Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Language Stars Open House and Ipad Mini Giveaway

Languages are varied in our household.  English of course is spoken by all of us, but Spanish and Hebrew are often heard sprinkled throughout our day.  Songs, homework, and daily requests, I never know what language I will hear.

Language Stars is a new play based learning center that has opened in the Chicago and DC Metro areas.  Language Stars is a play-based, full-immersion foreign language class that opens children's minds to new worlds. Toddlers, pre-schoolers and K-5th graders benefit from an early start, during a unique window of opportunity, when their young brains absorb the magic of another language and culture easily and rapidly. This full immersion type program really works! I have seen it myself with my older children.  If you have ever considered teaching your child a second language I suggest you check out this awesome new program.

FunImmersion classes are taught by a native speaker and your young child will soon be speaking and understanding a new language.

You are not too late to visit Language Stars!
Open House weeks are taking place January 14-27th.
There are 7 locations in the DC metro area including Alexandria, Bethesda, Fairfax, Falls Church, Gaithersburg, N. Arlington/McLean, and Reston.

* Take a Tour of your local Language Stars center
* Come and Meet the international teaching team
* Come and Learn about the Window of Opportunity and why NOW is the best time for your child to learn a foreign language
* You will receive a special Open House gift to take home for you and your child
* Everyone can Enter our Open House Weeks Giveaway for a chance to win a brand new iPad mini!
Any new family that signs up during Open House week will get $100 off their tuition!

Reserve your spot for Open House Weeks today! Fill out the form at  http://www.languagestars.com/openhouse2013 or call 866-55-STARS.
Already enrolled? Receive $100 OFF your tuition for every family you refer who enrolls through January 27, 2013.

Keep up with Language Stars DC on Facebook too.
And now for the Ipad Mini Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just a Spoonful of Yogurt helps the medicine go down

My little girl, who is not so little anymore, has always hated to take medicine.  When she was a baby I would try to stick the dropper in the side of her mouth as she slept, dispense the teeniest drop, and she would wake up immediately and turn her head and spit.

When she had the flu at two years old and her fever was 105 for days straight, I tried everything I could think of to get her to take some tylenol or motrin. Nothing worked.  I was so worried at midnight on day 3, with the 105 fever, that we went to a nighttime pediatrics place.  The nurse took her temperature and said, oh my god, we need to give this girl some Motrin immediately.  Thanks for not worrying me nurse! So she left the room, came back, and said to me, I have been a nurse 25 years and I have never been unsuccessful at getting a child to take medicine.  I got excited and hoped that the nurse would come home with us.  Alas, she poured the medicine into the side of her mouth and the poor lethargic kid turned and puked it all right over the nurses clothes and feet.  The nurse ran out of the room and I guess we were written down as the first person to not take their medicine.

I have read many articles about fevers, and many of the articles tell the nervous Moms, not to worry, and even not to give medicine unless the fever is over 103.  So this Mama tries not to worry.
Over the past few years, whenever her big brothers are sick, we make a big production over how nicely they take their medicine.  They love to take medicine.  This medicine show does nothing. She is not convinced and honestly she does not care.

My little girl has been mostly healthy now for years.  It must be my nightly prayers, or the 20 times a day hand washing we practice.  I have been dreading the day when she would be sick and need to take some medicine.

Fast forward to this past Friday night.  My sweetie pie could not fall asleep and finally said to me, my ear hurts.  It hurts very bad, way deep inside my ear. I think I need to go to the doctor.  The next morning the dr could not see her eardrum. There was too much wax in the way.  The nurse had to flush her poor sore eardrum with water 8 times and then finally she was able to see the ear infection.  We got the medicine (thank goodness it is Zithromax and only 5 doses total!) and came right home.  I have a trick for those of you who struggle to get your kids to take their medicine.  Let your child choose the worst yogurt that you would never buy on a regular basis.  For us it was the colorful Trix yogurts (GROSS). My little girl always wants to buy them because they look so pretty.  Well this time I said, why yes, of course we will buy those!

Just in case a miracle happened in the past few years, I put the teaspoon of Zithromax in the syringe and put the teeniest bit in her mouth.  Oh mommmy, that tastes terrible, I really do not want anymore.  Time to break open the yummy Trix yogurt you always wanted to buy.  I take half of the yogurt out and mix in the teaspoon of medicine. I stirred and stirred until it was all mixed up.  Her face was so excited to be getting the yogurt she had always dreamed of(her words).  That was, until she had the first taste.  Ew Mommy, you were right, this tastes terrible.  Oh really? Yes, it does, but I will finish it because I always wanted a trix yogurt.  I distracted her with a new rock painting kit and quickly spooned the few bites of medicine laced yogurt into her mouth.  First dose complete, four more to go!  The second and third doses went fine.  She did ask me this morning how many yogurts are left because she is sure she never wants to buy that kind again!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Metropolitan Cooking Show Recap and Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to win 4 tickets to attend the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show this past November.  We had an awesome time and we met many cool people and learned about some incredible new products.  Please read through to the end, because I have a great giveaway from my friends at Sheila G's Brownie Brittle company!

