Fresno Farm Tour

I was treated to a tour of local farms in the Fresno, CA. area this past weekend and learned so much.  Did you know that blueberries are one of only three fruits that are native to the United States?  Can you name the other two?  The Berry Lady can.  She gave us a brief history lesson on blueberries and on how they are harvested packaged and shared her new strains with us as well.  Take a look at the Larry Berry it can grown up to the size of a nickel!

The Larry Berry from Berry Lady Farms

From there we ventured on to the Friesen Family Farms where we watched peaches and plums get packaged and shipped off to Costco’s all over the county.  If you see a case of peaches or plums at your local Costco and the number on the side of the box is 1945 you know it came handpicked from Friesen and will undoubtedly be amazing.  If the proof is in the drippings that were on the faces of all those eating them (I have previously tasted peaches and plums and don’t care for either) then you will be pleased as well, just check out the bright colors!

Nectarines and Plums at Friesen Family Farms

Our next stop was the Hudson Family Farm where Liz Hudson had a fresh homemade peach cobbler waiting for us.  She also introduced many of us to the Water Peach.  They were named as such because they are so juicy they are watery. Liz told us her mother referred to them as “sink peaches” because you had to stand over the sink to eat them so they didn’t drip everywhere!

Hudson Family Farm Peach Cobbler

The last stop on this amazing tour was to the Enzo Olive Oil packaging plant.  Unfortunately this is not olive season so we were simply given a walk through of the facility but the walk through was accompanied by a highly informative tutorial on the making of olive oil (video coming soon!). We were then treated to a yummy tasting and a take home prize bottle of our own and one for a lucky reader!

Amazing Olives being readied for processing
Photo Credit Gordon Smith

What’s the one thing all these different farms have in common?  They all need water to grow their crops.  Whether it be berry or stone fruit the outcome may be different but the intake is always water. Although we don’t feel drought down here in urban Southern California, the farming areas of Central California are being rationed with their water.  We saw the canals that allow the alotted amount of water a farm can use during a specific period of time.  Remember the days of the oil shortage (yes I am aging myself) and odd/even license plates had to get gas on certain days?  It is kind of like that.  Think about that next time you leave the water running while you go off and do something else, or aimlessly hose down your sidewalks and driveways simply because.  Water is not an endless supply, it is an amazing resource.

Now for the giveaway!  Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 I was not compensated for this post.  Overnight accommodations, meals and travel between farms was provided by the California Farm Water Coalition and the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

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Pinterest For Dummies

And by Dummies, they mean ME!

I admit it, although I am on Pinterest and have pinned a few things, I was ignorant of it’s many uses and even questioned it’s necessity to some of my more dedicated colleagues.

Then my friend Kelby Carr (aka TypeAMom) took on the task of writing this book and I jumped at the chance to do a review and a giveaway (that’s right stick around to the end of this post and you could win a copy of the book!)

My main usage for Pinterest has been as a sharing device for my colleagues posts (and my own) and as a big ol’ cookbook.

It’s true 90% of my pins have to do with food, not necessarily foods I have made or will make, but foods that look like things others would like.

I am only 3 chapters in and I have a learned a bunch of things already, some good some not so good.  I don’t like the feature that others can add you as a contributor to a board without your consent, that is like being added to groups in face book.  But it is easy enough to leave a board if you like.

Do I think Pinterest is the new end all be all? No.  But do I think it is another useful tool not only for bloggers but for everyone? Absolutely!  The uses are endless, and I didn’t realize that until I read this book.  I can see it being used to plan parties, events of all sizes, wardrobes, trips.  Gift wishlists for grandparents will be a fabulous use!

Thank you Kelby for a great resource and thank you Pinterest for a new time suck tool.

I did mention a giveaway earlier and here it is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Cuddly Monkey

When I was first asked to review this product I assumed it would be a stuffed animal.  Not so!  It is a huge amazing tote bag!

The bag I received is the Chica.  It is red and bright and huge and awesome.  LOL

From their website:

The beach is your catwalk.

Practical and rugged, yet stylish and streamlined, The Chica is our modern twist on the classic beach tote. A “secret” zippered compartment provides convenient access to your keys or sunglasses, while our “x-ray” lining acts as a visual checklist for your beach day necessities.

