Enter the AmericInn Giveaway!  2

SELFIE PRIZE PATROL:
SEEKING WILD & WACKY VACATION PICS!

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AmericInn & Tots To Teens Magazine has partnered to present this amazingly fun giveaway opportunity to our fabulous readers!

Wild, Wacky and Wonderful. That’s what AmericInn Hotels is looking for this summer—in your travel photos. And they are giving away prizes!
AmericInn—the largest mid-scale hotel brand in the upper Midwest—is inviting adventurous travelers to enter a selfie or other photo of their wildest, wackiest, most wonderful travel moments!  If they pick your pic, you’ll win a free night at any AmericInn location (that’s a $200 value). Even better: up to two people in your photo will also win a great prize so get to taking some pics of your travels!

AmericInn is awarding a prize each day all summer long, and will be awarding an additional prize exclusively for Tots To Teens Magazine readers!

HOW TO ENTER
To be eligible for the prize reserved for our readers, click HERE!!

{Keep in mind that the contest ends August 31, 2015}

 

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 From the world’s only corn palace (Mitchell, S.D.), to the world’s largest concrete gnome (Ames, Ia.), to statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (various locations), there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path locations, unique events and small-town festivals to see and enjoy, and AmericInn wants to be part of the fun. Original photos from anywhere in the world—or anywhere else you can get to—can be submitted online.

Photo entry winners will be selected based on the uniqueness, creativity and fun reflected in the photos! Entrants may also create a digital postcard with their photo on the contest website.

So get wild, get wacky, get wonderful and get going. We can’t wait to see where you’ve been!

Enter the AmericInn Giveaway today!

AmericInn Hotel & Suites

AmericInn Hotel Room

This post is in partnership with AmericInn Hotels & Suites.
All opinions are my own.

 

**For contest terms & official rules click here**

InnoWave Band Headphones – Review  1

Headphones with InnoWave-ation

InnoWave Band Headphones

I received the InnoWave headphones to test and review and when they arrived this little lady decided to take them and I had to steal them back to see what they were all about so I can share the info with you all.  Honestly, I was a bit unsure about the “wave” design that was used because of it’s look but it actually grew on me.  After wearing them a couple days I hardly even noticed I was wearing them.  The design is very light weight and didn’t cause that “headband” feel on me which usually ends up giving me a headache.  Now I can see why my daughter took to them so quickly.

I love the color.  It’s probably my favorite color lately so I seem to find anything that is in that family of blue most appealing.  Its a nice bright blue but they also offer a nice selection of other colors.  But aside from color and style, my most important factor when selecting headphones is overall feel on my ears and the sound quality.

For the overall feel, again, it was so comfortable on my ears that I forgot I was wearing them.  They fit my ears nicely and they don’t slip off when I’m running around doing housework! :)  The cord is flat, not round which I like too but I’m not sure why.  It is nice and long too, about 4 feet long!  OMG the quality and sound had me sold instantly!  I was so surprised at how well they sounded!  The music just seemed to come alive when I was wearing these headphones.  I loved the sound so much I had my husband put them on, my oldest daughter and my son.  We all said the same thing.  It sounds really amazing!

I have reviewed a handful of headphones and I have to say that these are by far the most comfortable headphones and they pack a punch with sound quality.  They are well made, sound great and feel great.  They are priced at $129.95 making them a more affordable option as well.

Now, I’m just wondering how I am going to sneak these away from my daughter without her knowing!

