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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

(Deal Alert - Hurry!) Medieval Times in Dallas has a Spring Break Special that Includes Knight Training for Your Little Spring Breakers!

Spring break is just around the corner!  We have been watching for fun activities and deals to share with you.  In today's post, I'll share a deal that is sure to create happy childhood memories, but, even better, at a very discounted price!  Medieval Times is hosting Junior Knights Training, a hearty four-course meal prepared by Her Majesty's master chefs, two hours of action packed live entertainment, and complimentary parking. Even better, use the coupon code BLOG383 to drop the price to $30.95 for kids and students and $38.95 for adults. (You must order through the Medieval Times website here with the code BLOG383 or call to order your tickets and tell them the discount code at time of purchase. Not valid with other discounts, offers or group rates. Restrictions may apply. Valid thru 4/30/19. Make your reservations by calling 1-888-935-6878 or visit medievaltimes.com)

Here are the details:

Experience The Excitement of Medieval Times this Spring Break. A Four-course feast awaits as you watch the pageantry and thrills of an authentic medieval tournament come to life inside the walls of the Queen’s 11th Century Style Castle. Six armor-clad Knights of the realm compete in thrilling games on horseback as the pageant unfolds and cheers of the Queen’s noble guests fill the arena. Skill and strength are measured in the combat. Discover which of the Knights shall become champion.

The price that I mentioned above with the coupon includes:

  • A hearty four-course meal prepared by Her Majesty’s master chefs
  • Two hours of action packed live entertainment
  • Complimentary Parking (Woohoo for free parking at an attraction in Dallas! Parking at Medieval Times has actually been very easy and convenient on all of our visits.)

Here is more information about the special Junior Knights Training:
This Spring Break bring your kids to train to become Knights of the realm at Medieval Times!

Children will enjoy: Watching an exclusive weapons demonstration by our Knights and Weapons Master, and learning about the grueling training it takes to become a Knight. Upon completion of their training your children will be knighted by her majesty Maria Isabella in a group knighting ceremony.

Knights Training is available Friday March 8th before the 6pm show and before all 2pm shows March 11 - 15. Admission is included with purchase of each child’s ticket. Children must be between the ages of 5 and 12 to participate. Space is limited and training is available on a first come first served basis. Training is open to both boys and girls. Closed toe shoes are required to participate.

Friday, March 8th

  • Doors open: 4:00 pm
  • Knight’s Training: 5:00 pm
  • Show: 6:00 pm
Monday, March 11th – Friday, March 15th
  • Doors open: 12:00 pm
  • Knight’s Training: 1:00 pm
  • Show: 2:00 pm
Again, use the discount code  BLOG383 to drop the price to $30.95 for kids and students and $38.95 for adults. Visit Medieval Times here to order tickets.  This deal is only for spring break. Be sure to order your tickets early!
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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

DIY Construction Truck Easter Egg Hunt

If you follow regularly, you know that we surprise our children with unique Easter Egg Hunts every year.  Some of my favorites include: Nerf Easter Egg Hunt, Pirate Easter Egg Hunt with a DIY Cannon to shoot Pirate's Booty snacks, Astronaut Easter Egg Hunt, Hard-to-Find Eggs Easter Egg Hunt, and Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt Ideas. Our posts for DIY Easter projects are popular too, including How to Make an Easter Egg Tree and How to Convert a Plastic Easter Basket to a Flower Pot.  We obviously LOVE Easter Egg Hunts!  In today's post, we'll share tips for a Construction Truck Easter Egg Hunt that is sure to create happy childhood memories.

We set up an Easter Construction Site for our son to find his Easter Eggs.  The theme was inspired by some whimsical products from Antsy Pants - the Construction Truck Play Tent and Ball Pit where we mixed Easter eggs with the balls. This is a fun activity for all ages, but is especially helpful for toddlers who are working on large motor skills.


The Antsy Pants Construction Truck Play Tent is the centerpiece of our Construction Truck themed Easter Egg Hunt.  This play tent is great for pretend play.  It's also nice because the kit is more versatile than you may realize from the outside. The pieces that you use to build it may be reconfigured and used with other covers or even sheets  for little ones with big imaginations. 

