Monday, August 30, 2010

Nestle Toll House Back-to-school kit Review & Give-a-way...


Do you all love cookies? I'll be honest I am not much of a cook, but I LOVE to bake! So when Nestle Toll House sent us a Back-to-school kit we were all so excited!

The transition from summer to school signals the start of busier schedules, which can make it challenging for families to stay connected. That's why Nestle Toll House is sharing new ideas, occasions and reasons to bake -- because baking brings people together and helps make memories. Now is the perfect time to find sweet ways to connect and spend time together!

So we opened the kit and did just that! Inside the kit we were excited to find Nestle Toll House aprons, Nestle Toll House cookie dough and morsel coupons, Nestle Toll House Mini Toppers and Nestle Toll House recipe cards! Jace and Grady couldn't wait to go to Wal-Mart and pick out some cookies, morsels and even a few extra things to make something off of one of the recipe cards included in the kit!

Here is what we got...


Of course we had to make Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies, Sugar cookies and I snuck in Nestle Toll House Ultimates Chocolate Chips & Chunks with Pecans YUM! We should have taken a lot more pictures than we did, but Craig and I were both trying to help the boys, or they were trying to help us, and then we didn't want to burn any, ha! So I will tell you that we love the cookies, like these sugar ones that come in a big block. They are together but have lines where you just break them off and they are pre-cut or pre-sized I guess you would say! It makes it so easy to tell how big they should be and they come out just perfect!


We not only made the cookies but took one of the recipes from the recipe cards sent and made Dipped Pretzals!
(The recipe is above, I'm pretty sure if you click on the picture it will zoom in so you can see it, if you can't and want it just let me know I'd be happy to send it to you!)

(Jace loved helping measure the ingredients and decorate the pretzels)


They were so easy to dip and make...


and I think they turned out really well, I can't wait to make them again...they would be perfect for a party, or to decorate and bag with a little ribbon around the holidays!


We even made some and took them to our old neighbors house and gave him some for his birthday!


We had so much fun baking cookies and making pretzels as a family and Nestle Toll House wants to give 2 of The Jackson Five Family readers the opportunity to do the same! Before I tell you about the giveaway I will share with you a few ways Nestle Toll House can help you and your family stay connected during the back-to-school season or any time for that matter!
  • Brighten your child’s day by packing a homemade chocolate chip cookie in their lunch, along with a note letting them know you’re thinking about them while they’re at school.
  • Play with your food! For fun after-school activities, use NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Refrigerated Cookie Dough to create cookie puzzles and other fun cookie games the whole family can enjoy.
  • Sweeten someone’s day by helping your children bake cookies to give to their favorite teacher, secretary, school nurse, or bus driver as a special treat.



Nestle Toll House is so kind to offer two of The Jackson Five Family readers each an exclusive Nestle Toll House back-to-school kit! Each kit includes 1 adult apron, 1 child apron, exclusive Toll House recipe cards, Nestle Toll House Mini Morsel Toppers and a variety of Nestle Toll House coupons good towards the purchase of Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough and Morsels!

*IN ORDER TO ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY , YOU MUST BE A PUBLIC FOLLOWER OF THE JACKSON FIVE FAMILY BLOG. TO FOLLOW ME CLICK ON THE "FOLLOW" BUTTON ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF MY BLOG. EASY PEASY :) IF YOU ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY AND YOU ARE NOT A PUBLIC FOLLOWER THEN ALL OF YOUR ENTRIES WILL BE FORFEITED!!!*

MANDATORY ENTRY: Please tell me why you would love to receive a Nestle Toll House back to school kit :)


EXTRA ENTRIES: Make sure that you leave a SEPARATE comment for each thing that you do for the entries to be counted! (PLEASE LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL IN ONE OF THE COMMENTS)

1 Entry- Become a follower of Nestle Toll House on Facebook!

1 Entry-Sign up for one of my other give-a-ways and let me know which one you signed up for! (IT CAN NOT BE THIS GIVEAWAY)

1 Entry-Sign up to follow The Jackson Five Family Blog *remember you must be a follower anyways for your entries to count in the 1st place* :)

1 Entry
-Subscribe to receive The Jackson Five Family feed in your inbox. Just type in your e-mail on the right of my blog, make sure you confirm your subscription as well!



