Yummy: Justin’s Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

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I have another chocolate for you to hunt down and try! That is, if you love the taste of chocolate and peanut butter together. Today, you’ll get insights about Justin’s Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

I found these at my local health food store, but I’ve also seen them in the health food section at Fred Meyer and once at a Target, so hopefully you can find them somewhere if you want to try them, also!

Today I wanted to review this a little differently, though. As a science/writing project, I had my kids taste and review them for us—but of course I snagged a bite, too, so I’ll add in my opinion as well!

I asked them six questions and here are their honest and unaltered answers:

*Review from my Oldest:

1. How do you like the flavor?

Not really.

2. Do they taste like other peanut butter cups?

No.

3. Use some adjectives to explain what the peanut butter cup feels like in your mouth

Soft inside and hard shell.

4. How does your mouth feel after you’ve swallowed?

Peanut buttery.

5. Would you like to eat them again, someday?

No.

6. Tell me any other thoughts you have about Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

I would like them better if they didn’t have peanut butter in them. I really don’t know why I don’t like peanut butter.

*I knew these wouldn’t be my daughter’s favorite—she doesn’t like nuts very much! However, this was a fantastic way for her to try something not to her taste while having a very open mind about exploring the flavors . . .and also having a chance to be honest about whether she liked them or not. I will definitely be tucking this little food survey away for another time.

Review from my Youngest:

1. How do you like the flavor?

I love it!

2. Do they taste like other peanut butter cups?

No.

3. Use some adjectives to explain what the peanut butter cup feels like in your mouth

Chewy and Smooth.

4. How does your mouth feel after you’ve swallowed?

Buttery.

5. Would you like to eat them again, someday?

YES!

6. Tell me any other thoughts you have about Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

They taste good.

 

Katie’s Review:

Mm-Mmmm! Unlike two people in my family, I’m with my youngest and I LOVE the Choco-Peanut Butter combo! It’s one of my favorites, really. I’ve tried Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups before and liked them, but I got the Milk Chocolate version this time and really enjoyed them as well—probably a little more.

 

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Favorite Bits:

– The authentic peanut butter flavor is really great! It adds a salty/sweet flavor that is fantastic. The salty and sweet combo is my favorite aspect of the whole experience.

– Though these are Milk Chocolate and definitely sweeter than the Dark Chocolate ones, they aren’t too sweet. Just enough to be delicious, but not so much so that the sugar granules scratch your throat going down (winky face!)

– There is something about the much more widely known peanut butter cup that leaves a chemical aftertaste as well as a waxy lining in the mouth—not necessarily desirable! Justin’s definitely don’t do that. After eating, I mostly just had a sweet, Peanut taste in my mouth. Pretty sure that would be the ingredient list.

If you, too, love the Choco-Peanut Butter combo, I would snag a pack to try! And if you generally look for organic, more natural products, I would say that this could be a great alternative.

Have you tried Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups??? What did you think?

Note: I just picked these up because I thought they would be fun to review and didn’t receive compensation in exchange. Our opinions are honest!

Mad Libs: A Fun and Useful Tool for Writing with Children

At the beginning of the summer this year, we went on a quick trip to celebrate the season and while on said getaway, we happened to eat at a restaurant. While I can’t remember which restaurant it was, I do remember the children’s place mat/menu, which had various activities to keep the kiddos busy while we waited for our food.

On this menu was one of our favorite things we’ve ever seen on a busy mat—a MAD LIB!! It was fun to play the word game and I thoroughly enjoyed observing my children finding the hilarity of it all, but as I sat there, I realized what an amazing teaching tool the Mad Lib was.

 

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So, I headed over to Amazon (yes, I love Amazon!) later that evening, found a book that was on sale and we’ve been enjoying them ever since! You can find Goofy Mad Libs here, but look around HERE for others that are on sale.

 

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Not only are they fun to do as a family, but we’ve enjoyed them with friends, singly, and with our extended family. Hours were spent on these when some of our friends came to see us this summer, and this one was done by all of our children, without our supervision. They laughed SO HARD! My favorite: Cats with Mustaches! What were they thinking???