The Antsy Pants Ball Pit is the second most important part of our theme.  I think that 30-something and 40-something year old parents remember playing in ball pits as children. As children, we remember how much fun they were. It was a fun sensory experience. On the other hand, our parents recall how they cringed as they thought about all of the germs in those public ball pits.  This little ball pit is nice to have at home because it's only for our children and we don't have to worry about the germs from public settings.  We dumped two bags of the Antsy Pants Play Balls (100 count) into the ball pit because we wanted a moderate layer of balls that we could mix plastic Easter eggs for a fun toddler-level Easter Egg Hunt. If you have older children, it would be better to use four bags of the balls.   

We used a variety of plastic yellow, orange, and gold Easter Eggs to go with our construction truck theme.  

My favorite part was that we placed some eggs into the bucket of the Construction Truck Play Tent.

Here is another view.

We also hid some inside of it!  This was very exciting to our toddler. Even our 8-year old loved it.

The hidden eggs in the Ball Pit were also memorable and fun. They had to dig into the Easter Construction Site for the eggs!

We created a construction themed Easter basket.

We also placed eggs on dump trucks and construction trucks. Some were hidden around our house and outside too.

We ordered a construction worker costume for our toddler, but he is going through the terrible 2's and didn't want to wear it. If your child is easy going, I love the costume and think that it's great for memorable photos. However, even if you have a particular toddler, the entire Construction Truck Easter Egg Hunt still created perfect memories for our family even without the fun costume.   We also created little signs that you are welcome to print and use below.

PS - If your child is obsessed with other types of vehicles such as Fire Trucks, Ice Cream Trucks, School Buses, and more, visit Antsy Pants because they have many whimsical play tents that speak to many different childhood dreams.

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Haircare Tips That You Need to Know in Your 40's - Including Brunettes!

In today's post, I'll share haircare tips for brunette's over the age of 40.  We'll focus on key problems that 40 year old women with brunette hair experience, including dryness, dullness, thinning hair, and gray hair that contrasts with brown hair.

1. How to deal with dull hair in your 40's.
As you age, your diet and haircare products need to be stellar for your hair to look it's best. Make sure that you are eating a well balanced diet and stay hydrated. This is important for your entire body, including your hair. This is a time in life when many women experience off-balance hormones and other issues that sometimes impact them from the inside-out.  It's a critical age to make sure that you are staying on top of your annual exams with your physician to focus on optimal health and to catch health problems as early as possible.  I've also found that it helps to be careful about how you blow dry your hair. It's quicker to dry your hair on a hotter setting, but this damages your hair in the long run.  Use a cooler setting. If you are impatient like me, try Powerdry.ME because this product reduces the time needed to dry hair while it may also offer benefits such as heat & UV protection, frizz control, smoothing hair, and conditioning hair. It's easy to use as you just mist it onto damp hair from your roots to the ends and then dry and style. I'm a big fan, especially since drying my hair is a part of my morning routine.

2. How to deal with dry hair in your 40's when you have brunette hair.
As mentioned earlier, beauty begins from within.  I want to add to this though that as you enter your 40's, you shouldn't wash your hair everyday.  This is habit dries your hair.  I use a dry shampoo on the days that I skip washing my hair. In particular, I use one for brunette hair called the Quickie.ME DARK dry shampoo. It's easy to use. Shake well. Spray 6-8 inches from dry hair. Let dry, massage and brush out.  If it weren't for this product, I would never be able to make it through a day without washing my hair. Actually, I washed my hair once or twice daily for my entire life until I entered my 40's and experienced dry hair, so this product has been a lifesaver.

3. The best haircare product for women in their 40's for important workdays or events.
In addition to what I mentioned above, my favorite haircare product as a 40-year old brunette is the Design.ME 18-in-1 Hair Product. This product offers 18 benefits, many of which I have come to rely on in my 40's!  Here is the list:

DEFENSE1. Colour fade protection
2. Split end smoother
3. Breakage prevention
4. Free radical and heat damage protection
5. Revitalizer for hair’s natural protective layer
6. Protection against environmental damage

CONTROL1. Detangling
2. Enhanced manageability
3. Reduced blow-drying time
4. Static reduction
5. Frizz control
6. Porosity control

FABULOUSITY1. Light conditioning
2. Shine and luster
3. Hydration
4. Hair strengthener
5. Enhances volume
6. Silky feel

4. How to color brunette hair in your 40's.
This is a tough question because the amount of gray hair varies by person. Personally, I have approximately 5% gray hair and won't was my hair daily to avoid drying my hair, so I use a semi-permanent hair color.  My hair stylist recommended this approach since the amount of gray hair is enough to bother me, but it still fairly minimal.  He encourages me to get highlights once the grays reach a 10% threshold.  You'll want to find a coloring routine that is fairly minimal to avoid over damaging your hair.

