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Editor Reviews

 
Our Editors post real reviews on the products we use and the services we try. Stay tuned to our Contests page for an opportunity to win some of our faves.
 
 
 

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Editor's Review - Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park
Written by Karen Logan   

If you’re on the hunt for something extraordinary, check out Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park located in Spring! We found ourselves celebrating my 7-year-old’s birthday here, and I was blown away with all the excitement they had in store for us! Of course, there were the wall-to-wall trampolines and a trampoline “runway” – similar to some other trampoline parks and with similar rules. But Urban Air is so much more than JUST a trampoline park. 

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Fun & Free Programs at the Tomball Library
Written by Karen Logan   

For a change of scenery we sometimes pop in for Toddler Time at the Tomball Community College and Library, and boy is it a treat! It’s about a 22-minute drive there from the Creekside Park area, but once you get there, you’re golden!

Toddler Time takes place Tuesdays at 10:30am and Wednesdays at 9:30am, and it features a member of the library staff reading age-appropriate books (usually there’s a special “theme” for the week), songs & fingerplays, parachute playtime, and a simple craft (great for building fine motor skills). The kids even get to play with egg shakers during some of the songs. After the “formalities”, the staff member pulls down bins of fun toys (toy trucks, play food, animals, and musical instruments), and independent playtime begins! This ends up being fun social time for kids plus a great opportunity for them to learn to share toys and play well with others. Sometimes, Toddler Time includes BUBBLES! 
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Tiff's Treats - Cookie Delivery in The Woodlands ROCKS!
Written by Karen Logan   

Sorry Amazon.com, you’ve just been outdone! I mean, as much as I look forward to those beautiful brown boxes arriving at my front doorstep all too frequently, the experience has nothing on the treat I received at my home yesterday evening. It all started with a very pleasant phone call from Tiff’s Treats customer service. Someone was sending me warm, freshly-baked cookies, and they wanted to find out the best time to have them delivered.

Just to be clear, there’s no bad time to have warm cookies delivered, so I cancelled my 6-year-old’s tumbling class that was scheduled for the evening. Then, I immediately put on my pajamas, (although it was only 4’o clock in the evening). You see, I’m a cookie-eating connoisseur, and if there’s any way you can eat your cookies at home in your PJ’s, you seize the opportunity. If it happens to be raining outside as it was yesterday evening, all the better!

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Gorilla Hole at The Woodlands Rec Center
Written by Jenni Fisher   
Ever since my boys were little and I'd scour the calendars for fun stuff for us to do, I'd come across the "Gorilla Hole" for tweens at The Woodlands Rec Center and wonder what it was all about!
 
This past fall my oldest son began 5th grade and was "eligible" to go try it out.  He rounded up a few of his friends, excited about a chance to be out on the town at night without his parents hovering over him, and headed to check it out.  He had a great time and we felt confident leaving him there for a few hours of social fun!
 
Gorilla Hole is for 5th and 6th graders and is held the first Friday of each month from 7-9:45.   After paying their $7 entry fee, parents sign their kids in with an adult supervisor, they get a wristband and off they go!  The kids spend time playing organized and unorganized games of basketball, dodge ball and dancing to fun music and just hanging out. Snacks and drinks are provided for a few dollars extra.  
 
If you have a 5th or 6th grader who's looking for a little independent-supervised fun, try out the Gorilla Hole.  Our review:  two thumbs up from a few 11 year old boys and their moms! 
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Eat More Kale (and Broccolini) - Chick-fil-A's Superfood Side salad is dressed to impress!
Written by Karen Logan   

Have you tried the new superfood side at Chick-fil-A? I did, and I'm happy to say it's now my new favorite fast food menu side item. No, I’m not kidding. You see, for the past 4 years I've been a Chick-fil-A black card holder - meaning I can flash my VIP card at any local CFA and get an entrée or entire meal for absolutely free, every day that Chick-fil-A is open, for the entire year. So indeed, I've had my share of chicken sandwiches, bowls of tortilla soup, nuggets, and waffle fries. Not that I plan to stop ordering these items anytime soon. And I should note, that I often use my card to get a free Grilled Market salad, and those are super healthy and quite delicious as well. But the new superfood salad is a welcome addition to my palate. It’s light and cool, fresh, flavored just right, and it actually leaves me wanting more. The greens are tender and bite-sized, topped with dried sour cherries and roasted nuts (almonds, pecans, and walnuts) and paired with a delicious maple vinaigrette that really kicks up the salad’s flavor.

