Mommy Katie: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Travel Tips from Safety 1st

As we prepare for the road trips and camping trips this coming holiday weekend, we find that there are a lot of things to not only pack but add to those check lists. I have found that by adding products such as the Safety 1st Grow and Go EX Air to my list of must haves when traveling helps to not only add comfort for my toddler in the car but also that extra safety that helps to keep my little ones safe as we travel. 


I found this seat to be very simple to install and it gives my little guy the comfort and safety he needs as we head out on the road. I also like that along with the seat that I see as a must have when preparing for any trips big or small in the car, is having the road trip safety check list on hand as well. This checklist has been put together by Ryan Hawker, who is a Safety 1st car seat safety expert. He has not only shared this amazing checklist with me but also with my readers and you can get this checklist below! 

So as you prepare to head out, be sure to check out the checklist below and also be sure to have the gear you need from the Safety 1st line! 


“Are We There Yet?” Your Road Trip Safety Check List
By: Ryan Hawker, Safety 1st Car Seat Safety Expert

Gas prices are starting to drop! Yes! Therefore it’s no secret that this summer AAA is predicting more and more people will be hitting the roads for a summer vacation. According to the travel organization, 35% of Americans are planning to take a vacation more than 50 miles from home with two or more immediate family members in the next 12 months.

If you are traveling with little ones a very important tip that most people forget to confirm is that car seat or home safety is a part of the travel check list. Before you hit the road make sure to take a look in the back seat to confirm your child is in the correct child restraint for his or her height and weight, and that the car seat is installed correctly.

In Your Back Seat:

·        The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2. The new Safety 1st Grow and Go EX Air, offers a safer and more comfortable ride with extended use at each stage; including up to 50 pounds rear-facing and 100 pounds in the belt-positioning booster mode. Remember, the safest place to install a car seat, rear or forward-facing, is typically in the center of the rear seat. 

·        Always make sure your child is secure by keeping the car seat harness snug. Experts test the snugness with the "pinch test". If you pinch the harness straps at the shoulder and can gather material, it is too lose. Cinch it down. Also, check in with a local Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure your child’s seat is installed correctly. You can visit a local police department, fire station, AAA office or Safe Kids Chapter for guidance. 

·        It’s something you rarely think about, but car seats expire! You can find the expiration date on the back or the side of the car seat. Also, if a car seat has been in a crash you should not use it. Plastic can warp, materials can fray and the car seat will not protect a child correctly. Always avoid used car seats. The history of a car seat tells a lot about its ability to protect on the road ahead. If you don’t know where it has been, you don’t know if it can protect your child.

On The Road:

·        Road trips often mean long hours in the car, especially when traveling through high volume areas. According to AAA, Fifty-five percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices, which can lead to more traffic. Make sure your driver is always well-rested and the kids are occupied to reduce distractions. It’s a good idea to keep snacks and activities handy. Also don’t forget a charger for your tablet or iPhone.

·        Children don’t always do what they’re told but they do often mimic what they observe. According to Safe Ride 4 Kids, almost 40% of children riding in vehicles with unbelted drivers were not wearing belt restraints at the time of an accident. Set a good example and always use your seatbelt.

·        Protect your car like you would protect your home. It’s important to eliminate projectiles and keep them secured in a bag tucked under the seat or in a compartment. Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile in the event that you stop fast. That could be a child’s toy or a water bottle. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces.

At Your Destination:

·        A great way to help your child adjust to sleeping in a new location is to start the process at home before you leave. If your child will be sleeping in a Play Yard during the trip, use it for bed or nap time the entire week before. This will help him or her get used to a new sleep environment.

·        Are you planning on renting a house for your family vacation this summer? Unfortunately, vacation rentals don’t come child-proofed. Sharp corners and dangerous objects are inevitable. Therefore be sure to pack essential child proofing items in your suitcase. Soften the edges of an unfamiliar house with the Foam Bumper Kit. The Easy Install Walk-Thru Gate is great for blocking off new staircases that your little one may want to venture down, and don’t forget Plug Protectors, and door Knob Covers are essential for rooms you don’t want little ones venturing into unsupervised, such as the bathroom.  




