Friday, February 27, 2009

Teeccino is Tee-rific

Recently, I came across an product that really caught my interest -- a coffee that's not really a coffee. Its sort of a coffee but it is herbal and doesn't contain the caffeine nor the acidity of regular coffee. The herbal coffee drink is called Teeccino.

I was intrigued by the product because I've recently cut caffeine from my diet. (When I'd drink it in the morning, I felt like a zombie in the afternoon and early evening.) But my big problem is I like to drink something in the morning, whether its green tea, coffee, or soda. Enter Teeccino.

The first flavor I made was Mediterranean Almond Amaretto. From the packets I've tried, each coffee smells very fresh and robust as you open the packet. (If you read my reviews often you know one of the first things I notice is scents. And whether something smells good or bad.) And the coffee smells amazing when brewed. Seriously. I was happy to just sit and smell the coffee. When I tasted the herbal coffee I was really surprised. It DOES taste like coffee. My other favorite is the Mediterranean Mocha. And my mother-in-law (who LOVES coffee) is eagerly awaiting the Maya Caffee I just sent her.

If you tend to drink your coffee without cream or sweetners, then you will want to drink Teeccino the same way. But I found that I didn't need nearly as much cream or sugar as what I use when I typically drink coffee. I think this is a good thing. Less calories in my cup! And? You can brew it and serve it like you would any other coffee. Want an expresso? Go for it! Want to try it with your french press? Can do. You can even make iced coffee drinks.

For coffee lovers who have problems with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, fibrocystic breasts, Diabetes and Insulin Resistance Syndrome, a product like this is a Godsend. Also, people who enjoy a cup of coffee at night with dinner or after will still be able to sleep later on.

Click HERE to find a store that sells Teeccino near you. And give it a try yourself!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Giveaway Monday!

We’ve got two prizes for this week’s giveaway. The first prize is for a bundle of three gift certificates for “Joy of Cooking” frozen meals. (Do not go to their site before lunch or dinner – especially if you have work to do. With meals like ”Creamy Chicken Florentine and Meat Lovers Lasagna” you won’t be able to concentrate on anything but the image of these yummy foods!) Seriously. Joy of Cooking! You will drool! And hope there’s leftovers you can enjoy the next day.

The second prize is the Little Einstein’s dvd, “Race for Space!” (”Adventure full steam ahead!”) The images are vibrant, the characters fun and there’s lots of kicky songs that will have your preschooler dancing.

Remember that RoC giveaway. I admit I still haven’t drawn a winner. I’ve been working all weekend on writing pieces for other sites. I’m thinking I’ll keep it open until Wednesday. (People who’ve already left a comment last week are def still in the running!) Four winners will receive two of RoC’s amazing anti-aging products.

To enter these contests leave a comment on this post and let me know what product you’re interested in (or all). You can always go to MotherOfBun to increase your odds o’ winning. Also, the first two giveaways? Are for US residents only. And you must be at least 18 to enter. Good luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dream Big, DreamBox Learning

One of the things that attracted me to my husband was that (don't laugh) he's awesome at math. He got a college scholarship based on his math abilities. His dad was a chemistry professor. Its in his genetics! I've always hoped our spawn would inherit the "good at advanced math" gene or at least balance out my "horrible at advanced math" gene. But I've always figured it can't hurt to hedge my bets. That why I was very, very excited about the prospect of reviewing DreamBox Learning system.

DreamBox Learning is a website filled with lots of interactive games -- all in the name of strengthening kids' math skills. The curriculum was designed for kids at a math level of kindergarten to second grade and "adheres to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards," claims their site.

When I explained the concept to my son, he was very excited. He's six years old. It was a big thrill to see his name on the screen. And he took a full 10 minutes to choose his password and avatar. (Oh the choices!)

The games are part of a number of adventures. And if you get tired of pirates, you can always go to the pets or another section. Seth especially liked the dinosaur section. That's where he spent most of his time. And he liked that every time he answered a question right, a funny sound effect and graphic would appear. Seth really enjoyed earning coins after successfully completing a mission. I explained that he could then use them on certain carnival games. But he kept wanting to save them.