1 Entry-Become a Fan of The Jackson Five Family blog on Facebook.

1 Entry
-Grab my button and add it to your page!


3 Entries
-Go to The Jackson Five Family Blog Facebook Fan page and Suggest our page to your friends! To suggest us to your friends just click on the "Suggest to Friends" link in the top left hand corner under our logo!
(remember for 3 entries to count you must leave a separate comment for each...so #1 comment "suggested fb friends 1" #2 comment "suggested fb friends 2" #3 comment "suggested fb friends 3" I can not keep track if you don't leave a SEPARATE comment for each! thanks :)

Rules
: Open to readers in the US only! Give-a-way ends September 6th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be randomly chosen and will have 48 hours to respond.


(I want to thank Nestle Toll House
for sending me a back-to-school kit, my family had lots of fun baking together)


(I was sent a Nestle Toll House Back-to-school kit free of charge to review. The things you read here are my honest opinions of the products reviewed! I was not paid in any way to say anything you read here!)

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ghyslain's Richmond Bistro Review & Give-a-way...

Do you all remember when I reviewed those beautiful hand painted chocolate turtles from Ghyslain Chocolates and hosted an awesome give-a-way from them?
Well I recently had the opportunity to actually go visit one of their restaurants in Richmond, Indiana known as the Richmond Bistro which is a full service bistro and chocolate boutique!

I knew how good the Ghyslain Chocolates were, so I couldn't wait to try out their Bistro! Craig and I took my mom, grandma and both boys with us! We used our GPS to take us there, which was about an 1:40 minute drive from our small town in Ohio. I was expecting it to be a big restaurant downtown Richmond, but our directions took us to the neatest big old brick building, which was a nice surprise!

(Please excuse the bad picture of us, it was seriously like 95 and so humid and the sun was so bright!!)

Yes that "garage door" is the main entrance, no it doesn't open like a garage door but it was the neatest looking entrance I've ever seen! So if you think the outside is neat, you have to see the inside.

When you first walk in you are greeted by a long case housing, of course, Ghyslain Chocolates (You can see Jace in the left of this picture drooling over them)

another case was filled with gorgeous Ghyslain Pastries

like their Ghyslain Raspberry Cheesecake

and this to die for Charlemagne! Which is a chocolate genoise cake infused with orange syrup and topped with hazelnut dark chocolate mousse. Surrounded by dark and white chocolate sticks, topped with hazelnut chocolate shavings and dusted with powder sugar! It was soooooo good!!!

Another case if filled with so many kinds of Gelato like Raspberry Chocolate, Praline, Coconut, Turtle, Vanilla, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Lemon Grass/Pineapple, Lemon Sorbet, Raspberry Sorbet, Black Forest/Cherry/Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Chocolate Chips, Double Chocolate and White Chocolate/Macadamia Nut... I will tell you this is the best Gelato I've ever had...mmm it was sooooo good! We had the Double Chocolate Gelato and the Raspberry Sorbet, both were excellent!
They even have a huge variety of wine! The Bistro has a full menu featuring things like soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and many side dishes!
I had Holly's Favorite Pasta, named after the Bistro Manager, who I met! It is Farfalle pasta in a rich and creamy garlic, fresh herbs and parmesan sauce with sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions and grilled chicken breast garnished with fresh parmesan cheese! Let me tell you it was delicious! The portion was huge and I even had enough left over for lunch the next day!
My mom had the Greek Quiche which was a buttery pie dough filled with feta cheese, spinach, tomato, and their creamy egg filling. She also had the Hot Red Roasted Potatoes as her side...she let me try all of it and it was so awesome!
I loved that the table offered this unique salt tray! I've never seen such a thing, so fun!

When you are done eating as shown above there are so many desserts to try and the building also is the home to the cutest little gift shop called Coco's Boutique!


Overall we had a great time and I loved the quaint little atmosphere! I am already dieing to go back, especially to try another one of their pastries!!! The only negative I see is that I don't live closer to this awesome place!

For more information about the Richmond Bistro please click HERE!

To view their menu click
HERE!

