Saturday, November 10, 2018

Celebrate Hotel Transylvania 3 with TownleyGirl!

**This was not a paid post. My honest opinions were used, they are solely my own & they may vary from others.The products mentioned below have been provided by TownleyGirl for the review free of charge.**


My kids and I are all fans of the Hotel Transylvania movies so we were pretty excited when we heard they were coming out with a third installment, then our excitement was boosted when we found out Townleygirl was coming out with a line of Hotel Transylvania themed goodies. For a special review we were sent a few of the Hotel Transylvania products and we wanted to share them with you here on my blog. In our box we received the following three sets: Hotel Transylvania 3 Puffy Lip Gloss Set with Bonus Tin $7.99 + Hotel Transylvania 3 Nail Polish Set with Bonus Tin and Stickers $7.99 & Hotel Transylvania 3 Spooky 4 Pack Nail Polish Set with Nail File $7.99.



Before we get into the review of these products I wanted to say if you haven't seen Hotel Transylvania 3 yet you should go rent it for a night! It was a lot of fun and we loved seeing all of our favorite characters again plus now we have a new favorite character (the dog).

One of the things I like the most when it comes to their products is that a lot of them come with tins or storage containers to keep the nail polish or lip balms in. If you don't want to keep your polish or lip balm in the containers you can use them for jewelry, change, small trinkets, etc which is nice.& They also often include extra goodies such as nail stickers, key chain bobbles and puffy stickers that can be removed and re-used. All of their nail polish is easy to apply and to remove because the formula they use is similar to the peel nail polish so you don't need any harsh chemicals to remove the color from your nails. Lip balm wise the formula isn't too thick or goopy which is a big plus for kids who don't like things on or near their mouth.The nail polish bottles in the set are shaped like little coffins which make the bottles easier to grip in your hand.


 


There is nothing wrong with the nail polish when it comes to how it is applied or how it looks but my daughter was slightly bummed out because she said the colors in this set and the Vampirina set were very similar. I couldn't remember what the Vampirina set looked like so I had her go grab them for me so I could see and she was right, two of the colors are almost identical and the other two are very close as well. We think it would have been fun if they added some other fun colors like lime green for Blobby, a shade of orange for Dennis (his hair), a Grey-ish blue for Frank, and so forth. Since some of the colors were very similar we didn't use one or two of these polishes so keep an eye out in the future for them to be included in a giveaway goodie bag!

The holidays are coming up and many of their sets would make wonderful Christmas gifts & stockings stuffers, everything is affordable at $15 or less.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Experience a bit of the old west desert life with MacDonald's Ranch!



**This was not a paid post. My honest opinions were used, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. I received tickets to their pumpkin patch for my family which was provided by MacDonald's Ranch free of charge.**

It is always a lot of fun visiting different attractions that are specifically decorated and designed to look like different periods in time, towns or themes and one of our favorite is MacDonald's Ranch located in Scottsdale, Arizona on Scottsdale Road just south of Jomax Road. As soon as you arrive you are will feel like you stepped into a western town complete with buildings, horses and more. The caution watch for snakes sign is also helpful towards making it really feel like you are on a cowboy adventure, but don't worry! Out of the several times we've been out to the ranch we've never actually spotted a snake at the ranch though when we went horse back riding we did hear one out on the trail.



During the fall they host a Pumpkin Patch from late September until the end of October and though the fall season is over they also offer horse back riding, Stagecoach rides, Birthday parties, Cookouts and more. I honestly think they could open during the cooler spring months as well as just an explore/adventure type location. If you visit during the Pumpkin Patch season or host a party at the ranch they have a ton to offer you and your guests.

Activities wise they offer several different western themed games such as bean bag toss, horse shoe toss, pan for gold, cow milking, hay mazes, rubber duck races and more. One of our personal favorite activities is their petting zoo! I love animals however I usually am not a big fan of most petting zoo's because let's be honest a lot of the animals are overly dirty and seem like they never get a bath or groomed. However when it comes to the petting zoo here all of their animals are extremely well cared for, none of them seem over feed, over worked or unhappy plus they get groomed often and are quite clean plus almost all of the goats, mini horses and donkey are quite soft.




