Learning a second language with Whistlefritz is fun!
Learning a second language at a young age can play a key role in a child’s academic achievements which can help them immensely as they mature.
According to the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab, “Learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, which have been concerns in the past.”
Studies indicate immersion via learning and hearing. Eventually, if they are able to master speaking a new language, it may be the best way for kids to pick up new words and increase their chances of becoming bilingual.
Whistlefritz is an awarding program that uses language immersion so your child can learn how to speak Spanish or French! It was created after Founder, Heidi Stock set out on a mission to find a fun yet educational teaching materials for her children to learn a new language. She quickly realized that most programs solely featured cartoons and didn’t feature live speakers for children to watch the movement of their lips. Not finding what she wanted, Heidi decided to create it herself!
Whistlefritz’s programs allow kids to join a group of lovable characters. The set includes the animated mouse Fritzi, the animated mouse who whisks you on an adventure with her other colorful friends to learn another language! The combination of live-action, animation, and lively music makes the programs as entertaining as they are educational. Children will learn their second language through Whistlefritz the same way they learned their first language: through words used in context by live speakers in engaging games, well thought out skits and catchy music.
Whistlefritz’s collections include DVDs, flashcards and worksheets that are available in Spanish and French.
Enter to win a DVD and CD from Whistlefritz in Spanish or French, A 45 Value!
In honor of Sesame Street‘s 50th anniversary, the City of New York officially named West 63rd Street and Broadway “Sesame Street” and declared May 1, 2019, “Sesame Street Day.”
The iconic Muppets from Sesame Street, including Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Grover and friends, joined the show’s longtime cast members Sonia Manzano, Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado, Roscoe Orman, Loretta Long, Alison Bartlett, Alan Muraoka, Suki Lopez and Sesame Workshop President and CEO Jeffrey Dunn on stage for a special street naming ceremony in front of an enthusiastic crowd of fans of all ages.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who sponsored the street naming’s resolution, presented a proclamation declaring Wednesday May 1 to be “Sesame Street Day” and led the official reveal of W 63rd Street and Broadway as the newly named Sesame Street. The event concluded with a cheerful group singalong by all guests and Muppets of the show’s timeless theme song “Sunny Days.”
Since 1969, Sesame Street has been a quintessential part of New York’s identity, and Sesame Workshop’s headquarters, which has been located on this stretch of Broadway for five decades, will now also be a permanent part of the city’s landscape.
So when someone asks you how to get to Sesame Street, you can now tell them the address! It’s W 63rd Street and Broadway NYC!
1/2BoxJello Vanilla Instant PuddingAdd to cake mix for extra moisture and flavor
1BowlVanilla Pudding IcingSee recipe below
2 PacksGraham CrackersFor sides of cake
3BarsHershey's Chocolate BarsMelted for drizzles
3 MarshmallowsHowever you would like to use for decoration
1/4 bagVanilla Chocolate ChipsFor texture in cake batter
Bake cake per box directions. If using the Vanilla Pudding Icing recipe, use 1/2 box left of the Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding in the mix to add extra moisture and flavor to the boxed cake. I also add vanilla chocolate chips to the batter in the pan for texture.
Ice with the Vanilla icing.
Pulse the graham crackers in a food chopper to get thin cracker crumbs. Add to the sides of the iced cake. The more the merrier! They add great flavor when mixed with the icing plus they're yummy!
Decorate with melted chocolate, marshmallows (heat for 10 seconds but be careful with young kids, they get REALLY sticky!), and some whole or broken graham crackers on top.
I recommend using my Vanilla Pudding Icing for this recipe. It holds perfectly. This cake would also be great with some chocolate fudge icing inside!
1Stick (1/2 Cup)Unsalted Butter SoftenedYou can use salted butter if it is all you have.
1/2BoxJello Vanilla Instant Pudding
1TbspVanilla ExtractI prefer the premium flavor for my icings.
