}

SoCozy Non Toxic Hair Care Products for Kids

Big thanks to Beautystat for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. You can find SoCozy products at Target and check out SoCozy Stylers and #SoCozyAtTarget

Non Toxic Kids Shampoo

i wanted to introduce you to a great brand of kids hair products by SoCozy. all of my boys have long hair, so we go through a lot of hair products in our home. the great thing about SoCozy products are that they are non-toxic and made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol, gluten, wheat or nuts. that’s right, they are gluten-free and nut-free, so they are even safe for kids with gluten and nut allergies. using products on my kids that are non-toxic has become more and more important to me, and i am excited to find these SoCozy products at my Target.

first up is the SoCozy 3 in 1 Shampoo • Conditioner • Detangler, SoCozy’s combination shampoo, conditioner and body wash for kids that has three steps cleverly squeezed into one. it’s made with plant extracts and hydrating proteins gently cleanse and condition hair and special body cleansers scrub away the dirt and debris from the day, and is tear-free and non-irritating. best of all, it smells so good…like Mangos. 

Target Non Toxic Kids Shampoo

and also the additional SoCozy Conditioner. my boys MUST USE extra conditioner with their long hair or else it gets dry and unmanageable. i also love how it leaves their hair soft and shiny.So Cozy Best Kids Shampoo

and how many of you have received THE NOTE. you know…the one notifying you that someone in your child’s school class was just sent home with lice!!! and now you need to be on the watch for in your own kid’s hair. yeah, that note.

my boys are freaked out about lice. the older two have unfortunately gotten it before, and it was NO FUN AT ALL.  so we are really excited about the SoCozy Boo! Lice Prevention Products. they have been clinically proven to repel away lice naturally. by using this fresh scented lice prevention shampoo, the little buggers will want nothing to do with you. this makes my boys REALLY HAPPY.So Cozy Best Kids Natural Lice Prevention Non Toxic Boo! Lice Prevention Shampoo and Boo! Lice Prevention Spray are infused with tea tree oil, a natural and powerful lice repellent, that also leave hair soft and silky. they are both safe and gentle enough for everyday use and made with non-toxic ingredients. a fright for lice, a big relief for you. So Cozy Boo Best Kids Lice Prevention Shampoo

and lastly, SoCozy has a great Detangler + Leave-in Conditioner. boys with long hair get tangles just like girls with long hair do. all of my boys need to use is, and the SoCozy Detangler had a Tutti Fruity smell that kids love.

So Cozy Best Kids Hair Detangler

using the SoCozy Detangler along with a special detangling brush (you can find them everywhere), we have cut whining and crying from tangles down to almost none.
Best Products for Boys with Long HairProducts for Boys with Long HairNon Toxic Kids Hair Detanglerwe are loving these gray products over here, and the boys hair looks great. we are so happy to partner with a brand that has such great values.

So Smart – knowledge is power, which is why education is the pulse of the SoCozy brand. advice, solutions, tips, trends – they serve as an extensive resource for moms, kids, stylists and salon owners.

So Safe – no nasties in here; just good, clean, honest formulations with ingredients that perform at the highest level. Safe and effective – and completely non-toxic – it’s great hair minus the harsh chemicals.

So Easy – because being a parent isn’t always easy, SoCozy makes haircare simple, fun, multi-functional products that streamline tub time, as well as solutions targeting specific hair concerns to make styling a snap.

So Cool – through their products, website, social channels and unique collaborations, SoCozy encourages and supports individuality. all kids, any hair type – SoCozy makes it their mission to build confidence and inspire originality. being you is their idea of cool. be sure to check out SoCozy Stylers, a free rewards program that rewards customers for social sharing.

your Target store should be stocked with SoCozy products! look for SoCozy in the “Hair Essentials” aisle near the Women’s Hair Care products. the were high up on the shelves at my Target.

