Trendy Mom Reviews
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Snap Into Shape with Snap Kitchen and Beyond Studios

Has the extreme heat slowed you down this summer?  I have to admit that the long streak of 90 and 100-degree temperatures was making me sluggish. Simply running errands in the heat put a damper on my usually energetic personality.  Thank goodness for some healthy (and air conditioned) options to reenergize in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro with fun classes from Beyond Studios and healthy food from Snap Kitchen. Let me share some secrets for beating the heat and staying healthy for those of us in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro!

Let's start with meals.  Personally, my husband and I are foodies who love to cook together. However,   similar to most people in the DFW metro, we don't cook as much in the summer because it is so hot.  Thank goodness for the Snap Kitchen locations that have been popping up throughout the metro!  If you haven't been to Snap Kitchen yet, you will love them.  Snap Kitchen offers a large variety of ready made meals that were created by an all-star team of chefs and dietitians. The meals are healthy and clearly labeled with the nutritional content. The meals are made fresh daily and they compartmentalize different ingredients so that everything is perfect for when you are ready for the meal. For instance, they will never drown your salad in dressing so that it's soggy when you open it. They truly are perfectionists who pay close attention to detail so that each meal is perfect.  Even my son who is often a picky eater appreciates their simple and healthy meals!  Here is an example. You'll notice that they are perfectionists who pay close attention to detail so that your salad will be fresh and crisp.

Let me share a few samples of our favorite meals.  It's so hot outside that my family is obsessed with salads.  Snap Kitchen has the most amazing selection of meals, particularly salads. They currently offer 8 salads and 5 premium proteins which result in 40 ways to mix and match.  Here are some examples:
raw rainbow with miso carrot dressing - chef says: add grilled tofu or poached shrimp 
roots and grains with red wine vinaigrette - chef says: add grilled chicken or grilled tofu 
garden party with hemp seed ranch dressing - chef says: add grilled steak or chopped almond crusted chicken 
summer fling with lemon poppy seed vinaigrette - chef says: add poached shrimp or chopped almond crusted chicken 
goddess of green with creamy herb dressing - chef says: add grilled steak 
great greek with herb vinaigrette - chef says: add grilled chicken or poached shrimp 
chopped sesame with citrus vinaigrette - chef says: add grilled chicken or grilled tofu 
classic nicoise with red wine vinaigrettechef says: add grilled steak
My personal favorite is the Classic Nicosia with Red Wine Vinaigrette.  I love it with the grilled chicken because I am obsessed with the light seasoning on the chicken in combination with the salad flavors.  Here is an example that shows how they put different ingredients into little containers so that the salad stays crisp until you are ready to eat it.

Here is a photo of my dream salad with the ingredients tossed together.

My husband's favorite is the Goddess of Green Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing and Poached Shrimp.  

The calabrese peppers give this salad a very special taste.

Finally, the Raw Rainbow Salad with Carrot and Miso dressing was my son's favorite.  You'll notice the generous variety of colors and nutrients. 

We love Snap Kitchen! Snap Kitchen makes it easy to pack your diet with different nutrients.

Now let's talk about exercise.  Beyond Studios is a trendy new facility that offers private group classes and is located at 4348 Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX 75225. The PILATESremix class is a trendy hybrid workout that combines legendary fitness techniques with beat dropping music that is performed on their customized reformer. The 50 minute full-body workout consists of smooth, continuous, and controlled movements that will make you sweat, shake, burn and BEYOND. Once you get onto their bed – sleep is not an option.They offer memorable classes that empower your mind, push your limits, and energize your life. You'll feel a high from the exercise after one of their classes. Even better, work out and then treat yourself to a meal and/or snack from Snap Kitchen to give your body a great boost!

We hope you enjoy our personal tips for easy and fun ways to stay healthy during this heat wave!
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(Win it!) The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon

If you have a little one, I'm going to take a guess that they love cats because I know how much my own child loves cats. It's adorable that he played "cats" with his friends in both his 3-year old and 4-year old preschool classes. I actually remember having to teach him to do a different "cat crawl" that involved lifting his knees off of the ground because we went through over a dozen pairs of pants as he would crawl around pretending to be a cat and cause holes in the knees. It has been cat mania at our house for a while now!

When I saw a trendy new book - The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon, I knew that my son and friends would love it. Plus, I also have a younger child who I am sure will love cats shortly too! In today's post, I'll tell you about this trendy book and give the opportunity for one lucky reader to win a fun prize pack!