Product received, thank you to Safety 1st as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#Giveaway Goody Ouchless Girls Brush and More

When it comes to hair and getting hair done, my daughter seems to have a hard time. She has thick, curly hair, and when she brushes it she finds it to be a chore that she does not enjoy. Now she does enjoy styling her hair, but before we can do any styling for the day we have to brush it. And when it comes to the brushes we have used we have found that they tug, pull, and even brake more often than not. So as a mom with a daughter who has hair that can be difficult to brush I like to seek out products that can help make it a little easier, and recently we were sent such a product along with some hair accessories when we were sent a Goody Ouchless Girls Brush and accessories from Goody. You can watch Estrella's review on the products we were sent in the video below.



We both like that with the brush, Estrella can brush through her hair a lot easier than with others and I like that the bristles do not brake easily. In fact when it comes to the bristles and how strong they are, I can appreciate that they are made to be tough and get through those tangles and matted up hair. We also found that with the accessories from Goody, they are all perfect for packing up and taking to summer camp this year. Which in all not only helps my daughter when it comes to her everyday hair brushing at home but also for using when she is outdoors at summer camp!

For even more on the products from Goody, Goody has partnered up with Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Dancing with the Stars contestant, The Bachelor star and mother of three Melissa Rycroft to talk “Summer Styling” tips and share how Ouchless Girls has taken the tears out of getting her daughter ready for the day. You can check out the video here.

So as you prepare for packing your kids up for summer camp, be sure to add some of the Goody accessories to your list along with the Goody Ouchless Girls Brush! Also, the wonderful people from Goody would like to help make styling hair a little easier by giving one of my amazing readers their own prize pack of Goody products!







Product received, thank you to Goody as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

#Giveaway Enjoy Summer Pairings with Simply Artisan Reserve + $5,000 Giveaway


With the summer upon us, we find that it is the perfect time to host those outdoor gatherings with friends and family. For me, I enjoy seeking out recipes, tips, and tricks for not only main courses but also for those appetizers that offer myself and my guests some great pairings. So when I was introduced to the Simply Artisan Reserves from Litehouse Foods and the pairing ideas that they have, I was excited to check them out and share them with my readers.


When it comes to the amazing summer pairings the people from Litehouse Foods shared these delicious Simply Artisan Reserve pairings with me to share with my readers:

·        Ultimate Cheese Pairing Platter Recipe – this platter pairs fruits, nuts and accoutrements with our delicious Blue Cheese and Gorgonzola Center Cuts
·        Bruschetta with Blue Cheese – this delicious and easy appetizer features fresh tomatoes and mild blue cheese chunks for a light and tasty combination.
·        Cantaloupe, Pancetta & Feta Seasons Crostini – this salty and sweet pairing combines peppery arugula, salty pancetta, feta and sweet cantaloupe to create the perfect flavor.
·        Sesame Grilled Summer Squash with Blue Cheese and Hazelnuts – this gorgeous summer squash salad is tossed with a bright, lemony dressing and sprinkled with our new (and tasty!) Blue Cheese Simple Seasons.

These pairings are great for adding to any menu or gathering this summer. They offer the cheeses and flavors that help to make your dishes ones that your guests are sure to remember! Making the selection of Simple Artisan Reserve products from Litehouse Foods a great choice to go with when planning those summer get togethers! And to help with making your summer gatherings even more epic, you can enter to win $5,000 in the Simply Artisan Reserve Beach Giveaway! This giveaway will end on June 30th. Also be sure to enter to win a prize pack filled with Simply Artisan Reserve goodies below!





Product received, thank you to Litehouse Foods as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Angry Birds Collectibles and Play Sets from Spin Master

The summer is upon us and when it comes to finding fun toys to keep the kids engaged, I like to seek out ones that incorporate their favorite characters and movies in them. So when we were sent some of the play sets and collectibles from the Angry Birds line up of toys from Spin Master to review, both Estrella and I were excited to check them out. You can watch Estrella's review on the collectibles in the video below.



As you can see the Angry Birds Collectibles are both fun and a must have when it comes to adding to any Angry Birds collection. They are pocket sized, and resemble the characters that can be seen in the Angry Birds movie. We also like that there are several in the collection, allowing you to add to them as you choose.

