer sheet, and scrub to remove soap build-up and mineral deposits.

4) Reduce static cling: Pat your self with a sheet to combat static on your clothes, stockings, and even long hair! Keep a few in your purse to help in the drier winter months while you are out and about.

5) De-stink your pets: Scrub incoming dogs or cats (especially wet ones) with a dryer sheet before they come back into your home. You can also place one in your litter box to cut down on odors.

6) Clean your laundry room: When you finish drying a load, hold on to the dryer sheet, and wipe down the inside of your dryer’s drum, your lint trap, the outside of your washing machine and dryer, and scrub away any excess or spilt laundry detergent.

7) Wipe up hair: A dryer sheet is perfect to wipe up pet hair from your furniture, or even your own hair from your bathroom.

8) While traveling: Place a few dryer sheets in between items in your suitcase to keep both your clothes fresh and to prevent your items from picking up any mustiness from old luggage.

9) For diapers: Keep a few sheets in a baggie in your diaper bag so if you get caught having to change a diaper you can't dispose of right away, wrap a sheet around the diaper to prevent odors before you have a chance to throw it away.

10) In you vacuum cleaner: Place a dryer sheet in your vacuum bag or dust containment unit. As the hot air moves as you vacuum, you’ll bulk up your cleaning efforts. (Make sure this is in NO WAY a fire hazard)

Lastly, if you want to make your box of dryer sheets last longer, cut them in half. They are just as effective even cut in half!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Toy of the Week: Hexbugs

I'd like to introduce you to the coolest ant I've ever seen! E-Ray got one of these for Christmas from my parents. When we turned it on and placed it on the carpeted floor, we weren't sure what to expect. As soon as it touched the floor it began racing all around the room, and thanks to it's antennae, whenever it ran into something it would instantly reverse direction. We were all VERY ammused! This is by far one of the coolest little toys I've ever seen. I believe the age on the package said 8 years and up, but I'm not sure why. My 3 year old LOVED it! The only downfall is that the batteries don't last very long.

There are actually a variety of creepy crawlies in the Hexbug family. There is the Original, which resembles a roach, an inchworm, a crab, and the nano. We have a couple of the nanos. They are pretty cool and always a favorite among E-Rays friends when they come over to play. They like to watch them go down the stairs. The batteries on these little guys last much longer than the ants, but they don't work on carpet.

I look forward to adding to our Hexbug collection, and I forsee these being popular birthday gifts for E-Ray's friends. :)

If you want to get your hands on these and don't want to wait for shipping, I know they sell them in store at Radio Shack. I haven't seen them elsewhere, but Toys R Us sells them online, so they may have them in the store as well. I do suggest picking up extra batteries right away. If your kids love them as much as my little guy does, you'll need them!

You can become a fan of Hexbugs on Facebook.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Opportunity to Weigh-in!

No, it's not Wednesday, but here's another opportunity for you to weigh-in! Parents Magazine wants to know what your favorites are when it comes to baby gear.

"From bottles to highchairs, diapers to bath time, we want to hear all about your favorite baby gear! Vote once in every category to make sure all of your favorite things get recognition!"

The Pick Your Faves: Best for Babies Awards will be featured in the October issue.

Pick Your Faves!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: Cleaning Hard Floors

After moving into a home with primarily hard wood floors for the first time, I truly miss carpet! Sure, wood floors are attractive, but when you have an 80 pound yellow lab that sheds, they are a nightmare! Vacuuming carpeted floors is SO much easier than sweeping and mopping hard floors.

My only experience with a traditional mop was in the Navy. As an Operations Specialist, whose job is pretty unessential when the ship is in port, I swabbed the deck quite a bit. I found the mops to be absolutely disgusting and vowed to never use one again.

I put my swabbing days behind me and bought a Swiffer Wet Jet. Let me first say, I obviously always sweep before I mop. I used the Swiffer in my home in Great Lakes, where I had laminent flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms and tile in the basement. It did ok. It always seemed to leave a bit of a film behind and wasn't great at getting dried up little messes off the floor, but I never felt like trying anything new. If something stuck I would just resort to a brillo pad.

Now, in the new house with the wood floors, I just couldn't stand the film left behind by the swiffer. I decided to try a steam mop. I'm pleased with it. The steam sanitizes and certainly breaks up dried messes better than the swiffer. I have the SteamFast Floor Steam Mop, which I think is very reasonably priced, and as I said, I am happy with it.

What do you use to clean your hard flooring? Why do you like it? Did you try anything in the past that didn't meet your expectations?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Ingredient Substitutions

Have you ever found yourself in a baking mood, pulled out the ingredients for your masterpiece and realized that you were missing an egg or some vegetable oil?? Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up your baking, try these substitutions if you are in a pinch.

baking powder (1 teaspoon): 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

buttermilk (1 cup): 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup (let mixture stand 5-10 minutes)

cake flour (1 cup): 3/4 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift together

cornstarch for thickening (1 tablespoon): 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

flour, self-rising (1 cup): 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon salt

sour cream (1 cup): 1 cup plain yogurt

milk,evaporated whole (1 cup): 1 cup half & half

eggs (1 whole egg): 2 egg whites or 2 egg yolks

cooking wine: You can replace red cooking wine with the same quantity of grape juice or cranberry juice. To replace white cooking wine use apple juice or white grape juice. The flavor will be affected somewhat.

fresh lemon zest (1 teaspoon): 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract.

allspice (1 teaspoon): 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

white granulated sugar (1 cup): 1/2 cup molasses or corn syrup but liquid in the recipe must be reduced by 1/2 cup. OR 3/4 cup honey but reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup. OR if you don't mind the change in flavor, you can use 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Hope these help you in a pinch!!!