Cradle Rock CD Series Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cradle Rock is series of new CD's produced by Treetop Records and Brash Music who partnered to create and produce a series of albums that recreate popular music hits in a lullaby format. Soothing sounds from instruments such as the vibraphone, glockenspiel and mellotron are used to create lullabies based on famous, iconic artists and albums such as Michael Jackson's Thriller, Kenny Chesney's top hits and classics by Johnny Cash.

Here's some background from the creators: “The ‘Cradle Rock’ lullabies are unlike any other in the marketplace today, since we wanted to focus on iconic artists and albums that appeal to music fans across a wide variety of genres,” says Steve Jones, CEO of Brash Music. “Each project is produced with child and parent in mind, so the melodic structure and tempo of each song stays true to the original.” Jones says most lullaby releases are a collection of hits or compilations by various artists. “While some projects in the Cradle Rock series follow a compilation model, most are replications of entire albums in lullaby form. Additional Cradle Rock albums in development include U2’s “The Joshua Sleep Tree,” Black Eyed Peas’ “Sleep-pea Hits” as well as lullaby albums inspired by Nickelback, Carrie Underwood and The Eagles to name a few."

I received the first three albums in the series to review. I was curious to see just how Michael Jackson's Thriller would lull my baby girl to sleep. I love classical music and children's lullabies, but sometimes get weary of the cutesy tunes made for kids. As parents we listen to our kids' favorites again and again so it's pretty awesome if we can find something we can enjoy right along with them.

As we headed out for a family car trip we popped the Thrillaby CD in to check it out. Both my husband and I remember MJ's huge hit from back in the day and loved it then. I have to say we both got quite a laugh out of hearing the lullaby version. It was quite a change. The songs on the album were recognizeable but in a much softer easy-listening version. It reminded me of elevator music, for real. I just couldn't get into it. Next we tried the Kenny Chesney CD. I'm not really a fan and don't know his music well, but hubs does. He thought the lullaby version was ok. Tolerable, but really just makes you yearn for the real deal. Lastly we tried Johnny Cash. Hmm, same result. Left me mildly amused and bewildered yet yearning for the thing.

But, as much as we weren't into it, I have to say that my kids were. I was shocked. Especially when my 8 year old liked it. I was waiting for him to start joking the lame tunes and begging us to change the music. Wrong-O! He asked to hear more. The rest of the peanut gallery, ages 5 and 3, were diggin' it too. And baby girl drifted off into peaceful slumber. And we all know there's nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby (especially in the bleary sleep-deprived eyes of mom and dad).

So there you have it. The kids vote yes, and mom and dad vote no way (unless we put it on for baby and then leave the room). In all honesty, I can see how some folks would be into this. It's a unique idea and a good one. I just wish the instrumentals didn't conjure up memories of afternoons spent sitting through episodes of Lawrence Welk with my grandparents.

You can check out the Cradle Rock offerings for yourself here. Take a listen and let me know what you think. For realz! These CD's are available for purchase through this site: http://treetoprecords.com/

One Serendipity is Sweet subscriber will win a copy of the CD's I reviewed!

Here's how to enter:

MANDATORY ENTRY: You must be a Serendipity is Sweet subscriber to win. Let me know how you subscribe and your email address.

Extra entries:
Add my button to your blog or add me to your blog roll (3 entries)
Follow me publicly in google
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Share this post on any social network (Facebook, twitter, stumble, etc.)
Follow me on twitter (leave your twitter handle)
Fave me on technorati
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Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and a valid email address. Open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be chosen by random integer selection. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen. Contest will close on December 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST. Good Luck!!!



This post was written for The Family Review Network and Treetop Records who provided the complimentary products in exchange for my honest review. 
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Aloha Friday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Black Friday to all! My email box is overflowing with sales and deals and hype. I'm tempted to just hit "delete all!" But, there's a part of me that is afraid I'll miss that super deal that will make my kids' Christmas that much more memorable. I've been reminding myself that it's not the gifts that make Christmas memorable, but the shared experiences. And after all the turkey and festivities, I just don't have the energy to go fight the crowds even though I'm only about 50% done with my shopping.

My question this week: How much shopping do have left to do?

Be sure to stop by An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun.

Gobble 'Til You Wobble!

Thursday, November 25, 2010



More Than A Day
As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.
We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.
By Karl Fuchs

Thanksgiving Friends


Thanksgiving is a time
For reviewing what we treasure,
The people we hold dear,
Who give us so much pleasure.


