Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘mom life’

8 Awesome Things About the LEGOLAND Hotel!

It’s summertime!  Which means it’s time for some family vacations and staycations.  Last summer we stayed at the LEGOLAND hotel in California and it was the most unique hotel I’ve ever experienced!  Combined with the awesomeness of LEGOLAND itself, this is one summer vacation you’ll never forget!  Here are some AWESOME things you should expect during your LEGOLAND hotel adventure!

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Legos!  – Well there’s the obvious…not only does LEGOLAND have lots of Lego building opportunities, so does the hotel!  There’s a pool of Legos when you first walk in the door and lots of Lego displays all throughout the hotel.  There’s even more Lego opportunities in the playhouse that’s also in the lobby!  And stick around because there will be fun performances and even a Lego building contest.  And parents, all of this is conveniently located within a few feet of the hotel bar – which also offers a happy hour. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Dancing! – Next, you’ll find that the LEGOLAND hotel really appreciates dancing!  They offer nightly dancing events just for kiddos (or kids at heart).  It will feel just like a nightclub with a real DJ, strobe lights, and family friendly dancing music!  Your kids can let loose on the dance floor while you sit back with a nice beverage, or of course you could show off your moves, too. 😉   Then hop in the elevator up to your room for another fun disco-dancing experience!

Themed Rooms! – After all that dancing, you’ll want to check out your room.  After all, this is basically the biggest perk of reserving a room here.  When booking your stay, you can choose from a Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, Ninjago, or Lego Friends themed room.  We chose the Pirate themed room and it did not disappoint!  It included a separate area for the kids with a bunk-bed, TV, and lots of space to play.  And there’s also a queen-sized bed for adults with another TV!  No detail was missed!

Even the fitness center is Lego themed!

Early Entry and Special Parking! – When you check- in you are given a nifty little wristband which grants you entry into the park an hour early.

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You also have access to a special parking lot which is super close to the park entrance and, or course the hotel.  Gaining entry to the park early allows you to beat some of the crowds and get going on the fun!  Here are a few things you can experience while you are at the park…

Duplo Playtown is a great spot for tiny tots and there are lots of rides for younger kids all throughout the park.  Make sure to stop by Miniland to check out the awesome city displays including replicas of the World’s Tallest buildings.  The replica of Manhattan’s One World Trade Center is absolutely amazing so make some time in your trip for a little visit! 😉

You’ll probably get hungry during the day, so there are lots of healthy restaurants throughout the park as well as specials for kids.  I highly recommend picking up a souvenir cup and refilling it during your stay – it will save money in the long run.  You also gotta try the apple fries!  Apples, cinnamon, and whipped cream make for a delicious treat!

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Once you’ve fueled up you can sit and relax during a 4D movie, LEGO friends show, or pose with a LEGO character!

After the shows you could hang out and ride some more rides, or you could head back to your hotel room.  Which brings me to my next point…

The Pool! – The LEGOLAND hotel has an awesome pool so you’ll want to make some time to relax and enjoy it a bit.  They also provide life vests for the kids and towels for all.  Lifeguards are on duty and they do a good job of keeping everyone safe.  On some evenings, they play a movie that you can enjoy while hanging in the shallow end or lying in a chair.  We went in August and the pool was FREEZING in the evening!  The kids didn’t seem to mind, but I didn’t last very long!  We also had a nice view of the pool from our hotel room!

You’ll most likely be wiped out from the day and you’ll probably hit up your pirate bed pretty early.  But you’ll want to wake up early to get started on the next day’s adventures!

Breakfast! – One of my fave things about this hotel is the breakfast!  Hotel guests can enjoy a free breakfast buffet and it doesn’t disappoint! A hostess will ask your name to make sure you are a legit guest and then seat you at a table.  You are free to indulge on all of the breakfast goodies while a server ensures you have all the utensils and drinks that you need.  Again, the breakfast is free but you’ll want to leave a tip for your server/busser.

