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LeapFrog LeapBand Review

LeapFrog LeapBand Review


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

In the world today kids are getting less active which is really sad.  With all the electronic devices at their fingertips, exercising and going outdoors is pushed aside.  Kids learn from parents and when we don't motivate them to get out and move, chances are they won't.

Our family is pretty active but there are times when we have to motivate the boys by giving them new games and activities.  Just like adults, kids can get lazy when it comes to physical activity..especially if it's boring.
Recently one of my favorite companies (LeapFrog) came out with a cool new product designed to encourage kids to get up and move and still have fun!  Both my seven year old and three year old have had fun with the LeapFrog LeapBand .  They love taking care of their pets, feeding them and earning jewels.  The jewels are like points, so when they get enough jewels they can unlock another pet!  My seven year old loves doing the physical challenges as well!  They have they popping like popcorn, hopping like a kangaroo, walking like a turtle, etc.  


Similar to other LeapFrog products you can choose to set it up via the computer when you first receive it so that you are able to track their progress.  The opted to wait for awhile to do this since the boys were excited to give it a try, but all in all it's a simple process and doesn't take long at all.


The band has a high-resolution color screen, is water-resistant and is rechargeable which makes for a very happy mom!  My boys can go through batteries like crazy so when products are rechargeable, that's a plus in my book! Not only does it keep kids active, but they also wear it as a regular watch as well!  My seven year old loves the stop watch as well.  He loves for us to time us to see how fast he can run around the house, bike down the driveway, etc.




Basically the more active kids are with their LeapBand, the more fun they'll have with games and rewards.  As they earn points, they can unlock up to 8 pets, play up to level 10 with each pet before unlocking a new one.  With each level of play, they get rewards like a variety of toys for their pet.  It also helps keep them engaged and learning with mini-games like Pet Boogie and Pet Chef.


In Pet Boogie, they can create and practice a pet dance and with Pet Chef, they help the pet collect food and make healthy snacks!  They can play in their pets world and visit Pet Parlor to pamper pets with glitter soap bath or collect new pet toy rewards in Pet Play!!

Both my soon to be four year old and seven year old have enjoyed using the LeapBand, but I will say that my seven year old has it on more than my four year old.  He is always doing the jumps, hops and challenges.  My four year old uses it mainly to play with the pets at this point.

LeapFrog LeapBand comes in three colors (pink, blue and green) and is available at most retailers like Toys 'r' us and Target for $39.99.

Monday, September 22, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
GoodNites *TRU-FIT*  #TRUFITBetterNites

GoodNites *TRU-FIT* #TRUFITBetterNites

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for GoodNites* TRU-FIT*. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating


My almost four year old has been potty trained since it was 24 months.  We started when he showed signs that he was ready and never had a problem during the day.  Now at almost four we still have problems with bed time wetting and lately we have noticed that it was embarrassing him for to put a diaper on him "just in case".

His older brother never picks fun of him for wearing a night time diaper but he sees that as a baby thing and is quick to tell people that those aren't his because he is a big boy.  Recently we have had the opportunity to try out GoodNites *TRU-FIT* and they are pretty amazing.

As you can see in the above picture, they look like actual underwear and remind me almost of the cloth style diapers we used to use.  There is an absorbent pad that slips into them and no one knows but me and my four year old.


The GoodNites *TRU-FIT* are real, machine-washable underwear with fantastic nighttime protection!  You don't have to order these online which is a plus!  I have found them in our local Walmart recently which makes it easy to get your hands on the inserts that are needed for these!  These give him more confident and he no longer seems embarrassed and afraid that people are going to call him a baby for wearing diapers.  There are other night time undies on the market but these are above them all in my opinion.

GoodNites *TRU-FIT* is available for boys and girls in sizes S/M and L/XL.  My almost four year old is in a S/M and weighs around 40 pounds.  He still has a lot of growing room in them.  Just out of curiosity my seven year old tried them on and he is 50 pounds and they fit him as well.

To learn more about GoodNites *TRU-FIT* and bed-wetting, be sure to check out their website GoodNites.com.

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Monday, September 22, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
The Krispy Kreme Ghostbuster Doughnuts

The Krispy Kreme Ghostbuster Doughnuts


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Switch on your proton packs because the boys are back in town!  Krispy Kreme and Sony Pictures Consumer Products have joined together to mark the 30th Anniversary of  the iconic blockbuster motion picture franchise with an exclusive offer of two new marshmallow Kreme™-filled Ghostbuster treats inspired by the supernatural comedy’s sweetest villains.  In conjunction with the release of the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release, Krispy Kreme is introducing Ghostbusters and Stay Puft Marshmallow Doughnuts that will be available September 29 through October 31, 2014 at participating Krispy Kreme® US and Canadian locations. While supplies last. Now through September 29th, contact your nearest participating Krispy Kreme location to pre-order five dozen or more Krispy Kreme Ghostbusters Doughnuts.

