June 24, 2013

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Hey There Big Time Rush!

Just so you know, I was invited to this Big Time Rush concert by my friends at Collective Bias.  I was neither compensated nor obligated (or even expected) to write this post, but felt there were a few things I wanted to share about this experience that a parent might value beyond the typical blogger insights of how cool it is to go places and meet people, so read on if you like! #KoolAidBTRtour #cbias

I was just finishing up some work last Friday afternoon when I got a message asking if there was any chance I wanted to go to a Big Time Rush concert Saturday evening.  Hmmmm.  Well, to be totally honest from what little I could gather about BTR,  Kayla is a little on the young side and I'm oh, about 15 years too old.

Mommy Testers Big Time Rush Summer Break Tour 2013 Meet & Greet #KoolAidBTRtour #cbias

My child hijacked my phone! A little update on our hunt for a great wireless unlimited plan.

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  I was recently asked to check out unlimited plans for wireless to see if I could find a cheap wireless plan that would work for my family.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #FamilyMobileSaves #cbias

A little while back I told you how we may be overpaying for wireless.  Okay, let me be blunt.  We're getting gouged on our wireless bill from Sprint.   Now that I actually realize it's happening I find it to be infuriating.  So I've spent that last month checking out the Walmart Family Mobile plan to see if it's a viable solution for us.  I mean, when Kayla has actually allowed me to use the phone!

Mommy Testers Walmart Family Mobile Unlimited Wireless Plan #FamilyMobileSaves #cbias

That's right, the phone I was sent to test out the service has been hijacked by a loquacious 4 year old who enjoys engaging family members in long winded calls.  Usually she recites the inconsistent details of her day...and blabs about nothing and everything.  Total gibberish sometimes.  Of course my parents think it's adorable because in their eyes she can do no wrong.  Ever.

June 21, 2013

Monsters University? Oh, it's happening here! How about some Monster Juice?

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  I was recently asked to check out some awesome Monsters University merchandise which of course I was dying to do and decided to make a healthy drink too! This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #MUJuice #cbias

So I cannot lie, I'm ridiculously  kind of excited about the release of Monsters University.  But not for the obvious reasons.  You see, most of the time I'm that overprotective mother (shocker!) who hasn't allowed her child to watch a lot of movies.  TV time is pretty limited in our home, so going to the movies is a big deal.  

Mommy Testers Monster eyeball juice for kids monster Monsters University party with Juicy Juice #MUJuice #cbias

A few months ago we made our first real family outing to the movies to see Monsters Inc.  My husband loves nothing more than a cushy chair, popcorn and a movie so I could see how excited he was to introduce Kayla to the experience.  I on the other hand was a stressball.  Would she sit through it?  Would we have to leave?  What if she got scared and I had to spend the next few nights sleeping on her bedroom floor?  No sleeping in our bed is the one boundary I've made and kept, so when she's sick there I am, like a nomad. 

Mommy Testers Plush Sully monster Monsters University party with Juicy Juice #MUJuice #cbias

Send me to therapy because I was worried over nothing!  Kayla settled in with her popcorn and loved Monsters Inc.  She thought Mike was silly, she related to Boo and of course I could tell she longed for a Sully of her own to watch over her.  Months later it's still on her mind.  Not too long ago we bought the DVD because she wanted to see it again and it came with a free movie pass for Monsters University.  I kid you not, Kayla comes to my desk almost daily to check on her "Monsters Inc. University" movie pass and remind me that we're going soon.  

There's been a display filled with Monsters University merchandise in my local Walmart for a few weeks and as a self proclaimed toy lover it has taken every last bit of self restraint not to go raid it like a dog who has just found a stack of steaks accidentally left out.

Mommy Testers Monster eyeball juice for kids monster Monsters University party with Juicy Juice #MUJuice #cbias

After cleaning out our toy collection for the bazillionth time and watching Kayla jump in and say that "the kids without toys can have these" about a bunch of things I felt proud and found my excuse to make the shopping trip I'd been itching to make.  Then, because you know this girl right here can't possibly just buy a few toys and call it a day, I made monster juice.

Why?  By now you know I don't give Kayla tons of juice, BUT I found these Juicy Juice Fruitifuls.  They still follow the 100% juice theory - as in they aren't crammed full of scary ingredients, but what makes them different is they are diluted with water.  Which is exactly what I want as a mom because that's what I'd do myself anyway!  These Fruitifuls have 35% less sugar than regular juice so I can let Kayla feel all excited about the treat of juice without feeling like I'm abandoning my principles.  Anyway, back to monster juice....