Another plus about the ranch is that they offer actual bathrooms (located in the front), I've been to other farms and family attractions where they only offer port-a-potties and that can be a real drag during a fun day out with the family. We also like that you are free to explore the grounds to discover all of the different games and activities they have for both kids and adults. If you were to check out each activity, game and do the add-ons you need to pay extra for (horse back ride, pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, stop to get lunch) you could easily spend 3-4 hours here which is wonderful for tickets only being $10 a person (M-F, $12 on weekends).

 

I haven't personally stopped to get food at the ranch as we normally visit shortly after breakfast but I can tell you that the food smells delicious! They also offer shaved ice, Kettle corn and more which is conveniently located in the middle of all the fun. While they do have drinks for sale I do suggest bringing a bottle of water with you because it is Arizona and can suddenly get hot out of no where so you want to stay hydrated.I wouldn't forget your camera either, they have a lot of fun cut outs to take photos with, cute animals and more that you'll want to catch on film.

Head over to their site now to see all the options they have for visiting their ranch!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Grinch Movie Review!

**This is not a sponsored post, through another blogger I was able to attend an early showing of this movie and wanted to share my opinions on the movie.**


The Grinch is a holiday classic that many both young and old have grown to love since the book originally came out in 1957 (Holy cow! 61 years ago), this year the Grinch has been re-imagined by Illumination and Universal Picture. The main three voices in this film are voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch, Rashida Jones as Donna Lou Who and Cameron Seelyas Cindy Lou Who.


You might be thinking if it has been re-imagined how is it still the Grinch? The basic plot of the story was kept, it is still the story about how a grumpy old Grinch had a heart two sizes two small and how he came to love Christmas instead of hate it. The new changes are intertwined quite well with the classic, so what should you expect? Expect new characters you will surely love, new tweaks to the story such as Cindy Lou being raised by just her mother and the Grinch having a reindeer friend as shown in the previews.



What are our thoughts? Prior to the movie I had only seen one short preview so I wasn't sure what to expect, I thought it would just be the same story just with updated graphics but I was wrong. The kids and I really enjoyed the additional characters, story line and background on why the Grinch is how he is, that they provided during the film. They managed to give the movie a more present day feel while keeping the traditional story and film in tact, it is a bit difficult to fully describe but you'll understand once you see the movie. I always felt bad for Max because the Grinch seemed to make him do so much, and though I still feel bad for him this movie helps show how much the Grinch actually does care for his pup. I also really loved the flash backs to when the Grinch was a kid not because of the story but because he was so adorable!

We all enjoyed plenty of laughs, excitement and joy while watching this and we look forward to adding it to our yearly Christmas movie list. This movie is worth watching, I suggest heading to see it in theaters as a special holiday treat. The Grinch will be released on Friday November 9th,2018.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Candlewick Press Releases.

**This was not a paid post. My honest opinions were used, they are solely my own & they may vary from others.The products mentioned below have been provided by Candlewick Press for the review  free of charge.**



Good Evening fellow bookworms, I have three great new books to share with you from Candlewick Press. If you haven't heard of Candlewick Press I highly suggest heading over to check out their website, they offer dozens of fun and interesting books to keep your mind and your children's minds engaged.



By Sam Usher
Retail Value $16.99 USD 

"Despite the stormy weather, a boy and his granddad decide it's the perfect day for kite flying. First they have to find the kite . . . then their adventure really takes off!". I personally love stormy days that are slightly cloudy with a little bit of wind and light showers, makes for the perfect time to relax on the porch reading a book or playing a game with the family while the weather is cooler. Kite flying is always a good option as well for windy days and this grandson/granddad duo made the best of their day and they show the reader where a little imagination could lead them.



The book is easy to follow along with even for beginners,and it offers dozens of fall colors illustrations that help make you feel like it could really be storming out. This book also have three others in the series called Rain, Snow and Sun so be sure to check them all out.



