HexBug Warriors Battling Robots Review

hexbugs warriors battle set holiday gift guide     The newest members of the HexBug family arrived at our door and put a huge smile on my son’s face.  We have other HexBugs but the HexBug Warriors Battling Robots come with a battle arena, interchangeable  mechanical weapons and armor to outmaneuver the rivals.  The set, which is for ages 6 and up, has everything needed to begin battling. The battle arena is easy to assemble and disassemble.  The HexBugs, arena, weapons and armor all easily fit in a gallon sized plastic bag when not in use.  This is a huge selling feature for my household.  I like toys that don’t take up much space and can be kept all together. Much like the MicroChargers I earlier reviewed.

My son and husband have both been enjoying the HexBug Warriors.   HEXBUG Warriors Battling Robots are marching into retail stores nationwide including Walmart, Target, Toys“R”Us and RadioShack, among others.






hexbug warriors battling robots set holiday gift guidehexbug warriors battling robots set holiday gift guide

  New HEXBUG Warriors Battling Robots now available include:

  • HEXBUG Warriors Battling Robots – Kids can operate their HEXBUG Warriors in Training Mode, with unlimited health, for scrimmages and testing purposes. Once the Warriors are equipped and ready for battle, they can be powered into Match Modeand are set to enter into competition, where they crash, jab and jostle with their opponents until they win or lose by running out of health at which point they deactivate. Once put in Match Mode, each robot’s Shock Sensor activates its Damage Indicator Light which changes colors from green to red and blinks more rapidly as its health decreases. There are 12 assorted HEXBUG Warrior Battling Robots Single packs available for fans to collect. Each Single pack includes 1 fully-armored Warrior. MSRP is $7.99 and the product is CPSIA approved for kids ages 6 and up.
  • HEXBUG Warriors Battle Arena – The battle arena is the perfect stage for HEXBUG Warriors students to hone their skills.  It comes with two HEXBUG Warriors with weapons and armor, two expandable battle arena pieces (compatible with Battle Stadium), three standoffs and extra bonus armor. There are four assorted HEXBUG Warrior Battle Arenas available for fans to collect.  Each features a different opposing pair of Warriors. MSRP is $19.99 and the product is CPSIA approved for kids ages 6 and up.
  • HEXBUG Warriors Battle Stadium – The ultimate large scale battleground for all HEXBUG Warriors students comes with two fully-armored collectible HEXBUG Warriors, eight Battle Stadium Pieces (compatible with Battle Arena) and 12 standoffs. There are two assorted HEXBUG Warrior Battle Stadiums available for fans to collect. Each features a different opposing pair of Warriors. MSRP is $29.99 and the product is CPSIA approved for kids ages 6 and up.

This set will certainly be on the wishlist of someone you know.  Have you already started your holiday shopping?  Who have you shopped for already?


This product was supplied to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.


Snomee has changed the way we give gift cards #giveaway

snomee sports holidayGift cards are a part of gifting these days.  Like them or hate them, I don’t imagine they are going to go away.  Especially with technology- having a gift card to choose your own music/movie/show/book to download onto your device is an easy gift- one that kind of fits all.  But why do gift cards have to be impersonal?  Why not make them fun, and a little bit more special?  Snomee has found a way to marry the gift card industry with a more personal touch- and I love it.  Adorable snow globes that have a compartment underneath to hold a gift card in place.  I have to say, I thought the idea of the Snomee was really cool and I liked the product before I saw it.  Then it arrived at my house, and I LOVED it.

snomee in boxsnomeesnomee without gift card







The Snomee isn’t “just” a gift card holder.  It’s a gift in and of itself.  It’s packaged in a very elegant, simple black box, with a ribbon closure- perfect for absolutely ANY occasion.  The Snomee itself is a really, really nice snowglobe – very well crafted, heavy duty, and absolutely something you can have on your bookshelf or windowsill for a very long time to enjoy.  There are all kinds of themes to choose from with the Snomee so you can find one that “fits” with your gift card theme, or to match the personality of the recipient.  There are 11 holiday Snomees to choose from including a Mystery Gift one!  I can’t wait to see what else they add for Snomee options. There’s just something so magical about snowglobes. I always loved them as a child.

snomee snowing


Snomees are available to order on Snomee.com and Amazon.  They retail for $14.95 and you can get FREE Shipping on Snomee.com right now.