Then with the Angry Birds Play Sets from the Spin Master line up, we found the TNT Invasion and the Angry Birds Vinyl Knockout to be a lot of fun to have. With the TNT Invasion you get a play set that is simple to set up and allows the kids to play Angry Birds in real life! You get the characters that include Bomb, which can go in the slingshot and aimed to fire at the Pigs! And with the Vinyl Knockout set you and your kids can set up a tower, place the pigs on it then knock them down by tossing the Red Angry Birds at it! Making the collection of toys you can find from Spin Master's Angry Birds line up a great selection to go with for any Angry Birds fans!




Product received, thank you to Spin Master as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Must Have Toys from The Secret Life of Pets Line at Spin Master



We are counting down the days to when we can line up to get our tickets to see the movie, The Secret Life of Pets, which will be in theaters on July 8th. In the meantime, we have found a way to keep our kids entertained with the line of toys from The Secret Life of Pets line from Spin Master. We were sent a great selection of the toys to review and you can check out these toys in the video review below.



As you can see in the video above, this line up is great for not only playing with but also collecting. You get the walking and talking toys that go around saying some funny phrases and like the movie, and expose what pets are really thinking and saying when we are not around. Then with the blind bags, you get a surprise in every bag, giving your kids a great collection of fun miniature pets that are the same characters which can be seen in the movie! Making the line of toys from the new movie, The Secret Life of Pets, from Spin Master, a great collection of fun toys to get your kids!!!!




Product received, thank you to Spin Master as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Summer Road Trips with Glad and Hidden Valley

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GladToGo #CollectiveBias
The time for those epic summer road trips is now, and like many, I have been seeking out those snacks and activities that can help make those times in the car easier and more fun for everyone! As a parent, when it comes to the snacking on the go, I like to have snacks that are easy to get to and handle, and when it comes to the activities for the kids I find that I look for the same. So when I was given the chance to share some of my favorite go to snacks and activities for summer road trips with Hidden Valley Ranch and Glad with my readers, I was excited to get started!


To get started, I first headed to my local Fred Meyer and picked up some of the Hidden Valley Ranch To Go Cups along with some of the fun Glad Sandwich Bags with those iconic movie characters on them! Also, while I was at Fred Meyer I picked up some of the other items I needed for both the activity kits and the snack packs that I made. These other products included crayons, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, (or any other root vegetable) and some sea salt.
Once I was home, I began baking the veggie chips for the snack bags.

Ingredients for Veggie Chips:

Parsnips
Rutabagas
Turnips
Sea Salt

(any root vegetable will work by the way ;) )

For the veggie chips I sliced each of the vegetables thinly, put them on paper towels, then sprinkled with salt and let stand for 20 minutes. When waiting on the vegetables, I preheated the oven to 375. From there I dabbed the excess water off of the vegetables with a paper towel then placed the vegetables on a baking sheet then baked in the oven for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, and salt to taste.

After the chips were cool enough, I divided them up in the Glad Bags and put 1 Hidden Valley Ranch To Go cup in each bag to eat as a snack later.

For the activity bags for the kids, I first created a fun game of Blackout Car Bingo. You can print this game off below. When I printed the Bingo cards I set up the print sheet to have 4 on one sheet of paper so that they fit in the baggies without having to fold them.

To play a game of Blackout Car Bingo, give each player their Bingo card, then as they spot the items that are on the card they can use a crayon to mark their boxes. They must also let others know what they are marking and where the item is so it can be verified for fair play. The first person to get all items on card wins!


Another activity I went with for the activity bags is a fun color your own puzzle. You can print off the photo of the puzzle I created below. Once I had the photo printed I cut the puzzle then placed the pieces in the kids favorite movie character bags with crayons for the kids to use along with the Blackout Car Bingo card. The kids can then color each piece and put the pieces of their puzzle together to help pass time while having fun in the car!


I like that with the Glad Sandwich Bags with the movie characters on them, I can be sure to keep the kids snacks and activities separated, letting each kid have their own designated character. I also like that with the to go cups, they have the right amount of ranch in them and when the kids are done, they can contain their messes by keeping their trash in the Glad Sandwich Bags. Making the choice to go with the Hidden Valley Ranch To Go Cups for snacking on the go and the Glad Sandwich Bags with movie characters on them! It’s a great option when it comes to planning those epic summer road trips. As you head to your local Kroger or Fred Meyer store to prepare for your next road trip, be sure to pick up the Hidden Valley Ranch To Go Cups along with the Glad Sandwich Bags with your favorite movie characters on them and have safe travels!





