Trendy Mom Reviews
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tips for Buying Summer Footwear for Boys

My boys are the ultimate stress testers.  They are not able to walk past a puddle without jumping and splashing.  There are no barriers to catch a grasshopper.  It takes 30 feet for them to realize that their shoes are still on when they run through sand.  Their energy level seems to be permanently set to go-go-go!  I am a mom who knows energetic little boys very well. In today's post, I'll share tips for buying summer footwear for boys. I will also show you the M.A.P. shoes that I personally picked out for my boys this summer.

Tips for Buying Summer Footwear for Boys

1. Quality counts.
Quality counts for a few reasons.  The most important reason is that our little guys are still developing.  I may try to save on other areas of our budget, but I never skimp on shoes since they are an important foundation for their growth.  Second, you don't want to go through multiple pairs of shoes in a single size.  It's so much easier to buy good quality shoes that hold up well to energetic little boys rather than buying low quality shoes that you frequently replace.  

2. Quick drying shoes are critical in summer.
As I mentioned earlier, my boys cannot walk past a puddle without jumping and splashing.  We also struggle with lawn sprinklers. We walk to the park in the evening and most people set their sprinkles to water at this time.  They can't resist getting wet.  It's a little boy instinct that may be possible to tame, but I haven't fully figured out how to do that yet.  It's much easier to let them wear shorts and to buy quick drying shoes.  My boys wear M.A.P. shoes in the summer because their quick drying technology is a lifesaver. 

3. Rugged sandals are a must-have for little boys.
My boys are permanently set to go-go-go.  This means that I need to wash-wash-wash their clothing with hot-hot-hot water and a good laundry detergent to get rid of the smell.  We live in Texas where it is hot and humid, so I don't even want to imagine the smell of closed-toe shoes in summer.  Rugged sandals that allow their feet to breathe are necessities.  For instance, my boys have the Emmons and Emmons-T (for toddlers) Fisherman Sandals.  These combine the structure and soles that you expect from good quality athletic shoes for kids, but the open design helps their little toes to breathe. I also love the quick-dry technology that I mentioned earlier.

4. Keep closed toe shoes on hand for camps, preschool, or other activities.
While my boys usually wear rugged sandals in summer, there are exceptions. For instance, the preschool that one of my sons attends does not allow sandals because their playground has wood chips that may get caught in a sandal. In this case, athletic shoes are needed. If you are able to get by with just rugged sandals in the summer, that is best, but don't be caught off guard if you need an extra pair of shoes for camps, preschools, or other activities.  In this case, we go with M.A.P. Shoes Troy Sneaker because they are good quality and the quick dry technology is nice. (Plus, if you buy everything that you need at once, M.A.P. Shoes offers free shipping on orders over $50!)   If your little one doesn't know how to tie shoe laces yet, but thinks that velcro is embarrassing, these shoes have a cool little bungee closure that my son loves.  (We've all been there, right?!)

5. Growth spurts happen, so stock up for free shipping.
Growth spurts come with the territory when you have little boys. You may consider purchasing shoes in their current size and a size larger so that you are ready for those growth spurts.  Take advantage of free shipping offers online by ordering current and future sizes.   Personally, I think that this is a perk of having boys.  My friends with girls tell me that their daughters insist on picking out their own clothing and shoes. I asked my oldest son if he would prefer to pick his own clothing and shoes. His response was that he doesn't care as long as I don't get him shirts with pictures of babies on them.  I had to laugh because I'm a "boy mom" and while I would have loved to have a daughter, I have to appreciate the little perks like the easy going nature that comes with most boys. It's so easy to order an extra pair of shoes for each of them so that we are ready for the next growth spurt.

