Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Airwear Lenses Review

Hold on to your seats!  I have shocking news.  I. Wear. Glasses.


I know.  I don't wear them in my photos because I generally wear contacts, but a girl has to rest her eyes sometimes.  Sometimes contacts just aren't all that fun to have in.  So, I pull out my clunky old glasses and place that heavy prescription across my face.  Ugh.  Ok, so glasses aren't all they're cracked up to be either.

But, then, I was on Twitter one day and saw Airwear Lenses offering review opportunities.  Hmmm...this could be interesting.  I've been wearing them since the fifth grade. I'd say I'm pretty much an expert by now, right? 

Let's start from step one.  I receive my form to fill out prescription information and call up my doctor.  As we chat about how my blogging is going, I tell him about the review and explain the need for some info.  "Airwear?" he asks. "From Essilor?"

"Why, yes!" I exclaim, intrigued at his sudden interest.  He goes on to tell me that he is very happy in dealing with them.  They have a great product and an even better work ethic. 

Score one for Airwear.

I send out my info and my glasses arrive quickly.  With a strong prescription, the lighter the lenses, the better.  And these really earn their name.  Airwear Lenses are a polycarbonite plastic.

A what?

Polycarbonite.  In regular people terms it means lighter, stronger, better.  It's great for its scratch resistance, durability, impact resistance and it's lightweight, too.  So, when I drop them, sit on them, or neglect to place them delicately on the counter, they are less likely to crack, break or scratch.  Another fantastic feature...ultraviolet protection.  We all need that.  Because if you wear glasses, sun protection can be a hassle.

Score another for Airwear.

Ok, now for my favorite part.  I've been doing my best to be as green as possible.  I recycle.  I turn off all the lights and put bricks in my toilet tank.  I know, I'm on my way to a Nobel Prize.  Maybe not, but I'm trying to do what I can and help others to do the same.  It's a process. 

But I digress...

Airwear Lenses are totally eco-friendly!  Check out this list of green-ities:
  • 100% of the waste from the manufacturing process of Airwear is recycled
  • They are manufactured using 100% recycled water, conserving millions of gallons per year
  • All lenses are packaged in 100% recyclable cardboard
  • Their choice in packaging eliminates more than 460,000 lbs of plastic waste per year
Another score for Airwear. 

Honestly, with all of these benefits, how can you not want to race to your optometrist and get a pair of Airwear Lenses?  They are all the wonderful you need to finally make you LOVE to wear your glasses.

**I was not paid for this review, I did however receive a free pair of lenses to try. My opinion of this product is not being compensated for. I found out about this trial from the wonderful Beth Aldrich, @realmomsluv2eat.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

At Christmas time, I love to make cookies.  Ok, I'm lying...I will gladly make cookies any time.  They are one of my favorite snacks to make.  A few days before Christmas, the kids and I make five or six types of cookies and pack them in tins for family and friends.  The cookie I probably love to make the most are Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. 

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 stick butter softened (4 oz)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag Hershey's Kisses

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, brown sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt and beat in gradually until dough is smooth, scraping sides of the bowl with a spatula frequently.

Instead of using a teaspoon to drop it on the cookie sheet, I like to roll it into one inch, or slightly larger, balls.  I line them up on a cookie sheet three by six.  Then I flatten them, only slightly.  Just enough so they are still pretty thick in height. 

Bake for 8 minutes.  While they're baking, remove the foil wrappers from the kisses.  Remove the tray of cookies, leaving the oven on.  Place a kiss on top of each cookie pressing in just enough to set into the dough.  Return the tray to the oven and bake 2 to 4 minutes more.  They're done when they are golden brown.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Circle Time Activities

I spent 3 years working at a daycare and it was the best job I have ever had.  Because of that job, I learned a lot about preparing my kids for school.  One of the greatest activities I took with me was Circle Time.

It can be tough keeping the little nuggets occupied during the day.  My daughter is 3, and a little spitfire to boot.  She needs attention.  She CRAVES it.  When I started sitting down with her to have "lessons", she was in her glory.  I knew she needed a steady routine to keep her going, so every morning after she's had breakfast and some playtime, we sit down together. 

Her favorite circle time activity is using her calendar.  We sing a song and then talk about the day, month, year, season and the weather.  It's a simple way for her to learn by putting up the velcro tags herself.

Our song is to the tune of Oh My Darlin' Clementine:

There are 7 days, there are 7 days,
There are 7 days in a week
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Then we work on reviewing a packet that I add to every day.  We have pages with shapes of different colors.  Once she knows them all, I add another.  After a few days, I add another.  The gradual progression allows her to remember what she already knows and build on it.  At three years old, she can identify a parallelogram.  (Don't worry...we are far off from geometry lessons.)

We have one page with numbers up to twenty.  Every day, she points at each number and tells me what it is.  And because she loves Dora, she knows one through ten in Spanish. 

The next pages are letters.  We started with a page that has the whole alphabet and learned how to identify.  Once I thought she knew them well, I would point to them in different order.  Mixing it up assures they know the letter rather than remembering them in their order. 

Just like with the shapes, I added something new each day.  We started with the letter A.  I write the letter at the top of the page in capital and lowercase form.  Then we talk about the sounds it makes while we list different words that start with "A".  Once she understands, we even list a few words that have the letter in them, but do not start with it.  The next day, we reviewed "A" and added "B" in the same manner.  Each day we review the previous letters and add the next one.

While my daughter loves this routine, you might find you need to tweak things to your child's needs.  Try reading books that teach the basics.  Some of my favorites are Bear In A Square and Elmo's Big Lift and Look Book.  Reading these books together can be a great start for circle time activities.

As your child gets older, you can also purchase activity books to help them learn how to write.

Most importantly, remember to praise your child for every success.  The more excited you are, the more excited they will be.

*For more information about how important it is to prepare your kids for school, check out Nickelodeon's program "Beyond the Backpack".