Cash Mob: Helping Our Local Shops


Ever heard of Flash Mob where a group of random people meet up at a specific time and break out in dance? Well this past Saturday I participated in a Cash Mob. It's similar to Flash Mob, except we break out in cash instead of a dance to help support our local stores. I must say it was a really great feeling knowing that I took part in such a great event. 

I got a call from one of the mom's from school asking if I had the time would I pop in at on of our local stores, Gumballs and Overalls, a consignment boutique for second hand goods for our little ones. I immediately said yes and called a few people I knew to spread the word. I even posted it on both Just Us Girls and my personal facebook page.

Destination: Gumballs and Overalls.
Date and Time: Saturday, January 28th at 1pm
Goal: Spend at least $5 in the store. 

I went with my friend Liisa and we both spent well over $5, met some really nice ladies who were also apart of the Cash Mob and the best thing was, the owner had no clue! I love that. The fact that we all took the time to stop in and help out one of our local Canadian shops was good enough for me. I left feeling great and I can't wait to do it again. It's always great to help support your local businesses. I'm glad I got to be apart of the Cash Mob and can't wait for the next one.

~LaQuita

My New Music Obsession: Walk Off The Earth

I recently have fell in love and somewhat obsessed with a new band, Walk Off The Earth. I first heard of  them earlier this week while watching Ellen. She finds some awesome people on youtube and they are no doubt awesome. I immediately looked them up after watching the show and found their youtube channel and checked out more of their music. Not only are their covers good, but their original songs are amazing as well. Oh and one of the best parts is they're a Canadian band, woot-woot!



These kids are seriously talented and I've been listening to their music ALL WEEK LONG! So please hit the play button and watch these two covers that they performed, you won't be disappointed. Also you can check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and find them on Itunes.










~ LaQuita

PS - We will return next week with an awesome edition of Thirsty Thursday, I promise!

Delicious Lemon Loaf

When I was younger my Bigmama (grandma) always made this lemon pound cake. It was moist, sweet, a bit sour and absolutely delicious. One of my many favorites from her recipe book. Unfortunately once she past away out of all the recipes that was the one that was never found. I mean, we all know how to make her pound cake, but she had a specific way of making her lemon icing she would pour over the cake. I remember asking my mom, all my aunts, no one seemed to know what happened to it or what exactly went into making the icing. 


So here I am, ten years since the passing of my Bigmama and still craving for her Lemon pound cake when I came across an amazing recipe from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. As soon as I read how she made her icing and how she poured it over her loaf, I just had to make it. 


Man, do I love bloggers. 


It turned out great. The cake was moist, sweet, a bit sour and absolutely delicious. It's no pound cake and it's certainly not my Bigmama's lemon icing, but believe me, for someone who has been searching and asking about this recipe for the last ten years, this is perfect in my book and hit the spot. It seriously was very hard for me not to eat the entire loaf before the kids or the hubby came home.




So check out this recipe, make it, let me know if you do and tell me how it turns out.


LEMON LOAF
Source: Adapted from A Pretty life in the Suburbs
Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
Grated rind from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Directions
Mix together butter and sugar.
Add eggs, 1 at a time.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Add 1/2 flour mix to butter mix.
Then add 1/2 milk.
Add rest of flour mix.
Add rest of milk.  And add lemon gratings.
Line a loaf pan with wax paper.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
In the mean time, combine the lemon juice with the 1/4 cup sugar.
When the cake is done baking, take it out of the oven, and pierce holes in it with a knife.
Pour lemon juice/sugar mix over warm cake.
Let sit.  And try not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting. Enjoy!

~LaQuita

The Titan Prophecy


Title: The Titan Prophecy
By: A.M. Crawford
Publisher: Create Space
Publication Date: September 7, 2011
IBSN:  978-1463793012
Pages: 336

Charlie and Max had a choice: take a short-cut through the forbidden grounds of a remote gothic mansion and get home before dark or face the wrath of Charlie’s mother. They decide his mother is the greater risk. Of course, that was before they entered the grounds...Soon enough they find themselves caught up in an adventure neither of them could ever have imagined...For there has been a prophecy, The Titan Prophecy, warning of a great war: a war that will be fought on earth; a war that could destroy the whole universe. And says this prophecy there is only one hope of salvation: a Destined One. A Boy.