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Topgolf KidZone Summer Academy a Win-Win
Written by Karen Logan   

We've partnered with Topgolf and were compensated for this post. Opinions are our own!

I decided to wear green because we were feeling super lucky for the opportunity to host an intimate Mom's Day and Kids Summer Academy event at Topgolf Spring. This time, there were 12 of us mommies and about 15 kiddos, and we had a chance to preview the KidZone Summer Academy. What fun! First of all, you should know that next week is the very last week to take advantage of the Summer Academy for this year, but it’ll return in full force at the beginning of next summer’s break. The Academy takes place Monday – Friday from 9am – 12pm, is for children ages 6-12, and they even feed the kids lunch. So, if you need to rip and run and get last minute school supplies handled next week, Topgolf is a great option for a unique experience for the kiddos. They’ll be well taken care of with a low student-to-teacher ratio of 1-6! Win-win!

Our Summer Academy Preview event was similar to last month’s Ladies’ Happy Hour

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Lou Lou's Beignets - Now Open in The Woodlands
Written by Karen Logan   
Fifteen years ago, I didn't even know how to pronounce the word "beignet", but now, they're one of my favorite desserts. Actually, there's nothing even remotely extraordinary about the taste of this square-shaped, deep-fried pastry usually served drenched in powdered sugar, but there's a  coffeeshop novelty about the entire beignet-eating experience that makes it worthy of repetition.  
 
We recently tried Lou Lou's Beignet's on Research Forest in the Village of Alden Bridge, and our experience was pretty good. My husband was born and raised in New Orleans (home of the world famous beignets of Cafe du Monde), so for us, the bar was  set pretty high.
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Tomball Bowl - Old Fashioned Fun!
Written by Jenni Fisher   
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The summer is winding down, but the hot weather isn't!  We're always looking for free, cool summer activities around our house, and I think we found our favorite thing to do this summer!  
 
I was so happy to stumble across the "Kids Bowl Free" program sponsored by Tomball Bowl before school even let out, I knew it would be that "go-to" activity when the pool and splashpads were old news.  
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Tomball Bowl is what I would call an "old-fashioned" bowling alley.  Prices are in-line with my 1990s expectations, there's a great little snack bar with popcorn,nachos and pizza, a game room where video games are 50 cents and even a juke box!  If you use your Kids Bowl Free pass, shoe rental is extra for only $3.25. Without the summer passes, games are still less than $5/person on weekdays and on Sunday and Tuesday only $2.25. You really can't beat that!

When we went with friends a couple of weeks ago, we stopped for lunch at an awesome little spot just in front of the bowling alley called Frey's Backyard Cafe. It's a cute little spot with counter ordering and a great outside seating area and a large turf, fenced-in area in the back for the kids to run around and play.  Our friends were very pleased that they had gluten-free options and we were even happier to have time to sit in chat in peace while the kids played soccer happily within eye, but not ear range!
  
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Kids Bowl Free is still available until August 31 here:  www.kidsbowlfree.com/center.php?alley_id=6234.
 
Tomball Bowl is located at 14435 FM 2920.  To see their hours and specials, visit: http://tomballbowl.com/.
 