By Nicola Davies
Retail Value $16.99

This is a captivating story about a heartbreaking yet hopeful journey of a little girl who is forced to become a refugee after war takes her home away. The book starts off with her having a normal day sitting down to breakfast with her parents and little brother then she went to school. While she is at school war breaks out in her city and the book takes a turn from cheery and colorful to bleak and smokey.



Most people don't think about war on a day to day basis due to where they live and this book really makes you think about everything that has happened, is happening and might still happen at any time. Two of the pages that really struck me the most read as "I can't say the words that tell you about the blackened hole that had been my home. All I can say is this: War took everything. War took everyone. I was ragged,bloody all alone." Though her story and journey is long and sad I am glad she found kindness and love in the end. The book may seem a bit dark for some but it is worth the read, even if it is only once. In the back of the book is information on how you can help children like the one in this story by visiting www.helprefugees.org



By Marion Dane Bauer
Retail Value $17.99

"The miracle of every child is also the miracle of our planet: each made from stardust." This book made me excited to read not only because I find space and stars fascinating, but also because looking at the front cover I knew this book would be full of enchanting illustrations and I was right.



This book is about how the universe, planets, people and animals came to be and how everyone and everything is made up of stardust. We loved all of the bright and engaging colors, patterns and designs throughout the book. Instead of sketching everything out it looks like they used paint on a canvas to create various patterns then photograph the canvas to use in the book. The stuff of stars is easy to follow along with for all ages.



All of these books can be purchased on their website, amazon or Barnes & Nobles for $20 or less.



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Chewy.com - Frisco Cat Litter

**This was not a paid post. My honest opinions were used, they are solely my own & they may vary from others.The products mentioned below have been provided by Chewy.com for the review free of charge.**



I know most of you have seen or heard commercials for Chewy.com but have you actually tried out their services? I personally love Chewy and no not just because I get the chance to work with them but because they have such a large selection of pet products, and offer more brands than my local pet stores. Their website makes it easy to spoil my family members pets and it will be easy for you to spoil your pets as well with their great prices.



This big fur ball has a bit of a stomach issue which can be a bit stinky so we've been looking for a good litter that helps mask the smell and doesn't leave a bunch of litter trailed all over. If you are on the search as well Chewy.com has 157 listing of different litters so you are bound to find the one that is right for you. I recently received the Frisco Lightweight Floral Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter to try out with Aleister. A 10lb jug retails for $7.49.




I generally like lightweight litters because they seem easier to scoop and don't clump as hard as some of the large chunk litters. Frisco is lightweight and helped prevent a decent amount of litter box smell, however I didn't like how much dust it seemed to put off when being poured into the pan even from a short height. It also tracked quite a bit because it seemed to cling to his fur. I think this litter would be best for short haired cats. With the size of our litter box we managed to get two full uses plus a few topper pours when scooping out the box from this container size, for the price that is pretty good. Even though this litter didn't work completely work out for us it may suit your cat better.

Do you have any pets? Leave a comment below letting me know what kind of treats you like buying for your pets. If you don't have any pets what kind of pet would you want to get?


Sunday, October 14, 2018

2018 Halloween family events in Arizona


Can you believe Halloween is only seventeen days! If you haven't done anything with the family to celebrate the Halloween season and are looking for something fun there are tons of local businesses  hosting free events (or relatively cheap), I've put together a list of some of them for those who are in or around the Phoenix,Arizona area. Events were found via facebook, the city of phoenix website, etc and compiled into this list for you.

Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular : October 27th & October 28th 5pm-9:30pm.
Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Arena 7555 N Pima Rd Scottsdale,AZ 85258
Event Details: A fun Balloon Spooktacular that is hosted yearly and offers a safe, fun trick-or-treating experience. This event is for all ages and has something for everyone from fireworks shows to live music, a pumpkin patch and a free kids zone. Plus there will be 20+ hot air balloons will illuminate the sky for several hours and a few tethered balloons will be offering rides. Don't forget to partake in the trick-or-treat candy stations, over 4,000 pounds of candy will be on hand for the event. $15 Adults, $10 Kids (Tethered balloon rides, extra) trick-or-treating, kids zone,etc included in entry free.

