38th Birthday Weekend Recap

There was a time long ago when hubby and I would jet out of town for our birthdays. One year, it was a weekend in Bermuda. Another time, it was a hiking trip to Acadia National Park. Things have changed for us now that we have kids.

This year was significantly lower key and more oriented around kids’ activities.

Flower Hills Maker’s Bazaar

On Saturday, we headed to the Flower Hill Maker’s Bazaar in the Del Mar‘s Flower Hill Promenade.

The event had so much to do for the kiddos! There was Pam’s Farm, a petting zoo with a sheep, goat, pig, ducks, chickens and a shih tzu pup!

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I understand this pig so well! Sleep is nice.

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Pam let the little guys get on top of the sheep. So adorable!

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There was a little area for lounging on blankets and pillows with a ping pong table and corn hole.

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My mom took part in the charity cake walk, and she won a cake in the first round! It was funny because this wound up serving as my birthday cake.

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Flower Hill Promenade has a little playground, and the twins really enjoyed climbing and running around before lunch.

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We also got two amazing balloon animals created for the boys. Big Brother also got his face painted! That’s a little hippo on his cheek.

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Wow, I cannot believe how fun this event was. On top of what I have shown you, there was also live music by Kathryn the Grape and a choir group as well as succulent and painted picture frame make-and-takes. We were pooped after about 4 hours at the bazaar.

Dinner at Giovanni’s

That evening, we had dinner at Giovanni’s in Linda Vista with my parents and my brother’s family.

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Balboa Park

On Sunday, we all met up again at Balboa Park to visit the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre.

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It was the boys’ first time in a theatre, and they got to be big boys and sit in their boosters all by themselves. Big Brother really enjoyed the puppet show, while the other two lost interest after awhile.

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After the show, we got to pet the puppets and take photos with them. Hi, Baxter Bunny!

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We had lunch at the Home Plate Cafe and then continued on to the Museum of Man without the rest of the group. My parents and brother had to leave.

I checked out the Museum Pass from the library which provides admission for 2 adults and 4 children, so we were able to visit for free!

Our favorite exhibits was the Monsters! exhibit and Adventure Kids in Egypt.

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That evening, hubby took care of the kiddos so I could go have a massage and cupping session! Woohoo!

It was such a fun-filled weekend and I am so happy to have spent it with my family.

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Reducing Hair Breakage with Desert Essence Haircare Products

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

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There are so many things I did not know about pregnancy and postpartum. For one, I did not know how amazing my hair would be when I was pregnant. For as long as I can remember, I have lost so many hairs on a daily basis, but when I was pregnant, it became shiny, gorgeous and did not fall out much.

Currently, my hair seems to have returned back to its normal state. There’s a lot of it and I have problems with oiliness on my scalp and roots.

Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner

I was recently invited to try out Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask. The products feature:

  • An exclusive blend of Country Life Maxi-Hair vitamins plus Biotin that helps reduce breakage by up to 61%
  • Jojoba and coconut oils, aloe and saw palmetto that smooth and fortify hair cuticles and revitalize hair strands to reduce breakage
  • Botanical oils and radish seed extract that provide shine
  • Aloe and moisturizing shea butter that help detangle and condition hair

How to Use Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Products

Shampoo – Apply a quarter-sized amount to wet hair, lather and rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Conditioner – Apply to wet hair and massage gently. Leave on 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse

Hair Mask – Apply to wet hair after using Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo. Since I have oily hair, I applied the hair mask only to the body of my hair and not to the roots or scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

I noticed that my hair was super smooth, shiny and moisturized after using the Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask for several weeks.

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In addition to the Anti-Breakage products, I also got to try Desert Essence’s Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner and Primer. I loved how these worked with my hair type.

