Saturday, February 28, 2015

#ad #Disneyside Cars Theme Party

I was chosen to host a #Disneyside party with a Cars theme. Considering I have a preschool son as one of my kids, this is a pretty exciting party. He couldn't wait to dig in the box and see what we all have. You can see the unveiling in the video below. This is a picture of everything and my excited son.

I wanted to give you a close up picture of different items in the box. This is picture of all the Cars themed items.

This is a picture of all the "other" Disney and Mickey items. I had seen an idea where a mom had laminated the chore charts. I didn't have a laminator, but thought that was a great idea,

These are all the other non-Disney items we had to try out or review or share at our party.

Since I am a crafty mom, we had some fun being crafty with our food and well, with crafts. I had a Mickey metal cookie cutter, so I was able to use black and red pony beads to make this Mickey Magnet (just glue a magnet to the back). You melt the pony beads in the oven while inside a metal cookie cutter.

We had some "Cars" snacks of apple slices and grapes. I have also see this done with Orange slices and blueberries.

We decided to make Popcorn Krispies and form them in our Mickey pan, They are basically the same thing as making Rice Krispie bars, but we used air popped popcorn. Preschoolers has a lot of fun pouring popcorn in the air popper and watching them pop. You would have thought I did something magic when you watched them over the popcorn maker.

We also did a fun Cars Paper plate craft project that they thought was a lot of fun.

Don't you just love this idea to use Nacho Cheese Bugles as traffic cones. So much fun! It's a toy and a snack!

Friday, February 27, 2015

#ad Review: SweetSation Sun'n Fun Kids Sunscreen

My Thoughts:

After having reviewed the Tinted Sunscreen by SweetSation and being very pleased with that sunscreen, I was more than happy to accept a review of the SweetSation Kids sunscreen with a SPF30. It is a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from UVA and UVB rays. It is water resistant for 80 minutes, which is about perfect for us because when we go to the community pool there is a break after every 50 minutes, so re-applying around the 2nd break is perfect or if we are going home and indoors we will just reapply when we plan to go back outside again.

There are several things I really like about this sunscreen. First off, it is a mineral sunscreen so the active ingredient is zinc oxide. Second is that is has no white traces which I have found is usually the case in many mineral sunscreens. Third is that is rubs in smoothly and easily and isn't a thick paste. My kids get annoyed if I have to rub too much to get the sunscreen worked in and that is not the case with this sunscreen. And finally, the natural light sweet chocolate is fun for the kids. The kids don't like when a sunscreen smells like medicine and I don't know what the natural item(s) in this product that give it the sweet scent, but I appreciate that there is no artificial fragrances, which I try to avoid for my daughter who gets eczema.

The picture below shows what color the sunscreen is when I put a dab on my arm, but I also put a dab on my arm by my wrist and rubbed it in. You can see it rubbed in without leaving a white film, it rubbed in clear.

Product Description from SweetSation:

  • Light and non-greasy
  • Moisturizing, hydrating, soothing
  • Mineral, natural SPF30, no chemical filters
  • Natural chocolate scent, no artificial fragrances
  • Non-NANO
  • Toxin-free, Gluten-free, Oxybenzone-free, Paraben-free
  • Rich in Antioxidants and Vitamin C
  • EWG safety rating 1

I was sent this product for review but all thoughts, opinions, and photographs are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

Hand Built Pottery Spoons

These are some spoons I made for my family. They are hand built with pottery clay. The spoon part was made by starting with a pinch pot. The hand was made by making a coil "snake" and blending it in to my small pinch pot. One of the spoons I then flattened the handle with a rolling pin and them stamped in to it to add some detail.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2 FREE Drinks from Caribou Coffee

Do you have a Caribou Coffee around you? Or near anywhere you might go a couple times a year?

We have one just a few miles away, so for me it makes sense to sign up at and get 2 FREE drinks from Caribou Coffee.

The first one is a FREE Medium Beverage when you sign up. You can sign up with a gift "card" from Caribou or just sign up with your cell phone #. You can choose to have the perk emailed and/or texted to you. To claim it, you just need to give them your card or the phone number on the account.