I hope that you enjoyed this insight into our family.  It's an amazing experience to have little boys, but I completely understand that it is a lot of work too.  I hope that you will visit us again soon as we continue to share more parenting tips for trendy moms!
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Doze with the Dinosaurs at the Perot Museum: The Ultimate Childhood Memory

In today's post, I will tell you about an amazing one-of-a-kind experience that we highly recommend to families in the DFW metro - a sleepover at the Perot Museum! 
Doze with the Dinosaurs.
My family considers this event to be the ultimate childhood memory! Let me share the schedule and a few photos from our recent experience.

General Sleepover Schedule
  • 6:30pm Museum Shop opens 
  • 7-7:30pm Checkin 
  • 7:30pm Welcome to your sleepover adventure! 
  • 8pm Family-friendly film 
  • 8:40pm Snack time 
  • 8:45-11:30pm Explore the five levels of the Museum and special hands-on activities for sleepover guests 
  • Midnight Lights out! 
  • 7:15am Rise and shine! 
  • 7:30am Breakfast 
  • 8:00am Farewell! 
My husband and son arrived around 7:00pm and were easily able to find parking. It was convenient to park right next to the museum, especially since they had to carry their sleeping bags, change of clothing, and toothbrushes. My husband commented that the check-in was very nice and well organized. The staff members at the Perot Museum are always seem so enthusiastic to be there.

The first item on the schedule was the "Welcome to your sleepover adventure" introduction. They shared the rules and expectations for the evening so that all of the families could enjoy the sleepover. It was interesting to learn that one of the employees has participated in 50+ sleepovers!   (Isn't that the most amazing job perk?!)

The next activity was a family-friendly movie. After the movie, they attended a session with exciting science experiments. For instance, we were able to see an exciting Hydrogen explosion and liquid Nitrogen in action.

After the live science experiments, my husband and son explored the museum.  They visited and experienced everything from hands-on exhibits with robots to races with virtual cheetahs and dinosaurs. My husband and son still rave about all of the amazing interactive exhibits. They were busy the entire time with the exception of a snack break that was included with the event.  My son loved that he scored gummy dinosaurs for a snack!

Finally, they staked their claim on where to place their sleeping bags.  They slept under a pterodactyl and across from an Alamosaurus!  Isn't that truly amazing?  We laugh because my husband  woke up in the middle of the night and flinched because he forgot where he was. They loved waking up in such a unique and immersive environment.

If you look past the lights in the photo below, you'll notice that this is an actual pterodactyl skeleton!

Finally, they enjoyed breakfast at the museum and packed up their sleeping bags to head home.  This is an iconic part of my son's childhood and is a memory that our family will always treasure.  This is a must-do activity for all DFW families and visitors!  

Learn More
Visit the Perot Museum "Doze with the Dinosaurs" website to book tickets for your family to experience this trendy sleepover! 

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Paper Pumpkin March 2017: Bunny Buddies

This month's Paper Pumpkin box will put a hop in your step with the fun bunny-themed project! This kit provides everything that you need to create trendy bunny cards and bags. I was completely surprised that it was easy to create the adorable cards and bags in the photo above. I wouldn't normally be able to make something so cute on my own, but Paper Pumpkin made it easy as the kit contained all of the supplies with clear directions. The supplies are good quality and easy to use. For instance, I just don't have a steady hand when it comes to crafts. The bunny ear stickers are pre-cut so that I couldn't possibly mess up!  They strike the perfect balance of making the projects easy for me, but also customizable so that I am able to use my creativity. My favorite part of the kit was the stamps. They are awesome for moms like us because they include various options for bunny faces with different eyes, mouths, and ears.  (My son already borrowed them and has spent hours making various bunny faces in his workshop!)  