Check them out for yourself!  Visit the INNOWave site to learn more, see more and of course, buy! :)

KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort {Review}  4

Hurricane's Vortex

Indoor Waterpark Family Fun @ #KeyLimeCove

KLCLOGO

Where shall I begin?  My family of 5 had the great opportunity to stay at the KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort this past weekend so we can share our waterpark experiences with you.  Let’s just say, road trips and me just do not seem to get along.  I had a horrendous experience driving home from Florida last summer and it just goes to prove that perhaps I should start looking at other travel means to get us to our destinations.  Let me explain…

My husband didn’t arrive home from work until 3pm on Friday.  We were scheduled {my own personal time clock} to check into the KeyLime Cove resort around 5pm-ish.  Knowing the Chicagoland area traffic…or better known as rush hour…sitting in your car for hours on end on a Friday….I looked for alternative routes to get us there with the least amount of “sitting” time.  My route was one that did require us to go slightly in a different direction but it said with the traffic we’d arrive in 1 hour 38 minutes.  My other half, aka…my husband, decided he didn’t want to listen to my pre-planned routing and went his own way, because “It’s stupid to go out of our way….”, but little did he know that his preferred route would leave us in a complete parking lot on the bumper to bumper expressway that lacked the “express”.  So after sitting in the car for two hours we finally reached an exit ramp and took that.  We were all starving so we drove around until we found this…

Giordano's Stuffed Pizza
Thank you Giordano’s for saving our LONG road trip!

After we finished inhaling our Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza, we were back on the road.  This time, still going his route, it took us an additional hour to get there.  We arrived to the resort aggravated and anxious at 8:30.  We left the house at 4:30.  What should have taken us an hour and a half ended up taking us 4 hours!!!!

Upon our arrival we checked into the resort and with this being my first time there, we decided to go to the room, catch our breath for a few, then walk around to get a feel for it all.  My initial thought upon walking in for the first time was how tropical it was.  Even though I was still in Illinois, I felt like I was on a tropical island and after being in a car for 3+ hours, it was a blessing to have that sense of vacation.  Everything from the music playing to the employees to the decor screamed tropical vacation and I loved it.  We found the game room, the indoor waterpark entrance, the craft room, all the varieties of food and stores.  It was a cute little place.  We didn’t experience the waterpark that night primarily because we all had just had a long ride and everyone was tired.

We did get up early the next morning to go on a behind the scenes tour of the waterpark and pump room.  We met with the #KeyLimeCove director of engineering who showed us the ins and outs of what takes place on a daily basis to ensure water safety for its guests.  The waterpark holds 420,120 gallons of water and it is filtered at a rate of 4,788 gallons per minute!  That’s a lot of water!  The filtering process was quite interesting and we learned that KeyLime Cove uses ozone to produce the purest water you could ever swim in.  You know when you walk into an indoor pool and you get a huge wiff of the chlorine?  You don’t get that at all when you walk into the waterpark.  It doesn’t leave that nasty smell on you at all, and I’ll say this, my hair wasn’t crunchy leaving there!   They still use chlorine but goes through a state of the art purification and disinfection process.  If you like engineering or want to learn more about how the waterpark operates, I strongly suggest going on the tour that is offered on Saturday mornings.  My kids were impressed and learned a few things…imagine that?  The water is tested every two hours to make sure that everything is pure and spot on!

The other thing that I was very, very impressed with was the lifeguards there.  They were impeccable.  Each lifeguard completes 38 hours of training before they even start their work there.  They are certified in CPR, First Aid and Emergency Oxygen Delivery.  They were always checking the water areas for distressed kids or adults.  They are really to be commended for the work they do.  While we were there a young boy was struggling during the wave pool action and the lifeguard on duty in that area quickly jumped in and brought him to safety and another lifeguard took over from there making sure he was ok and that his parent was located.  His quick spotting and response was key to this little boys safety.  It was awesome to see each and every lifeguard take their job as seriously as they did that day and every day.

The kids LOVED the water slides!  I think they liked the Hurricane’s Vortex {or as my daughter referred to it as the “toilet bowl”} the best.  It is 45 feet high and 140 feet long and it seriously looks and feels like you are being flushed down the toilet!  I myself {my husband and oldest did as well } enjoyed the 560 foot long lazy river.  And who doesn’t love standing under a pineapple filled with 250 gallons of water just waiting for it to fall on top of you?  Here are some shots from our time there so you can see for yourself just how much fun we were all having…

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Of course we can’t forget the game room….8,000 square feet of gaming fun.  As soon as we saw the game room and my oldest daughter noticed the claw game filled with stuffed pickles, she was fixated on winning one for herself.  Why?  Because who doesn’t like saying “I have a stuffed pickle”???  With that, she began her quest to win herself a stuffed pickle and on her first try, she accomplished that task and then proceeded to win one for her brother and sister within a matter of 5 tries total.