BooFest : October 27th 6pm-9pm
Where: Paseo Highlands Park 35th Ave and Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Event Details: A free all ages family event with live entertainment, train + hay rides, bounce houses, carnival games plus a costume contest and of course candy!

Halloween Monster Bash : October 27th 5pm-9pm
Where: Peoria Sports Complex 16101 N. 83rd Ave Peoria, AZ 85382
Event Details: Free admission with canned food item(s) to help support The St. Mary's/Westside Food Bank Alliance. Event will feature a costume parade for kids to participate in, a rock wall, make and take crafts, carnival games, inflatable houses/slides, trick-or-treating and more.

Fall Festival : October 20th 5pm-9pm
Where: Goodyear Ballpark 1933 S Ballpark Way Goodyear, AZ 85338
Event Details:  This family friendly event features trick-or-treating; a pumpkin patch; costume contest; arts and crafts and performances by local dance and martial arts groups. Other activities include: Trackless train rides; inflatables; corn hole; Friends of the Library Book Sale and more.

Fall  Festival : October 27th 5pm-9pm
Where: Eldorado Park 2311 N. Miller Rd Scottsdale, AZ
Event Details: This event will offer 25 game booths, a tot area for ages 4 and under, live entertainment, a  haunted forest,food vendors, face painting, plus fireworks at the end of the night. This year they are also offering an inflatables area with 10 inflatables and a rock wall for $5 per person.  

Family Halloween Carnival : October 27th 5pm-9pm
Where: Kiwanis Park Softball Complex, 5805 S. All-America Way Tempe, AZ 85283
Event Details: This event is free to attend however rides will cost tickets ($0.25 per ticket, 3-4 tickets per ride). There will be carnival games, food vendors, a toddler zone, inflatables, a costume contest and more. 

Halloween in the Hills : October 31st 4pm-8pm
Where: The Avenue of the fountains Fountain Hills,AZ 
Event Details: More than 40 local businesses will be offering fun games, prizes, trick or treating, inflatables,costume contests and more. 

Halloween Movie Night with "Coco" : October 26th 430pm-9pm
Where: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park 7301 E. Indian Bend Road Scottsdale, AZ
Event Details: Enjoy free tick-or-treating, a costume contest and a free showing of Disney's "Coco" in the park. They will also be offering $2 train and carousal rides.

Pumpkins at the Peak : October 26th 5pm-7pm 
Where: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort 7677 N. 16th St. Phoenix, AZ
Event Details: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak hosts its annual family Halloween bash with candy, pumpkins, arts and crafts, face painting, games, music, BBQ and more. $5 or five cans of food per person to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Allliance.

Creepy Candy Crawl : October 27th 3pm-5pm 
Where: Desert Ridge Marketplace 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050
Event Details: Trick-or-treat from store to store, plus enjoy music, prizes and more.

Family Halloween Party : October 28th 1-3PM 
Where: Changing Hands Bookstore Phoenix 300 W. Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85013
Event Details: Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix hosts a free Halloween bash with a mad scientist’s theme promising “wicked fun” for the whole family. Enjoy Halloween-themed experiments, crafts and treats. Plus, costume contest for “ghouls and boos!”

Trick-or-Treat at the Museum : October 31st 9am-4pm 
Where: Children’s Museum of Phoenix 215 N. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ
Event Details: $12 per person. Trick-or-treat throughout three floors of exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Little ghosts and ghouls are also invited to a “Monster Mash” on the dance floor, and kids can make their own caramel apple treats. free for babies younger than 1 + free parking; $5 for caramel apples.

Halloween Spooktacular : October 19th 6pm-8pm
Where:  Shops at Norterra 2450 W Happy Valley Rd #1142, Phoenix, AZ 85085
Event Details: Free admission. Car show which has decorated cars and Trunk-Or-Treating, a costume contest, live music, games, prizes, food samples, and giveaways.

