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August 30, 2008

Hanes No Ride Up Underwear and Shaped to Fit Socks

With three growing kids and a new school year just underway, my thoughts have been focused on new outfits for everyone. The back to school shopping routine has been complicated in the last two years as my kids' school schedule has shifted by several weeks. With classes beginning in the first weeks of August, there isn't a lot of motivation to stock up on the fall clothing they'll need in a few months, but they've played hard all summer in their warm weather clothes, and they all needed some wardrobe freshening.

Trying to decide what to buy now, and what to buy later... it's a challenge. That said, new socks and underwear are always on the list. So when the Parent Bloggers Network offered to outfit my kids with new socks and underpants from Hanes, I was thrilled.

My youngest wasn't quite big enough for the sizing offered for this program, but I was downright giddy to receive new boxers and briefs for my eight-year-old son, bikinis and briefs for my nine-year-old daughter and new ankle-length socks for both kids.

We're a Hanes family from way back. Early on, I'd try to save a few pennies by purchasing socks and underpants from other labels. I'd bring home packages of socks with toe seams that rubbed blisters into my kids' toes, and stretched out or wore out after just a few wearings. We've never had those problems with the socks we've purchased from Hanes - the yarns they use are simply stronger and thicker, and provide more cushioning for busy feet. The construction on the heel and toe fits better in their tennis shoes - no balling up or blisters from these socks - and best of all, the elastic ribbing on the tops of the socks just doesn't give up.

My daughter has always been finicky about her underpants - elastic that digs in or doesn't stay put causes her (and me) no end of grief. We've battled over panties for years - until once again, we found that Hanes made excellent, comfortable panties and briefs that do not ride up, and move comfortably with your kids without binding or irritating. They are 100% cotton, which is actually really super-soft and the tagless design is a huge bonus.

My son is very slender through the hips, and while he prefers boxer-briefs most of the time, he was delighted try out Hanes No Ride Up Briefs and No Gap Fly Boxers. The premium cotton and great styling - especially the tagless design and wide, covered waistbands make both of these options comfortable and non-irritating. I was really pleased to see how cleverly styled the No Gap Fly Boxers are - they allow total freedom of movement without the risk of accidentally exposing anything. Hanes, for the win!

Thank you Hanes, for allowing my family to go back to school in comfort and style!

To see what the rest of the Parent Bloggers Network reviews had to say - be sure to check out the roundup.

August 17, 2008

M&M's Premiums

The box arrived with the usual fanfare. My dog hates delivery trucks, and started barking and leaping at the front door before the truck had banged to a stop. A quick slam of the gate later, I emerged, blinking against the bright sunlight to find a giant box sitting in the middle of my walkway, surrounded by my three children, who were hooting, doing some sort of tribal dance and drumming on the top.

As yes, the final week of summer vacation.

With the help of my kids, who were taking as much credit for the arrival of the box as a pack of Woolly Mammoth hunters would be for bringing down a furry elephant, we hauled it inside, and ripped open the seal.

See, I knew that I would be doing a review of the new M&M's Premiums chocolate candies for BlogHer, but I figured that I'd be getting a small sample, or a few coupons or something. I assumed this had to be something else.

As soon as I cracked the seal on the box and got a look, I started laughing. I had a giant box of 35 pounds of super-deluxe candies, nested in a shiny silver liner to keep them cool. I swear to you that as soon as the first flap was lifted, a chorus of angels sang and a sunbeam struck the silver liner, rendering the kids awestruck. I seized this moment of temporarily spellbound children to grab one of the end flaps on the box and started dragging that thing towards my bedroom as fast as I could go.

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The kids instinctively knew that there was some high quality stuff in that box. I tried to convince them that it was rocks. Then, when they got the whiff of chocolate, I told them that it was special grown-up Lady Chocolate and not for kids.

LadyCandy. Aw yeah.

I handed each kid a random box and shooed them away. Faced with 57 remaining boxes of gorgeously colored chocolate, my mind began to work. Should I empty the boxes into a giant pile and play pirate's treasure? Should I wait until my husband came home from work and leave a trail of M&M's Premiums down the hall and into the bedroom, where I would be waiting on a bed covered with pretty little candies? Shaking the vision of doing M&Ms angels in a snowdrift of candy, I wisely decided to hold off on any drastic action.