Monday, June 27, 2016

#Giveaway The Secret Life of Pets Prize Pack


The time is nearing, the time to head to a theater near you and watch the new movie, The Secret Life of Pets which will be in theaters July 8th! With the new movie, The Secret Life of Pets. you find that it comes from the same studio that brought you Despicable Me and Minions, which are also big movies that are a fave in my home.



The all-star cast features comedy superstars that include Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart PLUS Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks!


In this movie, we are looking forward to getting a little insight on what really goes on when we are not looking or not at home. And to help with the excitement surrounding the new movie, the wonderful people from Universal Pictures would like to give one of my amazing readers a prize pack that includes a $25 PetsMart Gift Card plus T-Shirt, Tennis Ball, Button Badge and Key Chain!




Download the new PetMOJI app to create an emoji of your favorite furry friend!  Currently available on iOS, the app features sticker packs and a custom keyboard.  



Customize your own PetMOJI avatar by selecting a dog or a cat, then choosing features for your pet: a body, a snout, eyes, ears, and a tail – plus patches, patterns, and colors.


Product received, thank you to Universal Pictures as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Sara Lee® Snacks Peanut Butter Crème Filled Cakes

When it comes to summer travel plans, meals and such, I am one who does love my sweets. I love chocolate and peanut butter. I also like to pack those treats when we travel, head to the beach, or serve after dinner. So when I was introduced to the new Sara Lee Snacks Peanut Butter Creme Filled Cakes, I was excited to try them out and share with my readers!

These cakes have a dark chocolate icing on the outside, a light and fluffy chocolate cake with a peanut butter creme inside. The cakes come individually wrapped and are great for taking on those summer road trips, pack when you head to the beach or enjoy as a great dessert after dinner! I also like that the snacks are fresh baked then packaged to make them that much more enjoyable. Making the new Sara Lee Snacks Peanut Butter Creme Filled Cakes a dessert snack you will have to try for yourself! You can enjoy trying the new Sara Lee Peanut Butter Creme Filled Cakes too when you head to your local grocery store and pick up a box.



Product received, thank you to Sara Lee as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Take on the Summer Adventures with the 2016 Kia Sportage SX


When it comes to summer we find that there are adventures to be had on the road ahead. For myself and my family, we like to explore the shores that are near us, finding the shells that the kids can add to their collections, hiking the trails that are awaiting us to explore, and scouting that next camping site that is sure to hold the memories that we will make. And when it comes to taking on these summer adventures, we like to do it with a vehicle that has that fun and sporty feel to it that is also ready to explore the roads ahead. So when we were given the chance to review the 2016 Kia Sportage SX, we were excited to check it out and take on the summer!

With the sporty feel and drive you get a vehicle that is meant to take on those adventures, and with the size we can get the family inside and pack that ice chest so we can explore the outdoors. One of the features that we all like is the sun roof, which adds to the sporty feel and allows us to not only feel the wind flow over our heads as we trek the road ahead but also allows us to marvel in awe on the night skies as we park on the pier and enjoy teaching our kids about the constellations that are above!

In the back, I like that I can take advantage of the extra storage that is under the floor, which allows me to pack the sunblock, towels, and water shoes for the family without overcrowding the back of the vehicle and allowing me to then place the cooler on top! The seats in the back fold down easily so on those days where my husband and I want to make it a date on the water with our kayaks, we can pack them up in the back and head to the water.

I can also keep beverages nice and cool when I place them in the glove box which not only keeps the drinks cool but also lights up so we can see the drinks when we are star gazing in the evenings. For the music aspect, the sound system is one that is great for using when we set up at the beach or for when we take those cruises along the shores. We can choose to either listen to the radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, or plug in our own devices and stream the music to the speakers. Then when it comes to taking those photos of the skies above or the campsites we have found, I like that we can be sure to keep our devices charged so they are ready to go by utilizing the ports that are in the vehicle. In all making the 2016 Kia Sportage SX a great choice to go with when you are seeking out a sporty CUV that is ready to take on those epic summer adventures!





I was loaned a vehicle for a week long test drive, thank you to Drive Shop USA for supplying me with the vehicle for this review, all opinions are my own.