Without you as my friend,
Life would be a bore;
Having you in my life
Is what I’m thankful for.


By Joanna Fuchs


Wishing you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving celebration!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Someone has a birthday coming up...

"Do I smell cake?!"

For more Wednesday fun, be sure to visit these fabulous blogs:
5 Minutes for Mom
Wordless Wednesday HQ

And don't miss my current giveaway: $65 CSN Gift Code. Hurry contest ends tonight!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aloha! Wow, one week until Black Friday. Have you started your holiday shopping? I'm more of a cyber Monday gal myself. I've never been one to get up at 3 AM and brave the madness for a deal. Not my idea of fun. I'd rather sit by my mac in my fuzzy socks with a cup of Starbucks Christmas Blend and let my fingers do the shopping ;)

My question this week is: What's your number one wish for the holidays this year?

Be sure to stop by An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun. And don't forget to enter my $65 CSN Gift code giveaway!

Motion Math iPhone App Review

Motion Math is a great way to make fractions easy to learn and understand. This game for iPhone and iPad is engaging and can be addicting! To play you tilt your device to control the motion of a ball so that it lands at the appropriate point on a number line to reflect the fraction you are given. Fractions are represented as numerators/denominators, decimals or even pie charts. Hints are built into the game so you’ll receive help if necessary. As you progress through the game the levels increase in difficulty.

From the company website: "Loved by children as young as five (and adults too!), Motion Math gives learners a physical experience of the number line and an intuitive feeling for fractions. Fractions are a notoriously difficult area for many; if a learner never gains a gut sense for fractions, it can impede progress in more advanced forms of math. One reason fractions are tough is that they can be written in so many different ways! Motion Math helps learners perceive and estimate many important representations — numerator over denominator (1/2), percents (50%), decimals (.5), and even pie charts! By connecting each type with its distance on the number line, learners can develop a fast, accurate perception of fractions."

What a great way for kids to learn! This is so much cooler than the way I learned fractions. (Hmm...picturing a school where kids bounce around with iPads instead of sitting in desks struggling through page after page of math problems. Oh yeah, we do that. It's called home school ;)

The game starts as soon as you launch the app which is great for kids because most don't want to thumb through a list of rules or instructions. It would have been nice to have a menu option at the start though and to be able to pause and restart play. As we played the game just went on and on through the levels.

I love how the app is intuitive though, and my kids really had fun playing it. For $.99 it's definitely worth the money to see kids have some fun with math and develop a better understanding of fractions. Younger kids will have fun at the start, but my find the upper levels too difficult. The levels go up to incorporate negative numbers as well.

A Kid's Dream of School from Jacob Klein on Vimeo.

I'd say this game is great for 3rd grade and up. Even grow ups will enjoy testing their noggins and the interactive motion is just plain fun. Find Motion Math in the itunes store.

This post was written for The Family Review Network and Motion Math Games who introduced me to this product. I purchased the product on my own for purpose of review and was not compensated in any way for this post. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Hey Mom - How About Having the Kids Make Presents This Year? - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If you are like most people the budget is tight this year. The holidays are coming up and that means extra expenses. Are you looking for ways to cut down a bit on your spending? A great way to do that is to have your kids, or better yet, you and your kids make gifts for people this year. People always say that the thought and effort put into a homemade gift means more to them than a purchased gift so why not give it a try? It can be great fun and you will be teaching your children a valuable lesson about giving of themselves.

There are lots of ideas out there but let's start with a list of some things you and your kids can do together:

1. Baking is a great together activity. You can even work on math and reading while you do it. Think of what you want to bake. Loaves of sweet bread make great gifts. You can find recipies online or you can get box mixes for things like pumpkin bread, lemon poppy seed bread, date bread, etc. An easy way to wrap the loaves is to first put them in Saran wrap and then in foil. Tie with a pretty ribbon or, you can let the kids get creative and come up with their own special wrap.
2. Make wrapping paper. Start with some inexpensive white butcher paper (you can get it at Michaels). Get some holiday shaped sponges, create shapes for tracing or cut shapes out of potatoes. You could even let the kids finger paint. With the sponges and potatoes you can stamp the paper various colors. If you trace you may want to use either paint or magic markers. Cut the paper into large sheets, fold in one foot squares and wrap up a package of them to give as a gift. You can even make matching gift cards.
3. Use old holiday cards to make stationery. You can get card stock at an office supply store and then cut and paste pictures and words to create holiday stationary. Box them up, decorate the box and presto! you have a great gift.
4. Of course you can always make extra cookies or canned goods to give as gifts. If you can in Mason jars you can cut a piece of colorful fabric a little bigger that the mouth of the jar, put it over the top of the jar and then put the ring on. All you need to do then is to put a label on the jar to let the recipient know what you have made for them. The same goes for jars where you put the ingredients for making soup, brownies, cake or hot chocolate. Just be sure to add the recipe so someone knows how to cook the ingredients.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Make gift giving a fun activity for the whole family.

