In the holiday candy aisle at my local supermarket, next to the lifesaver storybooks we loved getting as kids, was this display of peppermint candy shot glasses. I'm so glad they put the age disclaimer on the box! Such an odd holiday item, in my opinion!
Baby it's been cold outside, but it seems to be warming up! It was so cold at the end of last week that I ended up putting our super warm and cozy flannel sheets on the bed. I hadn't used those sheets for two years, since last winter was so mild. I love them! With the sudden cold and snow flurries many of the leaves fell off the trees. Our lawn guy raked our leaves into a gigantic pile on Friday since the township comes to use the leaf vaccuum this week. I think out pile is the biggest on the block! Darn old trees!
We are starting to get ready for Thanksgiving and planning our menu. The kiddo has voted that we have to have pumpkin pie. He loves anything pumpkin it seems, which is good. (He really loves pumpkin ice cream!) I'm wondering how far I can push the pumpkin thing. He is definitely less picky lately and has been good about trying different foods. He went as far as trying some Chinese take out this weekend with us and declared it to be good. Tonight he ate breaded tilapia that I called "fish and chips." It's been nice not having to make two meals each night! There are still times when what we eat is just too spicy or saucy. I respect that!
We spent the afternoon today at the Garden State Discovery Museum, a kids' museum in Cherry Hill, NJ. We went over a year ago there and the kiddo frequently mentioned how much he'd like to return for a visit. I bought discounted admission tickets via Groupon.
The little guy had fun. He loves the diner section and played there twice, taking our orders and serving us a variety of plastic foods. His favorite section is the replica of a tv news set, his favorite news, Action News. He played the parts of director and cameraman while the parents were the newscasters. It was really cute!
There is a mini hockey rink so the boys got to play some hockey and pretend to be Flyers. Then they played a little basketball. It was a great day of play and imagination!
I had an assistant with me today who helped me cast my final ballot. He was happy that I let him push some of the buttons for me. We are thankfully in agreement as to who we want for president. Did you vote? Get out there before the polls close!
Well, it's been quite a week we have survived. We were so lucky that we had just some minor inconveniences as a result of Hurricane Sanday. I keep looking at photos of the devastation at the NJ shore and am sick over it. Tonight I found photos of some of the restaurants we like to visit on LBI...they were just awful. So much damage, and much of it not covered by insurance. Then there are the photos of people who lost their homes or have no power yet and it is so cold at night. This appears to be the worst storm to hit the mid-Atlantic.
So last week's menu plan never happened. We ate out often, which wasn't wise, but necessary. This week's weather forecast actually includes another nor'easter aimed for the area, which could mean cold rain or snow. That is crazy! So, to stay warm, it will be a soup week, I think! I had made a really delicious chicken pot pie soup the night before the hurricane. Unfortunately we lost the leftovers because of the power outtage.
This past weekend I had the chance to to have a bit of fun with a bunch of area moms at the Social Media Mom Mixer hosted by Whitney of Mommies With Style and Colleen of Classy Mommy. It was in a beautiful place with an opportunity to meet many local bloggers and learn about some great holiday products.
One of the exibitors was Little Passports, a company offering an educational subscription service for kids to learn about the world or the United States via a cool monthly kit mailed home. The original subscription service shows kids a global perspective, sending them a kit featuring Sam and Sophia who explore a different county each month and send kids info, postcards, little souvenirs and facts about the featured country. Recommended ages are 5 to 10 years.
The newest subscription service features an exploration of the United States. Each month kids receive in the mail a kit from Sam and Sophie about their visits to two differnt states. Included in the kits are travel journals, stickers, postcards, and pop-out models, along with access to games and activities online to enhance the exploration. Subscriptions start with a discovery kit that includes and personalized letter from Sam and Sopie, a field guide, a USA wall map, a USA scratch book, a disposable camera and a photo scavenger hunt. Recommended ages are 7 to 12 years.
Little Passports USA Edition display at the Social Media Holiday Mom Mixer in Philadelphia
I have been trying to come up with an idea for a fun Christmas present for my five year old son and I think Little Passports is perfect for him. He loves to "read" maps and travel. While he is a bit young for the USA Edition kits, I think that would be the one I would subscribe to for him. I had the chance to check out the travel journals and I think he would enjoy completing the activities with me as I read them to him. He would have fun completing the photo scavenger hunt, as he loves taking picutres almost as much as I do. He also loves getting mail, so this would be a gift that would extend through the year. He is curious about travel and has requested to go many places. These monthly kits would be a way to learn more about our country and the places we cannot travel to at this time.
