Friday, December 21, 2012

Wet Ones Sticky Situations Facebook Contest

Wet Ones has launched a Sticky Situations Facebook contest asking Moms to share their best helpful and creative tips on how to get out of a ‘sticky situation.’

For example, when I discovered my son had re-decorated his bedroom walls with my BIC permanent markers.

I was furious at first, but then took responsibility for leaving them out where he could get them.  I also realized that it was not the end of the world and I can re-paint his room, like I was planning to anyway.  My solution to this sticky situation is to ensure that my markers are put up where he cannot get them.  Another sticky situation I have found myself in was when my oldest daughter was little.  She had woken up before the rest of us and snuck downstairs to the kitchen.  She found my food coloring and proceeded to decorate herself, her baby sister and their bedroom to look like Easter eggs.  The kids were "stained" for several days but the walls stayed that way until we moved and they were re-painted.  My solution to that situation was to lock the pantry where we kept the food coloring.

When you enter the Wet Ones Sticky Situations Contest you have the chance at fabulous prizes! A brand new iPad Mini or one of three sets of Six Flags Tickets for Four! You have until December 28th to get your entry in so head on over and share your best tip!

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating and any opinions are 100% my own.

Product Review: Torani Syrup

You know those super yummy drinks you can buy at fancy coffee shops, the ones that are available in a gazillion flavors, like hazelnut, peppermint, and black cherry?  Sometimes they are hot drinks, like flavored coffees or hot chocolates, and sometimes they are cold, like milk shakes or Italian sodas.  I always enjoyed these flavored beverages, but the cost of them became prohibitive once I started having kids.  Now, you can make these drinks by yourself at home with Torani syrups.  I simply add 1-2 tablespoons of the Torani syrup to each cup of hot chocolate (or to my milkshake ingredients or seltzer water in the summer) and stir well. 

We also decided to try using these in our icing for our sugar cookies this Christmas.  We added 1 tablespoon of the syrup (I did both a Peppermint and a Vanilla Bean icing) to 1 cup powdered sugar and added milk until it was the consistency we wanted.  I am also going to use the peppermint syrup in a glaze for a chocolate bundt cake I will be making for Christmas.  I will then sprinkle crushed peppermints on yummy!

Here is a little about Torani:
Since 1925, 3rd generation family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothies. Coffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.

Please share your favorite ways to use Torani syrups in a comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

I received two bottles of Torani syrups in exchange for this post.  Thank you SheSpeaks and Torani!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Review: Asher of Bethlehem: The Story of a Young Beggar, His Best Friend, and the Birth of Extraordinary Child

About the book
When he guides two strangers to the inn owned by his best friend’s parents, a 15-year-old beggar sets in motion events that place him in grave danger before putting his life on a dramatic, new course. Readers will meet exciting heroes and treacherous villains, while gaining renewed inspiration from the story of Jesus’ birth. People of all ages will enjoy this stirring account of the adventure-loving youth who was in Bethlehem to witness—and take part in—one of the most important occurrences in recorded history.

My thoughts
We enjoyed this fresh take on the Nativity story and I found it very easy to turn into lesson plans as well. (I will link to them once I get them all typed up.)  I read Asher of Bethlehem aloud to my girls, ages 11, 10 and 6 years.  They loved seeing Asher's internal strength to overcome the obstacles life had placed in his path and the level of his faith.  The story itself follows the Biblical stories of the birth of Christ, but the author used license to create several characters to give a different view of the way things were at that time.  The language used in the book is very descriptive, and allows the reader to expand their vocabulary in an easy way.  It makes a great family read-along, especially this time of year, but could also be read alone by an established reader (age 8+).
I received a free copy of this book from BookCrash in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Bible Detective- A Puzzle Search Book

This is I Spy meets the Bible who brought along a child's theology book.  Each of the 17 scenes represent a scene from the Bible.  The reader will find related Bible trivia, including scriptural references and dates, along with several items to seek in each scene.  I found some of the items rather easy to find and some rather difficult, but either way, the answers are all in the back of the book.  One thing I found a little confusing is the drawings that are shown near the words that tell you what to look for.  Sometimes, the drawings are very similar to the one you are looking for and other times they are very different.  The recommended age is 7 and up, but I used it along with my 4 and 5 year olds and they enjoyed looking for the items as well.  Readers could definitely use the book on their own or it makes a great family activity.  I would say that anyone who enjoys hearing Bible stories and/or enjoys seek and find books will enjoy Bible Detective: A Puzzle Search Book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  My opinion is my own. 

Gift Idea and Giveaway: Find Me If You Can

Do you have a child, or even an adult, on your gift list that enjoys books like I Spy or Where's Waldo?  If so, they will absolutely love this personalized book by Bammco.  The book is titled, "Find Me If You Can" and stars your loved one.   The hard-covered book consists of 30 heavy duty, high gloss 8.5 X 11 pages with fun rhymes on each page.  The face of your child appears once on each of the pages, amid a sea of other sweet faces.  You also have the option of adding up to four additional photos, for an added cost.  The price for the book is $29.99, and well worth it, but I have a special coupon code for you which will allow you to save 10% on any purchase.  Just enter the word "buckethead" when you are paying for your purchase.  This coupon will be good for 7 days from today.