One reader will win a Snomee of their choice!  

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Let Them Eat Vegan! Cookbook review

Dreena Burton’s newest cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan: 200 Deliciously Satisfying Plant-Powered Recipes for the Whole Family is loaded with healthy and tasty recipes.  This is Dreena’s fourth vegan (plant-based) cookbook.  She focuses on using fresh, whole ingredients rather than processed vegan substitutes or white flour.  Dreena is the mother of 3 young girls and keeps their taste buds in mind when developing recipes.let them eat vegan cook book Dreena Burton vegan recipes

Let Them Eat Vegan: 200 Deliciously Satisfying Plant-Powered Recipes for the Whole Family begins with a section titled Plant Power:Your time has come.  This section explains all the ingredients and tools used in the recipes.  It is written in easy to understand terms and she tells you where you can find all the ingredients.  Then she moves on to  Breakfast Bites and Smoothies.  This chapter includes her very popular Monsta Cookies.  Yes, cookies for breakfast!  She has the recipe up on her site, here.  Once you are there, check out her How-To videos, Going Vegan section and all of her helpful links.

I made a few recipes from Let Them Eat Vegan and they were all a hit.  The “Mac-oh-geez!” recipe was a favorite with the two adults and the one 7 year old in my house.  That recipe is bookmarked so I can return to it easily.  The final result is a rich, creamy sauce that is so delicious, it was hard to control my portion sizes!

Let Them Eat Vegan Dreen Burton vegan cookbook vegan mac and cheese

Let Them Eat Vegan is a great all around vegan cookbook and is a great place to start if you are transitioning or just trying to eat less dairy and meats.  It also would make a wonderful gift.  You can purchase Let Them Eat Vegan online and I have found it at all the local bookstores.

I have posted other vegan/plant-based cookbook reviews.  Check them out!





What is your favorite meal that you would love to see get veganized?

 I received a sample of this product for review.  Opinions are my own.

HP Deskjet 3050A Wireless Printer

 hp deskjet 3052

We have a lot of issues with printers in our house. We research them and end up with duds, or they don’t work for long, go through ink quickly, or, in recent years, promise to be wireless but really aren’t.  It’s frustrating- and expensive.  When we had the chance to check out the HP Deskjet 3050A Wireless Printer, I jumped at the chance, because this is a brand we have not yet experienced, and the idea that I can print from my tablet or my PHONE had me excited….

excited…and now I’m hooked.  I actually woke my husband up a few nights last week because I found things I just had to print in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep…you know, important things, to plan for our upcoming vacation, or gift ideas for the kids.  I haven’t been able to print reliably in well over a year and now that I can, well, I’m hooked.  I might even just print this blog post, just for fun.

wireless printingprinting from ipad












I’m in love with my  HP Deskjet 3052A Wireless e-All-In-One Printer w/ ePrint Mobile Printing and Airprint and I can’t even believe the pricing on it.  It’s $40.00 off right now- 37% off normal retail of $109.00.  And it works.  Really well. I can print from my iPad, or use the app on my phone and voila! A few moments later, it’s printed.  For about $70.00.