Stuffed Pickle
Who doesn’t want to say they won a stuffed pickle?

 

Oh, I forgot to mention breakfast!  We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast buffet at D.W. Anderson’s Eatery and Ice Cream Parlor!  I had an egg white omelet, a waffle with chocolate chips on top, bacon and fruit!  The kids also enjoyed waffles, pancakes, and scrambled eggs.  My husband filled up on just about everything they provided!  It was delish!!  And the omelet maker {sorry I forgot his name, he was so bubbly and fun…I’d go back just to see him!}.

Stores; you can’t go on a vacation anywhere and not go into a store!  We ended up with a sweatshirt for my oldest, a seashell and necklace for my youngest and my son didn’t want anything other than the neon ball that he won.  I of course couldn’t walk away from a trip without my photo frame fridge magnet! :)

Despite our long and exhausting road trip to KeyLime Cove, once we arrived, we left that all behind and found a way to have a great time while we were there.

 

 

 

*we did receive a complimentary nights stay to facilitate this review, however all words, views & thoughts are mine and mine alone.

Kick off Summer with Hampton Creek Mayo’s!  0

Summer Eats with Hampton Creek Mayo

Hampton Creek May

During the summer I enjoy a lot more “summery” type foods like potato salad, egg salad, grilled burgers, and fun dips.  Above I made a delicious turkey breast sandwich using Just Mayo from Hampton Creek.  I have also become more and more aware of what types of foods I’m eating and trying to make healthier choices.  Which brings me to Just Mayo by Hampton Creek.  I had the opportunity to taste test their different mayo flavors and if you love mayo, you’ll love the variety they have to offer.

I’ve meant to post this earlier but with the weather getting warmer and it finally starting to feel like summer, I figured now is the best time to share this product with you.  Just Mayo is natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, diary-free, lactose-free and cholesterol free.  If you are counting Weight Watchers Points Plus Values, the Just Mayo is 3 PPV per serving.  It would be really great if they offered a lighter version but if you love mayo like I love mayo, then you’ll find a way to include this brand into your daily allowance.

Aside from that, how is the taste of it?  Well, I have found the taste to be very satisfying.  There are a couple brands that I won’t mention that just don’t do it for me.  Hampton Creek Just Mayo has captured my attention and I can’t wait to try it on different recipes through out the summer.  Take for instance their Chipotle flavor.  I added it to my grilled chicken breast and rolled it up with a few pieces of lettuce and made an awesome chicken chipotle lettuce wrap.   The garlic flavor it great for summery dips just add a touch of chopped onion and a drizzle of olive oil, mix well and use some fresh veggies or even some sourdough bread for dipping.  Each flavor adds a pleasant, unique twist to your appetizer or meal.  Check out some of the other great recipes that Hampton Creek shares on their website.  You can find Hampton Creek products at Target, Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods and Safeway.

Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet – Review  7

Cookina Grilling Season Has Begun!

Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet

It’s that time of year again!  Grilling season!  Who’s with me in saying it’s the BEST season ever!!!???!!!  We love grilling out.  We could do it every day of the week if time allowed, but sadly we usually only really grill out on the weekends and it’s usually a big ordeal.  First my husband has to clean the grates on the grill and now with the shards of metal scares in your food with using wired brushes, grilling had started to freak me out a little bit, not going to lie.  When I learned of the Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet ($12.99), I had to jump on the opportunity to test it out.

Before going into details, let me just say that I’ll be purchasing this for everyone in my family for either their birthday or Fathers Day because yes, it is that amazing!!!  Here’s the deal….

