Life at Warp Speed

life, faith, food, parenting, homeschooling and just about anything else that is on my mind

Halo Sleepsacks – $7.99 one day only. February 29, 2012

Filed under: Deals,Gear for Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:30 pm
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Kids.Woot® : One Day, You’ll Understand™.

Halo Sleepsack deal today from kids.woot! They only have small and medium sizes right now. Great pricing if you are in need of fleece sacks.

From my previous blog post on Halo Sleepsacks:

These would make a wonderful gift for a baby shower or for an infant..Keep your baby snuggly warm at night and safe from loose blankets in bed which is a major risk factor for SIDs (sudden infant death).

My son slept in a Halo sleepsack during every nap and at night as soon as we stopped swaddling him. He loves his sleep sacks to this day and finds it a very comforting part of his nighttime routine. Best of all, I never worry about him kicking off his blankets even now as a 3 year old. (Halo makes a Big Kids version and also an Early Walker version.)

For future reference, you can sometimes find these on sale at Babies R Us and also sells Halo Sleepsacks which can be ordered site to store for free shipping. Outside of the occasional woot deal, I have also found them for a good price at which if you can combine it with a sale and stack online coupons for free shipping plus a 15, 20 or 30% off coupon.

Highly recommended for all infants and toddlers.



HappyTruck: Explorer App – Free for a limited time!

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:30 am
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App Store – HappyTruck: Explorer.

HappyTruck: Explorer for iPhone and iPad is currently free (normally $1.99) . This is a pretty fun app that is very similar to Snuggle Truck. The goal is to deliver your truck load of fruit or vegetables while navigating different obstacles on your drive through the countryside.

I found that the user interface is not quite as refined as Snuggle Truck, but it is more than sufficient for playing the game. There aren’t nearly as many levels since it is not open for development by users. This may be a better option than Snuggle Truck for young children since there are no rockets, dynamite or other pitfalls that you can encounter in Snuggle Truck.

Good for ages 3 and up.



Mermaid Waters App – currently free February 28, 2012

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:42 pm
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App Store – Mermaid Waters: Adventures of Hana & Cory! (Preschool-friendly story + math game).

Mermaid Waters is an iPhone app developed by Stickery. This app is currently free. I am a fan of their previous app (Stickery) which has now been removed from the iTunes store. See my previous blog here: I suspect it was likely because the app was somewhat involved and required multiple steps to play. It was probably too complicated for their target group of preschoolers.

This app is a story based app that follows Hana and Cory as you earn stickers and play math games that build on number recognition, counting, and simple addition. Highly interactive for young learners. The story based play engages your child as they progress, save stickers and meet new characters.

Mermaid Waters is the first in a series of planned apps under development by Stickery. It will be interesting to see what else they will roll out next.

Highly recommended for 3 to 5 year olds.



Habitot Childrens Museum deal – limited time! February 26, 2012

Filed under: Deals,SF Bay Area,Things to Do with Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:00 am
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The Best Daily Deals in Oakland / East Bay – Habitot Childrens Museum – Five-Visit Pass, Good for Three People Per Visit.

Just say this deal from Living Social for Habitot in downtown Berkeley. You can get a 5 visit passes for up to 3 people for just $37. This is a great price!

Habitot is a great little children’s museum. Not on the same level as the San Jose Discovery Museum or Bay Area Discovery Museum, this is still a great choice for families in the East Bay looking for an enriching and stimulating experience for your child. Habitot does a great job of fitting a lot of great hands-on experiences in a fairly small space. If they are ever able to raise enough money to relocate to Emeryville, it will really be a premiere children’s museum. In the meantime, the proximity to Berkeley’s downtown means that you have some excellent dining options.

Good  for children 6 and under.



Panzanella – Italian Bread Salad February 25, 2012

Filed under: European (French, Italian, etc.) — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:00 pm
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Summer equals juicy, sweet tomatoes which means it is the perfect time for Panzanella. Please make this with home grown or farmer’s market tomatoes. It makes all the difference in this dish. With all the warm weather, I am dreaming of the day that I can make this yummy bread salad. This is the version I developed after testing out a few different versions.


Serves 6 to 8

  • 6 cups of bread cubes (or use bread that is slightly old and skip the toasting step)
  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into chunks.
  • 3 to 5  slices of red onion, quartered (depends on your tastes)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into chunks (seeded if needed)
  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T of red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place bread cubes on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Transfer bread to a large bowl.

Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, garlic and vinegar and toss to mix well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and basil and mix. Allow salad to sit at room temperature for up to one hour to allow the flavors to develop and the bread to absorb the juices. Taste and add more vinegar, olive oil, salt or pepper as desired.


For a gluten free version, toast cubes of Udi’s white sandwich bread instead.


5-4-3-2-1 Chinese Spareribs February 24, 2012

Filed under: Chinese — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:08 pm
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People often think Chinese cooking just takes too much prep work and cutting. This is a pretty simple, tasty recipe to make. There are plenty of variations out there of this quick Taiwanese recipe.

Here is my version:

5-4-3-2-1 Chinese Spareribs

Makes: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 lbs pork ribs (cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks)*
  • 5 T water
  • 4 T soy sauce (can sub light soy or use less to taste)
  • 3 T of rice wine
  • 2 T of sugar (or brown sugar or use Chinese rock sugar)
  • 1 T vinegar (or rice vinegar or black vinegar)
  • 1 T of vegetable oil.

Note: you can switch sugar and vinegar measurements if you like a more tart, tangy flavor.

In a large wide-mouthed heavy-bottomed pot or wok, heat oil. When hot, add spareribs and cook until browned. Add the water, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and vinegar. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to prevent the ribs from drying out. The ribs are ready when the meat is tender and glossed with a sticky, reddish-brown glaze. Serve with freshly steamed rice and some Chinese greens.


*Asian markets will cut spareribs across the bone into strips. If you are unable to get ribs cut like this, you can substitute country style ribs.


Cal Gear from Old Navy

Filed under: Gear for Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 7:41 pm
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Superfan Nation: Cal College Teams | Old Navy.

I am sorely tempted to buy this for myself. Hello Kitty plus Cal on a T-shirt. Anyways, I haven’t looked at Old Navy since there grammatically incorrect “Let’s Go” logos on their college gear.

Anyways, Old Navy has a number of Cal T-shirts for the whole family which won’t break the bank. Honestly, it is a racket trying to get collegiate gear. That being said, how cute will your little girl look sporting this Hello Kitty Cal tee?

Some styles are currently on sale and in the interest of full disclosure, the styles are likely available in your favorite alma mater.



iKids Puzzle app – free for a limited time! February 22, 2012

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:16 am
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iKids Puzzle for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

iKids Puzzle is a really cool tangram puzzle app for the iPad that is free right now. (normally $1.99) I was lucky enough to pick this up for free about a year ago. It has a cute (clearly Asian influenced) user interface. It is a fairly forgiving puzzle app since your child just needs to drag the matching shape to the outline. The app will correctly position the shape.

The puzzles are tangrams of numbers and letters which is great reinforcement while having fun with the puzzle. M just loves this puzzle game and giggles at the funny expressions of the shapes as they fall into place.

Highly recommended for ages 2 to 5. Grab this deal while it lasts.



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