Friday, October 22, 2010


Everyone knows that kids love to arrange and rearrange and change toys and patterns while playing.  Well, Velcro Kids has figured out how to create endless play for kids!  Velcro Kids has created three-dimensional playsets in which children can play, peel, and place pieces anywhere they want on the playset.  Play sets currently include the VELCRO KIDS Royal Princess Castle Fantasy Deluxe Playset and the Velcro Kids Pirate Ship Adventure Deluxe Playset.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Pirate Ship playset!  This play set includes 3 fabric wall pieces that create 4 adjustable rooms, 1 double sided fabric floor creating 2 floor choices, 1 double sided fabric deck creating 2 deck choices, 1 fabric sail with a plastic mast, 1 plank, 2 pirates and their stands, and 34 HOOX decorative pieces and storage bag.  Now, you might be wondering what HOOX is all about.  The pieces in this play set are made of a "tear-resistant film and have VELCRO® brand soft touch small hooks covering the backs". You don't have to worry about the pieces getting torn or broken either.  Kids can also arrange and rearrange the play sets hundreds of times and move and dress the pieces however they want.

The best things about this toy is that kids can assemble and create the playset themselves!  How many times has your child wanted to play with a toy or game, but still needed your help?  VELCO KIDS has independent play build right in.  As a perent, you have to love that!  Another great thing about this toy is that ot stores flat, which is a great space saving feature.  It would also be great for travel.  Just pack it at the bottom of your child's suitcase! 

Don't forget to check out for more information! 

VELCRO KIDS provided me with the product featured abouve to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Homemade Glass Cleaner

I recently came across some disturbing information regarding the toxins in everyday products that most of us use.  I was shocked and upset by some of the findings.  When I became pregnant with Mason, I became more aware of the harmful effects of cleaning products, gardening products, etc. and I did not go near them unless I had to...and with many open windows.  Now that Mason is into everything I really need to be careful that he does not accidentally ingest any harmful products that we may use for cleaning.  And, now, when I think of ingest, it is to drink or inhale.  So, I have decided I would make some of my own natural, green, and surprisingly cost effective cleaning products.  I have already posted about a natural granite counter-top cleaner.  Today, it is home-made window cleaner. 

Fact: Window cleaners contain harmful ingredients such as Ammonia, Diethylene Glycol and Glycol Ethers.
I have posted 3 different "recipes", depending on your individual needs.  The recipe using ammonia would be good for tough, outdoor cleaning.  Otherwise, I suggest using the non-toxic formulas for indoor and light to medium cleaning.  Here is what you will need:

Recipe #1
  • Spray Bottles
  • Cleaning Cloths
  • 1/2 cup ammonia
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol

Recipe #2:
  • Spray Bottle
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 liter water
  • Capful of lemon juice
  • (optional) few drops food coloring

Recipe #3: Non-Toxic Recipe
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A spray bottle

What You Do:

Fill the spray bottle with above listed ingredients.  Simply use as you would any other glass cleaner.

I am NEVER buying commercial glass cleaner again!  Not only is this dirt cheap to make, but I can use it on my windows AND it makes my mirrors streak free.  I can never get my mirrors streak free, and that drives me crazy! 

I feel most comfortable using a non-toxic glass cleaner.  The benefits outweigh the potential harmful effects.  It is also less expensive, as there are no harsh chemicals or fumes, it effectively removes fingerprints and other window grime, and doesn't leave streaks. I also came across this article on topic discussing little known uses for vinegar.


1) Do not reuse empty cleaner bottles. Buy a new bottle for your glass cleaner.
2) Always label the contents of your cleaner bottles.
3) Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

A Special Warning:

Many glass cleaner recipes found on the web contain ammonia and/or isopropyl alcohol. According to an article, Window Cleaner, in the New York Times, these ingredients are poisonous when swallowed or inhaled in large quantities.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kidz Bop Dance Party: The Video Game for Wii Review

I love the Wii.  Plain and simple.  The games are so much fun and there are always good times to be had when family and friends come over. I by no means have a background in dancing.  I admit, I love to dance, and I was so excited when I received this game to review.  This was right up my alley!  That being said, it doesn't negate the fact that when it comes to dance moves, I am seriously lacking.  OK, I really have no  moves!  This game taught me simple dance moves that will translate easily to other dance songs.  So when you have to get up and dance at that next wedding or party, you can pull out your KIDZ BOP moves and get down and groove!  Most importantly, you will have fun!

Kidz Bop Dance Party: The Video Game is awesome!  This dancing game for the Wii features 24 popular KIDZ BOP dance hits.  Players can:
  1. Customize their own character with cool clothes and accessories
  2. Choose 5 different gameplay modes
  3. Get helpful hints from KIDZ BOP Kids, Dana and Valerie
Songs include Party in the USA, Thriller, Disturbia, Fire Burning, Paparazzi, and many more! In KIDZ BOP fashion, all the songs are sung by kids and any inappropriate lyrics have been replaced.

