UA-65435919-5 day to day MOMents

Friday, September 4, 2015

10 Year Old Zachary Kaplan & the Care Bears Celebrate the First Official National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day in a Very Special Way on September 9, 2015

Share, Care, Love, and Help -that's what #ShareYourCare Day is all about.  It's something as small as sharing a toy with your siblings, helping each other in every small & big way possible.  Zach Kaplan is a 10 year old boy who believes that every child should have a beloved stuffed animal every night and is determined to find ways to give to those that their families can't afford one.
To accomplish this he has teamed up with the iconic children's brand Care Bears, and Leake & Watts, a local human services agency that provides vital support to 8,000 children, adults, and families each day in the greater New York Metropolitan Area to commemorate the new school year by paying it forward in honor of #ShareYourCare Day.  Care Bears, and Zachary Kaplan will present 400 Care Bears plush toys and DVDs to children ages 2-4 in the Leake & Watts early childhood programs at a very special celebration just for them on September 9, 2015 at 2165 Randall Avenue in the Bronx at 3PM.  Hearing about this just makes me smile, it's incredible to hear what Zachary is doing and to imagine 400 little ones snuggling up with their Care Bears.       

Go on a Super Secret Spy Mission with the Chrono Bomb Game #Review

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are a 100% my own.
My children love going on different missions as they play pretend around our home, lead by my older 7 year old, my toddler follows along very well.  The Chrono Bomb game adds to their adventure as they get to "cross the laser field before it's too late," as a part of their mission.  You basically set up the laser field, choose how long you have to make it through the field and set it up on the timer, make it through the "laser" strings, and defuse the bomb to accomplish mission. 
It's good for 1 or more players, but I'd recommend it for a group of kids.  The recommended age is 7 and up, but I think younger kids follow along well if lead by older kids (even if they might not fully understand - they have fun).  My kids like to have it set up and make it part of a bigger pretend mission, which I think works very well.  When I had a group of kids over, it worked well as everyone took turns and set up the field in different more challenging ways.  In fact, I recommend this for a birthday party, would be fun to play - maybe even for adults to join in on the challenge!  There is a free app available for download to receive extra missions to complete, so kids can continue to have more fun.

The contents in the game box:
  • 10 cards (8 gear cards & 2 mission cards)
  • 4 standard clamps
  • Reel clamp
  • Sensor clamp
  • Sensor
  • Bomb
  • Rules 
I like the game since it gets kids moving, promotes imagination, and keeps them playing creatively together.  Not many games in a box do that, so it's great.  Check out the demonstration of the game at the Toy Fair in New York City above, and click here for more Chrono Bomb YouTube videos, where you will find fun and useful videos like "how to set up & play," the music video, and more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Puppet-on-a-Stick Rainbow Prancers Set from Educational Insights #Review

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review. All opinions are a 100% my own. No other compensation was provided.
Twinkle, Shine, and Dazzle
We love, LOVE these Puppet-on-a-stick Rainbow Prancers Set from Educational Insights!  Twinkle, Shine, and Dazzle are puppets, which we all love right away, but they are also fun unicorns kids can play with.  My daughter calls them her ponies, and carries them around all the time.  No little girl will look past these sparkly colorful unicorns and not want them.

pretend play, role play, endless fun!
They encourage self expression, inspires dramatic & creative play, and helps develops communication skills.  In other words, your kids will have an incredible amount of fun having fun while learning.  Great for role playing, using while reading stories out loud, and all the other moments of creativity and imagination.  It's also a great tool you can use to teach your child, I bet they'll listen allot more attentively when it comes from Shine, Dazzle or Twinkle.   
like little dolls, fix their hair - add stickers! 

This is sure to please any child.  My 2 1/2 year old girl seriously has been in love from the moment she opened them up.  It as good as any other little toy figure but with added puppet features.  Kids can brush their hair, and add stickers (included) on them to personalize them too.  Use the lever or pull down on the ball to make unicorn mouths move.  I find that my youngest finds pulling on the ball easier, and my oldest the lever is easier.  These Puppet-on-a-Stick Prancers have been great for pretend play, puppet shows, motor skills, and so much more for us!  Great addition to your home or classroom.  If you don't already find these to be a must have, I'll add that the price point is great too.  It retails for $32.99 and you really get quality items that your family will enjoy for many years.  And, what a great gift these would make for a young child, parent, teacher, or caregiver! 

little friends forever



Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Best Allergy Friendly Gluten Free Vegan Bread #foodallergy #vegan #glutenfree #top8free #allergyfriendly

As my kids get older I find myself, and my kids wanting to try foods they can't have.  Just as much as they want it, I want to give them the opportunity.  With severe multiple food allergies, it hasn't been an easy diet to learn but it has been one I'm grateful for.  Over the years I have created so many snacks, meals and all for my kids that I don't really think they're missing out.  I just happen to bake and make everything they eat. 

