Friday, January 30, 2009

Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Cups by Whitman's

It is probably not a surprise to anyone who knows me or reads me that I've struggled with my weight recently. When I've been in this situation before, I've gone to Weight Watchers and been very successful. Then I have a baby and my problem starts all over again.

I've been thinking about joining up again, so when I was offered the opportunity to review some of the chocolate that Whitman's and Weight Watchers sell now, I was delighted.

I decided to try the peanut butter cups, because I'm a little bit of a peanut butter cup connoisseur.

They were pretty good. Quinn liked them too, even though I tried to fight him off and not share. He was persistent. I was able to tell the difference between these and a Reese's peanut butter cup, but Quinn was not.

Honestly, I am not sure how much lower in fat and calories the peanut butter cups are than their regular candy equivalent. But peanut butter has a lot of fat. Each of these are two points. But Weight Watchers and Whitman's offer a lot of other varieties of chocolate candies, which are only one point.

They have Pecan Crowns, English Toffee Squares, Double Chocolate Mousse, Mint Patties, Coconut candies, Crispy Butter Cream Caramels, Peanut Butter Crunch, Caramel Medallions, Almond Nougat, and NougieNuttyChew, each of which is one point a candy.

The one-point candies might be a better option if you're on the Weight Watchers program, but even with the two-point candy, there are some benefits to the Weight Watchers version, specifically that each candy is wrapped individually, so there might be less of a temptation to eat two.

If your local store doesn't sell this candy, you can buy it online at Russell Stover. Just make sure you stay in the Weight Watchers section of the site.

Honesty Clause: I received a free package of peanut butter cups. There were five peanut butter cups in the package. They retail for $2.99.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Applied Labels

Coupon Code at bottom of post!

My kids have a sweatshirt—make that had—that I really loved. It was black with a red stripe and both Sam and Jack wore it. Even though it was big on him, sometimes Quinn agreed to use it as well.

Early this school year, there was a week when Jack just didn't bring back his jackets. The black and red sweatshirt was maybe the second of three we sent in before we ran out. I wrote a note to his kindergarten teacher and eventually two out of the three sweatshirts/jackets came back. The black and red one has not been seen since.

I think that had I done something smart, such as label it with his name, we might still have the sweatshirt. And if I were to have put a label on something, those from Applied Labels would have been the way to go.

Applied Labels is the brain child of Heather Clements, who used to be a chemical engineer and now makes labels for all the things your kids might take to school, camp, or daycare. These labels have adhesive that is twice as strong as most other labels and qualifies as permanent.

The wonderful things about these labels is that you can wash them. I've spent a lot of time writing names on sippy cups with markers only to re-write them the next day after they go through the dishwasher. These labels will stick. I really wish I'd known about them earlier. And if your child goes to daycare with bottles every day, these will make your life easier.

You can also put them on clothes and wash them. I decided to test this out by labeling Quinn's winter coat and washing it.

Before washing

After washing—not that you can tell.

These labels are, in fact, waterproof and permanent. In order to put them on clothes, you use two labels to stick to each other on a tag. Since they come in packs of 30, 60, or 90, there are enough that you won't feel bad about having to use two. Plus, the cost of the label is way cheaper than the cost of, say, a sweatshirt misplaced at school. Edited to add: If you are clever enough to look carefully at your package, you will see that there are blank labels in the back, so you don't have to use a printed label as a backer. Smart!

Applied Labels is a great way to support a mom-run business that sells quality supplies. Besides the labels, they also offer colored, adhesive waterproof tape if you need to color code your child's items. Plus they have date labels for perishable items and shoe shields to protect labels that you put inside your children's shoes.

You can choose from four different fonts for your labels and can customize them in many different ways. Had I known this six months ago, we might still have our much-loved red and black sweatshirt.

For 10% off your order, enter "Blog10" and then click "Redeem Coupon".

Honesty Clause: Applied Labels sent me labels for all three of my children. They retail for $14.95 for 30 labels, $24.95 for 60 labels, and $29.95 for 90 labels.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

LeapFrog Didj

We're big fans of LeapFrog around here. We have various LeapFrog toys as well as a Tag reader and a Leapster2. We use and love all of them. So I was delighted when I won the Didj from Nancy at Ageless Body/Timelss Mom.

The Didj is a handheld gaming system along the same lines as the Leapster, but aimed at older children, specifically those in the 6-10 year old range. The difference between the Didj and gaming systems like the Nintendo DS is that all of the games are learning games.

After Nancy sent me this game, I bought a Star Wars The Clone Wars game for it. My kids were immediately smitten.

The controls are really easy, especially if your child has played video games before. Sam and Quinn were able to both navigate around around the environment. I liked that the math questions on the Star Wars game challenged Sam. When I asked him if he liked the game, he said, "Yes, but it's difficult."

He pretty quickly got into the swing of things and was answering questions well. They dealt with concepts like the tens place vs. the ones place, and things on that level.

Quinn played next. Because the questions are multiple choice, he was able to progress, but it's really not a game intended for a three-year-old.

The only problem is that he really wants to play it. I think my kids appreciate the sleek design that makes it look less like a little kid's toy and more like a grown up game.

Jack, my five-year-old, was able to play it easily as well.

There are several online features. You can create and download your own characters, and parents can track their kids' playing time and subjects learned.

The system also comes with a game, so you can buy the system and not have to run right out to buy a game. But who are we kidding here? Your kid is going to make you buy them one of the many games available for the system featuring Indiana Jones, Spongebob Squarepants, Hannah Montana, or any number of others.

I think we're going to have fun with this.

Honesty Clause: I received the Didj for free in a giveaway from a fellow blogger. The Didj retails for $89.99. Games are usually $29.99 each.