Frey's Backyard Cafe is located at 14441 FM 2920 just in front of the bowling alley.  See their hours and menu at:  http://freysbackyard.com/.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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Don't Hesita(s)te! Sweet'N Low National Sampling Tour
Written by Karen Logan   

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Sweet’N Low. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

If you were at the Red, Hot & Blue Festival on the 4th of July, I hope you got a chance to drop by the Sweet’N’ Low truck to sample some of their sweetened beverages. It was a hot night and I didn’t have any cash for soft drinks, so I lingered around the truck for more than my fair share of samples, and the staff on hand were kind enough to let me indulge. What can I say? I’m a Sweet’N Low fan (and the sample cups were really small)! Since iced tea is my drink of choice when dining out, I love that America’s favorite pink packet zero-calorie sweetener is an option at most restaurants because it takes WAY too much regular sugar to sweeten my tea the way I like it. One little packet of Sweet’N Low is as sweet as 2 tablespoons of sugar. Lately, however, I have an even greater appreciation for Sweet’N Low because it’s zero calories. Yes, I’m still trying to lose my “baby” weight from the 16-month-old, and ever calorie cut is worth its weight in gold.

Sweet’N Low doesn’t’ taste exactly like sugar, and that’s totally fine with me. As I told my husband, “it sweetens efficiently”, and the flavor is delightful. People who know me well can tell you that I’m a HUGE sweets eater! Artificial sweeteners just make sense for me and my lifestyle, and I like the fact that numerous reputable organizations such as American Diabetes Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, World Health Organization, and National Cancer Institute (to name a few), have acknowledged the health benefits and safety of consuming saccharin, which is what Sweet’N Low is made with.



Have you tried Sweet’N Low recently? If you don’t think you’ll like it, you might be surprised! Tastes change, and that’s why Sweet’N Low has taken their sweetness on the road with their national sampling tour, to give everyone a chance to try them again (or try them for the first time).  Their theme is “don’t hesita(s)te” which is all about not missing the moment to try something great! So try them out next time, and kick the sugar to the curb! 
Don't forget to mention "WoodlandsMommy.com" at upcoming Sweet'N Low events to win a free gift!  #donthesitaste 

 
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Why Not Toys? Local Toy Store Fascinates Shoppers!
Written by Karen Logan   
 
"Wow!!" That's what my husband and I kept exclaiming as we walked deeper and deeper into Why Not Toys, hands down the cutest and coolest toy store around, located in Old Town Spring.
 
This week we decided to explore the charming shopping district of Old Town Spring with our 4 munchkins, and the amazing toy shop was the very first store we entered. I'd visited in the past (without hubby), and all I remember of that visit is that it was a quick in-and-out type of thing (I can't remember why we had to leave so quickly. Perhaps one of the kids were being unruly.) I was thrilled to experience the store for a 2nd time, because it was nothing like I'd remembered it. We walked through room after room (after room) of some of the most fascinating toys around. There were figurines, dolls, board games, stuffed animals, tents, crafts, vintage toys, wind-ups, books, puppets, kitchens, trucks, cash registers, puzzles, monsters and so much more. It was a delight for the senses, and I really don't know who enjoyed the store more, the kids or myself!
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The Woodlands Car Club: Coffee and Cars for a Cause
Written by Jenni Fisher   
I've often seen the calendar listing for The Woodlands Car Club's event "Coffee and Cars for a Cause" on Sunday mornings at Market Street, but with church and self-admitted laziness on Sunday mornings, we've never made the effort to check it out.  
 
Recently my boys have been showing an interest obsession with cars, so we made it a priority to take them to Coffee and Cars for a Cause earlier in June. What great fun!
 
It's a simple enough concept - car owners and enthusiasts park their cars around the streets of Market Street with their doors open and hoods and trunks up while patrons stroll around admiring their prizes.  The boys admired new Lamborghinis, Corvettes and new model BMWs (to name a few) while my husband and I leaned towards the older model Mustangs and Camaros.  If you're lucky, the owners will let the kids sit in the cars and have a look around and of course, take plenty of photos.
 
