Saturday, April 24, 2010

V-Fusion Picnic at the Beach!

I've written about V8 V-Fusion before. The first time I saw it at Campbell's HQ last year, I turned up my nose and said something like, "Ew, vegetables do NOT belong in juice! Gross!" However, my fellow bloggers insisted the juice didn't taste like vegetables and urged me to try it. I'm so glad I did! I love this stuff! It's delicious which is reason enough to like it, but it's also got a full serving of fruit AND a full serving of vegetables in every 8 oz. glass!

My four-year-old, Brooklyn's food groups consist of chocolate milk, macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, and candy. She's my sixth. I gave up long ago. What can I say? I'm a bad mom. Anyway, I love that I can give Brooklyn a glass of V-Fusion and rest assured that she's getting at least two servings of fruits and vegetables in a juice that she likes to drink. I know, I know, we're supposed to have 4000-some servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, but let's be realistic here. How many of us really do get the recommended amount? This is an easy and delicious way to sneak in two servings daily.

And V8 V-Fusion is 100% juice with no added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors. You can definitely feel good about serving this to your family! And now, V-Fusion is available in 6-packs of 8 oz. cans which are perfect for sticking in lunch boxes or taking along to the park, zoo, or a picnic at the beach.

Want to give V-Fusion a try? You can print a coupon for $1 off HERE!

Leave me a comment here to win this awesome beach tote/cooler filled with goodies from V8 including beach towels, two 6-packs of V-Fusion and The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers cookbook which gives great tips to make classic meals a little healthier for your families. "Like" V-Fusion on Facebook HERE and leave me a comment letting me know for another chance to win. Open to residents of the U.S. No purchase necessary to win. I'll choose a random winner on Friday, May 7.

I was given a beach tote with V-8 to try out and review, but was not monetarily compensated for my review. As always, my opinions are my own and are always honest.

Jawbone ICON

Need an idea for Mother's Day? The new Jawbone ICON lets Moms multi-task by giving them hands-free connectivity. You know, because that's what moms do. They multi-task. I don't think I ever talk on the phone while just sitting down. Never. I clean the bathroom, wash dishes, fold laundry, pour cups of juice and make grilled cheese sandwiches, and tell the kids they can't bring the sandbox into the house all while talking on the phone.

But do you have any idea how many times I've inadvertently disconnected my friends and family while talking on the phone and doing some other task? I think I disconnect my mom nearly every time I talk to her. And at least half of those times it's by accident. Kidding. Just kidding, Mom! Seriously though, I'll have the phone cradled between my shoulder and ear while I fold laundry and I'll turn my head to yell at the kids tell my kids something and suddenly I hear a dial tone. How often does this happen to you?

The Jawbone ICON bluetooth headset is good to use around the house, but it's even better for driving. You have to have a hands-free device to talk while driving in Chicago (and many other states and cities). And now that my oldest kids are just about to driver's ed age, I'm especially conscious of my behaviors while driving. I want to make sure they pick up good habits from me.

I first wrote about the Jawbone 2 about two years ago. I really liked it at the time I reviewed it. The only thing that bothered me about the unit is that the talk button was inconveniently located, in my opinion. I inadvertently hung up on people often with the older model. The new ICON is awesome though! It's smaller than the original Jawbones and super simple to use. The talk button is now in a location where I don't accidentally press it during a conversation. The ICON comes with several customizing options, including an earloop and several earbuds for perfect fit. And, of course, it still comes with NoiseAssassin which blocks out background noises really well. Your caller won't hear the kids in the background fighting over the last piece of pizza! It's amazing! Seriously, you have to try it!

I've got a new Jawbone ICON "The Bombshell" (pictured at the top) to give away to one lucky reader! Leave me a comment here with how you'd use this to multi-task to be entered. "Like" Jawbone on Facebook HERE, then leave me a comment saying you liked them for another chance to win. I'll choose a random winner on Friday, May 7th. No purchase necessary. Contest open to U.S. residents.

I was given an Jawbone ICON to review, but was not paid to write about it. As always, my opinions are my own and are always honest.


The winner of the Minimize Morning Madness gift basket from Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean is:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:17
Timestamp: 2010-04-24 18:50:08 UTC

Pam said...
A maid would be wonderful ... but that won't happen here!


