Feed Subscribing

Since Mommas Review is now self hosted it means that the way you get our feed will be slightly different. We found that you cannot subscribe to http://www.mommasreview.com, the feed will not send to your reader (Oh no!). In order to get Mommas Review in your RSS Feed Reader you will need to subscribe to the following feed:

http://www.mommasreview.com/?feed=rss2

Thanks everyone for holding steady with us. Next month we have some huge prizes coming up. One in particular is amazing… so make sure you subscribe you will want to follow!

Note: I have updated our email feed. Please let me know if you do not get your daily emails from us! Andrea – mommasreview@gmail.com

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New Look and Some Guests

Mommas Review is getting a makeover! We are going self-hosted thanks to the amazing web designer Amanda. Over the next day or so we will be switching over from our current web hosted wordpress account to the self hosted site. Please make sure to update your RSS readers to include:

http://www.mommasreview.com

If you aren’t following us already through that link. We will be closing all comments on the wordpress site so there will be no confusion.  We’d love to hear what you think about the new look!

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Over the next week to prepare for May we will be having a few guests here at Mommas Review. These guests are some of our favorite bloggers. Be sure to visit them and to comment on their posts.

Share the love so they can feel the love.

You will see guest posts from Kristin from An Ordinary Life, Sky from Seeryus Mama, Jennifer from Eighty MPH Mom, Kim from STL Mommy, McMommy from The McMommy Chronicles, and Jessica from Mom Fuse. Maybe even more!

Did you hear the news?

j0439831Hugh Jackman is one of our favorite actors. Well he tweets. Did you know that? I didn’t. I’m now following him after hearing about his recent tweet:

RealHughJackman: “I will donate 100K to one individual’s favorite non profit organization.Of course,you must convince me why by using 140 characters or less.”

He has broadcasted to the twitter world his philanthropy, this 100K will be in Australian currency. There are many deserving charities who could really use these funds. Especially with the horrible economy.  There are no other terms on this, so perhaps it could be a charity anywhere across the globe.

It was announced that Hugh will be declaring the winner on Ryan Seacrests radio show on Friday April 24th. So hurry and get your tweets in!

Kudos to you Hugh Jackman for stepping up with this great way to get knowledge of needy charities on Twitter, and for offering your financial help. I just hope this isn’t some marketing ploy, or trying to make up for a recent slip of the tweet where he incorrectly termed a famous Australian landmark. I hope that it is really Hugh saying to himself “I want to help!”

What charities do you think deserve it? @RealHughJackman if you have a great one. Some I love are I Heart Tucker and March of Babies. Though there are many other deserving charities out there that 100K could be a huge help.

Weekend Diversions: April 18

I’ve got four great diversions for you this weekend. We’ve got a game, a blog, a video and a fun way to design your own baby bedding. Let’s start with that last one first.

Carousel Designs has this fun tool which lets you design your very own baby bedding from the ground up. You get to choose the fabric for each part of the bedding ensemble which includes a bumper, crib skirt, sheet and comforter. Each piece has several options. For instance, the bumper can have a separate fabric for the front, back, trim and ties. I think I could spend hours designing cute bedding ensembles for our baby, due in July. I’ve already made two sets that I love – and the best part is, once you’ve designed that great set of bedding you can actually order it to buy. So whether you are window shopping or actually in the market, this is a really nifty little tool.

Ready for something else? Try this fun ball dropping game called BallDroppings (clever, huh?). When you open the page balls will literally start dropping into the screen. Drag your mouse to draw lines and catch them. Set up a sort of obstacle course for the balls to bounce through. Each time the balls hit a line you’ve drawn it makes a fun little sound that starts to become rather melodic and hypnotizing. So you may be getting brainwashed while you play but I’m guessing you’ll be so intrigued by the game play and diverted and whatnot that you probably won’t notice.

If you are a fan of Cake Wrecks and / or grammar then I am thinking The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks will be right up your alley. Basically it’s a collection of pictures taken of signs, products, etc. where quotation marks have been used unnecessarily and the results are typically hilarious. Example?

Alright, last thing for today is the youtube video from Britain’s Got Talent that seems to be taking the web by storm. Proof that you really shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover?


Giveaway: Eco Store USA for eco friendly cleaners, bath & body and baby care products

It is getting easier and easier to make green, eco-friendly choices in our lives. One of the biggest trends I’ve noticed has been in the world of cleaning products and bath & body care. Everyone is jumping on board. One example of a great eco-friendly company is Eco Store USA which sells everything from soaps, shampoos, dishwasher detergent (or plain dish soap!), laundry detergent, baby bath products and even pet shampoos! Let every member of your family, pets included, and your home benefit from a good green cleaning.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of trying out Eco Store USA‘s vanilla shampoo and conditioner as well as their dishwasher powder and dish soap. Each of these products works well, smells good and integrates themselves seamlessly into our cleaning routines. The best thing about them, though, is what’s not in them – nasty chemicals. Eco Store USA founders Melanie and Malcolm Rands have worked hard to create household cleaning products using plant-based ingredients that would biodegrade safely and quickly, eliminating the need to use toxic chemicals. What started as a product for true ‘Greenies’ and organic gardeners quickly caught on with the rest of the world.

Eco Store USA offers more than 100 products, each one meeting stringent environmental and sustainability standards. And by using super-concentrated formulas, they’ve made their products budget-friendly and long lasting. A little goes a long way.

Want to try some Eco Store USA products yourself? We’re giving away a $25 gift certificate to one lucky reader which can be used at the Eco Store USA website. Here’s how you can enter to win.

  1. Check out the Eco Store USA website and tell us which product you’d most like to try. This is mandatory, if not done all other entries are null and void.
  2. For an extra entry, you can follow us on Twitter. Post a comment here with your Twitter username.
  3. For a third entry you can tweet about this giveaway or post about it on your blog and leave a comment here with either the URL of your post or your twitter profile. “Win some green cleaning products from Eco Store USA @ http://www.mommasreview.com
  4. For a fourth subscribe to our RSS feed, leaving a link here to tell us you’ve done so. We’ll be posting more giveaways on Momma’s Review soon so subscribing will be a great way for you to stay informed about all the great things you can win in the days and weeks to come.
  5. For a final entry visit Speedy @ Eighty MPH Mom and enter her Magellan GPS giveaway. Make sure to come back and leave a comment saying you have entered.

This giveaway is open to US and international readers!

The contest will close at 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday May 1st.

April is Earth Month at Eco Store USA – All Orders of $25 or more qualify for FREE Shipping!

Guitar Hero vs. RockBand

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For the first time in the Guitar Hero series they have released a full band version that allows players to use either the guitar, drums, or microphone to sing. Guitar Hero: World Tour has a great song list that allowed me to recognize at least every other song if not at least 80% of them. Some of our favorite songs are Crazy Train by Ozzy, Hotel California by the Eagles, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynryd, and Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. You can even download songs right through the game, there is no exiting out of the system to download these new additions to your set list. It’s all within the game.  In Quick Play mode you can choose up to six songs to include in your play list. This allows you to have more of a continuous play.

As for the instruments, the drum kit on Guitar Hero was more preferred in our household. It is more realistic and is certainly more difficult to play. We like the challenge of it. On it there are 6 different areas to engage with. On beginner mode, though, you can still play the drums by just keeping a simple tempo on one drum with the game.  The guitar is a great instrument that anyone can play. On beginner mode my daughter can use the guitar easily and usually gets 85% or higher. Both my children are very musically inclined so they love interacting with the game. By far my favorite instrument to use is the microphone. The wording on the screen is rather tiny, but after one or two tries you can really master a song.

We have spent many evenings as a family playing Guitar Hero: World Tour in band mode. We enjoy the thrill, the silliness, and the well thought out game.

About the Momma:

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Andrea is a 26 year old work at home professional and mother to two beautiful little girls, Cayleigh (7) and Gabrielle (2). She is married to her one and only love Marc. Andrea currently runs Mommas Review and handles the marketing and publicity for it. She is addicted to reading, social networking, and reality television.

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Rock Band 2 was my first experience with a band-style music game. I’ve never played Guitar Hero or the original Rock Band but I’ve been eager to try one so the opportunity to review the new Rock Band 2 which just came out in December 2008 was very exciting! The games uses a wireless drum set, wireless Fender Stratocaster guitar and microphone allowing you to transform your living room group, be it family or friends, into your very own Rock Band.