If you're looking for something fun and different to do with the kids this summer, The Woodlands Car Club holds their event the first Sunday of each month from 8-10 a.m.  You'll enjoy the quiet stroll, friendly conversation and the fact that you're supporting an organization that has been raising awareness and funds for local non-profit organizations in Montgomery County since 2001. For more information:  www.marketstreet-thewoodlands.com/events/5884/cars-coffee-cause-2015-07-05/.
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Editor's Review: Mabel's Labels
Written by Karen Logan   

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mabel’s Labels. I received a voucher to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Next month is the month my mom takes off to treat all her grandkids for a week of fun at her house. For my nieces and nephews, it’s been a summer tradition for the past 15 years, and now that I have kids of my own, mine participate too. That’s about 12 little ones in all (and yes, it was Grandma’s idea)! While I look forward to my one-week “vacation from the kids” every summer, I DO NOT look forward to having them return home with less than what they left with. With everyone’s sleeping bags, clothes, pajamas, socks, shoes, stuffed animals, video games, hair stuff, etc. strewn all over the place, it’s easy for things to get lost. That’s why I decided to use Mabel’s Labels to keep track of everything this year. All of my kiddos items will be labeled, so there will be no question about “Whose is this?” when it’s time to pack up. Also, having things labeled will allow my mom to help the younger ones avoid mix-ups and lost items.

 

Although I’ve used Mabel’s Labels in the past, to facilitate my review of the product this month I was able to customize and receive a Mabel's Labels Limited Edition Camp Label pack – a Mabel’s Labels product designed specifically for campers to keep track of their belongings.  The process of ordering online was super easy. It literally took only a couple of minutes and I was done. I knew what the pack was going to include, but I was still surprised when I physically got the items from the mail and saw how many shiny, neat labels it really amounted to.

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Out of the Box Summer Fun: Owl Pellet Dissection
Written by Karen Logan   
I would have never guessed that dissecting owl pellets would be the highlight of our month! For only $4/each, I was able to purchase 2 owl pellets online from Home Science Tools, and they arrived to The Woodlands within a week's time. Even still, they sat in their packets for another 2 weeks because I simply had no interest in doing anything with them.
 
 
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Editor's Review: Educational, Fun-to-Read Books by Hands-on-Prints
Written by Karen Logan   

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hands-on-Prints books. I received books to facilitate my review.”

Reading is an activity that takes place in my home many (many) times throughout each day. My family loves books, so when I received an offer to review a couple of Hands-on-Prints books by Christinia Cheung,  I jumped at the opportunity. With a M.A. in Early Childhood Education, Cheung’s inspiration for writing a series of 5 books came after she established a Montessori school that celebrates the learning differences of each student. Her books – or at least the two I’ve read thusfar – are examples of Cheung’s passion for presenting educational ideas to children in new, inspirational ways.

A Persistent Vine” is one of the more original stories I’ve read this year. It gives a fictional account of a young girl and her parents who live on a lushly landscaped estate that eventually gets taken over by the morning glory plant. From the perfect pace of the enchanting tale to page after page of fascinating illustrations, this book shines brightly. Its tone is somewhat mysterious, and its perfect ending is one that stays with the reader for some time. My daughters, ages 9 and 7, read this book several times over, each time taking care to examine the remarkable illustrations. There is “newness” to encounter on every page: Japanese architecture, the introduction of various species of plants, beautifully dressed characters… We love delving into different cultures, and any enjoyable read that’s educational too is a win-win! This book does not disappoint, and it’s no wonder it was awarded the Silver Prize for the 2013 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. 

Another Hands-On Prints book I enjoyed reading with my girls is “Do I Have To? What if I Don't Want To?"

(Oh, if I had a penny for every time I heard that question in my house!) This uniquely crafted book addresses the child who needs help understanding why he/she HAS to do certain things they’re told to do by their parents and the possible consequences involved with NOT doing that thing. In my house, my answer is always “Because I’m the boss, Applesauce!” but that doesn’t go over too well with a child who’s frustrated and is feeling misunderstood. Written in first-person point of view, “Do I Have to?” includes some model conversations and several mini-scenario book inserts that provide great response ideas for parents dealing with an uncooperative or frustrated child. The illustrations are very kid-friendly, and the book is fun to read and makes for good conversation / talking points with your little ones. 

If you're in the market for a couple of good reads, consider giving these two a try! 
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