HP Deskjet 3052A e-All-In-One Printer: Key Features:

  • Print Speed: Black: Up to 20 ppm; Color: Up to 16 ppm
  • Print Resolution: Black: Up to 600 dpi, Color: Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Built-in Wireless
  • Energy Star certified
  • Replacement Ink: HP 61 Black Ink Cartridges, Tri-Color Ink Cartridges

Additional HP All-in-One Inkjet Printer Specifications:

  • Built-in Wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n): Wireless and ePrint capabilities from multiple computers and devices
  • 2.0″ monochrome LCD panel
  • Copier Settings: Black: Up to 4.5 cpm, Color: Up to 2.5 cpm
  • Scan Settings: Optical: Up to 1200 dpi; Hardware: 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Paper & Media Compatibility: 60-sheet input tray, 25-sheet output tray
  • Media Types: Paper (brochure, inkjet, plain), photo paper, envelopes, labels, cards (greeting), transparencies

System Requirements:

  • Compatible Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP2) or higher (32-bit only), Mac OS X v. 10.5 or v. 10.6

What’s Included:

  • HP 61 Black and Tri-color cartridges
  • User’s Guide and Installation CD-ROMs
  • Power supply and power cord
  • USB cable
  • Reusable tote

Support & Warranty:

  • 1-year limited hardware warranty; 1-year technical phone support


With HP XL ink cartridges – there are only 2 cartridges you will need for your printer.  Period.  They hold more ink, and still fit your printer just like regular cartridges.  It’s just more ink for your money. You can save up to 40%! I hate spending money on printer ink.  Maybe you don’t, but it’s one of those “things” that irritates me to purchase. I like being able to save on it.


I received the printer and XL ink as part of a promotional program with MomSelect.


Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective is one of my all time favorite Disney Movies. I was so thrilled to discover that it was going to be released on blue ray and DVD this month. It was originally released in 1986 and I can vividly remember going to the movie theater to see it. This lesser known disney film has always been special to me. No, it isn’t your mainstream Disney Princess flick, but an endearing tale of adventure. These lesser known Disney films have such character. I actually prefer them. This Sherlock Holmes and Watson type movie is sure the thrill and captivate your little ones. The movie is set in 1897 London and follows the plight of little Olivia, a Scottish mouse whose father has been kidnapped by a crippled bat. Olivia enlists the help of Basil of Baker Street and the adventure begins. Through many twists and turns you will be captivated by this tale. My 2 boys absolutely loved this cartoon movie. We all sat down to watch it on a rainy fall afternoon with a big bowl of popcorn. Perfection! This would be a fabulous little gift for Halloween. http://www.totaleclips.com/player/Splash.aspx?custid=907&playerid=69&bitrateid=461&formatid=20&clipid=e64610&affiliateid=-1   The 2 disc blue ray/dvd pack retails for $19.96. You can purchase the Great Mouse Detective here on Amazon.   “A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

Libby’s Single-Serve Fruit Cups and Tips for Healthy Kids #LibbysSnackDuty

libbys single serve fruit cupsI’m pretty lucky that my kids are not really picky eaters (like me).  They will sing and shout with joy when I bring home a new fruit just as loudly as when I bring home a beloved dessert treat.  It makes my life a lot easier, knowing they’ll be happy with what I stick into their lunchboxes for snack and lunch.  One thing they all three love to have in their lunchbox is fruit cups- and lately, they have been loving their Libby’s Single-Serve Fruit Cups for snack.  They are getting a sweet treat, and I know they are getting a full serving of fruit and 100% of their daily Vitamin C.

These cups are made a little differently than most we’ve tried, and I really, really can’t tell you enough how much I love the metal rim that seems to have stopped our fruit cups from smashing (ours always seem to break at the rim).  My older 2 can open them without help.

libbys loving his fruit cup

While we prefer fresh fruit when possible, these single-serve fruit cups are an awesome convenience food to have around.  I’m always partial to pears, but my kids love them all.  We do send them for snacks for lunch, but they are great to bring with us on picnics, when traveling, etc.  No need for refrigeration and the cups can easily be tucked into a bag to bring home for recycling (yes, I do this).

My children are still at the age where sports are on the weekends, and not necessarily right after school. But they do play sports like soccer, and t-ball…and I know they are H-U-N-G-R-Y after a good soccer practice and game.  We’ve found that more times than not, we’re on the go after my son’s soccer, and I’m finding the need to bring some portable snacks with me to keep his energy up.  Tomorrow, for instance, we’re leaving his soccer game and heading to East Hartford, CT, to meet the ultimate soccer mom- the amazing Brandi Chastain, to watch her present a donation to a local youth soccer organization and to chat with her.  He’ll need a snack on the way.  He’s requested a Libby’s Single-Serve Fruit Cup for the road. Hard to say no to that!

