Product Review…Bella Sara Cards and Site

I just spent, thanks to Team Mom, the past hour playing around on the Bella Sara website (you can go to the site here). I’ve never heard of Bella Sara, but then again my kids are only 2 and 4, but boy did I have fun on the site!

Bella Sara is a trading card game that has a very nice online world to go along with the cards. Basically, you purchase a pack of cards and on the bottom of each card is a code. You head to the Bella Sara website and enter the code and you unlock the horse that is on each card. As you unlock your horses, you also are given horseshoes (money) that you are able to buy new items.

You are responsible for taking care of each of your horses. That means, feeding them, cleaning out their stalls, brushing them, and making them happy. After doing all that, you can head on over to the arena and play some games. That is where I spent most of my time. I really liked the cloud jumping game!!

Here is the really cool part. On November 6th, Bella Sara will be unveiling Baby Bella cards! In the Baby Bella card packs you could find, parent cards, foal cards, teacher cards, shiny horse cards, and/or regular toy cards. If you are able to collect all the members of a horse family, you are able to earn special rewards online.

So be sure to head over to BellaSara.com on November 6th. They will be unveiling Bella’s new baby and there will be a 10 day party with daily gifts for members of the site. The Baby Bella cards will retail for $2.99 each (stocking stuffer alert!!!) and can be purchased at Target, Kmart, Borders, Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble, Justice for Girls, Toys “R” Us, and Wal-Mart.

It’s nice to see a toy out there that has such a positive message for young girls. That was one of my favorite things about these cards (besides having the horse I always wanted and not having to smell poo!)…each card had a nice positive message.

Alrighty, now I am going to go play with my horses some more!

My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I just finished this book and I absolutely loved it. Couldn’t put it down. I’ve only read one other book by Jodi Picoult and I have to say, she has this way of really making you stop and think about what you would do, what’s right, what’s wrong…and this book REALLY makes you think. Especially being a mother myself, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if I were in the same situation.

my sisters keeper

About My Sisters Keeper

Here is a synopsis of the book from Jodi Picoult’s website:

“Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate – a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister – and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?”

I won’t give the ending away, but if I was ever stunned by a book, it was this one. I totally was not expecting it. Pick it up, reserve it at the library, you won’t regret it!

Product Review: Sesame Street Kid K’Nex

One of the highlights of my day is getting the mail. The best mail days are the days when there are no bills (of course), but one thing that makes it even better is when there is a nice big box waiting on my porch, waiting for me to open it. Today was one of those mail days.

Waiting for me to open was the new Sesame Street Bert & Ernie Kid K’Nex Building Set! I was so excited to open this. I knew my son and daughter would have a blast building characters from their favorite show. And boy was I right! I barely had the box open before they were trying to tear into it, shouting “Ernie mommy, Ernie!”.

I was pleased to see that this set is for ages 2yrs to 5 yrs old. My daughter, who will be two in October, had no problem manipulating the different rods and parts to build various things. They didn’t always look like Bert and Ernie, but hey at almost 2, she did pretty good! Now my son (4yrs old), was able to follow the directions that came in the box and build Bert and Ernie perfectly.

A little info from their site (http://knex.com/sesame-street-building-sets/):

BENEFITS of Sesame Street Building Sets:

  • Physical Development: Building Bert and Ernie with K’NEX supports the development of hand-eye coordination.
  • Social-Emotional Development: Playing with Bert & Ernie either alone or with friends encourages imaginative play.
  • Language Development: Talking about K’NEX creations with family & friends enhances your child’s language skills.
  • Cognitive Development: Building with K’NEX and learning about colors can encourage thinking and problem-solving skills.

You can order the following sets from their website:

  • Elmo Building Set
  • Ernie Building Set
  • Cookie Monster Building Set
  • Oscar Building Set
  • Super Grover Building Set
  • Abby Cadabby Building Set
  • Elmo and his Piano Building Set
  • Elmo Pet Vet Building Set
  • Elmo Sunny Days Building Set
  • Bert & Ernie Building Set
  • Cookie Monster & Hooper’s Store Building Set

Probably one of my most FAVORITE parts of this entire toy is the fact that it comes with three cards to help encourage thinking skills. There is a red card, blue card, and yellow card. On one side it asks you to build something (like a balloon) and has information about balloons and helium that fills most balloons. On the other side of the card it has one of the colors and has you (the parent) ask the child to find other colors that are the same as the color on that card.

I am very glad that K’NEX came out with a Sesame Street version of their popular toy. Sesame Street was my favorite as a child and I am glad that I am able to share that with my children (even if Mr. Snuffalufagus is no longer Big Bird’s imaginary friend)!!

Droopy Drawers…NO MORE!

Are clothes ALWAYS big in the waist on your kids? If your kids are like mine, you have to search high and low for adjustable waist pants to fit them. And what makes it worse, they are tall so you always have to buy the larger size for the length, but that leaves the pants, shorts, skirt, falling down. Drives me absolutely crazy! I can remember one time, there was no way possible for us to cinch the waist in the way my son needed without the pants looking absolutely ridiculous. Anything he tried on in that particular brand fit that way. Kids are too young to be dealing with clothing issues! Save that for their teenage years!

And then one day I was introduced to the Dapper Snapper Adjustable Belt for toddlers and my life has forever been changed! This amazing invention is one of those things that you look at and think, “why the heck didn’t I think of that?”. It’s that amazing!

Droopy Drawers No More!

Simply place this nifty little invention at the back of the pants and you can cinch in ANY pair of pants that has belt loops!

Both of my kids wore these for years. It doesn’t need to be removed for diaper changes; doesn’t get in the way or hinder potty training; it just keeps the pants where they need to be! This is one of those products that should be added with EVERY baby gift. The mom to be will thank you for it! When my kids no longer needed them, I passed them on to a friend and she went on and on about how much she loved the Dapper Snapper and even went and picked up more for herself!

If your child’s pants are drooping and you don’t know what to do, definitely pick up a Dapper Snapper…it will help!!

Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Awhile back, I was watching the Dr. Phil show (don’t judge) and I saw a heart rate monitor watch. I was drawn to it because you didn’t have to wear a chest strap. Of course, I forgot to write down the name so I couldn’t remember what it was called. Last week I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods and while I was waiting for my husband and son to finish in the fishing section, I wandered into the fitness section and picked up this watch. In the upper right hand corner were the words I was looking for “As Seen on the Dr. Phil Show!“. After a quick Google search, I read the different heart rate monitor watch reviews and knew that this was the watch I wanted.

About the Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Now on to the important stuff…the specs for the Mio Motiva Watchheart rate monitor:

  • Accurate heart rate WITHOUT a chest strap
  • Full featured sports watch with exercise timer, alarm, date, and backlight display.
  • You have the ability to track the amount of calories you’ve consumed throughout the day

Looks like a pretty good wireless heart rate monitor to me! For me, I want a heart rate monitor so I know if I am working out efficiently. I don’t have a lot of time to spare so spending it working out inefficiently is stupid!

heart rate monitor

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I used the watch today. After entering my weight, age, and sex, all I needed to do to see how many calories I burned while working out was to push start and take my initial heart rate. This started the exercise timer. Periodically during my workout, I took my heart rate. When I was finished with my workout, I pushed stop and it told me how many calories I burned!

I don’t know if I will use it to track my calories consumed during the day. I use My Fitness Pal for that. However, workout wise, I like being able to see how many calories I burned and it is much more accurate than the sensors on the machines. Making the decision to buy heart rate monitor was a good one!