The Aquarium! –  So technically, this isn’t associated with the hotel but I thought it was something I should mention.  Last time we visited LEGOLAND we hit up the water park, but because we spent time at the pool we decided to check out the aquarium.  It’s not very big, but it was kind of nice that it wasn’t super overwhelming and it was the perfect size for my littles.  And they had Legos all throughout the aquarium!

There’s also some extra fun for the kiddos!  They can pick up a Log Book and pencil and document their discoveries at different stations throughout the aquarium.

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After you spend some time under the sea, you can head back to the park to enjoy some more fun or back to your hotel for dancing and swimming.

And don’t forget to bring your minifigures along for the vacation!  You can trade them at various spots all throughout the park.  You can even build your own!

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And we can’t forget about the…

SWAG!! 🙂

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The hotel toiletries are Coconut-Lime Verbena scented and they smell delicious!  The room is also full of snacks, drinks, hot chocolate, and coffee. Score!  And the hotel will give you a badge to celebrate your special occasion.  You can also collect Pop Badges for completing different challenges.  These are different than the occasion badges and you can learn more about those here.

There’s also secret swag hidden in your hotel room.  At check-in you are given a scavenger hunt sheet and your room contains a safe that requires a special code.  Complete your scavenger hunt to find the code and unlock your safe!  I won’t ruin the surprise for some of you…but if you are curious as to what’s inside the box, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a pic. 😉  Plus you may get a coupon for a free picture book from Shutterfly!  I took advantage and received my free book!  So it’s legit you just pay a few dollars for shipping!

Pricing: Since it was the summer, we paid around $250 for a one-night stay.  The rates are little bit lower during the off-months.  They also offer a military discount, but we found that booking online was cheaper.  Keep in mind, this is not a normal hotel stay so the pricing isn’t all that crazy.  The hotel itself is a unique experience and you will spend a lot of your time enjoying the amenities.  The price also included an internet and parking fee.  Be sure to check the website for vacation package deals and learn how to save if you bundle with admission tickets.

So bring the fam, sunscreen, and plenty of water and come enjoy the place where EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!

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I’m off to review the next adventure! 🙂

~SM

Have you stayed at the LEGOLAND hotel?  What did you think?!

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Why I Love Being a MomCo Mom!

In honor of MomCo turning two this month, I thought I would share what MomCo is all about and why I love it so much!  MomCo started as an app for moms to find and host playdates with other moms in their local area.  What a great concept!  As a new mom it can be hard to make mom friends so I was thrilled to discover MomCo and everything it represented!  Since its conception, MomCo has grown into a supportive community for moms to share ideas, parenting questions, as well as playdate themes!  So allow me to share a few detailed reasons as to why I love being a part of the MomCo community! 


Social Interaction! – Being in the MomCo community and attending playdates is a great opportunity to not only socialize the kiddos, but to also have real conversations with other moms.  Small kids are adorable, but they can also act like tiny anchors – meaning the struggle is real when it comes to figuring out what to do with them on some days.   This is especially true if you are a brand new mom and are transitioning from working/having free-time to mom life.  You just don’t know what to do with yourself sometimes!  But with MomCo, you can easily find and attend a playdate in your area and you’re all set!  Now your kids are either running out their energy or doing a craft and you can mingle (vent) with some other moms!  You may even discover a new venue or park in your local community!

 

Maybe you don’t see any MomCo playdates posted in your area…that’s okay!  Host your own!  Gather up your mom friends and start hosting monthly play dates at the park, library, museum, froyo shop, wherever you think would be a good spot for the kiddos to play!  Maybe you’re new to the area and don’t have a mom tribe…that’s okay too!  Pick a venue and date and post the playdate on Facebook.  Then while you’re out and about at the park, grocery store, coffee shop, nail salon, wherever…invite the moms you meet!  They are most likely desperate for adult interaction just as much as you are!  Once you’ve gotten a few mom friends together, apply to be a member of the Mom Mingle Rewards Club.  Which brings me to my next point!

