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!

What I’m Reading Now

This summer I signed up for a summer reading contest at my local public library. You have to read a book set in each decade (30s up through 2000s), read a book published in each decade, watch a movie released in each decade, watch a movie set in each decade, and listen to a CD with music originally published during each decade. There are weekly drawings, as well as a grand prize drawing.

So currently I am reading, The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck.

“The story revolves around New Englander Ethan Allen Hawley, who works as a clerk in a grocery store he used to own. His wife and kids resent their lowly social and economic position, and don’t put any value in the high levels of honesty and integrity that Ethan struggles to maintain in a corrupt society. Under this constant pressure, Hawley will eventually manage to get back the store by renouncing his morals, but the new-found wealth will not bring happiness.”

I have only read the first chapter, but I am hooked! I normally don’t go for books by John Steinbeck. I was forced the read The Red Pony in high school and it was torture (no offense to those of you who love that book).

Anyway, if you want to read something different this summer instead of the newest book coming out, I highly recommend you check this book out of your library. It seems like it is a pretty quick read. While you’re at the library, be sure to ask about the different reading programs they have for kids! Get your children reading too! I know our library has a lot of different programs for kids and the kids have a blast!

Great Cookbook

It’s 4:45pm and you haven’t the foggiest idea what you are going to make for dinner. You open the fridge and the only thing jumping out at you are leftovers. You don’t want to serve the same thing as the night before, but defrosting something would take too long as well. Ordering out is an option, but you want to serve low calorie and low fat foods to your family…ordering out doesn’t usually get you that.

**This post may contain affiliate links. I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own**

If that sounds anything like you, then you really need to pick up this cookbook, The Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Jyl Steinback. It has more than 320 low calorie and low fat recipes. Each recipe includes the nutritional information, as well as a shopping list of ingredients that you would need for the recipe. So while you will be ordering out today, since you didn’t plan ahead, you can plan the rest of your week while eating your take-out!

slow-cooker-cookbook

My local grocery store had this cookbook, but I have also seen it on amazon.com and at the major chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders.

Enjoy! A must try recipe is the Sweet and Sour Chicken. My whole family, including my 4 year old and 1 year old, loved that dish.