Tryazon: Apply to Host A CurliGirls Hair Styling Party

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Tryazon has a new party that is accepting applications!

Straight or curly? CurliGirls don’t have to choose! Brand new CurliGirls dolls feature MagiCurl hair that curls instantly when you pull it. The longer you pull, the tighter the curl – it’s so easy! Curl with your fingers, or easy styling tools, then accessorize with hair clips and beads. Ready to change it up? Dip hair in warm water and watch it magically straighten! Then style and restyle over and over again. The styling possibilities are endless.

Get to know each of the CurliGirls! Charli, the Pop Star, is pretty quiet – except when she’s rocking out on stage! She’s a rebel with a heart of gold. Hayli, the Ballerina, is always on pointe – a poised, ladylike ballerina who is all sugarplums…with just the right amount of spice!! Bayli, the Birthday Girl, is the life of the party! This giggly girl is super organized and loves to plan the perfect celebration for her friends. No matter which doll you choose, you can express your CURL power, with CurliGirls!

Tryazon will select 100 hosts for this opportunity. Those chosen will receive a party pack with a variety of CurliGirls products to showcase with friends and family!

To apply or learn more about what each Party Pack includes, click here.

We’ve done several Tryazon parties- it’s a great way to try and share new products!

$9.99 Tickets to Lego SeaLife Aquarium!

105494940_3049698598453475_241475461252662359_o.jpgRecently the kids and I went to check out SeaLife Aquarium at Legoland California. I’m so glad that they have opened and are serving guests through the 6th of July. They have enacted a lot of practical safety measures to ensure guests and Model Citizens are well cared for.

Parades and fireworks throughout the country have been canceled for the 4th of July this year, but that isn’t stopping SEA LIFE® aquarium and its more than 4,000 creatures from celebrating Independence Day. The aquarium, located at LEGOLAND® California Resort and built for kids and families, took national pride to new depths by displaying a LEGO® model of the American flag in its 200,000-gallon ocean tank. Aquarium divers teamed up with LEGOLAND California’s Master Model Builder on the patriotic project and put the LEGO flag on display 17 feet below the tank’s surface for guests to enjoy. The 4-foot-long LEGO model took Model Builder Tim Sams more than 10 hours to build using 2,400 LEGO bricks. Guests will be able to enjoy the model throughout the 4th of July weekend.

And Right now, Aquarium tickets are just $9.99 EACH! That’s a stellar deal! If you are looking for something relaxing and fun, SeaLife is the perfect way to spend a few hours.

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Discovering abalone at the touch pool.

SEA LIFE aquarium is this the first attraction to open at the Resort as LEGOLAND still awaits approval for the Park’s reopening date. Guests interested in seeing the LEGO American flag model and interested in visiting SEA LIFE aquarium are encouraged to visit the Resort’s website to make reservations, review the health and safety guidelines and other guest experience and visiting details. For more information, visit the www.legoland.com/california

MY SPY- On Amazon Prime!

unnamed.pngThe kids and I saw My Spy in the theater right before the stay at home order was put in place. It was super cute and both kids (5 & 9) loved it. And now you can watch it at home on Amazon Prime or at a local drive-in theater with your kids!

Drive-In Theater Listing

My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment, she uses her tech-savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance, JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit. The hilarious actioner is directed by Peter Segal from a script penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber and stars Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Ken Jeong. Producers are Chris Bender, Peter Segal, Jake Weiner, Robert Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, Dave Bautista and Jonathan Meisner.

There were a few times where the violence was a little intense for the kids, but the physical comedy, explosions, and jokes made up for that.

My son loves Kristen Schaal (You may know her as the voice of Mabel from Gravity Falls, and Louise from Bob’s Burgers), so he was hooked after I showed them the preview.

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If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly action movie to entertain the kids this summer, check out My Spy

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Summer Reading Programs for Kids!

With the Covid-19 shutdowns, most libraries are not doing a summer reading program.

