Legoland + Robotics With Cub Scouts

Monday was a teacher work day for our school district, so our Cub Scout den scheduled a field trip at Legoland. Our family was able to use our annual passes, so that was nice.

There were some Halloween decorations.  Now that it is November, I guess it is on to Christmas!

The weather was nice and overcast–perfect theme park weather!

n blowing a bubble and looking at the Star Wars displays.  k was able to hang out with a couple of Girl Scout siblings, so that was nice.

After lunch, there was a short robotics workshop called We Do 2.0.  n put together a Lego froglet on his own and used a computer program to make it move.

Junior Engineers!

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God’s Big Plans for Me Review {Giveaway} #RickWarren #FlyBy

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church here in Orange County, is well-known for his book “The Purpose Driven Life”.  Well, did you know that he has also written books for children?  One of them is a storybook Bible called God’s Big Plan for Me.  n has been reading this book before he goes to bed, which is a nice way to end his day.  Even though n is reading chapter books now, I think this picture book is still age-appropriate for him (he is eight years old).

The book is divided into forty days, or chapters.  Each day has a short introduction and a Bible story starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation.  At the end of each story, there are are three points: Think (teaching point); Remember (Bible verse); and Question (personal application).  It works as a self-read for older kids, and as a read-aloud for younger or older kids.

About God’s Great Love for You:

God’s Great Love for You, written by #1 New York Times bestselling author and respected pastor Rick Warren, takes children on a whimsical and heartfelt journey that lets them know God’s love is with them wherever they go. With breathtaking illustrations by Chris Saunders, the simple yet poignant text comes alive as a child journeys to places far and near and discovers God’s great love is perfect, and everywhere, and will never end.

Thanks to Propeller Consulting, I am pleased to be able to offer you a chance to win a copy of your own!

 

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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Happy Halloween From A Snowman + Jango Fett

Testing out my new camera that D gave me for my 40th birthday.  We went to our annual pizza party at the pool (thanks, Jeff Jones!) and went trick or treating around the neighborhood.  D went back a little early to watch the World Series.

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I wonder how many kids actually followed my instructions.  n wrote the numbers on the bowls for further guidance–haha!

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Sports Weekend

This past weekend was filled with sports.  k played in the VFW basketball tournament (two games Saturday, one game Sunday) and n had his regular LA Galaxy OC Saturday soccer game.  Although we felt busy, I know of other families with three kids playing in the tournament, so that could be like nine games, which is just insane.  I am also very fortunate to have my parents who are willing to take our kids where they need to be when there are overlaps.

It is fun watching our kids develop their skills and confidence in their respective sports.  Since now I actually have some memory for my phone, I have been trying to take more video.  To date, we have not had a good video of n scoring a goal.  I am so glad I was able to catch this one on video.  Be sure to turn on the audio for the full effect.

Yes, that is D at the very end: “FINISH IT!”

Last year, k’s team won the bronze division, so they were moved to silver.  They did not fare too well there, but I must say that k put in a good effort.  These are a couple of shots on her highlight reel from the weekend. 🙂

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Boye Pom Pom Party #tryazon #pompomparty

Here’s a question…does anyone know what this contraption is?

If you are a crafter, you may know the answer…the Boye Pom Pom Tassel Maker!  According to my daughter and her friends, pom poms are on trend.  I had never tried to make pom poms before, so I was curious to see how this maker works.

We followed the included instruction card and pom poms were created!

Pom pom garlands can be easily customized for different holidays by using different colors of yarn.

I think I should make a bunch of pom poms to have on hand as easy gift toppers!

I like how this pom pom maker allows you to make several sizes of pom poms, as well as tassels.  This would be a great gift for any crafter in your life, including yourself if you fit in that category!  Boye has provided a discount coupon code POMPOM15, which is redeemable through: http://www.simplicity.com/our-brands/boye/

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prAna Sustainable Clothing: Comfortable For Both Work + Play #MamaInprAna

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

I currently work at my kids’ school as a one-on-one special needs teacher’s aid.  Some of the perks of my job are having the same school schedule as my kids (I am home when they are home), and being able to walk to and from work.  I need to wear clothes that allow me to keep up with an active kindergartener throughout the school day.  These Mantra Pants from prAna Sustainable Clothing fit the bill.