Trying out Mom Must-Haves (for free) – There are two ways to score free products.  The first one is to become a member of the Mom Mingle Rewards Club and host monthly events.  The second way is attend one of these events hosted by a Rewards Club member.  Either way…it’s FREE!  Hostesses are provided with swag bags, crafts, snacks, and giveaways for their events.  And I’m not talking dollar store type stuff…these are good quality, Pinterest-worthy products.  You may discover a new product that you didn’t know you needed or maybe a healthy snack that your kids absolutely love.  Either way, it’s a great way to discover new brands and add to your arsenal of mom and kid products!

Okay, maybe playdates aren’t your thing or perhaps you are a working mom and aren’t available for daytime events.  Have no fear, because MomCo is also a great place to find or host Moms’ Night Out events!  Find a local spot where your mom friends can gather one evening (without the kids) and promote the event in your community.  I assure you, there are plenty of moms in your community who would love a night out!  So post the event and invite the moms in your spin class or that distraught mom in the aisle at Target.  You may just make their day!

So what else do I love about MomCo?!  The SWAG of course!  – Not only can you score various swag from other brands at an event.  You can score MomCo swag and rep it around your community!  And the best part?  It’s practical and totally usable for everyday outings!

Also, let me add: MomCo is NOT a pyramid scheme, there are no membership dues or annual fees. It’s FREE!  It’s literally just a place for moms to connect and meet for events.  The other stuff is just a bonus!  And if you’re already hosting or attending events like these in your community, then why not score some free products along the way?!

Want to learn more?  Go to Momcoapp.com for more details and to apply for the Mom Mingle Rewards Club.  You can also find MomCo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

***Note: I was not compensated for this post…I just really love MomCo. 😉

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~SM

 

The Down Low on NuGo

I was really excited to try this next product because I absolutely LOVE chocolate!  NuGo Bars are a healthier snack bar option loaded with some awesome nutrients and non-GMO ingredients.  The best part?  These bars contain REAL dark chocolate!  And to be honest, I was a little skeptical to try these since I can’t stand the taste of fake chocolate or chalky bars with a bad aftertaste.  But, I decided to give the NuGo Bars a shot! NuGo offers a few different lines of products and I had the chance to review their Dark line.  I received my bars a little before Christmas which meant that I got an early present! Thanks, Santa! 😉

I received four different flavors: Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Coconut, and Chocolate Pretzel.  They also offer a few other flavors from their Dark Chocolate line that I did not try.  You can explore those flavors here.

Some quick facts about the Dark line:

  • 10g Protein
  • Around 14g of sugar
  • Around 200 calories
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Real dark chocolate
  • Non-GMO
  • Certified Kosher

Sounds too good to be true, right?  A chocolate snack bar can’t possibly be healthy and taste delicious all at the same time….right??  Well that was my thinking going into this product review.

I was training for a half marathon all while trying to keep up with the kiddos and all of their engagements before the Nugo bar came into my life.  So I kept them in my bag so I could be armed when cravings or afternoon hunger struck.

First, I took them along for some runs…

They were a nice snack post-run and they were okay for a little fuel on short runs (3-4 miles).  It’s not something I would use as a meal replacement or on really long runs, but it kept me satisfied on the shorter ones.

I also took it to a track workout!


Then, I took them out on a couple of outings with the kiddos…

I brought one to a kid’s birthday party to avoid the temptation of pizza and cake and it totally worked!  It kept me away from the junk and I had energy to chase the kids around the birthday venue for a few hours!  I took another one on a grocery shopping trip because that’s where a lot of damage can happen.  I ate it on the way in to the store and was able to avoid the usual tempting non-healthy snacks.

I also took one along on a trail excursion…

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This is the only snack I brought for myself on this 3 mile hike which is pretty gutsy seeing as how if it didn’t work I was gonna be pretty hungry for the hike back to civilization.  But, luckily it sustained my energy and kept hunger away until it was time for lunch!