There is no dance pad used for this game.  Instead, it is like other Wii games in that you use the motion sensitive controller in your hand to relay the dance moves.  The characters in the game demonstrate the moves very clearly and this makes it easy for you to follow and dance.  You can also follow on screen arrows which tell you which way to move the remote.  This was a big help for me since I found that I have two left feet most of the time and get my left and right mixed up quite often!
I love musical games and this game is great for kids who will actually learn some real dance steps they can take away from the game. Kids are exposed to nice rhythm based dance moves that will help young kids with coordination skills.   Each song completed earns your character points that you can spend on new clothes and accessories, which are also age-appropriate.  There also doesn't seem to be any penalties for missing steps, which is really a nice feature for young players.  This helps to get youngsters up and moving, which I think we need more of.  Kids can just dance and have fun and not worry about looking silly or messing up.

If you have a child that loves pop music, the Wii, dancing, singing, having fun, or laughing, this game is a must for the holidays this year.  You won't be sorry!

Price: $39.95
Rating: E for Everyone

KIDZ BOP provided me with the product reviewed above in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zhu Zhu Pets Review and Giveaway (Closed)

Just about every child I know wants a pet.  When I was little I had pets.  I had fish, a dog, and a hamster.  My hamsters name were Mickey and Squeaky.  They were so soft and cuddly, but best of all, so much fun to play with.  I would watch them run in their wheel, and in their tunnels, and best of all, the ball.  That was until they escaped.  Then we had a scavenger hunt on our hands!  We found the hamsters in the heating vents, chewing the leg of the coffee table, behind the TV or wherever they could squeeze their little bodies!  And, I was only able to get the hamster when I was old enough to take care of it myself.  I had to feed it, give it water daily, play with it, and change its cage...(YUCK!)

If you buy a Zhu Zhu Pet, you won't have to worry about any of this.  If you remember, Zhu Zhu Pets were one of the hottest toys for the 2009 holiday season.  I will bet that 2010 will be no different with the introduction of new Zhu Zhu's and the Kung Zhu line of Zhu Zhu pets. 

These plush robotic hamsters are the cutest!  They are fun and entertaining for kids and adults alike.  They run around the house just like real hamsters, get under the sofa, in and out of corners and continue wiggling around, just like a real hamster.  These Zhu Zhu's are interactive, have their own personality and make their own unique sounds.  I will also tell you that they do look real.  From someone who occasionally gets a mouse in the house, when I have to stop and take a second look to see if it is real, I'd say that is pretty lifelike.

I wanted to find out more about how these little hamsters work.  A review I found that explains that the "underside of each hamster is covered in molded plastic -- called bump codes -- that keeps the furry creatures from repeating the same moves over and over again".  That is what makes them so life like and realistic.  Their unpredictability makes them so much fun.

There are three modes of play these Zhu Zhu Pets.  The modes include Talk Mode, Explore Mode, and Sleep Mode.  In Talk Mode,  is considered the "nurturing and loving" mode.  You can press the head button to make your pet make many cute sounds.  The Explore Mode allows your pet to get out there and have some real fun!  You press the back button to activate your Pet and then let them loose to scamper around.  If your hamster bumps it's nose, it will back up to find a clear path to run about.  If you hamster accidentally falls over, the tilt sensor will be activated and the motor on your hamster will stop and it will go into Talk Mode.  The Sleep Mode will let your Pet rest and conserve the batteries.  You can activate it again by pressing on the head or back button. 

There are so many accessories that go along with the Zhu Zhu Pets.  You can find clothes, habitats, play sets, and so much more to go along with your new Pet.  Your child will have many hours of imaginative play with these toys.  Zhu Zhu Pets will help your child to develop an imaginary world where these hamster come alive. 

These toys are recommended for ages 4 and up.  I did let my 18 month old son play with the Zhu Zhu's (with supervision).  He loved the hamster!  He laid on the floor to watched it run around and he squealed and laughed as it chased him around the kitchen.  I would not let him play with this on his own since it does have wheels and there is a waring that your hair could get caught.  My son doesn't have much hair at this point, so I am really more concerned with the moving parts. 

As a parent, I can see the upside of these hamsters. You can allow you child to have a pet without all fuss, mess, and arguments that may ensue after the high of having a new pet happens.  There is no messy cage, smell or chewed furniture to worry about either!

Here are some of the Bios you will find on ZhuZhu Pets Website.

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Toy Nugget: Nugget is the dreamer of the Zhu Zhu Pets crew.  Her head is often in the clouds, but her paws are on the ground!  Her favorite thing to do is catch butterflies and find shapes in the clouds.

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Toy Patches: Patches is the Zhu Zhu hamster that is always on the move.  She loves flowers and will do anything, run on the wheel, slip on slides, and go through crazy u-turns to sniff some delicious petals.  While she is always moving and running around, she still makes time to spend with her human friends.  Patches is huggable, lovable, zhu-zhu-zhu-oom-able hamster and friend.

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Toy Peachy: Peachy is a southern belle, who is known for her cuteness, hospitality, and award winning peach cobbler.  Everyone in the country tries to replicate her recipe, but no one has ever been successful!  When we asked Peachy what was the secret ingredient, she said lots of sugar, darlin'!"