A.M. Crawford’s The Titan Prophecy is a mythical adventure of Titanic proportions.  The turn of phrase is bit advanced for my fourth grader mostly because they’re not exposed nearly enough to older type English.  So suggesting this to my son will require me explaining some things.  However, I believe the action and magic of the story will make learning to understand older English reading well worth it.  We did much the same with “How to Train Your Dragon” which he loved reading, even if he struggled through the accents.  I will be helping him read this, since I enjoyed the reading of it so much.  Great book to get your reluctant readers to understand that reading doesn’t have to be boring.  It can be magical, take you to another world, universe or even back in time.

You can find The Titan Prophecy right now on Facebook and Amazon

~Bobbi~

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a book from One Is More at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

RICHARD SCARRY’S BUSYTOWN COMES TO ONTARIO


The incredible world of Richard Scarry’s Busytown has captured the  hearts of millions, its delightful stories having been enjoyed by children in more than 80 countries around  the world.  Now, Koba Entertainment, celebrated producers of family theatre, brings beloved characters from this popular literary classic – and #1 show on Kids’ CBC – to the stage for the very first time.

Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busytown Busy is a charming and interactive musical adventure for the 
whole family! Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busytown Busy follows the adventures of Huckle Cat, Sally Cat, Lowly Worm, Sergeant Murphy and many of their unforgettable friends. Busytown will be hosting a talent contest and everyone is buzzing with excitement.  Together, the friends and the audience will discover their unique talents with lots of laughter – and only a few hiccups – along the way! With catchy sing-along songs and lots of audience interaction, Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busytown Busy 
will bring out the showman in us all! 

About Richard Scarry’s Busytown Live On Stage
Produced by Koba Entertainment, Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busytown Busy is among the company’s 
roster of celebrated theatrical productions including The Backyardigans: Quest for the Extra Ordinary Aliens,
Max & Ruby: Bunny Party, Caillou’s Greatest Skate of All, and The Doodlebops: Together Forever.  Set to 
original music by Juno Award winner Norman Foote, this all-new production brings together Koba’s 
acclaimed artistic director Patti Caplette with co-writer and Gemini Award winner Jim Taylor, to create a 
fun and charming storyline. 

Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busytown Busy is based on Richard Scarry’s catalogue of over 300 children’s 
books, which have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. Broadcasted on CBC (Canada), the
television series Busytown Mysteries produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment, features loveable characters 
and focuses on preschool problem solving and learning.

Busytown will be coming to Ontario, Canada on the following dates and cities:

February 25 – Cornwall, ON – Aultsville Theatre (1:00pm) - $25.50
February 26 – Ottawa, ON – Shenkman Arts Centre (1:00pm) - $26.50
February 29 – Peterborough, ON – Showplace Performance Theatre (6:30pm) - $26.50
March 3 – Richmond Hill, ON – Centre for the Performing Arts (11:00am & 2:00pm) - $25.00, $23.00
March 4 – Oakville, ON – Centre for the Performing Arts (1:00pm) - $25.00
March 5 – Guelph, ON – River Run Centre (6:30pm) - $25.50
March 6 – Orillia, ON – Opera House Theatre (6:30pm) - $25.50
March 8 – Sarnia, ON – Imperial Theatre (6:30pm) - $25.50
March 10 – Hamilton, ON – Hamilton Place (1:00pm) - $26.50, $23.50
March 11 – Kingston, ON – The Grand Theatre (2:30pm) - $25.00
March 14 – Brampton, ON – The Rose Theatre (1:00pm & 4:00pm) - $33.90 - $45.20
March 15 – Mississauga, ON – Living Arts Centre (1:00pm & 4:00pm) - $20.00 - $35.00
March 16 – Niagara Falls, ON – Scotiabank Convention Centre (6:30pm) - $25.50
March 17 – Milton, ON – Milton Centre for the Arts (1:00pm & 3:30pm) - $23.00
March 18 – London, ON – Centennial Hall (1:00pm) - $25.50
March 23 – Sault Ste Marie, ON – Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre (6:30pm) - $23.50
March 25 – Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay Community Auditorium (1:00pm) - $25.50



For all box office and ticket information, visit: www.BusytownMysteries.com



Thirsty Thursday: Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

Time for another Thirsty Thursday. This weeks drink is something I've made a couple of times ever since coming across it on Foodgawker. It's perfect for almost any occasion and since we're having chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight I figured this was a perfect fitting for a Thirsty Thursday post. 


You'd be surprised at how well this drink tastes. The cucumber gives it a cool flavor and the jalapeno gives it that spicy kick, which surprisingly works very well together.  Hot and spicy, just like we like our food in our house! 



Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita
Source: Adapted from: Endless Simmer 

Ingredients:
Cucumber
Jalapeno (seeded)
5 Fresh Limes
2 Fresh Oranges
¼ cup of Sugar
Gold Tequila
Ice
(makes 4 moderate glasses)
Directions:
Slice 8 pieces of cucumber and jalapeno, add the sugar and crush with a mortar and pestle. (If you don't have a mortar then a heavy spoon would work, but will probably be more work to mash it all up.)
Once the ingredients are crushed, almost forming a paste-like mixture, add to a drink shaker, along with the juice from 4 limes and juice from 2 oranges. Add about 16oz of gold tequila and fill with ice. Shake. Fill two glasses with ice, pour in the margarita and unlike my photo above garnish your drink with a lime and cucumber wedge to make it look all fancy. Drink and enjoy. 
~ LaQuita

Headline Shirts Review & Giveaway

Headline Shirts are known for creating intelligently funny shirts. They're an Eco-Friendly company that uses Eco-friendly inks and materials and also ship their shirts out with  compostible bags. They also ship world wide which is awesome. 


womensheatherasphaltscoopneck


We were contacted to review one of their shirts so I decided to review their, "Legalize Reason," shirt. I really love the material. The shirt is made with an Athletic Poly Cotton blend. The headlines are a conversation starter.  The quality is good especially for the price of their shirts.  It has quickly become my favorite lounging shirt and usually it takes me a year or two before my shirts are comfortable enough to wear around the house and by then I usually wouldn’t wear them outside the house. However, this one I can see wearing with jeans any time.  It’s withstood a good amount of washing already and it hasn’t faded or lost shape.  All-in-all I’d recommend these shirts.  I do wish they had a few more women’s styles and sizes though such as; V-necks and maybe some long sleeve t-shirts (It’s cold in Canada). Feel free to check Headlines out on Facebook to for awesome sales, deals and new shirts.


~Bobbi


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a shirt from Headlines at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. A big thank you to Headlines for providing the giveaway.





A Healthy Start w/ PopChips & Giveaway



If you follow me on twitter you'll remember that I got an awesome package over the holidays from PopChips.
If you're not familiar with  PopChips,  they are potatoes that are never fried or baked. They're popped using heat and pressure. They have no fake colors, no fake flavors and no preservatives. And, they're delicious! I was sent a box full of most of their flavors, Original, Barbeque, Sour Creme and Onion, Sea Salt and Vinegar, Salt and Pepper and Cheddar.

Before getting this opportunity I had never tried PopChips, but had heard of them from other blogs, Ashton Kutcher's twitter page and a few friends. I thought this was a great opportunity since the New Year was around the corner and one of my goals, not resolutions, but goals is to eat healthier and substitute unhealthier foods when I can. PopChips is a perfect substitute if you want a healthier snack on a Friday night while watching a movie or if you host a get together, having them out for guests instead of chips is a win win for everyone. I did this for our New Year's Eve Party we had and got a lot of good responses. Everyone loved them. We literally had one bag left the next morning. My favorite out of all the flavors is Sour Cream and Onion, the hubby's was Sea Salt and Vinegar. Both kids loved them as well. I was glad that my family and I enjoyed them, I was afraid the kids wouldn't because our family are chip people. We buy chips for parties, for movie nights, for just about anything. Since knowing that the entire family loved PopChips, I have been slowly buying them to replace the chips we usually eat. The kids haven't noticed, woo-hoo!

With the help of the awesome people over at PopChips, I was able to interview Registered Nutritionist, Food Coach and Author, Theresa Albert, who has been seen on the Food Network Canada, Yummy Mummy Club and a numerous amount of other places. Here is our interview below:


JUG: New Year Resolutions/Goals are so hard to stick with, do you have any tips on making them work when it comes to losing weight?
 TA: My blog outlines my tips including popchips… http://www.myfriendinfood.com/2012/01/02/dieting-tricks/

JUG: Do you have any specific precautions for females who want to work out?  
TA: Working out should be approached wisely and with a pro if possible. There is nothing worse than being gung-ho, sustaining an injury and setting yourself back!  Take a few group weights classes to get the proper techniques under your belt before you go it on your own. And you DO want to add weights to your regime! Muscle burns fat and we lose it steadily as we age. The only way to maintain weight after 40 is to build muscle and manage calorie intake.

JUG: How much exercise should you get in a week?
TA: Ideally you want between 30 and 60 minutes per day.  The sweet spot, as I mention in my book, Ace Your Health, is between 1500-2400 calories burned from vigorous exercise per week.  There are loads of ways to accomplish that, the trick is to find that way that works within your schedule. Frequent 15 minute bursts throughout the day? 15 minutes each morning plus 2 or 3 long runs? Whatever it takes!