The Krispy Kreme Ghostbuster DoughnutsAvailable at participating US and Canadian locations only.  While supplies last. 

Visit KrispyKreme.com for your nearest Krispy Kreme location.

·         Ghostbusters Doughnut: A marshmallow Kreme-filled shell topped with white icing, a decorative green “splat” inspired by Slimer, and a Ghostbusters logo sugar piece.
·         Stay Puft Marshmallow: A marshmallow Kreme-filled shell topped with white icing, decorated with Stay Puft Marshmallow Man’s familiar face and a sugar piece hat.

The Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray and the Ghostbusters II 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is currently also available in a two-disc anniversary edition Blu-ray™ Digibook including both films, as well as a Limited Edition gift set that includes an exclusive collectible Slimer figurine and the two-disc Digibook.  This special gift set will only be available for a very limited time, with the collectible Slimer figurine being a true must-have for fans. Both films have been fully restored and remastered in 4K and will be presented in high definition on Blu-ray from those 4K sources.
Monday, September 22, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
GOPICNIC REVEALS NEW LINE OF HEALTHY READY-TO-EAT SNACK KITS

GOPICNIC REVEALS NEW LINE OF HEALTHY READY-TO-EAT SNACK KITS


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.
We have been a fan of GoPicnic for a few years now.  They are one of the first names I ever remember seeing when it came to nutritionally balanced and portable ready-to-eat meals.  Recently they launched a new line of six tasty snacks under 300 calories each.  The new line of better-for-you snacks is perfect for the health-conscious looking for smarter snacking options!

Each GoPicnic snack kit is packed with protein, fiber, and flavor, keeping consumers satisfied throughout the day.  The convenient, single-serve snacks offer a variety of special dietary options including gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO.  Like all GoPicnic products, the entire line is free of artificial colors, flavors, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup or added MSG.

GoPicnic’s new line of grab-and-go snack kits features:

Almond Butter + Multigrain Crackers: Creamy almond butter paired with crispy multigrain
crackers. The Almond Butter + Multigrain Crackers snack is gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO and has 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 270 calories. MSRP: $2.99

Black Bean Dip + Tortilla Chips: Confetti tortilla chips paired with a classic black bean dip. The Black Bean Dip + Tortilla Chips snack is gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO and has 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and 200 calories. MSRP: $2.99

Creamy Herb Dip + Multigrain Pita Chips: Classic herb gourmet cheese dip paired with crunchy multigrain pita chips. The Creamy Herb Dip + Multigrain Pita Chips snack has 8 grams of protein, 1 grams of fiber and 230 calories. MSRP: $2.99

Hummus Dip + Multigrain Pita Chips: Rich hummus paired with crunchy multigrain pita chips. The Hummus Dip + Multigrain Pita Chips snack is non-GMO, vegan and kosher and has 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 210 calories. MSRP: $2.99

Red Pepper Hummus + Multigrain Crackers: Red pepper hummus paired with crispy multigrain crackers. The Red Pepper Hummus + Multigrain Crackers snack is gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO and has 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 170 calories. MSRP: $2.99

Zesty Salsa + Tortilla Chips: Confetti tortilla chips paired with zesty chunky salsa. The Zesty Salsa + Tortilla Chips snack is gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO and has 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 160 calories. MSRP: $2.99


One of my top favorites out of the new selection is the Zesty Salsa and Tortilla chips, but they are all fantastic!  I love keeping them on hand for when we go on trips or errands. It's just so easy to toss them in the bag and go!

You can find GoPicnic products at more than 15,000 locations including Target, Walgreens, Costco, Whole Foods, Cost-Plus World market, Albertsons, Kroger, Sprouts, K-Mart, Hy-Vee, Giant Eagle, and Paradises and Hudson News airport stores.  You can also purchase them from GoPicnic.com!

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Sunday, September 21, 2014 | 1 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Nat Geo WILD’s The Secret Life of CATS 9/21 & Special Invite the SPCA 9/19!

Nat Geo WILD’s The Secret Life of CATS 9/21 & Special Invite the SPCA 9/19!






Nat Geo WILD’s The Secret Life of CATS, premiering Sunday, Sept 21. @ 10PM.  

In celebration of its premiere The Courtyard at Commerce Square & the Pennsylvania SPCA will host a special cat adoption event
#FelineFriday, September 19th
11:30am-1:30pm
As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Disney's "Planes Fire & Rescue" is landing on Disney Blu-ray™  Combo Pack on Nov 4th!

