Sunday, May 18, 2008

Childhood is Calling - a website review

Childhood is Calling is the official Rice Krispies Web site that I was asked to do a review for. I'll admit that I was pretty cynical as I set out to review this site as I HATE the Rice Krispies commercial. True, I hate about 99% of the commercials on TV but there's something about the woman Ohhhhhhh ohhhhhing in the background as they try to promote eating Rice Kripsies as a family bonding activity that really grates on my nerves.

But, being the fair person that I am I decided to put aside my dislike for the commercial and give the website an unbiased review. Joseph helped me out and gave me his opinions.

It's actually a pretty cute site. It has games for kids, recipes, nutritional information, music and more. Joseph tried out several of the games and liked most of them. His favorite was the one where you could decorate your own virtual rice krispie treat, as strange as that sounds. One feature that he really like about the games was that a lot of them could be played with two people. Joseph is still small enough to sit on my lap so we sat together and played some of the turn based games several times.

In addition to the recipes from the good folks at Kellogg's, you can find recipes submitted by "people like you". I guess people like you like a lot of dessert because that's what all the recipes are. I'm seriously considering trying to come up with a dinner recipe using Rice Krispies and seeing if they'll put it on the site. (Baked chicken with a rice Krispie coating perhaps?)

Like all websites that are designed to promote a specific product, the marketing is pretty heavy handed. I mean, a game where you decorate a Rice Krispie treat? Not exactly subtle. Still, Joseph enjoyed the games (in fact, he asked me to mark the site as one of his favorites) and it's totally child-safe so I would feel ok with him visiting it without me hovering over his shoulder. If nothing else it's a good way to kill 15 minutes or so. And if there's one thing that kids need, it's a way to spend more time on the Internet (says the lady who just let her kids spend time on the site so that he could help her with a review.)

A final note, right now on the site you can get a coupon for $1 off Rice Krispies with Strawberries. Not a bad deal.

This compensated (yet entirely honest) review has been cross posted at Problem Girl. From here on posts of this nature will only be posted here.

Kellog's Frosted Flakes Gold

I am a cold cereal junkie. Before I started eating oatmeal every single fricken day for breakfast I would have cold cereal most mornings. Nowadays it's not unusual for me to have a bowl of cereal for lunch or for a night time snack.

When I was in the hospital for a week with a collapsed lung (I am the only person in history of the world to get a collapsed lung while sitting on couch and watching TV) I would get a menu every day so that I could pick what I wanted for each meal. Every single morning I picked Frosted Flakes for breakfast. I don't know why exactly but I just loved opening that little box of cereal every morning. I think it might have been because as a kid we were never allowed to get the variety packs of cereal at the grocery store because they're such a big waste of money. Now, for me, little boxes of cereal = extreme luxury.

If you're a Frosted Flakes fan like I am then you might want to consider trying Frosted Flakes Gold. I think Frosted Flakes Gold are a little bit sweeter than regular Frosted Flakes. It's a honey sweetness though so it's not sickeningly sweet like so many other sugary cold cereals are. Frosted Flakes Gold score pretty well nutritionally too. A serving has only 1/2 gram of fat and 110 calories. It's also got a quarter of your daily recommended amount of several vitamins including iron and folic acid. Each serving has 3 grams of fiber. That's not terrible but it's not great either. Eating oatmeal with flax seed added to it has made me biased about fiber content. I'm a fiber snob.

One final note, I would probably not give this cereal to my kids. I don't let them eat any cereal that has sugar in the first three ingredients. Hey, they're my kids and I an impose arbitrary rules on them it I want to. Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Gold lists sugar as the second ingredient. Eek. To be fair though this is the case with most cereals. It's hard to find many that don't have a high sugar content. That's why my kids have toast most mornings. Well, that and I'm lazy.

This compensated (but entirely honest) review has been cross posted at Problem Girl. However, this is where most product reviews will be posted from here on out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kitchen organization suggestion

I have a huge problem with storage in my kitchen. I buy a lot of stuff in bulk from the natural food co-op so I've always got a lot of stuff just sitting around in plastic bags in my cupboards. Want a peek? Are you sure? It's not pretty.

What is that there on the bottom left, a birthday candle? Cripes. I need to clean out my cupboards.

The point is that the situation is bad. I've been looking for a while for something to help me get my cupboards in order but I've never been able to find something that meets all my requirements. I want something that seals tight, looks nice, is easy to open and close and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I've really looked everywhere and just last week I finally found what I was looking for.

These kitchen storage jars are from Shop-ko. The largest one cost about $13 and the smallest was $8. (There is one in the set that I don't have, the store was out of it.) They seal tight and they're fairly sturdy. I think they look like glass but they're actually acrylic. Now if I had only bought 14 more I would be able to get my cupboards clean for real.