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!

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    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.

    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.

    Book Review: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

    Grade: B

    Sometimes, not very often but sometimes, I can finish reading a book and still be unsure whether I liked it at all. I’d imagine the fact that I finished it at all means I liked it at least a little, since there are other books which I can simply walk away from and say, “No thank you.” Maybe the truth is simply that I did not love it. I certainly did not love The Reader by Bernhard Schlink but I am glad to have read it, I did find myself anxious to read ‘what happens next’ even if I never really fell in love with any of the characters or their story.

    The Reader tells a few stories. It tells the story of a grown woman who has an affair with a fifteen year old boy, and the consequences of that affair for the boy as he grows up in his love life and beyond. It tells the story of a generation of young Germans trying to understand the Nazi past that most of their parents had had involvement in – how do you deal with knowing what your loved ones have done or lived through? How do you deal with what fellow humans like yourself are capable of? But this story also tells, and this was the most enjoyable part of the story for me, is the story of a woman who cannot read or write, and her shame in this and her inability to admit it to anyone, has a long laundry list of consequences. It effects every area of her life, always for the worst, and even when admitting to her illiteracy could potentially save her, the shame of being found out is just too great – the things she suffers for her secret are astounding. Never mind the small details of a life without written word, all the simple things which become difficult that nobody could understand or expect without knowing.

    The first half of this story, the story of Hanna and Michael’s affair, I could not relate to, did not enjoy and mostly just suffered through. If I had not known what was coming next, I can assure you I would have walked away from this story very early on. But between the Nazi Germany connection and the story of Hanna’s illiteracy, I kept reading, knowing that those stories could be wonderful. And while I’m still not sure if they were wonderful, they were definitely worth reading. I tend to read much lighter stories, rarely venturing back into the world of ‘serious literature’ so in part, this may be simply a complaint with having forced myself to read a ‘grown up book.’ It was also translated from German, and it’s possible that in the original language, if I could read German, that it might have been a better story – translations never show the exact beauty of the written word as it’s originally intended – you are often just left with the basic bones of the story, which while interesting, I doubt it is the same at all. And of course the last possibility, is that I simply did not love it.

    I would still encourage anyone interested in The Reader to try it. It was not a difficult read, despite those draw backs previously mentioned. I read it no more or less quickly than another book of it’s size and even for those who might feel squeamish about the first part of the story, Hanna and Michael’s story, I can say it could have been worse. Anyone who has had a physical relationship should be able to handle reading this, I’d think. But to those readers who are younger and have not experienced this, I’d advise they wait on reading this one as it is fairly detailed (without being down right smutty). Basically, I say this book is worth a shot and certainly capable of being an enjoyable read. I wouldn’t be surprised if many, many people love it in a way that I simply did not.

    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.

    Snapily: Do More With Your Photos

    I love creating photo gifts with my digital pictures but the idea has become so common, now everyone is doing it. Want a fresh new twist on this brilliant idea? Snapily.com uses a technology they call LivingPrints that lets you create holographic images using your digital pictures to create greeting cards, invitations, business cards, scrapbook pages and notebooks. Flip the card or notebook and watch the image change. Check out this video to see how it works:

    I ordered a greeting card and notebook for my son’s birthday and loved the unique and personal touch that these products offer. You can design a card or notebook from scratch or use their custom layouts, change the fonts, and write your own personalized message. The greeting cards start at $3.99 for a single card but if you buy in bulk you can get them for as little as $2.99 each. A bit pricey, but you’d spend as much on greeting cards at Halmark and wouldn’t get this unique touch. They shipped promptly and in perfect condition and my son and I both loved it!

    So when you want to go the extra mile for a birthday or event, or you want a business card that will really jump out at people – I’d definitely look into Snapily.

    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.

    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!

    Weekend Diversions: A Comical Edition

    So, Friday is here and I have to confess that I found nothing new to divert your attentions with – nothing. To be fair, I’ve kind of had an off week – I didn’t devote very much time to just blog surfing – I haven’t been a good commenting buddy. It’s kind of no wonder – so the diversion pool is a bit light this week and tide us over until next week, which I’m hoping will be more diversional, I’ve decided to round up my top 3 comic strips – a perfect anecdote to weekend boredom. I loved reading the comics in the paper on Sunday mornings when we lived with Dan’s parents and had the newspaper delivered every day (we’re too poor for such luxuries) and there are a couple comics I read religiously here online. So I’ll show you mine and then you have to show me yours, kay?

    I’m going to warn you – these are not the comic strips you might expect a girly little mom like me to adore – but I do promise they are good stuff:

    Sluggy Freelance If your “type” leans towards the tall, dark and geeky – or if you are that tall, dark and geeky guy – then Sluggy Freelance is for you – this comic tells the story of two typically nerdy guys and the girls who love to hate them (but mostly just love them) – oh and their talking pet ferret and slightly evil talking pet rabbit – with some sci-fi action stories and some fun current event parodies thrown in. Sometimes this turns into guy humor, or you’ll have a few weeks of “action movie” type plot – but Pete, the mastermind behind Sluggy is a comic genius and this is probably my favorite comic strip. He posts (almost) daily with the occasional filler strips, but if you are new to Sluggy, I recommend starting at the beginning – because you might be lost if you try hopping in mid-strip. The best part about following my advice? This comic started in 1997 so if you do go back through the archives, you will have lots of divertive goodness, likely for weeks to come. It’s been my experience that you can catch up on all things sluggy in about two weeks. Here’s an example of one of my favorite Sluggy moments:


    XKCDDid I mention I’m a geek lover? I’m a bit of a nerd myself and this comic might show my true nerd colors for sure. I’ll freely admit this might be over your head, you might not get it – sometimes I don’t get it either but man some of these strips are just genius, especially his romantic stuff, makes me all teary eyed – and usually I can find the comics funny even if I don’t get the smart people stuff – also XKCD started my love affair with hover captions – which means when you are reading these gems, you’ll want to hover over for added humor on each strip. Here’s an example of a good strip I think anyone can love:


    Baby BluesI’m guessing you’ve heard of this one. I wish I could subscribe to this in my blog reader and get the new stuff, but copyright, blah blah blah… I love them anyway, but I’ll admit I don’t follow it religiously because of all that corporate hoopla. You can read the two weeks old and older comics here. I’m guessing you guys already know about the genius that is Baby Blues, but I couldn’t leave them out of my top 3 because, well, they are in my top 3.

    What are your top 3 favorite comic strips?

    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.

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