Lynn Banis PhD, MCC is known as America's High Performance Coach. Lynn specializes in helping women in leadership positions or wanting to be in leadership positions make the most of their opportunities and potential. She enjoys helping executives and entrepreneurs create their ultimate impact. Her years of working with small and large businesses has given her a depth of knowledge that is invaluable to her clients both as a business and a life coach.

Lynn is the author of two books "The Discovery Journal" and "Discovery Points: A Coaching Guide to Getting Unstuck." Both can be obtained under Lynn's name at http://www.lulu.com. You can reach her at http://www.discoverypointcoaching.com. Also check out Lynn's other businesses: Coach Academy Texas, a cutting edge coach training company; and Turnkey Coaching Solutions, a coaching program management and contract coach staffing company.



Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here, or click on the "Parenting" tab under Labels in my side bar. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So, I had to go with baby pictures again. Sorry, but this is seriously cute.

For more Wednesday fun, be sure to visit these fabulous blogs:

Don't miss my current giveaway for a  $65 CSN Gift Code! Enter today ;)


Giveaway Winners!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Congrats to the winners of my recent giveways:

The Intelligender Prize Pack goes to entrant #9
Lisa Moore Gee said...
"http://twitter.com/BriansWifey05/status/992082541940736 lilcherygirl at hotmail dot com
November 6, 2010 3:26 PM"

And the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy DVD goes to entrant #3
Diana D said...
"I am also a GFC follower. Thanks
dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com
November 3, 2010 10:03 AM "

Thanks to all who participated! Be sure to enter my Opposite Day DVD giveaway if you have not already. Contest ends 11/16! If you didn't win this time stay tuned for more giveaways!

Opposite Day DVD Quickie Giveaway ~ Ends 11/16

Saturday, November 13, 2010

If you thought Friday was freaky, get ready for…Opposite Day! When a child’s wish collides with a strange science experiment, adults and kids unwittingly swap places, resulting in a chaotic and comical world with no bedtimes, bullies or rules! The hysterical hi-jinks come to life in Opposite Day, a brand-new feature-length film directed by R. Michael Givens and produced by Steven Paul’s Crystal Sky Pictures, starring funnyman Pauly Shore and a top team of talent. Opposite Day (SRP: $26.98) “zaps” into retail stores nationwide from Anchor Bay Entertainment on November 16.

“We’re very excited to release Opposite Day on DVD and to treat kids and families to all of its zany, high-energy fun,” said Erin Carter, Executive Director of Brand Marketing for Anchor Bay Entertainment. “The film’s terrific cast along with its laugh-out-loud storyline and imaginative adventures make this the perfect release for entertaining ‘kids’ of all ages.”

In the side-splitting new comedy, 9-year-old Sammy (Billy Unger) and his 8-year-old sister Carla (Ariel Winter) go on vacation with their grandparents when their overworked parents are unable to take them. Feeling bitter about his mom and dad (Colleen Crabtree and Pauly Shore) not being around, Sammy wishes kids ruled the world – but he soon learns to be careful what you wish for…! When a kooky experiment goes wildly wrong, making Sammy's dream a reality, the kids quickly learn that being in charge is not all child’s play!

Featuring a standout cast, including Dick Van Patten (“Eight Is Enough,” The Santa Trap), Dylan Cash (“General Hospital”), Rico Rodriguez (“Modern Family”), Emily Everhard (Jack and the Beanstalk), with Renee Taylor (“The Nanny”), and French Stewart (“3rd Rock From the Sun”), Opposite Day is a feel-good film that will have kids and parents alike appreciating their respective roles – and each other!