WWW.GHYSLAIN.COM


*GIVE-A-WAY STARTS HERE*
Ghyslain is so kind to offer one of The Jackson Five Family readers a $25 Gift Certificate to be used at the Richmond Bistro located in Richmond, Indiana!

*IN ORDER TO ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY , YOU MUST BE A PUBLIC FOLLOWER OF THE JACKSON FIVE FAMILY BLOG. TO FOLLOW ME CLICK ON THE "FOLLOW" BUTTON ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF MY BLOG. EASY PEASY :) IF YOU ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY AND YOU ARE NOT A PUBLIC FOLLOWER THEN ALL OF YOUR ENTRIES WILL BE FORFEITED!!!*

MANDATORY ENTRY: Please tell me why you would love to visit the Richmond Bistro!


EXTRA ENTRIES: Make sure that you leave a SEPARATE comment for each thing that you do for the entries to be counted! (PLEASE LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL IN ONE OF THE COMMENTS)

1 Entry-Sign up for one of my other give-a-ways and let me know which one you signed up for! (IT CAN NOT BE THIS GIVEAWAY)

1 Entry-Sign up to follow The Jackson Five Family Blog *remember you must be a follower anyways for your entries to count in the 1st place* :)

1 Entry
-Subscribe to receive The Jackson Five Family feed in your inbox. Just type in your e-mail on the right of my blog, make sure you confirm your subscription as well!



1 Entry-Become a Fan of The Jackson Five Family blog on Facebook.

1 Entry
-Grab my button and add it to your page!


3 Entries
-Go to The Jackson Five Family Blog Facebook Fan page and Suggest our page to your friends! To suggest us to your friends just click on the "Suggest to Friends" link in the top left hand corner under our logo!


Rules
: Open to readers in the US only! Give-a-way ends September 5th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be randomly chosen and will have 48 hours to respond.


I want to thank Gen from Ghyslain Chocolates
for giving me the opportunity and invitation to review the Bistro!


(I was sent a gift certificate free of charge and an invitation to review the bistro. The things you read here are my honest opinions of the products reviewed! I was not paid in any way to say anything you read here!)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VtIgVme7G0g/TA7kSXKdTVI/AAAAAAAACAs/0OVh4WUrfVU/s1600/jennasignature.png

Thursday, August 26, 2010

THE CHALKBOARD TEE REVIEW & GIVE-A-WAY...

THE CHALKBOARD TEE
"YOUR ART IS OUR BRAND"


It's a little cooler here today...and as much as I always say that I love it hot and would want this all year round...well I must admit these 70 degree temps today feel GREAT :) Ask me this in a month and I'll probably say that I wish it were 90 again though, ha!

Well with the cooler temps brings school and new school clothes. Well we were recently sent the coolest t-shirt for Jace! I've never seen anything like it and we are so excited about it!


It is called The Chalkboard Tee by Class Attire! The creators of The Chalkboard Tee were tired of seeing so many walking advertisements, so they decided to come up with a way to let you express yourself and therefor The Chalkboard Tee was created! The Chalkboard Tee is a t-shirt that actually has 1 of 5 designs (butterfly, heart, necktie, city, apple) on the front that are made just like a chalkboard! Yes that's right you can actually write, draw, erase and repeat whatever you want on your tee!




I was a little skeptical at first, thinking does this really work? Can you really draw and then erase it and start over? Well it's so easy and does really work! Every Chalkboard Tee comes with a starter pack of assorted colors of chalk and the tee even features a little spot on the tee called a Chalk-It to hold a piece of chalk, how cute is that?



Once you or your child draw on it, it stays put! It doesn't smudge or erase easily. If you want to erase what you have done and start over you have to wipe your designs off with a damp cloth! I tried this several times with Jace's shirt and it works great!


I can't wait to send Jace to school in this. On the first day I can let him write his name on it, how fun is that? I also love how unique it is, I know that not everyone else will have one like it! Until you all read this, then that might change...because I KNOW you ALL will want one :)

(Look at the ornery face lol, he was being silly)

Jace loved drawing on his new Chalkboard Tee, he was practicing his letters!


I drew this "I LOVE DADDY" on it! I thought that was so cute!! Can you imagine how fun this would be for Father's Day or any day for that matter. The possibilities are endless! I love that you can write anything you want on this and change it and personalize it whenever you want! I love that you can let your child wear their own art too!