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They are really soft and I like the tailored elastic waistband.  They are dressier than yoga pants, but are just as comfortable.  These pants will definitely be added as a staple to my work wardrobe once the weather finally cools down around here.

The color of these Mantra Pants is called Black Herringbone.  Here is a close-up since you cannot really see the detail of the fabric in the other picture.

The other piece I chose was the Rockaway Jacket in Gravel.  Although this jacket has many other appropriate uses, I think it is the perfect “soccer mom” jacket.

This is where you will find me on Saturday mornings in the fall–cheering on my son at his soccer games!

I really like the stitch details of this jacket, and you can see and feel prAna’s high quality standards.  Again, it is definitely an activewear piece, but it feels more stylish than throwing on a regular hoodie.

I have started to see prAna in more stores, such as REI.  It is also a local company, as its headquarters are in Carlsbad, California.  According to prAna, it is a “sustainable” clothing company because they seek out materials from sustainable sources, their people are treated fairly, and their processes improve their industry.

If you are interested in trying out prAna clothing yourself, use code  MMLLF17 for 15% off your entire order at prana.com. The only items excluded are sale items. This code can be used an unlimited amount of times.  Valid October 17, 2017-November 17, 2017.

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Fish Family Night @ Five Point Amphitheatre

When Irvine Meadows shut down last year, it was questionable whether FishFest would stay in Orange County.  They ended up holding a concert at the Honda Center, but we did not attend.  However, when I heard they were having a Fish Family Night at the newly opened Five Point Amphitheatre at the Great Park in Irvine, I bought tickets.  I was curious about the venue, AND Jeremy Camp was headlining, so that sealed the deal.

Friday night is not an ideal time for a concert.  D had to stay at work a little late, so he ended up just meeting us at our seats.  Good thing the parking was FREE!  (I am sure this policy will not last long).  We ran into a family from k’s basketball team so we hung out with them for a bit before the concert.  The mom had to return to her car because blankets were not allowed, so take note.  They did allow everyone to have a gallon ziploc bag with food and water, however.

We were in the back section all the way to the right of the stage.

This was only the second concert held at the amphitheatre.  D says it is a temporary structure.  Well, my main complaint is the lack of leg room.  As you can see, we were quite cramped.  If anyone in your row needed to leave, everyone had to stand up, and some people had to exit the row to let others pass.  Also, because of the way the seats were connected, I could feel the constant jostling of the kids a few seats down from me.  In was pretty bad, to the point where I felt some motion sickness!

The lineup was:

Royce Lovett–I had never heard of this artist.  His music had some rap in it, reminiscent of Toby Mac.  I felt kind of bad for him because the amphitheatre was quite sparse when he started his set.  However, everyone needs to get their start somewhere, right?

Micah Tyler–I was looking forward to “Never Been a Moment”, one of my favorite songs currently being played on the Fish.

We Are Messengers–Never even realized that this band is Irish until I heard the lead singer talk.  It is funny how people’s singing voices are different than their talking voices.

Big Daddy Weave–I always forget which songs Big Daddy Weave sings, but they have some good ones.

Jeremy Camp–My all time favorite Christian music artist.  Yes, I even read his autobiography.  He has quite a story to tell, and his performances are always dynamic.

n was pretty much asleep by the end.  We left before Jeremy Camp’s last song, so exiting was not a problem once we found our car (there were no parking lot signs!)  I am glad that 95.9 the Fish has found another home, at least for now.

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ShiftCon Coming to Irvine, California!

This will be my first conference that I am attending as a blogger/influencer, and I am so excited!  For those of you wondering what ShiftCon is, I will quote directly from their website:

ShiftCon is an eco-wellness influencer conference focusing on food, wellness, health, sustainability and platform growth. Shifters are part of an online influencer community that seek healthier and more sustainable lives, promote brands that mirror their values, and help causes that speak to their soul. 

What I think is great about ShiftCon’s vision is that they embrace everyone on the green spectrum, not just hard-core crunchy granola types (and I use that description admiringly).  I would consider myself light-medium green on the spectrum, but I am seeking to take steps in a more green direction.

