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Jun
30
2011
Jun 30, 2011
Posted in: Thoughts

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

The best schools are those with dedicated teachers, admin staff, caretakers, educational assistants, all lead by a principal and vice principal who care about their role in the educational system. My kid’s last day of school has come and gone and I have you to tell you all how blessed we were to have the best teachers and school environment this year. And NO, it’s not because I live in the world’s most affluent neighborhood. It has nothing to do with that (and no I don’t) but it’s because everyone at the school cares, including the parents.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know the school fun fair was a hit it didn’t just magically happen. You should have seen the number of parent volunteers and the collaboration amongst a diverse group of people all for the sake of bettering the educational system for their children. The entire year has been like that and what great role models there were for all the children to see.

So, here is a little blog acknowledgement to all the teachers out there and everyone else in the educational field who do what they do because they want to and care: thank you for making this year a great year for every child out there. You’re right, you probably don’t get paid enough or recognized enough for all that you do but sadly no one does anymore. We live in a world where sometimes, we forget to appreciate the little things in life.

Well, today this little blog salutes all of you. Know that my daughter had a great year because of great people like you. Please continue to inspire the wee ones so that someday, they’ll grow up to be the fantastic adults we know they’re capable of being.

Thank you and see you all in September!

Jun
30
2011
Jun 30, 2011

 

Official website: visit breyers.ca click here

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Not all children love chocolate. My child likes vanilla, pure and simple. The only chocolate she’ll go near is if it’s encasing the vanilla ice cream (she did like the Klondike bar – read Klondike bar review here).

Well, recently, at our local grocery store, Breyer’s Double Churn Ice Cream was on sale. For whatever reason, I’ve never ever bought any Breyer’s products before. Don’t know why, they just have never appealed to me so when I saw the sale and that they had a Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream, I figured I’d try it, let my kid try it, and let you all know how it fared. Yes, I bought it. Not an informed choice, more of an experiment.


Product review: What happened?

The ingredients are decent, but you know, it’s ice cream. At least Breyer’s Double Churn Ice Cream is marketed as ice cream, it is ice cream, and NOT a frozen dessert (which is NOT ice cream).

When I opened the box of Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream, it looked decent enough, just like regular vanilla ice cream. I gave my daughter some of the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream and here’s what she had to say:


My Kid’s review: Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream

Q: What flavour did you try?

A: “Vanilla”

Q: Tell me about the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream.

A: “It’s flat on the top and a little poofy on the top too (in the bucket) and it’s a little bit sweet.”

Q: What do you think about the vanilla ice cream?

A: “Yummy”

Q: You’ve had vanilla ice cream before made by other companies. How does this one taste compared to the others?

A: “It kinda tastes the same.”

Q: Tell me about the flavour and texture of this ice cream. Like pretend I’ve never had vanilla ice cream before. What would you tell me?

A: “It’s sweet, it’s just like the texture of other ice creams. I would tell you it’s sweet, tastes like vanilla not like chocolate, maybe like a vanilla milkshake and it melts really fast.”

Q: Is there one kind of vanilla ice cream that you like better?

A: “No”

Q: “Would you eat Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream again?

A: “Yeah!”


Verdict:

Okay, so my daughter gave it her stamp of approval but I have to be honest with all of you (I say that a lot, don’t I?) and tell you that the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream completely grosses me out. The first bite is decent but then, on the second spoon of ice cream, I begin to realize that it has a very specific frothy, foamy, kind of texture. Perhaps it’s the double churn process that makes it feel that way. For lack of a better description, the texture reminded me of sweet whipped cream that got frozen. My daughter is right, the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream does melt incredibly quick which is good since it means there’s less stuff that’s been added to it to keep it solid longer at room temperature. On a personal preference level, I like my ice cream NOT LIKE THIS. For me, ice cream should be solid and smooth (unless of course, it’s got yummy decadent chunks of goodness in it).

I can’t quite explain it but my husband and I both agree that we’re not a big fan of this ice cream texture. I found the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream too frothy, foamy (I can’t think of any other words to describe it) and rich for my liking. So, this one box of Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream is going to be sitting in my freezer for a long time.