I highly recommend this book and I think it is the one gift I am most looking forward to giving this year.  My husband, my oldest daughter and I had a blast looking for my son's face on each page.  Some were easy to find and some were not, but I know my son will love all of the pages.

I also have a gift code to give away to one of you to get your own book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one of these books in exchange for this review, but my opinion is my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review: I See the Sun in Mexico

About the book (From the back cover)
I See the Sun in Mexico is the fifth book in the award-winning I See the Sun series.  Luis' working-class family lives in La Paz.  His father is a cook on an excursion boat.  His mother makes the best tortillas in the city.  Today, Luis will spend the day on the boat, swimming with the tourists on the beautiful sea.  The clear blue water is a magical world filled with colorful fish and playful sea lions.  In the afternoon, the boat anchors and everyone goes for a hike.  The sandy trail, high above the shore, reveals snakes, lizards, cactus flowers and ancient rock drawings.  Lush illustration and a bilingual story in English and Spanish provide Luis' view of his beautiful country.  

My thoughts
We enjoyed this book, and I especially liked the pictures.  They use real photos that are then enhanced and have drawings of people and pets scrapbooked onto them.  I also liked that EVERY part of the book is bilingual, not just the actual story, but the dedication and acknowledgements pages, the back cover and the glossary are all in both languages.  It really helps to see how the language is used in non-typical settings.  The simple language used through the book makes it a great book for someone learning the Spanish (and I bet it works well for Spanish speakers learning English) language to see how the sentences translate, while also introducing them to a small bit of Mexican culture.  I also like that there are several other languages and countries represented in this line of books.  It allows families to choose which country or language they are want to learn more about.   I could not find a complete list of what is available, but I did find Afghanistan (great for anyone who knows someone who is or was deployed there), China, Nepal and Russia.


I recommend these books to anyone who has any interest in the daily lives of people in other countries and/or is learning another language.  The reading level is pretty basic, so if you are just looking to learn about the country, these are better suited for older elementary kids, but would be appropriate for any age if they are learning the language.

I would like to thank the publisher and One Media Squared for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for sharing this review with you.

Affiliate opportunity for bloggers: Mommy Bear Media

Mommy Bear Media is looking for bloggers to be a part of their Premier Blogger Program.  It is free to join, a great way to monetize your blog, and a good way to increase your audience as they will help promote posts about them.  I was fortunate to host a giveaway for them back in November and they were great to work with.  When you sign up with them, they start you out with a $5 bonus.  For every new blogger you refer to them, you will receive another $5 bonus.  In addition, you will earn commission on every bought by one of your readers and you are paid for each click from your blog.  The best part is, you don't even need to do anything special for those things to happen, you just post the link to Mommy Bear Media in your post, and they know where the reader is coming from.

To get started:
1- Head over to Mommy Bear Media
2- Fill out the quick and easy form and go from there.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would put my id (TheHappyWife) as the referring ID, as I will get a bonus, but there is no pressure to do so :)

Review and Giveaway: Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips

gluten-free snacks

During the brief period of my life when I was eating gluten-free, I discovered aisles of food that I otherwise probably would not have known about otherwise and there is no rule that says you have to have a food sensitivity or allergy or a special diet in order to eat these foods. Beanfields Rice and Bean Chips are just one great food that those who only shop the regular chip aisle are missing out on.

Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips are not only gluten-free, but they do not contain any of the 8 ingredients identified by the FDA as causing 90% of food-related allergic reactions.  They are also vegan, even the nacho cheese flavored one.  The main ingredients are black beans, navy beans, and long grain rice and the chips are Non-GMO verified. Each 1 ounce serving provides 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, making them a nutritionally balanced snack choice.  They even have an unsalted variety for those monitoring their salt intake.  Along with the unsalted flavor, you will find Sea Salt, Pico de Gallo, Salt N' Pepper, and Nacho.

Beanfields prides themselves as a company that does things differently from other companies.  They believe that great tasting snacks should also be good for you, good for our families, good for our farmers, and good for the planet.  All ingredients are grown in the USA and the products are also USA made.  Beanfields participates in local events by nonprofits, in addition to donating their time and products.  In addition, they share profits with their stakeholders and community.

The chips are available at over 520 natural, specialty, and grocery stores in 21 Western United States.  You can find a store near you, by using their store locator.  For those of you, like myself, who do not live near a store that carries them, you can buy them online at places like Amazon as well as on the Beanfields website.

You can find Beanfields online at their website, on facebook, and on Twitter.

My thoughts
Before I tried these chips, I loved them on paper.  I am all for Non-GMO foods and for tasty healthier snacks, but I also know that often these foods do not taste great so I was a bit concerned about how these would taste.  I am pleased to say that I enjoyed them very much.  They do definitely taste different than what you may be used to, but they are good.  I even liked the unsalted ones, which I was really surprised by.  Every flavor was enjoyable, but the Nacho flavor is my favorite and I am excited to share these ones with my brother.  His wife has a life-threatening allergy to milk and he has to go through an extensive routine before he can kiss her after he eats Doritos, and while these are not exactly like Doritos, they are pretty close, and I like them even better. The chips are easy to bite, but hold up well when dipped as well.

The giveaway
I am excited to be able to offer one of my readers a half case (6 bags)  of Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.