Star Lanes Polaris

Have you had a chance to check out the menu at Star Lanes Polaris?   Thanks to Star Lanes for recently hosting my kiddos and I to a complimentary afternoon of fun and a tasty meal!

The diverse menu offered an upscale twist to traditional bowling alley fare.  I rarely pass up Shrimp Tacos when I see them on a menu so I tried those.  They sure were delicious.  I was also tempted by the BBQ Chicken Pizza, Meatball Madness and Short Rib Sliders.  My children went with one of their favorites…chicken tenders.  I made sure to save room for dessert since the Blueberry and Ricotta Spoon Cake sounded heavenly and much different than any dessert I make at home.  It didn’t disappoint and satisfied my sweet tooth.

As we waited for our food to arrive, my children were most excited to put their gaming skills to the test and hit the arcade.  They were thrilled with the entertainment and I was most happy that I didn’t have to calm down the troops.  I’m not sure about you but taking my kids to quiet places can be stressful because I spend the whole time worrying if their excited voices or occasional whining will be heard by others.  Since Star Lanes was filled with hustle and bustle, I didn’t have to worry about giving them the look of death to keep the noise under control.

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Before we left, I noticed a sign offering various specials, deals and kids eat free night on Wednesday from 5 pm – close with a purchase of a regular priced adult meal.  Star Lanes Polaris is more than your ordinary bowling alley and we look forward to our next visit.

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The Oz Family Kitchen Cookbook Review

If I can get at least one amazing recipe out of a cookbook than I call that a success.  From The Oz Family Kitchen I got that and more. I was given this cookbook for free in exchange for my honest review.  I figured a cookbook written by Lisa Oz would be a good one but it was even better than I expected.

OzKitchen

 

Here’s what I liked about The Oz Family Kitchen:

Real-Food Recipes

Many Dr. Oz fans would likely assume his family survives on a diet of kale, blueberries and quinoa.  While those may be staples in their kitchen, they also include a much greater variety.  The Oz family shops for foods that are not processed, free of artificial sweeteners and provide nutritional value.  But the options aren’t limited because tons of foods meet this criteria.

I do like that like that this cookbook is packed with recipes my family will actually eat.  Here’s a few of my favorites: Greek Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing, White Bean and Spinach Soup, Guac-Lobster Rolls and Penne with Quick Tomato and Basil Sauce.  With over 100 recipes there are many more to try!

cookbook

Pictures

On many of the pages you will find full size pages of the meal.  I’m a very visual person and I like to see what the food looks like before I make it.  I can’t always promise that mine will turn out the same as it’s pictured, but at least I know what to expect. 🙂

Scattered throughout the book you’ll find photos of the Oz family preparing the foods and real life moments of their family.  It’s fun to have a glimpse into what it might be like in their kitchen.

Tips

I’ve devoured the forward written by Mehmet Oz and the many pages preceding the recipes where Lisa Oz educates you on what she looks for in food and avoids.  Lisa walks you through basics in the kitchen such as tools you need, clean or dirty foods, what foods you should stock in your pantry and even the best way to shop in the grocery store so you avoid temptation buying processed foods.  There’s a lot of useful information and I know I’ll be referencing this often.

Final Thoughts

Like many, a goal I have for this year is to prepare less processed meals for my family.  Notice the keyword of LESS.  Ideally, I would love to have wholesome food for every meal but with the busy and on the go lifestyle that we live I know that isn’t realistic.  The Oz Family Kitchen has given me inspiration and meal ideas to make this happen.  You can use this affiliate link to purchase a copy of The Oz Family Kitchen.  I am so glad that I had a chance to review this book and recommend it to others.

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Two Multicultural Books Perfect For Children

Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? were given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. Both of these books provided factual information about the Chinese cultural.  They would be great to read in celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day which is on January 27th this year.

Chinese books

Bowls of Happiness

I read Bowls of Happiness to a group of children and they found humor in the child’s nickname of Piggy. Many of them could relate to silly names their parents called them. It even lead to a conversation about the meaning of their given name.