JUG: How much fat should one consume in a day?
TA: Ideally between 20-30 % of your calorie intake can be fat.  That normally works out to 2 tbsps per day and no more. The trick is to save those fat calories for the “good fats” from nuts, extra virgin oils and avocado and reduce the amount from snack foods and other bad sources. This is why I like popchips so much. If you are craving a crispy chip, there is no reason to blow your whole day’s worth of fat on one small bowl of traditional fried chips. 

JUG: How many carbohydrates should one consume in a day? 
TA: Again, it is more about the source of carbs than the amount.  You what whole grains as often as possible and no more than 4-5 ½ cup servings when you are trying to lose weight. Once you lose it, you can increase that amount appropriately.

JUG: What do you consider one of the most important nutrients for the body to have in order to be fit and healthy? 
TA: No one nutrient is a magic bullet but I do think we need to focus on omega 3 fats from fish and nuts more than we do.  It’s anti-inflammatory powers and preventative benefits are well studied.

JUG: What’s the worst thing you can do when dieting/trying to lose weight?
TA: Starve yourself! HUNGER is THE ENEMY. Human beings are designed to consume fuel and human nature means a backlash will come if you deny yourself all the time.  You need to set up your own reward system so that you can eat great, low cal food most of the time and indulge in something you love that is delicious. That itch will be scratched. Better if you do it consciously. 


~LaQuita

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a few samples of PopChips at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. A big thank you to PopChips for providing the giveaway and to Theresa Albert for the interview!





Thirsty Thursday: Watermelon (Jolly Rancher) Vodka

So we decided to start Thirsty Thursday over here on Just Us Girls because, well, because we all deserve to have a drink to whine down to relax and why not share it with the rest of our readers.


I first made this in the beginning of Summer after searching YouTube for something new to drink and bring for our annual camp-out weekend. I made all flavors of the original jolly ranchers except cherry and grape. I don't know, the thought of the two just made me think of cough syrup medicine I use to take as a  kid and that didn't appeal to me then and it certainly wasn't going to make it into my drink now.  Out of the other three flavors I did make, Watermelon was the one that had the best taste to the majority of the people at the camp-out which lead me to making a Watermelon Spritzer.  Instead of making the vodka out of Smirnoff, we decided to get a little fancy and make it with Grey Goose, which turned out a lot smoother and was a lot nicer to take shots with.
Watermelon Spritzer

1 1/2 oz. of watermelon vodka
Fill the rest of your cup with your choice of citrus soda

How to make Jolly Rancher Vodka

~LaQuita

Baby Rock Apparel Review


Baby Rock Apparel was founded in 2004 and specializes in stylish clothes for infants, babies and toddlers. They are one of the first boutiques that manufactured in hip, stylish, edginess clothing for kids with clothes such as  one-pieces, t-shirts, hoodies, caps and beanies all with their own unique style with some items being very humorous. Baby Rock Apparel can be found online as well as in over 200 boutiques in the United States, Canada and Europe. 


I was sent a, "Sorry I Only Date Rockstars," T-shirts in  black and size 6T for my daughter. I thought the shirt was hilarious and kind of true seeing as she has the biggest crush on Justin Bieber, but I guess he would be considered a Pop Star, but you know what I mean. The thing I loved about this shirt, other then the expression on my hubby's face, was that it was made with 100% cotton and how after washing it the shirt didn't fade, which was awesome considering that it's a black shirt. 


Not only do they have great unique taste in making clothes for little munchkins, they also are a company that gives back, which is something I absolutely love. Baby Rock Apparel donates a portion of its profits to The Pediatric Cancer Foundation., which just makes me smile and teary eyed to see a company who aims at providing fashion for kids are also there to give back to kids that are battling with cancer. You can find Baby Rock Apparel on their website along with on twitter and on Youtube.  

Sidral Mundet Review

Sidral Mundet

Sidral Mundet is a well known company that produces delicious apple flavored soda from Mexico. Since 1902 Mundet apple soda has been and still is 100% authentic. Their drinks are made with all natural apple juice, natural sugars and no artificial flavors or colors. 

I had the pleasure of reviewing both, original and Manzana Verde, also known as, Green Apple, flavors of Sidral Mundet, which I was very excited to try. I also was sent a reusable Sidral tote bag, which is used often and very handy. 

Out of both flavors, the Green Apple was my favorite. I loved the sweetness and how you got a bit of sourness to the pop. I thought the original was good too, but found the Green Apple to have more of an apple flavored taste then the original soda. To me the original soda was good, but I found it to be a bit bland compared to their Green Apple. 

