Reviews

Stories From The Golden Age

It is with the deepest of apologies that I post this review.

A few months ago I was given a beautiful set of audio books from Galaxy Press from the collection called Stories from a Golden Age. They are a collection of stories written by L. Ron Hubbard which were beautifully transcribed into multicast audiorecordings with the voice and musical talents of many Broadway and Hollywood actors.

From the Golden Age Fictions website:

When you think of the word Pulp Fiction, you probably think of the blockbuster movie, but actually, Pulp Fiction was the literary phenomenon and leading source of entertainment in the 1930’s and 1940’s that produced thousands of short stories still influencing the writers of today’s most popular books and movies–character’s like Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow, James Bond–all inspired by the these pulpwood paperbacks.

Now for the first time since their heyday, Galaxy Press has assembled the largest collection of stories from the most prolific writer of the pulp fiction era, L. Ron Hubbard. This collection, “Stories from the Golden Age”, includes over 150 audiobook stories spanning virtually every genre including: scifi, fantasy, western, mystery, adventure and more!

The award-winning, action-packed tales have also been brought to life in cinematically produced audiobook CD collections, performed by an all-star Hollywood cast. So get into the action!

Available in audiobook, paperback and digital download formats.”

I have personally listened to two stories, While Bugles Blow! and Killer’s Law, out of the six I was sent. I thoroughly enjoy Hubbard’s story-telling and his knack for weaving intricate plots that keep the reader (or in this case, listener) engaged throughout.

I especially love how Galaxy has recorded these stories to make them sound like radio programs complete with sound effects and actors playing parts instead of just one narrator narrating the entire story.

I’ve always been a fan of audiobooks.  They’re not just for your grandmother who can’t hold a book anymore.  They’re for busy people who like to multitask.  I enjoy audiobooks while I walk my giant furball, I mean dog, around the neighborhood.  I enjoy them on long car rides too, especially between states when there’s no radio signal and miles and miles of open, boring road.

I highly recommend this collection of audiobooks to anyone looking to expand their reading and listening horizons. And many thanks to Galaxy Press for the opportunity to try their product.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for Gallaxy Press who sent me several audiobooks for review.  These CDs, mp3 recordings, and books can be purchased at http://goldenagestories.com/.  All opinions are that of Jennifer herself and no, you can not steal my content, it’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2013, Mastermind Mommy

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Categories: FAIL, Reviews | Leave a comment

UPDATED!! Life after iPod

My son is grounded…  That’s right, he’s lost his iPod and he’s grounded. Grounding in this house is pretty lenient though so I don’t know how much he’s learning from this grounding, but at least I can say he’s GROUNDED. (Yay, Mom!)

My point here is not that he’s grounded, it’s what he’s doing WHILE he’s grounded.  Grounding (in this instance at least) means no video games.  The first day it was no TV, no video games, and look for that goddamn iPod.  The next day when we realized the iPod was truly lost and there was nothing we could do, I lightened his grounding to no video games. Indefinitely. (gasp!)

So, in between movies and TV shows and TV shows on demand, my son is forming a new “game” of sorts.  A few months back he began playing with a group of kids and they called themselves “The Group”.  They would do things like make “parts” where they learn skills and earn experience points (kind of like Dungeons and Dragons). They create avatars that have special powers and weapons.  So I guess this is just like a real-life video game.

Since the grounding, my son has been focusing more and more on “The Group”. (I know, it’s so original RIGHT??)  He’s created a journal of sorts, where he stores his ideas and rules about “The Group”.  As of late, he’s been making up spells using real (made-up) words and pretending he’s actually playing as his avatar in my living room, testing out his “spells” on his sister, the dog, the clouds, the shed. As I type this, he’s practicing his Martial Arts moves (he hasn’t taken Martial Arts since he was four).