Trick-or-Treat on Main Street : October 31st  11am-1pm 
Where: Downtown Mesa 1 E. Main St. Mesa, AZ
Event Details: Event is free, Little ghouls and goblins are invited to downtown Mesa for a safe, family-friendly afternoon. Participating businesses will be passing out candy. Plus kettle corn, a balloon artist and face painting. 

Trunk-Or-Treat : October 28th 5pm-10pm
Where: Old School City 6062 S. CENTRAL AVE., Phoenix, Arizona 85042
Event Details: A variety of cars will be on display and hosting a Trunk-Or-Treat event for kids, plus there will be a DJ, contests, raffles & more.

Anime Halloween Fest : October 27th 10am-6pm
Where: Collectors Marketplace 1945 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Event Details: Free Admission + Free parking. They will be offering a cosplay contest with prizes, free comics, festival games, anime screenings, artist and vendor tables and more!

Spooktacular : October 27th 12pm-2pm
Where: Life Time Athletic - North Scottsdale 6850 E Chauncey Ln, Phoenix, Arizona 85054
Event Details: $12 Per child. Event includes pumpkin crafts, a slime lab, costume relays, mystery solving and more. The first 100 kids that arrive will receive a spooky-fun gift bag. Register today at the Activity Center. Parent/adult presence is required.

Howl-O-Ween : October 26th & 27th 6pm-1030pm
Where: Phoenix Zoo 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, Arizona 85008
Event Details: $12.95 per person ($9.95 for zoo members). Admission includes entrance into the Phoenix Zoo and access to games and entertainment. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Events include a Extinct animal graveyard, trick-or-treating, live entertainment, mermaid photo-op, plus more scary activities for the older kids/teens and adults.

Krock-Tober Event : October 31st 4:30pm-7pm
Where: The Salvation Army 1375 E Broadway Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85040
Event Details: Free Admission. The center will be filled with activities for the entire family, there will be costume contest, and community resource organizations will have tons of candy to hand out for trick-or-treating.

Ghostbusters outdoors with Collier Center : October 26th 6pm
Where: Collier Center 201 E. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Event Details: A free outdoor screening of the original Ghostbusters, Costume contests, activities and games before the film starts so get there early.

Thrill-N-Treat : October 27th 5pm-11pm
Where: Castles-N-Coasters 9445 N Metro Pkwy E, Phoenix, Arizona 85051
Event Details: $18 Per Person (including tax). Event includes Unlimited Rides, Live Music, FREE Candy at each ride, and a Costume Contest.

Modern Milk Scottsdale's Spooktacular Halloween Celebration : October 31st 10am-12pm
Where: Modern Milk 13802 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 162, Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
Event Details: Free. This event seems like it is for toddlers and small kids, event includes Bewitching crafts & activities, photo ops, Prizes, tasty treats, playtime, toddler dance party, and more.

Monster Bash : October 20th 11am-2pm
Where: Maryvale Community Center 4420 N. 51st Ave Phoenix, AZ 85031
Event Details: Free to attend. This family-oriented event will include carnival games, a costume contest, inflatables and a pumpkin patch. Games tickets will need to be purchased. 

Fall-O-Ween : October 20th 2pm-5pm
Where: Deer Valley Park 2001 W. Wahalla Ln. Phoenix,AZ 85027
Event Details: Free. The event will feature arts and crafts, inflatables, a pumpkin patch and carnival games. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Movie Fright Night with "Coco" : October 20th 4pm-9pm
Where: Washington Activity Center 2240 W. Citrus Way Phoenix, AZ 85015
Event Details: Free. Watch Disney's "Coco" in the park, This event also will feature costume contests, and candy and games for kids. 

Fall Festival : October 20th 6pm-9pm
Where: Sunnyslope Community Center 802 E. Vogel Ave Phoenix, AZ 85020
Event Details: Free. Watch a spooktakular movie and play carnival games dressed as your favorite character, super hero or monster. Prizes will be awarded to the scariest, funniest and best family costume. 