The winners of the $25 Safety Tats gift cards are:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:20
Timestamp: 2010-04-24 18:55:00 UTC

Caryn said...
I just became a fan! I have 5 kids under age 7 and it is so hard to keep a hand on all of them when we go anywhere. These would really come in handy!


Tara said...
I'd love to give these a try... money's tight so I haven't purchased any yet, but I think they'd be great for my 4 year old son, who has non-verbal autism and likes to wander.

Congratulations to all the winners! And thank you to everyone who checked out these reviews and/or left comments!

Winners, please email me at with your contact information.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pop-Tarts Winner!

The winner of the $100 Visa gift card from Pop-Tarts and BlogHer is

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:9
Timestamp: 2010-04-22 20:04:53 UTC

akhughes said...
I like to have a bag of homemade frozen pancakes on hand for a quick, but hot breakfast.

Congratulations! You have until Saturday, April 24 at 3:00PM central time to email me at with your shipping information. If I haven't heard from you then, I'll choose another random winner.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day with Disney!

Disney has come up with some fun new products for Earth Day! Hurry in to a Disney store near you or order online HERE because these products are only here until Earth Day, April 22.

The little alien plush would be eternally grateful if we took steps to make this planet greener.

The new Save Planet Earth totebags are made from seven recycled bottles! It's a pretty cool, sturdy tote, if I do say so myself! I can't believe they're made from old, melted down, plastic bottles!

The hard cover journal is made from recycled paper.

And the aluminum bottle can reused indefinitely, saving the earth from hundreds of plastic water bottles over time.

And remember, Disney Store guests who bring in six plastic bottles or aluminum cans on Earth Day, April 22, will receive a free Disney’s “Friends for Change” and Oceans (the new Disneynature film) hat made from recycled plastic bottles (while supplies last)!

And leave me a comment here for a chance to win a gift pack of these Earth Day products from Disney!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pong Phone Case

I was sent a Pong iPhone case to try out. It came at a good time as the case I'd been using had just broken. So, I slipped it on and thought - Yep, it fits my phone. It seems really sturdy. So what? What makes this case any different from any other case out there?

So, I took a look at their website. The first thing I read on the site is "Proven to reduce cell phone radiation." Cell phone radiation? Radiation? As in "Put this lead apron on while we take your xray so you don't mutate" radiation? Ok, clearly I'm clueless because I've never even considered radiation exposure during the 8 million times I use my cell phone every day. I'm probably the only person over the age of 5 who was unaware of the threat of radiation from cell phone use. Naturally, after hearing this news, I packed up the kids and headed to our underground cave away from all harmful substances. And sunlight. And fresh air. And Justin Bieber songs.

So, I researched and after reading several articles on the matter, came to the conclusion that although there may not be any concrete proof that cell phone use can cause cancer in your brain and other areas around your ear, there haven't been many studies done. Long-term studies haven't been conducted and I believe the studies that were done, took into consideration, average cell phone use, not people who spend hours a day on their phones. And what about kids who start using cell phones in grade school? What about their long-term exposure starting while they're young and more suseptible to the radiation? My friend Mimi's son died from brain cancer. My best friend's brother is battling brain cancer now. It's not a pretty thing. This information freaked me out! enlightened me.

I not only use my cell phone frequently, but when I'm not using it, I keep it in my pants pocket. I also sleep with it right by my pillow because I use it as my alarm. After reading these articles, a part of me wanted to drown my phone in the hot tub again. But let's be realistic here. I know, I know, generations of people got along just fine without cell phones, but I don't really want to go that route. There's got to be a way to have and use a cell phone, but cut down any potential risks too.

Which brings me back to the Pong case. It's designed to direct cell phone radiation away from your head. Using technology that I don't understand, Pong redirects your cell phone's radiation while maintaining full signal strength. I can attest to the fact that the case doesn't interfere with my signal at all. And testing has shown the Pong case to to reduce specific absorption rate for the iPhone 3GS by over 60%. (Wired Magazine witnessed testing of the Pong case and confirmed their claims HERE.)

* Using a Pong case could reduce the amount of radiation absorbed into your head while talking on your cell phone.

* Also, texting and emailing instead of talking on the phone can cut down radiation going into your head.

* Holding the phone away from your head a couple inches helps too. Or better yet, put your cell on speaker phone.

* Don't store your cell phone on your body (like carrying it in your jeans pocket all day long).