I should point out that over the last few weeks we’ve been reading together Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Photo courtesy Amazon.com

It’s a story set in the future when the earth is going to shit waste and the only way to escape the pressures of reality is to spend your time in the OASIS, a virtual reality universe where you can do everything from going on adventures and falling in love to opening a business and making your millions.  Most everyone is on the OASIS, only logging off to do the mundane things like go to work, shower and use the bathroom.  Wade Watts is the main character in this space opera.  Wade is just your average everyday teenager who lives his life in the OASIS almost 24/7.  When James Haliday, the creator of the OASIS, dies, he leaves his fortune to the one who can crack his puzzle. Wade learns all he can of the eccentric Haliday and his obsession with the 80’s, the decade in which he was a teenager.  Haliday’s “easter egg hunt” is filled with references to 80’s  movies, music, and video games.  The book, in a word is AWESOME, and my son is loving it too.

I’ve noticed since we’ve been reading it that he’s picking up things and using them in his “group work”. His journal can be compared to Wade’s “Grail Diary” (The Last Crusade was my FAVORITE Indiana Jones movie, in case you were wondering).  And his avatar is similar to Wade’s as well. (ok, maybe not…)

I love that he’s using his imagination instead of relying on something electronic to entertain him. I love that his sister is joining him on his “quests” (most recently to Connecticut by ferry) and they’re not beating the crap out of each other like they normally do. I love that he talks endlessly about his group work and about his body armor and weapons and the quests he’s been on and the things he’s built, all using his imagination, albeit they are based on that stupid Minecraft game that he’s ridiculously addicted to, but all his stories over the last week are from his OWN BRAIN and not computer generated.

I think his grounding might just last a little longer than expected…

***Ok kids…  this is the part where we talk about how you can win your very own copy of Ready Player One.***

This book is BRIMMING with references to the 1980’s, a decade which I, myself am quite fond of.  Do you love the 80’s?  Tell me your favorite movie, song, or video game for a chance to win!!  “Like” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter for more entries!  Be sure to leave a comment when you “like” or follow so you get your entries!  Drawing will take place on Monday June 11th so be sure to get your entries in!

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was insipired by Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  As a participant in this From Left to Write book blog tour, I received a copy of the book for review. Check out the other stops on the blog tour for a chance to win a copy of Ready Player One, and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Oh, and if anyone finds my son’s iPod, would you please let me know so I can put it away and not worry anymore… It’s GOT to be here somewhere…

**UPDATE!!  I have just learned that Ernest Cline is running a contest similar to Haliday’s Easter Egg Hunt in which he his giving away a 1981 DELORIAN!!  Now you MUST enter my giveways and get your own copy so you can participate in the hunt too!!  Details about the hunt here: http://www.ernestcline.com/rp1contest/

 

 

SECOND UPDATE!! After 24 days of torture…  24 days of trying to find something else to do with himself… THE IPOD HAS BEEN FOUND!! Little Miss found it in his room.  Apparently he’d put it in his slipper so that she wouldn’t find it and forgot all about it.  Sigh…

Categories: Book Reviews, Contests/Giveaways, From Left to Write Book Club, Reviews | 4 Comments

Jada Toys Battle Machines Combat Crash Review

Before the holiday season, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Janina from Southard Communications on behalf of Jada Toys. Janina wanted to know if I was interested in trying and reviewing one of their Battle Machines toys here for you loyal reader.

Of course, I said yes. The toy arrived and my kids played with it. And then the holidays happened and everything got pushed off and put on to the back burner…

So, without further ado, my review.

I was given the choice of the Battle Machines: Combat Crash or the Lazer Combat: Land vs. Air. Big Boy chose the Combat Crash toy because he said he was no good at flying planes.

Jada Toys Battle Machine: Combat Crash

When the toy arrived, he jumped right in, insisting on putting it together himself (he should be able to… he’s nine) so I just sat back and watched.  He had it together by the time I got the batteries in the cars and remotes.

The track put together.

The Battle Machines: Combat Crash is a track set with two cars and two remotes.  SUPER easy to put together, SUPER easy to operate.  The track simply snaps together, and the signs snap into the rail.  Then you put the cars on the track and pull the trigger on the remote.  For an extra turbo boost, flip up the guard on the turbo button and KAZOW!  You’re zipping around the track.  Guide your car around the track with the steering wheel but be careful!  If anything hits you from behind, your doors and hood pop off!! Race with your friend for lots of combat crashing fun!  And you can race on and off the track!