Here are some of our other ice cream reviews you may want to read:

Eating PC Blue Menu Raspberry Sherbet: Tart and Fresh click here

Eating a Klondike bar: as good as my childhood click here

PC Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ice Cream: my peanut butter oasis click here

Eating Mott’s Fruitsations 100% Juice Ice Bars – chilly summer treat click here

Follow comeseewhatwedo on Twitter

Eating: Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream – one frothy mess http://www.thingsthatwedo.com/?p=840

Eating PC Blue Menu Raspberry Sherbet: Tart and Fresh http://www.thingsthatwedo.com/?p=585

Eating a Klondike bar: as good as my childhood http://www.thingsthatwedo.com/?p=721

PC Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ice Cream: my peanut butter oasis http://www.thingsthatwedo.com/?p=930

Eating Mott’s Fruitsations 100% Juice Ice Bars – chilly summer treat http://www.thingsthatwedo.com/?p=726

Jun
29
2011
Jun 29, 2011

Official website: visit naturecleanliving.com click here

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

If you’ve been following my product review blog, you’ll know that I’m somewhat conscious about what I feed my child. I believe in moderation and making the best food choices I can for my family based on what I can attain at that time. The idea of pesticides and chemicals (or other non-food related substances) lingering on my fruits and vegetables however, really seriously creep me out. We are such a global society now that our food often travels from a gazillion miles away and while we try to locally grown product, it doesn’t always happen (either because of cost or availability). So, I need something that will appease my conscience, if only a little bit. Here is where Nature Clean’s Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate comes into my family life. I buy it, I use it, and one bottle lasts a long time, making the cost for the product worth my while.

Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash comes in 2 forms that I’ve seen in my local supermarket – a spray version and a concentrated version. This product review is about the Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate since that’s the one I bought. If I get around to trying out the spray, I’ll let you all know.


Product review: What happened?

When I read the Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate ingredient list, it lists the following: water, fatty polyglycoside (from corn starch and palm kernel oil), citric acid, cellulose colloids (from wood and cotton), sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate (preservative based on glycine). You can’t taste it, smell it, it leaves no residue and is supposed to do what I want it to: remove surface pesticides, chemicals, bacteria, wax and dirt.  I went to the official website (I included it at the top) and learned that all Nature Clean products are non-toxic and biodegradable and are made from naturally derived ingredients. So far, so good!

Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate is simple enough to use. Depending on the type of fruit or vegetable, you can either spray the fruit and veggie wash on it or let it soak for approximately 30 seconds. Rinse and clean and you’re done! But, honestly, it is a science experiment for adults and kids alike. It also helps to build your child’s awareness of food quality.

raspberries and cherries soaking in the nature clean fruit and veggie wash

Have your child feel an apple (or another fruit or veggie) before using the Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate. Ask him/her to comment on how the fruit feels. Then, spray/soak the fruit or vegetable. Rinse, wash, and then let your child feel the fruit or vegetable again and ask the same questions.

Before I wash my apple, I can feel a film on top of the apple skin. After spraying the fruit and veggie wash on my apple, I give it a little scrub and instantly, I can feel that it gets a little ‘squeaky’ feeling. Sorry, it’s the only way I can describe it. After washing off the spray, wow, what a difference.  Really truly, the apple feels squeaky clean and I feel more confident in eating it.

closeup view of raspberries and cherries soaking

You can also soak softer fruit and veggies just like the picture shows. Here I’m soaking a mixture of raspberries and cherries in water with the Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate. You don’t need much and I feel better knowing that I’ve used it. My daughter sees me doing it and she understands that it helps to get rid of bad chemicals and ‘dirt’ from the outside skin of the fruit.


Verdict:

Overall, I really appreciate this product for what it does and yes, I plan to buy it again and again. I recognize that not everyone can afford organic and sometimes, what is available in the organic section isn’t what you want or need at that time. So, Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate gives you another option, especially if you don’t want to peel all your fruit and veggies. Now, at the same time, I also recognize that there are some pesticides and chemicals that will seep through the skin of the fruit and into the flesh itself. That is something that this product does not claim to fix and I’m aware of that. But, if Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie Wash Concentrate can help to reduce my family’s household consumption of pesticides and other chemicals, then I think it’s worth investing in.

Now, back to their website for a minute, you really have to visit their website to learn how socially conscious and responsible the Nature Clean company is. I learn that their packaging is BPA free (woohoo!) and they use Bullfrog power! Too too cool..oh and it’s made in Canada. Triple cool. You can visit their website and read more. I think I’ve written enough for one night!