Special Discount

Take 20% off Anti-Breakage and Smoothing Hair Care Products on desertessence.com with the promo code DELovesMomsMeet

Desert Essence is sold at Natural Grocers, Luckys Market, MOM’s Organic Market and other natural food stores. To find Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner near you, visit desertessence.com/store-locator

 

July 4th Recap – 2018

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July! We had a relaxing day of fun with the kiddos and enjoyed the gorgeous San Diego weather. It was actually one of the more relaxing days I can remember since becoming a mom. This was our second 4th of July as a family of four.

We started off the day by visiting a local splash pad. We met up with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, and we let the boys run around and play.

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They were having a lot of fun running around freely, but I don’t think they appreciated getting water in their faces. They also looked ridiculously cute in their swimming outfits.

After they seemed to have their fill of water play, we headed over to Breakfast Republic for brunch. They were so busy but were able to accommodate our party of seven quicker than we excepted. I had a feeling that service would be slow and I was correct.

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I don’t drink much anymore and haven’t for years, but I thought that I deserved a drink this holiday. I ordered the michelada, which is basically a bloody mary with beer instead of vodka. It was actually quite tasty.

For my meal, I got the chilaquiles and I was pretty disappointed with them. They came out barely warm and weren’t great.

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After brunch, we headed back home to rest and let the kids nap. I also wound up taking a nap. We decided at the last minute to invite my brother and his family over to barbecue, so hubby had to run to the grocery store to get supplies. The pool in our community opened back up after renovations that day, so we were going to hit the pool and grill up some burgers.

We headed over to the pool at around 5:30 pm. It was still busy, but we were able to grab some lounge chairs all together and share one of the grills with another party.

One of our neighbors brought their pet bird with her and it was very interested in the babies.

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This was the boys’ first time in the pool and they were a little frightened to say the least. Hopefully, they start to feel more comfortable in the water once we start going to the pool more often.

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The guys grilled up some delicious homemade patties. They were half regular beef and half wagyu beef. So juicy and tasty.

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I also baked some boxed Funfetti cupcakes! That was all I could manage with the two guys on my hands but they actually weren’t bad.

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Once we finished dinner, it was already past the boys’ bedtime and we still had to give them baths and get them ready for bed.

I was hoping to watch some fireworks on tv, but our tv decided to have issues this week and we basically had to reset the whole system and have not had time to reprogram it yet. We also could not see any of the fireworks from our place, so none for us this year. One of the things I am thankful for about not living in New Mexico anymore is that fireworks are illegal here for regular folks to buy. Woohoo! So no more weekend after weekend of fireworks in our neighborhood.

Hope you all had a fun, safe and relaxing July 4th!

Visiting the San Diego County Fair with Twins

This week, the boys and I visited the San Diego County Fair for the first time. This annual event is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and is the largest county fair in the nation!

The fair has a different theme each year, and this year’s theme was “How Sweet It Is!” Such a fun, happy and colorful theme, which gave us plenty of opportunities for photos.

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I honestly think this has been our most ambitious outing to date, and I was quite nervous about how our day would turn out! Along with our double stroller, I made sure to pack hats, shoes, lunches (for them), sunscreen and water for the whole family. The boys wound up spending the majority of the time in the stroller, just taking things in. They did not really complain at all throughout the time we were at the fair.

We arrived just after the gates opened at 11 AM, and by the time we parked, walked over, got through the gate and lathered up with sunscreen, the first Pig Race of the day was about to go down!

Pig Races

I managed to get the boys out of the stroller and find us seats in the bleachers on my own. A twin momma’s gotta do what a twin momma’s gotta do! The race was hilarious because only one pig ran to the finish line!

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Livestock Viewing

My boys absolutely love animals and so do I, so we made a stop to some of the livestock viewing areas and saw goats, sheep, cows, chicken, turkeys, bunnies and more!

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Theme Exhibit

Because of the “How Sweet It is” theme, this year’s fair featured a candy-themed exhibition with the history of candy-making, a candy-themed performance, shopping opportunities and photo opps! It was so cute!

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I’m actually not a huge candy person (chocolate for me!) but I thought the whole set-up was ridiculously fun!