To quote my Big Boy, the Combat Crash is “Totally Awesome!”.  He just loved putting the track together and then racing and crashing his car into his sister’s.  Little Miss had loads of fun too.  Her favorite part was watching her brother crash into her car and the hood and doors popping off.  Major giggle factor there.

Its also pretty durable.  After we finished playing with it, Big Boy took the track apart and put it back in the box.  As he was bringing the box down to the basement, it opened and all the pieces tumbled down the basement stairs!  Not a nick or crack in site.  Whew!  I was going to be pretty upset if we just got this great new toy and it broke apart due to a fall down some stairs.

Big Boy and his blue racer.

Little Miss and her red racer.

This is the perfect gift for the little racer in your life.  It is available at most major retailers including Toys R Us and Target for $49.99 in stores.

Special thanks to Jada Toys for allowing me to try out their toy and also to Janina and Southard Communications for the opportunity.   I can’t wait to do it again!

This is an original ROSCMM post. The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public) for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not a result of any compensation or free products received (although they are both openly accepted.) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews | 4 Comments

Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Cereal Review! #FiberPlus

Recently I was given the opportunity to sample two of Kellogg’s new Fiber Plus cereals, Berry Yogurt Crunch and Cinnamon Oat Crunch.  I’d have posted my own picture but my family ate them so fast, I didn’t have time…

     

Anyway, I love Kellogg’s products, especially the Special K snack bars and Special K Cereal, so when Technorati contacted me that Kellogg’s wanted bloggers to try a new cereal I jumped at the chance.

In case you live under a rock, I’ve been on a special quest to lost weight for a couple of weddings I’ve got this year (two next month!).  Special K cereal has been a part of my family for a very very long time so I completely trust anything made by the people who make the cereal my father has been eating since before I was born.

When the boxes arrived, first of all, I must say, I was not expecting Kellogg’s to mail two boxes of cereal to me.  I expected a coupon that I could use at my local grocery store.  Thank you Kellogg’s.  Next, I admit, I’m a little leary about anything that has Fiber in its name.  Usually for me fiber= not a happy stomach.

Reading the box further it states that the cereal is rich in Antioxidants.  Antioxidants are a good thing.  According to Discovery Health, antioxidants “are substances that are capable of counteracting the damaging, but normal, effects of the physiological process of oxidation in animal tissue. Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in your body that assist in chemical reactions). They are believed to play a role in preventing the development of such chronic diseases as cancerheart diseasestrokeAlzheimer’s diseaseRheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts.”  Most adults don’t get enough antioxidants in their diet (including me) so I thought this was an excellent way to further my dieting and weigh loss adventure.

Upon first taste, I was sold.  The Yogurt Berry Crunch was sweet and crunchy, just what I need in the morning to get me going.  It kept me full until lunch and I had the energy to keep up with Little Miss and Big Boy and all their shenanigans.  The Cinnamon Oat Crunch was also very yummy although they didn’t smell as sweet as they taste.  They kind of reminded me of those other little O’s only better.  Even my kids liked it and if its not a sugary sweet brightly colored cereal, they won’t even try it.  Sadly, I only got one bowl of the Cinnamon Oat Crunch before the rest of my family ate it all.  Hey Kellogg’s, wanna send me a new box so I can better research the product??  Just kidding.  Sorta.

You should try Kellogg’s Fiber Plus cereals if you’re looking to incorporate more fiber and antioxidants into your diet.  You should try Kellogg’s Fiber Plus cereals is you want a tasty change to your breakfast routine.  You should just try Kellogg’s Fiber Plus cereals.

Many thanks to Kellogg’s for allowing me to sample their cereal and participate in this program.

This is an original ROSCMM post. The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public) for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not a result of any compensation or free products received (although they are both openly accepted.) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2011 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews | 2 Comments

Piggies and letters and potatoes, OH MY!!