Bowls of Happiness was divided into different sections with the fictional story at the beginning. The story showed how Piggy’s mom decided to make a porcelain bowl and paint it with special symbols that depict happiness.

Towards the back of the book there was a portion of the book that discussed the meaning behind certain items on the bowls. For instance, bats symbolized happiness in the Chinese cultural while the color yellow represented the earth. I found this information interesting but do think it should have been a little shorter and to the point to keep the attention of children.

As a writing and art activity the children were eager to design their own bowls of happiness.

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?

Have you ever wondered what life was like in China’s Forbidden City?  Those particuarly interested in Chinese history would find this book fascinating.  Each page contains brief facts about a wide array of topics such as the foods the Emperor ate, schooling, military and lots of other information.

The pictures on each page and speech bubbles add to the appeal of this book.  I think a large factor on determining whether one would like this book or not depends on how interested you are in nonfiction information and the Chinese cultural.  There are many words some children wouldn’t be able to pronounce or understand, so, to get the most of out of the book it would be helpful if an adult clarified the information.

I learned new facts from both Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?.

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The BEST Sled Riding Spots in Columbus

I was beginning to wonder if we were EVER going to get snow in Columbus this season?  Even thought it was just a little dusting I’ll take this as our first official snow fall.  I did enjoy the warm weather but part of me is glad the powdery beauty has arrived (as long as it doesn’t stay until April!).  Now that the snow is here everyone wants to know the BEST sledding locations in Columbus.  Grab your toboggan, sled, saucer or whatever you can find and hit the hills!

Sled Riding

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Bricks 4 Kidz Birthday Party

Do you have a brick loving child? To say my son is OBSESSED with Lego® bricks is an understatement.  Per his request, these were a must at his birthday party.   When I heard of Bricks 4 Kidz I knew this would be the perfect option for providing entertainment and allowing me to be less involved in the party planning.  I might as well leave it up to the professionals so I could actually enjoy the party and take pictures!  Disclosure: I have been paid for this post by Bricks 4 Kidz but all of the opinions are my own.  This post is not sponsored by Lego®.

All of the guests were in brick heaven as they saw massive amounts of Lego® blocks being unloaded before their eyes.  The kids could hardly wait to get their hands on the fun.  The party was well organized and flowed nicely from one activity to another.

Legos

Here’s how our Bricks 4 Kidz birthday party unfolded:

First, each child in attendance created a mini figure from the vast array of heads, bodies, legs and accessories.  These became the party favors that they took home with them. My son was excited that everyone signed a shirt that he got to keep.

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My son selected a Pokemon theme for his party.  The creative juices began flowing as the kids and adults constructed Pokemon habitats.  Check out their hard work!

Legohabitats

Next it was off to find the hidden brick pieces in the hallway.  As the kids searched for these the staff set up the next activity.

Spin Art

Groups were each given a kit where the mission was to create a motor that spins.  Then, everyone got a chance to put a paper plate on top of the spinning motor to create a work of art.

Lego Spin Art

The final activity was the zip line.  Each of the mini figures were loaded onto a platform and off they soared.  Lots of laughter and squeals erupted when the bricks crashed at the bottom.

Zip Line

Everything about my son’s party was a success!  It was so nice to walk into the room to see it set up and know that I had only had to focus on the food.  The clean up and set up were provided by the Dublin Rec Center and Bricks 4 Kidz brought all the fun.  The party was affordable and all of the parents commented on how impressed they were with the party.

Tables

What’s Included in a Party Package?

  • A 2 hour time frame party.  75 minutes of instructor time where kids (and adults too) build and create projects followed by 45 minutes for food and presents.
  • Many themes to choose from to customize your party.
  • Bricks 4 Kidz currently hosts birthday parties at the Dublin Rec Center or will come to another location.
    • The tables were set up with table clothes, plates, napkins and balloons when we arrived.
  • Each child gets to take home the Mini figure they created and the birthday child gets a t-shirt.
  • Party packages start below $200.

