Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tell Me Thursday -- Superstition Farm

This is one of the cows living at Superstition Farm in Mesa.  On Thursday evenings, they have a Farmer's Market with fresh produce, local honey (the kids LOVE the honey), grass fed beef, fresh ice cream, and more.

When you drive up, you can see the herd of cows.  That is one of Lydia's favorite parts of visiting.  She likes to talk to the cows and was pretty miffed last week when they backed away when she came up to the fence.

What made me laugh the hardest, though, was when she noticed the tag on each cow's ear.  She turned to me and said "They're all for sale!  Mom, can we just buy one?"
The farm also has a food truck -- Super Farm Truck -- and we enjoyed dinner last week from the truck.  Lydia and Colin enjoyed the kids dog plate, Bo and Nate enjoyed juicy burgers with potato puffs and I had a grilled cheese with apple slices (which usually also has bacon, but they ran out that night).
We're happy to support local businesses, and I'm glad they stuck it out through the summer and will continue through the fall season.  My boys always insisted they didn't like honey, until they had the raw honey from Made By Bees.  I'm glad, because honey is the best cure for a sore throat!

If you're in the area, I highly recommend checking out the Superstition Farm on Thursday nights.  You'll find friendly people, great products, and you can even have dinner.  You can find them on the web, or on Facebook.

*Disclosure:  Nobody asked me to write this post.  I did it just because we enjoy our time there! *

And one last note, I know I missed a bunch of "Tell Me Thursday" posts.  Life has been extremely hectic lately, but I'm hoping that it will slow down a little bit and I can keep up with everything.  Some of those Wordless Wednesday posts of the past need their stories shared, so I will get to those as soon as I can!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: Soap Time (giveaway!)

I love that we get to try out some of the coolest new things that come on the market!

SoapTime® is a soap system that entertains kids and helps them wash their hands long enough to scrub away germs.  Different shaped soaps fit on the base, and when you press the dispenser, the base lights up and sings a song or shares a fun fact.  It's active for about 20 seconds, which is how long we're encouraged to wash our hands to get rid of germs.  Each soap bottle has a different theme with different songs and facts.

This system has been in our bathroom for a week or so now, and every once in a while I still hear a giggle when the kids wash their hands.  I also like it because it's a lot harder for them to just swish their hands under the running water for a second. 

Lydia was happy to do a video review, so here it is!

Thanks to Mom Select and SoapTime, I have a set of SoapTime® to share with one of my readers!  As always, please CLICK HERE to fill out my giveaway form.  The information you need to fill out the form is:

Giveaway Name: SoapTime®
Mandatory Question: How do you encourage regular hand washing?

Good Luck!  I will choose a winner on October 3, 2011.

Lydia wants me to tell you all that she forgot to say that the soap also smells really good!

You can learn more about the system at their website.  You can find the system at Bed, Bath & Beyond right now, and it should be available at more stores soon.

*Disclosure: I received SoapTime® from Mom Select and SoapTime in order to facilitate a review.  They also provided the giveaway product for one of my readers.  No additional compensation was provided.*

Wordless Wednesday -- Superstition Farm

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lydia's First Season of TBall

Lydia's TBall game

Bo put together this slide show from one of Lydia's tball games this season!  For some reason, I can't get it to embed, so hopefully the link works.

Review: Quest for Zhu DVD (Giveaway!)

You probably know that we like the Zhu Zhu pets in this house!  All 3 of my kids love playing with them and the playsets we've received.  I often find one tucked into Lydia's backpack when she heads off to childcare, and I can always count on finding at least one burrowed into her sheets at night.

The kids were pretty excited when we received a preview copy of the dvd -- Zhu Zhu Pets: Quest for Zhu !  They couldn't wait for a chance to watch it.

They watched it last week and they were NOT disappointed.  It's a cute story about the Zhu Zhu Pets and friendship.  Lydia appreciated it most, while the boys did find themselves laughing out loud a few times.  The animation was well done, and the story was perfect for the preschool / early elementary crowd.

Check out this cute video starring some of the pets in the movie:

We're excited that we have a copy to give away to one of our readers!   Click here to head over to my giveaway form, and then answer the mandatory questions.  I will draw a winner on October 3, 2011.

Giveaway Name: Quest for Zhu
Mandatory Question: Do you have a favorite Zhu Zhu pet?  Which one?

Good luck!!

You can find the dvd at local retailers, as well as online retailers, like Amazon.  Some of the packages include figurines, which are adorable.

*Disclosure: We received the dvd for review thanks to MomSelect and Cepia.  They also generously donated the giveaway dvd.  No further compensation was provided.*

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Sunport

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 16, 2011

Travel Tips

  • Remove the filter holder (or whatever it's called) in the coffee maker in the hotel room in order to make hot water that does not taste like coffee.  Also, carry your own tea bags in case they don't provide any in the room.  I love a cup of tea, but hate the taste of coffee. 

  • Sign up for all the hotel reward cards.  Even if you have no control over where you stay, and don't earn enough points for the "big" rewards (free nights), there are still nice perks.  Like free bottles of water at some locations, and free Internet access at others.  A reward card today saved me $12.95 daily Internet fees!  (I use a neat app for my iPhone called CardStar. It stores ALL my rewards cards on my phone so I don't have to carry any of them.  It's wonderful!)

