Friday, September 28, 2012

Udi's Gluten-Free Review...



We recently had the chance to review several products from Udi's, a gluten-free line of foods.  The kiddos really enjoyed the granola, the cookies and the pretzels.  The bread was a little hearty for them, but B and I really enjoyed it.  B isn't usually a fan of gluten-free foods, but after tasting the Udi's goodies he said they were by far the best gluten-free products he'd ever tried!  Udi's has an extensive line of GF foods that make packing a lunch or snack for the kiddos so easy!  These are really great, healthy snack alternatives that the whole family can enjoy:)  ABCD Diaries gives Udi's an A+! 

Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Listerine Smart Rinse Review and Giveaway...



As families start the transition from their laxidasical summer schedules into hectic back to school mode, it’s a great time to get kids and families back on track with their oral care routines.  As brushing only cleans 25 percent of our mouths, it’s important for kids to remember that flossing and rinsing are just as essential to keeping our smiles bright and healthy.  To help you get your children invested in the care of their teeth, LISTERINE would love to offer our readers a chance to win LISTERINE®’s new Phineas and FerbTM Bubble Blast Flavor SMART RINSE®.

Unlike other fluoride rinses, LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® works l like a magnet to attract the particles that brushing may leave behind and tints the particles – leaving proof in the sink of a cleaner mouth.  Some other benefits include:
·         A special post-brush mouth rinse design to help kids protect their teeth against cavities
·         The power to clean the mouth beyond brushing alone
·         A primary benefit of included fluoride – which is an important ingredient to help provide extra cavity protection
·         And because it’s from the makers of LISTERINE®, SMART RINSE® kills the germs that cause bad breath too


Dr. Kaneta Lott’s tips for Engaging Kids Early in Oral Care:
·         Show, don’t tell. Floss once a day and brush and rinse twice a day, every day. Share the experience with your child. When leading by example, kids are likely to imitate behavior and make oral hygiene feel less like a "kid thing."
·         Clean to the beat. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all rhythmic activities. Play music to help kids enjoy oral care routines. On average, brushing should last two minutes and rinsing 60 seconds. Together these activities last the length of a typical song.
·         Reward healthy behavior. Offer rewards for achieving brushing, flossing, and rinsing goals. Post a calendar in the bathroom and reward kids with a gold star for each day of great oral care. At the end of each month, praise kids for a job well done.

What we thought:  Both A and D have showed a lot more interest in brushing their teeth since we introduced Smart Rinse to their brushing routine.  It adds an element of fun to a routine that they usually see as boring.  Anything that gets my kiddos to spend more time cleaning their teeth gets a thumbs up from me!  ABCD Diaries gives LISTERINE's Smart Rinse an A+!

Mega Bloks Lil' Princess Party!



"For 25 years, Mega Bloks® has been creating award-winning toys with great play value, specifically designed for little hands with big ideas.  Mega Bloks® encourages children to discover their imagination and creativity.  Mega Bloks® world of construction toys are meant to expand and grow just as children do."  

Mega Bloks logo
  



Mega Bloks Lil Princess
 We were so excited when we were chosen to host a Mega Bloks Lil' Princess Party thanks to Mega Bloks and MommyParties!  




These toys were a huge hit with our party guests (both boys and girls:) between the ages of 1 and 5 years old.  The toys were really cute and Mega Bloks is a name you can depend on for affordable well-made toys.  The princesses were adorable and the kiddos loved mixing and matching princesses and horses.  The castle was the centerpiece of our party and provided hours of fun, from personalizing and decorating it with the included stickers, to rearranging "furniture"  and playing make believe, the kiddos really enjoyed it!  They also loved playing "Find the Missing Ponies," dancing at "Princess Ivy's Dance Party" and eating some delicious princess treats including Pink Princess Punch and Mini Brownie Cupcakes with princess sprinkles:)  ABCD Diaries and all of our guests give Mega Bloks' Lil' Princess toys an A+!


Stay up to date on all the Mega Bloks news when you become a member of the club!  

Disclosure:  As a member of MomSelect, ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No Nonsense Leggings and Tights Review...

 No Nonsense is more than just affordable, long-lasting pantyhose!  They also have great leggings and tights that are perfect for fall!
We recently reviewed the Great Shapes Shaping Leggings.

"Our No nonsense Great Shapes Cotton Shaping Leggings offer trend-right style with added shaping benefits. Features a poly-spandex power-net panel to provide shaping support around tummy and hips."