First I was a bit scared about placing something on my grill without knowing what it would do but I read the package directions (very carefully I might add) and learned that it can be used on a grill up to 500 degrees.  It should not be above 500 degrees so make sure you take note of that!  I washed off the reusable grill sheet prior to cooking using just soap and water.  Once it was initially cleaned, I placed it on the grates of my grill after it had pre-heated a little bit.  I don’t know if it matters when you place it on the grill, but because of timing and my lack of  it, he pre-heated while I cleaned it off and it seemed to be ok. Once the grill was ready to go, so were my steaks… (DELISH…., I mean, just look at those bad boys!).

Grilling with Cookina

My husband was skeptical.  He likes that “grilled” look that you get from the flames and food showing lines.  He went along with it and let it all play out.  We had enough room on the Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet for 6 nice size steaks.  We let the grill do it’s thang and patiently waited for our steaks to cook.  I must add that we didn’t spray or use anything to prevent sticking.  It’s made that way…no sticking…no mess!!!   The Cookina is 100% non-stick PTFE (PFOA free) coated non-stick fabric!  If you take a quick look at the video on their website, you can make EGGS…who knew, on the GRILL!!!  Insane and I must try it! Anywho….

Grilling with Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet

 

Steaks on the Grill using Cookina

When it was time to flip…that’s when my husband and I let out a big sigh!  What a relief to see the steaks with fancy grill marks on them!  Check them out….

Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet Results

In my excitement and lack of patience, I neglected to get the ever loving “after” photo of our food, but I can assure you it was even better tasting than it looked.  I mean, it was AMAZING!!!  It still had the grill marks, it still had the same juicy flavors and it had a lot less MESS on the grill which my husband and I loved!  When it came time to clean up the Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet, all I had to do was use the little scrubby thing that came with it and wash it off with soap and water.  It was super easy to clean despite the grease residue that the grill left on it.  When it was dry, I just rolled it up and secured it using the little metal ring and put it in my cabinet for later use.

I have since used it three more times and each time, it cooked our dinners perfectly!  {We had burgers, chicken and pork chops using our new Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet.}  Again, as I stated above, all the grillers in the family will be getting their own!  Dad, you’ll be tossing out all that aluminum foil you’ve been using!!  Yes, it’s that good!  I also received the Cookina Oven Protector and the Reusable Cooking Baking Sheet to test out though I wanted to get this review shared because with Fathers Day right around the corner, I want to make sure you get your husband and/or dad…or guy in your life one of these FABULOUS Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheets!

Personalized Notebooks from Gotcha Covered Notebooks  0

Personalized Notebooks Are All The Rage!

Gotcha Covered Notebooks

Yes, school may be over for this year, but I am planning for next year already!  If there is one thing I have learned as a parent, you have to make “learning” fun.  If you equip your young ones with fun accessories, then the entire learning process become more fun and easier too!  I was asked to check out the products by Gotcha Covered Notebooks and I am super excited to share these products with you, partially because I am a huge paper addict.  I love paper products, not even going to lie.  But, now that I can customize and personalize my notebooks, that makes it even more fun for me alone!  Of course, I’d have to share with my kids….blah….but if it makes their learning process more intriguing, then who am I to say no to that?

One late night I hopped onto my computer and decided I was ready for a break.  It was one of those days that just had left me scratching my head.  I had to remind myself throughout the day that I needed to breathe.  Just take a deep breath and let it all go.  So, my escape was to create a personalized notebook that was just for me.  Yes, I could have made it kid-friendly but this was for me after all, so I wanted it to have meaning, for me.

I went to GotchaCoveredNotebooks.com and selected the “All” option to look at the numerous selections of notebooks.  Now your first choice’s are to create your own.  There’s where the total customization and personalization comes in.  You can upload your own images, add your own text, etc…but I wasn’t feeling that creative at that particular moment so I decided to just enhance one of their own designs with my own text.  I found a design that spoke to me….Balloons Over Paris {because one day, I plan on paying Paris a visit}.