Summer Learning Fun with the Wow & Wonder Set from Learning Resources


When it comes to preschoolers, we find that their minds are constantly learning and ready to explore and absorb the information that comes their way. With my kids being out of school for the summer, I like to keep their minds going by finding products that are both fun and challenging. So when I was sent the Wow & Wonder Set from Learning Resources to review, I was excited to check it out and share it with my preschooler.

This set includes the tools you need to begin some fun kid friendly science experiments which are included on the 10 double sided activity cards that have instructions on the various activities! You find that with this kit you get the tools that help to make fun activities that include mixing colors, magnets, making a solution to create fun bubbles, and more with these super-fun experiments and kid-cool tools. I also like that the tools are both fun looking as well as essential for bringing the experiments together. Making the Wow & Wonder Set from Learning Resources a great set to go with when it comes to STEM fun with little ones this summer!

So as you seek out those fun products to help keep your little ones minds going this summer, be sure to check out the products from Learning Resources and get your Wow & Wonder Set today! You can find this set at both the Learning Resources site as well as on Amazon.



Product received, thank you to Learning Resources as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Summer Memories Made with the Sterno S'mores Maker

When I think about summer and the memories I have from my childhood, I think of the time spent outdoors, enjoying time with family and friends, and the get togethers we had. With all of these I can remember a classic that was shared in the evenings, whether we were camping or having a cookout by the bonfire, I can remember looking forward to making the s'mores. So when I was given the chance to invite friends and family over to enjoy a night of s'mores making with the Sterno S'mores Maker, I was excited to get started!


After getting the supplies to help make our party more complete, I found the set up was very simple. I was able to lay out the pieces for the s'mores in the tray that is part of the Sterno S'mores Maker, which helped to make the making of the s'mores a very simple process. After we had the basics out and set up, I was then able to remove the lid from the Sterno S'mores Heat which was the source we used for roasting the marshmallows.


Once I had lit the canned heat I put the top on the maker then we found that we were ready to begin roasting our marshmallows. The kit included 2 skewers which were perfect for holding the marshmallows on, and unfortunately, once we were all set up and ready to start it began to rain but fortunately for us we were easily able to move the Sterno S'mores Maker indoors and roast the marshmallows indoors!

The process of roasting the marshmallows was easy and we found that both adults and kids under adult supervision, were able to roast their own marshmallows to use for making s'mores. The time was also great, because we were able to allow a 2 at a time to roast marshmallows and do it in just a few minutes. Then once each person had roasted their marshmallows, we were able to place the graham crackers and chocolate squares out so they were ready to be topped with a hot roasted marshmallow. Making the Sterno S'mores Maker a great kit to have for not only camping, cookouts and outdoor gatherings, but also for those rainy days where s'mores are able to be made indoors!



Product received, thank you to Sterno as well as Tryazon for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

#Giveaway Deal Days of Summer at Target + $100 Target Gift Card

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Target, all opinions are my own. Thank you to the PR and Target for sponsoring this post.

Summer is here and in one week we will be celebrating our nations independence when we celebrate the Fourth of July! Like many across the country, we are heading out, getting those outdoor toys, the picnic goods, and other items that can help make our Fourth of July one to remember. One stop that I find as a must have when it comes to finding the patriotic goods, outdoor toys, and picnic must haves is Target, and right now when I head to my local Target I can take advantage of the Deal Days of Summer!


The deals include 20% off those fun pool toys and sporting good today, which leads into the deals that I can get now through July 4th. And the deals do not stop there either, in fact when it comes to the deals that are to be had I can find daily deals in a variety of shopping categories which range from those picnic goods like the hot dogs, condiments, plates and the ice chests to the sun block, sandals and flip flops as well as so much more! You can find some of the deals below and by also heading to the Target Daily Deals page.


For the deals that you will find on Monday June 27th you can get 30% off sandals and flip-flops for the whole family and when it comes to the selection, well you will find that there is something for everyone! While at Target you can also find those Red White and Blue looks to complete your families 4th of July ensembles. You can get the coupon for this deal delivered to your smartphone by texting SUMMER to TARGET (827438).

On Tuesday June 28th you can get 20% off sun care, beauty, and personal care. This deal will allow you to not only stock up on those makeup items that are a must have, but also the sun block you might need as you head out this July 4th. You can also have the coupon delivered to your smartphone, by texting BEAUTY to TARGET (827438).