Disney's "Planes Fire & Rescue" is landing on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack on Nov 4th!


As They Grow Up was provided press to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.


Disney's "Planes Fire & Rescue" is landing on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand platforms November 4th! The follow-up to last year's "Planes" comes the world famous racer Dusty Crophopper who joins an elite fire and rescue unit and learns what it takes to be a true hero. The high-flying comedy adventure also comes jet packed with an all-new exclusive animated short, deleted scenes, music video and more!





Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Precious Child  CD #REVIEW

Precious Child CD #REVIEW


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

I had the opportunity to review Precious Child  an album from Darryl Tookes and Joe Black.  This beautiful album is written from a Daddy's perspective and celebrating the love of his child.  Not too often do we get to hear a children's cd that features jazz as the genre but this album brings us that soft romantic feel.  It really is a sweet album.  I personally loved The Nursery Rhyme Song - singing a nursery rhymes is a great way to learn them.  Rock A Bye Baby is a great classic - you'll be singing this one as you lay your little ones to sleep.  This album is written and sung from a Daddy's perspective.  A father's love flows through the lyrics - this is such a nice treat.  Usually it is the Momma's that sing their love.  I just loved that the men shared their feelings as well. 


about:

Take one jazz legend -- the late Joe Beck -- who collaborated with practically all the great jazz musicians of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, including Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Duke Ellington, and Peggy Lee. His work as a producer/arranger/composer included clients like Frank Sinatra, Gloria Gaynor, Larry Coryell, and Esther Phillips.

Add to the mix Darryl Tookes, a signature artist with an "angelic" voice (NY Newsday), who has recorded and performed on landmark projects with Sting, Paul Simon, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Ramsey Lewis, Natalie Cole, Carly Simon,. Burt Bacharach, Phil Ramone, Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross, Leonard Bernstein, Jessye Norman, and many more.

Season all that talent with two supreme artists' desire to express deep love for their children, and the result goes far beyond commercial interests into the realm of the sublime. This is Precious Child -- Love Songs & Lullabies.

Track listing:


  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  2. Daddy's Girl
  3. The Nursery Rhyme Song
  4. Only a Matter of Time
  5. Precious Child
  6. Daddy's Always Here
  7. Rock A Bye Baby
  8. Little One
  9. I Love You Too Much
  10. Bye Bye Lullaby/ Brahms' Lullaby

Precious Child -- Love Songs & Lullabies will be available at amazon.com, iTunes, Rhapsody, and many more digital storefronts, with physical CDs available through MGP Records' online store.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Treasury of Bible Stories - Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times #REVIEW #WIN

Treasury of Bible Stories - Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times #REVIEW #WIN


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links. Additional disclosure at the bottom of the post.

Sharing bible stories with little ones is just so much fun!  They are discovering the famous stories of Adam and Eve and Noah for the first time.  As a mom it is just so much fun to see them learning - and understanding God's story.

I recently was sent Treasury of Bible Stories - Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times for review.  This book was lovely!  Think Dr. Suess telling bible stories.  The tales flow easily on the lips and are adorably written.  It starts with Adam and Even and ends with Jesus Rising!  The cute pictures add to the wonderfulness of this book!



About the book:
Featuring lyrical stories that will make you laugh, this colorful collection is perfect for reading out loud. Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah’s Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves His people—in the Bible and today! 
Stories Included:
  • Tricked by a Snake
  • Every Beast Times Two
  • Dreams That Were Dreamed
  • Jochebed's Secret Joy
  • "Let My People Go!"
  • A Wall of Water
  • A Silly-Sounding Plan
  • A Shout for the Lord
  • The Biggest and Toughest
  • God's Bigger Plan
  • Daniel for Lunch
  • Food for a Fish
  • Good News of Great Joy
  • The Good Dunking
  • A Better Path
  • The Good Neighbor
  • Lost and Found
  • Friends
  • The Payment for Our Sins
  • He Has Risen!






About the author:
Kelly Pulley has illustrated dozens of books in The Beginner’s Bible series and has authored and illustrated several other children’s books, including Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn and The Cycling Wangdoos. He enjoys spending time with his four grown children and his beautiful wife, Vickie, in the Nashville area.



You can purchase your copy of  Treasury of Bible Stories - Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times at your local Christian book retailer or online at stores like Amazon.   


Entry-Form

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
RealPlayer Cloud Review

RealPlayer Cloud Review


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

I will be the first to admit that I take tons of video and rarely do anything with them. They set on my phone or video camera and no one ever gets a chance to view them.  I had heard of RealPlayer Cloud in the past but just recently took the plunge to check it out.