The voice on the website was clear and easy to understand. (The DreamBox Learning characters are very cute and fun by the way.) The directions were also given in a concise way. My son, who has a problem following directions sometimes, had no problems following directions when he worked on the site.

From what I read of other Parent Blogger Network Reviews, quite a few people were able to let their kids play independently. Seth is a kid that finds it very difficult to sit still. He demands ALOT of attention and interaction from those around him. Suffice to say, Seth wasn't one of those kids who played DreamBox by himself. But that's definitely no fault of DreamBox. In fact, Seth and I enjoyed snuggling up while he played the game. It was a nice way to calm down from the day.

Also, other reviewers received an email after sessions. The email would let them know what concepts their child had mastered. Oddly enough, I didn't get these emails. I did get the "I miss you" emails though. (Dude. If its a great day? His little butt is outside.) But I was able to log into the Parent Dashboard and see his progress and find out how much time we'd spent on the site.

I was surprised by the vivid graphics and how responsive the learning system is. I am impressed by how the program adjusts the degree of difficulty for the child based on his or her ongoing performance. It not just reinforced what Seth already knows but it was set up in a way to give him a gentle nudge toward learning new things.

All in all, I found it to be a solid, clever site. Subscription plans for the site start at $8.33 a month. If you want to explore it before you buy, you can get a free two-week trial.

This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Evaluating Johnson & Johnson's newest products

See this gift basket of Johnson & Johnson products? Dawn S. won! Congrats to Dawn. Thanks to all who entered.

And now for the review... I recently test two J&J products. The first one is the Johnson & Johnson's head-to-toe foaming wash. The second is their baby bubble bath & wash.

Johnson & Johnson's has been helping people take care of their babies for 50 years now. The products are tried and true. They've got a good, solid reputation, manufacturing baby care products with a "no more tears" formula. I used them with Seth. In fact, it didn't really occur to me to buy a brand other than J&J's when it came to his skin.

But how did these newer products stack up?

The baby bubble bath & wash smells wonderful. It bubbles up easily in the water and it didn't leave a ring around the tub. Sometimes bubble baths make the tub very slippery and slimy which isn't very safe. I didn't have that problem with this product. I had my son test the product and he loved the bubbles' smell as well. The only problem? He's six and the fact that this wash is for "babies" offends his delicate sensibilities.

I'm really wishing Johnson & Johnson would use the same product but repackage. Use a bright blue bottle and put a skate board or soccer ball on the label and call it something like, "Boys Rule bath wash." You know, something quasi-macho for all of the boys out there ages 4-10. You do bright pink packaging and something girl-y for the girls. Tada! A whole new market just opened up.

As for the head-to-toe foaming wash? The pump works easily. When you smooth the foam between your fingers or various body parts, its doesn't make your fingers (or again, other body parts) too slippery. Plus it rinses off easily. The last two points are important because when you've got an itty-bitty baby, you've got to keep a hand on them at all times.

All in all, of the two products, I think the foaming wash would be best for tiny babies. The bubble bath is better for toddlers and preschoolers. And well, anyone who enjoys a good bubble bath.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Life is alot like a circus...

One of Seth's most treasured memories so far is one with his grandparents at the circus. From what I heard, he was mesmerized by the performances (and a bit scared of the clown). And how could he not be? He'd gone to a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey show!

This year, they have got even more amazing shows planned. And since this is a family event, they're offering a very family friendly ticket price -- four tickets for $44. They've also got a program I wrote about last year called Baby’s First Circus.

To take advantage of the first offer, enter the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels (like must purchase at least four tickets. Additional tickets are $11 each. Check the site for restrictions.

Here's a list of where they plan to be:

* Newark/East Rutherford/Uniondale/NYC Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents "ZING ZANG ZOOM" on March 5 - April 13 (Though the offer is not valid on performances from April 10 - 13 at Madison Square Garden)

*Washington D.C./ Fairfax, VA/ Baltimore, MD Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will present a different performance called "Over The Top" March 18-April 19
* Philadelphia (ZING ZANG ZOOM) May 13-May 25
* Phoenix (ZING ZANG ZOOM) June 24-June 28

* Houston (Over The Top) July 15-July 26

* Anaheim/LA/Ontario (ZING ZANG ZOOM) July 8-August 2

* San Francisco (ZING ZANG ZOOM) August 12-August 23

* Dallas/Ft. Worth (Over The Top) July 29-August 16

* Sacramento (ZING ZANG ZOOM) August 27-August 30

* Kansas City (Over The Top) September 16-September 20.

