Trendy Mom Reviews
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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pregnant Life is Easier with DoorDash.com

Similar to many other pregnant women, my energy level is often low by dinner time. I sometimes fall asleep before 7pm and my family is left to fend for themselves for dinner. My husband and I have always been 50/50 on sharing household duties, but with my pregnancy, I haven't had the energy to do much and he has been taking care of almost everything. He handles everything from school drop-offs while I am in the bathroom with morning sickness to bedtime routines and story time since I fall sleep before anyone else.   Picking up the extra duties makes him almost as exhausted as me!   We had to find some shortcuts to manage better during this challenging time.  In today's post, I'll tell you about one shortcut that has been a game changer - ordering dinner using DoorDash.com

The trendy DoorDash.com food delivery service allows you to use their website or app to order meals from dozens of restaurants around town.  For instance, there are 87 restaurant options if you live in our DFW neighborhood!  The screenshot below shows just a few options. You'll notice that they also give an estimated time for delivery (this includes the food prep time and someone bringing it to your door), price range, and ratings that customers have given the restaurants.



Personally, we ordered from Buca di Beppo using DoorDash this evening.  I asked my family members for their special requests, added the items to our order, and specified for the order to arrive at when we usually eat dinner.  




As I mentioned earlier, my energy level is low toward the end of the day and I often fall asleep early. Due to this, we eat dinner around 4pm now.  I was really happy that Door Dash allowed me to schedule our dinner delivery for 4pm even though that is probably on the early side for dinner.  They issued the time range for 3:45 to 4:15pm for dinner.  It was nice that they emailed a confirmation and provided an option for tracking.  I was thrilled that the delivery guy actually arrived 5 minutes early!  I couldn't have asked for a better experience - he was prompt, polite, and our food was warm and delicious.



Here are a few photos from our dinner.  Everything was delivered with care so that it was fresh. All of the dinner entrees were kept warm so that we didn't have to do any work on our end other than to open the containers and tell everyone to serve themselves.


Let me highlight a few of our favorite items from the order. The Mozzarella Caprese was fresh and delicious. They must have chopped it and placed it into the containers a very short time before it arrived at our door.


The Chicken Limone was my personal favorite and disappeared quickly among our family members.


The garlic bread was very flavorful. They did not skimp on the garlic!


Here was my plate for dinner with Chicken Limone, Mozzarella Caprese, and Garlic Bread.



Here was my husband's plate with Veal Marsala, Mozzarella Caprese, and Garlic Bread.



For dessert, everyone grabbed a spoon to share the family style desserts. The Mount Vesuvius dessert was the most popular! It was a double dark chocolate cake filled with with a warm and gooey center, topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.  I thought that everyone would be full from dinner, but this dessert still disappeared quickly!



Everyone enjoyed dinner and we would love to order from Buca di Bepo using DoorDash again in the future.

In summary, DoorDash.com is a game changer for busy families as they offer food delivery from tons of different restaurants. For instance, there are 87 restaurant options if you live in our zip code and even more throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metro.  The creators or DoorDash seem to be perfectionists who have thought of every last detail for their company from the convenient website/app to place the order, easy and clear communication of creating and placing an order, finding drivers who have been amazing about delivering the food promptly in perfect condition while it is still warm, and working with a vast number of restaurants that cover every food craving that I can imagine. As a pregnant mom, I am extra appreciative of this shortcut to feeding my family.  Not only is it convenient while I am frequently tired at the end of the day during pregnancy, but it will also be convenient once my baby is born and we are busy taking care of him!  It will also be great to use on busy weekdays during the school year.

Discount - Free Delivery! I want to give a big thanks to DoorDash.com for offering this game changing service for busy and exhausted parents like us!  If you want to give it a try, click here and you'll receive FREE delivery on your first order and we'll receive a credit for referring you!

This trendy service makes life easier and more luxurious. It's nice to have a good dinner delivered with such speed and reliability, especially on days when I am tired and want a good meal before I fall asleep early. 

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Friday, May 27, 2016

(Win it!) May is Better Sleep Month: Tips for Sleep Deprived Parents


May is Better Sleep Month. This is a month that I can get behind because I love the luxury of sleep!  In today's post, I will share some tips for sleep deprived parents, a funny video with confessions from parents who understand sleep deprivation, and we'll give you the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a 2 month supply of Huggies OverNites Diapers to help you and your baby enjoy a good night of sleep!