But, there was one negative aspect to these bars…

Kids!  My two-year-old also took a liking to these bars and kept stealing them!  I guess everyone loves the NuGo bars! 😉

So, how did they really taste?  Well I’ve ranked the flavors and here are the results:

In 4th place: Chocolate Coconut – I’m not a huge coconut fan unless it’s an oil or a rum so I didn’t really dig the chocolate/coconut combo

3rd place: Chocolate Chocolate Chip – It tastes just how it sounds – chocolate with chocolate chips.  So there was no wow factor for the tastebuds here.  Just a basic dark chocolate flavor.

2nd place: Mint Chocolate Chip – This actually tasted pretty similar to the Thin Mint cookies that those Girl Scout dealers sell.  It happens to be my favorite Girl Scout cookie so I was a little partial to this one.  But if mint isn’t your jam, then I would avoid this flavor.

1st place: Chocolate Pretzel (with sea salt) – I loved the sweet/salty/crunchy combo here and this is the flavor that I would purchase again!

Overall, I really enjoyed the NuGo Dark Nutrition Bars!  I’m a pretty experienced consumer in chocolate and I will say that these tasted like the real deal.  As for pricing, you can purchase a box of 12 Dark bars on their website for $19.00.  This averages out to be about $1.58 per bar which isn’t too bad.  You can also look for them in your local stores.  Another option is purchasing a sample pack.  These run $6-$7 for a pack of 2-3 bars depending on which line you want.

As a bonus – Enjoy 15% off boxes of NuGo Dark with code BIBRAVE1 through Feb 8, 2017.

NuGo also wants to make some changes! If you are interested in telling the FDA to stop deceiving buyers with incorrect dark chocolate food labeling you can sign the petition here —> https://www.change.org/p/dark-chocolate-food-labeling-tell-the-fda-to-stop-the-deception

Join me on #Bibchat on Twitter on Jan. 31st at 6pm PST for your chance to win your own NuGo Bars! 

Oh yeah and don’t forget to enjoy the view! 🙂


I’m off to review the next product!

***Disclaimer: I received a free sample box of NuGo Dark Chocolate Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own!

~SM

5 Tips for Hosting a Healthy Baby Home Party

One of the perks of being in the  Generation Good community through Seventh Generation is the opportunity to host a Healthy Baby Home Party!  This is your chance to share the benefits of utilizing Seventh Generation home and baby products!  If you are selected to host a party, you will receive a free kit with everything you need for your gathering.

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The kit contains lots of goodies from Healthy Child Healthy World, Bobble, Annie’s, Stonyfield, and of course  Seventh Generation.  So here are a few tips to get you started with your party!

  • Go to your Generation Good dashboard and look over everything that will be expected of you throughout the campaign.  This includes emailing out invitations, taking pictures, and posting on social media.

 

  • Decide on a location and time…then get your invitation list started.  It’s up to you if you would like kids to be present or not.  Some hosts will hold their parties at home, restaurants, community centers, etc.  I did mine at a park during the day so that kids could come, too.

 

  •  Open your kit and sort out the materials.  You will have enough samples, coupons and handouts for up to 12 people.  There will also be an agenda and a link to a video for your attendees to watch.  You will also be provided with a bingo game and some products to give out as prizes for the winners.
  • Assemble your bags and decide which prize you would like to keep for yourself.  I decided to keep the dish detergent! Also look over the materials and watch the video in case anyone has any questions.

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  • Share info and play bingo! My kit came with a box of crackers to give as a prize, but instead I brought cupcake liners and shared them with the whole group.  You could also use them as bingo markers!

But most importantly…have fun!  It’s an exciting way for you and your attendees to learn healthier ways to incorporate cleaner products into your home!  I enjoyed learning about the healthy home facts through the bingo game and I really loved passing out all of the SWAG! 😉

What do you think?  Would you host a Healthy Baby Home Party?!

***Note: I was provided a Healthy Baby Home Party kit for free in exchange for honest reviews and social media posts.  All opinions are my own and no other compensation was granted.