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Fair Food

After walking around for about an hour, it was time to settle in and find some food. I have visited the Texas State Fair a number of times, and the fair food is a big deal at that event every year. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of information on the fair food at the San Diego County Fair. I had no idea where to go, what was new this year or what was available except for what I could see from walking around.

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I really wanted a corn dog, so I stopped at the first stand that I saw that had them. Big mistake. I wound up with a corn dog the size of my forearm that cost $12. I was only able to finish about 1/3 of it and it wasn’t even tasty! Ugh!

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I was pretty annoyed by my fair food fail for the rest of the day because I did not have room to sample anything else. Boohoo!

Besides this unicorn leg, I did not see anything else that seemed “special,” in that all of the food was standard fair food. I did hear that there was a ramen burrito somewhere but I did not see it. I was hoping to see more interesting and strange food. Maybe I just missed it. Oh well.

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CA Grown Exhibit

The California Grown exhibit focuses on the important place agriculture has in California and San Diego. We found the exhibit to be informative and interesting for both the kids and I.

There were more animals to see, including chickens, cows and llamas.

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The boys got to play in a corn sandbox too! Only problem was that they kept trying to put the corn in their mouths!

Flower and Garden Show

The Flower and Garden Show was the last place we visited. They boys loved the model train set, which was also candy-themed.

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They also did not seem to mind that I wanted to check out the ribbon-winning flowers and displays.

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In total, we spent about three hours at the fair and did not come close to seeing everything, but that was okay. Rides and games are not the top priority for me when going to the fair, and since the boys are so young, those are things that we can save for when they get bigger.

As we were leaving, I had a difficult time finding our car, so we wound up wandering the parking lot for about 10 minutes before we were able to leave. Despite the couple of hiccups that we experienced, I had a really good time at the fair! Hopefully, we can make it back again next year.

Tips:

  • Prioritize what you want to see and do. The fair website has of good information on how to plan your visit.
  • There is a lot to see, so don’t expect to see everything in one visit, if you are like us and only plan to spend a few hours versus the entire day and night at the fair.
  • Remember what gate you entered through and where you parked. The parking lots don’t have section markers, so I suggest counting the number of rows back you are in and finding a landmark to remember where you parked.
  • Bring lots of sun protection! Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Also, unopened water bottles are permitted, and empty reusable bottles and sippy cups are permitted. I bought bottled water before we got to the fair and filled my bottle and sippy cups once we got through the security gate.
  • Bring wipes and hand sanitizer. You will come into contact with lots of germs, especially if you visit the livestock viewing areas. While there are hand washing stations around the fairgrounds, having wipes and hand sanitizer on me made me feel better, especially since the boys are still putting their hands in their mouths a lot!

Curious about Trying CBD Oil?

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

If you are like me and tend to keep up with trends in the health and wellness realm, then you probably have heard about CBD oil by now. I have been seeing CBD oil everywhere but did not know anything about it.

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Over the past month of so, I have been incorporating PlusCBD Oil products into my daily self-care routine and wanted to share with you what I have learned about CBD oil and my personal experiences with these products.

What is hemp-derived CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found in agricultural hemp. CBD is non-intoxicating and will not make you high. CBD works with your body’s internal system with the goal of achieving homeostasis, maintaining a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

About PlusCBD

PlusCBD is North America’s leading CBD oil brand. It believes that in order to make the highest quality hemp oil products, it needs to be a part of every step of the supply chain process.

Their CBD oil products are produced with the following features:

  • Full Traceability – From Seed to Shelf™
  • Chemical-free CO2 extraction process
  • State-of-the-art laboratory
  • Quality assurance via independent third party analysis on all products
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free

PlusCBD Oil Products Formulas and Products

PlusCBD Oil offers three formulations:

  • Raw Formula (Red) – 90% plant material, 10% phytocannabinoids
  • Total Plant Complex (Green) – 85% plant material, 15% phytocannabinoids
  • Gold Formula – 75% plant material, 25% phytocannabinoids

The Gold Formula products are the fastest acting and most concentrated.

