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Jul
31
2011
Jul 31, 2011

Official site: http://smurfhappens.com/

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

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My child had a lot to say about the Smurfs movie that we just watched yesterday so I decided I’ve give her Smurfs movie review its very own blog day. So, if you’re wondering if the Smurfs movie is any good for young children, you may find your answer here.  For the record,  what I did was ask her a series of questions. I put her answers verbatim in quotations so you get a real sense of what she’s thinking about the Smurfs movie. This is what my child had to say about the Smurfs movie:
Q: What can you tell me about the Smurfs movie?
A: “The movie is about Gargamel wants to get the Smurfs power and the Smurfs are going to fight Gargamel and then they end up at somebody’s house.”
Q: What’s your favourite part about the Smurfs movie?
A: “When the Smurf fell into the toilet. It was Clumsy Smurf.”
Q: What was the funniest part of the Smurfs movie?
A: “When they skateboard.”
Q: Why is that funny?
A: “Because Smurfs don’t skateboard. I have another funny part. It’s also when they throw stuff at Gargamel like eggs, toothpicks and an apple with nails stuck on it.”
Q: For anyone who didn’t watch the Smurfs Movie yet, what do you think is important for them to know?
A: “That it’s good for children and adults to watch.”
Q: Why is this important?
A: “Because if the family doesn’t know, they might think the movie is scary and once they watch the movie, they can tell other people that it’s a good movie.”
Q: What do you really think this Smurfs movie is about?
A: “About the Smurfs finding Gargamel and about taking action…if you’re clumsy, you can turn out to be not that clumsy at the end. You can turn out to be the hero in the end.”
*end of interview*
Parent’s comment and side note: I’m always surprised by her answers whenever I interview her for feedback on a product or show. This time, I’m surprised because I thought she’d either point out the 3D effects as being super cool (in our chats, she talked about the leaves floating near us, about Papa Smurf being really close) or about all the bathroom humour in the movie (e.g. on more than one occasion, she mentioned that Gargamel peed in a bucket at the restaurant but she’s convinced that the actor, Hank Azaria, was probably just pouring water into the bucket – her own idea!). Yet, she doesn’t mention either in this interview.
Hope you enjoyed her movie review on the Smurfs movie!
 
Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!
 
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Jul
30
2011
Jul 30, 2011

Official website:  http://smurfhappens.com/

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

 My daughter and I just came home from the Smurfs movie. Today is opening day for the Smurfs movie. She has been waiting for the Smurfs movie for weeks now so you can imagine how excited she was about seeing the Smurfs movie. So, in case you’re wondering, “Is the Smurfs movie any good?” or “Is the Smurfs movie appropriate for children?” or “How were the 3D effects for the Smurfs movie?”, here’s our review of the Smurfs movie.
– Continue Reading

Jul
29
2011
Jul 29, 2011

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I’m an average parent with high hopes of the difference I can make in my daughter’s life. I hope that I can be a good role model in all of what I do. I recognize that I may not always be perfect and I let her know that I don’t want her to be perfect because there is no such thing. We also, as a family, engaged in lengthy discussions and she’s part of those discussions, not just a bystander. So, one day, she says to me, “Mom, why don’t you have a hat or sunglasses?”

This is What Happens When You Have a Big Head

Well, what do I tell her but the honest truth. I reply, “I actually had sunglasses but I don’t know where I put them (truth) and mommy’s head is really big so I’m having a hard time finding a hat that will fit my head. (truth)” She nods and comforts me, telling me that one day we’ll find a hat that will fit my big head and find me a new pair of sunglasses.
Fast forward to a week back and we’re out and about in the city and we pass by a hat store. It is stifling hot and I’m cooking under the sun while the rest of the family is decked out in shades and hats. I decide to go in and politely say to the shop owner, “I need a hat that will fit this big head of mine. Do you have any?” The shop owner is a wonderful gentleman and he smiles and points to the fedora, a cream coloured fedora with a black band and I’m thinking there is NO way I can sport that without looking like a complete clown. Yet, there’s my kid happy as a lark because her teacher has the exact same hat and she’s thrilled at the possibility that mommy and her teacher will be sporting the same style hat.
– Continue Reading

Jul
28
2011
Jul 28, 2011

Promoting  Early Literacy: Leapfrog Scribble and Write – the fun way!
Rating: 4/5 (or 4 pawprints)

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There was a sale a while back so I picked up a couple to be used as gifts for other children. Next thing you know, my kid is using the toy during a recent trip to a store so I thought to myself: should I give her one to test out? Yes I did and here’s what we discovered.  Let’s call this product testing by a little kid. 🙂

Leapfrog Scribble and Write: What do you get?