I’m not going to lie when I tell you, I’m not the biggest fan of Play-Doh. Not the company, the compound. I don’t like the smell, the consistency, and weird film left over after I’ve touched it.

YUCK!

However…
My kids LOVE it!!

So when I was contacted by Lauren at Litzky PR on behalf of Hasbro to see if I was interested in trying out their new spring products the only thought that crossed my mind was “rainy day activity”.

At the time I was babysitting my 2 year old nephew three times a week and between him and my three year old daughter, I was at a loss for stuff to keep them busy on a rainy afternoon.

Play-Doh seemed to be the answer.  We have a couple sets of our own and when I would break them out for my son,(now eight) he would happily play for a solid hour, no whining, no crying, nada.

So, Lauren sent me four different Play-Doh sets, each one a new product for spring.  I received the Flip and Serve Breakfast Playset,  Cookie Monster’s Letter Lunch Playset, one of theFairy Tale Assortment (Three Little Pigs), and the Smashed Potatoes Game.

The first set we tried was Cookie Monster’s Letter Lunch Playset.  What fun!  The playset comes with Cookie Monster donning a chef’s hat,a big bowl for his letter soup, letter shapes and 4 containers of compound.

Cookie Monster's Letter Lunch!

Kids can learn their ABCs by forming letters to spell names and words!

Lunch Time for Cookie!

The kids ate up a whole afternoon making letters and feeding them to Cookie! (well, I should say Little Miss did… Smoosh was happy with a lump of Playdoh and a knife.)  Even I got in on the act!  My nephew liked it so much, my sister in law went out and bought it that very day! (I wouldn’t let her have mine…)

Next came Smashed Potatoes…  Picture this…  Family Game Night…  We were SO tired of playing UNO! and were looking for something new to play.

Smashed Potatoes

The object of the game was to make it through the game board without getting caught in the various potato traps and being turned into french fries or mashed potatoes.  If you get caught, you go back to the beginning and start over.

Little Miss and her purple potato

Big Boy and his yellow potato.

After an intense showdown between Big Boy and Little Miss, a winner emerged…

And the winner is...

LITTLE MISS AND HER PURPLE POTATO!!

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!

YAY!!  Family game night will never be the same!  Big Boy is STILL asking for a re-match!

Another Play-Doh set I received was The Three Little Pigs from the Fairy Tale Assortment.

We’ve had quite a few rainy days here on Long Island, so I was happy to introduce my little ones to yet another Play-Doh set.  One of my favorite stories to tell the kids is The Three Little Pigs.  I am a very animated person when it comes to telling stories.  I like to do all the voices and really get into it.  This Play-Doh set is probably my favorite one.

Little pig, little pig, let me come in!!

With the molds included in this set you can construct your own Three Little Pigs story and make it come to life!

There's the straw house...

The house made of sticks...

And the house made of bricks...

And of course, the three little pigs...

What a fun afternoon we spent playing with this!!

Little Miss enjoyed making the piggies...

While Smoosh... smooshed 'em!

I wanna try Hansel and Gretel next!

The last Play-Doh set I received was the Flip and Serve Breakfast playset.

Flip and Serve Breakfast Playset

I love breakfast in any form.  This playset lets you make a bagillion different variations of breakfast, from eggs and bacon with hashbrowns and toast,  to waffles and pancakes.

YUM YUM GIMME SOME!!

And you can top it all off with a milkshake with whipped cream and a cherry!

Of course, I wish they were real and not compound, but it was fun making everything all the same!

Wanna bite??

Perhaps my opinion of the compound is changing…  🙂

Many thanks to Lauren at Litzky PR and Hasbro for the opportunity to try out and review their products.  All of these Play-Doh products are available to order online or at most major toy retailers.

This is an original ROSCMM post. The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public) for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not a result of any compensation or free products received (although they are both openly accepted.) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2011 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews | 1 Comment

A Sweet Revolution!

