What Makes a Family? DELIVERY MAN Trailer

What if you found out you had 533 biological children?!

Well, in DELIVERY MAN, Vince Vaughn plays an affable underachiever looking for his purpose in life, when he finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them want to meet their biological father.

Sound ridiculous? YES! But totally possible! There’s a real life case of a man who provided 50% of the DNA to some 150+ children! And those are just the children who have reached out and registered on the Donor Sibling Registry to search for their half siblings! There’s also a case from the 1940’s where a doctor is suspected of fathering upwards of 600 children in the UK (though I think the math on that case is dubious).

Ridiculous, possible, or not, looks like the idea is going to make for a cute and heart-warming comedy.

DELIVERY MAN opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!

NetZero 4G HotSpot and Wireless Service – GIVEAWAY!

Do you remember NetZero from back in the day? I do! My mom was all over their free dial up service back in the late 90’s. But since the dawn on Cable and FiOS connections I haven’t really thought about dial-up or NetZero and I honestly didn’t know if they still existed.

Well they do, and they’ve joined 2012 in style with a new 4G wireless service.

My mom passed away in ’04 but I have a feeling she’d be just as excited about this new service as I am. I’m pretty sure she would have signed up as soon as I told her about it because NetZero is staying true to their name and offering plans that start out at $0.00 per month.

They pretty much have a service plan that will fit every budget and usage need.

In case you are wondering what 4G is … well, think of it as broadband on-the-go. A fast wireless Internet connection that you can take with you anywhere that there is coverage. And there’s coverage across 80 cites and metro areas so there’s a nice chance that you are covered!

Here’s what the NetZero Hotspot device looks like:

It’s small enough to conveniently fit in any bag or larger pockets so you can take it with you anywhere. The HotSpot device allows up to 8 simultaneous devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.) to connect to it. There’s also a small NetZero device call the “Stick” that looks and plugs into your laptop like a USB drive and gives it wireless Internet access. You can’t share access like you can with the HotSpot though.

And yes, I named my hotspot, Hermes, and that’s the password in parenthesis. If you are within range you are welcome to hop on! :)

That is, unless you WIN YOUR OWN! Because, as the post title suggests, I do have a GIVEAWAY for you!

[Hermes = Greek god of transitions and boundaries. Quick, cunning, and moved freely between the worlds. Protector and patron of travelers. Seems appropriate, yes no?]

You can win your very own NetZero 4G HotSpot Device PLUS 3 free months of Platinum Service. Yep, that’s their top-of-the-line $49.99/month plan.

I know Santa will be bringing lots of tablets, laptops, and smartphones to families everywhere this year. In fact, he already brought a couple of Nexus 7‘s to our house and couldn’t resist delivering them early despite my weak protests.

Your family will LOVE having fast Internet access wherever they go for all their portable devices. For a chance to win, follow the directions in the form below. There are several simple ways to enter, pick whichever ones you want to do.

If you don’t want to take your chances or wait head on over to NetZero today and grab a HotSpot for yourself. (Psst, they are on sale right now!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* I am being compensated by NetZero to host this Giveaway promotion.

Top Things Kids Wish You Had in Your Kitchen

Kotobuki Plastic Egg Molds

You and your kids will have fun making adorably shaped hard-boiled eggs with these egg molds from Japan. They make a fun treat in a lunch box and are known for enticing toddlers to eat their eggs. Popular with the bento lunchbox-making crowd, these molds are available in 6 different shapes on Amazon. Best of all, you can grab all of them for between just $10-15 total!

dinosaur spaghetti spoon for kidsFred Pastasaurus

Now, that’s using your noodle! Dinosaur and pasta lovers will get a kick out of scooping up their spaghetti with Fred Pastasaurus.

pizza cutter for kids
Piranha Pizza Cutter
by Boston Warehouse

Who wouldn’t have fun cutting pizza (and maybe other things like potatoes, hot dogs, veggies, etc.) with this piranha pizza cutter? It comes with a stainless steel blade so you’ll have to watch little fingers but bigger helpers will get a kick out of this pizza cutter while little ones have fun watching.

Cool Jazz Guitar Ice Cube Tray by Fred

These cool guitar ice cubes with built in stirrer are not only great for grown-up cocktails but would be PERFECT for a music or Rock Star themed children’s party. Don’t be surprised if your kid wants a guitar with every cup or juice or water afterwards though. For even more fun use them to make yummy guitar-shaped popsicles! You can make 3 guitars (each one is different) with a set so I recommended buying multiple sets if you are planning for a party.

