Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
|Disclosure: I was provided with a prize pack to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own and are in no way influenced. See full disclosure below.|
Can you believe summer break is in just 2 weeks – for some of you even sooner! As much as I truly believe summer vacation provides children with a much need break. I also believe that skills learned throughout the school year must continue to be used during summer; otherwise it’s like sending a zombie back to class the first few weeks of the new school year. It’s amazing how easily kids can drain their brain of knowledge, when they aren’t using and practicing their skills often enough.
Since my youngest two kids have developed a real love for technology this year. I was thinking of setting aside time daily for them to sit with my iPad and work with some of the more educational apps available. My only concern was that I wouldn't be looking over their shoulder the whole time and they would have complete access to the internet. Plus, honestly, with an iPad in-hand they’re working with some pretty expensive and fragile equipment. I can’t say I would be too happy with them dropping it and I'm sure not a fan of them getting it all sticky. I was sure there must be a better option.
I’ve been hearing a ton of buzz for some time over the VTech InnoTab 2S and after a little research, I determined it would be a wonderful way to engage my children with the technology they crave and the safe, educational content I want for them this summer.
Released at the same price point as the original InnoTab, VTech has refreshed it’s product to include a more modern tablet feel. Including a new rotatable camera and video recorder, secure Wi-Fi and personalization utilized by up to four users.
With the InnoTab 2S all attention has been diverted from my iPad and onto the 5” touch screen of the InnoTab. Touch, tilt, drag-and-drop or tap, the compact touch screen provides all the excitement of a tablet without the worry of them dropping it or stumbling upon an inappropriatewebsite; the InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet only connects to the Learning Lodge Navigator enabling kids to play, learn, and explore, in a controlled and safe environment.
There is also no issues with sharing, the InnoTab 2S is easily personalized (for up to four users) allowing for a unique user name, avatar, voice greeting, typed greeting and photo wallpaper to be used by each of my children.
Included in the initial purchase of the InnoTab 2 is a one tilt sensor game, one augmented reality game, one e-book, art studio app, notes app, friends list, calendar and calculator to get started along with three free downloads when you connect the device to the Learning Lodge Navigator and register the product. Then of course you can purchase additional apps as you go. Currently, there are more than 200 additional apps, including games, e-books and much more, ready to be downloaded via the VTech Learning Lodge Navigator. Also keep in mind all InnoTab games are compatible with the InnoTab 2S.
My son has a real passion for reading, which I love. I honestly hadn’t even considered how wonderful the e-book feature would be for him. My daughter (5yrs old) is still in the early reading stages. I think the e-books will really help keep her sight words fresh in her mind, this summer. Both kids also love the wide variety of games, while I love that I can focus them on games with the educational content they needs - plus they think they're too cool with their own “tablet.”
Worried about space? Have no fear. The Innotab 2 contains 2GB on board memory and expandable SD card slot available to accommodate SD cards up to 32GB. The only thing I would change is the battery situation. Currently the InnoTab requires 4 AA batteries or an AC Adaptor in order to work. My kids use the InnoTab 2S between them quite often and don’t like to be held down by cords, and we all know how fast batteries can run down. Though the AC Adaptor does provide relief from the batteries, I would love to see a rechargeable unit. Ac adaptor sold separately.
I also don’t want to forget the two engaging and educational games that were included with our Innotab 2S for review; Toy Story 3 and Madagascar 3. Note - These games do not come with the Innotab 2S. They must be purchased separately.
With the Toy Story game cartridge you get in three interactive educational activities that use the color touch screen or tilt sensor to play, along with an e-book. The games incorporate learning and fun helping teach letters, shapes, and counting. In the animated e-book kids can read along with the story of Toy Story 3 while the pop-up dictionary gives animated definitions of words found in the e-book.
In Madagascar 3 the characters are brought to life helping children develop problem solving and math skills with its 3 interactive games. Also included is of course an e-book which builds vocabulary and helps encourage reading skills.
Overall, we were very pleased with the functions and quality of the VTech Innotab 2S along with the educational quality of the games.
With so many game options and engaging features, The VTech InnoTab 2S is going to be a life saver this summer. Not only will it combat boredom, but they can take it on-the-go with them and it will definitely be a huge help keeping their minds stimulated through the summer vacation period.