The Leapfrog Scribble and Write comes with 4 different games or activities. Your child can trace uppercase letters, lowercase letters, shapes, or do a Guess the Letter game.  Each letter of the alphabet also has its corresponding button and there’s a special ‘paw’ button too (tell you about that later).
The Leapfrog Scribble and Write comes with a child sized stylus and a screen to trace letters. Note: make sure you remove the protective layer or the tracing won’t work. Eager children may miss this simple step which can quickly lead to some serious frustration! There is a slider at the bottom of the toy to remove prints made on the screen.
The good news: the Leapfrog Scribble and Write already has batteries so it’s good to go! This is an awesome feature because nothing is more aggravating than getting a toy for a child and realizing too late that there are no batteries in the home to get the toy to work.
– Continue Reading

Jul
27
2011
Jul 27, 2011

Official website: visit burnbraefarms.com click here

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

We eat eggs a few times a week depending on the meals we’re making. Weekends usually include French toast and pancakes. Weekdays there might be egg sandwiches or egg and tofu pad thai. Thus, we try to get eggs that have a bit more oomph to them.
Usually, we get omega 3 eggs but we’re not brand specific. We just try to get whatever looks fresh and of course, has a best before date. As it turns out, we went to the market the other day and nothing looked great so we turned to the Burnbrae Farms Free Run Omega 3 eggs. I read the packaging and turns out Burnbrae Farms Free Run Omega 3 eggs and I liked that they’re free run, they have omega 3, and they use bullfrog power.  To be honest, I’m not even sure I’ve seen them before at the supermarket so why not?
– Continue Reading

Jul
26
2011
Jul 26, 2011

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Okay, if anyone has been following my blog, you’ll know that I recently went out and got 2 McDonald’s Star Wars light sabers, the blue Anakin Skywalker one light saber and the purple Mace Windu light saber (read the previous blog review here ). Well, just today, I finally got my grubby hands on the green Yoda light saber so I thought I’d do a little toy comparison which might perhaps save you some money.
What I can tell you is that each light saber does something different and I’m guessing that McDonald’s did this on purpose. Not sure if this was a good idea on their part but here’s a fair warning: not all the light sabers light up.
– Continue Reading

Jul
25
2011
Jul 25, 2011

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Another hot summer day and not quite sure what to do so my daughter and I ventured out and ended up watching the Winnie the Pooh movie. I have to be honest, neither one of us are fans of Winnie the Pooh. Even as an infant, my kid has never been in to Winnie the Pooh and neither one of us had wanted to watch the Winnie the Pooh movie. In fact, she’s got her heart set to watch the Smurfs but that’s not out until later this month so all we were left with was the Winnie the Pooh movie.
So, coming from 2 people who aren’t fans of Winnie the Pooh, what did we think of the Winnie the Pooh movie? Is the Winnie the Pooh movie good for children? Was the Winnie the Pooh movie worth watching? Here’s what we had to say.

Winnie the Pooh movie review: What happened?

This Winnie the Pooh movie helps to make sure we all have the same basic knowledge and starts off with a real life room, Christopher Robin’s room to be exact. The narrator explains: Christopher Robin, a dear sweet boy with a vivid imagination comes up with elaborate stories about his favourite stuffed animals. The camera pans around the room at all of Christopher Robin’s collection of knick knacks, stuffed animals, and of course, to his Winnie the Pooh book. The book opens and the movie begins. – Continue Reading

Jul
24
2011
Jul 24, 2011

Official website: visit breyers.ca click here

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My kid likes vanilla, I like chocolate so during a recent sale I bought her the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream and I picked up a box of Breyer’s Double Churn Natural chocolate Ice Cream for myself. If you’ve read my other food review about Breyer’s Double Churn Natural Vanilla Ice Cream (click here if you haven’t yet), you can probably guess that this didn’t turn out so well.
Product review: What happened?
Like I mentioned before, the ingredients are decent and you know it’s ice cream, not frozen dessert so that’s one good thing and for me, it’s the only good thing about Breyer’s Double Churn Natural chocolate ice cream.
While my daughter ate her ice cream, I ate mine and the first bite was okay. I was actually happy with the rich chocolaty flavour of Breyer’s Double Churn Natural chocolate ice cream. But, then I made the mistake of having my second spoonful and instantly became grossed out.
For those of you who like ice creams that have a frothy texture when it melts, then you’ll probably love Breyer’s Double Churn Natural chocolate ice cream. But for me, the texture completely grossed me out. I ate a few more bites and dumped the rest of mine out. I have no idea what I’ll be doing with the rest of the box of Breyer’s Double Churn Natural chocolate ice cream that is now sitting in my freezer. With 2 boxes, that’s a lot of space to waste. I may have to arrange an ice cream party just to get rid of them.