Monster Fun Ice Pop Molds by MSC

Speaking of popsicles both you and your kids will love these monster popsicle molds. The best part for kids? The yummy home made popsicle, of course! The best part for mom and dad? They have a flat bottom and can be put down without making a mess when your kid invariably will want to hand the pop over to you so they can play for a minute. The company also makes matching push-pop molds.

Unicorn Shaped Corn Holders by Gama-Go

I used to collect unicorns. Now I’m older and jaded, so sold most of my collection on eBay awhile ago. But, feeling a bit nostalgic, I felt compelled to include these bad boys! Seriously, what kid wouldn’t get a kick out of impaling corn with the horns of unicorns?

Mustard Marvin Bottle Topper

Sure, your mustard bottle comes with a perfectly functional lid by why stick with a plain-jane lid when you can have Mustard Marvin in your life? Marvin replaces your mustard cap with his head. Squeezing the bottle will make Marvin spew mustard from his mouth on your burger, hot dog, or what not. It’s gross, but kids will love it. Fits most standard mustard bottles but probably not french mustard bottles.

 

Snot-a-mug Egg Separator

If mustard barfing Marvin wasn’t enough for you then you will definitely want to check out the Snot-a-mug Egg Separator! Simply crack your egg into the Snot-a-mug and gently tip over to watch the snot egg-whites run out. Yes, you could just use the egg-shells to separate your eggs, but where’s the fun in that? You know your kids will get a giggle out of this and want to help!

 

fun vegetable cutters Stainless Steel Vegetable Cutters

Use these to turn boring veggies into fun-shaped snacks! Or get even fancier and make home-made “lunchables” by cutting up lunchmeats, cheese, and fruits too.

 

 

 

Bread Mold Set from Norpro

While we’re making cute veggies and meats might as well bake up some interesting bread. You simply bake dough right into these heart, star, and flower-shaped molds. Don’t have time or the inclination to make fresh dough Try some Pillsbury french bread dough from the tube! You can make tiny tea sandwiches or use them for spreads. Young bakers will really have fun with this set too!

 

Evriholder and Lunch Punch sandwich cutters.

Okay, so maybe you don’t have time everyday to bake bread and cut up fancy looking veggies. You can still look like you spent of ton of creative energy with sandwich cutters. These crust cutters are specially designed to handle sandwiches (unlike cookie cutters) and are designed to minimize waste. They make all sorts of fun shaped sandwiches. Fast, easy, and available in many different designs!

 

 

Vicks Behind Ear Thermometer

I recently had the opportunity to sit down to lunch with a group of moms and Dr. Meg Meeker. Dr. Meeker is a pediatrician, mother, blogger, and author of several parenting books.

We met at Fork in Philly, had a fantastic lunch, and then Dr. Meeker gave a very informative talk while showing off some of the latest health gadgets by Vicks and Kaz USA.

This luncheon was very timely for me. We just got over 2 months of back and forth illness and it’s been driving me crazy. Having a temp of 104 really SUCKS! And having a significant other than complains of being sick at the same time when the thermometer never read above 99 causes severe bouts of eye rolling.

So yeah, speaking of temperatures, one of the things Dr. Meeker showed us was the new Vicks Behind Ear Thermometer made by Kaz USA.

Let me tell you, it took me FOREVER to find a thermometer I was comfortable with before ending up with our Braun ThermoScan IRT-4520 also made by Kaz USA. I don’t even want to think about how much money I spent on other thermometers that just didn’t work. So after all the research I did on our thermometer (and all the money spent) I was initially a little blasé about the idea of a new thermometer.

But there were some definite PROS to the Vicks Behind Ear thermometer that I immediately liked.

1. No disposable tips which saves money in the long run.
2. Easy color-coded back light.

  • Green = normal
  • Yellow = low-grade or slightly elevated temp
  • Red = FEVER

3. Memory feature which saves the last 8 temperatures taken.
4. Non-invasive. Meaning it doesn’t need to be stuck inside any body part, mouth, rear-end, or ear. This may be especially important to extra sensitive children.

If shopping for a new thermometer today, the Vicks Behind Ear thermometer would definitely be on my radar due to these features.