Mommy Testers Monster eyeball juice for kids monster Monsters University party with Juicy Juice #MUJuice #cbias

I opened up a few of those cartons and poured them into a pitcher.  If we were on the go they'd be perfect as they came, but I wanted something more exciting for a fun Monsters University night at home.  So I whipped out my melon baller - a very neglected tool in this kitchen and got to work on some cantaloupe and watermelon monster eyeballs.  Sure it sounds silly if you're an adult, but to a 4 year old it's cool as can be.

Mommy Testers Monster eyeball juice for kids monster Monsters University party with Juicy Juice #MUJuice #cbias

No super fancy recipe here, just a fast, fun way to get your child to eat an extra serving of fruit as they cool off with a monster drink.  Set out your assortment of moster eye balls and let them plop a bunch into some juice.  I decided to add cute, colorful paper straw to make it extra special.    If you'd like to make these too I can promise that they are very simple and take just a minute.   They are made just like how I made these crepe paper pom-poms, only you use shorter pieces of crepe paper and alternate blue and green strands.

Do you like bonuses?  I do.  Beyond getting my less sugary juice for Kayla I realized that the new Monsters University packs of juice have a little sweepstakes attached to them.  Each pack has an instant win prize.  We got an E-book and a coloring sheet from ours.  You can also enter your product codes and be entered for a chance to win a trip to Pixar Studios along with a $5000 cash scholarship or one of 10 $5000 cash scholarships.  You all know how I feel about saving for college.  It's crazy important to me so fingers crossed because I hear it isn't getting any cheaper!

Want an awesome Monsters University craft project?  I've got one coming up for you soon!

June 17, 2013

Extending the critter hunt courtesy of one bright headlight

Just so you know, as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® I checked out some flashlight alternatives including night headlights and chose my favorite one for a fun activity with Kayla.  #LightMyWay #cbias

A little while back I told you about Kayla's snail hunting adventure and how the simple pleasure of discovering some begonia eating garden snails outshined any experience I could have paid for.  I also mentioned that a personal weakness of mine is knowing when to leave well enough alone.  Especially when it comes to my child.

Mommy Testers critter hunting with Energizer headlights #LightMyWay

June 14, 2013

My makeup bag is on a diet, is yours? Trying a natural look for summer

Just so you know I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  I was recently asked to check out affordable makeup and create some natural looks for summer.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #RimmelRealBeauty #cbias

It's here, the time of year we have all waited for!  When a bathing suit, a cover up and a pair of beachy sandals is all you need.  Okay, and maybe a fun piece of jewelry.   Food becomes simpler, healthier and served on a patio. Overall, less becomes more.  So I think it's quite appropriate that makeup follows suit, don't you?

Mommy Testers nude summer makeup trend with Rimmel #cbias

June 12, 2013

Spa lunch for those of us who crave pizza and never go to the spa

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #cbias

I don't know about you but I can count how many times I've seen the inside of a spa on one hand with fingers left over.  In fact I've got a Spa Finder gift card that's been sitting in my desk for oh about 3 years and will almost certainly never get cashed in. Maybe I'm broken as a woman, but I'm just not big on spas, relaxation rooms and strangers touching me.  Plus, I'd much rather be creating something or chatting with friends than sitting in forced silence meditating with a glass of lemon water.

 Mommy Testers Spa Pizza a Hummus Pizza with vegetables  #cbias

June 6, 2013

Snail Hunting - The best things in life are free

Over the weekend we visited my mother in law with the intent of having an unplugged, laid back family weekend and I'm happy to say I think we accomplished that goal.  I pulled Kayla out of school early on Friday which of course made her a preschool celebrity.  No fewer than five Baby Gap and Tar-jet clad little girls rushed the classroom door to let me know that we were heading to grandma's house.  Guess the gossip starts even younger than I thought!

garden snail on leaf

June 4, 2013

Hello Dragon! Super cute handmade puppets from Cate & Levi

Sometimes it's tempting to get caught up in licensed character mania.  I know I do.  Kids naturally identify with the peeps they see just about everywhere.  But I also like to maintain a balance and find toys that have nothing to do with multi-national conglomerates or a movie release.  So when I was strolling the floor at Toy Fair this winter and bumped into the crew from Cate & Levi I recognized their cute creations and couldn't help but stop and play.

cate & levi handmade puppet, cate & levi dragon, cate & levi repurposed sweater animals

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