Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Swim Suit Time!

I recently had the pleasure of being able to go to Old Navy and review a sample from this season's swim suit line. I was online shopping before hand so I could take less time in-store, as shopping for clothes with a toddler is always a bit of an ordeal, with or without help, and the more prepared I am walking in the door, the better! I should have learned by now though, that shopping online before going in Old Navy doesn't work out as well as I'd like, things always look SO different in the store and I usually end up walking out with something that I had dismissed online, as well as disliking something in store that I loved online. C'est la vie! I took my husband along to help watch the kiddo and lend his expert opinion on the suits, because I know he'll be honest no matter what! (and he was, he vetoed several selections!)

I ended up with an interesting plaid bikini, I've been working hard to eat right and work out, so I wanted to reward myself with a two-piece that I would not fall out of. I think it's cute! There were lots of options I liked, and though I usually only get one suit per season, I thought of getting two!

This suit was given to me in exchange for my review, and I found this sampling opportunity through Crowdtap! If you want to join me on Crowdtap collaborating with brands and providing them feedback, you can click HERE!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Home Made Sidewalk Paint! (AKA too hot to do anything else)

  It is so hot here! So hot! It's been in +100 this week a few times, which is nothing like +100 back in the southwest. Today DB wanted to get outside, and I don't blame him, we've been cooped up due to the temperature, but he's too little to understand that there's a temperature point where even the most modern of playgrounds become scalding hot torture devices. I knew that even if he could stand the oven of a car ride to an appropriate play area, he'd only be outside for about 20 minutes before he'd be too red and sweaty to have any more fun, so I had to brainstorm. Front yard? Too steep, a hill of doom, if you will. Back yard? Too many rats, and the neighbors throw rat poison around out there all willy nilly, DB's not even allowed back there. Front steps it is. Now how to make the boy not kill my pathetic little grouping of edible plants? Then DB solves the problem for me with his typical 19 month old attention span. The chant changes from "outside outside outside" to "paint paint paint!" Bingo. I google. Trusty google. "homemade sidewalk paint" turns up way more entries than I had even hoped for. And they're easy, eco-friendly, and cheap. All my favorite words. So we mixed some up and had a BLAST painting our porch, steps, and landing. The paint was "all gone" (there were a couple spills/crashes depending on your fluency in car-obsessed toddler terminology) in about 20 minutes, just as my beet-faced little boy was soaking his curls with sweat. Here's how we did it:

Homemade Sidewalk Paint

  • Cornstarch
  • Cold Water
  • Food Colors
  You want equal-ish parts of cornstarch and water. I found it easiest to mix the cornstarch and water in separate containers from the beginning as opposed to dividing it later. It tends to settle a bit no matter how freshly stirred it is, so this way they all have equal opacity. You can use more or less water to reach the consistency you want, ours was about like 2% cow's milk in appearance. The paint may seem very thin but that's fine, it may even look like you're hardly using a color at first, but it will brighten considerably as it dries and on a hot day like today it was drying very quickly. We went with about 2 Tbs. of cornstarch and 2-3 Tbs. of water per cup, and we did 4 cups of color. Add food color drops until it's the shade you want, I'd err on the side of a few more drops than you think you might need, the actual color of the dried paint will be more pastel than the shade of wet paint. DB picked Purple, Blue, Green, and Yellow. Take a variety of brushes out with you, and have fun! It can wash off with rain or you can spray it off later and it's fine for plants and animals and even tots, if they get some in their mouth. There is a possibility of staining, though our clothes didn't, so play in clothes meant to get dirty.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's a Jungle In Here! (a wild Madagascar tot picnic brought to you by Crowdtap)

If you've been following the blog, you've seen a few of the opportunities I've had to host parties, sample products, and provide feedback to brands through the brand interaction found on Crowdtap. Well last week was a really fun one as I got to host a Madagascar themed party to celebrate the theatrical release of Madagascar 3, which will be in theaters tomorrow!

We had a whirlwind week, but wanted to find some time to get a celebration in there anyway. I decided the best way would be a lunchtime picnic, indoors, with all the best tot-friendly healthy lunch choices I could muster up and an invitation to pot-luck in some of your own. We picked a Friday midday and I laid out the biggest quilt I had, rented Madagascar 1, and had some friends over!

DB's just starting to figure out what a movie "oovwee!" is,  so he was fairly excited to have a new one to watch. In typical tot fashion, no one watched the whole thing, but the whole thing did play, and bits and pieces entertained the youngsters as we hung out, enjoying good food and good company.

I made some Marty the Zebra themed cookies, low sugar and gluten free, and they were a hit with the tiny tots, as were all the berries and cheese, I expected to have some left over, but there was NONE! :) I myself ate more than my share of whole grain peanut butter and local jam sandwiches that an attendee brought with her, and the big batch of fresh popcorn with sea salt I popped up at the beginning of the picnic was completely gone by early afternoon. We had a great time and it was nice to have friends over, we usually always go out somewhere! If you'd like an opportunity to sample brands, host sponsored parties, and provide brand feedback, you can join me on Crowdtap by clicking here!