Have you ever had a friend tell you that they are pregnant and secretly giggle because you can't imagine what they will be like when they learn that babies do not sleep a solid 8 hours at night when they come home?     I know that many of my friends laughed and thought, "This is going to be good!" They were correct - the sleep situation caught me off guard and my perfectly clean house and organizational skills completely disappeared.  My husband and I answered the door with clothing that we had worn for days straight, ordered all of our meals online, and lost track of the days. I never knew how much I treasured sleeping until I had a baby.  My son's internal clock was on 24-hour party mode with very short naps. He was most active between 11pm to 3am. I tried to convince my baby to save that sleep schedule for when he was in college, but he was not interested in my advice.  It wasn't until the 3 month mark that he finally slept for 4 hours straight!  It was glorious! The sleep situation continued to improve from that point onward.

As my son became older and was able to sleep longer, we learned more about another parental cruelty - our son could actually sleep longer, but we had to wake up to change his diaper part way through the night so that it wouldn't leak.  I remember the "Ah-Ha" moment when a friend told us to try Huggies OverNites Diapers.  We gave them a try and the result was amazing -  he could sleep through the night without any leaks.  I was so excited that I ordered several cases of the Huggies OverNites Diapers on Amazon and stored them in a closet so that we would never run low.  

I'm sure that I'm not the only parent to stock up and enjoy the luxury of sleep thanks to these trendy Huggies OverNites Diapers that are designed to rid parents of nighttime changes and keep baby dry.  These diapers have been the #1 selling nighttime diaper for the last 20 years!

On the day that my massive Amazon shipment arrived, one of our neighbors called me at work to let me know that there were a ton of boxes stacked on our porch. I explained that I learned about the Huggies OverNites Diapers and she laughed.  She apologized for not telling me about them sooner.  She knew how much I treasured those diapers and carried every single box into my house while I was at work. As a mom herself, she truly understood that the Huggies OverNites Diapers were a life changing experience for us!  I still laugh about the story because the extra sleep that I gained genuinely changed the quality of my life.


I am not the only parent to ever suffer from sleep deprivation and to laugh about it later. Check out this hilarious video of real-life parents confessing the most embarrassing things they’ve done while sleep-deprived. After you watch the video, don't forget to scroll down on the page to read more funny stories such as the prosecutor who wore two different shoes to the court house, including one trendy animal-print shoe! 



Now that we have shared the great video and stories to make you laugh, let me share a few tips for sleep deprived parents.


Tips for Sleep Deprived Parents
1. Huggies OverNites Diapers have been the #1 nighttime diaper for the past 20 years because they are awesome!  This was the only diaper that would allow us to let our son sleep through the night without having to change his diaper. (I'm currently pregnant and already have Huggies GoodNites in the nursery for when my baby is ready for size 3 diapers!)

2. If your baby is not sleeping through the night yet, take shifts with your spouse so that you each receive a break to sleep. For instance, my husband would take the 8pm to midnight shift and I would take the midnight to 6am shift.

3. Make and freeze meals before your baby is born so that you don't have to cook as often during your sleep deprivation phase.  

4. Identify the list of restaurants that deliver family meals in your area.  For instance, we use Door Dash to order from local restaurants and prefer to order family meals so that we are able to stretch the food for a few meals.

5. Sleep when your baby sleeps.  Even a 20 or 30 minute cat nap will help you to feel more rested.

6. Accept help from others. Before my baby was born, a friend offered to come take care of the baby for a weekend in order to allow us sleep for a couple of nights. I initially declined her help because I didn't understand baby sleep schedules. I quickly changed my mind after my baby was home for the first week!

7. Feed your baby closer to bedtime.  Newborns basically eat, sleep, and repeat. However, as your baby becomes older, they have extra time awake where they are not eating.  Time the feedings as close to bedtime as possible so that their tummy stays fuller throughout the night.

8. Realize that this is a phase.  I promise that your baby will eventually sleep through the night. You will get there soon!

Win it!
I want to give a big thanks to Huggies for inventing the Huggies GoodNites Diapers. These trendy diapers have allowed me and many other parents to sleep longer at night.  I also want to thank them for sponsoring this giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive a 2 month supply (2 packs) of Huggies NiteTime Diapers!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below.  The winner must have a U.S. shipping address. No P.O. boxes. The winner will have 72 hours to reply to our email with their shipping address. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sky Ranch: Launch Camps for Children Entering Kindergarten through 5th Grade


I just signed my little one up for a Sky Ranch Launch Camp!  We are looking forward to this trendy camp that has locations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metro.  My little one attended the Sky Ranch "Wave Camp" last year and had an amazing time, so we were excited for him to attend another Sky Ranch summer camp this year - Launch Camp. In today's post, I'll share an overview of the Launch Camps and the schedule/locations for 2016.  I will also share a discount code for $100 off of a one week retreat to Sky Ranch in Van, Texas.