We also reviewed a pair of Openwork Fashion Tights!



"Openwork fashion tights are becoming a huge fashion trend both on and off the runway. Our Lace Net Openwork Tights feature a stabilizer panty to prevent tearing. Check out all the beautiful openwork patterns!"

What we thought:  I could live in these leggings!  Seriously, if I could wear them everyday I would:)  The are really slimming, but super comfy and they look great with my longer shirts and shorter dresses.  The tights are wonderful as well and are an easy way to make a simple dress look nicer.  No Nonsense boasts an impressive line of leggings and tights in colors and patterns perfect to accentuate your fall wardrobe.  ABCD Diaries gives No Nonsense an A+!

Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Waverly and the Magic Seashells Review and Giveaway...




"The Bridge Direct (the toy company who manufacturers the Justin Bieber dolls, Inkoos and Shoulder Buddies) is launching a brand new small doll line for girls.  You can check out the website, www.MagicSeaShells.com.



What we thought: OMG!  Waverly and the Magic Sea Shells are A's new favorite thing to play with!  She plays with them on a daily basis and never tires of hearing their "secret" from the magic pearls:)  Like many young girls, A loves anything to do with mermaids, dolls, magic, etc. so these toys are a perfect fit for her and most girls around her age.  They have a variety of dolls, shells and magic pearls to choose from and I know A is going to want to mix and match these for awhile which makes for great gift ideas!  Waverly and the Magic Seashells are sure to be a big hit!  ABCD Diaries gives these toys an A+! 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Little Pim Review...



"Little Pim is the award-winning foreign language learning DVD series for kids, babies, and toddlers. Little Pim comes in eleven different languages (Spanish, Italian, Chinese, German, English, French, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Hebrew, Portuguese) and includes videos, apps, music, books, flash cards and more. Each video is segmented into 5 minute episodes to accompany a young child’s (age 0-6) attention span and encourage pausing for parent interaction.  Our series is designed so that parents can follow along, even if they don’t speak the language themselves! Kids love the cartoon panda, Little Pim, who serves as the series’ teacher and guide."

We reviewed the Spanish DVD and the French Bop CD:



What we thought:  The kiddos enjoyed both the DVD and CD from Little Pim.  They are definitely geared toward younger children.  A and D especially enjoyed the French Bop CD...it has the songs in French AND English, which is really great for teaching a new language through music.  Little Pim products would make great educational gifts for the little ones in your life!  ABCD Diaries gives Little Pim an A+! 


Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples  for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"W is for Wapiti" Review...



"The Secret Mountain brings the fun back to the alphabet by addressing the sound of each letter, from A to Z, through amusing and lively songs.
Each page of the colorfully illustrated songbook features a whimsical way to look at each letter, from “A is for Aha! Aha!” to “Z is for zoom through it because our song’s already through.” Pre-­‐readers and early readers alike will enjoy thinking about the letters and words.
The songs are simply worded for these emerging readers, but there’s plenty here to challenge those who want to learn more sophisticated words like “M is for my marmot and me” and “R is for rambunctious rascals making a racket.” The title song, “W is for Wapiti,” is accompanied by a picture of a humongous beast stalking a hunter through the forest. It’s quite a turnabout! The last song, “Let’s Sing It Again,” will ensure that early readers and careful listeners become ABC experts
"Mister Elephant" from W Is for Wapiti
"Mister Elephant," a song from  W Is for Wapiti, new from The Secret Mountain in September.
About the STORYBOOK
Genevieve Cote created the charming watercolor artwork for the 48-page picture book.
About the MUSIC CD
The songs were written by Christiane Duchesne and Paul Kunigis, with performances by Karen Young and Glen Bower, along with a children's chorus.
"Aha Aha!" from W Is for Wapiti.
The Secret Mountain creates children’s books, apps, videos and music of the highest quality. The French imprint ~ La Montagne Secr├Ęte ~ is hailed as one of the most original and innovative children’s publishing houses in Canada and France. The company recently made its United States debut with award-winning music, DVDs and books. Previous titles from this world lullaby storybook-music CD series include Songs from the Baobob Tree(2011) and Songs in the Shade of the Flamboyant Tree (June 2012). In October, the company will release another international storybook-with-CD featuring middle eastern children's music: Songs in the Shade of the Olive Tree: Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from the Maghreb." 