As for Baby's First Circus (if you are interested here's the post from last year.)? The program was created with U.S. parents and babies (12 months old and younger) in mind. If you go to the Ringling Bros site, you can sign up to receive a voucher for a free ticket to any Ringling Bros. performance, (valid for any date, any place) as well as a personalized certificate for baby.

How cool is that? All of the new sights, sounds, smells and sensations? Talk about serious baby brain food!

From what I hear, people are raving about the shows. So check it out for yourself.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Giveaway Monday - Four Chances To Win!

Giveaway Monday is a bit late this week. But no worries. We’ve got another great product to give away. Its a little something to help turn back the time. RoC RetinolCorrexion Deep Wrinkle Serum and Night Cream. These products are a great one-two punch for aging skin –apply RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum at night after you’ve finished cleaning your face, then the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. The products can be found at nationwide drugstores for about $19.99 a piece.

Four winners will be chosen to receive the combo. (Hey, that’s a value of $40! More with tax.) Anyone 18 and older can enter. Simply post a comment with your email addy to this site by Saturday, February 21. Feel free to increase your chances of winning by leaving a comment on Midwestern Mommy as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Send A Friend A Virtual Sweet This Year!

When the hubby's cousin, Amanda, started to feel tired and just generally unwell, she blew it off. She was too busy to see a doctor. But those vague symptoms never went away. Eventually, as her symptoms worsened, she did see a doctor. She found she had Ovarian Cancer and that it had spread. She fought a brave, strong fight. But last Easter the cancer won. She was in her 30's.

Sarah, my neighbor and a dear friend also was diagnosed with ovarian cancer many years ago. Luckily she caught it early. And she went on to have more children. And this week? She's enjoying some sun and fun in Vegas.

Two different outcomes. One disease. But this Valentine's Day you can help further the research of Ovarian Cancer. And its pretty easy and sweet! Give a friend a sweet that won't settle directly on the hips or bum! (Trust me, she'll thank you when she's trying on that new swim suit this season.)

Go to the Electrolux Web site, and create a unique virtual cupcake. Then, send it to loved ones this month. Let Electrolux know and they will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) for every cupcake sent!

Plus, your goodwill could win you a front-loading washer and dryer from Electrolux! How cool is that? Go give the site a gander!

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Mel B "Totally" Kicked My Butt!

You know the Spice Girls, right? So then you know Mel B.

Mel is always looking fab. But I have to admit, when I first heard she was doing a fitness video, called Totally Fit, I was skeptical. I wondered, "Is this another celebrity, repackaging some old moves with new music?" I've been using workout videos for YEARS. As in since high school. So I know a few moves. And I'm always on the look-out for a great fitness video that's got some new moves.

I'm happy to report that Mel does keep some of the more effective"classic" moves. But she also incorporates some new ones as well. And if I could say one thing to Mel B now? It would be, "Damn, girl! You know your stuff."

I've done the workout a few times now. (The sections are broken up so you can tailor the work out to your liking.) And I am sore for days after each time. Yet she makes it look easy. No wonder she has that rockin' bod. She is in fabulous shape! I breath in? I'm sore. I open a door? I'm sore. She really knows how to maximize moves and time while target some muscles I'd forgotten about. And once I get to a point where I can finish the video and not be so sore? She has advanced moves (and an advanced cardio section) to challenge me.

And like alot of the great fitness vid hosts, Mel B shows alot of energy and enthusiasm. And I love her accent. Especially when she says "to-ally fit!"

But the big question I always wonder as I review these tapes is, "But is this fun enough to stick with?" And "what kind of results will I see?" Check back with me in a month. I'll let you know. Until then, there's a great sale on Amazon for Totally Fit. Check it out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snugglefests and "Seth Sandwiches"

Some people show love with gifts. Others "love" with food. Our family? We show our love with lots of "family snuggles" and a little something called a "Seth sandwich with a little Abbeydog on the side."