Check out some of Brandi Chastain’s tips for healthy kids: 

Hydrate to perform great. Kids should drink water before, during AND after exercise. While exercise generates heat and increases the body’s core temperature, water works to bring body temperature back to the normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Let your child pick out a colorful water bottle to make drinking water fun!

Always make time for healthy meals. The USDA says that half our plates should be filled with colorful fruits and veggies, but when your children are constantly running from school to practice and back, it can be tough to get them to eat that perfect meal. Add Libby’s® Single Fruit Cups, which contain one complete serving of fruit, to your children’s bags for an easy and nutritious snack.

Sleep is important! Children should receive an average of eight hours of sleep each night. Without enough sleep children get cranky and lazy, and will not perform to their full potential during school, practice or games. Help your children stick to a regular sleep schedule by making bedtime fun – read them a story or sing a song while they fall asleep.

Turn exercise into a family affair. When exercising is a solo act, it can sometimes feel like a chore. Bring the whole family on-board and make exercising fun, family time! Join your kids in a game of soccer, Double Dutch or kickball.

Lead by example. When you set a good example, your kids are more likely to follow. Although it’s easy to stop at the drive-thru on the way home from practice, make an effort to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. Become a role model by exercising regularly and eating healthy foods, like Libby’s Canned Fruits and Vegetables, with your children. It’s easier when you make it a team effort!


This is a sponsored conversation with Libby’s Single Serve Fruit Cups and The Motherhood. Opinions are my own.

Moen Lighting & Shower Curtain Rods

moen rothbury-bath-lighting in chromeRothbury Bath Lighting in Chrome

We chose this bathroom lighting for it’s sleek design, timeless finish and we felt like it was the perfect size for our bathroom- not too big and not too small, but offers great lighting for the mirror and vanity area, which was desperately needed.  I also like that it easy fits more “green” lightbulbs!

moen rothbury bath lighting chromemoen rothbury-bath-lighting-in-chromemoen rothbury lighting curved shower rod chrome












The Rothbury™ line offers a relaxed blend of vintage design and traditional elements that coordinates perfectly with both casual and luxurious decorating styles. Complete the look of a perfectly matched bath with an elegant and stylish lighting fixture

  • chrome finish to create a bright, highly reflective, cool grey metallic look
  • supports up to 100 watt max bulbs
  • two globes
  • UL® listed
  • replacement globes available
  • fixtures can be mounted with globes facing either up or down
  • glazed sockets ensure the socket rings install with ease
  • quick connect wiring allows you to pre–wire the light fixture to the junction box
  • standard 120 voltage
  • limited lifetime warranty
moen curved shower rod chrome rothbury bath lighting chrome

Chrome Curved Shower Rod We had a curved shower rod at our old house and have planned to get one for this bathroom when we remodeled it.  They just give you so much more space in the shower without sacrificing wall or floor space.  I don’t know about you but I can’t stand touching the shower curtain liner with my arms when I’m washing my hair and thanks to the Moen curved rod, I once again don’t have to.  I love the look of it too- simple, clean, classic.

Installation was straightforward- we had to drill through tile to install, so that was a bit more complicated, but nothing about the install or instructions themselves was confusing or hard to follow.  I’m so happy with this curtain rod.  Very durable, very sturdy, and I know it’ll last for years and years.