I am not the most tech savvy person in the world, I mean I didn't jump on the smartphone wagon until seven months ago.  I thought for sure that RealPlayer Cloud would be a headache to deal with, but to my surprise it was super easy.  I was signed up for my free account and uploading videos in a matter of minutes!

RealPlayer Cloud allows you to shoot videos directly from within the app and add them to your cloud account; free  up space on your phone or tablet by adding videos from your camera roll to your account; and move videos on your computer to your account.  Since I have started using this program, the family can actually enjoy all the videos that I capture.

Not only does RealPlayer Cloud allow me to organize my videos but I can also share them with family and friends without having to upload to other places. There is also no length limit on sharing a video taken from my iPhone which is pretty awesome!

Since I mentioned that it frees up space on your phone and computer then I'm sure you are wondering how that works.  Well once your videos are uploaded to RealPlayer Cloud, not only can you watch them on any device, you ca move them to that device as well.  It's easy to do this via download action in your account.  Just download the video to whatever device you're on and it will be added to your camera roll or saved to your computer-and automatically formatted for that screen!


RealPlayer Cloud also have recent activity which you can see in the picture I posted above.  When you launch the app or visit the website, you will see your most recent activity across all your devices.  This enables instant access to resume unfinished videos and see the latest uploads from different devices.  For example, if you start watching a video from your account via the web browser, you can easily finish watching on your iPad from the point where you left off.  Or if you started an upload from your PC at home and take off to run errands, you can see the upload finish on your Android phone while out-and-about and start watching right away!


This has been a lifesaver for my phone's memory and has always made it easier to share videos with family and friends!  You can also view it from the Roku...so stay tuned and I will tell you more about this in a couple of days!!

For more information on RealPlayer Cloud, you can visit real.com.  You do receive 2GB of memory free upon signing up for your account, but you can purchase more memory if needed!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
BIC USA Inc. is National Pen Sponsor of  Kids In Need Foundation National Network of Resource Centers

BIC USA Inc. is National Pen Sponsor of Kids In Need Foundation National Network of Resource Centers

The Kids In Need Foundation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, and BIC USA Inc., an industry leader in the manufacture of writing instruments, have partnered to ensure that BIC® stationery products will be on the shelves of all 32 facilities in the Kids In Need National Network of Resource Centers.

Through its charitable giving and community care program, BIC HONORS, BIC USA Inc. will provide its well-known line of stationery products, which include pens, mechanical pencils, and correction products to the Kids In Need Foundation. The donated items will be made available to teachers from low-income schools who visit the Resource Centers to obtain free supplies for their students and classrooms.

This sponsorship continues a decade-long relationship between BIC USA Inc. and the Kids in Need Foundation.

“We are thankful to BIC for supporting our mission, which is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing school supplies nationally to students most in need,” said Dave Smith, executive director, Kids In Need Foundation. “We serve 3.6 million students annually, and pens are one of our six core items of essential tools that students need to thrive in school."
 

“We are thrilled that BIC HONORS can help support the Kids In Need Foundation,” said Susan Lanzarotto, director of Stationery Marketing for BIC USA Inc. “Through this partnership we are helping to build stronger communities by providing our stationery products to students who are in need so that they have the necessary learning tools to excel during the upcoming school year.”

About the Kids In Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization with offices in Dayton, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Founded in 1995, the Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need. The Kids In Need National Network of Resource Centers includes 32 facilities where teachers from low-income schools go to obtain free school supplies for their students. In addition, two Kids In Need Teacher Grant programs provide K-12 educators with funding to support innovative learning experiences for students. The Kids In Need Foundation has distributed more than $550 million in school supplies since its founding, directly benefiting 3.6 million students and 120,000 teachers annually, and has awarded $1.5 million in grants to teachers.  Kids In Need has earned the Gold GuideStar Exchange Seal, demonstrating its commitment to transparency, and has consistently received high ratings from Charity Navigator, indicating that it operates in a fiscally responsible way and outperforms most other charities in America.  For more information, visit www.kinf.org.  Join Kids In Need Foundation on Twitter at twitter.com/kidsinneed and Facebook at facebook.com/kidsinneed.
Saturday, September 13, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Sabrina: Secrets Of A Teenage Witch, Vol. 1 - A Witch And The Werewolf: The Movie

Sabrina: Secrets Of A Teenage Witch, Vol. 1 - A Witch And The Werewolf: The Movie

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Ashley Tisdale makes magic in her Daytime Emmy nominated role as television's favorite teenage witch in the hugely entertaining movie adventure Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch: A Witch and the Werewolf-The Movie that was released today on DVD and Digital HD.