What does one do at an eco-wellness conference?  ShiftCon features various speakers, including keynote speaker Ed Begley, Jr.  (St. Elsewhere, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind).  I am especially looking forward to the workshops which address topics such as the food movement, wellness, science, social media and legislation.  For bloggers, there is an extra day of workshops dedicated to upping their blogging game.  There will also be an expo where attendees can make connections with over forty companies dedicated to transparency, health, and eco-friendly values.  I cannot wait to learn about their products and take home some samples.  If you know me, you know how I love samples and sharing samples with others!  Attendees also receive a swag bag full of goodies that looks amazing judging from the pictures I have seen from past conferences.

ShiftCon is an annual national event, and their last conference was in New Orleans.  I feel so lucky to have discovered ShiftCon just before it is scheduled to take place in Irvine, California, right in my neck of the woods.  As a local, I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to help volunteer at this conference and attend as a blogger.  I encourage my fellow Orange County bloggers to check out this conference, as well as those who live farther away.  There is a lot to see and do in Orange County–make it a fun getaway!  Registration information can be found here.  I hope to see you February 1-3, 2018!

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Trying Unreal Chocolate With Tryazon #getunreal

With Halloween just around the corner, we can expect an influx of candy into our house.  Recently I had the opportunity to try and share chocolate candy made by a company that is on a mission to remove some of the “junk” in the candy made by the brands we are more familiar with.  The name of the company is Unreal, and they have created a line of chocolate without partially hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, GMOs, or chemical preservatives.

Some of the candy is individually wrapped, and some is loose in a resealable bag.

I created a sample tray for the Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems.  As you can see, the colors are more muted and natural than other candies.  This is because Unreal uses natural juices of carrots, beets, cabbages and more, instead of artificial dyes.  I personally found the colors sophisticated and appealing.  I know that kids find brighter colors more attractive, but I think it is just a matter of re-training their thinking as to how the not-found-in-nature colors are not the healthiest to consume.  I was really curious about the quinoa and chocolate combination.  I liked the crunchy texture, and the kids liked it too!

For the individually wrapped candy, I made little Halloween-themed treat bags.  We were able to sample the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Crispy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and Milk Chocolate Gems.  I liked that the peanut ingredients tasted fresh and like “real” peanuts.

No one in our group had heard of Unreal chocolate before.  It was fun to “share good” with this brand that is “made good”.

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A New Decade

D and I both celebrated birthdays last month, so I have now officially joined him in the 40’s club.

I had two Knott’s Berry Farm tickets that needed to be used before the end of the year, so we made it a birthday celebration and went last weekend.

Charlie Brown in a Frankenstein costume greeted us while we waited for the gates to open.  k did not want to jump in for the photo opp–oh no, say it isn’t so!

Although fall is my favorite season, I am not too much into Halloween decor.  Ghost Town had some creepy setups, but there were also trick or treat stations, so that was fun for the kids.

With n being over 48 inches now, a whole new range of rides became available to us.  We rode Ghost Rider, Pony Express, Big Foot Rapids and Jaguar for the first time with the kids.  In addition we went on Voyage of the Iron Reef, Coast Rider, Log Ride, Mine Ride, and Sidewinder.  We tried to convince the kids to go on Montezuma’s Revenge, but they were not having it.  I think they did not like the idea of going upside down.  Next time!

We were able to practically walk on almost all of the rides except for the last one, Sidewinder (35 minute wait-time).  We were ready to go home by noon!

On our way out of the park we stopped at the onsite Starbucks to try the Boysenberry Frappuccino.  It did not have coffee like I thought, so the kids had some.  It was more like an icy boysenberry smoothie.

Now that Porto’s is in Buena Park, it is a must stop if we are in the area.  Lines were long, but not out the door.

This was my first time trying the Citrus Chicken Plate.  This was SO good, and I would highly recommend it.  The combination of flavors was spot on (I have been watching too much MasterChef with the kids!).

We brought our dessert home.  Chocolate eclair for the kids and a special seasonal pumpkin eclair for me.

D chose the cappuccino mousse–yum!

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