Verdict? Crest Pro-Health Is A Keeper!

The following post was written by Andrew (Mr. Potamus Prefers)

Today is my first born son’s 4th birthday. Tomorrow is my second born son’s 3rd birthday. Happy birthday, boys! Guess what? The camera are all charged up and I am the subject of many, “Hold the boys and smile!” type moments. That will continue right through this weekend when we have their combined birthday party. Good thing I have been taking extra special care of my oral health. At the top of this post is a photo of my birthday boy and I hamming it up for the camera before he left for school today and I headed to work.

This little cup of rinse is now a regular part of our morning routine

Now that the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse month test drive is coming to an end, I thought I would give you a quick summary of some of the benefits I have experienced and the thoughts I have about the product (check out my first post about this product here). This has been one of the more beneficial campaigns I have been involved in as a blogger dad. Some products I have been approached about have me hesitant to endorse, so I have to conditionally accept the product review or flat turn the product down (if I feel I can’t be fair or risk having to really trash a product with my honest opinion).

I must say, no risk of that with the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse. I stand behind my assessments made at the beginning after just using the product a few days. I and am pleased with the clean feeling that remains after some other oral products’ effects have worn off and you lose that fresh breath, clean mouth feeling.

Crest has some great product info here, but I can tell you for my own part, using the product once in the morning and once at night has made me less concerned about my breath and general oral health and boosted my confidence. I know that I am doing more than just brushing and flossing.  To paraphrase a line from the product fact sheet: When I rinse, it helps me feel confident that I am  taking the right steps to ace my next dental check-up.

I have also gotten my wife to use the Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse. I am surprised since she usually complains that mouth washes really burn her mouth. We have already added this to our list of must have oral health products and both of us will using this product from now on.

Fine Print: I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Crest and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central Consulting sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Caillou Doll and Learning Train Review

There are only a couple of channels that I let the boys watch on occasion, because I know there won’t be any inappropriate commercials or content. One of them is Sprout. One character that the boys particularly love is Caillou (this show also airs on PBS Kids). When I heard that there is now a toy line featuring the squeaky voiced, ever-curious preschooler, I knew the boys would be more than willing to check it out. My youngest even tries to say “Caillou” now (it comes out as “cow you”).

We received two items from the Caillou toy line. The first item was the Caillou Classic 14.5 inch Doll (for ages 3-5). He features a soft body and vinyl head, arms and feet. The other item was the Caillou Learning Train. All I had to hear was the word “train” and I knew they’d be all over that new toy. This toy is for ages 12 months and up and is a wind-up train that features both Caillou and his little sister Rosie. The siblings move up and down as the train chugs along.

Recently, we went on a weekend trip and I knew we would be in the hotel room a lot with the boys. I decided to pack the new Caillou toys and let them open them for the first time at the hotel. When we got there, I put the new play things in the corner behind a suitcase where I thought they’d safely hide until I was ready to present them to the boys. Wrong. About 10 minutes later, as I was making the boys a snack in the kitchenette, my youngest came in carrying the box with the Caillou Doll in it. As soon as he handed it to me, he ran back and got the box with the Caillou Learning Train. He said, “Thank you, Mom, good job!” which means he wanted me to open it right away (he is learning more and more words daily and doesn’t always use them correctly, but he gets his point across).

I quickly opened both toys and the boys were excited to see one was a train. They played and played with the train, taking turns putting Caillou and Rosie in their places and pushing it around the hotel room. When it was time for bed, my youngest grabbed Caillou (he’s never really had a doll that he liked that much) and laid him on our bed. He then prayed over him and tucked him into his own crib safe and sound. It was super adorable (as you can see in the photos). The boys still love these toys. I think they are very well made and the chunky size of the train pieces is not only perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, but the parts aren’t as easy to lose as some toys.

Honestly, I am highly impressed with these toys and can see us getting more of the pieces (such as the Caillou Bath Time Vehicle). You can tell a lot of thought and workmanship went into making quality toys that will withstand the rough and tumble play of preschoolers. I also appreciate that the toys aren’t annoyingly loud like many children’s toys are. They are simple, classic-style toys that both kids and parents can love.