Sabrina, everyone's favorite half-human, half-witch, is back in a magical movie adventure filled with spells, excitement and tons of fun.  When a magic jacket turns Sabrina's friend Harvey into an uncontrollable wereworlf, Sabrina's off on a wild chase between the human and witch worlds to stop his rampage.  Join Sabrina on her bewitching escapade to find a cure and save the day!


This is such a fun movie.  My kids really enjoyed it and have watched it a couple of times already!  Sabrina: Secrets Of A Teenage Witch, Vol. 1 - A Witch And The Werewolf: The Movie  also includes the "Cast My Spell on Your" music video and is currently available at Wal-mart for $12.73
Friday, September 12, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
How to Create Picture Frames for your Instagram Images

How to Create Picture Frames for your Instagram Images

As They Grow Up has posted this guest post in exchange for pay. The post may contain affiliate links.

Some of your best Instagram pictures can be too good to stay limited to the computer screen.  When you want to bring your digital pieces into reality, use this tutorial to assemble your DIY frames.

Your first step is to obtain all of the materials that you will need to properly complete the project. They include:

Instagram Frame
Acrylic
Mounting board
Mat (depending on the image size)
Saw tooth hanger
Tape measure or a ruler
Hammer

You may also benefit from having the following tools on hand:
ATG tape
Hinging tape 
Static brush
Point driver

For the purposes of this tutorial, the instructions provided are based on a project that would frame an image that is 4x4”.  For that reason, it will involve the use of a mat.
Begin by centering the image on the mounting board.  To make it easier to change mats, the photo can be hinged onto the mounting board.   To do this, a strip of hinging tape, such as Filmoplast P90 tape, can be applied to the top of the image, so that half of the strip overlaps the edge of the picture, and the other half adheres to the mounting board.

The mat can either be set on top of the mounting board, or – if the margins are tight between the image edges and the overlap of the mat, ATG tape can be applied to the back of the mat.  The mat opening should be aligned with the image, and then gently press down to secure it in place.  This will stop the mat from accidentally revealing the photograph edges through the opening. This issue can also be remedied by determining the mat board overlap.  This technique can, however, be challenging if too much of the picture is covered by the mat.

Peel the protective paper layer off of one side of the acrylic.  It is best to leave the other side covered at this time to reduce the risk of having dust cling to the glazing and to lower the possibility of scratching the glaze during the framing process.

With the paper peeled off one side, place the exposed side down on top of the newly matted artwork.  With that in place, you can then remove the second side of protective paper. Be careful as you do this as the remaining paper can be challenging to peel away and can cause the acrylic to lift up and away from the artwork. That can cause a type of vacuum of static to form, causing a surprising amount of dust to adhere to the underside of the glazing. Hold the glazing down as you peel the backing off in order to prevent this highly frustrating occurrence. That extra precaution will save you a lot of anger and/or tears.

Once the two sides of protective paper have been removed, carefully flip the entire “stack” of different materials so that it can be gently set into the frame opening.  Place a mounting board down on the back and use a point driver (or use your alternative method of preference, such as wire brads or glazing points) to keep all of those materials in place within the frame.

You’re all set.  Your newly completed Instagram picture framing project is now ready to be hung on a wall to enhance the look of any space you choose so that you will be able to appreciate it whenever you want.  By following these steps, you’ll have everything you need to complete your framing just as you want it to look.

Read more about Instagram framing at AmericanFrame.com.

Mike is the man behind the mission of getting your picture frames produced and out the door quickly, correctly, with custom frame shop quality. Once your order is placed, it is in the hands of Mike and the many people he has trained over his 35+ years at American Frame. Read more of Mike’s framing tips on his blog – Ask Mike.
Friday, September 12, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
My Gal Sunday DVD Review

My Gal Sunday DVD Review


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

I know it's no surprise to all my readers that I love Hallmark Channel Movies.  They are all family friendly so I never have to worry about my boys watching them or timing it at a time when they go to sleep.

 
 Recently we had the opportunity to check out My Gal Sunday which was released on DVD and Digital platforms on August 26th and our family enjoyed it.

My Gal Sunday is romance and crime-solving combined when Rachel Blanchard and Emmy nominee Cameron Mathison star as an unstoppable husband-and-wife private eye team alongside Jack Wagner.


Synopsis:
A newlywed couple proves their crime-solving prowess when their political ties and successful private-eye business suddenly puts them in grave danger.  When their parents are taken hostage by a vengeful kidnapper looking for justice for the wrongful murder conviction of his brother, the duo most work together to uncover the clues that will save their parents' lives-and put their own on the line.

All in all this is a must-see in my opinion.  Sure, its similar to a lot of romance novel type movies out there but it's still enjoyable.  It add just enough suspense to keep the audience interested.