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I started to work on my wording.  I wanted to use it as a motivational notebook.  A place to keep all my positive mantra’s, my dreams, and anything that made me feel good.  I choose the 8.5″ x 11″ size with college ruled paper and a gray spiral {$12.99}.  So, I opted to say, Live the Life You’ve Imagined….One Day At A Time, on the cover.  I used a simple font in a matching brown color that outlined the balloons, and Eiffel Tower.  Then on the back  I have added, You Have The Power To… Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It in a slightly darker teal color that was displayed in the balloon.  Once I was finished I was furnished a visual proof of my design, front and back.

Gotcha Covered Notebook Proof Front

Personalized Notebook from Gotcha Covered Notebooks

All that was left now was the waiting!  That’s the hardest part!  When it arrived I was so excited.  Yes, it doesn’t take much to excited me where paper products are concerned!  I was SO beyond happy when I saw it! It arrived in an orange drawstring bag, which was an extra special nice touch!  After all, packaging and first impressions are KEY!!!  The cover was a harder than your traditional “paper” notebooks.  They are made to last!

Personalized Notebookfinished personalized notebook by gotcha covered notebooks
Here’s a little bit more about the company itself.  All products are geared towards children {of all ages, ehem} and what a better way to make them feel special then creating a notebook that’s just for them.  You can choose from notebooks, coloring books, stickers books, and creating your own, designs and cuts.  You have a lot of options and that is one reason I love them.  Not every child is the same, so why should their learning or creative accessories be the same?  Another cool fact about Gotcha Covered Notebooks is that their products are all CPSIA compliant and they are all made in a SGP facility, which basically means, it is safe for children and the environment.  So, as you enjoy the summer and start thinking of the next school year, be sure to plan ahead and get the kids their own special notebook as a kick off to school gift.  I try to think of different ways to make each school year special and my oldest is starting her senior year next year, my son will be entering 8th grade, and my youngest will be starting middle school.  Each of them will have big years ahead, graduation of high school, graduation of middle school and the start of middle school, so it’s a big year to say the least.  I plan on creating a special notebook for each of them to help them get through the school year on a positive note…no pun intended! :)

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**Disclosure** I was provided with a sample experience and actual product in order to facilitate this review, however all views and opinions are honest and are mine and mine alone.

 

Travel in Style with TrendyKid  2

Travel is made fun with TrendyKid luggage!

TrendyKid Kool Chat Luggage for Tweens

Whether you are heading out for a long extended vacation this summer or just sending the kids to grandma’s house, you will want to take a look at the TrendyKid Travel Buddies lightweight luggage sets for kids or the Travel Kool pieces for tweens.  I had the pleasure of testing the TrendyKid Travel Kool Chat luggage and it has been a great experience.  We usually take a few trips a year, some more local than others but this type of luggage is a must-have when traveling with tweens.  It isn’t a “baby” style by any means, but one that is, as the name states, “trendy” and totally acceptable for slightly older kiddos to use.

Travel in Style with TrendyKid

When I first unpackaged the box, I have to admit, I was a bit excited about the quality of this piece.  It has a 17″ hard-shell case made from ABS with a polyester lining.  It has a retractable pull handle that is very easy to release along with a carry handle that is very comfortable to use.  It also has a dividing pocket and a garment strap so nothing will fall out of place.   The zippers are usually what concern me but these are pretty sturdy so I don’t anticipate any issue with them being opened and closed a bazillion times.  What’s even better is that it is within the carry-on size regulations so no baggage check in is necessary.

TrendyKid Luggage Holds PS3

But that is all fine and dandy, but what does the tween in the house think?  Well, mine thinks it is pretty KOOL.  She was able to pack all her necessities like her iPad, charger, PS3, controllers, a few games and yes, she even made room for “some” clothes.  She liked it because it kept everything separate.  She is at the age now where everything has a place, even things in a piece of luggage has it’s place.

Travel with TrendyKid Kool Chat luggage

 

I was amazed with how much stuff she put in there and there was room in there to spare!  With her packing all her electronics, it is nice to have that hard-shell casing for added protection.  All of this for spending the night at grandmas!  Imagine what she will bring when we go on vacation this summer!  Her suitcase should be very interesting!