Buy: From ID Toys, the Caillou line of toys is available at Toys”R”Us stores and toysrus.com. The doll we reviewed sells for $29.99 and the Caillou Learning Train is $24.99 (both approximate retail prices).

The Caillou show is from Cookie Jar Entertainment.
Shannon
Fine Print: We received the items mentioned in this post in exchange for our honest review through Team Mom. The opinions are our own.

We Painted It It Purple With Welch’s

My boys are big water drinkers and they also love almond milk for breakfast, but their absolute favorite is when I pour them a cup of ice cold Welch’s Grape Juice. And, I must admit, hubby and I love it too. I have caught my husband drinking right out of the big jug before so I am glad they sell single serving sizes.

Since it’s so tasty, I try to keep Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes on hand and usually send it to school with my son about once a week when I don’t send another fruit. He always drinks it right down. When he was in the hospital recently for testing, he was delighted that they kept iced cold cans of it at the ready in the mini-fridge for the young patients.

As part of National Nutrition Month, I was invited to “paint it purple” with my kids with an activity. While Finleypotamus was at school, Kierbear, Daddy and I decided to make salt dough together for the first time. We mixed two parts flour to one part salt and then mixed half water and half grape juice and added that until it was a good kneading texture. We then took it all outside and used cookie cutters to make purple colored shapes as gifts for Grandmommy’s birthday. My little boy had a blast. As you can see from the photos, he had to taste the flour right away and didn’t care for the taste one bit. That is the main reason I wanted everything in the recipe to be edible and safe. He puts everything in his mouth! Here is a video of our activity and fun:

You could probably use more grape juice to make it darker if you’d like. After they were dry, we used markers to decorate them but paint, buttons, yarn, etc. would be great additions.

We participated in the “Paint It Purple” activity as part of National Nutrition Month. Welch’s wants you to know that diet and exercise affects your heart and so do your genes. Heart disease runs in my family so I am always glad to hear that foods we like are possibly good for heart health. Welch’s wants you to understand your family’s heart health history. Check out Welch’s Family Vine Tool. It helps families trace personal health histories and then they can share the results with relatives. In addition, the Grape Science Center is a great resource to learn about the growing research regarding the Concord grape and how it affects heart health, cognitive health, immune system health and more. Check the informative sites out at welchsfamilyvinetool.com and grapescience.com.

Even though Welch’s 100% Grape Juice is delicious to drink, it is also a great addition to many recipes. Check out the Welch’s Recipe Box. Want to keep up with Welch’s via social media? Follow them on Twitter @Welchs and on Facebook at facebook.com/welchsgrapes.
Shannon

Fine Print: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Welch’s and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.


Daddy’s Crest Pro-Health Rinse Test Drive

The following post was written by Andrew (Mr. Potamus Prefers)

Just the thought of going to the dentist for anything other than a cleaning gives most people the willies. For those of us with chronic dental problems it can mean a lot more than just anxiety. Dentist trips usually mean a big hit on the wallet and a fair amount of discomfort.

I went to a community event tonight and one of the speakers made a very poignant observation, you can prove, or disprove anything with enough science and research. That took me back to speculating as to why my teeth have been so hard to care for in my life. I spent most of my adolescent years living in rural parts of Texas drinking well water or living in 3rd world countries with water you probably should boil before bathing in, much less drink. I personally believe, without the hard research to back it up, that lack of properly treated drinking water was a major factor… that and my love of hard candy and sodas. I also believe I probably could have had better oral care habits.
My grandmother has, as long as I can remember, used THE ORIGINAL mouthwash. No name calling but it is the one that burns and tastes like pure medicine. I tried it a few times when I was young but it was always, in terms a child can understand, “Nasty!”. The burn, the after taste and the medicine breath were just not worth it when there was no perceived benefit.
Skip forward a few (ok a bunch of) years and you find a father that wants his kids to avoid the pain and expense of a lifetime of dental treatment. When Dad Central consulting approached me about a Campaign for Crest, I was interested in hearing more. I read through the materials and thought the following facts said a good bit about the product:

  • Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse delivers a sensation that helps you feel
    confident that you are taking the right steps to ace your next dental check-up.
     