Buy It: Purchase the VTech InnoTab 2S (in purple or blue) for the MSRP of $99.99 at many local retailers near you as well as online at vtechkids.com. Additional game cartridges also available for the SRP of $24.99
Win It: VTech wants make sure those minds stay sharp this summer and are offering one lucky winner an InnoTab 2S!!
Do you have or know a little (or maybe big) Pokemon lover? If so, TOMY has the perfect Sweepstake for you. NOW on Facebook, you'll find the ultimate Spring 2013 Pokémon Toy Sweepstakes.
The rules of entry are quite simple: by (1.) submitting an entry and (2.) “liking” the TOMY Facebook Fan Page, you are automatically entered into the contest. One grand-prize winner will receive 14 products from the Spring 2013 TOMY Pokémon product line worth approximately $200!
The first-place prize is a Pokémon Center Play ‘n’ Store Case and twenty (20) 2-inch Pokémon figures to fill the case worth approximately $90.
The second-place prize is a Pokédex Trainer Kit with a suggested retail price of $19.99.
For more information and to enter head to the TOMY Facebook page HERE.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I just found out I would need to come up with a few "treats" for an impromptu Memorial Day BBQ. If you’re short on time, yet looking for some creativity this Patriotic Berry Trifle is perfect.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1cup heavy cream
- 1 store-bought pound cake, cut into slices
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together, cream cheese and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Slowly add in heavy cream, mixing on a medium speed until the mixture has a light, whipped texture.
Covering the bottom of a medium sized serving bowl; add a layer of pound cake. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top, using a spoon to spread the mixture into a smooth layer; top with blueberries and raspberries. Repeat layers.
Cover, and let set in refrigerator. Serve chilled.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
|Disclosure: I received a gift card to try the pizza and information from Little Caesars for purpose of this review. All opinion expressed are 100% my own and were in no way influenced.|
Have you heard the news? Little Caesars has added a new DEEP! DEEP! Dish pizza to their Hot-N-Ready Menu. It’s described on their website as a Detroit-style deep dish pizza with a unique, crisp-on-the-bottom, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside crust, finished with not just 4 delicious corners, but eight!
Truth-be-told we frequent Little Caesars quite often mostly for the convenience factor. Where else can you enjoy HOT-N-READY pizza at just $5 per pie and without calling in ahead of time – this is great for Mom’s in a rush with hungry kids in tow. Now along with the classic HOT-N-READY® Pepperoni and HOT-N-READY® cheese pizza’s that are available all day, you’ll also find the DEEP! DEEP! Dish HOT-N-READY for pickup from 4-8pm, at the low price of just $8! You can also call and order anytime for pick-up for $8 outside the 4-8PM HOT-N-READY time.
Being from New York I’m quite picky with my pizza. In fact I haven’t had a Deep Dish or Sicilian style pizza since we moved down to Florida. There was no doubt it wouldn't be nearly as good and therefore there was no reason for me to even try one. However, since it’s been 3 years and my kids love little Caesars; this seemed like the perfect time to enjoy a little deep dish again.
We headed off to our local Little Caesars and picked up a plain and pepperoni HOT-N-READY DEEP! DEEP! Dish along with one cheese pie, all for the same price as (1) one large, Sicilian pie at our local pizzeria.
At home we dug right in. I was starving! I have to say I was immediately impressed with the doughy texture and thick layer of cheese, surrounded by a crispier crust. The taste and texture of the crust actually reminded me a bit more of a Sicilian pie than a traditional deep crust. One thing I can say for sure though, it was really delicious. My youngest son has never had a deep dish pizza and was going on and on about how amazing it was - my other kids enjoy it equally as much.
If your a fan of deep dish pizza, I recommend you give Little Caesars DEEP! DEEP! Dish a try. For just $8, it's definitely worth a shot. And if you've already tried and love the DEEP! DEEP! Dish than I have the perfect sweepstakes for you.
Head over to the Little Caesars Facebook page and ENTER!ENTER! For the chance to win FREE DEEP!DEEP! Dish pizza for a year!! Enter the DEEP!DEEP!-Stakes!
Win It: One lucky reader will win a $15 gift card to Little Caesars