Verdict:

Let’s be clear: the flavour of the Breyer’s Double Churn Natural chocolate ice cream is fine. It tastes the way it should be: just like chocolate. Where I have the issue is is the texture of the ice cream when it melts. It melts quickly and turns into this thick goopy frothy mess. No offense to those of you who do like Breyer’s but there is just something off putting about this ice cream for me. I highly doubt I’ll be buying it again.
 
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Jul
23
2011
Jul 23, 2011

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Official website: www.tanglecreations.com
During a recent trip to the bookstore, I noticed a bunch of little doodads that were all on sale and you know me, I can’t resist looking at a sale (not BUYING necessarily but looking is always good because that’s how I comparison shop!). I noticed this little tiny toy called a Tangle in this little unassuming box.
It was on sale for $2 and so I turned it over and read about it. I saw the potential for this Tangle toy to be a great little gadget for the brain muscles but also for the fingers as well. Every child fidgets and every adult fidgets someway, somehow. That’s a given (at least, in my opinion it is). For me, I saw the potential for this Tangle toy to also add some creative elements to the whole fidget process so I took the big financial risk (a whole $2, how can you go wrong with that?) and bought it.

Toy Product Review: What Happened?

Boxes in general aggravate me because I can never get over how much tape and extra plastic fasteners are needed to test the patience of children and parents alike. Thankfully, all I needed was a pair of scissors to snip away the tape around the edges to let the Tangle escape its plastic prison.
I tell you, my kid instantaneously loved this Tangle toy. No instructions needed. She just asked me to pass it over and away she went. She walked as she fiddled away, trying all sorts of different ways to manipulate the Tangle toy and I can tell her creativity is going full speed ahead. She made “snakes”, “goggles”,  a “cheese grater”, “bubble blower”, “waves” and a “chain” to name a few. I have to admit, the cheese grater idea was my favourite because when we got home, she continued on using her Tangle toy like a cheese grater, asking if I wanted cheese on top of my pretend spaghetti.
Creativity, for me, is key to my child’s development because creativity works her brain differently than the facts she must learn throughout life. She knows 2 + 2 is 4 and a red light means stop but creativity is about problem solving and coming with with novel solutions especially when you’re stuck with a work deadline and your project is still missing some key components. If she gets enough practice over time to come up with creative ideas, her brain will be wired to have a more creative and open-minded process.

Here’s what my kid had to say about her new Tangle:

Q: What do you want to tell me about your new Tangle?
A: “I like the Tangle because it’s a fidget toy. A fidget toy tangles up your leg like a trick (big grin on her face. I think she’s pulling my leg!)”
Q: What do you like most about your new Tangle?
A: “I like it because it fidgets. I have it right now. See, goggles (the structure she makes as I’m talking to her). I like the way it feels. It feels smooth…I tied my shoes (yet another Tangle structure as I’m typing)…I made a circle…”

Verdict:

The parent in me thinks this Tangle toy is a great creative toy for any child. Of course, give the smaller pieces, I would probably think it would be better for children over the age of 3 years. The Tangle toy enhances your child’s cognitive functions, extends creative thinking, is a great stress reliever, and gives fingers a great way to exercise.
Thus, if you can, get a Tangle toy for your family and see what your child (or adult) comes up with!
 
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Jul
22
2011
Jul 22, 2011

Official website: click here to visit schneiders.ca

Copyright© 2011 ThingsThatWedo.com. All Rights Reserved.