TrendyKid Tween Inspired Luggage

One thing I know for sure!  It will be the best organized & KOOLest piece of luggage we have with us!

TrendyKid Travel Gear and Accessories

We have loved having the opportunity to test this out and share our thoughts with you.  If you are looking for a great investment for traveling with kids and you, or them, would like their own luggage, then I would really suggest TrendyKid for all your kid luggage needs.  The TrendyKid Kool line is $69.99 while the TrendyKid Buddies range from $24.99-$89.99.

For more information visit TrendyKid.com.

Preparing for the Next Stage of Parenthood  0

Parenthood – I’m Not Ready for College!

College Bound Parenthood

This has been an extremely tough last couple of weeks for me.  I am going to soon have two kids in middle school and one will be a senior in high school.  This is where I must start to prepare for the next stage in parenthood, the growing up to young adult stage.

No one told me this part of parenthood would be so heart wrenching.  Not in a bad way or anything, but how is it that you could love someone so much that it actually pains you?  Logically it’s known that your children eventually grow up and leave you.  They fly away from the nest and have a life of their own.  It’s what all of us parents want, right?  That said, I’m not ready for it.

My oldest who will be a senior next school year started out in the elementary school right down the street.  It’s the same one that we will be saying good-bye to forever on the 29th of May.  We have been at that school every school year since my oldest started kindergarden and now, my youngest will be moving on to 6th grade middle school.  Meanwhile, I have a middle child who will be in 8th grade next year….and will soon graduate and move on to high school.  My oldest is at the stage where she is starting to think and plan for her future.  This coming up senior year she will be starting to look at colleges and applying to them.  She will be thinking about moving out, or going away to school, or …not.  It’s a big year for her, and for us as parents.  I thought watching her learn to drive was scary, college bound is an exciting yet scary time.  I’ll worry.  That’s what I do best.

My son has been thinking about his future too.  He wanted to go to college to be a video game designer and now he’s thinking about going into the engineering field.  And my youngest, well, she wants to be a police officer.  When did we start talking about careers anyway?  My oldest just discovered that she wants to become a photojournalist.  She’s thinking of going to a local community college to take her gen-ed classes and then transfer to Columbia College Chicago as a junior.  She’s doing this because she hates the “D” word!  DEBT!!!!  She doesn’t want to have a lot of it and I admire her for that.  She’s using her head and while most of her friends will attend a 4-year university, she will focus on real-word experience, internships and saving money.

The other day I started to cry.  I’ve been an emotional mess for the last couple weeks and I think it’s because all of this talk about college and careers made me anxious.  Then reality hit me and I realized with my oldest, she’s planning on going to a community college {that’s CLOSE to HOME!!!!!}, so she won’t be going anywhere for a few more years, and the other two, well, I still have a good 5-8 years with them close to me.  So, why worry about tomorrow when I can focus on them today! :)  Soon they will be out of the house and I’ll miss them, but for now, I will treasure every giggle and every fight.

Do you have teens?  How do you, or are you coping with them being away at college?  What do I get to look forward to in a year or so?  Please share your parenting/college story.

Teeth Fairies – A Baby Teeth Tradition {Review}  0

Start a Baby Teeth Tradition!

Teeth Fairies A Baby Teeth Tradition

There are certain things that I wish I could have or would have done differently with my children but I didn’t know any better at the time, or, it just wasn’t something I thought of.  Those things are usually little ones that make you say, “Now why didn’t I think of doing that”…or, “I wasn’t very organized when you were little”….wait, I’m still not organized! :O

Teeth Fairies A Baby Teeth Tradition

I was able to receive the Teeth Fairies-A Baby Teeth Tradition set {retails for $49.99}, I knew it was one of those products I wish I had for my kids as they were losing their baby teeth.  Inside the keepsake box you will receive a plush tooth fairy doll and hardcover book.  The doll itself it brightly colored and just screams happiness when you see her in person.  She has a shiny deep magenta color skirt, yellow, turquoise and orange top and turquoise shiny wings.  Her face is all stitched so there are no hazards to worry about there.  Her smile is adorable and she is topped off with a shiny gold crown with a tiny tooth pocket positioned in the middle.   {She made me fly her around the room before we took photos.}  It’s a great way to celebrate the loss of baby tooth after baby tooth while creating a beautiful, long-lasting memory with your child.