Note: I’m not sure why though, but there have been times that I can smell the fruit and veggie wash on my fruit/veggie even after I’ve scrubbed and rinsed them. I don’t know if I was imagining it or if I used too much of the fruit and vegetable wash or if it was the product itself. The smell always went away after I gave it a second good cleaning so although it was a bit of a hassle, I still use it since the flipside does not a ’peel’ to me at all!

Like this review on Nature Clean Fruit and Veggie wash? Let others know!

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Jun
28
2011
Jun 28, 2011
Posted in: Thoughts

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

 I promised I’d update you all on the wellbeing of our little cherry tomato plant. Well, you will all be happy to know that it is STILL ALIVE! At the time of this photo, the baby cherry tomato plant has grown taller and has even grown a few flower buds. Now, if the weather and our luck hold, maybe just maybe, we’ll see some cherry tomatoes soon.

Now, I have to confess, my daughter and I have not been keeners on taking care of the plant. Most days we remember to water it and the sun has been out but we could be taking better care of it. We could also be doing more to increase her uptake of learning about how things grow. We could be tracking its progress, charting its growth, drawing pictures to capture its development but we haven’t. We have talked about it and have gone to see how its doing but aside from that, the poor lonely cherry tomato plant could really use a friend. I might just have to cave in and look for another plant for it.

Will keep you all updated!

Read my previous blog:

the beginning of the cherry tomato plant – episode 1

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http://www.thingsthatwedo.com/?p=763
Jun
27
2011
Jun 27, 2011

Reading with your Child:Bathroom Humour Turned into Teachable Moment

Everyone Poops

By: Tara Gomi

Rating: 5/5 (or 5 big you know:))


Reading
with Your Child: Why Read “Everyone Poops”?

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I think most of us as informed parents are quite aware of the importance of reading with your child especially while they’re still young. Now, I don’t know about you but my child has hit the stage where all bodily functions are hilariously funny. Her current fave is anything that rhymes with ‘goop’. Aha..now you can see the appeal this book has for my 5 year old. So, when I found it, I bought it because I figured this might have a more educational element to it as well.


What is “Everyone Poops” all about?

I’m sure you can guess what this book “Everyone Poops” is all about. My daughter absolutely keels over laughing with this book, not because it’s particularly informative or detailed but she finds the entire idea of all these different animals drawn with their fecal matter completely and utterly gut wrenching funny. The first time we read this, it is just fits of laughter everyone. Haha, I read along and laugh along as well. We both make comments about the size of different poops, how much there is, how little there is, and of course, who’s doing the pooping.

When we get to the second read, she starts to make comments and ask more serious questions, “Is this really how a rabbit poops?” “Is that really fish poop?” “Why do all the poops look different?” Finally, we’re getting somewhere! Now, we’re having discussions on all the possibilities that might explain why different animals poop in different ways and why the poops all look different. Despite the seemingly simple illustrations, her critical and divergent thinking skills are being utilized as she starts to analyze the different forms of poops illustrated.

For early readers, the text is simple enough that it can be managed independently although adult assistance and support is always preferred especially if help with the bigger words is needed.

Now, here is a more personal opinion. Truthfully, I don’t find bathroom conversations of poo or pee offensive but I recognize that some families may have thinking that is different than ours. We’ve always considered all topics open for discussion so long as it was at a developmentally appropriate level where our daughter could understand the information she was getting.  Thus, this book about pooping, for us, is another conversation builder. The book, for example, helps me to better illustrate the point that all animals do go poop and when they do, the poop looks different.

Can this book easily become one bathroom joke after another? Of course and it really depends on adult guidance and your child’s personality. So, this book may not be for all kids or families especially if you don’t feel like hearing the bathroom jokes any time soon. We, as a family, have ongoing bathroom jokes and believe me, she’s not the only one telling the jokes but we do it because it makes it more common place and less inviting in the long run. Before long, it just becomes another conversation, it’s no big deal, and she moves on to a different topic.


Verdict:

Do we like the book, “Everyone Poops”? Yep. Is it worth a read? Yes, for all the reasons I mentioned above. So, if you’re looking for a conversation builder on the topic of poop, this might be the one for you. After the initial series of jokes and giggles, you can use the following questions to extend your child’s thinking:

“Look at all the different kinds of poo. I wonder why they all look so different. Why do you think?”