Frank lead the party and he amazingly held the attention of a crowd of children under the age of 6.  This is hard to do!  He was patient and very engaging.  If you are interested in scheduling a party reach out to Frank at 614-595-6253. Bricks 4 Kidz offers classes, field trips and summer camps as well.  I highly recommend Bricks 4 Kidz for your next party!

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Year-End Roundup of the Best Columbus Bloggers in 2015

As a way to reflect on all that has made Columbus wonderful in 2015 I’ve gathered the best blog post from local bloggers. Cbus is a city full of talented folks!  They work, explore the city, take care of the kids, cook, clean, craft, clip coupons, offer advice, spot deals, find the latest fashion trends AND find time to blog.

Below you’ll find a sampling of a few posts from each blogger. Although all of these bloggers call Cbus home their range of expertise isn’t isolated to Columbus. I strongly encourage you to spend time exploring their sites because they are overflowing with awesome ideas.  I truly could spend hours devouring each and everyone of these blogs!  I am SOOOOO excited to share all of this with you.

Columbus Bloggers

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Columbus Holiday Events for December 21-28, 2015

Santa Claus is coming to town… this week!  I’ll be enjoying lots of family time but will try to sneak in a a few of the Columbus Holiday Events for December 21-28, 2015!

This post contains Affiliate links. I post lots of fun happenings in Columbus and educational ideas on Local Busy Bee’s Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest so follow along if you want to stay in the know!  Be sure to subscribe to the Blog via email to receive notifications of new posts so you never miss a thing!  🙂

Columbus Christmas

December 21

Honey Hills Farm Petting Zoo at the Franklin Park Conservatory -included with admission (11 am – 2pm) The Franklin Park Conservatory is beautifully decorated for Christmas with hundreds of poinsettias and gingerbread house displays.

Christmas Vacation movie with Chevy Chase at Gateway Film Center (9:45 pm)

Daily ongoing happenings:

Alum Creek Tree Lighting , Wildights at the ZooSegway Holiday Lights Tour 2015Holiday Lights at the Columbus Commons , State Auto Christmas Display and Nativity SceneHuntington Holiday Train  at the Capital Square Huntington Bank)-Check the bank website or call for hours, Merry and BrightThe Legendary Lights of Clifton MillsThe Christmas Ranch

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Casey’s Bright Red Christmas Book Review

During the holiday season my family and I look forward to our nightly routine of picking out a Christmas related story to read before bedtime. I received a free copy of Casey’s Bright Red Christmas to share with my children. They were thrilled to add a new book to our holiday collection.

Casey's Bright Red Christmas

Click on picture to be taken to Amazon Affiliate link to purchase

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Columbus Holiday Events December 14 – 21, 2015

I can’t believe we are getting so close to Christmas.  Enjoy the warm weather and check out the fun Columbus Holiday Events for December 14-21, 2015! This list is organized by dates so it makes it easy to plan what makes it on your activity list.  There’s also a list of the ongoing happenings to remind you of all the selections.

This post contains Affiliate links. I post lots of fun happenings in Columbus and educational ideas on Local Busy Bee’s Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter and Pinterest so follow along if you want to stay in the know!  Be sure to subscribe to the Blog via email to receive notifications of new posts so you never miss a thing!  🙂

Columbus Christmas Events 2015

Train Display at Huntington Bank Downtown

 

December 14

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Choir Performances (weekdays December 4-17) At noon enjoy an hour full of FREE entertainment in the crypt at the Ohio Statehouse.

Daily ongoing happenings:

Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights , Wildights at the ZooSegway Holiday Lights Tour 2015Holiday Lights at the Columbus Commons , State Auto Christmas Display and Nativity SceneHuntington Holiday Train  at the Capital Square Huntington Bank)-Check the bank website or call for hours, Merry and BrightThe Legendary Lights of Clifton MillsThe Christmas Ranch

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