Marshall Publishing Comes Through Again with the Monster Truck DVD Collection

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Between Easter baskets, Spring Break and Summer Vacation there are plenty of opportunities to give a great gift to a Monster Truck fan you know!  Marshall Publishing has LOTS of DVD Sets sure to excite kids of all ages!  
We were sent the action packed Monster Truck DVD set and have reviewed their train DVD in the past.  Each time, Broxton squeals with excitement when he opens up a new DVD.  

Just check out the action that is packed on this two DVD set:

DISC 1 - THE BIGGEST AND BADDEST You won’t believe your eyes as these “OLD SCHOOL” muscle machines fly through the air - flipping, twisting, tumbling and crunching their way to the ground with parts exploding everywhere! See all your favorite vehicles smash, crash, spin and roll out of control! Plus there’s mud-bogging, demo derby, motocross, daredevils, truck pulls and more! Modified Chevy Trucks and Ford Trucks like you've never seen before!
DISC 2 - TOUGHEST TRUCKS ON EARTH NOW IN WIDESCREEN! Get ready for the thrill of a lifetime as we capture the incredible freestyle and racing thrills and spills action of today’s hottest monster trucks! See Bigfoot®, Tailgator, Barbarian, Bounty Hunter®, Outlaw, Hot Tamale, Avenger®, Big Dawg, Double Trouble, Toxic, Equalizer and many more! Plus, out of this world freestyle Motocross, Tuff Trucks, Quads, the car crunching Transaurus, RC Trucks, Kid KJ and more! This is one monster truck experience you’ll never forget!

THIS DVD is NOT available in stores, so head on over to this website and check it out. 


All Natural Sleep Aid - @Glysonna

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

I am pretty lucky in that I normally do not have a problem falling asleep... Normally as soon as I am in the bed, it is just a short time before I am out... Broxton is more like his daddy in that it seems to take FOREVER for him to conk out.
Marc has always had sleep issues and we have tried everything... with NOTHING working for him.
I was recently contacted about a new "sleep support" and I wanted to let Marc try it out... 

Glysonna is a
drug-free sleep aid, glycine fortified with added wellness nutrients which helps you to reach restorative sleep by:

a) Triggering relaxation.
b) Sustaining sleep.
c) Initiating the natural sleep process.

I had Marc try it and unfortunately for him, it did not work.  (We have honestly tried pretty much everything and if he doesn't have PRESCRIBED medication- he will NOT sleep.)  

I want to give it a try - but like I said, I don't have any sleep issues, so I would not know if it really worked or not.  I plan on passing this along to my mom, as she has sleep issues... but I have not seen her to give it to her to try.  Just because this doesn't work for Marc doesn't mean it is not effective, it just didn't work in our house... I would love to hear from you if you have tried it!  

You can visit their website to learn more about Glysonna.  

Swap Sugar for Nectresse and Lower the Calories

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

With summer creeping up on us faster than you can imagine... 
It might be a good time to try and change out a few eating habits to help with lowering calories!   Enter- Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener.
After reading about Nectresse, I see just how much sugar I do consume on a daily basis!
Check this out...

·        Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains eight teaspoons of sugar, or 130 calories and zero nutrition.
·        There are four calories in each gram of sugar, so if a product has 15 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 60 calories just from the sugar alone, not counting the other ingredients.
·        Sugar has many other names. Besides those ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose, other names include fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey.

NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener is an all-natural – nothing artificial – zero calorie way to consume less sugar while still enjoying the foods you love. Make the sweet swap and replace sugar with NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener for a delicious way to stay within the recommended guidelines for your body.

A few ways to swap sugar for Nectresse: 

·         Morning blend: Kick-start your mornings with a fresh fruit smoothie, without the added sugar. Sprinkle NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener into your blender with assorted berries, low fat yogurt and ice. Blend and enjoy!

·         Mid-day snack: Top your favorite low fat Greek yogurt with a handful of fresh-cut strawberries and a sprinkling of NECTRESSE™ Natural Natural No Calorie Sweetener.

·         Drink up: Mix 5 cups water, 1 cup fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup of NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener in a pitcher; garnish with fresh mint sprigs and lemon slices, and serve over ice.

