Wine I’m Likelii to love

Yes, please. For love of all that is good and grapey can someone please tell me what wine I will like?

You? You site on the internet you will tell me? I’m game!

When I go into the liquor store (packy for those of you of a certain age and live in New England) I am sometimes (always) dumbfounded by what wine to choose. I know what I like, but I don’t know what else I might like because of what I like. KWIM?

A new startup in Cambridge, MA knows what I mean. Likelii brands itself as the Spotify and Netflix of wine. Intriguing, no?

Sure I’ll give it a whirl. I’m postive a computer can do better than the college student that mans the register and my local wine seller. But can it compete with my sommelier? Wait, I don’t have one of those, just that college kid. Wait, Likelii has them on staff and they also have some coding and algorithm nerds (lovingly said by a nerd) that have a built a super magic wine search engine?? I’m beginning to understand.

Likelii homepage
So this is what happens- you go to the homepage and it prompts you to tell them which wines you’ve been sipping (or chugging) on recently. Then you press a button and voila. The sommeliers and algorithmers bring you a list of wine recommendations you’re Likelii to love. Easy.

Can’t remember any names? Haven’t been to a swanky dinner party lately? No problem. Under Get My Recommendation on the home page is a little i. Why they have made it this small I have no idea, but lies beyond it is nothing short of amazing. My favorite part of the site really.

Choose red, white, or both. Then narrow it down. Cabernet, Malbec, Pinot Noir. Oh my. You’re on your way to finding something fantastic in no time.

Likelii wine recommendation
You can keep a list of wines you’d like to try, rate the ones you’ve already tried, and then buy away and have them shipped right to your house (if you live in a state that allows that).

So it turns out you don’t need fancy sommeliers, or seemingly random reviews on the bins (90 anyone? Huh?) You don’t need to pick the most expensive, or the cheapest for that matter. Pick the one you’re Likelii to love by telling the super computer what YOU already love.

Salute!

(That’s Italian for cheers, I’m not saluting you. Stop already.)

 

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This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a compensated program by Likelii. I received a gift certificate :-) All commentary and opinions are, of course, my own. Cheers.

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Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver. Sent from heaven.

 

Or Disney on Ice? Maybe it was Disney on Ice and not heaven. For those of you that have been to one of these frozen wonders of music and dance perhaps you would not describe it as such, but I digress.

I took the kids to Disney on Ice in the Spring. I told them I would not be buying them anything while we were there. Nothing. My mother also came with us, Nana. Now I cannot deny Nana her God gievn right to spoil her grandchildren and buy them all manner of ridiculous light up chastsky. So she bought them something on the way in and I brought snacks.

We make our way to our seats and on the way we pass a vendor (weird I know) selling snow cones. The snow cones were in giant plastic cups. Plastic cups that you think you’ll reuse, but really they’re too big for anything. Buddy hones in on these not from this world colored delights and says he wants one. He says he’s willing to take back the thing he already got to get it. I think this is ridiculous and he will regret this decision. He starts to stomp. And cry. And huff. And generally act like a child that either of my grandmothers would have taken by the ear and dragged out of the rink at top speed.

I am struck by a moment of parenting genius. I tell him that if he lets this one go I will get him a snow cone machine and we can have snow cones anytime we want, all summer.

My mother looks at me approvingly. Buddy looks at me skeptically. I have looked at them before and I know roughly how much they cost. I know that these two snowcones will set me back $30, because of course I will have to get two. I’ve done the quick math, assesessed the sitch, and decided this was my best move to get away from these, high fructose cornsyrup, ice crap things in a BPA plastic mug that will certainly end up in a landfill, messes.

He starts to calm a bit looks at me a little wide eyed and says “I can have a snow cone EVERY DAY?”

“Yes, yes you can.”  He looked at Bunny and then back at me and said “OK.”

Hamilton Beach Ice ShaverAnd so we went inside. My mom and I exchanging knowing glances that said. “You know you have to buy one of those stupid machines now right?” Yes, I know.” I say with my eyes.