Sky Ranch is one of the leading Christian camps in the country and is well known for their trendy Launch Camps in the DFW metro.  Sky Ranch Launch Camps give kids an extraordinary day camp experience right in their neighborhood. This summer is no exception - they have numerous Launch Camps available in June and July.  These camps are a great way for little ones entering  kindergarten through 5th grade to bond with other children in their local area with fun activities and a Christian based curriculum.  We really like that it's a good quality camp experience without the overnight stay.

Sky Ranch Launch Campers enjoy five, fun-filled days of camp activities with suitable programs and positive encouragement from our caring and extensively trained counseling staff.  



Here is a short video:

video

In our personal experience, our son attended a Sky Ranch Wave Camp last year and had an amazing time.  While Wave Camp is different than Launch Camp, I'll still share my experience from last year because I think that it shows the attention to detail and thoughtfulness that Sky Ranch puts into the camps.  I think that Sky Ranch is so wonderful for little ones!

Bringing my son out of his shell: We had a great experience at Wave Camp! I was initially nervous because my son was only 5 years old, doesn't know how to swim, and didn't know anyone at the camp. He was a bit timid initially, but the counselors were so enthusiastic and their warmth and friendliness was contagious.  They were great role models and fantastic with the kids.  The games and ice breaker activities made him quickly acclimate to being part of the group. The other children at the camp were sweethearts and he made good friends.   While Launch Camp is not at a water park, I am looking forward to the similar environment where the staff helps the children to come out of their shells and bond with each other to have fun.

Safety: They took safety seriously which was great. Each child was issued a bright orange Wave Camp t-shirt. They were bright and you couldn't miss them!   They blocked off a special part of the park for the kids that was private and shaded. The area included two tents for them to store their gear and tables.  They also had a dedicated golf cart that they rode on. (My son will tell you that the golf cart was awesome!) They started the kids with a swim test on the first day. My son doesn't know how to swim, so he used a life jacket. I appreciated their seriousness about safety. My son told me that they had strict "laws"  such as staying in front of the teachers in the Lazy River.  I had to laugh that he called them "laws".  I'm still not sure if they called them laws or if my son made this up, but I was very happy that the safety rules were clear and respected.  Again, Launch camp is not at a waterpark, but I think that all parents appreciate that Sky Ranch takes safety seriously for our little ones.

Lessons: The director gave us a handout when we picked our son up each day so that we knew the bible lessons and activities for the next day. This gave us the opportunity to engage our son in discussions about his lessons at home so that we could reflect together.  They have such a positive attitude and offered transparency so that I could easily extend his education at home.

My son's favorite day had the theme of Lights, Camera, Animals. He is so curious and loves animals, so this was his favorite day of the camp. He was such a happy little chatterbox after the lessons!

The Bible verses that they covered include Genesis 1:1-31, Colossians 1:16-17, and 1 Timothy 4:4. The questions to ask included:
  • What are some things God created?
  • What is God's favorite creation?
  • How powerful is God?
  • How has God creatively made you?
Lunches: Daily lunch was included in the registration fee. They were great about communicating the daily menu so that I had input on what my son ate and drank. My son raved about the pizza and burgers. He also loved the berry juice.

Fun activities: The Wave Camp started at 8am each morning. This was quite a luxury since the general public doesn't have access to the park until 10am!  The Wave Camp counselors and kids had the park to themselves for two full hours.  My son raves about how much fun it was to play in the park with his camp friends.  These are memories that I am sure he will always treasure.

The last day of the camp included a closing ceremony.  You could tell that the counselors and children loved each other. We left feeling so fortunate and blessed that our son was able to be a part of this wonderful camp that had a large impact on him. 

In summary, my takeaway from this experience is that the SkyRanch Wave Camp was well organized and provided a memorable opportunity for children. I was a bit nervous that my son was on the younger side, but the great staff and policies quickly relieved my worries and we felt comfortable.  They know how to run an awesome camp that is inclusive of all of the children!   I can't say enough good things about the wonderful experience that our family had by sending our son to Wave Camp.  We definitely recommend trendy Sky Ranch camps to other moms that are in the DFW metro!  We are thrilled to send our little one to Launch Camp this summer!

Here is the list of Launch Camp dates and locations for Summer 2016:

All Saints Episcopal School
Fort Worth, Texas
Session 8: July 18-22

The Clariden School
Southlake, Texas
Session 9: July 25-29

Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church
Allen, Texas
Session 10: August 1-5
Session 11: August 8-12

Custer Road United Methodist Church
Plano, Texas
Session 3: June 13-17

First Baptist Church Keller
Keller, Texas
Session 5: June 27 - July 1

Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Dallas, Texas
Session 4: June 20-24
Session 9: July 25-29

Grapevine Faith Christian School
Grapevine, Texas
Session 7: July 11-15

Highland Park Presbyterian Church
Dallas, Texas
Session 10: August 1-5
Session 11: August 8-12

