Category: Activity

Spa Lab Allows Moms and Daughters to Bond and Have Girl Time Without Visiting the Nail Salon

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by No Comments

I’ve noticed a lot of moms like taking their daughter to get pedicures. I’d love to do that, but I don’t really like pedicures and I’m pretty sure my daughter would kick someone in the face. A scene from a comedy would ensue, and we’d run out of there, slipping and sliding on our wet feet as I threw some money back into the doorway to cover the damage and part of the pedicures we actually received.

Girly spa days sound fun, though, so we’ve been playing around with All Natural Spa Lab from SmartLab. We haven’t worked our way through all of it because I almost always forget to address those recipes while I’m making the grocery list, but we’ve experimented with the recipes a bit. I like that they’re natural, even if that means extra steps for me (shopping).

I think that’s my main gripe about this set and there’s really not a whole lot they could’ve done about it without making it, well, not so natural. Yes, some powders to color and scent the lip balm would’ve been nice, but I can’t expect them to put avocados or bananas in the kits.

There probably could’ve been a better middle ground, but overall, the ingredients for the recipes are things most people have around the house. If not, they can be found at the grocery store.

The spa kit has recipes for body scrubs, bath bombs, masks, deep conditioning treatments for hair and scalp, and more. There are also molds for the bath bombs, containers, mixing spoons, citric acid, and glitter. I would’ve liked to have seen more overall for almost $20—more recipes, more dry ingredients, etc.

Though I was personally a little disappointed in what came with the kit, my daughter loves it and thinks playing around with the recipes is a great way to spend an afternoon (you haven’t heard laughter until you let a six-year-old mash up an avocado and smear it all over your face), so all in all, it’s worth it. I think this kit’s probably best for ages 6-10.

Photo credit: Amazon

Link Round-up: Green Juice, a Pencil Wreath, DIY Magnets, and More

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a spicy ginger pineapple green juice, pencil wreath, salt dough bear magnets, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make avocado key lime pie tarts.

Mind Body Green shared a recipe for spicy ginger pineapple green juice.

Spaceships and Laser Beams shared free back to school lunch note printables.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make apple magnets.

link ru copper mold

Muslin and Merlot showed us a DIY project with copper medallions.

Crafts n Coffee showed us how to make a back to school pencil wreath.

Suzy Sitcom taught us how to make salt dough bear magnets.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Muslin and Merlot

Link Round-up: Fair Food, Tikka Masala, a Face Mask, and More

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has state fair foods, a vegetarian dish, a face mask, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make vegetarian tikka masala.

Living Chic on the Cheap taught us how to make an avocado face mask.

Spaceships and Laser Beams gave us some inspiration for bento lunchbox meals.

Create Craft Love shared some state fair food favorites.

link ru diy headboards

Pink When showed us 10 DIY headboards you can make in a day.

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make a super-sized party sub.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us how to create favorite movie characters from Styrofoam and other craft supplies.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Pink When

Link Round-up: Living Your Purpose, DIYs, Muffins, and Lemonade

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up shares how to know if you’re living your purpose, some DIYs, a muffin recipe, and watermelon lemonade.

The Tip Toe Fairy shared a watermelon lemonade recipe.

Mind Body Green shared 20 signs you’re living your purpose.

Five Heart Home gave us a recipe for whole wheat zucchini banana muffins.

link ru southwest casserole

Pink When offered up a southwest cheesy chicken casserole dish.

Lovely, Etc. shared a simple seashell shadowbox DIY.

Mabey She Made It showed us how to make paper plumerias.

I Dig Pinterest taught us how to make a wooden tic-tac-toe game.

Photo credit: The Tip Toe Fairy and Pink When

Link Round-up: DIY Air Freshener, Mozzarella Bubble Biscuits, Mason Jar French Toast, and More

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a DIY air freshener, mozzarella bubble biscuits, a wave bottle for kids, a pillow craft, and more.

The Tip Toe Fairy shared a mason jar chocolate peanut butter toffee French toast recipe.

Mind Body Green has a DIY all natural air freshener DIY project.

Five Heart Home shared a recipe for mozzarella bubble biscuits.

Kleinworth & Co. shared a recipe for caramel macchiato pudding pops.

link ru stenciled freezer paper pillow

Lovely Etc. showed us how to make a cute freezer paper stenciled pillow.

Crazy Little Projects taught us how to make cookie dough pizza.

A Girl and a Glue Gun showed us how to make a wave bottle for kids.

Photo credit: The Tip Toe Fairy and Lovely Etc.

Marvel Ocarinas Make Learning Music Fun

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 by No Comments

If you have a child who loves music and is interested in superheroes, a Marvel-themed ocarina from STL Ocarina makes the perfect gift.

STL Ocarina’s Marvel Superhero line includes five new 12-hole plastic tenor ocarinas in C major inspired by Thor, Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Iron Man. Each of these instruments measures 6 ½ inches long and is capable of pitches from A4 to F6, including sharps and flats.