One lucky Serendipity is Sweet reader will win a copy of this brand new DVD!
Here's how to enter:

MANDATORY ENTRY: You must be a Serendipity is Sweet subscriber to win. Let me know how you subscribe and your email address.

Extra entries:
Add my button to your blog or add me to your blog roll (3 entries)
Follow me publicly in google
Become a Fan of Serendipity is Sweet on Facebook
Share this post on any social network (Facebook, twitter, stumble, etc.)
Follow me on twitter
Fave me on technorati
Comment on any of my other blog posts


Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and a valid email address. Open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be chosen by random integer selection. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen. Contest will close on November 16, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST. Good Luck!!!


I received no compensation or products for writing this post. I was simply offered an opportunity to host a giveaway for my readers and accepted.

Aloha Friday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello friends! I've got a busy day ahead. Hubs was off work yesterday and we spent the day in one of our favorite places. Yup, Colonial Williamsburg again. We love it there anyway, but I think Autumn is the best time to go. The leaves are gorgeous, and the hot cider and ginger cakes can't be beat. It was a fun trip. But, I now have a lot of catching up to do with laundry, cleaning, dog bathing and a trip to the commissary...oh and some blog hopping too ;)

My question this week: What is your take on the whole skinny jeans fashion trend? Do you love 'em? Hate 'em? Should there be an age limit imposed? Should they be outlawed all together?

At first I thought they were awful, but my kids wanted to keep up with the times and talked me into getting some for them. After seeing them on my kids, I don't think they're so bad after all. Of course I'm a little biased, but I think my kids look pretty cute in them. These aren't the ones that fit like latex though, they are fitted, but not skin tight. They have some give and don't make them look like they are wearing wet suits. Still, I've seen some horrendous fashion don't with this trend and I think skinny jeans can be dangerous on the wrong bums, lol. What about you?

Be sure to stop by An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun. And don't forget to enter my $65 CSN Gift code giveaway!

SmartFish ErgoMotion Laser Mouse Review

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have I got a cool product for you! Check out the SmartFish ErgoMotion Laser Mouse. This is no ordinary computer mouse. It's like the Cadillac of mice. I kid you not. It swivels, it pivots, and it totally rocks. The ErgoMotion Laser Mouse was designed to address the repetitive motion injury that can occur when using a standard mouse. The movements required to use a mouse are unnatural and can cause discomfort and damage to the wrist, elbow, shoulder and even neck and back. Hey, blogging is serious business and we mommies have enough aches and pains and fatigue to deal with. We don't need any flack from our mice.
According to SmartFish, the ErgoMotion mouse "conforms to your unique positions, alleviating discomfort and encouraging productivity while you work". Hey, I barely have time to squeeze blogging into my day. I'm all about making my time as productive as possible.

ErgoMotion is a breakthrough technology that has been designed in collaboration with the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York — the #1 rated Orthopedics Hospital. And a portion of the proceeds from each sale support the Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Education Fund. Pretty cool, eh?

One of the best features of this mouse, beside how comfortable it is to use, is how easy it is to set up. The mouse connects wirelessly to your computer using 2.4GHz USB nano-tranceiver. No software is required. It's literally a plug and play set up. The nano-tranceiver is small and stores on the underside of the mouse for easy travel. I just plugged the tranceiver into my computer's USB port, clicked the ON switch and voila. It took me a few minutes to get used to the new motion, but in no time I was loving how smooth the movement was and how freely I was able to move without wires. This is a great product!

The SmartFish ErgoMotion Laser Mouse is made for ambidextrous use and is Windows and Mac compatible. To learn more visit SmartFish.com. You can purchase your own ErgoMotion mouse through the company website for $49.95. It is also available on Amazon. This would make a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of time on the computer.

To learn more you can watch the following short video or visit these sites:
Website: http://SmartfishTechnologies.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/smartfish.technologies
Twitter: http://twitter.com/GetSmartfish
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/smartfish#p/a/u/1/xlMg_KxXBAI




This post was written for SmartFish Technologies who provided a complimentary product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.

Wordless Wednesday

Baseball season is over.

Time to gear up for basketball!

For more Wednesday fun, be sure to visit these fabulous blogs:
5 Minutes for Mom
Wordless Wednesday HQ

And don't miss my current giveaways: $65 CSN Gift Code and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy DVD!

Hey Mom - Are You Ready For The Colder Weather?