It seems each member of my family is naturally drawn to one of the instruments. My husband loves rocking out on the Rock Band guitar and quickly figured out all the ins and outs of playing it. With the help of Rock Band’s tutorials it is easy to become masterful at the instrument of your choice. My three year old son thinks the drum set is his own personal drum set and when we play during the day he has command over it. I love that we can set the drum set up and even turn it on so he sees the blinking lights, but simply leave it disconnected from the Wii which lets him rock out along with us, but doesn’t interfere with the game play – which is oh so crucial when each instrument has the ability to control the game. I love that he can be involved with our fun without being a complete pain. He rocks out on the drums and sings along to the songs with us while we play.

I love the microphone on this game, perhaps because singing comes more naturally to me than instruments (the only real instrument I’ve ever played was the dreaded recorder in middle school). On a song that I already know and love, I can score high even on the hardest of settings, but it’s fun to pick out a random song I’ve never heard, throw it back to Easy Mode and give it a go. We did that for awhile in the beginning after I realized that my knowledge of the initial songs unlocked in the game was pretty much limited to one or two songs. Then a friend tipped us off on a way to unlock the rest of the songs in the game – and oh my goodness there are some good ones. I now probably know at least 75% of the songs with artists like Alanis Morissette, Fleetwood Mac, Smashing Pumpkins and many, many more. Rock Band 2 offers 84 songs on the game’s disc with 20 additional songs available FREE for download. Plus you can always buy more in the Rock Band Music Store. You can use your SD memory card to store your additional songs, with seamless management of your Rock Band library. No need to move content back and forth!

My only real complaint with Rock Band is that the instruments don’t make noise themselves. All the sound comes out of the game itself. This doesn’t bother anyone else in my family but me, but I think that if the instruments could somehow make noise in addition to the game or alongside it, that it would be a big improvement. One thing I loved is that while navigating the song list, I was able to sort by level of difficulty, band, song and a few other options I think, too. I also enjoyed being able to choose from a long list of “characters” to represent me when I play. My husband loves to let it choose at random and laugh over the often humorous results. I’ve gotten very comfortable with the character Grace Williams, one of the few  girls who looks mostly normal, doesn’t wear a bikini or have a million piercings and tattoos. Can’t help it, the mom in me respects that.

Overall we are absolutely thrilled with Rock Band 2 and look forward to playing it as a family together frequently.

About the Momma:

Jen is a Stay at Home Mom and Loving Wife. She spends her time online reading RSS feeds and posting in her blog. If you haven’t heard from her in awhile, she’s likely lost in a good book, sleeping or watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Movie Review: Yes Man!

Based off the comedic memoir of Danny Wallace, Yes Man tells the story of Carl, played by Jim Carrey, a man who decides to start saying “Yes” to everything in his life, in an attempt to cure his overall unhappiness with life. My husband and I are both big Jim Carrey fans and also absolutely love Zooey Deschenal who also stars in this film, so we were very excited for this movie and were not disappointed.

I’m going to start by saying that this is probably better suited as a date night movie, and not a family film. It’s rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity and while your older children might not have a problem watching this movie, I certainly wouldn’t want to watch it in the same room with them. You can check out the parental guide at IMDB.com for a more detailed account of the movie. This feature on IMDB allows parents to “describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.” If you haven’t heard of this before, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, back to my review. Unlike Bedtime Stories, which we also watched last week, I found Yes Man to be a perfect example of a character who is flawed but changes for the better by the end. I really thought the script was well thought out and that Carrey did an excellent job bringing his character full circle by the movie’s end. The concept of saying yes to everything or no to anything is really well fleshed out in the movie. They do a great job visualizing for you what your life would look like if you did either, and the good and bad aspects of both. All of the acting in this film was superb and aside from telling a really good moral story, it’s a typical Jim Carrey film in that it’s just hysterical. I enjoyed every minute of this movie, never feeling bored by it at all (which I’m prone to lately in my “old age”). I would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially Jim Carrey fans.

I’d give Yes Man 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Stride Rite – The Right Shoes for Us

I find it difficult to get comfortable, attractive and durable shoes for my children. Sure, there are plenty shoes out there from many companies. I find that when I shop for shoes I tend to pay less. When going cheap the shoes seem to not last longer, get dirtier easier, and not be as comfortable. The “Rue” from Stride Rite was the answer to all my issues.

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The Rue style from the Playground Collection is perfect for my active 7 year old.  All of the shoes in the Playground Collection are machine washable, moisture wicking and fast dryers.  Also this style features:

  • Single-strap closure
  • New lightweight, flexible outsole
  • Antimicrobial for fresh feet
  • Machine washable (air dry only)
  • Water-friendly, fast-drying upper
  •  

    Here is Cayleigh’s input on Stride Rite’s shoe.