The second one is a FREE beverage (not sure on the sign yet until I get mine) on your birthday. Their website says most perks are good for 7 days unless otherwise stated (like the 1st one).

You also have the opportunity to earn more perks whenever you give your card or phone number when you purchase anything there. Their website says that they perks can vary from size upgrades to a free bakery item or free Caribou drinks.

So, why wait. SIGN UP TODAY!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Darn Near Full Moon Family Event

Since this is a Wordless Wednesday post, I am not going to go in to a long post. I just want to say that my family and I had a fun time at this Darn Near Full Moon Family Event, which was a FREE event put on my Owatonna Park & Recreation. We pretty much did everything they were offering that included:

  • Ice Skating
  • Storytime Trail to read "The Mitten"
  • Berenstain Bears Movie (indoors) with hot cocoa and cookies
  • Bonfire with hot dogs (outside)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Preschool Science Experiment with Frozen Dinosaurs

This was part of our "cold" day from school last month. It was as low as -35 below with windchill and so there was a 2-hour delay from school which means no morning preschool for my son. In that case, we needed to plan some learning activities at home. Given that he had just done some melting of ice in preschool with warm and cold water and salt water in preschool, it was fresh on his mind, but being the ever dinosaur fan that he is, he wanted to excavate some dinosaurs from the ice (because that quite possibly be how some of them died.)

Although we took it all a couple steps further than he did in preschool for some additional learning and more science fun. We knew about the 2 hour delay the night before, so we were able to get the dinosaurs in water in advance.

So, we gathered all of our science equipment (some day I should tell you all about what is in our science kit), a plastic bin, warm water, cold water, salt, baking soda, vinegar and boiling water.

Then let the fun begin! It's mostly trial and error to see what happens. We added the baking soda and vinegar so he could see if that chemical reaction would create heat and melt anymore than the same temperature water.

For more SCIENCE FUN, try these out:

For more DINOSAUR FUN, try these out:

Monday, February 23, 2015

#ad Review: Hair Symphony Professional Detangling Hair Brush and Soft Nylon Hair Brush

My Thoughts:

My daughter and I both had a chance to review this Hair Symphony Professional Detangling Hair Brush and Soft Nylon Hair Brush combo product that includes 2 brushes and a travel cosmetic bag. You can buy this combo set on Amazon. I have seen other brushes similar to this one selling for close to the same price, but I think it is definitely a good deal to get both brushes.

My daughter and I both have naturally curly hair and a detangling brush is a must, especially for my daughter who can get really upset when I try to comb our snarls. Sometimes those snarls are more like a rat's nest because she has such thick hair and they get so bad and isn't the best and making sure she combs through her thick layers. She doesn't complain at all with this pink detangling brush.

The black brush is for me. I haven't owned a brush in years because I always pick out my hair with a wide tooth comb, but I have to say that I love this brush. It has "give" when I brush it so it feels soft even if I am brushing hard. I have not tried it for any styling other than combing out snarls, but it works well.

My daughter claimed the cosmetic bag to put in her brush and hair pieces for her swim bag so that she isn't losing her brush and hairpieces. It's not a high quality cosmetic bag, so I would approach it as a bonus item when purchasing this, but I think it will do just fine for my daughter needing a place to store her hair items.

Product Description from Hair Symphony

The 2 hairbrushes you receive are loved and appreciated by both women and men, kids and teenagers.

You get a salon quality Styling Brush, the innovative Detangling Brush and the Cosmetics Bag for easy storage!

Key Features:
- Easily Detangle any type of hair
- No More Pain while brushing
- Easy to use on Wet or Dry hair
- Convenient storage in you elegant Cosmetics Bag
- European Design high quality Salon grade hairbrushes

You will Immediately see an Improvement in the way your hair looks and feels!

I was sent the above product for the purpose of review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to me. No monetary compensation was received.

Easy Clean Eating Strawberry Sauce

This clean eating strawberry sauce is the perfect way to top these Clean Eating Oat Protein Waffles or to stir in your homemade yogurt or plain greek yogurt.