Fall is here and the kids are playing outside in the cooler weather. It is delightful and exhilarating. They come in rosy cheeked and smelling of leaves and crisp air. You have already settled into the schedules of the new school year and are probably anticipating the coming holidays. Are you ready for the cold weather and all that that entails? Most kids don't play outside as much in the cold winter so what are you doing to get ready for the long hours indoors? Is there something you could be doing now to help you keep your sanity later?

I can remember stocking up on craft supplies - colored paper, markers, crayons, paste, play doh - all of the things that make a cold afternoon busy fun. What are your kid's favorite crafts? Do they like to draw, paint, sculpt, sew, build airplanes - what keeps their attention longest? Now is the time to gather the right supplies so you will have them when you need them.

What about cooking? Do your kids love to cook? Do you have hot chocolate, marshmallows, brownie mix, popcorn, etc., etc., etc. on hand? My own kids loved to have an after school snack and often wanted to make it themselves (with a little supervision of course.) Being in the kitchen together is fun if you have the right supplies stocked away. It can be disastrous if you don't and they are all set to make something. I can just hear the wails of disappointment now!

How about your game supply? Do you have all the parts and pieces of their favorite board games? Are the DVD's in their right covers? Put your kids to work sorting all of the game parts so that they are ready on the first cold day. You may have to do a little shopping to get everything back in working order but it will be worth it when the cries of "I'm bored!" begin. There is nothing worse than trying to play a game with pieces and parts missing. No fun.

Some mom's I know keep some of their winter supplies packed away so that they can rotate them from time to time. That way kids don't become bored with the same old stuff. They also don't become overwhelmed with a mountain of choices about what they want to do with their time.

What will work for you?

Lynn Banis PhD, MCC is known as America's High Performance Coach. Lynn specializes in helping women in leadership positions or wanting to be in leadership positions make the most of their opportunities and potential. She enjoys helping executives and entrepreneurs create their ultimate impact. Her years of working with small and large businesses has given her a depth of knowledge that is invaluable to her clients both as a business and a life coach.

Lynn is the autor of two books "The Discovery Journal" and "Discovery Points: A Coaching Guide to Getting Unstuck." Both can be obtained under Lynn's name at http://www.lulu.com. You can reach her at http://www.discoverypointcoaching.com. Also check out Lynn's other businesses: Coach Academy Texas, a cutting edge coach training company; and Turnkey Coaching Solutions, a coaching program management and contract coach staffing company.



Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here, or click on the "Parenting" tab under Labels in my side bar. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Xlear's Spry Tooth Gel For Kids Review

Monday, November 8, 2010

Xlear, Inc., the leading manufacturer of xylitol products, recently introduced its strawberry-banana flavored kid’s Spry Tooth Gel. This gel is special because it's sweetened with 100 percent xylitol which is an all natural sweetener that helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

The Spry gel was developed for children ages three months and up. The pleasant taste makes it easy to use to help promote good oral care at an early age. My three year old is picky about his toothpaste. We've tried several pastes and gels for younger kids and he always complains that they are too hot. I think the strong flavor is to much for him. He has resisted even the toddler gels. I was thrilled that he instantly loved Xlear's Spry gel! Really, he asks to brush with this stuff.

Xlear has also partnered with Live-Right, the maker of the Baby Banana Brush, to offer a combo kit that includes the Baby Banana Brush and strawberry-banana flavored Spry Tooth Gel. I received this kit as part of the review. I was totally impressed with the banana brush. It's so gummy and flexible it just begs to be chewed on. My little guy loves it and I plan on buying one for my baby girl in the next few months. What a great teether for sore little gums. Just adding a little of the Spry gel to this brush makes it so easy to keep gums and budding teeth clean. The brush is made from a silicone construction which is latex free, non-allergenic, BPA free, phthalate free and dishwasher safe.


According to the company, clinical studies have proven that consistent use of products sweetened with 100 percent xylitol can help promote good oral care and reduce the risk of tooth decay. Xylitol-rich products, such as Xlear’s strawberry-banana flavored Spry Tooth Gel, create a healthier oral environment and help to increase mineral absorption back into the enamel of the teeth. Spry Tooth Gel is part of the Spry Dental Defense System, which is a growing line of oral care products that includes Spry gum, mints, oral rinse, toothpastes and oral mist spray.