  • Always Always Always pack a snack (or two.  or three.  or maybe even four.) You never know when you'll be hungry and the snacks you can pick up for $1-2 at the grocery store will cost you $3-5 on the road.
I just arrived in Florida, for my 6th work trip in the last 5 weeks, and I have to say that I've become quite adept at packing and traveling.  I figured out what the minimum is that I need (iPhone, laptop, iPod, GPS, Kindle, chargers for the first 4), plus a magazine or book to read during takeoff/landing.  Throw in tea, snacks and toiletries (and clothes of course!) and I'm good to go anywhere.

If I didn't need my laptop for work trips, I wouldn't carry on anything but my purse.  Since I do, I love the rolling computer bag that Bo gave me.  It's much easier on my shoulders than carrying it!  And, in a pinch, it does just barely fit under the seats when the overhead bins are full.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- sparkly

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Lorikeets

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Traveling Woes

My foot, my computer bag, in some airport
Middle of last week, I headed out for another business trip. They're pretty routine at this point-- I travel to a new city, teach a class the next day, and travel back home the day after that.

Last week, I started my first day at the wrong airport terminal and things continued the wrong way the entire day. I made it to the correct terminal, which was swarming with "explosives experts". Then, a medical emergency on one of the flights. I thought I was home free when I landed in Canada, only to be detained by Customs because I was lacking proper documentation, and told I was being denied entry.

Since there were no flights headed back to the US at that point, I was allowed to stay the night in a hotel (without my passport) with strict instructions to report back the following morning.  I did report back, with the proper documentation that had been emailed to me -- but at that point it was too late to conduct the training so I switched my flight to return that day.

Which turned into an almost 18 hour trip that had me crossing back and forth across the country multiple times before I finally was able to fall into Bo's car at the airport.  With an almost-missed connection in LA due to rowdy people who had to be escorted off the plane in Toronto. 

Over 2 days, I traveled just under 5000 miles!  And I never even got to do the training I started out to provide.

And, now I have a cold to top it all off.

Did I mention that I leave for another trip on Friday?  At least this one is within the United States!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Betty Crocker Cereal Treat Bars

We seem to be a family that's always on the go. A few months ago, I picked up a box of the Golden Grahams Treat bars so I would have something sweet to throw in my bag during a work trip.  I really liked the bars, and when I saw they also had a Lucky Charms version, I knew I had to pick up a box of those as well to tempt my "breakfast-avoider" child in the mornings before school.

When BlogSpark asked if I wanted to share some information about these bars, and host a giveaway, I couldn't say no!  They were already in my pantry and I was happy to receive 2 more boxes.

These cereal bars are a great snack to eat on the run, and paired with a piece of fruit -- I'm happy to see my oldest finally eat breakfast before heading out the door.  The bars have less than 140 calories each, which makes them a good snack option, in my opinion.

You can learn more about the treats at Betty Crocker's website, or on Betty Crocker's Facebook page.  My boys were also excited to see that these boxes offer double box tops, since their school is currently running a contest to see which class can bring in the most box tops to raise funds for a stage curtain at the school.

Betty Crocker and My Blog Spark have provided me with a fun back to school giveaway for one of my readers!  You could receive a box of the Lucky Charms cereal treat bars and a box of the Golden Grahams cereal treat bars, as well as a handy, insulated snack bag, set of watercolors and a message board.  The picture at the top of this post is an example of what you will receive.

To enter the giveaway, click on over to my Giveaway Entry Page (just click on those words to get there!) and answer the following questions:

Giveaway Name: Cereal Treats
Mandatory Question:  What do you do to make the "back to school" season more fun?

I will choose a winner on September 11, 2011 using  Good Luck!  Remember -- entries left in the comments do not count!

*Disclosure: I received a prize pack for my family, as well as one to give away to a reader, thanks to Betty Crocker and My Blog Spark.  No additional compensation was provided*

Review: Zhu Zhu Babies

Don't tell, but when my boys saw the ZhuZhu babies, they both said "oooo  how cute!  But, don't tell anyone I said that!"

ZhuZhu Babies are the latest version of ZhuZhu pets and they are adorable.  We received a party pack to share with friends and a nursery set for the kids to play with.  These miniature ZhuZhu have their own name, birthmark, birthday and collector's code.  They have sweet features and all come with sweet little accessories (so not the best toy for young kids who put things in their mouths).  My kids had a hard time choosing which baby to choose for themselves. When our guests came over, we handed them out and nobody was unhappy with the creature they received.

The kids had a great time with the Baby Bedroom Set.  It had cradles for 3 pets and a place for a momma ZhuZhu to rock them all to sleep.  It was really cute, and the kids had a great time playing with all the pieces.

These little collectibles are very sweet and the kids wrapped them up in their blankets and took turns rocking them in the cradles.

We wrapped up the party with miniature snacks (mini marshmallows, mini pretzels and mini chocolate chips) and drank juice from tiny cups.

I am amazed at all the new ideas that Cepia comes up with for ZhuZhu pets.  There hasn't been a set yet that we've played with that hasn't brought fun to our home!  You can find them at major retailers as well as

In addition to the cool toys, they also have a website full of activities and information about the Zhu-Universe.  Check it out with your kids!

*Disclosure: We received a party pack with the Baby Bedroom and ZhuZhu babies to share with our friends.  No additional compensation was provided.  We want to thank MomSelect and Cepia for giving us the opportunity to play and review their latest product.*

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