Clean Eating Strawberry Sauce

2 tsp. water
1 lb. strawberries
2 tsp. stevia

Over medium-low heat  on the stove top simmer water and strawberries. Strawberries will release liquid as cooked. When strawberries are cooked through and soft, mash with a potato masher. Remove from heat and stir in stevia.

Friday, February 20, 2015

#ad GIVEAWAY and Review: Berenstain Bears Board Book - Please and Thank You

My Thoughts:

We are big Berenstain Bears fans in our house (if you remember from my recent review of a Berenstain Bears DVD set). I think my preschool son is the biggest Berenstain Bears fans in our home. We have at least 2 dozen paperback Berenstain Bears books, but this is our first board book of them. After reading Berenstain Bears' Please and Thank You Book, my son instantly started saying please and thank you and your welcome for everything the rest of the day. I will have to read it to him often to help instill those manners in him even more, because we know the repetition is very important. And that should be easy because we know how much young kids like to read the same book over and over again.

Berenstain Bears' Please and Thank You Book will be available for purchase from Ideals Publications starting March 1st.

Product Description from the Ideals Publications

The cherished Bear family is coming to a new generation of toddler and preschool readers.

Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962 and the Bear family celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012! Here the charming and lovable Bear family is once again introducing children to the typical issues and questions that they face every day.
In The Berenstain Bears’ Please & Thank You Book, little readers are introduced to the importance of manners, through gentle reminders given to Brother, Sister, and Honey as they await their milk and cookies. The short story and well-loved characters provide toddlers a perfect introduction to valuable life lessons and routines.

About the author:
Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Though Stan died in 2005 and Jan in 2012, Mike carries on his parents’ love of creating Berenstain Bear stories from southeastern Pennsylvania, which looks a lot like Bear Country.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Pottery Dinosaur Figurine

I am pretty proud to say that my 5 year old son made this dinosaur, pretty much on his own with minimal help from me. He needed a little help with blending pieces he attached. But he did all the shaping himself and scratching and slipping. He did a good job. I am always amazed at what he picks up when I take him to the Art Center to create. When he first asked me "Where's that glue I need to put these pieces together", I really knew he was take it at all in and understanding the process. He is becoming an avid little potter since he still has afternoons with me during this year of preschool.

I think he needs to make his T-Rex sculpture a friend next. Maybe a Triceratops or a Stegosaurus.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

FREE Monster Jam Truck @ Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic

Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics are holding 2 clinics, 2 weeks apart to build the above Monster Jam Trucks.

The first one is for the Max-D truck (the black one) and registration has already opened on February 16th. Sign up right away to be sure to get a spot. This build and grow will be on February 28th!

The second one is for the Toro Loco truck and registration will open for that one on March 2nd. Mark your calendar for that! But I will also post a reminder on the blog and on all my social media sites. This Build and Grow will be on March 16th.

We have been to Monster Jam TWICE! It's a fun experience. We even have a picture of the Toro Loco Truck, as well as the kids in front of a bunch of other trucks. Here is even more pictures from our Second Monster Jam excursion.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DIY Dinosaur Pen Holder for ONLY $1

This was the homemade present that my son made for his dad this Christmas. My husband had said he needed a pen holder (I think he was thinking I would have the kids make a pottery one), but my son & I had other ideas. I had shown my son how they made a toothbrush holder in a similar fashion (except they drilled all the way through).

I helped my son with the drill, but he thought it was pretty cool that he was using a drill even with help.

It is simple enough to make this. We just drilled holes in through the top. The dinosaur was something we picked up at the dollar store.

Monday, February 16, 2015

#ad GIVEAWAY: LEGO Justice League Vs Bizarro League Blu-ray

About LEGO Justice League vs. Bizarro League

Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s clumsy – but well-meaning – clone, Bizarro. Bizarro’s creation of the Bizarro League has caused confusion amongst the world’s greatest Super Heroes, but an even greater and mysterious threat may force the Justice League and Bizarro League to band together to defeat evil.