Teeth Fairies A Baby Teeth Tradition

The book itself shares a lovely story about the tooth fairy and how she can’t possibly see all the children in the world so each child is assigned their own special tooth fairy.  As soon as a tooth becomes loose, the teeth fairies fly right down where they are presented with the final test…handling your little ones tooth.  The tooth fairy will take your tooth and leave you a special treat!  Your little ones fairy will report back to the Tooth Fairly with all her findings -did she/he brush good, eat healthy foods…she watches everything!  It continues on in greater detail as to how the fairies travel, what they look for and what they do with all those teeth!  The very last page of the book is a tooth log so you can document the dates of each tooth that has been lost.  This story is well told and illustrated beautifully!  It is without a doubt one of the best books explaining what the tooth fairy does and who she is.  It’s one book that I would recommend all parents get!  It is something that your child will cherish and possibly share with their own children when they have them.

To learn more about the Teeth Fairies, please visit teethfairies.com

 

Mail Order Caterpillars? Insect Lore Review  0

Insect Lore – Caterpillars = Butterflies

Insect Lore - Caterpillar to Butterfly kit

I find nature and the cycle of life to be somewhat of a miracle.  I am completely fascinated with the entire process, whether it be plant life, human life or insect life…or any life for that matter.  That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to review the Insect Lore live butterfly kit {$19.99}!  I really can’t explain my excitement for it, I just remember receiving the package and I couldn’t wait until my daughter came home so we can get started.

First Phase of Insect Lure Caterpillar to Butterfly Kit

Here’s the deal.  It comes to you packaged very secured.  You receive a plastic, see-through, container.  At the bottom of the container it has some goopy looking stuff which is their “specialty diet”.  Also in the container comes 4-5 teeny tiny baby caterpillars.  When I say teeny tiny, I mean teeny tiny, like ant size.  Sadly I was so excited about it, I didn’t get a picture of them when they first arrived.  We carefully placed the plastic container on my daughters dresser and we watched them grow.  They actually grow faster than I thought they would.  You shouldn’t move them at all.  As they get bigger, they climb up the container and secure themselves to this sheet that is attached to the lid.  When they are up there, they form a J, which is really cool because I didn’t even know how this process worked so it was like I was learning right along with my daughter.  That process took maybe about 10 days or so.

Phase 2 of Insect Lure Caterpillar to Butterfly Kit

Once they are all attached {I think one of ours died, so we ended up with four} to the lid and have formed their cocoon (chrysalis) you can transfer the sheet to the reusable see-through mesh pop-up housing.  We just pinned it to the side of the housing and watched and waited for them to turn into beautiful butterflies.  After another few days to a week, our first butterfly popped out of his casing and started to flutter around.  Shortly after that, the remaining three emerged from their cocoons and before we knew it, we had baby butterflies flying around in their little house.

It was such an amazing process!  I am so glad that I was able to witness this and share it with my daughter.  When the temperature is 55 degrees or higher, then you can release them.  Please take note of that if you decide to purchase this and experiment with it in your own home.  We did this at the tail end of winter so we had to nurse our butterflies until it was a safe temperature to release them.  That was tough though because you had to feed them a sugar water on flowers or give them pieces of oranges.  It was neat, but a lot more work than I would have liked to do the last month of winter.  So, please, again, make sure that when you do this kit, your outside temperature is a minimum of 55 degrees so you can let them go shortly after they’ve made their appearance.

For more information and other fun kit suggestions, visit InsectLore.com.  These kits would be great for fun {and inexpensive} summer learning!