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
Add the cream cheese to the stand mixer and wisk on high for about 30 seconds until creamy.
Add in softened butter and mix with cream cheese until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Add in vanilla extract and vanilla pudding (1/2 box – the other half you can add to your cake mix, it helps moisten the cake) and beat on high 30 seconds.
Add remaining ingredients and mix on high for about 1-2 minuted until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
*Add more milk if you'd like a thinner consistency but be careful not to add too much at once!
This is a recipe I made up for my S’mores cake I made. I am a huge fan of cream cheese icing, but it was not the exact flavor I was looking for with the came I was making. I wanted a vanilla pudding icing, but everything I found left me unimpressed. They all had the same ingredients, cool whip and vanilla pudding mix.
Don’t get me wrong… I am a fan of simple. I’ll take simple any day, but I did not want a loose icing for this as I was using it as the filling and icing. This icing will be stiff enough to do some cool decorating, and still have stability to use as a filling as well.
The best part? It is literally amazing. Flavorful, not just pretty. You will want to lick the bowl because it tastes just like the Vanilla Pudding flavor!
Most weeknights I don’t mind cooking. In fact I love to cook probably more than anything else, but I have limited time since I don’t get home from work until around 6pm.
Tonight I had an idea of what ingredients I wanted to use as it’s food shopping day tomorrow and I make up whatever I can to use what’s left of the weeks in hone ingredients. That’s when I thought about making this shortcut chicken cordon bleu and it came out super yummy!
When I say this recipe is easy, I mean it took longer for me to write this recipe then to execute the entire dinner and eat it kind of easy…
I used 3 frozen Tyson grilled chicken breasts and started off by putting them in the oven per the back of the bag (375° for 20 minutes). Then started a pot of water to throw in some penne noodles so they’d be done at the same time as the chicken.
Next, I grabbed a pan and tossed in some butter so I can simmer some chunks of ham. You can’t make chicken cordon bleu without ham! So I used a prepackaged honey ham steak I had and chopped half of it into cubes. I simmered these in the butter and once browned and some nice ham grease was in the pan, I added a jar of classico creamy alfredo sauce. This added the ham flavor to the otherwise fairly bland canned alfredo sauce.
Next, I tossed in a half can of small peas and a cup of white cooking wine. All of this simmered together until the noodles and chicken were done. Leave the oven on.
Then I drained the noodles and the three chicken into cubes. I mixed everything into a pot and added some shredded Monterey jack cheese, about a handful (it’s what I had). After tossing it together, I sprayed my casserole dish with pam cooking spray, and added the mixture to it. I topped it with some Italian breadcrumbs (just a sprinkle), and layered some provolone slices across the top covering the entire thing. You should use swiss to be true to the original “cordon bleu” recipe, but again, I used what I had on hand and I actually prefer provolone to swiss.
Last step, cover loosely with tin foil so it doesn’t stick to the top layer of cheese and pop it in the oven just to bubble inside and heat the cheese on top, 375° still as previously set, for about 10 minutes.
That’s it! That’s the shortcut way, feel free to replace ther frozen with fresh chicken although I must say there is really no need to as this came out great! My only additional advise is get 2 jars of alfredo if you’re using an entire box of noodles. I used half a box and 1 jar and it was a tad but drier than I would’ve liked. Maybe 2 jars with 1/2 box of noodles would be best to keep it extra saucy!
Let me know what you think if you try this easy simple Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole recipe.
Enter now to win a pack of Hona $10 Amazon gift card to get you started on back to school supplies this 2019/2020 school year
Honeysticks Crayons are handmade in New Zealand with 100% pure beeswax, so they are safer for children of all ages. This sustainable process causes minimal impact on the environment and gives the crayons a wonderful honey scent. Our unique chubby crayons are easy for small hands to hold, but much harder to break! Let your little ones express their inner artist with a stunning range of twelve eye catching, non-toxic crayon colours.