PlusCBD Oil products include CBD Oil softgels, capsules, sprays, drops, applicators and balms.

My Experience with PlusCBD Oil

I received five different PlusCBD Oil products to sample and review. Every person is unique and has a different, ideal dose for them. PlusCBD Oil suggests starting low and slowly upping the dose to find what works for you.

15 mg Gold Softgels ($19.95 for 10 softgels)

These softgels are formulated with an extra-virgin olive oil base and contain 15 mg of CBD per serving. Gold Formula products are great for those looking for high intensity support.

This was my favorite formulation of PlusCBD Oil that I received. They were easy to take in the morning with my other medications and supplements. The softgels themselves were tiny, so they are easy to swallow and did not have a noticeable aftertaste. For busy moms, I think these softgels are the way to go.

After taking these softgels for a few days, my chronic back and shoulder pain began to be less noticeable, but the biggest difference was that I was much more alert. My day-to-day is so exhausting that I often find myself in a mental fog. I felt a huge change to my mental clarity and alertness after taking CBD oil.

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Total Plant Complex 15 mg Capsules ($69.95 for 60 capsules)

This formulation was also right up my alley because of the capsule form. Like the softgels, the capsules contain 15 mg of CBD per serving and are easy to swallow. They did have a bit of a taste to them, however, which I did not mind.

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Total Plant Complex Extra Strength Peppermint Spray ($67.95 for 2 fl oz)

The Extra Strength Spray contains a lower dosage of CBD with 3 mg per serving. It is also easy to use. The suggested serving is two sprays. I was not a fan of this formulation. Both because I do not usually use sprays and I did not like the taste.

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Gold Formula Unflavored Drops ($41.95 for 1 fl oz)

PlusCBD Oil Drops can be added to your favorite drink or smoothie, or you can simply place the drops directly in your mouth and swallow, like I did. Each serving contains 3 mg of CBD.

This formulation did not work for me because I could not take the taste. Next time, I will try putting it in a drink, but the taste was so strong that I am not sure that drops are the right fit for me.

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Gold Formula Extra Strength Balm ($51.95 for 1.3 oz)

PlusCBD Oil Balm has been incorporated into my nightly regime. I just put a bit on the back of my neck, shoulders and stomach and it does wonders for my sleep.

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I am so glad I got a chance to face my fears and try CBD Oil. If you are interested in learning more about PlusCBD Oil, MomsMeet and Dr. Aimée Shunney, Naturopathic Physician, put together this informative video. I recommend you check it out.

Special Discount Offer

Use code: momsmeet17 to receive 15% off online orders at pluscbdoil.com 

To find PlusCBD Oil in your area, visit: pluscbdoil.com for the full list of locations.

Disclaimer: These products are not meant to treat, cure, mitigate or ameliorate diseases or disease symptoms. If you are considering taking CBD for your health, please consult your primary care physician.

Highlights from Wonderspaces San Diego 2018

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit Wonderspaces with the San Diego Blogger Babes.

Wonderspaces is a temporary immersive art exhibition that it currently being shown on the San Diego Waterfront at the B Street Pier.

Wonderspaces graciously hosted a small group of the SDBBs, and let me tell you it was an amazing experience. There were so many cool installations, but here are a few of my favorites.

Black Balloons by Tadao Cern

This installation features hundreds of black balloons, half of which are floating and half of which are sitting on the floor. Such a cool concept!

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Into the Breath by Stefano Ogliari Badessi

Into the Breath is described by the artist as a “Dragon Balloon.” Viewers literally walk into the mouth of the dragon. Another neat thing about the piece is that it is made of plastic bags!

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Body Paint by Memo Akten

This piece was so fun! You get to “paint” with your body via a canvas and motion sensor. I could have played with this all night long!

The Border by Carolin Wanitzek

This super cute paper forest had so many small details. I loved seeing it.

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To Do by Illegal Art

To Do is made up of hundreds of Post-It notes which make up a giant “to-do” list. You can add your own notes to the existing piece.