Wednesday June 29th, you and your family can stock up on those delicious frozen goodies like the Blast off Pops that my kids and I adore and get 25% off ice cream and novelty treats. This particular deal is only available in store. You can also get the coupon delivered to your smartphone, when you text TREAT to TARGET (827438).

Thursday June 30th be sure to stock up on those hosting and entertaining goods when you take advantage of the 20% off kitchen products. This deal will be including small appliances, cookware, bakeware, dining and entertaining, tools and gadgets. You can get this coupon delivered to your smartphone, by texting COOK to TARGET (827438).

On Friday July 1st, you can get your home guest ready when you take 10% off household essentials, including laundry care, paper products, disposable tabletop, household cleaners, dish care, air fresheners and pest control. Get the coupon delivered to your smartphone, by texting CLEAN to TARGET (827438).

Then for the big bang, when you shop at Target Saturday July 2nd through Monday July 4th you can stock up on the food and drinks for your Fourth of July party and get a FREE $10 Target Gift Card when you purchase $50 or more in food or drinks. To get this coupon delivered to your smartphone, text GROCERY to TARGET (827438).



Making the Deal Days of Summer at Target an event that you will not want to miss! And to help with stocking up on those must haves for summer the wonderful people from Target would like to give one of my amazing readers a $100 Target Gift Card!!!!







Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups


When it comes to breakfast in my house, I like to have options for my family. We enjoy a variety of breakfast goodies, and one that I enjoy is oatmeal. The thing is, until recently, not everyone in my house liked having oatmeal for breakfast. This all changed when we were given the chance to try the Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups. These oatmeal cups offer a healthy, hearty, gluten free, and very tasty option for me and my family to enjoy in the mornings. They are easy to prepare and are great for taking with us when we go out of town, take breakfast on the go, or even during those mornings where we are in a hurry to get out the door. And with Estrella, well until now she was one who did not like oatmeal, and after trying the Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups, she has found a oatmeal that she will not only eat but also enjoy. You can watch her video review below.





To purchase Bob’s Red Mill products, visit bobsredmill.com to view their store locator, or purchase directly online.





I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Celebrate Summer of Floats with 7UP Sunkist & More at Target

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. All opinions are my own. #SummerOfFloats
The summer is upon us and like so many others, I not only enjoy spending the time making memories with my family, but also sharing my own memories of summer from when I was a kid, with my kids. For me, when I think of summertime, I think of the vacations I went on with my family and also the time I spent with loved ones. And one memory I have that I enjoy sharing with my kids is the time I spent during the summers with my grandfather, helping him at his ice cream parlor. So when I was given the chance to recreate my personal summer favorite drink and celebrate the summer of floats, I was excited to get started!


When I think back on the days I spent with my grandfather in his ice cream parlor, I think about the memories we made. Like when we would take our lunch break and make some old fashioned fountain style floats to enjoy with our lunches as we would sit on the porch and talk. I can remember not only enjoying the floats, but also being taught how to make a variety of floats that we served to our customers. When I think of the floats that I enjoyed most, I think of the ones such as the Orange Cream Floats and the Cherry Limeade Floats.


To get started on making the soda fountain style floats I headed to my local Target Store where I was able to pick up some of the Archer Farms ice creams and with the small cans of the 7UP® and Sunkist® that I needed. Along with the main ingredients I also picked up some grenadine and maraschino cherries.


Once I was at home I got all of the ingredients I needed out and began by making the 7UP® Cherry Limeade Floats and the Orange Cream Floats.


Ingredients for 7UP® Cherry Limeade Floats:


small cans of 7UP® (1 can for each float)
Archer Farms Ice Cream
grenadine
maraschino cherries


To get started add 1 Tablespoon of the grenadine to the cup, add a small amount of 7UP®, then 1 small scoop of ice cream. On top of that first scoop add another small amount of the 7UP® then followed with 2 scoops of ice cream. Drizzle some grenadine on top, slowly add the remaining amount of the 7UP®, top with a cherry and enjoy!


Ingredients for Orange Cream Floats:


small cans of Sunkist® (1 can for each float)
Archer Farms Ice Cream

To get started add small amount of Sunkist® to cup then add small scoop of ice cream. On top of the first scoop add a little more of the Sunkist® then follow with 2 more scoops of ice cream and finish the float by slowly adding the remaining amount of Sunkist® and enjoy!