My Gal Sunday  is currently available on Amazon for only $12.98.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Orwashers Artisan Bread Review and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Orwashers Artisan Bread Review and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

I started making our own bread a few years ago.  I have perfected as I went, but until I had the opportunity to check out Orwashers Artisan Bread: 100 Years of Techniques and Recipes I never realized how much there was still to learn!

 
 A little background on Orwasher Bakery:
Orwasher's Bakers, located in New York, is one of the last vestiges of the thriving German, Czech and Hungarian immigrant population that lived in that area around the start of the 20th century.  Established in 1916 under the name A. Orwasher Handmade Bread Inc,. Orwasher's was purchased in 2007 by Keith Cohen and is considered one of the top ten bakeries in America.

In 2009, Cohen collaborated with Channing Daughters Vineyard in Long Island to create a line of Artisan Wine Breads called Oven Artisans.  Using wine grape starters and a baking technique that dates back to Ancient Egypt, the special flavor of these breads is created when natural yeast from fermenting grapes permeates the air and lends itself to the leavening process.  Cohen Premiered his beer bread in 2010-a chewy, dark-hued creation with a nutty, robust flavor that is created by mixing Sixpoint Craft Ale's Otis Stout into the dough.

The Orwashers Artisan Bread features techniques used to make wine and beer breads, as well as recipes for Orwasher's most famous breads since everyone isn't able to visit this amazing bakery!  Inside this book you will discover

  • Insider tricks to making artisan bread from one of New York's best bakeries
  • Cherished recipes from Orwasher's famous bakery, adapted specifically to facilitate home baking
  • Techniques for making bread from artisan starters
Here is one of many delicious recipes featured in this book:




Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Our cinnamon raisin breads have sweetened weekend breakfasts for nearly one hundred 
years, and are the ultimate Sunday morning ritual. Bursting with cinnamon and sugar, it 
brings French toast to a new level.

Makes 4 loaves.
2.52 lbs/1.14 kg bread flour
1.49 lbs/675.9 g water
.08 lb/36.29 g vegetable oil
.I lb/45.46 g sugar
.05 lb/22.68 g salt
.03 lb/13.61 g instant yeast
.7 lb/31.75 g raisins

Cinnamon Sugar Mix:
.01 lb/4.55 g cinnamon
.05 lb/22.68 g sugar
.05 lb/22.68 g vegetable shortening
.7 lb/31.75 g walnut halves or pieces, not crushed (optional)

1. Set up stand mixer with a dough hook.
2. Place flour, water, oil, sugar, salt, and yeast in mixing bowl.
3. Mix on medium-low for 4 minutes. Then mix on medium-high for 6 minutes.
4. Add raisins and mix on low for 1 minute.
5. Dough temperature should be between 76°F and 78°F/24°C and 26°C.
6. Dough should appear shiny and pull away from the mixing bowl.
7. Do the dough test (below).
8. Transfer to a lightly oiled airtight container.
9. Let dough rest on countertop for approximately 30 minutes. Dough should double in size.
10. Roll dough out of container onto a lightly floured work surface (marble or butcher block is ideal).
11. Cut dough with a scraper into 4 even squares/rectangles, approximately 1.25 lbs/567 g each.
12. Flatten out dough into a rectangle shape by gently pushing it down with your fingertips. Then evenly and generously spread approximately one quarter of your cinnamon sugar mix on top of the dough (similar to the way you spread peanut butter on a slice of bread). Fold dough in half.
13. Shape into a boule or a Pullman loaf (see below). Place in loaf pans. (At the bakery we shape the cinnamon raisin in a boule and the cinnamon raisin with walnuts into a pan loaf. If using walnuts, sprinkle a few additional nuts in the bottom of your pan loaf before adding the dough.)
14. Let dough rest 4 hours after shaping. (This bread is not scored.)
15. Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.
16. Bake for 13 minutes and adjust oven temperature to 380°F/190°C.
17. Bake an additional 4 minutes until bread is golden.

The Windowpane Dough Test:
Perform this test to see if the dough has been mixed or kneaded enough.
1. Cut off a small amount of dough, roughly the size of an egg.
2. Hold it between your thumb and first two fingers with both hands.
3. Spread your fingers and thumbs apart, stretching the dough.
4. You should be able to see translucency in the middle part of the dough, similar to a windowpane.
5. I f the dough is not translucent, mix for an additional two minutes and try again.

Boule
The term boule is French for “ball.” As you may have guessed, a boule is the traditional shape for French bread— aside from the long, narrow baguette, of course. When shaping a boule, the goal is to give the dough enough surface tension so that the shape will keep through the baking process rather than flatten out.
1. Take an individual piece of dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface.
2. Starting at the top, pinch and pull a piece of the dough from the outside into the middle. Continue this method all the way around the outside of the dough, about five or six times. It helps to think of this process as gathering all the points of a star into the middle. 
Remember: the goal is to create a surface area with enough tension that it will keep its shape during baking.
3. With the gathering point on the bottom, roll the dough between both hands to make it a solid spherical shape.