I did some research and my mom actually bought one of those torpedo looking ones for her house. It ended up being really loud and not so efficient. I settled on this beauty from Hamilton Beach. I found it at Amazon (Warning! Affiliate link :-) I can’t reccomend it highly enough.

We bought some silicone reusable cups and the awesome spoon straws that make all the difference. Our favorite is raspberry limeade. You know what else it makes? Maragaritas. Oh and Sangria Slushies. Yeah, it’s a thing. I made it and drank it so it’s a thing. You’re welcome. Enjoy!

Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver Sangria Slushie

 

 

 

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Dr. Panda Teach Me! App Review

You’ve been there, scrolling through the pages of apps wondering which one will actually be educational, entertaining, and hold their interest? I know .99¢ or $1.99 isn’t a ton of money, but it sure does add up, especially if the apps are used once and then abandoned.

The other day we got Dr. Panda, a game from TribePlay

Dr. Panda, Teach Me is an interactive educational app for toddlers and preschoolers aged between 2 and 5 years old. This really is the beginning and ending ages for this game. I gave it to my 23 month old and he messed around with it, but just kept pushing the home button to find Talking Carl. I let my almost 6 year old give it a whirl and he gave it back to me in 3 minutes.

There are lots of different games with many funny and engaging animations, sounds and educational activities. I love that they use the same words we use at home for doing a great job, and that the  game has a reward system and not just points. The rewards are choosing among all the animals to make your own zoo. She really loved this part!

I was concerned that the graphics to actually get to the games are really small, but once she knew where they were she didn’t forget! For that reason I think it might be best as an iPad app. It didn’t stop her from playing with it for an hour straight though!

Dr. Panda’s Teach Me! is certified by the kidSAFE(c) Seal Program. Dr. Panda is safe for you and your children: there are no links, notifications, advertisement or in-app purchases.

Here’s a video for the game from Tribe Play:

You can get yours at the iTunes App Store. There is also a free lite version if you have a fear of app commitment.

 

This was a sponsored post. I received this app for free from TribePlay to offer a review. All opinions are my own.

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Healthy Habits Kitchen

I’m going to reveal myself here and let you get a little glimpse into the way my brain works.  Every time I said Healthy Habits Kitchen in the last couple of weeks. I kept thinking Hell’s Kitchen of reality tv infamy. I’m going to Hell’s Kitchen!  Here’s what really happened.

Metro West Bloggers Extraordinaire

Charlene of Charlene Chronicles got a bunch of bloggers together for an evening at the Healthy Habits Kitchen in Wellesley.

In attendance:
Kami of The Fence
Cindy of Isis Parenting
Laura of Being Loopy
Sharon of Umommy

Healthy Habits Kitchen says meals are as easy as 1,2,3 when you purchase meals from them.
1. Review our menu then, select pickup or delivery of our healthy meal kits. Our kits contain everything you need to prepare a quick, nutritious meal, including protein, sauce and, depending on the recipe, chopped fruits and vegetables, spices and starch.
2. You cook the meal kit according to the simple cooking instructions in the box or bag.
3. In 10-30 minutes, serve a nutritious meal to your family

My experience was slightly different because as part of the event we were able to assemble one of the meals. I chose Raspberry Chipotle Pork Medallions (which is a part of their November Menu).  It was quite simply the easiest cooking experience I’ve ever had, excluding frozen pizza.

I donned an apron (note to self: tying apron in front like Kami and Sharon is much more flattering) washed my hands and went to my station.  All the ingredients were laid out with their specific measuring utensils in front of them.  The recipe even told me when to go to the fridge and get the meat.  Seriously it said go now.  I finished the assembly, my partner in cooking, Laura, packaged it up and we were done!  Done.

Then we sampled some food. My favorites by far were the seasonal cranberry flavored dishes, one chicken and one very delicious cranberry salsa. The food is all nutritionally balanced, fresh, and yummy.