Welcome to the 4th Annual Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Giveaway Hop!
Please click each link below to visit a new site with a new giveaway!
Don’t forget to come back daily for bonus entries!
There is an ongoing debate if the express pass at Universal Studios Orlando is worth the money you’ll need to shell out for it.
My answer is yes, but not by itself.
If you’re traveling from far away and needing to stay at a hotel, you’re better off staying at one of the on-site resorts that include the Unlimited Express pass with your stay.
I had booked the Aventura hotel almost a year in advance of our trip and was happy with my choice. I had paid it off in 2 payments and was all set including the park tickets for us all.
About a month and a half before our trip, my husband mentioned to me that we should probably look into the express passes since we were going late July which is a busy time (I mean, is there any time that isn’t busy there?). I checked them out and noticed the site says $69.99 for the regular Express pass.
That is until I chose my specific dates. The prices jumped to $189 each for the unlimited Express passes! I couldn’t believe my eyes… I decided to wait and look around. I noticed that the top tier hotels on site, the Hard Rock Orlando and Lowes Pacifica both included free unlimited Express passes for all guests during your stay.
If I purchased the Express passes separately, it would’ve costed my just under $800.
I called to inquire about upgrading my hotel to the Hard Rock and to my surprise it was just $600 more than what I had already paid OR for an additional $800 we would get Rock Royalty Club level at the hotel.
I chose the latter and man am I happy I did. We had an AMAZING time, and the Hard Rock Club Level is definitely worth the extra money.
We took the path right from the hotel which is a 7 minute walk to City Walk and the entrance to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We were able to take our time getting to the parks in the morning, and then leave around 12 to go back to the hotel, take a dip in the amazing pool and hot tub, eat, and head back to the parks.
It was so care free and leisurely. Getting to go in the Express lane, even during the peak July month, meant 5-10 minute waits MAX even on the newest rides (make sure the rides you want accept express passes).
Take note of the Express pass which allows one express ride per ride vs. The Express unlimited pass which allows you on the rides as many times as you’d like over and over if you chose.
Overall, YES it is so worth it, especially during the busiest Summer months. But I suggest you check the on site hotel rates that include them before shelling out the money for the passes themselves.
Did you already book a hotel or driving from local? No worries, you can always decide once you get to the parks If you want to add an Express pass. They’re the same price at the park and Express passes are sold all over in all 3 universal parks.
The following are the rides that accept express passes as of August 2019:
Participating rides and attractions subject to change without notice.
One of the biggest topics when visiting City Walk is where to eat with little kids? The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is a little known gem at Universal’s City Walk on Orlando.
Perfect for children of all ages, this restaurant is whimsical with a feel of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There are steampunk clocks and confections galore. If you are staying at a high end resort on site at Universal, you can use your hotel key to get premier fast seating which is great. You can chose to only visit the store, visit just the milk shake counter (we’ll get to this in a moment) or stay for dinner.
When you first walk in, there is a store filled with truffles and macaroons. Beware as they are extremely expensive to the tune of $20 for a box of 6 tiny truffles and $24 for just 6 macaroons.
With that being said, we got both. I found it with it for the experience for the kids and I can’t lie, myself too. Thet just looked so tempting and I couldn’t wait to try the hand made truffles. Just look at these displays of goodness…
We chose the salted caramel, neapolitan, chocolate, caramel corn, and coconut macaroons. I have to say they were just as good as they look.
For the truffles, I can’t recall what flavors we choose but they look so pretty. The box they come in is so cute too with a little bow. I guess for three price they better come in a cute box… the one I tried wasn’t as great as I’d hoped. If I can do it again, I’d skip getting the high priced truffles, thet weren’t worth it.
The place is known for their outrageous milk shakes. For kids, this is a dream come true. Take a look at all of the options!