The Chalkboard Tee is 100% cotton, machine washable (recommend air dry) and made in the USA!!! It is available for $35 and comes in a variety of sizes, colors and like I said above 5 patterns (butterfly, heart, necktie, city and apple)... You can purchase them at

*GIVE-A-WAY STARTS HERE*
Class Attire is so kind to offer one of The Jackson Five Family readers the chance to win their very own Chalkboard Tee a $35 Value!

*IN ORDER TO ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY , YOU MUST BE A PUBLIC FOLLOWER OF THE JACKSON FIVE FAMILY BLOG. TO FOLLOW ME CLICK ON THE "FOLLOW" BUTTON ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF MY BLOG. EASY PEASY :) IF YOU ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY AND YOU ARE NOT A PUBLIC FOLLOWER THEN ALL OF YOUR ENTRIES WILL BE FORFEITED!!!*

MANDATORY ENTRY: Please visit the The Chalkboard Tee Website and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which Chalkboard Tee design you would choose if you won!

EXTRA ENTRIES: Make sure that you leave a SEPARATE comment for each thing that you do for the entries to be counted! (PLEASE LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL IN ONE OF THE COMMENTS)

1 Entry-Become a Fan of The Chalkboard Tee on Facebook!

1 Entry-Sign up for one of my other give-a-ways and let me know which one you signed up for! (IT CAN NOT BE THIS GIVEAWAY)

1 Entry-Sign up to follow The Jackson Five Family Blog *remember you must be a follower anyways for your entries to count in the 1st place* :)

1 Entry
-Subscribe to receive The Jackson Five Family feed in your inbox. Just type in your e-mail on the right of my blog, make sure you confirm your subscription as well!



1 Entry-Become a Fan of The Jackson Five Family blog on Facebook.

1 Entry
-Grab my button and add it to your page!


3 Entries
-Go to The Jackson Five Family Blog Facebook Fan page and Suggest our page to your friends! To suggest us to your friends just click on the "Suggest to Friends" link in the top left hand corner under our logo!


Rules
: Open to readers in the US only! Give-a-way ends September 2st at 11:59 pm EST. The winners will be randomly chosen and will have 48 hours to respond.


I want to thank Class Attire
for sending us one of their awesome Chalkboard Tee's for review!


(I was sent these products free of charge to review. The things you read here are my honest opinions of the products reviewed! I was not paid in any way to say anything you read here!)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VtIgVme7G0g/TA7kSXKdTVI/AAAAAAAACAs/0OVh4WUrfVU/s1600/jennasignature.png

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

KIDZ GEAR HEADPHONE GIVE-A-WAY (2 WINNERS)


We have a built in DVD player in our van and let me tell you it is one of the best features to have! It will entertain the kids for hours while on long trips and just keeps them busy and from fighting when we go across town! The only thing that drives Craig and I crazy is that the headphones that came with our van are adult sized and Jace and Grady's head's aren't big enough to keep them on yet! So then we have to listen to whatever they are watching because they won't/can't keep them on...which can drive a parent crazy after a long period of time listening to ca
rtoons and silly songs on a long drive!


Well recently that changed! We were sent 2 pair of awesome kids sized headphones from a company called Kidz Gear. Kidz Gear is about delivering a line of products and accessories with adult product features, performance and quality levels, but available at a price-point in-line with products for children! The founder of Kidz Gear, Laurie Peterson, started this company after purchasing "toy" products for her own children like headphones, binoculars, flashlights and many other products only to find out they were poorly manufactured, using substandard if not even dangerous components and materials. She was tired of purchasing those toys, but could not afford to give her children expensive "adult" versions of the same ones. That's when she founded Kidz Gear bringing high-quality, fully functional and ergonomically designed products that are value-priced and in the sizes and styles kids love!

Kidz Gear sent us one pair of their Wired Headphones and one pair of their Wireless Headphones to try out!

(Jace is wearing the wired headphones)


Kidz Gear Wired Headphones- The first adult-featured stereo headphones made specifically for kids. Manufactured with the same high quality components as those used in standard adult headphones, the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones deliver extremely rich stereo sound quality for all your audio needs- DVDs, MP3s, Game Players, Television, Radio and more. They are a must for children in the car, on the plane or hanging out at home!