Pullmans
The Pullman loaf is often referred to as sandwich bread because its long, square-like shape is perfect for sandwiches. Pullman pans have lids to help create this uniformly shaped loaf. Traditionally these loaves are made from white flour, but you can substitute whole-wheat or grain, or do a combination of the two.

1. Take an individual piece of dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface.
2. Fold the top and bottom of the dough halfway toward each other. They should almost touch in the middle.
3. Follow the same process for the sides. Fold both sides toward the middle where they should almost touch.
4. Starting at the top, fold the dough into itself about one-third of the way down. Repeat this folding method while rolling the dough into a cylindrical shape; make sure to keep tension in the dough’s surface area.
5. Roll the dough a few times on the work surface to make sure the seam is sealed.
6. Place the dough seam-side down into a lightly oiled Pullman pan.

By using "unusual" ingredients to create new flavors and textures, Artisan Bread is the perfect baking adventure for foodies and cooking enthusiasts a like.

While this is an amazing book filled with delicious recipes I'm not sure how a beginner would do.  However, if you are an adventurous baker and  always ready for a fun challenge like I am, then this is a book I would highly recommend!

Orwashers Artisan Bread is currently available on Amazon for $19.50 for Hardcover and $14.99 for Kindle.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Arrg You Ready For The Talk Like A Pirate Day Giveaway at Krispy Kreme?

Arrg You Ready For The Talk Like A Pirate Day Giveaway at Krispy Kreme?

Friday, September 19, any landlubber who dares to enter a participating Krispy Kreme® US locations and talks like a pirate will score one free Original Glazed® doughnut. To the swashbuckler who wears full pirate attire goes a bounty of one FREE dozen Original Glazed doughnuts. Offer good on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th, only. Some restrictions apply.  Visit KrispyKreme.com for more information.


To claim yer bounty on September 19, ye must:
  • Talk like a pirate or wear an eye patch to a participating Krispy Kreme shop for one FREE Original Glazed doughnut
  • Come in to a participating Krispy Kreme location in full pirate costume for one FREE dozen Original Glazed doughnuts.  Qualifying pirate costumes must include three or more of the following items:  No Weapons Allowed!

ü   Eye Patch
ü   Pirate Hat
ü   Bandana
ü   Peg Leg
ü   Parrot on Shoulder
ü   Pirate Shirt / Loose white shirt
ü  Knickers
  ü  Leather belt
  ü  Silver and gold necklaces and earrings
  ü  Pirate Hook
  ü  Pointy black boots or ragged brown sandals


Offer good for one free doughnut per customer who wears an eye patch or talks like a pirate to a Krispy Kreme team member at a participating shop. One free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts per customer who wears a full pirate costume into a participating Krispy Kreme location. Redeemable on September 19, 2014 only at participating Krispy Kreme US locations.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Guinness World Records® Celebrates 60 Years with the

Guinness World Records® Celebrates 60 Years with the

For the past 60 years, Guinness World Records has inspired millions of people to achieve record-breaking feats. To celebrate these amazing feats, Guinness World Records is launching the 60 Years/60 Words Challenge on September 8, 2014.

Kids 7–12 can enter this national competition by selecting their favorite GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® record and telling about it in EXACTLY 60 words! The entries can be poems, raps, videos, posters and/or short essays, but they each must include PRECISELY 60 words! The competition winner will earn a $500 scholarship, a copy of the  Guinness World Records  2015 book, their photo in the 2016 book, and a $500 grant for his/her school. 10 semifinalists will win a copy of the  Guinness World Records 2015 book. Kids can enter online or by mail at www.guinnessworldrecords.com/60words. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, and representation of the record. The competition ends December 1, 2014.

Educators, youth groups, and parents can also access fun English Language Arts activities on the website under the Parents and Educators/Youth Groups buttons. These activities get kids’ creative juices flowing!

"The competition is a fun way to celebrate 60 years of record-breaking achievements," said Stuart Claxton, Marketing Director for Guinness World Records. "I am looking forward to seeing some of these kids break their own records in the future."
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Third Street Product Review

Third Street Product Review


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Even though we have missed national Lemonade day (August 20) doesn't mean that we still can't enjoy delicious lemonade!

We recently had the opportunity to try Third Street products and were very impressed! The Third Street products are all-natural iced teas, chai and lemonades and are available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide.

The Third Street Pucker Up is Non-GMO Project verified and Fair Trade Certified.  It is a tasty blend of organic lemon juice and organic cane sugar.  My boys love sharing a bottle of this on occasion.  It's one of their favorites when it comes to lemonade.

