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

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.

Guitar Hero vs. RockBand

guitarvsrock
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.

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.

cays-shoes1

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.

    Chili’s Grill & Bar – Review of a Night Out

    It is not very often, as parents, that my husband and I get to go out and enjoy ourselves, child free. I know it’s important to schedule a night a week or a month that is a “date night” with each other. We just never seem to follow through with that. One thing I have learned is if we add another couple into the mix we are less likely to make excuses and back down. 

    Chili’s offered us dinner at our local Chili’s Bar and Grille (Shrewsbury, MA) and who were we to say no? We invited Momma Jen and her husband to come with us. It was decided to go in the mid-afternoon so we could enjoy either a movie or some Wii playing afterwards. When we pulled in to our parking spot I immediately laughed at the sign for the spot next to us.

    chilis-sign

    Chili’s is one of the restaurant that even though it is a “Chain” it makes sure to make the little details count. For example: The door handles at Chili’s are little peppers!

    chilis

    The server arrived quickly to take our orders and laughed with us over silly jokes. She was quirky and unforgettable which I surely liked.  We began the meal with appetizers, because who can go to Chili’s and not order their Texas Cheese FriesStarter? So far Chili’s has my favorite french fries, the seasoning is spicy, they are crunchy, and it’s the perfect combination of flavor.

    When dinner arrived in decent time we were very much pleased. Our of us four the favorite dish was the Bacon Burger that my husband ordered. He oohed and ahhed over it while eating and ate every last bite even after he was full. I had the Fish Sandwich, which was okay. Nothing wow worthy, I wish I had ordered their Create Your Own Combo meal. I would have chosen the Spicy Garlic & Lime Grilled Shrimp and the Chili’s Classic Sirloin.

    Our favorite part of the whole meal is dessert. One thing I will suggest, at Chili’s.. save room for dessert! We ordered the Molten Chocolate Cake, which is:

    Warm chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling. Topped with vanilla ice cream under a crunchy chocolate shell.

    And the Sweet Shots, which are small sampler desserts:

    Finish off the festivities with a sweet little ending! Pick your favorite or choose any three to create your own sampler. •Key Lime Pie•Red Velvet Cake•Warm Cinnamon Roll•Warm Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie

    We chose the Warm Cinnamon Roll, Warm Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie and the Red Velvet Cake. Out of the three the Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie was by far our favorite. I wanted to lick the shot glass so every drop of the chocolate sauce would be mine. Of course we were in a restaurant so it was not exactly good table manners. So I did refrain.


     

    For four people we ordered:

    1 Appetizer – 4 Drinks – 4 Entrees – 2 Desserts

    The total was just about $60.  That’s about $15/per person! Not too bad for a night out

    We would recommend Chili’s for your next night out when you are child free! But save room for appetizers and desserts they truly are the best part.

    Happy Easter Everyone

    I hope everyone has a Happy and Hoppy day! We will be celebrating with egg battles, Easter egg hunts, and eating lots of candy.

    white-basket

    How to have an “Egg Battle”

    This is a family tradition in our household and is always cause for yelling, cheers and good times. There really is no structure to the game but you can make up the rules as you go. Here is how it happens in our house:

    Round 1

    1. Everyone picks an egg from your supply. This can be any one you feel will “win” with
    2. Then match up with someone else in your family to battle
    3. Grip the egg around the widest part and match up your eggs top (or bottom) to your nemesis’ top (or bottom)
    4. Hit the eggs together at any force you deem nessecary to win
    5. Whomevers egg breaks is the sent packing (and loses this round)
    6. If you win move to Round 2

    Round 2

    1. Winner uses current egg (No Replacements!)
    2. Repeat steps 2-5 with other winners

    More Rounds may be nessecary. Last Egg standing is the winner!

    Note: Be wary of those bringing their own eggs. We have had an experience with family members bringing wooden painted eggs. Of course this person was disqualified after winning all rounds and dropping the egg without it breaking. That was when we noticed it was WOOD!

     What are your easter traditions?

    Do you have any plans today?

    DLL Rainwear – Mommy and Me Boots

    puddle-stomp

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news (or obvious news) but it is that time of year! The rain is falling, the roads are muddy, and it’s just plain wet outside. It’s April, folks. and as the old saying goes:

    “April showers bring May flowers”

    mommy-and-meUp here in Massachusetts it is raining on an almost daily basis. A cold and yucky rain. I have been going to the stores every weekend trying to find a pair of rain boots for me and my two year old Gabrielle. Unfortunately, I could not find a pair I liked.  DLL Rainwear helped solve that problem for me. They provided me and Gabs with a pair of Mommy and Me“Raining cats and Dogs” boots. These adorable boots have cat’s and dogs raining down on them. Gabrielle loved pointing out and counting the animals on them. With an easy pull up handles, which is a feature on many of their boots, she can pull them on and off very quickly and easily. The boots for me had the fun little kid design, but they also had a buckle at the top and I know they will look great with not only jeans but capri’s as well.

    For only $35.95 (discounted from the original price of 84.90) these matching boots are stylish, adorable, and let not only your kids puddle jump but let you join in too! Add in a matching waterproof coat and umbrella and you get a whole outfit that everyone will love and compliment.

    dll-rainwear

    Fuel Belt – Endurance Sports Products

    rnb_gogo_stackI will be the first to admit that I’m not much of a sports fanatic. There are a few things, though, that I really enjoy doing. One of the main “sporting” things I love doing is biking with my family. When the weather gets warmer and the roads dryer we have a tendency to spend every weekend on our bikes even if it’s just going up and down the street. It brings the whole family up and outside.

    Fuel Belt makes products for the most avid endurance sport participants. Their products are great for those who love to run and bike.  They make water bottles, accessories, backpacks, music carriers, dog collars, and more! Fuel Belt helps make being outside doing what you love easier, more enjoyable, and of course stylish.

    Did I mentioned that Fuel Belt’s adorable race wear even comes in Pink? That’s the most important thing to me as all of my current accessories are in pink. Be sure to check out their waist packs and see the adorable pink ones they have.

    My favorite other product they carry (besides the cool shaped water bottles) are their dog collars and accessories. My black lab will be so stylish in Fuel Belt’s animal active wear.  They even have portable water dishes for animals. This would be great for not only long bike rides, or running with your dog, but also for long road trips.

    dog_collar

    Check out Fuel Belt for your next sporting accessory purchase!

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