I called my co-workers and taunted them about my giant box of candy instead. They loved that, as you can imagine, and advised me not to eat them all myself, because they were afraid the resulting sugar buzz and giggling fits could cause the earth to fall off its axis.

I really love the packaging - they have an elegant, hour-glass shape to the box, and the inner wrapper is resealable - which, as Chris noted, is so adorable. Actually, my nine-year-old is using a few of the boxes as storage for some of her little trinkets and collections of tiny things. At a generously sized 6 oz each, you can really get your snack on - and still be able to share with a friend.

One of the really distinctive things about these candies is the lack of the candy shell. I'm a girl who chews up my cough drops, and can't be bothered to let things melt in my mouth, but hand to the heavens, with the rich flavors and creamy consistency of the chocolate on these new M&Ms, I was moved to put one candy in my mouth at a time and just let it happen. And it was gooooood.

The five flavors are:

Triple Chocolate - "truly tempting layers of milk chocolate, white chocolate & dark chocolate"

Mint Chocolate - "sinfully good white chocolate mint wrapped in dark chocolate"

Raspberry Almond - "berry blissful raspberry flavored white chocolate & almond wrapped in dark chocolate"

Mocha - "simply tantalizing mocha flavored milk chocolate"

Chocolate Almond - "delightfully delicious freshly roasted whole almond wrapped in milk chocolate"

As you can see, there is something for everyone to love here. I'm partial to the mint and triple-chocolate myself.

Last Wednesday was the first day of school for all three of my kids - for the first time ever. After I returned home from dropping the kids off and settled down at my desk with a cup of coffee, it felt anti-climactic. Where was the party?

Right here. Here's a little party for ya.

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I've been gleefully sharing my bounty with my family and friends - and the reactions have all been pretty dramatic - everyone is blown away by the great new flavors and beautiful gem-like colors.

You have GOT to try them.

Don't want to take my word for it? Head over to the roundup page and see what my fellow reviewers had to say!

August 8, 2008

Walt Disney Records - Music We Can ALL Dance To

When MomCentral emailed me and asked if I'd like to check out some of Walt Disney Record's new albums for the whole family, I jumped at it. My kids have grown up watching the Disney Channel, and my five-year-old is, to put it mildly, obsessed with the music on all the shows - and between them.

Remember this?

Rocking Out to Choo Choo Soul from BigSliceJenny on Vimeo.

Here we are, a few years later, and FINALLY! We have the CD in our hands. No more pausing TiVo and rewinding thirty million times!

I've been a huge fan of Choo Choo Soul since the very first video hit the airwaves, and more importantly, so have my kids. Genevieve and DC have put together a fantastic collection of songs for kids that ARE NOT CHEESY. I hear that the discs will be available August 22.

We also received They Might Be Giants' Here Come the 123s. Filled with the wit and bouncy alt-rock vibe they are known for, we all love this album as much as the earlier No! - and that's A LOT. Nothing gets my kids moshing around the living room, cracking up and dancing like fools like TMBG.

Ralph's World's The Rhyming Circus take a sweeping approach to genres - there's a little something from everywhere in these songs, and it is so fun to watch the kids change their movements and their attitudes as the music shifts from rock to country to oompah and back again.

The kids were excited to see Juice Box Heroes from Imagination Movers in the stack of CDs, too. This one didn't get as much airtime as the others so far, but I've got to say, I'm impressed with the catchy hooks and funny lyrics.

The final disc we received is the Disney Music Block Party - featuring classic songs from the Disney movies performed by popular artists and characters from the Playhouse Disney crowd. I was more excited about this one than the kids - they haven't seen many of the films that these songs are from, but I was really pleased with the fresh takes on some of my old favorites.

Thank you, Disney and MomCentral! If you'd like more information on this great new catalog of albums, visit Disney Music Block Party.

For more reviews, check out the round up post at MomCentral.

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