It is often forgotten that whether writing for elementary, high school, college, journaling, letter-writing or business proposals, all forms can and likely should be composed creatively, with the most polished language we can summon. Helping our children to write imaginatively now will develop into a skill to be used in whatever capacity they find useful and necessary as the years go by.

Why Mad Libs? Firstly, they require the players to know or learn grammatical terms (an up side for the parent/teacher). While they are genuinely hilarious for the players (an up side for the child/student), the students don’t even know they are learning, which is another up side for everyone!

Secondly, for a Mad Lib to be over-the-top funny, you must really think about your word choices. When we first got our book, my kids kept trying to use the same nouns/verbs, etc., and I finally had to guide them a little bit, giving them license and a push to be silly. Maybe they took it too far . . .

 

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While the books are great, you can find some Free Printables Here or you can find some Online Form Mad Libs Here that create your story after you fill in some blanks. If you love apps, the official Mad Libs has one of those that you can learn about Here.

They would also be perfect for a long road trip! Some of my beautiful sisters-in-law get creative with keeping their kiddos busy while driving long distances–usually, they have a little surprise for each hour of driving. Pulling out a Mad Lib book or printable would be a perfect treat.

Whether you are working on your writing as an adult or teaching grammar terms to children this year, I highly recommend Mad Libs—it’s easy and entertaining at the same time!

 

*All links in this post are non-affiliated!

National Talk Like a Pirate Day Plan and Writing and Homeschool Tips

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Did you know that it’s National Talk Like a Pirate Day? Ay, matey! It ‘tis! Excited to take a fun learning approach on this seriously drab day, I ordered my children to get their pirate gear on while I looked around for all of our piratey books. Suddenly, I had a Pirate Homeschool Day prepped!

  1. Listen to the pirate-speak educational song, Talk Like a Pirate from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Also, note their attire! It will help with the next step.

2. Next, tell your mateys to head to their rooms or the scrap pile to grab some pirate pants, a hat, or a scarf to tie around their heads. Don said attire while speaking pirate.

3. Here’s an article on what pirates likely ate from National Geographic (The Plate) that’s very interesting, especially the bit about William Dampier! This is a good opportunity to pull out your purse, leather jacket, or any other leather—synthetic or otherwise—that you might have in your house to show them what some pirates ate in desperation. Ugh! Leather satchels cut into strips and fried? Nasty!

4. Do you have Treasure Island (Stevenson)–Free Kindle Version, Or how about Pirates Past Noon (The Magic Tree House #4 by Osborne)? We have the Fact Tracker Pirates Magic Tree House book, which has some great info about the scallywags. Or HERE is an article that’s kid friendly on Black Beard, the crazy pirate that lit braided-into-his-hair ropes on fire to terrify those he attacked.

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5. Perhaps have a go at a Pirate Craft! My kiddos decided to make scull and crossbones pirate flags, but I’ll probably help them with some of the crafts in the above link later. You may want to hand them a glue stick before they grab the tape and start making flags on their own! Lots of tape–yikes!

6. Finally, take all of this Pirate knowledge and go write a story. Questions that will help children (or yourself) to get the story going would be:

What would your ship be named if you had one?

What would your pirate name be?

Would you have a parrot if you were a pirate?

What would you do to terrify those you attacked?

What kinds of food would you want to eat if you were a pirate?

Where would you travel as a pirate?

Where would you hide your treasure?

While it may be too late to fully use all of these ideas, you can celebrate your own Talk Like a Pirate Day on a different day. Or, take the gathered list of ideas to create a lesson plan to learn about pirates. Though they made some pretty horrific choices, there’s so much history to be learned!

Now, take to the sea, matey’s! And please let me know if you try any of these ideas! I’d love to hear about it.

5 Writing Prompts for Kids

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When my daughter was in first grade, I was very excited for her to begin writing with more depth. Okay. I’ll admit it. I was SUPER excited. I love writing and one of the joys of parenting is getting to experience wonderful things, through your children, all over again, but with the excitement of youth.

One more confession; I overwhelmed my child that wasn’t quite ready for what I had in mind.