Target Non Toxic Kids Hair Products

My Thoughts on Getting a More Restful Nights Sleep

Tracking PixelFebreze and ZzzQuil Best Sleep Solutionsthanks to my partnership with P&G’s Try it & Love it program, i’m finally feeling more rested these days! this post wraps up my thoughts on the Febreze and ZzzQuil #SleepSoundly program that i have been working on throughout the past couple months. i have shared some of my personal sleep tips, how i’ve used the Febreze Sleep Serenity Bedroom Mist Collection to create a more soothing sleep environment, and have learned some of the benefits of sleeping. i have put forth the effort into the necessary steps i needed to make to help myself sleep better….and have SUCCEEDED!

Febreze and ZzzQuil Sleep Solutions

Spring has sprung, and there are more hours in the day now, so i am going to need all this new energy i have. my kids sports practices will go later, they will want to stay outside and play later, and my hubby will work later. that means dinner and homework will go later. all this take energy especially during those final moments of getting the kiddies into bed. and then there is always those dreaded Sunday nights.

did i mention that Sunday is often the night of the week Americans find it most difficult to fall asleep. whether it’s stress from work or family, we find ourselves restless and sleepless. a recent survey from Febreze and ZzzQuil revealed, of Americans who struggle to fall asleep more on Sunday night, 68% attribute this to upcoming stresses including the work or school week, job or general.

DeVriesZzzQuil-Febreze-Sleep-11march-2015

i plan on continuing my new sleep regime so that i continue getting the most benefits from the time i spend sleeping. i am very happy that i have the option of using products from the Febreze Sleep Serenity Bedroom Mist collection such as the Moonlit Lavender and Warm Milk & Honey scents.  and ZzzQuil, i’ve only needed to use it a few times on those especially hard-to-get-sleep nights where i worked late into the night on my computer, but i am going to keep it on hand because it worked nicely. this non-habit-forming sleep-aid, helped me get the zzzzzz’s i needed. the most important question i had before i used it was: would i wake up feeling refreshed, or would i be groggy and barely able to take care if my kids the next day? luckily, it worked great, and the next day i was definitely more refreshed…something a mom like me can be grateful for. Bonus! here’s a $1 off coupon if you would like to try ZzzQuil.

learning about my personal sleep habits and figuring out ways to get the sleep i needed has been great in getting myself back on track in my life. it is the perfect way to wrap of the month of March and head into Spring. hopefully all this new energy i have will be put to good use in my Spring cleaning…because my house needs it and i’m excited to get a move on. happy Spring!!!!

sleep tips

{ This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of P&G’s Try it & Love it Program.

 

The Death Star Has Come to Legoland Miniland

Legoland Fun

in a Legoland, not too far away, an exciting new feature has come to stay. Star Wars Miniland has been expanded with the new LEGO Star Wars Death Star exhibit, and we had to check it out at the big reveal. so exciting.

the new Death Star exhibit is located within Star Wars Miniland. if you are a Star Wars fan and haven’t been to Star Wars Miniland, i highly suggest visiting. it is a truly amazing experience. the detail put into the Star Wars scenes is spectacular, it’s hard to believe they are made of LEGO.Legoland Star Wars Minilandthe boys tried to wait patiently, awaiting the reveal….

Legoland Death Star Reveal

and waited anxiously as we learned that the new LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star would be over 8-feet wide, 13-feet high, weigh more than 1900 pounds and would feature a planet-destroying super laser. it is made out of more than 500,000 LEGO bricks and includes a display of the famous trench run scene where Luke Skywalker maneuvered his X-wing fighter through the combat zone to destroy the Death Star.

Legoland Death Star Annoucement and Revealafter the announcement was made, the Stormtroopers made there way to the scene to help with the big reveal.Legoland Miniland Death Star Revealwe couldn’t wait to see what was behind the curtain.
Legoland Death Star Annoucement Reveal

and then it was revealed and we saw it…the amazing LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star!!!!