By A.N. Kang
Release: September 6, 2016
For ages 3-5

The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon is a picture book that is perfect for ages 3 to 5. The book contains whimsical art and airy text that come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang – the first in the new Papillon series about a kitty so fluffy, he floats! Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he’s lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it’s also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home?

This trendy book is by A. N. Kang ( who was born in a little town in South Korea, with endless rice fields around her house. She grew up entertaining herself with picturebooks, and drew constantly. After moving to the United States as a teenager, she graduated from art school and began to design jewelry, greeting cards, and holiday installations all over New York City. She now lives and works in New Jersey with her sassy cat, Papillon. This is Kang’s debut.

We hope that you enjoy this trendy book with your little ones are able to create fun childhood memories with them and this whimsical book!

Win it!

One lucky winner will receive the following:

  • a copy of The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon
  • a $50 Petco Gift Card
  • and a set of branded Magnet Cat Doll Sheets
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 respond to our email with their shipping address or we will select a different winner. Good luck.
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Learn More

Fly away with Papillon at
Get social and follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram
Add DisneyBooks on Snapchat
Follow #PapillonTheKitty for more fun!
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DIY Star Wars Halloween and Party Ideas: Light Saber Bubble Wands, Light Saber Candy, & Trendy Costumes

DIY Star Wars Halloween and Party Ideas: Light Saber Bubble Wands, Light Saber Candy, & Trendy Costumes
Similar to most other boys, my oldest son and his friends cannot get enough of Star Wars. I am starting to think that they dedicate 20% of their brains to Star Wars.  In today's post, I'll share how we had an Oriental Trading shopping spree to stock up on supplies to create some fun Star Wars DIY projects - DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands, Light Saber Candy, & Trendy Costumes that are easy to share with friends.

Let's start with a photo of the supplies from our Oriental Trading shopping spree and then we will show you how we transformed these supplies into amazing DIY Star Wars projects!

DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands

1. Select your favorite color roll of tape and bubble wand. 

2. As shown in steps 2 and 3 of the photo below, wrap one piece of tape over the bottom edge and then a second piece in a perpendicular position over the bottom edge so that the bottom is fully covered. 

3. As shown in steps 4 and 5, wrap tape around the handle until it is fully covered.

4. As shown in step 6, use the red masking tape to create a button for the light saber. My son and his friends will tell you that while flexibility is allowed for the colors of the bubble wands and handle tape, the button must always be the color red. Optionally, add stripes to the handle for extra fun.

5. Add the DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands to a pretty basket and add Star Wars VII Masks as decorations to the basket. Now that you have the final bubble wands, blow bubbles for the children and let them use their trendy Light Saber Bubble Wands to chase and pop the bubbles!

Light Saber Candy
1. Select your favorite colored Sour Punch Licorice Twists and two rolls from the Colorful Masking Tape Kit as shown in step 1.

2. Wrap a piece of masking tape around the base of the Sour Punch Licorice Twist as shown in step 2.

3. Cut a piece of masking tape into the shape of a button and apply it to the handle as shown in step 3.

4. Repeat the first three steps until you have enough for your party and/or Trick Or Treaters!

5. Decorate the container of Sour Punch Licorice Twists with a Star Wars VII Mask.  These cardboard masks are great for decorations and for the children to use their imaginations!

Trendy Costumes
Finally, I want to share that we found the trendiest Star Wars costumes at Oriental Trading! My son is dressed in the Star Wars Stormtrooper Boys Halloween costume. This costume is nice quality and you'll notice the attention to detail in the design.  It's better quality than the costumes that I personally saw in local stores. For instance, this mask has velcro to attach it rather than a thin piece of string. The plastic on the mask and the costume fabric is thicker than those that I saw in the store. My son is thrilled to be a Storm Trooper this year!  

In addition to my son's costume, we also love the Star Wars VII Masks for play dates and to donate to his school.  These masks are inexpensive and fun for play dates. In addition, we are donating some of the DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands and Star Wars VII Masks to his school in case there are children who do not have costumes.  Teachers and children always appreciate when parents share things like this to help make Halloween special for all of the children!

We want to give a big thanks to Oriental Trading for the fun supplies that we used in this post. 
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Tips for Making Boys Shoes Last Longer for the New School Year

Back-to-School is here! I recently had to laugh and sympathize as I met another mom who told me that she bought new school shoes for her child only to have him outgrow them within two weeks. Hello, growth spurt! She was disappointed that she spent $50 on adorable shoes that were only used for such a short time. I sympathized because I know all about growth spurts. However, whether it's a growth spurt or a particularly energetic child who goes through shoes quickly, there are some tips to help.