Trunk-Or-Treat : October 26th 4pm-7pm
Where: Longview Neighborhood Recreation Center 4040 N. 14th St. Phoenix, AZ 85014
Event Details: Join in a fun-filled and family-oriented event that will include trick-or-treating, carnival games and prizes. 

Scare Fair : October 30th 6pm-8pm
Where: Desert West Community Center 6501 W. Virginia Ave.Phoenix, AZ 85035
Event Details: This annual family-oriented event will include spooky arts and crafts, carnival games, a pumpkin patch, costume contest and haunted house (entrance fee is $1). Snow cones and popcorn will be provided. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase. 

Halloween Spook-Tacular : October 27th 5:30pm-7:30pm
Where: Bender Performing Arts 3141 E Beardsley Rd Ste 110 Phoenix, AZ 85050
Event Details: Bender Performing Arts will be transformed into a haunted Halloween fun house! Games, food, costume contest, trunk or treat, bounce house, crafts and more! Event is Free but you need to RSVP you can do that Here.

Halloween Spooktacular : October 20th,21st,27th,28th & 31st 10am-6pm
Where: SEA LIFE Aquarium (Arizona) 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir, Ste 145, Tempe, Arizona 85282
Event Details: The activities of this event are included with admission into the aquarium, if you buy tickets Online instead of at the door they are only $15 per person. Event includes Underwater Pumpkin Carving,Creepy Crawly "Tails" at Critter Canyon,Daily costume contest with great prizes,Halloween decor throughout the attraction.

Brick-or-Treat : October October 20th,21st,27th,28th & 31st 10am-6pm
Where: Legoland Discovery Center (Arizona) 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir, Tempe, Arizona 85282
Event Details: The activities of this event are included with admission into the aquarium, if you buy tickets Online instead of at the door they are only $15 per person. Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt through MINILAND,Halloween and pumpkin LEGO mask builds,Positively perfect LEGO pumpkin patch,Spooky minifigure trading & Crazy costume contest


If I run across anymore I will add them to the list. I hope you all have a fun, and safe Halloween. What are some of your favorite Halloween activities?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

These headphones are great for road trips with kids!

**This was not a paid post. My honest opinions were used, they are solely my own and they may vary from others.The products mentioned below have been provided by CozyPhones for the review free of charge.**


Finding the perfect pair of headphones can be a pain sometimes, you might find one that has a great sound quality but the shape of the ear bud hurts your ear. I personally like headphone ear buds with the little squishy covers that can be shaped but they can be kind of pricey and the covers may pop off or become ripped. I recently found a different alternative to traditional headphones, they are called Cozy Phones which are small round ear buds concealed in a fabric head band.



For a review I was sent a black cozy phone ($18.97) from their original line plus the Unicorn and Panda ($19.97) from their kids line for my kids. The headbands have a soft mesh material on the inside and fabric on the outside giving you a comfortable experience. They are corded which some may not like but they do also offer a new line of cordless Cozy phones, I personally don't mind because I am not doing anything super crazy while wearing them so the cord doesn't get in the way.

Everyone has a different shaped head which means not everyone will have their ears in the same place as others so how do you make sure the ear buds are actually on your ears? There is a small slit and opening in the back of the headband where you can user your finger to move the ear buds to the exact spot your ears will sit while wearing the headband. I haven't had any issues with the ear buds moving or slipping away from my ears while wearing these which is nice.



The headband itself isn't too tight, I found it to be a wonderful fit. My ears didn't feel like they were being smashed nor did I feel like the headband was going to fall off which was nice for working out plus it helped hold my hair in place and keep my head cool. If you feel like your headband is getting to nasty due to sweat you can remove the ear buds and machine wash the headband, due to the mesh inside I would probably air dry them but thus far I haven't needed to wash it.



Since the headbands are fabric and the ear buds are flat disks you are able to fall asleep while wearing these and wake up without sore ears from having head buds in for too long, which makes them perfect for road trips with the kids. The sound quality is fantastic, when I have my mp3 player turned up all the way it keeps it loud but still at decibels that protect your ears.