Mar 31, 2014

Our review of the NEW Philips SonicCare Toothbrush for Kids

I was recently contacted by Philips Sonicare to try their new rechargeable electric toothbrush for kids, sure why not I said. If it could make the kids excited about brushing their teeth or make them brush more often while reducing more plaque, I was sold. The next day a box arrived with two new brushes for my littlest ones complete with interchangeable stickers so they could personalize their own brush and not get them mixed up. Phew, major crisis averted.

Stickers on, let's go!
We sat down that night and opened the packages, and I let them each pick out their stickers; my daughter picked the pink swirly design (no surprise there) and my son was very focused on the surfer dude. We then marched ourselves upstairs to plug them in and get started.

I would say the coolest thing about the brushes is the KidsTimer which gradually increases over time to get the kids to spend at least 2 minutes brushing their teeth (which is the dentist daily recommended time). This is great because before his electric toothbrush I would have to beg my 4 year old to just let me get his 'upstairs' teeth which would be a fight because he HAD to do it by himself. For the record, doing it by himself consisted of him knocking the toothbrush back in forth in his mouth for about 15 seconds and then he'd be done. #EpicFail
Baby girl with her PJs on
and her Sonicare Brush in hand

There is also the KidsPacer which beeps to tell the kids its time to move on to the next area in their mouth ensuring all areas get attention. At nighttime, I don't have to negotiate or beg anymore because in their minds its fun toothbrush time. They take the initiative to do it themselves and I know their teeth are getting a deeper clean in the process. Long story short, Philips SonicCare Toothbrush for Kids gets applause all around from me and my kids. My oldest is even looking at me for his own :-).

If you are are in the market for a new toothbrush you can find the ones I've reviewed here at Target, Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond to name a few. They retail for $49.99. Here's to less headaches all around-happy brushing.


Chicbusymom was not paid for this article.




Mar 18, 2014

Family Vacation: Walk it Out


Jade and Jett exploring a map at
 Dinoland U.S.A.
My family and I recently went to Walt Disney World for a vacation. Packing for myself and my kids always leads to some level of stress. This time I tried to be ahead of the game and lay everyone's outfits out and put the outfits together in the bags as such so the kids could whip them out easily without me and get dressed.

I knew we would be doing a lot of walking (I'm not a walking girl) so I paid a lot of attention to our footwear and breathable easy-on pieces. We scored a whole suite of shoes from our friends at Nike to road test on this trip (thank you Nike!) and let me tell you that we are so glad we wore sneakers. I can't tell you enough how important it is to have comfortable shoes on these types of trips where you are on your feet for upwards of 5 hours or more. Be smart and spend some time on quality footwear.



Lebron Soldier VII Nike sneakers, Party T-shirt
and J.Crew khakis


Nike Free 5.0 sneakers, Appaman t-shirt and J.Crew Shorts


Welkin NYC tshirt and a few of the model's favorite things

Nike Air Max sneakers, J.Crew shorts and Target t-shirt

Appaman t-shirt, J.Crew bubble skirt and Nike Free 5.0 sneakers

I made the mistake of wearing a  these lovely pair Madewell flats one day to Hollywood Studios and boy did I regret it! They are definitely made for more of a short spin vs. long hours of walking (painful note to self). I should have stuck to my Nike Air Revolution Ski Hi's (fiah!)


After that I needed to give my feet a rest so we headed straight for the pool and the cool water. Woosah!






Mar 5, 2014

Pasta Carbona: It's what's for dinner

I got a delicious recipe from a friend the other day and I tried it on my family. Look at it, isn't it pretty?! If you know anything about carbonara (which I didn't) you know the sauce calls for a raw egg. This gave me pause, I did not want a raw egg in my food BUT if you do this right and your timing is perfect your egg will be completely cooked and you sauce will be awesome.So make sure you follow the directions below.

My friend told me to get whatever veggies I wanted in my own dishes. I used cremini mushrooms, vine tomatoes, garlic, and fresh parsley and of course, bacon!

Additionally, I was intrigued by the fact that she used Quinoa Pasta which is Gluten-free and a Supergrain. It had a buttery/potatoey taste and yummy. I was so excited that I immediately went to Whole Paycheck oops I mean Whole Foods and bought all the ingredients.

The Carbonara recipe is pretty standard so while she tried to talk me through on the phone I followed Tyler Florence's version from the Food Network as seen here:


INGREDIENTS

1 pound dry spaghetti (I used the quinoa pasta above)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Additionally vegetables to taste
DIRECTIONS

Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian "al dente.") Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

It was pretty easy to make and I was very proud of myself.