1. Look for shoes with inserts that allow you to adjust the size of the shoes
Some shoes, such as pediped shoes, come with inserts that allow you to adjust the size of shoes. It's pretty easy - they use the Flex Fit System. This system provides additional insoles that can be inserted for a snug fit then removed for room as your child's foot grows. These insoles can reduce shoe size by almost half a size, extending the life of the shoe. They allow us to greet growth spurts with more enthusiasm since we don't have to replace shoes so quickly!

2. Look for breathable shoes and follow good sanitary practices
Breathable shoes are important for both comfort and cleanliness, especially if the shoes are your child's primary pair of shoes that they run around in. Choose shoes that allow their feet to breath. Your child should always wear socks with their shoes. When the shoes are not in use, make sure that you leave them as open as possible so that they have the chance to air out. This is particularly important for those of us who live in hot and humid Texas.

3. Look for shoes that are machine washable
Kids stress test their shoes in sandboxes, parks, mud, and more. My son is super energetic and it is a lot of work to keep him clean and presentable. We look for shoes such as those from pediped that are machine washable and allow us to simply remove the insoles before placing them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. We use regular detergent. We let them air dry in our laundry room and add the inserts back once the shoes are dry.

4. Do not allow your child to form the habit of putting their shoes on without unfastening them first

Insist that your child unfasten their shoes before trying to shove their feet into them. You don't want them to stretch or tear the back of their shoe.

5. Look for shoes that offer good support and that are flexible
Children are still growing and good footwear support is critical. Make sure that the shoes are durable, comfortable, and provide good support. For instance, you should be able to bend the soles, especially across the ball of their foot. You also want to make sure that the sole will not separate from the shoe.

We hope that you enjoy our tips. Visit pediped for trendy shoes that were mentioned in this post!
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Monday, August 22, 2016

(Win it!) Mooyah's 100th Location Celebration

If you follow regularly, you know that we love Mooyah!  They have the best food and family-friendly atmosphere.  My oldest son and I have weekly "Mommy and Me" dates where we spend time together at a fun activity and then go out to lunch. We often visit his favorite restaurant - Mooyah - for lunch.  We typically place our order and then he colors on their Moodle Doodle chalkboard or colors on their trendy coloring sheets while we wait for our food.  We both love our "Mommy and Me" dates and the special memories that we create together.

I recently noticed a fun Mooyah campaign and want to share.  Mooyah has become so popular that they are celebrating the opening of their 100th location on Monday!  They are running a system-wide giveaway where the first 100 guests will receive iconic Fresh Hot Buns t-shirts AND free fries for a year!  This will be a fun memory to share with your family.  Personally, we are calling the event "good childhood" because it's pretty amazing to have the chance to win a fun t-shirt AND  a year of free fries! Let me share the details. You will also find them here.

Save this info to your calendar:
  • What: Mooyah's 100th location giveaway with FREE Fresh Hot Buns t-shirts AND FREE fries for a year
  • Where: All Mooyah restaurants, excluding Matthews, NC, New Orleans, LA, Baylor, UCA, SLU, or UTSA
  • When: Monday, August 29, 2016 for the first 100 in-store transactions

Since these giveaways are highly sought-after, they have a few rules to make it a fair fight: 

  • Giveaways go to the first 100 transactions (receive the t-shirt and free fries cards with receipt)
  • One giveaway recipient per transaction (if 3 people are in the party, the paying person gets the's only fair)
  • One giveaway recipient per day (spread the love and let someone else win)
  • Giveaway recipients must be 16 years of age or older)
  • In-restaurant transactions only (online, mobile app, call-in, & pick-up orders don't qualify)
  • MOOYAH team members are not eligible for giveaways
  • Family members of team members are welcome to be one of the first 100 transactions
  • Free fries for a year is equivalent to 52 free fries cards; cards expire September 1, 2017
  • Fresh Hot Buns t-shirts are available in sizes medium and XL, while supplies last
  • U.S. locations only (not available in Canada, Mexico or the Middle East)
  • Not available at locations in Matthews, NC, New Orleans, LA, Baylor, UCA, SLU, or UTSA
We hope that you have the opportunity to join the celebration! If you are one of the luck people to win a trendy Fresh Hot Buns t-shirt and FREE fries for a year, please share a photo of you wearing your t-shirt on social media using #MOOYAH!   Plus, follow #MOOYAH to see photos from others.  We are looking forward to the fun on Monday!