·         A sweeter entrĂ©e: Tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, glazes and salad dressings no longer have to be sugary and calorie-laden. Substitute NECTRESSE™ Natural No Calorie Sweetener into your hearty homemade recipes.

Are you a big consumer of sugar?

Had a Blast at @ZooATL #staycation #summerfun

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

I am not sure if spring break is going on in your area - but it is in FULL force here.  Broxton had his one week, the brothers had theirs another, seems like the end of March and all of April is Spring Break city around this area!   With that being said, I wanted to do a little bit of a "staycation" with the boys.  Living in Georgia ALL of my life, I tend to take the local attractions for granted, but not recently!  
We had the opportunity to go to Zoo Atlanta the other day and to say we had a great time was an understatement!  We had a BLAST!!!!   I was so excited to go and see the twin baby panda's, but Broxton got in his mind he wanted to see the giraffes the most!  The older brothers were just excited to be going to the zoo.  None of the "kids" had ever been to Zoo Atlanta and I hate to admit it, but I had not been in AGES, as in back when I was in school!  (Not going to go into the exact number of years!)  

We decided to head to the zoo and since I did not know where it was, we plugged it in the GPS.  We were surprised to drive along and then BOOM - there was the zoo right there is the middle of Grant Park!  Oh yeah, pretty neat to know that the zoo has been there since 1889.  If you want to be amazed, head over to their site and read the history.  (I think the way that Zoo Atlanta came to be is just pretty amazing!)  

As soon as we entered Zoo Atlanta, we were greeted by a big group of Flamingos... There is something about flamingos that just always seems to mesmerize me whenever I see them - ANYWHERE!  Of course, I had to go over for a few minutes to watch them and see if that draw I have always had was still there.  *Yep, it was!!!  

Flamingo Plaza at Zoo Atlanta

Taking pictures of all the boys looking at the camera has pretty much gone out the window.  I just shoot and move along.  Gave up on that one ages ago!  
One thing I noticed - and really enjoyed- while at the Zoo was that they had little areas that told us about the animal we were looking at.  I loved seeing the elephant (and it was loud when it started tearing down a tree and eating!)  The part that was a little bit extra, in my mind, was that they had the "Status in the Wild" on the display.  As you can tell, African Elephants are listed as "Endangered."

Information cards located near all the exhibits.
I had no clue, but they had a Parakeet Exhibit in the zoo.  It was neat, as we walked in a little area and there were tons of birds in there.  I have no clue the number, but there was a good amount.  You could purchase a "seed stick" for $1 each and hope that a bird would come and eat from your stick.   The boys had a blast in there and I was lucky enough to have a bird land on my seed stick... of course, as I handed it off to Broxton, he had to fly off!   Broxton had a few different birds come and eat from him and he kept eyeing the yellow ones, at times even leaving and making the current bird leave so he could try and feed a yellow one! Yes, he finally did get to feed a yellow one, but it would not sit on his seed stick, he would only lean over and eat it from his branch!