Legacy Christian Academy
Frisco, Texas
Session 5: June 27 - July 1
Session 6: July 4-8
Session 7: July 11-15

Liberty Christian School
Argyle, Texas
Session 1: May 30 - June 3
Session 2: June 6-10

Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church
Prosper, Texas
Session 4: June 20-24

McKinney Christian Academy
McKinney, Texas
Session 2: June 6-10

The Oakridge School
Arlington, Texas
Session 2: June 6-10

Prestonwood Christian Academy
Plano, Texas
Session 8: July 18-22
Session 9: July 25-29

Rockwall Presbyterian Church
Rockwall, Texas
Session 10: August 1-5

Southwest Christian School
Fort Worth, Texas
Session 3: June 13-17

St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Plano, Texas
Session 5: June 27 - July 1

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal
Dallas, Texas
Session 7: July 11-15
Session 8: July 18-22

Trinity Christian Academy
Addison, Texas
Session 3: June 13-17
Session 4: June 20-24


We hope that you are similarly able to send your little ones to a trendy Sky Ranch Launch Camp!  

In addition to Sky Ranch Launch Camp, let me point you to a fabulous retreat. Click here to learn more about Sky Ranch in Van, Texas and use discount code 2016SCBlog for $100 off of a one week stay!
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Destination Science Camp: Fun Camps That Also Give Your Child An Academic Advantage


We recently had a meeting with my son's teacher and principle to ask for advice about what to do with him this summer.  One of the biggest takeaways from the meeting was that we should enroll him in a few organized summer camps.  The key is "organized".   At his age, it's important for him to participate in activities where he works with his peers and follows rules to accomplish goals. In particular, they emphasized that accountability to peers is important for children.    They also encouraged us to find STEM resources for him since he loves science. Plus, science is such a critical area of study for today's generation of children!

We found the perfect camps for our son that fit the criteria that his teacher and principle recommended - Destination Science Camp.  Not only are they well organized camps, but they are also tailored to extra things that children love, including  games, splash time, and fun challenges.  Whether you are at home with your children or a working parent, the schedule is perfect because the camps are from 9am - 3pm with optional extended care.  If you plan on putting your child in daycare for most of summer, this camp is really nice because they have some at the beginning and end of summer where you could cut the daycare early and instead put your money toward a fabulous camp that is educational and that will create amazing childhood memories!



Let's start with location.  Click here to find a location near you and the costs.  We love that the costs are transparent and there are no hidden fees.  As a mom with Engineering degrees, the Destination Science curriculum is what put these camps at the top of our list.  The camps are packed with many hands-on activities and foster teamwork which is not only critical in the field of Engineering, but also addresses the issues of organization and accountability to peers that our son's teacher and principle emphasized.   In addition, if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, to my knowledge, these are among the lowest priced STEM camps in the area when you consider the good quality of the programs and number of hours. The camps are under $300/week whereas many others are in $350 to $500 range.   Destination Science Camp fills the niche for parents who have high expectations for curriculum and want a reasonable tuition.

Now let's talk about the daily schedule. A typical day at camp includes both indoor and outdoor science activities, outdoor games, and one super-fun rally! 

  • After checking in and getting the day started, they start with our first science station of the day, this activity includes a long-term project that will be completed by Friday. 
  • From there, they grab a snack and head outside to experience some outside action. Some of the outside activities include games with a SPLASH, so be prepared for some watery fun!
  • Next up…Engineering 2016!  Campers will work in small teams to design creative solutions to fun challenges.  
  • This is followed by lunch & fun group games.  
  • They round out the day with our third exciting science station until it is time to say goodbye at 3:00, where we wrap up the lessons of the day and get ready for a whole new day of science tomorrow!
Finally, let's talk about the topics.  The camp curriculum is updated every year so that your child is able to attend each year to experience new things.  This is good since this is one of those camps that once your child attends, they will want to go back again in following years!  This year's camps include:

  • Super Hero Physics Science Camp
  • Space Quest Science Camp
  • Robot Challenge Science Camp
  • Roller Coaster Science Camp
Learn more
As I mentioned above, my degrees are in Engineering and I look very closely at camp curriculums for my child because there are many important factors to consider. Personally, I am sending my own child to a Destination Science Camp because they have such strong curriculum with many fun features that I think will foster my son's creativity and love of science and technology while also practicing important social skills that his teacher and principle recommended to us.  Plus, even if my child does not want to be an Engineer like me when he grows up, the conceptual thinking and problem solving skills that he gains from the experience are applicable to many other areas of life. Many of my pre-Engineering classmates went on to become medical doctors, business executives, and more, but give credit to their challenging Engineering experiences for teaching them to think and solve problems.   These camps are great for young children no matter which direction their career paths take them!

My son is already counting down the days until he attends his camp session!   Visit Destination Science to learn more!


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