Sunday, August 31, 2014

Starting Violin: Featuring Rozanna's Violins

Since Zoe has been a toddler, she has always told us that she wanted to play violin; I think her obsession with it began when she was watching Little Einsteins. I never took any sort of music lessons, but Alex plays guitar and has been a vocalist in many bands and still writes and performs music to this day, so music is in Zoe's blood. I think music lessons are extremely beneficial for children: it increases academic skills as well as discipline and most importantly gives a child a sense of culture.

We recently got Zoe a beautiful, and I mean beautiful, violin from Rozanna's Violins. These violins are basically any little girl's dream instrument. They are made of solid spruce and maple and feature insane artwork. When you think of violins, you may think that a quality instrument is too expensive to purchase. These violins retail for under four hundred dollars making them affordable for any family with a future virtuoso on their hands.

Zoe's pink violin with sunflower art

A closer look at this gorgeous craftsmanship

The designer, Rozanna Weinberger is an accomplished musician herself, having worked with many of the world's greatest musicians. She believes music is a right and not a privilege and offers awesome free violin tutorial's on her YouTube channel.

I don't have Zoe signed up for lessons just yet because her school is going to start a program soon with a local strings orchestra just for 5 and 6 year-olds which I hope to get her a spot in. How old were your children when they started music lessons? Any pointers for me? Stay tuned for more about Zoe's violin lessons and please check out Rozanna's Violins for your own violin shopping needs!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Loot Crate Unboxing and GIVEAWAY!

This year Zoe has discovered the world of Youtube; in particular, she has become obsessed with toy unwrapping videos. Not familiar? Let me explain. There is a whole phenomenon of people opening toys and blind bags and boxes on the internet for your enjoyment. Zoe loves these videos and has developed interests in a lot of new products from watching them. She watched a Loot Crate unboxing and NEEDED to have one for herself.
Loot Crate is actually really cool. Think of it as a nerdy box of goodies delivered to you monthly. Each box has a theme and contains toys and collectibles related to that theme. Our August box was hero themed, and the month prior featured a villain theme. These boxes are perfect for the comic and toy aficionado regardless of their age or gender. Each box contains over $40 worth of merchandise for only $13.37 or less; that is a fantastic deal, trust me (we get sucked into a lot of toys in this house!)  The best part is that Loot Crate is a subscription service, so each month the fee gets automatically taken out of your credit or debit card and the box arrives. It is like a nerdy Christmas every month of the year! You can find lots of coupon codes on the internet for Loot Crate too so that you are paying even less money for your loot!

Look at all that loot!

Happy nerdling

Now, don't laugh, but Zoe has a very specific career aspiration at the moment. She wants to be a Youtube star. I'm not joking, that is what she says. So, like any stage parent...I mean good parent, I made her a Youtube account so she could make her own toy videos. Watch her unbox her Loot Crate in the video below. Guess what else? You can win your own September Loot Crate! Please watch the video and enter below....Good Luck!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School Giveaway with Dabbawalla Backpacks

It's that time folks...back to school! Zoe is psyched to be starting first grade. Little Lea is still at home with daddy, but she shouldn't be left out of all the back to school fun, right? So, I got her a perfect peanut sized backpack, exactly right for the pre-k crowd from Dabbawalla.

She loves it!

Dabbawalla makes great recyclable and toxic free bags that are durable and stain resistant. Thee foam material also is pretty insulating and will regulate food temperatures. Lea picked a super cute crayon bag, but Dabbawalla makes loads of cute prints. Check some of these out:

Aren't they adorable? Don't you want one? Well you are in luck because we are giving one away! You get your choice of a Dabbawalla backpack that is in stock (stock does fluctuate, but they are all amazing anyway!) Enter below to send your lil' monster off to school in style!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bailar Dancewear $50 Giveaway!

I don't know how this is even possible since Zoe is 6, but this will be our 5th year at our dance studio! Zoe is beyond psyched to get her five year trophy this year and Lea loves going to class every week. The girls have a pretty expansive dance wardrobe from all the years, but it's all the typical stuff everyone gets at Target. I recently stumbled on Bailar Dancewear's website, and it is beyond cool. They have all your typical stuff like leotards, shorts, and skirts, but each item comes in over 200 choices of color and fabric....whoa!

The girls had a ton of fun modeling their new dancewear for you. Both girls got the regular lycra leotard. Zoe chose the holographic circle skirt and high waist shorts while lea went classic lycra shorts.

So Shiny!

Bustin a move

She posed like this on her own...I'm in big trouble 

All of the items are great quality and all priced reasonably. I love how the pieces mix so well with others, like Zoe pictured above. Great news for all my dance moms: I am hosting a $50 giveaway for your choice of Bailar Dancewear items. Enter below to really amp up your dance wardrobe this season!

Note: You get multiple entries for various tasks. make sure you check them all out. Having trouble entering? Try to not use a mobile device. Check out our Facebook page for a BONUS entry...
Good luck!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Super Hero Cape GIVEAWAY from Pipsqueek Bowtique!