22″W x 16″H x 6″D

In case you can’t tell by the dimensions above it is a huge bag.  I tried to get a picture of one of the grand twins sitting in it, but no one would sit still long enough so you have to settle for a stock photo.

See the lining? Here is a better pic

It is a cute little reminder of everything you need to throw in your bag for an impromptu trip to the beach.  I however used the bag for pullups wipes toys food and all the little necessities for taking the twins to the park (somewhere in there was my sanity I still haven’t found that).

The best part about this bag?  The reps from Cuddly Monkey are going to give one of you the same bag! All you have to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Sunny and Fair

In exchange for suffering through such a frigid winter (shut up, it is California the temperature was below my age many times this year and that is indeed frigid!), we are having a beautiful spring time.

I decided to pull out the old patio furniture and hose it down in anticipation of spending some nice mornings outside while I am babysitting the grand twins.

Let me tell you this right now, three year olds are not as helpful at cleaning patio furniture as they would like to think they are.

After we were outside for a while I realized just how blonde these babies are and thought I should slather them down with something before they started to actually cook.

Thankfully I just received some new sunscreen from Beyond Coastal.  I grabbed a hold of a slippery kid and started rubbing them up with the lotion.  Now, part of this review is supposed to tell you how the kids felt about it.  They are three, they HATED it.  Duh.  I was interrupting their play time, making them stand still and rubbing my hands all over them.  Yep Hated it pretty much covers it.

Being the mean old grandma that I am I didn’t care how they felt and just kept one hand free of lotion so I could keep a firm grip of a limb with the other.

Afterwards we finished our cleaning (and by cleaning I mean I sprayed down the furniture and the grand twins ran back and forth between loving the hose spray and fearing it).  Then they played in their kiddie pool for almost an hour.  Not only did they not burn, they don’t even look sun kissed!

Info from the Beyond Coastal Website:

One of 209 mineral beach and sport sunscreens to be ranked in the top 11% by the Environmental Working Group

Our healthy, 100% natural sunscreen provides shelter from UVA rays with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. SPF 30+ effectively blocks 97% of UVB rays, which cause sunburn. This ultimate skin care for the whole family is moisturizing and water resistant.

The Natural Kids SPF 30+ is perfect for young ones, with an all-natural mineral block protecting your kids from the sun’s damaging UV rays without harmful chemicals.

Our inactive ingredients aren’t just empty filler. Beyond Coastal’s Natural sunscreens nourish, repair, and hydrate your skin with aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin C.

I don’t know if I would actually purchase this product because it is out of my price range.  But luckily one of you will be receiving a gift pack filled with amazing Beyond Coastal products!  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Avengers GIVEAWAY!

One of the most anticipated movies of the year is coming out finally next week.  Marvel’s The Avengers has been on the tip of tongues and the interwebs for over a year especially after the huge display by stars and Stan lee at D23 last summer.

The press release states:

Marvel Studios presents “Marvel’s The Avengers”—the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson, and written and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

I have had no less than half a dozen “friends” ask if they can be my plus one if I get invited to a screening, LOL.  While that invite hasn’t arrived in my inbox yet, I am authorized to offer you an amazing giveaway of Avengers merchandise!

You can win:

- MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS t-shirt in adult  sizes of S, M, L, XL

- MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS set of 6 buttons

- MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS one pair of limited edition 3D glasses

Just follow the Rafflecopter directions below!

 

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Jake and The Neverland Pirates: Peter Pan Returns

 Peter Pan is back––but his shadow is missing! When Peter loses his shadow while playing a game of Catch-Me-If-You-Can, he returns to Never Land to seek help from his kid pirate friend Jake.

Embarking on one of his most daring and exciting adventures ever, Jake and his kid pirate pals, Izzy and Cubby, along with lookout parrot Skully, must use teamwork to find Peter’s shadow and return it to its rightful owner.

However, their mission is nearly thwarted by the fiendish Captain Hook, and his bumbling first mate Mr. Smee.

But bravery and justice win the day and Jake and his Never Land pirate crew once again reveal what it takes to become heroes.

The twins were resistant at first, only because it was slated to be our nap time movie.  Needless to say (don’t you hate that phrase? Is something is needless to say then why am I saying it?), they were so enthralled by the story their nap didn’t happen til it was over.here are 6 episodes in total on the DVD (but don’t tell the twins that!).

Check out the buttons below for lots of Pirate Easter fun for you and the kids.