For those of you who don’t know…  I’m on a quest to lose some weight for the two weddings I have to attend this year.  That, and I’m just fat and can’t breathe…  So, of course I’ve found that losing weight is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do with the exception of quitting smoking (five years this October, YAY ME!).  I’ve discovered that I have absolutely NO drive to get off my butt to exercise nor do I have any will power to resist the late  night cravings of ice cream and chocolate.  I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about how I’m not losing any weight since I’m really not doing anything to help myself. (Actually, I am helping myself, to whatever I want…  and lots of it.)

Enter Tiffany at Bloggy Moms. I haven’t been blogging for very long and I know when I first started, I signed up for all these groups including Bloggy Moms.  So her email comes with a request for bloggers to try and review a no calorie sweetener.  Hmm…  food??  I’M IN!!

Now I’ve tried a few artificial sweeteners, and all of them have left me with a bad taste in my mouth, quite literally.  My mom has been using one particular sweetener for YEARS.  I always ask her how she can stand the aftertaste and her response is usually, “You get used to it after a while.”  In my opinion if there’s something about a product that you have to “get used to” it’s not worth the effort.  I’m looking for something that tastes like sugar, can be used in my coffee and my cereal without any aftertaste, and won’t give me cancer in the next fifty years.  Is that too much to ask??

I think I have found the answer!

Ideal Sweetener

Ideal sweetener is not like other sweeteners.  According to the Ideal website, “Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that can be found in many fruits and vegetables and is even produced by the human body as part of the normal metabolism of glucose.  With its low glycemic index, xylitol is a great alternative for people with diabetes since it is metabolized independently of insulin. ”  According to my taste-buds, “WOW, NO AFTERTASTE!!”  Oh, and it’s good for your teeth too!  Read about the benefits of Xylitol for your teeth here.   But its not good for pets, especially dogs.

Ideal comes in packets like the other guys and also in bags for use in cooking and baking.  It comes in white, brown and a confectioner’s variety!  In fact, on the back of the bag of brown is a great recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  It called for both the white and the brown,so I grabbed up my three year old and we proceeded to make a huge mess, oh and some cookies too. YUM!!

Mommy, I want to mix!

Mixin'

Yes, I let her lick the beaters...

Into the oven!

The finished product.

The cookies were really good!!  I replaced the raisins with dried cranberries and my family went NUTS for them!  But the really convincing factor was when my mom used it in Grammy Smith’s Scotch Bars.  Mmmmmm, mmmm!!  I don’t think Grammy could have tasted the difference herself! (sorry, no pics of that, they went so fast I couldn’t stop chewing to snap any!)

Ideal sweetener is the perfect artificial sweetener to replace some of the sugar in your diet. I now use it everywhere I would normally use sugar, coffee, cereal, coffee, fresh fruit, coffee, and all of my baking and cooking. (Did I mention coffee?)

There’s a store locator on the Ideal website so you can find a store near you that sells it. So give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an original ROSCMM post. The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public) for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not a result of any compensation or free products received (although they are both openly accepted.) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2011 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews, Sometimes I amaze even myself., Weightloss | 1 Comment

Sesame Street Live! Elmo’s Healthy Heroes.

So my friend Emily over at MamaSick.com sends me an email one day.  Would I be interested in helping her out on a review opportunity?  She was asked to attend a performance and do a review of Curious George Live and Sesame Street Live while the shows are in the NY/NJ area.  There’s only one problem, she couldn’t attend the Sesame Street Live show as it was here on Long Island and her health prevented her from traveling out this way from New Jersey.  Would I be interested in attending the Sesame Street Live performance at the Nassau Colosseum running a contest on my blog and writing a review of the show?  In return I would get free passes to the show.

So what do you think I said?  HELL YES!!  Do you actually think I would pass up FREE passes to a show that my whole family would enjoy??

Upon first mention to the Big Boy his reaction was “Oh no!  I’m not going to THAT!  I don’t like Sesame Street anymore.”