PS - Here are photos of our favorite meals!

These Mooyah fries are made from fresh potatoes and cooked when you order them.

I usually order a salad. They are generous with the portion size and fresh toppings.

My son loves a good burger, sweet potato fries, and Vitamin Water!

Have fun at the Mooyah 100th Location Celebration on Monday!  
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

(Win it!) Tips for Counting Down the Last Days of Pregnancy #StreamTeam @Netflix

Tips for Counting Down the Last Days of Pregnancy
My baby is due next month and I am anxiously counting down. In today's post, I'll share some tips that are helping me to pass time quicker.  I'll also tell you about a cute show that I'm watching with my son - Beat Bugs - which holds both of our attention despite our large age gap thanks to the trendy Beatles music and great artists.  We'll also celebrate the upcoming end of my pregnancy days and the Beat Bugs release with a fun giveaway where one lucky winner will receive 6 months of FREE Netflix!

1. Get Netflix
Netflix has been a lifesaver for taking my mind off of pregnancy pains.  The 25 pounds that I have gained has changed my normal stride into a waddle.  My energy level is at an all-time low.  I want to relax more.  That's OK since my body is busy doing something completely amazing - growing a baby to love!  Nonetheless, my options for entertainment are limited. I'm so grateful for Netflix that brings thousands of shows to my living room. I watch whatever I want at any time without commercials. It rocks! I am currently hooked on watching all of the seasons ofGilmore Girls again.  When my little boy is home, we have been watching Beat Bugs!  I know that some moms aren't always thrilled to watch some children's shows, but Beat Bugs is an exception. It's pretty awesome - even for adults!  Here's a quick overview:
With the new Netflix original series Beat Bugs, inspired by the music of the Beatles, your next family sing-along can be “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Thanks to five charming and energetic bug-like creatures (Jay, Kumi, Crick, Buzz and Walter), families have the opportunity to come together over kid-friendly storylines and the best damn music ever made -- recorded by today’s top artists, including Jennifer Hudson, P!nk, Sia and Eddie Vedder.
Our family loves rocking out to this trendy show!  We even have our own jam sessions with fun instruments.  Netflix completely rocked our world with this show and we highly recommend it!

2. Go on walks if your doctor approves
Walk, waddle, or whatever you need to do in order to get your exercise in. Not only does it pass time, but it makes me feel better. I have to admit that as someone with extreme morning sickness, it has been tough and my walks are often short, but I try my best. Pregnancy is hard, but try your best!

3. Join an online pregnancy group
There are many pregnancy groups out there for almost anything that you can think of - moms due during a certain month, moms in a specific region, moms of certain ages, etc.  I'm in a Facebook group of moms who are due around the same time as me. It has been a fun and educational experience to chat with these pregnant moms.

Finally, remember that the baby really will come out eventually. As someone who is 8 months pregnant, I know about the ups and downs. I'll have a day packed with nausea, vomiting, and my baby pushing on my ribs. The next day is then much better. I keep reminding myself that I am close to the end and day dream about what my little guy is going to look like.  (I always imagine that he looks like my other son, but with more hair.)

Win it!
Celebrate the release of the newest episodes of Beat Bugs and my final days of pregnancy by entering for a chance to win the ultimate prize for pregnant women - a 6 month subscription code to Netflix! 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. Otherwise, we will select a different winner. Good luck!

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The August 2016 Paper Pumpkin Kit: Bold Botanicals

We just received our August 2016 Paper Pumpkin kit and it is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!  This trendy kit is all about bold botanicals and offers versatility.  The set contains the supplies for 6 cards/envelopes and 3 note cards/pockets.  This is a fun kit for everyone from novices to experts because the supplies make it easy to create gorgeous cards.  If you are a beginner, a subscription to Paper Pumpkin is a great way to get started because the supplies are easy to work with and they have great resources. For instance, each kit comes with instructions. Plus, they have videos at

This month's kit contains: 

  • Bold Botanicals Photopolymer Stamp Set
  • Early Espresso Classic Stampin' Spot
  • 6 card bases (2 sizes)
  • 6 envelopes (2 sizes)
  • 3 printed note cards
  • 3 printed note card pockets
  • 6 printed backgrounds (2 sizes)
  • 15 printed die-cut elements
  • 9 laser-cut wooden pieces
  • 3 clothespins
  • 1 yard burlap trim
  • 6 yards brown twine
  • 50 dimensionals
  • 75 adhesive dots

In my personal experience, this kit was a lot of fun.  Let me share a few examples of my creations. The first is a pretty Thank You card for a friend. I love how detailed the card looks, but really, I have to thank the Paper Pumpkin team because I followed their instructions. They pay such close attention to detail and made it easy for me to create the card.