  • the new flavor experience that helps signal that you are on the path to a
    healthy mouth.
  • In a survey of over 100 Women’s Health readers selected to receive free
    samples of a new Crest Pro-Health Rinse, 89 percent felt more confident about their
    next dental check-up after regular use of Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Rinse.1

After a few days; so far, so good. I like the taste and the clean feeling. I don’t get that “burn” but I do feel like something good is going on in there. I will be reviewing the product this month and have a follow up regarding the whole experience so check back for that. To learn more about Crest’s new mouth rinse, click here.

1 – Source: 2011 Women’s Health Reader Panel. Survey results based upon responses from 108 female Women’s Health readers between the ages of 30 and 54, who are regular users of mouth wash and in good health, received a free sample of Crest Pro-Health product to try for one week in their home environment and participated in a promotion for the opportunity to travel to New York City for a photo shoot and be featured in Women’s Health magazine.

Fine Print: I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Crest and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central Consulting sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Disney Cruise Lines To Sail From Galveston!

Yesterday, we had the honor of attending a local media event put on by Disney Cruise Lines at the beautiful Hotel Icon downtown. They had some big news and a big Disney star (Minnie Mouse!) on hand to help make the announcement.

For years, I have heard many good things about Disney cruises and am excited to announce that Disney will now sail from Galveston starting next year, along with two other new homeports.

Minnie Mouse waves from one of Disney’s new homeports… Galveston, TX!

In addition to Galveston, they will also add two other new homeports… New York and Seattle. You can find all of the information on the new ports and where they will be sailing (and when) here. I know the addition of the Galveston homeport is great news for Houston area Disney fans so I wanted to highlight that location in more detail.

Steven Cernak, Port Director for the Port of Galveston, left, was on hand  for the announcement made by Minnie Mouse and Jim Urry, right, 
Vice President of Disney Cruise Line Entertainment & Port Adventures

From the announcement
Beginning September 22, 2012, the Disney Magic will sail seven-night cruises from Galveston to the Western Caribbean. Ports of call include Grand Cayman and Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel.

Families will be able to soak in a tropical getaway with world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service found on a Disney Cruise Line vacation. Cruisers will have three days at sea filled with Disney magic to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Magic and three days in port to lounge on the warm, golden beaches. They can also swim and snorkel in azure waters or shop to their heart’s content in exotic marketplaces.

Mickey’s Pool
Mickey’s Pool is a favorite feature of the Disney Cruise Line fleet that debuted on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. This play area for children and families features a Mickey Mouse-shaped pool and an oversized version of Mickey’s hand supporting a yellow winding slide that splashes down into the pool area.

Do Si Do with Snow White
Disney Cruise Line offers the most extensive youth activities at sea, allowing children to customize their cruise experience with special character interactions. Little princesses can create magical memories by learning to Do Si Do with Snow White. Specifically designed with areas and activities that appeal to guests of all ages, Disney Cruise Line offers a vacation that every member of the family can enjoy.

Disney Wonder and Disney Magic
The Disney Wonder and her sister ship, the Disney Magic, are part of the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Specifically designed with areas and activities that appeal to guests of all ages, Disney Cruise Line offers a vacation that every member of the family feels was created especially for them including dedicated youth and adult spaces, exciting themed dining experiences, Broadway-style stage shows and frequent opportunities to interact with beloved Disney characters.

Don’t want to miss out? Well, guess what? You can start booking TODAY! If you want to secure your spot on one of these exciting new itineraries, bookings for 2012 is available on disneycruise.com or by calling Disney Cruise Line at (888) DCL-2500.

I was also excited to hear about Disney Dream and the first ever water coaster at sea. We saw a video about it and it looks really cool. Now that is pretty amazing.

Have you ever been on a Disney cruise? If so, tell me about it in the comments below. I have never been and I would love to go next year when the line starts sailing out of Galveston. I know my boys would have a blast. They are huge Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse fans.
Shannon
I was invited to a media luncheon on behalf of Disney Cruise Lines. No review product or compensation was received.