Of course my response was,”Too bad, you’re going whether you like it or not.”  THAT changed his tune. (well, no, not really, but he stopped complaining about it for a while)

Now, I made the mistake of telling Little Miss about the show on the morning I went to the theater to exchange the vouchers Vee Corporation sent me for tickets for the following week.  So for the rest of the week, she’s asking me “Is Elmo here yet?”  I finally resorted to telling her that it’s a long walk from Sesame Street and he would be here next week.  She didn’t believe me.  All day she sat at the window watching for Elmo.  It was quite cute, until it got annoying.

Anyway, one agonizing week later, I’m getting Big Boy ready for school.  Little Miss is so excited because we’re going to FINALLY see Elmo and Big Boy decides that he’s not going to the show. (again)  I tried explaining to him that even though he’s a big boy, it’s ok to do little kid things once in a while, like going to see Sesame Street Live with his family.  Reluctantly, he agreed.

The evening comes and we get to the show.  Big Boy is grumbling about having to leave his PSP in the car, Little Miss is looking for Elmo to jump out and say hi.  Hubs spends WAY too much money on souvenirs and food.  And suddenly, here come Bert and Ernie!

Little Miss’s eyes light up and Big Boy chomps on his popcorn.  Then comes Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Zoe, and Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, Telly Monster, Prairie Dawn and Cookie Monster, that grouch girl whose name I can’t remember and finally…  the monster of the hour (the week even) ELMO!

The one the only ELMO!!

Little Miss was beside herself she was so happy to see Elmo! She wanted to run right down and give him a big ol’ hug.

Opening number concluded, the remainder of the first half of the show continues.  Apparently Super Grover has lost his super and while he’s out finding it, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Telly Monster and Zoe (and Rocko even though he’s just a rock) with the help of the show’s only human character, the letter “K”, have to take over for Super Grover while learning about how to get and stay healthy.

Zoe and Rocko, Elmo, the letter K, Abby, and Telly!

Intermission comes and Big Boy reports to me, “Mom, I am SO NOT regretting this!  This is AWESOME!”  A big “I told you so” grin crept over my face.  He was enjoying himself!

Hubs leaves and comes back a few minutes later with an Elmo doll for Little Miss and cotton candy for Big Boy (and me).  He’s a little cranky cause they wouldn’t let him out of the building to get our jackets from the car. (it was COLD in there!)

The show resumes and The Fabulous Five saves the day in places like Elmo’s World and Journey to Ernie.  Little Miss, who spent part of the show in my lap because she was afraid of the confetti cannons, is now standing next to me singing and dancing along to the show.

Finally Elmo and friends discover how to get Super Grover’s superness back is by eating healthy, using good hygiene, getting enough sleep, and exercising!  Soon Super Grover is flying all over Sesame Street- Up, Up and AWAY!! And my kids are clapping and cheering him on.  I found myself clapping and cheering too!!

What a great show!  I loved the fact that the show incorporates the ideas of eating right, using good hygiene, exercising and getting enough sleep.  I also loved that the show is geared toward kids and adults alike.

Many thanks to Vee Corporation and Emily at MamaSick.com for the tickets and the opportunity.  We had a great time and you will too!

Here’s more info on the show!

Sesame Street Live

“Elmo’s Healthy Heroes”

Uniondale, NY; Nassau Coliseum

Thursday, September 16 – Sunday, September 19, 2010

East Rutherford, NJ; IZOD Center

Thursday, September 30 – Sunday, October 3, 2010

White Plains, NY; Westchester County Center

Thursday, October 21 – Sunday, October 24, 2010

When Super Grover loses his superness, Sesame Street needs a hero! Never fear, Elmo and his team of Healthy Heroes are here. Teaching lessons of healthy habits through song and dance, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and your favorite Sesame Street friends will explore exercise, nutrition, sleep/energy and hygiene – all in a quest to put the “super” back in Super Grover. It’s Elmo’s Healthy Heroes to the rescue!