Legoland Death Star Reveal Ceremony

the LEGO Death Star was massive and sooooo cool.Legoland Miniland Death Star

is was designed from the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and it includes six animated Turbo Laser Turrets and LEGO starship models built out of more than 20,000 LEGO bricks.Legoland Death Star Made of Legos

nestled amongst the exhibit are displays of iconic Star Wars Movie scenes…of course built of legos.

Legoland Death Star Miniland Features

Legoland Miniland Features

adjacent to the LEGO Death Star, guests are invited to use their imaginations to construct their own LEGO starships at building stations while X-Wings, TIE Fighters and Y-Wings circle overhead. i love seeing my boys get creative, and Legoland is definitely the place to do it.Legoland Star Wars AreaLegoland Star Wars Miniland Kids Building Funwe ended the evening hanging out with our favorite pals….

Stormtroopers.
Legoland Star Wars Land

Legoland Star Wars Selfie R2D2.
Legoland Star Wars Miniland R2D2and Darth Vader. we can definitely say that the new LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star is AWESOME, and we can’t wait to go back and visit again.
Legoland Death Star

My Visit to Orchard Supply Hardware: My Neighborhood Hardware Store

Orchard Supply Hardware Orange County

when i was younger, i remember going to Orchard Supply Hardware with my parents, back then it was known as OSH.  but since then, i don’t remember ever going to an Orchard Supply Hardware. so when they invited me to come tour their store, i was very interested to see what sets Orchard apart from other hardware centers.

Orchard Supply Hardware neighborhood hardware and garden stores focus on paint, repair and the backyard. you won’t find major contractor supplies or full-on building supplies there. Orchard is more of your neighborhood home improvement center where you’ll find supplies for small renovations, gardening, painting, and home improvements. i guess you could say that Orchard is the Trader Joes of hardware stores. when you are in the store, you don’t feel overwhelmed like you can in the large super centers. the store is easy to navigate with color coded signs, and the Retail Design Institute recently named the updated store design as the First Place award winner in their International Large Store Format Design category for 2014. plus Orchard has some great merchandise, even boutique-like items that add charm and uniqueness to you home improvement projects.

the Nursery is a major section of Orchard. you will find outdoor and indoor plants and everything you need to garden. i especially can appreciate this area since i garden on a regular basis.

Orchard Hardware Garden Supply

Orchard Hardware Supply NurseryOrchard Hardware Supply

Orchard Hardware Supply Bird Houses
Orchard Supply Hardware Bird Feedersif you are into grilling or outdoor entertaining, you will find a great selection of grills and barbecues, grilling supplies as well as patio sets, lighting, gazebos, patio accessories and outdoor seating.Orchard Hardware Supply Grills

Orchard Hardware Supply Grilling Wood ChipsOrchard Supply Hardware Camping

if you are looking for paint, Orchard has you covered. they sell Benjamin Moore brand paint and all the supplies you will need for your painting projects from brushes, to drop cloths to interior stains and top-coats.
Orchard Hardware Supply Dunn Edwards PaintOrchard Hardware Supply PaintOrchard Hardware Supply Paint Brushesyou won’t find major appliances at Orchard, but you will find smaller electrical tools like lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, power tools, saws, drills and other hand tools.Orchard Supply Hardwareyou will also find a unique selection of decorative items for your home improvement projects such as drawer knobs and pulls, faucets, light fixtures and even outdoor irrigation.Orchard Supply Hardware Drawer Pulls Orchard Supply Hardware Faucets my favorite section had to be the home goods area. you will find all sorts of stylish kitchen items and gadgets, and even decor.Orchard Supply Hardware Kitchen GadgetsOrchard Hardware Supply Kitchen Wareif you are looking for storage solutions or mason jar and canning supplies, you can find it at Orchard; closet organizations, garage storage and cleaning supplies.Orchard Hardware Supply Mason Jars Laundry Basketsi was very surprised to that Orchard also has a great selection of work clothes, and emergency preparedness items  from brands you trust such as Dickies and Ready America.
Orchard Supply Hardware Dickies Work ClothesOrchard Supply Hardware Work Clothes Orchard Hardware Supply Knives Emergency Preparenessall Orchard stores feature OSH’s signature “Workbench,” an expanded customer support area for basic maintenance needs, such as knife sharpening, lock re-keying and rescreening. this makes you feel right at home when you drop in for those special services.