Updated posted – July 22, 2011: Okay, now that I know, I feel obligated to share. My eyes have been opened up and I now know more than I did before. Turns out: cultured celery extract does contact sodium nitrate. It’s naturally occurring sodium nitrate but it’s nitrate nonetheless. Does it change my opinion of the product? Yes, I don’t eat bacon often and I may buy this product again in the future but I dislike being misled into thinking that this Schneiders Country Naturals bacon had no nitrates when in fact it did, just under a different name. Sigh, my whole motto of everything in moderation is getting harder to do. The more I know, the more suspicious I get.  Here’s an article from CBC News about Maple Leaf Cooked Ham but contains information about sodium nitrates (and others) that might be of interest to you.  read CBC News article here . I’m not a scientist so I always prefer to defer to someone more knowledgeable whenever possible. Sorry folks, this just wasn’t the fairy tale come true after all.
Original post –  June 11, 2011: Since the Schneiders Country Naturals Weiners (ie. hotdogs) were a hit in our home and I reviewed it ( click here if you haven’t read it yet ), I decided that if I saw some of their other Schneiders Country Naturals products, I would try them out not because I intend to eat deli meats or bacon every day but I do want to know that I have an option of something different that isn’t laced with preservatives and chemicals should I decide to venture off my usual cooking path. Luckily, I was at the grocery store and spotted the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon and decided to buy it.
I read the ingredients and I could pronounce every single one.  Ingredients listed on the package: Pork, water, sea salt, cane sugar, cultured celery extract, spice, smoke. Again, same story as before, I have no idea what ‘spice’ and ‘smoke’ refer to but at least it isn’t 40 letters long and the package does claim that it is bacon with natural ingredients. And, since I’m only going to eat it occasionally, I decide to take yet another leap of faith and bought the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon.

Product review: What happened?

I bought the pack of ​Schneiders Country Naturals bacon and decided I’d make a bacon mushroom pasta dish with onions, garlic, rapini (or broccolini) and broccoli. I fired up the bacon, cooked it thoroughly and removed all the bacon grease. I removed the bacon from the pan and even put the cooked bacon on paper towel to get rid of the excess oil still attached to the bacon. Afterwards, I added the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and a bay leaf into the same bacon pan and added some water to make the sauce. Combine with cooked pasta, added a little milk, mixed in the bacon and dinner was ready. Notice, I didn’t use any extra salt or seasonings with this meal. My guess was if it’s bacon, it’s probably already loaded with salt so I didn’t add any extra to the pasta dish. After all, sea salt is the third ingredient in the ingredient list.
End result: the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon did not disappoint. Schneiders Country Naturals bacon tasted just like all the other regular bacon that is usually made with nitrates and crazy preservatives. Schneiders Country Naturals bacon was just as salty and in my opinion had the same salty taste and flavour as your regular bacon. When I compared prices in the store, since none of the bacon was on sale, it was actually closely priced to the other bacon products on the shelf. So, then, I have to ask myself, if I’m paying the same dollar value, why would I spend it on something made with a ton of preservatives when I could be buying something that is made more naturally?

Schneiders Country Naturals bacon – take a good look!

I visited the website above and also learned that Schneiders Country Naturals product line have no preservatives added, have no artificial ingredients, colours, or flavours, there are no additives, and no MSG, fillers, or by-products (another thing that creeps me out!). There are no preservatives added, except those that are naturally occurring in the ingredients, but that part I kind of figured out on my own. On the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon section, it also notes that no nitrites have been added.
And, what did the daughter and husband think? The husband liked it but also agreed that it tasted a little too salty (imagine if I had added salt to the cooking process!) and my child said she really liked it, that it tasted like all the other bacon that she’s had before. So, based on our family’s perspective, it certainly seems like the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon tastes just like all the other types of bacon that is out on the market. So, then you have to ask yourself, if Schneiders can make a yummy bacon in a more natural manner, why aren’t more companies doing it??

Verdict:

Will I buy these Schneiders Country Naturals bacon again? Yes, if I want to buy bacon. But, let me be honest. I know bacon in general isn’t exactly the healthiest meat option out there for our family to eat. Thus, bacon in general in our household is a sometimes/rare food item. On the odd occasion, I’ll buy it to cook dinner with but it certainly isn’t something I have on a weekly basis. Now, having said that, if I intend/need to buy bacon, I’d opt for Schneiders Country Naturals bacon. My one only comment is that like all bacon, Schneiders Country Naturals bacon is quite salty. So, if another company came up with a no nitrate added, natural bacon that was less salty, I’d probably give them a try, compare the two, and opt for the one that tasted better/less salty.
Note: now for both the Schneiders Country Naturals bacon and the Schneiders Country Naturals wieners, the ingredient lists do not include nitrates but I honestly don’t know if that is the same thing as being nitrate free since I think there are naturally occurring nitrates in some foods but is a totally different story than a product being pumped full of nitrates to extend its shelf life.
 
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