Broxton feeding one of the many birds
Being a mom (and a blogger) you can imagine the number of photos that I like to take on any of our adventures.  I loved that there were several different photo ops for the "fun" pictures through the area.  They had the face signs like this... and also had a couple different statues and what not all through the zoo.
Broxton and a big brother making me happy with these funny pictures!
Hakuna Matata my friends!  Hope that this song is now stuck in your head, as I had it in mine as soon as I saw the warthogs and then the meerkats!  This guy (or gal, I am not sure!)  was cracking me up.  It stayed up top and had to watch all of us watching him!  I think he's kinda cute in a weird way too!
Meerkat observing us observing him!
I was so excited to see the Panda's. Honestly, I think I could have stayed and watched them all day long, but I knew that wasn't going to happen... not only did the boys not want to stay there forever, there was also a good amount of people that were behind us wanting to see them!  This was one off to the side, the twin babies were sleeping and mama was resting below them.
One of the panda's enjoying a snack!
Of course, as soon as the boys saw the Rock Climbing wall, they wanted to do it.  It was $3 per child to attempt to climb the wall.  There is a height / age requirement, so make sure you check it out.  There was also an additional climbing area to the side of it (not sure on the charge.)  If you are wanting to do more activities included in the park price, they also have a play area for kids, but I figured we wanted to see more animals and could do that another time.
The boys climbing up the rock climbing wall.
The highlight of the day:  Broxton got to feed a giraffe!   Yes!   For $3, you get two lettuce leaves and they have the giraffe come over to where you are... You hold it out and the giraffe eats it!   Talk about awesome! Broxton had a blast doing that (he didn't do the rock climbing!)
Broxton feeding the giraffe.
All in all, we had a great day!  I think I might have had the most fun ( I loved getting to take all the pictures!) I saw that they had a birthday pavilion, so if you want to, you can look into having your kids birthday party there!!  I showed you part of our day, but they also had a bunch of snakes, lizards, frogs and that sort (not my cup of tea.)  Besides that, they had this really cool thing called "The Living Tree House" and there was all sorts of other birds in there (they had a thing letting you know what birds to look for.)  Besides the pandas and Broxton feeding the giraffe, I think I loved the monkey/gorilla area one of the best!  It is just so neat to watch their facial expressions and watch how they are in their own element.  Although, I did wonder if they sit there and wonder what makes them so interesting that they are being watched... and what do they think as they watch us?!   I know that we went one day, but to be honest... I am ready to go back again.  I would love to go solo to get more pictures... but I also want to go again to take Broxton when it is later in the day... we were told that the animals get more active as the day goes on.  

I hope if you are in or near Atlanta that you will plan to go spend the day at our zoo, I really loved it and can not believe it has taken me so long to visit.  If you are planning your summer vacation - come to Atlanta and check it out!  If you live here, plan a "staycation" and see what all is there for you to enjoy!  


Alpha-Bits - Not only Taste Great, but Fun and Educational Too!

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

If you have a younger child in your home - or know of a younger child... Chances are that you are a little familiar with the cartoon, Super Why.  We have LOVED that show since we first saw it... As it promotes reading and education (something that I am very proud to encourage too!)  Well, recently we were able to work with Alpha-Bits cereal - who has the popular cartoon characters on their boxes of cereal- to start making our "footprint" in our local community. 
You see, Alpha-Bits' can help in many ways ...
You can use the letters as play time during the day to encourage reading and letter recognition.  You can also use it is as a fun tool to encourage the same as you are actually eating it too!  
Did you know that Alpha-Bits has been around since 1958?  I love when companies / products are around for a long time, it makes me feel even more confident in my decisions of supporting them!

I am SO VERY HAPPY to get to tell you something F-U-N headed our way...
I am going to be working to place a Little Free Library in our community!!!  Yes, you read that right!!! Thanks to Alpha-Bits and Little Free Library, we are working together now to get one near us!
If you are not familiar with a Little Free Library - head over to their site to check them out (I will be posting more about them later!)  

If you are looking for a bit of fun, check this out...
A few activities using Alpha-Bits:

Make a family tree...
Draw a tree with lots of branches.  Write out names of family members on the different branches in colorful marker.  Now, have your little one search through the box of Alpha-Bits to find the matching letters and have them glue it on the tree.  

Menu Matching Game...
As you are cooking dinner, have them spell out what is for dinner on a piece of paper and then present that to the rest of the family for the nights menu.  (Example - Meatloaf.  Rice.  Carrots.    If they are not able to spell, you can write it out for them and have them match the letters.)

Vowel Play... 
Give your little one a one cup serving of Alpha-Bits and ask them to eat all the consonants and leave only the vowels.  They'll learn their letters a little better and get 20g of whole grains!

Use the Alpha-Bits to make a snack:
ABC Crispy Bars- 


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 package (10.5 oz) miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup sugar sweetened soft drink mix
8 cups Post Alpha-Bits Cereal
Alphabet Shaped Cookie Cutters

 Line 13 x 9 inch pan with foil, lightly grease foil
Microwave butter in large microwavable bowl on HIGH for 45 seconds (or until melted) Add marshmallows and soft drink mix.  Mix well
Microwave on HIGH for 1- 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 seconds.  Stir in cereal
Press cereal mixture firmly into prepared pan
Using the cookie cutter, cut into 12-14 squares
Mold squares into letters
Store in airtight container at room temperature.