The ocarinas are manufactured by STL Ocarina, a company that was established in 2005 to help revive interest in the art of ocarina playing. The company produces ocarinas for all ages and skill levels, from colorful kids’ models to professional models made of Purple Clay, a rare natural mineral found only in the region of Yixing, China.

STL Ocarinas have been used in performances by major symphony orchestras including the New World Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Marvel Plastic Ocarinas Circle Wide_low resOcarinas are an ancient instrument played by the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas of South and Central America. Ocarinas shaped like birds and animals dating from as early as 5,000 BC have been found in India.

The ocarina was popularized in the US during WWII, but was soon eclipsed by other wind instruments.  It experienced a resurgence among musically inclined young people with the release of The Legend of Zelda video game in the 1990s.

“Not every child will actually come and study music simply because of the cost of buying a violin and the cost of lessons,” said Laura Yeh, one of the performers and music educators associated with STL Ocarina. “So we thought that for those kids that don’t otherwise get a chance to be in touch with music, what can we offer them?  The ocarina seems to be the ideal instrument. It doesn’t cost a lot and the learning curve is very, very easy for kids.”

My nine-year-old has no formal music training beyond what is offered at the local public school, but he found the Iron Man ocarina we received to be tremendously fun to play. I wouldn’t say he understands how to play an actual song quite yet, but I think it’s something he could pick up with a few weeks of regular practice or some one-on-one help from an adult who is more musically inclined than I am.

To get an idea of how the Marvel Superhero ocarinas sound, visit YouTube to check out this video of a performer playing Yankee Doodle Dandee on the Captain America Ocarina.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: STL Ocarina

Link Round-up: DIYs and How to Dress Up Books and Walkways

Posted on Jul 31, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tons of delicious recipes and a couple of DIYs to dress up your books and walkways.

Mom Endeavors taught us how to make easy, fun multicolored (striped!) popsicles.

Amanda’s Cookin’ shared a Quaker Oats meatloaf recipe.

A Cedar Spoon offered a peppermint cacao smoothie recipe.

Take a Bite Out of Boca showed us how to make banana frozen yogurt.

link ru stamped bookmarks

Muslin and Merlot showed us a cute way to turn a stamped envelope into a bookmark.

The Country Chic Cottage taught us how to make neon terra cotta solar lights.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared a recipe for a paleo-friendly cherry crumble.

Photo credit: Mom Endeavors and Muslin and Merlot

Link Round-up: Hair Accessories, Birthday Party Ideas, Recipes, and More

Posted on Jul 29, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has mad scientist birthday party ideas, peanut butter Nutella s’mores, a belt strap memo board, and more.

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make tangle-free hair accessories.

Take a Bite Out of Boca showed us how to make Mediterranean herbed spaghetti squash.

The Country Chic Cottage showed us how to make peanut butter Nutella s’mores.

link ru mad scientist

Mom Endeavors shared ideas for mad scientist birthday parties.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make a belt strap memo board.

Thrifty Jinxy shared some tips for choosing a quality hotel.

My World Simplified shared a recipe for Amish broccoli and cauliflower salad.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Mom Endeavors

Encourage Your Little Picasso With the First Impressions Complete Art Studio Set for Kids

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 by No Comments

If you have a little artist in the house, the First Impressions Complete Art Studio Set for Kids contains everything he or she will need to turn your refrigerator into a gallery full of masterpieces!

The set, which was a silver winner in the 2014 National Parenting Publications Awards,  includes:

  • 24 watercolors
  • 24 colored pencils
  • 15 oil pastels
  • 10 water based markers
  • 2 plastic trays for color mixing
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 pencil sharpener
  • 1 eraser

Since this is a toy for children, the supplies are obviously not professional quality. However, I think they are above average for a child’s art set.

I was particularly impressed by the watercolors. There is a wide range of shades for a child to paint with and the paints themselves are richly pigmented. The addition of the oil pastels is also a nice touch, although it would have been nice if the set included a blending tool for working with these.

kids copyThe silver storage case is quite sturdy and attractive. The panels on each side are clear, but your child can decorate the case with paper or stickers if desired.

The plastic trays that hold the art supplies aren’t secured to the case, so you may want to tape or glue them in place before letting your child draw, paint, or color. Before I used double sided tape to keep the trays in place, they fell out every time my son opened the case.

For on-the-go fun, there is room to add about 20 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 paper inside the case and still keep it closed securely. (Once the initial art supplies are all gone, the case itself could be reused as a handy storage container for drawing paper or your child’s finished works of art.)

You can purchase the First Impressions Complete Art Studio Set for Kids on the Jerry’s Ararama website. Jerry’s Artarama is a national retailer of art materials and craft supplies based in Raleigh, N.C., with 15 physical locations throughout the United States and an online store that offers as much as 75 percent off traditional retail on products from the industry’s leading art manufacturers. The site has a wide range of art supplies for children in its Intro to Art section.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: Jerry’s Artarama