The show was held the first weekend in November at the Washington Convention Center. It is amazing how big this event is.  Here is the view of all the vendors.  Before you even get to the exhibition room you have already walked a mile through the convention center.  Now that you worked out, you have room for some goodies.
One tip for you: Wear your most comfortable shoes! You will do a lot of walking.
There were 8 celebrities who were cooking and doing demonstrations in an attached celebrity theater. 
Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons
Michael Symon and Carla Hall
Giada De Laurentiis
Jeff Mauro
and Claudine and Jacques Pepin
Watching the celebrities close-up is so cool! They tell great stories as they cook. It is an awesome experience that I highly recommend to you!
I did not take photos inside the celebrity theater, but I did take this one from above. 

Now Back to the foods!
One of our favorite products in our house is Peanut Butter and Co peanut butter.  It is the only kind of PB my son Jake will eat.  Cinnamon Raisin is his favorite flavor.  I am pretty partial to the white chocolate or dark chocolate dreams flavor.  If you love peanut butter you MUST try these!

We met many friendly, and entertaining people selling their products.  There were many unique goodies that we saw and sampled.  Some of our favorites included:
Mason Jar Cookie Company: Customizable Mason Jar Cookie Mixes, cool idea!
Dee's Gourmet Pretzels: Super cute chocolate covered pretzels
Maestro Cutting Boards: incredible all wood cutting boards, great gift idea!
Cocova Chocolates: Local DC chocolate store with chocolate classes, yum.
Carolina Candy Company: Amazing toffee and other candies
The Leavitt Farm pickles, relishes and jellies: Awesome sour pickles and jams, all handmade!
Pecan Jack's: pralines, toffees, truffles, peanuts, and tons more goodies!
Buffins: Better muffins, homemade goodness
Relay Foods:  Unique home delivery service for the DC metro area with a twist!
ElCeibo Chocolate: Amazing organic chocolate sourced from Bolivia
Lastly, we met some of the teachers from L'Academie de Cuisine, which is the cooking school that Joey will hopefully attend next year.  The teachers were friendly and Joey cannot wait to be graduating high school and moving on to cooking school.

But the best booth by far belonged to the Brownie Brittle Company.  If you have not tasted Brownie Brittle yet, you can thank me later.  We tried Brownie Brittle at our local Costco about 6 months ago.  After one bite, you are not going to be able to stop eating it.  Each piece is like eating a corner piece of Brownie, you know, that crunchy, delicious piece, that everyone is always fighting over?  Each piece of brittle melts in your mouth.  Brownie Brittle comes in three flavors, chocolate chip, walnut, and toffee crunch.  Costco only carries the chocolate chip flavor, which we thought was the best flavor, that was until we tasted the toffee crunch.  Wow.

I must be honest here and tell you that I sometimes have to hide the Brownie Brittle.  If I did not hide it, there would be none left for Mommy!  I have 7 people in my house and they all love the brittle.  Fights have broken out over the last pieces in a bag.  They are that good.  So guess what, my loyal readers? The awesome Brownie Brittle ladies have offered to give one of my readers a bag of each flavor!!  Yes! One winner will get a box of goodies from the Brownie Brittle team.
This is Sheila G, the inventor of Brownie Brittle. She is a genius at making addictive delicious treats.  She is also super nice and friendly.  I was so lucky to meet her at the show.  All the Brownie Brittle ladies at the booth were wonderful. 

So what are you waiting for? I know you want to win your own Brownie Brittle, so leave me a comment below and tell me: What is your favorite treat?  It is that easy! I will give you one more easy way to enter this contest too! Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment below that you did.  Giveaway ends January 9th at noon.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and will be notified by email, so please leave your email address if I do not know you, so I can contact you.  Good luck!

 I was not compensated for this post, but I was provided with some incredibly delicious Brownie Brittle for my family to enjoy.  We buy all our own Brownie Brittle at Costco or online.  It is that delicious! All opinions included in this post are my own.

Update on the Chevrolet Volt

We have had our Chevy Volt for about 6 months now and I have to tell you that I really love it now.
It is so awesome not having to fill up with gas as often as we used to.
The car is still very zippy and drives really nicely.
There is something that has surprised me about it.
During these colder months, when we charge the car fully overnight it maxes out as 28-30 miles of charge.  Over the summer we could fully charge it up to 40-42 miles.  So basically the winter months we are getting 10 miles or MORE of less charge.  This really stinks!  My trips are being cut shorter and we are running out of charge more often than we did this summer.
There is another problem with the car in the winter.  It does not get warm!!!!  We have bundled up more in the house and then get in the car and we are ok, but if you forget to bundle up, OY!
When you turn on the heater, defroster, seat warmer, you will use up your charge even faster.  And when you use the heat, it does not feel nice and warm, like it does in all our other cars.
A friend who has a Volt, (Hi Susan!) gave us a great tip! While the car is plugged in, and before you are ready to get in it, you can use the Onstar App to turn the car on and set it to maximum heat inside.  You then are not using up any of your charge since it is still plugged in.  My husband once turned it on and started to heat it up while he was sitting on an airplane, waiting to get off!  Now that is cool, or hot!
So do I still love the volt? Yes, I do.  But I had to buy a super warm coat, gloves and hat and keep some blankets in the back for the kids, so we do not freeze to death this summer.