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Submergence by Squidsoup

Submergence was by far my favorite installation. I loved that you could walk through the piece and be a part of the experience. The installation uses over 8,000 lights. The lighting changes throughout the piece and takes a total of 12 minutes to run through the entire experience.

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I had a blast at Wonderspaces and hanging out with the San Diego Blogger Babes for the first time. Be sure to check out Wonderspaces before it is gone. Tickets up until the end of July are on sale now.

Tips

  • Many of the installations involve flashing lights and videos and have epilepsy warnings. If you are prone to seizures, be sure to look out for these warning signs.
  • Go late at night. We arrived around 8:30 pm and were able to have many of the installations to ourselves, which as bloggers is helpful to get the shot. I was also able to find free parking quite easily at that time.

Things to Do with Twins in San Diego: The New Children’s Museum

Now that my little bundles are walking bundles, it is time for us to expand our activities. We recently headed downtown to visit The New Children’s Museum for the first time. My parents were in town for a couple of days, so having them here made our trip to the museum much easier than if I had been alone with the boys.

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I have never really been to a children’s museum as far as I recall, so I did not have much of an idea of what to expect.

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Wobbleland

I took a look at the map and decided to head up stairs first as it seemed to have the most toddler friendly activities and I was right! The boys loved Wobbleland, and I found it to be incredibly adorable! The whole area was food themed.

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The boys sailed along in a watermelon sailboat, climbed through a slice of Swiss cheese, collected peas (balls) that go into a pea pod and stacked tomato slices.

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Sitting in an orange half

To be honest, though, what they were most interested in was playing with the balls and walking around freely and exploring!

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Adorable toddler plate

While I tried to get lots of photos of us, they were not having it! These two little toddlers are so busy and refused to have their play interrupted.

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Tot Studio

Across the way from Wobbleland is Tot Studio. Here, little ones can participate in daily (except Friday) sensory painting from 10:30 to 11:30. We missed this activity, but we still headed over for the boys to go down the slide and play with some different toys.

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The Rain House

This little structure was super cute but did not have much for our boys to do.

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Beansprouts Cafe

Since it was our first time visiting, we decided to have lunch at the on-site Beansprouts Cafe. Apparently, you are allowed to also pack your own lunches, but I was not aware of this.

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The menu features simple sandwiches, salads and pizza. I had The Great Turkado (turkey and avocado sandwich) with creamy tomato soup, and I was delighted by how good my lunch was! I was pleasantly surprised.

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Paint Studio

The outside area has a paint studio, where you can paint a 1950s pickup truck, and a clay studio for art making, but again, these activities were not suitable for my kids’ age.

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No Rules…Except

“No Rules…Except” has a variety of mattresses and tire-shaped pillows for climbing, jumping and playing on. So cute! Another good thing is that there are two separate sections of the exhibit, one for kids under 4 and another for bigger kids.

Older brother was not enjoying being here, so we let little brother play for a while before leaving this area. I didn’t want older brother to get too upset.

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Blocks

Right next to Wobbleland are two areas of blocks. This was our final stop of the day before heading home for naptime.

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The museum was also feeling more crowded with bigger kids, so that was our cue to leave.

Overall, it was a fun day, and the twins absolutely had a blast! I am not so sure how often we will be coming back, however. I feel the cost of entrance is a little bit too steep to justify. Admission is $14 per person over 1 year old and $10 for seniors. For our group, that equaled $62 for admission alone. We also paid for parking and lunch, so it was not an inexpensive excursion. This, plus the fact that they are still too little for many of the exhibits, makes me hesitate to plan a return trip to The New Children’s Museum in the near future. It’s just a little too pricey and not enough value at this moment. I’m sure we will be back when they get older though!

Parting Tip: Make sure you wear easy on and off shoes and non-holey socks because most of the play areas are shoe-free zones.