To find out more about Sidral Mundet feel free to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

~LaQuita

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received two drinks and a reusable tote bag at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. A big thank you to Sidral Mundent!

Kernels Popcorn Review & Giveaway


Who doesn't love popcorn? I had the opportunity to review some of the products from Kernels Popcorn. I was sent a virtual gift card through an email, printed it out and headed to my local mall where our Kernels Popcorn out here is located. I have to say I found the virtual gift card to be pretty awesome. It's even easier then sending someone a regular gift card because they can get it the same exact day, print it out or have it sent to their smart phone where the staff of Kernels Popcorn can scan it and you can get your goodies.

We love spicy food around here, so the hubby and I decided to get two things of their Buffalo Wings Popcorn and for the kids we got them Sassy Salt and Vinegar. This was our first time tasting the Buffalo Wings Seasoning and let me tell you, it's not too spicy and gives just the right amount of kick to the popcorn. We ate ours up that day and wanted more. Luckily we had enough on our gift card to pick three seasoning jars and of course we got the Buffalo Wings, Oh Canadian Cheddar and Dill-irious. We've tried the Oh Canadian Cheddar before and all of us loved it, this was our first time getting the Dill-irious and the kids couldn't stop eating it. I love the fact that you can spruce up popcorn and Kernels makes it easy for you with these delicious seasonings.

~LaQuita

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a virtual gift card at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. A big thank you to Kernels Popcorn for providing the giveaway prize! 





Girls Costume SuperCenter Review

I had the pleasure of picking out a costume over at Costume Super Center over Christmas break. It took a while to decide whether or not I wanted to get something for my daughter or son, but went with my daughter because she absolutely loves to dress up. I ended up picking the Monster High Frankie Stein costume in a size 4T - 6T.  The costume came with the dress with attached sleevelets, a tie, belt and leggings. We would have loved to see it come with the wig, but they do have it on their site to be sold separately along with the Monster High Frankie Stein Make Up kit.



First off, the shipping was super fast. I got it within a week of picking out the costume. My daughter was super excited to wear this. She put it on and the dress fit true to size. The belt was a little bit too big as were the tights, but the dress itself fit amazing and she looked so cute. She has been wearing it off and on ever since and loves to wear it while she plays her Monster High video game.

I was worried about shrinking once I washed the costume, but it hasn't shrunk at all and the color has yet to fade, which is something that is always awesome when you get any type of clothing whether it's a costume or not. I'm actually thinking of buying from them for our annual Halloween Party we have. Don't forget to stay connected with them, they recently added a Google Plus Page! 

~LaQuita

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a costume from the Costume Super Center at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. 

Becel Heart & Stroke 2012 Ride For Heart


For 25 years, the Becel Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart has been raising crucial funds for world-class research helping Canadians live longer, fuller lives.
Last year, 13,000 riders seized the exhilarating opportunity to ride traffic-free along the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway.
With three routes to choose from: 25k, 50k or 75k, the Ride offers a challenge for recreational and endurance riders alike.
Register before March 1st and in addition to fundraising incentives, you'll receive a FREE $25 gift card to Sporting Life plus the unique experience of cycling traffic-free down the Gardiner & DVP.

For more information and additional story angles on the Ride, including 25th anniversary celebrations, choice of Ride routes, group and corporate team sign-up, and how the Ride funds leading edge scientific research that extends lives, visit www.rideforheart.ca.
Take up the challenge and Ride for Heart this year on Sunday, June 3, 2012.


Learn To Listen Review & Book Giveaway

Over our Christmas break we had the opportunity to review, Learn to Listen, one of the many books from Howard B. Wigglebottom. I selected this book because I thought this would be a perfect book to read to my son because there are times where he doesn't want to listen. I thought this book would give him something to relate to when he doesn't feel like listening to mommy. Well it did. While reading this to my son, he found some parts to be funny and entertaining, but also saw the consequences to not listening. At the end of the book when I asked him about the meaning of the book he was able to tell me that all kids should listen to their mommy's and daddy's.



Another great thing about the Howard B. Wigglebottom's books is that they are all online for your child to see in an animated version. I found this to be a great feature because the next day after reading the book to my son, he was able to watch it and he absolutely loved that. Not only can you see an animated version of all of the books, but you can also go to the website to play games, listen to songs, print out color and activity sheets for your child. I found this very helpful and educational for the kids.

~LaQuita

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a book from We Do Listen Foundation at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. A big thank you to the We Do Listen Foundation for providing the giveaway prize!


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