“Why do you think different animal poo has different shapes?”

“What about animals that aren’t in this book? What do you think their poop would look like?”

“If this book is about poo, what other books should we read about?” (I never used this question on my daughter but on her own, she came up with the idea that someone should write about pee because all animals pee and their pee might look different too). You see, there is a teachable moment is almost anything we do with children. All you have to do is find it!

Like this review on the children’s book “Everyone Poops”? Let others know:

 
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Jun
26
2011
Jun 26, 2011

Official website: visit kissmyface.com click here

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I used to buy my daughter a different type of bar soap to use on her face. Truthfully speaking, the bar soap doesn’t come into direct contact with face. I usually use it to clean the face cloth which is now clean and warm and it’s the face cloth that goes on her face. Given that she’s got mild eczema, I try to be more careful about the skin products I put on her face. Well, the other bar soap I used was insanely expensive so I went searching for a different product and came across the Kiss My Face Olive and Honey soap. I read the ingredients: saponified olive oil, water, honey, sodium chloride, and fragrance (not keen about this but hey, the other things I can read so that was good) and bought my first bar to try.

Product review: What happened?

First off, the Kiss My Face Olive and Honey soap is huge, weighing 8 oz (or 230 g). It’s probably the biggest bar soap I’ve ever seen. More importantly though, it seems sooo good, like it’s dripping or oozing honey. I can only hope that the smell isn’t all from that last ingredient listed as ‘fragrance’. I did visit the website and learned that the Kiss My Face Olive and Honey soap contained no artificial colours or what they called ‘unnecessary’ chemicals. It’s also not tested on animals, which is another bonus.  The olive oil is supposed to be a really good moisturizer for all skin types and the honey is supposed to help hydrate the skin too.

Well, I tried it on my daughter and she’s been using it for a while now and the Kiss My Face Olive and Honey soap seems to be compatible with my daughter’s face. Her skin looks and feels soft, no complaints from her end. She likes the smell too and I’m amazed at how long the bar lasts for. It’s been a few weeks now and the bar is still pretty big. It’s slightly awkward to use in the beginning because it is so big but how often can you say that about a decently made product that doesn’t cost my left and right arm?


Verdict:

Would I buy the Kiss My Face Olive and Honey soap again? Yes, absolutely! I may even try some of their other products and if I do, I’ll let you all know what I think about those too. While I’m not keen on the ‘fragrance’ ingredient that is on the soap, I appreciate the price point and the use of real honey and olive oil in the soap. Compared to some of the other soaps out there and what is on their labels, the Kiss My Face Olive and Honey soap is tough to beat. It doesn’t agitate my daughter’s skin so yes, I’ll be using and buying it again!

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Jun
25
2011
Jun 25, 2011

Official website: click this direct link to presidentschoice.ca for more info

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Today, I wanted something cold and sweet but not ice cream. I didn’t ‘feel’ like ice cream – too creamy (obviously!). So, I take myself over to the freezer section of my local Loblaws and browse through the frozen desserts in hopes that I find what I’m looking for and this catches my eye – raspberry sherbert. For those of you familiar with Loblaws, you’ll know they have a PC Blue Menu line and the raspberry sherbert just happens to be from that line. So, I decide to leap in, buy it (I love raspberries), and hope that it tastes as good as I need it to be.


Product review: What happened?

I happen to really like Loblaws products so I may be biased (at least I’m honest about it). To date, everything I’ve tried has been delicious and fresh. (recall, the PC Splendido tiramisu that I raved about. Click here if you haven’t read it yet ). At the same time, because I know the brand, I have expectations that I hope will be met or you know, I’m going to be disappointed.

I read the ingredient list before buying and could complain but won’t because I know it’s a dessert and knew I was buying on impulse so I knew it was going to have stuff in it but the concentrate beet juice threw me for a loop. Most likely, it’s in there to help with the raspberry colouring but hey, raspberry purée is fourth on the list as part of the raspberry flavour base so that’s decent.