If your local library isn’t doing a program, here are a few programs that are online. You can of course do as many programs as you (or your kids) would like.

bookitNow Enrolling: Camp BOOK IT!
Parents, join us for our first ever Camp BOOK IT! and keep rewarding your kids all summer long. Track and reward your kids’ reading for June, July, and August in our digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® from Pizza Hut! We’ll also share fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer! For more info on the 2020-2021 school year Bookit program, check out this post.

The City of San Diego library system is doing its summer reading program with some modifications. You can learn more and sign up here.

scholasticScholastic has a summer reading challenge in which kids go online to record the minutes they’ve read during the summer. This year, kids can build an avatar, make new friends, earn virtual rewards, and help unlock donations for kids with limited or no access to books. All you need to do is sign up and keep a “reading streak” in Scholastic Home Base over the summer!

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Soar with reading while summer is out with Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy non-profit. From RIF reading lists and a collection of free ebooks to interactive materials on Literacy Central and a brand new Literacy Central app, Reading Is Fundamental has tools for every level to raise reading to new heights this summer and beyond.

Thanks to We Are Teachers for the heads up on some of these summer programs.  The original article has some additional resources that are regional (and not applicable to San Diego/Southern CA).

What I’ve Been Up To…

_DSC2099As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting a lot lately, either here or on Social Media. I’ve been busy. Distance learning is coming to a close for the year, so we’ve been doing a lot of meetings and paperwork (I’ll be glad when the mountains of homework packets stop).

In addition to supervising all of the learning (for both kiddos), I’ve also been taking a more active role in helping my big kiddo find behavioral therapies that will work well on his journey through life. My big kid is on the Autism spectrum (ASD) and that means that we do behavioral therapy a few times a week in addition talk therapy. So lots of time helping process feelings and emotions, and that leaves this mama bear feeling tired.

I (try to) get up early about 6:30 each morning, make coffee, do emails, and work on getting stuff set up for the day before the kiddos wake up. Sometimes I’m super successful and get it done. Sometimes I’m lucky if I get a shower.

Successes for the days are measured so much differently now. Did we make it through a day without tears? Missing friends, regular routines, going to the gym, extracurricular activities- all of these weigh heavy on the kids, and grown-ups.

We’ve also been trying to get our home more organized, and we’ve been getting some help from a family friend who is a Konmari guru. We’re about halfway through the process, and it’s been super liberating to get rid of stuff that no longer serves us. We sold all of the DVD’s/video games that we no longer wanted, and raised over $200, that we’ll put towards family fun (maybe sock it away for a 2021 vacation?). Thankfully our local thrift shops are accepting donations at this time. We’ve been loading up the back of my car weekly to donate goods.

In an attempt to wear the kids out physically, I’ve been taking them out for a walk a few times a week with my parents at a local park. Social distancing and masking occur- Also a liberal application of mosquito repellant is applied- The kids and I are very tasty according to the local ‘squito population. We also picked up a small pool for the patio- We are on our second. The first was not heavy-duty enough. This is the one I recommend. We also put tarps under it to protect it from the textured decking. I also use this solar fountain to keep the water moving all day, and we cover it with a tarp at night. I usually dump the water and refill it 2-3 times per week.

downloadSaving money has been a challenge as of late- There aren’t as many deals as supplies aren’t being delivered to stores regularly, less staff to stock shelves, etc. And really, who has been shopping lately for fun? Not many of us. I’ve been using coupons when I can find them, but what I have really found useful is Honey. Honey is a browser extension that helps you find coupon codes and sale prices on items that you are shopping for online. I used it to save over $145 when we bought the big kids new bed a few weeks back.