The next is a gift card holder. Isn't it adorable?!

We love the monthly surprises from Paper Pumpkin! Their design team is so creative and pays close attention to every last detail while creating kits that are accessible for everyone from novices to experts. My husband and little boy even love helping me to create fun cards!  We recommend that you check them out! Get started with Paper Pumpkin here. Plus, now is a great time to enroll because they are running a buy one get one (BOGO) on Paper Pumpkin from August 11 – October 10. Any new subscriber that signs up during that period will pay the regular cost of the first month and the second will be free.
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Monday, August 15, 2016

(Win it!) Boys and Their Toys: K'NEX KForce Build and Blast Line of Toys

K'NEX knows how to the rock the world of my boys!  Their latest line of K'NEX KForce Build and Blast toys has been a huge hit at our house.  Not only did they enjoy building their own creations, but they also enjoyed putting safety goggles on and having fun with them in our backyard.  Let me share the product descriptions and they our personal experience. (Spoiler alert - the boys love them and they really are as powerful as the box says!)

We tried out two compatible products - the K'NEX KForce Mini Cross Building Set and the K'NEX K-10V Building set.

Here is the product description for the K'NEX KForce Mini Cross:

Build your own customizable blaster with the Mini Cross! Fires up to 75 feet! Set includes K'NEX rods and connectors plus special parts to create your blaster: 1 blaster chamber, 1 quick fit grip, 1 preload ring and 5 foam darts. Combine with the K-10X for an awesome downloadable combo build! Compatible with the entire K-FORCE Build and Blast™ line. Ages 8+.
  • 5 Foam Darts
  • 1 Blaster Chamber
  • 1 Quick Fit Grip
  • 1 Preload Ring
  • Downloadable Combo Build
  • UPC: 744476475176

Here is the description for the K'NEX K-10V Building Set:
Build your own customizable blaster with the K-10V! Fires up to 75 feet! Set includes K'NEX rods and connectors plus special parts to create your blaster: 1 blaster chamber, 1 quick fit grip, and 1 pre-load ring in a cool see-through red! Comes with 5 foam darts. Combine with the Mini-Cross and download instructions for a double-blasting, 2-chambered combo build. Compatible with the entire K-FORCE Build and Blast™ line. Ages 8+.
  • 5 Foam Darts
  • 1 Blaster Chamber
  • 1 Quick Fit Grip
  • 1 Preload Ring
  • Downloadable Combo Build

In our personal experience, the boys spent about 30 minutes excitedly building their creations. It was fun to watch them because they were so excited and kept exclaiming how cool their toys were.  They said that building them was easy-peasy because the instructions and pieces were easy to work with.  

Once they were done building, it was time to test them out.  We were all shocked at how far they shoot.  The box is not exaggerating when it says up to 75 feet.  The designers figured out how to pack these with a lot of power. You'll want to use these outside with your kids wearing protective goggles and safety gear and make sure that there is nothing that they will break in the area because these truly live up to the advertised description.  

My boys LOVED these toys!  They had the most amazing time building and playing with them.  We plan to buy some for an upcoming birthday party gift.

Win it!
One lucky winner will receive a K'Nex Mini Cross Building Set.  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 respond to our email with their shipping address. Otherwise, we will select a different winner. Good luck!
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Thanks to K'NEX for providing the products for us to test out and a prize for one winner.
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Recipe: Tropical Caprese

Recipe: Tropical Mango Caprese

  • 1/2 ripe mango
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of small Mozzarella balls
  • 1/8 cup of spring lettuce mix
  • 1 teaspoon of basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • light misting of olive oil (or light drizzle if you do not have an olive oil mister)
  • light drizzle of Balsamic glaze
1. Slice your tomatoes into 1/4" slices with a sharp knife and then layer the lettuce and tomato into each serving dish.

2. Score the mango into small pieces with a sharp knife.  Once you score the mango, carefully use a knife to remove the mango chunks from the skin. Add a layer of mango chunks to each serving dish.

3. Add a layer of mozzarella, mist lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with basil and cracked black pepper, and drizzle a light layer of Balsamic glaze.

4. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate.

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