  • Sesame Street Live is a larger-than-life, musical touring stage production featuring Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie…and more.  Each performance is 90 minutes of singing, dancing and audience participation, including a 15-minute intermission.  The perfect length for very young children!!
  • Uniondale, NY and East Rutherford, NJ tickets go on-sale Tuesday, July 20, 2010 and White Plains, NY tickets go on sale August 23, 2010 at the box office and all Ticketmaster locations.
  • To charge by phone, call 800-745-3000

**Enter the code ERNIE online at ticketmaster.com to receive $3 off each ticket! (excludes Gold Circle, VIP, Sunny Seats, and Opening Night performances)

Want to see more pics from our Sesame Street Live Experience??  Here ya go!

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. This post has a compensation level of 10 (visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews | 2 Comments

This is what I get for not paying attention…

This month the From Left to Write Book Club is reading and writing about The Stuff  That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson.  I eagerly awaited the arrival of the book because the story sounded so JUICY!  Then I realized I had to write a post inspired by this very juicy story…  I decided that I wasn’t going to write a post about some long lost love that I think about on a daily basis.  I decided that I didn’t need the embarrassment, for me, my husband or that guy (and you’ll never know if there really is one or not…  wink wink…)  In some ways, Ms. Dawson’s story reminds me of another relationship that I wonder about, so here goes…

Have you ever wondered if you could go back in time and change one little thing if it would make any difference in the life you live today?  I have.  Over the course of the last few years, I’ve come to realize that in high school I was so wrapped up in the things going on in my life that I failed to notice or participate the things going on in my friends’ lives.  In other words, I was self-centered, very self-centered.  If it didn’t involve me and a boy, I wasn’t paying attention.  It was my self-centeredness that I believe led me to lose what I once thought was a pretty important friendship in my life.

I can’t remember if it was the fourth grade or the sixth grade that she moved here, but towards the end of my grammar school years, a new girl came to my school.  We’ll call her Ramesh.  She was shy, tall and skinny with glasses and braces and long glossy jet black hair that was almost ALWAYS pulled back in a braid down her back.  We became fast friends and she was quickly incorporated into our little group of friends.

By junior high we were the best of friends.  She was so cool.  She had the greatest taste in music, and was an outstanding artist and writer.  We spent almost every day together during the summers, when she wasn’t off visiting family in London or India.  We joined clubs after school together, we’d go to each others houses and just hang out and listen to music and talk about boys, school and well…  that was really it. One of my fondest memories was of the time her family took me and two other friends to a special Indian dance where we got to wear saris and learn traditional Indian dances.  I still have the pictures, but I won’t embarrass anyone by posting them here.

Suddenly I found myself old enough to date.  In came the boyfriends, out went the real friends.  Ramesh was so pissed with me because whenever there was a man in my life, she took a back seat.  And when those relationships were over, I’d come back and try to pick up where I left off.

High school was a blur…  Boys, music, writing, more boys, plays, dance…  it all blended together and somewhere in there,  Ramesh made new friends.  Friends that had more in common with her than I did.  Friends that wouldn’t drop her like a hot potato the minute a boy showed them some attention.  Friends that wore black clothes and black eyeliner and I don’t know whatever she liked better about them than me.  We did the plays together, she worked behind the scenes while I was on the stage.  (Sound familiar?)  We drove to school together every morning, carpooling when I refused to take the bus junior and senior year.

She was with me during a most horrific fight with an abusive ex.  Where this jerk and I screamed at each other on the street and she just kept walking, not wanting to get involved.

I met my husband when I was in high school.  He was my senior year man.  Ramesh and I had dreams of college and careers.  She got into her first choice, Fordham.  I didn’t.  I got into my second choice, Emerson in Boston, and my third choice Hofstra.  I decided upon Hofstra where I could commute to and from school and I didn’t have to live on campus.  I wasn’t ready to leave home yet or my boyfriend.

We communicated mostly through that new fangled thing called email during our college years.  Her parents moved to a different town.  She found herself in college.  I lost her.

It wasn’t all bad.  I lost quite a few people during my college years.  I found some new ones, and some old ones made their way back.  My very best friend being one of those that I lost and found again, we’re still friends to this day.