Available NOW on Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack+Batzarro LEGO minifigure

Each household is only eligible to win LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

enter rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have received nothing in return for this promotional piece. I will not be reviewing anything in return and no monetary compensation was received. I am only providing this information and holding a giveaway for my readers. All content was provided to me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Make It Monday: Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

These efforts are the result of my desire to have breakfasts on hand that were hot and easy to make for the kids when we are try to rush around in the morning. Not one of us in our family likes to get up any earlier than we have to or our body wants to, so that means we don't have a lot of time to make a hot breakfast. But with a little preparation ahead of time I can package up

Ingredients Needed: 

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 bags of English Muffins (total of 12 needed)
  • 12 slices of cheese
  • 12 slices of ham or bacon

To bake eggs in the oven, just cook them in lightly coated muffin cups for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. It's an easy way to make 12 over hard (even though the yolk doesn't look cooked in the picture it is solid) all at once.

The only thing you need to cook in advance is the eggs.

The next step is to assemble. I laid out pieces of plastic wrap on the kitchen table and did a sort of assembly line of putting together my sandwiches. Wrap them all up and place in a gallon freezer bag. Microwave each individually as needed.

Some tips for microwaving these:

  • Giving you an exact time is hard with microwaves because each are different.
  • We take off the cheese and heat the sandwich for 1 1/2 minutes at 50% power and then put the cheese on it and heat for 10 more seconds.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pottery Bowl Designs

These are both bowl that were slab rolled clay and then slumped over a mold (aka another bowl).

I really love the "Lace" Bowl. I used a thick cotton lace with wide openings and rolled that print in to it. I had seen another potter use it at the studio and asked about it, so this was an experiment piece for that. I also added ball feet to the bottom of this one, which was also an experiment for me. Although, really, isn't it all an experiment. :) But I do like the ball feet so much I have been adding them to my bowls. I love how the dark blue glaze over the metallic green glaze (on the outside) turned out and mixed together.

The plain bowl I made for our babysitter for Christmas to put in the jewelry that my children were making her. I did glue a piece of felt to the bottom of it to keep it was scratching the top of her dresser, or wherever she puts it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Heart Tree Made with a Toilet Paper Tube

This was a fun way to reuse some toilet paper tubes before recycling them and create a fun Valentine project. You could go a paint arm and hand print, but we chose to have my son trace it out and cut it out.

I shaped the toilet paper tubes in to a heart shape and he used those to make prints of "leaves" all over his tree. This is certainly a last minute Valentine craft that only needs a few supplies to creat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#ad GIVEAWAY and Review: Berenstain Bears Valentine DVD Set

Do your kids LOVE Berenstain Bears? I lost count of how many Berenstain Bears books we own, but it has to be close to 3 dozen, although we only owned 1 Berenstain Bears DVDs (a Christmas one) until now. Just in time for Valentine's Day, Kaboom! Entertainment has released 2 new Berenstain Bears DVDs. One of for each of the original cubs, Sister Bear and Brother Bear. I am excited to be able to offer my readers a chance to WIN the 2-DVD SET OF BERENSTAIN BEARS: HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY. And for all you Berenstain Bear fans out there, be sure to come back in a couple more weeks when I will be giving away a 2-pack of the newest Berenstain Bears books. But start your Berenstain Bears collection now with these DVDs.

Each DVD has a run time of 90 minutes and includes 11 episodes. The DVDs each have completely different episodes, so why not own both so that you can view all 22 episodes. Some of the episodes include: Double Dare, Jump Rope Contest, Count Their Blessing, Slumber Party and 18 others!

If you are not that familiar with the Berenstain Bears, let me tell you a bit about them. They are children's stories that help teach children about social roles, expectations and skills that they will come across as they grow up. Many of the situations presented in the book are situations that most kids will find themselves in. Parents will like these books because they help teach children a lesson about things maybe the parents themselves struggle to teach their kids, but in an entertaining way by cute bears.

Find out more information about Kaboom! Entertainment online:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent the above product for the purpose of review on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

Wordless Wednesday: Sledding and Snowboarding

These pictures were all taken a month ago, it was out first time to get out sledding and snowboarding at our local park. We invited several friends to join us and we had a blast.