Orchard Hardware Supply Keys Madei really loved getting to know more about Orchard Supply Hardware and the personal on homey feel it had. i look forward to visiting it for my next home improvement projects. i am especially intrigued by the unique products and supplies they carry that i haven’t been able to find at some of the larger home improvement centers. they give my projects that special charm and the results i look for.

OSH currently operates 72 stores in California and three stores in Oregon with stores averaging approximately 32,000-square-feet of interior selling space and 8,000-square-feet of exterior nursery and garden space. i am excited that Orchard is in the process of expanding their stores to more areas, and this weekend have just opened stores in Irvine, Cerritos and Woodland Hills.

Fun Feature in OC Family and Orange County Register

confessions of the real meConfessions of the Real Me. just a series on my blog where i share the not so perfect bits and pieces of my life. because in reality…our lives are not always the perfect pictures that we share on social media channels. i know mine isn’t….but i’ll take it.

We’ve Been Featured in OC Family Magazine and the Orange County Register

last week i started getting texts and emails from friends and family that they had seen us in OC Family Magazine and the Orange County Register, a major SoCal newspaper. it had been a while since i did the interview, so i had forgotten all about it. when the calls started coming in with our friends telling us they saw us, we were excited.  i knew that we were going to be in the magazine, but not the newspaper, double cool!

Jill Parkin_Popsicleblog_Best of OC Mom Blog

thanks to a few friends and one of my readers, we were able to get our hands on a few copies of the newspaper and the OC Family magazine. it was pretty fun to see it printed in real life, and the boys especially thought it was awesome. here is their proud moment.

the interview in the magazine and the paper was about myself and how i juggle family life, as well as a full-time job. actually two jobs. if you didn’t know already, i am a freelance graphic and invitation designer. blogging has now also become a full time job. i didn’t plan it that way, but i love writing. i especially love sharing fun things to do and encouraging families to get out and explore their communities and beyond. i am still in disbelief that i actually made it happen, and thanks to hard work, persistence, my readers and the PopsicleBlog community, i get to do what i love. so thank you for that. it moments like these, comments and letters from readers, smiles on the kiddies faces and unforgettable memories that make what i do all worth it.

thank you!

Hello Spring: Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

with this being the first day of Spring, i thought it would be appropriate to share Vann’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” 2nd birthday party. i am not sure why i never shared it before, but then i was cleaning up my digital photos and found the photos. i decided i would share them the next time i had the chance. so today’s the day.

i dreamed of having a “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” party for Vann when he was just a newborn, but when he was turning one year old, our home was flooded and we were forced to live in a hotel for 5 months. i was so disappointed that we had to cancel his party. however, when his second birthday rolled around, since i had already boughten a lot of the decorations, i decided to have the party when he turned two.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

since Vann’s birthday falls during springtime and the Hungry Caterpillar lives in the garden, i made the party garden themed. a pair of rain boots and a cute sign i designed greeted guests when they arrived at the party.

The Hungry Caterpillar Party

i also made a collage of photos of my boy and some party ware for the guests to wear.Vann Parkin Birthday PartyThe Hungry Caterpillar Party Ideasfor the girls, i made these caterpillar headbands by glueing pom pons to a fabric headband with hot glue. i used paint dabs for the eyes, and pieces of ribbon for the antenna.Hungry Caterpillar Headbands
i also made party hats for whoever else wanted to wear them and glued the same pom pom caterpillars to them. i absolutely love how they turned out, and they were pretty easy to make too.

The Hungry Caterpillar Party Hats
for the outside, i just put three long tables together and covered them with a white table cloth. i rented white chairs for pretty cheap…this was a necessity, because i needed all the seating i could get. i also attached a balloon to each of the chairs to achieve the look i wanted.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party1 going down the center of the long table, i used potted plants lined up on colorful round placemats. inside each plant, i put a cardstock circle with a sentence from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story and an illustration printed on it.

The Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party Decorations

i just love how it turned out!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

i guess i didn’t take any photos of the food, i can seem to find them. but at the party we served brunch, including cereal served in colorful bowls, ham and egg cups, muffins, salad, fruit and fresh squeezed juices. if you are looking for an easy party menu, this is it. brunch foods are so easy to prep.

my most favorite part of the party were these Hungry Caterpillar Push Cakes® made by Meringue Bake Shop. they were actually the first idea i had when i decided that i wanted to have a Hungry Caterpillar party. when i told Kristin of my vision, she helped figure out how to make them and then these Hungry Caterpillar Push Cakes® were born.
Hungry Caterpillar Push Cakesnot only are these little guys cute, they are also YUMMY.  Meringue Bake Shop makes the best Push Cakes®, which is no surprise, as she is the original creator of push-up cakes. yep, she started the craze.Orange County Push Cakes
for the activity at the party, i bought plants, flowers and terra cotta pots, which the children could paint and plant a flower in. hungry caterpillar party

this is a great activity for all ages, even the adults had a great time painting the pots. and they also made a nice party favor for guests to take home.

Birthday Garden Party Ideas

Kids Garden Party Ideasall the paint got a little messy, but the kids loved it, and i am pretty sure the other parents were glad that their kids were making that mess at my house and not theirs.Garden Party IdeasBirthday Garden Party Game Ideas

we ended the birthday party singing “Happy Birthday” and cracking into Vann’s birthday Whacky Cake, also made by Meringue Bake Shop.

Smash Cake Wacky Cakeif you have never heard of a Whacky Cake, then i must tell you what it is. a Whacky Cake is a cake that has a hard candy shell. when it is time to serve the cake, the guest of horn gets to WHACK the cake with a hammer.

Orange County Smash Cake BakeryMeringue Bakeshop Wacky Cake

when the cake is whacked, the candy shell breaks, and guests get a candy surprise. yep, the cake is filled with candy!Wacky Cakelittle hands and big hands will be reaching for the treats inside the Whacky Cake. it is not just a birthday cake, it is a birthday cake experience that is so much fun! it was there perfect way to end Vann’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”birthday party.Candy Filled Cake

this little garden party may have been simple, it may have been a year late, but it ended up being the perfect way to celebrate Spring and my little man Vann. i can’t believe that it has already been 3 years since this party, and that he will be turning 5 in just over a month. where does time go?The Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Crayola Color ALIVE Coloring Books are Awesome

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Crayola.iPad Coloring Books 4Dit’s seems like it’s always hard to find toys and art supplies that are new and exciting for the boys. my house is full of crayons, old coloring books and rarely played with board games…it would be nice if they played them more often and longer. when we received the new Crayola Color Alive Coloring books, i had no idea what to expect. was there going to be something special about them that would make the kids love them more than the usual coloring books? at first they looked like any average coloring book, but they were so much more, and the boys were in for a big treat.

Best Original Crayons

Crayola Color Alive Coloring books take drawings off the pages of a coloring book and into places limited only by a child’s imagination, fusing real-world creativity with digital interactivity. currently, they are available in four coloring books: Skylanders™, Barbie™, Enchanted Garden™ and Mythical Creatures™, each book containing 16 coloring pages, each featuring a unique character and animation, and comes with seven crayons, including one Magic Crayon.

Crayola Color Alive Books 4D 1

brand new coloring books are the best. flipping through the uncolored pages for the first time and picking which one you will color first is part of the fun. but knowing these are action pages, and that what you color will come to life is even more exciting. with Crayola Color Alive, children can color dragons and then watch them take flight, breathing fire into their stories and anywhere else their imagination takes them. it’s a 4D experience. my boys couldn’t wait to get started.