* Don't let your young children talk on your cell phone or play with it and pretend they're talking. Studies have shown that the smaller, developing brains in children absorb much more radiation than does an adult and since long-term studies haven't been conducted, it's better to be safe than sorry. Talk to older children about reducing the amount of exposure to them.

* Keep in mind that smartphones like iPhones and Blackberrys with 3G, 4G, etc. can emit spikes of radiation frequently, not just when you're talking on them.

* Use your landline at home and save the cell phone for emergencies when you're out.

Right now, the Pong case is available for the iPhone and Blackberry Curve. It's a sturdy silicone case that has protected my phone from my klutziness the effects of gravity. At $59.95 for the iPhone and $49.95 for the Blackberry, it's a little expensive for a case that doesn't even come in pink (only black or green). But the fact that it could help cut down your chances of being exposed to unwanted radiation and the health risks that come with it, makes it worth it in my book.

Readers can save $10 on a Pong case by using code "HGIMT" at checkout! Also, Pong is giving away one Pong case (your choice of iPhone or Blackberry case) to a reader. Leave me a comment here for a chance to win. Friend Pong Research on Facebook HERE and leave me a comment saying you did it for a second chance to win. Twitter about Pong and leave me a comment for every tweet you send out for even more chances to win. Contest open to residents of the U.S. No purchase necessary to win. I'll choose a winner on Friday, April 30.

I was given a Pong case to review, but have not been paid to write about it. As always, my opinions are my own and are always honest.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Safety Tats Tat-Builder

I've talked about Safety Tats a few times on my blogs. They remain one of my very favorite "created by a mom" products. For those of you new to Safety Tats, they're tattoos that contain your cell phone number (and other information, if you wish). You can apply them to your child's arm while you're out at the water park, Disney World, the museum, the mall, any place where your child might become separated from you. If you've ever had a child wander off or get separated even for just a minute, you know the heart-stopping fear that floods every fiber of your being. With Safety Tats, you can rest assured that if your child wanders off, you're just a phone call away from being reunited.

Safety Tats, which were awesome to begin with, just keep getting better. Creator, and mom of three, Michele came out with Quick Stick Write-On tattoos. These are my favorites! They're made with a proprietary tattoo material, Tateck®. These ultra-durable skin safe applique "tattoo" stickers are waterproof and will last an extra long time -- up to two weeks -- until you are ready to remove it. I use them on my little kids whenever we're out in a crowd. They were a life saver when we went to Disney World! (It's hard watching six kids at once!) Plus, you can use the included pen to write your cell phone number on the tattoo. This way, if grandma takes the kids on an outing, she can write her number on the tattoo and if dad has the kids for the day, he can put his cell phone number on them.

Now, they've come up with another cool idea - Tat-Builder, a design-it-yourself option! There are over 100,000 possible combinations. Users can select icon, background color, message, borders and add their own two lines of emergency contact information or special medical alert. You can't put a price on the value of keeping your kids safe, but at less than a dollar a tattoo, these are absolutely awesome!

They're easy to order! Just click the button on my sidebar. Stock up now for summer trips to the park, the zoo, and the pool! Save 10% off orders of $15 or more now by using discount code M26PackTatBuilder at checkout! Offer good until May 1st, so hurry!

Want a chance to win one of two - $25 Safety Tat gift cards? Friend Safety Tat on Facebook HERE, then leave me a comment with your contact information. I'll choose a winner on Friday, April 23rd! Contest open to U.S. residents. No purchase necessary to win.

I was not paid to write about Safety Tats. My opinions are my own and are always honest.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean

I was given the chance to try this Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean shower cleaner. Unfortunately, it didn't come with someone to do the cleaning for me. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

So I tried it. I have mixed feelings about this cleaner. First, it comes with a continuous spray trigger that operates on batteries. I personally didn't think this was necessary. I've never gotten a hand cramp from spraying cleaner in my shower. I don't need a bottle of cleaner that has batteries, enabling you to squeeze the trigger and spray continuously until you release the trigger. But if you like that kind of thing, refills are available so you can refill the bottle and replace the batteries as necessary, indefinately.

One of the cool things is that it smells good. I cannot stand the smell of most cleaners (especially bleach ones which burn my eyes and nose), but this one was surprisingly pleasant. It foams up pretty well too. And it did a good job of cleaning the glass and chrome areas of my shower. Here's the "before", soap scum encrusted picture. Well, the picture isn't soap scum encrusted. My shower wall is. You know what I mean.