And I’ve been making masks for family and friends- I made some especially for the kids this week too.

kalecutI’m here y’all! I’m up to my eyeballs, but I’m here. And of course, I’m doing the Always Eat After 7pm program, so I’ll be posting about that. There are so many good recipes I am excited to try (dark chocolate dipped PB cookies, uh, yeah). and I’ll be posting some recipes this weekend- I’ve got a killer Kale Salad recipe that is so tasty and easy (and it keeps in the fridge for a few days too).

I’ll be hosting an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway soon! I want to spread the love with you!

 

Talk Back: What have you been doing lately? 

Kids Learn to Read in 30 Days for Free with Reading Eggs!

ReadingEggsLogo.jpgLittle Bit is 4 and Kindergarten is in the fall for her. We want her to be as prepared as possible, which is why we are excited for her to start Reading Eggs!

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning reading program for ages 2 to 13 that uses scientific research to help your child learn to read, in just weeks!

I’m excited because we can unlock the complete reading and math adventure with a 12-month Reading Eggs subscription, plus get a BONUS 12-month Mathseeds subscription absolutely FREE!

Their mission has always been to make learning easy and fun for young learners, and they feel there’s never been a more important time to do this. That’s why they’re giving you 30 days’ free access to the Reading Eggs and Mathseeds online learning programs.

This is Reading Eggs effort to ensure your child can continue learning at home with a quality educational resource designed by experienced educators and used by over 10 million children worldwide.

And there are tons of great resources too! Free downloads for Grades K to 6th. Reading Eggs just compiled a comprehensive list of FREE resources for parents!

I’ll be reporting back with an update in a few weeks or so. Fingers crossed we’ll have a reader!

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Details: 12 Months of Reading Eggs and Bonus Mathseeds for $45 – 12 months of Reading Eggs + BONUS Mathseeds – Unlock the complete reading and math adventure with a 12 month Reading Eggs subscription, plus get a BONUS 12 month Mathseeds subscription absolutely FREE – valued at $108.95, pay only $45!* New Subscribers only. Offer for 1 child only. Customers can only claim a maximum of 2 promotional codes per year. These offers cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other offer and are only available to United States and Canadian residents.

How I’ve been keeping busy…

I’m busier now than I have been in ages! Most everyone has started distance learning, including our family.

Thankfully, Big Kids’ teacher is in communication and sent us an email with tons of great resources and links. I am trying to keep the kids entertained without relying on screens all day (even educational screen time). My kids are not motivated by worksheets either, so we need to do hands-on stuff.

Besides schoolwork, we’ve started our annual spring garden. Big Kid and I donned masks and hit up the local nursery. We picked out Catnip, Rosemary, Basil, and a hanging strawberry plant in addition to a few kinds of seeds. Our patio looks great, and the kids are outside daily tending to their plants and harvesting ripe strawberries. I kept the pots from last year’s garden.

The other night after the kids were settled, I decided to clean out the junk drawer (ok, 1 junk drawer, we have a couple), the utensil drawer, and the silverware drawer.

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I threw out old condiment packets, broken serving spoons, knives with broken/chipped handles, lids that had no corresponding cups, and I vacuumed out each drawer.

After I had completed that herculean feat, I dove headfirst (metaphorically) into the pantry.

I pulled everything out pantry and set it on the counter.

I checked all the expiration dates. Anything expired got the boot.

92843855_2893563990733604_4081992026843774976_o92828483_2893564054066931_3193846550136619008_oWhen all of this madness started a few weeks ago, I had gone to the store to do my weekly shop, and so many of the things that I’m used to buying were not available. I decided to purchase some alternate products from what we usually have in the house. Some were met with success, some were not so good- I’m looking at you Fideo Noodles.

As a result, I filled a reusable shopping bag with some food that did not cut the mustard. I took most of those items over to our local blessing box to help some of our neighbors in need. The rest I shared with some of the neighbors on our local free food group.