The Paper Pumpkin March 2017 kit contains: 

  • Bunny Buddies Photopolymer Stamp Set
  • Basic Gray Archival Stampin' Spot
  • 9 card bases (3 ea. of 3 designs)
  • 9 vanilla envelopes
  • 9 fabric bunny treat bags
  • 6 sticker sheets large ear stickers
  • 1 sticker sheet small ear stickers
  • 2 sheets die-cut banners
  • 9 mini clothespins
  • 15 mini pompoms (5 ea. of 3 colors)
  • 12 yds. baker's twin (4 yes ea. of 3 colors)
  • 24 adhesive dots

There are so many great uses for this kit. You could use the fabric bunny treat bags to hide treats on Easter morning. You could use them for teacher gifts. You could give them to children in a class or club.  You could give them to friends and co-workers.  You could take them to a hospital or nursing home to cheer people up. They are adorable and sure to make people smile. Personally, my son helped me to create our fabric bunny treat bags for his teachers, coaches, and family members.  

If you follow regularly, you know that Paper Pumpkin is my favorite monthly subscription package. They surprise me every month with their trendy kits. I always enjoy working on the projects and love the feeling of giving people cards or small gifts that make them feel special.   If you want to learn more, visit Paper Pumpkin here.  Plus, if you sign up for April, next month's kit will contain a surprise from Stampin' Up! CEO, Sara Douglass!  I'm sure that it's a box that you won't want to miss.
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tips for a Positive Dentist Visit with Young Children

Taking a young child to the dentist is stressful.  We've had good and bad experiences over the years. In today's post, we'll share some tips for helping young children at the dentist and tell you that we have finally found our "happy place" when it comes to visiting the dentist.  Actually, it's beyond our "happy place" as our son says that he wants to be a dentist when he grows up!

1. Exposure.
When your children are young, take them with you to your dentist appointments. My husband and I used to schedule our appointments to be one after the other. Our dentist would let us bring our son back for my part of my visit (minus x-rays) so that he could watch.  This exposure let me serve as a role model and show my son that the dentist is someone who we trust and that helps us to be healthy.  

2. Find a dentist that other moms recommend.
Ask other moms for recommendations about dentists in your area.  Personally, we live in Southlake, TX and I will tell you that we love Dr. Patel at the Rufe Snow location of Jefferson Dental on 6250 Rufe Snow Dr. in North Richland Hills, TX 76148. My 6-year-old recently visited them and they were phenomenal with him.  Not only were they were able to complete everything as planned without any meltdowns (cleaning, x-rays, and exam), but my little one left with a smile and now says that he wants to be a dentist when he grows up.   They are amazing with children. Actually, Dr. Patel was so popular at the Dallas office that he was promoted as the lead dentist at this location.

3. Reward good behavior.
Personally, we give our son a reward for good behavior because we know that it may be intimidating for little ones to visit the dentist.  Our son earns the option for an extra Mommy-and-Me lunch at a restaurant of his choice or 30 minutes of iPad time.  You know your child best, so select a reward that you know fits their interests.

4. Celebrate good dental hygiene and "lost" teeth with the tooth fairy.
The tooth fairy loves to collect healthy teeth.  It is important to practice good dental hygiene so that the tooth fairy leaves top dollar for each tooth that is left under a pillow!  Our son has been lucky to receive money covered in fairy dust under his pillow.  This makes it fun to take good care of his teeth. It is also something to look forward to when he has a loose tooth.

5. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Practice good oral hygiene from the time that they are babies and onward.  When my son was a baby, I sang the ABC song so that he not only learned his ABC's early, but also had a better understanding of when I would be done brushing his teeth.  We take oral hygiene seriously because it is much better to prevent cavities than to go through the process of having them filled.

6. Teach your child to understand the hard work and dedication of dentists.
Always have a positive and happy attitude about visiting the dentist.  It takes hard work to become a dentist and we are lucky to have someone who is so dedicated to helping us with a healthy smile.  I've heard some people say, "I don't like the dentist."  Personally, you will never hear that kind of talk at our house.  We teach our child to have a positive attitude toward dentists and to be grateful for their expertise.