From finishes that are guaranteed to last a lifetime, to faucets that perfectly balance your water pressure, Moen sets the standard for exceptional beauty and reliable, innovative design. Add an elegant and luxurious look while also creating a more comfortable experience in the bath with Curved Shower Rods

  • chrome finish to create a bright, highly reflective, cool grey metallic look
  • fits standard 72″ x 72″ shower curtains
  • adjusts to fit 5′ and 6′ tub surrounds
  • corrosion resistant
  • provides extra elbow room in the shower
  • features decorative covers that provide a stylish element while also helping to conceal the mounting hardware
  • features 180? pivoting mounting flanges for an easy and flexible installation
  • pivoting flanges provide an easy, secure installation on inconsistent or uneven wall surfaces
  • superior weight load capacity
  • no cutting required
  • works with standard shower curtains
  • limited lifetime warranty

Candy Construction from Learning Resources (Giveaway)

learning resources candy construction
We have the most delicious looking building toy set I’ve ever seen – the Candy Construction set from Learning Resources.

  • Build candy structures, thinking skills and fine motor strength!
  • Create using chunky, durable candy pieces in a variety of fun, familiar design
  • Includes Activity Guide with illustrated, step-by-step building directions
  • Largest piece measures 7″L x .5“ in diameter
  • Set of 92 pieces includes:
    • 32 Small, medium and large swirl sticks
    • 8 Green swirl connectors
    • 8 Red swirl connectors
    • 8 Gumdrop pieces
    • 12 Colored disks
    • 8 Green connectors
    • 8 Blue connectors
    • 4 Bendy twists
    • 4 Chocolate panels
learning resources candy constructionlearning resources candy construction tower









The kids love how easy they are to use as well as the fun bright colors.  With 92 pieces, there are plenty of pieces for multiple children to play with and build with, and still have enough that no one is fighting or arguing over that last piece.  This has now become the new “favorite” play item, both at home and in my son’s kindergarten  classroom.

The instructions come with illustrations- which is something that I love.  Full color illustrations means the kids can follow the instructions and be able to successfully do so without having to read- which is often the source of frustration in my house.

It’s also a refreshing change of pace from many of the building toys we use all of  the time and it’s put a new spin on the kids’ play and conver
sation while they are building.   This is definitely going to be one of my holiday toys I keep long past when my kids are “little” enough to play with them, too.

One reader will win a Candy Construction set of their own!

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I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review. Opinions are my own.

Dorfman Pacific Classic Parisian Berets – A great Fall Accessory!

  Fall is in the air here in New England. To me, this not only means fall leaves and warm drinks, but ACCESSORIES! I love dressing up my wardrobe with a funky scarf or fun boots, but how about an awesome Parisian Beret! This fashion trend is all the rage this fall and I love it. Not only is this accent unexpected but it is flattering on almost everyone. I tried out the Dorfman Pacific Classic Parisian Beret in Forest Green. We love this brand of hat. You may remember our review of the Scala sunhat earlier this year. One of my alltime favorite sunhats! This Beret is one size fits all and is a really great color. It coordinates nicely with my cranberry colored wool coat and looks fantastic with a long sleeve top and a scarf. I was a little leary to wear a beret at first, but I love it! I always get complimented on it every time I wear it. Who know, maybe I will start my own little fashion trend in my little town! This is a great gift idea for that hard to buy for person on your holiday list. Because the sizing is one size fits most there is no guesswork involved. These Berets come in a variety of colors: balck, maroon, white, chocolate, charcoal, camel, olive, cobalt, forest green, light blue, pink and red. The Berets are reasonably priced at $25 and can be purchased here.   “A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

Progresso Recipe Starters

progresso recipe starters We all have busy  schedules. It isn’t just school- it’s school related stuff, non-school stuff, social commitments, volunteer endeavors, working out, visiting family, and soon- holiday shopping.  With busy lives, often finding the time to prepare a  home-cooked meal can be quite a challenge, and getting started is often the hardest part. I know it’s always hard for me…or at least it is most of the time! The new  Progresso™ Recipe Starters™ cooking sauces give a big head start to dinner and come in 5 different varieties which can be used in a number of ways.  While I might not use a product like this every night, it’s definitely a HUGE help when I lose track of time (frequently) or have *ahem* dinner cooking issues…and need to start something else FAST.

