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Entries in review (43)

Tuesday
Aug042009

Coco Le Cochon - Teaches kids the value of hard work...and fancy mushrooms (Truffles)

I took French throughout high school and while I can't remember much beyond "A croissant with ham and cheese please" (un croissant avec jabon et frommage s'il vous plait), I can speak with an accent that would put Juliette Binoche on alert.

C'est Francais!

And so the first thing I noticed about this new children's book, Coco Le Cochon, is the title. Oui! Francais!

Not only does it make it feel like a fancy children's book...it soooo much fun to say (with the right accent s'il vous plait).

Luckily for us all, the book is NOT written in French. At least the copy I was given is not.

Lesson One: Don't take your pedigree for granted

The book starts out with a little history - Coco comes from a long line of successful truffle hunters and so he feels no need to actually LEARN how to hunt for truffles. He is lazy in school, at home, and often mean to his friends.

Lesson Two: Don't steal, especially from someone smaller than you

During the big truffle hunt Coco realizes he has no clue where to find truffles. Everyone around his is finding them. When he accidentally runs into a much smaller pig and knocks over his basket, he takes one of the truffles and claims he found it himself. The people of the town know he's lying because Coco said he found it under a Pine tree (and everyone knows truffles don't grow under pine trees).

Lesson Three: Promptly admit when you are wrong or things can get worse

The Mayor banishes Coco (ok, a little harsh for a kid book but it's not like we parents haven't had that thought once or twice) who is sent to live with his uncle and consider what he did.  Luckily he comes back better, remorseful, and smarter, because the little pig has gone through a tremendous growth spurt and could eat Coco in one bite.

How Many Thumbs?

PROS: Very cute and colorful photos that the Twofer explored in detail. Story covers valuable life lessons.

CONS: I'm not sure my kids understood the value of a truffle hunter as opposed to something more mainstream like a fisherman...but we'll see if any questions arise tomorrow after they've slept on it.

Bottom line, Coco Le Cochon got my kids thinking about the lessons and asking questions. So I'm giving it a Twofer Thumbs Up for a cute story that helps parents talk to their kids about morals and ethics.

To learn more and purchase Coco Le Cochon ($10.95 for a limited time) visit the website http://cocolecochon.com.

Janine

Product Supplies By

Coco Le Cochon

Wednesday
Jul012009

Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters - two big thumbs up



I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed my samples of Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters from My Blog Spark and so I will do pros and cons for this review.

Pros

(or, why I freakin love these things)
1. Super Delicious...nutty, crunchy, sweet and salty all in one
2. Filling...they definitely take the edge off that 3:00 hunder
3. Portable...come in resealable bags that are great for car trips, a picnic, the beach or the pool.
4. No high fructose corn syrup...real honey and sugar used for sweetening

Cons

(or why I might suggest you not try them in the first place cause you're gonna love them)
1. Not Low Fat....but not horrible if you limit it (7 clusters are 160 calories and 10 grams of fat)
2. Addictive...see number 1
3. They won't last very long...see number 2

New Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters comes in four flavors: Honey Roasted Peanut, Granola Nut Clusters, Roasted Almond, and Roasted Cashew.

Get a $1.00 off any bag of Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters (you'll see link at the bottom of the home page) and then tell me what you think!

Janine
Product provided by

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Tuesday
Jun302009

What's "Good For The Kids" is good for the parents at this online store


I only wish there was a shop like this when the Twofer were little. But way back then (6 years ago) there wasn't as much information out there about the plastic that was used in baby bottles or the lead paint often found in toys we import.

Safe and Affordable for Babies and Big Kids


GoodForTheKids.com is one place where you know the things you buy are safe. They have everything from BPA-free bottles to Melissa & Doug brand toys. The prices are very competitive (most of my items were $5.99 or lower). And many come with a lifetime guarantee.

The site is easy to navigate and you simply pick a category: Play - Feed - Nurture - Engage or Shop By Brand. Here you'll find unique products that will satisfy even the most (and I can say this because I'm one of them) neurotic mother, while providing exactly what the child either wants (in my case) or needs.

Thanks to Momfluence and GoodForTheKids.com I have the opportunity to test a number of Melissa & Doug craft products like:

Origami Paper

Take-Along Water Color Set and

Jumbo Triangular Sidewalk Chalk.

These have really come in handy as I put my Summer Survival Guide to the test!

And the Tooth Fairy Box would have been helpful yesterday when that silly fairy, ahem, FORGOT to come.

Be sure to check out GoodForTheKids.com and send the link to those new (and neurotic) moms. They will forever thank you!

Janine

Product provided by:
Momfluence
GoodForTheKids.com

Friday
Jun192009

Just call me Julia George Foreman Child - delish dinner in 10 minutes

I love my George Foreman Grill.


I have the original. It's smaller than the new ones.
It's white (not very practical with grilling).
But it cooks chicken in 5 minutes.
No. Kidding.
So, I did a video to show you just how quickly it cooks.
And, there's some dancing in there too...

Here's what you need:
Purdue frozen chicken breasts from Costco (they are thin and require no cutting... just thaw, season and cook!)
Montreal Chicken Seasoning or Cavender's Greek Seasoning
George Foreman Grill

Sides:
Frozen veggies
Mrs. T's Piergoies

So pull out that George Foreman and let me know what you think.
Also - try making grilled cheese in it. 3 minutes flat!

Janine

This post sponsored
by me and my kitchen.

Tuesday
Jun022009

5 Things I Love about Crocs


My NEW Cabana Crocs


1. Crocs Don't Smell when my Feet Sweat


Maybe this is TMI but my feet s
weat, a lot sometimes. Whatever, I'm sure you're are no roses. Anyway, Crocs don't smell even after the longest walk on a 90 degree day. And actually, my feet don't sweat at all in my new Cabana Crocs!

2. Crocs has Affordable Comfort and Style


The average cost of a pair of Crocs i
s what, $30? Maybe $40? I think my Cabanas were about $50. My original pair of Crocs have lasted over 3 years...and they are still going. I have never had a $30 pair of shoes last that long. I'm getting my money's worth for sure. And comfort is something that simply cannot be debated.

3. Crocs has @GeorgeGSmithJr

George is a Crocs blogger, he represents Crocs on Twitter, and is an all-around nice guy. Just ask any one of his
2500 followers. He is a perfect example of how a big company can reach out to consumers and make them love them even more. Since "meeting" George I have really gained a sense of loyalty to Crocs which has resulted in me buying 3 more pairs of Crocs - one for me and one for each of the girls.

4. Crocs has Great customer service


When the rivet broke off of my daughter's Mary Jane Crocs my friend George sent me the link to where I can order more. And by order, I mean fill in your name and address and they send you a packa
ge of them for FREE! You can also get replacement straps!

5. Crocs is Spreading the Love


Most recently I had ordered a pair of Crocs with a gift certificate I received at the Blissdom conference. It was taking an unusually long time but I was patient as paying customers surely take precedence over my freebies. I tweeted with George a few times and he had me email him my information again. A week later I received my Cabanas. A week after that I received a second pair!
When I told George I think I had been a little too squeaky of a wheel he said, "Keep the extra and spread the love!"



And so, that 's what I'm going to do. The size 8 Cabanas are going to be donated to a local women's shelter and I'm spreading my love for Crocs here with you.

Janine