In November and December the Kitchen is booking Private Meal Assembly Parties that I think would be a heck of a lot of fun.  The meal assembly is NOT work at all.  You get a 3 course meal with BYOB and a meal to take home.  They also have an AWESOME Thanksgiving Menu, that if my Mom and Dad didn’t still cook ALL holiday meals for me (Yay!), I would completely be on board with this.  And calling it my own of course.  So if you haven’t planned Turkey Day yet – give them a call.

The prices are a little high for my budget. But the two bloggers (who shall remain nameless) that are self proclaimed NON cooks, didn’t bat an eye and bought two meals each on the way out.  So there you go.  You can assemble the meals yourself or just pick them up at the kitchen or at local farmer’s markets for $1 more.  I think I could be tempted to buy some for stay at home date nights.  The Chipotle Pork was a cinch to make and hubs loved it.

So My Hell’s Kitchen premonition did not pan out, thankfully.  It was a really fun experience.  However Sue could do well to act like Chef Ramsay every once and a while.  Just for kicks. It would definitely spice up the kitchen assembly process.  Come to think of it, she did get a little bossy when it came time to clean up.  She ordered me out of the way and wouldn’t let me clean up.  She wouldn’t let me clean up.  Ladies did you hear me?  SHE WOULDN’T LET ME CLEAN UP!  I heart her.

Sue of Healthy Habits Kitchen

Healthy Habits Kitchen
36 WASHINGTON STREET, SUITE 2 (in office building)
WELLESLEY MA 02481
781.235.6325

www.healthyhabitskitchen.com/

In exchange for some yummy pork dinner I wrote this blog post – and there’s your disclosure :-)
Pic of bloggers & measuring cups by Charlene.
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Crocs Tone – the love affair continues

I have been wearing the brand new Crocs Tone shoes for a week now.

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way before I tell you about them.  Crocs gave me these shoes to try for a week.  I assume they don’t want them back, so yeah, they *gave them to me* gave them to me.  I have a documented love of Crocs.  However, I was willing to wear these with a critical, and truthfully, a skeptical foot.

So I opened the package that Crocs sent me, pulled out the shoes and thought – “Oh no.” Crocs Tone I guess I thought they would be cuter.  I know, I don’t know why I thought they would be cuter.  I don’t wear Crocs for the cute factor.  However I thought since some other toning shoes have been criticized for their less than appealing look.  To the point that they make fun of each other in commercials.  I thought, Crocs might go cute with these.  Well the ones they didn’t send me ARE cute – check it.  So they have that going for them.
me and T in Crocs Tone

I put them on and thought “Whoa. These are weird.”

Then I wore them for a week…

From the Crocs website:

crocs tone™ delivers the benefits of toning with the comfort of crocs. The innovation lies in the three-part patent-pending crocs tone™ sole:

  • Sculpted outsole creates a rocker-effect while you walk that initiates key muscle activity to provide toning benefits.
  • Toning ring provides stability and support.
  • Comfortable, lightweight croslite™ footbed provides all-day comfort.

These Crocs are far and away the most comfy shoes I’ve ever worn. Truly.  It took me about five minutes to get used to the weird back and forth side to side feeling.  I wore them on long walks with my kids, to preschool pick up, to the grocery store. Everywhere.

The one and only problem I had with them was the strap.  I HAD to use them as clogs.  With the strap behind my heel my toes became jammed up against the front of the shoe. NOT comfortable.  I am a true size 7 which is what they sent me.  My foot fits right in, but the strap almost makes them a 6.5.  Perhaps they wanted to make the strap tighter because you may walk faster in them?  I don’t know.  Keep the straps front and you’re good to go!

Now to the toning part. I haven’t researched the science behind the claims of all of these types of shoes.  Who has?  All I can say is that I understood after the first few minutes of wearing them how it’s supposed to work.  Only time will tell I suppose.  My husband told me my butt looked better, but I think he wants something ;-)

I’ll let you know if I get any toning effects down the road.  For now, and without any toning per se, I’m raving!

Header image courtesy of Crocs.
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