As a mom I love that Spry Tooth Gel is sugar-free, fluoride-free, dye free and safe to swallow for little ones. In my opinion, this is a wonderful product for parents with babies and toddlers. It would make a great stocking stuffer or baby shower gift too!

Xlear products are sold at more than 5000 locations worldwide, including Whole Foods Market and Vitamin Shoppe, check the website for where to buy it or you can buy it online directly through Xlear.

This post was written for Xlear and the Family Review Network who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.

Math Rider Review

As a homeschool mom I'm always on the lookout for new and fun ways to present the information that my kids need to learn. While I was not a fan of math as a kid, I'm fortunate that so far at least, my kids seem to be enthusiastic about learning math. Perhaps that is, in part, due to the fact that I don't have them sit down and do pages of drills each day. Keeping math facts fun and interesting is not always easy for me though!

When I was offered an opportunity to try the program Math Rider and review it here, I was intrigued and hopeful that my kids would enjoy a new way to practice their math skills.

Here's some background info about the game from the company's website:
"Your child is taken into a land of fantasy and quests. Living in the Land of Ray and riding a horse called Shadow, he or she will set out on various noble adventures. Riding across amazing, digitally matte-painted moving backdrops of distinct fantastic lands, they will accomplish their quest, be it finding magical flowers, returning gems to the elves or even rescuing a princess!

Each operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) contains four quests, ranging from easy to master.

The four quests are the same across the four operations, however, the rewards are not. Every combination of quest and reward holds a different reward. The rewards are all animated according to how well the player answered the questions.

All rewards are displayed on the main screen of the game. In this way there is a direct feedback and incentive for your child to do as best as they can."

My take on it:
Initially I just sat down and started playing the game when my kids were in the room. I didn't tell them about it before hand. I selected the easiest setting in the addition section and started my quest. The music alone was enough to peak their curiosity. A catchy tune plays as the horse rides through the countryside hurdling question after question. Before long my 8 year old was sitting in the desk chair asking to give it a try. Shortly after my 5 year old was begging for her turn.

To answer a question one needs only type the numerical answer and hit enter. This made it easy enough for my 5 year old to play without a problem.

If a question is answered incorrectly the program shows the math problem with the answer and reads it aloud. You can then move on quickly to the next "hurdle." The problem that was missed is presented again shortly thereafter to encourage mastery and a sense of confidence. I like that the reinforcement is immediate.

The game adjusts the speed difficulty of questions based on how a child is doing. The faster they answer, the faster new questions are presented. The program also adjusts to a child's skill level by presenting questions they are having trouble with more often until they are mastered. I found that in this way the program adapted well to the skill level of each of my kids. And they picked up on new facts quickly.

Each quest begins with a story explaining how to successfully complete the mission. You then begin a series of rides that contain 30 questions each. As you complete a ride you can check your progress along a quest map which provides visual encouragement and keeps kids interested.

After each ride, there is a row of bars for each problem attempted and they are color coded to show how much improvement was made during that particular ride. Kids can easily see how they’re doing. And progress is rewarded with prizes.

I like that the program engaged my kids while really reinforcing the facts they need to learn. The animation is simple and the story portions are short. I like that there is just enough to create an interesting story line, but it's short enough that a player doesn't have to wait through a lengthy explanation to keep playing. My kids seemed to enjoy the program and really made quick progress in mastering their math facts!

I would recommend this program for any elementary aged kid! A subscription is just $37 and when played just a few minutes each day, math tables are mastered in a fun and easy way. The program took just a few minutes to download and set up. It's super easy - huge plus for parents- and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. Visit math-rider.com for more information.

This review was written for Math Rider and The Family Review Network who provided a complimentary trial of the program in exchange for my honest review.

CSN Giveaway - $65!

Hooray! The moment has come for me to announce another fabulous giveaway! And just in time for you to do some holiday shopping, those fab folks at CSN have offered a $65 gift code for me to giveaway. Cha-ching!

As I've said before, I love the CSN family of stores for easy shopping, great prices and a fabulous selection! with over 200 stores and millions of items from which to choose, I'm guess you could spend days trying to decide how to spend the $65 gift code if you win. They have something for everyone.

Seriously, you could do all your holiday shopping here! So, what are you waiting for??? Enter to win already!

Here's how to enter:
MANDATORY ENTRY: You must be a Serendipity is Sweet subscriber to win. Let me know how you subscribe and your email address.