Open the lid and wow, it looks like raspberry sherbert, the kind I’d get if I had worked on it myself all day long. I scooped out a cup for me and liked its smooth texture and consistency. Then came the taste: WOW. Tart, refreshing, very raspberry. The PC Blue Menu raspberry sherbert (or sorbet as I like to say it) really packs a flavourful bunch and really, you don’t need a lot of it to make you feel like you’ve had a really really satisfying dessert. It was exactly what I had hoped for: something tart and refreshing with a ton of flavour. THANK YOU LOBLAWS.


Verdict:

You’ll be happy to know that I didn’t gorge on it. I had my one cup and only one cup (and it wasn’t a gigantic one, either) and there was plenty left over for many days afterwards. Would I buy this product again? Yes and I did for an ‘ice cream party’. It happens to taste incredibly decadent with some crushed Oreos and ripe pineapple or strawberries mixed in. This summer, if you can get your hands on it, you have to try it at least once.

Here are some of our other ice cream reviews that you may want to read:

Eating Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream– one frothy mess click here

Eating a Klondike bar: as good as my childhood click here

PC Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ice Cream: my peanut butter oasis click here

Eating Mott’s Fruitsations 100% Juice Ice Bars – chilly summer treat click here

Follow comeseewhatwedo on Twitter

Jun
24
2011
Jun 24, 2011

Official website: http://www.madagascar-themovie.com/

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

My 5 year old recently became a mad fan of the first Madagascar movie – we’re talking full on mad love! She’d recite what the different animal characters say at different points of the movie, from Skipper’s “Let’s get crackin’, boys” to the police horse’s “you gone too fah” in a New York accent, not to mention the notorious “I like to move it, move it” chant from lemur King Julien. So, I figured it was time to branch out and watch the second Madagascar movie, Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa.

In this second Madagascar movie, Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman are trying yet again to make their exit from Madagascar. I’m not going to give away the entire plot to you, but you can imagine what’s going to happen if you’ve seen the first Madagascar movie.


Children’s Movie Review: is Madagascar 2 any good?

My daughter and I settled down to watch the movie and the opening is not what I expected. It features a very young lion cub playing with his father and oh OH! Suspense ensues. Alas, we learn of Alex’s journey to the New York Zoo and perhaps why he thinks steaks taste so good.  The rest of the movie also showcased the rest of the quadrupeds, higher mammals, and the ever resourceful penguins (hilarious, as always!). And yes, there is singing, dancing, and a happy ending indeed.


Verdict: is Madagascar 2 worth watching again?:

It’s difficult to review a movie without over sharing the entire plotline for those of you who want some mystery before settling down to watch this with your wee one. Although it’s an older movie, anyone who has children probably hasn’t had much time to watch a current movie. I know I find myself constantly trying to play catchup. But, moons ago when Madagascar 2 first went to the movie theatres, my daughter was too young to see it. Now that she’s older, we’re able to better explore the complex nuances that are often hidden within children’s movies.

The Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa storyline is certainly more complex than the first Madagascar movie. Younger children may miss or have difficulty processing some of the more subtle themes of the movie. I have to admit, I was not impressed by the opening because I am generally driven absolutely nuts when cartoons or children’s movies that are supposed to cater to the young crowd include suspense using the ‘separation from the parent/death of a parent’ tactic (do I need to even remind you all which children’s movie did THAT?!).  Really, is this the only kind of suspense we want to expose our children to? I can’t help but think of what unconscious message we’re sending to our children. I know it certainly resulted in very long conversations and discussions with my daughter about Mother Nature, what happens in the wild with animals, the circle of life, and then some. Regardless of how it ended, that opening remains a sore point for me.

Would I watch this movie again? Absolutely, for a few reasons:

  1. I think the penguins are really funny as are most of the interactions between the movie characters (whoever thought of the whole Moto Moto piece and Gloria and Melman and what about all the zebras that are just like Marty?)
  2. My daughter thinks Mort is hilarious.
  3. My daughter is thankfully old enough to ask me questions and share with me when certain parts of the movie puzzled her. This led to a lot of healthy open-ended discussions that we otherwise might not have had.
  4. I’m comfortable having these types of discussions with my daughter.
  5. At the end of the movie, my daughter and I were able to have a really healthy discussion on what we felt were important things to us.

Sorry folks, I know I’m being extremely vague, but you wouldn’t want me to tell you too much about the movie, would you?? Dated as Madagascar – Escape 2 Africa may be, it’s worthy of a second viewing!

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