Wednesday, September 30, 2015

But First. Let Me Start a Shelfie! #StreamTeam

Now that the kids are back in school, you have tons of free time, right?!


If you're anything like me, you still have to steal some of your own moments of alone time.  Some of my favorite moments are after the kids have gone to bed, the dishwasher is running, and the house is shutting down for the night.  Sometimes I curl up in my bed and sometimes I spend some more time in the family room. Netflix is usually a part of my nighttime wind down.  

Those moments I get by myself are the perfect time to check out my shelfies!  What's a shelfie, you ask?  You know, those shows you've wanted to watch, but haven't had time, missed it when it aired, or catch those you may have not otherwise have heard even heard of.  One of the things I love about Netflix is that I can check them out snuggled up at home on my own time.

I have a list of shows I keep on the shelf. Here's my top three:

I'm not quite sure why I never watched this when it started airing. Maybe too many other shows I was into or not enough time, but it's always been a show I've wanted to watch. I'm grateful to be able to start at the beginning on Netflix and watch at my own pace  binge on this one!

Sometimes I like a gritty show that's not "me."  This is one of those shows on my shelfie list. Sons of Anarchy was one of those and I ended up loving it! My husband loved this show and is willing to watch it all again with me which is nice so I can still go ahead without him missing out! Thanks, Netflix for affording me the opportunity to watch something there's no way I'd otherwise watch! 

This is one of those shows I've always wanted to watch, but just never did.  I'm looking forward to finally getting caught up! I've heard great things about this show and it's always piqued my interest. So glad Netflix helps me tune in!

I'm not exactly sure which one I'm going to start first, but with 2 out of 3 emotional shows on my shelfie list, I'm guessing you'll find me with some tissues.

What's on your shelfie list?

Netflix also has some suggestions for those shelfies you may be holding out on of some great Fall shows you can get caught up on with Netflix!  I did this last Fall with Scandal and The Blacklist! Two FANTASTIC shows!  Netflix has so much to offer!  

Once Upon A Time
Once Upon a Time
Gotham: Season 1 
The Walking Dead
Walking Dead
The Blacklist: Season 1-2

The League: Season 6
The League
Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.

Friday, September 25, 2015

At Home with Go!Go! Smart Friends & Violet

Since Lily has started school, Violet has been playing more on her own (obviously) which has been fun to watch her imagination grow.  She tends to gravitate towards playing with toys where she can mimic the world around her.  We recently received the Vtech Go! Go! Smart Busy Sounds Discovery Home and she is in heaven!  

·         Explore the Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home with Miss Norah!
·         The interactive house features seven MagicPoint™ locations that encourage imaginative play and emphasize cause and effect relationships.
·         Simply place Miss Norah on one of the MagicPoint locations to experience her friendly personality, motion, lights and more.
·         Put Miss Norah in the elevator and watch as the elevator magically moves up and down.
·         Activate the MagicChat™ feature in the playroom, and hear Miss Norah and other MagicPoint characters (sold separately) chat and sing with each other.
·          Miss Norah also responds to other MagicPoint locations on Go! Go! Smart Friends accessories and playsets (each sold separately).
·         Press Miss Norah's light-up button, and she will come to life by introducing herself, sharing the things she likes to do and singing two sing-along songs. It's playtime where friendship leads to learning!

Even while I was putting the house together, she was playing along with the "yard." She had the puppy and Miss Norah on the swing and the slide saying "Wheeeeeeee!"

I love hearing Violet talking, pretending she's washing her hands when Miss Norah says to remember to wash your hands.  This has consistently become her "go to" toy!  With her 2nd birthday coming up soon, it's easy to figure out that getting her some other MagicPoint characters will be the way to go! She loves the puppy as much as she loves Miss Norah and of course, the puppy doesn't talk. :)

From the mom perspective... pulling a lot of pieces out of the box, I initially thought that it would be a daunting assembly! Boy, was I pleasantly surprised when it was very simple! The directions were easy to follow and even though Violet was trying to play with it while I was assembling, it still took no time at all and no difficulty.  Yay!

This interactive toy is perfect for my busy toddler!

She LOVES the elevator!  "Up! Down, Mama!"

This is our first Go! Go! Smart Friends toy and we love it so much, we will be adding to it!  Plus you can even connect some of the other Go! Go! Smart Friends toys together!!

Thanks so much for the opportunity, VTech!

For one lucky reader, VTech is helping me give away your very own  Go!Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home! 

Contest will run from today until 11:59pm on 10/4/15.  Winner will be notified by email  and will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find more information on VTech toys:
·         VTech website
·         VTech Twitter
·         VTech Facebook
*Disclosure: The VTech product, information, and giveaway have been provided by VTech. Please see my full disclosure.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Touch A Truck & A Band Festival

One of the my favorite parts of being in Pittsburgh is the amount of activities available to families. We try to keep a balance of the commitments of our or our kids' activities and community events as well.  We've been fortunate to find so much to do that reaches our family make up of a teen all the way down to a toddler! This weekend is no exception!

This Saturday, there is a  FREE Touch-A-Truck event from 12-4pm on California Avenue in Avalon (15202).   There's a special "quiet hour" (12-1) for those who don't like all the noise too! Great for families who have little kids or special needs!

