Trendy Mom Reviews
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth with your Little Ninjas!


If you follow regularly, you know that I am a Boy Mom who loves going out to do fun things with my boys. They are curious little guys that love the opportunity to learn through experiences. We try to find one or two "experiences" each month to foster their love of learning and to connect them with the world in different ways. While I am always looking for activities to keep them busy, I consider it a bonus when an activity uses a lot of energy so that they are tired out by the time that we get home. In today's post, I'll tell you about the latest NINJAGO themed fun at LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Grapevine, TX because it rocked our world! I had a blast with my little ninjas and they were truly tired out when we got home with sweet dreams about their experience.  (PS - The experience is also a lot of fun for girls too! We saw girls having just as much fun as the boys.)

Here are the details:

  • What: LEGO® NINJAGO® Days 
  • Where: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth 
  • When: September 23 - October 8
    • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. - last admission two hours prior to closing.
  • Get the full details (and tickets!): 
Join your favorite ninja – Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya – during LEGO® NINJAGO® Days at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth in celebration of opening of the all-new, big screen animated adventure THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE, from Warner Bros. Pictures, in theaters nationwide on September 22nd.

The latest in the Warner Bros. Pictures LEGO franchise, “The LEGO NINJAGO Movie” stars Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Zach Woods, and the legendary Jackie Chan,as the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to pull together to unleash their inner power.

In the spirit of this highly anticipated film, LEGO NINJAGO Days is creating epic fun for kids and families throughout the weekends with a themed scavenger hunt, ninja skills challenge, LEGO build activities and so much more! Guests will also have the opportunity to win prizes and attend a meet and greet with Kai, the Fire Ninja, from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.

LEGO NINJAGO Days is included with admission.
I hope that you are able to visit soon with your little ninjas!  
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

zulily Presents: Fall for You - Join them live on Facebook!


Throughout the week,  zulily will be going live on Facebook at 10 a.m. PDT. During these sessions, viewers can learn how to create these looks at home thanks to styling commentary from a panel of experts, including zulily buyers and stylists and Seattle-based fashion bloggers: Bre Sheppard of BreSheppard.com, Sahily Perez of Pretty in Pigment, Asa Herrman of Lace and Pearls, and Emma Cortes of Emma’s Edition.Upcoming fashion themes covered will include, Luxe Textures, Fall Prints, and Curve Appeal and all sessions will highlight trend-forward apparel inclusive of all body types and budgets. See below for links to their latest two Facebook live sessions: Pops of Red and Budget-Friendly Buys.

From chic velvet dresses to stylish over-the-knee boots, it’s time to get your wardrobe ready with the hottest fashion trends that fall has to offer. To help women navigate the must-have styles this season and find their perfect match, zulily, the online retailer obsessed with bringing special finds every day to its customers, is launching “zulily Presents: Fall for You,” a series of shoppable Facebook Live styling sessions where consumers will have the chance to see and shop top fashion picks modeled by real women of all shapes and sizes. Over the past two years, zulily buyers have been partnering with and encouraging women’s vendors to add plus-sizes to their product offerings. In fact, zulily counts over 900 vendors and 1,500 brands that have featured plus-size styles on the site, including ten unique plus-size brands that are exclusive to zulily!

Here is a summary of the sessions. I hope that you will tune in for the trendy advice!

What: zulily Presents: Fall for You - live on Facebook!
When: September 18 - 11 at 10am:

  • Monday, Sept. 18 – Pops of Red 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 – Budget-Friendly Buys
  • Wednesday, Sept. 20 – Curve Appeal
  • Thursday, Sept. 21 – Fall Prints
  • Friday, Sept. 22 – Luxe Textures
Where: Facebook live - Visit zulily's website


We hope that you are able to join the sessions on Facebook and learn from the trendy experts at zulily!  Personally, I am looking forward to their advice for the latest Fall trends.
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Saturday, September 16, 2017

DIY Creepy Halloween Rubber Gloves Filled with Candy


DIY Creepy Halloween Rubber Gloves Filled with Candy
In today's post, I feel like I have truly demonstrated my abilities as a Boy Mom. This project is totally creepy and my boys think that it is the best Halloween trick!  Add some of these creepy candy-filled rubber gloves to your halloween treat basket to see if any kids are brave enough to take one. 