Lea loves get're sick of hearing about by now. But hear me out because I have one final mermaid post that is just too cute not to share out. On a recent Etsy browse, I stumbled onto Pipsqueek Bowtique, a shop that specializes in unique hero capes. Yes, you can get all the mainstream Marvel and DC themed stuff here, but what caught my eye was this:

That, my dear readers, is a mermaid themed superhero set. I had to have it....I mean, Lea had to have it. Each of the sets comes with a cape, mask, and wristbands, and today Lea and I had a little photoshoot fun with all three!

How cute is she? She absolutely adored her new mermaid hero set and I think she'll be awkwardly wearing it out and about quite often from now on ( a hero's job never ends after all!) Kristen, the owner of the Etsy shop, has graciously decided to give one reader a set of their choice! Not into mermaids? No worries! Check out some of her other great work:

Let it go!

Even adults can get it on the fun!

To enter, simply leave a comment in the comments section below telling me who your personal hero is and why. I will randomly select one winner from all entries using If you don't win, Kristen has still decided to give your ten percent off your order using the code "LILMONSTERS10" at checkout! Enter below and Good luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Great Daycation at Lake Compounce!

If you frequent this blog at all, you know we spend a bulk of our family time at every and anything fun and kid friendly, which makes the fact that we had never visited Lake Compounce practically criminal. The park is only about two hours from us but for some reason we had never visited. However, when we were afforded the opportunity to review their new campgrounds, we couldn't resist a day of amusement park fun too. Lake Compounce is PERFECT for families with small children. When we entered the park, we rode basically every kiddie ride without waiting at all. Lines are a toddlers worst enemy and the plethora of rides available with short waits (if any) made our day so much more enjoyable.

Roller Coaster Monster

Having so much fun together!

Her face kills me in this one!

We also visited the waterpark, Crocodile Cove, and that was a blast too (it is included with admission.) I didn't take any pictures there since I got pretty wet, but trust me, it was a blast. There are several kiddie areas, some big slides, and a huge lazy river. I have to say though, my favorite part was getting to swim in Lake Compounce itself. The water was warm as a bath and the beachy atmosphere made for a nice break from the park.

We didn't actually ride any of the thrill rides (the only bad thing about always being with the girls at these parks) but they looked CRAZY! Some of them were so fast, it looked liked something out of The Sandlot!

One final bonus of the park is there are free drinks all day. We don't drink soda, but there is unlimited Pepsi  served throughout the park, and we definitely enjoyed the ice water available in lieu of paying for bottled water. You should definitely check out Lake Compounce. I hope to head back to visit for their Halloween event which I have heard is awesome!

Zoe Monster says Lake Compounce rocks!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bear Creek Campground Opens at Lake Compounce

We recently got an opportunity to stay overnight at the new campgrounds at Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT. Bear Creek Campground offers guests an opportunity to camp overnight in extremely close proximity to the amusement park. There are four different camping options at the park which are tents, RVs, tipis, and cabins. We went the glamping route and chose the cabins. I was really pleased with the cabin. It looked small from the outside but had tons of space inside.

The entire cabin had a great woodsy pine smell. There is a full kitchen in the cabins with a full sized refrigerator, microwave, and stove. Not pictured is the full dining room table for six. There is also a small flat screen television in the dining area.

There is so much sleeping space in the cabins. The girls were absolutely in love with the bunk beds. There were also two matching full sized bedrooms as pictured below. In addition, there is plenty of loft space for extra sleeping bags or blow up mattresses. The two bedroom cabin sleeps six, but I imagine you could easily fit more campers than that.

Hiding out in the empty loft spot designed for extra campers.
Everything about the cabins was awesome. We had a great night grilling in the fire pit and playing board games. There is a store on the premises to buy camping essentials like firewood and s'mores kits.

I think the campground is well on its way to being the perfect spot for families. I think the addition of a playground or some other play area would benefit the grounds immensely. Right now, there isn't too much for little ones to do since there is no designated play areas. The park does offer family events daily, but we unfortunately missed out on those do to our later arrival. I recommend packing some toys and games for little ones who may get cabin fever otherwise.

A view of the cabins

The tipis looked like a lot of fun!

You can check out the camping options at Bear Creek below. No matter which option you choose, you do get discount admission to Lake Compounce with your stay. We had a blast at the park, so keep your eyes out for that post soon. Check out our video tour below to see the whole cabin. The campground is open through October 31, so check it out!

Bear Creek Camping Options:

• Picnic Table
• Fire Pit
• Close Access to clean Public Restrooms (showers and toilet)

• 50/30/20 amp capabilities
• Water Hook up
• Electricity Hook up
• Can accommodate any size RV or Motor home
• Cable hook up
• Fire Pit
• Picnic Table

• 4 Cots (up to 5 cots available)
• Fire-pit
• Picnic table
• Close Parking available

Regular Cabins
• 2 full size beds (linens included)
• 1 twin size bunk bed (linens included)
• Full Kitchen
• Full bathroom (shampoo, soap, and towels included)
• Loft
• Dining Room table
• Wi-Fi and Cable
• Heat and Air Conditioning
• Picnic table
• Fire Pit