What we thought:  What a fantastic book for little learners!  Both 6 year old A and 3 year old D LOVED this book/CD combo.  The pictures are colorfully illustrated with a poem/song for each letter of the alphabet.  These little stories are both funny and educational.  Our kiddos respond really well to learning through song and "W is for Wapiti" is a great way to introduce letters.  ABCD Diaries gives "W is for Wapiti" an A+! 

For more information, visit www.thesecretmountain.com

Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this book for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Juicy Drop Taffy from Bazooka Candy Giveaway!!




Bazooka Candy Brands Stretches Confection Line with Debut of Juicy Drop Taffy™ Candy

"Chew on this! Bazooka Candy Brands, known for their popular confectionery products including Bazooka® gum andRing Pop® lollipops, will extend their top-selling Juicy Drop® candy line with the launch of Juicy Drop Taffy candy.  Building off the unique two-in-one candy experience that has made the Juicy Drop brand successful, which includes Juicy Drop Pop® lollipops, Bazooka Candy Brands has created the first-ever taffy candy that lets kids control their own flavor intensity.

Each Juicy Drop Taffy pouch will contain eight pieces of delicious chewy taffy along with a Juicy Drop sour gel applicator, allowing consumers to determine their taste experience.  The candy will debut in two flavors - Blue Rebel and Knock Out Punch - and will be available nationally in March 2012, retailing for $1.49."

For more information on Juicy Drop Taffy, please visit www.bazookajoe.com.

Bazooka Candy Brands would like to offer two of our readers the Juicy Drop Taffy After School Pack.  The pack includes Bazooka Candy Brand’s new candy, Juicy Drop Taffy, along with a variety of our old faves like Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop, and Bazooka gum!

"Bubble Ride" by Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys CD Review...


"Honored with FIVE national awards and adored by a legion of families in the greater Boston area, Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys are poised to firmly plant themselves on the national scene with the October 2 release of Vanessa's third studio CD, Bubble Ride (VeeTree Records, $14.98, run time 47 minutes, for ages 1 – 8).

Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys have captured the vibrant  effervescence of the band's tremendously popular live concerts to showcase a sound honed and refined over the course of the past two years, a sound notable for its energized spontaneity, rich harmonies, and primarily acoustic instrumentation.

Bubble Ride kicks off with "Moomooheehawbaabaaneigh," a sort of barnyard onomatopoetic Afrobeat song that takes a break in the middle to feature a hilarious rap about animal conversations. A delightful feature of many of the songs on Bubble Ride is the way they "open up" to create the image of a richly textured, large vocal ensemble.  Listening to these singers harmonize makes it clear that they love what they’re doing! This is especially apparent when Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeysrevisit an iconic anthem of the early '70s, "Free to Be You and Me.""

What we thought:  This was a really fun CD:)  It is full of toe-tapping tunes that really got the kids moving and the lyrics are so fun!  "Bubble Ride" is aimed towards younger children so it was perfect for both our 3 year old and our 6 year old.  Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys are great family-friendly entertainment:)  ABCD Diaries gives this CD an A+!

Check out Vanessa's website at www.vanessatrien.com .


Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this CD for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luden's and Chloraseptic for Fall...


"Whether you are a coach, parent, allergy sufferer, or teacher, you are bound to have a dry and irritated throat at some point this fall! Luden’s and Chloraseptic are ready with new products, Luden's Moisture Drops and Chloraseptic's Warming Throat Spray to help those in need of relief.

The new Luden's Moisture Drops not only soothes the dryness and discomfort of dry mouth, but also taste great.  Chloraseptic is now offering new Warming Throat Spray. Also known as "hot tea on the go," the spray provides immediate sore throat relief with the comfort of a warm and soothing feeling. Don’t forget about Chloraseptic Throat Spray for KIDS in great-tasting, kid-friendly Grape flavor!"

What we thought:  The whole family enjoyed the new kiwi-strawberry flavored Luden's Moisture Drops.  They had a great taste and worked really well to solve the problem of dry-mouth.  The Warming Throat Spray from Chloraseptic was wonderful too.  It's no wonder why they call it "hot tea on the go!"  It really is just as soothing for a sore throat as a hot cup of tea.  Both products would be great to have on hand for allergy-sufferers this fall.  ABCD Diaries gives Luden's and Chloraseptic an A+!

Find Luden's and Chloraseptic products at grocery stores, drug stores and mass merchandisers nationwide!

Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

AZ Books Review...



"AZ Books LLC, a leading publisher of innovative and interactive children's books around the world, is pleased to announce its entry to the U.S. market.


There are more than 200 children's books in the AZ wide collection, each of which brings delight to children and surprises their parents. They offer a vast array of children's book products, including pop-ups, electronic books, sound books, talking alphabets and encyclopedias, charming fairytales and musical books aimed at kids from newborn to 10-years old.

"The secret of AZ books is magic: They talk by themselves and ask children questions, tell stories and sing songs. The cleverness comes from the work of their talented creators and advanced technology," says Robert Tod, Vice President, AZ Books. 

This well established international brand has product lines that appear in 32 different languages. With a price point under $20 on each book global sales have exceeded 45 million units.

Additional Company and Product Highlights:
.    Product line aimed at kids from newborn to 10 years old
.    New line to the United States with more than 200 titles 
.    Worldwide team of 340 employees including designers, artists and editors
.    All product compliant with CPSC and ASTM standards and regulations 
.    Niche product line - unique, desirable, and well priced
.    Informative, educational, entertaining, suitable also for early learning
.    Everything under $20 MSF"


We reviewed Great Warriors.

Title: Great Warriors     


"This is an amazing series consisting of ten beautiful books with pop-ups. Topics include machines, dinosaurs, ancient warriors, animals, and nature.

This entertaining pop-up book transports kids to the times of fearless gladiators, ruthless pirates, noble samurai, and brave knights. As they turn the pages, kids will hear drumbeats, gunshots, neighing horses, the whistle of blades, the clanging of swords, and the shouts of warriors on a battlefield. 3D pictures make readers feel right in the middle of the action!"

What we thought:  The kiddos really loved this book, especially D:)  The sound effects were awesome and spot on and the book was very informative.  I even learned a lot from this book!  I didn't know a lot of the terminology used when it comes to some of the great ancient warriors, so with this book we all learned together.  AZ Books offers up a huge variety of books for kiddos of all ages and they would make great gifts!  The next time you are in the market for some great children's books, check out the selection of affordable titles from AZ Books!  ABCD Diaries gives AZ Books an A+!


Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples  for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.


Robert Rothschild Farm Review and Giveaway...


We recently reviewed the Fire Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Spread from Robert Rothschild Farm. Check out this mouth-watering description:
"Fire roasted eggplant, red peppers, sweet onions, feta and salty capers are blended with tart vinegar to create this delectable spread.

Suggested Uses:
Serve with crackers or baguettes for a quick appetizer.  Perfect dip for vegetables.  Also try as a condiment on sandwiches."

We enjoyed this spread on a scrumptious veggie pizza.  It was the perfect sauce alternative!  This spread would also be good as a bread or veggie dip and great for entertaining!  Robert Rothschild Farm is our go-to website for delicious sauces and spreads, especially around the holidays.  ABCD Diaries gives Robert Rothschild Farm an A+!

Find more delectable sauces and spreads at Robert Rothschild Farm!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tree Top Treats for Back to School Review...


"Tree Top brand’s juice boxes, apple sauce cups and fruit snacks are all made with 100 percent USA-grown apples, and these individually packaged items are a great on-the-go snack option and perfect to throw into a lunchbox for school. Additionally, they are shelf-stable enough that moms need only stock up at the beginning of the school year and they’ll last in the cupboard for months – saving constant trips to the grocery store!

Tree Top All Natural Fruit Snacks
·        Made with all natural ingredients
·        Include real fruit juice
·        Enriched with vitamin C

Tree Top Natural or Organic Apple Sauce
·        Gluten free
·        Contains no high fructose corn syrup or added sugar
·        Made with 100 percent USA-grown apples
·        Only 50 calories
·        Provides 100 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C

Tree Top 100% Apple Juice
·        Conveniently packaged in single-serving juice boxes
·        Made with 100 percent USA-grown apples
·        Satisfies half a cup of the daily recommended fruit servings (2 cups)
·        Provides 100 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C
·        100 percent juice in a variety of flavors"

What we thought:  The Tree Top products we reviewed have become staples in our pantry:)  The kiddos enjoyed the applesauce, fruit snacks and juice boxes so much we decided to stock up.  With the affordable prices of these products, that was easy to do!  The fruit snacks come in an 80 count package too, which lasts us quite a while.  I love the convenience of only needing to by them every so often to restock since they have become such a favorite snack around here:)  I also love knowing I am offering my family 100% real apples and other natural fruits and juices that are made right here in the USA.  These are definitely snacks I can happily buy for my kiddos:)  ABCD Diaries gives Tree Top products an A+!


Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples  for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Aaron Nigel Smith & One World Chorus "Welcome to the Village!" CD Review...



"Aaron Nigel Smith, known for his work on PBS TV and his award-winning music for children, will release Welcome to the Village!, a globe-shrinking collection of songs featuring the voices of hundreds of children from New York, Los Angeles, Portland and a school near Nairobi, Kenya. The release is the first from Aaron's non-profit One World Chorus project.

Welcome to the Village! just launched on iTunes and will be available on CD September 4th from Aya World Productions. A portion of proceeds from the new release will help build a music program at the Cura Rotary Home, an orphanage and school in Kenya.

Nearly a year in the making, Welcome to the Village includes 13 songs, including “Fanga Alafia,” traditional Nigerian morning greeting song, performed by children at Cura. Aaron spent time at the orphanage in February working with the children and recording this and other vocal tracks for the album. Aaron mixed these children’s angelic voices with those of kids he’s worked with at the Palisades Children’s Choir near Los Angeles, the Achievement First Academy in Brooklyn, NY, and 5th graders from Forest Hills Elementary School (near Portland, Oregon) as well as 45 children from the greater Portland area. All in all, more than 300 voices are included in the collection of songs."

What we thought:  One of our new favorite CDs, "Welcome to the Village!" brings smiles to A and D's faces every time we turn it on:)  There are some really great songs on this CD.  The kiddos always love music that features children's voices and this CD was a big hit.  Song after song you can catch us singing and dancing along.  "Welcome to the Village!" exposes children to  different cultures with fun songs while also offering fantastic renditions of songs they may already know.  ABCD Diaries gives this CD an A!

 For more information about the One World Chorus, visit www.oneworldchorus.org.

For a glimpse of Smith’s visit to the Cura Rotary Home, visit his YouTube page.

Upcoming Aaron Nigel Smith Concerts

September 22 ~ Music Millennium, Portland
October 13 ~ Lakeshore Learning, Lake Oswego, OR
October: Los Angeles and New York City performances to be scheduled soon. Please visit http://www.aaronnigelsmith.com/AaronLive.html for updates.



Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was given samples  for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hearts For Hearts Girls Gathering!




Hearts For Hearts Girls is a charitable doll line and fashion collection from Playmates Toys, which seeks to empower girls to become agents of change in their communities, their countries and around the world. The line features six dolls {update, there are now 8 dolls} inspired by real girls from real places allover the world. Each authentically dressed and lifelike doll has her own story to share and is working to change her community in ways unique to her home country. A portion of each doll sale is donated to a non-profit organization that helps children from that doll’s country. Playmates Toys is working with non-profit partner World Vision to make this possible.
The Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls come to life with a fully interactive website that lets girls discover different cultures, read about girls who have overcome challenges, and engage with the dolls through a range of activities. Each doll comes with a special code that lets girls unlock a free membership to the kid-safe website at www.hearts4heartsgirls.com. All girls are welcome to visit the website, but the special code that comes with purchase provides access to a larger array of games and also lets girls create their own “myHeart” page. This special page displays things that girls care about, ways in which they want to help girls or their community, and words to help express how they feel as a Hearts For Hearts Girl. They can change the page as often as they like!


We were lucky enough to receive a party pack from Hearts for Hearts Girls and MommyParties.  Our Hearts for Hearts Girls party was so much fun!  The dolls are beautiful and each comes with a story.  I love that the stories are based on the cultures, climates and geographies of real life girls.  These dolls and their stories bring issues from around the world to life for little girls and make these issues easy for them to understand and relate to.  What a great way to get young girls aware and involved in helping different causes even outside of their immediate environment!  Our guests enjoyed playing games, making crafts and sampling some delicious treats based on these dolls.  The girls especially loved making the water bottle banks to collect donations for their cause.  We had a blast!  ABCD Diaries gives Hearts for Hearts Girls dolls an A+!

Find out more by visiting the Hearts For Hearts Girls Facebook Page and their website.

Disclosure:  ABCD Diaries was provided with a party kit for our participation as a member of MommyParties and MomSelect. All opinions are our own.