Supplies
Thanks to Oriental Trading for some of the supplies featured in this project.  They have a good selection of candy for these Spooky Rubber Gloves. They make it convenient and cost-effective to work on large scale DIY treats like this. For instance, we are donating 150 snacks to a church event and the Spooky Rubber Gloves came out to less than 50-cents per person.

Directions
1. For each glove, put either Green Hard Candy Sticks or Twizzlers in each finger.

2. Next add either a pack of pretzels and/or fruit snacks to the palm of the glove.

3. Add a few pieces of Hershey's candies to the glove to fill the thumb and palm.  This last step should stretch the center of the glove.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. It's my creepiest post yet and made me feel like I scored Boy Mom points with this fun idea. I rank it up there with my Light Saber Towel rack from my son's bathroom makeover a while back. I'd love it if you would share this post with friends!
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Friday, September 15, 2017

Five Ideas for a Star Wars Themed Trunk or Treat Design


Five Ideas for a Star Wars Themed Trunk or Treat Design
Trunk or Treat events are popular here in Texas.  It's a fun opportunity to choose a theme and have fun in your community. In today's post, I'll share some ideas for a trendy Star Wars themed Trunk or Treat design. Of course, these ideas will also work if you are decorating your front porch or organizing a school event.  

Before I provide the tips, let me first give thanks to Oriental Trading for sponsoring this post. I have been extremely busy lately and they sent everything that we needed for our quick and easy Star Wars themed Trunk or Treat design.  (Yes, everything that I needed was delivered to my front doorstep in a single box!)

1. Have your family wear Star Wars costumes.
We ordered Star Wars costumes for our family.  You'll notice that my son is a Storm Trooper in the photo above.  I also ordered a Darth Vader costume for my husband, an R2D2 costume for my younger son, and a Storm Trooper costume for myself.  It's fun to create happy memories in Star Wars themed costumes together!  This is a great time to order your costumes since it's early enough to select a free shipping option and have them arrive well before Halloween.  Oriental Trading has a great selection of Star Wars costumes.

2. Serve candy, but don't forget about children with food allergies.
We ordered giant bags of Hershey's Halloween candy from Oriental Trading. It's really convenient because they have bags with 155 pieces of candy.  In addition, we ordered Space Rubber Duckies since some children have food allergies and we wanted to make sure that they felt special too.  Plus, don't they look cool for our space theme?!


3. Add a game with a space shuttle piñata.
Here in Texas, we always love an excuse for a good piñata at a celebration.  We added a special sticker to some of the candies and Space Rubber Duckies.  If a child found a special sticker on their treat, they were able to pull a ribbon on the space shuttle at the end of the night.  We set a time and relocated the piñata for a fun ending to the evening. This is a memorable activity for little ones!  


4. Add a family Halloween prop to your trunk.
Every family has their own special traditions that stay with them for many years.  For our family, we have the creepy Skeleton Cat below. We ordered this last year from Oriental Trading. The Skeleton Cat is like a family member that visits us every Halloween.  We brought him to the Trunk or Treat with us. While our children may change their costumes from year-to-year, we plan to have this creepy Skeleton Cat in the background of our photos every year!


5. Donate inexpensive Star Wars Masks and Bubble Wand Light Sabers for children without costumes.
Some parents aren't able to buy a costume for their child. Consider donating costumes to a local school or Sunday school classroom. We ordered an inexpensive set of cardboard Star Wars masks, bubble wands, and colorful masking tape from Oriental Trading.  We then wrapped tape around the handles of the bubble wands to make them look like light sabers.  This is a fun and inexpensive costume.  Teachers are able to hand them out to children without costumes so that they feel special. After all, Halloween is a very special night that creates wonderful childhood memories!



We hope that you enjoyed our tips and have a wonderful Halloween with your family!
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Visit the Trendy SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza (Kids Eat Free on Sunday)


We all know that children thrive when they have a schedule and routine. To borrow a line from Sheldon Cooper, "Thurdsay is pizza night."  Actually, Sunday is pizza night for our family because this is the special day when SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza offers free kids meals.  We look forward to our Sunday evening dinners because their trendy restaurant provides food options that both parents and children crave. (Did someone say Goat Cheese & Fresh Arugula Pizza with wine for parents and Pepperoni Pizza served with gelato for kids?)  In today's post, I'll share information about this family friendly restaurant that will make it easy for you to enjoy "grown up" food while also satisfying your little ones.