Progresso Recipe Starters sauces are available in the soup aisle and come  in five varieties that can each be used as a starter to create numerous home-cooked meals. For added inspiration, Progresso created 80 recipes utilizing this new line of cooking sauces that can be found on Progresso.com/RecipeStarters. Many of these recipes are classic family favorites, such as Bacon Mac n’ Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Parmesan, and utilize ingredients your family may already have on-hand.  (Bacon Mac n Cheese? Yes, please!)

Inspired by the five “Mother” Sauces that form the basis of classical French cooking, including Béchamel, Velouté, Tomato, Espagnole and Hollandaise, Recipe Starters use a variety of ingredients and the best techniques to make sure you have delicious options to take on the school days dinner dilemma.

The five varieties are: Creamy Parmesan Basil: This creamy, full-bodied and indulgent sauce that was inspired by alfredo and creamy pesto sauces can be used to make dishes such as Crispy Garlic-Parmesan Chicken, Creamy Chicken Alfredo, Basil Chicken Ravioli Carbonara and Basil Chicken Thai Noodle ( I am going to try the last of these recipes sometime this week.  Sounds delicious. I just have to print a coupon (see below) before I go to maximize my savings!)

Creamy Roasted Garlic with Chicken Stock: With caramelized, roasted chicken broth, garlic and a touch of cream, this stock is perfect for dishes such as Creamy Lemon Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Enchiladas (I LOVE chicken pot pie and enchiladas. These sauces are so versatile, and that means having some on hand gives ME options for last minute dinners!)

Fire Roasted Tomato: A medium-thick tomato sauce, accompanied by flavors of roasted, caramelized tomatoes, oregano and bell peppers, which can be used as a great way to begin creating Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, Easy Weeknight Chicken Parmesan, Cheese-stuffed Mini Meat Loaves and Mole Tacos (This one is delicious.  I used this in meatloaf and everyone commented on how good it was that night!! I think we’re making Mole Tacos in the next week or so- this sauce makes it such a breeze to get dinner put together!)

Creamy Portabella Mushroom: Creamy and highly indulgent, this smooth sauce is rich with sautéed Portabella mushrooms, giving you any easy way to start delicious dishes like Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff, Steak and Mushroom Sandwich and Tetrazzini (I am NOT a mushroom person, so I passed ours along to a friend who IS and who reports back that this is a great sauce to have on hand for busy nights when she’s not got a lot of time!)

Creamy Three Cheese: Rich and creamy with a blend of yellow and white cheeses, and a savory background of chicken stock, onion, garlic and cracked pepper, this is a great way to satisfy cheese lovers with Easy Weeknight Bacon Mac & Cheese, Twice-Baked Potato Pizza and Cheesy Egg Breakfast Tacos (I LOVE cheese.  This is quite marvelous and easily my favorite.  Plus…Bacon mac and cheese.  Need I say more?)

easy weeknight chicken pot pie


  • 1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 1 can (18 oz) Progresso™ Recipe Starters™ creamy roasted garlic with chicken stock cooking sauce
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers® frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped deli rotisserie chicken

    1. Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate.
    2. In 2-quart saucepan, using wire whisk, mix together cooking sauce, flour, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add vegetables; heat to boiling. Boil 2 minutes,stirring frequently. Stir in chicken. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. After 15 minutes of baking, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges.

Be sure to download this  printable coupon for $.65 off the purchase of 1 can of Progresso® Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce.

One reader will win a Progresso Recipe Starters Prize Pack including:

  • Two cans of Progresso Recipe Starters
  • $10 Gift Card to purchase your recipe ingredients
  • Progresso Recipe Starters recipe book, including 5 recipes to get you started
  • Baking dish
  • Measuring Cups
  • Sauce Scraper

To enter, leave me a comment below telling me your FAVORITE dinner to cook!  Want a second entry? Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, email or any other social media way.  Leave the link to your share!   That’s it.  This giveaway will end on October 13 at 11:59PM EST and is open to US only.

“Disclosure:  The information, products and Progresso™ Recipe Starters™ gift packs were provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.”