What other activities can you think of to use Alpha-Bits for?


How Do You Get There? Let @waze Help You Out!!!

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a luncheon in town to learn about a new (to me) app called WAZE.  I was very excited to check it out... Especially since it was a "GPS" type app that would be great to share with Marc with him going to work at all hours.  We got there and were treated to an awesome lunch- thanks to 10th & Piedmont.  If you are ever in the area- you totally need to go and check them out... I had the chicken salad sandwich - AH-MAZ-ING!!!!    Thanks to WAZE, we got the coolest gift bags filled with great products too!    
Gift bag items thanks to WAZE
Now- on to WAZE.  I hate that I did not use the app headed there, but to be honest, I wanted to use my normal GPS to make sure I made it there on time.  So- I was able to learn all about WAZE from the luncheon.   This app is pretty cool.  It shares "real time" information with other drivers...
When I was able to be a passenger (and watch the phone)  I was able to see ALL that it had to offer.
First of all, we plugged in a familiar address and no lie - AS WE WERE DRIVING - it popped up and told us that there was a better route ahead... we went that way and it saved us a little over 5 minutes.  

A screen shot showing that there was a better route.  
 Another thing that was awesome to me?  It will tell you if a hazard or police or something has been reported.   I thought it would be great for my mom - she HATES driving in traffic and this would really help her since it literally tells you that a vehicle has been reported stalled on your side of the road - or even if a cop is hiding waiting to bust you for speeding!   Now, it isn't always 100 % right- you know, if the vehicle has moved or if the cop has left .. but if you pass by, you have the option to give it the thumbs up (still there) or say that it left.  
Waze also tracks traffic and you can see that further up the road, traffic is only going 14 miles an hour or something...     I have not used the whole gas system yet (you can check for good gas prices in your area) because we always use the one near us -but this will be great for vacations!!!
I love that there are so many users (over 100,000 in Atlanta alone!)  But the honest to goodness thing that might have impressed me the most?  You can use it in a foreign country!!!  Say you are going to Europe... You can take it with you and it will translate things to the language of your choice while you are gone!  
I thought that was so cool!!!!
Four more cool factors to me:
One - you can make a phone call on your phone and it will still talk and tell you when you need to be turning or looking out for police or road hazards!
Two - It will ask if you are passenger or driving - drivers can not use the app to touch the screen!!!
Three- If your friends are on WAZE and you are meeting for dinner somewhere - you can send them your waze and they can see exactly WHERE you are and your ETA!  
Four- You carn points (and can get "bonus points" for doing things)  so you can actually turn this into a game with you and your friends!!!

Go ahead and download the WAZE app - it is free and has been very helpful to us!!!
(We have used it several times on our "spring break!")   I have been telling all my family and friends to download it - I am loving it!!!!


Chocolate Covered Strawberries for Breakfast?

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.”

As a busy mom, I am still striving to give my little one a great breakfast.  You know you can do many different creations, but to be honest, he isn't a huge fan of me cooking breakfast (and that works for me, since that means I can catch a couple more ZZ's too!)  The latest we have been enjoying?  Fruit and cereal from Publix.  I tell you, Publix and I have a love / hate relationship!  I love going and finding the great deals... but I hate how much I end up buying!  You would be crazy to pass the deals up! 
Luckily, I was able to go and shop to tell you the great deals at Publix with Cheerios...  (and a great way to sneak in fruit to those that might not be so quick to chow down on fruit daily!)

Besides the great deals and prices.... He can NEVER pass up riding in the grocery cart/car....  That makes me happy so I can shop faster!   Up first - lets get some bananas!  Bananas make great additions to his lunch... but it was DELICIOUS to slice up a banana and add it to our Honey Nut Cheerios!  

 Also had to grab a few apples!  We love these as a great after school snack!!!

 I will be honest - I have never thought about adding fruit to our cereal until this last blog opportunity... but we all love it!!!  I also added strawberries to the chocolate cheerios!  (Talk about an excuse for "chocolate covered strawberries" for breakfast!)

Broxton was not up for having fruit in his cereal- I think it is a texture thing for him right now... But he sure did ask to have the fruit packed for lunch as well as after school snacks!

What is your favorite combination of cereal and fruits?  

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