The hubby and I have always been pretty affectionate with each other. So when our Abbeydog came into the picture, we'd often spend weekend mornings "loving on Abbeydog." This meant letting her lay in bed with us, preferably (for her) between Marc and me for maximum attention.

When Seth came along, he stole the spot between hubs and me. But by this point, Abbey preferred the foot of the bed anyway. So the weekend family snuggle-fests have continued.

The other maneuver started when Seth was an itty bitty baby. Marc would often hug me while I had Seth in my arms. We called this a "Seth sandwich". Often Abbey would let out a "what about me" bark, walk up to us and nose in between our legs. The "Seth sandwich" was amended to "A Seth sandwich with a little Abbeydog on the side."

How does your family show your love? Parent Bloggers Network wants to know. They've teamed up with Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. The foundation is hosting a Selfless Love contest. PBN wants to hear about how you and your family show your love toward each other. You have until tonight Sunday, February 8 to post and include links to: as well as Go to their site and read a few of the entries. You may find some great ideas or get a giggle. Don't forget to email to let them know you've participated.

This post was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Social Media Tips From NSTeens

This past fall, as part of the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on cyberbullying. As I started to research the concept, how kids can protect themselves and what parents can do, I became more and more worried. Seth is only in first grade now but he loves to play games on my computer and at certain sites.

And it sounds like some of the cyberbullying is starting earlier and earlier. Gulp. Over the course of my research I did stumble upon some sites that can help adults, tweens and teens. One of which is And another, brought to you by is called NSteens. The site, which is also in Spanish, educates teens and 'tweens on how to be safe and smart on the web.

Much the info is very basic (Don't use your real name or address. Be careful about the photos and stories you post online.) but that's exactly what alot of kids need to know. The basics. Just those few tips can go a long way. The site contains videos, comics, interviews with other kids and a design and layout that's very user friendly.

And it also addresses issues like "if you set your page to private, is it really private?" It also addresses the consequences of posting stories that make you look bad. (These days college admissions people and business will check personal pages. Are they going to get the wrong impression?)

The advice is actually very good for alot of us adults out here in cyberspace. It was fun spending time on the site. And its definitely a great resource for parents of kids who into social media.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Giveaway with J&J

The people at Johnson & Johnson have much to celebrate these days. As of 2009, they’ve been helping parents take care of their babies for 50 years. Plus, they’ve also recently launched two new products from the No More Tears line. There’s now a Johnson’s Bubble Bath & Wash as well as a Head-to-Toe Foaming Wash.

Need to stock up on some baby supplies? Or know someone who does? Johnson & Johnson is giving away a gift basket of goodies to one lucky Midwestern Mommy reader. Simply leave a comment on this post. As always, the contest is open to people 18 years and older. Contest ends the evening of February 7. Feel free to pop over to Midwestern Mommy in order to increase your chance of winning.

Green is good (Green Works wipes? Even better!)

A trusty little package from Clorox couldn't have come at a better time. Recently we had some company over. The arrangements were made at the very last minute. The house was a wreck. And when I started thinking about clean up duty? I remembered this marvelous little package of Green Works wipes I'd gotten the day before.

Personally, I use alot of wipe products because they are quick and easy. And since Green Works products started appearing on Target stores, I've been buying more and more of the product lines. So I was happy to try Green Works wipes. Like wipes from some other brands, these are great to clean surfaces like door knobs, light switches, faucets, sinks, and toilet seats.

The Green Works wipes can be used on surfaces you wouldn't traditionally think about as well. Like your leather couch. (You know, when you find your child didn't listen to the "no food in the living room" rule, snuck off to watch tv and accidentally spilled yogurt all over the leather couch.) Or wooden banisters or to even spot clean hardwood floors. There's no bleach so there's no stripping of the material or wood.

Oh, and there's no residue left behind either! So if you want to clean your faucets or remote control? You won't have that dry, icky feeling on your fingertips.

While the wipes don't disinfect, I love that they are biodegradable and free of petrochemicals. Plus they aren't tested on animals.

Green Works products can be found at most stores that sell cleaning supplies. (Like my ole fave, Target.)

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.