I hope that these tips help you with your haircare routine! It's definitely an adjustment to age, especially in terms of haircare routine adjustments in your 40's when you have brunette hair.
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DIY Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair (Dry Shampoo for Brunettes)

DIY Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair (Dry Shampoo for Brunettes)

  • 1/4 cup or cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • Large makeup brush (to apply it to the roots of your hair)
1. Mix all three ingredients together.  Add to a container with a lid to store it.

2. To apply it to your hair, we recommend dipping a large makeup brush into the dry shampoo and then tapping it a couple of times on a lid so that there isn't too much on the brush.  Apply it to the roots of your hair.  Add more as needed.

Get the ingredients!

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How to Stop Washing Your Hair Daily (Haircare Tips for Your 40's)

How to Stop Washing Your Hair Daily
I washed my hair daily for 40 years. Sometimes I washed it twice/day if I went to the gym or swimming. Three months ago, I set a New Year's resolution to stop washing my hair as much in order to see if it helped to increase the health of my hair.  This coincided with my transition into my 40's and my entry into the world of coloring my hair to cover gray hair that began to pop up. I quickly realized that I need to be extra careful about habits that dry my hair. I took an important step to reduce the frequency of washing my hair in hope of better hair health.  Three months later, I'm happy with my decision and find it easy to wash my hair only a few times a week.  Let me share tips that helped me to stop washing my hair daily.

1. Rinse instead of shampoo.
I have serious bedhead in the morning. When I shower, I use warm or cool water to lightly rinse my hair so that it is presentable. It would be ideal to skip the rinse, but still, I feel that it often helps me to feel cleaner.

2. Don't focus on a schedule as much as observing when you need to wash your hair.
Some people tell me that they go a week without washing their hair. That's not me. I guess that I have greasier hair, so I just see how I feel and wash as needed. I've found this helpful because I sometimes feel comfortable going a few days without washing, but other times feel that I need to wash my hair two days in a row.  Around my monthly cycle, I notice that I need to wash my hair more often.   I found that when I was initially obsessed with a schedule, it didn't work well for me. When I focused more on a day-by-day assessment, it was more manageable.

3. Don't load up on heavy hair serums or other products.
Try not to use too many heavy hair products. If you wash your hair and then load it up with hair products, this will weigh your hair down and you will probably feel the urge to wash it sooner.

4. Pay close attention to the area around your hairline to avoid breakouts.
The natural oil is good for your hair, but not necessarily for your face. I started breaking out around my hair line. I found that brushing my hair to help redistribute the oil a bit away from my face was easy for me.

5. Use a dry shampoo.
Try our DIY Dry Shampoo for brunettes. If you are a blonde, you probably want to reduce or omit the cocoa powder.

6. Braid your hair or put it into a bun.
I found that putting my hair into a bun helps to add an extra day to my willpower of holding out from washing my hair. 

7. Slowly adjust your routine.
Start off slowly. It gets easier with experience. Don't worry if you only cut out 1 or 2 days per week. Just try your best and do what is comfortable. I found that I wanted to wash my hair more often during the first month, but now I am able to go longer because I have more experience and know little tricks like those mentioned above.
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Monday, March 11, 2019

Pogo Pass Has NEW Tiered Options and We Have a Coupon for 60% Off!

If you follow regularly, you know that we love our Pogo Passes!  It's a fantastic value because you pay a flat price for a pass and then receive FREE admission to many attractions.  Pogo Passes are good for an entire year. You get a fixed number of visits to each participating attraction (usually 1 to 2 visits per attraction).   Pogo Passes are available in Dallas, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Kansas City.  

If you live in Dallas, there are two tiers as shown in the image above. Basic membership includes 12 attractions with 1 to 4 visits per attraction. The Standard membership adds another 12 attractions, including really amazing ones such as the Fort Worth Zoo (my favorite!), Hawaiian Falls (another one of my favorites), KidMania (including the new one in Fort Worth), and more.   Now, of course, I'm sure that you have been reading along because you want to know the Pogo Pass coupon code.  The Pogo Pass coupon code is DAZZLE and gives you a 60% off discount!  Just visit here and enter the coupon DAZZLE before you check out. The coupon works for the Pogo Passes in all of the different cities and both tiers of the Dallas memberships. Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

DIY Pirate Themed Easter Egg Hunt and DIY Treat Cannon

In today's post, we'll share ideas for a Pirate Themed Easter Egg Hunt! We start with an Easter basket that contains a treasure map, share a few fun ideas to include in the egg hunt, and end with a color-your-own pirate ship that contains a treasure chest full of treasure in the form of golden eggs and gem eggs.  We then share two DIY Cannon Projects - a DIY Large Snack Cannon and DIY Mini Candy Cannon.  