Download Printable Activities!

Download Printable Activities!

 

One lucky winner will receive their own copy to watch with their family, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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A Turtle’s Tale – Sammy’s Adventure *Giveaway*

A sea turtle who was hatched in 1959 spends the next 50 years traveling the world while it is being changed by global warming.

That pretty much sums up the movie on a whole.  But when you break it down bit by bit you can see all the horrible things that have been happening to our environment over the years, not just by global warming but by our own human stupidity and carelessness.

Sammy goes through oil spills, trash in the water, getting caught in fishing and trapping nets not to mention dodging sharks and other predators.

The twins (3 years old) didn’t have much interest but Caitlyn (6 years old) was riveted.  She was hurt and saddened at the idea of humans doing so many bad things to the turtle.  She asked me why all the humans were trying to hurt him and I had to explain that not all the humans were bad but some were making bad choices.  It reinforced the conversations we have had before about all of our choices having consequences sometimes we don’t notice the consequence but it is there nonetheless.

Turtle Tale will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 3rd.  Thanks to the lovely PR contact 2 readers will win a copy of their very own!

Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

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Hop DVD and Krispy Kreme Giveaway

UPDATED: THE WINNER AS PICKED BY RAFFLECOPTER IS:

  • 87 Megan Gerth Blog About This Giveaway

    X

    • Name: Megan Gerth
    • Option: Blog About This Giveaway
    • Extra Info: http://nerdfighterramblings.tumblr.com/post/19436471207/so-my-lovely-aunt-is-having-a-giveaway-shes
    • Time: Sat Mar 17 2012 00:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

 

 

Krispy Kreme has delicious new donuts in celebration of Spring.  The Sprinkled Chocolate Iced Egg with Kreme Filling and the Drizzled Iced Egg with Chocolate Kreme Filling.  The colors are bright and beautiful and I don’t have to tell you how yummy they are, they are Krispy Kreme’s after all!

These new donuts are also inspired by the new Easter classic movie HOP which is coming out on DVD next week March 23.

About Hop:” He was destined to be the Easter Bunny, but all he wanted to do was rock!  When teenager E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream to become a rock star drummer, he meets Fred (James Marsden), an out-of-work slacker with his own lofty goals. Together the two encounter a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures and in the end help each other recognize the importance of family”

You can get these yummy new donuts from now until April 2, so hurry down to your local Krispy Kreme for some Hot and Ready donuts now.

But wait there’s more!

One lucky reader will win:

  • HOP Movie DVD (I can’t send the DVD until it its the stores on March 23) so the prize packs will go out then.
  • Buy One Dozen/Get A Dozen Original Glaze Doughnuts Free at Krispy Kreme.
  • A 12oz bag of Krispy Kreme House Blend Coffee for home brewing
  • A Krispy Kreme Paper Hat
  • A Krispy Kreme T-Shirt

All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below and a winner will be chosen on March 23 and notified via email.

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Chuck the Chunk

This was the press release I received:

Drivers, prepare to buckle up! The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Friends To The Finish arrived on DVD on February 14. Featuring 10 exhilarating episodes.

Follow CHUCK THE DUMP TRUCK character and his incredible cast of friends in this delightfully fast-paced, song-filled, high-energy series for preschoolers. Every visitor to the truck stop where CHUCK lives fuels his exciting fantasies, and he enlists his pals Digger, Boomer, Rowdy, Soku, Biggs and Handy to turn those fantasies into reality.

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends series is currently airing on The Hub TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Friends To The Finish is priced at $12.99.

 

I thought what a great idea, something new for the little boy who loves trains and trucks and usually gets stuck watching Strawberry Shortcake because he gets out voted by the two sisters.

I was wrong.  He and his sisters were excited at first (as they are with any “new” DVD that comes), but just part way in to the first episode and their attention was lost.  Perhaps it was a bad day, perhaps it was just a finicky feeling, but they haven’t wanted to watch it again either.

Take a look at this preview video and see if it is something your little ones would like

 

The lovely people from Shout! Factory are offering one of you lovely readers a copy of the DVD all for your own.  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below

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Epoch Design Giveaway

The fabulous furniture company Epoch Design is celebrating their 500 Face Book followers by giving away $1000 worth of furniture!

Click on the picture below and enter their Rafflecopter giveaway.  Make sure you also leave a comment telling them I sent you!