Add my button to your blog or add me to your blog roll (3 entries)
Follow me publicly in google
Become a Fan of Serendipity is Sweet on Facebook
Share this post on any social network (Facebook, twitter, stumble, etc.)
Follow me on twitter
Fave me on technorati
Comment on any of my other blog posts


Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and a valid email address. Open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be chosen by random integer selection. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen. Contest will close on November 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST. Good Luck!!!


Duncan Hines Amazing Glazes Mmm Mmm Good!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


A little while ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Duncan Hines new Decadent Cake Mixes. They were yum-o! At that time the new Duncan Hines Amazing Glazes were not available for me to review. Well, those sweet folks at Duncan Hines later sent me the glazes, so of course I had to make more cakes!

I made the super chocolaty confection in bundt form, but since the cake turned out kind of small last time I tried using two mixes. Yowza! This was one mouth-watering mound of chocolate bliss! I warmed the glaze in the microwave for a few seconds, shook the bottle and poured it over the cooled cake. Voila. This is so easy! And soooo good. Oh my, decadent is not an understatement. This cake was amazingly delicious. The whole family agreed. It was unbelievably simple to make too.
This cake is so moist, it's hard to believe that it comes from a box. I put the cake in the fridge after we had sampled some and you know what?  I think I liked it even better chilled. It turned into this ooey-gooey fudgy mouthful of wonder. I'm not kidding. This cake is fabulous!

We also made ghost cake for Halloween. We do this every year. I used a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Spice Cake Mix and added the white Amazing Glaze. This too was delicious. The kids devoured it. And I mighta had a slice or two ;)

I have to give these glazes two huge thumbs up. They are delicious and really easy to use.  No more fiddling with frosting for me. I'm all about easy as long as it's good. I'll be using these Duncan Hines Amazing Glazes often for birthdays and special occasions. You should try them too.

Aloha Friday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yipes! Friday again already?! I'm stuck in Thursday mode. I need more hours in the day...more sleep! The days are a blur.

Anyway, I'm an enjoying the Fall weather now that it's finally here. Loving the crisp breezes, the brightly colored leaves, the Thanksgiving planning, the warm spicy smells (I may or may not have devoured a pumpkin spice pie with ginger cookie crust this week...OMG...yum!) So, what's all this babbling leading to?

My question this week~ How would you finish this sentence?: Lately I'm hooked on...

My answer would have to be Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Mommy likes. So good.

Be sure to stop by An Island Life for more Aloha Friday fun. And don't forget to enter my Intelligender Prize Pack Giveaway for Expectant Moms! It's a great prize for any pregnant mom or gift for a friend or relative who's expecting and I don't have many entries so you have a great shot at winning :)  And if you have a Wubbzy fan at your house, don't miss my Wow! Wow! Wubbzy DVD giveaway.

Whoa Ho Ho Here Come The Holidays!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last weekend we headed to Colonial Williamsburg to stake out our favorite old tree and get some pics for our holiday cards this year. We managed to get all the kids dressed and packed up and made it there without any diaper explosions or spills on the way (woo hooo- major accomplishment). Nevermind the screaming baby and several mile traffic back up on the way. ( Calgon, take me away!)

Our next big hurdle was getting everyone to look in the same direction and not scowl. Hmm, not so easy with 4 kids!

We had picked up a tripod on our way and tried to get the whole family in a shot. Dad forgot to take his sunglasses off and I look like I'm lurking in the shadows in my black sweater. I think Jack is watching the squirrels or something. Not exactly what I was hoping for.
The shadows proved to be a bit of a problem too.
Fortunately, we were able to get a few great shots of the kids. I love how these turned out.
So, now I have to pick out a Christmas card design. I have always had positive experiences with Shutterfly. I  have ordered several photo books and announcements through them and they always come out beautifully. The photos are crisp, they use quality paper and binding and the shipping is quick! That's why I have opted to use Shutterfly to create my holiday cards this year. They have a great selection of new designs. I particularly like these Christmas photo cards:
There are so many styles to choose from that I'm having a tough time deciding on one. I think I need to play around with them a bit more. Which of these is your favorite?

Shutterfly offers flat cards, folded cards, invitations, gift tags and a great selection of wall calendars too! And they currently have some great promos going like free shipping when you spend $30 and use the code SHIP30, and their photo cards are now 20% off. Check out their deals. I'm sure they have something you'll love!

This post was written for Shutterfly who provided a complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.


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