Visiting the Crayola Experience with Toddlers

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While visiting family in Pennsylvania recently, we decided to spend a rainy day at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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The complex is huge with so much to do for little ones and younger elementary-aged children. I would say older elementary-aged children would not find it as amusing. Although we did not have time to explore the entire attraction and we skipped things that were not age-appropriate for my 15 month old twins, there was still plenty to do for the toddler-aged child.

Wrap It Up

Upon paying your admission fee, each guest is given a shopping bag and two tokens. One of the tokens can be used at Wrap It Up. Here, you can choose a Crayola crayon color and create a personalized label for it. Once your label is printed, you machine wrap it to create the perfect take home souvenir.

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Toddler Town

We spent the majority of our time in Toddler Town. There were multiple activity cubes to play with.

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But the reason why we stayed here so long and actually wound up coming back to Toddler Town a second time was because the twins were all about the giant Light Brite board. They could not get enough of it!

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Rainbow Rain and Stomp & Play

These two attractions are fun digital interactive games. With Rainbow Rain, you can play in melting wax.

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Stomp & Play lets you play games on a digital interactive floor. There was also an under the sea game on one of the walls.

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Colossal Caddy

The Crayola Experience had a number of coloring stations with different pages you can choose from to color in.

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Modeling Madness

With your second token, guests can visit the vending machines lining the room to choose from a variety of different colors of Crayola’s modeling compound.

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Tables were set up with cookie cutters and other tools for you to mold and play with the modeling clay. The boys really enjoyed this attraction. Even just playing with the clay in their hands was great for their sensory development.

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Big Blue

Made from 123,000 blue crayons and weighing 1,500 lbs, Big Blue is the world’s largest crayon and worth stopping to admire.

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The Crayola Store

This gift shop is filled with adorable souvenirs. We took home a few t-shirts for the twins.

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But my favorite thing at the shop was the amazing Pick Your Pack crayon display. Loved the rainbow of colors!

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There is so much more to do at the Crayola Experience. While we got our fill on these few things to do, once the boys are older, I would love to visit again and check out the other attractions and have more fun with my sons!

Bloom Summit Recap

On Saturday, I attended the inaugural Bloom Summit at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

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Bloom Summit is a wellness and beauty retreat, providing a day for guests to immerse themselves in wellness education, pampering, and interacting with brands that help to sustain a wholesome non-toxic lifestyle.

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Check In

I arrived just after the event was starting and there was only one group ahead of me to check-in. It was easy peasy to get on my way.

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Wellness Oasis

I had about 15 minutes before my first session started, so I took a spin around the Wellness Oasis. The area was lined with a variety of different booths, all promoting the healthier lifestyle. I only had time to visit one booth before I headed inside for my sessions, but I made sure to see almost everything throughout the day.

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For me, the coolest thing was getting my first vitamin “push” from Nenergy Boost.

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I got the Vitamin C + Glutathione Push.

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There was also a stocked snack bar, where you could load up a Bumkins wet bag with healthy snacks and drinks.

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The Wellness Oasis also gave guests a chance to interact directly with health and wellness brands, like Eat Cleaner, Kite Hill, Neocell and Plus CBD oil.

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Costa Craft Beauty hosted a cute make-and-take station, where you could either make a fragrance spritzer or body scrub. I went with the body scrub. It smelled so good!

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Finally, while I was at it, I got a vitamin B12 shot from The Solution IV. Honestly, I did not feel any different after getting the shot and the push.

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Sessions

Bloom Summit featured speaker sessions with experts in the health and wellness space as well as workout sessions. Although I was not able to attend any of the speaker sessions, I signed up for two of the three fitness workouts.

First up was a Feel Good Fusion class with Sara Haley. She specializes in pre and post natal fitness, which was great for me! The workout included core work, cardio, body weight strengthening and stretching. It was a great workout and I certainly worked up a sweat!

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Rad Roller hosted the second session that I attended. It was less of a workout that a Rad Rolling session, and it felt amazing. Since having the twins, my body regularly feels like it is falling apart, so this session really helped me release some of my tight muscles.