Crayola Coloring Books 4D app

Toddler iPad AppCrayola Color Alive 4D Experience

iPad Crayola Coloring Books 4D after the boys were done coloring their pictures, the boys were able to bring their coloring to life. by downloading the free Crayola Color Alive app to iOS, Android or Windows device or searching for Crayola Color Alive in the App Store, Google Play, or Windows, you unlock a virtual coloring effect. Crayola has changed coloring forever.

bringing your picture to life is as easy as focusing your device on you coloring page. this is when the magic happens.iPad Crayola Coloring Books your drawing comes to life right before your eyes!iPad Crayola Coloring Book Appeach coloring book set comes with a magic effect crayon. by using the magic effect crayon, magical things happen to your coloring, just scan the Magic Crayon with the Color Alive app to unlock a virtual coloring effect

Crayola Crayons New ColorsCrayola New Colorslike… such as Fire-Breath and Pixie Dust!  plus you can also interact with and take photos of your virtual character off the page, even selfies! after you have scanned your coloring, save character in order to see, share and play later – reactivate them anywhere, no pages needed.
Toddler iPad Crayola Coloring Book AppCrayola makes the Color Alive experience exciting and fun for a great price point. the books run $5.99 for 16-page book with 7 crayons, including the magical special effect crayon or $1.99 for an 8-page bundle of coloring pages, including unlimited printing ability. considering there are 4 books with a total of 64 pages between them, these coloring books will provide hours and hours of engaging, creative fun for kids and parents.

Crayola Color Alive 4D Experience AppCrayola Sweepstakes!!!! don’t forget to enter the Crayola Color Alive Sweepstakes. by uploading a photo of your Color Alive creation that you have brought to life by using the Color Alive app, you will be entered to win 3 weekly prizes and one grand prize — a trip for 4 to the brand new Crayola Experience in Orlando, FL — opening this summer! that would be the experience of a lifetime…good luck!

Crayola Color Alive Books 4D app

 

 

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day All Month Long at Farrell’s

Farrell's St. Patrick's Day

once again, we headed over to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour to try out another one of their burger masterpieces and ice cream creations. during the month of March, Farrell’s is serving up their Blarney Burger & Irish Nachos, and their Pot O’Cold Sundae in celebration of the day of green…St. Patrick’s Day.

 first up was the Farrell’s Blarney Burger & Irish Nachos.

Farrell's Restaurant Corned Beef Burger and Irish Nachosthe Blarney Burger is delicious, totally massive, and has all the luck you need between two toasted onion buns! it all starts with a Farrell’s fresh 1/2 lb. all-beef burger topped with our made-from-scratch Guinness® cheese sauce, crispy Tater Tots, corned beef, and a house-made horseradish mustard and cabbage slaw. basically, it’s your St. Patty’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner on a hamburger.

Farrell's Corned Beef and Cabbage Burgeron the side of the Blarney Burger? what else, but Farrell’s special take on Irish nachos. you get french fries covered in Guinness cheese sauce, bacon and green onions.
Farrell's Restaurant Irish NachosFarrell's Corned Beef Hamburger but before we enjoyed our Pot O’Cold Sundae, we had a little…or must i say BIG birthday surprise at our table. it was Kyle’s 9th birthday, so he got some big birthday wishes, a FABULOUS birthday song and live music performance by our Farrell’s servers and an ice cream treat. it was fun, loud and very special for my little guy.Farrell's Restaurant Singing Happy Birthday Kyle!!!!Farrell's Restaurant Birthday Party Roomand then it was time for the Pot O’Cold Sundae…two-scoops of Mint Chip and one-scoop of Chocolate ice cream swirled with hot fudge, freshly made green whipped cream and topped with rainbow sprinkles, a mint cookie and a cherry! this has to be one of our favorite Farrell’s iccd cream creations to date, as my boys have a thing for mint chip ice cream. 
Farrell's Shamrock SundaeFarrell's St. Patrick's Day Sundaeof course everyone loved it, and licked the bowl clean. it was the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Farrell's Green Sundae

thank you Farrell’s for a great night of fun and creative food!

Farrell's Restaurant in Buena Park