Finally, don't stress if your child isn't perfect.  Try your best to be a good role model and it will pay dividends.   Children go through phases and your consistency will pay off.  We've all had our moments!
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SunRype and Disney Are Teaming Up for the #Disneynature film -- #BorninChina

In today's post, we are excited to tell you about a campaign with SunRype and Disney nature.  Disney nature is releasing their Born in China film.  This trendy movie follows three animal families, the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey and the elusive snow leopard. They are bringing the natural world to the big screen in their most ambitious project yet as they take moviegoers on a grand journey into the wilds of China.    

Check out the 10 Second Trailer or the 30 Second Trailer on YouTube.

We love that SunRype and Disney nature are collaborating because this is a great combination. Personally, I always take SunRype snacks in my purse when we go to movie theaters because I have food allergies and it's usually impossible to purchase a snack at the theater. I'm not able to eat buttery popcorn or many of the processed snack options.  It's so much easier (and delicious) to take SunRype snacks to the theater with me.  Of course, my husband and son like the best of both worlds as they will eat popcorn and then also raid the stash of SunRype snacks in my purse. 

If you aren't already familiar with SunRype, let me share some details. SunRype has re-launched their entire snack bar portfolio to be gluten-free, peanut-free, kosher and vegan within the past year, and they are so excited to collaborate with Disney who shares the passion for health and wellness. Together, we can help deliver fun, educational and nutritional information around the power of healthy eating to individuals and families across North America. 

My personal favorites are the SunRype Apple Blueberry Pomegranate Fruitsource 100% Fruit Bar and the SunRype FruitSource Bites 100% Fruit.  I love them because they are 100% natural, vegan, and taste amazing.  I always think that food tastes so much better when it is "real" food that isn't packed with fillers.  The "SunRype" name is perfect for this brand because I think that the taste really comes through in their products.  The FruitSource Bars and FruitSource Bites are my favorites because I like the thickness and consistency of the snacks.  As I mentioned above, I take them in my purse when I go to see a movie, but I also keep them in my purse on a regular basis in case I am ever in need of a snack. They are very convenient for snacks on-the-go.

Win it!
Along with this collaboration SunRype is running a Sweepstakes starting March 13th  - May 31, 2017 for chances to win great Born In China Prize packages, including an early bird private screening prize package for up to 150 people (Draw Date: April 3) and weekly Prize Packages that include 4 movie tickets, a plush panda and SunRype Snacks! No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. See official rules for details. 

Enter for a chance to win here.

Personally, my son is obsessed with "wild cats" and has read every book available on this topic at our local library.  He even adopted a snow leopard through a foundation that supports endangered animals. So, we voted for the snow leopard when we entered for a chance to win!

These are rules from their website:
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  The sweepstakes begins on March 13, 2017 at 8:00am PT and ends on May 31, 2017, at midnight PT.  Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C. who are 18 years of age or older. The sweeps can be entered ONCE PER DAY. Find a full list of the prizes available to be won, how to enter, odds of winning and drawing dates along with the full rules and regulations at Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sun-Rype Products Ltd.

Learn More
Get the Educator’s Guide and an Activity Packet to share with your kids.

Find SunRype at select grocery stores on on Amazon.

Follow SunRype on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Follow #Disneynature #BornInChina #SunRypeUSA #Sweepstakes

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Gaea's Cucumber Salad with Fresh Herbs, Orange Segments and Citrus Dressing

Yields: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 0 min.
Skill: Easy

  • 6 small cucumbers
  • Natural Sea Salt
  • For dressing:
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint
Wash cucumber and oranges well. Peel oranges, remove white membrane and cut fresh in thin slices. Thinly slice cucumber with a mandolin. Combine salt and two kinds of pepper in glass or stainless steel bowl and add lemon juice. Slowly add olive oil while stirring constantly with wire whisk. Combine dressing with orange slices and fresh herbs. To serve: Arrange cucumbers in dishes and pour over prepared dressing. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt.
Thanks to Gaea for providing this delicious recipe and photo.
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