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Gift Bag

I left Bloom Summit with two huge bags of goodies. My ticket type included a gift bag. There was a higher level ticket that included an even more loaded swag bag. I still have yet to go through the bags of stuff, but I will likely be doing mini-reviews in my Instagram stories. If you are interested, check out my Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/socal_twinmommy.

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I had a really good time at Bloom Summit and I hope they hold it again next year. If they do, I will make every effort to attend again.

Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

As a simple home cook, I tend to stick to what I know and hesitate to deviate from what works for my family. Since I started cooking, what I have known best in terms of cooking oils is extra virgin olive oil and use it for most of my cooking oil needs.

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I recently had the opportunity to try cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil. I did not know much about palm oil. One experience I did have with palm oil was that when I was getting my Masters in Business Administration, palm oil production was universally reviled.

When I heard about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, I was most interested in finding out what makes it sustainable. Through my research, I learned what makes palm oil special and also what makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil a good choice for palm oil.

What Makes Palm Oil Special?

  • Palm oil contains no genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)
    • As more and more consumers demand their food products to be GMO-free, many producers are using palm oil to fulfill this requirement. The majority of corn, soy and canola oils available in the United States are genetically-modified.
  • Palm oil is nutrient-rich. 
    • Palm oil is loaded with carotene and has more vitamin E than any other vegetable oil
  •  Palm oil is a natural alternative to trans-fat laden partially hydrogenated oils. 
    • Palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature, which eliminates the need for it to undergo hydrogenation.
  • Palm oil is ideal for cooking
    • I never knew that when used at high heat, some oils begin to degrade or lose its nutritional value. Palm oil, on the other hand, has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than other oils. Olive oil begins to degrade at 380 degrees, canola at 400 degrees and coconut oil at 347 degrees.  Additionally, palm oil has a neutral taste.

What Makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Special?

  • Palm oil production has less of an environmental impact than other edible oils.
    • Palm oil trees produce more oil than annual crops, such as corn, soybean and canola. Palm oil trees also do not need to be cleared and replanted year after year like corn, canola and soybean crops.
  • Malaysia practices responsible growth to protect the country’s environment and wildlife. 
    • Palm oil trees are only grown on designated land, and Malaysia has pledged to keep at least half of its land under forest cover.
  • Malaysia plans to have 100 percent of its palm oil certified sustainable by the end of 2019. 

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My Experience Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

I decided to try creating two dishes using Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil. First, I made popcorn.

The first thing I noticed was the palm oil’s interesting red hue. It looks so unusual compared to other cooking oils I have used in the past.

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To make the popcorn, I heated the palm oil in a pot with three kernels of popcorn and waited for the kernels to pop. When they did, I removed the pot from the burner and added the rest of the popcorn kernels to the pot. At this point, I partially covered the pot with a lid and shook the pot as the kernels popped. Unfortunately, as this was happening, the red oil was splattering all over my countertop and white cabinets. Not happy about this! But the popcorn turned out perfectly cooked and tasty.

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The second dish I created with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil is a staple in our weekly meals. It is a Mediterranean-inspired pasta dish.

Step 1: Boil pasta of your choice according to directions. I used some leftover linguine that we had in the pantry.

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Step 2: As the pasta is cooking, cube a single boneless, skinless chicken breast and flavor with soy sauce, oregano and basil. Add Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.

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Step 3: Remove chicken breast from pan. Add an additional tablespoon of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and a bag of pre-washed baby spinach. Cook until the spinach leaves are wilted.

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Step 4: Add sliced kalamata olives to spinach and cook for 2 minutes.

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Step 5: Add cooked pasta and chicken breast to pan. Season with more soy sauce. Cook for 3 minutes.

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Step 6: Plate pasta in bowls and add sundried tomatoes.

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I honestly found that Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil was a great addition to this dish that I seriously cook almost every week. It came out deliciously!

After learning about the benefits of using palm oil, this creature of comfort is feeling less comfortable about going back to my old cooking oil ways!

To learn more about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, visit http://palmoilhealth.org.