(Grady is wearing the wireless headphones here)


Wireless Headphones- IR Wireless Car Headphones from Kidz Gear. Delivering the same perfect fit, excellent quality and rich stereo sound as our Wired Headphones, but now with total portability thanks to no wires! Theses headphones are 100% Guaranteed to work with all U.S. Single-channel, Built-in, IR (infrared) DVD/Video systems. Designed with custom sized ear-cups, auto-power off feature, and comfortable padding, your child will be sure to enjoy those trips in the car. You can even use these headphones at home! (IR transmitter sold separately)

(As you can see they are really enjoying the movie with their new headphones on! Oh and just so you know we were not moving, they were just trying them out there, we always buckle our kids up!)


We were so anxious to see if they really did fit our 2 and 4 year old boys and to see if the boys would think they were comfortable and actually keep them on! Well we were pleasantly surprised because they both loved them! Even Grady who is only 2 thought he was "big stuff" in his new Kidz Gear Headphones!

I love how easy they both were to use too! The wireless headphones only required 2 AAA batteries and that was it. Since we have a built in DVD system in our van they were already compatible and ready to use! We needed nothing other than the headphones, you just turn on the headphones and the DVD system, put our system on the headphone feature and they worked right away! It was so simple! I also love that the wireless pair has an automatic shut off feature if you accidentally forget to turn them off!


I definitely love the wireless headphones over the wired ones just because we will be using these mainly in the car and to use the wired pair you have to plug them into the system which is above one of the kids seats and so the wire has to hang from the ceiling. The cord is plenty long and it's not that big of a deal, but just the convenience of having no cords works better for us! The wired pair though would be perfect for game systems and even MP3 players which my kids just aren't using quite yet!

I would tell anyone who currently has those huge adult sized headphones in their car or anywhere for that matter, to replace them with these. They are light, comfortable, easy to use, very affordable and definitely kid friendly :)

*GIVE-A-WAY STARTS HERE*
Kidz Gear is so kind to offer a give-a-way to The Jackson Five Family readers! There will be 2 winners. The 1st name drawn is going to win a pair of the Wired Headphones $19.99 and the 2nd name drawn will a pair of the Wireless Headphones $34.99!

*IN ORDER TO ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY , YOU MUST BE A PUBLIC FOLLOWER OF THE JACKSON FIVE FAMILY BLOG. TO FOLLOW ME CLICK ON THE "FOLLOW" BUTTON ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF MY BLOG. EASY PEASY :) IF YOU ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY AND YOU ARE NOT A PUBLIC FOLLOWER THEN ALL OF YOUR ENTRIES WILL BE FORFEITED!!!*

MANDATORY ENTRY: Please visit the Kidz Gear Website and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me why you would love to win a pair of these headphones!

EXTRA ENTRIES: Make sure that you leave a SEPARATE comment for each thing that you do for the entries to be counted! (PLEASE LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL IN ONE OF THE COMMENTS)

1 Entry-Become a Fan of Kidz Gear on Facebook!

1 Entry-Sign up for one of my other give-a-ways and let me know which one you signed up for! (IT CAN NOT BE THIS GIVEAWAY)

1 Entry-Sign up to follow The Jackson Five Family Blog *remember you must be a follower anyways for your entries to count in the 1st place* :)

1 Entry
-Subscribe to receive The Jackson Five Family feed in your inbox. Just type in your e-mail on the right of my blog, make sure you confirm your subscription as well!



1 Entry-Become a Fan of The Jackson Five Family blog on Facebook.

1 Entry
-Grab my button and add it to your page!


1 Entry
-Blog about this give-a-way on your page and leave me a link so that I can check it out!


Rules
: Open to readers in the US only! Give-a-way ends September 1st at 11:59 pm EST. The winners will be randomly chosen and will have 48 hours to respond.


I want to thank Kidz Gear for sending me 2 of their awesome headphone products for review!

(I was sent these products free of charge to review. The things you read here are my honest opinions of the products reviewed! I was not paid in any way to say anything you read here!)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VtIgVme7G0g/TA7kSXKdTVI/AAAAAAAACAs/0OVh4WUrfVU/s1600/jennasignature.png