Let's start with the locations.  There are several locations across the country. Use the store locator here to find a location near you. Personally, we visit the trendy location in Southlake, TX.  This location is adjacent to Southlake Town Square, so it's a great opportunity to enjoy dinner and then take a walk around the square.  As I mentioned before, my children thrive when they have a schedule or "tradition."  We enjoy dinner at SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza and then walk over to the square where they often find many other children and informally play games.   We also noticed that many people hide their kindness rocks around Southlake Town Square on Sunday evenings, so it's a great time to visit and search for kindness rocks.




Now, let's talk about the food.  As I mentioned earlier, "Kids eat Free" is available on Sundays at SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza. This dine-in offer includes a free kids meal with each purchase of a large salad, large pizza, or Mini Mia. The kids meals include a kids entree, drink, and a mini gelato.  The kids entree options include pepperoni pizza, cheese pizza, mac and cheese, or ham & cheese rollers. The drink options are milk, apple juice, or a soft drink.  The meal also includes a mini gelato. (Our favorite in the vanilla bean!)  If you need a gluten-free crust, it's just $1.50 extra. Whole wheat crust is 50-cents extra.  My boys are creatures of habit and always choose the Pepperoni Pizza, Milk, and Vanilla Bean Gelato. 




I appreciate that they give the kids tokens for their dessert so that they aren't tempted to eat dessert first. Plus, my boys love the tokens and feel special when they go to cash them in.




The gelato flavors rotate over time, so it's fun to browse the options on every visit.  





Our children raved about their gelato so much on our recent visit that I ordered dessert too. Their pistachio gelato is amazing!



My husband and I refer to our Sunday visits at SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza as "good childhood."  Our children look forward to their trendy kids meals and the new gelato options that they feature each week. We are sure that they will remember this special part of their childhood.




As I mentioned earlier, SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza is also wonderful for parents.  My husband and I typically split a pizza and a salad.  For instance, our favorites are the Goat Cheese & Fresh Arugula Pizza and the Sonoma Salad.  There are also plenty of wine, beer, and soda options to pair with meals. 




The Goat Cheese & Fresh Arugula Pizza is my personal favorite. It includes a crushed tomato sauce with basil, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and fresh arugula. 



The Sonoma Salad includes red leaf and spinach with grapes, raisins, apples, goat cheese, chopped glazed pecans, and a blood orange vinaigrette.  They offer the options to add chicken, sopressata, or chilled Calabrian shrimp.  This is my favorite salad because the combination of fresh ingredients with the unique dressing is flavorful. The blood orange vinaigrette is my favorite dressing and makes this salad stand out. 




Another one of our favorite salads is the Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad. This trendy salad includes fresh baby spinach, criminis, pancetta, caramelized onions, roasted grape tomatoes, glazed pecans, and goat cheese. It is served with a Chianti vinaigrette.




Once we tried the Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad, we became hooked on their roasted grape tomatoes and started ordering pizzas with roasted grape tomatoes. The pizza below is a Mini Mia Pizza with pepperoni and roasted grape tomatoes.




SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza also offers adult beverages.  Here are a few photos that show a subset of the adult beverage options.


Beer is available in bottles or on tap.




There are plenty of wine options too. There is something special for everyone!



We hope that you enjoyed a peek into our Sunday evening family tradition at SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza.  It's fun to visit this restaurant any day of the week, but you'll definitely want to plan to add a visit to your family calendar on Sunday evenings when "Kids Eat Free."



Learn More

Visit SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza's website here.  Find a location near you here. Sign up for the Spin Club here. View the full menu here.



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Easy Ways to Celebrate Children's Birthdays for Busy Moms #StreamTeam


I love to celebrate my children with over-the-top birthday parties.  We have many happy memories of petting zoos, astronaut parties, under-the-sea celebrations, and more. I love throwing their birthday parties, but have to admit that having a newborn and a busy job made it difficult to throw a trendy party for my older son this year.  I wanted him to feel special, but at the same time, I had to also had to acknowledge my time limitations due to dealing with the sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn while also trying to manage everything at home and work. An over-the-top birthday party would add too much stress to my life, making it far from a piece of cake.  Nonetheless, I was able to find some easy ways to make my older son feel special without a huge time investment.  Let's talk about this "mom guilt" and then share some tips for easy ways to celebrate your child's birthday so that they feel special!

The image below shows that I am not alone in feeling the stress associated with throwing a child's birthday party.   My biggest struggle right now is time. A total of 43% of parents that completed the survey below reported that the amount of time to plan a party causes them stress. Of course, money, competition, and social media was also an issue.  A total 71% of parents wished that there was an easier way to make birthdays special.  In today's post, I'll share some trendy ideas that are also easy!



Easy Ways to Celebrate Children's Birthdays for Busy Moms

1. Let them pick a special dinner and dessert.
I think that every child craves the opportunity to share in decision making processes.  Let them have the power to decide the dinner and dessert menu for their birthday. For instance, my son wanted Mini Red Velvet Bundt Cakes with Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese frosting.  (Yes, he is my gourmet child that would never simply pick "chocolate cake" and I love him for that!)   You'll notice the Netflix candles and characters on the cakes. I'll get to that next!


2. Celebrate with Netflix Birthdays (Did someone say easy and automatic theme?!)
Netflix has you covered when it comes to birthdays.  Click here to visit Netflix and to learn more about their birthday resources.  This is an awesome resource because Netflix has so many different characters that kids love.  Choose a show and you instantly have a birthday celebration with their favorite characters that will sing and entertain them.  Pair this with dinner and dessert for a fun birthday celebration where your child is excited to choose the shows and food! The Netflix characters will give you an instant theme for your party!  (Hence the Netflix cakes above for our son!)


3. Pick a destination as a gift.
Another fun and easy way to celebrate is to have a family staycation. For instance, last year, our son picked a staycation to the Great Wolf Lodge. This hotel is only 15 minutes from our house, but we felt a world away within the resort as we spent quality time together in the waterpark, arcade, and restaurants.  We even stayed up late to watch shows on Netflix.  This didn't require any planning other than booking our room and a 15 minute drive!

4. Offer money to use at their discretion.
This doesn't apply to my children yet because they are still so young, but for older children, you may be able to give them the party budget and ask if they want to spend it on a party or use it at their discretion on anything that they want to buy.

We hope that you enjoyed these tips!  There are always going to be those times when you are overwhelmed as a mom, so I hope that these tips help.  In looking at the survey results above, it's sad that so many parents feel stressed out about competition.  Really, it should be a happy time to celebrate your little ones without stress or trying to "keep up."  Let's help other moms by spreading the message that LOVE is all that matters and that it's not a competition. I hope that you will share this post with other trendy moms that need ideas for quick and easy birthday celebrations for their trendy children! 

What are we streaming now?
Now that I shared trendy birthday party tips, let me share a monthly sneak peek into what we are streaming at our house.

My boys are really into DinoTrux right now.  Sure, we've seen all of the episodes, but they get better the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th time around!  I think that we all have happy memories of shows or movies that our children loved. For us, DinoTrux rocks our world! (Yes, pun intended if you know the characters and episodes well.) Thankfully, others must also love this trendy show because Netflix keeps sharing the love with more and more episodes. They are on season 5 already! (Thank you, Netflix!)


When our little ones are sleeping, my husband and I are watching the latest releases of The Blacklist.  I won't spoil it, but I will tell you that I watched 4 episodes in row because I am hooked!

What's next on our Netflix list?
Bus, do your stuff! Just in time for back to school, a new year at Walkerville Elementary is coming soon with The Magic School Bus Rides Again coming to Netflix on September 29. With Lily Tomlin reprising her original role as “Professor Frizzle” and Kate Mckinnon taking over the keys to the bus as her sister, the reimagining of the beloved animated science-comedy series will feature a brand new set of out-of-this-world field trips and adventures. Plus, with a theme song performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s a show jingle parents won’t get tired of hearing.


This is a sponsored post. We are part of the Netflix Stream Team. Follow #StreamTeam on social media to connect with other Netflix Stream Team bloggers.


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