I'll be sure to do a proper review from my son's perspecitive after I subscribe and he has a chance to use some of the kits.
Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation from Little Passports. This post is my own opinion!
On Halloween night, the kiddo and I headed over to my sister's house about an hour away to go trick-or-treating and spend the night, since we still didn't have power and our town postponed Halloween fun because of safety issues. By the end of the night, our house had power again, so we didn't get to have a sleepover party, but we did get to go trick-or-treating with the cousins. They had a blast and got a ton of candy!
Our town's trick-or-treating was rescheduled for Saturday night. We ended up going over to the neighboring town to go around with the kiddo's best buddy from preschool. Despite some of the homes still not having power, and the timing so odd (3-6) for going out, many houses gave out candy and the kids had a blast. So we now have a ridiculous amount of candy in the house. We left a bag of treats on our porch for our neighborhood kids, but it was barely touched.
Candy, sorted and arranged by type! I think he is proud of his loot!
As a Purex Insider, I had the opportunity to try out a new product, Purex plus Oxi laundry detergent. With my hurricane preparations, washing all laundry so it was out of the basement was part of that job, so I had the chance to really try out this liquid laundry detergent that has Oxi added to it so I did not need to add more.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
After five loads of laundry, I can safely say I put this new detergent to the test. I have been using Purex liquid detergent for about a year now, and have almost always added a scoop of Oxi-Clean powder to each load, especially whites and my son's clothes. I found that the Purex Plus Oxi detergent did clean the laundry great, and I did not have to add more Oxi to the machine for most clothes. For really bad, set in stains, I might still add a bit extra Oxi...time will tell! I really liked the light clean scent of my wash after it was finished.
With a five year old boy, most of his clothes end up covered in stains. My normal routine is to presoak bad stains overnight in a mix of Oxi and water. I like that I can use the new Purex plus Oxi as a pretreater too.
After the hurricane passed and our power returned, we spent a lot of time cleaning up two defrosted refrigerators and freezers. Melted ice was all over, so I used tons of bath towels to mop it all up. I relied on Purex plus Oxi again to help with the laundry and was pleased with the results.
Purex Plus Oxi is currently hosting a sweepstakes where one winner will receive $1000 and 250 second place winners will recieve $25! Enter the Purex plus Oxi sweepstakes for your chance to win!
Along with the sample of detergent, Purex also sent me some coupons for free product. In light of the widespread damage Hurricane Sandy caused in nearby areas, I am passing along those coupons to another blogger who is collecting items to donate to the Hurricane victims in New Jersey. Everyone deserves to have clean laundry.
Disclosure: Purex provided me with a sample of Purex plus Oxi so I could review the product. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Today was the first normal day we had all week. Last night, just as I was tucking the kid into his sleeping bag at my sister's house, I got the message that our power was back on at home. I also found out school would be in session today. So, we packed up and came home to lights and heat at home!
It was great to see all of the kids playing after preschool today. They really missed each other. The hurricane may have ruined the Halloween parade at school, but the kids didn't care.
This afternoon was the start of the next session of soccer. The kiddo had a blast running around chasing the ball. We got to come home and actually cook a meal for dinner.
I haven't seen much news coverage of the storm except for some video clips on Facebook. What I've seen of the Jersey coastline is heartbreaking. Our favorite beaches on LBI have washed away. I hope that the shore will be able to rebuild. They won't be back to normal for a long time.
So my Pinterest addiction has inspired me to be much more crafty lately. I love it for giving me ideas of craft projects or even reminders of things I had seen but never made. Back before Christmas I saw an idea to make an initial/letter out of crayons. I think the originaly pinner was making them as teacher gifts, but I thought it would be a great decoration in my son's room. I have a certain love for the Crayola crayon and the alphabet. I have a slight obession with the alphabet, and it helps that my son is at that age where he knows his letters and is just starting to write them. We are also in the planning stages of redoing his bedroom, so I wanted to make him his initial in crayons. It was supposed to be a Christmas present. Then it was going to be a Valentine's gift. Well, now I just finally did it, so it isn't a gift, but was well received, nevertheless.
To make, I bought a new box of 24 Crayola Crayons, a box style square frame from Ikea, and made a template of the letter A on my computer and printed it large! I used plain white glue and a piece of cardstock. I used the letter template as a means to measure and cut the crayons into appropriate sizes, scoring the crayon with scissors and then snapping it. It was a bit more difficult to get the crayons in the right sizes than I anticipated, but certainly this was not a challenging project.
Once the glue was dried, I added a written line and framed it in the box frame. I love how it turned out and my son was excited to see his 'A" in crayons. I may make some as gifts now!