So, to make a long story even longer, I found Ramesh on Facebook about a year ago.  We reconnected.  I was so happy!  I found out she was married to the guy she brought to my wedding. (She was supposed to be IN my wedding party, but I asked her to step down because we had drifted so far apart.)  I found out she was a graphic artist with Lehman Brothers (she later got laid off during THAT whole fiasco).  I found out her dad passed away, though I didn’t hear it from her.  And I felt old looking at pictures of her little brother who wasn’t so little anymore.

Then, one day, I notice that the number of friends we had in common was dwindling.  Finally, a few weeks later, she’s not on my friend list anymore.

I was devastated.

Angry, hurt and upset.

My Facebook status said something about removing the “un-necessaries” and if you can still read this you’re lucky.

I went through my friend list and removed people I barely knew, people I friend-ed just to up my numbers in Mafia Wars or Vampire Wars or something.

I cried to Eileen and my mom about it.  (She did the same thing to Eileen too and quite a few other friends.) I was genuinely hurt and dismayed.  Why would she just drop me like that??

Then I realized…  it was because I had done it to her all those years ago, over and over again.  I wasn’t a part of her life anymore and she didn’t want me around, not even on Facebook.

So here I find myself, wondering What if?  What if I had paid more attention in high school to my friends?  Would I have noticed that Ramesh and another friend had a huge fight over a particular very artistic boy?  Would I have known that she was in NYC on September 11th and had run for her life?  Would I have been able to attend whatever funeral services her religion allotted for her father?  Would she have met my kids?  Would I meet hers someday?

I think about her often.  I wonder how she is and what she’s doing.  I sometimes search for her on Facebook although I think she’s either blocked me or changed something that I can’t find her.  Last time I thought I saw a sonogram as her profile pic.  But who knows cause I don’t pay very much attention.

I think I’ve decided that maybe she wasn’t meant to be in life anymore.  I’ve read all the self help books, I know that things happen for a reason, and people come into and out of your life for a reason.  Maybe all my What If’s are unnecessary.  Maybe I should be thankful for the lesson she’s taught me.  I need to slow down and pay attention to the things going on around me.  I need to appreciate my friends and family more.  And I need to be thankful for those in my life, past, present and future.

So what do I get for not paying attention??  A happy marriage, two beautiful kids, and meaningful friendships with people who really matter.  How does that poem go?  “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was inspired by The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson, a copy of which I received free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club, and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 MastermindMommy

Categories: Book Reviews, FAIL, From Left to Write Book Club | 15 Comments

Melvin the Magnificent Molar (a book review)

Meet Melvin.  Melvin the Magnificent Molar.  I was recently approached by the authors of this delightful children’s book, Julia Cook and Dr. Laura Jana, and asked if I would introduce Melvin to my children and give them some feedback.  I did and I have to tell you, it is well worth it.  Melvin is absolutely adorable!!  This book is certainly my daughter’s favorite potty time read.  (hey, she’s sitting on the pot, the least I can do is give her something educational to read!) It is an educational and fun book that teaches children the importance of taking proper care of their teeth and seeing the dentist on a regular basis.  My favorite are the sleeping scummies and the x-ray machine in the beginning.

Although a little long for my two year old to handle in one sitting, she just loves looking through all the pictures and asking “What’s that Mommy?”  She loves the idea of the Tooth Fairy (well, any kind of fairy) and is eager to brush her teeth now at all times of the day or night, not just when someone else is doing it.

I like that it helps to ease the fears that some children have about going to the dentist.  Often times, adults avoid seeing the dentist and do not make it a priority for their children.  This book makes it fun, and just about the entire visit is described and illustrated in vivid detail. (save for the wait in the waiting room, which can be the most nerve-wracking)

The book is available through the author’s website www.juliacook.com or through Amazon.com I highly suggest it for any parent whose got a little one reluctant to brush their teeth.  Go!  Go get it or I will start singing the “Happy Tooth Song”!

This is an original ROSCMM post.  All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. This post has a compensation level of 1,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first.  It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 by MastermindMommy

Categories: Book Reviews, Reviews | Leave a comment

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