I’m drooling just looking at the options on the menu again. And boy are they fantastic! Check out the birthday cake with a full piece of cake on top and the cookie jar shake with a cookie and bits of every best cookie!
The rest of the menu is great too. It’s a fancy restaurant made fun. A little secret, it is actually cheaper than many of the other restaurant’s in the area, so way worth it in my opinion, especially if you have children. They have burgers, chicken tenders, salads, and many more.
If you can request a specific seat, ask for upstairs by the window. The view of city walk is great.
This year my family and I took a vacation from our home state of New Jersey to Florida. We’ve done the drive previous years, and it’s always worked well so I thought, why not share with others the easiest way to travel to Florida with children?
Well, the first rule is always take the westerly route. I-95 is the better known way, and sometimes thought to be the only way by those who do not travel often by car. I-81 is a much better route and although on Google maps is longer, it’ll be a smoother, traffic-free ride. Usually, you can get a cheaper hotel rate as well since it isn’t where all of the main traffic traveling down south comes from.
If you want fool proof, I’ll give you the hotel’s we frequent on the way down south and if you use these in your gps, you’ll be good to go! Not to mention, this makes the ride down a part of the vacation rather than dreaded driving time.
First up is the Quality inn in Troutville, VA.
3139 Lee Hwy South,
Troutville, VA 24175
It’ll be a 6 to 6 1/2 hour ride from central NJ. We like to leave early morning and do 4 straight hours. This way, the kids sleep and it usually gets us right to the point of needing to get gas. Then break for some eat in lunch at one of the easy on-off exits and it’ll be only another 2 hours left of the ride until the hotel. There is a Cracker Barrel restaurant right in the parking lot of the Troutville, VA Quality Inn that you can walk to for dinner and they have an outdoor pool that’s perfect for kids (3ft- 5.5ft) and open until it gets dark out.
From the Troutville hotel, we head to Savannah, GA which is another 6 hour drive from the previous hotel, and again, we break it up into 4 hours, stop for lunch, and then 2 hours. Our favorite hotel there is the Doubletree.
50 Yvette J Hagins Drive,
Savannah, GA 31408
It’s so nice and classy and has a pull out bed sofa which is perfect for the kids. They have their own tv as well so we can all lounge and watch what we want after yet another long drive. The pool at the Doubletree is indoors and open 24/7 which is nice. The heated pool is so refreshing and helps to refresh muscles after sitting in a car for so long.
The area is highly populated with stores including fast food, Tanger Outlets, and a super Walmart all within short driving distance. Not to mention it’s a highly sought after area since its close to downtown historic district of Savannah. The Doubletree is a bit pricey, but there are many hotels within the same area for less.
After this, you’re almost there. Just an hour or so to enter into Jacksonville, Florida! And 4 hours from Orlando. By now, the trip has placed you on I-95, but it’s a lot smoother since you’re past the tri-state traffic sections.
It helps to use the Waze app during your travels since it alerts you of construction, hazards on road, and even police waiting to catch speeding vehicles. We find it very helpful.
It really is much better to break up the trip this way with children, it makes it a journey rather than a dreaded ride in the car. My kids love visiting the hotels and using the pools since they’re all different. It’s nice to have long rests in between if you have the time.
Note: If visiting Universal Studios Orlando, I highly recommend staying on site at the Hard Rock.
I’ve done both ways (staying at a cheap local hotel vs on site) and there’s no comparison. If you stay at the Hard Rock, you get free Expess Unlimited Passes and this saves SO much time. It was ther best choice we made on our entire trip to stay at Hard Rock Orlando. We upgraded and stayed on Rock Royalty Club Level which was an added perk to our trip since it allows you access to the club lounge for free drinks and snacks all day which you are encouraged to take to the parks.
It’s only a 10 minute walk to city walk through an amazingly aesthetically pleasing path with views of the water or you can take the water taxi’s. And if you get the chance, check out the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium!
Let me know if you use my trip tips and any comments or suggestions!