 

Feb 13, 2014

A Valentine's Day Special Treat




These very special Red Velvet Cookies make an awesome Valentines Day treat! I wish I could take credit for them however I borrowed the photos and recipe from my fellow mommy and blogger The Crazy Mom Cook. She has some pretty delectable stuff on her blog. Check her out at:  http://thecrazymomcook.wordpress.com and see below. Thanks TCMC!





Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon corn starch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 bag 12oz. M&M’s
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Mix butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar, mix until combined. Add egg, mix until combined. Add vanilla and red food coloring, mix until combined.
To the butter mixture, add flour, cocoa, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until combined. Fold in M&M’s.
Scoop small balls of dough onto a baking sheet. Top with additional M&M’s.
Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then move to a wire rack until completely cooled. Enjoy!
 





Feb 4, 2014

A Special Offer for Chicbusymom Readers & Followers!







From February 7-23, 2014 bring your little ones over to the The New Victory Theater in NYC (on 42nd Street in Times Square) to experience Three Little Birds. A jammin’ new musical with live accompaniment featuring the timeless music and lyrics of Bob Marley, BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS shares the legendary reggae artist’s message of peace and love with a new generation of songbirds. Opening the day after what would have been the singer and songwriter’s 69th birthday.

In Cattawood Springs, a small village on the island of Jamaica, three little birds sing their sweet songs to Ziggy, a very shy child who prefers to see the world from the television in his room. But with the help of his feathered friends and his nagging neighbor Nansi, Ziggy is reminded in soothing six-part harmony that “every little thing gonna be alright.” Inspired by a picture book written by Cedella Marley and Gerald Hausman about the Bob Marley song of the same name, BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS is a collaborative creation between the Marley family and Adventure Theatre MTC, who premiered the production as part of the theater’s African-American Adventure series. With its tie to the cultural heritage of Jamaica, the musical now makes its New York premiere during Black History Month.

“I wanted to find a work that celebrates culture without making race a plot point and discovered ‘Three Little Birds,’” says Adventure Theatre MTC producing artistic director Michael J. Bobbitt, who worked closely with Ms. Marley to weave story, song and dance into a new musical for kids. “Even though Jamaica is not an American province, Bob Marley and reggae has influenced a lot of African American culture, and plus, kids love the music!”
In addition to the title song, BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS includes the hits “Jamming,” “One Love,” “Roots Rock Reggae,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Natural Mystic,” “So Much Trouble in the World,” “Lively Up Yourself,” “Is This Love,” “Please Don’t Rock My Boat,” “Riding High,” “I Know,” “Running Away,” “Duppy Conqueror” and the West Indies children’s song “Brown Girl in the Ring.”

*****************************SPECIAL OFFER******************************
Chicbusymom readers can save 20% off Orchestra and Mezzanine seats for performances through Feb 17 with code 'chicbusymom'. The code will be valid until Feb 15.




*Conditions: Discount available on Orchestra and Mezzanine seats for BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS performances at The New Victory Theater from February 7 - 17. Regular price: $14 (balcony), $18, $28, $38. Discount price (Orchestra and Mezzanine): $14.50, $22.50, $30.50. Offer excludes balcony seating. Tickets subject to availability. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Phone and internet orders subject to standard service fees. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. All sales are final—no refunds or exchanges. Schedule is subject to change. Ticket prices subject to change. Offer excludes balcony seating. Offer expires Feb 15, 2014


Jan 30, 2014

Lego Movie: Who's Going?

This Saturday, the kids and I are going to a screening of The LEGO® Movie. Should be fun right? Anyone, else heard about this movie? Here is some scoop:


The LEGO® Movie, is the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO® adventure which opens in theaters February 7, 2014.

The film is directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (“21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”), and stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie and Charlie Day, with Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman.

The original 3D computer animated story follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO mini figure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously under prepared.


Click here for a sneak peek at the trailer:




For more information go to:


Jan 27, 2014

Got Vitamin D?

I went to visit my doctor today to follow up on some blood work that was done a few weeks ago. She said I was Vitamin D deficient. I had already known that and had read a bit to understand a lot of women in more metropolitan areas have this deficiency.  Makes sense more tall buildings = less sunlight. Whatever, I thought and basically blew it off.

Today, I however was made to pay attention.  My deficiencies are less than half of where they should be for me.  Lack of vitamin D can lead to memory loss, lack of energy and aches and pains to name a few. Damn, I was three for three. Not good. She prescribed 50,000 mg supplement and sent me on my way.

I'm going to obey doctors orders and pay attention to my 40 year old bad self. Its the only body I have right? That said, as soon as I'm finished here I'm headed online in search of nice warm place to soak up some Vitamin D rays with the fam.

Bye bye, winter, vacation here we come...