~SM

 

 

 

Well Beginnings Diapers/Wipes

I was given the opportunity to test out Well Beginnings diapers and wipes through the Massive Sway sampling campaign.  Well Beginnings is a line of products for babies and toddlers that are exclusive to Walgreens.  They claim to display the same quality as the more popular baby product brands, but at a fraction of the cost.

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I used the size 5 diapers on my very active almost-2-year-old son.  He wore them throughout the day and during the night.  I was surprised at well these held up!  As far as thickness and quality, I would say they are a step-up from the Huggies Snug & Dry…but not as thick and durable as the Huggies Little Movers.  We also didn’t encounter any rashes or irritation.  The designs are pretty simple – just some giraffes doing yoga or something. Designs on diapers are not a big deal to me or my kids, so this really isn’t even a factor when it comes to diaper buying decisions.

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The wipes also held up well.  I didn’t have any rips or tears during my review and the scent is very subtle.  I really liked the packaging on the wipes, too.  Instead of just a lift-up flap, you can press the button and the lid flings up on its own.  Fancy.

 


The pricing is very reasonable compared to other brands.  A standard pack of wipes goes for $1.99 and a box goes for $8.79.  A box of 70 diapers (size 5) goes for $16.99.

Overall, I was pleased with this product and surprised that I had good results from a drugstore brand.  The only negative is that I don’t really live close to a Walgreens.  I live much closer to Costco and Target and would probably shop there first before travelling out of my way to a Walgreens.  But I’m glad to know that this brand works in case I am travelling and happen to be near a Walgreens.  You can learn more about this brand and shop here.

What do you think?  Would you try a drugstore brand of diapers/wipes?

***Note: I was provided a free package of Well Beginnings diapers and wipes in exchange for an honest review as part of the Massive Sway sampling campaign.

2016 WOW Summit!

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the Moms Meet WOW Summit here in San Diego.  The event was so much fun that I actually posted TWO blogs about it!  Here are the links so you can relive the fun: WOW Summit Review – Part 1  WOW Summit Review – Part 2

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Sadly, this year I am unable to attend since the event will be held in National Harbor, MD and my tiny humans denied my request to travel across the country.  But that doesn’t mean that YOU can’t go! So I’m here to give you the deets on the event and share some of the awesome reasons why you should attend this year!

So, what is the Moms Meet WOW Summit?  Well, it’s a two-day annual event that gives health-minded moms and bloggers the opportunity to network and learn from like-minded women and experts in the health and wellness fields.  The first day is all about the bloggers!  It’s a special opportunity for mom bloggers to learn from experienced writers as well as network with other bloggers and brands.  There is also a cocktail party and comedy hour following the event!  How rad is that?!

The second day is even more fun because you get to listen to awesome speakers, breakout into informative workshops and sample tons (seriously, tons) of awesome products.  Each attendee also receives a fully-packed SWAG BAG!!  So much swag!  Just to give you a better idea of how amazing this event is, checkout the video below with some sweet highlights!

WOW Summit 2015 Highlights

And there will be even more generous sponsors this year-

Solgar

National Geographic Kids

Tasty Bite

Mary’s Gone Crackers

And so many more!  Like, I’m seriously getting a major case of FOMO over here!

So since I can’t attend this year, I’m going to mentally bask in all of the swag that I scored last year.  And in case you forgot about the massive haul I scored, here is a little reminder:

Yep, that could be you…rolling in the swag dough.  So, if you or your friends will be in the D.C.area on October 7th and 8th, I highly recommend this fun conference.  It’s not only a great way to connect with other moms and bloggers, but an opportunity to learn about health, wellness and green living all from experts and great companies!  I recommend running, not walking, to register for this event because it will sell out!  Get your VIP tickets so you can score even MORE SWAG!  You seriously won’t want to miss out!

Register HERE!

And just for being one of my rad swag readers, you can use the code “SWAG15” to save 15% on your tickets!  So go register, have a blast and take pics for me!

See you at the next swag event!

~SM

 

 

 

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