Every once in a while I get an idea and get in the kitchen, and come out with a new amazing addition to our "menu."  This time it was bread.  This bread is wheat free, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, but free, fish free, soy free, and safe for anyone with the top allergens.  My son asked me the other day "what ever happened to sandwiches, I don't even remember how they taste."  When  he was much younger we bought the frozen gluten free bread a few times, and used to give him sandwiches.  Eventually I stopped buying them, because they were horrible.  I was grateful to have an option, but it didn't taste good.  It was impossible to thaw out, the only option was to toast it, and in the end it was like cardboard.  After that I made pan fried "bread," and made him quick sandwiches that way.  Never could I have dreamed of making soft bread for us all.  But the other day I just thought why not treat the gluten free flour mix as the "regular" all purpose flour, keep it allergy friendly (dairy, egg free etc.) like I always do and give it a go.  I recently learned of using Aquafaba (the brine from canned chickpeas) as an egg replacer, and thought I should just experiment with it also and see how it goes.

I am so happy I did.  Our lives have been changed with this bread.  My 7 year old said it is his wish come true to eat a sandwich as a family, and to have a toothpick with an olive holding his sandwich together.  It was our first time trying Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend gluten free flour mix, in fact I haven't tried using it in any other way yet, but it is delicious in this recipe.  The ingredients in it are: sweet brown rice flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, sorghum flour, xantham gum.   
What you'll need:
  • 9 x 5 loaf pan
  • 3 medium to large mixing bowls
  • Blender (but possible without*)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Active Dry Yeast (I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast 0.75 oz Packet)
  • Warm water (not comfortable for baby's bath warm, more like get the grease off the plate warm)
  • Gluten Free All Purpose Flour of your choice (I used Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend)
  • Aquafaba (liquid brine from canned chickpeas)
  • Sweetener of choice, I used honey (or maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, agave sweetener etc.)
  • Double acting baking powder

  1. Lightly oil and dust the 9 x 5 loaf pan with flour - set aside.
  2. You'll need the yeast to start doing it's magic, so mix 1 1/2 cup of warm water4 tablespoons of honey (or sweetener of choice and 3 teaspoons of active dry yeast.  Set aside, covered (with plastic wrap) for about 5-10 minutes.  Wait until you see the froth forming on top.
  3. Mix 3 cups of the gluten free flour mix (I used Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend), 1 teaspoon of salt, 3 1/2 teaspoons of double acting baking powder- and set aside.
  4. Mix 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Use blender to give it a good mix.  
  5. Then add the "eggs" to it (6 tablespoons of the liquid from canned chickpeas = aquafaba) Mix again with blender.
  6. Now pour the 2 wet ingredients into one bowl.  Give it a quick mix.
  7. In three parts, scoop in the dry ingredients into the wet.  Mixing every so often. 
  8. Place the mix into the prepared loaf pan and let rest for about 30 minutes.  Cover it lightly with plastic wrap.  It should rise.
  9. Once you've seen that it has almost doubled in size, place in preheated 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  (*don't worry if it doesn't rise as much, it will still taste really good)
  10. Let cool in pan for a few minutes, about 5 minutes or so.  Flip out into a cooling rack.  (I'm no pro baker so I just about never wait until it cools, so if you've got patience - wait, I heard that's what you're supposed to do before cutting in)
 Warm honey water with active dry yeast frothing up.
 Flour, salt, baking powder mix.
Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and (egg replacer) aquafaba
 Mix of the two wet ingredients.
Dry mix ready.
 The wet and dry mix together.
Once the bread dough has sat and rose a bit, use wet fingers to shape flat or bumpy like this one.  It will keep it's shape and the crust will be the same way once fully baked. 
I never thought I'd have bread with my kids, I loved bread growing up, took it for granted then.  I wouldn't know the difference between this and a wheat bread.  There are many varieties of bread, and I'd just think this is one of them.  It has a tasty hard crust, and soft inside.  It has the texture of soft fresh baked wheat bread.  Very "glutinous" if you ask me, it might be the Namaste Foods flour mix, I have to try it out with another mix to see it comes out differently, it's just all I had at the moment.  This is the beginning and reminder to always experiment in the kitchen, no matter how impossible it may seem.  I can't wait to make different varieties of deliciousness with this.  Please let me know below if you try it!   I hope it brings you as much joy as it has our family!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Smithsonian's Discover: EARTH #BookReview

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.
Graphics.  Delivery.  Presentation.
All important in teaching, and learning.  If a student is interested they will learn and remember.  I have come to love Smithsonian publishes, from sticker activity books to fact cards - they have it all.  These give this homeschooling mom a great helping hand in teaching.  Great to have in a classroom or on your home bookshelf.  Great way to keep kids interested as they flip through on weekends.
Separated into three parts: Amazing Earth, The Blue Planet, and Wild Weather
Double sided poster 27.8" x 19.7"
12 fact cards
3D globe to build
64 page book
It captures my 2nd graders attention, and keeps him asking questions and flipping pages.  The pictures are so great, my toddler comes to ask questions.  This is truly another Smithsonian must have!  Full of pictures and information that'll keep them flipping through and learning with ease.

Amazon Pinterest Blast - Another Chance to Win $100 Amazon Gift Card! #Giveaway

Makobi Scribe and some other bloggers are bringing you this Amazon Pinterest blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.