Our pantry is horribly laid out. It is very narrow and deep.  The dangerous part of our cupboard is you cannot reach all the way in the back without help. Last night I used a very long spatula to assist me. One of the things that I found was baby food. Little Bit is 4 1/2. I managed to clear out the pantry 100% and then refill it and move items around so it is easier to gain access

I get food in the mail or events from brands to cook with and post about on social media. Most of the time they give me a couple of each item, rarely they send cases. There were a lot of odds and ends of food from PR campaigns.

I’m also working my way through our closets to get rid of broken toys, clothing we’ve outgrown or don’t wear, or junk. I’ve come to realize that after all of this is over we’ll need to replace our towels (Our current set is from our wedding 12+ years ago), the kids need new sheets, and Big Kid is getting a new bed (which was in the works before Covid struck). And I’ll probably have enough clothing for a clothing swap- Both kids are mid-growth spurt.

It may seem like a lot of busywork, but we haven’t had a deep clean/in-depth declutter since we moved in- 5 years ago. I go through the kids toys several times a year, as well as their clothing and books. But, I’m bad about doing it with household goods and my personal items.

Today was more of a lazy day for us: We played some games, did some sight word writing, played Bingo, and made this stuff called Ooze Baff, which was 100% gross, do not recommend. If you want to try it, I bought it at Dollar Tree. For a Dollar.  In a little while, we’ll have bath time, and I’ll read to them. We may pull out the couch into a bed and all cuddle on the couch for a bit.

I would love to hear about how you and yours have been keeping busy! Leave me a comment!

Funovation Panel is Looking for New Members!

The Funovation Panel is a community of families that provide their feedback about new toys, videos, images, and much more.

They are looking for new members to help them understand what families want from toys today.

Members are invited to participate in projects such as in-home toy tests, early screening of TV shows, trend identification, and providing input on toys and ideas in the early stages of development. Help shape what will appear in stores and on screens across the world to better suit your family!

Also, to show our appreciation, for every Funovation survey you complete, you will be entered into a draw for one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. That starts with this one, so click here!

 

 

School’s Out… for 4-8 Weeks!

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For us, school has been canceled for the next two weeks, and then we are having our regularly scheduled 2-week spring break.

Big kids school sent home a big ol’ packet of worksheets (about 50 pages), which would be most of the work they would do in the classroom. Little kids preschool has been cancelled, so I did a quick google search for free preschool printables so she can do “homework” alongside Big Brother. But I’m not stressing too much about worksheets.

There have been a lot of schedules and ideas posted on social media.

I changed up one of the super colorful schedules going around, included stuff that we like to do, and more relevant activities, and posted it here on my google pages. You can copy it and change it as needed for you.  And I made it black and white to save your printer some ink.

There are tons of free educational activities online for kids to do. Here is a Google Doc with tons of links that has been making the rounds.

Scholastic set up a ‘Learn From Home’ website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is already equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way.

I’m not too worried about keeping the kids busy. Big dude brought home his school iPad and has access to his math and reading stuff, plus we have craft supplies and toys to play with.

girl wearing multicolored dress making bubbles
Photo by John Cahil Rom on Pexels.com

And failing all that- Frozen 2 is on Disney+, and we’ve got Minecraft. If you don’t have Disney+, you can score Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN for a pretty low monthly price.

And sooo many bubbles. I’m not sure why, but kids love bubbles.

Don’t forget that March is National Craft Month! There are kinds of freebies and deals here.

Talk Back- What are you doing to keep yourself and your family from going stir crazy?

Looking for fun for your littles? Check Out Uptown Tot!

I’m taking the littlest one this week for Upotwn Tot!

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When the older kids are away, the little ones will play! Visit Uptown Jungle for a discounted playtime event where the little ones get the entire park to themselves!
Exclusive Toddler Playtime
Ages: 5 & Under Only
When: Wed 10am-1pm (Excludes holidays & school breaks)
Admission: $10. Additional sibling: $5. All parents play free!

And don’t forget- If your kiddos love Uptown Jungle and you visit frequently, consider checking out their memberships! Ifor and a discount code can be found here.