Project The Pirate Themed Easter Egg Hunt Supplies

I listed the item numbers for the Easter egg hunt items that are from Oriental Trading so that it's easy for you to find the exact items if you search on their website. 
Step 1 - Create a Treasure Map and X's to mark the location of treasure
Create a treasure map that gives clues for your child to follow. Personally, our son is still learning the difference between left and right, so we added an educational component to our Easter treasure hunt by using colorful X's to mark spots that he then needed to take 3 steps to the left or 3 steps to the right to find treasure. The dashes indicate the bottom of the X. For instance, there are eggs on the other side of the couch here which required him to take 3 steps to the right below.

Step 2 - Set up a Pirate Ship Playhouse
We used the trendy Color Your Own Pirate Ship Playhouse from Oriental Trading.  It's super easy to set up and is sure to help create a wonderful childhood memory! 

Step 3 - Stuff and hide Pirate Themed Eggs 
We have a few pirate themed eggs in our collection.  

We placed the Sea Creature Plastic Easter Eggs around the Pirate Ship Playhouse so that we could pretend that the pirate ship and sea creatures were swimming.  We also placed some of the Noah's Ark Plastic Easter Eggs around the pirate ship.

We filled a treasure chest basket with the Metallic Golden Easter Eggs and the Jumbo Diamond Plastic Easter Eggs. We also randomly hid some of these golden eggs and gem eggs throughout the house.

Finally, we created a large snack cannon. This is an easy DIY project, but be sure to be very careful when you use them and to wear protective gear. Never leave children unsupervised with the cannon and don't shoot stuff out of it too hard.  Let me share the details.

Project: Large Snack Cannon (Sling shot style)

  • 1 concrete tube (This is made from cardboard. You will find these in the fencing section of most home improvement stores)
  • 1 exercise resistance band
  • 1 can of black spray paint
  • 1 paper plate
  • 1 roll of black masking tape
  • 1 roll of white masking tape
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 or more cases of Pirate's Booty to launch from the cannon


1. Drill two holes into the side of the cardboard tube. Drill two more holes directly across from the previous two.

2. Lace the resistance band through the holes and tie knots.

3. Paint the cardboard tube with the black spray paint and allow to dry. (We removed the resistance band before spray painting and then reinserted it after the paint dried.)

4. Cut the paper plate from one edge to the center and then form a cone that easily fits into the cardboard tube. Err on the side of it being slightly smaller in diameter so that it will fall out of the cannon easily.

5. Use the black masking tape on the edges of the cannon to make the edges look cleaner.

6. Create cardboard wheels and tape them to the side of the cannon.  

7. Fill the cannon with Pirate's Booty and then use the resistance band like a slingshot to launch the snacks! 

8. Be safe when using this cannon and never let children play with it. Here are some tips. Be sure that no one will be hit by anything that shoots out of the cannon, including the contents or the resistance band.  We have everyone wear protective gear and googles. We launch the snacks in the opposite direction of everyone and then let our children run to grab the snacks after the launch.  Only my husband and I operate the cannon; never children.  We are careful when launching items so that things do not fly too far and hit anything. We never pull too hard on the resistance band, since it could potentially rip or snap back. 

Enjoy your Easter Egg Hunt, Mates!

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Tips for Extreme Easter Egg Hunts to Challenge Older Children

Have you been wondering how to make Easter Egg Hunts more challenging for your children? In this post, we'll share five tips to help you to create a challenging Easter Egg Hunt for your older children!  These tips are perfect for tweens, teens, or grown children. You may vary the difficulty level as you see fit.

1. Incorporate Indoor Hard-2-Find Easter Eggs

The Wonka Indoor Egg Hunt Hard to Find Eggs will help you take your Easter Egg Hunt to a new level. They have eggs that have built-in:
  • Suction cups,
  • Double-sided tape,
  • Strings, and
  • Flat edges
These eggs allow you to be very creative. For instance, the photo below shows that I stuck an egg with double-sided tape under our counter, placed an egg with a flat edge on top of a door, hung a hanging egg on my son's towel rack, applied a suction cup egg to a mirror in a hallway, and applied a section cup egg to a lamp in my husband's office.  These eggs are really awesome for increasing the challenge, especially if your children don't know that these eggs exist and wouldn't think to look in such creative places.

