Monday, October 15, 2012

Product Reviews: Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Royal Shake vs Belmont Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

   We tried a Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Royal Shake a few weeks ago, but of course I'm only just now getting around to reviewing it. Actually, my mom and I tried two different pumpkin pie shakes from Dairy Queen--the Pumpkin Pie Royal Shake, and then another shake that cost a dollar more. I don't remember and can't find the name of it, but the only difference really was that the pricier shake was supposed to have pieces of pie crust in it. I say 'supposed to', seeing as that extra dollar bought us about 3 measly and small pieces of pie crust in the entire shake.
 For the 2 small shakes, our bill came to just over 7 dollars. Ouch. Adding insult to injury, I then found out that the Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard was debuting just a few days later. I would've much rather had tasted the Blizzard than the Shake, but I'm not about to go waste more money at DQ.
  Anyway, the Pumpkin Pie Royal Shake review: in a nutshell, don't bother. Details: First off, the shake was way better after being frozen a while, when it had more of an ice cream consistency. So why not just sell it as ice cream, DQ?? Secondly, while it did taste like pumpkin pie, it was just a store-made generic pumpkin pie taste, nothing to write home about. Definitely not worth the 3 bucks and change that Dairy Queen is charging. Especially when....I tried an off-label brand of pumpkin pie ice cream that was amazing! And it only cost $2.88 for the whole tub!
 I had just about given up on finding any pumpkin pie ice cream at all this season (I'd been on the lookout for Edy's Slow Churned Limited Edition Pumpkin Ice Cream, but apparently it's a bit TOO limited around here, seeing as nobody has it in stock)...when I came across some seasonal ice cream in Aldi's, of all places.
 For those of you who don't know Aldi's, it's a generic grocery store that has pretty decent deals on fresh fruits and vegetables, along with staples such as dry roasted almonds and of course Winking Owl White Zinfandel. Great wine, even better price. But back to the pumpkin discussion.
 The day after we tasted Dairy Queen's Pumpkin Pie Royal Shake disaster, I stopped in Aldi's for some veggies...and walked out with pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin ravioli, and pumpkin pie ice cream. Go Aldi's! Of course neither the cream cheese nor the ice cream were reduced fat, but they were both great. Way better taste than I was expecting for either one. The pumpkin ice cream was a perfect mix of pumpkin pie spices and creaminess, yum! And the pumpkin ravoli actually had pretty healthy stats, although it was sweeter than I expected. More like a dessert ravoli, if such a thing exists.
 I don't know if there's any of the pumpkin pie ice cream left at Aldi's this week (there wasn't any in our local store when I stopped by today) but keep an eye out for Belmont Pumpkin Pie ice cream. It's much better and much cheaper than anything from Dairy Queen, and I'm guessing it has lower calorie stats, too.

                                     Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Royal Shakes
Belmont Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Friday, October 5, 2012

Keila's 23 Month Update

  Posting this a bit early since we're traveling tomorrow. But seeing as it's already the 6th in Japan, and Keila was born there....
  Yes, that's right. In a month's time, Keila will be 2 years old! I still can't figure out how my baby has become a little girl!
 Here's Keila's progress report for this past month:

1. Keila is continuing to make leaps and bounds in the language department. I do wish that she had more Japanese exposure than she's getting, but we're working on it. This morning on our daily jog, she started saying the Japanese word for 'backwards"....I had no idea why she was saying it until she said it again, then yelled "Cars....gyaku (backwards)". And indeed she was right, cars do drive on the opposite side of the road here in the US! How she figured that out from rolling along the sidewalk is beyond me, but she did. Smart girl!
 Keila also likes to tell me storries about her friends back in the UK, or she'll tell me what Daddy is doing. Usually Daddy is working, but sometimes he's showering or eating.
 2. We have TWO new molars in! Oddly enough, they're not coming through as a matched pair like all the other ones did. Keila's back molars on her left side have come through, top and bottom. Which has made for some very painful meals after she accidentally bit her mouth several times in a row. Two more down, two to go.
 3. Sleep....well, it's obviously taken a backslide since our trip to the US. Keila is refusing to nap AT ALL even though she's exhausted, and as a result she's been rather whiny and clingy. And the lack of naps doesn't really help her sleep at night. I'm praying that she gets back to her routine pretty quickly when we go home in a few weeks.
 4. New activities....Keila loves doing Wii Dance with her cousin. She's also still really into running and being chased, but her favorite activity her is playing kitchen. Grandma's house has a massive amount of toy food, so we've been served numerous cups of tea, pieces of fried chicken, you name it. I can see that we're going to need to find a play kitchen in the UK asap!
 5. Potty training is still coming along, but all the changes in routine have thrown us back a bit. We'll step it up when we get home.
 6. I have no idea how much Keila weighs right now. Will be sure to check height and weight for her 2nd birthday next month, though! Until November 6th...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Product Review: Candy Corn M&Ms

While shopping in Target last week, I came across their massive Halloween candy display....and in it, some candy corn M&Ms. Now, while admittedly having a huge weakness for peanut, pretzel, and milk (and dark) chocolate M&Ms and also for anything new, I was a bit hesitant to try candy corn white chocolate M&Ms. I'm not a huge white chocolate fan for one, and besides, wouldn't adding any sort of chocolate to candy corn make it...not candy corn? So with those thoughts, I forced myself to walk away from the pack that was calling my name.
 Flash forward to Sunday afternoon, doing yet more shopping at Target...and they had put their M&Ms on sale. So of course I caved and purchased a pack of the aforementioned candy corn M&Ms. After dinner that evening, I opened the bag and was rather surprised. Surprised by the fact that these candy corm M&Ms taste like Orange Creamsicles (Dreamsicles to some of you) and nothing at all like candy corn! Thinking that maybe the orange ones just, I then tried the yellow and the white ones. Nope, still orange. And orange. Not that I have anything against Orange Dreamsicles, but this taste really wasn't a pleasant surprise. If you like orange candy or orange creamsicles then by all means buy these candy corn M&Ms. Otherwise, go fo the real (as real as anything chock full of dye and processed ingredients can be) deal and just buy a bag of candy corn.

 Seasonal White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms