Trendy Mom Reviews
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Introducing the Newest Netflix StreamTeam Family Member & Tips for Keeping Older Siblings Happy While Taking Care of a Newborn #StreamTeam

Introducing the Newest Netflix StreamTeam Baby
Happy New Year! This is my fourth year as part of the Netflix Stream Team family. Participating with Netflix and the amazing group of StreamTeam bloggers has not only been a wonderful experience for me, but also my family.  Netflix offers many family-friendly opportunities with their continuously evolving collection of shows.  As a Stream Team member, we often have the opportunity to think "outside of the box" and extend the viewing experiences with family-friendly activities such as making rock candy inspired by Trollhunters, playing with LEGOs that are based on LEGO Friends or LEGO Bionical episodes, or ordering excessive amounts of take-out food and Red Vines to watch Gilmore Girls. In today's post, I am happy to introduce the newest Netflix StreamTeam Family Member.  Don't you love his little Netflix socks?!  This is just the start of his amazing childhood and we are excited that Netflix will be part of his childhood memories.

Tips for Keeping Older Siblings Happy While Taking Care of a Newborn 
Newborns are demanding.  My little guy doesn't sleep through the night yet and eats 24/7.  I'm still in the stage of sleep deprivation, but try my best to keep up and to give my older son enough attention so that he doesn't feel neglected.  Let me share some tips that have helped me to make my older son feel loved during this exhausting stage of bringing a newborn home.

1. Give new privileges.
My older son was the baby for several years.  I admittedly did too much for him considering his age. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I had to transition my son into doing more on his own because it was too difficult for me to dress him or to bend over to put on his socks and shoes.  He was not happy about this.  However, I told him that while he has new responsibilities, he also has new privileges.  This helped tremendously!  He was thrilled to realize that by improving his self sufficiency that he would receive new privileges.  For instance, he is now allowed to watch shows for bigger kids on Netflix, including the trendy Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events. This Anti-Fairy Tale is great for older children.

2. Have Fun with a Netflix Resolution Activity
We received the fun Netflix Resolution Activity that you can click on below and print. My older son LOVED working on this activity.  Having a newborn and older child is challenging.  Your newborn has many basic needs while your older child still wants to feel special.  My son enjoyed completing the form below and then earning time to watch shows on his list.

3. Have Special Family Movie Nights
We let our older son select a special dinner and movie for family movie nights. For instance, we ordered Thai food and watched Tarzan and Jane on Netflix tonight!  He loves to plan our special movie nights at home.  It's a great way to relax with a newborn while also making our older child feel special.

In addition to the tips above, let me add that while newborns are demanding, they eventually grow and you will be able to sleep through the night again soon. 

Learn More
In addition to the tips above, let me share some other great Netflix shows to watch this month.

“Witness the greatest act-OR of all time, obviously.”
“Any show where cats are eaten must be a good thing.”
“The Galra Empire is almost as dreadful as I am… almost.”
“A jungle where everyone fends for themselves or dies. Sounds like a great place for the kids to visit.”
“How treacherous must the alien world be to want to leave Earth. I must visit.”
“I thought those Baudelaires were pesky twerps, but they don't hold a candle to Degrassi: Next Class.”
We are part of the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are honest and our own. Follow other Netflix Stream Team members on social media by following #StreamTeam.
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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tips for a Playroom Makeover

Tips for a Playroom Makeover
In today's post, we'll focus on a playroom makeover and give you tips for how to design your own trendy playroom.  This is a topic that we have wanted to cover for a while now as we know that many parents find their playrooms to be overwhelming. Little ones often seem to have short attention spans as they pull out a toy, play with it for a short time, and then move to a next toy. It's easy for rooms to quickly become cluttered.  We call it the"messy playroom challenge."  Let me share our personal playroom makeover and then share tips for this challenge!

1. Select a simple color palette for playrooms used by children with age gaps or gender differences. 
We love playroom themes, but our children are several years apart in age, so rather than selecting a theme with characters or animals that may not fit both of their ages, we customized their bedrooms with those types of themes and selected a neutral color theme with blues and beiges for the shared playroom. These colors fit well with the dark hand-scraped hardwood flooring and beige walls in our home. The advantage of a simple color palette is that the room has a clean look that fits multiple ages. After all, if you have an older child, you don't want them to feel like you are chasing them out of the playroom with a baby theme.

2. Organize, organize, and organize.
Organization is critical in a playroom.  We used trendy products from Thirty-One Gifts to find homes for toys, books, artwork, and more.  Thirty-One Gifts offers a variety of organizational products in various sizes, colors, and patterns.  They make it easy to customize the items with embroidery.  I knew ahead of time that I wanted to use their products in our playroom design because their items are good quality and durable to withstand my energetic children. 

We used the Taupe Perfect Pendant print for all of the items and had whimsical phrases embroidered in dark blue thread.  The customization meant a lot to our design because they help us to remember the contents of the bins. I also wanted my children to have good childhood memories of the inspirational embroidery and nice photos of their playroom.  Let me share the individual items that we used.

The Catch-All Bin is a staple in our playroom. We keep it on the floor and it is the go-to location for their favorite toys.  The generous size is perfect for toys. We embroidered this with the phrase "Dream Big" because we wanted motivational phrases throughout the room that our children will always remember.

We keep Your Way Cubes on the floor for larger toys.  These are really nice because I wouldn't want to store heavier toys on shelves where they could tip over. Our children are able to simply open the cube that they need and pull out their larger toys without me worrying.  Each of our boys has a Your Way Cube for their personal toys.  One of them has his name on his cube while our other son wanted, "Boys & Their Toys" on his cube.  We also have a "Good Childhood" cube that includes their favorite shared toys.

We use the Your Way Rectangle to store books, art supplies, science kit supplies, and artwork.  I keep these on higher shelves that my children are not able to reach because they contain items that could easily make a mess. We keep baby books in a "Read" rectangle and pull one book out at a time for him.  Our science kit supplies are in the "Imagine" rectangle and our art supplies are in the "Create" rectangle.  The "Memories" rectangle is where we store projects that are in-progress or complete.

The Stand Tall Bin is our home for stuffed animals.  I'm not sure why we have so many stuffed animals in our house, but each has a name is a part of our family.  The Stand Tall Bin is the perfect home for our fluffy friends that take a lot of space.  This versatile bin will also grow with our children as we will use it to store sports equipment and other larger items when they are older. The generous size, shape, and handles makes it easy to transport.  We embroidered it with the word "Play" because it is a fun label that applies to stuffed animals now and will apply to sports equipment later.

3. Plan for messes by selecting carpeting that is easy to clean.
We bought our new house a couple of years ago. We noticed a trend that many of the houses used FLOR carpeting in their playrooms. Our realtor told us that this was trendy in upscale homes because FLOR carpet tiles are durable, easy to clean or replace, and you are able to customize your design. Many people visit the FLOR store in Dallas.  You may also order their products online here.  I selected the Modern Mix design in Blue. I really like the alternating blues for our particular playroom as it gives the room a pop of color for our boys.  

The FLOR carpet tiles arrived in boxes that are approximately the size pizza boxes.

The FLOR tiles offer the ultimate flexibility as you lay them out in any pattern or size of your choice. For instance, we created a 9'x9' area rug, but you are able to order as many or few tiles as you want based on the size of the area rug that you want to create. They even have tools to cut tiles if needed.  We were able to assemble our area rug with their special glue dots in less than an hour.  It was very easy.

The final look is beautiful!  The FLOR area rug really tied the room together. Now that it is in place, I also have to say that another thing that I love about this FLOR area rug is that it is easy to clean the tiles if there is a spill. You simply lift the dirty square, clean it, allow it to dry, and then add it back to the original space.  I don't have to stress that an entire carpet or rug is ruined. If there is ever a severe accident that can't be cleaned, it's easy to remove a tile and replace it with a new one.

4. Set the rules.
In addition to the products that you use in a room, rules are an important part of a nice playroom. My husband is the strict one in our house and he only allows one toy set out per child at a time. They are allowed to play with anything that they want, but they have to put away one toy or toy set before pulling out anything else.  This generally works well. However, we try to be flexible with this rule when they have other children over for playdates. 

5. Scale cleanup based on age.
Most children do not enjoy cleaning. However, we have found tricks that make it fun at our house. For toddlers, we sing the cleanup song and everyone participates in cleaning up. Once they are older, we do cleaning sprees where we set a timer and everyone cleans as much as possible before the timer goes off.  It's fun to race around to clean as quickly as possible. We started with 3 minutes and slowly increased over time.  We stopped at 10-minute cleaning sprees because we have become so efficient at racing to clean!   (Do you remember that Thirty-One Gifts Stand Tall Bin that we featured above?  Use it for Stuffed Animal Basketball if you need some extra enthusiasm to get your kids going.) 

6. Manage artwork.
Artwork is an important part of childhood and helps with many developmental skills. However, as a parent, I know that the special "artwork collections" become overwhelming. My oldest son sometimes gets into a mode where he creates large quantities of artwork. We have special bins for artwork.  Art supplies go in our "Create" bin and finished artwork goes in our "Memories" bin.  It's a great way to prevent artwork from cluttering your home.  We periodically clean out the "Memories" bin by taking photos of each item and then recycling or discarding everything.

7. Give a personalized space for siblings.
If you have multiple children, give them own personal storage space in the playroom. For instance, one of my children has his name embroidered on a bin while my other son wanted his bin labeled with "Boys & Their Toys".  Thirty-One Gifts makes it easy to customize items, so let them have fun with their personal  storage space and customization!

We hope that you enjoyed our playroom makeover and the tips that we used to guide our design.  Visit FLOR and Thirty-One Gifts for the items featured in this post.
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Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Five Best Valentine Ideas for Good Childhood Memories

Valentine parties are a memorable part of childhood.  I always looked forward to decorating a little box to hold my special Valentine cards and treats from classmates.  These are the best kind of childhood memories! As a mom, I love seeing my own children enjoy Valentine's Day traditions with their classmates.  In today's post, I'll share five Valentine ideas that cover a variety of childhood interests and that make good childhood memories.  We ordered all of our Valentine supplies from Oriental Trading.  They have an amazing selection of Valentine supplies that cover every childhood interest, including cats, robots, planes, and more! No matter what your child is obsessed with, I bet that you'll find the supplies that you need for their perfect class Valentines.

1. Valentines for MineCraft, Robotics, and Computer Fans

My son is obsessed with robots and MineCraft. His robotics team meets every week and they have a lot of fun with their challenges. Similar to many other children, he also loves MineCraft. I merged these two interests to create the trendy Robot/Mine Craft themed Valentines below.  I filled the Love Robots Favor Boxes with Pixel Bytes Gummy Candy Fun Packs and Hershey Hugs & Kisses.  

The arms on the little robots move up and down.  The candies are sure to be a hit since the children all love MineCraft!

In addition to the trendy Valentines with candy, we also ordered a fun craft for his class party. We stuck with the computer and pixel theme by ordering the Pixilated Heart Weaving Mat Craft Kit. This is a great way to keep little hands busy.  It's perfect for class parties, clubs, playdates, and other parties.  I used to enjoy projects that involved weaving as a child such as making potholders. This kit from Oriental Trading is a modern twist on weaving projects.

2. Valentines for Star Wars Fans
Star Wars is still going strong, especially with the new movie release.  Oriental Trading has the most amazing selection of Star Wars products.  We combined the Star Wars Lollipop Card Valentine Exchange Kit with trendy Star Wars Pencils and BB-8 Erasers.

The combination of the fun Valentine card and candy with school supplies is perfect for the classroom setting. My son will tell you that cool pencils and erasers are a big deal at his age.

3. Valentines that Fly
The next set of Valentines are adorable!  Why give a plain Valentine when you can give one that flies?!  Oriental Trading has the cutest Valentine Glider Assortments. The assortment comes with 10 different types of gliders with everything from cats to camouflage!   These Valentines are sure to stand out!

4. Valentines that Double as School Supplies
Do you remember all of the school supplies that you sent to school with your child back in August?  Well, if you peak inside of your child's classroom, you'll probably find that the kids loved some of those school supplies a bit too much. They break a lot of pencils, wear out erasers, and more.  We love the Valentine Arrow Pencils with Erasers because they are a great way to freshen up some of the school supplies in the classroom.  The children in my son's class go through pencils and erasers quickly, so these pencils with the generously sized erasers are perfect.

5. Valentines for Chocolate Lovers
Finally, let's not forget about teachers.  We combined the trendy White Heart Metal Pails with Hershey's Kisses Truffle Chocolate Candy. The White Heart Metal Pails come in a set of 12 and are easy to fill with candy. We put these together in less than 15 minutes.


We also recommend putting a decorative bag around this Valentine gift so that it doesn't spill.  We used bags from the Valentine Cellophane Bags Assortment. This set of Valentine bags is nice because it includes 60 bags. We used some of the other bags to place a craft kit in a bag for each child for a class party. We also used some to combine the Valentine gliders with the Valentine arrow pencils and erasers.

We hope that you enjoy our tips and have fun creating good childhood memories with your children!

Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing complementary products. All opinions are honest and our own.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Trendy Studio Movie Grill opens in Lincoln Square (Arlington) on Thursday, January 19th!

Studio Movie Grill opens their newest location in Lincoln Square (Arlington) on Thursday, January 19th!  
If you aren't familiar with Studio Movie Grill, let me tell you that their trendy theaters are amazing.  Do you remember the days of going to a movie theater where they packed you in like sardines and the floors were often sticky from people spilling drinks or food?  Studio Movie Grill broke that mold and changed the industry in order to make it a more luxurious experience to see a movie!  In my experience, Studio Movie Grills offer the most comfortable movie seats around. They serve meals, drinks, and snacks during movies.  We have always had the most attentive waiters and waitresses who have given us a wonderful experience.  If you need anything throughout the movie, you can even use a call button for prompt service.  

The newest Studio Movie Grill opens on Thursday, January 19th in Lincoln Square (Arlington). Let me share the details of this special opening:

  • Event: Grand Opening of the newest Studio Movie Grill
  • Location: 452 Lincoln Square in Arlington, TX 76011
  • Special: Order discounted tickets here, with a special discount:
    • $9 for adults, 
    • $7 for matinee, and 
    • $6 Children
We hope that you enjoy the grand opening of this new Studio Movie Grill location and are able to take advantage of the special discounted tickets while also enjoying the new and luxurious theaters!
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