I found these floats to give me a sense of nostalgia as well as a great line up to share with my own family this summer. Then along with my own floats, I liked that I could find even more ways to celebrate the summer of floats by heading here! Making the choice to head to my local Target when it comes to celebrating the summer of floats with 7UP®, A&W®, Sunkist® (and more), is one that will help to make this summer a memorable one! To help when it comes to making more floats this summer, be sure to check out this Cartwheel Offer where, starting on 6/26 and running through 7/30, you can get 5% OFF 2L or Mini Cans of A&W®, Sunkist®, 7UP®, Canada Dry®, Dr Pepper®, and more. You can also save in store when you buy any two Archer Farms 48 oz Ice-Creams, and get a FREE 2L or 6PK Mini Cans A&W®, Sunkist,® 7UP®, Canada Dry® and more!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Fun with Lakeshore Learning

Summer is here and when it comes to the kids, I like to find ways to keep them busy while having fun. As a parent I not only want my kids to enjoy their summer, but also keep their minds busy and avoid that dreaded summer brain drain. So as a parent, I like to head to places like Lakeshore Learning where I can find a variety of educational products and toys that are both fun and educational. Recently I was sent a great selection of educational toys for my kids to enjoy this summer from the Lakeshore Learning line to review.


For my eldest who loves wildlife and exploring nature, we were sent the Butterfly Nursery, which allows us to watch as the caterpillars grow, spin silk and form chrysalises, then emerge as butterflies! With the 19" nursery we like that it lets the kids observe the butterfly life cycle from every angle and also add the leaves that the caterpillars enjoy eating as well as other plant life if we want. Once the butterflies are ready, we can release them and watch as they fly away into their natural habitats. With the nursery we can enjoy the observations again and again when we order more caterpillars to add to the nursery.

For my middle son who loves to build and create things, we were sent the fun Build it Yourself Woodworking Kit! With this kit my son has the tools and pieces he needs to create a number of projects. The wood is smooth and comes in a variety of shapes, and the kit also includes a kid friendly light hammer, glue, nails and more. Allowing my son to build a number of projects that he thinks up or follow the directions on some of the project ideas that are included in the kit. Which gives him the tools to not only learn how to follow instructions when it comes to projects but also get creative when he builds his own projects!

Then for my preschooler we found the Alphabet Learning Locks to be a great set for us to play with and my little guy to learn with. I like that we can mix it up and have my preschooler pick the correct letters on the locks to match up with the correct keys so that he can unlock those locks. I also like that with the locks you get a uppercase letter then on the keys you get a lowercase letter, which helps us in teaching him to recognize his letters of the alphabet! This set is fun and gives little ones instant gratification when they match up the correct locks and keys and unlock the locks! Making this set along with the other fun educational products we were sent for our kids to enjoy, a great selection to go with this summer to keep the kids busy with and also fight that dreaded summer brain drain!



Product received, thank you to Lakeshore Learning as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.

Summer Fun With Edge Brand Batman and Superman Boys 2 Piece 3D Muscle Flotation Vests


When it comes to the summer it seems that being in the water is a must for my kids. We enjoy heading to the beach or to the lake to enjoy our days staying cool while having fun in the water under the hot summer sun. And when it comes to summer safety, we not only like to ensure that our kids take swimming classes so that they can be stronger swimmers but we also like to ensure that our kids have the proper swimwear to help keep them safe when we go in the water. So when we were sent the very cool Edge Brand Batman and Superman Boys 2 Piece 3D Muscle Flotation Vests to review, we were excited to add them to our list of what to pack when heading to the beach for the kids!




























With the Edge Brand Batman and Superman Boys 2 Piece 3D Muscle Flotation Vests, my preschooler and his friends can head in the water with fun flotation vests. They are simple to put on and are great for using on little ones who are ready to begin learning how to swim! The vests provide support helping little ones when it comes to balance in the water and paddle swimming. Making the Edge Brand Batman and Superman Boys 2 Piece 3D Muscle Flotation Vests a great choice to go with when heading to the water with little ones this summer!








Product received, thank you to Edge Brand  as well as the PR for supplying me with a product for this review, all opinions are my own.