And this is where one of the sorrows of parenting enters; I made a mistake. My now-third-grader is sometimes timid when trying new things and became frustrated. I was frustrated, too. Not with her, but with my plan not panning out. And as parents, our plans always pan out, don’t they? Ha. Ha.

Ultimately, we used one of the many benefits of homeschooling to cool it, take time to re-think my ways and try something different when she and I were ready. I learned a lot from that experience–knowing when to push and when to let a child grow was one of them.

On the logistical side, however, I learned that what I was asking her to write about wasn’t motivating to her. I also didn’t do a good job of showing her that writing can be a wonderful thing. And in particular, I didn’t give her the right tools to find joy in writing. Also, at some point in the last two years, I began sharing with her my writing experiences, which also made a huge difference.

Now I’ve got a first grader again. And this time, I’m getting it right. I’m sorry, my poor first child!

Here is a bit of what I’ve discovered:

 

1. Topic really, really, really matters. What is your child interested in? Is your child silly? Is your child serious? What gets him/her going? My daughter wrote a story about a tooting dog the other day. Her brother (and I) thought it was hilarious! It was inventive, she followed the plot exactly as I’d asked, and it kept her listeners captivated. My point? If you have a child that’s silly, suggest something like that. Your kiddo will think you’re nuts, but will probably have an awesome time getting on board.

2. Writing WITH them really helps. It gives them an example and they get ideas from what you do. So now when my children get an assignment, I get one, too. I even have my own composition book 🙂

3. Atmosphere is very important to creative writing. Creative solutions can come to us as adults when we’re listening to music, having a quiet moment, when we’re alone, etc.. However, it’s not likely that we’ll come up with a perfect solution to a familial problem when our kids are asking us what’s for dinner, scrambling with 3 pans and having a conversation with our spouse about their day. Simultaneously! Children are the same way. Give them a positive, focused place to write, flip on some great background music, and see them flourish more than they would otherwise.

4. Encouragement is key. Writing is creating; it is art. Our medium: words. Once a child has finished writing something, appreciate, appreciate, appreciate! Once you do that, then you can make suggestions for corrections. And then repeat the encouragement and appreciation once those edits are completed.

Whether your children go to public school or are taught at home, this is a busy time of year and I’m sure there are many pencils that are (or are trying to) fly across those composition books. Today, I have FIVE writing prompts to aid with tool #1–Topic! It can be hard to get started, so I hope these help.

–Five Writing Prompts for Kids–

1. What is the funniest/most embarrassing thing that has happened to you or your friends this year. Write a story about it in third person. Example, pretending that your name is Sarah: “Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sarah. She loved to go on walks. One day, Sarah was walking and…”

2. Write down three things that you loved doing this summer. This is a great opportunity to practice writing in first person. Try to help your child find better synonyms and be really descriptive. Example: Your child writes, “I swam in the lake.” Help them to elaborate and remember all of the things that excited them about swimming at the lake–the people they went with, what they liked about swimming (was there a water toy? splashing?), nature observations.

3. Write this as the top of a sheet of paper and let your child finish this story: “In a land long ago, there were three friends; a duck, a frog and a dragon-fly. They enjoyed playing every day, but duck and dragon-fly had a problem. Every time frog jumped, he…”

4. Take a quick walk around the block with your child. Let him/her find an object that is interesting; clouds, flowers, trees, a car, a person, to name a few. Take a good, long, look and talk about it. Unless it’s a person–that could be quite awkward! How does this object function? Where is it? How did it get there? How does it grow? What color is it? What would like to eat it or live in it? What shape is it? Take your child home and each of you can write a very detailed description about the happenings/life of this object. This is a wonderful practice for learning to build dimension and description into stories.

5. Have your child think about a topic he/she is interested in; basketball, reading, music, dance, soccer, swimming, hiking, cars, art, cooking are a few. Help your child find information on a specific person that is an expert in their field, see if you can find a video clip online, or help them to learn more about the topic. Once your child has the research done, have him/her write about that person, their field, and how/if it inspires them.

Happy writing! I would love to know how these work out for you!