Check out Zhu Zhu Pets online too.  You will find  Hamster Bios,  Fun and Games, News and Events, Info and Instructions, and much more!  Zhu Zhu Pets sell for about $9.99 each and accessories like clothes and battle armor, retail for about $4.99-$7.99.  Additional play sets will retail from $9.99 to $19.99.

Cepia, LLC provided me with the products above in order to facilitate this product review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Winner of the ZhuZhu Pet is Danielle M!.  The winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond to my email.  If not, another winner will be chosen. 

There are three things you can do to earn an entry.  Please fill out the form for EACH entry, including the bonus entries.  You may enter once a day, including each bonus entries.  Multiple entries other than the daily entries will be deleted.  This giveaway will run from 12:00pm on 10/20/10 to 12:00pm on 10/27/10.

Send Earnings

If you liked Inbox Dollars, you will like Send Earnings.  Quite honestly, it is essentially the same as the Inbox Dollars Program.  So, my thought is....if you have one account running, why not 2.  This way you can essentially double your money.  It really doesn't get any easier.  I often receive the same exact offers from Inbox Dollars and Send Earnings.

If you remember from Inbox Dollars, advertisers pay  Send Earnings to reach consumers like you. Send Earnings shares the revenues received from advertisers with their Members.  Send Earnings is 100% free to join. In fact, they will pay you! Simply complete their sign up form and they will credit your account $5.00 just for trying their service.
Plus, there are so many other ways to earn money through InboxDollars.  Some offers include:

     * Cash offers and 100% free offers in which you can earn cash for trying
        new products and  services.
     *Cash surveys in which you can earn cash for sharing your opinion. 
       There are new survey every day and you can earn $0.50 for every
       completed survey.
     *Cash games in which you can earn cash back into your Send Earnings
       account on every game entry fee.  
     *Cash shopping in which you can earn cash back with your favorite
     *Cash coupons in which you can earn $0.10 for every coupon you
       print and redeem.
     *Cash tasks in which you can earn cash for completing easy tasks.

Send Earnings, like Inbox Dollars, generally sends 2 or 3 Paid Emails per day to your email account. This is the easiest way I earn money.  By clicking on the daily emails I receive, I earn .02 in my Send Earnings account.  After clicking the confirmation link, my account gets credited instantly and I am taken to an Advertiser’s web site.  It doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. Once your account balance reaches $30.00, you may request a payment.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Disney's Tangled Featuring Rapunzel Braiding Friends Hair Braider by Mattel

When I was a little girl, I had a ton of Barbies. I had most of the accessories, including the inflatable 70's furniture.  That was my favorite!  Well, Mattel continues to bring joy to little girls with their new Rapunzel Braiding Friends Hair Braider.  This is Disney inspired by their new animated feature film, TangledTangled will be released in theaters on November 24, 2010.

Girls can now braid Rapunzel's hair with help from her little animal friends.  All you have to do is give a strand of hair to each animal friend and turn the braiding wheel. The best part, it actually makes a perfect braid!  Girls will surely love braiding Rapunzel's hair over and over again.  Rapunzel and her friends can also be removed from the braiding base for independent play from the braider.

This set includes the Rapunzel doll with her signature gown and shoes from the Tangled movie, animal friends (rabbit, raccoon, and squirrel figures), braiding wheel, a brush, hair ribbons, and accessories for her hair.

Disney Tangled Featuring Rapunzel Braiding Friends Hair Braider is for girls aged 3+.  It retails for about $29.99.

Disney Consumer Products provided me with the product reviewed above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Evenflo Booster Seat Recall

Evenflo Co. is recalling nearly 14,000 of its Maestro combination child booster seats because of a crack that developed in laboratory tests.

The voluntary recall affects seats with model numbers starting with 310. They were built from Nov. 24, 2009 to April 9 of this year. Another 4,479 seats are being recalled in Canada. They were made through April 26 of this year.

The company says it will send notices to registered owners of the seats. Evenflo plans to distribute an easily installed reinforcing bracket that will fix the problem.

Consumer Reports magazine said the recall came after its tests showed the seat can crack and fail in a simulated 30 mph frontal collision.

Children weighing under 40 pounds should not use the seat without the repair bracket, Evenflo said in a statement. Those over 40 pounds can still use it as a seat belt-positioning booster until the repair kit arrives, the company said.  Evenflo said it will remove all the affected seats from store shelves.

Model numbers of the seats can be found on a white label behind the seat above the highest shoulder belt slot, the company said. It said other Maestro models are not affected.

Seat owners can go to the company's website,, for more information. They can call 1-800-233-5921 between 8 am and 5 p.m. EDT to get a free reinforcement kit.

Consumer Reports said the Maestro, which costs about $80, can be used with its own five-point harness as a conventional child safety seat, or it can be used by larger children as a booster seat anchored by a car's seat belt.

An outside laboratory hired by the magazine found that the plastic shell cracked and the harness was loosened in two seats during a simulated crash. Both failures came when the seat was used with its own five-point harness, the magazine said.

Source: WPVI, Channel 6 News, Philadelphia