Here's the "after" picture. In fact, this picture was taken 3 days and probably 12-14 showers later. The idea of this cleaner is that it continues to work for 4 days, keeping your shower surfaces free from soap scum so you have to clean less. I think it really does work quite well on glass surfaces. (the picture doesn't do it justice)

On the walls and floors of my shower, it didn't do such a great job. Then again, I have a very cheap shower made of a very thin plastic and that may have something to do with it because nothing, quite frankly, cleans the walls and floors too well.

But I do like how this Extend-A-Clean creates a barrier on your shower surfaces, keeping them clean for days. The less time I have to spend cleaning, the better, in my book. Really, all of us busy parents could use products that would enable us to spend less time cleaning. I personally think the best way to do that would be strapping the kids into little LaZBoys with 5-point harnesses so they couldn't destroy the house faster than we could clean it. But good bathroom cleaners help too!

And to help minimize your morning madness of packing lunches, signing homework, getting the kids up and dressed, making coffee, reminding the kids 50 times to pack their backpacks and remember their instruments and put on their shoes and stop hitting their sisters and, well, you get the idea. In between all that, it's hard to find time to even take a shower let alone clean a shower! So Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer has a Minimize Morning Madness gift basket for one lucky reader. Included in the gift basket is a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer, a travel alarm clock, a big coffee mug, Starbucks Via, and a waterproof notepad! Just leave me a comment here about what would make cleaning easier for you and I'll pick a random winner on Friday, April 23. Contest open to U.S. residents. No purchase necessary to enter.
I was given a gift basket to try the product, but have not been paid to write about it. As always, my opinions are my own and they're always honest.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Breakfast on the Fly!

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Kellogg’s® Pop-Tarts® Toaster Pastries

My teens are not big breakfast eaters. They would never eat eggs, bacon, cereal, toast, or the like before noon. Not that I'd ever get up and cook that for them before noon either. I'm not much of a morning person myself. Oftentimes they grab a quick, convenient breakfast to eat on the way to school. Here's a recipe I tried with my kids. Don't worry, it's nothing fancy or Alton Brownish. Anyone can make this. All you need is a box of Pop-Tarts (I used the unfrosted strawberry ones), a knife, and either a jar of peanut butter or a brick of cream cheese.

Spread peanut butter on one Pop-Tarts toaster pastry.

Top with a second Pop-Tart and cut in half. Now you have two peanut butter and strawberry jam Pop-Tart sandwiches.

Brooklyn, my child who only eats macaroni & cheese, and chocolate milk tried them.

They get a thumb's up from her! It's a miracle! She likes them!

The other way I tried making a Pop-Tart sandwich was with cream cheese.

Mmmm, strawberry cream cheese Pop-Tart sandwich!

So, what's your go-to breakfast for the kids? What to do you grab when you need to eat breakfast on the run? Leave me a comment about it for a chance to win $100 Visa gift card.

For more information about Pop-Tarts, go HERE.

For nine more chances to win, check out the special offers page!

For official rules, check HERE.

And don't forget to leave me a comment here with your go-to breakfast ideas to enter the drawing for a $100 Visa gift card from BlogHer!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who Says Pop-Tarts Are Just For Breakfast?

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Kellogg’s® Pop-Tarts® Toaster Pastries.

Want to win a $100 Visa gift card from BlogHer? Check out this fun treat you can make for your kids! Actually, your kids can even help make these. They're easy, fun, and yummy! You can find the recipe HERE (along with a picture of what it's supposed to look like!

You need Strawberry Milkshake Pop-Tarts, ice cream, and sprinkles. (I made some with Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tarts too!)

According to the recipe, you're supposed to cut the Pop-Tarts into quarters. I tried it that way, but had a hard time working with the small pieces. Julia Child I'm not. So, I just cut the rest of them in half.

Then you scoop some softened ice cream onto the Pop-Tart.

Top with a second Pop-Tart section and roll the edges in sprinkles.

Wrap in plastic wrap and throw in the freezer.

Take out and enjoy!

Yum! Nothing hits the spot like an ice cream treat after playing outside all day!

What's your go-to breakfast for the kids? Leave me a comment about it for a chance to win $100 Visa gift card.

For more information about Pop-Tarts, go HERE.

For nine more chances to win, check out the special offers page!

For official rules, check HERE.

And don't forget to leave me a comment here with your go-to breakfast ideas to enter the drawing for a $100 Visa gift card from BlogHer!