For a special treat, I have to say that I am  rather fond of the Third Street Half and Half.  It's also Non-GMO Project Verified, Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic.  This is a wonderful balance of ice tea and lemonade.  The sweetness isn't overpowering which is what I love since for the most part I only drink unsweet tea.

Both of these products are fantastic and we love picking one up as a special treat when we visit Whole Foods to pick up a few thing!  The price is fair at $1.99 a bottle and I love the fact that it's Non-GMO and Organic.

CONNECT:
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches On The Planet and Black Bean Quesadillas Recipe

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches On The Planet and Black Bean Quesadillas Recipe


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.
My seven year old is very picky and it's always a struggle to find foods that he will enjoy eating.  I know there are tons of kid cookbooks and sites out there but a lot of them are very complex foods that my three year old will eat but my seven year old never dream of.

Recently we had the opportunity to check out an AMAZING recipe book titled, The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet and I have to say that this title rings true! I have tired numerous recipes in this book and not only did my picky seven year old love them, but even my husband found them flavorful and delicious.
 

One of my boys daily favorite is the hulk smoothie!  It's such an awesome way to make sure that they get their fruits and a serving of veggies in them.  Normally for my three year old he gets his veggies but my seven year old has never been a huge fan, but stick the word HULK in front of smoothie and turn it green and it's a WIN!!
HULK SMOOTHIE


We all know healthy lunches are vital in keeping kids sharp and at their best all day long, yet recent studies have shown that many school-bought lunches are falling short on nutrition.  Homemade lunches are a great way to nourish children  with pure and wholesome ingredients while giving us parents a peace of mind of knowing how their food is prepared.

BAKED RAVIOLI

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet is the perfect counter-top companion for parents who are simply too busy to generate limitless recipes and lunch ideas on their own.  This guide contains simple and approachable recipes designed to suit every age and every stage, allowing parents too:

  • Bring variety back into your lunch box routine with easy to prepare meals
  • use fresh ingredients to add a variety of foods to their child's diet
  • Prep kids' lunches well in advance
  • Makes proper kid-sized portions based on the child's age and needs.
It was very hard for me to pick one single recipe to share with you so that you can have idea of what to expect from this awesome book. After much thought, I decided on:


Black Bean Quesadillas

It’s a myth that quesadillas need to be hot and the cheese needs to be gooey and melty for kids to 
love them. They are excellent at room temperature and the perfect disguise for healthy things—
such as beans. 

1/4 cup (25 g) canned black beans, rinsed 
2 tablespoons (16 g) frozen corn, thawed 
1 tablespoon (9 g) scallions, chopped very small (optional) 
2 teaspoons (1 g) fresh cilantro, chopped 
1 teaspoon Arriba! Seasoning (page 106) 
1/4 cup (30 g) shredded Cheddar cheese 
Two 8-inch (20 cm) tortillas 
2 ounces (55 g) Homemade Salsa (page 180) 

In a large bowl, place the beans, corn, onion, if using, cilantro, seasoning, and cheese. Gently mix until everything is evenly combined. 

Scoop the filling and place on top of one side of one tortilla. Top with the second tortilla. 

In a warm skillet, cook both sides over medium heat until the tortilla is brown and crispy, and the cheese has melted. 

For a school lunch: I like to assemble quesadillas the night before. In the morning, I slowly grill them while I pour myself a cup of coffee. After the quesadilla is grilled, I lay it on a cutting board to cool, usually while I am getting the kids dressed. Then, simply cut and pack them inside the lunchbox. 
YIELD: 1 or 2 servings 

Kitchen Note 
Why not make extra quesadillas and freeze them? Assemble quesadillas and place flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the quesadillas are flash frozen, about 1 hour, transfer to a freezer bag and store flat. 
To reheat: Warm in the microwave, or grill in a skillet on low, so you won’t burn the tortilla and all the ingredients have time to warm and the cheese to melt. 

Packed with more than 200 recipes, you will not be at a loss for inspiration with recipes including:
  • Ricotta and Jam Pancake Sandwiches
  • Cheddar and Pear Quesadilla
  • Meatball Dippers
  • Homemade Ramen
  • Creamy Avocado Pasta
  • Blueberry Lemon Smoothie
  • Strawberry Shortcake Kebobs
The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet is always on my kitchen counter.  It has now become my go-to for meal prepping/planning/preparing for my kids.  It's one of the few recipe books I have found that not only appeals to my three year old because but also my picky eater.  Packed full of flavor and simple.

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet can be purchased on Amazon for $15.80 for Paperback and $11.99 for Kindle.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...

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