There will be local police, fire, and public works vehicles, buses, a replica "Back to the Future" DeLorean, ambulances and rescue vehicle, a Hazmat vehicle, construction vehicles, a vehicle from the Animal Rescue League, an accessible van and more! The Pitt Mobile Science Lab will conduct forensic science experiments with kids of all ages.

Also, there will  be a big book sale with prices starting at just 25 cents! Vendors, concessions and baked goods for sale, and free games will be available.  You can bid on raffle baskets featuring themes like truck toys, Halloween goodies (including Fright Night tickets from Kennywood), board games, Avon products and Minions toys! You can join the Facebook event here:
The Friends of Avalon Public Library is proud to support the Avalon Public Library.

After your afternoon, you can fill your evening with the sounds of local marching bands at the

  55th annual North Hills Marching Band Festival!

This is a special year where the alumni band will also be performing!  

Tickets are $6 for everyone above 5 years old. 5 and under are free!  There will be tons of amazing concessions, baked goods, and marching band merchandise available for sale!  Come out and support young musicians in our community!!  This is our biggest fundraiser which helps support all instrumental music in our school--not just the marching band!

Of course, it doesn't hurt that my son will be there performing and this proud mama will be cheering him on!

If you see us, be sure to say hi! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Getting Inventive

Late August and early September mean one thing in our house...back to school.

With 3 of 4 kids in school this year, I've found myself thinking of inventive ways to stay busy during the day because let's face it, I'm really missing my kindergartener this year.  I've had 10+ years to get used to my son being gone all day and my stepdaughter has been with us for mostly school time for the last 4 or 5 years.  I'm nearing the end of one child's school career and one hasn't even begun yet. It's pretty surreal!  Being a 42 year old mom of a sophomore in high school, I find myself being "the younger mom" while at the same time being "the older mom" with my 22 month old.

With all these kids in school, I find myself overwhelmed with paperwork all. the. time. Buried under it.  How to keep it organized?  Ordinary paperclips don't cut it.  But if you #RecycleYourPeriodPad , you've got an easy way to keep groups of papers together neatly!

5 or 6 people in the bathroom getting ready for school and work frequently leads to a lot of water splashed all over the sink and the mirror.  How to keep up with easy cleaning?  #RecycleYourPeriodPad, of course.  They're absorbent and effective!

Now that you've learned about some of my creative ways to deal with back to school, let's get real. Sometimes when you're sneezing, laughing, coughing, you find yourself dealing with a little LBL.

What exactly is LBL? - 1 in 3 women experience Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) – little leaks that can be triggered by everyday occurrences like coughing, sneezing, laughing and exercise. -Weak pelvic floor muscles, pregnancy, childbirth and weight gain are just a few LBL contributors.

Women deserve the best options for managing LBL so Poise brand has introduced new Poise Thin-Shape pads, which are up to 40% thinner than original Poise brand pads and are made specifically for bladder leaks with the trusted absorbency of Poise brand.

Do you need those bulky period pads to help protect your LBL?  Who wants to wear something so heavy for something so light? Not me! That's no fun at all.  Poise and their new Thin-Shape Pads:

If you are the 1 in 3 women with light bladder leakage and are ready to ditch the period pads be sure to visit the Poise site where you can get a free sample!  Once you give Poise a try, you'll totally be ready to #RecycleYourPeriodPad!    Click on the picture below to get your free sample!
Poise® free samples; Get a Poise® free sample kit today

Poise Pad Sample Kit

Enjoy an ideal balance of comfort and protection:
  • 1 Poise Thin-Shape Moderate Pad
  • 1 Poise Maximum Pad

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Smart is Cool! #StreamTeam

I mentioned in my last Netflix #StreamTeam post that I wanted to share the fun experiments the girls were doing with the Project Mc2 goodies we received.

Lily has been over the moon excited about all of this and it's been fun to watch her and listen to her hypothesize what she thinks will happen and then discuss what actually happened and why.  My sweet little scientist! Though, don't call her that because she's quite emphatically tell you, "I'm just Lily!"  Oh, girl there is nothing "just" about you. ♥

Lily and Reagan love to go fishing. So they decided that the "ice fishing" experiment was the first order of business.

Lily's first job was to get the ice while Reagan got the water ready.

 Next up! Time for the required tools to be put to use--water, ice, salt, string.

Oh no!!!  We didn't catch any ice cubes! 

We talked about why they didn't "catch" any ice cubes and what Lily thought.  I was impressed she said they needed to try more salt!  So they added more salt and tried again...

Yay! It worked!

They recorded their observations in the notebook and got ready for the next experiment! 

The next experiment was Lily's favorite!  It involved g-l-i-t-t-e-r!  They made glitter tornadoes using water, dish soap, glitter, and then added food coloring too.  They talked about what they thought would happen if they shook up the test tube versus swirling it and again wrote down their guesses and observations in their notebook. 

Thanks, Netflix for allowing me to be part of the #StreamTeam and for encouraging my kids to get excited about learning, creating, thinking!   

We still have a couple more experiments to complete! And cannot wait! 

Oh! And just so she didn't get left out, Violet decided she wanted to participate in the glitter experiment as well...

A photo posted by Stephanie (@littlepunkyandpumpkinpies) on