    Thank you to Extraordinary Mothers for this great review opportunity!

    Exergen TemporalScanner Review

    When my children are sick and sleeping I hate having to wake them up every few hours to take their temperature. For my youngest it requires undressing her to get her underarm reading, and for my eldest it requires her to open her mouth and stay awake long enough for me to do it. This could cause either of them to wake up and then stay awake. Which is the last thing a tired mom wants!

    exergen-temporalEXERGEN has solved that issue for me. They have developed a way to take your child’s temperature on their forehead. Using the TemporalScanner you drag it across your childs forhead for about 3-5 seconds. Going from the center to the temple. After lifting the scanner you get an accurate temp for your child. My children have found this easy way of taking their temperature the best. They have been asking me on an almost daily basis to let them try it on themselves.

    “The TemporalScanner Thermometer is a totally non-invasive system with advanced infrared technology providing maximum ease of use with quick, consistently accurate measurements. Advanced, patented technology measures temperatures with a gentle stroke across the forehead.”

    – Exergen Website

    It was a learning experience to learn the right motion to make it work. The first 5 times it kept telling me I had such a low temperature that it was not readable. Though, I have now mastered the motion and how to maneuver this thermometer. I like that it’s a larger device as it is less likely to get lost in our household and I find my children are more receptive to having their temps taken with something that is less evasive.

    exergen-temporal-2

    Thanks to Extraordinary Mothers for allowing Mommas Review to participate in this Mega Review opportunity.

    Giveaway: Subscription to BRAND NEW Fresh Home Magazine

    I love magazines and one of my new favorites is a brand new magazine called Fresh Home. Aimed at families and men and women of all ages, it provides do-it-yourself project ideas for home renovation (and shopping guides for those who lean more towards a buy-it-yourself mentality), all the best in tips and advice for decorating, home improvement and maintenance – and all with practicality and economic reality in mind. This magazine is for REAL people, not just professional decorators.

    Just flipping through this gorgeous magazine had my creative juices flowing. Despite not owning my own home yet, I love to read about decorating and plan ahead for all those decisions I’ll need to make someday. I loved their articles on choosing your own flooring, counter tops, back splashes and more. The articles each guide you through the pros and cons of all your options, the price differences and some handy pictures that show you examples of each type.

    Other fun articles in the premier issue include:

    • 14 Secrets for Creating Maximum Curb Appeal
    • Color Magic- how to paint like the pros, the psychology of color, how to load and purchase brushes, prep, buy eco-friendly paints
    • One Design= 3 Tables
    • Facelifts for Every Room under $500- give 7 rooms a low-cost, no-sweat makeover in one weekend!
    • How to have a mold and mildew-free home
    • 3 cool ways to make spice racks—using recyclable materials!
    • 15 best tips for outdoor gardening and ways to make cool new planters out of recyclable materials!

    We’re giving away subscriptions to Fresh Home magazine to THREE (3) lucky winners! Here’s how you can enter to win:

    1. Answer the following question: What is your best home decorating tip? or What area of your home is most in need of a little TLC? This is mandatory, if not done all other entries are null and void.
    2. For an extra entry, you can follow us on Twitter. Post a comment here with your Twitter username.
    3. For a third entry you can tweet about this giveaway or post about it on your blog and leave a comment here with either the URL of your post or your twitter profile. “Do you love magazines? Win a subscription to Fresh Home Magazine @ http://www.mommasreview.com
    4. For a fourth subscribe to our RSS feed, leaving a link here to tell us you’ve done so. We’ll be posting more giveaways on Momma’s Review soon so subscribing will be a great way for you to stay informed about all the great things you can win in the days and weeks to come.
    5. Lastly, visit Speedy @ Eighty MPH Mom and enter into her Monsters vs Aliens video game giveaway. Make sure to come back and tell us you entered.

    This giveaway is open to US and international readers!

    The contest will close at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday April 29th.

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    Mommas Current Giveaways

    Zero Water Ends April 24th

    Kiss My Face Skin Care Products Ends April 22nd

    Monsters vs Aliens Video Game Ends April 20th

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    All products (unless stated otherwise) are provided to Mommas Review for review purposes. We do not receive any other sort of compensation for our reviews unless stated. We promise to provide our sincere and honest review of the product that is received.

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