Other things we learned during our Cold and Flu chat:

What’s the difference between a Cool Mist and Warm Mist humidifier?

Really there isn’t much difference. They are both equally effective in humidifying the air. It comes down personal preference or DR recommendation. Also, I probably wouldn’t put a warm-mist humidifier within reach of a roaming and inquisitive child for fear of burn.

Vicks has 2 newer humidifiers. The Vicks Starry Night model has a projector transforms your  room into a starry night sky. Cool!  The Vicks Germ-free model has an Ultraviolet light chamber that kills 99.9% of bacteria, mold, and spores that may be in the water.  Both models let you put Vicks scent pads on them for soothing scents.

Personally, I like idea of the germ-free one better even though the stars are pretty cool. I always hesitate to use a humidifier because I have that old-school fear that I am just spreading germs around. The UV light would give me a little piece of mind.

What is a Hygrometer?

We were all asked if we had a hygrometer. My response was pretty much a big fat, “huh?”

A hygrometer is a little device that tells you the humidity level in your house! The Vicks HealthCheck Hygrometer tells you both humidity level and temperature.

One study has suggested there may be a correlation between flu virus survival rate in the air and on surfaces and low humidity levels. The study concludes that relative humidity levels between 40-60% are ideal. Having a hygrometer would let you know  if the humidity levels in your house have fallen outside this range.

All in all, lunch at the Fork was lovely. Got to chat with moms while the kids played in another room and learned some things. The best advice from Dr. Meeker to parents? Use all the tools you want, they certainly help, but TRUST YOUR GUT! Ultimately, you know your child best so if your gut is telling you something is wrong listen to it.

Finally, I have to give a big THANK YOU to Mommy Entourage for picking me up when I was greeted by a flat tire on my way out the door. Another thank you to Dr. Meeker for sharing her wisdom and giving me a signed copy of The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers. And of course, a huge THANK YOU to Vicks & Kaz for providing lunch and great parting goodie bags that included some of the gadgets mentioned above!

New McDonald’s Happy Meal

The other day, McDonald’s invited me and a bunch of other moms to visit a store and learn about their new Happy Meal.

I have a near-three year old and people called me weird but I refused to feed him french fries for the first 2 years of his life. I didn’t have a well-formed argument as to why, especially since I LOVE FRENCH FRIES, but something in me just didn’t want to feed fries to my growing baby.

That’s why I really appreciate when restaurants offer healthy alternatives. And that’s why I was happy to learn about the new and improved McDonald’s Happy Meal this week.

We honestly don’t eat at McDonald’s that often and our visits have been even less frequent after I tried to order apples with my son’s meal a year or so ago and was told that the restaurant I was at didn’t offer apples – at all. I walked out pretty annoyed (I’m looking at you Franklin Mills) because I didn’t know apples weren’t available at all McDonald’s. But that’s apparently changing because there’s a new Happy Meal in town!

The new Happy Meal will automatically include both apple slices AND a new smaller size French fries (1.1 ounces) along with the choice of a Hamburger, Cheeseburger or Chicken McNuggets, and choice of beverage, including new fat-free chocolate milk and 1% low fat white milk. If you are anti-french fries you can ask for apples-only and receive two bags of apple slices. Oh and the caramel dipper is gone. Fine by me, since it’s just liquid candy and I always tossed it (while feeling slightly guilty for wasting food).

During our lunch-time visit we sampled the new meals. For our meals, we opted for chicken nuggets with chocolate milk. My son LOVED the chocolate milk and I will definitely order that again during our next visit! Apples and nuggets were happily eaten and we may have treated ourselves to a few fries too. But not that many thanks to the new itty-bitty, portion-controlled containers. :)

As an added treat Ronald McDonald stopped by to entertain all of us. Have to say this was the best Ronald I’ve ever met. He rode in on a unicycle, juggled, and kept the kid’s laughing with jokes. My little X-man was impressed and terrified at same time. He hid under the table the entire time (mommy’s arms weren’t even good enough) and sat watching mesmerized on the floor. He was uber happy that Ronald autographed a picture for him too.. even if he wouldn’t go near him.

Big thanks go out to McDonald’s (of Conshohocken, PA) for treating us to lunch with entertainment and telling us about the healthy changes you are striving to make with Happy Meals and the rest of your menu.