2. Incorporate Hard-2-Find Easter Eggs

The Wonka OutdoorHard to Find Eggs are fun to use outdoors. They have trendy eggs that blend into our terrain, including:
  • Rocks,
  • Tulips,
  • Ladybugs, and
  • Green eggs to blend with grass and trees
We place these in trees, grass, bushes, and flowers. This is especially fun if your children have never seen these types of eggs before!

3. Make it a race

"Ready, Set, Go!" Let your children race to find the most eggs. The winner receives a special prize and bragging rights. The winner also gets to pick what we eat for breakfast

4. Make it a GPS Egg Hunt

Create an Easter Egg Hunt that uses GPS and scavenger hunt clues. Give clues that make the eager hunters creatively solve problems in order to find the locations of eggs.  The level of difficulty is easy to adjust based on the age of your children. You may even want to get multiple families involved for extra competition!

5. Make it a Haunted Egg Hunt

Move your Easter Egg Hunt to evening and wrap the eggs in glow sticks. This may be done indoors or outdoors. We live against forest, so we keep our haunted egg hunt indoor to be safe, but I am sure that this varies based on where you live. In any case, this is one of my son's favorite activities!

Of course, you could combine multiple tips above to make an over-the-top Extreme Easter Egg Hunt!

What do you do for your older children on Easter?

The following is an Amazon Affiliate link. These products are also available at many other stores nationwide.

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Tips for Easter Egg Hunts for Teens and Tweens

We love a good Easter Egg Hunt! Even if your children no longer believe in the Easter Bunny, it is still fun to continue Easter traditions.  It can be a lot of fun to organize a challenging Easter Egg for older children! Here are some tips to increase the difficulty of an Easter Egg Hunt for tweens and teens.  

1. Use Hard-To-Find Easter Eggs

Wonka makes fantastic plastic Easter Eggs that blend into the terrain. For instance, they include eggs that look like rocks, tulips, and eggs that blend with the grass and trees. These are perfect for older children that are up for a challenge. For instance, check out the photo below where we hid Wonka Hard-To-Find Easter Eggs that look like rocks in our rose bush.

This Wonka Hard-To-Find Lady Bug Egg blends into a bush.

Here is another example where we used eggs that blend with grass or trees.

Our flowers haven't bloomed yet, so we added Wonka's Hard-To-Find Eggs shaped like tulip in the plants.

2. Make it a GPS Egg Hunt
Another fun idea is to turn the Easter Egg Hunt into one that uses GPS. Give clues that make the eager hunters creatively solve problems in order to find the locations of eggs.  The level of difficulty is easy to adjust based on the age of your children. You may even want to get multiple families involved for extra competition!

3. Make it a Haunted Egg Hunt

If you have adventurous children that love surprises, move your egg hunt to evening and make it a haunted Egg Hunt!  We wrap eggs in glow sticks which is popular and memorable for children.  This is a great way to excite children.

Here is an indoor egg that we wrapped with a glow stick.

Here is another for outside.

4. Make it a race

Another option is to make the Egg Hunt a race between children.  "Ready, Set, Go!" Let them race to find the most eggs. The winner receives a special prize and bragging rights. The winner also gets to pick what we eat for breakfast

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How to Make an Easter Egg Tree

One of our family traditions is to make an Easter Egg Tree. We hang plastic eggs filled with jelly beans on trees in our yard such as the one shown below. In this post, we'll teach you how to make your own Easter Egg Tree.

Craft: Easter Egg Tree
  •  Plastic Eggs (We recommend at least two dozen.)
  • Thin string (Any type is fine, but keep in mind that it is easier to shut the eggs with thinner string.)
  • Scissors 
  • Optional: Candy to fill the eggs

1. Cut string to desired length between 6 and 12". Tie a knot on the end.

2. Insert the knotted string and optionally fill with your favorite candy.

3. Close the egg. You'll notice that the knot helps to prevent the string from slipping out of the egg.

4. Hang the colorful eggs on your trendy Easter Egg Tree!

The following are Amazon Affiliate links. These products are also available at many other stores nationwide.

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